Beyond the Alkaline Earth

 

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At the Start

“I’m not talking to you.”

 

There was a sigh and a raised eyebrow and a muttered “no you don’t have to kill him, Tempest, he’s my brother not another skarpt” and Killian raised his head at that.

 

“I thought you would have married Jackie by now.” This time it’s Alkali sighing. 

 

"I thought you would have left me alone after I ran away." Killian winced. He deserved that - they both knew he did."And I did marry Jackie. I just didn't invite you." She held up her hand and the black band stared back at him. "I didn't know how I felt back then."

 

"And now?" 

 

"Now I'm going to leave, and you're going to tell Regina you couldn't find me." 

 

There's a cold glint to her bright green eyes that Killian realises this isn't a game to Alkali. This isn't hide and seek, this is Alkali not wanting to be dragged into another one of Regina's wars. She presses something into his hand. It's another piece of eight - this one is imprinted with the sigil of Jacqueline Kenwaÿ. The Kraken, brandishing tentacles in the deep blue sea. "Alkali," Killian calls out. Alkali ignores him. Walking away with Tempest at her back. "Alkali Naialø, listen to me." This gets her to stop, at least. "What would you do if I told you Evagaline was planning on targeting this planet." A hush falls over the entire Undergrounds. 

 

"The Queen of the Dead?" There's a lick of a smirk in Alkali's voice. "Evagaline hasn't been seen in ages Killian. There's not a chance in the world that she'd come here." 

 

"There's a word out there, Alkali Naialø," Killian says. "Little one, Evagaline has risen an army of dread and demons. She's coming here. She's coming for you. You can listen to me, or you can fight - but watch your back little sister."

 

"The Dread Lord is coming and she's coming with ghosts."

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I. Killian Volstæ

Evagaline was knows as many names. To the Norse she was Hel. The Greeks called her Persephone. Mania to the Romans.

 

Alkali knew her as Eva - Dread Lord of the East. She was the one who sat besides her mother's throne (the assassin the queen never had to order) back on her home world. The Allegiance of the Ashen Throne. Seven planets, each with a representative to kneel before the Queen of the Valkyrie's - three from the Outer Realms, two from the Western Mountains, Earth, and Arkanden. 

 

To each of the seven planets was given three keepers. One for the sky, one for the land, and one for the sea. Killian and Alkali were raised to be Keepers.

 

Regina - Regina was raised to be a Queen. To take mother's place on the Ashen Throne when the time was right. And she did, five years ago, in all fanfare and might and power that the Valkyrie's could muster. 

 

Then Eva was gone - the Dread Lord of the East was no longer at the throne, at the meetings. The Champion was Alkali (the assassin in the night). 

 

And Eva, Eva never forgot that.

 

Killian places a drink in her hand and Alkali takes a sip. It's fruity but not too sweet and she raises an eyebrow at his choice. "Really?" He shrugs as an answer. "Your taste in drinks is as terrible as your aim." 

 

"Take that back." He scowls, and Alkali grins at him - full of all the dangerous carelessness that he knew when they were running through the castle together as children, Alkali's majik bouncing off the walls and Killian's too far behind. (Alkali was born ten years too earlier or ten years too late and she knows it). 

 

"So," she drawls out, her true accent floating through - the slight lick of Draconic at the end of her words. "The Dread Lord is hunting me down is that why Regina decides to summon me?" Her drink sits untouched in front of her and Killian grabs it to down half of it in one go.

 

"Regina needs the earthen skies at her side," he starts. "The Reapers are becoming more and more common. Jackie has already found too many bodies in the seas to be anything less than an uprising." Alkali flips a piece of eight in the air - this one her own. The dragon on one side the lightning bolt on the other. 

 

"How long can you survive the zombie apocalypse," she mutters. "What's her plan?"

 

Killian shrugs. "Give them hell until they kill us or we kill Eva." 

 

"Eva is a Dread Lord born a Valkyrie it's going to take a while to kill her. Even for us."

 

"Us?"

 

Alkali glares at him. "Yes, us. You, me, Regina, and Jackie. No matter how much you argue Regina is better at particle and blood majik than both of us and Jackie will kill me if I leave her out of this. Do you want to face my wife when she's angry?" Killian didn't. Jacqueline Kenwaÿ terrified him when she was cheerful. "Unless Regina is planning on using the summons to call the Allegiance together, Eva is going to kill us long before we kill her."

 

"So what do you propose, little sister?"

 

Alkali finishes the rest of the drink. "You tell Regina that I will return, for now. I'll make preparations. It's time the skies belong to us again." She gestures to Tempest and stands. "Ride well, my brother."

 

Killian raises a glass to her retreating form. "Send me a maelstrom, little one." He takes a sip. 

 

Evagaline was coming and there was much to do.

 

~

 

Alkali had golden hair, and pale skin with one eye green and the other a piercing silver (her bond with a dragon brought about that). Where Alkali Naialø looked like their father, Regina Naialø looked like their mother. Dark, cascading hair, olive skin, and deadly brown eyes.

 

"What did she say?"

 

"Sister, my sister, so demanding."

 

"Killian, as your queen..."

 

"Yes," Killian raises an eyebrow. "She said yes. She's going back with Tempest to make preparations but the sky will fight with you. Regina, she's coming home."

 

Regina sighs and for the first time Killian sees actual relief on her face. "She's finally coming home."

 

There's silence between them that's filled with relief, Alkali was finally coming home. 

 

Alkali had left shortly after their mother died. Always too much her father's daughter. Too much a Wind Rider (always too free). The late Queen of the Ashen Throne, Ladaria Naialø, didn't know what to do with her. So Raegnor Volstæ took her. 

 

Ragnor Volstæ was meant to marry and settle down in the castle with his wife, the Queen of the Valkyries.

 

Ragnor Volstæ was never meant to die saving his youngest daughter.

 

"You do know she still blames herself," Regina whispers. "I can feel it." Killian sighs. "She's too kind for these wars, Killian. She puts on a brave face and is an incredible champion and an incredible warrior but she's a good warrior, with a good heart."

 

"It's hard for a warrior with a kind heart to rule a kingdom," Killian hissed. "Don't lecture me on the old words, Regina. I was there when they were written. Just like you. Just like Alkali." 

 

"She's coming home."

 

Regina never got as close to her sister as Killian did. Only saw her when she was fighting, weaving elemental majik around her body like a second skin. 

 

"She's coming home."

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