Scene 1.9 - Eve's Power Unleashed
The Kindred Fortress:
Eve paused at the edge of a crossing hallway. Indecision was eating at her as she debated which way to go. The hall to her left led to a staircase that traveled upward, while the one to her right descended down to a lower level. The air down there felt incredibly damp and stagnant compared to the environment surrounding her now.
In the end, she decided to bypass them entirely. She was determined to fully explore these hallways first. If she found nothing, then she would debate where to go next.
It felt like the air was growing cooler as she walked. Her hand skimmed the wall beside her, still feeling nothing but rough stone. A bit of moisture began coating her fingers though. That was something different. The smell of the air was changing as well. The scent of stale water hung heavily in the air.
At last, the area opened up through an archway just ahead. She paused when she reached it. The ground was definitely cooler here against the thin soles of her slippers. Her senses began to heighten as she stepped into the room. There was an alcove of some sort off to the right and within it, she could feel a fresh source of energy filling the air.
Examining her surroundings, she realized this room was almost as large as the one in which she'd first awoken. It might be an over-sized storage room, she supposed. Thick shelves ran the length of each wall, piled with items she couldn't discern. Whatever was in here must be rotted beyond belief. The air was hardly even breathable. It felt extremely old and completely unkempt. It left her with a feeling of great trepidation, wondering where on earth she could possibly be.
If not for the opening off to her right, she would have turned around to head back for safer ground. She simply couldn't let herself retreat yet. She had to see where this new source of energy was coming from.
Oh, how bizarre!
A frown overtook her face as she stepped into the new room, feeling her toes sinking into the soft ground beneath her feet. She crouched at once to touch—sand! Was she outside? That really made no sense at all. It certainly felt like she was still indoors.
The sensation of movement overhead caused her face to tilt upward and she stood back up. Every corner of the room seemed to be moving, she realized. Some sort of strange, rhythmical substance seemed to surround her on all sides. What held it at bay, she couldn't fathom. She was completely mystified to identify it.
Was it—a wall of water? Now, that was completely absurd! Yet, that was exactly what it felt like… With a shake of her head, she wondered what could possibly be holding it at bay.
Just as she would have moved closer to inspect it, she froze when she sensed she was no longer alone. Gripping the frame of the archway just behind her, she whirled around on her heel to scan the area. If it was one of her captors, she was certainly in the mood to entertain them at this point. Her patience for their games had worn out long ago.
The energy she had sensed earlier came directly from within the water itself. Drawing upon it to fuel herself, she remained where she was searching for any sign of movement. No one appeared in the area, yet she was certain she'd felt something a moment ago. Then, there it was. She found it.
The faint blue aura of swirling energy told her precisely what it was. She could see it clearly in her mind's eye. This spirit was much different than the first one though. It was not content to remain hovering in a corner of the room. This one was steadily moving toward her. She did not sense mere curiosity emanating from it. This one was clearly guarded and alert with a hint of malevolence directed solely at her presence within the alcove.
Something about its approach gave her pause for concern. This spirit seemed far bolder than the last one had. It looked no different, but it felt different. It made the hairs on her arms stand up in attention as goosebumps broke out over her skin.
She'd have arched a brow at it in response if she could, tilting her head as she dared it to continue advancing in her direction. For a moment it stopped, hovering just twenty-feet away as though measuring her up for size.
"If you've come to pick a fight with me, this will not end well for you," she warned it.
"Why are you here," a whispered voice echoed within the surrounding space. It seemed to come from nowhere, yet it clearly emanated from the being itself.
How creepy, she thought to herself. It had spoken out loud in a voice she could hear. Her breathing quickened, but she refused to let herself fear it. Perhaps this spirit believed it was no one to be toyed with, but neither was she. It would have never met anyone like her before—either in life or in death.
She stood her ground as she stared it down, planning her next move. The energy it exuded began swirling and spinning with great hostility. More than likely, it was attempting to assert its authority over what it assumed must be its own personal domain.
No… This being had no such authority over her, she gritted her teeth. She was done being pushed around by anyone or any thing. If it wanted to play that game, then she would call its bluff.
"You have ten seconds to find a hole to crawl into."
"And then," that disembodied voice whispered with intense curiosity.
Pursing her lips, Eve took a single step backward, digging her toes into the sand in the ground. Her hands raised before her, palms up as her neck arched her head forward in a stiff posture. Muscles she had not exercised in a very long time at the base of her skull began to extend ever so slightly outward. Her scalp started to tingle as she allowed her closed eyes to dilate in calm focus. The static in the air had her hair rising with the power she was quickly amassing. Behind her she sensed objects sinking like stones, not knowing what they were—but their essence was giving her a rush of energy such as she had not felt in all the years of her captivity.
"Get out…" The word was spoken as a whisper, yet with such force that she scarcely recognized her own voice. It was the last warning she would give this being before scattering its soul to the wind.
It was with both fascination and surprise that she watched the being morph into the body of a fully grown man. What had been nothing more than a cloud of swirling energy took on the shape of a strong and menacing image within the storage room.
What in God's name!
Terror became her true friend in that instant. No matter the size of him—no matter what he was—he would be vaporized in seconds if he made one move in her direction.
In the palm of her right hand, she envisioned an orb beginning to grow. She powered it with all the energy she could pull from the surrounding environment. She could hear and feel the thud and quake of objects hitting the ground in the distance behind her. She was growing blind to all but the enemy towering in the distance. The heat and friction of the orb that she knew to be glowing in her hand made her bold enough to challenge even the most dangerous of creatures. This being, whatever he was, would be no match against her should he move.
"No!" A dark voice howled within the room. She scarcely felt his presence before he was standing right in front of her. "Don't you dare," he raged at her in a furious voice as he grabbed her wrist in a steely grip.
Eve was thrust up off her feet and pushed back twenty-feet in the span of a single heartbeat. He hurtled her against an icy wall, pinning her in place by the throat. He was an immense creature and she felt an eternity passed in the seconds before he dared to move.
"Ratziel," the man growled down into her face. "Get the hell out of here! She's liable to blast the damned fortress apart! Now! Move!" His face rammed within a hair's breath of hers then. "Let it go," he hissed with pure venom. "I will cast you out to sea if you don't!"
Her mouth hung open, perched up against the wall, unable to breathe. She clutched the orb in her hand, clenching it tightly, unwilling to drop the only weapon she possessed.
"Do you want to die down here with us? Are you insane? I don't want to kill you, but I will do it," he promised her.
All at once he let go of her neck, grabbing hold of her wrist with both hands. He thrust it straight through what she'd thought was a solid wall. Suddenly, she it felt like a thousand knives were licking at her bare skin.
She screamed as an unbearable pain assaulted her senses. She was unable to contain her shock and lost complete control of her body. Her palm clenched of its own volition and the force of it burst the orb. Somehow the impact of its detonation was shielded from the room, but she felt the charged energy enter her body. Her head thrust back wildly as the electric charge assailed her system, lighting its way to every extremity.
Pain! It was the last thought that overtook her as she suddenly fell limp… Numb… And then, she blessedly felt nothing else at all…