He paced restlessly across the room and back, over and again, over and again. For how many days he had done this was beyond his reckoning. His shoulders were stooped, the heels on his boots worn out, his eyes sunken into his skull. His wife worried about him and consequently lost much sleep; for every night, the soft click-thud of boots hitting the wood floor.

After so many days, the man stopped his pacing.

The dogs woke up, sensing something was wrong. His wife sat up in her bed, her eyes filling with hope that was like sweet water to parched lips. The two newborns ceased their whimpering and fell into deep sleep.

Ringo collapsed on the floor with a sigh.

"Take them damn it!"

"But Ringo… I can't let you die! I'll fight alongside you!"

"I wish it were so old friend, if only it were. But no, I need you to promise on your honor, my friend. Promise me you'll protect him, Smith!"

"I will, Ringo. I will watch over Django…"

"I trust you old friend. Take good care of my boy. Who knows? Maybe I'll be here to pick him up soon. Just… watch over my son… the new solar child…"

"Aye, Ringo. Now go out there. Whip the Count's ass."

"Farewell Smith. I hope to see you again… in this life."

"May the Sun be with you, and your legend live on... Red Ringo."

He woke shivering, covered from head to toe in sweat. He gasped for air as he pushed open the coffin in which he slept.

That dream again…He thought, the dream that the Queen warned me about...

"What was it that you said about the dream, Queen?" he asked aloud, knowing the answer was always there.

It is your father who speaks, the one who abandoned you when you needed protection. Hissed the air in this foul chamber, You must never seek out your parentage, Dark Boy. Only a curse if you do.

He shivered, knowing all too well the curses spun by the hands of the Queen. He looked around his room, fully knowing that as he did so; he would both be filled with dread of the darkness and be enfolded in its warm embrace.

A hint of amusement entered the voice of the air so filled with death and decay, No, no curse fashioned by me, young one; but a curse of the Gods, playing a terrible trick upon you and I.

The boy began to dress, for his slumber could not be resumed after that dream, he knew. Only hard training, only sweat and blood, could wipe that dream from his mind.

He buckled on his light armor quickly. His belt was on his waist in an instant. From that moment, he felt safe; for nothing living nor dead could destroy him with this power. This power that was his, and his alone.

The dark matter in his blood burned as he donned his headband. It scalded his soul to wear it, but he did it regardless; knowing it was of the same design and had similar magical properties to the one that his father wore, whoever he was.

He silently went through his mantra, as he did every morning. He drew power from the darkness, fed his soul with it. His soul consumed the darkness with fire, a fire of passion, a fire ofburgundy and black.

A wind blew throughout the chamber, opening the boy's eyes. The door to the chamber hung open, showing the obsidian sky, filled with the marble eyes of the undead moon, reaching its zenith across the sky.

This will be your first mission, Dark Boy. This will be your most important one as well. Your skills as a gunmaster, your agility, your power, are all of perfection. Now, as the moon begins its descent to the west, you must assist the Count with the capture of San Miguel. That is your secondary objective. Before attending to that, do one thing for me.

"Anything!" whispered the boy fervently as a lock of violet hair fell across his face.

The Moon Beauty, Sabata… Bring me the Moon Beauty!