Chaos and Order: The War Eternal Chapter 7

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CHAPTER SEVEN

Aftermath

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I sat cross legged in the basement of the safe house wearing the comfortable sweat pants and t-shirt I’d found in one of the many dressers filled with clothes. As I sat there I focused on the knot of power inside of me and tried to relax my mind and body. It was harder than usual because of all the things that had happened last night.

After we decided we weren’t going to chase Dar-usk’kin or the Sorcerer we’d returned to normal human size. Then with me following behind Pugnus climbed the steps leading into the farm house. There in the doorway was the unmoving body of my mother. I looked down at her lifeless body trying to understand my emotions. Then my knees gave out and I sank to the ground next to her. Tears streamed unashamedly down my cheeks, I sat unmoving, unable to reach out and touch her. As if the act of touching her would make her death much more real. After a couple of minutes Pugnus came up behind me and put a hand on my shoulder.

“I’m sorry Joel. This never should have happened. Dar-usk’kin must have taken possession of your sister and pretended to be her. When a daemon takes a human they can sometimes hide so deeply inside the human that we can’t sense them, until they use their power. Most of the time it doesn’t matter, because a daemon doesn’t have the self-discipline to go for more than a few hours without using their power, Dar-usk’kin appears to be one of the few daemons with the self-discipline to have done this. He was probably hoping to get you alone and ambush you. When you joined the battle here he figured the odds were good enough and attacked. Or seeing the battle he just couldn’t hold back any longer, it’s hard to know for sure.”

I nodded, remembering Cordi’s words from earlier, not trusting myself to speak I took several deep calming breaths. Finally, I wiped my face and looked up.

“What about the woman up stairs? What will happen to her?”

“I’ll place an anonymous call to the Guild. They’ll send out a team and since she was injured with magic, and is a mundane human, they’ll do their best to help her.”

When I nodded Pugnus squeezed my shoulder, again. I stayed where I was looking at my mom, and thinking about how all of this seemed impossible. So much had happened in just a few days. Pugnus entered the house and searched it. It seemed like almost no time had passed before Pugnus was back carrying an enchanted chest. He sat it down on the front lawn and I got up and followed. I felt hollow inside, yet I couldn’t take just sitting there looking at my mother’s body any longer. Pugnus chanted something and then opened the chest. He reached in and held up a piece of skin with Tenebris Lux’s mark burned into it. The mark was silvery in color and closely resembled mine. Pugnus handed it to me and told me that since Tenebris Lux was Cordi’s brother it would be best if I found a new vessel for him.

At this point I produced the earing Cordi and I’d taken from the woman in the hallway and asked him what I should do with it. Pugnus told me that taking a daemon’s token was a badge of honor and that once I’d figured out how to contact Cordi she’d tell me what to do. He did offer a black bag with silver runes, that resembled the one Cordi had used earlier, and said it would be best to keep the token in a spell protected bag.

“Do you think you can shadow-step back to Cordi’s safe house or do you need my help?”

“I think so,” I said. I focused on the technique Cordi had been teaching me. I’d seen her use it several times now and felt confident even if this was the first time I’d tried it on my own. When the shadows responded to me I found myself in the living room of the safe house.

At that point the sun was starting to come up so I stumbled into the bedroom and threw myself down onto the still unmade bed. I’d thought that it would be impossible to sleep but I was out almost as soon as my head hit a pillow.

I slept for twelve hours straight and when I woke up I felt stiff and sore. I reached out to Cordi and there was no response. Then I remembered that both my mother and father were gone and my sister was possessed by a daemon. I wrapped myself around my pillow for the first time since I’d been a small boy allowed myself to cry. Finally, when no more tears would come, I sat up. The need to pee was a demand I couldn’t escape and it forced me out of bed. It was still strange to sit down and the different female parts reminded me of how much I’d changed of how much I’d lost. When I looked into the mirror the face that stared back at me was still beautiful and I realized that Cordi’s face was even prettier when she’d been crying. As I stared into the mirror looking for some hint of my own face I caught a whiff of my body odor.

“Ugh, I stink” I said out loud and was surprised at how feminine my voice was and by how much I sounded like Cordi.

I stripped out of the grimy clothes I’d been wearing and got into the shower. The feeling of soap on soft slick female skin was still new and felt surprisingly good. Once clean and dry I went in search of clothes and that’s when inspiration hit me. If Cordi couldn’t talk to me maybe I could reach out and talk to her. I dug through her dressers until I found sweats and a t-shirt that fit. I decided to skip the bra in the interest of comfort and headed down to the basement training room.

Now sitting in the training room I was going to try to project myself into the Shadow Court. It took three tries but at last I found myself standing among the columns. I took my time following the spiral path that led to the center of the Court. I wasn’t sure if I was confident that I’d find Cordi or if it was the fact that walking through the columns was comforting, but for the first time since I’d watched my house burn, I felt at peace.

When I got to the twined pillars I looked for Cordi on the throne beneath them and for a second I thought it was empty despair welled up at the back of my throat and my knees went weak. How could I fight the daemons of chaos without Cordi? Then I caught the hint of movement and she stepped out of the shadows. For a second we stood facing each other eye to eye and I realized that either she was smaller or I’d grown.

“Both actually,” Cordi said with a smile.

“What do you mean?”

“Joel, when the Sorcerer cast his spell my spirit was severed. Part stayed with you and part returned here. If we’d been fully bonded I doubt his spell would have worked, as I said, during the joining we’re vulnerable.”

“Okay, but I don’t understand what you meant by me growing and you getting smaller.”

“Only that you’re full joined to the part of my spirit that stayed with you and that by losing part of myself I’m weaker and smaller.”

“How do we fix this?” I said gesturing to her and me.

“Quite easily, if you’re still willing to be my partner?”

For a minute I hesitated. My mother and father were dead and my sister was a meat puppet for some daemon. I’d lost everything. Yet, even as I thought it, I realized that I missed Cordi and couldn’t imagine living without her. I also wanted to free my sister and the idea of stopping the daemons of chaos from wreaking havoc on my world filled me with a sense of purpose.

I opened my arms offering a hug, “Now and forever, if you’ll have me.”

Cordi’s brilliant white smile was so bright it almost hurt my eyes as she stepped into my arms and when we hugged each other there was a tingling sensation that turned into an icy-hot fire that blazed within me, and then I was sitting once again cross-legged in the basement training room of the safe house.

“Welcome home Caecus Cordi!” I said out loud and noticed that my voice was now a perfect match for Cordi’s.

“It’s good to be whole again! So, Joel Ryan Campbell, are you ready to get to work?”

The END

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Comments

No, No, can't be 'The End',

No, No, can't be 'The End', way too much more is going to be happening to and with Joel/Cordi, I can feel it.
This is really a great story and I can only hope the end only means to this part of their story.
However, that being said, you are the author and you can end or begin a story where ever and how ever you wish.
Cheers,

:-)

It's the end for now. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Cheers
Zapper

I might

I might come back and do more with Joel. I'm in the middle of a longer writing project at the moment, so maybe in the future.

Cheers
Zapper

Don't tease us like that!

It can't be the end! NO! NO!

All kidding aside I do hope you have more planned for Joel

We the willing, led by the unsure. Have been doing so much with so little for so long,
We are now qualified to do anything with nothing.

Happy

I'm very happy that you enjoyed this story. Who knows, I might come back to Joel and Cordi at some point.

Cheers
Zapper

This word....

This word, it does not mean what I think you think it means.

Please tell me this is only a part of the story, that there will be more? I hope that we will find out what happens after they rejoined, how they plan on stopping that demon, who also happens to be his sister. giggle.

Please please say there is more? =]

Sara

I love

I love that quote . . . Just can't beat the Princess Bride for good quotes. lol

I'm also pleased that you enjoyed this story!

Cheers
Zapper

Shoot!

Just getting into the story! : )

alissa