Phoenix Cycles PT3 

by TigerClaw
Story Copyright (C) By: TigerClaw
 2002 - All rights reserved.

Story not to be reprinted, or redistributed, 
without author's Permission.

If you wish to use the stories, or 
anything copyright by me, please e-mail me.
I'll also forward any mail to the author.


Phoenix Cycles
Tears of the Heart.

Last Time
“I am Commander Cathrine, of the mercenaries, Phoenix Blades. My mages have told me that you friend has tremendous magical potential, and talent, and if left untrained, it will kill her.”
I turned around and stared at Gemeny, who was staring the Cathrine, < And if you train her, what do you get back in return? >
She smiled as she looked at me, “I saw your fight with the daemon, and one of my men told me that you had in fact killed it before, single handedly. That is no small task. So I want you to join us. You will work for me, and your friend will be trained on how to control her powers, deal?”
I don’t know why, but I liked her, but still... I turned to Gemeny, who nodded weakly. < Deal. >
“Good,” A man walked up behind her, holding something. As returned to my normal form, he gave it to her. Walking up to me, she held a leather gauntlet. “All Phoenix Blades’ are required to wear a gauntlet, the type of gauntlet signifies rank.”
Taking it, I slipped it over my left hand. It covered my arm up to my elbow, and covered part of my hand, but not the fingers.
With that, she walked past me towards the frightened villagers, “I request permission from whoever is in charge to let us camp here for the night.” Staring at her, I wondered what I had just gotten myself into.

TigerClaw’s POV

I stared at him, “She’s only 19?! And the leader of all of you?!” I looked around at the camp. There were at least a hundred men in the mercenary group, Phoenix Blades, and the leader, Cathrine, was the only female, and I had just been told that she wasn’t even that much older than I was.
“Yup,” the man turned and spat, then continued polishing his sword, “Best damn fighter I ever saw in me life, fights like a she-devil.” He lifted the sword up, and looked at it in the firelight. We had made camp on the way to some city for the night. Gemeny had been sent to the mercs main headquarters where she would get the best training, and for her arm to heal. It had been broken during the first encounter with the daemon werewolf. The man looked at me, “Ye watch yerself round ‘er, with your special power, I reckon she’ll be havin’ a lot of fun wit’ ye.”
“And just what’s that supposed to mean?”
{ Maybe it means she’d want to- }
“YOU FINISH THAT SENTENCE AND YOU’RE DEAD!!!” I yelled before I realized it. Everyone stopped and stared at me. “S-sorry,” I stammered, getting up and quickly walking away, my face bright red. * You stupid damned bird! This is all your fault! *
{ I’m not the one that made you yell like the fool you are }
* SHUT UP! * I walked, not caring where I was going, the sound of laughter fading behind me. I continued walking, the only light coming from the moon above, when I saw someone on a small hill.
Walking up, I saw it was Cathrine. After a moment, I could see she was practicing, the two swords she held a barely visible blur as she swung them again and again. In her right hand was a long sword, and her left held a short sword, the blades shown in the moonlight whenever they stopped long enough to be seen.
“What do you want?” She asked, back turned towards me.
“ I, uh, well nothing, really. Just walking.”
She turned towards me, frowning, “Walking huh? That all?”
I stared, not sure what was going on, when I remembered something, something she should know, “Well, there’s something about me you should-”
“Look here, I don’t care about you, got it? I don’t want to know anything about you unless you can prove that you can be useful to the Phoenix Blades. Got it? Good!” she snapped, before I had a chance to answer, “I recruited you because I believe you will be useful, but until you are, you’re nothing but extra weight, and I don’t like extra weight! So until you make yourself useful, get out of my way!” With that, she walked right past me, shoving me aside as she did.
What was that about? I thought to myself, staring at her as she walked off.
{ How would I know? I’m just a stupid damned bird! }
* What did I say about going through my thoughts?! *
{ Don’t remember, I’m just a stu- }
* SHUT UP! * I yelled, this time in my head, while Phoenix just laughed.

Cathrine’s POV

Cathrine walked into her tent and put her swords away. Lighting a candle, she sat there, watching the flame, deep in thought. All those thoughts were directed at TigerClaw. She could tell he would be trouble, he didn’t look like he would be of any help fighting, and they would be going into battle the next day. For some reason, everything about him just frustrated her, confused her. He had a different air about him, like he was foreign to this very planet, but that was impossible. Sighing, she blew out the candle, and went to bed, tomorrow the battle would begin. Tomorrow, she would see just how powerful he was.

TigeClaw’s POV

I stared at Cathrine, unable to believe what I had just been told to do. We had apparently reached our destination, a small city surrounded by stone walls, and I had been ordered to transform and attack from the air while her men attacked from the ground.
“But that’s suicide! I’d be mincemeat!!”
“So what? You can’t die, remember?!” she yelled at me, “We’re just capturing the town, it won’t be that hard, so quit complaining and get going!”
“But, I-i can’t...” I didn’t know what to do. She glared at me.
“You killed a daemon werewolf, this should be absolutely no problem!”
“Yeah, I killed some deranged undead monster thing! But you’re asking me to attack people!”
“No, I’m ORDERING you to!”
“But-” Something was wrong, my gut kept squirming
“But nothing! You will do WHAT I say, WHEN I say, HOW I say, DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!” But I didn’t hear her as I collapsed, holding my stomach.

Cathrine’s POV

“But nothing! You will do WHAT I say, WHEN I say, HOW I say, DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!” Cathrine yelled, furious when TigeClaw suddenly collapsed, holding his stomach. But before she could do anything, he got back up and looked at the city. When he turned back to her, she immediately knew something was wrong. He was smirking.
“So you want me to attack? Right?” Startled, all she could do was nod. Smirking again, TigerClaw looked back at the city, “Attack the city, heh, no problem for me.” Even as he said this, he seemed to melt into a larger form, and Cathrine took a step back in shock at what she saw, as did everyone else around them. TigerClaw’s hair was pitch black, except for several dark purple feathers that were in it. His wings were the same black and purple, as were his clothes. This wasn’t how she had seen him before, this was, different, evil. She also knew that it wasn’t TigerClaw.
“Who are you?”
Turning to look at her, the man smirked at her, and that was when she saw another difference. TigerClaw had worn a mask, this stranger wore no such mask “Who am I? Tsk tsk. You know, you really should learn everything there is to know about a person before you recruit them, never know what secrets they may be hiding. As to who I am, I’m Dark Phoenix.” At those last words, Cathrine felt her knees go weak even as several men backed down and one or two fell to their knees. Despite knowing it was possible, that it couldn’t be true, she knew that this man was telling her the truth. He turned back to the city. “So I’m to destroy the city, got it.” he said, smiling as he started walking towards it.
“No, we’re to capture it, not destroy it! We want the people alive!”
“Tough shit lady, I don’t take prisoners, but I’ll tell you what, I’ll give them a quick death.” Laughing, Dark Phoenix walked towards the city walls.

Dark Phoenix’s POV

Dark Phoenix smiled as he walked closer and closer to the walls, the small amount of energy he allowed to leak out surrounded him with a such heat that any arrows fired at him were turned to ashes before they even reached him. As he reached the gates that led inside, the metal bars started glowing bright before melting. Now that he was inside, he stopped his magical heat and looked around. People were glaring at him from all sides when one charged. A simple punch to the mans mid section drove his fist through the man’s stomach, and out his back. Grinning, he pulled his arm out of the man and charged, breaking necks and kicking people in two. Soon he was covered in blood.
Laughing, he focused his energy into a ball of fire and threw it against a house, burning it to the ground instantly as the unholy fire burned black and surrounded it in seconds. It was then that an arrow hit him squared in the chest as he turned around. Staring at it, he pulled it out. Looking up he saw a man with a bow glaring at him.
“My family was in there, you monster!” He yelled, charging.
Dark Phoenix simply shoved the arrow through the man’s chest, and again focusing his powers, burned the man to ashes. Looking down at the wound in his chest as it disappeared, he glared. < I...Do...Not...Like...Feeling...PAIN!!!!! > He yelled as he launched himself into air, a ball of light appearing in each of his hands. < I was going to kill you all quickly, but you have hurt me, so now you die SLOWLY!! > He screamed high above in the air as he brought his hands together above him, and threw down a beam of light that surrounded the whole city. People screamed as the armor they wore glowed red with heat, burning into their skin, but the heat created by the light continued to grow until the stone walls surrounding the city began to melt.
Laughing, Dark Phoenix continued until there was no one left living in the city. Descending, he looked around at the burning houses, smirked, and let go.

Cathrine’s POV

Cathrine wander through what remained of the city, corpses littered the ground, man, woman, and child alike. They had waited until they could get in without being burned by the heat left over from Dark Phoenix’s attack. Now they looked for any signs of life as rain began to fall, drenching them all.
As she came across a clearing, she stopped and stared. There was TigerClaw, lying with one wing crumpled underneath him. As she walked up to him, he looked up at her, and even through the mask he wore, she could see the tears in his eyes. It was at that moment that her heart went to him. She had seen men cry before, from fear, pain, sadness. From the sadness of losing their families, or because of battles, but she had never seen a person cry like this before. It was as if he were crying because something happened that he couldn’t stop, and there it was. What he had tried to tell her the night before, when she walked away from him. The Dark Phoenix was inside him, and no matter how much he tried, how much he fought, he wasn’t able to stop Dark Phoenix from killing everyone in the city, and unlike her, he wasn’t able to turn away so he wouldn’t see what was happening.
Kneeling by him, started trying to pull him up.
< He’s a monster, we couldn’t stop him...we couldn’t... > he cried, burying his head in her shoulder, weeping. She barely noticed the voice was coming in her head.
“It’s ok, it’s ok. We’ll find a way to help you, I promise.”
< Don’t...don’t tell Gemeny, please >
“I promise.” Cathine looked down at him, wondering desperately how she was going to help him.

((Seems like TigerClaw's the one that needs help this time, doesn't it? <> ))