Friday, 27 July 2012
09:33:05 AM (GMT)
Aiden sneered down at Salem, who was muttering commands, "Oz, help... Prepare to
"You know what, Salem?" Aiden mused, regarding his iron pipe to check for dents,
"People called us brothers. But they were wrong." He stepped forwards as Salem
regained his feet, "You are not my brother." He smiled, holding his pipe like a bat,
and swinging at Salem's stomach, knocking him back a few paces as he began to quote.
"First they ignore you."
A swift downwards blow to Salem's left shoulder. "...Aiden..!"
"Then they ridicule you."
"Stop!" Salem dodged that blow, but was caught by another follow up swing to his
"Then they fight you..."
"I'm not-" Salem started, cut off as Aiden snarled, swinging the pole as hard as he
could at Salem's head, sending him sprawling to the ground. The illusionist smiled
coldly, standing over him and pressing the pole to the chest-plate, stopping him from
getting up. Two more Aidens merged out of the original, one standing on either side
of Salem while the real one leant down to finish his quote, a soft, purring whisper.
"Then..." He smiled, pressing harder with the bar, "You win."
'Sir, are you su-?'
"Just do it, Oz!"
'Very well, sir.'
The mechanics whirred, folding in on itself to reveal Salem's face, looking up
defiantly at his best friend. "I don't want to fight you, Aiden."
"Then that should make this a very boring fight..." Aiden complained, pressing the
pipe harder still, the metal of the chestplate denting a little just below Salem's
He winced as a fragment of metal on the inside snapped and dug into his chest, and
Salem raised a hand, his palm glowing a light blue as it charged, "But that doesn't
mean I won't." He growled, the light hitting Aiden hard in the chest, sending him
flying backwards, but he dissipated into the air before he hit the ground. "Wha-?"
"Honestly. Thought you'd have learned by now..." One of Aiden's clones smirked,
raising it's eyebrows as the other coughed lightly.
"Don't listen to him. It's me you're aiming at."
"Or... is it me? You know, I don't remember..." Another mirage grinned, picking up
the discarded pipe and swinging it absently.
Another figure appeared above Salem's head, offering a hand to help him up which was
"Really, Salem. You still have no manners..."
"You can't really talk, mate. You just smashed my armour!"
"I am NOT your mate!" The Aiden to Salem's right flashed abruptly. The real Aiden,
"None of you are. I was never wanted with you."
"That's a lie."
"IT'S NOT A LIE! Nobody ever wanted me there. EVER! You'd all be grateful to have me
leave!" Aiden shouted, stepping backwards, away from Salem as more of his clones
appeared in a ring around him, "Even you never trusted me. Even you." His voice
softened slightly, and he released a heavy, shaking breath, "Even you."
Salem shook his head, "We do want you with us. I do. You belong here. You're one
"No, I'm not. I couldn't be like you."
"You are. You're as much a hero as any of us-"
"SHUT UP!" Aiden shouted, shaking his head as he dropped the pipe, "YOU KNOW I'M NOT.
I'm wanted HERE. They WANT me!"
"I want you, Aiden!"
"THERE'S A DIFFERENCE." He shouted, his eyes full of pain and denial, "All of them
want me! It's just you." The illusionist tightened his jaw, "Stop wasting time.
You're going to die." He snarled, raising a hand as he was enveloped in a tower of
emerald flames and his clones rushed inwards, assaulting Salem with attack after
"Fuck... Helmet back up, Oz! Go! NOW!"
There were flashes of light blue and green as Equinox fought, constantly telling
himself that Aiden wasn't among them.
There were tears in his eyes as he rush forwards into conflict with his friend, and
within moments, Salem had turned to face him. Indistinguishable from the thousands
of others. He raised his palm and a bolt of blue connected with Aiden's chest, his
concerntration faltering as the mirages flickered and dropped to their knees with
him, disappearing one by one.
Aiden lay face up, his breath coming in rasps as he tried to fight the burning in his
chest. The dark green cloak was spooled around him, and his black shirt grew darker
still as it stained with his blood. His usually tidy hair, held back by wonderful
chance had fallen over his face, damp with sweat as he coughed painfully.
Salem paused, registering what was happening as his opponents vanished. He frowned,
turning until he saw the lone fallen Aiden, sprawled on the ground, arms outstretched
from the blast. His breath caught in his throat, and he rushed forwards, "Oz, call
Kari for me.... NOW!" The ringing was faint in his ears as he skidded to a halt next
to Aiden, raising his head and resting it in his lap, "Oh God... Aiden, no...." He
shook his head as Kari picked up, not giving her a chance to ask questions "Get over
here... I think I... Hurry up, he's dying!" He shook his head, the helmet retracting
once more as he smoothed Aiden's hair away from his forhead, "Aiden, c'mon... Don't
go... C'mon... Kari can make you better... Please Aiden... Don't die..."
Aiden looked up, his breath painful as he met Salem's familiar blue eyes, "I'm
"I'm so sorry..." He whispered, "I don't... know what... what happened...."
"You're gonna be okay..." Salem murmured, wiping Aiden's cheek as one of his own
"This is it, Salem." Aiden swallowed, his mouth dry, "Don't... Forget... Please..."
"No! KARI, HURRY THE FUCK UP! You're gonna be fine..."
Kari ran over with four paramedics carrying a stretcher, "Salem, Salem move, we'll
get him back to HQ. We'll try and fix him..." Kari swallowed, pulling him away by
the arm as Aiden was loaded onto the stretcher, his eyes drifting shut.
"AIDEN! DON'T YOU FUCKING DIE ON ME!" Salem cried after him, held back by Kari.
"I'm sorry, Salem... We'll do what we can..."
"It was me... I did it... I...." Salem shook his head as Kari pulled him into a hug.
"I know... It's okay." She murmured, deciding against telling him what she could see
by the ambulance.
A second, much fainter form of Aiden sat up, sliding off the stretcher, leaving his
real form lying perfectly still. The ghost looked up, back towards Salem and nodded
once before disappearing into a memory of the flames he had used before.