Chapter 4 – The Awareness

Check out the previous chapters:

Chapter 1 – The Secret:

Chapter 2 – The Ritual:

Chapter 3 – The Bargain:




                        Chapter Four


The Awareness…


Arianna Lenard stumbled on a rock, both blind with grief and rage. The daughter of her womb, the son of her heart, the brother to her soul. All gone within the span of a week. The first murdered, the second little more than a vegetable, the third . . . just missing.

She had come to the Low Lands to seek revenge, but revenge was not what she got. She stumbled again, fell to her knees.

“You could always join me.” Intoned a nasal rumble behind her.

“Never.” She spat through gritted teeth.

The man sighed dramatically. “There will be only two sides where you can stand when this is over, Ari. Either you are with me or against me.”

“I’d rather die a permanent death.” She hissed, clutching the needle pointed rocks hard enough into her fists to break skin. Blood welled, but the sharp pain kept her focused.

“We cannot stop it. Even if you kill me over and over, the inevitable will happen as nature wills it to. This way I ensure control and authority over it all.”

“And who made you a god?” Arianna sneered with derision. She had never in her life used such a condescending tone, not even to Remo, but she felt detached from the person she had been a week ago. “You are nothing but another creature, one of them. Soon they will wonder why it is you and not one of them ruling. What do you think will happen then?”

Remo didn’t say anything.

Arianna threw her arms wide, encompassing the entire planet in the gesture. “Look what three of us did, take a look around.” They both looked at the complete destruction their arrival had caused over half a millennium ago. Though neither of them remembered the land the way it used to be, both had seen enough of paintings and portraits to know they had destroyed one of the most beautiful planets in existence. Nothing had escaped their arrival, no insect, no single plant or tree, no animal, not even the warriors sent to fight for the land. Even the water had been drained, for it was full of energy, the food of the quasar stellar beings.

“They are coming, Ari, with or without your approval.” Remo said calmly – flatly.

Arianna stood slowly, her bedraggled appearance just a warped mirror of her grief. “I will find a way to stop it. I will shove you through that portal, then I will close that thing behind you.” her soft green eyes blazed with determination, but the man only watched her patiently. Once he had been as tall and handsome as she, but power and greed had corrupted him into this – this manifestation. “Look at you, Re. You are losing yourself to it. It has transformed you into a monster.”

Remo smirked, raised his arms in a pose. “Power is a wonderful thing, Ari. External appearance means nothing.” He let go of the glamour he held always in check, and a blast of energy hit Arianna so hard, she took a reflexive step back – though it wasn’t an attack, just his power without a leash.

She hissed at his knowing smugness. “You have been feeding . . . from what?” she asked through gritted teeth. Once, a long time ago, she had hunted with him, revved in the energy they could cultivate from a being. But that was before, when she hadn’t yet known she had to hurt someone, hurt something to make power, even if it was hurting a plant. Both she and Zantry had recoiled from the notion, had stopped draining things, taking only enough to survive – and that only from a source of water. For a time then, Remo had joined them, had been content with what they got. Once, she had even considered him a friend, another brother to her soul.

Remo came closer, pulled back the corrupt energy into himself.  “You said it yourself. Look around you, Ari, see what three of us have done. The portal can’t be closed. What do you think will happen when they come pouring in unchecked?”

“You killed my daughter.” Arianna choked.

Remo cocked his head to the side, his beady eyes flat as he contemplated her. “You created her to kill me first.”

His words felt like an icy blow, made more potent by the truth in them. She had made Cara to kill Remo, being that she was half a Dhiultadh and half of her womb. She had learned long ago that both powers combined could freeze the portals Remo had opened, and learned that mingled into one, they could possibly destroy it. Now she would never know, for her daughter was dead. Logan, Cara’s mate, had felt her loss so acutely he had retreated deeply into himself, nothing more than a man vegetable now, unwilling even to raise a spoonful to his mouth.

In her mind she had always known the danger she was thrusting her daughter into, but to her credit, she had never imagined throwing her alone or unprepared to Remo Drammen.

She whirled around before she did something she’d regret later on. Not killing him, because that would be very satisfying, even if he’d return after a few weeks – but if he was telling the truth, which she suspected he was, then the portal could activate at a time when Remo wasn’t present and other creatures of the quasar stellar would start pouring in unchecked. the land here was already dead and there was a possibility that nothing would happen, but if the creatures learned to travel through the paths like Arianna and Remo and Zantry had . . . and the three of them had killed an entire planet just to be able to physically manifest . . . Arianna didn’t want to think about the consequences if Remo wasn’t present to guard the portal, to bind whatever came through to his will by taking from its essence – even if it made him more powerful in the process.

Furious with herself and the sense of futility, Arianna balled her hands into fists and began marching away; searching the path in the ether she had made once, long ago for emergencies.

“And Zantry?” she paused to wait for a reply, but when only silence met her, she flashed to earth, to the only person she knew would give her the space and solace she needed.




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