You all doing well? Awesome.
I have to say, things are going well for me right now. In one month from now (9th of July) it will be my birthday, and I assume that you're all planning to get me some pretty damn epic presents...
So, with that to look forward to, four whole Terry Prachet books to read, 99% of all my school projects for this week finished, right now, things are doing good.
But that's not what I'm here to talk about. I'm here to talk about why a Desert Eagle is so awesome.
Well, I say talk. I really mean that I'm going to show a picture of a Desert Eagle, and that's...uh, that's about it.
|By Me, Hellboy. Copyright and so on. xD|
Did you like that? I drew it recently. If you don't know what a Desert Eagle is, then...well...click here. The best way to describe it is that it's an insanely powerful handgun/pistol that fires bullets with a diameter of about half an inch. That's a big bullet, in case anyone's wondering.
And it's awesome, and it's epica, and so on. But now I just want to post the next part of the story. So, here you go XD
They dropped Mitchell off back at Deus Ex Machina, leaving him to two of the other workers for him to be looked after, then got back in Israel's van and drove away in silence. Kallista still held the katana and wore the spare jacket from the Olive crate.
It was when they were crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge that Israel sighed and finally glanced at Kallista in the passenger seat. "You're quiet." He remarked. "What's up?"
She shrugged, tracing the intricate pattern on the sword's hilt in front of her. "Just thinking."
Israel flicked an indicator on, turning left down a small, winding alleyway and emerging onto a dusty road with no sidewalk. "About what?"
"Well..." Kallista began. "Have you ever wished...have you ever wished that you weren't magic? Because then-"
"Hell no!" Israel said with a snort. "Magic was the best damn thing that happened to me! I mean, look at me. I have an awesome mansion, heaps of loyal friends, a gun that shoots freaking' blue energy, and I get to kick the hell out of anyone not doing the right thing! Magic was the best thing that happened to me! I remember this one time when..." His voice trailed off as he realized that Kallista had tears in her eyes. She wasn't saying anything. "Oh," Israel said. "I should of agreed with you, right?"
"Crap. That would of been a really good time to have used my power, wouldn't it?"
"It would of."
"And yet I didn't. Damn."
Silence filled the van for a several minutes as Israel pulled several tight turns on the dirt road, and the scenery around them changed from being the heart of the city to being suburbia. Kallista's eyes dried, and she stared outside at two young children playing around with an old camera. They were laughing and pretending to snap photos of each other, even though the old-fashioned camera had no film. Then the van accelerated and Kallista couldn't see the kids anymore.
"You know," Israel said in a calm voice. "You're kinda right. There are many things that I regret that happened because of magic." He shook his head slowly. "I've killed so many people, imprisoned many more, made enemies of more people than I thought was possible, and been attacked by complete strangers who didn't like the color of my jacket." He gave her a look. "And seriously, who in the world hates my jacket? What kind of lunacy drives someone to hate something so comfortable and...and...awesome!"
Kallista quietly ignored the horrible, scratchy material that she was wearing over her shoulders and said nothing.
"But really, the thing that levels it all out, the one thing that makes all those people attacking and hating me worthwhile is the friends I have made along the way. The people just like me are things that keep me going. And sure, if I didn't find out about magic, then I would of grown up with a completely different crowd, made friends with different people, and lived a normal life with a normal job and died around about sixty five years ago.
"But I didn't choose that path. Neither did you. And so we're all together on a rickety little boat, moving out through open sea without a map or knowing of where we're going." The corners of Israel's mouth lifted in a smile. "But I like it that way. Hells yes, I do."
Israel pulled over to a modernly-styled house, and Kallista looked up skeptically at it. "In here? I would of expected that our target lived somewhere a little more...I don't know, hidden? I mean, it doesn't even look like there's any protective charms around it."
Israel unbuckled his seat belt and stepped outside. "Looks can be deceiving. And anyway, he doesn't live in there. He lives down there." Israel pointed to a 'No Entry' sign and a low gate across the road that protected a downwards path that led somewhere unseen. Israel pulled out his shotgun as he stepped over the gate, holding it vertically next to his head so he could level it out easily if he needed to. Kallista shrugged off Israel's coat and let it drop to the ground, leaving her arms bare. It would only hinder her movement. They moved down the steep slope, both struggling to compensate for the change in the angle of the ground.
"So," Kallista said, stepping around a rotting post that was crawling with hundreds of ants. "Who's our target, anyway?"
"He's not our 'target'. He's just a sorcerer who I thought I might pay a visit too. His name's Jacen Pentecost."
Kallista raised her eyebrow at Israel. "Just a sorcerer? You sure?"
Israel sighed, craning his neck to try and sneak a look through the trees lining the path and into a window of the small houses they were passing. All of them had their blinds pulled down, denying him from seeing anything inside. "Alright. I guess I better start from the beginning. I met Jacen a while ago, when he wasn't retired and working full-time. Jacen's job was...well, I'm not quite sure what it wasn't. He did everything. Black market, hitman, bank heists. He was the mastermind behind some of the best criminal plans in the world. It's rumored that he even set up JFK's death."
"Not sure. Y'see, Jacen's power is that he can know exactly where a person is at the present time, anywhere in the world."
"Damned straight. But at our last meeting, I scared the hell out of him so that he wouldn't go and use it again for bad things...and so far, it's been pretty good. But recently, I've heard of some of his old friends being rounded up, and I thought we might as well check in to see what he's doing and the like."
"You think that's how Jack found me so easily? It's something to do with this Jacen creep?"
"Probably," Israel said, taking the lead. The ground had leveled out, and a corrugated iron fence began on the left side of the road. "Alright. It's this house up here."
Kallista raised an eyebrow at the house they were approaching. It looked normal enough. The shutters weren't drawn, and inside she could see a desk with a laptop that was still running. She frowned. Papers were strewn all over the ground and the chair was overturned.
"He sure left in a hurry," Kallista said, drawing the sword from the sheath at her belt. She let it drop by her side and held it loosely so that it tapped lightly on the corrugated fence. Ratatatatatatatatat was the sound she marched by as her eyes flicked from every detail she could see inside the house.
"Oh, he didn't leave," Israel said, and a man jumped out the front door and sprinted along the porch as fast as he could. Israel leveled out the shotgun and fired both shots, blowing apart the front door and then a support beam for the veranda.
"That's him!" Israel shouted, emptying the shells and sliding two new ones inside his shotgun.
Kallista felt her legs moving faster and her body leaning forward as she gave chase to Jacen Pentacost. The ratatatat of her blade against the fence sped up and eventually was replaced by the sound of screeching metal as her blade carved into the iron with the speed of her movement.
Jacen dodged into the backyard of his house, and Kallista missed the hidden turn and had to improvise. She leaped and kicked off of a wooden shed, twisting ninety degrees and running as soon as her feet hit the ground. Jacen changed tactic, going for a car lazily parked up ahead. Kallista thrust her hands out in front and the air rippled, sending Jacen cartwheeling through the air and colliding with the car door. He groaned and struggled to his feet, stumbling away from the car and lifting a fully automatic machine pistol to fire at Kallista. He squeezed the trigger and Kallista dodged behind the car for cover as the burst of gunfire tore apart the windshield. Jacen started on a run down the road again, turning around to fire at Kallista every few steps. She waited behind the car until he was gone, peeked out, and sprinted full pelt down the road as well.
Where the hell was Israel? Her thoughts raced alongside her, and then the back door to someone's yard ahead of her blew into pieces, a blue wave pushing them forward and clearing the way for Israel to come rushing through.
He missed Jacen by inches but didn't stop running to catch him. Kallista picked up speed and easily caught up with the brown jacketed man. He was huffing and struggling to breathe. "Pick it up, Israel," Kallista shouted, overtaking him and moving to catch Jacen.
Jacen looked around, frightened, and twisted right before the girl could lunge for him. The man was no problem; he had stopped in the middle or the road, hands on his knees, catching nothing but his own breath.
He knew who they were, of course. He knew Israel Elysium from years ago, when the brown-jacketed man had turned Jacen away from organizing crime. Or tried to, at least. Jacen still did a little crime when he wasn't too busy. But he always made sure that he kept a low profile, just in case Israel showed up again.
But during this job, Jacen had been sloppy. Israel had found out, and now here Jacen was, running away from his own home.
Jacen saw a sign up ahead and moved to a small path on his left. The track led him to a construction site for a neighboring home that was being rebuilt. He called up a dozen names in his head and was happy when their immediate location showed up in his mind as at the construction site before him. He was glad now that he had had the foresight to hire several 'friends' to replace the workers at the construction site. Just in case some unwanted visitors arrived to Jacen's house and he needed help taking them out.
A gunshot fired behind him and Jacen barely managed to dodge the blue energy that followed the shot.
Just like now, Jacen thought, running into the construction site and calling out to the workers there.
Israel had started running again and caught up with Kallista, just as Jacen ran into the construction site. He dug into his jacket pocket in search of two more shells to load his shotgun with, found none, and checked the other pocket.
"Look out!" Kallista shouted, and then ducked and was lost by his side. The Hell? Israel thought, and looked up just in time to get knocked in the face by a metal bar being held over the shoulder by a worker in a yellow vest.
He groaned and looked up at the worker, expecting an apology, or a hand getting up, or even hug, so he was very surprised when the worker bent down and hoisted Israel all the way to his feet, then punched him in the face so that he fell to the ground again.
"The Hell was that for?" he mumbled, getting to his feet. The burly worker didn't answer; he only raised his fist for another punch. "Fine!" Israel called, raising his own. "I was going to trade apologies, but punches are just as good!" He charged, then at the last moment twisted around and dodged out the way. The worker's momentum ran him straight into Kallista's katana. The man slumped and she withdrew her blade. Israel picked up and holstered his shotgun, nodded to her, and they both searched the construction site with their eyes from where they stood. Or at least, one of them did. Israel's eyes were closed and every now and then his face would twitch involuntarily.
"This way!" he shouted suddenly, and his eyes stayed closed as they ran through small gaps between metal beams. He turned left and Kallista followed him up a makeshift wooden ramp that lead to scaffolding. They scaled it quickly, and Israel, still with his eyes closed, leaped directly off it, landing well enough onto an adjacent scaffold. Kallista landed next to him, just in time to hear him murmur to himself "Well, that's as far as I got..."
He opened his eyes. They were surrounded by workers armed with an array of weapons stretching from metal bars to long, wicked blades. They clung to the bits of scaffold around Israel and Kallista as the two stood defiantly back to back.
"I thought you used your power to get us here!" Kallista whispered furiously at him over her shoulder; they were pressed back to back, slowly turning as to see their enemy all the time.
"I did! This is as far as I got! All the other paths got us both killed by one of the workers!"
"Well whoop-de-freaking-do! Now we'll most likely be torn limb by limb by all of them!"
"What do you suggest, then? Any bright ideas?"
Kallista's eyes twinkled mischievously. "Only one. Is your gun loaded?"
Israel opened his mouth to whisper back, then frowned, looking down at his shotgun in his holster. With a pang he remembered that he hadn't reloaded it yet. There were still two rounds in his pocket, he was sure, but he couldn't reach them quickly enough without the workers killing him first, he was sure.
"No," he said sadly.
Kallista's eyes lost their sparkle. "Ah."
The workers had waited long enough. The strongest of them, but not the smartest by a long way, charged towards Kallista, metal pipe clenched in sweaty palms, and got a sharp jab in the nose for it. "No touching!" she called, pointing her finger at the crying man on the ground. She wagged it at him. "Noooooo...touching..."
Another sprung at her and she kicked him in the shin before he could reach her and then moved in close with elbows and knees, eventually sweeping his feet out from under him.
"We might win this, y'know," Israel said. He turned to a man with a ferret-like face and a blade in his belt. Israel smiled at the man, and tried the same thing as Kallista. "Don't even try it, man. I wouldn't even go near me, I'm so skilled. I've beaten thousands of your kind before, thousands of expendable people that are basically just cannon fod-"
The ferret faced man just raised an eyebrow, ignored the threat, and punched Israel in the face.
He reeled backwards, hands covering his own face. "What the hell! I just said don't attack me! Don't you understand?!" The ferret-faced man drew his knife, examining it's sharp edge for a moment before stepping towards Israel. "Well that's not quite fair," Israel murmured, then drew his shotgun and fired it point blank at the man's chest. Even without ammo, the blue wave knocked him off his feet and threw him off the scaffold. Israel didn't even have time to hear the sickening thud before more men rushed in to attack.
Kallista's sword flashed out and she pirouetted perfectly, catching three men with her sword's edge. Two crumpled to the ground, the third had been wearing armor and drew his own blade, a long, wickedly curved thing with a handle wrapped in leather. He roared and leapt forwards, slashing left and right at Kallista. She parried twice, then sidestepped the man's next lunge and brought the hilt of her sword crashing against the back of his shaved head. He stumbled and turned round again, and her boot collided with his chin. He was lifted into the air with the force of the kick, then fell back down to the ground. His hand went to a toolbox on his left, and he expertly flicked the contents at Kallista one by one.
A stanley knife grazed Kallista's arm and her eyes flashed in pain and anger. She caught the next tool- a screwdriver- in mid-air, flicking it around in her fingers and throwing it straight back at the man. It lodged itself between his eyebrows and he fell still.
Israel jumped to his feet, switching the opening lever on his gun and letting the barrels tilt forward. His fingers finally found two shells in his pocket and he drew them out, shoving one into the left side holder. Before he could load the other one, a worker crashed into him, and the cartridge he was holding went flying. Israel had just enough time to see it land on the edge of the scaffolding platform before the worker punched him in the stomach and his breath left him. Israel brought the shotgun around in a large arc, slamming it into his assailant's temple. The man went down and Israel turned, diving towards the shell before either it fell off the edge or someone else decided to beat him up.
His fingers closed around it and he flicked the opening lever again, slotted the shotgun cartridge into the right-sided barrel, and flicked the gun upwards with his wrist, causing the barrels to tilt up and click back into place. He pivoted, bringing the gun up as he did, and held it there, leveled at the yellow-vested worker who had an arm wrapped around Kallista's neck and a knife held against the underside of her chin. All of the other workers picked themselves up and stood behind the man; he was obviously the leader of the group.
Great, thought Israel. Just what I need. A standoff. Jacen's probably beyond our reach by now.
"Let her go," Israel tried, going for the classics, hoping that this one time they would work.
"Not in your lifetime," the worker said through rotting, yellow teeth. "And don't even try threatening me with that shotgun- we both know that you'd kill me and your pretty little friend here."
Don't say anything, Israel hoped desperately. Come on, Kallista, don't react to it...
"And so I'm guessing that you're just the best looking person in this entire universe, huh?" Kallista said, rolling her eyes at the man holding her captive. "Who was the last girl that was actually interested in you, hmm? A hobo down the street?"
"That's enough!" The man roared, pressing the blade into her throat, drawing blood. "Now! This is how things are going to go around here. One of my friends here is going to make a little call to the boss. Then we deliver you all to him, and you can go have a little talk with him. Ok?" He didn't wait for an answer. "Good. Jesse, if you wouldn't mind?"
One of the workers nodded, pulling out his mobile phone. He hit speed dial, but shook his head after a few moments. "He's not picking up."
The worker with the knife sagged momentarily. "Damn," he muttered.
"What's wrong?" Kallista smirked. "That old hobo of yours wants you back in time for dinner? Is that it? What's she making for you, hmm? Apple core and cardboard stew?"
The man's face contorted in an expression of utter and complete rage. It was at this moment that Kallista realized that she had gone too far.
But instead of paying attention to her comment, the man launched straight into a question. "Do you know how I got this knife?" He said, his anger barely kept out of his voice. Behind the man, Israel could see the workers backing away slowly, step by step. They knew something was about to happen. And Israel couldn't stop it.
Kallista struggled to look at the knife being held to her own throat. It looked simple enough. Its blade was slightly rusted where it met the plain wooden handle, which was largely obscured by the man's hand.
"It looks pretty normal to me," she said.
The worker couldn't of possibly been more outraged. "Do...you...know..." he said, each word separated by a ragged breath. "How many...people... I killed to get this blade? It's an amazing tale that tells of the sheer strength and cunning that a man like me can achieve."
"Oh, well, that's a shame," said a Yorkshire accent. A man leaped down onto the scaffold, walking right up to the worker. "You see, I would of loved to have traded stories about weapons, y'know, but I just can't really see you surviving the next...let's say...ten seconds?"
The knife-wielding worker stumbled back a bit, still grabbing Kallista and dragging her with him. "Stay back!" The worker shouted, pointing his knife at the Yorkshire man. He frowned in return.
"That ain't a knife," he said, unsheathing a deadly-looking katana from crossed scabbards strapped to his back. "Now this, heh, this is a knife." And then he stabbed it straight into the worker's chest. He fell backward and Dragona Pine, who it was, of course, pulled Kallista away from the body and embraced her instantly. "Miss me?" He whispered, sheathing the blade.
"Of course," she replied, feeling truly safe for the first time in twenty-four hours.
The other workers readied their weapons again, not scared in the slightest at the arrival of the extra mage. "There's still more of us than you!" One of them called out, and they started to advance.
"Uh, guys?" Israel called out. "Hello? Plan of attack, anyone?" Kallista and Dragona still hadn't left each other's arms. Israel closed his eyes and checked the future, then smiled when he saw what it was. "Brilliant," he muttered, lowering his shotgun. "Just brilliant."
Three Cleavers landed without a sound between Israel and the advancing workers. They unsheathed their scythes and twirled them slowly around their bodies in unison. Israel didn't stay to watch. It lasted four seconds, and at the fifth second, all three Cleavers where sheathing their scythes again.
There was a scuffle overhead and all eyes and visors looked upwards to the next level of scaffold. Jacen was shouting and pointing from up there, and two more men were firing with submachine guns from his platform. Kallista and Dragona hit the ground, the bullets inches away from hitting them. They both stole a glance at the gunners, the looked back at each other, an unspoken plan forming.
Israel and one of the Cleavers leaped on to the next scaffolding platform, taking cover as one of the gunners saw them. Israel saw what was going to happen and didn't waste a second thought. "You!" He shouted at the Cleaver over the gunfire. "Follow me!" And he launched himself off the scaffolding railing. He landed heavily on the ground and the Cleaver landed perfectly, but he didn't care. Here's something you can't do, Israel thought, aiming his gun at a few small bushes to his left. The Cleaver's head titled in surprise and curiosity as half a second later, Jacen Pentecost jumped from the scaffold too, and landed exactly where Israel's gun was pointed. Jacen cursed for a bit as he tried to rid himself of thorns, and then he looked up and realized that he had something else to curse at.
"Give it up, Jacen," Israel called, his shotgun not wavering.
"And put a halt to a wonderful life of crime? I don't think so." And with that, he turned tail and jumped over the fence. The Cleaver stepped forward but there was a scream back on the scaffolding. "Go help them!" Israel shouted to it, running to where Jacen had. "I've got this."
Kallista and Dragona waited until the gunners had to reload, then stood up with arms and hands held high.
But they weren't surrendering.
"Hey Bob," one of the submachine gunners said, nudging the other. "Bob, look. Easy targets, right?"
Bob saw them and smiled, making a show of slotting the next ammo clip into his gun and cocking it. "Right."
They raised their guns and fired.
"You sure this is going to work?" Kallista whispered through gritted teeth as she angled her palms towards the gunners.
"Hey, it wasn't my idea to stand up here like idiots, completely at their mercy."
"Whatever. Right, they've loaded their guns. On the count of three. One..."
The guns fired and the first bullet grazed Kallista on he arm. She screamed in pain, covering her arm with her spare hand.
"Kallista!" Dragona shouted, but kept his focus elsewhere. He felt the interlocking parts between him and his enemy, and continued on with the plan.
Each and every bullet that came anywhere near them was stopped in it's path. The strain was obvious on Dragona's face as he struggled to keep the bullets away. "A little help...Kallista?" He muttered, and Kallista wordlessly held up her uninjured hand. Together, bit by bit, they forced the bullets back, even as the gunners kept firing. When they stopped to reload again, Kallista smiled faintly. "Hey Dragona," she said. "Look. Easy targets, right?"
Dragona nodded. "Right." He managed, and the bullets shot backward at twice their normal speed towards the gunners. Needless to say, they were both dead and more than riddled with holes before they hit the ground.
"You ok?" Dragona said, kneeling beside Kallista.
"Only a graze," she said. The third Cleaver, which Dragona had noticed was missing, returned.
"Crap," Dragona said as he finished wrapping a small bandage on Kallista's arm. "Where the Hell is Israel?" The Cleaver raised his arm and pointed down the road.
"Thanks," Dragona said, pulled Kallista to her feet, and jumped off the scaffold, using the air to cushion both their falls.
Israel holstered his shotgun; it would only slow him down. And he would need all the speed he could get to catch Jacen. The figure not ten metres in front of him turned right, running upwards and disappearing over a small hill. Israel followed, expecting an attack, but over the lip of the hill was only a small oval. Israel could just see Jacen run past a a huge wooden sign that read in large, chiseled out letters 'Sugarloaf Point: 0.4km'.
Four hundred metres. Briefly, Israel wondered what Sugarloaf Point was- he had never explored this area so close to Jacen's home. But he pushed the thought out of his mind as he ran past the sign as well. He followed the path that zig-sagged across the hill's side, then eventually vaulted over the wooden railing of the last part and landed at the bottom.
'The bottom' was a small wooden platform surrounded by mangroves with the water at low tide. There was a single walkway, stretching to a point where it was obscured by spindly trees.
The smell hit Israel like a punch to the face. It wasn't putrid, but it wasn't altogether nice, either. Israel shook his head to clear it and ran on through the trees, never leaving the walkway.
His feet thudded heavily on the wooden planks as he struggled to keep track of Jacen.
His right foot slipped on a wooden planking that was still wet from high tide, and he struggled to regain his balance and momentum. He could not slip now; if he did, he would fall straight into the knee deep mud on either side, and lose Jacen in the process of freeing himself. No, falling would definitely be a bad idea.
After two hundred metres, the trees started to thin out, and Israel felt his breath run out. He was barely keeping up with the man, barely staying on his tail.
Up ahead, Jacen pulled a phone out of his pocket. Israel watched with blurred eyes as Jacen said some words into the receiver and then threw it to his left so that it fell into the mud. Israel didn't stop to even try picking it up; by the time he reached it, the mud had swallowed it whole.
Instead he pushed himself as fast as he could and cursed himself for not using the gym installed in his home, Elysium Asylum, any time in the recent past.
The trees abruptly stopped and the ground gave way to a small river. The walkway still continued, turning into a small metal bridge of about ten metres. Jacen reached the bridge, drawing his sidearm as he went. When he reached the middle of the bridge he spun around and emptied the clip of bullets at Israel. Israel hit the ground, a bullet almost finding it's mark on the wooden boards beside him. The boards started to vibrate suddenly and there was the roar of a motor nearby. Israel glimpsed the tiny boat speeding down the river to the bridge, the two people aboard waving their arms and shouting. It was, no doubt, the people who Jacen had called. His final escape route, his grand exit.
Israel wasn't about to let Jacen get away.
The gun clicked empty and Jacen made a half-arsed throw at Israel, then moved to the middle of the bridge and leaned on the railing, urging the boat on. It was only thirty metres away now. He put both feet up on the railing, getting ready to jump.
Israel stood, determination in his eyes and a plan in his head. It wasn't a tough plan. It was the simplest, easiest plan that he could come up with on the spot.
Israel planted both hands onto the wooden planks beneath and pushed down, lifting himself up to his feet. His arm moved in a well-oiled path, sliding out the shotgun from the holster at his leg and bringing it upwards, lining up the sights on the back and front of the barrels at Jacen. He pulled the trigger once, firing off the shotgun shell that he loaded into the right-side barrel way back on the scaffold.
The buckshot found its' mark and Jacen screamed out in pain, toppling backwards off of the railing and landing back on the small bridge. He clutched his side and moaned, and the small boat's occupants veered straight off of their path and continued onwards at the sight of their wounded friend. The motor's sound faded off into the distance, and Israel slowly lowered the gun until it was at his side. He didn't holster it.
He looked around, and, satisfied that no-one else was about to spring out from no-where, walked onto the bridge. The first step he took towards the dying, prone man on the bridge made it creak loudly, and instinctively Israel's feet back-peddled until he was standing on the wooden boards again. Feeling foolish, he muttered angrily to himself and moved his legs until he was standing directly above Jacen.
The man that had once been Jacen Pentecost now lay cowering on the bridge, muscles twitching in pain as he tried to move just a bit further away from his enemy. Israel's foot came down on the wounded man's side and he twisted in pain, screaming. As Jacen writhed in pain, Israel made up his mind and hunkered down beside him. "Hey," he called softly, his words lost to the other man's howls of pain. "Hey. Hey!" Israel called again, shouting this time. Jacen shut up, turning over onto his good side and panting heavily. "W-what?" The man replied weakly.
Israel saw Jacen's eyes closing and so he leant forward, shaking the dying man's shoulders. "Hey! Stay awake, now. I want to talk to you."
Jacen seemed to focus on Israel. His mouth opened and closed several times before any words emerged. "Oh...hey there...Israel. Did...you just...shoot me?"
"Just a bit. Did you try to use your power earlier? Check up on where I was?"
Jacen's lips pulled together to form a thin smile. "Yeah. Took me...a while longer...than usual. You...still wearing that...thing...?"
"Got it right here." Israel's hand delved into the folds of his jacket, withdrawing something tied around his neck on a piece of leather. The thing tied to the end resembled some sort of carved, wooden chess piece, but shaped like a tusked creature covered in runes. Israel held it tight in the palm of his hand. "Would of taken you a good half an hour longer to find me with your power than usual with me wearing this, right?"
Jacen mumbled something else; Israel wished that he had shot the man in the leg, rather than the torso and stomach area.
"Say again?" Israel ventured.
"Twenty...twenty-eight minutes. It only just started...working for me when you...arrived. By then-"
"It was too late to run. Yeah, I see."
"Not my...best of...days."
"Definitely." Israel said, standing up. It wouldn't take long for Dragona and Kallista to realize where he was.
There came from Israel's feet a long, wheezy laugh that stretched on for several long and uncomfortable seconds. Israel just about walked away from the dying man at that point. "The Hell is up with you now?" Israel said, looking down. He regretted it; Jacen's clothes were now drenched in his own blood. It was not a pretty sight.
Jacen coughed and spluttered blood onto the bridge, cutting off the laugh suddenly, but Israel could see the mirth still there in the dying man's eyes. Stuff it, Israel thought, and turned back towards the wooden boards. Jacen could die alone, for all Israel cared.
"I was never scared of you, y'know," Jacen's wheezing call reached Israel as he stepped back onto the wooden boards. Israel's feet stopped moving. His back was still facing Jacen.
"You looked pretty scared when I threatened you way back in '96," Israel replied.
Israel could tell Jacen was smiling when be next spoke. "I was lying. You're such an easy target that way. I never stopped work, Israel. My most recent target? Princess Diana. Her life, snuffed away in an instant, all because you couldn't kill me the-"
Suddenly, both barrels of Israel's gun were resting on Jacen's forehead. "Tell me one more thing, one more mistake I made, one more death I caused and I swear to God I will end you, just to hear your pitiful voice cease."
Jacen's grin spread further than even the Cheshire's. "Amy Hawkeye."
There was no anger. No sadness, nor rage. Only the cold. Israel didn't know how Jacen had found out. He didn't care. It was all in the past, anyway.
Israel glanced at the safety on his gun to check that it was flicked off. "Fine. Game's up, show's over."
Jacen slowly closed his eyes. "And I win."
"No, you don't," Israel said, almost muttering to himself. He ran his fingers along an engraving on the gun's wooden forward grip, to make sure that the blue energy that normally shot out would not this time. "You're a bad guy."
He pulled the trigger.
Kallista and Dragona heard the shot just as they reached the beginning of the wooden walkway. Wordlessly, they ran onwards.
The found Israel standing on the bridge, alone, the corpse of Jacen Pentecost at his feet. He didn't look up when they arrived, nor did he holster his shotgun, which he was holding down by his side as if he still felt like using it.
Kallista felt with every atom of her body that she needed to step forward and console him for a reason she could not see.
But she didn't. Something else, something unknown tugged at her, whispering warnings. There was nothing but bad memories down that path.
Instead she turned and buried her head into Dragona's arms, and saw nothing more of the beautiful trees or the thousands of crabs in the mud or the sky's reflection on the glassy creek.
"We win," Israel said, but he didn't believe it.
An epic ending, if I do say so myself. And yes, we will be hearing more about this 'Amy Hawkeye'. But right now, I'm going to just leave you all in guessing, because I'm pretty damn tired.
Also, Kallista, what's happening with your parents so far? Were you allowed to stay?