Victor: is pretty damn good at dodging. He tries to go for obvious weak spots: solar plexus, knee, back of head, chin, even throat if he can find an opening.
(But Jessica still goes out like a light.)
Dayo now lunges for the impersonator to try to grab the thing.
The Jessica-impersonator and Fenris-impersonator disengage for a moment and simultaneously have the idea of tonguing Victor.
Jessica is still very groggy, but she is coming back to herself and so is Fenris.
Not-Arthur doesn't see who tongues him, but he falls to his knees.
Vii jumps at the Felix-impersonator. There is a horrible cracking sound of a wing being broken and the reptoid turns back. Dayo finally grabs the damn device. It's metallic but warm to the touch.
"Quick!" Vii shouts from where she is holding the reptoid down. "Throw it at me."
Victor would normally be able to deal with two combatants but the tongues are something he wasn't trained for. He goes down.
Dayo, meanwhile, throws.
Vii reaches for the thing. She would've grabbed it, but one of the other reptoids grabs it with his tongue. One of the Victor-impersonators hits Victor's head hard against the asphalt. Then Vii gets tongued. The other Victor-impersonator tongues Dayo. The last coherent thing Dayo sees is Vii's miserable expression.
And she's out.
The cold and numbness take hold and everything becomes blurry and distant. Her perception comes and goes in flashes. Including her sense of time.
"-managed to kick it to the-" Darkness. "-can't retrieve it-"
Very far away there is the sound of footsteps and maybe those are boots. "-mess."
"Sssorry, massster. We sshall kill-" Darkness. "-take them?"
"Yes, buffoon. They need to disap-" Darkness. "-put them to good use."
"Yesss, massster Jamessson."
Dayo is abruptly moved. This too is in flashes. One moment she is on the ground. Then in scale-covered arms a clawed hand gently brushes a hair lock away. Then in the backseat of a vehicle, feathers brushing against her arm. Then a long stretch of nothing but dark roads. Finally there is a syringe stab somewhere she can't even tell and the darkness becomes deeper and complete.
Felix jolts into conscience. There is loud music around him and the sound of conversation, just in the other room. A party, a large one by the sound of it. He is in a large corridor of reddish brownstone. The light is provided by torches, and by what he can sense there are torches everywhere in this building.
Weirdest of it all: He is holding a food tray-
A young woman - who Felix immediately recognizes - comes through the door. "Felix? Is there something wrong? Are you going to bring the food? People are waiting for you."
"Oh. Sorry, Vera. I feel like I forgot something... Do you know where everyone is?"
"In the next room, silly."
They walk into the room. The party is massive. Some people are playing with fire, some are on fire, but this appears to leave them completely unharmed.
There is no sign of Fenris or their genderfriends. And soon Felix is distracted by the sight of people on fire.
Fenris is flying as fast as he can.
In the back of his mind he notices a small confusion. His mind is telling him that he just crossed a portal but he can't remember the event itself. The recollection feels like a detailed memory of a memory. And the next memory is him flying.
He is holding two people by the hand. His parents. Except they are ethereal and thin. And getting thinner by the second, like ghosts that are somehow starving. And the sense of urgency to save them is much greater than the desire to check that small confusion in the back of his head.
Over there, there is a cluster of boulders floating above the frozen sea. So close-
A giant sea serpent emerges from the ice, its body black and slick with teeth like daggers. It snarls at Fenris and his parents. Fenris needs to dodge and only barely doesn't drop his mother. That would be the end of her.
Fenris circles around and a second serpent emerges. He goes up and flies towards the boulder cluster in an arc. Almost there, his parents are barely there, but they are almost there.
Then a third serpent sneaks up on them and Fenris dodges.
Fenris doesn't know if he let go or if they ran out of time, but his parents turn into dust and then into nothing.
He would've stood still if the serpents didn't decide to converge and attack him at same time. Avoiding them was easy, he just went further up in the sky.
There he saw another... vision. It wasn't his grandfather, but it looked like him. The vision stared at Fenris and with just his eyes conveyed a message.
Fenris observes the serpents and with a simple feint manages to land on a boulder unharmed.
The thing is the size of a house, bare gray rock with nothing growing on it. Not even moss. It's barren and with a single feature.
There is a spring perpetually dripping water, which overflows and runs into a little canal.
If Fenris hadn't failed his parents would've drunk from it and-
Fenris drinks from the spring. It changes shape, the stone grows and becomes smoother. It gains a purposeful form. The cylinder of a fountain adorned by a stone statue. It depicts Fenris, looking forward with what might be called determination. But to the real Fenris it feels like the expression of failure. Absently, Fenris makes the boulder float higher than the serpents' reach.
He solved one limitation. Now he needs to figure out what to do next.
She opens her eyes.
White. Pure whiteness expanding in all directions. There is light, but no sun, just white luminescence with no visible source coming from the white sky. She can't even tell where the horizon is. It blends with the ground, which is covered in fine white sand.
White like a blank canvas turned into reality.
No tracks on the sand and no features or clue to tell her how she got here. The question of how she got here feels somehow meaningless.
...the ground feels solid. It's how she can tell there's a ground. After a minute of staring at nothing she crouches and touches it. Fine sand, fine enough that it gets stuck in the creases of her skin, and the solid ground beneath it. She tries to dig her hand into it but there's no give.
She stands up again and wonders idly how she's not blinded by the light, there's so much of it. She knows she's not blind because she can see her hand, her self.
But everything else is so empty.
She starts walking.
Whiteness update: still white. Is she going to stay at it for hours?
No. This is giving her a headache (it's not really but it feels like it should be). She needs something. Why is there nothing? There should be something. It makes no sense for there to not be anything, nothing - this featureless empty eternal nothing - nothing is crazy. There are - molecules. The ground must be made of those. They must've come from somewhere. Everything comes from somewhere - the Big Bang, ultimately. The great soup of everything in an inflationary period followed by the rapid cooldown - soup of matter, too energetic to even be called elements, coalescing in random locations due to gravity, forming the very first stars, the simplest thing made of matter, the place where all matter comes from, and if there's matter then there should be stars -
The sand shifts and moves like being carried by the wind. It's hard to see the white on white, but she can tell something happening up in the sky and then darkness starting to spread out from the middle of the whiteness, moving much like sand. It's quickly followed by color that paint beautiful nebulas. The cosmic clouds then quickly form stars dotting the heavens. She can see a galaxy overhead for a solid moment before it's replaced with a star that grows larger and larger and then... there is a sun hanging from the clear blue sky.
...that's more appropriate.
Fenris thinks that the memory of crossing the portal wasn't real, but trying to fly beyond the edge of the dimension proved useless (he just kept being turned around). After some effort he locates the point in the sky where the portal stands and uses this portal's opening key. Make the wind go in a circle and then rise up. Just like in his memory. Fenris flies through it.
He doesn't find himself on the other side, instead he wakes up on some sort of cheap hospital bed in a poorly lit room. It smells terrible in there.
Fenris keeps his eyes shut for a moment, before peeking through them very briefly. A reptoid is in the room, but turned away from him. There are at least two other people in the same room, both unfamiliar and both in similar beds, sleeping.
Fenris takes a few moments to observe the reptoid. Two people pass outside the room and the creature tenses.
"This delay is unacceptable!" hisses someone.
"Ssorry, massster. We will be ready to explore their pocket dimensssions sssoon. Your nephew isss troublessome." Says someone, obviously another reptoid.
They move away and Fenris can't hear the conversation. The reptoid in the room relaxes marginally and Fenris observes what he is doing...
...Apparently the reptoid has a pen and a book and is drawing or writing something while sitting on the floor. He casts furtive glances at the door every so often.
Fenris considers his options. His powers are back, but he can barely feel the sky which means he is somewhere underground or very closed. The air feels dry and the terrain feels flat. A desert? They most likely have been moved from Florida then. He also considers his... dream and what it implies.
Very carefully, Fenris removes the pillowcase from his pillow. He picks a moment where the corridor is quiet and the reptoid is distracted. With a swift but quiet movement, Fenris flies and then stuffs the pillowcase in the reptoid's mouth. While the reptoid is still surprised, Fenris immobilizes the being. That part doesn't go as quietly as desired. The creature panics and starts kicking. Fenris hoped he could get some information, but he probably should get on the move.
Fenris lets go off the reptoid and then causes the air around the scaly being to get so hot as to make anyone pass out. Fenris leaves the room and flies close to the ceiling. Searching for Felix, Dayo, their mutual boyfriend, Jessica, Victor and Vii. There are more people on beds, but no one he recognizes. Mostly pale and old.
Fenris has no idea what is going on here. He thinks he spotted Vii through a door's window, but upon closer inspection... a room with at least two dozen white-haired people. Most puzzling of it all: they are wearing or holding various metallic objects with the apparent magical effect of assembling common electronics like smartphones. They all look scared, starved and miserable.
Fenris lingers too long searching for Vii among them and one of them spots him. He is out of there in a flash, but that's not fast enough, he can hear shouting behind him. Fenris finds the stairs and moves up. Reptoids start pouring into the stairs and Fenris catches the brief glance of an open window and bull-rushes past a pair of reptoid creatures.
There is a brief moment where Fenris thinks he made it.
Something pounces on him from behind, sinking sharp teeth in his neck. Much bigger than the other reptoids and with clawed hands that feel strong enough to break bones. There is some kind of poison spreading out of it, which causes Fenris' vision to blur and his blood feel like it's on fire.
Worst of it all, whatever what is holding onto him is making almost orgasmic sounds at the taste of his blood.
Fenris half-falls and half-tries shrug the thing off. But that only earns him an embrace that probably did break something as they both crashland-
Even as the blood causes him to lose consciousnesses, Fenris tries to not just give up, even if he thinks there is an alternative, he doesn't know if it will work... He just needs to keep trying anyway...
Darkness takes hold of him again.
She's small. She's so small. And the house is big. It's naturally big, like a mansion, bigger than her parent's place, and made even bigger by the fact that she's so small.
"Mom?" she calls. "Mom, I don't know where I am."
No one answers.