Silver Kasumi trudged through the snow, the wind howling behind her. It was cold in Iceberg, but they were hot on the trail of the serial killer. "Sterling! Are you still there?" She called, she couldn't see him in the snowstorm surrounding them.
"Of course I am! I just tend to blend into the snow a bit... How are you holding up?" he called back. True to what he said, Sterling's light grey hair and pale complexion blends into the storm. They pushed through the blizzard, small flakes violently caressing their faces and small puffs of air escaping through their mouths.
"It's chilly, even for me. But we're hot in his trail, we'll get him soon!" She replied. Silver was a tall young woman with black hair and icy eyes. She wore red gauntlets on her forearms and hands that maximized her punching power, and she was itching for a fight.
"I'm glad one of us has a good sense of direction. Can you tell how close we are?" Sterling asked. If he knew the general distance he could use his magic to strengthen the blizzard around that point. That might be enough to slow the killer down so they could catch up and attack.
"He's probably 50-60 feet in front of us. See the spikes by us? They're his magic. He's trying to sl-" A spike made of ice shot up from the ground. Silver leaped backwards. "Ster. Be careful. He's trying to slow us down."
"Let's do them same," Sterling said with a grin. He focused on the distance his sister supplied and increased both the intensity and the thickness of the raging storm. They were going to catch up soon. "Got a plan?"
She banged her fists together, the metal gauntlets clanking. "No, but I've got these."
"Good plan," Sterling jokes, pulling out a silver cylinder and flicking his wrist. It unfolds into a long silver staff he calls Calypso.
As the pair crossed a hill, the saw a shadowy figure trudging though the snow. "Sterling, you see him too?"
Sarcastically, Sterling responded, "No Silver, I think you're going crazy. Yes I see him. Alright let's not be reckless about this. We need to size him up, figure out a weakness, and attack together."
"His weakness is fire, but we're not fire mages. We've got to disable him. I might be able to use Stallion on him. When we're ready, cut the blizzard please."
Sterling nodded and not only removed the intensity he had added before, but in a blast of white dispersed the blizzard for a quarter mile radius. Calypso twirled between his hands and then switched to one hand to rush the figure ahead. "Let's go," he said, affirming his readiness.
"Ice-Make: Sled!" Silver called, standing upon a toboggan made of ice, she pushed off and slid down the hill towards the wizard. He turned and saw her sliding down. "Ice-Make Shield!" He shouted. Silver grinned and jumped off the sled, punching her way through his shield with her metal gauntlets.
Meanwhile, Sterling made his way down the hill. He tried stealthily sneaking up behind the killer while his sister engaged in close combat. His staff smacks the guts side, winding him a bit. When the man whirled to meet him he chanted out, "Ice-Make: Pillars!"
The first pillar that appeared was easy for Sterling to dodge. He rolled out of the way and then leaped back from the second pillar. The third made him stumble forwards but the fourth and unexpected pillar rammed into his stomach, knocking him over and ripping the breath from his lungs.
"Ster!" While Silver was distracted by her brothers injury, the dark wizard had a change to knock her backwards, directly next to Sterling. "I'm going to end both of you, right here right now."
He stood in a familiar stance, a large circle growing underneath his body, and their bodies. "Iced Shell!" The spell started, and Silver stood, running as fast as she could out of the circle. "STERLING RUN!"
But he can't. Ears ringing, the mage sits on his butt in confusion. Silver's gauntlet had caught his temple when they fell. Sterling struggles to get a breath in the same moment he realizes what is sister is saying. He scrambles to his feet after her, trying to shove her out of the circle in one last attempt to keep her safe. One last attempt to keep the sister he loves so dearly out of danger. And then it's impossible to move. Sterling sees his sister's upper half begin to stumble out of the circle just in time.
"Go," he thinks,"You run Silv. Run and run and don't look back because neither myself nor this man will be able to leave."
Every fiber, every nerve, every single cell in his body comes to a halt. The twins hadn't been expecting this. The serial killer was on the run, knowing that if he was caught, he would be sentenced to death anyways. This was to be his last stand. His last effort to take his pursuers down with him. And it hurt. God knows it hurt. Not just the fact that this might be the last time he saw his sister, but in the sense that he realized he wouldn't even die from this. He would remain frozen in time, forever trapped in a coating of ice. It scared him beyond belief! But seeing Silver leaving the circle made it all worth it. Whether he was trapped for eternity or not at least she was safe from harm. He was going to miss his best friend.
As the spell was completed and it took it's final hold on Sterling, the male closed his eyes. A single tear slid down his face as a protest of his will and desire to live. In those moments of fear there was something Sterling hadn't know...
Silver screamed, the pain was unbearable. Her leg was caught in the shell with her brother. It hurt so much. The pain of her leg freezing in time. She had to do something.. She did the only thing she knew she could. "I-Ice-make: Guillotine." she positioned the guillotine above her knee, above the final stretches off the ice, and pulled the rope.
Returning To His Shell
Silver woke up in cold sweat, the stub of her knee was throbbing. She pulled back her sheets to reveal her legs. One was normal, the leg that had escaped the freeze but the other was cut off from the knee down. She had replaced the cavity with ice so she could walk, but she was slow. Painfully slow. Nothing like the mage she used to be.
She stood, dressing herself and stumbled out of the room she was staying in. She limped down the staircase, ordered a coffee then left. "Ice-Make: Dogsled." In front of her a dogsled formed, complete with two dogs made of ice ready to pull it. She hauled a barrel onto the sled, the liquid inside sloshing around. Silver then got on herself, and told the dogs to go. Over the hills she went until she reached the Iced Shell where her brother was stored, frozen in time.
She got off, and climbed to the top of the icy dome, the large barrel with her. Silver popped off the cork and prayed, prayed that she'd spent five years in a whorehouse funding this trip for good reason. She tipped the barrel, and the purple liquid Moon Drip flowed out. The ice hissed as the moon drip met it's surface and slowly but surely the ice melted. Silver slid off and let the moondrip pour, as fog rose Silver stepped back and waited. Waited for her angelic brother to step out alive.
Sterling had spent so much time locked within his own mind. It had been so lonely, so terrifying that he though he would go crazy... but this was different, yet familiar. Warmth began to hit his face, a chilled warmth but warmth nonetheless. It couldn't bee... could it? It took way too long for him to find the muscles to open his eyes. After that movement began to flow smoothly and once the ice disappeared from his legs Sterling looked out from his foggy surroundings.
The presence in the air was too tangible, too strong for Sterling to brush it off. Today was a miracle or a dream, it had to be! There was no way Silver was there. Maybe he had finally died and this is an illusion in the Afterlife. But it wasn't. He sprinted out of the fog to see that face, the face of his best friend.
"Silv?" he choked out.
And then she was there. They slammed into an embrace, one that got across how much they had missed each other and how scared they had been for each other. Sterling was crying as he sunk to his knees and dragged his sister down to the ground with him.
"Sterling.. It's been five years. I've finally got you back." She cried into his shoulders, sobs racking her body. "I've missed you so much. I did whatever I had to to get you back, and damn was it worth it."
"Five... years? I've been gone for five years. Oh God... how much did I miss in five years? What did I miss? Silver I-" Sterling suddenly cuts off, looking at his sister's leg. "What happened? Who did this to you?"
"My leg got caught in the shell.. I had to cut it so I could live and bring you back. I was found by... By merchants. She lied, she wasn't ready to reveal what she'd been doing to make money, who knew amputee girls were popular in the north. "I gathered enough money to purchase a barrel of moondrip on the black market, then came back to free you."
Sterling knows that Silver lied to him but didn't call her out on it. She must have a good reason and her trusted her to tell him when she was ready. What she had gone through must have been agony for her so he wasn't going to pry. Instead he wrapped her back into a warm hug and talked to her in a soft, comforting voice.
"You are so brave, you know that Silver? So brave and so strong. I can't imagine what you've been through or what you've been feeling while I've been frozen up here, but I want you to know how strong you are. I was so afraid, so afraid of losing my best friend, but I knew you would be the one suffering more. I was frozen, practically dead, while you had to keep moving forward. And you did. You kept going for five years to come back for me... and I thank you for that. I would gladly give up my life for you, my precious sister, but I realized in those last few moments that I didn't want to die. I wanted to live with you, stand proud, side-by-side with my best friend. Thank you Silver. Thank you so much," he murmured, nearly a sobbing mess himself.
"Sterling. We have no home. But I want to make us one. I want to protect you and others from mages like that. I want to form a guild. I know, we have no land, no money but we can do it. So please. Promise me not to leave, let's do this together."
"Well neither of us are in any state to do it alone," Sterling jokes to lighten the move. "But of course. Let's start a guild and forge ourselves, and hopefully many others, a new home."
Silver groaned, it had ben a few weeks since Sterling was back and they'd found their grandmothers older cliffside estate. They were currently refurbishing it. She had been having nightmares of her past, but she couldn't tell Sterling about them. It would bring him trouble, and she didn't want to hurt him further.
Sterling looked at his sister curiously, asking, "Are you okay Silv? Do you want to take a break?"
He had been working on redoing a door that had split down the center but came to stand next to his sister now. Both were cover in paint, cleaning product, and wood shavings (the last sticking in Sterlings fluff of hair like nobodies business). The snow mage hoped Silver wasn't over doing it.
"I am ok. I just have to take a break." Silver said. Her leg ached, it was unbearable but she would always stay standing. "I'm going to the seashore." She walked down the staircase which led to the bottom floor which they planned to turn into a training area. It was an open seashore cave big enough to hold the Grand Magic Games.
Sterling stayed where he was, deciding to give his sister some alone time. If she needed him later he would be there. Still he called out after her.
"Be careful!" he reminds. "And don't overdo it!"
He went back to working on the door. It was one of two and they were going to be the main entrance doors. Sterling had a surprise though. The guild symbol that the siblings had decided on had slowly been carved into the wood. Whenever Silver had tried to look before he had stepped in front of it and distracted her, but now it was ready. He removed the thin plywood they had been using as a substitute and used brute force to lift each door into place. Five years in ice hadn't weakened him but it had made him biologically younger than his twin. Hopefully when Silver returned to this surprise it would brighten her day.
Silver sighed, dangling her legs in the water. She'd already tattoed her right hip with the guild mark, and looking at it brought her comfort. After spending time lost in her thoughts she hauled herself upwards, remade her melted leg and lurched upstairs. When she went up the stairs she stood in shock. It was beautifully intricate, beautiful.
"Do you like it?" Sterling asks tentatively as he comes around the corner. He holds his breath, waiting for a response. This had taken him a few days and he hopes the work and thought put into it weren't for nothing.
"This is incredible. Sterling this is amazing. Thank you so much!" Silver wrapped her arms around her brother and kissed his cheek. "Tomorrow. We're going into town to put up posters. Ok?"
"Sounds absolutely perfect," he replied. This was their new chance, a second start. It was going to be the beginning to a new life. Sterling cracked a smile. "We'll have people flooding our doors in no time."