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Submitted on
September 26, 2007
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Part Two: Sacrifice

Emily nervously followed behind Hobb.  They passed by more dead guards and hallways.  She couldn’t shake the feeling that they were being followed, toyed with.  Blood.  Everywhere there was blood and it stirred something in Emily.  She was breathing hard, a mix of fear and adrenaline.  They made it out when they found the security gate.  Hobb opened the door and took a cautious step out then looked back at Emily.  She look at him for an instant but something said she should follow.

Outside was a hastily built compound.  There were tents bivouacked around a prefabricated bunker and a chainlinked fence surrounding it.

“Where the bloody ‘ell is everyone!”

“Where are we?  Wot is this place?”

Hobb looked about suspiciously.  “This is a temporary military base about a mile from where was found you.”

“Found me...”  She fully expected to find an answer, anything.  She found none.

“Not to mention a whole platoon of soldiers,” he began.  “All those fools who pointed their guns at you.”  He looked around frantically.  “Not to mention cars... someone took my bleeding car!”

Emily shivered.  “Cars.  Soldiers.”

“Yeah.  Jeeps, vans... my Honda.”  He looked around suspiciously.  Emily followed his gaze and saw a dark figure between the tents.

“Run,” Emily said in a flat voice.

Hobb swallowed hard.  “That’s a very good idea.”  He grabbed her hand and began to run for the fence.  It was filled with holes that were cut into them.  Emily looked over his shoulder for the dark figure but he was gone.  Hobb stopped and Emily turned and saw the dark figure before them.  He was tall and lanky, male, bald, with pitch black skin, baggy black pants, and what appears to be a skull painted on his face.

Fear gripped Emily, a fear she does not recognize.  Yet she did not why she through herself in front of Hobb with a sudden scream.  “NO!”

The figure looked surprised by Emily's sudden action and as she screams.  The fence begins to shudder before flying apart.  Hands over his ears did not save him, as he was thrown backwards slamming into a distant tree, where surprisingly he bursts into dust.

Emily was breathing hard with a snarl as Hobb blinked in surprise at the sudden action.  Emily took his hand and began to run, but they only took a couple of steps when another figure leapt out at them from nowhere.  Emily took a shot to her side as a metal claw appears on the man's hand.  While Emily choked back in pain, Hobb jumped into action, firing.  Three shot hit the center of mass, forcing him back where he fell into dust.

In pain Emily circled.  “Were are ye,” she growled.  Blood seeping from between her fingers, where she held her wound.  But she couldn’t notice anything because of the pain.

“I hate to say this, but we may have to steal a car.”

She whimpered.  “I thought all the ‘cars’ were missing?”

“Yes, I intend in stealing one the road.  Come, we better move.”

She began to limp off and Hobb followed closely behind.  He saw four more of the dark figures emerge from the tents but did not say anything.  They ran for several minutes though the forest before they reach the relative familiarity of the road.  Hobb runs out into the road and looks back at Emily.  "Watch out behind you. Those things are still coming."

Emily catches sight of several shadowy figures moving between the trees, on reflex she opens her mouth and unleashes a deafening roar that begins to splinter trees and rips those shadowy figures to pieces turning them into dust blown away in the breeze of her scream. At the same time Hobb flags down a car. With a flash of a badge he pushes the twenty-something Jeep driver into the backseat.  Emily coughed up blood as she carefully stepped back.

"Get in Emily!” Hobb called from the car.  Emily turned back and looked at him with uncertainty.  There was no choice.  She got in.  As Hobb puts his foot on the gas one last dark figure emerges from the woods, spies the car speeding away and steps back into the woods slowly.

She whimpered as she looked down at her side.  The hospital gown was ripped and torn and she was still bleeding.  Hobb took off his jacket.  “Bind yourself with that.”  Emily bound herself as best she could.  “Where is the nearest port?”

The man stammers, "Byron, 'bout an 'our north."

Hobb breaths heavily. He slowly composes himself as he looks back at Emily.  "You doing okay? That thing blindsided you.”

“Wot were they,” Emily whispered.

"I don't know... I've been working these kinda cases since the Black Out, but I ain't never seen that before. I heard stories though."

“Black Out?  Wot are ye talking about,” she tried to remember.  “Answer me!”

"Wow... you don't remember anything do you? The Black Out, six months ago all electricity on Earth went out for about 30 seconds. The next day people with unusual powers started showing up.”  He stared at Emily.  “People like you.”

She tried to absorb it all, but couldn’t.  “Unusual powers?”

"What you did to those skull-faced blokes. You screamed and ripped them apart, those soldiers said you blew a door off its hinges."

“I... I screamed,” she said as if she was trying to figure it all out.

"Well when I scream people just look at me funny, I don't blast people into trees."

Emily sat back, trying to take it all in.  In the back of your mind she recalls legends about dark skinned assassins killing invading Christian Crusaders in the Holy Land during the Crusades.  She shook her head.  “I... I don’t remember.”

"I'm getting you out of here. You're just a kid you shouldn't have to deal with this shyte."  Hobb pulled a phone out of his pocket.  He dialed a number.  "McCoy... yeah this is inspector Hobb. Do you have any ships leaving today? One, in about two hours?  No, no, it's perfect.  Make room for a passenger."

Emily looked up in surprise.  “Ye mean two people, right?”

Hobb looked at her with a caring look.  “I can sleep on the floor.  I don’t have any extra holes.”   He went back talking to the man on the phone and for some reason she felt better.  He smiled weakly and turned back to phone.  "Okay I'll
be there, thanks mate.”  He looked at Emily.  “I hope you like Baltimore.”

They drove in silence for the rest of the trip and soon the road came upon Byron.  The sun was already going down as they moved through the sleepy town toward the docks.  The car pulled up to a pier and Hobb stopped the engine. He got out of the jeep tossing a hand full of money on the Driver's seat for the Jeep's owner and walked around opening the passenger side for Emily.  She got out grunting with pain, her hospital gown torn and bloody blowing in the wind.

She looked at the great iron ships in amazement.  “Those things, they are ships?”

"Yeah a container ship. Takes big boxes of good across the ocean.  Man whatever happened to you must have really hollowed you out."

She gave Hobb a quizzical look.

Then they heard clapping and it felt as if Emily’s heart stopped.  They both turned and standing there is a tall man with naturally dark skin, a skull painted on his face and enveloped in a pitch black cloak.  "So like a woman... to run when faced with danger."

The voice... is chilling, like her nightmares, and it prompts a quiet voice in the back of her mind, a female voice, and angry one.  The Old Man.  Emily knew fear and it was like a cold knife.

“I am no longer running Old Man.”  She knew she was going to die, even as she heard the voice again.  That's my girl, I picked ye for a reason.

But Hobb was quicker.  He lifted his pistol and with a shout said, "Stop where you are!"

The old Man lifted a hand and a bolt of black energy flew from it.  It hit Hobb, appearing as a black knife in his chest.

“NO!”  As Emily turned, a scream erupting from her lips.  Visible force crushed the dock underneath their feet, but the Old Man deftly dodged.

“That may work on my pawns little girl, but not me.”

Emily panted but did not let up.  She let loose with a terrible kenning but the Old Man just merely winced.

“I tire of this,” he raised his hand and throws a knife.  “You were much more fun the first time.”  The knife hit her and she felt as though she were stuck.  She broke free of the paralyzing effect.

The bastard is toying with us.

“Then let us fight!”

“Foolish girl!”  In the blink of an eye The Old Man rushed forward, flicked his wrist and another bolt of black energy flew from his hand.  The bolt goes deep, catching Emily in high in the chest, the unusually fast flying knife piercing her ribs, sinking into her flesh, and nearly coming out the other side.  Emily choked back in pain as she sunk to her knees.  The Old Man chuckled as he pulled another shimmering blade from the air.  “Now I finish what I started.”

Emily stood their dumbfounded.  Emily!  Wake up girl! Ye need to remember at least some of yourself.  She looked above herself and saw the Old Man before her.  He was smiling.  She was going to die but wanted to do something, anything.  Emily lets out a mighty roar, and catches the Old Man right in the chest, flinging him backwards. He hits the ground and slowly pulls himself up with an angry look on his face.

"Looks like the bitch still has some bite left."

Emily was exhausted and she knew this was the end.  Emily, let me in or he's going to kill ye!

In an instant she can see the woman in her head. Tall, nude except for a belt and a pair of bracers, flowing long dark hair, gripping two spears.  She looks fierce.  Not knowing what's happening The Old Man's eyes go wide.  He turns to run, but Emily feels her arm move without her permission and throws a spear at him, piercing him in the stomach, and stapling him to the ground.

“Kill me?” the words tumbled from her lips.  Alien words that was natural to her.  “Foolish man!  Think ye be Cuchuliann?!”

"Please! Spare me!"  He squirms painfully gripping the spear.  Emily could feel her own fear and anger mingling with that of the woman inside her head, it was as if they were two people made one.

“SPARE YOU!  Coward!  Ye should learn to die with honor!”

"I'm a hired killer... we don't do that."  He closed his eyes and grits his teeth slowly turning his body into black smoke.

With a sneer, she plunged her other spear into him.  The second spear pierces his head and the half of his body that's still solid falls slack to the ground the other half completely gone.  Part of her is pleased, and wished to sing of her accomplishment.  The other part of her was horrified.  I'm sorry that ye had to see such a thing again.

Emily fell to the ground, panting hard and feeling every pain.  The words echo in her mind.  “Yea gods... Hobb!”  She scrambled for him and above her, she could see her standing above them.

He coughed up blood.  “I’m sorry... I couldn’t protect you.”

She was busy trying to staunch his wounds with her hands.  “I’m sorry,” she whispered.

“Not you fault,” he coughed.  “I saw what you can do.  It was... amazing.”

“I do not remember who I am... or what I can do.”

He smiled weakly.  “You will... and you got to make me a promise.”

“What be that?”

"Use your gift to help people... make the deaths of all the people who died protecting you mean something.  Make me proud."   He gave a long hacking cough, and he breathing became more shallow.

“Help people?  Are they even worth it?”

He smiled weakly.  "They are... whether they know it or not."

“I promise.”

“Thanks... Emily.”  And with that he was gone.

She was crying, she wasn’t sure when she started   A brave old warrior. I'm sorry Emily.  She lowered her head in mourning.  I didn't mean to take this much from ye. I'll leave you be.  The woman's presence faded from her mind.  
Emily panicked.

“No!  Don’t leave!”  But she was already gone..

End Part Two: Sacrifice
Part Two.

I finished this last night. The next part of Emily's story. Another post-stroke story.
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