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16% A New Beginning in a Mana Apocalypse / Chapter 15: Chapter 15 - The Beasts

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Chapter 15: Chapter 15 - The Beasts

"Shit!" Megan cursed as she twisted the wheel to avoid going toward the elephant but we were boxed in by the other cars.

The elephant didn't seem to care about us as it walked down the road. It was enormous. I had been to the zoo before and even seen the elephants there. They were Asian Elephants and didn't get past ten feet in height. The one walking down the road was at least twenty feet tall and almost as wide and twice as long. Worse it had enormous tusks. None of the elephants in the zoo were male. Where the hell had this one come from?

As it didn't seem to care about us the super elephant strolled down the road pushing cars out of its way or simply crushing them itself. People dashed out of their cars and ran as fast as they could.

I just stared in amazement until I heard a heart breaking scream. I followed the sound only to see a large woman fighting anxiously with a car seat in the back of her old beat up Toyota Camry.

I didn't think. I pushed Emily back to Calidia then was out the door before anyone could react. The practice of fusing the wind into my body came in handy as I dashed across the road toward the car.

The elephant saw me coming and stopped to stare at me cautiously as I reached the car where the woman was fighting with the car seat. "Let me try." I told the woman.

The woman looked back at me and surprised me. I knew her. We had a few college classes together. Heather Mesner was her name. She was fairly overweight with long black hair and bright green eyes.

She stepped aside in a hurry, I reached in then used a wind blade to cut the seat belt before pulling it out the car seat. A tiny baby looked up at me sleepily with its big blue eyes. I put the car seat into Heather's hands before looking back at the elephant. It was still watching me cautiously but seemed rather irritated. When it noticed me looking at it it trumpeted angrily.

The sound was incredibly loud and abrasive but I was able to endure.

As soon as it passed the painful scream of a baby replaced it. A glance down and I could see some blood flowing out of the baby's ears.

"Hurry up!" Megan shouted from the truck, but seeing the blood by the baby's ears had made something in me snap. I glared at the elephant angrily. As if it sensed my anger the elephant stepped back away from me. It almost seemed to be scared, it didn't matter to me though. I conjured the electricity into my arm. The forming went much easier than before and as if it was natural shadow mixed into it turning the electricity pitch black. I don't know why it happened, I had only thought about it before but I wasn't going to think about it now.

A soda can hit the nearby car window shattering it.

I was startled and the anger left me. "Move!" Megan yelled again.

I grabbed Heather's arm then started to pull her towards the truck.

The elephant watched me go but made no move to interfere. If anything I thought it looked relieved when I looked back at it.

The truck did not have enough room for all of us in the cab so I gave the front seat to Heather and hopped into the back. Rebecca had moved inside to sit beside Calidia with Emily in her lap.

When we were all in the truck Megan got it moving again heading southeast on Washington Street heading toward Mills Avenue. The elephant didn't stop watching me until it lost sight of me.

I peered into the cab to see Calidia's hands glowing over the baby's head. The window in the back was opened so I could stick my head in. "He'll be fine." Calidia told me. "The mana beast just injured his eardrums, I am fixing it now."

I was relieved it wasn't anything more serious.

"We need to work on your temper." Megan told me from the driver's seat.

"Sorry hun." I told her with a smile.

She glared at me in the rear view mirror for a moment then smiled.

"Do beast like that frequent the area?" Calidia asked.

"No, first time seeing an elephant that big." I replied.

"She was huge." Rebecca agreed.

"She?" I asked. "Did you not see the tusks?" I asked.

"Definitely a she." Megan agreed. "While she had tusks she was missing…" Megan started then glanced back at Emily who was hanging onto her every word. "Something else." she finished.

I got the picture. Though I had no idea why the ladies were able to notice that of all things.

"Must be a mutation." Calidia told us. "Do you keep animals around here?" she asked.

"The zoo!" Emily told her excitedly. "It's that way." Emily said then pointed out the window.

Calidia seemed to pale. "We need to leave this area!" she told us anxiously.

A loud roar reverberated the air around us.

I pulled me head out of the cab to see a large antelope running down a side street chased by an enormous lion. As the antelope reached the street it leapt over the whole street, cars and everything. The lion was not so agile. It barreled into the side of a car sending it flying with its occupants still inside. Was giant size the only mutation these beasts could get?

Megan floored it. I hung on as the truck sped up but that seemed to be the wrong choice. It attracted the attention of the lion. It decided to chase us instead of the giant antelope.

The lion raced after us, looking at it, I guessed it to be eleven feet tall at the shoulder with a thick golden hide. Its eyes were golden, serious, and full of blood lust. I didn't even think of holding back as I generated a bolt of lighting, again it came to me easily with shadow mixed in like it belonged. The black lightning flickered around my hand for a moment before I shot the bolt straight at the lion. It hit it dead on and floored the beast.

The truck swerved under me while I wasn't ready flinging me out of the back of the truck. I reacted quickly wrapping wind around me to reduce the impact as I landed. I barely felt anything as I hit the pavement then stood back up.

I looked back at the lion to see it staggering back to its feet. It looked over at me angrily. I could see some darkened fur on its shoulder. I had been aiming for its head and a one hit kill. It must have dodged.

I looked around to spot the truck. It was another hundred feet down the road pulled up onto the sidewalk in an attempt to avoid a car that was parked in the middle of the street. In fact it was a wall of cars that were stopped and Megan couldn't spot because of a turn in the road.

I looked back at the lion to see it creeping up on me. I sent another bolt of black lightning at it. The lion saw it coming and leapt to the side, it was fast but not fast enough, the bolt caught it on its haunches causing it to roar out in pain and limp heavily as it moved away from me.

It eyed me for a moment then the truck which was currently backing up to turn around.

I moved between the lion and the truck while I formed another bolt of black lightning. I pushed more energy into the lightning and could hear it crackling around my arm.

The lion saw the lightning then yowled in distress. It glanced at the truck, then at me, then away as if it was wondering if it could escape. I didn't want it to escape. Who knew how much damage and how many lives would be lost if I didn't kill it now when I had a chance. I wasn't a hero but since it had presented itself in front of me... I hadn't heard a single siren since the appearance of the elephant. They had to have their hands full elsewhere and wouldn't be able to respond soon.

I hardened my gaze as I resolved to kill the lion.

It had to sense the change in my attitude as it glanced back at me. It yowled at me unhappily but I raised my arm to aim the lightning at it.

To my surprise it dropped onto the ground and bared its belly to me, a lot like a dog that was submitting.

I narrowed my eyes in thought then walked closer. I didn't really want to kill it, it was a beautiful creature and I had always admired the big predators. If I could resolve this without killing it I would like too, yet I had no idea how I could to that.

As I moved closer I watched its eyes for any hint at trickery, both the lion and the elephant earlier seemed a lot smarter than I thought they should be.

As I got closer the lion stretched out its neck in surrender its eyes never leaving me as if begging to be spared.

I looked over the mighty beast and only then realized it was a she. I could never admit to that though or Megan would never let me hear the end of it, especially since it didn't have a mane.

The closer I got the warmer I felt, I found it odd then realized that something within me was reacting to the lion. I glanced into my inner space quickly and noticed the beast ability had changed. Instead of a wolf there was a lion, a big mighty lion with a thick red mane of hair, and it was glowing brightly.

Concentrating on it seemed to activate it. Mana flooded out of the ability mixed with mana from my mana core then rushed out of my body. Opening my eyes I saw the mana flow from me to the lioness. It struck her in the head but she didn't flinch. The mana tried to forge a bond between us, but another bond already existed in the lioness.

Without even thinking about it I used the black lightning and cut the bond away. The bond snapped away. In the distance there was a loud angry roar. The bond formed between me and the lioness, and through the bond I knew the roar was a challenge. The air around me turned thick and heavy as if it waited for my reply. My blood rushed and a moment later I released a loud thunderous roar of my own. My reply cleared the air around me as my consciousness seemed to expand a bit searching for the opponent who had dared to challenge me.

To the north, I felt the presence of another male, a great powerful male lion standing on a high hill looking down. Despite the distance and buildings between us we gazed at each other with our consciousness. After a moment the male lowered its head then fled off the hill.

My mind rushed back into my body, I staggered at the odd sensation. I had no idea what happened. I was surprised when I looked into her golden eyes I spotted a flash of black lightning. Like Megan I could now feel the lioness, but the bond was different. I was the ruler of this lioness, she was my servant and would follow my orders.

It was cool, until I realized that I had no idea how to bring a eleven feet tall lioness around with me, even a normal sized lioness would be hard to travel with.

As if sensing my dilemma the lioness shrank in size until she was the size of a common house cat then leapt up onto my shoulder. 'Is this better master?' a feminine voice asked in my head.

I groaned. It had to be able to talk didn't it.

"Yes." I replied then headed for the truck which had finally turned around.

The girls in the car eyed the lion on my shoulder warily.

"Do you have the beast ability?" Calidia asked when I jumped into the back of the truck.

"Yeah." I replied.

Calidia seemed to relax, "Then we are fine." she said happily.

"Kitty!" Emily said staring at the cat on my shoulder. "What's her name?"

I glanced at the lioness on my shoulder. 'I am called third wife.' she replied to me in my mind.

Nope can't use that! "Nala." I told the others. "We will call her Nala from now on."

'As you wish master.' Nala responded in my head.

"Seriously?" Megan asked giving me a look in the rear view mirror.

"Is there a problem?" I asked.

"No, as long as you don't start wanting to be called Simba." Megan retorted then started to drive again.

Ashra Ashra

I want to thank everyone for reading my story, I finally reached over 10K views and it seems to have rushed up since then. I am enjoying writing this story and hope you are enjoying it as well.

Any comments, suggestions, reviews, and of course power stones, are welcome.

A reminder I am a new writer and this story should continue to improve as my skills as a writer improve.

Once again thank you for reading!

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