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"Child of Death"

Child of Death

Chapter 1

This story is unfinished.

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 from others.

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 his prey.

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 prison."

"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 wall.

"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 down.

"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 your arrival."

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.

"Remy LeBeau."

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, Remy."

"'Bout me?"

"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 eyes.

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 me."

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 early tomorrow."

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 One.


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