“You…are fools,” the voice surged from the being, a hoarse throat that seemed to have not been used in a long time, but in a different way than the Hunter. It sounded like the throat wasn’t made for speaking. It was scratchy and intimidating but overall surprising to the Sorcerer, to hear intelligent speech coming from it. They were inside a room that sported some kind of table, it was surrounded by beasts and other more humanoid forms like the one the Mad Genius was talking with. Around ten humanoids, five beasts.
“But that is exactly what we seek to refute,” the Eye voiced, her voice old and seasoned.
“Indeed, we hoped us getting here would prove our prowess, and thus, usefulness to your plans.”
“…” That had silenced both of them, they wavered like a woman of great legend and success would waver, upon being belittled.
“How dare you?” The Eye replied.
“With our help, you will be unstoppable. We know how the world organizes, we know all who will try to oppose you,” the Mad Genius argued, “and we guarantee all of them will fail.”
“We…guarantee.” The voice sounded utterly insulted, “we…do not…need…the obsolete.”
There was a deadly silence in the air, stretching like a corruption of the flesh. It dragged on uncomfortably for almost a full minute.
Eventually, the Mad Genius spoke, and he spoke with a voice that scared even the Sorcerer.
“Your…techno…logy. Is o…bsolete. Your…abi…lity…is o…bsolete. Your…mentality. Obso…lete. You…are–”
A gunshot sounded out in the air, in the midst of alarms and as a prequel to wailing and screams in a foreign language of screeches and grunts. She looked closer as the Eye flinched away in shock and the Mad Genius was already throwing a panel on the ground in front of him, with the body he had shot dead jolting back in reaction to the concussive force of the bullet.
“By the spirits,” the Hunter whispered.
“By the ancestors,” the Shadow balked.
“What the hell, Falk?!” The Eye reacted, turning around to run in their direction.
The Mad Genius however just stepped onto the panel and pressed a foot into it.
“I will show you obsolete!”
The panel squeaked and cranked forced an extension of itself. It grew around and covered the Mad Genius in a sphere while everyone else in the room was still reacting in complete shock. It was obvious to Morgana, from watching all their reactions, that in his madness, Falk had killed their leader.
The guards first focused on the Eye, she was impaled and crushed against the ground in seconds, the bone crunching loudly even under the alarm, and beneath a mad whimper of agony. The Shadow took her hand to her mouth in dismay.
By the time the guards turned to attack him, the sphere had closed, and the panel had popped and pushed it open, to show exhaust turbines. His voice sounded out from inside the sphere, as it was banged and dented and broken apart by his humanoid attackers. It wouldn’t last more than a minute under attack, but it didn’t stay idle for more than twenty seconds in all.
“I will show you all! You will rue this day!” His voice surged through way of speakers, distorted by them to sound far away and as mechanical as half his body.
The turbines turned on and pushed his vessel against the ceiling. The ceiling, she noticed, started to redden…and melt. The roof of the sphere had some kind of drilling mechanism using heat. What she was seeing was insane.
“THE DAY YOU SCORNED FALK GOLDSMITH! THE GREATEST GENIUS IN THE WORLD!!!”
The sphere, banged up, dented and with parts falling out of it, still made its way through, and through up two more barriers before it flew away and out of reach. Or so she thought, as some of the guards, she noticed, incorporated the mist into their bodies in a strange way…the air turning into a liquid that seemed…viscous, almost solid. They formed planar constructs around their claws, which somehow allowed them to fly. It took them a couple of minutes, but they were definitely pursuing the Mad Genius.
The Sorcerer, however, was left convinced there was nothing left they could do. She breathed deeply and turned to lean against the wall and out of sight. The only good to all of that is that the three of them had gone unnoticed.
“There is naught to do now,” she confessed.
“That was crazy,” the Shadow said.
“We could go back for the power stone,” the Hunter said, “with all this…commotion.”
“No,” the Sorcerer said, “there is no way we escape this vessel if we do not…ugh…if we do not do it now. Let us flee, and if they still pursue their invasion…we will have to…” She let her words trail off. It was hard to admit that it was going to happen, but as she coughed blood again and felt her breathing…smashed. Squashed. She could not help but admit the truth. “You will have to fight later. It is…much more important that we…ugh”
She felt the Hunter’s hands on her back and the Shadow was also closer to her though looking around, back at the room especially. It looked like she wanted to go in. That was most likely lunacy already taking over her senses.
“Are you dying?” The Hunter asked.
“I…it is most important we pass on what we know,” she struggled, “lay your hands on me one last time. I am taking us out of here.”
They did so. She closed her eyes and focused her powers one last time. Her chest bulged so hard and painfully she thought she was going to whimper and give up before casting the spell, but she got it out of her. Somehow, she found the strength and made it surge…that familiar feeling.
She felt herself falling for a second, hitting the dirt hard.
“Ow!” She rolled to a stop. “Ow…I am…sorry, I guess I…” she tried taking a deep breath but something didn’t let her. “Ouf…” she saw the Hunter show up on top of her in a crouch, she felt her opening her robe, pulling her hair apart and over her arms and then she saw the struggled look in her face as she saw whatever wound she had felt before with her hands.
More importantly, she looked around to see they were alone.
“Where…where is Shadow?”
The Hunter looked around too, then, suddenly realizing it herself.
“She is not with us?”
The Hunter stood up and vanished from sight for a moment. She soon returned.
She shook her head.
The pain hit her heart hard suddenly, and she was not sure if that was her wound or the guilt that she had somehow messed up on the spell and left the Shadow behind… to die.
“No…” tears came to her eyes, something she didn’t expect, but dying had a way to…make you emotional. Her whole nervous system was so whacked and destabilized she could hardly keep herself from wailing, which she wanted to because her body was…asphyxiating her, not really hurting her to death, just cutting her off from life. Very much against her will.
“We have to–”
“You did not fail her,” the Hunter’s voice came through. She looked up at the Hunter who was looking at her with cold, detached eyes. Stalwart…or uncompassionate? It didn’t matter. “She must have let go before the spell was cast.”
“Why would she–…ugh… remain behind? On purpose?”
“I do not know,” she looked away, “I do not know many things.”
“You…you need to escape.”
“I will bring you with me.”
“I will smack you-you even try!” Against all odds, she just blurted it out angrily, even raising her head in protest. Immediately, in consequence, she coughed out blood over her chest. “Ugh…” she laid down her head again and looked up.
The mist was solid. More solid than any fog she had ever seen.
“Ugh…I am impossibly crossed…that I cannot even see the sky.”
“…” If the Hunter was trying to find words to say, it seemed, but she apparently failed. Morgana coughed again – a hammer to the lung – and just exhaled away her emotions in a heartfelt gasp.
“…I really thought we would stop them.”
“You need to…you need to return to-to the organizers…Griff, Eliza, one of them. You need to tell them all that… has occurred. And all you…you have witnessed.”
The Hunter nodded.
“I swear to you, Sorcerer.”
“Oh…this is the worst,” she felt like shaking her head but didn’t find the energy to. “I am really not ready to die.”
But she was dying. The Hunter offered no complaint or discouragement. Morgana was in silence a little longer, just feeling everything around getting farther and farther away.
“My…my name is Morgana…oh wait,” she then noticed, “I’m blind. I can’t…are you talking? Are you–”
Then she noticed she wasn’t actually talking, she was just thinking. She wondered if she was dead already. She wanted to cry, she hadn’t and she really felt like she wanted to.
Something strange then, all senses escaped her but touch…her forehead. She felt some kind of… warmth… solid but smooth warmth coursed her face downward, from forehead to mouth, as if closing her eyes.
That was it.