"You're going to leave her there?"
A slender woman walked down a moon soaked street. Street lamps illuminated the deep crimson highlights in her black hair. A heavy duffle bag was slung over her shoulder with multiple tags and airline stickers hanging off of the zipper tabs. She patted the chest packet on her denim jacket feeling for her sunglasses.
"She's going to find you."
Baggy cargo pants jingled with dozens of trinkets and change. Stopping outside a small building she brushed collected lint off of the olive green fabric of her pants. The dark black shirt she wore was stretching at her bust. "A size too small" Setting her duffle bag on the ground she pulled her shirt down trying her best to not look like she had been on a five-hour flight. Before picking the bag back up she reached around to the small of her back to make sure the gun holster was not sticking out too much. Snapping the safety catch securing the M93R assault machine pistol in her belt holster she picked her luggage bag up and pushed the doors open and walked into the building.
"And she is going to kill you for doing this."
"Yo Prism, we need another round of pints down here!"
A flash of neon pink hair ran across the room. Four glasses slammed onto the lacquered hard wood bar table. One after another each glasses filled and collected on a tray. With beer saturated cheers the five foot six woman wove her way to the table of college students.
"Thanks doll." One of the drunken kids said grabbing Prism's butt. Before he could even get a squeeze off the student found himself on his knees with his right arm twisted in Prism's hands. Pinching down on a pressure point in his wrist she sighed at him.
"That is not how you treat a lady." Prism said in a cool undertone
At that moment the other three very intoxicated students got up ready to defend their friend. Dropping his wrist Prism backed away not wanting a confrontation.
"You bloody slut, what the hell are you doing!" The tallest of the group asked
"Teach your friend to respect a lady and this wont happen again." Prism spoke back scanning the room taking note of how few people were still around. The one who groped her was getting up rubbing his wrist.
"Nah man, stuck up bitch here can't take a compliment." The one of the group whose pride took the worst hit said moving towards Prism. She in turn was stepping backwards trying to get behind the bar to hit the call button hardwired to the police. Prism stopped when she heard the familiar sound of a metal slide on a pistol snapping back in place from being primed.
"How bout you all act like some respectful gents, pay the nice lady, apologize, and leave in a civilized manner." A strong feminine voice commanded from the far side of the room. The whole group taking notice of the six-foot woman dressed in olive green cargo pants, black buttoned down dress shirt and denim jacked with medium black hair with red highlights holding a handgun aimed at them. Quickly they fished cash out of their pockets and each individually apologized to Prism and walked out in a single line. Once the last one of the group left the tall woman clicked the hammer back into a resting position and pushed the safety lever up and lowered the gun. The remaining people still in the building slowly went back to their drinks and conversations.
Prism went to bus the table she had just served. The tall woman picked up her duffle bag and walked up to the bar and sat on a bar stool setting down her bag in the stool next to her. She put her handgun back in its holster before looking at the alcohol selections. Reading the taps Prism swung around the bar pouring out the lagers and placing the four glasses back in the bus tubs.
"What can I get for ya honey?" Prism said as sweetly as she could. The woman pulled a wallet out of her back pocket.
"I haven't hit a bank yet, so water." She said back
"Jet lag, bad situation, and something to take out some frustration. This one is on the house." Prism offered grabbing a tall glass from under the table. The woman lent back taking her jacket off sticking her chest out as far as she could with out popping a button off. Prism held the glass watching her take her coat off. Flustered as the woman took notice of Prism's infatuation she put the glass down and stepped back to the case with open bottles.
"Pick your poison." Prism asked.
"I'll let you decide. Five hours, lost luggage, no hotel room and drunken idiots. Hard, strong, and no ice." She replied. Grabbing a collection of bottles and a pair of shot glasses. Pouring several shots of different liquors into the taller glass Prism took the last bottle of booze and poured it into the two shot glasses.
"So does my hero have a name?" Prism asked picking up one of the shot glasses. The woman picked up the other shot glass in response.
"Synesthesia." She answered drinking the shot. Putting the shot on the bar the doors burst open as a collection of people came in. Reflexively Synesthesia drew her handgun aiming it at the group. The four stopped dead in their tracks. Two men and two women stood at the entrance startled by this woman holding a gun at them. Synesthesia quickly lowered her gun and set it on the bar next to her drink. Pressing the release catch she pulled the clip out and set it down. Pulling the slide back she let go as it ejected the chambered bullet. Catching it as it flipped through the air Synesthesia loaded it back into the clip.
"Sorry." Synesthesia said picking up the glass and taking a sip.
"Dear god, do you have a license for that hand cannon?" Vicker's asked
It had been awhile since she had actually looked at her handgun. Even from a distance its size was still intimidating.
"It's fine, I had a few ruffians that tried to get fresh." Prism interjected. "She's fine, I'm currently in the process of winding her down."
"Aka, trying to get her in the sac." Talia said under her breath. Finishing another gulp from her glass Synesthesia glanced at the tall auburn haired woman.
"Sorry, what was that?" Synesthesia asked slightly slurring her words.
"Nothing, you're good." Talia countered with a smirk
The four all slowly approached the bar. A woman with medium length dark hair sat down two seats next to Synesthesia. Lucia pushed a pair of sunglasses down over eyes. Touching the bridge to push the glasses to sit on the top of her nose she activated the use of the imbued item. Synesthesia glanced over at Lucia and caught her eyes. Stunned that the glasses did not activate their mage sight.
"Now now... that's not very polite." Synesthesia said finishing her glass. Setting the glass down Prism smiled filling the glass again.
"I like you." Prism beamed pushing the newly filled glass to her new interest.
"Oh really." Synesthesia said just before she gulped down the rest of the glass. Finishing a shot and two glasses of alcohol she sat back in the barstool. "I needed that like a hard lay."
"I remember you said your hotel reservations were lost." Prism asked collecting the glasses. "I wouldn't want to know you didn't have a place to sleep tonight."
Synesthesia started giggling. Her laughter started growing attracting a lot of attention from the patrons of the bar.
"Ok she's flagged." Vicker's said moving towards the handgun on the table. Reaching for it Synesthesia leaned forward reaching for the gun. Grabbing it with her right hand her left snatched the clip. In one motion she slammed the clip into the gun and flipped the slide lock priming the gun aiming it at Vicker's.
"I wouldn't do that again if I were you." Synesthesia said with a serious face that quickly diminished as her arm dropped down and she started laughing again.
"Ok, I'm gunna take her home, Ben you lock up, Cybil should be in shortly." Prism said taking her apron off and walking around the bar. Picking up the duffle bag Synesthesia put her gun in the bag. Leaning against Prism they two walked out and started for home.
"If that wasn't the exact classification for Prism's type I don't know what is." Vicker's joked
Prism fumbled with her keys opening the lock to her apartment. She led Synesthesia to the couch and dropped the duffle bag on the floor. Walking to her bedroom she felt a nimbus flare. One she hadn't felt for five years. Swinging back into the living room she arrived in time to watch a brittle shell of an illusion flake off and disappear from Synesthesia's form. A man wearing the same clothes stood in her place brushing off loose strands of hair.
"Long time no see." Jacoby smirked
"Son of a bitch." Prism cursed. She stood up washing the alcohol out of her system and was about to launch into a much-rehearsed lecture. Jacoby put a hand up stopping her.
"Unless the next words out of your mouth are she is just came by for a drink then I don't want to hear it." Jacoby warned.
"Who?" Prism asked. She placed a hand on the wall to correct her balance when Jacoby erupted in anger at her.
"LUCIA GOD DAMNIT!" Jacoby screamed. "Why the hell was she here tonight?"
"She... uh... you'll have..." Prism stuttered trying to speak.
"I'm asking you. I told you that I didn't want her in this anymore. I told you she was to be left alone and go on with her life, her normal life. And on top of that why was Ben and Talia there?" Jacoby asked infuriated.
"She wouldn't let off. I told her that I wasn't going to teach her a thing. Then Vicker's intervened. He hired them." Prism explained trying to calm Jacoby down. Her efforts were slowly working until she finished speaking and all his rage came right back up at her.
"That asshole hired them? What the fuck would he hire them for?" Jacoby asked as the last of his physical augmentations wore off. His short dark brown hair was dusty and messy from not being washed in a week. The bags under his eyes grey dark and his eyes themselves were glossed over with red veins highlighting the whites.
"Five years. I made you a deal, after five years I would come back and start over again. Leave all the people who knew me think I was dead, cut all ties I had ever created so everyone could go back to their normal lives and not have to deal with any of this supernatural bullshit anymore." Jacoby spoke as he paced through the apartment.
"She never thought you were dead." Prism explained. "No one would listen to her. Weeks after you "died" all she would do was try and find you're nimbus. Her entire first year afterwards was dedicated to finding some trace left behind. I did everything I could to snuff out all the trails until a few weeks ago I couldn't hide it from her anymore."
Jacoby stopped pacing and glared at Prism.
"How many weeks ago?" Jacoby said almost afraid
"Three and a half. On your birthday." Prism answered
"God fucking damnit!" Jacoby yelled collapsing into the couch.
"It had flared up so much from that ritual that she was able to get a good enough feel and sense for your nimbus. Now she can track it." Prism explained. Jacoby now sat holding his head in his hands. Rubbing his eyes and taking a deep breath he thought long and hard for his next words.
"Where did they just come from?" Jacoby asked. His voice was filled with anxiety and fear.
"Vicker's took Lucia and Ben to New York." Prism said. "They had a missing persons case that Lucia pinpointed in Manhattan."
Jacoby sunk into the couch like he was awaiting his death.
"I had left from that after I had used that last spell to hide my face. She narrowed a location from England to Manhattan Airport after I had cast one vulgar spell. I am screwed." Jacoby exhaled
"So you know she has probably picked it up from the bar." Prism said. Those words made Jacoby casually get to his feet. Pulling his sunglasses out of the chest pocket in his jacket he tapped on the bridge of the glasses. The world disappeared as the walls of the apartment thinned and every living person within view started to pulse with their own individual auras. He saw two familiar auras quickly running into the lobby of the apartment complex. Jacoby bent over and picked up his duffle bag and took his M93R machine pistol out. Turning the safety off he opened the door and walked out of the apartment.
"Damnit Jacoby, you can't keep running away." Prism said trying to stop him from leaving.
"If she can find me when ever I use magic, then I'm just going to have to play sleeper for a while." Jacoby said as he walked to the elevator. "By the way, stop using my name. It's Synesthesia, remember?"
The elevator at the end of the hallway ringed out just as the doors were opening.
"Bloody hell." Synesthesia cursed. He pulled the slide back making sure a bullet was chambered and he pulled the trigger twice. Six bullets chipped away wallpaper and drywall blowing debris into the air. Her turned and ran towards the other end of the hall. Pulling the fire alarm just as he reached the stairs he hoped the two who were following him were still in the elevator.
"Ok, I have enough cash to get a bus to the docks take a ferry to France then I'll figure out where to go from there." Jacoby thought to himself as he was running down four flights of stairs. He stopped for a moment to see if he was being followed. The door flew open as he saw her. Jacoby pulled the trigger again not trying to hit Lucia. She had stopped a floor above him when his mind told him to run and stop trying to deter anyone. Following that instinct he picked up his bag and started clearing steps.
"Voy a matar ese bastardo" Chiasm cursed as she ran out of Prism's bar.
"Wait, what are you doing?" Vicker's called out chasing after her. He was hard pressed to follow Lucia. She had been on edge and jumped after everything that brushed her the wrong way in the past few days. "Will you wait for a moment and tell me what's going on?"
"Es él, yo sabe que es." Chiasm yelled back to Vicker's
"English, how many times do I have to tell you that?" Vicker's yelled back.
"Its him god damnit, its Jacoby!" Chiasm explained. She pushed the front doors of Prism's apartment building. A pair of people scattered once they saw Chiasm walk in. She had a military grade assault rifle slung over her shoulder. She stopped at the elevator and pressed the call button. Vicker's made sure there wasn't anyone else in the room before he started talking.
"Ok let's say it is him, and I'm not saying it is. But why did you bring that?" Vicker's asked pointed to her rifle.
"In case it isn't him after all then I want to kill the asshole who was masquerading around as him. Besides, it was him in the bar, it was him back in Manhattan, and it is him up on the fifth floor." Chiasm finished as the elevator doors opened. She stepped in and as Vicker's followed she brought the rifle to her hands and primed it.
"Look, I'm just as pissed as you are about him. Considering your involvement with him I can fully understand your frustration. So lets try and not provoke him but running in and shooting at him. So just put the gun down and we'll handle this like adults." Vicker's said to chiasm. She let out a long sigh and pushed the safety on the rifle.
"I guess your right. He would just run again." Chiasm said. The elevator stopped at the fifth floor. The doors opened and a hail of gunfire chipped away at the wall and ceiling spraying dust into the air.
"Shit..." Vicker's said. Before he could react Chiasm was out the door with rifle in her hands. Racing down the hallway she pushed the stairwell doors open and was stopped by another short burst of gunfire.
"Ok asshole... you wanna play that game. Then lets play!" Chiasm thought. In a burst of speed she ran down the flights of stairs in seconds. Reaching the bottom floor she cursed at the top of her lungs as she kicked the exit doors.
"Maldición del dios!" Chiasm yelled out. She pushed the doors open looking out into an empty street.
"Always different, but it never changes." Synesthesia said. He starred out into the wilds of half built houses and dying fields. Taking the time to reload the clip in his gun he fished out a new clip with a piece of duct tape on the bottom labeled "Emergency use only". Locking it into his handgun Synesthesia cocked the gun and swung the duffel bag over his shoulder.
"So far so good, nothing big or mean guarding what ever piece of land this is going to warp into in the next five years." Synesthesia mumbled to himself. Making a beeline to the docks of the city he spotted a huge pillar of violet light emanating from the remains of a bonfire.
"Pay your respects and give it a moment of silence." A female voice whispered through the howling winds. Synesthesia stopped and complied immediately. If there was anything he did listen to it was the helpful voice of spirits, and how to not irritate them. Synesthesia sat down and bowed his head to the now erupting violet and amber flames. He waited until they subsided back into a subtle embers bubbling over a pile of petrified wood. From the opposite side of the stone circle a woman walked over carrying a cool demeanor. Their eyes locked and Synesthesia couldn't move.
"So she wasn't going insane." Talia smirked. "You were faking."
"Oh... hi." Synesthesia greeted Talia. "What brings you to this neck of the woods?"
Talia smiled and continued to walk towards Synesthesia.
"Lucia ran out in such a storm yelling and carrying on that you were here. Personally I thought she was chasing a dream... and here I stand corrected." Talia said
"No I mean... how are you here?" Synesthesia asked. Its rather rare to see another person in the wilds."
"You know nothing of wolves." Talia said now within arms reach of Jacoby. She started reaching out to him and Synesthesia smirked back at her.
"And you know nothing of mages." Synesthesia said winking at her. He dropped everything he was holding and pushed forward with both arms. A white flash shot from his hands and warped reality around its center mass until it faded to black and struck Talia.
"So you say he's back?" Cybil asked. She was carrying a five-foot long suitcase. Ben was walking next to her carrying a similar case.
"That's what Luc... Chiasm told me. So if it is him she told us to go cover the streets if he tried to run." Ben explained. The two stepped out onto the roof of the tallest building in the center of town. Cybil opened her suitcase and started assembling her sniper rifle. While she was loading shells into the clip Ben was scanning the area for anything out of the ordinary. Cybil laid down on the roof overlooking the center square. There was a large ornate fountain that sat in the center of a city block.
"If he is going to run He'll have to run by there." Ben told Cybil. "I'm gunna set up keep an eye out for any movement."
Cybil put an eye to the scope and flushed blood to her eye. Everything under the night's sky lit up in her sight. A splash erupted from the fountain. Someone was splashing around struggling to get out of the water. Cybil peered through the scopes lens to see who it was.
"Why is Talia swimming in the fountain?" Cybil asked
"Hell if I know." Ben said
"How the fuck did he do that?" Talia yelled. Sitting on the edge of the fountain she wrung out her hair and tried to dry herself off. "Pushed me right through the gauntlet."
"Hey sweetie." Steven said popping in. "No luck?"
Talia looked up at Steven and for the first time he was afraid Talia was going to hit him.
"Found him, but where he's running I don't know." Talia explained, "He's on foot, but I have his scent."
Talia started to disrobe and sat down. Her auburn hair grew out all over her body enveloping her until she filled out her wolf form. She turned back to the fountain and jumped in. With out a splash there was only a ripple left in the water.
"Go get him." Steven said picking up Talia's clothes.
"Ok Cybil... go to the ferry and wait there I'm going to go take Chiasm to the train station to see if he'll pop up there. Call me if you see him."
"K... I call, you do your magic thing." Cybil said closing her phone. Standing alone at the docks she felt naked without her rifle. She had picked up a sniper rifle once Ben was able to acquire enough ammunition to train her with. Over the first two weeks of training she found it unusually easy to spot her target and get a killing blow. Over the past five years it has been getting easier to fire without thought of who was on the receiving end. Just as Cybil started to zone out thinking back on all the times she's looked through the scope on her rifle sighting in on a target she was pushed to the ground.
"Oh shit, sorry Cybil." Synesthesia said bending over to help Cybil get back up to her feet. "I come running out of no where and run into you." Once Cybil was standing up right he kept walking towards the end of the pier marked with the business tag of a ferry company. Cybil had a phone in her right hand. Flipping it open she hesitated and held the off button and closed the receiver.
"Hey wait. Where are you going?" Cybil asked running up to catch Jacoby.
"No where important." Synesthesia responded reading the pricing information for tickets.
"Ya know Chiasm is going to be happy that you're back." Cybil interjected.
"I'm sure she is." Synesthesia smirked as he turned back to Cybil. "So she got a shadow name. Good for her."
"They told me if I saw you to call Vicker's." Cybil confessed
"Are you?" Synesthesia asked
"No." Cybil answered. "I thought I could talk to you before I would do that."
"Ok, what did you have in mind?" Synesthesia inquired fishing though the many pockets in his pants for a wallet.
"How did you do it?" Cybil asked. "All I could get from everyone was that you blew up a whole building and you were still inside when it collapsed."
"Oh that. I have my ways of getting out of situations like that. Like now." Synesthesia said pointing back to the beginning of the pier. Before Cybil could turn around she watched as Jacoby sidestepped into air as he vanished. Behind her Steven was running up to her.
"Hey Cybil, I was just checking out the train yard. Vicker's and Chiasm are going to take one of the sub rails to try and follow a lead." Steven explained. Behind her a foghorn echoed out startling her.
"K, I'm gunna stick around for a bit before I head back." Cybil told him. Steven turned and walked back the way he came. Cybil turned back to face the now docking ship to see Jacoby walking towards the entrance ramp.
"Hey wait up." Cybil cried out. Jacoby stopped waiting for her. "Can you at least tell me why you're leaving?"
"Because I was hoping to come back and not see any of you here." Synesthesia explained. "Everywhere I go people are thrown to the wolves and their lives are changed against their will. All I wanted to do was try and correct that change. Be it bring a kidnapped child back to its home, destroy a cult of psychotics and give one of its members a second chance in life, only because she was sucked into it and forced to hunt down her own loved ones. Or relocate a girl and bring her hunted lover from over seas back to her so they can be together again."
Synesthesia finished speaking waiting for Cybil to try and talk him out of leaving again, but she only stepped forward and hugged him.
"I never did thank you for that." Cybil said. Synesthesia pulled her in and rubbed her back.
"You don't have to. The last five years that I was gone is proof that what I did was right." Synesthesia said back to her. He let Cybil go and started walking towards the boat.
"The best thing you can do for me is forget me." Synesthesia said walking away. "If you do tell them I was here. Give them a message. Screw what ever Vicker's has roped you all in to do for him. I just want you all to go back to your normal lives. A life like this is too dangerous to be happy in."