Tower of Babel
Author: Isaac Woulms

Chapter 23
Ch.23

Two sets of chestnut irises gave Magnus the thousand-yard stare. He had seen this in death many times before. His eyes, staring back, were cold and bearing down on her. He made his choice and his sword obeyed, but now a deep revelation of his obedience was in question.

“Thank you,” Neko said.

His sword stuck into the back of the chair next to her. The split second yield of dispensing her life brought difficulties. Compromise was an unfamiliar sight for the samurai, and each breath she took was a blight against his resolve to accomplish the mission.

She sniffled and said, “What’s your name?”

Magnus still held his sword. He could have eliminated her with ease, and little pain. Ben’s words crept inside his head, cutting up a girl with a sword isn’t honorable either. “My name is Magnus, and you are now my prisoner of war.”

Neko held her hand out and said, “My name is Samantha, but just call me Neko. Why am I a prisoner?”

“All Ascending are game for Bio-Machina.” Magnus yanked his sword out of the chair and sheathed his weapon. “Do you understand?”

“Why are you people trying to kill us?”

“Because I was ordered to do so.”

“Why were you ordered to kill us?”

“It is my job to fulfill my orders.”

“Then why did you save me?”

“Be happy your life is spared,” his eyes narrowed. “I do not know what will become of you after you are turned over to my superiors, but breathe knowing it is not yet your last. I may also need some information from you.”

Magnus began his interrogation. First, he was informed of all the telekinetic abilities that she knew of. She then continued with the hierarchy of the Tower. Eventually leading to, “if you get strong enough you can become a Demon.”

“Demon?”

“Yeah, they’re super strong and scary. They get everything they want and go to meetings at the top floor. They also have this power to turn into other beings when they go Demon mode.”

“Explain what you mean by Demon mode.”

“Sorry. I can’t”

Magnus grabbed her collar with his thumb and index finger. “Tell me, or else.”

“I was ordered not to tell anyone.” Neko then stuck her tongue out at Magnus. “So I’m not telling.”

“I guarantee you would rather I ask than my associates.” Magnus let go of Neko and looked around the room. “This room is fairly large for a small child. What do the Demons-” When he turned, Neko ran for the back of the box. She looked back and flipped him off, disappearing behind the curtained exit.

Magnus gave chase, but on his first step heard her scream. He jumped the short flight of steps and ripped the curtain away. Ignis was crouched in front of Neko with his arms around her.

“Shh. It’s okay now little angel. You’re safe. I was sent to protect you from this bad man.” Ignis put his head behind her ear, and smiled at Magnus. “Tell me your name.”

“My name’s Neko. This guy tried to cut me in half you have to help me.”

“I’m here now.” He directed her behind himself and remained crouched. “Now look here partner,” Ignis said with a cowboy accent. “Your days are numbered, ya hear? Now what we have here is a right and proper-”

“Silence, Ignis. Giving hope to a child is low, yet I expected that from scum.”

Ignis took the glove off his left hand and placed it in his back pocket. He stood and said, “Lighten up. How is your mission going? Me and Gulo have had a ball so far.”

Neko then felt a tight grip around her right wrist. The monster lifted her off the ground and turned her to look at him. Gulo’s gullet was slightly open exposing the rotating blades, stained with blood, in his throat. His metal jaws and face had a layer of coagulated plasma on its surface. Small strands of hair covered his leathery head. His nose was caved in and apart of the mechanized contraption of his jaw. A single red ocular captured every bit of horror his face evoked in her.

She couldn’t scream. Her mind locked up, completely and utterly disturbed.

“Feed…” Gulo said, in a voice that was equal parts robotic and guttural noise. As his mouth widened, the blades inside his throat spun faster. She lost consciousness.

Magnus walked forward and shoved Ignis aside. “I’ll finish what I have started.” He grabbed Neko by the back of the neck and squeezed. A loud popping sound was heard amongst the group, and her body hung by her arm. “Now put her down. This target has been eliminated.” He glared into the beast’s eyes. Even though he looked up at Gulo, Magnus stood strong.

“Easy there, friend.” Ignis came to Magnus’s side and grabbed Neko’s right forearm. He shot a glance at Gulo and the beast released its grip. “We were just making sure this one wouldn’t get away from you. No reason to get aggressive.” He looked Neko up and down, holding her upper body off the ground as her legs sprawled on the floor. “She was blossoming into a fine piece. You want to see if her peach is ripe?”

Magnus glared at Ignis.

“I bet it is. Only one way to find out.” Ignis reached for her skirt and lifted it up halfway before Magnus intervened.

“The target has been eliminated. There is nothing more you want form this one.”

Ignis smiled and said, “Fine.” His hand turned red. The smell of burnt flesh filled the room and cracking sounds popped between his fingers. “Me and Gulo are on our way.” Ignis tossed Neko’s body to the floor and put his hands in his jacket’s pockets. “Come Gulo, we’ll have to find food elsewhere, and I’ll have to find a cock pocket somewhere else as well.” Gulo’s eye met Magnus’s with intensity. A small growl lurched from his mouth, before following his master out of the room.

Magnus counted to 180 in his head and only needed thirty more seconds before he could attend to her. Each second was an increased risk. “210.” Magnus bent down and took hold of her neck with one hand and her head with the other. He forced her head to snap to the right then brought her chin to her chest. Another pop sound came from Neko, and her eyes opened. He brought her face into his shoulder to conceal her bellows of pain. A severe headache ripped her concentration in half and the left side of her body slowly regained feeling.

“It’s okay. The monsters are gone,” he told her.

 

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