Episode-21: Psychosis in the Shadows
Date: November 25, 3008
Location: Somewhere on the Ocean of Ossyria
The world spun in and out of control. Blackness engulfed his eyes as all of the colors twisted with each other. Voices floated eerily through the air, but reached no ears. Then, the cold deck hit his face, and Maldran found himself sprawled on the ground, encircled by ten strangers all dressed in black.
“Mikhail,” a grisly voice echoed within Maldran’s mind, “Here you are, ready to bow before my feet.” Maldran looked up and his eyes focused on the man standing to his left. He was directly in front of Mikhail, who was on all fours. Fenris roared with a triumphant laughter. “It was inevitable, brother.”
Glancing around the dark circular room, Maldran caught sight of their weapons lying on a steel table behind Fenris’ body. Naz and Lily’s katanas still seemed to shimmer brightly even in the absence of decent lighting.
“NOO!” a sudden shriek pierced Maldran’s ears. As the world slid back into real time, he whipped around and saw four men instantly spring forwards to restrain Lily’s thrashing body, “GET UP MIKHAIL! GET THE HELL UP!”
Fenris’ eyes snapped up to look at the female Shadow Templar. His face spread into a wry grin, “Lily White, one of the last two Shadow Templars… You should be wise and cease and desist. My Shadow Ancients are much powerful than your kind. The S-Virus has molded them into unstoppable fighting machines!”
Maldran’s eyes darted to Naz, who seemed to be mouthing something to Lily. As his eyes flew back to Lily’s enraged face, she seemed to calm down with a dejected look. Slowly, the four Shadow Ancients retreated back into their prison-like circle formation, leaving Lily kneeling on the floor, her head hanging low. Her silky white bangs were covering her pure white eyes.
“That’s better, Miss White,” Fenris sneered mockingly. His attention came back to Mikhail, who had struggled up defiantly. “Ah, so you decide to stand up to me. Such foolishness.”
“No,” Mikhail’s eyes glared at Fenris, “It will be a cold day in hell when I bow down to you, brother.”
And then, many things happened at once. Maldran felt himself being pushed to the ground by an unknown force. At the same time, a black and a white blur raced past him, through the line of Shadow Ancients, and seemingly straight into the table. Then, the ten black-clothed men also disappeared into the darkness, and the entire room was filled with the clashes of steel.
It took a while for Maldran’s eyes to catch up, but suddenly he found himself amidst a war zone, with Lily and Naz fighting furiously outnumbered five to one. Then, Maldran noticed his Spas-12XPL lying on the floor a few meters away. If only he could reach his shot gun somehow…
Lily sprang straight up into the air and spun around, slashing her swords out dangerously. However, her steel only met five other pairs of steel in a cacophony of metallic rings. But then, a black blur jumped into her fray, and cut out in front of him. Naz’s katanas ripped through a Shadow Ancient’s guts, spilling onto the ground a black splash of blood. As the man fell, Naz had already bounded away, leaving Lily with four more adversaries to combat.
“Nova!” Damiver whispered loudly, trying to get her attention over the racket of the brawl, “See if you can magick our weapons over here!”
No… She thought back, her eyes still gazing intensely at the melee, Your bullets are as likely to hit them as Lily and Naz.
A sudden foot slammed down next to Maldran’s head, making him cry out in surprise. He saw a black boot lift off of the ground, and then realized Mikhail was engaged with Fenris in a heavy sword to sword combat. It was as if the world had gone back two millenniums, when the blade was the weapon of choice. And yet, the two thousand years were only separated by a few meters as Maldran eyed longingly for his shot gun.
Without warning, a shrill cry reverberated off of the circular walls; Lily had felled a Shadow Ancient. Maldran saw his body fly backwards away from the other three that were still encircled around Lily. It hit the floor with a tremendous thud and slid across until his head hit the wall, leaving a black stain trickling onto the floor.
She danced gracefully with her dual katanas, her deadly art shrieking with glee. Her male counterpart was not so far off, his own blades flashing furiously in the dim lighting. Maldran’s eyes froze with awe as he could do nothing but lie on his stomach and stare on.
Naz parried two blows at the same time and then jumped backwards. His feet made contact with the wall behind him for a brief second, then launched his body forwards. Two steel curves shot straight forwards, reaching the chest of a Shadow Ancient in milliseconds. The blades dug deep into the ribs and protruded out of the unfortunate man’s back. With a giant heave, Naz threw him into the air, spraying the area around him with a burst of black.
Right as Naz whipped around, a blade shot forwards, directly towards his head. But then, another flash of white deflected the blow, and Lily screamed past him, one of her katanas outstretched in front of her. Naz ducked another swing and swept his foot out, bringing one of the attackers slamming onto the ground on his back. Then, he tossed his blades up and leapt up. As Lily made another pass, Naz caught the katanas in mid-air and brought them down, pinning the Shadow Templar to the ground, lifeless.
Four down, Six to go. They were still out numbered three to one. Good odds for any Shadow Templar.
Then, Maldran realized his arms were pulling him forwards towards the fray and his Spas-12XPL. As another body hit the floor, Maldran continued to inch closer and closer to his weapon. Not knowing why or how, his muscles seemed to disobey his every command. Maldran’s hand reached out and grasped the handle of the shot gun. Then, it was kicked away by a light foot which instantly separated itself from the ground again.
Swearing loudly but inaudibly, Maldran felt himself being dragged back by an unseen hand. Nova’s voice then screeched in to his ears, Stay put damn you!
Sighing in defeat, Maldran’s eyes snapped to his fallen weapon. It had landed next to Mikhail and Fenris. They seemed to be screaming words over the racket, but Maldran could not hear them at all.
Turning his attention to the two Shadow Templars, he realized they had the Shadow Ancients down to four. For the first time, he noticed the full extent of the six other bodies lying on the floor, bleeding a virus-filled black.
Lily coiled her leg muscles and seemed to fly vertically into the air. When she was about to hit the ceiling, she somehow managed to defy gravity and do a mid-air somersault. Her feet planted firmly on the ceiling and she shot back down to the floor again. Within a fraction of a second, both of her blades were imbedded deep into a Shadow Ancient’s shoulders. Maldran could almost laugh at the scene, for it looked as if she was being supported up by two thin pieces of steel upon another man’s shoulder.
Then, she fell forwards and lifted the man off of the ground. His legs hit the ceiling and with a sick squelch of blood, his body slipped off of Lily’s katanas and impacted the far wall with a sickening crunch. Two smears of black blood trickled down after the man’s dead body.
Instantly, Naz dodged in front of Lily and deflected another strike. Lily then dashed off to the other two Shadow Ancients. Maldran couldn’t believe his eyes. They were actually winning.
A grunt made Maldran’s head whip the other way, back to the brother’s brawl. Mikhail yelled furiously, sending a chill down Maldran’s spine. He then swung his blade across, and seemed to catch Fenris in the stomach.
Fenris staggered backwards, his hand clutching his gut. A pool of blood started to stain the front of his black outfit. “Still have some tricks up your sleeve?” He lunged suddenly forwards, but Mikhail side stepped him, and Fenris’ own sword dug deep into the steel wall.
“Stuck?” Mikhail remarked as torrents of sweat slid down his face. But amidst the exhaustion, Maldran could define a small hint of mockery.
But then, right before Maldran’s eyes, Fenris whirled around with amazing speed, revealing yet another long sword, and kicked Mikhail in the gut, sending him sprawling to the ground. His sword clattered to the floor, and Fenris advanced, picking up Maldran’s own Spas-12XPL off of the ground.
He locked and loaded the weapon with a terrifying click, and held it up to Mikhail’s head with one hand. Maldran could see his fang-like teeth grin wildly as he was seconds away from defeating his own brother. Everything seemed to slow to a halt. Time itself stood still for this.
“You’ve always been a real bast***, you know Fenris?” Mikhail glared up at Fenris with anguished eyes. His black pupils contracted with frenzy for death. Maldran could feel his intense hatred from all the way over where he was lying. He was sure Mikhail was going to burn a hole straight to hell.
“Takes one to know one,” Fenris sneered back. He raised the shot gun and squeezed the trigger.
Mikhail’s eyes suddenly sprang forwards in shock. The impact had seemed to incapacitate his mind. His ears registered the shot and his eyes saw the gun jolt back as it released a flurry of pellets, but his brain could not think of the bullets’ destination. The air was blown right out of him.
Slowly, with Maldran’s own eyes, Mikhail’s head turned around to look behind him. As the remaining two Shadow Ancients fell to the floor, there was a third thump. Lily fell to her knees, her mouth agape, her eyes contracted in horror, a scorching hole ripped straight into her stomach, and for the first time, her white clothes were tainted, stained with her own crimson blood.