Saturday, April 12

Chapter 14

Blazerine watched the rain drizzled outside the window as Lyrist tied her hair up tightly into a braided bun; on the left side of her head, leaving the right in a bundle of smaller braids secured by ribbons. 

Although she never did ask for help, he knew she needed it. Of course, he always knows. But she wasn't exactly sure about his choice of clothes, let alone hers. 

He wore a white enclosed surcoat; which has bulky golden buttons and long narrow sleeves, that eventually widen at the ends of his wrists. His breeches were the same color and material, however it kept up his stockings, since the lower part is being pulled over them. The shoes were of a large padded leather that's squared at the toes. Lastly, his large sideways hat. It's narrowed at both ends, with a turned up golden rim. It’s top off with a gigantic blue feather that flops over towards the left. Beneath the hat is a blue thin scarf, he tied too securely hid his injured ear. 

Once he was finished, he brought her over to stand in front of a mirror. From what she saw, she's wearing a long peach dress that's accent with pearls. The long white silk gloves weren't so bad she thought. And yet she doesn't understand why they were made so long, since they cut off just inches away from her shoulders. Never the less she understood why he chose this for her. And on another plus side, the dress was long enough for her to keep her boots on without anybody noticing. The only thing, she noted being off, was her sunglasses, but that's something which couldn't be help. 

"I'm surprised you were able to fix someone like me." She told him. 

He looked her dead in the eyes and said, "I'm starting to believe even if there's a way to save you. You do not want to be saved." 

"You're right... I won't lie." She shrugged. 

"It would be a pity if Fenix were to hear after he pulled off such a stunt." He mentioned.

"So he did do that for me…" She didn't know what else to say.

-----

King’s Lucien daughter, Elena; held in a breath while her servant tied up the back of her golden bodice, which is attached to a long red flowing skirt. The sleeves were tightened by about fifty bows; made out of golden ribbon. 

It wasn't the fact that she couldn't fit it; the strings of her bodice were just being complicated. The princess has put on her favorite dress many times before, but today it had to be so stubborn.

"Almost got it..." Her servant declared. 

Letting out a long sigh, Elena turned around to look at her servant. There’s a soft smile on her face, but it wasn't enough to replace her mother’s. Although right now she’s the last person she wanted to see. It’s not entirely her fault, but she felt betrayed, because she had another child, but why did it have to be a boy? Son’s take precedence over daughters as far as inheriting the throne goes, regardless of their relative’s age. 

"Can I go now?" Elena angrily asked. 

"You can't forget your mother’s necklace!" The servant scurried to the dresser and pulled it out from the second drawer. 

When the servant offered to put it on Elena, she harshly snatches it and screams, "Get this wretched thing away from me!" 

Right after her statement, she threw the necklace directly into the vanity mirror, shattering it into thousands of tiny little pieces. 

"Don't you DARE bring that thing near my sight ever again! Or I'll tell father you tried hurting me!" Elena threatened her. 

"But m-milady..." The servant cried with fear in her eyes. 

Elena slapped her clear across the face and said, "I own you so you better remember your place! Now clean up this mess. It better not look this way when I return or else!" 

It wasn't long till the sound of the trumpet went off upon her arrival at the banquet hall. As her name is announced, she curtsies before all the onlookers. 

Then she greeted so many familiar faces that she could never match a name to even if her life depended on it. There was no point for her to anyway, she thought. Unless the person is of greater importance, these commoners aren't worth the effort. 

She stood there half listening to the couple in front of her. Talking about some musician. All, it did, was make her want to gag, because the boredom was beginning to kill her, it was like pulling teeth. Each passing moment just seemed to remind her that nothing had been done in the last few months to try and get back at her mother. 

Eventually she excuses herself in order to search for a worthy enough man to dance with her, knowing whoever she chooses - would considered themselves as the luckiest man on earth, since she knows, she's just that beautiful, but she would never openly admit to it, seeing that she would rather hear somebody say it. 

One man in particular caught her eye. A man wearing a white feathered mask, that’s outlined in blue sapphires, matching those that are on his luscious white surcoat. The mask nose curves like a beak; similar to that of a falcon’s. However, his entire face wasn't covered since the mask comes just short of his lips. She thought he looked rather scrumptious. Calmly she made her way over while ignoring oncoming persuaders.  

She stopped right in front of him and said, "I'd love to see what's under that mask... and what's underneath the rest as well."

With no reply in return, she got angry, because his attention was diverted somewhere, and what could be more important than her? 


"Ex-CUSE me!" An attitude corrupts her tone of voice. 

Then she realized his sight was captivated by the two who were about to be announced. 

"Here-e, her-e introducing Lady Blazerine, escorted by companion; Sir Wuslorrden."

Blazerine awkwardly curtsy, it wasn't good at all, but it was at least passable. Well… in her eyes anyway. 

She walked down the stairs, receiving some odd looks as she passed. She always thought it was strange how people still looked at her weird, like she didn't belong, but they were right. And yet even when she did belong; back in her own world, it was no different. 

Although sweat was pouring down her skin, and her breath came in ragged spurts. She was lucky that Lyrist kept his arm interlocked with hers, or else she should probably be tripping all over the place. 

The only thing, she can think of that, could possibly numb her nerves is none other than alcohol, and fortunately for her that's exactly where Lyrist led her. 

The two of them were offered different wines to taste, but she did a little bit more than just "tasting."

"It works for Fenix, doesn't it...?" She quietly told herself before taking another gulp.

Unexpectedly the crab apple wine was delicious; since its sweetened with honey. She thinks it might even be used as seasoning for some of the pastries. 

And the rest of food was almost to die for! The meat was heavily salted or smoked to keep from spoiling as fast. There's also pork, chicken, beef, fish, and even pigeon. Well, she wasn't so sure about trying the last one. 

While dining, she admires the outfits cluttering the floor. Some wore masks, some wore outrageous ones. But it was apparent that an animal theme was the most popular amongst them. 

Then she wasn't sure how to react when a man approached her. He was wearing a black surcoat with a golden trim and a pair of black trousers. Cleanly shaven, with his long black hair neatly tied back into a ponytail. He looked good, but by far he’s actually the only ordinary looking person here; according to the party's standards. 

"You should eat up while we're here." He suggested.

"Do I know - wait a second... is that you Fenix?" She nearly choked on her drink. 

"Who else in their right mind would talk to yah?" Fenix chuckled. 

"It's quite an improvement. Too bad they couldn't improve the upstairs." Blazerine laughed. 

"That's only cause somebody like you can't reach em." Fenix gave her a light jab to the head; accompanied by a twisting motion. 

"Look... I...- thanks, you know." Blazerine struggled to formulate a sentence. 

"You can thank me by helping me represent Sinner at his trial tomorrow, but for now..." He shortly paused to let out a burp, "Let's show these bastards how to dance." 

"You're drunk, aren't you?" She eyed him closely. 

"When am I never?" He winked back. 

Fenix grabbed her by the arm and led her astray. She looked back at Lyrist with that please help me; kind of expression. But all, he did in return, was give an approval with a smile.

The second Fenix found a comfortable enough space, he intertwined their hands together before pulling her in close. 

"Just follow my lead." He told her. 

"S-sure.'' She replied with a bit of hesitation. 

Fenix knew she didn't know any "formal' dances. And every now and then he saw her divert her gaze to the floor, making sure not to accidentally step on her dress nor his feet. So he decided to take the initiative. 

Without any warning, he redirected the dance by skipping along. It didn't make any sense at all, but it was still fun nonetheless. 

And to aid to their madness, Lyrist took over a musician’s fiddle and started playing a wild upbeat.

"Did I ever tell you that you're crazy - the right kind of crazy." Blazerine laughed. 

"I reckon you've finally learned the ways of the Fenix; right as he takes flight." Fenix bragged during his ornamented spins and turns, along with other feats of virtuosity. 

To their surprise, the crowd wasn't dumbfounded by their actions. If anything they cheered them on, and some even decide to join in. 

Elena redirected her attention back to the masked man and pouted, "Can you believe it? My father is allowing such vulgarity! How can anyone call this entertainment? And - and - now this barbaric dance! It's unheard of - its - it's nerve wrecking!" 

The masked man simply wandered off into the crowd without saying a single word. 

"He blew me off... like I'm merely a peasant girl!" She growled while snatching a goblet from an innocent bystander.

She ended up chugging all of its contents right before throwing it at the nearest servant, decking her right in the face. 

The queen watched her daughter's rational behavior from her throne; a slight lower platform than the king’s. She's also holding her new bundle of joy since the ball, was thrown in his honor after all. And yet she wouldn't be staying for too long due to the fact that she's exhausted. 

"Darlin' our daughter is out of control again." She pointed out.

King Lucien shook his head and sighed, "What am I going to do with that girl?" 

Suddenly Ge and Mini represented themselves to the king and queen. 

Ge: "Well we'll tell you what - " 

Mini: "You're not going to do!"

A particular pop was heard as their heads dropped down and landed onto the floor. 

Ge: "Lose- "

Mini: "A head!" 

Ge kicked his brother animated head across the room. Which in result, caused a couple of frightening guests to disburse. 

Halfway through the dance, Fenix and Blazerine parted ways, exchanging partners from one to another. She went through mask after mask, until Sir Emmanuel showed up. 

"We meet again." He delightfully smiled.

"Y-yeah..." She replied. 

Although he seemed happy to see her, his smile quickly fades away. It was obvious to her now that he mean business, but she didn't have the slightest clue of what kind it may be. 

"We'll have to skip the formalities for now, so I can get straight to the point. I highly recommend you leave before tomorrow's trial. I cannot tell you why, but I am warning you." He told her. 

From across the room, Lyrist's eyes were solely locked upon Blazerine and Sir Emmanuel. He directly pinpointed his listener’s ability, trying to pry anything that could be possibly useful. However the most he got in return is a sharp pain, and his concentration is constantly being broken by the group of female humans; whom gathered around him, not only to admire his skillful playing, but mostly his alluring appearance.

Sir Emmanuel raised Blazerine hand and simply kissed it right before abandoning her on the dance floor. 

Momentarily she stood there, knowing she is now facing a new dilemma. What it was, she did not know. Should she stay around to find out? Or would it make her seem suspicious for leaving? Whatever decision she makes, she knew it was one she could not make alone. 

She exhaled a deep breath while making her way back to Lyrist. As she was about to reach him, a man in a falcon mask had cut her off. He extended his hand out to her; wanting to dance. 

She kindly declines and moves on. But strangely enough he didn't allow her to. He stepped to the left, blocking her path in order to prevent her from passing him. 

Blazerine didn't actually say anything, but her arched eyebrow had said it all. 

"You'll dance with every man here except me?" He asked. 

"What's it to ya anyway?" She cringed a bit, because it sounded awfully a lot like something Fenix would say. 

"A lady needs to know how to properly dance." He insisted.

"Well... I -" She felt a sudden force push her from behind, causing her to stumble straight into his arms. Their lips would have touched if he didn't deliberately turn his head just in time.

She looked back to see who was responsible. The gentleman apologized once or twice before returning to his dance partner.  

The masked man glance down at Blazerine; who embarrassingly asked, "Leon is that you?"

"Leon? For you I could be, if that's what you desire." He smiled. 

"W-what?" Blazerine blurted out of puzzlement.

Frustration overtook her quickly, and yet at the same time she realized she's still close to him; too close. So she stepped back and calmly said, "If you want to hide behind your helmet, and now this mask, then so be it."

While walking away she mumbled, "He doesn't have to act so weird about it though." 

She was angry, sure, but again… she didn't want to give him the satisfaction. Although after she noticed Fenix and Lyrist enjoying themselves, her anger subsides. 

She decides to hold off about mentioning the incident until after the party. It's at least the most she could do; let them all have fun, even if its just for a few hours. 

A slight smile crosses her lips as she watches them for a moment before heading out the banquet hall. While returning to her room, she's caught off by no one other than Leon. 

"Weren't you - huh..." The words slipped out faster than she could process. 

For a second she awkwardly stared at him, unsure if he had somehow rushed to change back into his armor. But the more she thought about it, the more impossible it seemed. 

Leon questioned her strange behavior, which eventually led them back into her room to talk privately. 

When they are alone, Blazerine paced back and forth along the floor. She was talking so fast that it’s too hard for Leon to keep up or make any sense out of it. 

"Slow down!" He pleaded. 

She paused only to take a deep breath, and tried explaining once again, but more slowly this time around,

"Something weird is going on okay? Sir Emmanuel told me I should leave before tomorrow's trial. He said he couldn't tell me why though." 

"Is that all?" Leon simply asked. 

"What do you mean 'is that all?' You think he's lying? He doesn't have a reason to lie to me or any of us. I don't believe he would just randomly -"

She suddenly ceased her breath, because it was apparent that he’s only half listening to the rest of the things she had to say. He’s too preoccupied with looking out the window. 

"Is this some kind of ploy you and Fenix are brewing?" He questioned her intentions. 

"Ploy?" She repeated back, "You really think I would start lying to you now after everything?"

"I'm pretty sure you don't want me to answer that question, but since you asked, I'll tell you." He said calmly, though he felt the anger rise within him. 

He took a step towards her and stared with an expression that was certainly not of the friendly variety. 

"I - I can't believe I'm hearing this." She told him.

"I already can see it!" He argued.

"See what?!" She cried.

"FENIX! The way you look at him - you - you've become a harlot, Blazerine. That is who you are now and who you'll ever be. My biggest regret is that I didn't see it sooner. I've could have stopped it!

Leon' voice was controlled, which was always dangerous. He knew that it was only a matter of time before the anger took complete control over him and he would blurt out things he didn't ever want Blazerine to know. 

For example, in this particular case he was only seconds away from telling her he had intended to mention earlier that she's making him question his allegiance. 

"Because I...." He paused, trying to choose his words carefully and also waiting for the anger to subside.

Blazerine wasn't entirely sure why she felt like crying. Was it because she was called her a slut? No. Was it because he's yelling at her? No, its because he didn't believe her. 

"I'm not going to fall for it, got it? I will see this trial through no matter what any of you think or say." He said, finishing his sentence. 

He took another deep breath, "And if you dare leave before the trial, be prepared to have your very own." 

Was it weird that the tongue-lashing Leon was giving her actually hurt him, too? He felt that she didn't deserve to be in receipt of such harsh words, but at the same time, she deserved to feel his pain. She deserved to know that her actions were hurting him the same way his words were hurting her. 

Because he couldn't tell her how he felt outright, she deserved to at least experience a fraction of the pain she had caused him. For a moment, something flickered in his eyes: sorrow? Remorse? Something like that… but then it disappeared, and what replaced it was the anger he felt. But now the anger wasn't directed at her, but himself. Not only was he angry at himself for hurting her, he was angry at himself for feeling bad about it. 'She deserved it,' he told himself. 'She deserved everything that was coming to her.

As he made his way to the door, he stopped to look back at her, then he left. 

----

The next day… the trial had begun in the busy plaza. Under King Lucien’s law, each accused person would be heard by a panel of honorable men who have taken an oath to judge the accused fairly. These men were chosen by the kingdom’s people. Not one single member has ever broken the law beforehand. 

Sinner; bonded by chains, stepped up into this little box that has an opening in the back. Blazerine presumes its a placeholder for the defendant's stand. 

In the plaintiff's stand; The king’s messenger unravels a parchment and announces, "Here-e, here-e Emerick Spencer; a fellow member of the Blood pack is being accused of the following counts; 

Pillaging,
Kidnapping,
Thievery,  

And numerous amounts of murder. How do you plead?"

Sinner was quick to say, "Guilty." 

Throughout the crowd, there were gasps of confusion, and even joy, but all of them went silent as soon as he said, "Guilty... of not exploiting the witch." 

"Who is this "witch" you speak of?" King Lucien demands to know. 

"The Guardian... she used her witchcraft to conquer them - ALL OF THEM! You can even ask one of your trustworthy knights; Sir Emmanuel." He insisted.

King Lucien turned to Sir Emmanuel, "Is this true?" He asked. 

Sir Emmanuel lowered his head when he said, "When I arrived everyone was dead, but that doesn't mean -" 

Fenix suddenly yelled, "Most of em bastards fled before Sir Emmanuel even got there!" 

Chaos broken out in the crowd, their voices; some louder than others could be heard, 

"A mere woman couldn't have the strength to take out that many men alone." 

"One of her companions is a Templar from Norman Church; the very same one of John Damus."

"She must be the reincarnation of Damus; the guardian who betrayed the rest." 

"Can you prove this claim?" King Lucien questioned him. 

"Remove that head visor of hers - it'll be all the proof you'll ever need." Sinner declared. 

Blazerine couldn't believe what was happening. On the outside, she looks calm and collective, but on the inside she’s terrified. 

"This must be what Sir Emmanuel meant by leaving before the trial takes place." She quietly said under her breath. 

In the back of her mind, she kept trying to go over why Sinner was doing this. Was it because he's so desperate to save his own life or is there something else to it? 

"He speaks the truth!" Elena busted out into tears, "She - she threaten me! If I told anyone she would kill not only me but my mother - my own mother..." 

The crowd gasped in awe by the turn of events. 

Leon has wondered many times, why Blazerine never takes her head visor off. Sometimes he brushed off, thinking it’s only because she's too afraid to let her guard down. Although he wanted the truth, he needed to know. Before the conversation could continue, he snatched Blazerine's sunglasses off. 

He was in shock.... that bashful bandit, he saw, was no longer standing before him. He instantly felt a terrible sense of dread, as if though there was something deeply unnatural about her. 

Her eyes, which had been staring; devoid of any emotion other than disconnected, and cold; were completely black, no color whatsoever, no pupils.

He felt an extremely strong need to get away from her as quickly as possible because it's the same way his mother looked right before she died.

The unwavering feeling had spread to the crowd of onlookers. They saw something almost predatory about her, almost like she's homing in on prey while she stood there, so still. Some backed up in fear, some began throwing anything they could grab at her.

"This is for threatening our princess!" Someone shouted. 

"She's behind the black mark of death; she's the creator!" Someone else had bellowed, "The witch will doom us all! Doom us all!" 

"Is it contagious!?" A woman cried. 

A stone graze Blazerine’s left cheek and then another splits open her lower lip. Not once did she ever lift a finger to block any of the oncoming objects. 

Fenix stepped out in front of her to shield her body as much as he could.

Blazerine kept thinking; What will he do when the guards are sent after me next? Will he suffer the same fate as I?

She looked at him to Lyrist, and then lastly Leon. 

'Will they all suffer because of me? I would rather die before that ever happens. They have their whole lives ahead of them. And me... well I wasn't suppose to exist here in the first place. What can I do to get their lives spared? I don't - I don't know anything about witches.' 

King Lucien stated the following, "Apprehend her at once! I will not let my kingdom fall under over one measly girl. Make sure her eyes do not see the light of day until she confesses whether or not she is indeed a witch or the reincarnation of John Damus." 

Blazerine was more than willingly to go freely without a fight. However, Fenix and Lyrist wouldn't let her. The fistfight between them and the guards came to an end quickly though. They should have known the outcome before it even started. Considering they weren't permitted to carry weapons during the trial, so they were not only unarmed, but outnumbered as well. 

"No - no - look what have you done Leo!" Fenix cried. 

"What about her followers?" A man asked from the crowd.

"They should all be punished!" Another man exclaimed. 

"No harm shall come to her companions until further notice. For they've been captivated by her corruption. For now they shall remain locked up and contained - where Archbishop Lucius is able to cleanse them from whatever hold she has held over upon them.

Also, send word back to Norman Church to inform the headmaster what one of  their Templar's has been doing in his time of absence." 

Suddenly a dirty potato sack is being pulled down over Blazerine's head. Before it completely blinds her sight, the last very thing, she saw, was Leon. The guards didn't even bother taking him by force because he stood there and did absolutely nothing. 

Then the weight of a blunt object completely knocks her senseless. She collapses to the floor before the guards bound her wrists together. 

Falling in and out of consciousness, Blazerine tries to figure out where she’s being dragged off to. Although she saw nothing… the things, she heard, was a clear enough indication of what lies ahead. 

Tortured screams of men in agonizing pain. One voice nearby is desperately pleading out for help. The worse thing about hearing someone crying out for you. Is when they no longer could be heard. 

She felt like she is returning to the one place she dreads the most; a mental health facility. Every time she opened her eyes, a vivid image of the mental ward keeps appearing. She wasn't sure why. Maybe it’s just her eyes trying to filter for the absence of sight. 

----

The year 2125.... 

An oriental man; who goes by the name of Roach, exits a small shuttle. Born a mute, he's unable to speak a single word. Still he has many other ways of expressing himself. For an example; his spiky hair is yellow on the left and is green on the right. This also coordinates with his color contact lenses, which consist of the same two colors, but they separate down the middle. He wasn't even dressed properly for work, but he usually never is. He prefers wearing a black leather jacket with baggy washed out green trousers, which are covered in retro bike chains, dangling out from his pockets. But most of all his pair of golden goggles. He never leaves home without them. 

For whatever reason; the shuttle's engine was acting up. He yanked the hood open, regardless of how hot it was.  He didn't give much thought about the problem, so he kicked it as hard as he can. The engine began to sputter back to life. Slamming the hood down, he happily stuck his pierced tongue out and bit it softly between his pearly whites. 

Tabs peep his head out from the passenger’s side, causing district one security lights to brighten his dark skin. His entire face can now be seen as plain as day. He has short black hair which is closely shaven down to the point of almost being bald.

His most interesting feature is his very stoic facial expressions, which people have described him as an outgoing motherfucker, random and silly, but serious when need to be. When he has his sights set on something, he does not easily get distracted. 

Opposed to the gentle image he portrays. At times, he can be stone cold and spiteful because of his one track mind. When he is not raging; he's a kind simple guy. 

Tabs yelled, “Yo Roach-man, hurry up, Haven is going to meet us there.”

Impatiently he slumps back against his seat, that’s being kicked in from behind by Blazerine. He wasn't too concern since she’s secured by Detainee Cuffs; they have a built in stun system that activates an electric discharge, which shocks the wearer whenever he or she acts up. And yet it increases the output level every single time. 

A slight curve of his lips prompts up after he overhears her, violently screaming and shaking from a sudden discharge. Then he occasionally brushes up the sleeve of his overcoat to expose his company's computer; Irving Corp. It looks more like an accessory than it did a computer. To be precise, it could be easily mistaken for a snake like silver bracelet. At least to ordinary eyes anyway. 

As soon as he said, "ID: Skeleton Key." Blue led lights activated and displayed every single letter of the word around his wrist.

He continued by saying, "Password: Pandora's box - six, one, six, one, nine, nine, eight, eight." 

Tiny star symbols shot up all the way around to cover the previous letters. 

Even if someone heard him use his ID and Password out loud. They wouldn't be able to access his computer, without the use of his own registered voice. Even if somebody is clever enough to record him. He has worked out enough kinks for it to detect recordings and bypass them if necessary. 

Roach has one too, but his is only activated by fingerprints for obvious reasons. 

Suddenly a generated female voice says, "Welcome back Skeleton Key! You have exactly nine thousand, six hundred and twenty-five unread messages." 

"Who did I piss off now?" He laughed.

Tabs redirected his attention to the shuttle’s door, which is being lift straight up into the air. Once Roach climbed back into his seat, the door automatically concealed itself back shut. His hands excitedly reached upward for his goggles, then he quickly pulled them over the front of his eyes. 

Right after, his hands slip down to the joysticks, located on each side of the seat's armrest. The left joystick allows the shuttle to spin on its axis or tilt, and the right manages the directions. Controlling acceleration and braking is all done by the pedals beneath his feet. Idly he chewed at his tongue ring, while the holo-pad dashboard started up. It’s mainly used for coordinates and an intercom link for incoming calls. 

Once this bird was off the ground, Tabs brought up a three-dimensional images of a monitor and a keyboard, which is being projected right from his wrist, by a split laser beam and an illuminating pattern with a coherent light. 

"Hold on let me confirm the coordinates…" He typed quite a bit... then the Transcendence district’s database uploaded. "District Fifty-six. Boy this place has been off limits for quite awhile and still is. I wonder how he got us the clearance to this joint."

Roach responded momentarily by giving his jacket a small tug. 

Tabs nodded and said, "No doubt. He probably is flashing that expire badge of his all over the place." 

Shortly they arrived in District Fifty-six; it's one of the only three districts that are permitted not to have any transparent walls. This can only mean two things. 

One; suspicious activities or two; very classified intel. Who knows what goes on behind those walls. 

Tabs hope he never has to find out. But knowing Haven, whatever can be done to fix Blazerine will be done, whether it's humane or not.

Haven gaze did not waver, but he was not staring at anything in particular... just... staring with those hazel eyes.  His hands were behind his back, his legs were straight and at hips' width apart. On an occasion, his head moved to follow a small shuttle; about to land. 

He was soon joined by a figure even taller and more slender than him, who also wore a similar uniform to his. 

Tabs spoke up in a solemn tone that did not befit the man's normally jolly appearance. "Sorry, the engine gave us some trouble." 

A puff of thick smoke erupted from Haven's lips, right around the very corner where the cigarette laid. "It's about damn time." 

Tabs figured Haven lungs must be black as his bed sheets. It's a bad habit he picked up back in the day, but despite the damage it's doing to him internally, it's the only thing that can help pull him through stressful situations

Roach didn't want to screw around at this very moment, because he could tell Haven had been impatiently waiting due to the fact that his cigarette is already halfway finished. 

Haven gave his short white hair a good old scratching while his thoughts wander a bit. 

Then he released another puff of smoke before barking some orders, "Roach make sure the white coats get her out of the shuttle in one piece.  And Tabs you come with me." 

Haven and Tabs made their way through the entrance without the security giving them any hassle. Walking along, they headed down a hallway, filled with nothing but sections of secured doors; which have authorization panels. Behind them were countless of working men and women, all dressed in either security uniforms or white lab coats. Each of them was going about their duties: passing orders around. 

The cameras that dotted each step of the way only clouded that half-baked excuse. The eerie sense of constantly being watched wasn't Tab's favorite thing, but he understood the reasoning behind it. The military was the military, after all. The more intel, the better.

"Background check every single employee in this facility. Make sure none of them have been deploy into any hospital in the last twenty-four hours. Delete today's security camera footage. Delete her data - wipe it clean, make sure everything about her is gone ASAP. We need her completely off the grid. Nobody can find her, understand? " Haven said. 

"I can do that but-" Tabs began to say. 

"But what?" Haven growled. 

"She has to be register under a name, they won't commit her in otherwise." Tabs explained. 

"Bring up the file..." Haven paused to think for a moment then continued to speak, "Adelaide Haven." He sighed. 

Tabs suddenly cringed and ceased his typing immediately. Wearily he started to mention, "But that's your-"

"Switch their identifications quickly. Transfer the ID photos, the prints, just everything, understand? Change diseased to..." Haven would've have gone on, but Tabs understood what to do without any further exclamation. 

Tabs jaw tensed before his pace quickened to take the elevator. A few doctors scurried inside as well. 

There was an awkward silence between them, even though the doctors carried on a conversation of their own, until the elevator reached its destination; medical bay. 

The doors slid wide open, allowing Haven and Tabs to step out onto the floor. 

Haven rolled his eyes, "How long does it take to get one girl to the tenth floor?" 

Minutes passed before the elevator doors arrived once again. A doctor accompanied by two security guards, dragged the deranged Blazerine out into the hall. 

Honestly, Haven didn't seem to notice to most of the whispering and stares that were shot in their direction. In fact, there weren't nearly as many as it seemed. 

Some people were talking through the com or to themselves. Sure, there were a few looks, but so much was going on, why would anyone take the time to stop and watch? It seemed odd to think anyone cared so much about this type of behavior at a mental facility after all.

The doctor greeted them, although it wasn't exactly friendly. Haven suspects he's just tired. There were heavy bags under his red eyes, his skin was pale and cloudy. Covering his entire bottom jaw was an untrimmed beard. It didn't go past his chin, but it certainly didn't look attractive. His hair was also greasy, probably from lack of washing, and his posture hung low like a disappointed father. 

Haven felt better once they were behind closed doors; where Blazerine was confined to a medical bed. 

He and Tabs stood by, watching the doctor every move. Although it's a bit hard for them to ignore animalistic growls and screams Blazerine was making.

When the doctor was about to make an incision to collect some samples. Haven yelled, "I won't allow you to proceed without putting her under first!"

The doctor turned to him and sneered, "You have no legal authorization clearance here. You can't just flash that outdated badge of yours and expect people of my profession to follow your commands."

Tabs suddenly punched Blazerine across the face, rendering her instantly unconscious. "Illegal authorization my ass." He rolled the sentence right off the tip of his tongue. 

"Warning...., warning... Please look towards the monitor for an emergency incoming transmission received from District Twenty." A generated female voice repeated over the intercom. 

"What the hell?" Haven looked up.

The monitor revealed a horrible sight. He saw a humongous, slow-moving object descending towards the city streets. 

Roach knew the form; it was unmistakable. It was an Imperium Confederation ship, that turned its gaze towards a building and noticeably began charging it's laser. The entire area lit up red as its pinpoint accuracy began to fire. Only little words could be picked up from the transmission now, like, "machines" and "casualties." Then the transmission gets cut off. 


















© Tiffany Ann Adkins 2015 - 2019