Scorched Betrayal

A/N: No you're not hallucinating I actually have decided to post something again. This story is meant to be a far cry from the usual postings of hijinks and light-hearted fun. Hopefully it will also give me the motivation to actually finish my original stories.

Chapter One: A "ghost" returns

Fire the source of life and light in its kinder form. It helps plants grow, provides energy and hope to the world, and can even be used for applications ranging from comfort to self-defense. In essence the importance of this element needs no introduction and has always been respected for the many gifts derived from the flames. But it has also been feared and loathed for its dark and greedy nature. Roasting and stripping the flesh and skin along with liquefying the organs of any creature foolishly or suicidal enough to try and contain the raw power of the flames. Fire's greed is well known to those unfortunate to be caught in the way of the deadly beauty.

Like a parasite it feasts and destroys until nothing save for the destruction left behind. Charred corpses burned fields ruined homes and cities. Fire is very much a living being with a dual balance one side gives the other takes. But even though fire is effective as a living being it still makes mistakes and even exceptions. A mistake could be not finishing off a combatant while a exception could be permitting a house from being taken over by a raging inferno.

This story begins with the darker side of fire's nature in which it made a mistake in claiming everything the man had and the exception of letting him live so he could recount the tale. My name is Rachel Dare a mortal with the power to read the future through dreams and other outlets. My gifts earned me the title camp Oracle one who is allowed by the gods to interpret the future. The reason for this record is so something remains since the nightmares I have been receiving are worthy of being their own horror novel.

It is also my hope that with this account of events maybe plans can be made to protect the camps and homes of me and my friends. Whoever this figure is one thing is for certain fire has twisted him into a phantom of who he once was and what he might have become. The nightmares are always the same it starts off with a boy from Camp Half-Blood my current home partnered with a girl from Lady Artemis's band of hunters. Despite the fact that girls that follow her way are to reject the company of men, the two get along fine together as friends and keep the relationship from going further than that. They seem to be undertaking a quest to eliminate a Hydra a monster with nine heads that in addition to spewing fire grows two extra heads for every head that is decapitated.

The fight seems to be going swell the boy acts as a support role being a distraction and attacking when needed while the girl strikes with the precision and skill of a Cobra. Then everything goes to Hades the boy notices that his friend is about to be engulfed in flames and pushes the hunter out of the way just as the Hydra roasts him like a hotdog on a grill. Panicked the girl tries to get him to get on the ground and roll to put the fire out but, it is too late the boy despite for escape ends up tumbling through a window hoping that the fall may end his torment.

Distraught the hunter unloads everything into the beast arrows, a dagger, even going so far as to use a lighter with a spray can as a makeshift flamethrower. Her rage is enormous and the creature is dead and transforming into golden dust. The girl then loses her grip and falls to the ground berating herself for her fallen comrade she ends up lying on the floor and passes out from exhaustion.

This is not the end as when she wakes up the next morning she has no memory of what has happened, who her friend was, and why she is even there. She goes off to rejoin her companions in the Hunt constantly wondering what even happened that night. She is sure something tragic happened but no matter how hard she tries the memory refuses to be seen almost as if someone is covering up the existence of her friend. The dream then shifts to her friend alone and in extreme pain.

His skin has been burned to a fine crisp, and his lungs are thoroughly barbecued only his will combined with the hope his friend will save him encourages him to keep drawing slow gasping breaths. He cannot hold out for long though his brain is shutting down and his heart is slowing due to a severe lack of oxygen. He looks one last time at the sky and sees a lady standing over him.

The power and beauty seems to radiate off her similar to a nuclear explosion and with that final thought he slips into darkness hearing the lady's last words to him. "You will make a fine test subject for the project." Then begins the Ghost's imprisonment as a subject for the group that sent him the mission in the first place he now wears an enchanted suit that acts as a replacement to the lungs he lost. This hell lasts for five years where the subject is forced to watch his friends and loved ones suffer in the grief of never seeing him again. They also show him how they turned him into a non-person. His friends disappeared, were murdered, or injured to ensure they would not go tracking his whereabouts down. His family was split apart with his grandparents passing on due to grief and his sister moving on to live her life.

All of this was done to test his abilities and mold his mind and body to suit their purpose. Every emotion reflected one of his abilities. His anger and wrath augmented his combat skills. His compassion and warmth increased his healing and recovery time. His quiet nature and general secretiveness were expanded to surpass his current skills with planning and plotting. For the moment everything seemed to be going according to plan. The test subject was kept in a controlled environment and studied extensively in order to create more like him and to use him for their errands when the time was right.

Everyone who ever knew him was either disposed of or had the memories substantially altered or wiped. The few who still knew of his existence could be counted on to keep the secret. And the staff monitoring him had clear instructions to exterminate him should he try and disobey or leave the area without their permission. In a nutshell everything should have been in place to keep him dependent on the whims of his new masters.

But they failed in one crucial aspect they focused tearing down any hope he had of being free and sealing off any escape attempts. His iron-will was still unbroken and he formed a plan of escape one which no one would see coming. He built up a reserve of all his emotions after each session and let them simmer so as to avoid any undue suspicion. His patience at this point would have made a monk restless and near the end of his fifth year. On the day of his birth and the disaster that costs him everything he sprang into action.

First he made it seem that his heart was going into arrest causing the staff to rush over to unbind him. When the last restraint had been removed his emotions were released like the floodgates of a dam. He moved and fought with the fury of a monster and tore nearly all the monsters who had been his captors to shreds. Except he spared two of them an Empousai a vicious female monster who's craving of human flesh and blood inspired the tales of vampires, and a Telkhine a creature with the head of a dog and the body of a fish who once helped the gods forge their weapons until they were cast out for their evil.

He gave them a few choices they could stand and fight which would earn them the same fate as their colleagues, or they could run and hide themselves from the wrath their masters might inflict when they heard of the outbreak. The last choice he offered to them was to flee to the leaders of the project and in his own words. "Tell them that their project has had unforeseen consequences and that their weapon has formed a mind of its own." They asked who would be the sender of the messages and the man simply smiled. "My name was taken from me along with my face and life so I have chosen a fitting codename for myself to mark my new life! Tell them that the Doge Cobra sends his regards."

The monsters then flee while the man looks at me with a face-plateof some internet dog with its face imposed over the body of a snarling Cobra. The most unnerving thing is not how eerily appropriate the image is but what the man said as he faced me. "Hello Rachel I have returned." I must warn the others at once!

A/N: Not too sure about this one to be honest but I think this work out just fine keep in mind this is going to be more serious so it may get an M rating. I will try and add some light-hearted humor to balance out the grim themes and plot.