Tower of Babel
Author: Isaac Woulms

Chapter 45

Blood sprayed across Samael’s face as the bolt cut along the surface of his palm. The tip of the point was just shy an inch of his right eye.

“You’re a quick one,” Sagitta said.

Samael rolled his shoulders and started walking towards her. His mind churned with hate by Trisha’s last words and the truths they held.

Sagitta leveled her bow and sent a flurry of projectiles at him. “Catch these then.”

Two tendrils from each arm unraveled to spin around his body in an oval fashion. As they made their motions, the bolts deflected off course and safely away from his body.

“Looks like I found myself a strong one. Bloody Corvus better not be a softcock with that naked one.” She lowered her bow to her waist and attached it to the holster, but instead of disarming herself, she adjusted the holster to hold the bow at level with her target and initiated the auto-fire function. Sagitta then reached into the pockets of her tactical vest and threw two throwing knives at a time to cut through Samael’s defense.

The bolts were less of a problem as opposed to the smaller knives that were bypassing his tendrils. He felt a sting across his cheek and then another at his shoulder. Another knife came and cut into his right arm, but his telekinesis repelled the blade from digging to the bone.

“Real nice.” She reached for more knives but before she could throw another set, a tendril came from Samael and wrapped around both her wrists. Two of the four tendrils protecting his body jutted out, slapped her bow out of place, and let it fall at her side. Samael then retracted all his tendrils, save the one binding her wrists, and lifted her off the ground to hang in front of him.

“Get your filth off me dammit.” She kicked as an act of retaliation but he moved her out of reach as her feet came up.

“Tell me how you feel,” Samael said.

“You and your bunch won’t get any information out of me.”

“It’s a simple request.” A second tendril from his left arm wrapped around her feet as he got face to face with her.

“You’re a nut, aren’t you? Just my luck.”

The tendrils pulled apart from each other causing stress across her body. “Do you feel scared maybe? That must be nice.” The tendrils loosened and she was hanging again. Sagitta picked her head up and saw Corvus silently hover through the broken window behind them. “All right. I’ll talk all about my feelings then. Right now I’m feeling pretty randy, yeah.”

Samael shook his head.  A tendril came from his right forearm and made a wiping motion as it popped against Corvus’s face. The boy fell to the floor in tears covering his bloody, broken nose.

“Why can’t we all just…get along?” he said. All of his tendrils receded and he caught Sagitta by the neck before she hit the ground. “I like the accent by the way.” He turned and threw Sagitta using some of his energy to collide with Corvus on the floor.

Sagitta got to her feet and reached for more knives, but Samael had turned the corner. She grabbed Corvus by the hair and brought him to her face. “You could have done him in if you weren’t a twat.” Corvus tried to pull away but her grip was too tight. He reached into his back pocket and presented her with Trisha’s amulet. “What’s this?”

“I took it from the girl who fell. I taught her a lesson before she hit the ground.” Corvus smiled. “I don’t think she wanted it anymore but this way I think everyone wins.”

Sagitta shoved the amulet away and said, “If you want everyone to win then you’re not much of a team player. Keep that garbage. I don’t want it.”

Corvus examined the amulet and rubbed the emerald heart with his thumb. “Maybe I’ll just hold on to it.” He rubbed the center again, trying to make it glow as it had while in Trisha’s possession. “Do you think Deus would want this pendant?”


Samael vaguely remembered the layout of the upper levels. The conversation between him and Trisha replayed in his head, and while hearing it inside his mind, her voice was as crisp as the real thing.

“If she wanted to piss me off then congratulations,” he said to himself.  Samael came to a divide at the head of some stairs and caught the stench of something burning. He turned his head and said, “Who’s this clown?”

Down the right hallway stood Ignis, smoking, and walking towards Samael with his normal hand holding the cigarette. Looks like I better play nice or this Ascending member will rip my head off, Samael heard repeatedly from Ignis’s thoughts. “You know I like the leather and wood furniture, but could you show me the kitchen?”

Samael looked the Bio-Machina member over. “You want to take a crack at me too?”

A tinge of nervousness emitted from Ignis. “Honestly I’m getting a little tired of playing this game. I’m waiting for checkmate then I can move on to something else. I’m more of a Risk player myself.” Ignis held out his cybernetic hand. “Oh wait. Silly me.” He switched hands and gave Sam a smile. “This one catches fire,” he said wiggling his metal fingers as they heated up.

This dude is smiling, but he’s thinking about running away, Samael thought. He put his hand out.

Ignis spit the cigarette into Sam’s face, twisted his shaking hand, and cupped his red hot palm against the left side of Samael’s neck. Sam instinctively bent his head into the burn, giving Gulo, who had been lurking silently behind him, the opportunity to bite Samael’s right shoulder. The beast’s mouth covered most of Samael’s shoulder and part of his chest as his jaw clamped down.

“If you want to fool someone, use your right hand, but make them look at your left.” Good thing you thought you could hear me properly in here, Samael heard.

The teeth of the many blades inside Gulo’s mouth spun faster, ripping into Samael’s flesh. He channeled his telekinesis to reduce the impact. Sam reached up to grab hold of Gulo, but the massive man bore down on him, taking away any hold he could have had. Ignis continued to twist Sameal’s wrist against its joint and his other hand charred away at the left side of his neck.

“Get off me!” Two tendrils from each forearm came undone to punch Ignis, sending him far from arm’s reach and temporarily reducing his problems.

Gulo saw his master strike the floor and roll as his new chew toy fought back. As Sam’s tendrils wrapped around Gulo’s jaws, the monster reapplied the strength in his mouth. Blood ran down Samael’s chest and the blades were cutting deeper. “I can’t die yet.”

A gurgling roar came from the pit of Gulo’s throat. The tendrils struggled against the metal apparatus and slowly widened his maw. The spinning blades inside his mouth threw streams of scarlet as Samael inched free.

The beast’s anger climaxed as he punched the left side of Samael’s lower back, breaking his focus enough for Gulo to grab his tendrils and tear himself free of their grip. Samael buckled over, falling to his knees. Gulo bent down to finish biting off his shoulder and all Sam could see was the disconcerting sight of Ignis making his way back for more.

“What does my mind say now, friend?” Ignis asked. Samael could feel an entire range of mental activity, as Ignis believed himself to be happy, or sad, or in sporadic bursts, mournful. “Nice to know you supermen are still human after all.” The spinning blades closed in to return cutting into Samael’s chest. “I was hoping I could have found that Benjamin traveling with you. There was something about his eyes that-”

Magnus’s blade sunk into Gulo’s shoulder. The beast immediately abandoned his interest in Sam and stood to scream in pain. Magnus swung for the beast again, but Gulo thrashed at the Samurai with his metal claws. The beast took a few steps back leaving a half cleaved right hand behind.

“Take yourself away from this place, Ignis,” Magnus said, pointing his sword at his adversary’s chest.

Neko ran to Samael’s side and put her fists up. “We’ve come to defend the weak. I fight for peace.”

“I should have just died,” Samael said.

Ignis shook his head at the trio of fools. “You’ve made the wrong choice, Magnus. I thought you would have had the resolve to follow through with your duties towards the Bio-Machina.” Ignis looked over at Gulo and waved his hand at the ground.

Gulo saw the sign, turned, and walked away.

“Keep your eyes on Gulo, child.” Neko nodded her head. “Leave now, Ignis. I will not tell you once more.”

Ignis put his hands in his pockets and said, “I’m leaving, don’t worry.” He walked around the group and followed in Gulo’s path. Before walking too far, Ignis turned his head and said, “Would your little sister be proud of your betrayal?”

Magnus’s eyes squinted. “You know not what you speak.” He relaxed his stance and sheathed his sword.

“Lamina is rolling in her grave, Magnus.” Ignis looked back and smiled at the face Magnus gave. The mere mention of Lamina coming from Ignis’s mouth was beyond vial to his ears, but the Samurai restrained himself from chasing after Ignis. That would only be playing into his plan.

“And the day was saved,” Neko said. She jumped up and down a few times in celebration. Her joy was cut short as Samael get to his feet with a grim face. He ripped his yellow shirt off and telekinetically rewrapped his Kevlar to cover the bite mark around his right shoulder and chest. The burn on his neck blistered, but the nerves were relatively safe as a constant sting reminded him of the wound. How am I supposed to kick Shax’s ass like this? He thought.

“You should find yourself somewhere safe. You are near death,” Magnus said.

Samael looked at him with a sharp glare and said, “Your about to find yourself on the floor, samurai. If I want your advice I’ll ask for it.”

“We should have just let that big guy eat you up. I told Magnus not to save you, but he has his honor to think about so you’re lucky. If he were a lesser man-” Samael was walking away with his head down. “Jerk, I wasn’t finished talking.”

Magnus put his hand on Neko’s shoulder and said, “He walks his own path, child.”

“But he would have been killed if you didn’t help.”

“Had I known he would rather die in battle than to live by mercy of another, then I would not have intervened. Take note of what you see here, for he may already be dead.”


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