(1) Death

Kelly Tedder sped down the street, his eyes focusing on the glimmer of green he had been tailing for the past five minutes of winding country road. It had been a while since he had found out about my move, but now, as he reached the outskirts of town, he slowed down a bit, knowing this wasn’t his territory. He knew it was wrong to enter another’s territory unannounced, though the right thing to do seemed too difficult to accomplish having been entrusted with the task of catching his prey, he stopped at the bridge, the distant green light having stopped as well, for it was foreign territory to them, too.

Dismounting, he removed his helmet and called out, “Get back over here! You’re trapped!” His prey simply glanced over at him, knowing full well there would be consequences for acts of disobedience and trespassing. On one hand, the countryside of Turrapida seemed to call them back, but her calls were a waste. And with ease, the other turned to face the dim roads leading into Shiltz, one of the bigger cities in the area. ”Adventure for the adventurous,” came a scratchy from the helmet.

Ignoring the scream of anger and frustration behind, the mysterious rider sped on, into the darkness, turning and riding into the strange new cityscape that unfolded before them. The lights sped by, the road would curve here and there, but it didn’t faze the rider, who rode like there was nothing to lose. Instead of embracing the life of someone who should feel free, the rider looked as if they sough a death sentence. 

Finally, the rider slowed noting a pair of lights that had jumped on board just moments before. Wherever the rider turned, they seemed to follow, not letting the former out of their sight, nor coming closer to investigate or make contact. The rider knew what this meant, and it was easy to see that they seemed determined to wait until their prey’s tank was low before making contact. But the rider knew better than to let them do that. 

And so, the pursued signaled their surrender, slowed to a stop, turned off the engine, and held their hands up. The two pursuers seemed to wait for a moment, as if expecting a lash out, but the pursued didn’t.

They pulled up slow, stopping just next to the questionable rider, surrounding them.  One whistled, noting the bike. “Nice ride,” he smiled, nodding appreciatively.

The other frowned, realizing the rider was a girl and, because of the leather wristband’s marking, affiliated, he growled out, “Who are you with?”

With a steady voice, the rider replied, “I’m with the Green Dragons.”

The one on the right turned his attention from the bike to the rider at the sound of the name, and asked, “Then what’s a little girl doing way out here? This is the city, where the Demonz run and Chaos reigns,” he added, again with that growly voice. 

With a shrug, having never been flirtatious by nature, the rider replied, truthfully, “I was just going for a ride. Know of anywhere fun?” The question caused the two big guys’ unease to increase. If they knew that the one they were dealing with had always been super sensitive to the emotions around them, they may have chosen to handle things differently. Her parents thought it as a ‘spiritual gift’ and encouraged her to use it, but when she used it, her parents would complain. It was a strange circle happened each time, but, in the end, they couldn’t mold her into the same form they did her siblings.

The one on her left shook his head, “You better come with us.  We’ll see what the boss wants to do with you,” he added, checking our surroundings. “Can you follow, or you likely to split?” he asked, the other shifting so as to stand behind the bike. 

With a shrug, the bullied replied, “I’ll follow. I’ve nowhere else to go, nowhere I have to be.”

The one on the right chuckled, shaking his head, “Best say good-bye to your family. They’re unlikely to ever see you again once the boss is done with you,” he added with a grimace. But that didn’t change the situation as much as it should have. Maybe.

Her entourage ended up leading her to a club. They waited for her to dismount before entering the club, never once asking her to remove her helmet. It was natural for the Green Dragons to remain covered until one with authority demanded proof of affiliation. But she didn’t care. For her, as of that moment in mortal time, rules and regulations didn’t matter as much. Well, they actually didn’t matter at all to her. 

They stopped in front of a group of people on a couch. All around the VIP status room go-go dancers, exotic animals, and women scantily dressed moved, flaunting their stuff easily.  They eyed the helmeted rider but never once stepped close. Behind the tinted visor, eyes wandered, not seeing, though taking in, the scene. Years of training helped the biker feel the situation, along with noticing a group of people who eyed her warily… hungrily.

The bigger of her escorts cleared his throat, “Um, boss?”

The rider turned her attention to the man seated on the couch, surrounded by women who seemed to be rubbing and touching every part of his body. The dummy boss of the Demonz the Green Dragons didn’t even waste breath on mentioning. Behind the visor, a pair of eyes rolled. Many of the women seemed drugged, though the rider held her tongue.  However, she couldn’t stop the frown of disgust, after all, she could feel their desires, lust, and could sense their thoughts. That disgusted her the most and she found herself wishing she could just shoot the man and get out, but she stood there, watching the women fawn over the one man that sat amongst them. 

The bigger, again, cleared his throat, “Um, boss?”

And again, they were ignored. Filled with annoyance, the rider pulled out a small packet of white powder and tossed it on the table, “Come on, I haven’t all night.” The guys eyed the packet as the biker waited, knowing her tribute was being surveyed. She had intended to sell it for a little traveling money, but that was before she stole the bike.

The man finally opened his eyes and looked at them. The women, unfazed, continued, though his attention was elsewhere. He smiled, seeing the biker for the first time in his haze and asked, “What is it I can do for you, my dear? Feel free to join in if you’d like. There’s plenty room for another,” he added, his eyes traveling up and down the jeans and leather jacket.

Annoyed and disgusted, the rider only nodded before turning away. The boss returned to his women, forgetting about the rider as soon as she left his sight. The other two, her escorts, simply let her leave. 

When she made it out, she stopped, seeing the men that watched her inside now leaning against her borrowed bike. Four of them seemed to watch her with gleaming eyes, though the other, their leader so it seemed, surveyed the bike with mild boredom. 

“Tell me,” he smiled, turning his eyes slowly from the bike to the rider, “how a young thing, like yourself, came about a club like this,” he paused, his deep accent filled with intent, as he added, “on a pretty one, no less.”

The rider paused for a moment, and then, with a controlled tone, she taunted, “You want it? You can have it. It’s not like it was mine to begin with,” she added, not moving.

He smirked as he nodded, “I can see that. So what’s behind the mask?” he added, crossing his arms across his chest.

The rider snapped, “You want to fight or not? Winner keeps the bike, loser walks.”

With a gleam in his oceanic blue eyes, he nodded, “Let's dance.”

***

What never ceased to astound the rider was the high number of dark areas in the city.  It took the pod five minutes to relocate and another five for the lackeys to surround the rider.  With grin, the leader pulled out a gun and murmured, “I had never imagined to battle someone tonight. What are you used to? Or had you never fought before?” he asked, sarcasm thick in his tone.

“Knives do it for me,” was the reply. In truth, the rider had always hated guns. They killed much too quickly for her satisfaction. Not to mention, they were much too loud. She preferred knives, objects with sharp, pointed blades. She was most fascinated with the ninja stars seen in countless movies, though her heart always returned to the elaborate and fluttery knives that had cut her countless times during long days of practice. But as she stood, surrounded by this mysterious gang, she found myself attracted to the deep blue eyes of the leader, the only one who had spoken, thus far, to her, which were much too blue to be natural, she had thought when she first saw them reflect light. Even as his boys remained quiet as their leader and the rider glared at each other. She wasn’t sure why they were fighting and what led up to this confrontation, but whatever had, she felt delighted. She had wanted to kill him as badly as he seemed to want to do the same to her. 

With eloquent ease, he tossed the gun aside and threw open his coat, much too long and unnecessary, the rider noted, and pulled out what looked to be a hunting knife. Long with a slight curve, he reached for the other protruding handle and pulled out an old fashioned double-edged sword. With a smile, he looked to his opponent, the smile never reaching his eyes, and stated, “Ready when you are.”

With an annoyance in the confidence he seemed to have in himself, the rider pulled out two metallic casings. With ease, she flipped one open to reveal a butterfly knife, a favorite one. With emerald green patterns etched along the handle, she had grown accustom to the silent sound of its movements, slicing the air. Then, with practiced control, she put her other hand into motion, casually moving and flipping, this blade far too fast to be seen by the human eye, especially in the dark alley we stood in. This blade was special, and one of her prized joys. With a gasp, someone at the side breathed the name of the knife, and the rider smiled behind her visor, nodding in pleasure and pride. “That’s right, the Irish Pretty isn’t just a fairytale,” she confirmed, her eyes never once leaving her opponent’s eyes. 

Slightly impressed, he nodded, “The demon’s blade is lovelier than rumored. How about we add a wager on this?”

Without hesitation, she stated, “Winner takes all.”

“Agreed,” he replied, a slight nod dipped his face for the slightest of moments. 

And then, sensing it before seeing it, she jump into the air so that she was parallel with the ground and cut into two bodies who rush simultaneously at her. Landing on her felt, she glared into his eyes, noting the pleasure and impressed reaction to her difficult feat. The two she had cut shuffled away as darker than blood, liquid oozed from the cuts. She glanced at her knife, seeing another assailant lean forward to strike off the reflection of the blade. She jumped again, this time higher, and as she did, sensing the attacker below her, she kicked down her feet, slamming him to the ground, under her feet.  And as he struggled to breathe, she jumped up, flipping backwards and twisting herself a bit more than she was used to, so that her knife would penetrate and keep her next two attackers away from her. Somehow, the one below her flipped over, and as she fell towards him, he kicked out his legs, attempting to wound her, but, like second nature, she stuck out her feet as well, and jumped even higher, twisting and flipping until she had obtained enough momentum, before using a spin kick to repel three bodies from her, and that allowed her to break the legs of the one on the ground before landing on his chest, efficiently crushing his heart beneath her power and weight. 

“Not bad,” Blue Eyes commented, though having not moved from his original position at all. His gaze swept over his opponent’s body, but she didn’t flinch. 

The rider kicked the lackeys aside, stated, “Now, I’m going to kill you.”

Blue Eyes just stood there, as if running the words over his mind, over and over again.  But as he did so, he took slow steps closer to where his opponent waited, until he was about five feet away from her. He stopped and shook his head, “I don’t think so,” he replied, preparing his attack, as he added, “Plus, my coven would never follow you; they’d eat you before you could do anything to them.”

He swung his arms, massive and powerful, and the rider had to jump faster than she had ever jumped to evade his swings. But he didn’t stop, thus she took the opportunity to reverse her jump, flew over his head and landed a good slash on his back. She hesitated, feeling good about being the first to land a hit, but he didn’t move. Instead, he flexed his back muscles and, before her very eyes, his skin began to heal itself. Whatever ooze had gotten out was dry and falling off. Reflected on the shield of the helmet was his back, healing itself.

As he turned to look back at her, she whispered, in horror, “What are you?”

And with a smile that pronounced this battle as his victory, he replied, “Your savior.”  He rushed at her and, expecting it, she dodged to the side, still slightly shaken. She heard his menacing chuckle in her head, but she couldn’t help but continually dodge. He had gone from normal speed to something she hadn’t expected at all. It was strange, watching his movements, more flexible and graceful than before, though he hadn’t changed, from what she could see.  

While she traced his movements, his foot kicked at her head and shattered her helmet. Long black hair exploded from the helmet, along with a pair of pale green eyes. That put her off-balanced and in moments, he had her on the ground, his knee on her chest and his hand on her throat. His deep blue eyes shone, despite the dimness, and she gasped, panting to breathe.  ‘Worry not, dear one,’ his whisper seemed to fill my mind, for his lips didn’t move at all.  And as he bent closer, he added, “You will know bliss.”  A sharp pain caused her to see no more.

***

Dong.  Dong.  Dong.  Dong.  Dong…

Click-a-clack-clack.  Click-a-clack-clack.  Click-a-clack-clack…

Long black hair flowing around her, like water, and pale skin that made it look like she was glowing, she slowly opened her eyes, like bright gems in the night. The bell tower continued to sound until the 12th chime. There was a breeze, but all of her senses were going wild. She felt warm, not sure of what there was to feel. There was a strange comfort to the way she laid on her back. Her memories surged around her, though she couldn’t say she was asleep. Something deep and dark clawed at her heart, though she As if, within her own space, the memories tried to reach out to her but couldn’t extend so far.  It was a strange feeling.  Like working out every muscle in her body and then laying down to wait for the soreness to kick in. It was a stupid thing to do, but she remembered the pain from years of exercising wrong. 

“Have you, finally, decided to wake?” a silky voice asked, clear and calm.

She took a few extra breaths and then sat up, surprisingly, easily. She turned, about ninety degrees and froze, her breath caught in my lungs as she notices the sky on her right and the street on her left. As if gravity had no hold on her, she sat up, perpendicular to the clock lower that shot out from the ground. What was worse was all of her senses were alive and very clear. Everywhere she looked, there were lights blinking at her. 

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” the voice continued, to her right.  As she slowly turned, she realized the blue-eyed man she had battled with last sat next to her, a couple inches from where her head had been. Not only that, but he was seated finely, not falling, despite the curve that would have been allowing gravity to pull him towards the ground. As if she hadn’t moved, he added, “This is where I come when I want to think or just breathe. Sometimes, the city is too cluttered for me to process a single thought.”

Too bothered by the tingling sensations in her body, she found no interest in his words, despite the way they seemed to excite her blood. His eyes weren’t even on her, but she could tell he was waiting for her to respond. And, swallowing, she asked, “Where am I?”

With the same calm voice, he replied, “We are in the City of Webs. We’re not too far from the Great House,” he added, not moving.

She worked hard to ignore the strange buzz in her head while trying to process her own thoughts. Slowly, she traced her memories. Up until he pinned her, she remembered everything. It was how she got from there to where she was at that moment that confused her. 

And, to her surprise, he explained, “I could have killed you quite easily. But, let’s just say, you intrigued me more than I thought you did. And so, I added a couple decades to your,” he paused, before wincing at the word, “existence.” 

At that point, her senses had cleared up a lot more than mere moments ago. She sensed the four others who stood nearby, their gazes watchful and careful. One stood, upright, on top of the bell tower. She couldn’t see him but she knew he was there. The second was below them, close to the corner of the clock face they sat on. The other two, she hadn’t known where they were, until she looked out further and froze, something strange shooting her to where they stood, waiting. She saw them as though she stood close to them.

“There’s something wrong with me,” she got out, somehow. She felt as if she was flying, though having not moved from her current location. 

He chuckled, shaking his head, “You must be hung – thirsty. Come, let’s walk around and see if there’s something you’d like to eat, my treat,” he added, standing. She slowly stood too, afraid to fall. If she were ever to have an out of body experience, this would have still been incomparable! As if an after thought, he turned to her, with a small smile, “My name is Chaos. Feel free to tell me anything you would like,” he added, this time, reaching out a hand to her.

Take it,’ she heard, whispered in her head. 

With a frown, she took his hand and replied, “My name is Jaydn.” 

With a soft chuckle, he kicked from the ground, the face of the clock, and pulled her down to the ground with him. His words half in her mind, half spoken, “I know.”

The End

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