The Sorceress War Part I, Chapter XV
Celeste rolled out of the way as the beast
before her charged towards her, then struck downwards with its club-like
arm. The large claw the stuck out from the mass of muscles sliced through
the desk, causing the wooden piece of furniture to snap in half as if it were
nothing more than a toothpick. In the process, her whip dropped from her
hands as she roughly hit the ground. It continued after her, stalking at
a slow speed. It's colorless eyes stared her down as she tried to evade
Lancer came from behind
and struck the monster in the back with his pole-arm, using an down swipe so
that the blade embedded itself into the monster's skin. However, when he
did so, the blade ricocheted off of the skin as if it had been metal.
Lancer was barely able to hold onto his weapon as powerful vibrations swarmed
over his arms when it struck the beast. The monster looked back at him,
and before Lancer could react, he found himself flying through the air.
The powerful backhanded strike the beast gave him sent him careening into the
far wall. He almost passed out from the force of the impact.
It was about to use its
claw to finish off the stunned Blue Mage, and raised its arm over it's
head. Just as it was about to strike down, a black whip coiled around the
arm. Celeste stood behind the beast, using all her strength to pull the
arm away from Lancer. She saw what the monster was about to do however,
and quickly let it go. If she had not, it would have pulled her towards
it using her own whip and attacked.
It turned to her again,
it's face still eerily expressionless. She took out something silver from
her waist holster, and pointed it at the demonic figure in front of her.
Before it could charge her, she pulled back the hammer on her revolver pistol
and squeezed the trigger. The gun was powerful, but it was also
loud. Her ears almost went deaf from the ferocity of the volume.
She hoped that she did not attract every guard in the base towards them.
The shot would have
made Epsilon proud. The large bullet entered the space between the eyes
of the beast, leaving a large red hole through its forehead. Brain tissue
and blood spewed out of the gap in the skull, and leaked down onto the face and
chest of the monster. To her shock and fear, the beast only shook for a
moment with pain, but stood back up and continued to walk towards her.
Before she could shoot again, the monster used its arm to hit the gun out of
her hand. It lurched forward as it started to charge again, but fell to
the ground as its legs became tangled in the steel pole-arm between them.
Lancer pulled his
weapon out from the monster as it fell. Using the spike atop of the pole,
he once again tried to drive it into the enemy's spine. The pole-arm
ricocheted off again, and Lancer let out a curse. Damn it, it must be
weak against magic! If only I could limit....
The monster flung itself upwards and spun around to face Lancer.
This time, it got a hit in. It used it's claw and sliced Lancer
diagonally across the chest, cutting into his collarbone and down to his
abs. He fell to the ground due to the force of the assault. Another
shot rang out however, and yet another bullet entered the beast. Celeste
had recovered the gun, and had shot the demon in the heart. Blood
splattered against the wall behind it, and the monster groaned in pain.
Lancer had gotten away
and felt the energies of Blue Magic coursing through him. His limit had
kicked in due to the last attack by the beast. He gripped his staff
tightly and used the energy to summon on the one spell that could hopefully put
the weakened monster to death. Shadow Flare... he thought
inwardly. The spell had been learned long ago, when he was a youth.
His old mentor had given him a strange old item that had come from something
called a 'Weapon'. It was very powerful, and he could only call it
when it was needed most.
It wasn't pretty when
he did so, either. Electric hot energy spread up his arms and into his
chest. It was painful to say the least, and it took a lot of strength to
not let out a scream as it gathered in his heart. The air around him
began to turn a bright white, and it soon enveloped the whole of the
room. Celeste and Lancer disappeared into the light, but the beast
mysteriously turned a dark color, as if a shadow was being cast on it.
Black specks of energy began to rush towards it from all directions, and
violently stormed the monster with powerful magic. It let out a long,
pain-filled roar as it felt its atomic structure being ripped apart second by
second. The roar stopped, as did the magic. When it was all done,
the beast lay on the floor motionless, it's insides now on the outside.
The smell of burning flesh consumed the room.
Lancer let out a sigh,
and almost felt himself give in to the darkness that was creeping into his
eyes. He slid down into a seated position and tried to catch his
breath. Shadow Flare was powerful, but it took a lot of energy to
use. Celeste holstered her gun back to her waist and walked over
him. Taking a long look at the wound across his chest, she took out a
potion from her item pouch.
Unscrewing the cap to
the medicine, she bent down to his level. "Hold your shirt up.
I'll cure the wound."
He silently obeyed,
lifting up his white shirt (which had now been stained crimson) and revealing
the wound. Luckily for him, it wasn't very deep. Celeste did
realize that it would probably leave a scar, even if healed. She poured
the potion over the wound, letting half of the bottle empty onto his
skin. The injury slowly stopped bleeding, and began the process of
closing itself. She let him drink the other half of the potion.
When potions were drank, they recovered stamina and stiffness, which was something
he was suffering from as well. Once he was done, he discarded the bottle
onto the ground and stood up.
"Thanks, I needed
that." Lancer said, returning his shirt to it's previous position.
"By the way, how many of those do you have on you?"
She shook her
head. "Not many. I have two more left, and only one phoenix
down. The rest of the Pack has the majority of the supplies."
He sighed and
nodded. Looking around, he took note of what just happened. To his
knowledge, Helios had long made use of Bio Weaponry, and that included
bio-engineered creatures. The beast he and Celeste killed was probably
something of Helios. Why else would it be wandering around the
base? The room around him was in shambles, and yet he still heard no
movement from outside.
Getting a baring on the
these things, he turned to Celeste with a determined look. "That was
probably a Helian war beast. If it caught us, that means that there is a
good chance we've been seen by something else. If that is true, we need
to keep moving."
"But the doors are
He looked around
again. The other door, the door that the beast had come through, was
destroyed. It barely hung on one of its remaining hinges. He
pointed it out to Celeste, and she mentally smacked herself for being so
oblivious. The two took off, running out of the newly opened door into
the halls beyond. Hopefully, though there was a slim chance, they had not
been spotted by any other base troops.
A few moments later,
after they had long left the room, the twin doors opened. A figure walked
through, wearing silver oriental armor and a turquoise body suit. Her
black hair fell around her waist, and one hand absent-mindedly held onto one of
the twin sais that hung from her belt. She surveyed the damaged room, and
shook her head.
"So they came...
just as he said they would." Satori told herself. "Pity
the trap didn't work. Oh well, I have more in store for them and their
High atop the sixth and highest level of the base, Raine and
Epsilon carefully avoided detection by the two guards that were only a few
hundred meters away. The two were masked by a large crate, and both were
trying to think of a way to sneak past the two guards that were guarding the
area. It seemed hopeless. The crate was basically the only think
that they could hide behind. If they were to leave, they would be
spotted. Raine inwardly sighed. To her, there seemed to be no other
option but to go through with guns blazing.
She turned to Epsilon,
who looked to her for some kind of order. She pointed to his gun and gave
the hand signal for him to snipe the two of them down. Having a silenced
sniper rifle, it wouldn't attract any other guards. Or so she would
hope. He checked to make sure that he had plenty of ammo, then cautiously
placed his hands in the correct position for firing.
He would have to be
quick, unless he wanted to be dead. Spinning out from the crate, he
pulled the trigger and took down the first guard with a shot in the
chest. Before the second could react and fire his machine gun, Epsilon
shot him between the eyes. The two crumbled to the ground as if they were
paper dolls. Raine quickly checked to make sure no one had heard them,
and ordered Epsilon to follow her.
The two took off at a
sprint across the room, running to the two guards. Raine bent down to
make sure both were dead, and sighed with relief when she discovered just
that. She took a look at her surroundings. They were on a walkway
above the main floor. The crate had been at one end, while the guards
were at the other. Below the walkway wasn't much of anything. She
and Epsilon had already swept through and found nothing of interest, just some
equipment lockers. A door was in front of them, which is what the two
guards must have been watching over.
She walked over to the
control pad for the door and pushed a button. The panel let out a beeping
noise and the door did not budge. Raine only had limited knowledge of
mechanics and electronics, so she didn't quite know what to do to unlock the
door. She inwardly wished more of her team could operate machines as well
as Corin and Celeste. However, she did have some skills. This skill,
she had learned from Julia.
Epsilon saw Raine
flipping open a panel near the buttons and switches, revealing an assortment of
wiring and microchips. "Raine, what are you doing? Screwing
with the wiring will only make it worse!"
won't. I'm going to hot-wire it open." She replied, using the
knife she kept in her boot to remove part of the rubber covering on the
wires. Julia and her two sisters were known around upper-Deling City as
the three people that could hot-wire and break into a car in less than a
minute. The staff-user had openly showed Raine the proper way to
manipulate a machine's wiring system.
She looked back and
glanced at the two bodies of the guards. "Would you go ditch those
somewhere? If someone else sees them it isn't going to be any good for
He slung his sniper
rifle over his shoulder and grabbed the two guards by their uniform collars,
ignoring the foul stench of rotting flesh. Lifting them up as much as he
could, he walked back across the ramp and over to the crate again. Behind
it on the far wall, there was an abandoned office building. It was most
likely vacant for the night, and the bodies would be discovered in the
morning. Epsilon told himself it didn't matter, since they would be long
gone by that time. Pulling the two bodies under the desk, he exited the
room and walked back to Raine.
The Alpha Wolf smiled
to herself as she crossed the two correct wires. The steel door slid
open, revealing another part of the base. She ordered Epsilon to follow
her closely and keep quiet. The two made no sound, not even with their
footsteps, as they crept into the next chamber. It was a circular
metal room, with a staircase leading down from the walkway and hugging the wall
as it led down to the floor. The two followed it down to the bottom of
the room, where two doors lay claim to the next part of their search.
Strangely, no guards were present in this room.
I do not like
this one tiny bit. Raine thought to herself. It is far too quiet
for my tastes. If this is supposed to be a base, then why is it so
quiet? We've only seen about ten guard in the whole building, and barely
any normal soldiers wandering around. This is... way to strange.
Epsilon placed his rifle back in his hands, loading another magazine
into it. He also felt the same way as Raine, and felt the hairs on the
back of his neck stand up with anxiety. The two doors at their level were
open, and nothing seemed to stop them from making an exit. They
approached the door in front of them, and were about to move on. However,
the door before them slammed shut, lodging itself firmly into the wall and
floor. The two quickly spun around, but froze.
Epsilon couldn't help but exclaim.
Two creatures stood
before them. Both were human-like in appearance, but had darker skin and
more muscled builds. They held large toothed swords in their hands and
sneered at the two of them. Raine identified them as 'Helian Orcs' a
bio-engineered weapon of Helios. They were formed from fallen Helios
soldiers, who were injected with chemicals and other related materials to
create the perfect soldier for the military-driven country. Most often
they used firearms, but since they were in close-quarters, they had taken up
melee arms instead. Both classes were dangerous mixed with the Orcs.
The door they had
entered from also shut, leaving them in the circular room which had no turned
into an arena. Four had entered it, but only two would leave. Raine
drew out her katana and prepared for the attack. The first Orc charged
her, and rose it's sword into the air. Letting out a beastly battle cry,
it tried to thrust it's sword into her. She gracefully spun out of harms
way and used the hilt of her katana to bash the Orc in the back of it's
head. As it stumbled forward, she horizontally slashed her blade towards
it's head. It turned around and blocked it with his own weapon. It
charged her once again.
At the same time, the
second Orc rushed Epsilon. Not a melee user, the sniper couldn't help but
feel intimidated by this kind of combat. He was used to long range
engagements, and rarely faced the close-range battle unless it was
necessary. The Orc took a swing at him, slashing it's sword towards his
stomach. The sniper jumped back, missing the hit by less than a few
centimeters. It attacked again, raising the sword over it's head.
It stuck down vertically, aiming for Epsilon's head. To block, he raised
his PSG-1 up and held it horizontally with both hands. The sword struck
the gun instead of it's user. The two struggled in that position for a
moment, seeing which could hold out longer.
Epsilon was about to
give out, when he slid the gun into a vertical move and elbowed the Orc in the
face. The enemy couldn't react in time, and stumbled backwards to the
blow. It suddenly found itself the victim of another injury, as
well. Epsilon shot off a bullet, and smiled as it lodged itself into the
Orc's shoulder. It howled in pain, but stood back up. It swung two
more times at Epsilon, both missing as the sniper jumped out of harm's
way. He shot again, this time hitting it in the head. The Orc
collapsed on the ground, dead.
Raine on the other
hand, wasn't fairing as well. Oblivious to her, she found herself trapped
in between the wall and the staircase. The Orc before her was reigning
down blows that she was barely blocking. He was far stronger physically
than she was, and Raine found that with each blow, her strength was
diminishing. She felt the strange power she had encountered in Esthar
surging through her again. The Super-Adrenaline power coursed through her
and her strength returned. She used her leg to kick the Orc in the
face. As it stumbled backwards, she kicked it with the same leg, but in the
stomach this time. It fell to the ground with the completion of the
kick. Her katana began to glow blue, as it was charging with unknown
power. It was not a limit, but that strange power she previously felt.
Before the Orc could
move, Raine struck down, stabbing it in the chest. Her blade sliced
through it's steel armor like butter, cutting the heart of the beast as if it
were no troublesome task at all. The energy in the blade dispersed, and
began to violently course through the enemy. It shuddered, than seemed to
blast apart almost like it had been caught by an explosion.
Epsilon ran back to
her, and skidded to a halt as he saw her eyes. They had begun to glow the
same unnatural blue they did when she limited in Esthar. The whites had
completely disappeared all together. She was breathing heavily, as if she
was bearing some great load of power. When she saw his shocked look, she
gave him a confused glance.
"Epsilon?" She began. "What's wrong?"
"U-uh... it's your
eyes. What happened to them? They're all blue... the white parts
are all gone."
She dropped her jaw and
used one of her hands to cover her eyes. Shutting them fiercely, she
tried to suppress the growing power she felt surging through her body. It
seemed it was like a faucet, if she wished for strength all she had to do was
allow it to surge. If she wanted it to stop, all she had to do was calm
down and force it to go away. Or so she had hoped. When she opened
her eyes again, they had returned to their normal color. Epsilon gave her
a concerned look, unsure of what just happened.
"Raine--?" He started to say, but she held a hand up to stop
Shaking her head, she
simply said, "It's too much to explain. I don't even know much
myself. Look, when I find out what's happening to me, I'll be sure to
tell all of the Pack, okay? Now come on, we've got someone to kill.
Epsilon looked a bit
hesitant, still weary of what just happened to Raine. He eyed her as if
she was a kind of wild animal instead of his commanding officer to which he
held so much respect for. That kind of energy was unheard of in
battle, and not even a sorceress held so much during combat. Raine
noticed his look, and frowned deeply with hurt.
look at me like that." She pleaded with her soldier, "I'm
not going to hurt you. Now, come on... we need to move."
Epsilon nodded at last, and began to follow her as she turned to one of the
locked doors. They hadn't opened again after they had slain the two Orcs,
so Raine was afraid that she would have to hot-wire them open again. As
she approached the doors, Epsilon silently cursed himself for looking down on
Raine in fear. He felt ashamed of what he had done, especially to a
soldier as powerful and noble as Raine. He hung his head and didn't
say another word.
As Raine flipped open
the control panel to the far door, there was a slight scraping sound at the
other door. It was barely audible, so both Wolves paid it little
mind. However, as Raine was about to cross the two proper wires, the
second door exploded in an array of orange and red flames. Five armed
soldiers burst into the room and aimed their machine guns at the two.
Raine and Epsilon began to slowly move towards them, evaluating if they could
take them or not. As they did so, the other door slid open and five more
guards stormed in. This group had another person with them, however.
'Raine' was it?" Satori said as she approached, two guards following
close behind her. "Now, surely you didn't think sneaking in would be
this easy, would it?"
Raine's lips curled
into a sneer as Satori stopped in front of her. The Estharian general
said nothing for a moment, but evaluated Raine's strength. After her
defeats in Esthar, she didn't want to take any more chances with the Alpha Wolf
and her soldiers. She slapped Raine across the left cheek and smiled as a
trail of blood started to flow from her lower lip. Raine huffed at the
situation. Here she was taking a beating, and she couldn't do a thing
"What, no sassy
remarks?" Satori asked, disappointed. "Damn, I was hoping
you would press me to hurt you more. Oh well."
"What do you want
from us?" Raine asked, "To kill us?"
Satori threw back her
head and laughed. "Oh, please, Raine you kill me! Really now, why do
you think we allowed you to get this far if all we wanted to do was kill
you? No, Virados has other plans for you."
clever. How did he see us coming?"
again. "You people are so loud, we could have shot you a mile
away. As much fun as it is to talk with you, I think I had better get on
with my orders. Williams! Tseng! Do it!"
Two of the soldiers
came up to Epsilon and Raine, and raised their machine guns. Before the
Wolves could dodge, the butt of their guns crashed into the backs of their
skulls. Raine's vision blurred for a fraction of a second, then she fell
to the ground. Epsilon had already passed out, but somehow, Raine was
still conscious. Satori looked astonished, and ordered another hit.
The second attack from the end of the rifle pushed her into blackness, and she
fell down to the floor as she lost her sight and feeling.
"Take them to
Virados, and do not wander!" Satori ordered, kicking Raine in the
gut for good measure.
The two guards took
them by the arms, and dragged them off to meet the one person they were ordered