Posts Tagged ‘King of Texas’

Kumo’s legs regrew, twitching occasionally as I stared at him.  Sacrifice wasn’t interested; he was dealt with in her eyes and wasn’t a problem anymore.

“We have to get to the throne room,”  she said, grabbing my de-thumbed hand and walking down a street briskly, dragging me along.  “The King needs to declare his victory while he can, and the fact we killed three of his personal guards already means he’s going to have to downsize instead of taking Brazil.”

Apparently we saved Brazil.  Who knew?

“Wait, we can beat the King?”

“That was part of the original plan.  Beat him, take throne, abuse the Immigration and Exile powers to move allies about, have a small nation at your control with supertech built by geniuses.”

I was in awe.  “Is that why you kept your knowledge secret?  To avoid anyone getting the same idea?”

“Not exactly.  Think about it, Ryan.  If everyone knew there was a way to become an absolute, undisputed ruler with no way of being stopped or killed that doesn’t come down to being a complete moron and waging war or some shit, do you think there would be a non-kingmaker nation left?”

I paused to think, putting the knife in the back of my belt due to the lack of pockets I had.

She continued with an amendment.  “Do you think there wouldn’t be a world war three?  Or some other disaster?”

I didn’t need to think hard.

“No,”  I said.  The castle was up ahead, large and imposing.  How did sh-

I was launched into the air, almost taking Sacrifice with me.

Another one of the King’s men.  Sacrifice Didn’t waste any time.  I fell down, getting my bearings.  She already killed whoever attacked in seconds.

We made it to the castle where the king should be; where Taker lay waiting.  All were gone in the city but the occasional pedestrian, hiding away but trying to get a glimpse of us.

We were winning so far.  Bloodwitch; dead.  Jawbreaker; dead.  Glutton; dead.  Trauma was stuck in a maze.  Kumo was pinned down.

That left Fractal, Druggie and Taker.  I’d assume Druggie was killed already.  He was a chemical-oriented super-genius, and Jawbreaker was killed easily by the king.  No, We don’t know how many men the king has.  We counted three killed, maybe Taker’s group killed one too?  Also, Event Horizon.  She’s still alive.

Sacrifice opened the door, peering in.

Nothing.  The hall was empty.

We walked in, anxious.  Itching for the next fight.

 

***

 

The castle was big.  Bigger on the inside?  No, don’t be silly.  The insides of the castle cheated, though.  It was larger than you’d think.

“Ryan,”  said Sacrifice quietly as we walked down another empty corridor,  “Do you want to hear the plan now?”

“Yes,”  I replied, happier than I should have been.

“Good, because we are going to have to break everything inside.”

“Break stuff?”  I asked, confused.  “Why not kill the king?”

“Kingmaker is an enchantment type metahuman.  Anyone can be a king if you have an item he enchanted.  That’s the big secret; the big problem.”

I took a moment to digest that.  I could be a king, if my powers didn’t interfere.  Anyone could.  That’s a scary thought, suddenly having yourself lorded over my a complete stranger because they got lucky.

“I know you lied,”  I said, not thinking.  Sacrifice stopped.

“I don’t like talking about my past,”  she said, a little taken aback.  “That’s another thumb when we’ve finished.”

I deserved it.

“I understand,”  I said, starting to walk with her again.  I stopped, Sacrifice walked ahead and paused.

“Ryan?”

“I’m stuck,”  I replied.  “It’s Event Horizon.”

Sacrifice looked around.  Nothing in sight, as far as her reaction gave.  She gave me a little push here and there to gauge what she was holding.

“She’s gotten stronger,”  said Sacrifice, both impressed and annoyed.  “Taker’s work, I presume.”

“Don’t kill her,”  I begged softly.  “She’s weak, you ca-”

“I’ll kill her because she’s weak,”  she shot back at me. “I’ll kill her and save her the trouble of wishing she was dead when she gets caught by another group of villains who have guys who can’t handle their urges, unlike my former teammates.”

Cold.  I felt a chill as she said it.

“Not that I can trust them when they have Taker fucking about in there, anyway,”  she muttered, looking harder.

She checked everywhere.  She nearly checked behind every pillar when it hit me.

I looked up, and was disgusted.  Webbing covered the ceiling above me, barely noticeable with the architecture above.  A web ensnared Event Horizon.  She was cacooned; a human booby trap.

I had to get help somehow.  Sacrifice would kill her.  I couldn’t move.  King wouldn’t help.  Taker was the enemy.  I was alone.

“Sacrifice, above me!”  I cried.  She came over and saw the webs in the ceiling, smirking at the trap Taker made for us.

“Good boy,” she said, walking over.  She looked about my clothing for something, anything.  I still had the bloody knife.  She took it from me, practicing her throw a few times.

“Close your eyes, Ryan.”

No.  Don’t do this.  Don’t kill her.

“Sacrifice, you shouldn’t.  You can knock her out, like you do to me, or something!”  My panicked voice told no lies.  I didn’t want to see her die.  She was innocent.  A victim.

“I don’t know what tricks Taker has up his slee-”

“You can take as many fingers as you want,”I interrupted, shouting. “Just please don’t kill her! Please!”

Sacrifice gave a large grin.  Wait, was she tric-

She ran up the pillar at lightning speed, ignoring all conventions of gravity.  She tore Event Horizon out of the web and fell back to earth, cratering the ground beneath her.  Marble cracked like it was merely glass.

“It’s a promise,”  she said, holding her hand out for me to shake.  Event Horizon was okay. I could deal with that.

I could deal with Sacrifice’s acts, as long as she helped me.  As long as she was there.  I held out my good hand, shaking hers.

“Deal,”  I said, smiling in relief.  “I’m glad you saved her for me.”

 

 

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7 | 1 : Ambush

Posted: 08/02/2014 in Ambush
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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.

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More wandering, but this time pointless.  I was told to walk ahead of Sacrifice, and she directed me where to go.  I turned around and caught a glance of her as she ordered me down a side corridor.

Killing Bloodwitch took more out of her than I thought.

“Stay,”  she said.  I heard a thump and knew she finally collapsed.

I turned to look at her.  She was a wreck.

“Christ,”  she muttered, tears streaming from her eyes.  “He did that.”

I had nothing to say.

“I think I know how you feel about Ellen,”  Sacrifice said.  Those words hurt me as she said them.  “I loved her like a daughter and he did things to her!  He forced his way into her life like that.”

She clenched her fists, shaking with rage.

“I have to stop him.”

I smirked a little, at the irony.  She deserves to know how I feel.  How I felt when she took everything important away from me.

“You think you’ll ever get your old life back?”  I recklessly asked.

“The answer will cost you a thumb,”  she said, looking right at me.

I was okay with that, I spoke out of turn, I thought as I held out my hand.  She came over and bit down on my thumb, hard.  My thumb was severed in one bite as bone crunched and I screamed in pain.

She swallowed it whole like the last time, and looked at me.

“No.  I was with them for too long,”  she said, blood dripping down her chin.  My blood dripping down her chin.

She was so different in person than the articles from the National Heroes Network said.  Sacrifice, the former vigilante who took her teammates and two local super villains on a cross country trip to cause inhuman acts on unwitting victims in the name of “science”.

This was the Sacrifice I knew.  She kidnapped me, does horrific acts and still turns around to save me over and over again.  It was confusing.

 

***

 

We continued to wander aimlessly.  I stuck close, hoping I wouldn’t have to deal with Trauma.  Ellen was gone, unless I could stop Taker, and even then it would be difficult; Everyone was more experienced with me, and my powers were surprisingly useless unless I concentrated.

“I’ve figured it out,”  said Sacrifice, jovially.  “This is a barracks.”

I gestured to my mouth.  “Can I-”

“Yes, I’m allowing it,” she cut in, turning to look at me.

“Why would a barracks become a labyrinth?”  I asked.

“Defenses.  Most people don’t plow through buildings, so having your city walls turn into a maze is a great solution for defense.”

I shrugged, accepting the explanation.

“They probably used Kumo to climb up.”

“Kumo,”  I repeated to myself.  “He’s the spider, right?”

She nodded.

“We can break out of here,” she finally said, getting up off the wall.  She punched through the hallway with her bloody hand after a few tries, and turned to me once she pulled at the wall enough to widen it.

“Close your eyes and turn around, Ryan.”

I did so, and yet again I was sent into slumber again.  I wonder what power she uses to do that?

 

***

 

I woke as I soared through the abyss.  It was dark, loud machines at work.  This was the true inside of the wall.  Texan technology.

“Sacrifice?”  I asked, rousing awake.

She was busy, landing on a room with a thud.  She put me down in a swift motion, letting me fall on my back.

“I was busy,”  she said.  “We need to get out.”

“I’m sorry, Sacrifice,”  I said, apologetic.

“It’s good,”  she replied, sitting down.  “We should talk again.  It keeps us sane.  My dad taught me that.”

“Okay,”  I said, nervous, looking away from her naked body.  “Sure.”

“Ask a question, go ahead.”

“How did you get your powers?”

Sacrifice rubbed her neck.  “Most people get them when they are exited,”  she said.  “Not in the good way, too.  It could be during a mugging, or in a panic attack, or anything, really.”

She looked at me, shrugging.

“I was lucky.  Mine was because of a discovery.”

“Discovery?”

“I was doing research on the medicinal properties of dried animal blood applied directly to the skin and well,”  she gestured at her body. “I got powers.”

“And you became a villain because of that?”

“No, I got my powers because of that.  The villain came later.  I think I started out as one.  Me, Jawbreaker, Taker, Druggie, Glutton and Fractal.  Kumo came later on and I picked up Bloodwitch when I and the others became famous.  I tried to be a hero but they didn’t think powers like mine were ‘Family Friendly’  I think,”  she meandered.

Lies.  You were a hero.  A good one, too.

“So, you are looking for a way out?”  I said once she finished.

She pointed behind me and I turned around.  There was a wall in the way, large and vast.  The wall to the outside.

I heard loud thumping as metal dented, Sacrifice working away at the room as she sat, legs crossed.  As she did so, I realized I could have escaped at any point.  I could have run away.  I chose to stay, for some inexplicable reason.

Sacrifice wasn’t quick enough.  She ducked as a room nearby swung low, missing her by inches.  The room we stood on was getting away from the wall, the labyrinth re-adjusting itself again as we sat.

“Fuck,”  Sacrifice muttered to herself.  She came over and picked me up, throwing me over her shoulder like a child and ran, jumping for a room.

We made the roof again, but barely.  She dropped me, and climbed onto the edge.  I heard a thud and crashing noise, and her hands fell away from the edge where I was.

“Ryan, climb down!”  she yelled after a moment of silence as I crept to per over the side into the deep darkness below.  “Hurry!”

I could jump, die and ruin her plans, I thought, climbing down.  She grabbed my waist and slowly pulled me in.  I thought for a moment about Trauma, trapped in there.  I felt relaxed knowing she was pre-occupied.

Sacrifice walked out and opened the door to the other side of the wall.

“Oh, this is just perfect,”  she spat, venomous sarcasm oozing out from her tone.

I followed behind her, wondering what she meant.  Kumo, Jawbreaker and Druggie stood at the door.

“You look sick,”  joked Druggie, fishing through his coat for syringes.  “Taken your shots?”

Kumo strafed to our left, I backed against the wall instinctively.

Jawbreaker cracked his knuckles.

“Ryan, I’ll need you to cooperate this time,”  said Sacrifice, slowly.  “We might die if we don’t work together, as a team.”

“Yeah,” I replied, noticing something in the sky far off.

Whatever it was, it approached, fast.  I caught a glimpse of the crown as it came close to us, stopping in the air as the backdraft swept over us.

“Halt, Spies!”  said the King of Texas.  He wore royal garbs, a red cape and crown.  His boots glowed at the soles; hoverboots.  He had a beard, and most obvious of all; he had many parchments of paper on him.

Jawbreaker, Druggie and Sacrifice turned up to look at him.  We were in the worst situation, outnumbered and under powered.

The King slowly reached for a scroll, unravelin-

Kumo show out a web, and Sacrifice pulled my arm away from him.  She ran, beckoning me to follow.

I turned tail and ran for the city as the King of Texas fought with the Hunting Party.

 

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Sacrifice sat at the mold-ridden desk, feasting on stolen food while figiting with one of her new projects.  The outskirts of Oklahoma City had become a den for drug addicts, the homeless and other unsavory denizens with the sheer volume of derelict buildings and the cripplingly small police force, making it perfect to hide in.  Their only issue was not being reported on by civilian, supervillain or even superhero.  Most problems could be solved easily enough, with heavy hitters like Glutton, Jawbreaker and Kumo on the team, but sometimes she needed the oomph only she herself could provide.

She prodded the dissected brain with another electrode.  A spark flew out and struck a ruined chair nearby, leaving a singe on the exposed stuffing poking out.

“Not good, I missed the correct spot,” she muttered to herself, picking up a pen and taking more notes.  ‘Another failure, this time caused because of human error’  she wrote down, before taking a moment to think and rewrote her note.  ‘Human error, and unsatisfactory working conditions.’

The door knocked, and Taker entered the room.  He was one of the few un-costumed members of the Hunting Party, along with Trauma and Kumo.  He had long, greasy hair and a pair of thin glasses he always wore on his face.  His clothing was stolen from wherever he could find it.  It wasn’t like he could go and buy from stores with his reputation.

“Sacrifice,”  he began.  “Apologies for my intrusion.”

“It’s fine,” she said, tossing the brain across the room and out a broken window.  It audibly landed in a bush.  “I can’t work with this stuff here anyway.”

“Really?”

“Yes.  The electrodes are too thick and rusty, my hand is too shaky and this area of town is filthy.  I hate this.”

Taker rubbed his hands and pressed his glasses to his face.  “Maybe Texas will have a solution in there, after yo-”

Before he could finish, Sacrifice was inches away from his face, almost touching him.

“I don’t like it when you do that, you scheming liar.”  she snarled.

Taker smiled, unmoving.   “I have no idea what you mean,”  he said confidently.

“Your powers, for a start. I know the truth.”

Taker took a step back, turning towards the door.

“Then you know who would win, right?”

He closed the door quietly, as to not disturb any of the other members of the Hunting Party as they slept.

 

***

 

A young man walked down the streets of New Austin, Texas.  He walked along the centre of the road, and all the residents gave way, stepping to the sides of the road onto the pavement as he passed, mostly out of respect.  There were no cars in Texas, only four trains that looped from town to town in different directions.  The roads were merely ceremonial at best, made for the men and women of the army of Texas to march during parades.  Vine looked up at the castle before him as he strode; the castle where the King of Texas prepared for war.

The throne room had a massive, circular table.  The king sat on his throne, and seven others sat on benches, robed and hooded.  Vine pulled his hood over his head and sat down, looking at the small scale replica of Texas that covered the table.

“Late again, Vine,”  said one voice.  A girl.

“Phoenix, I had an appointment.”

“So you are saying the King is less to you than yourself?”

The king shifted to the side in his throne.  He loved this.  He loved watching his eight generals bicker and argue, and he rarely stepped in.

“No, the king is above any man and all gods.  You know this.  You also know how important I am to the war effort.”

Phoenix shut up, growling under her breath.  The king smiled and began to speak.

“This is our second last meeting before he war.  I expect all eight of you generals to fight with the vigor and strength that I expect from my eight personal guards,”  he stated proudly.

“Phoenix, you will guard the far north in Dumas.  Vine, cover Fort Wichita.  Aim, go to Sabine City.  Kelpie will watch the coast.  Brownsville will be covered by Ester.  Our armies will invade the south led by me, so you five are our defensive forces during the war.”

Phoenix, Vine, and three other hooded figures bowed in agreement.

“You may leave,”  said the King.  They got up and left.

Vine picked up his pace significantly, He didn’t like any of the other seven generals, let alone the Kings personal guard.  He reached the front door and was pulled back instantly, falling over.

“Don’t fucking disrespect out king!”  shrieked Phoenix.  Her robe was cast aside and her flaming body, ensnared in chains floated off the ground.  Kelpie, Ester and Aim backed away.

“I have no time for this!”  shouted Vine. He smacked his hand on the ground below Phoenix and she darted away, as a small, intricate building rose from the ground, patterned like the mosaic on the floor.

“You are this weak and you still insult the king!  How dare you!”

A bell tower formed at the tip of the dollhouse sized tower, wrapping around the chain she held that bound Vine.  Phoenix cocked her head to the side.

Ester interfered.  He walked up to Phoenix and pulled on the chain wrapped around Vine, pulling her into and through the tower.

“You shouldn’t say that, when you both attack another in the beautiful King’s castle and even bring your weapon to a meeting,”  he said sternly.  “The royal guards should kill you for this.”

He turned to Vine, who was picking himself up as phoenix released the chain, which no longer burned.  His robe was singed.   “You too are disgusting.  Do not disrespect our King again.”

“My apologies,”  said Vine.  “It was my mistake.”  He quickly bowed, and left the castle.

Phoenix picked herself up.  She patted away the dust and rubble on her body, before picking up her robes.

Kelpie looked away, walking to the door.

“What about you, Kelpie?  Why so silent?”

Kelpie turned her head around, opening the door.

“He’s not my type.”  she said, letting the doors close behind her.

Aim sighed, following behind her.  “I hate violence,”  he muttered to himself.