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Writer roguegold18
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  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
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Sep 12, 2018
12 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!3pET16NMWRAlTs70NIVrposted on PENANA

http://imgur.com/jiLMakzcopyright protection8PENANAHfI1eA9iAS

Image: World Map --^copyright protection8PENANAZDiDxkKk6H

Epigraphcopyright protection8PENANAbG249a5XT1

"Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do." copyright protection8PENANAoAg7BvHKOi

-Pope John XXIIIcopyright protection8PENANADNWWrugcOn

Prologuecopyright protection8PENANAT04W5d6bb0

My dreams are usually still shots. I view them as if I were a ghost, ethereal, yet unable to control my own movement. My dreams offer a 360 degree image in painful clarity, unmoving, yet deeply alive.copyright protection8PENANAdAAuHcZpXO

The dream I am now having started off as usual. One moment I float in a black, completely lightless, void. If I could see my hand it would be almost transparent.copyright protection8PENANAIBBFx39OfY

In an instant the peace is shattered. Chaos, loud and bright, explodes around me. The scene fills my vision: A thunder clap blocks all other sounds. Frozen in time, rain falls all around a forest in the deepest of night. A blood moon provides just enough light to see by. The first figure to draw my eye is a half-woman half-snake creature. A lamia. She has no face, only a black space where it should be, and her hair is only a vague black flowing river, as if someone blurred an image. Her bottom half is a mix of sharp green and blue scales ending where her waist should be. Her top half is naked, but the thing that draws my eye is the claws springing from her fingertips.copyright protection8PENANAb9Zf64tdgE

As soon as I focus on the claws reaching for me the world springs into motion. The lamia's scream pierces the rain filled night even with no mouth. In a split second she lunges for me swiping her knife-like claws at my face. I try to fall backward, but my body is frozen, not from fear, but from some hidden outside force. I brace myself squeezing my eyes shut.copyright protection8PENANAdtfOXX0XmX

A wet thud has my eyes shooting open again. Time is frozen once again. A woman stands with her back to me. Her arms are extended, clutched around an ax, which is currently embedded in the neck of the lamia. The ax has sunken halfway through the neck of the creature. Blood has already spurted from the wound, spraying high into the air. Another loud crack of thunder sounds. In the quiet after, the woman's head turns toward me, and I recognize her- Pythia.copyright protection8PENANAL5znK6rUUH

Chapter 1copyright protection8PENANAS6QSlXWOad

I surface from the world of dreams opening my eyes. I'm tucked into my small bed. I glance up at the one chair in the room to see Pythia reading a book. Her black wavy hair falls partially in her face. The dream comes back to me for a moment. I shove it out of my mind and glance at the cover of Pythia's book. Abusive relationships: Rescuing your loved ones. Pythia glances up at me with her light brown eyes greeting me in her warm voice, "Welcome back. How are you feeling, Cassandra?" She sets the book down on the night stand.copyright protection8PENANAtnGIbEFcC2

I sit up slowly. Pythia stares at my face for a moment. "Was a bad one?" She asks softly. "It was fine." I roll out of bed. She stands with me walking toward the dresser, and opening it. I take my place in front of the floor to ceiling mirror. "The Witch wants to know if you have anything on her mole. Time for another interrogation." Pythia exclaims bitterly.copyright protection8PENANAan8JLTQcNK

My heart is suddenly in my throat. Pythia knows this happens almost every day. I don't know why she bothers to comment about it. An uncomfortable feeling crawls down my spine. "I told you not to call her that!" I exclaim. My voice cracks. I glance up at the camera in the corner of the room. She looks my way without staring at the camera. "Sorry, Cassandra."copyright protection8PENANATGRKycHv1R

We start our daily ritual. I undress efficiently, and just as efficiently Pythia dresses me. I stare into the mirror. My bright green eyes stare back. My straight brown hair is brushed to perfection. I stand and make sure no thread is out of place. They won't have it otherwise.copyright protection8PENANAIufpdq4SDG

Before we leave the tiny room Pythia murmurs, "Jane is on rotation today." My shoulders tighten. I brace myself as Pythia opens the door and escorts me out.copyright protection8PENANAVN43wPWm1K

Jane the Guard is standing right outside the door when we walk out. She stands in parade rest with her rifle at her side. Jane gives us a bored look as she comes to attention, slinging her gun over her shoulder, and walking into the hall. She gives me a pointed look. "And how are you this dreadful morning, lab rat?" My shoulders tense. I give her a empty stare right back. "Jesus, you're such a fucking robot." She sends me a disgusted look.copyright protection8PENANA7VqYFZbnvc

Pythia starts walking down the hallway toward the Interrogation Room, and I follow right beside her, Jane walking behind. "I will be glad when I can be rid of the both of you. You know how much I love babysitting duty, but I have more important things to do then stare at walls all day." Pythia interjects sharply, "At least you get paid for what you do."copyright protection8PENANAedHuDUUHMx

"You're right, babe. And what sweet, sweet cash it is! Its a pity you both don't have the privilege since you're Corp property and all." Jane trails off for a minute, thankfully.copyright protection8PENANAoIlsLRhIej

"Hey! You know what?" Silence from Pythia and I. "You're worse than a robot, 151! 'Cus we've got a real one standing right here!" Jane gestures to Pythia. I peek at the robot in question. Pythia's face has turned to stone. "At least this one talks!" Jane guffaws, and when I glance at her, her face turns into a sneer. The coldness in her eyes turns my blood to ice. I inch closer to Pythia. ((**Note to Self: Revise- Too Forced**))copyright protection8PENANAtleTkTTvgo

Finally, we make it to the Room. I'm filled with dread just at the sight of the distinctive red doorknob. All three of us walk into the room taking our designated places. I am the only one who sits down at the lonely table. Jane the Guard does her job and stands by the door. Pythia, too, goes eerily formal when we are in the Room, as do I. Pythia stands at the edge of the table within reach of me in case something should happen. It is not out of the ordinary for blood to be drawn in this room.copyright protection8PENANAIvCpZfjUX6

All three of us wait, deathly silent, for Her... the Witch. When she finally enters the room through another door across from the table I can't help, but read her name-tag as I always do: Director of Vigilance Vindhlér. Fitting for a nightmare of a woman such as she.copyright protection8PENANAsmONOAF6jT

I don't think Vindhlér owns anything but black. Today, she wears a striking all black suit. Her hair, shorn short at the shoulders, is also a raven colored black. Her eyebrows permanently drawn sharply over deep brown eyes. The Director moves with a fluid grace promptly to the edge of the table directly in front of me. A man comes in behind her in a sharp suit and holding a HoloPad. Vindhlér ignores him, looking down at me tersely saying, "Well? Have you found the mole, Subject 151?"12Please respect copyright.PENANA6pm1lVFhdw
Pythia speaks before I can, "Director Vindhlér, the dreams are fluid. The signs could mean many things." Her voice is passive and inanimate. In these moments I can't tell that Pythia has any feelings at all, but I know that's the point.copyright protection8PENANApMfDGzxz5O

Vindhlér strikes back quickly, "I know that-" She rounds on me. "So, what did you See?"copyright protection8PENANAYNkAckQweO

"A forest in the darkest night. Thunder and rain cloud the air. A blood moon provides light to see by." Indistinct emotion overwhelms me and I pause to take a few deep breaths. The Director looks impatient, but she knows not to push me. "A lamia with no face screams, reaching out to claw me, and I can't move." The same fear as in my dream comes back haunt me. I see Vindhlér's eyes light up as she senses it. She peers at my face intently, and I shudder. "I close my eyes right as the lamia reaches me, and I hear a thud."copyright protection8PENANACHaruZ1a5l

The Director's face is confused, "A thud?" She usually waits until the end for questions. Surprisingly, Jane speaks up from her post by the door. She smirks at me and drawls, "It's prob'ly more like a thwack. A blade smacking flesh tends to sound that way." I notice something then in the Guard's eyes when she gazes at Vindhlér... derision? Then Jane's usual cold stare is back on me.copyright protection8PENANA3u7i8NSGnX

The Director glares at Jane until she goes back to staring straight ahead. "Sorry, Ma'am. It won't happen again." Jane apologizes. Well... I've never seen her do that before.copyright protection8PENANAulLOVY9Mun

I go back to narrating. "A woman holds an ax with its head buried in the neck of the lamia. There was blood everywhere." I pause.copyright protection8PENANAA75LyAKAKP

It must've been for too long because Vindhlér moves closer to me. "And? Did you see the woman's face?" I feel sick just thinking about it. I slowly move my eyes to look at Pythia. Emotion breaks through her mask. A frown fills her face and her eyebrows tighten. The Director stares at Pythia for a long moment. A small grin fills her face. "So. What does it all mean? And what the hell is a lamia?"copyright protection8PENANAVNk26tQY9d

I see Pythia let out a breath. This is one of her true jobs. She was made not just to be the prefect caretaker for me, but to be the best interpreter for my dreams. In her head lies extensive research on the meanings and symbolism of all kinds of dreams. It only takes her a minute to put the pieces together and form an answer.copyright protection8PENANAVDyHsuFBh9

Pythia answers the easiest question first. "A lamia is a half-woman, half-snake demon from Greek mythology. Today, they are rare creatures that prey on children, and live near bodies of water. To see one means a woman nearby is untrustworthy, or cutthroat, and they are draining your life-force or resources." The Director's smile grows wider. "The forest signifies a transitional phase growing closer, and the storm too, symbolizes rapid change. The blood moon means hardship is near."copyright protection8PENANAZRg5DPFnpp

"Then we don't have long to act?" Vindhlér asks. "You are aware that Cassandra's prophecies always occur within hours of the dream?" Pythia shrinks a little as she realizes she made a mistake. Vindhlér's face is a twisted grimace. She puts her hand to her face. "Subject 151 was only given that name because the psychologists said she would be way too fucked up to tell us anything she Sees without it. Likewise, the only reason you are here is to make sure 151 doesn't go off the deep end!" By the end of the sentence Vindhlér is shouting. Dead silence follows her proclamation. I've sunken deep into my seat, and by the last word my face is almost touching the table I'm cringing so hard. My face is hot with humiliation and anger. The Witch continues, quieter this time, "Never, say that name in my presence again, or I will just bring a computer in here and interpret the dreams myself."copyright protection8PENANAdldyoj1eha

The Director bends over with both hands flat on the table, and stares longingly into its surface. "Now where were we?"copyright protection8PENANAsdO1VhwATN

Pythia begins again stiffly. "The fact that I-" She stumbles over the words. "I murder the lamia with an ax shows a deep seated anger toward whoever the lamia represents, along with destruction. Whether the destruction of that person, or something else." A pause. "That's all."copyright protection8PENANAJSF0XiPDFf

Vindhlér stands and starts to pace. The room is silent for several minutes except for the soft tapping of Vindhlér's shoes on the tile. "Mark." I look up in surprise at the name. I'd forgotten the man was in the room. The Assistant stands in the corner tapping away at his HoloPad. He glances up also. "Yes, Director of Vigilance?" He replies.copyright protection8PENANA2TBgrZzseR

"Prepare the Vigil to mobilize." Vindhlér looks almost giddy with delight. "After all the trouble the mole has caused, the delays, and the strife, today it ends. Somehow they've been finding out about our little Seer's dreams." She looks over at me, and walks over. I tense when her hand reaches out and pets my head patronizingly. I gasp when her hand makes a fist, yanking on my hair. Vindhlér's mouth is pinched. "Finally the spy will be dead, and we can crush the other Corps once and for all." She frees my hair and walks for the door.copyright protection8PENANADG5sH0JeAC

I don't know where the loathing I feel comes from as I watch the Director of Vigilance walk away. All I want is for her to leave the room so I don't have to ever see her again, yet, an overpowering feeling hits me right as she is opening the door. "You're wrong! The lamia is not the mole!" I blurt out. I don't know how I know, but the spy won't be the one dying today. I desperately need Vindhlér to listen. Like a punch in the gut, I know she won't even before she turns around, and I see the look of utter disbelief on her face.copyright protection8PENANA1kvGltZb6F

Like any prey when faced with a predator barreling down on it I try to run. I quickly stand causing the chair to make a loud skidding sound and tip over. The Witch is already halfway across the room. I dart backwards, stumbling over my feet as I do, and I don't even make it to the edge of the room before Vindhlér has be by the throat and up against the wall. I choke on the amount of fear circling inside of me. My eyes fill my face and so do tears. "I-I-I'm s-sorry. I-I did-d'nt mean-n it-t!"copyright protection8PENANAq9y1p01Zsf

The Witch's nose is suddenly right on my neck. I feel her take a deep breath in, and I shudder at the disgusting feeling. "P-please." I whimper. I make a point not to look at Pythia or Jane. Pythia would only want to rush to my aid, and Jane, well she would probably only pity me my nearing fate. Even she would fear the Witch's powers. Said woman looks deep into my eyes. I sense her eagerness to get on with it, but she holds back for a moment. "Your job is to See, Seer. You know that. But it seems you've forgotten." Her voice has gone extremely deep, and her eyes now look as if flickering shadows are inside them. I know if I were to look down at her hands shadows would be coalesced around them as well.copyright protection8PENANAQ6VVyDWiRx

By breath comes in hiccups now. I know what comes next and I can't help myself. As the Witch's hand reaches up to cup my face I glance over her shoulder at Pythia. I wish I hadn't. Tears are running down her face, and she clutches her hair wildly in two fists clawing at her head. I know she wants nothing more than to help me.copyright protection8PENANAVTRqzcUzn1

I take a deep breath in the next moment. As if I were to be diving to the bottom of the deepest lake in the world. I make my peace. I accept the inevitable. The Witch's hand touches my face, and the world goes black.copyright protection8PENANAeOaNQANRzg

Comments ( 2 )

I.K.D Tigerlily - This is so cool! I love the name Pythia:) You're a really good writer!
3 days agoreply

roguegold18 - Thanks! This is my first time sitting down and really fleshing out one of my stories. You're my first comment! ;) <3
3 days agoreply