Chaotic Worlds: Book 1
Chapter 11: Rematch (Part 2)
Disclaimer: The only thing original here is the plot and my characters. Nothing else belongs to me.
The faint but acrid smell of burnt flesh hung in the air as Maggot surveyed what remained of his maggots following Jake's flame attack. The young Seal in question stood quietly, his hand still clutching his glowing red Blade firmly. Beside Jake, Cassie was now holding an already transformed Bagheera in a defensive stance.
The War-General meanwhile remained looking over his fallen insects, his face no longer wearing that murderous crazed expression it wore a few moments ago. He snorted, evidently humoured. "Huh. Looks like I got you kids all riled up." He held his hand out in front of him, and the remains of his maggots floated back to him, merging back with his body. Black spots appeared where the burnt maggots had merged back with his body. The War-General then focused on healing his injuries while his maggots formed a protective ring around him. There was no escaping the stench of decaying flesh that saturated the air as Maggot healed himself. A faint crackling sound made itself heard as the burnt maggots, fully dried of any life energy, crumbled into black dust and floated away. Maggot stood before the two, fully healed and ready for his rematch.
A swarm of larvae crawled out of the road drains behind the two Seals at an alarming speed. As Jake moved in between Maggot and his girlfriend, flame shield at the ready, Cassie whipped around and reformed Bagheera into a flamethrower. She pulled the trigger, and the familiar spewed fiery death all over the maggots. The ones that were still alive or not too badly burnt quickly changed tack, merging with one another to form foot soldiers similar to their Cursed Zombie counterparts. From all directions, the alien larvae massed towards the two Seals, but both had already leapt into the air, firing down with everything they had while regrouping at a different spot.
Temporarily hidden from view, the two teenagers took a quick moment to catch their breaths. Both were panting heavily, the occasional wheeze heard. "You alright, Cass? Bagheera too?" asked Jake.
"We're both fine…but what was that thing?"
Jake risked a look over the rooftop. "Hell if I know. That…thing is something else altogether."
Cassie shuddered. "I know. What he did to my summons…"
"Are they gone?"
She shook her head. "Not forever. They're still summons after all, created by my imagination. I just…know that I can summon them again at a later time. But not right now. Seeing that thing just consume them…" She shuddered again, before leaning into the comforting arm that Jake put around her.
"We'll be fine." There was a sudden beeping in their commlink headsets. Rachel's voice came through. "Any of you guys there?"
Ken and Kyle were dodging tendril after tendril from Razorpoint when Rachel's voice came through the headset. "Any of you guys there?"
"It's me," replied Kyle as he batted aside a tendril with the flat of his Blade and cut off another. "Ken's with me too, but we're kinda busy here, Rachel."
"BLOODY HELL!" yelled Ken as both he and Kyle jumped back, dodging a tendril that, while rushing towards them, had sprouted an axe head and almost took off their own heads. There was a short pause before Rachel's voice came through again. "I'll take that as a yes. You guys alright?"
"We're a bit cut up ourselves," remarked Kyle drily, "that old man really has it for Ken."
"What about Jake and Cass?" asked Ken as he leapt over an incoming tendril and threw a bolt at Razorpoint.
"We're here," said Jake, but in a soft tone.
"You hiding from someone, Fearless Leader?"
"Call it a tactical retreat. Me and Cass took out our Warlock, but there was a second War-General hiding. Nasty piece of work. The two of us are trying to work out a plan. Rachel, what's your status?"
"We took care of our Warlock. No major injuries on our side, except the minor ones we got earlier. Hold on, Matt's checking our position relative to you guys." Matt's voice was then heard.
"Matt here. Okay, Rachel and I are closer to Ken and Kyle, but we'll split up anyways. The two of you are dealing with a new player after all."
Jake's voice took on a hard tone when he spoke next. "Negative. Both of you go to Ken and Kyle. They need the backup more."
"Screw that man," retorted Ken just as angrily. "We've had experience with Razorpoint whereas you're dealing with an unknown. I'm not risking our leader's life just because I'm dribbling out a bit more blood than you people."
"He's a bug! Literally! I'll just toast him to a crisp like you do to any bug!"
"I know you, man. If you say he's a 'nasty piece of work', then I damn well know he's bloody dangerous! If your flame was the best weapon we had against it, you'd already have taken him out! He's a real threat, Jake. You know it. I know it. Look, I'm open to accepting help but you need backup of your own too."
"He's right, Jake," said Isaac from out of nowhere.
"Isaac? What the…how the…?"
"Seals are able to enter and exit a spirit shield at any time. I also boosted Kyle's shield with my own energy. But that's not important. What's important is that Ken's right. Maggot's dangerous."
"Do you know this freak?"
"Not personally. But I heard stories from some of my contacts. Last seen around a hundred years ago; had his fingers in many smuggling rings on Earth, off-world, in different universes…he's been around. Then again, so have the people I talked to."
"Uses larvae to consume and suck dry the life force from any living creature. I'll back the two of you up, Jake. Matt and Rachel can go help Ken and Kyle."
"You know where we are?"
"Not really, but I can see a small building that's being engulfed by maggots. I'm guessing that's where you are," said Isaac as he put on a burst of speed.
Jake quickly looked out over the parapet, pulling back almost as immediately. "Oh balls. Time to go, dear," he said as his hands burst into sudden flame. Right on cue, the first wave of maggots swarmed onto the rooftop. Both Jake and Cassie fired energy balls at them before leaping away. To their right, a short distance away, Isaac flung a number of his spell cards at the building, dotting its wall with his cards. A soft grunt and a hand seal later, the cards exploded one by one, bringing the building down on top of the maggots.
Standing on another rooftop, both Jake and Cassie winced sympathetically as they surveyed the scene, satisfied. Isaac landed beside them, a gloating smirk on his face. "You want to get rid of an annoying bug, either you torch it or you squash it."
"Or you gas it," said Cassie as she suddenly turned and kicked Maggot, who had been sneaking up behind them, in the groin. There was a flash of pink light, and floating directly in between the two was a round grey Pokemon. "Smog him, please."
"KOFFING," the Pokemon uttered before releasing a thick cloud of the vilest and most foul-smelling gas right in the War-General's face. The three Seals vaulted over Maggot and the smog easily, and as they turned to look back at the blundering War-General, Cassie glanced at Jake. "You know sweetie, I think that gas is flammable."
"Really? Interesting," he said as he flicked a tiny spark of flame at Maggot.
The resulting explosion looked and sounded very impressive, considering the relatively small amount of gas that the Pokemon had emitted. "Thanks a lot!" said Cassie as she hugged it and rubbed its head affectionately before making it disappear in another flash of pink light. There was an anguished bellow from the rubble down below.
"Right, let's get down to business," said Jake grimly as he summoned his Blade. "We took out a lot of his bugs and we slapped a bomb right on his face so he's hurting bad. Don't let up. Let's make him go crying back to his daddy."
He leapt back into the fight, Blade in hand, followed by Cassie and Isaac.
Ken grabbed an incoming tendril just before it pierced him, slicing it off. Dodging, he grabbed another and twisted it before using its point to pierce itself. It was futile, like trying to punch through water. Ken cursed inwardly and leapt out of harm's way before another sharp point generated itself out of the tendril.
"Tsk. This is getting irritating." Kyle muttered as he used his wind to cut up a barrage of attacking tendrils. The strands flinched in pain, but all Razorpoint gave away was a small twitch in his manic grin.
"This isn't good, Kyle," said Ken as he conjured a forcefield that blocked a small number of tendrils sneakily aimed at his cousin's back. The young Seal nodded his thanks. "It's like he stopped feeling pain," Ken continued. "Our attacks are definitely hitting but that crazed condition he's in just deadens the pain. He's crazy enough to sacrifice his life just to make sure he kills us."
"Because we're Seals?"
"That too, but I think it's got something to do with the grudge he has against the Fanell family. Remind me to ask my dad just what got Razorpoint all pissed off when we get home?"
"No problem. Of course, we're gonna have to actually be able to go home for that. What do you have planned for that old psycho?"
"There's the rub," Ken replied as he flung a lightning spear at high speed at the War-General. Razorpoint dodged it even as his tendrils rushed out to grab it by both ends before snapping the construct cleanly in two. "For an old man, he's really fast." Both boys fired bolt after bolt of energy at Razorpoint, bringing down surrounding buildings around him while he remained rooted at his spot, his grin never fading.
"…which means, I'm gonna have to be really really fast."
Kyle nodded. "I'll buy you some time."
A strong gale swept its way from behind the boys towards Razorpoint, still buried in the rubble, dragging in its wake numerous boulders and other heavy objects. Kyle's control was erratic, owing to his inexperience and the injuries he had sustained, but he managed to dump even more rocks on the impressive pile of rubble before forcefully holding it all in one place with a downburst.
"This isn't stable enough, and I can't hold it for long," Kyle warned. Ken, his eyes closed in concentration, nodded once while lightning crackled all over him. He was glowing in his colour, as all the Seals did each time they used their powers. But this time was somewhat different. The crackling was stronger, the lightning and the glow both a blinding blue, grounding itself in small arcs. It was at that moment that the rubble began to rumble ominously.
The rubble exploded suddenly, the kickback breaking Kyle's control and flinging him backwards. Ken moved. And everything was suddenly in slow-motion.
If it wasn't already obvious, it was becoming so now. Maggot was unprepared to deal with three determined Seals, the long years in confinement taking a toll on his skills. As he launched a stream of writhing maggots at the trio, Isaac shouted a chant word. The spirit cards that Maggot had blocked rushed to his left forearm, as usual arranging themselves in a five point pattern. A violet light ran from one point to the others, leaving a purple star traced in the air. Isaac easily blocked the stream as he held the forcefield in front of him like a shield. Taking advantage, Cassie and Bagheera ran towards the new War-General, with the familiar transforming into its Blade mode in mid-air. In the meantime, the star shield on Isaac's forearm began to glow and spin.
He braced himself, then fired the star straight at Maggot. Maggot, his view obscured by Cassie running straight at him, was unable to see the threat until the last moment when Cassie somersaulted over him. The huge star cut a long and deep diagonal cut on Maggot, almost severing him in two. And then Jake was there in front of the War-General, lodging his Blade deep in the cut that Isaac had made. "This is gonna leave a scar, Maggot."
So saying, Jake ignited his Blade, the flame burning Maggot from inside out. As he writhed uselessly and screamed in pain, Cassie jumped down from Isaac's star which she had landed on after somersaulting, bringing Bagheera down hard. She cut another deep cut into Maggot, such that the two came together in a V. The points of their Blades touching, both boyfriend and girlfriend yelled together, their bodies covered in the same glow that Ken was in some distance away, and the resulting explosion engulfed all three.
"HOLY SHIT -" began Isaac as he raised a hand to shield his eyes from the glare. Jake and Cassie suddenly came hurtling out of nowhere, thrown back by the force of the explosion. Isaac caught them, and checked both. The two young Seals were fine. The same couldn't be said for Maggot. Thoroughly defeated, the War-General stumbled out of the chaos. Almost all his surface was a burnt black, and great parts of the inside the same too. He was missing a leg and an arm hung on by a small thread of his maggots.
With both Cassie and Isaac standing beside him, Jake stood straight facing Maggot, his Blade propped upright in front of him. "Save yourself the trouble of opening your mouth, Maggot. This isn't over, and you'll be back for your revenge. We know it," he said calmly, never once taking his eyes off the beaten War-General. Then he gripped the hilt harder, and flame flowed down the blade. "Just know that when you come back, we'll be here."
It was easy to mistake his words for overconfidence, for mistaken bravado. But all four knew that those were words were more than a mere statement. They were a simple fact. And as Maggot disappeared back into the drains he called home, the look of pure hatred he gave the three was proof of that fact.
Kyle's open mouth grew larger and larger in astonishment with every minute that passed by as he watched his cousin tear a new one into Razorpoint repeatedly. The old War-General was the fastest opponent the Seals had faced so far, but even he couldn't keep up with Ken's current speed. As he continued to blatantly stare, he was vaguely aware of Matt and Rachel landing beside him. Both sported injuries, but were not any worse for the wear.
"Yo, where's the fight?" asked Matt cheerily.
"Can't see anything except all that blurry movement," muttered Matt as he squinted. "Who's getting pounded?"
Matt swiveled his head so fast he cricked his neck. "You're kidding me. Who's doing the pounding?"
"You're kidding me."
"No, I'm serious man. That right there is Ken, pouring whoop-ass all over Razorpoint."
"Okay, then why does he need our help again?"
Kyle shrugged. "Beats me. I thought we could use the help too, but then he told me to buy some time and then he started glowing blue and then he started pounding on Razorpoint and now I wish I had popcorn."
"This isn't a free show, idiots."
The three spectators looked around curiously, trying to pinpoint where the voice in their heads had come from until they finally realized where it was coming from. It was Ken. "All I'm doing is just focusing my powers onto myself, instead of letting it all just emanate like we usually do unconsciously. It won't last, so-"
"You need us to pick up the slack and finish the job," said Matt, finally understanding. "How long before you're out of juice?"
"10 seconds more. Get ready."
There was a loud boom and Razorpoint hurtled backwards out of a dust cloud straight into rubble. A blue blur reappeared above him, burying him down straight into the ground, resulting in a small crater. As Razorpoint struggled out of the hole he was stuck in, Ken leapt away, moving upwards in leaps and bounds before dramatically doing a backflip and sending a wave of lightning straight down at the War-General. With that, Ken sped back to rejoin the rest of the squad, his Aura Focus abruptly disappearing once he reached them, causing him to wobble unsteadily on his feet.
"Easy, easy there buddy," said Matt as he and Kyle supported their teammate to a safer location. "Take a breather. The two of us are gonna help Rachel out," he said as he jerked his head back to Razorpoint's location where, sure enough, Rachel had moved towards as soon as Ken had reached his friends' location. "Once you're done, we'll wrap this mess up, the four of us."
Ken sniggered weakly. "You mean you're not gonna finish him up for me?"
"Depends. You got enough for a final crack at this guy?"
Ken snorted and gave him a rude gesture. "Of course I got enough," he grumbled as he got up to his feet before suddenly wobbling unsteadily. "Whoa."
"I figured as much," said Matt as he turned away to hide the slight smirk. "Just sit down and relax."
Ken leaned back against the wall, not without much muttering and complaining under his breath, using his remaining power sparingly to heal himself as the other three continued the fight. Matt, taking charge, ran straight for the weakened War-General, armouring himself in rock as he did so. His right fist sprouted spikes from the knuckles, the spikes hardening in an emerald glow until they were as hard as diamond. Razorpoint remained rooted where he was, aware that this was his final attack before he would be forced to retreat. The odds were already against his favour ; prolonging the fight would no doubt be the end of it. Therefore he remained standing where he was, collecting his power for an attack which would hopefully cause great damage to the four Seals.
Kyle and Rachel in the meantime had headed along Matt's flanks using the collapsed buildings as cover, intending to pincer the War-General. However, Razorpoint was more than ready for their surprise attacks, catching them with his tendrils easily and flinging them at Matt. He dodged, and kept moving towards his target. An uppercut from the ground up threw dirt in Razorpoint's eyes and then he was behind Razorpoint, pushing his spiked fist straight into him. Snarling, Razorpoint swung his right arm behind wildly. He hit Matt, but in so doing, completely missed Ken who suddenly materialized in front of him, lashing out with a kick to the face.
Razorpoint then threw a punch with his left at Ken, who caught it, twisted it and stabbed his Blade right through him into a wall before spearing the same area Matt had targeted with a charged hand thrust from in front. Screaming in agony, the old Legion commander collapsed into a single black tendril that fell to the floor, slithering away into the cracks in the ground before either Ken or Matt could destroy it for good.
Ken collapsed into an ungainly sprawl, his energy finally spent. He glanced at Kyle. "Looks like that's over and done with. Let's get out of here."