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Okay, so I felt like writing a one-shot and here it is. It's set in South Hoof Peninsula and it's pretty much after (if) the Soul Riders failed, Dark Core took over Jorvik and the like. (I'm not exactly sure if it ought to be posted here, though)


The wind howled, unceasing, over the rocky plain. The island was unknown by the people on the mainland,and its inhabitants unfriendly and accustomed to the harshness of the depressingly mericiless nature there. Long ago, a bridge had been built there; it had fallen, and been rebuilt, but that too had gone in times past.

But a stranger on a black mare had come from the mainland, and was viewed with suspicion by the small family who lived on the island. She was as silent as the colour of her mare in the sky at night, and seemed to have no purpose except riding over the peninsula. She was certainly dark-skinned but none of the people of the island had seen her face because she always seemed to wear a grey hooded cloak.

Little did they know of the mission she was on.

That night, instead of retiring to the quarters she had been provided with, she saddled her horse and rode away into the night. She made no indication that she would go, but nor did she leave any indication of her return - when the youngest girl, Alda, went into her room out of pure curiosity, she saw that it was bare.

"Well, if the little fool doesn't get blown off the cliffs, she won't be allowed inside - can't bother to stay up that late," muttered her father.

But she had no intention of returning, not for a long time. The mare galloped over the softest grass and avoided the rocky outcrop, for neither did she wish to be killed in such an ungainly manner. Or heard, for that matter.

She halted at what used to be the bridge between the island and New Hillcrest. Another rider, also hooded, was waiting for her there, his stallion pawing nervously at the ground. Both riders stayed on their horses, partly because of the wind and partly because they both wanted to be sure of a quick escape in case of an ambush.

"What news?" murmured the first rider

"The forces of Garnok have infiltrated even the most unknown places, obviously," came the slightly testy reply of the second - male, by the depth of his voice. "It's a wonder they didn't come for this place - not that I can blame them," he added with distaste. 

"Oh, I wouldn't know. It's quite..... practical, shall we say, when you get used to the wind and weather."

"Never mind that now. Have you done it?"

"Yes."

"Are you sure they won't find it?"

"Of course not. If they take the island, they'll find it - in time. You're not so naive as to think they won't ever find it, are you?"

"Shh - you're talking too loud" 

They looked fearfully about them, both imagining the shadows of unwanted eavesdroppers.

"I wonder," murmured the girl "what being in the eye of a hurricane feels like."

The other looked at her sharply. "What are you talking about?" he asked 

"Oh... I forgot myself for a moment there. Sorry."

A silence prevailed, broken only by the soft snorts and pawings of the two horses.

"Mind you don't forget again. It's not worth risking so much if you just drift away. Anyway, here's the... package"

Suddenly, they heard the unmistakeable soft purring of an outboard motor. Both of them looked cautiously towards the sound. It was a boat, and only one organization owned boats now - Dark Core, the harbingers of darkness, Garnok's mortal forces.

"We've been fools!" hissed the second rider. "Take it - and go!'

But it was too late to do anything now. The boat's powerful flashlights had spotted them.

***

Ellena's thoughts whirled. They've found us..... they're here..... this is the end of it.

Don't be so depressing, she scolded herself. You can survive this if you're careful.

"Go, go, go, go!" she cried. "Come with me - we can get through this"

Delta - she didn't know his real name - stared at her. "Are you sure?"

The Dark Core men aren't here yet. We have a head start over them, she thought.

"Yes. Well, maybe. But we can't stay here and argue all day!"

He reluctantly agreed. "Fine. Lead me... wherever you're going."

With a gentle movement, she turned her horse - and cantered for a short distance, gaining speed and galloping, ducking under every possible cover. Through the Stone Circle and north towards a dip in the cliff. An old hut stood here, and rotting wood fences penned in a little land, while weeds fought amongst themselves for what seemed to be a vegetable bed.

"This? We'll be found before you can say Jack Robinson." he grumbled.

"Not necessarily. Some of the foundations have rotted away. I made the space larger."

"Oh, I see. How long are we going to stay here?"

"Not very long, hopefully"

"Hmph"

***

One week later, the two of them thought it safe to go outside. In slightly more time than when they had come to the hut, they made their way back to the ruined South Hoof-New Hillcrest bridge. Ellena frowned. That's odd, she thought. Shouldn't there be something to tell us that Dark Core have been here - some mark, maybe?

It was then that she noticed a small movement behind the rocks. No. No, surely, it can't be.

"Hey," she muttered. There was an unspoken agreement that neither should say the other's name, codeword or real.

"What?" he asked. He must have noticed what she had, because he stared sharply at where she had been looking at.

"Oh, no" he breathed. And then all hell broke loose.

In the ensuing fight, she lost sight of Delta. But, having her own problems at the moment, she didn't think much of it. That is, until she noticed that two of the henchmen had caught him - and were dragging him towards -

A portal to Pandoria! she realized with a thrill of horror. She had heard of such things, and she wasn't particularly happy to see one now.

She groaned inwardly. And he has the package!

She had a choice. She desperately wanted to live - but she also wanted to stop Dark Core.

She made it.

Backing slowly away from the fight, so they wouldn't see her, she suddenly stopped and charged her Morgan forward. Galloping straight towards Delta, towards the portal - she shuddered inwardly at her decision, but it had to be done.

Easing her arm forward, she lowered her frame to avoid a last-minute failure. He apparently realized that she wanted the package, and handed it to her. But she was committed now. 

She couldn't stop it now. "Shadowmist, I'm sorry," she murmured quietly. She heard someone yelling "Stop her!" 

But she woudn't, she couldn't stop now.

The sun was so beautiful, making patterns with its rays as it fell to the darkness of night.

This is the eye of the hurricane, this is the only way I can protect our legacy, she thought as she and Shadowmist jumped over the edge of the cliff.

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