The Secret Letters

The following letters were found in the mailbox of one Ryan Tyrel, who owns a ranch in Colorado.  Mr. Tyrel has been missing for several days and was last seen in Walsenburg talking to a man in a business suit.  Witnesses say they had never seen the man before and that he talked with a British accent.  Local authorities have concluded their search and believe Mr. Tyrel made an unexpected trip to London to visit his daughter, Ally, who is studying abroad there.  However, our office has been unable to uncover any records for flight or plane tickets for Mr. Tyrel.  Also, the records of the University of the Arts in London indicates that Miss Tyrel disenrolled several days ago.  A check of her apartment revealed significant property damage to the interior, indications of major power-surges and several small fires, but no sign of Ally Tyrel herself.  Our investigation is ongoing, but from these letters the situation may be more serious than we’d initially suspected.  It seems that Mr. Tyrel’s daughter has become involved in the Secret World.

September 26

Dear Dad,

I’m getting settled in at my new apartment here in London.  I thought I’d send you my address first thing so we can keep in touch, since you don’t do email.  I also can’t help but hope you’ll find a way to send a little something to help with my housewarming.  Some homemade cookies would be nice.  Haha!

You wouldn’t believe how big this place is!  The city is amazing.  It goes on for miles and miles it seems in every direction and it has everything in it, universities, libraries, restaurants, historical sites—so many historical sites!—parks, you name it.  There are some things I definitely miss, though.  There’s no countryside here, and I miss the mountains…and my horse, too!  At least I have Blizzard to keep me company.

Anyway, I hope this letter reaches you alright, and I hope the postage for a reply doesn’t kill us both!

Love,

Ally

~~~

October 3

Dear Dad,

Haha!  Curse you, Atlantic Ocean!  You kept me from cookies!

No, the apartment isn’t big.  It’s just three rooms: bedroom, bathroom, and a living room/kitchenette.  I guess it seems big to me since it’s the largest space I’ve ever had to myself, but it’s really tiny compared to home.  What I meant to say is that the city of London is big: big city, small apartment, short little Ally Tyrel living in both of them.

How dare you say such things about my cat!  You take them back, mister!  Them’s fightin’ words.  Haha!  But seriously, Blizzard actually handled the transition alright.  As soon as I let him out of his carrier he went exploring and found the couch.  He picked out his favorite spot in the corner and he won’t share.  He’s already figured out enough of the apartment to escape on me once, though.  He didn’t do anything serious, just followed me to the park on my jog, but I learned I need to be careful to lock him up in the future, and especially check the fire-escape…from there he could get anywhere!

Class is going fine, but I’ve been feeling a little…strange lately.  I get headaches sometimes and they don’t seem to go away until I jog them out…like I’m working out some kind of bad blood.  It’s weird, I know, but it gets stranger.

It all started about four days ago.  I had this really weird dream where it was like I was on some rocky beach at the end of the world, standing there in the rain.  There were these voices talking about “the end of days” and how I could stand with them or against them or something.  Then a lady all in white and a man all in black came and were talking over each other trying to tell me about the voices being bad or good, and then they opened their hands and all these bees came out and started flying around me and then down my throat..and when I woke up I felt like I was actually choking on something!

The weirdest part was that right after the dream I reached for my bathrobe and I swear it lit itself on fire…I saw blue fire all over it, but then I concentrated on the flames and “poof” they were gone.  The bathrobe was just fine, too, so it must have been a part of the dream…but it seemed so real.  Anyway, after that dream, the headaches started, and when I have the headaches sometimes I hear voices muttering some gibberish I can’t quite make out, about honey and bees.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll get over whatever this is soon.  Till then, I’ll just be doing a lot more jogging, I guess.  Hope this letter finds you well.

Love,

Ally

~~~

October 7

Dear Dad,

Please excuse the smudges and the charred edge.

I don’t want you to worry, but…well, this is going to be really hard to explain.  I hope you’ll understand though.  You always said there was more to this world than meets the eye…I guess you just never expected me to be a part of that

Remember how I told you I swore I saw my bathrobe burst into flames after that dream?  Well, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t a part of the dream.   The headaches have been getting worse.  I’ve been going on longer and longer jogs, but it doesn’t seem to help much anymore.

A few days ago things started to happen whenever I’d get headaches really bad.  Strange things.  Objects would fly across the room away from me.  Fire and lightning would burst from my hands.  I know it’s unbelievable, but you’re holding the proof.  This is what’s left of my notebook, after I managed to put it out…not with the fire extinguisher–that ran out ages ago–but by calling the fire back into my hand, into me.  There’s no other way I can describe it.

If you needed further proof, my apartment is an absolute mess.  Looks like a warzone.  Three days ago I spent the whole day holed up in my apartment, wearing my old sweattop.  The headaches were unbelievable and whatever this power is, I couldn’t control it at all.  My place is absolutely trashed from fireballs and lightning and some stuff I don’t even know how to describe.

Blizzard was smart and ran off before the headaches got this bad.  I haven’t seen him all week.  I don’t blame him.  Right now he’d have a better chance against a car than with whatever this is going on with me.

I am learning to control it, though.  A couple days ago I was able to focus the energy, make it a ball of light and juggle it, like it was just a harmless toy.  The headaches subsided for a few hours after that.  Seems like if I use these powers deliberately the headaches stop and I’m not a walking bomb of God-knows-what looking for a place to go off.  That’s why I’m able to write this letter now, ‘cause about an hour ago I blew up what was left of my boombox with lightning and then threw it away.  I feel perfectly normal now…though it does not seem normal to be writing those words, not at all.  “I blew it up with lightning?”  My God, what’s happened to me?

I appreciate your prayers.  Please keep them coming.  I can’t go to school or anything like this.  There’s too much risk of loosing control, but I’m learning.  Maybe someday it will just go away, but that doesn’t seem likely.  Until then, I have to learn to control it…without blowing things up.

-Ally

~~~

October 8

Dear Dad,

I definitely appreciate your prayers.  I think maybe God has answered them.

This morning a lady in a white business shirt knocked on my door out of the blue.  Before I could stop her, she was inside, looking at all this mess…but she didn’t seem surprised.  She just said, “Let me guess, bee problem?  There’s a lot of that going around.”  It was as if she knew about the bee dream and everything, about the voices, the powers…It was such a relief to have someone who understood.

She said she was recruiting for a secret organization called (you’ll laugh when you hear this one, but I’m serious) the Templars.  She said if I joined fighting against the a rising darkness in the world, harnessing my powers for good.  But the best thing she offered I think was a way to control them.  If I can control these powers, use them for something constructive (rather than trashing my apartment with them) that would be wonderful.

She gave me a letter with instructions on how to get to their headquarters.  She assured me that, if I joined, their organization would take care of the loose ends.  She did warn me though that other people might be attracted to my powers and they might not be “as accommodating” as the Templars.

The directions say to go to Ealdwic, one of the oldest quarters in London.  I’m going to go there tomorrow morning, as soon as I’m feeling alright…you know, no headaches, no lightning.  It may be a dead end with a pack of crazies—it certainly sounds crazy—but if they can help this nightmare end and put it to good use, it’ll certainly be worth it.

Keep praying for me!

Ally
~~~

October 10

Dear Dad,

Just writing to let you know how things are going with the Templars and my headaches and stuff.  Actually, I have some pretty good news.

I went down to Ealdwic in the morning, like I said I would in my last letter.  I went jogging, ‘cause I was still feeling a little headachy (but not quite lighting-from-hands kind of headachy).  Anyway, they have this whole part of the city under police cordon, but a police detective named Shelley let me through.  She wasn’t too pleased to hear I was going to the Templars.  It seems she blamed them for a lot of the crazy that was going on, and she referenced the Tokyo incident, the subway bombing near Orachi Tower (I’m sure you’ve heard of it; it’s been all over the news here for weeks).  She told me, “That’s what happens when your new crowd lets things get out of hand.”  But she did say I would be safe in Ealdwic.

I didn’t believe her about Orachi Tower at first, but maybe there’s something to it.  The news has been saying it was a bomb or a biological agent released in the subways, but there’ve been scattered reports of civilians in the subway fighting armed Orachi Security personnel.  I never put much stock in those reports (though I’m sure you would have), until yesterday.  There was a strange man speaking down by the subway…excuse me, the tube station, here…and while I was listening to him my headaches suddenly got worse and I passed out.  I had another strange dream, like I was in the Tokyo subway after the bombing and there were tentacle infested zombies fighting guards like the rumors said and everything…I guess it’s like you always said, maybe there’s more to our world than meets the eye.

I’ve found that true a lot since yesterday.  I met with the Templars.  They have a big citadel here called Temple Hall, almost like a palace, really.  It’s huge!  You were right about one thing, they’re not the Knights Templar, they’re a separate organization.  They do see themselves as crusaders, though, fighting darkness in the weird places where it breaks out, in the Secret World.

They’ve definitely helped me.  A nice man named Richard Sonnac is in charge of all the new recruits and he had me go to the Crucible.  It’s a big room that looks like a cross between a shooting range and a red-carpet club, but it’s specially reinforced somehow.  I couldn’t wreck it if I tried…and I did.  Brigadier Lethe is in charge there and he keeps this classical music playing ALL THE TIME!  I tried to fry a speaker, but my magic didn’t do anything to it.

That’s what they’re calling it, by the way, this power: my magic.  Lethe explained it.  “It’s martial magic, none of that fairy stuff,” he said.  He said it allows me to manifest “anima,” my lifeforce in the physical world, to either destroy or to heal.  Apparently there’s no way to make the power go away—Lethe just laughed at that—but I can learn to control it.  He had me blasting some targets with magic for a few hours yesterday.  Last night, I just slept in the Crucible, but I didn’t have any headaches.  Today, he wants to show me how to use weapons to channel my magic.  Hopefully, that will give me better control.

Thanks for the prayers,

Ally

~~~

October 13

Dear Dad,

Just wanted to let you know how I’m doing here at Temple Hall.

Brigadier Lethe is a tough cookie, big muscular man with a brace on one leg and a patch over one eye.  Whatever managed to injure him like that must have been pretty tough itself!  He’s fair, though, and once I got over his rough manner I found him kind of nice.

The second day he had me working with some wicked looking brass knuckles—you would not want to have one of our sparring matches with me wearing those!  I was still doing a lot of damage just by punching the things, but Lethe said some of that was due to my magic too, and that I could use my magic to heal myself as I fought.

By the way, I don’t want you to freak out or anything, but we use live targets here, for realism, Lethe says.  They’re Rakshasa, some kind of evil spawn, big humanoid creatures, no eyes, leathery skin, more muscles than anything has a right to…I know, I know, Rakshasa are supposed to be a myth: well, apparently they’re real, they’re really tough, vicious, immune to pain, and the Templars have a lot of them captured and chained up for target practice.  It grossed me out at first, but Lethe says it’s more realistic…and if there really are things like this out there that may come after me, I know I’ll need realistic training.

Anyway, the day after that he let me use an assault rifle, an AK-47.  That was a lot of fun.  Took me back to going shooting out in the hills with you, though it’s not quite the same.  You see, the first time he had me shooting I fired off about thirty rounds—impressed Lethe with my accuracy—and then I handed the gun back to him for a new clip.  “What are you givin’ me that for, keep shooting,” he said.  “But it’s empty,” I told him.  “It was empty when I handed it to you, girl,” he said.  “You’ve been firing all this time on an empty clip…You ain’t been shooting them with bits of lead, you’ve been hitting them with your magic, your anima.”

After that, I learned that I could use my magic a lot more reliably, just focusing on what I wanted it to do and nothing more, treating each spark like a bullet that would only go off if I pulled the trigger.  I’ve been back for three days straight, shooting like that for a couple hours each day, and the headaches haven’t come back.  Lethe says I’m good to go.

Of course, what does Lethe know, right?  You know whose opinion matters more?  Blizzard!  He’s back!  He found me in the room they gave me at Temple Hall and now he follows me all over.  Turns out Lethe is a secret cat lover, so he lets him stay around.  Blizzard won’t go near the Rakshasa, but he’ll sit and preen while I shoot.  Anyway, Sonnac said he wanted to see me tomorrow.  He says he has an assignment for me.  I don’t know if I’m sold yet on joining the Templar’s army, like they want me to, but I know I have these powers for a reason.  I want to use them for good and Sonnac says he can make that happen.  I guess we’ll see.

Your Daughter,

Ally

~~~

October 14

Dear Dad,

Just wanted to keep you up to date: I don’t know when I’ll next have a chance to write.  I’ve been assigned to go to Solomon Island, off the New England coast.

You’ve probably heard about it on the news, some garbage about an unusual weather system, then military maneuvers or a plague putting the island on quarantine.  There’s something more going on, though, something dark.  Sonnac doesn’t know what, but Solomon Island has a history with the Illuminati.  They’re a secret organization like the Templars only different in pretty much every way.  They’re reckless, Sonnac says.  They don’t clean up messes like the Templars do: they make some of their own, and Solomon Island may be one of those messes.

I’m to travel there through something called Agartha…not sure what it is yet, but apparently it’ll get me there quick.

Sonnac knows I’m writing these letters, and he’s actually encouraged it.  “Good for family ties,” he said, and apparently that’s good enough for him.  Templars are really strong on tradition and bonds of loyalty, so I guess it makes sense.  Anyway, since they don’t know what’s going on there, they can’t guarantee that I’ll get post.  I hope you understand.  I’ll try to keep in touch and I’ll see if these powers of mine can’t be used for good after all.  This will be their first field test.

Keep me in your prayers,

Ally

PS: After I finished this letter, Sonnac gave me a Send Box, a little wooden box only as long as an envelope and not much taller.  Mine has a white bird design on the cover and yours should have the same.  He said he’d make sure one got to you, too, but I’m not sure if he’ll be able to explain its operation.  According to Sonnac, you just open the lid, put something inside, and close the box.  Once it’s closed, whatever was inside is sent to the matching Box, no matter where in the world it is.  It should work even on Solomon Island…supposing I have a chance to write letters once I’m there.  Wish me luck!!!

Our office has been trying to ascertain the nature of this “Send Box” referenced in the letters.  We found no indication of it on the premises, but there was a package from an “R. Sonnac” in London.  The package had been opened and emptied, but its dimensions were an approximate match to the object described in the letter.  So far, our research shows a possibility that a Send Box could malfunction, creating a duplicate of its contents and sending them somewhere else entirely.  If so, it may be possible to obtain further copies of Miss Tyrel’s communiques without the knowledge of her or her father.  Our office hopes that this may give us greater insight into the whereabouts of both members of the Tyrel Family.

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One comment on “The Secret Letters

  1. Pingback: Lit Major’s New Adventures (chapter 8 up) | Starship Dragon

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