Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hunt For The Dark Phoenix (part 46) [Wednesday Wanderings]

Author's Ramblings: And here's this week serial filler! I'm running late (again, but what else is new, lol!) and of course, this is a short piece, barely the 3k! I feel a tad guilty, but I know y'all will understand the fact that I as much as I'd love to spend my every waking moment writing, I simply can't! ^_^ So here's this week's installment for Wednesday. There's a large gap with a telepathic conversation between the DP and Eira, so the entire bit is in italics, however, there are no dialogue tags as the conversation is obviously taking place in their heads and Eira is barley conscious. Just use your imagination if it's not exciting enough-heehee! I can also see the end of tale drawing near, so within the next few pieces, expect to see some exciting things happening. Cheers!

RECAP: After a strangely disorienting conversation with the DP, Eira discovers the shocking truth. Everything up to their current point has been a series of calculated moves by the legendary mastermind. This secret comes to light at the worst place possible--in the DP's guest bedroom in her Uncle's house--who is determined not to let his powerful niece out of his sight again!  NOTE: The ~*~* signals the point in the mental conversation where the DP enters their shared consciousness.


HUNT FOR THE DARK PHOENIX : CONFUSING CONVERSATIONS...AGAIN. 

“What is he doing?” Tyla’s clipboard clattered to the ground as she pounded the chair and it’s occupant before the signature scanners. “What is that idiot doing that’s going to make me-”


“Tyla! Calm down, ow!” Andie tried to duck away from the blows raining on him from behind. “Ow! That hurts! Would you just calm down already? I’m not the one causing all-”

“Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!” Tyla kicked the side wall, wincing at the result. Hugging her arms to herself, the pout took its time in appearing as she scowled at the media screen. “I hate him. Doesn’t he care that I’m the one that has to explain all his little experiments with a straight face? That I’m the one that has to convince the council that he’s not a monster and not too-ugh!”

“T-tyla?” Andie tried again, scooting the chair out of range. “I understand that-”

“You don’t understand anything!”

“Tyla!” He ducked, waiting.

There was a loud huff and her arms shifted as she now stood with her hands on her hips. “You don’t get it, do you?” She sighed. “This is his specialty, besides common illusions, this is what he does best and it isn’t something to be used lightly!”

“I’m sure he’s not using it lightly for-”

“He’s changing her signature!” Her shoulders shook. “He’s already crossed the first line with stabbing her like that, what was he thinking? There can’t be…he’s insane! There’s no way she can be one of his signature apprentices—that’s too…dangerous! With that kind of power mixed together, do either of them even realize what they’re doing? Where’s Sorora when you need her? Tell her to stop him!”

“I can try.” Andie swiveled around to face the console. “But you know she doesn’t listen to you.”

“Andie?”

“Me! Me! I meant, she doesn’t listen to…me.” Andie offered a sheepish smile, cuing up the transmission window. “I’ll get hold of her in a sec,”

“Do that.” Tyla bent to retrieve the clipboard and her notes. “My apologies…neither of you can understand, I do, because I’ve known Benjamin for longer than most people. Eirithea Omaha-Durheim can’t be charged for the crimes she’s committed with her powers unless she bears the same signature as evidenced from the crime scene. This means every act fulfilled while under Schol’s command will go unpunished. As his legal apprentice, the League can protect her to some extent, however there would still be consequences.”

“I’m not exactly following you, but I’ve got hold of Sorora.”

“Both of you listen, then! The Dark Phoenix can alter the life signature of any being he chooses. Granted, it will require some of grave importance to him in order for the change to be permanent, but he can do that. I can understand if he’s taken a liking to his new…pet, but if he finishes that, then we can’t touch her! Sorora, stop him! Not only does the League protect her, but he’s been moving it forward in steps, as a signature apprentice, she would be even further out of reach and now…he’s absolutely impossible. What is he thinking?”

“If I knew, I’d tell you.” Sorora sputtered. “He actually had the nerve to refuse me!”

“I don’t care about that, find him and stop him!”

“I would, if I could get out.”

“What?”

“The transmission’s a bit patchy.” Sorora’s image fuzzed and fizzled. “I’m not entirely sure what’s going on, but there’s something very strange about this…house. I asked to see him when I first arrived and was told that he’d already…retired for the night. Security’s ridiculous. Something must have happened, but no one’s talking and if I used my powers in this close range to him…”

“Use them!” Tyla roared. “What in the name of Biriea would you have them for if you aren’t supposed to use them!”

“There is no need to bring, Biriea into a pointless conversation for-” Andie winced at the headslap. “Never mind. Useless commenter…staying quiet now.” He poked one of the dials on the dashboard. “Hurry up already…I can feel a backtrace coming on.”

“Mmm, then, Sorora-” Tyla snapped her fingers in front of the fuzzing face. “You have it, my absolute permission. Whatever it is you have to do, don’t let your counterpart finish what he’s starting. You can…let him do anything else, but he can’t change the signature of that girl! She’s responsible and someone has to pay for what she’s done, it’s only fair and right, that the one who committed such atrocities, is the one to atone for them. Understood?”

“…y…ma’am…bye…de…” Her voice cracked, the visual stream becoming useless as the image faded away.

“That…sounded like a yes.”

“Shut up, Andie.” Tyla smacked the clipboard into her forehead. “How am I ever going to explain this to anyone?”


*******

Something’s happening. I don’t understand it. First I feel like I’m on fire, then I feel like I’m frozen in ice, from head to toe. Then I feel, as if I’m being ripped apart…and the next moment…gently put together. I don’t understand this.
 

I don’t know if I can understand this.
 

I don’t know if I want to.
 

This place…where is this place…? Am I dreaming? I must be dreaming? This is somewhere…unreal. There could never be a place like this. Then again, I never dream such beautiful things.
 

Maybe I’m dead?
 

Could I really be dead after all?
 

No. He didn’t kill me.
 

Master Phoenix….you didn’t kill me. Why did you really spare me? Why can’t I understand you? I want to know what’s going on! I want to know what’s happening! I want to know what you’re going to do to me.
 

I want to know…
 

How? After everything I’ve done…how? I’m not innocent. Not in anyway at all, but yet…Master Phoenix. What did you mean? Why would you care about someone like me? Why would you even think I am worth something?
 

Why do I misunderstand? I’m not a person to you after all, am I? I’m just…a toy. You…from the very start, you planned this out, didn’t you?
 

If…if I think hard…I can remember.
 

NO! I don’t want to remember.
 

I don’t want to remember.
 

Because…I could be right. I don’t want to be right! I want to be wrong! I don’t want to know…I don’t want to believe that all this time…you’ve really…been using me…just like everyone else.
Master Phoenix! Why you? Why you too? I really was starting to trust you. I really was. I thought you were…different. You actually cared. I thought you cared. I don’t know anymore.
 

You say one thing…and then you do another. This is a game for you. You’re playing with me. Am I that easy to torture? Am I really that cheap entertainment?
 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
 

When you’re done torturing yourself…please wake up.
 

Master Phoenix!
 

Yes?
 

Master Phoenix? Is that you? How…what?
 

I hate having to repeat myself apprentice.
 

You’re back.
 

I am. You’re not.
 

What happened to me?
 

Your body shut down to recover…it seems your healing graft is finally working at last.
 

What?
 

The process of change…it’s painful and stressful. I’m sorry.
 

For what? I’m still a little…confused. I don’t understand everything that’s happened to me so far.
 

I’m sorry that it is causing you so much…physical stress. I could have lessened the burden on your body if I were not attempting to reduce the usage of my powers in their current state. Tainting you is no longer an issue as you are tainted now, bearing my signature, however, it is still dangerous, because of the degree of darkness that my powers hold. I can’t risk it with you at the moment, one of us needs to be more conscious.
 

….
 

Eira?
 

What?
 

….
 

Why are you doing this?
 

Because I want to.
 

That’s not what I mean, I meant…this…what are you doing to me…why? Honestly, please, I want to know the truth, that’s all…if you can tell me.
 

If?
 

If you can’t…if you’re not supposed to, or if you’re not allowed to…I can understand that. I just need to know…please? Am I just…some kind of…
 

Do you know what ever good strategist needs?
 

N-no.
 

A warrior and a weapon.
 

What?
 

Take a guess, which one do you think you are?
 

The weapon?
 

The warrior, idiot. You’d make a lousy weapon. You can’t follow orders at all!
 

I’m not an idiot!
 

But you act the part quite convincingly.
 

What?
 

You’re the warrior for now, remember that. I have already chosen my weapon and you’ll learn to use it—later. Right now, I need to think and you need to be quiet. Your transformation will be complete by tomorrow.
 

Tomorrow?
 

I did mention that you wouldn’t be sleeping tonight, didn’t I? The healing graft will keep you in a semi-conscious state for most of the time…like this. It will keep the pain to a minimum, which I suppose is good, because we can focus on other things.
 

Like what? There’s a million questions and-
 

That pet of yours, the Lyrith.
 

He’s not my pet!
 

Then what is he?
 

He’s…a friend.
 

Lyriths are not friends. They are tools. You need to get that through your head.
 

I don’t want to think of-
 

You don’t have a choice. Have you sealed his loyalty to you?
 

What?
 

I can sense that he’s given himself to trusting your judgment, but there is no bind.
 

Bind?
 

A physical connection.
 

WHAT?
 

Proof, apprentice, proof. Do you have proof of your relationship? A Lyrith is slave to their master and bound by honor over pain of death. There is usually a physical imprint, a visible mark to prove their ownership, shared by both. When loyalties change, a new mark is given, unless this is done, the original…owner, still retains their ultimate allegiance.
 

But…well…Rory sort of…
 

What did it do?
 

He! It’s a him! His name is Rory!
 

What did…he…do?
 

When I…when we…were escaping, he took my knife and…well, I made him cut an x over his heart—because I know that’s the simplest mark and the easiest—and we were running short on time.
 

Where’s yours?
 

On the webbing on my left hand…closer to the thumb than the forefinger. It’s really tiny, you can hardly see it, but it’s there.
 

Did it hurt?
 

What?
 

Pain is one of the binding factors in a relationship between summoner and creature. You summoned him, 
didn’t you?
 

I-I don’t know.
 

How can you not know?
 

….hmph…simple, I never really saw or knew half the things I summoned. Unk always kept it that way.
 

Why?
 

What?
 

Why’d he keep it that way? Did it matter?
 

I don’t know. I mean, it’s not like he liked me or anything…we pretty much hated each other.
 

But he treated you very well.
 

If you call sending bounty hunters after me when I cut one tutoring session to get my eyebrows waxed at Kumi’s—then yeah, I guess you could say that.
 

He sent bounty hunters?
 

Well, more of the uh…what do you call the really rough and brutal kind? Not mercenaries…pirates…oh well, something along those lines. They burned the shop to the ground—in the middle of a bustling plaza. No one ever figured it out.
 

And you…?
 

I saw them do it. I saw them arrive. I made Kumi take her kid and get out the back door. I never saw them again…and…hairspray explodes you know.
 

I see.
 

Has your precious uncle always been the one to order you around?
 

Huh? What do you mean?
 

I mean, all the things you claim you did-
 

I don’t claim that I did them, I really did do them!
 

Because your uncle told you?
 

Um…well, sort of. I guess. I mean, I did whatever he wanted whenever he asked. Blow this up, join this club, learn this new move and summon this or that.
 

So he did ask you to summon.
 

What?
 

Eira…apprentice…when I asked you before what powers you had to your name, there wasn’t a single thing you could tell me. Except, that you thought you had fire powers.
 

Err…right. I sorta do.
 

You do not.
 

Hey!
 

You summon fire, because it’s an easy sequence and you’re good enough at it, that you can do it automatically, providing the illusion of having fire as a power.
 

But-!
 

No buts. I thought I’d mentioned it before, but it must have slipped my mind. Your primary power is summoning, your secondary power is musical manipulation—think of mesmerization and control of sound waves, this partially on account of the whisper blood you have in you. Your third power is an elemental, I’ll leave that one to your own reasoning, so you don’t become bored. The other strains of energy within you are too faint to be of any real use, the reason your third has come to light is on account of your uncle constantly draining and leeching you. He specifically brought a third power to light, because your body was constantly trying to protect itself—and manifested an elemental energy.
 

Plain basic, please?
 

You don’t have fire.
 

….
 

….
 

And?
 

And what?
 

So?
 

So, the point is that you had other powers that you knew about-
 

And I didn’t tell you? I kind of couldn’t…
 

Liar.
 

Why do you always do that?
 

What?
 

That…calling me a liar.
 

That was a lie, wasn’t it?
 

Well…yeah.
 

I hate lies.
 

What are you? Some kind of goody-
 

If you’re going to keep the Lyrith, you’ll have to solidify your bond with more than an x-mark. We’ll have to do it tonight…and there’s also a few more preparations I need to make…time is short.
 

Time? Why? Where? What’s happening?
 

Be quiet, I’m thinking.
 

Then do it in your own head! You’re the one blabbing around in my-
 

This is our shared consciousness now.
 

What?
 

Signature apprentice, remember? There are a few…perks.
 

WHAT?
 

Never mind. I’ll think while you sleep. When you feel like waking up, there are a few more important things to discuss.
 

Hey—wait a sec—Master Phoenix!
 

….

*******

Things are moving too fast. I can’t keep up. But I can’t fall too far behind. It’s changing on me again, it’s all changing.

“…and do you swear your existence to her for the entirety of your pairing?”

That’s so formal, Master Phoenix…no wonder you wanted to officiate…we certainly didn’t do any of this…but wait…Rory still listened to me, didn’t he?

“…Yes.”

You look so serious, Rory. I’ve never seen you like this. What’s wrong? Why do you look like that? Is something wrong? Do you…regret this? Please don’t…hate me.

“By your confirmation and admission, you are now…”

Yeah, I guess we are now. I feel so…strange. It’s different than before. Why? I wish there were explanations. I wish there were answers. I wish someone could understand. I wish someone knew what was going on with me.

“…summoner, do you accept?”

I have to answer now, right? I have to speak up. Why do I feel as if I’m signing my life away?

“…I do and herby solemnly swear to…”

I did it. I answered. I actually answered. I think I really have signed over my life. Why do I have a feeling this is going to haunt me?

“Lyrith, Roderick, The Eight of celestial bearing, by these marks are you bound to serve and guard your…”

You still look strange, Rory. What’s the matter? I wish I could ask you, but I can’t. Not there, not like this…not in the middle of this. Rory. Rory. Rory!

“…and so let it be recorded. I, Dark Phoenix, am witness…”

It’s done. We’re all official. Ow. It hurts. It really does hurt! 

Why do I still feel like I’m being stabbed in my stomach. No…not my stomach…my chest. It hurts. It burns. 

Bother you, Master Phoenix!

********

“Good, you’re awake, apprentice.”

“Master Phoenix?”

“You fainted…for what reason, is beyond me.”

“F-fainted?”

“You’re doing that a lot lately.”

“W-what?”

“That half-stammer…as if you’re unsure whether you should speak at all.”

“No I’m not.”

“Liar.”

“Okay, fine! What did you want?”

“Hmm?”

“You said, I quote ‘good, you’re awake’ doesn’t that imply that you required me to be-”

“Good morning.”

“What?”

“I figured it would be best to let you sleep off whatever was bothering you…there were only a few minutes left anyway, so it couldn’t hurt.”

“Is that why I feel like I’m dead?”

“Mmm…I doubt it. If you were dead, you couldn’t possibly be feeling this wonderful.”

“I don’t feel wonderful! I feel like-”

A tiny black spark leapt from the cloaked shoulder and onto the bed. There was a yelp, followed by dramatic floundering amongst the tangled sheets before ending with an unceremonious tumble to the floor.

Shiny black boots appeared before Eira’s face, perfectly black and perfectly serious. The cloak was now several inches from the ground, instead of the usual floor-length. The silky fabric pooled on the ground as the phoenix bent down. He ruffled her hair.

“With that kind of energy…I’d say…you’re feeling wonderful.” He chuckled, darkly. “Wait until I leave, then turn this lock here and this one here.” He tapped her head, the images flowing through to hover in her mind. “Then open the door and step out. It will look as if you came from your room…not mine. I have some business to take care of, so breakfast will be-”

“I’m hungry.”

“Now?”

“Yes!”

There was an irritated sigh. “Fine. You stay and eat. I’ll take care of my business…and then I’ll be back to pick you up.”

“You’re going to leave me?” Eira struggled free of the tangled sheets, to sit up and stare at him in disbelief. It wasn’t registering further than the words spoken as she hugged the sheets to her chest.

“You’ll be fine.”

“What if I’m not?”

“How so?”

“What if…Unk…what-”

“Then you can handle it.”

“What?”

“Think of it as…another test.” He patted her head. “I’ll be back for you, if I can’t return, then I’ll call you to me, when you hear my voice, don’t resist, just give in.”

“Wait-!”

“What?”

“Don’t…leave.”

“Eira.”

“Please!”

“Apprentice, now is a really a bad time for-”

“He’s going to have my head!”

“Him or her?”

“Both!”

“Fine. But only breakfast. We’re not here on pleasure—there is actual work to be done!” The irritated sigh repeated itself and then he reached down, hauling her upwards. The sheets flickered away as a spiral of energy spun down over her, bringing a fresh change of clothes and a freshly washed feeling.

“Um…wow.”

“You’re welcome.” He turned towards the door, the cloak swirling around him. “That one on the bed…that’s for you…put it on and don’t take it off.”

Eira’s head snapped around to see the aforementioned item. She bit her lip, unable to hide the slight quiver of happiness that settled over her as she swung it up and over her head. The fabric was soft and silky, flowing nicely over her training wear and filled with a familiar scent.

“Eira!”

“Coming!”

© Sara Harricharan

1 comments:

Kristina Rohder said...

Ha! So the Dark Phoenix changed her signature in order to protect her! Based on that information, obviously he never planned to kill her, which is good. Otherwise I might have to stop liking him, and that would be most unfortunate because he is such a cool dude. XD
Anyway, as always, this was a wonderful chapter. I can't wait to see what happens next!