Just one more chapter to go. I will be posting the last chapter on Friday, the first day of PAX. I hope you all have enjoyed the story. Forgive me once more for the lack of art, but we have to get this story done! I promise more art for the last chapter, because it is kind of required. You'll find out why. Those who are coming to Seattle for PAX weekend: I will have something special for you guys Thursday. I noticed there are two chapters with the word death in it - but I guess it fits. Why so much death? I mean I guess I'm uh... I guess I'm a pretty sick guy.
James didn’t have a moment to lose. Alice had run away from the fight, and perhaps that was for the best. Corduroy and Wolf were down. Anthony and his girl were steadily approaching and Elsa was right on top of him. Elsa looked down on James sizing him up. His sword was out of the ordinary. It was a curved blade with a coin separating it from the hilt. Elsa knew his power was in his luck. And they knew her power too.
As they fought, aspects of their powers became more and more clear. James seemed to have less skill as a swordsman, but could still block and dodge every one of her attacks. Sometimes he didn’t even mean to. She swung her sword in a stabbing motion towards him with the grace of a perfect action. He would always make a successful block in return. James tripped on a rock, falling backwards. His head tipped back and evaded Elsa’s slash. He could see the edge of the blade an inch away from his eyes.
He whirled back at her with fierce strikes that seemed to be blocked easily by Elsa’s ability to parry his weapon with supreme effectiveness. Her blade seemed to act as a part of her, and every action she made seemed perfectly timed and delivered. James continued to stab at her and part of his blade came towards her and reflected sunlight into her eyes. In her momentary blindness she let one attack from James come though. She yelped as James’s lucky blade struck her leg.
Elsa took a knee and grabbed James’s sword with her other hand. She stabbed James three times before he was able to yank his sword away. Elsa’s fingers were severed and dropped to the ground. She screamed and yelled for Anthony in a rage, knowing only he could heal her. Seeing her fingers on the ground collecting dirt horrified her. She had seen so much blood, but never her own.
James held his breath. He couldn’t tell if he was hit in any vital areas. He hoped that his luck was still with him as he fell. James slowly crept over to Wolf. He grabbed at his helmet, shaking it as he himself lost blood. Wolf was dead. James saw Hugh running to help as he passed out from blood loss.
AlphaDeus left James to the fight with Elsa. His luck would save him. It always did. AlphaDeus’s piano blade hummed and waited for commands. He swung it around and placed the heavy blade on his knee and knelt down. With his other hand he pressed three fingers into the keys for a chord. It was just a chord to start out with. It made the sword able to tear flesh easier.
He ran towards Anthony and the girl that was with him. The girl stepped out in front and pointed to AlphaDeus summoning a dog towards him. The manifestation of a puppy bolted towards AlphaDeus and grew larger as it thundered towards him. AlphaDeus stopped in his tracks and knelt to one knee again changing his chord to match with pure energy. He didn’t know if this was the right course of action, but it was his best guess.
The dog lunged at AlphaDeus’s neck and opened its jaws. AlphaDeus cut the monster in half dispersing the energy. He had such an affinity for music that he was able to tell what tones would be the best for cutting through certain materials. His best guesses were usually right. Plus, the sword wasn’t dull. It could achieve a normal cut, and the vibrations in the sword increased the damaging effects. The vibrations could saw through almost any material.
“Lenigod! No! You bastard!” Ashley was hysterical. “I’m going to fucking kill you!”
Ashley ran towards AlphaDeus summoning devils, spirits, and monsters from every story book and every horror story she had ever heard of. She had never hated someone so much in her life. But that made some sense because she couldn't remember a whole lot of anything. It was like her memories were black. She only remembered her childhood. Right now she wasn’t getting what she wanted. She was not able to summon Lenigod for some reason, and she was throwing a tantrum because of it.
The demons were so vast in number that they shrouded AlphaDeus. They all seemed to swoop in at him at once. He dropped the sword on the ground leaving two of his hands free. He slammed his fingers down onto the piano sword and in an area of effect an explosion of energy dispersed the demons. Ashley was the only one left, standing still and dumbfounded by the amazing counter-attack. AlphaDeus spun around and sliced Ashley in two leaving her legs standing for a moment before they too dropped into the sand.
“Oh my god! Ashley! Oh god no!” Anthony wailed in misery.
He had only been steps away from protecting his loved one, but she had been too confident in her attack. His emotions raged, but he was able to keep his composure. There were plenty of times when people he cared about had to die. They all had to die for a greater purpose. Maybe her death was for the best. At least her blood was not on his hands. Still, his spirit was vengeful. Anthony confronted AlphaDeus with his mask on, and his katana in-hand.
“You…” Anthony marked AlphaDeus.
AlphaDeus knelt to strike another chord. He swung immediately afterwards and Anthony easily blocked. The piano sword shattered Anthony’s katana into pieces. AlphaDeus’s piano sword followed straight through into Anthony’s shoulder. Anthony’s flesh, however, stopped the blade from even cutting through the first few layers of skin. Anthony had survived for years changing his age, becoming younger. Doing this caused his natural body to evolve a superior toughness. He never gained any bulk, but his muscle tone and skin toughness endured – leaving him a near impenetrable thick skin.
Anthony used his superior strength to take a jab at AlphaDeus’s throat. AlphaDeus felt his neck crack and cave into itself. Anthony jabbed at his neck again with the webbing of his hand. AlphaDeus covered his throat with his own hands trying to cough, but there wasn’t any air coming out. Anthony had sealed his air passages shut and brought his neck muscles into a spasm. AlphaDeus felt a tingle in his spine and dropped to the dirt. He felt dizzy and couldn’t hold onto his consciousness. AlphaDeus past out and before too long he died from lack of oxygen.
“Go!” Hugh said. “Protect Alice!”
Kraid ran off to tend to Alice. She had run off after huddling over Wolf in the middle of the battle. He ran to go make sure she was alright, but not a moment later he found her being held captive by a well dressed man. Alice struggled to get away from him but couldn’t escape his grasp.
“Kraid, don’t come closer!” Alice screamed. “He can’t be hurt!”
“What the hell?” Kraid said.
He took a moment to think, and started backing away. Kraid ran back to the battle to retrieve Hugh. In the distance he saw some people already down. James had just fallen and Elsa struggled to keep her composure. Kraid saw part of Elsa’s hand completely torn off and became slightly sick at the sight of it. Hugh walked slowly up to Elsa with his bat. She swung her sword wildly at him, but he came back at her finger stumps with the bat. Elsa shrieked, feeling massive amounts of pain.
Hugh’s weapon spoke to him. He knew that if the bat hit Elsa’s hand in such a way, that he could amplify the pain in her hand with almost no effort at all. The baseball bat told him this. And the next event wasn’t as painful, but completely lethal. The baseball bat told him that a simple strike to the temple could actually fracture her skull in five vulnerable places. It was Hugh’s way of telling the future. The object told him to raise his arm in a certain way, to bring his weapon down to a certain place, to connect at an exact destination, and all the way down using a precise amount of force.
Her skull exploded with pressure from the blow. Her eyes bled in her final moments. She remembered her friends and her family from long ago. She thought about how much wrong she had done to people. She had lost her husband Mongoose so long ago, and never recovered. And now she’s here and her skull didn’t seem to stay in the same places anymore. She thought of God and Heaven. Elsa wondered if there was anything else beyond.
“Why…” Elsa said as she collapsed.
“Hugh!” Kraid waived is arms, trying to get his attention.
Fame Designer approached with Alice, keeping her in his hands as a hostage. Hugh ran towards Alice to help her. He came up to him and searched for possible weak spots. The baseball bat told him of many areas that could strike Fame Designer, but the bat gave him a word of warning. It seemed like no matter what the bat said he could do, that there was no damage being achieved.
“You can’t hurt him with that!” Alice yelled.
“What can I do!?” Hugh said.
“I don’t know!” Alice responded.
“Hahahaha! This is – awesome!” Fame Designer said excited to see what happened next.
“Let’s see what kind of powers you have.” Hugh said.
He risked touching Fame Designer’s skin to retrieve what might be valuable information on how to kill him. Everyone has weaknesses, and Fame Designer wouldn’t be an exception. But, when he touched him, he was filled with much more history than he had ever received from a human being. The one main reason not to try to extract information from humans was that they held a long history. It never was life threatening until now. Fame Designer seemed to have two or even three lives of complete history.
Hugh took on too much information. He tried sifting through it like they were files. Fame Designer’s history showed that once upon a time, everyone being killed here today was once friends in another life previous to this one. There were many levels of reality beyond this, and perhaps that meant that this life was simply precursor to the rest of their lives in another world. Hugh felt comfort in this as the gigantic parade of data short circuited his brain. Hugh’s neurotransmitters shut down completely causing him to die inside a coma only a few seconds later.
Fame Designer stood there amazed trying to figure out what exactly Hugh’s power could have been. But he continued to walk towards the remaining few survivors. Kraid stumbled to the outside of the group, trying to stay away from weapons. Fame Designer threw Alice down into the dirt, preparing for a final confrontation. Anthony rose from Ashley’s body with a new found motivation to murder people.
Alice looked around to see most of her friends dead. She laid there in the sand and cried for them. She paid no attention to the other people standing. Seeing Wolf there unmoving was enough to shatter her will. James was also lying there in the sand with multiple stab wounds from Elsa’s sword.
The three of them stood there for a while trying to make decisions on how to proceed. Anthony seemed to be the only one who could fight. Fame Designer stood in wait. Kraid didn’t necessarily want to fight either of them, and hoped that they would fight each other first. But he wasn’t as lucky as James.
“I’ll take care of this one first.” Anthony said, pointing to Kraid and turning to Fame Deisgner. “Then I’ll take care of you.”