4th & Main, New Hebron, California
He plummeted, spinning around in the open air. As he zoomed closer and closer to the ground he tried to right himself and stop his momentum. Nothing worked. He clenched his eyes shut, gritted his teeth and threw his hands in front of him in one last ditch effort to save himself. Mere inches from the ground, he stopped, his head jerked back and gasped for breath. There was a single inch of his body that didn’t hurt like hell, but at least he was alive. He let the barrier he’d formed drop and grunted when he collapsed to the ground.
He rolled onto his chest, propping himself up by the elbows, gasping and wheezing for breath. Darkness formed in the corners of his vision, and he gritted his teeth, forcing it back. As he staggered to his feet he steadied himself again the wall of a nearby building and looked about. The area didn’t seem familiar, but office buildings surrounded him and they all looked the same. Pedestrians crowded the streets and a cluster of them had already surrounded him. When he looked down at himself to ensure he was disguised and let out a long sigh of relief upon seeing a gloved hand.
He craned his neck upward searching for signs of Garos, and sure enough he saw human-shaped speck on the horizon that was growing in size and descending toward him. He was in no shape to fight and any attempts to confront the other being would not end well. Lurching forward and wobbling on his feet, he nudged a pair of onlookers out of his way as he moved through the crowded street.
He had to get away, had to get to Amy, but his body would not function. He collapsed to his knees, throwing his hands out in front of him in time to prevent himself from falling onto his face. There were gasps and cries of exclamation from the crowd, but he couldn’t process them. His hands were raw from the fall, the illusory gloves did nothing to protect them.
When he attempted to push himself back up, his knees didn’t have the strength. He fell forward twisting sideways at the last moment and avoided landing chest-first into the pavement.
The ground quaked and people screamed and fled all around him. He rolled onto his back just in time to see Garos turn toward him all of his many eyes focused on him. Sapphira gritted his teeth and held his hand out, attempting to bring up a barrier with his mind. It worked, but it took all he had.
“Please,” he looked up at the creature. “Don’t do this.”
The giant did not speak, but paused looming over him with both of his massive and irregular fists clenched at his side. He didn’t know if Garos would comply, but he saw within him a mind of a reasonable being. Perhaps he would be merciful.
“Why are you doing this? I’ve touched your mind, I know that you’re not motivated by the same malicious intent as Chemosh. What has he promised you?”[You do not know me.] That familiar rumble accompanied his response. Still, he did not move.
“You’re right, but I’ve seen enough of Chemosh’s mind to know he will betray you sooner or later.”[My computations show that, this is indeed, a likely possibility, but I need only remain allied with him a short while longer. It is worth the uncertainty. I am sorry, but you are a hindrance and I must remove you from the equation.] With his final utterance, the giant raised both fists high into the air and brought them crashing down into Sapphira’s barrier.
He gritted his teeth, putting every bit of concentration into holding the shield. The giant’s fists slammed into his shield and it curved and stretched from the force of the blow. It wobbled and shook and for a moment Sapphira wasn’t sure it would hold. The giant raised his hands again, readying another blow. The next strike would be enough to shatter the shield, both attacker and target were certain of this and Sapphira scratched and clawed at the sidewalk attempting to pull himself away. It wasn’t enough, Garos’ arms came down and he clenched his eyes shut awaiting the end.
It never came. There was a screech of metal, a familiar whir of a hybrid engine followed by an explosion of sound. Sapphira coughed, smoke filling his lung, and his eyes snapped open. A violet Yamato Ante had slammed into the wall of the building, pinning Garos against it.
“Amelia,” he whispered the name, and sure enough, the agent tumbled out of the car. Coughing and wheezing, she placed a hand atop the roof of the Ante to steady herself. She stood there in a daze, her head bowed as she gasped for breathe. Then all at once her head snapped up, and she reached inside her jacket. She drew a handgun and trained it on the giant.
“Move and I’ll fire. I don’t know much about the anatomy of, whatever the hell you are, but those eyes of yours looked pretty damned vulnerable,” Amelia said between gritted teeth.[Another factor in the great equation. You too are but a hindrance, one which will have to be eliminated.] Garos spoke the air reverberating around him.
Van den Broeke tensed, squaring her shoulders, but didn’t otherwise bat an eyelash at the giant’s statement. Garos lurched forward, slamming the car away from his body. Sapphira called out her name, attempting to warn her, but by the time the words had left his mouth, the little hybrid was already hurtling through the air toward the agent.