The Forgotten Memory Saga
The Hidden Library
"What are you doing here?" He relinquished his grip, stepping away so that she could turn around and face him.
"Trying to find you!" She replied sternly.
"Well you found me," he snapped. "Now what?"
All the joy of finally seeing her brother after so long wore off quickly. It filled Ashelin with a hollow anger. She observed him. The way his emerald eyes flicked up and down and took her in, her face, her uniform. The way his hand flared and his lip curled. He was trying not to panic. The realization swung around and hit her in the face. He was not happy to see her; at least not like this.
The anger flared in her more that she had ever felt before. At first she thought she was angry with Soloman, but then she realized it was the Baron's fault. He was the reason that Soloman was afraid, and the silent boy screamed. He was the reason that Salina was dead and that Zara hated her and her city. He was the reason why Soloman left, and why the people of Haven were afraid of a color. He was the reason for everything, and probably more that she did not know about yet.
She shook under all her anger, and it beat down on her and gave her strength all at the same time. This was why Zara despised Haven and why Soloman stayed away.
She finally looked up and met his eyes. She knew that he could read her like a book, and she willed him to see the anger and resentment. He took a step away, his eyes narrowing. "Ashelin…" He warned.
"I've also come to help the Underground."
For a terrifying instant, she thought Soloman would shoot her. His face morphed into something murderous. It took her a moment to realize it was not directed at her. "So you finally see Father's actions for what they are."
She nodded. "His actions, you actions, Zara's, and Salina. Seeing it all happen… I was stupid before, but I get it now." It was amazing, even to her, how easily everything clicked into place. Now she felt purpose, and fiery conviction; whereas before she felt listless and confused.
"Lady Mar and the Queen?"
Ashelin had to suppress a shiver. She had to remember that the girl was a direct descendant of the great warrior Mar.
"You talked to her? What did she say to you?"
"She blamed me for…" Ashelin paused, fighting back the wave of anger and regret.
"For the death of the Queen," he finished for her.
"Is she… Really?"
He looked away. He was been carefully keeping his face neutral, but he seemed no longer capable. His eyes darkened and his fist clenched. Sorrow and anger flitted across his features. She was almost surprised. She had not really stopped to think that he would loyal to them, to that family. She never really stopped to think he was an actual Spargan. It all clicked into place, more and more pieces of a massive puzzle. Pieces that she did not even realize she had. But they all fit together, and it all made sense. The picture was starting to show through the gaps. It was all she needed to know that she was doing the right thing.
"There is a shipment coming in from Hitt."
He looked up again in remote surprise. "What?"
"An ammo shipment. They're leaving it off the coast of dead town. But if there is one thing Hittites hate more than metal heads, it's the kg. They're leaving it unguarded for a few hours so to avoid having our men mingle with theirs."
"We could definitely use more ammo." He smiled at her. It was not quite sweet and it did not reach his eyes but it still filled her chest with warmth of his approval.
"Good, I'll be in contact. I'll give more information on it when I get it." She reached for her helmet, taking his from his hand.
He pulled her into an embrace before she could pull it on. She returned it, relishing in the warmth and safety, and simply knowing he was alive. After a moment, he grunted and pulled away. "Do me a favor, little sister. Never wear that again."
She laughed lightly, feeling whatever tension that was still left between them melt away. She walked away from the meeting with a new purpose in her stride.
Zara sighed heavily and was forced to sit down. Exhaustion hung on her like lead weights, dragging her down to the floor. She lay down on the cool rock and waited for the air to return to her lungs.
After a long time she pulled herself up off the ground. The door to the small underground room was simple, but required a certain skill set, one channelers and monks possessed. So only those worthy of being down here could see Salina's books. She was content with that.
She moved to the door, not needing to feel for the eco key. The door slid back and a dozen precursor platforms rose from the short pit. It wasn't that deep, but it funneled down into a tube that led directly to the lava chamber below the palace. If someone managed to blow the door off, the platforms would not raise, and they would have to make it down in the pit below. The darkness hid the steepness of the incline.
She hopped to the first one, then to the next, moving across them like stepping stones. She opened the door on the other side and stepped through into the empty study. All the books had been moved, all the relics and charms, and whatever else her mother had collected over the years. All of it was stored away in the underground chamber. She turned and did one last act on the door. The dark wood faded into the light tan of the sandstone, gone from sight. An illusion trick, bending the eco to show a different image then what was real.
She was exhausted now. The daunting task had drained her, having been using her eco powers for the majority of it. Now she was tired, and was well in her right to rest.
The great roar startled her into wakefulness. The walls shook and dust leaked down from the ceiling. She jumped from her bed and to the window, ignoring the sharp pain that lanced across her chest.
There were war ships just off the coast. They must have been cloaked or something, there had been no warning alarm, nothing. There was five, a moment later seven. Another moment, then entire fleet seemed to come in from some invisible fog bank.
But it did not matter how invisible they had been a moment ago. They were very much visible and equally so as real. They were terrifyingly close.
Zara watched in terror as the second shots flared through the air. They crashed into the city, shattering buildings and the streets and tearing everything apart. The ground under her pitched and heaved and she tore from the window, quickly donning her armor and boots.
She was down in the market in what felt like moments. She picked through the dead and dying, trying to carry at least some to safety in the chaos. Her glider was on it's way, she only had to hold out a few moments longer.
One of the torpedoes came in close but high, aimed off to the west. She watched it as it crashed into the palace light tower. The metal screeched, a sound that she could hear all the way down in the street. Many people stopped and watched the destruction of their beacon, the fire that never went out, that led them home even in the worst of sandstorms. The people watched it as is snapped in half like a match, the fire sputtering out as it fell. It tumbled across the roof of the palace and settled somewhere out of sight.
But it was as if Spargus was suddenly blind.
Hours felt like days, and the battle was long if not decisive. Spargus had finally lost. It was with many a broken pride that her people finally fled from the walls that had protected them for so long. Their people were scattered, some holed up in the temple complex, and other taking refuge in the Tribe's volcanoes strong hold. She had not heard from Kovu and Kitala, but she knew that they had their paws full anyway.
She flew over the remains of her city. Her fellow glider pilot, Vi, flew beside her, surveying the rubble. It still smoked in some places and nothing had been left unbroken. They found where the top half of the signal fire tower had fallen, half submerged in the lava pit behind the throne room.
Her city was gone, no more than a smoking pile of broken stone. First they had taken her mother, and now they destroyed her city. She would make them pay for what they did, even if it was the last thing she did.
Damas did not like this. He had no choice. Zara would have forced him to agree no matter what he did. So now she stood on the remains of the turret tower. She was going to create an illusion. He prayed to the precursors that she was not about to kill herself. Seem assured him that it was for the best. She knew what she was doing, after all. He prayed anyway, if only to stop his hair from falling out.
She looked like her mother, standing above him, the sun shining down, the waves crashing below. He fought down the sadness that welled up in his chest and threatened to crash him to ground again.
Zara was feeling something completely different. She was not afraid, nor was she sad. She simply was. The broken city splayed out in front of her. She took in the view, of the brokenness, and her people, standing and watching her.
She felt Neo rise, his power like a tide. It raised and ebbed, stronger and faster with each stroke. It came from some deep place and he seemed to hum as he released it. It coursed through her, her limbs, her blood, her mind, her very existence. She fought down the scream, her skin felt like it had been caught on fire. No, it was not her skin. It felt like she was burning alive from the inside.
But she watched, and she manipulated. The first wave shot out across the city, almost like taking a picture. The second wave passed and the illusion began to take form, solidifying the ruined city forever in the minds of her enemies. The third made it forever real. The fourth made her people immune. By the fifth she shook in her effort to remain standing, to not cry, to not fall.
By the sixth, the illusion was in place. Gravity swallowed her like a mother reaching for her long lost child. The people cheered in triumph. They would be safe until they were ready to strike again. She fell from the spire, and her father rushed to catch her.
She saw nothing, felt nothing. She could only hear him. Hear the almost sadness in his churning. You should have listened. Don't you feel it? The pain? You are poisoned The first was just start, and now you let me in again. You are a foolish child. I tested you and now we both know. You are dying.
A/N: That's the end of part one. I'm currently working on part two but it's still a few weeks behind. I hope you enjoyed and I'll see you all again soon!