Tower of Babel
Author: Isaac Woulms

Chapter 38

Every time I’m walking in front of the group, he always steps out in front, Ben thought. He tried to keep his thoughts to himself, not something he was accustomed to, but Samael could tell it was getting to him.

Trisha shook her head. What did I ever see in Sam? At the same time she was trying to rationalize her plan to stab Ben in the back.

The room they entered had a short flight of stairs that connected to a circular stage at the room’s center. The stage came equipped with a handrail around its border and beyond that, seats that covered all degrees of the stage. Four aisles began at the front row of seats and came to a connected hallway with four exits at the top of each aisle, mimicking the appearance of a miniature coliseum. On the inside of the handrail was a thin pink mirror, and the floor was tiled and reflective. Above the stage hung pink mirrors that faced towards the exact center of the arena.

The group walked up the stairs and Ben and Trisha stopped shy of the handrail. Samael decided to press towards the center of the room and stand before them. He inspected the room in thoughtful reminiscence. “This is where, unlike Trisha believes, the magic happens. Care to take a guess what this room is for, Benny boy?”

“Just call me Ben. Enlighten me.”

Samael reached out and used a tendril to direct more lighting from the ceiling to point at him. “Take a seat.” He gestured at the front row to his left.

“Let’s just humor him. He so desperately needs attention,” Trisha said. They took their seats and waited for the show.

“In the beginning, when yours truly was coming to grips with the legend that he is today, I was just a normal Ascending member. I easily passed the first floor of the divide,” Samael waved his arms around as he talked. He let his tendrils hang loose by a foot that followed his hand movements for dramatic effect. “Each stage of the second floor was another example as to why I, Samael el Rey, am the best.”

Trisha leaned over and whispered into Ben's ear, “He likes to call himself Samael the king in Spanish because he thinks it sounds cool. Back in the day we made fun of him for it.”

“So he's always been like this?”

“Excuse me.” Samael leaped from the center of the stage and now stood on the handrail. He crouched down and rested his elbows on his knees. “Shhhhut the hell up and let me finish my story.” Samael turned his head to give his ear to the two. They did not reply. “Good.” As another act of haughty behavior, Samael pulled off a backflip through telekinetic self-enhancement and landed back to the center of the stage. “I made it to the third level and challenged… a demon member, and then I beat him with ease.”

What was that? Ben thought to Trisha.

It's complicated, she replied.

“Once all Demon candidates pass the three levels of the divide they are brought here, the ceremony room.” Samael spread his hands out and lowered them to his side. “I remember the time that I was instructed to stand here and give it my all. I was a little tired. Hungry? Yeah I guess. With my skills tested and my trials passed I was ready to become Demon. Now to become a Demon you have to, in an almost physical way, become a demon. When you enter your Demon form it's like your physical form literally changes. Each candidate becomes something else, like a reflection of his or her true selves.

“In order to enter Demon form you have to funnel your telekinetic energy into yourself to create a loop. These fancy pink mirrors are made with the same material as the anti-serum used in telekinetic chains, and are then poured into a thin sheet to be strung up over the stage. What they do, instead of take away from telekinetic energy, they reflect it back to where it comes from. This helps out the person attempting to enter Demon form for the first time by reflecting any energy that escapes their body during the process.”

Samael took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He put his fist at his sides and reached deep within himself with all his effort. “The candidate only gets one attempt at this. While this is the first time attempting Demon mode it is just as much a toll on the mind as it is the body.” The flow of energy inside Samael's body looped back and forth to his brain and the core of his body at an increasing speed.

That’s strange. Why doesn’t it cycle between his brain and heart, Ben thought.

It’s actually pretty normal. You’re the strange one, Trisha thought.

“You’ve both witnessed Styx. Each of them failed at the ceremony room and their bodies bared their failures along with their minds. The body is deformed and the mind requires a daily serum fix.”

The Kevlar wraps around his forearms and lower body began to wave in place like coiled snakes dancing over his body. His arms shook and his head lowered slightly.

Ben sat in awe at how strong Samael really was. The feeling of Samael's telekinetic energy changed like the feeling Ben had felt while fighting him. Only this time it was Samael exerting the flow of energy. Ben realized that the power he held in his hands could be harmful but the potential alone made an uneasy feeling in his stomach.

I was near this level of power during a fight and I almost got carried away...

The Kevlar wraps around Samael now shook violently. “Come on.” A surge of energy pulsed from within but this hurt more than anything. Samael's brow began to glisten. He held the flow of energy for a few seconds more in a stubborn effort to regain what he once lost. Gradually the power inside dissipated.

“Imagine if I really went Demon, but there's no need to show off.” Samael breathed a little heavier and put his fists on his hips. He looked towards the entrance of the stage and said, “Nice of you two to join us.”

Magnus and Neko entered the room.

Ben stood as he saw them step on stage, the flow of telekinetic energy cycled in his body. He knew the fact that he threw Magnus out of a window earlier did not help his chances of a peaceful reunion.

“Have fun killing the Ascending?” Samael said. A tendril from each arm unwrapped itself and hung at his side, ready for use.

“Hey, Trish,” Neko said as she waved.

Trisha smiled and waved back. “Hey, Samantha.”

Magnus reached for his right sword and examined Ben’s group. There you are. It looks like you picked up another alley. “Neko, I still have my mission to accomplish.” He drew Power and gripped it with both hands. At first, he faced Samael, but then saw Ben jump over the handrail onto the stage.

“Wait. There’s no reason to fight each other,” Ben said.

Neko ran over to Trisha while Magnus squared off with Ben and Samael. “Hey, there’s this really cool guy I met, and he’s going to teach me how to be a samurai. Isn’t that cool?”

Trisha put her hand out to silence Neko. “Ben, be careful.” She had her other hand over her pendant ready to turn.

“Stand aside, Ben. I want me a piece of this dude.”

 “You can act like your tough later and just help me out.”

“Help you out? Nah that's not going to happen.”

“Shut up and st-” Excuse me, we need to talk, Ben heard Baal's voice say. “No not now.”

Samael looked over at Ben, unsure of what he heard him say.

“I'm a little busy,” Ben said.

“Ben?” Trisha said. At her side, Neko was going on about her adventure so far with Magnus.

It won't take that long I’m just going to come inside real quick. The edges of Ben's vision blackened as the rest of his sight soon followed into darkness.


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