• Chapter 3: The Monster Inside/ The Third Side

    Nocturn took strife around Aeulus, who stood completely still. Clauda was still in her battle stance, getting ready to attack. Aeulus held his giant chef’s knife, still wrapped up. Suddenly, he swung the sword to the left. Clauda was already on him, punching and kicking him mercilessly. Aeulus, who was hardened under the teachings of the mafia bosses in Italy, took the punishment easily. Nocturn noticed a flick of Aeulus’s wrist, where a blade came out. The Hashashin! thought Nocturn urgently. With a flick of his wrist, Nocturn brought out a blade from his sleeve. He threw it at Aeulus’s hand, giving Clauda enough time to notice what happened.

    “You forget, Aeulus,” said Nocturn, “I was part of the Hashashins, too!”

    “So you were,” replied Aeulus, rubbing his wrist. He smirked and swung his sword at
    Clauda, who grabbed the blade. She threw it off and then tried to punch Aeulus, who blocked. The bandages wrapped around the sword unraveled, letting some markings carved into it show.

    Clauda blinked in surprise and nodded to herself. “I forgot about you blade.”

    Aeulus snickered quietly. “It grows in power every time it is touched upon. ‘The boss of bosses’ taught me well.”

    In a flash, he was already attacking Nocturn. Their blades clashed, sending sparks around.
    The lights above them were ruptured by the force of their swords. The subway went dark. Nocturn was accustomed to the dark, considering his training in Oscuro.

    A train rushing toward him sounded. He found himself getting swept off his feet, spinning
    wildly. “Nocturn!” called Clauda. Her voice sounded far off. He felt something grab his arm and got pulled down. “Come on!”

    Nocturn followed the light from the lamp that Clauda was holding. The subway was completely dark and deserted. There was no sign of Aeulus around the subway, not even a whisper. “Where is he?” he whispered to himself.

    “Watch out if he’s going to use stealth on us,” warned Clauda.

    Nocturn suddenly heard the faint sound of metal rubbing against metal. “Watch out!” Nocturn grabbed Aeulus’s arm in the darkness and spun him around. He swung hard at Aeulus’s arm, but his former friend disappeared again.

    “We have to get out of here,” said Clauda.

    “Good idea.” This opinion was supported by the sound of footsteps towards the exit. The two felt their way towards the exit of the subway, tripping a couple of times in the darkness.

    Nocturn caught another flowery whiff. Viola! He turned around. Clauda noticed his movement and turned around. “Where are you going?”

    “I have to find Viola. You follow Aeulus, while I find Viola,” replied Nocturn.

    Clauda nodded and ran for the exit of the subway. Nocturn ran for the other end, relying on his senses to feel his way out…

    It felt like an eternity, but he eventually found an exit. He heard a shrill voice coming from upstairs and the rotors of a helicopter spinning quickly. Nocturn rushed up the stairs, getting his sword ready for combat.

    Finally getting to the top of the stairs, Nocturn found that he was at the top of a skyscraper.
    The helicopter’s rotors were spinning wildly, but it did not lift. He walked forward, sniffing the cool winter air. The flowery smell of Viola’s perfume was still lingering in the air, which meant he was close. But there was no sign of—

    Nocturn rolled away from the opening to the stairs, nearly getting impaled by a knife. “Damn it,” hissed a male voice from behind. Nocturn looked up to see an old enemy perched on a signal tower at the top of the building. The man smiled, tipped his hat, and said, “Long time, no see, Nocturn.”


    The man hopped off of the tower, smoothed out the wrinkles on his black jacket and smiled again. He stared back with obsidian eyes. “What? Not happy to see your old friend?”

    “Where’s Viola?”

    “How would I know? I am not in custody of her.”

    “I can hear her,” snapped Nocturn.

    “Then you find her,” taunted Jack.

    “I hear Ben, too.”

    Jack looked down, shadowing his eyes with his hat, and pulled a knife out of his pocket.
    Nocturn grabbed the hilt of his blade with his right hand, and got three hidden blades ready in his left. With a grin, Jack quickly had a hold on Nocturn’s neck. “I’ll kill you just like I did to those five,” he said with a malicious, shady smile.

    Nocturn wondered what he was talking about until he noticed five men hung by a rope around each on their necks, dangling off the railing above the staircase.

    “Except it’ll be much slower, and painful,” added Jack. Nocturn almost ran out of breath when he kicked Jack the Ripper between the legs with his knee. Feeling his foe’s grip loosen, Nocturn grabbed his fingers, twisted them, and threw him down to the floor. Jack seemed unconscious until he suddenly opened his eyes and ran a fist at Nocturn’s face.

    Clutching on to his injured eye, Nocturn grabbed Jack by his jacket and ran him towards a wall. “Where’s Viola?” he growled.

    Jack snickered. “Ben has her.”

    “Where is he?”

    “I’m not going to tell you!” Jack brushed Nocturn away and kicked him on the chest. Jack put his knife between his lips and again tried to suffocate Nocturn. “Now be a good little half-wolf and die.”

    Nocturn’s vision blackened as he ran out of breath. “You’re really…starting…to annoy…me,” he snapped. Instead of clutching on to Jack’s wrists, he ran a finger on his right hand across Jack’s chest. Jack staggered back as Nocturn pulled his pointed finger from the area of Jack’s liver. The former unsheathed his sword. “I’m only going to ask this one more time: where’s Viola?”

    Jack grinned despite his pain. “Dead.”


    “She’s dead. Do you hear her anymore?”

    Nocturn’s eyes opened in the sudden realization. “But…”

    “Your friend’s dead. Some guard you are, you charlatan.”

    Nocturn started to snicker. “You are calling me a charlatan? You’re an impostor serial killer. Let’s face it: Ben did most of the killing for you in London.”

    Jack staggered as if he’d been smacked hard. “Lies!”

    Nocturn continued to snicker, suddenly feeling his inner power to grow. His Oscuro magic became stronger through misery and pain. Oscuro is the magic of the dark arts. He clenched his left fist, wriggled his gauntlet-covered, right hand, letting his powers rush all over him. His eyes became more wild and dimmed. His fangs sharpened. “Then let’s see if you can kill me!” Wisps of darkness escaped from his shadow, leaving him shadow-less, and went through his pores. He felt the darkness rush with his blood like fluid. “Materia Oscura!” he commanded. He made a hand signal. Shadowy wisps enveloped into his right hand into a ball.

    Nocturn threw the ball at Jack, who ducked instantly. The light around the ball contorted with it, twisting the space around it. The ball exploded on impact with a wall. He walked towards Jack, while the latter stepped back with the former’s every step. Jack pulled out six knives, three in each hand, and threw them at Nocturn. They seemed to come at him in slow motion, as Nocturn dodged them and grabbed one with his gauntlet. He threw it back at Jack, who rolled out of the way. Nocturn lunged at his enemy, the sword in his right hand and three hidden blades in the other. He stabbed Jack in the shoulder with the black blade of the sword, impaled his chest with the hidden blades, and used Energía Oscura to dash Jack to a wall. He then pulled Jack up against the wall with the invisible hands of the Energía Oscura.

    “Stop it! I was just kidding! She’s still alive,” begged Jack. “Just let me call Ben!”

    Nocturn clenched his hands into a loose fist. Jack started to suffocate. “I don’t believe you.”

    “You’re a…weird one,…Nocturn,” joked Jack. “You believe me when I say your friend died, but you don’t believe me when she’s alive?”

    “Never believe the positive in this world, Jack,” retorted Nocturn. “Things were different since the time of King George III.” Nocturn tightened his fist.

    Jack struggled to breathe. “Just…let me…call Ben. He…shouldn’t be…far.”

    Nocturn breathed deeply and loosened his grip. Jack fell to the floor, coughing. He shakily pulled his cell phone out of his jacket pocket and dialed a number. “Ben? You need to get
    Viola here right away, you hear?”

    Ben drove Viola away from the subway, into Times Square. He parked the car about three blocks away from the center block. “Why do you resist when you know it’s pointless?” he finally asked.

    Viola sighed. “Because I know Nocturn would be around to protect me.”

    “And when he is not?”

    Viola looked out of the front passenger window. She was not restricted in anyway, but her purse was taken away by Jack. “Why did you take me out here?”

    “The boss was not there yet.”

    “Who is your boss?”

    “I cannot tell you.”

    At least he had the decency to answer. Ben was one of the kindest of the Usurpers, always willing to explain himself as much as he can. “Nocturn is going to take him down.”

    “Why are you so infatuated with him?” inquired Ben, his eyes narrowed.

    “Do I really make it that obvious?” whined Viola.

    Ben made a rare smile. “The way you’re always around him… It makes one wonder why he hasn’t noticed it yet.”

    “His sense of love is not as acute as the others,” replied Viola, chuckling quietly. “Why did you ask?”

    “I just did not understand why he hasn’t noticed yet, that’s all.”

    Ben and Viola had a long history together. They were childhood friends up until the First Battle of St. Albans in England. Ben was on the Yorkist side, while Viola was on the Lancastrian side. Since then, they were enemies, but less so than with Jack. Jack was one of the most despised among the Dieu de la Mort. “He’s blinded…”

    “Blinded? What do you mean?”

    “Now I can’t tell you that.” Jane Silinkiar, she thought angrily. “Let’s just say that she is way beyond me.”


    Sometimes, Viola would wish she could hold Nocturn forever. Other times, she wished that she could smack him upside the head and scold at him. This was one of those times where she wanted to slap him hard on the face. “Some guard he was. Thinking that your boss was
    Aeulus, he left me alone.”

    “Seems like he’s obsessed.” Ben’s tone sounded more anxious, but Viola did not take that into suspicion.

    “Where did you really want to go?” asked Viola.

    “Away from Jack,” confessed Ben.

    “Why? Don’t you two get along?”

    “Yes, but…I cannot tell you more.”


    Ben’s phone rang. “Yes? Fine. I’ll be right there, Jack.”

    “Jack? Where are you going to…”

    “Nocturn fell for the trap.”

    “Trap? What trap?”

    “We were supposed to ambush Nocturn with a vial of your perfume, but it seems the tables have turned.”

    “How do you know?”

    “Jack sounded like he had been suffocated.”

    Oh no. Nocturn… Is your Oscuro magic working again?

    “Nocturn is a tricky one.”

    Viola smirked. “Let me go, Ben.”

    “I cannot do such a thing.”

    “But you aren’t like the others! You’re more gentle and kind.”

    “I’d be betraying them. There is no honor in that.”

    “You betrayed the Dieu de la Mort without a problem.”

    “I know. And that is why I do not want to go through such dishonor ever again.”

    The car stopped at a red light. Viola sighed. “I’m sorry for what I am going to do.” She grabbed Ben’s face and kissed him on the lips.

    Ben looked back with a shocked look.

    “Sorry.” Viola sent a fist in between Ben’s eyes, leaving him unconscious. A kiss is Italian for sorry. She wiped her lips with the sleeve of her jacket and leaned over to the steering wheel. She drove a car to the nearest parking lot, set it on PARK, and paced away from the car. This would be a lot easier if I were not wearing high heels. The cold winter air bit onto her neck, ironic for her heritage. She was from a family of what humans would call the “vampires”. The blood sucking, heartless creatures in myth were mythical to even true vampires. In fact, real vampires were most like normal human beings, except with enhanced capabilities, like flight. Same thing goes for Nocturn’s race: the half-wolves. They are more like humans, but have enhanced capabilities, like those of a dog.

    Viola found an entrance into the subway and grimaced at what she saw. It was pitch black underground. “Darn it,” murmured Viola. She did not want to go down, but she had to if she wanted to find Nocturn. Unless, she thought, unless I go around. But that might take about half an hour! Oh well. She went away from the entrance to the subway, turned left, and walked down to the large building that was about thirty blocks off.

    Aeulusiò di Aria, as was his official full name, sprinted up the steps, making sure that his expensive leather boots were not stained by any blood. Chances are that a few people scraped themselves in a desperate attempt to escape the darkness of the subway. Nocturn would have been behind him at any moment, yet there was no sign of his former friend. Suddenly, Aeulus heard light footsteps echoing behind him. Could that be Nocturn? No, Nocturn’s footsteps are much heavier. No, these are from a female. Clauda! Aeulus reached for the handle of his oversized chef’s knife on his back, but was already kicked down by Clauda. The agile blonde girl jumped off of Aeulus’s head and landed several steps above.

    “Think you would lose us?” said Clauda.

    “To be honest, no. I hoped to get enough time to escape,” answered Aeulus, rubbing the back of his head.

    “What are you after?”

    Aeulus closed his eyes and drew his blade. “You shouldn’t be asking questions.”

    “Who sent you?”

    “I’m not telling.”

    “You better tell me, or else.”

    “Ooh, you’re very stubborn.”

    “You would know.”

    “Humph.” Aeulus and Clauda were once engaged. It died after the Civil War of America, with
    Aeulus being the soldier who killed John Wilkes Booth. The history texts say Boston Corbett did the deed. The truth was, Aeulusiò, an Italian in the Union Army, found and assassinated Booth before Lincoln’s assassination. Then, Boston Corbett, under the alias of Booth, shot and killed Lincoln for a hirer. Worried about the soldiers pursuing him, Aeulusiò offered to fake his own death, pretending to be Booth. He also persuaded the prison nearby to release Corbett after his arrest. A few years later, though, Aeulus decided to kill Corbett in the Great
    Hinckley Fire.

    Clauda found Aeulus’s deeds too severe and tried to get him to give himself up to the High Reaper Senate, but Aeulus had already become a Usurper by then.

    “Well?” finally asked Aeulus. “What are you going to do?”

    “I’m going to beat you to a bloody pulp and then send your body to Paralelliux for dissection so the scientists can figure out how a slithery snake like you can actually exist!” retorted
    Clauda as she lunged at Aeulus. He grabbed Clauda, who was still in the air, by the neck.

    “I wouldn’t be so sure it is my body that will be sent to Paralelliux,” he said grimly, his eyes suddenly dark. Clauda struggled to loosen Aeulus’s grip, but to no avail. The half-wolf’s power was doubled that of Clauda’s own half-wolf powers. He decided to tighten his grip around her neck, but suddenly let her go. “I’ll let you live because you were my girlfriend, Clauda, for now.”

    Aeulus continued up the stairs and into the cold winter air of New York’s Times Square. He heard Clauda start to cry from behind him, but he continued to walk gravely. He turned around and looked up. A dark figure at the top of the building caught his eye. Nocturn!
    His former friend was at the roof of the building, tendrils of darkness floating around him like a translucent sheet. “Maldetto,” he hissed, his Italian accent smooth. Suddenly, he felt a fist run against the left of his jaw. He found himself on the concrete floor, a sharp pain jabbing at his left cheek. He looked up to see Clauda look down at him, fists clenched.

    “You’re not getting away that easily.”

    Aeulus was about to open his mouth when he noticed a girl of about nineteen years old running out of black sedan. Viola? There ran another former friend, going the other direction. “You’re a persistent one, Clauda,” remarked Aeulus as he rubbed his cheek. “I spare your life, and you come back for more? You really never get tired of me, don’t you?”

    Clauda winked. She wrapped her arms around Aeulus’s neck. Aeulus widened his eyes in confusion. “As long as I remember all of the pain you’ve inflicted, I will never get tired of beating you.” She knocked Aeulus’s face with her head, sending him into unconsciousness.

    Viola hurriedly made her way around the building. A half-opened door was creaking on the side of the building. She opened it slowly, looked about, and went inside. It was a regular, gray corridor with a long staircase leading up to the second floor. Viola paced up the stairs and onto the second stairs. There was a map in front of her, telling her that the building was ten stories tall. Viola sighed and turned around the corner at the end of the stairs. At the third floor, the scenery changed to a bar with checkered floors and chairs on the floor in utter chaos. Viola spotted what seemed to be blood at one corner. She shook her head and turned around the corner, but stepped on something soft. She heard a liquid trickle from it. “I don’t want to know what it is,” she said to herself.

    At the fourth floor, she was shocked to see shattered windows and bodies sprawled on the floor. One man was dangling by his shoelace from a fan. Another man, a police officer, had a knife dug into his neck. Viola gulped down a scream and reached for the officer’s gun. She took the gun, some magazines, and a vial of pepper spray. She stuffed them into her pants pockets and continued up towards the fifth floor.

    The fifth floor was in chaos. There were no bodies, but the drawers and walls were destroyed. The contents from the drawers spilled wine and liquor. “What are they looking for?” she asked herself. She heard a squeak and she quickly grabbed the gun and pointed it behind her.

    Ben was standing at the top of the stairs, a round mark where Viola’s fist hit him. His sunglasses were shattered, showing his obsidian eyes, darker than Jack’s. “I did not like what you have done to me,” sighed Ben.

    “You were going to hurt Nocturn,” explained Viola.

    Ben sighed again. He walked forward and said, “Drop the gun.”

    Viola stepped back and armed her pistol. “Where’s my purse?”

    Dropped it in front of him. “I’ll let you have it back if you surrender.”

    Viola shook her head. “Not happening.”

    Ben took another step forward.

    Viola fired.

    With a thud, Ben clutched on to his chest, sneering.

    Viola felt tears roll in her eyes. “I’m sorry, Ben. I really, sincerely am.” She grabbed her purse
    and ran up the next set of stairs…

    After about ten more minutes, Viola was at the roof. She heard Nocturn speak and Jack yelp.
    She went for the ladder in front of her and climbed. Nocturn had his hand outstretched towards Jack, who was dangling over the edge of the building. “Nocturn!”

    Nocturn turned his head as Viola finished climbing up the ladder.

    “Put him down!”

    Nocturn sighed and obeyed her. He put a field around a weakened Jack. “You’re alive!” he

    Viola paced up to him and smacked him hard across the face. She then started to tear up.
    Not wanting Nocturn to see her cry, she hugged him hard, digging her face into his chest. Don’t be a monster, Nocturn. “I don’t want you to turn into a monster.”

    She did not want to let go. But, she had to if she did not want to be more obvious than she already was. “I’m sorry for losing you,” he murmured. “Aeulus is around here.”
    Viola broke away in shock. Aeulus? Is he the boss that Ben was talking about?

    Nocturn waited impatiently for about an hour. The sun was already set, letting the moon rise from the horizon. Ben did not arrive with Viola yet, making him ever more furious at Jack.

    “They should be here by now,” stuttered Jack.

    “Well? Where are they then?” snapped Nocturn.

    “Why do you care?” inquired Jack.

    Already? You’re getting testy with me already? Nocturn murmured, “Energía Oscura!” He
    made lifted Jack again, not bothering with suffocating. “Are you playing games with me, Jack?”

    Jack sniveled in fear.

    Nocturn moved Jack over the edge of the building. He only had one finger protruded, the only support for the invisible strings of his magic. If he decides to splay his hand completely,
    Jack would plunge to his death. “Tell me why I shouldn’t throw a piece of trash like you over the edge of this building?”

    “Nocturn!” cried a female voice. Nocturn swiveled his head towards the other edge across from him. Viola climbed up the latter. “Put him down!”

    With a sigh, Nocturn set Jack back on the ground, but used the last of his dwindling energy to create a temporary field around Jack to keep him away from them. “You’re alive!” remarked Nocturn with a sigh of joy. Viola walked up and smacked Nocturn straight across the face. Nocturn took the blow without resistance. Then, he felt her face against his chest,
    her arms around him.

    “Don’t ever do that again,” shuddered Viola. “I don’t want you to turn into a monster.”

    The last of Nocturn’s energy finally disappeared altogether, leaving him to feel normal again.
    “I’m sorry for losing you. Aeulus is around here, Viola.”

    Viola broke away from Nocturn. “Then is that the boss they were talking about?”

    “Probably. I wonder what they are after…” Nocturn heard Jack cough.

    The field around Jack was diminishing, letting his arms and head free. Nocturn drew his
    sword and pointed it at Jack. “I’m not going to attack!” cried Jack.

    “I’m not going to take that chance,” said Nocturn quickly as he raised his blade.

    “Nocturn, stop!” snapped Viola from behind. Nocturn reluctantly sheathed his blade. The
    Oscuro magic taints one’s soul, Nocturn knew that. Jack looked at Viola gratefully and
    closed his eyes, fainting. “What is wrong with you?”

    Nocturn stared down at the floor solemnly. “I’m sorry.”

    Viola started to tear up. “I don’t want you to be a monster, Nocturn!”

    “The Oscuro magic does that, Viola! You and I both know that.”

    “I know, but…”

    Nocturn walked towards the entrance to the stairway. The lights were back on, meaning that
    the workers were still active. He could hear the activity in the subway resume to its normality.
    “We still need to find Aeulus.”

    Viola followed him down the steps and into the subway. “Where do you think he is?”

    “I’m not sure, but Clauda chased him.”

    “Clauda? Why her?” whined Viola, her humor back.

    Nocturn smiled slightly. “She saved me from getting questioned by the guards.”

    “Well, that’s great for her, but… She’s just getting on my nerves, okay?”
    Nocturn considered her with a humorous look and continued walking…

    The two made it back to Times Square. It was already 33 degrees Fahrenheit. Nocturn zipped up his collar, covering his entire neck and mouth completely. Viola rubbed her arms
    and shivered. “Do you need—?”

    “No, no it’s okay. I’m alright,” shuddered Viola.

    Nocturn shrugged and stopped in the middle of the concrete island. He looked around, trying to find either Aeulus or Clauda.


    “Damn,” he muttered. “No sign of him.” He was surprised to find so many people walking around in the darkness, especially in New York. It’s the city that never sleeps, he would explain to himself. A large crowd of people to his right caught his eye. The building that they were on was there, towering over the crowd of people looking up. Nocturn looked up, as well, noticing a greened haired man running and jumping up the wall. “Aeulus.”

    “There he is!” exclaimed Viola. Nocturn grabbed Viola by the arm and ran towards the building, almost dragging Viola along with him. He pushed the crowd away, using his half-wolf strength.

    “Aeulus!” he called. “Get back down here!”

    “You know that guy?” asked a man next to him.

    Nocturn did not answer. Aeulus looked back down as he stopped on a heater protruding from the side of the building. He made a smirk. “Get down here!” yelled Nocturn.

    Aeulus jokingly put up a dismissing finger and picked up his cell phone. A grim look shadowed his face. Unfortunately, Nocturn could not tell what he was saying. Aeulus hurriedly continued up the building. Nocturn started to climb the building, but was pulled down by Clauda, who happened to be standing there. “Let him go,” she urged.

    Nocturn looked at her with doubt, but nodded.

    Viola and Clauda acknowledged each other with dark stares and looked towards the opposite directions. Soon, a helicopter flew away from the roof of the building, taking Aeulus and Jack with it.

    “I wonder if Ben got away,” murmured Viola.

    “Ben was here?” inquired Nocturn. He never hated Ben. He was the only Usurper that he would hurt reluctantly.

    Viola bit her lip as if she were guilty of something and nodded.

    “Then this is pretty serious,” remarked Clauda, her hand on her hip.

    “Humph. They’re gone now,” muttered Nocturn as the crowd dispersed. He noticed a tall man walking the opposite direction of the crowd. “Great. What does Ignus want now?”

    Ignus stopped only a few feet from the three, holding an umbrella. “Aeulusiò di Aria, Jack the Ripper and Ben Aben were discovered to be here. Did you find them?”

    “Yes,” replied Nocturn grimly. “And they’ve escaped.” He pointed at the helicopter flying away, disappearing into the dark night.

    Ignus looked at the helicopter and then looked back. “The High Reaper Senate would like to speak to you,” he said, his fingertips planted on his ear hole. “Would you like to go now?”

    Nocturn looked at Viola, and then Clauda. Both nodded. Nocturn nodded as well.

    With a snap of his fingers, Ignus summoned a vortex to Paralleliux, for the second time in just two days. The group walked into the vortex, instantly transporting themselves into Paralleliux.

    Aeulusiò di Aria awoke when the moon rose from the horizon. He got off the sidewalk, pushing some concerned by passers. “Leave me alone, cretin,” he snapped in Italian.
    Using a hidden knife, he nipped at the fingertip of a man who reached for him. The man yelped and jumped back, waving his hand to ease the pain.

    “What’s your problem, buddy?” inquired a round, balding.

    Aeulus hissed, “All of you animals!” He instantly blew the entire crowd away to all directions with his Wiatr magic. Aeulus pushed the balding away from him with extreme force, driving the man into a wall about fifty feet away. The crowd regrouped as he started to run up the building in front of him. The crowd started to urge him down, but he threw more hidden blades at them, scaring them away from the building.

    But they were persistent. Aeulus decided to ignore them this time. Then, he noticed that a few of them were turning on their cell phones. He threw the hidden blades at them, piercing the cell phones with precision. He continued to run up the building, stopping at every protruding air conditioner and heater on the side of the building. Jack and Ben probably apprehended Nocturn and Viola. Now the boss would have no choice, but to appoint me as his assistant. Then, I will—

    “Aeulus!” called a voice from below.

    Aeulus stopped at a protruding heater and, perched on the railing above it, stared down.
    Nocturn was looking up, Viola next to him. Despite feeling a bit anxious, he grinned. Jack and Ben probably got what we were after.

    To acknowledge his former friend, Aeulus reached for a gun slung to his left thigh. His gloved hand jerked as he heard his cell phone ring. “Damn. Talk to me.”

    “Aeulus…get up…here fast…” stuttered Jack at the other side of the phone line.

    “Are you injured?” inquired Aeulus.

    “Me? A little,” replied Jack, his tone suddenly normal. Well, as far as normal goes for Jack the Ripper. “Ben on the other hand… He was shot through the heart. He dragged himself up
    the steps of the building.”

    Aeulus stayed completely calm upon hearing the news. “And the Arsenal?”

    “The Nocturnal Arsenal? No sign of it on Viola, on Nocturn, or even in the entire building.”

    Aeulus’s face suddenly turned pale. I told the boss that we found the Arsenal in New York.
    We’ve ripped through pretty much every single building in this God forsaken city! Then we go on to make a big entry for the attack on this final building, and we come out empty? Where the hell is that piece of crap?
    Aeulus stared back at Nocturn and continued up the building.

    When he finally made it to the roof, Aeulus was horrified to see a trail of blood trail from the door going into the roof, up the ladder, and to the helicopter. “What happened to you, Ben?”
    Ben, scarcely breathing, looked up at Aeulus’s pale face. “Viola shot me in self defense.”

    “Ugh,” hissed Aeulus. Self defense? You probably let her shoot you, you little smidollato! he snapped at Ben in his thoughts, saying the last word in Italian. “Jack, start the copter. I want to leave before any authorities come. Did you leave any evidence of our coming?”

    Jack snickered a little. “Of course,” he replied, wiping his bloodied knife with an already bloody handkerchief. Aeulus blew out some air and walked into the helicopter, helping Ben into the chopper. Jack came in last, started it, and lifted it into the air. Soon, the helicopter was soaring away from the building.

    After a few minutes, Aeulus could hear the drone of another helicopter trailing them. It was a journalist helicopter, filming them for CNN. Aeulus shook his head and got up from his seat.
    He grabbed a rocket launcher from the back of the helicopter and aimed it at the journalist helicopter behind them.

    “Would you like to say something to the country, sir?” asked the reporter through a speaker,
    not noticing the rocket launcher aimed at her.

    “Stupid humans,” muttered Aeulus with a prominent Italian accent. He pulled the trigger, fell back into the chopper, and snickered as he heard the explosion of the helicopter behind them. At least the humans know now that the Usurpers are coming to squeeze the life out of their putrid bodies, thought Aeulus happily as the helicopter disappeared behind the dark clouds of the night sky.