Michael Brooklyn Morgan "Red Alert"
Act 2, Chapter 7 "He's Bob, You're Bob, I'm Bob"
Hours went by as the rest of the trip has been smooth so far without any encounters with enemy wizards intent on plundering the company’s cargo. They would pass through tunnels and into another forest on their way to the port town of Hargeon. Scenic beaches like the ones from before could be seen on their right occasionally, though to Michael, it’s just an ordinary beach. Beautiful, sure, but he can just as well see other beautiful beaches with pearly white sands. He doesn’t understand what makes them special, nor does he know how to appreciate its value. The resplendent vistas aren’t his main concern while he’s on duty, and choosing to be distracted would only invite disaster to his current job.
At the moment, they are two thirds of the way to Hargeon. The trucks show no sign of stopping for a break, and Michael is pleased with the developments so far. To think the company would factor in their breaks in the schedule, it made him think that this company is far too efficient compared to the rest of the corporations in Fiore, regardless of their oddities. However, you don’t always get to have everything go your way. Smoke started to billow from under the trucks, and Michael could tell that something was wrong with it. He wasn’t sure if the other drivers noticed it and wanted to tell them about the smoke. He didn’t need to, however, as he saw the drivers slowly decelerated their vehicles and parked it beside the road. “Great. I don’t need to tell them.” He mumbled to himself as he parked his bike at the side.
At this point, he wasn’t surprised at the level of organization the company’s employees have. It’s something he should get used to if he gets to work with Bob & Bob’s son Construction.
He saw the drivers exit their vehicles, thinking that they might be assessing the damage to the truck. It could have been caused by stray ice from one of the creatures’ attacks from before, or it could be that the engine has degraded on their way to the port town. He was going to try and assist the drivers in trying to see what the problem was with the vehicle, thinking he could be of some assistance. Yet he hesitated, knowing full well that if the employees are this organized, they should be able to pinpoint what the problem was. Before he could speak, he observed that they put up a dismayed facial expression. Disappointment. “Dangit. Bob, Bob, looks like it will take us a while to get back on schedule.” The Bob who inspected the truck said, “Unless we can fix the engine, there’s no way we can deliver the cargo. Might as well file a report immediately.”
“For real?” Another one of the Bobs said, “I was looking forward to dining in one of those fancy restaurants.”
“Damnit, Bob. Didn’t you perform maintenance on this thing?" A disgruntled Bob said.
“I did! I would never forget to perform maintenance on Bobby.”
“Now, now, there’s no point in pinning the blame on someone. No point in arguing. We just need to fix this.” The inspecting Bob said, “However, I do think that someone was responsible for the engine malfunctioning. I can tell, because there are traces of ethernanos on the truck’s pipes.” Michael listened in on their conversation, and what particularly intrigued him was that someone may have tampered with the trucks. If that’s the case, then there’s someone else who is intrigued with the contents of the cargo, although this time they relied on subterfuge.
He wasn’t planning on sitting idly on his bike. No, he took the initiative and had the geokinetic birds scour the area, ordering them to send him a ping if they found something. The golems were also ordered to stay alert, as Michael thought that the enemy would be ambushing them again. There’s still some daylight left for one of his golems to operate, and by nightfall, the idol of magic would be rendered useless. “In any case, you should do your repairs post haste.” Michael said to the Bobs, “I fear that another wizard is aching to get their hands on… whatever you have.” Anticipating another combat to break out, he used his theatrical ‘Earth Magic’ and created a solid spear of stone from the ground, appearing as if it was rising from the magic circle caused by his Psionic Scribing and Aura Manipulation, once more masking the fact that this was a result of telekinesis. A hassle for him, sure, but this is to conceal his identity as an esper similar to the Pergrandians he fought.
Next, he used his ‘magic’ on the trucks, using his geokinesis to lift up ornate pillars of earth from the ground, and by imbuing them with psionic power, he made it so the pillars’ formation created a magic barrier of earth, when in reality, this was just a visible thin layer of telekinetic force in the color of amber. The barrier covered all sides, and the foundation should be strong enough to protect the drivers while they take their time to repair the damage.
Minutes rolled by as the drivers continued to repair their engine. It’s proven to be a complicated endeavor, evident from the furrowed brows of one of the Bobs and the faces of anticipation from the rest of the Bobs. It’s taking them a while to get it fixed, and by the looks of it, the Bobs are displeased with the lack of development from their side. “I thought this was going to be a piece of cake,” The inspecting Bob said, “But the damage has caused a level and degree of complication that the shipment will be delayed. Bob, send word of this development to HQ.”
“Roger that, Bob.” One of the Bobs said as they pulled out their iLac, “ETA on the repair?”
“A couple of hours or so.”
At this time, he’s beginning to wonder if his geokinetic birds have found the would-be assailant, and yet they have found none. Could they be invisible? Or was the truck tampered with beforehand? He feared that this foe of theirs specialized in subterfuge, and without his pseudo magic and his armors, he wouldn’t stand a chance against their enemy. The lack of pinging was concerning, thinking that the enemy had anticipated this to happen and dispatched his scouts. If that’s the case, then the enemy had thought of everything beforehand, and observed his attack patterns. “Tsk. Witty.” He mumbled to himself, “If I am to succeed in this endeavor, I might as well try using Clairvoyance.” He closed his eyes and let himself immerse in his surroundings…
...the breath of air… the solid ground… the rustling of leaves.
He let his mind expand beyond what he could perceive, yet all he saw was darkness. He was used to having his Clairvoyance picked up by his pseudo magic, and it looked like this was both the appropriate and inappropriate time to try using it consciously. Breathe in… Breathe out…He let his mind calm down and mind the surroundings, and let his mind try to perceive what was beyond his normal field of vision.
And from darkness came light.
Within the dark expanses of his mind, he saw the lush trees in all its splendor, standing firmly atop the grass laden soil. He saw rocks of various shapes, and boulders of various sizes standing atop the cliff beyond the forest. He saw berries ripe for the taking, and beside one of them was the familiar remains of a bird. A bird molded out from earth. “Damnit.” He thought to himself. What he saw provided evidence that this assailant of theirs had been watching from the shadows. They also might have had a glimpse of what he was capable of. This doesn’t sit well with him.
Of course, being overcome with anxiety wouldn’t help him take a good long look at who this mystery enemy was. This was his first time using his clairvoyance at will, and being weak willed and afraid would only mess up his concentration. “Agh. Focus!” He thought to himself as he scoured the surrounding area. With his, he was not only able to just see the area, but he was also able to hear anything around it. He used this to his advantage, trying to pick up odd sounds like the snapping of a tree branch, the rustling of brushes, or footsteps treading on solid ground. It didn’t take him long before he could pick up a mixture of those sounds, and using his ability to see where the sound was coming from, he detected the visage of another wizard mounting an elephant with a pack of pitch black wolves twice the size of an average human. Following suit, he also found large boars and gryphons. He used his clairvoyance to look at their position, looking down from high up, and determined that it wouldn’t take them long before they could reach them. “Dammit. Not another summoner.” He said as he opened his eyes, freeing himself from his trance-like state.
His golems wouldn’t be enough to fend off all of them, as he knew his constructs were on the slow side, while his opponent’s beasts of shadow and darkness were quick, nimble, and hard hitting. With the drivers present to witness this spectacle of a fight, he can’t use his telekinesis to fend them off. The solution was obvious - summon, or rather, construct several soldiers of earth wielding spears to fend off the agile enemies. Using another theatrical performance, he used his geokinesis, Psionic Scribing, and Aura Manipulation to give rise to these battle hardened soldiers of war, imbuing them with his will to cull the enemy shades. There were a total of 6, which should suffice. Like the wizard-like golem, he doesn’t have a name for them yet, and he didn’t bother with appearances, something he can just do later.
Just one more addition to his plethora of geokinetic constructs.
Sure enough, the first thing that leapt out from the dense forest was a pack of wolves; a dozen of them. His warriors made quick work of them as they neared the trucks, piercing their earthen spears through the wolves’ cores. While some of the wolves had evaded their attacks, they couldn’t anticipate the beam of light from his wizard golem - subtle, yet deadly, as it used its imbued photokinesis to manipulate and bend the beam towards them. Another pack leapt from the shadows of the trees, lunging towards his constructs, while some were trying to be sneaky and attempted to apparate from behind him, hiding within the shadows of the trees before appearing. With one wave of a hand, a spike emerged from the ground and pierced the sneaky beasts from behind, as he had anticipated this much with one good look from them before.
The warrior golem, aptly named War Gnome, felled half a dozen shadow wolves with one swing of its earthen claymore, while defending itself from the sharp claws of the beasts. The spearmen made quick work of the rest of the pack as they matched their opponent’s speed, while one of them fell to the shade’s tricks as the wolf appeared behind it and maimed the earthen figure. Two dozen wolves appeared, attempting to overwhelm his forces, yet Michael was unperturbed by this development. He can only fight with his constructs to dispose of the massive influx of reinforcements. And two dozens became waves of shadow wolves that leapt up from the darkness of the woods. “Enough!” he yelled out as he waved his hand, as if casting a spell. An amber colored magic circle appeared beneath the wolves for a brief moment before their numbers were decimated by earthen spikes, before retracting themselves back.
The earth trembled as a stampede of shadow boars tore open a clearing from beyond the woods, trampling the trees on their way to the trucks. This was not good, and they were charging straight towards the shield. Using his geokinesis, and with a little bit of theatrical performance, he waved his hand like before and constructed several spears floating above ground. Six spears, one for each boar, and he launched them towards the incoming enemy attack with such high velocity that it pierced through their bodies, decimating them and disappearing into a confetti of darkness.
Obviously, they can’t leave immediately without repairing the truck fully, and the Bobs just started fixing their vehicles. Meanwhile, a larger figure the size of an elephant emerged from the clearing, and above it, a figure sat down in a throne of gold and black. Overall, their visage was that of royalty, yet it screamed ‘pretentious’. The figure had a masculine build with long flowing silver hair and a pointed ear. Behind the elephant was another pack of wolves and boars of darkness, followed by four dark gryphons. He’s facing against a summoner capable of bringing an endless wave of shades at him, and no ordinary wizards save for a wizard saint and S Rank mages would overcome this many opponents. But he is no wizard, and he was battle hardened to overcome the overwhelming odds pressed against him.
“You’re not finished? My, my. Maybe I should just use my full power against you!” The man clad in black expensive garb said as they raised their staff, the purple orb resonating an aura of malice that created more of these shadow creatures. Their eyes flared with red from the malefic aura his staff exuded, and Michael has witnessed enough magic to know what was going on. The enemy had used some form of enchantment magic to enhance the shadow creatures’ combat ability, but to what extent, he wouldn’t know until they made the first move.
Michael waved his hands, as if casting a spell once more, and conjured another set of earthen soldiers from the ground. “I’ve seen better magic than yours. After all, you’re just a second-rate wizard if you rely too much on your summoning.” He said in a taunt as he pointed his spear towards him. His words had an effect on him as his face contorted into a scowl, infuriated at the audacity of being called ‘second-rate’. Insecure, no doubt, as he recalled Francois telling him of his experiences against wizards like the elf in front of him. “How dare you?!?! I’m going to kill you! CHARGE!” Like a child, the wizard threw a tantrum and ordered his beasts of darkness to take him down. Michael had anticipated this reaction, as he used the ensuing chaos between the forces of earth and darkness to flee into the ground. Spears clashed with claws and swords clashed with tusks for the battle between two summoners.
He had fled using his dimensional telekinesis to appear behind the elephant. He used this opportunity to do a sneak attack on him. However, his attack was cut short when two gryphons of shadow swooped down for a kill. “Did you really think you could pull that stunt on me?! I have watched your every move and you don’t look like a wizard! So who’s second rate now?!” Michael had anticipated this reaction as he had observed that the gryphons were absent from the clash. He isn’t dumb. “That’s because I never was.” Michael responded. A pair of daggers appeared beneath the ground, a product of his geokinesis, and pulled them to his hands with his telekinesis. In the blink of an eye, he was gone, only to reappear behind one of the gryphons and delivered a two fold attack with his daggers. It disintegrated into nothingness, and disappeared once more, appearing and attacking another gryphon. And another. And another. “Wha- what’s going on?!” The wizard said, his tone shaky from fear, “WHERE ARE YOU?!”
Michael was just a few meters above him, floating above ground through his telekinetic flight. He dropped down and landed in front of the wizard, and the elf stepped back from the elephant from the surprise. Before he could get one word in, Michael’s fist connected to the summoner’s face, and in one punch, rendered him unconscious. As much as he wanted to kill him, he didn’t want to stain his reputation as a ‘wizard who kills wizards’, or earning the title of ‘wizard slayer’. The rest of the beasts withered and disappeared into nothingness as their summoner fell unconscious with only his fists.
The battle was over, with the victory going to him.
Still, he can’t quite get what’s so interesting about the cargo. He inspected the wizard’s pockets to see if there was any missive that would determine his whereabouts. None. Attempting to use telepathy wouldn’t do well either, so the enemy’s reason for attacking the shipment is lost to him, until he wakes up and confesses to the authority.
MEL @ WW