PART THREE: THE REVELATION
A harsh, biting wind spread across the land of Denary particularly in areas closest to its capital city, Drywood. An ominous dark fog clung to the land as the temperatures reached an all time low. In the darkness of the cold, Tabitha Tanner stood, cloaked from head to toe in black, virtually invisible the naked eye.
Tabitha stopped right outside the magnificent Church of the Goddess of Enlightenment, by far one of the largest churches constructed in honor of the goddess in recent times. She hatefully observed the structure while using with her gift of clairvoyance to determine that her mission on that fateful night would be accomplished.
“Hmm, 20 in attendance tonight including a High Priestess…” she muttered under her breath, tilting her head to the right in a menacing manner.
“For tonight, that will do,” she stated nodding her head and then shutting her eyes and steadying her breathing. She visualized and psychically connected to the roots of treacherous vines buried deep within the foundation of the church and willed them to sprout. The vines bid her command and began to sprout, shaking and rocking the Church violently as they shot upwards.
The parishioners within the Church began to panic, surprised that an Earthquake was suddenly rocking their place of worship so violently. They rushed towards the exits but were soon confronted by harsh reality of the Church doors being sealed shut. No matter how hard they tried to open the doors, they would not budge. The windows would also not budge and there was no means of them to escape.
Meanwhile, the High Priestess prayed to the Goddess of Enlightenment for help. A large shoot shot straight from the Earth and pierced straight through the cleric’s chest, puncturing her heart and mortally wounding her. The vine then shot up violently through the roof of the building, effectively killing the Priestess who dangled lifelessly on display.
“One down, nineteen to go,” Tabitha pronounced proudly with her eyes still shut as she concentrated on directing the treacherous vines growth and advancement.
More stalks of the treacherous vines shot through the church from beneath its foundation and straight through the roof, destroying the structure thoroughly. Tabitha could tell whenever one of the persons inside the church was wounded, either by the collapsing structure or by the vines themselves and it greatly pleased her. She counted down the number of enemies slain until there was just but one measly worshiper left.
The worshiper knew what was coming and was therefore the most terrified. He begged whoever was destroying what had been his sole place of worship to take pity on him. His pleas fell on deaf ears and the falling structure eventually caught up with him and he perished along with his fellow congregants .
With all twenty members that had been at the Church that evening slain, Tabitha propped them up for display by using the vines so that they appeared to be hanging. She then hid and awaited the emergency respondents to arrive and take a look at her ‘handiwork’.
The respondents were flabbergasted by such a violent display. They knew that clearly no ordinary caster could have pulled off such powerful dark magic and they were terrified that the country of Denary had a serial killer with such powerful dark magic to contend with. The Blues sought to hand over the case to the Protectors’ Agency feeling that the particular case at hand was way out of their depth.
Tabitha silently cackled as she observed the crowds gathering, observing her handiwork. As security agents worked towards finding the culprit and a possible motive for the attack, the crowds began to panic and speculate as to who or why the attack had been carried out. The gloom and terror that was persistently felt by the peoples of Denary intensified.
With her first mission of justice being a success, Tabitha felt emboldened and continued her work of destroying churches worshiping the false goddess. A curfew was instituted and any person with any information pertaining to the serial killer behind the destruction and deaths of worshipers of the Church of Enlightenment was rewarded monetarily. However, there were very few people to come forward at all, fearful of the retribution of the powerful serial killer.
After destroying several churches, Tabitha then began to target prominent leaders within the church and supporters of the church within the newly instituted government. She was successful in slaying about 20 of them until at last, the law caught up to her, in a way that Tabitha found most amusing.
Dolphus and his pack who were Bounty Hunters, tracked down criminals and brought them to justice by taking them to the security agencies seeking them. On that fateful evening, they stumbled upon Tabitha as she approached the lavish estate of her target for that evening. Dolphus sought to restrain Tabitha but some unseen force prevented him from doing so. That same mysterious force similarly held his pack at bay.
“Who… who are you?” he asked in terror.
Tabitha simply cackled and shook her head.
“Why are you doing this?”
“Because I lost everything because of the Goddess of Enlightenment and now, she has earned my loathing,” Tabitha responded.
Dolphus knew he had heard that voice before and her scent stood out to him as well.
“I know you from somewhere, don’t I?”
Tabitha nodded and uncovered her face to him. He gasped upon seeing her.
“No- it can’t be! What… what happened to you?”
“I was given these powers for a reason, Dolphus. I am justice. I may be a monster but this world shall be cleansed of the dark goddess if it is the last thing I do,”
Dolphus wanted to run away but for some reason, his legs suddenly couldn’t work. Instead, he shook violently and wondered why he suddenly had the urge to get down on his knees and pledge his allegiance to Tabitha’s cause.
“What- what have you done to me and my pack?” he asked her gently, surprised that the rage he felt towards her had simply evaporated.
“I haven’t done a thing to you nor to them, my love,”
“Why… why would you refer to me as… as your love?” Dolphus asked her terrified at how his entire being seemed to respond to Tabitha. It was as if he was obsessed with her and his resolve to apprehend her was slowly dissolving and giving way to a new compulsion- to protect her at all costs.
Tabitha approached him slowly and the moment she was right before him, his legs gave way and he fell to his knees. His pack helplessly followed suit.
“Why? Why are you doing this to us? Why me?”
“It is your destiny to serve as my Protector, Dolphus,”
“As… as your protector?” he asked in surprise.
Tabitha gently caressed his face. “Have your memories not returned to you, my love? Worry not. I trust that the moment you pledge your allegiance to me, they shall be restored,”
“I don’t want to… You’re evil… Wicked… I… I am a good person,”
“You may be a good person but you are, first and foremost, my Protector and shall go through the fires of the hellish lands for me if I so desire it,”
Dolphus was terrified at how true her words were and before he knew it, he firmly held her hands in his own and swore that he would protect her with his very life. He sacrificed his own soul for her cause and pledged allegiance to her even though he still had no idea who she was or what her mission entailed.
Once he had pledged his allegiance, as Tabitha had predicted, his memories were restored to him. The clothes he had worn were transformed into dark-colored armor bearing the mark of the raven on its chest plate.
Tabitha’s clothing was also transformed into a magnificent trumpet-style silhouetted black gown with characteristic raven-like scales running up its shoulder pads and arms. The gown was decorated by individual raven pieces on its bodice and skirt which ended with a spectacular raven- feathered bottom. The gown was completed by an elegant, crown-shaped headdress with black feathers adorning it. The rest of the pack gasped in awe at what they saw but soon afterwards bowed in reverence.
“Do you remember now, my love?” Tabitha asked Dolphus.
Dolphus stood up and nodded. “Yes, my lady. I recall who we are in perfect detail,”
“Shall you aid me in accomplishing my mission?”
“I will follow you to the ends of the earth if that is what it takes. My pack is yours to command as well,”
Tabitha smiled and nodded. In the next few moments, both she, Dolphus and his pack were transported to the House of Purity which was transformed into the house of damnation. The Magical Gong then began to sound and rang six times marking the beginning of the era of the new dark Oracle of Timeline B-3, Tabitha Tanner.
TO BE CONTINUED…
What shall become of Timeline B-3 now that Tabitha has chosen the path of darkness? Stay tuned to find out!