Thursday, May 10, 2012
And now, the epic conclusion of Act Ten: The Battle for New York City...
CHAPTER FIFTY THREE
Times Square, New York
The clouds thunder and part and the Shadow Man is caught in the break of daylight. Sensei jumps at the opportunity as the clouds part further, channeling the storm into two fronts. Fitzsimons stands up, his eyes harnessed grey fury. Lightning from both storms pull down and around him, and draw together, making one massive bolt right through Fitzsimons. It releases from the ground and the storms rain down from all sides, sweeping into the mad research scientist. He was right. This was it. The Storm Harvester was taking him over for good. Philip had to do something...
DarkFlood blasts up and snatches the Man of Shadow. Sensei demands him, "NO!" The Shadow smiles, fulfilling his destiny as Philip transmits his powers. What he does not know is the man in black was no man at all, and absorbing his powers meant inheriting his entire entity. The Shadow Man was no more, but not dead.
Sensei was banished to the Infinite Abyss for failing his mission. A treacherous place where no living being has ever returned.
Philip uses the darkness he absorbed to inhibit the storm from brewing.
He cuts Fitzsimons off from the possession and frees him. The Storm Harvester is caught in between physical states and is at its weakest. Fitzsimons wakes up and sees the storm hovering right above him.
"Thank you..." he stammers, "Thank you, Philip."
Dr. Fitzsimons looked into Philip Dresden's eyes and all he saw was darkness.
"You killed my wife."
DarkFlood holds his hand up and creates a pulse blast inside of Fitzsimons skull, killing him instantly.
The Storm Harvester above searches for a new host.
In desperation it possesses Faulkner. Philip smiles. His last trap finally sprung. This would be the Storm Harvester's ultimate undoing. Not too long ago, in the Afghan Hindu Kush Philip touched Faulkner's dead heart with that of the Divine Catalyst when it was still in plant form. The affects lay dormant until triggered by this very moment. The contradiction of two opposing forces living in themselves obliterated each other, cancelling them out. But the Divine Catalyst survived through Philip.
Faulkner collapsed into himself and the Storm Harvester was wiped from existence. The ultimate death for a cosmic force. But even fools know that nothing dies forever. DarkFlood knelt down next to Faulkner and Fitzsimons dead bodies. The battle for New York City was finally over. The fallen skyscrapers lay lateral across the sporadic stone spikes still sticking out of the two streets. Times Square was in ruins. It was a nightmarish scene. But the battle for New York was over...
Everything would change once again...
Lazarus carried Dr. Randolph's dead body to the square. After the tide of the battle had swayed, and enough soldiers died, including Faulkner and Fitzsimons... the Alchemist and Ollie retreated into the city.
Yvonne pounced on Jason hiding backstage. "Coward!" she hissed at him. She had been psyching herself up to make her first kill. After seeing all the death around her, her blood-lust grew past rational control. She zeroed-in on the weakest of them and had now separated him from the rest of the group.
Yvonne was finished hunting her prey. Now was the time...
The beautiful french girl with long dark hair straddled Jason as she choked the life from him. The death of Faulkner was bizarre and wrong. Its fumes sought her out and compelled her away from Jason. The kid runs as she approaches DarkFlood still knelt down by the bodies.
"You did this..."
"You are more powerful than any of them, stranger..." Yvonne circled around him slowly, rubbing his shoulder with her fingertips, "Why not take what is yours and stop letting life pass you by?" She knelt down in front of him, facing him. Yvonne kisses DarkFlood and he enjoys it before pushing her away. Yvonne falls back onto Faulkner's body and the lingering essence of death drains into her. It is a strange sort of feeling, one unlike any death she has come across.
Like a phoenix, the Storm Harvester's ashes gather in Yvonne, to one day resurrect.
Lazarus drags Randolph's body over to Philip and releases him as Moses and Vlad return. Philip looks down on the doctor. His men stand behind him, all affected by the battle, all stronger than ever. "Many of the prisoners died." Vlad told them, but Philip did not care. "You could have prevented all this from happening...."
"That's not how it works." Philip did not face Vlad to answer him. In fact, he was growing sick of their puny human insolence. And so was Vlad...sick of hearing the same excuse day in and day out without ever an explanation.
"IS THIS HOW IT WORKS!" Vlad held Randolph's head up revealing his vacant face. "Did you know he was going to die when you brought him here to the fight?"
"He was never meant to be more than human."
"You knew and you still did it?" Moses spoke up.
"You don't understand..."
"You're going to lead us all to our deaths, aren't you..." Vlad persisted.
"How long until we die?" Lazarus wanted to see for himself.
"Everyone dies, you should know that most of all."