“What do you want?” I asked, my voice shaking.

“I want to be free again. Like I was long ago. Before. Before he came for me because he thought I was ‘genetically pure’ or something. Before he thought I was special. I want to be human again. But it’s too late for that. I want to spare them from what I went through.” Kassandra said it firmly.

I thought, through all the years we’ve been friends, she’s yet to tell me what exactly he did. So I asked her what exactly she went through.

“Of course he didn’t tell you. Anyways, let me explain.”


Kass sat down.

“Tang wanted someone to fight for him, someone special. A friend of his presented him with a chemical sequence, from which he could grow a person. He had his scientists grow me, and then gave me to the House of Oliver to raise.”


“Wha-” I tried to say.

“But somewhere along the line, something went wrong. I don’t know what, but Tang just considered me a waste of his time. But there was worse. They… they…”


"Low’s men. They took me to Low, and he tried to torture the Light out of me. Because he thought underneath the pure Light I contained, I held pure Darkness. But it didn’t work. But, I lost most of the Light inside me. I was basically human. Then Tang’s men found and took me back.

Light Helena took me as a ward. But before they took me, Low gave me a choice. He’d kill me, or I’d work for him secretly, trading him information from the Academy in exchange for transformation into one of his."


“Did… did you want to be… one of his?” I asked.

“I… don’t know. I don’t think I did, but I didn’t really have much of a choice in the matter. I couldn’t really go home.”


Kassandra sighs and shakes her head. “We should get out of here. We need to get to the capital building.”


“I’ll explain on the way.”


Kassandra Oliver and I ran up flights and flights of stairs. I was just confused, but Kass was terrified.


I could tell she was shaking slightly, but she explained her plan with the up-most confidence.

“Low, during my time under his domain, was setting up a machine that could set off massive blasts of Dark or Light energy. All he needed was a body that contained a high spiritual pressure of either side. Just before I was taken back by Tang, he found one for each. He once, without knowing I was listening, told his head scientist that if both types of blasts were fired at once, it could summon Lumialela the Angel and her brother, Murkerial the Demon.”

Finally, we came to a metal door, set at the top of the stairs. A closet with a slim door was set next to it. Kass pulled it open and yanked out a pair of lab coats. “Put that on. Most people in this section of the city are part of the scientists. You’ll have to keep you’re head down. Your Light Marks stand out like a beacon here.” she thrust a coat into my hands as she spoke.

“Huh? My what?” I asked as I slipped it on, covering the white clothes I was wearing with the dark purple jacket.

Kassandra, dressed in her coat, turned to me. She ran her fingers along my cheekbones. “They aren’t visible in Tang’s domain, but all Light holders have markings on their faces.”


Kass and I both put on our lab coats. She whispered an incantation or a password and the door opened.

Outside was an underground city. The lights shone red, and there were many tall buildings in the distance. We were looking out onto a huge, modernist square, surrounded by four buildings that looked like something Le Corbusier would design while on opium. The building we had just left was made of layered concrete flats, disconnected from each other except by elevator shafts and stairwells.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” I said.

“Say what you want to about Dark Low, he has pretty innovative taste in architecture,” said Kass.


“I’m surprised I’m not blind after spending my life around buildings that literally glowed 24/7.” I laugh.

Kass flashed me a small smile, and we ducked into an alleyway. “What is it?” I ask her quickly.

She shushes me and points to a spire rising from one of the higher levels of the city. “He’s back. We have to hurry.”

Kassandra pulls a small glowing orb out of her pocket. “Cover your eyes and get ready to run.” she mutters and throws the orb onto the ground.

A flash of bright white light erupts from the place where it impacted. Kassandra grabs my arm and pulls me down the alley.


While we’re running, she turns a corner into this giant area. I think there’s a giant swirling column of darkness there, but I can’t really tell what’s happening.

“Shit, I don’t think it’s going to work,” Kassandra says.

"What? You don’t - " I try to say.

“Quiet, they’ll recognize your accent. What I’m trying to do is run into that column thing and use it to go somewhere the war hasn’t reached. And can’t reach. But I think it’s closing, and I’m not sure if it’ll transport anything other than energy. So we might die.”

“What are the other options?” I whisper.


“The other options are getting caught by the Dark Squad,” says Kass. She points to a tall building near the column of darkness. On this building there is a balcony, with two figures standing on it. They are dressed like clowns, except their clothes are black and white. Their face paint is white with black circles around the eyes.

“They’ll treat me well enough, but I really can’t guarantee your safety with them,” says Kass.


“Okay then,” I said, taking a deep breath, “let’s go.”

Kass ran towards the pillar/column, her feet making loud pounding noises. She leapt at the pillar, and her feet left the ground, and then the pillar and her made contact.


I feel my arm get pulled away from hers and then I black out.

I wake up on the floor of what looks like a lab. I stand up, my limbs extremely sore, and look around. “Oh crap.” I mutter upon seeing a massive machine.

Its composed of two suspension tanks, a large control panel, and a couple other parts I don’t recognize.


“No…No, this was supposed to take us out of here, not here, not yet, not now… It’s too late. Go. Go on without me, Kal. I’ll be okay. You’re not beyond saving. You’re not like I am.”

“But… Kass, you’re my best friend! I wouldn’t abandon you like th-”

A dark voice from behind us mutters, “Spare me the sentimentality, Luminescent scum. I didn’t come for you.” The voice can be traced to a mysterious figure, in the shadows (or in even darker shadows than the current ones), “Kassandra Oliver. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you. You would’ve been useful to us. Don’t worry. I’ll destroy all of them. Everybody who hurt you.”

I hear Kass mutter, under her breath, “then you’d have to kill yourself, Low.”

And that’s when all I can think of is get the fuck out of here.


I turn around. There is a man standing there, wearing a black greatcoat, grey striped trousers, and a black jester’s hat with silver bells. He has a broad, light brown face with a little black moustache.

He looks at me.

“Who’s this light person you brought with you?” he asks, gesturing at me.

“That’s a good friend of mine,” says Kass. “Don’t hurt her, I need her, okay?”

Teh Tem Place. (Magical creatures welcome, and wanted)

“No you don’t. They’re all the same. They all want to destroy us. Stop justifying what you’re doing to us by associating with her.” One of the things I’m noticing about Low is that he doesn’t seem as governmental as Tang. He honestly looks a lot more abusive-parent to me.

I can see this feeling in Kass’s eyes right before she says something.

“Why? What did she do to you?” she says.

"You’re going to ask me that about a Luminescent? I’ve got a kingdom to fight for, I’ve got a world to dominate, and she is an obstacle in my way. Just like my pathetic little brother. Our parents gave us the world. He thought it was all his. Shows that he was too immature to rule.

(see post 110 for the Luminescent explanation of the two brother’s relationship)


I felt something snap inside me, something that bound me to the Light my entire life. I was filled with a feeling of freedom I’d never felt before, never imagined. Like, whatever held me to Tang’s will broke.

The skin around my cheekbones, where Kass said my “Light Marks” are, burns. A gasp escapes Low, just as my hands shoot up to my face. “Impossible. Tang is freeing you from his control.”


“Wha… how?” I ask.

“He… he… my brother… We’ve both done a lot of things. I was in the right, he was in the wrong. That was always how it was. But maybe… maybe he wasn’t so…” Low is stumbling over his words.

“Then forgive him. I’m sure we can reach a peaceful conclusion.” I say.

“I’m sure about that too,” he says, walking towards me.

“It’s just… I can’t shake the feeling,” he states, “that the day where we make that conclusion, where we stop fighting… is…”

“Is what?” I ask.

Low speaks in a dark, dark voice. “Is ṅ̷̝̠̪̰̜̣̲̟͜ͅǫ̸̛̛͕̯͚͇̤͙̤̟̮̹̰̰̟̓́̽̆̓̓̄̊́̈́̂͘̕t̴̛͓̬̪̘̟̣̭̠͓͔̺̔̋͌̃̅̋͘͜͜ͅ ̷̨̝̹̣̠̪̃͐͜ẗ̸̯̠̤́̉͗̚͝ớ̵̖̉̂̔̓̍̿̀̈̓́͆͐ḏ̵̪̫̪̦͇̤̹͎̰̭̻̞̼͖̊̍̍̑̃̆̇͐͐̕̕a̶̢̝̳͖̭͓̠̹̹͚̪͛͗̅̔̿̉̓̃͜͠y̷̬̦͉͖̼̓̈͋̆̿̔̆̇̋̅̊̕̕.̸̬̘̠̭̯͉͓̖̀̿͛͒̄͌̉̆̓̀́͒̃̒͠”

That’s when I feel plunging a sword through my stomach.


My vision begins to fade in and out of darkness and I hear Kass shriek my name. Low cackles like a true villain, but he’s cut off by a strangled gasp. I see, with difficultly, Kassandra has wrapped her hands around his neck, lifting his feet off the floor. Tendrils of black and white light are spiraling around her entire body.

She turns her head to me and I notice her ice blue eyes have gone golden. “Kal, you have to fire the machine. Both blasts. It’ll end this mess, it has to!”

I nod, barely. With terrible difficultly I drag myself over to the console, and begin to examine it.