A Storm On The Horizon - Part 2Mature

The doors shut with a hiss of air and the cables clattered in the shaft as the pulleys screeched under the tension. The counterweight dropped through the darkness and air rushed in through the grill of the cable house to fill the void. The sound of the engine whining echoed across the rooftop as Fiend looked over the city. His shoulders rose and fell with deep breaths, and the flames in his eyes went out for a brief moment as he subdued the magic in his being. Immediately he coughed, and a spatter of dark blood sprayed through the grill of his armet. His eyes opened, their true color visible for the moment as he looked at the city the way any man would. He grunted, and fell to a knee with a gauntleted hand clasping his chest plate.

“F I E N D.” The voice came, rushing through the high winds of the city.

He squinted, peering with his true eyes. Dark veins bulged in the white of his eyes and his head dropped in defeat. He gasped, his pauldrons bucked. The roar of fire could be heard as the sockets of his mask erupted. “How much of me… is left.” he said to the shadows.

“Enough.” They replied.

“Why do you come to me?”

“Because, you remember.”

Fiend’s head rose, and his breath drew in with unnatural voracity. “Do I?”

“Your name Fiend. Do you remember your name?”

“I… ”

The elevator door opened and Fiend spun around.

Lee walked out on to the rooftop. “Sorry if I startled you.” He said. “Kanuval just told me what I’m to do tomorrow. I wanted to ask you a few questions about it.”

“You should ask Kanuval those questions.”

“It’s not the same. I understand that he knows what’s to be done, and if I had questions pertaining specifically to the strategy I wouldn’t be here.”

“What is it you wish to discuss?”

“Are you sure this is the best way to be using our resources?”


“Without question?”

“Did I hesitate or stutter?”


There was silence for a moment as Fiend turned back to the city. “Lee.”


“Do you remember your name?”

“Heh, what kind of question is that? Of course I do.”

“I mean your real name.”

“Fiend, my name is Lee.”

Fiend bowed his head. “It is, isn’t it.”

“You’re weirding me out.”

“What did you come to me for Lee.”

“If you’re one hundred percent about this, I’m with you. I just wanted to make sure you really were.”

“Have you been satisfied?”

Lee searched for something with his eyes, “I think so.”

“Do you doubt me?”

“No, I’m just concerned about Balthazar.”

“You think we should be concentrating on him.”

“Yes. I think the artifacts can wait.”

Fiend spun around, the flames in his eyes trailing behind. “Wait?”

“Yeah, like, we can deal with Balthazar, get the artifacts he has and then get the others after. It just seems like going after the cultists is counter-intuitive.”

“Some of the cultists are in league with Balthazar, it’s why Love Monk pools the majority of them in Balthazar’s district. We’ll be hurting Balthazar either way.”

“We need to take him out completely.”

“Lee, there’s a fine balance to maintain. We cant’ just take Balthazar out.”

“Why not?”

“There’s more at play than just a man in charge of a plot of land. There’s… energy involved.”

Lee thought for a moment. He understood to some degree. There was very little left of the Five as it was. If they were to share even more power, the burden would be unbearable. “Can’t you just make Flatline or one of the other Goodfellows into a Comissioner and let them have the energy?”

Fiend looked at him. “They’re already helping us with what we own now Lee. You may not know it, but so are you. Have you ever wondered why you’re so accurate? How you are able to take so much damage and continue on with the mission? Did it ever occur to you that you’re not just a simple man? That there are greater forces at work behind how you are able to do your job so efficiently? The power the Family holds trickles down through all of its members. We elected ourselves to hold the most corrosive power on principle. Your body will not rot, your mind will not fear for its sanity, but you will have strength and stamina beyond that of your average man.”

“I… I didn’t know that.”

“We don’t promote the knowledge of it.”

“I’m sorry I questioned your strategy.”

“You were missing information.”

“I think a lot of us are.”

“Perhaps that needs to change.”

“I think it does.”

Fiend looked out over the city once again. “Not yet.”

“Why not? Why is it that you’re keeping things from us?”

“There is a storm on the horizon Lee.”

Lee looked out to the city even though he knew that Fiend was being metaphorical.

“Our time here is waning.”

“How can you know that?”

“She tells me.”

“Who? Syn? People are starting to think you’re crazy.”

“Perhaps I am.”

“A lot of us question whether Syn actually exists.”

“She would laugh if she were here to speak to you.”

“Well.” Lee said, looking around. “Where is she?”

“This is all about energy, and how it has to be balanced Lee. Just as we must discover a solution to Balthazar, Syn must conserve what little energy she has. She can only manifest herself on rare occasion. Lately I only hear her, though I have seen her from time to time.”

“You need to convince her to bring more people into the picture, like the other four fathers. That would make this much more credible.”

“They don’t remember Lee.”

“Remember what?”

Fiend sighed. “Nevermind.”

“I’m not going to lie, you’re frustrating me with your cryptic bullshit.”

“You can’t understand.”

“Why can’t I?”

“Because, that’s just the way things are. You’re indoctrinated like all the others. You could never understand.”

“I don’t even know what you’re talking about anymore Fiend.”

“You should go.”

“I think I will, and I’ll assume you’re just going to stay up here.”


“Suit yourself.” Lee said, turning on his heel and stomping off toward the elevator.

“T h e y… will forgive you.”

“I’m not so sure.”

The End

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