• In the outskirts of the oasis Castara a dijinni sat in the shadows. He had the darkest blue eyes and skin imaginable. His head was shaved but his face was covered in the traditional markings of a commander, they were a lighter blue that seemed to glow on his skin. He was muscular and handsome with a sharp chin and a narrow almost feline face. He looked almost normal in shape except for the blue tail and being eight feet tall. He wore a black shirt that left his muscular hairy arms bare and able to move freely; he also wore loose fitting pants that helped his movement. He sat in the thick undergrowth of the oasis and was waiting out his prey with his company of forty dijinni. His company had received information that the genies or elementals as the dijinn called them were transporting a special cargo to the academy in Castara, but what this cargo was they did not know. All they knew was that it was very powerful.

    The dijinni had been surprised to find that the elementals would be transporting this cargo during the night, when the elementals were at their weakest, making the cargo easy to capture for the dijinn company. The company almost didn’t come for fear of a trap, for even when weak, a genie was much faster and cleverer than an average dijinni. In the end they came so that they wouldn’t miss such an important capture. For the dijinn had bee at war with the elementals for centuries now each trying to gain the upper hand.

    A brown dijinni slinked up to the blue dijinni, he was also eight feet tall and had a tail but he was less muscular and slimmer for speed. He said,” Dark Water, a caravan has been spotted coming toward the oasis. We can already feel the immense power coming from the caravan.”

    “Good, so it wasn’t a trap. Have you been able to identify which wagon the power is coming from?” Dark Water asked.

    “No, I’m afraid the wagon train is to far away to pinpoint the power source the most we can figure is that it is in the center of the train surrounded by other wagons.”

    “I will need you to lead the assault once they are in the trees Hard Rock,” Dark Water ordered,” and I will also be taking five other dijinn with me to search the caravan while the elementals are occupied.”

    Dark Water listed off the names of the dijinni he wanted and dismissed Hard Rock. Dark Water waited as he watched the moon rise. He did not worry about how Hard Rock would lead the campaign for he had trained Hard Rock himself. Dark Water could hear the company ready itself for battle. As the moon reached its height the first wagon came into sight. The company waited until all the wagons were in view. Then they attacked. Dark Water and his small division snuck around the skirmish toward the caravan. Elementals surged forward toward the charging dijinn ready to defend the caravan at all costs. Colors blurred in the tangle of bodies as the bright colors of the elementals combined with the dark colors of the dijinn. The warriors of the opposing forces clashed, each side refusing to lose to the other, as Dark Water’s patrol slipped by into the caravan.

    As they reached the first wagon Dark Water called a halt to issue orders,” Alright we will split up form here, you three,” Dark Water said pointing at three gray dijinn,” search the wagons toward the desert and you two,” pointing to the last two,” search the front of the train by the battle and all of you DISCREETLY look into the wagons. I’ll look in the wagons here, and remember if you’re caught no one is coming to rescue you. So be ready to defend yourselves. Move out!!!”

    As the spies headed off in the different directions, Dark Water started to examine the wagons close by. The elementals were smart enough to not color code their wagons on the journey as they would usually do, probably so that any attacking dijinn wouldn’t know what to expect what to expect when they went into one of the wagons. Dark Water went to the nearest wagon and sent his shadows into the wagon to scout for him. They came back reporting a fire genie standing guard in the wagon. Dark Water sent the shadows to quickly take care of the genie and searched the wagon. Finding nothing Dark Water left the body in the wagon and moved on. He did the same to the other wagons and still found nothing. Finally he came to the last wagon in his area. His shadows reported that no one was inside. The guard was probably drawn away to join the fighting, Dark Water thought. He went in.

    When he got in, it looked like all the other wagons he had searched. It had many different supplies but it was much roomier than the other wagons and one corner was veiled. Dark Water started walking toward the corner, but a dart flew by him, narrowly missing his head. Dark Water whorled around to face his attacker, she was dressed in yellow the color that marked her as an air elemental. She had a burnoose and veil on of the color and hazel eyes searched him over the veil. He could see a wisp of sandy brown hair protruding out of her burnoose. He noted that she was very short even for her kind’s small stature. Dark Water could not discern anything else about her for her clothes were magically shielded so that he couldn’t harm her with a spell.

    Dark Water unsheathed a dagger he had kept hidden in his shirtsleeve. The genie revealed some throwing stars favored by the air people. They watched each other warily and started to circle. Dark Water knew he couldn’t charge her for he knew she would just start up a gale to blow him away from her, but she would have to be fast if she wished to catch him before he went into the shadows. While Dark Water thought about what to do the elemental attacked throwing her deadly stars and sending a burst of wind following them to make them go faster. Dark Water cursed himself for not attacking first and dodged to the right toward the veiled corner. Dark Water knew that if that corner were at all important then she wouldn’t dare throw her stars in that direction for fear of damaging the cargo.

    When the genie hesitated Dark Water yelled,” What is the matter air rat, don’t want to harm your precious package?”

    Instead of answering the girl darted to the side so that she could aim at Dark Water without hitting the package. She sent out a dart this time instead of her stars. Dark Water had to drop to the ground in order to dodge it this time. The dart flew over his head to embed itself in the wall. Dark Water dissolved himself into the shadows vanishing from sight. The air elemental whipped around and searched the darkness for him but having no luck, for very few had the power to rip a dijinni from its shadows. She must be an initiate, Dark Water thought, or else she would have called on her element by now. As if she had read his mind, her eyes dilated and a breeze stirred in the windowless wagon. Dark Water then heard the treacherous sound of his clothes starting to rustle. Before she could pinpoint his location from the sound, Dark Water lunged at her letting his shadows fall and stabbed her in the back of the leg, barely missing the artery. She screamed in pain and fell to the floor, her pant leg already soaking through. Dark Water lunged again but stopped for there were now three elementals lying on the ground wounded. He knew these were illusions of the air, like a mirage, but he could not see through them to figure out which was the real one.

    The three elementals got up and started to circle him; Dark Water backed to the wall so that he could see all three at once. As they approached, the one on the far left limped forward. Sloppy, she doesn’t even realize that the other forms aren’t limping as well, Dark Water thought disgustedly. He watched as the elemental and her counterparts took out their stars and aimed. Dark Water waited until the stars had left their hands then he formed into a shadow and circled them throwing a poison dart at the real genie, all this happened in the blink of an eye. The two illusions vanished once the dart hit the elemental, sending her to the ground. Too bad I forgot to put a dab of poison on the darts. Oh well, time to finish what I started, Dark Water started.

    The air elemental looked to be out cold from the paralysis serum that was mandatory in the darts, but just to make sure Dark Water kicked the elemental in the gut, hard. She didn’t even stir. Dark Water, satisfied that the serum had worked, moved toward the veiled corner. He pulled the veil back to reveal a cradle. In it were twin babies the only difference between the children was that one’s hair was flame red the other’s a midnight black almost blue. Dark Water examined them with his power. Both were untrained in any elements or the dark arts; they did indeed have great power and the ability to be trained in either skill. It would be easy to take them and make them forget their genie heritage and train them in the way of the shadows. They just need a little influence in the shadows now in order to turn them, Dark Water thought. He was just able to put a dab of his shadows into the redhead before he was knocked flying into the wall of the wagon. It seemed the elemental had woken up and was back in action.

    Dark Water lay stunned against the wall as the elemental limped to the babies. Realizing that she could no longer hold the dijinni off, the elemental ripped open a hole in the air leading to some unknown place and gently placed the babies inside. Dark Water recovered too late and lunged at the genie, for the hole with the babies was almost gone. He ripped her away from the corner wrenching her shoulder in the process just in time to see the portal close. The elemental lay whimpering on the ground trying to crawl away. Dark Water turned murder in his eyes, to face the elemental. Dark Water paused. She would surely know where she had sent the babies, but Dark Water would need a way to transport her without her acting up. Dark Water wondered for a moment, and then smiled maliciously knowing exactly how to cripple her and make her suffer for her stunt. As the dijinni pondered this the elemental watched suspiciously, knowing that she wouldn’t be able to escape capture, but she might be able to make enough noise to warn the others. The elemental readied herself to yell for help but all of a sudden threw back her head and screamed from the unbearable pain bursting from her head.

    “Now, now none of that, you might bring unwanted attention to ourselves as we leave,” Dark Water cooed as he sent more shadows to cover her mouth. Dark Water had sent shadows to burrow into her eyes so that she would be blind. He had not tried this himself but he had heard that it was quite painful for the victim from the rumors; it appeared the rumors were true. Excellent, Dark Water thought.

    As the elemental writhed on the floor from the pain, the dijinni got ready to leave checking that all his weapons were in place under his shirt. When the elemental stopped moving he assumed she had passed out in the process, but just to make sure she was alive he kick her again in the stomach. The elemental coughed up blood and opened her eyes; it appeared that she had been faking in order to help her chances of escape. Instead of the genie’s hazel eyes looking out, there was only black. The elemental tried to scream again but the shadows over her mouth prevented her from making any sound other than a muffled whisper. Dark Water picked her and up slung her over his shoulder as he prepared to leave. He listened at the door but he couldn’t hear anything outside than the far off sounds of battle.

    Dark Water slowly eased himself out of the wagon without making noise. Dark Water softly padded out of the caravan. He was about to round the last wagon when a male elemental dressed in red charged him sending a burst of fire ahead of him that hit Dark Water square in the back. It appeared that the elemental had been sent back to check on the caravan for spies like Dark Water. As Dark Water recovered himself he saw the man’s eyes flick to the elemental on Dark Water’s back. Dark Water knew he would be in for a fight if he wanted to keep the girl and he needed to question her on where she sent the babies. Dark Water quickly tried to disappear into the nearby shadows but the man sent up a tongue of fire to light up the gap and disintegrated the shadows. Dark Water needed to leave before Hard Rock called off the fight and retreated. Dark Water still had all his knives on him so he quickly threw a knife and followed the knife. He charged the elemental behind it catching him off guard.

    When the air elemental on Dark Water’s back felt the violent movement underneath her she started to struggle right as Dark Water was about to hit the other elemental throwing Dark Water off balance. Dark Water tumbled down and landed at the other man’s feet. The fire elemental pummeled Dark Water as he lay there, giving him no mercy until Dark Water was black as well as blue. The fire elemental quickly took the girl off Dark Water’s back as the fire lamp over head started to fade. The fire elemental watched as Dark Water disappeared into the shadows. As he turned to leave a shadowy figure seeped from the shadows and pounced on the unsuspecting elemental. The man struggled as he started to suffocate from the shadows covering his mouth but it was no use.

    When the elemental’s struggles ceased Dark Water retrieved the girl and vanished in his shadows.