Board Writing :: Aftermath: The Prologue :: Page 2
…As the Thanox gang headed back to their headquarters.
“…Ah, now I see why you vanted to get vid of that Jules kid” Gunter commented to Maria.
“Yeah, that idiot was becoming a major pain!” Maria said. “Always trying to kiss up to me, complimenting me for my ‘excellent busts’--”
“How come you always get all the attention from the boys?!” Sasha blurted out.
“Shut up, Sasha!” Maria snapped back.
“Enough! For now ve should find out vat Ever is doing vit that group” Gunter said.
“Yeah, how the hell did they get him to side with them?” Sasha asked.
“…He must be planning on using the Tome to reverse his curse.” Maria remarked. “The Tome was said to contain powers unheard of in this world.”
“And how does he expect to use it? Not even we, the Thanox, with all our might and technology and magic, could open that damn thing!” Sasha exclaimed.
“Still, it is possible for Ever to find a way.” Maria replied. “Anyway, it doesn’t matter much. We can locate them any time.” She smiled evilly. “They don’t know about the secret device I have hidden inside Jules. Hehehehehehehe…”
Meanwhile, the good guy trio was running on foot again, heading towards the backup rendezvous point.
“…They don’t seem to be following us anymore.” Jules observed.
“Of course! They never expected Ever to be with us, so we’ve got the edge on them!” Vincent replied.
“What? Is he really that good and powerful and all?” Jules asked skeptically.
“Oh brother.” Samael groaned. “Want me to show you?”
“Hey, wait!” Jules yelled.
“Now is not the time, Ever!” Vincent shouted. “We have to hurry up and get out of this place before we run into any more troubles!”
They ran without talking for another minute. Then Jules thought of something.
“Hey.” Jules said. “There was a burning wreck back where we ran from, right?”
“Yeah.” Samael replied. “What about it?”
“Well,” Jules began. “Don’t you think it’s a bit strange that nobody has come to investigate? Surely many people would have seen or heard it—“
“POLICE!!! FREEZE!!! HANDS ON YOUR HEADS!!!”
The trio quickly found themselves surround by police officers aiming guns at them.
“Way to go for jinxing our luck, Jules” Ever muttered.
"Wait, I thought you were the one that caused bad luck?" Jules questioned the elder.
"Well, you're not helping!" Vincent snapped back. Done with the petty squabble, he turned his attention to the more pressing matter at hands. There were about ten officers before them, no telling how many behind, no cars, and no badges. "Wait, no badges?" realized the pyromancer. "These guys are tins!" he laughed, relaxing his arms and continuing with his escape.
"Shut up and freeze!" threatened one of the officers.
"Uh-huh, and what are you going to do about it?" mocked the mage, drawing closer to the challenging officer. "Which frequency were you listening to on your little police scanner? Was it copper? Silver?"
"I said shut up!" he screamed, fumbling his weapon from the sweat that increased on the grip.
"Oh, it wasn't gold, was it?" he said with a sneer. "We aren't that popular, are we?" The Fire Slinger reached out to the officer's gun and plucked it from him without a fight and held it up to his side. "If the golds were called in on us," he explained, "then you know just what we are capable of. What sort of chance do you really think some dress-ups like you stand?" The cool, metal surface of the pistol rapidly changed to a brilliant orange and then into a puddle. The trembling overwhelmed the policeman who collapsed to his knees before Vincent, whimpering, his fearful eyes never leaving that fiery gaze.
"Anyone else want some?" Rolling his eyes over the wall of officers, none dare step forward. "That's what I thought. C'mon, let's go."
"Not so fast," a voice rose up from behind. Few of the cowardice parted to make room in the alley for another officer, slim in build and slightly stooped from dragging a waraxe twice his own size. "When my men say freeze, they mean it. We are reserving our citizens' rights to detain all of you until the higher grade officers arrive." He pulled forth the axe, digging a rivet in the ground, and set it straight for his tired arm to rest on. "Or else."
"Or else what?" dared Vincent, who could hear the officers behind him scrambling away upon his remark. "Y'know, that threat would mean a lot more if I actually believed you could hurt us with that thing," he said, gesturing to the axe.
A sly smile cracked along the captain's face as he fed a lone finger through a leather thong fitted at the end of the handle. With a gentle tug up, the entire weapon lifted from the ground and now swayed slowly in the air back and forth. Through with his little demonstration, he just as effortlessly swung his arm back at a full arch before he launched the axe spiraling toward. Too narrow was the alley to accomodate the weapon's breadth; it simply plowed through the brick with little slowing.
Samael lept before the group and swatted at the whirling devastation with an armored bracer, which did little for protecting him but enough to send the blade skidding upward.
"Magick," Ever cursed, rising up from the ground. "Bleedin' power of levitation. The kid's an aeromancer and prob'ly doesn't even know it."
"Either way," Vincent stated, stepping forward, "he doesn't have his little toy no-" Jules plowed him to the ground alongside Ever as the axe boomeranged back, whizzing just over their heads. The captain did not flinch from its returning speed but thrust his hand forward and caught it at a dead stop.
"Careful now. You might have a healer with you now," warned Jules, "but that won't mean much if you're in pieces." Vince through the healer from off top of him and returned to his feet, drawing out his favorite gun, emblazened with the word "Firebrand" on the barrel. A continuous stream of fiery bullets assaulted the captain, but each deflected from a rapidly spinning shield made from his blade, which was maintained until his ammo came to an end. Caught off guard by his still-living target, he patted himself down for another clip, only to find none.
"Didn't you grab any ammo from the van?" Ever badgered. Vince chose not to respond.
"Well, won't this prove to be an interesting fight?" said the captain, grasping firm the pommel of his waraxe.
Elsewhere, the Thanox trio tore through the quarters belonging to Maria.
"Vere is dat device?" shouted Gunter, whose head was buried inside some sort of apperature.
"It has got to be somewhere," Maria thought aloud while taking a momentary rest on her work chair. "I made that tracking device so long ago."
Sasha popped her head up from behind the station and, after adjusting her crooked glasses, spoke up. "Is this one it?"
Maria casted a haphazard glance from the corner of her eye in Sasha's direction. "No, that's a generator... of.... something," she informed, contorting her face as though it would help her to remember better.
A frustrated Sasha threw the device down, certain that her "friend" would have another one lying somewhere in the mess, and started off to another corner of the room. "How is it that you have so much free time? You have more machines here than things I could even think to use machines for, but you still have an, ahem, 'active' social life."
"It's a gift," she bragged, stretching back in her chair, showing off another one of her gifts. "I'm a tinker; this is what I do."
"Da, my pet," agreed Gunter. "The brains and the beaooty. Some girls get it all."
"I bet she's gets a lot of things," muttered a bitter Sasha under her breath, but no one caught on. Ready to kick a small scrap strewn on the floor, she stopped when she realized the piece of junk had a screen and antennae attached to his. "Hey guys," she spoke, resuming an audible tone, "is this thing it?"
Maria blew a stray lock of hair from her face in order to see what incorrect item Sasha had recovered this time. She surged up to a stance quickly and stopped. "Gunter," she squeaked. He lowered his head from out a removed ceiling panel with a similar expression, something very uncharacteristic for him.
Sasha was bewildered by the reaction. She feared to move at the thoughts of what she might trigger the machine to do. "Guys...." she whispered slowly, "what did I just pick up?" They gave no response, but only remained all the more still.
Before she could eek out another word, a hand clasped over her mouth. Another finely gloved pressed her to the body of the individual who now stood behind her. "Shhh, little Sasha," the man hushed in too calm a tone for the situation, leaning over her left shoulder to come into her vision. "Don't scream now," he ordered, still in the low, calm tone as before. "You know how much I do enjoy it when you scream, and then I might do something awful." She stood frozen, too afraid to even show it, never leaving her eyes from the man's pale, angular face. He removed the white glove from over her mouth but still held her tight to his gaunt, sickly frame with his other fist, securely holding the end of a cane.
"Who let you in, freak?" Maria sternly demanded of the guest.
"Some of the guards," he quickly dismissed, never shifting his sight's from the terrified young woman he held captive. "The ones that are still living. The others did not want to have me, if you could imagine," he toyed, with a sadistic grin cut into his face. "I guess they saw something that changed their minds." Sasha now emitted a slight, shrill squeak, incapable of allowing herself to do anything else as the intruder stood, now caressing her cheek, giving no heed to his hosts.
Maria scowled. Even in a situation as creepy as this, she could not stand Sasha getting more attention than herself, even if it was a fatal attraction. "It has not even been an hour, apothecary. How did you find out so fast?"
"I have my ways," he sighed, tilting his head to appreciate woman who had turned as pale as he. "I heard it was the Tome of Ten. You never told me that you had Tome Ten." For the first time, he raised his eyes from beneath the brim of his hat, focused on Maria. "I could be very angry about that," he grumbled, "but then you nice people would not tell me where I could find it."
The cryomancer furrowed his brows at the audacity shown by the man, but he knew there was little other choice. "Ve have a trace on him. Ve offer da same deals as before. Ve give da location, and you return vhat is rightfully ours." He thought a little moment about their previous dealings. "Dis time, vould you be so kind as to return da tome still opened after you are done vit it?"
"Find out how to open it yourselves," he attacked. "If just everyone knew what was written on those pages, our little encounters like this would be so much less fun." As she felt the apothecary's grip loosen for an instant, Sasha broke away, tripping into Gunter, wiping off her face as much as possible -- mostly from disgust, but a legitimate fear of mortality also played its part.
The man in the white suit only smiled all the more. He tapped the device once held by Sasha -- the tracker -- to his hat and took his leave, much to the group's relief.
"Why," cried Sasha, "why do we have to work with that man?"
"It is not like we get a choice in the matter," scoffed Maria. "Just be glad we aren't on the other side," she said, with a ounce of pity to her voice.
"He cannot be trusted," announced the man clad in purple, "and because he has our tracker, ve must follow him now. Let us see vhere dey vant to take dis book..."
The alley walls lay in shambles. The tins had all long since fled. Vincent's arms were set ablaze, he breathed heavily. Jules rested at the sidelines; he had been exhausted all too much this battle and never fought once. Ever managed the best he could in his current situation -- only one arm which was holding onto the detached one so the pyromaniac could weld it back on.
The captain, on the other hand, still stood tall with nary a scatch or singe to be seen.
"According to the citizens' rights," declared the captain, "I am allowed to use lethal force if so provoked. I wanted the Law to handle this properly, but..."
"You mean he wasn't trying to kill us before?" a shocked Jules huffed.
He took his arm back -- all the way -- bearing the axe up in a whirlwind whose force could be felt filling the ruined alleyway. Two, stern eyes pierced from below his flowing, messed hair in the wind. Then, he fell.
The wind ceased. The waraxe came to the ground with a heavy thud, embedding itself a good part in. Behind him stood an unfamiliar, gaunt man. He looked up to the three from beneath the white brim of his top, dropping a pristine glove he bit onto the middle finger of from his mouth and onto the other still-gloved hand, which rest atop a dazzling cane.
"Oh, dear me," addressed the man clad in a red-and-white pinstripe suit-coat, "was he the wrong one? Well, there are not many more left me, so that should make things easier."
"Oh crap, it's the Candyman," simply stated Ever.
"Candyman?" Jules exclaimed. "More of your nicknames? What is his real name?"
Samael looked side to side. "The... Candyman," he reiterated. "I've been around for a while, and I've never heard him called anything else."
"He's supposed to be a hydromancer," Vince sternly stated, tranfixing a very intent gaze on the new opponent.
"Water?" laughed Jules, whose mood was the lightest at the moment. "That is, like, the worst of the magicks!" Then it struck him. "What, what do you mean supposed to be?" Neither of them answered. In fact, they did nothing but stand. The Candyman, meanwhile, condensed orbs from the sky to circle behind him. He felt that he needed to say something. "Shouldn't... we do something?"
"We are going to try and live," Vince told him. "If you want to die, go ahead." He shot a mean look behind him, careful not to take too much attention away from what stood before him. "Just wait. Expect anything."
The apothecary said nothing more. The spheres behind him had grown to a span in diameter. He reached out with his exposed hand and lazily let the orbs pass through his fingers. From the ripples, the translucence gave way to a dark, murky contaminant that infected the entire space in a short moment. As the final one left his reach, his eyes burst open in a cool, aquatic aura. The waters gatled forward in an instant, leaving little time for reaction from Jules, who could not see the attacking coming through Vince, who once stood before him. Only one of the bullets struck, but it was enough; the healer was down, and he was not getting up.
The Candyman tried to assess the situation, adjusting his spectacles in the distance. He did know that one was down, which meant he needed to try again. That was an opportunity Vince did not wish to give him. The Fire Slinger hurtled himself toward the foe, sweeping his arms widely from the ground, summoning an explosive burning force that was reduced to no more than steam on the suddenly appearing wall of water.
The wall melted away, and there stood the Candyman still, but without the trademark grin. He felt on the middle of his suit, where now a hole was. He reached in two of his fingers into his chest to retreive a small pebble Vincent had rocketed from the alley floor at him, still hot with ash; it was his hopes that the aquatic defenses could not stop that part of his attack, and he was right.
"Oh my," the apothecary stated, casting the stone back to the floor whence it came, "look what you have gone and done. I cannot be out in this suit; 'tis ruined." He tipped his hat to his opponents and turned away, taking a steady pace down the alley.
"Good thinking," congratulated Ever, "but that won't work again." His eyes followed Vince as he made his way over to their fallen comrade. "Who's gonna heal our healer?"
"He'll be fine," Vincent told. "Healers like him are resistant to poisons and the like, and can recover a lot faster than we could... or recover at all, this case," he said, looking aside to the dead captain. "He can finish recovering at the rendevous point."
Meanwhile, not too far away…
“OK, so Jules the healer is down, and the other two aren’t in good shape.” Maria announced to the other two, coming back from peeking around the corner.
“Great! This can be the perfect chance to swipe the Tome!” Sasha exclaimed.
“Vait.” Gunter said. “They still are powerful, and have Ever.”
“Well, then what should we do?!” Sasha asked.
“…Hmm.” Maria thought. “I think I might have a plan…that other guy…”
“Leave me alone! I need time to plan this out to our favor. Let’s see… How about we have someone else do the dirty work for us other than…him.”
Maria then took out a cell phone and made a call…
Meanwhile, a little farther away…
“So, they don’t trust me again.” the apothecary said to himself, smiling. “But, they don’t know what’s in store for them… hehehehe…” With that, he vanished with a puff of smoke.
Now, back with the protagonist trio…
Vincent and Ever “ran” as fast as they could towards the rendezvous point with their wounds and while carrying Jules. They were beginning to see the outskirts of Neo Columbus.
“Finally.” Vincent gasped. “And no more distractions.”
“We should stay on our guard.” Ever said. “It’s probably very early in the morning, and many things happen in the dark—“
“FREEZE!!! GIMME ALL YOUR MONEY!!!”
The pair found themselves facing a mugger pointing a gun at them.
“Good grief…” Vincent muttered. Then he quickly took up the gun away from the mugger and had it pointing at him within a second. In another second, the mugger was on the ground unconscious.
“That was kinda stupid…” Vincent said.
“Hey, plenty of people aren’t careful about their surroundings when they’re scared out of their wits.” Samael replied, looking at the corner into which the mugger had run out of fright. “Let’s hurry.”
"I'll carry this with me." Vincent said, glancing at the plucked gun. "We may need it."
The trio continued towards the rendezvous point and reached the outskirts of Neo Columbus. Within another 20 minutes, the rendezvous point was in sight, a clearing in a forest with a yew tree in the middle.
“Finally!” Vincent gasped. “We can finally rest—“
“FREEZE!!! HANDS ON YOUR HEADS!!!”
The trio was again surrounded by police who came out of the forest towards the clearing. However, this time they seemed to mean more business, with body armor, AK-47s, rocket launchers…
“What the hell?!” Samael exclaimed. “Why won’t you people leave us alone?!?”
“YOU ARE UNDER ARREST FOR THE HOMICIDE OF A POLICE OFFICER AND FOR ATTEMPTED TERRORISM!!! PUT YOUR HANDS ON YOUR HEADS, NOW!!!” the commander ordered out of a megaphone.
“Attempted terrorism?” Vincent muttered to himself. “Some things aren’t adding up. How did the police find us again so quickly? And attempted terrorism…? And this looks like an ambush.” Then, shouting out aloud, “How did you find out where we were so quickly, huh?”
“YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO KNOW! WE PROTECT THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF OUR SOURCES!”
“That means someone anonymously tipped off the police” Vincent said to Ever. “But who…”
“PUT YOUR HANDS ON YOUR HEADS!!! THIS IS YOUR FINAL WARNING!!!”
The pair assessed the situation. With their healer still down, and surrounded by heavily-equipped police, the situation looked grim.
A man dressed in black stood on a cieling overlooking the dark alleyways. A rogue pyro and aeromancer, he had managed to gain skills enough to create several rather fun spells.
He looked over to where several policemen where confronting a small group. He sighed. "Well, you have to help people out..." He jumped from the rooftop, and caught himself with his aeromancer powers. He walked around, and walked up to one of the policemen, and tapped him on the shoulder.
"Excuse me officer," he tried to say, but the officer, frightened, discharged his weapon suddenly. Fortunately, the group dropped to the ground, and were silently crawling away.
The police force turned to face him.
"YOU ARE UNDER ARREST FOR INTERFERING WITH AN INVESTIGATION."
The man laughed, and slowly walked around the corner.
A bullet passed by his ear as he did so, but the man laughed harder. He carefully muttered to himself a spell, and let loose a fireball, combining his pyro and aeromancer abilities. The policemen yelled and screamed as they were concumed by the firey inferno. The man laughed, and dissapeared into the shadows.
He had interfered with the police, but who would talk? His plans were steadily falling into place. His manipulations of things would continue until those around him realised they were not acting under their own plans, but his. He walked into the alley shadows and dissapeared.
The sudden commotion, while unknown in origin to the wounded band of the 10's Tome, was appreciated none the less. The distraction allowed them good time to take care of business. The brash group of Silvers had seemed out for trouble, showing off their guns to anyone who looked suspicious. No one would miss them, and Vince had no problem disposing of them. Filling vigilantes with well placed holes from the mugger's arm, he leveled half of the troop, conserving his strength and magic. Turning about to finish the rest, he was confounded by no one left standing.
"Samael, where," Vincent began to question, cranking his head about to make sure none remained on foot, "where are all the Silvers?"
"Oh, that. Well, you see," Ever started to explain, but then Vincent lowered his gaze at the street plastered in ruptured bodies.
"No, no, I'd prefer not to know," the pyromancer decided. The elder glanced around the area. The "park", as he remembered them being called, was nothing more than blighted trees that had not born leaves since last there were seasons in a year. The tall standing tree, centered among the ring of death, stood like a pillar, its many branches having rotted and fell over time.
"Strange," spoke Ever to himself, "why would crack addicts meet here?"
"Because, Samael, no one likes to come here," Vincent expounded as he approached the rendezvous spot. "These sights of lost things are too depressing." They were not sinking his spirit, of course, for he did not believe it could be dragged down any more. Between crashing in a helicopter, being attacked more times than he cared to count, and running into the Candyman, their loss of time had forced them to the alternative location. The only thing he wanted to see through that door was back up and, if all went well, Tanner. He turned the knob and...
... nothing. The cursed then was jammed. He threw his body against it with no results. Frustrated, he pounded on the portal furiously, then finally noticing small crystalline fragments spilling from the cracks.
"We're under attack," cried out Vince, turning only to find Ever already engaged with the enemy. Rolling out of the way just in time, Gunter crashed down onto his former position, shattering a cone of ice. Lighting his own hands aflame, he lunged at his foe.
Ever had his hands busy with the girls. Currently, he struggled with Maria, who had his remaining arm ensnared in her whip, surging with power. Overconfident, she blew a kiss at her most recent boy friend, as far as anyone else knew, as thanks to letting them know where to go. Gritting his teeth, Samael bite hard into the whip while Maria mocked him, knocking her to the ground with the recoil. Sliding in front of the unconscious healer, whom he was depending on to reattach his arm, Ever brandished a cane that not many had paid heed to earlier. It was simple, wooden, and knotted. It really wasn't worth noting. Its disguise had served him well over the ages.
Rapping the cane on the earth, he chanted some verses of the Church's Latin. The walking stick began to gleam, and Ever held it aloft for the final incantation. A white beam shone down upon him, but quickly faded black as he drove the cane into the ground below him, making a deep impression of a shining, black rood. The overwhelming black light forced any who gazed upon to shield their eyes or risk going blind. At its pass, the tattered old man had vanished. In his place stood a proud, strong priest in gleaming robe of silver, laden with ornament roods. Clasp within his iron mitt hands was a great war hammer. It was one of the only rules he kept when he was under the cloth, oddly enough.
"What sort of magick is this?" blurted Maria as she scuttled back on her hands.
"White," grimly replied Sasha as she pushed up her glasses, standing her ground. White magic was the only kind allowed by the Church. It was not inherited like the magicks they wielded. White magic had to be granted or bestowed, but, in Samael's case, it was abused. Raising her hand, the earth vomited forth a rusted hook launched onto to a winding chain, caught in her dainty hand. Swinging around the gaff, she hurled it at the cleric, who deflected it with a mighty swing of his maul. Almost facing end at her own device, the girl managed to duck, able to bring the chain around in a wide, sweeping blow. The hook had picked up some of the previously discarded officers but moved with just as much ease. Raising an arm, the one he had lost, not restored, but temporarily regrown, the links spun about, wrapping around his unholy bracer. The flesh was dried as the blood was drunk by his ungodly armor, and the sinister aura about the Ever grew bolder. The chain began to pull itself tighter around his arm. Not in a way that would crush his limb but that would drag Sasha to him. Her heels dug trenches in the soil in spite her commanding it to support her. With a devilish smile through his beaver, he snapped his arm back, throwing the geomancer to him. Pulling back his great hammer for a grand strike, spires of rock covered his weapon, preventing the assault as the young lady twirled around him, untangling her chain. Exploding the stones with a single thought of rage, he charged after the wee one.
Maria, under none's watch, slinked on by Jules, who laid defenseless in the middle of the path. Her lips fiendishly curled as she drew ever nearer. A tap on her shoulders from some unnamed aeromancer soaring above her was met with a mighty zap, hurtling his charged body off beyond her care.
"Well, well, Jules," she whispered to the healer. "I don't really think we'll need you anymore. But, hey, it was fun while it lasted, right?" She raised a surging hand, aimed at his heart. "Yeah, who am I kidding?" Before she could discharge, a fissure ripped its way between her and the body, unleveling the earth, rising Jules high above her. "Sasha, you dolt," she accused, "watch where you're... aim... ing?" As she adverted her sight to Sasha, no where near the fault's origin. Her eyes bounced to Ever, leaning over his mallet, smashed into the ground. With an angered huff, steam vented from his grilled face guard as he charged. A wild hook sped in front of him, not latching onto his body. She knew she did not have the strength to slow him down. It planted itself into the earth, and Sasha pulled. A chunk of dirt was slowly brought up, the incline for Ever getting steeper. He may have been strong, he may have been empowered, but the armor donned beneath his robes was very, very heavy. The slab had been brought vertical by the time he reached the edge, and he only reached it with the ends of his fingers. With just a slight tug, Sasha brought the entire land mass down onto Ever, hopefully keeping him out of their way long enough to do the deed.
"Now then, where was I?" Maria mocked spoke as Sasha constructed a stairway through the risen earth to carry her to Jules. "Oh, that's right. I was killing you." Raising both hands to the sky, bolts of lightning met them, building up a sphere of raw energy. The great light caught the attention of Vincent, but he was too busy to do anything about it as Gunter was presently attempting to add more holes to his body than were anatomically accepted with a large icicle. When the ball of thunder had grown to more than necessary for an overkill, Maria let out an unnerving cackle. A thundering streak tore through the flesh and blood flowed. And then, she screamed.
Red gushed over her body, drenching her suit in her own essence. Her hands, crackling with the fast fading electricity, tumbled past her field of vision, seen faintly through the veil of crimson. She stood motionless of Jules body, her stumps that were arms still held high.
"I sure dun know who that bugger is," said an unfamiliar voice, "but I'm sure I dun wanna see him dyin'." Gazes turned to battered man perched high in the giant, dead tree's branches. His dark blue suit frayed and filled with bullet holes, splattered in blood, some his, some not. A loosened tie hung against his green shirt, equally as mangled. His sleeves were rolled up, and anywhere flesh was exposed showed signs of multiple bruises and scratches from a most spectacular battle. The wind blew through his long, blonde hair, matted with sweat and blood, covering the dark, busted shades that hid his eyes. Lifting a hand slowly, it quirkily pointed to the cracked spectacles. "Look familiar, Vince?" The despair in the fire slinger's face was washed away. "And you said I couldn't take those guys on my own. Somebody owns me a brew." With a swipe of his hand, a terrible sound built up, as before, and shredded across the risen incline, cleaving off the ledge that supported Maria, still frozen from shock. As Sasha prepared to counter, he waved his other hand, dropping a rain of blades that severed her chain in several places. "Looks like you guys have been having fun without me," he noted, snapping his fingers and softening the earth that encased Ever. The old man rose through the mud, while not happy or clean, but freed and still alive, and back to his more familiar form. He could have washed him off, but why? "Looks like I have some lost time to make up for." Leaning forward, he let gravity carry him from the branch as he descended into the battlefield, whipping the double barreled shotgun from his back.
[Psst, he's Water & Wind if you can't tell. And if he wasn't suppose to be, Uh-oh! Spagetti-Os!]
** There is still more to this story.
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