BI Soul #7: Guardians

Blessed Inversion Soul Emblem

Previously on Blessed Inversion Soul…
After learning he was an Inversion capable of performing Soul Magic from the spirit Sylvanus, Jey Connors began learning how to use his powers. With his first spell and first tome, he traveled to New Utica to save it from a Rift Gate. While Jey succeeds in his mission, it doesn’t go unnoticed. Now a mysterious man named Oculus arrives in New Utica to locate the rookie spell caster…

Soul/Jey Connors

Pro-Gamer, magical Inversion

Oculus

Mysterious Inversion

Note: Dialogue in brackets are Soul/Jey’s thoughts controlled by his anxiety

With the Rift Gate sealed, Soul had begun the slow and taxing process of purging the remaining Mutants trapped within its fences. Although he began to find a stray Mutant here and there, it was still a city he’d have to search alone. He could use Knowledge of the Ephemeral* to figure out a way to locate the Mutants quickly but was hesitant after the way it backfired on him last time.

*Knowledge of the Ephemeral- Grants the user great knowledge temporarily. Allowing them to answer a single issue no matter the detail

“Maybe I should’ve asked someone for help…” Soul thought to himself as he took a break and sat hovering in the air.

Soul’s thoughts drifted with each passing second. Memories of his torture at the hands of Indigator Antiquis surging to the forefront relentlessly. Flashbacks overwhelming him and putting him into a trancelike state. Elsewhere, Oculus sees the Aether begin to turn black and begins to follow it. Ending with him finding Soul suspended in the air. His Cosmic Aura now tainted and surging around him like a black beacon.

“Shit! Gotta act fast.” Oculus thought as he assessed the situation. It wasn’t hard to tell Soul was responsible for sealing the Rift Gate from the Aether surrounding him. But in its tainted state, he couldn’t tell if he was corrupted by the sealing or just tainted by nature. “Need to focus just right…” In response to his thoughts, the lenses of Oculus’ tactical glasses turn a purple hue. A stream of lightning flying from his eyes and into Soul. Electrocuting him and causing him to fall out the sky. The Aether returning to normal as Oculus goes to check on Soul who slowly begins to awaken. Rubbing his head and sitting up on the floor. “You good?” he asks while keeping a distance. His lenses now red hued.

“Huh? What…” Soul asks confused. His heart racing before he turns to see Oculus. “Who are you?”

“Oculus, who the hell are you?” he remains focused squarely on Soul.

“I’m-” Soul attempts to stand but stops when he notices Oculus’ lenses begin to brighten. “Soul, I came here to help.”

“Help how?”

“I don’t know how to explain it…But there was a doorway into a really bad place. I closed it but there might still be some nearby.”

“That checks out.” Oculus’ responds. The lenses of his tactical glasses returning to their normal black tint. He walks over to Soul, extends his hand, and helps him to his feet. “Sorry I had to shoot you out the sky.”

“What?” Soul asks confused.

“He doesn’t remember being corrupted? That’s never a good sign. Better keep an eye on him.” Oculus thought cautiously. He’d look into this a bit more before bringing him back home. “Nothing.”

< Did he say he attacked you? Don’t trust him. But he looks like a soldier. Can soldiers be trusted? Just use magic to get him to talk. It’ll only take a second… >

“What about you? Why are you here?” Soul asks.

“That’s still up in the air.” Oculus replies cryptically. “I saw those dead monsters on the way here. You think there’s more of them?”

“Maybe…the energy they gave off is filling the whole town. If there are more I’d need to search thoroughly. Also, I don’t know if there are any survivors still here.”

“Makes sense…” Oculus says before scanning the area. His eyes seeing the tell-tale black Aether permeating the streets with his Aether Vision. “Can’t believe it spread so far…How did we let this slip under our radar?” he thought briefly. “Gatekeeper, I going to need some back-up.” Oculus’ tattoo glows faintly as his thoughts are directed telepathically to his comrade.

“Who should I send?” Gatekeeper asks.

“Reverb, Dragoness, and…Anaguma…Hate to say it but we’ll need him to deal with the things that came through the Rift Gate.”

“Sending them over.”

After a few moments, a massive portal opens before Jey and Oculus. The first is a dark-skinned man with black braids standing at 5’9 and wearing a skin-tight black suit. Circular speakers with navy blue glowing lights embedded in both sides of his hips, the palms of his hands, the center of his collar below his neck, and a large one taking up his upper back. A navy blue visor wrapped around his eyes and connected over his ears like headphones. The insignia of a shield was located over his heart. The second was a tall woman with fiery red hair tied into a single massive ponytail. She was clad in a red skintight one-piece uniform that covered her biceps down to her thighs. The shield emblem emblazoned on her navel where a belt buckle would be. Black boots and gloves finished her outfit. Although the most noticeable parts of her were the massive crimson dragon wings and dragon tail that grew from her back and lower back respectively. The last was a surly man in a skintight sleeveless black suit with a white shield emblem covering his entire torso. He wore a mask covering his face that gave him the image of a badger. White covering the top of his forehead and extending into a long fur trail covering his back and extending down to the floor like a trenchcoat. His black gloves covered fair skin and clawed hands. White metallic boots covered his feet and sharp fangs were visible as he scowled at Soul. Like the woman before him, both shared the same tribal tattoos on the right shoulder as Oculus.

“Soul, this is Reverb.” Oculus motions to the first man.

“Yo.” Reverb says with a bright smile.

“Dragoness.” Oculus motions to the woman who just gives a nod. “Anaguma.” he motions to the last man who just scoffs and crosses his arms.

“What do ya want this time?” Anaguma’s voice was raspy and unpleasant to the ear. “And who the hell’s he?” he snarls at Soul.

“This is Soul, he sealed the Rift Gate and right now we don’t know how many monsters got over from the other side. The Abyssal Aether is too strong for me to get a proper read.”

“So you called in the heavy hitters and yours truly?” Reverb asks.

“Right, think you can give us a heading?”

“One sonar ping coming right up.” Reverb puts his hands on the ground and releases a wave of sound. He then stands and looks at a computer built into his left forearm.

“See anything?”

“A lot. Maybe 20…Nothing from our World though…” Reverb laments.

“Shit…Okay, team, we’re doing plan 6.”

“Got it.” Reverb nods alongside a silent Dragoness.

“Whatever.” Anaguma scoffs.

< You came here to help but they’re the ones who will take the credit. Did you even have to come here at all? Just wasted yours and everyone’s time. >

“Soul, are you ready to fight?”

“Huh?” Soul says surprised at Oculus remembering he was here. “Um…yeah. I can fight.”

“Good, then we’re gonna need you.”

“Y’all ready for this?” After receiving the signal, Reverb does what he does best. Combining his Frequency Manipulation powers with his suit, he holds his palms outwards and releases an ultrasonic sound. One he and his allies couldn’t hear but one that caused extreme pain in the Mutants that infested the town. Drawing them all towards the group like moths to a flame. After a few minutes, they could see the first Mutant, a sickly woman with elongated limbs and a grotesquely long jaw. Her face contorted like it was constantly screaming. She was followed behind by several other Mutants in various states of agonized transformation. “Time for track 2.” he adjusts his visor headphones as his speakers turn green and begin playing smooth jazz music. The air filling with green sound waves and flowing through everyone present.

“Okay team, light em up!” Oculus shouts, the lenses of his tactical glasses turning red before firing a crimson beam of energy. The concussive force blowing one Mutant through the air into another behind it.

Following Oculus’ starting attack, the team and Soul moved in perfect harmony. Like the music that played they acted like a complete unit despite Soul having only just met them all. Oculus using his eye beams to keep the group from being overwhelmed. Giving Anaguma an opening to dive headfirst into the oncoming Mutants. His feral growl disorienting and attracting the Mutants to him as he clawed away at them. Each swing tearing through their distorted flesh as if it were paper. Dragoness dive bombed in and out of the swarm. Her flaming claws easily carving through the Mutants. Her flame breath being used in conjunction with Oculus’ eye beams to keep the swarm at a manageable size. Reverb’s music guiding the others along subtly. Like a conductor coordinating an orchestra. Ever present yet out of the spotlight.

Even Soul found himself affected by the music in a way he didn’t expect. He felt relaxed as if he were playing Guardian Corps. Oculus was the shot calling Specialist who led the Guardians, Dragoness the Damage who took out the Mutants as fast as they could, Anaguma as the Tank who drew the Mutants attention, and Reverb the Support who kept everyone full of energy. He was the Hero with the power to change the tide of battle. As such, it didn’t even surprise him when he opened his Tome and found the pages turning for him to his latest spell. It’s text translating to reveal the title: Runes of the World Builders, which lay above the stain glass image of a universe being created by glowing silhouettes throughout the cosmos.

While it is known that the Avatar of White & Avatar of Black are responsible for the creation of the Worlds, it is often believed they are not fully responsible for this feat. That they simply spark the beginning and the end of the Worlds. It is the mysterious World Builder who goes through the multiverse building and creating Worlds one by one. Unceasing in its efforts for reasons known only to it…

Runes of the World Builders!” Soul says without a moment’s hesitation. He summons Aetherial runes that glowed indigo like his Cosmic Aura to each of the Guardians bodies. The energy flowing through the runes empowering the individual beneath.

With a single swing of his right claw, the newly powered up Anaguma cleaves one of the Mutants in two. “I could get used ta this.” he grins sinisterly. Dragoness nods in agreement as her flame breath expands into an even wider spray. Burning several Mutants alive in the process.

Although Anaguma, Dragoness, and even Reverb were enjoying the power boost, Oculus remained cautious. He didn’t forget the trance he found Soul in when he first found him. While the power boost was nice, who knew what type of chaos it’d wreak on their bodies if Soul lost control again? Oculus pushes the thoughts to the back of his mind for the time being. Focusing on what mattered most. Though they battled for only two minutes, they were already down to the last 5 Mutants from the initial 25. All of which had swarmed Anaguma and was impossible for Dragoness to attack without also hitting him. “Guma!” he calls out calmly. His tactical glasses lenses turn green. “Don’t move.” Oculus fires green lasers from his eyes. Their beams cutting through the air and burning through the Mutants easily. Shaving them down like an eraser at the base of the pencil. Leaving just enough of their bodies atop Anaguma that he wasn’t harmed albeit covered in even more gore than before. If he didn’t have Inversion enhanced accuracy, such a precise attack would’ve been nigh-impossible. Though Souls power enhancements helped.

“Grrr…What’s the big idea?!” Anaguma sits up and pushes the Mutants remains off of him. Attempting to wipe what little he can off of his suit. Standing to his feet, he immediately storms up to Oculus who remains standing straight with his arms crossed. “You tryin ta hit me?”

“If I did, it would’ve been your own fault.”

“Yer just askin for it now Four Eyes.” he snarls unpleasantly.

“Should we do something?” Soul asks concerned about the battle about to unfold immediately after they just worked as a team.

“Nah, they do this all the time. You get used to it.” Reverb shrugs casually while stopping his music. “You sealed the Rift Gate right?”

“Yeah.” Soul nods.

“Did you purify the area?”

“Purify?” Soul asks confused.

< You fucked up. You knew this would happen. Why did you even try? It always ends up like this. >

“Yeah, whenever a Rift Gate opens tons of Abyssal Aether gets out too. If it sticks around things are gonna get real trippy for anyone nearby.”

< I knew it. I really did fuck up. Just go home. Don’t make things worse. >

“I don’t know how to purify things.” Soul laments.

“It happens.” Dragoness says casually. “Abyssal Aether can very rarely be purified. Nobodies in the area so we can come back later to deal with it.” Despite her fierce appearance, Dragoness’ words were surprisingly comforting to Soul.

“She’s right.” Oculus finally breaks free from his argument with Anaguma enough to join the conversation. “We all did well today. But, I’m gonna have to ask you to come with us.”

“Where we were going?” Soul asks concerned.

“Back to Aeaea to see our founder, Circe.”

“Please resist.” Anaguma threatens out of nowhere.

“What does she want?”

“She wants to meet the person who sealed the Rift Gate. Since you seem pretty new at this whole thing, I’m sure she can teach you a thing or two.”

Soul thought about the offer. They didn’t seem like bad people even if Anaguma was excessively hostile. Declining wouldn’t likely end badly but if they had to fight could he really take four people on alone? They were trained and coordinated and he was still extremely new. But whoever sent them knew about magic. Which meant there were things beyond just his Soul Magic. Only one response came to his mind. “Okay, I’ll go with you.”

Next Issue

Blessed Inversion Soul Chapter 8- Circe

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