The day had arrived for the battle to begin. The Cleansers had amassed their forces and begun to send out waves of monsters into the city, causing mayhem and chaos.
Knowing the truth of the war, James and the rest of the team had come to a decision. If HQ called for a ceasefire then they would simply ignore it. They would let everyone know the truth of the matter and fight the Cleansers down to the very end.
All of the various guilds had every member positioned throughout the city awaiting the main attack. Law enforcement was out in droves patrolling the streets. All citizens had been evacuated to special shelters far outside the city or had been instructed to shelter in their homes.
Hours ticked on by without any action and the heroes were starting to get tense.
"This is bogus," Falcon shouted.
"Yeah!" Hawk added. "What are they making us wait for? Are they too scared?"
"It could be a tactic to elicit fear," Owl remarked as he sat on a bench, flipping through a magazine labeled "Clever Feather."
Sparrow and James sat by one another and tried to keep calm.
"It's going to be okay," she reassured as he bounced his leg around like a maniac.
"It's not the battle I'm concerned about. It's everything we have to accomplish after the battle that is worrying me."
She reached out for his hand. "One thing at a time. We will cross that bridge when we get there."
He gripped her hand back and smiled. Somehow she always managed to calm him. He found her voice to be a soothing, angelic balm to whatever fears he had growing in his soul.
A few minutes later, they began to hear chatter on the radios. It sounded like some of the other sectors were starting to see some action. The tension only grew as they stood by for further instruction. Their initial orders were to stay in their sector and not leave unless commanded by HQ but it was hard to wait around while your fellow guildmates became overrun by monsters.
Sector after sector began to see an influx of Cleanser combatants, adding to the frustration everyone was experiencing. In no time the fighting became close enough for them to hear. Growls, roars, screams, and shots range out into the air and sent anxious shivers down everyone's spine.
Then, over the com of a nearby officer, they heard the words, "Unidentified combatant entering the sector, repeat unidentified combatant entering the sector."
Everyone braced for what they felt was the start of their own battle. Instead, they were greeted by a man with his hands above his head slowly walking towards the heroes.
"Easy buddy, easy," the officer next to them shouted. "This is an active battle zone what are you doing out here?"
The man approached the heroes and started to speak. "I'm here to turn myself in," the man announced with a quivering voice.
James was weary. He wanted to be sure this wasn't some kind of trap. "What do you mean turn yourself in? Are you a Cleanser?"
The man nodded." I was, but I don't want to do this anymore! I'm scared."
The officer frisked him for weapons and then handcuffed him to a chair.
They all decided to question him for information. If he was telling the truth then he could be an invaluable asset.
James started to put the screws to him, demanding he tells him everything.
The man nodded and asked, "What do you want to know?"
James did a chair turn a flipped it backward. He didn't really know how to interrogate someone but he watched plenty of crime shows on TV and figured he would just imitate what he saw the best he could.
"What's the battle plan? How many people do you have in your little club? Who are you working with? We want to know it all so start talking!"
The man's face became pained. "I can't tell you that."
James let out a laugh. "Well, champ you gotta tell us something! Otherwise, why turn yourself over in the first place?"
The man shook his head. "No, I mean I won't tell you any of that. If they found out that I was the one who ruined their plans they would kill me!"
Sparrow slid over next to James and formed a shadow dagger in her hands. "They might kill you if you speak huh? Well if you don't then I'll make sure you wish they had!"
James looked over at Sparrow alarmedly. He knew she was bluffing but she sounded way too believable. The man thought about it as he stared at the pulsating ebony blade protruding from Sparrow's hand.
"Ok, ok, fine." He let out a massive sigh and spilled the beans.
"The entire battle is a diversion."
James moved closer, an intimidating look plastered on his face. "What? What do you mean a diversion?"
The man chuckled as he stared into his eyes. "This is so much bigger than any of you know. The battle is just a diversion to keep the heroes busy. The real goal has always been getting to the Nexus Orb."
Sparrow locked her gaze on him. "What!" she shouted. "They know where it is?"
The man nodded his head affirmatively.
She grabbed his collar and pulled him close. "Where is it?"
"I don't know where it is exactly but I know where they are looking for it."
"Tell us!" Sparrow shouted fiercely as she brought the blade closer.
The man swallowed nervously and said, "Outside the city to the east is a quarry. They seem to believe it's somewhere around there. But I swear that's all I know!"
Sparrow retracted the dagger and started giving commands. "Static, Hawk, Falcon, and Owl, you all stay here and defend this sector. James, you and I are going to this quarry and stopping them before they find what they are looking for."
"Yes, Maam!" The group replied.
Sparrow and James took off using the direction the hostage had given them. They found the quarry and hid behind some bushes while they scoped it out. The land around it had been completely leveled by massive machines. Monstrously large equipment was banging and drilling into the ground in and around the quarry sending heaps of stone flying out into the air.
James looked through the shrubbery and out at the massive piles of gravel piling up beside the machines. "It looks like they are digging further down. Maybe the Nexus Orb is buried under the quarry?"
Sparrow let out an agitated grunt. "Wherever it is we have to stop them! If they get their hands on it then the entire world will fall!"
Before they could reach the mining equipment and put a stop to their operations they were halted by an army of mutated monsters just like the one James and Owl had battled in the junkyard.
The creatures scattered out in all directions in an attempt to flank them but Sparrow and James had little trouble dispatching them. By now James had become an expert at using his plasma attacks to vaporized monster after monster while Sparrow had clad herself in full shadow armor and donned an energy blade that cut through the beasts like butter.
They moved together in perfect grace and harmony, defending the other from attacks and effortlessly complimenting the other's moves and tactics. They both grinned as they sliced and burned through the hordes of monsters together in what almost felt like a dance.
The issue was less about the monster's strength and more about their numbers. The creatures just kept coming in ever-growing waves and made it impossible for them to advance.
"Enough of this!" James declared. "Sparrow, can you cover me for a few minutes?"
She finished sundering a monster in two and replied, "A few minutes? I think I can manage that!" She gave him an affirmative wink and got back to slicing.
James started charging up for the most powerful and intense plasma attack he had ever attempted. "Kazav give me everything you got!"
He planned to turn the entire quarry into a crater and end every threat all at once but he needed time. He knelt on the ground and began to focus with all his might. Every bit of energy, every strand of strength, he mustered it all into a ball of pulsing and electrifying plasma that formed above him, growing larger with every passing second.
Sparrow was fending the monsters off with a masterful display of her powers. She twirled and flipped about, keeping the perimeter tight. One of the monsters reached out for James but she intercepted it and kicked it so hard it flew into the sky without ever falling back down.
James began to glow and shimmer as the power flowed through him. Arcs of electricity bolted out and struck several of the monsters attacking Sparrow, turning them into dust.
Once the Cleanser foot soldiers saw what James was doing they began to join in the assault. Some of them fired weapons while others had powers and hurled fireballs, energy beams, and jagged shards at James from their hands. Once the projectiles reached the area around him they stopped mid-air, disintegrated, and only served to add to the power of his attack.
Sparrow had to step back as the ball grew and turned the ground around James into a puddle of molten goo. 108Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡClML52X5lB
Once he couldn't charge it any further James leaped up into the sky and, like an asteroid that was crashing down from above, released the massive ball of burning plasma onto the ground below.
Sparrow had already evacuated to a safe distance before the ball turned everything into a bubbling pile of lava-like liquid. James fell back down to the ground feeling drained and exhausted. Sparrow ran out to meet him, grabbing hold of him before he crashed into the floor.
"Wow, James," She exclaimed in complete amazement. "That was incredible."
He smiled at her and gave her a wink, returning the one she gave him earlier.
But the victory was short-lived as something landed on the ground in front of them, pulling their attention away from one another. Sparrow set James' head down gently and got into a defensive position in front of him. No matter what it was she was ready to protect James at any cost.
"Yes," A voice called out from behind the clouds of dust. "That was very impressive."
James winced, he knew exactly who it was.
Jeremy walked out from behind the screen of dirt and into full view.
Sparrow tensed up as he casually stepped closer, a sinister smile sown onto his face. He broke into a slow clap while giving out an ominous warning. "I'm afraid your little game ends here."
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