Here we begin with Chapter 2 of Riders – Missing. My aim in this Chapter is to slowly introduce you to the other pivotal characters within the story. As we progress through the chapter you should hopefully gain a bit more insight into “who” they are. Again any comments are welcome.
There was a very quite fluttering noise, like the sound of a bird suddenly taking flight, and the air expanded as the man and beast appeared in the deserted road. Even if it had been possible, anybody who had been looking out of a window would not have witnessed this sudden appearance as the high thick hedges blocked their view from the narrow road. The full moon cast long dark shadows across the road, creating an illusion of a long black tunnel extending to nowhere. The horse appearing to blend into the background made no sound, his flanks twitching as if bothered by flies, he waited patiently sensing his master’s pensive mood.
Before moving on the rider retrieved an old, slightly yellowed, rolled up parchment from inside his coat and opened it up. Angling the page towards the light of the moon he carefully read, shook his head and read again. After standing in this manner, staring at the page for a few minutes he slowly rolled it up and replaced it inside his coat. Then, with a quick click of his tongue his faithful stead started quietly forward and after going a few hundred yards down the paved path stopped without guidance from his rider and waited.
‘Thank you, Mortis,’ whispered the man suddenly realising they had arrived at his destination. ‘You know the way without my assistance.’
The man swung gracefully from his horse, the edges of his long black coat flapping in the breeze he moved towards the high wrought-iron gate which clicked loudly and opened as if sensing his presence. Walking quickly through the gates he guided his horse down the small pathway to the side of the large building looming at the end of the drive. There in an enclosure at the side was another horse, a small black, frail looking mare, and parked alongside was a huge black motorbike. This was a monstrous, four cylinder, 1500cc, 220kg motorbike which you could hear coming from a mile or more away. The flamboyant flame detail down the side had been carefully painted on by the bikes owner. This was not your traditional ride, but a ride nobody could deny. The tall, lanky man smiled slightly, let his horse enter the enclosure, turned and walked softly towards the front of the building.
As he stepped around the corner of the large stone building a nearby bush appeared to shriek in surprise.
‘Thanatos,’ scolded a small shrill voice. ‘Why do you tiptoe around, you scared me half to death?’
‘I doubt it Demeter, you are not on my List,’ said Thanatos wryly. ‘What are you doing lurking around in the bushes anyway? It is past eight, the meeting should have started.’
‘I.. I’m waiting for the Captain,’ she stuttered. ‘He will be here soon.’
‘Hmm, Cycnus late again,’ queried Thanatos unsurprised?
‘Well, Thanatos you are also late tonight, what is your excuse?’
Thanatos frowned, pretending not to hear. ‘We had better go in then, shouldn’t we?’
‘I’ll wait,’ she said shortly. ‘Anyway, Deimos and Enyo are there to represent us.’
Thanatos sighed deeply. He did not enjoy the presence of the two selected replacements. Even though they were so easy to read, he had an underlying mistrust for both and did not agree that they were the best options. Shrugging, he continued up the front stone stairs, pushed at the large wooden doors and entered the large reception area. On the far wall above the reception desk in large embossed graving stood the letters Bh.U.B inc and in smaller letters below Brotherhood of Universal Balance. He walked silently across the glass tiled floor, around the central statue towards the pretty slender Elemental, who was busy painting her nails behind the desk. To be exact, Sylvie was a Tertiary Enthusiasm Elemental with limited skill, which was why she was now the evening receptionist at Bh.U.B. She had inherited her skills from her mother who had passed when she was a young child so much of her channel training had been neglected. As Thanatos neared the reception table, he smiled slightly as he read her raptures thoughts about Khaos. He cleared his throat softly.
She looked up, startled. ‘Oh, evening Sir, I did not hear you come in,’ she greeted politely, quickly hiding her blood red fingernails beneath the counter. ‘The others are in Meeting Room IX, there is a copy of your Agenda and Minutes.’
‘Thank you Sylvie,’ said Thanatos, taking the stapled pages from the desk and making his way down the passage to the right. Each closed meeting room door had a small embossed gold number on the outside. The plush maroon carpet muffled his already silent footsteps. He reached No IX and entered to the sound of a familiar booming voice.
The voice stopped suddenly and three faces turned towards him.