Chapter 2: The Blast Site
Sixty was jostled back and forth in his seat aboard a city tram car, as the transportation moved along the rough track. Andata looked out the window, watching the cityscape go by. Their destination: the eastern edge of town.
“Thank you for using the Void City Going-1 Navigational Engine system. We will be arriving at Silbing Center in just a moment.” A recorded voice sounded within the car.
“This is it. From Silbing Center, we can walk straight to the area of the explosion. Hopefully.” Andata laughed shortly.
“You really think this is all connected, huh?” Sixty asked Andata, considering the two notes and the mysterious quake. Andata nodded.
• • •
Lavender dust clouded a large area northeast of Void City, making it hard to see the expanse of ravaged land, the mark of the explosion. Drawing further into the core, the light purple, almost pink-ish rock gave way to a very deep, dark purple with cracks glowing with a fiery red energy.
A man, tall and thin wearing a strange seafoam green cloak, stood obscured by the dust in the center of the blast site.
“There’s only one power in this world that could have caused something like this.”
• • •
“You think this is it?” Sixty said with a tinge of sarcasm, covering his face from windy clouds of dust with his arm and a scarf borrowed from Andata.
“This isn’t right…” Andata wondered to herself, looking at how the dust cycles around the site, “This dust looks contained.”
“Sixty!” Andata shouted over the harsh wind, “We’re going in!”
The two pushed through, eyes squinted and clothes blowing back. Once they were passed the wall of wind and dust, however, everything felt...settled.
“I knew it.” Andata looked at Sixty, “Something is trying to keep people out. Guess they didn’t count on us.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure...Andata.” The man in the cloak looked up from the sunken-in explosion center to the rim where Sixty and Andata stood. His dark brown completely concealed most of his face.
Immediately, Sixty looked at Andata, with a striking uneasiness in his eyes. “Who is that…?”
“I-I don’t know…” Andata replied. The man chuckled.
“You two have only known each other for a few hours, and you made this daring trip? Fast friends, I suppose then, right? Ahaha.”
“Hey! Don’t change the subject; who are you?!” Andata shouted in response.
“Just a man looking for answers. And...answer-seekers.” The man brandished two katanas from within his cloak.
“Andata, c’mon, let’s just get out of here…!” Sixty urged Andata to leave, but she stood her ground.
“Try as he might, he won’t kill me.” Andata replied firmly, and indirectly challenged the man as well.
“Are you that sure?” The man leaped into the air, far higher than you would expect any human, and the faint glowing of red between the cracks of the deep purple rocks intensified immensely, and changed from red to a sinister black. His katanas shined with that same energy as he fell downward, aiming for Andata. She did not move.
“Andata!!” At the last second, Sixty jumped in front of the teenage girl, trying to protect her. Insanely, he actually blocked the attack. Out of nowhere, during his jump, a green energy enveloped Sixty, and a longsword materialized in his hands. Its dark steel blade glowed just the same as he did.
“What?!” The man, deflected, flew backwards, landing back down in the space of the explosion core.
“Sixty, what the hell was that?” Andata looked at her new friend, confused and, admittedly, awed.
“Don’t ask me! I-I have no idea!” Sixty was just as shocked as she was.
“...It appears I made a good choice coming out here to see you.” The man began to laugh maniacally, “To think Andata would bring his power right to me!”
“What are you--?!” Andata started to retort with a question, but the man readied his katanas once again. Sixty, still standing in front of his friend, braced to defend.
Then, out of the dust, a third player appeared.
Zipping out the clouds, a teenage boy wearing a gray coat rocketed into the small battlefield and shot red streaks of what looked to be lightning from his hands. The man in the cloak dodged the blasts with relative ease.
“Get out of here!” The boy yelled to Sixty and Andata, “We will meet again! You will find the answers you’re searching for!”
“No!!” The man leaped into the air to fight back against this new opponent. The crackling of red lightning being deflected against the katana blades flashed and echoed as Sixty and Andata, faced with no other choice, retreated through the dust.
The two collapsed onto the ground, catching their breath. Sixty’s newfound sword disappeared, and the green glow around it and him ceased.
After a while, the dust began to clear. Andata slowly stood and looked into the explosion site. No sign of that boy or that man. She did spot a peculiar item in the core of the rubble.
“Andata, where are you going…” Sixty watched as Andata stepped down into the core, but was too exhausted to finish his question.
Andata returned, holding another yellow sticky note:
Give this to Sixty and Andata after they come here: You have done well. The power in this explosion points to but one culprit. If and when there is another, you have to be ready to go out and find them before they escape. Good luck.
To Be Continued...