Mark Maffeo
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Snippet from Young Hawks

The Young Hawks: Choosing a Path

Prologue: Betrayal

The weather has a way of showing the mood of a day. The sun had been bright and shining for the past few weeks. Unfortunately, today was miserably cloudy, rainy, and held a bone chilling cold in the air. A storm was stirring the leaves of the forest trees, and great gusts of rain filled wind flew about creating an air of dread.

However, the weather had not kept back the woman that was now making her way deeper and deeper into the forest at the base of the mountains.

It was a hard and terrible choice that she had made, but the raven haired woman with strong features new that it was necessary. The alliance would be furious with her, not to mention the disappointment and shame that would attach itself to her family. She needed the power though. She was already mighty powerful as it was, but the Darklings would complete her power for the information she brought. Then suddenly, there in the deep dark woods, she sensed a presence.

She glanced to her left, then right, and finally said, “Hello Hood.”

She turned around to see behind her a lovely blonde woman that would leave any man chasing if it weren’t for the fact that she was a murderous villain. She wore a red riding cloak with a hood and held a frightening blade raised to the chest of the Raven haired woman.

“You certainly are powerful these days,” the blonde woman in the hood commented. “It’s too bad that we will have to destroy you.”

She said ‘we’ because at that moment there were a number of others fiendish creatures stepping from other corners of the forest, some human, some not, all armed. There was a werewolf with shaggy tufts of matted fur and razor claws, several three foot tall goblins dressed in rusty armor that was too big for them, a few armored humans, and two sharp fanged vampires.

“Your family has grown large Hood. I’d be happy to whittle it down for you, but my business here is not with you. I am here to speak with your lord. I have a deal to offer him.”

“Who says it’s a him?” Hood said. “You and I certainly show that women may obtain powers to rival any man.”

“Just take me.”

“Finally decided to come to the winning side have you? And what do you have to offer us?” Hood asked petulantly.

“That is for your master, but I am sure you would like the return of your Hunter.”

Hood’s eyes widened and she screeched, “You have him here! Give him to me! Give him to me now! He’s mine!”

She screamed again in frustration, but this time she had not used mere words, but a magical incantation.

The dark haired woman knew the attack was possible and anticipated it with ease. She deflected the spell at the goblins who vaporized on the spot, leaving nothing but clanking armor behind and a smell of rotten eggs.

She was careful to aim the deflection that way because those were the most expendable of Hood’s followers. By only getting rid of them, she hoped to still be able to negotiate her passage.

“You will have your servant again once my bargain is struck.”

Hood looked at her with venom in her pine green eyes and replied with a single word, “Come.”

She followed Hood to a very large mountain, and it was shortly after that when everything went completely wrong.