Akane : Last of the Orions
By G. Clark Hellery
‘I was chased by the police, then I had a run-in with the Shadows.’ I kick off my shoes and drop my bag as I walk across the room, ignoring the glare from the ever-neat Raulla. She waits a moment, then quickly snatches my shoes and places them by the door before picking up my bag and placing it on the counter. I struggle to hide my eye-roll but Raulla is determined to ignore me. Gon enters and gestures to me, ‘Yes, please, a drink would be great, thanks Gon.’
I flop onto the threadbare couch. Raulla scowls slightly when she sees my dirty clothes rubbing the cloth, but I’m too tired to care. ‘It’s getting more and more difficult to do it. I don’t know how they found me, but I barely got the last of the group through the doorway when I heard the Monodrone. I had to forget the proper closing rites. I just had to run. I’m totally exhausted.’
‘At least those people are now safe from the Shadows,’ says Gon as he hands me a steaming mug and looks around the dilapidated apartment.
‘And you did well to get away,’ adds Raulla, staring at the large locket hanging around my neck. I unconsciously rub the necklace, comforted by its familiarity. I close my eyes and realise how close I had come to losing the necklace and my freedom. An Orion without her necklace, well, it was unthinkable! My mother had given me the silver locket, as her mother had given to her and so on, going back generations. It now hung from a leather cord which was soft from wear, the original chain lost to the generations. The cover was carved with symbols, faded with age, leaving only the vague impression of swirls. Inside the locket was the blood red gem, which continually moved to reflect the mood of the demon contained within.