Disclaimer: None of these characters
are mine, though this story takes place in an alternate universe
and their roles are consequently altered from the Marvel Universe.
That means the story itself is mine though I have to admit
I was inspired by RogueStar's 'Horse
of Another Color' to write some kinda fairy tale. But
as the title indicates, it's a rather dark one... As always,
excuse my English, I'm trying...
This story is dedicated to Michi-chan aka Nicole Seska M.
Hope you're happy now, gal, you finally get your dedication...
Child of Death
Remy LeBeau roamed the market place searching for an opportunity
to get him something to eat. He has 'relieved' some of the
richer men - the few that were left these days - of their
purses but he didn't dare to pull them out to buy some food.
Besides, why pay for something you can easily steal? He pulled
a bit at the scarf he was blindfolded with to look at his
surroundings secretly. The people on the market paid him no
attention. For them, he was just another blind beggar in rags
- one of the many these days - ignorant to the fact that he
wore the scarf to hide his unusual red-on-black eyes. This
abnormality had been reason enough for his parents to abandon
him as child. He had no problems with either of that. Being
different was okay, he even liked it, even if he had too hide
And life on the streets wasn't bad either, if you're one
of the best thieves this world ever saw. And if you don't
get involved in anything. That was his basic principle, to
keep his butt out of anything dangerous. Of course he sympathized
with the rebellion - who didn't? - but he was too much a realist
to join it. Lord Lehnsherr's tyranny wasn't a thing he was
too happy with, but he knew about the strength of his troops.
And he worshipped his life and his freedom too high to mess
with them. That didn't mean he was a coward, actually, he
had already messed with them, but in a different way, not
in direct confrontations. He was an outlaw, a thief, but he
never stole from soldiers and as long as he stayed unpolitical,
he was of no interest to them.
He peeked over the scarf and grabbed an apple at the first
opportunity and hid it in the pockets of his shabby coat.
He turned right to leave the market place and started to eat
Suddenly, he heard yelling, only a few yards away. His curiosity
was stronger than his instinct to keep out of trouble and
he headed towards the source of the rumble. He saw a boy,
about 14 years old and in rags, running away from a bunch
of Lehnsherr's soldiers. The boy carried a loaf of bread and
some apples. Desperately he dropped the food and turned left
into a dark alley to save at least himself if not the food
he obviously needed urgently.
Dat little fool, dat's a blind alley! Shouldn't be fleein'
in streets where he don' know his way! Remy thought, feeling
sympathy for the little thief. The soldiers already ran into
the alley and cornered the boy who desperately tried to climb
over the brick wall that held him captive. When he saw that
Lord Lehnsherr's soldiers had catched up, he gave up his flight
and prepared to fight his superior opponents. As Remy approached
the group, he couldn't help but admire the boy's courage.
"Excuse me, messieurs, may I ask what's going on 'ere?" he
asked, pretending to have no clue.
"Go away, blind boy. That's none of your business. We're
just arresting a little street rat" one of the soldiers replied.
"Oh, I see. It's good to know you people care for our security.
May I ask which crimes he committed?" Remy moved slowly closer
to the boy, checking the floor with his staff as he did so.
"He has stolen bread and apples. We will take him to the
"No, no ya won't."
Before the soldiers could do anything, Remy had swirled around
his staff to throw them off balance and grabbed the boy. He
helped him over the brick wall and then followed him quickly.
The boy was still exhausted, so Remy took him to the nearest
hiding place he knew, a back alley, where even the soldiers
wouldn't go voluntarily. The boy leaned against a wall panting
and Remy had finally the chance to look at him properly. He
was about 14 years old, tall and thin. Remy wondered how he
had survived till now, everybody could beat up this weakling.
But then he remembered the fire he had seen in his eyes when
he had countered the soldiers and thought that he could scare
people with this look. The boy had unruly reddish brown hair,
like Remy, and wore a large brown cap, that covered most of
his head and forehead.
When the boy's breathing had returned to normal, Remy talked
to him, trying to put on a severe look.
"'ave ya really stolen apples?" he asked.
The boy looked up at him, a wide grin spread over his face.
Then, he jumped over a little wall and was gone. Remy sighed
and turned around to go back to town.
"Hey!" Remy jerked around to see the boy standing on the
"Before ya go back, don't forget your scarf, red-eye!" He
grinned at Remy and disappeared again.
Remy looked at the scarf he had removed while their flight
and nearly forgotten, swearing.
Great! Now he had broken his own rules and messed with the
authority just because of this damned little brat. Maybe it
was the best if he went underground for a while, until the
incident - and he himself - was forgotten. He would go into
the forest and get his food from the people in the little
farms and houses there. He would steal if he couldn't beg.
But that shouldn't be necessary. He had always been a lady's
man and his charm could turn people really generous. The hookers
had often granted him shelter for the night without demanding
anything. Maybe because he - different from the prude population
of the village - treated them like normal persons and not
like dirty whores. He knew that they did what they had to
do to survive since Lord's Lehnsherr's oppression had been
too much for their families to bear. And the mighty Lord's
acolytes - the only ones who could afford a night in the brothel
- had needs, too. Remy had always sympathized with the weaker
parts of society, maybe the only reason he had helped the
boy, but he also knew that sympathy could be dangerous. It
was better to stay alone, just look after oneself and mess
with nobody stronger than oneself. Having friends was okay
and even necessary these days, but your own safety and luck
should always be your first concern.
And now, Remy had risked that because of a little street
rat. Not very clever. But he was willing to do the best of
his situation and fleeing into the woods was the first step.
"Wonderful, really wonderful!" Remy muttered to himself.
He had lived on the streets his whole life and now he was
roaming a forest... The people who lived here hadn't much
he could steal and he was getting really hungry. Then, as
if God was laughing about his misery, he had found a "wanted"
circular of him at one of the farmhouses. Obviously, the leader
of the soldiers he had encountered was a rather important
guy in the troops, Captain Creed's right hand. And the petty
thief Remy LeBeau, too dumb to mind his own business, was
wanted dead or alive for hurting the male ego of a Lord's
acolyte. Now he could forget the idea of ever returning to
the village. Really wonderful. His stomach grumbled and Remy
decided that it was time to get some food. He followed the
next human trails he found and arrived at a little cottage
right in the middle of the forest. Smoke came out of the chimney
and Remy guessed that the occupant was at home. He sneaked
up to a window and peeked inside. A woman stood inside cooking.
She was small, round and of African origin. She wore strange
clothes and pearls were braided in her curled black hair.
But Remy's attention was focussed on the saucepan on the fire
place. His stomach grumbled again but before he could decide
what to do, he heard the voice of the woman.
"Are you going to stay out there hungry or do you prefer
coming inside and eat with me?" she asked.
Remy blushed, partly of embarrassement and partly of anger
because he had been detected. He had the reputation to be
able to move like a cat, unnoticed if he wanted. He definitely
had to work on this!
"Don't worry, chile. It's not very easy to sneak up on me.
You nearly made it, Visioner." she said as she opened the
door for him. He entered the cottage and saw that she had
laid the table for two persons.
"I expected you, Visioner. In fact, I've waited for you a
long time." she commented his confused glance.
"Why do ya always call me dat name, Visioner?" he asked.
"Because of the sign of vision you've got, your eyes." she
smiled at him. Remy jerked up. He had forgotten his scarf!
But the woman didn't seem to be shocked or afraid, so he calmed
"Well, normally people call me demon or freak, not Visioner,
when dey see my eyes."
She smiled at him sympathetically.
"They're so ignorant. But I know who you are. And I've awaited
Remy didn't know what to do. On the one hand, this woman
seemed to be very strange, even crazy and normally he would
have left by now, but on the other hand, he was more than
hungry, he was starving.
The old woman laughed when she saw the skeptical look on
his face. It was a rich and engaging laugh and Remy ended
up liking her.
"I'm sorry, chile. I must have scared you of completely with
my chatter. Please sit down. You look hungry."
Remy ate the humble meal with the hunger of a man who hasn't
eaten for days. The black woman sat down and smiled, too.
"I'm glad you like it."
Remy looked up and murmured something affirmativ while chewing.
"My name is Mattie." she introduced herself.
He looked up again and swallowed.
They smiled at each other and shook hands.
"Why d'ya live out 'ere alone?" Remy asked between two bites.
Mattie leaned back in her chair and started her story.
"Well, I played many roles in my life. I've always been an
outsider because of the color of my skin. My people thought
of me as a healer, a child of nature, but the people here
feared me, they called me witch. Maybe I'm some kind of sorceress,
but not in the sense people think of them today. Now, I'm
called 'wise woman', but I don't think I'm wise just because
I know of the legends."
"The legends?" Remy asked
"Yes, the legends. The legends about the children, the legends
about the salvation or destruction and the legends about you,
"Yes. I will tell you the story. Once, the evil invaded the
world and threatened it's very existence. But there were people,
women, with special powers, the children. The children had
inherited the powers of nature, the elements. They encountered
the evil with all their might, but finally, they needed help.
It was then that the last child woke up, the one who was to
bring destruction. This child, the child of death, was the
strongest and the most feared one. But it was the last hope
mankind had, and finally, it defeated the evil. But even the
other children were afraid of the child of death. It's dark
origin and destructive power scared them to death. So they
combined their powers to lull it to sleep. Even their combined
power wasn't enough to kill it and lulling it to sleep was
only possible because the child of death has been willing
to fall asleep. For there's something very few people know
about the children. The nature in it's essence is neutral,
unbiased. It's neither good nor bad. For example, you need
water to live, but it can kill you in a flood. The same goes
for the other elements. And for the death. Many people think
that the death is bad or evil because it takes your loved
ones from you, but it's as neutral as everything else in nature.
But the last child understood that it was feared and gave
it's earthly life voluntarily while it's spirit fell asleep.
"But the other children knew that there may be need for the
child of death's strength someday in the future. That's why
they called the Visioner in existence, the only one who could
find the last child if it was needed. Like the Children, the
Visioner is reborn in every generation, but while the elementary
children keep their spirits and the memories of their many
lives, he is 'asleep', like the child of death. That means
he is reborn with the potential of using the powers of the
Visioner if there's need for the last child."
Remy had listened like spellbound and now slowly refound
his ability of speech.
"An' ya t'ink I'm dat Visioner in dis generation?" he asked
incredulously. Without an answer, Mattie stood up and left
the room. A few seconds later she returned smiling, a scroll
in her hand. She unfolded the centuries old document and started
to read it aloud.
"...and when the child of death is needed, the Visioner will
be reborn with the sign of sight, glowing eyes."
Mattie showed him the paper so that he could see the drawing
of a face on it. It was the face of a man. With red-on-black
They had spoken for hours. Mattie had explained Remy the
whole legend and his role as Visioner. He had read all the
stories and legends of him Mattie had stored, and now he was
as tired as if he hadn't slept for days.
He lay on the bed Mattie had prepared for him and thought
about the sudden change in his life. If the documents told
the truth, he had special powers, too. He had a natural agility,
a born warrior, but Remy couldn't confirm this for sure. He
tried to avoid physical confrontations as best as he could.
One of his other powers was to look straight into one's heart
and soul, he couldn't be lied to or fooled that easily. It
seemed he could force his will upon others and his success
in charming people confirmed that. But the strangest thing
he had read about the Visioner, was that energy thing.
He could make things explode just by touching them. Remy
had never experienced such kind of power in his life and he
just couldn't believe that he should be able to do that.
He sighed and closed his eyes. The following day he would
leave to search the elementary children, who guarded the key
to the last child. Every one of the first four children kept
two verses of a poem, that would lead the Visioner to the
child of death.
Suddenly something came to Remy's mind, something he hadn't
thought about before. He jerked up and called for Mattie.
Almost immediately, the wise woman rushed into the room.
"What's wrong, chile?"
"Mattie, ya told me dat de last child is jus' needed if de
world is menaced by evil. But Lord Lehnsherr, as cruel as
'is tyranny may be, ain't evil 'nough to bring up the arrival
of such a power."
Mattie smiled sadly.
"Yes, I know, but I'm afraid the Lord dealt with black magic,
dark powers he didn't understand. And now, the evil he called
awoke and the child of death is our last hope."
Remy cupped his chin in his hand.
"I'm jus' a petty t'ief. I don' t'ink I'm a good rebel. I've
always jus' minded my own business. Dat t'ing's too big for
Mattie looked at him sympathetically
"You are not to fight the Lord or that dark force, that's
the job of the children. Now go to bed. You have to leave
Remy walked through the forest on his way to the first child,
the child of wind. The food Mattie had given him would last
for a few days and Remy hoped he would have found the first
child by then. He took out an old book Mattie had given him
that dealt with the legend of the Visioner. He still felt
uncomfortable with that role, but the proves Mattie had shown
him, especially the drawing of the man with red-on-black eyes,
made him believe her. At least he wouldn't have to fight.
He would find the last child and wake it up, the rest was
the job of the children and he would go on with his life.
He felt no intention to encounter Lord Lehnsherr's soldiers
again. He opened the book at the chapter that treated the
powers of the Visioner.
Remy already knew about that ability to truly see and the
one to charm, but that 'charging to explode' power interested
him. It seemed that the Visioner could only use this power
to protect the last child. But he could train it by concentrating
on objects and their natural energy and trying to charge them.
They just wouldn't explode in training. Remy couldn't help
being fascinated by that power.
But the task at hand was to find the first child, the wind's
one. Remy remembered the route Mattie had described him and
continued his voyage.
Continued in Chapter
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