Axel's messy blonde hair kept attempting to jab him in the eye. Repeatedly the wild fringe swung round and slapped into the chocolate-brown orbs. He winced and turned his head, not that it did much good as the hair would just turn with him. He hated waiting. God, he hated waiting. Especially in the cold. It was colder than usual in Norway. It was biting through his coat, and that coat had been specially insulated. He rubbed his arms and buried the lower half of his face in the collar, checking the watch on his left wrist. Loren should have been there half an hour ago according to the message he received. His fingers had gone numb. Maybe he should have invested in a pair of gloves when winter had arrived. His stomach growled and he did the same, taking out his phone and dialling a number as best he could. It took a few attempts, but finally he had the phone to his ear and was waiting for the man on the other end to pick up. "Hello?" Came a bored voice down the poor line.
"Ingvar. He was meant to be here ages ago. He still hasn't showed up."
There was a hesitation before an annoying crackling noise as Verdslig let out a deep breath. "Be patient, Axel."
"I'm not a patient person. You know that. He knows that. Everyone knows that. I'm not waiting."
"He'll be expecting you to meet him there."
"I was expecting security for this meeting, but Elder Mistillit said no-one had arranged security."
"Maybe you should have done that, Elder Stridsoks."
"I was specifically told not to arrange anything. I was told you were arranging things to avoid suspicion."
"And if this was discovered at all, this mission, it would have been nice to have some security for the Elders."
"Stop being such a paranoid coward, Axel. You're meeting a good friend, nothing more. Think of it that way. Besides, if security had been arranged, it would look more suspicious."
Axel sighed. Ingvar was right. Ingvar was always right, him and his rat. Apart from when he said Johnson the rat was a handsome creature. It was hideous even by rat standards. "Ingvar, I'm going off to get some lunch. If Loren arrives before I get back, that's his own problem."
"Axel, quit being so stubborn."
"I'm not being stubborn, I'm hungry."
"He probably chose to make sure Visio and Amber were safe."
"In which case he is a fool and will get himself hurt or killed. He knows me. He knows not to keep me waiting." He hung up before Ingvar could come up with a counter argument and strolled defiantly away from the windswept field, humming a Crest of Darkness song.
Loren-Magnus Skisma was awaiting transportation to Norway. He had had it arranged with Ingvar. Dommer Lore was the name of the man he had been waiting for. Mevolent's men were already aware there had been an escape. The airways weren't a safe way to travel. Not the public ones, at least. Lore owned a few private vehicles and could more than easily get Skisma out without any trouble. A jet plane appeared over the horizon and slowly drew closer. He stepped back, a little paranoid that it would hit him, but it landed fairly far away. He walked over nervously and the doors opened, a head poking out. The man had wild brown hair and an untamed matching beard. He was wearing a scruffy black suit with an undone navy tie and an unfittingly neat waistcoat. The top buttons of his grubby shirt were undone as well. "Uh..."
"Dommer Lore at your service, my good man!" He stuck out a filthy hand and the Grand Mage reluctantly accepted it.
The man was a good flyer and rather chatty. He had a pleasant personality, but Loren-Magnus could smell him through the cockpit doors and the smell was bad enough to make his eyes water. Any response he could give would not be heard, so the Norwegian Grand Mage let the pilot talk on and let his gaze wander lazily out a window. There was a sudden burst of turbulence and the intercom cut off with a 'woah'. He thought nothing of it until the plane swerved and he was pressed against the wall. He rubbed his head and glared out the window, seeing two streams of jet smoke. He looked a little confused as a little light came on overhead, telling him to buckle up. Dommer's voice came over the intercom again. "Uh, Grand Mage? You may want to find your life jacket. Not to panic you, but we are under attack and this is not a fighting plane. This is a passenger and cargo plane, if we get hit, we go straight down."
"Not to worry me indeed." He hissed, bending down to search under the chairs for a life jacket. A judder that nearly threw him off his seat reminded him about the seatbelt. He got up carefully, worried about the window sending glass into him, and moved into the centre aisle with his life jacket, secured that and then the seatbelt. The plane juddered again. "Head between your legs, Magnus." A dent suddenly appeared over his head and he obliged. He was sitting at the back of the plane. Was it safer at the back than the front? The plane was going down. He was terrified. It was going down. They were going to die...
Axel could be seen as rather attractive if he bothered to do something about the spots. He didn't have the spots all over his face when he met his first wife. He was also much more attractive when he wasn't sat in the corner of a cheap restaurant stuffing his face with chips. He had a fair bit of muscle on his arms yet a fair bit of fat around his stomach. He had passed on his more attractive traits to his son, Erik, but his daughter seemed to have inherited his greasy skin and spots. He had had two other children at one point, but they had gone missing. Supposedly abducted, thought to be dead. He was expecting another child with his current wife. His fifth wife. He went through a lot of wives. It sucked. He had to leave Erik's mother because she abused their son though. The mother of the missing twins blamed him for their disappearance, and admittedly it had happened when he was supposed to be looking after them. Sandra's mother was abusive as well, actually, only towards him instead of the kids. Never physical abuse though, that one was all verbal insults and manipulation, major bring-downs and sociopathic tendencies. The other one, who was actually the second one, sort of got hit by a car and died.
Part of him knew someone was watching him from across the way. He didn't know if they were mortal or Mage or if they recognised him or not. He tensed up all the same when they came to stand behind him. His collar was still turned up, making it near impossible for the person to press the blade in their hand to his throat. Growling in fury, he shot his elbow back, hitting the assailant just below the ribs. Male, judging by the gasp. He shot to his feet, attempting to slam the chair into the man's legs and flip himself over the table, but hand gripped his coat and the waistband of his jeans and heaved him back, throwing him against the window. It cracked, but didn't break. The man moved to his front and kept him pinned against the cracking window with one hand, raising the blade with the other. Axel kicked out at his knees, trying to throw the man's balance as the blade flashed towards him, catching his cheek. Hissing, he whipped one hand out to keep the blade at bay, hand like a vice around the man's wrist, bent his head low and placed his foot flat against the floor. He pushed off and headbutted the man in the stomach, throwing him against the evacuated table but not letting go of the wrist. The arm twisted as he went down. He looked up at the other people in the restaurant. Most people were rushing to get out and one of the serving people was calling the police. Brilliant. The man launched himself at the Elder again, screaming. Axel stumbled and the man swept his feet out from beneath him. This man was more muscular than him. The blade was moving down. He used his other hand to help stop the movement. The assailant clicked his fingers, summoning a flame and Axel swore. He was a Sensitive. When magic came into it, what could he do? Predict the guy's death? "Help!" He shrieked as his coat was set alight.
He felt the skin at his hip begin to burn. The blade was stationary for the moment, but the assailant was grinning. Axel would weaken his hold soon enough and he knew it. In fact, right there, with a pained expression, a whimper and a string of curses, he took his right hand away and brought it hard against the assailant's face. The man was thrown off, his own shirt catching from the flaming jacket, the blade skimming harmlessly against the collar instead of the opening where his throat showed through. He scrambled to his feet, threw off the jacket and kicked the man in the face to keep him down. Next he turned his attention to the fire that had spread to his jeans, attempting to smother it with a table cloth. Finally he moved out to brave the cold, taking his phone out of the intact side of his jeans. "Ingvar."
"You sound cold."
"I am. I lost my coat...well, I say lost...it caught fire...actually, the cold feels good on the burns..."
"Huh...I thought you were just going for lunch."
"I was. I was attacked. Do you know if Loren-Magnus is here yet?"
"I've got him on the other line. Apparently he crashed. Still alive, but he thinks he has a broken leg and doesn't know where he is."
Loren sighed, managing to undo the jammed seatbelt. He used his good leg to try and force the remains of the chair in front off his bad leg. Hissing in pain, he managed to pull himself to stand and hop to a door. The plane was upright on the ground, thank God. He would have checked if Lore was okay, but the cockpit and front half of the plane were crushed. Plus he could see the poor sod's severed head a short walk away. He managed to not vomit, told Ingvar he was going to go explore, hung up and went hopping towards the collection of people coming to investigate the crash. He recognised one face right away. "G-Glinsterende..." The African Elder pushed forward through the crowd to help support the unsteady Mage.
"I'm in South Africa..."
"Was anyone else in the plane?" He was looking over the redhead's shoulder.
"Pilot only. He's dead."
Elder Hoop nodded and supported the younger man back to a nearby village. A foreboding shudder went through Skisma's spine as he remembered the American man's prediction. He was just thankful Amber Thorn wouldn't be leaving Australia any time soon.
((This was meant to actually focus more on Loren than Axel...meh. Also this was meant to be an aside to the Jasmin and Cadence chapter yet has been completed first...huh...actually, it probably focussed more on Axel because I was developing him as I went along...))