Part 13: Adriana
Adriana came to a moment later, lying down. She sat up, looking for Naomi, but she was nowhere to be found. Bayle, Striker, Teya, and the others were gone as well. She was inside a house now. She was...
"Home..." Adriana gasped. She was lying on a couch in her old living room.
From the hallway, she could hear soft signing. Adriana could feel her heart skip a beat as she sat up. She exited the living room and walked down the hallway where she could see the door to her old bedroom was open a crack. She peered in just as the singing stopped. Adriana could see a familiar shape siting above her bed, and another lying in the bed.
"Mom...?" Adriana whispered.
Cassandra leaned down and kissed the young Adriana on the forehead before standing and moving towards the door. Early into her thirties, Cassandra was seen by some as rough around the edges. She was often covered in cuts and grime from her work, her arms were strong and covered in scars, but she had a rare beauty with her flowing brown hair and a gentle face.
Adriana was too stunned to react, and was still in plain sight as Cassandra exited the room.
"Mom! I... you..."
Cassandra didn't seem to react. She closed the door with her usual tenderness, not making a single sound. She turned and walked straight through Adriana on her way to the front door.
Adriana jumped and began patting herself down to make sure she was still solid. "Am... am I dead?" Adriana whispered. Not surprisingly, she didn't get an answer. She felt goosebumps on her arm, shaking the shivers for long enough to follow Cassandra as she exited the house.
The house was also her shop and smith, and was located approximately in the middle of nowhere. Cassandra always claimed that the lack of the hustle and bustle of the city helped her focus on her work, and it was such high quality that most were willing to make the trip this far for it anyways.
Cassandra glanced to the left and cleared her throat. Nothing happened. She sighed. "She's asleep. You can come out now."
There was a pause, and then someone stepped out of the shadows. Whoever it was, he looked like hell. All of his clothes were battered from his ratty hat to his faded duster and his worn boots. A long scar ran across the side of his head, giving him the rough appearance of a bounty hunter or some sort of criminal.
"How did you know I was here?" The man asked, somewhat surprised.
Cassandra gave a small smile. "You never were as subtle as you thought you were, Roy."
"Roy!?" Adriana cried. As Roy approached, she could see his cloak move enough to reveal his mechanical arm, but his face, haggard as it was, seemed foreign to her. "Why can't I remember this face? When I try to recall what he looked like, it was always so... happy."
Roy stopped in front of Cassandra. "It... it's been a while."
"Almost five years," Cassandra said. Only a moment ago, she had seemed completely exhausted, but now, she seemed... happy. Energized, even.
"Wait," Adriana said. "Five years? What do you mean by that?" Neither saw fit to answer. "That means... this was right before you died, mom! But that's..."
Roy embraced Cassandra. "I've missed you so much. Every moment away... I'm sorry."
"You said sorry enough for a whole lifetime when you left," Cassandra said with a laugh. She shifted a little in his grip. "Your hug is a little weak."
Roy seemed taken aback. "I'm sorry, I just..."
Cassandra laughed again. "It's the arm. It's amazing it's held up this long without my maintenance. Come inside, I'll have you fixed up in a minute."
Roy paused. "I really shouldn't... I mean, it's not that I don't want to, I just..."
Cassandra pulled Roy close and kissed him. The two stayed locked like this for at least a minute. When Cassandra finally pulled away, she smiled. "You see, now you've paid. I can't let you leave without doing the job now."
Roy smiled. "You never change, Cass."
Adriana watched the two walk inside in silence. Soon, she was alone. Shaking herself out of her stupor, she made her way to the workshop, where Cassandra was already popping the access panel of the arm open. She poked around inside with a screwdriver for a minute, scowling. "Honestly Roy, you're lucky you have me, I hope you know."
"Don't I ever," Roy smiled.
There was a pause as Cassandra dug through her desk for some tools. "Adriana would love to see you. I know she would."
Roy looked downtrodden. "Would she? Her deadbeat father?"
"Good point," Adriana growled, plopping down on a stool on the other side of Roy.
Cassandra hit Roy on the head with a wrench, making him and Adriana jump.
"Yeow! What was that for?" Roy yelped, rubbing the lump on his head with his free hand
"Don't say that about yourself. Never say that again."
"Right. I'm sorry," Roy sighed. "It'd better if I didn't see her. I'm leaving shortly... it would just hurt her more to see me leave again, this time for good."
Cassandra stopped digging through her drawer and looked up at Roy. "For good? You're not..."
"I don't think I'll be walking away from this one, Cass," Roy said. "You remember what I told you before I left the first time? I only survived last time because Teya begged for my life. This time it'll be much more dangerous. I'm a wanted man there and I won't get off with a slap on the wrist this time. More importantly... well, I have a feeling it's going to get hot, and I have a duty to see it through to the end. I fear I won't be able to make it that far with my life..."
"But if you do... you'll come home, won't you? We can live together again like a family..."
"Cass, you know just as well as I do that I can't do that. The assassins... they're still out there."
"Yeah," Adriana spat. "Didn't you know, mom? This jackass has to kill the woman who saved his life so he can save his own skin. Then he inevitably chickened out on that and kept running. Can't let himself get caught, can he?"
"They're still out there?" Cassandra whispered.
Roy sighed and drew a piece of paper out of his duster. "Wanted Dead: Princess Teya Lovette," Roy read before pausing to flip the flyer over. "Roy, it appears that our initial threat wasn't sufficient motivation. Jack is dead, I'm sure you know. We are not patient men. We've enlisted the assassin's guild this time. If you fail us again, they will be coming for you and any other family you have left. Do not disappoint us."
Adriana stood up. "What the hell? Mom, you never said anything... anything about..."
Cassandra gripped his metal hand. "I hope you're not..."
"...I don't know. But what I do know is that I can't stay here much longer. The longer I stay, the more danger you two are in."
"You can't kill that girl, Roy. We talked about this last time, and my answer has not changed: I forbid it!"
"Cass... you always were so stubborn."
"Promise me. Promise me you'll protect that girl as viciously as you protected Adriana and I."
Roy smiled. "How can I say no to that face?"
"Good. Now hold still and bite down on something because this is going to hurt." Cassandra jammed a screwdriver into Roy's arm and began to viciously tighten something, causing Roy to tense up and bite his sleeve, a muffled scream escaping his mouth.
Adriana stared at the two blankly, trying to process everything that had just happened. Before she knew it, however, the two were gone again. Adriana quickly ran out of the room, finding the two in Adriana's room. Roy was kneeling down next to the bed, leaning over Adriana's head with tears in his eyes. "Please be strong. Be as strong as your mother. I love you Adriana. I love you more than anything." He kissed her on the forehead gently.
Adriana touched her own forehead. "Roy..." Before she knew it, she was alone again. She ran from the room, this time finding the two outside of the house again.
"Be sure to oil the arm regularly. And for the love of god, be careful with your grip with that hand cannon of yours. My metal is sturdy, but if you keep firing it from that stupid grip of yours, it'll break, you got it? If what you said is true and this is the last time..." She caught herself, her voice finally cracking. Tears filled her eyes, and a soft sobbing echoed off of the house. "Oh, Roy, I feel my heart breaking. I don't think I'll be able to survive without you."
Roy embraced her once more. "You have to survive. For Adriana's sake."
"Oh please, don't leave again. I don't care if I die, I'd rather die in your arms than live another second away from you."
"Please Cass... I couldn't bear to watch either of you die. Not because of me. I already have to live with my father and brother's deaths on my shoulders..."
Roy held her a moment longer, Cassandra's sobbing filling the silence of the night.
"I didn't just come here for a repair, Cassandra. I had to ask you something." Cassandra pulled away from Roy enough to look up at him as he pulled something out of his pocket. "I always like to play the tough guy. I've face down demons, dark gods, assassins, and more drunks than I care to admit, but my greatest fear was always asking you this." Roy opened his hand, revealing a gold ring. "Will you be my wife?"
Cassandra threw her arms around Roy again, still crying, but this time tears of joy. Adriana could barely make out her "Yes" among her sobs. She kissed Roy over and over. She cried and held him close until she finally cried herself to sleep.
Roy slid the ring on her finger and carried her back into the house, leaving her sleeping on the couch. He walked out of the house, making sure to close the door behind him. Adriana followed him as he walked away. For what seemed like an hour she followed him in silence. Finally, he spoke. "You know, I never intended for you to see that."
Adriana jumped, looking around for who he might be talking to. When she turned back, Roy had turned around and was looking right at her.
"You... can see me?"
"Of course I can. This is my memory after all."
"Oh... right. Sorry about all that stuff I said at the house before, I thought you couldn't..." Adriana twisted the toe of her boot into the ground slowly in silence. "You... you never told me that the assassins were coming for us too."
"Would you have believed me?"
"Probably not. Mom never said anything about it either."
"I didn't want her to make any excuses for me. More importantly, I didn't want you trying to play the hero and getting yourself killed."
"I see." There was another pause. "Mom told me that ring was from some dumb client who couldn't pay for the work she did."
"She wasn't wrong, really."
"It... it was a nice gesture to give mom that last good memory of you. Proposing, I mean."
"It was a long time coming. Like I said, I'm a coward in that kind of way."
"You know, it still makes me a *******."
Roy sighed. "Yes, I know."
"I mean, I was born before you proposed. On top of that, the two of you still technically never got married..."
"Sorry." Adriana wrapped her arms around herself. "I... I was serious when I said that I had some good memories of you. Do you remember when we went out in the forest and you made that little bow for me?"
Roy smiled. "I thought it was pretty good, too. You shot at all the targets I set up... until it broke."
"I was covered in splinters!" Adriana laughed. "Mom had a fit. I was so scared that she was going to kill you!"
"You were scared? I kept some of those bruises until I... until I..." Roy caught himself.
"I owe you an apology. Several, actually," Adriana said. "I was so damned bull-headed that I never bothered to think about the possibility that you were trying to protect us. Eva had faith in you. When she told me that I knew better than anyone why you left, I assume she meant that you had some business to finish with Naomi and Vladimar... but that wasn't it. She knew you did it to protect us. I'm such a fool. Can you ever forgive...?"
Adriana felt Roy wrap his arms around her. "Always," he whispered.
Adriana laughed lightly. "I'm so stupid..." she whispered, letting her head fall into Roy's chest.
"Hey, Adriana," Roy said.
Adriana's eyes snapped open. Above her, she saw Naomi holding her knife in both hands, ready to bring it down...
Adriana's arm sprang to life before she could even think to defend herself, catching the knife just before it struck. "Don't you dare touch my daughter you hag,"
Adriana heard Roy's voice echo in her head.
"But... but you..." Naomi started.
Adriana threw Naomi to the side as if she weighed no more than a rag doll, and jumped to her feet to survey the scene. Teya was on her hands a knees, panting from the stress of having so many of her spells broken, Johan laid against a cracked wall, moaning quietly, and Adriana couldn't see Striker at all. Leon was still taking shots at Bayle, but his mask was cracked and he seemed to be bleeding from one of his arms.
"Hey Bayle! I'm not through with you!" Adriana cried. Both of her submachine guns were still in hand, and she took a moment to reload them.
Bayle swatted away another of Leon's shots before turning at Adriana, scowling. "Alright Roy, time for some family counseling, starting with a trust exercise. There isn't time for me to explain how to use my body, so you and I will have to sync up. I'm going to trust you to follow all my telegraphed movements without question..."
"...and I'll trust that you know what you're doing, even if it seems like you're about to do something incredibly stupid,"
Roy replied. "That's the idea. You've got the wheel; try not to scuff the paint."
Adriana dashed at Bayle, guns raised.
Bayle sighed. "I've had enough of this; we've been through this one before. Adriana, drop your guns!"
Adriana responded with a rain of bullets that sent Bayle reeling back.
"You little whelp... so Roy is controlling your body now. Then it should be no difficulty to defeat you!" Bayle reached out to grab Adriana, but before he could touch her, she seemed to disappear. With his powerful eyes, however, he saw exactly where she went. He looked up at Adriana, now a hundred feet above him and braced for an attack. "Hah!"
Adriana thought. "This god power is great! I don't even need to remove my rig to jump this high anymore!" "Quite a technique,"
Roy observed. "Yeah, it's a technique I developed while I was busy ignoring all the Powder Fist teachings. I'd like to think I did them one better though, and I call it..."
"The Spricket Waltz!" Adriana let loose a rain of gunfire from her elevated position, forcing Bayle to focus blocking above him. Adriana landed and dashed at Bayle while he was off balance. She jammed the sharp ends of the magazines into his back and hit the release at the same moment to free her weapons, leaving the magazines embedded in Bayle's back. She jumped away just before Bayle moved to counterattack, returning the guns to their holsters. Now, she drew the Piston Pistols.
Bayle seemed like he was hampered with the magazines sticking out of his back, but knew that attempting to remove them would leave him wide open. He set his stance again, his eyes observing Adriana closely. "Clever. We'll have to crush his confidence and this Avatar of his before it can recover."
Adriana dashed at Bayle, firing two shots low at his legs, causing them to buckle slightly. The hammers of the pistols snapped forward, leaving the guns unarmed for the moment. As she neared, Bayle lashed out at Adriana. She was too quick, however, and jumped over his arms, spinning her guns to catch his shoulder with the hooked hammers. Bayle roared in pain as the hooks dug deep into the muscle. Adriana heard two clicking sounds as the new hammers of her guns were pulled back, loading the next rounds. Adriana kicked off of Bayle's back, landing behind him and leaping over him once more. Before he was able to recover, Adriana shot downward, hitting him in the top of the head with both rounds. Bayle fell to his knees for a moment, breathing heavily before slowly getting back to his feet. "Careful Adriana, if he gets a hold of you, it's over,"
Roy warned her. "Try not to think on ifs. Now let's hit him a little harder, shall we?"
Adriana holstered the pistols and pulled her bolt-action rifle from her shoulder. The lever on the bolt had been modified to be about six inches long, and stuck straight out from the side of the gun. Adriana took a moment to make sure the weapon was loaded before dashing at Bayle. This time, Bayle took the offensive and jumped forward to meet Adriana's charge with a wicked hook, catching her on the jaw.
Adriana found herself spiraling backwards from the air, seeing star for a moment before regaining her orientation as Bayle bore down on her. She angled the rifle and fired, striking Bayle in the stomach. Bayle recoiled with a grunt, leaving him wide open as Adriana connected with a strike from the rifle's barrel. She spun it by its extended bolt, working up momentum while working the bolt to load the next round. The attacks came in rapid succession, seamlessly switching between hitting with the rifle and firing. After two full loads, she slung the rifle and drew her shotgun. This weapon lacked the evasiveness of the pistons, the trickery of the submachine guns, the grace and momentum of the rifle, but it made up for it with raw power and savagery. Alternating between point-blank shots and slamming Bayle with the butt of the weapon to load a new shell, Bayle was reduced to a full defensive stance to try and hold the assault off. The Spricket jumps had become smaller hops to get behind Bayle's guard and shoot where he was most vulnerable. Once the gun was finally dry, Adriana jumped back to assess the damage.
Bayle's eyes bore deep into Adriana's as his wounds slowly closed. "Are you quite done child?" He was on the ropes, but he had a healing factor even greater than what he had given to Adriana, and it was impossible to land a decisive blow that wouldn't immediately heal up. "This is pointless,"
Adriana scowled. "I'm just wasting ammo this way. Once I switched to the shotgun, he stopped even seeming interested in attacking."
Roy replied. "But for what?"
"Well, let's not find out. I still haven't used the last pieces of my arsenal... but I'm not sure if it'll be enough. I'll need to hit him when he's at his lowest, but he heals too quickly for that. By the time I've switched weapons, he's already mostly healed again."
"Well then... how about we try something stupid and reckless?"
"Now you're speaking my language. What did you have in mind?"
Adriana asked, smiling. Bayle shrugged his shoulders slightly and the sharpened magazines slid out, falling to the ground with a clatter. "This."
It took only a moment for Roy to share his plan with Adriana. "That is the single dumbest attack I've ever seen. It would require an absurd amount of practice even for someone operating at the eye's full power, not just this choked version that Bayle imposed on me."
"Indeed. It should be child's play for the two greatest gunslingers in history to pull off, though."
"Took the words right out of my head. Well, no time like the present."
Bayle held his guard up still, watching Adriana closely. He seemed completely unwilling to make the first move.
Adriana took a moment to set her stance. "Hey Teya!" She yelled.
Teya had recovered enough to reply at this point. "Yeah?" She panted, sitting up.
"You have to be ready to cast some spell to banish this guy once I've hit him, you got it? You have to be quick; only hit him once he's too injured to disrupt your spell."
"R-right..." Teya gasped. She seemed uncertain, but drew her spellbook from her robe and opened it to a select page. "Ready!"
"You know," Bayle mused, "discussing your strategy in front of the opponent isn't the wisest of decisions."
Adriana smirked. "Only if they're actually capable of doing anything about it. Luckily, you don't fit the bill." Adriana sprinted directly at Bayle, hands empty.
"A foolish move born of desperation," Bayle remarked.
"Maybe, but at least it'll look really cool!" Right before impacting, Adriana dropped into a slide, skidding to a halt directly at Bayle's feet. Before he could react, Adriana pulled herself into a ball and rolled back so she was balanced on her hands before fully extending her body, connecting both feet with a jaw shattering kick that sent Bayle twenty feet into the air. Adriana wasted no time and began jumping in rapid succession across the square, bouncing off buildings faster than a human eye could accurately follow. One of her submachine guns seemed to come loose at some point as she jumped, seemingly hovering in the air for a moment before it began to fall. And then her shotgun appeared in another spot. Soon, a small sphere of Adriana's guns were floating around Bayle. "Powder Spricket Secret Technique: Web of Lead!" All at once, the guns seemed to open fire on their own from all directions. The bullets kept Bayle pinned in the air as they impacted, eat one tearing up his Avatar. Adriana's timing had to be perfect, as she not only jumped from gun to gun to keep them from falling, but firing and reloading them accurately. "The strain is too great..."
Adriana groaned, "Even with The Eye, I can't keep up this speed for much longer..."
"Ten seconds. That's all we need,"
Adriana was moving faster than she ever thought possible, and could even feel a finger and a few toes break from the strain. She almost outsped the gun's mechanisms as she continued unloading on Bayle. A rain of spent casings, shells, and empty magazines seemed to rain from the heavens, but not a single stray bullet left, each shot hitting home with pinpoint accuracy. Finally, all the guns dropped to the ground along with Bayle. He lay on the ground, not moving or making a sound. His form seemed disfigured and bloody, barely resembling the humanoid shape he once had.
Adriana hung in the air fifty feet up, holding the large tubed weapon that she hadn't previously used. "Grand Finale!" She cried as the explosive round left the launcher with a dull thump. It impacted on the center of what remained of Bayle, exploding with a bright flash and a splash of red.
Teya looked on with awe. "You did it! That..."
Adriana landed ten feet back from the impact, breathing heavily. "What are you doing!? This isn't over! Cast the spell Teya! Now!"
Teya seemed startled. "Right, sorry!" She closed her eyes and held her hands over her book and began to chant. "In brightest day, in brightest night, let my love shine the brightest light! When evil comes, I will join the fight, the power of Jovalin is the strongest might!
" A white circle appeared around the smoldering crater where Adriana's final attack had impacted. Slowly, lines extended from the interior of the circle to form a complex seal. It took nearly a minute before it finally began glowing even brighter, shooting a beacon into the sky. The seal began to fade, being peeled away into the heavens and out of existence.
Adriana let out a laugh from her prone position, able to forget her pain for a moment. "Oh damn... that was... hah! I was afraid for a second that it..."
"...does not work! As judge of all realms, I find Queen Teya Lovette guilty of conspiring with a criminal and hereby strip her of her title and connection to Jovalin, God of Light!" Bayle's voice seemed to ring in Adriana's ears for several moments, powerful weight behind his words. The light that seemed to be climbing to the heavens suddenly stopped before seemingly moving in reverse, crashing back to the ground with a blinding explosion. The light quickly faded, revealing Bayle. Apart from an enraged expression, he seemed unhurt. In his hand, he held an enormous Warhammer. It seemed to be made from a dark, heavy, polished wood and was wrapped in several bands of gold and silver. It took Adriana a few seconds to place where she had seen a similar hammer before she realized it was a bigger version of Bayle's gavel that he had used earlier. Looking at his belt, she noticed the smaller hammer was gone.
Teya's eyes widened as she quickly chanted the spell again, but to no avail. She screamed out several other shorter spells in desperation, terror filling her voice. The true realization of what happened seemed to strike her at last. "What... what have you done? I can't feel Jovalin anymore!"
Bayle ignored Teya's cries. "The others will be angry that I had to use Due Process's true form. When I use it like this, it tends to cause me to act more recklessly... and can have long-reaching consequences. However, I am tired of this fight and will end your resistance now. Be glad that I will allow you to die without the influence of that maniac in your mind, Miss Lovette."
Teya stared down at her book, utterly speechless. "Jovalin... please..."
Bayle turned to Adriana now, who still hadn't recovered entirely from her last attack. She growled, picking herself up. "What are you looking at so confidently? I've been kicking your *** before, and that won't change now. So come on, you dusty old librarian!" She picked up her discarded submachine guns and aimed them at Bayle.
"You won't be kicking anything with those useless toys," Bayle declared, pointing at Adriana with the hammer. She could see a golden band on the hammer shine slightly.
Adriana pulled the triggers. The guns clicked several times before sending out a stream of bubbles, harmlessly popping in the air. Adriana's eyes went wide. "What in the hell? How..."
Adriana nearly blacked as she felt her head slam into something solid. Bayle had dashed forward and slammed her against a building, pinning her against it by her neck with Due Process.
"Enough talking. I have been patient enough and wasted enough time, so now I will rip off your limbs and drag you along with me so that I can do my job. Just know that you forced me to do this." Bayle grabbed Adriana's left arm and began pulling it forcefully.
Adriana screamed out as she felt her bones and muscle begin to strain against Bayle's strength. She swung a few punches at Bayle's stomach, but he didn't seem to notice. "What's going on? I feel so weak now..."
Adriana thought. "It's The Eye, Bayle's failsafe to keep you alive kicked in. The strain from the last attack sent it into a recovery state. You won't have your godlike power back for some time... Damn, that's what he was waiting for!"
"He was never in any danger of losing... not so long as he had that hammer. He can make up any law he wants on the fly. Seems reluctant to do it, though... maybe we can use th- AUGH!"
"We won't be able to use anything without any limbs. I don't suppose you have an ace up your sleeve?"
"Of sorts... but it's a delay tactic at best. Unless we have a follow-up, it's all for nothing. Wait..."
"Leon!" Adriana yelled. "Signal the Divine Intervention!"
"The what?" Roy asked, confused.
A strained response came a few moments later. "I don't even know if it's in position!"
"Do it!" Adriana reached behind her back with her free arm and drew her smallest gun, a tiny tubed handheld device and shoved it in Bayle's face.
"You don't actually think a weapon that small will hurt me, do you? I've already read up on all your guns, and no pistol that small could hurt me."
Adriana gave him a pained smile as she felt Bayle pull her shoulder out of its socket. "Good thing this isn't a pistol then." Before Bayle could react, Adriana pulled the trigger, and a burning red shot fired out of the gun, catching Bayle in his left eye where it stuck. Bayle roared in agony, releasing Adriana as he reached up and ripped the flare off of his face.
"You... whelp! Enough games! I'll-" Bayle was cut off as something struck him from the side, sending him crashing through the wall of a nearby house and out the back wall where he crashed into another house. A second later, an earthshattering boom
swept through the village, sending a shockwave through that knocked the wind out of Adriana and pushed her back to the ground. "Ugh. Am I still alive?"
Adriana thought, trying to clear her head. "For now."
"So, what in the hell was that?"
"Jennifer? She's here?"
"Not really. She's in a big tree. We can talk about it later."
Leon appeared, standing over Adriana. He had removed his mask at this point, or it had broken off entirely. He looked concerned. "You okay?"
"No. Help me up."
Leon grabbed Adriana's good arm and pulled her up.
"So... that was the it?" Adriana groaned.
"Yeah... I've only seen her fire it a few times, to be honest. It attracts way too much attention, but it does make the village think our home is haunted... so that's a bonus. Her normal rifle usually does the job though."
Adriana looked down at her left arm, which hung uselessly at her side. "Do me a favor and pop that back into place, would you?"
Leon nodded, grabbing the arm. "This is going to hurt."
"No, really? Look, just do-" Another retort from the Divine Intervention drowned out Adriana's scream as Leon jerked her arm back into its socket.
"Another shot? Already? There's no way he could pull himself together that quickly..." Leon sounded uneasy. "That gun only holds five shots and Master can't reload it without me. Once she's out of ammo, we're done."
Adriana fell to her knees, holding her shoulder and breathing heavily. "You know... he has a point. I was honestly hoping that gun would be enough to destroy him. Guess that was overly optimistic... heh."
"We don't have much time,"
Roy reminded her. "We need a plan. Now."
was the plan. Now we have time to hold each other and sob silently before Bayle kills us all, rips my arms and legs off, banishes you to hell, and takes me to go summon his god buddies to wipe out humanity. Can't call it a victory, but we did pretty well, all things considered."
"No! Come on Adriana, there has to be something else! Another plan!"
"I could always try shooting myself again."
"That's delaying the problem! If Bayle found one loophole to get into this world, I'll bet he has more. More importantly, I'll bet that those gods will eventually be able to return to check on their experiments. We have to beat Bayle now. It might be our only chance to stop this before it happens."
"How? Beating this avatar of his won't kill him!"
"The hammer. If we can get that... we might have a chance. It can warp reality, meaning we can use it to lock them out."
"Fat chance of that! Everyone is exhausted, we're out of steam, and he's incapable of running dry! The only choice is that I kill myself and buy this world a little more time to prepare. That is unless we want to go back to my last plan and you want to try abandoning him. Maybe the crushing depression will make him go home."
Another shot rang out. Based on the sound of shattering wood, it sounded like that shot drove Bayle into someone's basement. "This is serious, Adriana! We can't just... we can't..."
Roy was silent, as though something struck him. "Say that again."
"What, shooting myself?"
"No, the other thing."
"We should... abandon him?"
"That's it. Holy hell, that's it. Adriana, get to Teya!"
"Aren't you going to tell me what you're on about?"
"Once we make it to Teya!"
Adriana felt Roy take control as he ran over to where Teya was. She lay huddled next to a building, clutching her spellbook.
"Teya, get up!" Roy was speaking through Adriana. "It's Roy! Get up!"
Teya slowly sat up, her expression downtrodden. "What is it? You should go find wherever Striker was flung to, he'll be of more help than I am. Without my spells, I'm just..."
Reaching down to touch Teya's shoulder, Roy spoke again. "Right now I don't need a spellcaster. I need my friend. You're the only one who can do this, Teya. Please, help Adriana."
Teya looked up. "I couldn't save you Roy," she whispered. "I couldn't save you with all the magic I had at my disposal, so what could I possibly do now?"
"One thing." Roy's request was mostly drowned out by the sound of Jennifer's fourth shot echoing through the village, but Teya seemed to get the idea.
"What? I... don't understand. Why would you-"
"Can you do it? Without your magic?"
Teya furrowed her brow. "Yes. I don't exactly have all the supplies I'd normally want, but I can improvise without too much trouble. But what will this accomplish?" "I'm with Teya on this one. What are you thinking?"
"There isn't time to explain," Roy said. "Please Teya, just make it happen. I'm giving control back to Adriana now."
Teya nodded. "I'll do my best." "Roy! Answer me! What are you trying with this?"
It only took a moment for Roy to share his thoughts with Adriana. "Will... will that work?"
"Honestly, I have no idea. Nothing like this has ever really happened, so it's a shot in the dark. But it's our only hope. Still, it's ultimately your decision. Will you trust me on this?"
Adriana clenched her fist and knelt down next to Teya. "Lay it on me. How do we do this?"
Teya crossed her legs. "First, breathe deeply, and clear your mind."
« Last edited by imaloony8.0 on Aug 28th 2016 »
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