Spirals of Fate – Chapter Three (Harsh Environments, Part 2)

Spirals of Fate is a serialized
work of fiction centering on the intellectual property of City of Heroes and
City of Villains. Chapter One centered on two villains, Vincent and Mara, and
their breakout from the Zigg, a prison used to house those with super powers.
They met another villain named Mosaic and the three headed for Arachnos flyers
and freedom. Chapter 2 explored the perspective of the young heroes called to
defend their city from the rising tide of crime.

In Chapter 3 Part 1, Mosaic,
Vincent and Mara arrive at an Arachnos-held area and were changing from prison
garb to street clothes when another escapee accosts Mara, leading to Vincent –
yet again – dealing with the situation in a violent manner.

 


Spirals of Fate: Chapter Three
(Harsh Environments) – Part Two

By Michael Lafferty and Matthew
Eberle

The sudden
violence had spread among the villains like wildfire. Waves of flame and ice
battled back and forth at the rear of the crowd. Several hulking figures were
battling it out in a fierce brawl at the center of the courtyard. Mosaic watched
as the fierce melee spilled towards Vincent. A blast of radiant energy caught
the young man square in the back, driving him to his knees. Before the attacker
could follow up on his success Vincent had already surged to his feet. The
eerie, booming howl of Vincent’s rage echoed through the courtyard. As other
villains turned to see what the haunting noise was he spun and struck his
attacker. The green and gray figure behind him took the blow in the center of
his chest. A sound like tearing cloth echoed after the blow, dark energies
lashing the villain. In the suddenly silent courtyard the only sound was the
unconscious villain collapsing heavily to the pavement.

– – –

The
distraction had given Mara time to move away. She knew that Vincent would be Ok,
he always was, but she didn’t want to be seen as the cause of the commotion. Her
inner defense mechanisms were in full flight. ‘Escape,’ she felt urged, ‘run
away.’ It was an old refrain. But now … for the first time she was starting to
feel there was a piece of her getting very tired of that. She had taken it, the
verbal abuse, the physical abuse, for so long. Her ability to turn invisible had
allowed her to move away, but something else inside was tired of the running.

“That was a
nice trick, girlie,” a voice said into her left ear. “Get them all riled up and
then let your boyfriend take care of business while you run away.”

Mara
spinned and was face to face with a tall brutish-looking woman. Tall may have
been an understatement, but Mara classed everyone that way, due to her
diminutive size. But the woman was muscled more like a man, bulging biceps, a
cruel face that sported scar. Her hair was short, razor-cut, and bleached white.
Her blue-stained lips curled into a sneer.

“But what
are you going to do when your boyfriend is occupied. He’s not here and I got an
idea about you working …” The words faded out. The woman was still speaking but
Mara had stopped listening. There was a fuzziness, a surreal quality to the
scene, playing out in slow motion. It all stopped making sense. Instead, all she
felt was the bottled rage, now rushing forward. This woman, standing there,
mocking her, was the culmination of everyone who had wronged her, either
physically, emotionally, or mentally.

no
more …
” The words seemed far away.

‘no more …”
the intensity was growing. Then the words were there, blinding her. It ceased to
be a woman standing there, eyes widening in surprise. Instead it was an object,
a thing, a source of all Mara disliked.


“NO MORE!”
the voice screamed and Mara struck out, her fists pounding into the image of the
woman, fists encased in a reddish glow. The woman, who was not a tangible being
to Mara, crunched down, diminished under the thunderous blow, bones shattering.
The face looked up, an odd question trying to form. Mara put a glowing fist into
the face, driving the woman back, into a crowd that had turned to stare at her,
shock on their faces, knocking over many more combatants. She was wild with the
rage released, looking for the next target. She swung a fist at an approaching
form, a man-like creature that seemed to be wrapped in black mist.

Vincent
caught the hand, allowing his shield to absorb the impact. Still, he felt the
immense power there.

“Mara?” His
words were more than a question, they were an offering of comfort to the
wild-eyed woman.

 


… to be continued
In Chapter 3, Part 3 Mosaic begins weaving Vincent and Mara into the fabric of
his plans for power.

 

This is a fictional story is
based on the intellectual property of City of Heroes and City of Villains. That
property was used as a backdrop for this story with the permission of both Ncsoft and Cryptic Studios. While this story uses that world as a backdrop, it
is not meant to reflect either gameplay or storylines with the massively
multiplayer online world. Some of the images used with Spirals of Fate have been
taken from the game and modified to suit the illustrative purposes of this
story. This story is intended for entertainment purposes only.