Note: ...Blaring music, check. Two people talking whom must be blocked out by blaring music, check. One long paper I -should- be working on but am neglecting to write a story... Check.

So many dreams were broken and so much was sacrificed was it worth the ones we loved and had to leave behind?
So many years have passed through war, the noble and the prized Will all our sins be justified?

Vertigo must be one of the worst feelings in existance. Off balance. Nausea. Dizzy. Confusion. All rolled up into one feeling, stuck in a blender, and then put on high. That was vertigo, and Narcius thought if the feeling lasted any longer he would puke, pass out, or both at the same time. Now that would be interesting.

As it was, Narcius only managed to nearly collapse on the muck covered floor and even that was stopped by Karwyn who snaked his arm around Narcius' middle to hold him up. Kirielle managed to hold her own, but just barely it seemed as her knees were shaking and her face was pale and covered with a thin sheen of sweat. Karwyn didn't seem too bad, but Narcius had always known his brother to have enough steel in his spine to keep himself going through the worst of situations and to have some left over for others to borrow from. Narcius lifted his head and saw the grimy, age worn room and exhaled with relief.

They were back. Not in a room with a Magician cutting fragments of the Dewprism from the still living bodies of Dolls, not with a relic hidden in a whirlpool being fed the shards, and not with a homicidal little- Oh crap.

"Where'd the doll go?" He asked, looking around the room for any sign of the white and grey girl he'd seen just before the memory and then within the dream. Kirielle stared at the little gem, still pulsing and glowing on the floor like a heartbeat as if hypnotized by the glow. Narcius no longer wondered where it had come from, they had seen where it had come from. Karwyn released Narcius, who felt himself nearly tumble to the ground again before his leg went out automatically and caught himself. The sense of vertigo, brought on my the memory and each abrupt change in scenary, was fading. Thank goodness.

"She never made it into the memory..." Kirielle whispered, fading off at the end. They all knew why she had not gone into the memory, the image, with them. If she had been there with them when they had seen her kneeling, waiting ever so patiently for the Magician to cut the stone out of the doll's forehead for her to take to the whirlpool, they'd have killed her whether she was the only way to get to the relic or not. To have such a person with them...

Narcius abruptly tripped and fell over some debri, landing face first in the muck and letting out a squawl of disgust and frustration, as well as several well chosen words. Kirielle looked over and giggled, a high pitched,slightly nervous sound, and Karwyn sighed softly and picked Narcius back up by the neck of his shirt. Narcius choked, and gagged slightly before he was righted on his feet, then he stumbled around a bit trying to regain his bearings. When he finally managed it, the first thing he did was shoot a glare down to the floor and then blink.

"Hey... I think I found the whirpool... thing..." He said, eyeing the debri covered floor. Specifically, he was looking at the wooden, half rotten plank that laid at an odd angle on the floor, covered with rocks, mud, and moss. The cut of the end of the plank was curved, like a circle. Karwyn looked down at the plank and Kirielle reached into her pocket and removed a hankerchief to clean her younger brothers face. Narcius scowled, but allowed her to do so and Karwyn moved the planks and rocks away from their resting place. Beneath the planks, the rocks, the mud and rot laid a hole that went down maybe twelve feet then led off into a tunnel. There was a strange blue glow coming from the tunnel, like the gem...

' "Daddy?" '

My footsteps sound like wet smacks on the floor. A wet smacking sound... And the crunch of bones from rats and dead things beneath my feet. Still, Daddy called to me and I will not leave my Daddy waiting...

' "Elita, hurry now... Those three are behind you, they have something I need Elita. Don't disappoint your father." '

Disappoint Daddy? How could I do that?... I would do anything for my Daddy.


' "Listen closely, Elita..." '

Karwyn was nervous. More then that, he was afraid as if some deep rooted part of him had scented danger and was now screaming for him to turn and run, run and take his siblings before they were hurt or killed. He did not run, but he kept his eyes focused on his younger kin and the area ahead of them. He never had feelings like this without reason, and he was certain that unseen sense was not wrong now.

They continued down the tunnel, Karwyn leading and feeling out the passageway as they went. The deeper they went the stranger he felt, like he had felt as a small child in an overly crowded room. Overwhelmed by others presence, their thoughts, their heat, their emotions... But no one was down there besides them. And the bones. Kirielle had stumbled over the first set of remains almost immediantly, and they had found many more after that. In each set of bones, the skulls had cuts in them. Cuts that focused on the forehead specifically. The count was up around fifty now, fifty shoved within a tunnel roughly twelve feet high and so far less than a hundred feet long.

And they still were not finished walking.

Narcius walked close to Karwyn, and Kirielle held her younger brothers hand as she walked. Karwyn held no ones hand... And somehow felt sad about that. By some silent agreement in this dire situation, it was decided that while it was okay for Kirielle and Narcius to hold one anothers hands for comfort, it was somehow not okay for Karwyn to join in this act. It made him feel... locked out somehow, though he understood it perfectly fine. He had always understood it, it was only now that he began to question it.

Brothers and sisters as small children held one another when frightened, or to protect one another. Even as small children Narcius and Kirielle had demonstrated this, clinging pathtically to one another for comfort and support in the middle of heavy fire, in the middle of wars, even when Ruecian was having a stern talk with them. They had always done this, always held one another as siblings do. Karwyn had not. Where they cowered, he had killed. Where they had cried, he had tortured. Where they fell and went to one another for comfort, he had stayed back in the shadows and stood alone. Always seperate. Always contained. Always.

It made sense then, but why didn't it now? He felt so odd... So torn.

"Karwyn?" He looked back at his sister, the person who had become his sister out of necessity and was now truly his sister, and was stunned by how young she looked. As though she were still a child...

"Should we leave? This place gives me a bad feeling.. Like another one of those monsters is down here," She said, looking down the passage way. He looked as well, focusing on the inky darkness broken only by short pulses of light. He would have said it was foolish to think such things, but he felt it as well. It was not just a stirring in your flesh, a feeling of danger for your body. They had fought far too many bloody battle to fear such things. It was a stirring in the soul, as if something was whispering warnings of danger into your innermost self and trying to get you to run, run, run..

But if they ran, they would not be safe from East Heaven. Mint would get the relic, and she would hunt them down and she would kill them or make them slaves until the end of their days. He, -they- could not let that happen. Not after everything they had gone through... Not after how long it had taken to make them a family. A family. It struck him that this was the first time he had refered to them as such, though it was true. They were a family, tied together by fate rather then by blood and they had taken more then half their lives to learn to trust and love one another as such.

They couldn't give that up...

They couldn't let anyone take that from them, not now when they were just coming to recognize it.

"We're almost to the relic, I believe. We will be able to leave once it is in our posession, I promise," he replied, putting the sudden internal conflict in the back of his mind where he believed it would be effectivley silenced. It was quieter, but it did not completely leave him as he had expected to happen. He kept walking and tried to shake the feelings that had suddenly unbalanced him, made him vulnerable and exposed in what he saw was a dangerous way. Knocking on deaths door was not a good time to begin soul searching, he'd learned that a long time ago.

Kirielle had never been so frightened in her entire life. The image of the Doll's sacrifice, for it had surely been a sacrifice as that was the only thing she had ever seen which compared, was burned into her mind and for some reason it had shaken her in a way nothing else had been able to in a very long time. She knew why it disturbed her, for she knew it was not the death that made her so frightened, it was what the one who wielded the knife had said.

' "Take it to the relic, Elita, before the soul can escape it." '

'The soul..' The idea made her tremble with fear. The image of a soul caught in a stone and then left, deposited, to whatever place was down here. Where did they put it? What had happened to it? Worst yet, was it still trapped down here somewhere? She held back a gagging sensation in her throat which she knew would turn into retching and them vomiting if she allowed it to run its course. She instead tightened her grip on Narcius' hand tighter, half expecting him to swat her and tell her to let go.

He didn't. His hand was cold, sweaty, and shaking slightly. It surprised her how frightened he was, how clammy and cold his hands were. Her brother had always been good at putting up a good front, always been good at laughing and making her feel more at ease just by making her so angry at him.

Except now, he wasn't joking. He wasn't laughing. He hadn't even sang a single annoying song. Now he was quiet, frightened, and alert from what she could tell. He was walking almost precisley in Karwyn's footprints without even realizing it. Kirielle looked down the dark passage, only visible under pulsing lights from who knew where. Only she had a feeling she knew, that she knew very well in fact. She focused on the back of her older brother's head, on the hair Grandma had cut for him. It was already a little bit too long around the back and would need another cutting soon, something he would never do. She'd asked him why once when they were little, the only response he had gotten was that if his hair was kept long it would keep his neck warm in cold seasons. It was a weak reason, but she supposed he didn't need to tell her why he did it. It was his hair.

She thought sitting there and watching her brothers would keep her calm. They were -always- calm. But now Narcius was terrified, and Karwyn... Karwyn looked strange, withdrawn, far away. She frowned quietly, unable to understand what was happening. Everything was so -strange- compared to how it should be. So alien. This was nothing like how it had been with Ruecian... Nothing at all. She gripped her brother's hand tighter and kept walking, feeling something was watching her... something that wanted to kill her...

But that was silly, wasn't it? Sure, this tunnel was filled with the dead, but the only thing down here with them was that doll, Elita. And she was far too small to cause any real damage to them, far too weak to be a real problem. She hoped that was the case anyway. If Mint, Maya, and Rue had found their way down... Things could become much worse for them. But she did not want to think about that, and so she didn't. Do your mission first, worry about other problems later was how it had always been, and now she put that idea into use again.

Get the relic. Get out... Then what? They would be safe, but then what?...

There is Daddy, waiting for me beside the relic. He does not look very happy with me, in fact, he looks angry with me. I have not gathered any more gem's for him, for the relic, and now its power has dwindled.

But Daddy will give me a second chance, I know that. Even now he is getting the knife for me, the one he used to use. I will use that knife now since Daddy can't. There is one of Them coming. There are friends with Him, but He is coming, and this knife is for him.

I need to do this for Daddy. I need to be a good girl for Daddy.

Sorry there's been a lag in chapters. It may take a long time to finish this one, but darnit, I'm trying. In the meantime, please pm me with ideas on plots.