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 Shades Of Grey

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Unorthodox.Angel
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PostSubject: Shades Of Grey   Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:15 am

The book I'm writing... It's not very good, I've divided the posts into the chapters I have at the moment, but it will probably change. But it's kind of a reflection of my life. I have decided a name for it now. Shades Of Grey. So here goes:


Manipeco is the most awful place it the world. I can’t begin to describe it to you. Dark and foreboding, with an aura of evil surrounding it, it’s a place where depression grows, like mould, on the sorrow of its inhabitants. Most beings can’t take this horrible evil and go mad here. Some don’t, however. Only one living being thrives there, and some would doubt that they’re truly alive. These are the Shadows. Shadows, as they are commonly known, are areas the light can’t reach. And where there is light, there are shadows. But the Shadows I’m talking about aren’t common shadows. To explain what they are, I might have to explain my world… So get comfortable, it might be your world I’m describing as well.



Now, somehow, the world was created. The world began to exist, and I don’t presume to know how, there are many theories for this and I prefer to steer clear of them. But once it started Being, everything was in perfect harmony. Everyone spoke in one language, known know as Olde. This language was musical and beautiful, just like the world itself. There were, as there are now, differences in opinions, people had different personalities, but in general it was a Utopia, or as close to one as can ever exist. But these differences grew and blossomed, and they tore this Utopia apart…

Manipeco was found. It was a great canyon, an abyss of darkness, and a rocky path lead down to it. Few would travel it, but those who would undertook a journey which changed the world forever. These few all were uncommonly wilful, determined and clever. They had a wildness, and unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and something more, which was the reason why they chose this path. But though, at first glance they all had very much in common, they were two different sorts of people. And once they reached Manipeco the differences between them were very pronounced. One group had been hardened by the journey. They lived to survive, and it changed them. Their eyes were sunken and pitch black in their faces, which were sharp and cunning. They would have done anything to reach Manipeco, and it was the perfect place for them. Evil had sprouted within them, and Manipeco nourished it, until it grew into a new and frightening race of people, people who had given up on their humanity and forsaken their previous world. These beings were out of reach of any form of light now, and so they became the Shadows. The Shadows changed the language of Olde to something cruder and harsher, which fitted them. Nowadays it is known as shadowspeak, but in Olde, itself it is known as Virokashin, translated roughly to ‘betrayal’ or something along those lines.

The other group that had undergone the journey to Manipeco were changed as well. They had been softened by the harsh road, and they had incredible peace within them, due to their loving nature. Manipeco repulsed them and they turned away from the darkness. They knew that they could never go back to the life they once led, and only one choice lay before them. They had to go onwards, through the darkness of Manipeco, and onto the life that they would create for themselves. These beings became Mages. They were truly light. They also modified the language of Olde into something that is known as magery, or in Olde, Laniweq or ‘dawn of love’.

The Shadows and Mages had been pitted against each other, with their contradicting natures, and they became engaged in a battle that lives on today.



For all my life I have lived in Manipeco. But I am not a Shadow, so I cannot be comfortable with a life of pure loathing, sorrow and depression, where my emotions seem non-existent. Nor, however, am I a Mage. I cannot live on with them, the shadows reside in my heart, buried too deep to ever fully eradicate. I am a Mage and a Shadow, the first of this kind to have ever been born. My name is Kindi. This is my story.


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PostSubject: Re: Shades Of Grey   Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:16 am

I’ve fallen into reality

The walls are caving in

I can’t hold on forever

Not this torture again!

The tears are silently flowing

As I hide away the pain

I’m crying, shouting, screaming out

I’ve got nothing to lose, everything to gain

I want it all to stop

I need it to go away

Inner conflicts hurting me

I don’t want to live another day

But I must go on…

Time goes by, so dreary week by week…

I loathe the world all the while

From my hidden eyes only one tear leaks.

One tear for all the pain in my heart

A single drop of sorrow

It’s the only tear I cry

And I’ll still be here tomorrow…



I wrote that today. I think it suits me. I feel so stuck here, like I’m trapped, in a void, with no way out. Manipeco is a void. It is a bleak void of darkness, sorrow and pain. And I’m stuck here! What’s up with that? Other people think they have problems, and I don’t seem like I have problems on the outside. I seem like an outsider, but no-one cares about that here. And I also seem to have a few other problems, like my previously renowned mother being held in the dungeons. But we’re shadows. Many of our family members are sent to the dungeons, and it’s not something we care about. We are tough and hard hearted, we care about nothing. We are Shadows. That is what is drummed repeatedly into our heads. I still live with my father, I’m not on the streets, compared to many of us, I have a good life. But it’s not my life that bothers me, it’s the fact that I care about it. Only a fool would think that my father and I are actually related. My mother, in the dungeons, could be there for a number of reasons, yet my father and I (plus anyone with any brain cells whatsoever) know that it’s because of my existence. My father is a mage, and it shows rather obviously.

Maybe I should explain how I am. I have black hair, like all shadows, only it looks as though it has been streaked by the sun, an impossibility in Manipeco. My eyes are not the deep pools of darkness that belong to an average shadow; instead they have streaks of blue in them, like light flickering in a black hole. My skin is not brown, but a creamy white and my lips are red, though stained with black, unlike the pure blackness that overwhelms true shadows. I look different, but although I look so different, these differences are nothing compared to how I feel. Inside my heart and soul an eternal controversy is stirring. I cry each night, and silently cry during the day as well. My heart bleeds to know who I am, and what I’m meant to do.

A good thing about Manipeco is that our library is very informative. I know more than many adult Shadows, because I have no life other than reading about everything. And I mean everything! I have learnt ancient shadowspeak, Virokashin, and even ancient magery, Laniweq, forbidden in Manipeco. Beyond that, I have learnt to speak in the Olde tongue. I know all our legends, and I know exactly how the world works. The only thing I don’t understand is myself, and I can’t find anything about anyone like me in a single book in the entire library. When I first learned to read, at the age of 5, until I was about 12, I kept hoping that I would find a book explaining it. Now, at 14, I have given up on that, and though I continue reading, I have read it all before. I am going to find out who I am, by doing what I swore I would never do. And that is why I’m in the library today. Make sense? No? It will.



I took a deep breath and took a step forward into the entrance to the dungeons. The icy wind swept over me, chilling me to the bone, and I drew my cloak over me, more for comfort than heat, however, considering that Shadows have an unnatural tolerance for the cold, a result of 100s of years evolving in Manipeco, yet no amount of evolution could have prepared me for what I was going to do. I was afraid, and I knew it. I tried not to think about being scared, because we are never meant to be afraid here. My emotions are too close to the surface, and that is what hurts me the most, and makes me the most different.

I walked through the dark corridor, ducking down passageways, following the map on the parchment I tore out of a book earlier today. The dungeons have never changed, and I steadily followed the dusty, smudged map to dungeon number 23, petrified at what I would find. I reached the door, hard to see, due to it being made of stone. It obviously hadn’t been opened for a while, and I ran my fingers over it, leaving trails in the dust, until they fond the concealed lock. It was the tiniest niche in the stone, but it was enough. I held a finger on it, while I thrust my other hand deep into my pocket, until I could grasp but lock picking kit, custom made for me, by me. I worried for a second that it wouldn’t work; I’d never tried to break into a holding cell before. I crouched on the ground, my eyes closed, zoning into my subconscious mind, feeling the inner workings of the lock, what gave, where I put each part of the lock pick… Slowly I worked the door, until there was a click and it swung open. I straightened up, now there was no going back, and put a foot forward, into dungeon number 23… “Who’s there?” a woman’s voice so weak it broke my heart called out. I walked closer to the sound of it, into the dim light where she lay. Her hair, which I remembered to be silky and well brushed, was greasy and knotted. Her skin, though brown, was also translucent and her eyes were deep and harsh looking, still containing some of her previous pride in them, had a trace of sorrow, which I made a note of to think about later. I have no idea how long I stood there, just looking at her, compassion and sadness breaking my heart. I waited until I could trust myself to speak. “3 guesses” I kept my voice even and harsh, betraying no emotion, the way a Shadow should be. “Kindi?” hearing her say my name brought back so many memories, memories I’d tried to hide away for so long. “Mother.” I kept my voice stiff and indifferent. ‘Why’d you come here?’ she looked at me so warily that it hurt. I knew I should have gone to see her, but she got sent here when I was 7, and by then I had the knowledge to figure out why. ‘I have to ask you something’

‘Never just a social call is it, Kindi? Then again this is the first time I’ve seen you since I was taken here. And don’t give me any of that hrax about not understanding anything until now, because you understood it all perfectly when you were 6.’

‘I didn’t think you were meant to use language like that around your daughter?’ I was mocking her now, I was angry, she betrayed me. It was her fault I was even stuck with this pathetic existence! ‘Oh so you understand the shadowspeak now, do you?’ my mother gave me a horrible smile, looking at me with a terrible knowing. “Trinokju helne oiritla Virokashin, fenxov.” This translates roughly into ‘I talk in the way of the shadowspeak, yes.’

“Very good, you have learnt our native tongue well. I never thought you would.”

“Well, I think its best to know about who you are around. Trayon hilo aurayt Laniweq, Pyrinn” I know I just offended my mother greatly and forsook my entire ancestry on her side, merely by saying, in the common tongue ‘I speak in magery, also’

“Kindi!” my mother was more scandalised than I ever heard her before “What are you doing speaking in that wretched way?”

“I’m going to be asking the questions today. And you know the answer to that question anyway” My mother leaned back against the wall, and I was struck once more by how frail she was. I was being such a brat to her, but she deserved it. It was her fault, it all was!

“Very well.”

“Ok, well, first of all, who is my father? My real one?” She gritted her teeth, and closed her eyes. Finally she answered.

“He was a mage. Well, you knew that. A young one, at the time, though I was young then as well. We both specialised in the enemy, meaning each other. I don’t suppose you now how similar we really are?”

“I’m not a fool, Mother. I know exactly how similar Mages and Shadows are; we are just at opposite ends of the same line.”

“Good description. You have a way with words. Anyway, we are at equal rates of evolution on our respective ends of this hypothetical line. And we have very similar ideas at the same times, which is why war between us is so evenly matched. Anyway, am I getting off track?”

I nodded, barely trusting myself to speak, knowing I was on the verge of understanding why I must live this eternal nightmare. She continued “Both tribes had the same idea. We wanted to convert a Mage into a Shadow and they wanted to convert Shadows into Mages. You would know the legend of how Manipeco was found? The rocky path?”

I nodded again.

“Well, we figured that we could recreate the circumstances that the path was founded, and weed out those who had been born Mages, but were Shadows in their hearts. It was tricky but we thought it was possible. I don’t know exactly what they were planning, but it was probably something along the same lines. I met your father… your real father, when we were travelling along to infiltrate them. We met them along the path of light; they were travelling along it as well. This was good for us, because we didn’t know what effects being in their territory would have. I met a Mage there, who seemed different, somehow. I planned on turning him into a Shadow, and bringing him back with me to Manipeco. I was young and ambitious, and maybe if I wasn’t, things would have turned out differently. But I was swept off my feet by him, despite the fact that your father, well, your other father, was waiting for me at home. Affairs were not in the least uncommon for Shadows, and I didn’t give it much thought, considering that I didn’t see the difference between him and another Shadow like me, being so confident I could convert him. That was probably the biggest mistake I ever made.”

“Yeah. It was. It was the biggest mistake of MY life!” I was angry at her, I knew she was wasting away in a dungeon, but I was in a situation just as bad. Because of her unbridled lust, it was my life that was ruined by eternal inner conflicts, and I must pay for her mistakes.

“Kindi, you said you wanted to know.” Her voice was weak, though there was a trace of anger in it, it wasn’t enough! I wanted her to scream at me, I wanted to fight, I wanted to cry and yell for the life I’ll never have. I turned my head away, trying to compose my raw emotions, and realising it was her fault they were even there. “I did. And I hate you for it, I hate you, it’s your fault I exist! Do you know what its like to be me? I would trade this life for yours anyway. To be locked in a dungeon is a blessing compared to what I endure! You have no idea what it’s like.”

“Well, do you expect me to apologise?” she still managed to sneer at me, showing how truly Shadowed she was “We Shadows don’t apologise, not that its anything you’d know.”

That cut me so deeply. I know I don’t know what its like, but that’s her fault, not mine!

“Well, that’s only because of YOU!” tears were flowing over my cheeks now. I was proving her point, that I could never be a Shadow, due to my feelings, and it didn’t help, I couldn’t compose myself, I couldn’t hold in the emotion. ‘Emotion is weakness.’ That’s what they think, and I know it’s true. Mages are weaker than us, due to their emotion, and being part Mage gives me so many heartbreaking emotions, just below the surface. “Where is the path of light?” I asked the question, changing the subject, turning away, as always, from things that might hurt me. “I’ll draw you a map.”

Wordlessly, I held out some parchment and a quill. Her weak fingers grasped the feather and drew shaky lines over the page. They were faint, but I could decipher it. I looked back at my mother and without a word, turned and walked away, taking the parchment with me, my cloak swishing behind me. I lingered at the door, and against my will looked back into the darkness where my mother lay. I closed the door after me, tears straining at my eyes, and followed my other map out of the dungeons.
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PostSubject: Re: Shades Of Grey   Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:16 am

I have no idea how long I lay there, on my bed, with these tears I wouldn’t let fall. It could have been seconds, minutes, hours, days, years. I just lay there, my mixed emotions and inner conflicts tearing apart my soul. Finally, I mustered my strength, and lit a lamp next to my bed. The candlelight flickered, sending eerie shadows around my room. It was a typical chamber of a Shadow, and reflected nothing of who I am. It wasn’t that different from the dungeon I had left my mother in. Cold, stone walls were my prison and a flat, uncomfortable bed was nestled in the corner. A wooden closet was pressed into the corner opposite my bed and within it were my dark, miserable cloaks and gowns. The only part of my chamber that was not filled with overwhelming darkness, the only part that reflected me was my chest of draws. Or, more correctly, what was within them. Poetry reflecting my hours of turmoil, and my quill, from which so many words had flown, straight from my soul. And what reflected me most of all, my little oil lamp. I lit it every night, and watched the way the fire flickered, such a small flame, fighting against the darkness surrounding it. My life is reflected in flames. It can be good or bad, bring light or despair, it can be a force of good or evil. But fire itself is neither; it’s what fire is used for that brings about the impressions of it.

In the little light I was given, I picked up my quill and wrote once more



As I write these words, my heart doesn’t break, indeed, though it hurts to leave this place, it would hurt more to stay. I only write this to appeal to the small amount of conscience, which I’m sure lies within you, and cares that your daughter has disappeared. Though I could be mistaken. You’ll probably loathe me more for leaving once you know where I’ve gone, but I don’t care, I never have. I went to see my mother today. She told me everything, so I guess that’s why you’ve never cared about me, is it? Because I’m not your daughter? Well, you could have treated me like I was! My whole life I have been hurt and broken by you, and all your kind, just because I’m different, and my mother is a slut. Well, now I’m ascending the path of light. And there’s nothing you can do about it. You should have realised that I have the talents of both Mage and Shadow, and used that to your advantage. But, instead, you clung to old prejudice. Well, maybe the Mages won’t be so foolish. Goodbye, Father. Maybe I shall see you again. But it’s likely to be in a state of war. And who knows which side I’ll be on.

- Your daughter, Kindi



I left that on the bench next to my father, and set out, silently closing the stone door behind me, as I left that house, to never see it again. I walked throughout the foreboding streets of Manipeco, my heavy cloak shrouding my figure, my few possessions of any significance hidden within my pockets. The darkness fell over this world, and each footstep seemed to echo loudly throughout this place. I knew it was all in my head, as a shadow I am excellent at concealing myself, but the punishment for what I was doing, treachery, would be death. With tears of pain, despair and longing streaked over my face, I turned from the place I had lived my whole life, I left Manipeco, and with my heart breaking and tearing apart, I followed my map to my ascension, not sure if I would ever return.
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PostSubject: Re: Shades Of Grey   Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:17 am

When I first started walking, I was so concerned about this. What was I doing? I was running away from the only world I had ever known, following a map drawn by the woman at fault for my screwed up existence. I sobbed quietly at first, then, once I was further away, I just collapsed on the ground, gasping for breath as I cried for what I wasn’t, what I was and who I was someday going to be. I cried for the emotions I was stuck feeling, and the way I couldn’t let go of any of it. I screamed out these secrets I never wanted to say, until I could cry know more. I admitted to myself who I was, this darkened angel, someone who will never be truly at peace. Then once I had cried so much my tears could no longer fall, I rose to my feet and with a newfound feeling of numbness, acceptance and a disconnection to reality, I walked onwards, putting, though I didn’t realise it, everything on the hope that my mother was honest, and the map she drew me was real.

3 hours later, I was in a trance, still wandering aimlessly towards the path of light, though I had a sense of urgency about me now. They would have found my note, and, instead of letting me betray them, they would have sent out scouts to find me. I had called upon all my talents of concealment and worked within them a small amount of magery I could control. It hid me enough for now, but it was draining, using my hidden talents of magery, and I knew that what I was doing was against everything I had been brought up with. I just kept wandering, my thoughts clouded over by everything, except the need to reach the path of light and ascension. All around me was the murky edge of Manipeco, and a chilling sense of evil. I wanted to get out of here so much, I couldn’t think properly. I just followed the map, showing unprecedented faith in my mother, which I wouldn’t have had if my consciousness was still a major part of me.

The worst part was when it led me into the border, and I was stuck with this deathly darkness shrouding me. By then, it was too late for second thoughts, though I had them. At one point I was so lost, even with my map, that I just fell on the ground and broke down. I cried for who I was, who I never was, and whoever I’m going to be. I did things I never should have done; I fell further than I ever should have fallen. I can remember being so lost and confused and broken that I just wanted to control the pain and I wanted to have any sort of pain that I could control, instead of this, which I couldn't. I took my black dagger from my pocket with shaking hands, and drew it across my thighs again and again and again, making my blood flow from these cuts. It hurt, but my inner conflicts and eternal battle within hurt so much more. My salty tears splashed down my face and onto my legs, creeping into these new cuts and stinging like the hell I was in. I then took my blade to my wrist, and placed it over my vein. I knew I could cut it open, and let life, with blood, flow from my body. I didn’t even have any fear of death. Whatever happened, it couldn't have been worse than where I was then. I still believe that. I don’t know why I didn’t do it, but I didn’t. I ended up just passing out and falling asleep, because of the pain of body and soul tearing me apart. I don’t know how long I was asleep for, but once I woke up, I knew it wasn’t like those stories where once you hit rock bottom, you just magically become all better, and it doesn’t hurt anymore. I was sick in the morning, I forced myself to throw up and purge myself of these emotions. I have been sick for a long time though, I’ve been emotionally ill my entire life. I was sick over and over again, tears streaming from my eyes as I vomited onto the black earth, until there was nothing left within me, and I was an empty shell. Then, shakily, for the first time since I had collapsed, I got to my feet, and looked once more at my map, with an unsteady resolve to go forward unto this light, that was so far proving to be nothing but darkness.

I’m not sure entirely what I went through, on the path of light, but it would more aptly have been called the path of darkness. I grew to hate the map in my hand, though it was my bible and I followed every line upon it. I could not wait to meet the land of the mages, even though whatever was in store for me there could never be a good thing. My pathway was boring, and I was left alone with my thoughts far too much for it to be a good thing. I could never stop my stream of consciousness and sleep was a rare blessing. At last, I found out what I wanted and what all this was about. I just wanted to be happy and at peace. I wanted to be able to feel without every emotion tearing me apart. I wanted to love someone, and be loved by someone without feeling like I shouldn’t and ruining the whole thing for myself. I wanted to keep an emotion without losing it into an empty void of despair. I wanted to be able to feel, the way others feel. I wanted to not have this stupid inner conflict which controlled my miserable life, and to be able to just be me.

After weeks in my trance, without any issues from the world I left behind, Manipeco, I made a grave error and let down my defences. Oh, I never am completely blind to my surroundings, but I was far less observant and concealed than I should have been. All of a sudden I felt a terrible sense of foreboding. I instantly took to my cover again but, with a grimace, I knew that the damage had already been done. Out of the darkness I heard the pounding of hooves coming towards me. I closed my eyes, and tried to zone out, remembering all my lessons of concealment and everything I’d ever read about hiding away. The pounding was causing the ground to vibrate violently beneath me and it was as if an earthquake was causing the world collapse upon itself. It sounded like thunder. “This is the end” I heard a cold voice say, and I thought it was my own mind speaking out amidst the storm of the ambush, before I realised that minds couldn’t actually talk. I felt immense pressure forcing me to my knees and I knew that powers were being used against me. “I won’t kneel before you.” I spoke more clearly than I knew I could, especially in a situation like this. “No?” the cold voice came again, it was clearly mocking me. I didn’t even know if it was real or if it was all in my head and I had finally broken down. I was afraid of looking around me, afraid of seeing nothing and knowing I was insane and afraid of seeing what was there. “Well, at least do the honour of looking at me when I speak to you.” I looked up and into the fierce and beautiful face of the leader of Manipeco, Jerika Lentrable. My worst fears were realised. I was going to die here, without ever knowing true peace and having any form of joy in my life. I would not give them the satisfaction of seeing how I felt. After all, they don’t feel, I wasn’t meant to either. I shut down my emotions, and stared directly into her eyes. The only thing showing in my eyes was rebellion and defiance towards her. “You would have been a great Shadow, Kindi.”

“Perhaps. But that isn’t the life I plan on living.” I knew that was ridiculous. I could have agreed with her and layered my words pathetic lies, and then maybe I would have had a chance to live. But I’m not one for making things easy on myself, especially when I don’t believe in what I’m saying. “You plan on living?” Jerika laughed evilly. “Surely you are not so deluded that you think we could let you live after such treachery? Especially when you speak to me in such a manner as you do now. Maybe if you had shown some regret we may have spared your life, but you continue to defy me.”

“There comes a time where we have the choice between living on our knees, crawling in the shadows of what we don’t believe, and dying as we and stand tall and fight for what is in our hearts.” I spoke these words, even though I knew they were cementing my fate.

“And you choose the latter.” It was a statement, not a question.

“I do.”

“You wish to die?”

“I’m not afraid of death. I would rather live, but I will not live for what I loathe. And I despise you.”

“Well, you have the most courage of any that have faced me. Foolish, I think. Your words are not brave in our eyes. They are stupid. You aren’t half of who you think you are. After we have brought you to the brink of death, you will be begging us to let you live, the way your mother did before you.” As much as I hated my mother, this angered me.

My rage flashed in my eyes, and I could feel my soul filling up.

“I will never beg to you. I don’t beg.”

“Ah… Arrogant and stupid.”

“It comes from my mother’s side.”

“Don’t insult your heritage. Whether you like it or not, you are my granddaughter.” Gasps ran throughout the group. It was no surprise to me, I’d known for a long time that I had ruined my mother’s life more than most knew. She was meant to be the next ruler of Manipeco, and me after her. But my illegal conception ruined her chances of that. My grandmother tortured her daughter and threw her into a cell for eternity, where she lies at the edge of death, and she plans to torture and murder her granddaughter too. This is normal in Manipeco, maybe now you can grasp how evil it is. And half of me is no different. I would have no issues with killing my grandmother, if only I had the chance.

“I will do what I like. As far as I am concerned, you are no relation of mine.”

“But the mages are?”

“That depends.”

“You can’t choose your relations, whether you like them or not. It’s childish to think so; I thought you were more mature.”

“I am. I’m mature enough to choose my own life, and not have it decided by my parentage.”

“That isn’t maturity, that’s your way of hiding.”

“Do I seem like the sort of… being… to hide?”

“You ran away.”

“That took more courage than staying.”

“No-one is brave. Certainly not some illegitimate half bred Shadow-Mage.”

“Shadow-Mage? I have a species now?”

“Well, you certainly need to be classed as something.”

“Must there be a label for everything?”

“We can’t study you unless we have something to call you.” This filled me with rage. Study me? As though I wasn’t alive, as though I didn’t matter? I hated Jerika so much, I just felt like attacking her. Instead, I fought to keep my voice calm and even.

“Study me?”

“Well, as you said in your note, you have great talents, that could be used for both sides. If we had some more controllable specimen, we could finally defeat the mages.”

“You will never study me. You will never use me, I won’t let you” My voice broke, and tears of fury welled in my eyes.

“You don’t have a choice in the matter.” All the Shadows, I realised had been creeping up on me as I talked to Jerika. Now they were in a perfect position to strike, and I was pretty much powerless to stop them. Tremors of cold ran up my body, chilling me to the bone as I fought to find a way out of this.

“What are you planning on doing? I won’t be very informative, dead, and I’ll be even less informative alive.”

“Well,” Jerika gave an evil smile “We will just see your reactions under certain forms of torture, won’t we?”

“No. We wont” I pulled my dagger out from my pocket and held it to my heart. “If you touch me, I will kill myself. I swear I will. I’m not leaving here with you, unless I’m dead. I will do nothing for you.”

“You wouldn’t do that.”

“I’m not like you, Jerika, Grandmother. I’m not afraid of death.”

“We’ll see. Seize her.” I pressed the knife closer into my heart, as the team of Shadows rounded on me. Some would say I should have made more effort to escape, and made a courageous exit, but I was afraid. And I was realistic, on the verge of pessimistic; I knew that there was no way whatsoever I could have escaped by trying some heroics.

All of a sudden, a flash of light lit up the bleak darkness and a being of such pure light stood there that it literally took my breath away. The Shadows started gasping for air, and I knew that it was due to the difference in the powers around them and the Mage, so suddenly. It was easier on me, though it caused my insides to writhe as my heart fought to understand what powers I was true to. You’ve heard the saying ‘eyes are the windows to the soul?’ well, it’s true. As my inner war was fought, the blue streaks in my eyes flickered wildly against the black nothingness. I knew that if I wanted a chance to live, I had to give in to the Mage side of me. I tried to fill my soul with the innocence, purity, peace and goodness of a Mage, and took slow, shaky steps towards the beautiful Mage before me, feeling unworthy to be even seeking her help. She had long, wavy golden hair that fell elegantly down her spine, high, arched eyebrows and long golden eyelashes, framing beautiful blue eyes that looked down on me, with no judgement in them, only love. Even when she looked at Jerika, she only had pity in her eyes. She held out a beautiful hand to me, and shakily, I looked back at her and took it. Then, I knew I trusted her. With her fingers still clasped around mine, I could feel her gathering her strength. The numbness that the Shadows had was wearing off, and Jerika rode on towards me, but somehow it seemed like she was getting further away. I realised that the Mage was using her strength to pull us towards where the Mages reside. My journey on the path of light was over, but my real journey was just beginning...
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PostSubject: Re: Shades Of Grey   Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:18 am

Everything was different in this land of Mages. As opposed to our darkness and aura of foreboding, this place seemed welcoming and bright. Cottages were nestled amongst lush green hills and fields, and there seemed to be no difference in class here; everyone seemed to be equal. The only building that did not seem sweet and humble was a grand tower in the centre of the city, if you could call it that. It was a silvery gold, and it glistened in the sun. Light reflected off it, illuminating the land. I could see that that was where I was being taken. I was noticing all this stuff, but that was about all I had the energy to do. I was sitting numbly on the silver horse that the mage was riding, and just staring blankly into space. Half of me loathed this place, and it repulsed me. But the other half of me had craved this place for so long, and was truly joyous at being here.

We reached the tower. “This is the Laniweqyin. Its proper name, in Olde, is Dew Laniweqyin Mannell vontrit liu Notreshyn. But here, we call it by a fraction of that name. In the common tongue it translates into-”

“That which gives eternal light within shadows.”

“You speak…” the Mage looked at me in awe.

“Fluently. Piondi.” Piondi is the Laniweq name for the three tongues, Magery, Shadowspeak and Olde. Pytond is the Virokashin name for it, and it has no name in Olde, for when Olde was spoken, it was the only language in existence.

“Nim gejille beronklowe xelao.” I could see now that the mage was testing me, by speaking in Laniweq, to see if I could converse with her. She had said, ‘That has never happened before, in all of eternity’.

“Ol gerinma wier de sol. Trayon, pyr, lok herirt. Xelaon herirt” I said ‘My circumstances make it so. I speak it, yes, but there is more. Infinitely more.”

“Very good.” The Mage was speaking in the common tongue again “I had no idea that one like you could exist.”

“I shouldn’t.” She looked at me with pity. “Maybe so. But you do.” In that small sentence, she had summed up what it had taken me forever to find out. I do exist, there’s nothing to do about it, except just go with it. The mere shock of her understanding this caused my already frail mind and body to collapse onto the ground in a dead faint.

When I came to, I heard voices echoing around me. It was my first instinct to open my eyes, but then I decided to maintain my illusion of sleep, an easy task for any Shadow.

They were all talking in Magery, as though that would stop me from understanding them, but I’ll write it here, in the common tongue.

“- The three tongues? Is it possible?” A voice, deep and masculine was speaking.

“I don’t know, it could be. It must be, she spoke fluent Magery. No Shadow could do that. Some Mages can’t even do that. There’s no other explanation.” That was the voice of the Mage that rescued me.

“She’s the right age. Correct month and all. I was up all night working it out.” A voice of another woman spoke now, tired.

“You know who?” It was the man again.

“How could I have figured that out? Working out her age wasn’t easy, you know. And I’m just too exhausted. Send in the Soothsayer or something.” That was the tired woman.

“No, the Soothsayer would be a bad idea.”

“Shaniwa? How does that work?”

“Yibran? He wouldn’t.”

“But you weren’t there. He was head over heels for her.” I had realised by now that they were talking about my father. The other reason I am stuck in this hell of a reality, even when I’m not in Manipeco.

“Talking about my father?” I spoke in magery, to let them no that no secrets can be kept from me. It was quite humorous really, because I still maintained my illusion of sleep as I spoke, so they were quite startled as to who talked. “I’d like an answer today, if you please.”

“She's awake.” It was strange; they started talking in the common tongue as soon as I was awake. It’s not like I couldn’t understand Laniweq, but I suppose it made them feel better, to have ‘secrets’ from me. “How long have you been awake?” The Mage who rescued me came and knelt by my bed, with compassion in her eyes.

“Just take me to my father. There are a few things we need to discuss.” I did what I always have to do in Manipeco; I kept my voice harsh, without a trace of emotion. I knew it wasn’t a good thing to do here, but it was a habit of mine I couldn’t erase so easily. It was also a way to hide from the way I truly felt.

“We can’t be sure that Yibran is your father. It could have been any one of the male mages on that mission.”

“You know how to understand things don’t you? First you figure out that I was conceived on that mission. Then you look at all the Mage and Shadow couples around, that should narrow it down a bit. Then you find, from me, who my mother is and there you are. You have a candidate for my father.”

“There was only one couple we knew about, anyway.” That was the man with the gruff voice. When I opened my eyes and looked at him, he looked exactly how I’d pictured him in my mind. Around 40 or 50 years old, with a short, pepper coloured beard, and a mostly bald head.

“That was Yibran and that other woman, I can’t remember her name though…”

“Would you remember it if I told you my mothers name?” now I was struggling to keep my emotion away.

“Probably.” The man looked at me with fear now, fear at what I was.

“Heryca. Ring any bells?”

“Yes.” that was the mage who rescued me. “Yes, that was her name.”

“So we’re back to where we started. Take me to my father.” I demanded it again. I wasn’t sure I wanted to see him, but I knew I had to.

“There are procedures… I mean… You can’t just openly…” The tired woman’s voice trailed off.

“Not today.” That was the mage who rescued me. “You’re too tired, you’ve undergone an arduous journey. Tomorrow, perhaps.” I just glared at her. I know I have a tendency to act bratty, and I like to get what I want. At that point, I just wanted to argue with someone who made my life hell, and give them a guilt trip to let them know how much I suffer. No-one ever tried to romanticize me, I’m certainly no angel. “I want to talk to my father.” I repeated my demand. “No.” The mage repeated her answer. I felt a grudging respect for her, but it certainly wasn’t in my nature to admit defeat. My eyes flashed with anger as I looked at her, and saw the way she defied me. I would defy her, as well. I would not give in to this. I shakily got out of bed, took two steps, and fell down again. I felt like such a fool.

“Don’t let pride get in your way.” The Mage helped me up again, while the other two looked at me. I felt sure they were trying not to laugh and I cringed with embarrassment on the inside. “What is your name?” It was the tired woman, who looked at me. She had bright blue eyes, sparkling with intelligence, and she was wearing the red robes I had read of, which made her a scholar. “Kindi.” I answered. I could see surprise register on her face. That was good, it was nice she now knew what she was dealing with. You see, my name means something in each of the three tongues. It is the only word which does, making it something of an oddity. In Virokashin, the shadowspeak, it means ‘battle forevermore’. In Laniweq, magery, it means ‘the new way’. And in Olde it means ‘perfect contradiction’. The scholar gestured for the other two mages to go outside and I knew she would be telling them this. Kindi is not normally a name, due to this nature. If ones name was Kindi, they would speak the three tongues, and would be, well, pretty much like me. Names, in whichever tongue they are from, reflect who we are. And my name is well suited. An eternal battle rages within me, I am a new being, like none ever before me, having to live in a new way, and there is no doubt that I am a contradiction, though perfect, I’m not so sure about. When I was younger, I blamed my mother for choosing to give me this name, as if it was a curse on me. But now I know that names choose us, more than we choose them. I still blame my mother, but that’s for succumbing to her lust. I blame my father for that as well.

The Mages came back in. You could tell that they were scared by what they had learnt about me, but they were trying to act like it didn’t faze them. To put it simply, they were pathetic at covering up how they felt. Even I am better at it.

“Allow us to introduce ourselves.”

“But I know who you are. You are a scholar, a secondary head Mage, and well, an errand boy.”

I could see the gruff man looking offended. “Don’t be so condescending. He’s a messenger. And I meant our names. I am Jashanie. The scholar is Beryle, and the messenger is Jochan.” The mage who rescued me; the secondary head Mage; Jashanie was speaking. I looked over the other Mages. Jochan, the errand boy, was looking at me like I was something disgusting that he had trodden in. The scholar, Beryle, was looking at me analytically, trying to understand what on earth was wrong with me. The only one with any kindness was Jashanie, and I both hated and loved her for it. Suddenly, in the midst of all this light, an overwhelming feeling of unworthiness swept over me, chilling me to the bone and causing my breaths to become ragged and with each one I took, I felt as though my heart was being torn apart. I couldn’t do anything to stop it, so I lay down upon on my bed, and let the feeling wash over me until I was numb. I bet Beryle enjoyed analyzing my pain, it would be great for her, as a scholar, to study me. Maybe Jashanie cared. Why did she care so much anyway? Couldn’t she turn her back? I wanted her to; I hate kindness I can’t reciprocate. And I’ve been taught not to care. Even though I turned my back on it, after living there for 14 years, Manipeco resides inside of me.

“Well. Now that you’ve introduced me to yourselves, could you possibly introduce me to my father?” My voice was now icy, I felt like the stereotypical Shadow that they imagine. I don’t know why I couldn’t stop myself doing it, and give in to the Mage part of me. I mean, I know what I’m doing wrong, I know how to stop, yet I keep doing it anyway. “Well. You’re very persistent.” Jashanie smiled down on me, like an angel, or, more correctly, a Mage. And it hurt to even think about how she can be so nice to someone who quite clearly did not deserve it. “You need to sleep now, however.”

“No, I don’t!” I started to panic; I couldn’t sleep; I was lucky to avoid the horrors when I passed out earlier. “I can’t sleep, I really can’t!” Beryle looked at me strangely. I could practically see her mind working, trying to figure out what was wrong with me as the panic crept into my voice and eyes. “Kindi.” Jashanie spoke my name softly, as though soothing an upset child. “You need to rest. It can’t be that bad.”

“It is!”

“Asarhi” I recognised that as the Laniweq charm for sleep, which, if spoken in the right way, with correct power, would cause the person it was intended for to fall into a deep slumber. The Virokashin charm for this is ‘Sikaha’. I have spent years of my life developing the skill to hold off all the curses in Manipeco that can be held off, and now its second nature to me. This command was spoken in a different way, attacking a different part of my mind to make it do the same thing. I have managed to teach myself most Magery charms, but holding them off is difficult. And considering my weakened state it was surprising I managed to hold off Jashanie’s full, unblemished power. As I felt her power flow into previously untouched parts of my mind, I instantly had an overwhelming desire to drift into a peaceful sleep. But I would not let the charm, and all its illusions overcome my minds solid defences. My eyes rolled to the back of my head as I tried to push Jashanie’s charm away. But she was either too strong, or I was too weak. Eventually, I had to give in; as my resistance was draining the little energy I had left. With a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach, I closed my eyes and let sleep overwhelm me.
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PostSubject: Re: Shades Of Grey   Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:18 am



I was in a cold, dark, circular room. There was a glowing sphere in the middle of the room, glowing brightly with white light. A ray of white light came from it, passing halfway through me, until it met the darkness ebbing from the walls, which also passed through me. And where the light and darkness met, excruciating pain hit me, and I fell to the ground. The darkness and light kept trying to outdo each other, but neither of them was stronger than the other. In the light, I could see dull blades littered across the floor, and scratch marks all over the room. Next to me, I could see a sharp blade, which, through my pain, I grasped it with shaking fingers. I clenched a fist over the hilt, and pulled myself to my knees. Waves of pain kept coursing through my body, and tears streamed from my eyes. I collapsed over the hilt of the sword as I drove it into the stone floor beneath me. The floor began to shake and crumble away, revealing a pool of light and darkness, mingling together and fighting against one another. I fell forwards into the void of conflict, but, unlike the other times, this one was intercepted. It all went black, then I fell into a room made out of a substance that seemed like glass, except it was distorted and foggy with a murky black substance. Standing in this room was Jerika; tall proud and evil. “Kindi.” She outstretched her hand to me, black nails looking like talons, ready to tear at my flesh. I stood up without even brushing against her palm. I stared her in the eye. “I’m not going with you, I told you that. I will never go with you.” I looked up at the swirly black glass roof, and walls, desperate to find a way out. “But Kindi, you’ve seen it here now.” Jerika’s voice was silky and manipulative, but she could not erase the iciness in it. “Surely you now realise that it is a place you’ll never belong.”

“Well, I don’t belong with you either; I’m equally related to both sides of this!”

“Kindi…” Jerika sighed “These Mages will never understand your true power. But I do. After all, the lust for power that lies within you, its part of us, as Shadows.”

“There’s more to this.” Even in this dream dimension I was very intuitive. “The monarchy still exists, doesn’t it?”

“This isn’t about the monarchy.” I could see Jerika didn’t like this. Even though I was asleep, I wasn’t drowsy. “This is about you. You are my granddaughter, whether you like it or not, and the blood of Shadows runs through your veins.”

“Mages and Shadows both bleed red.” By now I had realised that this wasn’t a mere dream. I know that if you concentrate in a dream, while realising it’s a dream, otherwise known as lucid dreaming, you can actually make things appear, because what you are actually doing is altering your subconscious. I am very good at manipulating my subconscious, which allows me to perform magic. I focused my mind to create a weapon. “I’ll prove it.” I slashed my new sword at Jerika’s heart, but she raised her arms to protect her chest. My blade had definitely struck flesh however, and Jerika's right arm had a huge, deep gash in it, and the blood splattered onto the glass floor. “I think you just proved that I’m right.” She spoke with a renewed vitality in her words, even though her arm hung limply at her side, oozing blood into my dream. “You would seek to kill your own grandmother. My dear, that’s very, very evil. You know you’re evil. Don’t fight it.” I knew that she was right. I mean, a part of me is truly evil. I’ve never denied that. But I wondered if I could be as evil as Jerika presumed. I knew it wasn’t possible, and it would tear me apart, but maybe… I stopped my train of thought there. Jerika was playing mind games on me, and she was not going to win them. I stared savagely at her, standing there, so composed and emotionless in her evil. I wanted her to live under the curse I have to live under, to feel two opposite emotions continuously contrasting with each other. I’m two different people combined into one. I buried my face in my hands, composing myself. I was stuck here, in this dream, I knew I couldn’t leave unless I went with Jerika, but I am not the sort of being to just give up. I regained my composure, and pulled my head up to look her in the eyes.

“I am not going with you, Jerika.”

“Oh, but-”

“I know that it’s my only way out. But I will not give up, especially not to you”

“Well, you literally have forever to think about it. This is a dream, you can’t die, but you can’t wake up either. You won’t stay here forever, it’d drive you mad.”

“Then I’ll be driven mad. I will stand here for eternity. I don’t care; I am not giving into you.”

She looked at me, summing me up. I didn’t really mind, she could do whatever she wanted. I looked around the room. It was easy to work out what she had done. She had simply tipped the balance of my subconscious mind, and in doing so, trapped me within it. Everyone has, figuratively, a room like this in their mind, it reflects who they are. Shadows must have a room of black fog, while I’m guessing Mages have golden light. Mine must have been a mixture of the two, making it clear like glass. All Jerika did was project her mind into mind, as a way of tipping it off it’s natural balance and taking away the freedom of my mind, and therefore trapping me. It was quite ingenious really. The only way that I could see to get away from it was to put the balance back in order. That would technically involve getting a Mage as powerful as Jerika to come and tamper with my mind, spreading their light through it. Jashanie wouldn’t work, she was only Secondary Head Mage, but maybe I could get a small part of my mind into hers, to convey the message. She would be able to send the errand boy to fetch the Head Mage, and then they would be able to rescue me from this. I wasn’t sure if I had the strength to try, but I had to. For the last 5 minutes I had been staring into space, figuring this all out. Now, I gave a show of hopelessness, and flung myself into the corner, pressing my head into the cold glass, with my eyes closed, hoping I looked helpless, as what I really did was stretch out my mind beyond this box. If my eyes were open, I would have seen clear class stretching out from me, like ripples in a pool as I sent my mind signals to Jashanie. It was something I would have had no trouble doing, had I not been imprisoned within myself. Finally, after much effort and strain, I reached her familiar, peaceful mind. With my little strength, I explained my situation to her mind, before passing out on the darkened glass.

A shot of light shot through my spine, awakening me. Almost instantly I got to my feet. The glass walls of my subconscious were swirling around and around as golden light spread through it, battling with the dark fog. As soon as the walls were a complete mix of conflicting light and darkness, a man appeared on the floor of my subconscious. He seemed almost familiar, though I had no memory of ever meeting him before. He had deep blue robes, the colour of a head mage, with gold braiding and a golden sash stretched across his waist. His eyes were a piercing blue, the same colour that flickers through mine. His hair was a blondish brown and he looked to be about middle aged. I noticed details, to distract myself from the horrible pain that was going through this as not only my inner conflicts were fighting in my mind, but also the eternal battle of two races. I looked toward the roof where, using my lucid dreaming skills, I formed my whirlpool of light, darkness and inner turmoil. From this, the clear glass rippled across the surface of the walls. I felt myself be sucked into my conflicts, as my mind was returned to its terrible, but natural state. Before I was overwhelmed by myself, the Head Mage whispered to me “Just go with it, as soon as it is repaired, she and I will be sent back, and Jashanie will wake you up.” I was lifted up by the force of the vortex, up into the roof, where I was overwhelmed by the whirlpool, not fully black or white, but shades of grey, and mixtures of the two. It burned with terrible pain as my two sides overwhelmed me and took over my body. It seemed like eternity that I was trapped in there, but then I heard the whisper of a word in Magery, and I woke up.

I took one look at the worried faces of those around me, and I knew that it was more than a very realistic dream. Beryle, the scholar was standing against the door, a worried expression on her face. This was when the goodness of Mages truly struck me. A Shadow scholar would have found a learning experience like that fascinating, illuminating and no cause to worry, as it wasn’t happening to then. Jochan, who stood by Jashanie, had a hand on her shoulder, comforting her and was watching me with utmost compassion and caring. And to think I made fun of him. I actually felt terrible, and guilty, and made a note to lower my ego and apologise. Then there was Jashanie, tears spilling all over her face, sitting on a chair next to my bed, hands clenched in her lap, murmuring how sorry she was for not listening to me. But then, I looked to my left, and the Head Mage was knelt beside my bed, my hands clasped in his, sorrow in his eyes as he looked directly into mine. At that moment I knew why he was so familiar to me. I stood up shakily, and he rose with me, our eyes never leaving each other. After that ordeal, the emotion was too raw for me to hold in or mask with anger like I normally do. “Father.” I whispered to him. He just nodded, and I burst out crying. I flung my arms around him and cried while Jashanie rounded up the rest of the Mages and they left the room. Then I broke apart from him, tears still clinging to my eyelashes. I sat down on my bed, and he sat down next to me. I fought back more tears as he put his arm around me. He seemed to know what I was doing. “It’s ok” he said. “No.” I replied. “It isn’t ok. It-”

“Shush…” he broke me off in mid sentence. “We can talk about it tomorrow. For now it’s ok.” I buried my head into the front of his robes and cried with him until I fell into a deep, peaceful, dreamless sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: Shades Of Grey   Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:33 am

Awesome Sarah!. Personally I have only read the introduction and the first chapter and that was cool. I'll read the rest some other time.

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PostSubject: Re: Shades Of Grey   Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:08 pm

Very Happy Its brilliant! I wish i could write like this....
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PostSubject: Re: Shades Of Grey   Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:50 am

Thanks Smile
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