The Phantom Thief stood in the hallway. The black clothes stood motionless. She was waiting, waiting for that man to arrive. She had made all her preparations. She didn’t know if it was going to do any good however, against the opponent she suspected she would be fighting preparations were useless. Then Svenn walked into view around the corner.
Rose took a deep break and said, “Now that I see you in the flesh I am certain. Your appearance and name are different but you are still the same person aren’t you. It has been a long time.”
Svenn stopped a few yards away from Rose, “Yes, it has been a long time. Six years I believe. I didn’t expect you to ever return to the University District. I guess you still have a soft spot for lost causes.”
“You seem to have made a good place for yourself since I left. I connected the security system to my watch and I got to see some of your battle with Enforcer Wade. You have gotten a lot more powerful since I saw you last. What are you now, level 6 or is it 7? I don’t think I ever expected you to get that powerful.”
“That is because I am not like you Rose. I had determination, something I wanted to accomplish. Even if you had a natural talent and I didn’t I have manage to surpass you. When you hit your block you collapsed under the pressure and escaped to the Entertainment District to become a Phantom Thief. I managed to surpass who I was before and be reborn anew.”
There was a paused between them before Svenn spoke again, “Frankly I didn’t expect you to help Lynn. She is like you, she was a genius who rose through the ranks but like you she hit her block and couldn’t progress any further. However that is when her story becomes different from yours. While you gave up she wouldn’t. Now she is more like me, someone who succeeds because she will never give up. I’m surprised you don’t resent her for being what you could not.”
“That was six years ago Svenn, I’m not the same person that I was then. Being an Esper was just something I was good at, it wasn’t something that I wanted to be. Even I know that I gave up being an Esper as soon as I refused to break by block. Now I am a Phantom Thief. That is something I do not desire to give up, it is who I am. No block is going to stop me from being one.”
Rose smiled, smirked really, “So you are wrong. I don’t resent Lynn because I understand why she was able to break through her block and I wasn’t able to. But you resented her don’t you?” There was a barely visible flinch from Svenn but that widened Rose’s smile, “You have hit another block haven’t you? You seen Lynn above you and you resent her because you can not get to where so is? Level 8 is too far for you to reach.”
“I bet that you didn’t know that Lynn is dealing with a block of her own. She however is breaking through her block. What will happen then I wonder, will she be the first ever level 9? What will you then?”
Svenn just stood there staring at Rose, “Your right, I am blocked but since I do not think either of us will be surviving the evening that will not be an issue.” Svenn squinted and looked deliberately into Rose’s eyes.
“However I do not understand how you are doing that. I can see your plans all laid out, all the preparations that you have made but I can not find the reason. The why of the plans isn’t there, like you make your plans without ever considering what they were going to be used for. I don’t know if you make undirected plans deliborately or if you are somehow hiding your true plans from me. Even the fact that I can not determine what is strange.”
“It isn’t polite to go rummaging around in somebodies mind like that.” Said Rose, “I never liked that about your power, invading people’s thoughts like that isn’t polite. However I’m glad that my little mental trick is working, I was afraid for a little bit that it wouldn’t and that you would be able to see what I am really planning. I guess even I can learn something new.”
“So, Svenn, are you ready to begin the game? We used to do it all the time before. We would fight to see which one of our powers were stronger. I used to always win, didn’t I?”
“No, I won once. It was just after you hit your block. You ran away after that fight and I never spoke with you again. I always though that that was the reason that you gave up, because I was finally able to beat you. Now do you really expect to win against a level 7? Against someone like me it doesn’t matter what you have planned or what you managed to hide from me. Power can’t be stopped by someone weak like you.”
“Is that so, then why did you come after me instead of trying to hold back Lynn? Wouldn’t that have been the better choice.”
“The Euclidian Key was almost ready to activate when I left. I doesn’t matter how power Lynn is, she won’t be able to handle that. Instead I wanted to meet you again. I wanted to show you that my win wasn’t a fluke, that I really am more powerful then you.”
“Very well, a rematch. I haven’t used the name is a while, but for this battle I will be my old self again. Today I am not Phantom Thief Rose, I am Ghost.”
“Very well Ghost. I will be my old self as well. In my last evening I will be know as Switchboard again.”
The air began to grow colder and then lances of ice began to form in the air around Svenn. Rose, no Ghost, only leaned forward and reached into the ground and from inside pulled out the stungun that she had hidden there. As she did the lances of ice reached her and passed through her. She stood there holding the stungun, completely unharmed.
“Ice is a new trick, you managed to get somebody new to join your network I see. However I’m not going to just let you win so easily.” Rose began to run toward Svenn. The air around her began to flash freeze her in place but she passed through that as well. She had almost reached Svenn when he was suddenly father down the hallway. Rose smiled and tapped her watch and the wall next to Svenn exploded toward him. He gazed at it casually and a fall of fire rose us and turned the rubble into ash.
“You forcefully added Enforce Wade to your network. I’m surprised that you were able to do that.”
“I’m at a different level then I was before Rose. You shouldn’t be surprised by a simple trick like that. Your passthrough might be more refined when it was before but it is obvious that you haven’t learned anything new. Sooner or later you will make a mistake or get too tired to use your ability correctly. It is only a matter of when that will happen.”
Svenn began walking toward Rose again, “And even if you have managed to hide some things from me you can’t keep your current actions hidden from me. It is impossible for you to even hit me.”
“Blah, blah, blah. You always talked big every time and then you lost every time. You have to show me different to convince me.” Taunted Rose.
“You can’t convince me to become angry and to make mistakes when I can tell that is what you are doing.” Said Svenn, completely unperturbed by Rose.
Then suddenly everything seemed to shift. Svenn looked as surprised as Rose when everything seemed to turn upside down. They both crashed to the room and as they stumbled to their feet Svenn began to smile victoriously. “You see, it is already too late. The Euclidean Key had been activated already. Your friends have failed to stop it. Soon this entire reactor will cease to exist, torn apart by the Key.” Svenn almost began to laugh.
“Is this your way to escape your block? To kill yourself and everyone around you. Doing that won’t make anything any better. If you had really wanted to break your block then you wouldn’t have given up. Now I’ll show you what it means to never give up and what it means to be a Phantom Thief.”
Then the roof under Svenn’s feet exploded under him. As it did Rose moved forward and before Svenn could even move away she managed to grab his leg and pull him down. Then together they began to pass through the ceiling and into the room above. Rose then began to feel the tug of Svenn pulling away through space. She adjusted her passthrough and was pulled through the spacial tunnel with Svenn. Rose was slightly surprised that it had worked, it had been so long since she had tried something knew with her powers. During some of Lynn’s teleportations with her she had formulated the theory that this might work but she had never actually done it before.
Svenn had seemed as surprised at Rose that it had work. Rose however had been trying to do it so she was able to react faster to the success then Svenn had been able to. She pressed the stungun directly to Svenn’s body. He was able to tell what she was doing fast enough however. He switched gears and with the crackle of electricity redirected the force of the stungun back toward Rose. She was forced to passthrough it and Svenn took that moment to break from her grip and take several steps backward.
Svenn didn’t know where he was. Something had messed up the teleportation, probably the Euclidean Key. He normally had three Teleporter Espers in his network but whatever Lynn had done had managed to knock out two of them. The last was in a bad state and his ability to teleport was hindered by that. There was also something wrong with his ability to sense Rose. His ability to sense her thoughts was flickering in and out which made it hard to figure out what she was going to do next.
As Svenn stumbled to his feet and took a few steps away from her, he figured out what she was doing. “You, your using passthrough to avoid my power. How? How are you doing that?”
“So you managed to figure it out.” Said Rose, “You see, it has been years since I have used my power regularly. I seems that somewhere along the way my block seems to have vanished. I’m not certain how myself but I managed to find new things I wanted to do with my power. Passing through spacial tunnels and through mental powers were just a couple of the things I though of. Strange isn’t it, the block that seemed so impossible for me to get through is gone now.”
“That’s impossible. A block can’t just vanish like that. If it was that easy then everybody would do it.” Yelled Svenn, this time it real anger. She hadn’t been concealing her thoughts that time. She was telling him the truth, her block was gone. How could it just be gone, it had taken him months to break his block and become better then her. She can’t just on up him like this, not after all that had happened. “You know, you are the person that I resent the most. You take everything you have for granted, even now. Everything you do, it makes me furious. Why is everything so simple for you even after you give something up. Why are you always better then me?”