Chapter 1: Less than Ideal Circumstances

Chapter 1: Less than Ideal Circumstances

A Chapter by Letiel Naynarou
"

In which Tempest and Letiel meet under less than ideal circumstances.

"

Early mornings just suck. Ask anyone. Very few people will tell you that their favorite time of day is early in the morning and Letiel was NOT one of those few people. 

She had been exceptionally busy over the last few days trying to track her ever elusive nemesis, Veil, and so far no luck. Four days straight and not even the hint of a lead and now there was the long journey from New York state to the Colorado based central tribe. She was exhausted, angry, and immensely sore and the early dawn wasn't helping. The cold nipped her pads and threatened to tear them, her skin itched, and feathers started to frost. 

Her eyes were getting droopy too and even a gentle barrel roll wasn't helping shake the cold. 
She blinked and fluttered to the ground shifting back to a human form and scoffing with frustration at how naked she felt without her weapons. Her natural fiber clothes shifted well but metal didn't and she was travelling light. 

A tug in the back of her mind jerked her to the side and she scowled with indignation. The exhaustion and cold was wearing her thin. 

You know I can warm you.

"Bugger off."

If you don't help yourself I may have to step forward. Letiel's knees buckled painfully, and her limbs started to move. More irritated than alarmed she struggled to hold her limbs in check and was met with some shivery, shaking. Grumbling, she tucked herself between a couple rocks concentrating on keeping her inner demon at bay. 

Resisting will only make it hurt. 

She whimpered. Her only consolation in knowing that there was no one around to see her sink into yet another battle.

Logical fallacies are a part of life. Everyone thinks things that are incorrect from time to time or assume that they understand someone else. For some these fallacies are more frequent and often lead to depression. For Letiel, logical fallacies were just that, fallacies but when another personage sits in the back of one's mind and whispers endlessly about the world even superman would be a little overwhelmed. 

Spiralling downward was a common side effect of caving to the whispers and sometimes Letiel had no choice but to spiral til she hit the bottom and wait for her inner demon to get bored and let her climb out again. Of course past a certain point she didn't always feel that way. 

While she still had some control, Letiel reached out with a tentative, nervous, psychic wave, noting the rangers locations and sighing with relief at their distance, then frowned when her mental radar pinged on something.... else. She frowned and contemplated trying to frighten off whatever was coming her way but moments before she could, the greatest migraine she had ever experienced launched behind her eyes and she gritted her teeth in an attempt to fight the pain.

The migraine shifted to the back, right at the base of her skull before shifting around to the front again. 

"Why won't you leave me alone?" she whimpered through gritted teeth. Letiel's fingers tangled in her hair as she held herself tightly. 

Relax~

"You've been at this for years. Just learn already that I'm not letting you take over!"

We'll see. 

Growling, Letiel staggered about the clearing, slamming into trees as she went.

 

As the early sunrise rose over the horizon and the sun started to warm the cold New York, a figure climbed to the top of a tree. The tall pine had been cracked in half from lightning strike, yet still stood taller than all it's neighbors. The figure rose up and stood on the weathered wood, meeting the sun's rays. It was like the Earth herself was greeting him.

Tempest had been traveling again, and after a night in the hectic, bright streets of New York City, he decided to find some quiet in one of the state's national parks. Nobody besides the park rangers were on the land yet, meaning Tem could had the forest to himself for the next few hours.

The Mage dropped from the top of the tree and landed in the grass below with an audible thud, scaring up some wild life. With a roll of his shoulder to iron out the kinks, he started to walk, draping his long white cape over his shoulders to keep some of the dawn chill out.

Tem continued into the forest, not following any path. He was immersed in nature, his mind open to the world around him as it came to life. Birds began singing, trees started rustling with a morning breeze. All seemed right, natural.

Until something nudged the Mage's mind.

It was just a flash, a sudden warning, and then it was gone. It wasn't any animal he was familiar with. A hand drifted to the hilt of one of his swords as he started toward the direction the pulse came from.

Distressed, conflicted thoughts now filled Tem's mind as he got closer to the source. This didn't seem to be any kind of animal. It was too intelligent. He was only a few hundred meters away now. Whatever it was, he'd find out soon enough.

A dense cluster of trees and a steep hill were all that stood between him and his destination. As he dropped down from the small cliff it made with a thud, he saw the source of distress. A woman, staggering around the clearing. He took a few steps toward her but kept his distance.

"Hey there," he called, "Are you alright?"

Letiel's head snapped up and her attention locked on this strange new creature. Distracted, she felt the migraine suddenly fill her skull and she yelped in alarm as her body started to move. Unable to resist and concentrate, her control snapped. Her upper body fell limp, like a puppet waiting to be controlled. 

See that wasn't so hard. 

Intrigued, but still on guard as she jerked and moved strangely, Tempest walked toward the woman slowly.

"Can you hear me? Are you in pain?"

Do you need help?

He communicated mentally as well, considering that she seemed to be in pain and might not be able to actually speak. He was closer to her now, only ten or so feet away.

Her head snapped up, empty eyes staring at him blankly. 

"Who are you?"  she asked, a double voice echoed. What does it matter?

She grinned, white teeth gleaming, and strolled forward, gradually shifting into a mess of fur and feathers vaguely panther shaped. The eyes and teeth barely changed, but flesh was slowly dripping from the bones. 

Stop hindering me! 

Give me my body back! 

Tem tilted his head as he heard the woman speak. That wasn't natural. There was definitely something wrong here. Her sudden shape shifting was definitely off-putting. Tem was more than on guard now as she staggered toward him.

"I'm Tempest," he said in a calm voice, standing his ground, "And I can help you, if you'll let me."

The panther laughed and leaped at Tempest, claws outstretched and abnormally long.

The Mage deftly dropped under the decaying panther and spun to face it as it landed. "This won't get us anywhere."

Are you hearing me?

Turning on a dime, the panther's claws lashed out and slashed neatly through Tem's cape. 

No, she can't. 

Letiel growled inwardly, trying to crush the hopelessness rising in her chest with anger. In the distance she thought she could hear someone talking but what did it matter? She wasn't herself anymore, she lost.

Tem blinked. She?

The momentary distraction and resulting rip in his cape served to remind him he was engaged. It'd been a while since he'd really had to fight, but this would be tricky. Something was wrong with this woman, if it really was a woman. She was being controlled by something. He needed to learn more.

"'She?' The girl I saw before you changed shape? Who is she? WHERE is she?"

The muscles rippled and more flesh dripped off, the skull shining through the gaps in the skin. Scales erupted over the panther's back as it increased in size. Glee radiated from the creature. 

What does it matter to a deadman? 

The tail looped around, abnormally long, and tied Tem's legs together, armored scales guarding from any attacks.

Tem watched the creature shift further, frowning. This was too odd. He almost stumbled as her tail wrapped around his ankles before vanishing suddenly.

"Not quite so dead, it seems. Who are you?" He was behind her now, swords drawn and pointed at the ground.

The demon thought a moment, looking Tempest over and starting to reach out mentally, slipping through the cracks in the Mage's mental defenses like a jellyfish. 

Mage. 

The panther vanished, reappearing above Tem and dropping heavily onto his shoulders, teeth sinking into the Mage's shoulder. 

Letiel had a funny taste in her mouth and couldn't help but wonder. A shadow lingered in the back of her mind and she started to panic, sinking into the familiar spiral. What if she didn't gain control? How could she? It wasn't possible at this point.

Tem grunted as the panther clamped down on his shoulder, a burst of thick black mist flowing from the wound, before prying it off and throwing it to the ground. He took a few steps back, watching his target carefully. The wound on his shoulder sealed up slowly, the flow of black mist shrinking slowly.

"You didn't answer my question, and now that you've ripped one of my only sets of clothes up pretty badly, I feel like I deserve an answer. Who are you?"

I suppose your kind wouldn't have handed down the same stories that ours would have. The panther started to shift again this time to the dragonoid Eloium form.

Just roll over and die mage, join the rest of your people. 

The tail again slammed into Tempest, pinning him to the ground while a dangerous clicking echoed around the clearing.

Tem suddenly found himself staring at the sky. Roll over and die?

"No."

The Mage flicked his wrist and sliced off the section of tail pinning him down, the advanced metal of his blade slicing through the hard scales with ease. Tem jumped to his feet and went on the attack, lashing out with his swords and advancing.

"Not a chance."

Letiel screamed with the pain as the demon redirected it towards her. Her eyes rolled with fear and hurt, pushing her deeper and deeper. 

The beast laughed at the pain, feeding on the fear radiating from his host and growing in size, the scales dripping with a waxy substance. The tail grew back, slower than he would've liked but this wasn't the BEST body he knew. He rolled his head, tongue falling to one side around needle teeth. 

Hit me again. I dare you. 

Tem halted mid-swing, pausing momentarily and hopping aware. He sighed and closed his eyes, vanishing. There was too much about this situation that he was unsure of. He stayed out of sight, watching the creature.

I won't give you the satisfaction. Not yet, anyway. Not until I know who you are. What you are. And I'm sorry about this. To Letiel, it would feel like a spike was being driven into her brain as the Mage forced his way past whatever mental defenses were up, trying to find out whatever he could.

The dragon staggered briefly before regaining control. The demon paused to strengthen defenses around Letiel, protecting her from the worst of the blow. The "spike" bled through and the dragon winced. He roared his annoyance. 

That's off limits. He called out to the Mage.

Normally I would agree, but I don't know you. Something about you isn't right. I need to figure this out. He pushed deeper, trying to be as careful as he could, but he wasn't picking up anything useful. No name, no memories, nothing.

I SAID off limits!

Tempest's psychic probing wasn't hard to retrace. The demon launched his own mental assault and used that targeting to locate Tem's physical being as well. Mental nails pounded into the Mage's head while the dragon came from below, grasping the Mage in his jaws and tossing him into the clearing. 

After thousands of years, this demon knew how to multi-task. He gently rocked his host's breaking mind, protecting her from the most deadly of probes. He couldn't let her die. Not until he was sure this body was his.

The Mage clutched his head as he felt a stabbing pain in his skull and once again found himself staring up at the sky. What happened? He must've been incapacitated, some kind of mental counterattack. He got to his feet quickly, staggering a bit. This didn't feel right. He couldn't in good conscience hurt this...thing without knowing it's intent. Reluctantly, he charged.

A click echoed and the clearing burst into flames, the dragon pacing in the flames and looking for his target.

Stopping short as a wall of flames spring up before him, Tem cursed. He hadn't noticed the fluid soaking into the grass. Flammable, obviously. He vanished out of the heat and behind the creature, driving his swords into it's back.

"D****t, talk to me! What are you?! Who are you?!"

The dragon spun, the blades tearing into his sides. He hissed his anger and spat flames at the Mage as Tem tumbled off his back. 

Leave me alone! Letiel screamed. The demon moved to cut her off, gently feeding her depression. She sank even deeper, lost in her own self destruction. After all, a monster like her should be destroyed. After the mess she made, she should die. 

Nonsense. You should live, child. Live for now. If you decide later that you wish to die, I will oblige you. But what about all the stuff that she could do between now and then? What more damage could she do? To her people? Her chest ached and she breathed heavily, starting to hyperventilate. On the outside the dragon began to breathe more heavily as well, a signal that her inner demon didn't have as much control as he thought. He had to calm her down. 

Tempest stopped his attack as the protest caught his attention. There WAS someone else in there. Please, please keep talking, he said, addressing the female mind directly now that it's guard was down, I can help you. Obviously something isn't right, I can"

Tem gasped and stepped back as memories hit him. Fire. Blood. War and destruction. Familiar images, but not from his memories. He shook his head to clear the fog, ducking away from incoming flames.

What part of off-limits do you not understand?! 

A strong tail, still dripping with acidic blood slammed Tem out of the air, holding him in the fire. 
    Leave it alone, Letiel grumbled. Let it attack, let it kill me. 

Peace, lady, peace. I will kill you, but at a later time. He stumbled, starting to panic. The dragon shook it's head. The tail was unmoving but it's body began to shake and buckle under the duress.

A brief struggle brought Tem out from under the tail, clothes burnt but otherwise alive. He couldn't help but eavesdrop, finding a possible key to this.

"And what makes you think I won't do it first?" He growled, stepping forward slashing at the dragon's neck. He knew what he had to do now. This other presence, the one actually attacking him, was afraid to lose it's host. He had to scare it into remission, and unfortunately, it meant taking it farther than he wanted. Still, he was confident he could heal her wounds.

Letiel snapped back into control, her sanity struggling to catch up, as the sudden attack startled her inner demon into remission. She staggered back in alarm, her golden eyes wild and fearful as the blade flashed at her neck. 

Get back in here! 

Again, control changed hands and the demon moved the body back into attack, catching the blade between his teeth and slashing with his claws.

Tem parried the claws away and pulled his blade free of the dragon's jaws, spinning away and driving the point of his sword toward it's chest.

"You won't stop me."

Watch me.

The sword sank hilt deep into the dragon's chest, glancing off the hardened bone surrounding the heart. 

I'm not leaving this body again! Not this close!

Teeth closed around Tem's shoulder sinking deep and locking into place.

Tem grunted in pain, blackness leaking from the dragon's teeth. He turned to look it directly in the eye, his own narrowed.

"Sorry to disappoint."

The bright, solid yellow of the Mage's eyes suddenly faded into a light, electric blue, and a strong electric current suddenly coursed through the dragon's body, enough to effect the beating of it's heart.

The demon screamed and pulled away, taking the sword with it. He snarled in indignation, that hate starting to bleed into Tempest. 

Why do you fight me so bitterly? When you can turn and run? 

He let the sword free and began to walk toward the retreating dragon, his shoulder already healed up.

”Because you're hurting her. I don't know who you are, or even what, but that isn't your body, and I want to see the owner. Now if you don't mind," Tem held a hand out, and a blue ball of pure energy burst to life in his hand, "Back down."

The demon held a hand to his chest where the sword still stayed. 

You must be a leader among Mages. All of your leaders have this selfless, protective attitudes. Even when it means butting into business that doesn't concern you. She belongs to me. 

He grinned again, a toothy grin, that oozed triumph. The demon stomped his foot and the earth itself opened, trying to swallow Tempest.

"No. Nobody belongs to anybody."

And then he fell as the earth opened up beneath him.



© 2013 Letiel Naynarou


Author's Note

Letiel Naynarou
Some things are going to be confusing and addressed at later times. Like: "Who the heck are these people?" That will be addressed. Please look for grammatical errors, since I suck at those, and let us know if something is confusing or needs to be elaborated on.

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Added on January 22, 2013
Last Updated on January 22, 2013
Tags: Eloium, black, mage, letiel, tempest, blade, conar, elite, four, nihood, battles, maelstrom, omaotin


Author

Letiel Naynarou
Letiel Naynarou

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I'm as my friends would say: spontaneous, unpredictable, odd, a little weird, and have high moral standards... I can't help it! ...Should I add more? I feel lonely not having my favorite pictures u.. more..

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