Windy City Awakening, Part 4
Posted on Sat Jun 17th, 2017 @ 4:44am by Senior Headmaster Absynthe "Syn" Drake & Freshman Bethany Davies & Civilian Talia Cervanek & Freshman Edward (Xander) Carlisle IV & Civilian Cecily Carlisle & Category IV Dyami Bentley (Tribal: Bent Leaf) & Civilian Jonathon Harrison
Location: Just Outside of Chicago, Illinois
Timeline: The Year of the Apocalypse - 15 January 2012
Just as the man started his swing, fully intending to shove the blade between the armored plates of the vest that Cecily was wearing, the blonde was torn roughly from the his grasp and thrown to the ground. The knife continued on its trajectory, and a look of confusion dawned on the goon’s round face as it stuck into something unseen rather than his intended target.
There was a sharp gasp and a shimmering, single wave of multi-colored light rolled back to reveal Bethany. She grunted when the man yanked the knife back out of her and stumbled back, his eyes wide, terrified at what he was witnessing. A bright red light pulsed out from the girl, causing the snow around her to melt, and she glared at the man, the irises of her eyes swirling with all of the colors of the rainbow.
Bethany knew that she was about to burn down a wide swath of the surrounding woods and everyone in it. “No,” she whispered in horror, and she struggled to direct the devastating light that was coming. The back of her neck lit up, and she held her hand out towards the man, a look of rage and pain dancing in her strange eyes.
With everything that she had left in her, the colorful mutant forced the deadly wave down her arm, lighting her clothing on fire at the shoulder and burning away the material of her shirt and leather jacket as blinding white light rolled down Bethany’s arm. Each finger curled inwards, the light emitting from each fingertip forming a brilliantly colorful ball in the palm of her hand before it streaked outwards at the man that had tried to kill Cecily and through his chest, leaving a large, smoldering hole in him only moments before he dropped dead, that look of surprise still on his face as it crossed that intense beam and burned away.
The odd, multi-colored blast of laser light continued onward, through trees that lit on fire like matchsticks, and a few other unwary criminals that had been rapidly approaching. Long seconds passed as the beam continued to burn its way along its path. Then it stopped as suddenly as it started. Bethany grabbed the bleeding knife wound that had gone in under her ribcage and turned, taking a mere step towards Cecily before collapsing to her knees, a bright red bubble bursting from her lips in a gory spray.
Cecily cradled Bethany in her arms, blood flowing down her cheek. “Cece!”
“Beth!” Jon cried.
Xander ran over to the two women and Jon tried to crawl through the snow toward them. Xander fell to his knees.
“Are you okay?” he asked his sister.
Cecily nodded and gestured to Bethany, putting her hands over the wound.
“Shit,” Xander murmured.
“Talia! I need your shirt or something!” Xander called back. “Bethany’s bleeding bad!”
Talia just stood there, absolutely frozen in terror, her mouth hanging open as the winds whipped her flaming red hair around her. She shook her head slowly, eyes wide at the scene that she’d just witnessed.
Bethany shook her head, and using Cecily as a stabilization point managed to gain her feet again. She motioned for the pair to keep moving and managed to trudge forward, pulling the holdout pistol that she kept at her back with one hand, holding her wound with the other. Her breaths were coming in short, pained gasps, and an unnatural whine began to join them.
“Bethany.” Jon caught her as she collapsed again and he held her in his arms. “Shit.” He probed her wound listening to her breathing. Her lung had been punctured and her chest cavity was filling with air. If he didn’t do something, it would collapse her other lung and suffocate her.
Xander helped Cecily back over, hovering over Jon as the soldier pulled his knife and a pen out of his suit. “Take this apart,” he said, handing it to Cecily. She deftly dismantled it as Jon put the knife to Bethany’s chest.
“What are you doing?” Xander gasped.
“Saving her life,” Jon muttered, cutting a hole just below Bethany’s collarbone. “Pen,” he said, holding his hand out.
Cecily gave him the bottom, hollow end of the pen. Jon inserted it into the hole he had made and listened to the air wheeze out of Bethany’s chest cavity.
Bethany’s eyes shot open and she cried out weakly, tears rolling down her face as another blade went into her. She was nearly as pale as the snow that she was laying in, save for the dark blood that spread out to stain the snow around her. She coughed, bringing up more blood that trickled from the corner of her full lips. “No, Jon. N-No time,” she said, her voice barely a whisper. “L-Leave me. Save th-them.” Her head was swimming and her vision was rapidly narrowing.
“We don’t leave anyone behind,” Jon muttered.
“Oh, shit. Oh my God! How are we going to carry them both?” Xander asked, looking at Talia and Cecily. “Talia, help Cece with Bethany. I’ll get Jon.” He was bigger and harder to carry. “We’re almost there.”
“Please...don’t...let them d-die because of me,” Bethany pleaded softly, a weak, shaky hand reaching up to grasp onto his jacket. “R-Run, Jon. Please.”
Talia looked down at her feet and saw the gun that Bethany had dropped. While everyone else was focused on the...creature that was bleeding out in the snow, the redhead silently picked it up. She looked between the gun, and the terrifying monster that had just burned away one of her father’s men with nothing but her hand, then she released the safety and pointed it at her, sighting in just as Jon had taught her to. Between her violent shaking, and the fact that she flinched as it went off, the round struck just above Bethany’s head.
“No one’s going to die, Bethany,” Jon said, pressing his hand to her wound. Everyone jumped when the gun went off.
“Talia!” Xander exclaimed, quickly moving between the redhead and Bethany. “What are you doing? Put down the gun!”
Talia shook her head, tears running down her face. “She’s a monster! Did you see what she did? She’s one of those mutants!” Her entire body was trembling, and her gaze was filled with terror.
Bethany gasped softly, her hand slipping from Jon’s jacket to fall limply to the ground as she drifted in and out of consciousness. “It’s okay,” she muttered, the words fading on her lips as her eyes rolled back and she fell still.
“She saved Cecily!” Xander yelled back at Talia over the wind. “We’re not shooting her! I don’t care what she is!”
“I’m not going anywhere with her!” Talia suddenly screamed, the gun still shaking in her hands, still pointed in the direction of the downed mutant, even though Xander was in the way. ”Those...things almost killed me! Our baby!”
“God damn it, Talia! Put that down before you hurt someone!” Xander stamped his foot in the snow.
Suddenly a microburst exploded in the air around Xander, flinging everyone into the air, sending them slamming into trees or landing hard on the ground. Jon grunted, pain flaring through his leg. Cecily struck her head on a tree, slumping bonelessly into the snow.
Talia’s scream cut off sharply as she was thrown into a tree and knocked unconscious, falling to the ground in a heap. The gun fell from her hand and skittered away uselessly.
Already unconscious, Bethany was flung with Jon a few yards away and wound up rolling to a harsh stop next to him, her struggling, uneven breaths becoming even more shallow and ragged.
“What--What the hell?” Xander exclaimed. The air swirled around him and the sky above roared with thunder. The lightning was blinding. Suddenly a bolt slammed into him and he grunted as he was flung to the snow, his clothes and hair scorched and smoking.
Pushing himself up from the snow, Xander saw Zajic’s men closing in. “God damn it! Leave us alone!” he shouted into the roaring wind. He flung his hand out and a man went flying. His eyes shot to a man raising his gun and a tree groaned as the wind battered it, sending it toppling, crushing the man beneath the massive trunk.
“Leave! Us! Alone!” Zajic’s men went flying, or lifted into the air to fall from great heights, or slammed against trees. Others had wounds open on their bodies as the air sliced them open like knives. One man clutched at his throat, trying to breathe, as the air was sucked from his lungs, and another coughed up blood as his lungs were burst apart from air being forced into them.
Most of the team that she’d chosen were new, since she felt that everyone had to get experience at some point, but she was now wishing that she’d chosen a more refined team. Most had been left behind to see to other things. Seamus was busy with other commitments to the Tower, Rosa had to stay behind because they couldn’t risk a break in the chain of command. She and Dyami were the only truly experienced mutant team members, but they were a formidable force on their own.
Ten minutes. Ten minutes was a long time when combat was ongoing, and Syn knew that keenly. She looked at Dyami and said, “I know that you gave her one of your bags. Your magics escape me sometimes, but is there any way that you can use that to see if she’s alright?” They were almost there, but the storms that had been swirling over Illinois had gotten exponentially worse, and they were looking at an intense blizzard going off of the southern part of Lake Michigan, right over the coordinates that Bethany had given them.
“Give me a moment.” Dyami drew in a breath and closed his eyes, focusing on the bags he had given to Jon and Bethany. “Jon is seriously wounded, but Beth is grievously injured. Her life force is fading quickly.” Dyami opened his eyes and looked at Syn. “We need to get there fast or she will die.”
“Ma’am,” the pilot interrupted. “We’ve got another problem. We can’t land. There’s some kind of vortex opening up in the storm. It looks like this blizzard is about to get a lot worse. Like, hurricane force kind of worse.”
“Great, just what we need,” Syn muttered. Was Bethany fighting a metahuman, or was this an awakening? The sheer suddenness and strength of the storms spoke to an awakening, but for all they knew, it was some incredibly powerful rogue that had managed to stay off of the radar. “Stay above the storm. If an eye actually forms, then that’s going to be our best bet for an entry.”
The pilot paled slightly. “You want me to land in the eye of a storm?”
“No. I will be, though,” she answered, patting the pilot on the shoulder before turning back towards Dyami, giving him a worried look.
Dyami addressed the pilot. “When we get near, open the bay door. We will be jumping.” Dyami walked to the back of the jet and began stretching, getting himself ready.
The diminutive dragon lady looked to the fresh-faced crew. “Have the medical pods prepared. We’re going to have no time to waste once you’re able to land,” she said with the confidence necessary for a leader. She was hoping that a couple of well placed tranquilizers would do the trick and that they weren’t going to have to fight some powerful new villain that was making their presence known.
NPC Bethany Davies
Absynthe “Syn” Drake
Headmistress, Townsend Academy
NPC Xander Carlisle