General and somewhat random story things

Lovely Angel-Pocalypse 12

Lance and Sarah were already running when the explosion rocked the streets.  Lance nearly dropped Kei in shock.  At least the explosion had startled the Blight-Men as badly.  They actually stopped shooting for a moment.  Lance dove around a corner, Sarah following close behind.  Despite carrying nearly 50kg of unconscious girl on his back, Lance needed to slow his pace for Sarah to keep up.  Lance was very good at running.

“What was that?” Lance asked.  Directly, he meant the explosion, though indirectly he wouldn’t have minded some answers about the sniper, the girl with road breaking powers, and the entirety of his day so far.

“A convenient distraction,” Sarah answered vaguely. “And a bit of nostalgia.”  She waved at the rooftops.  “Barrowman,” she clarified.

Only, it wasn’t very clarifying at all.  “The religious bartender?” Lance asked.

Sarah rolled her eyes.  “Barrowman used to come to the rescue every time Kei screwed up,” she explained.  “It was pretty much a weekly event.”

Barrowman.  He knew more about this than Lance could guess.  “Lovely Angel,” Lance said.

“Shut up.”

“I don’t mean you,” Lance replied, though he wasn’t sure if that was entirely true.  “Barrowman got upset last night when you called Kei a Lovely Angel,” Lance continued.  “It had nothing to do with religion; he recognized the words.”

“This probably isn’t the time,” Sarah said.

Lance ignored her.  “That girl called you Lovely Angel Water Guardian.  She said Lovely Angel a few times.  It’s not just a description, is it?  It means something.  Barrowman knew what it means, and you obviously know what it means.”

Lance looked to Sarah for an answer.  He had to look twice to be sure of what he was seeing.  She was still beside him, but she wasn’t running.

“You’re flying,” Lance commented.  He looked away, and looked back.  Nothing had changed.  “You’re really flying.”

“Yes,” Sarah replied.  “I have wings, and I can’t run in heels.  So I’m flying.” She smirked at Lance.  “And yes, Lovely Angel Guardian used to mean something, but I’m not going to get in to it right now.  You’re just going to have to learn to roll with these things.”

“I’m trying,” Lance admitted.  “But this whole magical girl thing is a lot to take in.”

“Oh, you haven’t even gone half down the rabbit hole Lance,”

Lance didn’t get the reference.  He figured correctly that it translated out to things getting crazier.  He didn’t think long on it though.  Shouts from behind them, and the universal sound of rifles being readied told him that thinking would have to wait.

Sarah circled Lance, and stopped suddenly.  “Stay close,” she commanded to Lance.  Sarah lifted her hands into the air, and twisted her fingers in a complex pattern.  Ice crystals formed into a thick swirling cloud above her.  “Glaucus’ Blanket” she announced.

Sarah’s frozen cloud dropped as a thick mist, and poured into the streets.  The Blight-Men fired into the mist, but their shots went wide as they lost all visibility.  Lance felt Sarah grab his arm, but he couldn’t see her anymore.  He could barely see his own hands.  In the cold of the mist, he could barely feel them either.

“Stay with me,” Sarah insisted as she dragged Lance forward.  “We have to keep moving, or you could freeze.”

Lance nodded quickly.  He could feel the cold right to his bones as he let Sarah lead him through the mist.  He assumed that Sarah could see, since she was the only one not tripping on stuff as they went.

Lance adjusted Kei on his back.  He heard sheets of thin ice fall from her as he moved.  “What about Kei?”

“She’ll be fine,” Sarah stated flatly.  She thought for a second.  “Maybe.”  Sarah banged on something metal.  “We’re here anyways.  Just dump her in the back, and we can get out of here.”

Sarah dismissively waved a hand over her head, and the mist cleared away from around the truck.  It had a rounded hood, a long cab, and a deep rear bed.  The truck had been painted blue once long ago, but it was only evident in small islands amongst the rust orange that covered the truck.  One headlight was missing, and the other was half full of water.  The truck was old.  It looked like it had been old before the world went to pot.  Right now, it was the most beautiful thing Lance had ever looked at.

Lance carefully laid Kei in the back of the truck, and circled to the passenger side.  He could see shadows of Blighters trying to find their way through the fog.  They were getting close.  He cringed as he opened the door.  It gave a rusty squeal, and based on the shouting from the Blighters, had also given away their position.

Sarah was in the driver’s seat, hunched forward uncomfortably to make room for her wings.  She was swearing openly.  Sarah snapped her fingers over her head.  “C’mon,” she moaned, “c’mon!”

Lance watched her snap, and swear, and slam her fists into the dashboard.  He shrugged his confusion when she looked over at him.  He wasn’t sure what the problem was, much less how to help.

“I can’t change back,” Sarah complained.  “It like an adrenaline thing.  I can’t turn back until I calm down, and I can’t calm down while there are men shooting at us!”

“Ok,” Lance stated.  He watched the vague shapes of the Blight-Men getting clearer in the mist.  They were close.  “Maybe we could worry about that once we’ve gotten out of here?”

Sarah brushed the pleats of her skirt irritably.  “The keys to the truck are in my pants,” she stated coldly.

Lance stared at Sarah’s Lovely Angel skirt and vest.  He only took a second.  “Oh,” he said.

“Yeah.  Oh.”  Sarah smacked the side of her leg as if hoping a pocket would magically appear.  “So, unless my pants return from wherever my clothes go during Stupid Angel Suit time, we’re pretty screwed here.”

“Huh,” Lance said.  There wasn’t much more to say really.  “Alright, switch me seats.”  He crawled low along the truck floor before Sarah was out of the way; looking up at the steering column.

Sarah crawled over Lance.  She simultaneously tried to keep her wings in check, while keeping her skirt down, while not kicking Lance in the teeth.  “This is really awkward,” she admitted.

Lance grunted a response.  He flipped out his knife and pried the ignition switch from the truck.  “Sorry,” he muttered as he pulled some wires from behind the steering wheel.  He touched them together with a small spark.

Sarah blinked at Lance as the truck roared to life.  “How do you know how to hotwire a truck?  For that matter; why do you know?”  Working vehicles were pretty rare.  It just seemed an unlikely skill.  “Where did you even learn to do that?”

“Where’d you learn to throw balls of water around?” Lance retorted.  He smiled at Sarah.  “My granddad taught me to hotwire cars.”  Lance shrugged.  “I can also fix radios and toasters, for what that’s worth.  Televisions too.  Granddad always believed in knowing everything, even if it was useless.  Guess he was right.”

Sarah smirked.  “Did he teach you to drive?”

Lance took the question as permission.  He leant back in the seat, put his elbow on the windowsill, and his hand causally on the wheel.  Just like his granddad had taught him.  Lance revved the engine once, then jammed the truck into drive.

In the mist, Blighters screamed and ran blindly in all directions.  With the light from the one working headlight, and the roar of the engine, Lance could only imagine what the Blight-Men thought was coming for them from the fog.  He crashed through the small streets, and burst through the mist onto the ruined road.  Lance turned right into the last of the Blight-Men, and smirked as they dove for cover.

Sarah actually laughed.  “You never fail to amaze, Lance.”

“Says the girl with angel wings.”  Lance watched in the rear view as the Blight-Men recovered their feet.  By the time the men had pulled their rifles up, the truck was long gone.  “Where to?” Lance asked.

“Just keep driving,” Sarah replied.  “I have a place.”

May dropped down from the destroyed roof to the destroyed road below.  Blood poured from a gash in her leg, but she paid it no mind.  She watched Sarah’s truck vanish into the distance, and shook her head.

May paced back and forth.  “I cannot believe this,” she moaned.  “I mean, really, I can’t.  Blown up by Barrowman?  Beaten by a Lovely Angel?  I mean, like, when did I become the bad guy in this?”  May looked down at her uniform.  “Oh,” she accepted, tugging her bow straight.  “Right.”

May brushed off her knees, and knelt down.  “Well,” she said.  “If I have to be the bad guy, might as well do it right.  Right?”  May looked for verification, but none of the Blight-Men answered.  Most of them were too busy bleeding, or moaning, or being dead.  “Right,” she finished.

May put her ear to the ground.  “There,” she muttered.  When she tapped the earth, there was a deep sound like a church bell from under the road.  “You’ll do perfectly.”

May sat up, and motioned with one finger at the road.  Indents and lines appeared in the dirt, forming a giant circle around her.  Ancient looking symbols scrawled around the circle, inside and out.

“Gashkoro, Gashkoro,” May whispered to the ground.  “Ever hungry never full.  I summon you, Gashkoro; feed on their bodies, and send their energies to the Blight.”

The ground split.  Something huge moved from beneath.  A gong sounded loudly.  The Blight-Men that could ran screaming.


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