Kade left the Blue Moon Tavern to enjoy the evening further at Nymph Park. He just wanted to enjoy the quiet of the night and the beauty of the park. The day had gone, a different way than what Kade had originally thought. Lilynn, the daughter of his neighbors in his apartment complex, had come to him to hideout while her mother and father were arguing…yet again. It was only after he’d brought her in that he realized he had nothing for the young girl and she was in dire need of a bath, but he had no clothes for her…and it just wasn’t appropriate for him to help her. He was stuck. When Lilynn laid down and fell asleep that was good enough. He was very fortunate to when a knock came to the door. Standing there with a housewarming gift of a bamboo plant with beautiful decorative vase was Jojo. Jojo was a breathe of fresh air, more than just due to his company. Jojo helped get a clean outfit for the girl while so she could wash the ones she was wearing since they were so dirty. The same clothes she had on a couple days ago when he was on the roof with her actually.
Kade looked at the child as she slept while he spoke with Jojo about his own childhood. He was was raised in a temple with 100 others. They wore sandals, kimonos, and loose pants. That uniform was everyday attire. The food he ate was specific and plain with only slight additions so they could taste any differences in their food or drink. At times it was actually poison or something toxic. Only one or two would die from these tests. Many others would grow very ill. People like him and other chosen to be Apoks…they were fine and could pick out the chemical compound combination by their early teens. Life was a test or trial for him. He was so out of his depth with an innocent child like her. There was more though. She was also…Kade dropped the thought as he walked he was trying to escape these thoughts not linger on them.
The day…yes, the day was so different. Jojo, Lilynn, and himself all got out of the apartment after the little girl woke up. They went and go street tacos, Lilynn liked the chicken burrito that she surprisingly finished off…devoured would be the better word for it. It didn’t stop there. They went to the park…the same park he was coming to now so she could run and play. Kade stopped and grabbed some new clothes for her and some new shoes and sandals to go with her new dress he got her as well. They weren’t fashionable by other standards, but for her they were amazing. Jojo looked at Kade with a sweetness telling him he was a kind man. That was a first. Seeing Jojo and Lilynn hist thoughts began to shift again. He shook his head clear of it all. No. That’s not me anymore. That time in itself was taken away from him due to Jorge and Callista showing up and dragging Lilynn back to their apartment. No thank you, nothing, they didn’t even take the clothes. This is why he needed the tavern and this walk.
“Hello Kadama, or is it Kade now?” a feminine voice caught his attention having place his hand on a near by weapon as he looked up to seeing the dark black hair like spun silk, the redish amber eyes almost glowing under the light in the park. Tattooed with more gothic style and a glare that was either to seduce you or eat you. With her, it could be one in the same. Wearing a form fitting leather outfit with hood dawn up just over the back of her head; her spider styled mask hung at her hip. She stared at him with her hands raised, “I prefer Kade now, Ahatsunu (ot * soo * noo).” Ahatsunu grinned, it was still not settling his nerves; she was an Apok after all.
“I’m not wearing my mask, that should mean something yes?” Her accent wasn’t one from a different continent but a different land, she spent her days in the fey wilds dealing with many of the feral or rebellious fey. They’re tone, cadence, and language must have been second nature by now for her. Kade nodded, she had him there. If she had wanted she could have worn her mask and this would have been over by now and he would have never seen it coming. “Can we sit and talk awhile?” Elegantly with the flow of a dancer she motions to one of the benches on the pathway of the park. Kade moved his hand bowed and went to the bench with her sitting beside him. “It was good to see you at the docks the other night. It’s been a long time.” She wasn’t wrong. He had left over 3 years ago always on the move…this was why.
“What do you want Ahatsunu?” Kade was being direct but his tone was even and curious.
“To say hi.” she giggled nudging him slightly, “Is that so wrong?”
“You know that it is.” Kade knew her tricks and she used this ploy many times to lure her potential victims. This is what she was taught and excelled at. No secret why her symbiote chose a spider styled mask.
“Fine. I know it is. So you should be nicer. I’m putting my ass on the line to come see how you are. Labashi (La*ba*shee) and Sargon (as spelled) wanted to come too but knew that it would be too obvious. We’re still your people Kade.” Ahatsunu respected Kade’s choice in names. This was only polite among those who were considered comrade in arms; even family since they had been raised together.
“That was wise not to show up together. Even wiser if you don’t come back. They’ll think I’m poisoning your minds or something else utterly absurd.” Kade looked at her, that face was familiar. The times she would cause trouble merely out of boredom. She would be punished, but for some reason she kept doing it. The four of them stuck up for one another. Were there for one another. Would have died for one another. Things have changed though. Kade has changed. “Why are you really here Ahatsunu? I know you’re not risking yourself for nothing.”
Ahatsunu sighed looking down at the ground, this was proving to be more difficult for her than she had thought it would. “You know there’s a legion of the order here now right? Including us. All of us.” She emphasized the ‘all’ part of what she was saying helping him know the last 7 of the Apoks were in Consequence. “We’re all watching you. Do you really think you can have what you were doing today forever? You little ‘family’ life here?” Kade said nothing, he knew what he wanted and what he could have was not something to come easy. “We’re here watching and taking notes. They know about the little girl and her parents. They know about your little friend the sculptor. They know of the witches and their army. They know of their commander. They know everything about where you go and who you keep with.”
“Which means they know of you now.” Kade said it more fishing than he was threatening.
“Yeah. Of course they do. They found you Kade. And you’re in a different realm. Don’t you see that?” Her tone wasn’t raised but it held passion behind her words. “They’ll come for you Kade. You know they’ll use your friends and that little girl if they have to.” She wasn’t threatening or warning. She was reminding him.
Kade turned slowly, his gaze cold, his tone colder, “Let them. If they harm, try to harm, or even threaten the innocent people here. I will kill them. I will bring the whole damn order down into a giant pyre. Or I’ll die trying…but I promise I will take many of you with me.” He too was simply reminding her of who he was.
Ahatsunu shook her head then smiled, “Why did I think I could come here and try to reason with you?” Then she looked at him further. She saw the thoughts behind his eyes. “Ooohhh! That’s what this is. Isn’t it? You need to let that go. That wasn’t your fault. You were just fol…” Kade cut her off.
“Following orders. Yeah, I know. So I was responsible. Because there has to come a time when we question what we’re being told is correct and find the truth for ourselves. We have the power to destroy demigods and their parents. We need to be more educated on the things we do. We can’t just blindly trust. Because we did. And we missed the changes that happened. We went from protectors to killers. The sentinels of a veiled world to assassins of both sides. The order has failed and is now as corrupt as the destructive beings we are sent to destroy. They are wrong.” Each word was emphasized almost as if he wanted not just Ahatsunu to hear him but any and all who were listening.
With a huge sigh Ahatsunu stood up, “Please Kade. Don’t try and stay away. It won’t work. You’ll slip. You’ll end up giving them a reason to come for you. Its who we are. It’s who you are.” She brushed his cheek with her finger tips, “Good bye Kade.” her tone was full of sorrow as if he were already dead. She walked into the woods and vanished from sight.
Kade left the park more uneasy than when before. What was he going to do? Thoughts of Jojo and Lilynn filled his mind. I need that type of feeling. I won’t let them take it away from me.
Kade got back to his apartment and for a few hours he tossed and turned trying to sleep. Instead his mind was filled with nightmares.
“The Inner Circle wants the house burned.” Chosan was there in his full armor provided by his dragon mask. The color of the scaled armor was so many he was seen in different prisms with different lighting hitting different areas. Kade, in his full armor, dark and moved like whisps of smoke and shadow with his reaper oni mask. At this moment he was looking outside of himself seeing his team all in their variations of symbiotic armor and masks the field was covered in crimson and black sprays of blood. The smell of dying flesh was already hitting his nostrils. There was an innocent family inside the house, but they had seen too much so it was determined they die rather than be moved and educated. This was new protocol but he watched himself without hesitation light the house with flames from coming out from his dragon headed scimitar. The blades runes glowed showing themselves as he channel energy into it and like a dragons breath with a swipe the cut of the blade was of flame catching the house and igniting with a Boom! Kade was fighting and pleading with himself as he did this telling him not to do this. It was too late. This can’t be changed. It was the past not a dream. This was memory. That’s why he sat up straight covered in a cold sweat.
Kade threw the blankets off exposing his nude flesh. Planting his feet on the cold floor the sounds of life going on outside and in the halls…Anna had a client it seemed. That wasn’t enough to distract him this time. Kade leaned forward his face in his hands, he wept bitterly in the silence of his apartment. The thought brought more than mental anguish, it brought physical pain. His chest and stomached cramped up as the sounds of screams filled his mind. No rest this night. He stood putting on a pair of sweats, his white athletic shoes and put on his brown/green hoodie taking only his keys with him. Tonight…if he was caught in a fight…he didn’t care if he died. No work tomorrow either. He doesn’t have it in him to be a grunt at the moment. Tonight he will try and gather himself at the tavern…why? He doesn’t know. It was a place of solace to him at the moment. And he didn’t want to wake Jojo…it was inappropriate to call on her at this hour any way. She deserves better.
As he walked out his door the sounds of Callista and Jorge…performing their other part of their argument…the make up, was loud and obnoxious to Kade this evening. His thoughts were to little Lilynn hoping she coud sleep through the idiocy of it all. A well dressed man walked out of Anna’s apartment at that time trying not to make eye contact while he put his wedding ring back on. Anna bare all but a set of underwear looked at Kade, “You okay honey?” Kade nodded, her nudity wasn’t offensive, it was just he wasn’t wanting to talk. “Alright. You know where I’m at if you need to uh…talk…or what not.” Kade nodded again and left his building almost wanting to go up the stairs to Jo’s…no, not right now. He left wandering into the night with only the Blue Moon on his mind.