Hey everyone, thanks for the reviews! Seven for a dragon age fic that's really good and I'm really happy and warmed by them! They keep me going with this. ;D
I also wanted to let you all know, I got rid of the *16 years later* bit in chapter 1 because time isn't going to flow so cleanly between her world and Thedas. It's been sixteen years in her world, so in part it's correct, but for Thedas if you add the time spent here to the years I'll be describing from her past then it would be a few years over the sixteen marks. Not much difference, but I didn't want people thinking I miss calculated. Just wanted to make it clear here as well, the Hawke twins in this AU are Garrett and Marian, while Carver and Bethany were simply younger siblings born close together. Bethany is dead, Caver is a Templar. Sorry the whole twin thing wasn't clear. Anyway, thank you all for the reviews again. They mean lots to me. Lets me know I'm doing everything right (Or what I need to work on!). This will hopefully give you more on Sam's past and her character. Also introduces a few new people who will be important much, much later. So I guess I reveal some then leave you with more questions hehe. Also hopefully when you guys get to the second italics you'll notice it switches from present to past because it's like we get pulled into her memory inside a dream, which is far easier and more showing then having her simply tell it all.
Also, a warning, I don't have a beta for this. I combed through it a bazillion times but I'm sure I missed something, or something wasn't clear. Especially considering I am trying to do new tech and what now.
- 5 -
Picking the knife up that had been knocked my way. I stood slowly. My hand trembling as fluid rolled down my cheeks, my arms, and dripped from the tip of the blade. The same goopy substance that covered me had soaked into the plush carpet that had once been a soft lavender blue and the still partly warm liquid squeezed through my toes as my feet sank further down. Around me the room was a frozen dungeon. Ice crystals formed a shell on the window. Icicles cascaded off any edge where one could and my breath came out in huge puffy breaths as I stared at her. Stared at the woman who was no longer just a woman. She hovered over her husband's body, back to me and yet I could see her covered in his blood, like me, as it dripped off her body like a leaky faucet -only there were many leaky faucets and his life sustaining fluid was everywhere but in the fleshy vessel it belonged in, it should not be that much of a surprise that he was dead.
I was too scared, too numb to grasp what the harsh artificial lights of the living room overhead fan bejeweled with razor ice crystals showed me. Even when I had witnessed the occurrence first hand I couldn't bring myself to move. So rattled was I that even the overwhelming smell of metallic blood felt distant -like I wasn't there, standing in the center of a blood bath. And yet I knew painfully that I was, could feel the bruises blossoming on my arms and back or the stinging sensation from the gash on the back of my head. Dull throbbing that kept me anchored to reality, no matter how much I wished it otherwise.
A soft chuckle escaped her. At first only a murmur, but gradually began to grow until she threw her head back and the insane, crazed sound filled the room. Hearing Lillian laugh as she was, was not something I had ever needed to hear or anything I wanted to hear again. Yet, even I knew it was the low base tone that joined her bright alto, becoming a duel voice in one with the dark undertone that belayed the true madness from within her.
He had taken over her body.
The menace that had been haunting me, haunting all of us relentlessly these past five months within this once peaceful dwelling had finally decided enough was enough, and attacked. How had he passed all my protections? How!? this thoughts and more swirled around in my mind. I had thought I had covered every base... But I never knew ghosts could take over the livings' bodies!? Nothing online had said that! Still laughing Lillian, or rather Mr Shady as I had been calling the evil ghost, turned, looking over her bloodied shoulder to see me. I shuddered at the dark glint in her eyes.
I recalled then what I knew about this ghost from my research: Robert Jensen. Shot by police at age twenty-eight at Mr Zippy's Funland. Serial killer. Murdered seventeen girls between the ages of six and thirteen. Assaulted them. Mutilated them. Then killed them in the most brutal ways imaginable. I took a step back, the images of said dead girls springing to my mind. At nine, it had been difficult collecting this information. Especially the more sensitive details, but just like everything else I had managed to learn quickly this past year -you find that fear for one's life is a very good motivator. You grow up quick. You pick up things faster. And seeing that I was so young my brain was at the prime time to develop such skills. You know, what with those nerve bridges still growing faster than that of an adult and all (or so that article on brains I had stumbled upon online had said).
My thoughts ceased as Lillian turned, the laughter dying, but the wicked smile remained. Raising her hand, palm up, she moved her fingers in a 'come here' gesture. "Come closer, little girl. I promise not to hurt you."
I took a few steps back, my gaze going to my adopted father's body, then back to her, swallowing. The cold bloody wall greeted my back and I nearly screamed, startled. I couldn't go any further. I was trapped in this house with a murdering psychotic ghost who had my adopted mother's body hostage.
What am I going to do?
Fenris scowled at the ground, only to glance up at the newly returned elder brother Hawke as the ex-slave followed behind the twins and Isabela who donned the black cloaks of the two dead Ebony Knights. Licking his lower lip, his tongue brushed against the split lip that was still oozing blood. He winced. Add that to the list of things Fenris was not all that pleased with at that moment. Mainly he didn't like this plan, a plan that included them prancing around as Ebony Knights and him in cuffs. But he had once trusted this man, and he still trusted -uh... calling her simply Hawke wasn't going to work anymore with her twin back, was it?
Whatever. In his eyes she would always be 'the' Hawke. She was the Champion after all, while her twin had deserted them right before the troubles started with the Qunari. Being careful not to let his unlatched cuffs fall off, he reached up, rubbing his tender cheek.
The plan Garret had pitched to them as he had leaned back in his chair -smug and overconfidence coming off him in waves- Fenris had to admit was so far the best they could come up with. Using the two dead knights' cloaks, Hawke and Isabela would stand in as Garrett's back up, while they led him to the Chantry as the re-captured slave. For this ruse, however, that meant a little cosmetic appearances had to be fulfilled... In other words Fenris and Garret had to beat each other up a little while Hawke and Isabela dirtied their cloaks to make it look like they had been in a battle with him.
This plan would hopefully get them into the Chantry that by Garrett's account was swarmed with the Ebony Knights and into an unoccupied room from which they could search for Sebastian and Sam. However, after that the plan got a little unclear. Somehow they had to get Sam and Fenris out of there unnoticed, make it appear the two had fled through the city by boat, all without revealing Garrett's treachery. Why the last one, Garrett never said, but he stressed that it was important. In other words getting in would be easy, but getting out was going to be a nightmare. That was nothing new. It seemed with everything that involved the Hawkes that was always the case. Whatever way they got out of the Chantry, the plan was to lead the Knights to the others, who by that point should have gotten Aveline and Carver and set up an ambush at the docks.
At least in theory.
Garrett held up his hand, stopping them as they came to a corner. He casually peeked out, then motioned them to follow. Walking quickly, but not at a pace that would draw too much attention, they went to the next alley. Fenris felt himself tensing as they drew nearer to the Chantry. What if it didn't work? What if they had already captured her? What if. What if. What if! He was going to drive himself mad with all these what if's. Bringing his hand up, he touched his chest plate and relaxed, knowing that hidden beneath was Sam's necklace.
For some reason unknown to him he found strength in having it there. Maybe it was because Garrett had mentioned how important the pendent was for her mental stability or that it was the only connection she had to her life before being a slave? It made sense, that night two weeks ago while they were all playing card games, Fenris had seen her touching it a lot. Holding onto it as if it were her anchor. He did have to admit, there was something about the pendent, this air to it that made him want to keep it safe.
And keep the necklace safe he would, not merely because Garrett had told him to, but for Sam and its importance to her.
One thing that he kept coming back to and that was bothering him was how Garrett knew even this little bit about Sam. It only suggested that he knew more about the woman then he was letting on, but for now questioning him about how he knew could wait. They were going into a death trap for her and the last thing Fenris needed was to be caught up in his thoughts. Unfortunately this line of thought only led him to another... He was risking his freedom to save The Orcae. A woman associated with death in so many ways it was hard to separate the two. At the same time, he no longer found himself that suspicious of her -where if anything he should be more suspicious.
Moving through the back streets and alleys of the city behind the others, he found himself pondering this question other than focusing on the problem at hand. But he couldn't help it, because honestly, he wasn't exactly sure why he wasn't more suspicious, which was something that deeply troubled him. He knew one reason was because he felt guilty. Yet, overall he believed it was the prospect of freeing something... No, freeing someone the Magisters used as their shield and feared. The Magisters feared nothing. To finally have something they feared and maybe able to use it against them? He knew that such a thing would certainly be a marvelous thing to have. And that thing just so happened to be Sam.
This, of course, played into his guilt, thinking her as a weapon much like the Magisters did, but he still couldn't help being happy at the idea that freeing Sam could cause the Chantry to start attacking the Imperium again and may ultimately lead to their destruction. Regrettably there were a lot of ifs and politics that lead into that. Still, one could hope, right?
Then there was one more reason (one that took him by utter surprise). He felt a sort of camaraderie with her. Felt a bond with this woman he knew nothing about other than her being The Orcae and that she came from a strange land beyond the main lands of Thedas called America. He was starting to realize that while he didn't trust her, the fact that she was a slave like him from the Imperium did have a huge standing with him. And now that she was being threatened, whether or not he trusted her mattered not because he would not (could not) stand idly by while the Ebony Knights captured her and dragged her back into that Void of a life. Just the simple thought that he would, had him gritting his teeth and spitting curses.
He would rather die or lose his own freedom than allow someone to become a slave right before him. Which got him thinking: Maybe when I'm done here I can kill slavers and free those they think to enslave?
With Hawke having moved on to Anders there was no real reason for him to stay. He didn't know why he still was here really. Okay, maybe he did. The tension between the Templers and Mages was growing every day. Sooner or later it was all going to explode like a Qunari black powder keg and Hawke was going to need his help when it did. He had a feeling what side she was going to choose when that time came, and while he didn't like it any he was going to remain by her side until she no longer needed him. That still, however, left his future a big question mark. What was he going to do with his life after Kirkwall? Now he may just have found his answer in Sam. Albeit in a round-about way.
Fenris came to a sudden halt before nearly ramming into Garrett's back. He blinked, looking around, wondering why they had stopped only to find that they were in the shadows of a smaller alley just before the stairs that led to the Chantry's square. Their hiding spot gave not only a perfect view of the square, but the Chantry as well. He let his gaze scan as the other's were doing, seeing at first only a few Ebony Knights, until he looked at some places where they could hide and found movement in the shadows of buildings. There were so many... forty... fifty? He couldn't wrap his head around it.
"Oh Maker!" Isabela whispered, drawing their attention.
Her gaze was directed upward towards the Chantry, a place he hadn't thought to look. Following her eyes, Fenris brow creased. At first wondering what the issue was until he saw what looked to be someone on a ledge on the left side of the building. His eyes widened momentarily, realizing it was Sebastian by the pieces of armor he could see. And that he was holding someone -an unconscious Sam perhaps?- as he peeked around the corner, looking as if he was waiting. Fenris' eyes traveled the square again, wondering if any of the Knights noticed. Guessing by how most were outside, he hoped they hadn't.
"So that's where they are..." Garret said softly, scratching his scruffy chin, "That'll make things both easier and difficult."
"Ah, Garret..." Hawke muttered, her gaze facing out towards the harbor, "I think this rescue is going to become a lot more difficult than that."
They all turned. What they found were dark billowy clouds in the distance, growing closer with ominous intent as lightning streaked along the surface.
"What happened next?" he asks me, glasses flashing in the lamp light as he shifts, face casted in the shadows of the room, patiently waiting in that salmon colored chair.
I stare up at the ceiling. Wanting nothing more than to forget that night or the horrors I became entangled in, but these people always make me relive it. Glancing sideways, I take in the new psychologist who is supposed to help me. He is a bald middle-aged fat black man with thick round glasses that make his eyes look bigger than what they really are. He looks like a bug. A ladybug? No, something manlier... a horned beetle perhaps?
It's my turn to shift, sitting in the classic psychologist lounging chair as I look back up at the rosy colored ceiling. By no means comfortable or relaxing. My oily scalp itches, my strawberry blonde hair they had cut short and plastered to my head, but with this white jacket they make me wear that bounds my arms in front of me, I can't scratch it. Should I continue? Up to this point I told him everything, just like the others. He is taking it better than most, but I think that has more to do with the fact that he is someone different than all the rest. What with him in his uniformed black suite, spiffy neat tie and shiny black dress shoes. There is this air about him that screams authority and power, in spite of his oversized physic that showed how much he loved McDonald's Bigmacs or buggy eyes through thick glasses.
Different or not, my eyes water and I recall all those others who said they would understand. That they would believe me no matter what I said. Only to drug me, lock me in that padded room, and leave me alone. Defenseless against all the crazy ghosts they themselves created. God, I miss Heather and my adoptive father, I miss my parents, I miss Grammy... I miss Dean, the thought sends a shiver through me. Why did believing that everything would be okay turn out to be such a lie? Grammy, why?
The man sighs, moving in my peripheral vision and I tense as I look sideways at him. "I told them the restraints were not necessary. Sit up, child. Let me get you out of that jacket."
Swallowing, I reluctantly obey, swinging my legs over the edge and moving upright. Ever since the courts sent me to this place, things have been slipping further and further downhill. And nothing I do helps my position any. They punish me for telling the truth. First it was their drugs. Drugs that leave me mentally weak and groggy. Drugs that allow the ghosts to take control of me and do as they will. Those fires. Those attacks. None of it was me. But they never believe me. I just want it all to stop. I just-
These thoughts stop as he pulls keys out from his tidy jacket pocket and leans forward, slipping them into the keyhole. With a resounding click through the room, he unlocks the white jacket and helps me out of the bothersome material. Then casually sets the white material next to him on the arm of his chair as he looks back at me, linking his big nubby fingers together before him. Hugging my arms, I rub them, happy to be free after weeks of wearing the uncomfortable restraints. Maybe this man will be different?
I look up at him, peering through my disheveled hair that has grown to my ears and nod.
"Please continue, Ms Hadenson." I blink, startled that he used my real last name and not my adoptive name. "I am extremely intrigued to hear what happened next. How did you survive this horrible encounter?"
Licking my lips, I shift my gaze to the flower printed carpet, my voice coming out in a weak whisper, "My back was to the wall and...
My heart raced in my chest as Lilian took a step closer, her foot making a slush'ing sound as blood oozed up from the carpet. Horrified I watched as the blood at her feet began to bead up around her bare tanned flesh. Crawling up to the top of her feet like ants marching to battle before floating up into the air. Once there they began to combine, becoming quarter sized drops hanging stagnate around her. I didn't know what to do, mind freezing just as surely as the beads of crimson blood started to freeze. She took another step towards me, the ice blood following and shakily I raised my left hand while holding the dagger close to me in the other. The whispers of the dead told me to, beckoning me to concentrate all my energy into the palm of my outstretched hand. And I wanted to, I really did, but I was so scared. I didn't want to kill Lilith. Would this harm her? Bad mother or not she didn't deserve to die.
She tilted her head, looking at my stretched out hand, not daring to come closer as something -uncertainty maybe?- crossed her features. I swallowed, her hesitation giving me confidence. "Get out of her body Mr Jenson, leave before I..." my voice trailed off, unsure what exactly it was I would do.
Pulling the corner of her lips up into a vicious smirk, he caught onto my weakness. It was the only warning I got before Lilith took the remaining seven steps to me. I froze again, even as the whispers grew frantic, yelling at me. Snapping out of my stupor too late, I found her hand wrapping around my throat and the other seizing the wrist of my hand that held the knife. She pinned both to the blood frosted wall and slowly lifted up, making me forget about summoning any energy as I grasped the arm that was choking me with my free hand.
"What was that, little girl?" she purred darkly after leaning in, "How were you supposed to be stopping me?"
I gasped, air rushing out of my lungs as her hold on my wrist painfully tightened, only to pull it away from the wall and slam it back, forcing me to drop the blade. Letting go of my wrist, she held her palm down and the knife lifted up into her hand obediently. With both my hands holding onto her arm that was around my neck, I tried to concentrate, tried to will the energy into my hands. She simply choked me more, ceasing all thought as I fought to get air into my burning lungs. Fear overriding all sense and reason as I kicked and struggled.
I'm going to die. Die like those other girls... I don't want to die!
Tears welled up at the corner of my eyes. Gaze going to my adopted father's body, I prayed someone, anyone would save me. I was only nine, how did anyone expect me to be able to fight this? I didn't even fully understand all that was happening.
"Shhhh," Lilith's hand holding the knife came up, the blade directed away from me as she wiped a tear that managed to break free from my eyes with her thumb. "I promise, you won't die... at least not right away. No, I want to have hours upon hours of fun with you." Her tongue came out licking the top of her lip as she looked me up and down, only to lean in before that tongue came out licking the side of my bloody face. I jerked, a scream bubbling in my throat, but her hold on my neck stopped any sound. "Your fear... it's so tangible I can taste it, little wonder girl. Will you be different than the others? You surly feel different... Will you give me the satisfaction I've been craving since this hunger took hold of me?"
Dean! Dean I need you.
I started to cry with the thought, body trembling and feeling the hopelessness of it all settling over me. Even I knew my brother was not going to bust in through the frozen window and save me from this hellish nightmare. Dean didn't even know where I was, the adoption agency having refused to give my address to him. I hadn't gotten one letter since that day they separated us. Hadn't heard a single word from him. And all I could think about was how I was going to die without ever saying goodbye. Would he hate me for giving up? Would I go to heaven? These thoughts and thousands of others swarm in my foggy oxygen starved mind as Mr Shady directed Lilith's hand to gently drag the blade across my skin, pressing enough for me to feel it starting to bite in, but not actually cutting me.
So lost in my head and thoughts, sure that I was going to die, I at first failed to notice the pressure shift in the room. Or how the wind was starting to pick up in the bloody ice tomb. No, it wasn't until a pale glow shimmered behind Lilith, casing around her husband's body and she turned to look that I realized anything was happening. A colorful curse escaped her lips only seconds before Heather sat up from the body, looking around before her eyes narrowed as they settled on Lilith and me. The truth of it was, when Mr Shady made his move Heather had decided to take over my adopted father's body. Somehow growing a backbone in the months we had been together. No more was she that frail insecure woman who killed herself due to those insecurities. We grew together, molded each other, and when it was clear Lilith made a horrible mother she stepped in to fill that role. And now she was one pissed off mother hen, glaring at the threat who dared to harm her hatchling.
Lilith let go of my neck, facing the new threat, and I fell to my hands and knees, gasping and coughing for much needed air. As Heather stood, she moved a step back from the body, and reached in, literally grabbing a hold of my adoptive father's spirit and yanked him out with her. Wide-eyed like a frightened child himself, he looked around, pushing the ghostly spectacles up his nose. His gaze fell on his body, and if not already pale, I knew he would have turned white then. He looked at Lilith, then me. Recognition crossing his face before settling back on his wife's captive body, and anger kindled in his eyes. Lilith had been a horrible mother, but he hadn't been a bad father. He had candidly come to love me, had even taught me about computers (that in turn allowed me obtain all the information I had on Mr Shady).
"Sam, run," he ordered, his face becoming stern for the first time since knowing him and I hastily rose to my feet, legs shaking beneath me.
Before I could even take a step, however, Lilith grabbed my arm, keeping me there. "Oh-no you don't." She shot me a glare, before turning it back onto the two ghosts that were filling the house with wind and static electricity. "What do you two think you can do? You have no way to touch me as you are now. The only thing you can do is watch, watch as I flay the succulent flesh from her bones." She chuckled to herself, giddily. The sound making my heart stop as shivers went through my bones."After, of course, I do everything else I have been dreaming to do to her since following her here."
Heather sneered, taking a step forward. "I don't need to touch you, bastard. There still is one living body here to control." She suddenly flashed out of view before appearing before Lilith, only to run right into my adoptive mother's body.
I cried out in pain as her hold on my upper-arm tightened. The blood drops that floated around her formed needles points and the wind Heather stirred lashed them around Lilith in a vortex, narrowly missing the main parts of my body and leaving thin cuts when they whooshed by. A strangled scream escaped her, no longer only two voices but three as the battle raged inside the poor woman's body for control.
Using my other arm, I managed to pry her hand off, rushing to the kitchen and for the back door. As I jerked the frozen handle that I knew wouldn't open, I looked around, searching for anything I could use. My gaze fell on the wooden block of knifes and I grabbed another before the sound in the living room made me look over the center island and to the bloody scene. Lilith's hands were on her head, grasping her hair as the rattling scream blared out from gaping mouth, shaking the whole house with the sound. And as it grew in volume I was forced to cover my ears.
My adoptive father was at my side suddenly and when he touched my shoulder I jerked in fright, only to relax a little seeing his concerned face."Use the knife, Sam. Try and dig, chip the ice away from the door."
Nodding, I went to move to my feet, but my legs gave out. He helped me up, able to touch me like Heather could. If any part of him remained touching me he could interact with the living world. Realizing this, he picked up a knife as we hurried back to the door. His front pressing protectively against my back, together we started to whittle the ice away. Chunks that broke free fell to the floor, shattering into tiny fragments. Behind us, the two ghosts fought, Lilith's body stumbled into furniture, breaking an icy lamp.
I ignored the pain. I ignored the sounds. I ignored everything, focusing solely on the ice that hampered my escape as the icy world around me wailed with the chilly wind.
The four of them walked through the center of the Chantry, bracing themselves for one of the enemy to recognize something was wrong and sound the alarm. Yet, as they started up the right staircase -while certainly getting some curious looks- no one said anything. No one uttered a word to them, or wondered why they were there after Garret flashed his face to the guards at the large ornate doors they first entered. To Isabela's relief there weren't as many as she feared inside, but that still didn't mean the numbers they faced were good. The tally she kept running in her head had their forces at sixty, and those were only the ones she had seen.
She had heard of the Ebony Knight before. Was one reason why she stayed clear of the Imperium. That and she wasn't too keen on the idea of slaves... But just like Varric, Isabela had caught wind of something keeping a truce between the Chantry and the Magisters. Knew not the name of the weapon the Magisters held, just that there was a healthy amount of fear and oddly enough, respect from the Maker's followers for the weapon. She had learned long ago to never get involved with the overzealous religious group (or at least she thought she had, she still questioned her sanity with that Qunari book...), which meant anything they feared had to be equally as bad.
Her heart clenched as she took the last step onto the second floor with Marian behind the Champion's brother and Fenris behind them. Sam was no weapon to be used and abused by men. Knowing now only slivers of this woman, the pirate could understand why she had been wary of them. Why she had been reluctant to stay anchored to any one place for any length of time. At the same time, she could also see that Sam was a lost little girl who only wanted a safe place to belong. She flourished around people. She wanted friends. And that was what was so heartbreaking about her situation.
Garret led them to the far door, ignoring all others and any Ebony Knights or clergy he passed. As he opened the door, holding it and letting them pass through, her golden eyes briefly met his blue. There was also the issue of this man that weighed heavily down on Isabela. Her gut squirmed as she tried to push her feelings for him away, walking into the room and turning to examine it. He closed the door, giving one last look outside before locking it and facing them. His sister was at the window, having opened it silently and was studying the ledge one of them would have to walk out on, as well as the coming storm. At the rate it was moving, they were surely going to get caught up in it.
"That's it, Sam. Keep it up."
A particularly large hung of ice fell, splintering like the rest and I felt tears roll down my cheeks. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry..." I kept repeating to him, the realization that he was dead finally settling over me.
"Forget about it, Sam. Don't stop." Something crashed loudly behind us and I stiffened in fright. He stopped, his arm going around me as he looked back. "Sam, don't stop, no matter what."
With that his ghostly form was no longer at my back and the knife he held clattered to the frosted floor, I whimpered, shaving off more ice from the door handle. The static grew in the air, the hair on my arms and the back of my neck prickling. The pressure and static increased substantially second by second until there was a loud zap'ing sound, but it was the loud boom that followed that made me scream and cover my head with both arms. Before I could even think to continue an unseen force lifted me from the ground, hurdling me back out into the living room and I hit the frozen couch, letting go of the knife and landed on the blood soaked carpet with a crashing thud.
My eyes snap open. Images... too many images swarm my sight.
There I am, groaning, slowly getting up after being thrown into the couch. Both ghosts flung out of Lilith's body from the spectral explosion. After her few seconds of stunned silence, she starts screaming, crying, scrambling to get away. The floor is slippery with the ice and blood, she falls, over-and-over.
There I am, being thrown again into the far wall of the psychologist office by the huge black man who has deceived me into thinking he was a nice man. He is different, that is certain. Like me he is special, but while his powers are weaker than mine, he is trained. The ghosts attack me with his command, swarm and surround me like a pack of vicious starved wolves, snapping, frozen claws reaching out for me, threatening to tear me alive as crimson eyes glow in the misty blue fog of their forms.
There I am, staring up into cold needle rain and green eyes, dangling from someone's outstretched arm. White markings flaring blue. I bump against hard stone, it's biting, painful. But ignore the pain as he says something... Something I can't make out.
All are me, and yet none are. And I can only watch as each plays out.
My adoptive mother makes it to the kitchen. She is frantic, only to fumble for the phone. There is a crunch as she pries it free from the receiver and three more crunches as she dials for help. All I can think is, Why did I not think of that? And stare on terrified as Mr Shady gets to his feet first before Heather and starts for Lilith. She screams into the phone. Begging. Sobbing. She can see Mr Shady now after being possessed and stumbles back, trying to get away. He is laughing. So much noise, the wind his howling around me and I cover my ears as my hair lashes before my face. Sitting up, leaning with my back against the couch and grasping my hair from my face at the same time trying to protect my ears, I almost miss her slipping on the ice floor as she back-peddles. She falls in slow motion as she tumbles back, head hitting the corner of the counter top, and falling limp to the floor.
I scream. Arms shielding my head from their relentless attack. Stop! Why won't they stop? They only do when he commands it. And like trained mutts they rear back with his booming voice that cracks through the room, standing back like pale graves in the dead of night. He walks through them uncaring. His black figure contrasting with the misty pale forms. "Do you give up? Will you go willingly?" he asks again. I am afraid, but all I can think of is Dean and that meadow. 'Never say uncle, Sammy.' Never. Not even for some evil man who works for the government. They want my powers. I gain some hidden resolve with this, wiping my bleeding lip with my sleeve. The ghosts shimmer as I speak with strength, "Never."
He lifts me up. Pressing me close, his arms around my waist, I flinch, his heated flesh like lava on my skin, searing. Another is here, I hear him talking to this man that holds me, but I don't look to see him. Instead searching, needing an escape. Everything is so jostled. My mind. The air. Light flashes, blinding, I turn my face into the chest of the one holding me, using him to protect my face form the lashing crystals falling from the sky. Something... is shifted, pulled tighter around me. Chains. They deem to chain me. Restrain me. My heart quickens. Races as I recall those other times others wished to restrain me. But I am patient. I bid my time. Wait until their guards fall. Slowly we move along the edge. I glance down, glance to where we are moving, glance at the man holding me. He is not looking at me, but I think he suspects me. We round a corner of the building. Light flashes again. I blink away the spots to find my escape: a window. Soon. Soon I will break from these chains.
Tears shimmer in my eyes as anger flares up, knowing instantly Lilith is dead. The death is clinging to her body, pulling at me. I'm tired. Tired of all of this pain, this suffering. Pulling my hands slowly away from my ears, I shift, putting them on the ground and stand. With only me there with the dead I have nothing to hold me back. The whispers of the dead urge me on, and I feel the energy flooding through me. Beneath the ice, everything begins to decay and crumble. Mr Shady stands there, frowning at Lilith's dead body. Then he turns.
Teeth aching from how hard I am clenching them, I raise first to one foot, and the other, standing up as tall as my small body can, glaring the black man with big buggy eyes down. The ghosts shimmer again. Whimpering, whining like troubled dogs. The whispers of the dead that left me with their drugs return, faintly at first, but grow, deafening like the breaking of dam walls. "No," my voice hardens. I feel the energy surge forward, fitting over and through me like that child blanket you never outgrow. The ghosts whimpers stop, their pain lessened. Everything around me starts to decay and crumble. Then they turn.
We reach the window, the wind flaring up as the man hands me off to another man. The second my feet touch the floor I push away, take a few steps only to find my body failing me as I tumble forward, weakened beyond reasoning. Have they beaten me? Memories flicker up with such thoughts and I snarl as a flaming warm hand tries to help. I hear the two others come in through the window. There is at least four here. No, six... I have killed more. Just have to get up. I struggle to my feet. Hearing them talk behind me, not with loud blaring voices, but hushed frantic whispers. I try to pull the dead to me, and while the energy is weak and slow to answer, it does, flowing through me like a river. The dead return to me, giving me strength and I stand fully.
Then I turn.
The three memories converge, emotions and thoughts linking intersecting. The unnatural wind brushes against me in each, creating an eerie calm like the dead of night in graveyards with the pale moon high. Those present are affected. Dead and alive. They can feel this shift in the realm of 'now'. Shivering, shifting, glancing around or back stepping.
I throw up my hand. My no longer trembling hand and push the energy out into my palm. "You won't hurt anyone else." Fear flashes in his eyes briefly before his form begins to flare brightly, Mr Shady screams, as do Heather and my adoptive father. I blink as the energy builds in my palm and their ghostly bodies, a wave of raw energy explodes out and I cover my face as they explode with it. I bring my hand down, tears in my eyes, realizing too late that I just destroyed the souls of two people who I cared about and loved.
The ghosts, abused by this government man attack him, his scream is cut off midway as one tears his throat out. Blood gushing up, splattering the ceiling and walls, and me. I stare on, horrified. For the briefest of moments they had been under my control, but then I had released them to do as they willed. Released all the poor twisted souls in the building. They don't stop with the dead black man, they move on through the building like crazed rabid wolves that have not been fed in months. Slaughtering and killing all living they reach. And I realize too late that I killed dozens of innocent people by simply letting go of these twisted souls.
These people wish to chain me. Use me. No. Use and abuse the dead. No more. I will not let them use me to get to the dead. We will no longer be weapons for the living. They speak, but their strange words I can't understand, and as one steps forward I back up, snarling more. One of the three men moves, grabbing the woman back, muttering something to her. Then turns to me and clearly says, "Remember who you are, Sam. Do you truly want to turn the dead on us?" Recognition of whom the man is, who these people are fill me.
No, I don't want to do this.
As the energy rushes out of me, the dead fading to the back of my mind, I feel the crashing exhaustion hitting me. Blackness creeps on my vision, swirling, and consuming before my knees give and a fall forward.
She gasped awake. Breath laboring as sweat trickled down her cheeks and she sat up right in her bed. The images and emotions of her dreams still lingering in her mind as she blinked in the darkness of the small room. Her elder sister had propped herself up on her elbow, staring at her, concern glinting in her eyes. Her raven hair gleamed in the moon beams that filtered through the curtains of the window. She shifted, sitting up and placing her bare feet on the wooden planked floor. Her forest green blanket slipped down her naked body, bunching around her waist as she moved.
"Another dream, Mae?"
Maeve nodded, lying back down with a sigh and stared up at the ceiling of their small hut in the woods. The wind through the trees comforts her, as did the light, tap, tap'ing on the roof. She brought her hand up, rubbing her forehead before weaving it through her sweaty copper hair. For longer than she could remember she had been haunted by these dreams of another. This Sam. Most of them having belonged to a world she couldn't even begin to describe, so foreign as it was from the world she lived. She also dreamed of this Sam in her world. Shared her torture, her anguish, her suffering. As of late Sam had been free, and she dreamt of the places this other woman traveled through as she fled. She didn't know what it meant. Neither did her sister.
Bridgett threw the blanket from her body, rising to her feet and going to the hearth and table where they cooked their meals and potions. Herbs hung from the ceiling, drying, most ready for use. She grabbed a mug from the cupboard and spooned clean water from the bucket on the floor into it. She warmed the liquid with her mana before reaching up and grabbing one of the herbs. Nytfoil. If Maeve remembered where she had hung it correctly, used to help ease the body and mind. Used to help bring peaceful sleep.
Her sister returned, her hips swaying as she strode to her bed and Maeve sat up accepting the steaming mug. "Drink," she said softly before turning back to the warmth of her own bed.
Sometimes Bridgett would sit with her, wait until sleep claimed her. Tonight was not one of those nights it seemed as her sister covered her flawless tanned skin and turned, facing the wall. Holding the warm mug, Maeve softly blew on the liquid. She couldn't blame her sister. The dreams were becoming more frequent, keeping both of them from sleep. If these dreams didn't stop soon, Maeve knew something was going to break.
So lots happening here. Hopefully everything is clear, if not, please let me know and I'll fix it. Also, while you guys are waiting for this to update go check out my other Dragon Age fic Falling Rain, and my big Dragon Ball Z fic Choices: Sparks of the beginning.
Review, review, review! Only way to get me to write faster and let me know where this needs to go.