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Secrets in the Shadows

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1 Secrets in the Shadows on Wed May 19, 2010 1:06 am

Secrets in the Shadows
Seven lives all
Entangled in

A web of lies.

“There are monsters everywhere out there, but it isn’t my job to kill them all.” – Midna

“Creatures come in all shapes and sizes. The ones that look different are called monsters, but that’s a lie. The truth is that monsters have many faces. Some of the worst look just like you and me.” – Sca

“Things aren’t always what they seem. Everything you know, everything you’ve ever been told, is a lie.” – Sen

“If one person has a delusion, it’s called insanity. If multiple people have delusions, it’s called religion.” – Wakel

“Those who feel emotion are normal, those who don’t are dead.” – Boone


By
Keanan Gretano




Prologue

“Everything is different from what it used to be. The year is 3062 A.A., After Armageddon. The world has changed drastically. The continents have joined together once more in Pangaea.

“When the world started changing, the human race, plants, and animals dropped drastically in population. The ones that lived – the lucky ones – weren’t so lucky. Seventy five percent of the Earth’s remaining inhabitants – plant, animal, and human alike – started to change. They adapted and evolved for survival in the harsh conditions of the wilderness. The remaining twenty five percent survived in the cities they built while the rest live outside.

“There are seven major cities around the capital city of Jenova Carpail. Surrounding the major cities are thirty five minor cities. Most don’t understand the ones who live outside the cities. They fear them and have gone to great lengths to keep them out of the cities. Even so, there are those who can take on a human appearance and sneak inside. These are the ones that the humans fear the most.

“There are people that hunt down these creatures. These people are bounty hunters hired by the cities and the soldiers who protect the cities. Not much is known about the bounty hunters. They kill without prejudice as long as they get paid, and the inhabitants of the cities fear the bounty hunters because of their nonchalance and mercilessness when they kill.

“The soldiers are considered the elites. Soldiers risk their lives every day and go through grueling training to be one of the elites. Soldiers risk everything- their lives, families, even their minds- by doing the job they have trained their entire lives for. Being a soldier requires a hard heart and strong mind to be able to kill another living being. This line of work may eventually require a soldier to kill someone they know, someone they are related to, or even someone they love. I am one of those soldiers.” – General Sca Weever

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2 Re: Secrets in the Shadows on Sat May 29, 2010 8:57 am

Chapter 1

A young girl sat underneath a tree in a village deep in the forest. Her hair went to the middle of her back and her bangs were pulled back in a braid on top of the rest of her hair. She was wearing an elegant dark blue robe that stood out against her paper white skin. Many silver bracelets adorned thin wrists. Blue tinted lips flitted across a pan flute, playing a sad song that had even the birds listening.

A group of young boys a few years older than the girl walked over to her and surrounded her in a half circle. They were all light haired and had tan skin. The color of their skin made their blue eyes stand out in soft featured faces. The boy standing directly in front of the girl bent down and snatched her flute from her- ending her song abruptly. The little girl slowly looked up at the boy, her face blank.

“Please give my flute back,” the girl said. Her voice was dull and had no emotion in it at all.

The dead voice sent a shiver down the boys’ spines, but none of them showed it.

“Make me Princess,” the boy sneered, “no one’s going to stop us from doing anything. Your mom’s dead and the Chief is out gathering food and won’t be back until tomorrow.”

“Please give me back my flute,” she repeated.

One of the boys on her right swung his fist down and punched the girl in the face. She fell to the ground and another boy kicked her in the stomach. The adults and other children in the village did nothing to stop the four boys; they simply looked away. The little girl pushed herself up and kicked out at the boy who had her flute. She knocked his feet out from under him and he fell to the ground with a grunt.

The small girl shot up and took her flute from the boy. One of the other boys lunged at her, but she avoided him and ran away from them, jumping over the fallen boy. She ran through the village, swerving between people and obstacles. At the other end of the village she ran into the forest without stopping. The four boys stopped at the tree line, but no one attempted to go after the strange little girl.

The little girl ran through the forest and kept running until she could run no more. She collapsed against a tree, leaning back on it as she sat on the ground and tried to catch her breath. She knew no one would come looking for her until her father got back, and even then they wouldn’t say anything until he noticed she was gone. But she wasn’t worried about that. No, she had run away plenty of times before. She knew how to survive out in the forest on her own.

When the girl had regained her breath, she raised the pan flute to her lips and started to play. The somber notes of the song drifted through the forest. During her song, a small, black and grey kitten walked over to her. He sat in front of her and just stared up at her as she played, his tail swishing back and forth to the melody. The little girl didn’t stop her song, instead she continued as she stared right at the small cat.

His coat was mostly grey and fluffy, but it was starting to become black and sleek as he grew older. He was small and his paws looked big and clumsy for such a small body. She could tell he would be a fast runner when he was older. His yellow-green eyes watched her curiously as she played.

The young girl knew that he was no ordinary cat. There was no such thing anymore. The kitten sitting in front of her was a young mynx, who was a cat that was able to take on the appearance of a human. The older the mynx, the longer they could hold the illusion. For that was what a mynx was known for- their ability to control, spot, create, destroy, hold, and manipulate illusions.

When she finished her song, the little girl lowered her pan flute despite the mynx’s objections. The little girl reached out slowly with her left hand and scratched the kitten’s head. The kitten closed his eyes and purred, leaning into her hand. After a bit the girl pulled her hand back and the cat yowled in annoyance at her.

Right in front of her eyes the kitten was suddenly a young boy of around three years old. He had shaggy black hair that stopped around his ears and fell in his green eyes. He was pouting at the girl and she had to admit that he looked rather cute.

“Why’d you stop?” the boy complained at her.

“I wanted to know your name,” the little girl said in her quiet voice.

“I’m Sen,” the young mynx said with a smile.

“My name is Midna,” the little girl told him.

“Where’s your family, Midna?” Sen asked with a curious tilt of his head.

“I ran away,” Midna said.

“Why?” Sen inquired confused.

“Because no one likes me. I’m different than all the other fairies,” she told him.

“Well then I’ll be your family,” Sen said happily. Midna blinked at him once before nodding her head slowly. She wasn’t used to people being nice to her, but she wouldn’t abandon young Sen out here in the forest.

“Where do you live?” Midna asked Sen.

“Follow me,” Sen said with a smile before he dropped the illusion. The kitten Sen stood up and Midna rose as well. She followed Sen through the forest in silence, keeping the little kitten in sight at all times.

They finally came upon a hollow beneath a large tree. Sen let Midna crawl in first before he entered the hollow. The hollow was just big enough to fit both of them comfortably. Sen fell asleep rather quickly when Midna started playing a soft lullaby on her pan flute. She stayed awake just listening to Sen’s purring as she thought about all that had happened today.

-/-/-/-/-

About a month later, Midna and Sen were exploring the forest. They never ventured too far from their small home, but they still loved to walk around. They stopped when they heard the sound of a woman humming. The two children hid behind a tree and watched as a pregnant demon woman came into view.

The woman stopped at a bush and put down her woven basket. She stooped a bit and started gathering berries from the bush, dropping them into her basket. Sen walked out from behind the tree, hopping over Midna’s reaching hands, he walked to the demon woman and she stopped humming when she heard him mew in greeting.

She smiled at Sen and leaned down, a hand on her lower back, and petted him. Sen started purring and leaned into the woman’s hand. She straightened up and looked over at the tree Midna was still hiding behind.

“It’s alright; you can come out little one. I won’t hurt you,” the woman called gently.

Midna hesitated before slowly moving out from behind the tree. She walked toward the pregnant demon slowly and stopped several feet from her. The woman smiled at Midna warmly and stooped down close to her height.

“What are your names, little one?” she asked them.

“My name is Midna and this is Sen,” Midna said quietly.

“I am Meara,” the woman said.

“I’ll help you pick berries,” Midna said quietly.

“Oh you don’t need to do that dear. I can manage on my own,” Meara said.

Midna walked past her and to the bush. She heard Meara sigh as she began to pick berries, dropping them into Meara’s basket. Meara straightened up and started picking berries from another bush. Sen meowed and started walking around the two women.

“Is it a boy or a girl?” Midna asked quietly after several minutes. Her onyx eyes looked at Meara’s swollen stomach in curiosity.

“A boy,” Meara answered with a smile.

“Have you come up with a name yet?” Midna asked curiously. She looked up at Meara, curiosity showing in her dark eyes.

“I was thinking of either Valen or Heyta. They‘re traditional demon names,” she told the young faerie.

“Those are nice but they don’t sound right. How about…Syd? It’s the name of an ancient faerie warrior. No one has had that name for centuries,” Midna suggested.

Meara looked to be thinking about it for a minute before smiling. “I like that. It’s settled then. I’ll name him Syd.”

Midna smiled a bit and walked over to Meara. She stopped in front of her, and the pregnant demon looked down at her confused and curious. Midna reached out and put her small, pale hands on Meara’s swollen stomach. She leaned forward so her face was close to the elder woman’s stomach.

Midna whispered something to the unborn baby in a language Meara didn’t understand. Midna’s hands glowed a soft blue color and then a white that spread over the entirety of Meara’s pregnant belly before disappearing. Midna looked up at Meara when she was done speaking and smiled softly.

“That’s a faerie blessing. I’ve seen the healers cast it on pregnant women in the village. It ensures the health and good fortune of the baby. He’ll be a healthy little baby when he’s born,” she told her softly.

Her eyes widened and she pulled her hands back quickly. She stared in shock at Meara’s stomach. “He kicked me,” she whispered shocked.

“He likes you,” Meara said with a soft smile.

Sen meowed and Midna looked down at the young mynx. She picked up the kitten and looked at Meara. “We need to get going, Meara. It was nice meeting you,” Midna said.

“Be safe you two. There are a lot of dangerous creatures out here,” Meara warned.

Midna nodded. “I know,” she said quietly. She turned and walked off into the woods. The small black haired girl hurried back to the hollow she shared with the black and grey kitten in her arms.

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3 Re: Secrets in the Shadows on Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:29 pm

Snow


Admin
Oh my, what an amazing story if I don't say so myself!
Not to mention grammar and spelling is perfect.
Glad to have you here (ha, well on the new site)!

Can't wait to see what happens.
Thank you for posting this!

P.s.
Mynx kitten!
~<3

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4 Re: Secrets in the Shadows on Wed Jun 23, 2010 1:15 am

Chapter 2

A small boy ran through the forest. He had auburn hair falling down his back and it was pulled back into a low ponytail. His hazel eyes shone with alertness and darted anxiously around, surveying his surroundings as he ran. His clothes were dirty but in good condition. He could hear people moving about the forest all around him. The boy climbed a tree quickly and hid, pressing his body flush against the branch he was clinging to. He watched the area below his chosen perch and waited.

There was only silence in the forest now. The only sounds the boy could hear were his own breathing and his heart beat in his ears. The boy looked around the forest for any signs of movement. Everything was washed in a green hue as the white sunlight filtered through the canopy. The sun was at its highest point in the sky and the sheet of shadow cast by the trees made the dark brown soil almost impossible to see. The young boy could not even see his own shadow amongst those of the trees being cast on the ground below him.

A red haired boy walked slowly into view beneath the tree. He was hunched slightly, paying close attention to where his feet fell on the ground. His body was tensed and he walked almost exactly like an animal stalking its prey. The young boy in the tree shifted his position and waited, anxiously watching the older boy on the ground. The older boy stopped when he was almost directly beneath the branch the younger was perched in. He looked around at the dark, green tinted forest around him and the younger jumped off of his perch.

The sound of tearing fabric was almost deafening in the silent forest. The older boy’s head snapped up quickly but it was too late to move out of the way. The younger boy, now changed, crashed down on him and both boys fell to the ground. The younger boy was now covered in white, black, and light brown feathers. His feet and hands resembled birds’ talons and his nails tore through the other boys’ shirt and pants. Wings flared out from between the boys’ shoulder blades, steadying him as the older boy tried to push him off. A grin spread across the younger boys’ face, revealing razor sharp teeth that gleamed in the dim, green lighting.

“You lose, brother,” the younger said triumphantly. He was looking at a long, shallow scratch on the red head’s right cheek. A single bead of blood had pushed its way out of the wound. He climbed off of his brother and held a hand down to him. The older boy grabbed the offered hand and climbed to his feet. The top of the young boys’ head came up to his nose.

“How do you always win, Sca? I caught all of the others but I can never catch you,” the red head said. The young boy, Sca, changed back to his human appearance and the top of his head now came up to the other boys chin.

“I want to be a soldier like dad some day. To be one I have to be stealthy and act as human as possible, Ke’av,” Sca said. The red haired boy, Ke’av, smiled and ruffled Sca’s auburn hair. Sca smiled and ducked his head, batting playfully at his brothers’ hand.

“Come on lets head home. The littles should be home by now since they headed back after I caught them. Mom should be done with dinner by the time we get home,” Ke’av said.

Sca nodded and they started back toward their house. It didn’t take long for the two brothers to break into a run and start racing. The sun was just beginning its slow descent across the clear, light blue sky when they caught sight of their house. The house wasn’t really what would be considered a typical house. It was more of branches and vines tied together and propped up in two large trees. It blended in perfectly with nature because it was a part of nature. The other creatures of the forest would just see it as a birds nest.

~/~/~/~/~/~

A young man stood in a parked hover van with close to ten other men who were all older than him. Every single one of them wore identical white armor, helmets tucked under their arms. The young man looked no older than seventeen and his auburn hair was cut in the same style as every other man’s in the room. They all stood side by side on either side of the van facing a man who was also in a uniform. A hologram of a building was projected next to this man.

“This is the location of our mission. It is the last laboratory of Angravea’s. The procedure is simple: get in and get out. You’ve been given special laser capsules for this mission. Shoot only the Angravea with them. Fire a stunner laser at anyone else. Do you understand me?” the man said. He spoke loud enough so everyone in the van heard him clearly.

“Yes sir!” they all answered in unison.

The man put his helmet on and everyone else did the same. They grabbed their rifles and one of the soldiers opened the doors. They jumped out of the hover van and moved quickly and efficiently toward the building across the street. The soldiers entered the building and started firing at the Angravea’s that were in sight.

The soldiers moved throughout the laboratory, taking out the Angravea’s and stunning anyone who got in their way. Because of this they all split off, going off on their own.

Sca entered a room, kicking in the locked door. Inside he found one of the “mothers” and a young Angravea. They were huddled in the corner furthest from the door, the woman curled around the small child. Sca moved further into the room, keeping his rifle trained on the woman and young boy.

“Let the boy go, miss. You won’t be harmed if you give me the boy,” Sca said. His voice was digitally altered by his helmet so the woman wouldn’t know what he really sounded like.

“Please, please don’t take my son. We haven’t done anything to you. Please don’t take my baby from me,” the woman pleaded.

Sca moved his hand to switch the rifle to stun when the little boy looked up. The boys violet eyes stared right into his even through his visor. The raw fear in the child’s eyes pulled at Sca’s heart. He set his rifle to stun, put the safety on, and put the weapon in its holster on his back.

Sca walked quickly across the room toward the terrified woman and Angravea. He stopped in front of them and reached down to grab the woman’s arm. He pulled the woman to her feet, the child still in her arms.

“Stay close to me and don’t make a sound. Cover the little’s eyes so he doesn’t see anything,” Sca ordered.

He didn’t wait for the woman to respond, instead moving back toward the door. The young soldier moved quickly and silently through the halls. The radar on his visor helped to avoid the members of his team. Sca led the woman to the back door and they were almost clear when a soldier appeared in their path. He had his rifle pointed at Sca’s chest.

“What do you think you’re doing, soldier?” the other soldier demanded. Even though his voice was altered, Sca knew who it was.

“I can’t kill them, father. I don’t know why but I can’t hurt the little,” Sca said calmly. The rifle moved from Sca to the woman and child behind him.

“Then let me take care of it. You can’t afford to mess up like this in the start of your career,” his father said. He fired the rifle and a beam of orange light flew right at the young Angravea.

The woman screamed and there was a flash of bright light. Sca closed his eyes even as his visor adjusted to shield his eyes. When the light cleared Sca slowly opened his eyes after his visor had adjusted back to normal. The first thing he saw was his father lying flat on his back on the floor, a hole burned into his chest plate.

Sca’s eyes widened and he hurried to his father’s side. He dropped to his knees beside the fallen soldier. Sca pulled off his father’s helmet and then pulled off his own. His father’s eyes were closed and Sca could see the feathers on his face and head.

“No. No it can’t be. No! Father!” Sca gave an anguished cry and fell onto his father’s chest. Sobs racked his body and he heard footsteps hurry past him. He jolted when a hand was placed on his back. Sca looked up to see the small Angravea boy who had been in the woman’s arms.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to kill him. I didn’t want to. He tried to kill me and momma,” the boy said softly.

Sca leaned forward and pressed his lips to the boys forehead, pulling back after a second. “I know you didn’t mean it, little Angravea.” Sca gently plucked a dark brown feather with a white stripe down the middle from his father’s head. He put it in the boy’s hand, folding his small fingers over the delicate feather. “Keep that, little one. Let it be a reminder of the event you survived.”

The boy nodded and went back to the woman. She picked up the boy and hurried out the back door. Sca put his father’s helmet back on. He replaced his own helmet and stood up. He turned on the intercom that the team of soldiers were all connected to.

“Area clear but we lost one. Captain Weever was killed by a backlash from an Angravea defending itself. I was unable to stop them and they escaped. I didn’t see where they went,” Sca said. His voice was calm and controlled, showing none of the sadness he felt. His father was dead and he knew he wouldn’t be allowed to tell his family that he had died.

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5 Re: Secrets in the Shadows on Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:28 pm

Agree with snow-very much! When do you guess this will hit shelves? Ha-maybe if our paths cross again, i can help type it up for u once more. no? Mh, but yeah! we both love it! I knowi read slow, but its so i cna picture it, and i must say- that last scence rocked out!! it was like a futiristic hybrid call of duty scne in my head with ah- Ra like men, ha. enjyoed-msut read more alright? tkae ur time however------------and-ah-one more thing....HHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII! k. im good.

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6 Re: Secrets in the Shadows on Wed May 22, 2013 2:39 pm

Its been a while huh? Happy birthday!! ^^ You by far are on of my most favorite writers still. ^^ Hope all is well; can't wait to buy your finished stuff! Take care. ^^

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