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ER Emblem Award

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- 06/05/07

Chapter OneEdit

By Kaeyll

It wasn't one of those nights where sleeping was a luxury. It was a chore - a dirty, sweaty, painful chore - and Kaeyll didn't like it. He tossed and turned on the hard cobblestone ground, groaning with discomfort as the combination of the heat in the air and the cold of the rock left him uneasy and unfulfilled. Finally the young Sin'dorei sat up in the alleyway and let out a long, drawn out sigh. He knew there would be no sleep for him this night, much like many of the others lately, and so he stood to greet the night.

Silvermoon was one of those cities that did not come alive at night, at least not on the surface. The Arcane Guardians roaming around seemed so commonplace that Kae rarely noticed them passing by, spitting out their programmed commands. "Happiness is mandatory."

Rolling his eyes, Kae continued from his alleyway home to the fountain at the Court of the Sun. There was so much peace in the sound of the running water - so much serenity - he'd give anything to have that in his life. Kae never knew peace, or happiness. So how can he follow the rules if he doesn't understand the terms?

Right, that's what brought me to this in the first place. Rules? What rules? Survival is all I know, and survival is about making your own rules. It's about being your own boss. It's about... His thought trailed off as another Blood Born approached. Flashing a quick glance at Kae and lifting his nose in greeting, Kae flicked an ear dismissively at the young elf and motioned for him to sit.

"Kae, this is the fourth night in a row I've found you here. What are you doing up? You know we've got a big day tomorrow," the voice was just above a whisper from Kae's best friend Vashari. He stared blankly at Kae with his brilliant jade eyes and waited for a response - waited for the response Kae gave every time.

"I can't sleep knowing that there's more than this out there, and I don't have it."

Vashari sighed.

"I mean, c'mon Vash. What are we doing? What are we working towards? What are we gaining?" Kaeyll swirled a finger on the bench between the two of them as he spoke, not bothering to look up at the obvious expression on Vash's face.

"Kae, we're in this together. The Blood Born is strong these days. We're so big I don't even know half the names of any of these new Blood Elves. Since the Scourge attack we've grown considerably in numbers and I am damn proud." Vash brought his gaze down to Kae's face and forced their eyes to meet. Kae turned his head away.

"That's just it. We feel stranded, abandoned by this city and it's people because we're not doing anything to be a part of it anymore."

"Kae, what we do is-"

"I know what the hell we do!" Kae raised his voice and immediately clasped his mouth shut after the exclamation, checking to make sure they hadn't drawn any unwanted attention. "I know what the hell we do," he repeated himself in a whisper. "Why can't we do it and be a part of something? This isn't living...this isn't even surviving. This is just cowardice."

Vash reared his head back, appauled, and slapped Kae quickly across the mouth. "You bite your tongue. You and I built this. You and I may not have started it, but we made this little band of ours what it is today. You can't turn your back on that kind of commitment...that kind of friendship."

Kae sighed and let tears form in his eyes before looking straight at Vashari and replying, "this isn't friendship, Vash. This isn't commitment. This is foolishness and I won't bow to it. I want to live, and we're dying. No guarantee that we'll eat each day. No promise that we'll even live through each day. These kids coming in now, they don't have any level of maturity or respect, and they pick fights with each other sometimes ending in bloodshed. I want out, Vash. I don't want it like this. I want to earn my keep, not scrounge for it."

As Kaeyll stood to leave Vashari reached for his wrist and pulled Kae down so that his ear rest against Vashari's mouth. He whispered wickedly, "you aren't turning your back on this, Kae. We made a choice, a decision, and we have to hold to that. What else have we got? What else have you got, orphan?"

Kae pulled himself away from Vash and grimaced at the madness in his friend's eyes. "I've got a lot of living to do, Vash. So do you. It's not too late." Kae turned away again.

Vash's blade felt cold, like the cobblestone. Kae winced in pain and let out a dull groan as he looked down at his ribs, clasping his hand instinctively over the wound. The blood rushed out for a moment before stopping under the pressure. Vash pulled back and stared his friend down. It was a cold, hard stare. Kae knew he had not inspired anything in the elf but anger. This was his choice.

"I'm going to forgive you for this, Vashari, and continue to walk away. I am warning you not to follow me, and to let me go in peace."

Vash laughed heartily, unaffected by the volume. "Peace?! Do you see what you are, Kaeyll? We don't get peace. We get cold, bitter, miserable survival...and only if we're lucky. You've been such thus far, and I'd hate to have to take it from you. You can't turn your back on me. I made my choice. You made your choice."

Kae limped over to Vash, pressing harder against his ribs as he approached and resting his free hand on Vash's shoulder. "You're right, old friend. I have made my choice. I have fought hard to survive, like you." He wept for a moment, leaning his head into Vashari's chest.

Kae's blade must have felt cold, like the cobblestone. The blood from both wounds met on the floor of the Court of the Sun that night, not for the first time - but for the last. "And I'll continue to fight for my survival. No one, not even you, old friend, is going to stop me."

Vash fell to the floor, twitching slightly and looking up sadly at Kaeyll for a moment before going limp. Kae has aimed a bit higher and had dug his blade deeper. He was a surviver, and now he was on his own.

"Goodbye, old friend."

Chapter TwoEdit

By Kaeyll

Ever since he left The Blood Born, Kaeyll walked through Silvermoon with a quick, nervous stride and an uncomfortable look over his shoulder every so often. It was enough to drive an elf to insanity. He sighed, passing through Murder Row, his former home, as it seemed a strange, unfamiliar place now. Feeling uneasy, Kae was sure he could hear the low whispers from his former gang mates, calling his name and pointing him out to each other from the shadows.

Trying to pull himself together and shaking his head with a huff, Kae lifted his chin, pushed his chest out and approached Nerisen with a sigh. "I'm going crazy, you know?"

Nerisen raised a brow to Kae and replied, "what did you expect? You stabbed your best friend and left him for dead in The Court." He shook his head, "you're in deep, kid."

Kaeyll's brow furrowed and his ears twitched with more nervousness and contemplation. "What would you have done, Nerisen? You know? What was I supposed to do?" He sighed and ran a hand through his dusty, unwashed hair, "Vash left me no choice. He told me I didn't have a life of my own." Kae's eyes were on the floor between the two. He couldn't look Nerisen in the eyes, not his teacher, his friend.

"I can't get you out of this one, Kae. You're on your own. The Blood Born have been back here several times today already looking for you and I'm tired of covering your tracks." Nerisen sighed, "I like you kid. You have what a lot of others don't," he sighed, "you've got heart and determination. Those are true survival skills. That's why you deserve to be out." Nerisen pointed towards the doorway. The curtains blew in the slight breeze, making the world beyond them seem cold and uninviting to Kaeyll's eyes. "Now I can't help you anymore."

The rogue's ears drooped and he lost his falsely secured stature at the farewell from his trainer. Staring at the curtains a moment, Kae decided that there was nothing left for him in Silvermoon anyway. He left, not another word spoken to Nerisen.

Darlia looked up from her table with distress in her eyes. She had grown quite fond of the rogue and was anxious for his success in the field. Besides that, he was pretty cute. She set some vials and tubes down, turning to Nerisen, "you think he'll be alright."

Nerisen lowered his head with a sigh, "he's dead where he stands. They're waiting for him outside."

Kae felt the hard press of a heavy hand on his chest just as he hit the street in Murder Row. Grabbing his shirt, Kae was yanked by someone into a nearby alley and slammed against a wall. He felt all of the breath in his lungs escape him and winced in pain when the back of his head struck, leaving a blood spatter. He felt his eyes close and his body sink.

Finally opening his eyes, Kaeyll recognized the two standing before him. Teryal and Aeronn from The Blood Born, Vash's lapdogs. They were always jealous of Kae's ties to Vashari and their friendship, and now they stood over him, smirks on their faces, daggers gleaming in their hands.

Kae sat up and rubbed the back of his head, wiping the blood onto his pants carelessly, "so they'll just give anyone one of those these days, huh?" He felt the force of Aeronn's boot on his shoulder and fell back to the floor with a kick. He rose again, "careful boys, you'll put someone's eye out...like your own."

"Quiet traitor. We're running the show now. Since you left and -took- Vashari with you we've stepped up and taken over. Needless to say, you're in a world of trouble with us right now." Aeronn smirked and spat on Kae, gesturing to Teryal to pick him up off the ground. Teryal, the much larger of the two, lifted Kaeyll by his underarms and pinned him to the wall, making sure to give him a few welcoming jabs in the stomach. Kae doubled over, but was brought back up and re-pinned to the wall by Teryal's force.

"Listen, I just wanted out. I just want to walk on my own. Don't you guys get tired of having to run and hide in groups? Don't you get tired of having nowhere to go? I want somewhere to belong. I want to make a name for myself. I can't do that here. Vash didn't get it, and I did what I had to do. You guys know that." Kaeyll's pleas only enraged the two more, however, and Aeronn brought his dagger to the neck of his former gang mate. Kae exhaled slowly, knowing that these two were too irresponsible and infuriated to be reasoned with.

Teryal looked to Aeronn for a sign, and sighed, "can I just do it now?"

Aeronn snarled at his partner, "No, I want him to feel this. I want him to know the pain he caused The Blood Born as a whole."

Kae breathed a sigh and shook his head, ignoring the arms under his and the dagger to his neck. "I really don't think you guys understand," he slid down the wall quickly, tripping Aeronn with a kick of his leg. Aeronn's loss of balance and positioning caused him to carelessly reach out to Teryal with the hand closest to him, the dagger hand. The blade settled in Teryal's bicep and the elf let out a great cry. Bringing himself back up to his feet, Kae knocked Teryal's dagger from his hand, being distracted as he was, and hopped up onto his shoulders, and over the two, heading out of the alleyway as quickly as he could.

Aeronn scrambled after Kaeyll and left his friend to his wound. Running just out of the alley, Kae was nowhere in sight, though Aeronn knew better. "You'd better not come back inside these city walls, Kaeyll Dawnblade, unless heavily disguised or armed. The Blood Born are after your head now you traitor!" He disappeared back into the alley to check on Teryal.

Kaeyll stealthily crept from the scene and past many city guards, with no desire to explain himself. How could he? He just got into a fight with members of his own former -gang- who threatened to kill him for killing someone else?! Kaeyll shook his head in conclusion. This would be the last time he saw Silvermoon for a while. As he approached the gates, the rogue did what he did best, he left making sure that he hadn't been seen by anyone. Standing outside, Kae took a look at the city, sighed the thought out of his mind, and left for the Ghostlands to hide out for a while and gather himself.

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