science experiment gone wrong
"How do we know history is real if the victor writes it?", a student asked as Owen went over the day's lesson. He was wondering when this one was going to come up. In a small way he was surprised it took this long.
"The history is still real," he answered, "it's just told from a certain prespective." And haven lived through some of that history he found it amusing at times at what prespective took hold.
"To make the side who ;ost look bad, right?"
"Well that is one of the perks of being the victor," he joked. "But sometimes the loser will portray the victor as being the evil invaders."
"Or they tell it from their point of view," said another.
"Great point Lucy. For example, I may have heard it wrong but I do believe I once heard the over in England the American Revolution is refered to as the American Rebellion." He looked over the students, momentarily focusing on the chair that had been empty for the past week. Ever since he saw how worried she was when her mother pulled into the parking lot.
"Mr. MacDonald?", Lucy spoke up bringing his attention back to the close.
"Sorry my mind went elsewhere for a moment. You were saying?"
After the school day was over he headed to the councilor offices to talk about his concerns. At least try to without looking overly attached. This was out of worry for her safety and nothing else. Fortunately one of the was still in, "Hey George can I talk to you about something?"
"My doors are opened to both students and teachers Henry," he said as he gestured toward the empty chair at his desk. As he sat down George went, "So what can I do for you?"
"I'm worried about one of my students," he said. "A Janet Smith." George turned toward his filing cabinet as he looked for her file. Owen sat quietly as he went over it.
"I'm not seeing anything out of the ordinary in the file," George said after a moment. "So what's problem are you seeing?"
"I think it's her home life," he said. He wemt into what he's observed, particularly the incident in the parking lot. "I couldn't see what was going on in the car but it stayed there for a few moments longer than necesarry consider she told me her mother was in a hurry. And now she's been out for a week since then."
George leaned back a bit in his chair, "She just could gotten that cold that's been going around. It's pretty nasty from what I've heard."
"So have I and that occured to me too," he admitted. "It just seemed like a weird coinsidence to me."
"So why didn't say anything sooner? You were concerrned enough for her wellfare to hang around until her mother showed up. Why wait a week?
"I'm not sure," he was forced to admit. I guess part of me thought I was over reacting, another part didn't want to make it worse for her in caes I was right."
George leaned forward, "Henry I don't want to belittle your concerns but do you think the fact you lost your friend recently might be clouding your judgement a bit."
Owen looked at him clamping doen on the anger that was threatening to rise. How dare he use Douglas like that. "I had some worries before then."
"Right, the foriegn language thing," he looked deep in thought as he turned his gaze toward the window for a moment. "I'll admit it does look a little suspisous given the facts at hand. I'll contact a social worker I'm friends with and have him check it out. It'll look better than say if you came to their door."
"Thanks George, I'm hope I'm wrong about this." He started to get up when the other man stopped him.
"Henry, considering you're a male teacher and this is a female student I have some concerns of my own I think we should address."
And this was exactly what he was trying to avoid. "There's nothing going if that's what you're worried about. I do have a girlfriend."
"Who's conviently out of town I might add."
"I know this isn't going to prove anything," he said pulling out his phone. Pulling up a picture of him and Natalya he showed it to him. "This was taken a month before I got this job. Do you see how sweet she looks here? She will literily kill me if she thought I was cheating on her." He offered him the phone, "Here check my recent calls..."
George declined, "You're right, that doesn't really prove anything. Look Henry I want to believe you on this, I really do. But look at it from my point of view. You do seem a tad fixated on her."
"I'm just worried about her well being, that's it."
"Alight, I'll believe you for now," George told him. "But you better believe I will be keeping an eye on you if and when she comes back to school. Do I make myself clear?"
"Fair enough," Owen conceded. "Thank you for listening to my concerns."
Hours later Owen was still wondering if he was over reacting as he walked around the neighborhood. She could have been sick. Maybe she was embarrased of her mother for some reason. There were several logical reasons why she acted the way she did. Then again he knew what Janet was, or had ther potential to be, and didn't want anything to happen to awaken it. He wouldn't even wish that on Princess or her father.
He stopped and looked at the sky as Keith popped into his head. This damn game as they called it should have been over long before now.
He was lost in thought, but not enough to realize somebody was following him. Owen looked around every so often and didn't see anybody right away. "God I swear if this is Harris I'll forget I made Susan that promice." After a few more yards he found himself by the park and took one more look around. He spotted the guy this time. a biker looking dude who was a bit slow on hiding behind a bush. He wasn't getting the buzz from him but he night not be close enough just yet. Then he looked around and saw a few more, more or less blocking any route he had to escape. Except into the park.
This was such a nice town too, he was a bit surprised something like this was happening. Well it wasn't the first time he'd been mugged. And maybe he could blow off a little steam in the process.
He paused for a moment, looking for a fight, that wasn't like him at all, usually. It must be all the stress.
Looking at all of them he headed left into the park. He imagined what they were thinking right then as he went far enough in he couldn't see the street. Then he waited for them to show up. It didn't take long as the surrounded him. Owen quickly determined which ones where carrying weapons and which weren't. One of them came at him with a knife. Owen felt something like a smirk in the back of his mind as he quickly disposed of the man, breaking the arm that weilded the knife. The rest tried to pile on top of him right after that.
Owen really didn't care at that point as he let loose with all the frustration that had built up inside him. The looks on thier faces told him that surprised them more the him willingly going into the trap. Not that he was in total control, they landed more than a few share of hits and he was pretty sure he was stabbed at least once. His immortal abilities kept him one step ahead of them.
Not sure how long it took he was able to wittle then down to a couple, pulling out the knife he just now realized was stuck in his side and threw it to the ground. They were stunned long enough the he was able to heal up a bit. One of them pulled a pipe out of his jacket, Owen ignored the urge to pull out his long sword. He just got the police off his back not that long ago and didn't need these guys putting the suspision back on him. Owen took the first hit, pain making him drop to a knee. a quick punch to his balls stopped a swing at his head. In the next instant he got off his knee and tackled the other one to the ground. The one with the pipe recovered faster than he expected and got on his back trying to choke him out with the pipe. Owen got his feet under him to relieve some of the pressure for a quick second. it was enough to drop back down and flip onto his partner.
Running in with a knee he hit him just hard enough to knock him out and drop the pipe. He picked up the other one before he could grab the fallen weapon and threw him into a tree. A right cross put him down for the count too. "I may just be a history teacher but I've been in more than a few bar fights in my life boyos." But yeah he was feeling this right now.
Starting to walk away and exaime any physical damage he felt the buzz. Now this made sense, he had heard stories of immortals who would hire a group of thugs to wear down a potential opponent first. He's been in a few conflict were an immortal was leading a battalion or raiding party, but this was the first time a group was sent after him personally. Well Japan but he didn't need to think about that right now. Owen looked around to find the immortal in question.
Then the world seemed to stop.
He found the other immortal, a blond woman with a smile on her face, "Hello again. It's been awhile."
Owen couldn't speak, he couldn't even move. In his mind he wasn't there in the park. He was back in Japan, smoke assaulting his nose and eyes. He felt the heat as the village burned. He heard cries and screaming in the background. He heard Himiko cry out for him. he saw her bound and on her knees. He saw that woman with a sword in her hand. He remembered...
Owen didn't realized he drew his sword until he was in mid run, screaming at the top of his lungs as he raced toward her. Still smiling she slowly, almost causually, backed up. Owen stopped as somebody stepped in his path. His rage gave away to confusion, "Janet?"
She said nothing as she stood there. She tried to look determined but a shaky hand reached inside her coat and pulled out a rapier. it looked like she mouthed the words "I'm sorry" as she started swinging her sword. And she was attacking like an expert too. Owen backed up from her attack. He was able to push her back enough to get the shock out of his system and concentrate. She didn't attack right away, Owen looked past her at Himiko's killer. Why in the hell was she fighting for her? Hell why was she here to begin with?
"Janet get out of here now," he told her.
In a voice so small he almost didn't hear it she said, "I can't." Owen blocked
he attack. In more control of his emotions he was able to study her style a little better as their swords clashed. Forget expert, she fought like she'd been handling a sword for years. Too bad for her he'd been fighting for centuries. Going into a style more sutible for fencing he caught her off guard but she quickly adjusted. Then he chagned stlyes one more time and knocked the sword from her hand and caused her to fall to the ground.
Holding the point of his long sword at her she backed up into a tree. She looked scared as she stared at the end of his weapon. Owen took her eyes off of her and back at the other woman. But she was already gone. "No," he grunted as he lowered his weapon and walked to where she was. Nothing, not even the buzz. He turned back toward Janet, "Where did she go?" Janet wouldn't look at him. "Where did she go?!" She looked shocked at his outburst, almost scared. Of him. "Damn it," he muttered. He wanted answers and he wanted them now. But he wasn't going to tear them out of her.
Putting his sword away he walked away from his student. As he did so he failed to notice the groove in the dirt made by the tip of his sword.
science experiment gone wrong
He still couldn't believe it was her. All this time, centuries later and she was still alive. The one face that always appears in his nightmares, that whole event seared into his immortal memory. The one bit of baggage, that huge bag of rocks, that he could never quite let go of. She stood there right in front of him.
And one of his students was with her.Owen had stood in his garage for a long time stunned, finally his body started going through the motions of getting rid of the evidence. Just like before she had used some mortal thugs to attack him, wear him down. While his immortal abilities healed his flesh his clothing still showed signs of the conflict. His jacket landed with a small clang from his sword as he dropped to the concrete floor. Slowly balling up his shirt he dropped near, but not in, the basket by the door.
He was so out of it he looked down at the near black t-shirt he didn't remember putting on. Then he noticed the answering machine had a message waiting for him. "Henry, it's George. My friend went to the address where you're student is supposed to be. According to him the place doesn't look like it's been lived in for months. The phone number her mother gave us isn't even connected. I don't know if it proves your concerns but it does look suspicious. I thought I better let you know."
Janet, the student he was worried about. The one he thought might be in trouble. Now everything made sense. The reluctance to open up and make friends, how afraid she acted when her mother showed up to pick her up. If her mother moved around a lot like most Immortals did she would have had spent time in several countries, including Germany.
Unfortunately this wasn't the problem he thought she was in. Considering her sword handling and the bandage she tried to cover up she could be in worse trouble then he originally thought. And more than likely she knew what Janet was.
He needed help.
He dialed Susan's number, knowing she would still be up. His first instinct was to call Natalya but he needed to talk to somebody who knew the situation a little better than she did. Somebody who knew more than just the basics.
"Owen?", Susan said as she picked up.
"Susan...", was all he could get out.
But she could tell just by the sound of his voice, "Owen what happened?"
He mind was so jumbled he couldn't voice it at first, "I saw her."
"Himiko's killer," the full weight of those words hit him the moment he said it out loud.
"Are you sure?"
He answered back a little angrier than he intended, "I would not mistake that woman for somebody else."
"I know you wouldn't," she said. He knew she was trying to keep him calm. It was making him even angrier. But he forced himself to keep himself in check. "Owen what happened? Did you kill her?"
"No." Disgust quickly set in as soon as he realized he let his opportunity for vengeance slip away. "There were thugs and one of my students. The one I've been telling you and Natalya about."
"That Janet girl? What was she doing there?"
"She was fighting for her." He remembered her mouthing the words I'm sorry. "She was fighting me before I could get my hands on her."
Susan didn't respond right away. "Owen," he heard the hint of fear in her voice, a slight tremble in how she usually spoke, "did you... did you kill her?"
"No." He heard her sigh out in relief. He lowered his head and held it in his hand, "God help me Susan, I wanted too. And I seriously thought about it for a moment."
"Jesus Owen," she blurted out. "Look stay right there. I'll be there in a couple of hours but whatever you do stay there. Don't go out, don't go hunting just stay there. Do you understand me?"
"Alright," he said softly. He heard her hang up and he lowered the phone and dropped into the chair. His mind stopped swirling around just long enough for him to go back to that day.
The midday sun peaked through the holes in the leafy canopy above them as they tracked their pray. Owen tried not to get too over confident since this was one of the very few things he was better at than Naoto behind him. He readied an arrow in his bow as he realized the trail was getting fresher and his brother-in-law did the same. Staying where he was and staying quiet as possible he scanned the forest for it and soon spotted it.
A beautiful looking spotted sika, or deer, grazing on some shrubs several meters away. So far it was oblivious to their presence. It was almost a shame they had to do this to such a magnificent looking animal but summer was long over and the lightness of fall was starting to get a nip in the air that told of what was coming. As he was the one best in position to take the shot without alerting the animal Owen quickly drew the bow back and took aim. Letting it fly the arrow just flew over their prey and hit the tree behind it. Alerted to the danger it quickly ran for safety as Owen mumbled a few curses he had picked up since living in this land.
Behind him Naoto calmly stated, "I do not think it was possible but I believe your skills with the bow has gotten worse since you have been with us Little Immortal."
He bristled a little from the comment, "I was close."
"Close you may have been," Naoto said with a smile, "but my belly was no closer to being full." He shot him a look but the older immortal kept on smiling. Eventually he smiled as well accepting it as the good natured jab that it was. "Perhaps it would be best if I took the shot the next time."
"Then you will want to claim the largest selection of meat," he told him as he retrieved his arrow from the tree.
"I would be more than willing to share with my sister," Naoto told him. "If Himiko wants to share that with you that is entirely her decision."
"She's my wife so she had better." He looked behind the older immortal seeing something dark in the sky. In moments he realized it was smoke. "Something is on fire."
Naoto looked back looking worried, "Perhaps we should cut this task short for today." Owen nodded in agreement as they hurried back. That hurriedness quickly turned into a run as they realized the village itself was set ablaze. "Bandits!", Naoto exclaimed as he hidden blade from his walking stick. Owen dropped the bow as he drew his long sword. Naoto quickly cut down a bandit that came toward him as they got closer.
Owen could already feel the heat from the blaze, "Who would such a thing?"
"Why do any one do such a thing," Naoto told him. "Come we must try and help those we can." Naoto jumped into the village without any thought. Owen was quickly behind them. Once near the center of the village while the smoke was still thick the buildings where relatively untouched although there were a few bandits splashing some sort of liquid on them while other held torches at the ready. The two of them quickly took out the torchbearers before the ones wielding the pots could react. Quickly dispatching them
Naoto squatted down and examined the contents of one of the pots spilling onto the ground. Rubbing it between his finger he knew what it was, "Oil."
Owen raised the top of his shirt to his face to try and protect himself from the smoke as he studied the scene as he stepped forward, "It looks like they started on this end and are headed for the shore."
"They are trying to herd the villagers toward the shore," Naoto surmised. "Come Little Immortal." They soon came across a group of villagers trying to fight off those bandits. With their help the bandits were quickly run off. But Owen was positive that one looked right at him and backed off first. He had never seen that person before so why would a bandit recognize him?
One of the villagers grabbed his arm and started talking at a rapid pace. As fluent as he was in the native tongue Owen was still having a hard time understanding him. "They have her? Who?"
"Himiko", he finally got out. The two immortals looked at each other with equal tread.
"We will do our part here," another one said. "Go after her."
"Naoto this way," he said going in the direction the group went. Fear exploding in his stomach Owen took down any bandit stupid enough to come in his path with a weapon. Smoke still thick in the air they found her near the shore. On top of a small hill overlooking the sea. A group of those same bandits between them and her. As well as a blond haired white woman wearing local armor, a local sword in her hand.
"Owen!", Himiko cried out obviously bound and on her knees. Neither hesitated to charge the group and they used their numbers to swarm them. They tried to cut their way through the group but more seemed to appear to take their place.
"Is the witch growing them out of the ground?", Owen grunted.
"Just break their line," Naoto grunted in return. But that was easier said then done. Every time Owen made an opening another popped up in it's place. Naoto glanced a look behind the ass he heard the villagers cries get louder, more of the village was on fire and coming closer.
"Owen!" Himiko cried out again. He looked up seeing tears run down her cheeks, almost copying the scar on her cheek on the left side. He also felt it as they got closer, the buzz. And it wasn't from Naoto. It was from her, all of this was for him. And he fought harder to free his wife from this witch. But they would not stop coming.
"Out of my WAY!" he shouted as he cut down another one not caring if they understood his English or not. Then one of them pierced his side with a blade and forced him to a knee. The rest kept Naoto from him as he was forced to face the witch.
"Time to free you brother," she said in English. Himiko cried out for him one more time, both afraid that she was going to take his head. Then she raised her sword as she stood behind her. Then in on motion she cleanly cut her head from her body.
"Himiko!", Naoto shouted.
"NOOO!" Owen cut down the one with thee blade in his side. And he quickly eviscerated two who got in his path. The witch dropped the sword and smiled as she backed up and feel off the cliff backwards and plunged into the sea. Owen's charged faltered as he got closer to Himiko. He stopped as he looked at her face looking at him with half closed eyes. Sadness almost overtook him and dropped a knee. He reached out to caress her cheek but stopped, hand making a fist as he looked at the cliff, tears in his eyes. Charging
with a yell that would frighten the beast himself he jumped off after her and disappeared for several moments.
Popping back up he looked around before going back under. Popping up again he shouted, "WHERE ARE YOU!", before plunging his head under the waves one more time.
It was hours later and the sun was starting to set by the time he finally walked onto the beach. Most of the village was gone, burnt to the ground. People were trying to organized something while other tended tot he dead. He caught sight of a few beheading some of the bandits they were able to detain. But he was too hollow inside to care. Nobody paid him any attention as he past them. His feet took him to his home, door busted open, evidence of a struggle evident from the mess inside. Naoto came out still looking shocked as he spotted him. Dropping his sword as he staggered forward he stood right in front of him. Right at the edge of the holy ground Naoto had built his home on. Dropping to his knees he closed his eyes and held his head up, neck totally exposed. "Do it."
"Owen," Naoto spoke but he wasn't unsheathing his sword.
"They were here because of me," he told him. "I couldn't protect her. I failed her." Still Naoto didn't move. "DO IT!"
Finally he opened his eyes when he felt the older immortal's hand on his shoulder. He
knelt in front of him, holding back the tears. "I failed her as well." Owen tried hard to hold it back, Finlay's words haunting him after Deborah's death. "Do not hold back Owen," Naoto told him. "There is no one here to see but me." Owen still fought, then Naoto held him close and he fought no longer. All the sadness and anger came out of him as both mourned their loss.
The phone had been ringing for awhile now in his hands. The ringtone told him it was Natalya. It rang long enough to go to voice mail then it started ringing again. Before it could go to voice mail again he hit connect and slowly put it up to his ear. "Owen? Finally. Baby what's going on? Susan called me a few minutes ago and told me to make sure you're still home."
"Himiko's killer," it wasn't any easier to say now than it was before, not without his anger rising.
"Oh my God," she gasped. She may not have all known the details but she knew what this meant to him. "Okay Owen you don't have to say anything. Just listen to me talk for now. All right?"
"I'm ready to tell you about it."
Those words came out before he even realized what he was going to say. But he knew there was some truth behind them, he had to tell her.
"Owen you don't have too," she told him. "I know this is some rough territory for you. Don't go dredging up anything if you don't have too."
"No I have to tell you." His mind was already there. He was reliving the anger over and over again as that dark voice chuckled in the back of his mind. "I want you to know exactly what happened. I want you to know why I want her and everybody with her dead."
science experiment gone wrong
For Natalaya there were a lot of things going on in her head right now. The main thing being the love of her immortal life was halfway across the globe after spotting Himiko's killer. She knew his mind was in a weird place right now. After seeing the funk he got into after Keith's death she didn't even want to imagine what he was like now. Granted Susan had been keeping her informed and she had been calling Owen almost everyday and he seemed fine. But he kept this bit of history next to his heart for so long she knew better. And wished she was there to help him through this.
Once he finally told her what happened to Himiko she was going to get on the next plane and go home to help him in any way she could. Then he asked if Evelyn was ready for life in a different country yet. It was a low blow using her student like that and she called him on it right then and there. But part of her was afraid Evelyn wasn't ready yet.
Okay she loved the girl, she had that small country charm that somebody who wasn't her could easily take advantage of. The fact she didn't immediately drop her jaw in amazement the first time she took her to one of the bigger cities Malaysia had to offer made her a little proud. But she was still radiating uncomfortable when she was in a crowd, and that was with Natalya around. With the situation Owen was in being uncomfortable wasn't going to work, and she couldn't just dump her to go to him.
When did she become this responsible again?
As it was she took Eve on a work assistant for her cover job. Not exactly a secretary, but not exactly a gopher either. Natayla like to think of it as an internship in a way, she was just teaching her two things instead of the usual one. Like today for instance she was authenticating a bed used by a prince from some European country that didn't technically exist any more. The fact she recognized it almost immediately helped a lot but personal experience wasn't always the best indicator. Especially when you weren't technically supposed to have been born yet. Still she knew enough tricks of the trade that she could usually appease those who had the objects in question. As she exaimed the headboard she found what she was looking for, "Here they are."
Evelyn noticed what had to be a slightly devilish smile on her face, "What are you seeing?"
Glancing back to make sure the current owner of this particular bed wasn't close enough to listen in, although he did quickly turn away when she caught him staring at her ass, she pointed out some small gouge marks in the detail work. Softly she told her, "Every time this particular Prince had a 'conquest' in this bed he always marked it, secretly of course and when he thought they were sleeping. In fact this is me right here," she said pointing at one particular flower petal. "And over here, and here and..." She straightened up a bit as she put a finger to her lips, "I apparently slept with this guy a lot back then. He wasn't even that good." And it was a good thing Owen was halfway across the world and didn't hear that particular admission. Because he would be saying a word out of a habit she broke him of and she would be forced to kill him.
"Is there anything wrong Miss Carter?". the current owner asked.
"Oh everything is fine," Natalya told him. "Based on my primary inspection I would say this bed here is authentic. Some further tests will have to be done, from discreet locations of course just to make sure." It was total BS of course, no other test were necessary but she knew what to say in situations like these to help assure the potential client. "But I do think we can do business here."
"Excellent," he said clapping his hands together. "Would you like a drink to celebrate."
"I personally would love to have one but my assistant Eve here gets a little uncomfortable about the alcohol. She is the best assistant I've had in years and I want to think of her feelings, I'm sure you understand."
"Completely," but he said it in a way that implied he didn't. "But years? You must have gone through several in such a short time for somebody so young looking."
Being in an immortal nineteen year old looking body had that effect, "Then you see why I want to keep her so badly if she's willing to put up with my particular quarks. No if you will excuse me I do believe I have another appointment for the day, thank you."
Once they were in the hallway Evelyn looked at her PDA and whispered, "What other appointments do you have?"
"Anything that gets me away from here," she explained. "Because I've seen that look he was wearing to know he had more than drinks on his mind and I'm loyal to my boyfriend. Although making me stay here when I want to be there he's going to owe me such a fuck when I get back home." Evelyn started to go a little red in the face. So naturally she decided to take a step further to really make her go red, "I'm talking doors locked, room shaking..."
Natalya eventually took pity on the girl, going so far to buying her lunch at a local cafe with a lovely outdoor patio. But that was full but there was just as lovely looking park across the way. It had been a few months but she thought she had gotten a decent bead on the girl. Like now she only paid that much attention on her food when something was on her mind. "What's on you mind kiddo?"
"The way you talk about this Owen..." she trailed off.
"I have been toning it down for your sake," she told her. "Which has been cramping my style, so I hope you appreciate that," she added in jest.
"Not that," she said. "They way you described him before, he sounds nothing like the man you've been talking about lately."
"Since he found his wife's killer," she said in understanding. "Owen once told me he's only been that in love with a person three times in his life. Fortunately for him I just happen to be one of them. But seeing her die right in front of him," she shook her head. "He held on to that for so long I'd be surprised if he wasn't acting like this."
"Why did he seem so, I don't think excited the right word."
"Probably isn't," Natalya told her as she tried to figure out the best way to explain it. "You heard of a bucket list right?" She nodded. "Well hon, this is basically the immortal version. You wouldn't mind dying tomorrow if you knew this person was dead today. I don't have such a list mind you but some of us do."
"If it was so long ago why can't he just let it go?"
Natalya didn't have an immediate answer for her. In fact right then she was thinking about her father's own decent into madness after thinking she was dead for so long. "Sometimes you just can't,' she ended up saying. "If you really loved the person you lost then it just eats at you if you don't get it under control. How much or for how long depends on the person and those around him." Like she should have been around her father.
"Do you think he would go through that for you?", Evelyn asked.
She smirked, "He'd better if he knew what was good for him. Not that I'm planning on losing my head anytime soon. And like I told someone we both knew for too short a time I'd tracked down his killer if it was the last thing I did."
"It must be nice to have someone care for you like that," she said a little sullen.
"I'm sure you'll find somebody like that as well," she assured her. "In this strange life you're in now I'm sure you'll find several somebodies. Just don't do them all at once, even I never went that far."
"Natalya," she said while making sure nobody else was close enough to hear that comment.
"Hey if that gets you off who am I to judge," she said just to tease her a little further. "I am going to give you a thicker skin even if it breaks something in the process, so you better get used to it."
"Hey there pretty."
"Oh here we go," Natalya groaned as a group of teenagers, if you could call three a group, tried to circle around them. Mainly around Evelyn she noticed. She also noticed they watched way too much American style TV based on the way they were dressed. She held up a finger to keep her student in place and to keep calm. She had seen enough vultures like these over the years to know what was going on in their head.
The leader tried to lift Evelyn's to make her look at him, "What is somebody like you doing here all by yourself."
"Didn't realize I learned to become invisible," Natalya said dryly, making sure she was in eye contact with this apparent leader. He seemed confused that she wasn't backing down from his gaze. Obviously a little boy used to people being afraid of him. Even more so as she forcibly removed his hand from Evelyn's chin. "And I didn't hear her say you could touch her either."
"And who in the fuck are you you fuckin' bitch?"
"Her mentor, boss, unofficial older sister. Please take you pick," she said with a slight grin. Not one with any mirth in it though, one she picked up from Susan when she taught her the ways of the game.
"Shut this crazy bitch up."
Natalya moved as soon as they did, elbowing the one by her back in the face as she got up. Then she spun around with a back hand that dropped him. "Oh my," she said so innocently that it made the other two blink in confusion, "what is this poor defenseless little girl supposed to do now?"
The leader snapped out of his daze, but he pushed the other guy toward her, "Get her!" The push caused him to came at her more than a bit unbalanced, she easily grabbed him and tossed him to the ground. On top of the other one in fact.
Evelyn was smart enough to get out of her chair before the leader realized he could use her for a shield. he realized a moment too late as he got nothing but air and the back of the chair. Natalya looked over her shoulder just long enough to see his two "friends' get up and run. Yeah they don't come across many "Crazy bitches" around these parts. As it was she was lucky none of them had a gun, she hated waking up in a morgue no matter what part of the world it was.
"What are you are going to do now chief", she asked him, cocking an eyebrow just for the hell of it. Something she picked up on her own when she was done training with Susan, sometimes you had the fight won if you got under the other guy's skin. especially if you were female. He ran at her and she kicked him under the chin. As he laid there she walked up and put a foot on his crotch and slowly put her weight on it.
"Get off!", he cried as soon as he felt the pain.
"You know you're lucky my boyfriend has been calming me down these past couple of years. Because I could so wreak you right now." Just to prove her point she leaned forward a little more. "Now what do we say if you want out of this situation?"
"Get offa me you crazy bitch...Ow!" She wasn't even pretending that she wasn't enjoying this at this point. "Get off me please!!!"
"Close enough," she said as she let up the pressure and backed away. He quickly got, well as fast as he could while he was holding himself, and hobbled out of there." Men," she blew out a breath, "they grow a couple of hairs on their chin then they suddenly think they're invincible."
"He'll be back with more," Evelyn said as she walked up next to her.
"Which is why we'll be somewhere else," she told here. Looking around she commented, "We didn't do too much damage so nobody will have to fix anything."
"You weren't afraid of them?", her student asked.
"I was a little afraid what they would do to you if they were a little smarter and I was a little slower," she admitted. "But a little fear is a good thing. Helps keeps you motivated. Remember that, you'll live longer."
"I didn't think you became afraid after you became," she looked around in case somebody was walking by but still whispered, "one of us?"
Putting an arm around her she walked them back to the street, "Eve, you show me 'one of us' that doesn't have any fear in 'em and I'll show you one who's going to be a head shorter before too long."
science experiment gone wrong
A/N: This episode is a little bit more on the rated mature side, so be warned.
Janet said nothing as she clenched onto the sheets, wanting to drive her face into the and scream into to it but didn't. For one Nathan, who was currently screwing her, would think she was enjoying it. And that was the last thing she wanted him to think. And second she knew her mother was nearby and would know immediately that it wasn't. Then she would probably beat her for making him think her mother would be the better option of the two. She stayed there and just took it, tears falling down her cheek, lucky that the man who just took her virginity couldn't see them.
After what seemed like an eternity he finally finished, giving her butt a hard slap for good measure. A small yelp of pain almost escaped her mouth but she stopped it. "Good thing I can't get you pregnant," he said leaning in until he was next to her ear, "otherwise you might lose this sexy ass of yours." He spanked her one more time before getting off the bed and getting dressed. She laid on her side and wouldn't face him. Hearing the door open he heard him say, "When do I get a go at you darlin'?"
She heard her mother snort and walk into the room. She felt her stand there and watch as Janet pulled her nightgown down. Finally she said, "Better you than me," and walked out of the room.
As soon as the door closed she curled up into a fetal position and silently cried. Why would her mother do this to her, she thought. Why would she let him do that to her?
A voice in the back of her head told her, because she's your mother and she can.
She wanted to go to sleep, but part of her was afraid Nathan would come back in wanting to have a go at her again. Reaching under the pillow she felt the handle of the knife she didn't have the courage to use the first time. Would it be worth the beating her mother would give her if she fought him off this time? It might be if she was able to cut his dick off in the process.
When she finally started to drift off her mind went back to one of her earliest memories.
~twelve years earlier~
Janet was five and in the orphanage. Several couples had come by, looking and talking to her. A few seemed really nice and the young girl secretly hoped one of them would be her Mommy and Daddy. Then a single woman stopped by, young Janet thought she looked pretty but there was something about her that made her a little afraid. The way she looked at her made her want to run away as fast as she could. But the lady at the orphanage kept her in place.
"Is everything alright Miss. Chance," the one she remembered was called Lily asked. Janet always liked Lily, she would sneak candy to the boys and girls every so often.
"Everything is perfectly fine," Miss Chance said focusing on Lily for a moment before returning her attention to Janet. "She just seems to be a special little girl." She smiled in a way that made her even more afraid.
Lily seemed to sense her fear and pulled her a little closer, "That she is, everybody loves little Janet here."
"I'm sure they do," Miss. Chance said.
"I'm sure you know adoption is a long process," Lily told her, "and being a parent is a lifelong job."
"I'm well aware of both,” she replied with a little irritation in her voice.
Lily eyed her for a moment before continuing, "I also hope you're aware that rarely do single parents get to adopt a child. They see a two parent home as being the better option for the child."
"But it does happen," Miss Chance said, "otherwise I don't think I would have made it this far."
"Of course," Lily agreed, but she pulled Janet a little closer.
"And I'm sure if I write a big enough check I'll get things going even faster in my favor."
"You make it sound like the children are for sale." Janet could tell something was different in Lily's voice but was too young to understand what it was.
"Everything has a price," Miss Chance said evenly, "You live long enough you'll see that as clear as day."
"I like to think not everyone feels that way," Lily told her. "I think this interview is done."
"Oh I disagree." Miss. Chance pulled out a gun. Lily pulled Janet behind her to try and shield her. "I think it's just starting."
"Don't hurt Janet, please don't hurt her," she begged.
"I wouldn't dream of hurting her," she said as she twisted something onto the gun. "At her age she'd never have a chance at the game."
"You," Chance said as she pointed the gun, "on the other hand are another worthless mortal who won't live long enough to know better." There was a muffled sound the same time Lily's head snapped back, Janet watched her fall and hit the ground totally terrified, Chance gripped her hard by the face and made her look at her.
"Listen," she said coolly. "Do you know how much trouble you're in right now? You could have stopped that but you didn't. Everybody is going to blame you for it now."
"No," Janet said as she started to cry.
The grip on her face tightened, "Shut it or you'll bring them here faster to see what you let me do. Do you understand me?" Janet wanted to bawl more but she held it in. "Good girl. Now you are going to come with me because you are a good girl and don't want to get in trouble. Don't worry, Mommy will protect you from the big bad world."
"Hey Janet," Nathan said in a way that made her skin crawl. He got way to close as he put an arm around her and tried to guide her out of the room. "Why don't you and me go somewhere and talk, all private like?" her mother wasn't anywhere in sight, maybe a quick shot to his balls and she could get out of there. Even if her mother did beat her she wouldn't have to go through that again.
Unless she made her let Nathan have his way afterwards. God only knows what he would do to her then.
Before she could try to decide what fate was worse she noticed Omar was in their path. He glowered at Mitchell. "What?", he asked the bigger man. "You want a turn at her?" In response Omar grabbed the arm that was around her and nearly broke it as he twisted it around to Nathan's back. "Hey!", he yelped in pain. "Vicky said it was okay you big oaf!"
"Victoria is not here," Omar growled in his ear.
"But I am," Jin said as he appeared behind Omar. With a cold look he made Omar, reluctantly, let him go. While Nathan was trying to get the feeling back in his arm Jin quickly stood between him and Janet. It was obvious to all he was guarding her from him.
"Come on now," Nathan protested, "Vicky said she was up for grabs."
"And if Victoria was here," he countered, "while I would not," he looked back at her briefly, "and do not agree, with her decision but as her mother I would not interfere." Janet heart sank knowing that he knew what happened last night and let it happened. And would again if her mother was there. "However since she is not here Janet falls under my guardianship, and next time I may just escort Janet away as Omar had his fun. Janet," he said addressing her, "would you go on a little errand for me. I need some supplies."
"Yes Jin," said as she took the piece of paper that was suddenly in his hand.
As she left she heard Nathan say, "You're just making it worse for the kid once Vicky finds out."
Then Omar spoke up, "For your sake you better pray she doesn't."
Janet knew where Jin wanted these supplies from. It was a store several miles from where they were located. They always shopped as far away as possible just so another immortal couldn't follow them. Not that one couldn't follow them anyway, but Janet never brought it up. Not since that one time a couple of years ago. Her mother was furious for questioning their judgment. As it was she was debating how long she could stay out without her Mother getting angry. Part of her screamed keep on going and don't look back. God she wanted to listen to that part but knew she couldn't.
She was so lost in thought she didn't even realize somebody in a grey open hoodie was walking next to her until a moment before he spoke. "You missed some classes."
She stopped and looked at the man next to her. It was Mr. MacDonald. She wanted to run away and ask him for protection at the same time. But the look he was giving her, that was a hunter's look. She couldn't run far enough to get away and she sincerely doubted he'd help her after the other night. "How did you find me?", she asked trying to show more bravery than she felt at the moment.
"One of the things I'm really good at is tracking." he said. Without any further explanation he asked, "Where is she?"
"You're the tracker, you tell me?" She flinched, expecting him to hit her for such a flippant answer. But he stayed his hand. In fact he started looking a little sad at her reaction. She tried to tell herself it was because they were out in the open. But that didn't go with the person she remembered teaching the class. Right then he looked like the concerned teacher she remembered so clearly.
"And if I knew she'd be dead already," he eventually answered.
"So why should I tell you?", she asked, almost demanding an answer. "Or are you going to force it out of me like the big bad immortal you are."
If he was surprised he didn't show it, not in a way she could tell. And she was trying to throw him, just long enough so she could get out of there. Instead he went, "So you do know what we are," in way like she just confirmed something.
"So, are you going to kill me now?"
"No because I know what you are too. And I'm not forcing this life on you." Now that threw her a bit. Why was he acting like he actually cared what happened to her? Nobody actually cared what happened to her.
"I'm destined for it any way so why wait." She walked away into an alley. Her heart sank even lower as she realized he followed her in. Turning and facing him she pulled the sword she carried out of her coat. Almost reluctantly he did the same. "If we're fighting don't I deserve to know your real name?"
He glanced down at the blade in his hands before saying, "Owen McAllister."
"Janet Chance," she said giving the only name she could actually remember. Then she went at him. He kept blocking her strikes. This was like the end of their first duel, him calm and analyzing. She knew she wouldn't get him in the confused state like she did back then, she wasn't that lucky.
Somehow he was the one of the defensive but she was the one backing up. But she was more careful this time around as well. She saw him change his fighting style like he did the first time. Unfortunately he did it with losing a step so everything was in one smooth motion. But she did see him set up for the same disarming move he used last time and was ready for it. In fact she thought she did beat it, right until he knocked her sword down and held the point of his at her neck, backing her into the wall. Slowly he looked at his sword and removed it, going so far as to put it back in his coat. "Aren't you going to do anything?", she demanded. Although she was afraid he'd try to fuck her like Nathan did.
Instead he looked sad again, "Like what? Cut you for failing." She didn't say anything. "That's what she does when you're not good enough with the sword right?" She didn't answer but her hand went to the bandage under her sleeve. "Why are you protecting her?"
Why do you care? "Why do you want her dead?"
"She killed my wife," he said without hesitation. Then again, "Why are you protecting her?"
Because I'm scared of her. "Because she promised to make me immortal once I'm ready."
That sad look on his face seemed to grow sadder when he heard that. "Why in the world would you want to be immortal?"
Because she might finally love me like a real mother should. "Because I don't want to die."
"Every immortal but one is going to die," he told her. He looked away but quickly returned his gaze to her. "I will find her and I will kill her. And I want you out of town when I do."
She didn't understand, "Why?"
He almost didn't want to answer but did, "Because I don't want you caught in the crossfire." With that he walked away.
She wasn't about to let him leave like that. "Why? Why do you care what happens to me? I'm nothing to you like this."
"Because her sins aren't yours," he told her. "And I know you're a good kid in a lousy situation, and somebody needs to care about what happens to you."
"So you're telling me you actually care? Is that it? Why in the hell do you care?", she demanded as the tears started falling again. Damn it she didn't want to cry now, not in front of him.
"Because you deserve better than this," he said. "If you need help out of town I'll do what I can."
He left before she could respond. She didn't want him to hear what she was about to say any way, "She'll find me no matter where I'd go."
science experiment gone wrong
Winter was upon the isles of Japan. Some would say it was rather fitting, he arrived in he winter. Owen stayed for a while, trying to help rebuild, telling himself that's what she would have wanted. But he was just going through the motions, doing just enough to keep active, to stay alive. But he was basically the walking dead, feeling so hollow.
The only time he actually seemed alive was when he was training, and when he was working on the headstone. And he worked on that headstone more than anything else, because if he was ever going to do something perfect this was going to be it. And he wasn't going to leave until it was. It took months, having had to learn how to carve into stone as he went. But finally it was done. A few villagers helped him put it up after Naoto explained it was a custom from where he was from. Now on this day he kneeled in front of it, ignoring the bite of the cold, just touching the rough texture of the stone. His eyes never leaving the two words painstakingly carved into it.
Tearing himself away from it he walked away. He passed the house, the old hut Naoto gave him to stay in when he first arrived. Something he rebuilt into something more livable. Twice, they were going to need the extra room after they were married. Without meaning too he looked at the door and saw her there smiling in his memory. He locked his eyes forward and kept going. Passing through what was left of the village's market he saw her just about everywhere except the ground where he adverted his gaze. Soon he was on the road he first walked when he arrived, where he first set his eyes on her. Here he paused and looked back, seeing her as he first saw her. Feeling the sadness threatening to overtake him again he kept on for the docks.
Finding the boat he charted to take him back to the main island wasn't back yet he found a place to sit and ignored everybody. Waiting he felt the buzz, survival instinct the only thing causing his hand to go for his sword and his gaze to look over the crowd. Spotting Naoto in the crowd, he turned back toward the sea. The monk said nothing as he walked up next to him, staring out at sea as well. Before long Naoto stated, "You are leaving."
"There's nothing for me here," Owen told him.
"Of course," Naoto responded. "You have no friends that you have made during your stay here. No peers. No connections what so ever."
On some level Owen realized what he was trying to do. Reminding him that he did have connections here. That he had people here, reasons to stay. Still he said, "She's out there."
"That she is," Naoto agreed. "She also has quite the lead by now. Especially since she had the time to change her clothing after it happened." He shook his head sadly, "If only I remembered about those caves sooner." The caves in question were a series of caverns under he cliff the woman dropped off of those months ago. And at least one entrance under water, discovered the day after the attack as Naoto and others tried to figure out how she disappeared so quickly, as well as the local armor and sword she left. Seeing how nobody saw a naked foreign woman meant she had yet another disguise waiting inside.
"What done is done," Owen said. Naoto put a hand on his shoulder, Owen didn't shrug it off as he's done in the recent past.
"Where would you begin?"
"She would have headed for the main island first, as soon as possible," Owen told him, having thought about this for the past couple of months. When he allowed himself to think about this. "People here would have noticed her no matter how she disguised herself before too long. Or we would have sensed her. From there I don't know yet. But I will track her down to the ends of the Earth if I have too."
"Even if it costs you your life?"
"As long as she dies first."
Naoto was quiet for a few moments, absorbing that. "Vengeance is a slippery path Little Immortal. It can twist your soul until you become something you were never meant to be."
"Are you going to tell me Himiko would sadden if that happens to me?", Owen demanded.
"Why should I tell you something you already know?", the older immortal told him. "Although people here would be saddened as well." Now Owen looked at him, seeing the well hidden concern in his face.
"I'll try to watch the path that I'm on," he promised him.
"That is all I ask." Naoto gaze went from him back to the sea. "I may be mistaken but I believe your ship is about to make dock." Owen looked to see the vessel as well. Getting off his seat he gathered his bag. "Watch your head Little Immortal," Naoto told him.
"You as well sempai," Owen grasped his wrist then pulled the older immortal into a quick hug before turning toward the ship. Naoto turned to walk away.
Naoto turned from his path as several other monks tried to get his attention. One in particular seem particularly agitated as he insisted that he follow them. With war taking place on the main continent this one was more skittish than he usually was and was quick to agitate. Even more so after he pointed out the cause of his distress, a lone American soldier praying at the temple. "There, do you see?"
Naoto calmly said, "I see a man praying, nothing more."
"That soldier is mocking our faith," he told him.
"That one would not do so," Naoto said as he walked away from the group and toward the man. "Especially today of all days." They watched as he walked over to the man and say something to him. They were all struck speechless as the American soldier stood up and took his hand that he turned into an embrace.
Later they walked a small path in the monastery that Naoto often traveled. Both of them ignored the other monks that diverted their path to avoid them, not all of them but a few did. Naoto broke the silence, "You seem well Little Immortal, if not a little tired looking."
"It's only my third major war in a little over thirty years," Owen responded. "Why would I look tired? I hear you've been here for a while."
"Yes," Naoto answered as he gestured toward a bench on the path. "It is a little different than the little temple I used to preside over when we first met. But not quite as comfortable." They both sat on the bench and just looked at the sky. Naoto was silently relieved that Owen appeared to be more or less the same. When he first left the island part of him was still afraid that he would have taken the darker path vengeance often demanded. "Have you been back to the island?"
He looked down at the ground, "No. I'm afraid that if I did Himiko's headstone wouldn't be there anymore."
"It is," he told him. "In fact a local legend has grown around it and the circumstances of her death."
In that Owen had to smile a bit, "At least she's remembered in some way." Then his expression hardened a bit, "She's still out there."
"Neither of us have seen her in two hundred years. Perhaps she is already dead."
"Is that what you tell yourself?", Owen asked him.
"I will not lie and say don't occasionally feel my blood boil when I see someone who looks like her. But I also know Himiko wouldn't want either of us to dwell on this to the point of obsession."
"I know," he said softly. "It just hurts, even after all these years.
"And it always will," Naoto said. "At least in a person who hasn't forgotten their humanity. Pray you never lose that feeling." Owen looked at him funny.
"Have you? Is that why your here?"
"I will admit I felt momentarily lost before I joined this particular community. What I lost I’m not sure of but I'm sure I'll find it with some meditation and reflection. What of you Owen. You seemed lost when you left, almost as lost as you arrived. Have you found something, or perhaps someone?"
The younger immortal looked down again as he started to blush. "I might have, I don't know. She's one of us so there's that. But she's... something else."
"Does this someone have a name?"
"Natalya," he said with a bit of a smile on his face, one similar to the one when he was around Himiko, or spoke about Deborah. Naoto nodded, pleased in this particular development.
"You must tell me of this Natalya someday."
"Well I don't have to start back to base until tomorrow," Owen told him. "And I would be honored to share a meal with you one more time."
"The honor would be mine Little Immortal."
Owen put the hunt on hold, just for today. He waited over two hundred years for her to turn back up again but there was no way he was going to pass over this. In a local church he lighted a candle for Himiko's birthday then took a seat in a pew. Not exactly the same religion that she practiced but there wasn't a Japanese temple close to his current hunting ground. And he didn't lie to himself because he was on a hunt, for the bitch who killed her.
After a few minutes he felt the buzz and looked out of the corner of his eye as Susan sat next to him. She crossed herself a bit and said a quick prayer herself. when she was done she looked back up, "Natalya said you would be here."
"I'm only in one of these twice a year."
"The hunt for the thief went cold a few weeks ago," she said mainly to make conversation. "Nobody making any claims that I heard of so he might have went into hiding."
"Or maybe finally he smartened up."
"There's always that too." She looked thoughtful for a bit, "I know I told you this when it first happened but I am sorry I tried to make you leave her. I was in a bad place at the time, although that's no excuse."
"For a while I understood what you were talking about back then," Owen told her. "I probably would have agreed with you."
"And we both would have been wrong."
"And if I did leave maybe she would have lived a longer life."
"And a very lonely one in the way you and Naoto described her when you first arrived on the island. What if don't count in this life Owen, doesn't matter if you're immortal or not. It just means we have to deal with the consequences longer. Be honest Owen would have changed anything? Would you have left her when I wanted you to."
He sat there quietly as he thought it over, "Like I told you then, you'd have to kill me first."
"Then you made the right choice all those years ago." She said another quick prayer before standing up, "I know you'll be here for most of the day, but if you want to meet up later for a late dinner I wouldn't complain. I took a couple of days off from work so if you need to talk about things I'll be free."
"I'd like that," Owen told her. "There a small restaurant a couple of miles from here, a mom and pop type of place. I'll give you a call and met you there later."
"Sounds like a plan to me," she smiled. "I'd say date but Natalya might find out and we don't want a jealous Natalya after both our heads," she joked. Owen smiled back and returned his attention to the alter as she left. He could hear Naoto in his memory saying he didn't have to carry this burden alone, maybe he was right. All he knew things wouldn't be right until that woman was dead.
He pushed that thought out of his mind. Today of all days he didn't want to waste time thinking about her... or her daughter.
Really good episode, Jim. Definitely could feel the emotions that Owen was feeling after Himiko's death. The quest for vengeance can be a terribly dark path for one to take; and even though Owen is still semi-on it, he's at least found a way to live so that it doesn't consume him. Although it looks like that vengeance is rearing its ugly head again since he found her 200 years later. Hopefully those memories of Naoto and with help of Natalya and Susan, he'll make it through nearly unscathed.
G A L L I F R E Y S T A N D S
science experiment gone wrong
"Victoria please wait."
Victoria didn't hide the fact at how annoyed she was while she waited for Rose, her little sister, to catch up. Their parents had died years earlier and she had a hard enough time surviving without worrying about the sibling she never wanted. However she was the only family she had left in this world. And as their father used to say family was the only thing you truly ever had in this world or any other.
"Come on," she hissed once she was close enough, "That lot always prowls at night. We have to be hidden as soon as possible."
"Where are we going this time sister?", Rose asked as both of them surveyed their surroundings without turning their heads. A skill both had to learn early on in life. Constantly turning your head meant you were scared and that made you prey in many eyes.
"I'm not sure yet," she was forced to admit. Many of their safe havens had one of them lingering around, usually by the entrance. So many were discovered that Victoria was afraid all of them had been and refused to investigate to see if all them were. Mainly from the fear of doing so would expose those few left that weren't. All because they were careless, that had to be the reason why so many were discovered. Victoria had been so careful in picking these places because of their value as a safe haven. Rose and herself never stayed at the same one twice nor in one that was close to one they just spent the night in. But there was mistake somewhere, a pattern they left behind that caused the detection from Luther on his gang of thugs.
"Victoria," Rose said after a more well to do couple passed them. The type to look down on them as these did so. "Perhaps it would be wise if we left town. We cannot keep hiding like this. This is no way to live."
"I am aware of that sister," she said. "And we will not leave. This town is our home. More so than any these pretenders. We know every nook and seedy cranny better than any of them can ever hope. I will not be forced to leave because of fear." She put some empathies on that last word, enough that she hoped it shamed her sister into thinking such thoughts.
"And there are I days I doubt that this 'home' is worth fighting for," she persisted.
"It is the only thing we have," Victoria argued.
"We have each other," her sister said.
"That's not enough for this world," she replied darkly. "Where men control everything how can a woman strive to get a anywhere on her own."
"We'll think of something sister. Well you will, you are much smarter than I."
"Never put yourself down like that Rose," she chided her. "It is a sign of weakness and we can not appear to be weak in front of any one. We must appear to be strong, no we must be strong in order to survive." Rose simply nodded, that motto had gotten them this far and Victoria was positive it would keep them safe for a long time.
That confidence soon eroded into a feeling a dread as they turned a corner and heard a deep voice almost chuckle as it said, "'ello pretties."
Victoria awoke with a deep breath as everything swirled around her. A strange sensation in her head made her clutch it as she looked around if terror. She soon spotted a man sitting in the corner. Almost by instinct she realized the sensation was coming from him and tried to back away, the wall the only thing blocking her path. Eyes darting around the room she spotted the door and it's location from the man. She tried to predict if she could make it there before he could stop her.
"It is unlocked if you wish to leave," he said, almost as if he read her mind. "Most of us usually try to run once we reawaken. A basic, ancient instinct that seems to want to awaken at the same time. Given the circumstances it's only natural I suppose."
"Who are you," she demanded with more bravery than she felt at the moment.
"Most people call me Wilson. Well that is what I tell them my name is."
"I don't understand."
He gave her a kind smile, one almost like her father's, "All in due time my dear. Tell me, what do you remember before you woke up just now? Or would you prefer I have someone fetch you some fresh clothing first?"
Looking down Victoria saw the red on her dress, and the holes. Almost like someone... A flash came to her as she felt a metal blade violate her abdomen. "What am I?
"You are like me," This Wilson said staying where he was. "What else do you remember?"
"I was with my sister Rose," she began. "We were running from a group of thugs. But they caught us anyway. They...."
After a few painful moments of silence Wilson told her, "It's fine if you don't want to remember it right away. All perfectly natural, I've been walking this earth long enough to know that. Several centuries in fact," he added with an amused glint in his eyes.
~Several months later~
Victoria swung her sword with more confidence than she ever had before. Wilson blocked and parried her blade with ease but with each training session she was able to catch him off guard more than the last. Throughout the lesson his smile grew brighter as she held her own. In some strange, foreign way she was secretly pleased that she could please him in such a way. "I have taught princes and paupers who hasn't picked up sword play as fast as you."
"I had to learn faster than most in order to survive," she said as their swords continued to dance between them. "I learned that is the way of this world at an early age."
"A pity the way things are has spoiled the way you view things, a pity indeed." She was able to press him back with her attack. "You may have learned to view the more subtle ways of the world with more appreciation if you had the chance."
"This world doesn't understand subtle," she told him. Wilson grabbed her arm after he forced their blades low and preformed some sort of move that ended with both of their blades locked behind his head. She tried not to let her confusion show, "Admitting defeat."
"Just one more lesson my dear," he answered. He pushed her off and she went spinning. By the time she turned around his blade was at her throat. Victoria froze thinking this was truly the end. But the blade didn't move any closer to ending her life as he said, "It is true that subtlety isn't as well known as it once was. But my dear Victoria, that what makes it all the more so powerful. I do believe that will be all for today," he said as he removed his sword from her neck.
Subconsciously her hand rubbed her throat, "What was that move you used just now?"
"That?", he answered with that small chuckle of his. "A simple move I learned from a man in the far east. He claims it is unbeatable when applied correctly."
"Unbeatable," she repeated, mostly to herself.
"I see it more as a last ditch attempt to save one hide," he told her. "Not something to rely on."
"Of course Wilson," she quickly said. "You must have learned so much in five hundred years it almost boggles the mind. How did you survive this long? Do I have the chance to live as long?"
"To answer to your first question relatively simple my dear Victoria. I stay true to myself. Once an Immortal changes too much from what he once was he is already lost. His body is just wondering around until some other immortal takes unknowing pity of them by taking his head. No all the immortals I know who have lived as long as I have are longer are still true to who they originally were. As for your second,” he paused for a moment, “well only fate can truly say for sure one way or another."
"True to myself?", she mused. "How do I know what that is? How do I know for sure?"
"Moments such as the one that made you immortal I'm afraid," he answered. "Once you are in a situation where you have to act to save yourself or a loved one is how you find out who you really are. As I'm sure you fought to save your sister Rose."
"Yes," she said slowly as she remembered. She truly never forgot that day.
"'ello pretties," Luther sneered as his group of filthy, disgusting cronies blocked the path in front of them. Rose clutched at her sleeve as Victoria felt the fear causing her heart to pound. "Why you been avoiding us an' da like? Me boys are starting ta think ya don' like us." He looked at his "boys" with a sneer that made her skin crawl. "Maybe you should show them that's ain' true."
The rest of them started to chuckle and eyed them with a particular look in their eyes that made Victoria want to wretch. The moment Luther took one step toward them her hand reached back instinctively to Rose. That same instinct made her grab the arm clutching at her sleeve and sling her little sister toward them while shouting, "Take her!" She barely had the time to register the betrayal in her sister's face as she turned to run. Right into a couple of Luther's boys that had come up behind them. "No!", she resisted and lashed out with a hand that drew blood as it scraped against his face.
"You damn witch," he grunted. Before she could do anymore damage she felt his knife penetrated her stomach repeatedly and let her drop the ground.
"'ey! There more life in dis one," was the last thing she heard before she blacked out.
She thought about that moment practically every second since she reawaken. All the while wondering why she betrayed Rose like that. Even more so why she felt no guilt over it at all. If that was being true to herself what did that make her? A survivor. She did what came naturally and tried to survive, because she was strong. Because she is the only one she could truly rely on. No matter how kind a person was to you they would always try to take something from you in the end, even if they had a smile that reminded you of your father.
She looked at Wilson's back not feeling any guilt or trepidation, knowing this was the moment to act. He was totally unaware as she came up behind him and drove her sword though his torso. "Urk," he grunted and dropped to his knees. "W...why...?"
"I am being true to myself," she said into his ear with a slight sneer. "You told me that there might be a chance that we might face each other in the game. And I'm playing the only way I know how, to win. Because in the end I will always, always, choose myself over anybody else." Removing the sword she raised it above her head and swung it through his neck with ease. A pain that was above anything she could have ever imagined over took her as she absorbed his Quickening. Then it was done. Taking a moment to regain her senses she looked at the husk that was her teacher, his dead eyes seemingly starting into her soul, almost accusing her of betrayal. "My sister died because she was weak, just like you, like any mortal. Because you allowed yourself to open up to a person, a group of mortals, to let yourself become vulnerable, to become as weak as they are. And I will never be that weak, I will not allow it."
Victoria showed no mercy as she continued Janet's training session. Like always she bested the young girl and kicked her down hard in disgust. "You are so weak it's disgusting!", she snapped as she slid the edge of her sword on her upper arm drawing blood. Janet grabbed it but didn’t cry out, she learned long ago doing so would draw her a beating. "You are practically worthless the way you are now."
Walking away she notice Nathan come into the room. leaning against the door jamb he looked at Janet and commented, "Geez Vicky, if you hate the kid that much why did you take her on to begin with."
"A mother doesn't hate her child," she informed him. "She does what she can to make them a better person."
"Looks like hate to me," he told her. "Why do you care if she becomes better ot not, she's not one of us yet."
"Because she reminds me of my sister," she said thinking back to Rose. "She died because she wasn't strong enough to what I did to survive. I will not make that mistake again." Looking over her shoulder at Janet she added, "Why don't you take her back to her room ad check over her injuries."
Overhearing that Janet got a scared look on her face. Nathan just grinned as he walked over and picked her up to her feet. "Don't worry I'll take good care of her." Janet resisted a bit but eventually let him take her out of the room.
"I'll toughen her up if it takes an eternity," Victoria said to the air once she was alone.
Another good installment, and this time we get to know more about Victoria and her beginnings. Figures the bitch would do something like that, with how her views on things and life are. Plus her actions after being taught by Wilson... hope Owen takes her down and does it awesomely. Can't wait to see her eyes when she finally loses her head.
Though that unbeatable move is gonna be a bit tricky to defeat, but I'm sure Owen's got something up his sleeve.
Nice work, man.
G A L L I F R E Y S T A N D S
science experiment gone wrong
Knowing he couldn't get obsessive over his hunt for Himiko's killer, and from a double brow beating from both Natalya and Susan, he continued to go to his job at the school. The principal still gave him a wide berth since he called him out about his daughter awhile back. He was going to have to remember to apologize to the man eventually, it wasn't really his fault his daughter was, to be a bit diplomatic, controlling. He never met the man's wife either so he could have been getting it from both direction.
Walking into the front office he passed by the front desk and gave the person there a friendly Greeting, "Hello Edna."
"Mr. McDonald," she greeted him with her usually chipper tone. "You're looking better today."
"Had a pretty uneventful weekend," he told her. Which was true, he didn't see Janet or her mother once or ran into another immortal looking to take a head. And he ran into a few the past month who were looking for the Immortal Thief despite the fact he apparently dropped off the radar. Not that he had much room to talk. Heading over to where the teacher's mail that kept the things he the usual received. Plus a sealed envelope that had his teacher's name written on it.
Edna saw him study it and told him, "Alice found that on the counter this morning. She swears up and down that it just appeared when she turned around. But you know how Alice is.”
"I'm sure one of the students put it up there while her back was turned," he said. "Whoever put it up there didn't want to be seen."
"Sounds like the principal's daughter is trying her act again," Edna said while shooting a sidewise look at his office. "Wouldn't surprise me if she's trying to butter you up right before trying to bring down the hammer.
"It's not her handwriting," he explained. "Trust me, I committed that to memory as soon as I realized I became her 'nemesis" when I first got here."
Edna snorted, "Little b probably had somebody else write the note."
"You've seen too many spy movies," Owen said with a little smirk. she shooed him out of the office with a smile. Once out in the hallway and headed for his classroom he looked at that letter one more time, "Okay let's see what this is all about." Opening it up he stopped dead in his tracks when one word caught his eyes immediately.
Owen glanced around at the kids in the hall just to make sure nobody was paying too much attention to him. Putting on as normal a face as possible he went on to his classroom and quickly closed the door. He didn't have to worry about any of his students coming in early, although at the moment he wished the door had a lock.
Dropping the other things in his hands on his desk he studied the letter. Not only did the person know his real name they also knew about his wife's killer. This person just came out and said that if he wanted a link to her he should see the Immortal Thief. And he was also provided with description, with a picture no less, and a list of various locations that he liked to hang out. This couldn't be what it looked like, there was no way. Every cell in his brain was screaming trap at this point. Somehow she found out the name he was using at the school, maybe even through Janet.
As reluctant as she was those couple of times they met up would she do that? Then again if her mother was half of what he thought she was the information might not have been given voluntarily. Either way this was a bad idea.
Knowing Susan and Natalya would have given him hell for doing so he staked out the spots highlighted in the letter. Sure enough ever time he felt another immortal it ended up being the guy in the picture. Owen made sure by visiting each spot a couple of times a day whenever he had the time. The only time he felt another one it was him. So that part of the letter was true at least. But could this guy really lead him to her? And if this guy was the Thief he knew to leave quickly when he felt Owen given his reputation. So following him was out of the question. But like he told Janet he was good at tracking. And good part of tracking was knowing the territory.
Maps were a wonderful tool for doing this in a modern city. Marking the places he had seen the guy that corresponded with the location in the letter he didn't see a predictable pattern right away, not that he was expecting too. On a couple of occasions he did try and follow him and made sure he at least got the street name when he lost sight of him. So far he wasn't seeing a set place of where he was going or coming from. He was smart enough to come in from different locations at least. And while that didn't tell him where the Thief’s home was it did give Owen something just as valuable, where he was going to try and ditch the immortal he sensed. Getting Susan involved, and he was right she gave him hell and Owen was waiting from a phone call from Natalya sooner or later, he was able to confirm a couple of those suspicions. He had him.
Talking Susan into one more test they set up and waited, it was just a matter of which direction the Thief would come in. After an hour Susan indicated she spotted him before either one had sensed him, he was coming in from his right. According to the plan as Susan knew it she would continue to follow him so they would get an idea on where he was running to. As soon as he sensed her he changed directions an headed down an alley with Susan close enough behind to keep track of him. Neither of them realized that Owen was a head of them and jumped on top of the Thief as soon as he was below him. A quick struggle and Owen was able to slip a knife between his ribs and into his heart and left it there. "See you when you wake up,' he grunted as the Thief died a few seconds later.
"You used me," Owen looked back to see Susan standing there. "You were planning this the entire time."
"I had to know for sure," was his only explanation. She grabbed him by the arm and forced him to look at her. She studied his face although at the moment her face was unreadable to him. He did brace himself in case she decided to deck him, and he couldn't blame or stop her if she did.
"What are you thinking? This is not like you."
"This jackass might be my only link to Himiko's killer..."
"Would you think she want you to go this far?"
"I've been asked that question before," he said remembering one of the last things Naoto said to him before he left japan the first time. "And right now it's about what I want."
"Then want it on your own," she told him. "I'm done with this. Get your head back on straight and we'll talk."
Owen couldn't reply because he knew she had a point. He couldn't make this up to her either, not anytime soon at any rate. He'd worry about it later after this was over, if he survived the experience. Especially when Owen realized he didn't plan things past this point. Looking around he found a door to an abandon building, into a room with some furniture still inside, it'll have to do.
He watched as the Thief came to a few moments after he pulled the knife out of his chest. Watched as he slowly realized that he was bound to a old wooden chair with some wire Owen had pulled out of the wall. Watched as he grew wide eyed as he spotted Owen across the room with his long sword in his hand. "Hey now," he said as he struggled to free himself, "let's talk about this. I haven't done anything to you."
"No you haven't," Owen agreed as he stepped forward. "Well outside of being stupid enough to do things that would announce our existence to the world. That made you a lot of enemies let me tell you. Chicago is still crawling with head hunters looking for you."
"Then how come you found me? And why ain't I dead yet?"
"Well for one you pissed off somebody enough to do this for one," He showed him the picture and watched his eyes bug out again. "This is the one advantage I had over the others looking for your head. As to why we're talking, the person who sent me this also hinted that you had some information I'm looking for."
"Sure," he readily agreed. "Whatever you want. Just don't take my head."
Owen took a deep breath and tried to calm himself in case this was another dead end. "I'm told you hang out with an immortal woman." The one thing he didn't want to see was this guy suddenly close up on him, and it looked like he was doing just that. "She might be traveling with a teenager. Has the potential to be one of us but hasn't reawaken yet." The Thief refused to look at him, although Owen thought he detected a bit if a smirk on his face momentarily.
"Never heard of them," the Thief told him.
"You get ripped off at poker a lot don't you? Because you are way to easy to read. What are you thirty, forty years old?"
"I'm seventy thank you very much," he said a little too defiantly for somebody in situation. "And I win more than I lose."
"And how about we both stop wasting each other’s time," Owen said trying to go with a separate track. "You pretty much told me you know who I'm talking about. Just tell me where she is."
"She told us what she did to you, to that woman you were with," he grinned enjoying the fact he caught Owen off guard. He started to grin a grin that Owen had only seen in crooked used car salesmen in the movies, "To be honest with you I think Victoria enjoyed telling it just a little too much, you know what I mean." He notice Owen tighten his grip on the handle of his long sword and quickly backtracked his story. "I mean it was totally deplorable, made me sick how much she acted like she enjoyed it. Everybody else seemed to enjoy it but I was just appalled."
"I'm sure you were," Owen grimaced, a dark voice in the back of his head telling him to end this now. To end it and enjoy it. Pushing past that voice he started to talk and began circling him, "You ever been in love with anybody? You ever been so devoted to a person you would do any for them. I have, it's a wonderful feeling while you're in the middle of it. And twice that person had been taken from me."
"Sucks," the Thief said. "That got a lot daytime talk shows you can go on and get help for that you know."
"This is how I know you never really been in love with someone. Because you don't know what it feels like. It's literally like somebody sticking a long metal shaft into your gut." Without warning Owen drove his long sword into the Thief's side. He cried out in pain. "And then,' Owen went on oblivious to the other man's agony, "they twist it just for the hell of it." Again he highlighted the point by giving the handle a quick quarter turn before pulling it out of his gut. "Kind of like that."
"I... I...," he struggled to get out. Owen didn't have any compassion most of his friends knew him for as he grabbed him by the hair and made him look at him.
"You going to die on me?" He let him go with a shove. "Go ahead, I'll still be here when you wake back up. I tracked you for four months. I've waited to get my hands on her for two hundred years. You think I won't wait you wake back up just to do this over and over again until you tell me what I want to know."
Both of them tensed up when they felt another immortal approach, for different reason. Owen's tension turned to confusion as Susan came running into the room. "Owen he was being followed by another group!"
She drew her sword as he quickly got into position beside her as a big Middle Eastern man and somebody dressed like an Amish farmer strode into the room. The big man drew a scimitar out of his overcoat and held it out, keeping the point alternating between Him and Susan. The Thief smiled a bit, "Calvary’s here."
"If this ends up being a fight," Susan said to him, "I'm making you take the big one."
"Amish, buddy," the Thief said as the big one moved in such a way that he ended up setting himself between them and the Thief, although their backs were at the only way out of the room, "you want to let me go now. Fingers are going a little numb here."
"Jin sent a message," the one the Thief called Amish said. "He said that you officially became a liability and are to be cut loose."
"What?!", the Thief exclaimed. "That guy is after Vicky! You got to let me loose so we can get that back to her."
"We already knew that," 'Amish' had said. Lowering his head and looking away he added, "Jin also said one more thing."
Apparently Susan had a feeling what was about to happen as she got him to start backing up toward the door while the Thief went, "What was it?"
The big one got a grin on his face that made a shiver go down Owen's spine as he grunted, "To not enjoy this that much." He spun and swung the scimitar and decapitated the wide eyed Thief in one motion. At that moment Owen and Susan both made for the door. Hearing and feeling the quickening in their bones they exited the building. Stowing their swords they slowed down once they hit the busy streets and blended in rather quickly going with the flow.
After going a block Owen looked around to see that they weren't being followed. Susan came to the same conclusion and they walked into an empty parking garage to make sure. "It's a group of immortals," She said. "The woman you're after is part of a group." Owen walked to the entrance and watched the crowd for signs of the two. "Owen this bigger than you can handle."
"She's used groups before," was all he said after seeing no signs of them.
"A group of mortals," Susan reminded him. "This is a group of immortals. They may follow the rules but that doesn't mean they won't gang up on you. If you killed one of them there nothing to stop another one from challenging you right after."
"Well there's one less to worry about now apparently," he told.
"Would you listen to me," she told him. "None of us knew there was a group before. That changes everything."
"No it doesn't," Owen said finally walking away from the entrance. "I also learned something else I didn't know before now."
"And what was that?"
"I finally know her name."
Really good episode, tracking down a potential source though it was obviously a trap. The ploy was a good idea and squeezing out the information kind of worked out in Owen's favor a bit. Though they also set a trap for him too... seems like the group has it's own tracker that can match Owen's skill. But he didn't know they were tracking him while he tracked the thief, but at least there is one less problem now and Owen's got a clue he didn't have before.
Now this is gonna get very interesting. Especially with the voice and darkness of Michel creeping up in the back of his mind as well.
G A L L I F R E Y S T A N D S
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