Cut The Bonds
A CAPOW Original Story
written and HTML-ized by Subito Sikaryan
gentle warmth ...
soft sensations ...
is it ...
your body ? ...
long ago ...
how I long ...
feel you ...
come back to me ...
I want ...
to feel ...
feel you ...
want to ...
the feeling ...
it changes ? ...
all over my body ...
it is ...
your blood ??
your blood on my body !!
no ... no !!!
your blood !!
are you ... ?
it´s all over me !!!
your last breath ...
"Areaaa!!! Nooooo!!" he cried.
"Area..." he whispered, tears running all over his face. "Oh Area..."
Sitting on the white sheets of his simple bed, Ray wiped a hand across his face. It was wet with sweat and salty tears. Choking back the sob in his throat, he rose slowly and looked out of the window, over to the park that lay silently on the other side of the street.
"Oh Area... why...?" he whispered again as he turned away and closed his eyes.
His clothes lay on the chair at the foot of his bed. As a decision shaped inside him, he slowly began to dress himself. He took his trenchcoat from the hook at the door as he left his apartment, that also served as his office, and silently went down the stairs, trying not to wake anybody.
Ray closed the front door behind him and stepped out into the street. It was new moon; and since the street lamps in front of the house didn´t work, only the light of the stars lit the chilly January night. A quick glance told him he was alone on the streets. Burying his hands in his trenchcoat´s pockets, he went across the street and into St. John´s Park.
Being occupied with thoughts of Area and the happiness he had felt when they had been together, Ray didn´t notice that his surroundings had changed as he wandered aimlessly along a tiny path, although his keen senses normally registered all that happened around him. He wasn´t aware of that it weren´t trees that waited to spring to life which shadowed him, but empty, dead skeletons, standing in grave pairs along the path. When he looked up and saw the changes, he stopped dead in his tracks. A feeling of sad familiarity settled in him as he looked down the path and saw the cave at its end.
Ray knew where he was -- this was the ice den that lay north of Northwood Forest. The memories had guided his way back to where he had left behind all that had mattered in his life. He went on, and entered the resting place of his happiness.
His breath formed little clouds as he walked through the sacred white cavern, lit by light that had got caught in the glittering crystals. He could already see the end of the cave, and the dark shape laying on the altar of snow and ice. Slowly, as if not wanting to disturb the eternal sleep of the one resting here, he approached the altar.
Ray tried to run his finger over the cold cheek of the woman he had loved so much; blue light sparkled to life where his fingertip touched her flesh, making him withdraw his hand. He smiled weakly, but the smile was betrayed by the grief in his eyes.
"Oh, look. It´s the syrtíen, having a last look at that filthy human whore he loved."
The hiss of the familiar voice cut through the silence like a knife. Ray turned to the slim, elven woman and the two tall elves behind him. "Have you come to deepen my grief, Alyndrè? Are you still unsatisfied, after all you did to me?"
Her hand came unexpected and the hard slap nearly knocked Ray down. "Don´t you dare to utter my name, syrtíen!" she hissed. "The ban has cut your bonds of blood to every single one of us!"
Ray only answered with a nod. Words were useless here, he knew; he could see the fanatism burning in the eyes of the woman he once had known and loved as his sister.
Alyndrè saw his resignation and smirked contemptuous. "Do you know why we are here, syrtíen?" she asked at last. When Ray indicated a shake of his head, she let out a short, hard laugh. "I thought so. Grab him," she said to the two elves standing beside her. Ray moved no muscle and just watched them with a blank expression. After the two elven hunters had Ray in their firm grip, Alyndrè strolled near him and only stopped when her face was just a scant inch from Ray´s. "We´re here, my dear syrtíen," she breathed, displaying an expression of mock care, "to punish you." Her expression darkened. "Punish you because you disgraced us." She spat right in his face. "Filthy syrtíen."
Alyndrè turned and strolled towards the altar Area was rested upon. When she tried to touch her, the blue sparks sparkled to life once more, causing her to utter a high-pitched noise of surprise and pain.
"I see. So you spent your magic to protect her, even after her dead. What a great proof of love!" she mocked, earning a chuckle from the two tall elves. She scowled at them until they fell silent, then she turned her attention to Ray once again.
"You are not only filthy, but also stupid. To give away precious magic to protect the dead body of a filthy human! Well, I guess that will make your punishment much easier for us, since you can´t fight back." She waved her hand. "You may begin if you want."
The hands were taken away. And then they began.
Ray doubled over as pain ripped through his body, teared him apart from the inside, pressed the wind from his lungs. His vision turned black as fire danced through every cell of his body. He vomited blood and tried to scream and breathe at the same time, but could do neither. The image of Area´s smile flashed up in his mind, then the pain washed it away. From beyond darkness, he thought to hear the laughter of a madwoman, but the volume of pain roaring in his ears drowned everything else out.
His world shattered into pieces, leaving only the consuming agony inside him. He realized he was a bodyless being, flying up through blackness, watching the body of an elf in olive clothing lying crumpled on the ground beneath, writhing in convulsions. Next stood three other elves, one of them roaring with laughter at the sight of the jerking body. He turned his eyes from the disgusting view and continued to rise upwards into the engulfing void of darkness.
Far, far away, he could make out a faint light, the only in the empty night. He watched with fascination as it drew nearer; eventually, he could make out that it was a human, radiating bright light from inside. A ghost. No; not a ghost. It was a soul. The soul of a woman.
The being watched as the soul stopped in front of him. Bright blue eyes looked at him from under long, smooth, black hair. The woman´s lips curled up into a soft smile as she said, "Hello, my love."
The being cocked an eyebrow. He wanted to answer, but the woman´s soul anticipated him as she flung her arms around him and gave him a long and passionate kiss. This kiss, unreal as it was, broke the barrier the pain had created; memories flooded back into Ray´s mind. He gasped with the shock of realization.
"Area..." he stammered.
The soul of his beloved smiled warmly. "Yes," she whispered, "it´s me."
"Area..." he whispered, "Oh, Area... is it really you? Can we be together again?"
Slowly, Area shook her head. "No, my love. I am dead. You are still alive."
"Not any longer. The pain they cause is too great."
Area shook her head again. "So you give up already? Where is the Ray I knew and loved?"
Ray´s words were little more than a whisper. "Don´t you know? He died along with you."
Area looked at him with a scowl. "Although I must not tell you about your fate, I will tell you this one thing: you are not to die tonight. You will fight back."
"But I cannot. I do not have the strength. I have used all my magic for you. I cannot take it back."
"You can. You can draw it back, and use it one more time."
"But that would-"
Area hushed him as she layed a finger on his lips.
"Shhh. It´s alright." She gave him her special smile, the smile Ray had loved and longed to see. Then her expression turned serious. "I know how much you love me, but you are doing something terribly wrong."
"With my body being frozen on the verge between life and death, my soul can never find rest. I am longing for that rest." Her eyebrows wrinkled together in a look of sorrow. "Please. Let me sleep? Please? Use the power you sacrificed for me to defend yourself? And start a new life?"
Ray stared at her blankly. At last, he nodded, too drained to shed any more tears.
Area sighed with relief. "Thank you, Ray. You know I will be always with you. But everyone has to move on. You can´t live in the past any longer. Become the one you were before again. Do it for me, please."
Ray stood transfixed as he watched the spirit of his love floating back into the darkness, slowly dissolving. Just before she vanished completely, he saw her move her lips. She formed the words "I love you" -- and was gone.
Instantly, Ray felt a powerful suction that drew him back into his body. The pain began anew, gnawing at his mind, but this time, he had something to hold on to. He staggered to his feet, ignoring the stabbing pain in his legs, and straightened. He heard the three elves gasp, and he could fell the entire cavern crackle with mana as they intensified their efforts to send him back onto his knees.
But Ray stood like a rock. With a last mournful look at Area´s body, he began to gather the power he had left inside himself, and cast a web to absorb his power he had bound here long ago. When he felt the surge flooding through him, he knew he had back his old power.
With the wave of his hand, his two torturers were knocked against the wall and fell to the ground, unconscious. Then he turned to Alyndré. She instantly began to cast her magic on him, but Ray only raised a hand and cut off her flow of mana.
"Alyndrè," he said with a grave voice, ignoring her screams of hatred, "Although my heart aches for revenge, and I now have enough power to simply destroy you, I will not do so. I will, however, punish you." Ray pointed his forefinger at her. "I will punish you the hardest way I can. I know how proud you are of your magic. You always were. But your pride has made you a heartless monster. Therefore, I will use all my power I stored here to seal away your own. From now on, you shall never again be able to use magic of any kind!" Ray threw his arms up, and the cavern silently exploded with white light. The silence drowned out Alyndrè´s screams as her flow of power was drained.
Without looking back, Ray staggered away from the site of destruction. With the magic conserving it removed, the whole cavern had been destroyed, leaving only rocks and rubble. He had used what little mana he had left after that gigantic outburst of power to ease his sister´s pains and to put her to sleep. He had carried her towards the edge of the forest and had leaned her against a tall, broad oak tree to let her rest. Now, with all his mana gone, Ray was exhausted as he had been never before. He only had one thought: getting back home -- to Capow.
He didn´t look up until he saw that the path beneath his feet had changed once again. With a sigh of relief, Ray straightened and look around. It was early morning in St. John´s Park, about half past eight. Some Cold Warriors were already up and around, feeding the ducks and probably exchanging top secret information about he did not knew what.
Ray smiled. He decided to go and meet some them to have a little talk. Being a private investigator, information was his business -- the more he had, the better.
'I will keep my promise, Area,' he thought as he approached the Cold Warriors, 'I will keep it. I will become my old self again. And you will always be with me, as my guardian spirit. I love you, Area.'