Merel

Silhouettes of the Coming Fire

Chapter XI 

It was a calm evening. The sky was dark and not a sound stirred other than the slight whistle of an evenings breeze. So far for the last few years, the two sides involved in the war had been pretty quiet, quiet about everything. Ever since the last battle that took place in the mountainous regions not a sound had stirred.

The only one's that knew of any movement of either side were thieves, bandits, dealers and traders, the pink skins. Bred from a red and pale skin and immidiatly out-casted at birth. This side of the species fended for them-selves and thought of nothing but them-selves.. Still, it was a huge risk to receive information from those sorts. Most cases they had given false information. Those who wanted to aid either side in the war were not allowed to do so as this was against the sub-species 'code' to aid others with-out a pay of any sorts.

As the night went on, so did a group of pink skins continue there journey, looking for a place to live for a few days or weeks or looking for new sucker to steal from. The group travelled with quite a haste considering they had just robbed someone of great importance. Once they knew they were far enough, the stopped to catch there breath in a secluded forest.

Two high fived each other. “Nice one back there, Misha!”

The young female put on a sweet faced and waved her hand as if she was the queen.

“Thank you, thank you!”

The group leader stepped in front of them, a tall and stern looking male with a scar across his chest and face.

“Enough chat, is everyone here?” He counted of them all then frowned, there was one missing.

“Where's Krystylla?”

“Who cares?” someone said, the group laughed.

Suddenly, the sounds of frantic foosteps was heard, a few rustles in the tree's and a young girl suddenly fell out of the sky, she landed with aloud thud.

“Ah.” the stern one said, “Here she is . . .” He frowned down at her.

Krystylla picked her-self up and bowed in front of her leader. “I-I'm s-so-so- sorry!”

He merely frowned again and struck her across the cheek with the back of his hand.

“Stupid girl! You could have ruined the entire heist!”

Krystylla sniffed and wiped away a tear as she rubbed her sore cheek.

“But I tried my best-”

“IT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH!”

She flinched and fell to her knee's. “Please Master Acamas! Don't excile me!”

He smirked, “Oh, don't worry. I won't, not yet anyway. Only if you suceed in our next mission.”

She looked up, her purple eye's filled with sadness and desperation.

“What would that be, sir?”

Acamas smirked again, “I have feeling certain attributes of your other half will come in handy.”

He stood up straight, pulling Krystylla up with him. He held her close to him, Krystylla shivered as she felt his cold hand stroke through her plum coloured hair.

“Let me share my plans with you all . . .”


The forest the small clan camped in was on the out-skirts of the mountainous region which meant the current HQ of Drakius's forces were not so far away. Another training session had come to an end. The soldiers-to-be all stood in line awaiting further instructions. Black Out stood at the end, he stood straight and firm but his head kept drooping to the side, he struggled to keep his eye's open. He couldn't help but yawn, he stretched out his arms and stumbled backwards a little. He was so exhausted from all the training, all he really wanted to do was sleep. Some suddenly struck him on the back of his head.

“Ow!” He yelped,

“Get back in line, Black Out.” said Drakius,

“Tch, yes sir . . .” Black Out grumbled then yawned again,

The trainee's all stood in the large meeting hall, they all gave there attention to the far side where a huge screen resided. Latifah appeared on the scree smiling happily as usual.

“You've all done exceptionally well, all of you.” she paused then continued, “You all deserve short break, seeing as the enemy has yet to make a move for some time now. But saying that, always be prepared.”

The meeting was soon other and the children dispersed of into the groups, most went back to there rooms to rest, Black Out planned to do the same only he was stopped by Drakius.

“Oh, whaaaat?!” He whined,

Drakius raised an eye-brow, “I'm sorry Black Out but it's your turn . . .”

He moaned, “Oh no . . . not . . . !”

Drakius nodded and smirked, “Yes, guard duty with me, Kujin and the rest of them . . .”

Black Out groaned as he made his way to the huge courtyard that led to the entrance, out there were smaller set up's and tents hiding supply's. A new shipment had just come in and it was nights like these bandits took advantage of, because of his reputation, Drakius him-self had warded of most of them but a few more daring one's had attempted to steal from him before and most likely try again.

Kujin, Mashief, Kryoul and Nuko all sat around a wooden box playing some kind of game. Kujin looked up and saw Black Out.

“Hey, bud! Want to join us?”

Black Out shook his head and yawned, he leant against a wood crate nearly falling asleep. Kujin giggled and carried on with his game. Mashief tilted his head curiously.

“I worry about that kid, I don't think he can handle this war, he's way to emotionally un-stable.”

Nuko nodded, “Yeah, remember when that kid died-”

“Hey, shut up ok!” Kujin said quickly,

The four carried on with there game whilst Black Out fell asleep against the crates. Up in the base, Drakius stood on a balcony that over-looked the courtyard and gave him a clear view of the entrance.


Outside, the pink skins wearing black to conceal them-selves in the dark carefully sneaked around the outside of the base. Krystylla struggling to keep up with her master.

“Acamas, please! I can't go that fast!”

“Shh!” he hissed, he placed a hand over her mouth, “You be quiet! Now remember the plan my dear . . .” he said stroking her hair again, “Use that charm of yours.”

She whimpered and nodded, “I understand . . .”

“Remember, our survival rests on this and you will finnaly have your place among us . . . and then who knows . . . our future will be better.”

He said nearly kissing her but he stopped as another pink skin approached them, he stood up straight as they gave him a signal, he nodded. Krystylla put on her black cloak and followed them.

They entered the stronghold through parts where repairs were taking place, being professional sneak theives, getting past the repair workers was simply too easy. One pink skin decided she'd be a bit more daring, un-hooking the hatches that kept it shut, she opened a crate finding food rations. She took as much as she could, but as she went to close the crate her hand slipped falling with a loud SLAM! She restrained from yelling out it on pain as she pulled out her crushed fingers from the crate's lid, leaving a bit of blood behind as she hid.


The loud noise, disturbed Black Out from his slumber, he looked around before sniffing the air. Kujin noticed.

“Hey, what's wrong?” he asked,

Black Out yawned before replying, “I heard . . . something, and do you smell that?”

Kujin lifted his head and sniffed, something wasn't right. “Hm . . . I'll go check it out.”

He followed his nose, he then noticed the blood on one of the crates, intruders? He had to raise the alarm.

Meanwhile, the pink skin who's blood belonged to waited in the shadow, she slowly approached the young pale skin from behind hitting him on the head. He felt a sting of pain then everything went black. This hadn't gone un-noticed, Drakius still stood high on the balcony over-looking the courtyard, he could already smell the familiar scent of thief's.

“Damn pink skins . . .” he mumbled,

He didn't bother taking any stairs, Drakius simply leapt of the balcony and landed in the centre of the courtyard. Krystylla nervously peaked from the shadows then shuddered with fear. There he was, no, she couldn't do it. She didn't want to do this anymore.

“Please, Acamas, can we leave?! I don't want to do this . . . !”

He hushed her, “Shut up! Don't ruin this now, you want to give this all up? This could possibly stop the war, make our land safer . . . you will do as your told, or suffer much much worse.”

She nodded sadly, holding back tears.


Drakius approached those who were meant to be on guard, he was furious but hid his anger for the time being.

“Excuse me but . . . have you men noticed anything odd this evening?”

Mashief nodded, “Yeah, I've won three games in a row and I never win . . .”

Drakius laughed sarcastically, “Ah ha ha, that's marvellous, that really is but I was thinking more along the lines of un-invited guests . . .”

They all looked at each other exchanging confused looks, Drakius sighed with great exasporation, were they really that dense?

“Where is Kujin? And what is that strange smell in the air?” he glared at them all,

Kujin suddenly appeared with a huge bandage on his head, he bumped into Drakius and fell over at his feet.

“Ah, talk of the devil . . .” he said smoothly, “Where have you been?”

“In-in-intruders! Sir!!!”

Drakius laughed again, “Well done! Now, what's going to happen now?”

A moments silence hung over, Nuko then said, “Uh . . . we should stop . . . them?”

Drakius grinned wickedly, “Oh ho!!! Well done!” he paused for second, “NOW YOU IN-GRATES!!!!”

Everyone leapt up and ran in all different directions, Drakius shook his head.

“Lord . . . I-” he stopped, he then slowly turned his head, he noticed a supply crate was slightly open, he frowned and quietly approached. As he got closer, he saw a small pair of pink hands taking rations of food from it. He stopped a little way from it, then jumped from where he was stand on to the lid of the crate, shutting the lid and trapping the hand of the little thief inside it. She screamed out, Drakius took no sympathy from those who stole from him.

“Got your hand caught in my cookie jar . . .” he sniggered, climbing down from the crate,

The girl took a chance to run but Drakius soon grabbed her preventing her escape.

“Ha ha, I don't think so . . .” he sneered,

The girl was in-fact Krystylla, she struggled and tried pull away but the grey skins grip was to strong. Acamas watched from a distance, he smirked, everything was going according to plan.

He signalled to the others to escape, others who had got caught in a struggle with a pale skin left here fight and made a run for it. Drakius noticed there hasty retreat, he just shook his head.

“Don't bother going after them, it's a waste of resources . . .” he ordered, “Unfortunately, you won't be joining them.” he said, sneering at his captive, still keeping her appearance concealed by the black cloak. Drakius dragged her out, Kujin and the others noticed her.

“Hey boss! You got one!”

Drakius smirked then glared daggers at them, “Yessss . . . NO THANKS TO YOU IN-GRATES!!!”

They all stood back, Drakius was in a bad mood tonight. Drakius then noticed someone was missing.

“Where is Black Out?”

The group pointed to where the young pale skin sat, sleeping contently. Drakius growled and slapped his fore-head.

“Oh hell . . .” he growled again,

He stood in front of Black Out, an awkward silence hung over, only broken by Black Out's slight snoring. Drakius lifted a hand and struck Black Out across the head.

“GAH!!!” Black Out yelled, tumbling over, “I'm up, I'M UP!!! WHERE ARE THEY?!”

He stood up, taking out a knife, Krystylla stared at the young pale skin in fear, she struggled to get away from Drakius but still, he kept a firm grip.

Black Out looked around, he sniffed the air, he noticed Drakius had a prisoner, he sighed.

“Assessment, pink skin thievery incident, casualties, none. Injuries dis-cluding mine . . .” he said rubbing his head, he noticed the bandage on Kujin's head, “Hm, minor . . . I cannot comment on events because . .. .”

Drakius glared, “You were being a lazy ass!”

Black Out lowered his head, “Sorry . . .” he mumbled, “What are you going to do with your prisoner?”

Drakius looked down at the short figure he had captured, “First I'm going to see who it is . . .” he said grabbing the cloak and pulling it off her. She yelped trying to grab it back but Drakius had already threw it out of her reach.

“Well, this is interesting . . . ?”he said raising an eye-brow,

There stood in front of him was a young girl, she looked just a few years younger than black out. She trembled trying to cover up her body with what small bits of clothing she had on. Her skin colour was the peculiar thing. It was neither pink nor purple, somewhere in between which had to mean she was a cross breed of the two races.

“P-p-p-please . . . I'm sorry . . . !” she whimpered, “I-I-”

Drakius put a finger to her lips.

“Hush,” he said, “Tell me, who were your parents?”

“Uh-My mother was a purple skin, my father was pink skin . . .” she stammered, “I know . . . I shouldn't exist . . .”

Drakius tilted his head, “Hmm, so your half royalty, have out cast . . . in the eye's of this war torn and un-accepting world.”

“That is just what I am!”

Drakius half smiled, “I see, they made you feel that way, convinced you into living a life you don't want.”

She said nothing, she stared up at him with pleading eye's. Drakius couldn't help but feel sorry for the poor girl, she sort of reminded her of him-self as he grew up. Outcast, hated just because of his skin colour. This poor girl was hated and un-cared for due to similar reasons.

He stroked his chin in thought, “Hm, since that's the case, I don't think you deserve punishment.”

“Re-Really?!”

“Mm-Hm, what's your name?”

“Krystylla.”

Drakius nodded, “Thats pretty. Men, say hello to our new resident.”

As if on cue, the group said “Hello.” Black Out just waved. Krystylla waved back.

“Don't be rude, Black Out!”

“I waved didn't I?!” He grumbled wandering away,

Drakius shook his head, “What am I going to do with him?”

“Excuse me but, what did you mean by that?”

Drakius raised and eye-brow, “Hm? Well, do you prefer the streets? I'm offering you shelter here, you don't have to be a thief anymore.”

Krystylla was still trembling, “Th-Thank you . . .”

Drakius then looked up, the wind suddenly picked up and was blowing harshly.

“Hm, sounds like another rain storm. Everyone inside now, we can tend to the supply's later.”