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Chapter 20: Burn Out
“Oh, will you just die already!” Albus growled.
“Fraid not,” Ryke smiled.
“At least you get another chance at making a pun,” he shrugged and looked at Shiori.
She clutched her sword and bolted towards Ryke, disappearing into a blur of movement. Suddenly, what looked almost like red lightning exploded from Rykes had and struck Shiori in the chest sending her flying backwards into the wall. He slumped to the ground dazed but alive.
Ryke looked down at the red sparks that were still popping off her hands. She grinned. “A girl could get used to this...”
ALbus raised his gun and opened fire sending bullets straight into her chest. She was forced back by the impact as blood started to seep from the holes.
But that only lasted a moment. Seconds later the small clink of lead rounds hitting the floor echoed out as the bullets were pushed from her body and the wounds healed up. Ryke started to laugh triumphantly.
“Son of a...” Albus blurted.
Rykes chuckles disappeared instantly as Shiori came flying through the air. She landed next to the evil bitch and started laying heavy punches and kicks into her. Shot that could break through stone seemed like nothing more than playful slaps to Ryke as she took the hits with ease.
Even Shiori’s incredible power wasn’t a match for her now.
Ryke fired back with her own strikes and every time she did, red lightning shot from her fists. Shiori dodged and ducked the blows but was eventually caught in the chest which sent her slamming into the door of the chamber.
“I bet you wish you’d taken me up on my offer now, don’t you Al?” she smirked.
“Karma’s a bitch...bitch!”
Out of bullets, Al ran up and laid the hardest punch he could straight into her face. It was like punching a concrete wall.
He yelped in pain and clutched hold of his hand which may well have been broken.
Ryke grabbed him by the throat and lifted him on the ground.
“You should have sided with me Albus. What makes you think you can survive the Saito curse?” she hissed.
“I like to think it’s because of my buns of steel,” he choked out.
“Sorry kid, but you’re just as dead as the others; you just have stopped breathing yet!”
Ryke’s arm was severed just below the elbow. Albus fell to the floor with her hand still holding his throat. Shiori’s second strike was ready but so was Ryke. She blasted a wave of lightning at the Toushi that missed and caused her to duck away. A second blast made Shiori take cover behind the chamber.
She didn’t bother chasing her. She just growled, walked over and grabbed her severed arm from around Al’s neck. She pressed it to her stump and the wound began to disappear.
She could actually reattach her limbs!
“Oh, come on!” Al yelled in desperation.
“You’re girlfriend is starting to piss me off!” Ryke scathed. “Maybe I’ll do you a favour. If she’s dead, the curse dies with her!”
She aimed both her hands at the chamber and red lightning ripped through the air. The flow didn’t stop and energy build up in the chamber was immense. Albus took cover as the whole thing exploded it blast of red light.
Shiori was thrown from the mayhem and hit the ground. Her sword fell from her hand and slid across the floor. She was so dizzy that she could barely move.
“Shiori!” Al cried helplessly as Ryke marched over and picked her up by her throat.
Red energy began to pump through her hands and into Shiori. Red scorch marks appeared around Rykes fingers and the Toushi gapsed in pain as she began to burn her way through her neck.
Albus barrelled into her caused her to stagger away and drop Shiori. She hit the ground unconscious and bleeding.
Ryke easily overpowered Albus’s attempts to fight her and once again lifted him off the ground. She was simply too strong.
“You can’t stop me! I’m immortal! This is what a God looks like, without the meaningless lore and fanatical religions attached to it!” she threw him away like a ragdoll and his slammed into the ground.
Albus managed to pick his head up and look at her. And then a grin appeared on his face.
“And this is what a pin looks like...” he gave her the finger and around it was a small metal ring, “without the grenade attached to it,” he said as his eyes looked to her waist.
She looked down to see that he had strapped the Chinese Pulse grenade to her belt. Her face went blank.
The room was enveloped by a wave of white light and a high-pitched screeching noise that caused Albus to clutch his eyes shut and covered his ears. When the detonation disappeared, Ryke was simply gone.
The only evidence that she had ever been there was the patch that she used to wear. It was lying on the ground by the destroyed chamber, burnt and sizzling. She had literally been vaporized by the blast.
Albus grinned. “What a blast...”
He painfully picked himself up and rushed to Shiori’s side. Her wounds were bad but he could see that she was still breathing.
“Shiori...come on baby, open your eyes, you can’t keep doing this to me!”
Her eyes flickered open. She was weak.
“Albus...” her voice was raspy and barely audible.
“You’re gonna be okay,” he said before kissing her forehead. “You’ve had worse.”
“She went to pieces,” he smiled.
“Finally got your pun...” she smiled painfully.
“Was there ever any doubt?”
Their moment was interrupted be alarms sounding all over the place.
“Well, that doesn’t sound good...”
Down in the control room, Rose’s eyes were wide as she stared at one of the few remaining screens in the room. A massive flashing sign was being projected.
WARNING: CORE UNSTABLE. EVACUATE IMMIDATELY.
“Okay...I didn’t do this!” Ringo said holding his hands up.
“We gotta get out of here!”
“We’re not leaving without Al and Shiori!” Scorpius yelled.
Hermione waved her wand causing a spectral Otter to appear and shoot off down the corridor. She was sending a Patronus to warn Harry and the others.
Albus was propping Shiori up with one arm and carrying the Saito blade in the other. They staggered down the corridor away from the chamber room, looking desperately for any exit they could find. A ghostly animal that Al recognized as Hermione’s Patronus flew past them and vanished through a wall.
“That came from this way, come on!” he said dragging Shiori along with him.
They cut down several different corridors and flights of stairs before finally arriving at the same tunnel that lead to the control room. In the distance they saw Scorpius and Rose helping the Centaurions out of their bonds.
“Al!” Scorpius yelled and rushed over to help prop Shiori up. “Is she okay, where’s Ryke?”
“All over the place,” he said quickly. “This place is about to go up like Zabriskie Point! We need to get outta here!”
“This way!” Ron yelled.
The group of humans, Centaurions and a wounded Toushi began rushing away from the control room, following the signs that were marked ‘Exit’.
‘Exit’ wasn’t such a great description since it led to a metal balcony that over looked the ocean a hundred feet below!
“Oh, come on! What is this shit?!” Scorpius yelled in anger.
“It’s an exit!” Rose yelped back.
“That’s not an exit! The fall will kill us!”
“Bend your knees! Women and stoners first!” Ringo said and leapt over the edge just as the rumble of an explosion shook the platform.
“Shiori?” Albus asked shill holding her up.
“I can make it!” she nodded.
“Ladies first,” he said looking at Rose and Hermione.
“Oh damn!” Rose took a nose dive off the edge, followed closely by Scorpius and then Ron. As soon as they went over the Centaurions followed.
Al and Shiori were left alone on the unstable balcony. The core had gone critical and the plant was exploding behind them.
“I love you,” Al breathed looking into her eyes.
“I know, I love you.”
The horrible wrenching feeling overtook their stomachs as they fell before they hit the sheet of solid cold water below them.
Above, the plant went up like a small Nuke had exploded. Fire engulfed the whole area and lit up the sky as the whole area was decimated with the blast wave.