An Authorís Note:
I must request that flames are kept to yourself. If you have nothing nice to say, as the mortal saying goes, then say nothing at all. As an immortal, fire cannot hurt me, but it may anger me and cause me to break that vow of not spilling mortal blood which I made under duress... so be warned.
To Pay the Price for Freedom
By Haunted Sinner
Chapter 1: The Challenge is Met
In all the world, there was no other girl quite like Melissa Rogue. There was a wisdom and a weariness in her eyes that spoke of cares far beyond her tender fourteen years. Her sable hair was always neat and straight as a dagger; her ashen skin never showed hint of blush or bruise. She was Rogue the moon-kissít, Rogue the wanderer of the night.
She always kept herself to herself, thinking of things no other person could fathom, and doing deeds no friend or parent could understand. She walked to and fro as if in another world, and her feet hardly seemed to touch the ground. She always knew she was somehow different Ė but she never realised just how true this was. Not until that night...
That fateful night...
If there was any earthly activity Melissa Rogue enjoyed, it was reading. She devoured the works of Stephen King and Darren Shan, of Bram Stoker and Anne Rice. And she often read Internet fiction, when her alcoholic adoptive parents stole what little money she had earned on her paper round, leaving her unable to afford the books she loved.
And so it was that she stumbled upon the infamous organization known as the PPC.
"Protectors", they called themselves. Pah! Destroyers of hope and talent were they, tearing apart those whose skill surpassed that of the self-proclaimed "Agents", fuelled by hate and envy. Melissa Rogue saw some of the most imaginative, experimental and well-written stories on the Internet trampled into fiery oblivion by this self-serving mob.
The last straw came when Melissa Rogue logged on to read the latest chapter of her favourite story, "A Magnificent Elemental Romance", only to discover a mournful authorís note informing readers that it would be discontinued due to a cruel "PPCing" of that great work. Melissa Rogue could stand the oppression of free speech and good writing no longer. She composed a well-thought-out and convincing message detailing why the PPC should be shut down, and emailed it to the shadowy commander at the head of that shady organization, the one who had the hubris to codename himself "The Sunflower Official".
But no sooner had she clicked "send" than darkness seemed to creep into her vision: a throbbing crimson light filled her mind and she slumped forwards across the keyboard, only half-aware that the screen was glowing mysteriously...