Raychel opened her eyes and looked around. She was sitting in a huge grassy field with many large stones, taller and wider than her, scattered in a circle.
Raychel looked back in front of her. A man in a black cloak and hood stood in the center of the circle. He seemed to be leaning over something, and moving things around.
Raychel stood up and walked over to the man. He didn't seem to notice her, so she just watched him.
"What are you doing?" Raychel asked, breaking the silence.
"Preparing for the upcoming battle," the man replied.
Raychel recognized the voice instantly. "You're the voice who helped me!"
He stopped for a second. Then he nodded. "Yes. This is a correct assumption."
Raychel walked around to the front of the man. His face was lost in shadow, but two deep red eyes glowed faintly. He was setting up a table for chess.
"What battle?" Raychel asked.
"Why, the battle you're about to fight, of course," he answered.
Raychel shook her head, "I'm letting them take me. I'm coming willingly. I'm not giving them the pleasure of hearing me squeal."
The man seemed to look at her sadly. He sighed, "You won't do it. It's not in your nature. You're a fighter."
"Listen to me, Raychel Havran Corbeau; Your amber eyes are your symbol. It signifies the fire in your blood and the fire in your soul. Even though you say you won't fight, you will. Your ancestors fought. Your father fought. You will fight. It is your fate."
Raychel lowered her head, "Sir-"
"Tobor," he nodded. "That is my name."
"Tobor, I-I can't hurt my brother anymore. If I had just let him wipe my memory, i-if I had just... Stopped, when I was supposed to, none of this would have happened."
"Wanting to keep your heart, soul, and mind is not what you'd consider bad. You know what you want. All you have to do it hold onto that thought."
He returned his attention to the board. All the pieces were in place.... Except one.
"The Black Queen," Raychel looked at Tobor. "It's not here."
Tobor nodded. "The white pieces represent Edward, Mary, Johnny, and the rest of their team. The black pieces represent The Keeper, your brother, and the rest of their team.
Raychel wasn confused. Then she realized:
"They need a Queen."
Tobor nodded. "That's why the Keeper wants you. He needs another piece so they can play their game. However, one piece never stays for long."
Raychel looked at the chessboard for a long time. "If this is true, then if I become part of this game, I'll be working for him. And I'll be doing as he and my brother do."
"When in Rome, do as the Romans do."
The fire that had been gone from Raychel's eyes for a long time sparked again, then consumed the last of the doubt and meekness she had felt for three days.
"As far as I know, I'm not a Queen. I am a Knight, a Warrior, and I will keep it that way. And if they try to play a game with me..." Raychel swept her hand over the chessboard, knocking off every piece but one. "I know who's coming out on top."
She slammed down the White Knight onto the center of the chessboard. She looked at Tobor proudly, but seriously. Tobor smiled back.
Raychel opened her eyes. She was in a black forest, with not a trace of light to be found from anywhere, yet she could see it clearly. Her wrists ached and she realized she had been cuffed and chained.
She looked up. People had been coming out from their hiding places now, upon realizing she was awake.
Raychel could see every one of them. And she knew their names.
Mr. Scars, The Burdened.
Swain, The Lover.
Persolus, The Hermit.
Cursor, The Selfish.
Firebrand, The Stubborn.
Deadhead, The Nationalist.
The Sentinel, The Eyes.
And The Keeper, The Administrator, The One Divided By Zero.
"Welcome, Raychel Corbeau. Welcome to your destiny."