Robert Farrell is one of the most powerful and dangerous men in London. His whole life has been an emotionless void of corruption, murder, drugs and evil. But after a failed attempt on his life, Robert is thrown into a world he could never have imagined and quickly begins to realise that the hardest thing to do in this world is care. Absolution takes one man from through a journey to discover that true forgiveness can only ever come from one place. 1 of 4 in the L.O.M series
Dream of dying
The agony in his chest was the first sensation to penetrate his blank mind, the pain was searing and deep, then he sensed the warm liquid dribbling down his chest, he was bleeding heavily. Breathing was painful and he felt cold, like he was lying on ice. His finger tips twitched then brushed the ground he lay on, stone, cold hard stone.
Robert Farrell tried to open his eyes, the left opened slowly but the right was pressed against the stone floor. His left eye lid flickered several times before finally opening properly, not that there had been much point in the effort, all he saw was black. A noise sounded out in the darkness, Robert closed his eye again, wanting to hone in on the sound. It came again, louder and more defined, the sound of wood hitting wood.
“Here in this place,” a man’s voice echoed around Robert, it was a commanding voice, strong yet old, aged, “on this night, the Councils of The Light and of The Dark have come before The Mediator to discuss the grave matter we all face. I call upon the governing bodies of the light and the dark to take their anointed places!”
Robert’s heart was pounding, expanding the pain in his chest. He needed to see what was happening and who was speaking. Taking a deep breath against the pain, Robert pushed hard left and rolled onto his back, agony raged through his body. As it subsided again, he heard the sound of footsteps, shuffling along the stone floor he opened his eyes and tilted his head to see what was happening then shut them quickly as a blinding white light met his eyes.
Opening them slowly this time, Robert took in the view. The light was coming from a huge orb floating that appeared to be floating in midair, its light fell like a spot light, straight down. As Robert watched the orb he realised what it was, it was a moon. A perfect replica of the moon, his eyes followed the moons light down and he found himself looking at two opposing podiums, both made of solid vanished wood and carved, one baring carvings of the sun and the other the moon and stars, a figure stood in each. In the podium Robert assumed was the Light’s, stood a tall black man, he was not particularly old, but looked wise beyond his years, he was dressed in pure white robes adorned with suns. In the Dark’s podium stood a much older woman, her long silver hair flowed over her narrow shoulders, her face was thin and wrinkled, yet there was such a presence of power from her, her black robes were decorated with moons and stars.
“The councils stand as they always have,” it was the speaker for the Light who spoke first, “strong and resolute in their belief that this end will never come!” he did not shout, he didn’t have too, the speakers voice echoed throughout the place, wherever it was.
“My brother of the Light speaks the truth,” the speaker for the Dark continued, “we have always been given the weapons with which to fight back against this menace, we see no reason why we should take further actions, the threat has not changed and so long as we possess the beacon we will be victorious.”
“The Mediator for the L.O.M has been asked to remind both councils that the time between events is again shortening,” this voice was new and further away than the others. It took Roberts eyes a moment to readjust, but then he saw it behind the podiums, a long thin wooden stair way built at an almost vertical angle and leading up to a magnificent throne. Sitting upon the throne, robed and hooded from head to toe and what looked like dark grey was what Robert assumed must be a man, because of the deep rumble in his voice and the long flowing grey beard falling from inside his hood.
“The L.O.M are becoming concerned that a time will come when the threat has reached us before the beacon is ready, should that happen the consequences would be beyond imagination!”
“The Light does not believe that time will ever come, all reports from Woods and the L.O.M indicate, the beacon still lacks complete control, but this will be resolved in the near future with ample time to avert The Fall”, the speaker for The Light responded.
“For the last three thousand years, the councils of The Light and Dark, together with the efforts of the L.O.M and its champions have always been ready, we see no reason why this should change, we have the beacon we will be ready. What of the champions under Woods charge, when will they be ready?” asked the speaker for The Dark, his face turned up towards the Mediator.
“One will return to the fold of the L.O.M in due time, the fate of the second we all know, the fate of the third and forth are uncertain, considering the origin of the forth, we must be extremely careful,” The Mediator replied in a deep rumbling voice, “The events of this very night are unexpected to say the least but we cannot allow it to cloud out judgements, he may not have been the one we were waiting for as believed but that does not mean his involvement is a good idea, perhaps we need to take more precautions?”
The speakers for The Light and Dark turned the heads away from the Mediator and slowly towards the place where Robert was slowly bleeding to death.
“A threat?” The speaker for The Dark asked,
“A.......reminder,” the Mediator replied, “to keep him onside for as long as is required.”
“Then we deliver this wretch to Woods?” Light asked
“No, we return to the place he was found, the L.O.M will alert Woods and his charges will retrieve him, if they are in time.”
“And if he bleeds to death?” asked The Dark
“Then he dies, a waste of power and influence yes, his financial support will be missed by many powerful people, however, I doubt anyone will ever miss the man, but if they are successful it is imperative that the other champions never learn who he is.”
From somewhere in the dark behind the speakers, other voices began to cheer and callout in agreement. Unseen faces in robes of white and black were deciding his fate while footsteps began shuffling towards him from the black, then Robert lost consciousness never expecting to wake again.
The rain fell in a continuous hammering blanket, completely relentless. The city centre was usually a collage of light and dark greys and whites and creams and scarlet red, now it was a black maze of dark grey rain soaked buildings. From the roof tops high above the city, the world bellow was a mess of colliding umbrellas, blurred street and headlights and a din of roaring engines, a river of human disorganisation. Up above it all, a lone figure sits perched on the edge of the highest roof like a gargoyle, the rain cascades off his mop hair and into his deep set dark brown eyes, brown eyes with the slightest hint of yellow. He does not need his eyes though, his unique sense of smell was searching the city for him, for he was hunting and his quarry was now very close, a tiny trace scent mixed into the decay of the rotting city.
Down bellow, small black eyes peer out of a pile of refuge left piled up in an abandoned shop doorway. Its long snout sniffed the air rain dripping off its whiskers as it tasted the air with its nose, it found something, a scent standing out from the rubbish and filth all around it. As soon as the Rat felt safe, a small break in the jungle of human traffic, it made a dash for the curb of the pavement, leaping down into a storm drain it stared at the road ahead, waiting for the killer wheels to dissipate before finally sprinting across the black wet tarmac and up onto the opposite curb, silently ducking into a pitch black alleyway between two hotels.
It really was utterly without light, the glare of the street lights back on the main road cast no light down this backstreet, the lamps on either side of the alley had long since been vandalised to hide night time activities of human beings. The Rat stopped moving behind a huge refuge bin, it knelt on its hind legs lifting its upper body to get a better scent then it found what it was looking for, that sickly sweet smell that could only mean fresh meat. The smell of blood was almost liquid in its nose, saliva dribbled from between its yellow pointed teeth.
The Rat moved cautiously forwards even though it already knew the alleyway was empty, treading forwards on all fours for a few feet then stopping and standing upright again to double check it was still alone. As it reached the centre of the dark back street, it stopped by a dark lump blocking its path, the Rat sniffed the lump, it was indeed what the Rat had been searching for, it climbed onto the mass which was still warm.....and still breathing shallowly, its chest moving up and down as the small rodent scrambled over it. The Rat came to stop dead centre of the bleeding figures stomach, a few inches above it was a small hole, gushing red liquid down over a dirty white shirt. The rodent slowly moved closer and closer, it would have no trouble in squeezing most of its mouth into the wound and then it would feast till full, perhaps dragging a piece of meat away with it to store.
The Rat reached the wound and bent low, its tongue flicked over the thick red blood and then over its yellow teeth, moving its head closer still, the Rat opened its mouth prepared to close its jaws on a thick piece of flesh, when it stopped, stood up on hind legs and sniffed.......the was something new, something was getting nearer and nearer, the Rat turned its head and sharp little eyes left, then right, looking all around itself for the approaching danger.....when it suddenly looked straight up........then ran for its life.
The figure landed hard but silently on both feet in front of the body, he was soaked from head to toe but the rain didn’t matter, he watched the body’s laboured breathing, tempted to simply walk away and pretend he’d failed in his search, when a loud static hiss in his ear brought him back to his senses.
“Wolf.....have you found him?” a young woman’s voice echoed in his ear piece, Wolf depressed the tiny button on his communication collar, “Yeah El, I’ve got him right here, I don’t think he’s gonna make it though, he’s lost a lot of blood,” he sounded neither concerned nor sorry, “We’ll be there in five minutes,” the female voice instructed, “just try and stop the bleeding till we get there, over.”
Wolf started down at the figure who was so pale he already looked beyond saving, “So here I am, standing in the rain being asked to save your life,” he bent low and pushed the body onto its back roughly, he looked at the face, “I don’t know what the professor wants you for, exactly, but don’t think just because we’re saving you that we want you......I mean.... it would be so easy to just....” he raised a hand and clasped it over the nose and mouth of the figure, he slowly started to squeeze the last few laboured breaths from the body, when, “Wolf we found a short cut, we’re at the far end of the alley now” the woman informed him.
Wolf took his hand away quickly before his comrades saw what he was doing. He turned to look behind and saw a black transit van pull up by the far exit and the side door slide open, a massive dark figure climbed out then began jogging towards Wolf, the sheer mass of the new arrival increasing as he drew closer until his full 8ft dwarfed Wolf, “Barricade pick him up and get him to the van quickly, although is still think this is a massive waste of time, he’s had it, any idiot can see that”
If Wolf had been expecting some sort of agreement from the hulk of a man, he never got it, Barricade picked up the figure under the head and knees, lifting him to chest height then turning back down the alley. Wolf inspected the place where the body had been, the pool of blood now mixed with water was like a small stream running the length of the backstreet, “He’s dead, no question” Wolf grinned then turned to follow his companion, together they reached the van where a thin cloaked figure sat in the driver’s seat, she turned her head to watch them load the body into the back.
“Wolf you drive, slowly! I’ll need to give him an adrenaline shot or we really will lose him,” Wolf snorted, “And? So what El, I mean he’s not even one of us and frankly we’ve had enough new arrivals for one day if you ask me,” “well, it’s a really, really good job I didn’t, isn’t it?” Wolf sucked his gums at her in response then slid into the driver’s seat as she got out, her pale face exposed in the street lights, thin and serious, her lips a pale pink, lashes and eye brows a perfect ebony black, but her eyes, her eyes shone brighter blue than any light and it was when these fixed Wolf for a moment, just a moment, he calmed himself down and regained focus.
As the young woman climbed into the back with Barricade, she looked from the body to her friends enormous and hideously scared face, he looked very concerned, “Don’t worry Barri,” she cooed softly at him as if he were a small child, she removed a very long syringe from its protective bubble wrapping and in one fluid motion, stabbed it straight into his thigh and injected the clear liquid into his blood stream, “the adrenaline will keep him alive till we reach the hospital, then it’s not up to us anymore, we’ve done are part Barri without any incident, be happy, please?” the hulking figure smiled down at her and she beamed back at him, “Wolf, let’s move!” she called.
Wolf turned the key in the ignition, he felt the engine rumble to life and put the van into gear, slowly pulling, the blacked out van moved away down the busy London street like any other vehicle, expect, that if any one of the people running from the rain and crowded streets had stopped to take notice for just a moment, they could not have ignored the fact the van made no noise, in fact, it ran in complete silence.