The new book is here! (Or at least the prologue is)
I've posted this now instead of later when I've written more to see if the interest is here before I continue. Reads and Reviews mean that more chapters get posted, so if you want more of the Forsaken Storm please read and leave a review.

Athena's Wisdom to you.

Prologue: Punishment

Two women stood beside a river, the blackness of night surrounding them and obscuring the nearby scenery. The only source of light was from the fast flowing torrent of the river itself, which glowed a faint, milky white illuminating a black sand beach on either side. At least it seemed to be night but in fact the absolute blackness could just as easily have been a cave roof. One so incomprehensibly high it could easily have been a starless sky.

The women themselves were a strange pair to be sure. One was young, no more than twelve or thirteen with long auburn hair tied up in a tight bun. Her clothes resembled that of a Special Forces commando in winter camouflage but silver instead of white and she was surrounded by a shimmering Aura of the same colour. Clearly the girl was not human but something more powerful.
A Goddess maybe?
She glared hatefully at the second woman beside her. This individual was older closer to late fifteen or early sixteen, taller and with darker hair but in a decidedly sorrier state. Her clothes were similar to that of the auburn haired one but duller, singed and slashed as if she'd had a knife fight with someone inside a burning building. She was apparently not there of her own volition either, her hands were shackled behind her back and areas of her exposed skin showed the scars of physical abuse.

The dark haired girl attempted to speak but the auburn haired girl delivered an open palmed slap to her captive forcing her to her knees.
"Do not argue with me girl" She growled, speaking with an authority well beyond her apparent years "You brought this upon yourself!" The second girl took a moment to respond composing herself.
When she did her voice was shaky but calm and defiant "You can't justify this. My actions were simply a matter of honour and fulfilling my duty as a friend. There is nothing wrong with that."
The auburn haired girl slapped her prisoner again "Do not attempt to change the facts. You know full well that it was your thoughts and feelings that were treacherous and not your actions. However even those were borderline sedition"
She knelt, grasping the girl's face with slim fingers she yanked her head around to look into her eyes. "You can stop hoping for a miracle. No one will be coming to prevent justice from being served here. Especially not him, he is disgraced, cast out and probably already dead"
With that statement she rose and walked away a few paces gazing off into the blackness.

The dark haired girl lost what little confidence she had been holding onto and began to sob pleading with her captor to let her live.
This apparently surprised the glowing female as she turned back with a look of surprise "I would not kill another woman. But you, whom I trusted above all others, broke your promise and now punishment must be apportioned"
Captive girl stopped sobbing, dread causing the tears to stop flowing. "What do you mean?" She enquired fearfully.
The Goddess stepped behind her whispering in her ear "You will be as you were before I saved you, a girl lost and alone in the world at the mercy of those who inhabit it. Only this time you will not have anyone to help you. Or even your memories of your previous life!"

Then she placed one boot in her captors back and pushed.

With a gasp of terror the older girl fell forward into the churning white water. Her head went under and she immediately began to thrash trying to break the surface, but her hands were still shackled behind her and the Goddess' boot on her back kept her pinned down. The only emotion that registered on the auburn girl's face was contempt. She broke the surface for less than a second, not nearly long enough to draw breath, before the current yanked her head under again. The thrashing continued for almost a minute more before the exertions became weaker. Then finally, she stopped.

Hell's Kitchen; New York

In a poorly lit, filthy back alley another girl woke from her dream with a start. Terror clutched at her heart from the scene she had just witnessed in her sleep, though why, she couldn't tell. She had no idea who the two women had been, nor what she had just witnessed. In fact she had no idea about anything much, but she felt some kind of connection with the manacled girl as if she knew her, or at least met her before. She tried to recall the girl's face but the dream was already becoming fuzzy slipping away with the sound of rainwater dripping from the rusted fire escape above her.

She sat there a few moments longer until the sound of a siren snapped her back to reality. Out on the road at the end of the alley a police car pulled up to the curb and two police officers stepped out. One was a middle aged African American with a moustache the size of a yard brush, sergeant stripes showed on his upper arm. She knew him and that meant she knew what was coming next, time to put on her innocent face. She rose from the dilapidated sofa that she had been laying on, slung her tattered rucksack across her shoulders in case she had to bolt, and walked towards the alley entrance.
The sergeant spotted her as she emerged from the shadow of a building "Ah there you are Blue" he said casually sitting on the bonnet of the patrol car.

He called her that. Probably because when he'd first met her on the day she woke up, after she'd been caught stealing from a convenience store, she'd had no idea who she was or where she came from.
Lucky for her the sergeant was an old hand and sympathetic to her plight "Well then" he'd asked "What do you want to be called?"
When she'd just shrugged he'd looked at her for a long moment.
Finally he'd said "You've got some fantastic eyes. I've never seen such a shade of electric blue . . . How 'bout that?"
She thought about it for a moment Blue? I suppose it's better than nothing.
She nodded "yeah Blue sounds ok I suppose"
"Alright then Blue, do you remember anything? Like who gave you that scar?"
Scar? Blue turned to look through the shop window behind her. Sure enough a thin pink scar marked her pale face, running from just below her left eye to mid-way down her cheek. The sight of it made her shiver, not from cold but from fear. Fear of something that for the life of her she couldn't remember.
"No idea" she'd said turning back to the sergeant "just like everything else".

Now he was leaning against his car and gazing at her intently gauging her reaction to his words "We got a call saying that a local had seen a girl lifting groceries from the back of his pickup, tinned food and soft drinks. You wouldn't know anything about that would you?"
It was a rhetorical question and she knew it but still she shrugged and said "how would I know Jerry? If people are dumb enough to leave their stuff unattended in a neighbourhood like this, what can they expect?"
He smirked, obviously not convinced, and held out his hand. She groaned and unslung her backpack. He took it; rifling briefly through its contents then zipped it back up and placed it between his feet.
"What are going to do about this then hmm?"
Blue bit her lip and said nothing. If she said something stupid then she could be in real trouble.
No one spoke for a few more seconds then finally Jerry sighed and picked up the bag again "Look you don't have to live like this you know. There are plenty of hostels and charities that'd take you in"
Blue snorted derisively "not likely"
"Three times in the last month alone Blue, even one alleged mugging. I can only cover for you for so long. I'm sure there's someone out there who would help you, you just need to spend a little more time lookin for them and a little less stealing from them."
Jerry glanced over his shoulder at his colleague who had been watching silently from the other side of the patrol car. The other officer nodded almost imperceptibly.

Jerry handed blue her bag, with the goods still inside "This is the last time Blue. God knows you need it" he said "but next time I will have to bring you in and if anyone but me were to catch up with you they might not be so lenient if you know what I mean."
She did.
She muttered a quick thank you to jerry and his partner then turned and bolted back down the alley. Approaching the brick wall at the end she jumped against it kicking off and grabbing the railing of the fire escape. She vaulted over dropped down the other side of the wall and sprinted off into the streets of New York.
Jerry's partner whistled appreciatively as he watched "that girl has some serious skills. She could give the whole NYPD a hard time"
Jerry turned to his colleague opening the door of the car "She's not a hardened criminal Mike she's just a lost girl"
"Sorry" said mike seating himself in the passenger seat "did you mean what you told her?"
"About what?" jerry asked sliding into the driver's seat.
"That whole melodramatic piece about finding someone"

Jerry looked back down the alley at where Blue had disappeared "I hope so mike I really do" He remembered the scar on her otherwise attractive face "Whatever she did, whatever happened before. She didn't deserve this."