"I- I saw you on a wanted poster and I- I wanted to . . ."
That was all I heard of that conversation. Jefferson's assistant had given me my chance! I melted away into the shadows and headed towards the dreaded lower deck, hoping Draven wouldn't follow me there.
"You're next," I heard someone hiss as I silently entered the lower deck. From what I could hear, there was a battle taking place.
I climbed atop a stack of crates to watch the match take place. Fire vs Ice it seemed. However, there was something vaguely familiar about the hissing fire warrior. My eyes widened as I recalled the newspaper article.
The Black Phoenix
I watch the man carefully as the fight progresses. True enough, he used fire technology, the kind that can only be built in Ember City, my original home.
He must be very wealthy to afford weapons from Ember City, I thought, Or else . . . he could have lived in Ember City once, as a citizen.
Or he could have been one of us stated Miss A in my mind.
I flinched at her voice as I watched the fellow's fight. His opponent seemed to be losing badly.
She was winning before, however, the Black Phoenix is filled with new rage. Where ever did it come from? Determination not to lose?
I watched the angry actions of the fire warrior as the battle ended. Every weapon he produced was pure fire technology.
What if he built his own weapons? questioned Miss A
You know as well as I how impossible that is, A! You can't find half the materials for those devices in Aethasia. Even that mask he wears is impossible to craft here!
I watched silently as he sprayed oil all over a certain box.
What if he escaped? my old friend asked again.
A, no one escapes from the Fire Tech Factory.
You did she remarked bluntly.
The Scarlet Man saved me in a dream. I still can't explain how I woke up in the Aetherstep in Aethasia, however, miracles like that don't happen to everyone, and I seriously doubt this fellow is in the Resistance.
I sighed aloud and climbed down from the stack of crates. Once my boots touched the floor I sank down behind the pile to give the Black Phoenix some serious thought.
What if he was a factory Mister? If that was the case, he'd have a reason for his rage. However, there's much more out there to destroy one's life then the factory.
It would explain the fire technology chimed Miss A.
True . . . it's perfectly possible
I smiled in anticipation, could he really be someone I once knew? However, the rising anticipation soon cooled to dread.
Oh cinders, how in Aethasia am I going to ask him about it? What would happen if I was wrong? Would he fight me with the same vigor he fought his opponent?!
Suddenly, I felt someone behind me. I turned to see the Black Phoenix staring down at me. His eyes and face were covered, hiding his present emotions. I stood up, dusted myself off, and stared right back at him with determination.
"Hello, sir," I greeted him, extending my hand, "I'm not from Aethasia," and neither are you.