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Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 16 Pt 1
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Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 16 Pt 2
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Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 16 Pt 3

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Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 16 Pt 1


Official Report
1233 N Washington St.
New Hebron, California

Sapphira coughed and looked about feeling the heat of the fire around him even before his vision cleared enough to distinguish it. When he tried to move, he found the debris had pinned him down. He reached out with his mind and his awareness of the surrounding walls flared back to life. Though he didn’t know how long he’d been unconscious, it must not have been more than a few seconds.

He spent no time muddling over his vision, or dream or whatever the hell it had been. Though he wasn’t even sure it had been real, at the moment it was pretty much at the bottom of his list of priorities.

He grunted and pushed himself up, but even his enhanced strength was not enough to free him. Collapsing back into place, he smashed a fist down to the ground shattering a chunk of fallen sheet rock and sending shooting pains through his arm. He growled, and attempted to push the debris that had buried him away with his mind, but nothing happened.

Sapphira cursed under his breath attempting to shift his body and squirm out using nothing but his physical strength, but even that proved to be impossible. He was trapped.

“Goddamnit,” he cursed between gritted teeth.

He coughed and something stung his eyes. Smoke was building up in the narrow corridor and it was getting harder to breathe. He had to try something before it was too late.

He closed his eyes and pursed his lips reaching out to the child still hiding in the room beyond. She quivered in fear, still alive, but not for much longer. Sapphira needed to act. He clenched his fists and concentrated on the child. If he couldn’t free himself perhaps there was a way he might at least help her.

At first nothing seemed to happen, but then his awareness of his surroundings fade away. When he opened his eyes again, he appeared to be in another part of the apartment building, but he could feel the weight of the debris on his body. He knew, perhaps through some extension of his ability, that he his form was being projected into the room, but that’s not to say he understood how or why.

There was a whimper, and all at once he understood. He cast his eyes around the room, looking for the source, but saw nothing. The room belonged to a young girl, fire had engulfed most of the walls, but he imagined that the occupant had covered it in bright-colored posters of boy bands and other pop stars. It would have gone well with the bright pink princess bedding and frilly decor.

It came again, this time it seemed to originate from the bed itself. He dropped his knees and leaned down to peer under it and sure enough there she was.

She didn’t react to his presence, but rather lay there, her whole body trembling, huddled beneath the bed with tear-stained cheeks. She couldn’t have been much older than eight or nine and the thought she might not make it out of the building tore him up inside.

“Sweet thing,” he called out and winced. He’d called his daughter that when she’d been around that age. The girl’s eyes snapped open, and she stared at him with a pair of startling green eyes. She didn’t speak, but slunk back closer toward the wall.

“Honey,” he smiled and held his hand out. “You can’t stay under there. It’s not safe.”

The girl stayed in place. He bowed his head, let out a long sigh and looked back up meeting her gaze. “Please, come out. I promise, I won’t hurt you.”

He didn’t know what convinced her, but when she crawled out, she looked up staring into Sapphira’s eyes. “Are you a super hero?”

“Something like that. Listen, honey, you need to get out of this room. If you can make it out to the hallway, I cleared a path and you should be able to get out.” He reached out to touch her shoulders, but he let out a growl of frustration when his hands passed right through her. Although, the ceiling had collapsed, it was still her best bet. He’d already made a path into the hotel and if the fire hadn’t consumed it, it would be the most direct route out. She could climb over the debris in the corridor, but more than that perhaps he hoped she would help free him.

The girl didn’t move, but stared at him with those big beautiful eyes. “I’m not here. I’d love to help, but I’m just a projection. Please, honey.”

This time he reached out with his mind, attempting to press upon her the urgency of what he was telling her and with a suddenness that startled him the girl gasped and took off running right through him.

He looked around the room before a sharp burst of pain in his chest and he watched his surrounding’s blur and fade around him.

When he found himself in the corridor again, it was only to discover that his situation had gotten worse. More debris had collapsed atop him and the left side of body was throbbing in agony. Under other conditions he might have sensed the extend of his injuries, but again his abilities failed him.

He tried again, to free his body, both by mundane means and with his telekinesis, but he couldn’t muster the strength necessary nor invoke his powers. He waited for the girl to come still clinging to the hope she might free him by shifting around some debris, but either she’d found other means of escape or the fire had trapped her.

And so he lay there, waiting for his end to come. Despite what Ashtar had done to him and his desire to see his wife and daughter again, he found, that he did not welcome death. He didn’t seem to have much choice in the matter.

He saw no hope for rescue, and so he clenched his eyes shut, waiting for the end to come. It wd have been worth it if he’d known if the girl had escaped alive.

Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 16 Pt 2


Official Report
1233 N Washington St.
New Hebron, California

“Well, fuck, you seem to have gotten yourself into quite the predicament.” A disembodied voice said from out of nothingness.

Sapphira’s eyes snapped back open, and he looked up at a tall figure. At first, he thought for certain Chemosh had come to tempt him once more, but as he squinted through the smoke and the man drew closer, he realized he was wrong.

The newcomer wore a black jumpsuit crisscrossed with dark-gray tribal symbols which would have been indistinguishable from the dark fabric of the suit from far off. He wore a matching mask that covered almost all of his face save for the area around his mouth and which bore a similar set of symbols around the eyes holes. If the tribal markings were a clue, but the shade of the man’s skin which showed through the eye and mouth hole, confirmed that he was of African decent.

Sapphira recoiled, as the man knelt down and extended a hand toward him. Certain, he was under attack, but then an odd thing happened. The man’s hand shifted clean through the debris and clasped around one of his wrists. For a second he thought he was looking upon a ghost or some other specter. He’d never heard of a living being able to move through solid matter, but that didn’t explain how he felt the man’s touch.
His rescuer reached out with his second hand and again his flesh shifted through fallen fragments of wall and ceiling, but instead of wrapping it around his wrist he reached around the other’s back and gripped Sapphira’s shoulder. Before Sapphira could protest, the man pulled him out, his whole body shifting through the debris like his new friend.

Once free, the stranger pulled him close holding him in his arms. He stood there, his whole body throbbing in pain staring into the stranger’s eyes mouth hanging agape. Though their contact was brief, lasting only the briefest of seconds, he noticed the other exemplar’s well-toned physique, and how his soft breasts pressed into it. It was a physical response, one his female body fueled. He experienced desire, and it terrified him.

Before he could process it, the newcomer grinned and pulled away, but kept ahold of Sapphira’s wrist. “Another time, perhaps? In the meantime why don’t we get out of here?”

Sapphira didn’t answer, but rather gritted his teeth and nodded, shaking away the insane thoughts running through his head, but instead of fleeing to safety he paused. Wasn’t there something he was forgetting?

He wasn’t clear headed, which was, to an extent, from all the smoke he’d inhaled, but it might have also something to with his injuries. He looked down, the debris had torn his costume to shreds and in several places he saw blood dribbling down his body. It should have been impossible, it was, after all just a projection, but then realized the dress he was wearing must be what had neem torn. He had lost more than a little blood. His head was throbbing, and it was getting difficult to think straight, but somehow he remembered.

“The little girl?” He asked his unnamed rescuer.

He smiled again, “Little blond girl, green eyes? I’ve already helped her escape. You need to come with me. Now.”

Sapphira didn’t need to be told twice. He didn’t trust his new friend and suspected that his motives were less than gallant. His lot only wanted one thing. He didn’t take the time to articulate his view points. The will to survive was just a little more important.

As he suspected the other exemplar lead him forward and straight through the north wall. He clenched his eyes shut, too unnerved for his mind to accept what he had devised would come next and gasped when his whole body seemed to come under a strange tingling pressure. He didn’t open his eyes again until the sensation faded and a cool breeze touched his cheeks.

Once outside he exhaled, not even aware he’d been holding his breath and froze as he got his first look around. A dozen police stood along the exterior of the building, and every single one of them had their guns trained on them.

 

Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 16 Pt 3


Official Report
1233 N Washington St.
New Hebron, California

“Well,” Sapphira’s mysterious rescuer glanced sideways at her, grinned and extended his middle finger at the cops giving them the bird. “I believe that’s my cue. Sorry, I couldn’t stick around a little longer.”

When his new friend disentangled himself from Sapphira, he stumbled forward and collapse atop the hood of a police car. He threw his hands out at the last minute, preventing himself from slamming his face against its hard metal. He gritted his teeth and craned his neck around just in time to see the other exemplar sink into the ground as if he were a fish swimming through water.

“Stand down!” A voice called out and Agent Van den Broeke appeared from amongst the cluster of officers holding up her badge. “She’s with me.”

Sapphira winced at her use of a female pronoun, but offered no protest. As far as anyone else was concerned it was a more than an accurate description.

One by one the policemen complied to the Agent’s demand. Amelia stepped forward, only offering them a cursory glance before turning all her attention to her charge.

“How bad is it?” Amelia asked folding her arms across her chest and shook her head.

“It hurts… a lot,” he said between gritted teeth and emitted a long moan. “But I think I’ll live.”

“In that case, perhaps you would explain what the hell you were thinking! Do you have any idea how dangerous what you did was? You might have gotten yourself killed,” she said between gritted teeth. She wasn’t yelling, but Sapphira was almost positive that was only because there was an audience.

“I-I’m sorry,” he mumbled under his breath and bowed his head. “I heard a little girl crying out for help and I couldn’t sit by and do nothing.”

Amelia eyed the other exemplar, then glanced back at the cadre of police officer’s who already dispersed and nodded. “Katie Brown. AEGIS has been aware of her abilities for some time. It was lucky for her she was able to connect with you.”

That surprised Sapphira, he’d assumed that it had been his own abilities at work. He hadn’t once thought at least some of it had been the little girl. No wonder it had been so easy to touch her mind.

“She gonna be all right?” Sapphira asked eying the agent. Amelia bit her lip nodded, and most of the fire seemed to fade away.

“The EMT’s are looking her over now. If she didn’t inhale too much smoke, she should be fine.”

Sapphira nodded, but didn’t say a word.

The agent leaned forward, and before he could protest she slipped her arm under his shoulder and pulled him erect.

“Come on, let’s get you some medical attention. Those enhanced healing abilities won’t do you much good if you bleed out before your wounds can scab over.”

“What about, my new friend?” Sapphira asked glancing back toward the patch of ground where he’d disappeared. “I’m assuming the welcoming committee was for him.”

“He goes by the name Babalawo, which from what I told is some sort of Shaman.”

Sapphira stepped on an uneven piece of ground, a rock perhaps, and groaned. “A Shaman? You can’t be serious.”

“The name is an affectation nothing more. He’s a local aberrant, a bank robber, who we have had little success bringing him in because it’s a little difficult cuffing a perp who can phase through solid matter.” Amelia stopped as a pair of EMT’s approached with a stretcher.

“Okay, that explains who he is…” Sapphira paused, and grunted as they hefted her onto the gurney. She panted, gritted her teeth and collapsed atop it. “Why the hell did he show up here?”

The EMT’s rolled him toward their ambulance and the agent stepped in sync beside them. “He tripped the silent alarm when he phased into a vault in a nearby bank. They police who responded arrived just in time to catch him fleeing the scene of the crime and followed him here.”

“And he popped in and make a rescue attempt while on the run from the cops?”

“He has a habit of showing up in situations like these to rescue innocents. I guess he fancies himself some sort of Robin Hood and since he knows we can’t touch him, I doubt that our boys in blue were after him made much of a difference.”

“He’s gotta lotta balls. I’ll say that for him,” Sapphira sighed and laid back in the stretcher.

In his mind, what she had just told him only confirmed what he’d suspected all along. His motives were less than pure and Babalawo was just a common street thug with an impressive ability.

Just before they wheeled him into the ambulance he grabbed a paramedic by the sleeve and spoke. “The girl, is she gonna be all right?”

“Yeah, she’ll be fine, Ma’am,” the taller of the two answered back and without another word the pair hoisted the stretcher into the back of the ambulance and set him it down inside.

“My superiors aren’t going to be happy when they learn about this fiasco,” Amelia said from the doorway. “Be ready in case there’s an inquiry. They’ll want to speak with you, regardless.”

She grimaced and took a few steps back before, turning away and disappearing from sight. Sapphira didn’t like the sound of that, but for the time being there wasn’t a lot he could do. He closed his eyes and left the paramedics to their work. Perhaps, it was from simple exhaustion, but somehow without even trying he drifted off to sleep.

 

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