New Life in a New World Ch. 05byjohneb87©
[Insert lawyer voice here] This story contains scenes of graphic sex and violence. No one under the age of 18 or 21 (depending on your local law) should read this story. Any characters depicted in sexual or suggestive scenes are intended to be 18 years or older. While inspired from many sources, the story and characters are original. Any similarities to any real or fictional persons are coincidental. Enjoy.
Big thanks to Annanova, Twilightdreamer, and Galloglaich for their edits. You guys are the best! Also thank you to ShadwNinjaX and Lien_Geller for their beta reads.
John sat alone in the dining room of his best friend's apartment in New York. Papers were spread out over the rectangular mahogany surface of the antique table. His CD player sat on the open page of one of his textbooks playing one of his favorite albums, Hybrid Theory by Linkin Park. He lightly bobbed his head as he tried to lose himself in the music that was blasting through his headphones.
He frantically pored over his books and notes from the last two months as he worked on a rather difficult assignment. A handwritten essay on World War II; from Pearl Harbor to the official Japanese surrender on the USS Missouri, with summaries of the major battles and political decisions in between. He had been given two weeks to complete the assignment, but like in most of his academic work, he procrastinated. His best friend, Terry, already completed his assignment last week. John only started two days ago and the paper was due tomorrow morning. This would have been so much easier if he could have typed it up, but his teacher was a bastard.
As much as this paper required his full concentration, he found his mind wandering. It had been seven months since his family perished and one month since he decided to run away from his abusive uncle. He recalled the night where he showed up on their doorstep and Terry's mother answered the door. The look of shock in her face when she saw him standing there, soaked to the bone from walking through a heavy thunderstorm. He explained what happened earlier that night at his uncle's apartment, when he lost his temper and literally chased John out. She wanted to call the police, but he told her not to bother. He had tried that on previous occasions, but there was nothing they could do. Despite being a lousy guardian, his uncle never laid a hand on him. With no other relatives that he could be placed with, the people at Social Services were worse than useless.
So ever since that night, he stayed with Terry and his family. He never really intended to stay long term, but Terry's mother insisted that he would not be a burden and was more than willing to house him. He did go over to his uncle's apartment from time to time, but only when he needed to get a few personal items. And he only went over if one of Terry's parents were present. They always seemed to be looking out for his best interests, but John was not sure how long he could stay with his surrogate family. He was seventeen now, but still not legally old enough to live on his own. Only another year and he would finally be in charge of his own life. He even afforded a moment to think about his prospects afterward. College was unlikely; his parents were well off, but had never set up a college savings account for him. Plus, any money he could have used, his uncle had gambled away. But even if he could go, he had no idea what he wanted to study. There was another option he considered. In the recent months he had seen numerous young men flock to the nearby military recruitment center. The United States was at war and many were eager to join in. He never had considered it in the past, but every time he walked by, something inside reminded him that he still had a score to settle. Either way, he had nearly a year to wait. Would he be able to stay with his friend that long?
The answer came about a week prior. Terry painfully broke the news that he and his family were moving to Seattle in a couple weeks where his dad had accepted a new job at a law firm. John was devastated; his only friend was going to move across the country. They had known each other since kindergarten. They grew up together, attended the same schools, and shared several classes. They were almost inseparable, but who knew when he would see his friend again. Even though he should be using these last couple weeks to savor the time that he had with his best friend, he was lost. There was no way in hell he was going back to his uncle's. He could always run away, pull every dollar from his bank account and live on the road. It would be a really shitty way to live, but he knew that his life was over the moment his family died.
"Hey John!" Terry shouted as he excitedly ran into the room.
Even with music blasting through his headphones, he could still hear the energized voice of his friend. John quickly looked up from his homework and hit the pause button on his CD player. The last week had been rather somber as they counted down the days until they were separated by thousands of miles, so it was rather odd that Terry would be this excited.
"Great news!" he continued, chattering so fast that he was barely understandable. "I just heard my parents worked everything out. They got your uncle to sign over legal guardianship to them. It actually wasn't that difficult, he seemed more than eager to give up that responsibility."
John took a moment to let those words sink in before opening his eyes in astonishment. "You mean that..."
"That's right," Terry nodded, "You're family now. We're going to be brothers!"
The twenty-six year old Corporal John Young was alive, but fading away fast. He was so far gone that he couldn't even hear the hysterical female voices that surrounded him. His consciousness had already slipped into darkness and his body would fail on him in mere moments. Death was going to claim another soul.
"Lydia, I need an answer now," the necromancer said anxiously.
The half-lycan had a critical decision to make. There was a chance to save the man she loved, but it came at an extreme risk. Sirenia suggested that they could push his soul into purgatory, buying them time to heal his wounds and bring him back. But there would be no room for failure; one misstep, and his soul would be lost in limbo forever. There was the easier option, allowing John to pass away. At least he would have an afterlife, but with their hero gone, it would doom everyone to Solomon's wrath. While so many lives were at stake with her decision, she could only think about herself. Lydia had finally admitted her true feelings for him under the most extreme circumstances. But in a cruel twist of fate, she had no other choice but to slay the man she loved. She looked down at the young soldier laying in a pool of his own blood, his life quickly slipping away. Leaning forward, she lightly kissed her dying lover's forehead.
"I'm sorry," she tearfully whispered to John, "But I'm not ready to let you go...not yet."
She looked up at the necromancer, her eyes filled with tears and a new look of determination. "Do it!"
Sirenia nodded and kneeled on the other side of John's body, across from Lydia. Gently placing her hands on his chest, she closed her eyes and muttered a few words that sounded foreign. There was a faint glow just beneath her hands for only a moment before the light faded away. She breathed a long sigh before pulling her hands away.
"It's done," the necromancer said as she opened her eyes, "we were close too. A second longer, and we would have lost him for good."
Lydia looked over John's body; unmoving, not breathing, his skin beginning to lose its color. Placing her hand gently against his cheek, she immediately retracted it as she felt his body go cold. A sudden wave of panic fell over the wolf girl. She was looking at her lover's corpse.
"Wait! He's not breathing! He's..."
Sirenia quickly reached her arm out and grasped the half-lycan's shoulder. Looking directly into her distressed, golden eyes, the necromancer tried to give her a reassuring look. "His body is simply without a soul," she replied calmly, "this is all part of the plan."
The necromancer looked over to the dragoness, Sasha. Emotionally, she was not doing much better than Lydia. Time was of the essence and Sirenia needed someone who could remain mostly calm and follow directions precisely. The half-lycan was much too shaken up by the recent events to be of any help. Sirenia didn't blame her for that, but she needed an effective assistant. The dragoness would have to do. Hopefully, Sasha could get herself focused quickly.
"Sasha, I need you to be where Lydia is now," Sirenia instructed in a firm tone.
The dragoness looked up and nodded, tears still rolling down her face. She moved alongside the half-lycan and gently nudged her out of the way. Lydia was hesitant at first to leave John's side, but quickly understood that at the moment she would be more hindrance than help.
"Do we have any tourniquets?" Sirenia asked.
She was met with blank stares from the other girls. Lydia hadn't had time to grab her bag of supplies from her room at the inn. Sasha usually only wore her leather vest and skirt and had no real place to carry anything.
"I think he has an aid kit in his vest. It's the other chamber," Lydia finally said softly , her voice still shaky.
"There's no time for that," the necromancer replied, shaking her head. "We'll have to improvise. Sasha, lift his body up for me."
Sasha grimaced as her hands dove into the shallow pool of blood on the ground. Sliding her hands underneath his body, she slowly lifted his upper half up so he was sitting upright. Sirenia pulled his shirt off of him and wrapped it around his torso, tying it very tightly. Reaching into a small pocket attached to her armor, she pulled out a small scarf and tied it around John's injured thigh. From another pocket, she retrieved a small, cloth wrapped parcel. A small glass bottle filled with a dark, murky green liquid slipped into her hand. She pulled out the cork and motioned for the dragoness to tilt the young man's head back.
"This will hold off the physical effects of death for the time being," the necromancer explained as she poured all the contents of the bottle down John's throat. "Blood clotting and stiffening of the body would happen in a matter of minutes without this. A least now we have time to properly repair him."
Once Sirenia emptied the bottle, she tossed it away and wrapped the cloth around the self-inflicted wound on his arm. With the initial work done, the three girls started making their way out of the cave with the dragoness carrying the man they all cared for. As they backtracked through the corridors, Lydia picked up any of John's gear that he had left behind. The three of them moved at a quick pace, practically sprinting through the darkness. Even with the potion, they still had to get him back to the village where they could fix his wounds before Sirenia could put the manufactured soul into him. Grateful that John marked the way out through the twisting cave, the trio made it out within ten minutes. A flood of warm sunlight greeted them as they reached the cave exit. This would normally be a beautiful day. A warm breeze lightly rustled the surrounding tree branches accompanied by the sound of chirping birds. But to the three distressed women, this day was just as ugly as a day filled with grey skies and rain. Sirenia peered down at the village at the base of the valley before turning to the dragoness.
"Just how medically skilled are you?" the necromancer asked.
"I can easily stitch the wounds on his arm and leg," Sasha replied, "But I wouldn't dare touch his internal organs."
"Can you carry him long enough to fly him down to the inn and get started?"
The dragoness nodded and repositioned her grip on John's body. Her arms hooked under his shoulders and she locked her fingers together at his chest. Even in her mostly human form, she was still strong enough to fly and carry him for a short distance. Spreading her wings, she used her powerful legs to get a good starting jump into the air. With a few strong flaps of her wings, she rose above the tree canopy. Lydia and Sirenia watched as the dragoness gently glided down the side of the hill and into the valley. The wolf girl watched as the two figures descended down into the village. Even though she was going to be right behind them, she hated the feeling of being away from him even for a moment. She wanted to remain at his side. Her thoughts were broken when she saw the necromancer running down the hill.
At a full sprint the half-lycan quickly caught up to the necromancer until she was alongside her, she was amazed how fast she ran for a human. Even though Lydia was not yet at a flat out run, it took a bit of effort to keep up with the fast moving necromancer. The two women charged down the hill, zigzagging between trees and leaping over exposed roots. The run was a bit awkward for the wolf girl, trying to carry John's rifle in one hand and his tactical vest in the other. Sirenia noticed the extra gear the half-lycan was carrying and reached out her arm, offering to help with the burden. Lydia glanced at the black metal weapon, thinking about handing it off to the necromancer. But instead, she tossed over the vest. She was not ready to trust John's weapon to Sirenia, even if she was the best hope for his survival.
"I can only imagine how you feel right now," Sirenia said, "But I need you focused and clearheaded...his life counts on it."
Lydia only nodded back in reply. The necromancer was right; emotions would not help the situation. She tried to push aside her grief and anger and forced herself to get over the fact that she would have to work with the woman she tried to kill hours earlier. Her expression changed to one of determination, she was going to get John back no matter what.
They soon reached the bottom of the hill and entered the village of Bluemoor. Running down the crowded streets, practically knocking over people as they made a beeline for the inn. Lydia prayed that Sasha made a discreet entrance into the village, as best as a dragoness carrying a human body could. Once they entered the inn, they sprinted down the hallway and burst into Lydia's room. Sasha was already there with John. The dragoness had already pulled the bed to the center of the room, making it easier to work on the young man. The soldier was stripped down to his underwear save for his shirt still wrapped around his wound. She had already finished stitching the gash on his arm and was beginning to stitch the wound on his thigh. Gods! She worked fast.
"Lydia, I need you to get everything from your medical supplies," the necromancer said as she walked over and untied the tourniquet, "We have a lot of work to do on his internal organs."
The wolf girl rummaged through her pack until she came across a satchel that contained healing supplies given to her from Anya for their journey. She pulled out the various bandages, tourniquets, tools, and potions before laying them out on the bedside table. Lydia may not have been a skilled healer like Sirenia, but she spent enough time with Anya to be a good assistant. Sasha was finished stitching his leg as the other two women started the intense work repairing the severe wound in his midsection. For the next hour, the wolf girl and the necromancer worked diligently as they mended and stitched his internal organs. On a couple of occasions, the half-lycan got distracted as she found herself staring at the wound caused by her sword. Her mind tried to fill itself with alternate scenarios, trying to justify her actions. The necromancer noticed this after the second time she gave instructions to Lydia with no response.
"There are worse areas where you could have stabbed him," Sirenia said as if it was supposed to make her feel better.
Lydia shot her an unamused glare. However, the necromancer met her stare with a serious expression that reminded her to remain focused. Eventually, they got the last of his stitches in place and were ready to end the impromptu surgery.
"These should hold for now," Sirenia stated, "But I wish I had something to help the wounds naturally heal faster."
The half-lycan grabbed a bottle filled with a murky liquid from the piles of supplies on the table, "Will this help? It's healing water from my village."
"Yes! That's perfect! I'll hold him upright while you get him to drink it."
Just like they did before in the cave with Sirenia's potion, the necromancer eased the young man upright and tilted his head back while Lydia poured the contents of the bottle into his mouth. The water was the same kind that Anya used in her healing bath. Once it entered the body, it would be absorbed and begin healing his internal organs. Laying John back onto the bed, the necromancer sat down in a nearby chair and looked down at the floor. Closing her eyes, she started muttering something in a language no one in the room understood. For a solid minute she sat there, talking to herself.
"Um...what's next?" Lydia shyly asked.
Sirenia did not say anything back initially, so the wolf girl asked again. The necromancer slowly opened her eyes and glared at the worried half-lycan. "This is a very complex spell and I need you to keep quiet so I can concentrate."
She was attempting to prepare the manufactured soul, which was far more complex than the usual resurrection spells she cast. Normally she would just take control of a body and would manipulate it like a puppeteer through magic. Even though they could walk, run, and fight; they were still nothing more than a rotting corpse. They were only intended to be used short term, like in a battle. But after making a few enemies and forced to live on the run, she felt like she needed a more long-term solution. One can only go so long sleeping with one eye open. Sirenia needed someone who could protect her. Her usual summoning spells required her to maintain control over the resurrected. She needed a spell that not only kept the body from rotting away, but also allowed it to function independently. Over the last couple of years, she tried to create a spell that would do just that. However, this would be the first time it would be put into practical use.
"How many times have you done this?" Lydia asked, interrupting her thoughts.
"Once before," the necromancer simply replied with an annoyed look.
"How did it work out?" the wolf girl asked worryingly.
"You really don't want to know."
Lydia gulped as horrific scenarios ran through her head. She had no idea what exactly could go wrong, but it was the fear of the unknown that scared her. The wolf girl nearly jumped when she felt a hand on her shoulder. Looking back, she saw Sasha trying to give her a reassuring look. Giving a thankful smile, she grasped her dragoness friend's hand. A few days ago, she cursed the fact that John had brought her along. But now, she was more thankful than ever to have Sasha by her side.
Suddenly, the necromancer raised her voice as she continued her chant. Holding her hands apart, a glowing white orb began to form between them. It glowed brighter as it grew, filling the room with a brilliant, blinding white light. Just as it became too bright to look upon, Sirenia bolted from her seat and slammed the orb into the John's chest. Lydia gasped as she saw his body convulse, his arms and legs twitching before going limp again. Light radiated from under his skin, giving a slight pink glow. After a few moments, the light slowly dimmed and his skin tone returned to its normal lightly tanned complexion. The half-lycan bit her lip in anticipation as she waited for something to happen. The three of them waited for several minutes, but there was nothing. His body remained motionless, just another corpse.