Prologue: 10 years later
We all sat in a circle around the body of our dearest friend. He had been a fighter, a lover, a forgiver, and a best friend. Mel was crying and Ian was patting my back. A shrouded figure did the last rights for him. She had her arms out, the paleness showing. Once, her arms had been a beautiful bronze color. Once, those arms could do magic; now they belonged to a girl who was preaching at a funeral. All fifty seven members of the Resistance sat in a circle, many crying. Jared sat like stone, staring at the man he had once thought of as father. I saw him as the man who gave me the chance to prove to the humans that souls weren’t bad, and that I would never hurt them.
The shrouded figure removed her hood. Natalie had looked very different ten years ago when she had first arrived here. She, like everyone else, had been deprived of sun so much that her pallor was ghostly. Her hair, reaching below her waist, was tied back in a tight bun. Her face was gaunt, her eyes dark and her lips providing the only color on her face. Those exotic turquoise eyes of her had darkened to a blue-teal, giving her a dark appearance. She bent down and lifted the wasted man’s arm. She placed a blue marble in his hand. It meant freedom and peace. The man had been a very cautious scientific man. And a master of the poker face. Natalie didn’t cry; she placed his arm back and people came forward to carry the body to a room near the northern tunnels. The burial room.
The Burial Room had a huge vent open to the world. The body was placed in the center of the room. Natalie brought out a wooden stick. She lit it on fire and then held it to her arm. She watched, expressionless, as the fire began to eat at her arm. I couldn’t stand it. Her blood fell in drops on the deceased person. She then pulled the fire away from her and placed it gently at the dead man’s feet. She kissed his forehead and stood back. The fire went up his leg and enveloped him. The room smelled of burning human flesh. People watched. Slowly, people began leaving. After twenty minutes, Jared, Mel, Jake, Ian, Jamie, and I were the only ones left. Natalie stood motionless, directly facing the fire, motionless, blood still dripping from her arm. She hadn’t moved the entire time. Slowly Mel and Jared walked out, followed by Jamie. Then, Ian and Jake left, reluctantly looking back at their wives.
I walked up to Natalie. “You should come. You’ve done enough for him.” She didn’t say a word.
“You’re standing awfully close,” I told her. She would be burned. She didn’t move. I was tired and depressed; I couldn’t take it. I walked out of the room, leaving a bleeding self-pain inducing Natalie behind with the burning remains of my dear friend Jeb.
note: for those of you who have not read my prequel to this story: Parasites by Monica Hale, then this fanfic won't make any sinse to you. Here's the link for the 1st story: