Windy City Awakening, Part 5 (Conclusion)
Posted on Sat Jun 17th, 2017 @ 4:51am 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
Bethany groaned softly, unable to move and barely conscious. What had happened? Why was she on her face in the snow? She vaguely registered that nearly half of her shirt and jacket were missing, that she had burned it away when she stopped herself from taking out everyone around her on accident.
She was cold. So much colder than she’d ever been in her life, and she didn’t have the strength left to do anything about it. Death was coming, she knew that in the depths of her soul. Surprisingly, she was okay with that. It meant that all of her pain would end soon. It meant that she could be with her mama again.
Jon grunted, reaching over to grasp Bethany and haul her battered body into his lap. He looked up at Xander in awe, amazement, and fear as the boy rose in a vortex of wind. The windwall pushed out, keeping Zajic’s forces at bay. Lightning flashed in the vortex, and snow obscured the vision. Xander’s hair swirled, the tips white with crusted snow.
“Bethany…” Jon yelled hoarsely over the wind. His leg had gone numb. He didn’t think he’d be able to get her out of here. He knew he was at risk of losing it to blood loss and frostbite.
“Stay with me, Beth!” Jon ordered, checking the opening in her chest that was relieving the pressure there. He pressed his stiff, cold fingers to her throat. “Bethany, c’mon, luv.”
“Mama. Soon,” Bethany muttered, her head lolling back weakly. There was something in her chest still, and she reached up, trying to get her cold fingers to get it out, fumbling with the offending piece of plastic uselessly. She coughed, grimacing with the flare of pain that it caused. Her eyes fluttered open slightly, and a confused look replaced the look of pain as her gaze settled on Jon.
“No, luv, not time to see your mother yet,” Jon said, taking her wrist gently and keeping her hand away from the makeshift stent. “Stay with me. We’re almost there.” He had no idea how he was going to get to the rendezvous site. His leg was useless, Talia and Cecily were down and not moving across the clearing, and Xander… Well, Jon didn’t have a clue what was going on with the boy, or if he would even be able to get outside of his wall of wind.
Jon. The only man that she had ever loved. Bethany could think of worse places to have to die than in his arms. A small smile formed on her full lips as she looked up at him, and she pulled away from his grasp on her wrist to reach up and gently, lovingly caress his face, her hand shaking as she trailed bloody streaks where she had once left jagged scratches. A weak, vague laugh left her as her eyes met his. “We’ll...always have...Reno,” she said. Then that look of pain returned as she took another shallow breath. She went limp in his arms, her last exhale rattling, her hand falling back to her chest as the green-eyed girl’s struggle for air abruptly ceased.
“No!” Jon yelled. “Bethany! No!” Tears froze on his cheeks as he put his mouth over hers, blowing into her lung, struggling to get her to breathe again. “Don’t you dare die on me, Bethany!” he sobbed.
The closer the jet got to the drop site the worse the wind pummelled the state of the art aircraft, pushing the small plane’s computer controlled flight assistance programs to near the breaking point. The dim of howling wind filled the cabin. “Thirty seconds to drop!” the pilot shouted into his comm device. “Everyone hang on, I’m going to open the bay doors!”
There was a loud bang as the magnetic locks loosened their grip on the loading bay door. Hydraulic pistons began pushing against the wind and opening the metallic door. Dyami started chanting quickly as the door opened. His body quickly began glowing a bright yellow. This is one not even Syn has seen, he thought to himself. Once the doors were open the shaman extended his arms and leapt out of the plane.
The wind hit him like a wall holding him in place in the air, almost as if grasped by the icy hand of some monstrous fiend. But the blue-eyed shaman was not dismayed; his spell was already taking effect, his body was glowing like the sun itself. His body transformed quickly into a being of pure energy, a visage of the Thunderbird of legends. Lightning cracked through the sky during his transformation, even as the jet continued on its way to the extraction site. The Thunderbird stretched its wings and cried out to Father Sky, its voice echoing off of the wailing wind.
A slender eyebrow rose above one reptilian eye as her longtime friend decided to become lightning itself. “Show off!” she shouted, her black nano covering her quickly as she did her own running leap out of the back of the plane and was caught by the winds. “This could hurt a little,” she muttered as she shifted into her dragon form and dropped like the proverbial stone into the churning vortex below.
As she fell, she reached out with her mind, trying to find the being responsible for the unnaturally strong storm. What Wyrmwood found was a young man filled with all of the rage of that storm. He feared losing those most precious to him, his sister, his lover, their unborn child. She was surprised when she realized that some of that anguish came from a sudden defensiveness for the very girl that they had rushed there to save. He had hurt them all, and was directing that fury at the men that had pushed him to that point.
The diminutive dragon lady was buffeted by the winds that that she dove through, but still she plummeted, passing the young man that was hovering in the air directly in the center of the eye. She then pulled up just before she hit the ground, causing the entire area to shake and rumble as her landing cracked the frozen earth in a wide ring beneath her, throwing up dirt and debris.
Talon could feel Jon’s anguish as Bethany’s breathing stopped. The legendary bird moved like the lightning that it was made of, and, in a bright flash, landed in the snow, shielding the injured duo from the cutting wind. The heat from its body quickly melted the snow and warmed their bodies with its supernatural radiance.
Reaching out one giant, blazing wing, the creature drew a circle around Jon and Beth. Once completed, springtime grasses and flowers sprung up from the ground at an accelerated rate. Talon dropped the Thunderbird form and rushed to Beth.
Jon looked up with tear-frozen eyes. “Dyami?” he gasped as the wind stole his breath. “She...Bethany is...save her!” he ordered.
Xander reacted instinctively to the new threat that fell into the midst of his wind wall. There were few of Zajic’s men left anyway. “Stay away from them!” he exclaimed. His body throbbed as his fury matched the storm, turning the full effect on the dragon that had just arrived to devour them all. The winds slammed into Wyrmwood, driving her cracking through the trees.
“Damn it,” Wyrmwood muttered as her sinuous body twisted and righted herself. Attacking the furious young man had never been her intention, but she suddenly wondered if she was going to have to wrestle him to the ground. She sighed and decided to at least see if she could get through to him. Firing rounds in the heavy winds was going to be a challenge.
Wyrmwood decided not to change the surroundings too much. Just enough to hide her true form from view. She projected her image into Xander’s mind; a small Asian woman dressed in flowing black robes, embroidered with a golden dragon, floating on the winds before him, untouched by the chaos save the swaying of her long black hair and clothing, as though standing in no more than a gentle breeze. My name is Absynthe Drake. We are not your enemy. We are friends of Bethany and Jon. We’re here to help you. But you have to stop the storm, or they will die from their injuries. Her demeanor was calm, unafraid, and he could still hear her above the din, even though she spoke softly.
Talon quickly assessed the girl’s wound, viewing her at once with many eyes. Thermal, ultraviolet, and those of a more spiritual nature. The shaman’s head dropped briefly, then he looked back up to Jon. “She is dying and I cannot heal her. My spells are ritualistic, they take time. Time that she does not have.”
“Then what good are you!” Jon shouted at Dyami. He struggled to rise, to get Bethany out of here, to some sort of medical attention, but his leg wouldn’t support him.
The blue-eyed native man stood quickly, looking like he was pulled off his knees, a glazed look in his eyes. Regaining his composure in but a moment, Talon looked Jon in the eyes. “There is one thing I could do, but it bears many consequences. I could bind your lifeforce to hers. It will not be pleasant, but it should keep her alive long enough to get her to someone who can do more. Will you do this? I need an answer now!”
“Yes!” Jon didn’t even hesitate. “If it will save her, do it! There are two more out there, too.” He peered into the blinding snow for Cecily and Talia. “And Xander...I don’t know what the hell is up with Xander…”
Xander stared in surprise at the hot Asian woman before him. “I...I can’t stop the storm. I don’t know what I’m doing! What’s happening?” he asked. “Did I...Did I kill everyone?” Tears froze on his cheeks as he sobbed. “Cece...Talia...Jon...Supergirl…”
The diminutive dragon lady gave him a bit of a confused look. “Supergirl?” she asked, then shook her head. “They’re injured, but alive so far. We need to be able to land the plane, and we can’t do that in this storm,” Syn said, giving the boy a gentle smile. “You are a metahuman that has awakened to your powers. Your emotions are driving this storm; your fear, your anger, your desire to defend those close to you. If you cannot calm yourself, I will have to tranquilize you. You are endangering your friends and ripping the lands apart with your fury. Others will suffer if this storm does not cease.”
Talon nodded his head to Jon and began chanting in Tsalagi, quickly his hands and forearms began glowing with ethereal blue flames. “Take a deep breath and do not release it.” The Indian shaman commanded Jon as he stepped forward and plunged his left hand into Bethany’s chest. The hand passed through her clothing and body effortlessly. The young woman did arch her back, seeming to writhe in pain as Jon held her.
Jon took a breath and held it. He winced as he watched Dyami shove his hand into Bethany.
“I...I can’t…” Xander gasped. “I don’t know how. I don’t know how I’m doing this. I don’t know how to stop!” His fists clenched as he struggled against the storm.
The young man wasn’t listening. He was so lost in his rage and fear that he couldn’t pull back. “I was afraid you’d say that. Forgive me,” was all that Syn said before she put two tranquilizers into his back, her true form having had the chance to approach from behind while he was distracted.
The native shaman leaned forward and pushed his hand into Jon’s chest as he had done to the prone girl. The pain that he felt was like an electric shock running through all the nerves of his body. As Talon pulled his clenched fists from both of the injured fighters, he dragged what looked to be a ghostly force from each of them. “What I bind let no force lay asunder,” Talon said as he brought his hands together.
There was a small flash of light as the souls merged, and in that moment Jon could feel all of Bethany’s physical pain, as well as all of the emotions the young woman felt; her intense love for him, the longing to see her mother again, even the anger that she held for allowing herself to be beaten. Bethany, of course, was spared reliving those moments due to her lack of consciousness. Instead she simply gasped in a breath of air and went limp once again, breathing laboriously.
Jon gave a cry of pain as Bethany’s agony flooded into him. He gasped and slumped over her for a moment before he was able to pull himself together again. “You didn’t...say it would hurt so bloody much, mate,” he growled through gritted teeth.
Xander slumped as the drugs took hold. The winds suddenly died and he plummeted toward the hard ground thirty feet below.
The Tower’s headmistress shook her head briefly as she left his mind and stepped forward, catching the young man before he could hit the ground. She laid him gently in the snow as the vortex collapsed and the winds died down, the storm breaking overhead and beginning to dissipate. Wyrmwood sighed, relieved that she hadn’t had to injure him. She began her search for the two others that he’d mentioned as she ordered the plane to land.
Talon’s hands stopped glowing and the spiritual essence from Jon and Beth faded, “Anything I said would not have prepared you for it. Hold her close and do not let her go, or she will die.” Noticing the winds dying down, he stood, shouting to Syn, “I must get these two back right now. Death is standing here waiting for Beth, and I would prefer to deny him his prize.”
Jon nodded, cradling Bethany to his chest.
The shaman began chanting, and a portal quickly opened in the air near them leading to the medical wing of the Tower. Finished with his spell, the muscular Indian man reached down and scooped both Beth and Jon up off the ground. Moving as if the two weighed nothing, he rushed through the portal just as it was closing.
“OG! Talon is coming through one of his portals! Fractal is in bad shape, and Rook isn’t looking too much better! Get Seamus and Matthew there, now!” Wyrmwood ordered over her comms.
She shuddered a bit in the snowy, cold air. It was definitely not her element. Still, Syn trudged to the two downed women and checked to make sure that they were alright and again gave a relieved sigh to find them both alive, though they were still unconscious from apparent blows to the head after having been blown into trees. She gathered the small group of people together, then transformed back into her dragon self, curling up around them to guard them against the cold while she waited for the rest of the team to land.
NPC Bethany Davies
Absynthe “Syn” Drake
Headmistress, Townsend Academy
NPC Xander Carlisle