Open challenge

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As the title states, this is an open challenge. First one to accept, gets the match. ^_^
 
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Hate to leave you hanging, buddy, so I'll accept.
 
The Duke of Juke
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I'll ref this fight if Zantex is still interesting. For the venue I choose an outdoor area with desert scrub and gargantuan boulders everywhere. Go for it whenever you guys are ready.
 
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I'm still interested. ^_^

I'm going to put your spree on ice. Prepare yourself.
 
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Harsh stars you got there. Don't go and lose your cool, you mischevious runt.
 
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How do this works?
you guys want to fight here at the forum?
or fighting in game like a server?
 
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It starts by people making a BIO for their character. Then once 2 oponents accept the match and a reff joins in they start the 1 post smack talk.

Basically just saying something creative in to phrase how badly you will win over the other guy or something like that.

After that the match begins in the form of story writing. The person who writes a better story wins. They are judged by the referee.

More info here -> http://forum.esforces.com/threads/30683-The-forum-fight-club-HQ
 
The Duke of Juke
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Alright, start the fight. Show GATE what we do here.
 
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Sunlight was shining through the small gaps of the blinds in Boreas' apartment, hitting his face as he sat there in front of his computer. He didn't pay much attention to it, as the information he had found caught all of his attention. Months worth of research had finally cultivated into this very moment.

***​

Catalyst wasn't exactly a secret organisation, as they were politically active. Although their agenda was questionable, it wasn't enough to stand out. Rumors claim that the faction had a foot in on the black market, and illegal weapon deals. No one have ever been able to verify this information, and it was never brought up publicly.

Boreas was not one to just drop a gut feeling. He sensed that something important was going on in the faction, and decided to do some research. He searched through the internet, and didn't get much. He found a few "conspiracy theories" involving Catalyst, but none of them had any substantial proof to back it up. So he turned to the more shady kind of information, and eventually had some luck finding a member of Catalyst. He was just a small fry, but nevertheless he kept his cards close. Boreas used all of his cunning, and eventually gained his trust, without ever revealing his real identity. He had, of course, made a name for himself in the crimanal world for a purpose like this.

At that point he knew that he had himself an inside man, that he could play like a chess piece. He used him to gain some information for further research. Apparantly it didn't take long for Catalyst to know that something wasn't going as they would have it, and his inside man vanished from the face of the earth, with no trace of him ever being connected to Catalyst.

This was, of course, planned for, and proved vital information to Boreas.

***​

"What do we have here.." Boreas mumbled to himself. On his computer screen was an alphabetically list of names of humans with supernatural abilities. He opened up the first file on the list.

Name: Albert Fret.
Occupation: Museum director.
Date of birth: 04/23/1977.
Ability: Electric conduit. Absorbs electricity and unleashing it at will.

The amount of information gathered was impressive. His, Albert Frets, entire life, compressed into one file. Below the basic information was a link to another folder containing snapshots of Albert. At first glance it was easy to see that they were taken without him knowing. Using these photos would allow one to easily identify him.

Boreas quickly skimmed through the file, and got an image of what kind of person he was. At the bottom of the document was a rather disturbing entry.

"Subject is enlisted for recruiting. Rejection of the proposition is not an option. Subject will be disposed of, proved necessary". Below it was a single highlighted word. "Exterminated".

Boreas smirked.

"I knew it" he thought to himself.

He read through the rest of the files with the letter 'A' and recognized some of the names from some of his other researches. His exitement was clearly showing, and he couldn't help smiling smug.

He got to the letter 'B'. His smile quickly faded. He braced himself for what to come. As he read through the files, his heart gradually began to beat faster, and faster.

He reached the letter 'C'. He sighed in relief, and leaned back in his seat, tilting his head back and stared at the roof while taking some deep breaths. He hadn't expected his name to show up, but there was always a little uncertainty.

He stretched his fingers full of new found confidence and satisfaction, and continued with the list.

As he read through the files, he deducted that they all had recruitment potential in common.

***​

"Sir, we've got a security breach on the database servers. The encryption of the software used is incredible. I've never seen anything like it, and we're having a hard time identifying it's origin" a woman said over the intercom. The man known in Catalyst as "Deman" had been leaning back in his oversized chair, smoking his favorite brand of cigar. He smiled wickedly to himself.

"It was about time" he said to himself. He leaned over to the intercom.

"Inform Dark Whisper of his next target. And make sure he understands the importance of this assignment. I will not tolerate failure. Do you understand your part?" he said with no hint of emotions whatsoever.

"Yes sir. I'll do it right away".

"And Steph".

"Yes sir?".

Deman smirked.

"Destroy the decoy".

***​

Jericho's forehead was filled with sweat drops from his intense workout. He grabbed his towel from the nearby workout bench, and wiped his forehead. His heartbeat had started to settle down, and his panting ceased. A phone rang nearby, and his dark green eyes quickly located it's position.

"Yes?".

"Dee Wee?".

An irritation wrinkle appeared on his forehead.

"I told you to stop calling me that. It's Jericho to you. What is it?".

"A mission from the boss. He asked specifically for you. You are to go to the usual retrieval point and await further instructions.".

"Mmm.." Jericho had just taken a sip from his bottle of water.

"Oh, and by the way. He doesn't tolerate any mess ups.".

"No need to worry. I never fail". He hung up.

Jericho picked up his black shirt and his sunglasses and headed for the door, where his already packed bag stood.

***​

Boreas looked out of the airplane window and saw only clouds. He had been surprised by the sudden shut down, but had luckily made counter measures, and had copied the entire database onto his laptop, which was resting safely in the handbag compartment.

He continued to gaze out of the window, deep in his thoughts. He was aware that Catalyst was on to him, and concluded that his sudden leave would give him a 2 days headstart, at best and most definitely less. His face showed no expression as he sat there on first class in his white Armani suit. A single sweatdrop appeared on the side of his forehead, and slid down his face. He loosened his tie, and let his head fall on the head-rest.

An announcement was heard throughout the plane, but he didn't pay much attention to it. He already knew that it was just stating the fact that they're just a few minutes from reaching the airport in Mexico City.

***​

Jericho's mission was simple. Find and eliminate.

The "Oracle", as they called her, would take care of locating him, roughly. Her ability can pinpoint a location within a 3 km radius, which would be more than enough for Jericho.

In his hand he had a file labeled 'Boreas'. It contained little valuable information on him, but it did include his abilities. He had already read it through many times, and was silently planning how to proceed, as the plane was reaching it's destination. He opened it up again and skimmed it through. Boreas' actions up 'til now had been expected, even though his current location seemed a bit odd, and had surprised Jericho when he got the phone call.

"We'll hit the drop off point in 5 minutes. Get ready" a voice said over the intercom. Jericho got out of the seat, and grapped a parachute. He had gotten quite used to these kind of drop-offs, and stuffed his sunglasses in a pocket, and zipped it up.

By the hatch stood his equipment bag waiting faithfully for him to pick it up. He grabbed it, and took the plunge.

***​

The oracle had located Boreas to be at a secluded area in the desert. Jericho had been stalking his prey for a few days. He used those days to memorize the terrain.

Boreas seemed to be out camping in the desert, doing some field research, and so far hadn't done anything out of the ordinary. His tent was placed in the midst of some gargantuan boulders, with alot of space between tent and rock. Jericho was lying on top of a boulder, looking through his thermal binoculars. The red silhoutte of Boreas was lieing in his tent, seeming to be asleep.

The cold desert night forced Jericho to wear a thick jacket, which he normally wouldn't use on an assasination mission, but decided that staying warm would be the best way to keep his motoring skills intact.

He decided that now would be the best time to strike. He packed down the binoculars in his bag, and slowly moved in on Boreas, silently with his cat like grace unfit of a man of his size. The gargantuan boulders provided alot of unnecessary cover, and the night made him almost invisible in his black attire.

Jericho was now only a few steps away from the tent containing Boreas. Everything had gone smoothly, but a stirring uneasiness had been troubling Jericho for a while.

"Welcome" a sudden voice said from behind him. Jericho instinctly turned around, while his right eye was starting to emit a dark glow and he made a quick hand movement in the direction of the voice, from which a tiny bolt shot out from his hand. It travelled with incredible speed, only to crash into a rock, creating a silent thump.

"I've been expecting you." Jericho's green eyes was scouting the nearby surroundings intensely searching for the origin of the voice. He spotted something very small, that appeared to be glued to the rock that he had just hit. He calmly returned to a normal stance, and approached it carefully, and when he reached for it, he felt that it wasn't glue, but ice that was keeping it in place.

"Ahh, I see you've found the speaker. There's a receiver in it aswell, so I can hear everything you say. Let's have a little chat". Jericho could feel the confidence emitting through the small speaker in his hand, and was silently loathing himself for being played like this. At that very moment Jericho accepted the fact that this wouldn't be an ordinary assasination mission. He noted to himself that Boreas had a visual of him, which proably was from a video feed judging by the use of speakers.

"Do you like it? I designed it myself. But enough about me. I'm guessing you've been sent by Catalyst, am I right?" Jericho's face showed no expression, and he didn't give him the joy of replying, instead he crushed the speaker with his hand.

"Ohh, the macho type. How freightening" the voice said dripping with sarcasm, from a different location. Jericho was starting to get real annoyed by this Boreas, and his irritation wrinkle appeared on his forehead.

"By the way, it won't do you any good trying to destroy the speakers. As you've guessed by now, there's more than just one, and it would be a waste of time finding them all."

"What do you hope to gain from this?" Jericho said with no hint of his annoyance showing. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath and concentrated on finding the location of the real person. He knew that those wireless speakers had a relatively short range, as he had quite a number of such gadgets similar to them. Boreas was nearby.

"Information. And lots of it" Boreas said. Jericho's concentration had paid of, as he could hear an almost unnoticeable delay between the person and the speaker.

"Oh really? And how do you intend to get that?" Jericho's keen night vision had located 5 more speakers, and 2 small cameras. He memorized the locations.

"By force if I ha.." more did he not get to say as Jericho's right eye started to emit a dark glow. He reached for his pocket containing his sunglasses, put them on, and quickly turned around on the spot, whirling up lots of sand and made quick hand movements in seven directions. Seven bolts shot out from his hand. As his eye returned to it's normal colour, he heard seven metallic crunches, confirming that the bolts had hit their marks, and made a silent leap behind a nearby boulder.

"Now we're even" he thought to himself, and smiled wickedly.

***​

Boreas had picked Mexico City because of his contacts there, and knew that he could get all the supplies he needed as soon as he landed. He also needed a secluded area, which the desert supplied, in case of something, not meant for the public to witness, happened.

Boreas had handpicked the spot he wanted to go to on the plane, and had made arrangements for his supplies to be at the airport, and to have a few guides come along to carry his lugagge, so he could leave immediately.

As soon as they arrived there, he sent them away and started to equip the surroundings with gadgets, and placing bottles of water strategically aroung the area. While he was waiting for something to happen, he made it look as though he was doing some field research, and picked up the occasional desert scrub and analyzed it. Anyone watching would be convinced that he was doing field research.

***​

Boreas planted his laptop in the sand beside him, got up, grabbed his bottle of water and started to run. From the boulder he had just been leaning against to the next cluster of boulders, was quite some distance.

He forgot all about his surroundings, and headed straight for the cluster, which turned out not be to a good idea. He didn't see the desert scrub in front of him, and resulted in him tripping over it, and dropped his bottle mid fall.

Lieing on his stomach, flat on the ground, he looked behind him at the boulder he came from. The unknown person was standing on top of it.

Boreas analyzed the situation, and it didn't take much brain to see that he was at a disadvantage. Atleast he had the moonlight to raise his odds a bit.

Boreas got up and took off his tie and blazer, and threw it on the ground, meanwhile the giant of a man jumped down from the boulder.

"I guess there's no point in running now" Boreas said, looking straight at the man. Boreas noticed something familiar about this man, but couldn't quite put his finger on what. The man grinned, and Boreas felt a chill down his spine. Something about this person made him feel uneasy, and his heart started pumping steadily faster, and he felt his adrenaline pumping along.
Boreas pushed his sleeves up his arms, and readied himself for the impending battle to come.

"I guess I won't be needing this" the huge man said and took off his jacket. As he dropped it, he suddenly charged towards Boreas.

"He's fast" Boreas thought to himself momentarily grabbed by panic and was barely able to redirect the incoming punch, away from his face. Boreas took a few steps backwards, maintaining his focus on the opponent and kept his hands up, ready for the next attack, but the man didn't leave much room for him to recover, as he quickly closed in with a new attack aimed at Boreas' stomach.

This time Boreas was ready, and redirected the punch away from himself, grabbed the mans elbow with his left hand and froze it well below 0 degrees celcius, and directed a punch towards the mans, now exposed, kidneys. He concentrated on thrusting the man back, and released a burst of telekinesis as the punch connected, pushing him a few feet away.

The man landed on his feet and grabbed his elbow, showing definite signs of pain. He stood a bit without moving, but then started flexing his elbow joint.

Boreas noted his fast regeneration to the mans abilities. Boreas eyes quickly scouted the sourrounding area for his bottle of water.

"Very nice. But that won't be enough to save you" the man said and revealed his teeth in a unpleasant smile. The man charged again and striked a punch with his left hand towards Boreas' head, and had in the mean time moved his right hand over to his left side.

Boreas hadn't noticed the mans right eye had begun to emit a dark glow, or the small aura of darkness sourrounding his hand, before he had already redirected it.

Boreas felt immediate pain in his right hand he had used to redirect it, and instinctly froze the palm of his hand to soothe it. He barely noticed a mist like darkness swiftly gathering near the mans right hand. A katana then appeared within the blink of an eye. He made a strike towards the abdomen area on Boreas.

"Crap!" Boreas thought, and tried to jump backwards, but the attack was too close.

"I won't make it" he thought to himself. He closed his eyes and concentrated on thrusting himself backwards.

The katana cut open his shirt, and made a small scratch on his stomach from where blood began to ooze out. Boreas landed a meter away from where he just had been standing, and manged to regain his foothold.

"Nice little trick. I didn't think you would use your telekinesis on yourself" the man said obviously amused by Boreas' attempt to dodge the attack. The katana vanished from his hand in a little cloud of darkness, and he walked slowly towards Boreas.

Boreas remembered where he knew this person from. Well, not person per se, but rather demigod. Boreas remembered reading some ancient texts about a demigod whose abilities matched what he's seen so far.

Then he remembered that the demigod hadn't revealed his most dangerous ability yet.

"I know what you are" Boreas said, mustering up all of his courage.

The demigod stopped momentarily which Boreas instantly used to his advantage. He raised his arm in the direction of the bottle, and concentrated on thrusting it towards him. The bottle flew through the air, and Boreas grabbed it with ease. He screwed off the lid, and concentrated on shaping in into a katana.

The demigod watched, and his left eye began emitting a white glow, and white started slowly covering his iris.

But he was a tad too slow. Boreas had already grabbed what would be the hilt of the sword, and had frozen the water instantly.

"Now we're more even" Boreas said and smirked. He raised his sword and started to charge.

The demigod put out his right hand, and his katana appeared in a small mist of darkness, and prepared for the attack to come.

The demigod grinned evilly, obviously excited.
 
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I apologize in advance for the quality of this round. I'll do my best to suck less in the next one. I felt it was only fair I post within a reasonable time of Zan's post, even if it's not up to the standard.





///////////////////



Jericho bathed in a stream of moonlight where he stood outside the mansion gates of a lesser known head of the Chinese Triad: a merciless, highly successful and dangerous criminal organization. The man whose mansion Jericho was visiting had become accustomed to western standards after moving to the US, specifically California, and the mansion was a masterpiece of western architecture, built like a fortress. His mission would be a difficult one, thanks to the combination of moonlight and a vast number of guards.

Catalyst sources had informed him that the Scroll of Heaven was located somewhere inside. A scroll lost for hundreds of years, believed to contain the secrets to mastering certain forms of special abilities and powers. The reason no one had succeeded in translating and understanding the scroll was rumoured to be that there was no one alive that could read or write the language it was written in. To scholars, the origin of the language was a complete mystery. Deman believed the scroll could be translated by Catalyst scientists.

Jericho Dark’s green eyes scanned the area beyond the gate. The distance to the mansion was only a few hundred yards, with a long winding road and decorated well-kept gardens along the way. So far he had counted seven guards, all armed with automatic weapons and wearing Kevlar vests. ”Tip of the iceberg,” Jericho thought to himself, before leaping over the gate and beginning his careful approach.

*

Zacharias Banks was extremely unhappy, as well as panicked. No one was willing to buy his merchandise, and it looked like he would have to significantly lower the prices – not to mention that the triad was following his trail, and that if he wanted to live, it was imperative that he sold the goods as quickly as possible. Any buyer would do, provided they could meet him within a week at some desolate location it would be hard to track him to. ”Mexico!” Zacharias exclaimed within his head, and then started looking for potential buyers.

After half an hour of searching, he hit the jackpot for his most prized stolen merchandise. Someone was willing to pay up to twenty thousand dollars in cash for ancient texts. Zacharias’ fingers tapped excitedly on the keyboard as he sent the man an offer. Only minutes passed before he received an answer. “Where do I meet you?” it read. Zacharias thought for a moment. No one would think to follow him to some random patch of desert outside of Hermosillo, Mexico. Seconds of using Google Maps later, he found coordinates to a deserted area a slight distance from Hermosillo.

Send.

The Triad would stop at nothing to take back their stolen possessions.

*

It was half past six. Boreas grudgingly got out of bed and wobbled into the shower. His hand turned the temperature dial to four degrees Celsius. ”Nothing like a cold shower, he muttered, before grudgingly walking over to his closet, where he put on his suit, and grabbed the already packed suitcase next to the bedroom door. Everything was in place.

He had already arranged for twenty thousand dollars to be withdrawn in Hermosillo, at a local bank. This would save him time and effort at the airport. Declaring twenty thousand dollars looked suspicious, no matter how you looked at it, and he preferred to keep a low profile – especially with his abilities. The last the he wanted was to have to bail himself out of prison, leaving unquestionable proof of people with abilities. It would turn into a witch-hunt.

In a rush, Boreas forgot breakfast, sprinted out the front door, and jumped into the waiting cab. “To the airport,” he said, groggily. His blue eyes scanned the ticket in his hand. “To: Hermosillo, Mexico”

*

The approach had gone well. None of the guards had spotted him, despite the bright moonlight, and he was almost inside the building. All that remained now was to find out where the scroll was located. A guard was patrolling up ahead. Slowly, but faster than the guard patrolling, Jericho crept up on him. His left hand wrapped itself over the guard’s mouth; meanwhile the right grabbed his gun and prevented him from firing it.

“Hi.” Jericho whispered politely. The man seemed to mumble something which Jericho interpreted to be either “Hi” or “****!”, but it had no significance. “I need some information – are you selling?”

Beneath his hand, Jericho could hear a muffled “Huh?”

“I’m buying information. Are you selling?” He whispered to his captive. “Payment will be letting you live.” Jericho continued, and slowly relaxed his left hand, before securing the prisoner further with it.

“Okay, okay,” the guard whispered back, apparently understanding that there was no way he could scream and stay alive. “What do you want?”

“I need to find a specific item. A scroll, in fact! Know anything?” Jericho asked, continuing his relatively polite tone.

The guard froze up. It was clear he was hesitating, wondering whether to tell Jericho or not. “Uhm,” he said, and paused.

“What?” Jericho asked sternly.

“S-someone stole it a few days ago.”

Jericho’s grip tightened and the man gasped for air. “Do you know who stole it?”

“N-no, I swear!” the terrified guard said, as if pleading for his life.

“Then tell me who does.”

*

Hot desert air scorched Zacharias Banks as he stepped out of his air-conditioned SUV rental. In front of him was a shoddy Hermosillo bar where he would wait until it was time to meet the buyer out in the desert. He took a seat, and calmly told the bartender “Una cerveza, por favor”. Everything seemed to be going well. There was no tail on him that he knew of, and the meeting place seemed alright - he had inspected the area, and it was more than suitable. Large boulders was scattered around the riverside of the Rio Sonora, and only small plants like small shrubbery and cacti littered the landscape around the mountainous part of the Sonoran desert.

This would allow him to identify anyone following his buyer, or worse – following him. In the trunk of his rental, a small collection of rare artefacts rested quietly. After he sold them all, they would let him live carelessly without doing small jobs on the side for at least a few months – provided the Triad failed to track him down.

*

Boreas’ blue eyes peered out the small airplane window, down to the plains below. There was no shortage of desert. It became clear that his white suit would be hot in the desert climate, and noted it for future reference.

*

“Who are you?!” the triad head shouted in broken English. Chinese pronunciation carved through the English words, and his slanted eyes stared intensely at Jericho, who had just kicked the door down and knocked out both of the man’s bodyguards.

“I hate to do things noisily, but I don’t have a lot of time.” Jericho explained. The triad head’s expression reminded Jericho of a badger caught by the beam of a flashlight. “I was told you know where the thief of the scroll of Heaven is.”

“That is none of your business!” he shouted angrily. “Guards!” he continued, trying to maintain his authority in a strange and chaotic situation. Jericho had seen people do the same thing countless times before. The triad head was unaware that Jericho already dispatched most of the guards within shouting range. He still had minutes before detection.

“I’m making it my business.” Jericho stated calmly.

“Where are my guards? How did you get in here?” the Triad head questioned, apparently snapping out of his confused haze.

“I didn’t kill them – yet. Whether you live or not depends on what you ‘re willing to tell me.”

*

It was time to head out to the meeting place. Zacharias gave the bartender a twenty dollar bill and walked out to his car. He was fine to drive. It took him a little less than an hour to drive out to their selected spot, and already a mile away, he could see a parked car up ahead. Everything was working out fine. The SUV parked right next to that of his buyer, and Zack stepped out of the car.

“I’m Zack. I trust you’re the interested party I emailed?” he said while examining the man in a white suit that stood in front of him.

*

“I’m Boreas,” Boreas answered coolly. The man in front of him was shabby, the kind of man Boreas rarely dealt with out of principle alone. Zack, as the man had introduced himself as, was wearing sunglasses, khaki shorts, a colourful Bermuda shirt, and sandals. Even though he despised the man from the very beginning, Boreas felt like “Zack” belonged more in the desert than he did.

“Shall we get down to business?” the seller asked promptly.

“I have the money with me.” Boreas said, and held up the visibly bloated manila envelope in his hand. Zack stared intently at the envelope like a hungry hyena watching its prey.
“You wanted the scroll,” Zack said, but then paused. A shifty expression made its way to the surface of the man’s face. “I’m afraid the price went up. It’s thirty thousand now. I have another person interested.”

Boreas’ fist tightened in anger. “I want that scroll,” he said. “I want it NOW!”

Zack smirked, and reached behind his shirt. When his hand returned, it held what looked like a 9 mm handgun. His finger flipped off the safety. “I was hoping you’d take this like a gentleman,” Zack explained, smiling as he pointed the gun at Boreas’ chest. “it looks like we have a problem.”

“The problem is that you’re a lying bastard.” Boreas spat out. “When I’m done with you, you’ll-“

Boreas froze as his eyes caught something on the horizon. ”A car..?” he puzzled, ”No… More than one…”

*

Jericho’s foot was pushing down the gas pedal as far as it would let him. Behind him, four Triad cars – all black vans – were following intently. Catalyst had provided him with the location of where the buy would go down. Unfortunately, it would appear the Triad had been following him. ”That’s what I get for stepping on their toes, I suppose…” he thought, hoping that the Triad’s guns would jam or need to reload soon.

His car was perforated. The windshield had six gaping bullet-holes, and it was virtually impossible to see anything. On his right, the Rio Sonora streamed towards the Gulf of California. GPS was the only reason he was still driving. Briefly peering out of the window on his left, he could see the meeting place up ahead, between the river and mountains.

*

Gunfire had rattled Zack. Boreas took the opportunity given to him, and leapt forwards to disarm his enemy. It was done in a single movement, and for good measure, Boreas grabbed Zack’s hand and chilled it to the point of frostbite.

“Where is it?!” Boreas shouted. This was not part of the plan. He was in a rush to get the Hell out of there before everything hit the fan. “Give me the ****ing scroll!” he shouted again, before kneeing Zack in the groin and pushing him to the ground. Just as Boreas’ foot stepped on his chest, Zack moaned in response.

“It’s… In the trunk,” he wheezed. In only seconds, Boreas had taken the car-keys out of Zack’s pocket, and ran to the car. The trunk opened fine, and he opened three cases before he found the scroll, at which point he held on tight and ran for the river, only a few hundred yards away.

*

Jericho slammed the breaks to avoid hitting one of the cars parked at the meeting place, and leapt out of the car the second he could. A hail of bullets followed, and the first of the cars tailing him stopped as well. Three Asian men with sub machine guns and black suits stepped out, and took careful aim at Jericho, who just stared at them with a calm look on his face where he stood.

“If you turn back, I won’t have to hurt any of you,” he said. The three men laughed, and behind them, the other cars stopped as well. Their friends had arrived, and Jericho now faced what seemed to be a dozen men armed to the teeth.

A man who seemed like the leader of the pack stepped up, and asked authoritatively: “Where is the thief?”

Behind Jericho, a man who seemed to be in severe pain was crawling towards the car furthest away from the Triad gang members.

“There’s no way this ends well, is there?” Jericho asked rhetorically.

*

Bursts of gunfire rang out not too far away from the riverside, where Boreas was frantically looking for a place to hide the scroll. He had an idea. Carefully, he bent over the river, and placed the case just above the water’s edge. After splashing some water on it, he then froze it stuck. There was no way anyone would see it, let alone remove it. Now there was the question of how he would get back to civilization.

In the distance, he could glimpse rapid movement in the midst of the large group of men. Slowly but surely, the men seemed to fall over. When he approached, it became clear that it had been a massacre. Most of the men seemed to have been shot. Three men remained, and they were out of bullets. In their hands were balisong knives, and they were in the process of surrounding their enemy.

The man in front of them maintained what Boreas recognized as a martial arts stance. His clothes, all black, were drenched in blood, and so were his hands. Whether the blood was his or not was unclear. One of the three men lunged at the man with his knife. It was over in a second. The man broke the gang member’s wrist, took his knife, and jammed it into his throat. Boreas rubbed his eyes in disbelief.

A bullet fell out of the man’s bloodied black shirt. He smiled cruelly, and jumped forwards. His right fist struck one of the men’s necks, and he fell over. The remaining gang member managed to thrust his knife into the man’s abdomen.

”I guess dealing with this won’t be as much of a problem as I thought,” his inner dialogue mused. The goal was now to dispatch the remaining man, grab the scroll, and get on the first plane out of Hermosillo.

*

Jericho’s eyebrow twitched as the knife entered just below his heart. No amount of suffering made you immune to the pain inflicted by a deep stab wound. He became enraged, and sent his elbow towards the Triad member’s skull. A slight crack sounded, and the man fell over, dead. ”Finally, a break,” he muttered, and tried to get some blood out of his shirt. It was useless. Then he turned around to face the observer.

“Good afternoon,” Jericho said, reaching out a bloodied hand to greet the stranger. “What’s your name?”

“Uh, good afternoon,” the stranger replied, pausing while staring at the knife stuck in Jericho’s torso. “You can call me Boreas,”

“I’m Jericho.” Jericho stated, as he withdrew his hand. Boreas seemed unwilling to shake it. “Sorry about the mess,” he apologised, while taking off his shirt. “It’s hard to shake a tail.” The knife fell to the desert with a nearly noiseless thudding sound.

“What exactly are you doing out here?” Boreas asked, his blue eyes analyzing Jericho carefully.

“I’m retrieving a scroll. It’s important to the people I work for.” Jericho explained.

“How did you-“ Boreas started, but Jericho cut him off.

“Practice, practice, practice,” Jericho repeated, and smirked. He was unimpressed with his own performance, but to an audience, he imagined it looked quite grand. There were six bullet holes in his chest, and two in his left arm. They would take a while to heal, but Jericho thought it was worth it. Months had gone by since he was in a fair fight – and the only way to make a fight fair, was to arm his enemies, and disarm him.

“A scroll, you say?” Boreas said. Something in his tone of voice made Jericho suspicious.

“A scroll,” Jericho confirmed.

“Well, I’ve got to be going,” Boreas excused himself, as if it was perfectly normal for him to witness a bloodbath and walk away.

“I think we both know that isn’t an option.” The blue eyes of the man in front of Jericho stared at where there just recently had been a stab wound.

“I guess you’re right,”

“So, I take it you’re the buyer? I think I saw the seller flee towards his car earlier. You look too well dressed to be making shady sales.” Jericho mused.

“I was supposed to be the buyer, but the deal fell apart just as you arrived.” Boreas explained.

“So,” Jericho said, before stopping to take a close look at the small man in front of him, “Where did you hide it?”

Boreas’ face revealed absolute surprise. It seemed the man expected Jericho to be some kind of moronic thug. “I haven’t hid anything, what are you talking about?”

It was a noble attempt at concealing the truth, even when faced with what he knew was extreme danger. Jericho was impressed that the man had yet to vomit or fall to his knees in terror, considering he had just witnessed the killings of twelve men. “Tell me where it is, and I won’t have to hurt you.” Jericho stated sincerely.

Something strange happened to Boreas’ expression. Suddenly the façade shattered. His expression radiated arrogance, and what fear he had before, was gone. “I don’t have to tell you anything.” He said, and smirked. “We’re all alone out here, so I don’t have to worry about anyone seeing it.” Boreas reached inside his pocket. Jericho braced himself. ”A gun?”

In Boreas’ left hand, there was now a water bottle. The sheer peculiarity of the situation washed over Jericho, and he started laughing. “You’re threatening me with a water bottle?” Jericho said, laughing. “That’s the best thing I’ve seen in weeks!”

Boreas smirked wider than ever, and he unscrewed the cap, before throwing a continuous stream of water towards Jericho. There was no time to dodge. His observant eyes just barely managed to see what the peculiar man in front of him did next – he placed his fingertips on his end of the water stream. Jericho’s nocireceptors screamed at him: unimaginable pain spread from the water stream’s impact, and he could feel his skin constricting and cracking. The stream of water had been frozen within milliseconds, and his chest had frozen moments later.

Jericho struggled to breathe. Both his lungs were damaged, and he could barely remain standing. The cold would soon reach his heart. Then the spread stopped. Boreas was no longer smiling. He looked deadly serious. One thing was for sure: whoever Boreas was, he desperately wanted to keep the scroll.

“I’m sorry I had to do that, but I saw you heal earlier.” Boreas explained. “I’ve read about people like you. Regenerators, capable of withstanding massive amounts of damage, and still walk away without a scratch. Extreme situations call for extreme actions.”

“Don’t,” Jericho wheezed, “worry about it.” he continued, his voice a mere whisper. Jericho’s right eye went black, and by the time Boreas noticed it, he was too late. A dark shadowlike mist had appeared in Jericho’s hand. Using what strength he had managed to gather, Jericho lifted his arm up, and motioned forwards. Black lightning erupted from his palm, and struck Boreas solidly in the shoulder. He wobbled backwards as he howled in pain. A black scorch-mark showed the point of impact on Boreas’ suit.

“What the-“ Boreas mumbled as he tried to balance himself. The lightning was particularly effective at stalling people. When the black lightning coursed through an opponent’s body, it disrupted their nervous system, making it hard to stand, let alone fight. Jericho was buying precious seconds to gather his strength – right now, a well placed kick to his chest would shatter both his lungs, possibly killing him.

A black shroud appeared in Jericho’s palm again, but this time, it was placed over his own chest. Slowly but surely, the energy reheated his body, allowing it to slowly regenerate the frost damage. Frost damage was the worst, as it slowed all of his body’s processes to a halt – including regeneration. Several deep breaths later, Jericho had no more time to recuperate.

Boreas had regained control of his body, and was lunging towards him much faster than Jericho had a chance to respond in his current state. The pain so familiar from Boreas’ water attack resurfaced, but this time in his face, where Boreas’ fist struck him solidly. Jericho’s jaw froze solid in an instant, and the sheer pain of the attack forced Jericho to move backwards until he stopped. His back was against one of the massive boulders in the mountainous area. ”Another second and he would’ve frozen my brain – f**k!”

Even though he had handled the black lightning well, Boreas clearly lacked full control of his body, and was struggling to force himself forwards. Jericho’s mind was clouded by pain, and concentrating on anything at all was difficult. One thing was obvious: finding the scroll after killing Boreas would be a pain. He needed Boreas alive, at least for now. The real question, however, was how he would get out of the conflict alive.

A change of tactics was needed. He had to keep Boreas at a distance. ”The sword,”
Boreas lunged towards Jericho again, and only barely managed to dodge as Jericho’s sword suddenly appeared in his hand, and swung down diagonally from right to left. A thin line on Boreas’ left cheek had blood seeping out of it. The pain in Jericho’s chest was too severe to use the difficult Left Eye of the Demigod ability, and even if he used it, Boreas would only be kept at a distance for so long. The black lightning was losing its grip on him, and Jericho had no stamina to jolt him another time.

“It’s time we end this,” Boreas said, and cracked his knuckles. The man in his blackened white suit approached steadily with a foreboding confidence.

Jericho let his sword vanish in a mist of shadowy black energy. He would need the element of surprise for his scheme. ”Here he comes!”

Boreas’ elbow shot through the air, aimed at Jericho’s weak, frozen jaw. Jericho had to time it perfectly. The very instant before impact, Jericho ducked, and tackled Boreas to the ground, striding over him. The katana appeared in his hand again, and he plunged it into Boreas’ healthy shoulder, before calmly giving an ultimatum:

“Take me to the scroll, or you die right here.”

*

Zacharias took careful aim with the gun he found on one of the triad gang members. Jericho’s face, only some sixty feet away, was a dot in his sights. He squeezed the trigger. Blam!
 
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Sorry guys, didn't have much time these last two days. After my shift at work tonight I'll give your posts a thorough reading then edit in the results.
 
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I'd like to request a new ref on the grounds that our current ref seems to have vanished.
 
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I think I forfeited my trial ref status, otherwise I'd judge for you.
 
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First round goes to Avenger.

Both rounds were choppy in one or more areas but sadly Avengers was the easiest to follow.

Avenger while your story felt forced towards the end it was smooth enough from start to end to earn you the first round. I know it's been a while since you last made a post and I'm taking that into account while criticizing your work.

ZaNTeX your story started off well but they way your story swapped back and forth made it difficult at times to follow (I literally lost track completely at one stage). Best advice I can give you is to try and throw details into your main plot where they are best suited to work rather than trying to slot in separate parts. In short don't try to put the square block in the round hole.

You may begin round 2.
 
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Round 2

Jericho placed each of his feet a few inches above Boreas' hands. He had somewhat figured out the limits to his ability, or he would have been frozen solid the moment he had been in contact with him. This could have been a trick to deceive him, but the determination he had seen earlier in the strangers eyes spoke for itself. It was an all out battle. He would be ready to kill him in the blink of an eye.

Boreas glared up at Jericho with a fierceness that would scare an ordinary man. Only few people could pull that off, with a sword pierced through their shoulder.

Jericho heard the familiar sound of gunfire, and his acute senses told him to dodge, which he did by instinct. Which he then regretted. The very moment his foot left Boreas' wrist, Boreas grabbed it and froze it. A strong pain shot up through his leg, and Jericho yanked his leg away as soon as he felt the familiar pain. That resulted in the leg to tear off, near the knee, in the action, leaving Jericho unbalanced.

That little **** tore my leg off!

Jericho mustered up all of his remaining strenght as he deliberately fell down next to Boreas. He then shot a concentrated bolt of dark lightning into Boreas' temples. It wouldn't be enough to kill him, but it would render him unconscious. At full strenght he would be able to leave a man unconscious up to 4 hours without breaking a sweat, but in his current condition he would only be able to keep Boreas unconscious for about half an hour to an hour at best. Boreas had reached out to Jericho for a final freeze, but wen't unconscious before he got to touch Jericho. Jericho kept still as he fought the pain in his leg. He turned his head and looked at the unconscious Boreas, and noticed a faint smile on his lips. Jericho's leg was still stuck to Boreas' hand. Even with a sword sticking out of his shoulder, and on the brink of death, this guy kept on fighting. Jericho couldn't help but feel respect for the man in the white suit.

The hot sun was surely a great ally against this Boreas. Jericho got up moments later, and wen't towards the place he had heard the gunfire come from, and limped slowly towards the man he could see was clinging to the cars side.

Two more gunshots was fired at Jericho as he approached the panicking Zacharias, both straying way off target. He looked Zacharias in the eyes, as he approached, and heard the familiar clicking sound of a bulletless gun, repeatedly. Zacharias crawled along the car which he was leaning against, while aiming the gun at Jericho. Jericho's expression showed nothing more than annoyance, as he kneeled down on his stump of leg, ending in a chivalrous pose which wasn't intended, in front of the almost crying Zacharias. Panic was clearly showing in Zacharias' face as his eyes franticly went from Jericho's face, to the missing part of his leg.

"I am so not in the mood for this.." Jericho said quietly while he rubbed his eyes with one hand.

"P-please d-don't kill me" Zacharias begged. He couldn't hold back the tears and started to cry.

"I'll give you money! I'll pay you, if you just let me live! I promise!" Zacharias said sobbing.

"You just fired a gun at me. Repeatedly. You disgust me" Jericho said and bashed in Zacharias' face, creating a, to Jericho, satisfying cracking.

Jericho got up and looked over his shoulder at the unconscious silhuette, with the sword still sticking up from the shoulder, that he knew was Boreas, and started to limp back to him. Midway Jericho stopped, and looked at the mess he had made earlier of the triad gang members.

Why can't anything ever go according to plan? he muttered to himself.

***

Boreas slowly regained consciousness, and was immediately met with an incredible headache. He felt some restraint on his hands or arms, he couldn't really tell as it was mixed in with a pain somewhere along his arms. He didn't feel the need to open his eyes, as he had a hard time to cope with the incredible headache, which he imagined could be compared to be smashed in the head with a mallet.

"Goodmorning sunshine" Jericho said in a bittersweet tone of voice.

"How's your head? I imagine you must have a terrible headache" he said, almost shouting. Boreas could feel that Jericho was smiling widely.

"Mmm.." Boreas mumbled as he tried to open his eyes a little bit, but was forced to close them due to the sharp sunlight reflecting in the sand.

"Where is the scroll of Heaven?" Jericho said in a stern manner.

"Vob lo el" Boreas said as he realized his speaking center was a bit off, if not damaged by the electric shock. Go to hell.

"Oh right, that will probably take some time for you to regain full control of your speech. I'll be back in a little while" Jericho said, and Boreas could hear him, not walk but rather limp away.

Mmm, I almost forgot I tore his leg off.


Boreas started to notice the facts, but much slower than he normally would. He was sitting down, leaning against something. Probably a car. His arms was raised, and restrained, most likely tied up. Depending on how long he'd been out, that could explain the pain in his arms. His legs was stretched out, and something was resting in his lap. He tried to open his eyes again, and continued doing so until he could open them fully. His vision was blurry to the extent that he couldn't make out anything.

As his vision slowly regained sharpness, and the headache slowly resolved, the pain in his arm, near his wrists, became stronger. It hadn't occured to him to move his hands before now. And it didn't feel right.

Boreas looked down in his lap. His hands was resting in his lap, palm up.

Boreas let out a shriek that would send chills down any mans spine.
 
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It barely hurt, but Jericho knew that it was bad - from experience, rather than the actual pain. The sensation was like that of a large droplet of water, shooting through him in a way that reminded him of a spear’s piercing thrust. It was certain now, and Jericho could feel it. The clammy hand of Death had begun reaching around his neck. What had happened? Was there a triad member left alive, or conscious? Now the Grim Reaper's bony hand seemed to be slowly tightening its grip. There was no escape from the darkness pulling him into its cold embrace.

A crimson liquid was seeping down his bare chest and back, its texture slightly viscous, and its smell like copper. The familiar tingling sensation of his body going numb from the tips of his extremities and inwards was terrifying, as it always was, and it always would be. Jericho could feel his prey pushing him off, while his own eyesight blurred. Boreas, the man he had fought with, was not to blame for this, but it seemed insignificant now. Metal hit the light-brown rocks scattered around the area with its characteristic sound. Boreas had pulled the sword out of his shoulder. As Jericho’s consciousness faded, the sonic booms of gunshots threatened to crack his eardrums.

Now there was nothing. Silence came down upon him like a veil. Though he could not see, he knew that everything around him was transparent dark, yet light, empty space, had become the tomb of his essence, as it had been a hundred – if not a thousand – times before. He had been killed, only to be kept as the Grim Reaper’s pet for a short while. Death was purely abstract for Jericho. He always came back. It was the stay that plagued him. There was never any divine presence, nor a dark horseman present during his voyages to the other side. Only the same transparent darkness and light, intertwined in an eternal spiral; its clarity only surpassed by the sense of absolute emptiness it instilled in him. Even the blackest of nights would be a preferable option to the void. It was far worse than the deepest reaches of Hell.

- - -

Blood from the assailant’s neck gushed over Boreas’ suit as he heard the gunshot echo among the brownish boulders surrounding them. Now he had his chance. Summoning every ounce of strength remaining in his tired body, he pushed the massive man off. The feat was only made possible by a high dosage of adrenaline coursing through his arteries. He could hear his heart beating rapidly in its bony cage, as if it were trying to break out. Boreas barely noticed the sword in his shoulder until a few seconds afterward, and only then did he pull it out. The sound of flesh against metal was sickening, yet gratifying at the same time. He was alive. It was all that mattered.

“This will come in handy,” Boreas muttered to himself, examining the sword proudly. Another gunshot sounded, as if fate was annoyed with his behaviour, and had decided to remind him that he was still in danger. Jolted by the sudden cracking sound, his grip on the katana’s hilt slipped. His blue eyes watched as it fell to the ground with a metallic clang. There was no time to pick it up, and his legs sprinted as best they could toward cover behind a boulder. He began pacing subconsciously. A strategy was needed. The eerie sound of ricochet sounded, followed shortly by the painful crack of gunfire.

“Come out!” a familiar voice yelled hoarsely, its sound-waves reverberating as it hit the huge boulders.

His heartbeat would not stabilize. He was panicking, and panicking was what got people killed. With that in mind, Boreas tried to calm himself. Answering Zacharias was not a good idea. The situation was already bad – talking would only make it worse. Boreas' fist slammed into the boulder; furious with himself for taking Zacharias' offer. Strategy was his only friend at this point. If he were to survive, he had to make sure that Zacharias did not kill him on sight. A fake surrender would be necessary.

First, however, Boreas took his time. Zacharias would become impatient, and empty most of his bullets into brownish rock and near-white sand, up the rocky terrain of the hill. Minimal risk of being shot was imperative if he was to recover the scroll. Bleeding to death was never part of a good plan.

- - -

A ray of light pierced the Demigod’s eyelids and retinas mercilessly. Then its siblings rushed in. Jericho’s eyes would stay closed no longer, and he could open them once more. Above him, the clear blue desert sky was decorated with moving dots and silhouettes: vultures and other birds waiting for their next meal. He took a deep breath. Pain, however unpleasant, was a welcome substitute for the nothingness, and it was not in short supply. A thousand needles could be thrust into his lungs, and the pain from the wounds Boreas caused would still be worse. Every breath reminded him that he was still alive.

Sound faded into existence once more; Jericho’s ears picking up panicked footsteps against the scorching desert sand, and a voice that seemed to be talking to a mute observer. Slowly but surely, sensation returned to the defeated warrior’s limbs and skin, allowing him to feel the sunburn on his bare chest, along with the coagulated, almost black blood that created morbid patterns in the area around my neck. The Sun had begun to cleanse his tissue of the microscopic crystals embedded in it with its heat; but simultaneously scorched him to the point where it felt as if he had been lit on fire – something distant memories reminded him that he had been many times before.

Excruciating pain motivated the fallen warrior to get up; anything but the silence; the numbness! Beneath his back as he tried to get on his stomach, the coarse desert sand felt like sandpaper, and the small rocks of the mountainous terrain stabbed into the ribs on his side. Nothing but the goal of getting up was fuelling him. Jericho was running on empty. His feet painstakingly pulled themselves towards his torso. He rose up, getting on his knees, scanning the area in front of him with his eyes still heavy from death. Then he stopped; overcome by the strain and influx of memories.

Jericho’s fingers felt over the blood on his neck, trying to find out how Boreas had gotten out of the hold he had on him. There was no wound to be found. The gunshots ringing out earlier were either from a surviving triad member, or presumably the dealer. In any case it no longer mattered. Only one thing kept him focused; the goal. He had to retrieve the scroll. With that in mind, he rose to his feet, making sure there was no one around to spot him as he did. “No room for slip-ups here on out,” the wounded demigod thought to himself, as he took his first steps forward.

“Zombie” was the first thing that fell into his head as he staggered towards the cars parked a small distance away, on the flatter, less rocky terrain, coloured a bright light brown. Small stones rolled down the slanted hill as Jericho’s feet unwillingly kicked into them. The smell of death entered his nostrils – all the men killed earlier were already starting to smell. “I had no choice,” he tried convincing himself. “It was them or me,” but the doubt had already settled, and there was no way to get it to leave the dark corner of his mind. Even so, if he were to survive, he had to do what Catalyst told him to – that, or risk ending up in some laboratory. The thought of being run tests on for the rest of his life - presuming he would not live forever in their care - terrified him. No doubt they would kill him over and over to find out how he kept coming back. Entering the void by someone’s whim was not an option. At least with Catalyst; ruthless as they were, he stood a chance.

Jericho’s personality had altered itself slightly; a result of entering the void. His ruthless characteristics were lessened as he remembered all the things he had done, and been forced to endure. Thousands of years’ worth of sensations and stories all wrapped into a single consciousness that struggled to keep focus on its current objectives. Boreas, his enemy, would have to be dealt with quickly and mercifully. He was not a triad gang member, nor was he a powerful warrior out to sate his blood thirst. There was no room nor need to toy with him.

Finally, Jericho reached the bottom of the hill. His eyes picked up a silhouette in the distance, seemingly bending over the river. There was no choice but to play the hand destiny had dealt him – wounded, tired, and facing an enemy who had proven himself dangerous. Cautiously, he crouched down and moved hisnd up to touch the opening mechanism on the nearby silver SUV’s right door. The Sun and hot desert air had warmed it, and Jericho could not help but gasp as he felt his fingertips burn. The door opened slowly, and a gust of what smelt like cooked artificial car-interior slammed into his face. He had to find a phone - to call for assistance, or at least a pick-up, before engaging two enemies while in this state.

- - -

"I'm coming out!" Boreas yelled. His words reverberated among the boulders. He had counted Zacharias' bullets. By his estimates, the man only had one or two left. Risky, but there was no better way to do it.

"About ****ing time!" Zacharias shouted back.

Boreas moved out from the boulder, held his hands behind his head, and slowly walked down the hill, taking care not to trip on the rocks.

"I should've killed you to begin with!" the gunman said angrily. "I'd be in a bar by now, surrounded by beautiful, cheap women, if not for you!"

"I'm sorry I'm such an inconvenience." Boreas replied sarcastically. There were now a mere fifteen yards between him and Zacharias. Soon he would be able to initiate his plan.

"No closer," Zacharias stated. Boreas had been afraid of this. Zacharias learned from his previous mistake: Boreas was no amateur in hand to hand combat, and was to be kept at a distance. Boreas cursed on the inside.

"What do you want?" Boreas asked, knowing the answer. He needed time to think: a new plan.

"The scroll, you moron! What else?!" Zacharias screamed hoarsely.
"It's by the river. I'll have to show you where it is."

"Fine, take me there."

- - -

Jericho's hands clutched around the phone as he entered Catalyst's number.

Beep

Beep

Beep

Beep

"Hello, Catalyst Cosmetics, how may we help you?" a woman's voice said.

"I have an inquiry about fluoride lipstick." Jericho replied.

"Fluorescent or normal?"

"Both."

"Give me a second, I'll put you through to Cosmetics."

It was a brilliant scheme. The phone number was actually registered to Catalyst Cosmetics; a company that on paper specialized in researching cosmetics. The woman he just talked to had no idea what was actually going on inside the building; or at least not on the top floors. Green lipstick was a prototype, so he would be put through to someone in charge.

"Who is this?" Deman asked firmly.

"This is Jericho. I'm badly wounded and in the middle of nowhere. Can I get a pick-up?"

"We know where your phone is. Stay there, and don't die." a click sounded - Deman had hung up. Now it was time to finish the mission.

- - -

Boreas stared out over the river, clutching his shoulder. It was now or never. He turned around, as if to speak, and lifted his hand in a gesturing fashion. By then, it was too late for Zacharias. As Boreas aimed his palm at the man, and flung it sideways, so did Zacharias and his gun. There was no time to lose, and he sprinted after him. Zacharias looked up, before looking for his gun - roughly a metre away. Boreas had no choice now. The man had seen his powers, and he had none of his own.

"I want you to know that if it were up to me, I'd let you live." he said, sympathetically.
"W-what do you mean?" Zacharias said, panicking, still scratching the sand and green shrubbery for his gun.

"You saw what I can do. That kind of information is worth a lot to certain people. I'm sorry."
Zacharias screamed. Boreas' palm had made contact with Zacharias' bare skin, on his leg. The cold turned his flesh solid in seconds, frostbite climbing the leg, spreading. Cracks formed as a result of the sudden compression of mass. After it was done, his entire body's skin looked like an icy web of cracks. By now, the blood in his body would have turned to blood, and his brain shut down completely. It was a merciful death, but a painful one. Boreas stood up properly and examined what he had done. An overwhelming sensation of emptiness came over him, and he felt sick. He walked over to the river, and threw up.

- - -

It was bizarre for Jericho to walk up to someone throwing up in a river, at least while both parties were sober. He looked to the side, and noticed Zacharias, covered in small cracks. It was almost artistic - and utterly terrifying. Had Boreas held onto him for only a few seconds longer, that could have been him lying there.

"The scroll." Jericho said, calmly, roughly nine yards behind Boreas. "If you give it to me, I'll clean this up, and it will be as if we never met."

Boreas froze for a moment. Then he slowly turned around. "What the- How did you..? Is this real?"

"I'm afraid it is." the demigod replied.

For a moment, Boreas looked to the corpse, then to Jericho. "Does it get easier?" he asked.
"Yes."

Boreas' expression turned from despair to conviction. "Then I know what I have to do."

Jericho looked into the smaller man's eyes. "I could've killed you before." he stated.
"That goes for both of us. Let's settle this. Just give me a second."

Boreas leant back down over the river, and seemingly splashed water over his face. Then he stopped. A minute passed, and Jericho grew impatient. "...Yes?"

When the small man turned around, a transparent sword was in his right hand. "This time, I won't go easy on you. This time, I'm going to kill you." Boreas stated.

Though Jericho had hoped Boreas would back down, he already knew that it would not be so. Even after seeing Jericho get killed, and rise again, the man refused to quit. He had to admire his convictions - ruthless when necessary. "Then come."

Boreas seemed to enter a stance, standing by the river’s edge. Aggressive this time? Jericho thought, examining the man in front of the shimmering water. Before he had time to think about defense, the small man had begun his sprint. The edge of a crystalline edge swooped down from the upper right to the lower left. Sidestepping saved Jericho’s life. A black shadowy line of energy erupted from Jericho’s right hand, and the Soul Reaper appeared in the nick of time. An ear-piercing Clang! sounded as the side of its blade blocked Boreas’ katana. Frost spread along the Soul Reaper’s edge. What the..?

Relentlessly, Boreas jumped back, only to lunge again, this time with a low-to-high diagonal slash. Jericho was prepared. A quick side-step allowed the slash to pass him by mere inches. The Soul Reaper slashed upwards, delivering a slight cut on Boreas’ left forearm. Jericho’s sidestepping had turned the positions. He was now facing the mountains, with the river behind him. Above them, the Sun shone down, its light making Boreas’ ice katana blinding to look at. Boreas smirked inexplicably. Then it happened. His left palm reached out, and before Jericho had a chance to react, it was too late. Suddenly, Boreas’ arm moved upwards - and so did Jericho’s body.

Thud! Jericho hit the green shrubbery next to the water’s edge, his hand now hanging out, dipping into the river. Jericho’s left eye turned black. The crackling of black electricity seemed to stop Boreas in his tracks as he charged ahead. The small man leaped sideways, tucking and rolling as he hit the sandy shrubbery. Ozone from the lightning strike seeped into Jericho’s nostrils. He got up, and rushed towards Boreas, who did the same. Boreas’ sword connected. The Soul Reaper did not.

Jericho screamed. As the blade cut into him, he could feel cold freezing the flesh around the wound. Boreas’ first strike had been vertical, and his follow-up strike was horizontal, sinking deep inside Jericho’s chest. He imagined the combined wounds formed a cross. There was no opportunity for mercy. In Jericho’s left hand, a powerful black charge of electricity had become visible once again. Falling to his knees, Jericho thrust the hand forwards, aiming his palm at Boreas.

CRACK!

Black lightning exploded into Boreas’ chest at point blank range. This sent him flying backwards, his body rolling limply. Jericho sighed, and stood back up, exhausted. His lungs were almost shut down again. Boreas’ blade was fierce and dangerous. Mercy was no longer an option. Gripping his katana’s hilt, he stepped towards Boreas, who was struggling to get back on his feet. The electricity was still disrupting his body. Jericho raised his sword, and threw it at Boreas’ right hand. Boreas howled in pain as the sword pierced through skin, flesh and cartilage.

The two were now mere yards from the river. “This is where it ends.” Jericho said, wearily, his voice a raspy husk from the damage to his lungs.

“You’ll... N-never f-find it.” Boreas stuttered involuntarily.

Jericho tore the sword out of Boreas’ hand and bent down, before gripping his throat with his left hand. Boreas tried to struggle, but Jericho was too strong, lifting the small man off his feet, and holding him out over the river.

- - -

Boreas’ mind was frantic, racing. There was no way out. No plan. No hope. He was choking. His feet were dangling over the river. Desperate for air, he grabbed Jericho’s arm. Then he realized what he had done, and what he could do. It would be risky. It would be worth it. It would be his salvation. His mind was still scrambled from Jericho’s black lightning, but he could still channel cold. And he did. The giant looked at him with pity. Boreas had not noticed Jericho’s right eye yet. Pure white, brilliant, shimmering stronger than the sun itself.

“I was cruel last time. It will be quick.” the giant said, sincerely.

I don’t want to die...
 
Lord of Chaos
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Round 2 goes to Avenger.

ZaNTeX - Your flow has improved from your previous round and to that end I'm rather happy to see you're taking it on board. However your story this time was a little too short and very much to a point. You need to add more detail into your stories to space them out a little more. For lack of a better way to put it you're picking up the old habit I had of putting far too much attention into the two combatants and not enough into the world around them which, believe me, is an incredibly hard habit to break. Word of the day is detail.

ZaNTeX, I look forward to seeing how well you fare in your next challenge.
 

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