Rezetta's head snapped up as she heard somebody slide into the passenger seat of her van. Wide-eyed, she turned her head to stare at the woman as she spoke. Once she was done, Zetta narrowed her eyes and said, "Who are you? And wait do you mean I'm being--" She stopped herself, as her furiously working mind caught up to her. "Wait. Cops? Shit, somebody's got suspicion on me from the drug ring ages ago?"
Zetta shook her head, incredulous. Granted, it hadn't been the best idea for her to remain in the city after she'd barely escaped being killed or captured at the bust all those years ago, but she figured she'd be fine. Her illusions kept her from being noticeable in day-to-day life and she'd kept a low profile after she was almost killed a couple of years back.
Zetta gave a small gasp as the realization hit her. When she started her own robbery business, she'd met a lot of clients. It must have been them, or the angered victims of the houses she hit, who had managed to connect her to the drug ring. One of them had somehow found about her current job, or maybe just the local places she liked to hit up for food, and tipped off the police. In that case, Thorn and Fallon were most likely still safe and out of the country and the two in the diner had just been lying. Or so she sincerely hoped.
"Fuck," she finally said, breaking the silence she'd created while lost in thought. Rezetta eyed Lily with some suspicion, knuckles white as she gripped the steering wheel hard enough to hurt. "While I appreciate the help, I'm not leaving until you tell me who you are and why I should trust you."
Before the other woman could reply, Zetta glanced back at the diner and could see the two women through the window. They were getting up from their booth, about to leave.
"Fuck," Rezetta said again. She pulled the van out of the parking space and turned onto the street.
"New plan. I'm not getting out and leaving my van to some random stranger I haven't met before before I get a name and an explanation. Reported stolen or not, I'll get into some deep shit for losing this thing anyway."
It was very early in the morning, which means the air was cold and somewhat wet, the kind of air that causes even the most well clothed people to shiver slightly. The morning light was pale, but powerful, the kind of light that causes the eyes to twitch a little, especially after the darkness of the night and of the small apartment.
It was in this early hour of every morning, or perhaps almost every morning, that Paul had to wake himself up to go to work. He didn't care, of course. Even if he liked sleeping, he knew that the work was far more important. Not just because of the money, mind you. Because work helps people, even the most insignificant. And he liked helping people. Everybody needed something, and he was pleased to give them that. That's what being a good person means, and Paul liked to think of himself as a good person.
Mr. Alderson was a grocer, a short, but jolly fellow who managed a little corner shop of vegetables and fruits of all kinds, mostly. He also sold bread, soup, some sorts of candies. Things people eat. And he was old, and, as I have already mentioned, somewhat smaller than average.
Which means he was absolutely delighted when Paul asked him if he could be of help, carrying boxes and sacks around and other such menial tasks. A sackful of potatoes is a recipe for hernia, for most people, but Paul could carry two, three, sometimes even four without even slowing down. He did it mostly out of good will, but he didn't complain when Alderson paid him for that after so and so hours. That is, after he made sure Alderson actually had enough money to allow that. It would be horrible, to ask something like that of someone who didn't have much. But Alderson, as it turned out, lived alone, his wife was long dead and the kids long left to their own lives. So he didn't mind.
And that was good.
The shop opened very early every day, allowing Paul six, maybe five hours of work before his lessons start. He needed about an hour to walk to the university building, since he didn't like buses very much (people tended to give him a weird eye, because he took an entire bench for himself every time). Still, that's more than enough time to work, get paid, see a smile on a few people's faces, give some help.
The world was were he lived. The world allowed him to live, to wake up every day. It was only fair to pay back the debt, even if he would never be able to do so fully. Nobody can.
But it doesn't mean nobody should try.
Anthology looked at the panicking mass of humanity and felt at ease. It was so...familiar, to his own world for a moment that It had momentarily forgotten. He stood there for a moment, breathing in the sounds of chaos and confusion.
It saw vehicles, bigger than the ones that were obliterated in the explosion, come nearby the burning wreck and proceed to aim a long snake like object at the fire. After a few moments, it spat out a jet of high pressure water towards the fire, and was immediately joined by several other hoses. It could see smaller vehicles cluster around the wreck, screaming loudly and sending out red lights. It took those humans not dead from the explosion and took them somewhere else.
Anthology was intrigued. In the early days, It could remember something like this happening, but It was still too young to understand. Later, his race stopped trying to save others. It continued to watch the scene, uncaring for anything that came near it.
It looked around, and still saw panic and disorder. Anthology was momentarily confused. During It's...creation, for lack of a better term, It's progenitor race were, one way or another, united. When they went to war, they were all united in the desire to go to war. When their society fell apart, they were all united in trying to survive and damn anyone else that got in their way. When the last of them had gathered long after their fall from grace, they were united in their despair.
But not these....Humans. They were exhibiting behavior that Anthology had never seen before. Some stopped to help loved ones and friends, others gathered around the explosion recording the entire instance, others were attempting to take advantage of the situation to acquire monetary funds from others without their permission. In a way, there were more chaotic than Anthology's progenitor race and It was intrigued by them. They seemed entirely....strange.
Anthology looked around and saw a collection of cosmic energy, bound to a malleable form. The Shadow, for whatever reason, seemed to be trying to approach It. Anthology gave It's approximation of a shrug and looked back at the chaos surrounding them, starting to consider blowing up one of the vehicles just to see the Human's reactions.
"Right now, I have no more reason to trust you than you do me, but if you must know, my name is Lily, and I'm trying to keep you out of hot water. That's the best I can give you until we get out of here." Lily said, trying not to let too much away. "Loosen your grip a little, they'll look in the window on the way past, try to act natural." she continued, putting on her seatbelt and trying to look as casual as possible, scruffing up her jacket a little and leaning into the chair with her shoulder until the spooks had gone. When she was sure they were out of sight, Lily sighed and continued "If you want, it could be a simple joy-ride, found with a few nicks here and there in a car park tomorrow morning, but we could unload anything the feds might take offence to finding at a place I know if you want. They'll be safe there if anywhere, I've set up a little protection around the area I have in mind with a little help from my friends."
Gabriel stepped out of the coffe bar and into the chill of the night, too late to be calling it evening now. Outside he could hear several sirens clearly, where inside he was deaf to them. With raised eyebrows he saw the firetrucks sped past, the traffic parting in fron of them.
"The fuck?" he whispered to himself. He noted the red glow in the sky where they were going. He quickly followed the machines, already caught in the swelling masses of the people.
Maya walked along a quiet pavement on the richer side of town. It was nearly midday and she was sweating under the Sun's intense rays. Tall iron fences surrounded gardens of lush green grass; each one had a long gravel drive leading up to perfectly neat houses. She heard joyful laughing from just up the street and ran up to investigate. Through the fence she looked into a garden to see three children happily playing in one of the largest paddling pool that she had ever seen. She gasped with delight and skipped round to the causally opened gate, sneaking in carefully.
"It doesn't matter if they can't see me" she thought "I'll just pretend that I'm playing with them!" The small girl danced across the lawn, feeling the soft grass beneath her bare feet. She could already imagine how cool and refreshing the water would be when she heard a low growl behind her. She started and turned to see a huge dog with an even larger collection of dripping white teeth. The dog began to bark loudly and Maya took a step back.
"N... ni... nice doggy" she stammered "I... I... I'm leaving now". She shot away but the beast moved even faster and sunk its teeth into one of her arms. She screamed and tried to pull away but the dog refused to let go. "Help!" she called out. A large man wearing only a pair of bathing shorts appeared at the door of the house.
"What is it Bao?" he called "Is someone there?" He walked out into the garden, stopping just short of Maya herself, and observed the scene. "Stupid dog" he exclaimed "there's no-one there!" The man pulled on the beast's collar and it mercifully let go of the little girl, although as it was dragged away it looked around and growled at her one more time as if to warn her to stay away. The door slammed shut and she looked down at her bitten arm, blood welling up from the deep tooth marks. She got up and began to run back to the safety of the markets, tears filling her eyes as the pain set in. Finally, just as she thought her legs would give up, she got back to her familiar haunt and threw herself down onto an empty sack in front of a quiet clothes stall.
"Owww!" she cried as she cradled her injured arm. "Mummy, where are you?" she wailed into the oblivious crowds, "Why can no-one see or hear me?" The passers-by just kept on walking though, unaware of the suffering happening just feet away from them.
"Please!" she wept "Someone... anyone... help me!"
Adam walked slowly through the smoldering wreckage, his eyes glancing around for any survivors. He had found two already, both of them burned beyond recognition, and he had used his curse to quietly grant them the sweet release of death. To the onlookers, it had looked like he had been trying to save them from the wreckage but to no avail. He had been sure to put on a good show, crying out tearfully as the last of the victims lifeforce flowed into him. An older man had helped him to his feet, a comforting hand placed on his shoulder
"You had done all you could, son"
Adam however, wasn't finished. There might still people in the building, people he could use, so he made his way to a side entrance and began his search. Even with the firefighters around him, Adam figured they'd be easy enough to sneak past.
There was little left inside, mostly a burned out crater. Whatever had happened inside, Adam was quick to deduce that it was not by natural means. Standing amidst the burning wreckage, he found himself contemplating what might have done such a thing. Most unnatural entities he had met were mostly concerned with keeping themselves hidden from humans. Sure, they might be stronger or more powerful, but in the end humans always won.
He sighed and kicked a burning clump of wood. He was getting bored again. With a quick flick of his wrist, he twirled his cane in the air, caught it in his other had and waltzed out the back. Adam knew no one was ever around to appreciate his grandiose gestures but he always had fun with them.
Quickly mixing in with the crowd Adam carefully slipped through and headed away, slipping on his gloves as he did so. As he continued to walk, a most particular sight caught in the corner of his eye caused him to glance behind him. There was...something watching the explosion. All Adam could make out was a sort of haze or heat draft, but something was definitely watching. And a second something was moving towards it. Everything was kind of shifty though, so he couldn't really make out what was going on...but there were definitly several unnatural entities in the area.
Leaning on his cane with an amused grin on his face, Adam watched, curious at what was about to happen. He could use the free entertainment
"I'll happily go along with this plan of yours, then," Rezetta said as they passed the diner. "As long as I get this thing back and you're sure this will throw off any suspicion..." Her voice trailed off as she lifted one hand from the wheel to her head. With barely a glance in the rear-view mirror, she tugged some pins out of the bun in her hair to let it fall loose past her shoulders. She ran her fingers through her hair agitatedly as she drove. "I have work off for the next two days. I could deal with this thing being missing for then, if that'll help. As for the packages, I don't believe there's anything out of the ordinary in any of them, so they should be fine."
As Rezetta stopped the car at a stoplight, she rolled the driver-side window down a crack. As she did, she heard the howl of a siren, coming closer to them. Right as the light turned green, a firetruck turned the corner and shot past them, going in the direction they'd just come from.
"Huh." Zetta, both hands back on the wheel now, drove forward. "My name is Rezetta, by the way. Zetta, if you prefer." She paused, giving another thoughtful glance at the woman beside her. "Alright then, Lily. I plan on heading to my apartment complex for the day. Shall we go straight there and talk a bit more, or did you have another plan?"
Gabriel elbowed his way through the crowd. They were all staring at the flames, gaping like sheep. Some fled the scene, their arms filled with the ill-gotten gains from the surrounding stores. He made it to the edge without incident, allowing him to survey the scene. Up front the firefighters were doing their thing, risking their lives and all that. Several more vehicles stopped nearby, and the authorities did their best to break up the mass of people.
Then Gabriel spotted someone with the clothes he expected to find on a waxen mannequin in a museum, complete with cane and everything. What was more was that he could feel that he was one of his world.
He quickly sped to the man, and casually leaned against a nearby surface. Then he remembered that casual really wasn't his forte.
"So, vampire?" He asked.
Adam couldn't help but chuckle at the sudden accusation
"I suppose I have characteristics one might considered to be vampiric"
He turned slowly to observe the stranger, a young, nerdy looking man. While outwardly there was nothing really special about the man, it was quiet obvious from his posture that he was something more, perhaps a wizard or shape-shifter of some kind. Adam had met both kinds on his travels, as well as many others, but he always had to be cautious around these types.
You never knew what there real agenda was
"I assume you're here for those?"
He asked cheerfully, pointing with his cane towards the strange...somethings up and across the street
Gabriel followed the pointing motion of the cane with his eyes, noting both the black human-shape and the....whatever a small distance away.
"The. Fuck?" He said again, somewhat more pronounced than last time.
"To be honest, I was here for that." He said, waving his hand at the flames. "But I think I'll stay for those. Whatever they are. Or it is, dunno."
A most interesting man. Perhaps maybe even an ally? Depends on his view of the unnatural, I suppose. Still nothing ventured...
Adam thought, finding his reaction to the strange shapes to be both accurate and immensely amusing. So far the man had done nothing to indicate he may be a potential threat, and he seemed to be accepting of whatever supernatural tendencies Adam might have.
He held out a gloved hand
"I'm Adam. Hopefully the upcoming spectacle proves to be entertaining for the both of us"
Anthology was getting annoyed. It realized that it was becoming a spectacle to these apes, and scoffed at them. It looked at the three things that, so far, seem to be interested in it. It did not look at them with anger, or suspicion, but with total indifference. It did not consider them worth It's time. It dismissed them from It's attention.
The Anomaly looked around again. It spent several minutes looking for something, not content with the Humans' current reactions. It decided on one of the nearby buildings, deciding to use It's powers to collapse it as well.
It used It's senses, throwing them at the building in an attempt to analyze it. Anthology used It's powers to disintegrate the foundations, making the building lose it's cohesion within seconds. The Building fell, damaging several vehicles while doing so.
Anthology watched the Humans, intent on his purpose.
Apprehensively Gabriel shook the outstreched hand, uncomfortably aware of the so called 'vampiric characteristics'.
"Gabriel, and the same." He said with half a grin.
It seemed that both their wishes were immediately granted, as the building adjacent to the flaming one collapsed, stirring the crowd into a panicked stampede. He noticed that the people who were spying the scene out of the windows started to stream out of their homes, adding to the people massing on the streets. Gabriel squinted as he could sense several of the other people running away as well.; a woman of indiscernable age with a heavy coat and the same gigantic man he'd seen on the way here. The woman shot him a quick glance. Gabriel scratched his head.
"Yeah, I was thinking an all-out godbattle here instead of Godzilla flattening the city. You?"
"Oh, I try not to come into these things with expectations. It always feels so much better to just...go with the flow"
Adam replied, spreading his arms out dramatically before quickly regaining composure and watched as the people ran about, most of them with no idea what was going on. It was if the entire bottom of the building had simply disappeared and with nothing to support it, it had collapsed
Fascinating. I've never seen this many unnatural's in such a small area before
He thought, his eyes drifting over to the young man beside him
"If I was a betting man, I'd say that thing or things over there are what is causing the destruction"
"Nice to meet you, Zetta" Lily greeted, holding out a hand to shake, while checking her watch on the other wrist. "I suppose I'm running ahead of schedule, so I think we could leave the van to get stolen somewhere nearby, then take a peek at the cause of all this commotion" she said, lowering her hand when Rezetta kept her eyes on the road, not noticing as she turned around, heading after the fire engines.
When they arrived at the scene, they parked the van in an alley nearby. While Rezetta walked towards the site of the trouble, Lily took out her phone and called a number. "Hey, Tom!" She greeted the person on the other end. "Listen, I need you to steal a van for me, but don't actually do anything, just take it for a spin and leave it somewhere with joyriding marks, it's a favour for a friend." She explained, giving the adress and a description of the van. "And listen, I'm going to need you to check up on any histories we have with a girl named Rezetta or just Zetta, I'm not sure of her last name, but she's a non-human, so I want to find out what she's running from other than a drug ring gone bad and the feds." Lily added, asking Tom like it was a personal favour she trusted him explicably to do, before saying a hurried goodbye and pacing quickly after Zetta, finding her at the edge of the crowd around a large crater in the ground.
That is....it then
It could sense the...Chaos in the streets. Such pure...Chaos. They show behavior in line with what Anthology had learned as It's Progenitors tore themselves apart. That, in the end, Order was such a...temporary thing. That the moral laws placed upon any species is a mere dam, an obstruction, to a species true destiny. It's ultimate calling. Destruction. To bring unending despair and destruction upon themselves and every other species is but an inevitability. There is no other explanation. No other alternative. It would be a fool to look for any other meaning.
Anthology turned It's back to the Apes, to begin the Entropy of this world.
The Anomaly stopped at the words, at the voice. It hated It.
You are not Trying.
Anthology closed It's fists. Around It, the effects of It's rage were apparent. The pavement began to crack, as if several hundred tons of weight were placed on top of it. The Apes nearby began to feel an unearthly chill permeating through their bones. Anthology remained in his place, not moving an inch from his place.
You know what will happen if you do not.
and YOU will know what will happen if you fail in the bargain.
Anthology relaxed. It's posture returning to indifference. It looked around It's place, noticing the general disposition of the nearby Humans and raised It's right hand.
It snapped It's fingers.
Fire erupted around a 50 meter area around the Entity. The fire randomly hurt, killed, or left untouched, numerous members of the crowd. Most would be screeching in agony, unable to bear the pain or survive without the attention of their peers. Some would be killed, their bones melted together and their flesh cooked. The rest would have been untouched, the flames licking them but not turning them into their peers. Anthology looked on in silence, It's exhaustion from using It's powers. The destructive energies crackled around the Anomaly and eventually disappeared.
"Woah there!" Gabriel said as suddenly flames started to appear. In a reflex he parted whatever came his way, effectively splitting the stream. The sharp glare of the fire robbed him from his view on the...it. He flinched as the actual scent of seared flesh hit him. Much more pleasing than his Hot Pot, and much more filthy because of it.
He suddenly noticed that he was panting. With a great surge of his will, he extinguished the flames in the immediate area.
"I think you're right." He said to Adam with half a grin when he couldn't see the thing anymore.
It was several minutes before Takeda built up the courage to move from his hiding place. First he just crawled out from the corner, flattening his ears and pulling the hood back up. The streets nearby were still crowded, but in his little alley he was safe from wayward eyes. So when he deemed it safe enough, he unbuckled the front of his pants and pulled them down a few inches. He kept looking around carefully as he twisted around and tucked his tail inside the waistband so it went into one of the legs. No matter who you are, having your pants down is a vulnerable feeling.
Luckily he wasn't more than a minute getting himself composed, and was quickly dressed again. The kitsune-boy allowed himself a smile of satisfaction at getting away from his pursuer, even if it had entailed people seeing through his disguise.
He went back to wandering the streets, moving farther away from the area he'd been chased through. Every street looked pretty much the same to him, at least as long as his vision was blocked by peoples' stomachs. Being small had plenty of advantages, of which he fancied himself a master of, but few of them helped him see his surroundings.
Though, as he moved through the crowd he started to hear someone crying and calling for help. A pair of small bumps appeared in his hood as his ears tried to perk up to hear, and he started moving in the direction of the sound. He noticed that the voice seemed very high-pitched and desperate as he approached it, and sounded like the voice of a child.
The source seemed to be behind a merchant's stall. Takeda quietly peeked around to find . . . nothing? He looked at the source curiously; he could hear the crying, and he could even smell her scent in the air, but he couldn't see her. As a spirit though, he knew she was there. Her presence was impossible to deny.
"Hello there." he said nervously, "My name's Takeda. Why are you crying?"
Adam glanced around, suprised at how efficently and quickly Gabriel had taken care of the flames. Glancing at the young man, it was obvious to see he was indeed the one who set them out...but how?
So he IS a magic user...or something that can extinguish flames...I'll need to find a way to make contact in order to be sure...still I'm sure it won't hurt to stick around with him...seems like a nice enough chap
Tapping the sidewalk with his cane he broke out of his thoughts and began to speak
"I suppose we should leave the area before people start asking awkward questions about how the fires disappeared. I'm sure there is a coffee shop or something up the road we can head to, and disscus the events that happened here more privatly. Unless you wish to investagate the building where our mysterious visitors were hovering around"
Ending with a smile, he shrugged
"I'm down for anything myself, afterall I have plenty of spare time and it looks like you really know how to handle yourself in unnatural situations"
Basaran was suddenly engulfed in flames, along with many bystanders. He screamed in pain, and immediately sprinted towards a manhole. As he lifted the top, his vision began to grow weak. Instead of taking the ladder, he simply crumpled and fell down the chute into the sewer, transforming into a cloud of black liquid on contact with the water.
Fire wasn't good for Basaran at all. He wasn't fond of light alone, and extreme heat was no good either, so fire was of course a big problem. He was severely weakened for the time being, and he probably wouldn't be able to take on his human form again until he got his strength back up. In his fluid shadow form, he drifted through the water, still following the Void.
He could feel its power.
Maya stared up at the young boy standing in front of her. He was staring in the rough direction, but not exactly, at where she was sitting. As she took in his baggy trousers, hat and rucksack, she recognised him as the child she had seen fleeing earlier that day. She looked around; there was no-one else near. He must be speaking to her!
"I... I'm... Maya. A nasty dog bit my arm, and now it really hurts! But how did you find me? I thought only animals could tell where I was?"
The little girl trembled slightly, and tried to wipe her dripping nose on her dress. "You're not a demon are you? My mummy used to say that when bad people die their ghosts get taken to hell by demons. Maybe no-one can see me because I'm dead."
She clutched her knees and looked up at Takeda with a frightened expression on her face. "Please don't take me away, I tried to be good!"
Rezetta eyed the destruction in the street, trying to puzzle out what might of caused it. A terrorist? A magic-user? Sparing Lily only a quick nod as the other woman came to stand beside her, she tapped her fingers thoughtfully on her chin.
And then the blazing fires came.
"Fuckin' hell!" Rezetta yelled, leaping back as a large pillar of flame rose up right in front of her. Screams, frightened and tortured, battered her ears as she stared at the flames. Being an illusionist herself, it was an easy task for her to rip through other people's illusion magic. However, this was no illusion; this was real. "What in the world--?"
She whirled around, looking for Lily, but she couldn't see the other woman through the fire. What she could see was something she dearly wished she hadn't been able to. Most of the bystanders were quickly retreating to a safe distance from the fires, some of them lightly burnt. The unlucky ones, however, stood screaming in the fire while their flesh melted right off their bones.
Rezetta fought the urge to puke as she ran quickly away from the flames. Once she reached a safe enough distance, she looked back to see if she could see Lily this time. She almost called out for her, but instead gagged on the smell--and the taste--of smoke and burnt flesh in the air. As she covered her mouth with her hand, she noticed a large portion of the fires suddenly disappear. Magic, she thought as she struggled to keep her late breakfast down. The hell's going on here?
"I'm not a demon!" Takeda said, sounding surprised that she'd even considered it. Demons were supposed to be evil, ugly things and he didn't think he was either of them. "And I don't think you're dead," he added. The kitsune reached out towards where he thought she was and felt something soft where it just looked like air. "You sure feel real. I think if you were dead the dog wouldn't have hurt you, because you'd be a ghost."
Satisfied that his logic had proven that she wasn't a wolf, Takeda thought about the other things she had said. She'd raised a lot of questions in a very short time and he was still pondering. He found it kind of curious that only animals could find her.
"I'm a kitsune. Maybe that's why I found you." the boy said. Normally he wouldn't tell people this, but he felt like she could trust her. With a quick glance over his shoulder to make sure nobody was watching, he pulled down his hood. He flashed a friendly smile to her as his orange, pointed ears perked up.
"Oh, yeah sure." Gabriel said. "I know a place just around the corner here."
He heard the whine of even more sirens nearing where they were. The instinctal urges of staying out of view supported Adams suggestion of getting out of here. Gabriel led him through the coffee bar, which was buzzing with people about 'terrorist attack' here and 'gasexplosion' there. Nicole's usual disfigured grin was oddly gone, as she nodded him to the back. He could see why as he entered the mirror-bar behind the wooden door.
Many otheres sat inside, more than usual, with minor wounds disfiguring many of them. He saw the man with wings had many burns all over them. He nodded in sympathy.
"So yeah, not as quaint as usual, but it's still better than the streets." he said to Adam.
"Awwwwww!!!" Maya exclaimed at the sight of Takeda's fox ears. His friendly smile drove the remaining fear out of her mind, to be replaced by curiosity. "Can I stroke them?" Without waiting for a reply she reached up on tip-toes to rub her fingers along the furry protrusions.
"They're so soft!" she laughed, her bleeding arm apparently forgotten. "No demon would have ears like these. So what's a kitsune then?"
Adam glanced over at the man with the wings, tilting his head to the side in curiosity
"This is a...safe place then? People do not question things outside of normality?"
He had always known that such places existed, places where normal people and those outside of the realm of normal could live together in harmony, working for the greater good. Adam had never expected to find such a place in the middle of a city though
Anthology simply stood there, not listening to the sight of the screaming or their pitiful cries for help. It did not care for their lives, not out of spite but because It simply could not empathize with these Apes. They live their days in a spirited illusion, somehow believing that they are special in this world. That there is someone who will care if they live, or die. That their entire race has purpose, that their entirety of their time here has meaning. That the universe cared.
But their complete and utter lack of perspective was not what was making Anthology boil in his anger. That was not what made him want to burn the entire world, listening to It's agony Millennia. No, not that.
What made It want to tear this world apart in It's hands was the simple fact that these humans were Fools.
There were some who ran, some who acted exactly like the animals that they were and pillaged their fellows as they were struck down. Yet at the same time, there were those who did not.
On one side, he saw a man discreetly, or what he undoubtedly thinks is discreetly, breaking his way through a door that sold certain electronic devices. He ignored the pleas of his fellows and continued with his work.
On another, there was a woman who kept sending out assistance messages to other enforcement units. At the same time, she kept attempting to save as many as she could.
To Anthology's left, there was a woman presiding over another. She was going through his pockets, no doubt looking for valuables as the man screamed for assistance.
To It's right, It saw a group of men approach the woman. After a few seconds of very loud argument, she left. The group continued moving, helping the injured man as they did.
The Anomaly saw all of this, the complete irrationality of Humanity. It hated them all.
You realize that the bargain is still on do you not?
Answer me Abomination.
Yes....the Bargain is still on. Your's for Mine correct?
Yes. Your's for Mine.
Anthology started to move away from the carnage he created. It needed a place of power to immerse Itself in, and It had an idea where to go.
Takeda flinched as an invisible hand touched his ear, then relaxed. He kinda liked her reaction, it was so different from most other peoples'. He even tipped his head down and forward so she could pet his ears easier.
"I'm glad you like them." he told the invisible girl, blushing slightly. "A kitsune is a fox spirit. I'm really a fox, but I can look like a boy. Almost . . . I can't make the tail and ears disappear."
As the flame sailed across the water, Basaran flowed downward, pressing all of his essence against the floor of the sewer. As he floated downstream, the chanting faded into the background, and eventually was drowned out by the sound of the water.
Basaran was more than a little confused. He hadn't even been awake for more than an hour, and somehow these people already new his location, and his weakness. He decided he'd have to be more stealthy when he was in public.
Up ahead, he heard more chanting, and this time there was no way around it.
"You have a tail?" Maya said in an awed voice "Can I see it? Please!" As she took in what else he had told her hope flooded into her soul and she took on a slightly more serious, but still excited, expression.
"So as you can change form, you can do magic yes? You've got to help me, no-one has been able to see me for months and I don't know how-to become visible again."
"Um . . . okay, sure." Takeda answered, looking around again for any onlookers. He blushed a bit as he loosened his belt and pushed his pants down a little ways, though not enough that she would see any of his 'parts'. The boy stuck his hand down the back of his pants, and when his pulled it back out there was a bushy orange tail in his hand.
Takeda held it out towards where he thought she was, figuring she'd want to pet it as well. He didn't mind at all, in fact it made him feel a little more important. Her problem was troubling, and he didn't quite understand it, but he thought there might be a way he could help.
"Yeah! I can do some magic." he told her, thinking of his illusory powers. "I-I think I can make you visible again. But you'd have to tell me what you looked like before."
As Basaran neared the next group of chanters, he saw that there were five of them this time. As he watched, they again poured gasolin on to the water, and two of the three threw their torches in the water. This placed them on the very fringe of the torch light, and Basaran deemed it safe enough that he would risk taking a physical form. He crept out of the water, still as a shadow, moving lithely along the wall to the floor just next to one of the chanters who threw a torch. Rapidly, he assumed the form of a large, dark minotaur, perhaps seven feet tall. He grabbed the man around the chest, and dove underwater before the chanters could react to the new turn of events.
Maya thought about this as she ran her hands up and the down Takeda's tail. "So fluffy!" she said happily "I can't believe you hide this."
"Well" she continued "My head is about the height of your shoulder, and my hair reaches down to the middle of my back. I'm a little more tanned than average and I'm quite skinny. My mummy always used to say that I had big eyes but a tiny nose. Oh, and I'm wearing a white sleeveless dress." The small girl jumped up and down enthusiastically; the feeling of elation that after months of being alone she had finally found someone who could help her was indescribable.
"Is that enough for you make me visible again?" she asked breathlessly.
"Safe place?" Gabriel repeated, sitting down on one of the unoccupied barren chairs. "I don't know about that. The woman outside runs this place, I think. Never seen anyone normal in here, including those teens behind the bar outside."
He leaned forward.
"Once I heard this place is a crease in the timeline, or exists between worlds, or somethin' like that."