Chapter Four (Book One: Dragonfly)

Riot
By Anonymous Author

Shouting. 
It's hard to hear.
I can see fists in the air.
“We will be feared!”
Orange, red, and yellow.

Fire.
Dancing on top the building.
On top the cars.
On top some figures.
Red and blue.
 
Police.
Aiming their guns.
Those resisting are shot.
Fear and blood paint the ground.
End it all.

Riot.
We gather.
We cry.
But, no one hears…
Except those who choose to learn the truth.

ILLUSIONER FILE: SUNSHINE

“Elodia Akinci Callejo Wolfgang… That’s a mouthful. Do you always say your full name and Colver doesn’t have a full name?” I questioned as Elodia handed Colver some medicine.

“Sí and no. I’m proud of it either way.” Replying as she ruffled Colver’s hair, “Look I can’t really help with the voice. You have to deal with it yourself. But, the others and I can help with abilities.”

“Really? And uh… How long does the half-pill last?”

“About a day surprisingly…” She paused, “Well…. It actually depends on the strength.”

“Strength?”

“Some can take over more easily than others,” Elodia paused for a minute before a small frown was shown, “but, since you have taken enough TAME to put a stall on your abilities, it gave the voice plenty of time to build up some sort of resistance to the typical drug. I’m actually shocked that it’s quiet for you. They tend to be chatty.”

“So, do I need to take more?”

“No. But I’ll see if I can buy you a pack of BARB from the Asphalt gang.” Elodia smiled softly.

Still rather confused, I nodded and watched as she got up and with Colver following as they went towards the door.

“I promised Jordyn and Kyson that I’ll take ‘em to the Ticking Hour to check it out and choose another gang to join. Why don’t you come with?”

“Really?”

She nodded, “Why not? Jor! Ky! Let’s go!” Walking out of the room, I got up to follow. She had her hair pulled over her shoulder and I can see a small part of what looked like a bandage. Blood has soaked through.

“Um…”

Elodia turned around to face me, “What?”

“The bandage on the back of your neck.”

I watched with slight worry building in the pit of my stomach as she brushed her fingers against the back of her neck and cursing.

“I picked a fight with some guards that’s all. Don’t worry and come on.” With a hushed voice, I heard her swear once more about not having any more bandages as she brushed her hair back to cover the bandage.

We made our way towards the front door, where Jordyn and Kyson were already there. The two beamed at us as they wore matching outfits and star-themed shoulder bags.

That’s really adorable of them.

“You two look ready to move out.” Elodia joked, “We’ll train across Kraken road to the station by the bar.”

Soon we were off. It seemed rather interesting to me that the towns weren’t full of crime and the buildings weren’t completely rubble.

“Took a few years, but we get work faster than some,” Jordyn explained.

“And it was hard work too!” Kyson added, ruffling Colver’s hair, “Right Dover?”

“What are you two talking about? You were so little back then and Dove wasn’t even born then!”

“Ah, but being a little kid was hard as heck! And I’m sure that being half-egg and half-sperm was so troubling for Dover!”

Elodia only shook her head as we neared a train station. We literally just walked up and past the security box.

“Um, shouldn’t we get tickets?” I asked, rather confused as to why we didn’t stop.

“Well-known gang leaders get in free with one guest since we bring them supplies. And the kids got a small microchip on them that is pretty much a virtual ticket.”

“Oh.”

As we got onto the train and into our seats, I watched as buildings blurred by once the last person got onto the train.

Every now and then, someone would make their way to us and talk with Elodia.

“Thank you so much for getting that medicine for my grandkids.”

“That was an amazing round you played in Last Hour Rush. Hope you win against Visage in the leader v leader.”

“Got any new gang members?”

Some even gave her gifts for her and Colver, plus some to give to her friends.

“Here. I didn’t have enough money to pay you back, but I made some sandwiches for you and friends.”

“I got some new blades in my shop. Here, take some.”

“I know that you liked custom chess pieces. So here’s some.”

After a while, our seats were filled with small things. From food to trinkets, to full-on clothing, it was full.

“You’re popular,” I mentioned as the train slowed to what I assumed to be our stop.

Elodia was about to respond when Kyson spoke up as we got off the train.

“Oh yeah! She is considered one of best gang leaders in the Daven territories. And one of the strongest DPs! She could beat fifteen gang leaders in fifteen seconds!”

“First half is true. I don’t think I can within fifteen. Maybe twenty.”

Shaking my head, I smiled.

They aren’t too bad. They act more human than those who don’t share their abilities.

“Don’t listen to Kyson. He’s very excitable.” Jordyn explained, “Do you plan on joining a gang?”

Yet before I could answer, Kyson spoke up again.

“He should join the Black Ashes!”

“No. He would fit better with the Masked Undead.” Jordyn explained.

“Ky and Jor. Instead of telling Joshie what to join, how about you choose yours.” Elodia sighed as we left the station, “The Ticking Hour isn’t fully done, but it’s getting there. It’s that building behind the two winding oaks. They were just planted when… Never mind actually.”

Looking over, I was astonished. The building was tall and looked amazing already, but with the tree in front, it looked like it was out of a fairy tale.

“Wow…” My eyes gazed around as we walked up to the door.

“Visage designed it mostly. The clock isn’t here yet, but it’s going to be amazing.” Elodia explained. Peering into a window she sighed, “All, but Arachne and Selkie aren’t.”

“Well, we are now sweetheart!”

Turning around, I took notice of a tall guy with a pink undercut and blue hair swept to the right of his head. He wore something similar to vest over a tank top and simple pants and dress shoes.

Next to him was a shorter, thicker female with dark skin and kinky midnight hair pulled into a bun. She seemed just to be wearing casual clothing of a tank top and shorts.

In winter? I know it’s not snowing and all, but that’s insane.

“Cotton candy hair there is Selkie, they lead the Amphitheater Actors. And that’s Arachne, she leads the Webbed Kings, an all girl-gang.”

“Oh, uh… I’m Joshua.” I greeted as the two walked up to us, “Um, shouldn’t it be Webbed Queens if it’s an all-girls group.”

“Used to be led by a guy who was related to one of the married coupl’s who helped lead the women’s movement. Neva’ even had a chance against me in a fight of strategy.”

“Oh.”

Selkie grinned, “Jordie! Kyie! How are you two? And what about you Dovey-Wovey?”

“Fine. Thank you.” The twins replied as Colver just nodded.

“Angel, did you finish my gangs’ new outfit? We kinda need it.”

“Mhm,” Elodia answered as she reached into her pocket and tossed a chip to Selkie.

“Is thi-”

“A new CLOTH-Z chip? My dads got ‘em. And new CORE-X smartphones.”

“What’s a CLOTH-Z chip?” I asked.

“Oh? Of course, you don’t know what it is.” Selkie started, “Only us mimics got ‘em. Angi’s family is related to the founding pa n’ ma of Arkala. Her great-many times’ great-grandparents.”

“Really? And uh… That doesn’t answer my question.”

“CLOTH-Z chips is a quick change of clothes. Mostly used by mimic illusioners. We only use them for quick camouflage.”

“Angi and Dovey were supposed to live in the mansion with her dads parents, but she lives in Firefly Bites when she visits. And ain’t that grand? Successful, yet lives here in the little ol’ livin’ Hell, Veskia!”

“Enough…” Elodia hissed, “Can we go in now?” she asked, turning to me, “Do you have any questions about the others before we walk in?”

“Will they like me?”

“Depends on their moods.”

ILLUSIONER FILE : DEVIL’S LIGHT

“Elo-” I quickly stopped as I noticed a bloke that I didn’t recognize, “Who is that?”

“Meet Joshua, and he’s going to be a new gang leader.”

In that instant, echoes of ‘What’ and ‘Come again’ were heard.

“Was-” Joshua was cut off by Elodia.

“Trust me. You seem like a good gang leader. And we got each other’s backs, no matter how much we hate each other. Plus, I was thinking about our group title and thought that the Thirteen Hour leaders should finally have a thirteenth again.”

“Angel, as much as your ideas seem rather wise… This one might not be that.” Luis spoke up, “This is insane. Honestly, doing something like this, so soon? Suicide. He has absolutely no idea about what it feels like to be an illusioner. I can’t believe that you even thought of this idea without bringing us into it! I apologize, but I’m not backing this idea.”

“And I for one think that Thirteen Hours needs their thirteenth again. I’m up for this… No matter how crazy it sounds. I trust Elodia.” Julio quickly stated as soon as a frown grew upon Elodia’s face.

Wow. Luis always finds something in her plans that’s good. Why didn’t he find anything this time?

“Look at this setup we have. Gambling King, then we have C-Sharp, Arachne, Masque, Visage, Me, Devil’s Light, Dagger, Selkie, Bullet, Hatchet, Joshua, and Pyro.”

Joshua looked uncomfortable as if he didn’t know what to say or do. Then again, if he had a clue that Elodia was doing this, he would’ve been saying something. But, something felt off about him and I felt like that I’ve seen him around before.

Why does he feel so familiar?

“I’m down with having the little crumpet join us…” Luca called out, flash a smirk towards Joshua.

“Oh no you don’t, ya arse of a brother. We haven’t even put this to a-”

“And it’ll work with the kids with them being the Thirteen Zodiacs…” Cyril added, effectively cutting me off.

“You’re not-”

“I like it. And it’ll make the Last Hour Rush more fun!” Kamryn grinned, cutting Luis off. I swear that I saw one of Kamryn’s killer stares.

“Seems nice, he can be a cardinal hour.” Nigel explained, “Arachne, Angel’s Shadow, Selkie, Joshua, and Pyro. The five points on a clock.”

“But, that’s only three, six, nine, and twelve,” Nathaniel spoke out.

“The middle of the clock. The ticker. And some people believe in the thirteenth hour.” Atlas explained.

“Jor and I can be his apprentices, like how we wanted to with Lady!” Kyson grinned as Jordyn just nodded.

If they’re serious then… I guess I can deal with this.

“But why me as the thirteenth? Shouldn’t it be Jo-” I decided to cut in before Ashton could finish.

“Sunshine. Leader of the Shining Hearts…”

“Devil?”

“Lady got killed in a riot two years back, right? Her gang broke apart since there was no leader and they wanted us to choose for them, but we couldn’t.” I explained, “Let’s bring that gang back together and if Jordyn and Kyson really want to help Sunny out, then let them.”

“I can’t believe you.” Elodia started before launching herself towards me, hugging me, “My idea isn’t crazy!”

“It’s barmy.” Luca and I joked.

I can’t believe this myself…

“Ow! Fuck was that for? Come on, I put my vote in.” I hissed, rubbing the back of my head as Elodia pulled away.

Did she just smack my head?

“That means the same thing! So Joshie… What do you think?”

“I mean… I uh guess.”

“No ‘I guess’, do you or don’t you?”

He was silent before looking over towards Jordyn and Kyson then back to us, “Yeah.”

“Alrighty! This is time to celebrate!” Kamryn grinned, “But first we should let him know about our actual names.”

Nodding, I sighed, “Yeah. Well since Angel gave him the order and assuming she gave him her name… It’s Nigel, Nathaniel, Kenta, Luis, Cyril, Elodia, I’m Devyn, my triplet brother Luca, Kamryn, Atlas, Julio, you, and Ashton.”

“Ni! Get the drinks!”

“I got some new tech for us!” Elodia said cheerily as she passed some smartphones and tech-chips around, “And some gifts… But, I uh might have left them on the train.”

“The conductors will send ‘em to ya. Thanks, sweetheart.”

“Don’t push it Bully-Bullet.”

“Woah aside from Atlas’ flirting, this is sweet!”

“This is really sweet, Elly!”

“Thanks.”

“Elodia mind if I talk to you… Alone?” I asked.

Please leave Colver behind this time.

“Uh… Sure. Colly, stay with Jor and Ky.”

“Get it!” Nathaniel shouted, laughing for a second before screeching as I launched some flames in the shape of a rat towards him.

Laughing as he screamed, I walked into the back room with Elodia and shut the door. Leaning against the door, I watched as she shifted uncomfortably, watching me with her ice blue eyes.

“Elodia…” I started, “Look, I hear what you’re saying.” A frown grew onto her face, tongue in cheek, “But, this is downright barmy. I recognize him now. His uncle is Deville Devonshire, the lead scientist at Alpinescape. One of the leading ones. We can’t tru-”

“I’m not stupid.” She snapped, “I already know about his relation to Devonshire. Overheard Mr. ‘Better than you’ about him a few weeks back. Seriously does that pinche gringo even know how loud he talks? And Josh looked seriously confused and angry at his uncle.”

“What?”

“I already know, perro.” Elodia hissed before sighing, “I just know that this is going to work for us! Just let this happen.”

“The last time I let this happen, you dated a complete arse! And look at what it caused! You used to be so happy before you dated him. He used you! Can’t you just let this one go for crying out loud!”

‘You did it now… She’s gonna cry and you’re gonna give in.’

Right forgot to take TAME… Bug off.

Satisfied that the voice was quiet, I watched as Elodia’s faced became shadowed by her magenta ombre bangs. But, that doesn’t mean that I can’t see the tears.

Shit… You’re right.

“And- No… Elodia. Please understand that this is what I think will be best for you… For us. Please…” A flame wrapped around her bandaged wrist and pulled her closer.

“N… It’s not for me or us… It’s only for you.”

‘And you’re straightforward. That’s alright, some people like that.’

Shut up…

“Elodia. Come on, you know what’s gonna happen.” I reached up to rub the back of her neck when I felt something wet. Pulling my hand away, I saw a dark liquid.

“Oh, bloody Hell! What happened! Who did that?” I growled, the flame around her wrist growing tighter and warmer.

Elodia hissed at the heat before mumbling a name.

“Speak up, dammit!”

“Za-” She broke off, fully crying now. Her body shook and she was doing her best, only to fail, to hide her face.

And she didn’t need to finish the name. I can already guess.

“Was this on your last night in Arkala? For pete’s sake, this was what I meant! Zakarias fucking did this to you and did more back when you dated him. What if Joshua had some other sort of connection to the council? They’re gonna learn who our families are and cause Hell! Do you want that?”

“I don’t.”

And she still refuses to say that one word. Why was that again?

“Elodia, come on. This is just what Luis said… It’s suicide! That guy is going to die for a war that we can never- Not in a million years, win!”

“But-”

“No buts! You said that too back with Zak and again, look at where you are now! Stop being so stubborn! You should be lucky that I even put my vote in because I didn’t want to seem like an ass!”

“Too fucking late…” She hissed, yanking her arm away from the now blazing flame and took off.

‘Way to go bud. You are quite the lady killer.’

Shut it you…

Sighing, I walked back to the group, managing to catch up with Elodia, and saw that Kenta was staring at me as Elodia walked by her, leaving the room without a word.

Well, I think that Kenta was trying to murder me with that stare of hers.

 Crap…

I watched silently as she and Kamyrn got up and walked out of the room without a word. Colver went to follow after he flashed me a frown.

“Woah… Some talk.” Nathaniel whistled, “Hope you survive the night…”

“Oh sod it.” I groaned, “I lost my temper alright! Now can someone pass me some whiskey and a cigarette?”

ILLUSIONER FILE : ANGEL’S SHADOW

I leaned against the wall of the yard and sighed. Reaching into a pocket in the wall, I took out a cigarette box and matches.

After successfully lighting the match and a cigarette, I paused to watch the matchstick burn down to the tips of my fingers.

It burned. But not as much as Devyn’s flames. My wrist still hurts.

Quickly, I blew on the top of my fingers and threw the charred stick to the stony ground.

As I was about to bring the cigarette to my lips, I spotted Colver to my left. With a heavy sigh, I tossed the cigarette to the ground and twisted it out with my shadows.

“Hey, buddy. Sorry, I didn’t see you there.” I flashed him a rather dull smile, “I’m not going to do anything stupid. No worries.”

“Told ya that he’ll find ‘er.” Kamryn popped into my view as Kenta walked in, “You alright, hun?”

I gave them another dull smile as I shoved the hand with the burnt wrist into a pocket, “Like a fake smile ever works with you two.”

“That’s how we are… Elodia, what happened with Dev?” Kenta asked.

“Got on my nerves. That’s what.” I mumbled, “Lost his temper again.”

“Oh, hun…” Kamryn walked over to me and patted my back, “You know he didn’t mean nothin’ by it.”

“I know… He just brought himself into the equation of me and Z-Za- Oh fucking hell, what’s wrong with me!” Slumping against the wall, I slid down, closing in on myself, “Tell me…”

Kamryn and Kenta both sat on either side of me and Colver crouched in front of me. In his hands was a small charm- a cookie with a bell.

He held it out to me and gave me a tiny smile as I reached out to grab it with my free hand and attached it to my belt.

“Thanks, bud…”

It was silent for a while. Just us sitting outside and watching the sky pass by slowly. The soft light soon dimmed put as it grew dark and started to snow.

Winter is sad… But, beautiful.

“You know that he didn’t mean it…” Kenta started, repeating what Kamryn said earlier, but this time I didn’t know who was implied.

“Which he…” I mumbled.

“I believe that Arachne meant me.” Luis spoke softly, walking into my view alongside Julio, “Ang- Elodia… I apologize for my actions.”

I gave no answer.

“It was foolish of me to say anything wrong about your ideas when they always end up working by some miracle… I wasn’t thinking straight. Ever since the news of some of my men getting hospitalized during the riot last week, I’ve been rather stressed.”

I was quiet.

“You don’t need to forgive me completely… So, please say something.”

“I should be the one sorry. I’m always pushing my ideas. I’m always doing everything as it happens. I shouldn’t be so stubborn like this to push them.”

“Elo-”

“Just accept each other’s apologies before this goes in a never-ending circle.” Julio called out, “Seriously… This always happens and I can bet you that you both are going to say your answer at the exact same time too. But, you never listen.”

“We always listen.” Luis and I said before laughing as we finally registered what Julio meant.

“See.”

Shaking my head fondly, I got up and hugged Luis, “I feel like we should always have Juju around to make us apologize.”

“Agreed.” Luis nodded as we pulled apart, “Better?”

“Still hating Dev, but yeah.”

“I can kick his ass for you. After all, he did hurt you…” Julio offered as his hand reached out to rub some burn cream on my wrist, “You know how scary I can get.”

“You know… I could just ask De-”

“Not gonna happen.” Kenta and I flatly stated, effectively cutting Kamryn off.

We made our way inside, but I paused when GS appeared suddenly. He didn’t look too happy, but then again, he was just a simple hologram that Ashton made.

“You guys go on ahead. GS needs to tell me and Colly something.”

The others nodded and continued on as Colver and I went into a separate room. GS hovered around for a bit before sending out a small holoscreen in front of us as the door closed.

Clearly, I could see a figure. Butterscotch blonde hair swept up with gel, and I could see a small ponytail peeking out from the back as he looked around. I watched as soft green eyes looked at me, kind and caring. I could see small scar over the right eyebrow. Clothes were rather formal, a simple black vest over a fitting navy dress shirt and black pants from what I could tell. There a bowtie. And the background was a room that I know all too well.

“Resume volume.” I ordered before staring right at the figure, “I already answered your question last week, didn’t I… Dominik.”

“You did, but I wanted to change your mind.” Dominik explained, “Just think of all of the things you co-”

“You mean what you could do… I am still refusing. And don’t think that you can force my fathers into agreeing either, they won’t work with some fucking councilman son just to make some new contacts between your dad and them.”

“Elodia… Just think.”

“And I did.” Flashing Dominik a frown, I sent Colver away, “Go wait outside and play with GS, I need to have an adult talk with Dominik here.”

After Colver left the room, I sighed and flipped Dominik the bird, “Fuck you. You know that I hate doing that to him.”

“You baby him… But then again, he is like three. Look, I’m at a party now and there’s another during your scheduled visit to Cruoso. Why don’t you join?”

“I decline. Now anything else that I can refuse before I hang up on you?”

“I can’t hold Zakarias back for long. There’s only so much I can do for you.”

“Why are you obsessed with me?”

“Because you try so hard to bring change and I want to help.”

“For your own gain.”

“Not even.”

“Liar…”

“At least keep the party offer in mind when you visit. I truly do wish to see you in person again.”

“Go off back to your party filled with pendejos.” The screen went blank and I walked out of the room, “Come on Colver, let’s get back.”

The cookie charm clinked as I walked.

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