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Dr Archeville

[Nov 2010 Vignette] Jack of all Blades & Midnight (II)

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"Explain to me one more time why your school library has actual magic books in it," the swordsman known as Jack of all Blades requested as he side-stepped a massive, scaly fist larger around than his chest as it crashed into the table he was standing on, breaking it in half.

Nearby, the second enigmatic vigilante to use the moniker Midnight gave him a muted shrug, the gesture partially obscured by the wisps of inky black mist that rose from his body as he tumbled backward, avoiding a roiling torrent of green flame. "Big library."

The swashbuckler snorted harshly as he used the collapsing table’s momentum to surf forward, bringing his glowing, white hot energy blade down through the lizard like creature’s shoulder, the limb sliding off smoothly like butter. "It’s your in depth and comprehensive explanations that really help me through these unusual circumstances," he drawled, turning to look at the black clad man fighting beside him.

Even as Jack turned away, the misshapen extra planar being stepped back with a roar of pain. As Midnight watched, however, a brand new arm grew with sickening speed from the stump. Worse yet, the severed arm continued to thrash until an entirely new creature rose to join its former owner. A handful of throwing knives with timed explosives gave the terse vigilante’s surprised ally a moment to regroup, and the scaly pair stumbled back amidst the noisy detonations. "Talk--"

"--too much, yeah, you’ve mentioned," Jack interrupted Midnight, leaping forward to tackle the other hero out of the way of another cone of verdant fire spat from the maw of one on the leathery winged monsters that circled about the library’s ceiling, crowing with high pitched wails. The pair came up easily to their feet as dozens more of the varied beasts continued to emerge from the library stacks. "I really hate this school sometimes..." the fencer opined as they rushed back into the fray.

The day had begun quietly enough for both young men. Trevor Hunter, the soft spoken alter ego of Midnight, had been planning to do some research for a large project he hoped to have completed before the winter break, the last of several take home projects he’d simply opted to finish right away. Sauntering into the school library in the evening, he’s found it very nearly deserted apart from a fellow senior, a slim, black haired girl who’d started at Claremont that September.

Purportedly the younger sister of the West End based vigilante called Jack of all Blades, he knew she was enrolled under the name Jill Pique. Though the young costumed detective doubted very much that was anything but a pseudonym, Erin has mentioned her off-handedly at least once and seemed to think well enough of her, even in the coltish teen shared some of her sibling’s infamously abrasive sense of humour. Regardless, Jill appeared to be absorbed in the sizeable stack of books she was sifting through, and so he moved on with no more than an amiable if curt nod.

The roads outside were dimly lit by the occasional street lamp despite the relatively early hour, the dark and chill of the winter months making its presence well known. Erik Espadas stepped lightly off of the bus that had taken him out of the city proper with easy grace of a trained athlete, shoving his hands into the pockets of his wool liner coat as he hefted a knapsack over his shoulder. Despite his civilian clothes, he was wearing the black wig which was part of his uniform as Jack of all Blades; coming to give his sister Ellie a hand carrying borrowed books home was as good an opportunity as any to establish himself to any curious Claremont student as ‘Jack Pique’. It was a delicate balancing act between the siblings’ multiple identities, but the specialized education the school provided could well be worth it.

He was only halfway to what the directions he’d scribbled down on a handy napkin indicated was the library building when there came a sound like the tremendous, booming rush of air into a vacuum, followed by a series of animalistic roars and cries. Pulling his bag from his shoulder, he’d already donned his royal blue bandanna mask as he began to sprint toward the geyser of mystical energy nearly blinding his metamagi super senses.

Throwing open the double doors to the library, Jack found a faceless, darkly clad figure already battling a towering reptilian beast with a pair of matte black, hardwood sticks. "Hey, aren’t you--" the war-era hero buff began with a surprised pause.

"Talk later," Midnight insisted brusquely, a jaw full of serrated teeth buckling under his latest blow. "Jack of all Blades? Sister is inside."

"Right," Jack noted soberly, sweeping his hand forward as electricity leapt from nearby desk lamps to forge a scintillating rapier in his hand. "Can’t leave that girl alone for five minutes." With an acrobatic leap, the melee was joined.

At first the pair seemed to be making good progress in beating the obviously otherworldly forces back toward the other end of the library, but soon it became clear that new monsters were spilling forth faster than they could dispose of them. Within heart pounding minutes, the two young men found themselves back to back, surrounded on all side as pterodactyl like beasts circled above. "Well, nertz," Jack drawled in a strained voice. Midnight simply grunted in agreement.

Suddenly, the beacon of extra dimensional magics winked out of existence, the dull roar of winds from another world cutting out. The creatures seemed to blink in surprise for a few seconds before toppling over one by one. Jack had to nimbly jump out of the way as one of the flying monsters crashed into the spot on the floor he’d been standing on. Exchanging a glance, the pair moved to the other end of the library and the direction from which the beasts had been pouring forth.

They found Jill sitting atop a pile of fallen lizard things, splattered lightly with green and black bodily fluids. One pant leg was torn and her unruly hair was an absolute mess, but the teenage girl seemed otherwise unharmed as she gestured to the large tome held closed under her arm. "Why does a school library have actual magic books in it?!" she asked incredulously, her breathing heavy with exertion.

"That’s what I asked!" Jack agreed, throwing his arms up in the air and letting his energy blade dissipate into the air.

"Hnn..." Midnight grumbled placing a gloved hand over his mask’s ruby red lenses and shaking his head slightly. "Stereo..."

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