THE IDIOTS WHO CALL THEMSELVES HEALERS
Lyra had a blue van and Zathract said he would drive to the Sanctuary; he honestly didn’t think the police would be on patrol at two in the morning. He got in the driver’s seat while Hunter got in beside him and Dark made himself at home in the backseat with Lyra and Nixion, both of whom were now unconscious. Lyra had pulled out a tranquilliser gun from her jacket and handed it to Zathract before they had left. Lyra, having known already that Zathract would use it to put both her and Nixion to sleep before they departed was ready for the shot, but Zathract had to use Dark to distract Nixion while he injected the fluid in to his bloodstream. Nixion, he knew, would not be happy when he awoke. But that would be in the future, and he currently had two unconscious people to lug into a van. As Zathract pulled out of the driveway and begun the seven hour trip back into familiar surroundings and to the Australian Sanctuary, he silently mused at the thought that the two in the back were dreaming about more fighting, a rematch. He told Hunter and Dark that they would probably get there around seven in the morning if they were lucky with traffic, which they probably wouldn’t be once the sun rose, so they could sleep if they wanted. However, Hunter had informed him quietly that he was used to not getting any sleep for nights on end and Dark had simply told him that he wasn’t sleepy. So Zathract continued to drive while the two exchanged tales. Dark made it clear that he didn’t like vampires and Hunter made it clear that he didn’t like Necromancers, but each of them made it quite clear that they liked one another, neither being what was expected of their kind. And Zathract listened through all of it, boredom seeping through his mind and wondering whether he would survive if he attempted to shut them up by killing them and if they would survive the battle with The Remaining if he did succeed in taking their lives. He decided against it and attempted to ignore the boring conversations they discussed.
Once they left the city and got into the country side again, Zathract decided that he liked it out here better for driving. There were no traffic lights, no speed limits, no street lights and no horns honking wildly from drunken teens. After almost an hour of doing nothing but resisting the urge of slamming his head against the wheel in frustration at the Necromancer and the vampire, Zathract pulled himself back to earth after letting his mind wonder for a while to find that the two had stopped talking. And he continued driving for five minutes with dead silence.
“Have you ever been attacked by seven people at once?” Dark asked just as Zathract was about to ask something himself and groaned in frustration silently as Hunter replied.
“Oh, yes,” he said darkly. “And they almost succeeded too.”
“And why were you attacked?” Neon asked, curious.
“Oh, various reasons.” Jake replied casually. “Most likely because I had just killed another vampire.”
“Ah,” Dark smiled. “So I can safely assume that it was other vampires also attempting to kill you?”
“Most definitely.” Hunter nodded.
“…Shut…Up…” Mist whispered through gritted teeth the hands concealed under his gloves white with gripping the wheel.
“What was that?” Dark asked having actually not caught Mist’s sentence.
“Oh, nothing.” Zathract replied cheerfully, his voice now becoming audible for the first time since he suggested they sleep. “I was just saying that I’ve been attacked by twenty seven sorcerers and six vampires at the same time. And killed them all.”
Dark and Hunter fell silent again and he grinned to himself in the darkness, pleased with his unintended tactic to shut them up. More country and farm passed them as Zathract continued to pile on the speed, his grin slowly fading now and the silence solidifying in the van. Tiredness slowly seeped in and begun to clog Zathract’s mind and head begun to droop over the wheel.
“Mist, I am going to kill you!” a deafening yell from the back seat woke up Dark, who had been sleeping, and brought both Zathract and Hunter back to their senses while Lyra continued to rest peacefully beside the now moving figure stifling with anger.
“You do not,” Nixion raged. “Under any circumstances, tranquillize me!” then his hands suddenly leaped to his jaw and clutched it as the pain kicked in brutally.
Zathract shook his head in frustration and returned his attention to the task of driving as a cow mooed loudly from behind them.
They were at the Sanctuary and Zathract, Dark and Hunter had had to endure the rest of the four and a half hours of the journey back listening to Nixion complaining in a mumble due to his broken jaw about several things including his apparent intense pain, Zathract’s slow driving, problems with vampires, flaws in Necromancy, being tranquillized and Mist in general. In fact, they were all quite unpleasantly surprised that Nixion could manage a mumble at all, let alone the loud shout he had made when he awoke. Which was quite unfortunate in everyone else’s opinion. They were all more than content without Nixion complaining. It was half past seven by the time they pulled up against the school and by this point, Lyra had begun to stir, her eyes opening. Zathract laughed as Hunter was pushed away from Lyra bitterly as he attempted to help her down from the van. It appeared she was still drowsy though and had to walk along slowly from behind as they made their way into the school, the slowly rising higher and higher into the sky behind them.
Zathract lead the group with Dark and Hunter behind him walking side by side, the latter looking quite disgruntled, with Nixion trailing behind, clutching his jaw and wincing with each step, and Lyra bringing up the rear walking slowly and gasping each time her right arm moved. They continued walking, through the darkened school, into the practically destroyed canteen, where Zathract knelt for a moment to allow the tile to detect the traces of magic in the flame he held to it, before proceeding down the staircase and into the Sanctuary. No one spoke as the group marched across the long passageway lit by flame. In fact, it wasn’t much of a march. Zathract strode normally, Hunter and Dark’s backs arched forward slightly to display a feeling of boredom and Nixion half staggered forwards while Lyra attempted a faster pace before finding it too difficult to increase her speed and dropping back to her slower one making her look like she was giving off short bursts of energy every few seconds. As usual, Zathract reflected, they were not anywhere near the term “normal”. Normal was boring though. The way the walls and ceilings were built and how the light of the fire illuminated the corridor reminded Zathract very much of the movie settings of ancient castles, the ones with knight armour standing in the corridors and where the kings all wore robes. Of course, the three Elders had to wear robes, but they resembled little of the silky red ones with fluffy outlining that the kings he was thinking of wore. Zathract pushed the thoughts from his mind and continued walking, nearing the wooden door at the end and smiling to himself at how typical it was of him to be thinking of films at a time like this.
He reached the end of the passageway, pushed open the wooden door stepped into the Australian Sanctuary as the Administrator greeted him again, the other filing in behind him.
“What this time?” the Administrator asked Zathract as Nixion slumped against the wall, hand still clutching at his jaw.
“We need healers.” Zathract replied. “Medical attention for these two.” He gestured quickly at Nixion and to Lyra who had remained standing unsupported but looked unbalanced. The Administrator glared at Nixion for a fraction of a second, but quickly nodded curtly and hurried off. Ten seconds later, seven people dressed in white clothes came running out, four holding two stretchers. Zathract stepped back with Dark and Hunter as Nixion and Lyra were carefully laid on the stretchers and carried off.
Zathract tried not to laugh at Nixion glaring up at the healer trying to remove his hand from his mouth to inspect it.
There were healers dressed in stupid white clothes all around him and the huge light was blinding. Nixion was lying on a long steel platform and was strapped down to it. It was a much friendlier environment than the room he was locked in for a year and tortured, but the scene was familiar enough to set his memories back to pain again.
They were all dead and Nixion was standing in the middle of the room with their broken, lifeless bodies scattered around him, all of which were drenched in blood, as was he. Their once pure white clothes were now torn and bloody, worn and beaten. Nixion’s face was consumed with a maniacal grin accompanied with insane laugher of madness. He was slightly hunched over and his hand clutching the bloodstained machete hung loosely by his side. Nixion’s laughter slowly dimmed and then died, the silence starting to press in on him. It was the kind of silence that was impossible to contain, the kind that walls could not hold. Nixion could not appreciate it, would not. It bore down on him and expanded, slowly but steadily; purposefully as if it had a goal. It was delicate and powerful, but vulnerable. And then the silence shattered; a sharp knife cut through it in the form of Nixion’s voice.
“DEAD!” he bellowed and begun to laugh again. They were all dead, all the people in the building. His former prison, the small room he had been kept in for so long, tortured in, was behind him, the door leading into it positioned somewhere to the left of a corridor to the side. There was a dead body in there too. Nixion grinned darkly at the memory. The once white walls, just like the once white clothes, were now stained and covered in blood from all different people. Nixion remained hunched over as his shoulders and back shook slightly with his laughter which was then ceased abruptly. It would have unnerved everyone, if anyone was still alive. Then his head slowly rose upwards as the silence snuck back in carefully, his eyes now narrowing and his eyebrows contracting to create a fierce glare as if the blood splatter on the wall had just insulted him.
“I’M NOT GIVING IT TO YOU!” he roared at the wall and the silence scampered back out again as Nixion straightened up and looked away from the wall after two more seconds of hardened rage. An exit. He needed an exit out of the building, some way to get out of here, the prison. His prison…his prison.
Nixion staggered forwards, his left leg landed heavily and he wobbled sideways for a second before getting his balance back in check. His laugh that escaped from his mouth again turned sharp in the instant Nixion’s weight shifted to his right leg and a cross between a growl and a gasp of pain filled the room as pain surged through his mind and leg simultaneously.
“Revenge…” he muttered, forgetting about his leg at once and took another staggered step forwards. “Will be…IT!” he spun around and his hand flew upwards, finger pointed now at a double door with blood splattered all over it. “THAT IT REVENGE! NOW!” Nixion abandoned his old direction and marched towards the door, finger still firmly pointing at it accusingly. He stepped over a dead body and lowered his hands when he reached the door. His eyes travelled up and down the door, examining it carefully and softly muttered words flittered from his mouth that hung slightly open. Nixion’s hand met the door and he begun stroking it softly.
“Mine…it…lovely…DIE!” he rolled forwards and crashed into the double door with such force that they were knocked off its hinges and clattered loudly in the next corridor as Nixion stepped over them, now walking purposefully towards a second door, moving with an air of brutal purpose, seemingly knowing where he was going.
“BANG!” How was Nixion suddenly holding a gun? Perhaps a better question would be “why did he just shoot it at the light above him, plunging the corridor in to complete darkness?”, or a better one still, “why did he discard it the second after doing this?” It didn’t seem to matter to Nixion. He continued walking quickly forwards and turned what he imagined would be a corner.
Nixion staggered backwards, roared in fury and slammed his fist into the wall before getting it stuck in there and spent the next five minutes in a blind rage, screaming, thrashing and lashing out, trying to free his hand from the large ditch in the wall.
He kicked it in the end which somehow dislodged his fist and he quickly slammed his other one into the insolent wall before turning around and smashing through a second door.
And there, right there, in front of his eyes, was the most horrible, mind-numbingly, blindingly, terribly, disgustingly horrid thing Nixion had ever seen. Impure and natural; horrifying to see, a feeling to bleed against. Something to kill, yet something he could not, something no one could. Impossible in itself to exist, something so impure, something so unnaturally bright; it gazed into Nixion’s soul and was already torturing him. Why? After all this time, why was something else ten times as worse taking away all the numbness and blissful nothingness insanity bought with it and handing him back pain and fear? He writhed and shielded his eyes against his eternal enemy: sunlight.
Sunlight. Those eternal, never wavering rays of impurity. They were still his enemy. Just like this huge bright light bearing down on him now was. The only difference between the two situations was…rather a lot of things, honestly. Nixion was now lying on a steel bed thing and a healer dressed in white was leaning over him, asking him something. He laughed silently. The healer looked just like one of the people dressed in the uniforms he had killed all those years ago. He probably didn’t have enough strength at this point to kill anyone though. Or did he? His jaw didn’t hurt anymore. He could actually feel his fingers. Did this mean that the healers had already operated on him?
Argh, there’s the pain! God damn, no, they have not operated yet!
Lyra was sitting in a comfortable red chair, her eyes closed and was failing in her attempt to ignore the searing pain in her arm miserably. There were three healers doing things to her, but she didn’t trust them to give her anything to eat or drink to fix her arm, or even to numb the pain. Lyra wouldn’t even accept the numbing leaves they had offered her and so they had quickly bustled about, trying to fix up her injuries in some other way. The chances that they were actually people intend on poisoning her were very, very slim, but it was a chance all the same. And if that was a change, then the chances that they would end up poisoning her would be reduced significantly if she refused all substances to be taken orally.
As much as her pain ate at her, annoyance was biting its way through her flesh too; annoyance at the stupid, idiotic healers. As if it would take them half an hour to devise a method to at least numb a broken arm without having the victim digest something. Idiots. Zathract Mist most likely had something on him more worth her time than these fools. Admittedly, they were doing everything they could for her; it just wasn’t nearly enough to satisfy.
“Ms Blue,” a man said timidly.
“Call me that again and I’ll slit your throat.” She snarled, eyes still closed.
There was a short pause before the man recovered.
“I’m terribly sorry,” he continued. “Lyra-”
“Never mind. Call me Ms Blue.” She sighed.
The man muttered something and continued.
“We have found a way to-“”
“Well it’s about bloody time.” Lyra snapped, eyes flying open. “Hurry up. Go on.” She waved him away with her good hand and winced as her other arm shifted ever so slightly. The idiots that existed in this world…
“Zathract Mist,” someone to his right said. Zathract opened his eyes and turned his head to face the Grand Mage as he approached the detective. He pushed himself off the wall and turned his whole body to face the Grand Mage and smiled.
“Grand Mage.” He replied, inclining his head slightly as a sign of welcoming. Then he paused. “I’ve been meaning to ask; what’s your name?”
“I can’t always call you Grand Mage, can I?” he asked.
“Thyrow Slit.” The Grand Mage informed him and Zathract raised his eyebrows.
“What?” Zathract asked. “Thyrow? Thyrow?”
“What?” Zathract asked. “Thyrow? Thyrow?”
“What’s wrong with it?”
Zathract shrugged again.
Zathract shrugged again.
“Sounds a lot like Shakespeare is all.”
“Never liked him?”
“I never liked poetry much.”
“You don’t say.” Slit replied. “Are you OK?”
“I’m swell.” Zathract grinned. “And since I’ve never used the word “swell” in a sentence before, I’ve probably cracked too.”
“There are some people who can never surprise you.” The Grand Mage grinned back. Then he clapped his hands and got down to business. “So,” He said. “Is the situation being handled?”
“You think it isn’t?”
“It’s my job to check.”
“Well, to answer your question, yes. In addition to myself, Nixion, Kali, Mahogany and Thomas, we’ve now got Jake Hunter, Neon Dark and Lyra Blue to assist us.”
“A vampire, necromancer and experienced weapons dealer.” The Grand Mage sighed.
“Vai Melt has agreed to assist if a battle breaks out that could jeopardize the country and Gabriel Cobalt doesn’t seem to want to help.”
“Any news on Mahogany, Thomas and Kali yet?” Zathract continued.
“Not yet.” Slit replied. “I don’t suppose you bothered setting a time and date to regroup, did you?”
“Why bother?” Mist asked as he pulled out his phone and dialled a number. It rung three times before Mahogany Reed answered.
“Moo.” came her voice from the other end.
“Boom.” Mist replied and cut the onomatopoeia. “Where are you?” the phone went dead. Zathract looked at the screen. She had hung up.
“Moo.” Came her voice again from behind him and Zathract didn’t even bother voicing his annoyance before turning to see Mahogany, Kali, Thomas and one other wearing a cocky smirk.
“Get off me.” Nixion snarled, shoving a female healer off him as she tried to check his mouth for any more missing teeth and he stalked from the room, his temper rising steadily. The healers did not chase after him as he had expected them to. Nixion didn’t know whether to be grateful or annoyed. He’d settle with annoyed. He was in an annoyed kind of mood. A door to his side flew open and Lyra paced out of it muttering darkly about uselessness. Her arm seemed to be fixed.
“What happened to you?” Nixion asked her and she turned to face him before continuing walking along the corridor, now walking beside him.
“Idiot people.” She glowered. “They call themselves healers…as if they can’t find a way to fix an arm without forcing me to eat something…”
Nixion almost laughed but decided he wanted to keep him jaw unbroken for as long as possible again. They turned into a second corridor, no idea where they were going, to run into Zathract, Kali, Thomas, Mahogany, a new person and the Grand Mage all standing around, stuck in a very sticky silence.
“You aren’t getting you job back.” The Grange Mage said. “That’s all there is to it.” And he walked off without another word. At first Nixion thought that he had been talking to Mist, but when he saw the look on the new persons’ face, he saw that he had been wrong. Not that he cared much: this new person would probably end up dying before long. As the Grand Mage exited the scene, Hunter and Dark walked in and joined them.
“Who are you?” Nixion asked the new guy. “Never mind, I don’t care.” He continued before the newbie could answer who actually didn’t seem to care much. Nixion turned on Mist. “So this is the team?” Nixion asked as the vampire and the necromancer neared. Mist nodded.
“Looks like it then.” He replied.
“Right.” Thomas said.
“Let’s go save the world then.” Mist said. He turned and walked off, most of the group following suite.
“Cliché…” Nixion heard Mahogany say cheerfully from behind as they walked towards the exit of the Sanctuary.