"I'am hurt...but I'm certain I'll be fine as long as we can make it out of this." Zade rose up, the slashes marks on his legs bleeding, but he was still able to move.
The Beast of the Shadowlands disappeared into the white mist. A few moments passed of nothing happening...before the Beast leaped out from it's white mist it made and jumped up high, screeching loudly and preparing to pounce at Chris, coming in very fast and aiming to deliver the killing blow.
As the beast came in for a landing, Chris slapped it hard with all his strength, then shot straight through its heart.
As the Beast of the Shadowlands dived in the shot blasted straight through it's chest, shooting it through the heart, killing the Beast once and for all. The Beast of the Shadowlands's lifeless body then fell onto Chris, one of it's claws plunged into his body.
Chris threw off the Beast and looked over at Li, lying unconscious. "Is he alright? I don't know if we should continue without him."
Samuel got up from the snow and walked over to Li. His hands shook slightly as he moved to place two fingers on Li's neck. The others had followed Samuel, watching him intently.
Though it was faint, there was a pulse.
Samuel lifted Li's arms and wrist, looking at them briefly. Li did not respond.
"We have to get medical attention. He has a lot of cuts and possibly a fractured wrist. He's alive, though," Samuel eventually said.
"Where are we going to get help for him though?" Atticus asked. "We're lost out here."
"Nobody can answer that, Atticus," Samuel responded. "Gauzes and bandages is all we can do right now. Fate decides what happens next."
"There's something I've been keeping from all of you. I put off telling it, always thinking I'd get around to it eventually… that beast made me realize that I don't have forever to keep putting it off."
[[Minor Characters#Magnus Rooke|Magnus]] was alone in a hospital bed. He could hear nothing beyond the monitor's constant beeps. They were getting slower now, closer to normal. He had accepted his fate. He would stand trial for the confrontation at Manta and Salinger arson. Conviction was inevitable. Magnus could snitch if he wanted a lighter sentence, but no matter how much he gave them he would be locked up.
"I met Gabriel after one of his rallies. He was impressed, asked me if I wanted a job. Back then, I didn't know any better. My father was sick and I was unemployed."
Years ago, Magnus had gotten involved with a girl named Penny Yearling. Neither of them said much about their relationship to their friends or family. Penny was well-off, making good money from Alchemilia Corporation, while Magnus made just over the bare minimum from extra-legal means.
They married during an especially cold month of Charias, 300 TP. It was a short, private affair attended only by the bride, groom and a local minister, Father Strickland. Penny did not take Magnus' surname.
In Elos 302, the couple's first and only child was born. He was given the same name as his great-grandfather, Marshall Rooke. The boy was to receive his education from Alchemilia's education androids at Penny's request. For seven years, all was well.
"The job was exactly what I needed. I rose through the ranks, all the way up to executive. That was when I discovered the truth. The unspeakable horror beneath the surface."
A man with a wicked smile and mad glint in his eyes stood over Salinger. The man's companions all had their weapons pointed directly at the police chief, but he appeared to be unarmed. As Salinger desperately begged for his lives of himself and his family, Magnus pulled a bottle and cigarette lighter from his coat pockets. He lit the Molotov and threw it onto the ground.
The next day, the Silivian branch of the Bratva congratulated themselves on a job well done. Magnus tried to keep his attention on the television while avoiding the noisy revelry of his fellows. The news was about to report on the arson. He needed to see it. If asked, he would say it was because he wanted to know how much the public and police knew. This was not untrue, but seeing his actions reported on as a major story was more important to him.
Before the report even began, there was a breaking news interruption. It was not the Salinger arson, but instead an attack on Remnant Rock. Magnus heard the name of his son as one of the perpetrators.
"I begged Gabriel to put a stop to it. He refused, said the greater good justified some minor evil. Resigning right there and then was the only option."
Penny had been arrested by Alchemilia, who claimed she had organized an assassination attempt on one of their chairmen. There was no trial. She was sentenced to life imprisonment in a company-owned holding facility. Her husband and son were forbidden from visiting. Marshall would be Magnus' sole responsibility to take care of. He would also need to go through public schooling rather than a full android-provided education.
Marshall had vanished in — Socielus? Has it really been that long? — with no trace left behind. His father had never expected he would next here from him after he and his associates (which included the mayor's son, of all people) destroyed Alchemilia's base of operations. He broke down in tears.
He wanted to find his son, wanted to help him and his friends however he could. The boss had only one stipulation before he was out. "A favor for a new friend of ours," he called it. "A simple security job."
"When Fontaine told us we could deal a crushing blow to Alchemilia, I was reminded of something I tried not to think about. The things I saw in my tenure as executive never stopped. This was my chance, I had to take action. It was a long shot, but y'know what?"
Not for the first time, Magnus wondered whether he would ever see his wife or son again. He went through a number of possible reunion scenarios before quickly dismissing all of them. It was useless. He closed his eyes and tried to sleep.
"It worked. We did it," Li said.
Beth shook her head at his reply, but moved on from the conversation knowing there was no point in disagreeing. "What exactly are we building anyways?" She asked as he forced another wire into place.
"It's something that will be very important in the long run," Richard assured Beth. "Just continue working on it. This project is massive."