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A day like any other
One of the twisted, man-like, creatures grew closer while the other two remained just a hair’s breath away from where she could do damage. Clearly, it meant to distract her and give the other two an opportunity to pounce. From another section of the room, she heard the screams as the creatures Ivan dealt with met their deaths.

Suddenly, the one that had been drawing nearer burst into flames. Screaming and flailing wildly in agony. The two remaining monsters jumped back, and she used their confusion to her advantage. Quickly, she jumped and twisted, swinging her swords as her entire body spun. The force of her blow cutting cleanly through the neck of one of the beasts. As she landed, the Naga crouched low and rolled out of the way.

The remaining the creature didn’t stay confused for long, and turned its attention back to Akantha. Muttering a curse under her breath, she flipped her blades backwards and ran at the thing. Remaining out of the reach of its claws, she leaped over it, powerful legs propelling her higher than human’s. As she cleared her way over the top of creature, the Naga twisted her body around to face the beast’s back. As gravity pulled her down, her blades spun in her grasp and dug deep into the sides of its neck.

When the two hit the floor, she was the only one on her feet. The beast fell limply onto its knees, held up by the swords in Akantha’s hands. Retrieving her blades was not as easy as sinking them into her foe, and she grimaced as the thing fell to the ground in front of her.
Edited by Akantha, Nov 29 2014, 03:06 PM.
Xena did some ninja stuff, using her swords to cut off one creature's head before jumping into the air and flipping around or something, stabbing the thing in the neck.

She landed with ease, the creature having dropped and being held up by her swords.

Ivan couldn't help it and laughed and laughed, the adrenaline rush wearing off and leaving him giddy. A good fight always did that. "Damn woman! I pegged you right. You are Xena!"
He looked around the room. Nothing moved except for them.

His arm twinged a bit- probably bruised from where the creature had clamped on it. It hadn't gotten through his overcoat but the things jaws had been strong. Like a powerful dog.

He made his light fill up the room now that the fires from the two things were going out. The room reeked especially with his enhanced senses, but he'd live. He went over to the one that she'd stabbed in the neck, rolling it over with his foot.

The thing was human like but its face was all wrong what with that snout. Looked like a mix between a man and a dog. It was hairy in places, but its skin looked leathery too.

He looked back at Xena. "You named that other thing. You ever see anything like this before?"
Frowning slightly, she glanced over at the man and shook her head. Akantha had no idea why he continued to call her Xena. His reference was lost to her. His laughter, however, was not. Annoyed, she looked back at the bodies and tried to clean her blades on the corpse closest to her before reuniting the blades into the baton.
“No. Thiss…”
She kicked the leg of one of the things with obvious disgust, “iss new.”

Begrudgingly, she recognized that giving him her thanks was in order. “Thankss, by the way.”
Used to fighting multiple creatures at once wasn’t new to her, but there was a distinct feeling about the ones the two had just dispatched that made them different.

Walking from body to the next, she studied them all. Over all, there were similarities, and though they were all grotesque, a couple of them looked more human and less… whatever they were. Next to the one which head she had taken, covered in the blood was an item that made her do a double take.

A low feral hiss made its way out before Akantha had any thought of stopping it. Kneeling, she reached out to lift leather cord tied to an Oni tooth. As she stood, the Naga’s fist tightened around the cord. The last time she’d seen it, the necklace had been around Sato’s neck. Hopes of finding her friend died that moment.

Her body shook with rage. Blind to her anger and despair, she reached down to the headless body. Grasping it with both hands, Akantha heaved and lifted it to fling it, along with the necklace, as far away across the room as she could. Her scream of outrage echoed in the room around them. She stood there, breathing heavily, chest and shoulders rising and falling along with her breath.

The thing was dead. What more could she do? Akantha had no real experience with grief. Anger was the first thing she usually felt. Now was no exception. So what could she really do?

“These creaturess are responssible for more than one murder.”

All the humor left Ivan at Xena's obvious pain and rage. The headless body flew easily and thudded against a wall and crumpled. She stood there, shaking and breathing heavily.

Her voice hissed, making an explanation unnecessary. He stood there for a moment and then walked over to her. She didn't strike him as the kind of woman to want a hug or an arm around her for comfort. But he had to do something.

It was impossible to be in the presence of great pain and suffering and not want to reach out and offer his strength. He reached out a hand and lightly put it on her shoulder for just a moment. All he could see were her snake eyes behind her ninja costume.

Pain filled his voice. "I'm sorry."

There was nothing else he could add to it.

She held his gaze for a moment, unable to say anything, before turning her attention back to the bodies around them. Nodding, the Naga silently acknowledged his words. Sympathy from a human was hard to digest, but it was harder to swallow the knowledge that her friend had been killed. Furthermore, the sincerity in Sarkozy's voice surprised and shamed her.

Dwelling on that wouldn't help her, however. What she needed to do was to think. Looking around at the bodies again, Akantha tried to piece together what she had observed. The creatures hadn't just attacked. Whatever had been closest. Out of the six of them, four had gone her way. Had it not been for Ivan's assistance, she would have likely ended up like the lifeless lumps on the ground.

"Are you injured at all? You cannot trusst any woundss from the nightmaress that walk the tunnelss. They almosst look like ssomething I've sseen before."

What rested at her feet had similarities to other creatures, but those eyes had been far more intelligent than any mere beast.
Xena- he really should try to find out her name. He didn't remember her giving it to the Cap. Then again, a lot was going on that night.- anyway, Xena seemed to physically take control of herself. Back to business, looked like.

He shrugged. He couldn't really blame her. He was a stranger. And when you had a job to do, you just did it. Couldn't let things get in the way. You grieve at home.

He smiled at her mothering/bossy tone. Then again, he liked strong women. Strong people in general. As long as they didn't try to take charge of him. Well, mostly, anyway. He smiled at a few memories.

Looking around the room though, there was just no telling what these things were. He wanted to call it in, get the Cap's secret monster disposal unit, or whatever had taken those things from the other night, but he didn't know the department number. He was pretty sure Cap would not appreciate his calling over the radio. "Yeah, this is Sarkozy, badge 103098. I need a monster clean up crew down here in the tunnels."

Cap said this was on the DL; PT. As in, not on any books. Calling attention to this would end his career in Domovoi before had even started. That left only one thing.

He touched Xena lightly on the shoulder. "I'm gonna torch this room. Let's move to the entrance."
She complied and they stood just out of the room.

The power still was with him- thank God- and he drew on it, pulled and pulled until he felt near to bursting, like when he did preacher curls and the skin around his forearms and bicep felt just about ready to pop from the engorged muscle underneath. It was a good feeling but bordered on painful.

The room seemed nearly light as topside and sounds thundered in his ears- his own heartbeat, Xena's hissed breathing, the vast weight above pressing on the air around them. The power roared in him and it was glorious. He felt power incarnate, a god, able to unleash destruction from his fingertips.

As if a summons, threads of fire formed at the tips of his fingers, thick and red, mixed with air, until it was a massive roiling firestorm. It shot out from his hands into the room. He felt the air rush into the room from behind him him and he fed more and more until the room blazed, the very air aflame.

The heat on his face was from a furnace and he stepped back, brushing Xena back as well. He directed the weave to the lumps of flesh and burned them until they were blackened char, burned the scattered smoldering debris, the walls and the blood on them until even they darkened and he heard the crack of brick. He gloried in it, could almost feel that his eyes and body glowed with the power of creation and destruction in his hands.

Minutes could have gone buy. Hours. He had no sense of time. But he felt his strength waning. The fire began to dwindle as the fuel he fed it was used up, as he could no longer keep them up.

He let the weaves dissipate, and a moment later, felt the power itself drain away from him. He felt flaccid and wrung out, weak. The room radiated heat like an oven, the warmth nearly a tangible barrier, covered in char. He became aware of the heat in his face, the feeling of raw tenderness, the sweat dripping down from his hair and cheeks, wetness around his neck and collar.

He stepped back and looked at Xena, smiling weakly at her. "All done."
He could feel the quiet around him.
She did as he suggested. Akantha could be stubborn, but she was not obstinate enough to remain in the room just to simply contradict him. As the flames formed and the heat rose, the Naga found herself unable to shift her gaze away from the bodies. In particular, the headless lump she’d tossed earlier. Frustration, anger, agony and helplessness raged within her. To her, death had come far too swiftly for the burning creatures.

Next to her, Sarkozy showed the strain caused by whatever it was he was doing in order to create those flames. What she was witnessing did nothing to lessen her initial assessment as to his dangerous potential. However, watching him then, she realized that all the power the man wielded had a price.

“So it is.”

She studied him for a moment. This man, who wielded so much of this power, power which he may very well revel in, had also expressed heartfelt sympathy. That was not the sort of human she’d grown accustomed to. No, in the tunnels, if any had strength of any sort it was often used to push down those around them. Of course, he was not born to the tunnels. He was from above. Perhaps there they had the luxury to experience such things like compassion.

“Do you have the strength to continue?”
Part of her hoped he would say no. She still had to gather her thoughts and let her people know what she had found. Another part of her wanted a chance to kill more of the creatures. The burnt remains didn’t answer all her questions, but at least she knew what had happened to one of her friends. What of the others? How far into the tunnels had the creatures gone? Was the rest of her clan in danger?

For a moment, Akantha wished some else could provide all the answers, but for the time being the task was hers.
Truthfully, Ivan was tired. Even though not that much time had passed and it wasn't late, he wanted to hit the sack. He felt like he did when he'd hit the gym for an hour run and a good session with the weights. Hungry and tired.

Xena looked tired too, at least from what he could tell of how she stood and spoke. He answered her honestly. "Yeah, I'm beat."
He smiled at her weakly. "This was fun."
Making chit-chat was not something he felt up to right now. And given her reaction to the necklace she'd found, he was sure she was emotionally out of it.

Lightly he touched her arm. "You gonna be alright?"
He hoped she wasn't offended by the question. She was hard to read, especially now the tunnels seemed darker since he'd let the power go. For some reason, though, the weight of the tunnels was gone. He shrugged. Guess you get used to anything. That was cool at least.

"Yess. I'll be alright."
Despite her face being covered, it was obvious by her tone that she spoke half truths. But he knew better than to push it.

He put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a wallet and handed it to her. It was a simple model. Then again, he didn't figure she'd wanna be doing anything special with it. It was mostly in case she needed something or wanted to hunt with him again. "Here. It'll work on nearly on the levels of the tunnels- at least those we know about. My number and Drayson's is programmed into it. And a few others you might need to get in touch with me. You need anything or run into these creatures again- or something- else, you call me. I'll do my best to get down here as soon as I can."

He frowned. He'd been thinking of her as Xena but that wasn't her name. "What's your name, anyway?"

"Akantha. My name iss Akantha."

He smiled at her. "Ok. Akantha. I'm Ivan."
He looked at her phone. "I mean it. Call me."

A last look and then he turned and left her in the tunnels, glad he had his breadcrumb app on his wallet running. It was easy to get lost down here. He was gonna enjoy sleep tonight. After he ate. Who knew you could get so hungry?

Edited by Ivan Sarkozy, Dec 17 2014, 08:19 PM.

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