A moment lasted a hundred
years as Richie watched his goddess collapse and his soul screamed.
As her slender form crumpled towards the ground, he saw the death
of Mortality and it cut him more deeply than any emotion he had
ever experienced. Life would return, but something was being stolen
by the blast that rang in his ears in the seconds following the
shot and Richie knew he was helpless to stop it. The grief that
ran through his being was as poignant as it had been for Tessa's
death, it was a devastating feeling, cold and angry, but at the
same time forming a numbness in his soul.
The horror that sounded
in his cry was only the surface of the jumble of emotions which
descended onto the young Immortal as he witnessed the assassination,
and for a few seconds they held him immobile. Yet, as Naomi's
beauty slumped onto the ground, he reacted in body as well as
in soul. The stick fell from his hand and the youth skidded to
his knees beside the stricken form. Breath still came from between
clenched teeth, and the girl whimpered as her lover touched her,
but there was blood all over the left side of her shirt and she
was weakening with every heart beat. Richie followed his instincts
and swept the light body into his arms, she cried, half in fear,
half in pain as he held her close and climbed rapidly to his feet.
No one could have stopped Richard Ryan as he ran into the house
and straight through into one of the bedrooms. His face was dark
with the anger that Hill's actions inspired, but he ignored the
perpetrator of the crime as his love's plight possessed his mind.
Even as he knew he couldn't he wanted to stop the coldness of
death touching the delicate body he held protectively in his embrace,
and his helplessness seared through his sanity.
The young man's actions
were barely controlled as he sank to his knees and laid his burden
onto the bed; he didn't know what to do as he stared at the life-giving
fluid pouring from the fatal wound - thought escaped him as his
emotions flooded in as the blood flowed out. Richie just knelt
beside the failing body, unable to offer his aid, and terrified.
He knew the feeling, it was the same as that which he had experienced
at the moment the bullet had taken his own Mortal existence away,
and the repetition shocked him. The parallels were too great to
overcome, and he felt the numbness running through his body as
if death was coming to him as well. The youth could only stare
at the staggered rising and falling of the dying breaths, his
eyes wide and fixed with the ghosts of his dread.
Richie started as he
felt a brush of fingers against his arm; he blinked back the mist
that was forming in front of his vision and glanced wildly down
at the contact, a hand, contorted by pain and effort was being
held slightly off the bed out to him. The young man responded
immediately, taking hold of the trembling palm and then facing
his darling's gaze. Naomi's eyes were half closed and clouded
when he met them, and she echoed his own fear - then he felt selfish.
His own anguish shifted to the back of his mind as he considered
how scared his love had to be; this was her first death, it was
a moment of doubt, a time when she would wonder if all that she
had been told was true. It was his roll to offer comfort, reassurance;
he smiled sadly at the pain he saw and squeezed the cooling fingers.
There was no need for words, all his intention was conveyed in
action as the young man lent carefully over the girl and lifted
her head to him. The young woman's free hand wrapped itself around
him and gripped hard as she gasped at a spasm of pain. Richie
rocked her gently, trying not to aggravate the wound. She was
light in his arms, even the desperate grip gentle in his experience,
but he felt it slip away.
Naomi became still
in his arms, limp, a broken doll and Richie let back in his own
anger. This was wrong, she should have had years of safety, free
from the Game, changing, living as a Mortal - the shot had been
an injustice, a thief of normality. The loss was as strong as
if she were gone forever, and the Immortal held the lifeless body
to his chest, trying to hang onto what was no longer there. The
moment was endless as the sense of his beloved drifted away from
him and he knew that nothing could be the same. The consideration
enraged him to a point where he was petrified by the strength
of emotion within. His grip was savage as he squeezed the unresisting
form into his own flesh, trying to find some remnant of life to
keep with him until Eternal power brought a new existence.
It was in that static
position that he was disturbed; the shift of his body told him
that kin stood close by, but it was the slam of the door which
broke his furious trance. The blond head turned sharply and glared
at the body which entered into his anger - his face blackened
further as he recognised Tarant. The man was holding a first aid
box, and the glare he received said `what the hell do you think
you're going to do with that?'. The scorn and disgust was obvious
and the older Immortal's first look said that he understood, then
it hardened to a task and observed, "I take it you don't
want Hill to know that she's one of us?"
Richie blinked at the
matter-of-fact tone, his animosity lessening, but his anger remaining;
the slightly lost set to his visage said anything his voice could
not, and he was unresisting as his companion moved in to take
charge. The young man was numb, his diva was gone, for however
short a time, the feeling of desertion it gave him was cold. He
sat back on his heels as Tarant prized him gently from the corpse
and watched blankly as he went about patching a wound that had
already served it purpose and was healing itself.
A few minutes later,
the young Immortal was more compus mentis as he sat at the head
of the bed, his darling's upper torso cradled in his lap. There
was still no life in her body, healing the deep wound was taking
a long time, but the terrible deprivation was lessening as his
more logical mind came back into play; yet, patience was a hard
pill to take as he stroked the soft locks he adored, waiting for
breath to return to her lips. Tarant stood by the window, watching
in silent contemplation as his companion came slowly to terms
with the world. Eventually, the youth lifted his gaze from the
bandage that had been wrapped around Naomi's chest and levelled
it on the calmer Eternal. He no longer felt any anger for the
Immortal, who now stood taller in the privacy of the bedroom where
his presence of mind had been needed. Tarant was two men, more
so than any other of his kin he had met, and the man made him
curious; the youth preferred the interest to the remnants of his
other emotions, so he chose to fill the waiting with questions.
"How did you end
up with that monster?" the young man asked quietly, his manner
Tarant smiled at him,
an odd, ironic gesture, but answered in the same pragmatic manner
he had used earlier, "I was put in a cell with him."
The disclosure was
unhelpful, and the look he received told the man so; Tarant just
shrugged at the flare of frustration in his associate's eyes and
continued evenly, "I may be a drunk, Richard Ryan, but as
you found out, I can still handle myself. I took a head two years
ago, but I didn't disappear fast enough. They caught me and sent
me down for murder. I ended up with Hill as a roomie, and he soon
found out my little weakness for drink. I talk too much when I
get drunk, and he plied out all the information he wanted until
it was too late. I was planning on dying to get out, but
Hill had other ideas - either I helped him and his mob escape,
or I wouldn't be leaving with my head attached to my body."
"Have you ever
considered going on the wagon?" the young man raised an eyebrow
as his sarcasm was made plain.
Tarant frowned, the
first sign that there was any emotion below his mask of level-headedness
and there was pain in his face.
all he responded and Richie knew better than to pry further.
There was a lot more
to the older Immortal than met the eye, and the youth considered
the phantoms he'd collected in his short time on planet Earth;
Tarant had a lot of years behind him, and scaling up chances for
disaster, the young man decided that whatever had turned this
Eternal being to drink should stay in the past. There was an awkward
silence as youth couldn't find anything to redirect the conversation
and age dwelt on whatever unspoken agony was in his soul.
Richie's heart leapt
and warmth came back into his soul as a shocked gasp moved the
body next to his. Naomi's face screwed up and she brought her
arms around her in self-protection as the remainder of her healing
continued. Her lover reached quickly for her hand and let her
fingers close tightly around his own.
soothed, as the girl turned into him and moaned, "try and
relax, the pain'll go away soon."
As if obeying his command,
the young woman sighed and her grip loosened on his hand as the
hurt eased. Her paramour could do nothing more than stroke her
hair and let his darling recover in her own time as she breathed
hard and came to terms with the resurrection. He remembered his
own shock - dying was never pleasant, but it was something to
which every Immortal became accustomed. Relief flooded through
his being as his soul moved to accommodate the presence of another
of his kin. The feeling was bitter sweet, his love was back with
him, but also the new aspect to her spirit told him that things
had irrevocably changed. Yet, that was put to the back of his
mind, and he smiled as with a cough, Naomi sunk away from the
protective ball into which she had begun to curl and gazed up
at her lover. There was a look of stunned amazement in her eyes
as she took in the monumental power that had re- animated her.
Another time, another
place, considering the intense emotion that was running through
his being, Richard Ryan would have taken his love to him, but
circumstances left them with a gentle embrace which reassured
their bond. Naomi was shaken by her experience, but the presence
of her lover stilled a trembling that possessed her limbs. Tarant
remained a silent statue, ignored by the couple as they recovered
their union as best they could. Yet, there was no time for indulgence,
and the Immortal eventually interrupted the closeness with a polite
cough. The youth glanced up at him, a momentary annoyance in his
gaze, but the look disappeared almost as soon as it had been seen.
Naomi glanced across at the man of whose presence she had had
no idea, and her cheeks coloured as she considered the intimate
nature of her attire. She took hold of the sheet which had been
paced over her in replacement for the shirt which had been destroyed
by the gun shot. Tarant smiled at her, he was not about to be
bothered by the sight of her brassiere which he had revealed while
tending her wound.
the man murmured, his tone warm; the girl's stare was hostile.
"Naomi, this is
Russ Tarant," Richie introduced.
"You two were
fighting," the young woman returned, her voice unsure of
the lack of animosity in the room.
"Not by choice,"
the dark man told her evenly.
The girl looked to
Richie for confirmation, and he nodded with a grim set to his
features, the loathing about the conflict still with him. The
disclosure only confused the young woman and she asked plaintively,
"What's going on?"
"A long story,"
her lover answered, "but right now, the guy that tried to
kill you thinks we're trying to stop you bleeding to death."
"He won't wait
much longer to find out how we did," Tarant continued and
his face was grave. "When he comes in, you had better be
"Then, when he's
gone, I make a break for it," Naomi nodded as the idea came
clear in her mind.
However, as much as
the thought suited the younger two Immortals, their companion
did not welcome it.
countered in a warning hiss, "don't do anything to antagonise
Hill. We're be gone tomorrow morning."
The look Richie gave
him was condescending and showed a disbelief at the man's naivete.
"Do you really
think that he's gonna leave us in any fit state to tell our tale?"
the youth scoffed, his hatred of the oppressor in his face. "Maybe
if we weren't his pet hate there'd be a chance, but not now."
Tarant's features were
set in a way which said that his younger kin was only vocalising
the nasty idea which had occurred to him some time earlier. His
grimace was the last communication the group had, as a hand on
the door signalled an entry. Naomi shifted quickly back down into
a crumpled lying position while her soul-mate slid into a chair
by the side of the bed. As Hill opened the door, all he saw was
a quiet youth leaning over an unconscious body and his tame Immortal
stood on watch at the window. Richie glanced over his shoulder
at the intrusion and let his anger show; the Mortal before him
had destroyed too many parts of his life for him to display anything
but rage. The young man's loathing seemed only to serve as fire
under a pot which had been boiling over for some time. The convict
was seething as he descended upon his nemesis.
As a hand grabbed his
arm, Richard Ryan fought back; he had had enough of the brutal
adversary, and with a shout of fury, he pushed the man away from
him. The youth gained his feet and followed his defence with an
attack of his own, his glare ablaze with indignation. Hill backed
out of the room, his eyes scanning for the weaponry he had left
outside, pursued by a wild Immortal. There was fear in the Mortal's
eyes as he witnessed the rage, and his composure failed him as
his soul caught a moment of understanding which terrified him.
The young Eternal stalked
after his quarry, no concern for those about him; he felt a shadow
behind him as Tarant moved to stop a would-be calamity, but he
ignored him, intent on Hill. The escapee had pushed the youth
to his limits, and the anger within the ageless body was uncontrolled,
instinctive. The Immortal was at his most savage as he raised
his hands to strike. The Mortal continued to back up, aghast.
Richie cried out, his
rage animalistic as his path was thwarted by two large bulks.
Guinea and Carter each grabbed for the maddened creature, pulling
his arms away from the attack. The young man howled and swore
at his captors as with a great deal of effort they brought him
to a rapid halt and aimed him at the wall away from their leader.
The Immortal struggled and spat curses anew as he thudded into
the barrier, but he was not strong enough to fight off two men
at once. His muscles complained as his hands were whipped up behind
his back, but he still managed to push himself a little way off
the rough surface. Carter called to his companions for help as
the storm of vehemence flexed himself off the wall and shrieked
half spoken threats at his oppressors. Pitbull moved in with a
solution from his own experiences; Richie's snarl caught in his
throat as cold steel cut into his wrists in the urgency with which
a pair of handcuffs was applied. He complained hotly, but the
manacles were already in place and cooled his fire a little. Defeated,
the youth sank into the shove that slammed him once more into
Only as the smoke began
to disperse did Hill regain his nerve enough to move in once more.
He was holding the rapier again and his grip was brutal as he
grabbed his captive's hair. Richie was not a submissive prisoner,
however, and he pushed into his adversary with another murderous
growl. The pair skidded through the door to the dining room as
the momentum took them, and the young Immortal came off worse
as he smashed into the long table, unable to slow his course.
He grunted, but ignored much of the pain that ran through his
ribs at the hammering. The Immortal showed no fear, only rage
as he was grabbed more securely and spun onto his back over the
edge of the counter. Even as the razor edge came close to his
throat he only stilled the struggles which risked him slicing
his own neck. His eyes blazed and his animosity was more than
obvious. Hill paused, trying to instil some kind of humility into
his captive with the hovering blade. Yet, Richie was too mad to
heed the warning in his eyes. His tone was scornful and icy as
he spat, "Not so easy is it? Not as detached as a bullet,
you have to feel the slice."
The convict flexed
his hold, the sword coming millimetres closer to vulnerable flesh,
but he halted his movements once more, the truth of his victim's
words in his mind.
Richie taunted to the terror of his companions who watched the
drama unfold under the sights of guns which threatened them if
There was a flash of
something in Hill's eyes which told the youth of the murderous
capability within the Mortal. Very suddenly, he knew what was
happening as sanity caught up with him. He flattened onto the
table as the blade was raised in one hand while the other sat
firmly on his chest, keeping him stationary. The world prickled
around him as the sacred site tried to stop the violence once
more, but this was a Mortal, not sensitive to the powers that
ruled the Eternal world, and he was not about to be stopped by
something which could not reach him.
Yet, help came from
Hill protested angrily
as a hand grabbed his wrist and stopped the descent of the blade.
He released his helpless prey and turned on Tarant, whose intervention
had not been requested. The Immortal cowered away, his well-practised
submissive stance in firm place, but let a stream of words make
a case for him.
"Killing him now
won't do us any good," the man argued, raising his hands
in protective defence.
The look that Hill
gave him did not back up the observation; the man wanted blood.
However, he did stop short of turning the rapier on his subordinate.
Immortal reasoned as he was given breathing room, "that cop
we shot, he's gonna be alright, we heard it on the radio,"
Richie wasn't sure whether the man was lying, but his face was
convincing, "and the girl's gonna survive. As we stand now,
we get out of the search area, we're just escaped prisoners, we'll
go on some list somewhere. If we kill him, especially with a blade,
its murder, and this search'll go on until they catch us, forget
disappearing, you're face'll be on every cop's notice board."
The argument was hasty,
a little confused, probably exaggerated, but then so were the
emotions in the room, and it cut through the mad seconds which
had led to the confrontation. The killer disappeared under the
surface of Mr. Average, and Hill lowered the sword. There was
still anger mixed with fear in his manner as he returned his attention
to the youth, but it was no longer capable of murder. Richie was
unresisting, well aware of the beheading he had narrowly missed,
as his adversary grabbed him by the shirt and pulled him to his
feet. They were eye to eye as the captor hissed nastily, "One
more word, and you're history, freak."
There was no response,
the young man just sank into a sitting position on the edge of
the table as he was released. The pot of fury was gone, washed
away by the power around him, and he was more than a little dazed
by the possession that it had inspired. He blinked and watched
his nemesis retreat from the room before his instincts got the
better of him once more. Tarant's gaze on the youth held a clear
warning as the elder turned to follow his commander - he'd survived
by the skin of his teeth, there wouldn't be a next time.
The dining room door
slammed as the intruders shut themselves off from their hostages.
The sound echoed in the long chamber and hung in the ears as silence
loomed. Agatha and Jon moved first, standing and hurrying across
to the still figure at the end of the table. A hand on his arm
brought him to look at his hostess and he recognised the same
warning signals in her face as he'd seen in Tarant's. He just
stared at her, confused by the lack of emotions he felt - there
was only a strange calm inside where the rage had been quoshed
by the atmosphere of the holy ground.
Jon asked loudly as he worded the question that was in most minds.
murmured his answer as the man gently urged him to stand up and
walk over to the window seat.
He sat down heavily
and winced as the cuffs dug into his wrists; the sharp pain brought
him a little further back from the shock into which he'd fallen.
The gaze which he levelled on Jon was more alert as the Native
American sat down next to him.
"Are you alright?"
came the next enquiry.
The youth nodded.
Richie dozed lightly
- the hour was late and there had been no further disturbances
of the warm night. The teenagers were curled up together, sleeping
fitfully from exhaustion while their chaperones watched them and
each other. Kathleen was sat with Emily, her arms protectively
around her daughter, Jon and Agatha sat together, Annie between
them. The young Immortal sat alone on the hard window seat. The
discomfort of the handcuffs stopped him from drifting off completely,
and his mind ran over and over the strength of the holy ground
around him. Twice he had felt its power, both times its attempts
to stop the violence had been almost physical in their manner.
The land was troubled, it prickled inside his skull, speaking
to the Eternal in a language he barely understood. There was a
movement in his soul as the atmosphere spoke to his anger and
sense of injustice, trying to soothe them away. It was a feeling
he couldn't fight, it came from within, an instinct which told
him that Heaven Sent was sacred land and could not be defiled
- as he sat silent, his eyes half closed, the young man wondered
sadly why the serenity of their surroundings couldn't reach everyone.
The shout of fury which
cut the night sliced through sleep; the room was wide awake, terror
returning as the door slammed open and light from the kitchen
poured in on unprepared eyes. Richie squinted at the maddened
silhouette in the doorway and he knew his last chance had gone.
Hill charged across to the Immortal, his face black with rage;
he grabbed hold of his prey and shoved him across the room. The
youth fell to his knees and collided heavily with the door; he
managed to turn and face the body which once more attacked him.
"She was one of
you!" the man screamed and the reason for the anger came
clear. "You've played your last card, freak!"
The young man started
as a hand crossed his face and he groaned heavily as a boot contacted
with his groin. The world danced with bright spots and nearly
faded at the momentum the kick had been given, and the bound youth
curled over himself. He was saved from another strike by a body
coming between him and his oppressor.
Tarant intervened, no pretence of subservience in his manner this
Hill chose to turn
the fury on the dark man.
me, Tarant," the man hissed nastily. "I warned you what
would happen if you betrayed me. You let her get away, you never
told me she was one of you."
"Lets leave before
the police get here," the man still tried to reason with
his maddened associate.
"Don't tell me
what to do, freak!" Hill yelled and threw his fist at the
Immortal. "No, Tarant, you don't get away with this one.
Boys, its time to get rid of our pair of curiosities."
There was a grin on
Guinea's face as he bent down to right the fallen youth; he was
still reeling from the savage kick and gave little resistance
to the hulking man. Tarant was a different matter - he chose to
attack before he was reached. Both Carter and Pitbull took hold
of him and used their second pair of cuffs in efficient haste.
Once the second Immortal was held, Carter broke off and turned
his gun on the rest of the assembled company. There was anger
on many a face, and only the pistol kept them in place.
"Keep them covered,
Carter," Hill approved, "make sure they don't try and
Richie began to gather
more of his situation as he was pulled out into fresh air. He
complained and struggled against Guinea, but the man was large
and he was bound. Still, he managed to slow the progress they
were making out round the side of the house.
"This is holy
ground!" he yelled righteously, feeling the build up of tension
once more. "You can't do this!"
A wind whipped his
words away and the youth's breath caught in his throat. The gust
had come from nowhere, the night was calm, and as it ran over
his body, Richard Ryan shuddered. He glanced wildly at Tarant,
and the man's face showed that he had felt the sudden touch of
electricity. Both Immortals looked up simultaneously and what
they saw chilled them to the bone. The evening had been clear,
there were clouds above them now, highlighted in the silver grey
of the moon which fought through them. Another blast of wind cut
through the men, and each faltered in their step. Yet, the Mortals
felt nothing, only the air running past them, and they gave no
indication that they recognised the forces around them.
The feeling of dread
which engulfed Richie made him struggle again, and he screamed
wordlessly at the intent of his captors. He couldn't fathom the
power around him, but the storm within echoed the storm that was
growing without. A rumble came from on high, a warning to the
Mortals too deaf to their senses to hear it. Only the Eternals
responded; Richie with the fire of the young, kicking and shoving
his holder, Tarant with a stillness as he tried to obey the will
of his surroundings.
Hill turned on his
captives as he reached what he considered a suitable spot, and
he laughed at the two opposite reactions. He took Richie's opposition
to be panic and the merciless scorn showed in his face. Tarant's
pale complexion he considered to be fear.
the younger Immortal warned heatedly, "you don't know what
The laughter was cold
and unresponsive, but the words told the pair all they needed
to hear, "I know exactly what I'm doing, freaks, something
I should have done hours ago."
Tarant responded evenly,
his head held high, "You are pathetic, Hill. You can never
be one of us, so you chose to destroy what you do not understand.
Can't you feel the power here, Mortal? Are you so blind?"
The man's eyes flared
with anger and he levelled the sword at his one time comrade.
All his bigotry showed in the taut body as with seething rage
he hissed, "You first."
Richie cried out, half
in revulsion, half in shock as thunder broke from the cloud and
daggered through his hearing. He convulsed at the warning his
spirit was giving him, but he was powerless to help his companion
as Pitbull pushed the elder forward. A hand was placed firmly
over the protesting mouth as Hill commanded silence from at least
the physical company. The youth's complaints were muffled and
all he could do was watch as he was pinned close to his captor's
There was almost something
serene about Russ Tarant as he was brought roughly to his knees
by a harsh hand. He looked across at his companion and the sadness
within was gone where the tumult that was growing around them
touched his soul. The Immortal was resigned to his fate, there
was no fear in his eyes only a calm which was not his own. Richie
stilled as he met the gaze, confused, but held by the depth in
the suddenly ageless eyes. The wind whipped through them both,
but at that moment, even that dimmed as Immortal spoke to Immortal
without words. They were close enough for Quickenings to pass
between them, and the stare in the first pair of eyes offered
his power to his younger kin.
Then those dark eyes
closed and the sword sliced down. Richard Ryan ripped away from
his captor and yelled, "No!", but it was too late, the
steel glinted in the moonlight and its blade was stained red.
The calm before the storm was momentary, a single glance from
the sword to the Mortal holding it; Hill's mouth was hanging open
as he felt the full extent of the murder he had committed. He
stared down at the body and understood the connection between
himself and the weapon he had used, his reaction was horror.
Then the consequence.
Richie felt his soul
move before the first signs of power became visible. He started,
and closed his eyes, waiting for the Quickening. He heard the
exclamations of his captors and felt the first wave of energy
run over his body; breath escaped through gritted teeth as the
Immortal prepared for the exquisite agony of the Eternal rite.
He heard the exclamations of his captors and knew that there had
been somethings that Tarant had kept to himself. The youth was
left alone as the ancient exchange began in earnest.
Ryan convulsed and
opened his eyes as the familiar touch shook his body, and he cried
out in release. The blue light rippled over his skin, flexing
his muscles as he contorted against the strength. This feeling
he knew, expected, but there were more forces at work in the vicinity.
The tumult was not all Quickening, and the young man knew it within
moments of its touch. The helpless Immortal reeled and collapsed
to his knees as he felt the touch of holy ground. Ice sliced through
his body as the wind howled around him and thunder rumbled ominously
With a groan, Richie sunk to the ground and curled into a ball
as he instinctively knew that the heavy wave was only the beginning.
Thunder cracked once
more and a streak of blue daggered down from the silver clouds,
straight through the unprotected body to earth. The youth's scream
was drowned by the deafening tumult as he writhed against the
power. A fire built inside him, intense, uncontrollable, threatening
to destroy him, but there was no release from the wrath of the
sacred lands. Richie's convulsions became an almost invisible
trembling as his muscles tightened in a spasm inspired by the
cocoon of light which engulfed his form. His cry was silent against
The touch lasted for
an eternity that Richard Ryan could not fathom. His heart beat
in an impossible rhythm, sounding its own turmoil in his ears
which threatened his life. His blood could have been boiling oil
as it seared through his veins digging needles into his every
nerve. The light blinded the Immortal's pained vision, cutting
at his retinas even through lids which he closed in torment. Breath
came in short, jagged gasps so eventually he did not even have
the strength to scream. Richie felt his body reaching its limits,
and through the agony he expected death.
Yet, he was given release.
The powerless figure
shuddered violently once more as the storm cracked a final blast
from the sky and used him as the lightening rod. Then the influence
was gone. The tempest did not abate, the wind still howled and
thunder rumbled, but the agonising light disappeared as immediately
as it has arrived. The calm was sudden, more definite than any
Quickening the youth had experienced; there was no ripple of left
over energy, no tingling in his body, just emptiness. The young
man could feel nothing from his flesh as he collapsed uselessly
onto the dry earth, not even thought drifted through his head.
The supernatural exchange had washed away his mind and Richie's
eyes were blank as they closed in total exhaustion.
Of Part 7