Alpha Broken Part 2
Sage woke up in hell. He and the monster ricocheted through vast dimensions various when suddenly they came to stop within a state of existence foreign. His physical eyes were useless, they saw only darkness, but in his magical third eye, Sage was able to perceive wonders and nightmares. The beast which had knocked him into this strange universe was absent from the set of things that Sage could see. He was deep in the Arcanus Obliques where even Zephandi dared not explore.
Sage floated and waded equally through a viscous, invisible medium that clung to his clothing as he went. Around him, geometries passed more alien than anything he’d seen before. The current of the dimension pushed sage through an approximation of a building which had moments before been spinning through the air above him. Sage swirled into the building and found himself staring through a wall or ceiling at a speck out on the horizon. As he and the house flowed forward he recognized the spot as the house he was currently in.
The door of the house outside opened and accepted its doppelganger in. As Sage struggled to comprehend the nature of the world he was in, a great red eye appeared before him, followed by another immediately adjacent. The rest of a face faded into view followed by a body as before Sage slowly coalesced the visage of the one who’d brought him to this plane.
A high pitched voice reverberated from inside Sage’s skull. “I’ve found you,” it squealed with delight over and over again. “I’ve found you.”
William Fairweather woke up in hell. His ribs, lungs, shoulders were on fire in addition to his cloudy head and throbbing joints all over. He was in a hospital bed for the first time in his life. There was TV in the corner that was off. He wrinkled his nose to the pervasive aroma off disinfectant and sterilized metal. It was a sunny day but a tree growing outside the hospital cast a shadow over most of the room.
CC was sitting in the bedside chair next to him, wearing a button down shirt and slacks. Will couldn’t help but grin at the sight of his best friend. He coughed a little before speaking through a dry throat which hadn’t seen water in days. “D-Did we win?”
“I was hoping you wouldn’t ask that.” CC responded handing Will a half-empty bottle of water. Will’s smile slid off his face.
“If it’s still out there, we have to do something!” He sat up in bed quickly. CC jumped out of his seat and reached out to stop his friends’ saline IV from falling over. Will winced as his insides objecting to being roused so quickly. He fell back to the bed holding back pained moans.
“He’s not out there anymore.” CC explained. “He took out Sage and Spectrum before we were able to get rid of him though. So I sure as hell won’t say we won.”
CC stood up, walked over to the television and turned it to the news. Miss March stood in front of a podium, microphones thrust into her face. She took a deep breath and began her speech.
“It’s been three days since the tragic events that-”
“THREE DAYS!?” Will shouted.
Miss March had woken up in hell. Scenes of Sage’s sacrifice had plastered every major news outlet for the last half a weekend. The loss of two of her teammates and the hospitalization of a third had taken more than a toll on her mental state and having to rewatch a part of it every time she turned on the television to relax didn’t do anything to help. She’d taken to spending her nights alone in her room with an old radio, broadcasting her voice across as many different unoccupied frequencies as she could and then sitting quietly waiting for a response. She hadn’t found one yet and the press conference was tomorrow. Normally in times of such stress, she would go talk to Luther Blackfeather, but he hadn’t spoken to anyone in the last three days.
Miss March stood at the podium, unready to answer any questions. A crowd was gathered in front of the small stage that had been assembled for the press conference. Allison stood next to her mother, holding her hand for comfort. Miss March leaned into the microphone and held her voice strong as she said, “It’s been three days since the tragic events that rocked Khazan to its very core. I’ve previously said all I have to say on the issue. Now, I’ll be taking questions.”
The crowd began to clamor and shout, all trying to be heard above one another. Miss March desperately wished she had Trevor Cale on hand to handle the public, but that’s not a luxury that the head of the Alpha Sentinel gets. She pointed at a reporter in a gray golf cap. The crowd quieted and the question fired out.
“Why wasn’t there a quicker response? An acre of Khazan City burned down before the Alpha Sentinels got there.”
Miss March sighed. Her hands balled into fists. She silently counted to ten in her head before she responded, fighting hard to stop her voice from cracking and her eyes from releasing tears. “We got there as fast as we could and did the best job we could do. Next question please.”
The dam was breaking. Miss March could feel her emotions pouring forth but she had to keep them bottled up inside. She pointed at a woman in the crowd with far too much makeup on. She didn’t even hear the beginning of the question because she was trying too hard to keep herself under control. The last word broke her concentration. “…safe?” She felt her daughters hand squeeze hers a little tighter and she knew she was in for it. Still, Miss March summoned up all her resolve and asked for it again.
“I’m sorry, could you repeat that.”
“Are the citizens of Khazan safe?” repeated the reporter.
Miss March stood stunned. She wasn’t counting or taking deep breaths of doing anything to manage her anger. “What kind of question is that?” she blurted out. Allison gasped next to her; Miss March didn’t let it dissuade her. “Are you safe? Yes? No? Does it matter what I say? I can’t predict the future so I honestly don’t know whether you’re safe. I’m going to keep doing my job and so are the rest of the Sentinels. So I’m going to answer your question with a question, do you trust the sentinels?”
The question hung over the crowd. Everyone was shocked into silence. Miss March realized after a time that she had forgotten to ask for another question, but she figured they would start talking again eventually. Time passed. Enough time that it started to feel strange that no one was talking. Miss March stood waiting for a crowd that stood waiting for her.
“This has been a very taxing experience for me.” Miss March said out loud. “Following the loss of two of my teammates, I’ve been rather emotionally … affected.” The crowd murmured appreciatively. There was much nodding. “Next question, please.”
The rest of the questions were more easily answered even though each of them stung like nettles to hear for the first time. The rest of the press conference didn’t matter though. The reporters had their headlines already. “Irene Ryan Unfit To Lead The Alpha Sentinels?”
Caitlin Brooks woke up in a twisted sort of heaven. She had exactly what she’d wanted for years and found she didn’t want it anymore.