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Chapter III - Corruption by Ross Camsell
Jakkor screamed as his dream world turned darker, a wave of blackness slowly washing the imaginary street of Silversong City in its shroud.
Seconds later, he realised he was looking at the stars. Mak was shaking Jakkor awake. Jakkor came to with a start, and struck Mak across the face with his right hand. Only then did he notice the black hand mark on his wrist.
"What was that for?" snapped Mak.
"I... I don't know," mumbled Jakkor, wondering why he'd had the overwhelming urge to hit Mak. Then he came to a startling realisation. "Oh gods..."
"What is it?" asked Mak, his voice trembling.
"I've been changed." There was a pause.
Gnost made an appearance. Jakkor quickly sat on his right hand, making sure the other two didn't get a look at it.
"What's wrong?" Gnost was breathing heavily, and she had her dagger out. She could sense the tension.
"Nothing," Jakkor quickly said. "What happened?" As he looked at Gnost, he couldn't help but feel a distinct disdain for her. How could she have treated him like this, plainly flirting with Jeralis while Jakkor looked on in pain? She'd put him through enough, and he wasn't going to stand for any more. Then he realised that he was under the effects of the alteration. He quickly blocked off any more evil thoughts and listened to what the girl had to say.
"The Black Mages attacked while we were asleep. They were holding your wrist, and other people's too – they were making no noise, trying to do something without being detected. But then you shouted in your sleep and roused other people, which caused them to panic and start attacking people." Jakkor felt numb and didn't hear most of what she had to say. He stared at the so-called Black Mages lying spread-eagled on the ground. Was this what he was destined to become? A coward, a criminal – a traitor?
He dreaded the thought. He became overwhelmed with anger.
"No!" he yelled, bringing his hand up against his ears. Now he knew how Yarun felt; half-changed. He was neither one nor the other now, but somewhere in between. He needed to vent his anger, away from his friends.
Jakkor ran into the darkness. His friends called after him, warning that there still may be some enemies out there, but he didn't listen. They didn't follow.
Jakkor stumbled and fell as he was nearing the Goldenvale trees. He picked himself up and clenched his fists, tears welling up in his eyes. He used Airkinesis to take a swing at a tree – but nothing happened. Jakkor stared at his fists, trying to work out what went wrong. He tried lifting a fallen leaf. The leaf remained adamantly stationary. Then, Jakkor had an idea.
Mak, who had finally come after his friend, only saw a boy who quickly disappeared seemingly into thin air.
Jakkor was in a foul mood. He had been for the three days he'd been without his powers. Four times he'd lashed out at Mak and once even at Gnost.
"All these trees look the bloody same to me. It's impossible to tell how far we've walked," said Mak. Jakkor grunted. For three days, emotions and feelings had churned around inside him.