River fell backwards and scrabbled away from the falling neon sign that flared blue once and then sparked dangerously. Behind her, a car was smouldering and it's power was steadily tinkling out and extending blue, vibrant lance like feelers towards her like a fantastic spider. Her veins glowed blue underneath pale skin and she winced in pain. The electrics that were fusing with her body and mind were too much. She was getting too much power all at once. It would kill her sooner or later. Another row of neon lights blazed and became brighter than sunlight, sickly greens and yellows making her look sorcerous. They blazed for a solid two minutes and then burst vividly into the night sky showering sparks everywhere. River howled in fear and ran. Rain pelted her face, arms and legs. Around her, people looked on in fear and wide eyed amazement as sections of the impossibly tall burnished building crumbled and began to sag. Somewhere, a camera flash gun flared but was lost amidst the light show.
Someone screamed. River was aware of the pelting of thousands of microscopic pieces of glass assaulting her arms and face. A pane of glass dropped ponderously downwards and careered towards her head. River ran, her mouth open in a soundless scream. She was looking at Death in the face and Death was reaching out for her. More screams filled the air, accompanied by the mournful whine of sirens that clawed at the dense night air. The glass came and River suddenly stopped, her feet failed her and she shoved her fist into her mouth to stop the tears. She was dead. It was official. Shanghai. Nice place to die.
Impact. River felt something hard collide with her and practically launch her off her feet and into the dangerous gaze of an oncoming car which screeched, horned in protest and then scurried off. Blood spewed from her knees, scrubbed raw and peeled as she hit the tarmac like a rugby player thrown yards away. She saw a pleasant night sky when she stopped and she felt delirious. Stars. Cool air. She was dead or dying and this was the first phase of a hallucination. She screamed in pain as something poked her foot sharply, and then a face swam into view, framed by a cap.
"You're not dead then...." the young man hovering over her was not concerned about the fact that his jeans leg was on fire. He just stood.
"Who are you?" River managed to squirm the words between pain and gritted teeth. He shrugged.
"At this point, you're only chance of survival, providing you take it..." he let the sentence float over her and she looked up at him, frowning and feeling deeply disturbed. She rested awkwardly on an elbow and spat hair out of her mouth. She was no longer calm. Pain embraced her.
"Hell's that supposed to mean?" This elicited the smallest of smiles from him.
"You'll get yourself arrested or thrown into the loony bin if you use your powers like that," he said after a moment, peering at his hands. River tried to get up fast but a sharp pain bit at her leg. "Oh...you're leg's broken, should've said."
River glared at him. "Help me up!" she demanded. The smirk emerged again and he lifted her up, letting her weight descend upon his shoulder. "What's your name?"
"Me? I can't see how that's important..." he began, but River's glare bore a hole into his head. "Fine, fine....I'm Leviticus...call me Levi or whatever."
"RivER!" The pain shot through her leg as it hit the raised kerb. Leviticus looked at her.
"Do I need to scream the end bit as well?" he asked with actual seriousness. River rolled her eyes at him.
"Can we go somewhere safe?" she asked squinting up at the collapsing sides of the building. Leviticus nodded.
"Sure...probably best. We don't want River to flood..." he collapsed into a fit of laughter while River braced herself on a car bonnet and stared at him, deadpan.
"Hello! Earth to weird guy!" she grabbed at his shirt and pulled him. He put his hands up in protest.
"Okay, okay! Sorry..." he said and led her away from the rising crescendo of activity.