Episode-09: Her Requiem
Date: November 26, 3008
Location: Navasota Island
The sun set lazily as it dipped below the ocean, casting brilliant hues of red orange across the cloudless sky. A gust of wind drifted in from the crisp ocean, ruffling the tops of the beach’s palm trees. Up ahead, seagulls happily called out as they swooped down to the ocean. The smell of brine tingled Maldran’s nose as he gazed out into the serene setting, temporarily forgetting all of his troubles, leaving them far behind in his wake.
“Amazing…” Maldran whispered to himself as the sun was now halfway submerged over the horizon. His eyes followed the fireball’s slow descent into darkness. Soon, it would be night again, and the world would be lost in the shadows, but now for the time being, everything was perfect.
Maldran snapped up, rigid in shock. Her voice sent all of the peace and tranquility in his heart sailing to the bottom of the ocean. Maldran whipped around, trying to find Nova, but she was no where in sight.
“Where are you?” Maldran muttered underneath his breath as he scanned the trees for any signs of her slim body or long blonde hair.
You don’t need to know…
Sighing in frustration, he took one last look at the setting sun; only the tip of the fiery red star was showing, as if it were gliding along the surface of the dark blue waters. A longing crept into his heart as the sun seemed to pause in its descent, mocking him with a perfection that he would never know or see again. Maldran turned away and started back towards the forest.
Mal, stop or you’ll miss it…
Without knowing why he obeyed Nova, Maldran whirled around just in time. Right as the last of the sun dipped below the surface of the horizon, a brilliant green flash illuminated the ocean for a fraction of a second before disappearing into the darkness. Maldran stood awkwardly, his mouth agape. Never before had he witnessed the green flash. He knew it was some rare phenomenon that occurred right as the sun set, but Maldran always thought it was a legend.
Then, a smile crept across Maldran’s face and he turned back into the jungle, “Thanks,” he muttered to himself, knowing full well Nova could hear him.
As the beach disappeared behind him, Maldran blindly pushed forwards through the underbrush and foliage. The darkness had crept up upon Navasota Island extremely fast, and the stars were now shining brightly down upon the earth, twinkling in delight.
The woods opened up to the clearing with the lone slab of shale jutting awkwardly out of the tall grass. He studied the rune-shaped stone for a moment, not thinking of anything in particular, before walking head on into the grey blankness.
As appeared on the other side, his eyes immediately focused upon the ornate decorations of the great hall. He decided it was futile to compare the feeling of perfection back on the beach with this man-made imitation and steered himself to his room. Not caring where the others were, he let himself fall on the bed and closed his eyes.
She was beautiful, staring at him with her midnight blue eyes. Her lips were rosy red, tempting his own to lean forwards, the extra few inches to meet them. Maldran felt complete with her in his arms; their hearts beat as one.
Caleio rested her head on Maldran’s chest as they sat on the beach looking off into the sunset. Somehow, Maldran thought he had felt this way before, but didn’t know from where. Perhaps he had seen this before, but it did not matter now. Everything was irrelevant except for the two of them and the sunset.
Maldran turned to Caleio and gave her a thoughtful kiss on the brow. She turned up to him and whispered soothingly, “What’s wrong?”
Maldran turned away from her eyes, and stared out into the sunset, “This isn’t right. You’re dead.” Those last two words brought back a handful of memories. He still remembered how he held Caleio in his arms as they kneeled in front of Fenris’ interjecting gun. The flash of the muzzle and jolt of her body as the bullet tore through her skull would never leave Maldran’s hands. He had loved her more than anything in the world, but she was gone.
Yet here she was, flesh in blood, in Maldran’s arms, on the beach, somewhere in this godforsaken world.
“I’m dead here,” Caleio whispered. She grabbed a handful of sand and let the little beads drop in between her fingers.
“But I’m still alive in here,” she leaned forwards and kissed Maldran passionately on the mouth. He felt tears creep into his eyes as her spirit roared in triumph like a lioness. Oh how he longed for her to be back, to walk beside him in the physical world.
“Maldran,” she cooed as she pulled away, “I’ll always be here with you.” She touched her index finger on Maldran’s heart and suddenly, everything was pulled away into blackness, and he felt himself falling.
A clap of thunder rumbled across the black sky. The pelting rain made dull thuds on the roof of the structure. Maldran bolted up, his forehead and palms sweaty with emotion. For a moment, he just sat in the bed, breathing deeply.
“It was a dream,” he said to himself, shaking his head to wake him up, “It was just a dream…”
Noticing he was still in his clothes from the day before, Maldran quickly strode to the bathroom and turned the shower on. The cascading water blended in perfectly with the rain outside as Maldran stepped into the steam. He felt pure again, as if the shower was washing his pain and sufferings away, cleansing him of sin. It felt good to be free.
Suddenly, something clattered outside. Maldran’s ears pricked up, trying to detect anything out of the norm. Slowly turning the water off, he wrapped himself up in a towel and grabbed a pistol out of his holster that was hanging on the hook by his bed. Cocking the weapon back, he tip-toed to the door and edged it open. Nothing was in sight.
Stealing out of his room, he made his way down the hall; another clatter met Maldran’s ears, followed by a shuffling of feet. A cold draft hit him, chilling Maldran to the bone. He lowered himself upon instinct as he advanced. The noises seemed to be coming from the kitchen. What would an intruder be doing in there…
Maldran reached the edge of the hall. In front of him, was the gateway into the large kitchen area. He paused there for a moment, listening. Someone was moving about in there, making a minimal amount of noise. Maldran felt a sudden urge to rush in, gun ablaze, but forced his primal instinct back down. Now was not the time for that.
Then, Maldran panicked as he realized the footsteps were now coming closer. He had to make a move either now or never. Gathering up all his will power, he sprang up and revealed himself. A shock of horror shot down his spine, making him close his eyes and curiously forced him to pull the trigger. The quiet kitchen suddenly lit up with a sharp crack of Maldran’s weapon before silencing itself once more.
“Oh sh**!” Maldran swore under his breath.
Opening his eyes to take a peek, Maldran felt his stomach drop to the ground. There, standing in front of him with a bullet just inches away from her skull, was Lily, dressed only in a revealing white tank top and underwear. The piece of steel hovered inches away from her cold eyes as they darted from Maldran’s shocked expression to the bullet. Then, Lily let it drop to the floor with a harmless metallic clatter.
“Watch where you point that, soldier boy,” Lily growled in irritation at Maldran’s inaptitude. The two of them stood there, not budging. She seemed like a specter, floating gracefully upon the cold floor, as compared to Maldran, who stood rooted in shock at her telepathic abilities.
“I’m…I’m sorry,” Maldran finally managed to stutter as he shakily lowered his weapon.
“Yea whatever,” Lily replied in an annoyed tone, “And eyes up here!”
Maldran blushed furiously as he realized his eyes had been wandering. But then again, whose eyes wouldn’t? Lily’s slim tan legs were as enticing as her voluptuous body. Her long silky silver hair hung lazily down her curved back like a lion’s beautiful mane. The pure white tank top she was wearing unashamedly showed some cleavage that Maldran couldn’t stop himself from looking. All in all, she was the most beautiful entity he had ever seen. Maldran felt a pang of guilt in his spine as his mind reminded him of someone else.
“And I’d pick that up if I were you,” Lily added with a snicker as her own eyes peered downwards. Maldran wanted to blow up right then and there as he realized his towel had fallen to the ground in all the excitement.
He quickly bent down and covered himself up again, muttering profusely a stream of incoherent words resembling an apology. Maldran wanted to just shrivel up into a tiny ball and hide where no one could see his embarrassment. With a devilish grin, Lily brushed past him and sauntered down the hall into her own room, leaving Maldran flustered with her delicious scent.
Sulking back into his room, Maldran quietly shut the door and rushed over to the closet where there were rows upon rows of the same pair of pajamas fit for all of the other men in the facility. Sliding them on, he walked back into the bedroom and sat down on the bed.
He felt dirty for feeling these thoughts for Lily. Inside of him, he could feel the devil roar in triumph at his fall to lust. Maldran remembered how much he had loved Caleio, how she was still alive barely a year ago.
Closing his eyes, he laid back in bed. No amount of water could wash his tainted soul clean. Silently, Maldran drifted off into the dream world. The rain outside continued to monotonously pound down upon the island like the tears of a thousand angels.