By: Murasaki

Chapter 4

Steel against steel rang out and the druid fell to the ground, his sword sliding out of reach. Chris slid down the side of the bowl as his sword flew to the other side and landed in the dirt. He stopped before the druid and grabbed a hold of him by the shirt, holding him up. The Ford father looked over the figure, it's hood hiding his face, his wings folded up. The Darkon was still recovering from the vibrations of the two swords clashing. Chris pulled the hood down off the Druid's head and fell backwards, letting the figure fall to the ground.

What the old man had seen shocked him. The figure was a dragon/mortal. Which one was it that was attacking his son, perhaps one of the ones competing for Coilsteemer? Were they just practicing? No, those were cries of great pain he heard. He looked over this figure. Blue hair topped a dragon/mortal head. The eyes were ruby red and glowed deeper as they looked up at him and then to Marty. A memory flashed through Chris' mind. The memory of his little boy, cradled in his mother's arms, crying out for help.

The Druid got to his feet as he saw the look on Chris' face. The figure made his way over to Marty and stood over him, an angry look on his face. Chris fell out of his daze and stepped before his cowering son, his expression not friendly.

"Back off," he growled. The Druid, not wishing a second confrontation at the moment, did so. He took up his weapon and sheathed it. The figure turned away from the father and son and threw its hood over its head. "Another time, Fordling." With that the figure climbed up the side of the bowl and out. Chris watched the druid leave the battle area and turned to his son, looking down upon the young Ford boy.

Denae finally made her way through the large crowd outside the battle dome and swiftly followed Chris' path. A dark figure wearing a hood slipped past her, bumping her arm slightly as it went. She looked back for a moment and heard the figure growl. Her concerns then shifted to her beloved son, Marty. She took up a jog towards Chris and Marty and found them at the bottom of the battle bowl. Chris had put Marty's arm around him and was now climbing up the side of the bowl with his son, their swords in one hand and his other arm around Marty. The boy limped a bit as his battle armor faded away and changed to his dress uniform, the jacket open. The caring mother watched as Chris helped Marty lean against one of the tall, black stones.

"What happened?" Denae begged of the two men. Chris didn't respond right then and Denae shifted her gaze to the injured Marty. His long green hair matted at the bottom with his own blood. "Oh, my boy!" She whined as she moved to the younger Ford. Marty looked up, his checks red with drying blood. He tried to speak and explain through the pain of his jaw. It came out as a small whisper.

"He threatened to kill everyone..." Marty whispered as he lowered his head in pain. Another Coilsteemer approached them then, seeing that Marty was hurt. The young Ford had taken his sword back and was now leaning on it weakly. There was a long silence as the Coilsteemer came upon the three.

"Go to bed," Chris told his son as he looked over to the boy. "Dad," he mumbled, wanting some answers. "To bed, Martin!" Chris yelled, pointing in the direction of Sanctuary. Neither of them did anything at that moment, then Marty gave a short nod and began limping away. The Coilsteemer who had come into the battle dome offered a helping hand to the young Ford. Denae stopped the two before they left.

"Take him to the infirmary and see what they can do." She bade the Coilsteemer as she tried to wipe off some of the blood on Marty's face with a cloth she had dampened with her own spit.

"Yes, milady." The Coilsteemer replied to its mother with a slight bow of his head. Marty sheathed his sword and began walking with his arm around the Coilsteemer. Denae watched as the two made their way out of the battle dome, then turned to Chris.The man had grabbed a hold of the blade of his sword tightly. He tugged on the sword just hard enough to slice his hand open and let blood trail along the blade as he pulled it out of his hand. Denae said nothing for that moment, knowing why. She watched as Chris sheathed his sword and spoke.

"What happened?" Chris shook his head a little. "I know only as much as you do about that." She didn't believe him and could tell he knew more by the look on his face. She swiftly made her way over to him and held his face up by his chin. She looked deep into his eyes. "What are you not telling me, Christopher?" He blinked a few times and spoke, digressing." Please, love. Tend to Marty." "Not yet, Chris." She barked. "I want answers. Why was that figure fighting our Marty? Not only that, but who was it?" Stunned, he responds defensively. "Denae," he began with a slight angry tone to his voice. "I will explain as best I can later. Now please tend to our son." With that the man walked passed her and towards the exit of the Dome.

Denae followed him closely back to Sanctuary. Marty was sitting on the check up table in the infirmary when his mother entered. Camelot's intensive healer, Khamden Sil Vermane, approached her and they spoke quietly. "His jaw was broken, as were a few of his ribs. He was cut in many places, but none of them were serious. He is fully healed." Denae nodded with a grim smile.

"Thank you, Khamden. Please, might we be alone?" Khamden bowed a little and left, her violet hair wavering in the wind as she slipped her waven form through the walls and out of the room. The gentle lady sighed softly as she looked on her son who was doing his best to clean the dried blood out of his hair, which was no longer braided. She found an empty bowl and dipped it in the caldron in the fireplace, drawing out warm water. She held the bowl over the caldron and let it drip for a short moment, then found a clean cloth and dropped it into the bowl. Denae then walked over and sat next to her beloved son. Marty looked up and stopped cleaning his hair.

"Mom," he began as she let her soft eyes settle on him. "Are you alright?" She asked him. He gave a nod, dry blood still all over his face. "Tell me everything."

Denae bade of her son as she took up the wet cloth and rung it out into the bowl.

"The Druid," he told her. "He was hiding in the field." The lady pushed Marty's long, dark green hair back and began wiping his face with the warm damp cloth. "He said dad had something of his. The gem of Darkon." Denae listened closely as she cleaned her son's face off. She remembered the name Darkon, but did not recall anything of a gem besides the blue pendant around Chris' neck. Marty felt the damp cloth wipe along his cheek, cleaning the blood off. "He said that he was going to take something dad owned. He wanted... me." Denae dipped the cloth in the warm water and rung it out again. She then wiped Marty's face with it as he spoke. "He grabbed me, but I got away. He wouldn't tell me who he was other than the fact that he was Darkon."

"Why would a Darkon be here, in Camelot Reborn?" She asked as she wiped his face clean of dry blood. "Well, he claimed to be Darkon, but he wasn't." She looked at her son, his green hair dry with blood. "Oh?", Denae questioned. "He was a Dragon/mortal, just like me. And he had blue hair." She didn't quiet understand. "He threatened to kill everyone, mom." She placed the cloth back in the bowl of warm water.

"Why would he do that?" Marty shook his head and looked down at his feet. Denae could tell that her son thought Chris was mad at him for fighting. She placed a hand on the young man's face. "Was he stopped?" Marty nodded yes as he felt her soft touch. Denae smiled and lifted his face to look at her. "Then ye did well my son. You should be named Coilsteemer for that." His emerald green eyes lingered on his mother. She was always so proud of him. "You think so?" She smiled. "I know so." She kissed his cheek lightly.

"Now off to bed with you. We will do your hair in the morning." A smile crossed the young man's face and he slid off the table. "Martin," Denae said just before he left the room. "I love you." He smiled. "I love you too, mom." With that he left the room and went up to bed.

Denae sat there silently for a moment, her feet swaying slightly as she thought things over. A Dragon/mortal with blue hair who claimed to be Darkon? The gem of Darkon? This was all very strange to her. Then again, little more than twenty years ago it would have been strange to find Dragon/mortals in Camelot. No one here had ever heard of them, no one knew they even existed. Until Chris came to Camelot, of course. She smiled slightly at the thought of the man. His red beard, his strong inviting figure. She slid off the table and got rid of the red water, then placed the cloth on a hook over the fire to dry. She left the room with it in her mind to find this 'Darkon' and threatened her family.

As Denae made her way throughout Sanctuary and the castle, then to the individual rooms of the Coilsteemers she let her mind linger. She let her memory go back to the past, to a time little over twenty years ago.

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