Clary sat in a small chair in the captain's office, barely listening to what the others were saying. Isabelle leaned against the wall, shooting daggers at the captain, her brother, and Simon. "So let me get this straight… you guys kidnapped Clary, so this Valentine guy wouldn't be able to get to her first?"
"Well when you put it like that, it makes it sound kind of silly." Simon shrugged ruefully with a small frown. Clary looked over at Alec and watched as he used the same stick-like thing the captain had been playing with earlier to draw on the captain's arm. As he began to write, the dark, strangely familiar curving marks began to form. Once he finished the marking, it glowed golden before sinking into his skin and completely disappearing.
The captain looked up and met her eyes, smirking at the look of disbelief on her face. "What was that?" she asked, voice filled with apt curiosity.
Isabelle stopped her ranting and looked over at Clary. "What was what?" Alec held the stick in his hand loosely, seeming almost embarrassed to have been caught doing whatever he had just done. The captain on the other hand seemed to be enjoying the attention.
"That was an iratze. It's a healing rune." Clary and Isabelle blinked at him uncomprehendingly. When the silence became too much for him, he added, "A rune is something Shadowhunters use to enhance our abilities or help us with certain things. An iratze heals us. This is a Voyance rune. It enhances our ability to use the Sight, which means we can see the glamours of the world and recognize Downworlders easily." He held up his left hand, displaying his tattoo, or rune, of an eye.
Alec sighed and showed his rune as well, but his was on his right hand. "The Voyance rune is permanent and placed on the dominant hand of a Shadowhunter. This," he held up the stick he used to mark on the captain, "is called a stele. It allows us to draw runes."
"Why doesn't Simon have any runes?" Isabelle asked, narrowing her eyes at Simon and raking her eyes over his body. He shrunk away from her gaze.
The captain groaned. "The mundane education system is terrible. What do they even teach you?"
"That demons are bad and we should run away from them." Clary deadpanned, crossing her arms over her chest and glaring at him. "Same for Shadowhunters."
He laughed condescendingly at her. "Funny… since you are one." He sat on the desk, spinning a globe with a single, long finger.
Her heart thundered painfully in her chest. That couldn't possibly be true. Her mom said that Shadowhunters were murderers, kidnappers, and looters. She had always told Clary how awful of a species of people they were. Shadowhunters were raised as such or kidnapped and made into them, as in Alec's situation. "That – that is not possible." she stumbled over her words, rising from her seat in the chair.
"Say what you want, Clarissa Fairchild, but the blood of Angels runs through your veins. You come from a long line of Shadowhunters. The Fairchilds are a strong family, and what you have been taught about Shadowhunters couldn't be further from the truth. It's true that the men who have attacked your city are Shadowhunters, but they are members of Valentine's cult called the Circle. They believe that the only race that should inherit the earth are Shadowhunters. Valentine has even gone so far to wield the power of demons to destroy mundanes and Downworlders alike." The captain tapped the globe as he spoke, enunciating Valentine's name very carefully.
"Well if I'm a Shadowhunter, then why don't I have those markings? And why have I been living in a… mundane," she tripped over the word, unsure of what it really meant, "city raised by a mother who claims that Shadowhunters are only trying to hurt us."
He shrugged. "I don't have the answer to your second question. Your mother is a Shadowhunter as well. Trust me, I've done my research. Haven't you noticed the thin white scars that trace her body? Odd seeing as how she doesn't fight, right? Or haven't you mentioned seeing the sprites or faeries in the woods when you were a young child, but as soon as you mentioned that to your mom, she banned you from going to the woods since? She has been hiding this world from you in an attempt to protect you from something, but I say the only way to protect you is to train you as a proper Shadowhunter. A Shadowhunter who is raised properly by the Codex." He nodded to Alec, who pulled out two books. Alec handed Clary and Isabelle both a book.
Clary traced a finger over the cover, her finger lingering on the image of the angel on the cover. As if he were reading her mind, the captain said, "That is the angel Raziel. He is the angel believed to have created Shadowhunters by mixing his blood with that of Jonathan Shadowhunter to fight the demons and save the human race. He provided us with the Mortal Instruments: the Mortal Cup, the Mortal Sword, and the Mortal Mirror. Rumor has it that Valentine has been trying to find the Mortal Cup, but we are trying to find it first."
"And this book is a… demon-slaying tip book?" Isabelle asked as she flipped through the pages.
Alec scoffed at her tone. "No, it is meant to teach you all about Shadowhunters, what Shadowhunters really are and what we do, about Downworlders, and the laws of this world. You two are receiving them because starting tomorrow, you will begin training, and you are expected to learn about this world now. We are already losing too much time as it is. We need to have as many uncorrupt Shadowhunters as we can get, but unfortunately for us, that means we have to train all new ones."
Isabelle rolled her eyes at him, but then she grinned at the captain, "So when do we get those marks?"
The captain grinned back at her. "Right now. Alec can give you your Voyance rune, but I'd like a moment alone with Clarissa please. I'll do her rune if you'll just take care of Isabelle's." He sounded almost as if he were asking Alec to cooperate, but there was an almost certainty in his voice that made Clary believe that no one ever questioned what he asked of them.
Alec nodded after a moment of hesitation. His eyes seemed to linger on the captain for a moment too long before whisking Isabelle out of the room. Simon followed quietly behind them, seemingly unsure of what to do. Clary sat back down in the chair and waited for the captain to speak, but he said nothing. He remained sitting on the desk, gazing at her patiently. He had a small smile playing on his lips, but it was barely noticeable.
"Well?" she asked impatiently. She just wanted to go back to her room and sleep. She didn't like the way her world seemed to change every time she saw the captain. Never in her whole life had things seemed to change so drastically in such a short span of time. She had just been kidnapped that morning.
"Don't you want to ask me something?" he questioned, folding his hands over his chest. The cords of his muscles rippled and strained as he moved. Gulping, she averted her eyes quickly. Why couldn't he just be ugly?
Keeping her eyes away from his direction, she replied, "Why does Valentine want me? If he's trying to get this Mortal Cup thing, why would he want an untrained Shadowhunter? I don't even know what this Mortal Cup looks like, so it's stupid of him to think I would know where it is."
The captain sucked in a deep breath, looking as if this were one question he really didn't want to answer. Instead of answering, though, he countered her questions with another peculiar question. "How much do you know about your mother, Clarissa?"
Clary shot him a hard look. "What does that mean?"
He rubbed a hand over his face. "Do you know anything about her past? Does your father live with you? Do you see your grandparents? How much do you know about your mother?" He repeated the last question again as he leaned in towards her, staring at her harshly.
Clary couldn't pull her gaze away from his hard topaz-colored eyes. "I – my father died when I was a baby. I don't remember him any… and well I've never met my grandparents either. I had always assumed they died before I was born. My mom never told me about them. My mom doesn't really talk about herself. It's always been about keeping me safe, and we see how well that played out." Clary muttered as she leaned away from him.
He nodded his head but looked frustrated. He stood up and walked around the desk. He pulled a drawer out and threw something on the desk in front of her. Clary looked down at the photo in front of her, scanning the picture for anything that seemed important. It just looked like a collection of young adults who only looked a few years older than she was. That was when she realized what he wanted her to see. She zeroed in on a girl who looked exactly as Clary did now – her mother. "What is this?"
He gave a strained smile before sitting down in the chair behind the desk. "That is the Circle about 20 years ago when it was formed. They were all Shadowhunters Valentine had used to create his group of followers. This is Lucian Graymark. He was Valentine's parabatai and best friend, and this is Valentine." He pointed to a dark-haired man on her mother's left and then to a white-haired man on her right. Valentine's eyes were dark and piercing, and Clary almost felt as if he were staring right at her. Valentine's arm was thrown intimately around Clary's mother. "From what I have gathered from other Shadowhunters from this time, your mother was married to Valentine when this was taken."
Clary jerked back in surprise. "That's not possible." She laughed and shook her head. "My mom would have told me if she were married before my dad…"
The captain raised an eyebrow at her. "Oh, you mean like she told you about being a Shadowhunter?"
She scoffed and rolled her eyes, though her heart ached because he was right. "What does this have to do with anything?"
He leaned on the desk, gazing at her. "If your mother was in fact married to Valentine, then one would believe she would be his weakness." Clary nodded her head in agreement, wondering where he was going with this. "Well he had the Mortal Cup before the Circle disbanded, but when your mother disappeared, so did the cup. I'm assuming she took it before she left him, and that is the one of the reasons she's been protecting you. If Valentine knew about you, which he obviously does, he'd go after you to get the cup. The only thing your mother would give the cup up for is you."
"So now I am a bargaining chip?" Clary huffed impatiently. The more the captain talked, the angrier she got, and she couldn't really see how anything else he could say would make things better.
He sighed and rubbed his eyes in annoyance. "Why would we train you if you were just a bargaining chip? We want you to be ready to face him, but it would be irresponsible of us if we didn't at least train you to fight and learn how to defeat him. We don't want to bargain with him. We want to get rid of him. He's a problem to our world, and I know you've noticed that the demons have been getting worse. They're restless, and if we don't find a way to take away Valentine's power, we'll lose way more than you as a–" he scoffed aloud and gave her an irritated look – "bargaining chip to get the cup. You don't even have the Mortal Cup."
"Well how do you know that for sure?" she huffed indignantly.
"Well you've been pretty ignorant of the Shadow World up until now." He answered before standing up and crossing to the other side of his desk again. As he sat down on the top of the desk, his feet bumped into hers on the floor. She jumped back from the contact and glared at him.
"Would you just mark me with that stupid rune, so I can leave?" she snapped as she crossed her arms and looked away from his entrancing gold eyes.
He chuckled before pulling out his own stele. He held out his hand and raised his eyebrows at her, waiting for her to give him her hand. Her heart thumped heavily in her chest. She didn't want to admit it, but she was scared out of her wits. The idea that all of this was real was beginning to be too much for her. When she first climbed aboard the ship, she was almost able to convince herself that this was all just a realistic dream, but now she was realizing that this was not the case.
The captain noticed her hesitation. "Clarissa, I know this is a lot to take in –"
"Please just call me Clary." she whispered, closing her eyes. She needed a clear head, and with the captain calling her by her full name like her mother did was reminding her too much of what she had already lost."
"Clary," he amended, his eyes softening as he looked at her. "I know this is a lot to take in. I know that this can be incredibly scary for someone who never believed in any of this, but despite what you believe, you are stronger than you think. You have the blood of angels in you. You were born to be a warrior." His hand still lingered in the air, waiting for her hand. Shakily, she gave him her hand. He gave it a quick, reassuring squeeze before bringing the stele to the back of her hand. "This is going to sting a little. But it'll be over before you know it."
Clary nodded her head and waited for him to do it. She clenched her teeth and rocked her body a little in preparation for the pain. The captain still had his eyes locked on her, though. He gave her a blinding smile, revealing a slight chip in his front tooth. "By the way, you can call me Jace," he paused as he waited on her to react. "but only in front of Simon and Alec. I don't want the rest of the crew to think I've gone soft for a pretty face."
Clary pursed her lips at him before yelping at the burn in her hand. Jace gripped her hand firmly as he worked on the rune, as if he had expected Clary to jerk back her hand. Of course though, he was right – he was done before she even knew it, and a few seconds later, she raised her hand and she gazed at the black markings of an eye that stared back at her.
"Will, do you even know how to steer a boat?" Jem looked out at the water disapprovingly as Will pushed the small boat into the water. Will grinned back at him wildly. The freshly marked runes on his neck and arms standing out crisply against his pale skin. Jem marveled at the way the runes seemed to have just appeared out of nowhere on their skin. He was still reeling at the information that Jocelyn had given the two boys.
They were Shadowhunters, born with the blood of angels in their veins and given the powers of runes and angelic magic to help their fight against demons, which were apparently very real and no laughing matter. Jocelyn was also a Shadowhunter, which meant that Clary was also a Shadowhunter, and she was kidnapped by Shadowhunters. Really, it made no sense to Jem, but Jocelyn seemed to know that it would happen all along.
"Come on, Jem. We don't have any time to spare!" Will was crouched in the small boat, his black hair curling wildly against his cheeks from water splashing his face. Jem shook his head ruefully. This was a horrible idea. The boat was tiny, and it probably would barely last a week out on the water. If a storm hit, the two of them were going to be in a rather unfortunate situation.
"Are you sure we should be doing this?" Jem asked as he tossed his bag of newfound weapons into the boat. Jem wasn't really afraid of dying, but drowning in the ocean seemed a terrible fate.
"They don't have that much of a lead on us." Will looked out past the horizon. He was wearing some of the clothes Jocelyn had lent the boys, a black, fitted shirt and pants made out of a thick, stretchy material. She said it held up against attacks better than normal clothes. His blue eyes matched the waves, and he stared imploringly at Jem.
"Yeah, you're right. They only left a few hours ago." Jem nodded once and climbed into the boat causing water to slosh against his boots.
Will flashed him another brilliant smile and pushed away from the shore with an oar. Then he began a slow paddle away from their home. Idris had become almost a wasteland, but as Jem watched the town disappear, he wondered if he would ever see his home again.
"Cheer up, James. We're just going on an adventure!" Will called from behind him.
Jem spun around and gave Will a half-hearted smile. "An adventure that's surely going to get us killed long before it becomes fun." He brushed the strands of silver hair out of his eyes, and the Voyance rune caught his eye. It was the first rune that Jocelyn had placed on both Jem and Will, and he remembered the dull sting that had accompanied the strange magic. He managed to glimpse at the book tucked away in the weapons bag – Jocelyn told them that they needed to study the book because it was full of the runes they would need to use to rescue Clary. He pulled it out of the bag and flipped through the pages slowly. He paused on a page with the parabatai rune.
"What are you concentrating on so hard?" Will questioned, gazing at Jem with intense eyes.
"I suppose, I'm just thinking about us." He touched the rune on the paper and the matching one above his heart. Jocelyn had explained what a parabatai bond meant and how it would affect their relationship. She told them that the rune would connect them in a way that they had never felt connected to somebody before. It was supposed to make them a stronger fighting pair, and the runes placed upon their body by their parabatai were supposed to be stronger. They placed their loyalty in each other, and pledged themselves to each other until death. Jem could think of no other person he would want to be bound to for all his life. "We will get Clary back, Will." Jem said finally. He knew Will blamed himself for her kidnapping. He knew Will as he knew himself.
"We will, James. And then I'm going to kill the bastard that thought it was a good idea to take her." Will muttered back. James had no doubt that Will would accomplish doing just that.