Disclaimer: This is a story of pure fiction. If you are not allowed to read this in whatever part of the world you are living, then try not to get caught, and legally you shouldn't be reading this. If you are not 18 or older then again, do not read. Lastly, this will contain gay sex between consenting people and if this offends you then click back and ask why you're on here in the first place.
This story is property of myself, the author, and may not be copied or used on other sites without my express permission. All characters are fictional.

All comments to monkurchakar@yahoo.com.au greatly appreciated

Chapter fourteen

Sonny was in a round tunnel. He looked down at the ground. `Leap to the right, take four steps forward, then two left, and sprint for the end of the cave,' he mentally calculated. He and his people had been running through gamut after gamut of false walls and shifting rooms for the past hour. He had lost two of his men, and one of the fey was injured. Flames, lightning, and mechanical devices, had tried picking off his men. He felt despair and anguish over the loss of his men deeply but, for the sake of the survivors, he kept his cool. Instead, he had his men mentally thinking about the steps they must follow in order to survive.

There was one more room to go before the Central control room. The Darkness had gathered a lot of information over the centuries, and he now knew the schematics and outlay of the entire building, including the control room.

It was here that the labyrinth could be shut down. The Darkness had also attempted to breach the room and shut it down, but it was protected by the same shield that had prevented the spirits inside the Darkness from entering. The Ciaran had learned their lesson when the Darkness had just been created; it had escaped, and then eventually tried to destroy the labyrinth, through the control room. Many Ciaran lives had been lost before the Darkness was repelled from the room, and safety measures were installed to insure that the room could not be breached. However, Sonny wasn't impeded by the shielding. He was alive, and the sensors had never come across someone like Sonny before. Therefore he was recognised as Ciaran.

Sonny and his allies raced through the dark tunnel into a room walled by metal. This was the last room. He looked back at his people and the fey. Some of them had asked why he hadn't left them in the cave, while he went on. When explaining his plan, he asked if anyone would test the theory that they wouldn't re-trigger the weapons systems. Also, if he managed to get to the control room and deactivate it, what would happen to everything inside the labyrinth? He would not allow any more people to die unnecessarily.

In a race that prided themselves on courage, Sonny could taste fear in the air. His people were looking to him to figure out a way to get them out of here. He stared at them, projecting calm assurance into their minds. "One more obstacle course, and then we are through," he promised them.

There were looks of great relief, but also condemnation. So far, he had lost two men to the tentacles when they first came down here, one to a pit of burning acid when his foot slipped an inch off the path, and one to drowning. He too had miscalculated his step. These losses had proven to those being given the mental images, that they should not deviate at all. Now there was a smidgeon of doubt inside some of his clans' minds; most notably, from the lions. They feared he was leading them to their deaths. Turning back towards the room, he scanned the walls and floors. It was a square room with no openings other than the one they came through. Even as he perused the room, the tunnel behind them began to close. His people looked at the closing tunnel and then back at Sonny. He looked into the room instead.

It looked as if thick metal plates had been hammered together, which gave the walls a patchwork look. Despite its appearance, the walls and floor were definitely solid. He knew he had exactly two minutes to get his men into position before the temperature in the room skyrocketed. Behind the metal plates were gas burners that could reach 1000 degrees Centigrade in less than 20 seconds flat. Projecting the image of where everyone had to land and run within the room, he readied himself. His people got into line behind him.

Arms slightly cocked at his side, head down, body arched, Sonny mentally prepared himself, imagining the exact landing of his hands and feet. He shot off looking like nothing more than a blur. Half a second later, the next person followed in his footsteps, until it looked like the movement of an undulating serpent. Bodies and hands touched the surfaces of the walls in what looked like erratic movement to the naked eye. Hands slapped parts of floors, while feet leapt or landed along the walls. Flips and acrobatic turns had the Clans leaping to and fro along the walls. Beneath the pressure points of where they were hitting, the metal walls and floors began to glow a dull red.

Cracks appeared in the floor as the predators and fey built up momentum and raced along the ceiling, defying gravity with their speed. The floors disappeared completely as the cracks opened and exposed the naked flames to the racing clans. Sonny could feel his feet wanting to slide and fall away from the ceiling. He had one more pressure point to activate before the far wall would crumble and open to the control room. He leapt and aimed for the only part of the floor left. Pulling his legs close to his body, he somersaulted through the air, pulled out of the spin a few seconds before his feet hit the ground, and landed perfectly on the pressure point. The wall, only centimetres in front of him, disappeared and became a large platform with two double doors opening onto a dark room.

He raced towards the entrance, knowing that the rest of his people would be hot on his tail. Dull thuds of feet hitting metal could be heard behind him, but Sonny was too busy paying attention to his goal: a bluish-silver double door, glinting dully in the flames from the metal room.

A sudden flare of light from behind him made him look behind to see what had caused it. An injured Fey had lost his footing at the last second, and fallen. Flames roared to life, consuming the body, turning it to cinders.

"Run!" Sonny shouted.

A body falling into the burners would reactivate the weapons systems. On the sides of the walls and above them, black tentacles slid out. Sonny sprinted towards the end of the line. He would be damned if any more people would die. His beast slipped out of him, turning real, and raced away, climbing up the walls. There were two more predators left to make it onto the platform, and a black tentacle was already heading towards the last man. Sonny's beast snarled and attacked the tentacle. The black writhing mass snapped off, and the beast opened its mouth to let the foul thing drop into the flames below.

More openings in the ceiling produced even more tentacles. Sonny, in the meantime, waited on the platform. Shouts of dismay had him turning back to see the cause. The double doors were beginning to close. Those who had made it were trying to hold the doors open, while others rushed through them. The last man dropped down onto the platform and raced towards the closing doors. The Elder and his fey were holding onto the door, strained and shaking in their efforts.

Sonny raced after the last man, got even with him, and half lifted, half dragged the predator with him as he put on an extra burst of speed. He could sense the glee in his spirit beast as it dodged and bit on the tentacles. It gave him and his people the precious time he needed to get out of there in one piece. "Come to me," he mentally called as he dove through the door, curled into a ball and rolled onto his feet. His beast turned ephemeral and slipped through the tiny crack of the door, just as it sealed.

Sonny was panting, and mentally tallying to make sure everyone was accounted for. The Fey were silent and still, yet there was great pain and grief in their eyes, no matter how passive their faces looked. Sonny rubbed his face and straightened his posture. This was not the time for condolences; there was one last task to perform. Switching to night vision, he scanned around him.

He walked up to a wall on his right and placed his hand on it. A blue light appeared around the imprint of his hand. Lights flickered above his head in the ceiling, and he mentally warned his team to switch off night vision. The lights came on slowly, yet gloom still persisted. There were gasps as he realised why that was.

The room was enormous. It was six times as long as the previous room, making it about 2 miles in length. The ceiling rose two hundred feet high. If this were an indication of how large the structure was beneath Trobal forest, then it would mean the Ciaran had a facility that was probably as big as Trobal forest itself.

Something intangible, but hard to resist, called to Sonny. His body began following the lure without him being aware of it. The spirals on his arms and legs began to move and twirl. Calls and questions came at him as he passed his people. He raised his hand, but refused to stop and answer them. "Stay where you are," he mentally commanded.

His beast appeared in front of him and glided ahead, turning to stare back at him. It looked behind him and snarled. Sonny turned and saw the Elder walking towards him.

"I know where you are going and wish to accompany you," the Elder said.

"How do you know where I am going, if I don't?"

Before the Elder could answer the question, Sonny's beast walked up to the Elder and snarled at him. It growled once more, and the Elder stood wide-eyed. Sonny watched as the two communicated. The Elder grew paler, and bunched his fists together. His eyes glittered oddly as he stared at the Beast, refusing to back down. The Panther had enough, and launched itself at the Elder, knocking him to the ground. It opened its mouth and a mist flowed over the Elders face. His eyes rolled to the back of his head and he remained limp.

Meanwhile, the remaining Fey had gathered, prepared to do battle if necessary. The Panther looked at the gathered fey, and gave them a warning snarl before lifting its tail and turning its back on them. From a small distance, Sonny watched as his clan looked on with awe and fear. The panther walked towards Sonny and slid into his body. He gave his own clan a steady, reassuring stare before walking towards the strong pull. This time, no one followed.

The silence and the gloom were pervasive as Sonny sauntered across what looked like marble floors. He placed his hand against the wall he had been following. It was shiny and felt slick to his touch. A wall panel glowed under his touch, and a door appeared to one side of him. He walked through and into a long corridor. He touched a wall on the inside, and lights came on. There was at odour of ozone in the air, and Sonny's sensitive nose wrinkled. He remained in alert mode, as he slunk forward. He turned a corner and climbed up metal stairs.

The pull on his stomach pulsed more strongly as he went further into the corridor. There were cables going from the floor into the ceiling. On his left was a large console with a glass window that overlooked the main room he had just left. It was obviously shielded, for Sonny hadn't seen any kind of window from the outside. He walked past the console and opened a door at the end. The lights automatically came on, and left Sonny reeling.

He had his claws out and ready as he saw six Ciaran. He was rushing toward one, when his mind registered something odd. They weren't moving. Some of them had stood as if they were ready to flee; some had expressions of alarm or disbelief. But their eyes were all turned toward one spot.

Sonny examined each Ciaran; he wasn't taking any chances. If this was a trap, he would rip their throats out before they had a chance to attack. He touched their cheeks, and even scrapped a claw across them. Their skins felt like marble and their eyes never registered any sensation.

He remembered the image that Elder Wind had shown him so long ago. They had blue spiralling ridges along their noses and on the sides of their faces. They had a shock of bright red hair, which looked almost fake, with reddish brown eyes to match. They were humanoid in appearance, if you didn't notice the gills on their necks.

Reassured that they weren't going to move, Sonny finally looked toward the focus of their stares. He gasped, and the pulsing in his stomach became a full-out pounding. He clutched his stomach and was compelled to walk forwards. It was a Fey, yet one that looked elderly. She stood encased in crystal. Her eyes were open, with hands outspread. The beast within purred and slid out of his body. It walked up to the crystal-encased fey and melded into it. Sonny gasped, and collapsed to the floor, as the Fey entered his mind.

Sonny opened his eyes. He lay on grass that swayed in a gentle breeze. Raising up, he looked around. He was in a field, yet one he had never encountered before. The flowers and grass had a fuzzy look to them, and bursts of blue energy sparkled and played around him. Sitting opposite him, in the lotus position was the elderly Fey.

"Hello, Sonny," she said fondly.

Sonny felt something heavy lean against him, and he turned to see his panther, purring and stretched out beside him. The beast looked at the Fey and seemed content.

"Our dear Kiri has been busy since last I saw him," she said.

Sonny's head jerked back in her direction. "What do you know about him?"

"I shall talk about him later. For now, you must be brought up to date. My name is Killara. I was the first and only Avatar, until Kiri."

With that, she stood up and beckoned at him to follow. Sonny got up and walked warily towards her. She smiled at that, but kept her hand out towards him. When he came even with her, she grabbed his hand. The landscape swirled and disappeared.

Sonny and the Elder stood, back in the room with the control console. "Why are we back here?" he asked.

"Patience, Prince."

Two of the Ciaran were sitting at the console, their hands flying over the flashing lights. A younger Killara rose out of the floor. The two Ciaran turned and screamed as Killara smote them with fire, turning them to ashes in a matter of seconds. She dashed toward the room where Sonny had found her originally, and both he and the older Fey followed.

The younger Killara stormed into the room, slamming the door behind her. Sonny jolted as he and the Elder walked through the door and into the next room.

"Tell me it's not true," the younger Killara said.

"It's not true," a handsome young Ciaran said.

"Don't play games with me, Alkar! I'm not to be toyed with so easily."

"What have I done now to anger the Avatar?" he asked casually, smiling condescendingly at her.

"You're using people under my protection for experiments. Tell me its not so."

The Ciaran walked up to Killara, placed his hands on her shoulder, and stared into her eyes. Behind him, the remaining Ciaran began to punch something into their console pads on their wrists.

"I couldn't do that to you, my beloved. Who has been spreading these lies about me?"

Killara stared at the only man who had ever wanted her. Being the avatar had caused many to not want to go near her, and none had ever brought up the idea of sex. This Ciaran had shown her the delights of the bedroom, and it had felt glorious. Her anger melted under his intense stare. He bent down and kissed her. Around him, the Ciaran raised their hands.

A burst of light shot from them and connected with Killara. Her body jerked, and she was lifted off the floor. She kept her grip on Alkar and he was raised into the air with her. Anger from the betrayal filled her body, and she snarled at her foolishness for trusting him. Crystals began to form around her legs and body. Alkar pounded on her face and hands, trying to make her free him. She held on.

"Don't think you have gotten the better of me," Killara said. With that, she threw the Ciaran from her, and focused her power outwards. It struck those in the room like a tidal wave, freezing them in place. Her power, undiminished, rushed through the entire complex, freezing every Ciaran in its wake.

The crystal wrapped around her hands and began crawling up her neck. Her power glided across and around it, but the crystals fed upon her power and grew faster. She grunted, and pushed her essence out of her body. It floated above her as a ball of floating energy; one half a pure gold, the other a deep red. This essence floated over to the frozen Alkar and ripped a red and gold thread out of him.

The room disappeared as Sonny followed the blazing mass of energy. It shot out of the ground and into the air where it split in half. The golden energy shot into Trevailier forest, finally falling as a golden thread into a sea village. The red energy flew further east and landed in a desert, its red thread falling upon an enormous tree standing on a cliff.

The scene swirled once more, and Sonny found himself back in the meadow. "Why did you let that bastard get to you?" Sonny demanded.

Killara smiled gently at Sonny. "Just as you are anchor for Kiri, I too needed one in order to hold my power. I came into avatar-hood just as the Ciaran landed. I was considered an outcast from the Prey clans and from the Fey because I didn't fit in either race. When someone finally paid attention to me, I thought I had found the anchor that could hold me to my body. Over the many subsequent years, Alkar become my confidant and my lover. Together, we built the complex beneath Trobal forest in the hope that we could build a world where the Ciaran could contribute to it, and where the predator and prey clans could come together and learn of each other. Trobal forest, being the font of knowledge for both predator and prey, was the perfect place to create it."

Sonny frowned. "If you froze everyone here in the facility, how is it that the labyrinth is still active? Who maintains it?"

Killara smiled bitterly. "That would have been Kale's deceased father, Azlac. He and a few other Ciaran belonged to a different faction. Alkar decided that their idea was far better than what he and I were attempting, and decided to switch boats." She turned and gave Sonny a wistful look. "Kiri chose well with you."

Sonny blushed and looked down. "I haven't been as supportive as I could have been," he said modestly.

Killara smiled, and touched his shoulder. "It is your actions in the here and now that determine the course of the future; every single day. Now, we must destroy this wretched place so no one can again use it for such evil purposes. It has been collecting specimens for nearly two millennia." She sighed.

"It was supposed to store knowledge and information for future generations of all four races: the Ciaran, the Fey, the Predators and Prey. But Azlac added his own creations and designs, turning the facility into a place of terrible suffering. Now, the idea of a house of storage will never be." Shaking her head, she looked at Sonny. He watched, amazed, to see her eyes change. One was pure gold, effervescent and bright. The other was burgundy red, black lightning flashing within its depths. "Wake up, Sonny."

"Wait!" he shouted. "How do I destroy the facility?"

"Trust your spirit beast."

Sonny opened his eyes, His panther stood over him, with a rough tongue, like sandpaper, licking him. He got up and looked toward the crystal enshrouded Avatar. He gasped, and moved over to it. There was no body. The crystal stood hard as diamond, but it stood empty. Sonny heard his beast purring behind him. It looked at him, then ran and jumped into his body.

"My last gift to you." Killara whispered into his mind. Her presence faded, but there was a touch of the full Architect's power germinating inside Sonny. He could feel it, like the power of the sun, swirling and churning inside his chest. She gave him her knowledge of how the facility was built and made, making sound his knowledge of the place. Around him, he watched as the frozen Ciaran turned to dust. Now that the Avatar had faded, so too did the power that kept them in suspended animation.

Sonny pulled out the schematics of the facility in his mind. He had to go to the core of the facility, shut down the three power modules, and disable the motherboards of the Central controller. If he destroyed the entire facility, it would also mean the destruction of Trobal forest. The facility went thousands of metres deep underground and its collapse would be catastrophic. And, all things considered, the forest was still a place of learning. Therefore, he would make sure the facility was inactive and that nothing was operational, without actually destroying it.

Sonny started in the control room. He locked and shut all openings into the facility from the outside, ripped out the boards under the console and pulled out all the crystal panels. His beast roared inside him and black lightning sparked from his fingertips, shooting into the crystal panels. They fizzled and broke into thousands of pieces.

Sonny mentally thought about the southeast generator. Power swirled inside his chest, and he felt his body sink through the floor. With a brief displacement of air and darkness, he appeared inside the generator room. The room hummed, and Sonny walked up to the six cylindrical tubes. They stood against the wall and, from floor to ceiling, blue light travelled up and down inside them; the glass shimmered and moved like syrup.

Inside each cylinder was a small piece of living rock, taken from the core of the earth. Sonny's beast was smug inside of him. Azlac, Kale's father, had never been able to breach the containment unit and access the piece of earth's core, even with the power of Feminine at his disposal. His attempts to dig deeper into the earth, and grab the core that way, was also futile. The life spark around the core was all knowing and all seeing, and Azlac had barely escaped with his life. Now, Sonny not only had the power to access the containment unit but, most importantly, he had the blessing of the Earth and the First Avatar. That was the key.

Sonny pushed his hand through the liquid glass. It felt thick and sluggish. His heart pumped steadily, as fear about his hand disintegrating popped up in his head. He took two steadying breaths, and pushed his hand in until it was up to his elbow. It felt warm and ticklish as his hand moved around in all that energy. He opened his hand and felt something hard land on his palm. Closing it firmly, he pulled his hand out and stared at a piece of the earth's core.

It was beautiful. It was as delicate and as a pure as the most lacy of crystal formations shaped like a miniature star, and humming steadily in his hand. The black Ciaran designs up and down his arms writhed and swirled around the pulsing core, shying away from the power, yet trying to crawl and slide towards it. Sonny felt a gentle vibration travel up his arms as he watched the black spirals shudder and change colour. They turned pure silver, and Sonny gasped as the piece of earth's core sank beneath his skin. His silver spirals danced, and changed into vines with vibrant red flowers. They instantly reminded Sonny of Kiri's glorious mane of hair. The flowers opened and closed constantly under his skin, always moving and swaying in an unseen wind.

He made quick work of the other five columns. Yet, these pieces of the core remained in his palm. So, just like the Darkness he had set free, he created a link with the Earth's core and sent them back to where they belonged. With the closing of the southeast generator, the labyrinth shut down. He thought of the northeast generator and again sank through the floor, shutting down that generator in minutes. The last generator controlled the life support systems and he needed to get his people out before he shut it down. He had already been away from them too long, so decided to evacuate before doing anything more.

Thinking of his people, he sank through the ground once more and re-appeared in front of them. Gasps of surprise and fear echoed around the room. The lights had failed when he cut the second generator. Elder Wind was conscious and staring at Sonny with a smidgeon of fear and awe.

"Everyone link hands in a circle. Do not let go until I tell you. I'm getting you out of here."

Sonny watched as they attempted to stifle sighs of relief. They gathered together, holding hands with their fellow clansmen. Sonny beckoned to the fey, and they approached slowly when the Elder gave a nod. They joined the ring of predators and looked at Sonny with both hope and misgivings. His clan looked at him, some wondering what he was going to do, others eager to be out of this gloomy place. The Elder was the last to join the circle. He held onto Sonny's left hand.

"Do you have enough strength to do what I think your going to do?" the Elder asked.

Sonny opened his eyes and stared at the Elder. One eye shone a bright strong gold, while the other pulsed a burgundy red. Elder Wind closed his mouth and looked down at the ground. Sonny closed his eyes once more and thought of Trobal Forest. With a bang of displaced air, everyone disappeared. The facility remained dark and gloomy in the silence; an echo of its sad history.

Kiri shot through the ley lines, after leaving the Heartwood Tree of the Prey Capital. The ley lines were like huge tunnels of breathable water. The energy felt like tepid water, but invigorated the skin on contact. Kiri pulled the energy into his body and used it to propel himself faster. More tunnels connected to the main tunnel he was in and the increasing energy pushed him ever closer towards the site of the Masculine.

Beneath him, he could see the earth's core, pulsing with the blue sparks of life, swaying to the beat of its heart. The sound reverberated through his body; the energy of the ley lines acting as a conduit for the earth's heart song. Kiri was soothed for a while, as he shot through the energy stream.

He thought about his beloved, Sonny, with his golden eyes smiling seductively. More images flashed into his head. He had the sensation of strong arms wrapping themselves around him. He remembered the laughter and camaraderie he and Sonny shared. But most importantly, he knew the familiarity and closeness that had nothing to do with being blood related. They were soul mates.

Falcon flashed into his mind. The desperate need of the Prey prince called to a part of Kiri that wanted to help, soothe, and heal. As selfish as Falcon was, he still had a part to play. Kiri knew it as intuitively, as he knew the moon would rise, and the sun would follow in its wake. His dreams had told him so. More importantly, the Feminine recognised him. No matter what Kiri thought about the Prey Prince, he would be a fool to ignore the call of the Feminine power within him. He also knew, however, that Falcon must never touch the source of Masculine. In his unstable state, it would destroy him, and the amount of damage he could cause, before he was stopped, would be phenomenal. Kiri only hoped that his spirit beast would be enough of a distraction. He saw the end of the tunnel and mentally prepared himself for anything.

By the way guys, I have a yahoo group where you can see all my writings. I'm a new author and haven't sent all my stories on there yet. But I will be sending my chapters there first. So become a member and enjoy!


Thanks as always goes to Richard for his fine work in editing!