Seth could hear Tony's struggled shouts rippling through the wind like knives in her ears, blending in with the sound of gunfire that was ricocheting off the walls beside her. Small flecks of metal were torn off the pipes and were thrown into her face, cutting deep into her skin and causing blood to momentarily flow before instantly healing. She still managed to keep a death grip on Steve's hand though while he laid suspended in mid-air, being thrashed around by the harsh wind pressure.
"Ah!" Seth gasped sharply when she felt burning hot shrapnel rip into her shoulder and back, lighting her insides on fire and causing her body to tremble violently. She whimpered and clenched down on her teeth, waiting for her regeneration to kick in and ease the excruciating pain.
"Seth!" Steve shouted over the rage of the wind, his voice piercing and distressed as he saw Seth's faces contort with distress. "Seth! You alright!?"
"No! I'm being fricking shot at and it hurts like shit!" Seth's voice belted even louder like a volcanic eruption going off. She sucked in a deep breath and tried to adjust herself so she wouldn't be half out of the aircraft. "Don't worry! I'm not letting go!" She let out a breath and smiled reassuringly at him before being pelted once again with shrapnel from the hell storm of bullets, penetrating into the wall and shattering upon impact. "Ugh...!"
Tony shouted over the open communications to Steve. "Cap hit the lever," he called out.
"We need a minute here!" Steve answered back while trying desperately to pull himself back in as Seth continued to get pelted by the razor-sharp shrapnel. "Seth's taking a lot of fire right now!"
"Yeah! But I need the lever. LIKE NOW-" Tony argued before his voice was suddenly cut off. "Uh-oh." Static came over the connection and pieces of his voice broke through a couple of times. "Help!"
Seth managed to pull herself a couple of inches back over till both her feet were on stable ground once more. She looked over her shoulder to the lever then back at Steve. Her face twisted with deep thought like she was judging the distance between him and it. "You better hit that damn lever." She warned him, and with one hard pull, she swung him all the way around and slammed him hard right up against the lever. He managed to pull it when he fell back against the ground.
Seth's ears perked up quickly to the sound of a reload and a cocking gun coming from behind the corner that one of the guys was still behind. She estimated that he might have multiple magazines that all held at least 30 rounds, but there was no doubt in her mind that if she can get to him before he reloads then it won't matter how much ammo he has with him. It was just one single guy hiding behind the corner.
The intruder quickly finished his reload and poked the barrel out and immediately took aim at Steve who was still on the ground. He pulled the trigger and held it down, a blast of white light emitting from the small opening as bullets flew out. They soared through the air right at him before Seth's small frame jumped right in front of him, taking the hit and ripping her face wide open. They struck the side of her cheek and head and revealed the deep redness and raw flesh underneath her skin, throbbing veins and streaming blood that trickled down her jawline and exposed teeth. They continued to puncture her chest and shatter her ribs. The pain was almost instant. Her body screamed and burned like hellfire dousing every exposed nerve in her body. The brightest shades of red clouded her eyes but she was still able to pinpoint where the man was and how many rounds he had left. 5 shots. 4 shots. 3 shots. 2 shots. 1...
She was able to finally hear the audible clicking sound of an empty firearm.
Steve lifted his arms off his head and looked up, horror reflecting in his eyes and despair screeching out from his lungs. "Seth? What did you do!?" He grabbed her shoulders just as her body began to sway. Seth fell limp against him as blood fell down her arms and dripped off her face that was half demolished and shredded. "Oh God, Seth!"
Her breathing was rough and struggled, gurgling up blood that fell from her lips and down her jaw. There was no mistaken the wheezing chuckle that was escaping from her damaged throat though. "Looks like you're out of bullets..." she spoke with a cracking giggle and looked up, eyes half-deranged and unfazed by the aspect of 'death' creeping up on her. It soon was nothing but a brief view with the release of steam coming off her that began to heal her body.
Seth didn't wait around and kicked off her right foot and jumped down a level, hunching in low as the man tore away from her view to reload as fast as he could. He couldn't even pull a magazine out fast enough before he felt a strong but small hand grasp his shoulder and shove him down. She climbed on top of him with blood still dripping off her face. She raised her fist above his head and brought it down with a lot of force.
Even though Steve was far away, he could still make out the sound of bones breaking and Seth's strained grunts before nothing. Its been a few seconds but he still couldn't see her. "Seth? Seth, are you okay?" He got up and hesitated to peek around the corner. "Seth?" he said a bit warier.
There were light but hesitant footsteps coming from behind the corner and Seth finally popped out, stained dark red but seemingly uninjured with the last bit of steam fading away in the wind. "You didn't get hit, did you? I thought I got all the bullets," she asked rather casually.
His words left him as she stared deeply into his equally blue eyes. She was clearly concerned and that is what baffled him. He wasn't hurt but his heart was aching with the fact that she would jump in without a single care for her own body. She's willing to let herself get ripped apart to keep him safe? "Yeah. Are you though?"
Seth's lips turned up into a soft smile that made her eyes look like they were made of shimmering blue gems, unbreaking and unafraid. "I always am."
Only a moment ago did he remember those beautiful eyes being stained red, but now they were alright. She was alright. After all, Seth was timeless, and it was a natural setting for them to be alright. He didn't like it though. Hated it actually. He would look at Seth and see a bright-eyed young woman with the self-confidence of a thousand men, then he would remember her torn-up body laying limp against his arms. It was like a stain in his mind that would never be washed away no matter how much time has passed. As far as he's concerned, Seth didn't deserve that.
Steve opened his mouth and was about to tell her to not do that again, but something else entirely came over him, the bitter realization that this woman was not who he kept imagining her to be. She was older than the rivers, the mountains, the very grounds he would stand on. She was like a giant. An immortal woman.
"Steve?" Seth cocked a brow and saw the strain and dismay building up in his eyes the longer he looked at her. She got the impression that he wanted to say something but struggled to keep it down. "Hey, are you sure you're alright?"
"Just...thank you, for all you've done so far." He tried to offer her a smile to get one in return.
It took a while with the strong amount of suspicion she was giving him, but it looked like Seth decided to drop it and give him what he wanted. A bright and warm smile. "You're welcome."
Steve turned around and reached up for his communicator. "Stark? Stark, you still with us?" he called back since it been a while since they heard from him.
They both directed their attention back to the open air when they heard the sound of stuttered thrusters coming around the corner. Tony's suit had plenty of nicks and dents in it now from almost being ripped apart by the propellers, but it looked like he made it out just in time when Steve pulled the lever.
"Yeah," Tony said and made a rough landing right in front of Seth. She reached over to him and pulled him away from the edge just as his helmet slid up. He panted for a bit before eyeing her. "Have you heard anything from your sisters?" he asked, a bit stressed now since he still didn't know. He couldn't even hear the Hulk's screams anymore either.
Seth's face twisted when she suddenly jumped, the sound of a frightful and horrifying scream carrying through the wind. It was so powerful and soul-draining that it made Steve and Tony plug their ears to block out the noise.
The look on Seth's face was that of utter panic, only because it was somewhat nostalgic. "Sister?" She felt her blood run cold and she immediately directed her eyes upwards.
Cain could feel the wind whistling through her fingers as they stretched out into the thin air, grasping ahold of nothing and feeling coldness upon her skin. No longer could she see Abel, the pure light vanishing and falling from the heavens, the place she should have been all along and not upon the muddy grounds and filthy streets of the world. Not like this. Not ever. The color drained from Cain's eyes and the world, before she knew it, had turned gray.
Air burned her lungs and rattled from the volume her voice was at, shrieking out into the air and making the world tremble. It sounded horrendous, desperate, painful, and regretful. There was only one such occasion that had made Cain scream in such a painstaking way. Once...when mortality was still present within them.
She put both her hands back on the Helicarrier and started to pull herself back up to the top, each push being like a strain and pull against her body, working against her, wanting to take the fall instead of Abel. She fought against it and managed to grasp a hold of the tarmac and pushed back up, falling against it and breathing rough and heavily. Cain's fingers curled and crushed the floor under them until they suddenly began to shake. She snapped her head up towards the door, eyes glazed over with a sort of wickedness just barely scratching at the surface. She pulled herself to her feet and began to march back to the door, demolishing the surface of the tarmac with every stride she took.
The bright twinkling stars danced in the sky as twilight flooded the lands and left the world shrouded with shadows. The evening light shrunk away behind the mountains and left Cain to only wake up in darkness. She groaned and pushed herself up to a sitting position on the ground and rubbed her eyes with the back of her hand. They stung as she felt something wet touch her face, but nodded it off to be mud.
She didn't remember anything. Only bits and pieces. She vaguely remembers dragging her feet back to her home and calling to Abel about something. What it was about, she doesn't remember. The walk through the woods though was different. Everything was dark and blurry and any words Abel spoke were muddled together.
"What...?" she mumbled in a raspy voice and stared down at what she was sitting on, knowing it wasn't the hard and cold floor. Horror stained her eyes and her breathing was cut off in her throat to a short gasp.
Abel laid beneath her with a face swelled up and covered in red blood. She was so bruised and beaten up that it took Cain a moment to process who it was. She was only able to recognize that it was Abel by the clothes she was wearing. A white wool coat with a light blue cotton dress, what was left of it at least. It was torn and her skin underneath it was scratched up to look like an animal has done it. It looked like an animal had mauled her sister.
"Abel?" Cain's voice cracked and her mind went blank. Abel wasn't even responding much less moving. She was completely motionless. "Abel..."
Cain reached her hand out but stop dead in her tracks when she spotted blood on her hands, but not just a speck. Her hands and clothes were covered in it, absolutely drenched. It soaked right through to her skin and made this eerie chill run down her spine as her stomach turned.
Cain grabbed Abel by her shoulders and began to shake her. "Abel!" she screamed out desperately. "Abel! Hey!" Her mind twists and turned before shattering, much like her heart. Broken. What has she done? It's like someone ripped into her chest and took out her heart, smashing it right before her eyes.
She wanted to throw up but only dry heaved. It felt like every ounce of life was sucked away from her body and left nothing but a shell of the woman she was once proud of. The one who made a vow to protect her sisters, but ended up being the one the break it with her own hands. Cain stumbled to her feet and collapsed her hand over her mouth, dread seizing her skin like ice and leaving her frozen and stiff. She only stared silently down at her sister as her soul detached from her body. It didn't even feel real.
She turned her body so fast her feet almost slipped on the muddy ground, fleeing into the darkest part of the forest where no light would shine upon her anymore. She ran through the dark woodlands with bare feet through the rough briar patch that stuck to the soles of her heels. It felt hot and cold at the same time but her mind was too chaotic to even notice her bloody feet. Her lungs throbbed and her legs ached like she's been running for hours till she snagged on a root and tripped. She crashed into the ground on top of some wet grass and just laid there for a moment, breathing heavily with her mind spiraling in a world-pool of grief.
"Oh, God...Oh...what have I done..." She scraped her fingers against the ground and pulled herself up. She trembled like a lost child drenched in water, looking around the dark woods to make sure no one saw her in this pitiful state. "No, no, no, no..."
Cain dropped her head into the ground and began to desperately rub her hands against the wet grass to try and get her sister's blood off. She rubbed and scrubbed till her hands were stained with mud and green grass. She lifted her head to the sound of running water and looked around, eyes piercing through the dark till she found a creek not so far away. Cain got up off the wet ground and dragged her feet over to the creek. She sat down in front of it and ran her bloody hands under the frigid water, scrubbing her hands till nothing remained. Not a speck of blood on her skin, nor pieces of flesh under her nail. She even drenched her own clothes in the cold water so she wouldn't have to feel the fresh warm blood.
It wasn't long till she slowly began to calm down and her breathing returned to normal, that until she saw her reflection in the water that was smoothing out. To her hair that was once made of gold, now tangled up in a dirty and grimy mess, lips chapped and split open, and her eyes were red and deranged, deeply sunken in that gave her once lovely face a skeletal and haggard appearance. Cain took a good minute of silence to even recognize this creature staring back at her. She slapped her hand into the water to disrupt the reflection.
No words...could even come to describe what she was thinking. If she was thinking anything at all aside from this one prominent feeling that made her skin shiver, but not from the cold water.
Cain just wanted to hunker down and throw up everything in her stomach. Her throat was burning like lava and her stomach was twisting so much but nothing happened, which was worse. It sunk in and stayed there, distorting and turning around inside her until she understood...what she had just done.
"God..." she said with a cracked voice of a thousand regrets. A thousand? No...a million, maybe billions, or trillions.
Her entire body had just locked down there and then with all but one thought still running through her head. Cain got up off the ground and began to wander aimlessly through the woods with one picture in her mind, one destination. A place she had longed to see. It was a place where childhood dreams came true and where everything was much more pure and innocent. It was a land of golden wheat that bathed in the morning sunlight.
Thor felt the whole aircraft shift from one side to the other while making haste to the holding room that SHIELD kept Loki situated inside. There was no doubt in his mind that he was the cause for all this, already being at least ten steps ahead of everyone inside the Helicarrier, even going as far as to outsmart the immortals. Thinking about it though, Loki had to have known that Cain and her sisters would've been a bigger obstacle to get around and purposely made this much chaos just so he could scatter them long enough.
He cut the corners fast and went straight into the holding room that Loki was supposed to be in, but to his dismay, he saw his brother standing in front of his cell door as it slowly began to open up for him. "No!" Thor shouted and ran for the door. He tried to tackle Loki but his body flew right through him like a hologram. He got up quickly and turned around, seeing that the door had closed behind him and locked him inside the cage now. It was a trick, of course.
Loki stood on the outside of the cell and stared at Thor, somewhat disappointed by how easy it was. "Are you ever not going to fall for that?"
Thor clenched his jaw tightly and placed his hand against the glass that he knew was tough to break, but he didn't have one thought in his mind that he couldn't. He brought his arm back and swung his hammer down over the glass and created a spiderweb design of cracks, only for the whole box to shutter and groan like it was seconds away from falling. Thor's eyes widened immediately and he stopped right there, not daring to make another move and stepping back a bit. He began to feel his blood boil with rage.
Loki looked around the box and laughed with a large smile upon his face, utterly amused now. "The humans think us immortal. Should we test that?" He walked over to the control box and lifted the latch on the drop button, dangerously hovering his fingers over it. His ears perked up though to the sound of heavy footsteps, loud and slow but gradually making their way over to him.
Cain slowly strolled into the room and brought a winter storm with her, so icy cold and terrifying that her appearance resembled one of a creature from another world. Her pupils were dilated so much that her eyes were black and sunken in badly. The golden hue of her skin tone was gone, nonexistent, and in its place was an ugly ashy color that made the veins in her arms very visible. Cain looked like death walking, a creature of unholy imagery that came straight from two emotions. She was nothing but a vessel for pure and untouched grief...and rage.
Loki felt himself begin to shift from reality as everything before his eyes looked like it was sinking away. He could try to convince himself that he wasn't afraid but then he would only be lying to himself, because without a shadow of a doubt...there was no person or creature on this planet who would not feel fear while standing in front of this woman.
Even Thor felt his heart shudder a bit, doubting his eyes that it was Cain standing before him right now. This was rage though, mixing together with an overwhelming amount of grief that combined itself into what she was right now, a husk of her former self, dying and being eaten up inside. His lips quivered and he even hesitated to call out to her but did so in the end. "Cain...? Cain, are you alright?"
Cain cranked her head over to the sound of his voice, so low but filled with so much concern that it was shaking. It was only a fraction, but light returned to her eyes. "Thor..." she said, not realizing how bad her voice sounded at the moment, croaked and dry from screaming so much. Her eyes stared back to Loki who was still holding his hand above the drop button. "If you click that button then you'll know what will happen to you, right?" Her low tone sent a shiver down his spine.
Loki tried to match her strong yet intimidating gaze. "Then you'll lose the man you love so dearly," he said with a mischievous smile, knowing he has her beat. "You take one more step, that is."
Her jaw clenched. She looked to Thor in the box and back to Loki. It would be different if he wasn't that close to the button, she could easily take him out. It wasn't like that though so there was no point in fantasizing about it. Cain knew that she couldn't do anything to stop him at this point without running the risk of losing Thor. Loki had her right where he wanted her, dancing in the palm of his hand like a puppet on strings...and it enraged her even more.
Loki's wicked grin stretched far across his face. "Where are your sisters? Don't tell me you lost them to the beast." This monster was someone who could probably end his life if she sees fit, but seeing her now, stuck in place was almost euphoric. "Look at you though. You're not used to this, are you? Not being on top. Not possessing the title of champion that you've held for all these years."
Cain scoffed. "You think I care for a title like 'champion'? Don't try to play with me. I already know I'm no hero, or leader, or messiah."
"Oh...then you're a pariah?"
She shook her head and tipped her chin up, the golden glimmer of pride taking over her eyes. "No. All I ever wanted to be was an older sister. That's a title I will take for years to come...to the end of the world. Gladly." Shimmers of gold and chaos flickered across her eyes and darkened to the tone of her rough voice, much different then it was before. It sounded like a promise. "Even if you press that button. Even if you kill everyone aboard this craft. Even if you succeed in your plan. Just know this, Loki. Because the only thing that will be left in this world...will be immortals. The only thing that will be left...is me. And there will be nothing in this whole galaxy that can save you."
A gush of coldness made his heart freeze for a second as his fingers hovered over the button. Loki never broke eye contact with Cain and spoke calmly. "Let's see then."
He pressed the button and the box that had Thor inside slipped through the hole in the floor and fell out into the open air. Cain didn't think twice or say another word, running past Loki and completely ignoring him. She pulled her body low to the edge of the hole and pushed off, speeding out like an arrow in dead pursuit of the box.
The immediate sensation of falling was familiar within her bones that felt jagged and pressured from the air, her throat forcefully sucking down oxygen and making her lungs cringe and hurt. The sky twisted before her eyes and her body finally broke through the cloudline, seeing glimmering green farmlands as far as her eyes could see, close by an ocean too. She could see the tumbling box though as it approached the ground at an alarming rate. Cain outstretched her arms as she approached the box and grabbed a hold of the edge between the glass. She lifted her hand up in the air and pulled her hand down into a fist, waiting for the exact moment for Thor to fly over in her direction. She then slammed her fist right into the glass and shattered it completely with little resistance and managed to grab ahold of his arm, ripping him from his glass prison just as the ground approached them.
"HOLD ON!" Cain's shattering voice belted out from her lungs.
She pulled him tight and braced herself for the impact. It was only a fraction of a second that her back made contact with the ground, but also caused her natural ability to kick in and break their fall, releasing a shockwave out from the point of impact and made the ground blow them shiver and crack for miles. Cain was finally able to release Thor as their bodies were flung across the rough terrain, uplifting roots and kicking up mounds of dirt before eventually, at long last, coming to a final halt. They were covered in bruised, miles away from each other, but still alive.
Cain rolled around to her back and felt her broken bones inside her body poke and prod at her organs before mending back together shortly after. She clenched tightly down on her teeth and sat up, staring up at the sky and seeing the Helicarrier flying further away and completely out of her reach now. She clicked her tongue when it dawned on her that Seth was still up there. "Damnit."
Oh! I'm so happy I managed to get this chapter out early. It really wasn't that hard to write since I already had a rough draft for it. And that flashback scene was actually a last-minute add on. So hopefully you liked it.
It was an interesting play for BOTH Cain and Abel to leave the Helicarrier, not to mention Coulson didn't die in this, so there no motivation for the Avengers to continue, right? Wrong. Don't forget. We still have Seth aboard.
I'm sorry. I got too into the gore, but what do you expect from me at this point. If you know me then you know I get into it with John Wick and Hellsing.
Anyway. It's been a long time but don't worry, I haven't given up on this story. But just take in the fact that I have over 9 other stories that I need to work on as well. I take one story for one week and work on a chapter. That's my schedule now. And you can see my schedule on my profile too if you wanna know when I'll post the next chapter.
That's all I have to say for now. Stay inside, wash your hands, and take care of yourselves out there.