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A Story for Japan – Addendum March 26, 2011

Posted by techtigger in A Story For Japan.
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A Story For Japan BannerFor my big brother & sister – Here is one last bit of the story, to keep you until I get e-book done 🙂

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Two more agents jogged down the hall toward the bunker as John headed out – the first was a thin,  caustic Brit named Alec,  and the other was one of John’s protégé’s, Barry, a third generation Italian by way of New York.  John flagged them down and got a pair of sharp salutes in return.  “You might as well turn around, we’re going topside.”

“Got a live one, have you?” Alec asked.

“Hot damn, it’s about time we saw some action!” Barry said.

Alec rolled his eyes as they fell in behind John. “H’ray. Some poor bugger just got their brains scrambled, and they’re probably going to fry ours when we catch up to them.  Are all yanks this suicidal, or are you a special case?”

“Cheer up, ya limey bastard.  I told ya we’d show ya a good time,” Barry said.

John commandeered a van from the motorpool and slung himself into the drivers’ seat. “You two are surveillance only for this one. I’ll be making first contact. You know the drill, Barry, hang back until I signal.”

Barry waved as he took a seat in front of a console in the back.  “You got it, boss.”

“What do we do if things go all pear-shaped?” Alec said, taking a seat across from him.

John answered.  “No slugfests. I don’t care what you did in the U.K., you’re a part of our unit now.  We’re here to help these people, not lay waste to entire city blocks.”

“Fair enough.”

Barry was flipping switches and cussing cheerfully at the controls even before they left the parking garage. “All right, school’s in Al,” he said.

“It’s Alec.”

“Whatever. The electronics here are heavily shielded, but they still act up when a strong pulse comes through.  Nobody’s found a way to avoid having ‘em get FUBAR’d by the Nexus, short of staying deep underground.  So if ya feel a pulse coming, shut her down and stand back, or else.”

“Or else what?”

“Did ya ever see the control panels blow up on Star Trek?”

They both had to hang on as John slewed through traffic.  “Give me an update,” he said.

Alec peered over Barry’s shoulder as he worked. “Waterfront.  Pier 37. Holy Mary Mother of God, who are hunting down, boss?  These readings are off the charts.”

“I’ll tell you when we find them.”

The waterfront was deserted. The locals had learned the hard way to stay inside when the Nexus acted up.  John checked to make sure his gun was loose in its holster under his coat, and snapped a tazer onto his belt.  “Cover me. If the readings are that high, there may be more than one person affected.”

Alec shivered as he got out of the van. “Is it always this cold in August?”

Barry sniffed the air. “Nope. Stay close and look sharp, Al.”

Their breath came out in white plumes, and the puddles from the previous night’s rain were rimed with ice.  They scanned every inch of the street and kept an eye on the windows of the buildings to either side, but there was no movement. The silence was eerie; no car horns, no engines running, no chatter of office workers out for lunch.  After walking a few blocks, John held up a hand to warn them, and proceeded forward at a slower pace.

“Here we go,” muttered Barry.

John stopped near the entrance of an alley, and knelt down.  A huddled form lay on the ground in front of him.

“It’s a girl,” Alec whispered. “A child, I didn’t think they got affected by it.”

“If that’s a kid, she’s an early bloomer. Probably part asian. We get a lot of immigrants up here in the northwest,” Barry said.

John turned his head and called out to them. “She’s alive, but in shock. Get the kit.”

“I’m on it!  Stay here, Al.”

Alec sidled forward, trying to get a better look at the girl. She had thick, black hair and pale skin that was almost translucent, and unnaturally blue eyes. There was no doubt that she was the target – the eyes always gave them away. His own had turned a startling shade of aquamarine when his talents manifested. The girl looked delicate, like a fragile china doll, and he would have called her beautiful if not for the wild, vacant stare.

Barry jogged back with an armload of thermal blankets and a medical kit. The girl started to stir as they wrapped her up and checked her vitals. She blinked, and some sense came back into her eyes.

“My name is John Mayweather. I’m here to help you. Try not to move, you’re very sick. Do you understand me?”

She gave him a confused look, and attempted to push away the blankets.

“No, leave them on, you’re in shock,” he said, keeping his voice calm and even.  “Do you speak English?”

She struggled to get loose, and opened her mouth to speak. And then things got weird. No words came out, just a torrent of impressions – Alec remembered the stillness of a snow covered woods, the creak of ice as he walked across a frozen pond, and the cool, crisp december air under a full moon.  He stood there with his mouth hanging open, shaken to his core.

John was the first to recover. He shook his head and tried a few other languages, but only got a frustrated look from the girl.  She held up a hand and frowned in concentration. The temperature dropped further, and the air hummed from the energy being gathered.

At first Alec thought nothing had happened, until he looked down and saw frost forming patterns on the ground beneath John and the girl. A jolt of fear ran through him.  “Look out!” he yelled, and shot a cone of telekinetic energy to knock John out of the way.  The street lit up in a brilliant silver light as it hit a dome of energy around John, and bounced off it. He must have had a shield up. The girl cried out in pain, but the backlash of energy was partially absorbed by her own electric blue shield.

She scrambled to her feet and stepped between him and John.  A quick motion of her hand sent a blast of arctic wind howling toward him.  Barry tried to shield him, but the wind smashed through and slammed them both into a line of parked cars.

Alec pushed himself upright and prepared another attack, but Barry tackled him. “Stay down, you’re gonna get us killed!”

“She’s casting a spell on him, let me up!”

“Spells? What are ya, nuts?”

“I know sorcery when I see it, why do you think I was brought here?”

“I don’t know, maybe ya disobeyed orders and they tossed ya off the damn island? You’ll be lucky if the boss don’t send ya right back,” he said.  “Look at her, she’s protecting him.”

John was still kneeling, with the girl standing in front of him. She had one hand on his shoulder, and the other held palm outwards.  She wore a strange glove that crackled and spat sparks into the air.  The hazy shimmer of an energy barrier surrounded them.

“Protecting, or holding him hostage?”

“Ya shot at him, remember? What else would she be doing?”

John said something soothing to the girl and stood up. He made a placating motion, and got a short nod from her. She dropped her hands, but never took her eyes off of Alec.  John pointed to the patterns on the ground, and flipped his hands up in a question.  She relaxed a little and pointed to him, then herself, and flapped her fingers and thumb together to mime talking.  He made a gesture that clearly meant, proceed, and gave her an encouraging look.

Alec yelled, “Don’t trust her! That’s a summoning circle, you don’t know what they can do!” He tried to throw off Barry, but he was wrestled into submission again.

The frost spread out across the ground in a circle, and more words that felt like winter rolled out of her mouth. Crystals of ice formed in the air around them, glittering in the sunlight. She cried out, and a spark of electric blue energy shot around the construct in a blinding flash. The crystals fell to the ground, and John caught her as her knees buckled.

She let out a tired laugh and grinned. “Okay, let’s try this again. My name is Nox, from the Houses of Ice and Wind. Do you understand me this time?”

He nodded cautiously.  “My name is John Mayweather. You’re not from around here, are you?”

She brushed herself off and straightened her clothes.  “That’s putting it lightly,” she said, and scrubbed at her face.  A bit of blood from a scratch on her cheek smeared on her fingers, and a look of horror crossed her face.  They all tensed, watching her, but nothing happened.  Her shoulders slumped, and tears made of sleet welled up in her eyes. “Grimm. Loki. They’re gone…”

In the wastelands that had once been ruled by the House of Winds, the dragon lifted its muzzle to the sky.  Obsidian scales rustled as he shook out his wings, and scarlet flames burned beneath their glassy surface. She was gone. The thought hammered into him relentlessly, over and over again. His final words to her had not been, I love you. He had shaken her and snapped at her. She was gone.  He could still hear Grimm’s last, despairing howl, as he crumbled to dust and blew away.

Loki struggled to recall what had happened after that.  He remembered a sharp pain, and that something inside his mind had snapped. Everything else was a blur of fire and blood, followed by the screams of dying cultists.

They had been trying to kill her for years.  His talons clenched in rage, leaving deep furrows in the ground.  She was gone, and those New Dawn bastards were to blame.  His tongue licked out, gathering the fading scent of the red dye from their robes, and the cloying incense they burned in their temples.  Muscles bunched and uncoiled in an explosion of force as he launched himself into the air. His wings spread until they blackened the sky, and the dragon roared south to take his revenge.

Somewhere in the midst of the spirit realms, a fragment of shadow broke loose and took shape. The blood of Lord Galen’s descendant had been shed, and the ancient enchantments burned to life once more.  It seemed Death had denied him entry again. Grimm turned away from the gates of Hel, gathered his strength, and began to walk back down the Long Road.

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To read Day 1 –  click here

To read Day 2 – click here

To read Day 3 – click here

To read Day 4/5 – click here

To read Day 6 – click here

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Comments»

1. Mari Juniper - March 29, 2011

Oh, thank goodness! I thought Grimm was gone for good this time. O.O

Oh, btw, love the Loki-dragon!

techtigger - April 1, 2011

thanks! Don’t worry about missing blogging about – but if you could help spread the word when the ebook comes out, that’d be awesome 🙂

Mari Juniper - April 18, 2011

Will sure do! ;D


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