“Don’t you think you’ve been sitting around here long enough, Chelsea? Don’t you have magic beasts to blow up, dungeons to challenge or something?”
Sitting at a table in the corner, with a clear view of the entire room is Chelsea, a dark-skinned woman with a glass in her hand that she sips from as she taps at her cellphone. “Hm…nah.” Chelsea brushes some of her hair from her face before she takes another sip from her glass. She sighs. “Alana, I’m good.”
The woman standing before Chelsea, Alana, rolls her eyes. “You’ve done nothing but come in here for how long?”
“It’s not like I’m drinking,” Chelsea says as shakes her glass. But this lemonade is really good… Chelsea thinks as averts her gaze while Alana glares at her.
“Well, if you don’t go to the guild and take on a request, I’m banning you from here.”
Chelsea freezes. After a moment she lets out a shaky chuckle. “Heh-heh…don’t joke like that.”
“Not joking. I don’t know what happened or what you’ve been looking into lately, but you’re not going to work through it or find anything just sitting here all day.”
Chelsea narrows her eyes and stares at Alana, who crosses her arms and stares back. Chelsea sighs. “Fine.” Taking a last sip and then setting her glass down, Chelsea pushes it toward Alana and then stands from her seat.
“Talk to you later!” Alana calls as Chelsea walks toward the door.
“I was just trying to relax…oh well. Maybe there are some interesting jobs at the guild.” Chelsea takes out her phone and navigates to website, scrolling through the listings on the online jobs board. “Hm, may as well just stop by the guildhall.”
Stepping outside, Chelsea stretches her arms for a second and then pulls her coat a bit tighter around her, dropping her hands into her pockets. She sets off, walking at a steady pace as she moves down the sidewalk and passes playing children. Glancing up, she sees a person speeding through the air above her.
Sighing, Chelsea continues on down the sidewalk, not paying attention to the cars driving past her on the street. After a few minutes, Chelsea walks up to a large building, where people are streaming in and out of the front door. The sign on the building say “Adventurers Guild."
“Thanks,” Chelsea says to a man who holds the door open for her before he walks in himself. She enters the room where there’s a reception area. At the other end of the room is a long counter with multiple receptionists who are helping people. To the left are multiple computer terminals, which all have the same online jobs board pulled up. To the right is a bulletin board divided into two sections – “Requests” and “Information.” The board has multiple flyers pinned to it.
Chelsea walks over to the bulletin board and looks at the information flyers. After looking over the information posted to the board, she moves over to the requests board and examines the requests listed. Guard request, investigation, subjugation, dungeon clearing, transport…magic beast taming? A-anyway…hm, nothing here seems that interesting. Maybe I’ll try tomorrow.
Chelsea turns to walk toward the door –
Hm? Chelsea turns to see a woman rushing toward her. “Oh, Kendra, I was just leaving…”
“Then I’m glad I caught you! We have an A-rank subjugation request and we haven’t had any A or even B-ranks come by or accept the request online. But you can take of care it!” Kendra grabs Chelsea’s arm and starts to pull her toward the counter.
“Eh?” Does she have super strength or something?! Chelsea thinks as she’s pulled a few feet. “W-wait a minute, Kendra.” Chelsea pulls her arm and stops Kendra from dragging her farther. “Now, I may consider the job based on what it is, but that doesn’t mean I’ll take it, so slow down and explain it.”
Chelsea’s eyes flick back to the requests board and she groans at the listing her gaze falls on, a request that lists an A-rank difficulty. That one seems troublesome. Maybe it’s another request and not that one –
“R-right. This way, please.” Kendra loosens her grip as she leads Chelsea into a small room that has a large computer monitor and a round table with multiple chairs. Chelsea sits at the table as Kendra moves to the computer and quickly pulls up a job listing.
“This is an A-rank subjugation request. A town near the Anomaly Zone has had a small horde of magical beasts take over an old factory. The local and state police metahuman units haven’t moved in at this point since the beasts haven’t killed anyone; there have only been a few injuries from people who approached the beasts.”
Chelsea looks at the monitor with the job description and its payment. “Pass.”
“W-wait!” Kendra tries to stop Chelsea as she rises from her seat.
“Hm? Did you need something else?”
“The guild is willing to add a bonus-”
“I don’t really care about the reward, though,” Chelsea says. After a moment of looking at Kendra, she sighs. “Fine.” Chelsea drops back into her seat, pouting as she crosses her arms.
Kendra smiles and then types at the computer for a moment, before the screen changes from the listing with its description of the job to a confirmation screen showing that the request was issued. “There you are, the job is yours.”
Chelsea opens the door and steps out of her car. She sweeps her eyes around the area, then taps the goggles she wears. The interface on the inside indicates that they are recording. “All right…” Chelsea stops and takes off her coat, leaving her in a long-sleeved shirt and pants. She puts the coat into her car and then closes the door.
Stepping away from the car, Chelsea looks up at the sky and then breathes deeply while closing her eyes. When she exhales it creates a cloud of steamy breath. Opening her eyes, Chelsea looks around at the nearest buildings. It seems like the people are staying away from the factory, just like the client said. Not many people around at all, actually. Chelsea turns away and faces the large factory building down the road from where’s parked her car. There must be a ton of magical beasts packed in there…
Chelsea shakes her head as she sees multiple heat signatures inside the factory. Sighing, she approaches the building.
As she looks around, Chelsea stops in front of a tall fence surrounding the factory. She double checks the location and –
“All right, going in.” Chelsea aims her palms at the ground and then a propulsive burst of flame launches her upward, where she hovers over the fence and then lands gently on the other side. Walking toward, the factory, Chelsea scans the area as she approaches a door to the building.
Oh, right, the client gave me this. Taking out a keycard, Chelsea swipes it and the door clicks open. She opens the door and steps inside, closing it behind her. She looks down the hall and then tilts her head. None of them are even moving?
Walking down the hall, Chelsea sweeps her eyes across the area until she comes to the factory floor.
“Huh.” From behind a railing, Chelsea looks at the room full of magical beasts. But why aren’t they trying –
At a slight sound behind her, Chelsea whirls around, her right hand shooting up, but then a large shape slams into her and pushes her against the railing, knocking the breath out of her.
Chelsea pushes back at the magical beast, which is a four-legged creature that looks like a mix between a feline and a canine, as stands as tall as Chelsea’s chest – a hound tiger. It must have matched its heat to the area around it for a camouflage, Chelsea thinks as she shoves it with her left hand, sending it sliding on the floor and then raises her right hand.
The magical beast gets to its feet and then launches at Chelsea –
As soon as she snaps her fingers, an arrow of orange flame shoots from Chelsea’s right hand and slams into the hound tiger, searing through its fur and into its flesh and sending it into the wall behind it.
Whining, the magical beast staggers to its feet and turns away from Chelsea, aiming for the door to her right. “Not so fast.” Chelsea thrusts her left hand toward the doorway the hound tiger aims for.
Before the magical beast can cross the doorway, a wall of flame flares into existence and the magical beast tries to stop but slams into the wall with a howl as the Chelsea’s flames burn into it. Chelsea steps toward the beast, extending her palm toward it.
Moments later, flame ignites before her hand and then a blast of flame roars forth from her palm and engulfs the beast, leaving only its blackened, unmoving body. “Now then…uh oh.”
Turning, Chelsea finds the magical beasts filling the room all staring at her. The ones closest roar and launch toward Chelsea.
At the snap of her left hand, a wall of flame appears on the left half of the room and two snaps of her right hand send two fire arrows into incoming beasts, felling one of them and crippling the leg of the other.
Jumping back, Chelsea sends out more fire arrows, snapping the fingers of her right hand multiple times and slaying more the beasts rushing at her. Chelsea slams her fist into one of the magical beasts that leaps in close, sending it soaring to the side and then –
An arrow of flame pierces through that beast’s head and it goes still. Jumping back, Chelsea throws her palm forward and after a flame ignites before her, a blast of fire roars forward, incinerating the nearest beasts. Chelsea pulls her left hand to her chest, and as she does the wall of flame to her left pulls back to her, rolling into a group of magical beasts and burning them to crisps as it pushes them aside.
The wall of fire in front of her, Chelsea flicks her hand and it expands, nearly going to either wall on the side and blocking the path of all the magical beasts. Chelsea sucks in a deep breath and sets her feet apart, moving into a riding horse stance.
As she exhales, Chelsea throws a punch.
On the other side of the wall, a bullet of fire shoots forward and burns through the head of one of the magical beasts approaching.
Chelsea digs in and launches a barrage of punches, and with each strike a bullet of fire launches from the wall of flame in front of her and strikes one of the beasts. She continues to punch, moving with increasing speed bordering on superhuman as she launches fire bullet after fire bullet from the fire in front of her.
As she launches her barrage, Chelsea feels the heat signatures on the other side of the wall decrease under her onslaught. As she’s about to stop, Chelsea turns.
With a roar, the woman behind Chelsea charges and then slams her shoulder into Chelsea.
As she’s flung backward, Chelsea throws her hands forward, and the wall of flame flows around her launches at the new combatant – a tall, wide-shouldered dark-skinned woman whose bare arms bulge with muscle.
Chelsea flips and grabs the railing with her hands, then launches herself upward as the woman who’d charged her steps through the flames Chelsea launched at her, patting her the shoulder of her shirt that catches fire.
Another anomaly is here? As she hovers with propulsive flames aimed downward, Chelsea watches over the few remaining magical beasts and the woman walking toward her, each step of her massive body shaking the building. As Chelsea watches, another woman steps in behind the giant, pushing her glasses up as she looks up at Chelsea. Some sort of experiment? Is that why the magical beasts were so docile before?
“I’m definitely not being paid enough for this.” Chelsea sighs and then looks at the magical beasts which stare up at her and growl.
With a snap, Chelsea begins launching more fire arrows, aiming for the remaining magical beasts. At the sound of a gunshot, she twists in the air and then with a burst of flame she launches forward, landing in front of the two women.
“Tsk,” the smaller woman holsters her gun.
“Look,” Chelsea says. “My job was to subjugate the magical beasts in this factory, and well,” she gestures behind her. “They’re subjugated. There’s no need for us to fight, is there? Just stand down and we can work this out.”
“Nia,” the woman in the back says. “End her.”
Nia roars and charges.
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