The Falling Snow.
A cold night, but then all the nights have been cold in the Forgotten City for the longest time. A hoar frost descended when the great harvest occurred and with it a punishing display of snow and ice. Those who still remain in the dreary, ruined city huddle in heavy coats, their eyes averted from the skies as the increasingly harsh snows fell around them. Somber reminders that even this city, home to the greatest champions between time and space, cannot resist the vengeful touch of nature.
Seated at an ice covered table a black clad man eased back, his sheathed sword laying atop the frigid metal, a large pot of black coffee accompanied him. The restaurant space heater was sputtering to life, slowly fighting its natural enemy in a losing battle. Below on the streets people hurried to get home, out of the weather into a place of relative comfort and safety. Lord Sebastian Brennan, also called the Nightmare by his enemies, took a long sip of the drink, his eyes glancing out across rooftops at the vast city that lay before him. It had been a long time since he relaxed this way; a wry smile crossed his lips as he glanced at the large clock tower, even the hunted wanted out of this weather. Oh it was cold, and the Nightmare felt it in his bones, but it wasn't often he could relax and as such he took pains to enjoy these moments whenever possible. Even in the freezing cold.
Henry stepped out on the terrace, a burr escaping his lips as he trudged to the man, his eyes never leaving the dark figure. “M’laird you want anything from the kitchen tonight?” Henry had been a soldier, fought in the great world of Dreams, served in the assault on the Chaos Lords citadel. He was a proud man, but he knew pain, he saw a lot of it in his time. The man before him held a great deal of pain inside. Lord Brennan looked at the shivering older man, grimacing, “Henry why in God's sake are you out here in the cold?”
“It's my job, besides it ain't that bad.”
Exhaling softly Sebastian shook his head, “No my friend I am fine, I'd offer you a seat but I don't think it’s a good idea.” The older man chuckled and pulled a seat out, dusting off the slowly melting snow. Plopping down he glanced out at the white scene, whistling softly, “It sure is a sight isn't it?”
Nodding, the black clad man took another sip, feeling the drink course down his throat, “Henry, tell me how did you do it? Keeping going when the world was against you?”
Pursing his lips the older man eased back, “Well like you M’laird I simply sucked it up and kept going, it was me or the Guardians of Light, or the Chaos Lords who was going home, and I sure as hell wasn't going to give them the pleasure of killing me.” Sebastian chuckled, the drink in his hand, hovering before his lips, “I guess, I guess.”
“What's really eating you Sebastian? I have been here for a long time, and that's the first time you asked me that.” The Lord nodded lowering his head and the mug, it was not many he allowed to call him by his first name, as he pondered that a moment or two passed before he spoke, “There are a lot of good men and woman out there looking to be a hero, but it's different now, the lines between the forces of night and burning light are blurring more and more each day.”
Henry snorted, “Hogwash Sebastian. There is good and bad, yeah sure the line is thinly manned because most people would rather stand on the sidelines watching, rather than get into the game. But those who stand on the good side, like the Light, well the people they look up to the Light. They want to be like him. There is something to be said about that. It's possible that he can get more citizens involved, get them to take a stand.”
Sebastian finished the coffee and slowly poured another one, his eyes flicked to the old man, “Henry, The Light isn't a hero.”
The old man shook his head a moment, “In that case neither are you.” Sebastian paused a second before he sipped the black liquid, “The difference between he and I, people don't look up to me.” Henry inhaled, his lips pursed he simply eyed the black clad man before him, the grinning death's head on his chest a grim reminder that Sebastian did away those he hunted.
“So what are you going to do?”
“Nothing, yet. But the word is that some sort of rift has opened and a traveler has come, a man the Light may want to see, too exploit.”
“You gonna stand by and let a man die? A good man?”
Sebastian finished the coffee. Standing he grasped his sword and slipped it into the baldric under his long coat, “I said he wasn't a good guy, I never said he was a bad guy. Maybe I'll watch and see if I can help, or not.”
Henry stood and began gathering the cup and pot; he barely heard the hiss of the gas escaping the zip line as it exploded out into the dark, frigid night. Turning around he found he was alone on the roof; The Nightmare had vanished into the darkness. “He's a good man M’laird, remember that.” The old man said solemnly.