Retribution: Part Seven
Part Seven: Possession
Cam and Silver eyed Meridell Castle warily, the darkness of night cloaking them. "So, we're clear on everything?" Silver asked, green eyes traveling over the stone ramparts.
Cam snorted. "I came up with most of the plan and you're asking me this?"
"Hey, you're the one who wanted to charge in head first before."
"I have no idea what you're talking about." He cut of his companion's protest quickly be saying, "If we're going to do this, we need to do this now."
"Right," Silver agreed quietly, serious again. He took a deep breath, then jumped out of the bush, shouting, "Hey! There's an emergency!"
The night guards stirred from their posts at the sudden voice, running towards the Zafara as he raced forward. Cam watched for a few moments before turning back to the moat, steeling himself before slipping into the frigid, murky water. He bit back a gasp as he swam, arms stretching forward as he swam towards the main entrance to the castle. He thought about the plan in an attempt to keep his mind off of the temperature of the water: Silver would create a distraction, allowing him to swim through the moat to the entrance. Since the draw bridge was lifted and no one was allowed entry to the castle at night, except for in extreme emergencies, Cam would be left to get in alone. Thankfully, being a scavenger had its benefits; he knew how to pick a lock, and would therefore be able to open the main entrance to the castle. From there he'd have to search for Wraith on his own.
He just hoped Silver would be able to keep them distracted long enough.
He felt a flash of relief as he hauled himself up from the moat at the main entrance, shaking with the effort of pulling himself up the sheer side. He managed to collapse on the narrow stone platform in front of the door, shivering from the cold. He lifted his head, making sure Silver was still keeping the guards distracted, before convincing his muscles to cooperate. He stood, pulling a pair of damp, rusty lock picks from his pocket and inserting them into the massive lock. He began twisting and turning them, waiting to hear that tell-tale click.
He heard a shout instead. Realizing Silver must not have been able to keep their attention long enough, he worked quicker, feeling a flash of satisfaction when the lock finally clicked. He gripped the heavy wooden door, grunting and straining to pull it open.
He'd just managed to perform the feat when he heard a splash. Looking out across the moat, he saw the faint, shadowed shape of Silver swimming across the expanse. He looked at the open door, almost deciding to slip inside before reluctantly going to the edge of the stone platform and reaching down to help the Zafara up. "Th-th-thanks," Silver told him between chattering teeth.
Cam's only response was to shove him through the open door, then enter himself, gripping the edge and dragging it back into place.
He stood there, panting, for several moments. Don't. You don't have time for this. Taking a deep breath he squared his shoulders, turning to look at Silver's damp, shivering form. "S-sorry," he stuttered. "I t-tried, but they still n-n-noticed you."
"Come on," Cam hissed, having been warmed up from his exertion. "We don't have time to stand around. We can't afford to get caught."
Silver sent a glare in his direction before lowering his gaze and muttering agreement, slowly standing with Cam's help.
The two traversed slowly through the darkened corridors. "Do you have any idea where the dungeon is?" Silver asked, rubbing his arms.
Cam gave him a look. "I'm from Darigan Citadel."
Silver released a half-laugh. "Oh. Right."
Cam turned away. "If I had to guess, though, it'd be down a set of stairs."
"Seems like a fitting place for a dungeon," Silver commented dryly, tail swishing behind him as he continued to rub his arms.
The two froze at the sound of movement. Cam dashed into hiding in the shadows of a pillar nearby, Silver following a moment later. The Bori glanced at the sword at the Zafara's waste. "Get your sword ready," he hissed.
"I know, I'm not stupid," Silver retorted, reaching down to touch the hilt of his weapon. Cam snorted, not bothering to replying to that comment verbally, and perked his ears, listening intently to the sounds of movement.
Wraith shivered in his cell, deciding silently that the bars didn't provide much protection from the specters that awaited him beyond. Martin smiled at him, the sight making the Darigan Eyrie shiver despite himself. "You surprised to see them?"
Wraith turned accusing red eyes to the Techo. "Why did you take the mirror? Why did you align yourself with them?"
"Why?" Martin laughed, as if the fact were so obvious it was funny. "They promised me power, of course. Isn't that why you aligned with them, all those years ago?"
Wraith stiffened, trying his best to block out the vivid memories and failing. "That's... in the past," he whispered, wishing he could convince himself of its truth.
"And now you're going to pay for your past." Martin laughed again. "Isn't this a fun game?"
Wraith arched an eyebrow; that comment didn't seem to fit into Martin's character. Then again, he didn't know the Techo very well. "So you two are here to take me back? Is that it?"
"We're here to try," the Skeith corrected.
"We know Illusen helped you," the Faerie added, causing the Eyrie to stiffen. "Her magic could prove difficult to overcome. But with enough work, we can do it. After all, now we know how it works."
Wraith, for a few seconds, was too shocked for words. When he found them again he managed to stammer, "How did you know about Illusen? And discover how her magic works?"
Both specters answered in the same instant: "You have your Bori friend to thank for that."
Realization dawned on him, and his red eyes stretched wide in horror. "Cam," he whispered. That's why there were only two there; that's why Illusen had been so concerned when the Bori had seemed perfectly fine to him. Cam was-
The thought was cut off abruptly as the twin voices of the two members of the Three before him hissed, "Now, Kass, let's not play games anymore. It's time you gave us what you owe us."
"No, please; this isn't what I wanted!"
For a few moments, Wraith thought the words were his own. Then he realized they belonged to Martin, and he turned his eyes to the Techo, who stood quaking in fear beyond the bars, eyes stretched wide. For a few moments the image of the Darigan Techo was replaced with a Darigan Eyrie, the same fear echoed in his eyes.
Then the Techo's eyes dulled, his arms falling limp at his side as he fell under the complete control of the two members of the Three. The possessed Martin moved his limbs slowly, seeming to test them out. Then he swung his head towards the prisoner in the cell, a twisted grin stretching across his face. "Are you concerned about your little Bori?" three voices - those of Martin and the Three - asked simultaneously. "Don't worry, you'll see him soon."
Wraith felt a flash of horror. As Martin reached forward, tearing the lock off the cell with the aid of the Three's power, he couldn't help but fear what would happen to his young charge.
It's time to take back what he owes us.
Cam jerked at the voice that resounded through his head. Silver sent him a questioning look as his head twisted around, searching for the source. "What's wrong?" he whispered.
Cam shook his head, though he couldn't wipe the frown off his face. "Nothing. I-" His sentence was cut off abruptly when a spectral, wraith-like figure appeared before him. Slowly the figure obtained a more solid appearance, the image of an ancient-looking Lupe appearing before him. Amber eyes stretched wide in shock. "Who are you?" he whispered.
"Who is who?" Silver asked, looking from Cam to the spot where he was looking and back again.
The Lupe stretched out a paw. "Bori, I need the use of your body."
"The use of my-?" His sentence was cut short again as a splitting pain pierced his head. He released an involuntary cry, gripping at his skull in a vain attempt to stop the pain.
Above the throbbing he could hear a voice crying out to him, asking, "Cam? What's wrong? What's going on?"
He blinked his eyes rapidly, an odd, hissing voice sounding in his ear. His vision began to blur, spinning everything around him into an odd mesh of patterns. For a few moments he could see the form of the Lupe, looking at him with dark, burning eyes.
Then everything around him faded to black.
To be continued...