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Omnivident Short Stories 
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A collection of short-stories starring characters from the world of Omnivident

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Thu Dec 24, 2015 1:52 pm
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Winter Break with the Aculas
by Wizzquiz


It was finally here. Lotus had been waiting for winter break because her father was planning to visit her. She began to zip around her dorm room preparing herself for her fun filled day with her father. She had spent most of the day staring at her clock waiting for his arrival at the school. Once she was prepared, and it was close to time, she ran out of her room toward Daniel’s. Once at her boyfriend’s room she knocked rapidly. The door opened revealing Damian, Daniel’s roommate. It appeared Damian had been napping and wasn’t quite awake yet.
“Oh, Hey Damian, uh…Daniel home?” Lotus asked trying to look around Damian into the room.

Damian made a confused look before he spoke “Wha?”

“Ugh come on Damian. I need to find Daniel. Where’s he at?” She spoke slowly this time.

"Why do you even need-know what, nevermind. He just left and headed towards the main door, now lemme sleep" Damian said before closing the door.
“Thanks Damian!” Lotus yelled at the door. She spun around took off into the direction Damian had indicated. Upon turning down another hallway she saw Daniel. He near the exit she dashed over to him.

“Hey, cuddle-bear, you ready for break?”” Lotus said as she hugged him. Daniel hugged her back, as red in the face as ever.

"I’m not really, unless you're staying here over the break with me.” They began to walk down the outside. Before Daniel could answer Terrence spotted Daniel. He made his way over to the smaller boy.

“Hey small-fry, how’s about we have some fun?” Terrence chuckled He grabbed Daniel’s shirt and threw him against one of the trees outside. “Hope you're hungry.” He stepped back and threw a punch at Daniel’s face. Lotus quickly moved blocking the punch and delivering an equally as faster and hard punch to the bully’s groin. She quickly knocked him onto the ground. She delivered a swift kick to his face while he was down. Terrence quickly stood up, defeated, and scurried away.

Lotus looked around seeing her dad leaning against a tree. He was bundled up in a black coat. His short orange hair stood out in the snow. As Lotus looked at him she noticed his soft green eyes were looking back at her. He began to slowly walk to her, his orange shoes leaving footprint behind in the snow. Looking at him she thought she would be happy, but all she could think of was him sending her away, from home, to some school without an explanation.

“HOW COULD YOU!” Lotus shouted. “You just sent me away! No texts! No Calls! Not even a Letter!” Lotus began to get more and more upset with her father. Yelling louder and louder.

Before Lotus could continue further she got hit with a snowball. She paused and looked at her Father as he threw another one at her. Lotus got mad and made a snowball. She threw it as hard as she could. He father took it to the chest before laughing and throwing another one back. Before long Lotus and her father had started making snowball forts as they continued to throw snowballs.
“Come on Lotus you throw like a girl!” Her father teased as he threw a snowball at her.

“News flash, I AM A GIRL!” She shouted as she hit her dad in the face with a snowball.

Her father wiped off the snow and let out a big laugh. He grabbed a snowball and threw it at the girl. She moved letting it sail past her and connect to Daniel.

“Oh yeah!” She ran over and grabbed Daniel. “Daniel this is my father. Dad this is Daniel.” She said as she ducked behind her snow fort.

Daniel looked shocked and nervous. "Uhhh, Hi Mr. Acula, Nice to meet you." He walked over and held out his hand to shake.

“It’s Doctor Acula.” He said gently taking Daniel’s hand and shaking it. As he did a snowball connected with his shoulder.

“One Moment.” He winked at Daniel and laughed before throwing a snowball at Lotus.

"You're dad's a doctor?!" He said to Lotus. "Is he - you know?"

“Yeah, He has a Doctorate in Japanese history. Is he what?” Lotus shouted from behind her shelter of snow. Daniel’s question had really confused her. She peeked to look at him only to see a snowball. Lotus shook her head to remove the frozen water before she threw a couple more.

“Yes boy, I am omnivident.” He chuckled “Oddly enough my arte is the same as Lotus’s. Now I’m afraid to cut this off short but We have reservations. Nice to meet you Daniel.” Once he finished several snowball’s pelted him. He laughed some more.

“Hey, Lotus I got us into a Hawthorne’s Lighthouse. I know how much you like that place.”

“Hawthorne’s Lighthouse! Like it ptff I LOVE it. I could eat their shrimp for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy.” Lotus dropped her frozen ammunition. As Dr. Acula began to walk away, Lotus quickly hugged Daniel before chasing after her father.

“I bet you could.” He chuckled “How has your training gone?”

“Well it was slow at first but now it’s getting faster and easier.”

“Lotus, just remember, before anything that a samurai without honor and self-control is not a true samurai.” His comment made Lotus frown. “Now I have heard stories. I need you to work on self-control.”
“Maybe we could practice on it!” She wanted to spend the whole day with her father.

“Maybe, but I have other plans for today, maybe, some other time.”

“If you say so.” Lotus paused for a moment. “Maybe over Spring Break we could practice some more. Me, You, and Mom, It would be fun like when I lived with you guys!”

“Maybe,” Dr. Acula let out a small sigh. “I’ve missed you so much.”

They stopped walking and looking into each other’s eyes. Her father gave her a big hug. Lotus hugged him back shedding a couple tears into his black coat. They stood there in the middle of the sidewalk for a moment embracing before moving on.

“So how’s school?” He asked in a soft caring voice.

“It’s ok. I mean it is only the first year and most of it is easier than what I did while in Japan.” She shrugged.

“Well in that case I’ll be sure to have Miss...Uh...Miss Counselor lady-”

“Oh, you mean Miss Rachel!” Lotus said interrupting her father

“Ah, yes. Miss Rachel. I’ll tell Miss Rachel to put you into advanced classes then if the work is too easy for you.” He nudged her with his elbow.
“I’m good. Don’t want to work to hard.” She said bumping him back.

“Ok, I won’t this time.” He chuckled at her response.

“Hey, dad, why did you send me to Arclight? No one ever told me.” Dr. Acula looked at her. He thought for a moment then decided to tell her the truth.

“When I sent you to Arclight, I had suspected your Omnividence. But I wasn’t able to prepare you and tend to my duties as an Omnivident. Shortly before I sent you away I discovered a pack of hellhounds residing within our home town. I needed to find them and who they worked for. So to keep you safe I sent you to Arclight.” He paused letting Lotus think for a moment. “I’m sorry for not telling you. I didn’t want you to get hurt.”

“But next time we can take them together! I mean once I finish my training here.” Her father nodded slowly. The rest of the short walk was mostly silent as Lotus thought about what he had said.

Once they got into the restaurant Lotus ran over to the fish tank within the waiting room. She began to look around as the fish swam back and forth.

“Lotus go tell the gentleman that the Aculas are here. Once seated go ahead and order I will be there shortly.” Her dad walked off.

Lotus ran over to the hostess and was seated quickly at a table. She ordered a large plate of popcorn shrimp and a glass of soda. Shortly after her food arrived her father showed up and sat with her.

“I hope this is Ok. I just got my favorite.” Lotus told her father as he sat.

“It’s perfectly fine my flower. Go ahead and eat I won’t be ordering. I had some bad peanuts on the way over here. Don’t want another accident if you know what I mean.”

“Ew...Too much info, Dad.” Lotus said between bites.

“I’m just glad I had another pair of pants packed.”

“Please stop. You’re going to make me sick.”

“Alright, Alright. I’ll stop as long as you promise you won’t beg for chocolate today.”

“But I like chocolate! So what if it makes me-Ok, Fine. I won’t ask for chocolate.”

The she had finished her main course. Once finished a bowl of Vanilla ice cream was delivered to Lotus for dessert. Lotus quickly devoured the sweet. After she finished the waiter delivered the bill with some mints. On the bill someone had written paid over it. Her father laughed at the bill.

“I know you too well. I paid for the meal when I made reservations.” He stood holding out a hand and helping her stand. They left the restaurant and headed towards the park.The park was empty and untouched snow had covered the ground.

Mr. Acula ran over and began to roll a snowman. Lotus jumped in rolling the parts together until they had built a snowman in the middle of the park by the swings. They ran around until they had enough rocks to cover the snowman’s eyes and buttons. then the borrowed some sticks from a nearby bush.

After building the snowman, Lotus got on one of the swings. Her father joined her swinging next to each other. This quickly became a contest on who could swing the highest, ultimately ending with Lotus falling out on her back. Her father dismounted and ran to her. Lotus was laughing at herself and began to make a snow angel there in the snow. Her dad laying next to her and made one as well.

The sky began to darken as the two headed back to the school. On the way Lotus stopped and purchased some warm drinks for her and her father. They walked back enjoying each other and their drinks. The stopped when they came to a group standing outside singing carols. Lotus donated some coins after listening with her father for a bit. After a short time they again found themselves in front of Arclight. The school was quiet and was only lit be the few street lights around the parking lot. The wind was blowing the snow around the courtyard.

“Lotus, I had fun today. I hope we can do it again later.”

“I had fun too, dad.”

“Lotus, remember, no matter what I love you.” He hugged her.

“I know dad. I love you too.” She hugged him back.

The two stood there for a while quite before Dr. Acula let go and began to leave. Lotus stood there by the door and watched her father until her vanished into the dark night. Lotus turned and entered the building as she did she checked her PDA. She had a message from Miss Rachel. It was oddly short.

~It read “Lotus, I need to meet you in my office at your earliest convenience. ~Miss Rachel.”~

Lotus figured it was probably too late but she decided to try anyways. Lotus made her way down the empty hallways to Miss Rachel’s office. Once outside she could hear someone’s voice inside. Lotus knocked before entering the room.
Inside the room Miss Rachel was leaning on her desk handing tissues to someone bundled up in a bulky coat.

“Ah Lotus, I’m glad you could make it.” Miss Rachel said in a softer and more gentle voice than normal. When Miss Rachel said the girl’s name the person in the chair turned to face Lotus.

“Mom!?!” Lotus was surprised when she realized it was her mother sitting in the office. Her mother’s face was red and had tears running down it.

“Is there something wrong?” Lotus had all different kinds of emotions running through her mind. Fear, confusion, sadness, are just several of the ones she was feeling.

“Lotus there’s no easy way to tell you this.” Mrs. Acula paused to blow her nose and wipe away some tears.
Lotus became increasingly confused. Her mother stood and walked over to Lotus before placing her hands on each side of Lotus’s face.

“Lotus...Your Father...Is dead.” Her mother managed to say in a brittle voice. “He was attacked by some kind of dog.” Lotus quickly looked to Miss Rachel who nodded slowly. Lotus’s eyes began to fill with tears. It couldn’t be he was with her all day. She began to shake her head.

“No..No he’s not..” Lotus’s voice began to break and tremble. Miss Rachel walked over and hugged Lotus pulling her in closely and whispering in her ear.

“Lotus you were with his ghost.” Lotus shoved Miss Rachel back.

“No!” Lotus took off running out of Miss Rachel’s office and down the hallway. She didn’t know where she was headed nor did she care. She was crying so hard tears began to blur her vision. She turned the corner and ran into someone falling on the floor.

“Hey why I-” The person stopped upon seeing Lotus. She helped Lotus stand and gently brushed Lotus’s hair out of her face. The person’s rough hands then wiped some of Lotus’s tears off her face. Once the tears were removed Lotus was surprised to see Id and her totem before her.

“Hey, Lotus I’m sorry about your father. I don’t have any advice that will really help other than just simply saying I understand how you feel.” Id spoke softly and oddly gentle. Lotus grabbed Id and began to sob into the redhead’s shoulder. She didn’t know why but she’s just stood there and cried.

“Hey! Wait!... Um...Lotus...Don’t you have a boyfriend for this?” Id finally gave up before wrapping her arms around Lotus and whispering to Lotus. Ego moved onto Lotus’s shoulder and wrapped his wing around her. It was warm and comforting. But Lotus couldn’t stop crying on Id, who remained in Lotus’s embrace not even trying to pull away.

“I don’t know how, but everything will be ok.” Id said softly.

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Thu Dec 24, 2015 1:53 pm
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Logan's wacky winter break adventures
by Live_Grenade


“Ah, Logan.” Abigail began as she appeared once more in the center of Apollon’s archive. Coming here for summoning had become a bad habit of Logan’s. “I assume you’ve been practicing?” She was abrasive as ever.

“Don’t give me that.” The boy snarled. He paced around his ancestor menacingly, circling her like a shark. “That stunt you pulled could have gotten my friends killed!”

“W-what? No, I… I didn’t-“ The woman took on a worried expression, and her legs began to shake.

“I don’t want to hear your lame excuses!” The Scot roared, punctuating the exclamation by slamming his fist into a nearby bookshelf. Abigail fell to her knees as a few tomes clattered to the ground.

“No, please! I never wanted t-to hurt anyone. I didn’t have a choice!” She was hysterical now, but Logan had no intention of letting up.

“You know how dangerous it can be to go into battle without a functioning weapon! I didn’t think even you could do something this petty, just to prove a goddamn point!” The boy became more justified in his self-righteous anger as he spoke. Hearing himself reprimand Abigail for her mistakes out loud seemed to make them more tangible. The woman was quietly sobbing now, however, and Logan decided to let her stew in her guilt for a while. She eventually quieted, sitting back and crossing her legs. Only then did he continue.

“What made you think it was a good idea? Why did you disassemble my rifle?” He pressed, now that she had calmed a bit.

“What?”

“You heard me. Answer the question.”

“I… I didn’t. How could I?” Abigail went on, sounding genuinely confused. Logan’s eyes widened.

“Don’t lie to me! It can only have been y-“

“Shut up!” The woman’s confusion rapidly giving way to frustration. Logan bit his lip as she continued. “You’re the one with weird ghost powers, not me! I don’t have any control over your abilities. I couldn’t even leave right now if I wanted to!”

“But then, how…?” Logan frantically began to seek another explanation, but the most obvious conclusion wasn’t something he wanted to think about.

“I’m guessing that you tried to summon your rifle, and that it arrived in pieces, right? I don’t know anything about that, but it wasn’t me, nor is it my problem. As it happens, being dead makes it kind of difficult to be invested in the affairs of the living. So, what, did you call me here to yell at me for something I didn’t do?” Abigail faced absently toward the ceiling. For a brief instant, Logan thought he saw a black mark on the underside of her chin, but she brought her head back down before he could get a good look. “To drag me kicking and screaming through the past?”

For a long moment, neither of them spoke. Each simply did their best to avoid meeting the other’s gaze. Logan was the one to break the silence.

“I’m sorry. I jumped to conclusions. Again.” He said, then paused for a moment. “What do you mean by dragging you through the past?” He inquired. Abigail gave a hollow chuckle.

“Isn’t it obvious?” She smirked. “I left this world behind more than a hundred years ago. I don’t belong here anymore.” The woman tugged at her uniform, sighing. Suddenly, she began to change, growing smaller as her hair extended into a long braid. Her uniform became a simple set of overalls and a plaid shirt. When the transition stopped, she appeared to be younger than Logan. The Scot scratched his head, suddenly feeling uncomfortable.

“My existence here is a sham.” She picked up. “That woman, my default state when I’m summoned… that’s no longer me. It’s what I looked like when I kicked the bucket. I haven’t thought of myself that way in ages.”

Logan swallowed nervously; the implications of that statement were not lost on him. “Earlier, you said that you didn’t mean to hurt anyone, that you had no choice. If you weren’t talking about my rifle, then what did you mean?” The boy asked, his concern apparent.

“Please don’t ask abou-“ Abigail stopped short as she felt a weight resting on her shoulder. She looked over to see that Logan had sat beside her, and his face was pleading for an answer. She gave an exhausted sigh, then went quiet. For a moment, Logan thought she wasn’t going to answer, but then…


“I was raised by a family of produce farmers. My father was an easygoing but hardworking salt-of-the-earth kind of guy, while my mother… Well, to put it nicely, she was eccentric. Our farm wasn’t very large, but my parents owned a few slaves. I know, how dare they, right? Well, this is kind of an underhanded thing to say, but to my knowledge, they were treated relatively well. My parents, they couldn’t have known how wrong it was. That’s just how things were at the time.

Anyway, Papa had always wanted a son. Someone who could help work the fields, take over for him when he passed. Instead, he got me. For better or for worse, it soon became apparent that he had ‘no idea how a girl was supposed to be raised’. Unfortunately, my mother did, and being the dominant half of the relationship, she did her best to make sure I grew up prim and proper. However, I made my position on the matter very clear, favoring my father’s approach being as it was unhindered by trite, meaningless conventions. I don’t think she ever forgave him for that, but I didn’t notice or care at the time. The old man took me hunting with him a lot. I enjoyed it.

Well, I did at first. For a couple of years, I was mostly a bystander. I would help set traps and lay quietly in wait for unsuspecting prey. It wasn’t until Papa decided I was old enough to handle a weapon that I had trouble. Now, I would have to pull the trigger. When the time came, though, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bring myself to take a life, even if it was just an animal. My father, he was very understanding. Very supportive. He never tried to force my hand, but in spite of that, or maybe because of it, I wanted to make him proud. When I let him know how I felt, he told me something that would stick with me forever. With a smile, he said, ‘Okay. If you’re sure, I’ll tell you a secret. The deer, they know they can’t live forever. They have to be prepared to go at any moment. They could be attacked by coyotes, or succumb to sickness. Any number of things could go wrong at any time. There’s nothing we can do to protect them. What we can do, Abigail, is make sure their deaths mean something.’ He patted me on the head, turned and walked away. I don’t think he fully understood the impact his words had. Maybe they were misguided. Maybe they sent me down a dangerous path, but I took them to heart. Armed with that mindset, I no longer had trouble shooting to kill.

Fast forward six years. It’s 1861, the beginning of the Civil War. Tensions had been running high since the formation of the Confederacy, and now they reached a peak. My mother didn’t take it well, and she became much more severe with our workers. Unrest soon made its way into our entire household as well, and my father lost sleep over it. We went hunting more often now. It distracted us from the anxiety, and selling the extra meat helped pad out our finances incase hard times were on the way. While we were out one day, Papa… He thought he saw a deer, and he shot at it, and-“


Abigail came to an abrupt halt. Recounting so much so quickly must have been hard on her.

“We can stop for now if you’d like.” Logan said.

“No, it’s alright.” The woman protested. “I just need a minute to think this through.” She looked older. Maybe eighteen or nineteen now.

The pair sat quietly until Abigail was ready to go on.


“After that, something happened. Something that a deer had never done before. It shot back. Musket balls flew through the air around our heads. I pressed my back against a nearby tree, and my father threw himself to the ground as he hurried to load another shot. ‘Stop! Please, stop shooting!’ He yelled. I was too afraid to say anything myself, but it seemed that wouldn’t be necessary. For a long moment, there was silence. I peeked around the trunk to see if the coast was clear, only to be met with a shard of metal grazing my head. I cried out in pain, and my father immediately loosed another bullet. It was followed shortly by a grunt, and some frantic cursing. I took off my hat and held it out in the open. Two shots rang out, one cleanly puncturing it. I quickly popped out from behind cover, saw two uniformed men in the open, and put a bullet in one’s chest. The other ducked back into hiding. I thought… I thought I heard him yell a name, after that. Um… One of the remaining men made a dash for the guy I had just shot and tried to pull him to safety. Papa hit him too. The last one ran away. Once the coast was clear and we were able to piece together what had happened, we realized that we had just killed four Union soldiers.

That night, we burned the bodies and threw their weapons into a river. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to hide what had taken place. Letting the one man escape turned out to be a huge mistake. Eventually, Union soldiers began coming to our door and asking questions, the kind of questions that could only mean they were a hair’s breadth from the answer, and one of the men seemed as if he might recognize me. Our discovery was inevitable, and I was frightened. Frightened enough to do something drastic. One day, I decided to tail the soldiers after they visited us, bringing a hunting rifle with me. As I followed them, they took a wagon on a path that I knew would lead to a rather steep cliff road. I moved to head them off an was already in position by the time they arrived. My mind clouded with fear, I took aim and fired on the driver. The gunshot split the air like thunder, spooking the horses. They took off at full speed, running along the narrow path at a dangerous pace. After a particularly sharp turn, the restraints snapped, and the wagon’s momentum sent it careening over the edge.

I made my way down to the cliff where the wagon had fallen and looked down below. Of the several men who had been aboard, only a couple were still moving. I shot them too. This road was way out in the middle of nowhere, so there was practically no risk of being heard. The bodies would be eaten by wolves long before anyone could find them and realize they’d been assassinated. I felt like throwing up, but I told myself that their deaths would help protect my father. Thinking back, it was a brash move that could have ended disastrously, but I got lucky. The greatest threat was gone, but knowledge of the skirmish I’d been in was still circulating, and soon the wagon of Union soldiers that had gone missing became a topic of interest as well. It was apparent that more would need to be done to steer suspicion.

As my streak of brilliant ideas continued, I decided to sneak into a Confederate camp and lift a uniform and some weapons. The rest is history. For the next few years, I made strategic strikes against Union forces, and I always made sure they knew who to blame. Masquerading as a solo operating Confederate sniper, I picked off higher-ranking officers, interrupted supply chains, and instilled a healthy fear of this deadly character in the soldiers. All of it to draw attention away from Papa. As I killed more and more, remained strong in the knowledge that all of these deaths… that they were serving a good purpose. Eventually, I succeeded. The men who had mysteriously died in the forest on that fateful day were marked down as victims of my alter ego.”


“D-damn.” Logan said, looking at the floor. By now, Abigail had all but reverted to her original appearance, though there were still some slight differences.

“This is the part where you judge me.” She said without looking at him, her gaze fixed straight ahead.

“Well… I mean, what you did wasn’t so bad. You had good intentions, and it was, y’know, war.” The boy gave her a sidelong glance.

“War?” Again, Abigail chuckled humorlessly. “No. Those men I killed may have been soldiers, but I wasn’t technically a part of the Confederate army. More importantly, I never wanted to fight against the Union. At the time, I had rationalized it away with those excuses, but now I’ve come to terms with the fact that my actions were tantamount to murder.”

“Come on, don’t say that.” Logan protested.

“And why not?!” She raised her voice suddenly. “It’s not like it matters anymore! I’m dead, remember? What conceivable reason could there be for me to keep lying to myself?”

That shut the Scot up. He thought for a good long minute before talking again.

“You’re only human. You did your best.”

Abigail’s face turned blank, and she was silent for a minute. Then, she began speaking once more.


“1863. That was the year the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. One of the most famous documents in American history, and the worst thing that ever happened to me. If you were paying attention, you’ll remember that I had a mother. Well, you see, she went into town pretty regularly. That’s why she was the first to receive news of the Proclamation, and she went absolutely insane. Worse, by this time, Mother had learned about my moonlighting as a Confed after finding the weapons and uniform I kept hidden at home. She wasn’t in her right mind, overcome with horror at what the slaves might do to me in retaliation if they were freed. It never occurred to her how flawed that reasoning was. To the workers, it was just like any other day. That’s why I imagine they must have been terribly confused when their master’s wife approached them with my revolver.

I think… I think it was an accident. My mother, as unstable as she may have been, didn’t have it in her to kill someone. But she shot one of them, right in the shoulder. The others rushed her and began to grapple for the gun. Papa… God, Papa ran out when he saw what was happening and tried to separate them, but, um. Damn it. The, uh… the gun went off. H-hah. Why did I have to keep that stupid thing around the house?

By the time I arrived, the men had all gone, and my father was dead. Mother explained what had happened through choked sobs, and a few weeks later, she died of a stroke. Just like that, two years of bloody work had been completely invalidated. Dozens of people, dead. For no reason. After that, any sense of purpose I’d had simply vanished. Without any kind of direction, I joined the Confederate army in a more official capacity. Combat was all I knew. Not that I ever killed again. I only went for legs or horses or vehicles, and very often I’d simply steal away from battles altogether. On one occasion, I was completely surrounded by enemies, and I didn’t hesitate to throw myself to the ground and plead pathetically for mercy. I took refuge in cowardice, too afraid to kill and too afraid to die. That went on until 1865, when my luck finally ran out, and I was shot.”


“The end!” she concluded in an inappropriately cheery tone. She looked over at her descendent, who wore an incredulous expression.

“Jesus Christ, Abigail!” Logan shouted. For the first time, he took note of a revolver and a thin sword at her hip.

“Language.” She replied in a deadpan tone. “Earlier, you said I did my best. But my best wasn’t good enough. My best got my entire family and many others killed.” Noting the boy’s troubled expression, she quickly changed her tune. “Don’t worry, though, I’m over it. Time will do that. It’s just, when you summon me, the events before my death get shoved to the forefront of my consciousness. I needed to vent a little is all. Like I said, I am an ex-person, so I don’t really have anything to be sad about.” She rested her head in her hands disinterestedly.

“S-so noble!” The Scot’s voice quivered. “It’s okay, you don’t need to feign strength! This is a safe place, and I am here for you.” He moved to give Abigail a hug, but her annoyed glare made him think twice. “Ahem. Well, did you ever find your parents? In the afterlife?”

“I couldn’t tell you. I honestly can’t remember what it’s like there at all… No, I don’t think so. It’s all very hazy, but I’m sure I’d recall meeting them. I don’t know if it even works that way.”

“Oh.” He turned his gaze to the floor. “Is, uh… do you like being summoned? I mean, is it nice to be back in the physical realm?”

Abigail thought for a moment before speaking. “Hard to say. At first it was really uncomfortable, but now that I’ve had some time to adjust, I suppose it’s not so bad.” She glanced at logan quizzically. “Hey, you’re… you’re my descendant, right?”

“Yeah…” Logan responded impulsively, then stopped. “Wait, no. You’re actually my step-mom’s ancestor. We’re not blood relatives at all. Come to think of it, you never said anything about having a child, did you?”

“Nope. Your step-mother probably descended from one of my cousins, which would make me yooour… step-cousin, nine or ten times removed I think. It seems like there’s more to your powers than you’d thought. Maybe family ties go beyond just biology.”

“Maybe. Or it could just be that all people are technically related.” Logan had been giving this some thought.

Abigail brought her knees in to her chest and hugged her legs. “Hey, do you think…” The Scot looked at her expectantly, awaiting the rest of the question. “Um, never mind.”

“Nuh uh, come on. Spit it out.”

“Well, with your powers, shouldn’t you be able to let me talk to my parents?” Abigail appeared almost hopeful, and Logan immediately regretted stringing her along.

“I’m sorry.” He frowned. Abigail’s expression fell slightly too. “It’s not that simple. I can’t summon more than one person at a time. Even if I could, there are other things getting in the way as well. The ancestors I’m able to call upon are determined by several factors, some of which are still complete mysteries to me. The most important thing, though, is that they have a strong warrior’s spirit, something I can resonate with.” The boy glanced over and was surprised to see his ancestor wearing a sorrowful smile.

“Ha… Warrior’s spirit? Funny. I’m just a scared girl. You don’t have to lie to make me feel better, you know.”

“You’re wrong.” Logan stood suddenly, his voice assuming a serious tone. The woman looked up at him, slightly taken aback. “I can’t say whether your actions were justified. Extreme situations can make people act desperately. Still, you fought bravely to protect what you loved, and you didn’t stop until there was nothing left to lose. You have the heart of a champion. I can tell. I’m proud to call you my step-cousin, nine or ten times removed.” The Scot held out his hand. Abigail stared at it for a second, then smirked, clasping it in her own and letting him puller her to her feet.

“Hey, whatever, kid. If I need a pep-talk, I’ll ask for it.” The soldier replied, then smiled warmly. “Good chat, though. Now, if it’s alright with you, I should probably be getting home now.”

“Right.” Logan said, preparing to send her back. As Abigail began to fade from existence, he spoke one more time. “Hey, you’ll find them. Even if the other side is some stupid eternal unconsciousness dealie, I know you can do it.”

She stared at him vacantly for a moment, then gave a thumbs up. A few seconds later, she was gone.

Logan slumped against a bookshelf, placed a hand on his forehead and sighed deeply. That conversation had thoroughly exhausted him, and as it began to sink in, he realized that he was back to square one. If Abigail wasn’t to blame for the disassembled rifle, then who or what was?


**********


“Hello again, young Master Douglas.” Sir William greeted cheerily as he opened the secret passage in the Archive Club room. Despite of his demeanor, though, it was obvious that he wasn’t terribly pleased. The junior had been spending hours a day practicing in the s**** for the past week or so. Stubborn as Logan was, the knight had all but given up on trying to reign in the boy’s potentially dangerous regimen. Maybe he wouldn’t even bring it up today. “As a responsible man of honour, I feel obligated to recommend that you temper your training habits, lest you burn out entirely.” Alright, perhaps that was a bit much to ask.

“O-oh no!” Logan responded, placing his hands behind his head casually as he descended the staircase in spite of the spirit’s cautions. “The foolishness of youth, it compels me to press on! It… it’s too strong, I can’t fight it!” With a sigh, Sir William followed dutifully.

“Oh, lighten up, Will.” Logan grinned as he navigated to the training room. He took enjoyment in being overly familiar with the ghost even though it seemed to be slightly distressing for him. “I’ve done a good job of minding my limits so far. Even if I do wind up hurting myself, this is just a lesson I’ll have to learn the hard way.” Despite his confident tone, the Scot’s entire body was sore from overexertion, a fact that was not lost on Sir William.

“Very well, then.” The knight replied seriously. “However, we will warm up first, as per usual.”

“Actually, I don’t think that’ll be necessary toda-“

“We will warm up first. As per usual.” The spirit’s blue eyes pierced into the boy’s soul and any thoughts he had of resisting were immediately quashed. Sir William was deadly serious about his warm-ups apparently. After around twenty minutes of stretching and light exercises, he was satisfied.

“Now that we’re nice and loose, we can begin the workout proper. Pray tell, what is scheduled for today’s program, Master Logan? Targe summoning repetitions? Those are a personal favorite of mine.”

“Two, please.” Logan responded without missing a beat, much to Sir William’s chagrin. Sighing yet again, the knight snapped his fingers, and a pair of apparitional warriors appeared beside him. They brandished their pollaxes menacingly, awaiting their cue to attack.

The Scot quickly donned his signature sword, shield, and chainmail combination and prepared for combat. He brought the claymore abreast of his face, with the blade pointed forward and at a slight upward angle. He had barely made it into position when the ghosts jumped into action. Their first move was to spread apart and approach him from either side, flanking him right out of the gate. The knight on the boy’s left swung his weapon horizontally at chest level, while the other prepared for a stab. Logan reacted quickly, turning to the left and catching his first assailant’s swing with his sword. The blade slid along the underside of the axe until it got caught on the crossguard. With his free arm, he used his shield to knock the other man’s axe aside before it could skewer him, then swiftly reached out and wrapped his arm around the pole. With both weapons caught, he violently twisted his body, relieving the two combatants of their pollaxes simultaneously.

One of the knights dove for the axe that had been knocked to the floor by the claymore, while the other made a grab for the one Logan had coiled in his arm. However, he was too slow. The boy tossed the weapon away, sending it skittering across the room. Logan brought up his sword to deliver a vertical strike on the knight who had crouched to retrieve his weapon. The man managed to bring up the pole in time to block the attack, but from this position, he would quickly be overpowered. Unfortunately, the Scot had made a miscalculation. Rather than going for his discarded pollaxe, the other knight had circled behind the boy while he was distracted. Suddenly, he trapped Logan in a reverse bearhug, pinning his arms to his sides. The other ghost got to his feet and targeted his helpless opponent’s chest with a thrust, and the boy was unable to lift his sword or shield.

As the business end of the weapon approached the Logan’s torso, Sir William nearly gave the order for the knights to cease their attack. However, just in time, the Scot kicked upward, knocking the pollaxe off course before it could hit home. The assailant’s momentum carried him forward, bringing him close to Logan. The boy lifted both of his feet off the ground, braced them against the man’s chest, and pushed with as much force has he could muster. The action sent all three combatants sprawling to the ground. The grip of the ghost that had been trapping Logan was loosened by the impact, and the boy took the opportunity to roll away and recover to a kneeling position. The knight was still prostrate for the time being, though the other one had regained his footing. Taking a risk, Logan decided to capitalize on his opponent’s vulnerability. Unable to position his sword for an attack in a timely manner, he instead leapt off the ground, allowing gravity bring his weight down on the prone man in an elbow drop. The spike of the Scot’s targe cleanly punctured the ghost’s abdomen. A low, breathy wail could be heard as he faded from existence.

With one of the ghosts gone, Logan quickly turned to his remaining attacker, who was now bearing down on him. The boy’s brash attack had left him in a disadvantageous position with barely enough time to brace his sword against the incoming vertical chop. As the claymore and the pollaxe locked together, the knight pulled back, the crook of his weapon catching the sword and yanking it toward him. Pulled off balance, Logan collapsed forward onto his hands and knees. The ghost moved to deliver a coup de grâce. Desperate, the boy lunged forward, slamming bodily into his opponent’s legs and sending him to the floor. After a brief struggle, Logan managed to mount the knight’s torso. He attempted to strike with the claymore before the man could react, but again the fighter managed to block with his axe. As the weapons clashed, Logan heard a sharp crack. His eyes widened as he looked down to see that the blade had snapped. As the tip of the sword clanged against the ground, the knight flipped the boy to the side and pinned him. He then tried to press the pole of his weapon against Logan’s throat and choke him, but the Scot managed to keep it at bay with his arm until he was able to reach his broken blade and jab it into the spirit’s neck. With another ghastly moan, the final threat disappeared.

Damn. It happened again. Logan pondered as he eyed the broken sword in his hand. As he stood to his feet, his musings were interrupted by the sound of deliberate clapping.

“Bravo! Good show, Master Douglas.” Sir William congratulated the boy heartily. “You’ve come quite a long way. You should be proud of your performance.” Logan smiled. He could read between the lines. What the man was really trying to say was ‘You’ve done enough. Please stop before you get yourself hurt.’

“Appreciated, Sir William, but I can’t afford to be resting on my laurels just yet. I need to find out why my weapons are in such bad shape.” Logan explained. “Besides, Id or Max or Alice would’ve ripped them to shreds in an instant. I have a lot of catching up to do.”

“If it’s your weapons you are concerned about, then I doubt physical training is going to do you much good.” The knight replied. “Your armaments were fine before, and you certainly have not grown weaker since then. At least, your body hasn’t.”

“Wh-“

“I’m not finished. It seems to me that there is someone better suited to help you with this, someone that you are purposely disregarding. Stubbornness is one thing, young master, but willful ignorance is unbecoming of you.”

Logan flushed, taken off-guard by Sir William’s uncharacteristic harshness. “You mean my ancestors, right? Well, I already talked to Abigail, and she didn’t know anything. Why would… the other be any different?” Despite his protests, however, there was truth to the knight’s words. Logan had intentionally avoided summoning Aileana out of nervousness, afraid of what a second encounter would be like after he had so thoroughly botched the first. The presumption that she wouldn’t know anything useful was but a convenient excuse not to have to meet her again.

“Is that truly your only reason for not wanting to summon her?” the spirit inquired, fixing the boy with a kind gaze. “Fear comes in many forms, Master Logan, and it is something you’ve always possessed the will to overcome. However, equally vital is the presence of mind to recognize it when it rears its head. For that reason, it is of the utmost importance that you never lie to yourself.”

After Sir William was finished speaking, Logan closed his eyes and exhaled slowly, bowing his head. When he looked up again, he wore a c*** grin. He glanced inquisitively at the knight, who gave single nod. Without further deliberation the boy commenced the summoning. Before long, a helmeted figure in chain mail and cloth armor appeared in the center of the room.

“*What the… Oh. Well, if it isn’t the poser again.” Aileana spoke. “What did you tear me away from my eternal resting place for this time, ‘Allan’? If that is your real name.” She had yet to notice the room’s other occupant.

“It isn’t. I, uh, think we might have gotten off on the wrong foot last time, and I was hoping-“

“Hoping what? That you could coerce me into forgetting your remarkably rude behavior? Forget it! Tell me how to get out of here.” The irritable woman demanded, apathetic toward Logan’s request. Sir William decided to speak up.

“Please, my good lady, I think what Master Logan means to say is-“ The knight suddenly found himself reeling backwards, stopping only after a several steps, and realized that he had just been struck. Aileana, formerly unaware of his presence, now stood facing him with her fist raised. A glint of green could be seen from inside her helmet, and her entire form radiated with aggression. “Ah. I apologize if I have done anything to offend you, ma’am. It was simply my intention to-“

Aileana cut him off once again, drawing her sword and taking a swipe at him. He was forced to jump out of the way.

“I see.” Sir William said as he withdrew his own weapon, a halberd. “I am loath to engage in combat with a lady, but if you intend to do me harm, I will not hesitate to-“

Sword clashed against pole arm as the Aileana rushed the knight once again. He quickly disengaged, stepping to the side and allowing the weapons to slide past each other. The woman swiftly turned to face him again.

“Will you stop interrupting me?” Sir William asked, slightly indignant. “It is. Most. Uncouth!” He shouted, sweeping low with his halberd.

Aileana hopped over the swing and prepared to counterattack from the air. However, as the knight’s momentum spun him around, he pivoted on his right heel and kicked outward. Unable to change direction in midair, the woman sailed right into his foot. Sir William stumbled, knocked off-balance by performing such an awkward maneuver in full body armor, but presently regained his stance. Aileana, on the other hand, had the wind knocked out of her and fell to the ground. The knight had to resist the urge to offer her a hand, which was just as well because she got back on her feet with remarkable speed regardless. Without wasting another moment, she sheathed her claymore and charged yet again. Unsure of what to expect, Sir William braced his halberd in front of him for protection. As Aileana approached him, she dove below the weapon and directly into the man’s midsection. With a loud grunt, she wrapped her arms around his waist and hoisted his body into the air, then threw him to the floor. Only once he was downed did she draw her weapon again in an attempt to behead him. The knight managed to roll out of the way, then continued rolling as Aileana chased him with a series of downward strikes.

As one of the attacks narrowly missed the spirit’s neck, he brought his armored hand up and grabbed the blade. Aileana attempted to yank it out of his grasp, but he managed to hold on, and all she accomplished was helping him to his feet. The woman continued to attack, but with Sir William controlling the tip of the sword, it was impossible to land a blow. Undeterred, she threw the blade away. The knight relinquished his grip on the sword as well, but not before his arm had been pulled to the side by its weight. He tried to position the halberd between himself and his attacker, but with only one arm, he couldn’t maneuver it quickly enough. Aileana stepped forward and planted her foot on the knight’s breastplate, then kicked, sending him stumbling backwards. Sir William groaned, taking a second to recover. Then, he cast his pole arm aside and spread his arms wide in a posture of challenge. Aileana stopped for a moment, then cracked her knuckles and removed her helmet to reveal a bloodthirsty grin. Wanting to be on equal footing, Sir William followed suit, discarding his own helm and placing his hands in front of him, fisticuffs style.

The helmet hadn’t even hit the floor before the woman dashed toward her opponent, but Sir William was prepared. Aileana’s tendency to charge heedlessly headlong into the fray made her predictable. As expected, she aimed a shot right at his head. He effortlessly knocked the blow aside and countered with a devastating cross to her face. To the knight’s surprise, however, Aileana retaliated by grabbing onto his wrist. He responded in kind, grabbing her free hand with his own to prevent any further strikes. Unfortunately, he had made a miscalculation, as a third hand would have been needed to prevent her from head butting him. Therefore, she head butted him. While Sir William was disoriented from the impact, the woman wrenched her hand free from his grip, then swiftly circled behind him and pulled his arm into a shoulder lock. He tried to use his free arm to break out, but she quickly grabbed that one as well. Unable to move either of his arms, the knight decided to take a cue from his opponent. He drove his head backwards with as much force as he could muster and prayed that the attack would find purchase. The maneuver awarded a loud crunch and a small yelp from behind him. With his arms free, he spun around to face the other combatant and was immediately met with a punch of meteoric proportions to the jaw. He was beginning to regret telling Logan to summon this woman.

When Sir William’s vision cleared, he was lying on his back. He could see Aileana approaching him, dragging an object he couldn’t quite make out along the ground. The lower half of her face was covered in blood, but he hardly noticed, drawn instead to the murderous intent emanating from her eyes. With a wild cry, she lifted her arm above her head. Yep. That was definitely a battle axe. As Aileana brought her weapon down on top of the knight, a heater shield appeared in his arms, protecting him from the blow. The woman continued her assault, battering the shield until it began to dent. On a particularly hard swing, the axe penetrated the shield, stopping inches away from Sir William’s face. If this unnerved him, he didn’t show it. Instead, he grabbed hold of the weapon embedded in the shield and used it to pull his opponent forward. Once she was teetering above him, he pressed both of his feet into her torso and pushed off, sending her hurdling over him. She deftly rolled back into a fighting stance and prepared to continue attacking, but this had given the knight ample time to stand up as well. As the two faced off, Sir William summoned a one-handed arming sword to compliment his heater shield. Aileana responded in turn, creating a targe to mirror her adversary’s weaponry. The two stared blankly, sizing each other up for what seemed like minutes. Then, surprisingly, Sir William made the next move. He charged straight for Aileana in a bid to take her by surprise. However, she was only a split-second behind him. The combatants barreled forward dangerously, shields raised, weapons poised to strike.

“Yeah! Kick her arse, Will!”

Aileana and Sir William both looked to the source of the noise simultaneously. They were distracted for only a split-second, but that was long enough for the two to crash solidly into one another. Weapons clattered to the floor as the two fighters sprawled on the ground, both panting heavily.

“Oooh, sorry. I guess I shouldn’t have interrupted.” Logan said, sitting with his legs crossed. “Still, that was pretty great!”

Both of the combatants sat up, but neither made a move beyond that. The tension had been diffused, and nobody really felt like fighting anymore.

“Enjoying ourselves, are we, lad?” Aileana piped in, wiping her arm across her face. “Havin’ a little giggle?”

“There is… nothing great about this, young master.” Sir William wheezed between labored breaths. “Pardon me, miss…”

“Oh yeah. Now seems like as good a time as any for introductions. Will, meet Aileana McWilliam.” Logan chirped. “Aileana, Sir William.”

“Ah, I’m so flattered that you remember my name.” The woman said, sarcasm hanging from every word like a bad analogy.

“Medieval Europe was pretty Williamy, wasn’t it?” The boy added, unfazed.

“Yes, quite.” The knight said brusquely. “At any rate, I would very much like an explanation as to why you accosted me, Lady Aileana.”

“Hmph.” She shrugged. “I was just itching for a good fight. Consider it my way of saying hello. Also, your getup may or may not have reminded me of a certain English dog what killed me.”

“Ah, I see.” Sir William replied. “Well, my lady, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

“Likewise. It’s always a treat to encounter a semi-competent fighter.” Aileana briefly stretched out her arms and stood up, reseting her hands on her hips. “Alright then, what was it you called me here for again?”


Logan spent the next several minutes explaining his problem and recounting the events that had taken place on the night of the ball, sparing no detail. Aileana listened wordlessly, grunting every so often as the boy spoke.

“So these other kids with spirit powers. They’re pretty great, huh?”

“Um, yeah, I guess. What does that have to do with my weapons, though?” Logan asked.

“Why don’t you tell me, you dafty?” Aileana responded, scratching her back. “You’re the one what told the story, and literally the only relevant thing you mentioned was how your gun fell apart. The rest of the time you were just whining about how powerless you were and praising those other ankle-biters.” She complained.

“Oh. So, you don’t have any ideas?”

“On the contrary. It’s pretty obvious what the problem is. But if you aren’t sharp enough to figure it out yourself, then you really aren’t worth my time. And that’s saying something, because my time is pretty much worthless. I have infinity of it.” Aileana closed her eyes and cracked her neck. “Feel free to call me down here again once you’ve worked this out. Maybe then I can teach you a thing or two. Until then, toodles!”

With that, the spirit disappeared. Logan was the one who had sent her away, of course. Not wanting to mess up her exit, he had simply followed her lead when she said her farewell. After that, he and Sir William stood silently for a moment, staring at nothing in particular. Logan spoke up first.

“Well, I think I’m done for today.” he said, gingerly rubbing his sore shoulder and starting toward the exit.

“So soon?” The knight inquired, following him closely. “It has scarcely been hour.”

“Don’t be cheeky with me, sir knight. This is what you wanted.” Logan grumbled. “In the meantime, I think I need to go do some soul-searching.”

“Very well, then. I take it we’ll be picking up where we left off tomorrow, at a more reasonable pace this time?”

“Sure thing, Will. And with any luck, I might bring a new toy to try out.” Logan replied as he approached the club room door.

“Very good. I’ll see you then, young Ma-… I mean, Logan.” Sir William said.

The Scot stopped in his tracks for a few seconds, nodded slightly, then continued out the door. A few seconds after the boy was out of sight, the knight smiled softly and closed the secret passage to the s****. “Nice hair, by the way!” Logan’s voice suddenly resounded from the hallway.

With a sigh, the spirit put his helmet back on.

*In the interest of preserving my sanity, Aileana's rather potent dialect will no longer be reflected in spelling.[/box]

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Evelyn's Gift
by Kiki


On Christmas Eve, Evelyn found solace in the dark recesses of the ancient tunnels beneath her uncle Gregory's keep. It was here, in the damp depths of this ancestral castle, that Evelyn could avoid the politics that came with spending Christmas with the St. Augustines. It was a time when sibling rivalries were ignited as each family vied for the approval of her cantankerous grandfather, which was often done through the displaying of each child's omnivident abilities and prowess. It made Christmas with this side of the family tense, to say the least, and she found many of her cousins quite unbearable as a result. They had been fortunate enough to have spent the last two Christmases with her mother's side of the family. Most of them lacking the omnivident gift, Christmas was a much less supernatural affair.


Evelyn sighed, her voice echoing in the stone tunnel. She conjured a wisp of light to illuminate her way as she meandered further into the darkness. She had hoped for a much quieter Christmas, one where she could forget everything that had happened. From the moment she her plane had landed in Italy, she had remained tight-lipped with most of her experiences at Arclight Academy. There was no way that she was going to tell anyone about what had really happened at school; how she had literally lost one of her peers to the gates of hell. Despite the conversations she had with Maximilian, she could not shake this one thing in her life. It haunted her. She told no one how she woke up in the middle of the night from a nightmare of Carter being tormented, neither had she mentioned that she had sent her spirit into the spiritual realm on multiple occasions to seek out any information on the lost soul.

What spurred her to feel such torrential emotions for someone she had only barely known? Her guilt. Evelyn had despised Carter when she had first met him. He saw his abilities as an opportunity to become some sort of superhero. It was a mockery to all that she knew and all that she had been taught. She had seen him as a burden; a reckless liability; someone who she sorely wished was gone. And then, it happened. Just as the saying goes, "be careful what you wish for" proved to show how such wishes came at an expensive price; in her case, a mountain of guilt.

"Evelyn?" called out her father's voice from behind her. Lost in her thoughts, she had failed to sense the approach of her father. He jogged to catch up to his daughter, and looked down at his daughter with an unreadable expression; it was from him that she had inherited that trait. "What are you doing down here alone, firefly?"

Perhaps it was the knowledge that she was alone with her father, but Evelyn felt that she could no longer hold back the wave of emotions that she had buried within herself. She looked up at her father's face in the soft lighting of her luminous wisps, and for once, she relented. Evelyn turned her face away, unable to meet her father's eyes as she told him about the demons, the possessions, and Carter. The lattermost subject was quite emotional for the girl, and she could not stop herself from sobbing by the time she was done. It was quite uncharacteristic for those who did not know Evelyn, but her father remained stone-faced until she was done.

"Come with me," he said firmly, lending his open hand to his daughter. Rubbing her eyes, she grabbed her father's hand, feeling a mixture of embarrassed and comforted as they walked deeper into the tunnels under the castle.

"Have you made many friends at school?" her father finally asked after they had been walking in silence.

"Uh..." Evelyn hesitated. In truth, when Evelyn was told that she would be going to Arclight Academy, she had no intentions of making friends. They would train her to master her powers, and that would be it. Being homeschooled, as well as the youngest child in her family, Evelyn had never learned to appreciate the merits of teamwork and camaraderie. Her experiences as a member of the Supernatural Defense Unit however, had taught her quite quickly the importance of having to rely on others. It was definitely something that she had improved upon though she still only considered Maximilian and Logan as true friends, and was learning to tolerate Damian.

The anomaly to all this however, was her friend Bernice. Evelyn had initially seen her as a pawn for class work, but they had quickly become friends over time. Evelyn had learned the value in those that were neither omnivident nor touched, and while she still found many of her classmates annoying, she had formed a genuine friendship with the girl. Likewise, since meeting Evelyn, she had noticed that Bernice had come out of her shell slightly. They were good for each other. It was one of the reasons why Evelyn was willing to share a room with Bernice in the next semester.

"A few," replied Evelyn. She looked at her father's face seeing that he was not exactly please, though he was not upset either. Rather, he seemed to be acknowledging something regretfully.

"We have been fortunate enough to enjoy an era of peace" her father replied gravely "But there have been rumours of a war brewing." He turned to face his daughter, and gripped both her shoulders firmly. "If this is true, you'll need friends; genuine, time-tested, and loyal friends."

Without noticing, Evelyn realized that they now stood in a large cavern. Majestic slabs of marble tiles were perfectly placed onto the floor, and great pillars were carved from the earth itself, reflecting the grandeur of Roman columns. On the ceiling was a mosaic image, depicting a scene of knights fighting a monster that she could not recognize, though she could tell it was made during the Medieval Era. She felt as if her spiritual senses were a bit disoriented, for she could feel various energy signatures, but she could not specifically determine what they were. Taking a match from his pocket, Evelyn's father struck it and placed it into a stone trough. Immediately, the room lit up as the fire quickly spread through the trough, illuminating the rest of the cavern. It was then that Evelyn could clearly see that they were at the entrance of a large catacomb.

"Lord Winston?" spoke the disembodied voice of a young man with an inflection of surprise, "I was not expecting you" On instinct, Evelyn summoned her double-ended glaive and had multiple wisps rotating around her body as her eyes glowed violently to tackle the ghostly threat. The spirit chuckled, and suddenly a middle-aged man appeared in front of her wearing a suit of armour bearing a shield and sword. Evelyn noted in particular that he bore a cross on his shield and the chest of his armour. Her father placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder, and she looked up at him with a confused expression.

"Worry not, my child; we are blood. You are among my progeny," stated the knight calmly.

"Evelyn," said her father with a smile, "Allow me to introduce you to another one of your ancestors -"

"Lord Eustace the second, of house St. Augustine. Eldest son of Lord Richard, and Captain of the Twelfth Watch of the Lord's Watch Battalion in the year of our Lord 1408," interrupted the spirit. Evelyn's eyes narrowed as she examined the spirit carefully though based on her father's word, and her inability to sense any negative energy from the phantom, Evelyn dispelled her weapon. "During the 19th Century, I was paired with an Antiquarum relative of yours, a Lord Harrison," he continued. "We came upon this crypt and knew that it was imperative that it be protected. Thus, on his passing, I became the guardian of this crypt.

"Why was it imperative to protect this crypt?" she asked with a look of confusion.

"Let me show you," said her father as he strolled ahead with his hands casually behind his back.

They left Lord Eustace in the main chamber as the journeyed deeper into the catacomb, walking in silence while they passed various rooms as the sound of their footsteps echoed down the hall. Every now and then her father would suddenly make a turn to the left or the right; he clearly knew where he was going. Evelyn, on the other hand, did not. While she was not frightened at the thought of being lost, Evelyn did find it eerie that the remains of many of her ancestors rested all around her. She only saw the names of unknown relatives elegantly carved into the stone beneath each tomb. What were they like, she wondered. What artes did they wield? What creatures had they slain?

"Many of your ancestors in these catacombs were knights templar," spoke her father as if reading her mind; his voice broke the heavy silence that had fallen around the pair. "They lived in the middle ages, during a period known as the Era of Darkness. It came about following the Third War of Souls, in which Light was defeated by Darkness, plunging all civilization into its murky depths. All manner of creatures preyed upon humankind during these years of shadow, and it was the duty of the omnivident to protect them."

"It was a time of desperation," he said gravely "The omnivident were outnumbered by the creatures of darkness. And so, a conference was called to assemble two governors from each of the seven dominions during this period: The Kingdoms of England; The Kingdom of France; The Kingdoms of Italy and Greece; The Kingdom of Arabia; The Moorish Kingdoms; The Chinese Empire; and the Japanese Empire."

"When the conference concluded, it was decided that they would not rely on the whims of fate to provide them with naturally born omnivident offspring. Instead, they turned to a now infamous practice of bathing newborns in waters touched by spirits. These spectral baptisms initially had no effect on the children beyond gifting them with The Sight, but even this was a benefit in their battles against the supernatural."

"Contention with the practice led to it being ceased, but the governors of the seven dominions continued in this tradition, and within three generations nearly every child born from these families were omnivident. The families of these fourteen generals were the precursors of the omnivident bloodlines today. Even now, there are only three other major bloodlines aside from these that have arisen, one found in India, and two others found in South America, but those are another story. Nevertheless, each of these bloodlines came at a great price. You see, aside from those descended from the Dawn bloodline, there was never supposed to be any omnivident bloodlines."

"The bloodlines, our bloodline," he emphasized "have been cursed. The spectral energy within our blood gives us assured power, but we are all quite susceptible to metallic iron. To most of us, this manifests as an allergy to iron, but to others, the metal will literally cause their flesh to blister. Gifted with great power, our ancestors rose to prominence and esteem, but we lost the arte of the Mutationis in return."

"Why are you telling me this, father?" asked Evelyn. She did find the history lesson quite interesting, but it did little to make her feel better, neither did it answer her earlier question of why they were in the catacombs in the first place. Smiling, her father crouched in front of her so that his brown eyes were level with hers. She was one of the few people who were witness to this gentle side of her father.

"My dear little firefly," he said tenderly "Your ancestors were omnivident paragons, champions of their time, and still they made mistakes. They lost an entire arte, and cursed their families to a life of omnividence without the option to choose their own fate. They weren't perfect, and you're not expected to be either. You're facing incredible odds at such a young age; the likes of a demon dragon have not been heard of since the Fourth War of Souls, and yet you and your allies defeated it. What happened to Carter was not your fault, nor anyone else's."

"Your loss was just that, a loss," he continued "and you should not burden yourself with a mistake that is not yours to bear," he smiled mischievously as he stood up once more. "But do not be mistaken Evelyn Victoria St. Augustine, you can and you will make mistakes. This is why it is important to have friends, especially during these times of encroaching darkness."

Once again, Evelyn realized that they had stopped at an interesting location. They stood before a wall with a very detailed imaging of their family crest carved onto the wall. It was a masterpiece; a griffin and a lion stood on the left and the right of a shield, while a knight's helmet rested atop the shiled, and a stag reposing at the bottom of the shield. On the shield itself were four quadrants: in the upper left quadrant there was an image of a book; in the upper right quadrant there was an image of a castle tower; in the bottom left there was an image of a sun; and in the bottom right there were five arrows bound together. Unfurled on a scroll beneath the entire image were the words that Evelyn knew well: "Dignitas me agit." – Dignity leads me, her family crest.

In the middle of the shield was a small hole, her father stepped forward and took a very old ring off of his finger and placed it into the hole. Immediately, Evelyn felt a change in the atmosphere; there was a spirit connected to the ring. She could not see it, for it seemed to be so old that it could not even materialize, but she knew that it was watching.

"De Sancte Auguste sumus. Patefac tuas portas ut procedamus!" said her father in a slow and reverent voice. Evelyn could feel the atmosphere shifting about them, the watching presence seemed to slowly encircle them before moving towards the family crest. It was an odd sensation, as if she were being wordlessly assessed, but she knew better than to summon her weapons. After a moment of silence, she heard a click, and then suddenly the wall split into four pieces, separating from the centrepiece where the ring had been placed.

Evelyn stood in wonder gazing upon the room. It was a room filled with hundreds of medieval artifacts and weaponry. She understood now, that the various energy signatures that she had felt earlier had all been coming from this room. Her father watched with admiration twinkling in his eyes as his daughter slowly entered the room and looked at each of the beautifully crafted works.

"This is why Lord Eustace protects these catacombs," spoke her father with a rare smile. "Every Christmas during their first year of high school, I have brought your sisters to this very vault. Now, firefly, it is your turn to receive your Christmas present. Go on," he said, while pointing to a swirling wind in the centre of the vault. Although she could see no descript being, she knew it was the spirit whom she had sensed before. Timidly, she approached the swirling wind, picking up emotions, and various images as she got closer and closer. Although the spirit never spoke to her directly, Evelyn felt like she could understand it.

The spirit was very old, much older than any of the bodies resting in the catacombs. She felt like she could sense something of the Roman Empire about it. She found that she could perceive something of a feminine energy, a fact she found quite surprising to herself. The spirit seemed to bear itself as a proud mother or grandmother, plucking at Evelyn's hair and clothes as the spirit whipped around her. The mood of the spirit turned to that of listening, and Evelyn could feel her thoughts and emotions being read as the spirit spun around her. Finally, it stopped, and with care it guided Evelyn towards one of the weapon racks. Evelyn's eyes grew larger with shock as she was guided by the spirit; it wasn't possession, but it was still an unnerving experience. Gently, her hand led to the hilt of a beautiful rapier. It narrow blade shone almost blue in the firelight, with an elegant bronze hilt fashioned into a series of interwoven rings swirling around the hold of the hilt and culminating in a pommel set with a pale blue gem.

Taking it into her hand, Evelyn gasped as she was jolted by the holy energy within the weapon. She looked over to her father with a look of shock.

"Merry Christmas," he replied with a smile.

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Even now in Heaven there are Angels carrying savage weapons
by SS


The physical training hadn’t been had. Adi was used to it. There was no difficulty in simply going through the motions. Building up his body was easy. His body had become stronger, faster. No, it was the two other aspects of the self that were found wanting. The Angel had pointed it out to him easily enough.

“Child, you are a demon.”

The statement had frozen him completely. The Angel, a being of ‘good’ had dared call him the one thing he fought against.

“You’re wrong.”

“Yes,” the Angel then decided, “that is an inaccurate summation. Child, you are inhuman.”

He hadn’t expected Yuriel to correct himself.

“Do you not feel it?”

“I feel nothing.”

“You are wrong child,” the Angel chided, “You feel, so much that you are blinded by it.”

Instead of denying it, Adi glared at the Angel. He would rather the Angel get on with his training so that he could return home, return to his fight.

“Do you not feel it?” the Angel asked, “That hatred.”

The only thing he hated right now was how Yuriel was simply waffling on.

“It has begun colouring your feelings.”

The tone of voice was that of a clinical observation. Adi’s feeling on the matter changed from annoyance to curiosity. There was a lesson to be had here, he just knew it.

“What is it that you desire from your power child?”

“Nothing different from what I have been doing before.”

The Angel seemingly sighed, then changed tack,

“Why then is the Gift not forbidden when many of the Gifted have used it for evil?”

Yuriel always referred to the Angelorum like that. As for the question, the question had never occurred to him before. Adi was aware the existence of ‘rogue’ Angelorum and the existence of the Forbidden Artes. How the two concepts were related remained a mystery to him though.

“What happens when an Angel falls from grace?” Yuriel asked.

“They become Fallen,” Adi answered, “spreading chaos and bringing ruin.”

“They become a dark reflection of their nature, what they were before,” Yuriel corrected, “Great capacity for protection turns in to great capacity for destruction.”

“Then, what happens when an Angelorum falls from grace?”

“You are quick child. Tell me what happens when an Angelorum falls from grace?”

There had been records, and Adi had read up on them before. Rogue Angelorum were hunted and put down, and often at great cost. While the damage they inflict could not compare to a Fallen, the loss of life and destruction they bring could not be ignored.

“Gifted are mortal. Your capacity cannot compare to an Angel. Thus when one of you falls from grace the magnitude of your destruction does not compare to that of a Fallen.”

“Yet we become a dark reflection of ourselves all the same. We become a loose cannon.”

“You should not fear it child.”

That surprised Adi. He had read that it was normal of Angelorum to feel disgust and hatred, not just of demons, but those of the same Arte who turn ‘rogue.’ Why then, would he fear that he himself would walk the same path? Though given the topic of discussion, he wondered what evil would be reflected should he fall.

“You are not like us. You are mortal,” Yuriel repeated, “When a Gifted falls, it is not because they forsake their mission, or their goals. Rather, it is their restraint that is forsaken. Devotion becomes obsession. Unyielding becomes uncompromising. Mercilessness becomes needless cruelty. They will pursue that goal with all their might. Should it prove insufficient, they will acquire more. I ask again child, what is it you desire from your power?”

The answer was as simple as it was shameful.

“Revenge.”

“Vengeance? Truly?” the Angel merely enquired, “Is this what you were prepared give up everything for? Is this the one goal that you were going to pursue with all the power in your possession if not more?”

Adi sat down, face burning.

“This is not a rebuke child,” Yuriel finally said, “Merely a search coming to an end.”

“You said I was inhuman.”

“It is like a paradox, so detached yet leaving only hatred. It is stifling your progress.”

Adi wasn’t quite sure what he would do if he had to let go. They were his friends after all, his peers.

“You are simply harnessing it towards a meaningless end,” the Angel shook him out of his reverie. “Vengeance is a short-term goal. Once it is accomplished you will be left with nothing. You will be dead to the world save for the hate that you feel. That, child, is a waste. Given your Gift, you are meant to be more than a simple spirit of vengeance.”

“Even if it takes a lifetime to achieve it?”

“You will find no peace in death,” Yuriel confirmed.

Angel and Angelorum were silent for a while. The latter mulling over his conundrum as the former waited patiently.

“You do not want me to fall simply because of vengeance,” Adi finally concluded.

“No.”

“Or at all.”

“No.”

That had Adi confused.

“Each time you become witness to a tragedy, an act of destruction, ask yourself whether it is something that you would risk the world, your very soul, for.”

“Will I find peace then?”

“No.”

Adi remained was disquieted. Indirectly, the Angel was telling him to let go. No, that was simply putting words in Yuriel’s mouth. Adi did not need to let go of vengeance, only be aware of where it led. It seemed he was wrong when he thought himself an infallible Angelorum. Perhaps that was the point of the training. If Angels could fall, then how could the possibility not exist for a mortal? He was simply being arrogant, lacking in discipline. Adi chastised himself.

“You are not the first among the Gifted to have strayed from humanity,” Yuriel said, “There have been many before you. There will be many after you.”

“They cannot have all fallen.”

“No,” the Angel replied, “Some have found peace. Others had to be made peaceful.”

“How did they find peace?”

The Angel looked through him and answered,

“If you cannot live like a human then devote yourself. Live for and hold to a higher power, failing that, an impossible ideal. Then when your time comes you will know that your part is complete.”

Easier said than done, Adi thought. He had never been religious or spiritual. That in itself was surprising, given where he came from, and how he grew up. Or perhaps it was because he was Omnivident. There was no higher power. It had simply been his Gift all along.

“For now it is permissible to hold on to vengeance,” the Angel spoke, “but it is simply the first step in a long journey. Such is the realm of Saints and monsters.”

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Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:24 pm
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