Air on Water

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Air on Water

Post by Username » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:15 pm

July 2003, New York

An amber streetlamp buzzed.

He had been walking along the fence encircling the park when the lamp drew his gaze to a side gate, left carelessly open at 3am.

He fed the ducks here, sometimes.

The pond was deep within the park. There were no lamps, but the light was sufficient. He knew the wide, concrete paths.

Most of the ducks were sleeping, but a few roused, rippling water reaching his ears as they approached, cautious and curious.

Two Canada geese emerged from the shrubbery, long necks curving through the haze, late to the party.

Suddenly the world was day again as an explosive boom drowned out panicked quacking of birds and he glimpsed terrified ducks flinging themselves into the air, twisting while launching drops of sluggishly arcing water, the barbs of each feather displayed in such clarity he might have been able to count them.


-


He opened his eyes and the world was night. Several feet away, a Lichtenberg figure scrawled across the smouldering grass too-close to where he had been, filling his nostrils with the scent of mildew and lit matches. Ducks were still quacking, tearing to safety across the water. His back and hips were sore – he’d been thrown.

It hadn’t been long.

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Re: Air on Water

Post by XMR Young Lawrence Keelan » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:24 pm

"Ugh," Laurie shook his head and slowly sat up, doing an internal scan to see if he was injured.

Lightning, was the first thought that entered his head, groggy and half-delirious with adrenaline. He'd been hit by lightning. Unfuckingbelievable. He rolled to the side away from the spreading electric discharge, struggling to his feet. An arc of pain shot through his right leg and he grimaced, glancing around to determine if anyone or anything else was in the area.

Beside him, three others rose as well, all with the same dark hair and eyes as Laurie and in identical clothing. Too-long jeans with white spots on the knees and holes at the cuffs, a white sweater with a cigarette burn on its hem, sneakers that had once been white, and a green flak jacket with worn insulation.

They all brushed themselves off. One was expressionless and calm, helping the second with an arm under his shoulder. The second trembled and huddled close. Wide-eyed, startled. A third whooped, grinning with delight at the scene.

"Oh, come on," Laurie rolled his eyes. "Get back in here." He pointed a finger at them.

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Re: Air on Water

Post by Username » Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:15 pm

Apart from his sore back and hips, he bore no other physical injuries.

Anyone else appeared quickly, illuminated by vines of electricity that pulsed down sleeveless arms and raised the man over ten feet in the air like trashing stilts burning anything that came into contact. His trousers were dark, and Laurie briefly saw a Mohawk before the man veered and closed in on him, leaving a trail of incinerated grass.

Boom and another bolt came. In that instant, the earth rose and scooped the excited clone closer to the other two and his original body as Laurie glimpsed a second figure in the air in his peripheral vision, and suddenly all four were in darkness as the earthen walls around them vibrated at the impact.

Light filtered in again a few seconds later as the top of the dome opened, and Laurie saw he was now far away enough for the people to be palm-sized. People because a brown-haired man was now standing, facing towards his attacker.

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Re: Air on Water

Post by XMR Young Lawrence Keelan » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:12 pm

"Oh hell no. You guys," Laurie zipped his fingers toward them. "More, come on, we need more!"

As though on cue, at least thirty identical Lauries popped out and scattered on the grass behind him, quickly standing up and at attention. These were almost certainly of the stoic kind. They all sat up, ready. "Let's go! That Mohawk Motherfucker is attacking that guy. Charge him, no mercy. You can't die, just protect that dude. Form a wall around him. Got it?"

"Yes."

And that's how thirty clones stormed the area.

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Re: Air on Water

Post by Username » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:12 pm

The brown-haired man seemed to look back over his shoulder briefly before a wall of earth rose before the clones charging forwards and separated them, Laurie included, from him and the man with electricity-wrapped arms.

The other person didn’t wait, arcing through the air with the electricity acting much like the propulsion of a water jetpack, splitting a tree and setting the remains ablaze as he shot towards Laurie. The wall rose higher as the tree turned to ash, containing him just before he breached it, and all that was visible over the top of the wall were flashes of white.

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Re: Air on Water

Post by XMR Young Lawrence Keelan » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:20 pm

Laurie just grit his teeth. "Climb!" he instructed them. Many of them were able to climb over one another to the other side of the wall and landed on their feet, charging into the fray and clamboring on top of the attacker. As they were disintegrated, more appeared like an overwhelming onslaught, distracting the attacker from his other target. "It's OK!" he shouted over the wall. "They can't die! Let them help!"

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Re: Air on Water

Post by Username » Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:39 am

The wall curved towards him while growing to prevent more from climbing over, while on the other side, earthen barriers and cocoons that partially enclosed and relocated the clones constantly formed in an attempt to protect the identical Lauries and separate them from the man wielding electricity. The were reasonably successful, but a number slipped through.

“He’s after you!” Came the yelled reply, but there was a note of calm despite the volume. “If you want to help, get them away from here! You don’t know the situation!”

He may have explained the situation, but a woven whip of electricity slammed towards the ground and he immediately pushed several Lauries away with a wave of earth.

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Re: Air on Water

Post by XMR Young Lawrence Keelan » Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:02 pm

"After me???!" Laurie shrieked, rolling his eyes. "Oh, for fucks sake. Buddy I'm telling you right now I DON'T HAVE A FUCKING CUSTOMER SERVICE LINE!" he slammed his hand against the wall. "I'm not just leaving you here with him!" he directed that at the somewhat helpful stranger.

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Re: Air on Water

Post by Username » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:42 am

Thrashing electricity became visible over the wall. On the other side, the man almost launched himself over before he was pulled downwards as if by invisible fingers around his ankle.
“I’ll be fine,” came the reply, loud enough for him to hear but still just as calm. A smooth current of earth flowed over a few Lauries that had been getting to their feet to protect them from the descending electrical whorls. “I won’t be if they stay.”

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Re: Air on Water

Post by XMR Young Lawrence Keelan » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:44 am

"Well I can't really control them! Just... let them die!" Laurie threw his hands up in a shrug.

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Re: Air on Water

Post by Username » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:02 am

His expression tightened. “No.” This was not loud enough to pass over the wall.

The man wielding electricity was suddenly pulled backwards through the air. Below where he had been, earth bulged upwards and surged to either side, scooping Lauries as they went into half-cocoons and transporting them towards the barrier. The ground upon which stood the original Laurie and the clones that had not made it over the wall moved like a conveyer belt and carried them backwards, and then the wall – now far enough away – rotated, transferring the cocooned Lauries to their side.

The wall thickened and rose higher.

“Leave. I’ll find you later."

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Re: Air on Water

Post by XMR Young Lawrence Keelan » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:06 am

He rolled his eyes. "Well what the fuck am I supposed to do about this shit!" he growled and smacked the wall. "You said he was after me. Let me deal with it. In case you haven't noticed, I sort of have an army!" Well, he did have an army, until they all decided to abandon ship and dive back inside of him. He groaned loudly and clutched his stomach. "Motherfucker," he muttered under his breath.

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Re: Air on Water

Post by Username » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:07 am

“You will simply incinerate.” Crackle. White light. Boom.

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Re: Air on Water

Post by XMR Young Lawrence Keelan » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:08 am

"Well good thing there's a giant fucking wall here preventing that, isn't there?" he shot back, crossing his arms.

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Re: Air on Water

Post by Username » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:09 am

“Leave.”

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Re: Air on Water

Post by Shayne » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:11 am

Laurie didn't respond! Maybe he'd left.

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Re: Air on Water

Post by Username » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:21 am

Too late.

The man’s speed suddenly increased, and he shot around the side of the wall, bringing down electricity the width of a column. With a blur and the scent of a million blades of burning grass, it slammed down on an earthen shield barely a foot and a half above their heads. Their because the brown-haired man was directly in front of Laurie now, both arms raised with the shield an inch away like a wave frozen in time. “Ugh,” he uttered with a frown. A giant hand rose from the ground to grab the other man, but they dodged away, markedly faster than before, swooping back in to slash horizontally at Laurie. Another wall, vertical, erected in an instant and blocked it, sending tremors into the ground, through Laurie’s feet, and up his legs.

“Don’t do anything,” the man beside him said, as if anticipating that he might.

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Re: Air on Water

Post by XMR Young Lawrence Keelan » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:25 am

"Who the fuck is that." Laurie stared at him, eyes wide. Surprise he hadn't left, he'd just been psyching this dude out. Apparently to little avail, since he was now being directly assaulted. Cool. "Also, who the fuck are you."

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Re: Air on Water

Post by Username » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:41 am

He didn’t have time to reply, because suddenly electricity wrapped around the smaller, vertical wall and tore it from the ground. The brown-haired man didn’t pursue it, instead erecting another one immediately as electricity from the man’s other arm crashed towards them. This time the electricity bent, ignoring the laws of trajectory, and the wall rushed after it, not fast enough to shield, so instead smashed into the electrical torrent to adjust its path and repel it right before it struck. At the same time, a thinner shield flowed into existence from just behind Laurie, spreading past him and towards the brown-haired man to withstand the sparks that ricocheted towards them. Laurie was safe, but the shield didn't stretch completely forwards in time. A few flew onto the other man and burned through his clothing. His eyes narrowed as he tensed briefly with a short exhale, gaze fixed on their attacker.

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Re: Air on Water

Post by XMR Young Lawrence Keelan » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:45 am

Laurie grit his teeth and flexed his fists. "Buddy, what is your problem with me!" he yelled at the attacker.

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Re: Air on Water

Post by Username » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:45 am

“He doesn’t know what he’s doing,” the brown-haired man murmured.

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Re: Air on Water

Post by XMR Young Lawrence Keelan » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:47 am

"What? What do you mean he doesn't know what he's doing? OK, whatever," he shook his head. "I'll distract him. Get some of my clones to lead him to the lake. That water should fry him up."

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Re: Air on Water

Post by Username » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:47 am

“You’ll kill the birds and fish, and he’s immune.”

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Re: Air on Water

Post by XMR Young Lawrence Keelan » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:48 am

"Yeah, well, what's your brilliant idea?" Laurie snapped back at him, unimpressed.

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Re: Air on Water

Post by Username » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:49 am

“Keep you safe.”

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