Chapter 4

The Archer's Snake

In the early hours of the morning Owen convinced Adrian to help him research his past life. He asked Adrian to take him to the place where a villa once stood, to their shock the villa was still standing,

"That doesn't work" Adrian said, "If no one knows it's here it'd be buried like all the others"

"I want you to take me to his grave" Owen told him, "Trust me on this"

Adrian went with him to an old cemetary where Owen was supposedly buried. They had just found his grave when he heard a crunching sound and a horse. He turned and found a beautiful black mere with silver hoves and silver in her eyes.

"I swear I know you" Owen said but the horse vanished and so did the cemetary

Jasmine was waiting for Owen and Adrian when they returned to the TARDIS,

"I've been waiting for you" Jasmine said, she looked at Adrian, "The Doctor is more than ready, we'll get you and him to the 10th Doctor' TARDIS and once he's been shot the 11th Doctor will mature. The TARDIS will cop it though"

"I'm cool with that" Adrian said, in a flash Adrian had the timeless child in his arms, "Timeless Child, I pray you won't remember who you really are, there might just be hope for my world if you don't. Promise me you'll never seek me out or reveal your name to anyone and I mean anyone or all of this will have been for nothing"

Owen was in tears,

"Don't you feel anything?"

"It's not like I can't watch over him" Adrian revealed before leaving with him

"Don't be fooled Owen, he's dying inside. How could he not?" Jasmine told him, "As for you" She waited for Adrian to return, "The Archer is coming"

Owen took a shocked breath, he felt afraid but had no idea why

As people rushed to and fro, going about their daily business they failed to notice a man in an 1800 style suit appear, with a white bow and white arrows that had vines on them. He drew one and fired it into the air. At his feet the symbol of a snake appeared.

Not long after this Torchwood were alerted to the body of a man with what looked like a snake bite and yet he had no pets and there were no snakes on site. There Jack stood, over the body with Tosh and Owen,

"Jack, I think that horse Owen saw was the Soul Catcher" Tosh said

"This man died of snake bite" Owen said

"Owen" Jack said

"Yeah I heard what she said but I don't have a soul so why would it come after me?" He stopped dead as the horse apeared. Owen quickly realised he was the only one, who could see it, "What am I supposed to remember? What am I supposed to know!?"

At that moment Liam called them to tell them he and Adrian had been called out to two more bodies, both of which appeared to have died from snake bite,

"There's something else you should know"

Once all three bodies were in the morgue at the Torchwood hub and Owen, Jack, Liam, Tosh and Adrian were gathered in the boardroom Liam took to the stand with a crystal wand and pointed out the profiles of all three victims,

"They worked for UNIT"

"How did you know that?" Jack asked

"They were with Pole when he tried to kill me" Liam said

They all turned round in shock as The Archer entered the room and made a beeline for Owen,

"How good a wrangler are you now Owen?"

"Who the hell are you and how do you know my name?" Owen asked, standing up

"I see you don't remember" The Archer said, taking off his coat and draping it over the chair, "Understandable I suppose, you are a force of nature" H e gestured to the seat, "May I?"

Owen nodded and The Archer sat down, there was a force about him that reminded Owen of himself and that scared him,

"You're the Archer aren't you?" Adrian said

"I belong to Owen, this bow belongs to Owen and so do the arrows I use" The Archer said

"When you say you belong to me…?" Owen asked

"You made me, they call me Archer yes but you are the real archer and that horse you've been running from is yours. They call her the Soul Catcher" The Archer revealed

"That can't be right, that thing is a freak of nature, no one knows who created her she wasn't born she wasn't made she just existed from nothingness" Liam said

"Owen you said you knew her" Adrian said

"Her loyalties have altered. Dark forces bound Yarfalag and Corevil or T5H together when you injected your blood into Shyer' pet; it was a planet governed already by Dark magic, stolen centuries ago from the magicians of the Purple Brigade. Pole was the original Purple magician, that creature' heart has your blood but its heart beats in the form of Shyer Folding. The knight of Floored has betrayed Partifimind in saving him when he should have let him die but Partifimind stands, not as the only man to have been betrayed. You were the first Knight, Pole is calling you; he's in great peril" The Archer said

"I don't care, he can die again. You've no idea what that man did to my people, to this planet, to me! I lost my brother because of him!" Owen snapped

"I didn't expect you to understand yet but that's OK. Owen that horse is a Deleciate, she is a slither of light, and a spirit from the Mirror of Light itself she cannot be aloud to run free in this world, it's unbecoming of her she can be tamed by you alone. She has an empathy with you, besisdes do you want Shyer getting his hands on the secrets of the Purple Bragade and Silver Knights? Do you want him to tip the balance of good and evil in Adrian' already delecate Empire? You're going to need Pole now but even if you did let him die as long that creature and Shyer are connected, he will find him again" The Archer said

"I can't do this!" Owen snapped and he left the room

Jack found Owen on the roof of the hub, freaking out,

"I want to tell you this is a spy thing but in my heart I know its absolutely not true, archery, aikido, wrangling that's not me, shooting a gun at an alien that's trying to rip my head off is, saving the world is" Owen said without looking at him

"No Owen, the gun you hold is the mask you wear to hide the fact that your scared, you get that from me; I used to be biggest cowered and without Jasmine and the Doctor I still am" Jack said

"You're immortal what have you got to be afraid of?"

"Never dying...be honest with me, you've dealt with a thousand things you swore you'd never be able to deal with so what is it about this beast that scares you more than anything else in this world?" Jack asked

"Finding out that after all this time I never had a soul at all" Owen said

The Archer, Adrian, Liam and Tosh were sitting around the lower central hub when Owen came down the stairs with Jack,

"You say I can wrangle this horse I'll believe you, you tell me we can't let her run free I'll believe that too but how could I have created you? Or those arrows? The bow?" Owen asked The Archer

"You've been a human for too long Owen" The Archer said, before looking around at everyone, "Let me tell you about this ancient Time Traveller here"

1819

Owen was sitting at a work bench within a room in the bowls of a creepy manor in the middle of the Welsh valley. He was writing in a black lined book with a quill and blue ink, a look of disquiet on his face. Behind him was a glass cabinet full of bottles with all kinds of poitions in them.

Owen stood up after a moment, went outside, drew his bow and shot an arrow expertly at his target before breathing in and out slowly, frowining and returning to his place of work.

On the bench he placed his bow and arrows and began to wave a hand over them absent mindedly,

"Multi target hit. From vines of knowledge beat venomous mane. Point, fired, missed neigh be forced. Arrow to bow one body. Mine you be the purpose of your form your name. Fight I bore to rid my world beloved for it be that thy nurtured I. Help to of thy who bid for thus so wrongly" He said

A venom appeared on the bench and slithered across it before forming into a green and white snake. It hissed at Owen only for Owen to stare it down and force it to leave the room. Owen stared after it for a few seconds. Before going after it and knocking it out cold. He then took it's venom and dipped his arrows into it. He smiled as he watched them transform before bringing the snake around, holding out his hand and transforming him into The Archer,

"Dangerous games you play" The Archer said

"I can't get into trouble if I'm the one, who wrote the rules and state of play, the name is Silver. I am a knight of the Galafranian Empire of old and I reside on the belt that seperates light and dark. I share the space with the Purple Bragade, follow me if you will" Owen replied

Outside Owen placed two more targets before handing The Archer his now modified bow and arrows,

"I have three targets, you're going to hit all of them using one arrow, understood?"

"That's impossible"

"We make the impossible possible, one only has to use one's imagination if thine magic runs too deep to access freely now you have your instructions" Owen said

As The Archer fired and the two of the raised stripes on the arrow uncoiled to become snakes, that bit into the other two targets either side.

Owen grinned.

Now

"That's impressive" Jack said if not a little put out about all this now

"I am the Archer' snake and I do the Archer' bidding when he can't be there; I go where I am needed, my Archer needed me so here I am" The Archer said

"So Owen used a spell he wrote himself and created venom which in turn created you and enables him to shoot several targets at once using just one of those arrows?" Jack said

"Yes, why does this all baffle you?" The Archer asked, now annoyed

"He's my son, I have power but not that kind of power" Jack said

"Adrian carried his father, what's your point? You incubated his body after he was destroyed, that doesn't deminish his powers in any way. You can't change what he is. He lost his memories but every lesson he learned upon his leaving Torchwood came from him. The Silver Knights have been retrieving his memories and returning them to him bit by bit over time. This time it's personal. Shyer is the one, who murdered your last body and that wasn't supposed to happen. he's only ever supposed to have a fight with Emperor, not his heir or their army"

Owen took The Archer' jacket and went to the closed off motorway. He stood and breathed in as he felt the energy of the Soul Catcher,

"Damn" He closed his eyes, "Pole!"

The name caused a vibration and a shockwave went through him and into the ground beneath his feet. Veins of white light appeared in the ground until they met veins of purple light.

Pole was in the manor, unable to breathe, skin grey. He held out his hand and put it to the ground. A shockwave went out and the sound of the Soul Catcher neighing and galloping off could be heard coming from the walls themselves,

"We can't let him win"

Owen turned around as he heard the horse, then ran, mounted it and galloped off. The second he did though he was chased by Shyer' army of plague men. Shadow people with plague masks that sent out clouds of smoke.

The Soul Catcher caused them pain by sending out pulses of silver light. Once they were over a fast flowing river and into a field of thorns a barrier was raised and they lost them.

Before Owen knew it he was upon his manor. Pab-Plough.

He got off the horse and ventured inside. He now had a sliming silver and white armour and his eyes were silver now too not his usual color.

Owen found Pole but before he could treat him Pole pointed behind him and there with the pet beside him was Floored,

"Ah, just the man I'm looking for" Owen said

"I had to see it for myself. So it was you all along. Why don't you slip on over to the slick black garden for a change?" Floored asked sneeringly

Owen took out his white sword,

"Back off while you still can" Owen said

"You don't have the nerve to plunge that into me" Floored said

"Time you learned a lesson Knight of Floored, you bow to me in my district, now bow" Owen said. Pole looked up, now full of respect, "Everything must have a balance, now I could destroy the Dark Empire but nowadays that would destroy all things, I don't want that but force me and I will,

The tables have turned dear; you give Shyer a message from me because I'll be seeing him real soon so he better make good use of that illegal magic he's got running through his veins while he still can because the second our blades cross that magic will be mine to use however I so wish! Now get out and take that thing with you!" He said referring to the pet

Floored knew Owen was right,

"It's not just your blood in that beast is it? He used our magic to cheat death" Pole said once Floored had left

"Yes, he did" Owen said, "Why did you turn on me?"

"It was UNIT Owen, they betrayed me; I never worked for Shyer, I was relying on you but you wouldn't kill me so I had to push you to the edge" Pole revealed

"You murdered a healer" Owen said

"He put his hand up to it before he was born in the event that you didn't do what we needed you to. I don't regret it" Pole said, "I was chipped. The destruction of the tracker released chemicals. I drank from the water in your chamber upstairs and in the reflection I saw the Soul Catcher. In that instance she knew the truth and went after you"

Pole was in a bad way when Owen got him back to the hub. Jack, Liam, Adrian and The Archer joined them in recovery.

Owen looked at The Archer,

"It won't be forever" Owen told him. The Archer bowed, "I..."

"Your eyes are Silver" Jack said

"Shut up" Owen snapped before turning back to The Archer, "From venomous fangs thus heal this man of his wounds and only this man of his wounds, for like you too my essence runs through his veins to aid the quest to balance we remain, Archer for peace back to snake for this planet's sake,

Thus you must remain till this job is done"

The Archer became a snake again and bit Pole.

Pole was brought back to full health and the Torchwood team stood around in shock, Owen just nodded.

"Meet me one month from now at the Manor" Owen said

"Done" Pole said, "Thank you"

Owen kept himself to himself and made a black sword with two glass lines down the side. He then waited one month before returning to the manor, where true to his word Pole stood waiting for him,

"I'm here, what now?" Pole asked

"This" Owen showed him the sword, which he had facing down, "Put your fighting hand on the handle. He did and Owen chanted as silver returned to his eyes and purple to Pole', "Combine a force we, let only powered thought for good driving through this blade be, put back what was before with a final strike and keep morals tight, thy word my shield it is thus you Purple Magician, Pole and I your ruler, Silver Knight"

White light and purple light swirled and a strong wind blasted up from the ground,

"We're out of practice" Pole said, "Well, you are at least"

"Good job we have Adrian then isn't it?" Owen said

1892

Owen and Pole parry before the manor, under the watchful eye of Adrian Ray, who stood with his arms folded and back to his TARDIS panels.

Not long after this Adrian taught Owen and Pole the art of Aikido,

"I don't get the point of this" Pole said

"I'm with him" Owen said

"Keeps you focused and centred, I'll be teaching you aikido but do not get it mixed up we don't use aikido to maim, the core is to defend but you must not attack lest ye be so first. It is essential for our task given that it teaches technique in handling a sword but in this world you must always give solid warning threefold; only then when this has been ignored can you defend, this is the key word here gentlemen "defend"" Adrian said

"I'm having trouble with the fact that your soul is as old as mine if not older but your face is that of a twenty something, I want to punch you for patronising me" Pole said

"I get that" Adrian said

He blind folded himself and proceeded to knock out both Owen and Pole.