Insanity: Chapter Forty-Eight


Chapter Forty-Eight


Rose stood in place for a few minutes, “O-kay.”

Nest looked disinterested, “Keep her busy. I’ll protect the machine.”

Rose looked again. The girl who had a surprising resemblance to a children’s book he remembered reading long ago was peering around the corner. He sighed; this wasn’t going to be any fun. He extended his arm. Rose vines shot forward from inside his sleeve. They struck around where the girl was. The attack was only meant to frighten not to kill.

Penelope darted back to her hiding spot. She sighed. So much for Anime-zilla saves the day. She heard something though the wall. It sounded like one of the lower doors closing.

Raven looked up at the last flight of stairs, “Penelope? Are you up there?”

There was no answer and she started to assume the worst. She ran up the stairs to the door. Almost instantly she had to dodge and attack. She crouched to her knees and rolled forward. She darted around the concrete door and stopped suddenly.

“Penelope!?” Raven cried in surprise.

Penelope smiled nervously.

“What are you doing back here?” Raven continued.

“Nothing,” Penelope answered.

Raven sighed. A wave of blue washed over them. They both paused a moment, gripping their heads.

“I say we put an end to that thing,” Raven stated.

“Okay,” Penelope nodded, “but you have to get the plant guy.”

“Why do I have to get the plant guy!?”

“Because he’s scary!” Penelope whispered.

“Fine! Then you find a way to turn that thing off!”

Penelope nodded. Raven got up and ran around the corner. Rose flicked his wrist and vines broke the concrete beneath her feet. Raven jumped onto the ledge and ran up to him. She jumped down, crouched and kicked him in the stomach. Penelope, seeing her window, ran toward the machine to see if she could shut the thing off. She stopped a computer but it looked useless and broken. She then looked at the boy standing not too far from the machine. He looked at her in intellectual but uncaring eyes.

Penelope’s eyes narrowed and she charged at the boy. She ended up running face first into a type of force field. Unlike Zero’s it didn’t reflect her. Penelope stepped back and tried another approach. She prepared to teleport but something happened and she had to take a step back. Annoyed she tried again but she just couldn’t teleport to the other side of the dome. She looked at the boy who was protecting the machine. He smiled slightly at her dismay.

“That won’t work, you see,” Nest explained, “my power makes yours worthless.”

“Oh, yeah?” Penelope glared at him, “Well, what is your great power then.”

“Null,” Nest explained further, “Void, valueless, worthless, insignificant.”

Penelope scowled. There had to be away to get through Nest’s barrier. She smiled. She might have just thought of a way.

Alister groaned as he turned onto his back. He was covered in melted dragon ink and it wasn’t a pleasant feeling. Slowly, he sat up. His stiff muscles were causing him some trouble. He aced all over. It was understandable though; after all he just crashed though dozens of floors, killed a dragon and busied the entire right side of his body. Just another day at work.

He heard something in the rubble and looked up, “Oh, it’s you.”

Alister made a motion to get up, Zorah shook her head, “Now, now it’s alright,” she reached for one of the staffs on her back and pointed the pronged end at Alister’s neck, “No need to get up.”

Alister stopped moving and raised his hands. He gave a sheepish smile and tried to laugh it off.

“Oh, look ‘at that! You got me!” Alister smiled, “Now I’ll just—”

“Stop talkin’!” Zorah jabbed her weapon forward, “I’m in a very bad mood t’day and your yappin’ ain’t making things any better!”

“And it’s about to get worse,” Alister said as he kicked out his leg.

He struck Zorah’s leg causing her to slip in the slick ink on the ground. Zorah fell onto her back, throwing her weapon from her hand. Alister got to his feet and looked around for something to defend himself. He spotted Raven’s sword and scrambled for it. Awkwardly he climbed his way over a boulder and to the sword. Zorah got to her feet and started after Alister. She unsheathed her other weapon.

Zorah swung it in a wide arch. Alister brought up his weapon. He fumbled around the weapon clumsily as he wasn’t used to wielding a sword, unless stabbing a dragon counted for something. He blocked and parried most of the attacks that he couldn’t dodge.

Alister took step after step back to avoid being sliced to ribbons. He took a glance behind him and saw that he was running out of hallway. Zorah’s spear fell down on his shoulder, digging deep into his arm. Alister gripped his shoulder and Zorah withdrew the weapon from his shoulder to prepare for another attack. Alister sidestepped to one side as the spear sailed toward him. Zorah, expecting resistance when there was none, fell forward. Alister dropped the sword and ran toward the open hole in the floor. Zorah spun around and saw Alister trying to get away. She ran after him.

Alister spotted the spear that Zorah dropped before. He bent down to grab it just as Zorah swung her spear where his head had just been moments ago. He grabbed the spear and stepped back as Zorah lunged past him to try and stab him from another angle. Alister threw the spear. It struck Zorah in the stomach and went through her body.

Shocked, Zorah dropped her weapon. It fell off the edge with an eerie clattering. She took a few steps back from the impact, precariously close to the edge. Her hands gripped the shaft of her weapon. She seemed in disbelief that this was how it was going to end. There were no more tricks up her sleeve, no tattoos up her arm, no plan, and no back way out. She smiled a little. Her balance was unsteady but she didn’t try to steady herself. She looked up at Alister.

“Till we meet again, Love,” she nodded before falling over the edge.

Zorah fell floor after floor after floor. The smile on her face grew wider and wider. Soon she was laughing hysterically. Her life zipped across her eyes. All the wrong she had done, all the people that she killed, and all the little people that she had to step on to get to where she was now. Now, it all meant nothing.

“You’ll remember me, won’t you?” she screamed to no one in particular. A tear started to form in her eye, “Won’t you? You’d remember me, right? You’d—”

Everything went black and her soul moved on.

Alister didn’t hurry to the edge. He had no intentions of seeing someone fall to their death. He fell in a heap on a rock, both exhausted and physically pained. A hand rested on his shoulder. Startled, Alister jumped up, ready to face the next threat. But when he turned around, Shadow stood there behind him.

“You all right?” Shadow asked.

“I’ve been better,” Alister groaned, “We should get to the roof.”

Penelope pulled out one of her gadgets. If anyone remembers, it’s the one that paralyzed Shadow in the leg. She pulled out that same rod and pointed it at the machine. Penelope wasn’t exactly sure what was going to happen but it would put her inventions to work. She looked quickly at Raven. It wasn’t quite time yet.

Raven did a backflip to avoid the thorned vines that had come at her. She caught a glimpse of Penelope looking at her. Raven wasn’t sure what the girl was thinking but she didn’t like narrowed look behind her glasses. She landed and dodged four more vines all the while making sure that she kept Penelope in her peripheral vision.

Once Penelope was certain that Raven had her back, she waited for another wave to wash past before pressing the button on her weapon. An electrical blast fired from it but ran only on the outside of Nest’s barrier. Nest smiled at the girl’s stupidity. Penelope continued to press the button repeatedly sending out more and more electrical busts. Soon Nest’s barrier was basically an electric dome.

The next wave didn’t make it outside the barrier. It radiated from the machine, hit the barrier and followed the upward curve until it struck the center of the machine again, causing the blue energy great irritation. Nest’s eyes grew wide when he realized what the girl was trying to accomplish. Penelope had created a type of magnetic field containing the waves and sending it back to itself. In other words, she created a way for the machine to destroy itself.

Nest looked wide eyes at the machine. He tried to drop the shield but the growing pressure made it hard to focus. Nest dropped to his knees and gripped his head. Raven broke away from her battle with Rose and ran to Penelope. She gripped her hand and ran toward the edge.

Penelope screamed as both girls fell. Raven pressed her feet against the building to slow their decent enough for her to start running. They made it to the ground and Raven instantly started running to one of the other buildings. She had a feeling that it would suck to stay in that building any longer than necessary.

“What’s happening!?” Rose shouted.

Nest didn’t answer. The pressure was beginning to be too much. The blue energy was about 50% its original size. That much pressure wasn’t good. Nest gripped his head. Blood flowed from his nose and ears. There was a high pitched screech as the blue energy shrunk even more. Nest collapsed, his eyes staring at the machine. Blood pooled around his body.

The energy continued to shrink. Rose turned to the stairwell and started to make his way down.

The pressure built up too much and finally, it exploded. A large blue shock wave destroyed the top five or so floors, vaporizing practically everything it came in contact with.

Shadow felt the sudden jerk, grabbed Alister and entered the nearest wall. Quickly, Shadow descended the building. He felt a breeze behind him and he risked a look. A white mass seemed to be following him. It’s tentacles of light abolishing everything it touched.

“Hey!” Alister yelled, “Can this ride go any faster?!”

Shadow turned his head back around and ran as fast as he could. He jumped and ended up on one of the other surrounding buildings. Alister ran to the nearest window. He shaded his eyes as the building crumbled and the blue nebulous thing dispersing but destroying anything it touched.

Debris fell on both Fang and Zero as Fang chased Zero down. Reighn did his best to avert what he could but Fang found himself ducking and dodging as much as staying alive. Ahead of him, Fang saw Zero, almost within grasp when suddenly he felt an arm stop him. He looked at who it was and saw that Undertaker had yet again come out of hiding.

“Let’s go, Fang!” Undertaker said with authority.

Fang was about to protest when he noticed the shaking and the falling debris had increased.

Undertaker looked down the way Zero had disappeared, “He’s dead down there anyway.”

He grabbed Reighn’s hand too before disappearing in a grey mist. Just then the basement ceiling caved in as the building’s falling weight was too much to handle. Burying and hopefully killing the infamous Zero.

Lumin and Arisa sat on the ledge of a distant building. After he had Arisa in his arms again, he took her out of harm’s way. They both watched at the building came crashing down. Lumin looked slightly concerned about the others. He held Arisa closer. She sat next to him looking at the spectacle before them.

“Lumin?” Arisa looked up at him.

Lumin smiled down at her. She was already using his real name so soon after he told her during their walk to their perch.

“Yes,” he answered.

“I ran away from Fang,” Arisa said, “Do you think he’s okay?”

“I’m sure he’s fine.”

Just then Undertaker and his two travelers appeared behind them. Undertaker folded his arms. A smile appeared on his face as he watched the smoldering building. Reighn assumed his Kew form and settled on Undertaker’s shoulder. He watched for a while before curling up by Undertaker’s neck and falling asleep. Fang stared at the building for a while. After a moment, he walked over to the two at the ledge.

“Good to see you’re all right, Blue,” Fang said.

Lumin smiled. He could sense that Fang left Arisa out on purpose. Arisa looked down out of shame and the knowledge that she would be punished later. He would deal with that later. Lumin looked up at Fang.

“Lumin,” he stated.

Fang looked at him with confusion and shock.

“My name,” Lumin clarified, “it’s Lumin Escence.”

Fang nodded, “Nice to meet you Lumin Escence.”

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