Chapter 16.5: Quarantine

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The tower shook, cracking the windows along the lower hall. The ground within the courtyard crumbled as it sank. The hole grew wide breaching the wall and swallowing the building. He fled down the hall, catching the sight of the towers supporting one another through shattered windows. The towers broke somewhere near the twentieth floors, breaking in half as their foundations were pulled from them.

Seth controlled his decent, sliding toward the window remains, and leaping from weak frame to weak frame, hoping to spot an opportunity to escape.

A wiry bloodied hand escaped from the hole, as tall as the height of hall he attempted to flee. The hand looked human with the exception of the blacked claws that marked the end of each finger that dug into the structures, seeking a grip to pull up its massive body. The creature's grips slip through the building, it's weight too much for the crumbling earth, reburying it.

It didn't call out as the buildings fell on top of it. Four arms escaped from the pit, plunging onto the crumbling edges and pushed itself up.

Seth called his blade to life and leap through the classroom, launching from one falling desk to another, into the next room, until he exited the other side of the tower. He ran along the falling length, keeping an eye of the swirling clouds above. As soon as he was close enough, he leaped onto the hand, plunging his sword into the massive hand. Again it did not cry out.

He pulled the blade until it exited between the demon's second and third finger. It did not cry out.

The rumble of the storm grew deafening, threatening to strike. He paid it little attention, the creature would make a better target for the angry storm. Then he realized that the rumbling was coming from below. The arms pushed against the ground, ignoring the pain to force it's mass from it's prison.

He stared as the body unfolded from the earth. Multi-coloured strands of tattered cloth wrapped it's near human body. It's face...

'Oh my god, it's face' Seth's mind screamed. The distorted cries of infants rang in his ears. Its face was made of thousands of screaming souls, each crying out for blood, for vengeance. The cries grew louder in his ear as though coming from within. If he listened he might be able to make out their demands. He leaped toward the creature, blade ready strike when something collided into him, knocking him well outside of the demon's strike zone.

Seth gasped as the bullets struck the wall behind him. He welcomed the cooling sensation of the cold wet floor against his back. Caught in the experiences of the General, he launched to his feet and called on his blade. His weapon failing to manifest, he charged the soldiers who held down the trigger of his gun until the plasma bullets seized. Liquid plasma slipped past and through the prisoner as though he were there but not; caught between this reality and another.

The prisoner charged through the faulty veil as the soldier threw his jammed weapon at him. Its heat stung and the prisoner cried out. A little more of the General seeped into his consciousness. He had always been strong, stronger than most, but had been careful to hide his abnormalities. Being too special meant daily beatings. He was fast too, some would say inhumanly so, but he had never thought so, people just didn't assess their surrounds well. They were too busy filtering out their reality, lying to themselves.

Seth's fist ploughed into the soldier's stomach before the man crumbled to the ground, gagging and coughing. Seth kicked him with everything he had once in the ribs. He heard the crack. Her grabbed the soldier and slammed him against the wall: "WHERE IS SHE?" he growled.

He couldn't feel her anymore. He couldn't feel the cool seductive call over the midnight sky. He couldn't hear the melody of the stars. "Where is she!" He heard his voice crack. He has lost his prey. He had lost the woman he had been hunting for the past decade. He felt...

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