I just want to say, before all of you go crazy and ask where the hell you are in this part, well, no-one except Israel (my character) and Aquila Felis are in this part.
YES, i can understand why u are screaming in rage right now, but i had to have the first part start off like this. The whole point is that i'm not going to be doing little things and ignoring everyone. instead, i will be doing a bit from everyone, enough so that evry person is included.
the reason why Aquila is in this first part is that even tho Kallista posted her bio first and Aquila second, i still had to think of a power for Kallista. And Aquila as a shapeshifter fits right into the first few bits. And then after i had started writing, Skylara said that she was a shapeshifter as well. that just means that later on there will be a lot of conflicts between them, backstabs etc.
NOW. On to the story:
Israel Elysium leant against the bus stop sign, glad that the bus station had a huge veranda. He wrapped his coat tighter around him, fighting the cold that winter brought.
He drew in a great breath and blocked all distractions from himself. Navigating the depths of his mind, he found what could be described as stairs to an old and forgotten attic. He ‘climbed’ the stairs and entered the haven of magic locked deep within the fortress that was his brain. Releasing his breath, he focused, reaching out into the future. He read his own, saw what he had to do, and sighed. Why was he always the one to help those without his foresight? He knew deep down that he could ignore these people if he wanted to, but trouble seemed to follow those around him. Speaking about trouble…
The young child stomped across the bus lane, to the other side, and back again. He narrowly missed bus’s fifty times his size, yet still walked on, overconfidence in his stride. The boy’s parent, an old mother who sat at the bench smoking, saw him and ignored the fact that her son was in danger.
Israel read the future, just to be sure, and then intercepted the child from certain death.
“Stop,” said Israel, grabbing the boy’s shoulders. The mother was looking in the other direction. But Israel had timed it perfectly and she would not look around until he was gone.
“Why?” replied the boy. “It’s fun.”
“See what I see, and then you’ll understand,” said Israel, and he felt the magic course down his arms and travel to the boy’s mind. The child stood back instinctively, but it was too late. The vision of a bus smashing into his body replayed itself dozens of times inside his little head, just as Israel had intended. It was one of the most likely possibilities, Israel thought as he stood and walked away. The mother looked up just in time to see her own son trip over his feet and land face down on the sidewalk. A huge bus, the one that could have ended him, rushed past, and the boy stumbled over to the seat, crying.
There was a scream and instantly Israel’s hand went to the double barrel sawn-off shotgun in the leg strap under his jacket. He sprinted to the commotion, the feel of the wooden handle somewhat comforting.
Two men, one a bus driver with dark sunglasses, the other a scruffy-haired wreck, were fighting by the sliding door of a bus. The passengers were constantly screaming, and Israel rushed forward to help. Without thinking or stopping to read the future, his foot snapped out, catching the scruffy-haired man in the chest. He didn’t get back up from the ground. There was clapping from the bus but Israel ignored it and turned to the bus driver.
“Are you alright?” Israel asked him. The driver’s glasses had fallen and he was facing the other way.
“Oh, I, uh…Yeah, I’m good,” said the bus driver in a thick, Southern drawl. He bent low to pick up the sunglasses. Something clicked in Israel’s mind, and he grabbed the driver’s wrist, stopping him from placing the glasses back on his head.
“Wait.” Israel stared at the man. “Look at me.”
Billy-Ray Sanguine turned and smiled at Israel, showing off the two dark holes where his eyes had been.
“Hot damn,” he said, drawing his feet together. “I daresay I’ve been sprung.”
And with that, he disappeared into the ground, making a final lunge for the scruffy-haired man and then saluting Israel on his way down, leaving Israel without a clue and a bus full of mortals.
There was a furry creature on the bus. It hadn’t meant to be there, but it was, so there was nothing it could do about the loud sounds around it. It stepped down lightly from its perch, weaving in-between frightened passenger’s legs. It padded along; it’s sleek brown fur matching its brown eyes perfectly. It was a cat, or at least, it appeared to be.
It exited the bus, moving towards the man she knew as Israel Elysium. He was crouching over the unconscious body of a scruffy man, contemplating all the ways to lift him onto his shoulder. He looked up when she approached.
“Oh,” he said, frowning. “Why are you here?”
The cat stopped moving and started licking its paw, smoothing down the hair on its head. Then, before all of the civilians present, she changed form, shape-shifting into a brown-haired, brown-eyed 17 year old, fixing her hair the same way she had moments ago in cat-form. Minus the licking, of course.
“Good to see you too, Israel,” replied Aquila Felis, placing her hands in the pockets of a teenager’s jacket.
The bus was quiet now. Everyone just stared at the girl who had seemingly been a cat thirty seconds ago. Then the penny dropped and they started screaming again.
“Oh, hell. Did you have to do that right in front of them?”
Aquila blushed. “It’s not my fault they looked! If they were smart, they would have kindly faced the other way while I changed.”
Israel sighed. “I sure could use Geoffrey Scrutinous’ power right now. Oh well. Would you mind giving me a hand?”
Aquila obliged, grabbing the man’s legs while Israel held his shoulders.
“So what happened? All I saw was the bus driver stepped out of the bus and attacked this guy.”
“Yeah, well the bus driver was Sanguine. And for some reason, he wants this man,” answered Israel. They entered the car park and moved towards a white van. He fished out the keys from his pocket and they loaded the man into the back of the car. Israel hopped into the driver’s seat and Aquila sat in the passenger seat. Israel started the engine, checked the review mirrors, and drove off.
Surprisingly, nothing bad had happened to them.
It took Aquila a while to realise that Israel was driving in circles. He seemed completely oblivious to the fact that, yet again, there was the same bank, pizza store, video shop, Skate Park. She sighed and was just about to ask him why he wasn’t going anywhere when the scruffy-haired man in the back stirred.
“Ah,” said Israel. “Finally.”
“Who…Who are you?” asked the man, sitting up.
“Aquila Felis, and the man driving is Israel Elysium.”
“Oh, hello. I’m…Lewis…Lewis Ryker. You are…are you…?”
“Magic?” Lewis nodded.
“Yes, as a matter-of-fact, we are. Now, Lewis, do you have any idea why a psychopathic criminal would be after you?” asked Israel, overtaking an expensive looking black car. If they had looked closer, they would have noticed that it was a 1954 Bentley R-Type continental, one of only 208 ever made. Of course, as said, no-one noticed.
“Sanguine? Oh…” Lewis’ eyes un-focused, staring into the distance.
“Um, hello?” Aquila snapped her fingers. “We’re not even finished talking to you yet…”
His eyes re-focused. “I, I…I’m a bomb.”
The car wrenched sideways, pushed off course by an unseen force. It turned onto a separate road, the wheel moving seemingly of its own accord.
“What the hell?” said Israel, looking up just in time to see a gloved hand slip back through the window of the Bentley. He tried to turn back or at least get off the road, but four black cars came up and boxed him in. They kept him moving, and Israel saw shapes beyond them. It was a roadblock, flanked completely by cleavers and sanctuary agents. He pulled out his phone and hit speed dial while Aquila talked to Lewis.
“What do you mean ‘a bomb’?”
“Not like dynamite or anything, but like a power-surge kind of bomb. I boost the powers of those around me to an amazing rate, but the thing is that they get so out of control that nothing can stop them. I can let off little amounts of this power at a time, but sooner or later, I’m gonna blow, and then all the sorcerers around the world will feel my power.”
“What, like, the whole world? Really?”
“Yep. Imagine: Everywhere, magicians will be found out. Suddenly, elementals will burst into flames or turn into statues. Adepts will be using every trick they’ve ever learnt all at once. Mortals will have no choice but work together to eradicate us.”
“When? Tomorrow? Next week?”
“I don’t know exactly, but the fuse gets shorter every day.”
In the front seat, Israel was having a heated discussion with a talking skeleton.
“Did you just try to run me off the road?” he yelled into the mouthpiece of the phone. On the other end of the line, Skulduggery hesitated. “Well…Yes…”
“Why? Because-” Israel listened in on the conversation that Aquila and Lewis were having. “There’s a bomb in the back seat of my car?”
“Ah. So he told you then?”
“He bloody well did!”
“Alright then. That makes things a lot easier. Israel, the man in your car must be brought into custody. If we can’t find a way to cure him, then we will have to-”
“What? Kill him? I’m sorry Skulduggery, but that’s just not how we work. You know that. If you wan to kill him, you’ll have to get through me and a couple of my friends.”
“That’s it then? The great Israel Elysium pledges his cause to a scruffy-haired time bomb?”
“Yeah. I guess he does.”
Skulduggery sighed. “Fine. Don’t say I didn’t try.”
There was a gunshot and a bullet smashed into the windscreen, missing Israel’s head by millimetres. Only then did he realise that the Bentley was just outside the ring of vehicles boxing the van in.
“That was a warning shot,” came the skeleton’s voice from the receiver. “The next one goes through you. Please, Israel, stop. This is your last chance.”
“People always say that,” muttered Israel as he shut the phone and stuffed it in his coat pocket. “Yet it never is…”
“You got a plan?” asked Lewis, strapping a seatbelt across his chest. In the background there was the sound of gunfire as Skulduggery tried to slow down the van.
“Naturally,” replied Israel, speeding on towards the car blockade. “Aquila, the hatch.”
Aquila nodded. She had seen him pull this stunt many times before. She went to the glove compartment and opened it. She ripped out the fake bottom, revealing the road rushing by beneath them. They still hurtled closer to the car blockade. The cars on either side of them slowed down and broke off. He had less than a hundred metres to go now; there was no-where to drive but to the blockade.
“Um, I don’t want to alarm anyone,” Lewis said, pointing at the cars lined up in front of them. “But I think we’re gonna crash.”
“Shut up,” said Israel, pulling out his shotgun. He checked it was loaded, did a quick pray, then stuck it down through the glove compartment so that it just poked out, almost touching the speeding ground. The Cleavers and Sanctuary agents didn’t move.
“To hell with last chances…” said Israel, and he pulled the trigger.