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Library: Shadows of Life

Books

Author: Grifter
Date:Dec 13 1995

Shadows of Life--A Beginning and an End To All Things. In which Shanden 
and Bassor conclude one part of the game, only to begin another.


    The door opened slowly, revealing a careworn face in a dark suit. "Yes?"
    "I'm here to see Bassor."
    "Ah yes. The master is expecting you."  The door opened further, "Please,
won't you step inside?"
    The door opened fully as I stepped inside.  Pillars leading up to a
cathedral ceiling adorned the center of the room. I glanced up, studying the
images above me.
    "The master had it done several years ago. Fascinating are they not? It is
from Milton's Paradise."
    "Paradise?", I questioned, a bit suprised. "I would of expected Dante's
Inferno."
    "My master finds it a refreshing change.", the servant replied.
    Quirking my lips slightly, "You master has a keen sense of the ironic."
    "Indeed he does sir. Now please, step this way."
    We walked beneath the angelic pictures, into a darkened hallway which led
into what appeared to be the serving area. Lush white carpet adorned the
floor. In the center of the room sat Bassor at a narrow oak table. Shifting
the sword at my side, I stepped into the room, blinking once as my eyes
adjusted to the light.
    Bassor. Devil or damned, I had yet to figure out. Skin so pale to be
translucent, his hair the color of darkest night, a startling contrast. His
features, delicate, almost fragile. As his crystal grey eyed gaze passed to
me, I felt a slight chill. I had fought his kind before, but there had always
been an unspoken deal of sorts between Bassor and I. Up till tonight, neither
of us had been willing to break that.
    Taking a calming breath, I took another step forward, my hand away from
the sword hilt. "Bassor, I had no..."
    His hand raising slightly from the table, he gazed at the servant, "You
are dismissed." As the servant scuttled out of the room, "Please Shanden. Be
seated."
    I slipped into a chair at the opposite end of the table, waiting for his
next move. He snapped his fingers and various servants stepped into the room,
their eyes down to the floor. Placed before me was a crystal goblet filled to
the brim with a dark vibrant red liquid and a plate of steaming sliced meat.
    Nothing was said until the servants left the room. Then, reaching for his
goblet, Bassor said softly, "Shall we make a toast Shan?"
    Brushing the silver streak of hair from my eyes, "It is your choice
Bassor."
    "Then we shall toast. To life eternal. The sweet kiss of death will never
touch us." He smiled, sipping the liquid, staining his lips crimson. I raised
my own drink in salute, but sat it down.
    "Bassor, I don't know if I should be disappointed or insulted. Human
flesh served with blood wine? I thought we had more respect for each other."
    He laughed, finally revealing the telltale pointed white canines that
marked him. "Oh Shan, I have enjoyed playing the game with you. There have
been few players with your skill."
    Keeping my nerves steady, "Bassor, you're mixing tenses. I'm afraid you're
slipping."
    "No my dear friend, tonight you crossed the line. Killing Adrien was a
mistake. A serious one I fear."
    I raised my hand slightly off the table, fingers outstretched. "I had no
choice in the matter. He was trying to gorble Es."
    Gorbling. The newest trend in vampire killings. Feed off your victim while
fucking them. Leaves them smiling every time.
    Bassor paused, inclining his head slightly. "Adrien was always a bit
impulsive. Stiil, he had his uses. He will need to be replaced."
    Shit, so that was what this was all about. "Bassor, I'm sorry, but I have
no choice to refuse.  I've told you before, I'm not interested."
    "Ahh, but my dear Shanden, I'm not asking this time." With speed that only
the undead are capable of he lept from his seat diving towards me. Damn he was
fast. I was expecting something like this. Kicking back my chair, I began to
draw my sword as I fall backwards. I was fast. He was faster.  My sword was
half-drawn before he was upon me, his soft lips upon my neck, the sensations
of pain and pleasure wracking my body. As oblivion took me, I couldn't help
but admire his style. Letting me come in armed was a masterful ploy to get me
to relax.
    I recall little of the next few hours, as I hovered between wakefulness
and the void. Finally I awoke fully. As my eyes adjusted, I found myself
suprised by what I saw. Objects were sharper, clearer to my vision, yet at the
same time it was if they rested in shadow. Nothing was as vivid as it once had
been. I truly now lived in a world of darkness.  There was a soft,
throbbing pain in my chest as I struggled to raise my head. In response to my
movement a form stepped out of the shadows. Bassor.
    "So the sleeping prince awakens without another kiss." He pressed his
long, delicate fingers against my lips, "Shh. Do not speak, save your strength
for later. You put up quite the fight my friend. I fear we had to restrain
you." His fingers trailed down my face and throat until they reached the
throbbing pain in my chest. Tapping the stone spike that lay nestled between
my ribs and the ground, "I do believe you'll behave now though." With a quick
jerk, he pulled the spike upwards, freeing my trapped form. As the pain washed
over my body, I closed my eyes and returned to the warm and welcoming embrace
of oblivion.


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