Answers Lie Within: Athame'

Night time fills the sky as emergency sirens, security and drones storm a large event at the Hidden Cities biggest event. Patel, teacher assistant and emergency potion technician is met by Athame's parents and brother to ask of her wearabouts. Covering for her, Patel tells them she fled from the balcony when the commotion started, and couldnt handle the stress. In what appears to be early labor pains, Athame' has escaped being discovered at a large city gathering by flying across the city back to her apartment at rocket speed. She crashes through her balcony window and lies on the floor in pain clenching her stomach for a matter of moments. She is covered in shattered glass that has punctured parts of her skin as she tries to remove them. As the light in her apartment flickers and the objects shake she soon comes to relaxation when the pain fades and the apartment commotion stops. She sits up panting as she looks at the areas of her skin to continue to pull glass out. She pulls one huge out her back shoulder then begins to limp hunched over to her bathroom for the remaining pieces.

Panting and groaning.

Athame': Luminate (saying as the lights turn on)

She looks at her self in the mirror to see the the shards of glass in her back and pulls them out one by one. As she does so she sees something incredible.

Athame': Wh... What? (saying as she examines the wounds)

She grows in slight panic.

Athame': Impossible...

Athame' looks at the wounds heal seconds later as the last shards of glass push out and wound heal.

Athame': What's happening to me? (as small tears fill her eyes)

Athame' leaves her bath room quickly and tries to make a phone call.

Athame': Call... Call Lament. (begins to pant tiredly)

The computer home system begins to call Jack Nightmare (a friend at the cities largest hospital and laboratory) but the call just rings

System: Apologies, Jack Nightmare is away from his domecile at the moment. Please feel free to leave...

Athame': End... (system hangs up) I've... I've got to do something (pants heavy and looks around frantically) or this could get worse. (starts to get dizzy) I h...Have...I... (pants slower until she passes out on her kitchen floor).

A clear day morning at the bottom of a large moreton bay fig tree (about 34 stories high), in a grass field, miles outside the hidden city Athame' sits staring at her lover Brandis as he lays with his head in her lap, legs extended in front of him, holding hands.

Athame': You know... I... this...

Brandis with his eyes closed in the embrace.

Brandis: Wha'?

Athame': This.. this is just amazing...

Brandis: Wha' tis?

Athame': Seeing the world how you do... it's actually form.. how the lights reflect off each other... the sky... the tree... without my aura sense... it's like the feeling when you first fly. Scary... but peacful (looking up in bliss)

Eyes still closed.

Brandis: I... I wouldn' kno'.

Athame':Yes it's like... Wait wouldn't know what?

Brandis: Flight.. I wouldn' kno'. (opening his eyes looking at her and sitting up)

Athame': But I've seen you levitate so you must be able to... or at least have the potential to...

Brandis gets up.

Brandis: Dat isn't flyin'... it's levitatin'. Tad different.

Athame': Well I know that... I mean I took a class... I...I learned but...

Brandis: I can't fly... I neva learned... ( saying as he looks away sitting upslightly embaressed)

Athame': ....

Brandis: Propa diet.. da trainin'...I've done it. Mos' in m' species... dey uh... learn t'fly in d'first years of dey life... like birds... me.. uh well I neva got it. Mother said... I was jus' different is all... nothin' wrong wit dat, an' t' embraced it.. whateva right...

Athame' approaches Brandis embracing him from behind.

Brandis: But wha' is a dragon... if it can not fly.

Athame' kisses his back, then turns him around and kisses him on the lips.

Athame': You dont' have to be good at everything... you're perfect to me you know.

Brandis hugs her back and kisses her forehead. Athame' then looks at him with a smile.

Athame': Come on (saying as she takes his hand and walks closer to the base of the tree smiling)

Brandis: What're we doin'?

Athame': Lets play a game...

Brandis: Wha' kinda game?

Athame': Catch me! (Saying as she smiles and flies off to the top of the tree)

Athame' giggles while flying as Brandis flips and pulls him self through the branches and trunks of the trees like like an ape. Any time he gets closer she flies up further and faster. Over and over this happens until Athame'gets to the top and can't see Brandis.

Athame': (chuckles) Bran? (looking around) Bran? (with worry)

Brandis swoops from below in silence and grabs Athame' from behind startling her.

Brandis: Gotcha!

Both laugh and giggle on top of the highest tree trunk which is as thick as another tree.

Brandis: So wha' are we doin'?

Athame': Learning to fly.

Brandis: (growing irritated)...Not interested. (Saying as he begins to descend the tree)

Athame': Wait why?

Brandis: Jus... I'm not.

Athame': That's not an answer. Look Brandis, I feel.. I mean I know you... I can tell this bothers you... probably has for a long time.

Brandis: Look tis jus'... flyin's not me... I'm fine how I am. Took a while but I got dere... not lookin t'goin back.

Athame': But you can achieve so much more if you could... you could see the city in a matter of moments... maybe save lives easier in another disaster faster... you.. you wouldn't need to know how to drive one of our silly cars... you... you can soar through the clouds... with me....

Brandis: ... (looks off into the distance)

Athame': Try for me... please...

Brandis turns to her.

Brandis: I'm afraid o' heights.

Athame': But you.. you... climb trees like it's nothing... I've seen you dive off of 20 story buildings like you had wings...

Brandis: I kno' .. fallin's easy... staying up... dats hard. I ten' t'lose control when too high up. Fear o' collidin' wit da ground doesn't sit well...

Athame': Well with me as your teacher... you'll be flying like a a fish swims in water.

Brandis: Yea...(continues to look down as Athame' reassures him with a kiss on the cheek from behind)

Athame': First lesson... (Athame' lets go of Brandis and backs away) Catch me.

She begins to free fall to the ground hundreds of feet below.

Brandis turns around looking for Athame' and grows concern.

Brandis: Athame'?!

He looks to see her falling fast. He then starts to jump and propel himself down the tree, free falling. As he falls with her he somewhat begins to fall faster but at the same time move closer to her. It seems like moments in slow motion until he catches her in one arms with his other grasping around a trunk with the other. Athame' drapes his arms around Brandis in relief.

Athame': Lesson one... trust yourself... your mind, body, spirit...the world around you... I know you wouldn't let me fall... I trust you.. now you trust you...

Athame' kisses Brandis as she wakes up from her dream in the early morning after hours of sleeping. She feels more relaxed than the night before. she examins her body in the mirror and sees all of her wounds and bruising have healed over night. The mess from her crashing through the window has been cleaned by her house droid.

Athame': Not a... not a single scratch... what's happening to me?

Athame' then storms out of the room starting to get dress.

Hours pass and miles away at Sevenfold Labs Lament Nightmare sits at her dsk analyizing data on a hologram, frantically busy. She wears an outfit similar to medical scrubs, her hair up in a pony tail. Her daughter Saga, who looks like her with brown hair, sits in a crib telekinetically moving her toys around her for entertainment, she is less than a year old.

Lament: Saga... it's nap time. (saying as she pulls the toys telekineticaly from her daughters grasp)

Lament picks up the hologram then walks over to another room.

Lament: Deluminate. (lights turn off in the room and soft nursery music begins to play as the door closes behind her) luminate... (lights in the second room doesnt turn on) luminate... (nothing happens still) Damn it...CC... is the terminal malfunctioned in any way?

CC (central control): No director. All systems are functional.

Placing hologram down.

Lament: Then what the hell...

Speaking from the shadows.

Athame': It's me... I'm doing it.

Lament: Athame'? What... what are you... I mean I'm happy to see you but... what's...?

Athame' steps from the shadows revealing her pregnancy to Lament for the first time.

Athame': I need your help...

Lament: Oh my... Athame' (covers her mouth in shock)

Athame': I... I..

Growing more nervous about finally revealing her secret for the first time Athame' grows more anxious and begins levitating things around her uncontrollably...

Lament: Athame'... (looks around her cautiously)

Athame' pants heavily as air around her begins to kick up.

Lament: Hey... (wind builds up) Hey is this you?! (objects begin to circle the room as Lament keeps her distance) You have to calm your self! (commotion grows louder)

Athame' begins to cry as the commotion grows louder in the room and Saga begins to cry in the other room.

Lament: Get a hold of yourself! My daughter is in the other room!

Athame' continues to panic. Seeking a powerful sedative across the room Lament telekinetically pulls it to her self, preps and injects it into Athame' quickly, which knocks her out immediately.

Rustling through a tree in the forest Athame; looks at Brandis as he climbs a tree like a large ape, grabs an apple and jumps down in front of her.

Athame': (smiling) And what exactly made this fruit more alluring than any other?

Brandis: Hard t' say but... it called t'me.

Athame': How?

Brandis: Ya kno' how ya call on da elemen's?

Athame': Yes..

Brandis: Well dis fruit called t'me... like t'was sayin; dis is d'nourishment for ya body... (Brandis gives the apple to Athame' who take a bite)

Athame': It's... it's so ripe and sweet...I... I don't understand (saying as she hands it back to Brandis)

Brandis: Ya see... ya people learn t' use da elemen's an' call on da magics all given by nature... but we are part o' dem both. Dey speak t' us... as we speak t' dem. (touches the tree) Nourishin' us... healin' us... guidin' us... Da water... da trees... da fruit... "ay knat, athom."

Athame': What's that mean?

Brandis: T'means thank you mother in dragon tongue. (Saying as he smiles)

Athame': Ay knat athom

Athame' says as she wakes up back in the lab and tries to sit up.

Lament: Whoa... slow down. (saying as she tries to relax Athame')

Athame': What happen?

Lament: You had a panic attack... pretty hard one if I say so myself. I gave you a sedative to help calm your nerves and give null to your nature orientated abilities for the time being... they'll return in a few hours.

Athame': Thank you... I'm sorry I uh.. I shouldn't have come here...I put you and your daughter in danger..I.. I'll be going...

Stopping Athame'.

Lament: Whoa... not so fast. You'll be woosey for another hour or two. And last I want is you hurting you or your baby.

Athame': ...

Lament: Don't worry... your secret won't leave this lab. I assume that's why you came.. (saying as she pours Athame' water) But in case you're wondering (hands her the water as she takes it and sips) everything checks out alright. You're about 5 to 6 months pregnant. The baby is healthy... heart rate and all. Given the time and common nature.. If I'm correct.. (sits next to her) the baby is Brandis'...

Athame' grows nervous and says nothing.

Lament: Don't be nervous... it all makes since now.

Athame': What does?

Lament: Your isolation of yourself from everyone. Leaving the school...your job... it's an interspecies pregnancy.. which is illegal here so you sought best to keep it to yourself.

Athame': ... Yea... something like that...

Lament: And these panic attacks have been throwing your powers out of flux so you came to Jack for help... but in stead... found me.

Athame': I didnt want to bring you into this... get you in trouble or anything yet alone put your baby in danger... I honestly had no idea.. It's why I came... I needed to see him He's... the smartest person I know...

Lament: ....

Athame': Sorry... no offense.

Lament: None taken, Jack Jack is a genius... but this is not your fault... you didn't know... We have all been out of the loop with each other for a while now. I only know of what I know about you from school records.

Athame': Where's Jack?

Lament: (gets up from sitting next to Athame' to check her vitals on a machine) He's taken leave of absence. Has been... indiposed for a few weeks now. (looks at machine) Your vitals are also normal. Your white blood cell count is abnormally high but that's ok considering the nature of the pregnancy. But to subdue these panic attacks I suggest staying away from stressful situations. If you want we can percure you a room here at Sevenfold labs to monitor you. Strictly under wraps until we can figure this out...

Athame': No that's alright... is it... is it... human?

Lament: From what I can tell... HE very much is. 10 fingers and toes... one head... arms... legs...

Athame': He? It's a boy?

Lament: Strong little boy.... might want to start thinking about names mommy if you haven't. (saying as she looks at her smiling for a brief moment)

Athame': So I'm going to be ok?

Lament: For the most part... your stress levels are off the chart which is why I said... stay away from stress... your heart can't take it as well the strain from pregnancy. Are you worried about anything specific? Other than the power fluxes?

Athame': Dreams...

Lament: Well that's normal... dreams are a big part of being pregnant... trust me... you'll have plenty of weird ones... Like one time I had one dream where I was inside my own womb (chuckles)

Athame': I've... been dreaming about Brandis...

Lament: Well that's normal... I mean... he was...he was ... special to you...

Athame': But these dreams... these dreams arent really like dreams... more like memories.... like before I woke up I dreamt of one of our times together where he taught me that all of nature is connected. That it is always commmunicating with us as we do to each other.... we just have to listen... (saying as she looks like she just got an idea)

Lament: Well I'm not one to say Brandis wasnt an interesting character ( Athame' gets up and walks over to Lament across the room slowly as she contrinues to fill in holographic work of Athame's data) Wisdom... strength and speed ... a good friend... listen I wanted to tell you how sorry I...(Saying as she turns around to see Athame' right behind her)

Athame': No... it is I who should be apologizing to you...

Athame' places her hand over Lament's face and chants a spell quickly with ease. Lights flash before they turn black and back on. When they turn back on Athame' is gone from Laments sight.

Lament: What just happen? What was I doing again?

Athame' gets in a city taxi back to her place with the data chip with her pregnancy scans on it. When she gets home, she looks at all the data and comes across the 3D graphic of her unborn son. She cries with joy to see him for the first time as well as his heart beating. She then takes the chip and destroys the information Lament gathered on her baby in the system by use of a flame from a candle.

Athame': I'm not sure how I did that spell on Lament with the potion numbing my powers but I'm guessing you do. But... it wasnt enough. I know what I have to do now. (talking

to her unborn son)
You, Me, Us... forever

Athame' pregnant with Brandis child

Athame' gathers her candles and draw necessary symbols on the floor. She sits in the middle and begins to chant. As she chants her mind take her spirit into a gazed anf fogged setting.

Athame': Jean? Jean?

She is soon met by a large fog of light that eventually forms into the shape of her long time friend Gabriel, the archangel, also known as LD.

LD: You can't keep coming here Athame'. This realm of limbo is not for the sake of meeting the dead nor will it ever be.

Athame': I know.. the astral plane is to seek inner guidance...and in a manner of speaking.. I need it... I know you know what's going on.. I need to talk to her... please... I... I don't know what to do. I'm having her sons child... I I I I.... I've never had a baby before.. I can't go to my parents... I can't risk anyone knowing this... please.. I just need your help. (sobs)

LD: ... what you seek is not an answer the dead can give you... but the living who you are a part of now...

Athame': What does that mean? Listen I...

Athame' is kicked back to her body in her apartment.

Athame': (slightly gasping as she awake from her trance) wha... (cries)

Athame's cries as she lays on the floor and rolsl up into her self.

Athame':... not an answer the dead can give you... but the living who you are a part of now...

Athame' begins to fall asleep again. As she begins to dream she visualizes Brandis in front of her, then laying down next to her holding her close. An embrace that seems like hours were going by in it. She is then woken up by a knock on her door. The knock continues on and off as she wakes up.

Athame': Entrance projection (hologram projection of the outside of her apt shows a woman standing stiff as she knocks) Who... Who... who's there? (saying as she speaks to the system)

Rynth: Rynth, Lady Starfire.

The view through the camera show a former associate named Rynth. Rynth is a half dro and demon hybrid. She has long jet black hair and skin is as pale as porcelain. She wears dark make up, her eyes are silk silver, and ears pointed like an elf. She dresses in a Victorian/ Egyptian/ Greek attire. A black sleeveless jacket which ties in front by silver buttons, meeting at her knees (jacket is similar to a traditional Victorian male dress jacket). She wears satin tight arm warmers on both arms, which are topped off with golden ruby gauntlets. Her gloves only cover her middle finger and other fingers are capped off with silver rings. Her shirt is made of purple suede, sleeveless and with a collar, a silver corset on top of her shirt. Her black heeled boots stop at her knees with a purple streak up the front. Her pants are dark grey and skin tight. She wields a steel 25 foot long, spiked chained whip with a foot long spear sterling silver head on the tip tyhat she keeps draped arounf her torso. Her power is to control, manipulate, and move through shadows at will. She also posesses slight invulberabiity, heighten senses, speed, and strength of an elf. She was once a slave for a dark side of demons who was forced to be thier champion in a arena, where she fought monsters and demons. Once defeated, she was freed by Brandis. She and Athame; have not seen each other nor talked since Brandis memorial ceremony, after she helped Athame' save Brandis.

Athame': Enter (saying as the door opens and Rynth enters)

Rynth: Good day to you M'lady.

Athame': Good morning... um... come in... have a seat.

Rynth: Thank you... um... I grew concerned for you... you have been absent for a matter of months... so I thought I would check on you and your well being.

Athame': Thank you... I don't mean to be rude but I've been quite tired and would rather see my self to bed again soon... I am not feelin just as I have been for months... which is why I have been absent.. so if we can make this quick as possible.

Rynth: Understood... (looks at Athame' curiously) I... I was just wondering since you had ties to the leaders of this city... if you would proivde me with a way out so that I might return home...

Athame': Home.. No... it's... it's ok.. come in.. sit.

Rynth sits down on Athame's couch as Athame' heads to the kitchen.

Athame': Would you care for something to eat or drink.

Rynth: No miss.

Athame' grabs a water for herself and sits down in a chair across from the couch.

Athame': So you were saying, you want to go home?

Rynth: Yes... I would like to return home so that I may return to my normal duties as champion of the Darko Clan.

Athame': But to do that would be impossible... they think you're dead... Brandis freed you from that debt... helped you.

Rynth: Yes... placing a new life debt on me to him... until his life or mine ended... But unfortunately... Well, here in your city I have found that I have no place. Everything is foriegn here to me so I wish to go home... and do what I know. I will accept any punishment fitted to me by the Darko clan... with your mate gone...

Athame': ....

Rynth: Apologies my lady... but with him no longer being here I would be at fault of any punishment seen fit for he and I.

Athame': But why leave... you can make a place for yourself here...there are ways.

Rynth: Well before his sacfrice (Athame' gets up and starts to proceed to the kitchen in slight pain. Rynth looks concerned) As mentioned I was to follow and fight beside him until his death...

Athame': AHHH! (Athame' grunts in pain as she squeezes and bends the handle of the counter in the kitchen)

Rynth rushes to Athame's side.

Rynth: Miss! Are you alright?!

Athame': I'm fine... just... just a stomach cramp..

Rynth looks at her then the counter.

Rynth: I see.. but it appears to be more than such...

Athame' grows nervous and gets up fast as she can.

Athame': Um... yes... you.. you should get going... I will. I Will see to it tomorrow you recieve passage from the city to venture back to where you wish... (Saying as she follows Rynth to the door)

Rynth: I understand my lady. I will leave you to your prenatal way and await safe passage.

Athame': Tha...wait... what?

Rynth: Forgive me for saying but... you are with child... I assume....

Athame': You've no idea what you're talking about.. please leave. ( Saying as she pushes her through the door.)

The door closes behind Rynth and Athame' runs to her bed room. Rynth then looks around the hallway, and sits down in a meditative state outside of Athame's place. As Athame' lays in bed for what seems like hours she tries to convince herself that Rynth didn't know her secret and erasing her memory as she did Lament's wasn't necessary since she was leaving to go home.

Athame': Home... home...

The word seems to echo in her along with what LD told her. As she contemplates the riddle the words home, Brandis, and living seem to repeat in her head. She sees images of Brandis, her unborn baby, his home and family. Hours have passed and she wakes up with a startling discovery.

Athame': (gasp) Oh... oh OH I got it!

She then slips on a robe and runs to the front door to find Rynth.

Rynth: My lady, is something wrong?

Athame': Something told me you had not left so easily. I.. was just coming to find you... why...are you here still?

Rynth: Until the previous day I had no purpose other than to return to the Darko clan and accept my punishment...

Athame': And now?

Rynth: My previous debt has reinstated it self...

Athame': To protect Brandis...

Rynth: Yes.

Athame': But he's is... gone...

Rynth: Correct.

Athame': And now?

Rynth: I am bound to protect you...

Athame': Why me?

Rynth: Because you bare his child... my debt is passed on to my arm is yours... my life... is yours.

Saying as she kneels.

Athame': Please... get up. (Rynth gets up) I'm not one to condone servitude... but I guess I will need your help for what I need to do next.

Rynth: And what may they be if I may ask Lady Starfire?

Athame': To help me take Brandis' child....home...