Ursa twisted the knife, not caring at all who he was killing at this point, just happy to hear the grunts of pain that weren't his own. Oh God, the fat guy he had wanted dead had just hit him where it hurts. He wondered if the poor sod recognised him at all. If he did, his death would at least feel a little less random. He brought his own knee up against Van Dreg and lurched forward. The arm around his neck was gone now. No doubt the man he had stabbed had been the one behind him now. The girls both elbowed his head at the same time and he bit his tongue. Stupid, stupid, stupid! He cried out, spitting a little blood, finally wrenching his right arm away from the blonde girl. He brought the knife round to try and get the brunette off his left side, but she pushed him into the blonde and flipped out of range. Hissing in outrage, Borealis tried to plunge his knife into the girl, but she brought her hand round to his jaw and wrenched. The jaw clicked and his mouth forced open, his jaw previously having been closed, and pain shot through the side of his face. The cow had dislocated his jaw. This was not going as planned, and Harrison had been the one he had wanted to strike his deal with. The brunette girl was tending to his injury, but it didn't look good. Hell, Ursa had probably skewered the liver or something. Allowing himself a moan of pain, he shot his elbow back into the blonde's face until she released him. He was willing to admit defeat, but he would therefore have to come back and kill these three. He wanted Van Dreg dead and Harrison to help him. He ran to the back door and forced it open with three good kicks. As he ran, he fumbled with his phone. There was no guarantee any of the people on that ancient contacts list still had the same number or were still alive. Well, the first one was definitely dead. He scrolled down and found a lot of names from his childhood, one of which was a given name that was not used anymore for sure. Oh God, was his airway closing? He was pretty sure his airway was closing. He was going to die there and then. He had never been the best killer. He had learned mainly from Fred Mould and was once almost killed by the guy. Apparently he had been a liability. He was finally beginning to see how.
Garnet sometimes wasn't sure why he had a phone. He wasn't as badly illiterate as B-J or that vampire her brother went around with, but he had never given much thought to learning how to read once it had become a big thing. He told most people he encountered that he was dyswhatever if it ever came up. He could hear B-J scrabbling about next door and thought about telling her to shut up. She saved him the bother by bursting in. "Garnet! I think I know where that stupid box Arachne wants is!"
He arched an eyebrow. "Do I have to do anything?"
"A ride would be nice, certainly."
"...Do I have to change my shoes?"
"Wearing crocs in public isn't a crime, Dorado...It is however unforgivable."
"Don't try forgiving me then."
She nodded and told him exactly where they needed to go, waited for him to finish whining about returning to the Czech Republic and then they set off.
Yulianna followed Mihai around with a bored expression. "So some of the other elders are dead now, right? And you're concerned and you need to find a way to prove whether this Czech elder is trustworthy or not and you're claiming America is falling..."
"I like to stay in touch with what's going on around the world, Yulianna. It means security. Germany, Japan, Wales and Poland have fallen, it looks like America and England are next."
She laughed a little as he shut a door on her, going to a meeting alone.
The Grand Mage of Norway was taking a day off as he had just received his wife's ear in the mail. It also included a rather scared-looking picture of her holding their newborn daughter. Currently Loren was locked in his own bathroom, still vomiting and crying. Instead the meeting was with the other Norwegian elders. They didn't get on with Viscol. The three of them didn't speak any of the same languages either. Linguistics Mage Brysio-Blaidd was busy being dead and Wales had been cut from the meeting, so instead they had the last remaining Russian elder, the Irish Grand Mage and the Australian one as well as two of the three French elders. Angel, the Russian man, tried his best to translate for Viscol, his task made easier by the man understanding Russian, but he was slow and the others were not waiting for him as the discussion became more heated. Do they take action against the overtaken countries directly or only as defence? Amber and Mihai both claimed their Sanctuaries were not able to take on a war. If they were attacked, chances were they would fall. The Norwegians and the Russian insisted they strike back for the death of Koken'nin and elder Orage agreed for the death of Starke. The ex-Grand Mage of Germany was with the French Elders, shifting uneasily from foot to foot. Ravel insisted it would be a bad idea. "Look, we don't know how many countries Mevolent has or how many are under threat."
"So you're saying do nothing?" Brusque asked incredulously.
"No! I mean we can't run into a full on war yet! We need to be sure we're prepared."
"By which time they too will be prepared to take on anything we throw at them!" One of the Norwegian Mages insisted.
Angel shook his head. "We already know Romania and Australia cannot enter into a war. After all that has happened to Ireland over the past years I do not blame their aversion to war. However Mevolent is stationed in Ireland..."
"I know. We might not be able to take him on head on yet...but we can offer assistance to countries he invades, right?"
Orage sighed. "Going in headlong without the support of as many Sanctuaries as possible would be stupid. This is why we need all of us on the same page before we try and win back the taken countries."
"They also have our Grand Mage's wife and child! We don't know what country they're in, but..." The Norwegian elder stopped and began chewing on his lower lip. "He's not here because they've started to mutilate her and send bits to him..."
Orage shuddered. "Don't want to imagine that."
Amber spoke next. "So those of us capable of fighting meet and prepare, those not yet capable prepare for the worst, and we also have to keep an eye out for any clues as to...people go missing all the time...I don't want to sound cruel, but here Skisma's family isn't a priority. We can't help there and we can't just take our detectives off their cases...I fall helping my friend after all..."
"Or he falls helping you." Ravel corrected pointedly. Amber glared, tears beginning to form in her eyes.
"Okay, maybe! But we fall together and I don't want him or me dead! I don't want Mevolent to gain another stronghold and Australia is a cradle of magic! It would be very beneficial to him! I might sound cold or heartless but I'm looking out for the best interests of our countries! Maybe my judgement is wrong, but it's the closest I can get to a safe solution for the whole country, probably more than one country, rather than for just one person..."
There was a pause. Ravel nodded. "Well said..."
The Norwegian Mages did not agree, but Amber silenced them before they could speak. "I know what I'm doing. I do what is best for my country as I have that duty. It comes with the job, you see."
They nodded morosely. Brusque spoke once more. "So is it agreed? Those of us who can build up an army, do so. The rest of us build up a defensive...then it becomes a case of warning every other country?"
There were a few nods as Angel translated for Viscol, who objected.
"The Czech Republic are untrustworthy. I believe Vrestreni may have been replaced already." He spoke in Russian and waited patiently for it to be translated.
"Warn everyone else and tell them the Czech Republic have been warned." Warheit snapped.
A man stood guard by the piece. It looked like a sort of glove. "Is that it?" Garnet hissed, glaring at the stupid thin cloth through a pair of binoculars. B-J nodded.
"We'll have to take it without alerting the guard."
"Or we could walk down there and say 'excuse me sir, we were wondering if we could borrow your glove weapon thing to kill Mevolent with'. D'ya think that'd work, B-J?"
She gave him a withering look and he grinned back. "Tunnel behind him and take him out with a sleeper hold or something."
"I don't do sleeper holds. I do broken necks. Is that sufficient?"
"No! No killing!"
Dorado gave a snort of laughter. "What's one little life compared to what Mevolent's taking away? Leaves so few people for the rest of us psychopaths to kill. And if he succeeds and brings back the faceless ones they'll have all the fun killing all of us and all of us will just have to take it and die." There was a moment's silence before B-J reached across and slapped him. He responded by going back to staring at the guard.
Ernest Trowell loved his job. Aside from guarding an historical object of immense power, which in itself was quite thrilling, but he also got to tend the garden. Gardening had always been a hobby of his, hence the name Trowell. He stopped his pacing for a moment to smell one of his flowers. Flowers were nice. Flowers were always nice. Flowers were never mean to him. Not like the two about to jump him. He looked round as the ground erupted, the redhead going for the glass case while the raven-haired girl came for him, pushing at the air. Ernest was a heavy-set man who had been pushed with the air many times before. He had no idea how to move around it but he knew how to stand so that it didn't topple him. The girl looked a little surprised but didn't hesitate before charging, fire in her hand. Trowell sighed, shooting eye beams. Cursing, the girl dodged away. He charged, elbowing her to the ground, and turned his eyes to the ginger trying to work out how to open the case. He yelped, threw himself to the side and tunnelled out of sight. Ernest paused, blinking his eyes as the temporary blindness took him. He was used to that now. In fact, he didn't mind it in the slightest. Sometimes he enjoyed it. Sometimes the world was ugly and sometimes he needed to be blind. He just sometimes did. The girl's arms came round his neck as his sight began to return and he chuckled good-naturedly. Her arms were skinny and weak. He threw her off, turned and piledrove her into the ground. She grunted and groaned and tried to push at the air to get him off, but the moment he saw her try move he jabbed his elbow into her solar plexus and watched her double over, curling forwards. As her head came up, he grabbed her fringe and slammed her head back down.
Stars exploded in B-J's vision and she yelped, lashing out blindly and raking her nails across his face. He wrapped his thick fingers around her throat. "Don't struggle dear. I won't kill you or anything. I'm just making you black out to minimize damage to the both of us."
She paid no heed and struggled nonetheless. He rolled his eyes. Nobody ever paid much heed to poor Ernest. He watched her kick and struggle and claw and he quickly grew bored, giving just the occasional wince. Some girls had such sharp fingernails. Coughing, she dragged her hand away from his and scrabbled across the ground for something she could use.
Her hands closed over a piece of rock that had come up and been kicked when Garnet had tunnelled in. She smashed it over Trowell's head, into his ear, his nose, all over his head to get him to loosen his grip. He let go and pushed himself back with a howl of pain and she pressed on, smashing the sharp rock into his head savagely. Until he stopped moving. Longer still. She didn't trust him to just lie there and not choke her. A primal instinct seemed to have kicked in. She seemed unaware that she was past the skull or that she was getting covered in blood. She seemed unaware that Garnet was back with the Czech man's elder robes wrapped around his fist to avoid lacerations to his fist as he punched through the glass. Not even the alarms snatched her back to the present. Not even Garnet's calls to her snapped her back to the present. He pulled her away from the man, hushing her gently and cradling her. "Shhh, Shh you little psycho...drop the rock and we'll get out of here. I have the gloves and the guard is long dead, m'kay? Drop the rock and I'll get us out of here. You've had a psychotic episode..."
Shivering, finally returning to the present, she threw the blood-drenched rock away with a sob. She caught sight of the dead guard, covered her mouth and nose with her hands and let out a high-pitched thing that was not quite a scream of terror but was trying to be just that. Dorado rolled his eyes and hauled B-J closer so it was easier to tunnel.
She had just killed someone. She had always prided herself on being a generally good person. She had just killed that man and it had been an easily avertible death. This was going to plague her for a long while...
((Ending message: I typed Engling first, not ending...what the hell, fingers? That is all. Also I'm labelling this my 'Jinxie is annoyed so she's going to violently kill something' piece. That was what the death of Ernest Trowell originated from.))