It had been a very long night and we had been travelling for a while. It was a long and arduous journey. We were all tired. We set up camp at dawn. I could see that the other creatures of the night, fellow creatures of the dark were quietening down and the creatures of light were starting to chirp and make their various sounds as if music.

We picked a quiet spot to make camp. The strange creature like man they called Acacius led the group, tending to our severely injured leader, Ta’oma with such care and affection, with such love that it was difficult to believe that he was not a creature of light.

As the moon set, the sun rose and its golden rays would soon blind us. We crawled into the most comfortable spaces that we could find while Acacius stood watch. Here was a creature who did not know fatigure, nor did his power or energy wane during darkness of light, a creature akin to a god but I know better – there is no such thing as gods or demons. Except of course within ourselves.

As my eyelids started to shut weighed heavily by the burden of the night, I saw Acacius sit in the middle of the camp, in the lotus posture, eyes closed. I had heard that sight was not necessary in the lives of someone like Acacius or Ta’ome who could simply sense the energy of the universe.

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Lana – Acacius

There are things I haven’t told you. I wander these streets my head in the clouds and my feet barely on the ground… Rain pours heavily and my hair is sticking to my face. My coat soaked and yet my throat as parched as the desert at high noon.

I stumble into a bar in the darkest of night and order a scotch – neat! The redhead that serves me bring back faintly vivid memories of a blonde I once knew. Her shoulder length hair draped over a bright purple low cut top. Cleavage like mountains.

The bar as quiet as the night herself and the lights as dim as the ones that light my heart. I take off my coat and drape it over the bar and I can’t help but sense the love with which the coat clings on to the bar is if so frightened of falling – perhaps in love. Why did no one bother to tell it that it is not the falling but that sudden stop that will kills!

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The Urn – Acacius

I take a quick swig from my hipflash, put it back safely, quick sprint and I leap off. I turn back to look at the plane and I see my two lieutenants leap out of the airship as well saddled with parachutes. I relax into the air, and time slows down to an absolute crawl. The wind whistles past my ears and I watch as they release their parachutes. I take a moment and turn around to face the ground for impact. I crash into the ground, and as I open my eyes, I see the dust slowly settle around me. I’m surround by an army.

I briefly look up and spot the two parachutes landing close by. I look around and spot my target – he is amidst them all in a chariot, heading towards me. The two parachutes land in flanking positions amidst the army. I unsheathe my sword and can’t help but smile.

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“Love” – Ta’oma

The say tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Those who say this clearly never lost, were clearly never betrayed but then, I have to agree with them on one count though – tis better to have loved and lost.

As I look at her picture, the flashes of memories tug at my heart and I  can feel the love that I once felt slowly stew and burn and turn into rage and bitter bitter revenge.. It has been a very slow process and it has been months, but there was a lot of love to turn into bitter rage.

I could still taste the bile in my mouth – I don’t know how Acacius manages to keep drinking that stuff as it was water. I’ve thrown up more of that stuff today that he drinks in an hour. It actually tastes worse coming back up than it does going down and that is quite a feat.

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“Life” – Valentin.

We’re only a few minutes away from our destination. What they expect us to find in the middle of the ocean is beyond me but that is not for me to worry about. I’m just doing as told. No more than a boat for hire – the money is good and it seems like a simple enough retrieval job. 

I giggled to myself at their people stumbling about, trying to keep their stomach. They seem to have calmed down a bit over the last hour..

As I take another bite off my sandwich, Alvin heads over and tells me that we’re within range of the dive site. The science team were already taking measurements and confirming assumptions. This meant that there was probably only another 10 – 15 minutes to get ready and into the bathyscaphe.

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“Sleep” – Acacius

Huh? What the? Where? and as I let my eyes adjust to the lighting and look around, I just see a note in front of me – it tells me to “Relax…”.. 

What? Is that all? I mean seriously.. who the hell am I and more importantly? where the hell am i? The frustration, the rage and the panic was starting to build up and.. “beep”, “beep beep”..

I  turn around to where the sound was coming from and there is a terminal beeping and flashing away… I get out of the bed and make my way over.

The screen tells to me to press any key… so I do, I press the biggest easiest key on the keyboard to press and it doesn’t do anything.. I try again – nothing!

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“Vengeance” – Agent Maccabee

I sip my coffee as Frank fills me in on the current situation while the lift zooms up to the 23rd Floor. After the fatalities the last time we identified a base of the enigmatic organisation that we only know as A, we are taking things a little slower, bit more carefully. 

First things first – “is it confirmed?” I ask him. “Yup, source checks out, as does satellite images and local intelligence”. I have an overwhelming desire to order a chopper, fly over with a few teams and just blow the place up. I lost 15 people to them last time – eye for an eye, but that’s not what we are about. We are the good guys – right?

As we go our separate ways and I head to my office, I ask frank to prepare a briefing for the team in 15 minutes. I start to imagine the ways in which we could get payback. I wonder if I want to kill the people in there slowly or whether a high yield detonation would be more appropriate.

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