The Dark Twin Chronicles:
Taste of Blood
By Myths n’ Wraiths

The glare of floodlights brutally yanked Myth from his foggy slumber and blinded him instantly. He flinched at the brutal assault of his vision and realized that he was restrained, tied hand and foot into a steel chair. Squinting at the glaring light Myth attempted to get some glimpse of his surroundings but to no avail. Instinctively his mind reached out in an attempt to feel out other presences around him but to his confusion and dismay his empathic abilities were also being blinded.

"What is your name?" A voice cut through the brilliant light. Myth flinched as if physically abused and clenched his mouth shut, setting his jaw.

"Why did your brother leave?" The voice ventured after a moment of silence. Myth did not answer but inside him anger was beginning to form.

"Was it the same reason your father abandoned you?" Still Myth gave no answer but the anger inside him grew.

"Was it for vengeance?" Dead silence and still the anger grew. Myth could feel it filling his veins as it drew off of the frustration of his captivity.

"Why didn’t you leave?" The voice persisted, fueling the anger until it gave birth to rage.

"Did you not love your parents?" The rage swelled.

"Of course you did. But did you not love them as much as your brother?" The rage was horrendous, on the verge of breaking Myth. But it could be controlled, it must be controlled.

"What is your name?" The rage erupted.

"MYTH!" he yelled, bolting upright in his bed, gasping for breath and dripping in sweat. He glanced around him, staring into the shadows of his small room in a borderline frenzy. His eyes quickly took in every bare corner and every sparsely decorated wall. As usual though, he was completely alone.

Another dream, Myth thought to himself as he let out a sigh. He sat for a moment, catching his breath as he tried to shake the memories of the dream out of his head.

Slowly a chill worked its way up his body as the sweat that had pooled up on his bed cooled in the night air and motivated Myth to get up. He checked the clock as his feet hit the cold tile floor of his room. The red digital dial read 3:45 A.M. He muttered a curse under his breath as he eyed the clock angrily.

Forcing himself to his feet Myth snatched the soaked sheets off of his bed, tossed them in the corner of his small room and headed for his shower. It took him only a few short strides to cross the distance but no sooner had he reached his bathroom than a chime sounded back by his bed.

Cursing to himself again Myth spun on his heals and headed back to his bedside table where he hit a button on a small silver console. "Myth here," he said, trying to fight back the fatigue in his voice.

"Hey boss man." a gruff but alert voice responded. "You wanted me to inform you as soon as we had a meeting set up with Saundra Chase."

"Yes, what time?" Myth asked suddenly more alert.

"She said meet her at 0500 at the statue. She said you would know which one she meant."

"Thanks Anarchy. I know exactly what she means. Wake the others; were going to Perez Park." Myth said as he recalled the only statute of any personal importance to him in the entire city. "And arrange for some civilian transportation. I want to travel as inconspicuously as possible."

"You really think the bloodsucker has caught onto us?" Anarchy asked more out of curiosity than doubt.

"We’re not going to underestimate him Anarchy." Myth said pointedly before clicking off the console and letting out a long sigh. "Finally," he muttered to himself as he leaned heavily on the bedside table. "His days are numbered."

Statues of heroes of varying levels of renown and capability decorate every corner of the expansive landscape of Paragon City. Each has a story of its own to tell and behind each common story there are dozens personal ones. One such statue, tucked in what was once a quiet residential street of Perez Park, was dedicated to a heroine of the pre-Rikti era known as Sage. The greening bronze plaque situated at the foot of the elegantly carved amorous form spoke of how this psychic paved the way for the founding of the G.I.F.T. program that now helped fledgling mutant heroes establish themselves and how she gave her life fighting the precursor to Dr. Vahzilok’s zombie forces. Saundra sighed disappointedly to herself as she wondered what historian had written such an impersonal eulogy for someone who had died for such personal reasons.

Saundra had been many things throughout her years. In what now seemed like a past life to her she had been a police chief in charge of gang control in King’s Row. She had also once been a personal friend of Sage and it disgusted her to see the life of such a woman summed up so vaguely. For it to be said that Sage had died to stop some Vahzilok force when in reality she had braved Paragon’s sewers to save her abducted twin boys seemed a personal insult on a political level and it made Saundra’s skin crawl. Was risking everything for your own flesh and blood not heroic enough for the history books, she wondered to herself as she grimaced at the aging plaque.

She took up a position under the statue where she could see clearly down Perez Park’s abandoned roads in the dim morning light. All around her light poles were toppling and windows were shattered. Parking lots were bare of vehicles and as dawn crept over the once serene park Saundra found herself completely alone accept for one loan figure that had quietly slipped out of an alleyway only a few feet from the towering statue.

"Perez Park sure has turned out for the worst hasn’t it," Saundra said as she saw the young man, not even out of his teens, dressed in a casual leather jacket and cap approach her. Despite the fact that she knew this man was just a boy compared to her, his face held age beyond his years and his long hair was a distinct white in contrast to his deeply tanned skin.

"I never held much love for this place anyway," Myth said pointedly as he walked up next to the elderly Saundra. He shot a wary glance around the area, taking in the decaying neighborhood and dismissing it almost out of hand. Perez Park was far from welcoming but for the moment at least, this small corner of it looked safe.

Once he was confident that they were alone Myth spared a glance up at the large marble statue of the tall slender woman that he and Saundra were standing under. The intensity in his dark eyes faltered briefly as he looked at the form of his mother carved in silky smooth stone, reaching to the sky as if she were taking flight.

"I’m assuming that since you called for this meeting that you have what I’ve been looking for," Myth said, turning his attention back to Saundra before his mind had a chance to wander.

"Took me ten years and cost me three friends," Saundra said solemnly as she pulled a large manila envelope from her jacket.

Myth took the envelope from her outstretched hand and quickly tucked it into his jacket pocket before speaking in a grim tone. "Well I can’t promise that more lives won’t be lost before the end but I can promise that they will not have died in vain."

"He has taken so much from so many people," Saundra said hanging her head mournfully. She paused for a moment and let out a long sigh before setting her jaw and fixing Myth in a firm gaze. "It’s all on you to take it back."

Myth’s eyes dimmed unnaturally with his reply. "Count on it." and then after a brief pause he added, "Thank you Saundra, for everything."

Saundra chuckled and Myth guessed it was an attempt to fight back tears. She took a long moment to stare up at the heroic statue of the beautiful young woman that towered over them before speaking again. "Your mother was good woman, a selfless woman. She and your father were heroes in their own right but this is about more than just them. Bloodlust has stolen more lives over the centuries than most epidemics can boast. He has to be stopped Myth; here and now, he has to be stopped."

Myth nodded gravely but gave no response. He needed no lectures at this point in the game; no motivation, no reassurance, just direction.

"I should warn you though," Saundra added, "you are not the only person with this information."

Myth started at the news. "Tell me you didn‘t give this to anyone else?" he said, trying to contain his frustration but doing a very poor job of it.

"No, not at all," Saundra said with a defensive wave of her hand. "But two days ago, just after I was able to confirm my findings, someone broke into my office. This was the only file that was disturbed, yet oddly enough wasn’t stolen. It looks to me like someone else is on the same track Myth," she said with a knowing grin on her face.

"Thanks for giving me the heads up Saundra," Myth said sharply. If he had any idea of who else could be hunting his target than he wasn’t showing it. "Why did you want to meet here anyway?" he added, shifting the conversation as he cast one more glance up at the statue.

"He must know you are looking for him and there is no telling what kind of resources he has at his disposal. I wanted to pick a place that we were both familiar with just incase there was an incident." No sooner had the words come out of Saundra’s mouth than a loud clamor erupted from an alleyway less than twenty feet away.

Myth lost focus on his immediate surroundings and reached out with his mind. What he found was not very reassuring. Anger and fear were flowing from the alleyway with alarming intensity.

"What is it?" Saundra asked as the sounds of trash cans being toppled and unruly jeering became more prevalent.

"A large mob, twelve at least, probably Skull," Myth said, glaring menacingly at the alleyway. Suddenly something caught his attention and he turned to stare in the other direction, where almost a hundred yards away, another gang of Skull were emerging from a byway further down the street. The gang spotted Myth and Saundra almost instantly and began moving in their direction.

"We’re cut off," Saundra said with more annoyance in her voice than fear. Myth paid her no attention but touched his fingers to his ear lightly.

"Counter attack plan Omega," he muttered under his breath as he snatched Saundra by the wrist and began leading her quickly toward a narrow alley that ran between the two apartment complexes situated next to the statue. "No, no teleporting!" he snapped sharply and Saundra could only guess that he was speaking through some kind of com piece to a team that was close by.

Saundra stumbled but struggled to keep up while Myth quickly pulled her into the alley. Then, once inside the cover of the walls, he stopped abruptly.

"What’s wrong?" Saundra asked anxiously. Myth did not answer but stood in plain sight at the opening of the alleyway until the mob was within throwing distance. He ducked slightly, letting an empty glass bottle fly just past his head and shatter against the wall before turning and snatching Saundra by the wrist once again. The two sprinted down the alley as fast as Saundra could manage and emerged from between the two buildings with only seconds to spare.

While Myth had paused inside the alley, the first mob they heard had made its way around the building in an attempt to cut Saundra and the young mutant off and they had nearly succeeded. Myth and Saundra burst out of the alley, running at full tilt, and just barely managed to make it across the street and into another alley before a hail of bottles, rocks and makeshift clubs came hurtling down on them.

Saundra let out a slight yelp as she heard glass and wood hitting the pavement just behind her heals but Myth held onto her wrist with unreal strength and pulled her into the safety of the alley before the Skull could get close enough for their makeshift projectiles to be effective.

Fear of the Skulls behind her was compounded with dismay when Saundra saw that the opposite end of this alley was blocked by the large brick wall that encircled the entire park. The barrier was over ten feet tall but it might as well have been a hundred because there was no way that Saundra could scale it at her age. Myth however; charged recklessly toward the wall, pulling Saundra behind him.

While they were still several yards away from the towering barrier, a massive form crested the wall and landed in the alley in front of Myth and Saundra. Saundra felt her heart skip a beat when she saw the huge dark man land in their path. He stood at least nine feet tall and was built so solid that his wrists looked to be as thick around as Saundra’s waist. His large dark eyes glared down the alley and his thick lips parted into a snarl.

"Myth!" Saundra shouted a warning but the mutant continued to charge toward this new obstacle. Saundra tried to yank her hand free from Myth’s vice like grip, instinctively trying to pull away from the seemingly suicidal mutant before he came within arms reach of the brute but despite her desperation, Myth’s grip held strong on her wrist.

The huge man’s eyes focused on them and a smirk spread across his lips. He hunkered down, placing one hand on the ground like a football player ready to charge.

Myth lead the charge to within a few feet of the dark mountain of a man before Saundra screamed for him to stop. Her scream fell on deaf ears however, and Myth closed the gap between them and the most terrifyingly huge man Saundra had ever seen.

Suddenly, just before Myth collided with the dark form, Saundra felt his grip loosen on her wrist and in two quick leaps the agile mutant landed on the massive shoulder of the hulking man and then cleared the barrier wall with ease. Saundra’s momentum carried her into the grasp of the dark form that easily gripped her around the waist with one of his huge hands and with amazing gentleness tossed her into the air.

Terrified and confused, Saundra let out a long scream. She watched with a sense of detached awareness as the barrier wall passed beneath then the whole world slowed as she reached the apex of her hurl. The ground was soon rushing up to meet Saundra and she clenched her eyes shut and tensing her body in anticipation of the pain. No sooner had her eyes closed however; than she felt two strong arms snatch her from the air and break her fall.

"Open your mouth," Myth shouted before she even had a chance to open her eyes. She felt her body being shoved forcefully onto the ground and Myth’s strong hands press down over her ears. "Open your mouth and keep your eyes closed." He shouted again and Saundra could feel the weight of his body pinning her smaller frame to the ground. She obeyed him as quickly as her frantic mind could manage to figure out what he was telling her. No sooner had she followed his instructions than the whole world seemed to erupt around them.

A deafening explosion rocked the very ground she was lying on, tearing the buildings and foliage around them to pieces with its raw power. The explosion was over on half a heartbeat but it must have been the longest heartbeat of Saundra’s life. When the noise subsided the world was left in an eerie and complete silence.

Only after she felt Myth stir on top of her and slowly move to his feet did Saundra dare to open her eyes and take in her surroundings. The blast had definitely come from the opposite side of the barrier wall where the alley sides of the two buildings that Myth and Saundra had just passed between were collapsing in on themselves in disturbing silence. The skeletal remains of one of the exposed top floors collapsed, falling to the rubble strewn ground and casting up a wave of dust that forced Saundra to turn her head in the opposite direction.

Once she was able to see through the dust cloud Saundra noticed that this side of the barrier wall was surprisingly undamaged. The only thing that looked the worse for wear was Myth himself. Trickles of blood were running out of his ears and his back was singed and scared. Faint wisps of smoke were drifting off of his now tattered leather coat.

The wounded mutant spoke a few words to Saundra, though she could not make them out, and offered her his hand. She took it at once and the two stumbled weakly away from the scene of destruction.

 TO PART 2 >
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