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Shadows of Destiny
by Aelyva
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Part four ~ Memory lost, Memory found

I have this feeling…that everything is going to change. I can’t explain where it comes from…it’s just there. Those kinds of feelings never failed me before. But this time, I honestly hoped it would. Something bad was coming. Towards me. And I won’t be able to do anything to stop it. No one would be able to save me from the evil coming.

Is it the end?

~*~*~

The wind blew in his face, as he looked down, at the navy blue sea. He remembered this place now. Though this time, he was peaceful, almost happy to be there. Almost. The essence of the sea soon found his way to his nose. He loved this smell. As a kid, he could pass hours, just to breathe the fresh air from the sea, to feel drops of the waves on his face. This place just looked like the memories he had of that cliff he went when he was younger.

Maeve and Lea soon joined him, and for the first time, stayed quiet for awhile, not moving. Sinbad sighed, and finally turned to face them. He had a lot of questions to ask them this time. And he wouldn't leave this place until he got answers.

"Go on. We'll answer as well as we can," Maeve said, reading in his mind. She showed him a tree, where they all sat, in a circle, like old friends who haven't see each other in a long time.

Sinbad took a deep breath. "I'd like to know why I am having these dreams. Why now, and not before? What's so different?"

"You know, it's not really dreams..." Lea answered. "Take this place, for example. It exits for real. I suppose you remember it..." She had a sad smile when she saw him nodded. "As for why now? Honestly, I don't really know. Your mind was more...connected to us when Bryn fell, I think."

Sinbad looked surprised. "You know about that? How?"

"We're watching. What else could we do? It's boring, being dead, you know..." Maeve added, followed by a sarcastic laugh. Dead. It felt strange talking about her being dead.

"Dead? But...I thought Dim Dim told us you were in a safe place?" Sinbad asked, even more confused.

"He thought I was...but it's a long story, and that's not important." She sighed. "I don't blame you. I know I told you a different thing before, but I was angry...It's not easy to accept your own death. But I got time to think about it. None of what happened was your fault. When you'll believe it, your life will be more easier"

"We never answered why you were having theses dreams, as you call them," Lea said. She touched Sinbad's hand. "We'd like you to help us. We want to know why we're stuck in this place, and if there's a way out. We want go in this place they call heaven…this place our parents told us about before going in bed."

Sinbad nodded. They deserve it. After all, it was really his fault if the two of them died, whatever they said. If he could help in some way, he would do it. Even if it was the last thing he'd do. It's the least he could do for them now. "Okay. Tell me what to do."

Maeve smiled. "Thank you. First, you'll need to get out of Karpan's castle. You're currently unconscious in his dungeon with your crew. You'll have to kill him."

"Bryn is the only one who can do it. If she searches deep inside of her, she'll know how," added Lea. "Then, you'll have to start your journey. A woman named Shanna has the answers to our questions. She lives in Basra."

"Before you go, we must warn you. For Bryn, it's a very dangerous journey. Her life could change in a hear beat. There's a good reason why she doesn't remember her past. You have to make sure she won't. It could change everything. Trust me."

Sinbad frowned. "I...I don't understand...Why?" Why? What was in Bryn's past that should stay hidden in the dark? He didn't want to think about it. Whatever she did, she will still be a member of his crew, a dear friend, a...

Maeve shook her head. "It...it is for the good of everyone, Bryn included. She couldn't deal with it right now. When the time will come, she...she'll need you. I-I sincerely hope you'll be there for her when it happens."

Sinbad smiled sadly. "I will. I promise I will. I'll be there for her."

"We're counting on you, Sinbad. Don't let us down!"

"Now, it's time for you to wake up!"

~*~*~

"Sinbad? Sinbad?"

Sinbad moaned. When he heard his name, he opened his eyes slowly. Where was he? He tried to remember, and finally, he found the answer. In the dungeon of Karpan's castle, as Maeve told him. He looked around him. His crew was all leaning against a wall, as far away as possible from the skeletons that were hanging by chains in the middle of the dungeon.

Sinbad swallowed with difficulty. He could only imagine by what kind of suffer these people had been through. Even now, he could see the pain in their boned faces. He turned his attention to Doubar, near him, who had been calling his name. "Hey."

"We thought you would sleep forever, little brother." He smiled to him, and started to groan. "Those guys really know how to fight! They disarmed us quickly..."

Sinbad got up and looked around. The dungeon was small, with simply a door, locked of course. He faced his crew, and sighed as he saw Doubar and Firouz and remembered something. "Didn't I told you to leave if we didn't come back?"

"And didn't I told you that we would climb as well if you didn't return soon?" Doubar replied. "They caught us as soon as we entered in the castle...We didn't got the chance to defend ourselves!"

Sinbad nodded and looked at Bryn. "How are you doing?" He was referring not only at her experience in the coffin, but also at her head. The worried look Firouz gave her confirmed his doubts. She wasn't totally recovered, and she now had to kill a powerful sorcerer?

She sighed. "I...I still can't remember my past. But at least, I remember how I met you guys...I wonder if I'll ever remember who I am." She coughed. Her headache was getting stronger. It seemed like a rock someone was throwing at her head every thirty seconds. She noticed the worried look each of them glanced at her, and she sighed. No need for them to worry about her. She was fine. Just suffering from a terrible headache that didn't seem to want to go away.

"It will come back to you in time, I'm sure," answered Firouz, slowly. "We should try to find a way out of here. Now. This place is giving me the shivers!" He tried not to look too much at the skeletons. It's not like he hadn't seen one before...

"Yeah. They really should work on the decoration," Doubar agreed

A noise outside the dungeon made them all jump on their feet. The door opened itself slowly, showing Karpan with some of his men behind him. He walked slowly inside the dungeon, stopping next to a skeleton, a fiendish smile on his old rugged face. With his hand, he touched the arm of the skeleton, and pulled the arm towards him. The skeleton fell on the ground, without one arm. The sound of the dead body falling resonated strangely in Bryn's ears. Karpan smiled and threw the arm away. "I see you appreciate the view. Maybe I'll add you to my collection. It's been awhile since they had new companions."

"You're sick," Doubar mumbled.

Karpan laughed. "That's what people think about me. They probably are right. Anyway, I haven't come here to chat, but for business." He looked Bryn directly in the eyes. "I used to be a good friend of your father, you know. He must be horrified to see you traveling with people like them. And also worried."

Bryn frowned. "My father? I...you know my father?" She took a few steps ahead, stopping next to Sinbad. She finally found someone who knew about her past! She couldn't think of anything else. But she remembered the last part of his words. "Why would he be horrified and worried? I don't understand..."

Karpan smiled. "I think I'm right if I say you don't remember anything from your past? What a shame... Before he died, your father made me promise to take care of you. You were separated from him as a teenage girl, you see. He searched for you for years, without any results." He wiped away an imaginary tear. "So for two years, I had been searching for you. I finally found you now!"

"So...why did you put me in a coffin?" Bryn asked, not totally convinced by his story. It could be true, but why should she trust him? But...why trusting Sinbad? She frowned. She trusted Sinbad. She traveled with him for more than one year now. She knew him…didn’t she?

Karpan shook his head. "A terrible mistake by my men...I knew you were staying in the inn of the village, so I asked them to bring you to me, and they misunderstood my intentions...but don't you worry, they had been punished for that." With one of his finger, he asked her to come closer.

Bryn couldn't stop looking in his eyes. Yes, he was telling the truth. She walked to him, but after only a few steps, a hand held her back. She turned herself furiously. Sinbad. He was holding her back. "What do you think you're doing?"

"Don't listen to him, Bryn. He's lying," Sinbad replied, trying to understand the furious look in her eyes. Why was she trusting him? He tried to search the answer inside her eyes. They were looking coldly at him, moving from his face to the hand on her arm. He quickly removed it and stared at his hand. It felt hot, like he had been burnt by touching her. "Bryn..."

She didn't answer, and continued her way to Karpan, like nothing happened. Power. She needed power. She stopped when she was in front of him. She looked up at his eyes. She felt the power coming. Stronger and stronger. Good. It felt so good.

Karpan smiled. Finally. After all these years, she was finally in front of him, ready to access to her powers. They could rule the world together. He moved his hand to her forehead, and a hard wind began to blow, coming from nowhere.

Bryn breathed slowly, receiving the powers Karpan was giving her. Memories. Flashback of her own power. The darkness started to enter in her, freely. A red energy surrounded her. Bryn was back.

"BRYN!" Sinbad screamed. He started to run to her, but Doubar's strong arms stopped him. Soon, Rongar and Firouz came to help him. Sinbad stopped to move, and watched, helpless as Karpan turning Bryn into something evil. When the red light stopped to glow, his heart stopped to beat for a moment.

Bryn slowly turned around to face them, and the four of them gasped in union at the sight of her black eyes. Completely black. Without an emotion, she raised her hand to them. Surprisingly , Karpan stopped her.

"Not now, honey. I know you can't wait to destroy them, but it can wait. We have some things to do, before." He observed Sinbad and his crew. "We'll come back later, don't worry."

Bryn nodded slowly, and her arm returned to its original position. She followed Karpan out of the dungeon, and the door closed itself, letting a confused crew behind.

~*~*~

In the highest room of his castle, Karpan started to laugh. He admitted, he hadn't such fun in a long time. He was going to enjoy watching the great Sinbad died. His reputation was only going to become better. Everyone will be afraid of him now. And soon, the world will only be darkness. And he, Karpan, will be the ruler, with Bryn on his side. "Are you ready, my dear?"

Bryn appeared in the room, wearing a long velvet black dress, with broad sleeves. Her long brown hair floated in her back. She burned the yellow outfit she wore. How ugly! She couldn't believe she used to wear something like that! Amnesia can really make people do some stupid things. Traveling with good people...what was she thinking? But everything will be fine now.

"It feels good to be back. And I have you to thank, my dear Karpan," Bryn said, in a low voice.

"I couldn’t stand to see you acting all goody-goody. You belong to the dark forces," Karpan answered, giving her a smirk.

She smiled seductively at Karpan. "Yes. It is where I belong. Those fools who made me lose my memory will pay…in time. I believe we have some business to take care of."

Karpan slowly advanced closer toward her, caressing her brown hair. "Indeed we do. Sinbad must be destroyed once and for all. Shall I be the one to end his pitiful life?"

Bryn shook her head. "No. Let me. He needs to know that the Bryn he once knew never really existed. The time is come to for the legendary Sinbad to die!" Bryn smiled with satisfaction and moved away from Karpan. "Come, let's go destroy Sinbad, the sailor, and his stupid crew once and for all. After this, the entire world will fear us. The evil forces will win."

"We'll win."

~*~*~

"I can't believe it. Bryn..." Doubar couldn't continue. He was still shivering just at the thought. He looked his brother, worried. He was probably blaming himself for what happened. "Sinbad...it's not your fault. None of us could have done something to stop Karpan."

Firouz agreed. "We'll find a way to bring her back to the right side. Karpan probably brainwashed her, or something." He waited for Sinbad to answer, but he stayed silent. "Sinbad? Sinbad?"

Rongar sighed. Everything went so wrong since awhile. Maeve leaving them, Sinbad being so violent and dark, though he could understand. The world was so crazy. And the evil ones were stronger and more people joined their forces every day. And now, Bryn being evil. He honestly didn't know how they could save her. None of them were strong enough to battle black magic, if it was what they use. Now, the only thing he wished was to get out of this castle. Alive.

After hearing Firouz calling his name many times, Sinbad finally looked up at him. "What?" He passed a tired hand in his hair. He felt angry at Doubar for trying to stop him, at Firouz and Rongar for stopping him. And also at himself, for not having able to save her. The end was near. There was no way they could leave this place alive, in one piece.

Maeve and Lea warned him about Bryn. He hadn't been able to keep her from remembering. They were probably watching right now. He let them down once again. They were stuck in that place forever. Because of him. He failed again to protect someone dear to his heart. He was cursed. Sinbad felt depressing overwhelming him, but he fought it. There was still a chance to save Bryn. He wouldn’t give up.

Firouz shook his head. "Did you hear what I said? We're going to find a way to bring her back to the right side. It's not the time to lose hope. You killed Turok. You should be able to kill Karpan as well."

Sinbad stared at him. "Luck. It was only luck if I killed Turok. Anyway, only Bryn is able to kill Karpan. And there is no way she would kill him now."

"It's not because he's a sorcerer that only a sorcerer can kill him, " Firouz replied, trying to be logical. He was not going to let Sinbad's negativity come through him. Optimist. He was an optimist. Always and forever. He will believe there's a way until he died. And he wasn't going to let that happen anytime soon.

"No. You don't understand. I...I was told that only Bryn among us could kill him," Sinbad explained. "And now, she's on his side. There's no way out."

"Wait a minute, little brother...You were *told*? What does it mean exactly?" Doubar asked, curiously.

"You'll all think I'm crazy..." Sinbad whispered.

"Nothing can surprise me, now. Believe me," Doubar replied, anxious to hear his brother's story. Firouz and Rongar agreed with him. Through the years, each of them saw things they never thought existed. Anything can happen. Plus, Doubar knew well his brother, he wouldn't tell lies.

"Fine. I...I have been having those...dreams. Real dreams. I control what I'm saying and doing. I didn't understand at the beginning, but today, they explained everything to me." He sighed. He wouldn't be able to help Maeve and Lea now.

"I understand nothing of what you said, Sinbad. Who explained you what? What are those dreams about?"

"Each time, I'm near a cliff, near the sea. The place where Lea and I used to play together when we were children. The..." He interrupted himself at the sound of the door opening. He got on his feet, soon followed by his friends.

Bryn appeared, with Karpan behind her. She walked in the room, like she was floating. Her dress moved in harmony with her. Karpan smiled. "We're back! Hope you didn't miss you too much."

Bryn stayed silent for a moment. She looked each of them, and her sight stopped at Sinbad. "I guess I have to thank you. If we didn't come here, maybe I would never have gotten back my memory. But now, I remember. I remember everything." She pointed her dress. "This is who I really am. The nice Bryn you met one year and half ago is gone. In fact, she never really existed."

She started to toy with a long lock of her hair, looking down. "You’ll just have to forget about me, I guess." She looked up and grinned. "Won’t be too hard after I’m finish with you." She walked back to Karpan. "The game's over." She raised her hand and a black energy started to form in her palm, directed at Sinbad. "You're going to die now. Say goodbye to your friends."

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Written: August 17, 2000