The flash of lightening was bright enough, the flash as it vaporized the attack ship with Marc and Stephanie nearly blinded Terek. “Land this fucking thing already, or I’m going to throw up all over you!” Terek yelled as his partner, Leon whooped and yelled as they flew from The Folly over to the prize.
“God damn, did you see the explosion? That could have been us!” Leon exclaimed.
“That isn't helping, Leon.” Terek muttered, as he refrained from slapping his pilot in the back of his head.
The CLANG of their landing did little for Terek’s stomach. He patted himself down quickly, not caring too much if he lost a couple of items if he could just get the fuck out of this small death trap.
He’d kick the shit out of Leon later.
The canopy on their little anti-grav ship cracked open and he reached up to push. The damned thing absolutely couldn’t get open fast enough for him.
The sudden BANG from Leon's pistol inside the canopy startled the shit out of him as well as a female yelling from right next to him.
“Motherfucker that’s my most comfortable shirt you just put a hole in!”
Terek heard Leon’s scream as an arm reached into the cockpit and crushed Leon’s hand. His screams turned to gurgles when she beat him in the head three times, then chopped him in the neck. Once for each word she yelled out.
The fourth chop to Leon’s throat caused his final choking.
Terek was busy yanking out his pistol to pull it up and aim at the woman. He saw her yellow glowing eyes and new immediately that he was fucked.
He had no silver bullets in his pistol. There weren’t supposed to be any werewolves flying over the fucking sea so who needed silver?
Apparently, he needed silver.
She had glanced over at him as she was beating the shit out of Leon and didn’t seem too worried. Terek found out why when another arm reached over and grabbed his wrist, easily breaking it, the pistol hanging limply from fingers he couldn’t control.
The screaming was now coming from his own mouth.
He grabbed his wrist and turned to look up into the eyes of a male standing next to me and his spirit gave up. “Oh, fuck me!” Terek grunted when he noticed his red glowing eyes.
“Not my type,” the young vampire answered as he popped the belt off of Terek and casually pulled him from the skid and tossed him, screaming, over the side of the ship.
“He’s not?” Jacqueline asked as she unbuckled the first pirate and pulled him out of the little craft. She pulled the pirate out with two arms, “How the fuck did you make this seem so easy?” She grunted, then turned towards the middle of the craft and heaved the pirate’s body back over her head, sending it off the side of the ship.
There was no yelling from this body.
Mark smiled as he answered. “Practice.”
Captain O’Banion swallowed as he and those on the bridge watched the casual way the two youth took out the four would-be pirates. No one on the bridge said a word, but all could feel the fear cross with the gratitude.
Without these two, they might have had deaths on the ship as they fought pirates they wouldn’t have known were sneaking aboard.
Who tries to land those damned anti-grav slips in a storm? There was no one stupid enough to try that.
Except these pirates who had just all been greeted then casually thrown over the ship to fall to their deaths.
And the one Jacqueline had beat the shit out of for shooting her.
“I think the young woman is going to need food,” Miles spoke into the quiet of the bridge. “Timms, take care of that. Someone also needs to make sure that Mark is ok. I didn’t see if he got hurt, but we need to make sure he is ok.” The Captain turned to Sasha who had spoken before, “Are you up to making sure Mark is ok?”
This time, the infatuation Sasha usually displayed when talking about Mark was absent.
It was replaced with fear.
Michael had spent the better part of fifteen minutes locating the heartbeats, the heavy breathing and finally the people who were doing both.
Twice, he had heard gunshots that didn’t come near him. Later, he found those who had taken their own lives. For those, he made the sign of the cross over their bodies.
They had come to grips with their own sins.
Now, he had only the final location, the engine room, to deal with. He moved down the hallway and started slowly walking down the steps to the lower level.
Click, click, click, click.
Behind him, the ship was deathly quiet.
Engine Room on the Folly
Cholly Jake hadn’t been able to raise the bridge in over five minutes. It told him all he needed to know.
The anti-Christ had found them, just like his mother had told him thirty years before, from her deathbed.
“You be careful you not be doing what you ain’t supposed to be!” She had said, “Or the dark Christ will take you out one day!”
He was busy wrapping the wire around his dead man’s switch as his mind replayed that last conversation, the touch of his mother’s hand caressing his cheek as a tear tracked down the face of the younger version of him.
He reached up and wiped it off, again.
“I might be joining you soon, mom,” he whispered. “But I won’t go down without taking the devil with me.”.
He pulled hard, busting the wire and turned around as the steps kept coming closer to his engine room.
It was a shame he wouldn’t be able to see the explosion from the outside. He had always wanted to know what happened when you fused all of the power in the anti-grav core.
Amanda, shivering next to Arnold spoke into his chest as they huddled outside on the deck of the ship. “The screaming has stopped.”
With the screaming dying, so had the fear. Now, to Arnold, it felt like the danger was walking away from the two of them.
Not that he could do one damned thing about it.
He had been trying to figure out how they could get inside, and the only solution, that he could figure out was unhooking some of the equipment and trying to break the windows to get back into the ship. Well, probably a window so that Amanda could get back in.
He was usually too big for that.
Plus, he could probably hold her over the sharp edges to protect her. He would get scratched, but with some protection, nothing too bad.
He was starting to look around, to figure out which equipment might work when the ship dropped probably ten feet, the two of them slamming back down on the deck.
“Oh, fuck…” Arnold whispered.
There was no way he would be able to save her from a fall this high.
“I know your here!” Cholly yelled out, his eyes darting all around the engine room. “I’m ready to answer for my sins, are you?”
The maddening voice came back calm, cool and without any rushing. “If I could die, I would have a long time ago, Cholly Jake.”
“How the hell do you know my name!” Cholly looked behind him and up, just to make sure the bastard hadn’t figured out a way to slip in there somehow. His left hand gripped the dead man’s switch feverishly. “You know neither of us are getting out of this, right?”
“No, Cholly Jake,” the voice replied, “I’m not so sure of that.”
Cholly licked his lips, “My momma warned me about you, but I didn’t believe her. We all thought she was slightly damaged in the brain. The stories she would tell after her dreaming.”
“Stories? People have told dream stories for centuries, Cholly. I should know I’ve heard them for over a thousand years.”
Cholly whispered a curse as he decided to let go. A vise like grip wrapped around his own hand on the dead man switch, keeping his grip tight.
“Now,” the voice whispered to Cholly, who had closed his eyes, expecting the ship to blow apart. “The problem with a device like this is the person you are playing with might be able to read your thoughts.”
Cholly opened one fearful eye and took in the visage of the man in front of him. He was holding a sword in his right hand, his left hand wrapped around Cholly’s own.
He grinned at Cholly.
“If he can read your thoughts, he will know if you intend to truly kill yourself, and when. Then, he gets to play you.” Michael looked down at the dead man switch. “You won’t be needing this anymore.”
Michael slashed down, severing Cholly’s hand at the wrist. He moved to Cholly’s left as the man screamed, grabbing his bleeding stump and dropping to his knees so he was out of the way of the spurting blood.
“So, dead man’s switches only work…”
The ship dropped suddenly, and Cholly gasped as he lost his balance. Michael looked around and back at the switch. He chewed his lip and finished his statement, “If you release them, or apparently do a piss-poor job making them in the first place.”
The ship dropped a second time and Cholly looked back to grin at the man. Looks like Cholly was going to win with or without his hand.
Except the devil wasn’t there anymore.
The ship dropped a second time and Arnold let go of the handle on the door to hold Amanda in his arms.
“Why now you big ox?” Her muffled voice cried, “Now that we are going to die, you have the courage to hold me.”
“I’ve told you before,” he answered, playing with her hair a moment until the ship lurched. The two of them went sprawling back ten feet. Arnold yelled for Amanda and grabbed her leg. There was a clang from the door as it slammed open.
Good thing the two of them weren’t there, or they would absolutely be dead at the moment.
Then, he felt Amanda, himself and … another … as they floated away from the ship. Arnold’s vision was focused on their ship as they sped away. The ship was falling slowly when a large black circle encased it, all of it shrunk for a split second, then shattered and exploded out. An invisible wave causing massive disturbances in the clouds around the ship, before it was lost to his sight.
“Arnold?” Amanda’s voice called out, gentle in the night.
“I’m here, Amanda.” he replied, trying to get a lock on where her voice was coming from.
That’s when a third voice entered their conversation, and Arnold’s blood, if he had any still, chilled.
FROM MICHAEL >>> WOOHOOO! Now, I get to take you to the next scene w/ Akio and Lightening! (Michael get's a bit perturbed at the storm.)
I am in Cabo San Lucas at the moment, but WRITING! I wrote chapter (13? 14?) yesterday on the plane flight down and about to do a sprint this morning before a meeting. Then two more I think this afternoon, minimum.
For those who have read the first Ascension Book, WE HEAR YOU. Yes, the connection to the Etheric Empire isn't explained (or VERY vague) in the first book and that was on purpose. However, I can tell you when I finished Ellie's story, I had goose bumps.
She wrote that last scene like a witch.
You WILL know that there is a connection, and I think you will find it to be pretty kick ass.