Ch 11 Kruhl

1
The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 11 pt 1
2
The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 11 Pt 2

The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 11 pt 1

AEGIS Seal

Official Report
Tondzaosha Police Station
Tondzaosha, Idaho

“Amelia, you need to wake up,” a voice spoke out of the nothingness,  reverberating through her skull with such force she gasped and her eyes snapped open.

A bright light shone in her face and she reached an arm up to shield her eyes. She angled her head, sharp stabs of pain pulsating in her temples.

“Amelia,” the voice repeated her name, and she shifted her head, gritting her teeth against the accompanying agony.

Though her eyes were still adjusting, she could see just well enough to make out a familiar set of features. Amy sucked in her breath and studied the teal-framed face of Ashtar.

Amelia groaned and clenched her eyelids shut. “Ugh, I must have taken a hit to the head.”

Ignoring the strange shade, the agent instead shook her head, and blinked, her vision at last snapping into focus. She drew in another deep breath and cursed. She was in what looked like a garden variety police holding cell, save for one detail that produced a shiver down her spine.

A familiar green paint coated the walls, ceiling, floor and even the bars on the cell. The shade was used exclusively by AEGIS. The substance which produced the color had a long, uninteresting chemical name, which she could neither pronounce nor remember, but most of the agency’s personnel just called it GUNQ.

Though it sounded rather harmless, it would block most any form of psychic powers and a fair number of other exemplar abilities. She was able to use her abilities anywhere within the cell, and the room itself, but anything coated with the GUNQ or beyond its boundaries was out of reach. Under any other circumstance escape would have been a cinch, but now it was not at all likely.

She swallowed, bile rising in her throat as she considered the implications of this fresh development. The only way Odalrik might have gotten hold of the GUNQ, was if he’d managed to compromise AEGIS. Its production was strictly regulated and controlled. The substance was manufactured by two separate companies and then combined by AEGIS employees. No one, save for a representative of the agency, would be able to obtain even a small quantity.

A puzzle piece fit into place. Someone enslaved to Odalrik must have been the one to redact her mother’s name in the case files, but why? If it was his intent to bring her here, he must have some reason for it. Was it to enthrall her to him as he’d done to the Tondzaosha Police? No, it made no sense. Her new powers hadn’t even surfaced yet. What need would he have of her?

Perhaps, she shuddered, he sought to make use of her retrocognizance.

“Amy!” Ashtar snapped.

The agent spun her neck back around to face her. She studied the once-goddess in all her glory. Ashtar was stunningly, jaw-droppingly beautiful, in an out-of-this-world unearthly sort of way. Though her form was human, there was a strange, almost imperceptible quality about her that spoke of her genuine nature. She was an alien entity of a sort, Amelia hadn’t quite been able to classify, but there was no doubt she was powerful and it was she who had granted Sapphira and, indirectly, Amelia, their powers. There was just one problem, she’d died months ago combating Chemosh and Garos.

“I am not a hallucination. I am an imprint, a shadow of the person who once was. When the true Ashtar died, she imprinted a piece of herself upon Sapphira and, in turn, when you joined with her and a new seed of power bloomed within you, a duplicate of that imprint passed into your subconsciousness.”

“Listen very carefully, there isn’t much time,” The strange alien specter said a tension in her words, that spoke of urgency.

Amy complied, and felt a tremor work down her spinal column, as the other issued her warning.

When Ashtar finished, a loud clank and a groan of metal on metal sounded from the doorway. Before Amy could even so much as blink, Chief Avery stepped into the room, raised her dart gun and opened fire.

A sharp jab of pain shot up her neck and Amy clasped a hand over the dart. With her other hand she threw out a wave of telekinetic force at the Chief and sent her hurtling back through the door.

Amelia struggled to her feet, but fell back onto her knees just a second later. She clenched her jaw, attempting to fight the effects of the tranquilizer, but soon she fell face-first onto the cold concrete floor. She looked up just in time to see Avery approach before everything again faded to black.

The person once known as Odalrik regarded Agent Van den Broeke’s inert form, a slow smile creeping over her youthful face. She’d come so far and waited so long, but at last that which she desired would soon be within her grasp.

She glanced down at her slight, feminine body, and let out a low throaty chuckle. This was the third form she’d taken since coming to this world. She’d discarded the first, a frail old wisp of a woman, after again learning to tap into the essence of life. The second, that of an unassuming man, had perished in that incident at the old police station, and this one she now possessed… well in the beginning it was that or death.

The girl was but a child,  a few weeks shy of seven years old, when she’d first come to possess her. At first she had loathed it, and thought to steal a new form, but few had seen anything but a little girl when they looked upon her and the sorceress realized that it was advantageous to remain within. When puberty hit, she again thought to abandon the body, but more than anything her innate stubbornness won out and she adapted.

Now, just a year removed from her teen years, she could scarcely imagine life as anything but a woman. If nothing else, the sex was amazing. She shivered at the thought and put it quickly out of mind. Such things were better reserved for her bedchamber.

All this time operating in the shadows and it would all soon be over. She would at last find the crystal so long concealed and gain utter control of this backwater little town.

She had long disdained using the artifact, fearing the risk of invoking its power, but this was not Erda and she did not possess the resources she once had. With it in hand, a much greater conquest would be but a small step. Even Leoffa with all her illusions would be hard-pressed to stop her.

Kruhl’s appearance, while unexpected, was fortuitous. It forced her to accelerate her plans, yes, but she relished in the opportunity it afforded her. Without it, she might never have lured Amelia back to her hometown and without the exemplar woman’s retrocognizance, the sorceress doubted she’d ever locate where Leoffa hid the crystal. Well, short of imprisoning and torturing her for information, but the woman had been as elusive as she was devious.

Her eyes alight with her magic, the sorceress, now known as Daisy Fischer planted her staff into the carpeted floor, green energies swirling within its jeweled top. She placed a hand upon the agent’s forehead, unleashing her magics upon her subconscious mind.

She had wanted the agent for her retrocognizance, but now she had become so much more valuable. When at last her resistance crumbled, the sorceress would bend Amelia to her will, and she would have a weapon at her command, possessing power perhaps even greater than her own.

Soon, she would have her revenge, and her enemies would tremble before her might.

“You’re mad!” Kruhl yelled, clutching her hands around what Teressa had referred to as the “Oh shit handle” above the doorway.

The younger Van den Broeke grinned and winked at the once-king, a manic grin stretching across her face. “You’re the one that wanted the sword, aren’t you?” When the light turned green, she stomped her foot down on the accelerator without waiting to hear the other woman’s objections.

The vehicle lurched forward, speeding down the roadway. It careened off the side of the road, across the walk and through the parking area, before slamming through the glass facade of the Tondzaosha Police Station. Glass shattered all around them, pelting the car hood and windshield.

Kruhl threw her arms up to protect her face, as a particularly large shard hit the glass, but the windshield held and she lowered her arms only to throw them back up as the car slammed into the reception desk and the wall behind it.

The vehicle screeched to a halt as a cloud of white dust and debris exploded before them. As it settled, a pair of officers made a beeline for the car, but Teressa’s eyes narrowed and settled on a steel door along the east wall.

The Diadem jerked forward, tires screeching, and slammed into the doorway with another eruption of dust and a shriek of metal.

Kruhl felt something wet drip down her brow. When she reached out to touch it, she winced against a sharp stab of pain. A small sharp fragment of glass was wedged above her right eyebrow. She brought her hands away, rubbing the blood between her index finger and thumb. She glanced to her left, the window had shattered. When had that happened?

“Kruhl, come on!” Teressa screamed, snatching at Kruhl’s arms with her right hand and clasping hold of her throat with the left.

The once-king slid over the seat, tailing Teressa out the door as that familiar black mist oozed out between the exemplar’s fingers. Weapons fire rang out, but the illusory fog had already risen between them and the police clan could only fire blindly into the haze.

Kruhl’s heart pounded in her chest as they flew threw the debris ridden room. Towards the back they found the sword within its metal cage scattered amidst a wooden bludgeoning weapon and a slew of fire sticks. When Teressa tried to open the enclosure, it wouldn’t budge.

“Shit,” she cursed, rapping her knuckles on the metal. “It’s locked, what the hell are we supposed to do, now?”

At once, both women glanced back at the car and a twinkle showed in each of their eyes. “I have an idea!” They both said in perfect unison.

The Fall of Kruhl | Ch 11 Pt 2

AEGIS Seal

Official Report
321 S Oak St.
Grove City, Idaho

Entry into the home was not much of a problem for Ashley now that she’d adorned herself in the full RPR assembly. She doubted anything she did while wearing the blood-red armor could be considered inconspicuous, but she entered out of sight, just in case.

Until she’d summoned the remainder of the RPR, she’d instructed it to keep a close distance, and most especially to remain outside of town and away from people or roadways. Nabu, the AI that governed the suit was more than happy to comply. The Artificial Intelligence almost seemed sapient, but Malcolm insisted that it was a product of some very sophisticated computer algorithms. Ashley had her doubts, but so long as the suit performed as it should and obeyed her commands, she was willing to look the other way.

She stood just outside the home’s back door, gauntleted hand poised over the knob.

“Miss Harris,” Nabu said, a light, almost undetectable inflection in his voice that hinted at an Iraqi accent. “You may wish to enter through the window.”

“Why is that?” Ashley asked.

“The door’s core is composed of reenforced steel. While the servos in the suit are capable of removing it from its frame, it would be rather loud. It might attract undue attention.”
 
“What about the energy blades, wouldn’t one of them be able to cut through it?” She asked, hand still inches from the doorknob.
“In theory, yes, but the director never tested them in the field and certainly not on—”

“Yeah, well, now’s as good a time as any.” Ashley rolled her eyes and cut Nabu short. The AI was a bit long-winded, and far too cautious for her tastes.

“Need I remind you, miss, that you could overload the—”

“Better to do it here than in the middle of a fight.” She responded, again stopping the artificial intelligence before he finished. 

“Once again, there is no faulting your reasoning, miss,” Nabu replied. Ashley shook her head and bit back a sharp response. His tone had sounded almost… sarcastic.

Ashley dropped her right arm and pumped her fist three-times. A long, curved section of black metal slid out from the wrist, and burst alight, a thrumming, cackling blade sizzling to life along its length. She wasted no time, raising her arm and slicing down. The blade sheering through it from top to bottom as easily as if it were paper, but burned so bright even the filters on her helmet weren’t enough to keep her eyes from watering.

She pushed the half of the door still affixed to the hinges open and shouldered through, her armor just a little too large to fit through otherwise. She kept the blade extended, fearful that she might come under attack, but as she emerged on the other side, she encountered no obstacles and the only sound was the clank of her own armored feet. Still, she kept her weapon ready.

Her eyes scanned her immediate area. She’d stepped into a quaint little joint kitchen and dining room area. The cupboards were solid flat-white and the countertop was ceramic tile. It looked old, with a few nicks or scratches here or there, but overall appeared well maintained. 

The oven and range looked relatively modern and the microwave most certainly was, but otherwise it seemed consistent with the era in which the home had been built. She stepped through the room, ceramic tiles cracking under the weight of the suit, and moved past the dining table, a simple blocky affair that showed signs of frequent use. Though blocky and not real pretty, to her eye it appeared handcrafted.

She walked into a carpeted hallway, peering left into the front room, eyes studying the loveseat, sofa and television mounted to the wall, and screwed up her nose in frustration. The room was empty. The decor seemed rather spartan, even to Ashley, who’d never really done much decorating beyond throwing up a photo or two. She turned right, stopping about halfway down when she caught her reflection in an old oak-framed mirror. 

She’d seen the RPR armor more than once, but inspecting it from the outside and seeing it looking back at her in the mirror was a very different experience. For a woman, Ashley was about average height, roughly five-foot-five, the armor added a good fourteen or fifteen inches. No one would suspect that the person within was the vivacious young blonde. Most would assume that a man wore the suit.

Malcolm based it on the same technology that powered the Indigo Knight’s suit and shared a few of the same design elements. With the latter’s armor, however, he’d gone with a medieval motif. Hers was more sleek and streamlined and looked like something a villain might wear rather than a hero. While the armor was predominately red, a few bits of black and silver shone between segments.

Four glowing red lights, two about four inches in diameter, and the other pair about two, shone from the chest-piece. Segmented pieces of armor overlapped, to form a bulletproof shell around the wearer.  She flexed her hand in front of the mirror, segmented digits moving with as much ease as if they were her real fingers.

It was the helmet that sold the look. The face was mostly black, blending in with the red tones around the edges. Red light shone out from two dark sockets, and a grill that covered the ‘mouth’ portion of the faceplate pulsated and throbbed with angry scarlet illumination. A second, smaller one that comprised two slits, glowed with the same eerie red color, and took up the center of the face where a nose would be. She shivered and glanced down at the energy blade still pulsating from her arm. The weapon was curved like a scythe.

She peered back at the mirror. The helmet resembled a skull and she held her breath as she repeated the suit’s designation in her mind. Like the Indigo Knight armor there was a clear motif, he’d meant the suit to resemble some robotic red grim reaper, thus the skull-like helmet and scythe-style blade. 

She moved away from the mirror, mind swirling with the revelation. Had Malcolm designed this suit with some evil purpose in mind? She’d had what some would call a checkered past, but a bank-robber who could walk through walls and had a weak spot for damsels in distress was a far cry from the image that sprang to life. No, she shuddered, she would never go down that route. She would only use the suit for good. 

Four doors lined the hallway. The first led to the bathroom, a tiny, little affair, that while clean could do with some repairs, and the second, a home office. She only glanced inside for the barest of seconds before closing the door again. She regarded the final two doors. She thought perhaps, given the size of the home, the one at the end of the hallway was a closet. So she selected the other, cracking it open before swinging it wide.

Putrid green light spilled out into the doorway and as she peered inside, the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. An inert form lay sprawled atop a queen bed.  Luminescent green swirls gyrated and pulsated in the air above him.

“What the fuck?” Ashley asked aloud, the voice changer in the helmet producing a deep baritone growl instead of her usual soft soprano.

She stepped forward, and stopped, slamming into the empty air as if she’d smacked into a brick wall. The girl took a step back, heart pounding away inside her chest, and licked her lips. 

“Uh, Nabu. I think we’ve hit a bit of a snag.” She placed her hands on her hips and let out a sigh. Making contact with Brian van den Broeke would be a little more difficult than she’d expected.

Shit.

Daniela A. Wolfe © 2017-. Theme by Meks. Powered by WordPress.