Synther Stories

An original story by Invader-Zam4

Disclaimer: All references, historical and contemporary, are not my property. Please don't sue me, I have no money. I'm a 10 cent author.

Canto 32: The Legend

Regis stood defiantly.

"What the fuck are you doing?"

"Oh shit" muttered Noah

"Reggie!" exclaimed Sabina

Regis walked slowly towards the four people. His prior question was rhetorical in nature. He could easily deduce what is happening from the following evidences: Miho and Jaime are on the floor, there is a strange man with a three piece flail standing above them and Sabina is shielding them. Of course it was a supernatural free for all. If anyone would guess differently, that person has some serious psychological issues to address.

"Beyeler!" said a voice somewhere "Beyeler! Status report!"

It came from Noah's blue tooth which fell out of his ear during the scuffle. It was by Regis' feet. Regis tapped his cane on the blue tooth, sending it flying upwards. He caught it.

"I know that voice" said Regis as he wears the earpiece

"BEYELER! STATUS REPORT!"

"Hello Galua" he said with no trace of amusement in his voice.

"Oh shit" said Cally. "Hello Regis"

"I'm guessing this gorilla in front of me is working for you?"

Cally hesitated

"You'll never be able to trace and pin it on me. If you're going to accuse me of conspiracy and kidnapping, you'll need a written confession and five copies of it. So if your thinking of sending those rabid dogs you call lawyers on me Chapter, I swear I'll…"

"Cally, I'm insulted" interrupted Regis. "Since when have we decided to settle all of our disputes through courts? I thought you had more imagination than that."

"Heh" said Cally. "As much as I enjoy matching wits with you through hostile takeovers and corporate politics Regis, the stakes are too high this time."

"Stakes?" said Regis. "You mean Sabina?"

"No. Santa clause. OF COURSE ITS ABOUT THAT GIRL!" bellowed Cally

"I'm hurt. And here I thought you were trying to kill me"

"THAT would have been a fringe benefit. My goal right now, is that girl. Don't worry though Regis, your demise is my second priority."

"Why do you want Sabina so badly?" asked Regis

"DON'T PLAY COY WITH ME CHAPTER! I want her for the same reason you do!"

From the background, a second voice could be heard

"Ms. Galua…I really think you should…"

"DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO CONRAD!" bellowed Cally "I won't be taunted by this old geezer!"

"So Cally" said Regis "Um, what reason could I have for wanting Sabina?"

"Oh stop feigning ignorance Chapter" said Cally. "You may have everyone fooled with that new daddy act of yours, but not me. Oh no sir, not me. I know you want that girl for her voice!"

"Her…voice?"

"YES HER VOICE! The voice that can reach every spectrum and frequency of sound! The voice that can hum the exact pitch that will nullify not just kinetic energy, but even spiritual and magical energies! The voice that can cancel out virtually any attack!"

"She can do that?"

"OF COURSE SHE CAN! Do you take me for a…wait…"

There was a second pause.

"You didn't know she could do that…did you?"

"Nope" said Regis

"And I just told you some top secret confidential intel…didn't I?"

"Yep"

A third pause

"Oh you wily bastard" said Cally. "I knew there was a reason why I only considered you as my rival…"

"Cally," said Regis. "That wasn't guile or trickery. That's just you being an idiot."

"Laugh while you can Regis! But mark my words, I will one day; I will take over your entire company! I will own everything you once did! The former heavyweight of the corporate world will fall to my stiletto heeled Parade-ah shoes! And after I have humiliated you, I will desecrate your company! Just to spite you! I will make your company have kinky fun with farm animals! Then I'll make statues of it! Then I will turn all those statues into a gallery! Which I will then I will hold a silent auction to sell off! Then the statues will be displayed in school yards so that all can laugh at your humiliation!"

"You realize that if you do that, I can sue you for likeness interpretation."

"What?!"

"Yes I can. That's why the Disney princess doll of Giselle from Enchanted never pushed through. Matel realized that if they pushed through with that, they would have to pay Amy Adams likeness royalties for the rest of her life. So if you did make those statues, you'd have to pay me, for the rest of whatever life I got."

Another silence. Regis was getting uncomfortable. Cally always had something to say. It was usually something retarded and non sequitur, but she always had something to say.

"I'm still gonna get that girl you know."

"She has a name. Sabina Pereira."

"Whatever. She's a case file for my scientists. Could you press the loud speaker please?"

"Sure"

Regis obliged.

"Noah" bellowed the blue tooth. "Proceed with the evac"

"Yeah, I was just about to…" said Noah as he gave Sabina the evil eye

"I'll double your price. Just get the girl here"

"Heh" said Noah. As if he needed any other incentive other than keeping his reputation good.

"And…" continued Cally. "I'll give you a little bonus if you smack Chapter silly a little."

With that, Cally hung up. The two men stared each other with glares of hatred. The circled each other as they tightened their grip, Noah on his staff and Regis on his cane.

"Price eh? So you're a merc then" said Regis

"Nothing personal old timer" said Noah. "Just doing my job"

"You strike me as a man of opportunity" said Regis. "Knows where all the good deals are and takes em…"

Noah snickered

"With Michel's help, I always know where the best deals and opportunities are."

"Then let me strike a deal with you" said Regis "I'll pay you DOUBLE of whatever Cally is paying you to leave us alone"

Noah snorted

"Not that I doubt you can" said Noah. Indeed, he knew Regis Chapter had the funds to call that bluff. And double his price is not a matter to be ignored. Noah stands to gain a lucrative profit for just bringing one girl in. Being paid twice that much to do NOTHING was really tempting. "But I'm afraid it's a matter of professionalism now."

"What do you mean?" said a puzzled Regis. Indeed, he didn't realize that soldiers of fortune had a code of conduct.

"When I make a contract, I always deliver. If I went around breaking every contract I made just because my target offered me more money, that wouldn't be very good for my reputation now would it?" reasoned Noah. "I'm not a two bit thug. The reason why I can get away with charging a lot is because of my success rate and my professionalism. They don't try to screw me over, I don't screw them over. Got it?"

"I see" said Regis as he unsheathed his cane blade. "So there is no convincing you then?"

"No" said Noah. "Besides, I'm kind of glad things spun out of control like this. I have a bone to pick with you…"

"Moi?" asked Regis

"YES YOU!" bellowed Noah. "You were the one that paid the mortgage on Paddy's bar right?!"

"Heh. I would think Ameri-bank would keep that kind of info confidential."

"I've had my eye on that prime piece of property for months! They were about to close down until you swooped in and saved it!"

"Wait…" said Regis. "Prime piece of property? That place is in the slums! What could you possibly want with that place?"

Noah smirked.

"It would have fit my demograph. I was gonna open a gun store which would serve as a front for a meth lab operation" said Noah with no conscience in his voice. "Either way, I would have made a tidy profit, legal or not."

Regis rubbed the temples of his forehead.

"You realize I have to kick your ass now right?"

"I'd love to see you try old ma…*"

Noah suddenly got a startling vision. He quickly jumped back and raised his staff in defense. In a split second, Regis appeared in front of him and tried to slash him upward. He was barely able to deflect the attack as he flew backwards, landing on his feet.

"He's fast" both of them thought.

"Regis!" screamed Jaime. "Be careful! He can see into the future! He knows what move you'll do next!"

"Fortune telling" said Regis. "How quaint"

In a blink of an eye, Regis appeared in front of Noah. Noah had blocked Regis' cane blade with the chain of his flail.

"I think you'll find my visions a bit more precise than THAT!"

Noah swung the free staff at Regis, who had jumped back already.

"I'll admit…" said Noah "…you fast. You're actually testing my reflexes. But all your speed is useless if I know what you're going to do next! Face it, you're a slave to your fate!"

"Is that so?" said Regis.

"You can't escape your destiny" said Noah. "And yours is to spend this evening in a hospital with several broken bones!"

"Well then, let's see if your 'destiny' can keep up!"

Regis dashed forward and tried to stab Noah. Noah, more focused now, spun his staff and deflected the blade with one of the end parts of his flail. Taking this opportunity, Noah swung the flail downwards, using the same staff he used to deflect the blade to attack. But Regis saw this and used the hilt part of his cane to deflect the staff. He then jumped back.

Noah then moved to attack. The two exchanged blows, attacking and parrying each other with fearful precision. Noah may not have been able to move as fast as Regis, but he economized his movements and capitalized on the reach and range of his flail.

"His speed won't matter if I can limit his movements" he thought

He began spinning his staff in a full 360 degree arc, like a whip. The air was cut with the speed at which Noah spun his flail. Regis was pushed back. He was looking for an opening in Noah's defense, but Noah wasn't giving any. The flail was moving just too fast. Regis was pushed back and back, until he hit the wall. Regis got distracted as he realized he already reached the wall. Noah took this opening.

"Gotcha!" he said as he jumped upwards and slam his flail full force to the ground like a quarterstaff.

Regis saw this and rolled out of the way. A sickening crack echoed throughout the warehouse.

"Just give up already!" said Noah. "This fights already been decided! Why tire yourself out?"

"Damn it!" thought Regis in frustration. He got himself up and disappeared with his blinding speed.

Suddenly, Noah got a terrible vision. He started spinning his staff like a kata, forming a whirling shield of staves around him. It was just in time as Regis appeared in front of him and started stabbing with blurring speed. Regis attacked relentlessly as Noah kept spinning his staff, deflecting the stabs. The blurs of Regis' blade were matched by the blurs of Noah's spinning staves. The two eventually jumped back, out of breath.

As the two breathed heavily like chain smokers after climbing two sets of stairs, they sized each other up.

"I gotta do something about that stick of his" thought Regis. "It gives him too much range…"

"I guess you can see into the future" said Regis.

"Thank you captain obvious"

"I'm perplexed though" continued Regis. "With that kind of ability, you could actually gain more in the stock market. You could stand to gain five times more than what any lottery could offer with just a few good predictions."

"Yeah, I know that" replied Noah

"Then why are you still doing all this grunt work?"

Noah smirked

"You know, if the pinnacle of what I could achieve in the corporate world is either you or Ms. Galua, I think I'd rather stick to merc work thank you very much"

A vein popped out of Regis' head

"Oh you just made this personal"

Regis then ran straight ahead to Noah. Noah's stare hardened as he saw him rushing towards him. As Regis came within slashing distance, Noah gritted his teeth.

"No you won't" he muttered

Without moving, he let Regis attacked. Suddenly, Regis blurred out.

"I knew it" said Noah with a smirk

Regis appeared above him at the 11 o'clock position. Noah then tilted his head upwards, avoiding an aerial downward stab of Regis that would have skewered his jaw. Regis' blade pierced the ground as Noah smiled. He read Regis like a book and now Regis was helpless.

Noah's confidence suddenly turned to horror when he realized he didn't have room to swing his staff for a counter attack. He gritted his teeth and in desperation, grabbed one of the end staves and swung it upward, intending to strike Regis' stomach. Regis, with his free hand, suddenly grabbed Noah's hand, stopping him from swinging his stick.

"I GOT YOU NOW!" said Regis

He then swung his foot and slammed his leg into Noah's shoulder. Noah, unable to flee because of Regis' vice-like grip, or attack due to the proximity, took the whole force of the kick.

Noah howled in pain as both of them fell crashing to the ground. Grunting in pain, Noah kicked up again and picked up his flail. But by the time he faced Regis, he had his sword pointed towards the ground.

"Uh oh" said Noah

"BLOODY IMPALER!" said Regis as he stabbed the ground.

Numerous ghostly spears sprang out of the ground. Noah saw this coming as well. Just as the spears were about to skewer him, he jumped up high into the air, dodging them. There were still spears that were angled to skewer him mid air. As they approached him, Noah jumped off them, propelling him further into the air. He grabbed hold on one of the supporting beams of the warehouse, well high out of harms way.

"You'll have to do better than tha…*"

Noah interrupted himself. Regis was gone. His cane blade was still stabbed into the ground. Just then, Noah got a vision of Regis punching. Puzzled, he turned his head, just in time for Regis to appear above him and punch him squarely in the jaw.

"AAAHHH"

Noah was once again sent crashing to the ground. On the way down, his stomach collided with a ghostly spear shaft. For something ethereal, it sure felt real. That knocked the wind out of him as he slid of the spear shaft and collapsed into a heap on the floor.

Regis blurred in front of his cane blade and pulled it out. The ghostly spears vanished.

"How…" grunted Noah as he struggled to get up. "How are you doing this…?"

"Your not the only one who can see into the future" relied Regis

"What?!" said Noah. "Don't tell me even your guardian spirit can…"

"Please" said Regis "I don't need Tepes to do that. No offense, Vlad."

"None taken" replied the impaling warlord

"THEN HOW?!" bellowed out Noah

"How do you think I got to where I am today?" said Regis coolly. "I read the tides and currents…"

"What?" said Noah

"I read the current of the world. People are like tides, ever changing, ever shifting. If you know what direction they are sailing towards, you can serve them in the way that they need the most. Many people say that times shape the people. I respectfully disagree, people shape the times. If you can understand people, what they want, desire and hope for in life, you can see what will happen in the immediate future. You don't need fancy powers. You just need to be able to understand the people around you. That is how I've stayed ahead in the game. My opponents try to stay one step ahead of me? I keep two steps ahead of them."

Noah pulled out a whiskey flask from his coat and took a swig. Then he smiled.

"My guess was right…" he muttered

"What?" replied an annoyed Noah, struggling to stand up.

"Your too focused on what your enemy is going to do, you forget yourself. I guess that's what makes us different. You're a slave to the future, finding it inescapable. I live in the present so that I can shape the future."

"Yeah?!" said an infuriated Noah. "Well let's see if your PRESENT can keep up then!"

In a blind fury, Noah charged ahead and swung his flail in wild arcs. This time, Regis was the one taken aback by the ferocity and viciousness of Noah's attacks. He block and parried as much as he could, but even with his enhanced speed, it was getting difficult. Then with one decisive blow, he swung his flail full force at Regis. Regis blurred out and appeared diagonally above him. Regis dove and stabbed. Noah then let go of his flail, turned, deflected the blade with a kick and with full force, punched Regis in the jaw, sending him flying back.

"REGGIE!" screamed Sabina

"I'm alright Sabina" said Regis as he got up.

But Noah was relentless. He charged forward and yet again engaged Regis in another weapon clash. Once again Regis was on the defensive, unable to bypass the defense of the flail. Noah was angry, but not enraged. He was still in control, but it looked like he was waiting for something. Finally, it happened. With one more swing of his staff, Noah deflected the cane blade and it was sent flying out of Regis' hand.

"Ah!"

Regis was shocked and now defenseless. Noah grabbed one of the end staves and thrust it to Regis' stomach. The wind was taken out of Regis' lungs when it hit. Noah let go of the end staff, swung the middle and whipped the end staff into Regis' chin, sending him flying to where his cane blade was.

"What the heck happened?" thought Regis as he took a look at his hand. It was shaking. "Great. I had to pick today of all days not to take my Alzheimer medication. Wait…I DON'T HAVE ALZHEIMERS!"

"Just as I thought…" said Noah. "Your body can't keep up can it?"

"What?"

"You had some nice tricks old man. But fact remains, I'm in better shape. Your body is crumbling just to keep up."

"Don't be stupid you idi…"

Regis stopped. He was trying to stand up. But his leg and his knee gave up. That's when he realized his whole body was shaking.

"Regis, this is bad" said Tepes. "I'm burning too much of your blood. If this fight drags on anymore, you could die…"

"I should have figured your body couldn't keep up with that kind of speed. I just needed to wear you down…OLD MAN"

"DON'T BE SO COCKY YOU PUNK!" screamed Regis as he summoned the last bit of his strength to stand up, grab his cane blade and thrust it to the ground. "BLOODY IMPALER!!!!"

Noah didn't jump this time. He charged forward. As all of the spears popped out of the ground, he quickly evaded each one. He knew where they would all pop out and he dodged them effortlessly. He reached Regis, with his blade still stabbed into the ground. With full force, he swung his flail like a whip, striking Regis and sending him flying and rolling back.

"NO!" screamed Sabina as Regis lay motionless. Tears were starting to well up in her eyes.

"Relax kid" said Noah as he saw Regis twitching. "He's alive. I've been delayed enough. Your coming with me."

Miho and Jaime struggled to get up on their feet. But as they tried to summon their spirit weapons, Noah rushed and knocked them both down with his staff.

"If you were wise, you'd stay down" he said condescendingly. "I wasn't paid to NOT kill you two so DON'T TEMPT ME."

Noah faced Sabina. The malice in his glare made Sabina lose the strength in her legs and she fell down. Noah reached out to take her.

"Wait…" muttered Regis as he got up to his feet. "Not yet…"

"Oh GIVE IT UP ALREADY OLD MAN!" screamed Noah. "More of this and you'll die of a heart attack! That old body of your just can't keep up!"

"Hehe" replied Regis. "This old body you say? Well then maybe I should get a new one…"

Regis stood defiantly.

"Tepes? You ready?"

"I've been waiting for this…"

Regis took a deep breath and closed his eyes. As he exhaled, he opened them, with a new resolve shining in them.

"Upgrade"

A burst of energy burst forth from Regis. He shone with a weak, ethereal azure light as a strong wind formed around him. His hair grew longer and darker. He became draped in a blood red robe. His cane blade glowed as well, slowing getting larger. When the light dissipated, the cane blade had become an ornately decorated two handed sword. As the light dissipated, Regis had come to closely resemble his own guardian spirit.

"Thanks for letting me use this body Vlad" Regis muttered

"Indeed. Now lets spill some blood" replied Tepes

"An upgraded form" said Noah. "Absorbing the spirit in its pure essence. Unfiltered. Granting the full boon of their powers and unlocking new potential in the synthers. Never thought I'd get to see one. Man, this day just keeps getting better and better."

Noah swung his staff around in readiness.

"Alright old man, show me what you got!"

Once again, Regis blurred out of sight. Noah was just barely able to block his strike. But there was something different. It had more force. He was literally looking at the blade of the sword. Then Regis blurred out again. Noah got a split second vision and used the end part of his flail to block Regis attack from the side. This time, Noah barely got a look at the blade as Regis disappeared again.

Images of Regis started appearing and disappearing around Noah. He became confused. His foresight was barely keeping up with Regis' speed. Occasionally, Regis would strike, and Noah's foresight would be barely enough to block it. He couldn't even counter attack or much less see Regis when he attacked.

"Whats the matter punk?!" said Regis in multiple positions. "Cant keep up? Then let me make this easy for you…"

Noah's foresight gave him a vision that Regis would be standing behind him.

"I got you!" said Noah as he swung his staff. Regis caught the end part of the flail, stopping Noah dead in his tracks.

"Do you?"

Regis attacked with lightning fast attacks, forcing Noah into the defensive. Blood was slowly throbbing in Noah's hands as he fended off all the attacks. With one decisive slash, Regis knocked the flail out of Noah's hands that didn't have the strength anymore to hold on to it. Noah jumped back, staggering as he struggled to keep his balance.

"Here we go…" said Regis as he pointed his sword to the ground. "BLOODY IMPALER!"

"Useless" thought Noah as he charged ahead.

As the ghostly spears sprang out of the ground, Noah expertly dodged all of them as he rushed towards Regis.

"Your mine old man!" he said as he lunged towards him.

Regis smirked as he twisted his sword while it was still embedded in the ground. Noah got a vision that he couldn't quite believe. He turned his head and saw that his vision was right. There were spears COMING OUT OF THE WALL and aimed towards him. He quickly barrel rolled out of their path as they gashed his clothing. As he landed ungracefully, Noah turned and saw more spears coming out of the wall. He made a dash for it, now dodging spears at three angles. Noah gritted his teeth as he ran for his life. Then he saw his flail. He picked it up and started jumping on the intersecting spears. He made his way towards Regis again.

"Nice try, but its not enough!" said Noah as he dived towards Regis, ready to smack him with his flail.

"Exactly what I was thinking" said Regis as he twist his sword one more time.

More ethereal spears came out of the spear shafts of the spears that were already sticking out.

"No…"

Noah twisted his body and was able to dodge two of the spears. But his effort was futile as he was trapped, and was pierced by seven other spears on different parts of his body.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGHHHHH!" screamed Noah as he howled in pain. He was dangling over head, held up by the spears piercing him.

"Nice new trick this upgraded form of mine lets me do" explained Regis. "It lets me make spears come out of any still surface. Even its own."

Regis pulled out his sword from the ground and that made all the spears dissipate. Noah fell into a bloody heap on the floor. Noah lay motionless on the ground. He twitched a little, but eventually laid still. Regis breathed a sigh of relief as he checked on Jaime and Miho. He didn't realize that Noah's finger was still moving and drawing strange shapes on the floor.

"Are you guys alright?" said Regis

"A little banged up…" said Jaime. "But we'll be okay."

"We could have beaten him eventually" said Miho in between coughs.

"Good to hear. Come on, lets get out of here" said Regis as he helped the two girls up. "Cally must really want Sabina badly if she sent such a dangerous guy like this schmuck to get her."

"Wow. You're her only obstacle to corporate domination and now you have something she really wants. I guess she must really hate you right now eh?" asked Jaime

Regis laughed.

"When has she NOT hated me?" he replied. "I have to wonder what she means by 'the voice that can cancel out any attack?"

"I've been wondering about that too" said Miho. "You said she made a spirit bullet dissipate by just humming?"

"Yes" replied Regis

"Maybe its possible" Miho continued. "That she can access the frequency that's the direct opposite of an energy source…"

"What do you mean?" asked Jaime

"Every energy has a frequency, like sound. Each has its own unique signature. Supposedly, if you can hit the energy with the frequency that is the exact opposite of its frequency, that'll cancel out and nullify the energy."

"Perhaps that's why both groups want her so badly" pondered Regis. "I'll have Adin take a look at her when we get back…where is she anyway?"

"AAAAHHH!"

The three turned and saw that Noah was on his feet again. He had a gun pointed at Sabina's head and she had another sound nullifying muzzle on her mouth again.

"DON'T ANY OF YOU MOVE OR I'LL BLOW THIS GIRLS OUT!"

"NO!" said Jaime

"SABINA!" screamed Miho

"Geez, how can you still be standing?!" said Regis

"Hehe, Michel taught me many forms of healing magic" snickered Noah. "See, none of you ever had a chance against me! I could go all night long if I wanted to old man. But I got a schedule to keep."

Miho and Jaime summoned their weapons.

"AH. AH. AH" said Noah. "You don't want this pretty little girls blood on your hands do you?"

Both girls grit their teeth.

"I am NOT going to get my 100 percent record broken by two school girls and a geriatric having a mid-life crisis! Don't move or she dies!"

"He's bluffing" said Regis

"WHAT?!"

"You cant kill Sabina. You need her alive. That's your mission isn't it? Abduct her and bring her to Cally. ALIVE" replied Regis coolly

"Maybe so. But I don't need her in one piece" Noah said as he pointed the gun to Sabina's foot.

"YOU BASTARD" screamed Jaime

"Move any closer and this girl will walk with a limp for the rest of her life!"

"You hurt her and I'm going to…" Regis stopped himself and suddenly clutched his heart. "Tepes…no…"

"Regis?" asked Jaime. "What's wrong?"

Regis collapsed on his knee.

"It's Vlad…he's burning too much…of my blood…STOP IT!"

"I'm sorry Chapter. I was trying to hold it back until everyone was safe. I'm sorry…"

"Regis!?" asked Miho, stupefied to what was happening.

"NO!"

Regis combusted. Leaving nothing behind. Not even his clothes. All that was left was a puff of smoke.

"No." said Jaime "Nonononono. Please no…"

"What the hell…" said Miho. "This cant be true…"

Sabina stared in utter disbelief. As the reality slowly creped up on her, her eyes slowly watered up as she shook her head. She let out a muffled scream. It was the sound of something desperate and pathetic at the same time. The yelp of a kicked puppy. The call of a lost kitten trying to find its mother. It was a muffled cry that was barely heard but understood perfectly. Regis was gone.

"Huh. Didn't see that coming" said Noah. Coming from him that meant something.

Noah dragged Sabina. She flailed in protest, but had no strength anymore. The smoke that was left behind soon dispersed through the whole room. The two girls were still in disbelief and was out of touch with the world around them, still stricken by the tragedy that had befallen them.

"Lets go kid" said Noah as he dragged Sabina

"You know…" whispered a voice

"What?" said Noah

"…for someone who can see the future…"

A giant blade suddenly came out of Sabina, piercing one of Noah's arm and driving the gun away from her. As Noah howled in pain, Sabina wrenched herself free and ran back to Miho and Jaime. All four of them couldn't believe what they saw. A hand, coming out of nowhere, was holding a sword that pierced Noah's arm. It was floating near Noah's stomach and stabbed the arm at an upward angle. Suddenly, it dissipated in a puff of smoke. Noah clutched his arm in agony.

"WHAT THE HELL…?!"

"…you sure are predictable…"

This time, a fist came out of nowhere and punched Noah, sending him flying back.

"What the hell?" repeated Miho

The smoke suddenly moved on its own. It gathered at one area. It roughly formed the shape of a man. Suddenly, Regis materialized.

"REGIS!" exclaimed Jaime and Miho

Sabina, tears welling up in her eyes ran and hugged Regis' leg.

"Sorry for making you worry kid" said Regis with a soft smile.

"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU?!" exclaimed Noah

"Legends are based on people. On history" said Regis. "History may be more accurate but legends grow. With each generation they are told, the story varies and changes. Soon, people remember legends more than the person it was based off. With that, the line of fiction and reality are blurred."

"Fiction and reality?" asked Noah in bewilderment. "Are you telling me you've become the real Dracula?!"

Regis smiled a devilish grin.

"Wouldn't you want to find out for yourself" he said with his mouth open wide. Suddenly, two fangs popped out of Regis' teeth.

"Fuck, this just got complicated" said Noah as he removed his hand from his arm. The wound had completely healed. "No matter. Even if I have beat the crap out of all three of you I'll still get that girl!"

"Actually, I have a better idea…" said Regis. He casually tossed up two items in the air and caught them. They were Noah's ear plugs.

"No…"

"Sabina, why don't you give Mr. Beyeler here a sample of your …pretty voice?" Regis said with an evil grin as he looked at Sabina, who responded with an evil grin herself.

"CRAP!" screamed Noah as he tried to run away.

But it was too late. Sabina started vocalizing a tune and Noah was trapped in her illusion. He saw a clear blue sky as he stood on a white sand beach. The breeze slowly kissed him as the sound of the waves gave a sense of peace to the place.

"Its just an illusion. Break free" Noah told himself

Suddenly, crabs stared climbing up Noah's leg.

"GET OFF ME!" said Noah as he kicked the crabs away.

But it was futile. More and more crabs started climbing up his leg, covering his whole body.

"GET OFF ME! GET IT OFF ME! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!"

Back in the real world, Noah had a mental breakdown and was twitching on the floor drooling. His eyes had gone blank. All four of them looked at him with a degree of pity and spite.

"GET THESE THINGS OFF ME! I GOT CRABS!" howled Noah

"Remind me never to piss you off Sab" said Miho

All four of them shared a chuckle.

"Come on" said Regis. "Lets get out of here."

The four of them walked out the warehouse, leaving behind the broken man.

The future. Is there any other word that brings both great hope and great dread to people? Each new day brings new dreams, trials and monotony. It is perhaps this anxiety, this fear of the unknown that drives people to opulent extents to learn about the future. They consult people who claim to know the future through cards, crystal balls and visions. It brings them some measure of comfort to know what tomorrow has in store for them, regardless if these people can be trusted or not. Though we may not go to these extents, all of us have a fear of the future, of what tomorrow can bring. What many people don't realize is that the tomorrow will be shaped by what will happen today. Why do we allow ourselves to become slaves of the future when the future is nothing more than a slave of the present?