Fit to be Hung
September 5th, 2013
Caliber’s dark blue and green eyes flicked open as the last light in the prison shut off. He rose to his feet and looked into the dim hallway. His cellmates were all asleep and he noticed the guards had left and were all in the next room, probably munching doughnuts and drinking whiskey like usual. He reached under his mattress and grabbed the medal bar he had broken off of the bed. It had taken him awhile to file off the bar. He had found a loose brick in the wall of his cell and had used it to get the bar off. He initially had planned on loosening the brick and then taking the wall apart but behind the bricks, was a cement wall. He took the sharp end of the bar and began to saw at the cell bars of the window he had been working on. He slid out one bar and then the other, within a few moments all the bars were gone. He hauled himself out of the window and suddenly sirens went off and lights flashed.
“Prisoner 677 has escaped, all units pursue” the voice said. Caliber smiled at the challenge and took off running. He got into the prison yard and halted as a group of guards stood, blocking the exit. He felt his powers returning to him as he got out of the magic restricted building. He felt fire rush into his palms and he shot it out in a wave of fire, knocking back all the guards at once. A cruel smile twisted onto his face and he leapt over the bodies. One of the guards had withstood the blast and lay on the ground in pain. Caliber kneeled down beside him and smiled as he looked into his brown eyes. It was the captain of the guard.
“Sorry about the mess, chief, but we both know you couldn’t have contained me forever” Caliber said as the guard laid there, his eyes filled with dread.
“The whole area is surrounded with guards, you will never get out” the guard gasped.
“Perhaps you’re right” Caliber answered, his messy black hair blowing as the wind blew through it. He hauled the captain to his feet and laid his hand on his chest. The man gasped as Caliber turned into a thick red and black smoke. The smoke went into the guard’s mouth and soon Caliber was inside of him. His body began to heal and Caliber sent messages to the man as he could hear the captain shouting inside.
Thanks for the idea Caliber said as he clenched and unclenched his fists.
Let me go now! The captain shouted. Caliber shut out the cries and made his way out of the fence that surrounded the prison. He was only eighteen years old and yet he was one of the most powerful sorcerers there was. He had trained himself since he was 8 years old; his father had run out on his mother when he had turned 8. His mother had then gotten sick and had passed away a few months later, instead of Caliber calling anyone for help, he simply buried his parents himself and lived in broken down house that had no electricity, plumbing, and he had needed to scavenge the trash cans for food. He knew that magic ran through his blood but he had never been taught how to activate it, so he discovered it himself and since then had gotten obsessed with learning more and more. He had searched abandoned book stores for ancient books with spells in them for years and had been successful, teaching himself everything he could learn. He searched for knowledge now as well, to learn more. Since he had become powerful, Caliber had been able to get himself a big mansion in the rich city Fallbourne. He had gotten a house that was far away from all others, it was surrounded by woods.
He had made his money from stealing from banks and getting all the money he could handle, he would become friends with powerful people, he got himself involved in a powerful mafia, and lastly he corrupted people and used their weaknesses against them. However, he had been betrayed by his mafia brothers, whom had set him up to get caught by the police. He wanted revenge, and he knew he would get it; he was strong enough to take them. He jumped into one of the police cars and was able to pass the security as he was in the captain’s form. Finally he reached his house. He put the car in the garage and walked into the big house. The door opened, a large hallway stood before him, striped wooden floors stretched on into the house. To the right was a small room with a bookshelf and a single red chair. To the left was a big living room with a large flat-screen TV and a leather couch. The hall stretched on for a while, leading to a bedroom, kitchen, and a few bathrooms. There were a few more bedrooms upstairs along with a giant library.
“Caliber?” a small voice asked from the darkness as he flipped the lights on.
“Amaro” he answered. Amaro was 13 years old and had dirty-blonde hair with big brown eyes. Amaro shook hands with his mentor, showing respect to him.
“Why didn’t you call me for help?” Amaro asked. “I could have come to you.”
“I didn’t want to lure you towards that prison, there were guards everywhere, they would have seen you from miles away and shot you before you came even close” Caliber answered.
Caliber walked into the living room and asked “So, what happened while I was gone?”
“The brotherhood has stopped sending us money since they set you up and had you arrested” he stated.
“Figures, I always knew that Jack would end up turning against me” Caliber said as he put his hands behind his head and leaned back. “Did you get the blood I asked for?” Caliber asked.
“Of course I did” Amaro answered as she pulled out a vial of the red liquid.
“Perfect” Caliber answered as he took it and stood to his feet. Amaro followed him into the kitchen as he grabbed an ancient chalice and pulled out a picture from his pocket. The picture was of one of his mafia members, Johnny, who had led him to the spot where he would be turned in to the cops. He placed the picture in the bowl and Amaro handed him a string of Johnny’s hair. He placed it in the bowl and poured the blood on top of the picture. He wondered how Rebecca had been able to swipe some of Johnny’s blood, and then he remembered that the last time he had seen her, she has masqueraded as a nurse that had access to the blood bank, and Johnny was a donor. Caliber lit a match and dropped it in the bowl as he chanted. Soon he was finished and he nodded. “It is done.”
Caliber walked to his bed and slipped on a white t-shirt and some basketball shorts. He slid under the covers and within a few moments he felt hot breath on his neck. He turned to see Amaro in his animal form, a large, threatening-looking Doberman. He lay down on the bed and Caliber shoved him off.
“Sorry Amaro, but just because I was gone doesn’t mean you can sleep on the bed.”
He awoke the next morning to hear a news report come across the radio.
“22 year old, John Silver was found dead in his home late last night. It looks to be a heart attack according to local authorities” the woman said.
“If only they knew” Caliber laughed.
“Morning” Amaro said as he took his seat beside him on the bar stool. “I have some bad news” he stated.
“Great, what?” Caliber said as he turned towards him.
“They know about your escape, the brotherhood” he answered.
“Oh that’s just perfect, how did that happen?” Caliber asked.
“They must have heard that you broke out of prison, word spreads fast among mafia’s you know” he answered. Amaro jumped as the doorbell rung and Caliber fixed his eyes on the door.
“Stay here” he warned as he walked towards it, he looked through the side window to see a dark red corvette pulled up alongside the house. He sighed as he opened the door and a man stood before him. He was 20, and 6’1”, roughly the same height as Caliber. He had dark brown hair and brown eyes; he had strong features and stubble. “Sabre? What are you doing here?” Caliber questioned.
“Is that anyway to address your brother?” Sabre questioned as he stepped inside.
“Please, come in” Caliber sighed as he shut the door. Sabre looked around the house as he entered and couldn’t help but laugh.
“How’d you manage to pull this off?” he said as he looked at the house.
“Here’s a better question, why are you here all of a sudden, you’ve never come over before” Caliber stated.
“Just came to warn you that Cade is on his way here, he’s been looking everywhere for you, there’s a price on your head you know, those Hellion’s don’t waste a second, when it comes to wanting a criminal, especially one as infamous as you” Sabre said.
“What about you? Stealth Thief?” Caliber asked. “You’ve made the paper quite a bit.”
“At least, I haven’t gotten my face plastered all over Sicily, hence the name I’ve earned” Sabre said.
“Well, you’ve killed just as many people” Caliber added in as started to get annoyed with his brother’s pride.
“Maybe so, I’m just smarter than you at keeping my face out of the headlines” Sabre said. “Anyways, I gotta get going, I’m taking Lilly out to Sergio’s for lunch” Sabre said.
“Hey Sabre” Amaro said as he walked into the room.
“Buongiorno”, Good morning.
“Buongiorno signore”, Good morning sir, Amaro answered.
“Ciao, Caliber” Sabre said over his shoulder as he walked out the door.
“So, your brother is on his way here, I’ll go pack our stuff” Amaro said as he turned and began to walk away. Caliber grabbed his arm and pulled him back.
“You think I’m really getting driven from my home?” Caliber said with a hint of amusement in his eyes, “We could have some fun with these guys.”
“He’s the head of one of the most powerful Soul Trader Gangs in Italy; I don’t think we should mess with him.”
“You really think Cade would sell me to some Hellions?” Caliber said with a laugh.
“I don’t doubt it, he’d get a lot for you, you know what Hellions pay for, wanted criminals, and powerful beings, also known as you” Amaro sighed.
“I bet they’d pay more for a sorcerer’s novice” Caliber said with a sly smile.
“Don’t even say that” Amaro said as he rolled his eyes and walked towards the kitchen. “What do you want for lunch?” he asked.
“Hmm….. How about some pasta primavera” Caliber answered.
“Sure, but it will be a half hour wait, and hour tops” he answered.
“Okay, I got to go out and get some groceries anyways” Caliber said as he walked towards the door.
“Wait!” Amaro yelled as he ran towards Caliber. “Did you forget you’re wanted?” he demanded.
“I know what I’m doing, get out of the way” Caliber said as he shoved past him. Amaro watched him go and shook his head.
“He’s gonna end up dead” he said aloud.
Caliber walked outside and spotted a tall man with blonde hair, running down the street with his dog.
“That should do it” Caliber said with a smile as he stepped in front of the man.
“Watch it ragzzo” the man said angrily.
“My bad” Caliber answered as he looked into the man’s eyes. The man tried to pass him but Caliber stepped in front of him. He knocked him down hard, and the man cracked his head on the sidewalk.
“Aiuto!” Help! The man shouted, as blood dripped out of the back of his head. Right before Caliber could place his hand on the man’s chest, he was grabbed from behind and he tried to pull away. As hard as he tried, he couldn’t get away, his power was failing him, he tried to summon power but it wouldn’t come.
“What!” Caliber exclaimed as he pulled against the arms that held his, behind his back.
“Sorry Cal, but it’s me” the voice said. He knew of only one person who called him Cal, his brother, Rune. He felt himself being dragged away and he was thrown into the back of a police car as silver handcuffs with a dragon magic symbol carved into them went around his hands, restricting him. He hated Rune, his brother that was 24 years old, was born resistant to magic, he was called a Blocker, and no amount of magic could hurt him. Rune was the leader of the Secret Police, and he wanted nothing more to make the city of Sicily peaceful once more.
“Rune let me out of here!” Caliber said angrily as he kicked the back of the driver seat.
“I heard you escaped from prison, I’ll be taking you to a special facility, where you will not be able to escape” Rune said. Rune had black hair, he shared this with Cade and Caliber, Sabre was the only one with dark brown hair like his father. He was 6’3” and was of course quite strong from the secret police training he had received. He had dark blue eyes and he carried the same rough features and prominent jawline as his brothers.
“You’d turn your back on your brother?” Caliber questioned.
“You’re a murderer Cal, and no murderer is a brother of mine” Rune stated.
“Then I guess you have no brothers, Sabre is a thief who silently kills people, just without being caught, and Cade, well he sells innocent people to the Hellions” Caliber said angrily. “Which is worse than murder.”
“That’s why I’ll make sure to catch both of them, I got my team looking for them” Rune stated.
“You traitor!” Caliber spat.
“It’s not my fault you all decided to put this town in danger” Rune said.
“We both know that your little “Secret Service” title is really a façade” Caliber stated.
“What are you talking about?” Rune demanded.
“We both know that you’re a rogue from the King’s Guard in London, who sold trade secrets for money when you were struggling and now you are hiding behind your team of “Secret Police” because every society, royalty or powerful figure in all of the United Kingdom is after you.” Rune swerved the car into the forest hillside and slammed on the breaks. He got out of the car and slammed Caliber against the door.
“How do you know that?” Rune demanded.
“I’ve got friends in high places, I know things” Caliber said with a smirk. “Well more like enemies…… people I threaten, you know what I…..” Rune pulled Caliber up and flipped him over as he slammed his back against the hood of the car.
“This isn’t a joke!” Rune shouted.
“Who’s laughing?” Caliber answered.
“If you give away my identity….” Rune began.
“Oh no Rune, tell me we aren’t gonna start with the threats, I haven’t seen you in what 10 years?” he questioned.
“Shut up!” Rune yelled.
“Since we’re so open to threats now, let me give it a go, let me out of the handcuffs, or I will give away your identity” Caliber said simply.
“You wouldn’t dare” Rune began.
“Try me” Caliber answered. Rune pulled Caliber away from the hood of the car and unlocked the handcuffs with a small golden key.
“That’s better” Caliber said as he stretched his arms above his head. He looked over at Rune and cracked his knuckles. “Now that we’re on a friendlier basis, let’s have a little brother to brother chat.”
Caliber grabbed Rune and knocked him to the ground with a heavy blow. He kicked him in the nose, making his head jerk back and hit the pavement. Caliber took his steel-toed boot and aimed towards Rune’s head. Rune threw his arms up and blocked his head as he received kicks to his ribcage. “Let’s get one thing straight” Caliber said as Rune looked up at him, blood running down his nose, and his jaw already turning to a dark purple bruise. “If you ever try another move like that on me again, I’ll rip your heart from your chest, okay? Fratello,” Brother. He said simply as he flashed a smile at him. He left Rune lying on the ground and drifted down the street. He noticed a big crowd had gathered near a huge house and he made his way towards the estate.
“Count Basque” someone shouted.
“Count Basque?” Caliber questioned as he made his way forward. He knew that “count” was only used to describe a person of French royalty, and “Basque” was a French last name. A crowd was bending down to the floor and picking up gold coins and euros that rained down.
“Bless you” a woman said as she cradled the euros in her hands.
“De rien.” Don’t mention it. The man said. Caliber almost burst out laughing when he saw it was Sabre. He made his way towards his brother and placed a hand on his shoulder.
“Well aren’t you generous Count?” he said with a knowing smile.
“Caliber come inside, you haven’t seen my house” Sabre said as he stepped inside. Caliber was surprised by the size and beauty of the house, there were beautiful carving on the wood of the house and million dollar paintings hung from the walls. There was an elaborate fountain in the middle of an open room, a crystal chandelier hung from the high ceiling. Two great white staircases swirled up from the floor, giving the room an elegant look. “Come see my pride and joy” Sabre said as he led Caliber up the stairs and down a long hallway with dark red painted walls. He pulled out a silver key and placed it in the lock, the door opened and Sabre flipped on the light. There were prized items from dozens of places everywhere in the room. There were big beautiful diamonds, set on pedestals; there were ancient text books set in glass cases, jeweled swords and daggers, beautiful amulets hung from the walls. A book labeled, Gutenberg Bible was locked in a locked glass shelf, and the date on its ancient spine read 1456.
“This is quite the setup you’ve got here” Caliber said.
“I know, it’s great huh?” Sabre asked.
“So….. Count Basque? Where did that come from?” Caliber asked.
“I’ve been places, I was actually a knight in France if you can believe it” Sabre said.
“Is that so?” Caliber questioned.
“I protected the king’s treasury, how ironic is that?” Sabre said with a smile. “I managed to sneak a few things.”
“I’m guessing, that is one of them” Caliber remarked as he looked up at a shelf, on it sat the king’s crown.
“They never knew what hit them” Sabre answered smartly. Suddenly there was a pounding on the door and Sabre narrowed his eyes. “Who could that be?” Sabre said as he went to the door. A shot was heard and Caliber ran to the door, Sabre was lying on the ground; a blood was seeping through his pants from his kneecap. A few men stormed into the room and Caliber jumped up to face them. A baseball bat came flying towards him and it smacked him in the chest, knocking the breath out of him, another strike came from behind him as he was smacked in the back of the knee and he fell to the ground with burning pain running through him. He was about to summon his power, but he was being attacked relentlessly, and every time he tried, another blow knocked him back. He lay on the ground, gasping as it finally ended; a man walked towards him and put his boot on his chest.
“Miss us?” he said with a smile.
“You’ve gotta be kidding me” Caliber said as he exhaled harshly, before him stood the Caporegime of his mafia. The Caporegime was the head of all the crew and was appointed directly by the boss. It was his job to lead the crew into battles, assassinations, or robberies. Bruinen was 6’1” and had cold dark eyes. He had short brown hair and a scar that ran from the top of his head, down his face and disappeared under his jaw. He was 27 years old.
“We heard about Johnny’s mysterious death, and knew you had to have part in it, tell me how does a man that was only 21 and in perfect health the night we last saw him, die that very evening without any signs of break in?” he began.
“How am I supposed to know?” Caliber interrupted as he wiped some blood from a cut on his face. Caliber received a kick to the side of his head and he held back his cries of pain as searing shock went through his head.
“I wasn’t finished” Bruinen said calmly. “When we found out we knew it must’ve been your work, we’ve known you a long time haven’t we?” Caliber didn’t speak but looked up at Bruinen full of hate. “You’ve gone against your oath, which you know is punishable by death.”
“You’re gonna talk to me about going against the oath?” Caliber spoke up, Bruinen pressed down harder on Caliber’s chest, making him wince.
“You have no respect for your capo do you?” Bruinen stated.
“You set me up” Caliber snapped.
“I did not set you up, it was the boss’s choice, and we were just following orders” Bruinen answered. Caliber looked over at Sabre who had his eyes closed tight and was holding his knee to his chest. His eyes flicked open and he tried to hold back the pain.
“So this is the Stealth Thief?” Bruinen said as he followed Caliber’s gaze.
“How do you know about that?” Caliber demanded.
“We know everything about everyone” Bruinen answered. “You should know that.”
“Let me get him to the hospital” Caliber finally said.
“I don’t think so” Bruinen answered. “Boys” he said with a nod. Caliber was hauled up and he cast his eyes towards Bruinen.
“What’s going on?” Caliber said angrily.
“Let’s just say we’re going to meet a buddy of yours” Bruinen answered. “A fratello.”
“No!” Caliber said as he realized who he was talking about. “Don’t, I’ll do anything!” he yelled. Caliber was seldom one that begged but when it came to being taken to Cade, he’d rather die. Caliber’s powers rushed into his hands and he burned the arms of the men who held him, the yelled in pain and released him. He broke away from them and ran over to Sabre. He hauled him up and Sabre leaned against him.
“Caliber, just leave me here, I can take care of myself!” Sabre shouted.
“Get him!” Bruinen yelled as his group stormed into the house. Caliber ignored his brother’s pleas and hauled him up, dragging him. Sabre tripped as they took the stairs.
“Sabre!” Caliber yelled as he tried to help him up the crew was storming up the stairs and Caliber turned and ran. The men ran past Sabre, not caring if they trampled him. Caliber slammed the door closed and he locked it behind him. The men pushed against it and rammed into it.
“You will come with us willingly Caliber, or I’ll send my boys to pay a little visit to the novice of yours” he stated. It was too quiet and Caliber pushed passed his boys.
“Caliber?” he questioned. “Caliber!” Bruinen knocked the door down and looked to see a rope had been thrown out of the window. “Go, he escaped!”
Caliber limped towards the woods, and pushed himself through the thick foliage as he heard the men’s shouts. He knew he had to make his way back to the house before they got to Amaro. He stumbled and fell as he lay on the ground panting. He lay there for a while and he suddenly heard a dark voice come up from the trees. The man leapt down and pressed a rifle to Caliber’s throat.
“Get up” the voice said. Caliber managed to push himself to his feet and he swallowed hard as he saw who in front of him. The man was 26 years old and had black slicked-back hair. He was 6’3” and had cruel golden eyes. He had white teeth and a clean shaven face. He wore an overcoat with dress pants and shoes. He pulled out a pocket watch attached to a gold chain and shook his head. “I only have an hour to get you the crossroads” he sighed.
“There’s no way in hell that I’m going with you” Caliber said as his hands remained in front of him.
“You don’t really have a choice” Cade replied in his husky voice. He spun the gun around and nailed Caliber in the head with the butt of it, knocking him out. Caliber awoke as cold water was dumped on him.
“Let’s go, we’re meeting Acacio in a few minutes, midnight” he said as he hauled him out, a rope tied tightly around his hand, Caliber tried to use his power but he was too low on energy. Cade handed the driver of his car a pouch of euros and mumbled something to him, the driver tipped his hat and took off.
“Come on fratello, you wouldn’t sell out your own flesh and blood” Caliber stated.
“Apparently you don’t know me at all” Cade answered as he pulled the rope hard, making Caliber almost fall to the ground.
“You’re looking good Cade, you’ve changed a lot in the past decade” Caliber said.
“Flattery will get you nowhere” Cade replied darkly. Caliber’s humor in his eyes faded and they became expressionless.
“I heard you’ve been trying to have an heir, to inherit you trade, and continue your shameful job” Caliber said with a smart tone.
“I agreed I would” Cade replied.
“Making deals with Hellions, you sure have scooped low” Caliber remarked. Cade pulled Caliber harshly towards him and he caught Caliber right before he smacked the ground. He grabbed the collar of his shirt and looked into his eyes.
“You’re asking for a beating aren’t you? Haven’t you learned respect?” Cade demanded. “I’m glad that Jack’s boys got to jump you, I would have done it myself.”
“So, you had bargained with them? You sent them to attack me?” Caliber said.
“No, I bargained with Jack, and saved you, he was gonna have you killed, I told him I could get you out of the country for good and he agreed” Cade stated.
“I’d rather you let them kill me, anything’s better than being hawked to those demons” Caliber said angrily.
“I’ve fallen behind in payments lately in this job, and so I found Acacio and he said he’d pay me big and increase the rank of my reputation if I got him the famous wanted sorcerer” he stated.
“You and Rune are more alike than I thought, you are both traitors, soiling the De’ Santis, family name. Cade threw a punch to Caliber already bruised face and pulled him back up. Drawing blood, as his gold ring sliced Calibers flesh.
“Don’t you dare try to tell me I’m shaming my family” Cade shouted.
“Hit me all you want Cade, but it won’t change the fact that what you’re doing is an abomination” Caliber stated. “And let me just tell you before you turn this on me, that yeah I’m a murderer, I’ve killed, but at least I haven’t turned against my own species, and at least I haven’t turned against my brothers” Caliber said as a trickle of blood ran down his cheek.
“Don’t try to guilt me Caliber! My mind is set, I’m a Soul Trader, and once you’ve become one, there is no turning back” Cade explained.
“Cade, you know I have never asked you for a thing, but now I ask this one favor of you, please just let me go, you know what they’ll do to me” Caliber said.
“It’ll serve you right, you’re a killer Caliber, and Acacio will make sure to punish you for that” Cade stated coldly. “In fact, I think that’s him.” Caliber followed Cade’s gaze as he spotted a jet black escalade speeding towards them.
“Cade, let me go, or I swear, you’ll regret this” Caliber whispered. Cade elbowed Caliber hard in the side of the head, making lean over in pain and rub his temple. Caliber cast his blue and green eyes towards the man that stepped out of the car. He was probably in his mid- thirties and probably stood right at 6’1”. He had olive-colored skin and dark, short wavy hair, he had light green eyes. These were the typical physical traits of Greeks, which Caliber judged that he was according to his name and look. He wore a black suit with a blood red undershirt.
“So this is the notorious sorcerer, well….. I have to say you’ve really impressed all of us, luckily I made the highest bid” he said with a smirk. “What happened to you?” Acacio asked as he raised his eyebrows.
“He just had a run in with some cops” Cade spoke up before Caliber could.
“Well than, we should be off, lots to do” he said with a smirk as he dropped two bags of coins into Cade’s hands. Cade handed the rope to Acacio and Caliber gave a vengeful glance to his brother, his eyes filling with malice. Cade suddenly reached out and put his hand on his brother’s shoulder.
“Hold on Acacio” he stated. Caliber’s spirits lifted as he knew that his brother had changed his mind.
“Se denne ene, vil han være tilbage til fuld kraft snarest.” Watch this one, he’ll be returning to full power soon. Caliber tried to understand the language but he could not, he had heard that there was an ancient language spoken that only Soul Trader’s and Hellions knew, to communicate secretly. Acacio nodded and pulled Caliber behind him, Caliber looked behind him but Cade was gone. Acacio pushed Caliber into the car and the driver took off down the road. He stopped a few miles away. Caliber was pulled out of the car and he looked at his surroundings. It was completely barren and dark black skies hung overhead. He saw a single wooden post sticking out of the ground and he feared what was about to happen. Acacio tied his hands to the rough post and kicked him in the back of the knee’s making his legs collapse under him and he now was on his knees.
“Time for the fun part” Acacio said with a smile. He bent down and shoved his hand into Caliber’s chest. Caliber gasped, and squeezed his eyes shut as pain shot through his whole body. He felt like his chest was on fire. He instantly felt his body going into shock and he began to tremble wildly. Finally he could breathe again and he looked to see a morsel of bright white light, the size of his fist was now being held in Acacio’s hand. Threads of black ran throughout it and he watched as the Hellion pushed it into a small glass vial around his neck. The bright white color and black swirled together endlessly inside the vial. Acacio sealed the hole in his chest and Caliber was pulled up, he felt unchanged but knew that part of his soul had been stolen. A sudden anger rushed through him and he felt power rush into him, he shot out a sphere of fire and Acacio leapt back just in time. He disappeared and then reappeared behind Caliber, hitting him with a volt of electricity that sent him sprawling onto the ground. He lay there stunned and Acacio came back a second later, a hot brand in his hand, the steam was still rising. A symbol was carved into it; it was of a dragon, rising up into the sky. Acacio leaned over Caliber and pulled his arm up towards him. Caliber gasped and brought up his leg, hitting Acacio in the stomach. He groaned and fell for a moment. Caliber jumped up and started running, two men came out of Acacio’s car and blocked him, Caliber summoned his power and fog came around him and the others, hiding him. For a moment he thought he was safe, but then he felt an arm go around his neck and he was slammed to the ground, he was lifted up by two burly men, holding his arms back.
“Nice try, but we know all the tricks” Acacio said as he placed the brand back into the furnace that had appeared beside him. He left it in longer this time, letting the brand grow hotter and hotter; soon it had turned to a light blue from the heat. Caliber pulled hard against the men but they were too strong in this strange realm. Acacio walked forward and he grabbed Caliber’s right arm. He turned it so the palm was facing up; he then pressed the iron firmly onto Caliber’s arm, right above his wrist line. Caliber yelled in pain and he jerked his head and his muscles tensed, his face was twisted in agony and he writhed against the two men as they held him, Acacio held it brand on longer than necessary, eager to teach Caliber a lesson about escaping. Caliber thought the torture would never end but finally Acacio released as sweat dripped down Caliber’s forehead. He fell to the ground and Acacio looked down at him.
“Welcome to the club” he whispered darkly. “Take him to the car, when he’s regained some strength.” Caliber’s eyes instantly swept over to his arm and he looked down at the mark. His skin had dark red outline around the burn and it was already swelling up. Acacio had held onto his arm with such strength that dark purple bruises, in the shapes of finger were left on his arm. The men escorted him to the car and he collapsed onto the seat. “Now, I am in control boy, of your magic, you won’t be able to activate it without my permission” he stated. Caliber filled with dread and couldn’t believe what he was hearing, he was about to burst out in protest but he refrained himself, for the first time in his life.
Amaro looked worriedly out the window of the big house. Caliber still hadn’t returned, and it was getting dark. There was a knock on the door and Amaro stayed where he was, he knew he wasn’t allowed to let anyone into the house while the master was gone.
“Amaro it’s me” he heard the voice shout. He recognized the voice of Sabre. He opened the door and Sabre came in on crutches.
“What happened to you?” Amaro asked, his innocent eyes searching Sabre.
“It was that lovely brotherhood of yours” Sabre replied sarcastically as he plopped down on the leather couch in the living room.
“Why are you here, and where’s Caliber?” Amaro asked annoyed.
“Are you sure you care?” Sabre replied as he put his hands behind his head and relaxed.
“Tell me now!” Amaro said impatiently.
“All right boy, calm down” Sabre said as he sat up.
“His mafia came for him, shot me, chased him up the stairs, and that was the last I saw of him” Sabre explained.
“And you didn’t try to help him?” Amaro gasped.
“Did you forget the part where I said, I got shot!” Sabre demanded.
“So what you’re a weakling! I bet you didn’t try at all, he probably tried to help you when you got shot” Amaro stated.
“So what if he did? I didn’t ask him to save me, I could’ve taken care of myself” Sabre said.
“I’m going to find him” Amaro said as he pulled a jacket over his white t-shirt. Sabre walked towards the door as Amaro turned to get his shoes and he stood in front of it. “Get out of my way!” Amaro said angrily.
“I don’t think so, with Caliber gone, I inherit his house and his novice” he said with a smile.
“You set him up didn’t you?” Amaro demanded.
“Well, being shot wasn’t part of the deal, but yes” he said as he leaned against one crutch.
“He trusted you….. How could you betray him?” Amaro asked.
“What can I say? It runs in the family” Sabre replied grimly as something, some look came into his eyes.
“You….. What are you?” Amaro asked.
“You think Caliber’s the only one with magic on his side? I’ve got magic, just…. It’s a little different” he said as a dark smile came over his face. Sabre held out his hand and focused his eyes on Amaro; he fell to the ground, writhing in pain as he felt a deep pain inside of him. He began to have coughing fits, and blood spurted out of his mouth.
“S….stop” Amaro gasped. Sabre walked towards him and kneeled before him.
“You’ve got to know, Caliber never cared about you, he obviously didn’t care what happened to you if he signed you over to me if anything were to happen to him” he stated.
“No, Caliber didn’t know what you really were, he would have never given me over to you if her knew” Amaro said.
“And who’s to say that Caliber didn’t know what I was, he’s a smart boy, my brother, surely he knew what I was, he just didn’t care what would happen to you” Sabre said.
“No! You’re lying! Amaro shouted.
“Think what you want” Sabre said as Amaro was struck with another spasm of pain. “He never cared for you, never” Sabre said.
“You’re lying!” Amaro repeated as his head throbbed. He was hit with doubt and his spirits began to fall as Sabre remained starting down at him. It felt as though his emotions were being crushed, his positive emotions, his hope, were being sucked out of him with every cough of blood that came up.
“He’s never cared!” Sabre yelled. “He’s been planning on leaving you all along.”
Memories of all the good times Amaro had had with his master came flashing into his mind; he remembered how Caliber had found him. He had been left homeless, living on his own outside the village, his house had burned to the ground, his family had all died, and he had been the only one who was able to escape. He had been starving on the streets; his clothes were torn and ragged when Caliber had found him, he had been shivering in the cold and Caliber had put a coat around him, and looked back at the boy to see if he was following him. Amaro had only been 8 years old. Now this 13 year old boy stood before him, he looked powerful for someone so young. Another memory flashed before him as the memory faded, younger boys in the village had been pushing him around and were stealing what little food the boy had managed to find. Caliber had come out of nowhere to defend the six year old boy, he had pushed the other kids to the ground and although there were three of them and they were bigger than him, he managed to knock them all down, he delivered blow after blow to them and had easily beat them. He had grabbed the lead boy and had made him face Amaro.
“You apologize to him right now, and maybe I’ll let you live” Caliber stated. The words like this coming from such a young boy scared yet fascinated Amaro as his threatening gaze fell onto the lead boy.
“I’m sorry” the boy said. Caliber shoved him onto the ground and then he was gone, disappeared as a fog had encircled him and made him disappear. Then there were memories that came to Amaro of his first years in the mansion, Caliber teaching him spells, showing him how to flirt with girls, and he remembered watching Caliber practice his spells outside.
“Caliber!” Amaro yelled out loud as he realized that Caliber was the only family he had ever had, the only one who had ever protected him and taken him in.
“He’s left you!” Sabre shouted over him. Amaro winced in pain as it felt as though the breath had been knocked out of him. It was then that he realized what Sabre was. He was a Destroyer. Destroyers never used physical force on their enemies but rather twisted their spirits, darkened their souls, weakened their wills, and most often they exhausted people to the point of narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and/or sleep deprivation, they would then gain all the energy that the person would lose. Amaro became quiet and Sabre turned away from him with a dark smile.
Rune leaned back in his recliner as he looked at the TV. He was finally recovering from his fight with Caliber and he hoped where ever his brother was now, that he was suffering. Rune looked across the room and walked to the bookshelf as the sun reflected off a golden binding of a book. He walked over to the shelf and picked up the book. He smiled as he walked towards the chair with the book and opened it up. There was a picture of a beautiful girl with golden hair and light green eyes; she was sitting on a blanket having a picnic with Rune beside her. Then there was another picture with the woman and Rune standing in front of an adoption shelter, a German Shepherd puppy was in between the two and they were petting it, the next one, the woman held the puppy as it licked her face and Rune was laughing beside her as he looked at the two. There were more pictures farther on, the two riding horses on the beach, they were skydiving in another, there was one of the two of them going into their first 3D movie with the tacky glasses and all. Later on there is a picture of the two at a fancy dinner, overlooking the city of Paris, right in front of the glowing tower. Then the next thing you see is a beautiful snowy wedding, Rune wearing a tuxedo and the woman walking down the aisle, wearing a beautiful white dress. Then there is one of the German Shepherd coming down the aisle, holding a pillow in his mouth, two rings on top. Rune had been training the dog for a while and he was impressed as the dog did the performance flawlessly. Later on there is one last picture, one of the girl and Rune teaching their son how to walk. He closes the book and glances back at the front.
There is golden script on the front reading:
Elizabeth and Rune (2010-2013)
Rune closed the book and tears welled in his eyes as he held them back and smiled at the pictures. He then slammed the book closed and threw it across the room, he pushed the sadness back and anger took its place. He thought about how Elizabeth would have still been at his side if it weren’t for his brother, he thought of his son, Levi, and how he never got to grow up, he never got to go to school, make friends, find the love of his life, and it was all because of Caliber.
“Cade, I heard you caught the wanted sorcerer” a voice said from behind him as he walked the blackened streets. Cade lived in Nightfall, a realm that only Soul Traders and Hellions had access to. He turned to see Archeron, a high level Hellion standing behind him. He had frosty hair with black streaks running throughout it. Each Hellion had different levels of power. There were the common Hellions, Shadows, and Dark Nobles. The common Hellions lived alone and bought souls by themselves, Shadows lived under the Noble’s roof. They bought souls from around the world and picked out ones that were to be used in the Royal Guard in England. The king himself chose the Nobles, and put them in power of the Shadows, they paid the Nobles greatly, and Nobles lived in great mansions throughout Nightfall. Archeron’s red and yellow eyes crashed together in a kaleidoscope of color. He was a Shadow.
“What do you want?” Cade sighed as he continued walking.
“My noble wants that kid and you’re gonna give him over” he stated.
“Too late, I already sold him to Acacio” Cade answered.
“What? No!” Archeron said angrily. “He’ll kill me if I don’t get what he wants.”
“I guess that’s your problem” Cade said casually as he didn’t even glance at the Shadow.
“No, it’s your problem!” Archeron yelled as he slammed him to the ground and put his hands around his throat. “You get me your brother, or I’ll kill you myself.” Cade threw a blast of electricity at Archeron, sending him flying backwards.
“Don’t threaten me” Cade stated as he sprang to his feet.
“I’m stronger than you Cade” Archeron said as he stormed towards him.
“Wanna bet?” he replied as he disappeared.
“Get back here!” Archeron yelled. Cade appeared on top of a tree branch and a cruel smile spread across his lips as he looked down at him. Cade pulled out a golden whistle and blew into it, a high pitched sound escaped it. A few moments later Archeron fell to the ground as he was attacked by two giant black wolves wearing black spiked collars, they tore Archeron apart and Cade leapt down he patted the wolves. He blew the whistle again and the giant beasts stopped tearing at Archeron and stood beside him, breathing strong.
“You control hell hounds now?” Archeron gasped as he breathing came quick and short.
“Acacio pays well, sometimes if he really likes what you give him, he gives you power, not just money.”
Caliber was pulled from the car and shoved forward as he entered the large house that stood before him. Dead tree’s grew beside the house and the grass was dead all around. An owl hooted nearby and a howl of a wolf was heard in the distance. He walked into the house and saw that the inside was actually normal looking, not as dark as the outside of the house. Caliber was led to his room at the end of the hall, the floor was hard and made of stone, and a small bed, with a broken leg was in the corner. He was shoved inside and the door slammed behind him as he heard it lock. He sat on the thin mattress and put his head in his hands he ruffled his hair and looked out the barred window that saw into the house. There was no window going to the outside and he sighed, there went his plan of escape. He couldn’t believe he was back in a cell. He was brought out a while later by one of Acacio’s men. He soon stood in front of another servant.
“This is Diego, he’ll teach you what you need to know” one of the men said. Diego was huge, not just tall but he was muscled as well and he looked to be about 20 years old. He had tan skin, dark brown eyes and brown hair, he had the perfect quality traits of a Spaniard and judging by his name, this is what Caliber assumed him to be. The men left and Caliber was left alone in the dark hallways of the house, Diego’s harsh eyes searching him.
“Carry this” Diego said as he lifted a big bag from the ground and threw it towards Caliber. Caliber nearly fell over as the bag hit him roughly in the chest and he struggled to lift the nearly 150 pound bag. Diego picked up two of the bags easily and hauled them over his shoulders as he made towards the outdoors. Unlike the front of the dark mansion, the back was stunning. Miles upon miles of green hills stretched on and the grass was cut neatly. He spotted a long fence that had lots of space inside and he soon took note that it must be a corral for horses. As he looked around, he tripped over his own feet and smacked into the ground as the weight of the bags he was carrying knocked him over. Diego turned and looked down at him.
“Get up you weakling, before I have to do something about it” he said with an intimidating stare.
“I am not weak” Caliber snapped, without even thinking as his old morals started to come back to him. He valued his power and strength above all.
“Is that so? Then why is there sweat built up on your head from walking no more than a mile?” he demanded.
“Don’t talk to me like I’m a child!” Caliber said angrily.
“Believe it or not boy, but I am in charge of you, and I may talk to you anyway I please” he said. “As long as you are here, you will refer to me as master.”
“There is no way in hell that I’m calling you master!” Caliber bit back. “I’m no one’s pet.”
“As of today you are, and if you don’t treat me with some respect, I’ll flog you myself” he said seriously. Caliber smiled at him and couldn’t help but laugh.
“Flog me? What is that like the 1800’s?” he chuckled. Diego lashed out and grabbed Caliber, spinning him around and holding his arms tightly behind him.
“What is this? Are we wrestling now?” Caliber laughed, his laugh was cut short as he heard a snap in his shoulder and he yelled in pain.
“We aren’t gonna do this smart aleck, I make the rules, and you listen with no witty comebacks alright?” he demanded as he looked down at him from where he stood behind him. Caliber nodded and Diego shoved him forward, making him stumble. “Pick up the bag and follow me” he said simply. Caliber’s blue and green eyes illuminated with anger and he tried to hold back his desire to rip this guy’s head off. He used to be the most powerful sorcerer in Italy, now he was taking orders from a Spaniard and a slave to a Greek? Caliber followed Diego and the he was amazed at the huge barn that stood before him, it was made of cherry oak, the most expensive wood there was, and the stalls were large enough to hold three horses, even of the biggest size. There were medals hanging above each stall, and some were even hanging from the back wall of each stall. He looked down near the end of the stable and saw a glass trophy case, inside were dozens of glittering trophies and certificates. “Set down the food right here” Diego said as he set his down.
Caliber gladly let go of the heavy bag and he began to wonder where all the horses were.
As if Diego had read his mind, he spoke up “We gotta go get the horses and bring them to their stalls, it looks like it might rain tonight and Acacio wants them looking perfect for tomorrows tournament. Caliber followed him out towards the fences and Diego swung open the gate.
“Catching them’s hard boy, they all are wild even if they are stuck in here. Acacio didn’t want to tame them, he says it’s unnatural for a wild animal to be tamed, he likes the fire of the beasts” Diego stated. Caliber looked down to see that Diego had a lasso in his hand and he handed another one to Caliber.
“Now, once you find one of them, throw this around their neck and plant your feet on the ground, you gotta pull hard to keep yourself from being dragged behind one of them. Be careful of their back hooves, one kick and they could knock you out cold” he said.
“How long do we do this exactly?” Caliber questioned.
“Until every last one is caught, the sooner we get started the better” he said as he took off. Caliber watched him go and he smiled.
“What a twit” Caliber said to himself, he was free to run off, there were woods everywhere, he could easily sneak off. Caliber set down the lasso and began to slink towards the woods. He was amazed when he finally reached them and Diego hadn’t noticed his disappearance. He moved quickly towards the trees and he stopped as he heard the distant sound of a horse galloping towards him. He heard the angry voice of Diego and knew he was after him. Caliber took off running as fast as his legs would carry him, he didn’t want to think about what would happen if he was caught. He pushed through the thick foliage and tried not to trip over the undergrowth as he ran from his pursuer. The yelling was coming closer and Caliber tried to ignore the panic that was building up inside of him. If only he had control of his magic, he would be able to easily get away. He then thought of a last resort, he could call to Amaro, if he could contact him, he could absorb some of his magic and fight Diego. He had never done it before because he had never needed to; he had always had more power than he knew what to do with. Amaro knew this was one of the responsibilities of being a novice, and agreed to it, knowing that Caliber could use his magic at any time, but this was rare and Caliber had promised he would never do it in case of emergency. Using power from your novice caused them much pain and they usually would black out, this is why it was so rare. No sorcerer ever wanted to intentionally hurt his novice; a novice was loyal to you and linked to you with an almost unbreakable bond. Caliber sent out his cries for help as he located Amaro through his mind.
Amaro jumped and grasped his chest in pain as he felt a shooting pain go through him. Suddenly Caliber appeared in front of him and smiled evilly as he placed his hand on his chest and looked cruelly into his eyes.
“Don’t be such a baby Amaro” Caliber said with a smile.
“No, you’re not real! He wouldn’t do that to me” Amaro said as he squeezed his eyes shut.
“Oh I’m real alright, look at me Amaro, I’m standing right in front of you” he said vigorously.
“No, it’s just Sabre, he’s making me hallucinate again” Amaro answered as he refused to open his eyes.
“Think what you want, but if this was a hallucination….” Caliber began. “How could I do this?” he questioned as he grabbed Amaro around the throat and slammed the back of his head into the wall he was sitting against. A sharp pain went through his head and his eyes widened as he reached back and felt blood on his hand. He brought it to his face and gasped as he saw the liquid in his hand. His eyes widened and he froze.
“Sabre” he said as he tried to scoot farther away. The hallucination of Caliber faded and Sabre grabbed Amaro’s arm tight and pulled him forward, forcing him to meet his eyes. Amaro knew that hallucinations couldn’t hurt him, but if they were Sabre himself then they could.
“What is it about your bond? A normal novice would have cracked by now, how am I supposed to turn you against your beloved master if you won’t believe he’s abandoned you?” Sabre demanded. Amaro tried to look away from Sabre’s eyes but Sabre only tightened his grip. “What am I doing wrong hmm?” he questioned.
“It doesn’t matter what you tell me about Caliber, because I know he would never turn against me, that’s in the bond as well, I will stay loyal to him” Amaro said angrily.
“Well, if it’s the bond that’s the problem, maybe I should sever it” Sabre stated. Amaro felt another stab of pain in his chest and he tried not to show it in front of Sabre, he knew that Caliber was siphoning him so he knew that he was in real danger.
“There is no way to sever it” Amaro pushed past the pain as he faced Sabre.
“Maybe I can push you even farther into exhaustion, it seems to be working, even when I don’t cause the hallucinations you see them, and soon enough you’ll crack, how longs it been since you got more than 20 minutes of sleep? A few days, a week?” Sabre questioned.
“You can’t exhaust me out of my bond” Amaro stated confidently.
“Is that so?” Sabre said with a smirk as his brown eyes looked threateningly at Amaro. “You’re right, maybe I can’t exhaust you out of the bond, but I can torment you out of it, I’ve been using too much psychological influence, now it’s time to get up close and personal.”
Caliber threw a fireball towards the horse and it whinnied and rose onto its hind legs. It kicked violently and threw Diego off, sending him flying through the air. The black horse ran off and Caliber shot fire and electric bolts towards Diego. The man jumped back, and managed to get out of the wake of the electricity right in time.
“Acacio, he’s got power!” Diego shouted right before a blast of electricity sent him flying backwards as it hit him in the side. Caliber walked forward and stood over the man as he the electrical currents sent him jolting a few inches off the ground every few seconds.
“We’re miles from the manor Diego, I wish I could kill you quickly, but I’ve been without magic for so long, I am dying to test it out again” he said as the bloodthirsty look returned to his eyes and he smiled down at him.
“Please, I’m sorry” Diego said as he put his hands out in front of him. “Spare me Caliber, I was just doing what I was told” Diego begged.
“And why would I do that?” Caliber asked as he narrowed his eyes and looked amusingly down at him.
“You’re better than your brothers” Diego replied.
“How do you know my brothers?” Caliber demanded as he stepped on Diego’s chest and held him there.
“The soul trader, the thief, and the traitor? How could I not? The De’ Santis family name is well known in not only the real world, but in this realm too” Caliber said. “Please, be better than them; show me that there is something good left in your family name. Everyone knew your parents, they were kind and merciful, they helped everyone, and they had no enemies.” Caliber looked down at him and then looked into his eyes; he bent down and covered Diego’s mouth as he instantly yelled in pain. Caliber heard his skull slowly crack, blood trickled out of his eyes and then erupted out his ears and Caliber removed his hand as Diego lay lifeless on the ground. He leaned over Diego and whispered in his ear. “There is nothing good left in the De’ Santis name.”
Caliber made his way further into the forest; he knew there had to be a way out of this realm. He was weak now; the power he had siphoned from Amaro was depleted. After a while he spotted a light coming from behind some tree’s and he noticed what looked like a portal sitting among the tree’s he was almost home free. He was only about 100 yards away from it.
“There you are Caliber, don’t think you are getting away so fast” Acacio said as he appeared behind him. Caliber instantly took off running, Acacio held onto the vial and suddenly Caliber was throwing fireballs in front of himself, blocking his exit.
“There’s no way out, I control you Caliber” Acacio said
“I’m never going to let you completely control me, I will fight every second of the day, I will never stop trying to escape you, if you take me back to that manor” Caliber shouted.
“I’ll tell you what Caliber; I’ll give you back your soul, in return for something I want….” Acacio started.
“What’d you have in mind?” Caliber replied.
Rune was happy that he’d finally pushed the thoughts of his family out of his mind; he was back on task and knew that he could focus on helping the secret police with this case. They were investigating the brutal attack of a group of hikers that had camped in the mountains, they all were torn apart and Rune had been trying the think of what could do this kind of damage. It was getting late, and a lot of the patrol had left already, Rune went deeper into the mountains, searching eagerly for answers. He leaned over one of the carcasses and tried to block out the image of the graphic injuries. He lifted his head suddenly as he heard something run behind him.
“Hello?” Rune yelled as he looked around. All remained quiet and he figured he had just hallucinated the sound. Suddenly he heard the sounds of pawsteps running towards him and he took off running as he heard growling and barking coming from behind him. Within seconds he was knocked off his feet and a large wolf tried to bear down on him, its jaws met his wrist and he yelled furiously as he tried to shake the beast off of him. It was a large red wolf, with red colored eyes and a thick snout. The teeth bit deeper into him and Rune managed to reach his gun and hit the wolf in the side of the head, knocking it away from him. He stood to his feet and was knocked down again as the wolf jumped up and blocked is path. Its fangs glistened in the moonlight and foam dripped from its mouth. It knocked him back on his back, and it raked its long claws down his chest. Rune gasped and pulled out a dagger from his back pocket, he was now shielding his neck from being torn out with his arm, and the beasts sharp teeth were now digging furiously into his arm as it chomped down, trying desperately to get through his arm, and towards his neck. Rune took his right arm and gripped the dagger, the flash of the dagger alerted the wolf and it lunged towards his right arm, pinning it to the ground, he could barely move the arm the wolf had been on moments before but he knew he couldn’t die here. The wolf released his right arm and went for his throat, Rune lifted up his arms and he held onto the wolf’s jaws, pushing them away from him as they snapped furiously. He let go of one side of the jaws for a split second, grabbed the dagger and quick as lightning, thrust the dagger into the wolf’s neck. It yelped and fell to the ground as blood spilled out of its fatal wound. Rune lifted himself to his feet, his arms hung limply by his sides. Suddenly he felt something come over him and he fell to the ground, his eyes felt like they were on fire and he felt fangs begin to protrude from his gums. His eyes changed from dark blue to a dark re
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