His mind, unable to decide what would work and what would slow him down. He had not the time to make the decision, however, and watched as Brutus yanked the man out of the chariot. It was an older gentleman and he fell feebly at Ess' whim, offering no defense or means to fight back. The old man only let out a cry for mercy. Brutus held a knife in his hands.
Secrat rested a sword over Ess' shoulder, touching the brim of his neck.
Brutus turned around and looked at him, that prick-smile, “Ain't that the son of Toucan, always kind and merciful,” Brutus said before a quick pause, “Except most the time, when he's not.”
“We don't have fucking time for this,” Copé said, his face cold and serious.
Brutus smiled bigger and looked like he was about to say something. But the sound of the old man fleeing caught him fire. And, with a frown, Brutus took a look at the hurrying guards and accepted his loss, climbing quick into the chariot.
Secrat did as well, with Ess at the reins, Copé swung the sword toward nearby Knights, keeping them from engulfing the chariot's mobility. A chariot for two with one horse, fate controlled whether the Knights would realize all they needed to do was behead the horse.
Fate and Copé swinging at anyone who came near it.
The Knights gathering, slashing swords against the chariot, breaking off pieces of the wood with ease. The doors were the first to be pried off. Copé swung his sword at the neck of one of the Knights and felt it slice between his helm and the top of his armor. It'd kill him, but the sword became stuck to the man's neck.
Secrat tugged, trying to free it, but with the men swinging their blades in his direction and the chariot beginning to move, he lost clutches of it in a fumbling, but did manage to seize grasp of the man's helm, prying it off his lifeless head.
The item was useless, however, and as the horse whinnied and began creating distance between them and The Knights, Secrat tossed the helmet out at one of the Knights, taking him off from his feet.
Maybe it wasn't so useless after all, thought Secrat.
The Knight's ran after them, but slowed their chase in time, weighted down by their heavy armor. The distance only became greater and more robust in progressing seconds. The Thief felt the air dissipate out from his lungs, how long had he held it in there? His breathing regulated in time. Brutus' lungs took some time.
Copé looked behind them. The Knights were all gone, most likely to the alleyway from which they came. Secrat felt the closest thing to relief that he'd had in what felt like an eternity. “We'll have to get some distance and scrap the carriage.” He stopped again; his shaky hands took his mind off the pain they usually felt. “We'll stick out. Have to break in somewhere. Hide. Think about the rest with level heads.”
Brutus said nothing. Secrat took that as them in agreement. The horse turned left at Ess' command. Off a few hundred feet, Secrat took vision of one side of the walls surrounding Italina. They'd make one more turn and ditch the carriage.
However, seconds into their movements, the large carriage holding all the Knights reeled in-front of them. Startled, Ess yanked at the reins, swaying the horse to the right in a different path. He yanked more and more at the reins, harder and harder as his worry grew.
Secrat stood on the chair of the chariot and took out one of his knives. He knew not exactly what his intentions were, but something had to be done.
However, as he heard a loud gasp from Brutus, followed by the words,
“What the FUCK!?”
His attention went back to what was in-front of him. What was in-front of him? “What the FUCK!?” Secrat found himself mimicking.
A bright green aura reached out from the blackness with a mesmeric tint that neither seemed inviting nor friendly, but beautiful regardless.
The world slowed down. Not figuratively and not a trick of the mind. The world slowed down.
The greenness ever-so intoxicating, starting to pour forward like a wave chasing toward them. With its glowing green. Its power. The road's became stained with emerald, the skies, soon after. Everything. Belonged to it.
Everything. They could hear nothing.
As Copé's mouth tried to open, the force it took was immense. It was slowed. Not that he couldn't. He didn't want to. To take his eyes off from the aura.
An arrow landed in-front of Brutus and Secrat. It missed. They both could watch the arrow before it hit its mark. Meant for them.
Secrat turned his head. The noises went from silent to loud again. The hollering, the galloping of horses, the loudness, footsteps, all of it, and fast, an arrow flew over his head. He turned his head back to the Emerald World, and watched an arrow landed in-front of him and Brutus. Slowed again. Back on the Green.
The arrow went through the head of their horse. Their horse's head ruptured. Exploded might have even been a better word. The horse's head exploded, slowly, and Secrat saw all of it. The blood spurting out. He saw it mid-flight. The pieces of it. The brain. All turned to mush.
Copé's eyes went up and he lost himself in the deepest tint of the color. His lids heavier and heavier, he wanted to close his eyes, it was almost a bother to keep them open. He yearned to drift, and drift, and ...
His arm was tugged by Brutus, who dragged him off from the carriage and to the dirt-ground. Secrat found himself back to normal in that instant. The dirt looked like dirt and nothing else. But when he closed his eyes, all he saw was the green. The remorselessness and never-ending green. His eyes burned like wax beneath a flaming candle. The image carved into his psyche. Scarred into his brain. The Green.
He opened his eyes and saw Brutus running off from him. The carriage of Knights not too far off. Copé ran like hell. His eyes burned every time he blinked with that god forsaken color.
Each footstep, his eyes burned, with no signs of decaying or wearing off.
The exposure to it.
He went ahead of Ess, who rubbed at his eyes with the same struggles.
Which meant Copé hadn't simply imagined the array.
Ess and him ran with no particular destination. They ran for their lives and in-front of them was only the walls of Italina. Such a damper. Beyond them was freedom.
The sound of an arrow being shot off again. Copé heard it from a distance. The swishing and swashing sound of it soaring through the air. And before that, the bowstring released as the arrow shot out from between his fingers.
But Secrat didn't contort himself to look or pivot his body in attempt to dodge it. Too afraid for that, he simply continued running, more terrified of the green than he was death.
A low, short guttural sound rang the inners of his ear-drum. Brutus had been hit. On reflex, The Thief looked back, seeing The Green again. Ess fell slow. His grumbles now a jumbled jargon, the agony in his eyes delayed showing itself.
Once it did, the blood fell out next, out the newly made wound in his thigh. Brutus fell on the dirt-ground. The Green Dirt Ground.
He laid, his eyes to Copé with worrisome suffering. Worrisome GREEN.
Secrat could feel his hands shaking, they rattled slowly, with the fear more distinguishable and savored. The Thief turned away, his head away from Brutus, looking back at the wall and in a return to normality. Normal time.
The wall was thirty feet. At least. It towered over him with its height.
“I'm sorry, Brutus,” Secrat said, his back to him. “I'll do everything in my power to find you. The Flux will not forsake you. Don't fight, they won't kill you unless you make them.”
“Fuck the Flux,” Brutus yelled.
Secrat did not respond. He ran. Ran forward. Ran fast. Toward the wall.
The Green was after him. The Guards would also reach him in due time.
Brutus would be their distraction.
A string of arrows landed in-front of him. Some of them aflame. He didn't care. Finding worse things than death. Death was a sweet release. At last, he made it to the wall. The wall, trepidatious in his heart, apprehension arising higher and higher, even higher than the wall could stand. But it was not for the fear of heights. The granite walls had ridges, some here and some there. Not a lot of consistencies with them though. Copé landed his foot on one small ledge and began his ascension.
In a different time, perhaps, it'd have been more trivial. But not this time, his hands nimbly made their progression. It was a slow climb, but he was far too afraid to look and see if the guards neared, far too afraid of the arraying aura. The green layer.
The adrenaline alleviated his wounds, smashed and broken, seemed a distant memory that pulsated numbness.
"ATTENTION!" a voice called out. It sounded squeaky and high-pitch, monotone and dead inside, like a voice with no life in it. "Your arrest has been called upon, with just cause, for the murder of two currently unidentified men, the attempted murder of woman, Alisa Muriel, and stolen items that have since been confiscated. Such as, a statue, from named woman, various items of nondescript monetary value, a small fortune of coin, and a large, decorative case. As criminals, under Italina Law, the items' possession has been evoked from you, stolen or not." It took no breaths in-between words and showed no flub or discrepancy in its voice.
It was not human.
It surrounded all the sides, coming from below, in the sky, from one side and the other. It was everywhere. Like King Harris had summoned God himself to handle Secrat.
In his ascension, Secrat felt his foot miss one of the ridges only a few feet short of the top. A fall from the height would kill him.
He dangled off by one-hand. He felt the sweat pour off of him, he only helped his moistened hand wouldn't lose its grip. His hand, not the broken one, felt ache. The ache of tire and exhaust, the ache that said it'd be a matter of time before he could go on no more. His eyes stuck back to the greenness, as he looked, it engulfed the city's view to such immaculate levels, like the whole of Italina had been scorched in it.
But, something else, the way it looked, like the buildings were curved and angling down, the tops of them like bending trees. Like they were alive. Like the aura itself was alive. Pulling them at its whim.
Secrat regained stability for himself, his eyes back in the blackness of the night. But, the stains of color began bleeding through, he could see green on his hands and on the ridges of the wall. His hand frolicked aimless at first, but with the aura, he was able to find the next ridge jutting out. As he found it, he fought his way up more, until finally, finding himself able to pull his body over the wall.
The Red Flux & the Wunderkind THief
Chapter One (1 - 2 - 3)