“The Readers are active, My Lord. They’re scrambling all about in search of…” The messenger, a boy of only twelve summers that just began his apprenticeship with the Dark Order, falters as Master Tiberion turns to him.
“Yes? In search of what?” His tone is clipped, impatient.
“Th-the Destroyer, My Lord. They speak in whispers that he is still alive. They’ve sent out their best to find him.”
“You are dismissed.” Once the boy exits his chambers, Tiberion smiles grimly. This is what they’ve waited these decades for. Now, they must find the man called the Destroyer, before the Readers, and train him in their Order. He was spoken of to be their next Commandant and unite the dark forces. Tiberion selects an old text from the bookcase and thumbs through it until The Prophecy is before him.
From light and dark one shall arise, power unlikened to any before. A child no more, seeks the dark, unites the shadows and destroys the balance. The war of the The Destroyer will finish society.
The Dark Master’s expression is grim and evil. With The Destroyer by his side, they would rule, and they would be worshiped. He places the book back on the shelf before leaving the room. He must move carefully now. He cannot afford to have his glory ruined should the Readers discover what he is up to.
Brother Brendan slams the door to his hotel room. He lost the trail of the Destroyer at the library and hasn’t been able to pick it up since. He flops onto the bed, glaring at the white ceiling. A woman….the Destroyer is a woman. How could the prophecy have been so far off that no one knew that? How could he have not known that? He’s the one who discovered that she still lived!
He’d been close—so close—that the Destroyer had probably passed right by him and he hadn’t realized it. He runs his hands through his hair, trying desperately to calm his nerves. If he doesn’t regain control of his emotions, he’ll never recover from this setback. And if he doesn’t recover, he won’t catch the Destroyer and gain his place among the Readers.
He lights a candle, turns off the lights, and closes his eyes to try to quiet his mind. He found the Destroyer once, and so he will again. He settles into his meditation with that goal firmly in his mind.
Moyra’s hands are shaking uncontrollably by the time she makes it home. A feeling of dread came over her when she heard the strange man asking about her search computer at the library, a feeling that settled in the pit of her stomach and seemingly grown exponentially as time passed. It takes her three attempts before she’s able to slide the security chain into its track.
The book slips from her hand to fall to the floor, and she presses her palm against the door’s cool surface as she rests her forehead against it. Gradually her heart rate slows, and when she feels in control of herself, she picks up the book and moves to the couch.
Her fingers slowly trace the embossed title on the cover while her mind reels over the odd events of the day. Magic. Her birth mother. Somehow it was easier to accept the former as truth. For too many years she had dreamed of what her birth parents were like, why they had given her up, or if they were even still alive. To have such a powerful, realistic vision of her mother seemed too far fetched, too much to accept or for her to hope that they were trying to contact her after decades of silence.
Feeling an unnatural chill, Moyra pulls the fleece throw around her shoulders before she opens the book and begins reading. Each page brings feelings of dread. Black magic, voodoo, curses, hexes…this can’t possibly be who she is. She rolls her shoulders and stretches, tension and exhaustion gripping her. Her eyelids begin to droop, and immediately she’s unconscious and again facing her birth mother in her dream state.
“How did I get here?”
Her mother clasps her hands. “I’ve been waiting for you. There are times I can contact you, speak with you as we are now, but only when both of us are in tune.” Her expression becomes more serious. “You’re in grave danger, my child. Your powers are stirring, and that will bring forth those that wish to exploit them.”
“There was one at the library today,” Moyra whispers. Feelings of fear begin to press down on her, and with it darkness gathers.
“Moyra! Stop feeling sorry for yourself. They fear you because of your power, and they wish to control that to their own designs.” Her mother steps forward until within arms’ reach. “Let me guide you in the dark arts. It will be the most effective to defend yourself against those coming for you.”
“What of the other? The light I saw last time?”
“White magic, inherited from your father. That’s a lesson I can’t teach you.” The older woman holds out her hands and a ball of shadow forms in her palm. Dark. Writhing. “You must be careful when calling forth the dark energies. The sensation of such is intoxicating and you can easily get carried away. If you lose control of yourself, you will lose yourself, your morality and you will be overcome with the cravings of the shadows. Always wanting more power, loyalties to—”
A crash interrupts her; the sound of wood splintering and breaking bringing an end to the lesson before it has a chance to start. “Moyra, go! Wake up!”
Moyra’s heart races as she drags herself awake to see the door to her apartment being destroyed. She stumbles to her feet, her mother’s parting words echoing in her mind as she staggers into her bedroom.
“It’s part of you and will be there if you call on it. It draws power fro—”
The telepathic connection is lost as the last fog of sleep clears from her mind. “Power from what?” she mutters as she locks the bedroom door. That won’t hold them for long, she knows. Not when whoever it is just made kindling of her outside door. She unlocks the window and slides it open, kicks out the screen and slips outside. She mutters a curse as she realizes her car keys are still inside. With the realization that her options are now severely limited, Moyra does the only thing she can.