Silent Mobius Fan Fiction ❯ Requiem Knight ❯ Death ( Chapter 2 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Ch 2: Death
The eternal rain beat down on Tokyo's streets. A silver-haired man made his way down the street wearing the heavy hood favoured by many travelers. He turned down a narrow alley and through a door set in a deep niche that hid it from the street. Within, sun shone from a cloudless sky on green grass and a small Grecian temple. Only the bare concrete walls surrounding the gentle park spoiled the illusion of summer.
The man strode slowly across the emerald lawn, up the steps, and through the bronze doors set between tall fluted pillars. The temple consisted of a single dim chamber lit only by a pair of iron braziers flanking the low stone altar. A black-cloaked man knelt before the God's statue, lavender hair spread in a pool about his feet.
`What are you doing here, Winter?' the supplicant snarled when he heard the newcomer's footsteps and saw who it was.
`I'm here for the same reason you are, Ganossa: I have come to consult with the oracle,' the older man replied calmly. `Teles is the God of prophecy and stands neutral in all disputes. He refuses counsel to no one.'
`Perhaps, but you shall receive nothing from Him. Die!' Ganossa drew a slim sword from under his cloak and slashed at the other man's head. Alex blocked the blow with his left forearm and the ring of steel filled the temple. A small, stubby pistol flashed out from under Alex's jacket.
`Hold! Shed no blood on this sacred ground lest thou wake the God's wrath,' cried the ancient priest as he appeared behind the altar below the God's image. The two adversaries sheathed their weapons and turned to him. The sanctum ceiling blazed with a sudden light and the priest fell into a trance, staring into the light. After it passed, he spoke again. `Teles has decreed that this doom be given unto both of ye together: The world approaches a time of decision, when the acts of men determine the path of Gaia. Beyond that point, no prophet is certain…ye both stand in the midst of this nexus and thy fates are unclear. This much is certain however: thy war draws to a close. When he who is dead walks new-healed, that shall be a sign the end is nigh.' The priest pointed at Ganossa. `Unto thee, I pronounce this doom: thine greatest foes are sorcerers, but no spell shall slay thee. Strike at the heart of thine foes to splinter them.'
Alex's turn was next: `And thou. The end of thy travels draws nigh and thy long quest is near achievement. Heed well thy dreams, for something of much import will come to thee in them. Go in peace and use well the god's gifts.'
Alex produced a blue stone the size of the first joint of a man's thumb from his pocket; the stone glowed as with an inner flame. Alex laid it on the altar and bowed low before leaving. Ganossa left a ruby of the same size as he teleported away.
A few weeks later, Alex pondered the seer's advice as he wandered one of Tokyo's residential districts on a cool and surprisingly clear June morning. <`Heed my dreams?' I've seen nothing special in them…memories of my wife and our year of peace; memories of a thousand battlefields and countless dark places…the same dreams I've been having for decades now.> Absorbed in his thoughts, he ran into a woman with blue-purple hair who was just leaving an apartment building.
`I'm sorry; I wasn't watching.' Alex bowed awkwardly, noting that her eyes were the colour of her hair.
`Don't worry about it.' She laughed and walked off down the street.
<She looks like that woman with the weird sword in those tabloid pics of the AMP. Could she…no; probably just a coincidence.> Alex continued his ruminations as he turned to leave. Magical energies flared in the building above him, accompanied by a familiar presence. The old mage disappeared with an oath down the nearest alley.
He teleported into a bedroom dominated by a queen-sized bed with white silk sheets. A blonde man lay in the blood-soaked bed, his body was missing from just below diaphragm to just above the hips. There was no sign of whatever had done it.
Alex held his hands over the body and made a number of odd gestures. The blood stopped flowing and the man's chest froze in midbreath. <That should hold him for now. Now if only the doctors could do something…I know Ganossa is behind this somehow.> He tapped an almost invisible button behind his right ear to activate the cortical shunt implanted in his skull. `Alice, I've got a body here. He's been cut in half, but he's still alive. I've put him in stasis, but that will only last a few more minutes. I need you to move him into a full stasis tube. And bring a false body; it may be best if whoever did this believes that he succeeded.'
`Yes, sir.' A squad of squat blue robots rolled through a small portal that opened behind Alex. They gathered up the body and returned through the portal. A taller grey robot collected a few fragments of flesh from the bed. A few minutes later, the team of blue robots brought a second body back, virtually identical to the original. Alex followed them back through the portal to his own house. As soon as his foot touched the floor, he asked, `Any idea who our guest is, Alice?
`Yes, sir; his fingerprints and retinal patterns match one Sgt. Robert de Vice of the Mobile Police, Division 1,' Alice reported, manifesting as a red-headed nurse, holding a holographic clipboard with the cop's data. `I've sent him on to Ardonis Memorial for treatment. Cloning everything he needs, integrating the organs, and rehab will take several months. I should warn you now, sir, that this will not be cheap.'
`So, he's a cop…' Alex mused. `I'm not going to ask how you accessed their files. Pay whatever the doctors ask…I have enough old loot sitting around to cover this. Sgt. de Vice is involved in this Lucifer Hawk mess and I want to know how.' Alex poured himself a drink before opening a portal to his rooms in the Hilton.
A lone man wandered a dark maze. He was slim and black-haired, not much above the average height. Just inside the entrance, he was pulled into a swirling blue vortex that cast him onto a battlefield. As he wandered, he met a woman, a brunette with broad shoulders and fiery grey eyes. They met again as he continued his wanderings and they enjoyed a brief time of peace together in a land lit by neither Sun nor Moon. Eventually, they left that land and arrived before a great marble fountain. Three lions supported a phoenix, whose wings sprayed a fine mist and whose beak jetted forth a dancing column of water. There the woman fell to a broad-winged beast with four arms. The man grieved but continued on. His path took him through countless battles, but no foe could slay him, not man, nor demon, nor star-born beast. His hair turned white and his armour changed from battered grey to dragon-headed silver. In time, he came to a grand hall lit by a crystal chandelier. The door in the opposite wall opened and a woman entered, silver-haired with blue-green eyes. Her long blue gown trailed on the floor as she ran to embrace him, saying breathlessly, `I've finally found you-my destined love.'
With the logic of dreams, the man knew this to be true, that his journeys were ended now that he had found her. He lifted his face to kiss her and the gown slipped from her shoulders. A single crystal crashed against the floor, casting sharp shards to the dark corners. The woman retreated through the far door, whispering, `Stay well until we meet again, my love.'
Alex drifted up from sleep, the feel of the kiss slowly fading from his lips. He was alone in his bed at the Hilton, as usual. The alarm clock on the nightstand read 12:10 AM. <Who is she? That's the fifth night in a row I've had that dream…ever since I rescued that cop in Tokyo. Can there be a connexion?> He stretched out his hand and pulled a glass of blue liquor from the air. <If she's real and we are destined for each other, she'll probably turn out to be a short-lived mortal. This sorcery's gift of long life can be a curse at times.> Alex downed the drink at a gulp and sank into a dreamless sleep.
A woman walked through the streets of a dark brooding city. Her youthful face belied her silver hair, but her eyes held a deep sorrow. At first, another woman walked beside her, a younger woman with purple hair and scarlet eyes. Suddenly, the city roared with flames and the younger woman left. New companions appeared in her place, aiding the white-haired woman in her battles against the monsters that now appeared in the streets. One wielded a strange sword nearly twice her height and commanded magic beyond any other mortal's; another wore the white robes of a Shinto priestess; a third, auburn haired, tore through the monsters with her fists. In time, they approached a great building, dark and windowless. The other women gestured for her to enter alone. Within she found a dark chamber with a small table set for two. The woman found herself wearing a blue gown as the man at the table rose to greet her. His eyes were black, but almost her twin otherwise, slim and white-haired though young of face. The eyes, however, told of great age and much travail. The man spoke first, `I've been waiting for you for so long. I am yours, heart and soul, now and forever.'
He sank to one knee to kiss her hand, holding it in his long pale fingers. The woman lifted him to his feet and kissed him. Their embrace would have lasted forever had a glass not suddenly shattered on the table. The man faded away, saying, `We shall meet in truth anon.'
Rally Cheyenne woke reluctantly from the dream, trying to hold the man. She was not particularly tall, topping Alex by no more than an inch or two. A deep melancholy and even deeper resolve resided in her face. Her silver hair gave the impression of great age, though her face had seen no more than forty winters. When she opened her eyes, the clock at her bedside read 12:10. <Who is he? I've had that dream five nights in a row now. What can it mean?>
<It means that you need to find yourself a man… this one might be good if he's real.> Replied a voice from the back of her head.
<If he's real. I'm past the age for chasing after dreams. With Katsumi gone, I don't have time for this. Ganossa and the Lucifer Hawks will be making their move soon and we have to be ready for them.>
<Still, you are a woman and have needs like any other. You made that lovely speech to the AMP about women bringing new life into the world. What about you? Will you ever give life to a child?>
<Do you think any man could accept what I am? I'm half Lucifer Hawk; any child of mine will carry their blood. Who can love a half-breed like me?>
<That man looked a lot like you, you know. Maybe he's another one like you and Rosa.>
<I don't even know if he exists, so why worry about that?> The other voice had no answer for that. Rally dreamt again of the silver-haired man, a much more…private dream.
Notes: Angle brackets, <>, enclose characters' thoughts and internal dialogues.
Teles is pronounced `Tell-es' with the accent on the second syllable if anyone cares to know.
There's a reason I've introduced Rally's other side. It'll become clear in the next chapter. The main reason I wanted to rewrite this fic is because I don't think I developed the relationship between Rally and Alex all that well.
This fic is mostly based on the manga storyline since it's the one most readily available to me. In that line, Roy died in June and the AMP was dissolved 6 months later in December…on Christmas Day, in fact. This also gives me some more time to deal with Alex and Rally later on. The characters' personalities are based more on the anime versions…though it'll probably be a weird blend of both.