"Tenebris Intra" ("Darkness Within") by Angel O'Connor

 

“Why am I even here?” Angelus asks herself as she sulks in a corner of the ballroom. Hidden by the shadows of a black marble column, she sits in a puff of tulle, satin and lace. A discarded mask lies at her side, staring at her with innocent but mischievous shaped eyes. Why am I even at this stupid masquerade? Even if it is mine for my sixteenth birthday, no one cares if I’m here!” Then a random thought occurs to her. “Man! I sound depressed. But then again I’m the daughter of Hades. So…” Angelus’s thoughts trail off to horribly normal things. Death, destruction, murder, blood… Normal things. Suddenly, a shadow, darker then the corner she’s sitting in, casts over her. Angelus looks up from her knees to her brother, who’s standing with his arms crossed. Looking dark but handsome at the same time, (even if it’s her brother), down at her black and white clad form, Reaper says quietly to her “You’re projecting your thoughts rather loudly, sister.” Angelus gives him a pained look and puts her head back down to rest on her knees. He walks over to her, moves her mask to the crook of her lap, and sits down beside her. Gently nudging her, he asks, “What’s the matter, parvulus?”  Why do you not celebrate this joyous occasion?” “Because,” whispers Angelus “ I am not enjoying this ‘jubilant’ festival. I feel no different then before this came about.” Reaper sighs and lays his head against the wall behind them. “We’re going to start this old conversation again? It’s not necessary. As I have said before, they will come to you. You just have to be patient.” Angelus turns to glare at his relaxed form. “Yes, we are. And you should have no say in this. You’ve had your powers for two years now! I haven’t had a chance to even know what mine are…I’m sixteen now. Something should have at least changed. Et scire suus verum.”  “But complaining about it won’t do anything for you, now will it?” asks Reaper sympathetically. It’s Angelus’s turn to sigh, answering “No. I guess not. But, I have no way of finding out why I don’t have them. Father will think I’m questioning his power, and mother will agree with him,like always, so there’s no chance of even really getting into that arguement.” Reaper says “ Don’t worry too much. The year is young yet. Go to sleep, and think on it. Somnia habeant responsum, parvulus.” Reaper leaps to his feet softly and turns to help Angelus up. She takes his hand and brushes off her party dress. They both return their mask in place, Reaper: a skull’s eyes and nose and Angelus: goth black and white raven fairy,with feathers draped along the side. Taking Reaper’s offered arm, they glide across the dance floor full of guest, in the direction of their father and mother’s thrones. As they near the pedestals, Hades and Persephone rise from their seats to greet their children. Reaper bows while Angelus curtsies, both saying together “Hello, mother. Father.” The parents both smile, one warm and the other forced. Hades replys “Children. Are you enjoying your masquerade?” Reaper answers “Yes father.” Angelus smiles somewhat genuinely and nods. “Much so, but I am exhausted from all the dancing. May I retire for the evening?” Hades narrows his eyes and goes to say no, but Persephone touches his arms softly. She says “Dear, she does look rather tired.Why not let her go get a little beauty sleep?” Hades wrinkles his nose,muttering “Not like she positively needs it but...” but then sighs wearily,looking at her leaning against her brother. Answering finally he says ‘Bene, puella. Donec veniat frater vester vobiscum. Est quod patet?”  Both nod,answering “Crystallum!”Waving hs arm to dismiss them, the whole crowd, stops dancing, moving to either side of the dancefloor. In unison, the whole room bow or dips into a curtsy, saying “Vale, regia filii.” Nodding to each person, the siblings continue down the line until they reach the end of the hall. There turn to blow their parents a kiss, and leave the spaceous room. Once the door is closed, they smile devilishly at one another and say together “Race you!” Then they take off down the hall way sprinting,seeing who can get to Angelus’s room first. Reaper hops a guard as Angelus drops to her knees to slide under the same guard. Before rolling into a saumersault to continue running. Reaper pivots off a near collumn to gain distance past Angelus, but she’s ahead of him mentally and flicks the whip she had concealed as belt, tangling his feet. Giggling as she runs past him, she blows him a kiss,calling “Who’s powerless now, frater?” Growling visciously as he tries to untangle himself, he cusses at her in Latin, finishing with “Ego adepto vos!” Angelus reaches her door way a split second before Reaper does, with her whip across his shoulders. She says “ I won!” Reaper chuckles and replies “So you have...Cheater!” Angelus giggles and sticks out her tongue, childishly. “You never said I couldn’t use my resources...” Her brother shrugs and sighs. Reaper opens his arms and Angelus hugs him good night. Reaper weaves his arms on her shoudlers and messes up her hair,then jabs her in the waist, her most ticklish spot. She leaps back and smirks, wrinkling her nose as she playfully shoves him. He says “Got you.Now go to bed. Bonum nocte.” She nods, yawns and goes into her bedroom, saying through mid-yawn ,“Bonum nocte, frater.” She collapses into bed, dress and such,  immediately falling into a dream.

 

    “Holy mother of Hades! Why am I going so fast?!” Angelus takes in her surroudings,looking left to right,seeing blurred landscape across her vision. Then her sense of hearing kicks in about the same time her sense of feeling does. She then realizes she’s on the back of her stallion, Inferos. Patting the beloved horses neck she ask “Where are you taking me boy?” Just then, she hears growling and panting, like the sound of wolves racing eachother. Looking down, she spots one white and one black blur, instantly recognizing her to wolves. The white one is the boy, Mortem and the black one is Vita, the female of the couple. Growling at them, she says to them, “ Mortem et Vita, calcaneum! Statim!” Quickly pulling Inferos to a complete halt, she glares down at her wolves. “Quod suus inepta moribus! Prohibere eam! Nunc.” Sighing, she checks to see what supplies she has,seeing as she’s somehow on a quest. Checking her saddle bags, she sees ambrosia, a couple apples, a knife, extra clothes, her traveling cloak, leather fingerless gloves, and an extra bow and quivers. Rolling her shoulders she feels the familiar weight of her to swords ,Malum and Impiorum, resting between her shoulderblades. Mentally checking off the things she has, she looks down at what she’s wearing: black leather trench coat, black tank top, leather belt with a flame shaped hook, black skin-tight jeans and calf-high leather,steel-toed, and light weight boots. Smoothing down her hair, Angelus even notices she’s rocking the half up/half down hair-do, with her curls rolling down her back.  Slipping on her traveling cloak, Angelus hooks the scythe shaped clasp under her chin, and pulls up the hood to conceal her face. Angelus fixes the holes in the back of the cloak to fit over her blades and slides her hands into the fingerless gloves. Flexing her fingers for a perfect fit, she smirks ,thinksing of what this could possibly mean. She’s sees that her wolves are staring up at her, tilting their heads, like “Whatcha wanna do, domina? Where do ya wanna go?” She answers their unheard question aloud, “Where ever my concious takes me, I guess. Come along.” Reining Inferos in, she flicks the reins, sending her horse into a straight canter across the plane.Blowing past dead shrubs and wilting trees, she scans her mind for any ideas. Closing her eyes for four seconds, she’s suddenly in the Fields of Asphodel. Shaking her head, she quickly realizes she just gained the power of shadow-travelling. Slightly naseasiated , Angelus slides off her steed’s back and gives herself a second to gain back her stomach and balance. Glancing to her left, she sees the River Lethe, with souls drinking from it’s waters, and all come out looking the same. A normal, bored look across their faces, they come out from the other side of the river. Some people walk through the fields, hand in hand, as if in the country, not the Underworld.  Others lazily sits among the flowers, gazing up at the sky with either a slightly crazy, hallucinating look, or rather the look of someone who is gazing at the most beautiful blue sky they’re ever seen. (Even if it’s not there…) Slightly worried for herself, and her father’s peoples’ safety if and when they notice she’s there, she climbs back onto Inferos and gathers up the reins again. Whispering in his ear again “ Eamus. Inferos, eamus.” Inferos blows a puff of smoky shadows from his nose and shakes out his mane. Trotting onward, Vita and Mortem join Angelus from lapping at the river. Nosing Mortem’s side, Vita growls playfully and nudges him onward. All four of them take off, this time trying eight seconds, and appear in the Land of Erebus. Stopping for another second, Angelus looks up and sees the sheer face of mountain. Leaving her horse at the bottom, she climbs onto one of her pony-sized wolves, Mortem, and shadow travels on him up to the top. Over looking a small valley, she goes to the largest hut and leaps off her wolf.  Riding through, she notices that she sees no other people in the village, but more then 20 huts. Going to the center of the little town, she pulls to a stop in front of a hut larger then the rest. Circling around the building for guards, she sees there is none; but there are littered skulls and skeletons, strewn around it. Pulling to a stop when they reach the front of the small house again, Angelus tells Mortem to stay and guard, just in case.  Yanking Impiorum free from it’s sheath, she strides into the building, not even sure what to expect. But sitting in the middle of the room is an elderly looking man. Smoke billows from the fire in the middle of the room; few rays of light penetrate the hut, even from the door. More skulls lie across the room, piled in corners, on top of stakes, potions and bottles line the wall. Finally she sees a purple and black clad figure, facing the wall. ”Qui sunt vobis?” Angelus ask, while approaching the figure, sword tip pointed at the thing. She hears a mans voice say” Scitis qui ego sum.” She guesses immediately, “Messor?” The man stands to face her. Dropping the hood of his robes, the stranger reveals the face of her brother, Reaper. Angelus gasps and takes a step back, covering her mouth. ”O mea! Quam?” Making the robes disappear, he is clad in his usual clothes: black silk dress-shirt, dark dress pants, simple black cloak and shiny leather fancy shoes, he ends the illusion. “ Yes. I had a feeling you were going to do something like this, so I let it happen.” Angelus looks more confused then before, and tilts her head in a bird like manner. “What do you mean? ‘Do something like this?’ What am I even doing? And how did I get here?” Reaper puts a calming hand on her shoulder and she drops into a crouch. Reaper follows suit. “You are going through what is called ‘anima iter’. Or a soul journey; a certain way of life. But in this case, you are asleep in real life, but traveling the lands of the Underworld through your conscious. It’s a very rare power and only Mother; Hades and me know what it is. Hades is the one who has it.” Angelus peeks over at him and asks “What about ‘shadow traveling’?” Her brother laughs softly and answers, “All royal families of Hades have that power.” Angelus gives a weak smile and sighs “Well okay. I thought I was turning into a complete freak or something.” “Not at all, sister dear. We should continue on your journey if that’s what you feel best to do.” Angelus gets the feeling there’s more to be done, nods and stands up, hauling her brother’s lanky from to a standing position, before walking outside. Upon leaving the hut, she sees Mortem chewing on someone’s thighbone, meat and all. Angelus doesn’t think a second thought as to why he’s doing so, but chucks it over the other side of the valley with ease, hops on his back and turns him around, back the way they came. Angelus calls back to Reaper “You coming or what?” Reaper smirks, walks to the edge of the cliff and steps off. Ten seconds later, Angelus hears wings flap one strong down beat and so appears Reaper on the back of his dragon, Ignis.  Reaper’s sister’s eyes go wide and her jaw is tempted to drop as she takes in the enormous dragon.  Reaper’s grinning his face off, and calls towards her “Yeah, I know. Now come on, inepta puella. “ Reaper flips his dragon into a plummet drop and Angelus grabs onto Mortem’s fur, ushering him on. Both reach the summit ,Reaper landing his dragon and Angelus, hoping off Mortem, only to return to the comfort of  Inferos’s saddle. Grasping the reins, Angelus sends her stallion into a canter, knowing he can handle it. Everyone else follows her, Reaper above her (but not completely out of sight), and Mortem and Vita running side by side. Without knowing why, she suddenly gets the urge to shadow travel to Tartarus, the deepest region of the Underworld. Closing her eyes, she thinks of it’s unknown landscape and  then she hears a change in ground. They went from desert plain, to smooth fields of granite. Yanking Inferos to a quick stop, Angelus tumbles forward out of her saddle and rolls on the ground.  In the process of falling and rolling, Angelus scraps her right knee and left palm. Banging her left shoulder into a boulder, as she comes to a stop, Angelus loses one sword from its holster.  Raising onto feet, Angelus makes a quick grab for Malum before it falls into the chasm. Right then, Angelus screams in pain. Crumpling to her knees she tries to swing her right arm to her left shoulder, successfully sheathing her sword before passing out.

                                                ~ A couple Minutes Later~

 Reaper lands his dragon, right beside where Angelus should be waiting for him. Looking over at her empty saddle, Reaper’s brotherly instincts kick in. Jumping off the monster, he lands and calms himself enough to search around for her soul in the complete darkness.  Over to the right he sees a heap of black clothes, pale skin and black ringlets. Running to her side, he checks her pulse and leans her against the boulder. Accessing her injuries, he takes a small portion of ambrosia from her saddlebag and feeds it to her.  Slowly, her cheeks become a little more rosier, and her breath more powerful. So strong, Angelus gasps and opens her eyes. Reaper smiles softly at her and messes up her hair.” Heus soror. Quomodo te sentiens?”  Angelus stands, and takes a couple steps, testing her balance. “Ego sum bene.” “Deinceps?” She nods and takes off down the tunnel to her right, curiosity pulling her on. Reaper follows, instincts still on high alert. As she’s runs, she rotates her shoulders. With them fully healed she pulls both Malum and Impiorum from their holders and holds them at-the-ready.  Taking a left, a right, then another right , she ends up in a cave, inside a cave.  She apparently was too loud, because she upsets a nasty swarm of cannibalistic bats. They fly down attacking Angelus, but she’s ready for them and slashes at anything that comes near her. Then, out of the swarm, comes a form. A complete blur of black, a little circle of white, and even less amount a clear glass green.  The bats, what’s left of them, immediately go back to where they came from and Angelus fights the form coming at her. She notices that the person, a guy by the looks of him, has a sword bigger then she does. Rotating his wrist, the demon brings down the sword, but she crosses both upwards, catching the blade before it touches her.  Somewhere in the back of her mind, Angelus is aware that Reaper has just entered the cavern, watching what is about to happen. Angelus and the demon keep fighting. One fighting to protect and the other to steal.  Angelus feels as if they are fighting for hours, when in reality they have only been at this game for minutes. 30 minutes to be exact. Thirty, panic-inducing minutes, for Reaper at least.  At the instant Reaper steps forward to help, Angelus gets pinned under the guy. Five feet, eleven inches over a five feet, six inches form. Angelus sees only clear glass green, as she breathes out “Quod sunt vobis?” The thing answers in the same language,  “Daemonium, in protector.”  Angelus asks, “ Quod  custodiens?”  Daemon answers softly, “ Magicis vires.”  Angelus’s eyes darken into an even deeper shade of black and she raises her feet to plant a solid kick into his stomach. She sends him flying into, what seems to be a solid wall, but is actually a one-sided viewing glass. That shatters as Daemon makes contact with it. Inside is a floating orb of fire, shadows, and blood. Sprinting over to it, she stops. Taking a closer look she sees it has a pulse, like a heart sits inside of it. Daemon groans and looks up at Angelus from the odd angel he’s laying in.  He eyes fly open as he sees what she’s about to do. Jumping to his feet, he yells “Non tangere!  Suus non vestrum!” Angelus gives him a cold yet beautiful smile and says, “Filia sum inferni. Est mea.” Stretching her hand towards the orb, she lets it absorb into her fingers and spread through her body before Daemon can say another word.  Right when the powers clash with her system, she knows she’s been missing something, and it has returned. Throwing up her arms, she blasts a vortex of pure darkness and hate above her, and blows out the top of the cavern.  She looks down at Daemon with a new meaning. Not hatred but respect that he’s guarded her powers for so long. She offers a hand to him, and he takes it, still in shock, which he quickly snaps out of. “You are the daughter of Hades?” Angelus smirks, “Yes.” Daemon bows, while saying ”Well, it’s a pleasure to meet you, domina.” Angelus rolls her eyes and replies “Yeah. I get that a lot. We should get you back to my father now. Seeing as how you have been in here for…sixteen years. Correct?” Daemon smiles, “Yup. And I haven’t even aged… Your father is a smart man.” Angelus asks curiously “If you haven’t aged, how old are you?” He answers honestly” Seventeen.” Immediately Angelus thinks of her brother, and she turns and runs to him at the other end of the large room. With Daemon trailing behind her, she reaches her brother in a matter of seconds.  Gliding her hand in front of his face, he comes back from a frozen state.  Reaper grins and asks “Why do you look different Angelus?” She laughs and says “Well, could it be because I have my… powers?” “ No. I’m sure it’s because you’ve gotten shorter…” Angelus slaps Reaper’s arm playfully and laughs. “Yeah, sure.” Reaper sighs and questions “Do you want to go home now?” Angelus nods rapidly. “Yes! And I can tell Mother and Father what happened. About this whole adventure!” “Okay.” Reaper eyes Daemon with a raised eyebrow, but Angelus just shakes her head. Protecting the thought “I’ll tell you later.”, into Reaper’s head, Angelus, Daemon and Reaper sprint down the tunnel and make it  back to where Inferos, Mortem, Vita and Ignis are waiting in have the time it took them to go down the tunnel the first time. Daemon asks, “What may I ride to get back?” Angelus looks at the choices, with Reaper already mounting Ignis, and says “You can ride Inferos, and I’ll sit behind you.” Daemon’s jaw drops slightly but swings up into the saddle anyways. Lending a hand to Angelus, he helps her into the saddle and takes the reins. Angelus comfortably wraps her arms around Daemon’s waist and leans forward. “Say ‘domum’ and he’ll know where to go.” says Angelus. Daemon does as told and demands “Domum!” Instantly, Inferos breaks into a canter and  jolts everything else into motion. Vita and Mortem at the flanks of the horse, trying to catch up, Reaper blasting through the sky like it’s nothing  and Angelus letting out a small scream as she grips Daemon tighter. He chuckles softly and asks “You’re going to have to get used to it, aren’t you?” Angelus smirks at the back of his head and says, “You have no idea.” Closing her eyes for ten seconds, Angelus imagines the front gates of home. And they are there almost simultaneously.  Angelus smiles, brightening up her face as she sees the  palace.  Reaper disappears into the clouds, most likely going off to make sure the souls are behaving. Tapping Daemon’s shoulder, he turns slightly to the right to look at her, asking “Yes, princess?” She answers, “Thank you.  For everything.” “You’re most welcome, domina.” In such a good mood, for once in her life, Angelus kisses Daemon on the cheek and slides down from her horse. Patting the horses rear, she sends the two through the gates, calling to them “Take him to the stables ,placet!” Heading straight towards the stables, Daemon raises a hand to let her know he heard her.

 

   Angelus thinks to herself “Here were go…” Dressing back down into a princess-style dress by willing the fabric onto her: black corset, red ribbons, gray silk dress, black elastic strapped ballet flats, Angelus takes a deep breathe and shadow travels into her parents throne room. Lord Hades and Lady Persephone are waiting for her as Angelus walks into the hall. Both look at her with question-filled eyes. One set accompanied with praise the other with pride. The first to fill the slightly awkward silence is Angelus, with a simple question “Why?” “Because”, answers Hades, “we knew you’d overthrow us eventually, but at the rate your powers were growing, only over one year, you would have killed and replaced us by the age of 5.” Persephone continues with “We asked the Fates what to do, and they said to strip you of your powers until you were of age. That you would have to figure it out on your own. And so you did…” Angelus looks furious but Hades cuts in quickly, saying “We did it for your own sanity. Imagine what chaos the world would be in… “ Angelus does for a second and sees their point. “Okay”, she sighs, ”Fine. But never do it again.” Angelus weaves a orb of shadows and tosses it to them, which Hades makes levitate in mid-air. Hades and Persephone say “We swear on the River Styx to never take the powers of one of our children away, ever again” Holding her hand out to the orb, Angelus wills the ball to fly into her hand. She stares at the crystal intently and wills it to shrink into a small, onyx pendant, which she ties around her throat. “I’m going to count on you for that. When can I start my actual training I need to catch up on?” Hades smiles delightedly, but creepily “Now if you’d like.” And together they disappear into his study.

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Comment by Angel O' Connor on April 12, 2012 at 6:57am

Thank you very much, Carlisle! *smiles* We shall see, won't we?

Comment by Carlisle Cullen MD on April 11, 2012 at 4:45am

I'm interested to see how her training goes seeing how much she's learned to use her powers on her own. I look forward to reading more!

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