Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 27 Pt 1


Official Report
The Downing Building
New Hebron, California

Sapphira descended the elevator shaft, his heart pounding in his chest as he sped further toward the ground. Amy’s anxiety was as palatable to him as his own, but she grew more tense by the moment. He gritted his teeth and willed himself to move faster.

When he had begun his drop, he’d counted the floors, but the more he accelerated the harder it became. It was dark within the shaft, and he only caught brief glimpses of illumination. He reached out his senses, perceiving the concrete structure of the building all around him.

As his mind expanded out, he sensed the rebar embedded within the walls and the metal beams that supported the weight of the building, but that was only a small piece of what his mind touched. Outside the building the agent’s of AEGIS and their exemplar allies battled the Gallu. Among them he sensed Harrier, the Borrum, Tennyo and Equalizer, worse still he sensed Garos amongst them and gritted his teeth his heart hammering harder within his chest.

He shut them all out, focusing only on the elevator shaft, Amy and Chemosh. The once-god’s anger was as pungent as ever, but this time Sapphira was not so susceptible to his malice. It did, however, only heightened his apprehension.

When he reached the ground floor, he zoomed out of the shaft and screamed out at the top of his lungs. “Chemosh!”

He balled his fists at his side and hovered opposite the alien entity. Chemosh smiled, a twisted mockery of Hailey’s own shy smirk. Without turning away he threw a hand out, freeing Amy and Awẹ́ pinned against the wall and scowled at his granddaughter’s naked form.

Chemosh threw both hands out and Sapphira gasped his eyes grow wide. The world around him vanished, supplanted by a dark void.

Sapphira balled both fists at his side and spun around on the balls of his feet. He saw nothing save the void. “Chemosh!” He called out, echoing his previous cry. His voice carried across the darkness, but there was no response.

Though he held little hope he might find something, he continued to spin around. There was a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach and the more he looked about, the worse it became.

He’d been trapped like a rat in a cage.

Sapphira clenched his eyes shut and forced himself to breathe short even breaths. Though he sensed nothing, either within or without the void, he knew his isolation was Chemosh’s work. He gritted his teeth and reached out with his senses, his consciousness stretching across the darkness. His mind found nothing, no animals, structures or minds.

When he opened his eyes, he let out a long sigh, and peered into the darkness. He gritted his teeth and looked down at himself. No longer attired in his exemplar garb, he instead wore a simple white dress. When he peered down at his feet and wiggled his toes, he wore a matching set of sandals.

“Sapphira,” a voice spoke from out of the nothingness and he looked up. Ashtar stood opposite him a smile touching the corner of her lips. “You must fight him. You must break free.”

“How? There’s nothing in this void. Nothing. No enemies for me to defeat or barriers to break down,” he said eying her form with his arms folded across his chest.

“It is not what you see before you which you need to defeat, rather look within and you shall find your enemy.”

He looked past her and craned his neck all around. This void was nothing more than a distraction, a puzzle to keep him occupied while the true battle was taking place. He clenched his eyes shut and reached deep inside himself.

“Remember,” Ashtar’s voice rang through his mind. “Even in the waking world Chemosh has been deceiving your senses. Even now the gateway hides in plain site. Find it before it is too late.”

Sapphira nodded and focuses all his will inward. Sure enough, he sensed something there that did not belong, a barrier not of thought, but of pure emotion. Rage, hatred and self-loathing had come spilling into him and he found himself shaking.

What the hell was he doing? Why should he fight so hard against Chemosh? She was willing to give him everything he ever wanted. He c —

“No!” he screamed out, forcing back the burning flames of animosity and contempt. That wasn’t who he was anymore.

He gritted his teeth, forced his eyes back open and looked upon his granddaughters form, or rather a facsimile of it. Though Hailey may have born a striking resemblance to her mother, and both were pretty, Sapphira would never expect a face like hers to grace the cover of a magazine or walk the runway.

The Hailey that hovered above the ground opposite him had the look of centerfold from one of those risque men’s magazines. Her face was rounder, her cheekbones tighter, her lips just a little softer, but those were far from the only differences. She had the perfect hourglass figure, large breasts wide hips and legs that few women had a match. The site of it made Sapphira sick.

Chemosh moved forward, and Hailey’s body flickered and stuttered. Sapphira made eye contact and for the briefest of seconds he looked upon Hailey’s true form. She stood there staring back at him with blood-shot eyes, and mouth hanging open as if she were letting out a silent scream. Her skin was pallid and the dark circles under her eyes were the worst he had ever seen. What he was seeing was a mental representation of his granddaughter just as the over-sexed version embodied the once-god. He knew it was an illusion, but it did nothing to calm his nerves.

He touched her mind, experiencing such terror it was all he could do to bring in breathe. There was another flash and Chemosh stood in her place. His connection to Hailey dropped, evaporating away the moment that the once-god’s image supplanted his granddaughter’s.

Sapphira balled both fists at his side and gritted his teeth the pitiful image of his granddaughter burned into his mind. He screamed and threw both hands out sending Chemosh soaring across the void. He soared after him, threw both hands out prepared to deal another blow, but before he could strike his opponent lurched back into the air and sent Sapphira rocketing away.

“Here we are on the battlefield of mind and you think you can defeat me with telekinesis?” Chemosh asked staring over him a manic giggle escaping her lips.

As he scrambled back to his feet, Chemosh unleashed another attack and what followed left him huddled on the ground both hands clasped over his head. He screamed at the top of his lungs, but it did not help.

Colors flashed before his eyes, some of which were so brilliant and so vivid that he had no words with which to describe them. It was a veritable rainbow he would have found beautiful, but which only overwhelmed his senses. A wave of sounds washed over him in the form of screams and sirens, klaxons and screeches. A wave of emotions, anger, rage, grief, sadness, and dozens more accompanied all of this. Voices, all screamed out inside his mind at once, a tangled roar of sounds that were indistinguishable one from another.

When he thought he could take no more, it ceased. He blinked and looked up. The void faded away all around them supplanted by the real world. Sapphira glanced following Chemosh’s gaze to an opening in the wall that had not been there before. Indigo Knight, resplendent in his armor stood there bathed in light.

“Well, well, dear brother. It had been a long time,” Hailey’s voice range through the chamber followed by a cackle of pure malicious glee.

Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 27 Pt 2


Official Report
The Downing Building
New Hebron, California

A low rumble creeped its way through the dark interior of the building and Amy felt her heart pounding in her chest as the grotesque giant stepped into view. She trained her weapon on Garos and opened fire. She knew she stood no chance of defeating the creature, but all she needed to do was buy Sapphira more time.

The giant looked a mess. Dozens of his eyes were blackened, gushing fluid, and he moved with a limp. He roared lurched toward her and threw out his arms. Amelia, rolled away avoiding Garos’ swinging fists. She gritted her teeth, turned back toward him and unloaded the rest of her clip.

The agent dodged away as he lurched toward her. She reached into her jacket for a second clip, but the back of his fist caught her in the chest and she went hurtling to the ground.

She gritted her teeth against the stabbing jagged pain in her chest as she drew in air. Amy, sucked her breath in and rolled onto her side. The effort left her gasping for breath and one side of her chest throbbed in agony, but somehow she managed. She saw the giant looming over her head and tried to muster the strength to climb back to her feet, but stumbled and fell face first to the ground.

She was expecting the giant to pounce on her, but neither heard nor felt an attack. Instead, a familiar war cry rang through the air followed by a corresponding rumble of pain from Garos.

She gasped, gritting her teeth against the pain in her ribs and pushed herself into a kneeling position. She sat there in a daze, chest heaving and fighting the darkness away between gritted teeth.

“Shit, that hurts,” she muttered under her breath. She rose to her feet, arm pressed in her chest and retrieved her spare ammunition clip from inside her jacket.

As she worked she her eyes roved the room and eyed the Garos and his new opponent. Harrier hovered in the air just outside the giant’s reach. He grabbed at her, but she was too fast. She dove slicing at the creature with her talons, much like her namesake, only to soar back up before the other being could retaliate.

Amy peered toward the motionless forms of Chemosh in Hailey’s body and Sapphira. The pair remained in the air, still unmoving and still unaware of the world around them. She shuddered and eyed them between pursed lips. She couldn’t understand what a battle of the mind would look like, or if it could even be described in terms, she would understand. Whatever form it must take, she doubted it was pleasant.

Amy popped the clip into place and hesitated for only a moment before opening fire on the giant. Every small movement was painful, and it was not long before sweat beaded down her face. She didn’t let it stop her, she bit the inside her cheek and emptied every single round into the giant. Garos howled with each shot she fired, but the bullets did not seem to hinder him.

Garos focused his attention on Harrier. Perhaps, the agent’s firearm posed less of a threat than the talons of the other exemplar or perhaps he sensed that Amelia was in less than prime condition. His fist snatched at the open air, but each time his arms flew out he came that much closer to striking the exemplar.

Harrier was fast, but if what Sapphira had told her was correct, despite his grotesque appearance the giant had a brilliant and analytical mind. He saw patterns where others saw only chaos. He would soon be able to anticipate her next move. It was only a matter of time before he predicted two or three steps ahead and then he would have her.

Amelia considered calling out a warning, but she feared distracting the other exemplar and hastening her defeat. The agent retrieved her final clip from inside her jacket reloaded her weapon before slipping it back into its holster. If she’d had an endless supply of rounds, she wouldn’t have hesitated to resume firing, but a single clip was not enough.

Perhaps, help would come from another source. She grunted, arms pressed into her side and moved toward the unconscious form of Babalawo. She collapsed onto her knees and gritted her teeth against the accompanying pain. With a trembling hand she reached a hand out and slipped her fingers over his neck.

The moment they found purchase she bowed her head. His pulse was strong. Amy gritted her teeth and shook the other exemplar, but he did not wake. She grabbed him with both hands and shook harder, but still he remained unconscious. When she glanced back over her shoulder, it was just in time to see Harrier receive a glancing blow at the hand of Garos. The exemplar staggered back and avoided a second blow by diving away at the last moment.

As a law enforcement officer Amy had more than a few tricks up her sleeve. There was one in particular that sprang to mind. It used by beat cops to wake drunks and druggies and was also very painful. She put her knuckles against the sternum, located in the center of his chest, and rubbed as hard as she could.

Babalawo awoke with a scream hands grabbing at his chest. In his panic, he knocked the agent aside and sent her tumbling away. She landed on her back and remained there staring up at the ceiling gasping for breath and clutching at the side of her chest.

“Oh, god, Van den Broeke, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to—” Babalawo said scrambling toward the other exemplar.

Amy threw her hand out cutting the man short, pointing toward Harrier and Garos. “Help… her,” the words sent searing hot stabs of pain searing through her body, but at least it seemed to get her point across.

Babalawo nodded and rushed forward toward the confrontation between the exemplar and the alien being.

Amy grunted and climbed up onto her knees intent on witnessing the battle. Her breath caught in her throat as her eyes locked on Chemosh. Hailey’s head had moved and her gaze was leveled on the opening left by the giant. Indigo Knight stood within the opening.

Chemosh grinned and let out a long cackling laugh. “Well, well, dear brother. It has been a long time.”

Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 27 Pt 3


Official Report
The Downing Building
New Hebron, California

Chemosh threw out her hands. Indigo Knight’s feet rose from the ground and his armored form came zooming across the chamber toward her. She held him in the air in front of her staring at him between gritted teeth.

Amy watched the pair staring at them out of the corner of her eye. Though her suspicions was confirmed, the spectacle sent cold chills down her spine. Chemosh was erratic under the best circumstances, throwing in her long-lost brother to the mix would only make her all that more unpredictable.

Amelia rose to her feet, slipped her gun out of its holster and moved along the exterior of the room. She needed to get to Sapphira. The emotions she sensed through the other exemplar made her want to crawl into a hole and die. She gritted her teeth and eyed the pair, her heart hammering in her chest at the prospect that one of them might become aware of her.

Though she did not fear Indigo Knight’s wrath, she worried drawing his attention would bring Chemosh’s wrath down on her. Neither seemed to take notice of her, or if they did, they were too preoccupied with their stare down to give her any attention.

Though the two siblings did not move, Garos and the other exemplars made up for their lack of activity. Babalawo had joined the fight and while he had no offensive powers, his contribution was proving to be beneficial to Harrier. Whenever the giant swung one of his fists at either of the two, Awẹ́ would make use of his abilities and send the fist phasing through one or both of the exemplars.

In the time since Chemosh had become aware of her brother, Sapphira slinked to the ground and lay there huddled arms cross against his chest and knees pressed into his stomach rocking back and forth. When Amelia was close enough, she dropped beside the other exemplar and placed a hand on his shoulder. He did not look up or show any sign he’d taken notice of her, but lay there tears cascading down his face.

“Liv,” Amy whispered giving Sapphira a shake.

The other exemplar looked up at her with tear soaked eyes. “Amy?”

Amelia didn’t know what had transpired between the two beings for Sapphira to be such a mess, but what she sensed through their empathic bond made her want to shed a few tears of her own. She bit back the anguish and self-loathing that radiated from the other and, though it sent stabbing pains through her body, leaned in close.

“We need you,” she whispered and glanced back over her shoulder at Chemosh and Moloch. The former had pinned the latter against the wall and was shouting at the top of her lungs.

“I can’t… Amy, I can’t free Hailey. Chemosh’s mind is too powerful,” he muttered sobs racking his whole body as each syllable escaped his lips.

Amelia squeezed his shoulder, but never took her eyes off the pair of once-gods. “Liv, if you don’t do something we’re all going to die.”

“And what am I supposed to do?” He asked looking up at her with wide eyes. “Kill her? I can’t do that. I can’t kill my granddaughter. She’s all I have left.”

Amy knelt there frozen Sapphira’s admission of his feelings for her earlier in the day ringing through her mind. Her initial reaction was one of disgust, but as she looked into Sapphira’s eyes something stirred inside her. She felt her breath catch in her throat as realization thundered through her.

“No,” Amy said, leaned in and kissed the other exemplar full on the lips. “She’s not. You have me.”

When Amy broke away, both exemplars stared across at one another with wide eyes. She didn’t know who was more surprised Sapphira or herself and the tangle of emotions they shared through their empathic link were not so easy to distinguish. Sapphira leaned in returning the other’s kiss.

If there was any doubt, it evaporated with a second kiss. They stared into each other’s eyes, left breathless.

“Liv,” Amy swallowed hard and glanced back over her shoulder. “We need you,” she whispered her previous statement. Charged with more than just the agent’s desperation, it was those words that spurred Sapphira into action.

Sapphira touched Amelia’s cheek, for the first time sensing the other’s pain. He would have offered to heal her if he hadn’t known she would refuse, and he couldn’t risk repeating what had happened the last time. It pained him to see her in such agony, but there was nothing he could do.

Rising to his feet, he glanced around the chamber remembering what Ashtar had said. He extended his senses out and found something off. It wasn’t any one thing he could pinpoint, but it was almost as if someone had woven little threads of energy throughout the room, they pulsed hummed with brilliant almost iridescent energy.

Sapphira didn’t know what those threads were, or how he might remove them, but he had to try. He reached out, grasping one with his mind and pulled. It took more effort than he might have surmised, but it offered little to no resistance once he had leverage enough of his willpower. The entire framework buckled and quaked with the removal of the first thread, when the second and third came free it all fell away, and just as if someone had flicked a switch the room was bathed in bright blue illumination.

Amy gasped and Sapphira turned to follow her gaze. In the center of the chamber rested the gateway in it’s expanded state. A blue sphere hovered within the center of the portal which to the eyes of the agent looked different from the one she had peered at through the lens of her vision.

It was hard to pinpoint. It looked somehow darker, and more forbidding than it had before. Then again, everything looked different when she was viewing, perhaps this was just a matter of seeing it for the first time with her own eyes. The site of the relic sent cold chills down her spine.

That was when she spotted the unconscious form of the young woman at the gateway’s base and her heart hammering inside her chest. Something wasn’t right.

“I’m impressed,” a voice spoke and Chemosh turned her gaze upon them a scowl stretching across Hailey’s face. She threw her hand out and Indigo Knight soared into the wall. His inert form slid to the ground landing with a loud clank. “It took hours to lay that glamour over the room.”

She spun around arms still extended, but this time Amelia was her target. Sapphira stepped in front of the agent his own arms extended. He dug his feet in and gritted his teeth has his shield formed around both himself and the agent. He let out a high-pitched scream in defiance, as the full brunt of Chemosh’s attack came slamming into him.