Twist and Turns into the Abyss, Part 2
♤ Darius M Cain ♤
Day 2~Just After Midnight
Underground Tunnels-Lower District, Ominar→ West Plaza, Ominar
“Sadly, Mr. Crowley, I would lose power and respect if I cooperated too much. That alone would lower my life expectancy in the grand scheme of things, wouldn’t that be correct?”
Through Darius made the statement into a question, his voice hinted toward a painful fact.
The knowledge that the usual human didn’t exactly view him to be an equal or worth keeping unless he has worth hadn’t escaped the fox’s attention. He even knew it was likely the reason that Rufus had easily retreated from Krysta’s loyalty and into Logan’s, the half giant’s gentleness wanting to end all evil and create a utopia. However, long lived individuals like himself knew better. Humanity would never survive without conflict or dark moralities namely because difference created such conflicts. Without that, they would be no different than the Prae’s united race and it seemed numerous individuals were already fighting against their ‘paradise’.
When the footfalls of the director of AIII fell silent, Darius turned to Boris and Afua. His golden eyes studied the worn out Necromancer as she tried to hide the sweat and heavy breathing on her skin. She looked terrible from the brief conflict reminding him that she was a much better at preparation than instant combat scenario which now had taken its toll on her. Sighing, he addressed her weakness in a gentle manner, “Afua, I believe you should stay here and prepare a little surprise if Boris and I need to retreat back here. You’re spent from the release and recapturing of your golem. I don’t want you risking your life in a fight when you should play to your strengths.”
“Tsk, baas, you be worrying over me too much-” Afua began only to be interrupted by Darius again. “Yes, and humor me by staying back. I don’t have full faith that I can convince Krysta to neglect her original goal and things are much likely to get...messy. I rather have a safe pace to fall back to when that happens and I can trust you will be able to do that in the limited window I give you. It would be much easier than Boris risking himself by taking down a section of the tunnels to discourage those chasing us, risking the ones above,”
Darius faced her and softened his expression at her hurt emotions peering through her usually firm mask. A single finger reached up then traced the curve of her eye, wiping the trace evidence of salty wetness, before he flicked it away, “I don’t devalue your skills, but trust me when I say work with your strengths first. Yours is preparation rather than instant combat and that’s what I need now.”
Pulling his paw like hand away, he gestured with a head nod toward the sewer’s deep end. Boris grunted and look one last look at Afua, the woman looked slightly less rejected than earlier, as she cradled her left arm in her right hand. Thinking of something to say, but decided against it, he then moved to follow Darius into the darkness again and leaving her behind.
“That damn baas knows what be needed to be said to both frustrate and compliment me,” Afua complained as she leaned down to let the last remaining rat crawl up her arm and slouch on her shoulder, “Now to get to work, my pet.”
~~|An Hour Later|~~
Darkness and dripping water echoed around Darius and Boris, their figures edged deeper into the Abyss. Light began to chase away the shadows as they arrived at a large, circular room. It was made by the same tightly packed concrete stone with wall lights dimly illuminating the path along the tunnel and into the outlet. A gathering appeared to have collected within the middle while a single woman
dressed in a dual sweatshirt, tight hugging shorts and boots. Along her hips was a slanted belt with several chemical agents that combined magical arts and science in ways most could only guess, a cylinder like item on her back might’ve been a sword or weapon made for melee combat. Through her sleeves hung low on her arms, her hands were covered in protective gloves made to contain and focus her magic much like a wearable focus.
Her icy colored eyes shifted to spy Boris and Darius linger at the tunnel entrance, her lips curled into a wicked smile and immediately hopped down from her makeshift platform. She hit the floor with a loud thump then began to walk through the dark mass, their heads promptly turned in eerie union toward the newcomers and studied them in silence. She easily parted through the crowd as she addressed the pair. Her cocky expression made Darius wary and his fur rose in alert, his eyes flicked through collection to realize something… odd. They seemed to all be shrouded in an unnatural darkness like a cover to hide something.
“It’s nice you could show up Mr. Cain,” Krysta’s silky smooth voice began, looking up and then down to ensure it wasn’t one of Afua’s illusions. Her arms rested on her hips while she cocked them into a casual position. “There was a time you called me Darius, but I suppose those times are long past.”
“Hell, yes they are. You’ve been taking too slow in dealing with the Prae and many people side with me when we’re tired of waiting. We take back our city and soon. Even if we have to scrape the filth like you from the walls before we do.” “You’ll also sacrifice hundreds of innocent people and Licentia in the process. Is the blood worth the failure?”
“So quick to look down upon us,” Krysta frowned as she stepped backwards, her figure melted into the crowd, “We’re not weak as you and we won’t fail. You’ll see and then when we’re done, you’ll fall next. Good bye Darius… Kill him and his friend.”
The black shadow creatures then all broke out into a smiles, crooked and jagged ones. Their attention fixed on Boris and Darius. Their steps were silent as they shifted to face their prey, their bodies moved together and drew closer. Darius' nose inhaled a musty, decaying odor causing him to glare at the creatures within the small area. Sewer imp. Of all things Krysta had to gain control over, why did it have to be this filthy thing?
Darius thought, his right foot stepped back into the tunnel.
Naturally Boris followed suit, his hulking figure already retreated and his arm raised to his gauntlet (his focus). They glowed as he gestured to the nearest metal railing. It screeched and crunched, moving from its anchored place, then jerked in front of the moving mass. It impaled the first ‘individual’ that launched forward. The metal pole penetrated far too easily through the torso and jerked out the other side, splattering black fluid against the wall. The single black body fell down then stilled. All the creatures paused and turned their heads, watching the corpse.
Oddly enough… despite the laws of shadow and light, the corpse was still connected by a narrow strip of darkness reaching back into the mass.
Suddenly, the black cut out figure twitched. Immediately the creature was sucked into the mass as bones cracked and joints popped, the crowd becoming a misshapen blob now. They bubbled and merged into a smoky mess. It grew larger with passing time until it nearly touched the ceiling, features gaining distinction and began to solidify into a new shape. It was called a smoke djinn in history. The top half of its torso appeared humanoid with its flat chest and narrow waist. Wafting smoke poured off its outline, breaking the outline, and adding to the intimidation factor. Upon its spine two more arms branched out then began to reach for Boris, a wicked sadistic glint in its bluish eyes flickered.
Darius growled and his ear pinned back against his skull, at the nasty looking creature that stood before them. His shadow shimmered underneath his right foot then raced up his leg, a black line, along his suit’s spine. It collected at his back, divided and raced into two additional arms once more. Part of it began to materialize into the familiar katana of earlier. “Boris, it’s time to get out of here. NOW,”
Darius snapped, the kitsune whipped his head into the Russian’s direction.
Already the large man nodded then darted for the exit. The large smoke demon reached a hand out and fisted it, intending to crush the retreating mage. With surprising agility, Darius widened his legs then shot forward. His blade didn’t glisten until it swiped at the spot where the wrist and arm connected. The smoke demon roared as black blood sprayed the ground in front of Darius. His golden eyes flickered to his shoulder and noted the few specks of blood on his clothing, drawing a spark of irritation.
The Licenti's hand, about the size of a four passenger car, toppled to the ground. Severed. It sizzled then vanished into thin air. The djinn roared in pain as it reeled backwards and slammed into the back wall. Stone crumbled into the waterways as it pushed against the destroyed wall. It was a pure miracle that the foundation held against the onslaught.
The djinn’s blue eyes turned upon Darius. Its lower half swirled and shimmered, wafting like smoke, as it glared. It made a lower growl then focused upon its ruined arm. The flesh lengthened and shifted, coming to a point at the peak. It then jabbed forward to impale Darius.
The kitsune darted to the side, his figure rolled as his right hand pulled his glock out. He took aim. It flashed once, then twice when he pulled the trigger to fire. One shot skimmed the cheek side drawing fresh blood. The other penetrated the eye, the blue glow dimmed and once more the djinn reared back.
Darius smirked at the ease of it. His grin died when an arrow penetrated his shoulder and sank in, drawing a painful howl. His golden eyes jerked to the source and revealed Krysta, her arms up and a crossbow aimed at Darius’ direction. A satisfactory smirk danced over her lips before she holstered her weapon then began to walk away.
Her figure swayed in her departure as she vanished into darkness. Darius’ attention returned to the arrow fixed firmly in his shoulder causing him to raise his hand and grip the shaft. He inhaled then braced himself, stressing the middle before it gave a sharp snap.
It broke off as he casted it away with a little effort. The thing clattered into the shadows and from sight. His eyes briefly studied the wound then began to make his way through the tunnel and back toward Boris. The Russian had managed to fall back fairly far up the way they came from. Sounds of metal twisting, screeched and churned echoed through the man made structure around him. His feet slapped the floor in a hasty pace while the smoke djinn snapped at his heel.
Already the area seemed smaller than normal, the mage already worked on collapsing it. The metal walls twisted and broken inward and began sealing it off slowly. The bad part, it wasn’t slow enough. Meanwhile, the djinn ripped forward through the narrow tunnel. Its hands gripped and grabbed the walls to push itself along faster. Stone and metal crumbled in behind it, piling up the rumble in its wake.
Boris shouted back at the kitsune, “Hurry up, Darius!” “I’m coming, keep closing the tunnel!”
Darius snapped back, his legs picked up the pace, as he held his hand to the shoulder to stop the bleeding.
It was going to be close. His heart pounded in his chest and lungs burned, his speed struggled to increase in order to make it. Inch by inch the tunnel’s exit began to tighten over time before the fox’s eyes. With one last push, Darius darted in just when the walls crumbled behind him.
Leaning against the nearest wall with his hand, the kitsune huffed then spoke, “Boris, I need help. We need to get out of here, now.”