PDA

View Full Version : VoD R3: BoomerangReturns & ErrorBlender



Jessepinwheel
10-27-2014, 12:13 AM
Seeing as I only received two stories for this match, both of which were wins by default, it seemed a bit silly to create multiple threads. That aside, please give feedback for these stories; the respective authors would very much appreciate it. These stories had different prompts.

Sirius Nightshade (BoomerangReturns): Sociopathic, shadow manipulation, magically enhanced knife, half-demon.
Handyman (WafflesMgee): 9ft-tall monster, arm summoning, dream-entering/manipulating/eating.
The rumors had been circulating for centuries since the building‘s crumble. Amidst a barren field, devoid of life in even the most miniscule forms, lay a pile of ruins under the full moon’s bright, shining light. A gale of wind blew through the field. At one point, these ruins were once a large edifice that stood at fifty feet in height, the bell tower making up at least half of that intimidating length. There was once a town of worshippers surrounding the massive structure, before things had gone awry for the creators as faith wavered. This structure, now in ruins, was once an imposing symbol of the most powerful religion of the time period: The Roman Catholic Church.

However, even in the modern century, there are still the constant whispers of tall tales left behind in the shadows once the church was destroyed. People had said that underneath the ruins was a hidden cavern, a hidden sanctuary created by the priests and bishops should everything go horribly wrong. Supposedly, it was meant to protect an ancient relic of Christianity, it’s specifics unknown. As legend has it, a priest took the relic deep underground and kept it with him until his eventual demise.

This was the very reason that Sirius Nightshade was so very interested in it.

He had heard the whispers among the Europeans during his visit. He had heard the legend on countless occasions. He needed to know if it was the truth, otherwise he wouldn’t take such a thrill-seeking journey. If he found the underground cavern, and happened upon the relic, then the Lord of The Night could bring it to the surface and show it to the public...And destroy it with his own, pale hands. It was in this way that he could show his dominance over the Church and over Christianity itself. He would prove to the doubters of his immortal power that he was, in fact, a god among men.

This was his reason to be here, on this dark night. He stood in front of the ruins as the winds blew his pitch black hair around aimlessly. The crumbling foundations had eroded into virtually nothing by the 21st century, becoming a shell of it’s former self. Sirius could make out the figure of the brass bell tower, still clinging to life among the desolate wasteland.

He had no time for staring at the ruins, however. He was here for one reason. As the darkness around him slowly transformed from long and chilling shadows into actual dark matter, the new substance transformed into what looked like multiple gargantuan battering rams. They crashed against the already feeble ruins, sending them flying across the landscape until there was nothing left but the tile ground that was sullied, but still remained beyond it’s years.

Triumphantly, Sirius casually walked on the ground, looking around for anything out of the ordinary. For a brief moment, he deliberated whether or not there may be traps or lack thereof, but that was quickly combated with “This isn’t Indiana Jones, calm down.” Eventually, he came across a rather large hole in the ground, approximately the circumference of an average coffee table. Beside it were almost unidentifiable latches, placed in the open and probably made up of tiles to make it invisible to the normal eye. However, it seemed that the trap door had caved in, and as Sirius looked down, through the faint glow of the moon he could detect ground, and a very old ladder.

For a brief moment, doubt washed over him as he began to wonder to himself, what if this was just some basement? He reasoned, however, that a basement did not need to be so aptly hidden. Cracking a smile, Sirius placed his weight gingerly on the thin wooden ladder. It was not two rungs later that the entire piece collapsed, sending Sirius spiraling downward toward the ground. Thankfully, he managed to realize this in time and landed like a cat on the hard ground. He was half-expecting the ladder to collapse under his weight. As he stood erect, he looked around to find that he was in complete darkness with the exception of the moonlight above. He was half-expecting that as well.

Scoffing under his breath with a frown, he looked down at himself and reached to his belt, where he usually only kept his knife Massacre. However, he also had a lantern clung to his belt, figuring that there would be such an inconvenience as a lack of light. He unclasped the utensil from himself, before lifting a pack of matches out of his pocket. Slowly, he took one out and scratched it against the surface of the dry dirt walls that made up the cavern, before carefully placing the match in the center of the lantern. He smiled faintly as the fire began to go, and light flooded the cavern.

In front of Sirius was one, long, winding corridor. He could see figures of more winding paths preceding it, leading him to believe that this was some sort of maze. Catacombs. Finding the ancient relic wasn’t going to be as easy as he predicted. He looked to the walls beside him, and noted the crudely drawn pictures on them. Crosses, illustrations from what he would assume were Bible texts, churches, etcetera.

For a reason unbeknownst to him, he was amused by the hand drawings that were spread across the walls. He slowly made his way down the corridor as the crackling orange fires raged within his lanterns, making the walls seemingly dance with light. His boots clomped against the hardened earth as he continued curiously looking at the walls, before coming to a stop. Ahead of him, he faced three different paths, all likely leading to completely different areas of the cavern. At the wall was a group of illegible words. It was as if someone had simply bundled letters together into words that were impossible to decipher unless you were chosen.

“A code,” Sirius muttered to himself in disbelief. He was taken aback by how far the Roman Catholic Church would go to protect their precious relic. They had created their own language, seemingly, that had to be some sort of instruction on which corridor was the correct one. For a minimal, fleeting moment, Sirius began to wonder if he had the capability to decipher this. It looked mildly familiar, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it. What if he was never able to figure this seemingly unidentifiable language?

Quitter talk. You are a god. Act like one.

Sirius stood for a moment, in the crackling orange hue of the fire against his face, carefully focusing in on the words that he saw, trying to figure out where exactly he had seen such a…strange arrangement. He had seen it not long ago, he presumed.

Of course! Sirius smiled at his own revelation. Looking down once more at his belt, he popped the button that kept his knife within it’s sheathe, before swiftly lifting it in front of him. He held the grip tightly, and placed the light next to the unsullied blade that he held against the dirt walls. It should have been obvious to him long ago. All around Europe, he had heard about these types of words. Words that were written backwards as to not have people read it with ease. The only way to be able to decipher them would be by use of a mirror. Luckily, Sirius had his knife to use as such. Leaning over, he craned his neck to look within the metal and see what the words had depicted.

Just as he had expected. They were simple directions, telling him which corridor to go down. While Christians were all for privacy and codes, they didn’t seem to like riddles. His smile growing wider, seemingly from ear to ear, he triumphantly walked straight to the corridor in front of him, descending further into the cavern. Each time he was met with winding paths, he simply checked for words etched in the walls, and brought the knife to it. As he walked past, he took note of skeletal beings sprawled, their black holes that were once eyes their most distinguishable feature. It seemed that more adventurers had attempted to find this treasure than he had initially thought. Repeating this process for what seemed like hours, Sirius had to give credit where it was due; the catacombs were massive, and without his realization he likely would have been lost here for eternity.

Finally, Sirius was now walking down one lone corridor. The further down he walked, the more the pitch black seemed to combat against the bright orange lantern light. The smells of decay, death, and wet earth combined into an ungodly stench that forced him to cringe. The smells only grew stronger the further he went, and he ascertained that this was the right way. He was getting closer.

The stretch grew thinner, soon only holding his width and height and nothing more. The tight space would have given any clausterophic an absolute heart attack, but Sirius was focused more on his goal ahead. He forgot the stench and the ominous feeling resonating within himself.

Finally, the long stretch suddenly opened up. He felt as if he was almost pushed out from the tight corridor and into a spacious room. At first, he thought that there was nothing. He looked around only to find all dirt, and a ground seemingly patted down by something. However, as he hesitantly walked forward, he could see two figures near the back wall. Excitedly, he almost sprinted forward in anticipation of what he may find.

In front of him was a pedestal, made of ornate marble and carved similar to Rome’s early days. Atop of the flat surface stood a cup, shining against the crackling orange hue. He placed his lantern on the ground and stared at the object. It had a golden glisten to it, and it was embedded with all types of rubies and sapphires, all glowing as if they were brand new; never touched. Beside the pedestal was a skeleton, likely the priest.

“Oh my…,” Sirius said, astonished, “It’s real.”

He couldn’t believe it. Right in front of him, before his eyes, was the Holy Grail. The long-talked about object that had been subject to many Templar journeys and many fables in the past. This entire time, it had been held by the Catholic Church, and hidden here for nobody to find. Why? Because the mystery of the Holy Grail was large enough to make people talk about it constantly. Holy Grail was always associated with the Church with people who knew nothing about it. A perfect publicity stunt.

He was ecstatic. This was what he was waiting for. He so very relished taking this cup from it’s pedestal and bringing it to the surface. He would go on a podium and show it to every Christian or Catholic that was a true believer, showing them. He would smile before throwing it to the ground and causing it to the shatter into tiny pieces. Sirius would declare that only he could destroy such a powerful item; which would absolutely classify him as a god. They would be forced to bow down to him after destroying such an immortalized item. Oh, how he had relished this day since the day he could think for himself. He would finally rule a good portion of the world. He chuckled lightly at the thought.

Then, he suddenly heard a shuffling in the corner that shattered his daydream. His ears perked up, and his head shot in the direction of the faint sound. His pitch black orbs stared into the darkness, and took note of a figure he had seen before, a bit farther away from the pedestal, but had completely ignored in his state of astonishment. He squinted and gripped Massacre, which was still in his grasp. He was ready to use his shadows and his physical weapon at any cost to get the Grail in his hands. Nothing would pry him away from this wonderful treasure, this astonishing find. He would take the Grail back or die trying. It was likely some ancient guardian; a last resort. As it stood up, Sirius saw that it was a staggering 9 feet tall, however it’s overall figure was impossible to tell; it seemed that in the darkness hallucination had taken over, as he thought he had seen various appendages.

As the guardian stepped out from it’s shadows, Sirius’ eyes widened as it stood only a foot or so in front of him. Hundred of appendages stuck out from his body, which seemed to only be assembled by more arms and hands. Some were as long as a foot, while others were impossibly small. All of them moved and gyrated, and this was when Sirius realized that even the being’s head was seemingly one gargantuan assembly of fingers curled into a fist, with the eyes simply being grayish nails.

Whatever this thing was, it’s head was shaking at speeds that were unparalleled, and as it opened it’s mouth, Sirius noted the fingers that made up his teeth, and miniscule arms that made up his tongue. As he stared at the face, body, and overall shape of this monstrous thing, Sirius was feeling something. A nauseating feeling, a churning in the pit of his stomach. Something welled up inside of his chest; something he had never felt before.

He felt fear.

An emotion that was foreign to him, and believed was simply a myth. An emotion that was destructive and dangerous to his intellectual mind. That confidence and aggression that was always a part of his mental psyche was gone. Only inches away from this mutilated…thing, he was now cowering in front of it. His arrogance had been shattered. He no longer believed in himself, or the notion that he could destroy anything that came at him. This thing was…indestructible.

He didn’t know how to cope with these cowardly feelings washing over him, his mind now fogged with things foreign to him. He was virtually defenseless against the onslaught of emotions. He hadn’t even came to the realization that the being was standing over him, for two things. One, that the light had awoken him from his love of the dark.

And that he was hungry for human flesh. His head was shaking in excitement. As Sirius sat there, defenseless in attempting to find his confidence as fear washed over him like a constant tidal wave, he could do nothing as the beast grabbed his body and tore him into pieces, making the immortal Sirius Nightshade, Mortal.
Bl.An.C (ErrorBlender): Android suit, weapon/equipment manifestation.
Haku (Nikx232): Demon-possessed sword, aerokinesis, healing powers, demon transformation via possession.
"You heading out now?" Alice asked but her face never left the various screens in front of her. Data flooded each monitor and she kept watch of each of them; she idly snapped her fingers whenever she found something out of place, which happened fairly often.

"Yep," Cooper replied. The man tugged on his suit’s collar and tightened the tie around his neck. "I never really liked these fancy dinners though."

Alice's mouth forms a hint of a smile before she made her response. "You’re just out of practice.” She said optimistically. “By the time you get there, I’m sure you’ll be back into corporate mode and discussing business like always.” Alice leaned on the backrest of her chair and looked at Cooper then back at the monitors.

Cooper sighed and took a look around him. The room was bare save for the usual furnishings like chairs and a single table. Steel walls surrounded them and instead of glass windows, screens were present. His eyes settled on one screen; One that showed the android suit, battered and worn out. It was cold in the compound but nothing felt colder than living in the suit for several years. Despite the thought, he couldn't help but stare at it. The black armor was powered down but it was held up by clamps so that it was staring straight at the camera. If anything, it felt as if he gazed at his own reflection and at times when Alice meant to refer to the android or say its name, he’d react.

He pursed his lips and decided to shake the thought away. The idea will linger back but he knew it but today was not the day he’d need to sort it out. After a quick goodbye to Alice, Cooper exited the room. He moved through three corridors before he finally ended up to a compact room with five circular platform made in a line. He walked on top of one of them and breathed out. A cylindrical pillar rose from the side of his platform and a screen folded upwards to face him. After he placed in the coordinates of his destination the words “Nightlife Resto” appeared on the screen. Before he pressed the button, a pang of hesitation filled him and his hand shook. He no longer had the suit, he was vulnerable; he was no longer as durable. The suit protected him day in, day out. He had made enemies before and some had already seen his face; is it wise to go out without the suit? Should he backtrack right now and take it back? His eyes stared at the picture of the venue on screen and he became conscious of the chill that rose from his spine. Several years in the suit formed a temporary callous from the world around him but now that its gone and about to reenter the world without it, he shivered at the thought. He tried to breath but he felt nervous, as if something had been choking him. He closed his eyes and concentrated on something, anything but the fear that swelled inside. It wasn’t working.

“Cooper?” Alice’s voice echoed in the room. It felt relaxing to hear her voice and he felt able to breath again.

“I’m fine,” He said but it was not just for her. The aching in his chest began to lighten and he licked his lips. “I’m going. I’m fine.” With one press on the screen he verified the location, a low hum followed and within seconds, he vanished.

Meanwhile under the cover of night, a figure leapt from building top to building top effortlessly, not a bead of sweat appeared on her face. Finally, her pace gradually lessened down; her wide strides turned into evenly distanced steps as she came close to the edge of the building. Haku looked down from above and spotted her reason for being here. Stories below her lied the Nightlife Resto, brilliantly lit and beautifully adorned with gardens up front. Nothing was visibly special this night but Haku’s target was; he was the head of Looking Glass Industries’ research and development department. Her waist length hair flowed behind her like a cape as a cool breeze wafted over the rooftops and gave her chills. A short shiver crawled through Haku which caused her to hug herself for warmth. She tugged her gray jacket closer to her body and breathed out; her breath formed a tiny cloud of mist.

“Be done with it, Haku,” She told herself. “Once this is over, you’ll be able to pay the bills for the orphanage. Everything will be fine.” But even as she muttered the words, she didn’t feel encouraged to go through with the deal; a pair of shady men had approached her during one of her shifts in the mini-mart and offered a lot of cash for her target’s death. She would have declined but they had threatened the orphanage. Haku sat on the ledge of the building and kept watch. Her hand made its way to the hilt of one of her swords. Soon, her target would come into view and she’d have the thugs and the orphanage taken care of. Its only a matter of time.

Haku felt pushed into a difficult position. Her morals against her conscience; a kill for the safety of the orphanage. It seemed like a small price to pay for the untapped lives of every child there but is that what she really wants for them? A future secured by bloodshed? No but they won’t find out. She sighed. They can’t find out, ever.

Several floors down, on the sidewalk parallel to the restaurant, was a man dazed from teleportation. He stumbled forward with one hand on his forehead and the other on the alley wall for support. A duo of drones appeared beside him, floating metal spheres with one green eye on the center of its face. They beep excitedly and retreat back into the shadows. Cooper opened his eyes and looked over his shoulder where he spotted the platform he had appeared from.

“I need to reconfigure the teleporter.” He said groggily. He inhaled deeply as he pressed on his temples with his hands. He straightened his posture and blinked a couple of times. Everything seemed brighter than usual and things looked as if they had doubles but after three more breaths, his vision cleared and the throbbing in his head diminished. A beep in his right ear alerted Cooper to an incoming call; he remembered that Alice had given him an earpiece prior to his teleportation and with a simple tap on the dark colored device, he could hear Alice’s voice.

“You okay?” She asked.

“Well, the transit has a lot of tweaking to do.” Cooper managed to say in between breaths. “I’m crossing the street now, I’ll call you back.”

Cooper tapped the earpiece again which it then responded with a beep. He patted down his silver-brown hair, somehow unruly during the transport. He gazed around, the city wasn’t all too hectic at this time of night. Only a handful of cars have passed by which allowed Cooper to cross without much trouble. It didn’t take long until he found the stone path that lead him up to the restaurant’s greeter; the greeter wore a red blazer on top of a plain polo. The man on the podium stood straight with a smile and nod of his head acknowledged Cooper’s presence.

“Good evening, sir!” The greeter welcomed happily. “Are we dining alone?”

“Ah, no,” Cooper shook his head and gave weak smile back. “I’m waiting for a group actually or are they already here?”

“There are groups already present, sir,” The greeter placed his finger on his chin thoughtfully. “Who might they be?”

“Well, the head of R&D in Looking Glass Industries is a notable person.” Cooper mused aloud as he looked at the greeter’s face.

“Ah, you’re early then,” The greeter replies. “What might be your name?” He fished out a pen from his breast pocket and opens a logbook just out of Cooper’s view.

“Cooper Price.”

With a flourish of his hand, the greeter marked Cooper’s attendance. “Excellent,” he said. “Now, if you would please step inside. I’ve received a call from Sir Fenrich, he said he’s nearly here so your wait shouldn't be that long.”

“Thank you.” Cooper nodded and pushed the glass paned doors open. A bell chimed and the aroma of food passed by him. The entire place was as grand as it was advertised; large glass chandeliers light up the entire venue, vibrantly colored paintings cover the walls and a group of musicians play on top of a stage, completing the ambience of the entire restaurant. Tables were covered in a deep red cloth with napkins that looked like miniscule mountains that rose from their plates. It didn’t take long for a staff member of the resto to approach Cooper and beckon him to sit in the waiting area. Out from the corner of his eye, something caught his attention; he noticed it from the high arching windows of the establishment but when he looked, nothing remarkable was there. Cooper shrugged the thought of someone hiding and followed the staff.

Haku had moved swiftly but she was nearly spotted when the man that just came in stopped to look over her general direction. Not good but at least she wasn’t completely seen. She had hopped over from the building she was from and slid down one of the restaurant’s columns. Haku spared one glance at the character that had nearly seen her but the hair already indicated that he was a different person.

The swordswoman grit her teeth in frustration. She had been too hasty at coming down and now she lost the advantage of high ground. She found herself open to wandering eyes as she stood behind the column, away from the greeter’s view. She lowered herself to a crouch and steadily made her way to the side of the building; she clung to the walls just under the arch windows, beams of light passed overhead as she moved, luckily for her shrubs dotted the gardens. Her hands secure her blades to her side but when her fingers brush past the the sword on the right side of her waist, a voice echoed in her mind.

<I never thought of you as an assassin, Haku,> the voice chortled. <I wonder how you’ll do on your first try.>

“I don’t need you in my head right now, demon.” she whispered. Haku was at the felt the wall with her hands until her fingers folded to meet an adjacent wall. “Corner,” she muttered. She risked a peek only to see nothing more but grass, shrubs and window. “Also, I’ve killed people already. Its nothing new.”

<You mean I killed them, Haku,> The demon said. <But I will give you credit on the days of the wars. You had your share of blood on your steel.>

“Stop it.” Haku frowned. “I don’t want to hear a word from you.”

The swordswoman rounded the corner. A simple fence and tall cone shaped shrubs rise from the ground just feet away from the restaurant, completing the border between itself and the building beside it. Haku uses this to hide behind as she traversed the path towards the back part of the establishment. As she neared another corner, she overheard two men talking to each other animately about current events. She decided to try and wait them out.

“Hey, did you hear? A lots been happening on the internet, all this babble of gamer misogynists,” One of them said, he sat on a concrete fence by the kitchen’s back door while his friend had his hands full with two bags of trash.

“Yeah, hey can you?” The other motioned his head to the dumpster just in front of him, the other one, he wore a clean chef’s outfit, noticed and opened the dumpster’s flap.

“Sure man.”

“Thanks. Oh what did you say about misogynists?” The other heaved the bags up and threw them into the trash.

“Some bullshit about gamer attitudes,” The chef said as he waved his hand around. “I mean sure, gamers can be a pain in the ass but -”

“So you’re a supporter of the gate?” The friend leaned on the door with his arms crossed. “I heard that gamergate has been winning.”

“They have some victories but ultimately it’s still a huge battle,” the chef said grimly. He rests his elbows on his knees and looked at the floor pensively. “The media is supposed to be the voice of the people right?”

“It should be but if you have the right money or influence, you can bribe the voice into saying things.” The other shook his head. “Sometimes I think the Earth is just filled with overgrown children playing with big words.”

“I know what you mean, Marc.” The chef said solemnly. “I mean, this could all have been avoided with an apology.”

“Heh,” Marc scoffed. “I doubt that it would have made a difference.”

Three heavy knocks bombard the door and from the other side, a voice yelled.

“Hey! Stop slacking off! We’ve got company, one of the heads of Looking Glass has arrived.”

“Right sir!”

“Sorry, sir!”

As soon as Haku heard the clang of the metallic door closed, she crossed the back easily. There were no windows at this side, more likely due to the entire thing is a kitchen. She looked around, trying to find a way to get in without notice but the only way in was through the singular iron door and she can’t go through there.

<Make haste assassin! Your target awaits,> The demon jeered.

“I said keep quiet. Let me think,” Haku said impatiently. Her eyes scanned the wall, vents and a drainage pipe was all she could see and a chimney close to the edge of the left part of the roof but nothing else. She walks back a bit and she spots it. Light was shining on one side of the chimney.

“A skylight!” Haku smiled brightly.

<Ah, the joy of finding a way to kill. I see you’re truly delving deep into the assassin way, Haku, I’m impressed,> the demon complimented.

Immediately, Haku’s smile fades and is replaced by an indifferent line. Was she really beginning to enjoy? No. Its just her finding a way in, nothing serious like that.

<Don’t be so modest, Haku.> The demon laughed and took on a silhouetted form only a few feet away from her. <We all know that if you keep doing things, specific things, continually over the years it becomes enjoyable.> Despite the darkness that covers the demon’s form, Haku could still make out the broad white smile that mocked her.

She grabbed her sword and nearly slashed the demon in half before she reminded herself that this was just in her mind. She was the only person who could see him. She sighed tiredly. How long has it been? Centuries since she last knew life without the demon. The longevity it brought is a curse and the fact that the words of the demon bring truth disturbed her. What if she did begin to long for blood? Would she still be able to call herself human? Haku slipped the blade back in its sheath, her face a mixture of worry and dread. She diverted her focus elsewhere and released her grip on one of her blades. Rooftop, she thought. She opened her palms and faced them towards the ground. She lowered herself like a coiled spring and with one burst of pressurized air from her palms, she was airborne. The rush of the wind against her face and hair drove the adrenaline from her glands all around her body. Her brown eyes stared down but she didn’t fall as rapidly than she should have. At the crest of her ascent, she slowed down and fell to the roof like a light feather. Not a sound was made. She inched her way to the huge light source. Her guess was right, a skylight. Then receded back into the shadows just enough for her to see the inside and more importantly: the entrance. A well dressed man steps into the restaurant along with two more people, he gives a fervent nod to the greeter and is followed by his other guests.

<Remember, your client wants you to be…>

“There he is.” Haku muttered to herself and ignored the demon’s reminder. “Let’s get this over with.”

Cooper patiently awaited his friends in the waiting room. He had just noticed Fenrich’s arrival to the NightLife Resto when his mind began to drift. He stood up and approached him.

“Mister Fenrich, so good to see you again,” Cooper greeted and offered his hand.

“Price! I thought you wouldn’t show up given your distance,” Fenrich said with a hearty laugh as he accepted the handshake. “I’m sure you know Desmond and Richtofer.” The head gestured to his companions; both men were dressed in suits and only differed in color. Desmond’s was brown while Richtofer’s was a deep shade of blue. Cooper extended his hand to both men, shook hands and exchanged greetings.

“Now that we have all our guests,” Fenrich said as he clasped his hands together. “Let’s move to out table. If you would so please guide us to our seats?” The last bit was directed at the restaurant’s greeter who humbly bowed and went ahead. Fenrich and his guests followed.

As everyone moved to their places, Fenrich gestured that his invited guests sit first. The greeter then announced the arrival of the entrée in minutes. Once all three have sat, Fenrich spoke again. “So good to have you all here,” Fenrich took his seat and his face darkened into a more serious expression. “You are all aware of the situation, correct?”

Desmond rested his back on the chair while Richtofer simply stared at Fenrich. Cooper, however, looked confused. “What do you mean?” Cooper asked.

“You are the only one here that does not know and I am sorry for that. I have called you on the pretense of a dealership on your weapon but what I am about to reveal is more important.” Fenrich said ominously.

Richtofer looked to the confused Cooper. “We have reports saying that Mason has been busier than before.” Richtofer said, his german accent was audibly thick. “His recent activities show massive energy spikes radiating from his current location.”

“Why are we even discussing this here then?” Cooper asked. He leaned closer to the table.

“Because John has --” Desmond was about to speak but the skylight above them had shattered. Shards of glass rain down from above; Fenrich raised his arms to cover his face while Desmond and Richtofer get off their chairs. Cooper was found to have simply lowered his head. A loud thud came from the table and Cooper stared at the object on top of it. It was a woman, her dark hair covered part of her face but what caught his attention more was that she had two swords in her hands. An assassin.

People watched from their seats while some stood to see the girl who came from above. Haku immediately swung her blade at Fenrich’s neck; every second to her seemed longer than it should have been.

<Yes!> The demon cried out within her. <Souls once again! -- wait, what gives!>

Haku’s blade stopped mid swing, the edge of her sword cut skindeep into her target’s neck.

Fenrich’s eyes widen at the sight of the girl. “Who sent you?” He asked firmly. Blood trickled down from the wound.

“It does not matter,” Haku replied, she stood up straight to face Fenrich; her eyes look down on him as if he was the most disgusting thing imaginable but in truth, she was disgusted at herself. “You will die now.”

Fenrich’s companions briskly revealed their handguns and aim them at Haku. “Step down, assassin.” Desmond warned.

Cooper stepped back as he watched Haku display her powers. Desmond and Richtofer fired their weapons but their bullets never reach her. A powerful gust of wind radiates from her, the force of the blast itself pushes both projectile and person several feet away. The companions are found in separate ends of the restaurant knocked unconscious while Cooper felt the sting of his back having met a column. People then began to panic, their inner drive for their own safety guided them out the restaurant. Cooper felt dizzy but he was able to focus enough on the girl’s figure and when he attempted to move, a sharp pain spread throughout his body. His breathing suddenly became erratic. Cooper looked down and saw a chunk of glass twice the size of his fist embedded on his thigh. Numerous other pains made themselves known as he tried to move. With all his will, he continued his painful attempt to stand. His body protested but his persistence carried him on. His eyes dart to the girl and his feet clumsily began to lead him to her. Cooper’s ears picked up a bit of conversation between the assassin and Fenrich.

“I’m sorry that it had to end this way.” The girl said.

“Do your worst, assassin,” Fenrich barked. “Whatever you do to me will return to your contracter a hundred fold! This will only reinforce my claim!”

Before the girl could reply, Cooper spoke.

“Are you working for John?” He asked, his breathing was began to get shallower by the second.

“None of your business,” the girl replies. “You should sit down and wait for the ambulance. This won’t take long.”

Cooper was surprised at the words. The assassin is telling him to take it easy? “Don’t do this.” Cooper pleaded.

“I need to, so sit down and stay away.” Haku said as she slashed the air towards Cooper. A visible gust of wind forced the already bleeding man down on his back. Cooper felt every inch of his body ache with pain. It seemed that more than just a bit of shards got in.

Cooper remembered one thing though and that was that there was a way to stop it. If only his hands would respond fast enough. Cooper reached for his earpiece and tapped it. A beep came with it and Cooper forced the words out of his mouth. “Alice! Send the drones, attack the girl with the swords!”

“Cooper? You sound hurt!” The voice on the other end sounded worried but that didn’t stop her from hearing what Cooper had asked for.

“I’m fine.” Cooper coughed. His hand lazily swept over his mouth and he looked at the blood smeared on it. Seconds later, the drones fly into the Nightlife Resto, their laser guns barrage the assassin with bright crimson energy. Cooper’s vision began to fade and Alice’s voice on the com becomes distant.

Cooper finds himself jostled awake by two of the restaurants staff. They support him with both his arms slung on their shoulders. Although his vision is still impaired, he wakes to find parts of his drones scattered. He swallowed. The restaurant is in shambles and a pool of blood is visible from his point of view.

“Where is…Fenrich?”

One of the staff, whom he recognizes as the greeter, answers first. “I’m sorry, sir.” He said wistfully. “He was killed.”