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A portal signature quickly followed. Jerry dropped Shaotoro off the site of the signature, an old lumber mill near the docks. It was a large building with the elevator and water pump still in somewhat working order or at least functional appearing order. Once Shaotoro exited the vehicle Jerry joined with Marshal and his men in the cordoned off zone a block away from the build that took up all the sides.
Shaotoro walked into the facility with a flashlight but quickly saw he didn’t need it. The green portal hovered on the second floor of the building. It cast light down to the first floor. He turned the light off and slipped it into his waistband.
The building let out a collective creaking from the gusts of ocean wind. Chains rattled, clinked, and echoed through the building. Crashing ocean waves deafened the nuisance noises. Shaotoro climbed the stairs and arrived at the portal. Claw marks were hashed deep into the floor and were spread about randomly on the floor and ceiling.
“Did you find anything yet?” Jerry said through the earpiece.
“There was something here and is trying to hide its location if it is still in the area at all.” Shaotoro stomped his foot on the floor, letting the sound spread out.
“Our readings say that whatever it is is still in the building.”
Shaotoro looked across the balcony to the other side of the factory. A shadow, dipped by the moonlight, crawled on the ground and onto the ceiling. Shaotoro jumped onto the railing, swung from a descended chain and onto the other side. “This building is big; it could be anywhere.” He removed his flashlight from his band and turned it back on. Rats scurried forward, away from him. A damp moisture aired itself against his neck. He felt eyes scan his body. He braced himself and turned around. The yellow eyes and reptilian earthy face looked back. His mass extended far beyond the light. Shaotoro stood his ground.
The mass fell. The whole floor shook. Shaotoro brushed him with the flashlight. His yellow and brown body stood as tall as Herreas, with a hulking weight and definition, yet let out no hatred or sneer in contempt, only an escaping pressure. “You are not the hero,” Sctellou said. He leaned down and contoured himself around Shaotoro. “You are the one who fought Nyansa if I remember and saw Herreas’s defeat.”
“You are one of the special eggs,” Shaotoro said. “I can feel your force flowing from you.”
“I’m amazed you can,” Sctellou straightened up. “I feel totally weak in this world.” He clenched and unclenched his hand over and over. “I feel a strange numbness. A dull static of sorts.”
“You are feeling the effects of the vibrational change.”
Sctellou inspected himself. His eyes poured over every twitch and detail his form let go. “Fascinating. I wonder what it will be like to kill with this weakness.” His smile showed large teeth.
“I apologize then. You will not get to experience such a feat.” Shaotoro stepped to the railing and bounded with a knee to the face. It was concrete to the touch. He flipped backward and crouched on the railing. “I see you have eaten your wheat cereal.”
“What is wheat cereal?” Sctellou swiped his tail at the beams under the railing. Each beam was a twig under a hiker’s foot, snapping like no thought was given to it. The railing collapsed.
Shaotoro jumped back and grabbed onto the chain, quickly wrapping his hand and foot around the metal. His swinging sent metallic echoes into the air. “Phew! Someone with some skills.”
“You are also quite a fun challenger.” Sctellou backed up and rushed off the edge and to Shaotoro.
Shaotoro swung his body from side to side, building momentum just enough to swing out of the way and to the railing to his left. He stepped on and unwrapped his hands, the chain wobbled back to its location and smacked Sctellou in the chest to no effect. Sctellou grabbed onto the chain, it slowed his descent, but the decades-old screws rattled and snapped off, dropping the whole chain to the ground with him. Sctellou stood up again, no worse for wear. “You are quite agile, like most mammals I’ve encountered.”
“How many is that?”
“Not as many as I would have hoped or liked.” Sctellou picked the chain off the ground and started spinning it in the air. The high-pitched whooshing beat out the rustling of the wind. His spinning picked up until it stopped with a sudden snap to the second level. It wound itself around Shaotoro’s foot and he pulled the instant it stopped.
Shaotoro’s heart flew up as his body fell. He didn’t panic, this was the perfect opportunity to deal a blow. His moment kept him on a straight course to his target. His high speed gave him some extra force to break his concrete skin. A Millennium Fury at this close and fast a range would be devastating. He pulled his hands closer together, readying them for the clap. His impact came quicker and quicker. When he could feel the pressure, he exerted at its height he clapped. The air popped. He raised his hands up and slapped them against Sctellou’s chest when he arrived. Sctellou stumbled slightly. Shaotoro flipped out of the hit and threw his fury of punches at his foe.
Each hit felt more devastating than the last. His bones were cracking, his skin was peeling, his breath was leaving him. Trickles of blood stood where the punch once was. Sctellou was frozen in shock with each successive hit. The air bubble popped, flooding the area with life again and Shaotoro backed away. He felt the blood dripping to the ground. He looked at his knuckles. They were purple and torn, with more than just suggestions of bone showing. He then looked at Sctellou. He was bruised for sure, caught off guard, absolutely, but not defeated.
Sctellou stepped forward with no problem. “I am sorry for you. Your age has done nothing but make you less than what you need to be to beat me. I can tell that at one time you would have. Yet, now, you are not. You are just a fading light in a fading world.” His shadow enveloped Shaotoro’s completely. “Let me be the one to take you out, like a champion you once werrrr-” He felt a jab, then twist in his gut. Blood rushed out of his mouth and onto the floor. He grabbed himself and saw his curled skin around Shaotoro’s pointed fingers.
“This will disrupt your bodily functions slowly. You might still be strong enough to kill me, but you will not be if you take too long and not get on with whatever it is you wanted to do.”
Sctellou laughed. “How wonderful!” He hacked another portion of blood. “You truly are great! I can feel what you say to true.” He flicked Shaotoro with his tail. Shaotoro spiraled back into a series of leftover shipping crates. “I will be gone then.” He left the room and jumped to the nearest building. From the directions their informant gave them, he was southwest of the school game, and about twenty minutes away. He followed the trail left.
Shaotoro heaved himself up. “The UDC is on the move. He is injured and will not last long. Keep your forces at a distance and let him find what he is looking for.” The pain embraced him like a blanket. He sat down against a pillar. “Tell Kyane to be ready, even in his state he’ll be hard to face.” He laid his head back and looked at the moon, knowing there would be a sun to replace it when this was over.