Escrita por: ~KishiNoKaze
September 1st, 2015.
Rennier City, North US.
Alan strolled down the street, heading back to the dorm. His head hung low, straight, yet messy brown hair covering his right eye and ear, while keeping his left side easily visible. The first day of school was over, as was his second day. He wondered, step after step, about the rest of the days he’d spend in Stelier High.
A crash. A loud crash. Not far from where he was. Alan went to look over, when what seemed like a wave of sickness crashed hard inside his skull. The young man felt himself stumbling, his eyes widening as he looked up to see a cloud of dust rising from the street, not much more than a couple blocks away. He stumbled over to walk, and soon his stumbling became stride, and his stride became sprint. He did not know why. In fact, he felt even worse with every step. Yet, he needed to know, he couldn’t leave the incident without closure. He reached the spot, his sprint became stillness, and his stillness became surprise.
A hulking behemoth, obsidian black in color, and around 10 feet in height, rose from the dust, eyes glowing a sickly yellow as they set on the teenager standing right in front of it. Alan felt his stomach churn, his vision blurring for a second, but soon becoming more focused than ever as he locked eyes with the beast, his brown eyes seemingly holding on weakly to a lack of courage and motivation, only holding still from a gut feeling.
“I could run,” he thought, “but… I can’t--”
His pondering was soon interrupted by the feeling of a hit to his side, a glance revealed an arm as big as his own body, and a glance was all Alan got. Thrown to the side, into an alley, crashing through unused piping and cardboard boxes, and stopping in a pile of boxes and trash. He looked up, and saw only blur, hearing the ever-approaching footsteps of the creature.
The dark shape soon closed the exit of the alley, and any sense of security was ruined by the sound of powerful claws breaking through the concrete of the walls. It came closer, step by step, second by second, robbing the teen of the street lamps’ light.
Alan stumbled back, his hand soon feeling the cold of metal. He barely recognized the broken pipe as he wielded it like it was the last thing in the world. And it might even be for him. The young man stumbled to his feet, his grip tightening as he ran forward, head ducking instinctively under a claw swing as he could feel the monster’s presence a bare few inches away from him. He stared into the void light of the monster’s eyes, and gripped the pipe harder, driving its jagged end right between them. He felt the leathery skin breaking against the sharp broken metal, and he felt the friction of the weapon stopping against thick bone. Jet black, ink-like blood ran down the metal shaft as his hands slid down to find another broken part, sticking out horizontally as part of a T-shape junction, and he couldn’t think twice. He held the grip firmly, pushing it deeper into the monster’s cranium until he had the feeling of a final break, the creature losing its balance as the pipe had pushed right through its head.
He felt the fluid dripping onto his head as the creature fell back with a loud slam. As light returned to his vision, and the sickness seemed to slowly fade, he saw the blood evaporating without a single trace, and the body doing the same. The student looked at himself, smoke rising from his blood-soaked shirt, pants, and so on, and could barely breathe through his panting as he looked at his hands.
September 2nd, 2015.
09:00: Thanks to last night’s happenings, Alan had arrived late to school, yet seemed to not be the first late arrival in the year. Strange. Still, he seemed to fit in unnoticed as the class headed to one of the other buildings in the campus .
09:20: Alan had found himself in a large court, its edges littered with PE equipment, lining up with the rest of his class as a simple physical evaluation course was being set up.
10:00:Alan was never one for sports, and the lack of sleep didn’t help. Nor did his lack of preparation or attention for the occasion. Or…
His line of thought was cut short by the yell of the teacher in the tracksuit, signaling for him to stand up and stop panting like that. He stumbled up to his knees before collapsing once more, as the teacher walked up to him, her large frame soon obscuring the light, seeming to drain him of strength. She seemed to be stronger than the monster!
After spending the rest of the class resting on the bleachers, the young man was escorted by the ginger PE teacher to the infirmary, already acting unfazed by his clear exhaustion.
The door opened to the small room, with a surprising amount of medical equipment, and Alan looked up at the surprisingly familiar face. The frail-looking doctor smiled in surprise, as the teen looked back down with tired eyes.
“Well, look who it is!” Said jovially the one responsible for the students’ health, adjusting his glasses against his thin face. “Long time no see, Alan!”
“Oh, h-hi, Doctor Jones…” Alan watched the leave of the teacher immediately collapsing onto the medical bed, his tone quickly shifting to a slightly steadier one. “I’m tired.”
“Well now, I can see that!”, said the doctor, giving the student a towel.
“No... “, Alan interjected, wiping the sweat off his face. “I’m tired of this place. I want to go home.”
He sat up, his hair brushed off to reveal his right eye, and the scar-like, deformed skin surrounding it.
“Tired…?” The doctor leaned back, looking at the white ceiling of his office. “I guess that’s fair. But you should give a bit more of yourself. Stelier High offered you a lot of great stuff, like a great education, and all kinds of support, and it’s all for being you! I mean-” He chuckles softly ”-I swear I didn’t know about you getting a spot here!.” He smiled at the teen. “You’re one of the first people to study here in years, since the school reopened just recently…Just do your best, okay?”
Alan sighed, fixing his hair and standing up, walking to the door. “I guess you’re right, and it would be smart to trust you… “ He opened the door, giving a last look back.” After all, you saved my life.”
As the door closed, Dr. Jones sighed deeply, resting his face in his hands and slumping back on his seat. “No… I ruined it.”
The rest of the day wasn’t nearly as tiring as the morning, and Alan could head home watching the sunset, stopping to see the last rays of light fade just to be met with the sound of faraway destruction and the very same feeling of sickness. He could barely wait. The young man went forward, in a feat of agility completely unlike himself in that morning, all from a raw, instinctive drive unknown to him.
Alan looked through the rubble at the broken entrance to an abandoned factory, and followed the strange noise in, managing to flip the lights on, only to be met with a beast, at least ten feet tall and twice as long, running over, each of its five legs ending in a dull grey blade, the color of its shell, as would seem to be the case of the sixth leg, seemingly having only its dripping stump left. The monster seemed undeterred by the lack of a limb, its insectoid eyes focusing on the young man as it ran forward, its wings seemingly too small to fly.
Alan could do nothing but run away, stopping at the opposite wall, and met with the beginning of a conveyor belt, as well as what seemed to be the beast’s missing limb, hollowed out and dry, with its exoskeleton beginning to evaporate as their bodies seemed to do. Still, he had little time for thinking, hearing the clicking, and soon the wail of the blades against the metal and concrete flooring.
The young man stepped around with what seemed like pure instinct, narrowly missing a slash and making the creature jump to its back three legs, using its wings to stay up and attacking with its chitinous claws.
Alan grasped the blade in his hands, and raised it, instinctively blocking a pair of claws from hitting his skull, responding with an attempted slash, only to end up on the ground, a bleeding cut on his arm.
The man stood near a broken window, atop the factory’s roof, watching how the subject fared against the insectoid beast.
“It’s showtime.” He grinned, skillfully throwing a simple summoning rune to the boy. “Make me proud.”
Alan looked up at the monster, and saw the slow downwards drift of…
“...A playing card…?”
He quickly grabbed the card, dodging a slash to the side, backed into a corner. The design was a circle, jet black against the ivory card, inscribed with strange writing, sticking out a downwards line connected to a smaller circle.
Time seemed to stop. Alan touched the smaller circle with his thumb, and the black soon gained a navy glow. The card seemed to fade out of his hands, and only weight more, expanding, yet contracting, a gust suddenly wrapping a blue mist around his right hand.
He did not know what this was, or he did, but he could only feel what he had to do.
He stood up, and his hand extended forward, the mist elongating and condensing into dust, then shards, fusing more and more until his hand felt the solidity of the grip, looking over the clear blue broadsword, clearly weighing less than any metal. His surprise grew into determination, and he pointed the blade at the monster, just as it recovered from the sudden light, lunging forward with a hiss.
Alan side-stepped the blade that seemed more dangerous, barely breaking eye contact as the other one grazed against his skin, ripping the fabric of his clothes. He did not hesitate. With a single slash, he severed one of the creature’s limbs, giving the blade a quick look of surprise before dodging a second attack, a third claw swiping in, hitting the side of the blade with a quick block but sending the young man flying to the side, landing on his back, and grabbing the sword just in time to block another attack.
Alan looked at his left arm, the blood running down and staining his whole sleeve, before standing up quickly, not bothering to dodge or parry the next in the series of attacks, just grabbing the claw and raising it, slashing through the carapace and flesh with the other hand. His left arm rested limp beside him, but it wasn’t necessary. He followed the slash with one to the head, cutting through both of the monster’s eyes. Hitting once more, he stabbed right through the middle of the head, leaning back and putting all his weight on the blade as he dragged it down the front of the carapace, ripping the creature’s head open.
He fell back, covered in evaporating blood, and having lost too much of his own. The young man collapsed backwards, his back hitting cold steel before feeling a strange warmth, but, he couldn’t, see…
4:30 AM, September 3rd, 2015
Alan woke up in a cold sweat, looking around, and seeing his bed, his dorm room, his clothes and…
“...My scars…” , he commented as he looked down at his hand, confirming it by pulling his sleeve up and seeing the deeper cut mark among all the little ones.
He looked at his other hand, closing his eyes, and focusing a little, and soon his hand was exhaling the blue mist the sword had emerged from. He didn’t know what was going on, but he was sure there was a lot wrong. Still, maybe going to sleep wasn’t a bad idea…
07:30: Alan woke to the sound of his alarm clock, slumping out of bed. Brush his teeth, have some coffee, get dressed… He headed out of the door, stepping out into the dorm’s corridor, closing the door only to see the note attached to it, written in sloppy handwriting:
Be more careful out there, you could’ve gotten yourself in a lot of trouble. Go to school, and see if you don’t pick any more fights.
Also, be careful with your new summon, you could poke someone’s eye out.
Alan froze. He was lucky no one had to see him just standing there in shock, looking at the letter as his hands started shaking, his vision going blurry and back at a nauseating pace. Someone knew. Someone saw him. Someone gave him the card. Someone brought him back. There was something much bigger, and he was falling headfirst into it. And his only clue was the distant voice advising him to curl up and wishing good luck.
He was fucked.
He took a step back, leaning against the railing on the other side. Looking at the drop from the third floor surely didn’t help. He stumbled forward, slowly walking down the stairs, heading towards the school, note clutched in hand. He read it and re-read it, ruining the standard sheet of notebook paper.
A day of school. Teachers didn’t seem important, and student introductions were brief, shallow, and irrelevant. Alan Walker, 15, born in… He was left alone, at least. He didn’t need anything else on his mind, and he certainly didn’t want anyone on his back.
Students came and went, teachers gave greetings, good-lucks and goodbyes, lunchtime came, and... Some freedom seemed to appear. The school left them free to do what they wanted around the campus for a hour or so? Sounded like a good enough deal. He got a quick lunch and headed out to look around, certainly something he should've done before. He was met with the interesting sight of an arcade, making money off the students’ boredom. Certainly didn't mean he couldn't spend a little time…
Half an hour later, Alan was met with a person, slumping over a cabinet, clutching their left eye, yet still didn't seem to stop playing, reaching for their face every minute or so, barely having the reflexes to react in time. He considered it for a second, but decided against interfering. He went back in time, looking around for somewhere quiet in the campus…
An unremarkable afternoon later, class was over, with Alan's attention being distracted by a plain black notepad, completely devoid of content. Someone must've lost it. Certainly he wasn't going to go around trying to find its owner, he thought to himself as he fit it inside his pack.
On the way back to the dorm, a loud crash, and the sense of sickness indicating a monster nearby. Rushing forward and rounding the corner brought him to a wrecked police station, which seemed to be devoid of people. And then the dust settled.
The large canine beast slowly stepped closer and closer to the very same person as before, their terrified face(minus the eyes, hidden by hair) filled his sight, and a step forward was brought to a halt. His feet were stuck. The pavement itself seemed to hold them. A hidden, tall figure appeared, seeming like an illusion. It spoke with an adult male voice…
“Ah, ah, ah, play nice and share, kiddo.” The figure pointed to the attacked person. “Sometimes you just need to enjoy the show…” And just like that, the blurry figure was gone. Alan felt a wave of haze wash over him, feeling a soft headache. Was that even real?
Alan was still stuck, a fact made more relevant with every inch of distance lost between the attacked person and certain death. The black-haired student backed away, stopping with the noise of metal. Backed into a corner, atop a pile of rubble, they pointed a gun that was laying there, a standard issue police pistol, at the approaching predator.
The click of the pressed trigger seemed to stop time. Something felt… odd about the gun, and both students seemed to notice. Alan slowly saw the blue flash leaving the weapon, followed by a blue bullet, not unlike his own blade. His thoughts were cut off by the slight squirm of the person, clutching the handle tighter as their left eye flashed in a blood-red burst of light, even if for a split second, the bullet racing forward, carving a deep cut thanks to the monster’s quick dodge, and disappearing in mid-air.
The student stumbled to their feet, aiming shakily, shooting bullet after bullet, most being near misses to the beast. They ran forward after a dodge brought the monster close enough, kicking its head and pressing the barrel against it, filling its skull with a half-dozen bullets.
As the creature fell back, the student collapsed onto their knees, and Alan was released, quickly running up to the other. The student looked at Alan, hair brushed aside to reveal a dark amber right eye, and a clearly inhuman left one, colored glowing red.
“Who… who are you…?” The androgynous student asked between their panting”
“A-Alan… Alan Walker.” He replied, unsure of how to act.
The student sat back, sighing deeply. “Call me Shade.”
Shade Revíl. Alan would have to remember that name. The two students happened to live in the same dorm building, so they could walk back together, even if none of the two was up for starting a conversation.
Soon enough, Shade turned to Alan.
“... What was that thing, anyways?”
Alan looked up for words, but ended up with nothing to say. “I don't know. I've handled a couple, though.”
Shade looked down in frustration. They were hard to read with all the hair covering their eyes. They tapped the faint outline in their backpack, inquiring the young man. “Why did you tell me to keep the gun?”
“I think there's more.” Alan answered, looking around. “Not here, though.”
“Yeah, I can notice that.” Shade replied, getting their keys as the two approached the dorms.
The duo walked up to the third floor, with Alan walking a few steps down the corridor.
“Hey.” Shade quickly stopped him.
“Huh?” He briefly turned around.
Shade gave an unfulfilled promise of a smile. “See you tomorrow, Alan.”
September 4th, 8:00 AM
Juliet walked down the main building's east corridor, hurrying to her classroom. Along the way, she found herself pushing her way through the multiple conversations of the new students, including a few from her own class. Just what she needed, the losers being all friendly with each other.
Still, she found her way to her own desk, sitting down as the boring teacher began another irrelevant introduction instead of actually teaching anything. What kind of renowned institution of learning was that!? A school with a campus comparable to colleges, proprietary of its own neighborhood, that made a backwater town into a large city, and it was barely a challenge? Juliet sighed as she took as many constructive notes as she could.
The day was over quickly, and was still a waste of time. She headed out of school, smartly taking the longer, safer route to the dorm building. Of course, it couldn't go right. A gust of downward wind, and crushing sickness, breaking her stride as she looked up, finding the growing silhouette of a large avian, descending onto the street, its black, empty eyes meeting hers as she was pushed back by its landing.
On the ground, Juliet tried to stumble up, only to be pushed back by the creature's lunge at her, talons piercing the asphalt on each of her sides. The young woman crawled back, being met with a stone-grey wing, looking into the beast's mouth as it let out an ear-splitting screech.
Juliet gulped, shakily moving back before freezing with the cold pressure around her wrist. She brought her right hand in front of her face, seeing a metal band of electronic likeness, tightly holding her wrist.
//Prototype, use with caution.
She blinked twice, jumping to the side to dodge the monster's bite, crawling between its grounded legs and out of its grasp.
She looked at the monster struggling to break free from the ground, flapping its wings. What were those flashes, though? She could see some text… Was it the bracelet?
///Point and shoot!
Juliet looked at the just-freed beast, flying up and winding up for a powerful swoop. What did she see? It said… point… and…
The girl's wristband sparked, a small ball of light appearing at the tip of her finger.
Her arm seemed to lock itself in place, holding still as it seemed to conduct energy, a soft, but burning pain becoming clearer and clearer in the student's mind as she looked at the monster winding up for a lunge.
Suddenly, the burning feeling seemed to fade out, her hand surrounded in light. Juliet felt the pain and fear subsiding, their place taken by the sweet, sweet feeling of control and power. She let go the overflow of energy, the sphere shooting forwards towards the flying creature, creating a bright trail, making it seem more like a beam than a shot.
The energy charge hit the beast right at the base of its wing, causing an explosive flash, creating a hole covering most of the monster's left wing. It shrieked and recoiled in pain, giving Juliet a perfect chace to move… so why couldn't she?
The pain came flooding back as her energy seemed to fade away, her whole body finding itself powerless, unable to even stand as she dropped to her knees. The beast sped up forward for a desperate rush, pushing itself for one last lunge.
Suddenly, streaks of light seem to hit the back of its head, making it throw its head forward, giving Juliet a glimpse of the small burns where the lights hit, followed by the sounds of running.
A blade seemed to strike the back of the hunched beast, followed by its wielder: another student, not athletic by any means, neither particularly attractive or masculine, gripping tightly the cyan sword as he vaulted over the monster's body, dragging his blade as it ripped the beast's scaly skin open, the burning lights surging from behind it once more, its lowering form revealing a third student, as they fired the shots of light from a gun in their hand.
The creature was down soon enough, both strangers approaching Juliet. They seemed familiar… maybe from the same class? She stood up, her wariness denounced in her stance as the male walked up to her.
“Are you okay?” He asked, brushing his emo hair over his covered eye with his hand.
“Yeah. I guess.” Juliet relaxed ever so slightly, looking him over, his sword seeming to dissipate into fading smoke.“But that's not important. Just who the hell are you?”
“So you just… found that bracelet?” Shade asked in a suspicious tone.
“What,” Juliet crossed her arms,” are you doubting me?”
“Not really. But it seemed to happen to all of us.” Shade added, looking at the stains left by the monster's body on the pavement. “I think someone knows about all this, maybe we're being watched.”
“I don't think it's a maybe.” Alan said, bringing back their dropped backpacks. “It sounds like a probably.”
“ I'm sure you must have some idea of what's going on… Maybe we can find out next time one of these pops up?” Juliet suggested.
“So we just go ahead and wait?” Shade crossed their arms.
“If you want to run around and yell 'come out so we can beat you up’ to see if the spy pops out, feel free. I'm going home to get some rest.” Juliet threw her backpack over her shoulder, walking away briskly.
Alan looked at her, picking up his bag. “Oh. Wow.”