The woman turned and disappeared into the crowd as if by magic. Rhys gave up on his mission to follow Samantha. He shot an abridged coded message to Yun, who would receive it through his device and into his earpiece. Rhys gave them no more thought as he pursued the mysterious woman through the crowds but could not regain sight of her.
He sighed with frustration and continued down the footpath as cars moved in an automated stream by him and the other pedestrians. There was an alley, an ideal place to hide, Edinburgh was riddled with them, but he couldn’t be sure. He stepped to the side while he planned his next move. She knew he was there. Using his sense wouldn’t make him any more of a target. He searched his mind, closed his eyes and simply felt. In his mind’s eye, he could detect various creatures nearby. This was, until yesterday, his only power. It was like the creatures emitted some kind of wavelength. When he tapped into his power, he became the same as them. Therefore, they could detect him also, and so he had to be careful. If he used as little energy as possible, he could usually sense them and disconnect before they knew he was there. This time, he dug a little deeper and scanned wider. In his mind, he could see little yellow or orange dots. The brighter ones were closer, or sometimes stronger than the dimmer lights. He was accustomed to understanding the differences now. It was rare that anyone got the jump on him.
With a jolt, he lost his grip on the sense. Rhys opened his eyes. The woman stood in front of him, her hand shot out and grabbed his throat. They were mere metres away from the main road. Why would she risk attacking in daylight? Secrecy was the Nameless weapon of choice.
It mattered little as Rhys clasped his hands around hers. He choked, could draw no breath. He fumbled urgently for his pistol, but her spare hand pinned him to the wall as she leaned in against him. Her body stank of death. Her silver eyes were molten and seemed to move like a vortex as she glared at him.
‘What am I?’ She smirked with a strong voice and an accent he couldn’t place. ‘Sweetheart, I am your worst and final nightmare.’ She clenched her hand further, Rhys saw black spots. He had to act, now.
Drawing on his power once more his assailant had a moment to smirk at his desperate attempts to fight back before he let his left hand go from trying to hold back her death grip. His shoulder complained, but a whip with his hand and a crack of loud, bright energy shot out. The woman cried out and backed away. She was seemingly blinded and let go of Rhys, who slid to the ground, gasping for air. She pulled her hands away from her face, and Rhys saw that the small whip of energy had sliced her face leaving a harsh bleeding mark down her cheek, a piece of flesh dangling. Crawling and gasping on his side, he attempted to get back to the main street. He stayed low and hoped his breath and vision would return. The woman growled and unleashed a punch at random that smashed into the brick wall leaving a mangled imprint.
Rhys rolled over as she turned on him. He needed to get back to the street. There weren’t many people around, but enough that she wouldn’t risk exposure. He crawled backwards and made it to safety. He smiled with some relief before freezing. Her eyesight had returned. She stalked towards him, entering the street, her face in disrepair, fists clenched. Several people stopped. One got out their phone and began to call emergency services. Another tried to record the altercation. The woman raised her hand, and with a click of her fingers, a flash leapt out and shattered their devices. The people fell back, horrified. The woman stood over Rhys, who had taken those critical seconds to recover his shock. They’ve never been this brazen before.
She raised her hand; he could sense the energy in her fist. Invisible to others, but he knew that there existed enough force in her one clenched fist to crush any part of his body she wished. She drew back and prepared to strike.