Kalem Akuma had spent the last few days watching the Governments’ Headquarters. He wasn’t entirely sure whether Terra was being kept there, but he had no other leads.
The Governments’ Headquarters was a tall building with marble steps leading to its front doors. There were Watchers posted at the front, guarding the entrance.
Kalem had no idea how he was going to get Terra out. For now his plan was to find a way inside. By now he had learned the Watchers’ routines and schedules, which wasn’t much, but it was something.
A movement behind him alerted him that someone was making their way down the alley where he was hiding. He glanced over his shoulder and cursed at the sight of his mother.
‘What are you doing?’ he growled.
‘Making sure you don’t do anything stupid,’ she replied.
‘Wasn’t planning on it.’
Camille Haart brushed back her short blonde hair as she licked her lower lip which was covered in piercings. ‘You’ve been watching the building for hours. It’s time you came home. You need to rest.’
Kalem grunted and turned back towards the headquarters, ignoring her. ‘I’ll rest when Terra gets to come home, too.’
‘Kalem, I know you care for her but-’
‘I just need you to understand that she might not be-’
Kalem’s back tensed.
‘She’s alive,’ he hissed.
‘She might not be the same…’ Kalem caught the hesitation in his mother’s voice. ‘We don’t know what Petra has done to her. Even if we do rescue her, she might not be the Terra you knew.’
‘I don’t care.’
He felt her hand touch his arm, which brought him to glance back. Her usual green eyes were now sad and exhausted. He hated seeing her like that. He hated being the reason she was like that.
‘Mum, don’t cry.’
‘I’m not crying.’
Kalem chuckled as he wiped the tears that were now making their way slowly down her cheeks. ‘I can’t abandon her.’
‘I know.’ Camille sighed. ‘But standing here down a cold dark alley isn’t going to get her out. We need to assemble people and put together a plan. Just come back home. I promise I’ll do whatever it takes to help you get her back. But you need to sleep. In the morning we’ll think of ways of rescuing her.’
Kalem knew his mother was right, but going home when Terra was being held by the government didn’t feel right. He knew that Terra would be furious if she saw him and would throw her shoe at him for being so useless. But going home to a warm bed and having dinner while she was probably being submitted to Nation’s knew what felt wrong.
He couldn’t. What if something happened and he missed it for not being there? Anything could be crucial in getting her back. He wanted to hug his mum and to ask her to fix it for him, but that wasn’t right either.
‘I’m sorry, mum,’ he said, his heart breaking at the sight of her face crumbling. ‘I can’t leave her. Not yet.’
Morgana was used to roaming around the streets of the capital like a ghost. She moved unnoticed, climbing up water pipes, crawling through sewers and vanishing down dark alleyways. She had always enjoyed such a freedom.
But following Eric Thorn around the capital was excruciating.
Morgana sometimes wondered why she bothered, but then thought of Scarlet’s reaction if she discovered that Eric had ended up hurt for chasing after her. Someone needed to keep an eye on the idiot.
Morgana refused to think that Scarlet no longer existed, and that she had become an ageless monster that now hosted her body. She was stronger than that. There had to be a way to bring her back.
A black mist began to form in the far distance. It slowed down, pausing above the roof of a building. Morgana slid down a water pipe, ran down an alley and rushed up a fire escape. She needed to get as close as possible without being seen.
The mist was slowly consolidated into a body made of flesh and bones. Hair appeared, as well as translucent skin covered in black veins. Eyes created from the darkest night formed and took shape.
Scarlet’s sweet features were gone, replaced by something horrifying.
Morgana kept her eyes glued on Scarlet as she leapt from one rooftop to the next. She needed to get as close as possible in case something happened to Eric. Where was the idiot, anyway?
Eric’s bright blonde hair was indistinguishable no matter how dark the night became. His broad shoulders were tense as well as his posture. Those dangerous yellow eyes were focused on something approaching him and Morgana stiffened at the sight of Scarlet turning towards him.
One moment she was there, the next she was standing inches away from Eric.
Morgana rushed forward, her eyes wide with fear. Eric began struggling against Scarlet who had gripped his throat and was now dragging him towards the edge of the roof.
As soon as Scarlet’s pale fingers uncurled from around Eric’s throat, Morgana lunged, grabbing Eric in mid-air and crashing into the window of the adjoining building. They slammed against a cemented column and Morgana lost her grip around Eric.
The pain that tore through her was intense, and she rolled over to one side, screaming. When it subdued, she found a semi-comfortable position, resting her head against the wall.
She was an X-Prototype, indestructible and powerful. But she still felt pain.
Glancing down, she stared at her broken leg and cursed. Her shoulder had dislocated and her left foot was bent in an awkward position. Turning, she searched for the blonde cyborg and found him on the other side of the column, unconscious.
He was breathing, but blood was trailing down one side of his head.
Reluctantly, Morgana shut her eyes and waited for her wounds to heal.