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The Fallout: Daughter of Darkness

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"The Fallout" is going to be a collection of stories associated with League of Legends Champions after the disbanding of the League. I do not own League of Legends or any of the characters, places, things, other things, stupid things, and redundant things in it. Riot and other people who have more money than me do. Enjoy and please leave any questions, comments, or reviews below. Thank you!

Years after the fall of the League, Annie lives in a world where magic is the stuff of children's tales. Entering into her first year of college, she learns that this new world holds monsters and horrors all its own. Daughter of Darkness features Annie and Twisted Fate (not like that you sicko's!) as the two prominent LoL characters in the story.

Prologue: Only Noobs Gank Middle

"This is so stupid," the young girl thought as she waded into the towering hedge of wispy grass, obscuring her from all. The stench of mold, rot, and blood were thick in the air, but the young champion Annie had gotten use to it. Adjusting her shoulders slightly, the potion bottles in her backpack jabbing her uncomfortably, she peered out into the lower lane of the Twisted Treeline. Standing directly in the middle of the road was a short yordle dressed in a matching robe and hat, the same color as Annie's dress, and wielding a vicious looking staff. "This is stupid," she thought again, praying that whatever moron was her Summoner would hear.

"Just to recap: as soon as they jump Veigar, I flash in. Primary target is Tryndamere. Questions?" a voice echoed through Annie's mind, the mental communications of Warwick's Summoner to the rest of his team. Two other voices answered affirmative, and Annie couldn't help but grimace as two enemy champion's made their way to the center: the spike armored armadillo Rammus and the enormous Barbarian King Tryndamere. Watching the death squad approach, Annie could feel her Summoner mentally question where the third enemy Champion was. The young Champion could fathom a guess.

Seeing the defenseless yordle standing in the middle of the path, Rammus tucked himself into a tight spinning ball, rapidly accelerating at the self-proclaimed 'master of evil'. Annie felt the pull of her Summoner's will, her lips forced to utter a fast incantation, and the warm flames of a molten barrier enshrouded her.

"Alright, here we go. Three, two,--" the last words of Warwick's Summoner were cut off. Positioned on the opposite side of the lane, Warwick teleported out from his position in the tall grass, several bullet holes covering his body. Black ichor and blood leaked from the wounds as he attempted to return to the safety of his team's defensive tower. His botched teleportation spell, or Flash, may have helped him escape the third enemy champion but put him directly in the path of the spinning Rammus.

Deadly spikes met with warm fur as the pair landed in a crumbled heap, Warwick appearing more worse for wear then his armored adversary. Uncurling himself, Rammus proceeded to pound into the battered werewolf.

"Hang on, I'm coming to help," a shrill voice cried as Veigar waddled forward, a burst of pure white primordial energy blasting from his staff into Rammus, knocking the armadillo backwards. As the purple clothed yordle arrived at Warwick's side, the blinding light of defeat encircled the unmoving werewolf and his body vanished, leaving only blood and gore stains on the hard ground.

"Back to the tower. Back to the Tower," Annie pleaded with the unseen force that controlled her and Veigar's bodies. Either the voices couldn't hear her, or simply didn't care. The familiar tug of the Summoner's will, and Annie found herself running out from the safety of the grass, her small teddy bear Tibbers clutched in her hand. Already the magic was building up within, no matter how she fought against it. As the recovering Rammus came within range, she felt her muscles contract against her will, and she lobbed her doll, shouting the trigger word. An enormous burst of fire accompanied the sound blast, heat washed over her face as the now immobilized Rammus was beaten by an eight foot tall burning replica of her doll.

Shouting something in a language she didn't understand, Annie watched Veigar summon a force cage of dark energy around the armadillo and ensorcelled bear and proceeded to bombard the occupants with conjured meteors. As the feeling of elation intermingled with Annie, her Summoner was pleased, it was quickly replaced by dread as an almost inhuman roar crashed into her ears.

Sword in hand, glowing an unholy red, the towering barbarian king hurled his body into a break-neck spin as the force cage dissipated. Slashing into and through the life-size doll, his momentum carried him directly into Veigar, the small yordle completely helpless against the monster before him. Bringing his sword down viciously, the yordle mage did his best to dodge, but the Fields of Justice are a merciless place. Crying out in agony, his leg completely severed, Veigar raised his staff to deliver another blast of magic, but the spell died on his lips.

"Out of mana," shouted Veigar's frustrated Summoner. His anger boiled over, "Look at Rammus! He's almost done, do something you idiot!" the last words directed at Annie's Summoner. Sharing with her Summoner's annoyance, the invisible strings pulled her arms back and a blue mana infused fireball leapt from her hand, slamming into Tryndamere and diverting his attention from Veigar. Approaching the weakened and badly beaten armadillo, she launched a small bolt of energy and was pleased to see the white light of defeat engulf her vanquished foe.

Turning back to her only remaining visible foe, Annie felt her Summoner's will, and another fireball pelted into the giant swordsman. Leveling his blade, and seeming unphased by both attacks, the giant let loose another warcry as he dove into another spin at the young mage.

"Well done," Annie found herself mentally congratulating her Summoner, though it was half-hearted. Just as Tryndamere had been upon her, his spinning blade an inch from her face, she had teleported to where he had been standing. It was a decent maneuver, but that didn't excuse the earlier failures. "Now just get back to our tower."

As she turned her around, her Summoner's attention on his injured comrade, she was greeted by a blinding white light. The voice inside her head pounded against her skull, its owner's rage evident.

"How did you die you idiot? Why were you still even here?" it screamed over the telepathic channel. Annie knew what had happened, even though she didn't see it. She felt her body turn rapidly, watching as the enraged barbarian, realizing the trick, rushed back towards her.

"Run you idiot. Let me run!" she mentally cried out, though she knew it was futile. Her Summoner was conflicted, and didn't know what was going on.

Tryndamere was five feet away when her Summoner finally snapped out of it. Feeling the spell channel through her, a line of silver energy shot out of her left hand and into her foe. The barbarian's blood chilling death cry died on his lips. The tremendous momentum he had garnered on his charge didn't falter, it was completely disintegrated as overwhelming exhaustion gripped his body. Annie felt her legs begin to back pedal, another fireball bashed into the gasping giant. Finally she felt her body turn around, her legs breaking out into a full sprint as she left the wounded warrior far behind.

"I'm going to make it," she heard her Summoner shout joyfully, as though he had just single handedly destroyed the enemy Nexus. Just as Annie was on the home stretch, her own defensive tower in sight, the over powering stench of sewage and rotten garbage hit her.

"Damn it," Annie sighed in her mind just before the barrage of bullets pierced her skin. Collapsing into the dirt, the plague rat Twitch loomed over her, letting loose an insidious laugh that sent shivers down her spine. Leveling the gun at her face, Annie felt a small tear roll down her cheek. The sound of the gun going off was deafening, and she was falling towards the dark ocean of death. "Maybe I'll plunge in this time", she hoped. Then, as so many times before, just as her body was about to breach the black fathomless waters, the white hot light encircled her.

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One hundred views = Chapter 1
??????????????? = Chapter 2

Questions, comments, delicious pie? Just click reply to thread and I'll be happy to take it off your hands! Thank you in advance and (as always) enjoy.

Chapter 1: Alcohol Can Cure It All

"Get out of here demon spawn," a rock pelted into a young girl's forehead. She couldn't have been any older than seven. The crowd that encircled her roared louder outside the village's encampment.

"Please! I just need-" another stone silenced the request as it connected with her nose, she could taste blood now. The voices raged at her from all sides.

"You and your family brought us to this desolate place! How many more deaths are on your hands witch?" the small child tried to reason with the outraged villagers, but her small voice fell on deaf ears. Yet another rock was thrown, this one slamming into her shoulder. "How many more did your fire claim devil child?"

With those last words echoing in her mind, the child no longer felt the pain in her face or side. She could feel the inferno of her mana welling up inside herself; the raw power like kindling doused in misery and set ablaze by her rage.

"How many more indeed?" she questioned coldly, a small innocent smile spreading across her face as she fanned her hands out in front of her.

Her vision swam and now the young girl was older, somewhere between nine and ten, and standing on Summoner's Rift. Men and monsters towered over her from all sides, sword and claw raised against her. She felt them bite into her flesh. The young child willed her body to run and escape the pain, straining her will against the unyielding dominance of her Summoner's, but was unable to as her Summoner kept her feet firmly planted and forced her to keep casting spells.

"Now you fools," she heard the Summoner in her mind call frantically as another weapon pierced her body, the pain long since becoming unbearable. As the last of her consciousness slipped away, her body nothing more than a torn and broken pile of flesh and bone, she could just make out her allied champions decimating the enemy ranks.

Darkness crept over her eyes and when she opened them she was kneeling in a small familiar cottage with a very angry woman across from her. The older woman's fiery red hair matched the young girl's, with the former's face almost as red with rage. The pair were both kneeling on the outer edges of a small summoning circle, various spell components intricately arranged in its center.

"Stupid brat," the older woman cried in frustration. "This is your fault! I can't even summon a whelp of an imp," she smashed her fist through the delicate materials. Backing away slowly, the young girl threw a pleading glance to a tall man watching from the doorway of the room, he's piercing blue eyes narrowed to slits.

"I'm sorry mommy-" a smack across the face sent the small child reeling backwards and knocking her into a tiny bookshelf. Looking back towards her father, her own equally blue eyes looking for some compassion or aid, but realized that this was just like any other day.

"Worthless child! My magic was all I had to survive in this god's forsaken land," her mother stormed over and kicked the fallen child. With a grunt the young girl curled up into a ball and attempted to stave off the tears she felt creeping up on her. Another kick and they began to fall headless of her desires.

"Please stop mommy!" she cried as another kick connected with her stomach. "It hurts," sudden weightlessness overtook the small girl as she was hoisted up and slammed into the bookshelf harshly.

"Pain," her mother growled through clenched teeth as she held her daughter aloft with one hand. A greenish fell light began to emanate from the older woman's free hand. "You don't know what pain is. At least I can still manage this much," the laugh that echoed around the house was deranged, maniacal, and the young girl was now terrified. Her mother had never used magic on her! Desperately looking to where her father had been standing and mouthing the word 'please', the young girls heart dropped as she realized that he was no longer there. He had left her to face her mother's wrath alone. As terror took hold of the small child, she cried out in agony as the demonic energy blasted into her.

"That's right, scream!" the older woman laughed wickedly. Another blast struck into the child, and then another, and another. As each magical blow landed, a new emotion welled up inside the girl along with the familiar sensation of her mana flowing.

"Stop it!" the small child shrieked as her rage exploded outward and her world was devoured in blue flames.

+ + + +

"No!" Annie bolted upright in her bed, cold sweat causing her shoulder length hair to be plastered to her face. Breathing heavily, eyes wide, and still able to feel the flames that licked at her body, Annie swung her legs off the bed and clutched her head in pain. "When were these nightmares going to stop?", she thought frantically. Digging her fingernails into her scalp, she scratched from forehead back to neck in a vain attempt that if she dug dip enough, maybe the memories would bleed out. They never did.

Attempting to stand, thoughts of a hot shower struggling against the after images of her nightmare, her vision spun as gravity seemed to betray her.

"Damn it," she groaned from the floor. Annie closed her eyes and after a few deep breaths opened to find that the world had righted itself. Glancing up at her nightstand the red light of her alarm clock, blearily beaming 10:33 p.m., illuminated the half empty brown bottle of whiskey.

"Never again," she spoke to the bottle as she shook her head and crawled over to the wall. With the walls unyielding support she was able to stand and make her way over to the bathroom. Not bothering with the light, her hangover would never permit such an action, the familiar sound of rushing water assaulted her ears. Gritting her teeth as she pulled off her sweat soaked t-shirt and underwear, Annie was soon surrounded by hot water as she lowered herself into the tub. Resting her head against the wall and her legs comfortably stretched out the length of the tub, her short stature making this easy, she deeply breathed in the steam that swirled around her.

"Never again," she swore again to whatever nameless deity might be listening. Whether or not such a being was listening Annie couldn't say, but she knew that if such beings existed they would know it was an empty promise. She made that same oath more times then she could count. Every few months her mind would start falling backwards into old memories, memories that seemed from another lifetime. Annie had only found two things that could chase such demons from her waking mind, and Shawn couldn't always be with her. "Well," she spoke aloud with a small smile, "Not just yet."

The two had been seeing each other for almost three years, through all of High School, and now with both of them going off to the same college they agreed this was the perfect time to move in together. Gently running her fingers through her hair, she felt her smile broaden at the thought of sleeping next to Shawn each night, feeling the warmth, love and comfort that she received from one of the few people that genuinely cared about her.

"Worthless child!" her mother's voice echoed suddenly in her head, causing the young woman to clutch her skull again. Starting to pant, Annie attempted to regain control of her mind. Reciting the words to spells over and over again in her mind, running through lists of spell components, positions of various materials used in rituals, she slowly forced the memories of her childhood back into the deepest recesses of her mind.

"For now," she reasoned aloud. Shawn had just gone off to visit family upstate. The couple started college in a few weeks and Shawn wouldn't be back for at least another week. Setting her head gently against the wall again, she closed her eyes and allowed her mind to go blank, simply reveling in the heat and not wanting to think about missing her lover.

Feeling the water start to turn cool, Annie reached up and switched the shower off. Silence enveloped her, only broken by the occasional droplet of water. Feeling the water slowly drain off her body, she forced herself to stand. Still a little unbalanced from her drinking binge, she ran a hand across the wall and walked over to the doorway that led into her bedroom. With the door cracked just enough that her hand could fit through, she flipped the light switch in her bedroom on and groaned in pain as the small light invaded the comforting darkness and stung her eyes.

With thoughts of sleep far from her mind, and utilizing the crack of light she made her way over to the mirror and picked up a hairbrush. Even with the small amount of light, she could easily see the girl who stared back at her. The brush went slowly through the shoulder length red hair, easily removing the various knots her tossing and turning had caused and leaving it smooth and shining like a wave of shimmering fire. Setting the brush down and reaching for a small vial of eye drops, she dripped a few drops into each eye and blinked. Although she couldn't see the red veins that surrounded the icy blue orbs, she knew they would be there. Picking up her purple tooth brush that Shawn had given her, she smiled again and vigorously brushed the taste of stale whiskey from her mouth. Draining a cap full of mouth wash to completely rid herself of the taste, she steeled herself as she walked into the bedroom light.

The small bedroom was neatly organized, but that wasn't hard considering how sparsely decorated it was, containing little more than a queen sized bed, a single dresser with a few photos, and a small writing desk with a laptop. Forgoing clothes for the moment, her plans for the day not yet confirmed, she sat on the hard backed wooden chair and powered the laptop up. Typing in her password, and waiting a few impatient seconds that always felt like hours, she brought up Internet Explorer and navigated to her banks homepage. A quick review of Annie Kel'dire's bank account confirmed her plans and her attire for the day.

Walking out of the bedroom and into the hallway, she followed the hall down into the second bedroom of her small ranch house. A quick flip of the light switch and the room’s contents exploded into view. Unlike her bedroom, whose organization and contents would make any OCD patient proud; this room could only be described as chaos. Several floor to ceiling bookshelves were crammed into the room and were jam-packed with books of all different shapes and sizes. Several jars and vials, whose contents only another mage could guess at, were scattered atop a large wooden table that was shoved unceremoniously into a corner. A large runic circle, intricately drawn with chalk, covered the scorched wooden floor, the stubs of candles, books left open to different pages, and various spell casting materials littered the floor from her last casting session.

Carefully picking her way over to the small closet, the wooden door creaked on its hinges as it was opened. Inside was a large trunk with runes carved into its surface, various wards to protect the contents. Running a finger along the lock and whispering the opening incantation, Annie lifted the heavy lid and began rummaging through the contents. Although a number of the objects caught her attention, potential bargaining items, her eyes did their best to avoid settling on the bear shaped backpack. The contents of THAT bag did not concern her. Most of the items would have been well known amongst those who frequented the Fields of Justice. A spiked scepter inlaid with a purple gem, another which looked like a claw clutching a golden eye, a blue hat that when one looked at from a certain direction would have sworn it had a face. After about twenty minutes of sifting, Annie decided upon the hat, gently brushing off some dust. "This should fetch more than enough,", she figured.

Nimbly crossing the cluttered spell casting chamber, she reentered her bedroom and tossed the hat onto the bed. With the decision of what to trade done, the only thing left was to get dressed.

"Thankfully I don't have to think about that," she laughed halfheartedly as she began to dress; a gray knee length skirt and jacket with a white shirt. It was rather simple, but was still capable of giving off an air of sophistication and professionalism. "And that's what it’s all about," she reminded herself as she added a pair of dangling sapphire earrings, shaped like shooting stars, to complete her ensemble.

"Dress to impress young lady. If you claim to be a Kel'dire you must always look and act the part," Annie could recall Mr. Kel'dire saying. Walking into the bathroom, she scrutinized her image in the mirror, making sure her appearance was up to the standards she knew it would be held to. With everything appearing in order, Annie grabbed the hat once known as Rabadon's Deathcap, her keys and purse, and stepped out into the chill night air. Even though it was only September the warm summer nights were already memories as the chill New Jersey autumn began to set in.

Starting the platinum Mercedes, the nicest car on the block to be sure, she took a deep breath and put the car into drive. It was time to go and see her adopted parents Mr. and Mrs. Kel'dire.

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Damn! Over 250 views! You people are awesome. Enjoy Chapter 2, and remember that if you have any questions, comments, or delicious baked goods, feel free to leave them in a reply message. Have a Merry Christmas folks.

Chapter 2: The House Always Wins

"Might be a little cold he said," the card master Twisted Fate muttered into his neatly trimmed beard as his teleportation spell ended. Seconds earlier he had been standing in High Councilor Relivash's chambers at the Institute of War. The gambler now found himself in the middle of a frozen wasteland, a light snow beginning to fall.

"Looks like I'm just a few minutes away," TF, as many of his associates called him, concluded as he began to recognize the layout of the land, having only just viewed it through scrying magic. Pulling his hat down a bit over his eyes, the last glimmers of daylight in the west casting a painful glare on the snow, he trudged north towards his intended destination.

Chill winds whipped at his vest and armor attire, but his face betrayed no discomfort. The small golden broach, a symbol affiliated with the League of Legends, saw that the elements brought the wearer no discomfort. TF was thankful to have it when he departed for these "recruitment" missions, as the High Councilor called them. Twisted had performed the role of liaison for the League several times over the years. His missions often took him to exotic and hostile environments, but this so called "Champion" he was to recruit today was perhaps one of the most peculiar

+ + + +

Twisted Fate stood across the desk of High Councilor Relivash, an illusionary image slowly rotating above the senior summoner's desk. The image was that of a young girl, no more than six or seven years old, with flaming red hair and eyes of blue steel, dressed in a blue snow suit trimmed with white fur.

"So this is the handful?"

"Don't be fooled Fate. She's a stone cold killer," Relivash responded as he straightened his white and gold summoner robes. "She has a body count almost as high as yours." TF wasn't convinced, but he shook his head defiantly.

"So you want me to go and play ambassador again for this pint sized brat? Count me out," the High Councilor raised an eyebrow inquisitively.

"We had an arrangement Fate. Your obligation to this institute-"

"To hell with you and your institute!" the card slinger shouted, his cool facade vanishing. "Every time I turn around you 'ask' me to go and do this kind of ****. How much longer you gonna keep making me do it?"

"For as long as you reside at this establishment," Relivash's face was smooth and calm. These types of outbursts were becoming more and more common with the gambler, but you didn't get to be High Councilor without learning to control the seemingly uncontrollable.

"Well then allow me to pack my things, and you can shove these recruiting jobs up someone else's ass!" the gambler shouted as he turned towards the door. Just as his gloved hands reached the gold door knob the High Councilor opened his mouth.

"You know we had a new applicant apply for champion status this week," TF froze, glove still on the knob. A chill ran up the gambler's spine as he stared hard at the door. He knew he should have just walked out, but the need to know was to strong.

"What do I care about who you let into this nut house?" Twisted, a long time bluffer, tried to keep the worry out of his voice. Relivash smiled slightly, easily seeing the bluff for what it was.

"He appears to be quite a skilled marksman, among other things. Figured you would want to know seeing as how he listed you down as a reference," Twisted turned back to face the summoner, his best poker face on. Relivash, though not a poker player, could see the terror beneath the golden pools that stared at him.

"So about this mission?" the High Councilor grinned. Twisted knew that these missions were usually hell, most involving the possibility of death, but there was no way he was going to let this summoner throw him towards a guaranteed death. TF had spent too long evading that man, and the death he promised, to let a little thing like pride or inconvenience get in the way.

"Listen closely Fate. You need to approach this one with caution. I'm sure you haven't read the report. So let me spell it out for you: she'll turn you into kindling."

"No problem," the champion replied, a bit of forced swagger making its way back into his voice. Sounded just like any other recruitment. "I'll have her back her in time for dinner, or I'll just pop down to the kitchen myself and-"

"No Fate!" the Councilor shouted, frustration breaking through the senior summoner's usual calm. "You'll bring her back. End of discussion. I don't care if you have to knock her out and drag her back here. You don't come back without that child!"

This did indeed intrigue the card slinger. The old man didn't get riled up over just anyone. Throwing caution to the wind, he posed the question knowing full well he would probably not get an answer. "So what's so special about this one?"

"That's none of your concern. Suffice to say that she will be a great asset to the League. Or perhaps you'd like this knew applicant to take her place?"

With a tip of his hat, a common signal of understanding, the card slinger scowled and took another look at his target. He had read the file and knew her past, but he still didn't know what Relivash could want with the girl. At the end of the day it didn't really matter to the gambler. Just as long as Relivash kept his end of their bargain up. That meant keeping that gun touting maniac away from the institute and away from Twisted Fate.

"And about this applicant?"

"I'm sure we can lose the paperwork," Relivash casually folded his hands on his desk.

"So where am I going this time?"

"She was last spotted in the northern territories. It's going to be a little cold....."

+ + + +

His thoughts drifting back to the present, Twisted Fate took in the scene before him. The sun had set and only the faint glow from one of his many cards provided any light. The snow had continued to fall as he entered the remains of a small tent city. Bodies were scattered here and there with many, upon closer inspection, being burnt beyond recognition. Scorch marks covered the majority of possessions left in the snow, their owners leaving them behind while they fled whatever destruction had rained down upon their heads.

"Or maybe they didn't need 'em any more," the gambler thought out loud, his voice barely a whisper as he examined a some of the bodies and extracting a few coins. Continuing into the ruins of the camp a faint sound reached his ears, barely audible above the wind that swirled snowflakes around him. Following the soft sound, he crested a small hill and the smoke and light of a campfire greeted the card slinger's eyes. Huddled around the fire was a small figure, possibly his target, but from his position he could not be sure. Walking closer, he extinguished the card and placed it back with it's companions in one of his many pockets.

Drawing nearer to the fire, the sound he had heard earlier ceased, but now he was certain it was the young girl he was sent out here to find. Entering the light of the weak fire, Twisted tipped his hat in greeting. Though his face was passive, he had a good feeling he'd be home in time for dinner.

"Hello there. This isn't a place for little girls you know," Annie looked up at the stranger that had invaded her camp. Hugging her bear, Tibbers, closely to her chest she leveled her gaze at the intruder.

"This isn't a place for stupid people either. You should leave," Twisted immediately recognized his error. The cold gaze of this child told him that his opening had been all wrong. This wasn't some lost little girl, no. He had seen that look before, and it was always in people you didn't pull the aces in your pocket out on. You'd be more likely to end up with a dagger in your back then money in your pocket if you cheated these kinds of people.

"Well my apologies Miss. I didn't mean to offend, and I'm certainly sorry for breaking up your evening. It's a bit cold though," though the gambler was fine he could see Annie shivering in her snow suit. "And I'd be most grateful to share your fire for a bit."

The young mage didn't like the look of this stranger, but he did apologize to her Her mind went back and forth for a moment. It would be nice to have someone to talk to she reasoned, she did feel a little lonely. On the other hand, after the day's events she wasn't sure if she could handle any more people. She had only come to the little town to find something to eat. Someone in the crowd had recognized her as her parent's daughter. Then came the harsh words. And the rocks.

"I would be happy to share some of my provisions with you in exchange for the warmth," breaking the tiny mage our of her reverie, she fixed him with a puzzled look. "Its only bread, but it's all I have to barter with I'm afraid."

At the mention of food Annie's stomach wailed out, making its opinion loudly heard. It had been so long since she had had any real food.

"Deal," Annie reluctantly agreed, her mind still twisting on whether or not she should run from this strange man. Snow continued to swirl lightly around them as Twisted sat down and passed over a few pieces of bread he had snagged from breakfast that morning. The young mage took her time, chewing and savoring each bite in silence as she stared into the fire. Watching her eat, TF took the opportunity to take a better look at this prospective champion. Her snow suit was identical to what he had seen her wearing back at the Institute of War, but it looked like it and the wearer had been through a war. Her face was scratched and cut up, the cold air having stopped the bleeding, from what he couldn't tell. At some point she must have put on make-up, as it was smeared and had run, especially around her eyes. Judging by the stains and the sound he heard earlier, the young girl had probably been crying. Blood, dirt, and scorch marks covered her cloths, though Twisted knew it couldn't be all her blood. Though her hood was drawn up to keep the cold out, the strands of red hair he could see appeared dirty and unwashed.

"You got a starring problem?" her voice snapped like a whip. The slightly startled gambler realized he'd been starring and that his target had finished her bread.

"Awfully rude don't you think, talking to someone like that who just gave you something," a slight edge creeping into his voice. Something about this child unnerved him. Children shouldn't talk or look at you like this girl did.

"You're the one who was starring, and it's even ruder to not introduce yourself when you meet someone," her frown deepened, cold blue eyes starring more through the gambler then at him. She should not have let him sit down.

"Most call me Twisted Fate, and I liked it so much I call myself it too. Who are you besides a half-starved and frozen girl?" he responded equally cold.


"Annie huh?" the card shark scratched his beard, feigning thought. "I've heard of a girl called that. Suppose to be around your age. Daughter of that famous witch and warlock. Wouldn't happen to be you would it?"

"Yes I am," she replied. Here it comes, she thought. This was always how it started. As soon as anyone realized who she was, it was all downhill. Most groups she had run into would shun her from their encampments, many having been under the leadership of her parents. Or in the more extreme cases, attack her. Already her mana was churning as anger boiled in her veins. Memories of hateful words and rocks surfaced. She clutched Tibbers tighter. "You should leave."

"Now look kid-"

"I said go!" Annie shouted as she jumped to her feet. She was sick of being on the receiving end of hate, she wouldn't let it overtake her this time.

"Gods I don't get paid enough for this," TF muttered as he pushed himself up, angrily dusting snow off his pants and jacket. He was so sick of being cutoff today. **** Relivash. And to hell with this girl, if the damn summoner wanted her this badly, he could come and deal with the little *****. "Don't freeze to death," he grumbled absentmindedly as he walked back towards the small tent camp.

Annie stood in the glow of the weak fire, slightly stunned. No one had ever done what she asked them to. As the stranger continued to walk away, she began to argue with herself.

"He just got scared and left. He would have hurt you."

"But he gave me food. And he didn't seem like a bad man."

"They never seem bad till they do bad things. Just let him go."

"But he had food. Maybe he lives around here..."

"Maybe what? You think he'll take you in? What are you good for?"

"I don't know, but he's the first person who hasn't hated me. I have to try."

"Don't say I didn't warn you."

As Twisted Fate made his way to the edge of the hill, looking down at the charred remains of the camp, his own mind began to formulate excuses. Maybe he couldn't find the girl. No, that was to cliché. What if she was captured by Noxian agents? With the right spin, he could sell it. Having just made up his mind, he began to concentrate on teleporting when a small hand grabbed his.

"I'm sorry," looking down, TF didn't see the eyes of an experienced killer. He saw a pair of teary blue children's eyes. Breathing a slight sigh of relief, he turned and faced her. "Please come back and sit down." she begged. He let the plead hang out in the air for a moment, and then smirked.

"Alright," the two, holding hands, walked back over the to the dim fire. As they walked over, he could feel the girl's hand was like an ice cube. Removing his jacket when they reached the fire, he placed it around her shoulder's and sat next to her. Annie tensed up, caught off-guard, and began to pull the jacket off. "Would you prefer to freeze to death?" the young girl stared at him for a moment and then relaxed and pulled the jacket tight around her like a blanket.

"Thank you," she mumbled.

"Your welcome," the gambler tipped his hat. "Now, as I was about to say earlier, I've been looking for you." he watched as the young mage tensed up again slightly. Damn if she wasn't always on edge.


"Apparently my employer would like to speak with you."

"Liar," the young mage's voice cracked after a minute. She didn't know what this man Twisted Fate was playing at, but she knew nobody was looking for her. Maybe this employer was another of her parent’s supporters, seeking vengeance. "There is no one looking for me that I wanna be found by."

"It's true," the card slinger replied curtly. "High Councilor Relivash sent me to find you and extend an invitation from the Institute of War, better known as the League of Legends." he hated spouting that line. As he finished, Twisted Fate reached into his pocket and produced a white envelope stamped with Relivash's seal. Handing it over slowly, Annie opened it and scanned through the letter.

"The League of Legends?" she had heard of it, but then who hadn't. Her parents had mentioned it on occasion, but they--Shut up, she thought loudly as she pushed the images of her parents out of her mind. She blinked a few times as a yawn escaped from her mouth, her 'activities' from earlier finally catching up to her. Not wanting to think at the moment, Annie threw out her question, "But what do they want with me?"

"They've heard of your," TF paused, searching for the right word, "...talents and want to see that someone as special as yourself is taken care of. And no offense, it doesn't look like it from where I'm sitting."

Annie agreed that her situation sucked. After "the incident" as she had come to calling it, nothing had gone right. She was almost always alone, cold, and hungry. Any time she came into a town...she had only to look down at the remnants of the camp below and knew that it spoke for itself. But there had to be more to it than that right? No one ever gave anything away for free. She knew that much.

"What's the catch?"

"Well you'd have to participate in the League as an available champion choice for the summoners to pick from," Annie knew what that meant. It meant she would have to fight. Fight a lot. "But you would get food and money. Warmth and a place to call home for as long as you want to participate," the young mage stared into the fire thinking over the proposal. She was sick of being cold and hungry. She was sick of always running when she saw people. As she was about to answer, she sneezed violently and began shivering again. She tucked the letter in her pocket and pulled the jacket around her tighter.

"I don't know," she paused. "Are you a member of the League?"

"I am."


"I'm not going to lie to you kid. I've lied to a lot of people, and I'm damn good at it, but I don't think I'd fool you anyways," Annie felt uncomfortable being so close to someone she still considered a stranger, but his jacket was warm and she was so tired of being cold. She leaned against him, taking the card shark by surprise, reveling in the warmth and kindness he was showing her. She closed her eyes, the fatigue breaking down her defensive barriers. It felt good to not have to be an adult for a few moments, she convinced herself that's all it was. "It's a rough world out here, and you know it. The League keeps me safe, and they can do it for you to. It ain't easy, but the summoner's are true to their word for the most part. If they say they'll take you in, then they want you there for a reason. I know they want you, and I don't know why. But what do you really have to lose?"

Looking up into his gold colored eyes, she saw that he was being honest. She didn't know it, but it was a rare occurrence for the notorious card slinger. Looking into the fire, she laid her head back against his side.

"Are you going to be there?"

"I'll be there with you every step of the way kid," Twisted was surprised at his own response, knowing that he meant. Something about this girl was getting to him, and he couldn't put his card shuffling fingers on it.

"I guess I'll go then," Annie murmured as her eyes finally closed and didn't open. "How are we gonna get there? Isn't it far?" she knew it was supposed to be far to the south, but exactly how far she wasn't sure.

"We'll be there before you wake up," TF waited a few minutes for a response and then noticed his new recruit was fast asleep. Gently, so as not to wake her, he lifted her into his arms. She's so light, he thought as he prepared to teleport. After everything the High Councilor had said, Twisted was still unprepared for the champion known as Annie. Still, he had done it. He had recruited her for whatever purpose Relivash had in mind. The League had its newest champion.

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Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday. Enjoy Chapter 3! Comments, questions, sarcasm, *****ing quotes, and desserts can be left by replying to the thread. Thank you in advance.

Chapter 3: Quid Pro Quo

The car sped down the open highway, the normally long drive out to the small island of the bay taking Annie half the time thanks to the lack of traffic. As her mind continued to reel slightly from the previous day's drinking binge, she lowered the window, the fresh air clearing away the remaining fog. The radio remained silent as Annie preferred to soak up the solitude of the night. As she entered the grounds to the small mansion, she went over a quick check list of how she wanted the conversation to go. Satisfied with her plan, she parked and with the old cap in hand, made her way to the front door. She was greeted by a middle-aged man wearing a simple suit.

"Mrs. Anne, a pleasure to see you as always," his thick germen accent conveying his ancestry. The young woman smiled, one she had spent many hours perfecting, and allowed herself to be ushered into the foyer.

"Mr. Kel'dire will be with you shortly. He is finishing up a late business meeting," Annie nodded and was soon left to admire the expansive entry way. The Kel'dire's were indeed quite prosperous. Since their coming to America, the family seemed to be incapable of doing wrong. Every business went global, any investment turned a profit, and each generation was better off than the last. Each success was chalked up to the Kel'dire's having a keen eye for business or being on the receiving end of a lucky tip. The truth was far simpler: magic.

It would seem, as far as Annie was told, that upon coming to the New World, the Kel'dire family had very little money. The small plot of land they had been able to purchase was mediocre at best. Upon beginning the excavation for a cellar for their new home, the family had come upon a vast array of mystical writings and artifacts. Through many years of deciphering the family was soon able to put the information to good use. Not for some cliché aspect such as world domination, but for the more mundane purpose of simply making their lives more comfortable. Uncertain of whether or not a coal mine or oil well would be prosperous? A vision spell left there little doubt to whether the venture would turn a profit worth investing in.

Not wanting to share this power with the rest of the world, the Kel'dire's rebuilt their first home, the extensive mansion that she now stood in, over the vault of information and kept it as a closely guarded family secret. Upon Twisted Fate and her arrival, quite literally materializing in the middle of the very foyer she stood in, it was made evident that magic in this new world was a strange and precious commodity, very unlike the rich magical world they had departed from. After much talk, it was agreed that if the two Champions would impart some of their knowledge on the mystical arts, the Kel'dire's would be more than happy to compensate them financially. This was her sole purpose in being there that evening.

"My dear sweet Anne," a bald man in gray business suit clapped his hands together, the sound echoing off the marble floor, as he entered. He wrapped her in a gentle hug, sending a visible shudder down the young woman, and stepped back admiring her outfit. "You are most certainly looking the part of a Kel'dire."

"As I was taught," she gave that practiced smile another flourish. Even though his eyes did make a pass over her clothing, those dark green orbs kept landing on the battered hat in her hand. "It would be such a shame to my family if your only daughter couldn't carry herself like a true lady."

"Quite true," he nodded in approval as his fingers smoothed his neatly trimmed dark moustache. In addition to financial compensation, it was agreed that the family should adopt the young girl as their daughter. Apparently it was unusual for people to just appear out of thin air in this world. However, if she were to acquire the last name of Kel'dire, if only on paper, she would have to hold herself up to the name she was gaining. Soon she was Anne Kel'dire, the estranged daughter of the Kel'dire's, who had been sent off to a boarding school and had only just returned. A similar deal was offered to Twisted Fate, but he had opted to find his own way into this new world.

"I trust your wife is doing well?"

"She is doing marvelous. Just got back from a little venture out to Chicago," the two began to walk up one of the winding staircases, making their way to Mr. Kel'dire's study. Annie hated every minute of what she considered pointless banter, but that was one of the prices she had to pay. "I say you must join her one of these days. A little PR wouldn't hurt would it?"

"Not exactly my cup of tea Frank," she had had enough time in the spotlight when she was younger and saw no point in drawing attention to herself. Though the fear of reprisal from the League’s summoners had grown smaller over the years, she still didn't see any need to appear on television for the whole world to see. "I did enjoy seeing TF at that charity event down in Louisiana. Were you able to see it?"

"Not exactly keeping a low profile is he?" Frank rolled his eyes. Something about Twisted Fate had always seemed to bother the older mage. Annie simply shrugged. As far as she was concerned, the card shark was more than welcome to all the publicity he could handle. She had tried tirelessly to tell him to be a bit more reserved, insisting that it would someday come to haunt him. But TF very seldom took the advice of others.

As the pair entered the study, she found herself in a familiar setting as she took her usual sit. Sitting across the large mahogany desk from her, Frank lounged in his high back leather chair, looking like he was the cat that just swallowed the canary.

"So how is your son doing?"

"Ah young William," he nodded as he poured himself a drink from a crystal container, offering one to the younger mage. Though the thought was tempting, the sickness in her stomach was too recent to venture down that road so she declined. Taking a slow sip of what looked like brandy, Frank sighed. "He spends far too much of his time scrying. I swear he spends more time in those worlds then our own."

"Knowledge is power, and I'm sure he has amassed quite a bit."

"Yes, knowledge is power my dear," he smiled and set the empty glass down. "But I'm sure you didn't come here to debate philosophy. What do you have for me today?"

"This," Annie set the object down on the desk. "…is a hat."

Mr. Kel'dire raised an eyebrow inquisitively. The silence seemed to stretch out for a moment, until his impatience won over his resolve. "We have those here."

"Not one like this you don't," she leaned back with only the slightest hint of smugness. "This will increase a magic-user's augmented abilities greatly, but also increase's his base ability by about twenty-five percent." the older mage gazed at the cap with new wonder. Lifting it deftly, almost as though it may vanish if he handled it wrong, he ran a finger over the fabric.

"That is quite an effect. Are its abilities compounded with other artifacts and potions?" the younger mage nodded and watched as wonder enraptured the man. Time passed slowly, it seemed, as Frank examined the object thoroughly. After waiting almost five minutes, Annie cleared her throat, effectively drawing the man out of his reverie.

"Yes. Well," he paused, his eyes never leaving the object as grasped for the familiar words the woman was waiting to hear. "How much?"


"Done. The money will clear by tomorrow." setting the old hat down, he stood up and offered his hand. Shaking it firmly, Annie walked towards the door. "Anything else you require?"

"Nope. Have a good night Frank," she smiled genuinely as she closed the door, catching a glimpse of the older man running a hand over the beaten hat. She made her way down the richly carpeted and lavishly decorated hallway. Just as she came to the landing, the German butler was waiting for her.

"Can I get you anything before you depart Ms. Anne?"

"No thanks Walter," she thanked him again when he opened the front door for her, breathing a sigh of relief as she stepped back into the cool night air. As she entered her car, the neon green glow of the dash told her it was only a little before midnight. A few more minutes and she would be seventy-five thousand dollars richer. Not that she cared too much. Pulling out of the estate and heading back onto the main road, she was really only looking forward to a decent night of sleep.

+ + + +

"You will remember Yorick Mori," a cold voice, almost the voice of death itself, echoed through Annie's mind as her eyes snapped open. A cold sweat covered her forehead, her hand shooting for the half-empty bottle next to her alarm clock. Just as her small hand encircled the brown container, it began to shake. Was she ready to go back down that road already? Could she wait two more days for her angel to come and help push the darkness back?

Images both horrifying and grotesque flashed through her mind, even as she attempted to wrest control back from her past. Seconds felt like hours as she stared down her saboteur and savior until she finally set the bottle back down and slowly got out of bed, taking a deep and calming breath as she did it. Exhaling slowly, her blue eyes registered daylight as well as the hour. "Damn it, late again," she thought as Annie realized she should have left almost three hours earlier to begin registration for the fall semester of school.

A quick shower, change of clothes, and a fifteen minute drive later Annie was seeing her academic adviser. He was a short balding man full of nothing but flattery and smiles for the youngest Kel'dire who still couldn't seem to pin down her major. The truth was that she really didn't care what she majored in. She probably wouldn't have even gone to college if it wasn't expected of a young lady of her 'upbringing'. The fact that the love of her life happened to attend Serenity University was only a bonus. Finally agreeing on another semester of general courses, course work that could fit into almost any major; she left with a handshake and a fake smile. Almost an hour later, Annie found herself parked in front of familiar building: Ross's Liquor.

"Why won't the past just die?" she moaned, clutching her head in a vain attempt to shut out the images. It was going to be another bad couple of days, and she knew of only two ways to silence the past. One was out of reach visiting family, but she hated the alternative. Grabbing her purse, mind made up, the young mage went into the liquor store. It had never been hard for her to obtain alcohol once she started, getting most of it from people her family dealt with. Ross Rodriguez, the proprietor, was once such individual. Apparently the Kel'dire's had been paramount in him getting both his license and the establishment, so when their underage 'daughter' had come in wanting to purchase something to calm her nerves, he had been more than willing to assist.

"Afternoon Ms. Kel'dire," Ross greeted her from behind the counter. Flashing a phony smile, she waded into the aisles, aisles she knew better than the hallways of her home. Biding her time, so as not to seem too eager, she hefted different bottles of wine, pretending to read the labels. She passed row after row of red and whites, until she finally came to her true destination: whiskey. She almost felt the voices in her head quiet as the memorable bottle slid lovingly into her grip. Picking up another bottle, and no longer feeling the need to delay, she walked briskly to the counter and brandished her credit card. With her purchases tucked safely into a brown bag, she made for the door and stepped out into the fading sunlight.

"Well if it isn't little orphan Annie. " a nauseatingly familiar voice resounded in her ears. Even though the sun was in her eyes, it didn't impair her from seeing the painfully blonde woman sitting in the red mustang in front of her, accompanied by her posse. Stacie Lewis was a girl who had filled out early and fully, and had never let anyone forget it. She was, as Annie’s beloved Shawn liked to put it, fashion show pretty. The kind of girl you would see on the front of a magazine, but it was all too apparent that she was all looks and no brains. "Living off the charity of other's still?"

"Never have a day in my life Lewis. Still tormenting the weak and downtrodden," the four occupants of the car smirked. Throughout all of High School, Stacie and her little gang had been known for playing mean spirited pranks. Stashing kids in lockers and trash cans was their usual fair, but they always bragged they could be more creative if inspiration struck. They had become slightly lax since starting college, why they had to attend Serenity the young mage could never fathom, but every now and then a car would suddenly not have tires or someone's belongings would end up on the roof of a dorm.

"Somebody has to keep the trash in the garbage can my little orphan. And who better than us?" she high-fived the two male occupants of the car. "Well if you'll excuse us, we've got to go and see a nerd about answers for this semester."

"You better be careful Lewis. One day you're going to push the wrong person, and they're going to push that pretty little noise of yours into your face," both of the boys whistled as Stacie stood up in the car, easily towering over the shorter girl.

"And you better watch yourself Kel'dire. That giraffe of yours can't always protect you. Buh-buy," she smiled sweetly while trying to seem intimidating. The former Champion was not the least bit daunted, having faced down far more terrifying foes then this stuck-up bimbo. Suddenly, the muscle car roared to life, tires spinning, as it sped down the street and leaving Annie alone with her purchase.

The drive home was silent, her mind going back to that orphan comment Stacie had made. She had been assured by the Kel'dire's that her adoption had been paid up with all the right people and that no one would ever find out the secret. However, Annie was quick to realize that, with the right amount of money, no one's secrets were safe. It seemed that Stacie Lewis's family had enough money and connections of their own to figure it out, and since their sophomore year in high school the blonde couldn't let a conversation pass without bringing it up. No one had ever paid it much mind, but that didn't stop it from reminding Annie that there were all sorts of monsters, even in this new world.

Brown bag cradled in one arm, the young red head waved to her neighbors as she climbed the short flight of stairs to her house. Changing into a pair of sweat pants and tank top, Annie was soon sitting at the foot of her bed, one bottle unopened in front of her.

"This is the last time," she told the bottle as she opened it. The familiar smell wafted up to her noise, causing her to breathe a little bit faster. Memories began to surge through her mind, cold rooms with restraints where dark experiments were performed, screams of burning victims as their flesh was seared from their bodies, an older woman towering over her, and pair of cold blue eyes turning away in neglect.

"This is the last time," she repeated as she drank the deep brown liquid that burned down her throat. It was the same thing she said every time, and both she and the bottle knew it wouldn't be the last.

+ + + +

"Why is mommy always mad at me?" a young girl with red hair asked a dark haired man with piercing blue eyes. The man sighed and took another bite of the meager amount of food on his plate. Blue eyes met blue eyes.

"Quiet and eat your dinner," his response lacking any emotion, as though he were talking to himself. The young girl looked back down at her plate, tears forming in her sad eyes.

"Yes daddy." the image swirled into darkness, slowly replaced by a young girl chained to stone wall, a small stream of blue fire arcing from her hands.

"Come on Annie, you need to do better," an unseen voice spoke, seeming to echo around the room. Her breath was coming in ragged gasps, tears rimming her eyes.

"I can't," she panted. "I just don't can't-" the words were replaced by a scream as electricity was passed through her small frame, her body going limp in the chains. Lifting her head slowly, a dark maniacal look replaced the earlier one of exhaustion. With a savage cry, she extended both her hands and a torrent of blue flames roared to life. The darkness swirled again, and now the young girl was standing before the mercy of a mob. A stone skipped off the girl's face, a deep gash forming as blood flowed down her face.

"How many more indeed?"

+ + + +

"No more!" eyes barely focusing, Annie reached across to the unfinished bottle on her nightstand. Lamp and alarm clock fell as she raised her prize to dry and cracked lips, images still flooding her conscience. The liquid felt like fire as it burned its way to her stomach. The screams of dying villager's, men, women, and children continued to pound in her ears.

"Get out of my head," her frustration boiled over, the brown bottle flying end over end and smashing against the wall. Eyes wide in panic as the realization of her actions, the crumbling woman stumbled over to the broken bottle. Scrapping the broken glass together, her warped mind praying for the bottle to fix itself, tears began to fall unheeded onto her now bleeding fingers. Falling backwards, her head landing heavily against the wooden floor, her world spinning. Already she could feel her fingers growing cold, the blood loss much worse than she realized. Maybe this time she'd die, she thought whimsically. Suddenly she heard a door being thrown open and a familiar voice, the voice of an angel, calling out her name. Moaning loudly in response, her field of vision become black as a pair of strong arms wrapped around her small body, lifting her with ease.

"Annie? Come on baby, say something," the voice was so gentle and caring. Her eyes slowly slipped closed, the bleakness of her past slowly releasing its hold on her mind.

"Your home early," was all she could utter before the darkness rose up over her head, drowning her in its peaceful waves.