I’m so lazy these days, posting stuff I’ve already written… 😛 I’m still getting down to a new normal so it’s good for that. I present to you chapter two…
Sitting there for a few minutes, Marcus went back over every facet of his dream – from the way the sun felt, to the raven’s story, to how the raven’s talons felt as they punctured his skin. He idly ran his fingers over where the puncture wounds had been before standing and shaking his head. None of this was making sense, and he often found that he did his thinking about these sort of things best when he was exercising or killing things in one of his favourite computer games.
Grabbing his phone, he quickly checked the time and then his calendar appointments for the day. Seeing that he had an early start and it was just past 4am, he decided that the rest of the night was wasted. Turning off the alarm, he quickly put on some work out clothes and went down the stairs of his modest house to the spare bedroom that he had converted into a gym with a treadmill and weight bench. Turning on the treadmill, he began to run, slowly at first but with increasing speed as he let his mind wander.
It seemed impossible to him the things that had happened in his life in the past few hours. He had gone to bed without a tattoo and without any sort of concept of the elements and Air and Chaos and all that. But as he continued to run, he noticed that his breathing was smoother than normal, and he was running at a faster speed than he normally did. Curious, he began to run faster, and he noticed his breathing didn’t change. It felt like every breath was as full of oxygen as he needed them to be and he wasn’t gasping or short of breath as he would often be. Slowing down his pace, he considered this new development.
As if mysteriously appearing tattoos weren’t enough. He thought as he continued to run. He played back the story of the Raven again, ‘listening’ once more as the bird told him the basics of this new development. The raven had said that he would ‘meet one of his sisters’ today and he wasn’t sure if this would be a good thing or a bad thing.
Finishing his run, and noticing he had run an extra mile than normal, he hopped off the treadmill and wandered over to the weight bench where he quickly did a few reps, focusing on his arms and chest. Once those were all complete, he went into the adjoining bathroom and quickly showered. Towelling off, he wrapped the towel around his waist before heading to the kitchen. He quickly made himself a breakfast smoothie, and wandered back into his bedroom where his phone sat blinking at him. Curious, he unlocked it and saw that he had a new appointment for the day. Shrugging, he flipped through a couple of emails while drinking his smoothie before checking the clock again. It was time to get dressed and head into work.
Once more consulting his calendar, he put his phone down and grabbed a suit, shirt and tie from his closet and quickly got dressed. He had an early morning consultation appointment and he didn’t want to be late.
Grabbing his keys and briefcase, he made his way down to where his trusty Nissan Sentra waited for him. Marcus had only recently finished paying off his school loans for both his undergraduate and law degree, and was now officially a homeowner, paying off a moderately priced house in the Sherman Oaks part of Los Angeles. Making his way through the early morning traffic, he arrived at the offices of the law firm where he worked, Smith and Townsend, and quickly made his way to his office.
His secretary wasn’t in the office yet, and sitting down to his computer he quickly started it, flipping through the pile of paperwork that had been left on his desk overnight. Opening the notebook he kept at his desk, he quickly jotted down a few notes on the various pieces before placing them in his out box. Double clicking on the email icon, he watched as the emails he noted on his phone began to fill his inbox and sighed, seeing a couple of others had come in while he was driving.
He quickly took care of the newest batch of emails before checking his calendar one last time. Grabbing his briefcase, he made his way into the conference room where a steaming mug of coffee sat ready for him, along with his clients for the morning. “You’re a legend, Maria!” he grinned at the receptionist before settling down and beginning the day’s work.
The morning hours rushed by and soon it was almost noon. He left the conference room where he had been sitting the majority of the morning and made his way back to his desk. Pushing aside the newest batch of emails in his inbox, he checked his calendar again.
“Kim, why do I have an appointment in 5 minutes?” he asked, scowling. A new appointment had been made with an A. Green.
“Sorry Marcus, but you’ve been in that conference all morning. This person is requesting to speak with you and only you, said it was urgent. I’ll run out and get you lunch if you want, but you know how the bosses feel about these sort of things!”
Marcus groaned. “Yeah yeah. Nah, don’t worry about lunch. I’ve got some time after this I can pick something up before I have to be in court.” He left his computer and patted his secretary’s hand. She really was the cornerstone of his work life and he did his best to make sure she was always happen. “You did the right thing.”
“Of course I did. You better get going, and don’t forget the cost agreements and your notepad.” She held up the aforementioned objects and a pen.
“Thanks Kim.” Marcus smiled at her and grabbed the items she offered up before making his way quickly into the conference room. Maria, the receptionist, indicated that this new potential client was already sitting and waiting for him, so he breezed right in.
“Hello, my name is Marcus Gale…” he trailed off, looking in shock at the woman seated before him. Her brown hair was cut into a pixie cut, and her eyes were a clear brown. That wasn’t what silenced him though. It was the recognition that passed between them.
“Alana Green. But you were expecting me today, weren’t you Mr Gale?” She murmured, standing up and extending her hand to him.
“Just Marcus, please. And yes, yes I was Ms Green.” He shook her hand and sat down, and she followed suite.
“Pfft. If I’m calling you Marcus, you’re calling me Alana.” She smiled slightly at him before placing a slim notebook in front of him. “Here, this is for you. My phone number, my partner’s phone number, the phone number of my nursery, it’s all there. There’s also the number of Ren Shimizu, our sister in Japan. She’s the Guardian of Water.”
“Wow… thank you Alana, this is great. Who’s the Guardian of Fire?”
Alana frowned then and shook her head. “I don’t know. Something happened last night that we weren’t expecting, and Ilia is gone from us now. I don’t know who his successor is either. You were the only one mentioned in my dreams last night.” Alana’s eyes were troubled as she spoke and Marcus frowned.
“I keep going over everything the raven said in my dream, and he mentioned that something had happened to our ‘brother’.”
“Yes, that’s what I’ve been told as well, but I couldn’t get any more information. Alana’s phone began to ring, the beginning strings of “Splish Splash” echoing throughout the small meeting room where Marcus and Alana sat. She gave an embarrassed laugh, while grabbing for her phone. “Sorry, that’s Ren’s ring tone. Do you mind?”
Marcus shook his head. “Go ahead.” Alana answered the phone quickly and placed it on speaker.
“Moshi moshi, Ren. It’s Alana, and our newest brother, Marcus.”
A hesitant and heavily accented voice responded. “Moshi moshi, Alana-chan. And to you, Marcus-sama.”
“Hello Ren.” Marcus said, his voice deep.
“Have you heard from Ilia, Alana-chan?” Ren’s voice was very soft and it reminded Marcus of a well worn sweater, soft and fuzzy.
“No, Ren, I haven’t. Marcus just confirmed for me that in his dream the Essence of Air stated that Ilia is gone now as well.”
“Ilia and my Mahesh…” There was a lengthy pause. “We will need to find our new brother, then.”
“Marcus is a lawyer, Ren. He might have some resources, and I’ll see if Sam has any contacts that might help. We’ll find him, I promise.”
“Of course. I will see what I can do from here, as well. It might be wise for the two of you to come and visit, so we can work on Marcus’s training.”
“We’ll see what we can do, Ren. I’ll give you a call later after I’m done chatting with Marcus, ok? He’s got a lot on his plate at the moment.”
“Of course. Sayonara, Alana-chan and Marcus-sama.” The line went dead and Alana sighed, putting her phone away.
“Ren and Mahesh were close. This is going to hit her hard, and she’s not in the best of health right now.” She looked at Marcus and smiled slightly. “Let’s go and get some lunch.”
“Sounds good to me, you managed to slot yourself in during my lunch break today.” He stood and offered his hand to Alana, which she accepted gratefully. “I know a little sandwhich shop around the corner if you’re interested?”
“Sure thing, let me just let Sam know that I’ll be getting some lunch here.” She began to text rapidly. Marcus stepped out of the room and made tracks back to his office.
“Kim, I’m going to go get some lunch with my appointment. I’ll probably be a few minutes late back.”
“No worries!” He grabbed his wallet and sunglasses, and went down to where Alana was chatting now with Maria, the receptionist.
“Of course.” Together, the two of them left the law offices and made their way to the sandwhich shop.