Aether's lighting form flew towards Aelita with its hands open, revealing dagger like, electrical talons. The lightning that composed the form of the beast tangled and twisted around the electric entity. Every once in a while, electricity snapped and crackled as arcs formed and pulled off of each other from the raw power contained inside the being. A stream of lighting flowed from the eye of the storm, which rotated and pulsed in an orange ball of energy and into the back of Aether's electric form. Its mouth opened wide as his sharp beak like mouth hissed from the electricity in his body.
“Now, my dear, face the god of air!!!” Aether roared.
Seeing Aether's electric form approaching, Aelita snapped out of her memories from a couple of months ago. It was time to act.
She quickly opened her wings wide and, with a and powerful flap, she rose into the air in time for Aether to pass right underneath her. Aelita pulled back her fist; a ball of blue and white energy flowed through the armor and into her crystal hand. Aelita then threw her fist down, firing a blue laser blast towards Aether. The blue beam traveled through the air and hit Aether's electrical form square in the side, causing a large chunk of electricity to shatter and disperse.
Aether quickly turned around and faced Aelita. A section of his body had been cut clean by Aelita's attack. Aether smiled as the electricity from the storm filled the hole where Aelita had blasted, reforming the injury to his electrical form.
“Did you think it would be that easy?!” Aether shouted as he was forming a mass of energy in his hand.
He threw his hand in the air; the energy formed an electrical whip, which wrapped and tightened around Aelita's waist. The electricity coursed through her body. Aelita could feel her body tense up and freeze as it convulsed painfully in the air.
Aether then raised Aelita into the air and quickly threw her to the ground. The whip unfurled from her waist. Aelita tumbled as she started a free fall.
She regained consciousness. Having realized she was in free fall, she quickly opened her wings. The wind's resistance slowed her down enough for her to regain her bearings and rise into the air again. Aelita shook her head as she noticed small spots of white in her eyes.
Suddenly, a loud noise came from behind her. She turned in time to see Aether right above her and unleash a beam of electricity. Aelita quickly rolled to her left. The wind snapped loudly as she felt the power of the lightning bolt flying right past her.
She tilted her wings as her body rose into the air and backflipped. She then rotated her body and with a loud and strong flaps, she approached Aether. She held out both hands and quickly fired a series of short energy beams.
Aether pulled out the electrical whip once more. He whipped it through the air, slicing the energy beams in half as they exploded.
Aelita formed a pair of energy pulsations in her hands. She reached out and grabbed the throat of Aether's electrical form, using some energy to prevent Aether from forcing electricity back into her body.
Aether screeched loudly as the electricity began to dissipate from his electrical being. He felt the grip of Aelita's hands grow tighter when he finally reached and grabbed Aelita's wrist, returning the favor.
Aelita withered and convulsed once more, screaming at the top of her lungs. The pain once again returned; she could see bright flashes of light over her eyelids.
Then, without thinking, she released the energy beam built up in her arms. The beams struck Aether, forcing him away from her as he floated back.
“So, the most powerful being on Earth is still a scared little girl. Without your friends you are practically helpless. What can you possibly do to stop me?” Aether tooted as he spread his wings and flew back towards Aelita. Aether arrived just in front of the girl as he landed several blows to her.
Aether punched Aelita in the stomach. The pain from the punch not only fazed Aelita, but the shock from the electricity was much worse. Aether then punched Aelita once more in the chest area. The force of this hit felt like a sledgehammer hitting the poor girl.
Aelita winced in pain as she tried to recover. But every time she tried to back off, Aether was right there to deliver yet another blow. Aelita had no time to think or to react as Aether landed a devastating uppercut to her. She flew backwards as she felt a warm mass fill her mouth. Aelita coughed as she nearly choked on her own blood. She was almost certain that she just lost a couple of teeth.
“I’m so glad it was you who would risk this gamble and not someone else. I still owe you for the embarrassment on Lyoko!” Aether said as he threw his whip out once more. The whip sparked and ignited the air around it as it closed in on Aelita.
Aelita quickly formed a field of energy in her right hand as she reached out and grabbed the whip, stopping it cold.
“And I still owe you for what you said to Puck.” she grunted as she pulled the whip towards her, tugging Aether along with it.
Aether flew towards the young girl and was met with an energy based physical attack of her own. Aelita slammed her fist into Aether's mouth as she again let the energy of her Savior powers prevent the electricity from flowing back into her.
The pair fell free through the air, Aelita was landing more and more punches while Aether delivered a few blows himself. Both glistened through the air as they came closer and closer towards the ground.
Aether grunted loudly as a section of his face dispersed, leaving a hole for the Polymorphic Specter to try and repair. Aether then felt a second hit slam into his chest; a hole appeared inside his electrical body.
Aelita punched more and more as she watched the electricity disperse and disappear from Aether's form. Aelita pulled back once more and put all of her remaining energy into one final punch as she prepared to finish off Aether. Her teeth clenched and gritted as she prepared for the delivery.
Suddenly, Aether opened his mouth; a bolt of lightning fired, startling and scaring his attacker.
Both pulled away from each other quickly.
___________________________________________________________________________________ Travis stepped into the lobby of the building. A group of fire and rescue team members brushed past him. Officer Bobseth also followed close behind Travis.
“There are at least 6 people trapped inside the elevator. It's stuck in between the 3rd and the 2nd floor.” the young police officer said. “We just can't get the elevator to budge without the power. The emergency release is jammed so for now we're trying to enter from the top of the elevator shaft and get the people out that way.”
Travis nodded as he looked towards the young officer. “Go help them, I'm gonna contact my colleague.”
As the young officer hurried away, Travis pulled out his phone and called George. “Hey, how's our girl doing?”
“You do know you shouldn’t be on the phone during a lightning storm, right?” George said.
“I know. But how is she?”
“Well... I think the storm is giving her a hard time.” George said as he peered up into the air with a pair of binoculars.
“It looks like she's fighting with something made out of electricity.” George said.
“Keep an eye on her, OK? I'm gonna complete the evacuation.” Travis said with concern for Aelita in his voice.
“You got it,” George said as he hung up.
Travis placed the phone in his pocket as he followed the police officer up a flight of stairs. The hallway of the building was dark and empty. Say for a few emergency lights on in the hallways, there was nothing but pitch black around him. Not even the flashlight that Travis carried could truly pierce the darkness.
Finally after a few minutes Travis was led to the elevator shaft where people were trapped in. A group of rescue workers huddled around the open elevator door as they worked hard to get the trapped personnel out.
“What's the situation here?” Travis asked.
“We're slowly lowering one of our rescue team members down to start extracting people from the elevator. The problem is that the elevator door is magnetic and has somehow sealed shut, we can't get the civilians out unless we cut the door, which the fire department is currently attempting to do.” Bobseth informed.
“How much longer will this take?” Travis asked.
“I’m not sure, we haven’t even gotten the door pried open yet.” Bobseth said as a loud grinding noise came from inside the elevator shaft.
“OK, well, we need to hurry. There is a strong possibility that Aelita may fail to stop that storm.” Travis said as he stepped back and pulled out his cell phone again. He flipped through his contacts and landed on Jeremy's cell number. Soon a connection was established.
“Agent Dalesman? How's Aelita?” Jeremy asked.
“She's heading up to take out the storm. But we have another situation here.” Travis said. He heard Jeremy breathe in deep on the phone and quickly responded to Jeremy's reaction, “And it doesn’t include Aelita.”
“OK, good,” Jeremy said with a sigh of relief. “What's up?”
“There’s a building right directly under the storm and there are people trapped inside one of the elevators. The rescue team is having a hard time getting them out.”
“What building?” Jeremy asked.
“Danny et Arin Financial,” Travis said.
“OK, let me look up the map and some info of the building,” Jeremy said over the phone. Travis could hear Yumi and Ulrich in the background. After a few seconds Jeremy came back. “Is that the building on the corner of rue de Gaulle?”
“Yeah, the 6 story building.” Travis responded.
“Perfect, that building was built in 1949, when the Soviet Union was firing up the Iron Curtain. There is a bomb shelter that the elevator shaft is connected to. If you can lower the elevator down towards the bomb shelter, you can not only get the people and the rescue workers out of the way, but they will be able to work safely as well.” Jeremy said.
“Okay. Is the tower still activated?” Travis asked.
“Yeah, and I just pulled everyone out of Lyoko, I can't send any of them back because they need at least 5 hours in between transfers or else it can cause bodily harm.”
“How do I get the elevator down without power?” Travis asked.
“Hang on, let me check something. What floor is the elevator stuck on?”
“In between the 3rd and 2nd floor.”
“Is the elevator hydraulic?”
Travis quickly caught the attention of one of the rescue members. “Hey, is the elevator hydraulic?”
“Yes, but we're having a hard time accessing the EMR bleeder valve. The building technician is on the way, but we haven’t heard from him in a while.” The fireman said.
“Where's the valve at?” Travis said as he put the phone down.
The fireman lead the agent to the elevator shaft. Travis looked down to see two firemen standing on top of the elevator car. The firefighter pulled out his flashlight and pointed it towards the rear of the car next to a tube and the small gears that were connected to the cables.
“The pressure has built up on the bleeder valve. We're gonna try to bleed the pressure in the line so we can lower it down to a floor where we can pry the door open.”
“What about down to the bomb shelter? That way the storm can't hinder the rescue,” Travis asked.
“We can do that,” the fireman said. “But the technician doesn’t want us moving it until he gets here.”
“Where is he then?” Travis asked. “He's not here. And that storm's intensifying, we need to act.”
“Agent Dalesman?” Jeremy said on the phone.
“Try releasing the bleeder valve on the back side, that elevator has a second auxiliary valve that doesn’t need a key or anything from the janitor. “Jeremy said as thunder rattled through the sky.
“OK, can you walk me through it?” Travis asked.
“Sure. Find a Phillips screw driver, then twist the bleeder valve a quarter of the inch to the left releasing the valve so that the pressure slowly lets out, once the pressure starts to seep out, the elevator will slowly lower, the more pressure you release the faster it will go, so be careful.”
“Wow, thanks, buddy.” Travis said as he hung up on Jeremy. No sooner had Travis hung up on Jeremy than he spotted a bright light coming from the outside. Travis and the rest of the rescue team turned in time to see a bright light falling to the ground like a rock.
Aelita noticed she was a few feet from the ground and used her wings like a parachute. Aelita closed her eyes as she felt her legs finally touch the ground. Her wings folded around her as she felt the shock from the land travel up her body. Thanks to her quick thinking, none of her bones broke, yet the pain was definitely there.
Aether's electrical form landed on the ground with a loud thud and a crackle of thunder. The electrical Aether laid there for a few seconds. Finally, it slammed its hands into the ground, the force of its slam threw Aether back up into the air and landed on its feet.
Aether glanced around at the empty plaza square.
“I forgot how nasty this world was.” he hissed in disgust as he threw out his hand.
A small current of electricity hit one of the parked cars and lifted it into the air. Aether grunted loudly as he looked towards Aelita and hurled the car at her. The car landed on is roof as it skidded towards the girl. Aelita quickly leapt into the air and jumped over that car, landing on her feet once more as the car slammed into a parked van on the other end of the parking lot.
Within minutes, some of the local police who were on scene trying to help with the evacuation drew out their weapons and were pointing them at Aether. Armed only with pistols, the cops timidly approached the electrical being, ready to fire.
Aelita looked on as the cops closed in. Aelita tried frantically to gather their attention to get them to back off so that they wouldn’t be hurt by angry Aether. However, they would not listen.
“Aelita!?” A voice called from behind her. Aelita turned to see George running up with his pistol drawn. The American agent stopped right in front of her with his .45 caliber pistol aimed right at Aether. “You OK?”
“I'm fine, but we need to get the police out of here before they get hurt.” Aelita said. “And I can't get close to the storm because Aether's polymorphic specter keeps attacking me.”
“Poly wag what?” George asked as he turned to face Aelita, his gun lowered towards the ground.
“It's a virtual monster that enters the real world through Lyoko, a shapeshifter that’s controlled by whoever sends it or activates the tower.” Aelita explained.
Aether looked around at the police who aimed their weapons at him. Some attempted to call for back up on their radio while others reached for more equipment in their cars.
“This is the Amines Police Department. Put your hands over head and get on your knees.”
Aether smirked as he looked around.
“You don’t command a god!!!” Aether shouted as electricity built up around his body.
Aether quickly lowered his hands as the electricity dispersed, knocking most of the police officers and their vehicles back several yards.
One officer tumbled over the ground. Landing on his back, he looked up in time to see one of the squad cars bounce off the ground and lean towards him. The car slowly tumbled over as the officer screamed in panic, fearing he would be squished by his own vehicle. As he raised a hand up to protect his face, a quick dash of light flew past him. He was yanked incredibly hard though the air as the car landed directly where the officer had been a few seconds ago. The officer saw the world around him speed up and finally come to a halt as he landed a few feet away. He looked up to see a pink haired teen with glowing wings standing over him, smiling.
“You OK?” Aelita asked with concern in her voice. The officer could only nod as he was still in a state of shock. “Once you recover, pull the rest of your men back, OK?” Aelita asked as she jumped into the air once more and made a B-line straight for Aether.
Several of the police officers who recovered from the shockwave started firing on the electrical being. Their bullets had no effect on Aether as they were being stopped by an electric force field.
George ran up to one of the officers while he was reloading, he grabbed the arm of the cop and pulled him around so that the young man was facing him.
“Officer! You and your men need to hold your fire and fall back!” he shouted.
“And let this thing threaten everyone else in the area?” The young man said defiantly.
Suddenly, Aelita flew over the two arguing men with a swoosh. She held out her hand; a blue and white beam formed in her palm. The beam fired, striking Aether in his chest and head, bringing the monster's movements to a halt as it began to rebuild its body.
When the electricity finally formed the head of the beast, Aether opened his mouth and fired a beam of lightning at the young girl. The lightning bolt cracked through the air, striking Aelita across the chest and leaving a glowing mark where it hit.
Aelita tumbled to the ground and landed on her side with a loud thud. She slowly sat up in time to see Aether's electrical whip swipe through the air and wrap around her neck. Pain and torment once again filled Aelita's body as she was being electrocuted.
Aether quickly jumped into the air and spread his wings. He sped off in the opposite direction, dragging Aelita on the hard, cold concrete. After a few seconds, Aelita felt her body being lifted into the air as Aether increased his air speed.
Aether lifted his arm and pulled the paralyzed girl's body towards him. As soon as Aelita was directly underneath Aether, he placed his feet on her back and dropped his body straight to the ground, slamming the helpless girl right below him.
“Look at you, so helpless and alone,” Aether said as he leaned down towards Aelita, who grunted and moaned in pain as she slowly tried to stand up. “Now watch as I wipe the ground away with the power of air.” Aether said as the the storm above them crackled and hissed, as it finally reached critical mass. A ball of electricity hummed louder and louder, ripples of electricity focusing in the very bottom of the orb. It would unleash its power over the streets of Amines any second.
Aether slowly stepped off Aelita and looked on as the young girl laid on the ground and writhed in pain.
Aelita placed her hand on her chest as she felt her heart race; one more electrical attack and she would probably be done for. Aelita slowly looked up towards the flying electrical monster; her vision was blurry and all she could hear was a loud ring.
Aelita tried to focus. She could feel something inside her calling out, almost as if her instincts were taking command. Aelita felt her body go numb as she saw the crystal armor glow. She was unaware of it, but her eyes suddenly turned white as she felt a swirl of energy flow through her body.
She slowly stood up onto her legs and straightened her body out. She looked towards Aether as she felt her strength return to her.
“No,” Aelita said as she stretched out her entire body and stared down the now intimidated Aether. “I can still defeat you.”
Aelita spread her wings wide open. Her hands glowed white as she reached out and grabbed Aether, using the energy forming in her hands to prevent electrical backlash. Aelita then quickly threw herself and Aether into the air; both of them flew towards the storm. Aelita felt the wind blow through her hair as she carried the screaming Titan with her. She lifted Aether up to face her; a long blue and white beam fired from Aelita's palm, cutting through Aether's electrical form.
The storm finally unleashed a bolt of orange lighting. A crack echoed through the air as the night sky brightly flashed orange. The lightning bolt fired from the orb, looking like a vein of orange flying though the air. Unlike regular lightning, this bolt did not dissipate as quickly; instead it continued to pulsate and flash as it arched its way down to the ground. It met the resistance from another source of energy being fired from below it, a source of energy that the storm could not absorb, but was causing it to lose power fast.
Aelita watched the lightning bolt collide with her energy beam. She felt the force of the lighting bolt hit her energy beam like a car hitting a tree. Aelita felt the force push against her, causing her whole body to tremble as she pushed her energy beam off with all her might, attempting to prevent the lighting bolt from not only hitting her, but the town below her. Then, she felt her power began to fade; she reached the limit of her abilities. She watched the lighting bolt move closer and closer to her.
A small thread of electricity formed around the energy beam. The blue lightning rotated around the beam, leaving a hole in the bottom, allowing the energy from Aelita's beam to not affect the electricity. Slowly, a face formed from the lightning as Aether's grotesque head appeared.
“Oh my, it looks like you won't be able to hold out much longer.” Aether teased.
Aelita didn’t even respond. Her eyes still glowed white as she pushed her energy into the storm's center, restricting the lightning bolt from going any further.
“Just give it up, you have lost.” Aether teased.
“It's over, Aelita.”
Aelita grunted as she tensed up every muscle in her body. She gritted her teeth as she felt a second wind hit her.
“NEVER!” Aelita shouted as she pushed the energy beam out of her palm and up towards the storm.
The blue and white beam exploded out of Aelita's palm; it engulfed the electrical version of Aether, causing the electricity to melt with the beam's energy. The beam flew through the air, crashing into the lightning bolt and absorbing it. Finally, the beam penetrated into the storm's center and into the large orb of electricity that hung over the city.
The orb grew brighter and brighter as the positive energy from Aelita's beam neutralized the negative energy from the storm. The white energy from Aelita's beam swirled inside the orange orb like two fluids mixing together. The orb's color changed from orange to bright white as the lightning from the orb began to flow out and veined outwards through the storm clouds, causing the orb to shrink. Finally, after a few seconds, the beam pierced through the other side of the orb. The energy that the storm had absorbed all this time dispersed through the clouds as the sky brightly lit up, as if the Sun poked its head through the darkness for a few seconds, illuminating the entire night sky and the city below it before the light slowly faded away.
Back on Lyoko, Aether tried everything to keep the storm's energy balance intact. However, the beam from Aelita's attack destabilized the storm's energy so much that the tower shifted from red to white. Aether was only a few seconds away from losing control over the tower.
“No! This can't be!” Aether shouted as he ran his hands through the holopanel in an attempt to find a solution to his oppression. Aether could only watch as the storm's energy finally hit zero. Aether slammed his fist on the holo panel in anger as he realized the truth. The tower's color turned from red to white, indicating the tower was no longer active. The attack was over.
“She's... she's just one girl!” Aether shouted. “How was this possible?!”
Back on Earth, the orb finally collapsed on itself as the energy dispersed through the storm cloud. Lightning echoed through the night sky as the storm slowly returned to normal. The orb in the sky was gone and the electrical version of Aether vanished.
Aelita hovered on the night sky, shaking from the pain and exhaustion, yet smiling over the comforting fact that it was all over. She sighed as she laughed a little.
“I did it.” she whispered as she held her left side with her hand. She opened her wings once more and slowly descended towards the ground.
A small drop of rain landed on Aelita's chin. The ice cool feel was a welcome relief to the young girl. Slowly floating towards the ground, Aelita realized just how high up she really was. It was a shocking revelation, to think that she could fly that high and not feel any effect of the altitude, air temperature or pressure. Yet Aelita didn’t want to honestly think about it. The only thing she cared about was landing onto the ground and relaxing, knowing that she had done a good job.
After a few minutes Aelita finally came within safe distance of the ground, as she could see people running around, trying to recover from Aether's attack. Aelita felt the raindrops fall more and more often as she landed. The feeling of her feet stepping onto hard concrete was a welcome feeling.
Aelita felt her Savior powers fade. The wings pulled into the back of her crystal armor and soon, as a bright light, the armor faded away into the night sky, leaving a very bruised Aelita. She dropped to her knees as she grunted in pain. Dried blood sat around her lips as she clutched her sides. Aelita also felt the pain from when Aether shocked her and threw her around in the air like a yo-yo.
“Aelita...” The young girl said to herself as she tried to sit up, “You've had a rough night.”
Her legs buckled from underneath her as she fell onto her rear. She had no strength left in her body as she sat there, breathing heavily.
“Nothing a cup of hot chocolate, a shower, and bed couldn’t fix.”
After a few seconds, a pair of hands wrapped around her as she felt herself being lifted up off the ground. The young girl slowly looked up to see a familiar face helping her up, yet she couldn’t hear him. The loud pinging noise in her ears was slowly receding.
“You alright?” George asked nervously as he shook Aelita a little.
“Yeah... But I can hear bells ringing,” the young girl joked.
George sighed with relief as he slowly helped the young girl up to her feet, keeping one arm of hers wrapped around his shoulder as he carefully helped her to the Mustang. The agent bent down low enough so that he wasn’t straining Aelita in any way, but enough so he could help her move.
“You did a good job, girl.” George said, trying to break the silence.
“I sure don’t feel like it, though.” the young girl said as she trailed off into a laugh.
Cold rain was falling as she slowly limped along with the George. She glanced up to see damage Aether had caused when he landed on the ground. A few police cars were on their sides or damaged in various ways. Glass from shattered windows of the many police cruisers that were hit by Aether's electrical shock wave lay on the ground.
The young girl sneered at the sight as she felt responsible.
“Was anyone hurt?” she asked with concern.
“As it stands right now, no.” George said as they came up to the side of the Mustang. George reached out with his free hand and opened the back door. “No one was hurt,” he assured her, seating her in the back seat of the Mustang.
George placed his hand on the back of Aelita's head as he slowly lowered the panting girl. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a flashlight. Clicking the light on, he quickly realized just how bad Aelita really was.
“Oh my god!” George whispered examining the cuts, bruises and gashes that adorned Aelita's body. George reached out to examine one, only to notice that Aelita gasped and gritted her teeth in pain at the feeling. “We should get you to a hospital.”
“No!” Aelita shouted in protest. “They... they could...” she mumbled as she began to lose consciousness.
George looked as the girl shook her head slowly. “Hey, Aelita, stay with me!” he pleaded.
He quickly stepped back and reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. He dialed Travis as he stepped to the left and placed his free hand on his forehead.
Aelita shivered as she could feel the air temperature drop; she could also hear the sound of rain hitting the hood of the car. The sound of rain snapped her to her senses as she slowly sat up, placing her left arm to support her weight so she could look at George. As Aelita spotted the American, she also saw something strange standing in front of her.
Directly behind Agent Knight stood a figure in a black robe. The figure stood there silent and motionless. Rain dropped down on the leather like fabric that made up the robe as is stared at Aelita. A pair of metal chains draped around the hood which hid the person's face.
Aelita could tell this person was staring at her, even if she couldn’t see his face. Her heart raced as she tried to motion for Agent Knight to turn around. She tried to scream for him, but her body was so drained from the fight she could barely muster a whisper. As Aelita felt the panic sink into her heart, the world around her began to spin and sway as she fell back onto the leather seat once more. Aelita stared up at the ceiling as her mind slowly began to go blank. Her thoughts raced too fast for her to even understand as she tried to motion for help. Aelita blinked slowly as she felt her body go numb.
When she opened her eyes, the man in the robe was sitting over her, staring down at her silently. Aelita gasped as she felt a black leather hand clutch her mouth slowly, leaving just enough room for her to breathe. Before Aelita could begin to struggle, the person in the robe bent down close so that only she could hear him.
“Save me... Save us.” the person said. And with that, the person slowly pulled back out of Aelita's sight and disappeared into the raining night sky, moving away silently behind the unaware American who spoke on the phone.
Aelita tried to sit up with all her strength, her body shook and trembled as she tried to get George's attention.
After a few minutes George put his phone back into his pocket and leaned back into the car to check on Aelita. “You OK?” he asked.
She shook her head as she slowly sat up.
“Did you see him?” she asked nervously.
“The... the person?”
Suddenly, her vision began to blur and darken. Before Aelita could describe the person she had seen, the world fell dark and silent as she finally fell back onto her back and fell asleep.
George bent down over Aelita and placed his fingers over her neck. Her pulse was still strong, she had just fallen asleep from the exhaustion.
Travis jogged up to George as the rain picked up, turning from a light pour into a massive downpour. Travis felt his shoes fill with water as he stepped into a puddle and stopped right in front of George.
“How's she doing?” asked Travis, soaking wet.
George picked up Aelita's legs and tucked them into the back seat and shut the door.
“She's just out, but I think we better go.” George said.
“Why, what's wrong?” Travis asked in confusion.
“Well, it could be nothing, but Aelita mentioned that she saw someone standing out here next to us before she passed out.” George explained. “I mean, after what's happened with this storm, the guy in the robe, and whatever that phone call was, we really need to get out of here.”
Travis patted George in the shoulder as he turned and walked around the car and got into the passenger seat. He then glanced over to his left to see George sit down in the driver's seat and shut the door.
“Did you get everyone evacuated from the building?” George asked.
“Yeah, we did. The police have a handle of the situation here so I believe we are done here.” Travis said. “But I heard from some of the police the press are on their way, and I think it's best to clear out and get our little heroine out of here.”
George nodded as he started the Mustang.
“I will text Jessica and let her know we're on our way back.” Travis said.
George glanced behind him and noticed Aelita was still out and soaked in water. He quickly turned around and turned on the heat in the car. “You know, Jeremy is gonna be pissed about her condition... especially with this being her birthday and all.” he remarked.
“Yeah, we're dead,” Travis joked as the car drove off and turned off one of the side streets, driving by one of the street cameras which followed the black Mustang.
Cigar smoke filled a dimly lit office; a single light from the office lamp filled the room. The loft of tobacco was enough to gag anyone who entered. The office was roomy, with only a huge desk sitting in the middle of the room. The desk was was made intriguingly and elegantly in oak. On top of the desk sat a small computer which ran the feed from Amines, France. The person who sat behind the desk puffed fresh smoke into the air as he watched the entire scene unfold.
“You have gotten stronger since we last crossed paths.” Estrada said as he rotated his chair around to face the issue at hand.
Dr. Kei Asagami laid on the floor of the office, curled up in the fetal position as she held her face and ribs. Her face was beat red from the strikes she received just moments ago, and her ribs hurt even greater than her pride. Tears flowed down her face as she slowly looked up. Her glasses laid next to her, shattered and bent from the devastating blow she had just received. Yet it was her pride that hurt the most as she glanced up at the two men who had just beat her.
One of the men kicked her again in her hand, causing her thin, brittle hand to ping in pain from the hit.
“Jerome, that’s enough,” Estrada said as he turned his full attention to the situation at hand. “Dr Asagami...” Estrada glanced down at the floor where she laid, “Welcome to your performance review.”
Kei looked up in both confusion and anger as she gritted her teeth. Before she could reply, a quick kick to the face knocked her back to reality.
“You will answer the man when he speaks to you,” Jerome said. This young white haired man was one of Estrada's lieutenants. He and his partner Chris were responsible for gathering the fragments of Xana's code to build Xervix, and were also responsible for trying to capture Aelita and Jeremy in France until Frank Morse stepped in. Jerome was a cold hearted sadist who enjoyed making people suffer. His greatest pleasure was to see people's hearts and souls shatter when all hope ran out. Chris was an egotistical person who always wanted to come out on top. He always felt like he was the center of attention, and he knew it. He was very much like a poison running through the veins of its victim. Slow moving, yet with a inevitable outcome.
“You let one of the projects out?” Estrada said as he took another puff from his cigar. “And you even allowed it to make contact with the Americans and the girl?”
“It was just a field test.” Asagami said as she tried to sit up. “I had no idea that Nathaniel or code name Snake Alien would break from the control and attempt to make contact.”
“Is that true?” Estrada said, looking at one of the men. “You two are her bodyguards after all.”
“I haven’t noticed any signs of possible treason, sir.” Jerome said as he looked towards the young Asian, “I believe he was purposely released which leaves us with 4 others.”
“I swear this was an accident!” Asagami shouted for her life as she sat up. “I had no idea that Nathaniel would actually react the way he did... The electrical shock to his mind that was administered should have erased his emotions, memories and destroyed his vocal cords.”
One of the agents suddenly kicked Kei in the kidneys extremely hard; she winced in pain once more. She held her lower back as she cried in pain.
Estrada said nothing as he took another puff from his cigar. He slowly turned around to face the young, scared scientist. He walked over while taking a second puff. “You must not want your sister to be released, nor do you want to live.” Estrada said as he bent down and grabbed Kei's chin. “You pathetic little bitch.”
Estrada took his cigar and crammed it into Kei's forehead. Asagami screamed loudly as she felt the skin on her forehead burn with searing pain. Her mind went blank as she could only focus on the pain that emanated from her forehead.
Estrada held the cigar onto her forehead for a few minutes until he finally pulled the cigar back and released it, letting it drop to the ground.
Jerome smiled at the site of Asagami's pain.
“She deserves worse, sir.” Jerome said.
“Do you want your sister to live?” Estrada said as he stood up.
“Y- yes please,” Asagami said.
Estrada turned around and slowly walked over to his desk. “Is there a control module in Snake Alien's brain?”
“No. I haven’t added the control module to any of the subject's brains... I'm not sure it would work.” Asagami said. “It could cause brain damage and death.”
“That’s precisely why I want it in there!” Estrada said as he rubbed the back of his head. “So that they would be easily controlled.”
Estrada picked up a pistol from his desk. He looked towards Asagami.“A cadaver of human... filth is much easier to control than a living breathing ape. Besides, it worked so great on the last patient.” he said, rubbing his forehead.
Estrada walked over towards the young scientist with a pistol in his hand. His eyes were dead set on the scared, wounded scientist before him.
“These bodyguards were meant to keep you in line... And you even failed at that.”
Estrada quickly pointed the gun at Jerome and pulled the trigger. The bullet slammed into Jerome's sternum as he grunted in shock and pain.
Jerome placed his hand on his chest as he backed up towards the wall of the office. He pulled his hand back to see the white shirt underneath his black jacket. He placed his palm back on the would and looked up at Estrada in confusion.
“I told you to keep her in her place at all times.” Estrada said.
“B—But sir, I tried to-” Jerome said until a second gunshot struck him in the chest, puncturing his lung.
“You couldn’t capture the targets...” Estrada said as he walked up to Jerome and placed the gun to his head. “And you couldn’t even keep my soldiers in our control!”
He pulled the trigger.
Asagami winced once more as she heard Jerome's limp body fall to the ground. The smell of cordite filled the room.
Estrada turned to Chris with the gun still in his hand. “You have one more chance, bring me the girl and boy... Before the Ascension.”
“I understand sir, and I will not fail.” Chris said nervously as sweat poured down his face.
“For your sake... I hope so.” Estrada said as he threw the pistol on the ground. “Now get that body out of here.”
Chris nodded as he stepped out of the room quickly and ran down the hallway to find help to remove the body.
Estrada glared down at the scared Asagami who whimpered in fear and pain. The man slowly bent down and came within eye level of the scientist. He slowly reached around and picked up her glasses.
“You see... I don’t like failure.” Estrada said as he placed the glasses on her face. “It sets back what is beautiful.”
Asagami looked up at Estrada in confusion.
He stood up and walked around to his desk. He sat in the chair and pulled out another cigar.
“I want you to picture something beautiful...The entire world... Barren, deserted, a skeleton of what it used to be. With humanity reduced to ash and bones... and those who still cling to life, who cling to hope slowly losing their minds and their souls... till the last breath is finally drawn...”
Asagami slowly stood up as she glanced at Estrada in confusion and terror.
“Humanity claims that they are trying to be a better species, that they want a better tomorrow, but instead... all that humanity is... is killers. And don’t killers deserve to be put down?”
Asagami held her side as tears of fear ran down her face.
“That’s all humanity is... a cancer, that must be burned in the most painful way possible. They don’t get a second chance, they don’t get a life line, they don’t deserve a new beginning. They have ran out of time. Now like the dinosaurs, their time is up. And I am the executioner. And when the planet is reduced to a cinder, the Earth will finally be cured of the filth that is... Homo sapiens.”
“Then what about you?” Asagami asked.
“Well... that’s a story for another time.” Estrada said as he lit his cigar. “Now go, you have work to do.”
Asagami nodded; she bolted for the door as fast as she could. Her limp, frail body was numb with fear as she realized that the man she was working for was crazy... But there was more, much more. He seemed almost demonic.
Estrada slowly turned to the monitor once Asagami had left and flipped through the footage till he came across an image of Aelita fighting the electrical Aether.
“And once we meet... I will show you that beauty. I will show you something truly beautiful.”