Introduction, Part 2
Smoke comes from where the explosion came from, with Sam, Grace and Arthur nowhere in site. It seems that just one explosion has made them into a smoldering memory of Alex’s last hope…
The smoke clears a bit more, revealing a vague, tall figure with no features. The tall figure is a large, featureless rectangular object made from iron and sandstone, worn and damaged from the blast. A flash comes from near the base of the figure, shining brilliantly with a blue hue. The flash disappears, revealing a large, ornate door of marble and steel. The door opens, the banged up three coming out.
The Grace puts her finger in her ear, trying to get the hearing beck in her ear while Arthur rubs his head to get rid of his headache. Sam gets up, eyes squinted and head turning, looking for Alex.
“Where’s Alex?” Sam thought.
His eyes widened from shock. Alex was gone. Could he have been killed in the explosion? No, he could not have, he would have been behind the shield. Could someone have taken him? Yes, that had to be it; it explains why they need the explosion.
Sam pulls his allies up, getting them on their feet.
“Get up, someone took the kid!” Sam says to the two.
“Oh Shit!” Grace cursed.
“Did you see who took him?” Arthur asked.
“No, I didn’t notice anything until the explosion was over” Sam explained to the two.
This was bad. Not only would they not get paid and Alex be dead, but this would be on their record for any job they took from anyone, like a scar that would never fade.
“Let’s go!” Sam said, sprinting forward.
Arthur tugged on his shirt, not enough to stop him, but to imply that he had to.
“Go where? You said you didn’t hear anything!” Arthur said.
“I’m guessing you didn’t hear anything either, did you” Grace asked.
Sam grunted. They were right. He didn’t know where to go. Whoever took Alex made no sound and was not seen, meaning he could have come from anywhere.
Sam made a disgruntled look, thinking that it would have taken hours to look for Alex with no direction.
He then realized something.
“The bomb!” Sam said to the two.
“Yeah, I think I’ve gone deaf in one ear because of it. What about it?” Grace asked.
Arthur looked in interest, trying to figure out what Sam had already.
“It came from that way, I heard the clanking!” Sam said, pointing to his left.
“How could you be sure? We were shaken up to much.” Arthur said, over looking his idea.
“No, I remember exactly how I moved, it came that way” Sam said.
“Well, let’s get our asses in gear, come on!” Grace said moving ahead of them. The others fallowed.
Reaton, Zuhari and Raq’shear on run down the hallway, wounded. Just then, a figure appears in front of them, shadowy and mysterious.
It is a woman, covered in shadows and black clothing. She then changes into another woman, more modernly dressed. She wears a tight jumpsuit with an open back, black in color and a white, effeminate faceplate. Her skin is ghastly pale, similar to it being in a blizzard storm and she something simply seems unnatural about her. Raven hair reaches her shoulders.
She looks at the three, giving off a chuckle. She takes out a gun and aims it at Sam, shooting.
The screen switches to behind the bullet, Sam looks in shock, as the bullet is sheer inches away from him.
Arthur gets in the way, his right arm in front. The bullet hits his arm, deflected and making a ping.
“Go” Arthur says to Sam and Grace.
They run behind the woman. She turns away from Arthur, intent on shooting his companions.
She puts the gun in front of her face, her eye aligned with the scope.
“Hmm” She says. We see her hand on the trigger, getting ready to pull it. “Say goodbye!” she tells Sam and Grace, pulling the trigger. Arthur claps his hands and puts them on the ground. The ground rumbles and warps beneath them, the woman being shaken. The shot goes stray. He grabs her arm and pulls it toward the floor. He flips her over his shoulders. She somersaults and lands on her hand, her gun forward and, intent on using it.
Grace and Sam walk down the hallway, trying to find Alex and hoping Arthur can keep his life.
“Duck!” Grace yells out, pushing him down.
Just then, a rocket shoots out, just above their heads.
A large machine in humanoid form, loads a rocket into a canon mounted on its shoulders. It looks bulky, having heavy armor plates on its torso and arms, with legs that appears to be covered in marking and symbols. The machines head is covered by three masks on three different sides, each white in color, and the rest of the head covered by a helmet. With the exception of the masks, its dark gray from top to bottom.
It shoots a rocket at Sam and Grace, who roll over to a piece of ruined steel pillar. Sam and Grace put themselves as close as they can to the pillar, the blast only 10 feet from them. They cover their faces, impossibly hoping not to be seen and to be protected. They put their arms down as the explosion then dies down to a smoke.
Grace turns to Sam. “Go get the kid, I’ll distract it!” She says. Sam nods, running to the left.
Sam runs as fast as he can from the scene, trying to avoid any attention from the machine. However, a great effort, the machine spots him nonetheless, aiming two inbuilt machine guns in its upper back.
Machine gun bullets blast out. Sam winces as he is shot by the bullets in the leg, slowing his position by a mix of physical disability and pain.
The machines head turns, trying to find other targets before it decides that Sam’s fate is to be in his hands that second. The inbuilt machine guns turn ever so smoothly. It then lifts its rocket launcher, getting ready to shoot. The machine turns around, like a cruel and brutal juggernaut, ready to take Sam’s life like so many others.
Just then, a number of machine gun bullets from the side hit machines head. As the bullets hit its head, it begins to dent and brake apart, so much that one face is half way destroyed. The missing parts reveal a camera where the eye was, along with other mechanical parts.
The machine turns one its head, staring at Grace, who has a two-handed gun in her hand, with a less damaged faceplate. It turns around to her, forgetting about Sam and wishing to get the annoyance out of its way. The machine then changes to a similar version, only made of crude iron and with a small ballista on its shoulder. The machine shoots a flaming bolt at Zuhari, the scene stopping there.
We then see Sam, staggering toward in a hallway. From the expression on his face, you could see that he is suffering from anxiety, exaltation and blood loss. He is just about to lose conciseness when he sees a large room with Alex, pale and terrified, in it, tied to a chair.
He walks closer to him, trying to him, untie him from the chair and help his allies. From the back, a knife comes to Sam’s head with sheer force. Just as the knife is about to hit, Sam grabs a piece of paper from his pocket puts it in front of the knife. The knife is deflected off, though it slices the skin of the fingers of Sam.
From the force of the knife hitting the paper, Sam then tumbles to another side of the room. He then holds his fingers and winces as he tries to hold the blood in. Alex looks at him, worried to tears about Sam but nauseated by the sight of the blood coming out. The assailant, dressed in a black leather combat outfit, black ski mask and white masculine faceplate, lunges at Sam with deadly force. Sam tumbles to the left as the blow misses. The man lunges again.
Arthur runs backward, gunshots blazing through the stairwell. Arthur claps his hands and puts them on the floor, a flash coming from the area. A wall of stone comes from the stone halfway through the case. Arthur runs up the stairs, quickly. The shadowy woman appears out of thin air, right in front of the wall, unfazed by the wall that was sprung up in front of her.
She walks up the stairs with a broken faceplate, showing one eye that has a cold and cunning look in it. The woman switches to the shadowy, dark woman in dark clothing from the place that was seen before, surrounded by walls made of stone, standing on a spiral stone staircase. She sticks out her hand and small, wispy shadow missiles come toward Raq’shear. He arches his back, a missile only a few inches from his chest. One missile hits left arm and another hits his stomach. Raq’shear falls down on the stairwell, sliding down a few steps as he feels the numbing cold goes through his abdomen and left arm. The woman walks up the stairs, coming closer to the red-eyed nature priest. Raq’shear stands up and climbs the stairs, hunched and left arm swinging as the right rubs it.
Zuhari dodges three bolts being shot at her. She puts her hands in her in a cup, forming ectoplasm into her hands. Zuhari throws it at the machine, sticking to its arm, pulling it forward. Zuhari holds onto the silvery-white semi-solid liquid attached to the machines arm and holds it down, straining it. She holds on tight as she can to the slippery liquid, straining and stopping the machines arm. A compartment opens from his chest, a glowing stone in placed in it. Magical, glowing missiles shoot at Zuhari.
Fear rushes into the Githzeri, the magic is about to kill her. She lets go of the liquid and jumps off a nearby wall, bouncing to the right. Three missiles hit the wall, exploding in magnificent force, while two bounces off Zuhari in an unseen force, while the other two hit her in the chest in, blasting her into the corner of the room. Zuhari switches to Grace, numbed by the pain, unable to move. The machine lifts its left arm, the right being jammed and torn. He sticks out his index and middle finger, putting them together. He points them at Grace. As it aligns them to her chest, the caps of the fingers, making two hallow tubes. The bullets make it half way out of the shell just before three shots hit the machine thighs. It sinks down, falling as the bullets hit the wall, missing Grace.
Arthur claps his hands and slams them on the ground. A large burst of energy runs through the ground and stops under the machines right leg. A tremble goes through it and the kneecap blows up. The machine falls down and its hand starts shooting bullets. The arm sways to the right, heading toward Arthur. Arthur sees the bullets, claps his hands, and transmutes the floor, lifting the floor below him upward. Just before Arthur can take his hands off the elevated floor, the bullets cut down the floor and Arthur falls on his left shoulder.
Arthur grunts as he holds his shoulder, the pain going into his arm. The woman steps forward, aiming her gun at the fallen alchemist. A large group of wires and cables grabs her and slams her into the wall. The cables then smack her against the floor, finally throwing her into the machine. The machines back bends over as the woman teleports her next to it. The machine readjusts itself as Arthur, picks up Grace, whose cables connecting from her are around them, lying on the floor limply.
Sam dodges the masked man attacks, swiftly tumbling and leaching paper shields. A large pillar of paper, ending with a toothed jaw comes to surface. It rushes at the masked man, chomping down on debris as he dodges the snapping jaws, pushing him into a wall.
The paper monster rushes at him again, this time with the masked man nowhere to go. The paper monster opens its jaw, preparing to rip the masked man to pieces. The masked man jumps inside, a millisecond before being torn to pieces. The marble floor become stone tiles, the steel walls becomes a brownish-gray metal, Sam becoming Raton and the paper monster becoming many black tentacles, wrapping around the masked man. A sword thrusts forward, going through the tentacles and slicing downward, releasing him from the grasp of the tentacles, revealing the previously seen dark warrior.
“Is that your best?” He says, throwing off the tentacles. The man laughs in Reaton’s face.
“You don’t expect to win this battle, do you my friend?” The masked man asks. This was true. Sam and Reaton were only stalling until his allies, his friends, got here. With them, he might stand a chance.
But that hope is gone, both questioning if their allies were even still alive. Raton slouches in despair.
The masked man stepped closer to Reaton. “Why don’t you give me the boy? He means nothing to you” the masked sword fighter told Reaton, putting his fingers on the blade. “Besides, look at the trouble he’s caused you!” The masked warrior says to Reaton, his sword on his shoulders.
Reaton puts his head down, silently.
“What did he pay you? 10,000? 20,000? Was it worth all this?” the masked warrior asks, pointing at his damaged body.
Reaton still stands, silent.
The trader sits still, bound by rope, looking at the two in fear of his life. Had the warforged abandoned him? Had he no care for the money? His life? Was he to die?
“No answers? No arguments?” the sword man asked.
Reaton stood, still with no words from his mouth.
“Than get out my way” the sword man told Reaton, passing him by.
Breaking from silence, Reaton knocks the masked warrior down and makes a strange gesture.
The Reaton turns to Sam, the swordsman turns to the knife fighter, the trader turns into Alex and the room becomes as it was.
Paper forms around Sam’s hand turning into a clawed version. Sam strikes the man’s mask, repeatedly, breaking off piece one by one. The knife fighter grabs Sam’s hand and holds it still. A look of shock comes at Sam’s face as he sees the man’s face.
His face is without skin, lips or a nose. It was just rough tissue, unhidden teeth and a whole in the middle of his face. As two blue eyes stare at Sam, the masked knife fighter punches him in the face, throwing him off. The knife fighter picks up his large blade while Sam rubs his face while on the floor. HE steps to Sam, eyes affixed in a gaze that says pure evil. He puts it over his head.
“Goodbye, Idealist!” the knife fighter says, about to stab into him.
Sam closes his eyes, tightly, hoping for the knife to miss.
Nothing happens. Sam opens his eyes, surprised at what he sees; Chains wrapped around the knife fighters left arm and cables and wires around the left. It was Grace and Arthur, the people that could have not been better to see right now.
The knife fighter pulls through the chains and tries to stab at Sam. Sam punches him in the face, hands wrapped in paper. Arthur and Grace let him go as he falls to the ground.
Sam sighs and slowly unties the ropes on Alex. “Are you okay?” Sam asks, taking the gag out of his mouth.
Alex nods. “Yes” Alex says to Sam.
“Good” Sam replies, taking Alex in his arms.
“So the mission is over?” Grace asks.
“Yes, there are no other assassins” Arthur says to Grace.
“We destroyed the bolth.” Graces says to Sam.
“Both?” Sam asked.
“Yes, there were two. A machine and a-“Grace says to Sam.
“No, I know what you meant. You just said both wrong” Sam interrupts.
Grace looks at him, embarrassed. “Whatever” Grace says, rolling her eyes, while Arthur smirks.
They begin to walk to the staircase. The knife fighter’s body twitches.
“Anybody up for pizza?” Grace asks.
“Yes, right after a lethal fight with assassins is a perfect time to have Italian food” Arthur criticizes. “We need to go to a hospital!” Arthur tells the two.
“Fine!” Grace says, disappointed. The knife fighter stands up.
The knife fighter charges at Sam, yelling. Sam turns around, turning the paper around his hand into a whip and hits the knife fighter with it. The knife fighter dodges the strikes, pulling on a cord on his vest.
Grace grabs him with cables and throws him out the window.
The knife fighter goes through the window, his vest making a beeping sound. His vest blows up in a magnificent explosion.
The screen then zooms out to the building, sounds of people’s screams as glass and debris fall on the streets. Subtitles appear on the screen: “4:30 P.M.” The subtitles disappear.
“This is my life.” Sam narrates. “This is what I do. I fight the bad guys, rescue the innocent, and get paid for it. Nevertheless, my life, and the life of the allies and those around me is deeper than just that. It is deeper than rescue the princess and save the day. But, I guess you’ll have to find out later, won’t you?”
More subtitles appear on the screen: “Step through the Gate”