Shadow and her children are in grave danger just by existing. Purebred elves fear she may be the one who will destroy the purity of their race. A contract is put out for them. How many will die so Shadow and her twins may live? What price is too high to secure freedom for half-elves? Will 001 be able to save them?
When her twins vanish, Shadow is heartbroken. As usual, she cannot rely on Ghost. He has disappeared once again, leaving Shadow to question their relationship. With Cowboy’s help, she throws herself into her training, although her human friend is unaware he may be a danger himself. Dodger seeks to relieve her pain, but does he have more than friendship on his mind? An impending storm of colossal proportions threatens to complete the devastation of the world.
Will Raz find the answers they seek in The Old Writings? Is Ghost a help or a hindrance? If the Prophecy is true, then perhaps Shadow is indeed their salvation.
The rain stopped as the days passed. Time moved slowly, and eventually, the days seemed to be slightly cooler. Days became weeks and then months. The weather did as the unicorn had said it would. The ground was no longer hot enough to burn. Somehow, it seemed to be turning less and less black. At times, it almost appeared to be gray brown. Time continued passing as a new year dawned.
In those six months, Cowboy often hunted for his dream girl, telling the others he needed to drive into town for parts. Raz and Dodger completed most of the repairs to Althea and Josakur’s house.
Each night Ghost and Shadow read a book to the twins before tucking them into their cribs. Training revolved around target practice as well her draw-fire ability, but no hand-to-hand.
Michalea and Morgan were developing their motor skills. They were now crawling, sitting up, clapping their little hands, pulling themselves up to stand, and waving. Their communication skills developed, too. They started using simple words like hi, up, and go. They could also say phrases like give me. Shadow and Ghost’s favorite words, though, were mama and dada. They began reaching for their parents, and even walking while holding onto things, but it was their first steps that stole everyone’s breath away.
Shadow threw the pillow at Ghost. “You made me watch that movie?”
Althea called, “Mama, turn around and hold out your hands. Someone’s coming for you.”
She climbed over the back of the couch and knelt down with her hands held out. “Hi, my sweet boy.”
Morgan took one step at a time, his hands clutching the nanny’s. “Mama.”
Shadow fought the tears building up inside her. “Come on, little man, you can do it.”
Althea wiggled her fingers, slowly pulling her hands from his tiny grip.
Morgan let go of Althea and reached for Shadow, his last few steps rushed as he almost ran into her arms. “Mama!”
Shadow swept him into an embrace. “I am so proud of you.”
Morgan laughed, patted her cheeks, then kissed her. “My Mama.”
Althea now stood in the hall with the other twin. “We’re not done. Your turn, Dada.”
Ghost leaped over the couch, kneeled next to Shadow, and opened his arms. “Come on, little bit, Dada’s waiting for you.”
Michalea squealed with glee and practically ran to him.
Like her brother, Michaela’s last few steps were unsteady but fast as she reached him. “Dada!” Althea just managed to slip her hands free for the last few steps.
Every tense muscle assured Ghost was ready to catch his little one. Ghost swept her into his arms. “There’s daddy’s little girl.”
Althea smiled. “They are miracles.”
* * * *
The weather changes alerted the eldest elders that The Old Writings were indeed coming to pass. The idea that half-elves could reproduce as an actual race generated concern. Purebreds procreating meant the elven race stayed pure and crossbreeding created sterile half-breeds. Half-elves procreating true to their race meant half-elves would become a true race, and purebreds would become rare or could even disappear, because it would free elves to hunt suitable spouses outside their race.
Every member of the Dökkálfar village gathered at the meeting hall, every rider stood awaiting orders.
“I once saw a message on a system about the foretold miracle birth coming to pass. I thought someone was trying to start something.” The eldest of the elders, Larongar, looked at the sky. “Now, I know different. For too long we failed to believe this day would come. Now it is upon us. Hunt down the couple, and the children, too. We need to know everything before it’s too late, before all is lost. Communicate everything via word of mouth only, so it can’t be traced. Send word to all the elven villages who are not friendly with outside races, ask each village to send a representative to the council of the Elven Cause of Right and Justice. Go!”
In mere days, eight villages had sent their wisest and most ancient elder to represent them in the council. The convening body agreed that the miracle birth was a dishonor to the elven race. They considered it an injustice for half-elves to have the ability to make children and, thereby, become a race. They believed their children should be eliminated and the parents punished. Warriors were sent across the lands to hunt. It was decreed that once they were found, assassins would be sent after the innocent lives.