Ricter woke with a start. At first he wasnt aware of his surroundings then as sleep faded and his eyes adjusted to the dim lighting. His hands instinctively went to the knives he had by his side. These blades werent made of steel but of something that is obsidian black. Hed fashioned them from the bodies of them; the dark ones, the ones that hunt the travelers through the valley. Some of the travelers have guardians that protect them as they go through the Valley others arent so lucky. Some make it others dont. Sometimes the get attacked even if they have guardians with them and are taken to the caves.

Many of the caves go deep into the earth. Ricters explored a few of them but they go too deep and there are too many of the Dark Ones in the caves. He knew how to kill them and hunts them and kills them when he can but in the caves there are too many even for him.

Stepping out of the cave Ricter looked up seeing hed slept through most of the day for the sun was glowing azure on the horizon. It would be dark soon, thats when the Dark Ones come out to hunt. Thats when Ricter hunted them. Ricter wasnt a very menacing looking man. He has short dark hair and a friendly face, though his cheeks were sunken and his eyes were hard. Many call it that far off stare but this goes beyond that, its like hes almost lost whom he once was.

He heard the scream of a child, without a thought Ricter started to move. His swift movements belied his stature. He moved through the jumble of rocks like a wrath, passing silently without disturbing a single stone. His long stride taking him through the crest line and down into the valley itself. Here he used the heavy fog moving with it. Flowing like the heavy mist.

The child screamed again not far from Ricter, suddenly changing directions he seemed to bounce off of a boulder just before one of the Dark Ones slammed headfirst misjudging. Thinking that Ricter was easy prey. The fashioned knives that cut open its abdomen and found its lungs proved other wise. Ricters body moved in perfect balance as he dispatched the first one. The second one only had a second to try to turn around and face its new enemy before Ricter was on it. Its one leg crumpling useless underneath it even before it felt the stinging bite of one of Ricters blades; the obsidian black blade severing the joint easily. Swinging its clawed hand in a desperate measure the Dark One caught Ricter across the chest in a deep gouge. With a grunt he let his body go limp knowing that if he did not go with the blow it would surely kill him.

As soon as his toes touched the earth he was on the Dark One again coming under its wild swings and taking out its other leg. Moving quickly knowing that the injured Demon was far more dangerous thrashing in pain and anger. One of the wild back handed blows landed as Ricter was coming in to finish the task. Where the demon touched bare flesh left a blistering mark on his chest. Rolling with the blow Ricter quickly came back at the demon taking two more blows before his knives found their marks in its neck and chest.

Moving with deft practice Ricter pulled his weapons out of the demons body wiping them clean on it before tucking them in his belt. The sobbing of the child brought Ricter back, looking around quickly he found the boy huddled under an outcropping he was maybe 10 years old. Squatting down Ricter coaxed the young boy out telling him it was alright and that the bad things were gone. Knowing in his mind that they had to move before more would come.

You have to help her, she was trying to help me get home when they came. The boy cried.

Help who?

The boy pointed to the crumpled body of a woman lying on the stones. He had thought she was dead when he first glanced at her but when he knelt by her he realized that she was still breathing. Moving her gently he could see one of the demons had stuck her in the head leaving a burn mark on her head above her right eye. The blow must have knocked her out.

We cant stay here little one let me get you two to safety.

Tyler, my name is Tyler. The boy responded vehemently

Ok Tyler, lets get your friend and you to a safe place.

Apologizing to the unknown woman Ricter picked her up and gently laid her over his shoulder. Grunting in pain as the wound in his chest throbbed.

Luckily they werent too far from the city on the edge of the valley they would find safety there. Moving slowly as to not injure the woman more and for the boy to keep up Ricter led them around the caves and pockets that he knew the Dark Ones roamed. Knowing with his burden he wouldnt be able to run if there were to many.

This night Ricter was lucky and was able to take his charges to the citys gates without incident. As he was lowering his burden to the ground something hit him hard from behind knocking him to the ground. He instinctively used his body to shield the womans taking several hard blows to the head and back before blackness took him.

Waking slowly to the bright lights Rick was confused. This wasnt the valley, the fluorescent lights above him were shining bright. When he tried to sit up a familiar face came into view.

Dont move Rick, youve had a rough night.

At first he didnt recognize the woman, but slowly he became more aware of his surroundings. The beeping and hissing of the hospital equipment, the smell of disinfectants, his nurses familiar face, all of this bringing him back to the world.
Where are they? He tried to ask.

No one is here Rick, we had to revive you last night, how are you feeling? You gave everyone a big scare.

Did they make it?

Did who make it Rick?

No one, sorry it must have been a dream. He answered knowing Becka his nurse wouldnt understand.

Looking around he saw that the room was empty as usual. Leaving him alone as usual with just the staff and the pain of his wracked body.

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Now In Remission
In remission for 1624 days.
July 2006
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