Chapter 5: Scream Thy Name
The Gardens had become a vivid hellscape as burning cherry blossoms gently glided through the air until being consumed by fire. Nina stood across from me. Her chilling eyes stared into my very soul as I gripped my blade tightly. Nina grinned with malice as flames ignited and sparked in her palms. Silence draped over us like a sheet. The air grew thicker and thicker with tension as Terra lay nearly motionless on the ground. That veil was torn apart the second we made a move. The ground beneath me erupted in a burst of fluttering flames as I dashed forward. Nina continued to light the floor ablaze as I stormed forward. I dashed towards Nina and readied my blade. A whip of flame lashed out from Nina’s palm and swirled around her body like a vine, blocking my strike. I pulled back immediately and felt my body dash to the side as Nina’s whip struck the charred cement. I watched as the floor collapsed next to me. I felt my body move on its own once more as Nina’s whip lashed at me once more.
“What is happening to my body?”
“You’re too slow kid!” responded the “other me.”
I blocked the next strike of Nina’s whip and dashed towards her once more. Our weapons clashed blow for blow as I felt the “other me” influence my own movements.
“I can fight on my own!” I thought angrily.
I suddenly felt the “other me” relinquish his control on me slightly. Finally had much more control over my actions. Now I could go all out. Memories of the sparring matches I had with my father began to flash in my mind as I readied myself. I ran towards Nina prompting her to launch a flurry of firebolts toward me. Instinct kicked in and I parried my way through the hail of firebolts. Embers showered off my blade as I blocked any bolt that came too close to me. Finally I was close enough to strike Nina. I saw her prepare to lash out her whip. I dodged the strike and went in for her gut. My blade glided through her stomach, splattering blood onto the charred floor. Nina clenched her teeth in frustration as she gripped her wound. Had I won?
My sense of victory was slowly diminished once I saw her wound heal within seconds. My eyes widened in shock and before I could react I felt a burning fist gliding across my face. I was knocked onto the ground. Nina approached me with anger consuming her. She was cocky enough to believe I couldn’t even land a small prick on her skin let alone slit her gut open. She stood over me and swiftly picked me up by my collar. I could see the fiery glow in her eyes grow more and more intense with her desire to kill. I struggled to break free only for her to slam me face first into the smoldering ground. I tried to scream, but Nina only pushed my face in further in an attempt to stifle my cries of pain. I forced my head up slightly and looked to see Terra attempting to crawl closer to me. Nina screamed out in anger as she slammed my face into the floor once again.
“You insolent son of a bitch!”
Nina then gently rested her boot heel upon my back before stomping down onto my body. I felt the crushing weight of her blows contest against the fortitude of my own spine. All I could do was scream out is strained gasps as she repeatedly slammed her heel down into my bruised and battered back.
“You pile of shit! You honestly thought you could win!? You thought you were special because Genesis decided to protect you!? You are just as worthless as any other pathetic human! You should have died with your father!”
Terra struggled back onto her feet. She couldn’t bear to hear my screams. They were a chorus of her worst nightmares. Every cry of pain I released was a knife to Terra’s heart. Terra channeled as much strength as she had left and shouted at the top of her lungs as her fists collided with the concrete beneath her.
“Leave him alone!”
Terra leapt towards Nina with her rock entombed fist raised back and ready to smash into Nina’s body. Nina dodged the valiant strike only for Terra to take another swing at her. Nina continually dodged Terra’s manic strikes with a smile on her face as I struggled to stand up. Nina simply grinned as she weaved her way through Terra’s rain of blows and grabbed her by the throat.
“Aww! Do you love him Terra?”
Terra’s eyes widened in reaction as Nina’s hand detonated like an explosion and sent Terra flying into a wall.
“Terra!” I screamed out as I did my best to ward off fatigue while leaning on my blade.
“Look at you kid. You look pathetic.” Nina spoke in a very menacing yet almost seductive voice. She was enjoying every moment she spent tormenting us.
“You never deserved Lockhart’s blessing and yet here you are trying to be a hero.” Nina spoke as she charged a bolt of flame in her palm with a twisted grin on her face.
“You survived only because someone saved you. But now there is no one here to save you.” spoke Nina once more with a devilish grin.
Nina dashed towards me in the blink of an eye and grabbed me by my throat, lifting me off my feet. I felt the heat of the flames swirling in her palm as it drew closer to my face. Sweat dripped down from my pores as I felt the heat of Nina’s fire grow closer and closer.
“No one will hear you scream as I slowly burn your flesh off the bone. I am going to boil every fluid in your body until your body cooks itself inside out.”
One would think that my mind was racing. That I was in an immense state of panic. The strange thing was, I wasn’t panicking at all. I didn’t even wince as the flames drew ever closer to my flesh and I could feel my face begin to burn. For some unknown reason, my mind was clear. It was clearer than it’s ever been. I didn’t want to die at the hands of Nina. But not once did that thought ever cross my mind. Instead I kept thinking something different. I kept thinking that I wasn’t going to die here. I was going to live.
“This is the end for you brat. Any last words?” Nina spoke with malice as she prepared to sear my face until my flesh melted.
For the first time since rebirth, I felt like I was in control. It was at this moment that I accepted everything that had happened to me. I chose to stand. I had brought myself this far. Now it was time to accept what had been given to me. Gift or curse, this was something I had to accept. For once I became thankful that I was alive. That I was given a second chance. A primal desire to fight and to kill consumed me to my very core as I felt my reason to keep living glare into my soul with her cold eyes. I could see myself in her bright sapphires as I lifted my head up in a glare. My left eye had turned completely black and my right eye had developed a white iris. The red eye was gone. The “other me” had returned to my consciousness. A sly grin stretched from cheek to cheek as I glared into Nina’s eyes.
“My name… My name is Heaven!”
I felt my hand press into Nina’s chest and light matter begin to pulsate in my palm. In a split second a beam of discharged light matter emerged from my hand and blasted Nina back. I continued to fire beams of light forcing her to ignite the air around her to shield herself. I dashed forward, faster than I knew I could and summoned a new sword to my free hand. A sword made of black matter. I swung the blade and watched as Nina’s flames were sucked into the rift I had created with my swing. Nina lashed her whip out at me which I blocked with my light blade. I swung my dark blade and created a rift in space that I dashed into. Within a few seconds I emerged behind Nina and caught her in the back with my light matter sword. She lurched forward from the stinging blow and turned to lash her whip. I blocked it with my dark sword, cutting it in two. Nina clenched her teeth in anger as she tried to punch me with a flame imbued fist. I dodged the strike and swiftly returned the favor. A beam blasted from my hand and impacted Nina square in the forehead knocking her out completely. As I watched her fall I felt my newfound strength slowly deplete as fatigue took its place. Terra rushed to my side and we soon found ourselves leaning on each other as we attempted to escape the burning garden.
Meanwhile, outside the Center City Gardens, rain drops began to hurtle towards the earth below while embers soared towards the heavens above. Genesis stood idle as raindrops bounced off his coat. Ahead of him stood a man in a business suit carrying a shining metal rifle case.
The man wore the look of a professional businessman, but the black leather gloves on his hands spoke the words “trained killer.” He looked to be in his late thirties. His frame was fairly bulky and strong. The man had trained his body rigorously for the sole purpose of fighting. He had a tough, yet sleek face. His jawline was rugged and sturdy with hints of youth still faded from his face. His nose was softer than the rest of his mask and complimented his hard brown eyes. His short black hair was very well kept and swept to the side. Small streaks of grey creased through his locks as his age began to catch up with him.
The man’s suit was very high brow and professional. It almost seemed like a sin to wear such an expensive thing in stormy weather. The entire suit was jet black and fit the man like a glove. A simple white button-up shirt was worn underneath the black suit jacket with a contrasting black tie. His shoes were shined to perfection with the light of the city glistening off their leather bodies. The man reached into his coat pocket and slowly pulled out a handgun. A glossy black desert eagle that matched his ensemble perfectly. In a swift motion the safety was switched off and the slide was pulled. The man then pointed the gun straight at Genesis who seemed to be completely unfazed as he adjusted his glasses. Genesis then smiled as he spoke softly to the man in the suit.
“Looking for someone, Agent?”
“Not anymore. I already found him.”