Betrayal (Mild violence and blood warning)

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Betrayal (Mild violence and blood warning)

Post  SiLK on Mon May 24, 2010 10:40 am

500 years in the past. . .



Reala! Come to me. . .

The deceptively calm, soothing voice in his head was all the command the creature needed.
Eyes the color of ice over the deepest waters opened, accented by a thin diamond over a white canvas, like a parody of a mime's face.
Rising from a rough edged, stone throne of red and black blocks, the same color as his own costume, he rose and stretched golden claws toward the ceiling in a gesture of undying loyalty, muscles rippling beautifully beneath snowy flesh.
"I come."
Reala need not have bothered answer, his master already knew through their close bond, and through his own arrogance, that none of his creations would ever refuse him.

Reala glanced down from his high perch. The ground was some twenty-five feet below him, and made of the same stone as his throne.
To fall would surely be fatal, and creatures such as Reala had no wings.
Reala smiled, an expressing marred by his twisted mouth. No, his kind had no wings. They had something much, much better.
And spreading his arms, Reala called his magic into existence.
It enveloped him in a golden field of shimmering sparkles, both stinging and soothing him as each golden star touched his pale skin.
With a flick of his floating, wristless hands, Reala felt the magic dissolve, only to course through him with increased power.

He hurled himself off the throne, thrilled by the fatal plunge that lasted only an instant before those golden stars erupted from his fingertips, holding him aloft without his ever even having to summon or control it.
Angling his arms and body, Reala glided toward the arched doorway to his lair, which shimmered into existence where before there had been only an eerie landscape of purple clouds, stars, and green torches. He landed in front of that exit. Like all of his kind, Reala possessed unusually large feet that were perfect for landings.
The startrail faded as soon as Reala's feet touched the ground, and he stepped into the hallway before rising into the air again and drifted swiftly away.

Up these stairs, around that corner. Reala flew with complete confidence through a castle so complex that M. C. Escher might have become dizzy thinking about it.
Like so many things in the dream world, Castle Nightmare was not real. Rather than being built of stone and joined together by mortar, the castle had been created from Wizeman's own energy and the energy gleaned from countless troubled souls.
The different "lairs" in which each Nightmaren dwelled, were actually separate dimensions, tethered to this nightmarish realm by Wizeman's will. The doorway through which Reala had left his lair was not a part of his realm at all. It was the portal between his domain and Wizeman's.
And speaking of doorways, Reala had arrived at Wizeman's mammoth, arched portal.

"Master Wizeman?"
Reala pressed a hand against the door, awaiting permission to enter.
Permission came in the form of the door swinging open at his touch, apparently unlocked. Wizeman liked to play such games with his creations.
Mind games, Reala decided with a well controlled pang of irritation at the idea.

Stepping into the room, the Nightmaren was quickly engulfed in blackness as the door swung shut.
His special, catlike blue eyes allowed him to see even with little to no light, and so Reala looked around in the hopes of seeing Wizeman nearby.
"Master?"

An enormous, stony hand flew out of nowhere to hover in front of Reala, inspecting him.
Well accustomed to this, Reala straightened, allowing the inspection.
After a moment, the eye in the center of that hand came to life, depicting a laughing, purple Nightmaren very much like Reala.
Reala blinked, surprised by the image. "NiGHTS?"

The rest of Wizeman gradually took shape as he spoke. "I have been gazing, Reala. I have seen that NiGHTS . . . is different."
Shock flooded through Reala. His partner, his twin, his counterpart . . . was Wizeman implying that his brother was a traitor at heart? Despite a firm belief in Wizeman's wisdom, Reala found it very difficult to believe.

Wizeman continued, withdrawing his hand.
"It is entirely possible . . . that he may betray me."
Reala barely had time to digest this revelation before a finger was thrust at him, surprising him.

Wizeman's tone was fierce.
"YOU will keep NiGHTS in line, Reala. I will NOT lose him!"

Reala blinked in shock, then straightened and bowed his head.
"Yes, my Master. . ."
As the doors opened, signaling his dismissal, Reala bowed and drifted backwards before departing, his head filled with thoughts of NiGHTS.


Some time later, Reala appeared on the plains below the castle.
This stretch of ground was rarely visible, as the castle and the ground beneath it hovered almost level to a higher stretch of land. With the castle bottom for a ceiling, and hills forming the walls, this was where the youngest Nightmaren came to train.
And it was the one place where Reala had not yet looked in his search for NiGHTS.

Reala had hardly arrived before a familiar voice rang out loudly.
"You call that flying?! That's dog paddling in the air! Get it right!!!"
A startled "Yes sir!" Answered as a younger Nightmaren tried to fly more smoothly.

Reala drifted closer to find his partner snapping viciously at the younger generation. NiGHTS seemed to enjoy being above them, both literally and figuratively.
"Shar, why is your tongue hanging out like that? Dogs pant, not Nightmaren! Are you a flying dog?!!"
NiGHTS glared as Shar, a dark purple and blue Nightmaren sucked his tongue in and tried to look like a better flyer.

Reala smirked. THIS was the dangerous NiGHTS who would betray them? If it had been anyone besides Wizeman who had made the prediction, he would have scoffed at the idea.

NiGHTS was in fine form tonight, Reala noted, watching his counterpart handle the trainees.
"Your lift comes from your hands, so keep them outspread and wide open at all times. Forget that your feet exist . . . Doren, what did I just tell you? Stop kicking and fly!"
NiGHTS turned again.
"Palis! Fly faster! Lumis, let your legs hang! Shar, keep your mouth shut! Reala, what are you doing on the ground? Ge . . . REALA?!!"
NiGHTS instantly went from vicious boot camp instructor, to enthusiastic younger brother upon spotting his red, black, and white sibling.

Reala smirked, not daring to laugh in front of the trainees.
"Hello, NiGHTS."


"REALA!!!!!!"
NiGHTS sing-songed the name, flinging himself at his counterpart with much enthusiasm.
Reala blinked and side stepped, watching in mild amusement as NiGHTS went hurtling past and crashed into the valley wall.

"You're a meanie, Reala. . . "
NiGHTS groaned from the ground, then leapt to his feet, kicking his feet back like a bull about to charge.
Reala sighed.
"As much as I enjoy our sparring, NiGHTS, I did not come to play."
He sidestepped again as the purple clad Nightmaren charged, skidding and turning for another pass.
The trainees had taken refuge at the edge of the valley, and shouts of "Ole!" and "Tauro!" could be heard.

Reala tried again.
"NiGHTS, I've come to talk. . ."
He leapt into the air to escape another pass.

NiGHTS skidded again, falling onto his side and probably earning quite a few scrapes.
"Ow . . . owowowowowow!!!"
He glared accusingly up at his brother. "No fair flying, Ree!"
Reala smirked and landed. "Maybe you will listen now."

NiGHTS blinked innocently. "You were saying something?"
Reala offered a hand and pulled NiGHTS onto his feet.
"I was. NiGHTS, you do know where I've just come from. . .?"

"Stick Canyon?" NiGHTS named the territory that Reala had been granted dominion over.
Reala sighed. "No, you fool. Get serious!"
NiGHTS pouted. "Yo, I am serious!"

Reala rolled his eyes. "You, NiGHTS, are about as serious as a monkey on helium."
NiGHTS stifled a giggle at the mental image, adding to Reala's annoyance.

Reala tried again. "NiGHTS, I was sent to find you. I. . . WILL YOU STOP LAUGHING?!!"
NiGHTS had doubled over, laughing shrilly. "M . . . monkey on helium! I love that!!!"
Reala grabbed NiGHTS by the shoulders and shook him roughly, inadvertently driving his claws into his brother's flesh.
"Look, you fool, I was sent by Wizeman to find you!"
The combination of pain, shaking, Reala's shouting, and Wizeman's name conspired to drive all the silliness out of NiGHTS. He went rigid.
"Wizeman!"

Reala nodded, satisfied. "Yes. NOW can we talk?"
He blinked as he found himself empty handed, and no sign of NiGHTS or the trainees.
"Er. . ."

"Hey, Ree!"
NiGHTS waved from a ledge on the valley wall.
Reala turned to see.

NiGHTS grinned.
"What're you standing around for? Come on, we need to talk, you know!"
Reala resisted the urge to maim something, and flew to join his brother.
"I hate you."

NiGHTS laughed.
"Aw, Ree. You ALWAYS say that!!!"


To Be Continued. . .


Last edited by SiLK on Mon May 24, 2010 10:58 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Betrayal (Mild violence and blood warning)

Post  SiLK on Mon May 24, 2010 10:41 am

Reala and NiGHTS flew off together, heading in the general vicinity of Stick Canyon,
It was the hottest, dryest, most inhospitable region in Nightopia, as well as the most dangerous. For those reasons, almost nobody went there unless they had no choice, making it the perfect place for two brothers to have a heart to heart talk.
Reala led NiGHTS past one of the giant magnets, half expecting his companion to get himself trapped.
Of course, NiGHTS was an expert at avoiding traps, and simply wove in and out, evading with ease and playing instead of concentrating on the task at hand.

Reala chose a plateau to land on and turned to watch his partner come in for a landing.
NiGHTS came in with great speed, so much that for a moment, Reala feared that he would shoot right over the landing area. But no, NiGHTS twisted easily and touched down as effortlessly and gracefully as ever.
Reala snorted, tuning NiGHTS out as he proceeded to go through his self appreciation routine.

"And the crowd goes wild, another perfect landing for our star, NiGHTS! Whoo! Yeah yay!!!"
NiGHTS cupper both hands over his mouth to simulate a crowd, then bowed to no one at all before straightening to smile at Reala.

Reala scowled.
"Idiot. Do I need to remind you that we're here because of Wizeman's concerns?"

NiGHTS gave a little sigh and nodded, becoming serious again.
"Okay, Reala. I have to admit, I am curious . . . and maybe a little worried. Is . . . is Wizeman . . . unhappy with me?"
NiGHTS had always felt that he could admit anything to Reala. Often such trust was rewarded with disdain or taunting, but he was confident that Reala really did listen attentively and even try to help if he could, in his own way.

Reala blinked a little, then held a clawed hand out in a gesture of helplessness.
"I really don't know. All that I know is that Master Wizerman has had his eyes on you for some time, NiGHTS, and he's the one who's worried."
The paler of the two brothers titled his head slightly. "Are you . . . okay, NiGHTS?"

NiGHTS blinked in shock.
"Whoa! Did I imagine that, or is the fearsome, heartless Reala actually concerned about me?!!"

Reala's expression hardened so quickly and completely, that NiGHTS instantly regretted that tease.
Reala's face had frozen in that cold glare just like a frozen lake, effectively disguising whatever lurked below the water.

"You know I didn't mean anything, Ree. . . " NiGHTS' eyes pleaded with his brother to let some of that warmth back into his expression.
"It's just . . . well you know how I am . . . I can't help it. When a thought pops into my head, I just have to say it."
He winced as Reala turned his back on him. The red, black, and white Nightmaren was silent for a moment before speaking.
"And that is probably exactly why Wizeman is so concerned."
Reala whirled on NiGHTS, angry. "You are a Nightmaren, blast you! Why can't you behave like one?!"
He sighed as NiGHTS wilted under the ferocity of his tone. "NiGHTS. . ." NiGHTS just nodded, knowing what his brother meant to say. Reala's volume and harsh words were his way of showing genuine affection and concern.
NiGHTS sank into a sitting position, watching as Reala joined him. The two brothers relaxed in a rare moment of silence.

It was hours later when NiGHTS opened his eyes. Somehow he had fallen asleep without realizing it.
He became aware of a comfortable warmth beside him, and turned to find Reala resting nearby. Amused, NiGHTS studied the way that he had snuggled into his pale brother. It was amazing that Reala had allowed it.
And that frightened NiGHTS. There had been no taunting, nothing mean spirited in Reala's words. He had really been worried, and maybe even afraid . . . for him?
"You're awake?" NiGHTS jumped at the soft, grumpy voice beside him. Reala stirred, opening his eyes.
"Good. Then quit being perverted and get off of me."
Blushing, NiGHTS got up and mumbled an apology before looking instinctively up at the sky.
He could feel Reala watching him, maybe even debating whether or not to lunge at his unprotected backside. Reala was not above attacking other Nightmaren, especially if he was unhappy or embarrassed.
NiGHTS was not immune, he had felt Reala's claws on more than one occasion.

Reala studied NiGHTS' back , tracing with his eyes, the curve of his vest, and the darker shadow of his spine. Idly, he told himself just how easy it would be to snap the thinner Nightmaren in half. It would take no effort whatsoever.
But somehow, Reala had no interest in harming NiGHTS just then. There would be no surprised shriek or begging for mercy, he knew. The idiot would probably just take it, and that made the idea completely unappealing to Reala.
"Ree?" Reala blinked as NiGHTS spoke. "Hm?"
NiGHTS turned to look at him. "Am I really that different? Different enough for Wizeman to think . . . to think that . . .that there's. . ." Reala winced, knowing that NiGHTS was trying to believe that he was defective. "Shut up!"
NiGHTS blinked, surprised out of his self pity. Reala snarled, showing his fangs.
"Master Wizeman does not make mistakes, you imbecile! So just shut up and concentrate on pleasing him!"
Reala suddenly grunted, blinking in shock as NiGHTS suddenly charged and hugged him. grateful for the reassurance that he was not a mistake as he had feared.
That was going too far.

There was a loud smack as NiGHTS fell to the ground, clutching his cheek. Blood trickled from behind his hand.
Reala snorted. "You are a Nightmaren. Act like one."

NiGHTS held one hand tightly against his cheek as Reala's mouth worked, muscles twitching tensely as he struggled for something to say or do to improve the situation. Finally, he gave up on trying to say anything else, and simply took flight, heading home.
NiGHTS watched his brother vanish into the horizon, then studied his hand, dotted with the red and paler, shimmering blue that was his own blood.
With a sigh, the purple Nightmaren got up, patting his cheek to be sure that the bleeding had stopped before spreading his arms. He had a lot to think about.

NiGHTS stepped to the edge of the plateau and looked down for a moment, revelling despite himself in the vast expanse of stone, sand, and metal. If it weren't for the ugly machinery and grotesque metal structures, Stick Canyon could have been a beautiful location. But it was a pointless observation. The metal had to be there for a reason, although NiGHTS did not know why. He had been taught to accept things as they were and not worry about why they were that way.
And yet NiGHTS did wonder. Just like he wondered why he was so different from Reala. Not a good fighter or strategist, or even gifted with a sense of duty.
NiGHTS sighed softly. He seemed like a waste as a Nightmaren. The ground so far below seemed to call to him, urging him to lay here indefinitely.
NiGHTS studied the ground, then took a breath and stepped off the ledge.

He fell several feet before a whoosh and a pull told him that his startrail had formed. Instantly he pulled out of his dive and leveled out, circling lazily.
NiGHTS flew alone for some time before becoming bored. It was time to return to Nightmare, anyway. He soared over the sand and cacti of Stick Canyon until the dream ended, then he was passing over a pool of water.
NiGHTS skimmed low, watching how his wake churned the water below him. He switched to a glide to disturb the water as little as possible, and studied his reflection.
NiGHTS looked like any other Nightmaren. With the round face and large eyes, full of character. His "horns" were more prominent than most and jutted behind him, flowing in the wind. NiGHTS tried baring his teeth, noting how the sharp fangs glinted dangerously. His heart wasn't in the expression, though.
Reluctantly, NiGHTS ended his game and turned away, heading home to Nightmare.

To Be Continued. . .

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Re: Betrayal (Mild violence and blood warning)

Post  SiLK on Mon May 24, 2010 10:44 am

NiGHTS flew into Nightmaren, past the dead foliage, rocks, and murk. He would have bypassed the drawbridge in favor of a window or secret entrance, but a figure below waved him down.
"Oh great, it's time for bed and I get to stay up and deal with Insomnia!"
The Nightmaren below waved again. "And what's wrong with dealing with me, sir? Everyone's been worried. They said that you went out with Lord Reala, but Lord Reala returned alone!"
Despite himself, NiGHTS grinned. "Aww, you care!" The purple Nightmaren made a mental note that Insomnia was this person's name. Odd since none of the other high ranking Nightmaren would have cared much. He abruptly sobered. "But I'm fine. I was just enjoying Stick Canyon. Am I wanted?"
"Wanted, or has someone asked for you, sir?" Insomnia seemed to enjoy taking that statement a little more literally than he was meant to. NiGHTS felt a pang of annoyance, this was not the way that ranking 'Maren were usually treated. "You know what I mean, Insomnia. Has Wizeman or a ranking Nightmaren asked for me?"
Insomnia dropped his gaze for a moment like a scolded child before nodding. "Not asked for you, sir. But Clawz was pacing the halls like he was looking for something. He probably wanted you."
NiGHTS nodded. "Then I'll be retiring. . ." He blinked at the shock that flew across Som's face. "For the night." he added, smirking as the younger Nightmaren relaxed visibly. Some people were so literal! It kind of made them more fun to talk to, NiGHTS had to admit.
With a very soft chuckle so that Insomnia wouldn't be encouraged, NiGHTS turned away and waved casually as he drifted toward his room.

Insomnia watched his superior leave before turning to look up at the soft blush of dawn that was beginning to creep across the horizon. It seemed to the Nightmaren as if even the sun feared to cross the boundary of Nightmare.
With a shrug, Som turned to go, suppressing a wince as a stray beam of light gently carressed his shoulder. The sun was no friend to a Nightmaren.

NiGHTS flew down the corridor and flew into his own chamber. Purple and blue diamonds on the wall lit up in response to their master's presence, casting a very soft glow across the floor.
It was not enough even to read by, but for a dark loving Nightmaren, it was enough.
NiGHTS settled himself down on a seat that rested against the far wall and closed his eyes, falling limply over the arm as soon as he did.
The diamonds faded into blackness as he did.

Dusk soon reclaimed the castle with soft blue fingers, greedily clutching at the spires before being called off to other duties. The sun's light was still visible, and the Nightmaren waited patiently inside for the painful light to die for the night.

Not NiGHTS.


"Cock a doodle doooooooooo!!!" NiGHTS had awakened the instant that the sun has begun to sink beyond the horizon. He was happily perched on the castle's highest spire, flapping his arms and crowing triumphantly at the retreating ball of flame.
As if offended, a stray beam of rose colored light flew harmlessly over the purple Nightmaren. NiGHTS grinned. "Ha! In your face, ya big so and so! If you had a face. You can't hurt me, for I am NiGHTS the invincible!!!"
Back in his own lair, Reala winced at the loud laughter and shouting coming from the roof.
"What is that idiot up to now?!" The red, black, and pale blue Nightmaren grumbled as he rose from his throne and flew out, fully intending to yank NiGHTS' head off and bury it someplace where his body would never find it. At least that would shut him up long enough for the well behaved Nightmaren to rest! He came to the drawbridge and took a breath. "NiGHTS. . ."
"NiGHTS, you are SO dead!" Reala blinked as a shrill, slightly unsteady voice cut him off.
Jackle was flying violent circles, a card held in each hand and fire in his eyes. It was fairly clear that he was out for blood.
Just beneath him, Puffy was bouncing as high as she could. "DO come DOwn, NiGHTS! SO That I can crush you!!!" She ran a gloved hand along a pink ear. "How dare you interrupt my beauty sleep?!"
"Yeah, poor Puff needs all she can get!" Jackle couldn't resist the obvious opening for an insult.
NiGHTS looked down, glad for once that neither of the two were strong flyers. Jackle could fly, but his precious cape constantly got in his way. When he did fly, he tended to move backwards, to avoid having his cape blow to one side and expose his lack of a body.
Puffy was indignant now, turning on Jackle. "How dare you?! I should teach you my favorite musical note - B Flat!" She bounced high, coming down on Jackle with a whoopee cushion noise.
Jackle sputtered and let himself lay flat. "Ow! That hurt. . . "
Reala watched quietly from the drawbridge as Puffy smugly moved her bulk and lifted Jackle to his feet. The two were constantly going at each other, but they were obviously very close.
Jackle shook himself off and growled as he spotted NiGHTS grinning. "I'm going to slice that stupid smile off your bulbous face, NiGHTS!!!"
"DO you even know what that means?" Puffy asked quietly, getting a shrug from Jackle in response before he concentrated on flying higher, aiming a card at NiGHTS.
NiGHTS leapt to his feet in alarm as the much larger Jackle came at him, but they were both distracted by a cry from Puffy.
The singer bounced back, clutching her arm and watching Reala fearfully. Reala looked up at the figures on the roof. "What is this?!" He flew up to them and latched onto Jackle's collar, pulling the cape free and letting it fall. He pulled the disembodied feet, hands, collar, helm and face closer.
"You have a complaint against NiGHTS, perhaps? Shall I take you to Wizeman so that you may state your grievances?" There was venom in his voice as he spoke.
NiGHTS blinked as Jackle's face sank a little. The lesser Nightmaren looked down at his cape, laying down on the ground beside Puffy. "N . . . no, sir! Not me! Heh! Nice night, eh? Well, I'll just leave you two alone then!!!"
Reala dropped Jackle and watched as he dove for his cape, then proceeded to dash for the safety of the castle interior with Puffy close behind. It was strange since Reala had just stopped Jackle from doing exactly what he himself had wanted to do to NiGHTS not long ago.
Reala turned to NiGHTS. "I should have let them have you."
NiGHTS blushed a little, then sat back down, smiling as Reala did likewise. The two sat silently for some time.
"Well. . . " NiGHTS started nervously, causing Reala to glance over. The purple Nightmaren smiled almost shyly. "Thanks, I guess. . . "
Reala snorted. "Did you think that I was helping YOU?" NiGHTS winced, recalling Reala's strong sense of duty. Helping NiGHTS had been his way of defending Wizeman's power more than anything else.
NiGHTS nodded. "Right. . . but if you hadn't. . . " Reala groaned in disgust. "Had I not acted, you would have done similarly." NiGHTS blinked, wanting to disagree. Violence and intimidation weren't his style.
Silence fell once again before NiGHTS reluctantly continued. "Is that . . . do you think that might be what has Wizeman worried?"
Reala looked over again. "You being a spoiled child trapped in a Nightmaren body, causing mischief and hampering the others at every opportunity? Now why would that be worrisome?" Reala continued before NiGHTS could respond. "You need to learn to take your job seriously."
"Job?" NiGHTS blinked, thinking. "What job?"
Reala stood up. "The constant job of being a Nightmaren. One of the future heirs of the world!"
NiGHTS considered, scanning the surrounding lands. He idly watched the last of the Nightopians settle down for the night. "I think that the land is already pretty well claimed. . ."
"By Nightopians? They're animals! Living someplace does not make you a ruler!" Reala scowled darkly, turning cold again. NiGHTS winced, he hated it when Reala shut him out like that. It felt like being turned out of a warm room into a blizzard.
"Relax, Reala. . . " NiGHTS half pleaded, lifting a hand in a submissive gesture. "I was only joking! I know that animals don't have any say. You take things TOO seriously." He shrank as Reala glared into his eyes. "Well you DO!" He protested weakly.
Reala sighed and rose. "You know . . . just because you're named NiGHTS doesn't mean that you have to be so mysterious and all knowing all the time." He stepped off the roof and glided into the castle entrance.
NiGHTS blinked as he found himself alone. He looked up at the crescent moon sparkling overhead. "Mysterious?" NiGHTS smiled and spoke to the place where Reala had been a moment ago.
"You know, Reala . . . the same goes for you." he flopped onto his back, admiring the sky. "You don't have to be so realistic and unimaginative all the time . . . but I guess you can't help it, can you? You're too much like me. . ."
Back in his lair, Reala landed on his throne before seating himself. He watched idly as the torch holders around him burst into flame, casting an eerie, green glow on the surrounding murk without ever really supplying any illumination.
"NiGHTS . . . why are you so different?" He couldn't help but wonder aloud.


Last edited by SiLK on Mon May 24, 2010 11:12 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Betrayal (Mild violence and blood warning)

Post  SiLK on Mon May 24, 2010 10:44 am

"You were one of us!"
Reala screamed, enraged. The figure ahead of him was obscured by fog, but clearly NiGHTS, shook his head sadly. "No longer, Reala. Goodbye. . ."
"NiGHTS!" Reala tried to lunge after the traitor, only to find himself imobile. "NiGHTS!!!"

The vision faded and Reala jerked upright, shaken. Nightmaren did not dream, but what else could that have been? A premonition? Was NiGHTS really going to betray them as Wizeman had said? Reala felt ill deep inside. NiGHTS had always been there, from the first instant that Reala had opened his eyes, NiGHTS had been beside him, sharing his experiences. To lose NiGHTS would be to lose a part of himself. His better half? No, Reala told himself. He was the dutiful one, always doing what was right. NiGHTS was the fun loving fool, always slacking off. It would be no loss to Nightmare if NiGHTS was lost.

Reala paused, thoughtful. Why then, was Wizeman so angry and concerned? What threat could a rogue Nightmaren possibly pose? Or was it the blow to Wizeman's pride that he dreaded? Or maybe . . . Reala narrowed his eyes, he had always been good at seeing countless scenarios. NiGHTS had often teased him that he tried too hard to live up to his name, constantly being realistic. Reala thought hard. If one Nightmaren left, was there a danger that others might? Was that what Wizeman feared?

Reala knew that he could never even begin to consider leaving Nightmare. Wizeman was his creator, his father. Every fiber of Reala's being demanded that he give Wizeman his loyalty and service for as long as he was able. Every Nightmaren surely felt this way!
How then, could NiGHTS possibly betray Wizeman? It could never happen . . . could it? Reala suffered a pang of doubt, trying desperately to tell himself that it would never happen.

NiGHTS had been on the roof for some time before his eyes snapped open and he sat up, looking startled.
The purple Nightmaren looked around to figure out where he was, then tilted his head in innocent confusion.
"That's funny, I thought that I dreamed I was walking through a giant mass of cotton candy. . ." NiGHTS giggled at the notion, hardly bothered by the "dream" that Nightmaren supposedly couldn't have.


Betrayal -
Chapter 4
Dream Away



Rising, NiGHTS flew from the roof and into the night sky, turning sharply and diving toward the base of the castle. He whistled shrilly and had the satisfaction of seeing several slim figures leap to attention inside their barracks, and line up side by side, on the lip of the castle base.
The young Nightmaren watched attentively as NiGHTS drfted closer, hovering just beyond the lip. NiGHTS smirked mischievously before putting on his best "I'm going to reduce you to whimpering scraps of meat" face. It worked apparently, because the youngsters watched in awed silence, waiting.
Satisfied that he was in command, NiGHTS scanned the group. "What are you?" He asked. The group spoke as one. "Nightmaren, sir!" NiGHTS nodded, then demanded, "And what are Nightmaren?!" "FIERCE!!!" The youngsters roared back. NiGHTS pretended to be blown away by the force of the shouting, drawing a few chuckles before he flew back and whistled again. Every face became serious again.

"Nightmaren are fierce. Nightmaren are vicious, and able to kill if they have to. Are you able to be a vicious killer? Are YOU a Nightmaren?"
"Yes, sir!" The group chanted loudly, although most of the youngsters fidgeted nervously. NiGHTS grinned, anticipating a good workout. "When I'm through with you, you will be."

"I can't believe it. He just came barging in, bullied Puff, then you know what he did?!!"
Clawz slapped two clawed hands over his ears, growling as a warning to the caped chatterbox in front of him. Jackle took that as an invitation to continue. "He took my mantle, can you believe it?! My mantle! You never see me tugging at him, do you? No! And I wasn't even doing anything! Really, Reala should have picked on NiGHTS instead. HE was the one making all that awful noise!"

Clawz sighed as Jackle took a breath between sentences, and attempted to tiptoe toward the door. The enormous feline yowled in dismay as a card embedded itself in the ground in front of him. Jackle frowned. "Bad cat, Clawz! I haven't even told you about the conversation that I had with Jack and Jill this evening!"
Clawz groaned and fell onto his side dramatically, sensing no escape from Jackle's neverending stories. Jack and Jill were the names that he had given to the monstrous Jack in the Boxes that sat in his lair. Both were broken with one resting its head on the ground, and the other forever bouncing around, unable to be returned to its box, but Jackle never even noticed. To him, his roommates simply had some odd quirks that it would be rude to point out.
Clawz closed his eyes, concentrating on saving what remained of his sanity by blocking Jackle out. Jackle continued to tell all about Jill's observation about how to make lead out of gold and what a help that could be to the pencil industry, or Jack's philosophical views concerning goats and cream cheese. He even included his own thoughts on life.
"So I think that's where babies really come from, the stork's just there for show and the other birds and bees do all the real work. Don't you think so? You're an animal, you ought to know. . ."
Clawz groaned miserably. Jackle nodded. "Yes, exactly!"
In the end, Clawz began desperately gnawing at one of his hind legs in a vain attempt at escape.

Puffy was also relating the night's events, but she managed to stay on track, contentedly slicing a gourmet ham, which GillWing was waiting impatiently for. When Puffy finally placed the slices on the dragon's plate, GillWing blinked in dismay. For a monstrous creature, two pitiful slices of ham were not going to be very satisfying.
Puffy chose to forego the ham in favor of a nice salad with kalamata olives, feta cheese, and fine oil and vinegar with special herbs. "Oh GillWing, I DO wish you had been there! It was just awFAl! NiGHTS woke me with the most horrid noise. Of course, I proceeded outside to give that tonedeaf imbecile a piece of my mind, but I met up with Jackle and. . . oh GillWing, not the entire ham at once!!!" The operatic rabbit gasped in dismay as GillWing became greedy and simply stole the largest morsel on the table. The dragon growled at Puffy's scolding, looking her over as if to say that she herself was not above being added to the menu if she did not play her cards right.
Puffy wisely decided to let it go. "In any case, Reala came along then and interfered, SO we. . ."
GillWing calmly ignored her, happy to have food. Puffy always had food. GillWing liked Puffy.

The waters of Splash Garden were deep and clean, and sparkling blue as if infused with the essence of countless Blue Ideya. But Gulpo liked it anyway.
The enormous fish swam at a leisurely pace, happy to do nothing but swim in random directions.
Swimming dreams were rare, so Gulpo didn't meet up with many dreamers. That too, was how Gulpo liked it. Peace, solitude, and no sound save for the gentle roar of the water flowing over his gills.
In short, Gulpo was a boring fish with a tendency to do nothing for long periods of time. But tonight, something completely unexpected happened.

Gulpo was floating lazily as he normally did, allowing the sun to filter through the water, warming his scales and lulling him into a semi-conscious state. Gulpo was unaware of any others, since he was the only true fish and most Nightmaren and Nightopians were not strong swimmers. The Dreamer was similarly unaware of the enormous fish as he sank through the water. He was too focused on the drowning nightmare he was having. It wasn't until his breath gave out and his mind began to blur that he became aware of the blue nose he had settled on, or the giant, bulbous eyes glaring at him in a cross eyed fashion.
Gulpo couldn't imagine why a Dreamer had chosen to take a nap on his nose, but thinking wasn't the big fish's specialty anyway, so that hardly mattered. In matters like these, Gulpo simply allowed instinct to take over. He opened his jaws wide to gulp the Dreamer - only to find himself alone, the Dreamer having jolted awake as he realized that he was about to drown and be devoured all at once. This happened far more often than Gulpo would have cared to admit, even if he could have remembered back to the last Dreamer he'd seen. This was about as exciting as things got when you were a giant fish with the ability to generate an electrical current.

"Fly faster, you lazy clowns!" NiGHTS demanded as he watched the young Nightmaren fly laps around him. "Shar, quit paddling and suck your tongue in! I'm not telling you again!" He smirked in satisfaction as Shar hastily obeyed, fearful of the veiled threat.
NiGHTS had a reputation as a fair and honorable Nightmaren, but he was not above striking anyone who he decided deserved it. NiGHTS did not follow Wizeman's set of guidelines on how to manage trainees, but had developed his own methods of teaching.

Palis, a pink and white youngster cried out at a sudden searing pain along the delicate spine. NiGHTS landed beyond the unfortunate trainee, twirling easily into a battle stance. "I only nicked you, Palis. Do you think that it's funny when your classmates get in trouble? Should I let them laugh at your misfortune?" The purple instructor glared, displeased. Palis landed clumsily, hurting and afraid. "No, sir! I'm sorry, sir!" Palis shrieked at another smack. NiGHTS glared harder. "Have a little pride. You're a Nightmaren, not some whiny little Dreamer! If you're afraid of being hurt, then use that as motivation to do better!"
Palis straightened and nodded, then took flight again. NiGHTS smiled in satisfaction, not about to admit that he was very fond of that particular youngster and proud of Palis' progress so far. To admit that his students were meeting and exceeding his expectations might inspire them to become lazy and not try as hard.
"NiGHTS!" NiGHTS turned at his name and laughed delightedly as Reala flew over. "Reala!" He flew to meet his brother, but cried out and blinked in shock as he was batted out of the air, landing roughly on his back. He stared in dismay as Reala landed over him, glaring. "What have you done, NiGHTS?!"

The students knew better than to stay around when NiGHTS and Reala were together. The fact that they had not been dismissed hardly mattered, especially since NiGHTS had a tendency to forget whatever he was doing whenever Reala appeared. For some unfathomable reason, NiGHTS absolutely adored his uncharismatic, cold, and egotistical brother.

NiGHTS was pinned on his back, staring into Reala's icy blue, slitted eyes in shock and dismay. "R. . .Ree?! What's wrong?" NiGHTS blinked as Reala stepped aside only long enough to lift him by his collar. To Reala's annoyance, NiGHTS simply hung patiently in his grip, waiting for an answer. Reala hated it when his victims failed to struggle.
No, Reala quickly corrected himself. He was letting his predatory instincts get the better of him. NiGHTS was no victim, but an ally. And a family member.

Reluctantly, Reala set NiGHTS down, suffering another pang of disappointment as he realized that NiGHTS had known that he would, hence the lack of struggling. Why fight when you knew that it was not necessary?
Well, it was fun. Reala thought. He had always loved wrestling matches and tests of strength, any chance to prove that he was the strongest Nightmaren around.
Reala felt disappointment once again as he realized that NiGHTS lacked that aggressive streak. Some Nightmaren he was!

NiGHTS rubbed his collar thoughtfully. "What's bothering you, Ree? What do you think I did?"
Reala couldn't bear to face a perfectly fair question like that and growled, hoping to awaken some of the fighter in NiGHTS.
NiGHTS had been perfectly active and aggressive a moment ago while handling the trainees! Why did he refuse to turn that temper loose on anyone else? NiGHTS was still waiting patiently or an answer, even as Reala was becoming too enraged to think clearly.

Reala sighed, deciding that he could simply beat NiGHTS in order to settle his own irritation and confusion, and worry about visions and traitors later. Despite Wizeman's prophecy, NiGHTS still didn't seem like a traitor to Reala. Even after his vision. Reala blinked as NiGHTS lowered his tone, asking in a gentle voice, "You had a vision too?"
Reala jumped. "How did you. . .?! Nevermind. Just tell me if it's true!"
NiGHTS blinked in confusion, thinking back to his own vision. "Um. . . if what's true? Mine was just some cloudy, cotton candy stuff and you were being grumpy." He squeaked as Reala caught him by the collar again.
Reala snarled into NiGHTS' face. "You insufferable, oblivious fool! How dare you call me grumpy?!" NiGHTS winced as he was shaken. "Relax, it was just a vision! Not the real you! Anyway, you do get grumpy and irritable a lot. . . well, you do!" He protested as Reala glared fiercely.

Reala shook NiGHTS harder. "You idiot NiGHTS! Do you think that I act that way for no reason?! You don't even know!" He stopped as he caught himself saying too much. He had been about to reveal the prophecy to NiGHTS! NiGHTS looked appropriately startled, giving Reala an idea. Maybe that was the way to get through to the fun loving NiGHTS. . .
"NiGHTS, Wizeman isn't only worried about how you act. This is something bigger than anything we've ever encountered before. Can you handle it if I tell you?" Reala gazed into his brother's amethyst eyes, which were currently wide and filled with emotion. "R. . .Reala. . ." NiGHTS winced as his voice broke a little. Reala noted that. "What?"
NiGHTS closed his eyes, smiling in a silly fashion. "Be gentle." He grunted, then giggled when Reala threw him to the ground in disgust and humiliation.

Reala didn't know what was worse - being thought of as a cold, irritable jerk, or being flirted with by NiGHTS. He was silent for several minutes before he covered up his confusion with his usual attitude. "WILL YOU SHUT UP?!!!"
NiGHTS smirked, well accustomed to Reala's temper and unaware of the pain it masked. "It was just a joke, Ree. Relax!"
Reala growled. "Well, this isn't. Wizeman isn't worried about your weird habits, NiGHTS. He's looked into your future and seen what kind of 'Maren you really are!"

NiGHTS instantly forgot what he had been about to say, shocked into muteness for several long moments much to Reala's satisfaction. When NiGHTS finally managed to speak, it was a weak, pained and fearful squeak. "W. . . what?!"
The purple Nightmaren was for once caught without a witty retort, numbed to his core by the seriousness of what he had just been told.

To Be Continued. . .


Last edited by SiLK on Mon May 24, 2010 11:11 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Betrayal (Mild violence and blood warning)

Post  SiLK on Mon May 24, 2010 10:45 am

NiGHTS was silent for a long time, his mouth working as his brain tried desperately to process what he had just been told. "W. . . what kind of 'Maren I am?" The purple Nightmaren turned worriedly to his brother, eyes pleading with Reala to say that he had made this up.
Reala saw the look in his brother's eyes, and knew what NiGHTS wanted so desperately to hear. He sighed, frustrated with his inability to reassure NiGHTS. Reala shook his head and turned to study the underside of the castle base.
NiGHTS' face fell and he gave his own head a gentle shake, not believing what he was hearing. "B. . . but I haven't done anything . . . have I?" NiGHTS frowned, trying to think of what he could have said or done to make anyone, especially the two entities who knew him better than anyone, think that he was a traitor. Reala might leap to conclusions, but Wizeman had created NiGHTS. The omnipotent being surely knew NiGHTS inside and out. Could he see something about NiGHTS that even NiGHTS himself was unaware of? It was a frightening thought.
"Tell me what Wizeman said. . ." NiGHTS requested in a soft, scared tone.

Despite himself, Reala found himself feeling sorry for NiGHTS. After all, this wasn't his fault. Reala would have done anything at that moment to take back everything that he had said. He had known that this accusation would crush NiGHTS, and he had still gone and said. Some brother he was! "NiGHTS. . ." Reala reached out to lay a hand on his shoulder, then hesitated and jerked his hand back. Reala sighed in frustration, suddenly furious with NiGHTS for being the cause of his own unhappiness. It didn't matter that NiGHTS was trying his best and hadn't actually done anything wrong, this was still happening!
Reala snarled and stamped a foot, turning to snarl his frustration at NiGHTS. He stopped at the pitiful figure in front of him. All of the fight had gone out of NiGHTS, and even his eyes seemed to have taken on a dull, lifeless shade. Reala felt the anger draining out of him despite his desperate attempts to hold onto it. He needed that anger in order to confront NiGHTS. Without it, Reala feared that he wouldn't be strong enough to say what had to be said.

NiGHTS watched a series of emotions flash through Reala's eyes. Pity, sorrow. fear, pain, anger, and finally guilt. It hurt NiGHTS to know that he was the cause of those unpleasant emotions::
Reala let his breath out in a long sigh, deciding to just spit his words out before he lost the nerve completely. What was it about NiGHTS that disarmed him so easily? "Master Wizeman said that you were different." Reala admitted. "Different in a way that might lead to . . . to you. . . " He winced as his voice cracked, trying desperately to become angry again.
NiGHTS bowed his head. He knew what Reala was going to say, and it hurt him to think it. Reala's words were still sinking in, causing pain and anger the more NiGHTS thought about it. "No way. . ." NiGHTS spoke in a soft tone. He looked at Reala, and the red, pale blue, and black Nightmaren backed away at the sudden fury in NiGHTS' eyes. NiGHTS was suddenly the heartless drill instructor that he had been just a short while ago. "Well, it's not true! I love Master Wizeman as much as you, Reala. As much as any of us! Nothing will ever change that!"

NiGHTS bared his fangs in a sinister grin. "Wait, I get it now . . . you're out for rank! You're trying to eliminate me so that you can be Master Wizeman's favorite!"
Reala winced at the crazed, desperate laughter issuing from NiGHTS. "NiGHTS, stop that!"
NiGHTS stopped, and smiled more like his usual self, patting Reala on the shoulder. "You had me going there, too. Nice try, Ree." NiGHTS beamed and took flight. "I have to get back to those trainees. Why don't you try that on Jackle? He's usually pretty gullible."
Reala watched as NiGHTS flew off, clenching his yellow claws into fists. "You idiot, NiGHTS . . . if you keep this up, you'll only cause more trouble for all of us."
Reluctantly, Reala left as well. He had to get out and fly in order to sort his thoughts out.

A pair of deceptively innocent blue eyes watched as the brothers went their separate ways. A small grin materialized and grew until it threatened to engulf what there was of the Nightmaren's face.
Jackle chuckled. "So that's it . . . Wait'll the others hear about this! A defective Nightmaren! Oh, that's priceless!" The cloaked Nightmaren dislodged himself from the craggy castle bottom where he'd been spying and flew to find Puffy. This news was too big to keep to himself! besides, Jack and Jill were being huffy and not talking to him.

NiGHTS decided not to retrieve his students, but flew instead toward an expanse of green that had appeared on the horizon some time ago. It hadn't seemed important enough to warrant investigation, and over time the Nightmaren had simply accepted it as a tacky eyesore on the horizon.
Now seemed as good a time as any to check it out, and NiGHTS could use the distraction. Besides, he had always been naturally curious beneath his sinister exterior.
The grassy plain burst into bloom beneath NiGHTS as he entered the dream. He recognized it now as a creation of the strange beings known only as Dreamers.
NiGHTS landed and looked around, failing to notice the small sapling that was crushed under his heel. He did however notice the other young trees sprouting and being carefully nurtured by the fairy-like natives of Nightopia. Nightopians, NiGHTS mused. He walked over to a pair that were happily raking and watering around a young tree.
The Nightopians looked up with a startled squeak, then seemed to forget that NiGHTS had not been there a moment ago, and resumed their work.
NiGHTS frowned at the stupid creatures. "That's pointless, you worthless litte things. This dream will only fall to ruin like all the others. Why bother taking care of something that won't last?" NiGHTS smiled, drawing himself up. "Now Nightmaren, we are forever. We don't age, we don't sicken, we don't die. Wizeman made us that way."

NiGHTS blinked, suddenly realizing that he was talking to two animals that weren't paying any attention to him anyway. Disgusted, the purple Nightmaren turned away. "It'll all fall apart eventually. And you little idiots will never even remember that it wasn't always that way."
NiGHTS closed his eyes, imagining the empty wasteland that this dream might become. He thought of another as yet nameless dream, a desert of sand and metal spires. A canyon of sorts. It had once been a roaring river flowing past green banks lined with ferns and tall, stately fir trees.
Time had changed all of that, of course. Dreamers faded and their dreams did likewise. Nothing ever lasted. Like NiGHTS. Even his existance was beginning to change and fall apart. If he lost Wizeman's praise, would he also fade? When all was said and done, what was the real difference between a Nightmaren and the Dreamers? or even NiGHTS and the Nightopians?
NiGHTS was shocked to feel a pain deep inside at the thought of this new dream falling to ruin. He looked around in alarm, seeing only trees and Nightopians. Pain quickly turned to anger.
Glaring at himself for being so sentimental, NiGHTS turned to go. "Enjoy your stupid little twigs while they last, you ridiculous animals." He took flight, heading home.

NiGHTS headed straight for his lair and sealed himself inside; he needed to think.
Flopping bonelessly into his seat, the purple Nightmaren lifted a finely formed hand for inspection. His hands were clean, with fine, shapely fingers and not a blemish in sight. The hands of someone who had had an easy life, sending others to work for him and enjoying all the luxuries that his lifestyle had to offer. NiGHTS and Reala were Wizeman's prize creations, even if it was only their physical bodies that had actually been created. Fancy shells made to house sparks of nightmarish energy. NiGHTS owed Wizeman so much. If not his existance, then at least his comfort and power. "I could never betray Wizeman . . . could I?"
The concept troubled NiGHTS. He sat in silence for the rest of the night and much of the morning before finally drifting into a troubled sleep.
In his own lair, Reala was also awake. He lifted a flame from its torchstand, observing as it glowed an eerie green. "NiGHTS . . . don't disappoint me." His claws tightened, smothering the flame as Reala closed his eyes, trying to trust that NiGHTS would do the right thing.


". . . And then NiGHTS just flipped out, I mean the guy completely went insane!" Jackle laughed. Puffy sighed, wondering if this was what humans called 'the pot calling the kettle black.' She was sitting restlessly amidst several satin cushions while Jackle sat at a banquet table, happily reciting all that he'd heard. "Oh, it was great! You should have seen it!"
Puffy folded her arms. "That does not sound like NiGHTS. . ." Jackle held his floating hands out in a shrugging gesture. "Like I said, he went nutty! But I always figured NiGHTS had something wrong with him, I mean think about it!"
Puffy thought about it. She decided to keep her thoughts on who was crazy and who wasn't to herself.
Jackle clapped. "I bet NiGHTS is going to get in trouble, I sure hope I see it!" Puffy sighed. "Jackle, surely you must have better things to DO with your time . . . what about talking to those toys in your lair, Jaque and Bill?" Jackle twitched. "It's Jack and Jill and don't you forget it!!!" Puffy's eyes widened in surprise as Jackle tensed, practically frothing at the mouth. She decided to change the subject before he could work himself into a state and mess up her lair. "So what of Reala then?"
Jackle quickly resumed his calm, happy chatter. "Oh, him? I dunno, I guess he went somewhere to sulk. Reala's okay though aside from spending too much time with NiGHTS. . ."
Puffy leaned back on her cushions, this was becoming tiresome. "And did NiGHTS fly off?" Jackle shrugged. "Dunno, maybe." He jumped into the air, suddenly excited. "OOH! Maybe he ran away from home! Won't THAT get him busted!!!" Puffy sighed, trying to think of a good way to get Jackle out of her lair without beating the glitter out of him. Jackle chattered on about betrayals and lunacy, happily oblivious.

It was at that moment that Reala entered. "Puffy. I need. . ." He stopped at the sight of Jackle's grinning face. "Jackle. . ." Jackle waved cheerfully at his name.
Eager to stop any brawling before it happened in her lair, Puffy bounced forward. "Reala! Jackle and I were just er . . . discussing poliTIcs!" That was kind of true, even though Nightmaren didn't really believe in the concept. Wizeman ruled and everyone else just kind of was.
Reala frowned at Jackle. "I see . . . in any case, I need to speak to you." Reala sighed as he found Jackle looming anxiously over him. "To Puffy only." Jackle wilted, disappointed.
Reala turned to Puffy, then paused. "Jackle. . ." Jackle grumbled, floating for the door. He casually reached to tug at his left glove as he went. Reala glared. "If you even consider spying on me, I will personally confiscate your mantle and give it to Clawz for a scratching post cover!"
Jackle's eyes opened and he quickly hugged the garment close, hurrying out.

The night eventually gave way to a rosy dawn. A figure perched on the castle roof recoiled. NiGHTS hissed dramatically, pretending to raise a cape over his face. "Foul bringer of wakeness!"
The purple Nightmaren rose to his feet, growling as if he could argue against the coming of a new day. "That was So not a full night, not fair! It's no-augh!" A beam of sunlight temporarily blinded NiGHTS, forcing him to cover his face. He tumbled off of his spire onto a lower section of roof. "Augh, that was a cheap trick!"
NiGHTS shielded his eyes as he rose again. "Okay sun, you caught me in a bad mood!" The sunlight played gently across the castle, heedless of the Nightmaren's words. Annoyed, NiGHTS hissed again. "I defy you, sun!" He sighed as he recieved no response. "Look at me, arguing with a ball of fire. . ."
NiGHTS took flight as the area begin to brighten. "Ha! I won't be chased indoors that easily, I am the great NiGHTS!" He turned to Drilldash toward the sun, wincing and falling a few feet before shooting into the shade of a spire. "Darn bright sun and hurting eyes. . ."
NiGHTS stood again, grumbling. "I WILL beat the sun!" He clenched his fists. "I haven't melted or turned to stone or dust, that's good. I guess sunlight just hurts. . ."
NiGHTS blinked, squinting at the hazy shapes around him. Nightmaren eyes were designed for the blackness of night and rarely were Nightmaren exposed to bright lights. NiGHTS squinted harder as his pupils strained to contract, becoming tight slits. He blinked as things became slightly easier to make out, aside from the pain part.
NiGHTS blinked again. "Huh?" He looked around, noting the roof's grey and silver slate and metal. It wasn't black at all then. How had he never noticed? NiGHTS lifted his head to scan his surroundings, closing his eyes almost instantly at the brilliance and searing pain in his eyes. He fell to his knees with a shout.
NiGHTS covered his eyes with a hand, crawling to the edge of the roof by touch. He dangled his legs over the edge then dropped, squeezing his eyes shut and spreading his arms to slow his descent. Even so, it was a hard landing.
Dazed and blinded, NiGHTS staggered along the castle wall until he'd found the entrance, then hurried inside. He flattened himself against the inside of the door. "You may have won this battle, cursed sun . . . but not the war!" That said, NiGHTS fell over, rubbing at his aching eyes.

Day passed and night returned. NiGHTS hid in his lair, waiting patiently. No ball of fire was going to defeat him.
Reala stopped by at one point. "NiGHTS, don't hide in your lair. What will Master Wizeman think? Come out." NiGHTS whirled and snarled. "No! I have to wait to beat the sun!"
Reala blinked several times in surprise before moving on, apparently eager to get away from this insanity.
NiGHTS waited, curled in his seat. He had actually been able to see the morning before. In daylight, something that no Nightmaren had ever claimed to be able to do. The thought that he could move about during the day as well as during the night was irresistable to NiGHTS.
Besides, that cocky sun had to be taught a lesson and NiGHTS was the only 'Maren capable of doing it.
Reala sighed as he returned to his lair, just as the horizon began to change from black to deep blue. Now was the time for all good Nightmaren to go to sleep. . .
"COCK A DOODLE DOOOOOOOOO!!!"
Reala stumbled at the shrill cry. "NiGHTS!" He covered his face. "Not again. . ."

NiGHTS stood tall, his blue violet eyes flashing with dedication as he watched the horizon change. "So, my worthy adversary. We meet again. . ." He grinned, revealing a gleaming fang.
The first amethyst glow of morning began to show itself, and NiGHTS blinked. "Trying to butter me up with a tribute, eh? That's my color, but I will not go easy on you!"
A pink light rose, spilling golden orange sunrays across the land. NiGHTS hissed, puffing his chest out. "Do your worst, vile sunlight!"
NiGHTS watched the colors change. The purple, pink, and orange soon gave way to brilliant white and yellow. NiGHTS' pupils contracted painfully, forcing him to blink.
He resisted the urge to rub at his offended orbs. "T . . . that won't . . .. work. . ..!" He winced.
As the area brightened, NiGHTS squinted, finding it hard to see. His violet eyes darkened somewhat against the glare, relieving some of the pain. NiGHTS shielded his eyes with a hand, choosing to look across the landscape rather than straight at the sun. "I won't go down so easily this time. . ."
Dead, twisted shapes seemed to rise into view. They might once have been trees but looked burnt and tortured now. NiGHTS blinked, was this what Nightmare really looked like? Wizeman must have designed it to be intimidating for Dreamers. But NiGHTS was no Dreamer. He cocked his head, taking an interest in this latest discovery. Could a Nightmaren fly in the light? He felt an urge to go explore those trees.

NiGHTS smirked. "What an adventure this could be, and no one'll ever believe me!" Forgetting the battle against the sun completely, NiGHTS threw himself off the roof and swooped toward those blackened trunks. "Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"
Something out of the corner of his eye made NiGHTS pull up in shock. Something was following him, something sparkly and blue! No, wait. NiGHTS lifted a hand, admiring the tiny blue sparkles that fell from his fingertips. It was only his startrail, the shimmering energy that he left in his wake when he flew. It was pale blue then. NiGHTS hadn't expected to discover anything about himself.
NiGHTS grinned. "Oooh!" He flew a few tight circles in order to admire his startrail, playing. Heedless of the purple lunatic chasing his own tail, the sun rose higher, illuminating the full area. NiGHTS halted as his eyes began to ache again, landing quickly. "Ow! I wonder if I can build up an immunity to this . . . it's a pain when I want to investigate stuff!"
NiGHTS squinted, watching the landscape change subtly. "How many surprises are out here? What kind of stuff can only be seen during daylight? I bet if I could fly by day, Wizeman'd see that I'm as good as the others . . . no, BETTER than the others!" NiGHTS laughed at the thought. "I'll show them!"

NiGHTS was so involved in his own ego and plotting that he failed to notice when his purple costume paled to a pale fuschia. It wasn't until a little later that an unpleasant sensation came over him. NiGHTS' eyes widened in dismay as he began to ache and itch all over, every movement became irritating. "Gah!" NiGHTS froze, trying to hold perfectly still. Were Nightmaren allergic to the sun?! He felt like his body was shrinking around him, what was happening?
NiGHTS groaned, feeling sick. He scrambled toward the nearest tree, seeking any form of darkness. The tree offered only a faint shadow, but it was all he had. Every movement, every breath brought more discomfort and pain. NiGHTS collapsed, which made it all worse for several moments. So this was it, this was why Nightmaren only flew by night. The sun was some kind of horrible poison to Nightmaren, and NiGHTS was its victim.
NiGHTS had never experienced extreme pain or itching before, he was convinced that it was a sign that he was dying. "But . . . Nightmaren don't die. . ." He winced. Was that true? Maybe only the sun could kill a 'Maren. NiGHTS closed his eyes, waiting to find out what would happen next.
The darkness finally came to rescue NiGHTS, in the form of unconsciousness.

To Be Continued. . .

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Re: Betrayal (Mild violence and blood warning)

Post  SiLK on Mon May 24, 2010 10:45 am

It was very still. Very quiet. Very tight and confining.
Was this what it felt like to be dead? NiGHTS knew that he was not dreaming, because Nightmaren cannot dream. This was genuine, then.
NiGHTS was dead, victim of the sun's relentless beams. There would be a great uprising in Nightmare.
NiGHTS sighed. Of course, the uprising would be mainly to decide who would take his place.

NiGHTS became aware of vague, hissed vocalizations. Ah, yes. The humans had some sort of spirit guides, didn't they? Winged beings that took the dead either up to a bunch of puffy clouds, or down to a lot of fire and 'Maren-like beings. NiGHTS personally found the latter slightly more attractive. At least he wouldn't be the odd one out.
"There!" A harsh voice rang out. NiGHTS waited patiently. If the humans were correct, he would soon have new Nightmaren to meet.
"Looks like the idiot got himself knocked senseless. Help me grab ahold."
The demons of human legend sure sounded a lot like Reala . . . . NiGHTS waited to see what would happen next.
"Is he supposed to be that color?" A new voice inquired. The Reala demon made a disgusted sound. "What was he thinking, heading out in broad daylight? Oh for Wizeman's sake, touching him won't hurt you! Now come on! Oh forget it, I'll take him myself."
NiGHTS abruptly felt himself floating - no, no he was definitely falling. Now he was being draped over . . . oooh, the itching was back! NiGHTS' eyes flew open in shock and discomfort. "I'm . . . . not dead?!!"
Reala glared at the 'Maren currently draped over his shoulder. "What was your first clue?"

NiGHTS whimpered as each step Reala took caused his entire body to itch and ache. Reala must have noticed, because he halted to study his sunburned brother.
NiGHTS studied the horizon, trying to distract himself. The clouds were a lovely pink shade, slowly changing purple, then blue. "The sun. . ." NiGHTS sighed, thinking of a wasted day. And if he slept all night, the other Nightmaren would think there was something wrong with him.
Reala smirked. "The sun is what did this to you. What were you thinking, getting yourself stuck out here? Were you flying away or something?"
NiGHTS gasped, then again as it caused his body to hurt. "N. . . no. . .!!!" He groaned.
Reala signalled to the two Nightmaren with him, a red and white Nightmaren and the larger caped Jackle.
Jackle huffed at the signal, moving closer to shade the smaller Nightmaren. "He's a mess, let's just leave him." Reala glared. "The Master wants him, so we're bringing him back!"
Reala had the satisfaction of seeing Jackle grimace, giving in. NiGHTS sighed. "Just because Wizeman says so, huh. . .?"
Reala blinked in surprise at the question. "Not just . . . oh, what does it matter? Would you rather we left you here?" NiGHTS grumbled. "No, right now I want to be locked in the darkest place you can find and not even hear about the sun for another hundred years!"
As Jackle moved slightly, NiGHTS snarled. "Hold still, Jackle! I'm in no mood for this!"
Reala smirked. "Now you're sounding like a Nightmaren." NiGHTS glared back. "Feh, and what else would I sound like? A Nightopian?!"
Reala chuckled as he lifted NiGHTS again. "Well, you are partly pink. . ." NiGHTS whimpered as he was carried home. "Sh. . . shut up, Ree. . ."

It seemed like an eternity before they reached the unstable structure that some dreamers called a castle. To others it was a vast, roiling stormcloud. Nightmare had no set form, it simply was.
Reala was in a good mood for once, teasing NiGHTS mercilessly as they entered. "So should we rename you Pinky? Hmm . . . PiNKS!" NiGHTS snarled and aimed a fist, missing badly and growling at the resulting pain and itchiness. Reala laughed.
Jackle followed silently. He hadn't been told to return to his lair, and so stayed close to Reala, as he had been ordered to do. The large Nightmaren grinned at Reala's teasing, cackling shrilly in time with the smaller Nightmaren's laughing. Reala stopped and scowled. "Jackle, be quiet!"
Jackle quieted, making a disgusted face. The largely invisible Nightmaren made a mental note to finish that cackle later.
NiGHTS kept growling as Reala carried him. Reala finally reached NiGHTS' lair and dumped him on his seat. "Oh shut up! You sound like one of those pathetic little Dreamers that are always bothering us!"
NiGHTS was too busy snarling at the intense discomfort of his landing to answer.
Reala watched with some amusement before deciding that taking advantage of NiGHTS was getting old. He turned and flew off, leaving NiGHTS alone.
NiGHTS closed his eyes, partly in pain and discomfort, and partly in relief as the doors closed and pitch blackness enveloped him. Darkness was a Nightmaren's friend.
The darkness was the unknown. The unknown held infinite possibilities. Everything was born from the darkness. The world itself rested within a void of darkness.
NiGHTS felt the cool stone beneath him soothing his sunburn somewhat, and allowed himself to drift back into unconsciousness.

Nightmaren do not dream. The capability might have been there if not for the fact that the very traits that made a Nightmaren successful, also impeded the imagination. Claws designed to inflict pain could never paint a portrait. Likewise, minds programmed to be merciless and cunning lacked the imagination needed to dream, or even understand a dream's purpose.
No, Nightmaren do not dream. Nevertheless, NiGHTS imagined.
He envisioned a vast, rolling dreamscape spreading out beneath him. A new adventure about to enfold.

To Be Continued. . .

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Re: Betrayal (Mild violence and blood warning)

Post  SiLK on Mon May 24, 2010 10:46 am

NiGHTS was no longer hurting. His irritated hide was soothed enough by the cool stone so long as he remained motionless. The Nightmaren knew that the moon would be high in the sky by now, but he had already been out all day, and was now in no condition to rise. Nothing could possibly have enticed NiGHTS out of his lair.
*NiGHTS!*
NiGHTS flinched, causing a fresh round of itching. Nothing but Wizeman's orders, anyway. But the thought of rising before the itching had subsided was the last thing that NiGHTS wanted. He half entertained the thought of pretending not to have heard the summons. *NiGHTS!*
NiGHTS was airborne and snarling miserably at the itch in a heartbeat. Breeding, instinct, and training had combined to become an irresistable force, and NiGHTS was flying for Wizeman's chamber before he even realized it.

Wizeman waited patiently. His chamber was actually a separate dimension that was linked to the rest of the castle, and from there to Nightopia. It was done seamlessly, giving the impression that Wizeman and the realm known as Nightmare had always existed in that particular place.
NiGHTS was coming, Wizeman knew. He also knew that the purple Nightmaren was in extreme discomfort. That he was still driving himself to obey Wizeman's summons was a testament to the time and effort that Wizeman had put into each and every Nightmaren.
Wizeman waited contentedly as he sensed NiGHTS approaching at great speed. Closer and closer . . . His six eyes blinked as NiGHTS came barrelling in. "ITITCHESITITCHESOHMASTERITITCHES!!!!!!"
NiGHTS squeaked as a massive hand snatched him out of the air and pulled him into a ring of eyes, each set in the center of one of Wizeman's hands. Wizeman observed the Nightmaren, who was now twitching despite himself as his sunburn was irritated.
Wizeman released him in disgust. *You were outside of the castle during the daytime.* He noted. NiGHTS landed miserably. "Yes, Master. . ."
Wizeman pressed a fingertip under the Nightmaren's head, forcing NiGHTS to look up at him. *Why?*
NiGHTS blinked, wouldn't Wizeman already know the reason? Or was this a test, to see if he would lie? NiGHTS shuddered at the thought of telling the truth, that he had declared war on the sun. He winced as Wizeman tightened the circle of hands warningly. *Why, NiGHTS?* NiGHTS tensed and straightened, at attention despite his itching. "I was exploring, Master!"
That was true, wasn't it? It wasn't his original reason for staying out, but that was why NiGHTS had stayed out. Wizeman seemed to accept that answer, relaxing a little. *And what did you discover?* He spoke in the tone of a parent, humoring a small child.
NiGHTS considered, feeling a little excitement seep into his voice. "Everything looks different when the light touched, Master. It looks like a different place! Not like the places where the dreams are, but like nothing I've seen before. . ." NiGHTS caught himself rambling and quieted, embarrassed.
Wizeman considered. *But you stayed out too long, NiGHTS. The light has harmed you.* NiGHTS winced at the gentle scolding. "Yes Master, but. . ." *You will not repeat this folly, NiGHTS.*
NiGHTS was silent at that. No more sun wars or exploring? He had to stick to the same schedule as the other Nightmaren, seeing only what he had already seen a thousand times over? That fate seemed terribly cruel to NiGHTS. He looked up pleadingly. "But Master. . .!"
Wizeman's eyes darkened. *You will obey me, NiGHTS!* NiGHTS tensed, dropping into a kneeling position despite part of him screaming to stand up for what he wanted. The possibility of standing up to Wizeman was unthinkable and blasphemous. NiGHTS truly had no choice in the matter. "I will obey you, Master Wizeman. . ."
Wizeman radiated pleasure, rewarding NiGHTS in his own manner before extending a hand in a farewell gesture. *Very good, NiGHTS*


"Crush your head!" A pair of gloved fingers came together before releasing. "I crush your head!" Again, the fingers pinched air.
The fingers belonged to a yellow and orange glove, which in turn belonged to a floating cuff. That cuff belonged to a massive flaired mantle. The mantle belonged to a red collar and a horned helm. And withing that helm floated a set of unfocused blue eyes, and a freakish Cheshire Cat grin.
A pair of booted feet swung playfully beneath the mantle as Jackle watched his brother Nightmaren go about their business. At least, he watched until one came into range. And then . . . "Crushed your head, Clawz!"
Clawz, a monstrous blue cat with razor-like wings sprouting from his shoulders and a love of pyrotechnics, looked over in disgust. He simply hissed a warning and continued on his way.
Jackle positioned his hands as if he had folded his nonexistant arms. "Sourpuss. . ."
A loud BOiNG! announced Puffy's arrival. Jackle turned excitedly to see the rapidly approaching operatic Nightmaren. "Puffy! I crush your . . . GYAHPUFFY'SGONNACRUSHME!!!"
All activity paused for a moment as a deflated squeak followed by a loud, strangled gurgle was heard.

Puffy sat for a moment, smirking contentedly before bouncing off of the slightly wrinkled mantle underneath her.
The mantle drifted into the air as if propelled by a nonexistant breeze before popping back into shape. Jackle's head, hands, and feet came back into place as the cloaked Nightmaren clenched his fists. "That wasn't very nice, Puff!"
Puffy shrugged good naturedly. "That is why I did it! Pretending to pinch heads isn't very nice either. . ." Jackle shrugged back. "It's fun." He grinned, lifting his hand and making a pinching gesture. "Crushed your head, Puffy!"
Puffy bounced back onto Jackle. "Crrushed YOU, Jackle. . ." She rolled the 'R' slightly. Jackle let out a pained squeak in response.


NiGHTS drifted forlornly back toward his lair. No more challenging the sun. No more adventure. No more satisfying his curiosity. No more fun. . . "It's not fair!" NiGHTS complained, slamming a fist into a convenient wall. The wall gave a startled yelp before it whimpered like a beaten dog. NiGHTS sulked. "Sorry GillWing. . ." He continued along.
The eel-like dragon known as GillWing watched for a moment. NiGHTS was sad. GillWing had long since taken a liking to his purple sibling, and so chose not to leave NiGHTS to face whatever was troubling him alone.
NiGHTS was distracted from his sulking by a menacing shadow falling over him. He halted, narrowing his eyes suspiciously. GillWing halted as well, watching NiGHTS quietly.
When NiGHTS turned around, GillWing launched himself, swooping over NiGHTS to land on his other side. NiGHTS scowled at the empty corridor behind him. No stalker there. . .
NiGHTS turned back, blinking at a soft whoosh as GillWing leapt him again. "hm, there's a draft in here. . ."
Continuing on, NiGHTS quickly realized that the shadow was back, dwarfing him in darkness. He halted again, doubly suspicious now.
GillWing observed contentedly as NiGHTS seemed to be waiting for something. This was a fun game, the dragon decided. GillWing was caught unaware when NiGHTS abruptly bent over, pulling his head between his legs to scowl up at GillWing. "GillWing, you're following me! AND upside-down!"
GillWing blinked down at NiGHTS. Even he knew that that was just plain silly.

NiGHTS rolled his eyes. "No, GillWing. Don't follow me! I'd rather be alone. . ." He scratched irritably as his irritated hide chose to remind him of his condition. GillWing whimpered sympathetically, opening his mouth to present NiGHTS with a sloppy slurp. NiGHTS cried out at the resulting itching. "FORTHELOVEOFWIZEMANNO!!!"
GillWing jerked back in surprise, not understanding the problem. NiGHTS whimpered, now thoroughly uncomfortable once again. "Don't touch me!"
GillWing flopped limply with a broken hearted groan. NiGHTS covered his face. "It hurts, stupid. . ."
GillWing cocked his head thoughtfully. His good friend NiGHTS was hurting? Then he, GillWing would help!
NiGHTS scowled, then gasped as GillWing opened his mouth to bugle a happy note. NiGHTS' eyes bugged out as the dragon descended on him. "Wha?! GillWing, don't! I said don't! Do-GYAH!!!!!"
All went dark for NiGHTS as GillWing's jaws snapped shut.

GillWing flapped along happily, worming his way into a small portal that spat him out into NiGHTS' lair. GillWing then spat NiGHTS out.
NiGHTS coughed, twitching painfully. "Sometimes you make me hate you. . ."
GillWing ducked his head with another whimper.


To Be Continued. . .

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Re: Betrayal (Mild violence and blood warning)

Post  SiLK on Mon May 24, 2010 10:46 am

NiGHTS lay in his lair for the remainder of the night. When the sun came up, NiGHTS noted it dully in the back of his mind, but his war against the sun was at an end, courtesy of Wizeman.
At least the itching was beginning to subside, though. NiGHTS never wanted to experience that sensation again.
GillWing was loosely curled around NiGHTS, his head hovering protectively back and forth over the smaller Nightmaren.
NiGHTS looked up at the enormous yellow green jaw passing back and forth overhead, finding it strangely soothing. GillWing's body was like a twisted crib, with his swaying head a sinister mobile. NiGHTS was lulled by it and found his eyes sliding closed once more.
GillWing unfurled a purple webbed wing, covering NiGHTS. The dragon grunted in satisfaction and rested his head, confident that NiGHTS was happy again. GillWing liked it when NiGHTS was happy.

It was some time later when GillWing's growl roused NiGHTS to full alertness. It was hard not to tense up with his "bed" rumbling like that. NiGHTS pushed himself up, then recognized the horned figure peering down at him, and calmly smacked GillWing in the neck, provoking a sheepish yelp. "It's Reala, idiot."
Reala stepped closer, folding his arms. "Am I interrupting something?" NiGHTS growled in response. "You're as annoying as GillWing! What do you want?" Reala placed a clawed hand over his chest, feigning hurt. "Your words wound me, NiGHTS!" Reala grinned, well aware that NiGHTS didn't mean a word of it. "Can't I check in on my poor ill sibling?"
NiGHTS looked away, grumpy. "Since when do you check in? Why are you really here, to rub it in again?" Reala blinked. "I've already done that, I prefer not to repeat myself. None of the others can keep up with me like you can, NiGHTS. I eagerly await your full recovery."
NiGHTS blinked, was Reala being . . . nice? There was a first time for everything, he supposed.
NiGHTS sighed. "Keep up with you? Ree, I leave you in the dust! Are you so impatient to be left behind?" Reala grinned. "That sounds more like the NiGHTS I know! And if you're so cocky, just get better and prove it!"
NiGHTS pushed himself up, wincing. He wobbled from the discomfort and would have fallen if not for Reala grabbing ahold of him. Reala smirked. "Aren't you getting a little ahead of yourself? Never get yourself involved in anything that you can't handle! I'll just have to teach you a lesson!"
NiGHTS' eyes widened as he saw the fist approaching. "No! NO! Not that! No, Ree!!!"
Reala happily ground his fist into NiGHTS' head. "NoogieNoogieNoogie!!"

NiGHTS jerked upright in alarm. He narrowed his eyes as the faint hollars reached him. "No, Renee! Not the noogie!! Quit it, why are you always so mean?!!"
The Nightmaren groaned and rolled over. "Idiot dreamers and their corny excuses for nightmares. If not for US they'd never have anything worth remembering. . ."
GillWing rumbled in agreement. GillWing would agree with just about anything as long as NiGHTS or Reala said it. NiGHTS closed his eyes again. "That was weird though, can Nightmaren hallucinate?" GillWing nodded his head. NiGHTS scowled at the dragon's mindless agreement, sensing the motion as it rippled through GillWing's body.
The purple Nightmaren sighed sadly. "Stupid Dreamers . . . I really don't like them. . ." He flipped onto his back, glad for something to distract him from what remained of his sunburn. "Can't fly, can't control the elements here, can't even figure out where they are. . ." He smirked. "They're just one level above those stupid Nightopians. . ."
NiGHTS quieted, recalling the sapling trees and mindless Nightopians happily gardening there. Pointless. They'd just grow and die, and the sun would pass overhead, unchallenged.
"It's just not fair. . ." NiGHTS huffed disappointedly.

"NiGHTS!"
NiGHTS yelped as Reala let himself in. NiGHTS glared. "Oh sure, I'm decent, thanks for knocking!"
Reala smirked calmly. "You have never been decent, NiGHTS, and you never will be."
NiGHTS sighed. "You're one to talk, Ree. . ." Reala chuckled, siting down next to NiGHTS. "Perhaps, but that only explains how I am able to tolerate you." He smiled. NiGHTS was a little flustered by the expression, so out of place on Reala's icy face. He looked away to avoid reacting. "So why are you here?" He tried to sound as bored as possible, no hard feat considering how bored he actually was.
NiGHTS was an active Nightmaren, and being forced to recline like this was infuriatingly dull.
Reala refused to take offense, shrugging. "I felt like it." NiGHTS frowned at that, Reala never seemed to need any reason beyond that. Still, NiGHTS was secretly glad. Reala would listen to his frustrations and maybe even help. Indeed, the red and black horned Nightmaren seemed to be waiting for something.
NiGHTS sighed. "Wizeman says I have to stay inside, no exploring. . ."
Reala blinked, apparently expecting more. NiGHTS frowned. "That's dull, Ree! I know that it ended badly, but I was having so much fun out there. . ."
Reala made a rude noise out of the corner of his mouth. "You knew that Wizeman wouldn't like you shirking your duties to go chasing nonsense. You got what you deserved, NiGHTS. I'm glad that you're finally being restricted, it will keep you out of trouble."

NiGHTS winced, feeling a dull ache in his hide at the movement. "I'll suffocate like this!"
Reala made a face. "You're as bad as the Dreamers, NiGHTS. A little responsibility won't kill you." NiGHTS hissed. "Don't compare me to those brats! I'm nothing like them."
Reala chuckled, always amused to get a reaction out of his companion. "But you are. Didn't you ever notice? The ones that are aware are always exploring the realm, just like you did. You're more alike than you realize, NiGHTS. In the night, you're finding delight in behaving just like they do in their dreams. Just don't forget who you are, NiGHTS. The night that you leave us to be with THEM is the night that I lose all faith in you."
NiGHTS gaped, astonished by Reala's accusation. "R-Reala! Quit insulting me, I would rather fly INTO the sun than have anything to do with those poor, brainless brats!" He snarled at the thought. "I'm Wizeman's the same as you!"
Reala blinked at that. "Even though Wizeman won't let you explore?" He was testing, and NiGHTS knew it. NiGHTS dropped his gaze. "I . . . I don't have to like Wizeman's orders . . . I just have to obey. . ." he closed his eyes. "No matter what. . ."
NiGHTS jerked at a cool touch on his shoulder. Reala smiled, giving him a reassuring squeeze that managed to convey his sentiment without irritating NiGHTS' sunburn.
Reala nodded. "I'm glad to hear you say it, NiGHTS. I worry that you'll forget." He rose and flew for the door. "I'll leave you to recuperate then. Remember you owe me some competition, so you'd better recover quickly."

NiGHTS stared at the door long after Reala had passed through and closed it once more.
The purple Nightmaren patted GillWing's sleek hide gently. "I'll never forget. How could I?"

To Be Continued. . .

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Re: Betrayal (Mild violence and blood warning)

Post  SiLK on Mon May 24, 2010 10:46 am

GillWing yawned, sending hot breath wafting over NiGHTS. NiGHTS' eyes widened in dismay before he clamped his mouth tightly shut long enough to turn away from the stench. Although he lacked a nose, NiGHTS could scent perfectly well by means of the scent glands in his mouth. Much like a cat.
He waited until the sensitive roof of his mouth had stopped protesting before turning back to the winged eel. "GillWing, that was vile!"
GillWing seemed to grin at that, much to NiGHTS' displeasure. "I did NOT mean it as a compliment, you ugly oaf. . ." He smirked as GillWing instantly groaned and lowered his head.
NiGHTS resettled himself against GillWing's side, then sat up again. "Hey . . . I can move!" GillWing growled at that, earning a light slap from NiGHTS. "I meant, it doesn't hurt so much anymore, ya big oaf. I'm getting better!"
GillWing ignored NiGHTS. GillWing did not like being slapped and called an oaf. GillWing was NOT an oaf.
GillWing had no idea what an oaf was. . .


NiGHTS stood up and stretched experimentally, frowning at a faint stretching sensation. So he wasn't completely healed yet, but close enough. The vile sun would pay for his torment, he would rise to challenge it and - "Oh yeah. . ." NiGHTS sagged. "No more adventures. . ."
NiGHTS draped himself over GillWing's nose. "Aw, it's not fair, GillWing. Who's it going to hurt if I just have a little fun? Why'd Wizeman have to go and order me like that?" NiGHTS entertained a small idea of rebelling long enough to check out the dreamscapes then returning home before anyone noticed. But no, Wizeman ALWAYS noticed. And an order was an order. No Nightmaren could deny Wizeman's will. It just wasn't done.
NiGHTS flipped onto his backside as GillWing carefully observed the purple figure on his nose. "I just have to obey, I don't have to like it . . . which is fine, because I HATE it!"
Reala's words came back to him. "Just don't forget who you are, NiGHTS. The night that you leave us to be with THEM is the night that I lose all faith in you."
NiGHTS growled at the idea. "Stupid Reala, he KNOWS that I'm no traitor! He's just trying to get to me, as usual. . ." GillWing rumbled sympathetically, which only added to NiGHTS' displeasure. "I don't need your pity, so save it!"
NiGHTS pushed off and took to the air, revelling in the feeling of flight. It was only when he flew that NiGHTS felt truly free.

GillWing watched calmly, too large to join NiGHTS in flying through the small, dark room. When NiGHTS finally landed, he stretched.
"Ah, it's good to be able to move! See? That wasn't so bad. . ." He shrugged off the nagging reminder of just how badly he'd felt when Reala had carted him back home to Nightmare. Memories were useless, it was better to live in the here and now. A sharp pain shot down his backside, followed by a burning itch. NiGHTS hissed in surprise and dropped to the cool floor, holding himself imobile again.
Okay, so maybe it wouldn't hurt to remember that he still needed more time to recover. . .


"Reala." Wizeman intoned to the waiting Nightmaren. "I have issued an order to NiGHTS. He is not to leave."
"I know, Master." Reala nodded, then tensed as the general mood changed to one of displeasure. He had been too casual and thoughtless. The Nightmaren tugged at his collar as it seemed to tighten. "That is sir. . . NiGHTS said as much. . . I told him it's for the best!"
Abruptly the tension eased and Reala sighed to himself in relief.
Wizeman studied his creation. "Regardless, NiGHTS will consider disobeying my command." "Disobey!" Reala couldn't help himself, staring at Wizeman. No Nightmaren could disobey Wizeman, it simply was not done.
Wizeman allowed the outburst. "It is so. You Reala, will see to it that he does not." Reala blinked, sagging a bit at the responsibility being placed on him, just because he was the only Nightmaren who NiGHTS would listen to, if not the only one who wouldn't try to kill him.
He bowed. "Of course, Master." As the exit opened up, Reala excused himself with a sense of frustration. It really was not fair.
One his way back to his own lair to brood, Reala paused at another figure moving his way. He stiffened authoritatively. "Who goes there?"
The figure paused, lifting two slitted eyes to study him. "It's Dawn. . ." Reala blinked and looked around for some window to give a view of the horizon. He sighed as he realized his mistake. Dawn was the Nightmaren's name.
Reala growled, considering taking his frustrations out on the lanky Maren in front of him before thinking better of it. The answer came to him at the sound of a scuffle outside.

"You're beneath me, Irihi. Literally!" "You should watch where you're going, Doren. . ." There was a thud and a yelp, then a smug response. "Irihi did warn you, Dor. . ."
Reala flew past Dawn to the first set of windows, peering out. Doren, Irihi, and Palis, three of the younger Nightmaren were arguing. Reala smiled maliciously. NiGHTS had been neglecting his duties, and that included training the younglings. He slipped through the window and outside, landing.
"You there! Fighting amongst yourselves? Are you Nightmaren or animals?! Now ATTENTION!" Reala smirked as the three scrambled to obey, eyes wide in alarm. As ruthless as NiGHTS could be, he was downright loving compared to Reala.
Reala watched the youngsters smugly. "You've had it far too easy so far. I think that it's time for you to behave like proper Nightmaren." The younger Maren exchanged glances, unsure of what to expect.. They were fairly sure that they were about to miss NiGHTS badly.


Adrianna was abruptly conscious of the fact that she was in fact conscious. Something had interrupted her sleep. but what?
The teenager tried to push herself up, only to find herself trapped in a laying position. Instantly concerned, she tried harder to free herself to no avail.
A soft chuckle, almost comforting came from beside her, and Adrianna realized that she was not alone.
A finely boned human hand carressed her forehead. Adrianna tried to turn her head, expecting to find her mother there to help. Instead, she realized that the hand was floating in space.
Alarmed, Adrianna strained to see what was menacing her.
A rounded, noseless face with two large, cold violet eyes smirked down at her. "Hello."
Adrianna screamed, jerking upright. She was in bed, and she was alone.

NiGHTS chuckled again, then turned to watch as the dream faded away. "Well I suppose that was pretty good. Too easy though. Any of the trainees could have handled it, I'm meant for bigger and better nightmares!"
The purple Nightmaren was venting his frustrations on every dreamer he could locate. If he couldn't do what made him happy, then why should anyone else?
A shrill screech alerted NiGHTS to trouble, and he spun around to fly back toward the center of Nightmare. "That sounded like Palis!"

Reala snarled, chasing the younger Nightmaren. "Faster!" He slashed at Palis' heels, provoking another yelp before Palis sped away again. Reala grinned. With her pink and white horns and vest, Palis resembled NiGHTS a little too closely for his taste. Reala decided to focus on her for that reason. "You must learn to make full use of every resource. . . I will tolerate nothing less than perfection!"
"Reala!" Reala blinked, turning in surprise at the angry shout. NiGHTS flew low, glaring. "What do you mean by terrorizing MY trainees?! Brother or not, that's inexcusable!"
Palis pulled up, panting heavily and reaching to rub her sore feet. Doren tapped her and along with Irihi, the youngsters took their chance to retreat.
Reala blinked at the look in NiGHTS' eyes. He couldn't count on his sibling's feelings for him this time, he would have to actually put some effort into it.
Reala stretched, flexing his claws and smiling. "Ah, NiGHTS. How nice of you to show up. . . it's been. . . well, nights!" he chuckled at the pun. ". . . since these trainees have been put through their paces. . . "
NiGHTS rolled his eyes. "I haven't been well. . ." he reminded Reala sourly. Reala scowled. "No, indeed you have not. . . I don't think that I like this attitude that you're directing at me, NiGHTS. Must I correct you as well?"
NiGHTS grinned, he was going to get a fight! "Go on and try it, you interloping bully!" Reala grinned back and attacked.

NiGHTS dove to one side as Reala charged like a bull. He flew after his more muscular sibling, circling to let the glowing trail behind him fall into itself, creating a small but powerful vortex. The Paraloop.
Reala growled defiantly and darted higher to escape the pull, then charged again. NiGHTS flew to meet him, spinning quickly into a Drilldash. Reala did the same, and the two simply bounced away from each other with no harm done.
Reala laughed. "Did you forget NiGHTS? Everything that you can do . . . I can do as well!"
NiGHTS hissed in frustration, hovering . "Shut up and fight me!" he charged Reala. "I need to get this out of my system!"
Reala stared, easily catching NiGHTS by the arms as he came within reach. "Wait. This is all just a temper tantrum?"
He grimaced and flung NiGHTS away. "Pathetic. . ."
NiGHTS grunted as he flipped to a halt on the ground below. "Ow. . ." He scrambled onto his feet, then hissed as Reala landed directly in front of him, making any further acrobatics impossible.
Reala reached out to grab NiGHTS by the arms, frowning as his slender sibling squirmed defiantly. "Listen to me NiGHTS. . . NiGHTS!" NiGHTS brought his feet up to push at Reala, grimacing. "Let go!!"
Reala shook the fight out of NiGHTS and bared his fangs. "I said listen!" NiGHTS winced, going limp as his senses scrambled to reposition themselves again. Reala nodded. "That's better. . . you are behaving disgracefully, NiGHTS. Is this really how you want Master Wizeman to see you?" NiGHTS hung his head, standing quietly as Reala released him. "No. . ."
Reala studied NiGHTS' guilty posture. "He is always watching, you know. . ." NiGHTS sighed. "I know. . . but. . ." Reala sighed. "There are no 'buts', NiGHTS. We behave as the master wishes us to. No more, no less."

NiGHTS growled and launched himself. Reala blinked in surprise and flew after NiGHTS, realizing quickly that the purple Nightmaren was leading him away from Nightmare and Wizeman's all seeing eyes. Reala snarled. "NiGHTS! Your orders!"
NiGHTS pulled up sharply, hissing a curse and settling for a large rock just before the outskirts of Nightmare. Reala accepted the compromise, landing next to him. "I'm listening. . ."
NiGHTS turned to look longingly toward Nightopia and its hidden mysteries. "Aren't you ever curious, Reala?"
Reala shrugged in response. "No, why should I be? We're told everything that we need to know." NiGHTS frowned. "What we 'need to know' isn't very much. . ."
Reala folded his arms disapprovingly. "You will accept what Wizeman offers, and be grateful for it, NiGHTS. I don't want to hear another word against his methods." NiGHTS stamped a foot in frustration. "Why is it so horrible and treacherous to want to learn a little more about the world we live in?!" Reala snarled viciously, startling NiGHTS into silence.
Reala rubbed his cheeks wearily. "Because we behave as the master wishes us to. . ." "No more, no less. . . I know." NiGHTS grumbled, sinking into a sitting position. "I just wish that I knew why. . ."


To Be Continued. . .

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Re: Betrayal (Mild violence and blood warning)

Post  SiLK on Mon May 24, 2010 10:47 am

Chapter 10 is in progress, previous chapters are subject to editing.

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Re: Betrayal (Mild violence and blood warning)

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