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Infinity's Row - Caliber

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Infinity's Row - Caliber

Post by WritingBookworm on Mon Nov 03, 2014 6:24 pm

Hey, Writing here. I've had this sequel to Interlude brewing in my head for a while now, and I'm excited to finally present it to you. This will be a little different from its predecessor--one of being that instead of being told from Elias's point of view, Caliber will be told entirely from Gentry's perspective. The first two chapters will cover some of Gentry's past, and the rest of it takes place during their travels together--so basically just a week or two before Renaissance.
Enjoy!


"Do not go gentle into that good night
Rage, rage, against the dying of the light."



"Now, here in the Maar Gan region we have. . ."

The words of Eleanor Dan'ali, my tutor, become fainter as I look out the window, like she's trying to talk to me from several feet away. The window serves to provide me with a magnificent view of the marble porch--bigger than most houses in N'al Ren--right behind a sprawling forest-green lawn that has not even one strand of grass out of place. This is only a small portion of the grand, castle-sized structure known as Yate Manor.

My home.

I close my eyes.

My name is Gentry Elizabeth Yate, I recite to myself, just as I have done in the past decade of my life. I am the daughter of Wesley and Matilda Yate. I am the heir to their company, Yate Enterprises.

A playful shriek erupts from outside. I open my eyes, and soon they rest on two kids my age--children of the servants, I'm sure--as they laugh and chase each other, sprinting through the grand porch like it's a wide open field. The girl trips over her own feet, but she howls in laughter as she picks herself back up and gives chase to the boy.

The sight of them ignites a heat behind my eyes, but a deathly coldness everywhere else on my body.

"Miss Yate?"

I turn to an expectant Miss Dan'ali.

"When was the currency of N'al Ren established, Miss Yate?"

"It. . ." I knit my eyebrows. "It was. . ." I search my mind desperately until my head begins to dully throb from the effort. "Was it. . . 47 BW?"

Miss Dan'ali shakes her head slowly, painfully. The remnant of hope I had for myself sinks slowly, painfully.

She slides her glasses off of her face and caresses her forehead in her hand. It's body language that's familiar to me--it's what's used each time a tutor or servant loses a bit more of their faith in me.

"Miss Yate," she says, "you cannot afford to be slothful." But I wasn't. I was truly trying to study everything, from history to arithmetic to mannerisms. I simply didn't get them yet. "The future of an esteemed company--a company that plays an instrumental part in keeping the three N'al Ren regions running, no less--rests entirely on your shoulders. You are not a normal girl, and you must remember that."
I swallow and look down.

My name is Gentry Elizabeth Yate. I am the daughter of Wesley and Matilda Yate. I am the heir to their company, Yate Enterprises.

And I will never be a normal girl, will I?


~   ~   ~


“Is Dad here?”

“I’m afraid not, Miss Yate. He and your mother are both meeting with a business associate.”

“Do you. . . know when they’ll be back?”

“Sometime late in the night, I expect.”

“I see. Thank you.”

With a nod of acknowledgement, I walk away from the maid.

My footsteps can be heard clearly in the vacant hall, and their echoes nip at my heels. Each echo's long fingers spin around the marble walls, haunting it as I walk toward my chambers.

I keep my hands clasped in front of me, just as I have been taught. I take small but purposeful steps, and the hem of my white bell-shaped skirt looks as though it is gliding across a glistening stream of marble. I attempt to lift my head up as well--for I believe that is the only thing I need to correct--but my face is drawn to the floor like a magnet.

BANG!

I jump and look up. What in the world. . .

BANG! Bang bang bang!

Sounds like fireworks come one after another until they lull to a stop. Were those. . . gunshots?

A pregnant silence runs its course until I step closer to the sound's origin--a door to a shooting range. We have one here for the security guards to train.

But when I step inside the wide room, I don't see any security guards. Instead I find a lean, brown-haired boy kneeling on the slate-colored floor, putting bullets into a rifle.

I know him. It's Nathan Yate. He's twelve years old, and a cousin of mine. He and his family are staying here at the manor for a few days to celebrate my dad's birthday. I've never talked to him that much. But I've never talked to anybody that much.

I enter with slow steps, like I'm entering the den of an gruesome beast. I know my way around my home, so there are some rooms that I've visited several times. This isn't one of them.

Far across from Nathan is a line of bulls-eyes. Some of them are peppered with bullet holes--they'll need to be switched out with a fresh target. To the left is all the equipment laid out on a table, complete with clear plastic glasses and soft earplugs. Above that is a human-sized vault installed into the wall. The door is left wide open, so I have a clear view of all of the different bullets inside.

And just a little further down the wall. . .
 
I step forward, and then forward again, the sight of a variety of guns hanging from a rack on the wall pulling me closer as though it’s hypnotized me. My eyes drink in each and every weapon, and when I’m close enough, I raise my arm up, my fingers thirsty to touch it. . .
 
 “You like guns?”
 
I jerk my arm back and spin around. Nathan stares at me with inquisitive but gentle eyes.
 
 “Sorry if I startled you,” he says. He bends over and puts another bullet into the rifle. “I just never would have guessed that the future CEO of Yate Enterprises would be so fascinated by weapons.”

  My cheeks flush a furious scarlet, and he chuckles.
 
“Do you want to try it?”
 
 I look up. I search his face, and then take in the rifle. It looks to be at least two feet long, and the light bounces off of its well-polished shine. Engraved in the barrel in small, silver letters is Cyclone.
   
I bring my eyes back up to his face. Nathan lifts his eyebrows and prods the rifle forward, like he’s saying, Go on.
   
Again my gaze comes back to the gun. Then I walk over and take Cyclone from him. I have to heave the rifle up a little because it’s heavier than I expected.
   
“Good. Now we’ll just have to make sure you’re holding it the right way. . .” he grasps the rifle along with me and adjusts it so that the butt digs into the crook of my shoulder. “You’re going to want to lean back and have the end around here. Rifles sort of jerk back whenever they’re fired, so you’ll end up with a bruise if it’s placed anywhere else. Now just tilt your head--no, the other way, like you’re looking down the barrel. That’s it. Then make sure that both of the sights--” he points to two small black pieces placed on top of either end of the rifle, “--line up. You’ll use that to aim.”
   
I line them up and point the gun toward a target, shifting my position whenever I catch even a slight error in my form.
 
I glance at Nathan. He gestures at the target with his head.
 
I inhale and squeeze the trigger with an exhale.
 
The sound of the gunshot is like a hard blow to the ears. Jumping, I drop the rifle and scramble backward, tripping on the hem of my dress in the process and falling flat on my butt.
   
Moaning in pain, I stand up, careful not to slip on my dress and fall all over again. I peer at the target and check to see if there are any bullet holes.
   
There aren’t.
   
I hang my head down. An icy cobweb materializes in my chest, expanding and stretching out until I feel cold all over.
   
What had I been thinking? That I could actually be good at this?
 
 Nathan sighs. “Come on, Gentry. Don’t be sad. You know it’s only the first shot, right? It doesn’t mean anything.” I know, but it feels like it does.
 
He picks up Cyclone and offers it to me. “Just give it another cha--”
 
He stops himself. A certain light awakens in his chestnut-colored eyes.
 
 “Or maybe,” he says, “rifles just aren’t the best fit. Maybe you need a different kind of gun.”

Nathan walks down to the gun rack and returns with a smaller, black gun that even I can identify as a pistol. He inserts a bullet before handing it to me.

"Try this one," he says. "It's smaller, but do be warned that it's even louder."

He guides my hands so that I'm holding it properly, with one hand poised to shoot and the other palm cupping the bottom of the handle.

I take a deep breath and concentrate on the target. Soon my entire world is composed of nothing save me, the gun, and the rings of red and white.

I pull the trigger.

Just as Nathan had promised, a gunshot even more vocal than it's predecessor fills the entire room. But I'm ready for it this time. I flinch, but I don't drop the gun. That's progress.

I straighten myself, keeping my eyes off of the target. I already know I've failed--why bother imprinting the image into my mind?

I offer the pistol back to Nathan, who just stares at the target with his mouth agape. The way he continues to do so strikes a faint flame of confusion inside me, so I follow his gaze--

And for a moment, I forget to breathe.

Punctured almost dead-center in the bulls-eye is a bullet hole.

"Gentry," Nathan says slowly, "I don't know if you're talented with guns, or if that was a really lucky second shot."

My mind is somehow both numb and buzzing at the same time. Did I really. . . I actually . . .

I actually did that.

Maybe I can do it again.

I point the pistol back at the target and fire, again and again. Each loud gunshot sends a shock of adrenaline racing through my vein, and I shoot faster, faster, faster--

Nothing happens when I pull the trigger again.

I look down and try again. Still it doesn't work. It must be out of bullets.

I bend over and set the pistol down, and then gradually rise back up as I see the target now. To my ecstatic joy, none of the bullets went anywhere except the bulls-eye and the white ring surrounding that.

Nathan's brown eyes look like they're ready to pop right out of their sockets. "By the great King Ciel. By the great King Ciel, Gentry. Who knew that the cute little rich girl could be such a crackshot?”
   
“So. . .” Speaking up for the first time since coming here, I look up at Nathan’s diamond face. “I’m good at this?”
   
He lifts an eyebrow. “‘Good’? Gentry, my first few shots didn’t hit a bunch of bulls-eyes. You have potential.”
   
You have potential. You have potential.
 
That’s been said to me several times, but none have been told as sincerely as he just did.

   I have potential.
 
 For the first time, I think I believe it.

  “Just imagine,” he says, “Runite’s Row would be really lucky if you were ever to join.”
 
 I tilt my head. Runite’s Row. . . it sounds like I’ve heard the term before.
 
Nathan must have noticed my state of confusion, because he says, “You know, Runite’s Row? An elite group of fighters sworn to protect N’al Ren? They’re all teenagers, not much older than you and I.” He smiles. “I think I’m going to join when I’m older.”
 
 Fighters, huh? Fighters sworn to protect N’al Ren. . .
 
I close my eyes, allowing myself to melt into a wide open world of possibilities. I can see myself running as I fire at those who wish to harm the innocent, myself saving others just in the nick of time. . .

  Myself becoming exactly who I want to be.
 
 “Runite’s Row,” I whisper.

  The words roll off of my lips with ease.


Last edited by WritingBookworm on Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:21 am; edited 1 time in total

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Credit to Hime for the drawing!





[Infinity's Row: Interlude l Anaphora: Pariah l Infinity's Row: Uncontrollable l Anaphora: Vengeance]
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Re: Infinity's Row - Caliber

Post by WritingBookworm on Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:20 am

Hanellat 1st, 700 AW.

The day of the New Year. . . and the day of recruitment for Runite's Row.

Shaking, I walk away from the black-wooded desk after filling out a form. My eyes dart all around the circular room, half-expecting Mom and Dad to jump out of the shadows and berate me for being here.

Neither of them are anywhere to be found, but I do end up getting a good look at everyone around. There are thirty or so applicants, all between the ages of thirteen and eighteen. A few of them stick out--a brunette girl blushes as her hands brush those of a tall blonde boy. Sitting in a chair is a poised young woman doing needlework. Across the room, also sitting in a chair, is a tall, older-looking young man with dark hair and glasses. The way he sits so straight-backed suggests professionalism, but in his blue eyes is a deep sea of sorrow. . . kind of like he's recently seen someone die.

I realize I've been staring when he looks up and sees me. Immediately the sorrow is replaced by a cold, hard iciness. He lifts an eyebrow.

I quickly look away and find an empty chair to sit in.

Almost four years have passed since Nathan first taught me how to shoot. Every day since, I've been practicing my aim. Now I'm here to see if it's all been worth it.

But I can't relax--not only out of concern of whether or not I'll make it in, but if I'll be caught my parents. While they've heard me shooting before, they dismissed it as a strange little hobby I've taken up to pass the time. All this time, I've never told them that my dream was to join Runite's Row.

I look down, staring into my denim jeans. To avoid attention--at least until they announce who got in--I'm dressed far differently than I would be in my home, trading heavy, elaborate dresses for refreshing jeans, lilac t-shirt, sneakers and a high ponytail.

I still can't believe it, almost--that I'm here, actually applying to Runite's Row after many years of anticipation.

I slouch forward in my chair with a sigh.

Now to wait.

And so I wait. And wait. And wait.

After nearly two hours, I'm just beginning to fall asleep when the officials draped in red begin to speak.

"The following beings are officially considered candidates for Runite's Row; mind you, we use the term candidate to present to you that your fate with us is undecided. . . May it be your life or your death."

Well. These guys must be fun at parties.

"This evening," he continues, "when the bells signify 5 o'clock in the evening, you will report to this very building, and in the lobby, shall hold your ceremony."

The official looks down at the papers he holds in his hands. On the desk are other papers--everyone who didn't make it into the Row. Which stack was I in?

Suddenly the fear of rejection becomes a thousand times more present and a million times more terrifying. My skin becomes moist, but my bones turn into warm stone. I would be gripping something tightly if I wasn't completely frozen.

And then. . .

They begin to speak.

"Yuffie Abatan-Bliss. Amber Valentine." The official sifts through the papers as he goes on. "Laylet Celarandir. Miss Satine Kryze. Cameron Valerio."

A few faces light up when their names are called; others gradually become crestfallen as the possibility of rejection becomes increasingly present.

My own breathing becomes shallow. That's already five people they've announced. Thirty people still remain.

Would I actually be able to make it in?

"Resh Archambault," he continues without a sign of emotion. "Aidec Farenart. Gentry Yate."

What.

I snap my head up. Did he really just. . . that was my name? I made it in?

"Folly Z, Elias Carstairs, and Ebony Marachelle."

I give a soundless scream, clapping my hands over my mouth. My breathing becomes uneven and the world around me seems to be spinning. I got in. . . I. . . got in. . .

I GOT IN!

I did it I got in oh my gods I actually did it I made it--

Closing my eyes, I laugh into my cupped hands. I got in.

And to think, look up to the ceiling with a smile, It's all been worth it.

The hours leading up to five o'clock pass by like a flash. By the appointed hour, I sit right in the front row of seats set up in front of the Capitol Building, along with all of the other new recruits. A lot of the people I'd seen before during the application process are among us, such as that one quiet guy with glasses.

One by one, each member of Runite's Row stands up and walks up to the front of the Capitol Building, pledging an oath as they receive their cloaks and their weapons. Just watching them as they come up and officially become members of the Row sends an electrical wave of an excitement coursing through my veins, and I absolutely itch to be bouncing up and down in my seat in anticipation.

Finally--"Gentry Yate."

I take a deep breath, attempting to calm my nerves.

It's time.

I stand up and lift my chin. Murmurs of interest ripple through the crowd only to dissolve as I walk up to the officials, standing before a cloak enclosed in an elaborate case. The cloak of the founder Runite. Just seeing something he himself wore sends chills down my back.

I stop once I've reached them. I bow my head in respect.

The official's cold eyes feel like they're drilling into my very soul. "Place your hand on the cloak of Runite and recite the oath."

I do as he instructs. I press my palm into the glass when I notice that it's shaking badly.

From behind me, two other Row officials come forward and drape the crimson cloak onto my shoulders.

The moment the soft fabric touches my skin is the moment that a new strength inside me is unlocked. It surges up from my chest, a blindingly bright light that sharpens the world around me.

"I, Gentry Yate," I say, "do swear on my life that all I do from this point forward will be for the greater good of the land of N'al Ren, and the innocent lives that inhabit it." I take a deep breath, gathering conviction and strength, and go on, "As long as this cape is upon my shoulders, I will serve the great clan with the best of my abilities, and my loyalty shall never falter. If for one instance my actions corrupt this oath to which I pledge, I do consent my life be taken in shame."

I remove my hand from the cloak. The leading official nods to a woman adorned in the same red cloak. She takes quiet steps toward me and presents two sleek black twin pistols. On the underside of one is the word 'Ferox', and written on the other is 'Immensus'.

"Welcome to Runite's Row, Gentry Yate."

It's official.

It's official and I'm finally here, finally achieving my dream--

I turn and face the crowd with a wide smile on my face--

That's when I see them.

In one of the middle rows, a bit to the right, I find the brown stubble of my father and the stern blue eyes of my mother. Both of them look straight at me, no trace of a smile on their faces.

My own smile begins to dissolve.

~ ~ ~

"You can't do this!"

My parents and I are gathered in Dad's office, a vast circular room with an ebony desk and larger-than-life windows that compose half of the wall. Normally they allow an unhindered view of the world beyond, but now meticulous black velvet curtains cover them, swallowing a view of a snowy Ald Ruhn with it. The thick dark closing off the wide open world.

It's almost like a metaphor for this moment.

"Pulling me out of Runite's Row?" I say. "Ca-Ca-Can you even DO that?"

"We can certainly try." Dad sits at his desk, his dark brown eyes never leaving me. He sits up properly and steeples his fingers, like he's simply talking to an inconvenienced consumer. "Our money reserves are vast. Surely we can work something out."

I smash my teeth together. I think of what Nathan said to me all those years ago, about how I have potential. I think of all of those long, hard days of training, of the times where I wanted to do nothing more than collapse but kept shooting anyways, and I think of all of the nights falling asleep smiling, dreaming about the time in which my life would become magic.

All of that can't be for nothing.

"You really don't understand, do you?" I can already feel my voice snapping in two. "I've put so much work into this--"

"Frankly, that doesn't matter."

I whip my head to the side and see Mom next to the edge of the velvet curtains. Her lush black hair rests on her shoulders, and her slim satin dress ripples ever-so-slightly as she crosses her arms.

"Joining Runite's Row is DANGEROUS, young lady," she says. "You have osteoporosis as well as hemophilia. You're twice as likely to die--do you even realize that? You will DIE if we don't pull you out."

"I know. Believe me, I've weighed the risks. But at the end of the day, it's still what I want to do--no, it's what I was MEANT to do. I know it!"

"No, it's not. Mom's eyes become slits. "You have a different life ahead of you. Accept that, and the sooner you will realize just how silly you have been all of this time."

I lift my chin. "I can't let you guys do this. I swear, I'll run away if I have to--"

"And you'll be found by the next sunrise," Dad finishes. The deeper into this conversation we get, the more businesslike he sounds. "Make no mistake, our family is well-known. Others would take notice of you and alert us immediately."

I bark out a laugh.

"And isn't THAT just super convenient for you?" I say lowly. "After all--" I can already feel my voice rising to a great forte, "it's not like either of you actually care enough to search for me yourselves!"

Silence.

I look at Mom. I look at Dad.

Then I turn around and fling myself out of the office.

I sprint down the cold white halls and sharp turns, not bothering I see where I'm going. I just want to get away from them--my gods, I just want to get away from them.

Finally I stumble into a vacant room and shut the door behind me.

I swallow.

Then I sink to the floor and allow myself to dissolve into tears.

Through it all, I somehow manage to hope that my parents will come looking for me.

But they don't, so it is nothing more than a hope wasted.

~ ~ ~

Jundiel 26th.

Today’s my Mom’s birthday. Normally, we’d be celebrating. And we did try to.

But that was before a bunch of masked gunmen flooded the building and took almost everyone hostage. Only two people managed to slip through their grasp--the first is me. The second is Elias Carstairs, that dark-haired Row recruit.

After nearly an hour of sheer running and fighting, we found out that they were doing this because they want Elias’s sword. For what reason, we don't know, but that's not what we're worried about right now. Elias and I were doing a good job avoiding them, so the leader raised the stakes by shooting hostages over the intercom.

He left to deactivate the bomb, commanding me to stay put since I got shot in the shoulder. That plan quickly changed when they threatened the fourth hostage.

Yeah right, Elias, I think as I slip into the chamber, dressed in an oversized uniform I stole off of a gunwoman I knocked out. Like I'm actually going to stay put when my mom's in danger.

I take a careful look around. A beautiful olden chandelier hangs from a scarlet, high domed-ceiling, looking down upon the snow-colored walls and the curved staircase that leads up to a balcony that looks over nearly the entire perimeter of the room. Placed around the marble floor are multiple round tables covered by silk tablecloths, and in the center of it all. . .

The hostages are all corralled together like animals, and guns are aimed at them from all sides. A little ways from them I can see Mom, one man restraining her while another with a thick scar running down his face--Silverbane's second-in-command, I think--glances down at a watch.
I don't know how much time I have before they shoot her. I have to move fast.

I take a deep breath and begin walking up to their leader. “Sir!”

He glances up at me. I stop instinctively.

“What is it?” He looks at me warily. “This had better be good.”

I hesitate for a moment, then I proceed when I realize it’s safe to walk forward. I keep my eyes on Mom as I come closer and make sure to stop when I’m just a little behind the man restraining her.

Clenching my jaw, I steel myself. It’s now or never.

Please let this go well.

“I know the whereabouts of our opponents, sir,” I say.

The leader cocks his head and raises his eyebrows. “Do you, now?”

“Indeed. Admittedly, I don’t know where the one in particular is.” It’s true--I wasn’t sure where Elias was after he’d rushed off to deactivate that bomb. “But his partner is RIGHT HERE!”

I whip out my gun at the shoulder of the man restraining Mom. He doubles over, and Mom runs straight for Dad while the other gunmen are still in shock.

Not that their shock lasts long. I break out into a run not a second too soon as several open fire, and oh gosh I need something to protect me from it--

I slide under one of the tables, rise, and tip it over on its side to use as an improvised barricade. Its plates and wine glasses shatter on the floor and my heart jumps as several bullets stab into the table--

I tear my mask off, slide fresh ammunition out of my pocket, and reload the gun. I try to focus through the roar of bullets, hopefully I'll be able to tell when it's safe for me to retaliate--

All is quiet. Like they're reloading.

Now.

I pop up and shoot at several of the gunmen. Then I race, race, race for another table and heave myself up onto it. By the time I'm standing up properly on it, the leader has organized a line of his men to assemble in a line in front of the table.

Every single rifle, pistol, shotgun, and other firearms are trained specifically on me. One shot from any of them, and I'll die. I'll die, my dreams will be broken, and there will be no coming back--

But none of them open fire.

And they've had nearly ten seconds to do so. If they've had that much time and they still stand still, then they're not going to shoot.

I lift my gun up and point the barrel at them like I'm the one who holds all of the power. I'm still alive--

That's the wrong way to describe this moment, I realize with a start. Here I am, finally having met someone who sees me for who I truly am.

Here I am, showing everyone who ever doubted me that this is what I was born to do.

Here I am, more alive than I ever have been before.

Here I am.

"If any one of you shoot at me or at any of the hostages," I say, my words laced with a slow venom, "then I swear, I will personally shoot your balls off."

I look down to one of the gunmen when he growls in turn, his finger itching toward the trigger--

I throw myself down in the table just as a gunshot fills the entire chamber and a bullet sails over my head.

Even as I get back up to my feet, I'm already aiming at the crotch of the one who just tried to attack. I squeeze the trigger three different times.

I look away from him, but I can hear his subsequent howl of agony. I see my parents among the hostages, and their priceless expressions nearly make me laugh.

"Does anyone else want to see if I'm kidding?" I ask to everyone in the room.

My threat does nothing to faze the scarred leader. "You know, little girl, hasn't anyone ever told you that it's stupid to expose yourself when there are more then ten men poised to shoot you?"

"Oh please," I say. "You're not going to kill me. Otherwise you already would have. You're more interested in seeing me alive then dead."

And I'm so glad that that's the case--not because I fear my death, because what a time it is to be alive. I'm proving myself, finally showing the world just who I am.

My name is Gentry Elizabeth Yate, I recite inwardly, and I am a proud member of Runite's Row.

I am Gentry Yate, and no matter what else may happen tonight, I know that I have never been more satisfied with myself.

~ ~ ~

Nine days later, my shoulders are back, and both of my pistols hang at my sides. I tighten my jaw, firmly drilling my confidence into place as I stand in front of the thirty-foot-tall mahogany double doors.

I take a deep breath.

Then I grasp one of the golden rings and knock on the door three times.

"Come in."

I push one of the doors open upon hearing my father's command. I tread inside carefully, like I'm stepping into a minefield, and soon I find myself engulfed by the looming office walls.

My dad sits at his desk, frantically writing on a sheet of paper with a sequence of numbers at the top. 437869, it says.

He looks up, a faint trace of surprise flickering across his face. "Gentry."

"Hey." I fidget with the end of one of my pigtails. "Are you. . . busy?"

Dad hesitates. Then he quickly says, "No. Not at all." He sets his pen down and turns the paper over. So the hostage crisis really did affect him.

He gestures to one of the ornamental armchairs in front of his desk. "Please, have a seat."

I don't.

"I'm not going to stay here for long," I say. "I'm just here to say goodbye."

Dad knits his eyebrows. He sits a little straighter.

"I'm going to tell Elias that both you and Mom gave me permission to travel N'al Ren," I begin, "but actually, I'm not going to wait for permission. There's no way I'm going to sit around this mansion while there are others out there defending N'al Ren with their very lives. I know there's a lot of risk, but I also know that I can handle myself."

I blink back moisture as it surfaces in the bottom of my eyes. Honestly, it felt natural, staring down Ryan Archer and all of his men during the hostage crisis. So why is it so utterly difficult to look at my dad in the eyes?

"I know that Yate Enterprises does a lot of good in this world, and I know that you and Mom want me to inherit the company so that I can continue doing good." I lift my chin, and I can feel insides hardening like armor. "But with all due respect, I want absolutely nothing to do with the company. Really, you wouldn't even want it under my supervision; I would suck at running a business. Instead, I'm going to leave. I'm going to find the rest of Runite's Row. And I'm going to do good, in my own way."

A large bulge sinks down my throat. I take a step backward, edging toward the door.

"It's time to say goodbye," I whisper. "So. . . goodbye, Dad."

He doesn't say anything as I walk out and push the doors closed behind me.

I remain right where I'm at for a little while. My hand lingers on the golden ring, and the white tile floor engulfs my sight as I look down. My brown pigtails hang lifelessly.

Am I truly doing the right thing?

There's only one way to find out.

So I lift my head.

And I begin walking down the hall, steadily beginning my journey toward the unknown.

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[Infinity's Row: Interlude l Anaphora: Pariah l Infinity's Row: Uncontrollable l Anaphora: Vengeance]
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Re: Infinity's Row - Caliber

Post by boyhoy on Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:37 am

Ack I forgot I have to start reading this!!!!

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Re: Infinity's Row - Caliber

Post by Kane on Fri Nov 07, 2014 5:15 pm

OMG WRITING. I LOVE IT
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Re: Infinity's Row - Caliber

Post by WritingBookworm on Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:25 pm

Thanks guys!




"Gentry."

I crack my eyes open. Out of the corner of my blurry vision, I can see a tall young man with black hair.

Moaning, I struggle up to a sitting position. After rubbing my eyes and blinking wearily, I can properly see Elias, already dressed and alert. His eyebrows are furrowed which only adds to his stern, disapproving look.

He sighs. "Finally. It's six o'clock--you've slept in quite late."

"How many times do I have to keep telling you," I say, suddenly more awake. "6AM isn't late!"

"Yes it is."

After we started traveling together, I quickly learned that Elias and I had different ideas of what 'early' meant. While I loved to sleep in until ten at the bare minimum, Elias was completely awake before the crack of dawn. He was inhuman.

I look around the cheap hotel room we've been crashing in for the night. It's pretty standard--a TV on top of a drawer, two beds, a bathroom, the works. Elias's bed is already immaculate and looks better than it was when we first got here. At the foot of his bed is his traveling packed, already containing everything he's packed.

"You'd better not get me up at 6 tomorrow," I mutter as I slip out of the bed. There was nothing more precious to me than sleep; I'll kill him if he does it again. "Or I will make you regret it."

"Noted."

It doesn't take me too long to get ready for the day. I change into a light purple t-shirt and jeans that come down to my knees before slipping my hair into their two high pigtails. I slip on my sandals, noticing my tattered copy of Taylor Ryan and the Demon's Curse and tossing it to my own pack. Okay, maybe Elias wasn't the only reason I was so tired while waking up this morning.

For breakfast, Elias and I walk out of our room and head down the hall to the public dining room. It's nothing different from anything we've seen in the past--a few tables, a TV mounted on the wall, and a long counter featuring some basic breakfast foods--but it's nice enough for now. It doesn't take long for either of us to get our food and sit down at a small table next to the window.

"So, any new leads on the Row?" I ask. We were having a difficult time finding them as of late--now that the tyrant Arker Zenh'aliem was gone, it seems that the remaining members of Runite's Row had all gone their separate ways. It made me wonder if we'll be even be able to find a solid Runite's Row by the end of this.

Elias sets his glass of water down and clears his throat. "Actually," he says, "according to a finding I just discovered this morning, it appears as through the other members are holding an initiation for anyone who would care to join."

I'm already smiling. "So that would mean. . ."

"The remaining members shall reunite shortly, if they have not already."

I lean forward. "And then we'll be able to join them, permanently."

"Assuming we shall encounter them before they can disband once more, then yes." He reaches for his glass and takes another sip, his eyes keenly focused on the issue of the Ald Ruhn Prophet he has. I think it's a habit he has, reading at the table.

I take another bite of food as a chill of excitement sweeps down my back. I'll get to meet them soon--I'll finally get to meet them.

". . . the High General Silvia Zahn, alumni of Runite's Row itself, addressed those that have been concerned with N'al Ren's state of affairs ever since the uprising of Arker Zenh'aliem."

It's quiet enough that I can catch the reporter's voice on the TV. Interested, I turn my head to see a woman with long tresses of blonde hair on the screen, a composed smile adorning her face as she stands behind a podium.

"Let it be known to the people that the government is doing all that it can to repair the damage that Arker Zenh'aliem has brought upon N'al Ren," Silvia Zahn days without missing a single beat. "We have been swift and effective in our efforts, and I am sure that there are several here that can testify to that."

Silvia pauses, like she's inviting any objections. None are offered.

"I am also aware," she continues, "that there are those that are concerned with the ever present fear that another catastrophe of this caliber will transpire. Citizens of N'al Ren, I am here to personally assure each and every one of you that you need not worry. Next time, we will be prepared. We will not suffer again."

Silvia Zahn slides her gaze directly to the cameras. Her metallic gray eyes gleam with promise under her silver spectacles, and I can't help but feel like she's staring directly into my soul.

"N'al Ren will receive the protection it deserves."

The subsequent clapping that ensues fades as the reporter resumed his commentary. "Since then, High General Zahn has received. . ."

"Dang right N'al Ren will get the protection it deserves." I turn away from the newscast and reach for my bagel, the top of which is caked with strawberry cream cheese. "After all, Runite's Row did take care of Arker and his big demon army."

Elias doesn't say anything in return. He still stares at the screen like it's the only thing he's registering. He leans in closer toward the TV and his eyes narrow like they're trying to solve an equation.

Then he looks down and resumes with his breakfast.

The last of our meals are eaten in silence. I set down my napkin and am just about to ask Elias whether it not he wants to go when I hear a chime emitting from my phone.

"Hello?" I say.

"Miss Yate?"

"Oh, Gerald." Gerald's one of the butlers back at Yate Manor. He's truly caring, and one of the only people I've missed since leaving.

I lean forward, placing my elbows on the table. "Hey there. How are things going at home?"

He sighs. "I'm afraid nothing is going terribly well, Miss. But it truly is a relief to hear that you are safe."

. . . I really don't like the way he says that.

I take a slow look around the room. Most of the people around me are minding their own business, but Elias has raised his eyes from the newspaper, now alert as well.

"What do you mean, 'it's a relief to hear you're safe'?" I continue, dropping my voice. "I'm safe from what, Gerald? What's going on?"

"You may want to sit down for this."

"I am sitting down."

"The manor was attacked last night, Miss Yate," Gerald says gently. "A squad of men infiltrated the manor, their intent to find your parents. Whether it was to capture or to kill, I do not know. The important thing is that both Master and Madame Yate managed to escape. To N'al Ren, they've completely disappeared, but I promise they are safe. They are simply in hiding until the time is right."

"Why were they attacked? And by who--wait. Was Silverbane behind it?"

Silverbane, a crime lord, was the one who orchestrated that very eventful night at Yate Manor, taking an entire building hostage all in the name of getting Elias's sword. His men sabotaged the manor before, and it's possible that they could have done t again. But would it really have been in their best interests to go after my parents of all people?

True to my doubt, Gerald says, "While it is possible, it is also unlikely. The thing they were after. . . it simply doesn't seem like something Silverbane would be interested in."

"Well, what were they after? If I know that then maybe there's a way I can--"

"I am so sorry, Miss Yate," Gerald says, "but I must not tell you that. Maintaining your ignorance is one of the surest ways to keep you safe."

"I can keep myself safe, thank you very much," I say indignantly. "You don't have to keep secrets from me--just tell me what's up."

Gerald is quiet. Even on the other end of the phone, I can practically see him caress his balding head in his hands, the way he always does whenever he gets agitated.

"That was an order directly given from your parents," he says. "There's nothing I can do about that. Master and Madame Yate are well-aware of your abilities and your independence. But you are still their daughter. They really do care for you. They're concerned about you. The one who helmed the attack on Yate Manor is still out there, and it's entirely possible that they will seek you out as well. I beg of you, Miss Yate. . . be on guard."

Gerald ends the call, leaving me alone with an empty plate and a chilly warning.

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[Infinity's Row: Interlude l Anaphora: Pariah l Infinity's Row: Uncontrollable l Anaphora: Vengeance]
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Re: Infinity's Row - Caliber

Post by WritingBookworm on Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:31 am

Bump!

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Re: Infinity's Row - Caliber

Post by Mythie on Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:33 am

It's all so beautiful! Is this what you're doing for NaNo?

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Re: Infinity's Row - Caliber

Post by WritingBookworm on Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:01 pm

Lol, thanks. Razz And yeah, Caliber's part of NaNoWriMo.

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Re: Infinity's Row - Caliber

Post by Salphirix on Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:37 pm

I loved it Writing! Keep it up! I want to know mooorreeee<3

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Re: Infinity's Row - Caliber

Post by Paradox on Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:55 pm

This is great!
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Re: Infinity's Row - Caliber

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