At the library the mood was rather gloomy, since the derailing of the Train Kalab had not made contact. Yanko had tracked his travel across the country and then suddenly it all stopped when he would have been within six hours of the library. They hadn't panicked just in case he had gone dark to avoid suspicion as he came to the city yet he should have arrived by now.
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"Kandra we need Malic, we have a few day before Megan gets into town and we need him fighting fit. Without Kalab we are really going to struggle if we are attacked. Go bring Malic here and while your at it go by the shop and grab some milk." Yanko tapped her on the shoulder then walked out of the room. He wasn't his usual self, all these attacks were clearly affecting him and Kandra was concerned at how long he could suppress it all.
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Standing up from the chair she had occupied for most of the night before she stretched feeling a slight ache in her left hip which she discovered had taken a bit of a beating recently. Uthar was sat at a table looking up to see her stretch he watched as she winced momentarily.
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"Your hip playing you up again?" He called over. He had concern in his eyes as he caught her gaze.
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"Yeah, been a bit tender since the train, I had hoped it would have disappeared by now but no such luck." Shrugging her shoulders she tried to make nothing of it but Uthar wasn't that easily put off.
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"You need to tell Yanko, you know he'll kill you himself if that injury puts us all in danger." Holding her attention for a moment he felt like the older brother she never had. "Kandra look we all know how dire things are." He continued. "Malic will be ok but in the mean time we have a world to keep safe. If we don't do what we have to then Malic will perish with the rest of us." He was right and she knew it but that didn't make it easier to hear.
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"I have a duty to fulfil." Her reply was sharp and as soon as she had finished she had regretted it. "I'm sorry I'm just a bit on edge." She reasoned.
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"On edge why? This is something you've been doing longer than any other guardian, this isn't the first time the Sons of Oris have had us herded up." His words reminded her of the last time, it felt like a life time ago and in human terms it actually was more than one life time. "We will get through it." Uthar said closing the book he had been reading.
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Realising that her reason was not as dire as she had first thought she shrugged again. "Malic, I can't stop thinking about him. Since I met him he has been this nagging in the back of my head. I don't understand why and its throwing me off." She looked at Uthar for an answer but he just sat there.
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"I can tell you why." Came a familiar voice from the door way. Malic stood there soaked from head to foot. "Yanko thinks I'm someone reincarnated." He added as he took a few steps into the room toward her. Kandra looked at him puzzled and all he could do was stare at her. "Someone by the name of Honsi. A Priest, not just any priest, but the high priest, the one who gave his life to protect the other Nefilites." He looked at Uthar with a smile then turned his attention back to Kandra. "If I am him, this Honsi, then it explains this unexplainable draw we have. You were his wife, my wife, I don't know if I can believe it, but Yanko seemed absolute in his thinking."
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The room fell silent for a moment until Yanko rushed into the room. "Ah Malic glad you're here we need to make a start." He exclaimed with some excitement.
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"A start on what exactly?" Questioned Malic a little concerned by the over excited tones in Yanko's voice.
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"Training!" He exclaimed as he turned his attention to Uthar. "We need you training so you can help us better defend the Necklace, also I have a feeling the Sons of Oris do not realise there are now eleven Nefilites not just ten, this gives us an advantage." Keeping his gaze on Uthar, Yando smiled at him which gave Uthar a rather unsettling feeling. "You get to train him first." He finished with before disappearing back the way he came.
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The three of them stood in the room silent, a pin would have been heard if one dropped and for a moment no one dared move. Suddenly there was a loud banging on the library doors which even brought Yanko back into the room. Uthar looked around the room and no one said anything, another knock sounded. "I'll get it then shall I." Said Uthar as he turned and headed for the main doors. The others simply waited.
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A third knock was cut short as the heavy doors were pulled inward allowing the morning light to flood the main hallway. Unsure who it would be Uthar had shouldered his sword in its sheath across his back. As he stood there with the sun in his eyes he could just make out the outline of two figures. He threw back the doors allowing him time to draw his sword.
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"Is that anyway to greet family?" He heard someone say. It was a voice he had not heard in a long time, but it was instantly recognisable. Kalab had arrived.
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Yanko had managed to find his staff as well as a set of balanced daggers for Malic, if it was a fight coming at least this time they were armed. Kandra crouched behind the chair with her bow drawn ready to unleash a hail of arrows if anyone beside Uthar came through the door. The waiting seemed to last forever then as the door began to open everyone prepared to strike.
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"Stand down guys." Called Uthar as he opened the door "We have visitors." He said as he stepped into the room followed by Kalab and then by Megan. The fear and concern melted from Yanko's face when he saw his two friends were safe and he allowed himself a smile.
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After a brief introduction to Malic everyone settled onto chairs to hear what had happened. Kalab started first. "I got close to the city, but I had a feeling I was being followed, even on the train. I messaged Megan to let her know and she told me she would meet me today. However she booked tickets for a few days time to throw off anyone tracking her movements. When I got to a few stops outside the city I got off last minute so who ever was following me couldn't get off the train. I discovered there were four of them on the train, each one of them rather upset that I was off the train. From there I headed to the old lumber mill to wait for Megan, I didn't want to chance messaging as I think our phones are being hacked. How I don't know but it's the only possible explanation." He stopped to allow Megan her chance to speak and after telling everyone her uneventful trip down she began talking about what happened at the mill.
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"We thought the mill would have been a black spot for cell phones but it turns out as as much as we hoped. A well armed team was sent in to flush us out but luckily we were already one step a head. We had moved out of the mill and to a high rise overlooking it. We left our phones there, where they tracked our signals to. They left empty handed except for our phone which should have exploded sortly after they left the mill. We didn't stick around to find out." She took a swig of her water canteen she had on her hip.
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Yanko grabbed his phone and smashed it on the floor. "They've been tracking us for months and it's my fault." He said looking at the floor. "My phone went down a few months ago and instead of buying a new one like I normally would, I took it to get looked at. "Why didn't I just buy a new phone." He looked defeated and as he hung his head low no one really knew what to say.
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"Yanko, who looked at your phone?" Asked Malic having an idea.
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"A guy in a store in town, I haven't been passed there since." Suddenly getting the same idea as Malic he got up and grabbed his staff. "I think we have somewhere to be." He said with a renewed sense of purpose.
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It didn't take everyone long to be ready and they were quickly out of the library and heading across town on foot. With their weapons concealed, except Yanko's staff which he used as though he needed it to walk, they were all prepared for trouble. Yet trouble seemed to stay away, they knew they were being followed and watched but it would take a small army to bring them down now. Six Nefilites out in the open, armed, it wasn't as simple as out numbering them, they had to over power them too and that would never be easy.
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Once they reached the store Yanko was looking for it came as no surprise that it was empy, boarded up and had a to let sign in the window. This didn't improve Yanko's spirits but it did make everything clear, this was a game the Nefilites didn't even know they were playing and they were suddenly very much on the back foot. Uthar put his hand on Yanko's shoulder.
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"It's ok mate, we now know how they have been tracking us, it won't happen again. All we have to do is try and get one step ahead of them and I think I have a plan." Uthar's smile was some what frightening but Yanko welcomed it. A plan was more than they had at the moment. So without hesitation they rushed back to he library.
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Malic made his excuses to leave and headed home, he needed to rest and felt a little out of character. As he walked home he felt his head begin to throb as though a severe migraine was setting in. When he arrived home Chris was sat in the living room looking at a letter. "What's that Chris?" Asked Malic as he slumped onto the sofa.
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"Ah it's a letter from my dad?" He said a little bit surprised. "It was in the mail this morning, no stamp or address so it was hand delivered." He added looking at Malic with a panicked look on his face.
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"What does it say?" Asked Malic showing a little interest in the note.
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"I'm not supposed to say anything about it to anyone. I thought he was dead but turns out he's been off fighting this ancient secret war." He tried to laugh about it but he couldn't and instead choked a little.
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Malic suddenly had a sickening feeling in his stomach. He remembered Chris saying he was one of two brothers, the other older much older and that his father was an only child. Beyond that he didn't know much about his family. "Secret war? Between who?" Asked Malic trying not to sound to interesed.
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"He doesn't say, just that it's in my blood to join him." Malic had heard what he hoped he wouldn't.
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"Chris, I have to ask you something." He said and his friend nodded. "Have you ever heard of Oris?" Chris's face dropped and that told Malic everything he needed to know instantly.
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"Oris? Why do you know about Oris?" Chris asked the fear in his eyes wasn't to be ignored.
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"I'll tell you, if you tell me what it means to you." Malic replied, he had to be careful with what would be said.
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"My grandfather used to go on about him all the time, something about a cursed bloodline. I never really listened, I thought he was just crazy." Chris shifted on the chair. "What do you know?"
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"Was your Grandfather born in a family of just men?" Asked Malic with panic in his voice.
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"Yeah, he was one of four and the other three only had boys, and my dad and his brother had boys. I thought nothing of it. Is it important?" He said looking at Malic as he stood up and grabbed his phone.
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"Kandra we have a problem, can you bring the others to my place and bring the book." There was a short pause as Malic listened to Kandra speak, Chris tried to listen in. "Ok that's fine but this is important and I need you all here as soon as you can." He put the phone down and looked at Chris. "I'm really sorry but I need you to see something and you may not like it."
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Thirty minutes later Malic opened the door and invited the others into his home. Yanko carried the book as well as his staff in plain sight. As they entered the front room Chris stood up looking at Kandra. "What are they doing here?" He asked suddenly agitated.
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"They can help you understand what your father has written to you about. They had to explain it to me to."
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After almost an hour talking Chris felt like his head was going to explode. He turned to Malic. "So you are also part of this Oris bloodline then." He said matter of factly.
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"Not quite." Malic answered looking at the others. "We are all part of the Nefi bloodline." There was a sudden rush of colour to Chris's cheeks as panic began to set in, from what he had been told the Oris and Nefi were enemies and now he was alone in a room full of them. "Calm down Chris, no one here is going to hurt you." Responded Malic as his friend began to breath rapidly. "You are my friend and that matters more than some bloodline fued." He added as he rested his hand on his friends shoulder.
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"What is important is that we now have a name to work with, a bloodline to follow to help us save our friends." Added Yanko as he closed the book and looked at Chris. "This is a fight much older than any other, there have been casualties down the ages. We were attacked a few days ago on the train that derailed in the tunnel. If your father and brother are caught up in this we will try and help them as best as we can. I wish I could promise they would stay unharmed but I can't." Chris nodded as he tried to make sense of it all.
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Suddenly a creak on the stairs caused everyone to freeze, Malic looked at Chris who shrugged knowing the question he wasn't asking. Shifting toward the stairs Malic looked up and saw Kate pressed against the wall trying to stay as still as possible. "It's ok everyone." He said relaxing, he signalled for Kate to come down and as she did the stairs creaked. "It's Kate." Everyone else in the room sat back down. They all watched as Kate walked into view starting with her feet and working up to her cascading blonde hair. When she reached the bottom Malic hugged her and whispered in her ear. "How much of that did you hear?" He asked.
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"All of it." She whispered back.
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Walking her to the kitchen he told her that talking about it all would put her and everyone else in danger and she understood. Malic offered her to come with them to the Library when they left and dispite her general dislike to books she agreed.
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Once everyone was settled again and talk rolled on to less apocalyptic topics Malic suggested they make a move as there was still one thing that needed to be done before the end of the day. As the others walked back Kandra slipped away.
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She didn't have to look far to find a drunkard face down in the alley. She searched his pockets and found nothing of value, a wallet with no ID, no pictures, just a few tatty notes and a hand full of small change. Without a second thought she grabbed the necklace and pressed it into the mans chest. He barely murmured a thing as his life was sucked from him and his beating heart consumed. Once it was done the sixth stone lit up and she headed back to the Library.
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The others had made good time across town and reached the safety of the old library just as Kandra reappeared. Once inside Malic sat down with Kate and Chris and tried to explain everything and more importantly what they could do to help. Chris was naturally concerned as he still couldn't get over the stuff he had been told. As the evening went on everyone was busy reading or researching.
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"Got you!" Shouted Kalab as he jumped up out of the computer chair. Everyone looked straight at him with both fright and confusion. "Oh sorry, I just finished the family search on Chris and I've found a warehouse rented out by his father just outside the city." He beamed from ear to ear as Yanko smiled and lifted his thumbs to him.
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"Right so tomorrow we search the warehouse." Said Yanko as he looked at Chris. "If your father is in there then we will get him out safely and explain everything to him." Yanko left the room.
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Chris gave Malic of look of hope hen got up and headed for the door. "I just need some air." He said to everyone. Once out side he removed a phone from his pocket, unlocked it with his code and pulled up a number from his call list. The dial tone rang a few times before a voice answered.
"Hello Dad, they bought it, they will hit the warehouse tomorrow." He ended the call and paced along the steps of the library for a few minutes.
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The door opened and Malic appeared. "Everything ok?" He asked and Chris nodded with a faint smile. "Good, come on lets get some sleep before tomorrow." Malic led his friend inside to a room at the back of the building which Kalab and Uthar had made into a temporary night room. Kate was already in there, dressed in a winter set of pajamas.
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"I know not my best look." She joked as the boys smiled at the green and red christmas inspired clothing. She gave them both a hug before climbing into her make shift bed. Chris undressed before getting into bed. Malic simply lay on top of his, he felt something in his chest, a tightening that he couldn't explain. After a few moments the sensation passed and he too was asleep. Kandra looked on from the shadow in the corner of the room, there she remained all night.ns22.214.171.124da2