Dark Horizons

Disclaimer: This story is fiction. Any resemblance to real persons alive or dead is completely coincidental.  That said, this story involves love between males, if you have a problem with that then leave.  All characters are property of Toren unless otherwise noted.  Do Not Reproduce, alter, or tamper with this story in anyway.  Comments, and questions are welcome at dark_horizons18@yahoo.com   Dark Horizons And All It's Properties Copyright Toren

Light Of Day, Dark Of Night Character "Kali"Copyright Jaden & Jaded Edge Production

Chapter 3

Ray of Hope

From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
>From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
>From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
>From the torrent, or the fountain,
>From the red cliff of the mountain,
>From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
>From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
>From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.

Alone-E.A Poe

As the sun began to set below the horizon its last glimmering rays shimmered off the silent surface of the lake. A light breeze began to blow across the scene, sending small ripples through the lake and swaying the branches of the surrounding wood. A bird cried as it flew over the cerulean waters. Within the blink of an eye the bird descended from the sky and perched upon a large tree branch overlooking the serene lake. A few stars twinkled in the sky above as the sun continued to move out of sight, out of mind for the time being. It was a beautiful site, a place away from the turmoil that plagued most of the planet. With a loud cry the bird fluttered to the forest floor, as it landed it suddenly began to change shape. In moments it shifted into the form of a teenaged boy, clutching his knees to his chest, his naked body shivering in the cool twilight air. Goosebumps erupted over his tan skin as he got to his feet and made his way over to the edge of the lake. He looked down at his reflection and spoke.

"Eternal waters show me that which I seek." The water shimmered and his reflection changed to the image of a young woman lying on a dirt floor, her beautiful golden hair tousled about her face. Her chest rose as she breathed in her sleep, all alone in her cell. The image pulled back to show five black orbs swirling about her sleeping form.

"Enya..."he whispered. The water shimmered again and the image changed to another woman with long perfectly blonde hair dressed in a flowing white robe. The boy bowed to the image.

"My Lady," he said simply. The woman smiled but it quickly faded.

"Have you found her yet?" she asked, her angelic voice echoing from the waters.

The boy shook his head, "I sense that she is near but this area is vast and I cannot pin her exact location. Margulis has gone to much extent to keep her from us." A twig snapped and he whirled around to see what was there. Nothing. Slowly he turned back to face the lake.

"What is it Toren?" the woman asked.

"I heard a noise. Something must have followed me. I will report back in when I have found her."

The woman nodded as her image began to fade, "Farewell Toren and carry my blessings with you. Find my daughter." With that she was gone completely and the water returned to its normal color. Toren returned to the forest, his body began to twist and soon where he had stood just seconds before now was a large white wolf. With a short howl it rushed forward to continue the search. A moment later a dark form leapt from the trees above and landed with a thud on the ground below, moonlight reflecting off its black opaque armor. With a whisper of steel being drawn it trudged forward, sword at the ready, through the forest after the wolf. Soon the wood returned to its normal silence as the stars shined in the sky above.

Austin choked as the acrid smoke entered his lungs. He tried to remember a spell to clear the smoke and flames but nothing would come, as if he could do it. His eyes stung and he couldn't move his right arm. With a crash something flew from the clearing and landed next to Austin. He looked in horror as one of the Oracles lay motionless next to him, her head twisted at an awkward angle. He had a distinct feel that this wasn't right, the Oracles were supposed to be immortal or something close to. With a groan he pulled himself to his feet and stumbled in the direction the body had come from. A few feet of walking and the smoke cleared but from what he could see it would have been better if it never cleared at all. Two more of the Oracles were sprawled on the ground motionless, Kali held one of the females, by the neck, above her head. Devyn and the other male Oracle were nowhere to be seen. Austin summoned what little courage he could at this point, "Put her down!" he shouted. Kali craned her neck to see who spoke.

"Oh? What are you gonna do about it hun, beat me to death with your limp arm there? I think not," she giggled and tightened her grip on the woman's neck.

"I said put her down!" a red aura began to build around Austin's body and fire flashed in his eyes.

"Oooh im shaking in my boots kiddo, I think I'll just hold on for a little longer." As Austin was about to unleash a spell on her he heard a shout from behind. Devyn suddenly came running into the clearing, a glowing sword in his hands. He leapt into the air swinging the sword down at Kali's head. With lightning quick reflexes Kali dropped the Oracle and dodged Devyn's blow. His eyes widened in surprise as he landed and Kali placed a kick to his back that sent him sprawling to the forest floor.

"Nooo!" Austin shouted. Kali turned around just in time to be struck by a huge fireball that washed over her as she screamed in pain. Austin fell to his knees, the aura vanishing as his power was expended. Hopefully it was enough. The smoke began to clear and nothing stirred, nothing made a sound save the crackling of the smoldering flames. Then he heard it, the laughter, the eerie piercing laugh that belonged to the dark witch. All hope Austin had of surviving the night suddenly left his mind.

"Well kiddo I have to hand it to you, that hurt. But did you really think it would be that easy?" Kali stepped forward, a black orb of power forming in her palm as she prepared to destroy him. He tried to get back to his feet but every ounce of strength he had left was put into that last spell. Suddenly Kali shrieked in pain and looked down at her chest where the point of a sword was now protruding, blood began to soak through her robe.

"Yeah, I did think it would be that easy," Devyn smirked as he withdrew his sword from her body, making a sick squishing sound. Kali bought her now blood-soaked hands to her face and turned to face Devyn.

"Oh you'll pay for that. You'll all pay!" she screamed as she disappeared in a blinding flash of white light. Devyn dropped his sword and rushed to Austin's side.

"Are you ok?" he asked, helping him to his feet. Austin nodded and Devyn let him go only to catch him a second later as he began to collapse again. "Or not. Ok just hold on to me and let's go see if anyone else is alive." Austin started to sob and laid his head on Devyn's shoulder. "Shh. Austin what's wrong?" he asked as he pulled Austin into a hug.

"Wh-what was that?" Austin asked, his voice barely a whisper. Devyn looked at him for a moment, fear still present in his gray eyes.

"Im not sure. Whoever she was she is very powerful. Nothing short of a god can take out an Oracle unless they directly interfere in the affair of us mortals, but they didn't seem to do anything that would constitute as interfering."

Austin shook his head, "She...she said she was the Dark Goddess," he said choking back a sob, tears still streaming down his face.

"Yes, but there is no Goddess named Kali, at least there shouldn't be. If she really is a Goddess then we are in far more trouble than it appears." Austin stared at Devyn, confused. The two stood, embraced, for a few minutes until Austin calmed down.

"I don't know if I can handle this. We almost died here and that's just...too much for me, yaknow?" At that moment they heard a groan and turned to see a fallen tree was moved and the last Oracle pulled himself from beneath it. They pulled away from each other and quickly headed over to help him. He was just getting to his feet when they reached him and Devyn moved to help him.

"Im fine really," he said groggily. His short, black hair was a mess, blood dripped from his forehead, and his robes were torn in various places showing the pale white skin beneath. He looked anything but fine.

"Ok then," Devyn stepped back.

"I am Dimitri," he said as he glanced around the clearing, small fires still burning in some places, "one of the legendary Oracles. That woman you just fought is an old power, older than you, older than I. Somehow she has ascended to godhood and we Oracles sensed it. We had come to you Austin, to give you a gift in hopes of defeating her and aid you in your journey against the dark times to come."

"Well you're the only one left now," Austin said.

"Wrong. Shaitung yet lives," he pointed at the young woman Kali had been strangling just moments before. Dimitri made his way over to her prone body, Devyn and Austin following close behind, Devyn stopping to retrieve his sword. Dimitri bent over and easily picked up Shaitung in both arms.

"So now you're all strong. Where was all this when Kali was wreaking havoc?" Austin asked smugly, "Seems Devyn and I were the only ones who could harm her."

"You do not understand. If we were prepared rather than taken by surprise like this, things would have been much different. In the meantime I suggest we leave this place, we are obviously not safe here, any idea where we should go?" Dimitri asked looking at Devyn and Austin.

Devyn nodded, "Yes. Let's go see my father."

After two hours Toren came upon a cave, he could sense that somewhere in there was Enya. Still in the form of a wolf he cautiously entered the mouth of the cave, his night-vision allowing him to see as clearly as if the sun was shining above. It appeared to be a mine of some sort that had been abandoned long ago. Someone had been here recently though, Toren could see footprints in the dirt covered ground and there was a faint human scent lingering in the air. Toren made his way further into the mine, sensing Enya more with each step. He was getting closer, she was somewhere in this cave network. Twenty feet into the cave it narrowed into a small passage no more then five feet wide and seven feet high. The footprints led into the passage and so Toren followed. A faint dripping noise echoed eerily throughout the otherwise quiet cavern. The path began to bend to the right and slowly slope downward into the Earth. Toren continued on for another twenty minutes until he came to a dead end. Rocks of all shape and size blocked the path, there must have been a cave in. That or someone was intentionally blocking the path. Toren concentrated hard and began to shift out of his wolf form and into something much smaller. The wolf's fur changed to a dark brown and began to shrink in size until a small mouse now sat there. In a blur of motion he darted forward and squeezed through the rocks until he emerged clearly on the other side to find something unexpected. On this side of the cave in was another man made passage but this one was lit by many torches and the ground was no longer dirt but well worked stone, like in an ancient castle. Moving forward he came to a cross section and boots marching across the stone floor resounded from around the corner. A man wearing black leather armor came into view, on the front of the armor there was the symbol of a blood red hand with and eye in the center of the palm, the sign of Margulis and his Necromancers. Toren shifted back to his human form and quickly snuck behind the man. In a blur of motion Toren had the man in a headlock, "Tell me where Enya is or I kill you," he whispered into the guard's ear. The man nodded and Toren eased his hold slightly on his neck.

"Sh-she is being held at the end of this corridor...there...there are five orbs of magic absorption protecting her, you'll never get her out," the guard stuttered.

"Then it's a good thing im not a mage isn't it?" Toren asked. With a twist he snapped the guard's neck and let him fall lifeless to the cold, stone floor. He kneeled down and pulled a ring of keys from the mans side, one of them should open the cell she was being held in. He hurried to the end of the corridor and came to a large steel door. He quickly held up a key from the ring and put it into the keyhole and tried to turn it, nothing. He took another key and again the same result, and another and another. Soon he was down to the final key.

"This better be my lucky day," he said as he placed the key into the lock. With a click the key turned and the door swung open on its hinges. The blonde girl from the lake looked up as Toren entered the room and shut the door behind him, the five magic absorbers floating about her. "Enya?" he asked.

"Wh-who are you?" she asked, frightened.

"My name is Toren, I was sent by your mother to rescue you," he explained as he walked forward, "Theres no need to be afraid." As he neared her one of the black orbs flew forward and knocked him back against the steel door with a loud thud.

"That's not going to work you idiot. And why are you naked?" she asked as she realized Toren wasn't wearing any clothes. Toren got back to his feet and shook his head, "Sorry. Im an Animagi, clothes usually don't stay on for too long."

"I've never met an Animagi before. So my mom sent you? Why doesn't she just come and get me out herself?"

"You know that isn't possible, Enya," Toren said softly as he moved forward again.

"So how do you plan on getting me out of here? If I try to use my powers the orbs will zap me, last time I tried I was out for what felt like days...I don't want to try that again," she said lowering her head.

"Im going to the Council, they must help me get you out here."

"They cannot know who I am, or my mother. You must keep that secret." Enya said, raising her voice.

"Don't worry, no one will know. Be safe Enya, I'll return as soon as I can. The gods be with you," Toren said as he turned to exit the room. He shut the door behind him and quickly changed into a mouse and scurried back down the corridor and to the exit. Back in the cell, Enya stared at the closed door, a tear of joy falling down her cheek. Finally she would be rescued from this place.

"The Gods be with you Toren..."she whispered to the silent nothing of her cell.

The group materialized in a large crowded room, a gathering area of sorts. Dozens of men and women in robes of white and gray hustled about. Austin turned around in wonder, craning his neck to stare at the high domes ceiling. Ancient runes lined the stone walls and floor and he could feel magical energy emanating from them. It was then he noticed everyone had stopped going about their business and were bowing to Dimitri who still held Shaitung in his arms, her arms dangling towards the floor.

"There is no need for groveling, please go about your business," Dimitri said to the assembled people. They returned to their feet and continued on their separate ways, although Austin could still see most of them glancing back in awe. Suddenly the crowd began to separate in a hurry as a man in flowing brown robes hurried towards Austin and the others. The man was flanked by two women in white robes adorned with gold patterns, Austin knew them to be healers but he didn't know how he knew that. He realized his memories must be resurfacing now. As the three approached they quickly bowed to Dimitri and the man turned to face Devyn and Austin. His hair was long and completely white, his face lined with age and his eyes were gray and beheld the same power as Devyn's.

"Hello my son, and Austin," he said, smiling at Austin.

"Austin this is my father Kaldon. He is the leader of the Council of Light and one of the most powerful wizards alive today."

"Pleasure to meet you, sir." Austin said returning a smile.

"Now let the healers handle the injured Oracle and the four of us may speak of other matters." The two healers vanished in a flash of light along with Shaitung. Kaldon turned and began to walk towards one of the high archways that led out of the hall, Austin, Devyn and Dimitri followed. He led them through a stone passage, the walls lined with torches and paintings of who Austin believed to be previous leaders of the Council.

"So Devyn are we in another dimension?" Austin asked. Devyn looked at him and smiled.

"No we're back on Earth in an underground building in central London. The building is protected my numerous magical wards. No regular human may enter and neither can any beings of evil. This place has been here since the time of Merlin himself," Devyn explained.

"Merlin is real?" Austin asked in excitement. Kaldon stopped and turned to face them.

"We will have time later to talk of such trivial things. Right now we have a crisis to tend to. Two in fact. Right now I need you all to tell me exactly who it was that attacked you in Arcania."

Dimitri cleared his throat, "It was Kali. The witch you sent to her death during the Salem Trials. She has returned and ascended to godhood, throwing the celestial balance into chaos. If she is not destroyed soon then life as we know it will change drastically and darkness shall rule."

"Well that was simple enough," Austin muttered.

"Then it is as we feared." Kaldon's complexion seemed to pale and his shoulders slumped ever so slightly, "Oracle I beseech you. Allow us to use your power of answer."

"Ah but you forget Kaldon, you already used your one question from me. However Devyn and Austin may still do so." Dimitri said.

"What?" Austin asked.

"Every mortal is entitled to ask one question of each Oracle and the answer shall be the absolute truth." Dimitri said. Devyn stepped up to the Oracle.

"I know my question," he said.

"Ask away young Devyn."

"Can Kali be defeated?" The torches flickered and a cold wind swept through the passage. Dimitri's eyes turned completely white as he answered.

"Yes," he said simply in an unearthly tone.

Devyn looked at Austin, "Your turn," he said. Austin nodded and approached Dimitri. The wind still blew all around them and Dimitri's eyes remained white.

"How can we defeat Kali?" he asked. Thunder rumbled and the wind began to blow harder as Dimitri doubled over in pain. Blood began to stream out of his eyes as he opened his mouth to speak.

"Go to Anaheim and find the vampire that is no more. The amulet is the key. If you do not locate either within three days then all will be lost." As he finished the winds died and Dimitri fell to his knees, his eyes returning to normal. Blood continued to run down his face.

"Are you ok?" Austin asked. Dimitri looked up at him and nodded.

"Ill be ok. Your question took more of a toll on me then it should have. Already the celestial imbalance is affecting us," he explained.

"I shall inform the rest of the council of the current situation. Devyn, Austin the gods be with you," Kaldon said as he turned to leave.

"Wait father you said there were two crises?" Devyn said. Kaldon turned back to face them.

"Yes an Animagi by the name of Toren is asking for our assistance in rescuing a young woman from a Necromancer lair. Ill have a group of mages help him, nothing to worry about." A familiar sensation built up in Austin's head and he grabbed Devyn for support.

"What?," Devyn asked looking at him and seeing the pain displayed on his face, "Oh! What do you see?"

The girl with golden hair and the boy seeking her flashed through his mind again, the ones he had seen in the clearing in Arcania. The boy began to shrink and change form, soon he had turned into a wolf. An Animagi. The vision ended and he realized they were also needed to help fight Kali.

"No. W-we need to help Toren save her. They need to be with us for the fight against Kali."

"Very well then, but do not take up too much time. You must get to Anaheim and stop whatever Kali is trying to do. Follow me, Ill show you to Toren," Kaldon said.

"I will find Shaitung and stay with her until she recovers. The gods be with you Austin and Devyn, please do not fail."

They nodded as he walked away and they followed Kaldon further into the building. He led them to a room where Toren was waiting. He stood from his chair, dressed in a simple brown robe.

"Toren this is my son Devyn, the finest Blade Mage in this day," Kaldon introduced him, "And this is Austin, they will assist you. Now I must take my leave." They all bowed as Kaldon exited the room.

"Thank you both," Toren said smiling.

`Another hottie', Austin thought to himself.

"What is the situation?" Devyn asked.

"I belong to a group of Animagi who worship the Goddess Aurora. Our leader sent me to find a young woman named Enya and I have located her, but she is being held captive by the Necromancers in the forests of northern Budapest. I couldn't get her out so I asked your father for help," Toren said. Austin and Devyn nodded, "Ok, Budapest here we come."

Toren led them through the woods to the cave he found earlier. The night air was still and nothing stirred in the trees making it an eerie place. They entered the cave and made their way to the pile of rocks blocking the entrance to the dungeon.

"How did you get through this?" Austin asked looking at the large blockade.

"I turned into a mouse," Toren answered chuckling.

"More like how are we going to get through it," Devyn said running his hand across one of the large rocks, "I have no power over the element of earth." Austin placed his hands on the stones and closed his eyes in concentration.

"Spirits of the earth here my call, let us pass," as he finished the ground began to rumble and the rocks melded into ground and walls, forming a path into the dungeon. Devyn stared at Austin in wonder.

"You really are getting stronger," he said quietly.

"Yeah. Are you ok Devyn?"

"Yes, Im fine. Lets hurry and find Enya before anyone comes along." They continued into the dungeon, following Toren to the intersection that led to Enya's cell. As they turned the corner Toren stopped suddenly and looked up and down the corridor.

"What is it?" Devyn asked reaching for his sword and releasing the cloak of invisibility.

"The guard I killed. His body isn't here anymore, they know Ive been here," he said still glancing around.

"You stay here and guard the exit, Austin and I will get Enya," Devyn said.

"Ok, but hurry, I have a bad feeling about this," Devyn tossed the cell key to Devyn. The two of them hurried to the end of the hall and unlocked the door to the cell. Enya jumped to her feet as they entered.

"Where is Toren?" she asked.

"Hes guarding the hall, we're here to get you out." Austin walked toward her and the black orbs flew at him forcing him to step back.

"How do we stop these things?" he asked.

"Distract them with a spell, I can do the rest," Enya said. Devyn shot a bolt of lightning at the wall, two of the orbs immediately flew toward the bolt and absorbed its power, Austin did the same with a ball of fire.

"Stop!" Enya shouted and the orbs halted their movement. She made her way to the door and Austin and Devyn followed. As they exited the orbs remained in the same area.

"How did you do that?" Devyn asked her.

"I have the power to do so," she said prissily and she obviously wasn't going to explain further. Austin looked at Devyn and rolled his eyes.

`Just what we need,' he mouthed and Devyn grinned. They continued down the passage and met up with Toren at the intersection.

"I told you I would return for you Enya." She walked up to him and hugged him tight.

"Thank you," she whispered, "Now lets get out of here."

"I don't think so," a sinister voice hissed from the darkness. They whirled around, Devyn's sword at the ready, to face the voice. A deathly pale man in black robes and two huge warriors in full black armor emerged from the inky darkness.

"Suru! The council banished you from this plane!" Devyn shouted.

The pale man cackled ominously, "Your father and his pathetic council have no power of Lord Margulis. I have returned to exact my revenge, and what better way then to take the blood of my enemy's son!" Suru withdrew a twisted black knife from within his robes and began to chant.

"Blood begets power, power consumes blood. Heed my command and do not toil make their blood boil!" he drew the knife across his palm. A cloud of blood-red mist appeared and rolled towards the group. Toren morphed into a hawk, his robes falling to the floor. Devyn and Enya dove to the floor trying to avoid the cloud. Austin put his hands forward preparing a counterpsell.

"Austin what are you doing?!" Devyn shouted.

"The blood of the pure holds power over the darkness!" Austin shouted and the cloud reversed back at Suru. Suru's mouth dropped open in surprise and he vanished back into the darkness. His Death Knights were not as fortunate. They screamed in pain as the cloud rolled over them, boiling their blood from within. Austin turned around and joined the others who all wore looks of amazement, "Lets get out of here before he returns." Toren returned to his human form and Austin couldn't stop himself from staring at his now naked body. Toren flushed slightly and picked up his robe, quickly putting it back on.

"Sorry," he said still completely red. They all laughed as he struggled to get the robe back on. After he was dressed they joined hands and prepared to teleport back to Oceanside.

In a flash of light the four re-appeared in Austin's living room. The sun was still out and it appeared his mom still hadn't got home from work.

"Guess I didn't miss much around here," Austin said as he made his way over to the couch and sat down. Devyn sat next to him and Enya made her way to the lounge chair, Toren sat at the other end of the couch.

"So now what?" Toren asked. Austin and Devyn explained to them about Kali and the attack on the Oracles. Then they told them about Austin's visions and how they were all needed to stop Kali.

"Looks like we're stuck together for now then eh?" Toren said and they all looked at each other.

"Seems that way. Before we leave I have to talk to my mom though," Austin said as he stood up.

"No need for that," said a voice from the kitchen. His mom rounded the corner and Austin's stomach tied into a tight knot.

"Mom I..."

"Its ok hun. I knew this day would someday come," she said sweetly.

"So you did know that dad was a wizard?" Austin asked.

"No. Not exactly, but I knew something was different and that you would be special," she explained.

"So you're ok with it then?" he asked. She smiled.

"Of course Austin, I will always love you for who and whatever you are, you know that already." Austin reached for her and they hugged for a moment, "Now go save the world, be our ray of hope."

Sorry for the long time between these chapters guys, a lot has been going on with work and my life, but I hope to update sooner after this chapter is up. In the meantime I suggest you all read Light of Day, Dark of Night by Jaden. It can be found in the Scifi section on Nifty. The next chapter will be a crossover between the two. I would also like to thank everyone that emailed me, your comments are well appreciated. Happy Holidays to everyone and I hope to hear from you soon!~Toren