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Synopsis

Sanctum is the story of a powerful woman who will not give up, no matter how many misfortunes befall her. A novel full of romance, hope, action and with a unique twist on classic superhero tales. The characters alone aren’t your average mary-sues, and with superhero franchises at an all time high, it’s about time they be explored from a new angle!


Chapter 2

Meta Angels

The roaring around them was almost deafening. Who knew one crowd would get so excited over two women fighting? They clashed at the middle of the ring and it was just like any other fight Skye had been in before. This woman may be special, but she had a lot to learn. Once they connected, it was easy for her to get the upper hand. She ducked low and instead of going for the torso or the head, she went for Karmyn’s arm, having it in her grasp before she could twist to get away. Skye used her momentum to pull her off her feet and swing her in a half circle. Her strength was her advantage here as she ripped Karmyn right off the ground and sent her flying.
Skye stood her ground and watched with a grin as Karmyn spun through the air. The girl regained her balance mid-air surprisingly well, using her wings as a buffer to right herself. It was something Skye would have done had she been thrown. She’d have to take that into account next time she tried to throw someone with wings into a wall. Once Karmyn had her balance back she was flying full force at Skye, who’s smile didn’t falter as she held her ground. At the last second, instead of moving aside, Skye ducked and rolled forward in one swift movement, bouncing back to her feet before spinning to face her opponent. Karmyn was banking around and flying back at her just as she gained her footing, landing on the ground this time before throwing a kick towards Skye’s stomach.
Moving quickly, Skye dodged to the side and grabbed her ankle, yanking her forward before delivering a hard punch to her face. She found herself holding back a little, not wanting to fracture this girl’s face in case she had good information. Over time she began to realize people liked to keep their faces intact and were more likely to talk if they weren’t unconscious from a blow. Who would have guessed?
Karmyn was only thrown off balance for a moment before she did a full three sixty spin and nailed Skye in the side with surprising strength, getting her off balance enough to send her across the floor and into the ropes. Not wasting a second, Karmyn flew at her to deliver a few swift blows before Skye could recover. As soon as Karmyn was upon her, Skye used her forearms to block the assault, using her position to get a foot under Karmyn’s stomach and throw her off. She then leapt up off her back and threw herself back into the fight, having her fists blocked by Karmyn’s arms and vice versa as they attempted to throw punches at each other’s, face, chest and arms.
They weren’t getting anywhere like this, so as soon as she saw an opening, Skye went for the first shot she could get and sent a hard blow with her fist to Karmyn’s abdomen, knocking the wind right out of her and causing her to double over. It gave Skye time to lock her hands together and bring her fists down on Karmyn’s head, bringing her chest into Skye’s knee as it came up rapidly.
As she staggered from the strong blows, Skye pushed her back with her foot to get her off balance. Turning rapidly for a round house kick, Skye sent Karmyn flying across the ring and into the ropes where she was swung back into Skye’s arm, clipping her chin and sending her spinning onto her back, cracking her head off the floor. Breathing a little more heavily now, Skye stepped up beside her and placed her foot on her throat. “I’ve got some questions for you, girl.” She growled, pressing her foot into her throat, lowering herself a little so her arms rested on her thigh.
Karmyn choked a little and pushed on her foot, but she didn’t have enough strength to push her off on her own. They locked eyes for a moment and Karmyn stopped her struggling.
“It looks like Karmyn may have lost ladies and gentlemen,” a voice came over the speakers and Karmyn smirked suddenly.
“It’s not over yet.”
Before Skye could react, Karmyn pushed upward, using her wings to add force beneath her. Then she saw a flash of black underneath Karmyn. She was using her dark matter, a power uncommon among most metahumans. It appeared like black energy, able to twist into any shape and it sent Skye flying through the air and out of the ring.
Without hesitation Skye let her wings rip out of her back, tearing through the slits in her shirt, righting her midair much like Karmyn had done earlier. She had been sent to far out of the ring that she was by the booths in the back. Using the wall to push off, she sent herself rapidly back at her opponent. Grinning, she created a war hammer out of ice, the frost cooling the air as readied to take a swing at Karmyn. The crowd cheered as she flew back into the ring.
“Hold up ladies and gents! This newcomer doesn’t seem to know our rules! This is a fist fight only, no powers allowed!”
“Excuse me?” Skye hissed toward the announcer’s booth after Karmyn dodged her blow. She growled and threw the hammer into the crowd, baring her teeth at Karmyn. “You used your powers against me! Or was that not dark matter you used to push me off of you?” Skye landed and leapt at Karmyn, but she dodged aside, bouncing out of her reach.
“You’re a sharp one.” She chuckled, grinning at Skye as she pulled her wings back in, rolling her shoulders as they settle inside her body. “But I don’t need my powers to defeat you.”
“Yeah? I’d love to see that.”
“Then let’s dance.” Karmyn’s grin grew as she lunged at Skye again, faking a blow toward her gut before she used her other fist to try and hit her cheek. Skye dodged easily, simply moving her hips to dodge the fist coming at her stomach and leaning back so she’d miss her face. While Karmyn was balanced forward, Skye took the liberty of spinning low and sweeping her feet out from under her, catching her face with her elbow as she fell forward. Karmyn toppled backward this time with the powerful blow, her cheek now bleeding and bruising from the hard impact. Skye would actually be surprised if her next hit didn’t cause a concussion as she dove forward, bringing herself on top of Karmyn, straddling her as she hit her again and again.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa! It looks like the fights over between these ladies, and we have a new winner!” the announcer called out before two large demon-like creatures came up into the ring, pulling Skye off of Karmyn, while another helped the defeated to her feet.
Skye stopped struggling to get away once she realized the fight was over, and proceeded to shake them off, watching Karmyn as she spat blood onto the floor before wiping her mouth. Instead of looking pissed off and defeated though, the girl suddenly started grinning. She took a few steps over and held out her hand to shake. Skye raised an eyebrow but took Karmyn’s hand anyways and shook it.
“The name is Karmyn Harkin. I think we have some talking to do.”
“Yeah, I think we do.” She answered, raising an eyebrow inquisitively.
“Let’s get out of here. Follow me.”
Skye just nodded and followed, curious as to what this girl had to tell her. She was very strange girl, smiling after being beaten and immediately agreeing to talk to her. Hopefully she’d understand what was up with this chick soon.
Karmyn motioned for her to follow as she climbed down from the ring. The crowd parted to let them through as they made their way to the door Skye had come in. They walked in silence as they climbed the stairs, and then they were back in the musty old bar. The bartender looked up as they entered and smiled, a smile that made her think he knew she’d come back with what she was looking for. Karmyn lead them right to the bar and sat down, motioning him over. “One black Russian and whatever my friend wants, on me.” She nodded to him and returned the gesture before turning to face Skye who shook her head as she hesitantly took a seat.
“I’m good.”
“Suit yourself.” He shrugged and turned to mix Karmyn’s drink for her.
“I haven’t seen you around this part of town before.” Karmyn began, giving her a sidelong look. Skye returned the look and arched an eyebrow.
“It’s been awhile.” She shrugged.
“I see. Do you live here in Sanctum?”
Skye turned a bit more to face Karmyn, who did likewise. “What’s with the questions?” she asked, suspicious of this girl’s motives, after all, she knew next to nothing about her and wasn’t fond of people asking about things they don’t need to know. “I’m supposed to be the one asking you.”
Karmyn laughed and smiled, turning back to the bartender as he set a napkin down before placing her drink on it. “Thank you August,” she took a sip before turning back to Skye; her eyes suddenly alight. “You make a good point you know. Why would you tell me anything about yourself when you don’t know anything about me?” Skye raised an eyebrow as if saying exactly. “Well my friend, I will tell you a bit about myself and in return maybe then you will be so kind as to answer a few of my questions and listen to a proposition I have for you at the end of it all.” Now Skye was really suspicious, not to mention getting a little impatient. She had been told Walter Grey would have information on her brother, and Karmyn was supposed to know him. They shouldn’t be sitting around playing twenty questions like they were at a slumber party.
“A proposition?”
“I’ll get to that in a moment.” She waved away Skye’s question before continuing, “My name is Karmyn but my friends call me Karma. I’ve been living in Sanctum city for quite some time now and have grown to like it here. I run an organization and use the money I earn from here to fuel it, as well as several other means of income. You were right when you said I used dark matter to throw you off me. I never would have had that much strength on my own, so I used my powers to knock you off. You see I’m not your everyday metahuman as I can tell you aren’t either. In fact, I wouldn’t really call myself one at all. I’m from a different dimension where there’s a constant war between demons and angels. I am the product of both of those races combined.”
Skye cocked an eyebrow in surprise, wondering how this could be. The story seemed eerily familiar. In fact it reminded her of herself and her sister, products of two races merged together.
“It’s a long story of how I ended up here, but let’s just say I found my way. Now that you know a little about me, tell me, what’s your name?”
“Skye…” she answered, still gazing at her questioningly.
“Skye, huh? You know I don’t fully believe you, but I’ll take it.” That was odd, no one had ever questioned her when she’d given someone her earth name, after all she’d been using it for centuries now. “Well Skye, how is it that you’ve come to the Shark’s Den tonight?”
“I was following a lead.” She answered simply, not sure of how much she wanted to divulge to this girl she didn’t know.
“A lead? What kind of lead?”
“I’m trying to find someone… someone I’ve been looking for, for a very long time.”
“And why have you come here to find this someone?”
“Because I was told there is a man here who could send me in his direction. A man named Walter Grey is supposed to be able to tell me what I need.” She was suddenly all business as she leaned forward. She had to pray the men in the fightclub had been right, that Karmyn could take her to Walter.
“Walter, eh?” she said, “I know the guy but he’s not here tonight. I can tell you where to find him on one condition.”
Skye snapped back a little. Why would there be a condition? She just wanted information on this guy. “What’s the condition?” There was a short pause as they both accessed each other. Karmyn set her drink down carefully and looked her right in the eye.
“I would like you to join my organization.”
She paused before answering. “And what kind of organization would that be?” She really didn’t have time for this. She was hot on her brother’s trail and she needed to find the bastard.
“The good kind.” She smiled, “I’ve assembled a group of people with abilities like us, metahumans with exceptional powers. I’ve gathered them with one mission and that is to protect the people of Sanctum. This isn’t a good place for your everyday human or metahuman for that matter and the heroes in this city don’t do a good enough job; they’re sloppy and weak. They refuse to kill for justice. All I’m asking you is to hear me out, come meet the others and see what we do, even stay with us for a while, just to see how you like it, with no commitment unless you decide to join us later.” She paused and kept staring into her eyes, almost like she was staring into her mind. It nearly made her shiver for some reason. “So what do you say?” Karmyn was definitely eager, she truly believed that Skye could help them, but this could cut into her time trying to find Luca way more than she’d like. Still, this girl seemed sincere and she had information. Maybe they could help each other out.
“Alright, as long as you help me as well.” She finally agreed, though she was still wary.
“Excellent! Of course I’ll do everything in my power to find who you’re looking for. Now why don’t I take you to our home.” She grinned and jumped up, finishing her drink in a mouthful before laying a couple bills on the bar.
“Why not?” Skye shrugged and smiled. What did she have to lose?
“Then let’s go.” Karmyn was still grinning from ear to ear as she lead them out of the dingy bar and into the night air. Skye could only hope that she’d made the right decision.

It turned out the hero group was called the Meta Angels. A little odd, but it had a nice ring to it. Plus it made sense. They were a group of metahumans, all with hard lives and unimaginable powers. They had come together, one by one to help the one city they called home. They were like guardian angels for Sanctum from what Karmyn told her. Every day they’d go out patrolling, the good neighbourhoods and the bad. They had eyes in almost every security camera in the whole city so nothing went down without them knowing about it. That was all thanks to their resident technopath, Melika, a previously gifted human who had been dealt extraordinary odds by a genetic research facility who saved her life after a horrible accident. Before the accident she was one of the most recommended surgeons in the world, not to mention she had a law degree from Harvard and had been a technology wiz since high school. She was an odd combination of things from the sounds of it, but she practically ran the place next to their leader. Her powers definitely sounded intriguing. A technopath, as Karmyn called Melika, was a person with the ability to manipulate technology to her will with the use of only her mind.
The others were all equally as interesting, but much more confusing. There was Jezebelle, a loud-mouthed girl with the ability to manipulate the perception of others into their worst fears. That’s as far as Karmyn went into it, simply because Skye had too many questions about it. Next was a mute girl, named Mia. She was the product of an experiment gone very wrong. They were just lucky she chose the side of good since she didn’t use to be so nice. Mia was changed at a genetic level, altering her DNA so that she could teleport short distances, which even though it didn’t go much further than a couple meters, would still come in handy. She also had the creepy ability to melt a person’s insides once her fingers pierced their flesh. Skye made a mental note to avoid ever pissing her off. Last but not least was Abigale or Abby as they called her. She was another modified human as well, who was part robot to put it bluntly. She could produce weapons from her arms, shoulders and legs, as well as fly with armoured wings that could fold out from inside her back. She was a bit of a special one, the second youngest of the group, who definitely acted like a child, but when others were in danger it was like she snapped into fight mode. Or at least that’s how Karmyn explained it.
Skye’s thoughts began to wander as their chatting grew less and less. So much had changed in such a short period of time. Not just to the city, but the whole world seemed to have just erupted over a few decades. Skye had never seen that kind of advancement all at once in the couple thousand years she’d lived on this planet. It wasn’t just the surface of the planet that had changed; the people had changed too. The metahumans had crawled up from the dust and decided they wouldn’t hide any longer; they wouldn’t be cast out of society for being different. They were stronger than humans and some of them weren’t going to let them forget it. Many of the major cities across the world were now transformed into major epicenters for metahumans, people with extraordinary abilities that the average human couldn’t even dream of. Most of it was even due to human curiosity, like most of the Meta Angels seemed to be. They created some of these creatures and now that this was public knowledge, governments were being scrutinized across the globe.
While a good number of the metahumans rose up to take over, to take what they believed was their rightful place at the top of the food chain, others rose to stop them. It was a little chaotic at first, and still was, but the dust was beginning to settle on a new millennia. There were groups of heroes in most cities now, keeping the peace and even working with the governments to keep everyone under control. But for every crop of good sheep, wolves continued to prowl at the edges, waiting for a break in the herd so they could strike.
This was the new way of the world, and as much as it was like a fairy tale, it was also a nightmare for many. Thousands of people have died due to metahuman violence in the past decade, and many more are sure to go as well, but in the distance she could see a spark. A spark of hope that justice would always prevail, and that spark would turn into a light for all of mankind to see. The metahumans weren’t just a curse; they were a blessing, a blessing that would eventually light the darkness.
Her thoughts were always like this now. They were about this new world and where she would fit into it. The thought of being any sort of hero didn’t appeal to her much, just like the thought of being a villain seemed very distasteful and reminded her a little too much of her brother. She thought she would stay in between at all times. She had decided a long time ago that she would follow her own path. But fate seemed to have something else in mind the moment she set foot in that fightclub. Much like the heroes, her path was a path of justice, but in the end it was a path of vengeance. When she avenged her family, and did what she could for the people of earth, her purpose here would be over and she could leave in peace. But for now, she had a job to do.
By the time they arrived at the rundown apartment building Skye was getting a little uneasy. It wasn’t a good neighbourhood and this building was nothing like she’d imagined. She’d expected some high-tech downtown plaza and all she’d received was a four story apartment complex out of “please tear me down” magazine.
Karmyn seemed to register her unease as they approached and laughed a little to herself, realizing she’d missed something in her explanation. “This is it, but trust me; you’ll warm up to it once you see the inside.”
Skye sure hoped so.
They slid quietly into the lobby after Karmyn unlocked the door with a key-card of sorts, produced from what seemed like nowhere. The lobby was small, dark and creepy. It looked like hobos had been infesting the place for the last few years, but strangely, it didn’t smell like it.
In the middle of the room was the front desk, which had a layer of dust on it so thick she couldn’t tell what color the wood underneath actually was. Karmyn lead them away, around a corner to a small elevator. The up button lit up after being pushed, but Skye was beginning to question whether this was the safest thing to do. She’d just met this girl and already she was entering an unfamiliar building, going to god knows where, where there could be an ambush waiting to attack. Her fingers tapped impatiently against her thigh and she’d almost decided to make a run for it when the elevator dinged. Karmyn swiped her key card over a censor she hadn’t noticed before and the doors slid open. A brightly lit, very swanky elevator was revealed. It had red velvet walls and gold trim, much like large old fashioned and expensive hotels would have. Karmyn grinned and looked at Skye to gauge her reaction.
“Surprised?” she chuckled.
“Yeah… little bit.” Skye replied, gazing left and right inside the elevator before it dinged to signal they’d waited too long.
Karmyn’s hand shot out and blocked the doors from closing while she motioned Skye inside. “Don’t worry, the rest of the place isn’t this tacky.” She was still smiling when Skye stepped inside and the button was pressed for the fourth floor.
The doors closed and Skye let out a long breath as they began their ascension. She had to believe in Karmyn at this point. Either this was a really good ruse, or everything she’d been told was the truth. She couldn’t sense an ounce of deceit from this girl, so she had to assume she wasn’t being lied to. It was strange though, something made her feel like she could trust Karmyn, even though she’d never met her before; it felt like she had. Sometimes it even seemed like Karmyn did too. Just little things she’d noticed like how the girl would glance at her, how she’d lead her to her home without any prior knowledge of who she was. The only thing this girl really knew about her was her name. Even her powers hadn’t been close to fully realized in her presence.
She was thinking over what powers she’d used in Karmyn’s presence when the elevator stopped, dinging before the doors slid open. The hallway was completely normal as they stepped out into it. It had clean hard wood floors, pale yellow walls and even a few paintings hung up. Not exactly her style but it didn’t scream I’m trying to kill you.
“The decorating can be a little random, but the rooms are all nice and you can have your pick. We all live on this floor. We use the two under us for training rooms and weapon containment. You’ll get a key card that’ll allow you access to all the rooms as soon as I’ve determined you’re not a psychopath.” Karmyn spoke so lightly that she knew she was joking, but one couldn’t be too careful in this day and age. She was probably starting to realize it too, that she really didn’t know a lot about Skye, this dangerous girl who so far could outwit and outmatch her in a fight. She was taking a lot of chances by bringing her into their home, but she had a feeling if they couldn’t handle her in case of an incident, she wouldn’t have brought her here. “And here is Mia’s room. And Abby’s. And little Jezzy’s. Oh and Rosuto’s. Hey, I haven’t told you about him yet. He’s not really part of the team, but he’s a good little helper.” She listed the rooms off as they walked the halls. There didn’t seem to be a lot of doors so Skye had to assume the rooms were fairly large. But then again, this was a good-sized complex. “And this is my room.” She paused at the door long enough to flash Skye a smile before using her card on the door and swinging it open. “Come on in, make yourself at home.”
Skye was waved in to a much more modern room than she’d expected from a girl dressed like Karmyn. It was all blacks and whites, with just a few splashes of color for accents, mostly red. There was a hall closet as they entered, but passed the hall there was a blinding light that drew her. Once you were out of the short hallway you were brought into a large open concept kitchen, dining room and living room with glass windows along the whole side of the living room instead of walls. It was beautiful with a look over the city and into the bay where the sun reflected off its surface as it inched over the horizon.
“Wow.”
“Yeah it’s pretty cool huh?” she chuckled before throwing herself over the back of a black leather couch, making a satisfied sighing noise as she sunk into the cushions.
Skye skirted the couch as she continued to take in the view, a smile slowly growing on her face. She had a good feeling about this place. And her feelings weren’t generally wrong.
“If you like the view from my window you’d love the view from the roof.” Karmyn added from the couch as she shifted into a sitting position.
Skye turned to look at her, raising an eyebrow. Now she was interested.
“Okay, okay, stop begging me with those pretty blues, I’ll take you up there.” Karmyn grinned and bounced up, grabbing the key card she’d dropped on the couch as she headed back to the door. This was one fast paced girl. They had barely been in her room and now they were going to the roof. She couldn’t complain though, she’d feel much safer outside than in. “Well, are you coming?” she called from the hallway.
“Coming.” Skye chuckled as she followed her out, closing the door behind her.
Karmyn was halfway down the hall once she got out, nearly bouncing up and down by an adjacent hallway outside Rosuto’s room. “Whatever you are, you’re damn slow chickie.” She laughed, dancing down the next hallway just as Skye caught up.
She sighed and smiled to herself as she moved to follow. There was a door near the end of the hall that Karmyn passed through, taking the steps two at a time until she reached the door to the outside. “Going up.” She threw the door open and the wind pushed in, swinging the door wide as Karmyn stepped out, walking more calmly now to the edge of the roof.
Skye smiled to the breeze as she followed, her hair whipping around her in waves. It felt good to be outside again. She was tempted to let her wings go and fly off for a bit, just to feel the wind all around her. But she didn’t, she couldn’t, not yet. She followed to where Karmyn was now sitting on the ledge, one knee up, the other leg dangling over the side. She was looking out longingly into the sunset and a pang of loss suddenly hit her. Looking into the sun like that, those red eyes reminded her of her sister, long gone. If Dahlia were still alive, what would she think of Karmyn? She’d probably call her a crazy person with her gallivanting around, but secretly like her weirdness. She missed that, a second opinion, a strong hand to set her straight in times of confusion.
She blinked and realized she was staring when Karmyn turned to look at her. She moved quickly and sat a couple feet from her, legs over the edge as she looked out at the ocean.
“You’re an odd one aren’t you?”
Skye turned and raised an eyebrow at Karmyn. “You’re one to talk.”
They both smiled.
“So what do you think?” Karmyn asked, tilting her head slightly.
“About the building?” Karmyn nodded. “I like it, it has a certain… charm to it.” Skye smiled to herself and she laughed.
“Charm. No one has ever called this building charming before.” Karmyn laughed again, tilting her head back to the sky before settling again, turning more to face Skye. Moving out of her thoughts and into business mode. “Are you ready to tell me yet?”
“Tell you what?”
“Who you are.”
Skye paused for a long moment. That was a loaded question with a lot of answers. To tell her who she was, she’d have to tell her what she was. She looked to the horizon for an answer before she returned to Karmyn, looking at her for a moment longer, just looking, and wondering if she could really trust her. What she saw in this girl’s eyes, this young, charismatic, ready to take on the world kind of girl, was trust. She had to envy her that, being able to trust others so easily. She felt the same way toward Karmyn, but if her many years of life had taught her nothing, it’s that you have to watch out for those you trust. Still, this was a strange innocence that she couldn’t quite shake from this girl she barely knew. If Karmyn really was part angel, maybe that’s what she was sensing.
“I’m a lot of things Karmyn.” She spoke finally, sighing and looking down at her feet. Skye was high up, but heights didn’t bother her. How could you be afraid of falling when you could fly, right?
“I know. But you don’t need to give me your life’s story, just tell me a little; why you’re here, where you’re from, how you got those amazing gifts of yours.” She was referring to her powers. They were amazing gifts, and like she suspected, Karmyn knew there was much more under the surface and was curious. It couldn’t hurt to fill her curiosity just a little.
Still, Skye hesitated. “I don’t know…” she said, trying to figure out what to do.
Karmyn sighed. “Look, if you don’t tell me anything, how can I help you?”
Skye looked at her suddenly. It was true, she needed help, and if anyone could help, it was this strange, over-enthusiastic woman. She didn’t necessarily need to know much about her, but at this point, it couldn’t hurt.
“Alright…” Skye conceded. “Well why I’m here is a long story.” She chuckled, but it wasn’t a happy one and it ended quickly in silence. “But I’ll give you the short version I suppose.” She looked up and caught the excitement that flickered through Karmyn’s wide red eyes. “I’m here, in Sanctum, because more than three thousand years ago, my brother killed my parents.” She paused, loathing slipping into her voice as she continued. “I’ve spent these last years trying to find him and put an end to him because though my people didn’t give me the justice I deserve… I’m willing to take it.”
A long silence followed as Skye stared angrily into the sun, hating the life she’d been dealt, hating the things that had happened, hating things she’d done, the person she’d had to become to keep on living. And then she stopped; she couldn’t let herself give into his tirade. He’d once told her she was always going to be beneath him, always going to be the innocent little princess everyone was scared of. But she was not innocent, and she was not a princess, not anymore. Skye had left her old life, her family, her people and her planet to see to it he couldn’t hurt anyone she loved ever again. But he was right about one thing. They should be scared of her.
“Three thousand years?”
Her head whipped back around to look at Karmyn. She’d nearly forgotten she was there. Skye nodded before taking a breath, calming herself.
“Yes.” While thinking, she’d decided something, that she could tell this girl about herself because she was a good person, and she could trust her. “My real name is Scaela, princess of the Fera of the planet Luminad in a galaxy far from here. I am over three thousand six hundred years old. I am daughter of King Exileus, leader of the people of the goddess Fera and of princess Cruciadiem, daughter of the king and queen of the Scorch. I am the rightful heir to the throne and I had to leave my people in their time of need so that I could see to it that this… this bastard be killed.” She looked back at Karmyn, her eyes hardened with hate. “I am here to kill Sornox of the Scorch, otherwise known as Luca by you earth dwellers, for the crimes of killing my whole family. My parents and my sister.” Her voice nearly broke as she spoke of her sister, but she righted herself and took a breath, looking away so Karmyn didn’t have to see the turmoil boiling inside of her. “This is why I need your help Karmyn. I need to find him and avenge my family because if I don’t, I don’t know how many other families he will destroy.” She looked back at Karmyn who looked struck into silence, maybe shocked by it all. “You have to help me find Walter Grey so he can tell me where Luca is or else all of my leads have gone dry and I’ve spent my life looking for a shadow, a nothing I can’t seem to find.” This time her voice did break and she bit down hard on her lip, cursing her weakness.
“I’ll help you.”
She turned, eyes wide, pleading. “You will?”
“If I didn’t I’d be a pretty lame hero now wouldn’t I?” she chuckled, smiling softly.
“I suppose you would.” Skye laughed a little too, though it was hard to make a smile stick.
“Walter will be easy enough to contact. I’ll call him tonight and see what he knows of this Luca character.” She nodded, her eyes far off, thinking, making a plan.
“Thank you Karmyn, I’m grateful. If there’s anything-“
“Oh there will be, don’t you worry your pretty little head about that.” She grinned and bounced to her feet, looking back at her as she trotted toward the door. “Oh, and Skye?”
She turned just as Karmyn threw something that glinted in the light at her.
“Catch.”
She caught it easily, opening her hand to see what it was. It was a plastic key card with her name and a room number on it. How she managed that, she wasn’t sure if she’d ever know.
“Welcome to Sanctum, Skye.”
Karmyn smiled and disappeared back inside. She listened for a few moments as the girl descended the stairs then was back in the hall, practically skipping back to the elevator. Skye sighed and smiled, something good had come out of this little trip after all.

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Katherine Bogle

Saint John, canada

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