Saturday, May 11, 2013

Woods Random Legacy: Chapter 45 - Spooky Night

James had big plans for Spooky Day.  While his reputation had been hurt lately by Sondra's spreading of rumors - true rumors, yes, but that was beside the point! - around town, he thought that a holiday feast party was just the thing to restore him to his previous social status.  He'd make a lobster, that would show everybody just how great he was!  However, there was one thing to take care of first.
James: "You guys, yes all three of you, listen up.  I'll be busy all day getting ready for the party, a party for adults.  So just run along, now!  Do whatever it is you do all day when you're not at school, just don't do it here."
There, that took care of things.  Now to get down to business.

Alpha's plans for the holiday had consisted of a nice, long meditation up in the catacombs anyway, so the dismissal didn't bother her too much.  Epsilon had intended to go to the fall festival, but a steady rain had been falling all morning, so Alpha invited Epsilon up to the catacombs with her.  Epsilon had been telling her older sister the other day about how much she'd enjoyed her class trip to the town cemetery, especially how silly all the other kids were for being scared, so Alpha thought that she might enjoy seeing her own family graveyard.  Alpha had proceeded down the stairs before Epsilon got there, so the young girl hurried to keep up.  She shivered as she reached the bottom, though the air was hardly any chillier than it had been outside.  There was something wrong down here.  She didn't know what it was, but the sensation balled up deep inside her, making her feel almost ill.
She frowned, looking around, but saw no sign of her sister.  She briefly considered leaving, but knew that she'd have to at least tell Alpha that she was leaving, so she mustered up her courage and stepped quickly through the quiet tomb.  It wasn't until she'd reached the final accessible chamber that she found her.
Epsilon: "There you are.  Why are you so far in?"
Alpha responded without opening her eyes or dropping the meditation pose.
Alpha: "The farther in I go, the more peaceful it feels.  You can still hear the outside sounds in the first room back the hall, though the paintings in there are nice.  Did you know our grandmother painted those?"
Epsilon: "Whatever."
Alpha opened her eyes.
Alpha: "What's wrong?"
Epsilon: "Can't you feel it?  This place gives me the creeps."
Alpha: "I don't know what you're talking about.  I thought you wouldn't mind it down here, since the dead people didn't creep you out "
Epsilon: "It's not the dead people, they're not scary.  I don't know what it is, I just feel really funny.  I don't want to stay."
Alpha: "It's raining outside, where are you going to go?  Dad'll just get mad if you go back to the house."
Epsilon: "I'll go to the festival.  I'm not afraid of a little rain.  It's not like I'll melt, or anything."
Alpha: "Suit yourself.  Check in on Omicron on your way down there, alright?  I'm not sure if Dad'll be okay with him just hiding out under the shelter in the backyard."
As Epsilon hurried up the stairs and out of the catacombs, Alpha closed her eyes and began to lose herself in her meditation again.  She didn't know what had bothered Epsilon, the girl wasn't easily spooked at all.  But if there was something bad down here, then surely she would feel it too, right?
A feeling of lightness overtook her as her mind found peace.  There would be time to worry about that later.  For now, there was only herself and the flame of her meditation.  All else would wait.

As the guests started to arrive, James got more and more upset.  None of them were impressed by his culinary achievement!  Furthermore, the dishes they brought were almost an insult.  Mac and cheese, autumn salad, cookies, and a cheese plate.  A cheese plate!  How much effort does it take to cut a block of cheese into a bunch of tiny, uneven cubes?  And who brought waffles to a dinner party?  The people in this town were just baffling.
His views on dinner-appropriate food seemed to be shared by at least one other guest, as evidenced by the doorway collision that took place as they arrived.  Now they were all over the floor, and that served them right.  Stupid waffles.
Shortly after the party began, Epsilon arrived back from the festival.  It had been kind of lame, because of the rain, but she'd had a good time in the haunted house.  She went through so many times that one of the attendants gave her a Cracklin' Nackerbell gnome in appreciation.
After she donned her trick-or-treating costume, she headed out into the main room, where she found her brother.
Epsilon: "Hey, where were you?  I was looking for you earlier to go to the festival."
Omicron: "Oh, I was in here.  Nobody really noticed me, it was fine."
Epsilon: "So you're a tiger?"
Omicron: "Yeah!"
Epsilon: "Who did your face paint?"
Omicron: "Some lady, I don't know who.  She's the one who knocked the waffles all over the floor."
Epsilon: "Is that what happened?  I wondered why I smelled maple syrup.  I thought Dad was just being weird again."
Omicron: "No, it was someone else this time!  So what are you, Geo Boy?"
Epsilon: "No, I'm Geo Girl.  All the cool superheroes don't have to be boys, you know."
Omicron: "Oh, yeah, that's cool too.  Are you ready?  I want to go get candy!"
Despite the still-falling rain, they had a good time, bringing back a decent haul of goodies.  Epsilon helped Omicron to wash the paint from his face and they crawled into bed early, exhausted from a day of holiday fun.

It was late when Alpha left the catacombs.  She didn't expect anyone to be waiting up for her, so she took all the time she needed to center herself.  Overall it had been quite a productive, yet relaxing, day.  She looked forward to hearing how her younger sibling's days had gone.
As she walked down the hill towards home, her thoughts were interrupted by a voice.  Quiet and polite, but yet strangely commanding, it attracted her attention.  She turned, facing the pale man who had come up behind her unheard.
Magician: "Miss Woods, it's a pleasure to meet you at last."
Alpha: "Miss Bunch-Landgraab, actually.  Who are you, and how do you know me?"
Magician: "Oh, I've heard much about you.  You fascinate me.  It's unusual to meet a young woman with such strength of character, especially with an upbringing such as your own."
Alpha: "Excuse me?"
Magician: "Your father, of course.  A brilliant man, highly intelligent, but not a shred of decency regarding the care of children.  I'm sure you would agree."
Alpha: "Look, I don't know who you are, but how do you know my dad?  And why are you following me?"
Magician: "Following you?  No, it was a chance meeting-"
Alpha didn't let him finish, interrupting coldly.
Alpha: "A chance meeting at my family catacombs?  That doesn't seem very likely to me.  Just turn and walk away.  I can defend myself."
His demeanor changed as she spoke, his eyes becoming cold as he took a half-step back from her.
Magician: "Very well then.  I tried to be civilized about the matter, but you have left me no choice."
Before Alpha could speak, his eyes had already locked on to hers, holding her gaze to his.  His eyes began to glow with a harsh light, and she felt his presence, in her mind.  No, not quite yet, there was still a chance!  She couldn't close her eyes, but she visualized the flame of her meditation, flickering alone as the light of his gaze assaulted it.
She took refuge inside the flame, using the fire as a shield against his assault.  She heard his gasp of frustration and moved almost on instinct, twisting to the side and around as he lunged towards her.
She spun around on the ball of her foot, releasing the flame as his mental assault stopped.  He was standing a few feet away from her, seeming stunned.
Alpha: "I don't know who you are, but stay away from me.  And stay away from my family."
With those words, she turned and ran, afraid to look behind her for signs of pursuit.  But she reached her home without incident, shutting and locking the door behind her as she breathed heavily, shivering despite the warmth of her house.  Who had that been?  And what was he?

Atop the hill, the Magician watched the young woman run for her home.  He couldn't pursue her there, of course, unless he was invited.  He could catch her before she reached the home, but he didn't.  She was a puzzle now.  How could a human girl - for she was human, that much was obvious - have resisted his intrusion into her mind?  And to react to his attack with such speed...surely that was impossible.  And yet it had happened.  He wanted to know why.

~ * ~

Oh noes!  The Magician is after Alpha!  Good thing she's got her head put on straight, and doesn't fall for honeyed words from evil vampires.  That last scene takes place significantly later at night than the lighting suggests.  I just wanted to make sure that it wasn't too dark for you guys, so I shot it in early evening, and now I think it looks silly.  And please ignore his weird outfit, he changed out of what he was supposed to be wearing while I was fast-forwarding to evening and I didn't notice until I'd already shot way too much to go back.

Kind of a short chapter, but hey, at least it's an update.  That's better than I've been doing for the past several weeks.

So I tried to write this last night, but I got stuck listening to Epsilon's mother's music(which I picked out the same night I found Epsilon's, along with a particularly badass song for the generation 2->3 transition sequence) on repeat and having sad feels, so it didn't happen. :\ I don't know why I got stuck on that, as Acadia isn't even in this chapter!


  1. So, is Epsilon sensing the tiberium when she feels something bad in the catacombs? And go Alpha for keeping the creepy magician out of her mind!

    1. I don't know what she's sensing. We'll find out eventually, though. ;)

      I just realized that I never really went into why he calls himself the Magician. It's kind of too late for that in the story now, lol, as he's already left Bridgeport. Oh well.

  2. Yeah, did Epsilon sense the tiberium or the Magician? I'm thinking the Magician, but surely he couldn't go in the catacombs without being invited? Maybe it doesn't count as nobody lives there.

    Poor Alpha! Luckily she's been practising her meditation, so she was able to fight him off. Who knows what could have happened! Or what might happen if they meet again! OR! Or if the Magician met Epsilon! Eek!

    Short, yes, but the content more than makes up for that because there's so much to think about!

    1. Well, Epsilon got weirded out at around 11 am, while I figure the scene with Alpha and the Magician happened at around 9 pm(2~ hours after dark normally at that time of year where I live). So I'm not going to say if you're right or not, but draw your own conclusions about where the Magician might have been lurking.

      Luckily he still doesn't know about Epsilon! But I don't know how long that's going to last. It probably helps that Epsilon changed her hair color, though. Yay for unintended consequences!

  3. Argh, I had a nice long comment written, and it disappeared before I could post it. Hate when that happens!

    Anyway, I had to laugh at James. "Do whatever it is you do, just don't do it here." He's such an awesome parent, lol.

    Interesting how the girls had such different reactions to the catacombs. Here Alpha was meditating and finding peace, while Epsilon was creeped out and felt something was wrong, yet wasn't afraid of the haunted house one bit. Perhaps she sensed the hidden visitor lurking around?

    It would seem Alpha has a fan, one with perhaps unfriendly intentions. I'm guessing he was a vampire, if he was pale, and couldn't come into her house unless invited. What did he want from her to begin with? It's a good thing she had the strength of mind (literally!) to withstand his mental assault, but now she's only fascinated him even more.

    ~Margaret Pendragon (Misty)

    1. I hate it when that happens too! D: Hopefully you remembered everything you were going to say!

      Yeah, James is a pretty lousy parent. It'll come around to bite him, don't you worry.

      Yeah, there's definitely something up with those two! Epsilon has the brave trait, so it really does take a lot to creep her out.

      The Magician's intent was to seduce her(that's why he waited so long - I figure Alpha's maybe 16-17 in this chapter, and that's old enough for him to see her as a woman, and therefore somewhat less creepy than going after her when she was a few years younger), in order to gain her trust and get her to open the catacombs for him(genetic lock, remember?), but he didn't know that she'd been studying martial arts/meditation, which in my universe is actually a pretty powerful defense in the right hands. So he never really got started due to her shutting him down, and when he tried to use his powers to overcome what was(in his mind) a defenseless human girl, he was caught off guard. He's definitely intrigued now, though I don't know if I'll be able to develop that arc fully since she's a spare. He might have to get distracted by more immediate issues.