HYPERION: TAKE TO THE SKY
WRITTEN BY ZAK KAYES
PAYTON CITY, NORTHERN DISTRICT
NOVEMBER 6TH, 32XS
Statistically speaking, about 78 percent of Payton City’s population have the same answer when they get one impossible but intriguing question: if you could have any superpower, what would it be? And the answer? To fly. And I’m not talking like in a plane or sky diving, I’m talking REALLY flying. But Bowen, you might say, that sort of stuff’s just in the comic book and movies. No one can really fly. Well...ALMOST no one. Hi, I’m Bowen J. Lite and...I’m one of those superheroes you see in comic book and movies.
See about 6 months ago I was just your average ordinary---oh god let’s not go with that. Let me try that again. About 6 months ago, I was just a normal--no no, that sounds boring. I mean, how many people can say they are a tech wiz on the verge of getting degrees in exosuit mechanics and kinetic studies? That’s not boring, just sane. I WAS a college student up at Braxton Heights University of Technology, finishing up my final year before everything went crazy.
I found out my so-called “best friend” and “partner” was secretly apart of a renegade military organization bent on world domination. Lot to take in, I know. I found out they were using a stolen military server to try and find some poison gas generator they could use to gas the city and commit a city wide thieving spree. Fortunately I stole the server back and discovered an old exosuit that I fixed up to use and take them out.
With help from a speedster friend of mine, we stopped my former friend and put an end to any casualties that might have happened. Then the girl who originally made the suit brought me into the organization that originally owned the suit and filled me in on quite a few things. Their organization, Phoenix, has a long-standing rivalry with another organization called Nightwing. So after some convincing, I ended up getting not just the suit but also a little place to work on my own tech as well monitor crime around the city by becoming Payton City’s Crimson Bolt: Hyperion.
...how the heck do those people on TV make their intros so short? That’s the real question.
Today’s weather forecast is sunny skies, low in the 60’s with a high chance of a dude in a flying exosuit making sure that crime percentage in our city goes down by at least one little decimal point. It took me a good week or so to master the flying on this thing, you’d think building a jetpack and getting proper controls for this thing would be easy. NOPE. Don’t ever believe how fiction makes this so easy because it sure as hell wasn’t for me. I weave and dip against the skyscrapers, standing out like a cup of pencils tall and small. I head up to the highest point above one of the tallest skyscrapers and hover over the rooftop, landing neatly on the hard cement with a light CLANK. Phoenix originally wanted me to keep an eye on the city by placing sensors all around the city and have them all interconnect through a web-hive network so in case there’s any disturbances, I’ll be the first to know.
Moving over to the purple box, I input a seven digit combination (which I have failed to remember at least seven different times, coincidentally.) and open up the box after hearing a click to check up on it.Yep, lights are still beeping. Signals still strong, if any of these were to break I’m pretty sure we’d have a problem. Now if only--
My thoughts get cut off when something pops up through the HUD display in my visor.
“ENERGY SIGNATURE DISTURBANCE, SECTOR 8E. Threat level: Medium.”
Goodie. I was hoping something like this would be the way I start the day. Closing the box, I stretch out and turn to the other side of the rooftop, taking a running start and leaping backwards off the roof into a freefall. You know, the first time I tried doing this it scared the shit out of me but the thrusters on the jetpack and on my hands and feet kick in and I’m soaring low along the city streets like nothing. Hard to believe people are actually cheering for me, that feels weird. Good weird at least.
It doesn’t take me long to get over to Sector 8E. It’s a fairly nice part of town but I’ve noticed Sector 8 itself has been a hot spot for some weird activity. Mostly on the robotics side. And wouldn’t you know it, scanners picked up an unmistakable energy source from a power core I know all too well. I circled around on the apartment square to already see a green robot with big claws for hands terrorizing the citizens. What he’s looking for, I don’t know, but I know these mechs no doubt. Their emblems, a star with a fist in the middle, belong to only one guy: Victor Kusanagi. But he’s a guy I’ll be saving for another story.
I find a spot to get a good view of this robot. He’s new, a lot bigger and probably stronger than the others I’ve had to fight. I tap the sides of my exosuit and two compartments open up to give me my dual pistols. I named them Ruby and Sapphire because well...one’s red and one’s blue. And I’m a Pokemon fan so I guess it works. Wasting no time, I rush in and get a few good shots at the back of this robot’s head to get his attention and, not to anyone’s surprise, it immediately turned to lock eyes on me, piercing yellow with no life at all.
“Hey buzzboy!” I yelled, aiming my pistols at it’s face. “I know there’s no point in asking this question but are we gonna have to do this the easy way or the hard way?”
The robot blinked. Of course he wouldn’t know the difference, I don’t know why I bothered asking but hey, maybe for once Kusanagi would put a voice or a proper AI? Either way, this should be a piece of cake. The robot points it’s claws at me and they both open up to show laser cannons on the inside which extend out What’d you know? Those pretty little things are locked right onto me.
Well my sensors are locked on, I’m ready to rumble.
Firstly, scan the area. Looks likes everyone’s at least gotten to a safe area out of the street. Second, scan the robot. Gimme something to work with here...bingo! Weak spots. Thank god it’s not one of the newer models because hoo boy, that’d be--
My thoughts get all jumbled the moment I hear the gunfire come from the robot. I immediatley take evasive actions and fly around this bucket of bolts to distract him, blasting him in the head and the back with my pistols. Even though I know they aren’t doing any damage, I do it anyway just to piss it off. Zip and dive, up and over, just like I practiced. I land directly on it’s head and unload onto the top of his head. Of course it’s angry and tries to grab me but with a backflip off it’s head (I could never do a backflip until about a month ago, yay new training program!) I land neatly on the ground and power up my kinetic gloves.
I wrap both of it’s legs in a cyan blue field and yank them backwards, prompting the bot to fall right on it’s face. Works for those bullies back at Braxton, works surprisingly well on big, evil robots. Who knew? It doesn’t take long for the bot to get back on it’s face, surprisingly nimble for one of the bigger ones and immediately locks onto me again, spraying out bullets from both guns right at me. Good thing my suit’s bulletproof but I raise both my hands and produce another field in front of me which stops and catches all the bullets.
This is so cool, this is like some Matrix shit right here! Using the kinesis I turn the ball into energy and swwwwwwwwwing batter batter, FASTBALL TO THE FACE! Direct hit, the robot gets it right in the chest and the explosive impact knocks it back again! Now we’re talking, actual damage! But the robot’s right back on it’s feet and it’s charging straight for me. I don’t have many options so I start blasting it in the face and chest with my pistols again but at this point, I question why I’m even using these right now.
I roll out of the way of the robot but it quickly turns and backhands me down the street into one of the cars. Now this thing’s angry, you could tell because it’s eyes suddenly went from yellow to red. And red means they’re evil, right? He comes right at me with his claw hand and nearly slices a car in half and keeps trying to grab me but I take to the sky once more
Alright, enough playing around.
I zoom back down, dodging another spray of bullets and uproot two lamp posts from the sidewalk with my kinetic gloves, using them to wrap around the torso of this robot to bind him. With this thing unable to raise its arms up to attack me, something new pops up on my visor showing the schematics of the mech in front of me and highlight a weak spot in it’s neck area. Perfect.
Grabbing both my pistols, I bring them both together and press a button on the side to turn into a bigger gun with an emerald streak on the top. And with careful aiming, no thanks to a little help, I pull the trigger on the gun and it charges up a ball of raw kinetic energy.
The impact knocks the robot’s head clean off and sends it flying, as far as it can before I capture it in a kinetic field and bring it right back to me. Yet another trophy. You know at this point, Kusanagi’s got to be pissed at how fast I’m taking these things out.
Oh right, routine. Gotta clean this up. I put my finger up to the side of my head and the HUD display changes to green.
“Hey Roxy, Hyperion here. Got another mech for ya. Send a cleanup crew to Sector 8E. I’ll take the head back to base to check on it’s data core to see if we got anything new this time.”
And that’s how we do it Payton City. I’d have a cool catchphrase or something but hey, what’d be the point? After all…
This isn’t one of those comic books or movies. This is something even...better.
(UPPER OBSERVATORY AREA OF THE DAM)
(Alexis had landed her Jet Streamer in an area unseen by cameras and eyes, and slowly made her way out onto the upper part of the dam. She held her bow in one hand as she surveyed the area, leaping up onto the main walkway on top of the dam. To her surprise, the Black Knight was already there, overlooking the outer part of the dam where the water flowed downward.)
SONDRE: Took you long enough, Red Knight. (He started to turn to Alexis.) And here I thought--- ...wait.
ALEXIS: He is no shape to fight, thanks to you. What you did was cruel, unforgiving, and disgraceful.
SONDRE: Tell me then. (He crossed his arms.) Did he send you because he was afraid or because you wish to avenge him?
ALEXIS: I came of my own volition. (She raised her wrist up and pressed her gem, demorphing in front of him and making her bow disappear.) ...and I refuse to believe that’s you under there… Sondre. (She slowly approached him.) Reveal yourself to me. Please.
(Sondre paused, uncrossing his arms and raising up his wrist, pressing the black gem on it and demorphing. He slowly pulled down the cloth covering his mouth and the hood, the reveal eliciting a sharp gasp from Alexis. She froze as she looked at him with wide eyes in disbelief.)
SONDRE: ...hello, Alexis.
ALEXIS: Sondre… (Her emotions were starting to get the better of her but she shook it off.) I can’t… oh heavens, I can’t believe it’s you. (Her expression slowly turned to a frown.) But I refuse to believe it. I refuse to believe my best friend would ever succumb to the forces of darkness! Y-you’re just a demon wearing the face of a fallen Knight l-like some kind of vessel or like a shapeshifter! The Sondre I know would never--
SONDRE: The Sondre you know is standing right in front of you. It’s me.
ALEXIS: YOU’RE LYING! WE WERE SUPPOSED TO DESTROY THE DARKNESS, NOT JOIN IT! I… I waited for you… I knew you would come back at some point. (She glared at Sondre.) But not like this.
SONDRE: Then maybe you didn’t know me as well as you thought you did, Lexi.
ALEXIS: Don’t you use that name with me. That was HIS name for me, not yours! Whoever you are, YOU’RE NOT HIM!
SONDRE: ...if I was not truly him, how would I not remember the day I first met you? You saw me as nothing more than an arrogant hothead, but when we went into town and recruited your father after he saved the town from a tree monster, you gave me a look where it felt like you actually saw me for the first time. Or how about when we trained together for months to be Knights, only for us to be split up over my own training from Xavier and your advanced training to become a witch? (She paused, still staring at him in disbelief before slowly covering her mouth.) ...we hadn't seen each other for nearly 8 months and the first thing you said to me when you came back after you ran to me and hugged me was--
ALEXIS: I said, ‘if you ever vanish like that again on me, I will hunt you down and never let you go again…’ (Sondre nodded.) I-It is you… Sondre…
SONDRE: This is not an illusion, nor a trick. This is me.
ALEXIS: But… why? Why would you betray us like this? How did this all happen? Where did you even get that sword or that Knight Gem?
SONDRE: ...you want to talk betrayal? (He pointed to her.) You’re wearing the armor of the one who betrayed us in the first place. The one who destroyed the Knights from the inside and became the very darkness we swore to destroy?
ALEXIS: Garrison? That’s impossible, he would never…
SONDRE: Garrison got greedy and stole the Cursed Blade from Grieger’s castle during one of our raids but in doing so, he became possessed by the spirit in it: my master, Arcana. He gave me a choice, an opportunity as the Black Knight to channel the darkness and to use it against Grieger. Fire with fire. And I never knew if I was going to see you again. I had already lost Xavier and the other Knights, I couldn’t lose anyone else. it was my fault for not being strong enough to save them all. So I used all my guilt, my pain, my anger, and my sorrow to become Arcana’s Black Knight. And it’s made me a far stronger Knight then I could ever hope to be.
ALEXIS: ...and you give ME crap for wearing his armor when you’re WORKING for him!? He betrayed us all!
SONDRE: Under Arcana’s influence. And I have my own reasons for working WITH him, not for him. Why should I fear the darkness when it was the only comfort that I could have? Why deny the chance to master the darkness when I can make it my own?
ALEXIS: Because you promised me, all those years ago, that you would never give into your inner demons. You would fight through them, for both of our sakes. Because you knew if you dived into the darkness, you’d never come back.
SONDRE: And yet here I am. I spent 3 years on my own training with Arcana and taking the fight to demons all across Qerravale. I made it my duty to avenge my fellow Knights by using the darkness right against Grieger’s forces. And when I finally was able to, by chance, I was able to open a portal to try and locate you and father. And it worked. I spent 3 months here, trying to understand the world and not only do I find you and a bunch of other rookies taking up the mantles of my fallen friends, I see the Red Knight Gem choose a poor excuse of a warrior. I gave you the Red Knight Gem because I knew it would choose you. There was no one better suited for it than you. But to see it choose some rookie whom I’ve watched for quite some time, I thought he would be a worthy challenge. I set the bar, but he has no idea what he’s even capable of. He’s only scratched the surface of his potential. He couldn’t even wield Excalibur! That sword was mine before it was lost in time!
ALEXIS: I can only imagine why it didn’t accept you this time, you and I both probably know that answer. (She sneered.)
SONDRE: Point is… after you and my father left, I took the Black Knight gem and decided to put it to good use. Whether it was in the past or now, my mind has never been clearer. It didn’t take me long to see that the world was better off without Grieger; everyone else decided to destroy themselves with wars and evils that would make our time look like a civilized cakewalk. As far as I’m concerned, by what I’ve been doing: I’m doing the world a favor by cleansing this city of it’s own unseen evil. Evil only the darkness can see. This year we’ve landed in has it’s own demons, and they’re hellbent on destroying themselves rather than trying to make the world a better place.
ALEXIS: That’s just the thing though, Sondre. You’re wrong. I’ve seen what this world can do; and while yes there is war, pollution, corruption, and demons both monstrous and human… this world is still worth fighting for and saving. I’ve experienced first hand the wonders of this modern age, and it’s silly, but they’ve made due… and so should we.
SONDRE: You have feelings for the Red Knight..
ALEXIS (She paused but then stood her ground): Whether I do or not, I’m doing the best I can to follow in your footsteps. But I didn’t expect MURDER to be on your new little to-do list! Demons are one thing, but innocent lives are on the line here, and we swore an oath to PROTECT people from the forces of Grieger!
SONDRE: See, that’s where the little grey area comes in. Those criminals, those people locked up in cells, they deserve to die! They are as much monsters as the ones we fight now! We are doing the world a favor!
ALEXIS (She stared at him in disbelief): ...you’re insane. NO ONE should have that much power! We are not gods!
SONDRE (He scoffed): Now you’re starting to sound like my dad.
ALEXIS (She sniffed): Glad one of us does! (Sondre stayed quiet.) ...I know this isn’t you. And I refuse to believe that you’re this far gone into whatever Arcana’s put into your head. That darkness you’re trying to master, it’s gonna eat you alive and then no one will be able to bring you back. So please… come back with us. (She paused.) ...come back to me.
(For a moment, it looked like Alexis had gotten through to him. He slowly approached her and stopped only a foot or so from her. This was the closest the two had been, the two actually looking into one another’s eyes. Alexis’ eyes shot a pleading glance, hoping she could reason with him. But Sondre’s expression hadn’t changed. And she soon realized that.)
SONDRE: ...not till this is over. My mission isn’t over yet. I will not rest until Grieger faces judgement for all that he’s done. (He paused and turned to start walking away.) I have unfinished business with the Red Knight, and when he’s ready to face me, I’ll be waiting. (He looked back briefly.) ...it’s good to see you, Lexi. But I’m not the same person I used to be.
ALEXIS: Then I guess I don’t regret saying this - I CHALLENGE YOU TO A DUEL, SONDRE TERRETTO!
(Sondre turned back to look at her. There was silence before he started to lowly chuckle, and then burst out laughing.)
SONDRE: Seriously? You will duel me in his place? Why?
ALEXIS: ...because he’s got more potential than you give him. I didn’t see it at first ...but right now, he’s more of a Knight than you are. You’ve gone down a path I can’t follow, but I know I can bring you back. No matter the sacrifice, you’re still my best friend. Do you accept?
ALEXIS (Her anger rose): ...seriously?! You had no problem fighting a Knight before! Is this how it's going be? You running away?! Typical! It’s just like every one of your duels. You talk a big game and you only step up when someone calls you out. You think you’re so much better than everyone else because you have all this power now? You think the other Knights would be happy to see you like this?
SONDRE: Don’t you bring them into this. That is the past and I have left that behind me!
ALEXIS: Yeah? Then prove it! I know for a fact they would be ASHAMED of you! Evelyn, Blaire, Stuart, Mariah, Garrison, and ESPECIALLY Xavier! (Sondre’s fist clenched.) Whatever you’re doing now is tarnishing their memories! And I KNOW you still care about them as much as you care about me and Terretto, because I know he didn’t raise a BLACK KNIGHT! NONE OF THIS IS GOING TO BRING THEM BACK, SONDRE! SO WHAT THE HELL DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE RIGHT NOW!?
(Sondre listened to every word before turning his head back and facing away from her. An awkward silence hung in the air before Sondre turned around slowly to face her.)
SONDRE: ...just remember: you brought this upon yourself.
ALEXIS (She nodded, raising her wrist up, quietly): Mythic Knights, Unite.
(Alexis morphed into her armor and Sondre extended his hand, getting the Cursed Blade and gaining his Black Knight Armor. She put away her bow and summoned her bo staff, spinning it in her hands before approaching Sondre and bowing to him. Sondre started to bow but went for a fakeout instead, moving his sword in for a strike, but Alexis caught him in a stalemate.)
ALEXIS: ...nice try. But I know all your moves, old and new. (She shoved him back.) I will not go down as easily as the others.
SONDRE: I know. (He got back into a stance.) But your confidence will be your downfall.
(Sondre and Alexis both circled one another, neither seeming ready to strike first. He waited for Alexis to make a move but to his surprise, she raised her hand up and gave a mocking “bring it” gesture with her fingers. Remembering how they used to spar, Sondre hesitated only for a moment before deciding to be the first to attack. He moved in first with a swift strike, but Alexis blocked and spun her staff to land her own strike, but Sondre was quick to block. The two continued to clash; neither was backing down. Thanks to their years of training, they were perfectly matched. Alexis seemed to be waiting for an opportunity to strike, while Sondre chose to go on the offensive. He teleported suddenly, and began to attack from all sides with quick strikes. Strike, vanish, strike, vanish, it was a seemingly endless cycle; but after a few strikes, Alexis sidestepped him and blasted him in the back with an ice beam. He turned around, only to be struck endlessly from Alexis’ bo staff, and finally a swift spin kick that sent Sondre skidding back. Alexis gave Sondre no time to recover when she leapt forward and continued to attack while he was down. Once again, the two knew each other so well that they each kept blocking and countering every blow. Sondre eventually gained the upperhand when he blasted Alexis back with dark lightning; but to his surprise, she was able to resist the attack and sent it right back at him, the impact creating an explosive effect that sent him flying onto his back. He chuckled as he got right back up to his feet.)
SONDRE: Impressive! You’ve learned quite a lot since we last fought.
ALEXIS: Don’t patronize me. (She scoffed under her visor.) We’re just getting started.
(Alexis leapt up and landed on the lake’s water on the other side of the dam, turning the water to ice where she stood. She moved her hands in a fluid motion, and suddenly the rest of the water froze over, turning the lake into a frozen battlefield with spires of ice jutting out. She had been practicing freezing water for quite some time, and she intended to put all her magical training to the use when Sondre leapt over the railing and charged in to attack. The two clashed once more, and when Sondre knocked Alexis back, he began hurling dark fireballs at her. She quickly used the spires for cover and brought out her bow, resorting to cover-based shooting. She then pressed her hand to the ice to make it freeze up around Sondre’s feet and hinder him. Using the opportunity, Alexis quickly zapped Sondre with a stun arrow, and rushed in to go hand-to-hand with him. She targeted his arms with hard strikes to try and weaken him, but Sondre eventually knocked her away and once again zapped her with dark lightning. Once again she resisted the attacks, but it was clear they were doing some damage to her. Breaking out of the ice’s grasp, Sondre went and grabbed her in a telekinetic grasp, and smashed her through one of the spires. He was done playing around. He trounced her a few more times into the more solid parts of the ice before tossing her up, teleporting into the air, and sending her rocketing through the ice with a swift kick. Silence filled the air before Alexis suddenly burst out thanks to the water, blasting Sondre in the face with an ice beam that actually knocked his helmet off.)
ALEXIS: Where’s that fire you had fighting the Red Knight, huh!?
(She raised the water up from the hole in the ice, and a few more holes broke through and followed, allowing water to burst out and grab onto Sondre. Sondre tried to teleport away, but Alexis -who was quick to sense it- grabbed Sondre’s arm as he tried for a swipe, and threw him right back into the water’s grasp. The pillars of water from the holes wrapped around Sondre and constricted him, leaving his head the only part of him exposed. Alexis waved her hands and the water began to tighten, causing Sondre to grunt in pain.)
SONDRE: And here I thought I was the only one with a vicious streak. (He chuckled.) ...you planned for all of this, didn’t you? All your little spells and tricks, and we’re STILL evenly matched!
ALEXIS: I don’t care what I have to do to beat you. You should know that by now. (She made her hand into a fist which made the water constrict harder.) Submit. Don’t make me do this.
SONDRE: Do you really have it in you? (He narrowed his eyes at her.) Look me in the eyes when you do it, Lexi.
(Alexis glared at him before making the water wrap around his head, suffocating him as struggled against his moistened prison. She held her hands in place to keep the spell going, but she wasn’t expecting Sondre to teleport out of the grasp and rush at her once again.)
SONDRE: DARK HEART SLASH!
(Though he was a short distance away, for a split second, Alexis suddenly encased herself in ice to protect herself; but Sondre’s attack went straight through her. The result led to the ice case exploding into pieces, and Sondre turned to see that she was no longer there. Realizing it was a trick, he turned to see Alexis standing a distance away with her wand, chanting something. Arcane symbols appeared in front of her in a dark purple glow. The letters then moved into her and her armor began to glow with the same dark aura. Sondre raised an eyebrow to this, but teleported to where she was and relentlessly sliced into her repeatedly, but his blows had surprisingly no effect on her. She even caught his blade with her hand and slowly brought it down so she could look right at Sondre’s shocked expression.)
ALEXIS: ...to answer your last question: yes. I DO!
(She thrust her palm forward and sent Sondre flying backwards with a charged up energy wave. She thrust her palms forward and hit him with an arch of dark lightning similar to his. He raised his own palms to try and catch some of it and redirect it back at her. Spotting this, Alexis charged in and brought up another spire of ice behind Sondre, hitting him with a kick that slammed him into it. Sondre blocked a strike from her and knocked her back with a slash, using his own dark magic to uproot the spire of ice and swing it around, slamming into Alexis and sending her onto the shoreline by the lake. Sondre rushed in to attack her once more, and the two clashed in a stalemate, Alexis growling under her visor as she viciously went to attack Sondre with everything she had. Sondre blocked some of her attacks and fired back with some of her own; but for once, he found himself having to go on the actual defensive. He leapt into the air, rained down a series of fireballs from above down on Alexis, and leapt down with his sword to plunge into the ground. The force caused cracks to form in the ground and when it hit Alexis, the energy blasted up into her to try and stun her. She shook it off, her suit clearly sparking with energy, before going back on the offensive.)
SONDRE: You can’t use the darkness to defeat me Alexis! (He brought up his word to catch her in a stalemate.) You have no idea how to control or use it! YOU’LL DESTROY YOURSELF!
ALEXIS: WHERE WAS THAT SYMPATHY WHEN YOU TRIED TO KILL VANCE?!
(Alexis overpowered Sondre and grabbed him, flinging him hard and smashing him through a tree, letting him fall and roll onto the ground.Getting into position, Alexis pulled out an arrow from her bow and charged it up with magic, aiming it right at Sondre. From where she stood, a white circle formed with arcane symbols and runes written along them.)
ALEXIS: SUBZERO DEATHSTRIKE!
(With the release of her arrow, Sondre turned to the strike and brought up a shield to protect himself; but the arrow pierced right through the shield and through him, causing him to scream out in pain. His entire suit began to spark violently and he dropped to his knees, clearly in pain. For the first time, he was on the losing side. Alexis slowly approached him with another charged arrow pointed right at him. She hadn’t noticed that the excessive use of her dark attacks had severely drained her but she still stood her ground.)
SONDRE: Heh… (He coughed painfully, looking up at her.) Never thought you’d go this far. But you lost this duel the moment you tapped into your own darkness.
ALEXIS: SHUT UP! SHUT! UP! (She pointed the arrow right at his head.) I will do whatever it takes to protect this time from the forces of darkness; and if I have to use it’s own power against itself, so be it! SUBZERO DEA--
(But Alexis was unable to finish her sentence as a wave of nausea suddenly overcame her. She stumbled back, feeling the energy draining from her body and the aura on her suit fading away. She tried once more to aim at his head, but in doing so, Sondre suddenly hit her with a powerful punch and disarmed her of her bow. With a swift kick, he sent Alexis slamming into a tree and she slumped against it, demorphing out of her armor. Sondre looked to the tree where she had landed and slowly walked over, stopping in front of her.)
SONDRE: Told you.
ALEXIS (She coughed up a bit of blood, groggy from the use of darkness as her eyes flashed purple but they quickly went back to normal): I had you… one more attack, and this would have been over.
SONDRE: Perhaps. But we don’t have to keep fighting like this. (He extended a hand to her but she immediately swatted it away.) When will you learn, I am not your enemy!
ALEXIS: So long as you have that gem, to me, you ARE. (She crawled away and tried to get up but failed to do so.) And I will never join your side. You are a shadow of what a true man once was.
SONDRE (He sighed, walking past her and demorphing): I am BETTER than I once was! Only by understanding the darkness can we hope to beat it!
ALEXIS: But that’s not you! The real Sondre would never--
SONDRE: I AM THE REAL SONDRE! (He turned and pointed his sword at her.) And if you will not see that, then I will make you see it.
ALEXIS: ...then do it. (She looked up at him and slowly got to her feet.) But I want you to look me in the eyes when you do it. I want to see the whites of your eyes when you turn me because I’d rather die than ever become what you are.
(Alexis grasped Sondre’s hand on the hilt of her sword and moved forward.)
ALEXIS: I know you’re in there somewhere. And I don’t care what I have to do to bring you home. If there’s even a shred of the real you, the man who I spent year trying to follow in his footsteps, the man who taught me to believe in myself and become a Knight, then show me. Show me you’re still in there. (She touched his face with her free hand.) Because I know for a fact the real you won’t do this...
(Sondre stared into her eyes, a blank expression on his face as he stepped back, looking ready to finish the job. Alexis looked right into his eyes as he readied himself. He seemed to hesitate for a moment before suddenly moving forward… and slashing the space next to her. Alexis gasped, expecting the impact… but instead, Sondre returned his gaze to hers and went to move his lips against hers in a kiss. It was brief, if only for a moment before he broke it off.)
SONDRE: I left that part of me when I came to this time period. But if you’re really looking for answers… then revisit our past. You might have missed something.
(Alexis looked at Sondre as he summoned a shadow portal behind him, quickly vanishing through it and leaving her in a stunned silence.)
(MYTHIC KNIGHT BASE -- 11 PM)
(It was late into the night, Alexis had only just recovered from her fight with Sondre. She was still sore, but she had made her way down into the library. Sondre’s words still echoed through her head, trying to comprehend what he had meant by “revisiting the past.” She had gone into the library and looked around the area for sometime, looking over some of the books and scrolls. She was almost in the zone of reading, when she heard footsteps coming downstairs. She turned her head and saw Vance standing at the bottom of the steps, his shoulder still taped up.)
VANCE: There you are.
ALEXIS (She smiled faintly): Here I am.
VANCE: Where were you? I heard there was a fight down at the Dam. What happened?
ALEXIS: Well, the Black Knight got ahold of a few prisoners, and Curtis and JT had to deal with it. Me… (She set down a book she had been reading.) I went to deal with the Knight.
VANCE (His eyes widened): By yourself!? What were you thinking? (He paused then went to go and hug her suddenly.) He could have killed you out there…
ALEXIS: It was either me or Curtis, JT, and who knows how many prisoners. (She lightly pushed him off to look him in the eyes.) Besides… I needed answers.
VANCE: About what?
ALEXIS: About him.
VANCE: Him? Wait, do... do you know who he is?
ALEXIS: I wish I didn’t. (She looked away.) I wish he was someone else, but he isn’t.
VANCE (It only took him a moment to figure it out): ...it’s Sondre, isn’t it? (She looked back at him, her gaze being the silent, yet clear answer Vance was looking for.) I don’t believe it. You made him out to be this noble, awesome guy and now he’s… wow. (He chuckled.) Talk about a 180. I’m just...glad you’re safe.
ALEXIS (She smiled at him once more): Seems like someone got ahold of himself again.
VANCE: Was I a jerk earlier? (He sighed.) Sorry. I’m trying to get a hold of this, but it keeps fluxing.
ALEXIS: At least now I can have a rational conversation with you again. (Vance looked down slightly.) And the team will be glad to know you’ve got your act together.
VANCE (He nodded): That’s not like you though, going off and being reckless. Following your gut, all that.
ALEXIS (She reached up to touch his cheek): ...I learned from the best.
VANCE (He couldn’t help but blush at this but shook it off): R-right, so… what did you even come down here for?
ALEXIS: In a weird way, I feel like I already know. (She looked around the room.) He told me… to revisit our past. I “might have missed something,” he said. And I’ve been here looking through all the old scrolls and books we used to read and go through, all our training notes, and I can’t find anything.
VANCE: Did he ever have any secrets then? Maybe like someplace hidden? This place must have like secret spots or rooms, right?
ALEXIS (She thought for a moment before remembering): Now that you mention it-
(Alexis headed to one of the shelves, skimming up and down before pulling out a decorative book, its cover studded with gems the same color as those of the Knights. Their placement formed the shape of a lock. She flipped it open to reveal that it had no pages, but rather a box with a strangely-shaped sensor of sorts engraved inside. She placed her wrist against it, creating a blue light that spun slowly, scanning Alexis’ gem carefully and precisely. Upon completion, a faint clicking sound came from inside the shelf, and it moved slightly inwards before splitting into four squares, the top two rising upwards and into the ceiling while the bottom two sink into the floor.)
VANCE: Woah...what’s that?
(Alexis poked her head into the small room and saw only room for a bookcase with several books bearing royal seals and a desk… with a small chest on it. Alexis approached slowly and opened the chest, peering inside. Inside the chest were two scrolls and an enclosed letter. Alexis slowly took the letter and turned it over, seeing her name on it. She opened the letter and the scroll up, looking over each of them while Vance looked with her.)
ALEXIS: I think these are… from him.
VANCE: ...should I leave you be? I know you two were close.
ALEXIS (She nodded): I’ll join you in a bit. I just want to see what these are first. (Vance nodded as well and turned to start heading out of the room.) Hey Vance? (Vance turned to look back at her.) ...never compare yourself to Sondre. You are forging your own path as the Red Knight. And I am proud of you for that.
(Vance smiled lightly at her words before turning and heading out of the room. When he left, Alexis sat down and gave full read through the letter.)
Hello old friend.
By the time you read this, it may be several centuries into the future. I can only hope wherever you and dad ended up is a good year, and you’re doing everything you can to stop Grieger for good. Maybe you even found some new people in that time period to be the new Knights. I’m writing to you before I set off further on my own path - the path of the fallen. It’s been an emotional trial for me since we lost the others and now not knowing if I’ll ever see you again, I’m afraid the hope of finding you again may be slim to none. But, what I’m about to do, I do of my own volition, and it’s a choice you may not agree with if we ever meet again. I’m at a crossroads in my life, and this is the only path I can take to get back to you and dad. And whether it takes years, decades, or even centuries, I don’t care. I will make things right and find the strength in me to become a better Knight. Whether you agree with my methods or not, don’t lose sight of your own light. Don’t be like me anymore, Lexi, be BETTER. Lead the others by the example you knew me by. No matter what, you are my best friend and I will never forget the memories we’ve created.
P.S. I’ve also left scrolls containing information on some artifacts that I think you might find useful in the future.
(Alexis paused and went to open the scrolls with the ribbons on them, glancing through them and seeing an image of a wand on one scroll and a shield on the other.)
ALEXIS: ...thank you, Sondre.
(TRAINING ROOM -- 1 HOUR LATER)
(Vance, unable to sleep, had decided to head down to the training area and practice. He could only stare at one of the punching bags, hearing the Black Knight’s voice in his head before getting into a stance and starting to spar against it. Terretto had chosen to watch from afar, having seen Vance entered. Each of Vance’s punches were slow, but they hit the mark as he kept up a slow pace. But as the pace continued, Terretto could see Vance getting angry, and his strikes became harder against the dummy. Adding in some kicks, Terretto could see Vance was not at 100 percent, and this was evident with one strong attack Vance attempted that caused him to let out a groan in pain, holding his shoulder slightly.)
TERRETTO: A tower is only strongest when its foundation is solid. Without the foundation, the tower will continue to fall no matter how many times you put it back up.
VANCE (He glanced at Terretto): Yeah… and my “foundation” was kicked into a million pieces. (He struck the dummy once more before sighing.) What am I still doing here?
TERRETTO: Trying to find yourself. (He approached Vance.) Or rather, centering yourself. Fighting is something you’ve known how to do for years, hasn’t it? You remind me very much of my own son.
VANCE: I bet he never lost a fight as bad as I did...
TERRETTO: Oh yes, he did. Many times. (He chuckled.) I know that Alexis praises Sondre to the high heavens above but he is not as “perfect” as she makes him out to be. Before he even became the Red Knight, my son wanted nothing more than to be a Knight just like the Knight before him: Xavier. Xavier was his mentor and trained Sondre to become his successor despite the others seeing him not as worthy . And in the beginning, Sondre could never defeat Xavier. Time and time again, they dueled, but Sondre would always lose. And I could see how badly it ate him up, losing every time and coming so close each time. He thought he was unworthy.
VANCE (He hesitated): But his life wasn’t on the line. He had the chance to get up again. Me? I’ll die if I get up again, just like I almost did. I’ll fall, and it’ll be the end of me. I’m doing the team a favor by staying in here… (His eyes flashed purple again.)
TERRETTO: Is that what you truly think? (He shook his head.) A true warrior is not defined by his losses, rather how he continues to fight despite his failures. Our failures shape us into who we are just as much as our successes. And yes, you did lose. You were not ready to take on an opponent like the Black Knight and if you continue to believe what he has put into your head with the Cursed Blade, then you will lose sight of why you became a Knight in the first place.
VANCE: And what good is a failure that’s meant to shape you if it destroys you?
TERRETTO: Either it destroys you or makes you stronger. (He paused.) ...you don’t know what happened to the other Knights, do you?
VANCE: Alexis was vague on what happened, yes…
TERRETTO: Xavier was the first to pass when he and Garrison, the original Blue Knight, were ambushed by an unknown foe; and before Xavier succumbed to the poison in his system, he made Sondre the Red Knight. And though the other Knights weren’t quick to follow him, they knew Xavier had good judgement upon Sondre. But when the Siege happened… and the others were killed in battle. Sondre blamed himself for their deaths, and everything caught up with him. It… was a traumatic experience. One which caused him to almost give up completely on being a Knight. And it could have destroyed him… but he persevered, knowing that despite all the losses, it did not mean the war was over. The fight is only over when you say it’s over. I realize there have been many comparisons between my son and you, but his failures made him into a stronger fighter. Because as he put it: “No one else will ever suffer the way I did again.”
VANCE (He stared at Terretto for a time before looking to the dummy): It didn’t mean the war was over. And no one else will suffer like I did again. No one...
(With these words, Terretto took the orb part of his staff and made the orb glow, pushing it against Vance’s chest. The orb itself began to glow light blue and it matched with Vance’s eyes as the purple turned to blue and his eye color turned back to normal.)
TERRETTO: I have lost many Knights in the war, some who I would consider my closest friends. But I will not lose you or anyone else in this war when I can do something about it. You have a fire within you that I know for a fact NO ONE will be able to extinguish; and if you want to defeat the Black Knight, you will have to step up your game to awaken Excalibur. Advanced training. Training which perhaps will push you beyond what you know and believe you can do.
(Vance looked away briefly before turning back to look at Terretto and nodded.)
VANCE: ...when do we start?
(THE NETHER REALM -- ARCANA’S LAIR)
(Ziara had stumbled out of the shadow portal and flopped on the ground in her room, groaning in pain before getting to her feet. She quickly looked around and went to the mirror, shocked by what she saw in it and going to check herself over. The room itself looked unfamiliar to her before she looked down at her hands again.)
ZIARA: ...I remember....
(MYTHIC KNIGHT BASE -- VANCE’S ROOM)
(Three days had passed since the fight at Sir Reginald’s Tomb. Things had been unusually quiet with no monster sightings and nothing from the Black Knight. Needless to say, everyone remained on edge and stuck together -whether it was at the college campus or at the comic store. While the others continued on with their normal non-Knight duties, no one had seen nor heard anything from Vance. Nothing during training or classes; naturally, the others began to worry. On this day, Alexis made her way upstairs towards Vance’s room quietly with a tray of food -pausing by the door and hesitating before knocking.on the door quietly.)
(The room was dimly lit, the light from outside gave her a low level of vision into the room and she could make out the outline of Vance sitting on his bed cross legged with his guitar, attempting to play a few chords. He was able to play a tune before hitting a wrong note and cursing under his breath. The sudden creak of the door alerted him and he stopped mid tune.)
ALEXIS (She set the tray on a nearby table before climbing onto the bed beside him. She rested a hand on his shoulder.): You feeling any better?
VANCE (He didn’t say anything at first but looked slightly in her direction): I want to say yes. Last night wasn’t any better. But… not as bad as it was the first night.
ALEXIS: Well, you need to get back in the game eventually. (She jumped off the bed to face him.) Things may be slow now, but we need you with us for whatever comes next.
VANCE: ...you’re a lot better off without me. (His eyes momentarily flashed purple.) Not after what happened… I should’ve been able to win and I almost didn’t-- (He fell silent.)
ALEXIS: And that’s what training is for. Staying in here isn’t gonna help any of us… or you.
VANCE (He scoffed): Well you get to lead now. I’m a weak link. You’ll probably do a better job than me. You’ve trained for this your whole life and I’m just… no one.
ALEXIS: You know that isn’t my job. You’re the Red Knight for a reason.
VANCE: Am I? Sure would be nice to know the reason… (He stared over at the food briefly and lazily reached for the sandwich, halfheartedly eating it.)
ALEXIS: The others have been worried about you ...especially JT. He was gonna try to get me to lure you out with something from the “Who Doctor”? Something about the new comics? (Vance was quiet.) ...you can’t let what happened keep you down like this, hun. Just because you lost doesn’t mean you have the right to mope around. You need to get up off your bed and get back into the groove of things.
VANCE: Yeah… with a messed up shoulder, bruised ribs, and feeling completely useless after being beaten down like that. I’ve… never lost like that before. Not where I thought I was honestly going to die. And he could have killed me… if I can’t even beat him, I don’t deserve to be a Knight… (His eyes flashed once more.) I couldn’t even get Excalibur to work.
ALEXIS (She restrained herself): You fought me once. It was a draw, sure, but you still lasted. If you’re such a bad Knight, how come you held your ground against a warrior who, as you said, has trained her entire life?
VANCE: You would have probably won. (He set the sandwich down.)
ALEXIS: But I didn’t, did I? You stood up to me, and for good reason. You’re a strong Knight, Vance, and you’re missing this!
(There was silence as Alexis paused; she slowly reached and took his hand. But as soon as she got a grip, he pulled his hand away from her.)
VANCE: Why do you even care? (He finally looked up at her.) You don’t know what I’m going through right now. You’re just going to dump me the moment Sondre shows up and I’ll be replaced like that. You don’t think I know what’s going on? I’m just a placeholder for a Knight who didn’t get their ass handed to them.
ALEXIS (She stared at him, dumbfounded): Where did you even get that-- (She grunted in frustration.) What’s it gonna take to reach you? Fine! If you wanna sit here and mope, be my guest! (She headed for the door, swinging it open violently before looking back at him angrily.) But when you actually want to get out and be the leader I know you can be, you know where to find me. (She slammed the door behind her.)
(Terretto was right outside by the door, having heard the whole thing.)
TERRETTO: Give him time.
ALEXIS (She looked to him): How much more do I have to give him? Things won’t be quiet forever.
TERRETTO (He chuckled): You may be my student, but you share much of Vance’s similarities -more so than you know. What was it I said about patience before?
ALEXIS (She paused): ...still something I need to work on.
TERRETTO: As it stands right now, I am fortunate that my magic was able to keep any permanent side effects that the Cursed Blade might have given him subdued. But from my research on the blade, what damage it DID manage will be on the psychological side. Because Vance wasn’t able to activate Excalibur in his fight against the Black Knight, he believes he’s unworthy. And because of the beating and trauma he received, the damage from the blade is having him focus only on the negatives.
ALEXIS (She hesitated): Isn’t there anything else we can do? Other than wait?
TERRETTO: ...unfortunately no. (He sighed.) I myself am trying to wonder why Excalibur’s powers would not activate. It’s magic responds to a Red Knight, but I can only assume it was due to how long it had been in the Tomb.
ALEXIS: It rejected the Black Knight when he tried to use it. In fact, it’s because of that, that we were able to get the sword. But I heard him say “Why does it refuse me now?” (Terretto turned his head away slightly.) ...we can’t ignore the possibility that it’s him, master.
TERRETTO: Even so. Keep everyone close. We cannot allow him to pick us off one by one. (He rested his hand on her shoulder.) Do not act on impulse here, my student. Do not play into whatever game he may have ensnared us in.
(Alexis nodded, watching Terretto leave before heading down into the main area of the base where Curtis and JT sat, playing a card game together.)
CURTIS: So you mean to tell me that Iron Man would beat Batman? What kind of planet are you living on?
JT: The kind where Marvel’s trouncing DC’s ba-tweesimo in the box office! Name one good recent DC movie?
CURTIS: Wonder Woman.
JT: THAT’S NOT BATMAN! And he wasn’t even in that!
CURTIS: ...okay, so Batman’s overdue for a good theatrical film, but at least he didn’t blow up a city and screw over his team with the Sokovia accords!
JT: OYE! Most of that was Ultron’s fault!
CURTIS: And who BUILT Ultron? (He smirked.)
JT: ...crap! Well at least Iron Man doesn’t keep getting recast every 5 minutes!
CURTIS: At least when he does, he gets the better animated movies, tv shows, and comic sales!
JT: DON'T’ YOU BE BRINGING COMIC BOOK KNOWLEDGE UP IN HERE! I WILL RAIN DOWN MY YEARS OF MARVEL KNOW-HOW WITH BURNING VENGEANCE AND RIGHTEOUS FUUURY!
CURTIS: You didn’t even do the quote right! (JT dope-smacked him with a newspaper.) ...where did you get that newspaper from--
JT: DO NOT QUESTION THE JT!
(Alexis cleared her throat, grabbing the attention of them both.)
CURTIS: Hey Alexis. (He sat up a little.) Is Vance doing any better?
JT: I’m taking the face of concern as a no.
ALEXIS (She let out a deep sigh.) You’d be right. And there’s nothing we can do except wait… for even longer. (She sat down with them.)
CURTIS: At least he’s talking. Two days ago he wasn’t even saying anything. Yesterday he actually left the room. I know I saw him go down to do some training at like 2 in the morning, but I didn't say anything.
JT: I guess some progress is better than none?
(Alexis nodded and was about to speak, when the alarm went off. The three jolted up and turned to where the crystal ball was. The mystical sphere displayed a news report from downtown nearby the City Dam… with the Black Knight.)
CURTIS: I was wondering when he was going to show his smug mug again…
BLACK KNIGHT: Citizens of Sundraville! I am the Black Knight, and I… am your savior. While you have all praised and followed the Mythic Knights in their demon-hunting escapades, I have been fighting within the dark criminal underworld of this city and fighting fire with even stronger fire! And my quest… is only just beginning! I have captured three prison busses filled with some of your worst criminals; and I intend to cleanse this city by dropping them one by one into their watery grave! I do not want money, I do not want fame, I do not even wish for this city to bow down to its knees! What I desire… is the Red Knight’s surrender.
CURTIS: What? (His eyes widened.)
ALEXIS: (She made her way over to the crystal ball.) Oh no...
BLACK KNIGHT: Red Knight! I know you are watching! We have unfinished business, you and I! Come find me at the Dam in 1 hour and issue to me your surrender, and I shall let these prisoners free! And if not, then these criminals shall pay the price with their lives. Make your choice.
(The crystal ball turned back to normal. Alexis looked back at Curtis and JT, who looked at each other.)
JT: Of all the times for Quintin and Paige to be in Crayo… and Vance is in no condition to even fight.
CURTIS: That just leaves you and me. (He went over to his backpack.) The only thing we can do is find those criminals and free them while avoiding the Knight. Thankfully… I have this now. (He pulled out his laptop and the USB stick from Gale.)
JT: Ooo is that that Dark Magic Tracker thingy you got from my cousin?
CURTIS: Yes it is, and-- wait, what? Cousin?
JT: Oh yeah! Gale’s my cousin on my mom’s side. She told me the whole thing. (He leaned in.) Just saying, you break my cousin’s heart again, I gut you like sheep!
(Alexis rolled her eyes and started heading out.)
CURTIS: Woah, woah, where do you think you’re going?
ALEXIS: (She stopped to face him.) To the City Dam. Someone’s gotta take on the Knight while you two help the prisoners.
CURTIS: Ohhhh no, you are not going there by yourself. You saw what he did to Vance, to me, to all of us? He will not hesitate to worse to you too.
ALEXIS: And if he gets to you, he’ll kill you AND the prisoners. With Vance out of the picture, someone’s gotta try.
JT: ...are you sure about this? What if we’re doing exactly what he wants right now?
CURTIS: Unfortunately we have little to no choice here, JT. (He got up and stood by Alexis.) We’re with you, Alexis.
(Alexis looked to both Curtis and JT, unsure at first but then nodded.)
ALEXIS: Right. Get a hold of Quintin and Paige as quick as you can, and be careful down in the Dam. By my best guess, the Black Knight may have some traps or be expecting us. And if anything goes sideways, prioritize getting the prisoners out. I’ll handle the Black Knight as best I can.
(Curtis and JT nodded and the two headed immediately for the garage, getting on their Jet Streamers to head out to the Dam. Alexis hesitated before heading out to get on her own Jet Streamer.)
(SUNDRAVILLE DAM & AQUA POWER PLANT FACILITY)
(In one of the large lab lobbies with all the computers and power terminals, Sondre and Ziara had finished wiping out the security guards and any of the lab workers who hadn’t gotten away.
The rest of the workers in the area had been slain and their bodies laid on the floor as the last of their soul orbs went into Sondre’s blade on the lower floor. Ziara sat comfortably on one of the spinning chairs, casually spinning herself around in a bored fashion.)
ZIARA: Whoever came up with chairs like these, I don’t know whether to thank or shake my head at. Modern times are so...amusing.
SONDRE :I suppose so.
ZIARA: You’ve been unusually quiet since you beat the Red Knight. I’d have thought a victory over a Knight would have been a cause for celebration. (Sondre said nothing.) And yet it’s not. You damn near beat the Red Knight within an inch of his life, and not only did you not finish him off, you let them get the sword!
SONDRE: But I made my point. If we were supposed to kill them, they would already be dead. We need them to win this war. By corrupting one, we corrupt the rest to our side. We do what Grieger cannot.
ZIARA: And how long exactly do we keep playing these games with the Knights? We are sharks circling our prey and toying with our food. (She got up out of her chair.) The Red Knight will be here soon and his little squad will more than likely be heading down here to free the prisoners. So I don’t know about you, but I’m done playing games.
VENOMITE: Glad we can agree on something!
(Sondre and Ziara turned as a shadow portal opened and out stepped Venomite. Ziara drew her weapon, but Sondre stood his ground.)
VENOMITE: So… we meet at last, Black Knight. And this must be your… what’s the word, servant?
ZIARA: Servant!? How dare you!
SONDRE (His tone showed annoyance): Can we help you, Venomite?
VENOMITE: Not to worry, I’m not here for a fight. Grieger doesn’t exactly consider you or his “former” ally a threat. Not yet, at least. No, I’m here to get right to the point. I’ve seen your potential, you’re a formidable adversary--
VENOMITE: Excuse me?
ZIARA: You heard him. We’re not interested.
SONDRE: Either you’re going to propose we work together behind your majesty's back or suggest the two of us betray our master to come and work for the demon we’ve sworn to slay. (Venomite went quiet.) I know how these games work.
VENOMITE: You think you do, Black Knight. But working from the shadows will only accomplish so much. What I’m saying is that we don’t have to be enemies. As an alchemist, I know all about combustible elements and those elements can either lead to a successful concoction or a deadly disease.
SONDRE: Like the one that turned you into who you are? (Venomite froze.) Oh I know ALL about you. Alchemist gone rogue, got kicked off the grand council, tried to make the perfect antidote for the perfect poison...then you got sloppy and ended up a monster. What a tragic twist.
VENOMITE: You think you’re so clever?
SONDRE: I don’t think, I am. And you don’t even know who I am. Shame. I thought my symbol on your nest would have been any indication.
VENOMITE (He stared at him): ...I should have known it was you. For that, there will be consequences.
(Sondre was about to say something until he heard a few beeps come from one of the computers. Ziara turned and looked at the screens, seeing the Knights approach the dam with Alexis going one way and JT and Curtis going another.)
ZIARA: Took them long enough. Later.
(She turned and started heading out towards the elevator. Sondre looked to her as she left before turning his attention back to Venomite.)
SONDRE: I suppose those “consequences” will have to wait. Give your majesty my regards.
(Venomite glared at Sondre as the Knight opened a shadow portal and vanished through it. Venomite paused before sniffing the air before looking at the corpses.)
VENOMITE: Well...waste not, want not...
(Curtis and JT had made their way into the lower area of the dam. They had little to contend to with security because said security had already been taken out by Ziara and Sondre. They both had already morphed on the way there, and proceeded cautiously as they followed Curtis’ tracker further into the tunnels. Curtis paused as his visor finally located the source of the dark magic, seeing the busses line up in a loading dock area of the dam.)
CURTIS: Finally. (He looked around.) Looks clear around here.
JT: Ahh, that’s what they want you to think. (He drew his weapon.) I for one am getting a 12 out of 10 on the freakiness scale right now.
(Curtis nodded, slowly making his way over to the buses. JT checked around the area and after finding no traps, approached the busses along with JT. Curtis was able to pry one of the doors open and poked his head inside to see a bunch of tied up and bagged bodies.)
CURTIS: Uhh, hello? We’re here to rescue you, if you can hear us, please remain calm.
(Curtis approached one of the bodies carefully, removing one of the bags to see the sight of a dummy head. Curtis’ eyes widened and he suddenly started hearing a beeping sound coming from each of the bodies. It didn’t take long before JT put two and two together, zipping inside and grabbing Curtis seconds before the bodies each blew up in the bus. It triggered the other bombs in the two busses, and the sudden explosion sent Curtis and JT flying back -the two rolling on the ground. JT had gotten them away in time, but they were still stunned by it. They looked up to see Ziara standing on one of the supply trucks with her scythe over her shoulders.)
ZIARA: Boy, you two are stupid. (She shook her head.) Where’s the rest of your buddies? Too scared to face us?
CURTIS: Fat chance. (He got into a stance with his story.) Where are the prisoners?
ZIARA: Prisoners? (She tapped her chin.) Oh THOSE prisoners! Yeah, I think the world’s a lot better off without them, don’t you? (She couldn’t help but giggle at that last piece.)
CURTIS: You… didn’t.
ZIARA: Oh as much as I wanted to, my master gave me specific instructions not to. They’re safe… for now. Though I’m quite tempted to throw one or two of them into the water and watch them flail like helpless guppies! (She burst out into laughter over her words.)
(JT looked to Curtis who just stood there, staring at Ziara. He saw Curtis’ fist clench, and he got into a stance with his sword as Ziara jumped down and swung her scythe lazily. JT was about to tell Curtis to wait, but the White Knight wasted no time suddenly charging forward and shoulder checking Ziara into one of the supply trucks. She grunted from the impact, looking up to see Curtis and JT both ready to fight.)
CURTIS: You try any of that and I’ll send you back to the Nether in pieces!
ZIARA: Ooooo, temper, temper, sir! Didn’t your mommy ever teach you not to hit a lady?
JT: No, but she told me bitch slaps are unisex!
CURTIS: Let’s do this.
(Ziara chuckled a bit to herself before getting into a stance. Curtis charged in first while JT went off to the side to try and attack from the sides. The two worked together with their weapons but Ziara was able to block each of their moves by swinging her scythe around to deflect their attacks. She kicked JT back and slashed into Curtis a few times before hooking him with her scythe and throwing him into JT. JT was able to catch him but because of his speed, he used the momentum from the throw and spun toward Ziara like a twister, allowing Curtis to get several good strikes into his foe. Ziara took the brunt of the damage before creating a force field and knocking them both back with an energy burst.)
ZIARA: Huh, not too shabby! I actually see a warrior who's giving me a bit of challenge right in front of me… oh and there’s the White Knight too! (She burst out laughing before suddenly dodging a blast of electricity.) Rude!
(JT didn’t waste any time as he rushed in with heightened speed and swung his axe in a frenzy, hitting Ziara with several powerful strikes before uppercutting her and delivering a spin kick that knocked her back. JT leapt towards and missed Ziara, slicing a crate clean in half behind her. He kept trying to swing at her with his axe but she kept evading and rolled under one of his strikes, kicking him in the back with a roundhouse kick. Curtis charged in and the two clashed again, but this time hand to hand. Curtis struck hard with punches and grapples, and Ziara did her best to combat this, but she flipped out of the way of a strike. The two were right by the upper part of the shipping docks and Ziara prepared to stun Curtis with several kick strikes. But when she charged to take him down, Curtis grabbed her and used her momentum to flip them both. They both crashed on top of a truck with a grunt -the both of them rolling off. Ziara got up first and shook her head to shake off the attack before charging her hands up with dark electricity -preparing to strike again. Curtis brought his sword up to catch the energy as the electricity wrapped around his sword, doing his best to deflect the energy.)
JT: THUNDERBOLT SLICE!
(JT suddenly leapt off the higher level with his axe, but she raised her other hand and zapped him out of the air. He dropped hard to the floor. She focused both of her lightning arcs at Curtis and JT, laughing as she shocked them both mercilessly. She finally stopped to grab her scythe, walking over to JT. Curtis raced over, but Ziara caught him and kicked him back before turning back to JT.)
JT: Heh...that all ya got, foxy? You can zap me all you want but you ain’t gonna make THESE buns toasted! (He wagged his butt at Ziara tauntingly.)
ZIARA: Oh good lord do you EVER shut up!?
JT: Nope! Nothing warms my heart more than raising villains’ blood pressure!
(Ziara spun her scythe on her hand and made the blade glow purple. She raised it for a fatal blow, but was suddenly shot in the back by two energy blasts. She turned to the source of the blasts and was promptly met with a slash from a halberd that sent her skidding back. JT and Curtis looked up to see Quintin and Paige, fully morphed with their weapons ready.)
QUINTIN: Howdy, Ziara. remember us?
PAIGE: You two alright?
CURTIS: Yeah, we had her on the ropes. (He slowly got up and helped JT up.)
PAIGE: Suuuuure you did.
ZIARA (She chuckled as she spun her scythe): Whatever! Doesn’t matter if it's 2 on 1, 3 on 1, 4 on 1, or a 100 on 1! YOU WILL NOT! STOP! OUR! CONQUEST!
JT: Yeaaah she don’t know us too well, does she?
QUINTIN: Let’s teach her, shall we?
(Ziara charged towards the four of them and engaged each of them in combat, fending off their strikes as they hit from each angle. But all it took was one counter from Quintin for JT to dash in with his speed and hit her with a series of lightning-quick punches -knocking her back.)
(Quintin brought his two pistols together and fired off a charged shot at Ziara. The vixen quickly went to spin her scythe to try and deflect the energy but didn’t see Paige on the other end, powering up her Halberd.)
PAIGE: TIME STRIKE!
(With Ziara unable to block, Paige’s attack pelted the vixen in the back with crystals. Ziara was forced to lower her guard against Quintin’s attack; the blast exploded on contact and sent her crashing against one of the shipping containers. Paige quickly used her powers and brought down several crates on top of her. Ziara struggled to get to her feet and slice at JT, but he used his speed to dodge and disarm her of her scythe.)
JT: THUNDERBOLT SLICE!
(Ziara did her best to resist the attack, but JT’s attack struck hard against her chest armor, a series of sparks surged from it as it slowly cracked. She roared out, panting as she staggered to her feet. She looked to be on her last legs, stumbling forward and still wanting to fight. Curtis saw his opportunity and charged up his blade to finish her off.)
CURTIS: COURAGE SLASH!
(With one powerful slash, Ziara tried to block the attack with her hands, but it had no effect as the sword shattered her armor. The resulting force sent her flying back from the energy discharge, slamming hard into the wall. The impact left a physical dent as her body slumped down onto the ground. In the process, an amulet fell off her neck and shattered onto the ground, evaporating into the air. Ziara’s eyes, an unnatural purple, suddenly turned back to a light blue and her fox features phased in and out on her head.)
PAIGE: What the?
QUINTIN: Uhh… what’s going on?
JT: Anyone else getting an “American Werewolf in London” flashback?
(Ziara slowly tried to get to her feet and caught one look at her hand, eyes widening at the sight. Her canine features were gone; in her place stood a dark skinned woman with raven hair)
ZIARA: What in the… my…
(Ziara got to her feet and slowly backed away from the knights in fear. She quickly summoned a shadow portal behind her and stumbled through it. There was a long silence silence before JT spoke up.)
JT: Well uhhh… that was… something.
CURTIS: Yeah… that was… wow. What did that amulet thing do to her?
PAIGE: Maybe it was like some disguise power-up or something?
QUINTIN: On the bright side, we found out where those prisoners were and we got them out okay. That’s what took us so long.
CURTIS: That’s a relief. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Ziara though…
JT (He smirked and hit Curtis in the shoulder with his feet): How’s about counting our blessing’s, man! If the beat down we gave her means anything, I’m pretty sure we got this in the bag.
PAIGE (She smirked): We’re gonna hold that to you, man. (She slapped JT on the back.)
JT (He yelped in pain): YIE!! Okay, we seriously need to talk about this!
(Quickly, all four of them teleported away.)
So who am I? Really? Well I've been on Youtube for ages as FlameAmigo619 and then when my channel got shut down, I was reborn as ToonKriticY2K. I've been doing reviews for a long time, 30 plus since 2011. I've recently gotten into working with Brony reviewers and am slowly making a return to reviewing. I'm also a fanfic writer so here you can also find some of my stories on my Fanfiction.net account. Anywho, I'm free to talk with if you want to pitch ideas or work on a collab.