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Eyes in Shadow

By: Saturn Genesis


Chapter 1:  Breathless…


            Once again it was an evening filled with rain shadows and flooding.  Dark clouds were lightly threaded across the purple sky, and a sailing wind thrashed the trees gently.  Another familiar evening in the city of Jylia, who stood there with the same look as usual; dark, imposing, sadistic, and no doubt plotting another night for the people upon her streets.  Dark Jylia, the Nightmare city, was under the siege of a soon to come storm.  A boat pulled towards the troubled docks, and all ready, light drops of rain began to invite themselves upon the gray brick streets.  As the ferry came to the shores, the water beneath it swished and sang with the same unique voice water always carried. The other fellow boats of the evening, bumping against wood and metal, made a light tune upon the water’s echoing surface.  The night was growing darker with every minute.

            Small footsteps pattered down the wooden docks.  “Why are we stopping in this disgusting city,” a woman who’s voice portrayed a well brought-up child hood, protested to where the guide had carried them.  The guide turned around to reply. 

His hair was brown and half spiked upwards in a manner almost as sloppy as his rather shabby brown clothes, and his left eye seemed to be staring in a different direction as oppose to his right.  He didn’t look like he was holding onto reality all the way judging from the looks he evinced.  He answered in a slightly raspy voice, “Because m’lady, there is a storm flanking us, and it seems to be the worse I’ve seen in a long time.”  He was loosing his patience with these rich snob tourists from the free worlds.  “We are here to find shelter, and I know of satisfactory accommodations within the city that are fairly cheap as well.”  He was being as polite as he could, as well as upholding his slightly English accent. 

Or at least cheap for the likes of you all… he thought to himself.  “So this is Jylia.  I’ve always found myself curious about this city.”  Someone else’s voice came to pass within the small crowd of tourists.  This one, the guide knew, could be no older than 25 at the most.  “I was wondering sir,” she faced him.  “Being a guide and all, I was hoping that perhaps you will take us on a tour down one of the main streets of Jylia, a street with shops if you will, before the storms come?”  The guide looked surprised for a moment and then looked up towards his companion that remained hidden beneath his hooded jacket.

            They whispered to each other.  “These people actually want to tour the Nightmare City?”  The guide could hardly believe his ears at this strange request.  It was truly evident that these people had yet to really know the havoc of their awful world outside of the free countries.  Their cities were sheltered from such things, but in this land, all was distorted.  “Perhaps we can squeeze more out of their pockets, you think?”  The guide’s companion gave him his usual devilish look that marked his face whenever the subject was about money.  The guide smiled just the same.  “Well indeed I can my fair broad.  There is just a slight problem however.”  She didn’t reply, beckoning his answer only with her eyes.  “I would like to shop myself, fair lady, and time is of my money you do know.”  She sighed.  “You will have your extra pay guide.”  Both the guide and companion grinned.

            “In that case,” remarked the guide’s companion.  “I wish of two lines.  If you wish to retire within the city and avoid the dangers of this quest, then follow me and we’ll head for the Dancers Rest.  If you do wish to brave the Nightmare City,” he tried to emphasize Jylia’s nickname to make it sound more intriguing, “Then follow my friend here, Jimmy.  Extra charge for the tour of Jylia of course.” 

            “Dangerous?  By God, what could be so dangerous about this lovely looking city?”  A curious tourist noted the architecture of the docklands.  The guide blinked to face the shadowed direction of a man that managed to pronounce the strangest thing he had perhaps heard the entire year.   The companions looked at each other again, then back at the crowd.  “Jylia is perhaps one of the most dangerous sites in the Varken world.  Ladies that come, stick close the group, or you might be carried off by the hostile incubi that live here.”  Guide number one jumped onto a cement wall, grabbing hold of a street light that held a halo within the soon to rain evening.  “Come along now, and see the reasons WHY beautiful Jylia has been named the Nightmare City.”  The group broke, majority rather curious about such a seemingly peaceful night and what it could hold in these sadistic dwellings.


            The warehouse was dark with an overpowering blankness, save for the walls that were packed with random scraps of junk to the ceiling.  This would be a rather dry night yet again, dry of action in any case.  She held herself to the ceiling using one of the thinner steal rafters, her legs curling about it like she was hanging upside down from a monkey bar.  Her only light was being generated from the benign but baleful night that laid outside of her situation.  An eleven foot drop at the most, she thought to herself.  No problem, she had fell from higher distances, and there appeared to be a pile of mattresses a little to her left.  All she had to do was aim just right before all the blood rushed to her head, and then…

            “FLOOMPH!”  The mattresses made this a comfortable fall this time, but she couldn’t expect her other assignments to be as nice.  This was getting too simple, people in Jylia were beginning to slack off.  A large, gray metal desk was set near the center of the cluttered warehouse.  That was her goal.  Hidden within there was a piece of technology that would fetch her another two grand in Jylia currency if she retrieved it successfully.  A crucial piece to a new Gryo Stabilization Unit that would revolutionize gun recoil units through the world most likely, and it would soon be hers. 

Yet since this seemed so simple, Vyela Jeness (Pronounced Vy-luh Jen-es) couldn’t but wonder if this was some sort of trap, or if there was a catch.  She couldn’t just take the thing could she?  She walked up to examine the desk further.  She was right…  An electronic security lock rested upon its drawers, its six-digit access code between her and her prize…


            “Is there no law in this filth?”  The same voice that protested to the “disgusting city” was now protesting again about a man harassing a female across the street.  The guide smirked to himself.  “This is not the free world.  Here in Jylia, there are few freedoms yet there aren’t enough restrictions, so don’t expect a society as beautiful as the streets in Jylia.”  One man looked at him, his face clearly stating confusion.

“Yes,” the guide held up his finger in a thoughtful way.  “We have laws in Jylia, but not the right kind, and not enough either.  We have a few, such as laws against speaking out against the Varken family, which I am sure you all have heard of.  For those of you who haven’t, they are the family of gangsters that rule and dictate most of this known world.   And even as I speaketh their name, I am sure that one of Jylia’s loyal police members are scanning me this given moment.” 

Sure enough, a robot that was gliding through the street had silently come to a stop, its one machine eye peering at the guide.  Another floating metal apparition had also spotted the man.  Information of who he was, his blood type, birthplace, name, even the guide’s DNA structure was made available to the technological being.  The floating case of iron and aluminum recorded the conversation, it’s meager A.I. brain looking for any discrimination or illegal actions against the law that its memory banks could recognize, but it found none. 

“Those policemen that I speak of, ladies and gentlemen, we affectionately call the Enforcer Bots and Razor Bots.”  He knew he was being watched, and was used to it.  “Both Bots are a leading edge in technology.  And let me tell you… technology isn’t a great freedom in Jylia, only the richest of the rich are allowed to use it.  A Seeker Bot is a sentinel, pay of little matter to them.  A Tank Bot is annoying, an Enforcer Bot is bad, but the Razor Bots you should NEVER tangle with.”


So these people weren’t so poor or brain dead after all.  They could have even had cameras set up, but that didn’t matter since she cut the main power.  This desk was operating off of batteries or a generator of some sort that she didn’t recall seeing as she observed her target building before.  That wasn’t unusual in this city, or at least around the people she was used to stealing from.  Her Wrist Scope (A small wrist computer commonly used in the land of Diest.  Normally, only males have a use for it) was all ready out and hooked up into a socket in the desk, a program working its binary magic upon the lock.  Between her advanced software and impervious ability to hack, she would have her prize in little time.  This was getting too easy, shouldn’t there have been someone to fight by now?  Vyela looked around.  At this rate, I’ll be in bed before seven! 

It didn’t matter really, for in any case tomorrow at eight in the morning she would be carrying a black static/shock-proof suitcase down July Street, marching it towards Deli’s Bar, and dropping it off to her current employer.  She would have a well-trusted friend do the transaction of machine and money however.  It wouldn’t be very good for business if her average employers knew that she was a woman working in this male orientated society. 

Then Vyela Jeness’ head shot up at the intruding fracas originating from the room’s entrance.  When she managed to spot the disturbance, she made out that of a heavyset man with a heavyset face.  He wasn’t happy to see where she was and what she was doing, but she smirked.  She would finally have some action.


“Is rape not restricted in this town?”  The same person who had suggested the tour of the city seemed to be hating every minute of it now as she watched an innocent woman get beat up in the street.  The guide laughed.  “There are hardly any laws against rape.  There are laws against murder within city limits, laws against stealing, laws against extortion every now and then, laws against preventing trade, but not rape.  Women are not people here, they are livestock in this city.  They are owned.  She’ll probably be raped before the night is over, possibly dead if she keeps bloody smarting off to him.”  He chuckled to himself while the tour group looked at each other, and followed their guide off. 

Behind them, a pair of eyes peeked out of the shadow of the alley they were standing in front of.  Something was amiss in the city of Jylia, and its presence would be made known quite soon…


Vyela jumped into the air, twisted her body to a horizontal stretch, and reached her foot towards the man’s square jaw.  Impact.  She was wearing boots with large heels too, so logically that wouldn’t be much of a handshake for him.  She landed gracefully just as he fell down from the force of her kick, giving her a chance to look at him for but a moment.  He seemed so shocked that this female could actually fight back.  That was something she always enjoyed; the look on men faces when they got a taste of her skills in martial arts.  She came out of her pause and went to kick at the desk now, frustrated with how long it was taking.  She knew it wouldn’t work that way, she would have to wait for the code, therefore, waste her time with the big goon.  He got up finally, and pushed her down to the floor.

She got up, but not without sticking her feet straight through the air and into his jaw yet again.  She was determined to break it before she left.  She was on her feet once more but so was he.  After a tiring repetition of clumsy punches and blocking, Vyela felt she had a good understanding of how hard he could hit, how fast he could punch, and just how stupid this guy really was.  It was soon her time to unleash and though it would be graceful to an observer on the outside of the chaos, it wasn’t too pretty in his eyes.  A combo series of bone-shattering kicks and breath-taking punches was upon him.  She finally broke his jaw…


“You may have noticed those strange, fancy orbs stuck on the shoulders of a lot of these girls. Maybe wondering what they were I assume?  Well, no… they are not a fashion trend.”  A woman, no doubt a drug addict, was lying with a haggard look of spirit and body upon some boxes in an alley.  The guide held up her arm.  “These my friends, are Garn Orbs.  They are computers that work together with the organic material of a human body, and tell the robotic law holders who they are, what they are, and who they work for.  Everything, even medical issues and diseases, and of course, who they belong too…” 

The group of free individuals who lived outside of the twisted world of Diest looked disgusted.  “Yes, indeed.  As I said before, women are more like livestock here, being the weaker version of the species…”


Vyela let out an onslaught of violent kicks, one after another, until she gave him a swift one in the gut.  He bent down to hold his aching body, something she expected him to do.  Then, she reached her right leg into the air and brought it down on the left of his head, and repeated.  Except this time, she concentrated her energy into the kick.  A bright halo of purple light surrounded her from the right ankle down.  This was something that wasn ‘t found commonly in Diest.  It wasn’t common in the world as a matter of fact.  She was one of the few elite humans that had the ability to concentrate her energy into her kicks until they glowed with power and swung at lethal speeds.  Something that this reject of a man could never predict from a medium built woman, but something that could have almost ended his life that night if it weren’t for Vyela’s mercy, and her pressured time frame.


            “Now, there are those who despise the Varken rule.  Outside of this city, you’ll find Guilds.  Some even old-fashioned Guilds with people stuck in tents on marked territories.  There is, of course, wars from this end of the ocean to the next.  If you want a wealthy life, a guild is the best place to be.  But on the other hand, one must be a top-notch fighter if he even hopes to be a janitor in the guilds. There are some hostile, nefarious, and sadistic people of artifice out there…” he chuckled.  These people really had no idea however, and never would unless they were exiled from their “perfect little free world of liberty” into these vile lands.  The tour group was appalled, and that is exactly what he expected from stupid tourists of the free countries.


            “Code successful.”  The computer blinked at her and she chuckled.  Yes, this really was too easy.  Vyela lifted the little computer up and placed it back on her wrist, and then gingerly opened the drawers. As an added bonus with her prize, she filled her pocket with scraps of money and batteries before she left.  On her way of climbing back to the top, she finally noticed the rainy smell that was accompanying her on this delightful evening.  Another storm in Jylia, what was new?  She packed the static/shock proof case into her backpack, and climbed back out the glass windows in the ceiling that she had so intricately entered through.


            The Shrine Tower, a center of trade for the Chaos Guild, and a center of communication for the Varken family.  Little did anybody know that tonight, beneath the storm’s apathy of the sky, the Shrine Tower would be a target not just for the lightning, but for the devils that were crawling within its reaches.

            The eyes in the shadows were watching the Enforcer Bot closely.  Somewhere down the line, the holder of those eyes was nearly caught by one, and that person didn’t feel like testing to dilemma of the law tonight.

            The camera’s green light turned red.  That meant that the computer’s motion sensors had caught wind of something and it was in alert mode.  Shadows played through out the complex.  Phantoms moved in between halls, one by one, working on an unknown goal together.  What was wrong on this stormy night?



The President of the Shrine Tower looked outside into the darkness where it began to rain lightly.  “Another peaceful night… isn’t it Hallowed?”  Hallowed was the President’s head of security.  The man was slightly on the short side, but he did his job well enough.  “If you think so sir.”  The President frowned.  “Don’t be so serious all the time Hallowed.  It’s the perfect night to open the windows and take a breath of fresh air… stormy fresh air in fact!”  The President was normally in good humor, but Hallowed knew better.  A series of recent threats had come to the Shrine Tower, and whilst the President thought of them as child’s play, Hallowed had every security guard working.  “Sir, don’t you think you should be a little more cautious?” 

The President gave him that same old look again.  “Hallowed, Hallowed, you’re spoiling the mood.  Are you still worried about that pesky guild again?”  Hallowed blinked and swallowed.  He wanted much to take the scrawny President by his thick neck and shove a reality check ten feet down his throat.  “Think nothing of them Hallowed, nothing of them.  Other guilds have threatened us before.”  Hallowed was getting mad now.  This pique President hired him for his knowledge of the streets, the guilds, and technology, yet he wasn’t heeding a word he was saying.  “Sir, rebellious organizations within the city are not what I would call anywhere NEAR a guild. “

“This is serious business.  I would not take a threat from the Redeemers like a common gang threat that we get daily!”  The President continued his gaze at the storming night from his comfortable chair.  A piece of lightning flashed just after thunder crackled and the raining began to grow thicker now.  Just as quickly as the blue light lit the room of dull lights, Hallowed was gone on his patrols.  He wasn’t determined to die here tonight.  He left the President’s room mumbling curses to himself.  He knew that they would be here, the Redeemers.  They were one, if not the most, dangerous guild to date on this side of Diest, and that leader of theirs… Hallowed shuddered at some of the stories his most trusted friends told.  He wouldn’t want to tangle with the leaders of any Guild.

The night itself certainly was a hallowed one.  Anxiety left an aftertaste in the atmosphere.   Hallowed could suck in the imminent danger with every breath.  He sighed to himself and took out the last letter they had received from the guild, surprisingly printed in a formal manner like the rest.  Sometimes Hallowed kind of thought of them as medieval scum stuck in the ages of the Barbarians but this destroyed  his theory.  It clearly stated, April 19th, Wednesday, in the middle of the storm, they would strike, and show their extreme hatred towards the Chaos Guild and towards the activities of the residents of the Shrine Tower. 

He looked up to see the janitor whistling softly in the night, not an inch of worry on his face, so  Hallowed shook his head.  They were being threatened and these chowder heads didn’t seem to think that this was a bad thing.  The head of Security at the Shrine Tower safely tucked the letter away, growing ever more aware of the billowing weather outside.  The storm was gathering, and Hallowed knew that the Redeemers were following its example.  He stopped at an intersection in the halls, readjusting his uniform and sniffing the cold air.

Suddenly, he heard a movement.  Not a thump on the ground, nor a bump from a body hitting a wall… this was a swish in the air that betrayed to Hallowed that someone was delicately speeding through the complex.  First nothing came to Hallowed, but then his heart seemed to drop into his stomach.  He prayed it wasn’t time yet… he prayed.  He had only two hours and a half before he could leave home without loosing his job.  Of course, if he died, it wouldn’t matter anymore, but for some reason Hallowed felt that he should stay, just in case the threats were false.  He should have known better than that… he damned himself as he followed the direction that he thought he heard the phantom glide through.

The camera’s were still looking around, spying something that the A.I. computer system recognized as abnormal.  “Camera Weapons Activated.’   Defense mode was now imminent, and the black figure that had triggered the system just stood there, doing nothing. 


Hallowed checked his Wrist Scope that was hooked to the entire complex through satellite and radio.  “What the?”  He asked himself.  Something had triggered the alarm system on the 63rd floor.  This was not a good thing.  He hurried to the elevator, but before he could reach it, the Wrist Scope alerted him again with it’s usual vibration and blinking.  Nothing, it all turned out to be a false alarm, the camera systems were on normal again.  Hallowed almost breathed a sigh of relief to himself.


The camera light turned green, as so did the rest in the complex.  The security mode was shut down, and now they weren’t even recording.  The corpses of the Surveillance Control team that had been monitoring the Shrine Tower were no longer at their jobs.  Strangers cloaked in black took over for them, and started with the disabling of all security systems.  If the big boss ever found out about the employees sleeping on the job they would get canned the next day for sure despite them being covered in their own blood head to toe.  Fortunately for them though, there wouldn’t be a Shrine Tower before long… 

More shadows danced around the complex, in and out of rooms behind the employee’s backs.  So many civilians turned around at once, thinking they heard something.  But most of the time they just shrugged and went back to what they were doing, not bothering to notice the newly added blinking decorations, complete with red and greens cord leading in and out of tubular structures that seemed to resemble a certain explosive weapon.


Hallowed stopped again.  The Camera team downstairs wasn’t responding, and the Security Computer wasn’t heeding his commands either.  Now Hallowed’s heart really did drop into his stomach, and he was afraid that it might just come out with his cheap lunch in the toilet if this kept up.  He could feel the warm blood pumping in him, but he forced himself to stay cool.  He was trained for this, and was a skilled warrior… he could handle this.  He just had to notify the right people, which would have to be the security team of course, or the team with the biggest guns anyway… 

He looked at the camera that betrayed him with its green light that normally symbolized everything was all right.  Not tonight though, not tonight.  Nothing would be all right tonight.  Anybody who received a threat from a guild usually didn’t make it past their given doom date.  Hallowed was convinced that if he was dealing with the Redeemers, he would have to call in Chaos.  He walked the corners until he found the nearest faculty phone.  Amazing, it gave him a dial tone when he picked it up.  Maybe he was just being paranoid about the system failing, it never crumbled before.

He took out the napkin upon which he scribbled the number to the Chaos Guild representatives.  At first it was a little hard to read, but he got the idea of what it was.  Perhaps he was just being paranoid, and calling Chaos for nothing, but then again, this threat wasn’t merely nothing like everybody seemed to believe it was.

Then the lights went out…


            Vyela daintily squeezed herself out the circle she had cut in the glass.  Climbing out was a lot more of a complex process than she had thought it would be, but she made it without a scratch.  She pulled out her legs and then her right hand, flipped herself carefully onto the glass, and then gently pulled up her precious cargo that was hanging from her right hand.  Afterwards, she nimbly got off the glass before it would crush beneath her weight, even though she weighed no more than 120 pounds.  Her friends used to tease her about eating more. 

            A large raindrop hit her square in the back of the head.  She was right, it was raining, not much to her surprise however.  She looked up.  Black clouds, the blackest and darkest she had seen in a long time.  As she stared into the starless wonder above her, gathered and she began to grow curious.  Did something not feel right tonight?  Or was it just her?  Vyela still had problem trusting her intuition.  Nothing ever happened to her when she got the strange vibes so she passed most of them off as nasty lunches (which were so common in Jylia).

            As she stared at the roof of the warehouse she was lightly treading on, she noticed something wasn’t right after all.  She had been here three nights in a row before her actual break in, researching all the possible ways of entry and studying her get away path before the Enforcer Bots could be called in.  Vyela distinctly remembered there being more light, and found out what was missing when she looked up.  Odd, the lights in the Shrine Tower are off… maybe they are just doing a power check…  Vyela Jeness paid no attention, but instead, grabbed her things, and began to speed off. 


            Things would be okay, Hallowed reassured himself.  He had called in both the Enforcer Bots and the Chaos crew.  The Redeemers would get a nice taste of what Hallowed liked to call offense… or would it be defense in this case?  He didn’t have time to debate over it as he slammed down the stairs beneath the red emergency lights.  Things came on again, and everything appeared normal. 

            He met the Enforcer Bots and Chaos members at a 62nd floor lounge entrance (courtesy of the newly working elevators).  They peered at him, and the fourth in command of the Chaos Guild shook his hand.  “You called us in?”  Hallowed nodded, hoping for sure that he wouldn’t be proven a fool because of this. The Enforcer Bots stood on the edges of a circle formation of men.  Not just any men, guild warriors, the seasoned kind that could put a civilian into a coma with just their looks.  Many were dressed in black or camouflage of dark colors.  Crimson and black were the guild colors of Chaos, and they often sported their lethal weapons at their side blatantly without any thought as to what others would think.

            The presence of a guild that would make any other man practically shrink in the corner whimpering didn’t have an effect on Hallowed.  He had been involved with multiple guilds in his lifetime, being a messenger or scout but never really apart of the guild ranks.  He had seen the worst of the worst, and didn’t even flinch in the presence of Chaos.  In fact, the seasoned warriors brought him relief. 

“Yeah… feeling a bit on the paranoid side since them threats and all.  Strange things are happening around here, and the crew was just thinking that we would feel better with more security around. “  The leader nodded.  As Hallowed remembered, this guy was called “Spin” because of his peculiar fighting technique.  Whatever these guys called themselves now-a-days, most guild warriors had been nicknamed out of something from their character traits.

            After fifteen minutes of searching floors 62 through 64 between the Enforcer Bots, Shrine Tower’s faculty, and Chaos Guild members, nothing turned up.  The Enforcer Bots gathered in the middle of floor 1st floor lobby where Hallowed was summoned when all of them showed up.  The middle of the bots leaned in, and pushed out its light blue ocular lens.  “Shrine Towers cleared of danger sir.  Do you have any more requests?”  Hallowed shook his head at its metallic voice.  “No.”  The Enforcer Bot of course made no expression.  That was something that always bugged Hallowed for some reason. 

            “In the future, it would be appreciated by Varken Inc. if you do no call in false alarms.”  Hallowed nodded, understanding fully well what the punishment for crying wolf was around here in Jylia.  He was just happy that none of the guild members from Chaos were around to see his rather embarrassing moment.  He looked around just to be sure.


            “I don’t see anything Exile.”  A short man carrying a small rifle peeked around a corner.  “I don’t either Mist… it’s just a false alarm.  And I thought that Hallowed Dream guy knew what he was doing too.”  Mist and his shorter compatriot both looked from corner to corner, hall to hall, and found nothing at all of course.  They stopped just outside of an alcove and shrugged.  “You really think these guys were being threatened by the Redeemers?  I mean, I know they hate us, but do they really hate us that much to attack a civilian building.”  Exile stopped for a moment to consider Mist’s words.  “Now that I think of it… it’s hard to say.  They REALLY don’t like us, but I do know that they prefer to keep guild business outside of the city if they can.  On the other hand, the Shrine Tower was going to be a major update to the Chaos Guild, a VERY big advantage as I understand with…”

            As they nearly went into a discussion of all the new things to come out of this would-be association of one of Jylia’s leading stock trade buildings and a Varken guild, Mist silenced his partner.  “You hear something, or is it just me?”  Exile paused too, and sure enough, the two of them heard whispers off in the distance.  It seemed like the sounds were coming from the alcove just behind them.  They took a closer look at the shadows.  When they examined it more up close they noticed a small space between the walls, and possibly the origins of the voice.

            “Are they gone yet man?”  Nothing in reply, then a, “I don’t know.  Why don’t you poke your head out and see?”  The other protested.  “No way!  I don’t feel like getting into a wrestle with one of em’ Enforcer Bot things!”  Exile and Mist looked at each other, then back at the alcove.  The other two people argued for a split second, and then stopped.  “There is someone out there…” said man number two.  This wasn’t a good place for Mist and Exile to be…

            An echoing scream filled floor 63, and alarmed the rest of the search party that could hear it.  Spin was too many floors up, but Hallowed caught a wisp of it and turned around in question.  Would it begin now?

“Sir,” Spin’s Wrist Scope beeped with its static-filled message.  The Shrine Tower was messing with his antique aged computer.  “Yeah,” he answered back.  “There were screams reported on floor 63; Exile and Mist aren’t answering.”  Spin blinked and stared ahead in thought for several seconds.  “Okay, give the warning out that someone is attacking us.  Send more to inspect floor 63, and keep your eyes out…” The other warrior on the end replied, “Yes sir,” and reported out. 

            Hallowed wasn’t fond this situation at all.  He thought about leaving all behind for a while, not because he was coward, he would fight the Redeemer Guild to the end if need be, but because he was mad.  Because of his co-workers’ ignorance he would die here in this complex tonight.  He wasn’t sure of what to do as he followed a small search party to floor 135.  Leave and it would be a cowardly act. 

Tiem, a leader of a small search party, was in front of the rest.  He checked into a room that happened to be a harmless lounge.  “I don’t see anything in here men.”  Hallowed had already joined him.  “Neither do I…” He agreed but they stuck around to study the lounge for a moment when Tiem spotted a small trail of blood smeared on the floor.  “What the hell?”  He moved from his spot in the doorway and followed it in.

            Most of the search party followed them, just in case back up was needed.  Hallowed gulped, following the trail and noting that someone had attempted to clean it up, and clean it up fast since it was blurry and smeared so much.  He followed it along side some cabinets until he arrived at an open closet and gawked at the origins.  Two men with tattoos that marked them as Chaos Members rested in pieces on the floor, their faces were tainted red from the mess they were covered in, and from an angle it seemed that their stomachs were torn open.  The other, the taller of them, seemed like he took some shots from a heavy weapon; his left shoulder was missing.  Those two would never be going back to head quarters.

            “Great.” said Hallowed.  The Redeemers were here, the handy work showed it.  Hallowed had heard rumors of how they killed people, but he never thought that he would see it in real life.  The security officer noticed that Spin was right behind him now, staring at what were once his soldiers.  “Hmm…” he considered this situation.  Too bad he didn’t have much longer to consider what to do, the power went out again, and this time, without any emergency lights to show them that everything was still normal. 

They waited in the silence and surprise, not wishing to wait any further for what might come next.  No one screamed.  No one even breathed.  Then all at once… A handful of black shadowed figures reached out in the middle of the stormy night, the poor workers and guild members catching only glimpses of their ghosts in the lightning flashes.  They reached out quickly with stabbing knives, marking destruction upon the victims in scores of blood.  Screams ran throughout the halls, jumping from wall to wall yet no one would hear their baleful cries… or at least no one in the Surveillance Room anyhow.

Chaos responded to the untold legions of shadow with cocked guns and readied weapons.  Lightning flashed upon blades and gun barrels a like, not daring to show who was who in the masked storm of the night.  The clash of two lethal forces had sprung like blood from a wound, and the lightning became drowned in the wicked epitome of violent gun flashes, and thunder lost in masses of screams and battle.

Hallowed could smell the smoke.  It whispered spells of certain death with its metal aftertaste from the guns.  He heard the screams of many lined to die, his chest shivering at the baleful rants.  He could feel and trace the blood, kissing crimson boldly on the walls with a sudden quickness that made him shudder.  The darkness was overpoweringly littered with flashes of gun light that cried with scenes of tattered battle between raging beasts of war with every time a gun had opened fire.  Like a strobe light, only flashes of the insanity macabre carried to Hallowed’s eyes like a haunted house of pain and misfortune.  He couldn’t tell between the faces, nor would he care.

He pulled his gun out and opened fire at any shaggy shadow that dared draw close to his 787 Titan Pistol.  He could tell from the remorse pictures between the lights that this battle would draw to a close, and it seemed that only one side would win and without prisoners.  I can’t survive here, but I won’t die here. 

Without an instant of thought, the specialist and seasoned fighter in Hallowed had brought him towards to a blood washed wall space he had spied before the lights had passed away.  With a kick and a jump he had taken to the ceiling, grasping rafters and the lights within the somber slaughter, the safest place that he could think to be other than outside the epitome of blood he was within.  Hopefully everybody would be aiming down as he grasped himself like a spider to the wall, a web of tangle flies below him.  Yet something passed by him swiftly in the dark, brushing him with but the wind of their passing.

They’re on the ceilings!  The Redeemers are coming from the ceilings and closets alike!  They were no pushovers, and Hallowed could only think that this would be a fight Chaos could only loose.  He stayed put on the ceiling, hoping against hope that the shadowed killers would pass by him as if he were one of their own, and searched frantically for the doors in the dark.  If he could catch the glimpse of the emergency exit corner, he would be near the freedom of safety.  The lights were dizzying in the contrasting darkness.  The emergency lights refused to come on so it made it hard without the exit sign shining red.

With luck he spied it and leaped for his chance of survival.  He wasn’t unscathed as he came out, being knocked into the side of the doorway by a large figure that seemed to come from the ceiling, but he had been alive.        


            Vyela stared down the edge of the slippery roof of one of the buildings.  If there hadn’t been a flash of heavy rain not too long ago, this wouldn’t be a problem.  The wind was blowing a little violently.  It wasn’t freezing cold rain, in fact, it was slightly warm because of the humidity.  If it hadn’t started storming bad period, I would be home by now probably…  She knew that it was going to eventually rain today, but she had no idea that it would be so intense. 

            To further top off her problems, that bad feeling was still bugging her.  What could be so bad that would happen tonight?  Were the Enforcer Bots on patrol as oppose to the mild Tank Bots perhaps?  She stared up at the Shrine Tower, which seemed to be her only friend in the hazy light of the evening night.  The rain began to gather again, dripping from her hair and fingers.  She stared at the tower, noticing a wisp of flashing on one side of the building that she could barely see..


            Hallowed barely managed to escape with his life.  He knew it, he knew that they were coming!  And no one would believe him.  He felt like it had been hopeless all along.  He stopped by the emergency elevator and picked up the phone.  While dialing the Presidents number, he noticed he was breathing fairly hard, although not as hard as he expected for coming from the situation he was in previously.  He lost his gun, was hit with two stun bullets (Small bullets that hardly cause any damage except for lots of pain), had about three slashes down his right arm, ands till had no idea of who attacked them.  They weren’t coming down the hall so that was good for him.

            The number didn’t work.  Now that Hallowed wasn’t busy trying to recall what happened, he figured out that the phone wasn’t working.  He slammed the receiver on the base.  “SHIT!”  Okay, fine, let’s leave the President here.  He’s the one who wanted to stay here on this “peaceful night” anyway!  Hallowed ran away from the phone and towards the elevator.  It didn’t work either, which didn’t surprise him.  He turned around and saw more executives running.  They had had a bad run in with some killer ghosts themselves apparently.  “Hey… HEY!  Jim, what the hell is going on with the doors and stuff?”  Jim shrugged and yelled back in a panicked voice.  “I don’t know man!  You’re supposed to be the head of security.  None of the elevators are working. Someone knocked them out!  I think the Shrine Tower is operating her lights off of the back up generators, or at least that’s the best I can think of.”  After his short burst of conversation he continued his panicked run for the emergency fire exits at Shrine Tower’s front.

            Hallowed didn’t know what to do.  “I have to get the Enforcer Bots… I have to get the Enforcer Bots…” he thought out loud to himself.  He ran for the emergency staircase that was guaranteed to work without electricity.


            Back in the lounge room, someone had contacted a Wrist Scope that was on a different frequency then the others in the buildings and hard to detect by Tappers.  “Hey,” One of the men left in the lounge checked the message he received from the computer that rested on his arm.  “You let someone by, he’s trying to exit the building…” the caller tipped him off.  The other nodded.  “Okay, 10-4, we’ll get them.” 

            “Hey…” the voice on the line called back.  “How’d we do?”  The voice was evident with anxiety and curiosity.  “The Brothers of Chaos have fallen.  They only injured a few.”  The other line responded with static and approval.  “10-4, out.”  The two men exited the room filled with blood and death.  Spin was laying against the windows, his intestines and stomach playing the part of a pillow to his back.  An unsettled hole rested in his abdomen that matched the expression on his dead face.  The door closed, and the lights went out again for a final time in the doomed room.


            The door slammed into the wall and revealed Hallowed behind it, lightning flashing his exit route as he came out of one of the many backdoors of the Shrine Tower.  He looked around, blood still dripping down his limbs.  Have to get out of here… he thought to himself.  Lightning flashed again, and he ran for a gap in the fence; clutching at his hurting left arm.  The rain scent was as heavy as ever in the air, and streams of water were pouring down the brick roads of Jylia, the Nightmare City.  The sky was still a deep purple, but soon would be pitch black when evening would end.  He stopped dead in his tracks, hearing the door slam open behind him.  “Heya’ buddy… where ya’ think your goin’?”  Two figures, one carrying a gun, the other carrying a long knife, stood in doorway.  The rain seemed to be coming down harder now.  “Don’t think you can just leave and get the Enforcer Bots now.” the other said.

            Hallowed faced them then turned around and set his body at a run, and would have jetted away, but something caught his peripheral vision.  A pair of lightly colored eyes in shadow stared back at him.  “Time to let her rip,” the one in shadow said with a mildly deep voice.  Hallowed turned around and saw the other two Redeemer Guild members smirking.  Then he turned around to face the amber eyes in shadow again.  The shadowed one lunged for him, and Hallowed couldn’t think of what to do.  It all seemed to happen in a split second.  The Redeemer members reaching out for him, the vibration in the grounds, the large sound, and the explosion flashed by him.

            The Shrine Tower had become a tower of light.  The decorative architecture at the top split apart in shredded pieces in the sky like a balloon.  The rest of it followed in a flaming glory.  The ground about its vicinity shook, and windows shattered.  Jylia city was restless.


            “Oh my…” the tour group looked up at what was once a majestic building.  The heavy rain that hadn’t reached them yet was all ready putting the fire out, and the guide knew that it would reach them before long.  It must have been a large explosion, he could feel the vibrations travel all the way to his spot on Main Street.  “Hmm,” he thought to himself.  “Oh pay no attention,” he reassured the group.  “It’s actually fairly normal now that I think of it.”  The group stared at him.  “Normal?”  Three or four tourist squawked at him all at once with bugged eyes.  He chuckled to himself and them.  “They don’t call Jylia the Nightmare City for nothing my friends…  The storm will be here in a matter of minutes, shall we leave before we catch the rain my friends?”  The guide led the way.


            Vyela stared at the smoking remains.  Wow… she thought to herself.  She never imagined that happening tonight.  She had to duck behind an air conditioning structure to escape the flying pieces.  Maybe this was the conclusion to her bad feeling.  She stood for a moment, peeking at what was once the Shrine Tower’s site.  For a moment, nothing occurred to her, but then she realized that whoever attacked the Shrine Tower had to have hated its political effect, and anything having to with it.  Then she remembered she was on top of another building that was apart of the Shrine Tower’s stock center… it was very possible that this place was next.  Could it be?  She thought for a moment until another big explosion became apart of the sky. 

            Two other buildings in the Shrine Tower’s vicinity had gone off in flame, and Vyela Jeness KNEW that this place would be next soon.  She leapt from her spot despite the flaming pieces of debris that threatened her.  It was time to go, and get going fast!



Chapter 2: The Streets of Jylia



The city stood imposingly on the edges of the waters as she was fed the last light of the horizon before the sun’s embers had died that day.  The evening was awaiting Jylia’s return to blackness so the nocturnal citizens of her streets could take gather beneath the black siege of the night, this time, under the chaotic flashes of the storm’s eyes.  Beneath the storm’s thunderous kiss and nested in Jylia’s thick urban embrace, a spine tingling show had flickered the night sky in a blazing brilliance.  Shrine Tower’s remains were growing each second.

“BOOM!”  The world seemed to shake and stumble in her step as Vyela set foot on the slick metal roof.  Another explosion happened to be the third one tonight; and thankfully on the other side of the Shrine Tower’s center.  She looked back for a split second to peer at the fragmented skeletal remains of the once decent tower and its flaming siblings dying at its side. 

What sort of guild had accomplished this?  She thought as she ducked the oncoming of more bitter black debris.  The pieces were still ricocheting off the buildings and gliding down from the first previous two fits of destruction.  She was beginning to have a hard time in this storm of rain as well as fire.  Where was she now?  She had gone all the wrong ways, totally detoured from her escape route, and was practically marching towards the main street now that was reassuringly filled with police. 

Her best idea was to stick to the most unused roads and try to listen for noise.  If she knew Jylia city as well as she thought she did, she would be just fine because an array of back allies stenciled out from the fourth main road of Jylia to different locations.  I KNOW this wasn’t some ghetto little gang this time… she thought.  Who has the president of Shrine Tower pissed off now?  There were attempts in the past to destroy the tower but none were successful until now. 

The rain had settled for a little bit, but there was no telling when the storms would pick them back up again so she was trying to run as quickly as she could across the metal roofs of this commercial/industrial district.  She heard a crack in the distance, passed it off as thunder, but was sorely mistaken.  Another building, one of the stockbrokers just behind her was literally split apart like a banana peel and tossed the Earth from side to side in a rumble with the explosion  The aftershocks had caused her to slip steadily down a steep metal roof as she attempted to hang on to nothing while preserving her cargo by her chest.

By luck she grabbed onto something.  Although she didn’t know what it was, an antennae or pole, it was her lifesaver for the time being.  The two-story fall wouldn’t be quite so bad for an acrobat like her, but the drop could damage what she was carrying.  Now to go about picking her self back up again. 

As she began to steady herself in the increasing rainfall, all the while holding onto the object that protruded through the roof, another ghastly explosion shook the Earth.  The building right next to the previous disaster zone, then another followed just behind it.  They were firing off in chains, picking up quicker timings as the other buildings joined their dancing neighbors.  It was impossible for this to be the work of a gang, this had to be a guild on the Most Dangerous list.

“Uh oh,” she said to herself in the picking up rain.  The chain of fire was heading her way.  There was no choice to escape it besides run.  A long building just to her right was set off at one distanced end and the raging flames were stampeding her way.  She turned around with the briefcase clutched to her chest, almost slipping yet again on the metal roof, but not finding enough traction to leave.  Instead, she fell through the crack between the buildings in the darkness below just as the apocalyptic explosives had reached her side. 

The roof had grown an amazing ten feet, unfortunately, it grew in pieces that escaped to the storming skies.  She had fallen towards the dumpsters 30 feet below, landing luckily in a pile of pillows, cloth, other soft textiles, and cardboard boxes.  Vyela curled up within the green rancid decay of the garbage, holding the briefcase nearly like a child until she heard the heart stopping thunders outside come to a halt.  This guild meant business, whoever it was.  Not only did they give the Shrine Tower passage on the skyway to Heaven, they had completely dismantled the rest of the trade area!  The city would be lucky if they would even be able to catch the all ready dying, sorry excuse for a stock market that Jylia and Deist ever had! 

Wasn’t much of a “stock market” any way, all the money went to the Varken Family’s selected corporations through insider trading, and any other possibly USEFUL companies were liquidated in no time. 

She looked to the still open dumpster, spying the half-darkened sky.  Of course, she thought. Why would the Varken Family want anything useful or informing to their slaves?  Not like they care anyway… the wealth belongs to them and they like it that way…  There were so many ways that the Varken Family controlled the masses.  Their money, their media, their occupations, their foods…  Was she even sad that the Shrine Tower had been blown to dust?  She didn’t care…  She reached a hand out of the vile trash that she had landed on.  Thankfully there were only bags in here… and a very slight wisp of the smell of laundry.  Where was she exactly?  She had reached her body up out of the metal green shell and knew by the look.

“Oh boy… I love Jylia’s textile industry.” she said to herself.  She was lucky enough to fall in a clothing factory’s unwanted garbage and she knew EXACTLY where she was, it was where she wanted to go.  This was one of her main escape allies through the vicinity of Jylia.  What she WASN’T lucky about was the group of black covered0 figures that stared at her as she was busy smiling about her landing pad.  She looked from one rugged face to the other, peering at eyes that peered back into her own with an obvious curiosity of what they could have possibly seen in the garbage this lovely night. 

Oh no!  What could they be?  Maybe a part of what little loyal human ranks the Varken Family had in Jylia?  No, they would be at the tower, not here.  Apparently somebody was on the same escape plan she was forced to take that night, what a fate.  The horror of it all had spread across her face of medium full lips tinted with a thin lip gloss.  Her eyes were marked with liner and mascara, pointing out amethyst colored eyes and her black, green, and purple hair that was wet from the rain.  Her bun was drooping a little from her place, and her single hanging group of hair played the part of a bang with black and green streaks. 

The amethyst colored eyes Vyela possessed awkwardly stared back at the thuggish group in front of her.  The tattoo upon the shoulder of one man equipped with a 9m.m. confirmed her of what she was dealing with.  Guild members… it was plain and simple. 

“What is she doing here?”  Someone questioned, obviously annoyed.  Why on this night?  Why was it THIS night they chose to do their partying, the only night Vyela had a chance to snatch at her prey and earn her several grand for the months to come.  She wasn’t the only one interested in taking the back roads of Jylia this darkened evening.  She sighed to herself and looked to her lap still resting in the trash.  She let the strap of the suitcase slide down her shoulder and looked back at them. 

“I don’t know, but looks like an order from Heaven to me!”  One man said as he came to the forefront.  She noticed a stout, slightly short, Latino male with growing side burns and curly hair that drooped into his face from the rain of the night and he laid his obsidian eyes on her.  “And I think she’s on the menu…” Laugher arose, and she didn’t need an IQ of 150 to guess what value meal they wanted.

“Whatever,” voice number one commented from the back.  “We don’t have time for this, you know where to meet.”  A figure glided off into the half -lit alleyway.  The evening was still glowing slightly, at that point in the night where it was too dark to really see your hand but the lights were of little use still.  Twilight hour, she had often called it.  She could see the dark sky’s blue reflection in the rain puddle gathering on the ground.  Several other phantoms followed him into the night, leaving her to her hungry customers.  “That’s fine,” she said aloud.  “You’ll have to pay though…” She sat up and readied herself.  Let the games begin. 

One lunged for her with his hands open, yet again predicting a helpless female waiting for his embrace.  Too bad for him, that was what she wanted him to do, and she could tell they saw only the woman in her and expected none of the fight.  She didn’t know what she was getting into but she would have to make the best of it as she fought with what could possibly be the most lethal of fighters in the world. 

Much to her surprise however, they weren’t the best fighters.  If these were the best of guild warriors, they were a sad excuse.  It seemed like hours she fought with them unscathed.  They were clumsy and sluggish, and a select few had the skills that it took to surprise her.  One thug had managed to kick her into the wall.

Wet and muddy, Vyela Jeness was angry, and these boys were about to find out the cost of their “order” was well out of their range.  “All right then you sons of bitches…” she held up her fists.  “Let’s play.”  “Hey look at this, kitty wants to play…” that same cocky male again.  He hadn’t willingly participated in the fight yet, being drowned out by the taller line up of guys, but he would get what was coming to him.  Three of them attacked her at once, and when they realized that she wasn’t playing by the normal rules they expected a female to follow, they began to get tough, showing their true guild colors. 

She couldn’t remember every minute of the fights, but she could flash back to carefully outmaneuvering and outsmarting her foes.  Most of them were typical: big, dumb, and slow.  At least these guys were.  If this was the best this guild could do, they were degrading.  The select few with the skill and experience to challenge her came up as trouble every so often.  Perhaps their brains had the better of their lacking strength, but she used her dexterity to win them.

After about three or four helpings of martial arts she got a chance to get to the center of the group.  The short Latino male and another skinny man at his side, that in Vyela’s opinion, resembled a monkey, were their last members.  “DAMN!” The skinny one said.  “This bitch is good for being a bitch…  Bigman, check this out…” An exceptionally slow and dumb looking man sneaked out of a corner to the side with a gleam in his eye.  “Dude… I’m going to have fun with this…” the cocky short one said, readying his fist. 

Bigman, as they called him, apparently didn’t care what happened.  He stood there, looking slow and sluggish, and REALLY big, thus his name.  He was well endowed both in height and in width.  “I don’t know what they feed you guys, but it must be bullshit because I’m no bitch!”  The skinny one tested her skills and she greeted him with her elbow to his face and threw him to the ground on top of one of his fellow guild members as an example.  “Now THAT is a bitch!”  Then she suddenly heard the sounds of an elephant.

“Huh?”  She looked away from the monkey man in confusion.  Oh, it was just Bigman charging.  This would be short, easy, and sweet.  Oh, she loved sweet.  Her eyes went big for but a minute as she really was surprised at the bulk that that man could muscle up in a minute, but all she did was step aside, letting go of the monkey’s arm and letting Bigman fall face first into the puddle.  “Man Stun!  I can understand Bigman, he’s a gorilla sometimes… but what the hell is your problem?”  So Stun was this guy’s name… Stunningly ugly… she thought to herself.  She would have said that out loud except that the cocky warrior reached out in front of her forcing her to kick upwards. 

She hated men.  She hated them for their stereotypes on women, she hated them for their superior stupidity, and she hated these ones especially.  She wanted to only get home before the law had overran the city, searching for those responsible for the Shrine Tower’s decease.  But with the testosterone driven primates in her way, she would have to fight as well as she could first.

They rushed her all at once, throwing punches, careening knives, and simply trying to devastate her small womanly body before the night was over.  The world had grown a shade darker in the past ten minutes of her sparring, and she was growing tired of it.  The men were so thick headed and stupid about everything that she was simply dodging the punches and letting them hit each other in a disorganized fight.  With enemies like these, she hardly needed them to even notice her.  In the mist of the chaos Stun and Bigman got together along with the cocky warrior and they reached for her, the Latino Male meeting with her foot.  He wasn’t used to it as so it seemed.

“Damn it!”  He yelled it out so loud and clear, it echoed through her head and ears.  The others stopped so she supposed that he was a drill instructor, or was higher up in ranks because his mere voice could force them to a halt.  “I’m going to KILL you bitch!”  He brought out a magnum from the backside of his belt and pointed it at her with a twitch of his finger.  “POW!”  A spark had lit up the packed alleyway, gliding through the handful of men. 

She hit the floor as soon as she saw the cold hard metal gleam in what little light the sky had provided her, but the next thing she knew, there was a shot.  Some poor ape of a man was the bullet’s final destination as well as his.  The others stared at the falling corpse then to his accidental killer, leaving Vyela a large enough gap to concentrate her energy into her right leg, and let it out with the force of three men.  Again, she made use of her special energy talents. 

After knocking a group of men down like dominos she paused and blinked and awed at her sudden achievement.  That blast of energy must had been the result of pending stress four weeks straight and practice with psionics.  No time to argue however, the Latino, not learning his lesson from last time, pointed it at her again, missing once more to find her shadow the only thing staring back at him, and then her dust.  She was gone down the ally way.  “HEY BITCH!  DAMN YOU!  I’LL FINISH YOU!”  Whatever gave them the idea they were going to get her?  She had never been a slave, never had a “keeper” as they called them, and all her life she had been too good a fighter for these males at large, and she wasn’t going to become a slave now. 

He fired another line of shots off in the ally.  So these were guild warriors.  What line of rank were they? “POW! POW! POW! She apparently didn’t really have time to think of it as she swept haphazardly through the passages, turning and twisting without a clue beneath the frail night’s light as to where she was going, but hoping that it would all meet up in the end. 

She came to nothing… a dead end lot of buildings gathering together in a square pit of black bricks and stone.  It was perhaps the size of a large basketball court with a .  From where she was looking, it was carefully pushed amongst a few edifices that were business buildings, the usual decorative dumpsters plotted thoughtfully in the most useless of places in the back, and trash marching against the sides of the walls. A single wire fence separated them from a slightly vacant junkyard.  Someone was sitting on a windowsill about ten feet up, staring around for signs of any law enforcement.  “What the hell?”

It was that familiar voice again, the one she heard before everybody nicely took notice of that she was a female.  “Guys, do you have any idea what the hell is going on down there?”  Another man asked.  “Not a fucking clue, I can’t see around the bend.”  The one atop the building replied.  Someone new joined the mix.  “They’s better cut that crock of shit out if they don’t wanna’ pull dem’ Enforcers down here… hey, who da’ hell is that??”  A green eyed Caucasian had walked out from in between another passageway she hadn’t seen before.  His hair was long enough to reach his shoulders with a would-be mullet sloppy atop his head with a slew of loose bangs brandished in front of his vivid, nearly elf green eyes, and different tattoo’s marked his body that showed from beneath his black muscle shirt.  “Who the hell is the chick?”

His accent was strange, apathetic and streetwise mixture from Barrax’s[1] deepest streets.  But that wasn’t what she was set upon, it was the alley just behind him.  “I don’t know,” replied the guy from the building and the first voice she had heard out of the men she met tonight.  “She appeared in the dumpster by the clothes factory.  Nox apparently took fancy upon her…” Another voice played into her ears. 

“We’re on the run from law enforcement, just blew up an entire trading complex, and Nox is worrying about his next choice of lay?”  Other men were gathering in the lot witness the unusual spectacle.  The guild had picked this place to stay until things cooled over as it seemed.  Smart… she thought.  It’s almost next to the Shrine Tower’s fifth plaza, they’ll pass this place right up thinking the members are stilling running if I know the law keepers right… She made a mad dash towards the green eyed man’s end of things, getting ready to slap him upside the head as she passed but made a fatal mistake.  She missed and he grabbed her.  “Well givey’ a shit here,” he said as he held onto her wrist and yanked her backwards.  Their eyes met for a minute until another loud bang announced the arrival of Nox’s bad aiming skills.  The bullet felt like it came in between them, whispering winds of death and silence as it came by before bouncing off the edges of the buildings and garbage cans. 

            “DAMN IT NOX YOU MONKEY’S ASSHOLE!  YOU NEARLY HIT ME YOU BASTARD!”  Vyela went into a kicking fit as a more sensible warrior took the gun from Nox’s hand. 

“That bitch is gonna be mine!”  Stun grabbed onto Nox’s shoulder as Vyela began knocking heads together with feet in combat. 

“Don’t loose your temper Nox, Shade’s got her.”  Shade felt himself be tossed aside to the ground when he tried to grab a hold of her from behind.  After that, the wild woman twisted someone else’s arm and was smiling at the popping noises she noticed she could make with someone else’s elbow.  “You guys are almost being half challenging!”

A couple more men, alert to her cockiness, jumped for her to silence her comments but found out why she had the right to brag.  After quickly disposing of two or three brutes she turned to see if anybody else would dare to challenge the fighting beauty. 

“Im’a show her Rage,” 


“Rip off her tits Blood!”


“Can’t wait to pin her to my bed right Thickhead?”  Laughs followed. 


“Someone rip off her suit!  You try it Zone!”  An onslaught of usual guild nicknames came before her. 


“Fyro!  What the hell is the matter with you!  She is just a woman!” 


For that remark, she kicked the man they called Clowny right in his clown face.  Needless to say he didn’t look much like a clown anymore after that.

“I can’t tell if that’s rain or me barely breaking a sweat boys.  How the hell are you supposed to be guild members?”  There was a harmonious, “OOOOO,” as more guild members that had been watching the fight like a wrestling match, suddenly switched their moods.  “No she didn’t,” someone said.  “That’s it, my turn!”  She sighed, looked to the ground with her hands on the back of her hips and then looked up.  “Bring it,” she motioned with her fingers spiritually. “Kill her Raven!”  At least Raven was more concentrated than the others, but he was still not a match for her.  He did give her some surprises however before she finally knocked him from the cleared away fighting space.  He had brought her back to the ground several times before their match was finished.

            After a while a sort of tournament was set up, and she was the trophy.  She fought numerous, clumsy ogres with different techniques and fighting styles, but all couldn’t penetrate her powers.  It was almost completely dark now, a small glow from the night sky, and all Vyela accomplished was a small list of names ranging from Shade, Raven, Zone, Zen, Stun, and of course the charming Nox.  A small pause set in as they tried to reorganize again.  “Wyvern what’s going on?”  Raven inquired with a sigh and stared back at her.  He was apparently addressing the one seated on the windowsill, playing lookout.  “Oh…. They’ve surrounded the place.  I saw a bit of commotion going on around the north western side of Shrine Plaza so I guess they were headed off there… we’ll be waiting a while boys.”     

Wyvern, as was his name, kept his eye both on the streets of Jylia and on the amazing fight that was taking place over one cocky woman.  Vyela was beginning to feel worn down a little, but not enough to phase her.  She was a seasoned fighter, and well endowed in the martial arts as any of the goons she faced.  All her endurance lessons were beginning to pay of now but all she really wanted was to leave the scene, she didn’t care if they were guild members that had just committed a terrorist act, really…  In fact, she could even say that she was in support of the “Dark” guilds and their community, but she didn’t have time risking her health by spending it amongst thuggish thespians like them.  This night, unfortunately, would be a long one.  She had entered the chaos by falling away from more doomed chaos, opened up her big mouth in response to Nox’s bigot greeting, and found herself the center of the attention at the moment for everyone wanted a piece of her.  This wasn’t good. 

Every time she tried to leave through the back alley that the one known as Shade was covering, someone would block off her entry, force her back, or she would somehow end up at square one, letting her fist speak for her frustrations.  The so called “tournament” of who could over power her continued again, this time one of one spars with separate members.  Her only relief was the breaks in between when they would gather a strategy of how to take her down.  “Wyvern why don’t you take the shit?”  Wyvern stayed perched at his lookout.  “Nah man, I’ve got a job to do you idiots.  I have to keep an eye out for the law bots if you don’t mind and you brutal, belligerent apes are acting like morons, trying to take down a single female while we are in the middle of a rundown now.”  Wyvern must have been slightly worried, or growing anxious in any way you sized it up.  They had been there for what seemed like ten minutes but happened to be half an hour when she got a chance to look at her Wrist Scope. 

She stared at their faces, wondering why they just didn’t shoot her up… and looked into their eyes.  Somehow, she could sense that these men had a pride of some type, and they wouldn’t let her leave until this babe was on the ground and someone’s mate for the night, and they didn’t seem to want to use guns either… that or they had none.  Nox had all ready emptied out his small supply of ammo… but this was a guild, and no one had guns?  She saw members trying to use other weapons against her, knives, a chainsaw, and even two swords… not only did this guild have pride, they had some bizarre sense of class as well. 

Before the next fighter came up, the cacophony of clings and clangs reached their ears and Wyvern from on high silenced everybody with a whisper of , “Shhhh.”  They stayed quiet, hoping against hope that they weren’t discovered here by the Enforcer Bots, or even the Razor Bots could have been called in at this case scenario, but no, the silhouettes of men appeared in blackness, drawing towards the center.  Many were carrying explosives and guns.  “What the hell went on here?  Some law droid ruff the hell out of you all faggots?”  A large bloated looking man sat two rolls of what seemed to be wire down, chewed on his cigar, and stared at the lone female standing in the middle. 

Raven replied.  “Shit, you won’t fucking believe it… no fucking group of robots did this.”  The fat man looked around, and more seemingly bomb squad members appeared.  “Don’t tell me she did this…” a black man from the cornered showed himself and pointed.  “My God…” another surprised fellow said.  “An entire percentage of a guild and they’re brought down by this lone female…” Zen spoke for the rest of the men.  “Don’t be fooled… she’s good… she’s actually been keeping us company while you guys were gone for your five hours…” Wyvern jumped down from his perch.  “Actually, it was an hour and five minutes,” the black man in the corner announced. 

We ran into a platoon of Enforcer Bots that tried to ambush us on the way.  Some workers at the Shrine Tower spotted us as we were on the go, and… the rest followed… what THE FUCK is wrong with you people!  You call yourselves Redeemers?”  The black man looked accusingly at the others, throwing his T.N.T to the ground.  Nox loomed dangerously about her, as well as Shade who hid amongst the shadows amazingly well.  She didn’t trust the likes of either of them, especially that quick tempered Nox, and she knew he was going to attempt to cheap shot her any minute now.  Shade was trying to keep her away from the exit. 

            Someone replied in turn to the black man’s reproving words.  “HEY FUCK YOU WICK!  You haven’t fought the bitch yet.  Till you fuck her ass up,” some man in a muscle shirt held a curved knife straight towards Vyela, who tried to keep her attention span on the scene as well as the two assassins behind her.  “Then you don’t talk shit mother fucker!”  A small fight looked like it was going to emerge and Vyela thought she would be involved in another brawl before Wyvern broke them up with his mere words.

“Hey… Hey… HEY!  Cut it out you flaming retards.  Look, the girl is good, she’s just as good as Tori and Volt, and you all know how fucking annoying those girls can get at times…  She’s as great a fighter as they are.”  Vyela blinked. Was it just me, or did he just compliment me as a fighter?  She turned her head in observation of this guy. Wyvern was skinny with cool grayish blue eyes, strawberry blonde hair and small beard, dressed in a long sleeve black shirt with pants and the boots that the whole guild seemed to be adorned in, and he had a slightly gaunt build. 

“Man… I don’t believe this shit,” Wyvern said as he glimpsed at her respectively one more time.  “Just wait till he hears about this…  Bla…”  Another echoing team of noise had entered the confines of their hide away when two more Guild Warriors dropped down from hidden nooks and crannies that Vyela didn’t seem to see before.   Following was another figure who seemed to have appeared there as swiftly the night had came upon her during her hour of fighting. 

            “Speaking of what the Devil summoned…” Wyvern said.  “Here he is now…” A figure in a long black trench coat, something that Vyela noticed was common apparel amongst the guild that called themselves the Redeemers… stared at the impressible sounding Wyvern.  The figure spoke just before Wyvern would carry on about the marvel that had occurred there that night.  “Shit man,” the new comer said.  “We lost about four members of our bomb squad to that group of Tanks back there.  I don’t know how the hell they figured that we were going to do a charge through the front of the left plaza but if that one fucking group of surviving Shrine Tower employees hadn’t gotten in our way I think we could have avoided them.  I just know that we’re going to be camping out here for a while because they have the whole place surrounded.” 

The man appeared to be more interested in which members of his beloved bomb squad had been killed as he looked to the corner where men had gathered up their T.N.T as well as other explosives.  “Blade…” Wyvern said.  “You’re not going to believe this.  Look around…” The man known as Blade was dressed in a fully black attire with a trench coat and a beautifully sculpted knife at his side.  He styled his raven black hair in spikes and let two bangs frame his face.  But his most notable feature was his pair of honey eyes so light they whispered with feint signs of glowing within the night that completed this shadowy figure’s visage. 

He blinked his honey eyes that barely spoke out within the eve of rain and darkness, and peered around.  Before she could meet with them in a star-crossed moment, she noticed that he wasn’t a half bad looking creature, that is, before Nox had rushed at her from her left side, the one he noticed to be her worst point.  Now came the cheap shot Vyela Jeness had been waiting for.  His attempt resulted in her popping his neck and dropping him to the floor again.  She had been waiting for him to do this all night. 

With that said and done, she noticed that Wyvern had all ready explained her presence.  “She kicked our asses… well… most of our asses.  The normal fighters are just fine, more mad than anything, aren’t we Raven and Shade?”  Raven huffed at the air with crossed arms and Shade agreed with a “No shit!” from the corner.  Blade looked at the mess of the guild.  “What?  All of this?”  He said in a tone of disbelief as he glared back at Wyvern.  Wyvern nodded.  “No fucking bullshit man, they’ve been fighting her for an hour… she’s good… she even gives Raven and Shade a hard time.  And Nox… well… you just saw what happened to him.” 

Vyela was expecting a surprised look of frenzy on the man’s face but when he looked back up at her, letting his eyes trail down her stance, he was perfectly calm by the time his eyes went to the ground again.  He kicked a stone out of the way.  “Damn…” he pronounced.  “I can believe why quite a couple of you lower classmen could have failed…” He looked to his left, specifically to the group of men that had been with Nox at the beginning.  “You all mother fucker’s leave yourselves open too damn much…. And you guys just plain suck,” he said, talking to the ragged, worn out group of new fighters standing in the middle of Vyela’s original entryway.  “But if she gives Shade and Raven a hard time that’s pretty hard to see….”

            “Fuck, she might even give me a hard time…” Wyvern admitted.  “She’s been here kicking the group’s ass since we’ve gathered down here… and fucking Nox started the shit up first, talking shit to her.  You know how he is when he sees fresh meat….”  Blade looked to the ground again and nodded.  “Yeah… Nox…. Figures…” he said cooly to himself.  He looked at her once again, catching her amethyst eyes beneath her now imperfect hair with the purple and green bang hanging down, her bun coming loose, and she all in all seemed pretty annoyed with the night’s turnouts.  Studying her gentle curves for but a moment, he smiled and laughed once. 

“God damn….” He stated, looking at the ground and then to her again.  “Bloody newbies…”  he said.  “Most the guys just want to fight her to have her as a trophy now…  First she was just some bitch, now she’s a means of competition.” Raven commented as he walked by the spike haired figure.  “Been taking turns at her for like, what… shit… I forgot how long now…” Raven scratched his head and looked to the sky with his hands casually on his hips.  Okay, this is getting old, real fast… She was tired of being a sculpture for the night and wanted to grab her things and go now. 

“Look, I beat your asses, I’m still not even tired… I don’t give a fuck who you are, or who you blew up, dance around the fucking Shrine Tower’s remains and make a picnic for all I give a flying fuck… I want to go home!”  She bent over and put her hands to her thighs, then looked back up to what she thought were the powers that be in this picture….Wyvern, Raven, and Blade.  Raven smiled and laughed, scratching more at his head and Wyvern shook his head and smiled.  “Did I mention she’s a critical smart ass too, just like you…” he nudged Blade gently in his side. 

“Whatever…” Blade said, projecting it partially to Wyvern, and partially to her.  “Can’t say I care…. Do what you guys want…” He looked away towards the sky again in the same direction Raven had been gazing in, and only now did Vyela realize the blackened identity of a large bird sitting on a pole projecting from a roof. 

            “I guess everything’s quiet,” Raven said eyeing the bird.  “For now.  We were probably followed,” Blade commented to him.  “No telling though, best to stick here unless we know for sure.”  “I’m going now,” Vyela said defiantly as she leaned for the alley Shade was guarding, since the others were blocked.  “Au revoir, bitch…” Blade said as she motioned for her escape, but Shade caught her as well as Stun, Shade holding her back with a large sword he picked up from one of his fellow failures. 

“Hey no man! Vous venez d'aller laisser son évasion?”  He looked to Blade as Stun half watched out for him.  Blade was rubbing his chin with the back of his hand when he looked up.  “I didn’t know you speak French, Shade, that’s a hard language.”  Wyvern shrugged and commented half-heartedly to himself in mumbles.  Shade looked at Blade with an expectant flare to his eyes.  “What Shade?”  Blade questioned.  “I don’t give a fuck, take her if you want her.”  Vyela leaped away from Shade and his counterpart at that instant.  “Nah man, the whole fucking guild has been trying to take her down… I can’t even do it…”

 Shade was standing on top of a box for the vaguest reason.  “Vous la montrez en haut fucker… You show her up…” Shade translated as he managed to push Vyela by putting a bent up gun to her back.  “Why don’t you take the trophy, everybody’s been competing for her now…”  “I’M NOT A TROPHY!”  She turned around swiftly, nearly meeting Shade’s chin with a punch before he dodged it.  She turned back around as a bit of excitement filtered throughout the group.  “Yeah Blade, why don’t you show her what a fucking Redeemer can do?”  “Kick her fucking ass Blade!” Others hastily agreed as Zone wondered towards Blade to give him a closer look of pleading eyes from a guild member.  “Why don’t ya Blade?”  Blade looked away from Zone and towards Vyela again.  “Nah man, you know I don’t get interested in that shit, females are a pain in the ass.”  Sighs and boos met Blade’s reply.  “C’mon Blade,” Zone tried convincing him.  “You’re NEVA’ wit’ a woman!  Startin’ ta’ think you are gay you know…” 

Blade looked towards Wyvern’s feet for a minute and then towards Zone’s side after the words sunk in.  Vyela couldn’t quite put her finger on the face Blade evinced but it was a combination of a joking smirk and a warning in Zone’s direction, his wet bangs moving across his damp face.  The short black man put up his hands in apology, crouched his head beneath his shoulders and ducked away saying, “Nevamind…” he disappeared into the crowd with Blade watching him. 

Vyela sighed to herself.  “Man…”  Looks like I’ve got one more fight to prove myself in…  She stretched out her fingers and heard the ever growing agreements over what Blade should do.  “That really would be a treat to see Blade,” Wyvern joined in now.  Blade looked to the ground again with a smirk.   “She’s funny actually, you should have heard half the things she was calling Nox the last time he fought her one on one…” he pointed out, leaning towards Blade. 

            “Man…” Blade mumbled reluctantly.  “Just do it Blade!” Someone from the back said.  One of the apparent Bomb Squad members added in, “We’re not going to get a chance to leave for a while anyway, just show her who’s boss.”  “Yeah….”  “Look,” Vyela broke in.  “If it will make you savages let me go home, I’ll kick his damn ass, just make up your fucking minds!”  Vyela stretched a little more and peered at her adversary.  The members laughed.  “C’mon Blade,” Shade begged.  “She’s ITCHING for it!”  Wyvern was laughing too.  “Do you even know who this is m’lady?”  Blade was pensively trying to hideaway behind Wyvern with his left hand hidden amongst his trench coat against his waist, and his right hand curling its fingers against his chin as he thought. 

“This is Blade Destiny…” Vyela noticed now that Wyvern had a Resurian[2] accent… she hadn’t heard one in ages.  “It rings a bell, but he can shove a ten foot blade up his ASS for all I care. I just want to beat him to the ground and get it over with,” she crossed her arms angrily, frustrated with them for the harsh night.  Some guild members gasped, some whispered, some laughed, and some made some awe sounds in Blade’s direction.  Wyvern looked as he was holding in laughter and Blade smiled as he kicked at the ground with his boot. 

“All right, I got her…” He finally agreed.  The guild near cheered with happy encouraging sounds as if they had all ready won.  Vyela sighed, stretched a final time as Blade slowly approached her in the middle of the lot, and all backed away before the dreaded silence.  The rain was settled for the moment, but the thunder in the clouds spoke of soon to come violent weather, and all ready Vyela could feel the drizzling of water down her neck as she readied her mind for another fight.

He stood before her calmly, his left shoulder leaning in a little forward and he stared at her with the ghost of a smirk, his lips barely moving.  He didn’t even take a fighting stance.  My, aren’t we confident… Vyela thought.  What did she expect?  Most every man she fought looked down at her feminine body and slightly big eyes expecting a screaming damsel.  She looked around for a minute and noticed the guild had gone quiet with watchful gazes.  Something about the way they looked didn’t appeal to her.  They were too confident.  Lightning flashed in the sky with amid purple rays, making way for the thunder that seemed to crack open the sky for it began to drizzle within seconds at a galloping pace.  Little of it reached them where they were due to a piece of metal that hung over from a building slightly, catching the Heaven sent drops of H2O that encouraged this “Blade Destiny” who stood before her.  He was awaiting her. 

“Ladies first…” he stated and brought her conscience sucking towards him.  She put her wrists on guard slightly, not quite ready to set foot in the chaos yet.  She was hoping to have him fight first so she could test his skills and see whether he relied on strength, brains or speed, the staples of fighting in her opinion.  She slipped stealthily and quietly around him for but a minute, seeing if he would keep his attentions on her.  He did, she never left the sight of his vivid eyes.  Okay, he’s concentrated, she thought.  He seemed focused enough to be a challenge like Raven, Zen, and Shade were.  But what was his fighting style?  She faked a couple of hitting motions and he didn’t even budge.  Apparently he was a tempered fighter too, he knew what were fakes.  Will you go for me all ready?  She liked waiting for them to charge after her so she could pull them into her traps.  Trickery was her most valiant weaponry but this guy evidently wasn’t going to fall for it yet. 

Fine then… she thought.  She would make him regret it.  She began the fight, meeting with him this time but he expertly countered her, forcing her to the floor.  She got up and tried it over and over again, never managing to find the opening she wanted for he marked every one of hers moves with a powerful defense.  Then he launched his own combo attack and she blocked a good majority, but his speed was beginning to overwhelm her all ready tired status.

She refused to admit it to either them or herself that this Blade had an edge on her.  Every attack she did, he reversed, and she refused to leave herself in an open defense position.  He managed to get her to the ground twice out of her own foolish mistakes.  The last time he stomped on her stomach lightly, just enough to make her cough and wince in pain.

 “That’s the shit Blade!”  “She’ll get it now!” She didn’t like the cheers as she was grimacing at the small wisps of pain.  Despite the bruise on her left rib cage she got up and began to attack him.  Any other fighter she would have fought would have fallen victim to her combos easily but Blade was too fast and too good.  They paused. “You know…” she managed to groan out.  He didn’t even look like he was phased.  “If I wasn’t so damn worn out,” she finally admitted now, “You’d be eating mud by now.”  Blade chuckled to himself, to low for anybody to hear amongst the happy warriors, but she could see his shoulders go up once as he looked to the ground again, still with a thoughtful look in his eyes.  “I’m worn too, I just got out of an ambush of Enforcers and Varken Thugs… Tell me which one is worse…”

“You’re face after I’m through with you!” She charged him again and tried another series of attacks but he was still to quick, moving as if he was composed of a feline and some other monster of the night she couldn’t figure out now, perhaps a werewolf.  Can’t outmaneuver them, outsmart them!  She presented the thought to herself and attempting the strategy with a couple of fakes.  Unfortunately she was wrong about his Intelligence Quotient as well as his speed and strength.

He pushed her down and she stumbled like a klutz to the ground, a bit of that being her own balancing problems.  Had she hit him?  No… he knew exactly what she planned and countered it beautifully.  If there was ever a guild warrior, he was it. She was growing tired of this.  He attempted to knee her in the face but she dodged quickly to the side and swung at him enough to fend him off.  He was faster and smart enough to avoid her trickery… She backed off to see if she could lure him into a charge like she had done with Nox’s violent fighting techniques, wait and play, she called it.  As soon as he would charge she would pull something else on him, letting the inspiration of just what it would be come to her with the moment.   But Blade Destiny wasn’t taking her bait. 

“I’m not falling for it ditz.”  He had discerned that she was rather klutzy at times, and she felt he was a good warrior if he could notice that.  Most saw the bottom end of her foot before they saw her stumble with her own body.  “Why, are we scared evil monkey dick?”  Some guys laughed, including Wyvern chuckling at the insult.  “Tit pinching lesbian…” he replied in return.   “Why don’t you charge me?  See what happens to you then…”  “I’ve already charged at you once!  It’s your turn flaming cock lover….” 

Some guys chuckled.  “I don’t do the wait and play game.”    She turned her head to the side in observance of what he said and waited for him to start the combat this time.  “As you said,” she motioned for him to bring it on.  “Ladies first… you’re the bigger pussy than I am apparently.”  He smiled at her.  Is he ENOJOYING my insults?  She liked it better when she annoyed them, liking the fact of getting under their skin like she could with Nox.  “All right then…” he said. 

He did the same thing she did… dashed for her but before she was aware of what he was really planning, he had all ready tricked her into a trap and her right shoulder would pay the price for it.  “Fuck this…” Nox said with impatient breaths.  “I want to fuck her up myself!”  Stun attempt to grab a hold of Nox before the dark skinned man broke from the line-up of warriors and went for her, still kneeling on the ground.  She snapped her shoulder back in place where it should be and moved her body into the correct position.  He basically ended up on the floor again and Vyela found herself being complimented by the warrior known as Blade Destiny.  “He weighs twice as much as you do, you’re fairly good.”  “You’ll never know how good till you find out,” she stared at him with hatred and readied her tired stance once more.  She didn’t know how much she could stand but if he truly got out of a ambush of law bots, then he would be no better.

“I’ll take that as another invitation?”  He stepped lightly at her, overwhelmingly quick.  She wanted to move but he was too fast and they broke into combat. After a little more fighting, she felt she had but one thing left to do.  It was her last step, and a risky one.  Her last ounces of energy left within her, inf concentrated correctly, could make her faster and stronger.  But if she used it unwisely she would be left vulnerable to the cunning, virile young warrior’s moves.  But what was she to do against this agile fighter?  She felt it was finally time when she thought she saw an opening.  In a blast of wind and a purple aura that formed itself around her, she attacked him with all her might and speed, all her hatred forced out on him and his only option was to be forced back or move.  He attempted to defend her by crossing his arms in front of himself. 

 After a stunning combo filled with her energy she landed with her right foot extended forward, her left leg bending to support her, and arms still in a karate-like fighting stance.  She was breathing harshly, her lungs filling with rain cleansed air of Jylia, and staring at her victim. That’s not fair…She thought.  He blocked most of that, if not ALL of that!  How was he doing that?  I was concentrating on him!  It wasn’t fair.  Not only had he been faster, he was outsmarting her even… and now her strength had seemed to fail her as well, the best of it in fact. 

The guild was silent, probably amazed at the electrified looking Vyela, and then swapped gazes to Blade who peeked over form his crossed arms.  He was smiling… after all THAT… he was smiling…  She blinked, stopped breathing and stared.  “Nice…” he spoke.  Wyvern had a strange look dazzling on his face that Vyela didn’t have time to decipher right now.  “Get a load of that, she’s got energy abilities too,” Wyvern was nice enough to announce it. 

“Ho…. Ho…” She breathed in again as he lowered his defenses to readjust his trench coat.  She was trying to find the breath to pronounce her questions properly.  “How did you get through that?”  Blade smiled widely, licked the falling rain form his lips, and looked at her.  “I can do that too.”  He said and adjusted his look at her.  She blinked and evinced a look of surprise and sudden anxiety.  If he was this strong right now, expected of a male, how strong was he if he could… Too late to be thinking.  She could feel the bizarre prick of feeling that felt like lightning swarming an area… she knew that only as the shivering sensation of tingling energy… but it wasn’t her own.  Suddenly she got a case of de ja vu as she stared at Blade Destiny, green beads of dazzling glow gathering at his arms as he went in for the kill. 

She barely had time to lift her hands up again as he swamped her with a punch at her left, green energy blasting against her own purple ki that she attempted to use as a shield.  Then he pelted her with his right hand; the event repeating so quickly she couldn’t comprehend it enough.  His speed was so great she didn’t think it was possible out of a fighter and his ferocious power was multiplied tenfold.  He ended his attack with a kick to her groin that sent her flying.

She found herself sailing against towards the wall at the very right of the lot, time slowing down just enough for her to bring her knees up and deflect the impact against her shins and feet.  As a result of this, she bounced off of it instead of a fall and landed on the edge of an open dumpster, fell off and rolled to the wet ground with a face of agony. 

She looked up, curling in a fetal position from the pain he had brought to her hips, and stared.  The guild warriors were laughing and yelling out happy pleas of cheering.  “YEAH!  Show that bitch who’s who!”  The bomb squad, apparently seeing this scene before, were reaching their right hands into the air with forms of balled fists, making sounds of triumph like animals in support of their great fighter.  “Going to show her what you can do Blade?”  Wyvern was smiling with an open mouth, an observant look still on his face and Blade looked to the ground and kicked at it again out of habit. 

She tensed for a minute and a small feint glow surrounded him with beads of vibrant green fire flies rising to the sky, as if he was powering up slightly, getting second wind.  “Oh my God…” she stared at him with large eyes, still curling in aching hell, and feeling the energy of his aura lift every hair on her neck, legs and back up.  Goosebumps spread into her arms from what she felt within that power up of his, and then it silenced just as quickly as his ki aura had lasted.  “Damn, what a night…” Blade said with a sigh that half heartily sounded like relief as well.  “What… was that?” Vyela asked herself. 

Blade’s right armed grabbed onto his left and he stretched them in an arch of his head, curling his body backwards in a stretch, legs barely peering out from the hidden garments of his trench coat, and he stopped to look at her again.  She slowly picked herself up from the ground, still slightly out of breath, but unwilling to admit defeat just yet.  She felt that there was always a way, even against uncountable odds that she had found in this dark fellow of the shadows.  She was worn and shaky from the last effleurage of power. 

The scarier thought on her mind was, Is this just the tip of the iceberg?  She shook the idea away with her pain and stood up to fight once more.  “God damn, she’s still up!”  Someone said from the back.  “That bitch got some pretty big balls…” Zone commented from behind one of the members of the bomb squad.  “Dude…” Raven commented to Shade.  “Normally anybody that took a swamping from Blade like that can’t breath for the next several seconds or so!”  Shade nodded, Vyela noting that he had joined his fellow guild members behind Blade now.  “I know man… that’s like… wow…” he couldn’t even mutter the words of his thoughts.  She looked around and saw the guild was in admiration of her endurance.  If they were this appealed by her unexpected stamina, what was Blade thinking.  She stared at him to decode his expression to find he was smiling a sideways smirk, looking her over again.  No words, none what so ever.

She was in her fighting stance again, not sure where to go from there, but not wanting to turn tail yet, either.  She had conquered giants before, could she do this?  Not like she could run very far anyway, the guild warriors were everywhere around her, Blade in the middle of attention.  “Are you going to fucking stare at me like I’m a ghost, or are you going to fucking attack, you dick.”  She cooed at him and he smiled wider and laughed.  “You’ve got fucking flare…” he said to her.  “Where the fuck you come from?” He stared at the ground again, then back at her. 

What is it with him and the ground?  “Does it matter?” She retorted.  Blade shrugged and put his fists up slightly.  “Not really, never met a female that was so independent as you… you must give your keeper hell.”  He assumed upon her, and moved his face to get his bangs out of the way.  The rain was beginning to make his spiked hair droop.  “I don’t have a keeper, and that’s for a fucking reason!”  Wyvern blinked and pointed his Wrist Scope at her, no doubt to read her to be sure if she was lying or not. 

“What reason is that?”  He inquired of her, the rain dripping off him now, making him blink his most noticeable, vivid eyes.  “Because I kick everybody’s asses!”  She had to admit, there were people after her on a daily basis in attempt to claim her, almost as if she was some mindless prize wondering around Jylia without a conscience like the Seeker Bots, but that didn’t mean she was easy prey.  “Blade…” Wyvern said from the back.  Shade and Raven had checked their own Wrist Scopes.  “Is there something wrong with my Scope Shade?”  Raven showed his buddy what his screen had revealed.  “No,” said Shade.  “She’s not even on a record for keepers… this says she’s never had one.”  They looked up with more looks of awe and gentle surprise.   Blade arched an eyebrow.  “You’re kidding…” he turned to the side again and kicked a piece of trash out from his way.

Then he stared at her again.  “You’re not like any female I’ve met before…” he commented to her.  She sighed angrily.  “Why does everybody assume that because I don’t have balls hanging in my way all day that I can’t fight worth two shits!  I’ll show you why the fuck I don’t have a keeper!  You look at that damn ground so much I figure you’re waiting to meet it!”  She advanced on him with a leap in the air, her right arm pulled backwards for a fight.  “Let me acquaint you, asshole!”  It ended in a worse failure than all the rest, Blade’s agonizing commented mounting on top of it.  “For being beaten, you talk a lot of fight.”  It was a gentle whisper into her ear, his breath caressing her lobes with invisible fingers before she felt the impact of the ground.

 “I’d give you a visectomy if you had the balls, you sorry son of a bitch…” He laughed at her again and the warriors cooed in an annoying way to perhaps egg her on, to perhaps dare her to challenge Blade Destiny.  Why was he so special anyway?  He smiled, again moving his bangs out of his face with a twist of his neck and leaned confidently towards her.  She looked at him, feeling his presence grow nearer and when she looked up he popped her in the stomach again, making her cough without breath.  How embarassing… she thought.  She wasn’t having a good time. “Now how would you know?” He asked as she fell to her knees.

She would never have a keeper, she swore herself.  She was Vyela Jeness, notorious in Jylia for her thefts and fights, and these were her streets, which she dominated.  No other female had paved the way before her, she was the queen of the Nightmare city; dominating both men and robots that threatened daily to remove her from her throne, and she never budged, and wasn’t about to now.  This man wasn’t even from Nightmare City, the passionate darkness known as Jylia, whispering sounds of broken fates and chaos in the night.  An independent, smart ass, investing, and vivacious woman awkwardly marching in the middle the streets, parading with the confidence she had both earned and kept…

These words empowered her upon her last strings of fight left with her, and she made one last advance upon his swift body.  Wrapping around the darkness, his eyes encasing themselves in the shadows that developed in the now breathing night, it was hard to see him amongst his dark clothes and ever moving ghosts.  The raindrops broke into her eyes like tears dripping from a bottomless pit in the sky.  Lightning was still fighting the clouds in the night and wrestling the darkness with its sheer seconds of intensive glow.  The rain was beating down on her, applauding her performance upon the rooftops and garbage cans in the lot, and creating a morbid affect that she refused to feel. 

She fought with him, getting in a landed kick here and there, until he grabbed her left arm and shove his right palm into her nose, almost breaking it.  She didn’t cry or whimper as she was forced to look the other way now, and he grabbed onto her arm in a twisting position. There was nothing she could do.  She was helplessly trying to defend against this quick, smart, and ruthless fighter who possessed all three of the staples in fighting, and knew his way around her in but a matter of moments within meeting her.  The rain struck at the ground and buildings, crying out with the warriors who cheered on Blade’s encore.  Splinters of fighting lightning bled across the sky for a full fifteen seconds, embracing the clouds in the sky with sharp dexterous fingers as if clawing at the Heavens.

Blade’s final ending was at his right foot, and the scariest part was that she could see it coming through the rain that covered her drowning eyes, but wasn’t fast enough, nor strong enough, to stop it.  He swung at her, his foot leaving a trailing green epitome of flashing brilliance almost as bright as the lightning zapping at the sky, before it launched into her side and she went flying, a final burst of her energy soaking up some of the impact he wrought. 

None the less, she still sailed towards a crooked, worthless, wooden fence, splicing it into splintered pieces as she slid through it and onto the ground.  The members of the guild cheered as she landed with a splash amongst the brick streets that Jylia commonly owned.  She looked up with a dizzy look in her eyes, seeing double vision after the landing.  “YEAH BLADE!  WOOHOO!” They cheered the black clad figure who’s coat drifted open in the wind.  He was standing the same way he stood when she laid her eyes upon him.  Her vision blurred as he stared at him, and noticed that once again he held a knife in his right hand like a companion.  Where did that come from?  Suddenly the cheering stopped and a large scream in the sky was heard followed by heart shaking thumps.  Two large Enforcer Bots in their human form had landed.  “Freeze!  You are all under arrest!”

The guild scattered with the exception of the more experienced fighters who gathered amongst Blade and Wyvern.  Shade clung his hand around the taller Raven’s shoulder.  “DUDE!  WHAT THE FUCK!  THEY’RE FLYING!  ARE THOSE RAZOR BOTS?”  Someone replied for Raven.  “No, those are charged up Enforcer Bots, not as bad but still not good…   It’s time to get out of here.”  Several hovering Seeker Bots with their missiles and needle sharp legs exposed stared at them with red eyes, symbolizing their alert modes.  “You are under arrest for suspicious behavior… state your name…” The robot groaned at him.  The display in the AI’s brain stared at the face of Blade Destiny, selecting him in its data banks with a marquee and zooming in.  “Host unidentified…  Investigation suggested.”  The bot zoomed in for a closer look, unable to completely see the shadowed figure amongst the rain, but found itself being swung out of the way by a pole laying as scrap in the lot.  “Let’s bail bitches!” 

Zone swung at the Seeker Bots a couple more times before he dropped the pole and turned tail with the other men.  Vyela looked up, coming into reality once more at the bottom of a metallic humanoid figure with guns poking out of its torso, and figured on her next choice of movement.  She rolled from under it quickly before it could step on her, got up, and finally made it to the alley that she had been trying to get too ever since Shade had showed her the way. 

“HEY!”  She heard Blade’s voice behind her.  “Where you think you’re going!”  Suddenly she felt the wind pass her by with sweeps of water from the rain, and saw Blade’s fist embedded into the dumpster just quickly enough before he took it away.  The Enforcer Bot leaned in to grab both him and her and she was forced to duck into the alley that the others were running through.  They were too busy trying to save themselves to worry about her.  She took a detour from where the main group was leading to, and practically dove back into the dumpster she landed in before the whole mess was started.  She threw bag after bag of useless fabric before she located her prized possession that brought her out here that night, dry and safe still and took off beyond another alley.

“Where the fuck you going bitch?  I still owe you!”  It was Nox.  “Will you get OUT OF MY WAY!”  She almost stumbled as she went to kick him, clutching at the brief case, but that turned out to be for her luck this time because as she nearly fell she missed being hit by the knife Nox had grabbed sometime after the scattering.  Once more she let him hit the wall and abandoned him there in the stormy hallways.  All I have to do is follow this passage to Carvor Street and I’ll be able to get home!  There was no way that they could possibly know Jylia that well, after all they weren’t a guild based in the city.  The Redeemers; she hadn’t heard of them in Jylia although they did ring a bell in her mind.  She breathed exasperated sighs as her body grew numb and warm from the pressure.  “Hey chicka, where you going?” Suddenly Blade leapt from the shadows as quickly as lightning sprang from the darkness, staring at her with his intense honey colored eyes.  She screamed and turned down another alley in an attempt to get away.  He followed her, she could hear his boots splashing in the water behind her and followed her down every turn until finally she had thought to hide behind a group of trashcans. 

He ran right past her and she waited until the footsteps were no more.  She needed to take another route, and looked out at the now cold and bitter raining night to think.  “Hmm…”  Yarrow Road is near here… I can follow that and turn down Neroli, and… yes… She left her decaying sanctuary to dangerously dart through a labyrinth of unmarked roads and troubled alleys.  Just before the opening passage into Yarrow Road, she stopped.  Reality growing numb against her mind, she shook her head as stars seemed to cloud her thinking and she felt a feint feeling of de ja vu.  Is this a dream?  She thought to herself.  Wouldn’t it be nice if this all was nothing but an ending nightmare in the streets of Jylia, running from both a psychotic anger driven bigot, charged up Enforcer Bots, and an undefeatable man from a guild. 

She sighed, thinking back to when she remembered this.  The rain dripped onto her face in flashes of cold cruelty, water echoed in the back allies and in the gutter from the crying rain, and a flash of lightning seemed to bring her to realization.  “Yes…” she recalled to herself as the thunder followed.  She had dreamed this not too long ago, she was running from a team of pursuers on a stormy night in this direction, and hidden just around the corner was one of her captors.  But would her dream prove to be true?

There was only one way to tell how accurate her prediction was.  With a gulp of anxiety and the lowering of her breath, she nervously crept to the corner of one of the alleyways to peer around it.  A provoking flash of lightning revealed that surely around the bend was the visage of that same shadow clinging figure she had come to know as Blade, lonely staring around the corners of the alleyway with his near glowing pair of amber eyes.  He was staring out into Yarrow Road, noticing the lovely security teams of people from the Varken Family, setting a security camp all ready, scanning the area.  She recoiled around the corner just as his head peered in her direction, barely missing his gaze.  She almost let her breath out in a terrified squeak, but she held it in.  She had never encountered such a fearful, skilled opponent before.

What now Vyela Jeness… she was still clutching at her newly stolen property.  He’s going to see you come out no matter what… he’s going to find you, but if you can get far enough away that he won’t have enough time to respond…  She looked across Yarrow Road to be sure of what her calculations were.  Turrets were set up in the street and eagerly anticipated the violation of their security lines.  Sneaking by those would be no problem if you had the time, and Blade wouldn’t if she took that back route around Cantropy.  She decided that was the best way to go. Hopefully, though she thoroughly doubted it in the corridors of her mind, he would be stupid enough to get caught in the bullets.  As soon as she arrived at her destination, she dashed for it.

Blade would get one last look at her before she would disappear in the night, finally giving her the last laugh she normally claimed.  “HEY!  There’s one!”  Two turrets turned in her direction and she heard a quick, “Shit” somewhere in the distance that she liked to imagine was Blade, getting his final look at her, but she didn’t have time to stare back and find out.  She dashed into the alleyway, quickly zig zagging through the passages and away from the monsters.  Finally, she was safe.  There would be no way that someone on foot could get through the firing range of those gunners and turrets.  She breathed a sigh of relief as she rested right before Main Street in Jylia.  The lonely, closed stores looked at her giving her a secure sense of familiarity as she finally felt her body warm up for the first time that night without it involving terror.  Safety would soon be hers at last. 

“HEY!”  In twinkling, lightning lit moments, clamorous thunder hunting for its long since-passed flashing counterpart a face stared at her, coming around the corner swiftly and almost gracefully as he held his right hand onto the wall and looked at her.  Their eyes met yet again and it seemed that his amber colored monstrosities were shoving her heart down her throat and into her stomach with a sickening mix of terror and hate for the one that stood before her.  How had he found her?  She disappeared down streets so far away that it would be impossible for a single person to get through the long range of fire the law enforcement set up, and no other streets led down the same path.  Even if they did, she had taken so many different passages it was impossible for him to see her go down all the paths and keep track of it.  She screamed as he grabbed onto her right wrist that lifted up in a fearful response, her legs kicking away. 

“WAIT!” He yelled as she kneed him in the gut and practically ran backwards away to the flooded Main Street.  Lighting cracked in the sky again and she found herself coming down towards the ground, her back first.  She could have recovered but she was loosing grip on her precious cargo.  She chose instead to take the fall and cover her stolen property in a secure embrace.  Wait?  Why the hell did he think I was going to wait for him?  She thought about him before she fatefully looked up, fear yet again striking her heart in suspended animation. 

The Enforcer Bot before her didn’t seem as if it was upgraded like the flying ones, but an Enforcer Bot was bad enough.  A series of three small blue ocular lens surrounding one side of a giant blue lens in the middle stared back at her, glowing in the night.  It had two “legs”, two revealed “arms,” but from experience Vyela knew that there were at least two other pairs hidden within its shelled body somewhere.  Razor sharp “fingers” accented the mechanical “hands” of this humanoid beast that sported a mere dome shape for a head.  Perhaps one of the most feared creatures of the thieves of Jylia, Vyela was unfortunate enough to have step right in front of one.  She could here the sounds of the lens readjust, and the machine groan a shriek that was typical for when an Enforcer Bot was alerted to something.  Then she recognized the clumsy sounds of it reaching its metal joints up, spreading the razor sharp appendages at the end of its “hand,” yet by then her whole world began to turn into a flashing memoir of life’s moments and this fateful night.


The warehouse was dark with an overpowering blankness, save for the walls that were packed with junk to the ceiling. This would be a rather dry night yet again, dry of action in any case. She held herself to the ceiling using one of the thinner steal rafters, her legs curling about it like she was hanging upside down from a monkey bar. 

"Code Crack successful…" the computer blinked at her. She chuckled. Yes, this really was too easy. Vyela lifted the little computer up and placed it back on her wrist, and then gingerly opened the doors.

Vyela stared at the smoking remains. Wow… she thought to herself. She never imagined that happening tonight. She had to duck behind an air conditioning structure to escape the flying pieces. Maybe that was what her bad feeling was about.  Two other buildings in the Shrine Tower’s vicinity had gone off in flame, and Vyela Jeness KNEW that this place would be next soon.

Her heart went numb, thumping slowly in her chest.

One lunged for her with his hands open, yet again predicting a helpless female waiting for his embrace.

He stood before her calmly, his left shoulder leaning in a little forward and he stared at her with the ghost of a smirk, his lips barely moving.  He didn’t even take a fighting stance.

He attempted to knee her in the face, she dodged quickly to the side and swung at him enough to fend him off.

They fought in a frenzy of swirls, spins, and kicks, him more or less blocking her punches and kicks with the same movements.

She would never have a keeper, she swore herself.  She was Vyela Jeness, notorious in Jylia for her thefts and fights, and these were her streets, which she dominated.  No other female had paved they way before her, she was the queen of the Nightmare city; dominating both men and robots that threatened daily to remove her from her throne, and she never budged, and wasn’t about to now.

She would never have a keeper, she swore herself.  She was Vyela Jeness, notorious in Jylia for her thefts and fights, and these were her streets, which she dominated.

She would never have a keeper… Queen of the Nightmare city... She would never have a keeper… Notorious in Jylia…

With a sudden whirl, she could detect imminent danger from the imposing presence.  The Enforcer seemed ready to slice her body through like jelly whilst darkness greeted her crumbling world.  The fateful night would come to an end at the edge of a law robots metallic hands, a situation Vyela could never have predicted to be in.  The notes of creaking metal robot joints continued their forbidding symphony and the night would finally end with… the sound of metal crunching.  Then the sound of an agitated Enforcer Bot followed by the repeated shrieks of another law bot down the road.

For a reason unknown, she could feel herself lifted up. “AHH!”  She protested as she was tossed over someone’s shoulders.  It was Blade Destiny, accompanied by the impressible Wyvern.  “You are a crazy one, Blade!”  Wyvern yelled as they charged away from the mess of the now alerted Patrol, parading through the city as Blade followed his fellow warrior friend. 

“Yeah but that’s me right!” She grasped the shoulder of her very enemy, and she clasped her hands around them snuggly with appreciative thoughts as to what Blade had just done.  Had he had just interrupted an Enfocer Bot’s kill?  Shown himself to perhaps the most dangerous law enforcement in the world?  But only to recover her? 

“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING IT’S GOING TO GET US!”  While pound at his well built, virile set of shoulders, Blade peered behind his clear left shoulder to spy the shadows of two large Enforcer Bots, as tall as the two story buildings surrounding Main Street, and a mysterious figure behind them.  But just as he would turn his head and continue his run, the corner of his eyes caught a long hollow stare from a shotgun, and the man paused.

The bipedal construction of a man controlled machine obstructed his way, and a large shotgun that could leave a three foot diameter through both sides of a solid brick building caught his eye sinisterly.  A GunWalker.  The human pilot chewed on the end of his cigar, shook his head, and commented with, “It sucks to be you,” to the trio of runaways.  Vyela could hear the sounds of Enforcer bots parade through Main Street, kicking cars like soccer balls out of their way as they were the only things slowly the large machines down.

But on the other side of the running group, the pilot of the GunWalker gave the control panel the order to fire, and again she screamed for her life just before the yellow spark, and she closed her eyes.  Two other shots of a large shotgun eruption followed.  How she could hear them, she did not know.  But she did feel the incredible sense of being lifted up a second time despite she had all ready been thrown over someone’s shoulders.

When she let her eyes open, she found herself just above the GunWalker’s cockpit, Blade was turned to his right letting her and him both face the machine and the evincing look of surprise and awe encountering the pilots face just before he took his cigar out of his mouth and he and his fellow GunWalker pilot both muttered, “What the hell?” 

Blade’s deep, forbidding, confident, and warning voice filtered into her ears.  She was clutching her own enemy so tightly she could feel the muscles of his jaw move next to her cheek, but she was too confused and alert to really realize how closely she was grasping the virile guild warrior.  “No… it sucks to be you,” Blade replied.  The right arm he had been covering Vyela’s back with unleashed itself from her, coiled around as much as it could around Blade Destiny’s body, and then shot back with an onslaught of released throwing knives and razor bits that pinned the two pilots’ heads to their seats and cut their faces up beyond recognition. 

After this rather bewildering moment, the next came as her body was tilted with her back facing the ground, and a sallow feeling of moving provoked her to look up.  Only now did she realize that neither Blade nor Wyvern were touching the ground, much to her surprise.  “You can fly?”  She exclaimed with question right into Blade’s ear and she struggled to half heartedly crawl more onto Blade’s back for fear of falling.  The art of flying through telekinesis was a rare phenomenon found through the world, one she had witness twice in her lifetime as simple hovering, but she never thought she would be part of the circus act herself.


“Wow, you’re a fucking genius aren’t you?”  Blade retorted cruelly as he whisked his head to his left once more to peer at the pursuing robots, then back to Main Street.  Just as he turned, Vyela screamed and a deafening shot from undoubtedly a GunWalker whistled past them, forcing winds against the pair of flying wonders.  Blade groaned with slight frustration, curled his left arm upwards as if lifting a weight, then forced it behind him to let loose another swarm of razors and knives.  How he was getting them, Vyela could not piece together in her head, but he was more concerned with the team of law droids and men trailing them, and the fear of falling.

From what little Vyela could see over Blade’s right shoulder, she could see Blade hitting deadly on his mark, the control panel of the GunWalker sparking and popping just as the machines twin legs began to loose their pattern of walk, and fell over with lack of balance.  The Enforcer Bots that had been just behind the smaller machine stopped their run rather suddenly, the other metal giant behind it not calculating the others actions quickly enough.  Their pursuit ended in a collision of the paired up machines, the large Enforcer Bots taking a nasty fall upon the asphalt with a splitting sound.

She almost breathed a sigh of relief until she noticed that there was still one more shadowed figure about ten feet high and five feet wide at the shoulders still behind them just as the towering Enforcer Bots fell, this one containing daring red eyes that followed them.  What is it?  She thought.  She hadn’t recognized any model of Enforcer that resembled that.  She spotted Wyvern turn his head out of the corner of his eye, and continue to notice Wyvern double taking on their newly discovered pursuer.  Blade also faced the unknown figure.  “Is that…” he began to ask.

“Razor Bot. I hate them things!  They never give up!”  Wyvern explained as he began to speed up. 

Blade also began to speed up.  They apparently both knew what it was like the encounter such a highly feared robot.  “The best thing to do is outrun them.”

This would be the first time Vyela would had encountered a Razor Bot, and the most she knew of them was that they were the best of the best of technology, possessed extreme A.I., and an arsenal of wicked weaponry.  A bright flash blinded Vyela’s eyes quickly, but the painful spark went away quickly enough to let her spot a giant blue cylinder shaped beam encased in a pale purple aura going sailing for them.

Blade turned his head as quickly as the flash had came, exclaimed a surprised slew of cusswords, and the two flying warriors swiftly parted to the side as the glowing mass swung past them.  After two seconds, a large massive explosion echoed through the street with imposingly low sounds of vibrations.  “Damn it!  Ion Plasma!  They mean business this time don’t they?”  Blade asked as he watched the explosion at the far end of Main Street die slowly to enveloping flames. 

“I wouldn’t be kidding about that.  Let’s boogie back to safe house!”  The two took an agile left turn down another series of alley ways, long enough for Vyela to loosen her clutch to her adversary and ponder the events.  That’s how he found me so easily!  It dawned on her that a person that could fly as well as Blade or Wyvern could easily evade the law lines and detect her path. 

After a small two minutes of flying, Blade asked, “Are they still after us?”  Just as the question hit, another screeching hot blast of blue and pale purple whisked past them quickly and hit the side of a building on Wyvern’s right side.  Somehow, the agile warrior managed to escape the toil of burning bricks and flying debris, and Vyela could spot that the bricks were practically melting beneath the mess before they passed the disaster.

“Yeah, I’d say so,” Wyvern answered as he returned towards Blade’s right side, apparently trying to avoid getting close to the side of the buildings.  Vertigo-stricken Vyela clung to Blade still, and noticed that she was growing sic of seeing the back passages through Jylia, but she noticed that they were nearing her home.  Now was her time to start kicking.  She began to struggle with Blade Destiny’s embrace, pounding his shoulders and the back of his neck.

“What are you doing?”  He yelled at her as he continued to try to flying and avoid being hit by scorching blasts of firepower from the Razor Bot.  “I just saved your life your idiot!”  He exclaimed as she began to pelt him in the stomach with her knee. 

“And you expect me to submissively let you down my pants and take ownership of me?  HELL NO!”  She kicked him a hard one in the stomach once again and he finally let go.  Her head immediately shot in the direction of the littered alleyway.  The trash in Jylia had never look so beautiful as one word came to caress her mind.  FREEDOM!  Just as her feet began to plunge to the decaying street below, she felt a tug, and her neck nearly snapped as she felt herself half pushed upwards again.   

Blade Destiny had caught the suitcase, her own precious cargo was holding her back and Wyvern was staring at her struggle.  “You want this bitch?”  He said, looking down at her while still trying to navigate through the air. 

“GRR!”  She had worked so hard that night, braving security, breaking locks as well as windows; then switching suddenly to breaking bones and noses; all to end up here.  Perhaps it was stupid and stubborn, but after that, she refused to let go.  “LET IT GO ASSHOLE!” She began kicking at him, his only response being to smile and dodge her failing attempts to be set free. 

“Where’re almost there anyway, bitch.”  He swung her into the wall twice, she still refused to let go and finally he pulled her back up to give her a pop in the stomach.  She gasped for air, almost blacking out from the lack of breathing, and he embraced her disabled body against his own as they met with more cannon blasts from the Razor Bot behind them.  Unfortunately she couldn’t fight anymore… she passed out…



Chapter 3: Dethroned



            The darkness had came in the midst of the tragedy.  Shrine Tower’s fires died when the storm had settled completely amongst Jylia’s skyscrapers and fickle city lights.  Despite the action and restlessness Jylia had endured no longer than half an hour ago, the city had sufficed for an ample quiet.  Only rain drops made the most frantic of noise on the streets, apart form their giant thunder and lightning brethren that attacked occasionally.  Entire main streets were shut off or halted if active. Car lights, nearly drowned by the overpowering rain, gleamed and winked with dull, sullen rays beneath the night’s storms as the vehicles wait to get a move on.

            A large appendage of Jylia’s metropolis had blacked out, the center of the darkness encircled by the still ground zero of Shrine Tower that cried with dying embers and whispered with last wisps of smoke that could be seen from a bird’s eye view.  The city had been forced into silence.  Veins of traffic stopped completely, communications shut off.  People were in awe.  Jylia and her citizens of the storming night had gone into shock with the loss of the world’s largest stock market center.  But it wouldn’t be long before the darkness of the Nightmare City shot back awake again. 

The Enforcer Bots went parading down Regal Main street, forceful, insidious, malevolent machinations of man that possessed no conscience, only a need to fulfill their programming.  They were hopping and abounding over cars and trucks a whole, as large as two story buildings and some as small as a ten foot man.  The creaking of their metal joints, ruthless sound of their massive generators, and bizarre shrieks of communications painted an oppressing scene indeed.  They beamed like giant dial-up modems, and often stood as symbols of the Varken family, the tyrannical trite of rule in Diest and much of the known world.

Some a brave or curious man dared share a look, watching the Enforcers climb through traffic and scan people along the way.  The robots were thought of with both respect and hatred, and always treated with fear.  Some were so anxious of their large, noisome presence that civilians wouldn’t look from their cars, some pretending they weren’t there.  Men adorned in armor of functioning, bipedal machines known as GunWalkers marched the streets like hunters, searching and scanning the vicinity.  Mere lights of the agile and often well-hidden Seeker Bots were undoubtedly infesting Jylia’s streets, invading her darkest prospects for signs and clues of the criminals’ whereabouts.

Televisions across the residences clicked on, moping with an electronic tune that mopped up the intrigued attentions of audiences mesmerized by pale screens and factual news voices.  From channel to channel…


They are people, and they are watching the T.V.


“… with much shock and tragedy, the once majestic Shrine Tower shared her final hours with…”


To channel 10…


“I am here, live, at the ground zero remains of the world’s largest stock market.  Known as Shrine tower but 30 minutes ago, this once…”


To channel 13…


“… police find themselves utterly perplexed as to the motivation of this terrorist act and many seek to find…”


To channel 5…


“I jus’ felt a rumble, look across Majesty Bridge, and jus’ see dis’ really large thin’ of light flood da’ sky!”


And they channel surf…


“I am telling you Randall, Shrine Tower was going to get hit!  It’s no surprise they targeted the…”


And they surf…


“… No real clues… officers wonder…”


And the channel changes..


“… only to report shadowy figures…”


From channel… to channel…


“Citizens are asked to stay peacefully in their homes as the Varken Special Forces and Agents team has been reportedly called in to investigate…”


Many screens flashed to a picture of a man being interviewed, marked by a gray beard and patch across his left eye, and in the cockpit of a GunWalker.  His name, Captain Arthur “Chase” Bennings of Jylia Police, shined from the bottom of the screen in a caption box as the news conducted the interview.  His voice and eye told of great experience on the streets of the Nightmare City.

“Well, I can’t tell you much.  The Varken S.F.A.. team, and ‘The Hidden’ took over a while ago, and they don’t a lot for much clues.  I can tell you… some…” he spoke with small pauses in his sentences, as if for thought perhaps.  “… like to think that gangs did the deed… I’ve been a captain fer’ 30 years now… and I never seen a gang act like this.  If it was a gang… then it’d have to be the Soul Scythers.  They’re the only ones with enough menace.  But… I know that their leader… Knarl Ryder… has been jailed for two months.  I don’t leave it much to the Soul Scythers to be responsible… I do believe that this is the act of a dark guild, and a mighty wicked one at that…”

Tourists and locals changed channels every minute, every second.  “What little is reported is that the bombs operated off of the electric signals from Shrine Tower’s very own communications feed that set off the activation frequency and the mass explosions that fired in a destructive chain…”


To channel…


“…306 are reported dead or missing…”


To another channel…


“Only glimpses of dark stealthy men and glimmers of figures and eyes in shadows were seen by survivors…”


Too many channels…make them stop.


“… figures and eyes in shadows…”


So many channels…


“… eyes in shadow… eyes in shadow… eyes…”


She was awake enough to feel a soft but itchy carpet resting under her cheek.  But she was sleep enough to dream.  Asleep enough to witness scenes of televisions and radio waves littered with the combinations of news and media attempt o decipher the mess while complicating it.  Asleep enough to hear the sallow whispers of the word “eyes” echo hauntingly in the corridors of her mind.

Eyes… eyes… explosions, warriors, shadows… and eyes.  Her worn, worried mind nagged at her.  Run… back home… get away from them… beat them and go back home…  She attempted to open her eyes, release her mind and free her struggle of a haze-filled unreality, but her memories continued to grip her.  She cried out with a fearful breath.


He followed her, she could hear his boots splashing in the water behind her and followed her down every turn until finally she had thought to hide behind a group of trashcans. 




A provoking flash of lightning revealed that surely around the bend was the visage of that same shadow clinging figure she had come to know as Blade, lonely staring around the corners of the alleyway with his near glowing pair of amber eyes. 




The man known as Blade was dressed in a fully black attire with a trench coat and a beautifully sculpted knife at his side.  He styled his raven black hair in spikes and let two bangs frame his face.  But his most notable feature was his pair of honey eyes so light they whispered with feint signs of glowing within the night that completed this shadowy figure’s visage. 




            She kicked her own dreary perception awake, bolted upright with sweat parked upon her face, and the keen worry and anxiety of what had happened that night.  Where was she?  The lightning shared with her double vision of the storm for a second until she could see the little revealed pieces of the room by traces of blue light.  She knew it was spacious, her instincts could tell her that.  She knew the carpet was a cool olive green with lines of tone gray spreading upon it like the marks of marble.  She had a close encounter with the carpet that had given her that bit of description.  Where was she?

            Her mind was still in the fit of unawake alarm she concluded, as moving was a twitching, numbing, warm chore that had crashed her into a wall and a table.  Even broke something of glass.  She fit herself to run and got up with anxiously convulsing body parts, her chest the center of the nervousness and walked/crashed through a swing open door away from the foyer and into a dimly lit room.

            The carpet was the same as the room before.  The walls wore dark oak colored washboards and stone gray paint scattered with strokes of lighter shades of cool gray adorned the structures in random locations.   Paintings of seemingly notorious value and style aligned the walls in copper frames that accented the carpet.  A set of black leather furniture to the rooms right side marked a spacious deco style living room detailed with a hefty entertainment center, random curios of art and fiber optic light lamps, and a costly aquarium was embedded directly into the wall.

            On the left side, behind a podium mounted with a richly sculpted marble head, a breakfast bar gave a glimpse to a sumptuous kitchen.  What little light the night had cared to grace her with was from tiny, golden lamps embedded into the wall just below the ceiling like dull, glowing beads from Heaven.  Where was she?  This residence was expensive.  Whoever owned it was not only wealthy in money, but in style and class as well.

            She peered at the room, her mind still trying to govern the rebellious bouts of her memory where she… 


            She gasped for air, almost blacking out from the lack of breathing, and he embraced her disabled body against his own as they met with more cannon blasts from the Razor Bot behind them.  Unfortunately she couldn’t fight anymore… she passed out…


            She paused, her pupils loosing all strains of thought in a temporary dead silence with the reckoning of her mind.  Her only feeling was the unsettling pain at the base of her stomach where…  She gasped.  She had been trapped by a male.  Not just a casual thug of Jylia either, but a foreign guild warrior, apparently a demolitionist, at the top of his league. For once in her life, she had an opponent she could not mount.  An opponent she could dare not fight, and one with which she couldn’t struggle. What could she do in this sudden, new, anxious environment?   

            What if the one they called Blade was about?  Walking the halls of this very house?  Lightning flashed as quickly as her fearful heart would beat.  First impulse was protection if Blade Destiny would stir.  Her trusty guns should be at her side, but weren’t.  She kept them concealed in thigh-mounted gun straps hidden in leather pockets of her cat suit.  They were small, nearly palm-sized pistols to avoid detection, but she found them gone, along with her bigger pistol from her belt.  Lost in the flee, or purposely removed from her possession?

            She paused her mind, body, and breath for a listen.  Raindrops haunted her through the windows with beats.  Thunder rumbled in a malice-filled taunt as she attempted to sense the movement of another in the house.  The house was quiet without a care save for the flashing menace outside, and the undoubtedly thrilled city, storming in weather as well as population.  She would have to search the residence however, she couldn’t risk assumptions that no one was there.  With a borrowed knife from the kitchen, she anxiously passed darkened halls filled with diffident silence but alive with Jylia’s weather menagerie  

The house seemed large and expensive, boasting a total of five guestrooms, not including the master bedroom, two dens, a long well-endowed kitchen, a highly functioning computer room, two contemporary studies, and art rooms for display.  The dwelling was beautiful with a collective taste for beauty combined with the coolness of a crisp technological display.  Hallways were delighted with digital pictures, animated and changing with scenes of breathless nature.  Lava lamps and fiber optic lighting were placed tastefully on shelves and rooms, heating the house with dull but radical sheathings of lights that slowly danced on wall and mirror.  Yet it was electric light displays coupled with an appreciation for nature as terrariums and paintings of the wild adorned every blank space that they could fit. 

            What the house had lacked however was the presence of people.  Blade Destiny and his fellow guild warriors were of nowhere to be found.  She was alone.  Very well then, she would hopefully have her time to escape.  She re-entered the front room where her frantic awakening occurred.  Two to three precious minutes spent in search-filled dark resulted in the eventual discovery of the light-switch.  Once the room was alive with 20 watts of light bulb and electricity, she was able to find remnants of her crushed Wristscope, and a battered version of what was once her precious cargo.

            After a month spent in learning about it, weeks spent in planning its theft, and a night of hell-filled obstruction, she kneeled to open the shock case to see that the costly new gyro-stabilization unit she had sought after would hardly be any good without advanced repairs from the trauma it was put through.  The damage was still containable enough to get her money if she could spend another week seeing to its mending.

But the battering of her trusted and much needed Wristscope was something to her anger.  She had upgraded and used the small P.C. since her youthful age of sixteen.  For four years it had served her and now it would be hard to see if she could fix the cracks and crumbles in the translucent neon green cased machine that would normally be attached to her arm.  It was of no matter quite yet of course.  First she would have to embark upon her escape.  Her quest for freedom before the lethal Blade Destiny’s return was a lot to prioritize right now, but she would start with a look at the large, black wooden door in front of her.

Her hands graced its surface smoothly, expressing the grainy texture of its medium, and a single light kick had told her it was solid.  The large locks that bolted it shut gave her an overpowering message that they weren’t moving without a fight.  Her tools for lock picking were gone like her guns.  She paused for but a second before she moved onto the windows.  They were swallowed up with water ever flooding from the cloud, a clear liquid bleeding gruesomely from the skies that hardly let her see the thick metal bars baring the beating of the weather outside.  If she could escape, her time of trudging through the gutter-lacking streets would be a new adventure in itself.  But the bars were not her only enemy.  The windows were consisting of bullet-proof glass, much too hard for her to break, and doubled the trouble in her weakened state.

Damn Jylia and her paranoia.  The violent Nightmare City was rightfully named and thus her citizens rightfully prepared.  If she could have a chance at the locks with a hammer perhaps she could hope to get somewhere but she could only doubt it.  Another look at the locks reinforced her idea that there could be better solutions to her escape problem.  If there happened to be any more doors in the house, then there may be more chances for her to get out. 

More searching led her to too many dead ends in a storm-filled night.  Every window had bars, could not open, and were bullet-proof.   Doors were accented with the toughest titanium locks Jylia could buy.  If the chance could be that a hidden door somewhere would produce a withered, rusted mechanism instead of the bold new grandeurs she faced repetitively, her mind’s anxiety could be laid to rest.  Her last reverie was finally met in the form of a metal door hidden and seemingly lost in the far back of the house, kept in the forgotten slumber behind crates of a storage room.  While loosing hope of finding a way out, her thief’s curiosity for the content’s in the crates had led her to discover the rarely used door. 

Of all rooms in the house, this was the least in place.  The rectangular structure of mere concrete and steel bar windows on the stripped right side was bare of decorations.  The intensity of the rains hectic clapping on roof and ground outside had grown louder with each step in the unwelcoming room.  The warm, damp smell of rain, mold, and rock amongst the unusually humid and warm atmosphere was quick to cause immediate discomfort as drops of dripping water echoed nearby from a leaky roof; but the door beckoned.

It was rusted, possibly rusted shut even, and the thus far flimsy appearing lock was hard to see since the room lacked any light outlets.  Lightning powered glimpses of the door sparked her interest enough for her to touch the rough metal object bolted to the door.  The lock was slightly wet and weathered until it felt almost brittle to her touch.  Most likely the damaged door had eroded this way as a result of many a rainy night that fed the leaky dampness the room was bathed in.  Much to her advantage and hope, the rain shadow evenings Jylia often cloaked herself in had perhaps given Vyela her needed breakthrough.  A hammer, a pick, something blunt and full of mass could be her best friend if she could find it in this strange place.

Where could one be however?  She couldn’t recall a toolbox amongst any of the rooms she had passed.  Searching and seeking through cabinet and closet produced nothing of the sort.  Yet, however, a single fireplace perked a flare within her mind.  What normally populated a fireplace; a fire poker, a sweeper, a number of other instruments that could prove useful perhaps?  She had to return to that fireplace, and quickly before her time wore too terribly thing.

            It was a simple fireplace constructed of a dark tan brick and black screen.  The surface was smooth and blank, obviously never used before, but the tools for its usage were gone.  She tilted her head in every which direction to look for the missing items but she had no avail.  They weren’t on the side nor inside the fireplace itself.  Where could they have been put?  As she turned to scan the diameter of the small den in a search, lightning haunted the room as a suspicious, diffident companion.  She could see the blue flashing through beige curtains that lavished the opposite wall just beyond the black leather couch.  It lit the room again just as her careful eyes came to caress the shining display of knives.

            Lighting caught their glimmers elegantly as well as viscously.  The blades were carved in beautiful designs of symbols marking their ruthless, serrated edges.  The handles were covered in a thin leather-like substance that the touch of her fingers couldn’t recognize and she pondered these unusual five inch knives.  Were they made primarily for throwing, for mere melee? Undoubtedly they were Blade’s weapons, and she couldn’t help but wonder if his weapon for choice was how he had gotten his edgy name.

Another precarious flash of dead silent lightning amongst dripping, noisy rain was prelude to a bang of powerful thunder that seemed to bolt directly through the house with its intensely terrifying bass.  But amongst the clamorous scourge of Jylia’s storm, was there a door that had opened?  The thunders echo faded and she heard the door slam, followed by weak voices.

“Damn, never a good night in this city.  Right?”  It was feint, and getting louder so she knew she wasn’t too far off from the foyer.  If she was listening clearly enough then the voice happened to belong to Wyvern, the blue eyed warrior with a Resurian accent.  She was as still as the room she was trapped in, heart slamming against her chest with anxiety until it was painful.

“What an adversity.  Half of this mess is because those newbies from Sala 2nd don’t know how to delay a law unit even if it’s local police.  I may think twice as well that I’m perhaps glad many of those newcomers are dead.”  The new voice was low and focused, but most certainly not Blade’s. 

“A cruel thing to say Raven, but justified,” Wyvern responded just as the door opened a second time, the showering rain growing intensely, then silenced with a slam.  It was wholly quiet amongst the voices for a little, only the storm singing with galloping voices of rain and thunder, until a question was asked so faintly she couldn’t quite make out the syllables.  But it sounded like a, “Where is she?” possessed of a voice so low that she wondered if it was him.

“I don’t know.  This was all that was here when we came in,” Wyvern responded informatively.  A voice entered her ears, a foreign one she hadn’t heard that night, thus she hoped with every inch of her near silent breathing that it wasn’t perhaps Blade she had heard.

 “You didn’t lock her up Blade?”   Lightning slammed into her vision as harshly as her heart against her sternum in the dawn of her realization.  He was here, in this house, and she could hear the footsteps growing louder as the group traveled from one room to the other.  They entered the front room and rested near the kitchen that unfortunately was too close to Vyela’s situation for her comfort.  They were so close she could almost smell the warriors’ scent of fighting and sweat, or perhaps it was her imagination.  But she knew that she couldn’t even so much as dash to another safer room without being seen by the dexterous warriors that crowded the breakfast bar. 

“No,” Blade responded.  “I had other things going on, so I just took her weapons and threw her in here.”

“Do we look for her?”  Wyvern questioned.  Vyela listened intensely for the answer as she noticed how much closer they seemed to be was proportional to how hard her heart could beat. 

“No,” Blade replied.  “This house doesn’t look it, but it has a good security system.  None of the windows open and the doors are bolted, so I doubt she’ll find her way out.  We have more important issues right now however, like what comes next.  Raven…”

The warrior responded without question to his voice.  “Yes…”


“Where’s Shade?”


“Injured.  Got his ankle twisted while charging through the hoard of clowns that think of themselves as Redeemers.  He didn’t want to chance our being seen with a limp so he wishes that we continue without him and I’ll brief him after the meeting.”

Blade nodded his head at his compatriot and turned towards the others.  “Tonight was pretty tough there newbie, you think you can handle the rest Spiff?” 

The foreign voice answered.  “Hell yeah!  This was a great project!  So much action and I just can’t wait till I can get another chance at those law units and police…” the zealous young warrior began to bat his fists back and forth in mimic of combat before Raven settled him, his voice showing partial annoyance. 

“Don’t get so excited newbie.”  Wyvern warned.  “Especially if you’re going to look for the trouble.  You’ll have to remain as calm as possible and your team hidden as well as they can be if you want to prove useful.”

Spiff nodded.  “Oh, don’t worry.  I’m not going to go looking for a mix-up.  I just feel a lot more energized after actually doing something for the Redeemers other than running laps at Sala Base.  I don’t really think the rest of those guys really know what they’re doing as guild warriors anyhow.”

Raven snorted almost humorously, and with vented frustration.  “You’re telling us.  Your peers hardly have half the idea as you of a warrior, and the sad thing to tell is you barely know it yourself.  But that’s what you’re here to learn no less.”  The experienced warrior rubbed his fingers through his loosely hung black hair and brought his few wet bangs away from his forehead.  Dressed in slightly loose pants, combat boots, and a jacket embroidered with a golden stitched dragon, his eyes scanned the newbie Spiff from head to toe, and one could tell that his slightly long, square-set face wasn’t appreciative of his presence.  Yet he didn’t seem wholly amused with any of the night’s events. 

“So what’s new on the menu?”  Raven forced the meeting to go on.  The sounds of shuffling through drawers and silverware could be heard in Vyela’s room. 

“Well, I suspect we likely accomplished one goal,” Wyvern stated to the group.  “But we’ve agreed that we don’t want the Brothers of Chaos growing too terribly popular.  That was a reason we chose Shrine Tower and the new merge for Chaos. We don’t want the people liking them too much.  Many reject them as a Law Guild all ready, but those that don’t could come to help support Chaos, and we wish to eliminate as much aid from Chaos as thought possible.”

Raven interrupted his speech.  “So I suppose we are going to drag things out longer in Jylia as thought expected?”  He didn’t seem as annoyed as before.

Blade nodded from the other side of the breakfast bar at his fellow warriors who gathered at the kitchen’s edges.  “I don’t think too terribly long.  We’ll have to hang here for a little, maybe a week, a week and half.  Not too long Raven, don’t worry.  We’re going to be bleeding into the media for a little.  No doubt, Chaos is going to respond with public announcements and try to explain why all of a sudden their supposed to be ‘immune’ city has been attacked.” 

The rest nodded in understanding, Spiff adding in his own comments.  “Wow, two guilds in one city.”

Wyvern emphasized his comment for him.  “That’s right newbie.  Two opposing guilds in one city, and Chaos is pretty big.  Jylia’s a large city, but she’s not that big and the people are going to get tired of all the trouble being stirred.  That’s why we’re staying behind a week in Jylia.  We’re to cause trouble anywhere Chaos barely seems to gather.  Any nightclub, any public meeting, any place we think there’s a possibility they will be.  With the trouble of two opposing guilds in one city, the government can’t keep hold of Nightmare City and keep track of the buddies at war.  Like it or not, the main focus is on the war between the Bloodhawks and Skyprey on the other side of Diest.  We’re trying to make Chaos too troublesome for their worth, thus the city officials will kick them out.”

Again the group nodded.  “After that,” the wise Wyvern continued.  “You’re going to keep your team here and gather as much information as you can and keep reporting to Sala 2nd.  There’s a lot of talkers in fair Jylia, a lot of contacts available to the Redeemers.  Most likely we’ll be meeting a few of them this week trying to decode Chaos’ next gathering, so I’d say expect a fairly easy week ahead, Blade, Raven.” 

Blade nodded after the older warrior.  “You Spiff, better not get in our way because the rest of your buddies had a knack for doing that at Shrine Tower.”

Spiff kept quiet, not entirely amused by the comment perhaps.  “Well,” Wyvern pleaded in his place.  “They were good for about their one purpose here.  Damned newbies made great distractions and targets at Shrine Tower, I’d rather the bullet holes hit them than the bombing crew, or us for that matter.”

Raven shook his head.  “They can’t even do that right.  But off the subject, where are we headed tomorrow?  Are me and Shade capping off any heads or are we sitting tight in our safe houses?” 

Blade answered.  “We’re going to look for our first contacts tomorrow.  Spiff, you said you knew plenty of places in Jylia to find them, right?”

Spiff nodded enthusiastically.  “I grew up here until I was about 14.  I can tell you plenty of places to go, but I’d hate to warn you that I don’t know the newest in Jylia, but I still know the old dumps everybody hangs out.”  Raven snuffed a sigh and turned away from Spiff.

“I certainly hope you know what you’re doing newbie,” Wyvern cautiously warned him.  “I wouldn’t want to be an annoyance to those in charge when we start getting this operation going.”  Spiff lost his expression of excitement temporarily, and nodded.  “Trust me, I know where to go.”

“Then where do we go tomorrow?”  Blade invited him to tell as he held out his hand for the answer. 

“There’s a nightclub on Main Street, I know some buddies there that we’ve all ready started talking to.  But the real stuff is found down at the Glitz District in Jylia’s southeast.  That’s nightclub central here, and you’ll be amazed at the people that’ll talk if you know the right words. I’ve all ready got info some info though!  Chaos is going to hold a press conference at Psykil Center Square tomorrow at one.  They’re going to be answering questions and I say we oughtta’ stir some action!”  Spiff’s zealous grin appeared once more on his oval-shaped Germanic face, and it was evident that the new warrior was overly happy to be working on his assignment, a trait Raven seemed more than perturbed by. 

He sighed and Wyvern gave Blade a look of wonderment equipped with a smile.  It was uncertain whether their guild trust was well placed, but Wyvern’s confidence seemed the only comfort to the newbie’s antics.  “Okay, we need to brief our groups then.  We’re swarming Psykil Center tomorrow, we’ll need maps and direction.  After that, or maybe during, Spiff can try to gather contacts in the Glitz District.  I would recommend some good sleep tonight.”  Blade explained to the hovering figures in the dimly lit room.

The group nodded in understanding yet again, coupled with a groan associated with a tired worker.  Spiff sparked with joy.  “Me and Raven will get to brief our group tonight.  I’ll go get some maps now!  This is WAY better than being stuck on radar duty at Sala!!”  With this, the newbie patted his co-worker, Raven, swiftly on his shoulder merrily and hurried away to the computer room of the house.  He unknowingly passed by with terrifying winds that touched the hairs of the hidden Vyela, trapped in the adjacent room, companion of the night.

She released her breath in a short spasm of relief but continued to keep herself contained for fear of being discovered.   The voices of planning and plotting continued with their shallow echoes just after the door to the computer room was shut closed.  A sigh came from Raven.  A look of pressured disturbance marked with frustration lined his face, then his blue eyes stared towards Wyvern’s own, more vivid pair of blue eyes.  The well-kept man could only smile and seemed to know what the younger one was thinking.

“Don’t you love it when we’re stuck in charge of assignments like these?”  Wyvern inquired the cold Raven.  The warrior turned towards him, his face still frozen in aggravation and answered him.

“It’s great when we’re put in charge.  When you’re trying to plan the downfall of a grand political target in the direct midst of your adversary, surrounded by the possibilities of failure at all sides.  The most crucial skill on your mind is to survive and focus, and you’ve received the great experience of watching a fresh newbie, straight from training, exclaiming, ‘Yay!  We get bombs!  Whoohoo, explosions!’”  He gave a half-hearted but sly smirk to his friend that could only be outweighed by the amount of sarcasm in his voice.

“Yeah,” Wyvern continued from his comment.  “I’ve seen the worse Raven.  I’ve seen some much worse than him, some I’m nut sure had even hit puberty quite, as they were filled with boyish excitement.  For 29 years I’ve put up with the same thing as you and I’ll guarantee you Raven, you’ll never filter all the idiots out.  They mainly come from the cities; young boys thinking ‘oh goody, spies and secret agents!’  They just look at glamour. That’s why we saw many newbies from Sala killed tonight.  All glamour and no true instinct.”  He tapped his temple with his right hand for emphasize.

Raven acknowledged Wyvern’s warm, experienced smile with his own friendly smirk.  “I commend you my elder.  I was placed as Solo Assassin, Class D; the kind more likely guaranteed to not come back from the heart of enemy territory.  I’ve spent thirteen years a Redeemer warrior myself, but only five of them endured with the lower rankings.”

Blade gave a small chuckle with the wiser Wyvern.  “You don’t play well with others Raven, it takes one who knows what they are doing before they can act like Spiff in front of you.  I’ve only been here for three years, and I think I’ve learned more patience than you.”

Raven gave no reply save for his previous smile as they went about discussing the night’s events.  Unbeknown to the warriors, Vyela had gathered enough courage to shift about the room in concern for escape, or at least seeking a place to hide from Blade once he came looking.  Maybe he’ll forget and I can get out of here as unscathed as I can be.  But he’s too cunning, he shouldn’t forget, she thought.  They were so close that peering her eyes around the doorframe was a ludicrous risk of being seen.  They were so close that a clear view was set between her room, the entrance to the hallway, and the scene of hell-bound men gathered by the kitchen.  She couldn’t even breath quickly through the hallway, Blade’s senses were too keen.  She scanned the darkened portrait of a den, carving with her little sight for any method of escape.

“Ion Laser Plasma…” Raven said coolly with reflective contemplation as Vyela’s growing panic and feint presence sweated fear in the room just next to them.  “Hmph.  I didn’t think they could fit one to that size.  How big did this one come?”  His voice seemed callous and cold, completely focused.

“No larger than any other Razor Bot,” Wyvern answered.  Raven blinked, his neck pulling back to think on the subject.

“That’s getting dangerous.  I thought they weren’t this advanced to be equipped with ammo of that nature.”

Blade interrupted his older warrior as he tapped a salt shaker upon the bar, hunching over the countertop in apparent recollections of the night.  “Ion Plasma rounds are pretty bad.  When we found Enforcer Bots with Ion Laser Plasma wrecking the forts near Arkaetha, not even the superiors knew what to think.  A Razor Bot with that kind of gun is faster, and you can’t hear them coming because they are much more silent than an Enforcer.  I just don’t want to see a full-fledged Ion Laser Cannon on one.  Ion Plasma isn’t nearly as destructive as one of those.”

            He looked upon the faces of each warrior in the room as thunder crackled in the low light and rain passed through the windows with an eerie blue glow borrowed of the storm.  “But to construct an Ion Laser Cannon means space, time, and money.  Namely shall I emphasize the space.  The capacity to make an Ion Laser Cannon exceeds anything below the size of Satellite structures hazardously floating above in space still.”  Raven explained, holding his hand towards Blade as an informative gesture.  But Blade doubted his theory. 

“And what did we think about simple Ion Plasma rounds?  They are all ready more ahead than we thought.  It was a pain getting away from that Razor Bot.  They crawl sideways across the walls to keep up with you.”

            Raven took his hand back towards his side and nodded his focused expression at Blade.  “True.  We were lucky to avoid Razors.  But we had trouble getting beyond a fracas of Tank Bots due to the newbies form Sala base.  They had no training for procedures.  None.  They crowded alleyways and got blown into walls when they were cornered.  The one object of praise me and Shade could possibly hold was their complete incineration beyond recognition of evidence.”

            Wyvern smiled a lucrative grin to remember the flees of which had populated the majority of his night.  Blade glared and stretched his right arm with a glint of disappointment in his eyes.  “I’m out of touch…” he commented.  Wyvern shook his head.

            “Blade, you hit all of your marks with dead center precision.  How are you not satisfied with yourself?” 

The young fighter shrugged and replied, “I feel like some target practice.”  When the lightning flashed with a sudden touch of uncontrolled hate and thunder rattled the very integrity of the house’s foundation, Vyela’s neck hairs pricked to attention.  First she heard the departure of feet shuffling from echoing tile to stable carpet.  Then thumps of steps entering the hallway.  Everything from the storm to the shift of the air alerted the frightened Vyela in solid awareness to the coming figure.

Then she realized, through brief scraps of lightning lit scenes, that Blade Destiny was present in the room.  The actions taken in those precise moments seem to exceed even the speed of the storm’s constant winks.  With a quick bout of alarm and fear she buried herself behind the shadow eclipse of room and furniture, forgetting that she was adjacent to the knives she had spotted.  The small black cabinet aligned with the fine display of malicious metal objects that Blade reached his hand for was her bare essential in concealment against the young fighter. 

But the very spy of light golden amber eyes, peering at her own amethyst irises as the lightning cast upon her now revealed appearance made her flinch nearly, and her first reaction was to destroy her predator.  Surprisingly enough, her hand seemed to be the first to reach for the aid of one of the intricate weapons to her right.  Blade stepped back almost as if he hadn’t seen her till she moved.  Her aim was deadly with training and the edge of the metal seemed to slice the air and make small winds as she heard it whip through the room towards the virile neck of her adversary. 

The lightning stopped, pausing with blackness in the now blank room, but came again just as quickly as it seemed to die.  The new brightness revealed the knife’s fierce edge, twisting about between shadowed fingers and proposing a deadly situation between her, the wall, and its tip.  Another crash of thunder outside and the knife was at her neck’s right side as she found herself suddenly standing up, the vicious touch of Blade’s weapon scraping her throat with a cold, solid, soft feel that made her paralyzed in oblivious confusion and fear. 

Her mind went numb and then awake as she saw the olive green carpet of the room next door, her vision forgetting to spot the table she almost made face contact against.  She peered up at the astounded faces of the familiar warriors she had the dishonor of meeting that night.  She could feel her muses of discomfort and entrapment once more.  The door was there, awaiting her, but the chances of her leaving were as clouded as the sky.  Blade followed from the dark hallway, carrying with him a knife individually placed between his fingers with the handle sticking outwards.  He seemed ready to release untold and explicit warnings towards her if she refused to keep herself well.

“Ah,” Wyvern arched a thin brown eyebrow.  “We’ve found her.”  She looked towards the older creature clad in a black raincoat, Raven embracing his arms against his chest to the right.  They both stared at her stumbling nature, one nearly amused and the other without emotion, just analysis to her next moves it appeared. 

“What’s going on?”  Spiff appeared in the through the hall just after Blade pressed his back loosely against the side of the doorway, twisting the knife nimbly in his hand with precision that saved his fingers from being cut by the undoubtedly fine edged knives of lethal creation. 

“Spiff…” Wyvern’s warm smile was lost to decisive observation on Vyela’s presence.  “This is the hell raiser you’ve heard about tonight.  Took out Sala 2nd’s myriad newbies.”  The blue eyed man pointed a rolled piece of paper at her as she kept her stiffened stature on alert.  Her hands were touching the table just outside of the kitchen, opposite Raven and Wyvern who hovered near the entrance of the kitchen.  Spiff and Blade were to her left, each cautiously eyeing her figure. 

“This woman?”  Spiff pointed at her with a finger and hand entangled in a mess of papers marked with maps and text.  He pronounced the sentence with an extra sense of prosecution towards the noun “woman,” filling his voice with utmost disbelief and astounded disappointment, perhaps in his peers of the so called “Sala 2nd Base.”  He shook his head and bit his upper lip into his jaws, eyes wretched in utter disgust towards what he had learned.

She was annoyed with the newbie perhaps as much as Raven happened to be.  But she had no time to deal with his degrading attitude towards her gender.  Her fighting mind was more concentrated upon the predator in front of her.  He was looking at her dangerously, staring her down with enforcing notions that delivered the simple message, “You so much as twitch the wrong way, you’ll never move again.”  It was obvious. 

“Just don’t irritate her anymore than we need her,” Raven commented, adjusting his jacket over his body and crossing his arms across his chest again as he eyed her, his body language showing he was evidently ready to move and attack her at any instant.  She felt pinned between four walls of spikes, pressure from her on all sides.

“She’s just a lousy chick though,” Spiff groaned as he raised his arm with perturbing motions.  She paused her looks and circumspection in every direction to stare directly into Spiff’s brown eyes with an heir of challenge to the newbie. 

“You want to see how lousy newbie?  If your pathetic fighting friends were supposed to be warriors, I’m very well assured that you’re no better!”  Her eyes whispered daring challenges at his own and he reached for her beyond the table just as Raven, Wyvern, and Blade each motioned to warn him against his untimely action, yet he was too late.  “Spiff no that’s not…”

His advancement in her direction to challenge her resulted in a few faulty kicks for her torso, and a thrown Spiff who inevitably landed head first towards the counter.  She then stepped backwards, facing Blade with the most severe looks of alarm in his direction and giving complete disregard towards agile Raven in the back.  To her, he and Wyvern were of little need to watch.  Blade was her prime enemy.  She was determined not to let him take her down.

Raven finished the groups’ comment on Spiff.  “That’s not… such a good idea.  Damned newbie.”  He wanted to eye Spiff’s surprised and frustrated look of bewilderment at the hands of a woman, but instincts forced his gaze towards her presence. 

“Yes,” Wyvern elaborated to a non-amused Spiff.  “The majority of guild runners were not speaking of the strange woman that came to visit without some edge of reason.  She’s not for a newbie to tangle with Spiff, keep your hands off.”  Spiff had gotten up again, his lip stained with a red blood trickle that he wiped with his wrist, all the while his eyes staring at hers. She launched her glances back and forth between the younger one and Blade.  Destiny had still been loosely pressed against the span of the gray and oak wall, the knife practically dancing in his twiddling fingers. 

“This… we… lost… this?”  Spiff couldn’t find his words as he pointed one finger towards her, face as red as blood as he seemed like he was contemplating another launch for her before Raven’s breath-filled sigh released his tension.

 “It’s time to pack up for the night.  We have groups Spiff… Spiff… Spiff?”  Raven gave another depleted sigh, his reveries of leaving disastrously unfulfilled by an aggravating boy that seemed to have no reason to be called a guild warrior. 

Wyvern placed one hand on the young soldier’s shoulder, bringing him out of his angered trance.  “We’re leaving, out.”  With little hesitation save for his glances at Vyela, the three gathered to depart.  Wyvern turned before they left.  “I expect to see you early next morning Blade.”  He looked at Blade with an observing look at the scene of Destiny and the mysterious girl they had encountered that night.  A woman warrior was still unique, and her energy abilities she expressed the hours before the trickling evening closed had struck Wyvern’s fancy of interest as it appeared. 

Blade gave a simple nod coupled with a, “Give Raven my condolences.  Tell him have patience my mentor.”  Wyvern nodded.  In minutes Vyela heard a door open, the rain of Jylia singing chaotically with lightning flashes and thunder floods from the outside, then the door closed along with what meek voices had been present.  She was alone in the house now, alone with him. 

He was still looking at her, left arm crossed his chest and resting his hand just beneath his armpit and his right arm was held in front of him as if offering her the knife at any price for her misbehavior.  She could see the edge of the throwing blade glinting at her with little flashes in the golden, meager light of the room.  It was too dim and made her weary and wishing the room could be brighter.  He twisted the blade amongst his fingers, the structure spinning about his appendages flawlessly like a fan.  After gliding neatly over his knuckles the handle came to rest properly upright in his skilled grip, and his amber eyes stabbed at her conscious.

Then, as if his cunning predatory eyes could peer through her very own pair like windows to her soul, he spoke, “Lights, brighter please.”  Words were slightly slow, low, and deliberate.  In response to his mere night-deep voice, the house increased illumination and lamps clicking on in the living room beyond them.  She glanced quickly towards the now brighter ceiling and the array of new details she could spy, but quickly returned her gaze towards his own.  As soon as his sentence was complete, and his knife had come to its rest in his hand he began to budge from the wall, amber spears upon her.

Every step was an hour, every movement sounded like a wave, washing with fear and alarm to her pale mind.  Her eyes seem to increasingly grow bigger as he neared her until his figure was no less than four feet away, and his right shoulder edging towards her with meaning to go further.  She backed away slightly but slowly so as not to upset the quick young man, and he seemed to come to a pause as if to examine her.

“So, what were you doing on this nightmarish eve?”  His voice filled her with supreme desire to leave and an instinct to make her heart beat faster, as if her cardio vascular rhythms could replace the loss running motions she so wished to take part of.  She didn’t answer, she kept quiet, backing away.  He looked as if he were to ask the question again but she replied in his place.

“Aren’t you getting quite tired of me yet? Beating up on all your would-be friends and platoon?”  He tilted his head to the left faintly and she detected the hint of a smirk but she was hoping not.  Her attitude was to provoke annoyance and frustration from her opponents, yet this agile beast seemed more amused than perturbed. 

“No, I’ve been through much worse.  Don’t worry about me.”  He inched closer again, forcing her to walk backwards along the table edge as her guide.  She didn’t want to admit to herself she was fearful of this man.  She had conquered goons the size of ox’s, guffawed men at least three times bigger than Blade, all beaten sorely.  Gang leaders and mafia men stricken with revenge filled reveries for both her thefts and to make her their own property, yet all were no match for the entitled “Queen of Jylia City,” Vyela Jeness.  Yet this one particular warrior, despite facing guild warriors before, was not the same as the others. 

He was ferocious and merciless in his devastating blows, and wholly not the same as any other she had faced in her past.  She was afraid, but no… she wouldn’t admit it to herself.  It was impossible for her to fear anything.  Jylia was her territory, it was her city, and she could always handle herself in her own territory.  But his slow, gradual approach continued to force doubt of her own confidence.  “What do you want with me to begin with anyhow?”  She had been backing into the living room by now.  “You said yourself, females are a pain in the ass.  Why take one of the worse of them?” 

Blade chuckled.  A mildly deep chuckle that matched his voice, and he asked her, “You think you’re the worse?”  She continued to back away, paranoia now inflicting her vision with blind spots.

“I… I beat up the majority of your fellow friends.  What makes you think a demolitionist like yourself, you and your bombing crew, would fight any better than the rest of your leaders’ pathetic guild.  What were YOU doing here tonight?”  He chuckled again at her plead.

“Bombing a tower of course.  The whole city knows it by now.”  He was still advancing on her, closer to the living room furniture. 

“If you don’t let me go and I’ll be sure it’s going to be the last you and your fellow bomb buddies destroy!”  He took a large step closer to her, her placing her foot one large gap too far back, her left heel obstructed by an object, and her back went pounding upon the leather of his couch.  As quickly as she had landed with a bounce on the couch, Blade Destiny had adjoined his palms to the arm of the furniture between her knees, the side of his right hand pressing against her left knee.  It was too close for her, too intimate and too keen on his notion. 

He was crouched over the arm a little, and leaning inward with his face nearing next to hers.  “And what makes you think you’ll be sure?”  He spoke to her, his face so close that she could feel his breath, warm on her cold cheeks, flushed with fear and frightening her further.  Her heart launched into chaos mode just before she reached her left arm above her to fend his closing persona off, but his hands countered… again expertly in conformity with the harsh night.

Jylia’s sky was tattered with lightning and glistening gems of rain, thunder kissed the large dome of starless black and grim, bitter violet clouds, still bellowing, still singing for the citizens of the Nightmare City.    


Chapter 4:

The Glitz in Nightmare




            The feet trampled on the damp, slightly muddy ground.  The sweet scent of Earth’s rich and hypnotic rain filled soil and the city’s streets arose in ritual to the storms lightly falling drops.  It was a heavy, damp day; the perfume of humidity bleeding through the air and onto the skin infected one’s head, and Jylia seemed thrilled by it.  They came out in packs and troves, like creatures that would abide only to Jylia and her raining weather.  Men dressed in tattered brown clothes, windbreakers, and jackets; faces wearing signs and tattoos of hard working citizens approached dramatically.

            It seemed as if the coming clouds and their thick waves of wetness and veils of invisible humidity seemed to spread a slight insanity in one’s heavy mind.  Many had left their homes and left their jobs that day to travel the melancholic and weathered wet streets of Jylia to approach the chaos.  They came to attend the nauseating and sick piles of urban deformity within the beast belly of the Nightmare City, and see of the strangers in black and red.  The Guild warriors who had brought treacherous disease and terrorists to the all ready unfair Jylia, a Nightmare breathing, a bitch, and alive.

            “Not this way you city saps!”  The heavy set warrior brushed a tonfa against the creatures from that city that confronted them.  “This entry is for the Brothers of Chaos only.  Get over that way to enter Physkil Center if yeh wanna’ see the damned thing so bad!”  The silhouetted creatures turned away liking mumbling zombies in mourning, but perhaps the storms spread a different kind of insanity throughout that tattered and tumbled minds that morning, for this time the citizens of Jylia were not subjective to the Brothers of Chaos’ oppression anymore.  One of the eager workers turned around with his fist pressed against the sky in rage filled insurgency.

            “If those Brothers of Chaos could be so damned special for their own, private, special entrance,” the man who’s face was rugged, worked, and unshaven, sneered his voice and expressions as he spoke of the infernal Law Guild.  “… then why are they not special enough to keep the other guilds away?”  His voice was wavering up and down in a cold epitome of tired aggravation, of struggling oppression, and he wouldn’t take more of Chaos’ visits.  “You come here, you push us working people around…” his voice was practically cracked in excitement, depression, and a fit of exasperated anger.  “You keep your private clubs and your favorite ensembles, taking over whichever building or factory you need, AT the expense of tired WORKERS mind you, and now you’re going to get up in front of a crowd and try to explain to me why my son should be dead right now and why it isn’t the Brothers of Chaos’ fault that Shrine Tower was attacked.  You’re just going to blame everything in Jylia but yourselves?  Right?”

            Though unusual as it was for experienced citizens to make a try at a brutal Law Guild’s throat, it didn’t seemed to matter.  The rest of the grumbling zombies, witness to the discord, became infected with the same agonizing grief their compatriot shared.  “I lost my job because of the Brothers of Chaos!  I can’t work no more because of you!”  A shadowed brute showed. 

            “My best friend was at Shrine Tower last night.  He’s never coming home again!  How is Chaos going to help his family!  With NOTHING I tell you!  Nothing at all!”  Another fist raised to the sky, then the pressure was upon the bouncer members keeping hold at the gates for the Brothers of Chaos’ entrance.  They were beginning to gather, and the stakes were going high again.

“I don’t have a place to live or eat no more!  How is Chaos going to fix that!  They’re responsible!  You know they are!”  The figures draped in black, although muscular and much larger than the people at hand, were stepping back into the building wilderness behind them.  Outnumbered and frustrated creatures from the pits of the Brothers of Chaos’ they were, and lower ranks to begin with, nowhad had their fill of Jylia as much as Jylia had had of them. 

The guild member in front stopped, his eyes shifting about the many angered faces, and his mildly deep, but ominous and sinister voice leaped from his throat.  He held up his black leather covered tonfa and pressed a switch just upon the top of its handle.  A set of razor like knife points carried out of the structure to face the set of rebellious men and pause for long enough to listen.  “I’ll show you how Chaos is gonna  help.  LIKE THIS!”  He brandished the long, point littered stick against the citizens and pushed them back.  The guild members behind them did the same.  There was a low mannered riot as guild and a large number of working men collided and others joined quickly to prove themselves in the fight.  It hadn’t been the only violent reaction to the attack.  The people were lighting up like Jylia’s storms in an aggravated reaction to Chaos’ visit. 

A slight wisp of drizzling rain dropped form the sky and into rippling puddles left over from the night before.  The streets were still wet with damp apathetic weather patterns.  “That’s the second one we’ve passed.”  A figure with a crude, loud, but near-raspy voice spoke, engulfed by his heavy leather jacket sheltering him from the humid wind. 

“They’re not helping themselves are they?”  The second stranger tried to keep his gaze as far as possible from the fracas, but his curiosity was bending too.  His voice was sharp and poignant with a strong sense of hatred and perhaps a little arrogance. 

“No, won’t help them in a damn slight.  They keep pushing those idle workers like slaves they’re going to lose their place in Jylia.  The government doesn’t have time to put up with Chaos’s stupid crap…” he began walking.  “… Their power bribes are going to get their assess kicked out of Nightmare before long, and that’s our mission, to be sure they do just that with flying colors.  They’re doing themselves a great job all ready with the way their unranked troops are handling shit.” 

The one clad in leather caught up a little though still left in behind.  The groan of something metal littered the alley ways and echoed off the set of buildings from where the street wrapped in a curve through Jylia’s underbelly.  The pair of strangers practically froze, lost in steps about to be taken, and eyes facing upwards as if a god of war was descending from on high.  Their faces were suddenly stuck in the visage of a large robotic figure, the entrance of an Enforcer Bot arriving with a trio of Seekers as they were called in to end the struggle laying just behind the presence of the mysterious strangers.  The pressure of the robot creature’s feet created vibrations that shook the cement and glass of the very buildings. Close to the stranger’s destination, the workings of a single-man revolution were beginning in a pub at the bottom of ones cup just as the gigantic Enforcer Bot had finished nearly crushing the window with its mass.


“By damned Law Guilds!  Why the hell is Chaos here in the first place!”  He slammed the drink upon the bar. 

The bar tender, a short Hispanic with a round face, barely-growing mustache, a beanie, and baggy jeans mopped up a spill and replied, “Calm down there ‘El Loco.’  They’re a Law Guild, you don’t be sayin’ things like that to a Law Guild.  Ain’t nobody in Jylia, or any of Diest that want the Law Guild crammin’ things up, but they got the bigger guns, you know what I’m sayin’?  That’s why Jylia has to put up wit’ their shit and you trust me, don’t nobody like it like that.  There’s a bunch of shit happening today all ready.”  He was a fast talker.   

The tender brought another drink to the one complaining.  “It’s bad enough with… well…” he paused, afraid to say. “You know why we don’t like the government.”  There was a connection that the two men’s eyes shared that spoke of exactly one thing, a subject both knew about.  “But I don’t see why they are here!”  He began on his bout once again.  “Every time a Law Guild comes to Jylia, they try to put new laws on there, and try to take over Jylia here, and it’s just a pain in the ass.  I hope Jylia riots…”

He paused as the sound of something mechanic and metallic was heard in the distance amongst the thunder rumble.  Then an Enforcer Bot came bounding into view through the magnificence of the pubs window, the mass of the robot and its engine nearly shattering the architecture again just as the last one had nearly done.  As it walked, its robot “head” peered into the pub, staring with an uncanny set of blue lenses, one large and three smaller “eyes” encircling the center on the left side. 

The pub shared paranoia in silence for a few more minutes, and then grew back to its busy self with conversation, but it was evident that the liveliness was stunned in quiet fear as a shock of thunder rumbled in the distance and a cloud had covered the atmosphere, discolored in pollution and atmospheric anomalies that colored the thunderhead an ominous purple.  Streaks of violent flashing and whiffs of rain were wafting into the pub.

A person adorning a light jacket wandered in, his face bemused in alarm, surprise, and concern.  “There’s been another riot.  Two already dead!  That’s the fourth today!  Their spreading everywhere!”  Lightning thrust across the streets brightly, and violently, lighting up the walks like an eerie second sun.  “El hijo de una ramera,” the fast speaking Bar Tender pronounced.  Thunder rumbled gently.  “And eet’s jes’ mornin’ man.”   



The light was a peaceful but bright glow that gently accented the curves of the ever-changing water above.  The bubbles were rising in a crowded fashion, singing a melodic tune as the seaweed danced hypnotically.  The water was a crisp color, fishes stinging the aquatic blue with gems of orange, gold, and many other colors as they gently invited the observer in.  Losing their conscious in the water, the voyeur found the essence of such a charming world such as that of the sea to be hypnotic and serene as the water pushed them forward with a gentle yet encouraging ferocity that made the entrancing seaweed dance.  The mood was serene and filled with wishes.  But would it share any of its calming serenity with her?  Would it grant her the gratitude of a time at ease?

            No, no serenity would be wished upon Vyela Jeness; her mind chaotically fidgeting from the horror last night.  She laid upon the leather couch of the living room, staring at the aquarium embedded into the house and trying her best to ponder how they got the food to the fish in the wall, but her mind would not let her ponder long enough before it would flash her back to her torture.  Being captured had been a new experience, one she never wished to find herself with.

            He pushed her struggling but incapacitated body onto the bed, practically squeezing the life out of her as she found her back meeting with the gentle sensation of the blankets.  He was strong, incredibly strong against her constant struggle.  Separating her forearms from each other from when they were clasp in front of her chest.  With this he allowed himself access to keep her pinned against the bed with his own body weight, his hands holding her own by the wrists…

            She didn’t want to remember, she didn’t want a tear. But her mind would not give her the ease or comfort to forget.  She buried her head into her arms atop the leather of the couch, able to hear her own distraught sobs.  Her eyes were streaming with smeared makeup, and her hair was arrested with tangled evidence from last night’s events.  It had began here on this couch… actually, the beginning came from the streets of Jylia but the Nightmare City decided her fate was to continue to far worse aspects from this very couch.

            Girls always try to avoid men.  From age thirteen they are on a race for their own freedom so a man cannot claim her, put himself in charge of her as her “Keeper,” because the she’ll only know service, abuse, and cages… and last night… I was… Oh God…

            Again she could hear her own crying, digging her face deep into her right arm as if it would make the foreign living room go away.  She wiped the tears away from her face with such a prosecution that if she could quickly keep them away, then last night’s events would go away too.  But looking up always produced the same dark, cold, strange, unfamiliar living room.  The blinds were closed, all lights completely off save for the glowing fluorescents above the fish tank, stuck behind the wall.  She assumed that the house was automated not to open them until a certain time or until asked, but through what windows were not covered, she could see the outside and the city bustling away, taunting her with the streets where she was once free.

            The sky was littered with thick, ominous, oppressing and low-hanging clouds that took on that same purple color they were well acquainted with.  Jylia was known for the light lavender and purple traces that were threaded throughout the sky over the Nightmare City.  Purple partially because of the factories and pollution, but mostly because of the planet’s ruined atmosphere that stained the world in a bizarre range of colors.  It wasn’t raining this morning, but dry days was a promise Jylia hardly kept.  She stayed upon that couch, tortured within her own sanity, or maybe the lack of it at the moment, until she heard the blasphemous door to her hell chamber open. 

            She didn’t look up, but she didn’t need to.  That sense of someone else being in the room that made one’s hairs prick upon their neck laid finger to Vyela Jeness, and she was so observant to the devil’s movements that she felt she could guess exactly where he was just by listening to his footsteps. The creature known as Blade Destiny sighed, perhaps stretched a little bit as he stood in the doorway for a minute, then began his walk  She could sense that he strolled over to her couch, looked over at her near lifelessly still body, and then entered the kitchen.  She dared not look up to greet him.  He didn’t deserve it and she would rather not meet with his cold amber eyes again, she had had her fill of them last night.  The shuffling of pots and pans within the kitchen filled her ears, and her mind rested upon that for a while until the door to the foyer opened.

            She recognized the impressible but wise voice of Wyvern.  He was dressed in an old leather overcoat, which he was adjusting over his shoulders.  “Is it ever dry in this damned city, I ask?”  Wyvern came in, his beautiful and flowing Resurian accent an almost welcomed song. 

            “Is it raining again?”  Blade’s cold callous voice, a hated, shallow, sound to Vyela, answered Wyvern’s complaint.  Wyvern shook his head.

            “No, but it’s beyond humid.  It rather should rain and get it over with, instead of torturing me.”  He said with a warm smile and vivid blue eyes.  “It’s completely damp right now so you can hardly tell if it’s drizzle or the moisture.  Are you almost ready to go?”

            Vyela wasn’t sure what Blade’s answer was, but she only knew that he replied, “Want some eggs and bacon before we go?”  After a bit more of sounds and shuffling, the pair entered her area of the living room, Wyvern holding a plate and Blade contained with two. He offered the plate to her, a collage of bacon, eggs, and buttered bread.  She could only stare at it with amethyst eyes a blank.  Her stare trailed from the plate back to the wall laced with the aquarium.  “Hey, do you want this or not?”  Blade’s voice prodded at her.

            She did not answer, furious and grieving.  He shrugged and lazily dropped the plate on a coffee table.  “Fine then,” he announced.  “I’ll just eat yours too.”  Wyvern gave a warm smile and a node to her gaze, a gaze that seemed not to acknowledge him and continued on his conversation with Blade.

            “Shade says his ankle is feeling good. He believes it’s good enough to jolt with us today.”  Wyvern’s strange Resurian heritage shined through with his peculiar use of the word “jolt.”  She adored how his voice was warm and melodic.

            “That’s always good.  Is my bomb crew put back together again?”  Blade questioned his elder whilst he sipped some orange juice.  Wyvern nodded, still smiling as if it was his normal expression.

            “Yes.  They were quite uneasy being boarded in Veront for the night, where the rats may grow as large as a cat, but I understand that they feel pretty good.  You lost four co-workers to Shrine Tower.”  Blade was fairly silent for a while besides his eating sounds, Vyela only listening, observing, and decrypting the mood.  Blade seemed to have worked for the Bomb Crew of the Redeemers, he was rather upset when he appeared to her for the first time over just them.

            She recalled his trench coat waving imposingly in the lightning tattered night as the humidity level would rise with damp fingers, and the young warrior remarked his extreme displeasure to the lost of his precious crew.  From what Vyela could gather, he was a demolitionist for the guild known as the Redeemers, and he was young, only owing three years service to their allegiance, and Wyvern was his mentor as Blade had referred to him last night.  Blade spoke.  “Who died?”  Wyven shook his head.

            “Cruise and Blaera are gone, we know.  But Target and Zone are merely missing for now.”

            Blade nodded.  “We should have Spiff’s second Rendition look around Jylia’s Bone Sites today after Physik.  You think that could be all right?”  He sounded rather anxious.

            Wyvern nodded.  “I don’t see why not.  Only if we can avoid the questions of the Seekers Bots however.  We can always try to go under the cover of those loosing loved ones in the attack perhaps.,” Wyvern replied with a  sorrowful song to his words but one that was rather suppressed.  Blade nodded again.

            “I’m hoping we can.”  Both elder and his disciple commuted in a sacred silence of breakfast, neither actually speaking to the other until Wyvern announced what had been on his mind as a question.  “How… well… what about her?”  He had known her to have been violently hyper before the end of last night, but her solitary moping was rather bewildering to the warrior Wyvern. 

            Blade looked up from his plate, he was sitting in a lounge chair adjacent to the couch and facing the aquarium.  “Her,” he responded.  “I don’t even know her name actually. What’s your name girl?”  No answer, only muffled and somehow heart stricken rhythms of breathing were heard.  “Dey?” Blade continued.  “What’s your name?”  Still no answer, so the demolitionist went back to his plate.  “I guess I broke her spirit for the day.”

            Wyvern had little of what could be called a clear expression on his face. Between the fragments of mixed emotions, only curiosity and observance were evident.  “Hmm, the whole event poses rather odd.  You don’t normally take a female my apprentice, but we have a plot and a place to attend to, shall we?”

            She didn’t bother to keep track of all that had went on, she only knew that Blade had been ready in less than ten minutes and then both were gone, leaving her to that fractured sanity in her mind, to her torture…


            Windy whirls were encompassing the streets nearly every minute of the day.  The thunderhead approaching was coming fast and anxiously with announcements as angry storm roars shook the city cruelly.  The humid moisture was blown into the muggy faces of workers and citizens still in mourning. 

            Lightning beamed down at the flights of traffic, honking their way through a cluttered road, foot by foot at a time.  A man dressed in a blue dress-up shirt with black hair seemed anxious to get off the bus as he stared at the violent and purple rain cloud covering the whole of the city in a stirring flood of emotion.  “I hate being stuck in this side of town.  Veront blows!  It’s the worse ghetto in Jylia!”

Another man a few seats from the other and to the left replied to him, “We’ll be out in a little bit.  We’re going to meet the Rendition Manager in the Glitz disctrict.”  The other man, dirty blonde hair streaked with bits of red and a small beard looked to the other.  “How does club-hopping, strip joints, and beating the shit out of people sound?”

The other didn’t seem amused completely but it was enough to keep him from complaining.  “Anything’s better than the Veront ghetto.”  Lightning clasped the sky in minute seconds as trash began to stir from the alleyways and streets, blowing whimsically but rigidly across the windows of the bus and residents ran for dry safety.  The rain hadn’t reached the area yet, but something else in the vicinity was soon to come.

            “Mmmm.  When will that shit at Physkil end?”  The anxious young male inquired.  The other stared into the windows, pausing to look outside at the agitated weather and agitated people watching the TV’s on display to the streets. 

“I don’t know.  Baron Black, the third leader of the Brothers of Chaos is supposed to be talking, so this should be interesting.”  The blue-shirted male heaved out a huff of annoyance, crossed arms, and stared out of the bus windows.  The other’s attention drifted to the many colors gracing the screens that hypnotized the bums that littered a TV storefront.

            A face of bushy, concentrated black brows and beard of a stranger appeared from behind the cage glass of the TV.  His name, “Baron Black,”            blinked across the screen.


The pit belly of the city was overwhelmingly dank, putrid, and hung in the center of urban decay showing through the black condemned buildings that rotted like flesh in Jylia’s downtown.  It was the oldest of the street vicinities, it was the most vile, it was the biggest ghetto Jylia had to offer.  It was more commonly known as Veront, and Jylia’s biggest scar happened to be the dead middle of the abandoned Phsyik Center, buried between the rubble mess of dying buildings that rested like soulless cases on either side of the center, Physik had once been the supreme stock center before the legacy of Shrine Tower’s time.

            By now, the brick and stones that aligned its ghostly aisles were alive once more as creatures walked the path that had for so long been forgotten.  The building was gray and torn from years of no maintenance, the windows and walls naked without attention, but just in front of its main entrance was the creation of a stage where figures in cloaked black and red had gathered.  The Brothers of Chaos were at watch as the rest of the wires and camera crews would set up, and legions unknown in the midst would gather just above them.

            Buried deeply in the dread of shadow and the condemned echo of the rubble buildings, voices glided through the woodwork and steel rafters bended beneath cracking cement.  Voices that gleamed in conspiracy and secrecy boosted in the surprising heir of laughter and excitement in the middle of stone quiet. 

            “Will you guys shut up!  They’re coming on soon!”  The voices littered the nearly revered silence while shifting and fighting was heard.  “If you guys keep play housing,” a voice in mild annoyance commented on the chaos, “I’m going to kick both your pairs of feet up your asses till they come out your mouths and you’ll never talk again.”  The faceless voice insisted towards the others.

            “Then,” it continued as soon as the other movements were stopped.  “I’ll report you to the higher ranks.”  It was silent again, until another voice that was very much dumbfounded came into the mess.

            “Hey Spiff?  Why do you want to hear this so bad?”  Spiff sighed in the sleeping building’s hollow veins. 

            “Because this could give us some clues to where Chaos might be… and because Baron Black is talking, he’s the third leader in command of the Brothers of Chaos.  So shut up!”  He was beginning to see the same dealings his superiors felt as they encountered the irking newbies of Sala 2nd Base.  But the reckoning of his thoughts and peers would come to a halt for the moment as a figure familiar stepped upon the brink of the stage.


She had finally received her strength and recovered enough pieces of her heart to wonder around.  She had decided to venture the house after she figured how to feed the fish in the wall.  A door just above the tank gave access for fish flakes, but she thought to quest again for her escape route in the foreign dwelling.  She attempted to walk to the storage room where the rusted exit lie, but all the doors had been locked.  She sighed a depressed mope and settled in the living room once more. 

Minutes went by, rotting silence.   Low thunder grumbled outside, a sound that marked an air of curiosity for Vyela.  Storms were a good chance to wander around, when people would fly to sheltered dry rest and she could avoid the trouble of Jylia’s poisoned society.  Finally, the anxiety that the storm catered became too much for her attention span.  She craved the freedom of the city so much that it was hurting her knees.  She got up and sought to rest her interest in something else, anything to drown the cool sensations of a gentle rain beginning to drop, and the sound of far off ample thunder.  She attempted to try her luck at television, but there was no switch.

            She sighed, frustrated with her single plea for slight comfort, and checked the VCR.  Nothing but the time showed.  She searched the back of the televisions, the VCR, searched for a remote, and found nothing.  As she could recall the effects of Blade’s voice the night before (though she shuttered to approve herself of remembering) she would wonder whether the house was voice activated.  It was her cue to try.  “Tv,  on?”  She said with uncertainty.  A black screen faced her, her reflection staring with a vulnerable expression from it.  “Please?”  She said as she hit the VCR upon its soides.

            First there was a high-pitched squeal of something electronic, then there was the sound of the mechanics in the VCR coming alive.  Shortly, the single eye of the television lit up brightly like the Cyclops it was, staring at her with the mourning faces of Jylia’s deadly crowd and poison-tongued news reporter, the parasites of the media alive and working by the a stage as the a reporter for Channel 6 faded in and out with mild television disturbance.


“We are here live at Physkil Center we… and the Brothers of Chaos… speak now on last night’s…” the static was terrible at the moment between faulty equipment and the storms. 

“The main question governing the entire crowd seems to be the one immortal saying of, ‘Why Shrine Tower?’  Theories amount to many thoughts of another conspiring Guild as citizens wonder the reason of the Brothers of Chaos’ whereabouts in Shrine Tower hours before the blast, and many city officials beg to say they’re bets rest upon in-city gangs.  The masses of Jylia wait now, in silent anticipation, to hear what Baron Black, the Third Leader of the Brothers of Chaos, has to say.”

Baron Black was a largely built man covered in long hair and sideburns that covered his face until his bare chin.  His eyes seemed unsure of themselves, perhaps much to unsure to be that of a Guild Leader third next to command of the entire Brothers of Chaos.  But he faced the crowd with amid hopes in his eyes that this would be short and sweet as possible, as if he was perhaps nervous.  He none-the-less took to the stairs of the stage, a handful of bodyguards shadowed beneath black sunglasses joining him.


“Hey.”  The voice would echo through the corridors of the abandoned building, accenting the lonely panorama with haunting trails of passing sound whilst rocks and rubble dislodged from the crumbled ceiling softly.  “Hey, dude.  Ya think’ he’s deh real Baron Black?  I mean, he’s so fraggin’ close it seems like I’s could just pop off his head right here.”  Another creature from the mourning, dying building approached the giant fissure in the wall that allowed a window into the mess of people and upon the crown of Baron Black. 

“No,” said a focused voice.  “Of course not.  The real Baron Black wouldn’t show up here, he’s smarter than that.  All of the Chaos leaders are.  That’s just a lackey dressed as him.  This one doesn’t even have his facial scars in the right place.”

The other paused for a minute, his face an enigma within the darkness of the condemned structure, until he replied again in a cocky voice.  “You gots his scars memorized?  Hot damn!”  The exclamation beamed brightly in looming echoes across the building.

“Of course,” replied the other callously.  “I gave him one.  That’s not the real Baron Black.  They won’t show face in public with us around, and they know we’re here.”   As if the words themselves were a prelude to horror, sounds like that of giant spiders shuffled through the condemned building, echoing something hidden within, something ready to strike.  A wind of harbinger death and doom followed the whispers of the phantom’s voice and seemed to filter through the crowd, which still swept in anxious patterns as if they knew the grim reaper were next to them.

“Can’t I jus’ pop off his head anyways?”  A sudden “ow!” poked through the darkness like a needle after it seemed apparent that the wiser phantom hit the other.


“First off,” Baron spoke.  “The deepest condolences of the Brothers of Chaos go out to Jylia today, for the tragedies that happened last night.”  His voice was deep, but yet slightly uncertain.  “We are sorry for the loss of property and people that took place last night, and the Brothers of Chaos are more than willing to lend out a hand to Jylia against this scum and treachery that took place on April 19th, 3068.  As we currently speak, the agents of the Brothers of Chaos are working together greatly to conduct a search for the guilty parties in cooperation with the Varken S.F.A. forces and ‘The Hidden.’” 

There was a mild shift in the crowd, and one man took it upon himself to question this.  “Why do we need the Varken special force armies in on this if this was a gang-conspiracy?”  As soon as the voice had been directed with question to the Third Leader of The Brothers of Chaos, faces of the Chaos bodyguards turned around all with one quick choreography with daring, slashing looks beneath their sunglasses.  It was impossible to tell where the voice had come from, the crowd had shifted too much and it was clear that the citizens of Jylia, as any city would  be, was uncomfortable with the government agents on task in their city.

The crowd seemed swollen and angry.  It loomed at the feet of the Brothers of Chaos on stage and called out with angry vices in protest to the Brother of Chaos’ spoken words.  Baron Black had to speak, to keep the crowd under control.

“It is…”  he was interrupted by corrupted and rebellious speeches.  “It is…” he tried again with failed luck.  Baron Black turned to look at one of the Brother of Chaos members standing near by with his thick arms crossed.  He raised a right hand and a loud screeching noise was heard throughout the town square.  The crowd grew silent.  “Now, as I was saying.  It is national procedure for the Varken S.F.A. and ‘The Hidden’ to get involved.  The Shrine Tower was a national building in Diest, and the government must take actions whether it is needed or not.”

“But I can assure the citizens of Jylia as well as the rest of Jylia, that we are after the terrorist organization that is upon us.  There are amounts of evidence that has pointed to a shocking revelation in Jylia.  The idea that a group, formed in Jylia itself, took actions in protest to the guild.  So I would like to advise all citizens in Jylia to keep a look out.  It could be your neighbor, your neighbor’s neighbor, or anybody that could have been apart of this plot to protest the Law Guild’s harmony and balance over Jylia City.  With this I might advise as well…”  the leader’s voice trailed off.


Creatures from the woodwork and rafters above looked down.  “Listen to him suck up.  They don’t give a damn about the civilians,” the dark one said from his place amongst a handful of others, hiding in the condemned building structure like alley cats.

One of the shadowed beings spat, despite being above a crowd of unknowing people and added in, “They’re just trying to make themselves seem like the good guys in the public eye,” his voice was low and manly.  “If the people start a revolt, the government will kick Chaos out, and they know it.  They’re also trying to get Jylia City to look at themselves instead of the guilds.”

There was a small moment of shuffling as they continued to listen to the conference.  Baron Black was explaining the Brother of Chaos’ next move regarding the city and the loss of Shrine Tower.  “And that’s why we’re here,” said one voice.  One possessed of uncanny malice, and devilish plotting. 


One yelled from the crowd.  “Who bombed Shrine Tower?”  It was a question that drove a stake through the heart of the mob.  It was the question that had been haunting the sallow, fateful, steps of Jylia’s brick streets ever since the events of her storming reveries just before the evening’s siege.  It would remain there, undying, for the rest of the week without doubt of its presence.  There was no way Baron Black could escape it.

“I cannot say at this time who EXACTLY is responsible for the terrorism committed on Shrine Tower, I can however say…” 

“But we as the residents of Jylia City have a right to know if there is a second guild here.  Why should we, the people…” a scrubby looking worker, still lavished in his dirty and oil smudged uniform and construction helmet, turned towards the crowd and raised his hands as if the gestures were magical and would enchant the people with rebellion.  “… have to put up with ONE guild, let alone two that brings trouble to the all ready troubled Jylia.” 

The crowd seemed to cheer and make noise to the Baron Black  who seemed taken a back by this sudden rustle of awkward attitudes, but felt he had to respond.  “Now sir, people of Jylia.  The Brothers of Chaos will assure you, there is not a second guild here in Jylia.  There has been no evidence, no proof, so if Jylia City will have patience for the Brothers of Chaos then we could…”

A hand was raised in the crowd.  Despite every muscle on his face showing resistance and reproving reluctance to call upon the commenter, Baron Black gave in.  “Yes… sir… you have a question?”

The young man was pale of face, with cherub cheeks and black, sloppy hair that hung across his eyes like tattered blinds.  “If there isn’t a second guild then why was there rumors that the guild that had bombed Shrine Tower had delivered multiple warnings before they had done it?”  The was another uprising. 

“There were e-mails found in the Shrine Tower network!”  One less than delighted patron called in her wavering, mourning voice.  “My brother worked for the communications feed and was a technician at Shrine Tower before YOUR guild got it blown up!  He says that Shrine Tower was under constant warnings!  What if this is from the Revenants?  Or this was Skyprey at work?”

The cloud shook unhappily like a giant organic blob filled with displeasure and maybe a tint of fear.  “I don’t want another guild in Jylia!  One is bad enough!  Even worse when a Dark Guild fights with a Law Guild!”

Baron Black was still surprised, but through his voice and hand actions he tried to clam them down.  Two other figures dressed in black and red on either side of the stage seemed to signal to another group of men in black.  Suddenly the metallic whine of robots pierced the crowd.  The basketball sized Seeker Bots, perfectly round save for the set of lenses in the center and the spider-like legs that stuck out from the bottoms, began to float over the crowd. Their round “eyes” combed through the crowd creating a strange but obvious inheritance of fear and paranoia amongst the people.  They quieted down long enough to allow Baron Black to speak.

“I’m sure we can all answer the question of Skyprey and the Revenants.  Jylia citizens are not dumb.  Skyprey and the Revenants, two of the most well known Dark Guilds in the world, have been reported with activity at the far North of Diest, next to Tuhocоbo.  When would either large Guild have time enough to destroy the Shrine Tower?  And why?”  There was a sweeping of silence save for islands of mumbling in the crowd.  The Seeker Bots, floating mercilessly above the crowd with bright blue flames and pipes propelling them from behind, halted in their spots to watch the crowd’s reaction.   Suddenly, and from seemingly nowhere there was a yell.

“Because they wanted the Brothers of Chaos out!  That’s why they did it!  Get out Chaos!”  The Seeker Bots did 360 turns in their places, searching for the owner of the voice.  The crowd began to shuffle again. 

“We don’t need a Law Guild here!  You’re only bringing trouble!  Get out Chaos!  Get out!”  More uprisings began.  The crowd was reviled in a cleft of rebellion and hatred.  Specks of rain began to fall from the Heavens like a sheet of shun for the members of Chaos who were not welcomed.  The heavy, hypnotic perfume of a Jylia storm arrived again, carrying with her Jylia’s whisper for struggle, and restlessness.  The breeze was cold for a moment, and unique and out of place moment amongst the otherwise humid day.  Lightning flashed.  Vylea Jeness watched as slowly, the camera crew for Channel 6 was overturned by a rebelling mob, the Brothers of Chaos raising tonfas to the insurgency, and Jylia was alive and at it again. 


She stared at the door, and the door stared at her.  It was almost as if the vile, blank, lifeless object was taunting her with a telepathic voice.  The locks were its eyes that stared at her with a glance of boldness, daring her to try to attempt a breakthrough.  It would only end in failure though, she knew.  She had to search the rest of the house for something blunt, so she could re-attempt her getaway through the lost door in back, thus she returned to the wretches of the house, armed with just the knowledge of how to open the doors with her voice, but noting that some were locked indefinitely.  There had to be a way out.


Night time had struck the city.  But it was an invalid night, produced only by rain clouds that covered the world of Jylia again.  Trains sneezed shutters of high-pitched screams as they passed through the glowing bright signs of Jylia’s largest commercial districts.  Clubs, taverns, stores, brothels, and the like stared upon the strangers walking across the tracks as soon as the train had passed.  Steam was rising up from the hot metal railings and the humidity was almost a killer if not for the cooling drops of water from above.

“Damn dude.”  The voice poked out of the drizzle and the silence almost awkwardly with a soft tone.  “There are still riots going on… I don’t know how we’re supposed to find Chaos if they’re busy trying to stop people from trashing windows.”  A man wearing a dark green and black bandana across his head and an extremely bushy beard that stuck closely to his chin walked merrily across the path to the single haven Jylia would obtain.  His accomplice was a much skinnier version of him, short with a goatee, wearing only a gray wife-beater, black jeans much baggier than they should be as the worn deep green belt was the only life-line keeping them on, and he had a scowl across his face as it seemed, but when he smiled, it stretched wide in a joker grin.

“Nah, them Chaos












[1] Barrax:  Comparable to a New Yorker’s accent.

[2] Resurian accent:  An accent spoken by a person originating from the country Resuria.  After a long fit of war, Italy and France merged cultures forming the combination country of Resuria.  A Resurian accent is very similar to Italian and French combined.