Audric let out a breath he hadn’t realized he had been holding. This memory was one he had tried to stash away, but could never get rid of. He’d never forget what had happened, no matter how many good memories he tried to wash it out with. Those were few and far between. “Astra, please listen carefully to the story.” She nodded, and looked up at him expectantly, urging for him to go on. This was a lot harder than he had imagined. Facing the woman he loved with a tale this treacherous…Steeling himself, he began the tale.
“Dionysus and I were always together. It’s important to realize that he was not born among us elves. He was an outsider, welcomed in with open arms by Elder Jonah. Jonah was the leader of the Elven people centuries ago, when they had a prolific impact on Moonlight Falls.” He felt like he was giving her a history lesson. One that was forgotten even by the people of Moonlight Falls. “The most powerful occults were always the vampires. They were purebred, this was a time before humans began to mix into our blood.”
Astra watched him intently. “And then werewolves and fairies right?”
Audric shook his head. “Fairies were not originally as powerful as they are now. Our roles were reversed. It was the Elven people who came in second to the vampires, followed by the werewolves. We were powerful, a real force to be reckoned with. Now, the elves are nothing but deserters hiding behind the trees…It was never like that.”
“So what happened? How does Dio fit into this?”
“Dionysus was like one of us, but he wasn’t a Falls born elf. He acted the part, and I can honestly say that he never turned his back on the Elven people. Not in the way that I had. I’m going to start from the day that Jonah had confronted the two of us about taking over his position as leader, then called Elder, of the elves.”
“I’m sure you boys know why I brought you out here,” Jonah said. “You can take a guess.”
“I didn’t get the memo.” Dionysus’ arms wrapped tightly around himself. “I would have dressed warmer if I knew we were going to be out in the snow. The crops are dormant, so I have no idea why else we would be out here.”
Audric rolled his eyes at the male. He had been charged with watching over Dionysus when he first arrived. The two had become inseparable ever since. They were assigned the same patrols and slept in the same quarters. People began to call them brothers, though the physical differences were in plenty. “You shouldn’t be wearing a sleeveless shirt regardless.”
“Boys, enough. Eyes up here.” Jonah snapped his fingers. “As you both should know, I will be stepping down as Elder. My condition has become increasingly worse and I would like to live the rest of my life in a peaceful manner. Watching over the elven people has been both a blessing and a curse. I will do anything for my people, but I have physical limitations.”
Dionysus frowned. “Elder, there is no other way you can stay in power? You’re an amazing leader.”
“I have to agree with that,” Audric said. “Wholeheartedly. You’ve led us through some of the most challenging hurdles. There is no other who can equal to you.”
Jonah let out a throaty laugh. “While I appreciate the sentiment from both of you, you know that I wont live forever. I must stay indoors as much as possible. I can’t lead the men on the field as I always have.” He smiled at both Dionysus and Audric’s frowns. “As Elder, I get to choose who succeeds me, and there are no better candidates than the both of you.”
“Me?” Dionysus asked. “No. I can’t. I’m an outsider. It should go to Audric.”
“Nonsense.” Audric shook his head. “You have done just as much as I have for our people. You’re one of us, and we don’t say that lightly.” It was true, Elves were very selective about who they let into their ranks. Most outsiders were not given the same hospitality that Dionysus was.
“I think both of you have done more than enough to prove to me that you can handle leading the Elven people. There are two requirements for this job. One, you have to want it. I will not force a position into anyone’s hands. If you don’t want it, I will give it to someone who can shoulder the responsibility. Two, you must have your people’s best interest in mind. Your feelings don’t matter when your people’s are on the line.”
“Sir, if you and Audric both think I can do this, then I am more than happy to try out for it. But I don’t want it handed to me. Audric wants it just as much. I can see the gleam in his eyes already.”
“The Brainard family is very prolific. It’d be an honor to have a family with such prestige ruling over us all. It would also be a thing to see someone who is not inherently one of us rule as well.”
Jonah stopped when he heard several coughs. The meeting had to be held outside away from the tribe, so no one would get the wrong idea or pick sides. No one should have been out here, it was freezing out and his people hated the cold.
Sitting on a bench a few feet behind them was a pink haired girl. When she caught their eyes, she tried her best to smile at them. It was evident that the poor girl was freezing. Jonah’s shoulders grew rigid. “What is it?” Dionysus asked. “Is she a bad guy or something?”
“Not exactly, no.” Jonah shook his head. “She seems to be lacking any powers. She looks like she could be a age, but I can’t sense any powers coming from her.”
“You’re saying she’s human,” Audric answered in disbelief. “Impossible. They don’t exist, do they?”
“You’ve never seen a human before?” Dionysus asked in disbelief. “They’re just like you and me, but with no powers. They aren’t strong enough to take us down if that’s what you’re worried about.”
“They were banned millenniums ago, according to ancient legend. Their genes are tainted. Mixed with ours, or any occult’s for that matter would weaken the offspring’s powers, if they were even born as an occult in the first place. I’m unsure how that would even work.” Jonah shook his head. “There should not even be a conceivable way for her to have gotten here. We are isolated from any humans, that much we know is not legend.”
Audric straightened up. “I can talk to her, as my first order as Elder in training. I can diffuse the situation.”
“I admire you for wanting to try, but I think this is a task more suited to Dionysus. He has come in contact with humans before, yes?” Dionysus nodded. “He also has less of an edge to him, so his approach may seem favorable to the young girl. After all, she doesn’t look too harmful.”
Dionysus accepted his task and marched over to the girl. Not before rubbing his hands together t create heat. Audric and Jonah owed him for making him venture out into the snow. “Hi there.”
“Hello,” She answered back sweetly. “Lovely weather, huh?”
“I feel like neither of us got the memo. Otherwise, we would have brought out some jackets or something.” He turned to her with hi award winning smile, and could tell that she was easing into his presence. “Are you new here?”
She nodded. “Yes, I was trying to teleport somewhere else. Lunar lakes, have you heard of it?”
Dionysus shook his head. “I have not. Is it your home?”
She shook her head. “I’m from a place called Riverview. I don’t suppose you’ve heard of that either, huh?”
“I can’t say that I have,” Dionysus answered.
“What’s he ding?” Audric asked. “He shouldn’t be having small talk with her.”
“He’s doing a fine job,” Jonah replied. “She seems comfortable enough tot ell him about herself, and in turn we learn information. Lunar Lakes, Riverview…these may not be full human worlds. She doesn’t seem the least bit shocked by us. Not by our ears, or the pigment of our skin.”
“Do humans not have color in their skin?” Audric remembered reading that in a book somewhere.
“I was under the impression that they fell under a spectrum of colors, but did not deviate. But I am not human, so I couldn’t tell you.” He shrugged. “I know for certain that they do not have pointy ears. She probably cannot sense our powers either.”
Audric rolled his eyes. “That idiot looks like he’s getting ready to propose.”
“That would be foolish of him.” Jonah shook his head. “Your impatience may be your downfall, Audric. Trust in Dionysus, you spoke highly of him just before.”
“Sorry Elder, I just don’t like this situation. It doesn’t feel right. Shouldn’t we report this to the vampires and werewolves?”
“The Woods, and Xephers are not welcoming families. You know that just as much as I do. We don’t want her to be obliterated before she can give us some information about her world, or the others out there.”
“You’re a human,” Dionysus said calmly. “You must know by now that I’m not.”
“You’re not?” She frowned. “There are humans with skin like yours. Not in Riverview, but in other places. I’ve seen them.”
“How many other places have you been too?” Dionysus asked.
“Are we counting times as well, because then it would be around 10 to 12.” She smiled sweetly at him once again. “Where am I this time?”
Her eyes grew wide. “Oh, I heard about this place. I’m not supposed to be here!” She shook her head fiercely. “I’m sorry. I’ll return home once the machine charges up in a few hours. I know humans are frowned upon here.”
“Why do you keep talking about time?” He asked. “You can’t possibly travel through time. Even I know that time is the one force we can’t fight against.”
“It’s entirely possible to travel through time. I’m not from this time. I come from several hundred years in the future. I set my device to a specific year, but I guess I got the place wrong.”
“So you’re essentially saying that you’re messing with time then?” Dionysus asked.
“If you say it like that, it seems mean. I’m not messing with time. I’m just jumping from period to period for research purposes. I try not to touch anything and I only stay for a few hours at a time.”
Dionysus nodded. “Interesting, so you have a machine that allows you in and out of Moonlight Falls? That is peculiar. I’m calm about it, but if my colleagues find out they won’t be. You could cause an uproar here, you must know that. Why bother telling me all this?”
“Because out of everyone here, you’re the only one who will believe me. I wasn’t looking for you, I can assure you my trip to Moonlight Falls was purely accidental. But, I do know your face from the timeline and I do know that you’re a far way from home. You belong somewhere else. Somewhere much farther. It’s why you aren’t the least bit moved by my story at all.”
Dionysus raised his brow. “You can’t possibly know where I’m from or why I’m here.”
She shook her head. “No, that’s out of my wheel house. But I do recognize your face. It’s ok. Your secret is safe with me.”
“They already know,” Dionysus answered nonchalantly.
“Do they know the extent to which your presence is foreign?” She asked.
“You don’t t know the extent to tell them.” He shrugged once again. “Who do I owe this pleasure to, anyhow? I’d like to know the name of the woman who may just be my downfall.”
She let out a small laugh. “I promise, I don’t go anywhere in malice. That isn’t my intention. I just wanted you to know that I understand, if even just a tiny bit.” She stood up. “You should go. Your friends are waiting for you.” He stood up as well but refused to leave until she spilled her name. “Fine, fine. My name is Sierra Gray. Don’t forget it Dionysus Blaze, okay?”
Author’s Note: I’m aware that none of this matches up with Sierra’s first appearance in this legacy and it is entirely intentional. Don’t remember what I’m talking about? Sierra’s original chapter can be found by clicking 1.16 The Chronicle of Sierra Gray. I recommend reading it, because she is an important factor in this story. But, just a quick warning, it was written about 2 years ago so the prose is going to be a bit choppy.