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Chapter 3: The Shadows
A young man, about nineteen years old, looked out from an upper balcony in a tower that appeared to be reaching for the darker colors of the night sky. His seafoam green cloak flourished in the direction of the wind, as did his long brown hair hanging over his eyes.
Behind the man, in the room of which the balcony comes off of, there was an average set of bedroom furniture, laid out quite meticulously in fact. In the corner of the room, however, covered by the sharp shadow of a bed curtain, a pile of brightly-colored items peeked out amongst the darkness. From the balcony, it is near impossible to tell what they are.
“Oh, this world...” The young man spoke to himself, “What an interesting little place of sorrows.”
“Sir Jayl Cel,” A man entered the bedroom and approached the balcony, addressing the man in cloak by name, “I was relieved to hear that you were not hurt in your battles earlier today. Those two kids are proving to be increasingly problematic. Please, let me have another chance at bringing them down.”
“Patience, Xander,” Jayl Cel replied, “You’re not out of the running just yet. However, it was not just them that showed up to best me at the explosion site…” Jayl paused. “...Eight was also there.”
“Eight? Are you sure?” Xander showed a look of surprise. Jayl moved from the balcony, and walked over to a bookshelf in the bedroom.
• • •
Sixty and Andata exited Don’t Go Station, ending up back where they started, in the plaza of Tower Metro. The place is noticeably less populated, and consequently quieter, due to it now being nighttime. Street lamps and lights coming from the surrounding buildings provided adequate lighting in the darkness.
“What are we gonna do now?” Sixty asked his new friend, “And who were those two back there?”
Andata thought it over, as the two walked from the plaza back down into the neighborhood behind the central tower.
“Sixty…” Andata started, “What was that power? That thing you did, with the sword that came out of nowhere? You-you saved my life.”
Sixty was silent for a moment, and then answered, “I’m not even sure. When I saw that man closing in, I jumped in front of you to protect you, but to be honest, I didn’t even think about it. I never considered that I would certainly die in that situation. That’s when that...power overtook me. I don’t know what any of it means. All I know is that if I didn’t have that sword, he would’ve cut right through me.”
“It’s just...I’ve actually seen something like that before.” Andata revealed, “Lately, strange...beings have started appearing around the city. Stranger than any thug, or even those two guys back at the blast site. Inhuman beings. One night, they surrounded me and my roommate, Via, right before we entered our building. They almost got me, but Via, she stepped in to try and fight, and in that moment, she suddenly had two glowing pistols in her hands! The creatures...went down like nothing after that.” Andata recalled the sound of gunfire.
Sixty was very intrigued. First, the man with the katanas, then the boy with lightning from his hands, than himself with the sword, and finally this Via person with twin pistols…
Andata stopped in front of a brick apartment building on the corner of the main road. Sixty looked up at the sign above the entrance door:
Indoor Solace Apartments
“Is this where you live?” Sixty inquired.
“Yeah,” Andata answered, suggesting, “I think you should meet Via.”
The two friends entered the apartment building and started up the stairs. “This place could use an elevator…” Sixty thought to himself as he and Andata went up flight after flight. Finally, they stopped at the fifth floor, and a quick turn down the left hallway put them right in front of door #504.
“Okay, here we are. Welcome to Casa de...uh, me and her.” The teen girl giggled as she unlocked the door with her key.
Immediately, the door led into a small living room area, with the kitchen off to the right, and two open doors on the left side denoting where the two bedrooms are.
“Andata, I thought you were going to wait for me before going out to look!” A teenage girl, appearing to be slightly older than Andata, remarked from her spot at the kitchen table. Her short, blonde hair gleamed in the light of the overhead fixture.
“I was, but I just couldn’t wait!” Andata replied, “But, you’re not going to believe what happened!”
“Did you get a boyfriend? That would explain the random boy standing next to you, right?” Via snickered as her roommate grew tomato red. Sixty blushed as well, although he couldn’t help but laugh along as Andata tried to deny Via’s conjectures.
• • •
Contrasting the appearance of Tower Metro and its close neighborhoods, the desolate grounds of Historia Town were almost completely dark. No one bothered to be out in the streets at this time of night, except for those who would prey on those who unfortunately were.
In the shadows, a teenage boy with spiky chestnut hair ran down the sidewalk of a main road, passing parked cars (half of which probably couldn’t start) and old, abandoned buildings along the way. His dark gray cloak swayed behind him, as it was only buttoned at the collar by a single red gem.
This boy, the one called Eight, never saw it coming.
The road he was running up suddenly changed its layout right in front of him, though this process was concealed by the dark. Suddenly, Eight ran right into the far wall of an alleyway.
“Agh--what?!” Eight reeled with a hushed exclamation, “No, this isn’t possible--!”
Then, the entity that was chasing him revealed itself. In the headlights of a vehicle coming down the adjacent road, the silhouette of a girl about his age could be seen in the entrance to the alley. Once the lights were gone, the girl was right on top of Eight, pushing him against the wall.
“Who are you…?” Eight said, trying to hold back the signs of fear in his voice.
“Ha ha, you’re funny…” The girl grabbed both of Eight’s hands, “I am everything.”
• • •
Sixty, Andata, and Via sat on the carpet in the living room of the apartment. In the center of them, the three notes that Sixty and Andata had received, as well as two crudely-scribbled depictions of the man in the green cloak, Jayl Cel, and the boy with the lightning power, Eight, were all laid out.
“So, there are at least four people who apparently have one of these powers: myself, Sixty Four, this man, and this boy.” Via concluded, pointing to each candidate when she mentioned them, “And the search for a girl named Amy, and a book of her memories,” She continued, “Also, we have the mystery surrounding the strange beings that attacked Andata and I.”
“Do you think it means anything all together?” Sixty wondered aloud.
“Somehow…” Via sighed, “It has to…”
Suddenly, the television turned itself on, and a live shot of the city could be seen. Weird, amorphous creatures, appearing to be made out of a similar energy to the swirling daytime sky, littered the plaza.
“Sorry for the interruption, people of Void City,” An announcer began, “But the Tower Council has declared a state of emergency effective during the nighttime hours due to a rise in the population of these strange creatures throughout the districts. Until they can be controlled, citizens are required to be inside by the established emergency curfew and will not be allowed outside until morning. We apologize for this inconvenience but trust that you will comply. Thank you very much.”
“Those things...those were the things!” Andata exclaimed.
To Be Continued...