Past the Breaking Point
The further she flew from the island, the darker the clouds became until it was obvious she was deep within a tropical storm. Kira made a hard stop, narrowly evading a missile; fighter jets unloaded their rounds, making it difficult to fly fast. There were no bases nearby meaning somewhere there was a carrier. To her dismay she was right and it brought many friends: destroyers, carriers, maybe even a submarine or two, but they were too far under if there were to be seen. For a moment she hid within the clouds, knowing that this was likely going to be her last chance to formulate a plan before engaging in a very long battle as a one-man army. She shook out any unnecessary thoughts--this was for no one else expect herself and whatever happened to the island was of no concern. Keep thinking that...and she won’t lose focus. Alucard was on one of these ships, commanding the assault, and every one of them would be torn apart until he was found.
Was it ready? If so she had to be sure not to carelessly release it otherwise there would be nothing left when going after his spawn. Yes. This was going to be the end, the end of Alucard and his grip on the false world.
A jet found her, firing, though the bullets melted when she encased herself in her wing’s embrace. She dove, driving into the first Destroyer and crushing its main cannon with the force of her impact. Sailors were already in combat mode, humans and vampires, attacking the assailant as she used her flames to destroy the deck’s artillery. Here. She sensed him in the bridge, a quick shot thew the window and two sailors were dead on impact. Her wing unfolded, blasting away the captain and her fist pancaked the first-mate against the bulkhead.
Alucard punched Kira’s hand and found himself cut in half by her wing--his body became crumbled stone. A clone?! The timer ticked as the stone broke apart, showing the bomb planted in this clone. It exploded, knocking Kira back outside into another broken cannon. She was not able to react properly, the shrapnel lodged itself in her forearms because of a reflex that protected her face and chest. For a few minutes (if she counted correctly) she was still, the wounds healing enough until she could safely pull the shrapnel without bleeding out. That was certainly unexpected.
Without steering the next massive wave capsized the ship and forced Kira back into the air.
“You can't be serious...” The wave subsided, revealing an armada created from every nation allied to the Republic.
Kira had never been against a force like this, this massive, this much power--it could very well kill her. Is this what you had in mind by human and vampire cooperation because I think you did a splendid job. Marcus laughed loudly when appearing behind. He was actually quite pleased with this outcome, humans and vampires working together to bring down a single immortal. He could not have asked for a better irony against what he once stood for. With any luck you won’t survive this time.
Kira adjusted her mask, its colors having changed with the rain, “It doesn’t matter if they have a hundred, a thousand, or a million...” Fire licked at her flesh, “I won't be killed by them.”
Fighter jets zoomed, their speed and maneuvers made it difficult to maintain air combat. Tactics were switched, they wouldn’t attack their own ships (if they did that just saves her half the trouble) so she would bring them down, island-hopping until all were incapacitated and Alucard’s remains were at the bottom of the ocean. They were all ready for her, armed to the teeth, firing at their own allies--prepared to do what is necessary, sacrifice the few to save the many. Kira had lost her tablets to the sea and fought to ensure not too much energy was diverted to healing.
Nobles, Purebloods, special forces; everyone came here with the purpose to eliminate the One-Eyed Reaper. The island was a secondary, a distraction to lure her out that was working very well. Missiles were not as easy to counter at close range, the rains made it difficult to sense them on top of the ships’ artillery, small arms, gifted immortals; Kira killed at least twenty Alucard clones before one succeeded in knocking her into the waters. Submarines were among the depths that Kira sank to and wasted no time in launching torpedoes.
The bombardment lessened significantly, but continued, seeking a weak spot in the Goddess’s barrier. Stretched too thin, one broke thru and destroyed a block of buildings.
‘Akasha!’ Hei grabbed her before she fell over, keeping her up so she wouldn’t expel needless energy.
He desperately cried for her to reduce the barrier, but with a weakened smile she said, ‘But this is the city you build for me, for everyone here...’
‘That doesn’t matter! Cities can be rebuilt, but people can’t and we can’t lose you!’ Hei yanked off his bandages and reopened his wound, the seeping blood enticed the immortal’s senses and she gave into the craving.
He would not lose her again!
Kira broke the surface numerous times, but was repeatedly pushed back under by the force of the waves. After timing the distance of the waves atop a piece of floating debris Kira leaped up and kick-started her wing to get her high enough to be unaffected by them again. Her lungs expelled the seawater, desperate to be filled with air once again. I’ve taken out a couple dozen and it doesn’t look like I’ve even made a dent... A break between a couple ships helped to maintain and regain her energy, but it was impossible to keep this up on pure adrenalin. There would be no choice, but to feed. Kira shuttered at the thought--that would be addressed only as a last resort. Again she fought fighter jets, jumping and clawing her nails into a few, forcing the pilots to eject after ripping off their cockpit windows. Another crashed into an ally, sending both into the ocean.
I can’t keep this up much longer... Kira gripped her eye, feeling it throb; inside her powers hungered to be released and engulf the world in fire. Shit! She was hit by missiles, the shock wave dispersing the surrounding clouds. The smoke cleared, the stars blocked out by an ominous lump of flames that fell into a carrier, causing a crater on the flight deck fifteen meters wide. I didn't want to resort to this. Kira couched on her knees, blood dropped from her eye seeing as it and she had reached its limit.
Adam stood beside Alucard, they knew it was only a matter of time before she happen to find them. Though both wish she sustained a bit more damage, her in a weakened state is the only way they can take her on. None would stand a chance otherwise alone. Kira stood her wings folded in then shot out with an unrelenting force that sent the rains back to the heavens. There were no distractions from either side, but it would not be easy. An immortal’s gifts are a reflection of their souls, the emotions that shape the very people they are and Kira is the embodiment of hatred itself.
Two wings fluttered behind, folded back and slightly dragged behind as she walked. There was no need to exchange words--they were passed that because nothing either said would make a difference. Alucard and Kira moved first, their collision causing the rains to return and then fall again once gravity kicked in. Earth and fire shook the ship, destroying the jets and runway, but as large as the ship was the bridge would be safe for a time. Fighter jets zoomed passed, dropping missiles as they went exploding after Alucard quickly distanced himself. Kira was hardly affected, the heat and flexibility of her wings protected her from any major blasts while combated the King. Adam entered the fight, two on one made it increasingly difficult to concentrate and shield herself--Alucard was a well-seasoned in fighting and the seer made surprise attacks impossible. He watched carefully, following the movements of the skeleton; with all natures he has seen they have always floated above an individual and the Reaper was no different, until the Goddess revived her. Now the headless skeleton looked as if it was her, an enlarged x-ray in reversed colors. There was no need to guess or estimate someone’s location, Kira’s told him exactly where she was.
The shipped rocked back and forth, the waves and the constant shifts in weight made it difficult to keep afloat. Tired of being knocked into the ground, Kira slid under Alucard and kicked up on his chin and went after him once his was in the air. She grabbed him by his jacket, threw him into a missile and watched him fall as metallic shards ribbion-ed her arms and legs. Diving after him, an arrow shot from her hand, but only by Adam’s action was the King saved from it.
“I think we've certainly succeeded in pissing her off.” Adam huffed smiling when holding the crimson dagger.
Sammy created a small assortment of weapons for the Frenchman, a means of protecting himself and attacking the Reaper; Eona knew nothing of this. She was kept hidden from the world after the ball, having been taken again under Alucard’s ‘protection’ last year. They believed their chances were better with him now that Eona could not move on her own anymore.
‘If we had done that, I doubt either of us would be standing right now--she's stalling.' Alucard said, catching Adam with surprise. The King, fearless as he was known for, now expressed a hint of concern.
'We have to make her use as much of her power as possible.’ Alucard used the flight deck’s asphalt to created an armor against the flames.
“For what its worth." Adam drew up the daggers to eye level, "Those clones of yours were a good idea.”
The Reaper moved, kicking Alucard back, she grabbed Adam’s wrist just after he ripped his dagger up her patched eye. His wrist was snapped, the rest of was grabbed, spun around and chucked into a vacant helicopter. She staggered back, rubbing the blood and yanking the torn cloth--The ground spiked up, then another layer sought to ensnare her. For a moment, a second, before the stone locked Adam saw the skeleton’s eyes look right at him.
The sphere of asphalt steamed, melting in a lava of black tar from within. Kira inhaled deeply, calming and further slowing the beats of her heart.
She clenched her arm feeling the liquid heat boil within, “I had hoped it would not come to this.”
Her wings lost their massive solid form, becoming more animated and fluid. The rain never touched her becoming air before given the chance. Yes, she certainly didn’t want it to come to this, even using a portion was a risk. Adam pulled out a pistol, loading a magazine filled with Sammy’s blood. Cutting and stabbing was not an opinion now, there is no way he could get close enough. Lightning flashed; the Reaper punched Alucard’s armor, igniting it with an inextinguishable flame. Knowing this, Alucard threw the piece of armor, separating him and it before touching him directly.
Adam shot at her, the bullets broke thru the heat and sank into her shoulder. The skeleton did not register it, rather she continued to fight Alucard while taking hits from all sides. She did not flinch, did not show emotion; there was no pain. Though the wound he inflicted had healed, the shut eye bled, the trail had wiped numerous times, but flowed nonstop. Parts of her face and neck looked blacked, looking as though it was bleeding in ‘cracks’, but it was the vines of the tattoo that glowed red and expanded in those parts.
The skeleton’s head bore two small horns in its forehead; red and black eyes glared, but unlike before there were no cracks, no chains on its boned wings. Kira clasped her hands together, the aura of her presence intensified, reflected when the skeleton with its sharpened teeth seemed to smile, reaching its claws when grazing Alucard’s arm. The vampire did not hesitate when removing the useless limb.
Gone from the King’s sight in another flash of lightning Alucard followed Adam’s lead and found she was standing on top of the bridge. Kira snapped a pipe attached to the antenna and walked to the edge of the roof. She pulled her arm back and slammed the metals together. The sky roared. They hit again. Lighting flashed just behind the skip, hitting a wave’s top. Again they hit; lighting screamed, racing from the heavens to the pipe, coursing throughout her arm.
“I missed...” She shot the pipe at them, the lightning followed in its path, “Won’t happen again.”
The ship’s deck erupted, destroyed by the massive blast and a shock-wave even greater. The force sent jets everywhere, into the bridge, the sea, if it hadn’t been as well build as money can buy it would have sunk. Burning in fire her own and not, it would not be long before a heavy wave capsized this one too. Kira jumped down, moving to the impact sight that breached a few of the decks below. Her heightened senses were a mess, for the meantime they were likely worse than the average human. She saw a body, clinging to the hole’s edge, but who it was could not be known of course--an arrow formed her in hand, prepared take the chance of poor aim; his movements though, Its only Adam.
Kira grabbed him, pulling the half-dead vampire onto the asphalt at her feet. She looked around, finding no sign of Alucard--cowardice, abandoning an ally to save his own skin; not a surprise. Adam’s shaky hands gripped the shard of the dagger; Kira stepped on it ensuring he would not needlessly throw away his life.
‘Son of a bitch--!’ He hacked in French, having lost all feeling from his waist down, ‘He--really--!’
Kira knew what that was, she had seen what the King had done. A blade formed in her fist; she held the edge above Adam's head. It was better this way, killing him now was like putting down a sad puppy. Kira gently kicked the shard from his reach, then pushed him onto his back. His was already crumbling, the hole in his shoulder expanded with each breath taken. Kira moved the blade from his head, but still kept its form. Her power remained the same, but pushed a portion to her wings so not to kill Adam just by standing near him.
“There’s no use begging is there?” He could not move anymore, but there was also no pain. That lack of feeling calmed him significantly, probably because he understood that his life was over.
“I hardly think that's necessary...you're already...” Kira’s breathing was heavy, she gripped the cloth over her heart feeling the effect of fighting for endless hours.
Adam chuckled, “I suppose not, but it doesn’t hurt to try.” He looked to his enemy, “I was a bard once, its a habit to want to see the end of a story.”
She lifted her sword to his head, “Then you should already know the ending, how all Tragedies end.”
For a reason she paused and held it in place, "Adam..." She moved her blade away again, "Though you and I hold different ideals, I respect the friendship you and the other me had: as a gift I will answer three questions."
Adam understood it all now and felt a relief at knowing his 'enemy' more. As knowledge is power he also felt pity for those who had such power; the fate that awaits those who silently suffer the weight of their power is cruel unlike his own pain that faded with the thrust of Kira's blade, I'm glad...I didn't need to fulfill my promise after all.
Ships were destroyed one by one, Kira and Alucard playing a game of cat and mouse. Though their fights were not to the same scale as the first, no ship survived their confrontations. Kira began enjoying this game, fighting without restraint, without consideration for anyone’s life. The thrill of battle consumed her every emotion, melting away to allow her instinct to take over--she was born to fight, to know only this raw sensation; eagerness.
It was fun to watch the King run, sending hundreds of innocents to their deaths because he could not bare to face it himself. Nonetheless he was focused, calculating the worth of each life and the chance it gave him to flee. Kira would not call him a coward because he did not run out of an instinctual fear. He was placing the value of his life as a necessity, rightfully so--he is one of two people who can actually kill Kira.
“Fight me!” Kira shouted with reason-less anger (unknowing where this anger was coming from now) when grabbing his coat and catching it ablaze.
Alucard threw it off and continued running. She had gotten over this game, she wanted it to end, and now the risk of release ceased being relevant. Kira reduced her wings, allowing for her body’s speed to increase: she fronted him, low to the ground going upward she pumped her fist into his face and sent him skipping across the ship. Blood dropped at her feet, trickling down from her body and from the half-melted spikes that were formed from the cannon behind.
Kira had done it! Not a single missile and jet had made a pass or attacked for well over an hour. Either she destroyed all of them, or they were too preoccupied with her they left the island be. Hei was relieved, but the Goddess was not. Kira had not come back, if she is not back then they cannot be sure the island is safe. Her return would only be if things were settled, Akasha felt at this point Kira would not stop until she watched the whites of Alucard’s eyes become dust.
Kira would be back, she had to come back; Alucard would be dead and there would be no one to stand between her and Eona’s child. This will be over, then after all of that Kira will finally...Hei ran, failing to catch Akasha as she fell over. The blackened barrier un-stitched itself, eroding away as its master lost all strength to keep its weaving intact. This was their chance, fighter jets were heard in the distance, their roar following their tails. The missiles destroyed buildings in the center of the city, growing closer and closer despite defensive strikes from immortals. Angèle held onto her friends, keeping them tight against her. The rumbling from above caused sections of the shelter to crack and even a small section to collapse.
Hei rushed the Goddess inside, ordering for her to be taken to the bunker. He didn’t want her to know what was coming, the report he received that would cause her to sacrifice herself for everyone here. He could not have that, she could not fall, Akasha is the one who is going to save the world. The eldest of humanity smiled, looking out towards were the sun was sure to rise, considering it would be his last to see. It wasn’t just the fact that two atomic bombs had been launched from Cuba, but also that Kira had been last seen falling into the sea.
Akasha must live. Even if this entire island is wiped out, there are many more who looked to the Goddess for guidance and comfort. Akasha shall live, Hei must see to that because that was is his wish, and Kira’s will. More missiles hit the island, but the guards are doing well to keep them away from the shelters. Its not as though they were built without the consideration of nuclear threat, but not this degree of firepower. I don’t regret anything-- That was a lie. There was one, only one: not being able to protect Carmella. Of all the Goddess’s grandchildren she was the one he cared the most for.
The plane carrying the bomb was spotted on radar, just passing over the greatly reduced armada. The warhead was not far behind, maybe ten minutes (why they delayed the second launch could be anyone’s guess). Hei went to where the plane would be seen, a flash of light, and a wave that cleared the skies resulted in all windows being shattered and people being knocked over. A misfire?! Hei jumped up, pulling to the rails he watched the mushroom become black, swirling into a vortex and upward further into the sky.
Her title echoed throughout the island.
Something skipped across the surface, a black mass, that rammed just below the mansion’s base creating a crater with its form. Hei and a handful of others made their way down to the cliff side and found what was embedded in the rock. Kira didn’t move, for a time everyone thought she was unconscious, but seeing as her flames continued to burn that was not likely. Hei ordered for no one to go near her--something was wrong. Patches of her skin appeared glassed over black with crimson cracks. Her stigma was the same color, vines stretched from the markings pulsing in harmony with her abnormal heartbeat.
Hei ordered for them to remain vigilant, Kira was not prone to being calm in a state such as this. She jerked, a muscle spasm to force the stiffness to cease. Fingers twitched; her eyes clenched numerous times before her chest rose sharply and Kira coughed.
Everyone except for Hei relaxed happily.
“Dropping a bomb--on my fuck-in--head--!”
She barely had time to keep the blast from wiping her out along with the rest of the fleet. Knowing Alucard he probably survived that somehow. Considering she was used as a skipping stone for a few miles it is and is remarkable she’s conscious now. Kira struggled to free herself, the heat from her body melted the rock into lava, which had her sinking like a mud puddle. Hei climbed the broken wall, feeling the intense heat when ascending.
“Stay--back--!” Kira hacked gripping her chest and clenching her eye shut, “I--I-might--b-burn--!”
She began wheezing, feeling the difficulty of breathing with a collapsed lung. Nothing was healing, her body was constantly being broken down nearing a faster rate than regeneration. Nevertheless she stood up, her body blackened and steaming, this revealed glimpses of her skeletal features hovering above her flesh. The flames lost their might, lessening until they left Kira smoldering on her descent. The masses thought this intentional--none of them knew the limits of the One-Eyed Reaper; she was, after all, a legend, and legends never die.
“You’ve done enough!” Hei motioned for the guards to help her move, “Take her to the bunker. Initiate the lockdown. No one gets in or out.”
Kira took their approach as a threat, a circle of small fire spiraled around her, ensuring none could get close. They would not stop her! Blood spewed from her body, her heart pulsing painfully in her chest in retaliation to surpassing her physical limits.
“Kira...” Hei softened his tone, “You have to watch her for me now.”
Kira could not bring her flames out again, they were smoke as the wetness of the cliff and sea succeeded in extinguishing the remaining heat. Kira did not understand what he was babbling about, she had somewhere else to be. Her weight collapsed onto her knees, like lead they were heavy to move regardless of her will to do so.
“There’s another bomb coming.”
Kira hesitated for a moment than sighed frustrated at having more work to be done. If there is another bomb she’ll just destroy it the same way. Should be easier since she knows its coming.
“If you go out there you will die.” Hei and the others surrounded her, “I won't allow that to happen.”
Kira chuckles, “That’s not--your decision. Besides--” She sighed, “You should know I'm not the type to roll over that easily.”
Looking at the state of her body, of what she has accepted in turn for this power to kill Alucard...her life is already forfeit. That is the unmistakable truth, her choice is what has killed her--again.
“You have already reached your limit this night.” Hei gestured to her body, “You won’t fulfill your wish by dying here.”
Why would he stay out here? If the bomb means to destroy this island why not seek shelter and fight another day? Why...is this a goodbye?
Hei spoke, “Akasha will probably never say this out loud, but she’s always wanted to have a family again. Sure she has grandchildren, but none of them will give her that feeling she has with us.”
“‘Us’?” Kira repeated, “What makes you think I wanted to take part in your little make-believe family?”
“You of all people know family is more than blood.” He responded, “For example: to me, you are the daughter I never had.”
The eldest of all humans patted Kira’s head. She doesn’t have to feel it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Akasha knows it, Hei knows it, these short years together were the closest thing any of them have had to a family in a very long time. Kira doesn’t have to babysit, or keep an eye on her constantly its just Akasha can get lonely and Hei only asks to make sure she doesn’t in his place, at least for a little while longer.
“Playing house is not my forte--” Kira admittted in defeat.
Hei walked up to the defensive immortal and rammed a crimson blade in her side. Kira cringed, gasping when falling into the man. He kept her weight up until a guard lifted her into their arms. Bastard--! The shard kept her from bleeding out, but also from producing any flames. She would listen to him just this once.
“Parents can’t have their children protect them.” He gave an envelope to the guard who went on their way with Kira.
“That is my wish.”