Date: November 24, 3008
Location: New Leaf City
A cold chill ran down my spine as my emerald eyes met his silver irises. The stalemate that ensued was agonizing; I felt uneasy, but furious at the same time. Somehow, I couldn’t read into this guy’s head. The fall of night coupled with the attack of New Leaf City did not help the situation at all.
“Shadow Templar?” Maldran asked uncertainly in front of me. I felt Damiver’s hand tighten around mine, as if trying to reassure me, but I felt no comfort anymore. The presence of this man standing before me, dressed from head to toe in black, seemed to reawaken cold feelings from the abyss of my heart.
“Yes,” Naz replied in a low voice. He sheathed his katana and strode forwards. As he approached us, I suddenly felt a burst of energy radiate into my head. I knew I was an MP-12, but never before have I experienced anything like this. Naz’s MP must be off the charts. “And Nova, you should know what that means.”
“I…” I sputtered, “I don’t know what…” But then, my eyes widened in revelation. Of course, how could I be so stupid? It was one of the first lessons we had ever learned back in the Academy. The Shadow Templars were thought to have been extinct for almost a millennium. After the failed cures infected everyone, they were the ones who were immune, and they were the ones to bring peace back into the world. Legend has it that they all disappeared as they became too powerful for the government to control. In other words, they were hunted down and exterminated.
“How can this be?” my face contorted in confusion, “You’re all dead!” Naz stopped advancing, letting his cloak wrap around him. It was then that I realized his silver irises encompassed black pupils that were in the shape of a star.
“Some of us survived,” Naz replied as I felt something slip away from my mind. In that instant, I knew he was reading my thoughts. A feeling of violation filled my heart, and I suddenly knew what it felt like to be on the receiving end of telepathy. He continued, “But I, am the only one still loyal to our world. The others vanished, leaving your kind to fend for itself.”
“But it’s been almost a thousand years!” Damiver interjected in bewilderment, “You must be like a thousand years old!”
Naz lowered his head and let out a raspy chuckle, “One thousand one hundred and twenty four years old, to be exact.” I stared incredulously at the ancient Shadow Templar that had just driven off a raging behemoth. Surely this was a dream.
“Nova, if you think your tests were torturous,” he addressed me, “You don’t even know what it was like back in the twenty first century when mankind was at its most corrupt. Though I was blessed with long life from the Government Bishops, the horrors I have been through are far more agonizing than anything you would ever experience.”
“So why have you come back now,” Michael asked in curiosity as he continued to scan the broken horizon for any signs of the monster’s return.
“I’ve come back because of it,” Naz pointed away into the direction the monster had stomped off into. “I cannot say this is not our fault.”
“You did this?” Felix suddenly retorted, “You let this, this thing loose in our city!?”
“No, Felix Shadeswalker, no,” Naz replied calmly as he again reached into Felix’s mind, “Not me, but the other Shadow Templars. All my life, I have been seeking them out, to either regain their trust or to destroy them. There are few of us remaining, but those few that have forsaken mankind, those who are also blessed with longevity, have decided to play a game. Your city is their chess board, and their queen is moving, destroying all of your pathetic little pawns.”
“Wait,” Maldran shook his head at the sudden intake of information, “So you came to play chess with the monster in our city so you can destroy us all as you find your fellow Templars?”
Naz looked at Maldran in amusement, “What…the…f***, that’s like wrong in eight different ways.” I rolled my eyes at Maldran’s slow-mindedness, “Haven’t you been listening to anything we’ve said?”
“Uh,” Maldran lowered his head sheepishly, “No not really…”
“So this monster,” I continued as Michael gave Maldran a slight punch on the shoulder, “This is their creation, sent only for their amusement?”
“Smart girl,” Naz replied with a grin, “And I have to stop it.”
Without warning, the behemoth’s roar echoed within the night again, right on cue. As Naz whipped around, I looked up just in time to see its hind legs smash through a building, bringing the entire structure down in a hail of dust and debris. Instinctively, I raised my S-36 to my shoulders, trying to get a portion of the monster in my sight. But just as the thing disappeared behind another building with an enormous crash, Naz suddenly dashed away, vanishing into the night.
“F***, where did he go?” Felix shouted as the monster roared once more. The close proximity of it made me shiver with a deathly fright. Just as I lowered my weapon, a huge grey column smashed into the ground before me, splitting the concrete road cleanly in two. I fell back as the force of the shockwave spread out from the monster’s leg. It lowered its head and for a brief second, I thought it was looking at me.
But then, it howled in agony as something black landed on top of its head. Silhouetted by the night, Naz was somehow on top of the monster; I could see both of his katanas drawn, the cold steel gleaming off of the radiant moonlight. Naz jumped insanely high and then forced both blades deep into the monster’s snake-like neck. It screeched in fury and fell into another building. The city was going to be completely flat before Naz was done.
In the darkness, I could barely perceive what was happening. Closing my eyes, I let my mind wander free, and suddenly, I had the front row seats to the brawl.
Naz was on the monster’s back now, weaving in and out of the enormous spikes protruding up from the heaving mass of grey. With a swift motion, he sliced a spike cleanly off, letting it fall to the ground. The long blade-like protrusion imbedded itself into the concrete road, deathly close to my body. A spray of black misted the air as Naz made his way back towards the head.
He then sheathed one katana and jumped off of the head as if it were a diving board. In midair, he flipped over and pulled out a black pistol and gave the trigger a pull, plugging the monster directly in the middle of the forehead. It roared in agony and stumbled around, smashing everything in its path. I could barely tell the scene had used to be filled with tall buildings.
As Naz landed on the ground, I opened my eyes. There was a curious sensation in my fingers, telling me to shoot. Raising my weapon up to my shoulder, I took aim and released the bullets from their quivering nest.
The street was suddenly full of fire. As my muzzle flash temporarily blinded me, I suddenly realized I was not the only one shooting at the monster. Letting my mind open up again, I could feel hundreds of people behind me, weapons in hand. There was a large clap followed by a fiery explosion on the monster’s hide, hailing the entrance of the army.
The monster whipped around in agony and threw up its front claws, trying to stab blindly at the attackers. It awkwardly reared up on its hind legs for a brief moment before toppling over into a skyscraper. Its claws pierced straight through the building and sliced it cleanly in two, bringing the structure down with it. The monster gave a dying roar that shook the entire city before being covered entirely with a muffling cloud of grey.
It roiled out, engulfing everything in its path. The cloud of debris was like a freight train bearing down upon us. I only managed to dive behind one of the remaining buildings before it reached me, choking off my air. Heavy blocks of concrete fell all around me, and muffled screams filled the air as the dust shrouded the meteors. There was a crash above me and I felt tiny pebbles land on my head.
Squeezing my eyes shut, my mind lurked out into the darkness. Scanning the area, I could feel numerous soldiers swarming into the scene like ants on candy. They gathered in, trying desperately to secure the area and locate the fallen monster. But then, I realized I could not feel the monster anywhere. It had simply vanished from thought and sight. But that was impossible…
I emerged from the obscure, beleaguered and exhausted. I remembered that only a few hours ago, we were celebrating in my apartment. I remembered that only a few hours ago, I had not a care in the world. I remembered that only a few hours ago, we were making plans to go to Zipangu. Funny how time changes everything.
“Damiver!” I cried out into the night as the soldiers rushed around me, unaware of my presence, “Damiver where are you?!”
“Nova!” I whipped around, trying to find the source of the voice. Over the sea of helmeted heads, I noticed a hand waving to me. Immediately, I rushed forwards, and found Michael, Maldran, and Felix all hunkered down behind a large slab of wall that was miraculously still standing.
“Guys,” I panted as I skidded to a halt in front of them, “Where’s Damiver?”
As each of the three shrugged in cluelessness, I felt my heart pound furiously against my chest, as if bursting to get free. I could not lose him now.
Whipping around to search for Damiver, I suddenly found myself face to face with Naz. A dark shadow clouded his face as he looked at me, piercing my soul with his silver eyes. I blocked out his thoughts.
“Nova…” he whispered as he impeded my way. I felt my anger rise.
“Get out of my way now,” I demanded, fuming. If I could see myself, I was pretty sure steam was coming out of my ears.
“I can’t let you go,” Naz replied in a calm voice, pouring fuel onto my fire.
“GET THE F*** OUT OF MY WAY!” I screamed at the top of my lungs, sending him flying backwards. He quickly recovered and landed on his feet. In an instant, I saw a black blur rushing towards me. The next thing I knew, I felt the cold brick wall against my back as Naz held me up by the throat.
“Damiver was taken,” he forced into my disbelieving brain, “They took him, and to look for him yourself is suicide.” He let go of my neck, letting me crumple to the floor. Tears started to flow out of my eyes at the thought of losing Damiver forever. “Shadow Templars are not to be taken lightly,” Naz continued to say; his voice had suddenly become surprisingly soothing. It reminding me of a voice I used to know.
“Damiver,” I sobbed quietly, not wanting to look into Naz’s eyes. Sniffling, I felt him grab my arm. A rush of warmth coursed through my body like no other, calming my heart and quelling my tears.
“The only way you will be able to see him again,” Naz muttered as he kneeled down beside me, not letting my arm go, “is to help me.”
My sorrow had suddenly dissipated as if a switch in the back of my head had just been turned off. A familiar coldness crept back in my heart, a coldness of a year ago when I was nothing but an assassin. It felt rejuvenating as my old self came back, roaring in triumph. Agent N-12491 was back.
Repeating my old assigned name in my mind, I replied in a dark voice, “Whatever it is, I’ll do it.” Naz’s silver eyes did not scare me anymore.