Part 2

From the Story Arc: Legacy of a Fallen Hero

Previous Story in the Arc: Part 1 by October Star II (Monday, July 04, 2005)

Next Story in the Arc: Part 3 by October Star II (Wednesday, July 13, 2005)

(posted Friday, July 08, 2005)

The figure in the crimson hood slowed her flight and came to rest on a high cluster of gray rocks near the gate to Dark Astoria. The wind whipped fiercely in a frenzied dance, tossing the woman's deep red and black cloak wildly about her small body. A long sigh escaped Sister Hecate's lips as she looked down at the paths far below that cut through the short grass. Once they had held lovers talking happily about a future together, children who laughed and played without care, old couples who reminisced together. Now all she saw the corrupted children of the earth.

Perhaps once they had been plants that had nourished the people of this land. Perhaps they had been people, altered by some insane magic. Hecate was not certain. Now they were foul hybrids bent on destruction. The sight saddened her mostly, but as she heard their words of cleansing the earth in the name of Goddess, most of her pity melted away in indignant rage. She was not entirely sure who had created these things but it was not her Goddess or any other act of natural creation. Moist likely, she thought, some corporation like Crey or another group of meddlesome humans playing gods.

Hecate crossed her ankles and sat, her hands resting palms down on her knees. A long breath slowly escaped her lips, controlled, as her body began to melt in relaxation. She began to empty her mind in preparation, to sweep away the cluttered thoughts, leaving nothing but a clean space. She began. The air cooled and night began to come in like a thick tide of darkness. Hecate knew the dead who did not rest would be coming to these lands now, but she would not let that distract her tonight. The ancestors were calling her to them even now, and she must heed their call.

The tall trees rustled against the rock side, but there was only silence. The winds clattered though the rocks and swirled the loose leaves in the air, but there was only silence. Heroes and the shambling dead battled below her, and there was only silence. Then the voices began to hum from beyond the veil. At first a low whisper, then it slowly rose to a buzz, like a nest of hornets. The air crackled with energy and Hecate opened her now clear emerald green eyes. The white glow that had allowed her to see in the world of men was gone. At home her in the world of the spirits it was not needed.

An uncountable number of voices spoke all at once, harmoniously in unison. Even with so many present Hecate could feel them all. These were her family. Her mother had not survived her special birth and her father; well no one ever spoke of him. She had traveled from one well-meaning couple to another, none knowing what to do with the blind child with the clouded green eyes who only spoke when she was alone. Her spirit family had always been there with her, teaching her, keeping her safe. She had never been really alone. The humans never understood. The doctors, the psychologists, even the noisy faith healers, none of them had really understood.

It was not until she had become older that she had developed the special sight that allowed her to see the world of men. At had been an awful shock. A place of sadness, of pain, and of evil, not at all what she had imagined. Often she had wished she could close her eyes forever, calling back the blindness and with it her own innocence. This could not be done her guides had said. “You are their Guardian. In all its ugliness you must keep vigilant.”

Hecate gazed at the silhouettes that appeared along the curtain of energy, the veil she guarded so diligently. They would come no further but she could feel warm arms around her in happy reunion.

The chorus spoke. “Child it has been far too long since you have come to us.

"I know. I am sorry. Things have been… difficult. Hard to get away for long."

You gave them our message?

"I tried to.” Hecate’s mouth drew tight. “I am not sure I understood it well myself."

The lines of time have become cloudy. There are those that wish to control what can not be, which should never be…

"Do you mean the Crey? I don't…"

The chorus cut her off. “These names are meaningless to us here, child. We can tell you this. One who is lost will be found. They must not stay for too long. Time is a delicate thing, not to be stretched too tight. One who feels out of place in this time may choose to return with the lost one. This may or may not be fated. It is unclear.

"I think I understand."

The darkness we spoke of, it is growing closer. The places that are dimmest of light will be the first to feel it but it will grow. You and those who fight by your side must be ready.

"Does this have to do with those that use the name of the huntress for their evil? Is this the darkness?"

They vex you little one, we understand. They are truly of little consequence. Misguided sisters being lead by she who stole the name of out champion. Retrieve your name and be done with them. They are of little real importance in what is still to come.

"Alright."

Come to us again soon. Your companions my not want to listen to some of the things we are seeing, but you must be our voice. You must make them listen. It is the only way.

A slight vibration against Sister Hecate's breast made her jump. “Damn. I have to go. They are calling."

She felt the warmth of a smile wash over her. “Come again come next waxing moon. Until then, remember dear child, remember.

As quickly as they came, the figures faded away, leaving the dimly lit park and her buzzing cell phone. Hecate impatiently brushed away the feeling of loss and loneliness that now hung on her. She was needed in the here and now, and that would have to do. She lifted the phone from the inner pocket of her black robes and recognized the number on the screen. It was back to duty again. She shut off the vibration and clicked on her ear communicator as she slipped the phone back into it inner pocket. "Yes?"

Alexei's voice was clear though a bit quieter than usual. "You remember the time in Independence Port comrade? I am needing your help this time. I am in Striga, and am a little outnumbered."

"Send me your coordinates and I will be there soon." Hecate chuckled quietly. "Don't start the party without me." She smiled a bit sadly and rose slowly from her rocky perch. Yes back to duty. It was the only way.