Only The Beginning

Only The Beginning

A Chapter by Zephyair

Chapter 3 EDITED~!


    She was there again, in that dream land. It was different though. Instead of appearing in the streets and left to wonder aimlessly, Zephyair had returned to the place where Amarith had taken her. To her surprise he was sitting casually in the couch, waiting for her to join him. She sat down beside him hesitantly. He smiled, as if there wasn’t a care in the world, but she was sure that shadowy beast could reappear whenever.
   “Zephyair,” he spoke softly, saying her name as if it were something delicate. It sent a chill down her spine, not knowing whether or not she should like that. He stifled a small laugh and she look at him curiously, wondering if he could read minds or if she was just being obvious.
   “There’s a lot I need to tell you,” Amarith said, finally. “I really don’t know where to begin.”
    “Start with what’s the most important,” she replied, “Then just go from there.”
   “But what’s the most important thing..,” he said.  “Probably telling that these aren’t dreams is a good place to start.”
    “There not?” she asked, surprised.
   “When you really dream, the only people you dream of are people you’ve seen or met. You’ve never seen or met me before, but here I am sitting next to and talking to you. And that’s another thing. With five to ten minutes of waking up, you forgot your dreams, unless of course that dream is memorable. Nightmares for instance.”
    “I already knew more than half of what you just said and yet, why did I believe it was a dream?” She hit herself on the forehead. “I’m so stupid”
    Amarith frowned. “I don’t think so. Most people wouldn’t have known half of what I said and would’ve learned something.”
   She rolled her eyes. “Dreams are something I specialize in, so to speak. I’ve always been intrigued by them...What would be the next most important thing that you should tell me?” she inquired, changing the subject.
   “That Shore City is not the safest place to be right now, for more than reason, and more so for any vampire. The shadow beast that keeps coming after you isn’t only after you here. This world is...How to put an ethereal part of the world, the part where ghosts and shadows are.”
  “How do you know all this?”
  “My grandfather is studying it. He’s a scientist trying to figure out what happened to us, the vampires and create a cure for the zombies or at least the people infected first. And I have a higher than average IQ.”
   She frowned. He didn’t look like the kind of guy that would be really smart, dressed in black leather pants, an “Atreyu” band shirt, black jacket, fingerless gloves and, she was pretty sure, Doc Martens boots.  She wasn’t very book smart herself, so it made her slightly jealous when someone else was smarter than her, especially when she tried to learn math, her worst enemy yet. She shook her head, realizing he was still talking.
   “-Because I’ve been learning from my grandfather, I’ve been trying to create something myself.”
   “Hmm? And what would you be trying to make?”
  “A reversal for the vampirism.” He said it with a smile and it soured her mood. He noticed the change in her personality and grimaced and crossed her arms. “What? Is there something wrong?”
   “Why would you want to reverse it?”
   “You want to stay this way?”
    She opened her mouth to being a rant, about how she’s never been all that pretty or physically fit, and how she’s always wanted to be one, but decided he probably wouldn’t want to hear her complain like a child. “Never mind.”  She looked away, hoping that Amarith would drop the subject.
   He grabbed her wrist and pulled her through another pool of shadows. She didn’t have enough time to react and pull away. They stood on a cliff and where it was, she had no clue. “All vampires have a special ability. Most deal with the six elements, others are-“
  “Six elements?” she interrupted, cutting off his next statement.
  He nodded. “Light and darkness are just as much natural occurrences as any other. I control light.” To prove it, he held out his hand, palm up and conjured a small orb of light. He manipulated it mentally, and twisted it into a miniature light Zephyair. She shook her head, unimpressed and still annoyed by his wanting to cure vampirism.
   He sighed and dismissed the light. “Would you like to find out what element you control?”
   “Something tells me you already know.”
   “I have a hunch.” He shrugged. “Do want to know?”
   Zephyair sighed. “I guess.”
  He smiled. “Don’t hate me after this,” he whispered.
  And then she was sailing over the edge of the cliff and it felt the earth had fallen away from her, leaving her stranded in the air. She of course knew gravity and the saying “What goes up, must come down.” Her plummet back to earth was terrifying. She screamed, through most of the fall and it only became louder when the ground seemed suddenly seemed to appear right in her face.
   She closed her eyes, fearing the pain of impact. When it never came, she wondered if she had died as soon as she landed. She opened her eyes, which clued her in to realizing she had not died, but she saw only black, only darkness. It somehow, she could see it swirling and surrounding her and slowly it dissipated and she lying on her back, on the ground, looking up and the cliff, she had just fallen from. Sitting up, she looked around for Amarith; she was going to hit him. She didn’t care if he had asked her not to hate him. He threw her off a cliff! He stood leaning up against a tree, with a smirk on his face.
   Zephyair stood up, anger closing her hands into fists and she strode over to him. As she swung out to hit him in the face, he grabbed her wrist and twisted it so she turned away from him and her hand was pinned behind her back.
   “Zephyair, I told you not to hate me,” he whined.
   “You threw me off a cliff! How did that show me what element I control?!” she shouted, struggling free her from his grasp. He wrapped his other arm around her waist, bringing her close she had even less room to move.
    “You control darkness. It was darkness that saved you from a painful impact with the ground,” he replied, whispering it in her ear.
    A howl from behind made them both jump. A second howl sounded off, much closer than the first. Amarith created a portal and was pushing Zephyair toward it, as a few shadow beast leaped into sight. One leaped for Amarith, he shoved Zephyair forward, so he could dodge it without putting her in danger. Another went for her and she rolled away from it, jumping to her feet. A snap of a twig made her turn, just in time for a shadow beast to leap on top of her.
   Once more, she woke with a start. She wondered when these horrible meeting with the shadow beasts would end, but then she remembered that they were hunting her here too and unlike in that dream world, there was no second chance. Aggravated, she flopped down on her pillow. Rolling over, she gave an exasperated yell into the pillow.

   Zephyair spent the next day attempting to conjure up a ball of shadows as Amarith had done with light. It spiralled up from pre-existing shadows on the nearby wall and floor, coming together to form a dark sphere in the palm of her hand. She sent it spinning around the room and after several near collisions found a way to make it pass through objects so they didn’t break. Eventually, she coaxed it into taking a more complex form, from flowers to a small, animated dark dragon. She lay back on her bed to watch it fly around the basement and quickly realized it was gaining its own sense of intelligence and knowing. She knew that wasn’t a very good thing and could only guess the havoc a dragon could cause.
   With a wave of her hand, she dismissed the conjured dragon. It disappeared in a swirl of dark smoke and melted into the shadow on the wall. With her amusement gone, her mind wandered to Amarith again. She realized she had been thinking of him more and more often. His blatant statement of trying to cure the vampirism had spurned her, but she knew he meant well. He took her anger in good stride, trying to change the subject and unwittingly making it worse but throwing her off a cliff.
   She felt herself twitch at that. He may have done it to show her what element she controlled, but he could have at least warned her and it wasn’t really his fault that she was mad at the idea of losing her vampirism. She sighed, knowing she’d have to apologize to him.
   When she became bored of her room, she went upstairs to see what was on T.V. Her grandfather had put the news on. It was a report about the lack of supplies and how the blizzard which refused to let go of the region was the cause. 
    “Due to strong winds and heavy snow fall the past two days, supply transports have been either slowed or stopped altogether. Road conditions are dangerous for both the drivers of the transports, as well as anyone else. It is advised that everyone stay off the roads.
    “Also, as precaution within the city, people are urged to stay indoors. We don’t mean to panic anyone, but in these weather conditions, it is unknown how well the walls will hold. Its unlikely that anything will break through, but we ask that everyone be prepared for anything.”
    Zephyair shook her head. Telling people something like that and expecting them not to panic was a not a smart choice on their part. ‘If anything it’ll cause unnecessary worry and panic,’ she thought leaving the living room. She stretched her arms above her head as she passed the kitchen. She wasn’t happy being stuck inside with nothing to do. Her grandfather wouldn’t let her or her sister on the computer for fear of ‘killing’ it if the power went out again. Her doodling wasn’t amusement enough and she was tired of testing out her abilities.
    Stifling a yawn of boredom, she retreated to her basement lair once more. Turning on her music, she sat on her bed and looked around her room for something to amuse herself. Zephyair grabbed one of the few manga she had collected and settled down on her bed to read it.

     “Am! Amarith! Wake up!” shouted an all too familiar and annoying voice. By then, his short tempered friend had resorted to shaking him. With a grumble, he woke and punched the other half heartedly, before opening his eyes.
      They were speeding down the road toward Shore City, in the thick of an ever growing snow storm, one that was guaranteed to break records. This would be his second trip there since the Christmas Break, when his visited his cousin Aven. The circumstances of this visit were much more serious than a family reunion, though he only wished that he could take Aven with him, but Tanser’s could only seat so many and no matter how many times he had asked to drive a second, he was denied.
    Defeated, Amarith could only hope that Zephyair would be willing to even talk to him, if he could reach her in the aether realm at all. He had put himself in the mind state to reach the aether plane instantly if he felt even a flicker of her on it. He had to tell her they were coming to get her, he had to tell why, he had to tell her that terrible things were about to happen.
    His grandfather, Samyal, knew more about everything that was happening than any normal person should. Some digging around in old files and family history had drawn up only blanks and more questions than it had answers, the only way Amarith was going to learn anything was through asking him directly. But he felt that asking him would only cause more problems.
   Finally, when Tori didn’t explain why he had woken him, he asked, “Why’d you wake me up?”
   Tori shrugged. “You looked to comfortable, so I figured I’d disturb your beauty sleep.” The fire starter grinned.
   Amarith rolled his eyes. “At least I’m not wasting time by taking an hour to spike my hair,” he retorted, raising an eyebrow.
    “Hey! What if that girl-“
    “Her name is Zephyair.”
    “You got her phone number too?”
    “If I did, I’d have called her by now.”
    Without any more questions, Tori turned back to the window and stared out at the large passing snowflakes, which made visibility poor. The urgency of their trip though outweighed the dangers of it and they sped faster than they should to reach the city before nightfall. According to Samyal’s sources, that’s when a planned attack on the city would be made. They had a fair idea of who was behind it and the unknowing citizens of the city knew him too, just not the way they did. How this man planned to put the city’s worries to rest was a cruel lie and joke for the people.
   Amarith felt a small shift of the aether plane as it adjusted and then returned to its original state as either Zephyair or a shadow beast entered it. Quickly, he sent himself there too.

   The smell of pine and moss was overpowering. Realizing suddenly she was in the forest, thought of the room where Amarith had first taken her. A black portal, the same as the ones he summoned appeared before. Stepping through it, she came through exactly where she wanted and just as any other time, he was waiting for her. This time however, he paced, back and forth across the room. He looked up suddenly as he noticed her.
   He sighed, “It about time.” Then his expression changed to a sheepish one. “You’re not still angry with me are you?”
    Surprised, Zephyair stammered, “N..n..No, not at all. I actually wanted to apologize for before.”
    His sigh of relief was more than audible. “That’s good. But, we don’t have a lot of time right now. I need to tell you a lot and quickly. First off, there’s going to be an attack on Shore City. Myself, and a couple others are coming to get you.”
    “Wait. What? Coming to get me, why?” she asked, thoroughly confused.
    “You are really important and we can’t let them get you,”
    “Can’t let who get me?”
    “The shadow beasts, the ones controlling them...and there are more I’m sure.” His face creased with worry as he stepped toward her. Placing a hand on her face, he added, “And I don’t want you hurt. If they do get you, they’ll do horrible things to you.”
    Her eyes widened as she realized, that his spoke with a seriousness that she hadn’t heard since her grandmother’s funeral. He was serious and this was most defiantly a grave, life or death situation. But it was all being forced on her so fast. Nothing was making sense.
     “Since when did someone want me for anything?” she asked, more too herself than to Amarith.
      But he answered anyways. “This person doesn’t care who you are, so much as what. And its not just you he’s after, but all vampires.”
       A shiver ran down her spine. “Then what makes me so special that you have to come and get me?”
       He sighed and ran a hand through his long hair. “Let’s just say you’re a lot more powerful than other vampires and we, they, can’t afford to lose someone like that so soon into the battle.”
      “Battle? What battle?! What’s going?!” She demanded.
      “I can’t explain it all right now, Zephyair. But to put it in perspective it’ll be a worldwide genocide in the end if that guy and his followers aren’t stopped.”
      Suddenly, the world around her spun and twisted. “What’s..happening?” she asked as she reached out to the table to steady herself.
     “You’re being woken up from the other side for once,” he replied.  “I’ll see you again soon, this time in person.”
     Everything faded to black and she returned to reality.

    But something wasn’t right there either. Shouts and screams were heard from outside. Zephyair rushed over to the window and peeked over top of the building snow. She could legs running about and heard the shouts more clearly. From what she heard, the walls had been broken and ghouls had entered the city. If the ghouls were in the city, the zombies would soon follow.
   Quickly, she changed from pyjamas into normal clothes and ran upstairs. Her sister sat on the couch, knees brought up to her chin and her hands clutching her head. She was obviously terrified by ghouls and the memory that came with them. Looking all over the house had yielded the result that their grandfather had probably gone to help with the reconstruction of the wall. She shook her head. He knew the dangers of doing such a thing, but then again, he was one of the people who originally helped build it.
    Running outside, into the slightly calming blizzard, she watched as people ran into the center most sector of the city. They left behind everything to survive, with only blankets wrapped around them and a few bags with either food or clothes. She, of course, ran the other way, toward the wall, but more importantly to where Aven lived.
    She was a block away when she could hear the screams of the dying, screams of pain. The ghouls were already working on ravaging the city’s populace. Running ever closer to them, she began to fear the worst of her friend and her fears proved true when a slightly familiar scent filled her senses. Following it, she found Aven, a mangled mess in the snow, turning its pure white, to crimson red.
     She turned around just in time, to dodge a wolf ghoul that leaped toward her. Rolling to cover more ground and to break her fall, she turned and quickly conjured up the shadows as she practiced, but instead of turning them into a ball, they became whip like tendrils and cut through the ghoul like butter.
   A bear ghoul shambled forward, rearing back to stand on its hind legs and roared before charging toward her. More shadowy tendrils sliced the bear, cutting off limbs and eventually its head.
   She turned to run the direction she came, to get Willow and get her out of there. Then there was a cry out, “Zephyair!” She spun around, her grandfather reaching out toward her, calling out to her with a horde of zombies not far behind him. Several predatory ghouls were already making their way to him and before she could move they were on him and devouring him.
    Collapsing to the snow covered ground, she cried out, for her grandfather. The tears came, stinging her eyes. She had lost two of her most dear people and she would lose a third is she didn’t get home to Willow. With sudden determination, she stood and already making a plan on how to get her sister out of there, of the city. But the hope faded as she realized how chaotic everything had gotten.  So many ghouls, so many zombies already surrounded her, from every side and it wouldn’t be long until the city was covered completely.
   Ducking right and landing a hard punch at the same time, she hit a zombie in the face, the blow stunned it momentarily. She took the opportunity to break its neck and turn her attention to the next one. A roundhouse kick knock its head clean off. She ran to the nearest car, hoping higher ground would help her find a way out.
    A bright light flared and she covered her eyes wincing. Zephyair squinted to see what had made the light. Amarith stepped into view, a brightly glowing sword in hand. She watched as she swung it with ease, chopping off arms and heads with precise swings. She called once more for the shadowy tendrils, they twisted their way through the throng of mindless undead and carved a path from her to him, but the gap closed quickly with while more zombies advanced. She took the chance of being swamped and ran from the top of the car, where zombies were already reaching up to grab her.
   She reached out for him, the shadowy tendrils hacking away at the zombie horde.  Every time one was chopped down two filled its place. The hands reached out and grabbed her hair and clothes, yanking and tugging. Even with preternatural strength and speed, the swarm had her swamped and soon she lost sight Amarith.
     She had to think of a new tactic and quickly. She called the shadows to come in toward her. Then, in a rapid burst, she sent them out in a spiral around her, pushing away the horde. With some room to move she leaped up, over the heads of the nearby undead and landing on their shoulders. Her sudden weight knocked them to the ground and she sprinted out of the throng. She turned back momentarily to see where Amarith had gone.
      He was nowhere in sight. She worried for a moment that he might have been rendered motionless by the swarming horde. Shaking her head, she turned back and nearly ran into him. He grabbed her arm roughly and started pulling her in the opposite direction of Willow.
     “No!” she screamed, pulling away from him. “I need to get my sister!” He grasp was too tight on her arm and the more she pulled away, the harder he held.
   Finally fed up with her struggles, he tugged her close, to look her straight in the face. He said, sternly, “I told you that I was coming to get you. You’re not the only one leaving family behind here.”
   She struggled more. “Aven’s your cousin, not your brother! And he’s-“
   He placed a hand over her eyes and forehead and everything went dark and numb.
   Zephyair slumped in his arms. He really hadn’t wanted to do something as drastic as using his ability to knock her out, but her struggling was making it hard for him to get her out of there and to keep second thoughts out of his mind. Placing one arm under her knees and the other under her lower back, he carried her to where Samyal had said he was picking them up.
   Amarith had beaten them there. Setting her gently down on a nearby bench, he fended off the few zombies and ghouls that neared. His sword of light sliced through the rotting flesh of the undead easily. ‘I just hope there aren’t any shadow fiends around,’ he thought as he chopped the head of a mountain lion ghoul clean off. Suddenly, the streetlights went off, covering the area in an eerie darkness. He sighed, wishing he didn’t have to summon the orbs of light that would tell Tanser and Samyal he was there. They’d signal to the ghouls and shadow fiends as well.
     Finally, Tanser rolled up with the car. He shouted to Amarith hurry and that was a shadow fiend in the area. Cursing under his breath, he carefully picked Zephyair up off the bench and seated her in the car between himself and Tori. In her unconscious state, she slid slightly to lean against his shoulder. He smiled slightly at the subtle touch, knowing she was going to hate him when she woke up.
   “So this is the strongest of the six elemental controllers?” Tori asked as he moved to poke her arm. Amarith swatted him away.
    “I had to knock her out. She wanted to go back and get her sister,” he replied spitefully, aiming the remark both at Tori and Tanser.
     Tanser raised his hands in a gesture of surrender. “Its not like I knew she had a sister. Weren’t you supposed to find out info like that?” the emo wannabe said sarcastically.
     “If I had enough time to talk with her I might’ve found that out, but this had to happen,” he pointed out the window to the ghouls and undead horde that was growing in numbers.
     The other three shifted uncomfortably in their seats and the mention of what they were turning a blind eye too. The problem with becoming involved was getting themselves known. If the mastermind behind the whole plot knew they were there, he certainly wouldn’t hold back. They would all die and no one would ever know what truly happened to Shore City. Then again, there was already, probably, a cover up story being made up.
   Running a hand through his hair, he rested back against the seat and stared out the window at the snowflakes that fluttered by. The blizzard had ended and with it had gone the strong winds and driving snow. Now it looked like a winter wonder land, blissful and peaceful. In Shore City though, that snow had covered up the frozen blood of those killed and ravaged.

   She woke suddenly, unaware of her surroundings. The memories of those fleeting moments before Amarith appeared flashed through her mind. The images of her grandfather being devoured by zombies and ghouls made her skin crawl. Whereas remembering Aven, a mangled mess in the snow made her feel sick. Then she remembered him, Amarith. He was dragging her away from the one person she might’ve been able to save, Willow.
   An anger filled Zephyair. She looked around from where she sat. Recognizing Amarith, sleeping to her right, but the boy to her left was unknown to her and also asleep. In the front were a middle-aged man and another, barely into his twenties she guessed, who reminded her of an oshare kei singer or fan, was driving. The older man noticed her.
   “Ah, so you’re finally awake,” he said. His tone was cautious, yet calm and she could tell he was expecting her to react with some kind of emotional backlash.
   Instead, she asked, “Where are you taking me?”
   He seemed surprised and oddly, relieved. “Somewhere safe. I’m Doctor Samyal Nightling, by the way,” he replied, nodding his head to her in the mirror.
   “And where exactly is safe?” she wanted to know exactly where.  She wanted to know how far she was going, so she could gauge how far she’d have to travel back. She wasn’t going to leave Willow there alone, if she had even survived.
   “Toronto. Amarith told us your name, Zephyair right?” he stated.
   “Zephyair Avalon,” she replied, caring little for introductions at the moment.
   “Please to meet you. The one here driving is Tanser.” The oshare kei wannabe waved his hand slightly, but kept his eyes on the slick, snow covered road. “Of course, you already know Amarith I’m sure.”  She gave a noncommittal grunt at the mention of her would be kidnapper. Samyal smirked, expecting such a reaction, but continued on to introduce the other. “The one you don’t know is Tori. He’s like you and Amarith, rather than controlling light or darkness, he commands fire.”
    She nodded, not bothering to commit the names to memory.  She glanced out the window to see the predawn light breaking over the horizon. Zephyair guessed it to have been five to six hours since she had been knocked out. She watched out the window to see where exactly they were. She read the road signs, waiting for any signs that might hint on how much farther they had to go.
     It wasn’t long until she spotted the sign declaring they were entering Bracebridge. She thought for a moment, trying to remember the route to Toronto from Shore City. It was practically a straight trip they could last from five to nine hours depending on how quickly they traveled and if they were any stops. She estimated the arrival time in Toronto to be in another hour or two. She sighed, she never liked car trips. They seemed to last much longer than they actually were and she could never sit still for long enough. She sighed and rested back on the seat.
   “Don’t worry,” Samyal said, “It won’t be long until we get there.” He was smiling and that’s what annoyed her most. He obviously didn’t know she had sister that was left alone to fend off a horde of zombies by herself. A shiver went down Zephyair’s spine as an image of a battered and broken Willow entered her mind. Shaking it away she began to realize, that it was more than likely Willow was already dead. The zombies and ghouls would’ve made short work of someone in such a mental state. She realized that it would be pointless to go back to search through an entire city to find one person who was more than likely dead.
    ‘The entire city is probably already over run with them,’ she thought. ‘I’d have no chance to even find a body.’ She stifled a sob, blinking her eyes to hold back tears that threatened to flow over. Pretending to scratch her head, she wiped away the wetness.
    She felt Amarith move beside her. He had woken up too. Stretching his arms, as much as he could in a small car, and yawned before asking, “How much long until we’re home?”
   Tanser replied, “Its only about another hour and a half. We’re just reaching Barrie now.”
    “I should’ve just stayed asleep,” he said, yawning again.
   Samyal laughed. “You don’t have to sleep though.”
   “No, but it passes the time without me really waiting for it pass.”
   “You can’t find something more productive to do than sleep?” the older man asked, laughing.
   “Nope.” They laughed together and it became apparent to Zephyair that the two were probably very close.
    She yawned widely as she stretched her arms behind her head. The cramped car allowed little room to fully move her stiff body. Sleeping sitting had uncomfortable effects.
   “You’re awake too Zephyair?” Amarith asked.
   “Yeah,” she said, not wanting to go through the same conversation with him as she did with Samyal. “I was awake before you were.”
   “I’ve already taken care of the introductions,” Samyal said, “So you don’t have to worry about that.”
   He nodded. “Okay.”
   He had tensed up and was pushing himself against the car door. She thought about making a quip about being so serious but didn’t bother.
   “I was expecting you to be really angry with me,” he explained, in a whisper she knew only she could hear. “I thought you’d try to hit me like you did back in the aether world.”
   “I thinking about it, but realized that it wouldn’t be too good for the car if I hit you through the door,” she replied, casually.
  The statement sent a chill down his spine. She was going to hit, but not while she was in a warm car. It just wouldn’t do for the car to break down in the middle of nowhere.
      He pressed his back harder against the door, very afraid of her. And yet, he completely understood her dilemma and why she was so angry. It was the same reason he was angry with Tanser. She had to leave her younger sister behind, just as he had to leave his closet cousin and best friend behind.  He sighed and relaxed.
   She lifted an eyebrow as his shoulders bowed. She knew enough about bout language to know that meant surrender or fatigue, but in this case surrender was the only option considering he had just woken up. She wondered how he could suddenly change from fear to surrender, besides just giving up and allowing to her to have a free shot at his pretty face. She knew she wouldn’t be able to though. Once her anger cooled it was all talk and her anger cooled at the realization that she might’ve died alongside the rest of Shore City. If what Amarith said was right, that there was shadow beast wandering around Shore City looking for her, they would’ve found her sooner or later.
   He had saved her and she couldn’t over look that fact, however much she wished she could.

  They entered Toronto an hour later. The sprawling city had every defence possible against the zombies and ghouls. They had even hired Tori and himself to help when the ghouls broke through the gates. It didn’t happen often, but it happen.
    Amarith lived in a Victorian styled mansion that really belonged to Tanser whose parent had been killed in separate incidents. For some odd reason he had inherited everything. From his father’s furniture company to his mother’s medical legacy, everything was now his.
   Samyal lived there was well. He had been the second in command in a special investigation with Tanser’s mother. They were looking for hidden genomes in human DNA. Amarith, always a nerd for science had been allowed to learn from Samyal, his grandfather there, in the basement laboratory.
   Tori had recently joined them from Detroit. Lucky for him, when the zombie apocalypse began, the government got rid of the citizenship test, which was full of lies anyways. It became apparent that the safety of people came before educating them about a country that might not be there much longer.
  And now Zephyair would join them there. She stared in awe at the three story building. Though the winter cold had killed the thick ivy that grew on the walls, the remnants were still there and it was obvious that it grow back. She frowned slightly as they entered the garage obstructing her view of the structure.
   Amarith opened the door as the car stopped in the large garage, holding two other cars. One of which was very expensive Italian car whose name escaped him at the moment and the other was Tori’s. He turned to offer his hand to Zephyair to help her out of the car. She swatted his hand away and got out herself.
   He braced himself for a hit, but she turned and followed Samyal and Tanser into the main foyer of the mansion. With a sigh of relief, he followed. The main foyer was the largest room. The only other room that was nearly was the library, something rarely used by anyone except for Amarith.
   He watched her as she spun around the room, trying to absorb every detail of the place. He could image what was going through her head. Was she angry with him? Was she going to wait until they were alone to hit him? He shook his head, clearing it of such thoughts. He had to be hopeful. There was something tugging him, compelling him to be closer to her. He wondered if she was feeling something similar.
    He sighed, remembering he had to meet up with one of Samyal’s sources for inside information on the man behind the attack on Shore City and is the source was correct than the shadow beast were being created as anti-vampire weapons or trackers.  He sighed and ran a hand through his hair, which he noticed was getting very long, even for him. He stretched on last time, before stealing Tori’s car keys and heading back to the garage.
    “Might as well get it over with,” he grumbled.
     She wandered around the large mansion, not knowing exactly what to do. Her anger toward Amarith simmered down to a slight sting as she realized that he was really the only person she knew at that time.  But, he had disappeared not long after they arrived.  She sighed and attempted to find the room that Samyal said he had readied for her. He called it the red room and said there would a little sign next to the door.
     Finally she found it. Opening it, she realized why it was called the red room. The furnishings were upholstered in red velvet and other luxurious materials. The canopy bed had red shear drapes and the curtains were made of the same material. The wood that made up the frame of the bed, dressers and other furniture were all of a dark red or black wood.
   Zephyair crossed to room to the balcony on the other side. It over looked a greenhouse and from where she stood, looking down into it, she could see an amazing array of different plants. The most prominent was the roses.  She loved roses and made a mental note to ask Amarith to take her there to see them. She then looked at the entire landscape that could be seen from her window. The city sprawled farther than she could tell. The tall skyscrapers reached high into the sky and she thought she could see the CN Tower.
   She turned away from the city and returned to the room. She glanced around it and her curiosity got the best of her. She went to the dressers and opened them to find clothes that appeared to be her size. She looked at them questioningly and closed the drawers. Moving over to the closet she pulled back the doors. A walk in closet was set behind the doors with more clothes, but had more dresses and long coats than anything else.  She pulled the nearest black trench coat of the hanger and tried it on. It was slightly big on her, but she didn’t mind.
  After exploring the full contents of the closet and one of the dressers, she left the room in somewhat lighter spirits. She stood outside the room debating what to do when Tanser came up the hallway. He waved to her, she waved back.
   “I meant for you to come over here, but I guess you didn’t understand,” he said, loudly so she could here.
   “I don’t understand sign language, sorry,” she replied, cheekily, walking toward him.
   He scrunched his face up in annoyance. “Don’t be mean to the messenger boy,” he said. “Samyal wants to see you downstairs in the living room.”
   She didn’t know where it was. But her questioning expression said it before she verbally did. “Its right beside the main entrance just go left,” he explained, pointing in the direction of the stairs that would lead her there. She nodded her and mumbled a thanks and left.
   She jumped the banister, wondering if the fall would bother her. She landed nimbly on her feet with only a slight shock. She shook her feet to get rid of the feeling and then continued to the living room. As she was told, she went to the left.
    Samyal was sitting on the arm chair, reading the news paper. His grey hair had a hint of brown and his eyes glinted with a childish curiosity. He curled a corner of the paper and looked at her as she entered the room.
   “Ah, there you are,” he said, indicating the nearby couch, “Please sit.”
   She took the seat and waited for him to begin.
   “Have you had a chance to look around, or did you just find your room in the maze of hallways?” he asked, smiling.
   “I had just finished exploring the room and was about to explore elsewhere when Tanser came and told me you wanted to see me,” Zephyair replied.
     “I see. Well, you’ll have lots of time to explore it later. Right now, I have questions for you. Tori and Amarith answered the same ones as well.” Samyal picked up a folder that was laying on the coffee table, out if it, he pulled a piece of paper and handed it to her.
   It was a questionnaire of sorts, but instead of the questions being multiple choice, she actually had to write them out. She flipped the page over, wondering if there was more on the other side. She sighed as she saw that they continued into the middle of it.
   Samyal laughed. “You don’t have to do them al now. There should be a jar in the kitchen with a bunch of pens and pencils. Use one of them and just bring the paper back to me when you’re done.”
  She nodded. “Alright.”

  Later that day, she was lying down on her new bed, watching the new found T.V.; it was hidden in what she thought to be a large wardrobe, but instead a T.V. stand complete with DVD player. She turned it on and wondered if she could learn anything about the incident in Shore City on the local news. It showed reporters standing out in the snow surrounded by zombies. Every few minutes the sound of a gun shot rang out. Zephyair couldn’t tell whether or not it was coming from the reporters’ vehicles or farther out in the town.
  The report said it was unlikely that anyone who had not gotten out of the city within the first hour of the attack was mostly likely dead, wandering out in the cold alone or infected. Her guess much earlier in the day had been correct. Willow was more than likely dead. Had she gone back, there probably would be nothing there for her to find. She sighed and turned off the television not wanting to hear any more of the depressing news. She rolled over stared up at the red canopy above her. The urge to explore around the mansion had returned and she sat up.
   Normally she wouldn’t go wandering around someone else’s house without some with her, but there was no one and the need for entertain that didn’t remind her of home was sorely wanted. Before any second thoughts could enter her mind, she jumped up from the bed, ran across the room and walked down the corridor her room branched off of. She stopped once to see if Tanser or Tori were going to call her for something again. When nothing happened she headed off in a random direction and began an extensive exploration of the old Victorian mansion. 

    It was late at night when Amarith returned.  He sighed, carrying a box full of a months’ worth of blood for Tori, Zephyair and himself.  It certainly wasn’t what he originally went to get, but Tori had called him saying that weren’t going to have enough for the three of them.  He managed to slip off his shoes and walk unnoticed into the kitchen.  He placed the box on the counter and took a bag out.
   He cut off the top and poured it into a glass. As he drank it, he thought about what the informant had said.  It wasn’t much to go on, but certainly enough to start digging farther into Seth Elendrio. ‘He’s behind it...Or at least most of it,’ Amarith thought. ‘He’s got to be.’
   He finished off the glass and placed it in the dish washer, not wanting to be yelled at for leaving it by the sink, and then headed to his room. It was in the same hallway as Zephyair’s, so he decided to stop by.  He tapped on the door lightly, afraid that she was asleep. When there was no reply he opened the door.
   He felt his face flush as he saw Zephyair strip off her top for a more comfortable pyjama top. She noticed him and squealed, turning away from him and covering herself. He blushed even brighter and turned his back to her. “I...I’m ...Sorry!” he stammered, “I didn’t mean to walk in like that!”
   “Its okay,” she said, “You can look now.” He turned back to her reluctantly. She was straightening a corner of the loose top.
   “I just wanted to check in on you to see if you...liked it here,” he said quietly.
    She frowned slightly. “It feels kinda like a dream. To be so far from home, knowing I can’t go back,” she said.
    He moved to hug her, but stopped. It wouldn’t be right, not yet. “I kinda know how you feel. Both my parents were killed when I was young. I actually lived in Shore City then, but then Samyal came and got me.”
     “My parents are dead too,” Zephyair replied. “I was five at the time, but I didn’t have to move very far.”
      “I see.” The room became quite and the silence was becoming awkward. “I’ll go now so you can sleep,” he said at length, leaving the room and closing the door.
    His own room was only a few doors down and once he entered it, he threw off his shirt and laid on the bed topless, too tired to change completely.  He knew for a fact, that the search for the next elemental controller would start that night. The aether plane had a way of bringing vampires and the elemental controllers closer together and easier to find.  Most didn’t remember being there the next morning, but they it was a proven fact that they did go there the moment they put themselves to sleep.
  Amarith laughed to himself, it would be days before Zephyair would help them out in such ways, but for now, he was content to know she was safe. Just being closer to her made him feel something indescribable, something he hadn’t felt before, but either way, he liked it.

© 2010 Zephyair

Author's Note

Another chapter with big changes...Like a name change...

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Added on December 21, 2008
Last Updated on August 7, 2010
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