Ok, so clearly this is not before the end of the weekend. However, it is before the end of the month-
SHUT UP! It is before the end of the month so I am calling this a win! ... *head-hang*
Clearbrook's muscles trembled, aching from the cold and her crouched position. She didn't notice, her eyes fixed on the scene unfolding before her.
"Spirit of Orolin." Rayek stood before the Egg, eyes wide with amazement. "I do see!"
"It has been my sole and constant occupation since Voll was injured. My long-delayed task is nearly accomplished. And you, dear one, will make the finish easier for me."
Horror filled Clearbrook as the Snake slipped closer to the huntress, slipping snowy arms around the golden-brown torso.
"Will you not share the burden, even as you share the vision?"
Wolf-eyes showed Clearbrook the small shiver the rippled through the dark-huntress' body, the confused look in her eyes.
Pale fingers worked their way through Rayek's inky hair, twisting and teasing. The huntress pulled her lower lip between her teeth. "I… don't think I can trust you." She half-turned, gold eyes meeting with Winnowill's grey. "And I truly doubt that you would be willing forget your ill will towards the Wolfriders."
To the side, Nightscream growled quietly, body tense.
Winnowill chuckled – a soft, sweet sound. Pulling back a bit, the Snake's fingers brushed against Rayek's bare shoulder before slowly sliding down her arm to play with her fingers. "The stars beckon Rayek." She turned slowly, glancing back at the huntress over her shoulder. "Do you really wish our people to be kept here forever? In a world of death and pain? Just think!" she swept closer again, "with the power of the Gliders and the Palace joined, anything could be at our grasp! Haven't you ever wondered what it would be like, to be as the High Ones were?" she tilted her head down, peering at Rayek from the corners of her eyes. "To change your shape as you would a gown, or see through time with a thought. And there would be no more pain, no more injuries, no more death. We could take all the pain of our people away."
The huntress turned away sharply, eyes narrowed in thought.
Winnowill pressed forward again, the tips of her fingers gently stroking the huntress cheek. "Leetah once told me of her father. Would it not be wonderful if he, and others like him, could see again? Imagine, restoring sight to the blind."
Rayek froze at those words, her eyes wide in shock.
Tucked safely away, Clearbrook felt a chilling hand clutch at her heart.
The baby whimpered in his arms, chewing half-heartedly at his braid, eyes on the make-shift bottle in his hand.
Hoykar sighed gently, "Just a bit more little one. It's almost done."
The young Glider dipped a finger into the small pan in front of him, testing the warmth of the milk. After a minute he nodded and, deeming it sufficiently prepared, poured the milk into the stone bottle Reevol had made for the child. Settling himself down on a nearby chair Hoykar immersed himself in watching his charge. He smiled softly, the way the child drained the bottle as if nothing else mattered still charming him. He ran his fingers through the babe's brown curls. What would it be like to have a child of your own? To look at him and know he was yours.
What would it be like to have your child taken from you?
Hoykar pulled the boy closer. In his mind he could hear the Wolfrider's sobbing as her child was pulled from her arms, the look in her eyes as they left with him in their grasp.
'Great Haken.' Hoykar sighed softly, 'What have we become?'
The young chosen rested his head against the child's. "I have to get you back to your people." He winced sharply, "But what to do about Lord Winnowill?"
"You may leave that to me."
Hoykar's eyes flew open, his feet somehow finding the floor without any notice from his mind. He stared ahead, mouth wide open in shock. Eyes fixed on the form before him, as the bottle clattered to the floor.
The world was spinning.
Rayek stood perfectly still, oblivious to the world around her. Oblivious to the gentle touch of Winnowill's fingers against her skin. Oblivious to Nightscream's worried growls.
Sight to the blind. Her daughter could see again. Could be a perfect, healthy child.
She could see it as though it was playing out in front of her. Renya standing in the Palace, as tall and more graceful then Timmain, her violet eyes open and seeing. She was so beautiful.
Tears pricked at the huntress' eyes at the vision. Her daughter would be whole again. They would save their people and her daughter would travel the stars, seeing worlds none had ever dreamed of with her family and friends. The words were on her tongue, ready to pass her lips and save her precious child.
They froze at her lips. Her… friends? A new image passed before her eyes. Renya, dressed in a light leather dress of Moonshade's making, running through the green woods with Ember and Suntop by her side.
Ember was wolf-blooded. Her brother was a pureblood – like Renya – but Ember was not. Neither was Dewshine, who was teaching Renya the bird-songs of the woods. Moonshade who had made the darling dress her daughter wore, Clearbrook with her quiet but wicked sense of humor, Redlance and Nightfall who longed for a child as she once had, willful Scouter, brave One-eye, gentle Rain the Healer, fierce Crescent and her silent father, Eyes-High who was as fiery as her lifemate was peaceful, and Cutter, Leetah's young love. They were all wolf-blooded. Skywise. Renya's birth-father, her own Recognized. What of them? Her heart grew frosty. Where were they in Winnowill's plan?
Gentle fingers curled a lock of her hair, pulling her from her thoughts. "What is your answer dear one? Will you aid me in this? With the two of us working together, the Gliders will not be able to refuse."
Rage sparked in Rayek's soul. The foul witch had been playing her! Twisting and teasing her heart into agreeing with this travesty! She turned sharply, pulling finally from both of the Snake's grasps. She met the Snake's surprised gray eyes with golden fire.
Slowly, the gentle kindness melted from Winnowill's deceitfully beautiful face, a look of annoyance replacing it. "So, this is how it is to be."
Rayek glared at the cold woman, "You're clever Winnowill. And in another time, your words would have had me spellbound. But you made one very great mistake." Her grip tightened on her spear, lips pulling from her lips in a vicious snarl. "You should have never brought my daughter into this."
The Lady of Blue Mountain sneered, "And here I thought you might love your little brat. I see I was wrong." One hand stretched out towards the huntress, madness glittering in her eyes, "A pity you'll never see the whelp aga-!"
The Snake's head snapped in shock, her rage deepening when she saw who had spoken. "Wolf-Chief. So that is what sent the Chosen into such a panic." She smiled cruelly, looking down on the assembled Wolfriders as one would a dying insect. "I suppose you have come to stop me?"
Cutter's face was still, eyes cold. "No. That is the duty of another."
Winnowill scoffed, fixing the Wolfrider with a cold stare. "Who might that be? Dear Leetah? This huntress or her little pet? Perhaps your golden-haired brat or the oh-so silent archer?"
The Snake froze, eyes widening and mouth falling open in shock and disbelief.
A tall figure appeared from behind the Wolfriders, pale and shaky, but regal. Winnowill stared at the newcomer, stepping back in shock. "N-no."
The sad-eyed male met her gaze, "Stopping you is my duty."
Winnowill let out a tiny gasp, body trembling.
Ah the plot, it thickens. *Bond-villain-hands*
FanFictionAddiction4EVER: Glad you liked it, and hope you like how the confrontation with ole Winnie is turning out! And as to Door... no. There will be no freakish cult with weird humans and shota-boys in disturbingly tiny loincloths. We here at Wyl's-head do not accept the heresy that is the works of Barry freakin Blair. *shakes fist at effigy of Blair*
Guest: Hi, welcome to the story! I'm really glad that you like it. And as to your questions... don't worry, they'll get answered. Maybe not all in this fic, but eventually. *winks* Also... I think it's safe to say that this won't turn out quite like cannon. ... Mwua-ha.
Hoykar: *hugs FanFictionAddiction4EVER and Guest* Thanks for the reviews guys!
So stay tuned! Things are about to get bumpy. *puts on helmet*
Hoykar: ... We're coming up on whatever it is I'm going to need hugs for. Aren't we.
Hoykar: ...You suck.
:) R&R folks!