Gepard’s foot sunk into the pit of Pyro-Dawn Tyromant’s stomach, but it didn’t send him flying backwards, merely stumbling. He spun around, his hand held out with Savior, and he heard it connect with the boy behind him. No, the thing. These weren’t real people.
When he turned around Pyro’s arm was on the grass beneath him, wires curling from it, pushing themselves into his elbow socket. They were reconnected and Pyro flexed his fingers before a massive, bright, orange mass erupted from his hand. Gepard leapt backwards, just being narrowly missed by it. But the rest of the cloned army had encircled him. He was their play toy, and it was playtime.
He shouldn’t have come here. Not alone. But it would be an honourable way to die, defending his town.
The army closed in, their powers flaring up. There was Kallista, flames dancing in her palms, and Aquila, in the shape of a metal fox six feet high, and Thalia, energy flowing out around her. But then there was the gap. The gap where Quinn should have been. Had she hung back because she had no physical power? No, she was a clone, she had amazing power at her fingertips.
Then Gepard realized something must have happened to her—she must have malfunctioned. So the clones had weaknesses… or rather, a weakness.
The sky darkened above Gepard, the clouds closed in on the sun, and it seemed the darkness had rained upon them… but it wasn’t. Because Gepard felt it flow through his veins, his very soul. That feeling, that sense of power! He rose his arms and the sky flashed as lightning soared down to him, rejuvenating his strength. He kicked out and Pyro was sent hurtling backwards. Gepard grinned and launched his sword into the sky, where it flipped and flipped, before getting struck by lightning and soaring back down into his hand.
He spun round to meet Dragona Pine head on. Gepard swung his sword with its newfound power and it connected with Dragona’s chin where it slipped upwards through the metallic skin. The boy fell to the ground, but he was rewiring his head together already. But Gepard only needed to escape. That’s all he needed.
It seemed some clones had backed off, but one stood in his way—Niall Montblanc.
“Move it Niall.” The clone took a step forward, taking a gun from inside his blue blazer.
“Niall, I’m warning you.” He cocked back the trigger.
“Fine, have it your way.” Gepard sprinted forward and flipped in the air, his feet landing together in Niall’s face. Lightning raced down from his upper body, and shocked the clone. The gun fell to the ground, and Gepard leaped forward, and sprinted off to his army.
But before he could even get a yard away a shot rang out and he fell to the ground, clutching at the dark-red stain forming on his chest.
The house was in pandemonium when everyone realized Gepard had left, locking them all in. Everyone had gathered in the sitting room to have a discussion.
“Where’s he gone?” Skyril asked, her tousled blonde hair falling over her shoulders as she stood up. “Does anyone know? If you do then speak up! Why’s he locked us in here?” No one knew, but Skyril was the most worried person in the room, her undying secret love for him the only thing keeping her going.
Everyone shrugged, suspiciously looking around. They knew someone would know. Maybe… the Sensitive? That’s where everyone’s eyes were drifting eventually.
“Quinn,” Niall said, his Northern Irish accent fully showing through, “do you know where he is? This could be life or death. He could be fighting with whatever great evil-type thing we’re supposed to be preparing for. He could be dead right now. So just tell us.”
“Okay,” the young girl said. “I had a vision that the clones, that’s what they are; clones. Well, I had a vision they’d be attacking the town. They would be entering from the park. Gepard asked me to try and see this, I swear I didn’t tell him freely. He said it was important.”
“You stupid girl!” Niall suddenly shouted, jumping from his chair and lunging for the girl. She yelped in surprise, but she hadn’t any need as five pairs of hands were already on him, holding him back.
“Niall! She didn’t know why he was asking! You’d have helped him too. He’s our leader, we’d do anything he says,” Aquila said, disappointment flitting across her face.
Niall shook his head, as if throwing all angry thoughts out through his ears. “I’m sorry, Quinn,” he mumbled before sitting down, head in hands. “It’s just, I worry. About you all. I don’t know what I’d do if…” His voice faltered as he choked back tears. “You’re like family to me. I know it’s only been a few days, but I’ve connected with you all so much.”
“Niall, we’re worried too. But we have to stay strong, if not for ourselves then for Gepard,” Skyril said, suddenly gaining confidence. “Now, let’s go save his cute ass.”
Skyril marched from the room, pulling open the front door to reveal the world outside. She poked the threshold and a small shimmer of blue swam out from where she had touched it.
“Alright, shouldn’t be too hard.” She cracked her knuckles. “Everyone with elemental powers, up front.” Instantly Dragona Pine stepped forward. “Except you,” Skyril said.
“Why not?” he asked, anger started to shadow his face.
“Because I said so.”
Dragona’s face was as red as a tomato now, and he gathered a flame in his hand with a snap of his fingers. He was about to throw it when Skyril narrowed her eyes. Dragona stumbled backwards, the flame evaporated, as clawed at his face.
“I can’t see!” he shrieked. “I can’t see! Someone, help! Please, someone help!” Dragona was on the floor now, holding his hands over his eyes.
Aquila rushed down to him, before turning a deadly glare on Skyril. “Stop it. Now.”
“It seems you weren’t here a moment ago when he was about to attack me,” Skyril said, her voice rising. Her eyes were a fierce purple. They had changed… she was using her powers.
“I was here, you saw me standing right there.” Aquila inclined her head behind her. Then she rose and turned into a fox.
But you can’t do this to people! her voice echoed in everyone’s mind. She leaped at Skyril when a flash of blue shot into the orange blur that was moving fast through the air. A yelp sprouted from it as it hit the wall, falling to the floor in a heap.
Everyone turned to the person glowing blue hands. Nicolette Croga. She had a deadly look in her eye as she looked down upon Aquila. “I never liked you.”
A few minutes later, all elementals, and Nicolette, were forming a line in front of he door.
“One, two, three, go!” shouted Skyril from behind. They all summoned flames, and pushed at the air, and a small hole formed in the middle of the rapidly shimmering threshold. “Okay, Nic,” Skyril said.
Nicolette pulled back her hands before thrusting them forward, blue energy forming around her hands and pulsing from them in a long wave. There was a deafening crash as the spell was broken and tiny blue glass-like pieces fell to the floor.
Everyone poured out of the house, except for Aquila who was sitting groggily on the sitting room couch, and Dragona who had been tied up after he’d tried to hit Skyril.
That’s when Gepard came rushing towards them, clothes torn, gashes on his face, blood seeping from a spot right next to his heart. He got to the house, wide-eyed and breathing heavily, before completely collapsing before his army.