Jar of Vedara, Part 2

Fiction By Jackie West // 7/29/2011

 

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“Who are you?”

Kiral whirled around and found herself looking right at a tall and lean male Charrenian almost six feet tall.

“Why should I tell you?” she said, trying to sound brave, but shaking with fear.

He leaned forward until his face was so close she could feel his breath. “Because I have weapons.”

Kiral stiffened, and suddenly she started feeling angry. “Well, that gives you no right to be pushing me around,” she said defiantly.

She suddenly found herself backed up against a tree with a knife at her throat.

“It doesn’t?” asked Jace’s killer nastily.

“No,” she replied, terrified that she, too, would be killed.

He looked closely at her. “You’re a Vendhorian,” he observed, a nasty smile spreading across his face. “One of our enemies.”

Kiral swallowed.

“What’s a little shrimp like you doing in enemy territory?”

“Maybe you should ask me.”

The knife still at Kiral’s throat, the Charrenian turned and saw Jace leaning against a tree on the other side of the clearing. He could not contain his shock as he gaped at Kiral’s guide. He quickly regained his composure as he said, “You’re dead.”

Jace spread out his arms. “I am?” he asked, a look of surprise on his face.

In one swift movement, the Charrenian took another knife from his belt and threw it.

Jace fell to the ground with the knife in his neck.

“You killed him again!!” Kiral screamed. “What has he ever done to you?”

Her foe turned and pushed her harder against the tree, his knife digging deeper into her neck. “That doesn’t matter!” he snapped. “What matters is that he is my enemy and needs to die!”

“I’m your enemy too!” Kiral shot back. “Why haven’t you killed me?”

“Because you are helpless and therefore more fun to kill.” He pushed his knife in a little farther before taking it away and whipping out a rag. “You’re coming with me, little one.”

“No, I’m not!” Kiral stepped away from the tree and ducked.

The Charrenian grabbed her shoulder.

She looked over his shoulder and saw Jace, alive again, dangling out of a tree by his feet. He winked at her.

“What are you looking at?” The Charrenian kept a firm grip on her and turned his head right after Jace swung up and out of sight.

“Nothing,” Kiral said, lifting her chin and refusing to speak more. “Just do what you want to do to me?”

He glanced back at where Jace had fallen to the knife.

Jace was in the exact position in which the Charrenian had last seen him.

Kiral’s enemy nodded briskly. “Good.” He turned and quickly blindfolded her with the rag he was holding.

 

Kiral blinked and sat up, her arms failing to support her, for some odd, unknown reason.

“What happened?” she asked herself.

“There’s this little thing called a stealth dart.”

Kiral jumped in surprise as her captor stepped out of the shadows.

“Yes,” he continued, “you shoot someone with it, and they find themselves waking up about an hour later wondering what happened because they didn’t know they blacked out until they wake up.”

“What did I ever do to make you capture me?” Kiral burst out.

“We’re enemies, kid. That’s reason enough.”

Kiral tried to clear her head by shaking it, but it hurt so badly that she stopped very quickly. “So why don’t you kill me and get this over with?”

“Because I hate killing certain people and things fast.”

“Alex Melbourne.”

Alex turned quickly, his hand on the hilt of his sword. “Who’s there?”

Jace stepped out of the shadows near the doorway. “I am,” he replied quietly. “And you’re going to listen to me.”

“No, I’m not,” Alex snarled.

Jace calmly moved to Kiral’s side. He held something up. “I heard you talking about this,” he said. “A stealth dart alone is very dangerous, and a blowdart with several handy is even more so.” He turned it over in his hands as he glanced meaningfully at Alex.

“I get the message,” Alex growled. “What d’you want?” He held up a hand. “Other than letting the girl go?”

“Look at me,” Jace said in a firm tone.

“Why-?” Alex began.

“Do it,” Jace interrupted.

Alex looked at him.

Kiral stared at them, glancing from one to the other.

Jace stared intensely at Alex, who started to look as if he were in a trance. His eyes were blank and unblinking.

Kiral slowly slid away from the pair, feeling frightened and nervous as she had no idea what was going on.

Suddenly, Jace broke off his gaze and Alex jerked violently. He sank to his knees, holding his head with his hands, and then toppled over, his eyes staring off into space.

“What did you do?” Kiral asked in a hushed tone. “Did you kill him?”

Jace stepped back to where she had positioned herself. “He’s not dead,” he said calmly. “I established a strong psychological connection with his mind and showed him what would happen if you weren’t released. Obviously it was a bit too much for him, so I broke off to make sure he didn’t die, thus his fall into brief unconsciousness.”

“Can we go?” Kiral asked rather anxiously.

“You forget that our whole purpose for coming here was to tell him that he needs to come with us,” Jace pointed out.

“Didn’t you tell him that he is a Chosen One?”

“I would have-but I felt that his mind was starting to crack from the pressure, so I broke the connection.”

“So-what if he absolutely refuses to come?” Kiral wondered.

“He has to come. After seeing what he saw, there should not be much of a problem in convincing him that he needs to come. And-“Jace stopped as Alex groaned and started to stir.

He went over and knelt by the Charrenian. “How are you feeling?”

“My head hurts like crazy,” replied Alex slowly. “Why did you show me all that stuff?”

“I told you that what you saw is what’s going to happen to this whole planet if the girl is not released,” Jace answered.

“There was more though,” Alex said, grimacing as he slowly pulled himself to a sitting position. “You said so before you broke the connection.”

“You want to prevent all these things happening, don’t you?” Jace asked.

“To my country, yes.” Alex glared at Kiral. “I don’t care what happens to everyone else.”

“What happens to yours will also happen to hers,” Jace told him. “And she wants to keep her whole planet safe. That includes your country, as well as hers and the home of the third Chosen One.”

Alex took a deep breath before speaking. “Are you lying?”

“I’m not allowed to lie,” Jace stated firmly. “My Master requires that I tell the truth.”

“Can’t you find the third Chosen One and leave me to decide if I should go?” asked Alex.

“There are problems with that,” Jace said. “The longer you take to decide, the more firmly established the enemy will become. That’s the first reason, and the second reason is that until you decide the fate of your country, my young friend and I are stuck because only when you decide will the portal t the country of the third Chosen One, appear.”

Alex rolled his eyes upward and muttered something under his breath.

“And don’t you even think of killing us,” Jace added.

“Not you,” Alex pointed. “I’ve already tried that twice and failed.”

Kiral’s grin faded as Alex looked at her. “But I have yet to try to kill the girl.”

“I told you not to think about it,” Jace said quietly, though his eyes flared angrily ever so briefly.

“Can you stop me?” Alex’s arm went to his belt and came back with a knife, which he promptly threw at Kiral.

Jace stepped in front of Kiral, and the knife plunged into his heart.

Without even a grimace of pain or a groan, he pulled it back out again. Not one drop of blood came with it.

Kiral felt the desperate urge to go outside and throw up.

Alex suddenly backed against the wall, all the color draining from his face.

“Kiral?”

Kiral’s head turned toward the door. “Jace?” she said in surprise. “But you’re-“

Jace tossed the knife at Alex and turned to face Kiral.

“You are mine at last!” he hissed.

Kiral screamed in terror as he started twisting and changing into an ugly, devilish being right before her eyes.

The real Jace bounded forward and grabbed Kiral just as the creature reached for her.

It turned, hissing as a forked tongue snaked out of its mouth.

“She is mine!” it snarled angrily.

“Get behind me!” Jace ordered her.

Kiral was quick to obey.

Jace grabbed a bottle from his belt, uncorked it and put drops on the creature so fast that everyone was surprised when the creature fell to the ground, hissing and writhing in pain.

“It’ll only work for a few minutes,” Jace said quickly. “We need to get out of here. Are you coming?” he asked, turning to Alex.

Alex nodded. “I’d rather not stay when this thing is roaming.”

“Soon enough, there’ll be swarms of them.” Jace gestured to the devilish creature.  “Grab your weapons and let’s go.” 

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