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DEATH-OBSESSED IDIOTS, BLOODSUCKING MORONS AND THE GIRL
Seeing as Kali was the only one who could drive, Nixion and Mist had to catch the bus to their destination. They were doing a classified mission for the Australian Sanctuary on which the fate of the country, possibly even the world, could depend and yet, they were taking the bus. Nixion was really beginning to hate doing jobs for the Sanctuary. He would have asked whether or not they could have taken Mist’s motorbike if it were not for the fact that they would have to take the bus to his house anyway. He also didn’t like the idea of sitting behind Mist. So they took the bus and the two swayed as it turned a corner sharply. Mist was making a checklist of the people who they should go and see. Nixion could never understand Mist. A checklist, seriously? From the day they met, Mist had been weird and argumentative against everything Nixion thought. He could never see from Nixion’s point of view and away from his own narrow minded one. Admittedly, Nixion was exactly the same towards Mist but he didn’t see it that way. Mist was convinced that Nixion needed to change, that being a “bad guy”, was the worst thing imaginable and even though Nixion wasn’t like that anymore, his attitude of hatred had not shifted, something Mist despised. Nixion had been perfectly happy being a murderer. Being insane may have had something to do with it. The part about being hunted around the world was a downer, but it had at least been fun. Well, maybe not fun, but it was definitely better than this.
Mist looked down at the first name on his checklist. He had most of their numbers, but he had said it was easier to convince someone in person. Nixion totally agreed. How can you torture someone from a phone? He supposed it would be easy for Mist; anyone would agree to his terms just to stop him talking to them.
“Okay, we’re here.” Mist stood up as the bus rounded another corner and motioned for the bus driver to pull up. After he did so and the doors opened, Nixion and Mist walked off it and strode up a hill. They walked for only thirty seconds before Mist stopped him and walked up the pathway to a familiar looking house. Nixion couldn’t remember why it rang a bell in his mind though.
“This is Gabriel Cobalt’s house,” Mist said, as if reading Nixion’s mind. Now he realised why it looked familiar. He had been here before, back when he was insane. Gabriel did not take sides and was basically a nice guy. He had given Nixion a place to stay for a few nights when he was in such a bad state he couldn’t bring himself to kill an ant. Of course, it cost him a favour, but Nixion and obliged willingly. Honestly, it wasn’t even that hard. The sorcerer hadn’t put up much of a fight after Nixion had regained his strength.
They walked up the driveway and somehow made it to the door without arguing. Mist knocked and waited patiently for an answer. At last, a pale young woman answered the door, surveyed the two for a moment before stood back as an invitation of welcoming. As they walked along the long hallway and past the woman, Mist and Nixion observed the objects on pedestals and hanging from the wall. They sat down and waited for Gabriel while Nixion cast his mind back to the start of his decent to madness, the beginning of his torture…
Aiden’s eyes opened slowly, his vision unfocused, blurry and groggy. He was thoroughly confused but under that a thick layer of fear gripped at his soul tightly. It took him a second to remember what had happened, but when he did, he looked around wildly, panic rising inside. He remembered someone jamming something over his mouth and then blacking out. After that there was nothing to remember. Aiden’s eyesight slowly returned and he saw he was the only person in a small room. It was empty except for a door, which he was facing, and a single chair, on which he was currently bound to. Before he could attempt to break free of the chair, the door swung open and the smaller of the men from the street walked through, a smug grin on his face.
“The physic said you could take it.” the man said as he approached Aiden. “Not like the others. They didn’t last. Weren’t strong enough.” Aiden waited until he was bent down, looking right at him before he spat in his face. The man staggered back, wiping most of it away and while he lowered one hand, the other remained clamped to his eye. A glare leaped to the man’s face and he spun around and crossed half the room in a single step to deliver a fist which collided with Aiden’s check. His head snapped sideways and stars burst from his eyesight, his world spinning.
“What do you want with me?” he asked, his vision blurry once again, head spinning. He could not actually see him, but Aiden knew the man was smiling.
“I’m going to teach you something almost no one else can do. It’ll be hard, and you’ll never be the same afterwards, but it’s worth it. For me, anyway.”
“Why though?” Aiden asked in a scared voice. “I just want to go home.”
“You’ll see this from my point of view one day. I need to pass on the tradition to someone, and fortunately for you, kid, it looks like that one guy’s gonna be you.” He turned and walked for the door again. “Don’t worry, I’m sure we’ll get along fine.” He walked out. Aiden felt his heart beating wildly. When the man came back, he was pushing a tray with metal objects on them. Most of them were pointy.
The man made his way back to Aiden before looking down at the tray and adopted an expression of deep thought. Finally he picked one out and turned on Aiden whose vision was now clear again. The object came closer and closer and before he knew it, Aiden was screaming.
“Nixion.” Mist was looking at him with a glare.
“What?” he asked a little defensively. Mist made a gesture to someone standing in front of them. Gabriel Colbat stood a few feet away, half smiling.
“You okay Nix?” he asked.
“Yes.” Nixion glowered. “And don’t call me “Nix”.”
Gabriel shrugged but did not object and waited for either Mist or Nixion to speak next.
The room was filled with a few weapons, mostly made of metal and insanely pointy, but mainly it was filled with shelves and shelves and more shelves of books. Some were tiny and thin, other were huge and held an incredibly thick amount of text. It was not just that room either, Nixion remembered; the entire house was filled with virtually nothing but food, weapons and books. Gabriel walked away from the lounge they were sitting on and sat behind a desk not too far away and continued to wait for someone to speak.
Everyone knew Gabriel’s story. He wasn’t well known and most of the tales that were told had Gabriel entitled under a different name. Still, many people in the country had at least heard of the way Gabriel discovered magic and quickly ascended to amazing levels of power simply through symbols. He even created some of his own which he subcategorized under the name of “Sigils”.
At the age of 20, Gabriel stumbled across a book full of instructions on how to learn symbol magic. Interested at the fantasy, Gabriel read through it and became more interested with whoever wrote it, even though he didn't actually believe any of it. Unfortunately for him there was no information on the author, not even a name, thus leaving him with no leads on which to conduct a search with. Though he didn’t believe in anything the book said, Gabriel marvelled at how amazing it would be to have the kind of things written, the kind of power. In an attempt he knew would not work to get the power mentioned in the book, Gabriel carved a symbol into his hand. As soon as it was completed, power surged through Gabriel and his fists pumped with energy. Within five minutes the symbol had faded, but his power remained and Gabriel stood mobile, amazed. Finally he moved and marvelled at the incredible power he now had at his disposal, the book suddenly becoming clear. He then decided that all this was actually real and realized that it was also dangerous, that there would be other people like him now too. Magic…He decided to keep it a secret. Gabriel then moved away from his family and got an apartment far away from them in order to protect them. He barricaded himself and became isolated to the outside world while doing nothing but study magic. He eventually found more and more books and became an expert on symbols and arcane languages magic
Gabriel soon realized that he was aging slower and assumed that that was because he was learning magic. He got more and more books on other kinds of magic and learned all about the secret magical subculture. He then chose a magic type, Adept, and became a sorcerer. Gabriel finally moved from the apartment again and sought out his own house.
Gabriel waited a few more moments and when the pair did not speak up; he decided to break the silence.
“Nixion,” he said softly. “Zathract, it’s such a pleasure.” his smile made him look slightly sinister.
“This isn’t a social visit,” Nixion said coldly. He hated being here. It reminded him of a weaker version of himself and Nixion hated being weak.
“We need to know where these people are.” Mist said in a business-like fashion and handed Gabriel the list he had made. He flicked through it slowly making, occasionally making comments such as “Her, really?” or “Hold on, is he even alive?” Eventually, he handed the list back to Mist. “I can tell you where three of those people are, but the other four I know nothing of their current location.”
“Thank you,” Mist said curtly. “It’s very much appreciated.”
“Before I divulge the information though,” Gabriel said. “I also noticed my name was on there.” He raised an eyebrow. “May I ask what the list is for?”
“Potential allies for a potential upcoming war against a group of Sorcerers.” Mist said dismissively.
“And who are the Sorcerers?” he asked.
“They call themselves-” Mist started but Nixion turned on him before he continue.
“I swear to god I will kill you if you go through with that again.” He said menacingly. Colabat raised another eyebrow but did nothing more and waited for Mist to talk again.
“They’re called The Remaining.” Mist told Gabriel looking slightly disappointed.
“And you mentioned a war?”
“Is that a bit of an exaggeration?” Gabriel grinned.
“I wouldn’t say so.” Mist replied, shaking his head.
“No.” Nixion said, almost at the same time.
Gabriel grinned again.
“You two make quite a cute couple.”
Nixion’s hand flew to his machete, anger flaring inside of him. Gabriel did not move and continued smiling, amused.
“So will you help us?” Mist asked, managing to keep his voice completely empty of emotion, a feat Nixion would not have managed at that moment.
“I’ll give you the addresses of these three people.” He said.
“And what about helping us yourself?” Mist asked.
“And why would I?” Gabriel asked. “I could die in this potential war.” Nixion had to admit, it was a good answer.
“You could die if you don’t help us and we fail.” He said.
“You make a good point.” Gabriel replied.
“So will you help?” Mist asked again while Nixion’s hand slowly released his machete.
“No, I think I’ll sit this one out and watch it unfold.” Gabriel scribbled down something on the checklist and handed it back to Mist. Gabriel smiled again, but this time it was cold. “Now get out.”
Mist shook his head sadly, as if he actually expected better, and got up from the lounge, Nixion following. He caught sight of Gabriel muttering something under his breath as they left and went back to writing something on a sheet of paper he had in front of him. They stepped out of the house and begun walking again, now without any method of transportation.
“Did the bastard leave us anything of value?” he asked, bored.
“He gave us addresses like he said...” Mist muttered, scanning the sheet. “I already know where one is so if we can convince all four of the ones we can see to help us in addition to the people the others manage to get, we should be going along nicely.”
“So, which four lucky idiots will join us in our suicide mission?” Nixion asked.
“Gabriel gave us the addresses of Neon Dark, Jake Hunter and Lyra Blue.”
“Neon dark?” he laughed. “What sort of name is that?”
Mist looked at him. “He’s a Necromancer.” He explained when Nixion did not speak again.
Nixion’s grin faded.
“It had to be a Necromancer… I hate Necromancers.”
“At least it’s not a vampire.” Mist told him.
“Yeah, at least there’s that.” He admitted and looked at Mist. His face fell again at his expression. “There’s a vampire there too, isn’t there.”
“Jake Hunter’s not like-” Mist begun, but Nixion roared, cutting him off.
“I hate vampires!” he bellowed.
“You hate everything.” Mist said irritably as they turned a corner.
“Yes, but the top three things on my Hate List are Necromancers, vampires and you. Not necessarily in that order.”
“You have a list?” Mist asked sceptically.
“We need him.” Mist said. “We need them both. Neon’s rebellious and doesn’t even live in the Australian Temple. Apparently he’s also a good fighter.”
Nixion glowered and kicked a rock, sending it flying and narrowly missed a passing car which bleared its horn at him. Nixion ignored it and continued glaring.
“I hate you.” He said finally.
“You hate everything.” Mist repeated.
“I hate vampires even more than I hate Necromancers.” Nixion complained. He was not pleased with the first two people on Mist’s list. That is if a vampire could even be counted as a person. “What about that third one then?” he growled. “Blue someone.”
“Lyra Blue.” Mist corrected. “I think you’ll like her. She’s not a zombie, not a Necromancer, not a vampire, not an idiot. She’s an adept with most of her magic focused on her weapons. She’s an excellent fighter, very good.
Nixion sighed. “What about the last one?” he asked. “The one you already knew?”
“Vai Melt.” Mist replied. “She’s another Necromancer.”
Nixions glare flared again along with his anger.
“Don’t worry, she’s also different.”
“I’m going to kill you if we survive this.” Nixion assured Mist.
“I’m sure you’ll try your best.”
Nixion sighed again.
“Well, who are we seeing first?”
“Vai Melt. The Temple’s closest for us and if we’re lucky, Neon will be there too.
“OK,” Nixion muttered, quelling his anger. “OK, let’s go see the death-obsessed girl and the idiot who chose an idiotic name.”
It wasn’t another bus trip. It was ten times worse. Being stuck in the back seat of a taxi for thirty minutes beside Mist and an unbelievably talkative driver was complete and utter torture. The second they got out, Nixion practically roared in anger and shouted some things at the driver he probably shouldn’t have once he had driven out of earshot. Mist told him to shut up and they walked into the graveyard that contained the Necromancer Temple of Australia. Nixion was surprised that the Temple was here; he knew Necromancers were practically obsessed with death but he thought that placing the Temple in a graveyard was pushing it a bit.
“Gah…” Mist muttered, shaking his hands as they passed a gravestone.
“What?” Nixion asked him, confused.
“My hands, they’re burning. There’s so much death around here.”
“And…you’re hands burn because of dead things?” he asked.
Mist gave him a look.
“My gloves channel my Necromancy, idiot.” He muttered.
“Oh, that’s right, you’re a death-obsessive idiot too.” Nixion replied with heaviness.
Mist ignored him and leant over a large grave stone shaped like a rectangle. He rapped three times on it and gave out a hollow echo as he did so. Mist recoiled, shaking his hand again before the gravestone opened and a Necromancer stuck his head out.
“What?” he asked Mist.
“We’re here to see Vai Melt and Neon Dark if he’s in. Tell Vai it’s Zathract.” Mist told him.
“Oh, it’s you,” the man muttered. “Zathract Listy, or something. Yeah, whatever, get in.” he stepped to the side and the two climbed in, Nixion trying his best not to laugh at the misinterpretation of Mist’s last name.
They walked along the dimly lit corridor away from the entrance. The walls were lit with flame in torches again, just like the Sanctuary, but Nixon was still almost laughing.
“OK,” Mist said, turning around and stopping Nixion. “OK, stop. What the hell is so funny?”
Finally he burst out laughing and almost doubled over. “What?” Mist asked incredulously. Nixion calmed himself and looked up at Mist.
“From now on I’m calling you “Listy”.” He said defiantly. Suddenly Mist brought his gloved fist up and hit him across the face. Nixion staggered back, clutching his cheek.
“Do what you like.” Mist shrugged and continued walking. Nixion followed, cursing him under his breath. They reached the wooden door at the end and Mist pushed it open, entrails of shadows slowly unravelling from his glove as he did so. They recoiled back inside it as he took his hand away from the handle and they stepped into the next room. The Temple was large and complicatedly built and was lit with proper lights that hung high above them instead of the flames in the previous corridor. Mist began walking along another long corridor with many doors along the walls that held too many different types of rooms for Nixion to remember. They continued walking for around five minutes before Nixion grew impatient again and asked the obvious question.
“Where exactly are we going?” he asked of Mist.
“Vai’s usually in her personal quarters of the Temple,” Mist told him. “So that’s where we’re headed.”
“And how long until we get there?”
“Eh…two seconds, maybe?” he turned into a door suddenly and Nixion had to double back having not caught on to the fact that they had arrived. Muttering darkly, he followed Mist into the room where a tall woman with black hair that fell to her waist sat in a meditative position, eyes closed.
She cocked her head in a weird kind of accepting manner and slowly opened her eyes.
“Hello, Zathract.” She said. Her voice was calm and cool, collected. Silky.
“Vai.” Mist said, nodding in response. “We have come to ask a favour of you.”
“Indeed?” Melt asked but did not say anything more. Nixion was wondering whether a weird kind silence was in fashion for weirdos. Colbat, now the Necromancer. Someone needed to start speaking soon and it sure as hell wasn’t going to be him. He didn’t speak unless he had to, but that was different. That was him.
“There’s a group of sorcerers entitled “The Remaining,” Mist said, taking lead. “And we’re fairly certain we’re on the threshold of another war.”
Vai tilted her head slightly to the side.
“Does war have a threshold, exactly?” she asked.
“My point is,” Mist continued. “We have consulted the Elder Council and basically, we need to track them down and stop them.”
“And you want my help?” Vai positioned her sentence as a question but Nixion could tell it was a statement.
“Will you help?” Mist asked. There was a silence that stretched for a while before Melt spoke again.
“I will not engage in the detective work as such, but if a battle breaks out and a war begins, alert me and I’ll come and assist you.”
“Thank you for your time, Vai.” Mist said.
“Anytime.” She smiled.
“Oh, one more thing. Do you know a Necromancer named Neon Dark?” he asked doubling back.
“Oh, yes. Him. A weird name, wouldn’t you say?”
Nixion nodded in agreement.
“Yes, he’s currently in the Temple but doesn’t like to stick here. In fact, I he’s probably leaving right about now.”
“Thanks.” Mist said quickly and ran from the room, Nixion close behind. They reached the wooded door again to see someone walking at the very end of the corridor.
“Hey!” Mist called, running up to him. The man did not stop walking.
“Idiot!” Nixion yelled at him, trying to catch his attention. The man stopped and turned slowly.
“Are you Neon Dark?” Mist asked after they had sprinted the length of the corridor. Nixion shook his hand having caught it in one of the balls if flame on the way.
Neon Dark nodded but did not speak.
“Idiotic name.” Nixion snarled at him, annoyed again.
“Shut up.” Mist scowled before turning back to Neon. “We have a problem.”
“You do indeed.” Neon said steadily. His voice was calm but had a trace of roughness in it that made Nixion feel uneasy. “Your boyfriend seems to have a bit of a temper.” Nixion’s hand flew to his machete and was out before Mist’s hand finished blurring from his daggers.
“One more person says that,” Nixion snarled. “And I swear I’ll slit their throat.”
Mist lowered his daggers, composing himself but Nixion remained holding his machete. Dark did not seem to mind, nor had he even flinched as the two drew weapons on him.
“As I said,” Mist continued calmly. “We have a problem. To put it simply, seeing as I really aren’t in the mood of explaining details currently, a war is soon to break out. We are gathering allies and want you to help us stopping this happen.”
Neon Dark did not move for a moment.
“How do you know you can trust me?” he asked.
“We don’t.” Mist shrugged. “But sometimes a risk’s all you have.”
“Fair enough.” Dark nodded. “If it’s a risk you’re willing to take. What do you need me to do?”
“Right now?” Nixion asked, taken aback at the sudden acceptance to joining.
“Right now, whenever.” Dark shrugged.
“Come with us.” Mist shrugged and Nixion groaned. Another moron to deal with. “We’re still recruiting.”
Mist walked past Neon and he stared at Nixion. He snarled at Dark once more before following Mist, Dark close behind him.
“Really?” Nixion asked. He was complaining. Again. “We’re going to see the vampire? Why can’t we ask the normal person first?”
Mist glared at him while Neon walked silently behind them, expressionless.
“You’re lucky there’s no one to hear you.” He said cautiously.
“Whatever.” Nixion grumbled. “I hate vampires.”
“So you said.” Neon said, speaking for the first time since they had left the Temple, over an hour ago.
“I hate Necromancers too.” He shot at Dark.
“You mentioned that quite a few times as well.” Neon replied calmly.
“Shut up,” Nixion snarled. “No one asked for your opinion.” He saw Dark shrug but he continued to ignore the Necromancer. He did not seem to mind.
“And explain to me again why we’re walking there?” Nixion asked yet again.
“Because it’s only an hour’s walk.” Mist replied irritably.
“Why can’t we take a bus or something?!” Nixion yelled in frustration. Mist stopped walking and spun around.
“Look around!” he yelled, waving his gloved hands at the sunny, tree-infested street. “Look around and tell me if you see a bus!”
Nixion remained silent for a moment before resuming his walking, Mist taking lead and shaking his head. Neon had not stopped. Every time, it seemed, the travelling seemed to be getting worse. The bus trip, Nixion felt like killing someone, but managed to keep his temper in check. As for the taxi drive, he was surprised he hadn’t murdered the driver. But now? Now he would be walking to see a vampire with Mist and an idiotic Necromancer who called himself Neon Dark. He dared not think about the trip to Lyra Blue’s house after they had seen the vampire. He didn’t want to think of a worse way to get there than this, if it were possible. And then there would be all the idiots that Thomas and Mahogany and Kali recruited to deal with. The way Nixion saw it, the sooner they killed The Remaining morons, the better and the sooner he could get on with ripping up insulting punching bags.
His legs did not ache but his brain did. It was overloading with boredom, Nixion assumed that over an hour of walking with two idiots with nothing to look forward to at the destination would do that to you. Either way, when Mist finally turned into a house on the side of a street, Nixion sighed in relief and almost laughed in happiness. Then he remembered they would be talking to a vampire and sulkiness washed over him again. Mist rapped twice on the door and almost immediately it swung open revealing a tall, pale teenager with messy brown hair.
“You’re Jake Hunter?” Mist asked, not bothering with greetings. The vampire nodded once. “We’re here to ask a favour.”
Jake titled his head slightly.
“What would a detective want from a vampire?” he asked after a pause, not bothering to explain how he knew of Mist’s occupation.
“We are on the brink of another war, a group of Sorcerers named The Remaining are gathering strength and are poised to take over. We want to stop them, but we request your assistance.” Mist said. It was not fast, but not slow either. Enough for the vampire to grasp what was going on..
There was silence for at least thirty seconds and after looking back at Neon, Nixion became even more frustrated at the fact that he was the only one impatient at the lack of an answer.
“OK.” He said finally, a simple answer and Nixon’s face fell; now he was working with a vampire.
Nixion was wrong; the rip over to Lyra Blue’s house was much more calming than the walk over to Hunter’s house. Nixion still could not quite believe that in a single day his life had gone from his normal routine to recruiting a Necromancer and a vampire for a team that will combat a group of evil Sorcerers of which contains a Warlock. They were sitting in a bus again. At first Nixion’s expression turned cold at the sight of it but his mood rapidly changed the moment he stepped inside it. It was one of the new ones; the chairs were larger and more comfortable, it was air-conditioned and quickly cooled Nixion down from the boiling heat that ate at him outside, and even better; there was no one else on the bus. So he took a seat right at the back while the other three spread around the rest of the bus. At first Nixion had thought that Mist or Dark would come to sit beside him to annoy him but the two of them took seats right up the front, something he was very grateful for; he didn’t want to have to pay for the cleaning of a large bloodstain and rip spread across the backseat.
The trip took over two hours and although the travel was a huge improvement from the rest of the day spent moving across the country, the sheer amount of time spent sitting down and not beating someone up, or even arguing, with someone was beginning to nag Nixion again. He found himself with his head pressed against the window, eyes jumping from tree to tree, house to house, positioned on the street in front of him, right hand clutching his machete far too tightly. He did not shift his position, however. It did not comfort him, the machete, but it did give him some sense of power knowing that he could smash open the window of the bus if he needed to. Far too slowly, the streets were swept away from Nixion’s eye sight and hills and farm houses, the countryside, flew in to take its place. He unstuck his forehead from the glass and sat facing the back of Hunter’s head, hand still clutching his machete. Nixion had absolutely no interest watching lazy cows graze while he suffered the misfortune of travelling with a fool, a Necromancer, a vampire and an oddity driver, not even absentmindedly.
An hour later, streets came back into view and then cities. Only one city, actually and Nixion went back to watching; he had always liked cities; especially at night. He liked the night even more though. It was now night. The sun had set half an hour ago and during that time, Nixion had envied Mist for having sunglasses blocking the burning sun out from devouring his sight. He did not say anything, of course. He was beyond voicing such tiny details of annoyance. He also saw the vampire injecting something into his arm during the time of the sun setting. Probably something to stop him from becoming a beast in half an hour.
Finally, Mist stood up and walked to the front of the bus, said something to the driver and they pulled up. Nixion leaped to his feet and was almost thrown off them at once; he had been mobile in a sitting position for over two hours and his legs were not prepared for a sudden resume of duties. They woke up and held Nixion upright after two seconds, however, and he quickly walked to the front of the bus where the doors now stood open, pushing aside the Necromancer as he did so. He did not thank the driver as Mist and Dark did, but the vampire acted like Nixion. It didn’t increase his liking for him though. Mist payed up and then hopped off after his companions before walking directly to the small brick house in front of them. Nixion just realized that Mist and Dark could have simply Shadow-Walked from one place to another until they arrived and silently he thanked them for taking the bus ride so he was not left alone with the vampire.
“Good timing.” Mist muttered checking something Nixion could not see.
“Good timing?” he asked, bemused. “It’s nine, at least! Who wants to talk at this hour? And even more, it’s you who’s doing the talking!”
Mist shrugged and ignored Nixion’s insult.
“Lyra prefers the night.” He said. Mist took the lead again and walked over to the door and knocked four times as Nixion caught sight of the bus rounding a corner in the distance.
The door opened and Lyra Blue stood there.
She had silky jagged black hair that stretched to her shoulders. She was slim, and looked to be in her twenties, though Nixion knew she was probably older than that. She was pale, and for a moment Nixion was afraid she was another vampire. She wore clothes that were black and red, and her eyes were brown, like Nixion’s.
“Hello?” she asked, raising an eyebrow. “Can I help you?”
“Lyra Blue?” Mist asked.
“Yes.” She said delicately. “Who’s asking?”
“Don’t you know who we are?” Nixion asked, surprised.
“Are you going to answer my question?” Lyra continued.
“Do you always answer a question with another question?” Nixion continued talking, surprised that Mist was letting him.
“I asked you first.” Lyra was grinning, but Nixion guessed that she wouldn’t talk to them forever. Mist had apparently come to the same conclusion.
“We’re here on behalf of the Sanctuary.” He said, stopping Nixion.
Her smile became a little less warm.
“I don’t like the Sanctuary.” She said.
“I can relate.” Nixion assured her.
“Shut up,” Mist said, turning to him and then back to Lyra.”
“We heard you could help us.” He said.
“I don’t help the Sanctuary either.”
“We’re not really the Sanctuary,” Nixion said, ignoring the glare coming from Mist for speaking again. ‘Really the Sanctuary is helping us. And trust me, I don’t like doing this much either.”
“Can we come in?” It was the third thing Nixion had heard the vampire say, and his tone was calm and convincing.
Lyra looked between Nixion and Mist, then to Dark and finally to Hunter.
“Alright,” she finally said, and walked in, leaving the others to follow her. Hunter closed the door behind him softly and followed.
They walked through her house, the others looking at pictures on the walls, and books in the selves, but Nixion didn’t care. For the third time in twenty-four hours, he was back to thinking about his past. Vaugely he wondered why he continued doing this, but did not reject the tide of swarming memories that offered a tale.
He was no longer called Aiden. Somewhere along the way, he had changed it. He was now Nixion. And Nixion was angry.
He had failed again.
Through the time he had been tortured and brainwashed, he had changed.
He was now a killer.
A killer with mood swings with switched between cold, angry and blood-thirsty, to frightened, scared and timid. The moods took him and at whatever time. It could be at a torture session, while sleeping, or during the he was trying to kill someone.
He had mastered bone-breaking. He could kill someone with a tap and intentions. As long as he had motivation and a finger to someone, he could snap every bone in their body. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was every time he got close, every time he was about to murder them, he changed. He became frightened, and he didn’t want to kill anyone while he was like that.
That annoyed him whenever he wasn’t in that state.
Because every other moment of his life was spent with a burning desire to murder someone, obliterate their existence brutally, tear apart every bone and deliver the package of ultimate pain before ending the life of the victim.
He was still in the same place. His home, now. He didn’t know what else to call it. It was where he had been for the last… how long had it been? The Man had told him it had been eight months at some point recently, but it was hard to keep track of time. It did not matter though, and Nixion was never bored. He supposed he would have been glad of that if it were not that the thing occupying him was the torture. In fact, now he was beginning to go insane. He did not want it to happen, but he could feel his sanity slowly seeping away from his body and the insanity slowly spreading inside like a disease. He could not stop it either.
Every so often, the man would bring someone in, bound and chained, helpless. Nixion was always glad when this happened; finally, a chance to kill someone again. Every time, however, his mood suddenly swung into reluctance before he channelled his energy into the victim. Nixion just failed again and was currently screaming as the man dug a silver instrument deep into his flesh. Occasionally the victims were allowed to battle Nixion. He was always able to fight them, that was easy. Killing was the part that got him though. And after that, more torture was brought raining down upon him.
Finally the man withdrew the instrument form his arm and swooped down, a fist colliding with his temple and Nixion collapsed backwards, darkness enveloping his vision.
Nixion looked up. The man was gone. He had no idea how long he had been out for, nor did he care. He simply got up of the ground and sat down in the chair. The man no longer bound him the chair anymore. Once he had confirmed Nixion had gotten used to the torture, he had stopped tying him up and simply left Nixion to roam around the small room.
He sat back in the chair and looked around at the room. He needed some chalk, he decided, for when he was finally insane. So he could draw all those crazy things on the walls like the people did in the movies inside the asylums or prisons. He was looking forward to that. He would need to request it of the man when he next came in. The door opened and the man came in. Nixion remained silent, expecting more torture. Instead, the man leaned a machete against the wall, and reached into his pocket, bringing out a vial. The vial was filled with a murky green liquid and Nixion did not recoil, though quite disgusted.
“You will drink this.” the man commanded of him.
Nixion nodded, having no desire to disagree.
“OK.” He said simply, no emotion coming to him. “Why?”
The Man glowered.
“Because my torturing doesn’t seem to be working. This will drive you insane and into the kind of person I want.”
“An insane killer?” Nixion asked.
“You’ll drink it then?”
“OK.” He agreed. “But can I have some chalk to draw with on the walls for when I’m insane?”
The man laughed and for a moment he was afraid the man might reject. But then he composed and replied.
“Of course.” He said. “That’s the best part of being insane.”
“I thought that was the killing.” Nixion said, confused.
“Other than the killing.” The man said.
Nixion took the vial and looked into the liquid from above. He was mildly disappointed it wasn’t bubbling. It did not have a cork on it either. Oh well, it was just one more step to make it easier. He was about to become insane. And there might not even be any more torture.
“I’d like to think that we’ve become good friends.” The man said, smiling darkly.
“I’d like to think that too.” Nixion replied, raising the vial to his mouth. “But it’s not true. I still loathe you.” He pressed it against his lips and devoured the liquid. It was hot and it ran down his throat, smooth and powerful. The vial was lowered and released and it smashed on impact with the floor. Nixion’s mind snapped, suddenly a headache leaping to surround his brain. He ignored it and stood.
The frightened Nixion, the young Nixion, the old Nixion…he was dead. The real Nixion stood and looked the man dead in the eye. He smiled. Nixion was insane and he loved it. It was blissful and he did not need to think to act. He simply did what he did, no want, need or desire in the world. No care, no interest…other than murder.
He smiled back at the man and did not speak. He simply raised a hand and forced a finger onto the man’s forehead. He saw the man’s smile drop and become laced with fear, not able to move. Nixion’s grin suddenly transformed into a happiness of pure evil, pure insanity. And the power surged through his body, from his core, all around him. But it quickly found it’s direction, it’s road, the place to go. It surged, sped down his arm and into his finger before exploding away from it and burst into the air. In slow motion he saw the energy shimmer for a fraction of a second before it contracted on the man and blood flew everywhere.
He let the man fall to the ground, his body now misshapen and deformed, bones sticking out in every pace. Nixion grinned a grin of evil, blood scattered all over his face and clothes. He bent down, retrieved the machete the man had laid down and slowly walked form the room, away from the man who had held him captive for almost a year.
It was clear now. The memories retracted into the depths of his mind and Nixion sat there. He did not know where. He did not know what he was sitting on, nor who the person talking to him to the left was. He had not been released. He had murdered the man…He had killed him.
“Is he alright or can I hit him?” Lyra asked.
Nixion looked up, quickly coming back to earth. They were in the lounge room. Everyone was looking at him oddly. This was the second time he had done this while in someone’s home.
Mist grabbed his arm suddenly.
“Can I talk to you?” he asked, but the look in his eye made Nixion know that he had to accept. He nodded and they stood up and followed Mist back into the hallway.
“OK.” Mist said talking quietly. “I’m not going to pester you about this, I’m going to ask you once. What’s going on with you?”.
“Nothing.” Nixion said and turned to walk back into the other room but Mist grabbed his arm and sent shadows of darkness to bind his hand and Nixion’s arm together. Damn those gloves…
“That is the third time that you’ve done that.” Mist said. “I want to know what’s going on.”
“Well, I’m not telling you.” Nixion glared, talking just as quietly.
“Fine.” Mist sighed. “I suppose that’s reasonable, but from now on, can you please just try and concentrate?”
Nixion studied Mist. He wasn’t angry…he was concerned. Concerned.
“Yes.” He muttered. “Fine.”
The shadows retreated and the two walked back into the room.
Lyra was looking from Dark to Hunter, a tamed expression of curiosity playing on her face.
They sat down again and Lyra finally spoke.
“So,” she said, watching as Nixion fell onto a seat, arms folded. “Why are you here?”
“We need your help,” Mist said, and launched himself into another explanation about Hamond’s escape, and The Remaining.
Lyra looked at them.
“I can manage this situation without you.” She said finally. A shocked silence followed her words. “You can toddle off back to the Sanctuary and leave this to me.”
“You can’t.” Mist said, not looking worried. “You don’t know the magnitude of this situation.”
“And you do?” Lyra asked sceptically.
“We need your help, Lyra.” Mist said. “And let’s face it, you need to help us.”
She thought about it, and then grinned.
“Fine,” she said. “I’ll assist you,” Mist begun to speak, but Lyra wasn’t quite finished yet. “If,” she continued, “Nixion fights me.”
A shocked silence filled the room.
Nixion leaned forward.
“You want me…to fight you…?” he asked in doubt.
“Yes.” She was still grinning, but everyone knew she was being serious.
“I don’t think that-” Mist started, but Nixion interrupted him.
“Let’s go then,” he said and stood up.
“Then let the games begin.” She said, following his movements.
They were standing out in the backyard, surrounded by green grass. Lyra was holding two knifes, and was in a fighting stance. Nixion had his machete crossed over him, the point near the ground. Everyone else was watching from the fence, a good distance away.
You know how some people say you could cut the tension in the air? Well, the tension was so thick that you’d need a chainsaw just to scratch it.
Nixion made the first move. He ran towards her, swinging his machete directed at her throat. She dodged it, rolling across the ground, and tried to cut him across the leg as he passed. He quickly bought his machete flying down to meet it and the two struggled for a minute before Lyra rolled backwards and came up, waiting for the next attack.
They paused, assessing each other’s techniques and style. Nixion would have preferred fighting without weapons, mainly because Lyra was a weapons specialist. Nixon was at least glad that she was only using two weapons. He had seen her take all kinds of battle accessories from her jacket.
This time, she lunged forward, one knife pointing toward his heart. Nixion managed to stumble backward, but still received a cut across his chest. He quickly brought his machete up, and missed her by an inch. Nixion snarled and charged, swinging and slicing at her. He managed to make a small cut on her elbow, and grinned. His grin vanished at once when she came in with a fist and Nixion dived to the side, rolled on the grass and spun, flinging his machete at Lyra. She spun in the air, rolled and caught the machete in her mouth before placing one of her knives back in her jacket and taking the blade. Nixion’s face fell and took two steps back, now becoming anxious. Lyra grinned at him and calmly moved in, one knife moving to cut his stomach and his machete moving up to his head but Nixion grabber her wrists and smashed his head into hers sending her staggering back. When he recovered, he realized he was now holding his machete again and Lyra’s knife.
He swung his machete at her, aiming for her neck. She raised her arm and blocked the attack by hitting his arm away. He wasted no time, however and bought her knife flying up to slice her neck and she only just spun in time. Nixion sliced at her legs, and she only just managed to jump it, now gasping.
He charged at her, swinging and cutting again. The difference this time was that he was actually striking her, her lightning fast reflexes only just stopping the blades from inflicting fatal injuries to her body. He became more and more reckless with each injury he inflicted upon her and soon became smug. He brought both weapons up for her head and she ducked, pushed off the ground and shot a kick up that hit Nixion’s chin sending him staggering back. He spun, raising his blades but Lyra was already there. She sent one, two, three fists into his face and followed up with a second kick which sent Nixion stumbling to the side. Lyra pounded a fist into his head one last time and Nixion fell to the ground. He rolled quickly and flipped up to see Lyra standing with a pistol in her hand.
“Hell.” He said before she opened fire. He blurred from his place and rebounded off the house as bullets flew for his legs. He caught sight of Mist and Dark laughing while Hunter stood there looking bored. He made a mental note to kill them all once he was done here. He flipped as another bullet shot past him and Nixon spun and released Lyra’s knife from his grip. It flew and she caught sight of it just too late. She leant to one side quickly but it still caught her on the cheek and she gasped in pain before glaring at Nixion, seething in anger.
“You’re the one who wanted a fight.” Nixion said just before she opened fire again and he cursed. This time bullets few everywhere, aimed at his chest, head, anything. He rolled quickly and darted around Lyra, rebounded off the house once again and collided with her. They both fell to the ground and rolled, Lyra coming up on top sending four punches raining down on him before Nixion forced his knee up to hit the back of her head. Her body was forced forwards at the blow and Nixion quickly bought his own fist up to hit her sending her rocking backwards instead. He lashed out, a kick making contact and she rolled off him while he rolled the other way and came up holding the gun.
Lyra froze, a playful smile on her face. She slowly stood up and walked towards Nixion, knelt in front of him and pressed her forehead into the pistol, knife clutched tightly in her hand.
“Go on then.” She panted. “Shoot.”
Nixion laughed darkly and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened…it was empty.
“Son of a-”
Lyra’s blade came soaring out of nowhere and lashed against his check and Nixion rolled backwards in pain. He picked himself up and cursed again as Lyra pulled a second pistol from her jacket and emptied the magazine on him, gun shots ringing out loudly.
Nixion leaped into the air once more as the final bullet shot from the gun and streaked through his leg. He cried out in pain and collapsed when he landed, blood leaking from his wound. He found he was next to her and flipped his machete and slammed the handle of it into her chin and she staggered back, clutching it. Nixion spun on the ground and hit her legs with his and she tripped and fell while he cried out in pain again. She rolled to the left and jumped up. She quickly slammed the end of her knife against Nixion’s chin. He rolled once more and leaped to his feet…foot…whatever.
Lyra gathered her strength and launched herself up too, charging at him again. A fist flew out of nowhere, hit his stomach hard and he doubled over, his hand somehow finding Lyra’s arm. A grin rose to his face and he shot power through his hand. A loud crack shot from Lyra’s arm and she staggered backwards while Nixion hopped around. Her glare blazed in pain and she shot forwards one last time. Her elbow smashed into his jaw and it broke before her leg swept the ground from him. He fell and lost his grip on the machete. Before it had even hit the ground, Lyra stooped and grabbed the hilt of Nixion’s weapon as he landed don his back, face screwed up in pain.
He looked up at her, his own machete pointed at his heart.
“Game over.” She gasped.
Mist ran forward drawing his knifes looking cautious but Lyra had already discarded the weapon and helped Nixion up with her unscathed arm.
“You’re good,” she panted amazed.
Nixon clutched at his jaw, wincing in pain and not even trying to respond.
“But he lost?” Mist asked sceptically. He would have hit him if he had the strength.
“He did, but no one’s got that closes in years.” She grinned.
Nixion mumbled something about a rematch, and she laughed. The laugh quickly turned into a wince, and she looked at her broken limb.
“Yeah, I’ll help you,” she said to Mist. “Partly because I want a rematch too.”
Mist sighed while Nixion made a sound which could have been a laugh or an insult.
“Come on,” Mist said. “Let’s get you two to the Sanctuary.”