Chapter 17 rw :) hope ya enjoy!

Half an hour later, Melissa and James were creeping down the hall, laden with bandages, weapons and a few energy bars that they had found shoved into the back of a cupboard. Melissa carried her sword and Lumina's knives, along with a few extra for herself. She had come up with a plan to get to Lumina, but getting out would be entirely up to Lumina's fire power. James had his crossbow over his shoulder, a bolt already poised to fire. Suddenly he stopped, and gestured for Melissa to do the same.

A faint rumbling noise was coming from the other end of the tunnel. She squinted into the distance, and saw three black figures marching towards them. 'Obscuro guards,' she frantically mouthed to James. 'Three of them!'

James grinned and pressed up to the tunnel wall, Melissa did the same on the other side. The marching got louder, untill the figures were almost on top of them. With a twang, James fired his crossbow. The poison tipped bolt whizzed through the air and struck one of the guards squarely in the neck. He fired two more in quick succession, and down went the other guards. They hadn't even known what hit them.

Melissa and James worked quickly, stripping two of the figures of their robes and boots and slipping into them. The robes were ridiculously big on Melissa, and she had to pack bandages into the boots so she could wear them. James fit into the boots fairly well, but the robe was slightly too small and stretched uncomfortably over his large stomach. Melissa dragged the Obscuro guards off the main corridor into a small side passage. They looked ridiculous in their underwear and socks. She pulled the helmets off them, and nearly screamed. Their faces were twisted and warped, like a child had moulded their features out of clay. Their eyes were tiny, while there mouths were far to big. Shuddering, Melissa turned away from them, offered a helmet to James and jammed the other one onto her head. She really hoped their disguises would pass.

James gestured for Melissa to follow him, then marched back up the hall. The first time they passed an Obscuro guard, his heart nearly burst from fear, but all the guard did was nod at them, before continuing on his way. He and Melissa marched up the main corridor until they reached a heavy iron door at the end.

"What now?" He asked Melissa

Melissa's eyes were shining with determination. "Now we steal a map, find Lumina and break her out," she said confidently. James nodded and pushed open the door.

Again, Melissa had to bite back a scream. The room was filled with Obscuro guards. They were all sitting around a vast table, obviously receiving some kind of briefing. At the head of the table sat Lumina's father. His sword had disappeared back into his pocket, but his look of distinctive cold hardness remained.

"Why are you interrupting this meeting," asked Lumina's father. His voice was high and pure, filled with cold menace. Beside Melissa, James stuttered;

"We-we uh..."

"We came to report that Ignis is acting up, sir," said Melissa smoothly, in a deep voice. "She needs to be attended to immediately."

It was the best she could come up with. It was a way to find Lumina, and help them out of their current situation at the same time.

"Very well," grumbled Lumina's father. He turned and addressed the whole room. "This meeting is now closed, go about your duties." The Obscuro guards all responded in unison. They leapt to their feet and clicked the heels of their boots together as Lumina's father walked past. James and Melissa hung back, unsure of what to do. Lumina's father turned and looked over his shoulder at them. "Come with me," he ordered. "I need you to assist me in disciplining that wayward daughter of mine." Melissa desperately hoped that 'discipline' simply meant talking. She clenched her fists, but simply bowed and followed him, dragging James with her.

"What am I going to do with that girl." Asked Lumina's father, as they sped down an empty corridor.

"She is weak, can't fight and is much to compassionate."

Weak? Can't fight? Compassionate? Lumina? Thought Melissa incredulously.

"I mean, no matter how much I drill it into the brat, she just doesn't respond. Too much like her mother." They turned a sharp corner, into a corridor that was lined with cells, just as Lumina's father laughed coldly. "I suppose she is just another failed experiment."

Melissa was about the throttle him, but James placed a hand on her arm. His warm brown eyes, just visible underneath his helmet, flashed a warning at her. She focused her eyes back to the front and they kept marching. A few corners later, they descended down a flight of stairs into what could only he described as a dungeon. The walls were slightly damp, and made out of a dark stone. Cells lined the walls, fronted with thick metal bars. The whole place reeked of doom and despair. Right at the end, guarded by a crowd of Obscuro guards, was the cell containing Lumina. She looked absolutely exhausted. Her face was sheet white and she had black bags under her eyes, as if she hadn't slept for a week. Her wrists were still handcuffed behind her, and her ankles were cuffed to the wall. Melissa was shocked to see that she was already completely covered in blood. The crimson liquid soaked her shirt and completely encrusted her hair. She had been kneeling awkwardly on the stone floor, but as she saw her father she dragged herself to her feet and gave him a look of complete and utter loathing.

"Leave us," her father commanded. The Obscuro guards that had been guarding the cell turned smartly and strode away.

"Ignis, Ignis, Ignis," he said, shaking his head. "You really are stupid. I put you in 642 for half an hour, promise you a whole lot more tomorrow and still you refuse to submit."

She looked slightly puzzled, but replied with a defiant; "Nothing you can do will ever make me give in to you. Jerk."

Her fathers eyes flashed dangerously "You are going to pay for that."

Lumina grinned, her own eyes flashing with fire.

He walked over to her cage and unlocked the door. He also bent and undid the cuffs binding her feet to the wall.

"Come," He demanded, gesturing for her to leave the cage. When she didn't move her grabbed her by the hair and dragged her out. She made no sound of pain, even when he threw her to the ground at his feet.

"You are a disgrace," he snarled, every word dripping with poison. "You are soft, you are weak, you cant fight." Lumina lay back on the floor and gave a very obvious yawn. Melissa had to admire her courage.

When he saw she wasn't backing down he increased his insults. "Your friends don't even care for you," he spat. "You heard what that girl said." He put on a high voice that was a very good imitation of Melissa's. "Okay, she wasn't much of a friend anyway. Ha!" Lumina raised her eyebrows a little, but made no comment. Melissa saw with surprise that her hands were shaking slightly. Suddenly her father lashed out with his foot and struck her cheek. She let out a tiny, indistinguishable sound and her father smiled.

"You are weak, a normal person wouldn't show pain." He rested his foot lightly on her stomach. "Jerk am I? you-will-never-say-that-word-again." He booted her hard in the stomach with every word, until she groaned and rolled away from him. He snatched her up and hurled her at the wall. She smashed into it shoulder first and there was a sickening crunching noise. She collapsed to her knees and closed her eyes, her face completely expressionless. He walked over to her and bent down to her level. Lumina's eyes slowly opened, but she dropped her gaze slightly and hung her head. For a second, Melissa thought she was giving in, but suddenly she spat blood in his face.

"Jerk," she whispered. He roared and kicked her again, this time landing one right on her ribs. Lumina grunted and squeezed her eyes shut again. Melissa couldn't help it, she ripped her helmet off and let out a scream of rage. Lumina's father wheeled around, just as she pounced on him, sword in hand.

Oh no. Oh no no no. Melissa, what have you done? Do you actually think you can take him on? (Completely, totally absolutely going mental now :|) plz plz plz review, thanks for reading :)