This story is fiction. Any similarity to any persons living or dead is merely a coincidence. They are also the sole creation of the author. If you would like to use them, please contact me first and get my permission. Any unwanted use will be considered theft. If you are not allowed by law to view this material, please do not do so. If you are under 18 years of age, please leave now. This is a love story between two barely under the age of 18 year old boys. If that offends you, I apologize and ask that you not read any further. Otherwise, enjoy.
*Author Note This is my first attempt at a story. I welcome all constructive criticism. Please let me know what you think.
After the Apocalypse - The Empire and The Free States - Chapter 2
-------------------------------------------Last in After the Apocalypse--------------------------------------------
Silence reigned over the small camp while the two finished their meals. When Jacob looked back up, he smiled, seeing Cody fast asleep, his head resting on the saddle. Silently, Jacob walked over to the saddle blanket and laid it over Cody. Then he lowered himself down to the ground and rested his head on his arm, falling into a light sleep, his face towards the entrance in case something decided to try and seek refuge in the same cave.
Cody stood on the bank of a wide river. He looked around, but everything looked pretty normal; blue skies above, white clouds in the distance, and rolling hills behind him. He looked down into the water and his eyes opened a little wider. Floating under the surface of the water were scenes floating around in bubbles.
The first that caught his eyes was an image of himself sitting in front of the kitchen table with his mom's hand on his knees. He could almost hear the conversation that went along with that. Following the bubble was an image of him standing outside of a car. He glared at it, knowing that inside was Michael. The only thoughts that came across his mind was how this was all Michael's fault. If Michael hadn't appeared in his life, he wouldn't have had Teddy go over there that night, and he might not have blacked out.
Almost as if on cue, another bubble appeared with Teddy chained up on a rack. Tears built up in the corners of his eyes, slowly rolling down his cheek. He didn't want this to be his last memory of Teddy. He reached down into the water to try and touch the bubble. As soon as his fingers touched the water, it turned pitch black, with silver eddies flowing through it. His hand jerked back quickly, as if scalded. He looked down at the water, nervously, for a few moments before looking up and across the river.
Teddy stood on the opposite river bank, staring back at him. "Why did you leave me there Cody? Why didn't you stop him? Why?"
Tears streamed down Cody's face as he stared across the river. "Teddy...I didn't know what happened. I can't control this power. Please, understand...I love you. I wish I was stronger to save you. Please, forgive me."
"I can't do that Cody. You have the power. Come to me." Teddy held out his hand, motioning for Cody to cross the river.
Cody tried to stifle his tears as he nodded. Not taking the time to kick off his shoes or take off his shirt, he jumped into the river and immediately sank beneath the surface.
The sun light streamed into the cave and hit Jacob in the face. He yawned, slightly, as he stretched his arms above his head, while sitting up and brushing his light brown hair off of his forehead. Opening his hazel eyes, he blinked at the bright light. It was then he heard a loud ear piercing scream behind him. He jumped up and spun around, heading for Cody before he could even stop to think.
His jaw dropped and eyes bulged. Cody was floating slightly off the ground; the soft glow that surrounded him, a stark difference to the darkness of the rear of the cave. His hair, stirred as if touched by an invisible breeze, had turned white and his eyes, which stared unblinkingly, had inverted. The pupils had turned white, the iris was a bloody red, and the whites had turned black. Jacob could only stare in wonder at the odd change that had occurred. Slowly, he moved closer and reached out to put his hand on Cody's shoulder.
Cody's hand shot out faster than Jacob could blink. It struck him in the center of the chest and knocked him back to where he had been laying, roughly ten feet back. Before he could take one more step forward, Cody dropped like a rock, falling back to the floor of the cave. Jacob was over him in a flash. His hair had returned to its normal black and the glow had disappeared.
He rolled Cody onto his back and shook him to no avail. Hand shaking nervously, he reached to his neck trying to find a pulse. It was there but extremely faint. He cursed slightly as he jumped up and started to saddle the horse, thinking that he never should have unsaddled it in the first place. As soon as the horse was saddled, he placed Cody over the horse's back, and climbed up himself, setting off at as fast a pace as was safe.
As soon as they climbed out of the canyon that led out of the valley, he cursed. The camp had clearly been moved again. He knew there would be signs left behind, clues as to where the next camp would be; but he didn't have time. Over the last hour of riding, Cody's pulse had been dropping, his breathing was getting shallower. He sighed, knowing there was only one other place that was close enough that might be able to help.
As they approached the opening in the forest floor, Jacob could feel the ground thumping. He shook his head, really wishing he didn't have to come to the fearsome threesome for help. Luke, Orion, and Brand used to be slaves to the Empire, but Tanis had freed them shortly after gaining his own freedom. Only, instead of joining and helping them fight back, they had decided to start a non-stop party. As far as Jacob was concerned, they were the lowest form of scum, only slightly less detestable than the Empire itself. But they were all that he had time for at this point.
He had Cody draped over his shoulder; the boy weighing practically nothing at this point. His pulse hadn't been the only thing that had been dropping along the way here. His body had been losing weight, almost as if it was trying to eat itself whole. The room was dark, the only light coming from holes in the ceiling lightly covered with leaves. Bodies writhed on what could only be considered a dance floor, while off on the far side, one man stood, music pouring out of his open mouth. Jacob recognized Brand, purely by his ability of vocalization; the power to mimic any sound perfectly, as well as release a blast of pure sonic energy.
He looked around, trying to catch sight of Luke or Orion, knowing that one would know where the other was in a heart beat. He casually looked around, knowing Orion would probably be off with someone, giving them the time of their life. Luke was a little bit harder to track. He liked to be in the center of the action, but in a party the size of Salvation, the action was everywhere.
Luckily someone had noticed Jacob walking in. "What, so now we only get to see you when you need us for something. Can't you just come by for fun, Jacob?"
Jacob turned around quickly, no sign of any emotion showing through. "Don't even try your charms on me. And I didn't come to see you, Orion. I came for Luke. Where is he?"
Orion stood roughly six feet tall and had a tan that covered him from head to toe. His dark hair had been bleached bright yellow and was kept short and curly. On his neck was a circular burn mark. Currently his full lips were pulled into a pout. "Should have known you would come to see him and not me."
"Orion, I don't have time for your games, or your charm. The kid's heart hasn't beat in almost a minute. Now if you know where Luke is, I suggest you take me to him now." He allowed his anger to take control of his voice, knowing that it would cut through to him more than any flattery would.
"Fine. Follow me." He turned and started to walk through the crowd, heading towards the stage in the back of the room.
Getting through the crowd was easy when following Orion. All he had to do was smile at someone and they were moving somewhere else. Orion was a Charmer; he could literally charm anyone, man or woman, and get them to do almost anything he wanted. That wasn't all though, he also had extreme flexibility. That was rare, to have more than one ability, and Orion knew it.
They marched up on stage, Jacob nodding to Brand as he passed. Brand ignored them, simply playing to the crowd and reveling in their admiration. They walked through a back door that blended into the back wall fairly well, and then headed down a long hallway with several doors leading off of it. It was through one of those that they entered.
Luke was of a similar height as Orion, but was much skinnier and had dark brown hair. His skin was pale and you could see a burn mark just like Orion's on his neck as well as a Celtic cross tattooed on the side of his stomach, clearly visible since he wasn't wearing a shirt. He looked up and smiled brightly at Jacob. "Jacob, long time no see....You're not here for pleasure though. I can see that much. Just set him down on the bed in the corner." He indicated a small, but clean, mattress.
Jacob slowly lowered him to the bed as Orion headed out the door to find his next subject. Luke turned around and smiled at Jacob. "Sorry for Orion, you know how he gets when he hasn't gotten any in an hour. Now, why don't you tell me what happened to the kid, so that I can make a better assessment."
Jacob smirked and nodded, knowing well that Orion seemed to have a never ending appetite for sex. Luckily, Luke let him sleep with pretty much whoever he wanted. Quickly he went over the incident in the grove and then what had occurred in the cave.
Luke nodded his head as Jacob explained what had happened. He then looked down and shook his head. "Well, there is nothing physically wrong with him and there is no pain, at least not in the physical sense. There is a lot of emotional pain, but as you know, I still haven't been able to figure out how to manipulate that."
"What do you mean, nothing physically wrong with him? Look at him! His stomach is caved in; it looks like he hasn't had a scrap of food in months."
"Calm down Jacob, you yelling won't do any good. The only thing I can think of, from what you described, is that his ability is using his personal reserves of energy because he doesn't know any better. All we have to do is allow him to rest and feed him a lot of food. His body seems to be protecting itself by slowing down to a crawl. As close as I can tell, his ability is speed control, although that doesn't really explain where he came from, or why he is unmarked." Luke reached up, touching the burn mark on the side of his neck, where his own mark had once been.
Jacob nodded nervously, not sure if he should trust Luke with the other bit of information he had gotten from Cody before he had fallen asleep. After a few minutes indecision, he decided against it. The fewer people who knew it, the better. With a sigh, he looked down at Cody's emaciated body, feeling much like a protective older brother. Luke left the room, and Jacob took the chair that he had been sitting in.
Luke walked down the hallway as Brand walked off the stage and approached him. Brand was roughly five and half feet tall and had an olive complexion. His hair was black, but had been died a neon red. He looked at the door that Luke had just walked out of and sneered. "So what, are we taking in humans and strays now?"
"Brand, be nice. I know you have nothing but contempt for Jacob. But Cody seems to be a metian, just like us. I'm not sure what his ability is, but it seems to be some kind of speed control."
"Well as far as I can see, he's someone who got in way over his head, and is now looking for some free help from us. I don't like it."
"Well, then it is a good thing that this is mine and Orion's decision, not yours." Luke gave him a look, letting him know that this discussion was over. Brand knew that if it weren't for the two of them, he would've been dead or still a slave. He still didn't need to like it. Silently he spun on his heel and marched back out on the stage. Immediately a loud angry rock ballad started to play.
Jacob mounted the horse and returned to where the old camp site had been. It was odd, normally when they had to change camps, they sent up a green flare. The only thing that would keep the from doing that was if they were trying to stay hidden from something. Slowly, he moved from tree to tree, checking each one for any marks. Finally after finding three different marks, he nodded to himself and set out north.
He knew they would be slower than him, being a larger group and dragging wagons. Within a week, he had caught up and sought out Elizabeth, the leader of their group. He found her nearby, sitting on the stoop of her wagon, near the main fire.
"Elizabeth, what happened? Why did you move the camp without a flair?"
"We received word that a tracker had set out from the eastern border, heading straight towards us. We weren't sure if they were coming for us or not, but figured that it would be best to move and not set off a flare in case they were watching. Does that satisfy your curiosity, Jacob?" She smiled at him, making him know he had probably overstepped his bounds.
"I'm sorry to question your methods, ma'am. It's just that I found someone and things got a little out of hand." He quickly relayed the incident just like he had to Luke. "Since his pulse was dropping I had to leave him with Luke and Orion, to make sure he was okay. It was the only choice."
She nodded and thought about what he had described, especially what had happened in the cave. "Has Tanis ever shared the prophecy with you, Jacob?"
He shook his head. "Never, after he told you, he never spoke of it. Why?" He looked at her nervously, knowing that she would not have brought it up if it hadn't been important.
"The prophecy states, in much more colorful language, that a traveler untouched by war will appear. That his colors will invert when his power is unleashed. And that he will oppose the Empire. Before anything else could be revealed, the Lord Emperor had the Augur killed. I need to know, did Cody say anything else?"
Jacob sighed. He wished Tanis had told him all of this years ago when they had found him half starved and almost dead. "Liz, if I knew I would have never left him behind. He did say one thing that I didn't mention to anyone yet. He said he was from Southern California and he knew nothing about the Empire."
Her eyes widened slightly before narrowing, head nodding as if there could be no other answer. "The question is, how did he get here? If he was transported from the past, then he is indeed untouched by war. And the little incident in the cave does sound like a power unleashed and his colors inverted. I need you to go and get him as soon as possible. I will send someone to find Tanis."
Jacob raised an eyebrow. "He's not here then? I hoped to see him before I had to leave."
"You know he was upset when I sent you back out into the field. He immediately started drinking again. Then he left about a week before we moved camp. He could be anywhere at this point. I know you love him Jacob, but the man really needs to learn to love himself. He's so caught up in this war, he doesn't know anything but fighting. I guess that's what happens when your ability is combat mastery."
Jacob nodded and sighed. "Well, I will set out first thing in the morning. Hopefully I will make it back in a week." With that he headed off to find shelter for the evening.
"No, take your time. It will be unsafe for him to travel until he has learned a little more control over his abilities. I know you can't help him with this, but see if you can get either Luke or Orion to work on it."
Jacob nodded as he headed to find someplace to sleep for the night.
Somewhere near the border of the Empire...
A dark and cloaked figure approached a building that looked like a hangar. He pounded on the door and waited a minute before pounding once again. Finally, a man slid open a small hatch to look through. It snapped closed and the door swung open quickly; the man on the other side keeping his eyes to the floor. "I am sorry sir, if I had known you were someone on official business, I would have been down here a lot faster. Please forgive this humble servant. How may I be of service to you?"
His words came out extremely jumbled and the way he wrung his hands together, showed how nervous he was. The main reason was the dark figure who had knocked on the door.
He stood roughly six feet tall and was lightly muscled over his slim frame. He wore the black uniform of a metian, with a name badge stitched to his chest, reading 'T. Shadow'. He wore a tattered black cloak that ran down to about a half inch above the ground. The only visible feature of his face were his green eyes. The rest of his face was covered with a black mask. "I need transportation to the western coast. I need to get to Freedom."
The man nodded. He didn't want to go anywhere near Freedom, but he knew better than to say no to a metian under the emperor's orders. "I can have the steamplane up and running in about two days. The flight will take about 3 days, and could be quite difficult finding places to land. Will that suffice the Lord Emperor's needs?"
The dark figure nodded his head slightly. "That will suffice."
Cody stirred slightly and opened his eyes. He slowly glanced around the room, trying to remember where he was and how he got there. From the starkness of it, he guessed some kind of hospital, but wasn't that sure as it didn't look all that clean. Next to the bed was a tray of food, a cloth covering the plate. As soon as he caught site of it, his stomach let out a loud grumble, and he winced in pain from the emptiness of it. He pulled the plate into his lap and devoured everything as fast as possible. After he had finished, his stomach grumbled again, letting him know that he would need more, and soon.
Setting the plate aside, he slowly stood up; his legs shaking slightly. Not seeing anything to do in the room, and not feeling at all like sleeping, he opened the door and walked into the hallway. Looking both ways, he saw more doors, but all of them were closed except the one at the end of the hall. Shrugging he walked towards it, a sound of music growing louder as he got closer.
He entered from just behind the stage and saw nothing but bodies pulsating to the beat of the music. He smiled slightly, the image before him reminded him of a club Teddy had often spoke of taking him to. Cody wondered if everything that had happened had just been a bad dream; if he was back where he was supposed to be. Slowly, he started to move out into the sea of people, feeling them grinding against his hip and bumping into his back. He couldn't help but smile, thinking he was finally back where he belonged.
He felt a pair of strong hands on his hips and looked up to see an extremely hot looking latino with bleach blonde hair and full lips dancing with him. He shrugged slightly as he wrapped his arms around the boy's neck and continued, their hips gyrating roughly into each others. The boy's shirt was open all the way down, showing off his lightly tanned skin and a tattoo of a cross near his stomach. The only thing that looked out of place on him was a circular burn mark on the right side of his neck. The boy's brown eyes glanced back to the door, almost as if he was asking if that was where Cody wanted to go. Looking around, Cody nodded his head slightly, wondering at the same time why he was doing this.
He knew what the other was offering, and knew he only wanted to do that with Teddy; but something seemed to make him want this more than anything else. The boy with the bleached hair took his hand and led him back through the door that he had just left. He took him back to the same room and pushed him roughly onto the bed before climbing on himself. He rested on his hands and knees, hovering over Cody. Quickly he leaned down and pressed their lips together in a passionate and mind numbing kiss.
Cody's mind wheeled, his thoughts jumbled together as the image of the boy changed to that of Teddy. He smiled and greedily pushed their lips back together as he slid the shirt off of Teddy's shoulders. He felt his shirt being lifted and then his pants being undone. As his pants were removed, he put his hands up on Teddy's chest and shook his head slightly. The image of Teddy blurred slightly, being replaced by that of the bleached boy as he put one hand to his head. When he looked back up, Teddy hovered over him, looking down at him questioningly.
Cody wrapped one hand around Teddy's waist, pulling him down and then flipping them over so that he lay on top. His fingers fumbled with the button and zipper, but he quickly got the pants down and off of him, along with his underwear. He lowered himself down, running his fingers over Teddy's chest as he kissed his way down to his navel. His tongue dipped in as he continued his way down. Finally, he hovered over his goal, Teddy's dripping and engorged member.
Just as he was about to lower his head, engulfing the cock in his mouth, the door banged open. Another man stood in the doorway with dark brown hair and a burn mark on his neck. "Orion, he needs his rest. Not you playing head games with him."
Cody squinted slightly as he glanced back to Teddy. But Teddy was no longer there. Orion kinda shrugged and smiled up at him as he lifted his hips to pull his pants back up. "Sorry, couldn't resist a pretty boy like you. You'll have to tell me sometime what I looked like to you. I always find it interesting." Quickly, he slid out from under Cody and walked over to Luke; kissing him roughly before resting his head on his shoulder.
"Sorry Cody. Orion has an insatiable appetite for anything pretty. And since you are about the best looking guy here," he gasped slightly as he received a sharp jab in the ribs from Orion, "fine...second best looking guy here. Anyways, Jacob left you in our care as his camp had moved on without him. Are you still hungry or do you want anything to drink?"
A tear ran down Cody's cheek. The realization that Teddy was once more gone, and that Orion had inadvertently toyed with his emotions, hit him at the same time. He bawled for a few minutes into his pillow as Luke sat down and rubbed his back. Luke shot a quick glare over to Orion, telling him he should have known better than to do what he did. Orion looked guiltily at the floor, rubbing the toe of his shoe against the ground.
"I'm okay, really." He said through his tears. "I just miss Teddy. I thought I was back with him." Luke nodded and continued to rub his back. "You said there was more food?" He smiled sheepishly up at Luke.
Luke nodded a second time, almost laughing at the quick change of thoughts. "Yeah, I'll have someone bring you something in a minute." He motioned to Orion, who quickly turned and walked out. "You were asleep for a few days. If your body hadn't slowed itself down, you probably would've been dead before you got here. Do you have any idea how you did that?"
Cody shook his head as he sat up against the wall. "No...It's just that weird things seem to be happening. I dodged an arrow the other day, ended up some hundred feet or so off in the blink of an eye."
Luke nodded his head. "Jacob was right then. You are a metian, just like Orion and myself."
"What's a metian?"
"Sorry, I'm used to people knowing that. A metian, or metaphysical human, is someone with abilities. I can heal others using my own pain, or use someone else's pain to heal myself. Orion can charm people, make them do what he wants, or see what they want. You haven't met Brand yet, but he can mimic any sound he has heard, as well as let out a sonic blast. We aren't sure what you can do, but it seems like it's some sort of speed control."
Cody nodded his head smiling slightly. He had always dreamed of having special powers; something to set him apart. He could still remember reading comics in his bedroom, dreaming of fighting some sort of nasty villain and stopping crime.
Luke smiled, seeing a glow in Cody's eyes. He shook his head, knowing that Cody didn't realize all the problems that came with these abilities that set them apart. "Orion will be back with food momentarily. I suggest you eat and then get more sleep. Your body needs to replenish its energy. Tomorrow we will start seeing how your abilities work and what we can do to help you." Smiling he stood up, patted Cody's leg, and left the room.
I would like to thank all those who have sent me e-mails so far to let me know that they have enjoyed the little I have written. I would like to put in a special thank you to David, author of Quarterback with the Emerald Eyes, for taking the time away from his own story to proofread mine. Hopefully as the story continues it will attract more readers. If you have any questions for me, about the story or anything else, please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org