Chrono Continuum Chapter 38

Wanted Man

By Cain

2025 AD

She reached out with her golden hand, and turned the knob. The door opened silently, and they came to a ledge with water directly beneath them. Rakin covered his nose. The water reeked incredibly. He turned to her. "Are we going through that?"

She shook her head. "No way," and pointed at the wall by Rakin. He turned, and saw a ladder leading upwards. As he was closest, he climbed up first, followed by Hotwire. When they reached the top, he pushed upward, and the manhole cover lifted. He slid it aside, and continued his climb. Once on solid ground, he helped Hotwire up. She nodded her thanks, and they looked around for the source of the trouble. They saw nothing out of the ordinary. Until a nearby building blew up.

Well, it didn't actually blow up, but the explosion that struck the top made him think it was. He put his hands over his head for cover, as did Hotwire, as bits of burning debris soon began to rain down. They ran away from the falling bricks, into an alley. Once they got through, and were ouside, they stared around at the city in silent horror.

Buildings were burning. Explosions took place every few seconds in the air, and flying machines similar to Epoch occasionally disappeared in those blasts. Bodies littered the ground, some burnt, some torn, and some in pieces. People were running in every direction, wild with fear. Many of them were being chased by... things. Hotwire stared out at it all. "We're being invaded."

"What the Hell are those things," Rakin asked Hotwire of the creatures chasing off many citizens.

Hotwire turned to him. "What do you mean, 'What are they?' Don't you know?"

Rakin opened his mouth to reply, but was cut off by a loud roar. They turned from eachother to see something akin to a huge black dog, except for its head. Its chin jutted out, with large teeth sticking up around the upper lip. It seemed to have no nose. Its eyes glowed a dark red. It growled loudly, and Rakin unwillingly stepped back. Hotwire, staring at the beast, reached into her sack, and began to rummage. Rakin, keeping his eyes on the beast as well, began to shuffle away from Hotwire, hoping to lead it away from her. It worked. The beast watched him, its eyes boring into him. It seemed to be wondering if it should attack.

Rakin glanced over to see Hotwire pull out a small metal rod. With a flick of her metal wrist, it extended into a full pole, and a blade opened out of one side to form her spear. Rakin looked back to the beast, whose head now lowered. A low growl rumbled from its depths. It leaned back slightly, preparing to pounce. Rakin crouched to dive to the side. The beast rushed forward, but stopped when Hotwire jumped in its path. It seemed confused.

Hotwire raised her spear, and commanded, "Light." The red sphere in the blade glowed slightly, and electricity flowed from it, around the rest of the blade. The blade sizzled with energy. The beast, seeming to sense now that she was the enemy, reared back and leapt for her. He was too late.

With a yell, she brought up the spear, and pointed its blade at the leaping beast. The electricity burst out, as if a bolt of lightning, and struck the beast in midair. The spear seemed to create its own wind, as Hotwire's cape and skirt were flapping behind her. The bolt of electricity continued to flow from the spear, and held the beast in place in midair, above them. Electricity ran in waves over the unfortunate beast. It roared in pain. Soon, though, the electricity began to dwindle, and, while still being held in midair, the beast no longer seemed in pain. Rakin could tell that the spear was running out of whatever gave it the power to use those bolts. As Rakin watched, the electricity died down, and the beast began to fall.

Rakin screamed, as did Hotwire. She pulled the spear down, and then, as if making the decision just then, pointed it up again. Her scream of fear changed to one of anger, and in her spear, the red sphere's glow intensified. Another bolt of electricity burst out from the spear, now glowing from tip to butt. Rakin held his hands up in defense as the sheer force coming from the spear began to push him away. The bolt struck the beast, and it shrieked. A huge flash blinded them both, accompanied by a loud explosion, and they were both knocked back onto the ground.

When their vision cleared, there was nothing where the beast had been, but smoke, and dust. Small black pieces of burnt flesh (although it had been black already) littered the ground. Rakin and Hotwire looked at eachother, amazed.

After helping Hotwire up, Rakin whistled. "Man, that is one impressive weapon."

She nodded. "Made it myself. Runs on car batteries." She surveyed the area around her. "But it wasn't designed to do this." She looked to Rakin. "I knew when I used it that it wouldn't have enough power to hurt him much, or enough juice to hold him long. But not only did it destroy him completely, it did so without fuel. How did it do that?"

Rakin shrugged.How should I know? Rakin looked around for more of the creatures, but spotted none. So he and Hotwire set off. For the most part, they didn't encounter any more creatures. Rakin stopped. "Hotwire," he called after the woman, who hadn't stopped along with him. She stopped and looked at him, and he continued, "I need to get somewhere."

She raised her visible eyebrow. "Where? And why?"

"I... left something there. It's vitally important that I get there, and get it."

"And the where answer is...?"

"Oh, yeah. Um, it's around stop 12 on the underground transport system that got me to the Rocka Club."

She nodded, and looked down in thought for a moment. Then she looked up, and around at the city. Finally she pointed, "There. It would be over there."

Rakin looked in the indicated direction. He almost shivered as he felt the familiar darkness blow through his mind. "Damn."


"That's where the main battle's taking place."

She walked back, stopping beside him. "How do you know?"

He turned to her. "When you look over there, do you feel a chill?"

She thought for a moment, and nodded. "Yeah. I guess there must be a breeze from that direction. But how do you know the action's that way?"

Rakin shook his head absently. He knew she was feeling, but not why she felt it. "Trust me."

They set off, to find Rakin' ship. To where the attackers were tearing up the city. To danger.


Same Time

He cracked his whip, smiling. The demon obediently stopped feeding on the body, and came over. Adom pointed, and the demon set off. He smiled. The bums he had seen run in there would be dead within the next five minutes. And if not, then he'd send another demon.

His commander walked up beside him, with his hands in the opposite sleeves of his robe. "Have you found him?"

Adom shook his head, flicking away his cigarette. "Don't think so. His signature is around here, but we can't find him. I don't get it."

His commander turned to him. "Well, you'd better get it, Adom."

Adom turned to him belligerently, folding his arms. "Or else what, Janus? What will you do?"

Janus' expression didn't change. "You don't fear me," he said, more like a statement than a question. Adom nodded. "Well, then," Janus continued, "would you fear her," he asked, pointing over Adom's head.

Adom turned around. The huge, white, humanoid machine was currently stepping on a car, as if it was a cockroach, and not caring. Adom turned back to Janus. The two stared at eachother for a moment. Adom turned back to a nearby group of demons. "Well," he barked, cracking his whip, "what are you waiting for? Find the boy, and bring him here!"


Same Time

"Who do you think they're looking for," she asked, "that they'd send Janus himself, and his wife?"

Rakin didn't answer, being engrossed with the huge machine as it knocked over a building with ease. He had seen Janus, and the one called Adom, who seemed to control the creatures. When she lightly elbowed him, he turned to her distractedly. "Wife?"

"Yeah," she replied, pointing to the machine, "his wife. No one's ever seen her, but she is, according to legend, the Everlasting that brought technology into the Kingdom's side of the war."

Rakin nodded, as he watched creatures prowling the streets, directed by Adom. Rakin gasped, as he saw it. Epoch! He pointed. "There she... it is."

Hotwire followed his finger. "Man, that is one freak of a car."

Rakin smiled. "You don't know how much you're right. But it has something important." Hotwire nodded, and they concentrated on watching all the creatures, Janus, Adom, and the robot. Janus and Adom split up, the creatures mostly following Adom. The robot went in a third direction. "Now," Rakin whispered, and they ran out, toward the Epoch. Unbeknownst the them, the robot, fifty feet off, suddenly stopped.


Same Time

Janus spun around. Glanced around. He felt something. Something... odd. Not right. It wasn't quite the Black Wind, but seemed to be more like a familiar presence. He heard a beep in his ear, and pressed his finger to the receiver hidden in his ear. "Yes?"


He nodded, although it was an audial receiver, and his nod would go unseen. "Yes, my love?"

"Janus, I think I've found him."

Janus nodded again. "Are you sure?"

"I'm processing the readings right now. It looks like he's with some woman, probably a prostitute, by the way she's dressed."

Janus shook his head. "No, it's probably not. These people attract others like them like flies to honey. And the very fact that she's still with him in the middle of all this trouble suggests that she'll be trouble. Or that she's high. Do you have the readings?"

"Yes. It's him. And now that I'm looking, there's something else with similar readings, which is probably what Adom has been feeling. He seems to be moving toward it."

"Good work, darling. Notify Adom. I'm on my way." Janus turned back the way he had come, and jumped up in the air. At the peak of his jump, he stopped. He leaned forward, and flew off, a few feet off the ground, his robes billowing.


Same Time

"Are you sure," he asked. The voice in his ear told him that she was quite sure. He cut the communication without acknowledgement, and turned back. He held out his arm, and in a moment, a raven-like demon had perched there. Adom told it what it needed to know, and pointed. It flew off, to deliver his message. He snapped his whip, and waited. A lion-sized demon stepped up beside him, and he jumped on. It didn't need to be told to go.


Same Time

"We're almost there," Rakin yelled back.

Hotwire nodded, and then her eyes opened wide. Rakin turned his gaze back forward, and skidded to a halt as a projectile came down, about five yards away, with smoke trailing behind it. He turned just as it hit the ground, and was thrown back onto Hotwire at the concussion it made.

Hotwire pushed him off her somewhat roughly, and they both rose together, and looked before them, where it had struck. There was a crater there now, still smoking. Rakin shouted out, "No," as another flew toward Epoch. He quickly glanced to his side to see that the giant robot was the one firing the explosive projectiles, and looked back to Epoch. The projectile was going to strike right before her.

Tires squealing, she abruptly backed up, and two nozzles appeared from under the hood. They fired out twin blasts of energy, which detonated the projectile, far enough away so that she wasn't damaged. She then spun, and drove off around a corner, out of Rakin's sight.

Rakin and Hotwire turned to the robot, who was simply standing there, looking threatening as it did so. In a moment they saw a form fly out of an alley, and turn, to fly up onto the robot's shoulder. Janus.

In another moment, low, but loud, rumbling began to sound from all around, interspersed with roars and shrieks. As Rakin and Hotwire watched, out of every alley, door, window, and from every street corner, black creatures almost poured out. Large ones, small ones, thin ones, wide ones, lumbering ones, quick ones, and all of them horrific. Each one was different, but they all seemed to fade into the mass of evil. One particularly loud roar caused them to turn around, to see Adom, on his own creature, chain whip in hand.

Finally, Rakin and Hotwire turned to eachother, and seemed to agree that one word accurately described the situation.



"Oh, sh-"
"You said it."
-Jimmy Lee, and the Shadow Boss, in the movie "Double Dragon"


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