COURSE OF CHAOS

by CRAFTER
(William Ja-On Campbell Hillman)


Chapter Two: Enroute to Revenge

 

 Phillipe Kameleo DeMagi sat comfortably in his first class seat aboard the African bound airliner which he had been on for the past dozen hours. Impatiently, he struggled with his computer over a game of solitaire, which he never really had a chance of winning anyway. Silently cursing, he closed the monitor of the laptop, powering the evil toy down, and leaned back to enjoy the movie. He slowly shook his head and stroked his goatee as he watched the movie that was playing on the flight and grimaced at the poor acting and plot.

 Kameleo looked down at his walking stick, a wooden cane with a dragon’s head mounted on the top. ‘An Immortal should never be without a weapon…’ he was taught a long time ago. That is why he had a ceramic blade fashioned with the holster being the outer case of the stick. This way, he is never without a weapon, and the ceramic blade will never show up on a metal detector.

 DeMagi closed his eyes, and thought back to the phone call that prompted him to leave his home near the Spanish/Portugal border in Europe…



Two days ago…

 Kameleo struggled to crawl out of his bedsheets that his body was wrapped amongst, and reach the phone that cried out its call from across the bed. Sleepily, he grabbed the receiver and whispered his half-awake answer, “…hello…”

 “Kameleo… you don’t know who I am, but I know you…” replied the voice. DeMagi couldn’t place the voice, partly due to the fact he was suffering from a hang-over that shook his world, and also from the voice scrambler on the other side. To him, it sounded like a thousand voices all talking at once. He shook his head and tried to wake himself up for the conversation.

 “Who are you?” Kameleo replied as he sat up from his bed and struggled with a bathrobe. He peered over at the bedside table and saw that is was 5:30 A.M. and he was not too impressed. A prank call is one thing, but at 5:30? Heads were gonna roll, he swore.

 “That does not matter… what matters is a friend of yours named Morgan. Gaelynne Morgan.”

 Kameleo perked up in shock and he shot over to the call display monitor next to the phone. To his disappointment, it read “Unknown Name Unknown Number”. He looked around, and replied again, “Who are you?”

 “Listen my friend…”

 “I am not your friend…”

 “…Kameleo… go to Africa… find Boleau… he was the last one to see Morgan and probably has her…”

 “Boleau… the last of the Zulus? Are you a Watcher?”

 “No… we watch the Watchers…”


Present

 Boleau… the last of the Zulus… an ancient group of Immortal warriors who controlled Africa with a firm but strong hand. They had united mortals and immortals alike, until they began to fall one by one either to each other or to rivals. Boleau was the last and the strongest, but his mind fell as he fought Monte, just as so many others had in the past. Evidently, he was the last one to see his love Gaelynne. A weak clue, but the only clue he’s had for the last 75 years or so, and yet, entirely believable since the day Boleau went mad, he has wanted Kameleo dead.

 Anger flowed through Kameleo as he thought of their first challenge in 1900 when Boleau ran him through from behind. If his friend John Sire hadn’t been there, he would surely have been killed. Not following the rules of the Game however, but he would still be dead nonetheless. Boleau never really believed in a fair fight, and cared little for the rules of the Game.
DeMagi shook his head slowly, as he drifted off to sleep and to a life long ago, the day he met Gaelynne, and the day he killed the man who destroyed his life and killed his first love, Jaina Montclair. Michael Carver…


Germany, 1537
 Darkness and fear gripped the quiet village that lay hidden away in some long forgotten vale in Germany. It seemed as if the very flora and fauna of this world had fled in terror as the dark rider slowly rode through the undergrowth. The man was of massive and fearful build, his armor seemingly sculpted from the bone of some long dead beast, and his face showing an unending hatred and contempt for all beauty in this forest. He pulled on the reins of his dark stallion, and came to a quick stop. Dismounting from the horse, he glanced around and witnessed the villagers, a druidic cult of sorts, humbly carrying out their business almost unaware of his presence. He gave a sneer as he watched, and sent chills throughout the village as he walked to the nearest druid. He drew his blade and promptly, with a small growl, which sounded like the purr of a lion, cleaved the upper torso of the small man from the lower half of his body.

 "I want Gaelynne Morgan! Where is she?" he screamed as he cut through another druid. By this time, the entire populace had grabbed everything that looked remotely like a weapon and assaulted the knight. The screaming hoard assaulted the intruder, but despite their numbers, never could seem to get past his swinging blade.

 "Where is she?" screamed out the black knight as he cut his way through the druids that struggled to resist his bombardment. "Where is the druid Gaelynne Morgan?"

 The Kurgan swung his sword from side to side as he cut his way through the group of defensive druids. He knew the druid Gaelynne Morgan was somewhere in the area, he could feel her presence, her Quickening. He also knew that these pathetic druids were protecting her from him.

 "You are all going to die!" he screamed as he cut down another druid and continued his advance through the small village. Many of the remaining members of the village broke into a full retreat and scrambled towards the centre of the town, where the Elder's small hut stood. Many others simply ran into the forest, never to be seen again. Blood flowed though the village, and the Kurgan was merciless in his slaughter.

 Gaelynne Morgan was perhaps the biggest possible threat he could foresee towards him and the prize if she were brought up properly by a train Immortal teacher. An immortal with the power to control the basic elements of nature could be a powerful foe, or a vast source of Quickening knowledge, should he take her head. If he was going to take her, it had to be now. He could feel the tracker Michael Carver slowly making his way towards this very spot, where he will contest for the druid. Carver was no threat to the Kurgan, and he knew it, but should he receive the power of the druid, things could, and would change.

 Still, the Kurgan was so close. He smiled as he imagined the power he would soon have. All in all, he has had a very good few years. First he took out Juan Sanchez Villa Lobos Ramiriz, and soon Gaelynne Morgan would be his. He relished the thought, and wondered when he would find Monte once again, for this time, there will be only one.

 "Gaelynne..." whispered the Elder as he turned his head from the window of the cottage and from the carnage which was occurring outside, "You must flee. All our people have fled or have been slaughtered by this madman, and we cannot defend you anymore. Run while you can and the rest of us will cover your escape..."

 "Elder, I can’t leave you..." replied Gaelynne, her eyes red and puffy from the tears of grief. She knew that she had lost her family that she had come to love and protect, even if they were her adopted family. "I will stay and fight by your side!"

 "Gaelynne, you are the most powerful of us, you must go! We will meet again... in another life!"

 A voice came from outside the hut, "The Dark One is coming!"

 "Stop him!" screamed the Elder before he turned to Gaelynne and whispered, "Gaelynne, please..."

 Screams erupted from the outside of the house, as the Kurgan reached the last defenders. Gaelynne gave the Elder a last tearful embrace and ran out of the back door. Within minutes, the door exploded into a shower of splinters, and all that was left was the Kurgan as he stood at the door, holding the bloody, severed head of a slaughtered druid.

 "Where is she?" the Kurgan growled as he cast aside the bloody head. It rolled helplessly against the wall, where its hollow and pain filled eyes watched in terror as the Kurgan stepped up to the Elder.

 The Elder looked into the eyes of his executor and withdrew a small dagger from his robes. The Kurgan smiled as the druid lunged at him. Gaelynne stopped and turned around terrified as she heard the Elder scream horribly in pain, and the Kurgan walked out of the house. He dragged the mutilated body of the Elder out and cast him aside like a rag doll. Gaelynne didn't even have time to scream when the Kurgan ran after her, his blade drawn and an evil look on his sadistic face.

 Michael Carver walked amid the destruction and death of the slaughtered village people, his sword drawn, and his senses keen, searching for anything that may be his target. He could feel her moving away from him and the Kurgan following. He cursed and continued pursuit when he suddenly felt it. It was like a Quickening had blinked in and out, like a ghost. It was there as clear as day and it suddenly vanished. Someone else was here, and could hide themselves. It was going to be an interesting day.

 Michael didn't consider himself to be an evil person, merely an immortal after the prize, and if what he had heard about this Gaelynne Morgan was true, she may be the ticket to winning it. The Kurgan had an easy 500 years or so on him and he needed to even up the score. He was even more powerful now that he took Ramiriz out of the Game, and the sadistic hunter seemed to be on the move to take Carver out too.

 He felt that tingling again, but it was gone as quickly as before. Something strange is happening here, and he so did not like it. He had only met one other immortal who could hide the buzz, and that didn't help the poor bastard out too much once the Kurgan caught on. Interesting.

 Death and decay lay throughout the once peaceful village, bodies lay bleeding, and the entire area seemed devoid of life. The place stank of evil, as if it followed that butcher wherever he went. Carver came to the Elder's hut, and found it just like the rest of the village, desecrated. Obviously, Gaelynne was here, and so was the Kurgan. He had to get moving, or he would lose this one.

 Gaelynne ran madly through the forest, as the Kurgan followed calmly at a steady pace, ever anxious to kill the pre-immortal , but taking his time to relish the game of predator/prey. Gaelynne struggled to keep an even pace as she raced on with all her strength. Even that would not be enough, as she could feel herself tiring. Without warning, she broke out of the forest and came to a rapid moving river, white water rapids tearing though the break in the earth a dozen feet or so beneath her.

 She hesitated and looked behind her. The Kurgan was coming, and if she stayed, death was near. And yet, if she jumped, she would die, if not by the rapids and the rocks, then by drowning, for Gaelynne couldn't swim. The choice was easy. At least the water was more forgiving, and she jumped as the Kurgan broke through the treeline.

 The Kurgan smiled, "Bitch..." and ran along side the river, trying to follow the prey as closely as possible.

 Gaelynne felt like she was dying, her lungs burning and body aching, as she struggled to climb up on the shore. Damn, maybe I should have learned how to swim, she thought as she coughed up a lungful of water. At least she was alive... for now. And yet, she couldn’t easily comprehend the fact that she had survived the ordeal. What she did know was that if that black knight found her, she wouldn't stand a chance against him.

 Suddenly, the feeling came back... an intense nausea that swept over her like a wildfire. She struggled to stand, when she suddenly heard movement in the bushes. Her head was spinning, and pounded like a damned drum. She couldn't think straight, and started to head towards the rustling in the bushes. Michael Carver emerged from the thick underbrush, his weapon drawn and a smile on his face as large as a great river.

 "Well, I'll be damned..." he said with the smile on his face and a mocking tone, "Thought I'd lost you milady! Looks like the Kurgan is in for a little challenge from now on!"

 Gaelynne struggled under the nausea and stepped backwards away from the attacker. Carver took a step forward, and swung his blade through the air. "Damnit!" she cried, "What do you want with me?"

 "Your head of course. There can be only One!" he shouted as he raised his weapon into the air. His killing blow was interrupted by a light tapping on the shoulder. Surprised by the unexpected touch, he turned around directly into the face and blade of Kameleo DeMagi. "Kameleo!" he exclaimed in surprise.

 "Hello Michael..." replied DeMagi as he raised his sword into the air. He promised he would kill him quickly, and he wished for this part of his life to be over. "Good-bye Michael..." and swung the steel though Carver's neck, severing his head. The decapitated body fell to the ground, and the head rolled into the river, leaving a trail of red blood that contaminated the clear water.  "There can be only One!" he whispered, as he held out his hands in submission for the power to engulf him.

 The Quickening hit DeMagi like it always had before, like an electrical storm. However, it wasn't as intense as it should be, and he realized part of the power was flowing into the girl. Poor thing must have died in the river, he thought just before the Quickening ended.

 Gaelynne dropped to her knees, hurting from the Quickening, exhausted from the chase, and scared from the whole ordeal. She struggled to look up at her savior, tears flowing down her cheeks, and fear in her eyes. "Are you... an... Angel?" she modestly asked DeMagi.

 Kameleo merely smiled and replied, "No, just the next best thing..." He extended his hand towards her, offering his trust, and helped her stand. "Come, we have to leave before the Kurgan finds us!"

 "The who?" she asked, when she suddenly heard motion in the bushes, and turned her head to see the Kurgan smiling back at her, his evil grin stealing all goodness from her thoughts, and striking fear into her heart.

 "The Kurgan... me, my pretty..." he sneered with his deep ominous voice, his eyes checking out the figure of his prey. "Most impressive..."

 DeMagi drew his second sword and shielded Gaelynne, with his body. "Stand back woman!" he shouted out. "Kurgan! Are you game for a rematch?"

 "Kameleo, you are  the fool! I had you all but dead just a short while ago! Mere weeks! And now you challenge me?" the Kurgan mocked as he drew his sword and tapped it against DeMagi's blades. Kameleo slapped the blades away in anger, as he taunted the monster.

 "Girl! Get out of here!" Kameleo screamed as he attacked the Kurgan in a blinding fury of slashes and strikes with his blades, all of which were easily deflected by the black blade.

 "But I can help!" she replied as she sidestepped around DeMagi. Kameleo desperately blocked an overhand attack with his blades and came within a foot of the Kurgan. The Kurgan pressed his sword down closer to DeMagi's head as Kameleo used his blades to attempt to push the blade back up. The Kurgan seemed to tower over DeMagi, as the two stood deadlocked in their deadly pose.

 "Help me? Dying does not seem to help out here! Get outta here!" Kameleo screamed as he began to lose his footing. The Kurgan forced the blade down with more strength than Kameleo could stand, and it forced him to his knees. Kameleo screamed in horror as the Kurgan kicked the blades from his hands, leaving him unarmed, and he looked defeat in the eyes. This fight was even shorter than the last encounter, and DeMagi was clearly not the victor.

 "There you are again DeMagi... defeated! Now to have some fun with your woman!" the Kurgan screamed as he brought his blade over his head for the killing blow. Kameleo closed his eyes and awaited his sentence.

 Only his death never came. The blow never fell. He opened his eyes to see the Kurgan suspended in the air, vines and branches wrapping him up like a cocoon. The Kurgan screamed in anger as his body was embraced by the flora of the forest, and Gaelynne merely smiled.

 "I told you I could help..."

 "What the hell are you?" DeMagi responded in surprise as he grabbed his blades and stood up once again.

 "We don't have time for that." she replied, "Let's go, the forest cannot hold him for long..."

 Gaelynne led an amazed DeMagi away quickly as the Kurgan struggled to break free, but the two were obviously safe for now. DeMagi still could not understand what had transpired, but then again, neither could Gaelynne. The two had much to learn. Gaelynne would never return to the forest, and for some reason, the entire vale burnt to the ground, several years later. Whether it was the Kurgan or not, Gaelynne would forever hold contempt and burning hatred for the madman.


A small village several days from the forest

 Kameleo and Gaelynne sat at a small table in the back of a small tavern in a pitifully small village. They were the only patrons of the inn at this time and even the owner had retired to his quarters. He seemed to trust these two strangers, since he allowed them to stay after closing hours. These two had traveled for several days on DeMagi’s horse and Carver’s steed, and within those few days, the two had learned a great deal about each other.

 Kameleo explained the rules of the Game, the Prize, everything. Gaelynne listened in awe as he told her stories that seemed like mere faery tales to her, and several days ago, she would have dismissed them as such. But now, everything seemed so realistic, so true. She felt that she had no reason to distrust him, and she placed her entire faith in him. Kameleo in return, spoke of the truth, the stories, and the horrors. He spoke of the great hatred he had for Carver and his regret that he never had time for a true fight with the bastard. He spoke of the massacre of his village by Michael Carver and his men those many years ago. What he never told her however, was the fact that she had the face of his mortal wife, Jaina Montclair whom he held in his arms so many years ago, and how much he longed to be with that face once again. An impossibility he decided… impossible.

 Gaelynne explained to him how she had come to live in Germany with a group of druids. During her youth, she was taken from her father, a prominent English nobleman, to Germany. Her mother smuggled her through the English border, and found her way to the forest where she was given to the monks. As much as this hurt her mother, she was instructed by a strange Celt by the name of Caernarvon to take her to the druids. Gaelynne was said to have some powerful destiny, and her current life could not fulfill the fate. She found that she had a natural affinity for calling to nature for aide, or rather, the perfect druid. This was the first part of her destiny. The second part was obviously her immortality. Kameleo smiled a little as she mentioned the name ‘Caernarvon’ and she decided that somehow, those two were connected.

 “What happened to your family after you were adopted?” Kameleo asked as he sipped his ale and chewed on a piece of sweetbread.

 “My father was put to death for treason several years later…” she quietly mentioned, “It would seem that he and several others attempted an assassination of the king. My mother…”

 Kameleo noticed that Gaelynne lowered her head slowly, and he understood immediately. “Your mother… didn’t make it home did she?”

 Gaelynne shook her head and a single tear fell to the table. “She was attacked by pirates on the way back to England. The raiders destroyed the ship, tortured the crew and raped my mother before they tied all living souls to the ship, set it ablaze and released it on a voyage of death.” Gaelynne’s fist tightened up and she brought is down hard upon the table. “A seagull was flying overhead and it later told me of what happened. Even though I was merely five years old, I understood the difference between murder and death.”

 Kameleo looked at her eyes as a single tear fell to the table. Slowly, and yet very painfully for him, he took her hand. She released a small smile as she leaned forward on the table. DeMagi merely returned the stare from her beautiful green eyes as he felt himself drawn in by her look. Soon, they were mere inches from one another’s lips, and Gaelynne closed her eyes.
 “I never got to thank you milord…” she whispered as she took his other hand in her own. “I hope you can accept this as a token… of… my…”

 The pain and fear of loving and living instantly melted away as his lips touched hers, and DeMagi found himself falling in love once again. Gaelynne cried the entire time they held each other in their arms, and her tears ran down both their faces, leaving trails of wetness which flowed like a river.

For a second, DeMagi could swear he heard his mentor, teacher and friend, Juan Sanchez Villa Lobos Ramiriz speaking to him, “Live your life to the fullest, DeMagi,” Ramiriz spoke, “And your Immortality will be a labour of love…”

 “Ramiriz…” Kameleo thought as he held Gaelynne, “You old goat…”


Present Day

 Kameleo suddenly awoke from his dream of the ancient memory to the announcement that from the captain that the plane was nearing the landing point. Sleepily, Kameleo fastened his seat belt, and patted his cane that sat on his lap.

 “On vacation, young man?” asked an elderly lady who sat next to him. She looked over at him with her kind eyes, and he thought of the mother he never knew. Did she have to look at him like this?

 “No, ma’am… this is business…” he replied with a frown. Business... this is a killing mission, he thought.

The lady caught the facial expression, and shook her head. “Son, someone as young as you should not be working their life away. Live life while you are young, and relax. You should be taking a vacation, touring the world…”

 Kameleo merely smiled at the lady. In his life, he had hundreds of jobs and toured the world over a dozen or more times. He released a little chuckle, shook his head and looked down at his walking stick. Casually, he returned his look at the woman, “I’m older than I look…”

...continued in Chapter Three...


GATEWAY TO CHAPTER THREE 
Contents

Introduction
Cover Page
Chapter One:
The Beginning
Chapter Two:
Enroute to Revenge
Chapter Three:
The Proposal
Chapter Four:
Encounters and Agreements
Chapter Five:
Montegue LeMoynne
Chapter Six:
Contact
Chapter Seven:
The Heist
Chapter Eight:
Ambush at the Safehouse
Chapter Nine:
The Dividing of the Quests
Chapter Ten:
The Soul-Stealer
Chapter Eleven:
Macleod
Chapter Twelve:
The Marnin' Gull Tavern
Chapter Thirteen:
Coming to America
Chapter Fourteen:
Monte's Fall from Grace
Chapter Fifteen:
Prelude to Hell

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Copyright 1999 ~ William Ja-On Campbell Hillman