Chibi-Kari: This is it! The last chapter! I don't own anything and I hope you'll stick around for my next story! Please leave me a little note about what you think…I tried to make the last chapter a little longer for your enjoyment!
Chapter 13 - Fear
Screams filled the room and Masako collapsed to her knees, "There's so much pain. All of them. Their spirits. He's sending them pain and anguish. Anger. It – it feels like hell." She started to shake her head, gripping at her hair madly.
Mai looked around the room sadly before making eye contact with John, "He's trying to warp them. Twist them and remove their humanity. Then the final plan is to allow them to kill each other. The pain and hatred is how it works." Tears started to run down her face. "Pray, John. Please. Pray." Her voice sounded hopeless as she looked at the young priest.
John's face fell and he start to pray pulling out his holy water and reciting everything he could remember. The screams continued to tear through the room and John started to cry. There was too much anguish and hatred and it was killing him inside. These children were being forced to experience something that would alter them, he could only hope he got to them soon enough. He placed a hand on Masako's head and continued to pray as she sobbed on the ground.
Naru spun towards Mai, "What is this thing doing? What's he doing to them to make this happen?" Nothing about this case made sense, but he, for once in his short life, was glad he wasn't among the victims. Knowing what they were going through almost felt like too much. He wasn't sure he wanted to know.
Mai looked around the room sadly as if she could see her schoolmates in agony, "He's showing them what people are capable of. What true evil is," She laughed sardonically, "because it certainly isn't demons or anything we've seen. At least on the supernatural level. He's the closest I've seen, but he's not true evil. It's all around us daily, though. That's what he's showing them. Evil. Real evil. I've seen it already. Loss of hope and sanity is what he aims. Then he will play off of their fear." She laughed again as tears started to pour down her face, "Fear is more dangerous than anything I've seen."
Naru nodded slightly. There wasn't anything he could say to that. There was nothing he could counter that with. He could tell it was the truth. And that fact was frightening.
"I think we've run out of time, Lin." She looked sadly at the older man, "You all should leave. It's going to be bad. Burn the building. Burn it all. That will be a better death. He'll have gotten what he wanted, but he won't have their souls."
No one could believe these words were coming out of the girl they had known for over a year. She had so much hope, normally, but now it was like she was resigned and empty.
"This is what it wants, Mai." Ayako's voice was quiet as she glanced around the rooms. The screams were piercing her heart and she flinched as a particularly bloodcurdling one ripped through the air, "It's not over and we aren't going to give this thing what it wants." She picked up her ceremonial objects and knelt down beginning to chant her purification rituals.
"We believe in you, Mai-chan. And Lin." Takagawa nodded towards the older man. He held Mai's gaze, "You are coming out of wherever the hell you are Mai-chan. And then we're going to see all that you can do because you aren't done surprising us yet. Plus, none of us can make Naru-chan his tea the right way." For once Naru didn't flinch or glare when the chan was added to his name like the older man tended to do.
Mai looked towards Lin, slightly uncertain, as Takagawa started to chant.
Lin stood up, "Mai." She jumped slightly before smiling to herself lightly as she heard her first name fall from the lips of the older man. She had tried to get him to open up for a year and he never would, "Concentrate on me. We're going to connect our spiritual energy. Then I need you to direct it towards the demon. Do this for me." It wasn't a request. The older man was informing her this would work.
For the first time since she was taken she felt hope starting to bubble within her. Looking at her friends…no, family was an eye opener. It was so easy to forget how much they loved her and took care of her, but with them standing in front of her it was easy. These were people she couldn't let down. They needed her just as much as she needed them. She looked over at her boss and he smiled lightly at her. It was different than the one Gene would give her. Naru's made her heart swell. It didn't hold the same warmth Gene's held…it had something more.
She made eye contact with Lin, "Let's get this done, then. I'm sure Naru wants some tea."
Lin looked at his young boss with a barely concealed smile, "He's been absolutely insufferable without it." He took a deep breath before closing his eyes, "Reach for me Mai. Make sure you don't feel anything else. Focus on me."
"I don't-" She started unsurely.
Lin's eyes snapped open, "You've done much harder things with ease. Aporting for example. This will be easy for you. Just don't block me. It might feel strange at first when our energy connects, then it'll feel like I'm pushing it into you and you need to release it right away. Don't. Hold it until you know where the demon is. That's when you let go." Lin closed his eyes once again to center himself. He trusted Mai to follow his instructions, no matter how vague. But he had a sudden surge of confidence in himself. Even through he had no idea what he was doing, he felt that it would work. Everything within him was telling him it would come naturally and that he would know when it came to the point what he needed to do. And Lin didn't make it a practice to doubt himself.
As soon as he opened himself up he could feel her. It was like a beacon to where his energy needed to go. He reached forward and could feel her reaching out towards him before they came up short. It was like there was a barrier that was stopping them. His mind cleared and he knew exactly what was wrong. He didn't have a connection with her, not strong at least. They both reserved themselves. Mai as a form of survival, but he did it because of his prejudices. He almost laughed to himself as he tried to push forward through it. It was almost as if he could just reach her, brushing fingertips.
"Naru. I can't get it far enough. I can't push through." He gritted his teeth and pushed harder; sitting back on the chair behind him to save energy. He needed to do this; there just weren't any other options. He closed his eyes and pushed harder. He could feel his energy starting to recoil back towards him, which was dangerous in and of itself. It could be deadly with the amount he was pushing.
He almost broke the connection as Naru's hand came around his arm, "Naru, you can't." Lending his power like that could kill him or not even work.
He looked at his young friend as he glared down at him, "I can do this." Lin studied the young man for another moment before nodding and pushing forward once again. This time the mixed powers slid easily through the barrier in front of Mai. And then he could feel it. She trusted them implicitly and he understood why Naru had hired her. There was something so pure within her and he could feel the pure power himself. If anything was certain it was that Gene wasn't lying when he said they couldn't let the demon have her. She needed to be protected because she was much more powerful than any of them gave her credit for. He opened his eyes and looked at Naru. The young man's eyes were wide open as if he was shocked by the entire experience it. Lin had a feeling that Naru was feeling something a little more than he expected and something Lin hadn't felt. It wasn't rocket science. He shook his head slightly before he began weaving the spell. It was simple, yet he knew it was right. For her pure spirit it would combine and purify the demon easily and transferring it would be simple.
He had just begun to send it to her when the lights started to flicker harder, giving an almost funhouse effect to the room. He started to see the outline of the children in various positions on the floor rocking and screaming. They were in agony. There was no doubt of that fact now. And then Lin saw it.
Before all of them was a young boy. He looked no older than fifteen in a crisp school uniform. He smiled glancing at each of them in turn before turning his gaze completely on Lin. It was like he knew that Lin was the only thing that could stop him now. John started to pray harder and Lin took a moment to study this thing. The feeling pooling from it was frightening, but he looked so plain and unnoticeable. He looked like an average Japanese boy, but even his smile was sinister. It poured out of every inch of his being, but it was his eyes that were the most frightening. It felt as if his soul recoiled from looking at the boy and Lin started to shake. Mai had told them that this wasn't true evil, but it felt like it and for once in his life Lin was frightened. Then he felt it. Mai pulled him back, drawing on Naru's calm. Together it was one of the most powerful things he had ever felt. The spell ended effortlessly and he could feel Mai pull it from him with a smile.
She turned and faced the being in front of her. Her hair started to flutter with the amount of power focused in her and Lin vaguely compared her to an angel as the light within her seemed to pour out around them.
Her voice was slightly quiet as she raised her arms in front of her, "It's over now."
The light filled the room forcing the entire team to close their eyes. When they opened their eyes the room was filled with children. Most were crying and a few were sitting around the room looking terrified as if the world around them was a lie, which Naru surmised was probably true. Mai stepped forward, tears in her eyes, she set her hands on Lin and Naru's shoulders before turning to everyone else.
"It's over." It was only moments before the rest of the group came to surround and embrace her.
"It is." John repeated as Masako started to cry on Mai's shoulder, holding the other girl tightly.
Naru stood solidly looking on to the group in front of him. Lin couldn't read his young friend, "Are you alright?"
Naru nodded slightly, "I don't have a problem channelling. Gene and I used to do that. It's when I can't it takes a toll on my body." His eyes were solemn as he looked on them, "They'll never be the same, will they?" Lin knew it didn't require an answer. These kids wouldn't ever be the same. They had seen something so few people had and no one wanted to see. There was a heavy cost to saving their lives and Lin almost thought it might have been better for them to die.
Naru straightened up after a minute, "We should head back to the base. And, Mai, I expect tea as soon as we get there."
She turned to her boss and laughed lightly, "I'm almost surprised you don't want me to make it here and now."
Chibi-Kari: I hope you all enjoyed and will stick around for my next story!