"Bow to me! Bow to your new Regent!" Marcus's eyes were glowing red with rage as he advanced toward Ash and I. Ash stepped forward to shield me, but I ordered him to stand aside.
"I'll handle this, Ash." I turned to Marcus and walked towards him. My voice, like his echoes through the tunnel in the bowels of the Midas. "You've been dead for a dozen years! What thinks you can waltz and plop yourself down in Bloodwing's place?"
With that, he shouted words of a forbidden tome, and he hurled the orb of flame in his hands towards me. Tapping some hidden well of energy held out my outstrecthed palm, and with arcance runes floating around my arm a thick barrier of ice coalesced from a latticework of frost crystals. A fraction of a second later it disintegrated from the impact, enveloping the tunnel in billowing steam. I could barley make out the glowing runes surrounding me, much less my opponent.
"His spirit was MY legacy that you stole from me!" He roared, his voice rising in intensity as he closed in. "The only man I ever trusted in this world put me down like a dog because you..."
"Father wanted the Bloodwing for himself!" I shouted back as I broke into a run. My visian took on a blood-red hue as I waited for some clue of his position through the veil of scalding mist. "When he couldn't harness the demon himself he conceived us as pawns! How stupid were you not to realize that..."
His arm stetched from the nothingness and latched around my throat. Even more painful was the psychic attack. I lost focus of the outer world as I was drown to the danger of inner space. His anger and jealousy inundating my awareness like a tidal wave.
[a raft of reason]
Instead of drowning in that wave, I rose above it and pushed that rage back to him.
[You want to fight in the mindscape, do you?] My brother mocked me as his anger lashed at me in the image of tentacles of a kraken surrounding the raft.
[Mocking? Here's a symbol of what you'll never have.] Crimson wings erupted from my back as I darted skyward before the pseudopods smashed my bastion of calm. I'd rode in the back of the Founder's mind long enough to remember how he wore his wings on my body.
[And here's what you'll never recover!] A rip across my arm as I dodges the gatling gun fire a fraction too late. A memory of the first Qlippothic in her steam armor trying to circle me in a dogfight like I was a Martian invader.
[You don't remember war.] The whistle of incoming artillery shattered the image of Qli-1 in a burst of flame and shrapnel. I was watching a memory as the foolhardy souls of the Capper Brigade raced past in their open-hatched skyships, shouting and laughing like the reckless fools they were.
[I remember DEATH!] The shriek of the Deadly Ringer. I didn't think about donning my uniform, it was on me the moment I heard that horrible frequency. I was in my old flightpack again, and I bolted out of the way as a skyship dove in a trail of black smoke. Captain Widget's mayday call sputtering through the static in my receiver, followed by a maddening scream and a mechanical roar.
[Oh no...that can't be...]
Captain Ramsey. Her uniform scorched and torn, her disheveled red hair writhing in the wind and eyes lost to the madness of the Deadly Ringer's frequency as she dove towards me on her own flightpack, shrieking incoherently even above the drone of her diamond-encrusted combat chainsaw. She could rip open an enemy skyship with that thing like a lobster at a New England banquet. But now it was aimed at me. Again.