Dakota felt the air leave her lungs as the blunt end of the creature's spear met her chest. In hindsight, that had probably not been the best of moves. After all, they'd seen how quickly the spider-like demon could move, and had no reason to believe that this one would be any slower. Had she not been so caught up in the moment, she may have found it odd that the creature had merely tried to deflect her, as opposed to impaling her with the sharp end of his weapon. Either this thing had no intention of killing her, or it was simply terrible at its job. Whatever its motivations, it lost no time in mocking her for her failure. It spoke in a hideous, raspy voice that would have unnerved her were she not still flooded with adrenaline from her initial charge. "Sawry girly, nice try and all though."
Instead of fear, the words filled her with anger and disgust. She wasn't done trying yet.
The only thing standing between them was that spear. Dakota regained her composure, inhaling as she wrapped her hands around the weapon at her chest. Then she pulled as hard as she could, determined to tear the object from the fly-creatures grip. It snarled at her, demanding that she release her hold, but she yanked again. This time, the hideous beast gave in. Dakota stumbled back slightly, the weapon now firmly clenched in her fists. She stared at it for a moment, somewhat amazed at what she had just done. She'd actually been useful! Her thoughts were soon interrupted by a horrifying shriek. She looked up at the battle ahead, just in time to see the nervous, white-haired boy land a direct hit on the creature's disgusting face. Fly-guy stumbled back into the train car, reeling from the blow. Dakota then turned to the boy, whose fist was now covered in blood and eye-fluid. Alright!
She grinned. Gross, but alright!
But the victory was short-lived. In all of the commotion, she hadn't noticed the spell that had been cast. A powerful gust of wind blew against her face, nearly knocking her over. And she hadn't even been the intended target. The unmistakable sound of human screams drew her eyes to the window. She regained her balance as quickly as she could, watching in horror as the well-dressed boy was cast out into the night. No!
she cried. Abandoning the fight at hand, she took off after him. Yet the winds were too strong, and too fast. She reached out as she ran, but the boy seemed to get further and further away, and the seconds felt like hours as all hope of saving him vanished from her mind. Dakota's pursuit was halted by the windowsill. She grabbed onto it, leaning out of the car as far as she could despite the jagged shards of glass that remained. But by now it was simply a hopeless gesture. He was just too far away... another person lost. She watched, wide-eyed and helpless, as the boy began to plummet toward certain doom.I... I'm so sorry...
The world seemed to freeze for a moment. The weight of the stagnant atmosphere vanished, and the noises of battle ceased to reach her ears. Was this what death felt like? Perhaps one of the creatures had snuck up behind her, devouring her before she'd had the chance to think. But the overdressed boy's face was still imprinted on her mind. She couldn't move or breath- she only found herself staring. He too was frozen, along with the other fly creatures that had yet to enter the car. Though she could not turn around, she somehow knew that the action behind her had ceased as well. Dakota didn't know what to think, or what to feel. She was as silent and still as the rest of them, which was entirely new to her. She couldn't remember the last time she had been completely still. Usually she was always shaking, but now... nothing. Then a melodic voice pierced through the silence.
You're not going after him?
That boy just tried to help you. And you're going to allow him to perish. This is no different from the others, is it?
The voice sounded sophisticated and full of scorn. What did it mean by "go after him"? The boy was already so far out of her reach, there was no way she could save him. If she were to jump from the car, all she would accomplish would be to get herself killed alongside him. The voice was right, he had just tried to help her. But any effort she made would be completely useless. Useless... that was all she was. All she ever would be. There was nothing she could do for Mr. Stylish, or anyone else for that matter.It's impossible...And...
I can sense a fire within you. A longing to be free from the limits of the "impossible." It is why I am speaking to you now. Forge a contract with me, and all will be possible.
Dakota felt the weight of the cell phone in her pocket. Jason... she'd been on the ground, lying there helpless as he was slain in front of her. And Hayden... she'd let him down too. And now this boy... just moments before, he had been pulling her bags to the center of the train, going out of his way to make sure she was alright. No matter what she did, she was always in the way... But not anymore. Yes, it seemed impossible. But that meant nothing. The world began to move again as she reached for the windowsill. She hoisted herself over it, willingly jumping toward the endless abyss below. Toward the one she wished to save. Though it was just coming to her now, Dakota had always known what to do in the face of the impossible...
I am thou...thou art I...
Awaken within you the will to survive
To defend those who have given you everything
Declare it now what you shall do
When impossible rears it's head
Dakota grinned... she knew exactly what to say.
Suddenly she stopped falling. Brilliant light enveloped her, and powerful winds blew out from where she now hovered. Her hair was flying in every direction, and true to her word, she was grinning from ear to ear. As the light began to fade, a figure manifested behind her. catching her by the waist as the levitation wore off. It then dived further, grabbing the boy by one of his many layers of clothing and pulling them both back up toward the train car. While she could not yet turn to see her savior, Dakota found herself amazed at the purple-and-gold wings that propelled them upward. They seemed like those of a peacock, but more elegant. As the new arrival soared up above the train, depositing the humans on the roof before flying in to join fox-girl in battle.Lyrika...
Dakota somehow knew the name. It echoed in her heart, drowning out all other thoughts. She found herself nearly frozen now, concentrating on maintaining the manifestation before her. The creature was beautiful. It looked almost human, although she got the impression that the masquerade-esque pattern that engulfed one side of its face was not, in fact, a mask. Lyrika held a massive harp, which Dakota instinctively recognized as a weapon. Despite never having seen anything like it before, she felt confident in what she had to do. Lend her strength,
she thought, shifting her eyes toward the fox-woman. Dakota's own persona responded accordingly, playing a tune on the harp that could only be described as inspiring. An orange circle appeared under the fox woman, flashing for a moment before fading away. Somehow, Dakota felt that it had increased the fox's attack power. She only hoped it would be enough to let her break free. Well done, Lyrika.
She smiled again, even wider this time. Guess I'm not so useless after all.