I decided to say screw it, I'm not worried about chapter length. So, this chapter is as long as it needs to be to have stuff happen. :)
Just so people know, in this world, the fighting cage is surrounded by an area about 2 feet wide that partners can stand on so they don't have to be lower then the cage. Make sense?
"So be it. I will call them. I cannot guarantee their safety though, XI."
"I just need them to have access to their powers. I am prepared."
"Don't make me regret this." The man turned away from XI, who nodded. The man raised his hand and a blinding wave of light engulfed him and the forest. XI covered his eyes to block out the light.
Then he stepped out of the water and shadows danced around him, enveloping him and making him disappear.
Yuri hit the fence and groaned, dropping to his knees. Bison had delivered a brutal boot kick to the sternum of the smaller man and it had sent Yuri tumbling backwards. Nicholai hurried to the fence, touching his brother through the chain link.
"Yuri, your sternum cracked, don't let him do that again," Nicholai said sternly and Yuri snorted and stood up as Bison stood on the other side laughing.
"Yes, because I let him hit me that time," Yuri grumbled and took his fighting stance once more. Nicholai looked over at Bison's partner, a little girl holding a stuffed animal, and frowned. The girl wore a white dress with long sleeves that scraped the ground. She couldn't ave been more then 8 or 9 years old, and hugged the stuffed animal, a bison, against her chest, glaring at Yuri.
"No way..." Nicholai whispered and closed his eyes. He gasped and opened them as something forcibly pushed him backwards, nearly shoving him off the surrounding platform. Impossible! She can't really be...
Yuri lunged, landing kick after punch after elbow on Bison and doing absolutely nothing except making the big man angry. Bison picked Yuri up by the throat and leaned forward, sniffing the Russian. Yuri kicked out, landing blows that instantly bruised and still had no effect. The Russian snarled and reached out, grabbing Bison right above the elbow. Yuri changed tactics, hugging Bison's arm in a full body embrace as best he could. Bison frowned and shook his arm, trying in vain to dislodge the smaller man. Yuri bent his back, bending Bison's arm the wrong way. Bison frowned down at the slimmer man as he continued to bend backward. There was a crack and Yuri smirked. Everyone watched as the Russian's back neared the point that it would break. And then surpassed that point.
Bison roared in pain as the snapping of bones echoed through the arena. Yuri untangled himself from Bison's mangled arm and then jumped backwards. He delivered a high roundhouse kick that connected with Bison's jaw and then spun and slammed his elbow into Bison's solar plexus. Bison snarled and grabbed Yuri by the arm and pulled him forward, kneeing Yuri in the throat and then tossing Yuri into the fence a few feet from Nicholai.
"Yuri!" Nicholai grabbed the cage, crouching as his brother pulled himself to his feet. Bison lunged forward, his wounded arm hanging limp at his side, and kicked Yuri in the head.
Yuri rolled with it, landing in a heap before struggling to his feet with a grimace. Nicholai clung to the fence helplessly as Bison delivered a kick to Yuri's ribs that sent him sprawling. Yuri lay on the ground for a moment, winded, as Nicholai screamed, "Get up, Yuri, he's coming!" Nicholai rattled the cage in frustration, angry tears in his eyes.
Bison stood over the prone man for a moment before smirking. Yuri started to move, reliazing his inetentions a few moments to late. Bison brought his full weight down in the form of a knee that struck Yuri's temple directly. Yuri cried out and rolled away, struggling to stand. Bison lashed out again with another kcik to Yuri's sternum. Yuri staggered but managed to stay upright. He coughed and shook his head, trying to get his vision to come back into focus.
"Yuri!" Nicholai growled, kicking the cage useless.
Yuri heard his brother's voice, not his words, but his voice, and forced himself to move, rolling forward to avoid another kick that would have hit his head. Bison snarled and grabbed Yuri by the ankle, pulling the Russian to him on his back. Yuri kicked out with his free foot and then gasped as Bison, using his supposeldy injured arm, grabbed Yuri's other leg by the knee.
He healed?! Yuri and Nicholai thought in unison as Bison lifted the Russian upside down. Yuri kicked Bison, his heel catching the brute's throat, crushing it. Bison coughed and released Yuri, who crawled backwards. He had felt strain in his knee and wanted to get away, backing up to the opposite fence.
"Yuri!" Nicholai pointed behind him and Yuri started to turn his head and then froze. The girl was gripping him by the hair in a grip that was far too strong to be possible. Yuri pulled away with a wince and then growled as Bison grabbed him by the ankle and above the knee of his left leg.
"Oh God..." Nicholai closed his eyes.
Yuri cried out, arching his back and writhing in pain as his knee-his injured knee-was twisted and wrenched. The knee was dislocated and his ACL was torn. The Russian snarled and kicked Bison in the head with his good leg, scrambling backwards.
"That's it!" Nicholai snapped and reached behind him, drawing a 3 foot curved blade from it's sheath on his back. The handle was about a foot long until Nicholai pressed a small button right by the blade. The handle shot out to a length of 8 feet and Nicholai spun the blade over his head and brought it down, slicing through the cage. Nicholai rushed to stand in front of his brother.
"Nicholai, you-" Yuri began to protest.
"Sir, you aren't allowed in the arena." A referee informed Nicholai, who ignored the man.
That was when all the lights went out and a Wave hit the whole arena.
The kids watched in rapt fascination as the Russian all but screamed in pain. His brother moved to help him, standing valiantly with the mysterious weapon between Bison and Yuri, the blade pointed towards the ground.
The lights blinked out and someone screamed. The sound of movement could be heard and people began to panic when the lights didn't come on. One of the kids, the one who had protested the fight, felt nauseous and then someone grabbed him and that same hypnotic voice from before hissed, "Come with me!"
The kid was lead down the stairs blindly, stumbling and staying upright only because of the grip this man had on his forearm. Then the danger sunk in.
"What's your name?"
"Let me go!"
People shoved past them, rushing for the exit. A sound of metal clanging against metal was heard and then the sound of metal grinding and being torn ripped through the air.
"I will call you Let Me Go. Now, what's your name?" The man demanded, jerking the kid down the stairs.
"Please don't rape me!"
The man sighed and stopped, turning to face the kid in the darkness. The kid could still feel his hand, and could barely see the man tilt his head. His hair was white, and his teal eyes seemed to glow faintly.
"Rape you? Everyone thinks I'm gay!" The man sighed and then said, "Listen I don't have much time. My name is Marik. I have no intent to molest you. Now...please tell me your name? Or would you rather me call you Let?"
Despite the panic ensuing around them, and the continuous metal clanging, this guy Marik was staying calm and ignoring the world around them.
"York. My name's York. I..I'm actually from the North, I just came down here to visit a friend...please let me go." The kid whispered and Marik nodded.
"Perfect." Despite the nod, Marik did not let him go. Then the lights came back on and the platinum-haired man froze. York realized he wasn't much older then himself, 21 or 22 at the oldest.
"Holy shit..." Marik whistled softly. York gasped and grabbed Marik's arm. About a dozen figures, nothing more then squirming, writhing shadows were standing around them.
York looked over at the Russians. Yuri had struggled to a crouching position, his left leg bent at an angle that was certainly not natural, even for the man who apparently had a very flexible spine. Yuri was breathing heavy, looking up at Bison and Nicholai. Bison had a massive hammer in his giant hands, a hammer that kept trying to pound Nicholai into the ground. York watched as the younger Russian danced around, parrying the hammer with the handle of his strange weapon and slicing at Bison with the curved blade.
Nicholai spun the blade upwards just as the hammer came down. The noise made by the two weapons colliding sounded like ice being shattered by thousands of boulders. Nicholai pushed the hammer upwards and spun to slash the blade horizontally, slcing open Bison's knees and then bringing the blade upward to gouge open Bison's chest. Nicholai jumped backwards as the hammer swung blindly, narrowly missing the younger Russian as he retreated. Nicholai stood beside Yuri, panting with a smile on his face.
York watched them and then turned to look at Marik. The shadow creatures had now doubled, no tripled in number and they were completely surrounded.
"God, I've failed already," Marik groaned in anguish.
"What do you mean?" York asked, distrubed by the fact that the creatures were still multiplying, but happy that they weren't yet attacking.
"I'm your Savior, I'm supposed to protect you! Not even 20 minutes after you get yours powers and we're gonna die!" Marik snapped, looking around.
"WHAT?!" York cried out and looked around, searching hopelessly for an opening he could run through.
"And by Shades, none the less!" Marik exclaimed, grabbing York by the arm and keeping the younger boy behind him.
"What the hell is a Savior? What's going on?!" York demanded, wrenching his arm out of Marik's grasp. York glared at Marik, ignoring the presence of the shadow creatures.
"Don't you know about Guardians?" Marik asked, turning towards York and forgetting his panic for a moment.
"N-No!" York shook his head fiercely and the grabbed Marik suddenly. A figure appeared behind the shadows, a large figure in a brown cloak. He seemed to teleport out of thin air and landed gracefully behind the shadows, landing in a crouch.
"Marik, I gave you one job. Did you truly believe leading him into the areana would be safer then getting him outside? You can't even use your powers in here." The man sighed, standing up.
There was a blast of darkness that consumed the man abruptly and Marik cried out, stumbling forward only to be grabbed by a shadow. "Huh?! Agh! York! Run!" Marik screamed as the shadows consumed him. York stumbled backwards, landing on his butt as the shadows moved in.
"How very inconsiderate of you..." A voice drawled and the man in the cloak reappeared a few feet from where he had disappeared, shrugging shadows off him like a wet towel. The man in the cloak strood forward, this time wielding a battle axe. He began slicing through the shadows, which now bordered on being 50 strong.
York gasped as a shadow grabbed him, surrounding him like a cocoon in oppressive darkness that made it hard to breath. The man with the axe sighed and shook his head, raising the axe to strike. "Perhaps you are more trouble then your worth..."
Then the darkness consumed York.
"Sir, I am telling you, that didn't feel like a normal Wave!" A student repeated for about the fifth time to her teacher.
"Listen, Kari, it's great that you believe in the Guardians so much, but they aren't coming." The teacher sighed for the fifth time in the past ten minutes.
"You don't...what the hell?" Kari stopped midstep and the teacher tensed. A shadow moved to their left and teacher stepped forward, cautiously calling out.
Getting no response, the teacher moved closer to the shadows. Kari reached for his sleeve, tugging it to pull him backwards "Mr. Batts, no! They could be Shades!" She hissed. The teacher scoffed and tugged his shirt sleeve out of her grasp.
"What's a Shade?" He snapped.
"A creature for the Shadowlands that come forth when the Guardians are summoned. Shades swallow you up into darkness and then use your energy as their own. They can even take your body and use it after consuming you!" Kari explained, reaching for him again.
The teacher rolled his eyes and shoved Kari away. She stumbled and fell backwards, landing on her back as the teacher turned to stare down at her.
"Everything I do to you...and you continue to wish to protect me. Perhaps you have Stockhom's." He chuckled and grabbed her ankle, pulling her towards him. "I was going to wait, but since you are on your back al-"
The smell of pine smoke filled the air and Kari screamed as dark, shadowy flames rose up, taking a humanoid form behind her teacher. A figure in black appeared as the flames dissipated and suddenly a hand was thrust into Mr. Batts' chest, his heart being ripped from his torso. The creature's hand appeared briefly in front of Mr. Batts before being pulled out his body. The black creature sniffed at his heart and snorted, dropping the somehow still beating organ. Kari screamed again and then fainted.
In her last conscious moments, she heard a noise behind her that sounded like heels clicking and a sigh, followed by, "Dear gods, Dragon. So zealous to kill. Oh well, at least he is gone. I can't believe she accepted she was to be raped..."
Darkness took over Kari's terrified, overwhelmed mind.
"Nicholai! Nic, get up!" Someone was screaming and York realized it was the Russian. He sat up with a groan, holding his head. A young woman with pink hair in a long braid to her thighs sat next to him on her knees, staring at him. She wore a kimono and carried a cherrywood staff with a golden metal circle on the end of it.
"What happened?" He asked her.
"Master rescued you," she said simply, blinking her big violet eyes. Darker pink bangs fell into her eyes but she ignored it, simply staring at York.
The man from before was there suddenly. "Len, we must go. Listen, kid, come with us or don't, but you will die if you stay here." The man said, his axe slung over his shoulder.
The young woman, Len, stood up mechanically and stood behind the axe man, clenching her rod horizontally and level with her waist. York stared at them for a moment before the axe man sighed and pulled York to his feet. "I can't really leave you. Where's Marik?"
"He-he-he got...eaten...a shadow thingy got him...I don't know where-"
"Gods damn him, the dumb ass got Consumed again?!" The axe man huffed and then shook his head. "Fine, leave him there for a bit, see if that helps with his inability to avoid the shadows."
"You'll just leave him?!" York gasped, staring at the man dumbstruck.
The man rolled his eyes and gestured for the girl to leave. The man then turned on York. "What do you know about this world, punk? You don't know a damn thing about how things work, so don't patronize me for not wanting to rescue that irritating brat who seems to constantly get sucked into the Shadowlands. If nothing else, Wanderer will pull him out, but Marik is fine! Don't get an attitude with me, just do as I say and you might get out alive. Now move, because we need the Russian boys and the only reason they haven't fled yet is in case we need help defending you. In short? They are getting abused simply because you have decided that standing in one place looking stupid is now you're favorite pasttime."
York gasped and then turned to watch the Russians again. Before he could see what was going on, the axe man grabbed him by the arm and lifted him off the ground, tugging him up the stairs and out the door. York found himself being thrown into a grey car and screamed, kicking out at the man with the axe. His foot landed solidly in the man's side but the man ignored him, climbing up front and starting the vehicle.
"Shut up and listen!" The man ordered and York fell silent, shaking slightly in terror. The man nodded and said, "Now...My name is Lester. What do you know? About anything? The government, the war, the magic?"
"War? There won't be a war. There can't be, no one has enough power to start one right now...And...I know about the basic functions of the Council and I know about Alessia...and I know a little about magic...Not much." York stammered.
"What do they teach you in school?" Lester narrowed his eyes at York.
"Not-not much. Math, science, reading and writing. We have art and music and PE, too. Lots of electives." York replied nervously.
"No History? No government class? Nothing about the current world?" Lester demanded and York tried to make himself small.
"N-no...nothing like that. They tell us we don't need to know that stuff!" York whimpered as the man clearly got angrier with every word the boy said.
"You must be Northern. Why are you here in the South?" Lester inquired and York noticed that they were speeding down the road at nearly 100 miles an hour.
"Alessia l-lets these f-f-fights happen, they're outlawed up N-North!" York whispered, hugging himself. Lester abruptly hit the brakes and York went sprawling into the driver's seat with a grunt.
Lester waited for a moment, thinking with his head resting on the sterring wheel. Ah, Alessia. Smart girl, you elimniate laws and make the South seem like a safe haven, you make the South seem like the good guys...Smart girl...
Suddenly York screamed as someone tapped on the windshield with a gun. Lester looked up and then got out, hugging whoever had the gun. The back door opened and someone held out a hand to help York out. Lester stood, leaning against the car with his brawny arms crossed. York noticed only then that the guy's biceps were as big as York's head! York turnd his attention to the man with the gun.
"What kind is it? Guns are illegal in the North, as well," York said, staring at the weapon in awe.
The man with the gun held it out to York. "Safety's on. It's just a Beretta. My name's Sam. I'm a cop down here." The man had black hair cut short and intense green eyes. York slowly took the handgun and admired it.
"Where is everyone else?" Lester asked and Sam shook his head.
"I don't know. Haven't heard from anyone else. You got here first, and...well, no one else is here, as you can see. Wanderer should be coming back soon, and hopefully he will tell us what the hell is going on." Sam answered, sitting on the hood of the car. Lester reached into his pocket and pulled out a cigarette, lightng it and taking a big long drag from the cancer stick.
"Those are illegal, too," York mumbled, sitting on the trunk of the car and being ignored by the two men.
"You think it's true?" Sam sked, looking up at the night sky.
"What? That the Guardians are back now? I hope not, 'cause if so then this kid is one of 'em, and he's dumber then Quincy." Lester replied, exhaling the smoke.
York listened to them and frowned at the insult. Sam sighed and leaned back, his officer's uniform rumpled by the movement. "Maybe they shouldn't. Maybe the world just needs the Demon King to come out, destroy everything, and then we can rebuild," Sam said, looking over at Lester.
"Perhaps. But Wanderer has it stuck in his head that this world deserves to be saved. He's crazy, no doubt about it."
"But...maybe he's right, Lester. We have power to save lives just like the governments do..but if we don't use, then are we just like them?" Sam asked, sitting up.
Lester closed his eyes, having no answer. Finally, he came up with a response and said, "We're human, Sam. Just human. If the powers that be decide this world needs to be saved, we will save it. If God determines that the world is unsalvagable...the it will be destroyed. We can only do what is we think is right."
York shivered, completely confused by their words. Sam sighed again and then slid off the hood of the car. Lester hummed and then dropped his cigarette, putting it out with his boot heel before turning to look over the roof of the car. Now that York looked around, he realized they were in a large driveway, and there was a barn just down a slope from them. There was house a few dozen yards away from the car, with a porch. Stretching back to the main road was a narrow dirt road lined by trees. A motorcycle and two cars came racing down the road, the motorcycle in the lead with someone clinging to the driver.
"You know, Wanderer is gonna be mad at you," Sam said as the vehicles drew closer.
"I know. But the brothers can handle themselves. If he's worried about them, he can go help them," Lester replied, gesturing for York to get off the car. York slipped off and stood beside the trunk nervously. Were these people kidnappers? Would they kill him? Would they...rape him? Just as the thought crossed his mind, a woman appeared next to Lester and York jumped. She seemed to have dropped from a huge tree, her long dark green hair flowing around her body almost like a cape.
"No one here will molest you, human. Now I suggest you shut up and listen to what you are about to hear. You're whole future has been decided for you, and ignroance of the current situation of things will only bring your demise to you sooner." Her voice was soft and melodious and made York want to go to sleep.
As the rider dismounted and took his passnger's helmet from them, York shivered. He knew the rider. He saw him frequently. York gulped and steadied himself on the trunk.
What the hell was happening?
Next chapter, you guys will find out what's going on! Any particular questions you guys want answered right this instant?