Chapter 18: Resolution
"You must understand Serena. None of us wanted to force this on you. But…she…she is dying. She cannot sustain our people anymore. Her life force is already vanishing. If she dies there, she will never be reincarnated." The silver haired man murmured staring ahead, staring at the figure seated on a silver throne. The woman whose head was hanging down, black silken hair tumbling around her like the night sky.
Serena stared at the woman and nearly threw up.
She was truly beautiful. Even with the crystal consuming her body seemed to somehow enhance her beauty by turning her into…something frozen. The crystal formation began at the tip of her black hair, portions of it were already crystalized, the silver material crept up to her left body, her arms and legs were crystalline and there were traces of crystal formations at her torso and half her face was crystal. Her golden eyes looked so dead so unaware Serena shuddered, those eyes looked as if the soul inhabiting that body has long left this beautiful yet frozen physical being.
"My Luna…" Serena could have sworn that she heard a sob somewhere in there, but then again the situation was dire. " She took it upon herself to protect our people. She more than anyone else wanted to give you a normal life, but…I watch her die away like all the others. I cannot stand about and just let her fade into nothingness." The silver haired man spoke again. Serena just sat there staring, dejected.
That was what awaited her.
That was her responsibility, she should be the bearer of the Crystal, not this woman whoever she was.
"I…Please. Do not do this. Do not take them away, not again. Not after I have found them. Can I not…" But she knew she could not. Already she could see the girl dying. Her life fading. She already knew that it was impossible, they had waited until they could no longer wait.
"If you do not do this, my mother and everyone with Lunarian blood will die. Everyone who does not have the Source Blood, including your half breed children." The young silver haired girl stated standing there.
Serena kept her eyes on the crystalized woman, and felt her heart shattering. She could not allow all these people to die. She could not stand by and let it happen.
But how could she choose such a faith.
How could she choose to be away from her children for eternity. How could she. The pain she could not bear to think of.
An eternity without them, only able to see them from the Moon. Only able to watch over them, but never able to touch them. To hug them. How could she?
But the alternative was unbearable as well.
If she did not do this, then her children will die.
And that she cannot let happen. She would rather spend an eternity watching over them unable to be in their lives than live a day in a world where they are not alive.
"Prepare the ceremony of ascension." Serena murmured not once moving her gaze from the woman in the crystal throne.
The sighs of relief that echoed throughout the room. They will be saved. Their species, families, their loved ones, and even their children will be saved and all because she has chosen to sacrifice her own.
"What's taking her so long." Endymion grumbled pacing the small confining space of the kitchen.
"She just left about thirty minutes ago. Hold your horses, you are fretting like a mother hen over here." Rini said not at all looking at her father. Endymion stared at her and at Endy then at the man they were currently engaged with in a card game and sighed.
Perhaps they were right. He was too agitated. Serena had assured him and he was certain that no one had followed them.
But just in case…
He picked up the phone and then paused.
"Pass it here." Endy called forth, Endymion threw the phone to his son and the boy caught it midair so fast Pythios did not see the motion, he just saw the phone in older man's hand one second and then in the little version of him the next.
"Who do you want me to call?" Endy asked flipping the phone open.
"Get Amy for me." Endymion said, Endy nodded and dialed the number, then threw the phone back. His father caught it and brought it to his ears.
Confused at the interchange Pythios looked at the twins and then at the father and then back at the twins.
"Technology does not bode well with him." Rini said staring at her cards and then placing her hand down.
"Oh. Hmm, how did you guys learn to play poker?" He asked looking at the kid's wins. He himself was a good gambler, but he was barely keeping his own here.
"Please, this game first started with some New Orleans sailors, who had nothing better to do apparently than sit in their own waist, sing songs, make up fantasies and play games." Endy replied staring at his father at the corner of his eyes. Pythios too focused his gaze on the man and couldn't help but smile at him as he began to grumble into the phone.
He eventually shot it off, completely exasperated.
"Well, what did Amy say?" Endy asked when his father shot the phone off and began to mess around with it again.
"Something about tracking Serena's cell phone and why I did not check my messages. Apparently she had called me and Mina." The twins sighed at the same time as their father and then he walked over and handed Rini the phone.
She opened up his message box and then put it on speaker.
Hey Endymion its me, I'm just calling because I can't make it back I ran into a friend and she really needs me right now. Tell Pythios to order in, and pay for it, then try to clean up the house. Pythios hold on for a while and I'll get someone to drop your meds over. And Endymion don't panic or get all high strung, I'm not a little girl I can take care of myself here.
There was a smile on the children's faces and Endymion found himself relaxing, slightly. He would not truly be completely relaxed until Serena was back in his arms, safe and sound.
"Well there it is. She's all right." Rini said staring at her father. He nodded and hung up the phone.
Pythios took the phone and dialed a number.
"What do you guys want to eat?" He asked staring at the twins. They shrugged.
"Anything will do." They both replied. He nodded and began to talk into the phone. He had ordered Chinese, for four. Obviously he was unaware of the fact that they did not eat and none of them were in the state of mind to inform him. Endymion was too busy worrying over Serena and what was currently happening with her and the twins were too agitated by their father's concern.
About thirty minutes later their meal was delivered. Endymion got the door and payed the delivery boy. He brought the food in and placed it on the table.
It was only when everyone had opened up their food and were in the process of eating that he realized there were no clean utensils.
He had every intention of letting them eat out of the foam boxes, but then he thought about Serena and how she would probably chide him for being irresponsible.
Sighing. "Don't eat out of the boxes, or Serena will have my head. The dishes need doing." He watched as the twins and Serena's own brother all turn to stare at him with frowns on their faces. He shrugged and motioned with his head for the twins to get to the dishes.
Horribly of course.
Endy did the dishes and broke nearly half of them. Pythios just sat there humming to himself as the kids broke his utensils.
When they finished they sat down at the table with the only plates and spoons actually not broken.
Pythios ate heartily, the twins ate well enough though not as heartily as he did. But they did eat, in fact they ate more than he had seen them eat in a very long time.
He just sat the the table and watched as they ate their chinese food.
"Aren't you going to eat?" Serena's brother Pythios asked. Endymion shook his head. Pythios shrugged and continued to eat.
When they finished eating he made them clean their dishes, and made it a point to get someone to come by in the morning to play house because he was in no ways capable of doing that. Not without Serena. If she hadn't called and left that message, he would not have remembered to feed her brother. And he was pretty darn certain that Serena would have been rather pissed off to come home and find her brother dead due to hunger.
"He has retired. If you wish to call her again, to quench your concern then that will be fine." Rini said looking at Endymion from the doorway. He was seated again at the kitchen table staring at the door. He sighed and cast a side ways glance at Rini at the door leading to the only other room in the small apartment, the bedroom. There she stood with Endy, hand in hand.
He knew he yearned to hear her voice, but as much as he yearned to hear her and see her again he knew their children yearned for it so much more than he.
They wanted to hear her voice, if only over the phone. But did not want to admit it to him. He nodded, pulled the phone out and handed it to Endy. He dialed the phone and placed it on speaker.
It rang for several moments, but there was no answer. Endymion left a message and the kids said their farewells before he hung up. He could sense their disappointment when he hung the phone up. He could feel his own disappointment.
Where was Serena?
She deliberately ignored his call. She couldn't bare it. If he asked her where she was…when she was coming back…or if he demanded she come back, she would. She knew it in her hearth.
Serena knew that she couldn't. Not now, and perhaps not ever. It was cowardly. She was very certain that she was being a coward.
But how could she…how would she walk away from them after hearing his voice, their voices.
"It might be for the best, not answering his calls." Bella's voice sounded from the doorway. She turned around and watched as the other woman and her old time friend walk into the room with a nightgown at hand.
"Yeah." She replied, staring away from the phone at the dressing table. She smiled as Bella came up behind her with a brush in hand.
"I know you probably think we do not care for your sacrifice, but we do. All of us are just happy that you accepted this faith, but none of us are ignorant of your sacrifice. You loved him…still love him. Your bore his children if that is not proof enough then nothing is. And we know, we all have people we love, some even children and we cannot imagine the sacrifice that goes into this decision. That is why we thank you for it. And we cry for you. So please, do not cry and do not allow yourself to feel the loss. We will at least bear that burden for you." Serena nodded, closing her eyes to prevent the tears that had threatened to spill. Bella did not stop combing her hair, nor did she attempt to comfort Serena.
She just stood there combing, acting as if Serena was not silently weeping. As if her hearth was not slowly being bled dry.
When Bella finished with her hair, she got into the night gown and crawled into bed.
Bella left her there and she silently cried into the silk pillows. She bit at her lips and curled her fingers together to prevent them from trembling.
"I'm sorry." She whispered into the night.
And it was there on that bed covered in white silk that she wept till the sun rose again the next morning. And it was on that very same bed that she made her final farewell to those she loved.
She knew it was time.
Time to finally leave this world behind.
To leave Endymion and their children behind.
She just hoped that this time, he stays with the children. Because there was no reincarnation for her this time. No coming back.
"Are you ready to leave?" Bella asked walking into the room this time with a white dress at hand.
Bella stood there at the door for some time, staring at Serena's swollen red eyes and then walked in dragging her gaze elsewhere.
Behind Bella the little girl, Diana walked in. She was holding some things in her hands. She deposited it on the dressing table and then stared at Serena with something close to a dejected frown on her face.
Standing there like that, she looked a lot like Rini when she was upset with something Endymion was doing.
The thought of that, had Serena's eyes filling up again.
"You have to prepare" Bella informed her. She nodded, and got out of bed. She walked up to the dressing table, sat down her hands on her laps and her face focused on the image in the mirror.
Bella and Diana proceeded to get her ready for the ceremony.
Her hair was braided in one long braid, with white lilies intermixed in the braid. Bella helped her into the dress; hours later when everything was done, Serena stepped out of her room and made her steady steps towards the throne room.
Towards her destiny.
"This is ridiculous. Why is she still not back yet. What friend would take precedence over us, her family." Endymion wailed as the children and Pythios ate 'Frosted Flacks' out of bowls.
"Did you call her again?" Rini asked staring at him annoyed.
"Several times…And she should be the one to call, she is the one who abandoned her family for a whole day. So irresponsible." Pythios brought the bowl to his mouth and drained the milk inside.
"Hmmm. Its not like Serena to not call. Perhaps something happened." Pythios offered staring quizzically at the empty cereal bowl.
Endymion took the phone on the table and punch Serena's number in- having finally learned how to use the contraption- he placed it on his ear and let it ring. It rang and rang with no pickup, frustrated he flung the phone at the door just as it was about to open.
He jumped to his feet.
"Where the hell have you been all ni…" The words did not finish leaving his mouth when a hand grabbed the phone in midair.
"Well hello to you too." Amy's monotone voice came forth as the blue haired vampire walked in, her mate right behind her scowling at Endymion with a glare to match.
"What are you doing here?" He asked his arms crossed.
"I came to inform you that the trace on Serena's phone produced some concern." Amy said walking into the room with no care whatsoever.
"What are you talking about." Amy took out a little book sized machine and handed it to Endymion.
"What is this suppose to be?"
"It's the trace I made on her phone. It led outside of the city boundaries, into a forested area somewhere just outside of the city." Amy said, her eyes wondering around to take in her surrounding. Her gaze froze on Pythios who stared at her just as blankly before smiling and waving. Zoicite moved to her side glaring at the man. He looked surprised for a moment, but then the smile returned to his face and he waved at Zoicite as well.
"The place is secluded. I looked at the cities directory there are no residents on record there at all for the past hundred years. Whatever she is doing there, it cannot be good…Overlooking the fact that no one lives where her cellphone is at, there's also the immense power spike coming from the place." Amy said retrieving her device.
"What power spike?" Endymion asked, his frown deepening.
"I have been noticing them for some time, tiny flares of unusual power surges throughout the ages. That is how I was able to locate Serena each time she was reincarnated. The power surges are always at their highest when she is reincarnated and they are always somewhere close to where she is." Amy said.
"Someone has been keeping track of her." Endymion nearly growled the words out.
"Not just any someone. The same someone for the past 8 hundred years. When she was kidnapped after you first met I cast a spell that stored the unnatural traces of the creatures that kidnapped her to add to my collection of earth creatures. Throughout the ages I have been collecting and compiling data on abnormal creatures on this planet and I came across something quite interesting." Amy began to tap her device and Endymion could see multicolored lines that looked as if they were vibrating move through the screen. The device produced a sound that sounded almost like a melodic whisper to his ears.
It was a soothing sound, and if were not worried sick about the mother of his children and the woman who owned his undead hearth, then he might have taken the time to listen to Amy rant about her studies…but as it was he was worried and needed her to move things along.
"How does this relate to Serena's disappearance Amy?" He asked. Amy frowned, annoyed by his not so subtle hint for her to move on.
"The surges are similar to those emitted by that couple who attempted to take Serena away from you at the English courts in the 17th century. Isabella and Edward. And it is somewhat similar to the aura Serena herself emits…almost like its a more diluted form of Serena's essence. The location Serena's signal is coming from right now is emitting the strongest and most powerful surges I have yet to see." Amy supplied pulling up a picture of a forested area with what looks like fog surrounding the ear. But Endymion could see that the fog like thing was…unusual. It was moving about in a spiral like manner.
"Okay, well where is this place." He asked already preparing to make his way there.
"I will give you the location telepathically because I doubt you will be able to read a modern map." Amy's voice did not hold any disrespect or mocking. It was a fact. And Amy was all about facts.
He waited as she fed the distance of the location through their telepathic link, making sure to use old measuring methods instead of the current ones.
"Okay. Get the others and follow suit as soon as you can." He said making his way to the door.
"Endymion…" Amy said stoping him. He turned around to face her.
"There are minor surges flaring up all over the world, and all of them are moving towards her location…at a very fast speed. I believe they are Moon Children…And Serena might be as Isabella once claimed their original. If that is so, then by their costume she will be going through a Lunar proccess of ascension, where their power source a silver Crystal will be imbedded in her heart…If that is to happen, Serena will become the power source for her people, and lost to you for eternity. She will eventually be consumed by the crystal." Endymion felt his heart stop. Serena lost to him forever. He could not handle the few centuries she was lost to him, how would he deal with an eternity without her.
He couldn't not.
Nor would he.
Rini and Endy attempted to come with him. And although a part of him warned him to keep their children away from the obvious danger. He knew he could not keep them from their mother. She was theirs to loose as well. And it would be selfish to deny them the chance to rescue her.
He nodded and they exited.
She stared at the people gathered in front of her, and sensed the ones still arriving. The place was packed with people of all ages, races, nationalities and backgrounds. All her people.
All Lunarians. Thousands upon thousands of them.
All of them once willing to die for her chance at a normal happy life with her loved ones.
She froze the tears in her heart as her gaze took in the forms of her people. She watched a young girl, about sixteen with multicolored hair, piercings and huge headphones, black fingernails, ripped up black gothic clothes turn into her true form; the image of the girl changed to that of a Lunarians, silver hair, metallic iron eyes, skin as pale as winter snow and as smooth as velvet. All the piercings gone, all the black ink on her skin gone the frown that was once on her face replaced by a calm serene smile.
She turned her gaze to another, this one a woman with sand brown hair, her lips smeared with red ink, her face covered in freckles and makeup. The woman was holding a young girl's hand. The little girl was holding a teddy bear with her elbow while she suckled on her thumb. To the left of the woman was another child, this one a boy and an identical image of the little girl down to the teddybear and the thumb sucking.
The image brought Rini and Endy to her mind and she immediately looked away just as their transformation began.
The ceremony would take place at night, when the moon hits its highest.
Before then, her people will gather around. They will return to their former selves and they will once again be united under the rightful heir.
And there she will sit, welcoming them. Each second she spends on that throne, the fear inside her fades, the sorrow in her dissipates and she grows number and number with each breath she takes. She saw them in every face, in every smile, and in every kind gaze she saw her loved ones.
She saw Rini and Endy's innocent reflected in the gazes of all the children, and in all the adults she saw the love and devotion of Endymions.
She felt reassured. Endymion will take care of their children, of her brother. He will take care of his people, she knew he was strong. He had faltered before because there had been hope, now there is none. No hope of them ever reuniting and that would make him stronger, if not stronger then it would give him resolve.
"Serena…Luna has regained consciousness." Bella whispered in her ears. Serena nodded. The woman, Luna, was taken to a guest room when Serena took the crystal out of her.
Upon arriving in the throne room, Serena had taken the few stairs one at a time up until she was standing in front of the woman. She leaned in, touched her hand to Luna's breasts and immediately a glow emanated from her chest and a warmth ran up Serena's arm. The crystal had emerged from the woman's chest and landed in Serena's palm where it pulsed with life.
Serena nodded her head, unable to make her voice work for the life of her.
Bella walked away to the corner and Serena turned her head and her gaze landed on the little girl Diana again who stared at her with a deep frown on her face before she too walked away in Bella's heel.
When the hall was totally filled, the ceremony commenced. Bella came in first with Edward; the crystal she had placed on a silk covered pillow. She walked forward with it at hand, behind her Artimist made his way with his daughter besides him.
The gathered crowd parted ways for them.
When she made it to the foot of the stairs leading up to where Serena was seated on the crystal throne, Bella stared up.
The question in her gaze clear.
'Are you ready?' Serena did not know how to reply, and neither did she try. She steeled her gaze and stared into Bella's eyes with the clarity of her resolve. She was not ready, but she had accepted and that was all she needed to stay and accomplish this ceremony.
Bella succeeded in planting her first foot on the last step, the crystal began to glow furiously, then it lifted off the pillow and floated in front of Serena moving slightly closer to her with each breath she took. The crystal touched her chest with feathery feeling that coursed through her like a ripple. The tip penetrated her flesh and she could feel the surge when he burst through the crowd.
She had not sensed him. And by their lack of preparation neither had any of the Lunarians.
Bella spun around fast and found herself immediately gazing at Endymion's broad chest. She drew her eyes upward and fell backwards.
Endymion wasn't staring at her, but the emotions running through his gaze toppled her over and froze the breath in her lungs.
Serena's mouth opened, but no words came out. Her hands reached forward and she slightly rose from her throne but did no more.
"You could have called. Have you any idea how worried we were. If you were planning on leaving us again, the least you could have done was called to let us know." Serena felt the tears flowing down her face as she stared ahead at Endymion. At the hurt angry gleam in his eyes, and just beyond him at Rini and Endy who stood patiently back, hand in hand. No doubt certain that Endymion would return her to them.
She on the ground and curled up into herself letting the tears flow down. She could not stop her wailing. The sound echoed through the room, the pain in her chest forced her to clasp her hands over it and the crystal to prevent her heart from shattering into tinny little pieces.
No one spoke, everyone just silently stood by, some closed their eyes to prevent the tears while a few others did not bother to hold back their shared grief and instead silently cried.