The Dark One Revised
Summary: The Dark One is dead, but now her son has been brought to Redwall. Will he be able to deny his past and prove to Skipper that he is not the same as his mother?
Rating: Something around T I expect, due to my foul mouth and lots of lovely violence. Can't have Redwall without a hoard of some sorts, and can't have a hoard without violence.
Disclaimer: I own nothing except that which is my own. You'll know what's mine, trust me: it's mainly the characters that are batshit insane (ie, most of them). The wonderful Redwall, series and all of the characters and ideas that it spawns belong to Brian Jacques and I'm getting no money out of this.
Author's Note: Ahah. Well. You see, I discovered roleplaying. And gained a life some how (I'm still struggling to get over that one). But on the plus side, I passed my English ALevel, and a creative writing course, sort-of fell back in with the PPC and failed at my one and only chance of having a Real Life. I've more-or-less rewritten the first chapter, and will be adjusting following ones, before continuing. As long as I work out how to work the Pit again. Although, if you're reading this, assume I managed it. Also, have no beta. Need beta. Too lazy to look myself. Feel free to offer, especially if you'll also kick me in the tail to keep writing.
Additional A/N: You'll have to excuse the amount of scene changes in this chapter. Prologue and all that. I also nicked a line from a Nirvana song. Kurt Cobain is love, but I would have changed it, I just didn't have the heart to. Therefore, Drain You isn't mine either.
A young otter stood by the handmade and somewhat battered bed, her paws on her slender hips, and a look of pure exasperation on her fair face. Sunrise had been and gone, and yet her younger sister was still lazing away in bed, when she knew perfectly well that there were chores to be done. Stamping her footpaw, Rowena growled at the sleepy otter, trying to get her attention. "Kira! Get out of bed." The smaller, stockier otter ignored her sister and rolled over, pretending to be asleep. She faked a few snores to add to the effect, but it didn't fool Rowena. "I'm going to count to five." She warned, claws curling into the rough material of her tattered smock.
"Ha, if you can count that far." Kira's voice came from under her blanket; ruining what little chance she had of faking sleep.
"One . . . Two . . . Three . . . Hurry up Kira, four . . . five. Right, that's it." Rowena grabbed the edge of her sister's blanket and pulled, hard. Kira came flying out, tumbling to the floor and rolling twice until she hit the wall. Sitting up, she rubbed her head, glaring at her sister with the brown eyes that both girls had inherited from their father.
"You could have told me there was a wall there." Kira pouted, as she pushed herself up, brushing off the dust from the floor.
"You should have been out of bed an hour ago." Rowena snipped back, as she walked off. "Get dressed before breakfast, and for goodness sake, wash your face." Rowena took great pride in her looks, waking early to wash, and taking good care of her clothes, but Kira had little care for such trivialities. She didn't even attempt to put any effort in that morning, pulling on a pair of shorts under the tunic that she had been wearing the day and night before, and splashing her face in the stream at the holt's entrance.
"So where's the food?" Kira demanded, sitting down at the table that showed the same signs of hard wear as the rest of their little home. With a sigh, Rowena put fresh baked oat farls, damson preserve and some water on the table, and Kira gobbled three, and then started to bounce away from the table.
"Hey, where do you think you're going?" Rowena asked, still on her first farl. Kira stuck her tongue out, and then dived out of the small dwelling.
Kira dived into the stream, with hardly a splash, and all the fish bolted, Kira rushing after them. She twisted in and out of the weeds with amazing accuracy, keeping up with the fish perfectly. Finally Kira broke the surface and took a deep breath. She had managed to go a surprising way downstream, carried half by the current and half by her own enthusiasm. Looking around her she noticed some mushrooms on the bank.
//Perfect, lunch! //
Forgetting that she had only eaten breakfast a short while ago Kira launched herself from the stream and started to gulp down the mushrooms.
* ~ *
The girls had been living by themselves for a season, ever since their parents had left one day, only to never return. Rowena, as both the eldest, and the more sensible of the pair had tried desperately to keep up with her sister's wild moods and silly attitude, but her patience had snapped.
Rowena took a haversack from the shelf and stuffed it full of all her possessions. She was doing what she should have done a season ago – leaving. She had finally given up on her younger sister. Nothing she did seemed to make the smallest bit of difference. Opening a small cupboard at the back of the holt, she took out half of the food that was in there, leaving Kira just enough for a week. If she wanted any more then she'd just have to go looking, lazy creature. Rowena took a cloak from the side of her bed, and the knife. Certain that she had everything that she would need she left.
* ~ *
Kira arrived back at the cave just as the stars began to show outside, hungry, wet and cold. She'd been playing in the sream all day and had let the current carry her further than she'd expected (or had ever been before), and so it had taken her a long time to get back to their little home. "Rowena?" Nothing. "Rowena! I come bearing . . . umm . . . food?" Still nothing. Kira walked into the cave, her dark fur leaving tiny puddles of steam water between her paw prints. "Rowena, you in here? Ro, this isn't funny." She went to the fireplace at the back of the small cave and lit the fire. As the flickering flames brought light to the room she scoured it. Nope. No Rowena. Kira shrugged and went to the food cupboard. Realising it was half empty she realised that Rowena had left – something that she had threatened to do a few times before. "I'm better on my own anyway!" Kira yelled to the air, stamping her food in anger, childishly. "I don't need no one, and obviously no one needs me!"
"Me. . . Me. . . e . . ."
"I didn't like you anyway! I can do what I like now."
"Now . . . now . . . ow . . ."
"I hope you rot in the dark forest, you . . . you slack-furred, baggy-nosed fish daughter!"
"Fish daughter . . . fish daughter . . . ish daughter . . ." Kira did almost the strangest thing that she could do in the circumstances. She began to laugh. The strange sound echoed worse than her yells. Above her birds startled from their roosts and went fluttering up to the sky at the eerie sound.
* ~ *
Kira woke late the next morning. She had fallen asleep by the fire, which had burnt itself out. Kira had spent the last night planning what she was going to do now. She thought that there was nothing tying her to the holt where she had been brought up. She was going to leave it. Kira packed her haversack the same way that her sister had done the day before, ransacking her old home. She took her father's old sword from above the fire, even though she hardly knew how to use it. Finally she was satisfied, and she left, crossing over the stream that backed the holt, and going into the woods further on. A new chapter of her life had begun.
* ~ *
A week later, maybe more, Rowena returned. She had another otter with her. His name was Rock, and it was a good name. He was as solid as a rock, and just about as clever as one. However, he was good looking, and Rowena had taken to him as a duck to water.
"I'll check if she's in there." She said to her boyfriend, leaving him on the bank.
It was about an hour later that Rock gave up waiting and wondered into the small holt. The vermin gang that had taken over the place killed him almost as easily as they had killed Rowena.
* ~ *
"And so I'll wander along
On this little plain
And I'll sing my song
And I won't complain..."
"Hurr, et looks more loik a wudd to oi." Kira swung round to greet the mole.
"I guess. It's just a silly song anyway."
"So oi gavererd. Do ee be hungered, miz?"
"Hmm? Food? Nah, I'm starving myself on purpose to make myself look beautiful. 'Course I'm hungered. I'm starving!"
The mole chuckled to his self. "Oi thought as much. Come on." He turned round and ambled into the tunnel entrance he had been standing by. Kira followed him, smiling softly to herself. The mole's dwelling was a small cavern, the roof held up by the tree roots of the forest above. The mole, whose name was Eben, lived there with his twin grandchildren, Burr and Burrum. Kira was pushed onto a ledge while the three moles rushed around finishing off the food. Eben had cooked a large deeper 'n' ever turnip 'n' tater 'n' carrot pie, which, needless to say, was delicious. Kira gulped down her share with relish, Burr muttering to his sister: "Oi'd rather keep that 'un for a week 'n a year." Burrum chuckled back, and Kira started on a third bowl, complimenting her hosts through a full mouth.
* ~ *
It was pitch black outside. There wasn't even a small sliver of the moon to be seen, and even if there had been it would have been covered by the thick clouds that obscured the stars. Kira didn't mind though, in fact she liked the dark. It made a great cover. She slung her newly filled haversack over one shoulder as she left the mole dwelling, chuckling quietly to herself. They had fallen hook, line and sinker. Not only had Kira robbed them of most of their possessions of worth (not much), and all their food and drink, the satisfying crunch that Eben's neck had made when she smacked his head against the rock made her think that she had slain at least one of them. They should be grateful it had only been one. She could have killed them all, dozy moles!
Kira had found a more interesting way of attaining food then scavenging for it. She was quite happy to rob other creatures. A family of voles, two hedgehogs and the moles were her total sum of victims so far. She made her way a little way out to where she had hidden her bow, and her new sword, which was much better than her fathers old rusty one, humming a little song to herself.
"It is now my duty to completely drain you . . ." Kira's song was scarily morbid.
* ~ *
It had only been a couple of seasons, yet already Kira was a beast of legend. "Be good, or the Dark One will get you . . ." "If you don't eat your greens I'll tell the Dark One of you . . ." "Oh, for the Dark One's sake!"
"Have you heard of the Dark One?"
"The Dark One? Can't say as I have, matey."
"Well, they say she's an otter, like you, but her fur is as black as the night sky, and. . ."
"I heard that she was a ferret."
"No, she's an otter, my friend saw her!"
"She's a ferret, my friend told me so, and. . ."
"Yeah, but what's so special about 'er?"
"She comes at night, and slays every beast that stands in her path."
"No, she comes in the day, and she looks like a normal otter, and then people take her into their homes, and at night . . ." He drew a paw across his neck.
"Wow . . ."
Everywhere otters, especially female ones, found it hard to get aid from others, where as before they were often welcomed into homes when in need. Those that did not know them treated them with suspicion, and some times they were even attacked. In the Southlands everyone dreaded the Dark One. Yet, she still struck everywhere, leaving death and destruction in her wake.
* ~ *
Kira chuckled as she went through the belongings of the otter family she had just slain. Although it was more difficult to get into the homes of other species now, otters seemed not to learn. Kira had slain the entire family, all seven of them, and now all she wanted was a good meal. She kicked the dead otter maid that lay at her feet. She was about the same age as Kira, maybe a season older. But she still had a family, happiness. Or at least used to have.
That was when she heard it. A small mewing noise came from a small cradle at the side of the chamber. How had she forgotten the baby? Kira drew her dagger from its sheath and moved swiftly over to the cradle. As she stood there, debating whether to leave him to the fast approaching winter or slay him now, he smiled up at her, not noticing the blood of his family on her paws. Kira laughed at his innocence and moved her paws to pick him up. The child growled at her and snapped at her fingers. She laughed harder. Kira gave the otter kit the handle of her dagger. To her amazement the babe held in the right way. She saw a spark light in the youngster's eyes as he held the knife.
"Hello, Bran." Kira said, softly, taking the knife off the kit, which fought as well as it could to keep the weapon. "Come on, you're coming on a little journey with me . . ."
The babe, Bran, had switched something in Kira's brain, softening her, but not enough to finish robbing the babe's family before she left with him in a sling across her front.