Chapter 1 - Depths of Despair - 1999 AD

The sunlight was so warm, the festival so full of color and life. Corliss couldn't help but laugh as he explored the fairgrounds, taking in the rustic theme of low-tech games of chance and merchants selling antique wares. He adjusted the bandana he was wearing, raising an eyebrow and wondering when exactly his friends had managed to talk him into wearing a period costume for the fair.

Speaking of his friends, where were they?

He paused to speak with one of the merchants near the fountain, and stopped short when he saw the swords the man was selling. He'd never seen a real blade before, let alone the impressive array of steel on display. His mother's good kitchen knives made him nervous, yet the two, three, even four foot long blades didn't faze him in the slightest. With the shopkeep's encouragement, he gingerly hefted one of the swords, testing the weapon's weight and balance. He never had any interest in collecting weapons before, yet the katana's oddly familiar weight in his hand felt right, something he simply had to have. After a few minutes to locate his wallet and haggle with the shopkeeper, he was walking away whistling contentedly; the weapon tucked into his belt as he wandered toward the north end of the fairgrounds, idly looking for his friends so he could show off his prize.

Which is probably why he didn't notice the shorter girl until he ran smack into her, causing them both to fall down.

"Corliss!" She muttered urgently. "Corliss!"

Author's Note: "Hey, where's the rest of the chapter?" Well, I'm in the process of porting over my stuff to You-fic, so I'll only be posting chapter teasers of new stories here. You can find the full chapter over at my You-fic account, freed of FFN's unspeakably plain layout here: you -fic. net /display. php? entryID = 830 (Just remove the spaces!) Or you can just go over to the site and look me up there- I'm under the name FirefuryAmahira, because I'm terribly original with my account names. ;)