29.Rising Smoke

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Rising Smoke.

What is this..." Calla trailed off, too mersmerized by the wall of dazzling blue light that had risen up at the edge of the inner rim. she could not tell where it hard come from or how deep it was running. Like a mist that was a cloud that had kissed the ground, the barrier rose up to create a dome that confined the inner circle and the temple within it. It pulsed and hummed like a living translucent blue membrane. Rippling with energy with every impact it absorbed from the flying metal insects, something else that was so out of place in the once desolate neighborhood.

The contraptions fell for that what was what they were. Contraptions powered by the electricity and with gears within them. Gears that she had seen when she had cut one open with a plasma whip before the EMP canon took all of them down. They fell, some whole and others decapitated, but all ended up in a smoking heap that grew higher with the numbers with every wave of insects that hit that barrier.

"How?" The girl mumbled as her eyes took in the dome that the barrier had erected over the mansions in the entire inner rim and the temple. It not only kept them out but was also actively eradicating despite the fact that they seemed drawn into as if by some sort of magnetic. Why? Why would they just tumble into it and to their own deaths? Couldn't they see it or was the stimulus drawing them inside much stronger than they could resist. That is, assuming that the were sentient enough to organise and plot. Wasn't that the case with most of the terrors? Were they even terrors and if not, what were they and who had sent them and where were they coming from?

"I am also asking myself the same questions. In all my years of fighting I have never seen anything like this!" The Captain replied as he and Officer Connors came to stand beside her.

"The barrier or the insects?"

"The barrier mostly. It is easy to dismiss those things as terrors though I do have my doubts about that, but this, this is astounding." He said even as pointed out to glowing that continued to ripple with every metallic 'life' that it claimed. "I mean where did it come from? Has it always been here and has just been triggered. Who or what triggered it and what is it made of?"

"Yea, and we imagine that we had read every book on that topic." The Sergeant replied, her mind buzzing, still captivated by the glowing sight that was before them.

"Calla, why are you here?" The Captain decided to finally ask Calla.

"Why do you think I am here?" she hissed back even as she pulled back her visor to better glare at the other two soldiers.

"You want her? Then you'll have to go through that." Gabriel Connors laughed, pointing out the pulsing wall of blue death that had them all scared of venturing onwards.

"How? You are lying to me!" The Sergeant yelled as her suppressed rage finally exploded.

"Well...according to Connors here, Havillah is locked up in one of those houses. I suspect that, that is why that horde came here and this barrier is a defence mechanism of some sort." Killion told her with a tired sigh. He had a long day and an even longer evening that left him feeling quite weary and disturbed, more so than he had ever felt before. He pulled out his helmet and run an even more tired hand through his ruffled hair. "That said, do you really want to exact revenge so badly that you would walk into it?"

"I don't believe it! He is covering for her!" The female sergeant reacted, taking a step forward with every intention of intimidate the young soldier into telling her the truth that she felt he was hiding.

"Leer all you want Barrageway. Why would I need to cover up for her when that is the truth? The girl managed to open up one of those mansions and got in. I saw it with my own two eyes." The young officer replied. Disregarding the hard stare and the threat within it, he turned to take a seat on a huge square cut stone that was once a part of the crumbled wall beside them. As he did so, he hit the mechanism on his suit and released his helmet with a knowing smile.

"Gabriel, if you are hiding her you need tell me. I need to find her!"

"Why? So you can murder her?" Calla looked away disgruntled and she seemed to ponder the question before replying.

"Eventually, but right now I need to find her in order to bring her to my mother back."

"How gracious!" Gabriel snorted with a roll of his eyes.

"Calla...you do know that we will not allow you to harm her, right?" The Captain finally said in a very tired voice, but the girl just shrugged her shoulders and looked away. "It was just an accident!" He told her.

"How would you know that?" she retorted. "You were not there Killion!"

Killion knew she meant. That her accusations were more than what they seemed on the surface but he dared not discuss it at that time and in the presence of Gabriel nonetheless.

"What reason would she have to harm her anyway?"

"Aaaw...how cute. You must think that thing is an angel what with those big brown eyes blinking at you!" Calla laughed mockingly.

"Calla!"

"No! You won't stop me Gabriel. It's the truth or are you also starstruck? In his eyes that thing can do no wrong! And the rest of us, what are we to you Killion? Are we dispensable? " Calla yelled even as her eyes glared daggers at the man who was once her childhood friend.

Killion did not say anything.

For a moment, silence reigned between them as the man stared back at the woman with tired but angry eyes. His gaze continued to pierce through her, quite dangerously too and in that moment, Calla forgot to be angry and managed to be a little afraid. "Let's go Connors, we still need to scour out the area and ensure that there are no more terrors roaming the about." With that, the Captain turned his back on the Calla and began to walk towards the eastern market and the seaport below.

***

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