Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 21 to 24 of 24

Thread: Nature's Kingdom [Original]

  1. #21
    Transcendent Spiritmon Fluxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    171
    Return From Heaven II

    “What do you mean?” I asked, feeling uneasy. Was she referring to the research I was doing for our paper?

    “Don’t be coy now.” Ashley’s voice was soft making me fidget with my hands. Her eyes shifted from me to Nathan and Tiffany. “I know you three have been curious about us ever since you have learned we are not from this world. However…”Ashley overlooked me. “If you want to know more about Arcadians and Valterians, more about me, all you need to do is ask.”

    My face contorted in confusion. Where was this coming from? Ashley rolled her eyes at my puzzlement.

    “The thread on The Hallowed Eve posted a week or two ago. Asking questions about a dragon girl and nine-tailed fox? Specific descriptions of ‘angels.’ That was you wasn’t it?”

    A hint of fear crept up in my spine as I stared at Ashley, sitting still. I did make a thread on THE’s local board around the time we had learned that Ashley, Terra, and Ms. Frazzle were capes. After what happened to us with them and with Kazuya, after what was revealed, I wanted as much information on the gods as possible. I wanted to know if others had noticed us with Kazuya and the Arcadians from that night. If anybody else knew about Avalon. I even searched for any info regarding the Terra and Sinister Seven but of course, nothing came up.

    “That could have been anyone,” Tiffany argued, taking a glimpse at me before shifting. “How do you know it was Mercy?”

    Ashley glanced at her side-eyed. “I have my sources.”

    “What the hell does that mean?”

    “No, she’s right Tiff. Not sure how you found my username, Ash, but it was probably me,” I said, causing my sister to turn my way in surprise. I still focused on Ashley. “After everything that’s been going on lately, you can’t blame me for wanting to know more. You can be intimating to talk to sometimes.”

    “That’s fair I suppose,” Ashley mused.

    “Mercy, even though Ashley is a spoiled princess, she’s still a big softy at heart,”
    Terra said, teasing. “You should know that by now.”

    Ashley glared at him. “I’ll remind you not to overlook my grace and kindness, Terra.”

    Terra leaned over and put an arm around Tiffany, corralling her in a tight half-hug—forcing her head to rest on his shoulder, much to Tiffany’s annoyance. “I’d never.”

    Tiffany pushed Terra off and broke away from him. “No, don’t even. That joke is terrible and you should feel terrible.”

    I shook my head, knowing what Terra was hinting at.

    “To get back on topic,” Ashley said, quieting the two of them. “Mercy, though you tried to be discrete with your online presence, those in the know can infer things. Those with the power and resources to find you, and me through you. I would prefer it if most don’t know I’m away from Artisans for an extended period time and who knows what Arcadia will do if rumors about their warriors on appearing on Earth start spreading.”

    I nodded, thinking back to Kazuya’s words about the threat of the Arcadian kingdoms.

    “That sources of yours,” Nathan said while judging Ashley with narrowed eyes. “It’s Ms. Frazzle is it?”

    Ashley smiled with amusement. “No. As if I would rely on that witch. You’ll learn Nathan that I have eyes and ears everywhere. From various governments of Avalon and this world to SIGMA.” Ashley placed a hand under her chin and pondered. “Or more accurately, one could say the Forum.”

    Terra smirked. “How does King Arden feel about you fraternizing with an enemy of Valterian government?”

    “It’s irrelevant,” Ashley said unperturbed. “What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her. I’ll get rid of them once I reclaim the throne from her.”

    Terra hummed to himself, doubtful. Ashley appeared displeased by it.

    “So, I guess the Forum is another gang from Avalon,” Nathan said unsure, his statement almost sounding like a question.

    “Nah, it’s more like a secret society that runs things behind the scenes.”

    Nathan scrunched up his face as he frowned at Terra. “Like one of those fake-ass conspiracy theories?”

    “Oh, it’s very real,” Terra said, still smirking.

    “Indeed,” Ashley agreed. “Anyway, I’d prefer it if you all would take care when using the internet.”

    Tiffany folded her arms. “We were planning on using stuff from that battle you guys were talking about for our English papers. The New York one.”

    “Searching events that everyone is aware of should be fine. I’ll let you know more about my history and powers at a later date. Perhaps I’ll even explain more about the gods.”

    “Kazuya gave us a quick rundown after we met him,” Tiffany said. “What’s the need for all the secrecy?”

    Ashley paused. “Really now? No matter. You will learn the reason for my silence in due time.”

    “Maybe… it has to deal with Nathan?” I asked.

    “Yeah,” Nathan said. “I would like to know if you know anything else special about me.”

    Ashley frowned and stood up, turning away from us. “Not as much as I’d like too.”

    “The hell’s that mean?” asked Nathan.

    Ashley ignored him.

    “Uh, Earth to Ashley.”

    She refused to turn around.

    Ookay.” Tiffany studied the blonde. “So what is the endgame here? You and Ms. Frazzle simply want to protect Nathan?”

    “I don’t know of the intentions of our teacher, “Ashley said, facing Nathan. “But I suspect that she knows more about your hidden potential than she lets on, like my father.”

    “And you?” Tiffany asked.

    “I simply want full control of my abilities and to get them back I must keep watch over Nathan for a full year. Presumably, my father’s seal should wear off by then.”

    “Only a year?” I asked. “Do you plan to return to Avalon... or Valteria?”

    Nathan frowned.

    “That’s a good question, Mercy,” Terra commented. “I’m curious too. Do you intend to lead another rebellion?”

    My brow furrowed at Terra’s question.

    “I’m not too keen on fighting another war against my sister, not right now.” Ashley’s voice was laced with a surprising bitterness. “All I care about is doing what is needed to regain power.”

    Terra nodded, dropping the subject. He turned to Nathan and his best friend looked him in the eyes in turn.

    “Have you manifested any hallowed abilities?” Terra asked him.

    The edges of Nathan’s lips lifted into a reluctant smile. “Yeah. I’m a healer.”

    He lifted a hand and waves of energy pooled around it, a soft tea-greenish aura forming. Pulsating with warmth one moment then coolness the next.

    “I’m not really sure how it could help in a big cape fight, but it’s better than nothing,” Nathan muttered.

    Tiffany fell into a fit of rapid eye blinking, before pausing. “Are you serious?” She glanced at us. “Better than nothing, he says.”

    “What?” Nathan asked.

    Ashley chuckled. “It’s a useful power.”

    I agreed. “It’s important to have healers since there aren’t many. It’s rare powerset.”

    Nathan shrugged. “I guess I was expecting something cool or flashy. Like a warrior or powerhouse power. I’d even take infiltrator type over this.”

    “Healers can fall under the infiltrator class,” Terra said.

    “Really? Still, it feels kind of lame though.”

    “Don’t say that,” I admonished. “It’s freaking awesome. Do you know how much I’d love to have a power like that? How powerful is it?”

    “Not sure. I do know it works wonders for Ms. Frazzle's headaches though.”

    “Mmm…” Tiffany smirked while leaning over her knees, her face and hands resting on the top of them as she peered at Nathan. “Don’t tell me you’ve been feeling up our English teacher—you rascal, you.”

    “Of course,” Nathan drawled in good humor. “I couldn’t resist running my hands up and down her body.” Nathan ran his hands across an invisible body in the air, accentuating some parts of the female form.

    “Ew…” I shivered, trying the purge the image of Nathan groping Ms. Frazzle out of my brain. Nathan could never help himself when it came to taking a joke too far.

    Ashley huffed and scrutinized Nathan, her sour look notable. “Please. Nathan knows better than that.”

    “I bet,” my sister said.

    “Well, I think it’s cool that you have powers,” I said to Nathan. “You should be grateful and more excited that you’re a cape.”

    Nathan mulled over my words, tilting his head from side to side. “I’m not sure how I feel about it yet.”

    The five us talked a little bit more before Ashley led us back to the cafe. Though we spent the majority of our lunch period on the roof, Katherine never showed up to join us.

    oOo

    Tired from soccer practice and homework, Tiffany and I spent the most of night in the living room sprawled out on the couch like the living dead. Our bodies were entangled into a pile of limbs as we watched TV with our parents.

    Mom had the channel on the local news since she was the first to arrive home to take command of the TV, much to the rest of our detriment. Well, it really only bothered Tiffany and me.

    I spent time alternating between the television and scrolling through my iPad. I checked some of my social media accounts, looking and ‘liking’ pictures from my teammates and friends with Tiffany peering over my shoulder like a mischievous little devil, whispering thinly veiled insults and juicy gossip she heard about various girls in our clique.

    Annoyed at her constantly talking in my ear, I switched webpages to read some fan-fiction while checking to see if any new readers commented on my own writing. She stopped soon after that, rolling her eyes at me and sitting on her side of the couch with a thump. I glared at her as she pretty much sat on my legs. She ignored me, playing with her phone. I kicked at her, causing her butt to shift on the seat so I could sit up straight.

    The woman on the news said something about capes, causing me to perk up and view the TV as I adjusted how my back felt against the sofa, my toes touching the floor. A new gang, the Inheritors, had been terrorizing the boardwalk for the past few weeks, finishing off their lucrative crime spree today with the robbing a popular casino called The Scarlet. The reporter continued talking about the increase of cape crime plaguing the boardwalk and waterfront, interviewing victims—civilians and the store owners that were directly affected by cape burglaries and fights.

    With their last stunt, the Inheritors aroused the ire of the racist gang, Albatross, getting to a skirmish with the group of white supremacists capes around the beach. No cape was killed and luckily since people were out of the way, no one else was hurt. The fight was a pretty even matchup since not all of the Albatross capes were involved.

    As the reporter continued to talk over video footage of the cape fight, My twin and I had our eyes glued to the screen, absorbing everything.

    Though they were criminals, the Inheritors were an intriguing group of capes, mostly because they were new on the cape scene and no one knew much about them. The boards of The Hallowed Eve were littered with speculation about Ravensworth’s new costumed crooks; the gang was active since January but they didn’t start any large scale operations until recently. Tons of threads with posters discussing who they are, what their aim was, people theory-crafting about their powers. Others claiming that they were a team that rebranded and moved from a bigger city to a place with less heat. All things considered, most of the information online pointed to the leader of the group of five being their flying pyrokinetic who went by the name Ignite or Ignition.

    On the other hand, almost everything about Albatross was public knowledge except for their secret identities. It was a family gang, one that had hand been around since the nineties. They were stable, able to avoid being taken out by flourishing rivals such as the Spades and Noroi and the local heroes groups—like the Watchkeepers. The fact that they had a high number of capes, maybe about twelve in all, along with manpower of a few thousand gang members, kept them on top of the Ravensworth’s underworld for years. They were led by the enigmatic Swan, a cape that could project metal blades from his skin at high speeds. His powers reminded me of Ashley.

    Mom sighed sounded exhausted. “These gangs are nothing bad news.”

    “The new policies the SIGMA and the Watchkeepers are implementing; the increase of manpower toward the nasty side of the town,” Dad said. “That should hit the operations of the gangs pretty hard, if not take them down.”

    “Can only hope,” Mom said.

    The news program showed a quick interview with the leader of the Watchkeepers, Vitiate as she surveyed the wartorn beach that the Inheritors and Albatross, trampled only a few hours prior. The space warper cape had on silver and blue armor and was positioned in front of the camera, surrounded by some of the teen heroes from NextGen. SIGMA agents and cleaning crew members were in the background removing rubble and taping off wreaked areas of the boardwalk.

    Vitiate gave her spiel about renewing efforts to stop gang violence and our mom switched the channel to the national news when she finished. It seemed like each station was still talking about the ramifications of the invasion by the Avalonian forces. Heroes were still helping with the cleanup.

    Tiffany squealed with glee when her favorite hero, Crow Valentine, appeared on the screen from an aerial view. His dark wings cast a huge shadow below as he flew from wreaked building to building, helping workers move and get rid of debris. Members of the Alliance and the Quixotic Quartet were also seen helping from the helicopter footage.

    Tiffany squeed again once Crow Valentine was back on screen.

    My eyes nearly rolled out of my head. “Your hero crush is way too edgy for his own good,” I said, pointing out the ridiculousness of his wild ‘all-over-the-place’ hair and his outfit: the red leather coat and pants, covered under belts full of weapons with a cape too large to be practical.

    Tiffany scowled at me. “I don’t want to hear that from a girl that gets hot for a guy in an orange fursuit.”

    “Tiffany,” our mom warned, already sensing an argument brewing.

    I could feel my face turn a shade darker, burning as irritation rose deep in my chest. “Stop it. It’s not a fursuit, it’s skin-tight!”

    “Like that’s any better,” Tiffany said, she tilted her head glancing up in dramatic fashion before taking stock of me. “Oh, I forget that you’re into looking at ample butts.”

    Okay, saying that in front of Mom and Dad? Now she was just being obnoxious. I waved her comment off in a frivolous manner. Fine, I can play at that game.

    “Like you’re not?” I asked her.

    Tiffany grin widened but before she could speak our dad cut in.

    “Alright, this conversation is taking a turn for the worst,” he said. “Knock it off, you two.”

    Mom shook her head. “Really.”

    “But seriously, Ems, your favorite hero is so lame,” Tiffany said. “Why not someone cool like Nexus or Lightspeed?” She gave me a pointed look. “What’s with your fixation on foxes?”

    I narrowed my eyes at her as I caught her double meaning, but with our parents her I couldn’t really confront her about it. “Magnificent isn’t lame,” I said, mentioning the name of the fox based cape. “He’s probably the most popular hero in the country.”

    My sister shrugged. “I guess. His costume is good for merchandising since it’s not overly complex. So it doesn’t count because he’s popular with kids by default. That reminds me—are you still talking with Catwhip?”

    “Catwhip?” Mom asked.

    “Tiffany and I exchanged numbers with the Unity triplets when we met them at the mall, remember?” Since my Ipad was connected to my phone, I could read at my text messages on it; I scanned my contacts until I found the Catwhip’s name, Marissa. I swatted at my sister. “She wants to know why you stopped texting her.”

    Tiffany gave an overdramatic sigh. “I have way too many people to keep track of.”

    “Excuses, excuses. Anyway, I talked to her on the phone yesterday. She said something about us meeting with her sisters this weekend. I think she wants us to go to her book club thing.”

    “I really don’t want to spend two hours going over terrible fanfic.”

    I gave Tiffany a light punch to the shoulder. “Do you always have to be so obtuse? We’re reading classical literature.”

    Tiffany frowned. “You know that’s not my thing, but I’ll I go since you’ll drag me there regardless.”

    “Yup. You’re coming whether you like it or not.”

    “When are you going to meet with them?” asked Mom.

    “This Sunday,” I answered. “Around the afternoon. We’re gonna meet them at a bookstore in the Emporium.”

    “Do you need a ride?” Dad asked.

    “Mm-mm, we’ll take the train.”

    Dad’s gaze shifted toward Tiffany. “Your boyfriend going?”

    “We’ll probably meet him there.”

    Our dad’s attention had returned to the TV as he was satisfied with our answer. Somehow, without us noticing, he swiped the remote from the center table like a thief in the night and began to swap through the channels. He paused when Mom told him to stop the on ‘The Golden Wheel’—a game show that our parents would often watch together during the week.

    After our parents retired for the night, we spent a few more hours on the couch relaxing and watching reality TV before going to bed. Sleep was nice and peaceful for once as I didn’t really have any strange dreams. I woke up early in the morning since I felt a bit hot under the covers.

    My throat parched, I slid out of bed almost falling flat on my face, I broke my short tumble with a hand and pushed myself off the floor. I stood up straight with a grunt, still stiff. I yawned and dragged a hand across my face as I attempted to rub the sleep out of my eyes. Mm. It was a poor effort but no one could blame me I was tired and felt like going back to bed. The only thing kept me awake was the feeling that I’d croak if I didn’t get water soon. I scrunched my face with a cough, the nasty feeling of stagnant saliva was stuck in my throat.

    I exited my room in my eyes adjusting to the darkness as I opened the door. I headed downstairs at a slow pace until I reached the hallway leading to the kitchen. Dawdling past the basement door I heard a loud thud. My head cut around to face the door, toward the source of the sound. Nothing happened. I must have been imagining it.

    I entered the kitchen and made a beeline for the fridge. Opening it, I nabbed a bottle of water and started to drink, quenching my greedy thirst. Another thump echoed from the basement, I could hear it from the middle of the room. I frowned, tense as I walked toward the door. Creaking it open, I heard soft muttering of someone that sounded like my sister … and another voice. Terra? My sister giggled. Don’t tell me he snuck inside our house during the middle of the night again.

    The muttering stopped for a moment and my breath hitched. My sister screamed.

    “Wait—stop!”

    “Tiffany!” Saying her name a loud whisper, I ran down the steps in a frantic pace. My jaw dropped as I turned the corner and flicked the light on.

    Kazuya had returned in his pompous golden glory, an aura of strong energy enclosing his form, his imposing tails covering the lower part of my sister’s body as he pressed into her, his hand pinning her wrists to the carpet. He was busy was staring at Tiffany with his open mouth hovering near her neck revealing his fanged teeth as he was in the process of clawing my sister’s shirt off with his other hand, revealing her bare chest.

    He titled his head up and leered at me. “Ah, Mercy, care to join us?”

    I couldn’t move, I couldn’t even talk. I was stunned as Kazuya fixed me with his predatory grin, my arms and legs wobbling like they were made of Return From Heaven II

    “What do you mean?” I asked, feeling uneasy. Was she referring to the research I was doing for our paper?

    “Don’t be coy now.” Ashley’s voice was soft making me fidget with my hands. Her eyes shifted from me to Nathan and Tiffany. “I know you three have been curious about us ever since you have learned we are not from this world. However…”Ashley overlooked me. “If you want to know more about Arcadians and Valterians, more about me, all you need to do is ask.”

    My face contorted in confusion. Where was this coming from? Ashley rolled her eyes at my puzzlement.

    “The thread on The Hallowed Eve posted a week or two ago. Asking questions about a dragon girl and nine-tailed fox? Specific descriptions of ‘angels.’ That was you wasn’t it?”

    A hint of fear crept up my spine as I stared at Ashley, sitting still. I did make a thread on THE’s local board around the time we had learned that Ashley, Terra, and Ms. Frazzle were capes. After what happened to us with them and with Kazuya, after what was revealed, I wanted as much information on the gods as possible. I wanted to know if others had noticed us with Kazuya and the Arcadians from that night. If anybody else knew about Avalon. I even searched for any info regarding the Terra and Sinister Seven but of course, nothing came up.

    “That could have been anyone,” Tiffany argued, taking a glimpse at me before shifting. “How do you know it was Mercy?”

    Ashley glanced at her side-eyed. “I have my sources.”

    “What the hell does that mean?”

    “No, she’s right Tiff. Not sure how you found my username, Ash, but it was probably me,” I said, causing my sister to turn my way in surprise. I still focused on Ashley. “After everything that’s been going on lately, you can’t blame me for wanting to know more. You can be intimating to talk to sometimes.”

    “That’s fair I suppose,” Ashley mused.

    “Mercy, even though Ashley is a spoiled princess, she’s still a big softy at heart,”
    Terra said, teasing. “You should know that by now.”

    Ashley glared at him. “I’ll remind you not to overlook my grace and kindness, Terra.”

    Terra leaned over and put an arm around Tiffany, corralling her in a tight half-hug—forcing her head to rest on his shoulder, much to Tiffany’s annoyance. “I’d never.”

    Tiffany pushed Terra off and broke away from him. “No, don’t even. That joke terrible and you should feel terrible.”

    I shook my head, knowing what Terra was hinting at.

    “To get back on topic,” Ashley said, quieting the two of them. “Mercy, though you tried to be discrete with your online presence, those in the know can infer things. Those with the power and resources to find you, and me through you. I would prefer it if most don’t know I’m away from Artisans for an extended period time and who knows what Arcadia will do if rumors about their warriors on appearing on Earth start spreading.”

    I nodded, thinking back to Kazuya’s words about the threat of the Arcadian kingdoms.

    “That sources of yours,” Nathan said while judging Ashley with narrowed eyes. “It’s Ms. Frazzle is it?”

    Ashley smiled with amusement. “No. As if I would rely on that witch. You’ll learn Nathan that I have eyes and ears everywhere. From various governments of Avalon and this world to SIGMA.” Ashley placed a hand under her chin and pondered. “Or more accurately, one could say the Forum.”

    Terra smirked. “How does King Arden feel about you fraternizing with an enemy of Valterian government?”

    “It’s irrelevant,” Ashley said unperturbed. “What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her. I’ll get rid of them once I reclaim the throne from her.”

    Terra hummed to himself, doubtful. Ashley appeared displeased by it.

    “So, I guess the Forum is another gang from Avalon,” Nathan said unsure, his statement almost sounding like a question.

    “Nah, it’s more like a secret society that runs things behind the scenes.”

    Nathan scrunched up his face as he frowned at Terra. “Like one of those fake-ass conspiracy theories?”

    “Oh, it’s very real,” Terra said, still smirking.

    “Indeed,” Ashley agreed. “Anyway, I’d prefer it if you all would take care when using the internet.”

    Tiffany folded her arms. “We were planning on using stuff from that battle you guys were talking about for our English papers. The New York one.”

    “Searching events that everyone is aware of should be fine. I’ll let you know more about my history and powers at a later date. Perhaps will I’ll even explain more about the gods.”

    “Kazuya gave us a quick rundown after we met him,” Tiffany said. “What’s the need for all the secrecy?”

    Ashley paused. “Really now? No matter. You will learn the reason for my silence in due time.”

    “Maybe… it has to deal with Nathan?” I asked.

    “Yeah,” Nathan said. “I would like to know if you know anything else special about me.”

    Ashley frowned and stood up, turning away from us. “Not as much as I’d like too.”

    “The hell’s that mean?” asked Nathan.

    Ashley ignored him.

    “Uh, Earth to Ashley.”

    She refused to turn around.

    Ookay.” Tiffany studied the blonde. “So what is the endgame here? You and Ms. Frazzle simply want to protect Nathan?”

    “I don’t know of the intentions of our teacher, “Ashley said, facing Nathan. “But I suspect that she knows more about your hidden potential than she lets on, like my father.”

    “And you?” Tiffany asked.

    “I simply want full control of my abilities and to get them back I must keep watch over Nathan for a full year. Presumably, my father’s seal should wear off by then.”

    “Only a year?” I asked. “Do you plan to return to Valteria?”

    Nathan frowned.

    “That’s a good question, Mercy,” Terra commented. “I’m curious too. Do you intend to lead another rebellion?”

    My brow furrowed at Terra’s question.

    “I’m not too keen on fighting another war against my sister, not right now.” Ashley’s voice was laced with a surprising bitterness. “All I care about is doing what is needed to regain power.”

    Terra nodded, dropping the subject. He turned to Nathan and his best friend looked him in the eyes in turn.

    “Have you manifested any hallowed abilities?” Terra asked him.

    The edges of Nathan’s lips lifted into a reluctant smile. “Yeah. I’m a healer.”

    He lifted a hand and waves of energy pooled around it, a soft tea-greenish aura forming. Pulsating with warmth one moment then coolness the next.

    “I’m not really sure how it could help in a big cape fight, but it’s better than nothing,” Nathan muttered.

    Tiffany fell into a fit of rapid eye blinking, before pausing. “Are you serious?” She glanced at us. “Better than nothing, he says.”

    “What?” Nathan asked.

    Ashley chuckled. “It’s a useful power.”

    I agreed. “It’s important to have healers since there aren’t many. It’s rare powerset.”

    Nathan shrugged. “I guess I was expecting something cool or flashy. Like a warrior or powerhouse power. I’d even take infiltrator type over this.”

    “Healers can fall under the infiltrator class,” Terra said.

    “Really? Still, it feels kind of lame though.”

    “Don’t say that,” I admonished. “It’s freaking awesome. Do you know how much I’d love to have a power like that? How powerful is it?”

    “Not sure. I do know it works wonders for Ms. Frazzle's headaches though.”

    “Mmm…” Tiffany smirked while leaning over her knees, her face and hands resting on the top of them as she peered at Nathan. “Don’t tell me you’ve been feeling up our English teacher—you rascal, you.”

    “Of course,” Nathan drawled in good humor. “I couldn’t resist running my hands up and down her body.” Nathan ran his hands across an invisible body in the air, accentuating some parts of the female form.

    “Ew…” I shivered, trying the purge the image of Nathan groping Ms. Frazzle out of my brain. Nathan could never help himself when it came to taking a joke too far.

    Ashley huffed and scrutinized Nathan, her sour look notable. “Please. Nathan knows better than that.”

    “I bet,” my sister said.

    “Well, I think it’s cool that you have powers,” I said to Nathan. “You should be grateful and more excited that you’re a cape.”

    Nathan mulled over my words, tilting his head from side to side. “I’m not sure how I feel about it yet.”

    The five us talked a little bit more before Ashley led us back to the cafe. Though we spent the majority of our lunch period on the roof, Katherine never showed up to join us.


    oOo

    Tired from soccer practice and homework, Tiffany and I spent the most of night in the living room sprawled out on the couch like the living dead. Our bodies were entangled into a pile of limbs as we watched TV with our parents.

    Mom had the channel on the local news since she was the first to arrive home to take command of the TV, much to the rest of our detriment. Well, it really only bothered Tiffany and me.

    I spent time alternating between the television and scrolling through my iPad. I checked some of my social media accounts, looking and ‘liking’ pictures from my teammates and friends with Tiffany peering over my shoulder like a mischievous little devil, whispering thinly veiled insults and juicy gossip she heard about various girls in our clique.

    Annoyed at her constantly talking in my ear, I switched webpages to read some fan-fiction while checking to see if any new readers commented on my own writing. She stopped soon after that, rolling her eyes at me and sitting on her side of the couch with a thump. I glared at her as she pretty much sat on my legs. She ignored me, playing with her phone. I kicked at her, causing her butt to shift on the seat so I could sit up straight.

    The woman on the news said something about capes, causing me to perk up and view the TV as I adjusted how my back felt against the sofa, my toes touching the floor. A new gang, the Inheritors, had been terrorizing the boardwalk for the past few weeks, finishing off their lucrative crime spree today with the robbing a popular casino called The Scarlet. The reporter continued talking about the increase of cape crime plaguing the boardwalk and waterfront, interviewing victims—civilians and the store owners that were directly affected by cape burglaries and fights.

    With their last stunt, the Inheritors aroused the ire of the racist gang, Albatross, getting to a skirmish with the group of white supremacists capes around the beach. No cape was killed and luckily since people were out of the way, no one else was hurt. The fight was a pretty even matchup since not all of the Albatross capes were involved.

    As the reporter continued to talk over video footage of the cape fight, My twin and I had our eyes glued to the screen, absorbing everything.

    Though they were criminals, the Inheritors were an intriguing group of capes, mostly because they were new on the cape scene and no one knew much about them. The boards of The Hallowed Eve were littered with speculation about Ravensworth’s new costumed crooks; the gang was active since January but they didn’t start any large scale operations until recently. Tons of threads with posters discussing who they are, what their aim was, people theory-crafting about their powers. Others claiming that they were a team that rebranded and moved from a bigger city to a place with less heat. All things considered, most of the information online pointed to the leader of the group of five being their flying pyrokinetic who went by the name Ignite or Ignition.

    On the other hand, almost everything about Albatross was public knowledge except for their secret identities. It was a family gang, one that had hand been around since the nineties. They were stable, able to avoid being taken out by flourishing rivals such as the Spades and Noroi and the local heroes groups—like the Watchkeepers. The fact that they had a high number of capes, maybe about twelve in all, along with manpower of a few thousand gang members, kept them on top of the Ravensworth’s underworld for years. They were led by the enigmatic Swan, a cape that could project metal blades from his skin at high speeds. His powers reminded me of Ashley.

    Mom sighed sounded exhausted. “These gangs are nothing bad news.”

    “The new policies the SIGMA and the Watchkeepers are implementing; the increase of manpower toward the nasty side of the town,” Dad said. “That should hit the operations of the gangs pretty hard, if not take them down.”

    “Can only hope,” Mom said.

    The news program showed a quick interview with the leader of the Watchkeepers, Vitiate as she surveyed the wartorn beach that the Inheritors and Albatross, trampled only a few hours prior. The space warper cape had on silver and blue armor and was positioned in front of the camera, surrounded by some of the teen heroes from NextGen. SIGMA agents and cleaning crew members were in the background removing rubble and taping off wreaked areas of the boardwalk.

    Vitiate gave her spiel about renewing efforts to stop gang violence and our mom switched the channel to the national news when she finished. It seemed like each station was still talking about the ramifications of the invasion by the Avalonian forces. Heroes were still helping with the cleanup.

    Tiffany squealed with glee when her favorite hero, Crow Valentine, appeared on the screen from an aerial view. His dark wings cast a huge shadow below as he flew from wreaked building to building, helping workers move and get rid of debris. Members of the Alliance and the Quixotic Quartet were also seen helping from the helicopter footage.

    Tiffany squeed again once Crow Valentine was back on screen.

    My eyes nearly rolled out of my head. “Your hero crush is way too edgy for his own good,” I said, pointing out the ridiculousness of his wild ‘all-over-the-place’ hair and his outfit: the red leather coat and pants, covered under belts full of weapons with a cape too large to be practical.

    Tiffany scowled at me. “I don’t want to hear that from a girl that gets hot for a guy in an orange fursuit.”

    “Tiffany,” our mom warned, already sensing an argument brewing.

    I could feel my face turn a shade darker, burning as irritation rose deep in my chest. “Stop it. It’s not a fursuit, it’s skin-tight!”

    “Like that’s any better,” Tiffany said, she tilted her head glancing up in dramatic fashion before taking stock of me. “Oh, I forget that you’re into looking at ample butts.”

    Okay, saying that in front of Mom and Dad? Now she was just being obnoxious. I waved her comment off in a frivolous manner. Fine, I can play at that game.

    “Like you’re not?” I asked her.

    Tiffany grin widened but before she could speak our dad cut in.

    “Alright, this conversation is taking a turn for the worst,” he said. “Knock it off, you two.”

    Mom shook her head. “Really.”

    “But seriously, Ems, your favorite hero is so lame,” Tiffany said. “Why not someone cool like Nexus or Lightspeed?” She gave me a pointed look. “What’s with your fixation on foxes?”

    I narrowed my eyes at her as I caught her double meaning, but with our parents her I couldn’t really confront her about it. “Magnificent isn’t lame,” I said, mentioning the name of the fox based cape. “He’s probably the most popular hero in the country.”

    My sister shrugged. “I guess. His costume is good for merchandising since it’s not overly complex. So it doesn’t count because he’s popular with kids by default. That reminds me—are you still talking with Catwhip?”

    “Catwhip?” Mom asked.

    “Tiffany and I exchanged numbers with the Unity triplets when we met them at the mall, remember?” Since my Ipad was connected to my phone, I could read at my text messages on it; I scanned my contacts until I found the Catwhip’s name, Marissa. I swatted at my sister. “She wants to know why you stopped texting her.”

    Tiffany gave an overdramatic sigh. “I have way too many people to keep track of.”

    “Excuses, excuses. Anyway, I talked to her on the phone yesterday. She said something about us meeting with her sisters this weekend. I think she wants us to go to her book club thing.”

    “I really don’t want to spend two hours going over terrible fanfic.”

    I gave Tiffany a light punch to the shoulder. “Do you always have to be so obtuse? We’re reading classical literature.”

    Tiffany frowned. “You know that’s not my thing, but I’ll I go since you’ll drag me there regardless.”

    “Yup. You’re coming whether you like it or not.”

    “When are you going to meet with them?” asked Mom.

    “This Sunday,” I answered. “Around the afternoon. We’re gonna meet them at a bookstore in the Emporium.”

    “Do you need a ride?” Dad asked.

    “Mm-mm, we’ll take the train.”

    Dad’s gaze shifted toward Tiffany. “Your boyfriend going?”

    “We’ll probably meet him there.”

    Our dad’s attention had returned to the TV as he was satisfied with our answer. Somehow, without us noticing, he swiped the remote from the center table like a thief in the night and began to swap through the channels. He paused when Mom told him to stop the on ‘The Golden Wheel’—a game show that our parents would often watch together during the week.

    After our parent retired for the night, we spent a few more hours on the couch relaxing and watching reality TV before going to bed. Sleep was nice and peaceful for once as I didn’t really have any strange dreams. I woke up early in the morning since I felt a bit hot under the covers.

    My throat parched, I slid out of bed almost falling flat on my face, I broke my short tumble with a hand and pushed myself off the floor. I stood up straight with a grunt, still stiff. I yawned and dragged a hand across my face as I attempted to rub the sleep out of my eyes. Mm. It was a poor effort but no one could blame me I was tired and felt like going back to bed. The only thing kept me awake was the feeling that I’d croak if I didn’t get water soon. I scrunched my face with a cough, the nasty feeling of stagnant saliva was stuck in my throat.

    I exited my room in my eyes adjusting to the darkness as I opened the door. I headed downstairs at a slow pace until I reached the hallway leading to the kitchen. Dawdling past the basement door I heard a loud thud. My head cut around to face the door, toward the source of the sound. Nothing happened. I must have been imagining it.

    I entered the kitchen and made a beeline for the fridge. Opening it, I nabbed a bottle of water and started to drink, quenching my greedy thirst. Another thump echoed from the basement, I could hear it from the middle of the room. I frowned, tense as I walked toward the door. Creaking it open, I heard soft muttering of someone that sounded like my sister … and another voice. Terra? My sister giggled. Don’t tell me he snuck inside our house during the middle of the night again.

    The muttering stopped for a moment and my breath hitched. My sister screamed.

    “Wait—stop!”

    “Tiffany!” Saying her name a loud whisper, I ran down the steps in a frantic pace. My jaw dropped as I turned the corner and flicked the light on.

    Kazuya had returned in his pompous golden glory, an aura of strong energy enclosing his form, his imposing tails covering the lower part of my sister’s body as he pressed into her, his hand pinning her wrists to the carpet. He was busy was staring at Tiffany with his open mouth hovering near her neck revealing his fanged teeth as he was in the process of clawing my sister’s shirt off with his other hand, revealing her bare chest.

    He titled his head up and leered at me. “Ah, Mercy, care to join us?”

    I couldn’t move, I couldn’t even talk. I was stunned as Kazuya fixed me with his predatory grin, my arms and legs wobbling like they were made of jelly. I was reminded of the absolute terror, the agonizing fear I’d felt when we first met the sadistic Valterian as he crouched over my twin.

    “Ems…” Tiffany mumbled, her voice off. She leaned her head back, her eyes catching mine. Her expression seemed almost guilty as she wavered. “…this isn’t what it looks like.”

    ---

    Please consider donating to my Patreon or PayPal page. Many thanks to those who have. Rewards can be seen here.
    Last edited by Fluxx; December 3rd, 2018 at 09:32 PM.
    Read and Relax...
    A girl wishes for utopia - Nature's Kingdom (Wordpress)

  2. #22
    Transcendent Spiritmon Fluxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    171
    Interlude II - Deborah

    Deborah shivered, awaking from a deep slumber as a firm hand—cool like polished steel, caressed her cheek.

    “Are you awake, Zaccarin?” Shinobu, her mentor, asked.

    Shinobu’s soft voice was calm and sensual, teasing Deborah’s ears. A tingling sensation ran down Deborah’s spine as Shinobu continued to run her hands up her cheek, brushing away some of her braids.

    Deborah grumbled with her eyes still closed, turning her face away from the Valterian shark goddess, curling up into a ball underneath the warm white sheets of their luxurious bed. “Don’t pick at my hair, you know I hate that.”

    “Mmm…” Shinobu hummed while getting closer, her face only inches away from Deborah’s. She ran her fingers down Deborah’s back, seeming unimpeded and unbothered that the bed covers were so tightly bonded to the person of her affection. “You know I can’t help it. How else would I force you to wake, my little Zaccarin?”

    Deborah felt a prick of irritation. “Must you call me by that name? I am awake, alright?”

    Shinobu hummed again and kissed her, Deborah opened her eyes and began to sit up. Shinobu moved without complaint; she sat on the edge of the bed while facing Deborah, smiling.

    “I’m serious,” Deborah said. “Don’t call me that name anymore. I hate it.”

    Pain and bitterness pricked at her heart as she was reminded of her failure to her great-grandmother, Apis. The Legendary God Monster, ancestor to the Canceon royal family.

    Shinobu jumped back into the bed landing right beside Deborah, causing Deborah to squeak in surprise. As Deborah turned to face her, the shark goddess pulled at the sheets. Deborah yelled, the coolness of the air piercing her bare skin. Shinobu chuckled as Deborah wrinkled her face, displeased.

    “It’s too early in the morning to make a face like that, little bee.” Shinobu took hold of Deborah’s hands and played with them, running ambiguous patterns across her palms and arms, her ash-colored skin polishing Deborah’s bronze. “You might as well get over it. As it is what Apis named you, to me, you will always be, Zaccarin.”

    Deborah closed her eyes in exasperation as Shinobu’s hands slithered around her neck. Shinobu urged her to turn around and Deborah did as asked, facing the opposite direction. Shinobu then went to work—massaging Deborah’s neck and shoulders, with a hand combing through her long braids.

    “You can’t help but tear at old wounds,” Deborah muttered, through gasps of pleasure.

    Shinobu huffed while ruffling her hair. “I am a shark after all.”

    “You are way more than that, Sharkblade.”

    Shinobu giggled with short merriment before crawling off the sturdy but comfortable mattress. Deborah watched as Shinobu fixed her elegant kimono, adjusting the chest so that her breasts were not practically falling out like a moment ago. The style of dress was strange to Deborah, the design of thousands of cherry blossoms adorning the perfect silk. But it was striking and beautiful all the same, like Shinobu.

    Shinobu moved to the closest dresser in the room, picking an ornamental hairpin from a small assortment of them on the wooden surface. Shinobu tied her glossy black hair into a bun and then used the hairpin that was covered in flowers and pearls to hold it. Exiting their shared closet, Shinobu slipped on a pair of white tabi before attempting to leave the bedroom.

    “You’re going to that meeting already?”

    Shinobu stopped from opening the door and turned her head. “Better to be too early than too late. I’m going to explore a bit to prepare myself. Meet with a contact and discuss the best way to approach talks with the Assembly.”

    “A contact?” Deborah asked, puzzled. “Why haven’t I heard of this mysterious ‘contact’ before now?”

    Shinobu gave a brief laugh. “Mostly because I wasn’t sure if she would still be here. The Council is truly wise. I must remember to thank Sibyl and Akasha when I see them again.”

    Deborah blinked with surprise as Shinobu mentioned two of ten oracles from the Council of the Wise. Valterian prophets that mastered the art of divination, well-known and highly coveted for the advice and prophecies they provided. Deborah saw them as an inspiration, she hoped she could become part of the Council one day. It seemed Shinobu was able to get in contact with them after all.

    “That would be why they are called that,” Deborah drawled as she uncovered herself from the bedsheets. Her eyes full of pink lace, Deborah pulled back the drapes of the large canopy bed to get a better view of Shinobu. She sat on the edge with one leg on still on the bed while the other dangled, listless.

    Shinobu tutted. “Don’t get smart with me, little bee.” She paused, giving Deborah a pensive glance as if she wanted to say more but the cat caught her tongue.

    Deborah knew there was something Shinobu wanted to say but had trouble verbalizing. Seeing Shinobu linger by the door, Deborah decided to tease it out of her.

    “Why did we come here? Was it not for your lost descendant?

    “Why ask questions you already know the answer of?”

    “Because you’ve been hesitating like you don’t think you can find her. Like you think she has already been captured or killed.”

    Shinobu frowned at that. “I don’t think the oracles would have guided me here if that was the case. Dusk has been cautious when it has come to treading on this planet, even amidst his last fiasco. I’m finally at the cusp of finding the one worthy to pass my power and will onto. I won’t allow Dusk to get his claws on her before me.”

    “But still.”

    “I have been… a bit withdrawn for lack of a better word,” Shinobu admitted. “But that is because I know how much work all of this will be.”

    Deborah nodded, finding out that girl wasn’t the only reason they came to the underwater city known as Oddessy. ” Do you think the Assembly would have Monitors to spare?”

    “Of course. I don’t have the need for many, just a couple to investigate a few key areas here on Earth and on Avalon. The Duskanian Empire. Oceanus.”

    “Oceanus?” Deborah asked, wondering why she Shinobu would mention the isolated Avalonian continent surrounded by many islands.

    “I want to keep a closer eye on Dragoon. I’ve heard there has been some interesting developments there as of late.”

    “Ah,” Deborah said with quick understanding.

    Shinobu talked about him before. The story of a boy that changed into a sea dragon. A man that grown to become king of the of the high seas. He was powerful, backed by a powerful army. Shinobu mentioned how he was strong enough to defeat Kimba and Dusk centuries ago, strong enough to take the arm of a Valterian ruler from the Sky Kingdom.

    “Yes, depending on what is found, I might pay my old friend a visit,” Shinobu said.

    Shinobu met Dragoon once, back when he first started to gain power. Though it was almost seven centuries since they first met, she was fond of the deep-sea terror. Sometimes, she would tell Deborah stories of her first meeting with him—of eating, training, having communion with one another, fighting battles together. How they often fought each other.

    In a way, Deborah felt that Shinobu viewed Dragoon as more than a friend or pupil. Perhaps more like a little brother or son. Deborah wasn’t so sure Dragoon viewed their relationship the same way, however—if he even remembered the shark goddess at all.

    A hint of jealousy pierced her heart as she thought of Shinobu speaking about Dragoon in a wistful tone. The feeling was irrational and she knew that, but she still couldn’t help it. She knew Shinobu still had feelings of love for the sea dragon. But it was a familiar love, a sisterly love. For Deborah, Shinobu had that too… but also something more. Shinobu said as much. Before Deborah, Shinobu hadn’t taken a new lover in eons.

    “What’s wrong?” Shinobu asked.

    Startled, Deborah shook her head. “Nothing. Just thinking about things.”

    Shinobu grinned and walked back to the bed. She stretched out her arms, placing her palms on the mattress while leaning forward with hungry intent, her deep-blue eyes zeroing in on every micro-movement. “What things?”

    “It’s not what you think,” Deborah said, exasperated as Shinobu’s gaze became lecherous. An image of herself walking hand-and-hand with Apis when she was just a child flashed through her mind. When she was brought before Shinbou for the first time, outside of the Canceon hive—the heart of Avalon. Was her intent to groom me to be her plaything from the very beginning? Deborah shuddered with her eyes closed not willing to think about the implications.

    “Oh—fine,” Shinobu said, her voice reluctant.

    Deborah opened her eyes grateful that Shinobu decided not to be pushy and force herself upon her, this time.

    Shinobu’s hands were on her hips as she contemplated. “I should be off.”

    Deborah stepped off the bed carefully to avoid the lace drapes. Standing up straight she fixed her robes, covering up so she wasn’t half-naked. “How can you be so sure that the Assembly will allow you to borrow their Monitors so easily? You need something valuable to force their hand.”

    “I have the most valuable thing of all,” Shinobu said. “Information.”

    “How so?”

    “The Assembly won’t be quick to dismiss what I have learned from the Council of the Wise. Since most of the members of Oddessy’s government hail from a future time, they should be able to confirm the prophecies of Akasha and Sibyl.”

    “More time travel and temporal paradoxes,” Deborah grumbled as she rubbed her temples. Just thinking about the standing contradiction which was this city was enough to give her a headache. “How does this even work?”

    “Who knows?” Shinobu asked. “That knowledge is only beholden to the Elder Gods and Irregulars.”

    Most of the inhabitants of the underwater metropolis came from the future to escape a cataclysmic event in the thirty-first century, they built the city-state from scratch in only a few years. The founders were of the Alliance or Evo-Alliance as they called themselves since they were Alliance members from the future.

    Shinobu moved closer to Deborah, closing the distance between them. She expanded her arms in a hug like motion, waiting as sleeves of her kimono hung in the air. Their bodies almost touching, Deborah took in Shinbou’s watery scent. She enjoyed the subdued nature of it as her lips tickled Shinbous’ neck, grazing a curved line from the side to the edges of her nape. Shinobu enveloped Deborah in a soft but firm embrace.

    “The real reason I woke you was only to tell you that I would be gone,” Shinobu said. “You need rest.”

    Deborah’s lips lifted into a faint smile. “That’s kind of you.”

    Shinobu grinned. “I know you’re tired from last night’s ‘training’ session. It’s been a strenuous week for you, but something tells me you’ve enjoyed it very much.”

    “Mmm.” Deborah tilted her head as she peered at Shinobu with half-lidded eyes in an accusing stare. “I think all be alright as long as I don’t wake up tied to the bed again.”

    Shinobu chuckled. “If you don’t want to sleep you could take a tour of the city. Perhaps the Odyssey strip or shopping districts? I have left money for you on my nightstand.”

    “You can’t help spoiling me can you, Sharkblade?”

    Shinobu kissed her Deborah’s forehead, only moving downward slightly as she was the taller one of the two. “Anything for you Zaccarin.”

    Deborah cringed and flinched away from her. “Anything but calling me by the name I wish to be called by.”

    “The right to call you that name belongs to me and me only,” Shinobu murmured. “Besides, I can’t spoil you too much.”

    “Whatever,” Deborah said breaking away from the hug.

    “Be good,” Shinobu ordered, amused. She exited the bedroom at a slow pace, eyeing Deborah with her peripheral vision, a teasing smile spread across her face.

    Hearing Shinobu walk downstairs to the second floor of the suite, Deborah decided to take a bath and clean her teeth, getting ready for the day. Shinobu was gone by the time she finished. She dressed in one of her finest robes then headed downstairs, taking the time to enjoy the extravagance of the apartment. There was a lot of space, filled with beautiful decor, furnishings, and paintings that attracted the eye. Deborah opened the sliding glass door that led to the balcony, taking a gander at the city of silent towers that reached for the domed heavens—most buildings covered in a large array of neon lights.

    She spent some time roaming the city’s neon blue streets exploring among the populace like Shinobu recommended, somewhat in awe at the marvel that was Odyssey. Not due to how futuristic and technologically advanced the city was but because of the number of races living together in peace. Hallowed and Avalonians, Valterians and Arcadians, Tainted and more. Odyssey was a utopian dream, reminiscent of the mythical city called Atlantis. What was so terrible in the future that drove all these races—some that were constantly at war with one another—to live as a collective?

    Deborah’s evening stroll was cut short as she was contacted by Shinobu; the Valterian shark invited Deborah to a restaurant close by along with her contact. Deborah left the shopping district with haste, anticipating the meeting between the three of them. She caught an ocean-car ride, reaching the designated meeting place within a half-hour.

    Entering the restaurant, she observed and took in the quiet ambiance, the muted colors of blue and orange. It was a decent crowd, most talking in hushed voices. Deborah glanced at the bar but before she could move she was approached by a short Spiritpixie hostess. With her aid, Deborah was soon brought to Shinobu’s table.

    Shinbou’s waved once she caught sight of Deborah. The woman sitting next to her was much more reserved, careful not to be too expressive. She was dressed in thin hooded body armor, tight-fitting, but probably shielded with spirit energy. Her vibrant russet-colored face the only skin Deborah could see.

    “Come, sit.” Shinobu stood up and pulled out the chair that was across from where the hooded woman sat at the table. She motioned toward the woman with a hand. “This is the contact I was talking about. Felicia Khalil, she is a human Monitor and recon-infiltration specialist. She knows everything about this city. ” While glancing at Felicia, Shinobu placed at hand on Deborah’s shoulder. “This is my pupil; I’ve told you about her before. Deborah Canceon. She’s been in my care for the about the last two thousand years.”

    Pretty much my entire life…

    Felicia mouthed the word ‘wow’ before she brought her focus back to Deborah. Deborah favored the woman a nervous smile but before she could sit down, the hooded woman stood up from her chair and extended a hand.

    “It’s an honor to meet the Prophet of Ilios,” Felicia said as they shook.

    “You’re well informed,” Deborah said, while the three of them sat at the table.

    Felicia smiled and Deborah tensed, tightness forming around her lower back and legs as Felicia’s hazel eyes bored through her. Though her smile was a simple gesture without enmity behind it, it felt threatening. Considering how it was coming from a woman less than half of her age, the fact was commendable.

    “Sorry,” Felicia said, noticing Deborah’s worry before the Avalonian could school her expression. “Shinobu has told me so much about you. I’ve heard good things.”

    “I wish I could say the same.” Deborah glared at Shinobu who looked impish, she gave Deborah a quick wave in jest.

    “What’s with the attitude, little bee? Should I not speak of things I’m proud of?”

    Deborah shook her head, unable to keep herself angry at Shinobu’s words as pleasant warmth rose in her chest.

    Felicia laughed. “Shinobu didn’t tell me anything bad. Just about how pleased she was that you have been taking huge strides forward in your mastery of the mental arts.”

    “No, I understand. I am not bothered by it.”

    Their conversation paused as a waiter arrived to bring the trio menus. The man introduced himself and placed them on the table, Shinobu snatched the first one from the pile. The three ladies ordered their drinks and the waiter left to fetch them.

    “You know Felicia,” Shinobu said while browsing, “This restaurant seems to be of exquisite taste. You know of the most fantastic places to visit.”

    “Of course,” Felicia said, pleased. “I’d love to give the Shark in the Oceans of Blades a good show—you too Deborah. I pride myself on being an excellent host.” She picked up a menu. “But I don’t think I was invited out to dinner to be a glorified tour guide.”

    “No…” Shinobu agreed. ” For the next seven months, I want you to scout a few areas for me, including Oceanus. There is something that Dragoon is searching for there, I want you to observe him and find out more about it.”

    Felicia tilted the menu down in a deliberate motion, she placed it on the table. “Making a trip to Avalon now would be a hassle for me,” she said, dissatisfied.

    “You’ll be compensated well.”

    “I know,” Felicia said, putting her elbows on the table with her hands folded in front of her lips, “That’s why I agreed to this.” she was silent for a moment. “Twenty-eight million. That’s how much it’ll cost. That rate might be in flux, depending on how many agents I need to prepare and how many arms from other Monitors I need to twist. Half up front, a fifty percent deposit with the rest in increments over the next two to four years. All that’s based on when the job is completed and you’re satisfied. Wanna talk about payment plans?”

    “Later,” Shinobu said. “USD or OC?”

    “Odyssey credits—ahhhh—it really doesn’t matter in the long run but you know I prefer digital currency.”

    “OC it is then,” Shinobu said. “There’s something else I would like you personally take a look into though before you go to Avalon.”

    Felicia perked up—skeptical as the waiter returned placing the drinks on a table from a server’s tray. Shinobu took her glass of water and thanked the waiter, telling him something about everyone needing more time to pick their orders. With a smile, the tall man backed away promising to return within the next few minutes.

    “You know that will add to the rate, right?”

    “It’s important. An intriguing series of have been unraveling on this planet ever since Dusk arrived here last month. An enemy of mine was seen being chased by Arcadians. Kazuya of the Valterian Fox Clan.”

    “Woah-woah—woah,” Felicia said, her hands up in protest. “You didn’t say you were sending me on a suicide mission!”

    “That’s not it.” Shinobu’s reply was curt. “I kept an eye on him, for a little while. It led me to notice a girl the city he was located in. One that is of the Waverider bloodline.”

    The Waveriders, another Avalonian royal family, the one Shinbou was directly responsible for birthing as she was the direct ancestor to that lineage.

    Deborah was shocked. “You didn’t tell me that you found her.”

    “I’m not sure if she’s the one have been looking for but I trust Akasha’s words.” Shinobu faced Felicia.”That girl is the only lead I have and the Council guided me toward you for a reason. I believe that you can bring me what I desire.”

    “And what is that? Why is this girl so important to you?”

    Something in Shinobu’s eyes shifted, her eyelids closed as she sat in silence. The air around them became fridged, as cool vapor radiated from her pores—causing Deborah and Felicia to freeze with alarm. The moment passed. Shinobu calmed herself as she peered at Felicia.

    “I don’t think that’s something I need to explain to you.”

    Deborah knocked the over her drink and it fell off the table. It hit the ground and shattered, creating a large spill—disturbing other patrons. “S-sorry!” Inwardly, Deborah cursed. Her hand was shaking. “We should call a waiter over here.”

    Shinobu grabbed Deborah’s arm before she could get up to wave someone over. Deborah seized up.

    “Relax. Someone will come.”

    Deborah eyed Shinobu carefully, before sitting and adjusting her seat. She couldn’t understand what caused Shinobu to react that way. After all this time, was Shinobu still hiding things from her?

    Shinbou favored her a smile before glancing at Felicia. “Like I was saying, I want you to bring the girl before me to see if she’s worth being of my blood.”

    Felicia hummed. If she was bothered by Shinobu’s show of spiritual force, she didn’t show it. “Does this girl have a name?” a holographic armband formed around her wrist. She tapped it and five holographic screens jutted into the air, spreading to the middle of the table. “Files?” Felica scanned the pages of data feed that her portal to the Iridescent Mirror gave her—news, current events, and her contacts. People of importance. She moved a floating page from the from the top to the bottom of the group, seeming disinterested in it.

    “I will have a dossier prepared,” Shinobu promised. “And I agree to your terms.”

    Felica waved the screens out of the way so that she could see Shinobu clearly. “Then we have a deal.”

    oOo

    Deborah yawned as she stretched—leaning back her seat tired from waiting. It was still dark, early in the morning and she wasn’t able to sleep. Deborah studied a specific house on the street, the technology of Felicia’s dimensional spacecraft-turned-van allowing her to see through the metal from inside, like a transparent screen. Created by Tainted and Vivian tech, the ship was able to transform into any almost vehicle imaginable, from land to water and spacefaring.

    The door of the driver’s compartment opened and Felicia who was dressed in a black sleeper slogged outward, hunched to avoid hitting her head on the roof. Without a hood covering half of her face, Felicia’s black hair revealed two buns, both pulling the majority of her hair back. Felicia looked different now—less like an experienced spy and more like a young maiden. She sat in the other seat beside Deborah and cracked open the laptop that lied on the mini-desk in front of them both.

    A ringing tone echoed through the van from an undetectable source. Felicia rolled out a pad from beneath the desk and she pressed something. A window appeared on the transparent screen, Shinobu was on camera.

    She greeted them briefly before asking about their reconnaissance. Deborah began her lengthy report, going over everything she and Felicia learned. The findings on Shinobu’s descendant, findings on Terra Eatos, Audrey Genia, Andros Valki, and Myadin Sagittaria. The hybrid twins and the two other children that once resided in Dusk’s castle before the Bloodstained Festival. Kazuya’s return.

    “Sibyl's children…” Shinobu was thoughtful as she mentioned the twins. “This could turn out to be a problem with that damned nine-tailed-fox close by. I didn’t expect so many interesting faces to be near my treasure.”

    “Orders?” Felicia asked. “I can tell you right now if we end up in a situation where we have to confront him, the job is off.”

    “No, continue as you are. Have you made contact?”

    “I have,” Deborah answered. “She was getting suspicious and nearly found the DSC even though it was cloaked. She’s getting better at sensing vapor, not sure if that has to deal with us or her being in constant contact with beings higher than S-class. Felicia thought it would be best if one of us introduced ourselves, lest she finds our ship.”

    “I see. Good. Keep watch and take care of her well, Deborah,” Shinobu said. “Once I’ve finished business with the Assembly, I will come to join you.”

    “I will,” Deborah said, giving Shinobu a slight bow.

    “That’s my little bee. Be patient a little while longer, do this for me and I promise I’ll take care of the Canceon family. I owe Apis that much.”

    Deborah felt waves of gratitude ebb from her chest. She placed a hand on her heart. “I will,” she repeated.

    Shinobu wished the pair luck and cut off her side of the video call, the window vanished from the screen.

    “So are you ready to meet the Waverider brat again?” Felicia asked, the both of them resuming their observation of the girl’s house.

    “…I’m not so sure, she was adamant about wanting me to meet her new boyfriend.”

    Felicia halted. Then she laughed while leaning back in her seat. “Teenagers.”

    “Agreed.”

    “Why are you so worried though?”

    “Is that how I seem? The girl holds resentment for one of the hybrid twins, I believe that boy was courting one of them.”

    “Wow, you managed to stumble into something worse than teenagers. Teenage drama.”

    “That’s not the worst of it. She still plans revenge, I can see it in her mind.”

    Felicia groaned. “And they’re being protected by Kazuya. Shit. This could be worse than I thought.”

    Deborah agreed, feeling grim.

    “Can’t you rewrite her mind?” Felicia asked. “I’m sure you could learn her true name if you tried hard enough.”

    “No. Shinobu would never accept that. I wouldn’t do that anyway, I don’t like influencing people beyond their will.”

    “You might have to.”

    Deborah frowned as she thought about meeting with Rika Mizushima, the girl Shinbou was searching for. “Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.”

    ---

    Please consider donating to my Patreon or PayPal page. Many thanks to those who have. Rewards can be seen here.
    Last edited by Fluxx; March 7th, 2019 at 01:13 AM.
    Read and Relax...
    A girl wishes for utopia - Nature's Kingdom (Wordpress)

  3. #23
    Transcendent Spiritmon Fluxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    171
    Interlude III - Trinity

    Trinity thrummed her fingers on the arms of her chair; she adjusted her thigh cut qipao dress after folding her legs while studying the four long screens that enclosed her workstation. Her eyes shifted at a careful pace from screen to screen as she viewed three of her seven assassins on various missions, making sure they stayed on task. Blood Crippler, Death Blade, and Reaper—each of her silent agents moving through enemy territory like ghosts, they were invisible yet efficient killing machines as they slew rival targets for Raikou and other high-level outlaws.

    Things were hectic for a while in the multiversal space, ever since one of the most powerful outlaws, Skull Knight, was killed by Raikou’s son. The Tainted boy, Ruko Savannah. The hero, Lightspeed. The boy responded to a challenge by the skull warrior after his armada gang nearly obliterated the city of Newark, last July.

    Though he was engaged in a brutal and bone-crushing battle, Ruko managed to slay Skull Knight alongside his father. Though she didn’t know him personally, she respected for a young fighter not only because they were the same race but because he was spawned from such a dominant bloodline. His father being the outlaw king along with his grandfather running the Galatic Federation, a man of considerable influence. Trinity smiled. In general, Tainted were hard to come by in this galactic sector and though she would never admit it, seeing Ruko and his friends do well warmed her heart.

    Trinity frowned, remembering that she needed to perform her daily scan of the eastern seaboard to continue searching for stragglers from Skull Knight’s gang. Those that were not captured by SIGMA and the Galactic Federation… and the Galaxy Police. Trinity was tasked with eliminating them by the rest of the Outlaws since most were avoiding Earth for the time being.

    She sighed and uncrossed her legs, getting up from the command center. She walked across the bridge that led to the other side of the underground cavern, the in-ground lights on each side of the bridge allowing her to see with ease.

    Trinity made her way to the end of the bridge, revealing a stairway that led deeper into the secret base. She leaned on the stair railing, peering over the edge. Below, her two other assassins, Wolf and Slasher were shouting at each other while they played cards, busy gambling away their cut from the last mission they completed. Both of them were seated at the mission table in the center of the lower cavern, surrounded by the dim blue fluorescent lights which pointed at the middle of the slick platinum surface—enhanced by radiant designs of symbolic runes at the edge of the metal disk, runes that represented each member of the Seven.

    Trinity wasn’t amused. What was the point of making money just to blow it all on something so frivolous? Greed would do that to a person. Trinity licked her lips in thought. She was no better than them, really, often risking her life and the lives of her subordinates on a whim for any mission that paid—if the price was right.

    Her lips lifted into a faint smile as her mind wandered to the youngest and newest member of the Sinister Seven, Terra Eatos. It should have been around the time the young Arroyan was getting out of school, something that seemed completely pointless to Trinity now since he failed the mission to kill Nathan Blackwood. Dusk refused to even talk to her when she tried to relay the news. The fact that Terra’s refusal to kill his friend lost her a well paying and influential client made her blood boil. Still, she couldn’t remain annoyed at Terra forever, it was a long time since multiple members of the Seven were in the vicinity each other like this. It felt nostalgic in a way.

    “Trinity! Ya want in?” Slasher called from the oblong table looking up toward the inner balcony.

    Trinity shook her head. “As much I would love to whip your ass, I can’t. Someone has to actually work around here.”

    “Whaddaya mean, boss?” Slasher tilted his hand downward but then shifted it the last second, to keep Wolf from taking a peek at his cards. “‘Ain’t shit around for us ta do.”

    “One of you should be guarding the entrance to our lair. Or at least be helping me with hourly surveillance. I can’t keep watch and observe the team at all times.”

    “Though’ ya was excellent at multitasking,” Slasher said, a smile visible under the metal part of his mask.

    Trinity gave him a pointed look. A feeble amount of spiritual energy in the form of killing intent, leaked from her pores.

    Slasher raised his hand and his cards hid his face from view. “What? I was just saying!”

    “Slasher,” Wolf said while he leaned back in his seat as he adjusted his dark hooded cloak. “It’s best to be aware of how your tone comes off to other people.”

    “Oi, nobody asked ya, ya giant furball,” Slasher said. “How am I the only one with a sense of humor in this joint?”

    Trinity rolled her eyes and turned away from the balcony, right as Wolf and Slasher started to get into another argument. She made her way back to the command center and reclaimed her seat. After rechecking the status of her deployed assassins, she browsed the obsidian mirror for reports of Eternalists movements and acts of terrorism from remnants of the Maker cult. Acts that were specifically being ignored by the Avalonian media.

    A low echoing alarm sounded throughout the cavern base, causing Trinity to stiffen. With a click of the touch-pad, a screen showing the viewpoints of multiple cameras outside the hideout popped up. The cameras were blurred out, foggy and wet with drops as if the view was being blocked by bad weather.

    Trinity narrowed her eyes as she sensed the vapor from her surroundings; she could feel the spiritual energy of intruders from outside the base. She stood up at once but before she could call her assassins, lightning struck the building with force, the roaring thunder causing the building to shake.

    The lights went out with a flicker. Trinity could even hear some of them explode and shatter as they fell to the ground. That was to much force for an average lightning strike. A cape was controlling it.

    Trinity broke into a run across the main bridge as the backup generators around the base started to kick in. The air was getting warmer. Really warm. She skidded to a halt as she reached the stairway, feeling the sweltering heat from large towers of flames in front of her, burning the remains of the mission table where Wolf and Slasher were gambling to ash.

    “Fuck,” Trinity muttered.

    They were compromised. She surveyed the pillars of fire for any signs of her allies. She couldn’t see them but she could sense them, they were in there somewhere covered by the flames. Trinity hopped onto the railing of the balcony and crouched, preparing herself to dive into the blaze.

    Trinity took to the air and was blinded in a flash. A piercing bolt of lightning struck. Her body seized up, a tingling sensation traveled through her skin and bones as she flew backward, her head colliding with the top of the cavern. Her body broke through stone with force as she was tossed up like a ragdoll. Trinity hit the monitors of her command center shattering them in the large crash as large rocks pelted her from above. She landed on her side, her arm crumpling the metal desk as it broke her fall.

    Stunned for a moment, Trinity shook it off and then roared, erupting from the pile of electronic scrap with vengeance, ready for a fight as her vision oscillated between different directions—scanning the area for her would-be enemy. That lightning attack didn’t really hurt, however, it did help confirm her suspicions. Their rude guests were probably low-level capes… But if that was the case, it should have been impossible for them to find the hideout.

    Trinity’s heels clacked against the polished metal as she ran across the bridge once again, stopping when she noticed Wolf impeding her way. “Wolf, are you alright?” she asked. “Where is Slasher?” There was a slight hesitation in Trinity’s step as she approached her colleague. Wolf’s spiritual energy felt off. Instead of expanding and taking up space like it normally would in a strong but controlled wave, his spirit energy was wrapped around his form in a tight bubble. Visualizing it with her eyes open, Trinity could see the moving sphere of energy eating and then regurgitating itself, as if it were trying to hide the origin of its true nature on the inside. “What the hell is wrong with your vapor?”

    Wolf paused. “You don’t have to be so worried, we’ve got it covered.”

    That wasn’t an answer. Trinity folded her arms once she was an amiable distance in front of him. She would stand closer, maybe to get in his face a little and intimidate him a little, but his wonky spiritual energy made her cautious. “Oh? Who are our little hallowed guests?”

    Wolf’s maw curled into a smile. “It’s the new gang, the Inheritors. Those runts thought we were just a pack of greenhorns like them. Probably decided to get rid of the easy competition and make a name for themselves.” Wolf chuckled. “They were given a rude awakening.”

    “One of them attacked me just now with lightning. According to our information, the one with weather-like manipulation abilities was Apsara. Where is she?”

    “Isn’t it obvious, I crushed her—just like the rest.”

    “You killed all of them? I’m tired of reminding you that we always leave one or two alive for questioning.”

    Wolf’s smile widened. “I believe I’ve gotten better about that. Slasher is in need of more correction than me.”

    Trinity allowed herself to scowl. “Mm-hmm. Is Slasher with them now?”

    “Of course. They’re all incapacitated, Slasher is locking them up in the cellars while he waits for us.”

    Trinity hummed and took a glimpse at the destroyed remnants of her command center. She made a sound of annoyance. “It will take forever to get that replaced. How the hell did some weak shitty trash even know we exist?”

    “We can figure that out later,” Wolf said as his clawed hand took hold of Trinity’s shoulder in a firm grip, causing her eyes to cut back to him. “I have some Phalaxian and Vivian connections that could probably help with the computer system.” Wolf was silent as he looked at his hand; foreign energy started to pulse through Trinity’s body, giving her the slight tingling sensation of pleasure.

    “Ah… ha,” Trinity said, almost in a sing-song voice with her malevolent smile.

    Her fist launched forward at an undetectable speed smashing right into Wolf’s nose before he could react—making it burst with blood. Wolf cried out in agony as he was launched backward on the metal ramp, his fur soaked with vital fluid. The distorted spiritual energy around his form began to spiral out of control like a sine wave, the energy changing shape along with the body that was slumped on the floor.

    Fur changed to blonde hair, large claws to gloved hands. Wolf’s body was shrinking. His werewolf visage to that of a human woman. Sitting up gingerly, the short woman covered her bleeding nose with a hand. Trinity recognized her at once, recalling the footage she collected from Terra when he was spying on the Inheritor group. The girl was the hallowed known as Secret Bliss—a shapeshifter. Blood ran down Secret Bliss’s white bodysuit, painting her chest with a nice scarlet color. “F-fuck! Shit!” she cursed while panting. “That freaking hurt!”

    “It’s about to hurt a lot worse, my dear,” Trinity said, inching closer.

    “Wait!” Secret Bliss raised her hands while edging away on the floor, her bottom and white boots scraping against the metal. “Don’t you want to find out who we are?”

    “I know who you are,” Trinity hissed. “And I’ll find out who sent you after I beat you within an inch of your life.”

    “How?” Secret Bliss whispered.

    Trinity glanced at her hand, opening and closing her fist tight. “You’re not bad for human infiltrator, but you would never fool a Tainted warrior like that. We can sense the differences in the vapor between people. Not knowing that was your first mistake. The second? Was not researching your target thoroughly enough. Wolf would never touch me without my permission. And your third mistake… your third mistake was finding yourself in the unfortunate situation of being my opponent.”

    Trinity took on a traditional karate fighting stance and Secret Bliss’s expression turned fearful, her eyes widening under her domino mask.

    “Keymaker, Prodigy, We need to retreat!”

    “Running away? Is that all the fight you have, is that’s the extent of your preparation?” Trinity didn’t give chase as Secret Bliss stood up and scampered back toward her teammates. Trinity shook her head. “I almost feel insulted.”

    Trinity waited for Secret Bliss to meet her other two teammates on the main deck below before jumping down in a long vault. She hit the floor with a loud clamp, kneeling on one knee before regarding the three Inheritors who seemed too shocked to respond. Trinity scanned each cape within a second making mental notes about any particular features she didn’t remember from Terra’s reports.

    “Bliss!” Keymaker hissed, worried. “The key is finished.” Golden and green cape lifted a golden metallic hand, his fingers holding a small shining key that vibrated within his fingers. “Let’s get the fuck out of here!”

    Trinity blinked, intrigued by the masked cape’s power. There wasn’t much to see about him from the footage. What did his power do? With a smirk, Trinity focused a growing pool of spiritual energy to her feet. She launched.

    “Move!” Prodigy grabbed the boy and pulled him by the arm, out of the way of Trinity’s shoulder tackle.

    Everyone froze, Trinity now standing were Keymaker was a moment ago. She glared at Prodigy and the girl tensed, even more, holding Keymaker’s forearm like her life depended on it.

    Trinity paused and analyzed Prodigy over, the young girl dressed in her usual school girl outfit: A white shirt and black tie, with a plaid pleated skirt with glasses over her domino mask. “Prodigy,” Trinity uttered. “Enhanced senses… and a danger sense, was it? Impressive. For a human.”

    “Key, now!” Secret Bliss yelled.

    Keymaker tossed the shining key at Trinity and she swatted it. Her fingers grazed glowing device it exploded in her face. Trinity was blinded by the light, stars and incomprehensible swatches of color flashing before her eyes leaving her stunned. She closed and opened her eyes the fuzziness from her vision dissipating.

    She looked around. The cavern was completely empty. The Inheritors disappeared only leaving the burning flames to tell the story of their appearance. It shouldn’t have been possible for them to escape her vapor sense. Even if Keymaker’s powers were able to stun her for that long of a period of time, her assassins would have come to her aid. If they were able to… Trinity scoffed, not allowing a moment of doubt. There was no chance in hell those weaklings could fight off her team, even if they received the help of the Elder Gods themselves… Thinking of her subordinates, Trinity realized she couldn’t sense them either.

    Trinity stilled herself and let her energy and awareness expand outward. A faint smile graced her lips. She could feel it now. A barrier of Keymaker’s spiritual energy surrounded her. Keymaker’s key must have crafted an illusion of some sort, a world where he and his little friends effectively didn’t exist. An unbounded eternal realm? The brats were probably still in the hideout, using Keymaker’s power as a distraction to buy time. It wouldn’t work.

    Trinity growled and raised her spirit energy with force, it pulsating through her body. Vapor pressurized the air around her—the flames that enclosed her were mushed to the ground. The floor cracked and the world started to distort itself as Trinity’s body started to glow with condensed spirit matter. She yelled toward the ceiling as golded armor started to form an envelope around her clothing—the golden material covering the cleavage that was visible before.

    With another charge of energy, Trinity roared and stomped the ground, causing Keymaker’s barrier to shatter at once. She could sense the vapor of everyone in the hideout once more. Trinity exhaled before lowering her spiritual energy, her golden armor turning to dust. Using that form to deal with a couple of hallowed pests would be overkill.

    Back to normal, Trinity took to the air. She flew through the base on a beeline for the only exit that someone could enter or escape out of whenever the lockdown protocols were set. All five Inheritors were near the elevator that led to the main apartment. Keymaker was fiddling with the door while under the duress of Secret Bliss, Prodigy and the cape in the red motorcycle jacket, Ignition, were messing with the controls. A blue-skinned woman who wore a traditional white and gold sampot dress kept watch. Trinity scowled, ticked off. That was Apsara.

    Apsara’s large necklace jingled when she turned to catch sight of Trinity. “Guys, trouble.” Apsara pointed at the Tainted assassin with an open palm and electricity shot outward.

    Trinity dodged with a barrel roll maneuver before zipping past Apasara, grabbing Secret Bliss by the neck. Trinity bashed the short woman into the wall and she cried out in pain. “Where’s is Wolf?” Trinity asked, squeezing Secret Bliss’s neck tighter, her windpipe being crushed by second. “Slasher?”

    Secret Bliss responded by coughing up blood.

    “Bliss!” Ignition panicked. “Fuck!

    Apsara charged another blast of electricity Trinity’s direction but before she could move loud explosion was heard from the ceiling above.

    Terra! Trinity could sense who it was, immediately. Like a missile, he aimed straight for Apsara’s head at the speed of sound, smashing her straight into the ground. Apsara let out a gargled shriek as blood gushed from her face—her golden headdress trampled; She didn’t know what hit her. Terra’s claws of death reached for her neck and flames erupted from Ignition’s hands. Terra backflipped and landed next to Trinity, avoiding the scorching beams of flame.

    Ignition yelled and shouted to the rest of his gang as Prodigy helped him pull up Apsara who was implanted into the floor, unconscious. He let go once Keymaker took hold of Apsara’s other side. With both hands, Ignition created a wall of flame around Trinity and Terra, trying to keep them at bay. The Inheritors slithered away from the elevator door, moving further back into the cavern, their escape plan foiled.

    “Terra,” Trinity said while facing her young smirking assassin. “It’s good to see you. Nice for you to be on time, for once.” She yanked Secret Bliss out of the wall and tossed the knocked out cape to the ground like a useless sack of flesh. “How was school?”

    Terra looked at Secret Bliss’s pitiful form before facing Trinity and tilting his head, apparently finding the scene funny. He adjusted his hair, clearing brown locks away from his face. With a shake of the head, the strands were removed from his eyes. “Fine, I guess. Didn’t get detention today, so that’s a first.” He waved a hand backward, his thumb pointing toward Secret Bliss. “You gonna kill her?”

    “No… not yet.” Her face blank, Trinity stared at the dancing flames surrounding them. “Let’s capture the rest first. Then when can decide who to eliminate.”

    “Sounds good, thought you were getting soft on me for a sec.”

    Trinity gave Terra a look. “Shut up and get moving.”

    Terra mock-saluted. “Aye aye, captain.”

    A glint of silver shone from the corner of Trinity’s eye. Slasher strode through the flames with one of his ruby twin blades in hand, his plated armor unaffected by the heat as he aided Wolf, helping him walk—the Avalonian werewolf’s arm was behind Slashers neck hanging around his shoulder. Wolf was breathing hard like he was weakened.

    “Oris, my man!” Terra said while sounding obnoxious, his voice full of fake cheer. “What happened to you?”

    “Fuck off,” Wolf spat. “Fuck, I knew I smelled that bitch over here.” He shrugged toward the fallen Inheritor with his muzzle. “Runt got lucky.”

    “You let a little girl get the drop on you?”

    Trinity slapped the back of Terra’s head, hard. “Stop.”

    The boy flinched and ducked his head, he chuckled knowing Trinity wasn’t that serious.

    Wolf growled. “I’m going to rip that girl apart.”

    “No. You’ll do what I’ll tell you to do,” Trinity warned giving Wolf a pointed glare.

    “It’s ain’t like ya can move anyhow,” Slasher said to Wolf. “That bitch sucked all the life out of ya, and not in the good way.” Slasher’s glowing crimson opaque eyes deviated to Terra. “Ayeee! Well if it isn’t my little Arroyan friend! I haven’t seen ya in foreva’. How are you doing—ya pretty young thing, you?”

    Terra rolled his eyes with a smirk and shook his head. “Hey, Slasher.”

    “Trinity.” Wolf wheezed in pain and exhaustion, he would’ve keeled over if Slasher wasn’t holding him up. “The plan?”

    “You’ll stay here with Slasher.” Trinity beckoned Terra with a nod. “We’ll take them out. Terra, with me.” She oriented herself toward the cavern darkness. “They couldn’t have gotten far. They can only exit from here.”

    “I know,” Terra said. “I can sense them further inside.”

    As they both took to the air, Trinity led the way into the lower cavern with Terra close behind. They spotted the Inheritors from above, Keymaker and Ignition attempting to hide behind rocky walls while Prodigy held Apsara’s unconscious body.

    Terra shot forward, a wave of sound and air reverberated from his body like a clap of thunder, but before he could reach the concealed capes, a thick brownish-black sludge burst out from the ether. Using a flash-step technique in midair, Trinity mentally let go of her body—trusting the force of her will, her spirit, to lead her point in space faster than the eye could see; she teleported before Terra and held him back. The molten dark corruption oozed out from invisible vents in the ground, the corruption corroding everything it touched. The blackened the fiery lava-like substance started to reject gravity as lifted up into the air forming a dome—a protective shield—over the four Inheritor capes.

    “What… is that?” Terra asked.

    Trinity opened her mouth to respond but closed it when something writhed and twisted itself up from the primordial muck. Venus, the corruption goddess, slowly pulled herself out of the lake of contamination. Molten rock and sludge seeped from her face and long fur coat until she stood on top of the ocean of liquid fire, spotless.

    Smiling, Venus adjusted her sunglasses with a gloved hand, pulling them from her eyes and nestling it in her thick hair.

    “Venus…” Trinity kept her face impassive as she wasn’t sure what to think. “What the hell is this?”

    Venus’s face brightened once she caught sight of the Tainted woman. “Ah, Ms. Trinity! What is with that dour expression, hmm? Have you no love for an old client? A wealthy one that treats you quite nicely I might add.”

    Trinity’s lips thinned. “Not when that client is trashing my place. Why are you here? How did you find this location?”

    “You know I have my ways. I thought you’d like to see me in person, as you have spent so much time watching me from afar.”

    Was Venus annoyed because the Sinister Seven kept tabs on her? Trinity knew it would have been impossible to spy on her in secret for long. Instead of risking her ire by acting in a covert manner and losing valuable contact as a result, the Seven agreed to watch her openly as she stayed in Ravensworth.

    “You led the Inheritors here?” Trinity asked.

    Venus nodded.

    “Why?”

    “I’ll answer that in a moment.” Venus turned around, facing her warm rotting orb of corruption. The orb of sludge came apart, oozing downward and forming a large ring around the Inheritor capes that were protected inside.

    “Are you alright, my children?” she called.

    “Fuck no!” Ignition said. “You didn’t tell us we were going against two flying bricks and a team of strong-ass capes. They fucking killed Bliss!”

    Terra snorted at Ignition’s indignation. “Trinity didn’t kill her. I can still sense her vapor.”

    Venus chuckled. “I let you fight them because I trusted you would survive, which you have. And so you would understand. This is a good experience for you to gain a feeling for the types of enemies you will come up against in the future. Is my trust in you misplaced, Ignition?”

    Ignition hesitated. Even with Trinity’s expertise in reading body language, it was hard for her to read him with his face covered by a motorcycle helmet.

    “Well, you’ve surpassed my expectations at least.” Venus continued to speak while fiddling with her necklace, cutting Ignition of before he could respond back. “Not many capes would be able to last as long as you have against a team of S-Class warriors.”

    Ignition and Keymaker stiffened.

    “…They’re S-Class?” Prodigy uttered.

    Terra shrugged, his grin widening. “Some of us may be ranked higher than that.”

    Keymaker was stunned. “What? Are you serious? Then this wasn’t just a little gang fight, fucking some newbs out of terrority they think they got.” He spun around to glare at Venus. “This was fucking suicide!”

    “Elder Gods…” Venus said with a hand on her hip, not taking her eyes off of Trinity. “Calm yourself boy. You’re still alive, are you not?”

    Keymaker sputtered.

    Trinity skin prickled with irritation as the natural urge to kill—the curse of the Tainted race—rose within her. Her fists tightened and her eyes shut while she bit her lip, clamping the urge down. Fighting Venus now wouldn’t be the wisest decision.

    Individually, Venus was probably stronger than every member of the Seven, excluding Terra. Though there was no telling who would be favored if every person from both sides fought each other at the same time, it wouldn’t be worth the risk. There would be a high probability that their hideout would be destroyed in the ensuing conflict, the aftermath attracting attention from all sorts of unwanted sources.

    “State your business, Venus,” Trinity barked. “I’m losing my patience.”

    “So testy! Though this little excursion was a simple assessment for my young pupils, I really wanted to visit you!” Venus waved her arms in an animated fashion like she was offended. Her brow was furrowed, worry and pain in her eyes.

    Trinity paused, not buying her act. “You’re sponsoring them?”

    Terra whistled in admiration while observing Keymaker, Ignition, and Prodigy. “Right now it may seem like you guys have been dealt a shitty hand, but if you got one of the most powerful Valterians training you up… you’ll have this gangbanging stuff in the bag.”

    “We’ll… see,” Ignition muttered.

    “Still, there are other ways for gangs to gain territory, instead of fighting established ones,” Terra eyed Venus. “If that’s what you’re trying to do.”

    Venus chuckled with mirth. “No.” Her amber gaze shifted from young Arroyan to Trinity, her smile cutting through Trinity’s soul. “I’m here to offer the Sinister Seven a job.”

    Curious anticipation crackled in Trinity’s chest. “What would you need all of us for?”

    “Not so much need,” Venus corrected, raising a finger with a smile. “But I would like your help. There is a war coming and I always enter battle prepared. In the memory of the hallowed named Elsa, I’m going to do what she could not. I’m going to assimilate the gangs in this city.”

    ---

    Please consider donating to my Patreon or PayPal page. Many thanks to those who have. Rewards can be seen here.
    Last edited by Fluxx; March 7th, 2019 at 01:18 AM.
    Read and Relax...
    A girl wishes for utopia - Nature's Kingdom (Wordpress)

  4. #24
    Transcendent Spiritmon Fluxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    171
    Ode: Grace

    What I want is not of this world.
    Read and Relax...
    A girl wishes for utopia - Nature's Kingdom (Wordpress)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •