|This is my first attempt at fanfiction so please bear with me and
be gentle. Thank you!
Sarah, Remy, the Mauraders and the Morlocks belong to Marvel. I'm not making any money off this and suing me would be bad PR.
Beware the upworlders.
It was drilled into my head from the time I was old enough to remember and even before then. At first I didn't even know what an upworlder was.
Except that they weren't like us.
Upworlders were pretty.
Not like Morlocks.
Mutants who can't hide what we are. Who aren't pretty to look at. I'm a Morlock. Others told me that they found me when I was very small. They told me my parents were upworlders who didn't want me because I wasn't pretty. I was too ugly, too scary, too live on the surface.
They were nameless, faceless monsters that haunted my dreams and threatened me from behind the trickles of light that marked the entrances to our tunnels.
The old ones did too good a job of warning us about them and sometimes my nightmares got the best of me. I never let anyone know how much they scared me. I dreamed that upworlders found the hidden entrances to our tunnels and then fell upon us, like rats on a scrap of meat.
The monsters were everywhere.
All I could do was run to my special, secret place, a hidden crevice I could just barely squeeze myself into and hide their cowering until I awoke. I would wake up cold and scared, covering my ears to block out the screams. And even though I knew it was just a dream, that I was safe on my pallet, that no one would ever find their way into our tunnels, I still checked my secret place every morning before the call for first meal. As long as I stayed in the dark I was safe. Only the brave ones ever ventured above, into the light, and only when it was neccessary.
But even my nightmares and the warnings of the old ones couldn't stop me from imagining what it was like above.
I wanted to see the Sun.
From the stories the old ones told I imagined it was a fire that hung upside down in a cave who's ceiling was too high to see. The fire was so bright and so high you couldn't see the ceiling or the source but it was warm, so warm that you would sweat just standing beneath it.
As much as the upworlders scared me, as safe as I felt in the dark, I wanted to see the Sun.
I will never forget the first time I saw one of them. An upworlder. I should have known that after one came there would be more. But how could I have known that death would follow an angel?
No one told me he was an upworlder. But I knew.
I had slipped away from the caretakers and gone wandering in the caves after supper, following a mouse as it scavenged for food and bits of cloth dropped in our tunnels. Mice were short-lived in the tunnels, they usually never survived the rats, because they were smaller, weaker, not as fierce. I felt sorry for them wanted to help them. So I followed it, keeping the rats from it. Followed it until it led me to a part of the tunnels I had never been in before, to a room I had never seen.
And then I saw him.
I had heard of angels from the stories the old ones told. Beautiful creatures, more beautiful than upworlders, who could soar above even the surfacedwellers on pure white wings. This angel who had fallen from above, his head bowed, as if his spirit were as broken as his wings. He was dressed in torn blue and white suit and there was gold circlet emblem on his chest that matched the color of his hair. His was half kneeling, half hanging by his wings, which I could see where almost pure white beneath the dirt and blood.
I knew instantly he was an upworlder. Even though he was filthy he was still beautiful. Nothing so beautiful ever belonged to the tunnels. I stared at him, the mouse forgotten, wondering how this creature had ever come to be down here. He was battered and bloodied, and some of his feathers had molted, dropping to stone floor to picked up by the mouse who had led me here.
He wasn't a monster. I wasn't afraid of him.
I was about to take a step toward him when one of the caretakers found me. She grabbed my hand and yanked me away from the creature without giving him a second glance.
"Why do you always wander off when it's my turn to watch you? I can't afford to leave the others to chase after you. Now come on or I'll leave you for the rats."
The caretaker turned to leave. When I didn't follow she looked back at me and then followed my gaze to the beautiful one hanging in front of us.
"Who is he?" the caretaker asked, as if somehow I knew anymore about him than she did. And maybe I did at that.
"He's....beautiful." I said, because that was the only word to describe him and then "Is he dead?" For all his soiled beauty, he looked dead. I hoped he wasn't.
My words had broken the spell the angels presence had cast over us. She tugged at my hand and said "Come on, Sarah!".
She dragged me out of the room and back to our tunnels. That night when I went to sleep I dreamed about the upworlders again, but this time instead of just us, they fell upon the angel too, snatching him in midflight, shredding his wings, and leaving him to die while the screams of the Morlocks echoed around him. And this night, when I woke up shuddering and covering my ears to shut out the screams, they didn't fade away. Instead, they grew louder, closer, and were accompanied by murderous laughter. The upworlders had come. I crept out of my sleeping corner and looked toward the source of screams.
The monsters were everywhere. They were horrible, terrible evil, things
I had to get to the crevice, I had to hide
Huddling in the dark, the caves shook, lights flashed, Morlocks screamed and I couldn't think, couldn't move. All I could do cower and hide, as I had in my dreams.
A voice rose above the cries. A scream of disbelief and outrage. And just as abruptly as it began it was cut off by snarling laughter. I watched as a huge monster covered in golden fur laughed and dropped a smaller man at his feet as he put a claw to his mouth and licked it, tasting the other's blood. Before he turned back toward the slaughter the golden monster said, "See, told you one more wouldn't matter."
I cringed, thinking I had just seen one more of people slaughtered until I looked more carefully through my tears and realized he wasn't one of us. His clothes weren't homespun cloth and tattered rags. And despite the blood, he was too clean to be a Morlock. He lay there on the the gore soaked ground and I heard him moan softly and knew he wasn't dead. After an eternity he moved, pulling trembling hands underneath him, pushing himself up. He brought a hand to his mouth and blood leaked from between his lips.
He looked up, right at me, he must have heard me crying and I saw that the blood had somehow tinged his eyes making them dark and red. I would not have believed that those eyes were capable of tears had I not seen them for myself.
He reached out a hand toward me and mouthed something I couldn't hear. I looked back at him and saw something in his blood tinged eyes. He started crawling toward me, very slowly. Was he coming to get me? To kill me like the others?
He reached the crevice and extended a blood stained hand to me. I hunkered down in my crevice, utterly terrified. Then I heard a gentle whisper, "S'okay. Not gonna hurt cha. Jus' gimmie ya hand." I tried to melt into the rock, shaking my head fiercly in the tiny space, blinded by my tears. The noise outside that had seemed to be getting softer, started to grow again. The monsters were coming back. He turned toward the noise and I saw his fear, he was afraid of the monsters too. One of the monsters had hurt him. Maybe he wouldn't hurt me.
Quickly he said, "Tell me your name."
"Sarah," so softly I hoped he wouldn't hear.
"Please, Sarah you have to. . .you have to trus' me. I won't 'urt you, I promise. Please."
I'll never know why, but I reached out and took his hand. I started to climb out toward him and he all but yanked me out the rest of the way. Before I knew it I was in his arms and were bounding away from the monsters, moving so fast I knew they wouldn't catch us. His breathing sounded moist and labored but he didn't stop running. Exhaustion and shock took me and I slipped away.
I awoke screaming. The golden monster was chasing me about to catch me, rip me to shreds. Hands grasped my arms tightly and I fought them striking out at my attacker.
The soft whisper from before. "Shhhh, petite. Shhhh."
The whisper wrapped itself around me, holding me and I stopped fighting. But the tears would not stop.
"Everthin' gonna be okay now. No one goin' to hurt you Sarah. It's over."
I felt the whisper tremble as it held me, felt a breath in my hair and then something damp.
"I know dis don't mean nothin' to you now girl. . .but someday I want you to understand. . .I'm sorry."
I continued to cry until I fell asleep again.
He wouldn't take me back to the tunnels. I begged him but he wouldn't. He wouldn't talk to me, wouldn't look at me. I don't think he heard me at all most of the time. He fed me, made sure I was clean and had clothes but did not acknowledge me in any other way. I think he was still in shock.
I knew I was on the surface now. That I could see the sun if I wanted to. But I didn't, because it didn't matter anymore, I wanted to go home. Finally one night, I ran away from the man with the bloody eyes. It took me days, weeks maybe to find my way back down to the tunnels, to my home, but I did.
There was nothing left but bloody rags, empty caves that echoed too loudly because of there emptiness. I cried, standing in the middle of the main chamber, I stood and sobbed until I couldn't cry anymore. It was all gone, they had not even left the bodies of my family to rest in their homes.
And then the pain came. My back, my spine was on fire and I reached around and felt something sticking out of my back. My bones had always shown on the outside but they never hurt like this before, never been so big. I could feeling them growing, tearing the flesh on my back. I reached around and pulled at the bones trying to stop the agony. And with a sickening ripping noise I pulled two of them free.
I stared at them, still warm to the touch on the ends and streaked with blood. The ends were sharp and pointed and I could already feel replacements growing in to take their place. I curled up onthe stone floor and tried to block out the pain, both pains. But it didn't go away. The pain never goes away.
That was how Callisto found me.
Some of the Morlocks had survived. Some who'd been away from the tunnels the night of the Massacre. A few who were able to make themselves seem dead when they really weren't. They were hidden in cramped, dark side passages of our tunnels, scared of there own shadows. And as I looked at them something happened. The pain sank into my stomach and turned into something hard and bitter. Something that didn't feel fear, didn't feel pain, didn't shed tears. And as I stood there I swore a pledge to myself and my people, both alive and dead.
I will never cower.
It will be the surface dwellers who will have to huddle in their beds, be afraid of the shadows. Let them tell their children to beware the Morlocks.
Beware the Bones.