A New Dawn

PART TWO: DAUGHTER OF ULL

Since the unprecedented departure and sudden return to Present Reality of Emre’s true love, Avery, Emre had taken some days off work to tend to her every need. Avery had explained in almost perfect detail, everything she had encountered when she had ‘accidentally’ traveled to an Alternate Reality.

A Mind Upload of Avery’s experiences had corroborated everything she had encountered which had shown with what perfect accuracy she had recalled her harrowing experiences in the foreign Reality, much to the surprise of all involved.

After recuperating in the Med Bay for an entire week, Avery had been released and had stubbornly insisted on returning to work. However, she had been put on compulsory sick leave after maladies began to manifest in her such as her suffering from migraines and sudden weakness and vomiting spells whenever she ate salty foods despite her best efforts to conceal her suffering.

However, what truly gave Avery away were the vivid hallucinations she had of what she described as a hellish creature she had encountered in the Alternate Reality she had narrowly escaped from, appearing to her at random times during the day with a sinister smirk spread across its face.

Whenever these vivid hallucinations occurred, the site of the wound where the creature had punctured its fangs and drawn her blood and life force from would suddenly begin to burn so excruciatingly that every other motor function would suddenly cease and she would spasm in agony until the hallucination disappeared.

Avery was kept under observation day and night and every strange occurrence was documented meticulously. Eventually, the Director decided that it was in her best interest for Avery to return home which was when Emre took over the work of monitoring her.

Emre did not mind caring for his beloved because, as he would soon find out, it drew her closer to him. Avery seemed very attached to Emre and would often reach out to him whenever her spasms got too painful and whenever she felt lonely which occurred more often than not.

He had permanently relocated to Avery’s room where he slept by her side, monitoring and documenting everything he observed meticulously. He updated the Med Team assigned to her, leaving no detail behind and never departed from her side save for caring for their son and running a few errands.

Emre had to admit that caring for Avery had become a full time job on its own and by the end of each successive day, he felt fully satisfied but totally fatigued. He endured every labor of love he performed for Avery and she responded positively by being more attached to him than ever, sometimes physically clinging to him so he wouldn’t leave her.

After weeks of tending to her every need, Emre received a phone call from Director Everly herself and begrudgingly left Avery alone to the Healers as he stepped outside to answer it.

“Em, how are you doing? It’s been a while,”

“I know, Everly. I’m so sorry but my fiancee is still not out of the woods yet so I am still stuck here, unfortunately,”

“I am sorry to hear that about your fiancee but um, we need you back here as soon as possible. We are in the midst of a crisis,”

“A crisis, you say? What’s going on?”

“Please come in today so we can talk about it at depth,”

“Today? I- I don’t know about it,”

“I know your priority lies with your family but this simply cannot be helped. Please get here as soon as you can,”

“Um… Very well, Everly, I’ll be right there,”

“Thank you, Em,”

Emre informed Avery of the call and she reluctantly let him leave. He was more than a little annoyed walking down to the Board Room where the Director and her partner as well as some other senior executives were seated waiting for him.

“Prince Emre, thank you for coming. Please, have a seat,” Everly stated.

Emre did as requested.

“Right, Emre, as explained, we have a crisis. Please take a look at the following holographic imagery to better understand what we are currently facing,”

Emre looked at the holographic imagery as the Director stated and saw why they had had to have a crisis meeting. An unknown Traveler had been tracking down and returning some of the organization’s beneficiaries back to the Timelines they had successfully been saved from.

The Traveler had evaded all attempts to contain her and had not failed in a single mission yet. Scarce information about her was available but she was apparently too powerful for anyone, even the most elite of security agents sent to capture her, to apprehend.

What was worse was the organization did not even have a real image of the Traveler. Whoever she was, she had managed to successfully conduct her missions without so much as leaving a single trace of evidence about who she was.

“We have tried multiple times to use her own magic to trace her but have come up blank. We have no idea who this woman is or even why she does what she does but we do know that she is seemingly unstoppable and that is a huge problem,”

Emre nodded, astounded that the organization had such a powerful enemy to contend with. For several hours, all present for the meeting brainstormed on ideas of how stop the woman but came up blank. The only thing they could come up with was forewarning their beneficiaries of the threat they faced as well as giving them the means to alert the organization if they encountered her.

The enemy always appeared to be several steps ahead of them, masterfully apprehending her targets and returning them to their respective Timelines even if they were then saved from all harm by the organization again and again. She alluded capture and detection and the organization grew more desperate to put her tyranny to an end.

Emre himself was divided between trying to track down the woman and making her face justice for her crimes and caring for Avery, whose symptoms grew more and more bizarre as time went by. Emre himself began to obsess over Avery, not wanting to leave her side even to perform necessary duties and responsibilities especially when Avery herself grew clingier each day that passed.

One evening, he received an alert from the organization that a beneficiary was in distress and Emre rushed to help him. That was when he encountered the terrorist for himself and was stunned he had made it just in time. She appeared to be an alien of sorts- lanky and intimidating with deep lacerations across her chin and the tone of her skin bearing a strange hue.

She observed Emre passively, her deep-set obsidian black eyes probing into his eyes, her face an unreadable mask. Emre immediately stepped between her and her target and she appeared to be thinking about something for some time before, strangely, speaking to him in the Ancient Fairy tongue.

“Step aside, son of Anna. I do not wish to harm you this eve but you mustn’t get in my way,”

“I will not allow you to send another desperate soul back to the hell from whence he came,”

“And yet you will allow your mate to suffer and succumb to the curse that steals away her very existence? Shall the mortal peril your son faces not faze you in the slightest?”

“What are you even talking about?”

“That woman you adore, Avery, is afflicted by a terrible curse. If you linger here instead of tending to her, she shall be transformed into a hideous monster and will be lost for all time. Your son, who has the exact life-force her kind craves, is in mortal peril and should she be left alone with him, she shall succumb to her hunger and become a monster,”

“Are you- are you clairvoyant? How could you possibly know all that about me and my family?”

“You are wasting precious moments, Son of Anna. Leave and return to your family for make no mistake about it; no, do not be deluded, I shall take this man back to his proper Mistress this night whether or not you intervene,”

“You presume that I am so weak that I cannot defeat you?”

“No creature from this world can defeat me,”

“Are you purporting to not be of this world?”

“By Ull, I shall smite all who oppose me. Nothing in this world can stop me,”

“Every creature has a weakness… You too are not invincible,”

Plast syri keq,” she stated.

“What… what on Earth is that? A curse? I have died once and returned from the dead… I can do so once more,”

“That is the incantation required to save your mate from turning into the dreaded Shtriga. She has consumed enough of your life-force to have acquired a taste for it. Hurry or she shall completely drain your son of his life-force and fully transform!”

“I shall not be deceived so easily,”

“You should place her in the middle of a Sacred Circle surrounded by salt. Salt is the Shriga’s sole weakness apart from Spirit waters that would vanquish the beast by melting it which I presume you will want to avoid,” the woman stated without inflection.

Emre simply stared at her in awed silence, time seemingly standing still.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Are the words of this new threat to the Dawn’s mission truly to be believed? Is Avery truly turning into a monster? Stay tuned to find out. Entries to the previous tales in this series are down below;

  1. The Machine: Part 9
  2. A New Dawn: Part 1
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