Don't deny me...
Restored (Lost & Kate)
The time of power had come and gone like the frolicking winds of the western sky, brushing along her skin she shifting the sand beneath her feet. She'd been walking for so long she'd almost forgotten what year it was, what day it was - where she was. Things had moved from bad to worse over the last year and retreating to the deserts of Bahai were her only refuge from the hunters that sought to take her life. Marcus had left her high and dry in the middle of a show-down, her magic being the only thing that saved her, the one thing she could count on. How they'd gotten mixed up in such a nefarious path she'd never know. Those memories were shoved to the front of her mental energy when using her gifts in hopes of burning him from her heart and her mind.
She gasped as a large blue ball of fire erupted from the ground beneath her, knocking her backward and sucking the air from the sky. Her long chestnut locks curled around her, magic snapping like electricity from their ends as her lovely orange eyes turned a deep black, ready for a fight and scared as hell. She rolled quickly and pulled at the wind, beckoning it to be ready should she need it. A deep laughter came from the fire and she stood up straighter, the timbre of the man's chuckle wrapping tightly around her. She knew that laugh - head master Alexander Beltry.
The light one grew brighter as he spoke, moving with the ebb and flow of the cadence of his words. "Scarlette, you are forever ready for a fight, are you not, my dear?"
She scoffed and pulled a little more at the wind as it moved around her and the bright light, creating a wall between them. "What do you want?"
"What you want as well dear - hope, promise... reconciliation?" He couldn't be serious and yet the tone of his voice spoke volumes about his mission, his message.
"Answer me or I shall walk away old man." She moved back a step ready to press the wind into the flame and create an air tunnel, effectively removing all the oxygen from its girth.
"You are needed and as a Mage of the order, you will come to assist us." He stated, his words flat and uncaring.
She started to argue as the wind died down and the ball of fire rushed toward her and swallowed her whole, the freezing and yet burning sensation rushing down her pale arms as she screamed in pain. Everything went black and she rushed into the bosom of night, unprepared and mad as a hornet. Someone would die for this and Alexander was first on her list.
“All that matters in this world is nothing. All that exists is temporary. Mentality and Reality are opposites, and yet the same. Breaking the veil is the only goal that compels me. Harmony will be reached when the differences between the two no longer exist, and all that is left is nothing.” Brian’s words echo throughout the cavern, flicking his eyes closed he taps into his essence. Slowly he rises into the air, tips of his toes just barely dragging along the cool stone of the cave. Pushing him higher, tapping into more of his mental energy, his silver locks float up around him, and point straight towards the ceiling.
Suddenly the air chills to the point of water droplets freezing upon the stalactites. Anger begins to boil within Brian’s veins, before it extinguishes. Drifting back upon the ground, his eyes flash open, molten irises flowing more freely, showing the last remnants of anger that reside within his soul. Walking calmly towards the woman who had appeared, the apprentice under Alexander Beltry known only as Val, his lips part cutting off Val before she can even begin speaking.
“Emotion amounts to nothing more than a hindrance. Yet this does not prevent the annoyance that I feel every time you appear. I suppose that Scar has refused to attend a meeting once again?” Standing directly before Val, he looks directly into her eyes, his voice slowly coming to life, friendliness seeping into it. “I apologize my dear, solitary meditation tends to make me forget my manners. I am wanted at the Academy correct?”
Shaking her head slightly, she resists the urge to laugh having grown accustomed to the rapid mood swings of Brian. “Yes, Alexander wishes to speak with you about a very important manner. Do you wish to travel with me?” She knows his answer will be no, and yet she asks every time anyway, knowing that the more he uses his magic the closer he gets to losing himself within his mind.
Flashing a smile, Brian chuckles a bit before shaking his head, already beginning to stride past her. “I will never understand why you always ask that Val, you know as well as I do that I will always decline. Let Beltry know I will be awaiting him in his quarters.” Without a word he is simply gone, without the theatrics that most other mages use when transporting over large distances.
Seating himself in the Headmasters chair, he tosses his legs atop of Alexander’s desk, patiently awaiting his arrival.
Don't deny me...
“Scarlette, let me explain the spell so that you understand that for the last damned time I didn’t force you to come hee….” She cut him off with her finger in his face, poking his nose.
“You can say whatever the hell you like, Alexander, but I didn’t give my consent to be swallowed up in a ball of fire and burned to the core of my being and I sure as hell didn’t say I’d be okay coming back here. You’d better come up with something brilliant or I swear by Manessa, I’ll kill you right here and hope that the strength of this old decrepit academy presses itself upon me. I am not a girl anymore, old man.” She growled as she moved back a little, her mind already moving through the different spells and summoning’s that she would use to kill him and lock off the evidence until she could escape.
He sighed heavily and sunk into his chair, his age showing through perhaps a bit more than usual that day. “As I’ve been trying to tell you… the blue ball of fire is a mental detector or sorts. The magic contained in it sensed your decision would be yes to coming here and didn’t wait for you to pussyfoot around. It knew before you did that you would comply. I’m sorry that you fought it once it started the process. That is the only reason it hurt you – because you forced it too.” He rubbed his eyes wearily and stood. “The others are arriving, we must go. I am so very sorry that you’re upset with me and you can kill me later, but for now… come… please.”
He walked out and she raged silently a little before following him, her thoughts quite nefarious where he was concerned. Her skin still tingled at the remembrance of the fire pushing through her veins, causing her body to explode into a million pieces only to be thrown back into conjunction with each other part of her – the whole essence of her being coming together to rejoin her and leaving her quite pissed.
The night air pressed against her and caused her to calm just a fraction as they walked from the gardens toward Alexander’s quarters, something slightly off. “Who all is going to be in attendance tonight, Alex?” Her voice was tense and slightly higher than usual as she tried to suffocate the fear that magic would be the least of her worries.
She felt him long before stepping foot in the building. Brian was here and memories of their past, of Marcus and Jon started to build up and threatened to suffocate her. She swallowed them down and chanted a quick incantation to remove anything not of the present from her mind. She looked up at Alex as he stopped just before entering his chambers.
“I’m sorry you have to deal with the magic, the timing and now this, but I need you – we all need you to help us. You belong here and on this council and yet you’ve done nothing all these years. That needs to change.. now.” He moved into the room and toward Brian before she could say anything snarky to him. Her eyes met Brian’s and all of the hurt and pain from their last moments together many, many years ago swept in and pulled the air from the room. She locked her fašade into place and leaned against the door frame to listen to Alexander… her eyes only on him.
A light smiles lights upon Brian's lips as he feels Alex's magical energy enter into the school grounds, normally he takes his time when attending the meetings and it is a pleasant surprise that he arrived nearly at the same time as Brian. Closing his eyes he taps into the energy dwelling within the core of his mentality, expanding his mind slowly, searching the area for the rest of the members that would be attending. His smile continues to grow, as he feels the mind of each one, most of them already grouped together. Tilting his head to the side his soft voice slips through his lips, speaking to the empty room. "This is indeed curious. There are more mages here than necessary for a simple meeting. Something must be changing in the war, but if that is the case why call me? They turned down my services many years ago, I wonder..." His words are cut off, as his mind touches upon a magic signature that he has not felt in many years. Smile evaporating from his lips, his eyes flash open, silver irises once more beginning to flow, this time much more rapidly, as they meet the gaze of Scar, standing beside Alexander. To far gone, he lifts himself out of the chair, rising slowly towards the ceiling. Without a word he disappears from the headmaster and Scar.
Floating in the middle of his cavern once more, his gaze locks onto Val's, who had not found time to leave quite yet. Thrusting his hand forward, the air ripples with energy for a moment before his magic slams into her, throwing her body against the wall and pinning her there. Moving towards her slowly, a low growl escapes from his lips. "You lied to me woman! You said that I was being called in for a meeting because once again Scarlette was absent! But she is there, she walked in with the headmaster himself!" Seeing Valeria open her mouth he pushes his hand again, cracks appearing upon the wall as the amount of psychic pressure increases on her body. "Be silent! I do not know what you were thinking when you came here, but this is unacceptable!" With his irises movement slowing, he finally drops his hand, allowing Val to collapse to the ground. Letting go of his energy source, he falls to his knees roughly, body shaking. Having been assigned to Brian almost as soon as he left the school, this is not the first time he has done something like this. As such Valeria quickly rises, moving to his side and placing an arm around his shoulders lightly.
"Brian calm yourself and think through this. I never told you that you were attending a meeting in her place did I? Even if I had it would have been true, at least from what I know. I did not realize that she would also be there, Alex might tell me much, but very rarely does he mention her."
Inhaling deeply, he nods his head, the molten silver of his eyes finally coming to a complete stop. Pushing himself up, he looks down at her, frowning slightly. "I am very sorry Valeria. You really should ask to be reassigned. After everything I have done." Allowing a slight chuckle to pass his lips, he shakes his head already knowing she won't. Every time he has done this, he has said the same thing, and she has always declined. Finally calm, or at least as calm as he can be at the time, he pats Val on the head once, before transporting himself back into the room he had just left, gazing intently on the form of the headmaster.
"What is the meaning of this Alex? Why are we here?"
Don't deny me...
Only the movement of him leaving caused Scarlett to divert her stone-cold attention from the headmaster in the spot he once stood. Brian. She looked back at Alex’s with dispassionate passivity and waited for him to move or speak. Her eyes were once again drowned in the color of night, her emotions running far too high. It might have been appropriate for Alex to warn her that Brian would be here, but it was her own silly mistake in thinking that if she were called he wouldn’t have been.
Was Marcus called as well? She’d walk if she even began to feel the touch of his black magic, her own psyche not ready to handle both him and Brian. Alexander closed his eyes, his large hand moving toward his brow in a slow stroke of his face that showed his age far better than anything else might have. She wanted to have sympathy, but he wasn’t one to take it and she most certainly was never one to give it.
Scar began to speak, but a slight movement in the air around her caused her pause as Brian entered the room, his question her own. She waited for Alex to answer, her gaze moving languidly back to the man in charge.
He looked up at Brian and then over to Scarlett and nodded, “Soon enough. I want to wait for the others to arrive. Once they do we can get started, but as you both know, I’m not a man that fancy’s repeating himself over and over again.”
He disappeared as quickly as he’d appeared, the same blue fire filling the spot he stood in just moments before.
“Brilliant,” Scarlett whispered and looked over at Brian, her face a mask that was well-constructed and all too familiar to the man in front of her. “Hello, Brian. Long time…”
Flicking his hand to the side, his gaze becomes unfocused slightly, words slipping out from his lips without looking at Scar. "Please be silent for a moment Scarlett. What I am about to do is dangerous enough without being distracted by your words." Closing his eyes fully, he falls deep into his psyche, diving further into the pool of energy residing there than he has had to in recent years. Lifting his hands in front of him, he splays his fingers wide, thrusting out nearly all of his magic in one blast. Striking through the wall, and into the open air of the school grounds. Twisting and turning through the air, it finally finds one of the elders, the weakest mentally. Without hesitation Brian thrusts his hands forward, slamming all of his energy to batter away the walls of the elders mind. Melding his mind with that of the old man's, information begins flooding into his head. With the skill of years of practice he quickly sorts out the irrelevant data, focusing solely on the reason for their presence.
With a smile he collapses into the chair, weakness overtaking his extremities immediately, head pounding with a sharp intensity. Lifting his head slowly, his gaze falls onto Scar once again, the smile not wavering. "I really must apologize for my rudeness a couple of minutes ago Scar, despite the number of years that I have been out of school here, I have yet to lose my curiosity. Alex really should have simply told me from the start why we were here. That poor elder will have a rough time figuring out what happened to him. If he regains his memory." Fading a way for a time, he tilts his head towards the ceiling, random thoughts drifting in and out at random intervals.
Sighing, the high from the momentary mental domination dissipating, the smile slips away from his feature. "It has been a long time indeed...I believe in most circumstances this is when people in our situation would say not long enough." Lowering his eyes to hers once more, the smile returns, although just a ghost of his former one. "This is not the case. I have had a long time to think...by myself. Neither of us is to blame for what happened all those years ago." Letting his lips to drop into a frown once more, his eyes harden. "Do not mistake this though, we are not on good terms, we are not on bad terms. I am giving you a clean slate, I don't ask for the same, I am just informing you of my mental state on this matter. In any case, I wish Alexander would get the meeting started already."
Don't deny me...
Scarlet watched a little taken back at Brian's power, his ability had multiplied volumes over the years. She hit her thoughts, her surprise behind a mask as he spoke to her, his voice pinched and demanding. She said nothing else, but watched until he was done, a bit of a scowl touching her pretty face. He continued to explain himself or rather where they were with one another. He'd turned away from their friendship years ago and decided to stay when it was time to go - to walk into the world and make a difference. She collected her thoughts as to not snap at him and show too much emotion in the moment. But as always before, her mouth opened before her mind gave it permission.
"That was less than necessary, Brian. Hurting an elder to get information that Alex was going to give us in a few minutes?" She brushed her fingers through her hair and breathed in slowly. "I'm a bit surprised to see you on a darker path than I remember." She ignored his comments about them being on a clean slate. There was no such thing and they both knew that. If they were placed to work together on some project for the institution, they'd work it out as they were powerful in their craft and adults to boot.
Alex walked into the room with a growl in his lips, "What the hell was that?"
He looked between the two of them as Scarlet laughed. "You aren't talking to me. I've been well behaved though my vein burn with angst to harm someone or something."
He sighed heavily and closed the door behind him. "Look. I know that you are both very intelligent and immensely powerful, but I would've have called you both if there was any other solution to my problem. There is a power greater than us, bigger than we've seen and whatever it is... he's raising armies of the dead. I need you two to investigate and take out this threat. You've both been given a great gift and we need you to step up and use it."
Scarlet rolled her eyes and pressed her long fingers to the bridge of her nose, closing her eyes for moment and wishing for the power to turn back time and be anywhere but here. She opened her eyes as he walked in the room, her gaze moving to Brian to see his response.
Despite the faint smile remaining upon his lips, Brian's eyes darken considerably as he listens to Scar's voice. Slowly rising out of his seat, hands pressing against the desk, his lips part, voice matching his eyes. "Don't you speak of dark paths Scarlette, you have no right to condone me on my path, nor the choice I have made. The road I walk is one of pure and utter enlightenment. I seek to destroy the veil between the realms of mental and physical. How can you defend your craft?" Lifting his head he locks his gaze with hers, irises swirling around his pupils. "You force those who have already been allowed to enter the After, back into this terrible aspect of reality that we call life. How can you say that I am on a dark path, when the one you travel upon is darker than the night?"
Settling back into the chair, he once more casts his mind over the school, gently probing at the mind of the elder he had taken information from. Finding him to be in stable condition, Brian slowly retreats back into his own head, staring up at the ceiling. "Furthermore I did no damage to him, he won't recall the incident. If I had attempted that even a year prior I could have killed him, but fortunately I have had a very willing participate in my studies. But I digress, he is just fine."
As Alexander enters the room again, growling unnecessarily, he pinches the bridge of his nose, before raising his hand. "Yes, yes, that was me. You really are the one to blame though Alex, after all these years you should have realized that leaving me without the answer to a question will lead me to seeking an answer elsewhere. Don't concern yourself with the man I got it from, he is fine, so calm down." Turning his gaze finally to Alex at the end of his sentence, Brian sighs softly.
Listening to the information that he already knew, Brian patiently waits for Alex to finish, before speaking again. "So allow me to make sure I understand this. You want Scarlette and I to join together, after years of not even saying a word due to a brutal separation, to hunt down Marcus, our former best friend, and the very reason that Scar and I separate in the first place? Tell me, in all of your infinite wisdom, how exactly did you come upon the conclusion that this would be a good idea in any form? Do you think that perhaps Marcus will go easy on us because of the past? If that is the case you are a fool." Sighing heavily, he continues. "However I am in no position to decline your request, given that Valeria has proven to be very helpful over the years. I don't think I could have found someone better suited to putting up with me on my own."
Don't deny me...
He had a point. Her path was definitely considered dark by all of those gifted with natural talent, but raising the dead wasn’t as nefarious as most thought. If their souls still lingered about and needed a release to move on, she was actually helping them – or so she convinced herself. A zombie was neither good nor bad, but an inanimate object that was animated through one’s gift of magic. What you chose to do with the creature at that point would really set the stage for whether you were to be deemed as participating in the dark arts or not.
She shrugged at him. “Not all of them have entered the after, Brian… you’d be surprised what you can learn when you allow yourself to remove bias from an academic experiment of sorts.” She pointed toward the wall he’d just pushed his power through, “However, it seems that you’ve already started experimenting, haven’t you?”
Alex threw his arms in the air. “Enough… damn! I need the two of you to gather your stuff, your spell books and get ready. You’re going to be leaving in the morning to start tracking a power that we’ve been sensing in the northern border of Valicia. I don’t have time right now to explain further, but we believe it holds a taint very similar to… Marcus’.” He looked at Scarlette and flinched a little when he spoke.
Her fašade was perfectly in place as she nodded, not showing any emotion at all about going or who they were going in search of. He was a bastard and she wished him dead just so she could resurrect him and have him plow himself into a large oak tree over and over again. The very thought caused a small smile to lift her full red lips.
Alex turned to Brian, “Yes… I do expect the two of you to act like adults befitting the magic bestowed you and do whatever you can to help us all out. This bastard has found one of the amulets of the Jadus. That is the only thing we can think based on the power he’s blowing into the ether.” He checked his watch. “I’m late… I’ll see you both later.”
Scarlette walked toward Brian and extended her hand. “Clean slate… Whatever it takes to find him and put him down – I’m in.”