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All That I Am
hamenleai wrote in damned
Shana’s head jerked up as the carriages screeched to a halt and an awful, thick tension fell over all of them. Feeling her hair stand on end at the nape of her neck, she glanced around the outside of the bus, searching for whatever had given her the awful feeling of dread but seeing nothing out of the ordinary in the waning light of…

There wasn’t even time to complete the thought before day slipped into night and the peaceful twilight melted into nightmare. For one endless, dizzying moment, everything around her warped, shifted, leaving her disoriented and grabbing for Shadow to keep her balance, and then darkness fell and they were surrounded by the screams of tortured beings as their watchers… changed, turning into grotesque monsters Shana had never seen the like of before. Valyn hadn’t been joking when he’d told her of the horrors that stalked the darkness here, but not even her imagination could come close to inventing these.

Gasping in horror, she recoiled, darting to her feet, even as startled cries and exclamations rose from the other patients on the bus and eerie, unearthly sounds echoed from outside in the darkness. They were trapped in here, with the monsters at the exits, and none of them armed!

Her mind racing frantically, Shana summoned just enough of her power to send magelight dancing along the roof of the carriage, enough to illuminate the inside of the bus. This would possibly draw unwanted attention, yes, but at least the rest of them trapped on the bus wouldn’t have to fight blindly.

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This was bad. This was really, really, really bad. Even drugged as he was, Heiji could tell that they were all royally screwed six ways to Tokyo and back. People were starting to shout, and there were monster nurses, and suddenly the pitch-black was illuminated by some kind of spell.

Great, now he could see that everyone was fucking panicking. And his pipe was back in his room. Fabulous. He stripped off his jacket quickly, any signs of his previous drugging, for the most part, gone. Maybe he didn't have anything he could use as a shinai, but he could still fight hand-to-hand.

"Let's get you out of here," He shouted to Rinali, "Otherwise that brother of yours is gonna break my face!" Heiji winked, trying to encourage her.

The smile was gone from Rinali's face as the lights dimmed and the nurses went through their monstrous transformation. There wasn't much she could do here, not with everyone else running every which way, but there was still Allen to worry about. "Allen," she said quietly, keeping surprisingly calm for all the madness. "We have to find Allen! He's on one of the other buses..."

She glanced around for a suitable escape route, but with the exception of the windows which might take time and might not even be large enough for Heiji to fit through, she was coming up blank. "Lead the way," she said. "I'll watch your back."

"Oh no you don't," Heiji said, grabbing her hand and steering her out into the hallway. "Ladies first." Heiji looked up just in time to see a guy throw one of the nurses out the windshield, leaving a gaping hole in the bus. A quick scan of the interior also revealed other open windows. Which route was safer, though?

"If you need to get to this Allen person, I suggest you get the heck out of here--and fast," the detective motioned to one of the windows. "You'd fit through one of those, I'd bet. I'll help you out!" He smirked. "Unless you want to try your luck with the windshield?"

Rinali looked at the windows. Yes, she could probably get through one of those very easily, but could Heiji? "What about you," she asked tentatively. She wasn't about to leave an ally behind, even a hastily made one like him. Besides that, she couldn't help but hear the sounds of screeching coming from outside. Something was out there waiting, and it helped to have someone watching her back as they ran.

"Me? Meh, I'll be fine!" Heiji said with a grin, "I'm the big, dumb hero-type--I can't leave these people to fend for themselves. Comes from having a father in the police force," He laughed.

"C'mon!" He grinned, "I'll help you out! Go find Allen!"

What was it with boys and their insane desire to sacrifice themselves for some unknown greater good? "No," she said. "We're getting out of this together. It's not safe out there on your own, and everyone else seems to be doing fine for themselves." She motioned to the people who were fleeing the bus by whatever means necessary.

"I'll go, but you'd better be behind me," she asserted, climbing over to the open window and waiting for his agreement. It wasn't in her nature to let people stay behind, especially when it wasn't going to do any good.

"Eh, that's a bit of a problem!" Heiji said, still cheerful despite the many screams and explosions that rose over his voice. "I don't think I'll be able ta get my shoulders through that teeny window!" There was another explosion--Heiji turned around in time to see a guy with longish hair blow a hole in the side of the bus. "Or we could use that!"

He held out his hand for Rinali's, smirking away, "Shall we?"

The newly formed exit certainly made things easier. She smiled and took his hand for support. He was very polite, although she couldn't help but feel concerned that Heiji might think she was too frail to fight on her own if need be.

"Just so you know," she added. "I can hold my own if something happens. You don't need to protect me." It had taken Allen quite some time to figure that out. Everyone always thought she was weak until they saw her fly...

But she didn't have her boots anymore. She could still run and kick, but she wouldn't even be able to take out a level 1 Akuma in this condition.

No, there was no time to think on it. "Let's go," she replied.

"Who said I was protecting you?" Heiji said, moving through the crowd as best he could. "Things're getting pretty hairy in here, but if we move as one person, we'll have the advantage, right?" He grinned.

"No, believe me, back in Osaka, me 'n Kudo we're the brains, but Kazuha and Ran were our muscle. I can hold my own just fine, but Kudo's not so tough--he's always getting into jams," Heiji managed to make it to the hole with Rinali in tow by this point. "S'anyway, unlike a lot of morons, I'm completely aware of the fact that you girls can pretty much kick my ass any day. But I'm a gentleman, and you're going out first." He smiled, "No arguments."

Well, this was definitely a good start. She was expecting some pathetic display of his masculinity, but Heiji obviously had a good head on his shoulders. She couldn't help but like the boy.

She laughed slightly at his remark. "That's fine," she said with a smile, stepping through the hole and out into the fresh air, where already she could hear the screaming of the winged beasts. Hopefully they could get through and to safety on the other side...and hopefully Allen was not among those combating these things...

[to here]

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