Infinity Gate-Chapter Five

Infinity Gate-Chapter Five

A Chapter by Kessira26

In a far, far future possibly our own humanity is pushed to desperation by the death of their planet and the Arren family offers them a hope. New life..


Chapter Five

Glowing green eyes stared down the hallway at him, and Moonfeahr felt the terror begin in his heart.

Not again, not the dream again. He couldn't bear to remember. He willed his body to move,

desperate to wake himself, but his body remained still. In horror he watched it unfold again, as it

had so many times in his dreams.

His nanny stood beside him, her eyes locked on the horror coming down the hall. The creature was moving slowly, its movements flowing gracefully, and then suddenly with a sickening lurch it

was just closer as if, in the space of a blink, it had managed to traverse half the hallway. Moonfeahr felt his gorge rise as the terror did it again, suddenly a horse-length away.

Nanny was whimpering, from behind him now and Moonfeahr knew what was coming. The creature had stopped and was staring at him, sniffing the air, and then suddenly there was a shove from behind, and Moonfeahr staggered a step towards the beast.

Its head jerked up, the green eyes lit with unholy fire.  It leaped, hitting Moonfeahr on the chest, and knocking him backward to the ground. A slash of its claw took Moonfeahr across the eye, and the right side of his face felt as if it were dipped in fire. The creature was above him, pinning him to the ground. It grasped Moonfeahr's thigh with a hind claw, piercing it, crushing flesh and raised a front claw to show to the frightened boy. The claw had two big middle digits with big curved talons and two shorter digits armed with shorter, sharper looking claws. All of them were shiny black, and bore an oily sheen.

Moonfeahr was transfixed by the sight of the claw, staring at it as the creature held it before his uninjured eye, before it slowly lowered those digits to his shoulder, almost gently. Then came the horrible ripping pain, and burning fire as the creature flayed open a long scratch from left shoulder to right hip, tearing Moonfeahr's clothes open in the process. The creature paused a moment, lowered its head to the boy’s chest, and licked at the blood pouring from the wounds, and then went into a frenzy, ripping and tearing, slashing the boy's neck and chest.

The creature tore through muscle, baring his ribcage, slicing into his belly, after a few moments of indescribable pain and burning it began to fade entirely and Moonfeahr felt again the curious weightless sensation, the fading of the world, as his young body died.

For a moment he was there, staring at his body on the ground, long, pale hair stained red with his blood, and the sickly black creature atop him and then the man appeared, long white hair, bright golden eyes, and a glowing sword.

Moonfeahr watched as he gracefully impaled the creature on that sword with one stroke. With the force of the blow he flung the creature off of Moonfeahr's body to smack into the wall, crumpling there, the green light leaving its eyes. Moonfeahr's body jerked once as the creature was torn away, but otherwise showed no signs of life.

The man looked down at the body of the boy and cursed under his breath.

"I cannot, he'll never forgive me," he muttered and then an expression crossed his face, as if he

were struggling mightily with his conscience. He muttered again, "Never forgive me,” before reaching behind him and pulling a mass of long black strapping out of a pouch at his back as well as a small shiny box.

He hooked one end of the black strap into a slot on the box and then set the box on the boy’s mostly uninjured right shoulder. Working quickly he wrapped the band tightly around the boy’s slashed-open neck, and then pressed a small button on the box. A bright green light appeared on the top of the box, and the white haired man let out the breath he'd been holding.

Moonfeahr knew what was coming now and he anticipated the moment this time with something

akin to pleasure.

He watched a moment longer from above as the man began wrapping the bands around his body, starting at his shoulder and working down, then suddenly everything went black again as he rushed into himself. There was a moment in the black, where he could hear the man's voice, but not yet see him out of a living eye.  Something about poison and scarring, and then Moonfeahr was able to open his eyes in the dream.  

The pain was gone, leaving behind a peaceful, calm feeling and the first thing to meet Moonfeahr's gaze was the warm golden orbs of his rescuer. The narrow cat-like pupil contracted suddenly as Moonfeahr watched, then a blood-covered hand rose and stroked his hair.

"I'm sorry."

Moonfeahr awoke from his dream right on cue, as he always did.

"Will I see him today?" he asked himself. So often his dreaming preceded one of Torch's visits.

The servant of Lord Arren could often be seen watching Moonfeahr from a distance, protecting him despite his service to a master who had destroyed Moonfeahr's family. Moonfeahr had seen him use his influence in council meetings, felt his presence behind him on a dark street when he was out too late. Only a few times had he witnessed the white haired man actually save him, but Moonfeahr knew he was there none-the-less.

Torch had used the power of his place as Lord Arren's servant to quietly protect Moonfeahr all these years and the boy would not forget it, just as he would not forget the man that had killed his family.

He still had no idea why Lord Arren had turned on his family and slaughtered them all. His father

had called Lord Arren friend and yet that fateful day all in the family, save Moonfeahr, had died.

Moonfeahr stared out the window of his rooms a moment, lost in thought, and then he rang for his servants to come get him ready. If Torch were coming today, Moonfeahr wanted to be sure he looked his best. He wanted to show Torch the worth of having saved him.

Ash, Grae and Arden stood hidden in a copse of trees two hills and a valley over from the Gate they needed to use to traverse to the next colony.

"No, it is ridiculous, he will run into a patrol of those men and be killed," Ash hissed angrily.

"It's not ridiculous," Arden said patiently.

"It's ridiculous, how will he defend himself if he runs into those men? They are patrolling all around the Gate. I should go with him,” Ash demanded.

"The point is that he won't have to defend himself, because he won't be seen," Arden said carefully, "Unlike if you were to go with him, as you prance through the woods like a bear in chains."

Arden's expression took on a snide cast, and he sneered a bit at the older man.

"Then you will go with him and protect him," Ash hissed angrily.

"I've already told you, I will go with him most of the way and be ready for his signals so we know

how to proceed. You will remain here to help me with the horses when he signals how we should go," Arden repeated calmly.

Grae stood slightly apart from the bickering two, concentrating on his preparations. He'd never tried to avoid men before, only predators and other animals. He carefully checked the ties on his boots one more time and then rose to stand before Arden.

"Is the mud even?" he asked.

Arden turned away from the still fuming Ash and checked Grae over carefully. The borrowed

clothing from his uncle was mostly black and all bits of betraying silver had been removed. Anything that might rattle or jingle had been strapped to Freya's back, including Grae's weapon. Mud covered the boy’s face and neck. His hair was braided tightly back and tucked into his shirt so as not to catch or snag. Arden nodded, he looked ready.

Grae turned and slipped away suddenly, his figure melting into the gloom. Arden turned a moment more to Ash to remind him to keep his mouth shut and guard the horses and then he turned and headed into the dark himself.

He knew the general route the boy would take and that he could be no more than a few feet away, yet he did not catch sight of him even once as he picked his careful way through the woods, in the direction Ash had told them the Gate lay.

Grae had been stalking in the woods since long before Arden had moved to be his neighbor. It had started as a way to avoid his father, and unpleasant chores, but by the time Arden knew of it, Grae had mastered it entirely. Even with his best friend he would not share the secrets of how he

accomplished it.

Arden moved slowly and carefully until he was at a point he guessed to be half way between their

former hiding spot and the Gate itself, then climbed a tree to hide in its branches and waited for

Grae's signal. Their plan was somewhat more complicated than he'd shared with Ash of course. If the man understood the true risk his nephew would be running, he would never have let him go.

Arden saw several patrols in the distance from his vantage in a tree, and he worried that one might find Ash where they had left him but before he could fret too much, therr came a low hooting of an owl. Arden listened carefully, and then gave a reply. They repeated the exchange twice to confirm and then Arden went back for Ash. Grae had found a spot for them, but Arden had to follow a different path than the one he'd used to get here.

Arden moved with haste going back, praying that no patrols came across him as he went. Ash was standing where they had left him, his back to a tree, his eyes very wide in the night, and Arden felt a moment of compassion for him. It was doubtful the merchant had ever spent much time alone in the woods. He made a quiet noise to announce his presence before entering the copse, and Ash whipped his weapon out and stared towards the noise until Arden identified himself. Arden nodded once in approval before moving quickly to the horses.

Freya was already tethered to Christoph and he knew she could be relied upon not to whicker or call. He took Christoph's lead, and gave another silent prayer, this time that Ash would keep control of his stallion, then he led the horses out of the stand of trees, and over to the dry creek bed that Grae had indicated. The horses were reluctant to move in the dark, but they followed his lead anyways, Christoph trusting him to keep him safe, Freya picking her own way with her superior night vision, and the stupid stud too busy following Freya to even notice it was night time.

Twice Arden heard low hoots in the distance, and he paused to let patrols move away. As they moved closer and closer to the Gate, Arden strained his ears for the signal. When it came, he was ready. He swung quickly into the saddle, waving for Ash to do the same. Then he waited again, trying to keep Christoph calm despite his own rising tension.

There came a sudden shriek from far off to the right, and a big crash, followed by a billow of fire that flared up into the night and for a moment Arden just stared in shock.

How the hell had Grae managed that? But then he remembered the plan, and driving his

heels into Christoph's sides, he took off at a gallop for the Gate itself.

The Gate was a towering monolith of metal, two angled pillars reaching up into the night, and a lintel high above spanning the two. Arden freed Grae's bow, and knocked an arrow as they came into sight of it, campfires and torches burning all about, but there were only two men left standing near it. Arden shot one as soon as they were in range and reached for another arrow, but the second man went down on his own, with no sign of injury. Arden didn't pause he just headed straight for the Gate, his legs clamped to Christoph's sides.

There was a sickening lurch as they pounded through, and suddenly they were galloping on a brightly lit plain, the sun at midday. Startled Arden sat back abruptly, and Christoph slid to an awkward stop, his weight thrown off-balance by Freya as she hit the end of her tether and took a few more strides before stopping. Behind him, Arden could hear Ash cursing as he tried to stop the big black, and Arden tensed expecting the stallion to crash into them, but the beast veered at the last moment and Ash was able to get it pulled up.

Arden turned to look at the Gate behind them, but there was no sign of the huge structure, only a brief shimmering on the air that soon disappeared.

"Grae...where's Grae?" Ash asked.

Grae watched in horror from his place behind the picket line of horses, as a huge ball of fire shot up from the tent he'd been intending to target. His plan to drive the horses through the camp straight for that tent causing chaos was forgotten as someone or something else attacked the camp. Many of the men came running for the horse lines, so Grae released the horses and then hid, wondering what he should do.

His plan has been to send the men after the running horses and free a path for Arden and his uncle to gallop through the Gate. Certainly that plan was working, but not through

his doing. Grae watched in horror as a one of the men near him went down suddenly with no sign of what had attacked him and then Grae saw them, swarming black shapes moving towards him out of the night. Grae could not tell what they were; men or beast, but he felt a horrible creeping fear at the sight of them.

He turned and fled quickly away, moving out of camp to hide among the trees. He watched from a distance as Arden galloped through camp and made the safety of the Gate, his uncle right on his heels and Grae was relieved that they had made it safely, but that still left him on this side with those dark creatures everywhere. Grae wondered again if they were man or beast.

A snort came from a short distance away with a great rattling of the bushes and Grae could faintly make out the shape of a horse tethered there. Grae looked around, but couldn't see who might have left the beast outside of camp, but he was not about to let this opportunity pass him by. He snuck down from his tree, and carefully crossed the distance between him and the big black monster. The horse looked like it might be related to his Uncle's beast, a huge impractical creature, with enormous hooves and a lot of hair.

Grae made sure the horse saw him and smelled him before he approached it, but the

horse showed no sign of fear, just nuzzling him when he reached it. Grae gave one last quick look around before swinging up on the horse’s back and urging it towards the Gate. The beast charged fearlessly into camp with a great thundering of hooves. Grae saw one of the dark shadows dart towards them and felt a lurch as the big black horse ducked sideways to avoid, then lashed out with both hind feet towards the shape.

There was a sickening thunk as the hooves made contact and Grae was almost unseated as the horse came down and charged forward again. Grae managed to get the horse’s nose pointed towards the Gate and then held on for dear life, as the beast fought its way through the camp.

Two more of the dark shapes went down before its hooves and on the last one, Grae finally saw that they were indeed men, painted black and wearing dark clothing. Grae had a moment to realize that he probably looked like one of them and then the big black horse went up on its hind legs and gave a terrible scream of anger. The horse started to go over backwards on

top of Grae, so he dove off. The breath was knocked out of him as he landed and he lay stunned. As he finally caught his breath, and was able to get up, he saw several of the dark shapes run right by him. One of them even looked his way and Grae swore he saw it nod slightly. Before they could realize their mistake, Grae got to his feet and ran for the Gate. He heard an exclamation of surprise the moment before he reached the Gate, but it was too late. He ran full tilt through it, the moment of disorientation making him stagger, then out the Gate, into bright sunlight and sudden screams.

Before Grae's eyes could adjust he heard a shriek "Demon!" and then a whack on the back of the head knocked him unconscious.

© 2013 Kessira26

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Added on August 14, 2013
Last Updated on August 14, 2013
Tags: Infinity Gate, Lord Arren, Torch