Title: The New CircleFandoms: Smallville/Secret CircleCharacters: Chloe Sullivan, Whitney Fordman, Greg Arkin, Cassie Blake, Diana Meade, Mikhail Balcoin, Lucas Dunleavy, Faye Chamberlain, Byron Moore...Rating: TDisclaimer: Don't own any original material used in the television series or artwork, they belong to their respective creators. I have merely tweaked them for my story.Summary: Chloe Sullivan had a normal-ish life before the circle and John Blackwell turned her life upside down and gave new meaning to the unexplained weirdness that goes on in Smallville. Now life's a witch, she's a part of a circle she's not too sure she wants to be bound to, and not only do they have to worry about Witch-Hunters, but unknowingly to them another circle is on the hunt too.
"How can you be so sure that they won't connect the three caves?" Chloe raised an eyebrow as she turned towards Vika. "I'm sure that I'm not the first Balcoin who has come here with the mission of connecting them, and I'm sure I won't be the last one, so why exactly are you so sure that they won't be connected and the triad completed like they were in your day?"
Vika reached out and ran her fingertips across a wall. "No, you are not the first to have tried." Her gaze rose to Chloe. "And you are not the first to fail."
Chloe frowned as she eyed the woman. "Why are you fighting it so hard?" She eyed the other woman. "You've guarded the place long enough, so if you're so sure that danger has passed now that I'm dead, why not spend the rest of eternity being useful to whoever deserves this place and not being a spiteful phantom?"
"Is that what you think I am? A phantom?" Vika asked curiously.
Chloe froze, eyes wide. "What else could you be?"
"Well, to start, I am not dead."
The blonde stared at the dark haired female in shock and confusion. "How is that even possible?"
"After we managed to send Rao back to Apokalips and close the barrier between our dimensions, the other Five waited long enough for my body to heal from my miscarriage before they forced me to marry once more." Vika brought her hands to her stomach in sadness, her face pale. "I married the man they wished for me with little resistance because their reasons were sound, and because the Balcoin lineage needed heirs, but the one they chose for me-he-." Vika shook her head. "You have to understand that while Rao was a monster due to the fact that he was willing to do whatever it took to achieve his plans to destroy the world, as a husband he was a wonderful man. But my second husband was a true monster, in many senses."
Chloe narrowed her eyes, able to read between the lines. "He was abusive."
"Marku used to love me, before I loved Rao, but something in him changed after I married Rao." Vika took in a deep breath. "He became a dark person I barely recognized." She took in a deep breath. "Marku was the first Dabbler, and my cousin, a Balcoin as well. In those days it wasn't frowned upon like I was told by your mother it is now, cousin-marriage I mean."
"A Balcoin was the first Dabbler?" Chloe blinked, shocked at everything she was hearing.
"He felt he could not ever live up to Rao's power, his legacy, and there was a darkness in him…" Vika shook her head, her eyes distant, pained. "I could not help but wonder why I always married the ones with the evil hidden deep within that only seemed to emerge once their ring was upon my finger. Was it me?"
Chloe couldn't help but feel sorry for the woman.
"He was drunk on mead one night and attacked me, and I gave birth to our third child prematurely, I nearly died that night. I thought I would die." Vika narrowed her eyes and clenched her fists. "I stumbled to the lake, bleeding terribly. I remembered thinking if only I could get to the caves then I could get to the healing chambers in the Bleeding Caves and heal enough to save my life, but Marku was bellowing behind me. He didn't want me to survive. He wanted me to die." Vika took in a deep breath. "He was delusional-thought that because he was a Balcoin and possessed Dabbler's magic, that if I died he could take control of the three caves and become the new head of the Balcoin family, at least until our son reached maturity." Her face was blank, her eyes emotionless. "I didn't make it to the Bleeding Caves, I sunk to the bottom of the lake and my own force of will opened up passage to the Genesis Caves. I knew that if I left…" Vika looked away. "I wanted to die but I could not allow myself to be so weak, not when I knew that I had allowed Rao a foothold into this dimension and that he would try once more. Our daughter had only been one half of the magics he'd conjured, there was enough for another. For you, Chloe. Ihad to be alive to try and stop him whenever he struck again, but a Dragon's lifespan is much greater than that of a witch, and I knew I had to do something so that I could stay alive and be here."
Chloe stared at the woman warily. "What did you do?"
"I bound myself to the Genesis Caves." Vika Balcoin raised her chin. "It is why no one has ever been able to join them with the other two caves, and why I survived, without aging, all these years. I am one with these caves. As stones and magic are timeless, so am I."
"There's got to have been a price for that sort of magic."
"Of course." Vika's gaze shifted away. "I have been alone for so many centuries, unable to leave these caves, my magic bound here. I am immortal and in complete control of the cave system itself, yes, but a prisoner nonetheless." She pulled a dark strand behind her ear. "When your mother stumbled upon the Carpathian entrance and told me about her story, how similar it was to mine… I hadn't spoken to another human being in what seemed like an endless eternity."
"So you're physically unable to leave."
"Just like you."
Chloe hugged herself, suddenly cold and refusing to think about being unable to leave this cave system for the rest of eternity. "So, when you met my mother you two decided then and there that you were going to kill me."
"No, actually." Vika took in a deep breath. "My plan had always been to kill her."
Chloe's eyes widened in shock as she stared at the woman, not having expected that. "What?"
"It made sense, if she had never been born, then technically neither would you." Vika tilted her gaze away from the girl. "But your mother made a compelling case in her favor that kept her alive. Not only did she become my eyes and ears outside these underground walls, but she reminded me that if were she not to be born, who was to say that if history was rewritten so drastically John mightn't have a Firstborn daughter by someone else? If she were to live, on the other hand, history would repeat itself, as it should, and you would be conceived as the Firstborn, but the spell from the dagger would make sure that you were not born."
Chloe reeled from the revelation that that the woman in front of her had offered an alternative course of action, and that her mother had been the one to push for Chloe's death.
"I also offered to let her be the one to kill you," Vika licked her lips. "But she refused."
Chloe scoffed. "You mean she started growing a conscience?"
Vika eyed Chloe thoughtfully. "You do not understand, and I do not blame you. But if she had been the one to kill you, she would have remembered you."
Chloe froze, tears prickling her eyes as she let out an ugly little laugh. "I see. So… she bargained my life for hers, led me here for you to kill, and made sure she wouldn't remember any of it so she could have a clean conscience after all was said and done."
Vika sighed. "But you went willing, you died without a struggle."
"What does it matter?" Chloe sneered, unable to believe just how deeply her mother hadn't cared for her, and how much the knowledge still managed to hurt her so badly.
"It matters a lot." Vika whispered harshly, her eyes suspiciously moist. "If you hadn't been a willing sacrifice, you wouldn't be here now, Chloe. If you'd fought, struggled, you'd be gone."
"Why do you even care?" Chloe asked, hating the way her voice broke at the last word. "You've completed your grand, self-appointed mission, you've saved the world. You would have done so even if I struggled and disappeared forever."
"But I wouldn't have been able to save you too." Vika's words shocked the hell out of the teenaged girl, especially the sincerity in the older woman's browns. "I know this might not seem like saving, and I know that you will not understand, but you had to die, but that didn't mean I wanted to destroy you. I had to find a way to save the world, and yet save a part of you as well."
Chloe stared up at Vika, a lump in her throat. "Why? You don't know even know me."
"As you said, I am your ancestor," Vika cleared her throat. "That makes me a very great grandmother of yours, and I understand from Moira that Balcoins are known for the uttermost evil, but they weren't always." She took in a deep breath. "We were once great healers, and hurting others was against our nature." She licked her lips, face pained. "It's still against mine despite what I've had to do to try and rectify my mistakes and save people." She took in a deep breath. "So even though you had to die, I wanted to help you live… in a way… and while I know that you had plans and a life planned out for you, and this is not what you wanted for yourself, it is not as bad as it might seem at this moment." Vika gave a little trembling smile. "At least we won't be alone."
Chloe eyed the woman, and felt so horribly conflicted. This was the person who'd killed her, and yet this woman acted as if she genuinely wanted Chloe around. Chloe's own mother had never acted that way.
Granted, she was dead, a 'phantom', or maybe just even a subconscious that was somehow magically recorded into the Genesis Cave's memory bank (however that may be possible), but Chloe decided she wasn't going to question that anymore. She didn't have a quest. She didn't have a huge fight. All those she loved were fine.
"So…" Chloe gave the woman a little smile. "What do you do around here to keep from going insanely bored?"
Vika Balcoin gave her a little look before she smiled a teary smile, dimples appearing deep in her cheeks.
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Diana found herself in the courtyard of the Council Square despite knowing that she was supposed to be still back in the Black Tower with the others. Was she really in the square or was this just something she was Seeing? It was all very confusing as she was horribly new to this whole "vision" thing and wasn't sure why she was the one who was getting them in the first place. She wasn't even a part of her father's Circle, and that had been out of choice. Elsie had taken the Sixth spot in the Circle and after Elsie's death John had been pressing for Diana to do her duty and bind the Circle, reminding her that she did wear the necklace that all eldest Balcoin girls wore and that it she wasn't paying it the respect it deserved by slighting her family the way she was.
But she was getting off topic...
The brunette narrowed her dark brown eyes as she followed behind Cristabella Balcoin, moving amongst the crowd. She didn't know why, but there'd always been something about Cristabella Balcoin in particular that had always caught her interest. Maybe it was the fact that Cristabella died so close to where they were hiding. Diana wasn't sure, but she did know that it couldn't have been a coincidence. Whatever had drawn Diana's interest to the journal entries written about the woman who'd died in this very town square had obviously done so with the intention of her ending up exactly where she was at this very moment, following Cristabella's Repeater. It gave Diana a sense of purpose she'd been lacking for far too long, and she pushed on harder, making it till she was only a couple of steps behind Cristabella.
A hummingbird appeared, wings flutterings rapidly like light as it danced around Cristabella before coming to stop inching in front of her face.
The Balcoin Eye smiled as she reached up with her finger to softly caress its delicate plumage before the hummingbird darted away, and movement in the crowd behind it caught the witch's attention.
"Cristóbal." Cristabella frowned when she noticed her twin brother and hurried her pace as she made her way towards him.
He looked up when he saw her, his expression just as grave. "It is done."
Cristabella's eyes narrowed as she drew nearer, her gaze on the crowd as her voice lowered. She reached out to grab hold of his arm as she leaned in close. "And?"
His gaze rose to her. "You were right, we lost Mariana."
Cristabella's eyes closed in pain before she took in a deep breath. "When will he learn? The Genesis Caves are her domain. She tied herself to them to make sure that they could not be claimed by anyone else or their power claimed by any descendant. We cannot have them."
Diana's eyes widened. The Genesis Caves? Hadn't her father been looking for the entrances to both them and the Bleeding Caves? So far he'd only been able to find the Crystal Caves.
"He won't listen, he wants us to return to try and reclaim the caves tonight." Cristóbal took in a deep breath. "He's determined to have them as his own, to have all three caves under his control. Mariana's death doesn't mean anything to him. It's an affront. All he can see is the power all three caves will give him."
"It's why she won't let him have the Genesis Caves, why she's killed each and every person who has tried to take them." Cristabella shook her head. "The last time someone tried taking the caves from her the upheaval was so horrific the great fire started from the lightning the unnatural accumulation of magic created. I'm worried that if he pushes her, this town will get punished again."
"He doesn't care."
Cristabella nodded her agreement, worried. "We must kill him."
Her twin's eyes widened in horror. "What are you saying, sister?"
The girl turned her gaze on her brother. "If he tries to take the caves from Vika Balcoin, the magic she will use to stop him will punish these innocent people. Our cousin has already died. If we must kill one more to save a city of innocents, is this not a good deed?"
"You speak of treason, or betraying our leader. That is not the Balcoin way." Cristóbal shook his head. "I will have none of it."
"Cristóbal, please." She squeezed his arm.
He pulled free. "Clear your mind of these thoughts, and I will not tell anyone how confused you've been."
Closing her eyes, Cristabella lowered her head as she let out a little sigh. "He has to die. Too many innocents have died."
Cristóbal glared at her. "Be quiet sister. And come. He has sent me to bring you. He's beginning once more, and has called upon all of us."
Cristabella opened her eyes and narrowed them on her brother. "Do you not understand that-?"
And then she could feel it, the shift in energy in the courtyard as her eyes visibly clouded over.
Diana took a step back, the magic circling around Cristabella almost chokingly.
"He has started now, without you," Cristabella's voice was different, her tone unlike her previous one as the sky above them began to thunder as lightning cracked loudly. "But he shall fail, he is not meant to open that portal, he is not the one meant to meet her." Cristabella's clouded eyes turned on her brother. "The day will come, long after your deaths, when the chosen one does need to find her way, and your sister will do her best to stop her. You will need to make sure that the Balcoin Firstborn makes it to the Genesis Caves."
Cristóbal frowned at his sister. "Who are you?"
Cristabella smirked. "I am the one who sees all and knows all. I am the closest thing to a god that your race could ever dream of. It is how I know what will come to pass centuries before it does, and I know that a descendant of your bloodline will walk the streets of Council Square, and the ghost of your sister will try to kill her so that she does not make it to the Genesis Caves and unknowingly bring destruction to the innocent people of this pathetic human town by fighting for control of the Genesis Caves." Her lips curled. "You do not have to worry about that, but you do need to be at a place which I will instruct you, so give her the clues which I will give you, so that she will know to go to Lacul Sfanta Ana."
"You want me to tell her to go to Lacul Sfanta Ana?" Cristóbal narrowed his eyes.
"No." The being in Cristabella shook her head. "I want you to lead the Balcoin Firstborn into that discovery, so that she realizes it on her own, in the manner in which I tell you."
"Why would I do this? And what would you get out of this?" Cristóbal narrowed his eyes at the being possessing his sister, the being that Diana was almost sure was somehow a Dragon, although she'd never heard of a Dragon being able to actually possess a human.
Lightning rained down all around the town fiercely and people screamed as fires sprung up all around them, the church itself one of the many buildings to catch on fire. The wind picked up harshly and only served to fan the flames more.
Cristabella's hair whipped in the breeze, her eyes narrowed on her brother as the small veins in her eyes began to burst. Blood trailed down her tear ducts and tainted her pale cheeks.
Cristóbal narrowed his eyes as he stepped forwards. "You are nothing more than a voice she is seeing in her visions. My sister cries blood when she enters in her visions. You are no higher being who possesses her."
Her lips twisted as her head tilted to the side and snakelike creatures moved beneath her skin. "How sure are you of that?"
Cristóbal's eyes widened as he moved backwards and cursed with a hiss. "Who are you?"
The floodgates seemed to open up, the trails of blood from Cristabella's eyes now gushes of thick red, completely tinting her clothes red with her own blood. "That does not matter, not now. What matters is that you do what I tell you to do. You will swear allegiance, and you will assure that when the chosen Balcoin does arrive to claim the Genesis Caves she will find the entrance and enter the caves." Cristabella's breathing was becoming more and more forced. "It is of the utmost importance that she unites those caves and that she grows more powerful than her enemies. You will swear to help make sure that she does."
"Why?" The witch eyed his sister's possessed body with wariness. "Why would you wish to help her if she, like I, am supposedly beneath you? Whatever you are?"
People tried to escape the flames.
The fires spread.
Cristabella's lips twisted. "She isn't." The Balcoin Eye took in a deep breath. "This Balcoin is different. She will find the Genesis Caves, she will unite them with their Sister Caves, make no mistake, but this way it will be quicker and this way there is a greater chance that her Circle, her blood, will survive the fight ahead."
Cristóbal was silent before he took in a deep breath. "Why do you care?"
There was a pause, and then Cristabella fell to her knees on the ground. As the fire consumed all around, destroying buildings and lives, Cristabella (or the thing possessing her) appeared blind to all the chaos and was instead drawing a symbol on the ground.
Diana frowned as she drew closer, the brunette's eyes widening when she saw exactly what the symbol was.
"A winged serpent?" Cristóbal appeared confused.
"The Balcoin chosen descendant is the only hope your race has of survival, and while I personally do not care if witches survive or go extinct, I have seen that it is better for her, if she has them in her life." Cristabella took in a deep breath. "Write this down, let it be known that your sister said this right before she died."
"What?" Cristóbal's eyes widened.
Cristabella's bloodied eyes rose to his. "And a door would open to the sky... Abominations created of cold intelligence would walk the planet, and the rebellion of evil would tear the world apart."
And with that, shadows escaped Cristabella Balcoin like a storm, and the greatest Balcoin Eye fell forwards onto the symbol of a winged serpent within a heptagon, and died.