Legends of Cobalt

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Nellie slashed through my shield. Her claws dug down to the bone in my arm. Icy, necrotic pain pulsed through my veins. Nellie shoved me to the ground and stepped over me. I crawled toward the rows of benches on either side of the walkway. 

Damian attempted to stab Nellie. She caught his sword. Damian countered with a spinning kick. Nellie grabbed his ankle and hurled him across the room. 

Phebes shot an arrow at Nellie. Nellie flew at her and pierced her hand through Phebes’s gut. 

A line of orange light streamed out of Olivia’s stick. Nellie burst into flames. She hissed at Olivia and threw her through a wall after ripping her chest open.

The Dragonman screamed and took a deep breath. Nellie jumped on him and a bolt of lightning shot from his mouth into the roof. Nellie tore at the Dragonman’s face, neck and chest.

Jack hugged her knees to her chest and cowered beneath a statue of a woman holding a sword and a key.

I whispered a prayer to the spirits and wrapped my fingers around my tattered arm. The healing energy of the spirits stopped the bleeding and fixed the rotting flesh, but the muscle still ached. I ignored the throbbing pain and pulled myself towards Phebes. She gasped for air in a growing pool of blood.

A slender wolf the size of a bear padded through the hole Olivia made. The wolf kept its head low and bared its teeth. It circled Nellie, a growl in its throat.

I pulled myself up and braced my back against the benches. A warm light glowed where Damian had landed.

“The bitch appears.” Nellie climbed off the Dragonman and stomped on him. “Your brother tried to fight me alone too.”

The wolf barked and sprinted at Nellie. Nellie flew into the air as the wolf lunged for her throat. The wolf stood on its hind legs and knocked Nellie back to the ground. Nellie slashed her claws across the wolf’s face. The wolf yelped and jumped back.

Nellie hurried to her feet and attempted to fly away again. 

The wolf snarled and closed its jaws on her ankle. The wolf shook its head back and forth and threw Nellie like a squirrel. The wolf ran over and pinned Nellie to the ground. Nellie struggled against the beast’s weight. The wolf snapped its massive jaws at Nellie’s throat.

The glow from the front of the room grew brighter.

***

Warm water lapped at my skin. The boiling sun beat down on me and the salty breeze tousled my hair. I sat up and looked around. White sand beaches trapped between an emerald forest and an aquamarine ocean stretched as far as I could see in either direction. Gentle music drifted from the trees and played with the steady rhythm of the tides. Overhead, an albatross called to the world.

I stood up and the warm sand begged me back. I studied the tree line and spotted a smooth stone path winding into the jungle. I took a last look at the ocean and followed the winding stone path. Monkeys chattered and played around me. Birds sang their sweet songs and flitted about. A monkey carrying a mango scampered onto the path ahead of me and offered me the fruit before running back into the trees.

I continued walking along the path. The sun never changed its position. I came to an open-air temple deep in the jungle. Waist-high flower beds filled with blue and white flowers surrounded a small pool at the base of a gentle waterfall. A woman close to my age sat on a stone bench with her feet in the pool.

“Hello, Damian.” The woman patted the bench beside her. “Or do you prefer Percival?”

I sat down beside the woman. “Where am I?”

“Right now,” The woman took my hands in her warm, soft ones. “You are standing in a cathedral, preparing to attack a dangerous vampire disguised as a child. Your friends and allies lie bleeding around you. One of them has little time remaining before she meets the Raven Queen.”

An image of Phebes getting stabbed filled my mind. “Why do I remember this place?” I waved my hand at the temple and the jungle around us.

“This is my home. This is where I and many of my followers come to find peace. We are safe here.”

“Why am I here?”

“I needed to speak with you and my time is limited. You must return to your friends soon.”

A harsh voice in my head shouted something I didn’t understand and punctuated with a crack of lightning. I jumped to my feet and looked for the source.

“Damian.” The woman slipped her warm, tender hand into mine and pulled me back to the bench. “Your father has unlocked a dormant power that has hidden within you for many years. I wanted him to do so sooner, but now you need that power to save your friends.” She took my face in her hands. “This power will allow you to accomplish great things, but it will also turn you into a beacon for darkness.” She pulled me to my feet and kissed my forehead. “I couldn’t be more proud of the man you are and will become. Now go, your friends need you.”

I stepped into the pool up to my waist and turned back. “Who are you, and will I ever see you again?”

The woman smiled back at me the way a mother does a frightened child. “My true name and the names of my kin aren’t known in your world anymore. On Cobalt, I am called Everlight. As for seeing me again, I have been by our side for many years. Our paths have crossed many times already, and they will many more. Until they do, Damian, go with my blessing.”

I slipped my head beneath the surface of the pool and a flash of light blinded me.

***

    “Damian?” Phebes coughed and a line of blood ran down her lips. “Please. Wyanet? Where are you guys?” Her tears mixed with her blood. “Please, I don’t want to die. Not here. Not alone. Please guys, where are you?”

“I am here, Phebes.” I fell to the ground and crawled to her. “Save your energy, I am here, we will be fine.”

Nellie braced her feet against the stomach of the wolf and kicked it away. The wolf landed on another bench, smashing it. The wolf got to its feet and ran at Nellie again. It closed its jaws on her arm and smashed her against the floor. Nellie dug her claws into the side of the wolf and pulled. The wolf yelped and dropped Nellie. Nellie hit the wolf with her other hand. The wolf whimpered and backed away.

“I am sick and tired of adults ruining everything.” Nellie closed her hands into fists and battered the wolf’s head. “And your family is the worst!” 

The wolf collapsed and tried to crawl away from the child.

Nellie grabbed the wolf by its scruff and rolled it over. “You mutts are strong. Maybe if you lived longer you could beat me.” Nellie put her claws on the throat of the wolf. “But there is one thing you need to win that you never have.” Nellie tightened her grip. The wolf whimpered and tried to break loose. “Your pack.”

Percy walked up behind Nellie. Eagle wings made of pure light grew out of his back and his eyes glowed with a warm radiant light. In one hand he carried his sword and in the other, he held Bucephalus’s war hammer.

Percy smashed the hammer into Nellie’s head. Light burst from the impact and tossed Nellie away. “I don’t need a pack.”

The story will continue, June 4th,  2020.

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Written by: Sweeney (@oceansoul316 on twitter)

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