There will be no copying or reposting of part or all of this work, or there will be an assassin contract put on you.

Warning: this work contains male/male relations and language that may not be appropriate for underage readers. If material such as this offends you, or if you are underage, please do not read it.

All characters are original.

By Darkthread

My thanks to Rubilacxe for editing!

Darren

Part Three

...And Into the Fire!

"Mark? Where are you?"

Darren's face changed from one of relief to one of panic, as he realized his father wouldn't answer, being gone and all.

"Down here honey!"

Darren's face then twisted in surprise, and then confusion.

"How could that possibly.-"

"[I didn't destroy him! I simply combined a teleport spell and a charm, he shouldn't bug you anymore, unless that witch manages to break the charm]"

"A spell? Aren't those-"

No, they are not fictional, that is just what most people believe. Spells are quite real, though mine are somewhat limited because... never mind, I will explain after this mess is cleaned up. Get to it, would you?"

Francine, after some investigation, saw something wrong with her husband. "How can you sit there and say such things? "Give him the silly computer?" Are you mad? Don't you remember what that little shit is? NOTHING! Why should we give him anything?"

"Because he is our son, and we should be kind to him."

"What has happened to you? Where has the cruel, heartless man I love gone? Why are you so nice all of a sudden? Ten minutes ago, you would have killed him for a dime!"

"[WONDERFUL! She mentioned killing you! This complicates matters...]"

"How so? They threaten me all the time. That really shouldn't-"

"[You na´ve little fool! Don't you realize that is what I meant when I said she could break the spell? She has reminded him of life before the charm, and thus may have nullified it! With the charm neutralized, It's energies are free floating, and thus they can find-]"

The thought was interrupted as a very large explosion was heard from the front room.

Peeking from around the corner, Darren spied two individuals sitting outside the wreckage that was his living room. The first, a tall and lanky man, carrying what appeared to be a sword, and the second, a very statuesque woman carrying a book. Much to his hidden enjoyment, He also saw his parents bodies, lying on the floor , his fathers very bloody.

"[Darren, you must run! Do not let them see or hear you. Even more importantly, DO NOT let them catch you. It will mean your death.]"

He didn't need anymore encouragement than that, and within 5 seconds he was out of the bathroom window, and halfway down the street.

...

"Your son, Ms. Atrium. Where is he?"

"He...he is cleaning the washroom, mistress."

"Very good. Lance, go get the boy."

"Yes ma'am."

Lance Upernas was a man of few words, and even fewer thoughts. His mind had been dominated from a very young age, and only retained survival functions. He could eat, breath, and defend himself without orders, but almost anything else was controlled by his master or mistress.

"Ma'am, there ain't anyone in here."

"O really? Ms. Atrium, did you lie to me?"

"No mistress, that is where I left him, shortly before you arrived!"

"I am not in the mood for excuses! If you don't know where he is, then you are of even less use to me than your dead husband! Lance, get rid of her."

"yes ma'am."

...

"Where am I going?"

"[Follow my directions very carefully. I know a way to get to the home of those who can help us. First, you need to get into a very dark place, preferably an alley.]"

"Alright, but could you explain how that will-"

"[Now is not the time for questions, just do as I say]!"

Without thinking, Darren ducked into the first alley he came into, and ran head first into Mike and Andrew.

"O look, we found the little fag that put Nick in the hospital! Lets get a little payback for the boss, ey Andy?

"But...But.. Remember what he did to Nick? What if he still has the knife?

"[Please, do you want me to deal with these two, or shall you? I need a few minutes of silence to do what I need this alley for, so hurry would you?]"

"I'll try and deal with them; you hurry with what you are doing."

"Who you talking to, fag?" No-one is going to hear you, or help you for that matt-"

He stopped as he saw Darren's eyes, which had now gone to their "All Black"á phase. "What the hell are you doing, fag? That just ain't natural, but boy, does it make you look like fun to hit!

"[The power is yours; I will not interfere in this fight]"

Darren's anger and hatred for these two kept building and building, and that seemed to feed whatever this strength was. He brought up all the memories of the twisted things that they had done to him over the years. All the Names, all the punches, and all the twisted little pranks, they fed this rage. Without a second thought, He lunged at Mike, the bigger of the two, and simply tried to push him away.

"Arrgg...what the...he..l..l..." Mikes body collapsed after Darren made contact, and Andrew screamed and ran as fast as he could. Unfortunately forá him, it wasn't near fast enough, and Darren caught him in the back, sending him down to the ground. It wasn't till this blood rage was over that Darren saw the blood. It was streaming out of huge gashes in both of the bullies, and this time Darren saw why. He had claws. Not like those fun, finger long rings that ended in points, he had actual talons! His hands grew black towards the end of the finger, from which protruded 6 inch, curved, red and black claws"

"What the hell is happening to me?"

"[You are coming into your birth-right. But I will explain more in detail later, for now, we need to depart. I am prepared, and we will leave at once.]"

After hearing this, Darren felt a very weird rush, as though a cold wind and small fingers were running over his body, and shortly after, it ceased, but a strange noise started. It seemed to be a mix of chatter, and traffic. Darren opened his eyes, and found himself looking into a heavily trafficked road, both sidewalk and street.

"Where am I?" was all he could muster.

"[You are staring at the 5 o-clock traffic in New York City. This is where we need to be. Now, you must find the Elements Inc. building. Once we are there, we will be safe. And for all that is powerful, pocket your hands!]"

Darren then realized that the claws had not disappeared. He also realized that there was a homeless man staring at him from deeper in the alley. He hurriedly stuck his hands in his pockets and started asking passerby'sá if they knew where the building was. Thankfully, one woman was kind enough to help him. It was only four blocks from his current location, but somehow, that wasn't very reassuring.

"[Just keep your wits about you and be very careful, and you should be able to make it there before they realize what I have done.]"

"what do you mean? What have you done, besides transporting me from my hometown to here?"

"[That is just the thing, I have transported you here, and that means that if they figure it out, they can follow us, now HURRY!]"

Without another word, Darren ran as fast as he could to get to the Elements Inc. building before he was found out. Just as he neared the doors though, he heard something disturbing. From behind him were coming shouts...

"Don't let him get into that building! If he does-"

Darren didn't let them finish, and bolted through the doors faster than he thought possible.

From the outside, this building looked the same as any other, but on the inside, it was very different indeed. The walkway leading to the reception desk as a winding path, leading by lush gardens, blazing fires, beautiful pools, and delightful musical performances. The reception desk was very brightly lit, and manned by a single person.

This woman was tall, slender, and had 2 very big wings. This startled Darren more than most things in the past few days. "Excuse me Ms..."

"Ms. Brightfeather, and how might I assist you young lad?

Darren didn't respond, as he was to distracted by the wings. They almost seemed to glow, and the feathers were almost prismatic.

"Hello dear? Can you hear me? Are you alright?"

"What? O, yes, I am fine, sorry about-"

"Can you see these?" She asked as she flapped them slightly.

"Actually, yes, they are very beautiful, but I need to ask-"

"How can you see them? You are human! That doesn't make any sense..."

"[Show her your hands, young one]"

Darren realized that it might help, and proceeded to pull his hands out of his pockets, baring the talons for her to see.

"Wait just a moment! Those aren't gloves, or fake! Those are real! I am sorry for asking such questions; I just need to make certain that "normal" humans don't get into the upper or lower levels of this building.

"Speaking of which, what is this building?"

"You don't know? And you have Those? O my dear, were you raised by humans? Hahaha-"

"Actually, yes, I was."

This ended her laughter rather abruptly, as she bowed her head, and whispered in a most repentant tone "Please forgive me young master"

"Don't worry about it; it is just a touchy subject. Anyway, back to this building."

"Of course. This building is the headquarters for all elemental beings operations on the material plane of existence. All elemental beings pass through here on there way to this plane, or out of it. This is also the only place on the plane where the rulers of each element can manifest."

"Elements? Material Plane? What are you talking about?

"These worlds, and all worlds in this existence, are known as the Material Plane. It is the only plane in which all elements mingle and co-exist. The Elements are the building blocks of life. Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Light-"

"[And Darkness...]"

"- are the elements that are bound to this plane. Since you were raised by humans, you may be able to attend some of the classes offered in building, or you may be able to take specifics on each plane. But before that, we need to see what elemental heritage you have. Follow me, if you please.

With a bit of hesitation, Darren Followed her into a room in the back of the reception area. It was very bare, and was not lit, except for a small podium in the center, on which stood a very big orb.

"This is the Orb of Illumination. It has been given the ability to detect even tiny amounts of elemental energy. Though, seeing as your body has manifested visual inheritance, I doubt it needs to use much of its ability. Simply place your hand on it, and it will reveal your true heritage."

As would be expected of a Seventeen year old boy, he was a little worried about what he might see. But, also as expected, curiosity got the better of him, and he reached out and touched it. For a small moment, it shined with a bright, white light. Then, after a very loud gasp from Ms. Brightfeather, it crumbled to nothing more than ash.

"How is that even possible? That orb was made and enchanted by High King Seraph himself..."

Then Darren experienced something almost unknown. Time seemed to stop, because Ms. Brightfeather also stopped moving or talking. Even he couldn't breath, or move, but he was aware. He even heard voices...

"See! Just as I thought! A pure born Shadow!

"O Lodis, you are so childish sometimes."

"That means a lot coming from you Temparia!"

"Incendiar, Please do stay quiet, I think he can hear us!"

"It makes no difference if he hears us, Aquitas, he has no knowledge of what is going to happen. Still, we must convene with Seraph quickly! He will most likely be outraged that this one still lives!"

"Why must we tell him Lodis? He may prove useful, and he is sooo cute!"

"Temparia, you think a 84 year old Hag is cute!"

" INCENDIAR, TEMPARIA, LODIS, PLEASE BE SILENT! HE CAN COMPREHEND US!"

Time shortly thereafter resumed, followed by another gasp from Ms. Brightfeather.

"You must be one of the Shadowborn. For you to have come here, alive, you must be very powerful indeed, if still untrained. I think it best you meet the lords of the 4 primal elements, but if The Lord of Light sees you, He will order your death."

"Then why are you helping-"

"Do not question my reasons, but you must be trained and taught all we can. I assume since you are not accompanied, you are an orphan?"

"[Your "parents" will be dead by now]"

"...yes..."

"Then that removes some of the problem. You will stay here, then. Your belongings are already here, since you have no other home, and thus we just need to work out a schedule for you. Do you have any money or a job?"

"No, I don't have either, I was very recently whisked away from my hometown, and I haven't even been in New York for more than an hour!"

"Ok, then we will need you to get a job. You can pass for an adult, correct?"

"Pardon?"

"I asked, Can you modify your appearance so you look a tiny bit older?"

"{Can I?}"

"[Yes, with my help, I believe we could make you look like a respectable adult]"

"Yes, I could"

"Good, than you will be working at the bar that the Elements Inc. owns. Your pay will go toward your bedding, food, and tuition. You will work Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday evenings as the bartender, and will take classes Monday through Thursday. Monday will be History and Basic Magic. Tuesday will be Combat Training and Advanced Magic. Wednesday will be Law and Protocol, and Identifying Elements. Thursday will be more Combat training, and Drink mixing. Today is Sunday, and you will begin School tomorrow, but your work will not begin till Friday, so you have a class on mixing drinks first. Free time should be spent studying, or if need be, sleeping. Your room is #1313. This card is required to open the door."

Darren took the card, and looked at it carefully. To his amazement, it already had his name on it, and his room number.

"Your room is on floor 13, and is morphic to your will, so have fun."

"{Morphic?}"

"[You can change reality inside the room, create your own bed, desk, walls, sky, or anything else you want! It is quite a marvel, but not to terribly difficult to accomplish, especially in this building.]"

"I best get some sleep before tomorrow, áso I think I will go and check out what a "Morphic" room looks like. Good night, and thank you Ms. Brightfeather."

"Don't worry about it Darren... Don't worry about it at all..."

Not as much of a cliffhanger this time, but certainly longer, and a little more information than story.

If you feel the need to criticize, or if you want to comment, Please email me at Darkthread.shadowweb@gmail.com, orá at Darkthread.shadowweb@hotmail.com,á As it now actually exists!