Tower of Babel
Author: Isaac Woulms

Chapter 47
Ch.47

Samael’s Kevlar wraps around his chest had blood spots peeking through the layers. His wounds stopped bleeding but the frail barrier of fibrin and platelets would tear with the use of his right arm. Sam stopped walking and leaned against the wall to his right, knocking over a painting he carelessly bumped into. He ran his left hand across his wounds and glanced down. The blister on his neck split, reminding him of Ignis and the way he manipulated him.

Two years in that cell must have made me soft, he thought. I can’t allow this. He raised his left arm and the Kevlar wrappings unraveled to show the telekinetic chain that constricted his powers. Chips and cracks covered the chain, but the super alloy it was comprised of would not relinquish his strength. Some stupid bracelet holds over half my power from me. He let his head lay back against the wall, and took a deep breath. I have to reach Shax, he thought. He picked himself off the wall and continued his march.

 

Baal looked to his right inside his empty room. He nodded his head once and Shax, from inside his own quarters, left into the hallway.

Sam. The voice was weak. Sam, I’m so glad you’re here, Lilly said.

Where are you? he thought, sending out his message in a wave for any direction to receive.

I’m in my room. Keep going and take the first left. You have to hurry.

He began to jog. What’s going on?

Sam it’s terrible. Shax and Baal have turned on me. I’m being held hostage and I’m trying really hard to talk to you right now without being detected. Her voice wavered in strength inside his mind.

His pace hastened on the verge of a sprint. He made the turn and followed the hall towards a set of large doors. Hurry my Samael.

Samael slowed down.

What are you doing? Hurry.

He shook his head and laughed a little as he calmly opened the doors and looked around her room. A figure sat underneath the covers of Lilly’s bed.

“You know,” Samael said. “You should do your research.” He put his left hand out and telekinetically took hold of the large bed. “She’s never referred to me as my Samael before.” He swiped his hand to the left and the entire bed flew to the wall, falling apart.

The door closed behind him and Shax stood at the entrance in his green hoodie and sweat pants. He stepped near a coffee table, put one of his feet up, and placed his elbow against his knee. “Looking rough, Sam.”

Samael faced his old friend with the emptiness inside that he had felt ever since he had become Demon. Slowly rising from the depths, he could feel the fury building. He had a few questions left before he would commit to laying his demons to rest, or die trying. “Do you have anything to say for yourself?”

“I’m here to stop you Samael. Whether your conscience is clean over what happened in the past or not, I can’t let you leave this room.”

Samael’s Kevlar rearranged itself on his forearms. “Clean conscious? No. There’s no way any of us can wipe our hands.”

“You’re one to talk. Anything I did way back when, you had done three times over.”

“We were all making mistakes.”

“But you were the only one that killed anybody, and then took away leftie.” Shax pointed at the small stub on his left shoulder.

Samael’s fists clenched, but he released them.

“Once Lilly is done assisting the machine in pumping the tanks full of the Ascension Serum, Chen will give the orders to launch the missiles and the new world of Tele-sapiens will reign, with me and Baal on top. I don’t mind the silver medal especially when it’s the second person in power in the entire world.” Shax stood up and popped to attention. “I’ll be in charge of assembling our army. I’ll have any women at my disposal and as much entertainment as I want. I’ll only have to answer to one person.”

Samael shook his head and said, “Do you remember that time when we talked about being the best. We made a pact, you, me, and Dagon. We promised each other that we wouldn’t stop trying to get stronger, not even if it meant a never-ending rematch for first place.” Samael started tapping his temple. “Looks like Baal got to you.”

“He hasn’t done anything like that. I’m just as strong as he is, so I would easily detect any technique he would try using against me.”

“Is that what you have to tell yourself? You’re not the person I remember.”

“Do you remember this?” Shax screamed and reached for his missing arm, “Please. Stop Sam I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” He snickered a little then pointed at Samael. “And that’s what you do to your friends. You weren’t in your right mind if I remember. Dagon was the one that discovered the mental molding technique. You were the first molded mind, right? That’s ironic that you accuse me of being under control by someone.”

Samael took a step forward. “I’m not able to describe to you how bad I feel-”

Shax burst into laughter. “Feel? What a joke. I too remember the words I used when I actually used to feel, but I know for a fact that that’s all they are now, words.”

“I don’t need to be reminded of what I don’t have, but I know your still in the same situation that I was.”

Shax took a step forward. “Samael el rey, the fallen Demon, turned martyr?”

Samael took another step forward, standing two feet from Shax. I didn’t want it to be like this, but this is the way it is. I’ve killed Dagon and ruined your life. I warped Trisha’s ability to love and I broke Lilly’s willingness to trust in anyone.” A flash of light sparked inside Samael’s field of vision. “I’ve destroyed every kind of relationship I’ve ever had and now…” Something inside of Samael’s head twisted, causing a severe pain to go down his spine. He reached out, grabbed Shax by his collar, and brought him closer. “I’m sorry.”

Shax’s left eye twitched as he saw a single tear roll down Samael’s cheek.

He took a step back and felt the drop fall from his chin. Another wave of pain traveled down his back and then throughout his body. “What’s happening to me?”

“This.” Shax kicked Samael’s stomach, sending him off his feet and crashing into the broken bed thirty feet across the room. “You think you can just say a few words and everything will be okay?” Shax yelled. “Like you can just force yourself to cry by some little trick and think I’ll buy that shit?” His telekinetic energy radiated from his body, sending his energy signature throughout most the Tower. “Sorry doesn’t cut it, bitch.”

In the pile of wood, sheets, and mattress, Samael was slowly regaining the wind knocked out of him. Telekinetic energy crept into every inch of his body, as he let the only feeling left inside flow free. His eyes flashed black a few times but returned to normal. Demon mode or not, I have to do this, he thought. “You do realize that this means war?” he said with a fake smile. The telekinetic energy emitting from his body matched the resonance strength of Shax’s and all souls, telekinetic, cybernetic, and pure human alike felt a tinge of their presence within the Tower.

Samael punched forward with his right fist, sending a quick tendril at Shax. The tip of the Kevlar tentacle spiraled as it cut through the air, increasing in velocity. Shax altered the path of the tendril to curve at his feet where he then jumped over the thwarted attack to rush Sam. Another tendril was sent to intercept the Demon as the first circled back to attack him from behind. As the two tendrils approached Shax at the same time, the Demon member kicked one foot forward and threw his fist back to deflect both attacks simultaneously. The parried tendril from the front was kicked to the ceiling, while the tendril from behind was knocked to the floor creating a small crater.

“You’re weak,” Shax said, as his speed increased by his telekinesis. He moved like a blur, reaching Samael within a second to uppercut the former Demon twice.

Samael kicked forward and knocked Shax backwards only enough for him to do a back flip before landing on his feet. Shax then jumped high in the air while front flipping to come down on Samael’s shoulder with an axe kick. His heel hit directly on the burn scar on Samael’s neck. Shax followed with a quick kick to the face before landing on his feet, and then executed a spinning roundhouse kick to Sam’s jaw.

“Come on, Sam. Fight me.”

Shax attempted a second roundhouse kick, but Samael caught his ankle. “You know I always build up steam in a fight.” Sam then punched Shax with a left jab to the body. He tossed Shax’s ankle up making him do another back flip so he could catch himself, and that’s exactly what Samael was counting on. A tendril wrapped around Shax’s ankles as he landed and hoisted him off the ground. The tendril tossed Shax at the kitchen where the Demon disappeared into the crashing sounds of pots, pans, and flying silverware.

Samael retracted his tendril and sauntered over to the kitchen. “It’s nice to see when a bitch knows his place.”

As he met the kitchen entrance, the refrigerator tumbled from the wall and skipped across the floor. The heavy metal object boomed with each step to crush Samael. He took advantage of the fridge’s wide surfaces to leap from the hurtling object into the air. Mid-jump, the stove tore from the wall and launched at Samael, spinning with the door open. Sam clasped both hands together and brought them up while wrapping his tendrils around them, creating his own wrecking ball.  In a solid downward thrust, Samael knocked the stove to the floor, embedding it a few inches into the solid surface.

He landed with his tendrils retracted and his eyes wide. “Where-” Shax came from behind and grabbed Samael by the back of the neck before pushing his face through the counter’s sink.

“It’s going to be easy to beat you,” Shax said.

Samael reached back, grabbed Shax by the neck, and held him at bay. He glared over his shoulder and said, “You should wash your mouth out for saying shit like that.” Sam then reached underneath the kitchen sink, ripped it from its foundation, and proceeded to break it across Shax’s face in one hard blow. Porcelain exploded in every direction.

The Demon retaliated with a few swift punches, but Samael took them to the chin as he reached out to grab Shax by the collar with both hands. He reared his head back and head-butted Shax, sending his opponent to a dizzying state.  Samael then picked Shax up above his head and threw him from the kitchen and into the guest nook. He crashed into a sofa, and bounced into a few chairs before coming to a stop.

A wave of energy surged within Shax as he punched the ground in anguish. The floor spider webbed underneath his knuckles. “I will kill you,” he said.

Samael, with all the arrogance he could invoke, strolled in front of Shax and said, “Can’t beat the king,” with a smile on his face and middle finger up.

Shax knew what he had to do. A small message was sent deep into his mind and within the instant, the call was answered. Uncontrollable laughter came from this twisted being as his eyes turned grey.

The smile left Samael’s face as he reached down to smite Shax, but the Demon threw his palm out and sent an unrelenting force at Samael, knocking him across the room.

Samael picked his head up but his mind felt dull and the rest of his body, heavy. When he climbed to one knee, the newly unresponsive nature of his body was like a constant three second lag between his muscles and brain. He took a second to look at his hand to watch the delay, but noticed beyond his fingers that the floor changed color. The light yellow gleam along with every other object, including himself, became a dull grey as Shax walked upon him. “Demon form,” Samael grumbled.

Shax’s body remained the same size and shape, but it was now featureless save the stiches that covered random slits of his skin. His hands and feet had no nails, and not a single hair sprout from his body. His clothes were gone, but they would not be covering anything if he wore them now. Two black rings were at the center of his red eyeballs.

There was no mouth to speak from so he spoke with his mind. “Samael, look at me and gaze at my power.” His voice was sharp and ragged in this form. “I will make you regret ever having been born.” He brought both his hands to his face, just to remind himself all of what he gains turning full Demon. “I can stay like this for five minutes you know. More than enough time.”

Samael got to his feet and put his fists up to fight, keeping his left arm out front. The anger that fueled him was slowly subsiding, turning into a bland indolence.

A chuckle echoed inside the room as Shax swatted Samael’s arms away. He picked Sam five feet off the ground with his telekinesis to hold him in the air. “How does it feel? Is my Demon Radiance, sloth, working?” Samael’s entire body jolted against the ground to bounce back into Shax’s hold over him. “The eggheads say our Demon Radiance reflects our inner selves. The fact that any Demon in Demon form constantly projects a dominate emotion is a sure win in any battle.”

Again, Samael’s body plunged to the ground, but this time, he pushed against the floor with his own power to counteract the impact.

Shax looked down at Samael and said, “You still struggle against me?”

Samael pushed against the floor with all his strength, fighting against a greater force, emotional downdraught, and a body that felt three times its normal weight. Sweat dripped from his brow as he glanced up at his enemy. “You’re. Still. A bitch.” Samael got to his feet and cocked his hand back. Shax waved his hand across Samael’s chest and sent him exploding through the double doors of the balcony where he crashed into a few tables and chairs.

Samael gradually got to his feet again and took a deep breath. The sun setting in the distance was saying goodbye to the king. He shook his head and turned around to come face to face with Shax. “I don’t think it’s too late.”

Shax laughed and said, “It is.”

Sam smirked and said, “You think so? I’m a reasonable guy. I’ll give you this last chance to give up.” He then uppercut Shax hard enough to force the Demon a few steps back. Even if his face resembled a worn sculpture, Samael could tell Shax was frowning.

“You son of a bitch. You’re nothing but a has been.” Shax put his hand out and slowly closed it into a fist. An immense force clamped down around Samael’s left shoulder socket. “Get on your knees.” The force further increased and Sam could no longer stand, as his arm was slowly pulling away from his body. “Scream, Samael. I want to hear you beg.” Samael focused his telekinesis on retaining his limb, but his hold was weak over Shax’s power. The screams came in short bursts of grunts as pressure grew. The feeling of tearing tendons stretched along his shoulder blade.

“Hmm?” Shax dropped his hand and looked over his shoulder to see three bolts suspended in the air beside his head. From the entrance of Lilly’s room stood Sagitta aiming her last functioning crossbow. “Get lost, Sam,” Shax said. He made a flicking movement at Samael with his hand as he turned to face Sagitta. A concentrated force of telekinetic energy pushed Samael across the balcony and through the handrail.

Samael reached out as he disappeared over the ledge.

Another bolt joined the group floating in front of Shax’s head as he watched the harmless attempts at taking his life. The bolts turned and returned fire upon Sagitta twice as fast as they had come. All four bolts hit her bicep just above her crossbow, rendering her defenseless. She screamed and dropped to one knee as she hovered her hand around the tightly knit puncture wounds.

Shax looked to his left and could see past Corvus’s camouflage as visibly as a light bulb could be seen in the dark. Corvus swung with all his might, but the blade was held an inch from the surface of Shax’s skin, unable to break the invisible barrier created by the Demon form’s telekinetic energy. Shax winked at Corvus as he lost control of his body, dropped out of his cloaking device, and flew into Sagitta sideways.

The two fell to the floor and she said, “Corvus, you damn idiot. I can’t count on you for the smallest of tasks.” She sat up straight and pulled his head up by his hair. “Now do something.”

He looked up at her and then at Shax who was walking over at an easy pace. Corvus shook his head and engaged his camouflage. Two seconds later, the door behind Sagitta jarred open then slammed shut.

“Corvus?” Sagitta turned. “Corvus, you better not be gone you little shit.” She could feel herself begin to shake. “We have to-” Her mouth became numb and everything around her turned a darker shade of grey. She turned to face Shax, but her optic sensors were receiving his image in a haze.

“You’re a Bio-Machina I see,” Shax said, reveling in the effect his presence had over her. “Do you think you could come in here and kill me?”

The pain in her arm was gone along with every other feeling. She tried to think of an escape but her thoughts trudged around in her head, wading through the thick mud that was once her cognitive thought process. She wanted to get to her feet, but her muscles felt miles away if not completely missing in action. “I…” Her skin and cybernetic implants turned grey.

“Round two, fight,” Samael said. Shax turned to see Samael standing behind him, breathing heavily with six feet of tendril from each forearm lying on the ground. “Picking on a cute girl like that, for shame.” The tendrils rewrapped and the king brought his fists up. “Come on. Time to get your ass kicked.”

 Shax jumped forward and axe kicked Samael like before but with a force that dwarfed all his other attacks thus far. Samael put his left arm up to block and the kick still knocked him to one knee. Shax then kicked at Samael, which Sam then put his left forearm out to block, knocking him on his back. Before Sam could rise, Shax stomped on his chest twice with enough violence to crack the floor beneath him.

He firmly held Samael down with his foot and said, “Your efforts are wasted, Samael.” He balled his right fist and cocked it back, but before striking, a thought came to his mind. “You wanted to save her, didn’t you?” Sagitta’s barely conscious body was manipulated into walking over towards them. “Who is she? She’s not important to you. No one is.” Shax then manipulated Sagitta to kneel at his side while looking into Samael’s eyes. “I want you watch me kill her.” He placed his hand on the back of her neck and his eyes pulsed red.

Samael struggled, but his body was pinned to the floor. “Fight me you coward, not some helpless woman.”

“You are not a hero. You are not even worth the air you breathe.”

Her body shook a little as all the fibers, chemicals, and tissue deteriorated from its normal health. Sam was forced to stare into her eyes as she perished. I don’t care, he tried to tell himself. He tried to look away but his head would not budge.

“You’re going to take in every moment of this Samael.”

They heard small crack sounds inside her body and she began to scream with a stream of blood pouring from her mouth.

“You will always fail at trying to help people Samael. To put it simply you’re just a failure.”

Samael’s muscles stretched as they fought against Shax’s hold. He took a deep breath and stared into her eyes, looking past the cybernetics and deep inside the person that was there.

“Please help me,” her inner voice cried out to him.

Samael mentally reached out.

“Please, I’m begging you,” she said.

“It’s okay. Don’t worry. Can you tell me your name? Your real name.”

“Carleigh, Carleigh Parker. I need help.”

Samael shushed her words away in a comforting tone. “Do you want to know a secret, Carleigh?”

Her inner voice took the form of her body as it was before she joined Bio-Machina, pure.

“I have this talent,” Samael’s mind turned into what he currently looked like, “where I can read people at first glance.” He reached out and gently put his hands on her hips. “And from when I first saw you I saw a strong person, who’s been dealt a bad hand.” Her inner voice, now inner-self’s, image became fuzzy. “But despite any worries you have about what’s going to happen, I just want you to know that you won’t be forgotten. Cause I also saw that in another time and place we were together.” Samael’s words comforted Sagitta’s soul in her last moments of life. Everything Samael said was true in some sense of the word and he might not have been able to save her life yet he alleviated the loneliness that he saw inside her.

A rush of reality hit Samael as he blinked back inside Lilly’s room. Sagitta’s body fell to the floor beside him, and Shax said, “Just like that you failed at helping her. Don’t think I didn’t catch that wave of communication you had with her before she died. Whatever plan you tried to make with this enemy of yours also failed.” Shax laughed and relinquished the force he applied to Samael. He started funneling his immense energy into his hands.

Samael took a deep breath and reached out with his left hand for Shax.

“I’m getting tired of you putting that arm in my face.” He reached down with one hand, grabbed Sam by the wrist, and pinned it to the floor. He took his other hand and punched Samael’s forearm making a loud crack sound on impact. “Now I’m going to break your other arm,” Shax said, but before he continued with his plan, he saw the blackness spreading in Samael’s eyes.

“That wasn’t my arm you broke.”

Pink liquid seeped through the Kevlar wrappings and onto the floor. His left forearms wrappings rewrapped themselves letting the pieces of broken telekinetic chain fall. He grabbed Shax’s ankle and squeezed, making the Demon jump back from the quick bite of pain.

Samael slowly stood and felt the power that was held back for so long fill his body and mind. His eyes were completely black and his wounds stopped bleeding. “It’s the return of Samael el rey, the king of Demons.” The Kevlar wraps around his forearms spread to cover his entire body. As his pants leggings covered his feet, sharp claws came out to replace his toes and his fingers. His head was completely wrapped in Kevlar and two slits opened to make the darkness of his eyes peer out at Shax, and an opening below them exposed two rows of razor sharp teeth.

Samael roared in a pitch that filled the room and bounced off the wall in an aggressive manner, breaking Shax’s mental barrier in the process.

“No, Samael.” Sam’s Demon resonance was forcing an unrelenting torrent of fury into the center of Shax’s mind. The level of hostility that poured from Samael was unnerving, loosening the focus of his opponent. “I will not let you win.” Shax ran fast enough to cause a blur in his image. “I will stop you.” He reached Samael and struck him across the face in quick bursts of rocking jabs. Each hit was paired with a heavy thud that would turn bones to powder. “Die, Sam. Die.” Shax refused to let up his assault as he had already forced Samael ten paces backwards. “I will win.”

“There it is,” Samael said in a dark voice. He reached up and caught Shax by the wrist of his right hand. “There’s that hope I was looking forwarding to crushing.” Sam swiped his claws against Shax’s chest leaving four bloody lines, half an inch deep, in his body.

Shax redirected his efforts with his free hand and shouted, “I will not give in,” as he pelted Samael’s face.

Samael smiled as his head jerked back from the blows. His claws closed around Shax’s wrist and cracked it with ease. Shax hesitated in his assault, and then Sam grabbed him by the throat and lifted him into the air.

“Why? Why do you have this power? If you think you’re better than me, you’re wrong. You’re still the back stabbing friend killer you were years ago.” Shax kicked at Samael to loosen his grip, but it did nothing. “You still failed. You can’t save anyone. You’re just a lost idiot who’s going to die cold and alone and you deserve it.”

Samael’s dark eyes looked into Shax. With his mind, he said, “Time has-”

“Healed all your wounds? Bullshit. You’re nothing. Baal will take care of you when he finds out what you’ve done to me.” Shax reverted to human form panic-stricken and his pulse rapid in Samael’s grip. “You’re going to be miserable the rest of your life. There’s no forgiveness for what you’ve done.”

“Time has scarred over all my wounds.” He squeezed Shax’s neck until he heard a pop and then Samael turned, threw Shax out of the room, and over the balcony’s ledge into the empty space outside the Tower.

After a few moments of realizing what he had accomplished, Samael’s tendrils sagged and his claws receded. His eyes turned to normal and his wounds bled again, reverting to his normal form and collapsing onto the floor. It took a lot for him to steady his breath. His hands shook a little and his entire body was sore.

“It’s finally over.”

 

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