Arroba: The Awakening - Chapter Seventeen.

Fantasy written by Kerri-Emmitt on Friday 24, September 2010

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Chapter Seventeen - If you have been following this story then this chapter is not one to miss; it

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"Dione? I am Pandora's personal... assistant, Addu. I have come to collect you. There is nothing to fear from me I promise." I am absolutely sure 'assistant' is not at all what he was going to call himself - slave sounds more accurate. His name sounds faintly familiar and I frown. Not familiar in the sense that I know him personally but I know of the name that much I'm sure. I stop my curious mind for the moment and nod once at him. He rounds the room and comes to my side, when he's there I drop my head once again and hold out my arm to him; feeling far to accustomed to how I am to be lead everywhere these days. Holding my upper arm, not too tight, keeping minimal contact and keeping my body totally out of the way of theirs, as if they might catch some sort of disease - maybe it's the humility they're worried about contracting - how awful that would be! My bottom lip begins to tremble even before I can catch myself but I somehow manage to suck in the sorrow and I let him lead me from the room, keeping my eyes to the floor the whole while. We leave Pandora's room and walk out to what I guess is a corridor; all I can see of it is the cream marble of its flooring. Then through another door and out into another corridor; this time the floor is deep mahogany and beautiful in its etched battlement of what has to be centuries of marks from centuries of footsteps. My mind begins to wonder back to Addu's name. I know I know of it, but where? I think back to many conversations Ali and I have had of his history and that really wasn't a good idea because I instantly see his enchanting face which intern sends a sorrow filled lightning bolt surging to my heart, where it ploughs into it and breaks it again, just a little. Where are you Ali? My mind moans but at that very same moment the conversation I had been trying to access comes to me. Ali and I sat around the fire at my apartment, him telling me stories of the Sovereign and everyone who serves them which most had seemed like myths, until now. His face glowing from the fire and the subject matter; he loved, loves to lecture. "There is a theory that Addu serves the Justice somehow. I am not sure what role, if any he takes, but it is a travesty to think the once 'God of the night' is mingled into any kind of job role." "What do you mean God of the night? Can he control it?" I ask. Ali's face brightens even more so and he can hardly suppress his excitement as he continues his lesson. "Yes, absolutely! He can control all darkness within Arroba; the night above our houses, the shadows dancing upon our walls but most of all, he can control the darkness within anyone. Daunting isn't it but the thought that he may be some kind of servant to the Sovereign when he is so powerful, is a very awful one. He should be within the Amara of course but not serving, he is a rule unto himself." "What do you mean he can control the darkness within other people?" He beams with delightful rapture again and leans into me, lowering his voice as if he's just about to tell some long lost secret and I can't help but chuckle a little. "Well this may sound outrageous but the legend is that he can control your inner demons, as it were. Everyone has a little darkness within them, fuelled by your own fears, heart break or wickedness and he can use it within you to make you do things..." He pauses for dramatic effect and I laugh again, "Or he can literally take it from you and feed upon it; renewing his own power base. Like I said, he is a rule unto himself and not something to be owned by anyone, even the Sovereign." I flood back into my own mind again and as the realisation of who is stood next to me really sinks in I wobble on my feet and would have fallen on my face but Addu catches me. "What is the matter Dione?" I breathe deeply and try desperately to regain my composure. I shake my head at him and he helps me to my feet. He ends up with his hands around my waist with my hands on his shoulders and of course my eyes follow the natural reaction whilst I'm begin helped to my feet - a look of gratitude to the helper. I can't stop the movement in time and he sees it. His beautiful face falls into confused lines for a moment, his dark eyebrows furrowing and then his crystal, silver coloured eyes widen with shock. "You, you... can see? Speak?" "Yes." I whisper. "How?" His voice is a complicated mix of awe and shock and I smile at him. "I guess you could say I'm more powerful than I had known." He nods to this as if it makes perfect sense and then he lets go of my waist and whirls me around to continue walking down the corridor. "We cannot waste anymore time. They are waiting." His body language is all business but every couple of seconds he looks around at me as if I'm something to be curious of or something to be studied and questioned. We reach a cherry oak, enormous door and the end of the corridor and he wastes no time in opening it. I have to quickly remind myself to put my mask of confused, nonchalance back on and I manage to a second before I am bared to the room for all to see. Addu leads me to the centre of the huge hall and steps away from me. I almost grab at him; the thought of standing there in front of what must be hundreds of Amarians, alone, is the worst thought of the hour but I have to remain calm. For these people, for myself and Ali, I have to remain calm. I keep my head bowed and stay completely still. The minutes tick by and with each one that passes, my patience begins to wither. I begin to fidget and run my hands through my skirts trying to calm the pins and needles in my hands from the constant rush of adrenaline that is coursing my body. Not two moments after this someone in the far right hand corner begins to address the audience. "We the Sovereign, servants, friends, foes - us the Amarians gather here today to witness the inauguration of Dione Snow. The ceremony will take place tonight, within moments in fact, so we apologise for the very short notice but considering the recent happenings, we have had to make a very sharp decision concerning Dione Snow, the Marcusee's witch - the last. She will be immortalised." My heart hits the floor, missing a beat and so does my knees. Fuck any pretence I need to keep! I cannot, will not be able to stand. I bend over into the floor, curling into a ball as my body rocks from my effort to breathe and keep breathing. The crowd whispers and shuffles but no one continues and no one address me for so long I begin to feel redundant. I feel my terror, my pain and hate but I may as well be alone in this vast room, drowning in my own emotions because none of them are sure as hell going to join me or empathise. Why am I trying to keep the fact that I can see or speak to myself? Why the hell am I bothering when they are just about to immortalise me? Who do I owe the secret to? Absolutely no one, because the doc is part of all of this, he is part of the very mechanical fibres in which they rely on to keep this whole corrupted cog running smoothly. Perhaps if someone had made a stand a long time ago hundreds of Amarians wouldn't have ever suffered. Maybe the Sovereign would no longer exist or perhaps we would all be free! They have all let this happen because the Sovereign are oh-so-strong and mighty. Well, fuck that! I curl myself into a tighter ball, taking in a huge breath and I scream as loud and rage filled as I can manage, so much so it scores my throat. Once I have finished the room is utterly silent. I push myself to my knees and look up at the congregation through a curtain of my own hair. Some gasp, some snicker but most are shocked speechless. I try to stand but I get my foot caught in a layer of the emerald green skirt; I rip it from my foot in one long stroke and again people gasp. I stand there, in the middle of hundreds of Amarians, a mess and panting, bruised and broken and so rage filled I feel as if the floor under my feet should melt from the intensity. But as for nerves and fear, well I just don't care anymore. My voice booms into the still air and I'm glad. "You want to control me? You want to silence me? You want to immortalise me? Well here I am. TAKE ME!" I look around frantically at the watching people but no one moves. "Here! This is what you have been waiting for isn't it?" I say grabbing a handful of the cloth around my chest and gesturing wildly, "Take control of me, amass me like a prized collectible just as you have with Alistair Cassell, Addu and so many others. You have worn us down, tortured us and instilled fear into our very fibres. For Goddess sake, get it over with! You have won." The last only comes out a bare whisper as I lose any strength I have to stand and my legs take me to the floor once again. The man of earlier begins to address the crowd again but his voice is a little uncertain this time. "Ladies and gentleman, she is indeed full of surprises, isn't she." He spins around to look at me and I have his full profile for the first time. He's a man of late thirties, but I can't even begin to guess at his real age. From where I'm stood I can see he is built well, maybe touching on the overly developed but he's still beautiful in his fuller stature. His hair is as raven as it comes and his eyes as equality dark, like round wells of oil. "I would love to say I understand you're frustration and sadness Dione but I serve this court with honour and pride. I cannot sympathise with thee and nor do I wish to." He turns away from me with a swish of his long, grey cloak and addresses the audience again."The inauguration will continue now. Belic, Essu; please lower the equipment." Two men at the very outer edge of the circle nod at the speaker and reach up to pull twin ropes from above their heads. As they pull, everyone's eyes travel to a spot above my head and my eyes follow. Right up in the top space of the cavern something begins to lower. At first I think it is a flat piece of wood or a rack but then as I see the cotton billowing out around it I'm much more afraid. Strapped to a rack would make me feel right at home at the moment, even nailed to a piece of wood I could bare if I absolutely had to but a bed? Somehow that just seems way more private and intrusive than the first two. What on Arroba do they want me to do on this? The bed comes to rest a few metres from me and I look at the lavish quilts and sheets with renewed horror but before I can physically react in away way two people walk up behind me and take hold of my arms and lift me to my feet, in an instant. The swift quick easy movement takes me by surprise and my whole body braces itself; my joints locking in and my spine creeping with goose bumps. I look around at the first person holding my left arm and he just looks like another Amarian to me - of no importance and then I look at the man on my right. My head moves, my eyes follow but the rest of me screams to run in the opposite direction and not look. I know even before my eyes connect with his that it is him. I feel it in the vibration in my bones, in the sudden change of the air and most of all, I feel it in the gentle grip of his fingers. Alistair. My breath catches in my throat and I fight to hold on to my sanity. I grip on to it with fingers and heart but slowly piece by tiny piece I can feel it slipping away from me like satin ribbons in a icy autumn breeze... it will only take time in this place. I feel this looking into his magnificent eyes but that is all I feel before I'm pulled from my conscious mind and delivered into that strange state Ignea gave me all those days ago. In a fraction of a second I know all of his feelings and thoughts, I even begin to see the conversation between him and Pandora the day after he was freed from his cell. He had bargained. They were going to lock me up for centuries and reproduce me. Literally keep me blind and speechless but open to any Amarian male that wished to try his luck at getting me pregnant to help the Sovereign carry on my Marcusees line without the trouble of actually having to tame me. They told Alistair this whilst he was locked up as an extra bit of torture, telling him that the process had already begun and I was already being abused; he was too late and then as soon as he got out, Ali being Ali - not the Dark Raven of the Sovereign army but my lover, my partner - could not, would not allow this punishment for me. So he did the only thing that was guaranteed to work for me - he bargained - he offered millennia of servitude to them without conditions and swore to never lay eyes on me again without their prior say so but only as long as they agreed to spare me and by sparing, this is my option - to be immortalised and to agree to serve them like every other... unconditionally. I flood back to my own eyes again, filling them like a cup of water and then they spill, sending heavy droplets of water scattering down my cheeks. Tears fill my eyes so relentlessly that I lose sight of him and that's all it takes for him to get his momentum back and he pulls me forward towards the bed. I want to scream at him, to thrash and fight but I have no energy left. I have lost. There are too many of them and now all I feel is heartbroken, misplaced and stupid for really ever believing I could achieve anything as ludicrous as a palace revolt. Me, little old Dione... what was I thinking?

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    A couple of word choices: his folk down onto his plate. - should be fork........soar should be sore.......prey should be pray......boar should be bore......steal should be steel......advice should be advise.

    Now, you are right in your comment, Kerri. You do need to break this up. There are a lot of logical places where you could break it into three, even four chapters. The opening, the confrontation with Pandora, the arrival of the Angels, the goddess possessing Dione, the bonding with get the picture. Good plot.
    (Rubbing my eyes) Yes, you will break this into several chapters now that you have it out of your system and on paper.

    This tale continues to intrigue me, Kerri. Usually I pass on women writers figuring it will be just a chick thing. Not this, though.
    Sorry it's taken me so long to work my way through this.

    It was well worth it though. The plot turns are excellent and the characterisations and dialog are well up to standard.

    I enjoyed this, but I agree; there are at least two chapters here, perhaps three.