Raven's Wing: Chapter 16

Everyone looked up at them as they entered and they seemed to breath a bit easier. Sage knelt next to Ryo's side, laying his hand on his and began to slowly speed up his recovery. Cye began to talk to Nikki, probably about how bad the wounds really were and how he was doing. Shary couldn't tell how bad it was but it did not look good. His normally tanned skin was slightly pale, indicating some blood loss. She leaned against the wall, looking at the matching silver bands on her wrists. On her right wrist was the broken half of a marble sized ball. It was white while the other was a black. No one noticed them because her sleeves barely hid them.

Shary was startled out of her examination when she heard Sage's voice call to her. "I am going to need Yang to balance him out after this. His energy levels are wiped and if I restore them completely there is the chance that the Halo armor energies could corrupt him." What he wasn't saying was that if that happened Ryo would be completely unable to use the Wildfire armor in battle. He would not be able to even get into sub-armor and that would mean that the Wildfire armor would be lost to them unless they were able to balance the energies going into him to counteract the blood loss. A balance of more than one energy would mean that the armor couldn't be corrupted.

Cye nodded slightly to her that he agreed that she was the best choice. Nikki was exhausted from the effort of getting him here and then channeling the mantras the started and eased on the healing. Cye couldn't do it at the time because for healing the wildfire bearer, Fire and water did not mix. Her's was the most neutral armor of the ones here and Sage knew that light also produced heat. That heat would charge the Wildfire's ability to heal the bearer. Shary was needed to filter the energy and balance it so that they would not corrupt each other.

"Okay." She went over and knelt on the other side of Ryo. She laid her hand on his own and let her eyes closed. Instinctively she opened herself up and began the delicate process of helping their friend healed up. Something within her body churned in up and knew what to do. She held his hand in both her own this time and opened her eyes to mere slits. Fire. That's what his body needed. That's what Wildfire needed also. And that's what she would do to help him. The bands on her wrists started to warm up and the heat traveled from her hands into Ryo's and spread through out his body. She was very careful though not to give him too much and just what he needed. Vaguely in her mind's eye she saw the Armor of Fire get stronger and the bearer halfway towards recovering.

~Ease off a little now.~ the thought invaded her mind. Sage was looking through her with his one eye. He was in a full healing trance he wasn't seeing with his normal site. In bonding with the Halo armor he gained a second site that allowed him to see the healing energies of an individual.

Shary merely nodded and eased up some. Sage was the expert here healer here. She still kept contact and the warmth going. She continued to look down at Ryo, watching as his color slowly came back into his skin. She merely waited until Sage would tell her to stop and then pull out.

Sage chuckled softly in her mind ~Not an expert, most of it is feeling where the real hurt is. Find that and things will work a lot faster.~ He shielded the area and cut her off from Ryo knowing that she would be weakened by the healing effort. He knew that he would be a little weak, but he was used to these efforts, and Nikki had already done most of the work for them in getting him stabilized.

Now all he had to do was keep Shary in one piece as he went to the school, as he knew that she would want to stay with him. For everyone in that schoolís sake, he hoped that their old hold and reactions still worked.

Shary felt the link being cut and slowly drew back. She closed her eyes once more and sat back, sighing heavily. She opened her eyes and weakly smiled at everyone. "All done. Hopefully he'll wake up soon." Then she added to Sage's mind alone. ~Up for a little company back to the school? Thereís no way Iím letting you go by yourself.~

~Figures.~

"Care..ful Sage. The guy behind this is a master manipulator" Sage looked down to see his friend conscious and for once, making sense right away. Ryo knew Sage too well; he knew that his friend was about to go head hunting to find out what happened. If someone got hurt, Ryo would only hope it was the one that got him into this mess. "Sage don't let him get to you. That was how he got me between those two gangs. Couldn't see him but man he burns me up!" Ryo was still too weak to get up but his color improved once it was made clear that once the healing was complete on its own, the only injury left would be the one to the Warrior's pride.

"Calm down, Ryo-san." She gently brushed his hair from his forehead. "You need to rest up before you can fight again."

"Ryo," Cye softly spoke up. "You said that this guy who caused the fights is a manuipulator. Can you tell us anything us that could help?"

"Not really man. The voice was distorted and I couldn't tell where he was comin' from. He may or may not be weaker than Talpa, but he's ten times more annoying. Somehow I think Dais would have fun playing games with this guy." Ryo closed his eyes and smiled slightly. "Something happens, you let me know. I've come back from worse, we all have so keep it tight bro."

Sage smiled and nodded to Ryo as he stood up. Offering his hand to Shary to giver her a hand up from the floor nodded to them all and walked out of the door. Purpose in his eyes he made quick headway to the school.

They didn't say a word the entire walk over to the school but they didn't have anything to say. Everyone was already gone but for some reasons the gates were still open. A wind blew by, ruffling their clothes up some and blew their hair into their eyes. Shary looked around, holding her hair back.

"Where should we look first?" she asked quietly.

"We look for the others. They're still here." Sage let his blade slide out of its sleeve and moved into the school grounds. His senses were side open and his posture was defensive as he moved silently about the outer grounds.

"Ryo said he likes to play games. So lets play a game Shary. Hide and Seek. First one we want to find is Carrie, if I know the guys theyíre either on their way out of where ever they are to us or they knew that we are here and their playing games of their own. Stay close, I found you again and I am not about to lose you again!"

Shary just nodded her head. ~Youíll never lose me.~ she said simply. They began to slowly walk around the school grounds, searching everywhere for their friends. She let her senses open as well, feeling the bands on her wrists growing slightly warm. From atop of the school's many buildings a figure was watching them carefully. He smiled as he saw them there but he had to separate them somehow.

Sage was getting an irritation point raised as he felt something he had not felt in a long time. The presence of pure evil. Stepping back in his mind he was amazed at how fast it had his defenses all the way up around him and Shary. Looking down at her slightly shorter form he nodded and he started moving towards the gym. "Stay close." He whispered. "We know he is playing games to get us separated, if you ever get the need to move in another direction tell me, I'll go with you."

Sages voice was low for a reason, his neck hairs were standing on end and he never did that unless he was being watched. He wanted to make sure that whoever it was couldn't hear or tell what he was saying. Too early in the game for giveaways like that.

"Okay." Shary silently followed him and they went into the gym. It was completely dark and had this eerie feeling to it. It felt like a tomb to her. Was even cold. She reached over for the light switch but the power was dead. "Great. Looks like weíre literally in the dark here Sage... Sage?" She looked over her shoulder but had already lost sight of the blonde. ~How can I be so dumb?!~ "Sage? Where are you?" She called to him softly, looking around the gym for him.

Shary looked about the dark gym when a hand shot out and covered her mouth. As she was pulled back into a darker area of the gym she could feel a light armor covering the person's hand. She stifled a scream, as she was pulled further back into the dark. ~SHARY!~ Echoed in her mind.

Sage relaxed as he heard the communication and continued on his search. Using his abilities with out his armor was going to take it out of him, but he did not know who they were up against and he did not want to do more than was necessary to take him out. Over kill was reserved for creeps like Talpa. Looking about he too was grabbed but as he was startled he reacted and grabbed the hand flipping the person in front of him.

Sage sighed in relief as he saw Carrie in her subarmor in front of him. What a perfect place to hide a ninja, the ShadowRaven armor blended perfectly with the shadows and was completely invisible in low light. Nodding to her he spoke along the direct link. ~How many are loose?~

Carrie shook her head. ~Not enough I'm afraid. We have to find the others. I know who is loose and who isn't, it is a case of finding them.~ Sage nodded and continued on his way. Kento had to be here. If the big guy ever went hunting he went to his familiar territory first.

"Shhhh." A low voice whispered. Then almost so softly that she almost could not hear him he added. "I am going to move my hand. Don't scream." He kept one arm around her so that he back would stay to him as he leaned down by her ear to give her the instructions.

Shary kept still. Once more she was sent back to that dreadful night just a few days ago. She would never let that happen again. She kept still and waited until he pulled his hand away. Mustering her strength she pulled her arms up and then slammed it back into him. Pain shot through her elbow but the arm around her waist loosened. She jumped a bit forward and raised her arms over her head.

"Armor of Balance," she said in a soft whisper. She touched the inside of her wrists together, causing the spheres to join and merge in a bright flash of light. She heard a few cries of startled pain. The light also revealed who attacker was and she was surprised. When the light faded she was in the subarmor once more and she hugged the man tightly.

"Cale! Oh god it's you! You jerk!" She pulled back to lightly hit him in the chest.

Cale winced some and rubbed the area. "What was that for?!" he accused.

"Don't ever scare me like that again!" But once more she hugged him tightly, wrapping her arms around his neck. She was happy. He was her friend and he wouldn't hurt her. She trusted him that much.

"Keep your voice down. Had you waited a moment I would have told you who I was." He looked at her displeased. "Well he knows where we are now and that you have an armor. Lets go." Cale started walking down into a darker area a few steps then looked at Shary in the perfect dark. "Are you coming?"

~Yang, you should know that the good guys down pin you that lightly and ask you nicely not to scream. Remember what grandfather told us about over reacting?? Cale is Warlord of Darkness and Corruption for a reason.~ Sage gently chided in her mind. Leaving her with the link open and a cool calm that drifted over her mind. ~Listen to him though, he knows as much in the dark as I do in the light.~

Carrie had finished looking through one room of the gymnasium and gestured for Sage to get going topside.

~Gomen. Guess I need a lot more practice than I realized.~ She sent an emotion through the link that felt a little like shame. Wordlessly she followed Cale, looking around nervously. ~This is going to be much harder than I thought.~ She sighed softly to herself, feeling like such an idiot.

Cale tapped on her mind and then entered through the armor link. ~The darkness is my friend; I have another friend in the dark, just remember the rule of the dark. It can't hurt you if you don't let it.~ He grabbed her armored fingers with his own sub armored ones to keep her close. ~Do you trust all of your friendsí friends? Or are we an exception because we play with pretty marbles too?~ The question was serious and yet phrased to make her smile.

If she would stop being so blasted jumpy and armor down a level now that she gave her cover away, he would have an easier time getting her through this maze with a smaller amount of noise. He let none of his irritation filter through though as he remembered by a sharp reminder from his counterpart that she had not had as much experience in dealing with the scary, brutal, or just plain weird.

~I trust you guys. Maybe not as much as Sage and the others but it's still there.~ She momentarily let her eyes slip close until them were mere slits and tamed her power to a lower degree. With it not pressuring her so much she actually relaxed some. ~Better?~ she asked Cale.

~Getting there, now all you need is 400 years of experience and you'll be set to take over the world.~ Cale was kidding of course and the smart assed grin that filtered through was proof of that. He still held on to her and called his No-Daitchi to his hand so that should something happened, he wasn't completely unguarded.

~Running around in subarmor is for the others, I am a warlord, I am supposed to be in full armor.~ he thought to himself. Looking about in the darkness he noticed a problem and lead her around it carefully. One never expected giant holes in the floor unless you could literally see in the dark.

~Very funny. I just want to find the others and go home. This place is like a tomb. A cold tomb.~ She shivered lightly, trying to get her body used to the cold temperatures. She still held his hand, not wanting to lose him. Next time someone came up behind her they probably weren't going to be a friend.

~The trick is to make sure it never gets to you. I know that this is not a balanced situation but try to bear up. You know that Sage is out there. Use that to anchor your sanity if you must. But you snap and we will all lose.~ Cale was not afraid to tell her what the stakes were. If it got her to chill out and deal with the fact that she had to completely trust him in the dark instead of dealing with him in the light. So be it.

She was about to retort but thought about what he said. He had a point on both parts. Sage was out there somewhere so she let that become her anchor, so to speak. She also let the fact that the trust she had in everyone, especially Cale, be known. As long as she had that she would be all right. But if that ever snapped... She shuddered slightly at the thought.

~I canít sense anyone... do you think they're getting ready to ambush us?~

~No, itís all clear in here. We are being followed, but they are ok.~

~Then where are they? And why in here?~ She looked around, still keeping a hold on his hand, trying to look through the darkness. Suddenly she felt a sharp jolt of pain as the symbol on her chest. ~Cale!~ She stopped abruptly, clutching at the symbol with her free hand. ~S-Something's gonna h-happen!~ and it did.

The sounds of doors slamming and then locking close echoed through the empty gym. Windows were also closed tightly and a hissing sound could be heard. It was a gas of some type, very strong and attacking their lungs. Faint sounds of people coughing could be heard. Shary released Cale's hand and grabbed her throat. She couldn't breathe and she fell to her knees, getting dizzy.

~Great.~ Cale was so far higher than the level of the gas but he was less than pleased that he was not warned about this. ~Sage. Get your ass down here!~

Cale armored up fully and was pleased that his helmet and faceplate offered him some protection from the gas as long as he was able to control his breathing. ~Sekmet would have a field day in here~ His sharp hearing soon heard someone at the door and they were agitated. ~THUNDERRRR.....~

That was all Cale heard through the armor link and he grabbed Shary off the floor and headed for the shadows just as the Thunder Bolt Cut ripped the door and part of the wall out. Sage had his faceplate down as he had felt through the multiple links that Cale was getting fuzzy. Fuzzy Cale was never funny no matter what they wanted to do.

Shary still kept her hands over her mouth, trying vainly to find some clean air that wasn't polluted by the gas. She was still coughing but at least some of the gas was going through the now open door. She opened blurry eyes to see someone is bright green armor holding a shining sword. Then someone in sub armor stepped up behind him.

A wicked laughter could be heard and everyone tried to pinpoint where it was coming from. Was this the one who was behind what was going on?

Right now Sage was pissed, the others were free and on their way, Nikki was still recovering, Cale had jumped into the nearest shadow to speed his healing and Shary was getting the gas out of her system. That was 6 friends to many that were messed with. "I don't care who you think you are. Get down here and fight like the normal evil creature! I am Date Sage, Sage of the Halo, Master of the Thunder Bolt Cut and Your end! COME OUT!"

A slight chuckle was all that was heard. Shary was too busy sucking in the clean air, grateful that she able to breath once more. However, another pain shot through the symbol. She barely had enough time to dodge to the side as the area where she was kneeling. The person chuckled and slowly stood up.

"Nimble aren't you?" He looked up, his pale blue eyes cold as ice. The dim light from the broken in door filtered in, revealing a young man with pure white hair. He was dressed in what looked like the armor of the dynasty sliders minus the helmet. It was Damion. "Long time no see, Manor-san."

"S-Sensei Damion?! What are you doing here?!?" Shary could only look at him with wide eyes.

He smirked, looking down at her in a superior manor. "I must saw, that sub armor suits you very well. But I preferred you when you had nothing on... like when I took your innocence."

Everyone froze at the words he said. This was the one that had raped Shary to the point of breaking her completely. The girl in question grew very pale, pupils gone very dilated. Damion threw his head back and laughed.

"I truly enjoyed that night! You did to I believe. And I just loved the emotional pain I was feeding from you. Then at the school... I would of had you then it you hadn't 'bonded' with these fools. No matter, Iíll get you soon." He smirked at her and stepped back, vanishing into thin air. His voice could be heard through the room though. "Till we meet again!" Then it was gone.

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