Part 31 & 32 / Part 33 & 34 / Part 35 & 36
The moment that Lord Drake was free he headed back to Sherwood to find Robin's friends. He knew that his son was too weak to battle Aunt Alice on his own. And that the witch was too powerful for Lord Drake to be of any real use. "Be careful, my son," Lord Drake whispered, as he ran. "I'll be back soon."
Robin came awake slowly. He knew that he was lying down and when he shifted, he realized he was bound. Tugging on his wrists, Robin was surprised to see that he was restrained with only thin, silk cording. Should be easy enough to simply snap the bindings free, he thought to himself. But five minutes later all Robin had to show for his efforts were bloody wrists. And he found that he was thoroughly exhausted. Much more so than he should have been, for now he was feeling weak and lightheaded.
"Poor Nephew," drawled Alice as she sauntered into the room. She moved to the bed and stared down upon Robin, noting that his skin was sheened with sweat from his endeavors. With one fingertip she traced the curve of one rock-hard bicep. "You'll never free yourself," Alice whispered. "The cords are magicked, Robin. Black magic. Your powers cannot touch them."
"So what happens now, Aunt?" Robin countered, a smirk curving his lips. He would not let Alice see how weak he really was. Robin tugged at his bonds. "I'm not much use to you like this."
Alice threw back her head and laughed. "You'd be surprised," she purred. "You see. I have a protege who is coming along quite nicely. Not as powerful as you or I, but strong enough for my purposes."
Robin sighed, as if bored. "And what....purposes...would that be, Aunt?" he inquired.
"Producing a child born of pure darkness and light," Alice drawled. She laughed again when she saw understanding dawn in Robin's dark eyes. "That's right, Nephew," Alice confirmed. "You will mate with Nadya and your child will be the ultimate power."
"Not gonna happen!" Robin hissed.
Alice's eyes grew cold. She grabbed a handful of Robin's thick hair and bent to stare hard into his eyes. "There is nothing you can do to stop it, Nephew," she whispered. And even as she spoke, footsteps could be heard behind her. Turning, Alice smiled at the young woman who approached them.
Nadya was not beautiful. She was untutored in her dark powers, but they were strong within her. And they were base and raw, which was reflected in her appearance. No illusion of prettiness for Nadya, she was heavyset and very tall. Her movements were uncoordinated, as if her mind had no real control over her body. She dragged one leg as she walked, and her body was hunched over, shoulders bent. Nadya's hair was patchy, bald spots showing on her large skull and her face was scarred on one side, the skin shiny and raw looking. In truth, she was an abomination.
"Good lord..." Robin whispered, as Nadya came into full view.
"Nadya's not much to look at," Alice acknowledged, but she is merely a vessel, Nephew. Her dark powers, are a thing of beauty."
Robin shook his head on the pillow. He could feel darkness emanating from Nadya as she approached him. Her expression was slack, but a smile twisted the corners of her mouth as she looked at Robin. He glared at his Aunt. "I would die before letting a child be born for you evil purposes!" Robin hissed.
Alice laughed, knowing that Robin was all talk. He was too weak to resist, especially since he was bound by cords that had been touched by the eternal flames. She knew that the magic in the flames drained Robin's powers. He was as helpless as a kitten. Turning to Nadya, Alice took the young woman's hand then placed it on Robin's chest. "Is he not pretty, Nadya?" Alice whispered in the girl's ear.
"Yes..." breathed Nadya. She loved pretty things. And Robin Hood was more beautiful that she had imagined a human could be. Nadya had no illusions about herself. She knew she was hideous. But she believed what Alice told her. That if she bore a child, fathered by Robin Hood, that child would be powerful, and beautiful. It was Nadya's most fervent wish to produce something beautiful.
"This is not going to happen," Robin insisted, once again straining against his bonds as Nadya's hand glided over him. Then her thick fingers were fumbling with the lacings on his tunic. "No.." Robin whispered, feeling desperation wash over him. In his mind he reached out to his teacher. ...Olwyn, help me....Robin beseeched...Tell me what to do....
Alice watched as Nadya ripped open Robin's tunic, her fingers to clumsy on the lacings and she was too impatient. "Soon..." Alice whispered, as her eyes devoured her nephew's beauty. "Soon I will be the one, true power. And I will rule all of England. Prince John be damned."
Robin was oblivious to the blood that oozed from his wrists as he struggled to free himself from the silken cords. He knew that this union could not be allowed, and for more reasons that the fact that Nadya repulsed him. Robin called out to Olwyn once more, but received no reply. Then Nadya leaned over, to lay on his chest, her weight was heavy, suffocating. Her fingers threaded through Robin's hair, holding his head still so that she could claim a kiss. And it was as her lips touched his that Robin realized what he must do.
Nadya was surprised, but pleased, when Robin's struggles ceased. But she didn't release him. Instead she deepened the kiss and suddenly felt her body begin to tingle.
Drawing on what power still hummed deep within him, Robin used them to tap into Nadya. He drew out the darkness that dwelled in her soul and pulled in deep inside himself. Robin felt coldness wash over him at first, but then the cold turned warm, then it burned. And in that moment the transfer was complete. The forces that had once resided in Nadya had found a home in Robin Hood. And the evil fed off his goodness, tangling threads of lights, weaving them into darkness. Robin used those powers to snap the cords binding him and without touching Nadya, he flung her across the room.
"What the..." Alice cursed as she watched Robin rise from the bed. "How?" she began, but when she looked into his eyes she knew. They glowed red and Alice could almost feel the heat of his gaze. Robin had absorbed Nadya's powers and they were now combined with his own. But she also understood something that Robin did not. He had just damned his soul for all eternity, for the forces within him were pure evil, and he was now their slave.
"Aunt Alice..." Robin drawled, as he strode over to the witch. A smile curved his lips and he flexed his hands, reveling in the sensation of feeling strong again. "What shall we do with you?" Robin questioned, one finger scratching at his chin. "Send you to hell...perhaps?"
Alice backed away from Robin. She knew enough to be frightened of him now. "Spare me, nephew," Alice pleaded, falling to her knees.
Robin sighed as he gazed down upon her. "You're a pest, Aunt," he whispered.
Then he waggled one finger and in the blink of an eye, Alice became a spider.
A big, ugly, spider. Robin laughed, then he lifted one foot, prepared to
crush her beneath his boot. But a voice in his head stopped him.
Olwyn called out to Robin, desperate to reach him. He knew what had occurred, knew that Robin was unaware of the power of the forces that now dwelled within him. With every second that passed they became stronger, feeding off of Robin's pure heart. His light making the darkness pulse. And the dark side of his soul would soon emerge. And when that happened, God save them all.
End of part 33
"Robin...You cannot destroy what is defenseless" Robin heard Olwyn’s voice crystal clear as if he was standing right next to him. "She is useless" Robin stated dryly lifting his boot again to crush her.
"She cannot defend herself Robin. That is not how you were taught" Olwyn said materializing before Robin in a blue mist.
"To hell with how I was taught. Where has it got me? Where has it got England"
Robin exclaimed eyes glowing purest red. He swung around to confront his tutor muscles rippling in his arms and hands.
"Robin...you must fight to control your anger" Olwyn whispered softly.
"For what good will it do? I will no longer tolerate these fools who claim to know what is best. Best for me or best for England"!! with that Robin whirled around on his boot heels and headed for the door leaving Alice scrambling under the table.
Olwyn watched Robin leave not attempting to stop him while he was in this state.
He knew his anger was out of control and so was his powers. So much so that Olwyn’s powers paled in comparison. Even Olwyn now feared Robin. He had to convince him to pull on his pure side, to have the good supersede the evil. But in the emotional state he was in now, after having so much happen to him in such a short period of time, this might now be an impossibility.
Olwyn walked to the window and looked out over the castle grounds. To his amazement he saw Robin standing by a fountain. He stood very still staring into the cascading water to the point it was hard to even see him breathing. Olwyn threw his arm up and disappeared , rematerializing by Robins side. Olwyn was amazed to see that Robin did not even move at his appearance. The old sorcerer walked close to Robins side waving his hand in front of Robins face but still no reaction.
"Someone has him in a trance" Olwyn said in amazement, "who's powers are this great"?
"You needed help did you not"?
Olwyn sighed at the voice. "Mortiana...but how"?
"Did you not feel your powers drain"? And with a burst of white sparks the sorceress appeared on Robins other side, "But the question my old friend is what do we do now"?
Olwyn paced back and forth for a bit, "How long will this spell hold"?
"Not long, his powers are working right now to dissipate the spell. He is stronger than anything I have ever scene. Olwyn, if we cannot find a way to break this curse Robin has damned himself with, we will have no other choice but to destroy him before he destroys the world as we know it".
"He is like a son to me"
"Olwyn, I realize how painful this is for you" she looked into the old mans tear filled eyes.
'Of course I realize you are right" Olwyn walked to stare into Robins blank eyes.
"Perhaps now we should call on Macadia"
"She was once one of Gods chosen few" Mortiana pleaded with Olwyn, "Time is running out"
"I cannot destroy him"
"Then call her Olwyn"
Olwyn placed his face in his hands looking down at the ground. Part of it was anger and part of it was pride. Back in the days of Merlin, when England was seeing pain and hatred, God sent one of his special messengers down to Merlin explaining that God himself would assist England’s cause. This sounded like a mission that could not loose until the Angel Macadia saw Sir Lancelot. It was a love that could be compared to none other and this angered God. Olwyn was just a young apprentice at that time and as soon as he saw Macadia, his heart broke in half. He had nothing to offer a beautiful Angel, especially one that had fallen for one of King Arthur’s favorites. In his youthful folly, he foiled Macadias plans to assist England with hopes of catching her attention but instead much blood was needlessly shed in the name of love.
"Call her. She does not hate you for what happened", Mortiana continued," but she will help you. She offered back then'
"But my pride stood in the way then too" Olwyn responded shaking his head
"She has the unbridled powers of God himself, yes. That is the only way" As Olwyn began to recite a chant, Robin began to slowly move his head from side to side. Pain shot through his body as he fought to break the spell he was under and this angered him even more.
"Olwyn....hurry" Mortiana cried in fear seeing Robin look at them eyes fully ablaze.
"Macadia-come to us now-hear our plea" Olwyn cried out finishing the incantation.
Robin shook off the rest of the spell swinging to face Olwyn and Mortiana.
"You honestly thought you could stop me Olwyn"? Robin hissed extending his hand. He snapped his fingers and threw a lightening bolt at his old teacher hurling him to the ground in a heap.
'And you. You could not stay away could you Mortiana! Since you have always loved Olwyn, with Olwyn you will remain"! Again his anger was beyond control, his voice totally unfamiliar to the sorceress.
"You are Robin Hood...champion of the people" She shouted back at him.
"I am Robin Hood-- champion to myself" His voice shook the very earth they stood on. Again he extended his index finger but Mortiana lurched to one side as the lightening bolt shattered nearby stone.
Robin laughed a deep horrible laugh rattling stone and brick until they began to fall . It was obvious the more he laughed the worse the earth shook. This seemed to please Robin watching walls fall and people scream and run.
"I will save England! By not allowing ANYONE to rule her! If she is destroyed, nothing can touch her" again he laughed quite uncontrollably.
It seemed for every minute that passed his powers became greater and he also became more and more insane. It was as if the internal battle between the good side and the bad side had driven him over the edge.
Still laughing, Robin walked away from Mortiana and Olwyns crumpled body. He strolled down the brick walkway holding his side with laughter casting an occasional lightening ball into trees or buildings laughing as he watched them burst into flame.
Mortiana ran to Olwyn's side sighing with relief when she realized that he was just unconscious but other than that fine.
She smiled a smile to herself realizing that Robin, when given the opportunity, did not kill him. But seeing the havoc and destruction around her, knew that without the assistance of Macadia, she would have to destroy the outlaw.
"I am sorry Olwyn, I truly am" Mortiana picked up a sword and holding it in front of her recited an incantation watching the blade begin to glow an unearthly red.
"Tonight, you must die Robin Hood" she whispered with regret and headed towards the path she had watched the tall man take.
To either side of her buildings and trees were fully engulfed in flames with residents standing outside crying and holding each other. The one consistent thing she noticed was property was destroyed but she had yet to see one body.
To her knowledge, Robin had yet to actually KILL anyone.
"A shame I have to kill you as it looks as if your good side is trying still to fight its way out. But I cannot take any chances Robin Hood. I am sure you will understand"
She hurried her pace across the fieldstone path to catch up to this mad man and as she rounded the corner she could see him in the distance extending his hands to the sky. In return, a bolt of lightening left the clouds illuminating the land and sky around him running down the full length of his extended arms and into his body. He laughed a deep and robust laugh filling Mortiana with fear. Again she held the sword in front of her repeating the same incantation-"find your way this day ...to the heart that is no longer pure...bring him down to the ground.... let his evil no longer endure"
And with the last word said, the sword left her hand hurling through the air, blade fully aglow, and as Robin turned to face Mortiana with hands still held up to the sky, the sword blade ran fully into his chest-directly through his heart.
Slowly he lowered his arms looking down at the sword fully implanted into his chest, then raised his head to look at Mortiana. The flame was gone from his eyes and now tears spilled over onto his cheeks.
"I forgive you" he whispered, then crumpled to the ground.
Mortiana rushed forward and felt his neck for a pulse but there was none.
"I am truly sorry Robin Hood" she said kneeling nest to him holding his hand in hers.
The End - Part 34
Part 31 & 32 / Part 33 & 34 / Part 35 & 36
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