I do not own Hellboy or any of its characters or likenesses, nor do I have any stock in any of the brand names that may or may not have been mentioned in the story. The views represented in this story are solely my own and do not reflect the views of the aforementioned parties. The purpose for writing this story is for entertainment only and I do not intend to make any profit.
My first fanfic ever, so thank you in advance for taking the time to review, which is love! A few things: If it's in italics it's an aside or it's in Elvish. My friends call me Trufax, so if it's in the story, it's true. I am meticulous with details, which should be evident throughout. I'm dead in love with language and the little things we do other than vocalizing when we talk to each other, so I've tried to capture that and recreate it here. Also, the second book is up, Until the End of Time:Solace, but for some reason it's not showing up. Hope you enjoy!
She let out a gasp and quickly regained her balance. Asmara had gotten so used to the rhythm of chopping wood that it always startled her when she finished. She looked around embarrassed, expecting to see someone who may have caught her grasping for phantom logs. She only found a few Tits chirping merrily, who didn't seem to care. She smiled to herself and shook her head as she threw the axe over her shoulder.
"You ready?" she asked in Elvish. She picked up the remaining pieces of kindling and placed them on the back of Alrik's cart. She walked over to the Timber Wolf and smiled down at him as she stroked his head. She thought of how fortunate she was to have found him, especially since Sweden's wolf population had been in a steady decline since the 1940s.
"Let's go home," she beamed in a near whisper, and they were off. She looked up at the darkening sky as they trekked through the lush underbrush. Closing her eyes and taking a deep breath she thought to herself, "No place like it!" Home. She loved her home. It would be twilight soon, and they enjoyed sitting and listening to the forest gossip and settle as they ate dinner.
"We think she may be somewhere near here," Manning said, as he pointed to a map of Sweden. "Tree…tree-huggers-go."
"I believe that's Trehörningsjö. Part of the beautiful Ångermanland province in northern Sweden," said Abe.
"Yeah, thanks Fish Stick. We think she may have been hiding out there for the past 200-7,000 years…give or take."
"That's helpful," said Liz.
"ANYHOW… Princess Nuala's dear, dear brother—your highness," Manning said, as he mimed tipping a hat to Nuala, "— will be using the artifact he took to get to her while we have to rely on a computer archive that is faulty at best. So…we really, really, really, need to get a move on…So get to getting!"
Liz' loud sigh and double palmed slap on the table signaled the team to start moving. They got up and trudged down the long metal corridor to the hangar.
"Hey, ah Liz…I been meaning to ask you…," said Hellboy.
"Ask me what?"
"Umm, you gonna be ok? You know, with the babies and all. Running around to places I can't even pronounce."
Liz stopped, melted into a warm smile, grabbed Hellboy by the chin and said, "I'll be fine babe. I'll settle down once I get closer to the delivery date, but for now, it's ass stompin time!"
"Das ma girl," chimed Hellboy, and the two continued on toward the plane behind Dr. Krauss while Abe and Nuala walked in awkward silence behind them.
"…So…umm, Princess, Your Majesty, Your Highness—"
"Nuala is just fine Abraham,"
"Of course. Nuala…Have you ever been to Sweden?"
"Yes. I have actually. This very place. But it's been several thousand years since I've been there. My brother and I were just children when we went last. It's a sacred place. One of the few Fae-Lands left in the Upper Realm."
"Judging from the computer archive of the artifact, I can see why your brother would be headed there, but what makes it sacred?"
"Well, it's a little hard to explain, but that forest holds the beginnings and the ends of all the doorways or portals rather, to both the Upper and Lower Realms or Earths, in the Upper Realm."
"I'm afraid I don't know how else to make sense of it. If the archive is accurate, my brother will search for that woman in the hopes she can guide him to the portal that leads to our ancestral lands…and open it." Nuala hadn't sincerely thought about the prospect of returning home. The occasional memory of a buttressed palace overlooking formal gardens that possessed sights and smells not seen in this realm, would dance across her mind and cause her heart to stir. However, she was always quick to put those thoughts out of her mind. The chances of being allowed to return were too slim to entertain such thoughts.
"But he has the map. Couldn't he just find it himself?"
"It's much more complicated than that. There are rules about leaving and reentering, and my family has been away for thousands of years. Although, I cannot imagine that there are many doorways that still work. To humans, they look like large trees, so if one is hewn, that path is lost and its magic dissipates into the sky. It's a beautiful display of all the shades of blue and green and purple. I believe the humans call it—"
"Ah! Aurora Borealis or, the Northern Lights?"
"Yes. That's it," Nuala said sadly, "A last display of beauty that once kept the way to unfathomable beauty."
Abe didn't say anything. He just took hold of the princess' hand, squeezed and led her to the plane. Once on board, Nuala let her thoughts linger on her brother. She had given up on trying to sense where he was. Their bond began to fade when their father died and now it was completely gone. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes to fight back tears. She wondered about the woman he was searching for. A possible key to a forgotten kingdom, or the one being who could wreak more havoc than the Golden Army ever could.
Nuada sat on the stairs of what had been his home for the past millennium. He looked over the cavern that held all his belongings with a stone gaze. He looked at the wall carving he had made, depicting his people's creation story. He thought it would make the place feel more like his ancestral home, but it just made him feel sick. He'd meant to destroy it, but simply never got around to it.
He looked at the countertops littered with jars whose contents were unrecognizable to any human and even harder for them to say. He looked at the mason work of the floor and remembered when the humans began construction on the seemingly endless tunnels for their mechanical worms. He had had to be particularly crafty in order for them not to discover his presence or alter his accommodations any further. He did have to kill several workers though, as Glamouring will only get you so far. He smiled at this.
He looked at the fire place and tried to remember how he felt the day he lit it. Heavy. He remembered feeling incredibly heavy, but he still had a connection to Nuala which made it bearable. Now that connection was gone. The weight of his father's death crushed him so much it was hard to breathe. He closed his eyes tightly and fought back tears.
He thought about the woman he was looking for. He was amazed that he even stumbled across her and her location in the first place. Once he had knowledge that the BPRD destroyed the remaining crown piece, it seemed as if all life left his body. "He did not die in vain," was a lie he kept telling himself. If he had admitted that his father could have been spared, that the possibility of a more peaceful means to return his family back to their ancestral home-lands existed, all would be lost. He would have no other choice but to fade as per his sister's words.
He had barely arrived at the BPRD headquarters, with just enough residual energy left in their bond to locate her. It was broad daylight, but he had no other choice. He grew angry as he remembered how he'd found her. Sitting on the steps, dressed in blue and reading to that damned fish man. "Disgusting." He then felt a piercing pain in his stomach as he re-lived the moment when he realized she had already been separated from him. "She was frightened. She did not know I was present until she saw me standing directly in front of her. Enamored with that fish creature," his voice hitching a little on the last word, causing him to rise sharply at the sound of its quality. He shook his head, regained his composure and reached into his leather sack.
He pulled out a medium sized cylinder, similar to the one that held the location of the Golden Army, except this cylinder was made from alabaster. Nuala had just finished telling him the fate of the crown piece when BPRD agents stormed the library. He quickly put down three of them, and was making his way down a corridor lined with artifacts in glass cases when he saw it. It was so intricately carved with words and symbols that weaved in and out of one another, he had to stop and squint in order to see it. There, in the center of the cylinder was the war emblem of Bethmora. He placed a hand on the glass and stay staring at it mesmerized. The sound of agents' footsteps snapped him out of his trance and he made short work of acquiring it.
Once clear, he opened it to reveal an elaborate map. It was a map of the Upper Realm written in Elvish and it appeared to contain the locations of all the pathways between the two worlds. He looked closer and realized that the map was changing. It seemed to zoom in on any section he stared at for a few seconds and he saw that some of the doorways were fading. He then caught the figure of a woman in the upper right portion of the map. As he stared, the image got larger and larger, but he couldn't really tell what she looked like. She appeared to be made out of light, save for a dress that clung to more curves than a mountain pass. He knew she was smiling though. She looked over her left shoulder, palm outstretched, waiting for him to take her hand. She then pointed with her right hand to a tree. As he focused on the image of the tree, it grew so large it felt as if he were standing right before it.
He had to arch his neck to look at it, and even then he couldn't see the top. The trunk was enormous with bark and knots that seemed to shape images, words and symbols simultaneously. Its green canopy was so thick that sunlight could not pierce it. The woman was now standing right beside him. He was able to make out deep Current colored lips that curved into a delicious smile. She held out her hand once more. He took it and she placed her other hand on the tree, speaking Elvish words so old that the prince couldn't understand. The tree responded with a great resounding bellow and began to unfurl. It revealed a door that had the same creation carving he sought to destroy in his makeshift subterranean home.
Smiling still, the woman stepped in front of the prince and opened it. He was momentarily blinded by a golden light that dissipated to reveal an entire city filled with Fairy Folk and Trolls. There were streets lined with trees and shops whose merchants pandered items he'd long forgotten. There were walkways, parks and two suns that shone brightly in a sky with as many shades of blue as there was sand in the sea. What he saw off in the distance made his heart stop. She stepped directly in front of him and placed her warm hands on his cheeks.
"You must find me first and show me the way," she said in Elvish.
"I do not understand. It is you that has led me here."
"I have forgotten. You must show me the way."
"How?" And with this, the door began to close and the image started to resume its initial size. He looked at her once more and asked, "What is your name?" "Asmara. You must find me my prince, and help me to remember."