“Hello, my bride.”
Aliya looked at him, sneering. “Hello, delusional fuck head.” A few of the men chuckled softly.
She could see Whites glare plainly, though they were still separated by a small field of grass. “Will you come willingly this time, or must I steal you from your pathetic protectors once again.” He smiled charmingly. “After all, your cage is still waiting for you and will be a lot less pleasant this time if you deny me.”
“How, you going to hang out there more?” She asked sweetly, unfazed by his threat. She could see Julius and Gray come to her right and Black and Nightmare on her left, not really having to look at them to see their readiness to tear into him.
“Have it your way then, dear. I will enjoy having you at my mercy.” He turned back to the crowd behind him, motioning to the beast still ripping at the tower. “Kill all but the girl.” He told it, the dragon instantly launching itself in their direction.
“Here, crispy, crispy.” The knight whistled, stalling the black creature. “Come here you bad doggy, you.” It lunged at him, quicker than anything he had ever faced. Laughing merrily, he dodged, drawing it away from the others to their very own playing field of to the right of the tower.
Aliya did not watch him, having faith that Ace could handle anything. Her eyes remained on their enemy as he motioned the attack. “Boys,” she heard from Blood as he came forward. “Time to play.” The bloody twins shouted, battle axes ready to go as the swarm of faceless ran toward the onslaught of adversaries released upon the battle ground. White, red, and black collided, the sound of clashing steal and gun fire filled the air, followed by the cries of the fallen as they pleaded for life or for death. Right in the midst of it, was her father having a grand old time with a very large machine gun. Still she spared him not a glance as White and his creatures advanced, rending friend and foe alike to get to her.
“Let’s go fry those creepy things.” Boris said before Elliot and Peter lay a hand on his shoulders, the three disappearing. They popped behind White and his minions, only to have six of the gray faced creatures circle around them. The three defenders opened fire, two with cold efficiency and one with gleeful laughter. White and the two remaining came steadily toward them.
Aliya began to walk out, but her dads hand on her arm halted her. “Please, Aliya. Think of your children and for once stay behind us.” She nodded with a sigh. She would stay for a little while at least until she found her opening. Black and Nightmare stepped before her, cutting her off from Whites sight.
“Ah, baby brother in the way again. Do you not remember your last lesson” he grinned as if remembering the feel of ripping Blacks heart from his chest.
“I am done learning from a fool.” Black said with confidence. He no longer had any more use for White than White did for him.
“Have I been replace by this sham of a nightmare by you as well, little brother? I never could see what Mother liked about him so much, weak and pitiful thing that he is.”
“Strong words from a man who got his ass kicked the last time you met with either of us.” Nightmare said mildly. His black cape surrounded him, scythe instantly in hand. He had already tried to call the gryphons and the jabberwocky back from their fake bodies, but White had found a way to sever the bindings on them. They would have to do it the hard way, but he had faith in those who were facing the monsters of Nightmare Island. He wanted to take down White at any cost, though he still was not sure how to imprison him or kill him for any great length of time.
Ace halted on the side of the tower opposite the fighting to give himself room to maneuver his large prey. He studied the dragons black scales, looking for weak points and flaws. There were not many, but still nothing was perfect, except for maybe him.
The beast’s red eyes ran over him as well and its black lips seemed to curl up in a sneer, releasing a puff of green mist. “Yeah, love you to, Buddy.” It lunged for him, its ebony claws aimed to take his head in one lazy shot. Ace grinned, spinning out of the way, he hit the slight crease where the bones of the hand and wrist met, slicing with through with one sword, before ducking under and taking the appendage off with the other. “Guess that officially makes you stumpy.” He laughed as he dodged a shot of the green fog that melted the grass where he had been standing.
Boris smiled as he heard the echo of the knight’s laughter. He was having a grand time himself, Eliot and Peter taking out the first three down with relative ease, both firing together, hitting the head, chest, hips, then knees, the kitty cat quickly following with a shot of red and orange flames as they hit the ground. The remaining three had gotten smarter, never stalling in one place very long, their eerie blue eyes looking for any opening to strike.
Bloods army was doing its job well, cutting through the faceless that White had called to his side. He and the twins pushed forward, in the very center of the fray. A loud trumpeting of horns made him smile. “Fashionably late, sister dear?” He teased her as her red guard joined in the battle.
“Just so, dear brother.” She came dressed as regally as ever, watching the mess from the sidelines. Though Vivaldi could be quite violent, she rarely got her hands dirty by doing the deed herself, like her younger brother was so fond of. She gasped, clenching tight to her scepter, horrified eyes glued to the field.
“This time, stay dead.” White said, lashing out at Black with his metal whip. It had taken on a bright green sheen, standing out in the dim light as it struck his brothers face. Nightmare moved to intercept the blow, but did not make it in time.
Black yelled loudly, his skin feeling like it was melting from his face down to his very bones. Aliya knelt beside him where he fell to the ground, appalled to see the mark on his face steadily corroding away his flesh. She called her power to her, violet light glowing softly around her. Surely if she could give Mira and Damia eyes and life, she could save him.
“You’re wasting your time. The poison of the jabberwocky is quite corrosive. It took me forever to find a way to keep it from melting the metal of my whip. Several faceless lost their lives to the experimenting, it melted them away, clocks and all.” White was so smug.
Julius looked at him so coldly. “Even if we were not already planning to kill you, I would see you dead this day.”
“You have no power over me, judge, and we both know it. I hardly see a use for you anymore.” With a nod, his two remaining creations flew at the clockmaker.
They met with Nightmare and Gray, the incubus’s scythe cutting cleanly through the gryphon, its fake body bursting into flames. He managed to return to block Whites attempt at Aliya, meeting his poison whip with his weapon.
Aliya removed her hands from Blacks face. It was once again whole, but a thin gray scar beginning above his eye brow and cutting down over his eye, coming to a point just below his cheek bone. His body began to jerked, him having died while she worked on him. She did not know if his eye was damaged, but he would live. She glared at White as he and Nightmare clashed over and over, beginning to go for them when her Dad grabbed her arm. “Aliya!” he gasped.
She looked at him, only to see his eyes glued to the meadow where the faceless fought. “No!” she shouted, grabbing Julius’s hand as they raced into the fight, heedless of the bullets flying around them, leaving White to Nightmare and Gray cutting the golem down a piece at a time, matching its speed.
The jabberwocky retreated into the shadow of the tower remains, calling the dark down upon it to hide from the knights eyes. It waited for him to come closer so that it could pounce on him, ending its aggravation.
Ace calmly strolled toward the tower, no longer seeing it, but he could feel the dragon’s eyes upon him. What fun, hide and seek. He loved games that victims thought to play with him. He felt a small movement through the ground, not fooled by what his eyes could not see. The creatures massive jaws snapped closed over the place where he had just been. “Aww, you missed me!” He said before punching the large pupil just to the right of him. With its one good arm, it sent him flying into the gray stone tower. He felt several snaps as he slid down it. “Damn, note to self, don’t punch dragons.” He stood, raising his sword once more facing it head on.
The three gun fighters were still doing well, now down to two creatures with no injuries to speak of. The last two were becoming quite cautious, trying to work together to get at the defenders. A massive stone falling from the tower changed the tides as it landed on the Cheshire cat, knocking him out cold. “Shit!” Elliot said, firing away at the golem trying to take advantage of the sudden opening. One managed to get its claws into Peter’s shoulder before he blew a hole through its eye socket. The four stood facing each other, not hearing anything going on around them. “Right or left?” he asked the prime minister.
“I am always right.” Peter smirked, lunging at his solitary target.
The twins cut a bloody path through the field. Really, Blood enjoyed watching the boys at play, they were nearly as blood thirsty and ruthless as he was, but somehow came off as innocent half the time. How amusing it was. He took careful aim, quickly carving his own path, head shots, every one. The battle was slowing, he took a moment to survey the field. By pure chance, one of the enemies faceless broke through the barrier of black suites, managing to get one good shot off before he was cut down. Blood felt the impact on his chest, not registering pain as his body fell. The wound was high, bleeding freely.
Ace dodged another mouthful of green smoke. “Come on, I’m bored with that. Get a breath mint already.” He was getting tired of playing, a sense of dread starting to climb in his chest. Something was going on with Aliya, he just knew it. “Let’s go, stumpy, bring that ugly head down here again.” He taunted. The jabberwocky did not disappoint, trying to bit him in half. Ace slipped under its jaw, sword raised, notching out a large piece of its neck. The animal screamed, shaking its enormous head, nearly covering him in slimy orange blood. “Nasty.” He said jumping away, catching it again on the right side of its neck, slicing cleanly through. A bright light flashed, nearly blinding him as he moved to the left of the beast. It was trying to cover itself in shadow, crawling with one hand toward the dark forest. The knight shook his head at it before dealing a massive blow to the left side of its neck, severing the head.
Several shell casings littered the ground at the white rabbit and march hare’s feet. The golems were now bullet ridden masses stumbling around, still trying to come at them. Sharing a rare grin, they formed their own flamethrowers, Peters with a large heart symbol with Aliya’s name in the center, Elliot’s had an engraving of carrot cake on it. Matching the kitty cat’s earlier glee, they flamed the fumbling creatures before a white light covered the field.
“Enough!” Aliya shouted as she drew close to her father’s side. A white light spilled from her in her anger. All the remaining faceless fell to their knees, unable to stand as if they no longer controlled their bodies. “Father.” She knelt beside him, Julius falling to his other side. Vivaldi arrived, bringing her guards with a stretcher for her baby brother whom she loved.
“It’s alright.” Blood coughed a little, “It missed the clock.” He tried to smile at their glaring faces, noting even in his pain, the tears in all three sets of eyes above him. Astonishingly, he was loved, it never failed to surprise him.
Aliya lay her head on his chest. Sure enough, his clock beat steady, they just had to slow the bleeding and he would be fine in a time change, less if she healed him. Raising up to do that, she caught sight of Gray and Nightmare, both holding their own quite well, but something was telling her that she needed to be there. She took a white cloth from her aunt, pressing it over the chest wound to slow the bleeding. “Dad, hold this.” She looked into Bloods eyes, “I will be back to heal you, Father, I promise.” With that she was running back the way she had come.
Nightmare blocked another shot from the poison whip, trying his best to get closer to the joker. If he could put him out for a little while, they could put people on kill duty until they could find a permeant solution to their White joker problem. He had nearly had him when Aliya’s light spread across the field, had White been distracted a moment longer, it would have all been over. From the glimpses of Gray he got, the lizard was doing fine, taking the golem down piece by piece. “No more play time.” White’s smug voice broke into his thoughts. The joker disappeared, only to reappear closer, two smaller golems, yellow eyed, green skinned reptile like beasts that were about as high as Whites chest. They closed in on him rapidly, the first hammering a stone like fist into his stomach before he could block it. He managed to fend off the second one as well as the next strike aimed at him from the joker.
Suddenly, Black was at his side, eyes open and clear. He swung his sword at the creature, surprised when it blocked it with his fist. It make the sound of metal striking on rock. “Fuck.” He said, aiming for its chest. He kicked the golem in the chest with all his strength, cutting its head off as it fell. To his relief, it faded, black mist escaping its mouth.
Nightmare took several more hits to his midsection before he managed to behead the boojum, sending it back. White took advantage of the moment and caught him in the chest with his metal. Surprisingly, the cloak he wore protected him from the poison, but the snap of breaking bones filled his head as he was struck again and again.
Aliya ran toward the incubus. She saw White disappear and the creatures first strike while she was still half a field away. This had to stop. She refused to lose anyone to one person’s selfish ambitions and delusions. She touched Gray’s back in passing, “Fire.” She said, pushing a little power into his blades, making them glow red with heat. Where ever he touched the gryphon with them, it was consumed by flames. He made short work of it.
She saw Nightmare go down, certain that he was severely hurt, but she did not run to him or to Black who was coming to help. She ran straight for White, picturing in her head what she wanted. A shimmering crack appeared in the air behind him, unnoticed by anyone but her. Smiling, Aliya increased her speed, slamming full force into his body, both disappearing from view.