|City of Bats
Author: Miss Carmine PM
Meet Duality. She's 15, lives in the city of Zytopolis, and, oh yes, she's a bat. Well, sort of. When one fateful night an incident at a museum brings her to the attention of some powerful people, she soon finds out why the saying "May you live in interesting times" is meant as a curse, as her life soon becomes very interesting indeed.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Chapters: 15 - Words: 15,866 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 06-14-12 - Published: 01-24-12 - id: 2991325
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Aaargh!" Duality's wildly scrabbling fingers found purchase on her opponent's face as they raked across it. "You bitch! I will get you for this, mark my words! But..."
Duality's feathered foe fled before finishing her sentence, passing close by the spot where Carpayth was busily shooting at the polar bear and dodging his return ice balls. But as the hawk passed by, she deliberately pushed him, knocking him off balance.
Duality watched him get struck by the bear's next few ice missiles, bemused by the look of horror that crossed his face. A few snowballs never did anyone any harm, did they? But he wasn't shrugging them off, as she had expected. Instead, he was staring intently at the scattered ice on his chest, his duel with the watching polar bear apparently forgotten.
She rushed over to him, still nonplussed by his behaviour. "What is it? Why'd you suddenly stop?"
"It-it's spreading. Look." He held out his arm towards her. The ice crystals, were growing, spreading. Slowly at first, but faster, and faster, and even as she watched, they reached his fingers, covering them in a thick, white rime.
"I'm f-freezing Dua. Freez-zing s-sol-lid. You're going t-to have to save Lia on your own." The fast-spreading frost suddenly caused him to stumble, and Duality jumped forward to catch him before he reached the ground, grabbing hold of an arm that glittered white with frost.
His arm was so, so cold. "Please." she prayed, "Please don't leave me alone here. Not after all this." She couldn't imagine what she would do if she lost her friends too. The thought of it seemed to overwhelm her for a moment, rushing over her like a wave of fire, before suddenly seeming to leave through the arm holding Carpayth.
Carpayth! The arm she was holding, nearly a solid lump of ice moments earlier, seemed to be melting where she was touching it. She lowered him to the ground, then let go and stared at her handprint, clearly visible as an unfrozen patch of ice. And more than that, it was spreading, thawing outwards!
Had she done that? She must have! A new ability! And not a moment too soon, either. She checked Carpayth over, and decided that he would soon be thawed out again. But she couldn't wait for him. It was time to confront the polar bear, the cause of all this heartache.
She stepped up in front of him, too incensed to wonder why he wasn't fighting her, as he had her friend.
"Who are you? Why are you doing this?" She was shaking with anger now, conscious of just how close Carpayth had come to serious harm, and that Lianne was hardly safe either. "What could we have done to you, to make to attack my home so mercilessly?"
"I am Arcturus, and it isn't my business to know what you may or may not have done, I merely seek to complete the task I was hired for." The bear finally answered, his manner cool, calm, and detached. "My clients rarely tell me why I am to do these things, but if I am paid, then I do not see any reason to ask."
"What? You mean, if somebody was paying you to burn down an orphanage, you'd just do it, without even asking why?"
"Perhaps. But I'm afraid I must now take my leave. My task is complete, and I must seek the rest of my payment." He turned and started walking away.
Duality was outraged."STOP! You don't get to just walk away from me! Not after this! Tell me who hired you, tell me what they hired you for, or I'll-"
"My clients and jobs must remain confidential, but you have more important things to worry about, for the time being. Your young friend remains inside the tower, where temperatures have now been perilously low for some time. I would suggest that you would be better served worrying about her than threatening my person. Farewell."
He turned again and walked away, this time without Duality rushing to stop him. She stared after him for a few moments, before heading back to collect Carpayth and help Lianne.
Later, after Lianne was unfrozen and thoroughly warmed up, after her friends had both left to return to her own homes, she found herself all alone in her now-empty home, thinking. Replaying the events of the day over and over, wondering if there was anything she could have done to change the outcome, where her Uncle could be.
She wondered who had sent Arcturus against them,and what exactly his "task" had been. She puzzled over how the hawk had found her, and why she seemed to have some serious personal issue with her.
But after all that, the overriding feeling at the end of the day was hope. She'd found a new ability! One that she had very probably used to save her friend's lives today. Perhaps there was a chance that it might all be all right...