Nicky splendidly chose a scene that tied in with the storyline of the FTI world while introducing a very interesting new character too.
The world is cold and dark to him, for centuries nothing more than a prison of rock and a pin prick of light. He knew of when winter had arrived, for the light grew dim and the rock covered with ice that sliced his skin over and over until he could not move. He knew not how many days pasted nor how many years only the darkness of both his cell and his mind. Every night was the same, fleeting glimpses of his mothers face as she screamed his name. Shivering at the memory of his tiny body being wrenched away from her loving arms. ‘Roman’ whispered through his mind as a chilling drop hit his face. Slowly he opened his eyes, the drop trickling down his cheek like a frozen tear. The tiny speck of light was returning, giving a little warmth to him. Carefully he moved to capture the water droplets upon his tongue. He knew she would return soon, every year she appeared and threw what food she could to him. Roaches, worms, mice, entrails and the occasional bladder of blood. His mother never abandoned him. Always bringing what he needed to survived and trying to illuminate his world by breaking a little piece of the hard rock away. Eventually the whole was large enough for the occasional animal to fall through. He feasted on the warm rich liquid that set his veins on fire.
The years grew to decades, decades to centuries and then one year his mother did not come. He waited, and waited but nothing. Not a whisper, a sound, a faint scent of black forest pine and saffron. Roman became anxious, as the realization hit of her never returning. Erratic thoughts of the horror his mother must be under to keep her away so long. His blood began to boil like molten magma. A fury that burned hotter than his thirst had ever been. She was in trouble, deep down in his soul he knew she needed him. He fixated on the hole so high above his head, each second could be the difference between life and death for his mother.
He needed to get out, no other thought plagued his mind. How to escape? He scanned the rock face again and again as he had done for centuries to avail. With each breath he took the desperation consumed him, deep at the core of his skull the pressure began to build. Growing until he felt he would explode. Closing his eyes, he confronted the fear within himself. His soul desperate to be free, grasped the pressure inside him and with an almighty roar Roman screamed his agony to the sky above. He felt sharp rock cutting his skin like a knife, and the roar of what seemed to be an explosion assaulting his senses. The pressure in his head had gone.
Tentatively his eyelids fluttered open, but instead of darkness he found daylight, blinding his vision. Blinking rapidly Romans eyes tried to adjust to the brutal starkness of the world around him. Gigantic gnarled black pine trees stood all around in a white blanket of snow. Looming like sentinel’s to the miracle that had just occurred. The hole was gone, replaced by a huge creator of rock and snow. Bright red blood stained the pristine white ground around him like an abstract painting. He was free! Finally after so long he felt the sun’s warmth and the crisp breeze against his face, he savored the feeling for only the briefest of moments before his soul jolted the memory of his mothers face. She needed him and before he knew it he was racing through the forest. His muscles straining at their alien movements, but faster and faster he ran. Faint traces of a village assaulted his nostrils, guiding him to the place he hoped he would find his mother’s scent. She needed him and nothing was going to stand in his way until she was safe in his arms once more.
Caleb paced the floor of the Councils chambers, hard leather striking loudly on the marble floor. ‘You need to calm yourself, otherwise we are fucked before you even begin’ Demetri remarked. Fury was rolling off Caleb in waves making Demetri very concerned. Never in his long friendship had he seen Caleb this way and it was chilling him to the bone. “Fucked! Yes we are fucked! I never thought Rhianna was capable of what she had done. To strip one of our own kind of their immortality was the worst fucking thing she could do, so yes Demetri we are fucked!” Caleb hissed
‘Annie did not do this Caleb, you and I both know that Annie was nowhere in the room at that moment, only Anakatrine’ Demetri replied warily, watching for any sign that his words were penetrating Caleb’s mind. Caleb released a huge sigh as he turn to regard Demetri ‘I am certain that any part of Annie is now gone. Not only did Anakatrine take the life I had once known, but she took my heart and soul as well. Annie is the one I fell in love with, the one who saw the monster and had the strength to turn me into the man I am now. To show me that love did exist even for a man with a history like mine but Anakatrine has stolen my reason for living and left me with nothing’ ‘Red is as stubborn as they come and I don’t believe she would let herself go completely, she is there…
Demetri’s voice halted as soon as the doors opened and turned to see the council members file into the room. They waited for the council to take their positions at the table. Demetri desperately searched until his eyes locked with Mara’s, searching her face for any minute feature that would alert him to the council’s intentions.
Her face was grim and tired looking from the many hours it had taken to deliberate the actions required for the situation.
‘Well?’ Caleb demanded forcefully ‘What is your decree?
‘The council has decided to send a contingent of Council Enforcers to undertake a covert mission to trace the origin of the attack and neutralize any threat to the vampire nation. Also we will set up an investigation into the poison used in the attack and how it can be eradicated. The Council will be issuing Rhianna Cullen with a summons to appear in court. She is to be cross examined about the incident in question. If the council decrees that Rhianna Cullen’s actions have gone against the council’s rules and regulations, we will hand down a judgment that will reflect the gravity of the crimes.’
Demetri leapt to his feet growling loudly ‘Like hell you will, anyone who even looks at Annie the wrong way, will not only have to go through me but Gard as well’
‘Sit down and shut up Demetri or you will be banished from the chambers’
“Caleb! What the fuck are you doing? They want Annie to go to prison and you just stand there! Say something damn it’
All eyes gazed at Caleb, feeling the tension rising in the room. Everyone was waiting for the darkness to emerge from the hulking man gazing at the floor. Slowly Caleb turned his cold piercing eyes to Demetri
‘Anakatrine must pay for her actions. What she did that day endangers all of us and I cannot allow her to continue on this path. I will back the council’s judgment, whatever that may be’ Caleb spoke softly
‘For fucks sake Caleb she is your wife! Your soul mate and your queen! You cannot do this. ’
‘Furthermore the council has issued an immediate arrest for Thereasa for the attempted assassination on the Varcolac. She is to be brought here and given her punishment for her crimes. The Council has ruled that she be put to death immediately’
‘Oh you have to be kidding me’ Demetri feverishly laughed ‘You do know that she is Liam mate? That he will protect her till his dying breath. Which means so will the rest of the Varcolac with their immense powers, not to mention the Praetorians. Oh and not to forget that Rafe is Annie’s brother and the Varcolac’s Alpha. There is no way in hell that this will not cause an outright civil war among Weres and Vampires alike’
Demetri looked to Mara to see the silent tears falling down her cheeks. He knew in that moment that there would be no way of steering the council away from this course of action.
‘This must be done Demetri, and we will have to try and comfort Liam as much as possible, but we cannot allow any coven to think we are weak. It will only endanger every life we protect. This will send a clear message to not only the European covens but will also relieve every Vampire in the world to the thought of Anakatrine stripping their immortality’ Caleb’s steely resolve echoed in every word spoken.
‘Then you will have on your hands Caleb the death of every were and vampire that you have sent to war’ Demetri stormed out from the room. Never once had he doubt Caleb, always being by his side no matter what was thrown at them, but now he knew that Caleb no longer his closest friend. Caleb was now one of his most dangerous enemies.
Roman approached the village with stealth. Remembering all too well how people react to his presence. As he slowly circled the village from the shadows, he stole clothes resting on a porch. They were far too large for his emancipated frame but it did not hinder his movements in the least. Scenting the air for his mother all he could find was the stink of humans. Deciding that he was getting nowhere fast, he gathered what little resolve he had and headed up the main street. A first he expected people to scream and run from him but no one turned his way. No one even noticed he was there.
This was nothing like he was expecting, the world had changed drastically during his imprisonment. One shop had metals boxes with vision of people on them. The pictures seemed to be on the other side of the world, with blue oceans and white sand. Sounds of people laughing came from the box. It was all so alien to him. Gazing at the window he realized that there was no reflection of himself in the glass. Just as he pondered it for a moment, the faintest hint of saffron teased his nose. Roman’s head snapped to the direction it came from as he broke into a sprint. The scent got stronger and stronger until finally he stopped at heavy metal door at the front of an old run down factory. Banging his fists hard against the door, there was no reply. He needed to get in there, he needed to get to her now.
The pressure began to build again within him until finally it exploded through his fist. The metal door flew into the factory with a force that startled him. Cautiously he entered the dark damp building. With every step the scent grew stronger. A hatch opened from the floor 20metres ahead of him, two huge men flew from the tiny space towards him. Roman regarded them for only a second before he jumped towards them. The first man’s head fell to the floor before the second man could blink. Roman threw the body of the first man at the 2nd, giving a slight distraction before he claimed 2nd man’s head.
Hovering over the hatch Roman watched and listened for a slightest movement. Nothing, not a whisper. Dropping down into the gloom of the basement, the scent of her overpowered him. He ran headlong towards it. A light turned on at the end of a room, to illuminate a man sitting at a large desk. In his hand he held a gun to Roman. ‘So finally you have arrived to kill me’ he spoke. ‘I thought your Council had forgotten me it has been so long. I suppose that is the arrogance of your western brethren. Still I had thought I had given a better appearance, how disappointing. No matter you are here now. So what shall it be? Are you to arrest me or kill me?’ he snickered
‘Where is my mother?’ Roman voice harshly asked
‘What? Your mother? How the hell would I know? Unless she is one of the whores I use for my pleasure’ a smirk settled across his face at the words
Like lightning streaking across the sky, Roman had the vampire by the throat. ‘I know she was here, I can smell her’ Squeezing ever so slowly, he started to crush his throat until cracks of bone sounded from the man’s spine. ‘Tell me where is she is and I will let you live. Saffron and Black Forest Pine think very carefully on that smell and tell me what you have done to her’
Louis could hardly believe the speed in which his attacker moved. In a fraction of a second he was fighting for his life, and it was not for the reason he anticipated. Maybe it was sub refuse, maybe these mother questions were designed to confuse him enough that the ghost of a man before him could probe his mind for information. The wild unrestrained power rolling off the man gave him the impression that he really was telling the truth, and if Louis didn’t think of something soon he would surely die today. Saffron and Black Forest Pine…he searched his memory trying to put a face to the scent. No one he knew had that smell. Louis decided to change tact and croaked ‘America’
Releasing the pressure on the man’s throat, ‘What?’ Roman demanded. ‘America, the council took her when they came to cleanse the population of rebel vampires’ Louis whispered praying that the man would take the bait.
Roman dropped him to the floor, leaving the man coughing and gasping for breath ‘Tell me everything you know’
As Louis stared at the hard dirt filled concrete floor and smile danced briefly across his face, not only did he just save his life but had found the most powerful vampire in his very long life to carry on where Thereasa had failed.