The brute charged again, this time with a barbaric disregard for personal injury.
Brandy screamed and in her scream Michael heard his wife’s voice. Memories erased mercy from his heart. Tears washed away the compassion that had once graced his personality. Michael cleared his mind, pushed all of the pain from his body. He let the magic in, felt it surge through his blood. His eyes flared with a new amber fire.
He lashed out telekinetically gripping the iron rod that jutted out of the ogre’s body and twisted it with his mind. Fresh blood spurted from the opening. The creature fell to its knees with a howl of agony. Michael mentally turned the bent rod within the creature’s flesh pureeing whatever was inside.
Brandy shuddered at the sound. Curiosity getting the better of her fear, she turned to gawk at the giant who had just been brought to its knees by an unarmed Sampson.
Michael held out a hand motioning for her to stop. “Stay down!” She returned with a pleading stare but obeyed. It was clear he wasn’t done yet.
Turning his attention to the beast who was struggling to regain its balance, Michael closed the gap and launched himself into the air catching one foot on the jutting end of the steel pipe. He grabbed the back of the beast’s head with both hands and buried his other knee into the ogre’s eye socket. A feral howl was his reward. Armor plates grafted over the lesion almost instantly gluing the swollen flesh shut. Mike vaulted over its shoulder landing deftly behind him.
With a wave of his hand Michael launched a splintered beam from the alley with all the force he could muster. The wood hit home just behind the ogre’s knee shattering its leg and felling him in one blow. Michael noted the turn of events and confirmed with a brief glimpse into its mind. Whenever the creature’s was wounded its skin would form harder and thicker over the damaged area; a personal defensive mechanism to preserve the body. If the interior flesh reacted in the same way as the exterior… Michael forced his mind inside the creature’s body and gripped what he guessed was the brute’s spinal column. He pulled his hands apart mimicking the force inside the flesh. Ribs cracked and separated from the main cylinder. Organs floated between fractured bones. Twisted and broken, the beast fell in one huge mass, its skin molding and forming over the contusions encasing it within its own armor.
Through the rubbish, Michael found his pistol and retrieved it. One bullet left. That was all he would need to end this pitiful being’s reign on the city. One shot through its good eye…
A gentle touch on his arm stayed his trigger finger. The gun steadied in his hand as a wave of calming energy cleansed his body. He looked down into a pair of dark brown eyes that only moments ago showed terror but was now filled with warmth he couldn't explain. She shook her head pleading, "Don't." Brandy whispered more to his heart than to his ears. "It's not his fault."
Adrenaline coursed through his veins heightened by the influx of magic. Michael called to mind all of the anger and hatred he had been storing. He fought back the emotional impulse with a wall of apathy but his eyes betrayed him. The amber dimmed to a lustrous hazel, wet with grief.
On the ground, still worming in the dirt, was the hulking brute. It whimpered out the side of its mouth, moaning pitifully.
Brandy released her hold of Mike’s arm and turned to the Ogre. Michael moved instinctively to protect her but she shrugged him off. She touched the beast watching as she did that the pain was erased from his face. While his wounds persisted the mask of rage had been removed.
“What’s happening to me?” Brandy asked to no one in particular.
Mike shook his head unsure how to answer. He still felt her touch upon his skin, the feelings she roused in him that were long dead.
All at once the creature’s eyes rolled up and his head lolled.
“What did you do?” Brandy rose demanding in a fury.
“He’s fine. I just pinched the synapses in his cortex putting him to sleep.” Mike made note that the creature was breathing steady.
“You won’t kill him?”
Michael clenched his jaw. He couldn’t bring himself to give a promise he couldn’t keep. In response he fired off the last of his rounds harmlessly down the far end of the alley. His gun smoked with an open chamber. “He’s going to be pissed when he wakes up though. This place still isn’t safe and you won’t be able to charm everything you encounter. Go. Find a car and drive. The freeways are all jammed. Take the side streets until you get out of the city. Don't stop until your car runs out of gas.”
Brandy offered a charming smile as payment for his chivalry. "What about you? Aren't you leaving too?"
Michael looked up at the looming tower spewing forth a steady stream of magical energy and shook his head. "My friends are in that building. I'm not leaving without them."