Note: I do not own Mortal Kombat or anything connected to it. This is all just for fun and I do not make any sort of profit from it. If you wish to borrow any of the characters that I did create, please feel free to contact me. This story takes place a few days after Chapter Nine: Peace Talks.
Okay here's a WARNING, it's this chapter that finally brings the rating to R, and all previous chapters were PG or PG-13 in nature. There is a mature scene which is sexual in nature (M/F). It's not that descriptive, but just thought I warn you. If you do not like reading about this sort of thing or are too young, you can still read the rest of this chapter and get much of the story. I have marked the area where the heated stuff begins and ends so that you can avoid it.
**Update: If it is missing then the little gods of MKO decided to take it out which fine by me. It's not really needed for the story only spices it up a little.
Chapter Ten: Freezing Heat
``I getting ready to go to the market does anyone need anything?'' yelled Althea as she tied her money purse to the inside of her over shirt. The only response she got was silence, so she took it as a `no we don't need anything.' She grabbed her shopping bag as she left the building.
That afternoon, a worried Kung Lao walked towards Taja as she was dealing with a customer. Once she was done, he asked, ``Have you've seen Althea anywhere?''
Taja shook her head and replied, ``Not since this morning. She said something about the pantry running low and heading out to the market.''
Kung Lao sighed and said, ``It normally doesn't take her this long to get supplies.''
``Perhaps she decided to make a day of shopping and hasn't finished yet,'' shrugged Taja. ``I don't think so, she's not the type to just leave and not leave some word as to when she was getting back,'' said Kung Lao, ``I think it goes back to being in an army at such a young age.''
``Do you want me to close up and help look for her?'' asked Taja.
Kung Lao replied, ``No...I'll go look for her myself. However, if you see Siro....''
Althea woke up wet, cold and extremely stiff. She groaned as she tried to sit up, only to find out that her arms and legs were tied up. Althea finally made it to a sitting position and tried to look around. It appeared she was in some sort of cave, but it was hard to tell due to the lack of lighting. She listened to try to determine if anyone else was around, but all that she could hear was her own breathing. Her eyes flared as she tried to use her chi energy to burn through the ropes, but somehow they resisted the attempt. ``Just great, ``she thought aloud, ``I'm wet, cold, in the dark, no one knows where I am and the damned thunder god has his shields up so he most likely doesn't know I'm even missing yet.''
One good thing, she thought quietly, who ever did this most likely wants me alive. He'll be back. I just need some idea how to get out of these ropes and then.....her eyes flashes angrily.
Late that night Kung Lao's worry grew to fear and spread to the others. Althea was missing. They had combed the city and Siro even spoke with the city guard in the hopes that someone had seen her. Nothing. All they found out was she was last seen around mid-morning in the market looking over some fruit. ``Can't Rayden help us?'' asked Taja, ``He same as said he would protect her as he does you.''
``Already though of that, he's just not responding. The same goes for Fujin,'' said Kung Lao.
``They might be just not listening, ``said Siro, ``They were kinda upset about how Althea chewed them out.''
``Rayden wouldn't hold a grudge over something like that, ``said Kung Lao and he silently added `I hope.'
``It's most like one of those `not allowed to interfere in mortal affairs' things,'' said Taja, ``Then it would mean that Kuravan wasn't involved...''
``Just in case I'll continue trying to get hold of Rayden, while you guys get some rest ``said Kung Lao, ``In the morning....''
``Do you know its gets annoying when you are constantly being called while trying to catch up on work,'' said Rayden from the top of the stairs. He then vanished and reappeared next to Taja. ``Are we short by one person?'' he asked glacing around.
``That's why we have been trying to get hold of you,'' said Kung Lao, ``Althea is missing.'' Rayden just looked at them strangely.
Althea could sense that Rayden was `looking' for you. She hastily tried to raise some shields of her own, not really sure if they would work. The last thing she needed was Kung Lao and the others falling for what most likely is a trap. She continued to try burning off the ropes with her chi, in the hopes that since they were now dry they would burn.
Rayden silently cursed to himself. He had sensed her for a moment, but either she had shielded herself or someone was shielding her from his senses. All he knew for sure was that she was alive and not too far away. Now he understood why Althea yelled at him the other night, when everyone thought he was missing.
``Rayden, do you have any idea where she is?'' asked Siro. Almost embarrassingly, Rayden answered, ``To be honest, no. I didn't even know she was missing until you guys told me.'' A sudden burning sensation struck Rayden's wrists.
Although the ropes were lit by her own chi, the flames burned her like any other fire. Althea gritted her teeth to prevent herself from screaming in pain. Finally the ropes were weakened enough for her to break. She threw the burning rope to the ground next to her and then started working on the ropes holding her legs together. Unfortunately, she was no longer alone. An ice cold blast from behind knocked her back into unconsciousness.
``Rayden! What's wrong?'' ask Kung Lao seeing the pained look on the thunder god's face. Siro quickly got up and help the deity to a chair. Rayden just shook his head as he sat down. Somehow the bond between him and the woman was strengthening rather than weakening with time. It was now even stronger than the link he placed on Kung Lao to help keep tabs on him. Think what did the burning and the sense of relief mean? Breaking free from some ropes? The sudden pain must have made her lose her shields for a few moments. What about this freezing sensation? He vanished.
Sub-zero examined the burnt ropes coldly. He didn't expect the girl to have such powers; this meant that ropes would be useless. The former Lin Kuei warrior left and then returned with some metal shackles. He quickly locked her wrists within them and then checked to see if she was still uninjured. She seemed unhurt but was shivering from the cold. Good, the message stated that such discomfort was required to get his attention. This job was the most unusual one he had ever taken, but the pay off was something he desperately wanted. He sighed, then again it wasn't everyday that he had a job that stated specifically NOT to kill. The masked man then left to ensure that he would survive to collect his fee.
Right after Sub-zero left, Rayden appeared in a bolt of lighting, eyes flashing and lighting within his hands. He looked around and saw Althea shivering on the ground, unconscious. With one hand still lit, he knelt down and examined her noting her shackles and the possibility of hypothermia. With a frown, he doused the light and then picked her up. Her constant shivering was a concern, but it proved she was still alive. There was nothing at the trading post that could warm her up fast enough, but he knew of a place that did. He vanished carrying his passenger.
Sub-zero hearing the noises returned to check on his prisoner. She was gone. He had no idea how, but he had to get her back. Turning he was surprised to see a white-haired woman standing behind him. ``Greetings Sub-zero and congratulations on a job well done, ``she said with a smile. ``You were the one who sent the message?'' asked the warrior. ``Huh hum, and I am here to deliver your payment, ``said the woman in Lie Kuei like armor in shades of gray and black, ``The one you seek is about two days walking to the northeast, in the set of ruins there. He seeks to rebuild his `clan' and hopes to rival both the Lin Kuei and Red Dragon. ``
``Why do you tell me this now? The woman had escaped,'' inquired Sub-zero. The masked woman winked and said, ``The whole point of this was to get her rescued.''
Rayden appeared at what seemed to be a deserted hot spring, his own private oasis. He laid Althea on a bed of moss and then proceeded to untie her legs and remove the shackles with a small spark of lighting. Her shivering increased and Rayden could almost hear her teeth chattering. He then proceeded to strip both of them down to their undergarments and then carried her into the heated pool. While holding her, he carefully monitored both her face and the shadow of what she felt through their shared bond. He was relieved to see color slowly return to her face and the sense of deep chill slowly fade. What was it with this mortal that made him risk breaking the rules? With one hand he gently moved a strand of blonde hair from her face. He sighed. Who knows what the Elder Gods would do once they found out he interfered directly in a mortal matter and to top it off, brought the same mortal to this immortal plane.
As if feeling his own fears which were possible, Althea moaned and tried to move closer to him as she slowly revived. ``Rayden?'' she whispered. He could feel her confusion and concern. Holding her tightly, he said, ``Do you know how worried I....we were? Why did you try to prevent me from finding you?''
Hugging him tightly, she replied, ``Until I knew who it was, I didn't want to take a chance of anyone falling into a possible trap. I thought I could get myself out or at least find out why I was taken.'' She looked around for the first time, ``Huh, where are we?''
``My place you could say, ``smiled Rayden, ``I couldn't think of any other place that could get you warmed up fast enough and remain undisturbed.'' It was then that Althea noticed that neither of them was wearing very much. Rayden starting feeling a desire that he was sure wasn't his, but it did trigger his own. It was Althea who kissed Rayden gently on the lips.
[WARNING! WARNING! Mature scene alert.]
His hands moved to the sides of her face has he deepened the kiss. Althea's own hands tangled themselves in his damp, gray hair. Her mouth opened encouraging him to deepen the kiss even more by opening his own, their tongues dancing gently. Althea started feeling a long forgotten heat not related to the pool they were in and could feel that Rayden was starting to feel the same way. Her hands left his hair and starting exploring downward, feeling the hard sculpted muscles of his chest and waist. Rayden gasped as he felt her hands exploring what little covering he still had, his hands too started exploring but stopping at the binding that covered her breasts, he tried to untie it but the material was swollen and next to impossible to remove. He growled in frustration causing Althea to gently laugh at the sound. The thunder god then used a bit of his power to cut through the material and thus giving him access to the prizes he sought. Althea gasped as his mouth gently took in a nipple and her hands went back up to his head to encourage him further in his explorations. His hands strongly brought her hips to him, so that she could feel physically what she was doing to him. ``Rayden,'' she whispered, ``I need...'' Rayden didn't need to be told, he could feel her need through their bond. He carried her out of the pool to the bed of soft, clean moss and laid her down. Lying next to her, he kissed her again deeply and Althea returned the kiss as her hands sought to remove his covering. It was Rayden's turn to laugh as he pushed her hands away and proceeded to remove what little they both had on. Gently, he laid on top of her. ``Are you certain?'' he rasped. Althea nodded and sent a pulse of deep need through their bond. He entered her, slowly at first but the bond that made them feel what each other felt didn't allow for that for long. Her actions encourage him to stronger and faster motions. This in turn encouraged her to be more wanton then she has ever been before. The combined release was explosive, both their eyes blazing with lighting and light-blue flame respectively. A breeze cooled their heated skin as they rested.
[Mature scene is over. You can now read with little or no risk.]
Morning came to the trading post as Kung Lao and the other prepared to continue their search. A strong wind blew through the yard as they headed out and Fujin appeared with a smile on his face. ``What to you want? ``growled Siro.
Fujin just grinned and said, ``Just providing a news update. Althea has been found and is with Rayden right now.''
Relief flooded all three mortals' faces. Kung Lao then asked, ``Where was she?''
Fujin shrugged and replied, ``Don't know, I went to check in with Rayden and I saw the two of them at his place. She seemed a little chilled but things started to get a little heated. So I decided to give them some privacy.'' The god of wind then vanished. The trio just looked at each other wondering what Fujin meant.
Next time on Mortal Kombat: Conquest....
Vorpax smiled evilly and said, ``Oh you can get them back, but first you must do a little something for me, godslayer.''
Chapter Eleven: Higher Court
Rayden entered the Temple of the Elder Gods with trepidation. He then kneeled before the empty altars and said, ``I am here for Your Judgment.'' Sudden the room grew bright, nearly blinding. The ruined temple was now as it was when it was new. Crumbling, colorless walls were now smooth and colored with the images of nature. Where there was once empty altars now stood the seven Elder Gods. Rayden's face grew even paler, never before had he seen all seven of the Elder Gods at one time. This was not good.
``Oh don't worry, Rayden, its not as bad as it looks, ``said a familiar voice, whose source placed her hand on his should and then addressed the Elder Gods, ``If it pleases the Honored Ones, may we please inform Lord Rayden of the situation.'' The Elder God of Time nodded and said, ``It pleases Us so long as it does not take up too much of Our time.''
Rayden was too shock to speak as the white haired woman encouraged him to stand and lead him to some chairs. The Elder Gods sat and started conversing among Themselves. Rayden finally found his voice and whispered, ``What are you doing here?'' Laughter danced in her crystal blue eyes and then she responded, ``Why I'm your defense. It seems that aiding young Althea is not as cut and dry as you might think. First being a known descendant of a deity, a godslayer, and on top of that actually refusing to accept godhood makes her very unique. Well, she was until Arianna showed up but that besides the point.'' Rayden just looked at the woman and noticed for the first time she was wearing something not shaded in black and gray, but in a hooded robe of dark blue trimmed in silver. The scarf was still there, but was a lighter shade than normal. Then it really struck him, ``How can you be here? You're not a god and we're not in a ....''
``Time bubble, ``the woman finished for him and continued, ``Hello, where do you think this whole temple is in. It the biggest `time bubble' ever created. As for me not being a god, I got vouched for by old Kronos over there and the others listened.'' While saying this she indicated the Elder God that had replied to her request earlier. ``We're both lucky he feels the same way I do in regards to you and the godslayer so that's already one vote in your favor, ``she said.
Rayden raised one eyebrow and couldn't believe what he was hearing, ``You mean to tell me that there is actually going to be a trial?''
The woman shrugged and said, ``Sorta, it seems that the real debate is to whether or not consider Althea as fully mortal or not. If she's not than you rescuing her and bringing her to the immortal plane did not break any rules. Actually there was a rather nice debate going on when you arrived, and since this does concern you in a rather big way they decided to let you listen in. Once Althea's status has been resolved, then it's your turn.''
Just then the Elder God of Flame stood up angrily and roared, ``I'll tell you again, it does not matter whose granddaughter she is. If it did, then we would have to make exceptions to all mortals with immortal blood.'' The Elder God of Stone replied with a rumble, ``Not all, only those whose immortal blood has run true and within reasonable generation. After all we already recognize the worth of those who have an immortal and mortal parentage. Many of the younger gods today had a mortal mother or father.''
At that the woman looked closely at Rayden as if considering something and then shook her head. She then indicated he was to remain where he was and got up to approach the Elder Gods. Kronos saw she approached them and said, ``We assume that the present Protector of Earthrealm has been made aware of the situation.''
``Yes, he has Honored Ones, ``replied the woman, ``Do You wish to question him now?'' The Elder Gods all nodded as one with that cue, Rayden stood and made his way next to the woman. Just remembering, once again she somehow skipped the why she was there.
Althea just couldn't keep busy enough while she awaited word on Rayden. She practiced with a vengeance and then cleaned the post from basement to attic. Kung Lao and the others were dealing with the wait as well. Kung Lao in training with his student and then help Siro with making sure that everything in the armory was in such good shape it was better than it was brand new. Siro aside from repairing weapons also help Taja with the store. Taja made sure that the store was the most organized it ever had been and help Althea with the cleaning. All of them were worried as to what was going to happen with their old friend Rayden. Every time there was so much as a breeze they thought it could have been Fujin arriving with word. Eventually there was nothing to do, so Kung Lao and Althea decided to head to town to pick up a few things while the others stayed to mind the store a wait for Fujin or hopefully Rayden.
Kung Lao finally asked, ``Why do you think Rayden went to rescue you rather than have us do it? Normally he would have just hinted or something.''
Althea took a breathe and shrugged, ``Not really sure? Might have something to do with this connection between us.''
``Connection?'' asked Kung Lao stopping in the middle of the street.
''Since Rayden used his powers to save me after Kuravan's attacked we have been able to sense each other. At first we thought it was just something to do with his elemental energy being in my system, but it should have worn off by now. Instead it has gotten stronger, and if at least one of us does not have some sort of mental shield up we feel what the other one feels, ``answered Althea as she tried to encourage Kung Lao to continue walking so not to block traffic, ``From what I can tell there are limits placed by distance as well, but strong emotions and now strong physical sensations seems to overcome that.'' They continued walking and Kung Lao said, ``So what you're telling me is that Rayden felt what you felt just before he vanished....He had these `shields' up so he wasn't aware that you were in danger until we told him.'' Althea nodded and said, ``And when he took down those shields to look for me, he got a strong dose of burning wrists and freezing cold.'' Althea shivered at the memory of how cold she felt before Rayden got her to that hot spring. The hot spring....Althea wasn't sure what to make of what happened there. True both she and Rayden have be somewhat attracted to each other and the idea of sharing each other's sensations made one curious, but to actually have...Don't think about it. WHEN Rayden gets back you can discuss it with him in private. That is if he wants to. Althea sighed, her past experience with men and sudden lust didn't shed a good light on what she could expect, but perhaps Rayden was different. And after all it didn't happen during a war and ....STOP IT!!! The very fact that he is a god meant that it was most likely a one time thing. Althea was so lost in her thoughts that she nearly ran over Kung Lao when he stop at the vegetable stand.
Rayden's head seriously started to hurt. They drilled him time and again on Althea's actions and abilities. Yes the only time she's actually used them was to save either himself or other. Yes she did seem to be getting stronger. No she did not seem to want to start a killing spree by killing off all the local gods. The white haired woman gave a strange smile at that one and looked as if she wanted to say something, but didn't dare due to the situation.
``Tell Us, Lord Rayden of you own personal feelings towards the godslayer, ``said the Elder God of Light, ``We understand that you took her to your home to aid her in her time of need.''
Rayden nearly blushed at the wording that the Elder God used. There was no doubt in his mind that they knew what exactly happened at his hot spring. He took a breath and honestly answered, ``I don't exactly know my feelings in regards to her. Obviously I care for her as a friend as I do Kung Lao and other mortals, but there is a connection between us that goes beyond that. I don't know if it was caused by my replenishing her chi with my elemental energy or perhaps the shared dream. All I know is that I can barely stand to see or feel her in pain or danger.''
``Indeed, ``said the Elder God of Shadow, ``So much in fact that you would break Our Rules in regards to non-interference in mortal affairs.''
``I object, ``said the white haired woman, ``it is yet to be determined as to whether or not Rayden actually broke any rules when he aided Althea. In any sense, there is a chance that whomever had the woman captured may have been attempting to force her to use her abilities against a deity or deities. In which case, even is she is declared fully mortal, Rayden would have still been in the right to save her.''
``And there is no way to prove one way or another, ``added Kronos with a smile, ``This alone hints that the one who hired the kidnapper was powerful enough to be an immortal if he was able to hide from Our sight.''
All but the Elder God of Shadows nodded in agreement, whose eyes narrowed in restrained hate towards his `brother' and the strange woman he had vouched for. ``In that case, ``said the Elder God of Shadows, ``Why is Rayden and his `defender' still here? They are no longer needed for this discussion.''
``Actually Honored Ones, I agree. If either Lord Rayden or I are no longer needed, then would it not be best for Your debate as to Althea's status go unheard and uninterrupted? If there is need for further questioning of myself or Lord Rayden it would take us but minutes to return, ``said the woman as if surprised to be agreeing with the Lord of Shadows.
Elder God(dess) of Water then spoke, ``So be it, We will now vote as to whether or not Rayden is to be reprimanded for his actions in regards to the godslayer, Althea. All those who declare Rayden innocent of breaking the rule of non-interference?'' All of the Elder Gods but the one of Shadows said Yea. ``Those opposed?'' The Elder God of Shadows gave a singular Nay.
The Elder God(dess) of Water continued, ``In regards to the charge of bringing a mortal to the immortal plan, we must all take into consideration that the `mortal' does have strong blood ties to the gods of her native world and could have herself been made a goddess. Do Althea and therefore all mortals with similarly strong blood ties have the right to visit the immortal planes, upon invitation of an immortal? All those in favor?'' This time it was unanimous, with hesitance only on part of the Elder God of Flame. ``So be it! Rayden kneel before Us.''
The Lord of Thunder then knelt before the assembled Elder Gods with the God(dess) of Water in the front raising both hands, ``We now restore and strengthen your claim as Earthrealm's God of Thunder and Sworn Protector. Serve both offices well, Lord Rayden.''
It was a good thing he was kneeling because he would have fallen to his knees in relief at that pronouncement, but then she continued, ``Lady Tomorrow, once again you come unexpected and uncalled for. We are curious as to why you would side with those of Earthrealm, Rayden, and the godslayer?''
The crystal blues eyes just smiled and she said, ``Now if I told you that I wouldn't be the mysterious, white haired woman now would I.'' Then she vanished. Lord Kronos, and a few other looked as if they were about to break out in laughter. Rayden was completely shocked by this. They didn't even know who she was or why she was helping him? The voice of Kronos entered Rayden's head, `::It seems she favors you for some reason, I guess I need to keep a close eye on you thunderer::' Rayden thought behind very tight mental shields, `Oh crap.'
When Kung Lao and Althea returned from the market they found that the trading post was a wreck. It was obvious that was a fight. ``Taja! Siro!'' yelled Kung Lao as they search the post. Althea came across a piece a paper attached to a post in the armory. ``Kung Lao!'' she called and he came running they both look over the note. It was basically demanding that Althea to meet with some people just outside the city walls at sunset and to come alone or their friends wouldn't see the morning. The pair just looked at each other and nodded.
That evening Althea was waiting outside of the city gate as stated in the note when she was approached by four women. Nothing was said, but the women made it obvious that she was to go with them. Eventually, they made it to a camp in which there were a number of white tents and they entered the largest of these. There sat Queen Vorpax with an evil smile on her face. ``Welcome, godslayer, ``she purred, ``would you care for some refreshment.''
Althea snorted silently and said, ``You must be Vorpax, what do you want with me? Why have you taken Siro and Taja?''
Vorpax tsked and took ate a grape, ``You have been hanging around Kung Lao's group too much. You really should get out more.'' Althea just glared at the green clad woman and said, ``Where are my friends?''
Vorpax smiled evilly and said, ``Oh you can get them back, but first you must do a little something for me, godslayer.''
Kung Lao silently followed Althea from the city gates to Vorpax's camp. He should have known, especially after seeing the four women. Carefully, he used the darkness to look for his friends hoping that Althea would be alright. After a few close calls he came across a heavily guarded tent, from which he could hear Siro's loud complaints. The monk smiled, there they all now all I need is to find a way to get them out. He snuck to the back of the tent and then carefully looked under the edge to see if there ware any guards on the inside. Then he took a small dagger he and cut a small hole through the back and crawled in. Taja saw Kung Lao and could barely keep yelling out, but her years as a thief had ingrained the habit of silence. Taja then tapped Siro on the shoulder and indicated where Kung Lao was silently. The bodyguard's trademark smile shown through. During this, Kung Lao pulled out a small pouch and handed it to Taja. Taja recognized it immediately as her old lock picks and quickly began to work on the cage's lock. They all then quietly made their way to the back of the tent and headed out of camp. Once they were out of patrol range, Taja spoke up, ``Where's Althea?''
Kung Lao frowned and replied, ``Keeping Vorpax busy. They want something from her and used you guys to get her hear. Fortunately, it seems the warriors she sent are not very good at knowing when they are being followed.''
``You mean to tell me, Althea is still in there?'' growled Siro.
Kung Lao sighed and said, ``I know, I know. But this was the only way to find you guys, so long as she plays along with them she should be okay.'' I hope, add Kung Lao mentally.
``Certainly, this little favor isn't too much for someone who is able to kill gods, hmmmm, ``said Vorpax.
``You must be crazy,'' replied Althea, ``He's in another realm, surrounded by a freaking army, and who knows what creatures he has guarding his place. And even if I did succeed, what guarantee do I have you will keep your word or even if they are still alive.'' Just then Althea sensed something, almost a message stating that her friends were safe. RAYDEN! Althea could barely keep her face from losing the angry look she was wearing.
``You have my word'' said Vorpax. Althea sighed as if defeated and said, ``Alright, but I'll need time to prepare and plan. Give me until morning and then I'll be ready.'' Vorpax nodded and indicated she was free to go. Surrounded by the four guards, Althea was being walked out of the camp when the alarm went up in regards to escaped prisoners. Althea stuck two of the guards with her chi. She then elbowed another in the throat and a split second later kneed the final one in the stomach. With strategy being the better part of valor, she ran. The trio seeing the commotion and Althea's flares did the same.
``Damn! I just cleaned this place, ``exclaimed Althea as the gang started to clean up the mess created by Taja's and Siro's fight with their kidnappers.
``Well it could be worse, ``said Kung Lao as he picked up some broken pottery.
``You know, we really need to rethink our security, this is what the second or third kidnapping in the same number of days, ``said Siro as he leaned against the wall.
Taja threw a small rag at him and then said, ``Fair enough, but first let's clean up this mess.''
Althea just sighed and said, ``At least one good thing came out of it.'' The other just looked at her with a questioning look. ``How the hell do you think I knew you guys were already out of there before the alarm went off?'' Only Kung Lao face lit up in understanding and he said, ``Rayden!''
``You yelled?'' came the familiar voice from one of the beams. It was Taja's and Siro's turned to yell, ``You're alright, ``''What's the verdict?''
Rayden appeared next to the pair and wrapped his arms around their shoulders. ``It's seems I got off on a few technicalities,'' he said with a smile. ``I don't know about you guys but this seems like a good time as any for a celebration. Let's see if the tavern is still open, ``said Althea with a smile. The others agreed and started heading out.
``You are joining us, right Rayden?'' Althea asked. Rayden smiled at her and said, ``Wouldn't have it any other way.''
Next Time on Mortal Kombat: Conquest...
[Wolf howls in the background] Althea shivered and said, ``Those howls are making my blood run cold for some reason.''
A bat-winged female shape is seen flying across the full moon as it hung low in the sky.
**Note: For those who wonder, the seven Elder Gods are that of Light (god), Shadow (god), Stone (unknown), Flame (god), Water (goddess), Air (god), and Time (god). Since the only real reference as to who or what the Elder Gods are is that of MK:A, I decided to make my own version of the Elder Gods loosely, very loosely based on what we seen in that movie. I know I should have made the Elder Gods almost half and half in regards to gender. It just felt to me that the goddesses have more important things to deal with than the constant bickering of old `men.' *grin* So I tried to balance it out, by making the only Elder Goddess the spokesperson of the group.**
Chapter Twelve: Night Creatures
Althea walked down the deserted hallway to the room given to her by the monks. She thought that creating a translation guide for Calornian script would be a nice break from training. However, with cramped, ink stained hands and a numb brain she wasn't so sure. Getting bruised by Siro or Kung Lao was starting to look pretty nice. She finally reached the door, too tired to even curse the priests' paranoia of having a female too close to their male only domain. Just as she opened the door she felt a familiar presence, but just ignored it in the hopes he would just go away and let her sleep. Entering the room, the first thing she saw was the simple sleeping pallet which looked extremely inviting and made her way to it.
``I believe an entire circus could be in here performing a show and you wouldn't notice, ``said Rayden sitting in a corner.
``You're not a circus, even if you are a clown sometimes. Besides, I knew you were there, I just chose to ignore you,'' replied Althea with a half-smile, ``Sorry to tell you this, but I am tired and unless the world is coming to an end--leave.''
Rayden just smiled, ``We need to talk and this is the first time in a while where we can do so without the chance of being interrupted.'' Althea flopped down onto the pallet and rubbed her eyes, ``Can't this wait until morning?''
``It seems you have forgotten that the monks here wake up a good bit earlier than Taja and Siro,'' answered the thunder god. Althea sighed as she removed her shoes. She knew there wasn't much she could do when Rayden was like this, but perhaps if she got him uncomfortable enough....Once her shoes were off, she began unbuttoning her pants.
``That's not going to work, you know, ``he said, but she just ignored him as slipped her pants off. Then she pulled her arms into her shirt and started to untie her chest bindings. That got the thunder god to stand up and turn around for a few moments. Althea sighed and said, ``I guess not, you're still here....so what's so important?''
Just then there was a loud, rapid knocking at the door.
A bat-winged female shape is seen flying across the full moon as it hung low in the sky. Lilith smiled to herself. It wasn't often she was given so much freedom to hunt. The blood of the monk was more than satisfying. The combination of warrior and holy man gave his blood a unique flavor and vitality. It's a shame she dare not feed off of Kung Lao, the blood of a Mortal Kombat Champion who was also a monk would no doubt be a feast to savor.
The body of the fallen monk was discretely covered by a blanket. Althea pulled it back to see that the throat was ripped out and there wasn't a drop of blood anywhere. She thought as she respective recovered the man. Althea over heard the priests discussing what happened, and when one of them mention he had never hear of such an attack she said, ``I have.'' The priests just stared at her and the apparent leader gestured for her to continue. She breathed deeply and said, ``There are creatures from another realm that I know as Vampires. They are human like in shape but with bat like wings and fangs. The Vampires are extremely strong and feed on blood of intelligent beings. There is a Vampire that I know of named Lilith that I saw in town not too long ago. I mistakenly assumed she was run out of the region.''
``Why would this, Lilith, work so hard for a monk's blood?'' ask one of the priests. Althea replied, ``It is said that they get strength and power from the blood, depending on the source.''
``So we can expect more attacks, ``the leader said in a serious voice.
Late that night a silver gray wolf ran through the moonlit woods. It eventually came to a now familiar clearing and sat on its haunches. The proud head then lifted in a haunting howl.
Morning finally came and Althea continued with the translation work, but her heart wasn't really in it. Between the monk's murder and Rayden's strange actions...She just let the quill drop from her hand and moved away from the table. What she needed was some fresh air and a walk in the sunshine.
As she walked towards the gated entranceway of the temple yard one of the thing on her mind appeared. `Perhaps I'll get at least one mystery solved, `she thought. ``Hey, Rayden,'' she said aloud, ``Care to join me for a walk?'' Rayden nodded but surprisingly didn't say anything. Surprisingly Rayden's shields were down; she could feel a sense of mourning from the deity. She nearly commented on it, but decided to remain silent. Eventually Rayden spoke, ``I knew him. He grew up along side Kung Lao and often would ask me to show him some sparks.''
``Sorry, ``said Althea, ``I know it's not much, but if there's anything....'' Rayden shook his head and sighed. They walked in companionable silence, with only the sound of the wind to be heard. After a while, Althea asked, ``What was it you wanted to talk about last night?'' Althea could almost see his shields go up as he responded, ``Uh..ummm''
``Rayden! Althea! ``yelled Kung Lao in the distance.
That night howls were heard as if the wolves were also mourning the death of the monk. Althea shivered and said, ``Those howls are making my blood run cold for some reason.'' She rolled up the last scroll and placed it on the shelf. ``Tell me about it, ``said Siro, ``Especially here, where everything else is so quiet.''
``What's even spookier is that there wasn't any wolves around here until recently, ``mention Kung Lao as he handed a mug to Althea. The howls then completely stopped. All three looked at each other, wondering which was worse the howling or the sudden silence.
Wolf-shaped shadows made their way into the temple's yard and scattered to the dark shadows. From these shadows, pairs of red dots could be seen for a moment and then faded.
The night grew long, and the barest wisp of sound was heard as Lilith landed. From one of the shadows came Lupena, walking towards the female huntress. She said, ``You are not welcomed here, Vampire.'' Lilith hissed and replied, ``I was looking for a monk to feed on, but you'll do...whoever you are.'' The Vampire moved to attack, but was knocked down by two large wolves that ran from the shadows. Lupena just watched motionlessly. Lilith threw them off and attempted again to reach the woman. Just then, with eyes glowing red, Lupena changed. She grew in height and muscle mass, growing fur and her face change to that of a more lupine nature. The battle howl of a wolf came from her muzzle. Lilith crashed into this monster who then grabbed hold of the Vampire. They grappled as the rest of the wolves moved to surround the pair. They growled loudly, but did not interfere.
The noise brought Kung Lao and the others out, but what they saw made them stop in their tracks. The watching wolves must have sense them coming, because a few looked in their direction and moved to return to the woods. One gave a few yelps before leaving making the wolf creature to look up.
Lilith was now obviously injured, bitten on the shoulder and deep gouges elsewhere on her body. Try as she might, she just couldn't get away from the creature that held her. The two legged wolf then threw the winged female over one shoulder and then ran to joined the others of its pack, with Lilith's primal screams of rage following. Siro moved as if to follow but Kung Lao grabbed his arm and said, ``Do you really want to follow those things?''
At Quan Chi's lair, a badly beaten Lilith was thrown to the sorcerer's feet. He chuckled at what he saw and said, ``All I asked was for you to bring her here.''
Lupena, still in her monstrous form, just growled. Quan Chi sighed and then grabbed the Vampire's chin. ``I have a little message for you to deliver to your master.''
Next time on Mortal Kombat: Conquest
[A man wearing the emblem of the Red Dragon] ``We have a business proposition for you.''
''You can't be seriously considering the Red Dragon's offer, ``said Siro.
Author : Preferred Customer
Creation date: 2005-8-26-16-33
Modification date: 2005-8-26-16-33
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