The Opium Emporium
Casanova Da Vinci
Copyright © 2017 Casanova Da Vinci
All rights reserved.
~ To The Libertine’s, Courtesan’s & Muses ~
1 The Opium Emporium: Sanctum 1
Borello is falling. Unknown influences have initiated what the Local Overseers call “Protocol 15”; the introduction of Regal Command and Deployment, including Enforcer’s and The King’s Elite Guard. It was the one Protocol that nobody, not even Evermore’s High Guard thought would ever happen.
Between the Sanctions and influx of Enforcer’s, one man in particular becomes hell bent on ridding Borello of its high intake of Vigilante’s, especially one: The Borello Hood – Lord Lucas Aidan Cavendish; Lord and favored future Overseer of Evermore Town by day, deadly trained Assassin who fights for the people of Borello by night.
Running with Lucas – The Borello Hood – are Lady Elizabeth Spinks –aka Deadly Night Shade, Danielle La Grande –aka Midnight Blaze, and Lord Michael Slattery-Gruber –aka The Grey Shadow, the group of Vigilante’s tagged by the people as being “The Bordello 3”. Their only cause in an embittered war between Evermore Town, to bring peace and prosperity to a town long left in the wake of Draconian rule and persecution.
The 12 Houses of the world are spiraling into chaos; London’s hold of politicians have split “The House Of Cards”, while in other, more sanctified placements “The Knight’s Castle” is at war with its global Order’s. This for Lucas and Michael is what the Nobles believe to be called “The Calling”; a method that was used to bring the Houses and Royals of the world together during the 1165 B.C defeat of Vorelee – one of the very first Gods to walk the Earth.
The only hope for the two towns to reach peace comes in the shape of “The Harpsen”: He who holds The Harpsen, controls The Four Corners – He who controls The Four Corners, then controls the World. For Lord Lucas, his fate has already been predicted and told. But for his friends, only a true miracle will bring them ever closer to peace…
1 THE OPIUM EMPORIUM: SANCTUM
It is believed, that an average male of twenty-two years of age and weighing just eleven and a half stone, can be brought back to life after eight minutes behind the veil of death; gunshot, heart attack, stabbing, it doesn’t really matter what way you go out of the world, unless it is absolute, of course; bullet to the head usually carries the top spot for this one shot, one kill. For a woman, however, the same age, the same weight, it is twice that! The whole tale comes from the added belief that the woman’s extra rib gives her the power to extend life, though this was never put to the test until today.
This was the day that both Evermore and Borello would feel my wrath; pain, anger, suppression, all of it. And today, unlike yesterday, I would rise with extreme prejudicial force beyond the likes of any other legendary Vigilantes.
The trip from Borello to Briarstone didn’t go quite to plan, as I have already said. The belief was that Mr. Frobisher had put in place certain extreme measures that would see his death being avenged, even from beyond the grave. Taking the lead car out at a precise spot where the traffic was low, and there were far less any chance of witnesses, too, at the time we left to escape the town the clock of our fates was already ticking.
It took the Emergency Services from Redstone thirty-six minutes to reach us, another fifteen to get all of us back to Redstone General. By the time we arrived, one of our own had fallen; surgical complications brought about heavy internal bleeding, a strain on the heart and eventual cardiac arrest. Of course, the Doctor’s begged the rest of us to understand that they had done everything that they could to save them – but for me, this was not good enough.
The police arrived from Redstone City MetPol, two jumped up arseholes who were almost half my age, wet behind the ears and most probably two of the unluckiest fucking virgins in the whole of Chatandra. As luck, or chance had it, one of them I’d already came to meet. All the same, he hadn’t given me the sign to allow this fact to be known in front of the other officer. Marcus Chance and DS. Philip Scarlet were by my bedside waiting my coming around from my unconscious state, which upon opening my eyes to focus on them, near on landed me back in the operating theater for a fucking heart attack, go figure!
‘How are you feeling?’ DS. Scarlet leant over and spoke into my bewildered face.
‘Is that a fucking trick question?’ I blasted pushing him away from me before I tried to sit up, only for the injuries to cause a bad hit of pain and shoot it through my chest.
The Officer, for whom I had no idea what his profession was until he informed me, stepped back away from my bed and gave a short smile.
‘The woman!’ Chance exclaimed falling into character.
‘The woman! Which woman?’ I asked puzzled.
Turning to his colleague, DS. Scarlet, Chance gave a nod, to which had Scarlet leave the room and close the door.
‘I’m sorry I have to do this, Lucas, but it has to look real!’ He leaned down and whispered to me before straightening back up and winking. ‘The woman you were travelling with before the crash, do you remember?’ He probed for an answer.
I could feel his eyes fixed on my face, his calculating mind that was in progress of profiling my whole person. He was no normal person – Friend or Cop!
‘Who are you?’ I demanded turning to the observation window near the door to spot DS. Scarlet standing gazing in at us, almost as if he was trying to read our lips.
Chance giggled to himself. ‘I am Detective Sergeant Marcus Chance, Lord Lucas, I am here to help find out why you and your travelling companions were forced off of the road outside Redstone. Now, who was the woman?’
It was at this moment that I quickly realized that his question was not entirely complete, I wasn’t travelling with a “Woman”, I was travelling with “Women”, Elizabeth and Danielle.
‘I don’t understand!’ I gasped, looking around for some form of liquid, something that would release the walls of my throat from dredging up the slimeal rough that had dried out slowly during the past six hour operation which the surgeons carried out on me, and saving my life naturally.
Noticing that I was becoming uncomfortable and searching out for water, Chance hurried over to the bedside table and picked up the freshly poured glass and handed it to me. I thanked him with a silent nod before devouring the cold liquid in just a few gulps, the final last dregs being the hardest of all.
‘Is that better?’ Chance asked, knowing that it had made it better for me to speak.
‘You mentioned a woman, DS. Chance?’ I recapped.
He nodded his head before finding his seat next to me again.
‘The car that hit you…it ran you all off of the road. Now, according to your friends, it was a Phantom! You know, like one of those that appear out of thin air and run innocent people off of the road – like you, Lord Lucas!’
This guy wasn’t beating around the fucking Mulberry Bush, he was head-on with an attitude unlike those other Cops in Borello. There was also something about him that changed my mind on him being “Weird”, too, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
‘Phantom! You mean like a ghost? That car was no ghost, it was…Demonic!’ I whispered quietly. ‘It was a marble black Sturean IXi three thousand, custom. Nineteen inch pure brade tungsten and titanium wheels, low front spoiler, manual gear box, too, which is unusual…’
Chance stopped me with waving hands. ‘Stop! For fucks sake, Lucas, there was no other car involved in your accident!’
I was wrong, the “How are you feeling” question was not the trick question, it was “The Woman”, the statement that the good Lord Slattery-Gruber had given – there was no other car reported in the RTA.
‘No car! Are you fucking serious? Oh, right, I get it, you’re here to question me and give the answers that you want me to give, not the truth?’ I yelled, my voice raising so high that it brought the attention of several nurses and DS. Scarlet.
‘The Crash Team have been over the whole area where you came off the road, Lucas, and they have not found one piece of evidence that would suggest any other vehicle being involved. Now…!’
The nurses entered almost together, and if the door would have been any wider, then I am sure that they would have. The Head Nurse, Kelly, was the first to take a hold of DS. Chances arm and begin lifting him from his seat under objection.
‘I’m sorry, Detective, but we cannot allow you to be upsetting our patients. Please could you leave?’ She asked politely, but at the same time sternly.
Chance didn’t resist, he didn’t even object, he just did as the nurse asked him and finally left of his own accord. The several other Nurses that had accompanied her each gave me a smile before they, too, left the room.
‘Thank you, for getting rid of him, I mean!’
Nurse Kelly gave a beautiful wide smile of glee that crossed the whole of her face, the extra tint of radiance passing a slight attractiveness to my bedside manner, which is more than could be said about Detective Chance.
‘That’s okay, and you are very welcome, Mr. Cavendish,’ she replied making sure that I was comfortable.
‘Could you tell me…the two women travelling with Michael and me, are they…?’ I couldn’t say it. I stalled dramatically.
Nurse Kelly knew what I was asking, though she seemed a bit confused with part of the question.
‘Paramedics recovered only one female from the crash, not two, maybe you thought there were…’
I snapped. ‘There were two fucking women in the car…I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to…’
Nurse Kelly understood perfectly how I felt, as she was a nurse of eight years, there weren’t many confrontations she hadn’t had with all kinds of patients and their relative’s, too.
‘You just need to settle down…has the Doctor been to see you yet? He normally calls around as soon as his patients come out of their comas and unconscious states. Is there anything you need, besides an answer to your question?’
Nurse Kelly was acting strangely; the sleuth look giving a glance of doubt that was purposely done to be seen.
‘I am The Circle!’ I whispered softly.
Nurse Kelly stood for a second staring down at my half tired eyes and exhausted face that waited for the returning answer.
‘As I am The Light,’ she finally spoke with a sadness in her tone that had me struggle to my elbows.
‘You’re here to kill me…to kill us!’ I stuttered.
She was quieted by a sound coming from outside the room, and it was then that the Doctor she had mentioned earlier, before I had her identify herself, walk right in on our very awkward moment that seemed to hover in the air.
‘Good Morning, my name is Doctor Robert Newby, I was the one who carried out the emergency operation on you. Can you tell me your name?’ The Doctor had made a bee-line straight for me, while behind him a long line of hopeful future Doctors followed him like lost sheep.
‘Lord Lucas Cavendish,’ I replied with a sigh.
The whole hospital thing was not my thing. If there was any place on the whole of Chatandra that I would least like to be, it was the confines of a Hospital – and especially under these kind of circumstances.
He was pleased with the response. ‘Do you know where you are right now?’
‘Well, Doc, it would appear I am in Hell!’ I answered dryly before resting back on the pillows.
The response was greeted by several of the Students piping up their giggles, sniggers and stifled laughter. This Doctor Newby did not like it.
‘Maybe we could keep you in for tests…!’
‘No-can-do, Doc, I have to get out of here as soon as I can. Maybe you could tell me how the others are?’ I answered back with a direct question that had him bursting out laughing too.
It was obvious something had tickled his rib.
‘You have had major surgery, Lord Lucas, as well as suffering a tremendous body shock that has left you immobilized for at least six months…I can’t stress enough, you’re condition is on the cusp of the unknown. If you leave here without the proper care and medication, you will die!’
He was ray of sunshine; the feeling that he had said this so many times to so many other patients and their relatives started to give me a headache. Maybe my grasp of the whole medical thing was a little outreached, but my main objective right then was to get out of there.
‘What happens now then, Doc? Electrotherapy, Questions and Answers? How about Discharge?’ I put to his unhappy face, just as one of the Female Students stepped forward and asked a seriously fucked up question.
‘Would his organs be donated to the Hospital, Doctor Newby, or would they be incinerated?’ She asked as if I wasn’t there in the room to hear her.
The wind was definitely blown out of my sails by the question, but not so much as when I heard the reply from the good Doctor Newby, who was readying his leave of my bedside.
‘No, Miss. Reynolds, fortunately our facility caters for only the healthy and worthy organs of patients. Lord Lucas here, however, consists of a broken body that has been filled with self-worth, low self-esteem, intoxicants that include ones that even medical science has no name, and drank its fair share of alcohol beyond the measure of self-awareness. Come along, next patient.’
Disappearing out of the room I was left with Nurse Kelly, who stood looking at me as if imagining the next twenty-four to forty-eight hours with me under her watchful eye.
‘So, do you kill me now, or wait until an opportune moment that renders me inoperable?’ I spoke up and shattered her thoughts with a start. ‘You are here to kill us, right?’
She again showed that look of sadness and disappointment.
‘Would you like me to kill you, Lucas?’ She asked dryly.
‘Would I not kill you back if you did?’ I answered wildly.
Nodding her head Nurse Kelly walked over to the far side of the room, where here, there were several metal trays laying on the cupboard near the sink. Taking from one of the trays a syringe filled with a clear substance, she turned to me and glared. Her eyes were telling me she was ready to do something bad, though there was also the fact that she had told me so much about her, that I couldn’t help but know her better than she knew herself.
‘HEY! I’m not fucking around, you know that, right? You come near me with that and our friendship will end badly.’ I shouted a warning that mattered not to her.
‘You should know, the woman you knew as Elizabeth Spinks was pronounced DOA to the hospital, Lucas, I’m sorry you had to hear it from me first…under the circumstances. I can’t abandon my quest, I’m…!’ She began to explain the gaps, the blanks, and return them with a fact that I was so sure about was true – because I was there at the time. This still didn’t make the painful blow any the lighter or easier to deflect.
‘You killed her! ’ I growled clenching my fists.
Shaking her head in objection, she waved a finger in the air.
‘Even if that was true, what would we gain from the death of The Deadly Night Shade, Lucas? Think about it for a second?’
Okay, so The Circle, The Light, whichever the Puppet Master, it still stood to reason that they were at a point in time where it was the perfect time to send out some form of punishment.
‘Absolution for The Enforcers that you brought in…!’
Nurse Kelly stepped forward, almost taking two steps to the very foot of my bed, before stopping suddenly.
‘They are nothing of our design, they are not a part of The Light, but then…what is The Light, but a punisher to those who fall to The Darkness.’
That bitch was really taking all of this slow, the way that a twisted BDSM Dominatrix would behave before lusciously entangling her Submissive to the point of Submission.
‘It would have been a pleasure knowing you in other, more normal circumstances, Lucas, I’m sorry your end had to come now, in a time of great change!’ She apologized – I think.
Making her move, she quickly rushed over to me, pressing a hand onto my chest and readying the syringe for incision into my jugular. The weight on my rib cage was slightly heavy, if not unnoticeable to the fact that Nurse Kelly had made her first wrong move. Also was the fact that the syringe that she held had a flathead plunger, not a ringlet top like most modern types they used nowadays.
I felt the light scratch of the needle push its way into my skin, breaking through the pores and seeking out the large vascular vein that would take the fill of the vile. But, the injection was never deployed or the vile of toxic poison put into my system.
Nurse Kelly looked at me in a way that she had been taken by great surprise, caught unaware by an invisible entity that now began to show itself as she fell forward onto the bed clothes; her eyes dilated, her mouth opened for her to speak, but no words made an exit, only final last gasp of air that released her from the mortal coils of her employment – she was dead.
Looking up I saw that Michael had entered the room quietly while sneaking up on the Assassin Nurse from Hell.
‘Are you alright, Lucas?’ He asked checking me over and then pulling the dead Nurses body from the bed to the floor, before he made his way back to the door and peered outside. ‘We have to leave…Now!’
Running back to the bed he leant over me and opened the bedside cabinet to produce my clothes and belongings, something that I was rather pleased to be reunited with. Finally, after a few minutes of wrestling to get me up out of bed, I was finally ready to leave.
‘Is it true?’ I asked in a seemingly knowledgeable tone that he should know what it was I was talking about.
‘That all depends my friend, there are many true…!’
‘Elizabeth! Is she dead, Michael?’ I blurted out to help him grasp the question that ordered closure.
He stopped what he was doing for a second, the typical reaction followed a deep breath and reboot of his system.
‘She has fallen, Brother, I’m sorry. I know you loved her, but she was far too gone for them to bring her back. You and I were the only two they managed to save. I’m sorry. Even I don’t know how you did it from the amount of injuries that you sustained, and the fact you died while they had you under the knife!’ Michael told me how he had received the news of Elizabeth’s death, so too, telling me that I had lost all my vital signs whilst they repaired a burst lung, shattered rib and a shit load of other chippings and cracks that covered half my body in bruises. What I thought was odd, was that no questions were asked about previous scarring, or of any operations carried by the Saunders’ Institute, either.
‘And Danielle, what of her?’
This was the question that Michael had problems answering, and most probably with good reason, as he had no memory of her being taken from the smashed up vehicle before he lost all sight of consciousness.
‘The car was hit that fast we were all trussed about like rag dolls, Elizabeth especially who was sat in the middle. Danielle, she was nowhere in the car when it came to settle…maybe she was thrown out with the impact?’ He suggested something that had me thinking whether or not it could be true. Could this happen to someone travelling in a car at great speed?
Welcome To Sanctuary
Leaving the building was no problem, both Michael and I had already racked up the experience of escaping the Doctors, Nurses and even the Police when it came to making a hasty exit from any Resheen Hospital. Of course, the whole escape part was bungled by the sudden appearance of DS. Chance, who seemed to appear out of nowhere while I was about to disembark a frame structure that stretched the whole length of the hospital’s ground floor Car Park.
‘You again!’ I gasped out, much to Michael’s dislike of seeing the man heading toward us both with a drawn Browning forty-five automatic pointing at my head in a statement obvious to a criminal.
‘Don’t make this your last stand, Lucas, I will shoot you.’
I believed him, even if Michael didn’t, I did.
‘You have no idea what’s going on here, so why don’t you put the weapon down slowly and we can talk about this?’ I put to his fair nature side.
‘Right, so now you want to talk!’ He laughed.
‘Who the fuck is he, Lucas? Do you want me to take him out? Maybe have a little fun first?’ Michael joked – he must have been joking, surely he felt what I felt too while being around this stranger; an almost surreal aura that emanated some need to keep your distance, but at the same time beckoning that all so tranquil soul-tide peace.
‘Stand down, Michael, if anyone is going to deal with this arsehole, it’s going to be me.’ I waved a hand that had Chance lower his weapon and return it to the barely visible shoulder holster concealed inside his jacket.
‘There is no time for this shit! ’ Chance cried out turning to an empty parked car behind him.
The air became still, almost silently whispering to the point of an inert senstian that brought a glimmer of small light out of nowhere and expanded quite heavenly within seconds before him. This was not a normal appearance of radiating light, it was something alien to Redstone, to Resheen, to the whole of Chatandra.
‘What the hell is that?’ Michael shouted out loud before he, Chance and myself were engulfed in the powerfully bright glow that had us lose all consciousness, except for Chance, of course, who was now “used to it”.
The light had been an element, the complicated wave of other worldly energies that had broken the plates of Resheen and Chatandra both, to bring an unearthly “Shift” of a corporeal manifestation. Where we were, we were no longer.
‘What the hell just happened?’ Michael cried out regaining consciousness and scrambling to his feet. Me too, scrambling to my feet as quickly as I could while comforting the wounds.
Chance just looked at him, as if he was not the reason he had initiated “The Shift”, but at the same time he reveled in the fact that Michael was super-abounded by the transportation.
‘The Shift, you are here for a reason, both of you,’ Chance gave a half-truth answer that annoyed me.
Looking around to see a place not exactly unfamiliar, both me and Michael gazed upon pure green fields, the freshest of air and an immaculate building, Temple almost, that covered the high ridge of a mountain gauge – it was beautiful.
‘Where the fuck are we, Lucas?’ Michael asked in a way that he only knew what I knew of this place – absolutely nothing.
‘You say we are here for a reason, Chance, so what is the reason, exactly?’ I turned to the man – kidnapper – and made my demand clearly known.
Sitting down on a tree stump before telling of an old custom that existed in Borello some five hundred years ago, it was by chance that a man, Christopher Wade, brought the idea of the whole concept to The Isle of Storm. It was here, more than ten millennia ago, that the custom began to become prophecy. And even to me, as well as Michael, it was the math that didn’t quite add up or make any sense.
‘Come, we must get to the Temple before sundown…’
Michael laughed out loudly with ignorance. ‘Why, is that when the vampire bats come out and search for fresh blood?’
The laughter of Michael went on for a lot longer than Chance and me expected it would, but finally it stopped and prompted Chance to step forward.
‘Actually, Michael Slattery-Gruber, it is when the Sheekan and Triloxus come out of their Havens and hunt for the souls of great, fierce and brave men!’
Suddenly the laughter subsided and left Michael with a sort of indecisive choke of humiliation, though it was one temporary of its judging. Sheekan was a name of an Adult Fairytale that he and his brother were told when they were in college, but the other, more terrifying Creatic was unknown to him.
‘Triloxus! What the hell!’ He bleated turning to me with a very worried look on his face.
‘The Triloxus is what you would call Predatory, its size differs with its shape and color, if red, you’re dead!’ Chance informed us while wearing a slight smile.
The name scared me. ‘What other colors are there?’
‘Just red, I said its size differs with shape and color. Light red, dark red and luminescent red, all three colors will kill you and suck out your very soul right where you stand…’
‘Fucking hell! Really?’ Michael gasped.
Chance looked at my friend as if he was some kind of idiot in the marshlands, his deep stare looking for the sign that Michael was actually being genuine in his failure to catch the sarcasm.
‘Triloxus don’t take your soul, Slattery, only Subiren’s can do that! You have heard of the Subiren, right?’ Chance found no other way to put Michael at ease than to make the situation worse, and more questionable, too.
‘Subiren’s travel in packs of two or more, they stand eight and a half feet tall, capture their prey by allure and, if I’m not mistaken, they can almost mimic human form, too, right?’ I cut in before my friend could make his attempt at dealing with the insult made against him, probably by attacking the Officer and leaving him dead, nearly dead, or just pretty much fucked up and bruised of his ego.
‘That’s right!’ Chance agreed with a suspicious look. ‘How did you…?’
It was surprising to me also that I knew such information, but for the two other men, it was something that freaked one out, while impressing the other to an extent of having my hand shaken vigorously and excitedly.
‘You told me…I think? I was here, not here, but here…in there…!’ I replied, my memory of being here on The Island before, along with DS. Chance flickering before my third eye.
Taking me by the arm Chance lead me across the grass terrain to the colossal building that towered before us until finally stopping outside the two large oak wooden doors.
‘Welcome to Sanctuary, Lucas. Inside this building you will find the answer to your problem…a solution to the one thing that is stopping you from moving on with your life. You were here before, you are here now, so why don’t we do it again, together?’ Chance suggested, but he didn’t make any sense.
I started to turn to Michael, to ask him if he knew anything about this, but he was suddenly gone.
‘Have you any idea what he is talking about…!’
Turning back to Chance, I glared into his ionic cerulean blue eyes with a look that could have instantly froze a Pearl Djown Critvus for a hundred winters.
‘Stone!’ I growled as behind me I sensed the eyes of evil fixed fast onto the back of my head.
‘Lucas, it’s been a long time!’ Stone answered as I nodded to Chance and turned around. ‘Did you miss me?’
Stone was a man, no fuck that! Stone was a Demon – The Devil in the form of a man that nobody knows, which is strange for the fact that in guessing his name, he sets you free from the chores and services that those doing a deal with him were bound – according to Resheenian Myth. My deepest, darkest want of desire was pretty much what people saw in me.
‘Is it time?’ I asked in a low disappointed voice.
‘Stone, we agreed, no fucking around! Tell him?’ Chance cried out rushing up to me and placing a hand on my shoulder. ‘Tell him the truth.’
Oddly, as this was The Island, it was the flares of sunlight on the course side of the Temple that began to lighten up the face of the one man who I hated the most, his eyes normal, his face of skin that paled in the sunlight.
‘Peter! Your name is Peter!’ I said to a stunned Stone.
Stone looked at me with a scared but fixing stare that turned to the Temple with a grimace. He wasn’t happy.
‘It would seem that I am not to be in this world much longer, Detective Chance. Maybe we should let our friend Lucas here return to his home…to Borello?’
Chance was confused with the sudden changes in the original plan that Stone had prepared for him, and for me. It was to be a meeting of freedoms and rewards, as far as Chance knew.
‘But The Lexicon!’ Chance shouted angrily, letting go of my arm and walking up to Stone.
‘The Lexicon…Ah, The Lexicon! Take the road to Nasperine and there you will find Courage, do not falter from its guidance or you will find only death. Return to your home with The Harpsen, Lord Lucas and you’re troubles will be over.’ Stone explained to both me and Chance.
The Harpsen was something of great value to those back in Resheen; its power extended in many directions of the world, including that of Chatandra, too.
‘The Lexicon rule…’
‘Irrelevant to your journey, I’m afraid, Lucas. You have to find The Harpsen, you will find it in Nasperine.’ Stone told me in a loud husky voice. ‘Now, what is my name’
I did not know what the rest of his name was, all that I had was his Christian name, and that came to me from a spec of memory that I doubted came from my past.
‘You taunt me, Stone! I don’t know what your last name is, but I will find out. And when I do, you’ll be the first to know.’
Chance put up a hand to stop me, though I was finished what I was saying to the man – The Beast – that was the keeper of my soul as of the moment I passed into death.
‘Taunt! No. I believe the word is favor, Lucas, as I favor that of Chance here, too. I’ll be watching you…I’ll be watching all of you…’
And with this he vanished into thin air.
‘We have to move quickly,’ Chance said turning to face the open fields behind me and close his eyes to the opening of The Shift; its pearlescent whites, neon blues and sparkright yellow flashes of light spewed and fractured away from its extending epicenter, while from within the brightened light I could see a brief glimpse of Redstone City – The Devil’s Crown, before phasing to a more homely sight of Borello.
‘Nasperine!’ I exclaimed.
‘I’ll see you there. Travel North-East, follow your instincts and don’t falter from the path. You will find The Harpsen, and you will return home to your people with the one object that will make a big difference in the coming years. Evermore has no appointed Heir, Lucas, which means you have very little time left before nothing can be done.’ Chance explained it all to me before he told me to step through The Shift and finally return to where he had taken me and Michael from – Michael!
Giving a smile Chance put out his hand for me to shake, and I did, for the feeling I had that he was no more a danger to me than Danielle La Grande.
‘I’ll see you in Nasperine, Lucas.’
Walking through the light I found myself inside some kind of darkened room, or hallway that had just been cleaned with an over-the-top amount of cleansers which left a thick, strong smell I could hardly stand filling my nose and senses. I had to get away from it!
Finding a locked door I booted it open, crippling the lock and handle with the sheer strength of my boot hitting it. The door swung open uncontrollably, its dense wood body slamming loudly against the wall by the side and then springing back a couple of times until I rested it in my hands.
‘You there! Who are you?’ A man demanded making his way over to me hastily. ‘You are not supposed to be here.’
This was fine, if only I knew where “Here” was.
‘Where am I?’ I asked looking around to find a landmark or place of recognition that would allow me to get my bearings.
‘This is the House of The Paroxinate, and you are trespassing on private property, Sir.’ The gentleman told me sternly.
The House of The Paroxinate was an old Faithical Order that was run by the Canoic Priests that began their religious practice back before records even began, and now they were few in a world of changes for life.
‘My apologies,’ I bowed humbly, ‘my bearings are not as they once were, I am sorry for the intrusion. I was looking for the way out and became lost’
Raising a confused hand as to the exit, the man took in a deep breath before shaking his head at me. A roll of his eyes told me he wasn’t in the least bit impressed; his dropped chin, cold eyes and overfilled round belly coughed loudly.
‘It will be back the way you came, I should imagine! It is that way…’ He pointed down a short corridor to a door showing sunlight from its arc shaped glass windows. ‘If you wish to return, you need to make an appointment of Audience with our Head Paroxinate, Father Julius Camberwell.’
The name meant nothing to me, it was just another name that would clutter up the storage of my already filled mind. I bid him farewell and made my way to The Quarter, where hopefully I would be met with answers to some very strange questions I’d acquired over the last several hours. Only one person would have them – Catherine Lawson, aka Lawless.
The Legend That Is Jones
The welcome I received from The Bastion Tavern was not one that I expected, I’d not even thought about it, until the very moment I stepped through the doors to be greeted with a Sucker Punch to the face. The first failed to sway me, and yet, the second, which I failed to see coming like the first, put me straight onto my arse near the bar.
‘It would seem you have no friends left here, Lucas…!’
‘Leave him be!’ A man’s loud voice cried out to the surprise of Molly, who was readying a Stein of ale to pour over my head. ‘Leave him be and step away from him.’
It was Michael, he was back from The Shift.
I smiled and put up a hand for his. ‘You’re back?’
Michael nodded. ‘A few hours ago, we’ll catch up soon, but first I have to do something.’
Turning to Molly he asked her to get the attention of everyone in the Tavern, before looking out at all the expectant faces that called for blood – my blood!
‘Lucas is not the one who sent Elizabeth to her grave, it was Enforcer Aaron Jones of The Borello Police. Now, if any of you have a problem…!’
‘I’m sorry to burst you’re bubble’s boys, but we already know that. What you don’t know is that five days ago, Borello went to war with Evermore…!’
I stopped Molly with a raised hand. I was so confused.
‘War!’ I gasped.
A man from behind Michael walked up to us and stared into our eyes each in turn, and then with a sad look he nodded.
‘You’ve been there?’ He muttered. ‘To The Island! It’s in your eyes…it’s always in the eyes.’
Molly was nervous. ‘How long?’
Michael and I turned and spoke in unison of one another.
We had moved through The Shift to somewhere that was to the far side of The Island, which meant more travelling time. As it was a long journey getting to The Sanctuary Temple, so too was it returning back to Borello, for both Michael and me.
I suddenly remembered that I was no longer at Evermore, my name of Overseer stripped from me by those who saw me as a threat to them. My Lord title was no more.
‘Who’s in charge at Evermore Manor, Molly?’ I asked.
The name Natasha St. John came the one name that had me curse and shout at a nearby wall, my whole behavior seemingly weird and strange to everyone around me.
‘You know her?’ Michael probed.
I knew Natasha, and Natasha knew me, too.
‘I have to go to Nasperine, today!’ I replied, giving more to the fueling of strange behavior than answering his question.
‘What’s in Nasperine, Lucas?’ Michael asked ordering a Stein of ale from Molly while he waited for my reply.
Molly and the others stood ready to listen to my telling them of the old ruinic town that was said to be cursed.
‘There is something in Nasperine that can bring peace to the lands, to the people and put a stop to the wars. I do this in Elizabeth’s name, in her memory and will not fail.’ I said forcefully controlling myself of all the teetering and sniggers.
For now I stood clinking Steins with Michael, Molly and the other several dozen people that came up to the bar and wished me luck. The hours were spent drinking, reminiscing times with Elizabeth and her alter-ego. Strange was it for me that all the people in the Tavern knew all along about the relationship between the young Borellian Girl and the Evermore Rich Blood who had captured her heart, and now, alas, the one who would be seeing her put to rest.
‘The Borello Cemetery, it’s full to the…’
‘Elizabeth Spinks will be buried at Evermore!’ I exclaimed to the gasps and awes of everyone. ‘Yes, that’s right, she will be buried in Evermore…’
Michael silenced me with a hard slap on my back that had me cough up a fair amount of my ale that just missed Molly.
‘Steady on their, Brother, it would seem you and I need to make a little pit-stop before this great adventure. Come on, let’s get you out of here.’
Taking me from the Tavern and directly across town to The Opium Emporium, Michael explained my condition to The Ensort, who happened to be a total stranger to me.
‘That’s not Cruvier, that’s…someone else, that is!’ I moaned.
‘Ah, Mr. Cruvier is currently unavailable, Sir, he is in Redstone presently on urgent business. If there is anything that I can get you, please do not hesitate to call upon me.’ The Ensort, known only as Draper informed us, and then he left both Michael and me to our table.
A tall Bubbly Pipe with four extended tails was brought to our table, the sight of the additional tails immediately putting Michael in not so happy a mood.
‘Shit! ’ He cussed loudly. ‘They know we’re back…’
He was sounding a warning, one which came too late for either of us to do anything to stop the whole Emporium being seized by The Enforcer’s, including Aaron Jones, who sarcastically asked Michael if it was alright if he joined us?
This was the very first time that I’d met the legend that people called a “Cold blooded killer”, a man on a mission to bring the final breath from any wanted criminal.
‘Is there any point us…’
‘No. The Emporium is completely surrounded, both inside and outside, the Enforcers are armed and I would suggest that you keep your hands where we can see them at all times, too. We wouldn’t want you getting shot now, would we?’ He spoke dryly words he seemed to feast on, while laughing aloud for the rest of his men to join in.
I was drunk from the Mourning at The Bastion Tavern, tired from the kidnapping that took me and Michael to The Island, but most of all, I was reaching a level of some strange, if not unnatural submorsed equilibrium and energized strength.
‘Lord Lucas Cavendish, I have not made your acquaintance before, and yet, I feel like we know one another from a place I am lost for remembering,’ Jones said looking me up and down as though trying to find his petch.
A couple of Enforcers started to make a noise at the back doors leading into the main entrance of the building, noise that Jones was becoming annoyed at and eventually wanted to know what was going on? It was a question that led to the sudden silent death of the guards who were securing the main door in front of us, but not by Jones – it was an Assassin!
Michael looked over to me, I was somehow looking different to him, it showed in his face as he moved closer to my side.
‘Help has arrived, Lucas,’ he whispered patting his hand onto my lap. ‘Keep your head down, I don’t think this is going to be as easy as getting out of other tight spots.’
Jones ordered his men to find the Assassin and bring them to him alive, though this was proving fruitless in the proceeding minutes of the entire power of the building being shut off. It was now almost pitch black; noises of feet scuffling across the floor and bodies colliding with furniture and fittings sounded out “Ooh’s” and “Ah’s”, but mostly heard were the cries, screams and gasps of the Enforcers being killed by the Assassin that was doing a grand job of thinning the number of enemies for both Michael and me to finish off.
‘Are you ready?’ Michael whispered through the darkness.
‘Yes,’ I said in a wide awake tone that had an arm slap me with a thankful “Good”.
Standing to my feet I reached for my guns, while my eyes looked around the room, my mind searching and showing a memorized thought map of where obstacles were. With two outstretched weapons pointing out by my sides, I swore for a moment that I sensed something familiar.
In the very second I was about to trace my handguns toward the provoking feeling the lights flicked back on and lit up the whole room again, only when they did, I was stood with both weapons focused at Danielle’s face. For what felt like forever, I stood looking into her eyes, until finally Danielle dropped her gaze from my eyes and rested them upon my crouch.
‘Well,’ she smiled, ‘you seem to have your guns in your hands, Lucas, but what of the other weapon?’
I was blindsided by falling into The Tremadale; the whole experience sending me through wave after wave of ecstatic sensations that brought me to excitement. Yes, I had grown a very noticeable erection that clearly showed the bulge inside my Leatheral pants.
‘Did I do that?’ She tried to ask innocently.
I was neither embarrassed or humiliated by the effect that had brought attention to my anatomy, and I was not in a place as to aide in blowing Danielle’s own whistle either.
‘I was thinking of summer!’ I replied turning around to see that nearly all of The Enforcers had been killed, some critically wounded or dispersed from the entire building. ‘Not even one, Danielle! Are we just here for decoration?’
The statement was mean, I agreed, Michael agreed, but I never admitted it. The fact that I was counting the moments before putting a well-deserved bullet between Jones’s eyes was now shattered beyond the feeling of great, to a baseline thought of anger and disappointment toward Danielle.
‘I love you too!’ She called out over the scattered bodies. ‘I’m so glad you guys came back for me…Cheers!’
The tone she used was not one of sarcasm or malice, it was all too sincere in its accusation; The Shift had opened to Borello when Chance told me to return, and the enquiry of Michael had brought about the finding of him in The Tavern, which meant that Danielle would still have been at Redstone General.
‘Is she taking the piss?’ Michael asked looking down at the bodies on the floor. ‘We were going to go back for her, right?’
I shushed him as Danielle walked up to me.
‘Well, Libertine, it’s been a rush riding with you, but I think it’s time I headed in my own direction…maybe I’ll head north somewhere, or west!’ She rambled on.
‘Why not come with me! I mean, us, with Michael and me?’
I was hard at stopping the embarrassment showing on my face when Michael cut in and saved me from being considered a fruit cake. ‘We’re going to…!’
‘Nasperine. We’re going to Nasperine, to bring back…’
‘The Harpsen!’ She interrupted with a plain look. ‘I know of the object, the question is, however, how the hell do you?’
Of course, my question would be directed at Michael, as he was not present at the time of Stone telling me of the object or of its power that it held. If either Danielle or I had anyone to question then it would be my good friend.
‘Does it matter?’ I resorted to keeping the details to myself.
Danielle nodded. ‘Not really.’
The Enforcers that had escaped, including Jones, were headed for the Police Station. Michael nodded his head from side to side, bringing both Danielle and I to wonder why.
‘Frobisher took out everyone, didn’t he?’
The thought never occurred to me about the dead officers and Enforcers who had been at the station when Michael had been held captive, the very thought bringing back the look on Frobisher’s face as I took his last breath from his body.
Danielle suggested that we find some place safer than The Opium Emporium, which by the looks of things there, it was highly unlikely it was going to be open for business anytime soon. The one question now, was where to, before we made the two hundred mile journey to Nasperine.
The Border was one suggestion, while Seryl in the north-eastern region of Borello and Caldon was another, though both places were of danger; the recent reports of Sheekan’s massing would leave no time for error in crossing the borders and entering The Valley of The Gods, eventually leading to the infamous Grey Wood.
‘I know a quicker way!’ I spoke up between Danielle and Michael having a small debate about the distance and how they were going to get the assistance of someone to open the most ancient gateway on the planet.
Michael was the first who became interested in hearing me out.
‘We travel through Borello, up into The Wastelands and keep heading North, it’s the only way. I don’t know about you two, but I’d rather leave that voodoo shit exactly where it is!’ I said emphasizing the want and need to stay away from The Shift.
Michael was the same, almost, although his split decision brought to the tune of “Well, if we bump into it along the way!’ Which kind of contradicted the whole notion entirely.
It was finally agreed, we would make our way out of the town and head straight for the Northern Province of The Island through the only access that had brought so many of the Island residents across to Resheen and Chatandra over the years.
‘You can’t just bump into The Shift, Michael!’ Danielle laughed out loudly throwing her arm around his shoulder.
‘The last time I went through, it was like I had bumped into it, Mrs. La Grande.’ He laughed back.
The two were in high spirits, which meant they were vulnerable to the niceties of one another. Michael had shrugged off the past attempts by Danielle to kill him, and Danielle, too, had put aside her differences with both Michael and me.
‘Mrs. La Grande!’ I exclaimed.
Danielle looked across to Michael at first, and then to me.
‘Yes, my husband is Jerimiah La Grande, we were married in the small Causeway near Luna Bay…’
‘But…all of this that you do?’
It was an awkward moment, I knew that, but there was a fine line that had been crossed; Elizabeth was dead, killed by The Enforcers, while Michael was unsure of returning to Borello House, and as for me, I was without a home, title or the resources to continue the run of The Borello Hood.
‘Isn’t it the very same as what you do, Lucas? We all walk among the normal during the day, and upon the fall of night we are other people…I mean, we are who we are, right?’
I nodded weakly. ‘Fair enough. There’s a road that sits just off Marsham Pines, it leads to an abandoned warehouse on the west side of the river. The crossing is pretty stable, for one car at a time, I suggest we split up and meet there in two hours, that way we don’t risk being seen by the authorities. Are we all agreed?’
Michael was a little against the whole idea, but eventually, as soon as Danielle agreed, he did too. It was hard for him to put his trust in us making our own way to the rendezvous point.
‘The authorities are going to have every cop, deputy, agent, not to mention Enforcer out looking for us at all the main points of the roads, and who knows, they may even have some Tech-Surveillance out there already, too!’ He piped up without as much as a second thought.
Borello was being funded, we didn’t know who from yet, but it was all pointing facts and evidence at The Light. For so many Enforcers to be hired at any one time it had to be someone with a lot of money behind the whole “Vigilante Hunt”.
‘Good luck guys, don’t take any chances out there and we’ll meet up at the crossing, right?’ I spoke up ready to say my farewell to them both.
It was settled and we dispersed, Michael first who began to climb the crevices in the buildings wall until he disappeared onto the roof and out of sight. Next it was Danielle’s turn, but instead of quickening her absence from our location, she paused in her steps and turned to me.
‘Just one thing, Libertine?’ She asked walking right up to me.
‘Back at The Opium Emporium…when you didn’t know who I was. Did you…?’
Immediately I knew what she was talking about.
‘No. No, I didn’t. Why, is there something on your mind that I can help you with?’ I answered looking her half in the eyes.
Her body language told me she was ready to do someone some real damage, but her face, her eyes, they each told me that there was a “Lost Moment” in there somewhere.
‘Marsham Pines, right? See you there, Lord Lucas Cavendish.’
As I watched her disappear through the street and into a side alley, I looked around me – something that I had failed to do on so many occasions – to see there was nobody in sight. With a final deep breath I began on my way to the meeting place with speed and haste of reaching there alive.
~End Of Sample ~
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Casanova Da Vinci is a twenty-first-century writer of Literature, some of which reaches into fantastical locations around a single ‘Self-Created World’. Having written all his life, bar a decade, he brings together the enriched formula of character and place, as well as introducing his own Tantra-style allure throughout each story and novel.
Previously working on adult oriented books, Casanova Da Vinci has leisurely entered the realms and chasms of younger imaginations to bring a lighter, action packed feel to an exclusive Children’s Collection of Adventure and Readership.
Hailing from the UK, Casanova Da Vinci lives in the solitude of his home, while heated by the word processor that never sleeps. Finding inspiration in everyday routines and actions, he is now working on “Resheen”, a colossal Epic Story Adventure that encompasses the 1,396 Mini-Novels, Novels and Scripts which makes up “The Lexicon Project”.
Be a part of “Resheen”, and come visit his Flagship Website at www.gwnonline.com and see what is next in the long 5 year project that is to make History in the Literature World of Writers and Authors worldwide.
Casanova Da Vinci
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The Opium Emporium: Rising
The Opium Emporium: Sanctum
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