Chapter 3: Innocence

Chapter 3: Innocence

A Story by Final-Karma
"

Elric shows Hajar what an experienced mage can do.

"

Water splashes at our feet as we give chase to our suspect. Hajar is a lot faster than I am so she takes the lead. The suspect hits a sharp turn into an alleyway. I yell out for her to wait but she rushes around the corner behind him in a blurred motion. I hear loud bangs and glass breaks at a store from across the street. 


A gun? Since when? 


I hurry into the alleyway and I run into Hajar standing there at the opening. I hear someone screaming in pain and look past her. The suspect is pinned against the wall at the very end. A sword jabbed through his shoulder holding him up. I pat her back as we walk down the alley towards him. 


“Good work. At least you didn’t kill him. Completely.” She shakes her head and says, “Elric, he had a gun. A real gun. If it wasn’t for Adams training, I would be dead.” 


She was right. Guns were the weapons of past civilizations. They were used to wage war but also for individual use in various ways. Firing a form of metal, called a bullet, at your enemy and puncturing their bodies. The books described them as primitive, at least compared to advanced magecraft like Hajars. If I had been first to enter the alleyway, I would be lying here dead. 


Hajar was taught by Adam how to manipulate and warp time energy. He is by no means a mage but he has that talent combined with his resistance to magecraft which makes him dangerous. She does not have that resistance but something more. A gift that is in her bloodline. Her eyes allow her to see glimpses of the future. Fragments before they happen. I do not know much about it but I have seen it in use. Combined with her time manipulation, she is almost impossible to hit or touch. In short,she dodged the bullets. 


We walk up to the suspect scrambling to get the sword out. Hajars sword digitizes away and he falls to the ground. I pick him up and sit him back against the alley wall. He looks from me to her and groans in pain. I bend down and hold him by his head. I ask him. 


“What were you doing in that building? You went in okay and came out running like a maniac.” 


His eyes dart from me to Hajar more and he begins to scream for help. I look up at Hajar and smile. 


“Is he forgetting where he is?” 


I punch him in his stomach and his voice cuts short. He leans over to catch a breath and I push him back up against the wall. He coughs and breathes heavy. Hajar puts her hand on my shoulder. 


“Elric let him catch his breath. Please.” She says. 


I step back. 


He was a lean guy. Looked around mid thirties. He was well shaven and his hair was cut short. His skin was clean with a bit of a tan. Almost like he never lived in The Slums a day in his life. Except his eyes gave away his secret. The whites were burned. He was a user. Addicted to a synthetic drug. He finally caught his breath and spoke up. 


“Look now. I know nothing. Please. I seen what she did. You guys are mages. No doubt I...” 


His words cut short. He starts to shake and coughs up blood. His body falls over. I push him back up and open his coat. There was so much blood. I try to stop the bleeding but his wounds were too deep. The impact of the blow must of did internal damage. He stops moving. I get up and and turn to Hajar, “Good going. You killed our suspect.” She just stares down at him. Her eyes turn back dark.


I walk out of the alley and look back down the street at the building he ran from. That’s our next stop. It's still so strange. What was he running from? Did he see us from inside? Well I guess we can't ask him now. I look back and see her crouched down, hovering over the dead suspects body. What is her problem? I call to her. 


“Hey Hajar. Leave him. He’s gone.” 


She doesn’t move. 


I walk towards her and wait. 


She still never moves. 


Finally I put my hand on her shoulder and she brushes me off. I look to see her holding his hand. She removes her hood and bows her head over him. She whispers something that I can't make out. Finally she gets up and looks at me. Her eyes were a tint of red. I couldn’t tell if she was crying. The tears mixed with the rain. I open my mouth to speak but she cuts me off. 


“I’m sorry I killed him. I reacted so fast. I didn’t mean it. He was just alive and here. Now he is gone. By my hand. For that I am sorry.” 


She puts her hood back on and looks down. The realization hits me. She has never killed anyone before. At least a person. I had been so accustomed to it that it felt normal. I have seen death my entire career. Yet, this death. The death of innocence right before my eyes. Sparked a feeling of remorse in my heart. I looked down at the blood on my hands. The rain slowly washed it away. I was lost for words. She walked up to me and handed me a piece of paper. I unravel it to see blood stains and a mix of words and images. It was a flyer. Some kind of event. She pushes past me down the alley. 


“He had it in his hand when he died. I guess he was going to tell us something.” She says. 


I look at her for a moment. Still lost for words. The rain lets up. Things were quiet. I begin to say something but she starts to walk out of the alley. I watch her look down the street. 


“That building might have clues. It’s naturally our next stop. Right?” 


She looks at me.


I stare at her and nod my head in agreement. I walk down the alley. I take a look back at the body we are leaving behind. Somebody will find him. I continue down the street with Hajar leading the way. We walk in silence. Maybe I should comfort her? Or say something about her hanging back to get her head together. As I open my mouth she speaks before I can. 


“You warned me. You said it would get messy. I was naive to think it wouldn’t. This is your specialty, I will lead by your example. I’m okay, really.” 


She never turns around. We keep walking until we get in front of the building. I fist bump her shoulder and say cheerfully. 


“Alright good! I thought I would have to council you or something.” 


I smile big at her as she looks at me. She returns the smile. It was faked. On both our parts. I look around the front of the building and try to peek at what's inside. Windows were blacked out. Not uncommon for The Slums. I turn the handle to the front door and of course, it doesn’t budge. I smile and laugh to myself. A locked door in this kind of place. That’s another joke. I walk back and stand next to Hajar. She looks at me and asks. 


“So what now?” 


I shrug my shoulders. 


I look up at the buildings top floors. There are 5 floors and every window is blacked out. I start to think this through. 


“Hajar, if we bust this door down and go in. We are at a disadvantage.” 


She speaks up. 


“Yes but we can cast sensory circles and see who or what is inside.” 


I ponder that for a moment. I turn away from the building. 


“That’s too easy. If they have guns, it wouldn't matter if we knew where they were. I am at a disadvantage regardless. Plus, if they know we are mages then they expect that.” 


I turn to look at Hajar and she looks deep in concentration.


"I don't know then Elric. I am out of ideas if they are expecting us."


An idea hits me. 


“So let's do the unexpected then."


My plan is for us not to go in, but to let my familiar do the work for us, initially. In theory, this should be a lot safer. In theory. 


Hajar is confused by this idea but that is because her familiar is a simple cat. Mine is something a lot more vicious. 


I cast half a circle and form another half. I combine them together and they spit and hiss. Molten liquid oozing from the seams. Hajar is keeping look out when she turns around and ask. 


“ That looks unstable and dangerous. Are you sure you know what you are doing?” 


I smirk and hold the circles together until they complete. I look at her and grin. 


“Of course I don’t know what I’m doing. Where would the fun be in that?” 


She rolls her eyes and goes back to looking out. 


The cast two half circles warp and illuminate. Perfect. I thrust a fist forward and say. 


“Let this image be mirrored. To the world's end.” 


The circle collapses and expands. Flowing energy hits the air around us and rains down sparks. I look around as the world begins to reflect. The circle I just made casts an illusion of something they will avoid. Nothing can be heard from inside either. We are cut off. Hajar looks around and nods. 


“Impressive Ashburn. Not a first rate cast but still impressive.” 


I fist bump her shoulder and slyly say. 


“You sound just like Orion. Even the tone of your voice.” 


Hajar just smiles. She walks toward the building and her sword digitizes. I left her with the task of knocking.


She walks up to the door and with one wide swipe, the door comes apart in two. She flickers and disappears before the pieces can even hit the ground. I hear her voice behind me. 


“Ok that wasn’t so bad.” 


I turn around to look at her. 


She really is fast. 


Her sword disappears. We wait and look at the open doorway. Nothing but darkness peers back at us from inside. No movement I see. Well they had a chance. I raise my hand towards the sky and say. 


“Nagani of power. Grace me with your presence for I am lost. My weakness becomes your strength.” 


A triangle casts in my hand and then it forms into a solid staff. I flip it around and slam it down. Power explodes off of it and I stumble back a bit. I look at the staff as it vibrates in my hands. It’s been a long time. Hajar comes up to see the staff after its illumination cools off. Her eyes turn blue as she stares at it. She gasps and says. 


“This relic. This is Moses Staff of Power. How Elric? This has been lost for centuries. It use to belong to a founding family but it was lost.” 


I smile and run my fingers through my hair. I look at her and say. 


“It is a family heirloom. My family may not have been first rates at magecraft but we were definitely first rate thieves. Passed down from generation to generation. Now it is in my possession. Although, I have made changes.” 


She frowns a bit but continues to marvel at the staff. We both hear movement come from inside. She quickly forms her sword and steps behind me. I pick up the staff with both hands and whisper to it. 


“I need you to search the house. Kill everything inside except one.” 


Hajar taps my shoulder. 


“Who are you talking too?” 


I wink. 


I pick the staff up in a spear motion and throw it through the door. There was a loud pop as the bottom floor of the building engulf's in flames. I shook my head. This guy is going to kill everyone. Hajar moves beside me and stares blankly. The fire continues up every floor until it reaches the third. Everything gets quiet. Suddenly gun fire rings out. Yelling comes from the building. 


Flames bust the windows out but the shooting continues. Hajar looks at me and I never take my eyes off the scene. The shooting continues. I start to see flashes move down as the fires disappear. The shooting ceases. Nothing moves. Hajar nudges me and asks. 


“What was that? What is going on?” 


I still don’t look at her. 


Concentrating on what I can see or hear. I tell her calmly. 


“He’s hunting.” 


She steps back and pulls her sword close to her. 


"He? What does that even mean?” 


Before I can respond. Screams come from the bottom floor and a person comes flying through the air out of the doorway. They hit the ground and slide right at our feet. I cast a circle that wraps around him and keeps him still. Then there is a flash. A blinding white light and I feel heat press against my entire body. I get the feeling of going head over end. What is going on? I am pulled back and the world becomes a blur. There are muffled sounds and then I am suddenly standing. Light headed I stumble until somebody grabs my coat and holds me up. I turn to see Hajar with a smile on her face. 


“Now that was close.” She says. 


Soot was all over her face and clothes. I look down and see the same on me.


I balance myself and dust off. I point a finger at her. 


“Did you warp me? That was sickening. Please, never do that again. I thought I was dead.” 


She twists her hair and throws it back. 


“Well you lived and so did our guest here.” 


She points to the guy that I wrapped up. His entire body covered in soot. He looked like a mound of it. 


“I took us around the building opposite of the one that exploded. Now tell me what is going on.” 


I shake my head. 


“The building exploded? That damn snake!" 


My familiar took my words too literally. At least I think he did. 


Hajar looks at me. Still waiting for a response. 


"He was suppose to search the house not blow it up to complete my second order.”


I look back down at myself to dust off some more soot. I don’t hear her respond. I look in her direction and she stares at me blankly.


“What?” I ask.


I looking around to see if there was something behind me. She speaks up. 


“Your familiar did that? All of that?” 


I shake my head up and down. 


“Yes, unfortunately he did. I thought we covered that.”


She perks up and starts to walk around the building. I pace behind her. I start to see the black plumes of smoke and a figure standing within them. I recognize the shape. Hajar stops and stands dead still. Her mouth gaping. I have a bad feeling about these two meeting.



© 2017 Final-Karma



Author's Note

Final-Karma
This is chapter 3. I haven't exactly put these together yet since I haven't come up with a title but if you haven't already please read the first two chapters and tell me what you think. I am trying a new structure to my writing. Please leave feedback, good or bad. This is all to help me be a better writer. Equally I will review your work as well. Thank you!

My Review

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Featured Review

I am so sorry this has taken so long to review! As I was reading I actually found myself really loving the new structure that you used, it really got to the point and kept my attention on the story. And can I just say 61 views?! Wow! That's good, but to be honest I think your writing deserves much, much more. Just a question. How do you find new writing structures that you use? i.e. from published authors, just make them up, online... that kind of thing because as you probably know, I need to work on my structure a little. I couldn't really spot any spelling mistakes or typos, but I just wanted to point out that while I am loving the new structure you are using, in places I feel like there is something not there (please don't take that in a bad way, I just want to make sure that when I review it's helpful since your reviews are always so good) "Hajar looks around and nods" would be an example. It's good in the sense that it gives readers a view of what he is doing, but I just feel as though there could be something like "his hair falling in front of his eye as he glanced around and nodded". That isn't a perfect example, but I just wanted to give you an idea of what I meant. I understand if you were going for more of a short, snappy sort of structure and I really do love that, it's a very good thing to do and keeps the readers interest, that's just my view on it that could make this chapter even better. I hope you have a happy holidays and thank you for always reading and reviewing my work, it is much appreciated. As I mentioned earlier in the review, I am really sorry it has taken so long to read and review this story. But I love what you are doing with it so far, truly, you are doing a splendid job.

Posted 9 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I am so sorry this has taken so long to review! As I was reading I actually found myself really loving the new structure that you used, it really got to the point and kept my attention on the story. And can I just say 61 views?! Wow! That's good, but to be honest I think your writing deserves much, much more. Just a question. How do you find new writing structures that you use? i.e. from published authors, just make them up, online... that kind of thing because as you probably know, I need to work on my structure a little. I couldn't really spot any spelling mistakes or typos, but I just wanted to point out that while I am loving the new structure you are using, in places I feel like there is something not there (please don't take that in a bad way, I just want to make sure that when I review it's helpful since your reviews are always so good) "Hajar looks around and nods" would be an example. It's good in the sense that it gives readers a view of what he is doing, but I just feel as though there could be something like "his hair falling in front of his eye as he glanced around and nodded". That isn't a perfect example, but I just wanted to give you an idea of what I meant. I understand if you were going for more of a short, snappy sort of structure and I really do love that, it's a very good thing to do and keeps the readers interest, that's just my view on it that could make this chapter even better. I hope you have a happy holidays and thank you for always reading and reviewing my work, it is much appreciated. As I mentioned earlier in the review, I am really sorry it has taken so long to read and review this story. But I love what you are doing with it so far, truly, you are doing a splendid job.

Posted 9 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on November 21, 2017
Last Updated on November 21, 2017
Tags: adventure, story, supernatural, magic

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Final-Karma
Final-Karma

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Hello, I am Final-Karma. I dabble in the known and unknown. Please read my work and let your minds be expanded. Feel free to message me, I am always excited to speak to new people from all walks of li.. more..

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