by H-M Brown
Reya opened her eyes and sat on her knees. She felt the bruises on her body as the door fell over and the Sentinels limped there way inside. The catgirl struggled to her feet as the girls gathered around her. Reya looked over at the Therapy Room and she led the Sentinel's to the door. They heard the noise of the machine and they feared the worse. Ready to fight Oryn, they entered the control and saw Alysia on the floor, whimpering, her face buried in her knees. Reya and the Sentinels came to their friend and sat around in a circle.
“Alysia.” Reya planted her hands on Alysia's face and lifted it up. She felt the tears drip over her fingers.
“My… my parents…”
“What happened?” Reya said as everyone listened to Alysia.
“I thought I killed them… but… that spell Oryn used on Marcel to get rid of him. She used that on my parents.”
“What spell?” Chisame said.
“Time Displacement.” Reya said as Alysia buried her face in her knees again. The catgirl rested her forehead on Alysia's white and light blue hair, rubbing it as the Sentinel whimpered.
Brie placed her hands on Alysia's shoulder as Chisame rested her head on the winged girl's back. Danica sat beside Alysia, rubbing her friend's back.
Alysia continued to feel the pain from the enchantment, but she did not care anymore. She just wanted all this to end now and move her life forward as she tried so hard to accomplish. The winged Sentinel lifted her head and felt Reya wipe her tears away. She looked at her friends and smiled a little. Happy that she was not alone.
Oryn screamed inside the chamber, and the Sentinel's looked at the window. They stood to their feet and looked down at the executive floating in the air as a body of light. Alysia held Reya's hand, shivering from the horror of witnessing the machine in action. Reya pulled Alysia into her arms, so she would not have to see that anymore.
Brie, Chisame, and Danica stood silent. Their eyes said it all. That would have been them down there, suffering, losing their minds, their memories, their identities. They felt sad for Alysia and Reya.
“Oh my…' Brie said as she looked up at the ceiling. ‘Reya that's your… mother.”
Everyone looked up at Sydney. Brie's eyes twitched as Chisame covered her mouth and Danica clenched her teeth. These moments have become to overwhelming to handle.
“Over here!” Karl said from outside. The elf led Lori and a group of agents inside the control room. They approached the girls and saw what happened to Oryn.
“You two.' Lori said to a couple of agents. ‘Escort the girls out of here and get them to the ambulance.”
“Come on girls.' Karl lifted his arms up and guided the girls out of the control room with the guards leading
“Can we trust them?” Alysia said with her monotone voice.
“They're from the New York branch.' Karl said. ‘They got permission to come into Newark jurisdiction and handle this situation.”
“Is Madam Karyn okay?” Chisame said.
“She's fine. You'll get to see her in the hospital.”
“What about Kyo?”
“He's a little bruised but he's fine too. He went with Madame Karyn to the hospital. Now come on, there are gurneys waiting outside this room to cart you girls to the ambulance.”
“My mother, she's inside that dome.' Reya said and Lori looked at the ceiling in the chamber, as the catgirl struggled to break free from the agent's arms. ‘Please, no, mommy! I don't want to leave her!”
Lori stood there quiet, unsure of how to free Sydney from her imprisonment. She feared she might not save Sydney.
On the sixteenth floor, Fynir led his group through the halls and entered inside the conference room. They saw Vyndor perched on the pillow. They approached the orb slowly with guns and wands aimed at him.
“May I help you officer?” Vyndor said.
“You're under arrest.” Fynir said as one of the agents lifted up Vyndor and paced him in a clear sphere case.
“On what charge?”
“Kidnapping, imprisonment of minors, child abuse, endangerment of a child. There's also theft, conspiracy of theft, embezzlement, bribery, fraud. I could go on all day.”
“So human.' Vyndor said to the elf detective. The insult did not make provoke Fynir one bit. The sphere case closed on him and the agents locked it up. ‘So useless.”
“Well how about exposing magic to the world and exposing Merydia. That's high treason. You won't go to prison. You're going to get shattered. So your lawyers better have your alibi ready. Read him his rights. After all, we are in America and we don't want him to walk away on a technicality.”
On the way down the elevator, Vyndor chuckled a bit. Fynir took a deep breath. He ignored the orb as he laughed out loud. The elf really wanted to destroy this guy for everything he did. When the elevator door opened, everyone saw Lori and her group escort Oryn.
Vyndor stopped laughing as he saw Oryn stand there, handcuffed, looking lost and distant. He overheard Lori tell Fynir that the executive underwent Therapy and she confessed to everything. He was not too happy to learn that she was willing to co-operate and make a plea deal. He glowed red, seething in anger. As the agents escort Vyndor and Oryn outside, there was mob scene outside the front entrance.
It was chaotic once again in Newark. No sense of peace, no sense of quiet. The police and Mystic Intelligence agents stood at the intersections at both ends of the street, keeping the reporters and bystanders as far away from the building as possible. The paramedics carted the Sentinels, while still holding their weapons, to the ambulances parked by the sidewalk. Their injuries tended to first, before entering the vans. Karl and Suzie entered another ambulance with Reya and the door closed. It drove off leaving the Sentinel's behind. Two of the four unmarked cars drove off with Emilia and Lyn handcuffed in the back. Two agents escorted Anna, her hand cuffed to the side bar of the gurney, as a paramedic held the oxygen mask to her face. The coroner directed where to place body bags as she waved for the agents to cart over another one.
Vyndor saw his helicopter landing on the rooftop. Too little, too late. He figured Jonas ran off, until he saw a body bag with Jonas' nametag on it carted right in front of him. The orb repeated to himself that he still has victory. Exposing magic to the world, to make a profit. But it all sunk in. He was not going to enjoy the fruits of his victory. His wealth will be out of reach. The law will take everything he worked hard for away. With Oryn willing to testify and the evidence stacked against him, He knew he was not going to win the trial. Then he saw her. Alysia resting on the gurney, looking right back at him as the paramedics wrapped gauze around her wounded leg. He could not blame her. After all, it was not her idea to return to Avalon Tech. That was Oryn's and he wanted to end the executive's life as he watched the agents escort her to an unmarked car.
“This…' Vyndor said making his container vibrate in the hands of the agent. ‘SHALL NOT BE!”
A burst of light shattered both the container and the agent's body to pieces. The crowd screamed as Vyndor rolled on the ground, and to the sound of guns and wands aimed at him.
“HANDS OF DEATH!” He let out strings of electricity, reaching out like a hand, toward Oryn as bullets and spells bounced off him.
Oryn grabbed the agent and pushed him in front her. She rolled along the ground as the agent's body exploded when the hand reached around him like a can of soda. Oryn looked at Vyndor, unable to channel mana because of the handcuffs. She saw the key from the dead agent's body submerged in his blood and she only had a few seconds to move while Vyndor channeled mana.
“I'm not going down Vyndor!' Oryn said as she took the key and unshackled her hands. She jumped aside dodging another attack, channeled mana, and formed a green ball. ‘RADION BLAST!”
The spell flew right at Vyndor and the orb deflected towards Alysia's ambulance. Alysia jumped off the gurney and pushed the paramedic down as Oryn's spell destroyed the van. The winged Sentinel used her wings to control the heat and protect the paramedic. She slowly stood to her feet, with Saga in hand.
“Are you alright?” Alysia said to the paramedic.
“Yeah.” He said and crawled away.
“Get the girls out of here!” Fynir said as he watched the agents near Vyndor explode. The elf detective fired a few bullets and ducked with Lori behind a car. Looking through the windows, he saw Alysia approached Vyndor. He prayed she would run instead of fighting.
The bystanders ran off in a stampede, leaving the reporters behind to show footage of the raining body parts. The police, the firefighters, the paramedics, and whatever agents remain, watched Vyndor's electricity spark along the floor. Alysia limped past her fellow Sentinels as the paramedics rushed to get them inside.
“Alysia!' Chisame said inside the ambulance as her paramedic approached the winged Sentinel. ‘We have to get out here.”
“If Vyndor kills Oryn, I'll never get my parents back. She's the only one who can undo the Time Displacement spell.”
“NO!' Alysia pushed the paramedic aside and turned to Chisame, her head felt swollen. ‘They have to be alive and I won't lose this chance to get them back. Please… help me.”
Alysia and Chisame stared at each other as Brie and Danica pushed their way out of their own ambulances, covered in bandages. As they limped toward Alysia, Chisame nodded, and climbed out. The paramedics tried to convince the girls to return, but the Sentinels ignored their voices.
“I won't leave you behind Lys.” Brie said.
“Shorty, you got guts.”
“We have little mana left Alysia.' Chisame said. ‘We need a plan.”
Alysia's wings spread out, with Saga aimed at Vyndor, a small blue ball formed. The heat was so intense; her friends sweated right away and stepped aside. The law enforcement, reporters, and Oryn stood in the line of fire and blocked her target. The winged Sentinel looked up to the sky and lifted Saga upwards.
“Launch Vyndor to the sky.”
“Danica.” Chisame said.
“I won't be able to get him very high.” Danica limped to the other side of the street.
“Just enough for Alysia to miss everyone on the ground.”
“One fireworks display coming up, Boss.”
“Brie,' Chisame turned to the hacker. ‘We're going to make a shield.”
“Okay.” Brie followed the leader and they stood in front of Danica and Alysia, creating a triangle formation. With hands held tightly together, they held Legacy and Fable high in the air and concentrated their thoughts.
The Sentinels summoned every energy they had to gather the mana around their bodies. They each took long deep breaths as the fighting before them, intensified. Death was everywhere. It was so sad for them to see life taken away so easily. They would never understand why Vyndor did all of this. To the world, to Mystic Intelligence, to themselves. But that was not their concern for the moment. For Brie, Chisame, and Danica, they wanted Alysia to be happy. And if saving Oryn means she would have her parents back and smile again, they were willing to push all of their energy, and use up all of their mana, so their friend would find peace in her heart.
Brie and Chisame held their hands tight as they held Fable and Legacy up. They felt each other's mana supporting each other. Providing all the energy needed to protect their friends as they tried to execute their spells. They could hear each other's thoughts and sensed the sound vibrations all around them. They held their position, waiting for the last possible minute if Vyndor turns to them. They hoped the adults would not draw Vyndor's attention to them as they watched Fynir and Lori firing their bullets at the orb.
Danica was already at her limit as she held Epic before her body. Her body felt numb and loose. Her eyes blurred a little, but she shook it off and regained her sight. Her eyes shifted to Alysia. The determination to save her parents was admirable. She wished she could feel that way about her parents, regardless of who they are. But they chose to either wipe her mind clean to be their servant, or kill her. The thief felt jealous, yet happy for Alysia.
Fynir and Lori saw the Sentinels in formation. Even though could not see the mana they were channeling, they did see the blue ball aimed at the sky. At first, they did not get it, but they knew the girls have a spell planned for Vyndor. Fynir fired a few shots to cover Lori as she gave an unspoken signal for everyone to take cover. Those agents who could see the girls mana gathering, pulled their comrades and police officers behind the cars, or down on the ground.
When Vyndor noticed what had happened, the executive pushed him into the center of the street away from everyone. He stopped and tried to escape, but it was too late as Danica spun her body gracefully with the sword. The tip of the blade scraped the asphalt. After one full circle she raised Epic up, blood spilled out of her shoulder.
“HANDS OF DEATH!” Vydnor cast his spell toward the Sentinels. Four sets of electric hands flew towards them as Brie and Chisame cast their new spell.
“SONIC SHELL!!” The spell spread across the street. A wave of sound, shaped as a turtle shell, bounced the four electrical hands back. The impact put a lot of stress on the girls. They both fell back and lay on the ground. Their weapons returned to jewelry and rest on their chests. Their eyes glazed over and their chest heaving for air.
“CYCLING VACUUM!” Danica stabbed her sword into the ground. The air around Danica shot up as fast as a bullet. Straining her thoughts, her nose bled, she focused the spell to draw in Vyndor and nothing else. The orb spun along the wall of air, shifting slightly back to the middle of the street, and away from her. She did not want Alysia's spell to get her as well. As Danica watched it get high enough, she pulled Epic out of the ground. She fell forward and flopped face first on the ground. Her sword turned back into a ring and inserted into her finger. She looked at Brie and Chisame as she struggled to breathe like them. Her eyes looked up at Vyndor and together they heard Alysia scream.
“ASHES TO DUST!!” The blue flew to the air as Vyndor reached his peak and fell down. The spell consumed the orb, but to Alysia's surprise, it did not shatter. The fireball flew through Vyndor and continued up into the sky. The orb landed on the street, and split in half on impact. The smolder and vapor flowing out of the grooved surface of the split orb.
Alysia dropped to her knees. She clutched her head as everyone emerged from hiding. The winged Sentinel looked at her friends and crawled to them. She shook their shoulders and received no response. Alysia feared the worse and placed her hands on their chests. They were breathing, though it felt like a struggle. Her tears fell for them. She was relieved they were alive.
“Stupid orb.” Oryn said as she stood over Vyndor.
“You owe… me Oryn.” Alysia said looking up to the woman.
“Hmm?' Oryn looked up at Alysia and sighed. ‘I see.”
“Bring my parents… and anybody else… you sent into Time Displacement… back.”
Alysia and Oryn stared at each other as Fynir and Lori led the agents toward the executive. Before anybody knew it, before Oryn had chance to say yes, a pair of ghostly hands stretched out from Vyndor's split body. They slapped onto Oryn's head. Like a sandwhich, and the executive stretched her body back screaming. Red lines spread across her black mage suit. It crushed her body mercilessly. Alysia stood up to her feet as bullets and spells from agents bounced off an energy barrier.
“vyn…dor…” Oryn felt her very persona erased completely from her mind and Vyndor took over her body. Her mind, her soul, and her mana. This incarnation floated before Alysia, eyes red and pupil-less. Electricity formed wings from the back of Oryn's body and kept her in the air.
“Sentinel of Suzaku.' The sound of Oryn and Vyndor's voice overlapping each other in unison sent a chill throughout Alysia's body. ‘You shall cease to be.”
Raising Saga up, Alysia had very little mana remaining. But her body was too tired to react as the hybrid extended her arms out and created a pair of electric hands. Alysia tried to jump, somewhere, anywhere, but the hands slapped her body. It felt like something fell on top off her. Her body squeezed in the hands of the hybrid, Saga fell to the ground and out of reach. Her bones felt like they were going to break. The electricity, surging through her body, made her vibrate into a seizure. She tried to control the heat of the electricity, but the pain stripped her of her concentration. Alysia struggled to channel her heart.
“No, I won't kill you so easily.' Oryn pulled her electric hands back and formed a cocoon. It forced Alysia to curl into a ball, floating inside, screaming in pain. That was music to the hybrid's ears. ‘I will erase you from existence.”
Alysia opened her eyes as she felt her body rotating inside the cocoon. She saw everyone outside, trying to save her, but her friends lied on the ground unconscious. The winged Sentinel moaned from the pain. Even with her eyes closed, she could see through her eyelids, the trauma etched into memories. She felt like she was losing the fight, but she pushed her heart to its limits to resist the spell.
“I… won't… give… up…” Alysia's voice sounded distant, her physical body slowly changing into soul, a ghost whose body people could see through to the other side. It was only a matter of time before all of her flesh became this way, then her ghostly body would vanish. It was a slow process. An unforgettable and painful experience. She saw her friends one more time. Alysia did not want to leave them. She wanted to be with them. ‘I… will… beat… you…”
Alysia curled her hands into a fist. With all the mana she had left in her heart, she stretched her body out, and spread her wings wide open. She was still inside the sphere, most of her body erased. But her right arm, and her upper body, were still there. Enough for her to channel mana, but not enough to cast the spell she wanted. Using the spell would mean that she would never free her parents, or Oryn's victims, from Time Displacement. Even so, Alysia vowed never to take a human life again, but somehow this felt different. Oryn was no longer human, and Vyndor was an orb possessing her. There was no guidance, people were dying, and Fynir and Lori's life was in danger.
Inside the Temple Plain, Chisame stood before Suzaku as Brie rested Danica's head on her lap. The thief lay drained of all her energy, her eyes never opened. Chisame stepped back as the red bird shook its body and curled its wings, howling in pain. The leader saw a shadow of a human inside a cocoon within Suzaku's glowing chest. The cocoon was a beating heart and Chisame realized who was inside it.
“Alysia?” Chisame placed her hand over Suzaku's red feather as Brie looked up to her.
“Alysia is inside Suzaku's heart?”
“Suzaku,' Genbu said. ‘What are you doing?”
“Do you know what is going on?”
“Genbu… whoever… is… trying to… kill her…”
“How?” Chisame said.
“NO!' Chisame pounded on the red feathers. Her tears fell with each strike. ‘Alysia!”
“Chi… same…” Suzaku said.
Chisame saw Alysia's shadow press on the cocoon, reaching out to her. The leader pressed onto Suzaku's belly, trying to grab her friend's hand. But they were out of reach.
“Alysia.' Chisame looked up to Suzaku and clutched it feathers. ‘How do we save her?”
“She needs… mana…to kill… human…” Suzaku said.
“To kill a human?” Chisame said.
“But why?' Brie said. ‘She prayed she would never do that again.”
“She… wants to…' Suzaku took a deep breath. ‘People… are dying… but she… feels…”
“I see.' Chisame said. ‘People are dying and she has to kill whoever is doing that. She's hesitating because of her guilt for taking a human life.”
“Alysia!' Brie said ‘It's okay. We know you're being true. You're not evil if you take this persons life to save everyone.”
“Brie is right Alysia.' Chisame said. ‘I understand what you're thinking. Taking a human life is ugly, but like Danica said, what you have to do is a clean kill. Whoever is taking people's lives over there, is going to kill us all.”
“Alysia.' Danica said in her sleep, everyone became silent. ‘If you feel that killing human to save everyone is a sin, I'll carry it with you.”
Brie and Chisame looked at Danica, resting peacefully. It was the first time they ever heard call Alysia by her name. What she said was so sincere. They both wiped the tears off their faces and looked over to Suzaku.
“Did you hear Danica, Alysia?' Chisame said. ‘I'll carry that sin too.
“I will too.” Brie said. ‘We won't abandon you.”
“We'll always be with you!” Chisame smiled.
“Yeah.” Brie smiled.
“Thank… you…' Alysia said inside the cocoon. Her tears visible like light. She look up and took a deep breath, there was one thing she needed to finish off the hybrid. ‘I need… more mana…”
Chisame and Brie looked at each other. It became a problem. They were out of mana and Danica was unconscious. They shared this knowledge with Alysia, and her shadow looked out to the other Elements. Brie and Chisame looked to them.
“We have never faced this situation before.” Genbu said.
“We don't know what will happen.' Seiryuu said. ‘Anything could go wrong.”
“Suzaku is suffering with her.' Byakko said. ‘We have to try and them.”
“I agree.” Seiryuu said.
“The Creed.' The turtle said. ‘Would we be violating this?”
“Really Genbu?' The tiger said. ‘Do we have to debate this now?”
“The Creed states,' The dragon said. ‘that we don't interfere with the life choices of a Sentinel. But The Sentinel of Suzaku already made her choice.”
“That's right Genbu.' Byakko approached the red bird. ‘All we're doing is supporting her. That's not interfering.”
“Suzaku understood this, Genbu.' Seiryu followed Byakko. ‘That was why she had not violated the Creed. The Sentinel of Suzaku made her choices and the Suzaku supported her. Even protected her. That is why the child is so strong.”
“I just didn't want us to mess up, or put the Sentinels in danger.” Genbu said as Seiryu and Byakko stood before Suzaku. The giant turtle approached them as the Sentinels stayed by Danica's side.
“Is there anything we could do?” Chisame said.
“Clearing the Sentinel of Suzaku's doubts,' Seiryu said. ‘was more than enough.”
“We'll take it from here.' Byakko said. ‘You three rest.”
“Ready Suzaku?” Genbu said.”
“We'll feed her heart the mana she needs,' Genbu said as the mist formed around its body. ‘you keep her from dying.”
“I… will…” Suzaku spread her wing open and looked up at the dark sky.
Genbu, Seiryu, and Byakko poured their mana into Suzaku's heart. It wrapped around Alysia's shadow as Brie and Chisame held Danica's hand.
Inside the trap, Alysia watched the rest of her body turn into a spirit, but she felt her heart and some of her flesh inside remain intact. Enough to move her body and cast a spell. She sensed Suzaku was pushing back the spell. The winged girl felt the mana enter her heart. The coolness of the water, the breeze of the wind, and sturdiness of the earth. The elements mixing with her mana of fire, it was wondrous feeling.
Alysia raised her right hand up. It vibrated again, not from nervousness or pain. She took a deep and gathered all that mana to the palm of her hand. The heat wave extended past her mist wings. She gazed her cold eyes deep into the hybrid. The Sentinel could see the sweat trickle down Oryn's face.
“Wait.' The hybrid said. ‘You will never free your parents from Time Displacement. Destroy this body and you'll regret it.”
“I'll live.” Alysia's cold voice made the hybrid's eyes grow wide.
Alysia curled her hand into a fist and Oryn's body burst into a liquid. There was nothing left of Oryn or Vyndor. The spell vanished and her ghostly body fell onto the street. She sat there looking at the liquid pool spreading out across the street. The agents hurried and pulled her friends away before the blood touched them. Alysia felt a tingling sensation throughout her body. She felt her body returning to flesh form. It was painful at every second. Alysia screamed aloud, her body twisting and scrunching. When her body restored completely, Saga returned to its bracelet form and latched onto her left wrist. She felt her body turn over and there was Lori, providing her lap as pillow rest.
Alysia saw Fynir and Lori call out to her, but they sounded so distant. Her body was so weak that she could not close her eyes. Thoughts ran through her like a train. She could not focus on one thought. Her mind felt scrambled and could not tell what memory was a dream or what was real. All she could do was take a deep breath as a Fynir lifted her body up and lay on a gurney. Everything around her was happening so fast, that she never had a chance to know where her friends were.
A paramedic shined a light in Alysia's eyes to get reaction. Her eyes vibrated. They were sensitive. Yet, something was strange. She reacted to it, but nothing happened. Alysia did feel the usual explosion of pain in her head. Nothing triggered it. It made her nervous. She did not know what happened to her body. Alysia did not get her hopes up, but she tightened her grip on Lori's hand, and prayed that her dream finally came true.
That the enchantment was gone for good.
To Be Continued...
All rights reserved.
Series: Arcana Magi Universe
Story Arc: Awakening
Status: Unpublished Work, ©2010 Henry-Michael Brown
Welcome to Chapter 29.
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