It was a cold, cold, night. The harsh wind swept up Zeliro's limp wings and teased them mischievously, pulling them up and down, much to the vampire's chagrin. He stared down at the ground, now even more defeated than before. It was the eve of disaster.
It all came down to Ubechok, the despicable murderer of a scientist that Zeliro was ashamed to admit he even knew. The doctor had gone low before, but this was the lowest he could possibly have sunk. Turning the vampire's own late allies against him was an outrageous thing to do. Such thoughts of bitterness and malice would at any other time spur him on, nudge him forward into the belly of the beast.
But he was tired.
It all began on the exact same mountaintop. Not burnt, not barren, not the center of every sadistic will borne to man, but the same mountaintop. This was where the vampire's troubles started.
Only two months ago, he had embarked on a massive journey in an attempt to find the bird hybrid, Sagrin, and had ended up befriending the eagle warrior. Zeliro was invited to live with Sagrin and a large group of hybrids he had gathered up from the shadows and assisted, but he declined, needing only Sagrin's assistance to take on the creator and scourge of hybrids everywhere.
Sagrin was skeptical, knowing that a large group of hybrids, considered an alternate species by the government, targeting one person could be seen, in its extremities, as a declaration of war. In a hybrids vs. humans war, there was only one outcome, and it would not end well for Sagrin or Zeliro. So the vampire suggested they held a meeting on it. And so came the day of fate.
Mount Montezuma, Earlier
"Order! This meeting of Sagrin's Hybrids will now come to order!" Sagrin made an attempt to shout over the large group of murmuring half-humans, to no avail.
"What do you think the meeting's about?"
"This'd better be good."
"Did that Zeliro fella' charge the meeting?"
"He looks a bit shady to me."
"If we're going to war, I'm throwin' myself in the fire!"
The annoyances continued, as a vein started throbbing in Zeliro's forehead. His fists tightened, his eyes narrowed, and he bared his teeth in an attempt to subdue the hybrids. His attempts were useless.
"Quiet!" Sagrin tried again. Again, no luck.
"You know," a mantis-looking hybrid spoke quietly, "I do believe Master Sagrin wishes us to keep quiet." The half-bear next to him snickered. "Who's gonna make me?"
A sudden silence fell over the hybrids. They looked up at Zeliro, floating angrily. "What in hell is your problem? Just shut up and listen, you bastards!" He glared at them a moment longer before slowly lowering to his seat.
"Ehm ... yes, well, thank you, Zeliro," Sagrin said awkwardly, before turning to his audience. "Now, as I'm sure several of you are aware, the bat hybrid Zeliro wishes our assistance in a matter of attacking a certain human, long the enemy of the hybrids.
"However, we fear that such an attack could be seen as unprovoked aggression by the humans. As we know, their feelings towards us are less than positive, and an act like this could open us up to an all-out war.
"The floor is open. Please state your opinions in a civilized manner."
Almost immediately, the half-brown bear hybrid in the stands who had scoffed at the idea of obeying Sagrin stood and spoke to the group. "We should go. Attack this one for making our lives miserable. And, if it comes to war, so much the better."
"Are you insane, Clawdite? Have you forgotten that the humans overpopulate us a hundred million to one? Even with our enhanced strength and senses, we would fall in a matter of minutes." The same mantis hybrid who had tried to gain quiet now opposed his friend.
The half-bear known as Clawdite scoffed. "You think too much of the here and now, Prayer. The humans are gonna drive us to our death sooner or later. If we take as many of 'em out at possible, so much the better!"
"Clawdite, Clawdite, Clawdite," Prayer said reproachfully, shaking his head. "You would sacrifice all of our lives for this petty concept of revenge?"
"Yes, I would!" he bellowed back. "And that's 'cause there are more important things in life than living!"
" 'Honor'?" Prayer quoted in disbelief. "You must be joking, Clawdite. What honor is there in death?"
"I'd rather die valiantly than submit to their cruelty!"
"You speak as though they are different from us?"
"Well, they are!"
Zeliro scowled, a very familiar gesture on his face and one he was almost relieved to once again feel. "What is with you idiots?" he shouted in disbelief, appalled at the crowd's complete lack of control. "Just shut up and hear what I have to say!"
Not a cricket was heard chirping.
He took a deep breath and began. "Maybe I'm not the most reliable source for you guys. I'm sure you've all heard the rumors, and they're all true." A few hushed gasps traversed the crowd. Were they really inviting a formerly insane serial killer to live with and order them?
"But I'm perfectly sane now, and just listen to me. That killer Ubechok hasn't taken just me. You've heard of the werewolf, right?" How could they not? It was all over the news. The freak accident, the government's mistake, the mythical monster brought to life. "Well," Zeliro continued, not bothering to wait for a response, "he was taken by Ubechok. Used by Ubechok. The scientist plans on using him to take over the damn WORLD!" His temper, calm at first, had escalated through the sentence until he was positively fuming.
"So, if the pity isn't on me, put it on Wolver, and kill him. Kill that damn scientist. Burn him 'till his guts show. Stab 'him 'till his heart bursts. KILL HIM!"
Zeliro, who by now was floating in the air, immediately fainted, his body falling and hitting the ground with an unpleasant cracking noise.
Sagrin looked a bit sheepish. "We'll ... uh... finish this decision by vote. Your polls will be sent to you this evening. Uh ... good day."
Mount Montezuma, One Hour Later
That was where the trouble started. Where they stopped trusting Zeliro. That allowed his plan to go forth. His plan involved completely destroying their trust in him. Destroying them and isolating him. Adding torture before death.
Clawdite was stomping along the aisle along with Prayer, who was taking light, dainty footsteps.
"Nothing personal, old pal," Clawdite offered. "Just needed to get my opinion out, and it seemed like the best way to do it."
Prayer shook his head dismissively. "No hard feelings, Clawdite. It's alright."
At that moment, a red-haired, bat-winged figure stepped out of the shadows. His eyes glittered with an unimaginable malice. Clawdite snickered. " 'Sup, killer? Killed anyone's parents lately?"
Prayer sighed. "Don't taunt him, Clawdite." What he didn't notice was that the figure's grin seemed to get wider for every insult thrown at him. Clawdite noticed, though.
"What's wrong with you, killer? Still insane? Still a bit woozy from your fall?" Prayer seemed to know something was wrong.
"Clawdite, stop. He looks dangerous."
"Ah, what can Vamps do?" the hybrid chuckled. The vampire-like being grinned even more widely and advanced on them. "Wha ... what're ya doing?" For the first time, Clawdite looked into his opposer's eyes and saw evil. True evil. And there was fear in his eyes.
They were dead in a matter of seconds.
Only an hour later, Zeliro walked back to the base. His hour walk was planned to calm his nerves. Instead, he saw something that would sober him forever.
Sagrin's body lay outside the smouldering heap that was the Hybrid Headquarters.
On a less extreme occation, he would be angered to the point beyond belief. But this ... this was just too much. He fell to his knees in disbelief. He fell and did not move. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw something very clear. Something that would destroy him.
He saw himself, nails and teeth covered in blood, flying away. And he knew, that at the brink of death, Sagrin believed him evil. Believed him a traitor. And he sat next to Sagrin's body. After a few minutes, he lost count of the time. Minutes, or hours, or days could have gone by and he would not know.
Mount Montezuma, Later
A soft and kind voice awoke him from his state of shock and disbelief. "You need strength." The voice existed not without, but within. It echoed from all sides, its power magical.
Even as the voice echoed, a soft wind, carrying a pale yellow light, swooped around him to follow the voice. "Please allow me to help you." The light, however weak, seemed to lift him slowly upward into the infinite reaches of time and space.
When at last the peaceful drifting sensation ended, he found himself in an unfamiliar room. The old familiar scowl returned to his face, and it was so welcome he almost smiled for it.
Wow. This is very intense, and well-written. One is made curious concerning Zeliro - his portrayal is vivid. Cheers.
A few things to fix before moving on:
It all came down to Ubechok. The despicable murderer of a scientist...
That period should be a comma
Such thoughts of bitterness and malice would at any other time spurr him on...
"Spurr" should be "spur"
"Are you insane, Clawdite! ..."
The exclamation point should be a question mark.
"What's wrong with you, killer? Still insane? Still a bit woozy from your fall?" Prayer seemed to know something was wrong. [Break the paragraph here; give the following line of dialogue its own line.]"Clawdite, stop. He looks dangerous."
Fix those and I shall return shortly with your assignment!
Assignment: The holographic figure of a woman appears before Zeliro. Chuckling at his scowl, she proceeds to tell him about the Dome. Ask questions, receive answers; give me an interesting conversation, with descriptions of Zeliro's actions/reactions, the room, and the holographic lady.
At length, the hologram will inform Zeliro that someone is waiting for him beyond that door (gesturing, of course, to a door. It may or may have not been there before, :-P). She tells him to go out and meet that person—unless he would prefer to forgo the training the Dome and its teachers can offer. "If so," she says, "you can always leave through that portal," gesturing to a portal that was definitely not there before. End post with Zeliro either accepting the challenge of the Dome, or rejecting it. When his decision is made, have him enter the respective opening, but don't describe what lies beyond. Minimum 700 words.