I ran, I ran as fast as I could, charging into the crowd that began to gather, following Sacrifice. She reached an alley and we ducked into it, taking chaotic turns as the sounds of rubble being made and the booming voice of the King sounded. I ran out of breath before sacrifice did, placing my hand on a wall when nobody was around.
Sacrifice turned around, catching her breath, too.
“This is the worst possible situation,” she said, before correcting herself. “No, this is better. The King knows now, so we might be able to beat Taker while he’s distracted.”
I finally managed to speak. “We are going to die, aren’t we?”
“Yes, we probably are.”
This did nothing for my confidence. I didn’t want to die, not so soon.
Sacrifice continued. “Best case scenario is we hide and let Taker and the King wear each oth-”
She didn’t get to finish as the King charged through the wall and struck her in the gut with his scepter. I heard and felt the impact, and saw Sacrifice get launched down the alleyway away from me, creating a resounding thud as she crashed against a wall.
The King had his cape torn, and was covered by webbing across his arm. He turned to face me, and I saw his furious expression, and the upper half of Jawbreaker, ripped in two.
“Oh fuck,” was all I could say as he hurled the torso at me, knocking me down and winding me.
“How dare you,” he said, a vile expression is his tone. “You insult the King with a cheap attack?” His slow hovering was ominous. Even more so when he approached me.
I scrambled to buy time. “Hey, I’m totally not with them,” I said, raising my bandaged hand. I saw the three fingers and remembered about Sacrifice as he looked bemused. I pushed Jawbreaker’s corpse off of me and pointed in her direction. She was starting to get up. “She was with me, we are third parties in this thing that’s happening. We aren’t enemies, please listen.”
Just as I finished, he turned around to see Kumo tackle Sacrifice out of view as she managed to stand upright.
“That beast killed my Royal Guard!” he yelled, furious at the sight of Kumo. The King pulled a parchment out. “Merly! Out now!”
Merly was dead wasn’t he? I thought to myself. A pause as nothing happened. “Merly!”
Nothing. The sounds of crashing were distant. An inhuman scream. Kumo was hurt.
“Merly too?” Asked the King rhetorically, throwing the parchment it away for another in his clothing.
“Corvus! I summon you!” he boomed.
Darkness shot out from the corners of the alley, from the edges of my peripheral vision. Even more from the corners facing away from me, the ledges of windows, underneath rubble and trash. It gathered into a rough, barely-human shape.
“I’m here, my King,” it said, kneeling.
“Kill all intruders except the naked girl and the wounded boy,” demanded the King. “Imprison them for later.”
Out of all possible outcomes, this was the worst. I picked myself up and ran as Corvus made pursuit, creating space around me that filled the alley. I needed to protect myself.
Corvus screeched, touching my safe zone and retreated, dissipating into every corner I couldn’t see, and every nook I’d never check. He was looking for Kumo and Sacrifice. The King left, more parchments in hand. “Oculus,” he said, reading one parchment out of view from me.
I was still in the open, I thought, looking around. I bashed a window with my good hand, and crawled inside, making sure I was in the safe confines of my own ability. I couldn’t trust my personal sphere, but the active space I could create works wonders.
Inside, there were cowering townspeople. The mother held a kitchen knife, terrified. I was too, but for different reasons.
“Upstairs, now!” I barked, pointing at the staircase. They backed away, slowly before rushing up to the bedrooms.
I walked through the kitchen where I entered via window, looking for weapons. My baton was lost at some point and my shield was a hindrance in travelling, I tossed that without thinking.
A frying pan and a steak knife came to me. I didn’t want to linger about in a house filled with foreign sci-fi toys for too long. I opened the front door, and saw Corvus waiting, fully fleshed out in a black robe with his effeminate, white face showing. Maybe he was elsewhere when summoned and his powers make clones of shadow? Why in person?
My thoughts were cut short as he pulled out a gun with way too many buttons. I threw the Frying pan and dived back into the house, covering my ears as I heard a nothing and splinters scattered everywhere. Fuck, I can’t stop that gun. My safety was flawed.
Corvus walked into the house as I ran from the hallway to the living room to the kitchen, dodging blasts of energy as they ripped the building apart. I could hear screaming from upstairs as the family felt the house shake.
“Stay still,” he whispered, irritated at my luck in avoiding death.
I dived through the window I came in, one last shot barely grazing me as I scrambled down the alley. I turned and didn’t see him. He must be heading me off.
I put the knife into my good hand and stopped at a corner, expanding my space some more to give me decent cover. Well, as much cover as could help, given the fact my opponent has gone to the ‘just shoot the fucker’ school of super powered combat.
His shadow paced around the corner, bursting into nothing as he hit the wall of my power. He was testing it, looking to see if he could find me or lure me out. I snaked further into the side alley, cautious of being caught or seen by Corvus and his gun.
I could probably fake a surrender and tackle him, I thought. No, he’d make me drop my knife, and I’ve already fuzzed up the ‘innocent don’t attack’ bluff.
I scratched my head looking for a solution. Maybe Corvus was attacking from elsewhere?
I doubled back, running as silently I could while taking a detour. I was right, he was slowly walking to where I was, In my space. I waited for him to pass and ran at him, knife in hand. He turned and I dived to the side, stabbing his stomach as I fell short. He shot nothing and hit nothing, crying out in pain as I pulled down, gutting him alive. He fell backwards and dropped the gun, and in the frantic rush I stabbed him again before he could grab the gun and shoot.
Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again.
Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again. Again.
I was out of breath.
I saw Sacrifice and Kumo, after wandering about in a blood soaked daze, not seeing anybody as the townspeople hid from me. It felt awful. I’m the bad guy. I’m a murderer.
Kumo was being held up against a wall as the blood drenched Sacrifice held a leg she ripped off his body. He was regrowing limbs as she stood there, in the street.
I called out. “Sac-”
She drove the leg through the wall, nailing Kumo against it. Legging go, she snapped off another leg, and nailed Kumo more securely with that one, too.
“Stay down, Kumo,” she ordered calmly. How could she be? She just casually ripped her former teammate apart and nailed him to the wall with his own legs.
“Daddy,” muttered Kumo silently, barely struggling.
Sacrifice turned and saw me. “Make a space or I’ll kill you.”
What? She charged, nearly too quick for me to react. I put my hands up and made a space as close to me as possible, covering my stomach and face. I felt a normal punch to the gut.
It still hurt, and I nearly threw up.
“Good, you are you,” she said, uncaring about the fact she just hit me. “That means I killed her, too.”
“Her?” I just barely said, looking sick.
“Nevermind, just another delay. Did you get attacked?”
I gave pause, dry heaving and winded. “Corvus. Shadow guy. Big Gun. Dead,” I huffed out, confused and alone.
She smiled, standing me straight and patting me on the back. “Good Job,” she said, smiling.
I felt like I could understand her better.