The rider was a man that was barely qualified as such. At some point he was a man, a simple mortal that could have been happy had he been born to another woman. As it was those memories came from so long ago that they were little more than ancient history. None that he had grown up with had lived still in fact some of their blood lines had been eliminated entirely. He couldn't even remember the name that he had been born with, not that it was important. Now the only important thing was finding the summoner before the army of the undead got too big to resist alone. He was strong but even he had limits.
The rider had to recharge though. He may have been functionally immortal but even immortals needed rest. That was the time he hated. Memories would come back, most were the kind that he didn't want. In four thousand years he had amassed quite a few of those. He came to the place that was called home. It was an old abandoned church in a forgotten town that suited him well. The old rectory served as a home even if the doors were sealed shut from rust and age. He could move through the shadows and create what he needed from the darkness they gave. Soon the one known to most as the dark rider was resting.
The images flowed freely, things long forgotten flowed from the deepest recesses of his mind.
There was a blond woman, a beauty of the ancient world. She was ill and dying. There was a man who was suffering a different kind of pain. A boy and a girl that suffer for that pain. The girl was found dead from self-inflicted wounds after the mans death. Her body was found lying on the ground next to a grave. The boy ran off with despair and became a bounty hunter. None that he went after escaped. He often killed the target for the sheer hell of it. What he sought was always too elusive though. None of the many women that he bedded, All the money, the thrill of the hunt, none of it filled him. The boy who had become a man never found that thing to make him whole. Through the years of his life and continued existence the only words that the boy remembered from the man was, "We are a cursed family, no good will come from us."
The words couldn't have been more prophetic.
The rider woke from his brief rest and focused on the task of finding the summoner before the beast's zombie army could find them. His tracking could only be general at first. With a great effort he found her supernatural signature around the area of eastern Georgia in the United States. The beacon was stronger and easier to follow now. He could only hope that The creature wasn't ready to go after her yet.
Roughly one hundred miles north of the rider Dria Balley was frustrated. Despite good reviews and glowing comments from record producers she simply couldn't catch a break. Her family had always been singers with incredible voices. Tonight though it was just another small club in Augusta, Georgia with the next few nights being another dingy dive bar or equally small club. She sighed in to her bourbon before downing the shot and going to the stage for her final set of the night. She was not the most attractive woman and carried a little extra weight that she just couldn't get rid of permanently. Some producers had told her out right that it was the only reason she wasn't signed and to return when she hit the gym.
The set went well enough for the rough crowd and she went out to the back to get some air.
"Any day now girl, and your big break is coming." She said to herself as she ran her fingers through her long brown hair. The process was repeated a few more times until she sorted most of the tangles out. She couldn't be sure what it was but something felt different. It was that feeling of a coming storm, but not just any storm. It felt like the kind that bought enough rain to cause small cars to float away. The dreams were bothering her too. She had them, her mother had them, her grandmother had them, point of fact as far back as they could tell all the women in her family blood line had them since they could remember.
Her dreams were plagued by nightmarish images that she couldn't connect. A woman casting spells of some kind, a dark knight on a black horse, someone that moved almost faster than she could see and punched harder than she could imagine, even a hulking figure that never seemed to fall no matter how many times he got hit. Completing it was four people that seemed to control the elements and a never dying army of soldiers that even if they fell just got back up. They all seemed to be fighting each other as much as some monster. It was the same dream that her mother and grandmother had though none of them could explain it.
The show had ended and she signed a few autographs with the weak jokes that they should hold on to that since it will be valuable some day. She then went to the nightly ritual of loading up her own equipment and CD's in to the mini van to drive home. Home was a small one bedroom that she could barely afford. The equipment was stowed in the room and she slept on a hide-a-way in the bedroom/kitchen. The walls were decorated with signed concert posters and other various concert booty that she had gathered from her favorites.
"Some day." Dria said to herself as she just fell asleep without changing from her concert gear. The dream came again.
Lisa Snow woke in sweat from hers. She had dreams of friends dying from a betrayal of an ally, or so she assumed it was. Still there was work to do today. The models had arrived for the shoot while she drove to the site at San Marcos river. Lisa was considered jaw droopingly gorgeous by most standards, so much so that she had several solo and best selling calendar to her credit. High fashion photographers were lining up to work with her, calls came in from Paris and other high fashion capitols of the world to just have her show at their press conferences. The real kicker was that was after having two kids that she adored. Now she did only a few shoots a year and kept her appearances down so she could be a mom first and model somewhere around five or six on the list. Today's job was a swimwear shoot. The calendar was for charity so she made time for it.
The only pain was that she had to work with a prick of a photographer. He had learned to not mess with her but the other young models weren't so lucky. The guy made issues out of everything. Their makeup was too heavy or too light, they were cows for being 5'2" and 100 pounds, the lighting was wrong, the models couldn't pose right, whatever it was, he would complain. Lisa had enough of it and made sure that he knew it, she also had a secret.
On a break when he walked off after verbally running down one of the young girls to the point that she just assumed a fetal position and couldn't stop crying, she followed him. Content that none could see them, she called upon her ability to control the winds and sent him flying into a tree. Just to be sure he got the point she shifted his body in the air so he landed on thick branch like it was a saddle. Lisa want done yet. In addition to the winds she also controlled heat and fire. The fiery red head made her way to his car. A little discretely placed heat and the tires were melted as were some of the rims. This was followed by more heat that attacked the engine effectively welding it into a solid block of metal. As a final insult she caused the paint job to bubble and get severely damaged. Only then did she return to the set. About that same time the prick of a photographer returned and did his job more professionally.
She stuck around long enough after the shoot to see his reaction to the damage inflicted on his forty thousand dollar car. Smiling to herself she drove off leaving him out there to think about things like how to fix his behavior.
What she didn't say was that the location bothered her. Something about being near water bothered her. What it was she couldn't tell but it bothered her almost as much as the dreams did. Who were those people that she dreamed about? Like Dria her family had them for as long as they could remember, also like Dria they were getting stronger.
When Lisa got home the cure for her questions came rushing at her. A young boy and girl rushed to her arms and wouldn't let go of the hug. This was her paradise. Nothing beat being at home with her husband and kids. If only she knew that soon it was all going to be threatened. She was one of the defenders that would be called to stand in the way of the beast. The model mom might night be so content if she knew but for now blissful ignorance ruled.
The bean counters were getting more worried in their nonexistent room as the figures got progressively worse. More souls were being taken before their time and it was beyond corrections now. Finally the head bean counter made the call again this time yielding better results but not what was needed. They had to be called and he knew it.
The heroes had to rise again.
The rider waited till the sun had gone down and went on the road to Augusta. He could only hope that the call would come in time. Granted his reasons were selfish but he had enough of this existence and wanted to be with her.
"Soon my love soon." He muttered as he rode.
War of the Chaos Beast: Chapter One - (Dreams)Intro to a few of the heroes..
By tom McAllister