A.N.: This story is based off of a request from CMR Rosa, who I thank for the idea. I'm going to try to update regularly as possible, but no promises. Any and all feed back is appreciated. This story takes place after Fable 2, and after W.I.T.C.H season 2. I own no licences, so don't sue. Enjoy!
Shots in the Night
WILLIE'S TAVERN, as said the sign above the door, was the type of bar where one would tend to find the lowest class of people. Thieves, murderers and bandits were Willie's usual patrons, but the man who walked through the tavern's door on a crisp fall evening was none of those. He was a man from a strong, proud lineage, although you would not know it by looking at him. He wore plain clothes, ones that were designed for practicality, not for style. Rips and patches could be seen in various parts of the clothes, as well as some suspicious looking red stains. While his face and skin bore the scars of many battles and adventures, he could still easily be called handsome. That is, if you could see his face, which at the time, was covered by his hooded cloak. He had a large sword strapped to his back, and a revolver at his hip. In a place such as this, however, that was not unusual.
The man winced from both the sound and the smell as soon as he entered. He was not used to the yelling or shouting, and it was hard to believe that anyone could ever get used to the smell. Regardless of the odor, and the low quality ale, the place was packed with people. Hundreds of rogues and rebels sang and drank the night away, retelling tales of the day's conquests. The man knew all this before he had entered, but the nearest shelter was still another hours walk, so this would have to do. Next time, he thought, he would plan ahead.
He found an empty chair as far away from the piano as possible, and sat down to rest his feet. He stayed there for a few minutes, and was about to order a drink when a nearby conversation caught his attention.
"C'mon, love! Live a little!"
A group of four rather large, and intoxicated men, had formed a circle around one of the women in the bar. While the woman was obviously dressed to attract attention, it was clear that this was not the type she wanted.
"I've told you, Henry, no! Not after last time!" the woman said, looking for an exit.
"Oh, stop your whining! Why don't you come on home with us?" the man said while his friends blocked the woman from escaping.
"I told you, no! Now let go!" the woman said, beginning to squirm as Henry tightened his grip on her.
"I don't remember giving you much choice in the matter!" he said. He began to raise his fist, when…
The four men turned to stare at the man sitting in the corner. He had not stood up, but was now looking in their direction. The four men were not used to anyone interrupting their fun, and weren't quite sure what to make of this hooded stranger. After all, they were the biggest and toughest men in the forest. No one stood up to them, especially not this stranger, sitting alone in the corner.
"She said no." the strange man said. "Now let her go."
"Mind your own business, stranger." Henry said.
"I would have, but you insisted on hurting this woman. I will not allow that." the man said.
"Do you know who we are?" one of Henry's pals said.
"Not really, no." the man said, still sitting, looking rather bored.
"Then maybe it's time we taught you a lesson." Henry said, walking towards the man in the corner.
"I'd rather you didn't," the man said, not moving as Henry got closer.
"You scared?" Henry asked, cracking his knuckles.
"No." The man said calmly. "Simply tired after a long day of walking, and not really in the mood for a fight."
"Well that's too bad," Henry said, raising his fist, "because you've got one."
But his fist never came down. In fact it never did anything ever again, for as quick as the eye could see, the man in the corner pulled out his gun and put a bullet right between Henry's eyes. Henry fell backwards.
His friends were quick to respond. Two of them leapt at the man and flipped a table at him. The man managed to get a shot of, but the airborne table blocked it. He dove out of the way of the flying furniture, spun, and got off four more shots. Two missed, but the other two were both deadly accurate. The two men slumped to the floor while the shooter frowned. Four shots for two men? He must be tired, he thought.
He ducked as a throwing knife missed his head by inches, then turned and fired as the fourth man ducked behind a pile of crates. Another bullet blasted one of the crates away, leaving the bandit exposed. However, when the gun was pointed at him, the man merely smiled.
"That's six bullets you've used." the man behind the crates said. "That's all you've got."
The bandit smiled again, and pulled out a throwing knife, taking careful aim.
"I've never missed a shot." He said, pulling his arm back to throw. But as he did so, the man from the corner raised his hand and fired a single ball of fire. His foe fell, the flesh melted from his bones.
The rest of the bar's patrons, who had been cheering on the combatants, now fell silent. They knew that power, and they knew the one person who could wield it.
"You… you're the…" the bartender stammered.
"What I am is thirsty." The man said, "And I would like an ale."
He sat back down on his chair in the corner, the one piece of furniture not destroyed, and waited for his drink. The bartender quickly poured him an ale, and a waitress delivered it to him. He paid for his drink, and then the Hero of Bowerstone relaxed for the first time all day.
"Girls, today I faced an evil greater then Phobos, Nerissa and Cedric combined. And I was defeated."
"It was a history test, Irma. It may have been hard, but it wasn't exactly evil." Cornelia said to Irma.
The five Guardians walked through the large hallways of Kandrakar, heading towards the main chamber where the Oracle was waiting for them. They had been summoned only a few minutes ago, and had no idea what the Oracle wanted from them.
"Clearly you've never taken Mr. Horsberg's tests." Irma said.
"Yeah, I'm going to have to go with Irma on this one," Hay Lin interrupted. "That test was evil. Even Taranee and I failed it, right Taranee?"
"Um, well, not exactly, Hay Lin." Taranee replied sheepishly.
Irma glared at her friend.
"Taranee, what did you get on that test?"
"87." Taranee mumbled under her breath.
"87? 87!" Irma screamed. "Who gets 87 on that test?"
"Apparently Taranee does." Will said with a smile.
"If you just had of studied…" Taranee said.
"Thanks 'mom'." Irma replied. "How am I supposed to know why Prussia collapsed? I don't even know where it was built!"
"It's not a building, Irma. It's a country that was formed in…"
"How do you know this?" Irma said, cutting Taranee off. "You've got to get out more."
"Irma, I'm walking down the hallway of a fortress that is literally at the center of the universe. How much more out could I be?"
Taranee's voice echoed off the council walls as the five girls entered the main chamber.
"Greetings, Oracle." Will said, elbowing Irma in an effort to get her friend to stop groaning. "How are you?"
"Fine, Will." The Oracle replied. "Thanks in no small part to your efforts. You have my eternal gratitude."
Nerissa had imprisoned the Oracle during her attack on Kandrakar, but the Guardians had defeated her and the fortress was now back to normal.
"Always happy to help!" Hay Lin said.
"Which is why it is with great regret that I must inform you of another issue which requires your immediate attention."
Irma groaned again.
"Now what? Can't the universe just be at peace for one week?" she said.
"What is it, Oracle? Something to do with Meridian?" Cornelia asked.
"No." The Oracle replied. "This is to do with a world you have never visited."
"So it's a new threat?" Will asked. "One we've never faced before?"
"Yes. And possibly one that no one has ever faced before." The Oracle said. "For no one has visited this world in thousands of years."
"What kind of a world is this?" Will said with a frown, getting slightly worried.
"It is one of the most powerful, and potentially the most dangerous world in existence." The Oracle said. "Girls, let me tell you the story of Albion."