P is for Provocateur – #AtoZChallenge

P is for Provocateur – #AtoZChallenge

Vicky stood along the wall next to Fog Machines and Musty Maps. In front of her the entire hall was filled with people. The noise prevented her actually hearing anything that might have been being said. There were a lot of people. She was pretty sure Kyle was at the other end of the mob, but it was hard to tell. Either way he’d be fine, she told herself.

The crowd swayed to and fro to some unheard rhythm. Up to now, they appeared to be ignoring her, which was fine for the moment. She was quite sure she didn’t want this entire crowd of people turning on her all at once.

At random, Vicky pulled one person out of the crowd back to the far wall where she was camping out. He didn’t fight back but then he didn’t really do much of anything except walk a few steps in the direction she pushed or pulled him towards. All the while he kept up a stream of incoherent babble that joined the rest of the droning noise that filled this sector. As she did a few more quick tests on him, more people walked out of surrounding shops and joined the still growing mob.

She got the man to sit down and then got to work on him. First she tried several of the normal procedures for dealing with mind control. None of them tested positive.

“Well,” she told herself after several minutes of tests, “that rules out food, drink and air.” She turned too look at the crowd. The tone of their babbling changed. It went from babbling to everyone talking loudly. She frowned. “That means, my instigator is here, somewhere close by.” She focused on the man and put her hands over his eyes and held still for several long minutes. When she stopped, she wiped her forehead and panted from the exertion.

The crowd had turned into a roar, and now held various implements of whatever they had on hand up into the air. Vicky frowned, it was turning into a riot.

The man snapped awake and blinked several times. “Uhhm, hello?”

“Hi, what is the last thing you remember?”

His eye’s wandered over to the crowd of people.

“Focus, sir. It’s important. The last thing.” Vicky said.

“I was walking towards the food court,” he started, “when someone in a bright green cloak walked by.” He shook his head, “no, ran into me pretty hard. There was a cloud of green dust and then, uhh… I was looking at you?”

“Good enough. Follow the floor lights to the nearest shelter and stay there until this is over.” Vicky pointed to floor lights that were turning on and heading away from the mob. “To the shelter.” Vicky repeated again, clipping each word short.  The lights changed direction and kept on going. “Go.”

Vicky turned to face the crowd, now she had to find an instigator in a bright green cloak. She checked the two pistols in their holsters at her sides. Both where charged. She swapped the red glowing crystal for two white glowing ones and the waded into the crowd.

The crowd finally broke. As one, they screamed and bolted in every direction swinging madly at anything that was in their way. Which was mostly each other at first, then the store fronts. Glass shattered and safety railings buckled under the weight, pitching swathes of people to the floors below.

Nothing was directly aimed at Vicky which allowed her to duck and weave through the riot without taking many direct hits. She thought of all the bruises and scraps she would have when this incident was over and scowled.

Jumping up along the safety railing and then to the top of one of the pillars she got an overview of the riot. It was moving away down all available hallways and floors in a haphazard fashion. All but one direction. Down the left corridor, it was moving with a purpose and it moved with a lot of bodies.

Vicky smiled, “Found you.” Then frowned again at looking what she would have to wade through to get to that point.

“Fine, we’ll do it her way.” She turned to find a vent shaft along the wall next to her. She gave it a kick and winced from the pain shooting up her foot. Then crawled inside the duct work.

“Alight, somehow this always works for Avera, so. I’m going to crawl this way and I expect to come out over there somehow!” She announced before crawling off in what was hopefully the right direction.

Several minutes later she kicked off another vent and looked outside. She was in front of the largest mob and it was heading her way down the hall. “Okay, now I’m really confused. But I’ll take it.” Vicky dropped out of the vent and hit the floor.

As she stood up, Vicky drew both her pistols and fired above the crowd. The sound blasted from the ranged projectiles, bowling over the entire crowd. Every pane of glass up and down the hallway that hadn’t been smashed yet, shattered under the crushing shock wave.

Alone, in what was the center of the riot, stood a man in a bright green cape. He was smiling. Vicky shivered hard.

“Now what, little mouse?” The man in green raised his arms and the crowd stood up as one. “My turn?” He pushed his arms forward and the riot surged towards her.

Vicky reloaded with a hazy light blue crystal and fired them both towards the floor. A thick sheet of ice exploded out from the point of impact towards the on rushing mob. The first row of people went down, causing the rest to pile up behind them as they slide to a stop.

She reloaded again with sand yellow crystals. Inwardly she was crying at how expensive this little event was causing her in crystals. She decided she would apply for reimbursement. Vicky fired both single shot pistols again. Two plumes of yellow dust blanketed everything and everyone in the hall. All except the man in green. Where the dust came in contact with him, it flared into a Chartreuse flame and vanished.

“Figures,” Vicky grunted.

The floor tilted, sliding the entire fallen riot down a floor before it leveled off again leaving just Vicky and the man in Green. He wore a look of shock on his face. It was Vicky’s turn to smile.

“For causing a riot inside the Market…”

“And you’re going to stop me?” He cut her off. “I am Sam, Summoner of Chaos!”

“Yes, I am. I have to deal with Avera every day. Do your worst.” She saw the flash of bright green Thread and dove as it sliced through the wall where she had been standing. Her mind raced. He had already been controlling the crowd for a while, and just pulled out a major weave. Since she could react, it probably put him around a -11 or -12. Which meant, he probably only had a few more times he could pull something grand off before exhausting himself. Maybe one or two more.

Vicky hoped she was right. She took a moment to reload and he hadn’t attacked again yet. In one fluid roll, Vicky sprang up and fired one pistol and waited. The shell exploded several feet in front of him, sending a fractured wave of a green around his shield. She fired again, with the same result. She caught him swaying just slightly under the second assault. Then she ran for cover.

The ground heaved as he sent rollers through the floor. The flooring crumbled under the attack. Without the floor as the ground, the balcony floor above them collapsed. Then the walls caved in.
Vicky screamed as she hid in a reinforced section of the wall. When the dust and noise settled, the entire hallway was in ruin. The man in green stood on top of the rubble, happy with the destruction.

“Right then.” Vicky reloaded a red crystal and fired from her corner.

She watched as his face went from glee to horror as he caught the streak of color headed straight towards him. Instinctively he threw his arms up. Just before the shell hit him, it vanished. From somewhere far away there was a muffled wump as it detonated. He then collapsed.

Vicky climbed over the rubble to him and pressed the barrel against his forehead.

“Are you done now?” she said coolly.

His eyes focused on the glowing red crystal chambered inches from his face, to Vicky. He nodded.

“Good. Lets get you patched up,” she turned and shouted into the empty hallway, “for when security finally gets here.”

4 thoughts on “P is for Provocateur – #AtoZChallenge

    1. I’ve been practicing sketching lately as well, and even with a basic grasp of that, it helps me visualize what I’m attempting to write down on paper. And then I get the bonus of making horrible sketches for what I write. 🙂

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