Felicia’s eyes slowly opened, her sight adjusting to the dim light of her new ‘home’. As Felicia sat up and rubbed her eyes and felt an uncomfortable ache in her back from sleeping on the curved, concrete recess in the walls of the storm drain.
It wasn’t as if she wasn’t grateful for the safety and seclusion this hideout provided, Felicia thought to herself as she rubbed her lower back, trying to ease the dull, aching pain.
As the young redhead massaged herself she could just catch what seemed to be a heated argument some way in the distance, standing herself up she started to trek through the tunnels of the storm drain until she began to see the light of the early morning sun and hear the intense arguing of her two saviours.
“I have waited long enough!” Nemesis thundered, her cold, reverberating voice sending an unnatural chill down Felicia’s spine as she climbed out of the storm drain outlet embedded in a great concrete bank that sloped downward towards the sea.
“You can wait another hundred years demon, we will not be helping you reach the Institute’s compound,” Tar’el stated calmly in reply but from his tone it was clear he had little but contempt for Nemesis.
“Tar’el!” Felicia shouted, approaching the pair, “have you forgotten that this demon, woman, whatever she is put her life on the line to save me?”
“Be that as it may we cannot help her, do you really want any more to do with the Institute?” Tar’el asked, although he knew the answer as he watched Felicia’s brow wrinkle, the same way it had every time she relived her terrible memories of her time with the Institute.
“N-no, but we can help this woman out! She deserves at least that much,” Felicia said, quickly snapping herself out of her terrible memories.
“We can offer her information, nothing else Felicia, doubtless the Institute are already looking for you, we cannot make finding you any easier,” Tar’el said in such a way that his words not only sounded true and kind but also forceful.
Felicia looked at the armour clad woman, she wanted to help more, but Tar’el was right.
“Okay,” Felicia said with a regretful sigh, wishing she and Tar’el could do more to help the woman who helped save her life.
“There’s a facility in the middle of a large forest to the west of here, it says it is a military base but that is just a front, the majority of the complex is underground, a sprawling mess of tunnels and vast chambers and storage rooms,” Tar’el explained.
“Will I be able to find this ‘Alpha Squad’ stationed there?” Nemesis asked.
“No, or at least it’s unlikely,” Felicia said somewhat gingerly, “the Institute has a number of facilities scattered around. I’ve only been to a few myself, the one to the west of here is little more than a testing area and a vault of sorts, mostly for prisoners of high value and technology. But if you’re just looking for revenge then you may be able to find their location of in the records and computers there. Not that I would be, not against Alpha Squad.”
“Why? What do you know about Alpha Squad?” Nemesis asked directly.
“As you know each squad the Institute puts together is assigned a letter from the Greek alphabet, supposedly the closer the letter is to the start of the alphabet the stronger the team, which would definitely make Alpha the strongest. I’ve only seen the squad a few times, but they’re hard to forget. Their leader is called Steel, he’s a large, muscular man. His power is that he can transform parts of his body from flesh and bone to steel, increasing his strength and toughness,” Felicia expounded.
As Felicia described this ‘Steel’ Nemesis remembered fighting against the group of five and in particular remembered the man who changed his arms to metal.
“There’s a woman called Whistler, she had a bow I recall, I think her power or talent was just extreme accuracy, even when shooting targets she couldn’t necessarily see, like a sixth sense just for aiming,” Felicia continued.
Once again, as Felicia described this latest Alpha Squad member she remembered the young woman who jumped to the side and fired an arrow that she was lucky to avoid.
“The two other ‘normal’ members I don’t know, I’ve seen them but I don’t know much about them I’m afraid, sorry,” Felicia said with a slight shrug.
“What do you mean ‘normal’ members?” Nemesis asked curiously.
“As far as I know every Institute squad has one member from the Arcane Division, as it was explained to me there were by-and-large two types of super-human at the Institute, ones with specific powers, like Steel or Whistler or there are those of us who can use magic, most of us have a far greater range of powers, usually utilising a single element like water, or fire. Anyway, Alpha Squad has a member of the Arcane Division and from what I heard during conditioning and training, before I was locked up in the facility is that Impetus is the strongest of all the Arcane Division members, apart from the head of the division,” Felicia continued to explain.
Nemesis recalled a woman, her uniform more like a robe than close fitting combat garb, she remembered the series of hand movements and shapes the woman had used before loosing her attack, an attack which Nemesis well remembered, as it threw her aside like a rag doll.
“Felicia, you waste your time and breath,” Tar’el said ungracefully, “I too have found myself in combat with this ‘Alpha Squad’, not even I could hope to best all five at once, if this demon fights at the level she displayed against the Scorn demon I wouldn’t expect her to be able to fight any one of them and emerge the victor.”
Nemesis turned her head and scowled at Tar’el, angrily grasping the hilt of her blade and drawing it from its sheath.
“Tar’el!” Felicia snapped, swiftly repositioning herself between both her rescuer and the mysterious steel clad warrior who was yet to identify herself.
“However strong you believe me to be I shall destroy anything or anyone who gets in my way, I don’t care if the members of this Alpha Squad have the strength of the prime evils themselves, they shall not bar my way!” Nemesis said with fiery conviction thick in her voice.
Felicia looked back at Nemesis, she saw a look on the hooded woman’s face that was all to familiar to her; the look of desperation.
“Why do you want to go to the Institute’s facility so badly?” Felicia asked in a friendly tone of voice that she hoped would help defuse the situation.
“They took my brother,” Nemesis said, hatred for her worthless sibling bubbling up inside her, though she was doing her best to conceal it.
Both Felicia and Tar’el stood for a moment in stifled silence.
“That is unfortunate indeed, but I am afraid if you went in search of your brother and he was guarded by even a fraction of the might the Institute has at its command you would be killed,” Tar’el admitted, “there is nothing more we can do for you.”
Felicia looked sorrowfully at the hooded woman’s face, despite the pain Felicia was sure she must be feeling the cowled woman’s face was set in a single, emotionless stare.
“Very well,” Nemesis retorted coldly before beginning to turn to the west.
“Wait!” Felicia cried out, stopping Nemesis mid-turn, “we’ll go with you, it’s the least we can do after you saved me.”
“Felicia, no, we cannot help this demon any further. It is regrettable that this woman lost her brother to the Institute, but the risk of you falling back into their hands is too great and your safety is my only concern,” Tar’el said sternly, hoping Felicia would come around to his way of thinking and let the demon take her leave.
Nemesis once again began to turn to leave, looking west into the city.
“Please demon wait!” Felicia exclaimed.
Nemesis turned her head again with an angry huff, “I told you I am no demon.”
“Sorry,” Felicia said remorsefully, “If you’d rather be called something different you’ll have to tell me your name.”
“I am…” Nemesis said, pausing, she considered what to tell the young redhead she had saved but the more she thought on it the more memories of her lost loved ones and the torturous hatred she had for her brother flitted through her mind.
In the end the soul-hunter knew there was only one correct response, “Nemesis.”
“Then please Nemesis, wait a moment longer,” Felicia said so warmly that Nemesis was compelled to stay.
Felicia walked up to Tar’el, looking him squarely in his pure eyes.
“I want to help her,” Felicia whispered earnestly.
“We cannot, think of what would happen if the Institute got their hands on you again?” Tar’el reasoned.
“Tar’el she saved my life… besides, with both you and her there to protect me? How could the Institute get me?” Felicia asked with a sly, facetious smile.
“It still needlessly puts you in danger, all for the sake of this fallen woman? She has been tainted, likely permanently by the evil that bathes all who dwell in the deep reaches of Hell,” Tar’el explained, glancing at Nemesis with a slight scowl on his face, “so long as we are careful I am all the protection you need.”
“Like you were last night you mean?” Felicia retorted quickly and confidently.
“I am aware of my failure, it shall not be repeated, but this woman, she isn’t strong enough to protect you, not against the likes of the Institute,” Tar’el continued, hoping to dissuade Felicia from her current course of action.
“Nemesis seems confident, maybe she’s stronger than you give her credit for? Why don’t you go, you know, look into her? Like you did to me,” Felicia asked.
“If she will permit me to I shall, but only if you will stop persisting on following her on her foolhardy quest if she proved not capable of protecting you,” Tar’el offered with a heavy sigh.
“You don’t have to treat me like such a kid, I’m old enough to drink and vote, but fine,” Felicia snapped in return, folding her arms moodily.
“I am sorry, but your safety is my only concern,” Tar’el stated unabashed.
“Yeah, you keep saying. One of these days you’ll have to tell me why that is,” Felicia replied feistily.
“Of course, but I only have you best interests at heart,” Tar’el said, trying to reassure Felicia.
“Yes, I know, but still, I hardly know anything about you,” the young redhead said with an unsatisfactory sigh.
Tar’el stepped forward towards Nemesis who turned to face him as he approached, sword still drawn.
“Nemesis,” Tar’el announced somewhat uncomfortably as he continued to approach the imposing, demon armour clad figure that stood before him, “Felicia wishes us to accompany you to the Institute, to help you find your brother but I will not let you or some debt she feels she owes you endanger her life. If you will allow me I would like to look into your being and see just how deep the well of your power truly is, without your demonic weapon, armour and bravado.”
“I do not need yours or Felicia’s pity or aid,” Nemesis replied coldly, with a look of distrust shot straight at Tar’el who stood a mere four feet away.
“Unless you have the strength of a dozen angels beneath your breast you will do well to accept our help, the humans taken in and trained, augmented by the Institute have power to rival even the greatest lesser demons,” Tar’el explained.
Nemesis knew her power was far and away greater than any lesser demon-spawn, or at least it was while she dwelt in Hell, since she returned to earth she felt sluggish and weak, perhaps allowing these two to help would prove the wisest course of action?
“Very well,” Nemesis replied, sheathing her sword as a sign of co-operation and good will towards Tar’el.
Tar’el reached out with his right hand, laying his palm on Nemesis’ forehead, his hand felt cooling against Nemesis’ unnaturally warm skin. With a quick, muttered spell Tar’el began to peer into Nemesis’ soul, to see what power dwelt within.
Suddenly Tar’el found himself standing in Nemesis’ inner space, he looked around at the black slab-stone floors and walls, the atmosphere here was humid and oppressive.
Tar’el saw the same door that Nemesis had walked through before, he saw the emerald light beyond and walked towards it, the door opening as he neared with a loud, pained screech. As Tar’el walked out into the adjoining chamber he looked with slightly widened eyes at the twisting pillar of power that bathed the entire chamber in a faint green light.
Tar’el approached the edge of the pit from which the power surged and without hesitation stretched his arm out towards it. As his finger tips disappeared inside the vortex of energy Tar’el’s eyes opened widely, a look of shock and horror hastily painted on his face.
As quickly as they had entered the beam of energy Tar’el snatched his hand back out, his finger tips now badly burnt by the sheer wealth of power Nemesis seemed to possess.
“Impressive isn’t she?” Came a voice off to one side, the voice was deep and carried with it untold darkness and malice.
Tar’el span about and saw the demon, its limbs chained to the wall just beyond. The massive demon struggled against his bonds, the heavy chains making an equally heavy noise as the beast moved.
“Who are you?” Tar’el asked the large, crimson demon who looked back at him with equal curiosity.
“I should ask you the same angel,” the demon replied before lashing out with it’s right, unchained arm.
Tar’el sprang backwards, to evade the attack but saw that only the demon’s right arm was free, the rest of him remained bound by heavy, black chains.
“I am called many things, or, at least I was until my fall. Many called me Abaddon,” the demon blasted in its menacing, guttural voice.
Tar’el looked back at the demon with a look of grave concern, “Abaddon the Reaver fell at the siege of the Gate of Truth, destroyed by Death herself,” the angel retorted.
“My armour and blade survived and through them, me. I was betrayed by the very prime evil I did the bidding of when I assailed the gates of heaven,” the massive demon roared furiously.
“And now Nemesis wears your dark armour and wields your demon blade?” Tar’el asked with a slightly cathartic smile on his face, “a once mighty destroyer reduced to nothing but the armaments of a human.”
The demon’s eyes narrowed angrily.
“She will not be yours demon,” Tar’el said assuredly.
“We shall see,” Abaddon replied with a wicked, confident smirk adorning his lips as he and the entire room began to fade away as Tar’el left Nemesis’ inner space.
Tar’el took his hand from Nemesis’ brow, his breathing was slightly more laboured than before he had entered the armoured woman’s inner space.
“So, how much strength does Nemesis have?” Felicia asked slightly wearily.
“Nemesis’ essence, the strength of her soul is remarkable, tell me Nemesis, just how much training have you received in the use of your essence? It may have been called your Soul or Soul Power,” Tar’el said.
“None,” Nemesis replied coldly.
Tar’el looked slightly disbelieving, “that you are as strong as you are with no training of any sort is nothing short of astounding, but it would explain why your battle against Alpha Squad went so poorly, you will need more experience making use of your inner strength before you can rescue your brother.”
“I do not have the luxury of time,” Nemesis snapped in reply.
“Do you not? Well, perhaps you will if you see what you face up ahead? Because the members of the Institute have trained every day of their lives since they taken by the Institute as children. They use incomplete knowledge and techniques garnered from my kind, from demons and dozens of other races from scores of different planes to further themselves. If you’re to stand a chance at rescuing your brother you need to release the power you possess,” Tar’el announced sternly before taking a few steps away from Nemesis, “now, strike me.”
“Say what now?” Felicia said bewilderedly.
Nemesis drew her blade again, looking at Tar’el all the while.
“Do not worry Felicia, I just want to show Nemesis the difference between someone with the ability to make use of one’s inner power and someone who cannot,” Tar’el announced as he watched Nemesis get ready to strike.
Nemesis brought her sword up and rested it on her shoulder as she too took a few steps backwards, as to get a better run up.
The two stood some ten feet apart, an uncomfortable silence broken only by the calm flow of water nearby filled the air as Tar’el waited for Nemesis to strike.
With a sudden burst of speed Nemesis rushed towards the waiting Tar’el who carefully watched for Nemesis’ attack.
Nemesis grasped the hilt of her blade with both hands, jumping slightly off the ground as she made her swing with tore through the air with more than enough force to cleave a car in two.
There was a loud crash as forces unleashed by the pair swirled around them, but as the scene calmed and the dust and dirt kicked up by the attack settled Felicia opened her eyes from behind shielding arms. She saw that despite the viciousness of Nemesis’ assault Tar’el was unharmed, having stopped Nemesis’ demonic blade with an unguarded, open hand.
“That Nemesis, is the difference between you and the members of the Institute, you cannot fight them without first learning how to utilise the vast power you have within,” Tar’el explained as he flicked Nemesis’ blade aside revealing a small, shallow cut, barely enough to break skin across his palm.
“What good will any training do if they move my brother to a different facility, or worse,” Nemesis snapped.
“If they move him they will have records, but we cannot go and fight what could be the full might of the Institute without you becoming stronger, the basics should only take a matter of days to learn, you are already incredibly powerful for someone with no knowledge of how to use your inner power, that is the best I can offer you,” Tar’el admitted grimly, knowing that Nemesis would not want to wait.
“So be it,” Nemesis said begrudgingly, her dark, echoing voice making the simple statement also sound deeply menacing, “whatever it takes to reclaim my brother.”
“Very well, we will have to start with the basics, but I am confident you will be able to master those in short order,” Tar’el said looking over Nemesis and beginning to pace around her, “your inner strength, soul, life force or whatever you prefer to call it is always in use, everyone from us to ‘normal’ humans, to animals or even plants have some, it is used up by every action we take, each breath we take, when we talk and so on. The difference is that we have so much left over that we can use it to augment our actions or use it to master techniques that would otherwise be called impossible.”
Tar’el held out his hand towards Nemesis, the minuscule cut running across his palm. Tar’el took his hand back and brought his left palm over his right, with a flash of light Tar’el showed Nemesis his palm again, the meagre cut now gone, his skin restored to its previous unmarked state.
“The first thing we have to do is get you to interact with your soul,” Tar’el announced, continuing to pace around.
“And just how do I accomplish that?” Nemesis asked waspishly.
“Try to clear your mind and try to feel the power that surges through you, it will take a little time and probably more than a little frustration, but be patient and it will come, when you feel your inner self,” Tar’el explained, sitting down on the sloping concrete, figuring that this might take awhile.
Nemesis looked back at Tar’el with narrow, slightly angered eyes as she adopted a slightly different posture with her right arm held out, her armoured palm facing skyward as she began to concentrate and try to find her ‘inner strength’ as nebulous as that sounded to her.
“You’re too tense Nemesis, try to calm yourself a little more,” Tar’el advised from his new, seated position.
Nemesis tilted her head slightly with a disgruntled look on her face, but soon after she tried to relax.
Hours passed by slowly as Nemesis continued to stand in aggravated silence, trying desperately to find her ‘inner strength’ with Tar’el looking on with a rather blank, patient expression, offering pieces of advice or wisdoms told to him when he so long ago had to learn this very discipline.
Felicia had gotten a little bored of watching Nemesis standing perfectly still, grunting at the wind and decided to go lay down, but she was unable to sleep.
Sleeping was quite difficult for Felicia, or at least peaceful sleep was. Every night the young woman was haunted by memories of her time in the Institute and all the things that had happened to her there, she was discarded, flung into a pristine white cell and left there. Sometimes weeks passed by without so much as a conversation with another human being, the only interaction she had with others was when white suited orderlies brought her meagre meals and a cup of ill tasting water.
Felicia rolled up the sleeves of her grubby clothes, she looked at the circular symbols burnt onto her arms, another painful reminder of the Institute and of Magnus, the head of the Arcane Division within the Institute.
Suddenly Felicia’s thoughts were interrupted by commotion coming from outside, the young redhead pulled the arms of her top back down, wiped the nascent tears from her eyes and rushed outside to see what had happened.
As Felicia exited the storm drain she saw Nemesis, holding a small orb of dark purple energy, although it almost looked like a globule of waxy gel floating freely above her palm.
“That’s the easiest part taken care of, you made decent time Nemesis,” Tar’el said, trying to compliment Nemesis’ progress uneasily, “what you have just done is the foundation of every technique you will ever learn, it is vitally important that you can make use of your inner strength and channel it through your body to wherever it is needed.”
Tar’el began to pace around Nemesis once again.
“The most common use of one’s inner power is the augmentation of actions in combat and or heightening of senses, almost everything you do can be improved through correct use and channelling of your soul’s energy. The next step is for you to use your power to increase the strength in your right arm when you swing your sword, you have already channelled power to your right hand before, but now, instead of willing the power into a particular form, will it to increase your strength,” Tar’el instructed.
Nemesis brought her blade above her head and swung, Tar’el standing some feet away from Nemesis felt the force and air rush by with the armour clad woman’s colossal swing.
Nemesis then raised her weapon again and swung, this time there was a little more strength in the swing, then she swung again, stronger still.
Tar’el was quite surprised at Nemesis’ progress and over the next few hours things continued in the same vein, eventually Tar’el asked Nemesis to pour her power into her left arm instead and although it took longer to see noticeable results Nemesis managed it in a fraction of the time Tar’el had predicted.
The next day began with Nemesis rushing between two points, using her power to enhance her speed this time, instead of her strength. After half a day of that, and Felicia lazing around in the sun Nemesis began to learn how best to use her power to heighten her defence, especially against powerful attacks, with Tar’el leaping at her with punches, kicks or even sword swings.
With a terrific clang Nemesis and Tar’el’s blades met, this had been Tar’el’s most powerful attack yet and as Nemesis forced him away she dropped to one knee, her breathing was heavy and her body felt as if it had been pushed too far.
Tar’el looked down at Nemesis and watched as she got back on her feet.
“Another important lesson, but one that cannot really be taught is efficiency, remember that the power within you is only a finite resource and without it, you are little more powerful than a normal human wearing heavy armour. It is vital that as you continue to grow in experience and power that you learn to use less of your own inner strength to do what you could before, this will become far more important when you begin to learn more complicated techniques, which can take far more out of you than a single swing of your sword,” Tar’el explained to a clearly tired Nemesis.
“Felicia,” Tar’el called out.
“Yeah?” Came a lazy response from a woman laying with a old, battered baseball cap over her face.
“Would you like to assist us a moment?” Tar’el asked.
“Sure, what do you need me to do?” Felicia responded, getting up off of the ground and walking over to Tar’el’s side.
“Attack Nemesis,” Tar’el answered simply, taking a step back before talking again, this time to Nemesis, “so far you’ve defended against purely physical attacks. You’ve blocked my blows and sword swings admirably, but now we’ll see if you can defend against magic, which relies more on your inner strength and how you deploy it, rather than the strength of your arms and armaments, although they do contribute too, especially in the case of your armour.”
Felicia held out her right hand and created a ball of fire within it, seemingly instantly.
“You ready Nemi?” Felicia yelled.
“Nemi?” Nemesis said, as if asking if Felicia had really just called her that.
Felicia hurled the fireball towards Nemesis’ stalwart figure.
Nemesis raised her blade, ready to intercept the fireball in the same way she had Tar’el’s blade.
The two met with a small, but none the less dramatic explosion of flames, Nemesis standing, seemingly unscathed by the fire as it died away.
‘That attack was definitely a pale shadow of the strength of Tar’el’s sword swings, but stopping it definitely felt different,’ Nemesis thought to herself.
“As you may have discovered, defending against magical attacks, like that one is more about using your inner strength to buffer the attack until it, or you run out of power, why don’t you keep practising with Felicia, then we’ll move on,” Tar’el said.
Felicia and Nemesis continued for some time, with Felicia firing various different kinds of attack at Nemesis, sometimes volleys of four of five smaller fireballs, sometimes two or more that struck from different directions, each one slowly increasing Nemesis’ understanding and ability to defend against magical attacks.
After about an hour and a half Felicia collapsed to her knees, sweat forming on her brow.
“I think I’m done,” Felicia said exasperatedly, scratching her arms through her top.
“Very well, thank you for your help Felicia,” Tar’el replied gratefully before turning and beginning to speak to Nemesis again.
Felicia didn’t really hear what he was saying, she was distracted by the burning sensation that coursed through her arms. The young woman stood up and began to walk back inside the storm drain, clawing at her clothed arms all the while, hoping this burning itch would cease.
As Felicia found her bedroll she threw herself down on it and now that she was away from prying eyes she rolled up her sleeves to see that the marks, symbols and glyphs burnt onto her skin glowed a warm light orange.
Felicia picked up a bottle of water beside her bed and took off the cap, walking a few steps away from her bedding as she did before pouring the water over one forearm, then the other, each time the water hissed as it ran over the glowing marks, ribbons of steam rising from them.
As the water washed over the glowing marks their brightness died down until they were a little darker than Felicia’s pale white skin. Felicia breathed a sigh of relief as she walked back over to her bedroll, intent on getting some sleep.
Tar’el and Nemesis continued through the night, honing all the skills Nemesis had learnt, tomorrow she would test them again before she, Tar’el and Felicia set out in an attempt to rescue Arthur, though Nemesis still hid away the seething hatred she had for her brother, she used it instead to motivate her, to push herself on, determined that nothing would get in the way of her vengeance.
Dawn came quickly and as Felicia’s eyes opened slowly she could still hear what was going on outside.
“Are those two still at it?” She asked herself as she climbed out of her meagre bedding.
Felicia emerged from the cave like drain exit with a mighty yawn.
“Have you both been training all night?” Felicia asked tiredly.
“Yes,” Tar’el replied swiftly, seemingly not tired at all, “Nemesis has shown remarkable progress for such a short time.”
“That’s great, does that mean we’re going to set off soon?” Felicia asked in reply.
“I think so, yes, but before we do I’d like Nemesis to try to strike me again, just as before, only this time putting all she has learned into the strike,” Tar’el challenged.
Nemesis looked to Tar’el and hoisted her blade onto her shoulder once again before beginning to walk some paces away from him.
“Ready whenever you are ‘Nemi’,” Tar’el said with a slight smirk on his face, holding back a chuckle.
Nemesis tilted her head slightly with an a menacing expression adorning her face before suddenly rushing forwards.
The speed she moved at now was at least one and a half times what she had managed some days prior.
Tar’el raised his hand up to stop Nemesis’ blade where he knew she would strike, but as she swung her blade mid-jump Tar’el could feel the power behind the attack, with widened, worried eyes there was another heavy clash.
The ground around split, the force of the clash creating a slight crater in the concrete slope.
Felicia shielded her eyes as she was enveloped in a cloud of concrete dust and kicked up dirt.
As everything began to settle Felicia saw two silhouettes in the dust and smoke, one figure was standing above the other who seemed to be pushed down. As the cloud dissipated further Felicia saw, to her surprise that Tar’el had blocked Nemesis’ attack not with his hand, but with his gleaming sword and was still pushed to his knees.
Nemesis stepped back and sheathed her blade, Tar’el standing up as she did.
“You couldn’t block my attack with your hand alone I take it?” Nemesis asked, her voice having lost none of its unnatural menace.
“No, had I felt the power behind your attack any later I doubtless would have lost my hand,” Tar’el admitted as his sword shone brightly for an instant before fading away completely.
“Then are we finally ready to get my brother back?” Nemesis asked, her thoughts turning back to her loathsome brother and the fate that awaited him at Nemesis’ own hands.
“I believe so, Felicia, are you ready to go?” Tar’el asked kindly.
“Yes, I am,” she replied with some apprehension, although it was her idea the notion of returning to the Institute was only just beginning to sink in, Felicia held her arms folded as Tar’el readied himself for the journey, it was all she could do to stop herself from shaking.