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first draft


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This is the first draft of the start to the novel that i'm working on. I would still really like critiques!
http://prezi.com/vz6jusaejs2b/center/ this is a link that explains some of the weaponry along with other things that are mentioned in the chapter. It explains the design of the monastary more and also explains what Tansalite is. somethings in the prezi aren't mentioned in this chapter.
well here it is! hope you enjoy! there are probobly quite a few typos in there as well. I hope that doesn't cause too much of a problem


Rerty slipped through the wooden corridors, the old floor boards pulsed slightly underfoot. They weren’t alive of course. That would be ridiculous; they were as old and dead as the First monk himself. Yet, they pulsed as if they were alive. Strange, she thought, that they should use cheap wood when they are the richest power in the country. They could have made the entire building out of Tansalite if they had wanted to. Her pulse quickened as she thought she saw a shadow passing along the corridor. It was nothing. Excitement churned within as she thought of all the mysteries that shrouded the monks. She was going to be the first to reveal those mysteries. Not the first to try, but the first who was going to succeed. She had something different than the rest of them. She had a bribe. Hmm rather silly to bribe the most powerful force in Volcanis, she mused. But silly as it was, this was truly special. A robe rustled against the wood in an adjacent corridor. Crouching to the shadows, she narrowly missed being seen by an approaching monk. Bribery was a last resort, definitely not her first option. She would fight her way down to the center if she had to. The center, what was at the center? She tucked her long, jet black hair back away from her eyes. She didn’t keep her hair tied like most other girls. It was a statement, she was free. Free from labels. Free from the reputation cast on her by her brother. Her monster, her outcast brother, he had been hers. He was her older brother, her protector. Now he was gone. He had broken the law. They had never told her what he’d done. All she knew was that the monks had taken him away. This trip was not only for knowledge. It was also for revenge. She continued down the short, pulsing hallways, down to the center. Why did the floors slant towards the middle? As long as you walked down you would make it to the center. You could tell that much from looking at the outside of the building. Out of the whole building the center was probably the easiest place to get to. Yet, nobody had ever made it before. Her heart skipped a beat as the light coming from the clear Tansalite lamps wavered and dimmed. Tansalite lamps weren’t supposed to flicker. They were supposed to dim gradually as the light leaked out, unless you shattered them. Smiling, she felt at her brown pouch. “If the lamps were acting up”… she thought of a saying an old street beggar would always repeat, “When Tansalite wavers the shadows lengthen”.  Sweat broke out on her brow, she was beginning to understand one of the secrets of the building’s center. She jerked out her spade number 8. A spade was basically a completely metal spatula with sharpened edges. The number signified the angle at which the flat part met the handle. Number 8 was good for throwing as it met the handle straight on. A close range spade wouldn’t be of any use if a Shadow was guarding whatever was in the center. She checked her Tansalite bar; it was scheduled to run out of light in 2 hours. It was full when she had killed the guards at the entrance. One eighth was dull now. 20 minutes had passed; they should’ve already been alerted to her presence. Metal clanked from a corridor behind her. Soldiers were coming. Those she could deal with. She replaced her throwing spade with an angled one about 110 degrees. Those were terribly deadly when used for slashing. Peeking around the corner she saw seven fully armed guards. The spade was in one hand, in the other she fingered another cheap, fist sized, piece of Tansalite that she had bought prefilled with light. She waited for them to march closer. “Come closer…..closer…a little bit closer…..Now!” She spun around the corner, hurled the Tansalite chunk at their feet, and then crouched back into hiding, at the same time closing her eyes. The flash was still brightly visible even from behind her closed eyes. She dashed around the corner again and began. The soldiers were still stunned from the blinding flash. Those who had borne the brunt of the explosion had actually gotten a little burned. Her spade slashed through the neck of the first soldier. In a flash of metal she had her throwing spade in her other hand. The soldier collapsed. Stabbing and slashing she brought down as many guards as she could before they recovered. She had brought down three before the first stroke against her came. The swing came from a especially panicked soldier and was rather clumsy. She deflected it easily. The panicked one raised both arms above his head as if he were planning to chop her in two. “Not today!” She thought. The man dropped his sword and screamed as she stabbed her angled spade into the chink in the armor that exposed the armpit. The angle on the spade enabled it to go deep into the arm pit completely disabling the arm.  The man clutched at his wound completely ignoring her. “People are funny that way, give them a reason to leave you alone and they will. Tell them to leave you alone and they keep bothering you.” She thought.Leave me alone!” she shouted. The remaining three guards gave her a funny look and then advanced in formation. “Oh well it was worth a try” She raised her throwing spade as if to throw it at the soldier at the front of the formation and then abruptly changed targets. The soldier on the left barely got his sword up in time for a clumsy block. This distracted them a brief moment and she took the opportunity to attack. She rolled under the lead soldiers legs and then spun slashing deeply into the area behind the knees. He buckled, clanging to the floor. The other two turned on her, swinging low. She cursed and jumped toward the soldier on the left coming too close to him for the sword to be effective. He too, met the fate of his dead companions as she slashed his neck.  The remaining soldier wasted no time watching his fellow man die and was charging with the intention of impaling her through the gut.  Casually, she took a Tansalite lamp from the wall and tossed it in his face.  He lurched backward as it shattered, blinded. The man fell to the floor mumbling incoherently. Rerty felt cold all over. She had forgotten to turn away from the flash and the blast had washed all her senses. Stunned, she stumbled to the middle of the corridor and retrieved her throwing spade. She felt like her nerves had been replaced with water. Shaking off the sensation she sheathed her spades and checked her bar again. It was time to meet with Jerren. It would’ve been crazy to invade the monastery alone. They had agreed to meet on the east side of the monastery after working their way to the fifth sector. She had already made it to the east side. It was up to him now. She began to grow nervous. “Where was that Shades accursed fool?! “   A loud grunt and a crash of armor sounded around the bend in the hallway. Jerren came strolling down the hallway with his usual slightly cocky gait. Twirling in his fingers was a short sword. She eyed his clothing skeptically.

“That is a very expensive suit.” She said flatly.

“Yes. How observant of you! Did you happen to notice that it is a black and white suit?”

Although she rolled her eyes she could hardly suppress a smile. “No I thought it was brown or some other practical color” sarcasm dripped from her words. Her eyes suddenly narrowed

 “How do you keep it so clean? There isn’t a single spot of blood on the entire suit!”

“Why should there be?”

She pointedly looked down at her own clothing

“tisk tisk, you are a messy one aren’t you! You forget though, I never kill. I only cut. That makes it a bit easier.” He inspected his fingernails as he talked.

She knew he was putting on a show. He couldn’t care less about his finger nails. He was the type who could get away with anything. He always wore that kind of expression as if he knows something you don’t but managed to add a bit of fondness to it.

“Let’s get on with it.” She said “and yes, I am messy. After all I am a trouble maker.” She grinned, pulling him through the door way.

“Yes.” He replied “one of the few true trouble makers in Volcanis.”

That was the one thing that set Volcanis apart from the other cities. There weren’t any true trouble makers. Oh sure, there were thieves and murderers but there was nobody who actually tried to force a change in political power. Other cities crawled with troublemakers. The political parties in charge were always shifting because of them. In fact, the power shifted so much that chaos threatened the other smaller cities. The only thing that protected those cities from anarchy was the permanent group of soldiers whose job was to hunt down potential trouble makers. She called them the SGOS, or special group of soldiers. Not the most creative name, she thought. But it stuck anyway so that’s what she called them. This group was always there no matter who was in charge. That was the one thing that couldn’t change in those other cities. In Volcanis however, there was no special group that hunted trouble makers. There also were no trouble makers.

They continued onwards slowly. Occasionally, they stopped to listen for soldiers or monks. The doors from sector to sector alternated in their position so that you at least had to walk halfway around each sector before reaching the door to the next one.

 His face grew somber “Don’t you find it a bit odd?” he asked


“Don’t you find at all odd that all the stars are red, red like coals while our sun is as white as this shirt I’m wearing?” he gestured to his bright white, button up, collared shirt.

“It’s always been that way. Why would that be odd?”

He shrugged, pasting a grin on his face “Don’t know, just a thought.”

He is always thinking, she thought. A soft smile split her lips. I think he’s rubbing off on me.

 Suddenly he stopped walking, his face growing dead serious “But you know what else is odd?”

She said nothing but a small chill crept up her spine

“The soldiers, I expected this place to be crowded with them. And more than that, I expected there to be more of them there further in we got.  Instead there are fewer and fewer the closer to the center we get. In fact there are so few that we’ve began treating this infiltration like a casual stroll. Something is wrong”

She began having a hard time swallowing. He was right. Something was wrong.

“But if most of the soldiers are closer to the outside of the building…….” Realization struck her and her voice faded off. “

He finished her sentence for her “… it would mean that we could be tightly surrounded.”

There is something weird about the floors, she thought. What was it….

“The floors!” she blurted “they all slant down towards the center. And that makes the center the easiest part of the building to find.”

“This whole building is a giant trap. It was made to trap the trouble makers. You’ll catch more flies with honey then with vinegar. The SGOS are like vinegar. The monastery is like honey, full of enticing secrets that could be of use to a trouble maker.” 

She grew slightly confused “but if people randomly disappeared it seems like people would notice.”

“We never did. If you want to cause trouble the last thing you want is to be noticed. You keep a low profile and when the time comes to cause mischief you don’t tell anyone where you are going.”

“Nobody knows who we are, what we are doing or where we are. Nobody will miss us.”  She began to see how clever the monks had really been. “But they can’t have known we were coming before we actually got here?

“Well, they know now”

She caught his gaze drifting towards the light near his head. It was dimming. Slowly, in near microscopic amounts the Tansalite lamp was dimming. She looked closer. A tiny network of grey tendrils was working around the lamp as if they were trying to grasp it tighter.

Her eyes went wide and she tried to hurl herself away from the lamp. Light and heat exploded from the lamp in one radiant blast.  She summersaulted away and came up in a crouch. It was a few seconds before she dared open her eyes. She was okay, barely. Jerren scrambled to his feet holding his head. He had gotten just as far away from the lamp as she had. That was odd. The tramp of feet came from the direction they had come. She ran that way. A group of about 20 soldiers were coming. A monk stood at the very back.

“We can’t fight them all” she said

“You mean we can’t kill them all” with that he charged the guards

She went in with him. The narrow corridor gave them the advantage. Only 6 could attack them at a time and there was no way they would use the clickers in their own temple. She screamed as she leaped into the soldiers, a spade in each hand. Jerren on the other hand was a deadly silent Hurricane. He too had a weapon in each hand. They were both short swords. She felled the soldier on the edge of the corridor with a jab to the throat. The soldier next to him was surprised but was already swinging his sword towards her head. She blocked using both the spades and then pushed the sword away. At the same time she brought one of her spades down and stabbed him in the gut. Kicking him away, she continued as if she was going after the next soldier in the line but turned and sent the man beside him tumbling to the ground with a spade caught in his armor. She spun and sent a high kick and the initial targets head. He crumpled. Out of the corner of her eyes she saw Jerren. To her astonishment he had brought down 7 guards already. These soldiers were freshies for the most part, unused to being attacked in their own sanctuary. Another soldier barreled towards her and made as if to cut in to her shoulder. She began to dodge but yelped as the sword changed direction and swept towards her stomach. She tried to block with her spades but the momentum of the soldiers attack flipped one of them out of her hand. He raised his sword for another lightning quick attack. She summersaulted between his legs and began to spin so that she faced him but he swung his heavy boot backwards and hit her in the back. She was sent sprawling. His sword thudded into the wood beside her and she realized that she had instinctively rolled. She whipped out her throwing spade and went for his throat. She swore as she saw his sword swinging for her own neck. This time she used the momentum of the blow to her advantage. She bent backwards and let the sword pass within a hair breadth of her throat. As the sword passed, she whirled within the swords range and slammed her elbow into the man’s shoulder. The sword clattered to the ground and the owner followed suit some moments later. He wouldn’t be getting up anytime soon. She turned to Jerren, flushed from the brief fight. She was shocked at what she found. Only 5 soldiers where left standing. Most of the fallen weren’t dead of course. Jerren never killed. Jerren was, however, staring angrily at the monk in the back. Then she saw what he saw. Grey shadow smoked leaked from under the man’s hood. Jerren ran. She ran too but soon realized that they were running in the opposite direction. He was running towards the monk. When he was five feet away Jerren leaped into the air pointing his sword downwards at the monk. It was pointed downwards in what would be a lethal stroke. Jerren was going for a kill, a killing stroke, from a man who never killed. Time seemed to slow in her mind.  At the last possible second, the monks head came up and the cloak was slapped of by a good two dozen tendrils of grey shadow smoke. They snapped towards Jerren’s chest. He was flung backwards a good ten feet. She could only watch as he was flung like a rag doll away from the monk back towards her. She could only stare in shock at the monks face now revealed.

The veins in the monks face were ruptured. Every single one had ruptured long ago. Not only that, but the tiny grooves were painted grey. Grey like his shadow smoke. She was sure he could’ve healed them. After all, he was a Shadow.

Jerren landed on top of her. She was so stunned she hadn’t even noticed that he had been knocked out of the air towards her. He scrambled off of her and dragged her on to her feet.

“How are you alive?” she asked, still stunned

“You broke my fall in case you didn’t notice. Now run.”

He transformed her trance and into a running panic. He ran beside her. They had to get out. They came to the door that led to the next sector towards the center but passed it. The goal had changed. Now they needed the door that led to the next sector outwards. The deadly tramp of soldier’s feet came from that direction. They’re breakneck pace halted suddenly. They were being herded towards the center. The soldiers were getting closer. The monk was closing in on the other side. Jerren grabbed her hand and pulled her towards the door that led towards the center. They ran in, and met a hailstorm of clicker balls. Rerty hadn’t even heard the clicks. The small steel balls smashed into Jerren first. He bore the brunt of the storm as he was the first one to enter. She was hit by five in the gut and three in her shoulder.  It would be enough.  They were both flung to the ground from the impacts. She gasped for breath.  She only had so long now. Soldiers began to approach. She looked toward Jerren. He had been hit all over. His suit now became stained with blood for the first time ever. Just in little spots at first. They were small red spots against a white background, spreading.  Her eyes were dry. She was going into shock. She had thought they would never use clickers in their own temple. She began to notice numerous marks and scares were many clickers had obviously missed their targets and scoured the walls. Jerren grunted and pulled himself up against the wall.  She watched in amazement. He always withstood far more injury than a normal person should.

He spoke “The stars, the red stars and the white sun” He smiled. Then, his eyes died. 

Her mind was growing fuzzy. She had to get away. The monk was behind her now. Two soldiers picked her up easily. Looping their arms under her armpits they dragged her away from Jerren’s body. The monk led the way through the corridors. She was too weak to struggle. They moved quickly, down, but it seemed a long while before they stopped walking. A throbbing pulsing filled her head.  All the soldiers but the two that held her marched away. She was surrounded by monks. Each had the painted grooves in their faces. She was at the center. This was the smallest sector, the lowest point. Why have they brought me here? She thought. They caught me why not just kill me. It was time to try the Bribe.

“Wait! I have something I think you want”

The monks stopped moving and all the attention turned towards her.  A monk with black face grooves approached.

“Show me.”

His voice sounded like something she had never heard before. It was like hearing a snake hiss little bits of gravel. It was smooth and rough at the same time.  She then noticed that his Irises were completely black. She struggled not to fumble with her pouch. Reaching her hand into the pouch she waited a moment before withdrawing her hand.  In it was a fist sized chunk of stone.  It shone with white light, white light that constantly shifted and swirled inside the stone. The monk seemed slightly taken aback for a moment, and then snatched it from her hand. 

“Wait! Let me live and you can keep it!”

He spoke once more in that silky yet gravelly voice of his. “We gained possession of this the moment you walked in our back door.”

He sneered viciously and pulled her by her wrist deeper into the center. I am an idiot. Why didn’t I realize that sooner?

The surrounding monks parted as she was dragged through their ranks.  She was shocked by what she saw in the center. How had she not noticed it before?  On a pedestal towered a huge stone of swirling, shifting, white light.  It filled the center of the room. It looked like the stone that the monk had just taken from her, only many times larger. She also noticed the chamber itself was made from live wood as she became aware of the source of the increased pulsing.

 “Your bribe did accomplish something.  You will be given the privilege of dying in the presence of the Godstone.” That is when she noticed something else in the room. An iron altar was constructed to one side of the Godstone. They pulled her up onto it. Her mind was beginning to grow fuzzy. The pulsing grew stronger.  The monk raised a black dagger, an obsidian dagger. She gasped from a sharp internal pain. Then the knife dropped towards her throat. She screamed. Something hurt. Something hurt more than the dagger. A Blinding, mind washing internal pain blossomed in her chest and ran through the rest of her body. She resisted it. She would not give in to her internal agony. The monk looked surprised. He stepped away. The fire that spread through her body slowed a little, paused, and then sped up. She tried to continue to resist.  Her concentration broke. She screamed again, long and hard. In moments it was over. Everything glowed. Some things only glowed faintly but other things glowed like colored flames. Everything glowed with a different color. The altar glowed dark grey. The live wood didn’t glow at all. The brightest object was on the ground near the altar. It glowed black. It was something the monk had dropped. It was the dagger. She rolled off the altar and fell to the floor groaning. Her hand reached out and grabbed the blade of the dagger. It bleached white as the black obsidian began to flow like smoke into her hand. Energy surged into her.  Shocked, she dropped what was left of the blade. The weak Tansalite structure that was left of the blade fractured into a million pieces as it struck the floor. The different materials around her had stopped glowing. Now the only thing left glowing where things that glowed black. There was a bright glow that came from the black painted monk’s robe. Her head hurt. She should be dead. She’d been shot by multiple clickers and stabbed in the throat. Jerren was dead. How was she still alive?  Then she noticed the buzzing sensation from within her neck. A thick hand squeezed her throat and lifted her up. It was one of the soldiers. He had his other hand raised to strike her. The buzzing in her neck increased like a wild dog trying to escape its cage. Odd, she felt as if she was holding it back.  She released it. It flowed towards the man’s hand. He screamed and dropped her. Shocked, he cradled his hand hesitating in his attack. Then anger flaring in his eyes, he continued with a vengeance. She was still on the ground. He began kicking her. He kicked her again and again. Everywhere he kicked her she felt the buzzing sensation. They began raging inside her. She found that she could move them. She manipulated them and moved them to her hand. Their raging died down a little as she moved them. He continued kicking her. She reached out and caught hold of his ankle.  It was as if she let go of the leash on a rabid dog.  The buzzing sensations once again flooded into the man. He dropped to the ground screaming and writhing in agony, curling into a fetal ball.  He twitched and lay still.  She stumbled to her feet. Then she noticed her wrists. The veins had ruptured. There was no blood.  Instinctively she felt for that energy that she had pulled from the dagger. She found it stored inside of her like a hidden gold mine. She drew upon the energy. Little tendrils of black shadow smoke weaved back and forth in the grooves pulling the skin together. It took a considerable amount of concentration.  Her clicker and dagger wounds healed as well.  Her wrists were almost completely healed as where the bruises from the brutal beating when her gold mine of energy suddenly faded then disappeared.  Her senses reeled.  The pulsing seemed to vibrate and tingle through her.  She felt detached and out of control, weak, empty.  This was too much to take in all at once. Why wasn’t she being attacked by the monks? She realized they had backed away from her with a hint of concern on their stern faces.  She stumbled out of the temples center, and then she ran.  No one followed.


Edited by Pinpoint
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