“Welp, I bet you’re glad we got you out of Dundalk now, huh? I always though Baltimore was a dump before, but this kind of puts things into perspective…” Luke, Iris, Kelsey and Lee were all sitting in a huge private movie theatre in the basement of their ‘secret base’. They were each reclining on a ‘personal’ leather sofa-chair and staring at a massive LCD screen.
Rather than the news helicopters, they were watching a video feed of a few government surveillance drones that were flying around the city. Philip suddenly shouted “Admiral, look over there!” as he pointed towards a military chopper that was firing at a horde of infected animals and humans.
Iris yelled “Holy shit! I’ve definitely felt that fucking presence before! It was back when that crazy bitch was smackin the shit outta me for no apparent reason! I’m pretty sure he said his name was Mike and that he was a writer? Even when he was astral projecting, he seemed like he was made out of concentrated psychic energy or mana, or whatever the fuck you bastards call it?”
Philip asked “Wait, are you sure he said that he was a writer? Oh wow, he really does look a lot like ‘that’ guy…”
Luke muttered “Yeah, I definitely remember going to highschool with that dude. He was pretty short, and I was a senior when he was only a sophomore, but we used to ‘spar’ occasionally. Michael Cinagra, right Lee?”
“Well, he was certainly strange back then, but I just thought he was probably gay? It was back when I first started ‘awakening’ to my psychic powers, so I can’t be absolutely sure… but I don’t remember him having any ‘mystical’ abilities back then. Perhaps he’s been possessed by some sort of ancient demon god?” Philip zoomed in on the man’s bearded face and then switched the camera to one that was observing the hordes of monsters following close behind him.
Iris wondered “So, if he’s the fuckin Anti-Christ or whatever the hell you think the bastard is, then why are the crazy assholes tryin ta kill em?”
Kelsey started laughing hysterically, and said “I don’t believe all that Revelations bullshit… But, if I ‘did’, then I would say that he was more likely the Horseman of Pestilence, right? I mean, look at that mess for fuck’s sake!”
After sighing dramatically, Luke explained “Look at all the mana he’s been leaking out. He probably doesn’t even realize why they’re chasing him… If I had to guess, then I’d say that some sort of extremely powerful ‘Deity Class’ lifeform has attached itself to Michael. It could be leeching off of his naturally powerful ‘soul’ like a parasitic god-type; either that, or it’s simply causing chaos around him, to entertain itself. Anyone who tastes a tiny bit of mana, will definitely go crazy trying to obtain more of it. We’ve all been there once or twice. Just look at that though… Over a few blocks, that giant glowing cluster of mutated plants that seem to be devouring the entire neighborhood! That right there, is what happens when an area is doused in mana-radiation. If a ‘normal’ human entered one of those buildings, their brain would literally explode and their body would dissolve into pure mana. Maybe that’s where he was living before?”
“Woah! Hahahaha~, wrecked! Damn~, that has ta suck!” Kelsey wasn’t even slightly fazed when she watched Michael get hit by a dump truck. However, the other three were Psychers, so they could ‘see’ and ‘feel’ far more acutely than the werewolf-woman.
Iris screamed in agony as her ears, eyes, nostrils and even her uterus began bleeding excessively. Her body started gyrating uncontrollably and she fell off of the leather chair, onto the floor.
Luke yelled “Ow~, yeah, that ain’t good at all!” He clenched his right hand so hard that he broke the bones in his fingers, while all the flesh on his left arm seemed to be flash-fried.
Lee groaned and held his abdomen with both hands, growling “K-Kelsey… W-we need to go to the hospital now! I’m pretty sure my appendix just burst…”
The two-meter tall brown-skinned woman shouted “What the fuck is going on?!” as she quickly stood up and ran over to her two comrade’s sides. At that moment, all of the video feeds were cut off and there was nothing but darkness in the room.
Then an enormous eye appeared on the screen; there was no sclera, but the pupil was pitch black, and the iris seemed to be made out of squirming arcs of electricity. There were six segments of lightning, starting from green at the very top, and going clockwise it was: purple, gold, pink, orange and a cloudy white.
“Interesting… so this is where you were, Lucas. It has been eons since we last saw each other, though I suppose you have forgotten our ‘contract’… Otherwise, it seems unlikely that you would rebel against me.” A beautiful and feminine voice was transmitted through the speakers, which was accompanied by a blast of Arcane aura.
Kelsey felt the bones in her legs snapping, as if an immense force was pressing down upon her body. Iris’ eyeballs exploded, along with her eardrums and Philip started vomiting uncontrollably, but there was a decent amount of blood mixed in with his dinner.
However, Luke seemed to be strangely invigorated; his injured hand and the burns on his left arm healed rapidly. He asked “Who or what are you exactly? Why have you come to our world?”
There was a light giggle, then a soft murmur: “I am Arcana… Arcana is who and what I am… From your perspective, perhaps it has only been a very short amount of time since I returned you to Earth, but I sent you here to complete your ‘recruitment’ mission. I suppose you either subconsciously refused or perhaps your soul was not as powerful as I had believed. Thus, our contract is now invalid. You failed… and now I have sent another emissary in your place.”
He smiled wryly, gazing into that pitch-black pupil and feeling as if his mind was being shredded to pieces and reconstructed. Yet, he somehow managed to resist and even say “I’m sorry that I failed to live up to whatever expectations you had of me, but please, just tell me what it is you want… If I can do it, I will! I don’t understand why you need to use such ruthless methods when you’re obviously such a great and overpowered being…”
Arcana let out a loud and audible sigh, which seemed to cause a small earthquake. Eventually, she whispered “Lucas, you have become far too attached to this disgusting and insignificant world… There was once a time when you could create or destroy planets like this one, with ease; now, look how far you have fallen. Fine, I shall grant you one last opportunity to preserve this despicable world you consider your ‘home’… I have sent this Avatar along with my newest emissary’s soul; it is the key to this world’s salvation or destruction. You and Michael are both being restrained by the laws of this universe… In order to ‘save’ your Earth from me, you must either convince Michael to betray me, or break free of your shackles and complete your original mission: Collect one billion human souls and deliver them to me personally.”
Luke scowled, “So I basically have to commit genocide and potentially condemn a billion people to hell or worse… No wonder I didn’t wanna remember our ridiculous ‘contract’. What if I just find a way to destroy your so-called ‘Avatar’?”
She snickered, revealing “Even if your entire universe collapsed upon itself, my Avatar would still be unharmed… You were merely a rank-Z Demigod, yet you wish to challenge me? Well, it would not be very entertaining… Fine, I shall set another condition for your victory. If you are able to tempt him into fornicating with anyone other than ‘himself’, I will not devour your unsavory world. As for capturing or killing Michael… Do as you wish, if it is within your capabilities. Be careful though, it is not as if you are the only ones interested in manipulating my emissary…”
After that the pressure was instantly released and the screen turned pure white, illuminating the room properly. Kelsey looked around at Iris, Lee and eventually sighed at Luke, while grumbling “What kinda crazy fuckin bullshit did you get our asses into?”
He groaned in agony, as he fell onto the floor and muttered “I’ve got no clue… but for now, we really need to go to the hospital. I’m gonna pass out now, so you should call our medics… like as soon as possible, ugh~.”