A Grim Day
It's just the beginning of the morning. Everyone is due to begin their day. A sub-urban city, in the midst of California. Mostly populated by various minorities. The people are poor but they don't seem to mind. It is summer, June to be precise. Kids play in joy and adults watch in glee. It is good, it is all good.
Javier, a young boy. Roughly 5 foot with 7 inches yet physically fit. Hardened by his circumstances yet remains with the innocence of youth.
Tired and confused he looks at the clock while yawning.
"Man, I did sleep a lot. Hey where is everyone?"
He finds himself alone in his house, nothing too strange only for the fact that his 14 year old adoptive brother is not at home. Something unusual for a loaf as him. "Where is he? Roy! Where are you!? I hope you ain't messing with me again! Otherwise you'll get it!" Suddenly a door bell rings. He walks to the door, only to find Iris, a childhood friend of his.
"Iris, what are you doing here?" -he quickly asks.
"Did you forget? It is your 16th birthday."- she replies.
"Oh, yeah, well I am sleepy."
"You don't say" looking at his strained, tired eyes.
"Hey, have you seen my brother?" he dodges.
"Yeah, he left with your father to the market an hour ago or so. He said he wanted to buy you a surprise gift."
"Oh, ok. Well then I'll be heading there, wanna come?"
"Nah, I am tired too. I babysit my lil' sister last night and I am mighty tired." she replies while yawning and looking at the bed ahead.
"Well. You know, I am finally 16. You are only a couple of months older than me. We have been friends for a very long time and I figure since we both can..."
"Seriously, we have been very good friends. We have known each other for a long time. I even took you on a date to see that movie you wanted. Plus you sad it yourself that..."
"First of all it wasn't a date, it was a favor. Second, even if it was a date that dosen't mean I have to comply to your impulses. I thought you understand my beliefs."
"But, come on. You said it yourself a week ago!"
"A No is a No Javier. Please understand."
"I said I am very tired. Good bye and take care."
He obviously looks disappointed as Iris goes to the bed to rest. Javier takes his causal clothes, a jacket and leaves for the local market. He however forgets to take his cellphone.
The town market, a place of reunion. People gather there and rejoice yet they can't ignore the always present, Viper armored watch. Always vigilant, always arrogant in their beneficial position of suppression.
The Military Police is renown for its corruption and in-effectiveness. Mostly comprised of young cadets, looking for better quality of life. However, most fail to realize the hardships they must endure before they rise in ranks.
Yet, the people don't seem to care as long as they have family and each other.
The market is full of wandering merchants. Mostly Mexican farmers and the causal redneck. They live through many hardships, robbers being one of them. They sell everything one were to expect at a sale. Tents full of colorful spices, roots, meat. A delightful scenery. As expected it is a very crowded place.
As Javier goes down the road, he notices in the far a group of bullies. Normally he would ignore them but this time they have pinned his brother to a wall. Angrily he prepares for a incoming brawl.
"Hey, lil' guy! What you got there?"- ask the leader of the pack Thompson.
"Nothing Thompson. It is just a gift for by brother"- replies Roy.
"Huh? A gift for your brother? How sweet. It would be a sham if something were to happen to it. You still owe me the launch money and a black eye but now it is time for you to pay!"
"Let him go!"- Javier roars as he runs towards the pack.
"Crap! It's De la Costa!"- cries a boy.
"So what? If he wants to fight he'll get it."- Thompson says reading his knuckles.
"Oh no, I am not messing with him. Last time, he broke Frank's ribs. I am not going to fight him" They flee in panic as Javier and Thompson prepare for an upcoming fight.
"Want me to demolish you "Speak"?
"Let him go now Thompson, otherwise you will end up like Frank before you. In bed."
"I am not scared of you unlike these babies"
They begin to battle. Thompson promptly tries to jump kick Javier, only to be deflected back and receiving an uppercut followed by a strike to the neck. "Want more, eh?" Thompson thrust forward, Javier swiftly dodges and Thompson is greeted by the nearby wall. Groggy he is grabbed by the back by Javier who rapidly continues to punish him afterwards by a flurry of punches to the face and a jump kick to the head, knocking him out cold.
"Thanks. I don't know what would happen if you didn't show up."- Roy says greeting his big, adoptive brother.
"It's nothing, that gang never learns not to mess with my family." He notices a pair of guards who stood there, leaning to a wall in silence. "Look at these. They did nothing while you were being bullied."
"It's ok. I think it is time we learn to accept that fact. Just turn the other cheek." Roy replies.
"No, it's not ok. Turn the other cheek! For that same reason is why Jesus, Martin Luther King, Gandhi and many others died! Today it is a beating, tomorrow an assault. Then a murder and that evolves into a massacre." "Whoa, calm down Javier. You don't want to steer more trouble" "No! Just look at them, senseless pig who witness a kid being bullied by a pack of teenagers but then stands there, motionless like the oafs they are." Javier angrily shouts at their direction. They look at each other then direct to the brothers position.
"Hey, punk! What did you say about us?"- the Viper guard exclaims.
"If you kept standing there and I didn't arrive he could have been killed! If you continue like that, you should change your name from "Military Police" to Military Swines!"
"That's it. You want to see us do something, you'll see it!"
"Wait, he didn't mean it officers." Roy says trying to appease the situation. "He is just stressed out by the current events. He still has adrenaline running thought his body and is in a fit of rage. He didn't mean those words."
"Better, be. Or next time I will kill you with my own hands and there is nothing a little punk like you can do about it." says the Fortune armored guard next to the Viper. "Now, scram!"
Back at their homes, the boys catch up their breath. Iris is still sleeping so they try to talk in a low tone.
"I'm sorry to have got us in that mess." Roy try to apologize to his brother.
"What were you doing outside of home and without father?" Javier dodges.
"I was getting you a present. Dad said he would meet us back here around afternoon with your birthday cake after he exists the town council reunion."
"A present, eh? And where you got the money from? You didn't steal again, right?"
"No! I was saving it since last years. My allowance. I thought you would like it since you love fighting and hunting so much, especially with dad."
"Then, what is it?" Javier asks, exited to see the gift.
"I know is not much but I really hope you like it. It is a combat knife. Latest on its design."
"Wow! I, I can't believe it. It is beautiful, in its own way. I really love it. Thank you, you are the best brother I could have." Javier says while hugging his brother while in tears.
"No, you are the best brother. If it wasn't for you I would be dead by now." suddenly stopping due to his memories of the destruction of his natal Indian reserve home and the death of his mother and father when he was just 7 years old. If it wasn't for Javier and his father Russell he would had died at the hands of two members of the "Church of Retribution". A apocalyptic, powerful cult compromised mostly of powerful, rich people.
The Church believes in in an event known as the "Cleansing" where their deity, the God of a Thousand Forms otherwise known as the Black Pharaoh (believed to many Christians as the devil himself) will come to purify the Human Race through a great, holy war, herald by the "Holy Knight of Darkness". They believe it is their purpose to convert people to their cause in a from of seeking salvation, freeing from the shackles of humanity. Only to be reborn as a new, all-powerful human race. Untied at last where there is no more chaos. No more hunger, no more poverty, no more death, no more war.
"I thought we wouldn't talk about this anymore. It is not good for any of us."-Javier trying to consulate his adoptive brother.
"I'm fine. Is just that it sometimes hard to remember the past. Knowing that people died. Sometimes, I do miss them." barely even being able to talk.
"I know. I know it's is hard. I too lost my mother, even if it was at birth. We both are orphans, hardened by circumstances of our lives. But, we most remain strong. Nobody is going to stop and have mercy upon you anymore. That is the way of this cruel, yet beautiful world. You must be strong."
"I will, I will. Still this is not the time to cry. It is the time to celebrate your birthday!" Roy replies, trying to be strong.
Half a hour has passed since then. Everything is relaxed by now and Iris has gone to her home. Everything is quiet, maybe a little too quiet. Something bothers Javier as he feels something is wrong. He is certainly not one to get comfortable to such conditions, knowing from tale that when one least expect it, they eye of the hurricane arrives and things turn to the worst.
"Hmph, no root bear." He mutters to himself as he looks at the time. "Dad said he would arrive around 12 o'clock. Where is he? Something is not right, I can feel it in my bones." still muttering to himself. Roy having heard him promptly says
"You worry too much."
"That is when the hunt turns into survival. That is when one is ambushed. I learned that while hunting for food."
"I still think you worry too much. Why don't I go and find dad. Maybe he is just a bit late. Everything is probably alright. You'll see." He exits the house, leaving Javier alone in the house. Bored he goes to watch the television in the living room when he hears a large crowd discussing. He watches through the widow only to find people reunited. Their faces are grim. Worried that his father may be somewhere nearby he exits his house. Down two block he finds the people discussing against a fairly large military brigade. Careful not to get spotted he climbs a ladder to the roof of a nearby building. There he sits and watches carefully.
A man in military uniform approaches the center of the crowd. Judging by his badges Javier deduces he is the Captain. He tries to read the badge the man is wearing. It says the name "Tom Walker", next to it there is a U.K. flag. Only able to distinguish the flag he wonders why would a British be in U.S.A deporting and kicking people out of their homes. Next to him stand the two previous soil divers from the alley.
"Listen up people, by the order of the United Human Alliance government you have been order to relocate into another place. This grounds are therefore to be taken by the government of the UHA for military purposes. Any attempts to resist the relocation will be handled with force. Do not make this harder to yourselves. "
A brave but naive man approaches him.
"You can't possibly expect for us to leave our houses because a British says so. This is all we have. It may not seem as much to you but it's everything we got." The crowd behind uproars to his words. "If it means giving a home to my little boy, I will fight back. Even if it is the damned military." He proceeds to push the Captain much to the astonishment of the crowd. The Viper guard, not knowing what to do shoots at the man as the crowd watches in horror. They decide to fight back, only to be received by a barrage of bullets.
"Shoot at your own discretion. Any attempts to resist shall be neutralized quickly. Understood?"
"Yes sir." The military police and the brigade say in unison. Their faces grim at the mare thought of having to point a gun at their fellow people. Still they all know in the deep that refusal to do follow the orders of a superior is punishable by death.
To all of this the Captain Tom Walker retreats back to the Jeep that brought him alongside his personal guard. However he notices a figure at the top of a rooftop yet he seemingly ignores it.
Javier, in shock of the current events resolves to find his brother and his father and possibly Iris before any other tragedy occurs. He cannot bare to think of more death. As he goes down the ladder he is greeted by the Fortune soldier.
"Halt punk! You won't get away this time." He grabs Javier and sits him to the ground. He proceeds to contact his mate. "Hey John, look who I got here. Is the punk from the alley."
Javier, with his quick reflexes grabs his gift knife and swiftly cuts the man's leg. The man falls down where Javier continues to stab him in the neck. Finally killing him.
"Ron, no!" screams the Viper guard as he with ness his friend's death. He aims a shotgun at Javier whom in his adrenaline rush grabs it, punches the man to the nearby wall and aims at his face.
"Whoa, hold on. You're just a kid. You don't want to do this. Now put the gun down. Now don't give me that maniac look" looking at Javier's bloody hands and face. He insensately tries to grab back his weapon, Javier panicked shoots at him, completely blowing his face in a gruesome way. In shock at his first kill, he looks at the a Viper's corpse.
"I heard shots this way!" He hears in the distance. He quickly gets back to his feet and flees to find his loved ones in the midst of the chaos.
He runs for his life, obviously fearing death or punishment. He cannot bare the thought of losing his family, all that is left to him. His pursuits get closer and closer as he tries to avoid them. Finally gets cornered by a man however he avoids capture. In response the man shoots at him, barely missing. Javier continues running, blasting anyone who is unlucky to be in his path as he watches in horror of the other atrocities done by the Military that is supposed to protect the people.
Javier finally loses his pursuers. Taking a breath he hears a faint sobbing. He goes to see what it is only to find a young lad, crying over the corpse of his dead mother. Next to him is Iris and her father, trying to consulate the boy.
Javier promptly asks: "Where's Roy? Have you seen him. I lost contact with him since he went to find dad before all went to kingdom come."
"Yes, I saw him with your dad earlier went I went to my house." says Iris, looking at Javier's bloodied clothes. "What happen to you."
Javier, seeing her worried face decides to tell her. Her father hearing the conversation tries to prevent the kid from hearing the violence. He therefore hushes them, pointing at the kid. "He doesn't need any more stress. He just lost his mother. The last thing he needs is a story about you running around killing people. Come on, give the gun. We need to find somewhere safe." Javier, still in shock clings to the weapon even harder.
"Just give me the gun. That is not a knife or something you should handle at such a young age." says Iris's dad.
"No! I can handle it sir." He proceeds to point the shotgun at the Mr.
"Stop arguing, we need to move. Now!" Iris says as she watches in horror.
They start to flee. More enemies ahead they separate again. Javier is left alone to fend for himself. He guns down several more people as he sprints out of the town.
All of the city is lost. Many people have died already. Families have been broken. All because of a man's decision. The people try to raise their weapons, but the superior fire power proves too much. Only a handful of survivors are left. Those who are struggle to digest the latest events and the loss of family, friends and their homes. They had just lost their lives. How they are going to live now? Many make the same question, none have the right answer.
After a few hours that seem like a eternity to Javier of constant fighting he reaches a hill in the outskirts of town. He is surprised to see the rest of survivors in the hill taking refuge. He notices Iris, her father and the young boy, now reunited his now widowing father as he searches for his own family. He asks some women about where is his father. They tell him his is at the side of a tree. Running towards him they embrace.
"Javier, I thought I lost you. Thank the lord you are ok!" his father tells him, crying.
"I'm here. All is fine now. I made it out of that hell." He looks around trying to spot his brother, nowhere to be found. He starts to cry. "No! No! Where is he? He had to make it. He made it! Right?"
"I'm sorry. I had no choice. He was with me when all started. We hide in a building but then they entered. We had to run. Then somehow a metal beam fell on him and got stuck as we ran for safety before they caught us. I had no choice. I had to make it alive for my son."
"But he was your son! How could you leave him alone to die?! He was your son too. Not through blood but though bond. You adopted him and now you left him alone. He could have made it if you had stayed with him!" Javier cries while still coping with the death of his young brother.
"I had no choice. The Military was close on us and even if I stayed with him and got him out of there. He would had been a liability. I couldn't carry him to safety. Even if I did, his spine was broken, he would have been paralyzed for the rest of his life."
"He was your son! It is your duty to protect your son and even die if it necessary to protect him!"
"And what do you think I am doing! I had no other choice. You need me here."
"And he needed you there, but you left him! You failed as a father! You're a monster! I don't want to see your goddamned face ever again. In fact you should be dead!" He leaps to attack his dad with his knife. Only to be stopped by two men who grab him by his arms. "Somebody do something!" cries a woman as she witnesses the attack. He continues to resists as Iris stands besides him. The men are barely capable of keeping him in check as he struggles to get free and avenge Roy. His father makes the hard choice to sedate him. He orders Iris to take a sedative and inject him to no avail. He continues to fight, now harder and enraged even more.
"Do it again! Put him down." He orders Iris to take another shot.
"But it might kill him! Iris protests knowing basic medicine from somewhat studying with Javier's father, the medic of the town.
"No matter, do it. Trust me, I wouldn't order you to do it if I wasn't sure." Iris inject him again, this time the medicine has almost an instant effect.
A few days have passed since, Javier finally wakes up. He finds himself chained to a chair. Iris stands in guard next to him in his cell. They are inside a bunker.
"Glad you finally woke up. I began to fear you may had enter a coma." Iris says, relived.
"What, what happened? Javier asks in a confused state.
"Your father had to sedate you, twice. I have never seen such a thing." She unlocks him. They go outside, Javier is still feeling groggy as the effects of the drug still take place.
"I am sorry for all that happened. I am sorry about your brother." Iris says as they look at the town in ruins.
"I cant believe all is lost now. I knew something was wrong that day. If only I had prevented my brother from going out alone to search for dad, he might be here right now." He obviously feels guilt.
"Its not your fault. It is no ones fault."
"Your right. Its not my fault. It is the military police's fault. It is the governments fault. It is that captain's fault. I will not rest until he is dead!" Javier says with a burning passion which scares Iris.
"Javier, turn the other cheek. There is nothing we can do now."
"Turn the other cheek be damned! You don't get it. For that same reason is that Roy is dead! I am going to find that man and I am going to avenge Roy if it is the last thing I do and there is no one who will stop me!" Javier declares as he looks at his knife. "Eye for eye! I am going to enjoy watching him suffer."
It is that day that Javier lost his innocence.
12 years later
A mercenary leader directs to his men with his gruff, olden voice. Even though it is noticeable his age it is clear the man is twice as strong as the rest of the team, mostly compromised of rogues fitted in the latest armor technology. That technology is either the Advanced Tactics Operational Mechanism armor or Atom for short or the blitzkrieg specialized armor more commonly known as Thunder. The leader unlike his mates dressed in the common colors of those armors, mostly blue he is fitted with a weathered, dark red Thunder armor. He is equipped with a silenced pistol, a combat knife, a Passer blade and a TB10-LW assault riffle. "All right men, listen up! The mission is to protect the President of China from any threats at all cost. As you may know the situation is getting worse every day. The President has received death threats by many different sources."
"And who possibly could try something as stupid as to kill the president of one of the most powerful countries in the world, member of the UHA?" inquires a Thunder by the name of Owen
In response to the question, the mercenary leader. "It is believed those threats come from either rebels or from the enemy nations to the UHA, mainly Japan. A political assassination could be the very cataclysm to a war. Our goal is to protect the President from any would be assassins, coup's or any other threat to his life. We will execute plan number 37 as practiced in case of emergency. We will be stationed alongside the Military of China to protect the United Human Alliance annual conference to be headed by the President. As it goes further we will not allow anyone to enter or leave, under any circumstances. Now, lets move!"
Following the speech the mercenaries move to their respective positions. As the conference starts in the auditorium and the final guests take their seats the doors are closed. No body enters or leaves under any situation until the conference ends.
The leader stands next to the podium. In watch he notices a dark figure in the distance. He quickly recognizes the figure but before he can act the man in the shadows detonates the podium, killing the President and setting in complete chaos the auditorium. He is only scratched by the debris as more, smaller explosions take place. He gets aided by his fellow mercenaries who quickly get the President and get him to a Ambulance.
"Get the president to a hospital. I will handle him" pointing at the man in a floor above who watches the chaos.
"Roger sir! Should I come with you?" asks Owen in worry his boos might need reinforcements.
"No, I will handle it alone. This is personal." says the leader in the red Thunder as he proceeds to shoot at the man with his assault riffle. Missing barely the man flees into a hangar. The red Thunder follows in hot pursuit.
"Drawing me into a close corner. That is a classic strategy of you. I however do not make the same mistake twice." The sounds of steps get nearer. "I cam smell your hesitance. You know I come prepared for our rematch." The sound of a grappling hook is heard as it grabs the red Thunder by his feet. He tries to grab to the edge of a wagon as well as trying to hold on to his riffle, both to no avail. He ends upside down as the mysterious man approaches, katana sword ready in hand.
The man tries to impale the red Thunder who quickly deflects it back at him, knocking him off and getting him enough time to cut the hook and fall into a lower level. The Thunder quickly gets to his feet as he watches the man jump down, ready for battle.
"It appears the game is over before it even begins." says the mysterious assassin, fitted in a custom black and red armor. A hood with a red cloth mask protecting his nose and mouth to keep his identity from the victims. He is equipped with the Katana, a grappling hook, a pistol, the gifted knife, twin daggers and a mysterious, black/green blade in his back.
"You are not the only one who can handle a blade Javier!" says the red Thunder.
Pointing at the red Thunder while walking around him "Killing the President is a big deal. But you, Vincent are where the big money is at. I expect you to be worth every penny of your reward." says Javier, now 6 foot tall but muscularly gifted assassin with a impressive record of over 20 political and hard assassinations . Fitted in the stunning personalized, quick armor. Sword in hand he prepares to get his job done.
"I am not going down without a fight. Now face the power of the Thunder." The armor ability is activated as the yellow lights in the suit are activated, indicating a power surge. Increased speed and reflexes are the result. However, overuse of the armor's power surge can strain down the wearer's muscle. Without proper physic and training the user might become weakened and in the long run can be lethal.
Vincent gets his Passer in his right hand, the combat knife, reverse griped in the other. A very unorthodox but effective style that few can match. A signature fighting style of his.
"There is big money for your head, Australian. Your own country want you dead after your betrayal." says Javier reading his Katana.
"War is a competition. The one who doesn't restrict himself by morale is the one who proves victor. Evolution has proven so and I, without that limit have been proven superior numerous times." replies Vincent, wanted for murder of the President of Australia, Vince Moriarty and the selling of national secrets to enemies of the state. A mercenary at heart, he goes from gunfight to gunfight with his team of special operations. He is not a man to sit and wait for the job. He does not care on how he looks, he cares about getting the job done.
"Any last words? Vincent says to his opponent
"There is a reason why I earned the title "Angel of Death." Javier replies as he goes in for a quick strike towards Vincent. Vincent blocks with his Passer and swings his knife at him. Javier blocks it and elbows Vincent who falls back a few steps. Vincent launches a downward strike at Javier who dodges it and proceeds to do a spinning kick towards his torso, knocking him back again. "You are losing it old man. Time to put you out for good." says Javier taunting him. Vincent swings both weapons at Javier who intercepts both at the same time and pushes them back, giving him a window of opportunity to barrage Vincent with sword slashes in all directions. At the last moment Vincent intercepts Javier mid swing, counters and disarms him and continues to kick him in the face.
Javier disarmed of his sword gets and with a sufficient distance pulls out his pistol and fires at Vincent who dodges it by sidestepping with precise timing. Vincent gets close enough to continue attacking with his Passer. Javier intercepts it with his pistol. Disarms him and proceeds to shoot him point blank if not for Vincent to grab his arm and throw him to the wall. "Lets keep this fair, shall we? says Vincent as Javier pulls out the black/green sword from his back.
"What is that?" says Vincent admiring the strange blade.
"It is called a Windblade. It is the latest in its technology. Pretty nice, right? Javier swings his sword at a distance when suddenly a energy wave is directed at Vincent. Not fast enough he is stunned. Javier leaps into the air and falls next to his enemy, continuing the punishment with a barrage of incoming strikes which Vincent is barely able to block for a moment. Anyway the barrages prove to be too quick and too much, Javier follows with a 3-slash combo and kicks Vincent in the gut, knees him and pushes him to the ground. Quickly with his grappling hook he gets back his Katana and switches back to it. Then drops a flash bang and repeats his signature barrage to the head. Vincent cannot defend himself this time and gets up pummeled.
Javier kicks him, does a mid-air flip to his grappling hook grappling into Vincent. He dropkicks him midair and smashes Vincent into the wall. Javier throws his sword towards Vincent, barely missing. Vincent is almost defeated when he realizes that Javier wasn't trying to kill him but to capture him. Javier takes the opportunity to punch him near unconsciousness and grabs his arm with one hand, the back of the head with the other in a submission hold.
"What are you? Vincent says, surprised at his defeat. Javier smashes his head into the ground, finally knocking him out.
"You are lucky you are worth more alive than dead." Javier says to the knocked Vincent laying on the ground. Javier's mission is complete.
Future of the Past
After a successful mission Javier is extracted via helicopter. Down below some rebels are fighting with the mercenaries as they guard the president's ambulance. Discord is definitely in reign.
"Javier, how's it going? Wait, who is he? Is that Vincent!?" asks Sam, a member of his team impressed by the unexpected turn of events. Alongside Sam-the heavy artillery and Javier, the team leader there a few others: Dimitri-the explosives expert and Sam's sister, Marco-the sniper and Javier's right hand man, Garret-the infiltrator plus Dirk, Joe, Peter, John, Sasha and others. They all work for Infinity Defense as part of their paramilitary. All except for Javier who is their assassin and the only part about their secret services, mainly assassination or nigh-impossible jobs plus a close friend of the Corleone brothers. When he is not the leader of the squad Marco takes his place. All the others are registered members.
"Good, I'm fine." says Javier as he enters the helicopter with an unconscious Vincent. "Tie him up. Tell him to give Vincent up to the authorities. I already have received my part. It's Seraph's problem now." Seraph is the CEO of Infinity Defense, a private paramilitary. They take action in both sides of the conflict, the UHA and the "rebel nations" who don't want to join the alliance.
They arrive at the head quarters they celebrate a mission successful with bear and wine. Seraph says he will transfer the payment soon to Javier, whom too tired to celebrate quickly leaves and leaves to his home.
In the way out he meets Seraph's sister Vex. "Hello Javier. I heard everything went well." says Vex trying to open conversation.
"Oh, hello Vex. By the way, I need you to keep me getting the reward a secret. I don't want your brother snooping around my actions, ok?" as he continues to his car.
"Alright. I just wanted to tell you, Seraph wants to meet you tomorrow. He says it is something important."
"Ok. I'll come tomorrow but it better be mighty important. I don't want to get my rest disturbed or my time wasted."
"Ok, take care." Vex says good bye to Javier as she turns to answer a call.
It is the following morning as Javier goes to meet with Seraph. He enters Seraph's office only to notice 3 men inside. Marco, Seraph and a unknown.
"Who is this? Who is he?" asks Javier in a aggravated tone.
"Sit down. This is what I wanted to talk you about. First, I have a new job for you." says Seraph trying to calm Javier. He has never been one to trust new people.
"What?! It hasn't even been a day! I thought we had agreed with this, I always need to take my time between jobs. At least give me a week!" Javier is furious, he turns to Marco. "Did you knew about this?" He nods and replies "Yes, we all got informed in the party yesterday."
"Listen, this is mission is important. There is a big reward and we got offered the job. There is a reward for the prince of Spain, Carlos Espada set by the rebels who will provide assistance in their coup. I assume they want to force Spain into splitting. The reward is $100,000,000. That is reward I cannot overlook.."
"You're always thinking about the money."
"I know you only take certain jobs but, this time I have no choice but to assign you without any question. For this same reason is why I have decided to add a new member to your crew. Javier meet Dominic R. Badguy." Javier looks suspiciously at Roy. "He is a french rogue. He will suit the team well." Seraph says introducing the new guy to Javier.
"What? A new team member? No!"
"I am not giving you a word this time, you will take this job immediately. Understood? Dominic will be my eyes on the mission, he will report to me only as the mission goes. I am tired of you going outside of the mission's objectives as you did last time. Vex told me about your little side quest's reward. Taking a reward for yourself! Plus, risking your life unnecessarily to capture Vincent! What were you thinking! And now you want me to 'get rid of him in prison or something', how generous of your part. It is up to you to make him a effective part of the team, Marco. As for you Javier, you will just have to accept it. I have lost my trust in you, I expect this to be the last time you against the mission."
"Give me 3 days to set up." as Seraph nods. Directing to Dominic, "So, what does the R stands for?"
"Roy sir." replies Dominic. Javier is shocked momentarily. "Did I say something wrong?" He asks as Javier notices a slight, discomforting tone on the new guy.
"No. Its nothing." Javier mutters.
"Well, Dominic, why don't we go to meet up with the team, ok?" Marco says to Dominic while looking at Javier to see if he was ok as they exit.
"You better remember who put you in that throne of yours Seraph. You owe me favors, lots of favors. This is only one more." Javier talks to Seraph as he looks angrily at him, disturbed at the new guy's common name with his late brother.
"I don't owe you anything." Seraph replies.
"Yeah, don't even make me bring back that day where you got almost killed and I had to save your butt, for starters. If it wasn't for me, you wouldn't be as rich as you are now. Don't forget who put you in that golden throne of yours!" Seraph reacts somewhat embarrassed but quickly changes to his normal 'Trump' attitude as Javier slams the door shut.
"Don't mind him Javier, he is just angry." says Vex as she meets him on the way out.
Javier looks at her reddened cheek, "Are you ok?" He ask worryingly knowing she didn't spill him out if it wasn't for her brother hitting her.
"Javier, if I were you I would watch my back a bit better. You may not know with whom you are dealing with." she avoids the question.
"Well, then I want you to privately do me a favor. Ok?"
"Sure. I suspect it means snooping around right?"
"Keep this between you an me, ok? I don't want to het you into more trouble with your brother. Keep an eye on the new guy, I can smell trouble around him. Something is not right with that kid." Vex nods as they share information.
As asked by Javier, Seraph has given him 3 days before their departure. He quickly decides to make a quick visit to the White House in the way to Spain as they recharge fuel.
When he arrives at he evades the reception, who apparently knows him given by her look. He continues to the offices when he is stopped by a secret service agent as he is about to enter President Rodriguez's office. "Let him enter." says a older agent as he lets Javier go. The younger agent is confused at the sudden rule break.
"Hello." says Javier greeting the president
"What do you want Javier? Can't you see I am very busy." says the president.
"You know, a simple hello how are you? would have been nice." Javier says in a sarcastic tone.
"I'm tired, I am busy and I need to work. Being the youngest president in office since they changed the age limit is a lot of hard work."
"You really have outdone yourself since we divorced Iris."
Taking a deep breath she replies "What do you want?"
"Cant I just visit my ex-wife? I am going away in a mission to Spain in 3 days and I just wanted to see you."
"Listen, I am going to be in a meeting with the Prime Minister of England soon. Mr. Walker and I will discuss the terms for our nations alliance in the UHA and how to keep that alliance intact in the case of a upcoming conflict."
"You know the UHA is a bad choice for the USA and the world. All they want is to control the world with their little cult, plus the Mithril supply they so desperately revere as a 'gift from the gods' coming from the UBW colonies and the outer planets. Deep down you know this. I know you and I'm sure that if you had another choice you would chose against the union."
"Maybe you don't know me so well. Not all people in power are corrupt"- Javier looks at her in disbelief- "I do believe it is the right choice for the world and to keep it at peace. You are only interested in preserving war and your work. With the human race combined we can better each and everyone's life. We can save millions. Imagine it! No chaos, no more hunger, no more poverty, no more death, no more war." Javier notices a slight change in tone in her words as he affirms his suspicious of her hesitance and disbelief.
"Do you even know what day it is today? It is the day our daughter died of leukemia and where was the UHA there? The government said they were not able to supply the medicaments and that we had to travel to Canada to find proper care."
"I don't need this right now!" She restrains herself from crying.
"The government said they were not able to supply the medicaments and that we had to travel to Canada to find proper care. If we had had the money we could have saved her. If the government had acted accordingly we could have saved her but the latest in medicine is reserved only for the rich, not the poor as we were back then." Javier says angering slowly.
"Why do you think I do this? It isn't for money or self-righteousness. I do this so that no other mother has to go through all the pain I passed through as I watched my daughter wither away powerless! I do this so the people in my country can have a better life." she starts to cry heavily thinking of their late daughter. "And where where you at that time? You couldn't be with her at her last moments of her short life, couldn't you?"
"I was at Muspel trying to get enough money to pay for her treatment as well as struggling to provide a roof over your head while you stranded there motionless! I for once was doing something towards Maria! Unlike you, I did something!" He is obviously enraged at the situation.
"So, providing paternal care is not doing something?! At I least was there for her! You know how many times did I had to lie to her heartbroken as she asked 'Where's daddy?' and I didn't have an answer!" She almost collapses as she struggles to even stand up.
"I for once was a mother, even against my own will! Everyone kept pushing me towards marriage. My dad, my mother, my brother and my sister, you as well, even society! I didn't want to but I had no choice! After that I began to take birth control pills but they didn't worked. It was as if destiny conspired against me.! I was devastated but I didn't want to show you. You were so happy about having a daughter that I kept on strong, headfirst like a good wife. I took care of her as a baby. I took her for her first day at school, her first doctor's visit. I took care of her in the hospital. I raised her and I watched her die. You know how hard is for a mother to see that, the same baby you carry nine months in your womb and so painfully gave birth to is dying!
"Her name is Maria!" He prepares to hit her in his fit of rage but stops as soon as he realizes his intensions before he raises his fist. "Listen, I came here to see my wife, not for this. I am sorry that I brought back those memories. I am just going to leave, take care Iris." He leaves her a family picture of the three. As he is exiting a man enters the office. "President, I am General Miles Jagdtanker. I will be escorting you to your UHA meetings with U.K.'s Prime Minister Tom Walker."
Javier does not notices the same man that kill his brother and destroyed his home is in the same building and so leaves for his car where he covers his face as he begins to weep for his deceased daughter Maria who died when she was only 5 years old.
Sabotage/An old Friend
The group arrives to Spain, ready to conduct the assassination attempt against Spain's heir to the throne Carlos Espada. Arriving at their destination they prepare themselves along some rebel commandos claiming they need to take down the supposed corrupt government. It is a known fact that the crown is tedious with its activities, but how far they go is a mystery not known by many outside of the palace. It is rumored though, that they contraband Mithril and Skooma (a crystalline drug mixed with Mithril, highly addictive and dangerously lethal).
"All right, listen up!" says Marco reading his team in his Russian accent. "Today we will assassinate the prince alongside the rebel group in their series of attacks. As we have previously done we will do plan 260 O2 or Steadfast for short. I will personally stay back in lines conveying support in case something goes array. Sam and Javier will go on their own separate to our squads along Garret acting as scout in the center of the formation as we separate in the infiltration. Both Garret and Javier will not be using communicators to prevent GPS detection. They will take the lead once everyone is in position and everything is cleared. Understood. Let's move out!"
Javier notices a shiny object, possibly a badge coming from Dominic's clothes but pretends to ignore it once he looks at Javier back. He proceeds to leave with his personal team. Soon the badge falls off Dominic's pocket and dissimulating, Javier picks it up.
Sneaking into the palace Garret goes ahead of Javier and Sam, taking out any potential threats with a Trinity light bow and a dagger before the others get into position.
Back at the camp nearby the outskirts of the palace, Marco notices a unsettling calm. "Something isn't right. I can feel it in my bones." he thinks to himself due to his experience in combat. He learned to never trust the calm before the storm. He goes to take his placement when suddenly notices a strange truck with troops inside. Something uncommon to happen once it is midnight once most guards are gone and next to no troops are left. He goes to investigate and find vantage points inside when he meets Garret.
"What are you doing here? You are supposed to only come to the field to provide backup if needed." says Garret.
"I noticed a truck full of troops inside, I couldn't figure why they were at this hour." says Marco before Garret hushes him when he hears some men nearby.
"Report to sector 7. I repeat, report to sector 7. Get ready for the ambush." says a deep, dark voice over the communicator as the troops direct towards the site.
"That is where Dimitri and Dominic are." says Garret as he leaves towards Sam and Javier before Marco has anything to say.
"Every darn time" says Marco as he notices Garret's absence. "An ambush? And that voice sounded familiar, but it can't be him. Wait, Dominic is supposed to be with Dirk, Sasha and Joe. Something ain't obviously right. " He thinks to himself as he thinks of all the possibilities of why they may know that they are there. He further goes to check between all the squads communicator back in his position to check on the mission's status. He notices three people are not wearing their communicators instead of the supposed two.
Meanwhile Draco squad is going through corridors stealthily as they take down several guards.
Hey John, could you hack this door for me? asks Dimitri anxiously waiting for battle.
"Sure thing darling. There is no door or system that cant succumb to my expertise in engineering. This Sector 7 should be a pice of cake to take advance of." says John flirting to Dimitri much to the disgust of the other 3 men.
"Good, I would want to blow this place up if we could." she says displaying a tendency for violence, shooting first and making questions second.
"Wait isn't that Dominic guy supposed to be with us?" asks a rebel. At the same time the door is opened, only to be greeted by a militia squad and an array of bullets. Dimitri is barely able to take cover as she witnesses John laying on the ground filled of bullet holes.
"Proceed forward, look for any survivors" says the militia captain as Dimitri hides in a dark corner. Suddenly a sniper round is heard taking down 3 of the 7 men in the ambush.
"Sniper!" yells a enemy as another round is heard, this time taking 3 more men. Only the captain is left when Dimitri takes the opportunity to finish him off. She notices a badge representing the "Church" as she wonders why would they be there. She looks out of the window noticing Marco in the distance when other gunshots are heard across the palace.
Sam and Javier proceed forward, not hearing the gun shots as they are too far ahead. There the meet Dominic. Confused Sam asks "Why aren't you with your group Dom?"
"My mission is to keep an eye on him" Dominic responds as he looks at Javier. Javier looks sternly back at him, still not trusting the newcomer just when he realizes Dominic is not wearing a GPS communicator.
"Very well, I'll guess you can come with us. You will be nice help." says Sam welcoming him to the stealth squad.
A few minutes later they arrive at a door. The other side should be where the prince's living quarters. They barely met any resistance, a surprise for both Sam and Javier.
"Ok, I'll open it in one. Two. Three!" says Javier kicking down the door with twitch reflexes. Suddenly a impressive man in armor similar to Javier's greets him with a little squad of his own pointing Crab plasma guns at the two, much to the surprise of Javier. Javier quickly sets off a flash bang before the man can yell fire and tells Sam to run readying his sword. He looks for Dominic who is nowhere to be seen. In a quick moment he slays 3 men before going off for the main leader whom quickly deflects him with a staff of his own. Afterwards he is shot by a militia men in the abdomen. The man proceeds to knock Javier off his feet, still fighting.
"It appears the time has come for the two of us to meet again De la Costa." says the man before knocking him unconscious. Next to him stands prince Carlos and his body guard Alonso Quijano. In the distance Garret watches silently as they drag Javier into a room where he follows closely while still hidden.
"Thanks for protecting me from a would be attempt to an assassination. I hope this also clears my debt to the church" says Carlos as he gives a big sum of money to the leader of the militia.
"This isn't about money. Its about your debt to the church. You see, the church doesn't like when people don't pay their "debts" for sanctuary. You have committed a capital sin against our religion and for it you shall pay the consequences." replies the man explaining to Carlos his "comeuppance".
Javier wakes up only too see Sam captured and injured as well. Next to him there is a pile of decapitated bodies from the fallen soldiers, among them the body of John. Around the room there is possibly around 10 well armed militia men. He quickly recognizes who they are to his shock.
"Listen man, I payed everything I owe you and your little 'religion' of yours. Now leave me alone, filthy murderer. Your protection services are fulfilled and you captured the man you were looking for now scram." Carlos proceeds to leave and turns his back. The man grabs him by his shoulder and remarks in a deep tone, "Do you think you are the one in power here? Look around where you are, do you disregard so easily your retribution knight?"
He looks at him in the eyes only to find emptiness. Scared he says "You are the devil himself!" filled with anguish. Looking at his bodyguard whom, paralyzed by fear of the armed men non-hesitant to shoot at him for any sudden movement he makes is barely even able to stand, yells "Do something!" The bodyguard gulps in reaction to his master's request, certain he will get shot. To his surprise he stands alive for the moment.
The man puts Carlos down in his knees and says, " No, I'm not the devil but his servant if needed for our cause." as he looks dreadfully into the prince's eyes. "Now, you shall pay for your crimes in blood." as he twists his neck, killing him. He turns towards Javier who is fully aware of the situation by now and remarks "So I see the sleeping angel has awoken."
"What do you want Jaeger?" He looks in shock to the current events and for his foolishness for not seeing the ambush coming.
"Vengeance, money, war. Mostly war and death. Mainly your death since what you did to my arm last time" as he looks at his cybernetic right arm. "The orders from my employers are clear, keep him alive and bring him to U.K. But you know what? Screw it, I'll be going against the prime minister's orders but, ACCIDENTS DO HAPPEN. I'll take what is mine back and in the process I will destroy you. First your friend here" he points with his blue Orcish blade Chillrend towards Sam's neck. "Then I'll round up your friends, kill them as you witness. Then you will have my permission to die." he says as he stabs Javier in the same area of the abdomen he just recently got shot at.
He prepares to cut down Sam's head when he notices a sniper in the shadows. He quickly grabs a trooper standing nearby to cover himself. The sniper round kills the unlucky trooper but the R-100's laser properties plus the Atom's enhanced photon booster capabilities leave Jaeger in a bad state. Following the confusion 3 Trinity arrows are shot, killing 2 troops and injuring in the arm a third as Garret in his slim, midnight black leather armor jumps down. The rest of the team go down in ropes shooting down the resistance. Only Jaeger, the injured trooper and a medic are able to retreat. As they leave, shooting and leaving fellow comrades to die, through a elevator to the surface Jaeger yells to Javier "It appears destiny has decreed that we don't clash swords yet. Master fate will tell. Soon enough."
"We have to get Javier to the med-bot fast. It will fix him right up." says Marco hurrying with a injured Javier in his shoulders alongside Garret.
"Oh Sam, you ok?" says Dimitri worrying over her brother.
"I'm ok lil' sis." says Sam joking as usual.
"You almost got killed!" yells Dimitri.
"That is what we get paid for." Sam says in a mocking tone.
"But not in that way!" Dimitri replies as she takes Sam to the transport.
The group was decimated in the ambush set by Jaeger. Heavy causalities include Dimitri's boyfriend John, Joe, Dirk among others. The only ones left are Marco, Sam, Javier, Sasha, Dimitri, Peter, Dominic and Garret plus two rebels.
Back in the way to U.S., Garret asks Dominic where was he as he dodges the question. Javier and Sam are recuperating from his injuries while Dimitri is sobbing over the loss of her boyfriend. Dominic notices and consulates her as she cries. Javier looks back at the badge Dominic lost. One thing is clear to him now as they arrive to the US. It was all a trap set by a traitor on the inside.
It's been almost a week after the failed mission. Marco and his team mourn for their fallen comrades. Sam and Javier are supposed to be recuperating in the hospital from their injuries. Garret still tries to figure out what went wrong and who is the traitor, having Javier tell him of his suspicions. The one who has taken the toll the most is Dimitri, having lost her boyfriend and having her brother injured in the hospital. She barely can keep on going. If it wasn't for Dominic consulting and being by her side she might had taken her own life as well.
Dominic notices he is missing something but can't remember what exactly and goes to his house. In the way home he feels followed. Beginning to think he is too losing his mind he decides as soon as he enters his home he will go to rest and forget about the matter. As he enters he notices the door is unlocked, he prepares his gun fearing a thief is inside or worst. He walks up to the living room where he notices a man. Pointing at the man he aims and yells "Put your hands in the air!"
The man reveals himself to him as he signals Dominic to lower his weapon. Dissimulating that his worst fear is right in front of him he hesitantly lowers the weapon. He continues and says hiding his worries, "Javier! What are you doing here? Aren't you supposed to be at the hospital?"
Javier replies "Its ok, I'm fine. In fact I came here to pay you a visit from employer to employee. You technically work for me and I want to know how are you after the events that happened and I would want to know you better. I always need to know with whom I work with. My life depends on it."
"Sure" Dominic says as he makes gesture for Javier to sit comfortably which he denies. He goes to the kitchen to get some root bear for Javier in hospitality. "Here, your favorite drink I was told. Just so happens I had some left. By the way I am sorry I couldn't stop them from taking you out. I got confused when the flash-bang went off." He takes a deep breath and asks, "So, what do you want to know from me?"
"Well, who are you deep down in person. How do you live and what kind of person you are overall. It is only been 4 days since I met you and I didn't have the opportunity to meet you." Javier notices Dominic is avoiding eye contact.
"Well, I grew up in France. My father was police man and mother was a house hold wife. She was a very religious person and used to take me to..." Javier stops him before he can finish the sentence. He notices in Dominic's body language signs of a liar, he then asks "And, what religion is it that you and your mother were?"
Javier notices accelerated breathing in Dominic as he responds "Catholic"
"Oh really. Then why was this badge with you back in Spain? I guess you didn't notice when it fell, right?" He drops down the Dominic's badge as he continues asking, "Because that badge is the same holy symbol Church of Retribution. I had Vex and Garret research the symbol, Certainly not 'Catholic' as you affirm to be."
"That is not mine." Dominic says as he realizes his error.
"Really? I saw when it fell from your pocket. It is also a coincidence that when I looked for you when we got ambushed you were not there. Plus, when I talked to the team they each tell different stories of where you supposedly had to be yet you where nowhere to be found. It also just happens that the man who attacked me, Jaeger is the Church's 'Holy Knight' or 'Paladin of Death' and the militia that attacked us where his men. Now what do you have to say for yourself?" To his surprise Dominic starts laughing in relief.
"Well, what the hell. You already know, I guess there is no more point in keeping the act." He takes a deep breath and continues, "I'm surprised you figure out this quick. All because of that stupid medallion I forgot was carrying. The mission was to take you out, alive. Jaeger thinks he is the one but he is not. In the end it was necessary."
"What is necessary?" Javier inquires angrily looking at the traitor.
"I shouldn't have underestimated you. Who would have thought you would back me to a corner so quick. The others fell for it and now they are buried 7 feet underground. You, you were always sharp as a blade. You had to be taken with the extremest of caution. We planned this for years. Can't believe I messed up this time, and so horribly for that matter. Normally they only realize until their dead." He turns his back and grabs his dagger without Javier noticing. "No matter, I will not fail again!" he yells as he goes to stab Javier who seeing it coming grabs his arm and disarms Dominic. Javier grabs in a chokehold Dominic who breaks free by luck as he backflips off with the help of a nearby wall. There he slams Javier's face inti the wall. Soon, Dominic realizes Javier is still weakened and jabs Javier two times. He quickly punches Javier once in his injure before he goes for the face again. This time Javier is quick enough to deflect the blow and grabs his arm, kicks him twice and throws him to the ground. Javier proceeds to kick Dominic in the ribs and then the arm to near unconsciousness. Dominic almost succumbing to Javier notes the dagger and tries to grab it only to be kicked to the side by Javier. Javier then returns the favor and stabs the other still free arm with his knife.
"Enjoy that? Being stabbed? That is for John and the others." Javier says as he watches Dominic scream in pain as he removes the knife while dragging himself towards the television, losing blood. Ultimately Dom falls unconscious due to the blood loss while Javier watches closely.
Back at the interrogation room in Infinity Defense, Dominic is strapped to a chair while unconscious as Javier sits next to him. The room is dimly lighted. Crummy and dirty, it is evident it hasn't been used in quite some time. The place is quietly reminiscent of a dungeon back in the middle ages where a prisoner would be to be punished. In the back is a one side window through which the survivors look at Javier preparing to punish Dom to say the least. They haven't seen him so angry since they know him a long time ago. At the other side a now semi-healthy Sam whispers to Garret, "Can't believe I trusted him. I really did."
Marco responds in the back "We all did."
"I feel like its my fault. If I didn't..." Sam says before being stopped by Garret, who is still looking at what is about to happen inside.
Dominic wakes up, greeted by Javier and a gun. Javier says"Why should I not torture you right away. Because of you, my friends died. Because of you I have this scar" as he points to his healing injury. "Because of you John in dead and Dimitri almost suicided. Do you have any idea of what you have done? Do you even care that people died and their loved ones are now suffering." He says as he shows him every dog tag of his fallen teammates. Strangely, Javier does not wear once of his own.
"Now you notice when people die, others suffer? After all the killing you do? Haven't thought of that, do you? Well, it had to be done. I avenged my father which you killed a long time ago in front of me. But you don't remember, do you. Of course you don't. The death list you have and the blood on your hands is a lot." Javier looks confused at his words. "Humph, just to refresh your mind. My father was the french bureaucrat Johann Franz. He was my father and a member of the church. He raised me and was the only family I had left. Then one day while in house a assassin enters, he tells me to hide in the closet as the man approaches. I witnessed everything, as you decapitated my father and doomed my life! After that I knew my life was over and I had only one motive for what I continued living, revenge. Revenge against the man who killed my father. That man is you. And now I have taken that revenge, and it was sweet. Watching you suffer the same way I did, and it shall continue until you are rotten down to hell that you will lose the will to live. Then you will know the true meaning of death and despair. First your friends, then your family and with it the whole world will witness the rise of the knight! Javier realizes the church's next target, his wife and the United States president Iris. She is the only family he has left, everyone else is gone. He gets furious and decides to take any information possible from him on the church's plans.
"Why don't we play a game of Russian roulette? Only this time it will be a knife and if I don't like your answer I will cut your greatest asset. I heard the Frenchmen have a rather big genitalia compared to their height." Dominic desperately says "Ok, ok. I'll talk just don't do this, please!" Javier stabs him in the pelvis. "Spit it out or next time I will not miss."
Gasping he replies "All right! Jaeger is to assassinate the president and blame it on the rebels. It is all part of the complot to force the world into war. Mankind will be cleansed in the process. After that the world will be so devastated they will willingly give their freedom to the new government formed by the ashes of the old, broken one. Then our lord will be able to sweep humanity of its sins and we will be reborn anew."
"When?" Javier requests for more information as he stabs again Dominic who is barely able to hold on.
"At the United Human Alliance conference in D.C. The whole world is going to see as the 'rebels' take out your wife. She'll become a martyr. War will soon follow. The purpose of our skirmish in Spain was to take you out and prevent any interference." Javier stabs him again as Dominic screams in agonizing pain. "What? I told you everything I know, I swear! You don't believe me?" screams Dominic.
"Oh I believe you, in fact I am done with you. Is just that today you will pay for your betrayal. Your ancestors will suffer knowing that a traitor has to die without children. Scum like you cannot be allowed to be bare children to another generation." he says as he slashes Dominic in the groin. "I believe you and Dimitri have some unfinished business. I can't say she'll be as merciful as I was with you." He remarks as she enters ready to punish Dominic for his back-stab.
As he exists Garret stops him. "I thought you were against torture. What happened for you to change?"
"They are going for Iris next. Nobody messes with my family. Plus, I recognize a coward when I see it. That is why I use a knife, guns are too quick. You can't savor the moment. It is at the time of death when the person is truly revealed. In a way I knew people better than themselves." he says as he grabs his equipment as he leaves to protect Iris, even against her will if necessary.
Arriving at the office before Iris's departure for the meeting in a few hours, he bursts in the offices an heads towards the presidential room. The offices are full of people is suits and ties, readying themselves for the soon to be celebrated UHA meeting. They chatter amongst themselves on the current problems the USA is facing and what to do next as well as current problems in the world such as the Mithril scarcity and the ongoing uprising. "Dark times are coming!" says a man before being escorted outside. Javier heads straight towards Iris's office when the same secret service man that stopped him once, stops him again.
"What part of let him enter don't you get? He's her family." says the older agent letting Javier enter again. The younger agent seems confused one more time.
Inside Javier warns Iris of the incoming danger. They have a loud discussion full of foul words and insults.
"I told you, my job has hazards I must accept. I appreciate your warning but the event will be secured as it gets before it even starts. I will be more than safe. Interpol will also be present checking everyone inside." Iris says dismissing him.
"You don't get it. The men that are coming for you and several others are more than deadly. They are the best of the best. Plus they have men already inside, members of the Church."
"Now just stop being pre-judicial. That is the kind of racism that has led us to this point. It is true that there are many politicians who are members if Scie..., I'm sorry, the Church but that doesn't mean they are evil."
"No? That is the same people that tried to get me killed and now plan to do the same to you."
"Your enemies are your enemies Javier. If they come for some reason it is your fault. Anyway I assure you the Military Police will be able to stop a little band of rebels."
"Just the same way they stopped my brother from dying?"
"I don't time for this Javier! Leave me alone, next time it will be through court. I'm sorry but you leave me no choice."
She, upset leaves next to the general Jadgtanker who is waiting outside. They leave for the UHA meeting to be celebrated soon. Uneasy Javier decides to go infiltrate in case the threats are true.
As the ceremonies starts, Javier hides in the shadows awaiting for anything impervious to happen.
The meeting is held on a large and vast building. There are two floors, although only the first one is being used. The second one remains mostly unlit except for the common guard or the person out of place. People from all places in the world are present. Good food, a cheery attitude is in the air as they prepare themselves. The seats are in ascending order, divided by countries each section. Most, if not all of the member countries are represented as they begin to assemble. The guards are ever-present, watchful in case something happens. Behind stage there is a total chaos as the final minute preparations are set. As it starts a caucasian, balding man of average height and weights walks to the center of the stage. "Greetings everyone for the annual UHA nations conference. In this meeting we will discuss the scarcity of Mithril in the planet as well as the recent rebel attacks on the world. But first lets take a moment of silence for the recently deceased prince of Spain Carlos Espada who was found dead in his room a few days ago." says the man in the podium. All the attention is focused on him as he continues his discourse.
Javier looks for Iris as she sits alongside her body guards, Miles, the speaker of the house Otto Drexler and the Secretary of State Mrs. Hilary McCain. Judging by their attitude, both the president and the speaker are not in good terms. And for obvious reasons. Only a couple of months ago the vice-president passed away to a rare disease. Unable to be in his post, the speaker is not the vice president. Otto is for one of those men who would go un-hesitantly to war against the rebels. She is one to keep peace as much as possible. She knows that if something were to happen to her, Otto would be the one to take presidency and would launch attacks against the UHA's enemies, furthering down the situation and setting into socio-economical depression the country. Something she does not look for to say the least. She still remembers the hard times of her youth and doesn't one anyone else passing through that. Something she has built upon her government. If he takes presidency all of her work would be in vain. Iris notices Javier up in the balcony above. She feels overly protected. Her mind is preoccupied by his words. She quietly leaves for the bathroom, Miles following suit.
"Now let's welcome British Prime Minister Tom Walker and the President of India Baljeet Koothrappali" welcomes the man in the podium. Javier instantly recognizes the man commanding the Military the day his home was destroyed.
"He's the son of a ... who killed my brother!" Javier feels impulses of going to assassinate him right away before calming himself down. The true warrior doesn't go head first into combat, he must know the environment first. Due to that he watches as he sees around a hundred plus armed men patrolling the building. He finds it uncommon that some of the men are carrying plasma weapons and Sub-Machine guns instead of the standard Assault Riffles.
"If the rebel attacks continue to happen, the whole world as we know it will be in danger. Knowing this I suggest we bring the attack at them first. We cannot allow them to capitalize on our hesitance." says the Prime Minister as he continues arguing on the pros of going into war with the rebel uprising.
"But, lets ask ourselves why they attack." says Raj arguing for a peaceful solution to the conflicts. The rest of the people in the meeting start arguing between each other. It is clear that the leaders of the world are divided between war and peace.
"This is exactly why we formed the UHA. To stop war from happening. But if we don't act as one then we will crumble under our own weight. The rebels will win if we don't come together under one solution." says the king of Britain, young but wise beyond his age, peaceful man who obviously dislikes the military leader of his country. He's the kind of man that always knows the right thing to say.
Javier goes to search for a better watch point when he encounters a guard. He stealthily kills the guard and drags the body to a hidden place where he searches the body. To his surprise he finds the same insignia that Dominic had. He quickly realizes that among the soldiers guarding the building, Jaeger's militia has infiltrated as well as the rebel uprising. He quickly deduces the plan soon before it takes action. However stands powerless as he witnesses the first shots.
The building's calm turns to chaos as the rebels reveal themselves, killing hundreds. As of this the U.S. President and her committee take refuge. Jaeger personally reveals himself as the survivors are rounded up, this time donning a red/white samurai mask that covers his face. Only his eyes are seen. His armor, shining as if made in the heavens, his sword, dark like his soulless, blue eyes. His silver hair barely revealed, yet it outshines everything within sight. The men and woman look in terror as if seeing a demon coming right through the gates of hell. A man around his forties, maybe fifties approaches him. The man is a priest church. Jaeger looks at him with hatred as the man introduces himself to the fiend. Michael Smith is his name.
"Why you do this? There is no need for violence. The holy word says to make peace amongst ourselves. For we are all sinners." He looks at Jaeger who has suddenly stopped talking to his men and turns around annoyed. Smith continues his sermon "For he made his son pay for our sins, we must thank him with love, not hatred."
Jaeger, now angry at the priest replies in a dark tone, "And who exactly are you for telling me what to do or not to do?"
"Not me, but the lord. For the word is the lord. Please, stop hurting this innocent people." Smith says in their defense.
"Those people are not innocent. They are corrupt. They prospered in the suffering of the many. They bathed in the sweat and blood of the people, and I do this for the people. Pigs, animals and as such they shall be treated. They shall be punished, as the rest of this amoral species."
"And who we are to decide who shall be punished? It is only the lord's job and we are but none to decide." Infuriated Jaeger grabs him by the neck, gazing straight through the priest's eyes as if burning his soul. He serenely replies "I am the one to decide, and so I have. Humanity will pay for what they have done. Humans are like a virus and so they shall be contained and controlled. So it shall." Jaeger reaffirms his hold, nearly suffocating the priest to death. Barely able to breathe the priest realizes his newfound conclusion, some men are not meant to be saved. Some men are pure evil. They are the darkness, incarnate.
"Where is president Rodriguez?" He asks, noticing she is not amongst the captives. He feels a sudden rush, however he quickly calms himself.
"You are the devil himself!" says Smith as he almost passes out if it were not for Jaeger to release him from his chokehold.
"Find her!" he commands as he selects a team of his men to aid him search for Iris.
In the way to find her he receives a message from his leader. The man speaks in a irritated tone.
"Have you disposed of the president yet?" asks the man via communicator.
"No, Mr. Walker. And next time make sure she is in her place." He responds in a annoyed tone.
"Make sure you find her and have her neutralized. She is a threat to our plans. With her gone, we will be one step closer to controlling the United States and its Mitrhil. We will not tolerate failure like last time Jaeger. Even if you are the knight, you still serve under us.. Do not fail us, do not fail me. Understood?"
"Very well sir. So it shall be done." He follows reluctantly. He does not like having a idiot minister giving him orders. He has but one true plan and that is to kill. Not to give power to the corrupt. Such scums are not fit to live, yet they have enough power to rule over mankind. There is but only one true lord and that is Nyarlathotep. With his work done, his true master will be free to purify the Earth and its people. No matter how cruel or destructive the means, it must be done.
"This way president!" yells Miles as he orders the other men present to guard the other politicians who were able to escape.
They run without stop. Tired of running and fearing death they head towards the hangar exit only to find it blocked by Jaeger and his men.
"Not so fast. You can seriously be thinking of going without saying goodbye?" tells Jaeger to the escapees as he shoots in the arm Miles, knocking him out. They begin to shoot down the others as he approaches his target.
"Now, lets go somewhere safe honey? You don't want to be in danger." He looks at her with a twisted, dark tone as he grabs her. He proceeds to knock her down gently with chloroform.
Meanwhile Javier is in search of his wife. He fights wave though wave of militia as the horrors of war pass by. Soon the Military Police arrives and applies martial law on the nearby outskirts. Total discord is in the air. Marco's squad is also in the fight as backup for Javier. Gunfights are the deal of the day. Many casualties have been reported, both on military and the civilians as the terrorists keep ahold of the politicians. For every 3 people inside the building 2 have died is reported. The police and the military each try to push forward to retrieve the captives, all of whom are dreadfully terrified of the chance of death. They hug each other waiting for this nightmare to pass, or for their time to come as the terrorist, for each hour that passes kill one person.
Jaeger and his team go to the underground bunker tunnels that range through the city with Javier and the Military in hot pursuit.
As they flee Jaeger says "You know, my orders are to kill you. To make a martyr out of you but why kill such a beauty. I will be going against orders but who cares. Damned if I don't take what I want!" The semi-conscious president murmurs
"So you are that asshole Javier was talking about."
Infuriated, Jaeger responds in a loud tone, "You know that son of a ...! That man is who took my arm away." He says looking at his arm. He remembers their previous confrontation some years ago back in Luxembourg, the time when Javier viciously amputated Jaeger's arm. To think of a man defeating him? How impervious! Nobody had defeated before the greatest swordsman alive, nor will he allow it to happen again. "So know I have his woman" he thinks to himself, looking at her bust. "Now I have his beloved." He says as he gets closer to his prisoner.
"Screw you asshole!" She stomps him in the foot. He retaliates with his right backhand to her face, knocking her out of her feet. She clutches her face in pain of receiving a hit of that magnitude. It is not everyday she receives a slap from a cyborg.
"You have no idea of what I am capable of." He says in a very suggestive tone as Iris is struck with terror. She begins to panic again, trying to lose herself off. One of his men grabs her violently and hits her hard enough for her to stop trying to escape. Just as he finishes uttering his sentence two shots are heard. Two of his men fall down dead. He turns around to find the source when he sees Javier aiming at him. He quickly grabs the president and points a knife at her throat.
"Put you weapon down or I'll slash her neck off! You don't want anything to happen to her, do you?" He threatens. Javier with no other option puts down the pistol. Two men come to grab him down and put him in his knees by force as they take control of him. They punish Javier in front of her, something she is not willing to see. She closes her eyes if it were not for them to have stopped kicking him. He looks at his beloved, trying to see her for a final time. He knows one of them will die, and it will not be the one Jaeger want to see suffer.
"Javier, don't do this! I'm sorry!" says Iris worrying for Javier in a ghostly tone, crying. Not having fulfilled her destiny, a dream of a better world were there is no more need to suffer. Naive to a fault, she looks at him, knowing she will die. Terrorized, Iris tries to hold on until the end only to enter in a more shocked state of mixed emotions. She knows they will not be as merciful with her as with him, for lack of a better term.
"I'm sorry. I was rash about this. I should had taken care of you better. I... I shouldn't left you alone. I'm sorry I could't protect you better. I'm sorry I couldn't protect our daughter better." He looks down disappointed at himself. Having ignored the fact that she was there for him all along and now, she is to be taken away from him. He barely can handle the fact that the last of his family is about to perish in front of his own eyes.
"I'm the one who is sorry." Javier looks shocked at Iris's words. "I should have listen to you. I should have acknowledged you. If only I could take back what I said to you before. I was a fool. You were always trying to take care of me. Of her, Maria. I wish I could finish my purpose." She breaks into a agony state, her life is too short.
"I love you! Say hello to Maria up there. Tell her daddy misses her." Javier says, having reached breaking point.
"I thought you didn't believe in heaven?" says Iris, confused at his request.
"You do. Say hello to her."
Jaeger looks pleased. Finally having broken his enemy. "Who would have thought? The infamous 'angel of death' now begging down in his knees." Jaeger grabs Iris in motion to snap her neck.
She reaches for him"I don't want to go!"
She knows her life has ended. She closes her eyes one last time.
Jaeger proceeds to snap the neck, killing her brutally in front of Javier. He finally has broken down his arch-rival. However a man who hast lost everything is the most dangerous. Javier, in lust for revenge throws down a flash-bang, grabs his knife and slashes the man's behind him leg and then stab his neck, then proceeds to kill the other militia man by slashing his neck. He goes and readies his katana as Jaeger proceeds to grab his combat staff, preparing for combat.
"Let's save ourselves the ceremonies, as you can see I am not here to fight. I'm here to kill!" Jaeger says as they study each other before taking the first strike.
Javier knows Jaeger is not a foe to underestimate. Fast, powerful and deadly Jaeger is a force to be reckoned with in combat. Javier looks at the arm he amputated a few years ago, the reason why Jaeger is in a vendetta, now fully grown through cybernetic implant technology, a very powerful and controversial practice even at such times in history. He knows that his opponent is bio-engineered to be the perfect killing machine, born to 'aryan' parents, but to what extent Jaeger will fight is not known.
His one purpose in life has been to herald Nyarlathotep's return. To clean the path in his way and in the end, become the god of s new world, free from the sinful ideology of free will. Without it, humans will finally achieve a new state of existance. That of a new utopia, free of sin and suffering. Since a child, that is what his life has been dedicated to. To that one sole purpose of a 'perfect' world. That is his destiny, none shall stand in his way. Not even the man who sold his soul for power, Tom Walker.
Jaeger is not one to fully let himself go in combat, always holding himself down. Brutal in combat, a freak in life. He is the perfect killer, Jaeger stands over 6 feet tall as his silver hair waves. His blue eyes, pale white, tall and strong physical build sets him as what the aryan race aims to be. What kind of monster hides behind the impressive sight of the paladin of the apocalyptic church is what everyone wonders. Not even his masters know what he is truly capable of. He truly believes in his goals and embraces his path as a harbinger of death and destruction. In his eyes there is no remorse left to be seen as his heart grows dark. His mind is as twisted as that of the worst people in history. Looking forward to exert his god's wrath amongst the face of the planet, he calmly prepares for his battle. There is a saying he that 'hates to love and loves to hate'. That saying more fitting cannot be.
It appears as if time has stopped to presence the incoming fight between the two titans, as they prepare to take the first strike.
Duel of Titans
Jaeger and Javier are at last confronting each other. They stare at each other, as if in a dance of death. One fighting because he must, the other because of no other choice. They ready their respective weapons, a straight katana for Javier. A combat staff for Jaeger. Javier opens with a quick slash as Jaeger dodges. Javier goes for another kick as Jaeger blocks and counterattacks, hitting him in the face. Javier tumbles back a few steps and grasps his sword again firmly.
Javier tries to find a weak spot, only that Jaeger has none to date. His fighting style impeccable. His speed, unmatched. His defense, nigh-impenetrable. A perfect combat machine.
Javier goes again for a strike, Jaeger blocks once more. Trying to counterattack, Jaeger turns to hit the opponent in the back only to be met with a blocking sword. Javier punches him in the face then striking upward, making a small slash on Jaeger's mask. He in turn goes and attacks Javier with his staff in a diagonal motion, Javier dodges and slashes three times Jaeger. Going for the forth directly heading for Jaeger's face, ready for a decapitation, Jaeger blocks with his own mechanical hand. Astonished, Javier is paralyzed from the shock, only to be punched by Jaeger, dropping blood from his nose.
Jaeger proceeds to hit twice Javier in the face with his staff. He then grabs Javier by the neck and slams him to a wall. He proceeds to punish Javier from all directions, Javier is struggling to defend when suddenly he kicks Jaeger in the knee, grabs his face and slams him into the same wall. He reciprocates the punishment with a few sword slashes. Jaeger retaliates by pushing him back to the center of the fighting area.
Javier, back at the center of the area, drops a flash bang. He jumps into the air and proceeds to barrage Jaeger with quick sword slashes and kicks, Jaeger barely able to hold on to his staff. Finally he sees a opportunity to stop Javier from striking his chest, grabs him by the arm and throws him back around. Jaeger then splits his staff into two smaller ones.
Javier goes again to attack, but is quickly counterattacked by Jaeger, hitting his face again. Jaeger takes opportunity to rejoin his staff into one. Javier turns around and spin-kicks his enemy in the gut, slashes upward, jumps and almost lands with his sword on Jaeger. Javier is about to finish him, only for Jaeger to respond at the last second, grabbing Javier mid air and slamming him into the ground.
Javier gets up, now weakened from the fight. He is barely able to keep up with the knight. Jaeger goes for the finish but Javier blocks him mid-attack. Javier proceeds to grab Jaeger's staff while kicking him. He throws the staff to the air and cuts it clean in the middle, effectively damaging it beyond repair.
Infuriated Jaeger grabs his own crystal blue sword. A fine weapon, perfect for its user. Few places are known to make such perfect weapons that are on Earth, one being in Germany, the other in Japan. Both rebel countries. It is said that he never uses that magnificent sword, nor he needs to in most cases. Those who have indeed seen it, do not live to tell it.
Infuriated, he shouts at Javier, "I was trained by the best in the art of killing. My whole existence has been to do so. All my life has been for one goal, and that goal is to save mankind. To cleanse it. Humanity is like a virus and so it needs to be contained. The weak shall be exterminated and only but one, true race shall be left to become advanced. To elevate. To become the master race. Since my beginning that has been my only purpose. No matter how hard and cruel my actions may be, I do it for the sake of my people. And if I am to become a monster for the sake of my people, then so be it! I'll do so gladly. And here you stand, defying me? To stop me from achieving the ultimate goal of humanity, power!? Godhood!? Where were you trained?! In a beggar's town?! A farm?! Not you, not Walker, nor anyone, is to stop me from becoming god! I shall be the justice humanity deserves! In return, I'll give him what he deserves. He will come and together we will but one. Father is waiting, lord Nyarlathotep. The master. He comes!" Jaeger spits some blood from his mouth, having received more than a few blows to the face. He takes out his mask and shows a bloodied face. A black eye, missing teeth. A bloodied nose. Sweat and blood runs through his face as he drops a single tear from his left eye. He grits his teeth and roars "I am the savior!" as the air rushes from the deepest fathoms of his lungs, saying that one line as if uttering is soul and breathing his last breath. His full wrath is unleashed in the battlefield at last.
He stands ready for battle. Instead of the two-handed grasp of Javier, he grabs his sword with one raised hand above his head, pointing at his opponent. With the other he blocks any incoming blow. A impressive style. Mastered by few, only the likes of Vincent and Javier are said to parallel his. Very quick and especially deadly. The only weakness of such style it is extremely difficult to maintain given its necessary speed and the necessary defense, something Jaeger lacks. All offensive, but in comparison to his attacks, he defends as well as a glass wall. Javier knows this, after all that is why he ended up alive in his previous encounter with the assassin.
"Care to take be again on a sword fight. There is one name for that, suicide!" Javier responds, further angering Jaeger. Now starting to lose control of himself, Jaeger promptly rush attacks Javier. Javier quickly deflects the blow and attacks back with a downward slash.
Jaeger attacks again, Javier deflects again his attack. He kicks Jaeger in the torso, downing his to a knee. He jumps in Jaeger and goes for a kill. Jaeger only has time to cover himself with his left, regular arm. The sword goes right through as blood spills all over Jaeger's face.
Jaeger screams in deep anguish. Now having lost both arms, he is more enraged. Only his right, mechanical arm is left holding his sword. "You will pay for that, you son of a b..." Jaeger screams before being kicked in the face by Javier. Jaeger gets up and attacks Javier. Javier blocks the attack and deflects it. Turning to strike his back, Jaeger tries to strike Javier's back, only to be blocked by Javier's sword, followed by a kick to the face.
Jaeger tumbles down as Javier rushed to the kill. Jaeger slashes as Javier crouches and slashes his knee in one smooth movement. He turns towards his opponent. Weakened, he is struck in the chest by Javier in one final blow. He falls to the ground, spitting blood all over while losing great quantities of the life supporting liquid. Javier approaches him, readying his midnight-black pistol, looking forward to finishing him. Javier grabs his sword from a still living, agonizing Jaeger, he spits out some blood from the mouth. He begs Javier not to kill him unhonorably. Javier, vengeance at hands, pulls the trigger. Finishing Jaeger, once and for all. Iris however is gone.
He takes her corpse as the chaos is about to engulf the reunion. Most of the politicians have been executed. Those who haven't are either in a delicate state or being rescued by the military. A hard hit to the UHA, orchestrated by more than one source. War is soon to follow as Javier is directing towards the evacuation zone, ready to be picked up by Marco and his team. Still mourning for her departure and with a impressive headache from the battle to say the least, he continues to move on. Javier doesn't accepts the current events. No matter how cruel, dark his life has been up to the moment, nothing compares to this.
"Come on baby girl. Hold on. Everything is going' to be all right." He cries, as he takes his love's lifeless body across a horrifying screen of terror and horrors of the chaotic nature of war. Corpses lie everywhere. Blood is scattered across the rooms. Crying, yelling, sobbing is what is distinguishable between the loud sound of bullets flying. The militia still hold on impressively, more than 400 men were or are involved in the hostage situation and the fight. More than 200 are dead by now. By the exit a few hostages escape with the aid of their heroes clad in Titan and Strike armor. The others are dressed in common military uniform. The Shepard Michael Smith exits hurried among them, yet it is noticeable something has changed. He exits a changed man. The confrontation with the devil himself has changed it forever. His words made a deep impact in his psyche. Feeling abandoned, he refuses to look back.
Still with his mouth mask on, Javier flees from the military body with Iris in his arms. He runs for safety into a garage. Some vehicles are parked. A large rover. A troop transport. Some fancy cars, presumably owned by military leaders, between others. "I think we lost them." he whispers. Javier as he no longer believes the army in his steps.
Taking a break, he looks at a health kit and a gun. He contemplates both options, neither of them being a easy one. He decides to grab the health pod and applies the injection in the injured area. Nano-machines quickly begin to repair the broken tissue as well as killing the pain with a powerful drug ,which the effects could last for a few hours. Still, even with such a medicine he still weakened and in no perfect condition for combat. Javier screams in pain as he injects the drug into his body, right in the right leg, down in the femur area. A few seconds pass and the pain is gone.
He takes a moment to digest the events and begins to cry over his late wife. He solemnly cleans his sword, red from the blood coating. Finished cleaning, he grabs the picture he gave Iris a few days ago, of the three's family photo and looks at it with teary eyes. They appear much younger and much happier. Those were the old times with their daughter Maria, the spark and joy of his life. She was so beautiful in his eyes. She was very young. Pure and innocent. Free from the hardships of the world. Very smart and oddly observant for her age as well. After all, she resembled a lot her dad in many different ways. She used to notice when things when wrong and tied to consulate her parents when they fought.
The picture was taken a day when they went to a amusement park back in Florida, USA. He remembers that day as if it was yesterday. A sunny day with few clouds. Cheery attitude was in the air, one could feel the happiness of the people and could go back and feel like a child again. Life was good. At least for a day or two. They only stayed around a week at the hotel.
Maria was only around 4 years old. One year before her premature death. They rode a roller-coaster called "The Fist o' Pain" as his wife watched in the ground back there, she being scared of heights. The line to the ride was kilometric, but Maria's smile was worth it. She smiled from cheek to cheek as they screamed from excitement.
She said in Spanish, "Let's go again daddy! This time mommy can come!" as her mother replied with her face a big no. They used to communicate in their natal language. Both Iris and Javier were fluent Spanish speakers and so wanted for her to live by her roots.
"Sorry, but mommy is scared of heights. She can't come." Javier replies as he rubs her head.
"But, I really want mom to come." she says very sad.
"Well, all right. But just this once. I don't like big scares." Iris finally complies to Maria's request. Javier kisses Iris, embarrassing a little Maria in a funny manner.
So they made the line again. The sun, ardent on them as they waited around 2 hours so they could ride it again.
"Finally!" Maria yells excitedly as they sit together. Maria in the center for safety precautions. Javier in the left side and Iris on the right side.
"Well. Here we go." Iris says, holding herself from panicking.
As they rise and the ride gets faster, Iris starts to scream hysterically, much to the amusement of Javier and little Maria.
"Look at mom." Maria says while laughing out loud. Javier laughs a little in the back, while also taking a deep breath from his hard work.
"I think I am going to hurl!" Iris shouts, barely audible due to the high speed they were traveling. She finally gives in and vomits to the side. A young man in the ground is the unlucky receiver of the gift. Maria and Javier laugh even harder. Eventually, after a few hours around nine, Iris is still the laughing stock of the three. But all is in good fun. Maria is sporting a little tiara she got from the gift shop. She is very exited for being a princess at last. It is what she always dreamed of. However it is past bedtime for Maria and Iris says its time to sleep.
"But I don't want to sleep! I want to watch tv with dad!" Maria makes out a bit tantrum as Iris takes her to the bed.
"What about a little bedtime story?" Iris tries to calm her down.
"Yay!" Maria calls exited.
"Is everything ok in here?" Javier asks hurriedly after he heard the screaming.
"Yes, honey. Everything is all right. I'm going to read a little story to put her to sleep."
"Oh really? What story?" asks Javier looking at Maria.
"Mary Poppins! Please, I love it when she falls out of the cloud! Please!" Maria begs with big, rounded eyes.
"Well of course. How can I say no to such a beautiful princess." Iris says, taking Maria's tiara and putting it besides the bed in a nearby table.
"Let me tell her the story until she falls asleep. Then we can go and watch some television together. Ok?" Iris says to Javier, kissing him kindly.
"Ok. I'll be waiting in the room." Javier kisses Maria in the forehead and wishes her a good night. He then goes their own room and turns in the television. He relaxes back and grabs a ice-cold, refreshing root bear as he hears in the background Iris's storytelling.
Longing for the fond memories, he begins to have a fit of rage, damning the world. His life has been more than hard, now this! Is as if destiny conspired against him. First his brother, then his daughter. Then it was his father. Even when he hold a big content for leaving Roy behind and not talking to him ever since, he still took care of his dad when he was in his deathbed and treated him with due respect. Life had not been easy on the old man.
His father passed a few years ago because to kidney cancer, due to the alcoholism he fell in after Roy's death and Javier being enraged with him for the rest of his life. Poor economic stability, depression and a hateful son, it can be hard for a parent to continue on. They struggled in a hard world. To imagine such poverty still exits. Its just that is well hidden by the government. Imagine what it must have been to look in the garbage for food because that is all that is available. No wonder Javier took his one true gift, the art of killing and turned it into a job. It is all he knows, whether it be a animal, or a person. It is a job and it must be done and damn good he is at it. He is a god-damned killing machine! If it weren't for death, he would have been dead. It is all he knows how to do. No matter how smart, how good a soul can be it needs to survive, and if the means to do so are to kill another human being then so be it. Its not like he has any remorse whatsoever. He grew around death since youth. People died of starvation, disease or worse back in his hometown. People were poor, but they were happy and now that demon of Walker, who have sold his soul for power, took their homes, and their lives. Nothing was left, only death, beggars left to rot, scum of the society.
Iris was one that had a tougher life. Her dad died in a shooting leaving her alone. She had to gain money but with no job experience she had to resort to less than degrading jobs as no employer would take a underage, but she was pretty after all. After she made a good amount of money she moved away to San Francisco where she grew the last two years of her teenage. She worked at many part-times, while studying law at the University of California. After becoming a professional she moved to Sacramento and worked for a few years as defense attorney. That is when she became reunited with Javier and they became a married couple. The rest became history. She spent many hardships. Among them raising a child without full support of a husband who worked at around the world where he would conduct political assassinations. After their daughter died at a young age, she became a politician for the Democrat party. Then a senate, then a president. Sadly, her life was cut short by the demon Jaeger.
Javier damns Jaeger, such a bastard. Ruined what was left of his life. He damns Dominic, who took out what was his "second family". Vowing revenge on the man that started all, Tom Walker, he knows what he must do to avenge his family and himself. To regain his honor and what little peace of mind he has. With reddened, demon eyes he declares war on Earth, as for war is the means of regaining the lost honor. What was done to him, he shall do worse. Eye for eye, as the code of Hammurabi says.
A few minutes pass as he digests the emotional stress and trauma, when suddenly Javier hears some footsteps. He quickly deduces a single armored person. All of the sudden, no more steps are heard, as if the source stopped. He turns around only to find a man in Strike armor with a broken headpiece pointing a TB10-LW at him.
"So you are the bastard that did this!" says Miles, recovered fully from his concussion at a rapid rate. He was always a quick healer, always at the top of the human capacity. Graduated with flying colors, number 2 in his class of the 104's graduate class only behind Drake Hun. Young sergeant Miles Jagdtanker, of Asian-Germanic decent, is undefeated in combat. Always trusted with the most precious of targets, working for the Special Operations division of the U.S. Army. Miles looks at the corpse and realizes the victim. He sees the blood on Javier and deduces he was the killer. He prompts to shoot him in execution if it were not for Javier grabbing him and disarming him while the gun shoots upward. Javier kicks him to the ground and soon cuts the riffle in half with his katana. Miles, still in the floor, in retaliation grabs his magnum, only for it to be taken aside by Javier with his grappling gun, disarming him again. Javier unloads the gun and tosses it aside. Javier gestures no at Miles as the sergeant looks in deep anger at the killer of the leader of his country. At a miserable terrorist. USA has been one to bring a war on anything, and anyone who stands in its path, especially terrorists. To kill the president is to invoke its wrath, and Miles will personify its wrath. He is the country's best soldier and so he knows what he must do, or die trying. In the name of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
This events could very be the start of a world war. United States is one to be willing to do so once a president is killed. And so the world is about to witness the beginning of a new kind of war. Of a no-holds barred war in which brother will fight against brother, and the father will bury their children. A war where the farmer will lose as much as the mother of the soldier who fell in the battlefield, now to be commemorated with badges of honor. But badges cannot bring back a dead child. Many of those soldier are only but children, barely making eighteen when they have first seen the horror in the world, watch as their best friend standing next to them fall to the ground dead. Passing through the traumas of killing another human being, perhaps a civilian fighting for his ideals. A husband, a son, a brother? What about the family they left behind? Perhaps a widow, or a orphan? It is said, a boy becomes a man once he steps into the battlefield. All thanks to one man who has lost everything and seeks vengeance. They all shall suffer what he suffered.
Miles quickly gets up and grabs his combat knife. "Let's see who is the man behind that mask! What sort of devil, hides in there." He points the knife at Javier in a threatening manner.
"A good death, its is own reward." Javier replies, readying his sword as usual. Ready for combat, these two know either one of them is dying tonight, but it ain't going to be themselves.
"It will be my pleasure to bring yours. The infamous 'Angel of Death' Fancy name. Enough talk, lets finish this." Miles responds as he takes a step forward ready to strike.
Javier grabs him by the arm and twists it around as Miles screams in pain, letting the knife fall. He then pushes him aside and grabs the knife, putting it in his pocket.
"You seriously believe you can kill me? A soldier? More of a weapon." Javier explains calmly to the confused soldier.
"Enough with your non-sense. I will have you arrested and delivered to the pertinent authorities for an appropriate judgement. Nobody gets away with the murder of a president." Miles responds with a conviction coming down from his soul. He utters those words as if it were the last thing he'll do.
"This world has no place for your 'American' self-rightgeousness. Always believing to be the hero, but there is no heroes in this world. Those who are die, there is no place in this world for such childish, arrogant nature as nature dictates that those who shed morals aside and pursue their own preservation survive. You might not get, you are just a child. Twenties tops? 'America' has been one to always recruit the young, absent minded, those who are smart lead, not follow." Javier says to Miles who gets angrier by the minute.
The soldier's face gets twisted, deformed every time he gets angered as veins full of adrenaline mark his front. His face gets red, full with blood. His eyes start twitching with impatience as his morals get tested. Having been born to a house wife and a veteran he always looked up to the soldiers wearing bright, shining pieces of armor ready to deliver righteous justice. His uncle was active in the army as well as his cousin by the time he was attending high-school. Those who join the forces are seen with keen respect and deeply admired and encouraged by society.
Miles remembers the time he decided finally he would follow his father's footsteps, back when he was 15. He was at Gettysburg cemetery in a school field trip for the commemoration of the American Civil War, fought to liberate the slaves from their evil and corrupted masters. For freedom and equality. Next to him stands a old woman and his son, saluting a grave. He deduces quickly it must pertain to a veteran. There is pride in their eyes as the young man kneels to leave a couple of flowers at the tomb. That moment forever changed young Miles life. To be a veteran and to be commemorated as such. A peace-keeper, a warrior. His mind is filled with great pictures and depictions of soldiers and great warriors.
Miles remembers the tale of Achilles, a great Greek hero who died for his people in the great Trojan war as written by Homer. For Jagdtanker, it is great anyway for either to return with his shield or on it. He would still be a hero, and so he said to his best friend since childhood, Martin, a young lad of African-American decent. Jewish by religion, the two met since they were at Pre-School. Martin's father os a rabbi, they practice acceptance and union. He utters "You know Martin, I will join the army." He says so with a big, wide smile as he points towards the man and his mother at the father's grave.
"Really, well good for you." Martin says, trying to fake a smile. Miles notices something is wrong with Martin and asks
"Ain't you happy? You know, me being a peace-keeper? I was happy when you got the internship back at MIT in robotics." Miles says tending his friend.
"It's nothing. It's just that I worry. I... I just don't want anything to happen to my best friend." Martin says worried for Miles.
"Why would anything happen to me? We ain't at war and the world is a peaceful place. I want to make sure the world stays like so."
"Is just that, how can you be a 'peace-keeper' if you carry a weapon. There is no need for such awful things if the world is at peace. My father thought me, the gun is but a tool of destruction and hatred, but the real weapon is the..."
"man." Javier explains his point. "The gun isn't the weapon, or the knife. Not even the bomb. It is you. The one holding the trigger, without the tool is useless. It is not the gun who kills, you are the one who does. Soldier are but weapons, told where to point, and shoot!" Miles gets aggravated to a point he forgets his pain and stands up.
"You're wrong! You just want to see the world burn with hatred! I pity you." The soldier exclaims. He gets ready for combat, raising his arms in defensive position. He cracks his fingers making a little, barely audible 'pop' sound compared to the gun-fights and the explosions in the background when suddenly the center of the garage collapses, leaving a large pile of debris. The dust clears and Javier grasps his katana. He utters one final sentence,
"I don't need your pity, I need you dead! The world will now what it is to burn! Burn as my home did and finally realize they live in hell! You here stand witness to the beginning of war!"
War, a word unused for so long, almost everybody forgot the significance of such powerful, dark word. They will all now what it is to suffer, the utopia will fall leading a path for the reality of humanity, to destroy. Even destroy themselves. Such is the message of the 'Church', "and from suffering, the Paladin shall rise!"
"You want me to believe you? You are just a madman!" Miles continues to argue with both the assassin in front of him and with himself on the inside. Deep down, he knows those words are reaching him. Against what he was trained for, for what he stands for. He's a soldier, he must follow orders. "You're a murderer! You deserve to die!"
"Humph. We both have bloodshed in our hands. They train you to kill, not to think but to act. We are both killers, we are but the same."
The mission was given to him, protect the president. He failed. Guilt runs his thoughts as he questions if he has done the right thing. If only he hadn't been weak, if he hadn't lacked the will, she might be still be alive. Miles failed to protect her, protect his country. He failed his mission, he failed his country, his supervisors, himself, everyone. For the first time young Miles faced failure right in the eye, envisioned as a figure full of bloody knives and nijatō swords. For no reason was he graduated 2nd in his class, Miles was, and still is, a excellent fighter. An excellent warrior, always following orders. He was trained, programed, to not feel remorse. To do things right without hesitation. Yet, he cannot bring himself to fight this man in front of him. Something of he spoke was right. He also has killed. "They were not innocent. They were usurpers, murderers. They deserved so." he thinks to himself.
"Remember the Battle of Shanghai. Where the UHA sent a few battalions to suppress rebels. Did you ever thought why they fought? What they sought? Of course you didn't. You were on a mission to suppress rebels, but you forgot to look at the bigger picture as they trained you.
You ever thought why people wanted the president of China dead and why they hired a Thunder mercenary force to protect them? You know how I know all of this? I was there, saw it with my own eyes! I detonated the bomb that reclaimed his life with my own blooded hands! You know who hired me to to the job? Your own government's CIA. They can't allow communism into the new world order you seek to protect. Why else there would be a attempt at so many important people?" Javier says, pointing at Iris's corpse. "The media manipulates war just so one thinks it is justified, that it is a honorable act. Power is measured with military capacity. The power of dominance. If somebody is a threat, it is neutralized. Peace restored, end of the story. Fairy tales. Nothing you know is true!"
The continuos thoughts leave him confused, bedazzled, astonished. He's no saint, but a monster, only but in the side of society. The 'angel of death' for once, just wants to see the world in ruins, as they left him. He wonders why the figure in front of him talks fondly of Mrs. Rodriguez., it just doesn't make sense. Those were rebels, fighting for anarchy, not freedom. How could the USA's CIA do something as to eliminate a fellow country's leader. Miles looks at his own broken weapons as well as his broken Strike armor visor, remembering Martin's words, "How can you be a 'peace-keeper' if you carry a weapon?"
"Am I a peace-keeper, or a murdering warrior? Miles thinks to himself. Disorganized questions of morality flux his mind. He was told he was the good guy, shoot the bad guy. End of story. Protect the president at all costs, that is the mission. Simple. Now his job is to avenge the president, to avenge a country. "No matter if he killed her or not, that man is a threat to humanity." Miles thinks to himself as he regains his composure. He remembers a quote once said by his 12th grade History teacher, Mr. Hostos,
"Always trust your judgment, think for yourself as those who do not think nor learn from the past are doomed to repeat the same mistakes. Make sure you always try to do the right thing".
"I will bring hell. Everyone will learn, they will see. Now if you want to live, I suggest you use leave. Otherwise you will be against me, and those who are against me die! Javier lunges forward to strike with his sword an unprepared Miles who barely evades the attack.
"This is hell! I, its harbinger!" Javier screams as his lunges ahead, this time intercepting Miles, barely able to block the katana with an extended arm foward. Miles tries to punch him in the face, only to be blocked by Javier again. He quickly tries to punch Javier in the face again, but is cut short by a blocking sword and followed by kick in the gut.
"You are fast for a soldier. You training is impressive, but inadequate. Your methods and tactics are inferior, they will not save you." Javier says as he spins in the air while launching forward as to cut Miles's chest peace deep, slim inches away from a fatal blow. A close one for Miles, Jagdtanker thinks. Better keep a more concise guard.
Miles tries to jump kick Javier, who rolls out of harm. Miles approaches fast and tries to jab Javier, dodging by ducking. Javier makes two low slashes, blocked by Miles in consecutive fashion as Jagdtanker retaliates by punching the 'merc.' In the face. He proceeds to punch him again, and again, and again up to ten consecutive strikes, taking advantage of Javier's confused state after the concussive blow dropping his sword, until he tries to choke hold Javier. He raises him to the air as Javier struggles to free himself.
Javier finally kicks him in the face while airborne, grabs Miles arm with his two legs and does a spinning motion until Miles is thrown aside. "Amateurish mistake." Javier says as he grabs his twin daggers from his back. Miles sees the attack coming and quickly deflects each punch, kick and dagger strike upcoming towards him. Finally letting his guard down, Javier is quick to slash down Miles, left leg tumbling him down. Javier shoots his grappling hook and grabs his sword from a distance of Miles.
"A few tricks left I see, very well." Javier quickly drops a flash-bang, leaving Miles in a bad position. Seemingly coming out of nowhere while the flash effect wears off, he jumps high into the air and begins to barrage Miles with a multitude of slashes. Each is blocked by Miles barely, keeping his guard high this time. Finally getting a hold of the "death's" sword, he disarms Javier and kicks him high in the face, proceeded by a left jab to the face, and a stab on the kidney by Javier's own sword. Miles decides to break the sword with his knee with enough force, shattering it.
Javier looks at his wound, somewhat deep but nothing enough to stop him. "Gaaah! Damn it! You son of a bitch! Damn you!" He finally takes out his face mask and hood, revealing his face to the astonishment of Miles, recognizing him as the man leaving presidential office a few days ago as he entered.
"You! I had a bad feeling about you! But this? It seems 'demo-man' here is no as impervious as many might think!" Miles says as he looks at Javier sternly in the eye.
"Don't get cocky pendejo! You will pay for that!" Javier insults Miles as he grabs his Windblade from his back. Miles eyes focus on the glowing green sword. He longs at it, a strange weapon. From the looks of it, developed with the relics of a extinct alien civilization found only on UBW.
That planet in particular is recently being civilized with extreme hurriedness, in comparison to other frontier planets, it is filled with archeological artifacts, advanced on Mithril technology is different aspects of science, biotics( mainly, cybernetics as well as resurrection[rudimentary as the only successful subject was done so by transferring the mind of a deceased soldier into a Mithril run mechanical body] and biotic powers. Subjects stimulated with certain amounts of Mithril since early states of development tend to show increased capabilities of the human physics, mainly enhanced reflexes, accelerated healing, increased stamina and resilience to injury as well the capability of showcasing excess of energy sometimes eliminated as a form of shockwave, signals of rudimentary telekinesis. However, most of the times said exposure to the mineral proves fatal towards the infant. Only one case known of successful assimilation, the subject only known as Jaeger.)
Another common field is weapon & armor development( in this particular case it is been rumored the development of 'laser guns', the main being 'project LIT07' as well as 'project Pegasus' . Further information is classified and deeply secured), as well as faster than light travel.
According to certain data found on a canyon, it was proved that Mithril can be used a source of 'Mass Relays' or otherwise known as wormholes as according to the ancient remnants of said civilization. This lead to some people to start venerating said ancient civilizations and to herald the end of times. This group of people came to be known as the 'Church of Retribution'. However it is said by many experts in the field of Mithril research that those original people were most probably caused delirium due to the radiation found on said mineral. Supporters of the new founded cult state however that those 'God's fragment rocks of creation and destruction' allowed them to speak with the mighty Nyarlathotep itself. Apart from myths and theorical science, it is a fact that. Mithril can be used as a massive source of energy and that the amounts of Mithril and derived technology are vastly found on UBW. Countries struggle to be the firsts to secure the supply of "God's rock".
"Die!!!" Javier repeats his barrage of assaults coming from all directions, Miles barely able to get a hold of his breath. Slashing left and right, he leaves Jagdtanker in a mutilated position, down to a knee. "Playtime is over!" Javier jumps on Miles, knocking him to the ground and Javier leaping to the air as he turns mid-air sword in hand, as he falls back slashing Miles with enough force to break several ribs and organs.
Miles is defeated as Javier approaches him, Windblade ahold. Miles looks with a terrified but defiant face at Javier, certain that he will kill him. He sees Javier pick something from his pocket as he utters,
"You may not be a saint Miles, but you are still a good man. I can see it in your green eyes." Soldiers are heard in the background, trying to enter the garage following the loud noise of the roof collapsing. Javier takes one deep, last look at his family picture with Maria and Iris. He cleans his face with his hand, noticing his nose-bleed and punctured face as his hand is covered in blood. As for pain, he feels none. The analgesic drug included in the health kit still has it effect.
Miles finally succumbs to his wounds as the soldiers rush in. Javier is forced to flee, not before he leaves the picture of the family in Miles pocket. There is no time to take Iris with him, the weight of the body would slow him. It would slow him down, he needs to move fast and pronto. The military are greeted by the horrible scene of two bloodied bodies, one from the president with a broken neck, the other of a legendary soldier barely able to cling to life. A man in military uniform enters as he is greeted by fellow men and women who put their lives at risk in the midst of battle.
"Admiral Bridges, the status report indicates that..." A paramedic informs before being stopped.
"Contact Alexei, we need to keep him alive." The admiral quickly leaves the scene in a carrying helicopter coming through the fallen roof., next to the corpse of the president as Javier watches in the back, unnoticed. He is losing blood and needs to get ahold of his team fast, but his path is blocked by armed men. He decides to evade any confrontation. Weaken, in under any circumstances he would not be able to take on that many men alone. Javier calls Marco through his communicator,
"Javier? Where are you?" Marco contacts him,
"Get me the extraction team." Javier talks in a low tone, worrying Marco.
"Javier, are you ok?"
"Meet me at the end of the city. I can make it."
"What! The city is overrun with chaos. Entire building have collapsed. Plus, I don't know where you at! You just disappeared."
"Just meet me by the Pentagon."
"There is no Pentagon! Haven't you seen! The whole city is almost destroyed. An uprising is happening at the very moment, the army has swooped in. Plus, they bombed the overrun Pentagon after the rebels entered and kingdom come appeared. I can't believe how lucky you got! "
"Just me damn it! Just do it! Contact Garret and the team, tell them I am at Pentagon's underground garage. " Static is heard after the message is sent.
"Go, move! Javier is back in the ruined Pentagon underground. We need to extract him and fast!" Marco says to the team.
"I can't believe he survived! We were barely able to evade death back in the city." Sam says with certain relief his friend is alive.
As the turmoil passes away and the search party comes, Javier keeps struggling to find a high enough place for him to be spotted easily. Easier said than done as the roof has collapsed with the rest of the building, only leaving a dark and dusty tunnel through which he walks imply and injured. Taking a look of his wound, he decides to apply another does of the health kit. Preparing to inject himself in the affected area, he cleans it with one of the three lines of cloth behind his hood, ripping it. The cloth contains a message written in red, contrasting the black color of the piece of cloth. "恐怖の中で私は信頼して". He puts it in the wound cleaning it from the excess of blood, then he applies the injection as he screams in pain only for it to pass as quick as it came.
Javier continues walking down the dark corridor, thinking to himself of the recent events, how impotent he was, not being able to stop the death of his wife. For a man that has the power of taking life away, he cannot save it.
"I'm sorry." He mutters to himself as a brief breeze blows the two remaining cloths in his back, one red, one black. Both depicting two other messages. The red one is written in black, "戦い", as the black one sports, "死の天使" in red. He looks ahead as he notices a dim light at the end of the tunnel. He continues walking towards the light as he remembers fond moments of his life. The day when Maria was born, the happiest day of his life. Finally a father, the miracle of life. For all of the ones he lost in his life one way or another, they would be preserved each little bit inside her. She would be the future of her family.
When he finally saw her, still in the incubator as she was born a few days ahead of expected at the 35th week of pregnancy. Her beautiful, puff face. The big, round cheeks. The emotive, dark brown eyes she got from her father, they were as beautiful as pearls. For all he knew, she was the perfect baby. The first of her class. No matter how dark, twisted his life was before, she would have a happy, bright life.
"Mr. De la Costa, please wait in the labor room outside. We will run some test to verify everything is ok then you may continue to be with her in around 20 minutes." a nurse of around 50's, black skin and white hair. A bit over weight.
"Sure. When can I see her again?" He asks.
She looks at him as she looks the rest of the 1st time fathers who are overly exited for the arrival of a baby. Nothing special, millions are born every day on every reach of the human colonies. "I said in about 20 minutes."
"Thank you. You don't even imagine how grateful I am for your help."
"Sure thing." She looks at him mockingly as she rushes to leave any awkward situations. This one might even be crazy, she thinks.
Javier finally arrives at the end of the tunnel. As he exits, he notices the devastation of the battle. In the horizon, dozens of protesters are pummeled by the police as for their civil disobedience. All they want to see is the corpse of the president and to say their regards. Others want to protest against the current crisis and the lack of action by the government. Still, most only wish to escape the chaos.
"Move away!" A policeman says as he pushes a young woman with her little son as they try to run from the bedlam. Secret service and the Military Police guard the body as a aircraft lands to pick it up. Behind the president and couple of the injured or killed politicians come the news wanting to get the best shot of the recently deceased Iris.
Javier finally takes rest on a bolder under a small overhang nearby. He sends a beacon for the team to localize him as he takes a brief, well deserved rest. Closing his eyes, he remembers his father's voice in his deathbed,
"Javier, I'm sorry I could't protect you and now it is too late to ask for forgiveness. I know you are just 17, but you will have to be strong. Nobody is going to take care of you know, you are a grown man in the eyes of society. You will have to do what is necessary, even if you go against everyone. That's ok. I still will be at your side! Take care of her, she is a good girl. Take care of yourself, and when you have a family, take care of them with your own life. Family is the only thing you will ever truly have. Remember son..."
"I have failed." Javier mutters to himself. A rope falls next to him as Sam drop down to rescue him,
"You ok buddy?" Sam asks, looking at Javier's wounds. "Hurry, he doesn't have much tim if we don't act! Marco, get him to the hospital!"
"Roger that." Marco replies, stepping on it.
"You are going to be ok Javi. Don't worry." Sam consulates Javier as they go to the hospital of area.
4 hours later "Looks like Javier got it rough, don't you think?" Sam says as he looks at Javier, sleeping in his bed back at the hospital.
"He's lucky to be alive, the whole building almost collapsed on him." Garret replies while watching the current news on the television.
'A series of riots and protests have appeared during the course of the day, many casualties have been suffered as the fate and killers of the president remain unknown. Many proclaim to have seen troops carrying her's body as the chaos ensured, however said reports are confusing and therefore the situation remains unclear. Here is Prime Minister Tom Walker during his exit speech while being escorted by his elite bodyguards,
"I assure you we will find the culprits of these devastating events as they will be brought to justice. Rest assure, the United Kingdom and the United States the closets of allies at the moments as we mourn over the great lost of your beloved hero. We, as a nation, will support you to rebuild this great nation to take the war on the terrorists rebels as the one reported to be the one to kill the president and injure special tasks officer Miles Jagdtanker. This so called 'Angel of Death' shall be brought to justice and to a just court set by the UHA for crimes against humanity as well as assassination. Reports indicate he was also the man behind the staged assassination of the President of the People's Republic of China and its succeeding downfall, according to one cooperative subject testament in exchange for liberty and pardon; in accordance to our beliefs of just punishment and mercy as a united human race. Justice shall be swift and impartial. All of our efforts will be concentrated on such matter."
'Back to you Dianne, asian reporter Tricia Takanawa out.'
'Thank Tricia, in other news the Penta...'
"This is bullshit!" Javier screams as he shuts down the tv. He promptly throws the controller into the television, smashing it to pieces.
Garret hurriedly comes to calm down and agitated Javier, "Calm down Javier! You need to rest. You just received a deep incision near the kidney, luckily you dodged a bullet. No severe organ damage the doctor said. I believe you are acquainted with him. Dr. John Hofstadter."
Javier tries to remember the name, after a few moments of going into his archives of memory he finally remembers the young doctor. "John, yes, we met in 6th grade. Smart guy, to say the least. He's a good person, amiable. He was pretty skilled in basketball as well."
Outside of the room, Marco is walking towards the coffee machine when he notices a few Military Cops. He promptly hides behind a corner, only to find Dr. Hofstadter himself. He looks overhead to see the Cops still hanging around, nervously he hushes the doctor before he can speak. "Stay quiet!" As the guards finally pass along the corridor the young doctor talks to Marco about the incident.
"Listen, they are not for you. They are just looking for one of their injured teammates. I know who you are as well as Javier. Even though I don't agree with you, I will not report you. Javier was a friend of mine back in the day and I far more than aware he did not kill Iris, after all they been through. He is a tough lad, but he is still devastated. I saw it in his eyes, something was different. Unlike what I previously knew as the man known as Javier Enrique. What I saw was a monster, not a man.
She was the only thing left to him after he lost his village and brother. I can't even imagine what sort of horrors he might be living through. Javier was always an outcast, bitter and aloof. Always getting into fights with the other children, always in trouble.
"Ok. How's is he going to be?"
"Javier is a fighting spirit. From his wounds I would say two weeks, knowing him, I say a few days if so. But... he's a changed man. I don't know what he would be capable of doing now. Be careful around him."
"Very well. Thanks doctor."
Marco proceeds to get himself a vanilla coffee from the vending machine. As he takes a sip from the hot beverage, he takes a look at the television as more injured and emergency cases enter the room. Chaos keeps going for hours as the hospital is filled with families devastated and horribly injured people.
A mom gets into a hysterical fit when she doesn't find her young so next to her. "Where is Michael? Michael! Michael, where the hell are you!" A nurse passes next to her with some bags filled with saline solution bags, the woman grabs her by the arm desperately in a attempt to gather information on her child's whereabouts "Excuse me! Have you seen a 5 year old with a toy T-Rex around?"
"No! Let off me!" The nurse struggles to let free from the woman's grasp as security intervenes, removing her forcefully.
"Where is my boy! Michael! Where the f... Are you?!"
"That woman is certainly a irresponsible, bad mother. Who loses their child that way?" A gossiping woman of around 60's sited in the waiting room comments as the woman is taken, screaming away from the building.
"Not me, I got my little Eren here. Right Eren?" A woman of mid-thirties, german decent replies as she tucks the little kid's hair.
"Yes mom!" The boy happily replies as he continues to play little cars with another kid of black skin color.
To all of this, the turmoil of thousands of people talking at once, the dozens of hospital beds running around, missing children and running hospital staff, Marco keeps his signature calm amidst the chaos. He continues watching the news as well as the children's tv shows about a handy man while taking long sips of his coffee. Looking around to observe the people around him as he is reminded of the constant disorder in war, this only brings him solace. Being in tempestuous places is the only thing that pleasures him. Once found at silence, he remembers the dark, horrid places where he spent captivity 20 years ago. Captured by the enemy back in a secret sharpshooting mission, he was brought upon the enemy general, Franz Gutentag. The general then killed his teammate and best friend, Arnold Slanski and put him in prison for the next 3 years. Surviving on nothing but the little water provided to him and rats, he finally escaped thanks to a female general who helped him contact the Russia special forces to rescue him and three other fellow Russian prisoners of war in exchange for certain special favors, if so can be considered such.
After escaping such dark confinement, he got married to the general back in his hometown of Moscow and had a boy which name is Adam E. Arent. The E stands for Eren, something that caught Marco's attention when the name was called by the the lady.
Since the boy's death in a car accident, the two became more and more estranged until the point where the boy joined the army, against his father's wishes. They have not seen each other for around 2 years now. Adam's birthday is the next week in July 7. Not even a call has been given from either side to the other. As far as Marco knows, Adam could be long dead and he wouldn't know or care. Their last discussion was a rather bitter one that ended with both being sent to prison for three days, until both being bailed out by Marco's half-brother by father, Alec.
"Do you have any idea of the hassle I have been through? I have bills to pay, a family to feed! Does this even matter to either of you?"
"It is all his god damn fault! It was his stupid idea to begin fighting. Not my fault we caused a disturbance in the middle of the night." Adam says as he screams at his father.
"Shut up you little bastard." Marco replies, even more angered at his son as he mentions his intentions of joining the army.
"What do you care if I join the military? Is not that you cared for me all along."
"I made sure to put a roof over your head and paid for an excellent education, all for it to be wasted in guns and ammo! What are you thinking!? The only thing scum like you serve is fresh meat. You wont even stand a day in the battlefield, just as you did in your first day of kindergarten."
"Enough of you two. I had it! I had to come all the way from Moscow, leave my boy Adrian sick with a fever just to get you two. No wonder you were always the spoiled child. Always drinking, that will get you nowhere." Alec says as he triggers the key to open the car.
"Shut the f... up!" Marco replies trying to punch Adam, missing by a large margin and tumbling to the ground while falling like a dead log.
"Help me get your father up the van. He has been drinking lately, I see. Right?"
"Yes, he went missing for three days. It was mom's death anniversary last week."
"I'm sorry. Are you okay?" Alec says as he grabs by the feet a knocked out Marco off the pavement. "He still has the alcohol smell in his clothes. In the count of three. One, two, three." Alec and Adam toss Marco into the van. Quickly they close the door of the back seats and enter the vehicle.
Back at the present, he looks again at the television. Reports state that the man hunt is going to be lead by Captain William Ralec a.k.a 'Green Eyes' or Prototype- 01. Known majorly for being the first subject of the 'Humanum Apparatus' project that successfully synthesizing the mind of a human being in a machine, effectually breaking the borders between AI and Human. Organic and synthetic life.
French born in London, he was an outstanding officer since his early days on the special operations division of the UHA military. Having faced battle first hand since his youth, he was prepared for anything conflict might bring upon him, except for one thing, witnessing the entire destruction of his squad and his body. Having being the only survivor of a special mission with the purpose of finding and detaining a illegal Mithril dealer in Nicaragua, he suffered from Mithril poisoning after prolonged exposure to the refined material. His body useless and near death, he complied to a extremely delicate and complicated procedure of mind transferral, conjoining with a metallic body running under a Mithril reactor.
Said artificial body proved a success, enhancing his reflexes as well as brain capacity to the equal of a savant capable of computing data at a exceeding rate without the need for rest or food. The eidetic memory gained from the transferral also proved useful for mastery of almost every known martial art available for man as well as exact memory of past events of his life. This capability helped him capture and kill the Mithril dealer with extreme efficacy, alone and unscathed it is believed he took alone over 100 men although it could also be just a myth. Reports remain unproven.
The new body also has the capability to transform his right hand into three different weapons, the Energy Glove which is a weapon that fires raw energy projectiles that explode upon contact for massive damage, the Passer a blue energy emitting sword more capable than the standard issue Cutter blade for close combat capabilities, and the alpha stage nailgun, a weapon capable of homing into targets by reading the heat signals from the body and directing needle-like projectiles towards the objective.
It also comes equipped with a compact Mithril reactor that if desired can be activated for twice capacity, therefore increasing the speed of the user by 1.5 times normal. Artificial brain emulating the organic one with personal components of the original Captain and the man's eponymous green eyes, the only remaining component of his organic component.
The captain is regarded as one of the best if not the best of all the military and regarded of humanity's best soldier. However his image has been component of controversy, many of the attackers use the argument that his person is not human anymore but a mere machine that thinks it is William Ralec. Others comment he is unable to make or should be allowed to make the decision between life and death citing his rather extreme and rather aggressive methods in combat.
It is also a well known fact that many of his contemporaries are untrusting of him due to the heavy causality rate under his command, both his own as his enemies resulting in many massacres and numerous war crimes such as the use of chemical weapons to wipe out rebel demonstrations. However he has always been found not-guilty by his trials and even regarded as a war hero for his actions in duty.
Javier is now the must wanted man in the whole planet. Rebellions turn into conflicts, civil war is on the horizon. The manhunt on the 'Angel of Death' is on, but he ain't gong out without a hell of a fight as he has eyes on the prime minister, the man that took his life away and shattered it apart. It won't be easy prey, but once Javier has his eyes set on the prey death follows.
"They broke my sword, I will break their lives! Shatter their hearts, tear their soils apart! I want to kill everyone he knows. I want his wife dead, I want his children dead. Even the dog, and if his mother is dead dig her tomb and kill her again. Eye for eye son of a b...!" Javier mutters to himself as Garret observes worryingly, assuring the pact sealed. The man that made a deal with the devil will go to hell itself.
|“||As long as there is man, there will be war.||”|
The chaos of war has left many lives destroyed. Children left motherless, in sorrow at the midst of the bedlam. Panic spreads akin to a plague, a country leaderless, a man without love. Losing path of his life, the only purpose left is death. Death and vengeance. Regaining honor through the blood of enemies. Slaying demons in his path, his personal demons. Comeuppance, judgement, revenge, as the code of Hammurabi dictates. Eye for eye. The culprit shall pay with a dagger to the heart. If the blood of the innocents shall be spilled, then so be it. The angel shall kill his prey.
Nemesis will feast today, Ares's anthem shall be sang by thousands. Thanatos is a sweat release from the hell hidden by the shadow of a utopia. Innocence will be lost but not mourned. Better they learn today, while young as he did 10 years ago when his home was destroyed. War is when they tell you whom the enemy is, revolution is when you figure it out for yourself.
Warmongers gain on gratuitous profit, governments win on resources as the rich become richer, yet the poor and downtrodden suffer. Such injustices are found on humanity as Jaeger knew this. He hated humanity. He hated everyone. Such is the message of which he was the herald, to clean humanity. To purify it, pay its crimes in blood and tears and make the ultimate sacrifice. When humanity is pure once again, clean of sin, that is when the mighty lord Nyarlathotep shall return to rule over a united species. Its messengers shall come and make swift work of the last impurities by the non-believers of the truth.
Truth, truth shall be revealed, the crawling chaos shall be king among kings. Heaven and hell, good and evil hold little regard for the truth as it is the final word of the lord who speaks through the Church. Most would consider it delirium, others, madness in urgent need of a psychiatrist. Reasons why many members do not believe in such profession, calling it heresy as once stated by a famous actor who declared psychiatry is a evil in dire need of being stopped.
Controlling patients with drugs, a impurity for the blood, holy as it is the soul's vessel and substance. Main reason why Jaeger preferred to break necks, bloodless, let not the soul's salvation be eluded as after the battle of all time, the dead shall be resurrected to live in bliss. His Chillrend carries a myth of never dropping a single shed of the red liquid of life.
As the harbinger of tartarus fall to the clutches of Thanatos, a new angel rises, the reaper, a destroyer of lives. His sword shall feast, dine in hell. Blood will be spilled until it covers the earth in a blanket of red driven by the rolling heads of the giants. Titans will fall to his might as the blood swollen gods of war witness with pride. Revenge, a powerful desire. Invocation, the sin of wrath shall fill him until blind rage leaves the husk of a sorrowful man. An empty husk for sinful mistakes, a gate to Satan. The evils of mankind will be shown in all their righteous glory.
"Apathy toward the brethren divides countries, no matter how strong the bureaucratic bonds shall be" is the message the so called 'rebels' of the People's freedom. A ever lasting presence of the government is starting to wary many into thinking freedom is no more than a illusion. The start of a war against the 'rebels' has many enraged, other lost hope as shadows follow. Humanity's darkest attributes are apt to be revealed in the old habit of self-extermination as revealed: luxuria, gula, avaritia, acedia, ira, invidia, and superbia.
The ground contains the remains of a once glorious city. Streets full of crater holes and fallen buildings sporting once functioning neon sings, marks of a active city. Street lights remain mostly intact except for the bird nests atop the once red lights. Continuing the main road lays a fallen bridge that fell atop a small, red car splitting it in half. Next to it a rotten teddy bear is laying waste. Behind it lay thousands if not millions of charred cars that show signs of being left suddenly and without previous notice, as if a cosmic horror had befallen in front of the masses. Remaining intact, except for the shattered windows, not a single car, van or truck is with a remaining window. Broken glass lays in the pavement as if the witness of a massive explosion.
Near the main avenue lay even more military tanks. Charred, windowless and full of bullet holes. Breaking the scene is a single mini-van of a once vibrant yellow color. Inside there are 5 charred skeletons. Two adult specimens in the front, one male and the other female. In the back seats are two medium sized corpses at each side of the vehicle crossing arms in prayer. At the middle lays a baby sized decomposing body. The odor is such that it attracts flies from all corners of the street.
"Multiple cities have been annihilated in the ensuing chaos of the war between the rebel commandos and the UHA military, leaving millions homeless. We are right now in the remains of the battlefield after the incessant bombardment of the Invasion of Istanbul when the UHA fought against a incoming invasion by the 'commandos' back in January 1, 2 months ago. As you can see in the far right beyond that point no personal without a hazmat or special military grade suit is allowed to enter due to the radioactive fallout of the Alpha Omega bomb in the city of Zagreb deployed by the invaders. To this left we witness a refuge camp where thousands refuge under the care of the military base.
Next to me stands Master Sargent Sam Gibson. Sargent, can you explain to me what is the situation of the refuges in the nearby camps and what is your intake on the war?"
In the inside, a full fleshed base of operations lays in mantainance. Next to it is a still barely standing baseball stadium used to hold thousands of survivors living in horrible conditions. A short supply of water and food means that many die inside of malnourishment due to the sheer fact of the great quantity of refugees, those who survive must live of 1/4 pound of bread and half a can of beans for the day due to the priority the military receives. Underground corridors hold the camps until connecting to the underground system of tunnels and sewers constructed almost half a century ago due to the lack of building space aboveground. The government decided to build instead down houses and regular services as well as the sewer system, this reserved to the massive poor population in need of a place for shelter. However this places where rarely maintained and therefore living in those was seen as a social stigma. This safeguard measure saved countless lives. Perhaps too many, as noticed by the military's attitude and apathy towards the newly settled residents.
Next to the asian reporter Tricia Takanawa stands Sarge Samuel"Sharkface" Gibson, a sullen gorilla. Tall, slender and vastly muscular. He stands prominent sporting a special operations armor known as Strike with a F.L.O.A.T jet backpack. A rare sight for such a trivial post such a refugee safeguard. Normally seen in special covert operations conducted by black operation agents or "flyers" (soldiers who have pass the intense 'Titanus Praedator' program and therefore able to use a jet backpack or special operations armor efficiently and without major adverse effects. Only the top notch soldiers are able to pass.) A cheer, bright smile hides behind his lips as he speaks his first words,
"The situation is under control although, we suffer from a current lack of food and materials to sustain such as large population while meeting with humane quality standards. We are currently struggling with the immense disease ratios in the refuge camps nearby due to water contamination of the sewage system. A lack of medical equipment and personal is in dire necessity but we try the best we can to help these people overcome their situation." Sargent Gibson's look changes from his typical cheerful attitude to an unsettling internal grin, but, if he tells the truth about the real situation of the refugees and the atrocities revealed at the cost of his job and possibly freedom. However, not even he or his squad-mates, Rico "Angel" Vratski and Adam Arent know what is the dire importance of such vigilance that necessitates special operatives to run the buisness.
In reality the military does the least amount of job securing civilians, instead applying Martial Law over the camps and restricting civilian rights.
Tricia, known for being a stubborn reporter, dedicated to a extreme to find any leaks or revealing secrets pushes forward with more and more hard questions, only making achieving a standstill for Sam, pressured by his superiors into keeping the media's propaganda out of the way.
"And Sargent, what exactly is behind the scenes of this covert operations center? It is very uncommon to find a Strike special operations operative on civilian peace keeping." As Sam avoids the question, Tricia signals the crew to push forward into the iron doors to the base of operations and military prison where some of the major rebel leaders are found in captivity. "Sargent, humanity has questions and I'm going to find the answers it needs!" Suddenly, a bright red alarm triggers, a loud interruption is heard over an intercom,
"Attention all military personnel, unidentified air crafts found in close proximity. All military personnel go to your respective defensive positions under code red. Non-essential crew and civilians please report to you closet security bunkers at this very moment." End of intercom
As red lights flash over all the system people start to rush in hurry. Families are split and a riot starts immediately as everyone seeks shelter. Loud explosions soon follow in the background as Sam grabs Tricia by the wrist.
"What is gong on! What is happening?" She inquires to her protector as they hurry though a human stampede.
"We got to get out of here, now! No time to explain, hurry!"
Finally reaching a rather far room deep underground they take a brief time to breathe. Soon, their rest is interrupted abruptly as two rebel soldiers crash the room. Sam and Tricia hide behind a desk as the rebels search the four walls. As soon as they give the back to the desk, Sam shoots both with his handgun in the back of their heads.
"Stay here, whatever you do, don't leave this room. Here, have my handgun and shoot only if necessary." He promptly puts on his helmet as he starts to run into the main command center.
"But I don't know how to shoot a gun!" Before she could ask him, he was gone from the room. She puts the gun down and starts to pray for protection as she weeps her current precarious situation.
Arriving at the main hall, he finds at last his squad-mates and personal friends. Relieved that both of them are alive and kicking he enters the the center of command where he rapidly asks,
"What the hell is going on?" Before he can finish asking for information a video message is shown on the main monitor.
"We can't take them. *sszt* superior firepower *sszt* The Angel... Cerberus is here! Close... Cairo team... leaving with the missi... protect the silos!" As loud gun shot is heard and blood spills over the man as he looks in horror at a shadow above him. Before he can scream a swift stroke of a green blade is seen as the head of the soldier rolls down much the shock of the presents on the command center. The shock of such brutal death leaves many in utter shock, disgust, repugnance to the point some even begin to panic. One of the scientists even pukes so hard that passes out.
As the chaos starts to rain closer to their position, marked by louder booms and cries of war, an untested intern of no more 22 years of age starts to ramble in his panic and horror as he weeps out loud calling for the merciful grace of his god only to feel abandoned, "My god! What are we going to do?! Did you see what he just did? He just cut Jacob in half! Oh man! Oh God! This can't be happening! Why?"
Rico's kindred soul sits next to him, grabbing his hand firmly as he reaches for the despaired, "Get ahold of yourself Martinez! Cairo squad will be here any second."
"We ain't going to make it, aren't we?"
"We are trying to communicate with Lt. Abasi Rahotep to see if we can be rescued. For the moment, all we can do is prey." Reaching for the intern's hand m Rico gently calls him by his first name as they close their eyes in holy prayer in solace of hope.
"Cairo do you read me? Cairo?" Sam asks over the main communication center as trying to establish connection with the deployed elite squad of special operation soldiers, the finest batch of men and women the UHA army has to offer. Only sent when situations are of maximum priority or delicate procedure, only the Crème de la Crème eventually are able to join their larger than life ranks. "We need extraction, currently housing two wounded and over 10 active personnel plus 3 civilians. I repeat, we need extraction and pronto!"
Finally reaching the lieutenant, Samuel implores for a rescue effort for the wounded, only to be met with cold denial under bureaucratic excuses.
"Negative, our priority is clear. We must conduct the central operations safe export to off-center location. If they rebels get ahold of the informational contents the results will be catastrophic. I am deeply sorry but I am afraid we cannot jeopardize the mission for the sake of a few interns and civilians."
"These people are dying because you and your team refuse to help us turn the tide of the battle and rescue these young interns. They are inexperienced and terror stricken. They don't deserve to die like this. Please help us!
Abasi is known to be a stern man but with a good heart. Battle hardened, with over 20 years in experience, he knows how to react when forced to make tough calls. Taking a deep breath and hoping to having made the right decision he finally expresses his order,
"Meet me in the hangar of Bay port 2B in 15 minutes. Aziza and Ausar will meet you there along the rest of the remaining U.S.A Marines for your extraction. We cannot wait any longer"
"Sir, thanks." Sam's appreciation is heartfelt by the lt. who besides his usual stern demeanor, briefly displays a small smile.
"Rico! Jarred! We must rendezvous with Cairo team on Bay port 2B for extraction. Otherwise we will be stuck here in hell!" Sam cries out as they leave into the battlefield.
"How did they strike so fast? Is this even happening for real? Why is the whole ordeal so secretive that it does not even allow its crew to know fir themselves,yet the rebels are looking for something of vast importance?" Sam feels the air getting heavier, colder, pondering in his mind as a soldier to his side falls down with a bullet hole in his forehead, the laser barely missing him. The horrible situation quickly materializes itself as soldier after soldier fall. Quick and without previous notice the rebels advance further into grasping whatever the hell the damn thing they are looking for is. In their hands the results could be catastrophic as said by Abasi.
Remember the January 1 attacks all over the globe, culminating in countless destruction of many major cities and the detonation of the first Alpha Omega prototype bomb wiping out nearly half of northern Europe in a fallout winter is nerve cracking as he was there, live in action, in what came to be known as Shōugē de rìzi. His friend of childhood, gunnery Sargent Amanda Alenko bit the bullet at 11:25 AM on Athens, Greece.
Almost 150 thousands soldiers lost their lives plus 100 thousand plus civilian loses were reported that day alone. All of this reminds him of that hellish day where the 'Harbinger of Thanatos' showed how the willpower of a man is capable of such havoc. Fueled by the ex-cardinal, now turned anti-union terrorist who considers the unification of the human race as sign of the end of times and Tom Walker the anti-christ, the population once ferociously devoted to religion now turn in a new form of the'Crusades'. They the forces of heaven fighting against the impending human subordination to the beast.
Its forces, the military demons from hell itself, who committed atrocities in the name of Satán. Enslaving humans, recruiting them against the true king of kings, the right lord. They will not be swayed by the fallacious messages of unification. The fight of fights, of all time will be soon and they must be ready for death, as it will be a glorious victory for the forces of good, finally defeating the evil of this world once and for all.
The air is cold, hard to breathe. A calm, feisty ambiance is present as the night is energetic. Sweet, elegant drinks accompanied by flavorful food complement the celebrations. The christmas lights shine bright as the delicate snow falls from the starry sky. Weapons put aside, conflict and tensions apart. Time for a well deserved rest as the old year full of tensions passes to a new one full of hopes and resolutions.
Hope, a magnificent thing that is capable of making the weakest, downtrodden person in the direst of situations look forward into a dim light at the end of a dark tunnel signaling the new beginning of a better era. As the cold winter falls, purifying, letting go of all malfeasance, the people hope for a a new beginning.
As people cheer for the new year to come, the military cheers although the air is tense. While searching the drawers next to his bed, Sam takes a deep yawn. Looking at the mirror, he notices his eyes are sore from all the festivities which have taken all night and don't seem to be closing any time soon. Savoring remnants of beer, he takes a quick sip of milk that lays next to his left hand as it spills all over the counter.
"Ugh? What hour is it?" Looking at the clock of his computer, it says 3:05 AM. "Must finish this..."
"Turn that light down will ya?"
"I need to finish this damn report on guerrilla tactics, Rico."
"Really? We are on shore leave. Plus is not like having a bright light over my face is going to help me sleep either. You can finish that later."
"Ok, ok. I'll finish it later if it bothers you so much. But if I get this tardy you'll be the one to blame."
"Sure, just turn down that computer."
Laying his eyes to rest, Samuel gets a well deserved sleep. However, his mind, restless, dreams about the outlook of combat as he slumbers.
"Sam! Sam! Help me! I'm stuck! Please!"
Loud gunfires are heard in the vicinity as a seven rebel troopers storm the dimly lit room where they find themselves trapped. As they resume search through out the dark room, Sam stays hidden, quiet while his friend Amanda is trapped under rubble. A door lays in the vicinity. The strange men speak strange, intelligible insults in what resembles a asian language. Taking a bold peek, he notices a strange flag in one of the men's uniforms. He takes measure of distance and probability of success to escape undetected. Outgunned and outnumbered, it is a matter of time before they are found and executed, Samuel thinks to himself.
Noticing his friend's intent, Amanda grabs Samuel's hands in a sudden rush, looking at him with utter panic as shown in her bright, bloodied eyes.
"Please! Don't leave me!" Amanda mutters. As expected one of the men overhears and signals the others. 'Time to rush, now or never.', Samuel decides as he looks at his friend who's trying to grab his hand. "I'm sorry.", He lowers his body and crawls through the room until he reaches the exit undetected leaving his broken helmet in the ground unexpectedly at the side of Ammanda, only stopping at last when at least several houses of distance. As he catches his breath he overhears in the distance a loud yell proclaiming his name, followed by a loud gunshot,
"God, help me in this time of need. I need you! Please! Please!"
"Heum, geomsaeg-eul gyesoghabnida. Eotteon baljagug-eul chajgi?!" Samuel overhears in the close vicinity as the men are getting closer to his position. He opens his sidearm's ammo, only to count 10 bullets left. Hurrying to a nearby house, he enters through the open porch as he begins to search for any possible civilian weapons. Even so that the effectiveness of such is minimal to high grade armors like Titan and the special operations Strike, a well placed bullet can rip apart a Viper cadet or a Hydra soldier.
He enters a little, dark room. Presuming from the stickers of kids movies he guesses it is the room of the family's son. As he enters, he steps over a picture frame. Curious of what it contains he reaches for the light switch. In the bed lays a young, asian couple who are yet to enter rigor mortis. 'No sings of shots, must have poisoned themselves. May they find good rest wherever they are.' He reaches for the picture he grabbed to confirm what he presumed, the photo is of the deceased couple, but with a young baby in the woman's arms. He quietly leaves the scene and closes the door.
Continuing the search, he directs himself to the master bedroom where he finds: a couple of hairbrushes, some undergarments, a chip, one penny, a used napkin and a couple of handcuffs. Next to those items lays a non-safety M7-Carnifex by Freyr Armory. A standard handgun for covert policemen, small and conceivable but carries a punch, at the cost of ammo capacity. Effective due to the fact that many hit-men and professional criminals tend to use high resistance protection vests and helmets that make the common household gun useless.
"Ammunitions training, don't fail me now."
Continuing a desperate search, he hears a small crack noise. Turning around with his hands in the air he finds a little asian kid peeking thought the closet. Roughly 7 years. Black, straight hair that lengths towards the baseline of the neck. Big, puff cheeks. Brown, teary eyes.
"Don't worry, I am one of the good guys. Don't be scared."
The kid only shivers back into the closet. "Mama, papa?"
"Come here, I'll protect you and find your parents. I'm sure they are searching for you. Everything is going to be all right, trust me." Putting emphasis on the final two words as to avoid demoralizing the little child who just so happens to be the baby from the picture. He reaches for his TT-05-b pack behind his broken Hydra armor, lacking the helmet which he lost in a past firefight, the picture of the kid's parents.
"I think this belongs to you."
As the kid lurks behind the cover of the closest exposing his head he sees the photo and slowly approaches the strange, sullen gorilla.
"Want to pray for help?" Samuel asks trying to establish a bond between the two. The kid barely understands him, looking at him with slight confusion.
'Man, Rico must have rubbed on me somehow'. He thinks to himself as he looks into the ceiling as the kid reaches for his hand. "I guess you are not the only one who has lost himself." Looking at the kid's watery eyes who is still focused on his picture, he says suavely,
"Do you want to pray to God?"
The kid, even when not knowing what 'pray' means, reaches the strange man in a sight of compassion.
"Just close your eyes. He will help us. I'm sure."
"Baljagug-eun jib seukaen, yeogilo ieojil!"
"Damn! Hide! Under the bed!"
Under the dusty, dark space of the floor they hide as the commandos search throughly in hopes of find anyone.
"Keep quiet." The kid nodes in acceptance of the order as the brown door in front on them creeks as the handle twists to the right, letting a man wearing dark green boots enters. The only thing they are capable of seeing are the feet of the soldier walking around slowly scanning the room in which they are present. Stopping at front of the two hidden he summons a dog for assistance.
Lowering himself to greet the canine, the two are barely able to see the man's face and witness as the man smiles at the presence of his canine friend. He puts Sam's broken helmet for the dog to be able to sniff as Gibson contemplates the headpiece he lousily left as it was unnecessary anymore.
The dog follows the smell of sweat around the room before quickly stopping before the two at makes eye contact with the kid. Barking at their position it alerting the man of their presence while grabbing the kid's arm forcefully as the man drags Samuel at gun point. Preparing fort he worst, Samuel tightens his eyes as the air becomes light and the skin pale white. A great, reptant bright light flashes before his eyes as the trigger is pulled.
"God! My god!" He who is still young catches his lost breath. Looking at his soundings he finds himself at his desk, awoken, alive. Morpheus has bewildered the youth.
Rico comes towards a dissonant Samuel ,"We need to rendezvous with Cairo team before the rebel squads gets here!"
"C'mon Sam, get here goddammit!" Adam follows as he shakes back to earth Gibson.
A loud, explosion sounds is heard nearby, shaking the young sergeant to his senses. Clearing his head, Samuel looks around himself as he sees the desperation on Adam's eyes. He grabs his riffle laying next to his knee in a haste and stands up in a quick moment as the explosions close in to their position. As they prepare to escape the building, a door is automatically opened opposite to the loud banging. Taking guarding positions, they wait until the door is cleared while directing their guns at what might come from outside, only to meet two black clad figures.
A soft, slightly smaller than Rico, figure reveals itself as he proceeds forward when unanimously all the unarmed survivors look at him with big, open eyes. The figure turns to look at the comrade standing in guard behind asking for permission. Just as the man nods with a slight sight of discomfort, the figure takes off its helmet and a soft female with a notion of friendliness directs herself at the young vanguard.
"Sargent Vratski? Aziza Mubarak, Cairo team. We are here for the extraction. How many survivors are left with you?"
He stops to look directly at her hazel, bright eyes as if seeing a protecting goddess modeled on the image very image of young Athena. Small, delicate pink cheeks and a yet smaller unscathed lips ridden her tender face. Her hair fell long in locks of radiant black hair which extended up to her neck. Finally, stopping himself and taking a deep breath, he announced the sit-rep,
"Thirteen, unfortunately, we didn't find more." Rico responds as he signals the rest of the survivors to move hastily. "Thank you. Without you, these people wouldn't have made it."
"Let's just hope we don't end up dead because of them." The man, whose name is Ausar, interrupts as he observes the desperate, chaotic atmosphere. Soon, the survivors begin to evacuate in a slow fashion as they turn their heads in all directions and see the sky black, coughing as they continue the seemingly eternal walk to the vehicles. Looking towards the new group of soldiers, he notices Vratski and Aziza greeting each other rather personally, leering towards them and their unprofessionalism but rather that interrupting their conversation, he focuses on the aid.
Keeping count of the persons entering the truck, Ausar continues constant guard as the young squad and Aziza keep helping the passengers in anyway they can. However, soon he notices her helping a young girl, holding a teddy bear in the other arm as she enters the transport due to not reaching the stairs. Yet she is without her helmet on. If the superiors knew of her action, she could be berated harshly for that "mistake" as it both jeopardizes the safety of her privacy, but also the consistency of her cranium.
"Don't worry, you'll all be safe. We will protect you." Aziza tells in a caring fashion while handing the dear teddy to the child.
"Promise?" The young kid looks straight at her with teary, crystal eyes as she holds the bear tightly across her heart.
"Promise." The young soldier smiles towards the child and receives in return a smile of her own.
"What the hell do you think you are doing without you helmet on?" Ausar finally seeing her uncaring about her safety for far too long in the outside, walks towards her and raises his voice into a scary tone while he directs himself towards the young, inexperienced soldier, making a nearby old woman look at him in slight disgust as he scares the scurrying little girl into the truck. She stops herself at his imposing sight shadowing her figure and taking a big gulp, turns around to meet an unavoidable reprimanding she knows by recital.
"Sir, the helmet impedes any kind of facial expressions and prevents any kind of personal connection with the survivors." She opens, trying to justify herself in a attempt to connect with his human side deep rooted in the interior core of his external over-professionalism.
"Personal connection? May I remind you that what matters is evacuating the civilians and protecting the silos safeguarded on this installation, and in order to do that you must survive. Therefore it is a requirement you maintain helmet on at all times in accordance to protocol-1176. Is that understood, Mubarak? "
She lowers her head and replies- "Understood"- as she proceeds to put on her defensive head gear. They continue to guide the remaining exiting survivors who are too afraid or weakened to walk towards the safeguard.
"You have continued to look straightly at her, Rico." Sam says as the other shakes his head clearing his eyesight's focus to better see him.
"Uh, I have?"
"Yes, you been looking at her a while since we met these guys. It seems like you like her."
Rico, turning his head back towards her direction replies rather dissonantly- "Now, what are you talking about?" as the ambient turns suddenly fresh and airy around him.
"Well, you've been distracted ever since you opened the door to let them in. That is very unusual to yourself."
"Uh, normally you are very uptight except when you are praying. Even on your sleep you look like a monster. All rigid and contracted, like waiting to explode or cry."
"You know why I am like that."
"You forget you were not the only one who has suffered since Greece. I still have nightmares everyday about when I was forced to leave Amanda behind."
"Nobody said being a Marine would be easy."
"But still, I joined to serve my country, not to watch my friends die while I live shamelessly. What happened that day was nothing short of a catastrophe, they literally sent us rookies to die and stop a damn bomb; still, we failed and barely got out with our lives us three; if it weren't for you rescuing me, I would have been killed by those goddamned rebels in that house."
"I was too late to save the kid."
"Well, after all, it was for our "admirable combat prowess" that they chose us to join the "Siegfrieds"."- He leaves Rico's side to care to the rest oft he people present, however a curious thought comes to his mind that prevents him from continuing with his duties- "Hey, after all we've been through, I never got to know, why did you join the Marines?"
"I don't know really. I guess it's kind of pathetic but, ever since the first attacks happened and I was back in my colony, I wanted to be strong enough to protect everyone and help the people back on Earth. My grandfather has a saying that only with God's will we are safe but I knew that besides His will, we need to do something; to put down these terrorists and restore peace.
That however, enraged my sister. I know, the UHA ain't no saints, especially the UNCC with us colonists, but I know that at least they can keep things in peace and humanity united. Sarah does not comprehend that, she thinks the government is evil and corrupt. After that, we became estranged, and now I'm here.
Well, I can't blame her for thinking like that. I never had a pretty of the UHA myself, but at least they are doing something useful in keeping the us without war although by the looks of it, seems this is going to be the major one on Earth on a long time. I can't say there weren't problems back in Lux, but at least they were secluded between the criminals and innocents weren't normally involved. I never saw anything like this."
"Things are looking pretty bleak, if I say so myself. However, no matter the sacrifice we must do, I know-as you said- we are doing something useful. Well, at least I want to think that."
"You know, sometimes, I ask myself: Can't we all just get along? What is the necessity of war? Killing each other for ideas or beliefs, it's stupid. In the end, it doesn't matter if we think X government is better than Y government, or if is either Thor or Zeus, or if Green is better than Purple, we are all just talking meat in the middle of space."
"I wonder the same thing, Angel." As he finishes thinking about the conversation, Samuel notices Adam sitting alone next to Ausar as he talks to some survivors. "Hey Adam, why did you join the military?"
"I guess, I just want to be far away as possible from my father." He responds.
"You and the old man don't get along?" Samuel inquiries to make jargon about something new and unusual.
"You could say that. All I care about is that I don't see his goddamn face ever again. If there is half a galaxy of distance between us, the better."
"I never had a father in my life, my grandfather took care of me and my sister while we were little." Rico adds as his companions look at him rather disoriented.
Just after Adam finishes relapsing, a larger RPG explosion is heard as the ground shakes below their feet in tremor. They turn around as they see their mobile transport in ruins. Counting the toll, they see a total of 7 dead and a elderly woman plus her daughter who are fatally wounded, crushed by the vehicle. By the time they realize the situation, a young teenager has rushed towards the youngest woman, trying to lift the heavy load to save his mother and grandmother.
"We can't wait anymore here anymore, otherwise we are going to be cannon fodder. Leave them and the rest of us can get out of this bloody hell. Even if they get out, they will be unable to walk and will just slow us down." Ausar explains as some of the still standing survivors agree.
"We can't leave them! We might be able to carry them, Ausar! You simply can't suppose taking a kid away from its mother." Aziza yells at the cold Ausar as she joins alongside Rico in trying to lift the truck.
"I won't leave you mom! I'll get you both you and grandma out of there and lift you personally to safety. I promise."
"I won't stay as some hothead teenager tries to save the f...ing day and his mother or we two will die along him and these people. Let's get the hell out of here!" Ausar repeats his statement in a desperate hurry of not being caught in another unexpected explosion.
"and leave my mother and grandmother alone! No Way! Who the f... do you think you are?!" The rash kid yells at the soldier while leering at him with darkness covering his eyes.
"Please, take my son with you." The mother starts to slip as her eyes slowly close out of her injuries and the intense, sheer, utter pain.
"Mom! What the hell are you saying?! I'm getting you out of there, I swear!"
"Go! Both your mother and I have lived long enough. You are just 14 and got your whole life ahead. Leave. Just go." She signals Aziza, who continues pushing in a vain attempt to rescue the women and save everyone. "Even if you could get us out of this crash, we would be unable to walk and will be an incumbrance. Do not let us be a dead weight on your shoulders, Edward. Go!"
"No! What are you speaking about? I'll get you out of here, I swear!"
"Please, take him." Aziza looks at the elderly woman in deep, solemn respect as she complies to the her request. She separates the young lad from his family trying to spare his life and rescue him just as the boy pushes her aside. The kid continues to push the truck in vain when he is taken aback by a male survivor by the arms, barely restricting him, slowly losing his grip.
"Leave him, he is not worth the trouble and we are standing up in the open waiting for a bullet. Let's go!" Ausar yells at the group while trying to force the man to let go. "Sam, don't just stand there. You understand me, right?"
"I... I don't know..." says a distant Samuel as the sounds are muffled by his loud, inner thoughts.
"Please! Don't leave me! Sam!"
"Why am I remembering this now?" He mutters to himself.
Back in reality, the youngling still struggles to free himself from the man's grip as he attempts to free his trapped relatives,"I won't leave you! I swear, I'll get you out of here!"
"Sorry pal but we have to go, now! You heard your grandmother, let's go!"
"No! We can't leave them!"
"Stop being stubborn."
"Face it, both of them have no chance of survival. Both your grandmother and mother are crushed by a 4 ton truck. Nobody can survive such injuries." Ausar adds as he continues to scan the perimeter, knowing the enemy must be getting close to their position. "If you want to die alongside them be my guest but, stop retarding us with your pettiness."
With those words, the young soon starts to stop resisting both his restraint and tears. Looking upon his family as he slips down from the clutches of the man he is interrupted by a single word coming from Adam,
As soon as that shaking word comes through the air, a bright flash of light strikes both the kid and the man in the chest, killing the first instantly and the other grasping final breaths in doses of blood coughs.
"God!" Rico says as he keeps looking straight at the now empty eyes of the now deceased teen, only seeing his reflection upon them.
"Rico, keep cover!" Ausar yells at him while he tries to pin-point what seems t be multiple shooters. "We need to get out of here ASAP. Aziza, locations."
"Multiple Zealots coming from the far left corner. Two snipers at the building in front."
"Go to the building up ahead; stick to low cover everyone!" Ausar commands the three men, Aziza and one other survivor carrying a set of googles and arming himself with a Magnum. "You know how to shoot."
"I was a sheriff back in the days."
"Good, stick with Aziza on the middle-ground. Rico, you and I will go ahead. Adam, you carry a Railgun, right?"
"Yes. Trained battle-sniper, sir."
"Stick to the rearguard. Sam, provide cover fire at discretion. Let's move!"
They stick their heads down using rubble and deteriorated cars as more and more rebels come searching for them. Moving hurriedly, they elude the shots of both assault riffles, shotguns and sniper riffles while approaching the ruined building a few meters ahead.
"Vratski, open the door ahead!" Ausar yells to Rico while pointing ahead. Moving at a speed which makes him impossible to corner him, he rushes towards the small gate, finally unlocking it with his knife. He holds it with one hand signaling the others to follow suit as they come running to the inside.
"Adam, hurry!" He yells as Adam takes a shot at a incoming rocketeer aiming at their direction, downing him with a well placed shot that splatters his cranial structure in a flash as blood covers the visor of his companion, enabling him to enter the ruined storage as more snipers locked in their position.
"That was close." Aziza remarks while tending towards the civilian as the trio take heavy objects to block the path of the door.
"Everyone all right?" Ausar calls while they check themselves, signaling their well being. He turns towards the guy with the googles and asks with his precedent gruff voice, "And you?"
"I'm good." The guy responds while Aziza tends his minor bruises while she adds that he took down two rebels himself with his handgun.
Ausar soon tries to contact through a beacon his squad for rescue, only receiving dead static. "Damn, no signal. They probably jammed all communications as they started to attack."
"Anyway, we need to get out of here fast. That door won't hold on too much." Adds Adam as he points back towards explosion resistant door they just came through. As soon as he remark the obvious, more tremors are felt in the vicinity, "Actually, I don't think this building will last too much either."
After a few seconds of intense silence, the guy clears his throat as he gets the attention of everyone in the room, "Well, this may sound stupid or old fashioned but, perhaps we can set up a flare at the outskirts of the camp in the capitol building, the military might come for us. After all, that was the direction most soldiers were heading for."
"Good idea. Aziza, you still have the emergency flares with you right?" Ausar inquires as she nods, "Perfect. Still, the outskirts of the camp are five blocks deep into the battlefield.
"And the underground tunnels? This city was build over the ruins of an old one, perhaps we can use them to reach the capitol more easily."
"Then it's settled. After all, that is our last chance. Let's just hope the building doesn't fall over us."
The walk seems eternal. With the rumble of the battlefield over their heads, the shadow of the darkness only seems more somber, each step resonating between the tight corridors which make the underground city. With each step they take, dirt falls over their helmets as their head flashlights shaken in unison to the ground.
In the tense moment, a strong, crumbling sound thunders as the group looks at each other. Even behind their visors it is evident each and everyone is in deep fear, no matter how controlled in aspect they might be. Finally, the crumbling sound repeats itself even stronger as the ceiling falls over them. As soon as the dust begins to clear, Ausar checks his surroundings and helps Rico stand up; noticing ruble has divided the group, he calls,
"Everyone all right?"
"Humph..., I think so. Is Rico with you?" Aziza asks, confirming her survival.
"Yes. Gibson and Adam?" He continues, checking into Rico a second time.
"They're with me."
"And the cop?"
"I'm fine, I guess." The cop confirms his well being as he turns back on his night googles.
"Well, I guess Rico and I will look for another route. You continue with the set path. Clear?"
"Understood". They report in unison as they set forward the checkpoint.
As they continue the walk and reunite with their comrades, Ausar notices a spaced out Rico and gets his attention with his gruffly mannerisms, "Vratski, focus. I need you back here with me."
Getting a strange silence from Rico, he continues with his talk, "Listen, I could not care less about your relationship with Aziza, but right now I need you focused on staying alive. Is that clear?"
Gesturing with his left hand in slight disgust to the unnecessary formalities, he adds "And stop it with the sir."
"Uh, ok." He unconsciously retracts to himself as he continues to think, Relationship? Does that mean she also got interested on my persona? Is that why he called her back while we were on the truck? It wasn't my intention getting her into trouble with her superior.
He hears a cracking sound under his feet, putting a stop to his train of though as he checks for the cause. As soon as he notices the blood covering his boot, he lets out a simple- "God"- before Ausar whispers to Rico, "Stay quiet. Marauders up ahead.", as they ready their guns, taking position for countering an ambush behind two tables set in their front.
"C'mon. C'mon. Damn lights. Frank, check the breaker." One of the marauders carrying a SMG tells another with a bolt-action sniper riffle.
"Forget about the lights and grab the cargo so we can go already, we are missing the fight." Adds a third, closing in with a flashlight towards the two soldiers' position.
"Oh yes, and spill the merchandise. You forget we are not getting paid to fight of those Allied assholes but to safeguard..." Continues the first one before a loud, booming shot is heard, coming from the second marauder's location. Before they hurdle their weapons, a flurry of more shots come haling towards them as they fall to the ground, dead.
Coming out of the shadows, five individuals step into Ausar and Rico's view as the latter accidentally makes a rock roll into a wall. Hearing the rather loud sound, a female voice instructs one of the men involved,
"Search the area."
"It's us." Rico stands before Ausar's order with his hands in the air.
"What a relief. It's Rico!" Samuel responds as he lowers his riffle and signals the others to follow example.
Coming towards him, Aziza notices Ausar revealing standing up with weapon in hand, "Thank goodness, Rico. Glad you are both safe. We've been encountering lots of corpses laying on the ground, we weren't sure if you had any trouble meanwhile."
"Besides the three fellows, our walk has mostly been marked by silence." Ausar complains as he checks towards Vratski conspicuously. "How far are we from the building?"
"Not that far"-adds Samuel while-"We should be only a block away and the tunnel connects directly to our goal so it should be safe."
"Great. Let's move." Ausar finishes as he checks his riffle again.
After a long and undisturbed walk through out the tunnels they finally see the outskirts of the building. Coming to the roof, Ausar agains checks for signal with success. Contacting his superior, Abasi, he is instructed to set up the flare for localization as Aziza follows suit.
"I see you from here. We will send a extraction ASAP. Hold on 'till then, Ausar." Abasi adds as he sets up to board the extraction shuttle.
"Everyone, get ready. They sent a team to get us out of this hell hole." Ausar reaffirms to the companions as they prepare for a final onslaught of rebels coming at their direction, resulting in one more firefight.
Noticing a stand-alone rebel, Rico sprint-knees him on the face, knocking him down and then proceeds to reposition himself behind cover. Not noticing, the knocked rebel stands up, grabs a kukri and goes behind him, raising his weapon above-head in the preemptive strike with both hands. Ausar, taking note of this, rushes to grab the man's hands to prevent his strike. As they struggle, the rebel knees him in the gut, making Ausar lose his riffle and then proceeds to punch him in the face. As he recovers from the stun, the rebel lunges forward, lancing towards Ausar, whom dodges the strike by deflecting the blow and body of his attacker.
Ausar readies his Cutter blade as the rebel again lunges an overhead strike, blocking it in the process. Continuing being deflected, the rebel again spears him to again be grabbed and deflected aside. The kukri wielding rebel then proceeds to reverse-elbow him on the head and attempt a one handed overhead strike directed towards the soldier's face whom defends himself by intercepting the blow by once again grabbing the attacker's hand. Counterattacking, he side-swipes with his cutter only to receive the same countermeasure. Struggling, Ausar pushes with his whole body the opponent, crating some space between the two.
Taking the new golden opportunity, Ausar launches a sweeping attack coming from right to left as the rebel ducks and switches position with him. Again launching the same pattern of attack, he is intercepted by the rebel's free hand, grabbing him by the arm and then proceeding to stab him on the torso. As the rebel retreats his knife from Ausar's dying body, he is shot thrice in the head by Samuel, whom rushes to provide auxiliary support to alongside an horrified Rico to their fallen rescuer just as the extraction squad arrives, letting them escape while the rest provides cover fire as they carry Ausar by their shoulders as they leave the battleground.
Once at the nearby camp, Ausar is grasping onto his final moments in the company of the trio and the guy with the googles as a distraught Aziza discusses with Abasi about the direness of the situation now that the rebels successfully hijacked the bomb in their unknown plans while taking down one of their comrades named Roi.
"I understand that he was like a big brother towards you, Aziza. I'm sorry." Abasi adds as he consulates her. "It's ok, I understand if you can't see him now." With those words, he leaves to check on the dying Ausar as the local priest finishes with the holy rites.
"Abasi, you look tired." Ausar remarks about Abasi's decrepit look on his fallen face.
Responding with condolence, Abasi says,"It's been one hell of a day.", astonished that the man dying in front of him is feeling compassion for him, a seasoned veteran of special operations and father figure to his men.
"It sure has been. Sorry for not being able to fight any longer." Ausar stops to grab a bit of air as he continues with his final words. "It looks like good battles to be fought will be seen in the future."
"It's ok.", is all he can respond back before having his voice cut with gasps of tears.
"It's been pretty much a honor fighting alongside you, Abasi."
"The feeling is mutual, ol' friend." Abasi says as he holds onto his friend's hand when the other turns to direct himself at Rico.
"Angel, take good care of Aziza. She'll need you now more than anytime. Protect her at any costs. I know you will be capable of that and many more." He stops again as he coughs harder than before, getting the attention of the doctor attending him. "You are the most skilled fighter I've seen in years. Would been a honor to fight alongside you for more time."
"I'm sorry..." Rico responds while he lowers his head as the words resonate inside him.
"Don't be. There is nothing to be sorry about. I lived fully, nothing to regret now. The things I've seen are for what I am grateful: beautiful lights of all the colors you may think of riddling the night as thundering cannons shake the earth, camps where dogs are the humane ones and humans are the animals, seas so vast above the power of the mind of men, life being spilled like water among plants in the course of pettiness, imposing and immutable mountains defiled with the flowing of blood as flowers bloom while the cold of the snow melts to the heat of our essence, lumbering giants walking atop environments men should not dare to, and planets where the most bizarre thoughts of life are brought to reality only to be lamp-shaded by us.
I've seen the potential of mankind, for both war and hope. Bring about the most meaningful conclusions of reality to forgone it in what seems part of our mundane nature. I fought for that, knowing that even in the middle of despair, there is always something beautiful to contemplate. All of those memories, will now go with me to join the great conscience that is the universe which we return to at our material end and become whole again. I welcome it." Ausar again stops to cough, now with blood involved. His time coming and with a face of final peace present, he utters slowly while looking at the ceiling for one last time, "Time to die." He closes his eyes as the present lower their helmets in respect.
Coming in is a slender but muscular figure of outstanding presence alongside Aziza, "I'm sorry gentlemen for your loss but there is a important matter I need to discuss of dire necessity." Says the tall cybernetic William Ralec, more commonly known as Prototype-01.
"What is it, sir?" Questions Rico as he gazes upon Ralec's crystal bluish purple eyes that somehow set him off with their unnatural hue.
"You have displayed prodigious capabilities against the rebels on more than one occasion, doing ruthlessly efficient in the combat scenario. I need you three on the Counter Insurgency Special Squadron for our conclusive strike in London as part of the team to set for the political hostages, among them the Prime Minister's daughter Amanda Walker." He explains as the trio look at each other contemplating the offer in tacit form.
"Where do we sign up?" Samuel reports as the others approve for the mission.
In the span of multiple rebel attacks occurring throughout the homeworld, the leaders of the two principal heads of the United Nations reunite at one of the most prominent outerworld colonies of the United States: UBW-594244, a planet known for its habitable surface, relative safety, and defendable position from any rebel attacks and any other possible threats given that its location is situated at the outer rim of human territory in the desolate galaxy. This comes extremely beneficial for the military dreadnaught of U.S.A. given it is one of the main providers of military manpower, facilities, and technology since it joined the UHA at the spike of the untimely assassination of President Iris by the hands of the rebelion, all powered by the Mithril that is extremely abundant in the planet.
As new settlers amass in the garden, the power that can be exerted grows substantially in what has become a race to settle riches from its blue mineral that brings about the most cunning edge technology left by the rests of what has been dubbed "The Precursors".
These "precursors" have been a enigma to archeologists of the modern era as no biological leftovers of this race have been found. The only clues remaining about their existence have been the technological wonders left by their sudden extinction and archaic runes yet to be deciphered. Their greatest economical contributions have been to the weapons industry from which many devastatingly efficient prototypes have begun to be designed in basis to their schematics. Plasma guns capable of corroding the highest of defenses, energy weapons with higher rate and deadlier projectiles, and complex intelligences powered by mystical sources all are now possible due to their understanding of the greatness of Mithril.
However, the riches of the past and the prowess for the future are of no concern for politics at this moment with what could be the first war between brothers that Gaia has faced in a long span of time lurking in. With England in the front of catastrophes, the Prime Minister, Mr. Tom Walker, seeks the assistance from the president of the war-machine that is the United States, Otto Drexler, while consolidating at the opportunity to forward relations with the power the "Americans" hold on UBW.
Deciding to meet in one of the VIP rooms of a on-going construction for a stadium, Drexler begins to seat as Walker reaches for the food in the plate between the two men as all but one of Walker's guard leave the room.
"Help yourself to some Hors d'oeuvre if you please." Otto signals Walker as he senses the tension in his stance, being constantly reminded of his daughter back on London. Opening himself to the following business he accepts the bruschetta dish.
"I could do with a starter." He replies as he takes a bite out of the Italian delicacy. "Very rich in basil. I can tell the prosciutto comes Friuli. It has a kind amount of salt in the bite, right?"
"Too much for my taste. Anyway, I didn't know you had a knack for cuisine, Walker."
"It has been a pleasantry of mine since youth. Back when I was little older than 14 years old I used to help my mother on the kitchen albeit it wasn't until the middle of my college years that I took upon the culinary arts before I was drafted. That gave me the opportunity to experience many different foods from the places where I was posted."
"I don't have many great stories to talk about my youth besides that one time a friend of mine tried to take upon swimming in a land pool, diving included."
"I, I think we are digressing from what really matters. The His majesty's land is being assaulted by rebels."
"Indeed. Our forces are being deployed to help in your situation right away. We will defeat these rebels soon. Without any fully committed potency that can rival our allied forces I don't think this rebellion will last."
"People blame them for our pitiful caesura. Not that I would blame somebody for getting infuriated when called the devil's advocate as they have. However, in the end I think they are just anarchistic terrorists that seek pleasure in chaos. I still ask myself how someone can enjoy causing a war against all reason. They are fanatics in the brink of delusion. Nothing more."
"Personally, I think they are most misguided than anything. They do not comprehend that it is predominant for humanity to become united in the face of the future, regardless of belief and religion."
"Yet, religion has always shaped the outcome of politics and war."
"That is true. Not that I have anything against spiritual believes but, that is a mistake we continue to fall upon. Luckily, some of us have acknowledge the fact church and state have to be separated, always. As such, I believe the saying politicians should not believe even in their mother has a fundamentally right basis if a politician is to succeed; only in advancing goals should one trust."
"In that I agree, Otto."
"Uh, but I thought you were a Retributionist?"
"In mouth only. I agree with you at that politicians have to only believe in goals, not myths and gods but only men. However if the majority of our contemporaries want to believe in Oberon, then I shall believe in Oberon as well in order to make advances and change. You see, I believe in the simple power of humanity: numbers. Only through numbers have we achieved so much. Relying upon each other to boost everyone has led us into what we have become today. Fraternization is a strong weapon.
"I know that. Fraternity is the sole basis of democracy. Outcasting the opposition and groups outside of yours as a side effect. However, some might say you would even sell your soul to the devil, Walker. That you have no conscience, are always manipulative and cunning."
"Interesting that you mention the conscience. Some say that from the conscience stems from our "soul" and therefore our humanity, and in a quote that I heard a long time ago I based the whole fundaments of my philosophy I mentioned earlier, "Only those able to shed their humanity are able to make a change in a world ridden by war". If my humanity is my soul and I have to sell that to the devil to make the change I seek, undoubtedly I would do so. Not only that but I would become the devil himself if necessary."
"And what is this change you speak of?"
"A world where we are united at last and become what we are destined to be: gods. We were modeled after his image, a god, but he's only one and we outnumber him. Only when we shed this web that is our defective human nature he maliciously has cast upon us can we become truly great and ascend."
"You speak as if the Christian god was evil."
"Not only him but every creator. Purposefully setting obstacles to detract from what is rightfully ours as only child of the cosmos. Detracting from their children. They know that we are better and because of that they made us this way: defective. If that is not evil, then nothing is. I see evil and war as a sign of defect and knowing that they set the latter upon us to stall us from the perfection that awaits. That is why I give away my defective humanity in order to bring upon change."
"That is the contrary of the retributinist view."
"They see our defective nature and deem that we need to be eradicated as an error to improve the software of existence. I see that pessimistic existentialism with the same disdain I see all the other kinds of fanaticism."
"I cannot find a more foul word for fanaticism. Fanaticism bring upon madness to the clarity of thought in men. That can spell ruin for us in crucial events such as these dire moments we find ourselves in the interlude of a civil war." As he finishes his thoughts, he finds himself on more related thoughts to his daughter whom is currently located amidst the turmoil. With no one to instinctively pray to, he exasperates himself at his own mind as the angst from the fate of his daughter clouds his judgements and stop abruptly the philosophical conversation between the two men. "Excuse me for my absent-mindness. I must admit but, I have been worried about my daughter ever since the attacks reached the city. Sorry if I can't continue talking."
Only a few couple of diplomats and their immediate families were able to escape the city as the conflict arrived. She was not among those able to partake with the initial rescue missions. Many of the unlucky politicians and their families are now hostages being executed hourly by the rebels and their religious leader, Michael Smith, a ex-cardinal priest that has interjected the UHA bring upon the reign of the anti-christ, calls that are not being forwarded by the neutral Vatican City, while others hide in order to avoid their fate.
"I understand. My thoughts are with your family and country." He is approached by the guard, just receiving news that dictate he leave Walker to his privacy. "You must excuse me now. I have other issues to attend prior to the following missions being conducted by our Army." The guard continues to forward the news to Walker as his daughter is among the hostages being shown on the threats of execution at the videos being released constantly by the rebels alongside the announcement his wife is to be killed next in attempts to remove U.K from the conflict through threats to the exiled Minister's family.
"Bring him here." Responds Walker to the news in a nonchalant voice that cuts through the ear of the respected lieutenant Bill of the UNCC, expecting otherwise a human to have addressed the news instead.
"Sir, are you sure...?" He responds after a split-second of vacillation.
"Lieutenant" Steely and brief is the response that demonstrates a determination unlike what the hardened guard has seen or heard before in his grueling military career as Walker grabs one of the cigarettes he always carries and lights it up.
"Very well." He exits, following the tacit rule of leaving when faced with a implacable force men cannot control.
Addressing the "man" with his back, Tomas takes a breath from his cigarette and informs it of its imperative task, "Keep Miranda alive and bring her to me. And before you do anything remember: you owe me. You are my god and I created you, no one else. I gave you power and life, and I can take it away." With those words, it leaves Walker to be alone with no one above or below to help him now, only his creation and son of destruction.
The angels have returned!
"Hey, Aziza. Can we talk?"
"Sure thing, Rico." Gasping for a bit of air, she cleans her eye while beginning to smile ever since the death of her mentor, Ausar. Even when he had his distinguishing gruffness in his remarks, he always meant well, trying to protect and support her akin to the protection a older brother gives to his little sister, even with the discussions and differences that come with the closeness in such bond. "What bothers you?"
"I just wanted to tell you how... strange this is for me. I mean, I still can't believe we are being brought unto this mess. I mean, we were nothing but simple "Siegfried" recruits and now are being "asked" by Green Eyes to join in the reclaiming of London."
Surprising him a bit, Aziza reaches for his face with a instinctive comforting care. Automatically, he decides to hug her affectionally as he reciprocates the affection and support over her loss. After a few seconds lapse, he decides to continue expressing his suppressed thoughts, letting go of a charge he has taken ever since the late events befell on the trio. Even though Samuel acts as the de-facto leader of the three, lately a great amount of focus has been on him, much to his dislike and and cause of stress.
Adding to his opinion, she interjects her own view on the mission as she looks over Adam and Sam across the room while they prepare for the following mission. "I have to admit, I also feel bombarded by all the stuff that has happened lately. I mean, I can't believe they are gone, Roi and Ausar. It seems almost surreal, and now they are asking us to go back to the battle and find a missing girl that god knows if she is alive or not."
Sighing, Rico also shifts his view towards his friends while contemplating the direness he faces himself with his company, "I understand. To be frankly, I don't have much hopes about her being alive at all, neither do I trust Green Eyes. Do you trust him?"
"Not one bit. I doubt he has any humanity left in him anymore. I mean, all I saw when that man interrupted our lute was a machine without emotion, not a human."
Like the cold one supposedly feels when a ghost is nearby, Ralec has become a hardened empty shell inside of frozen metal, without any empathy left for enemy or ally. Seeing himself as better and more advanced, there is no more reason for him to feel anything but apathy for what is lower than himself, sharing about the same amount of similarities with a human as he has with a dog and having the same disdain for men's lives as he has for a ant's; lesser biological constructs are merely tools to serve for a absolute goal when useful and necessary, however as tools they are bound to be broken and replaced, a philosophy that has made him fame for executing plans with immense casualty polls but are ruthlessly effective.
As they lay in the room where they are located before they depart, Abasi enters to have a little chat with the group and bid them good luck as they officially greet him upon his entry.
"No need for formalities, you are now Siegfrieds and I want to speak with my men."
"But Abasi, we were not part of Cairo squad." Samuel says as he indirectly inquiries about Abasi's motives for speaking with them, besides Aziza.
"Not officially, but you fought alongside us. That makes you all part of my group in my book. Anyway, I wanted to tell you good luck. I know it ain't going to be easy, in fact I am dead certain it is going to be a bloody hell, but I know you four are going to keep each other company and protect yourselves.
When I first met you three, I saw something that was innately born between you, something not taught but born, and that was union. You fight as one and care for each other besides the role of soldiers and friends, but as brothers. With union comes strength, always keep in mind that.
Aziza, you are the most kind soldier I've ever met. In fact, many times I wonder what the hell are you doing in the military instead of being a saint. Still, you are one of the best soldiers I've ever met and loyal to the end. Never change that.
Remember, this is the strongest group you will ever be part of. I am proud to have fought alongside you and wish I could accompany you four." Hearing the intercom informing the soldiers to report at their designated gunships to depart for the mission, he hurries to finish his speech for his companions and friends, "Now, give those damn rebels hell by my part."
"Yes, sir!" They all cheer in unison as they begin to leave.
These damn kids, they never learn I just don't like formalities, do they? Ausar thinks to himself jokingly while smiling and keeping a eye on the four entering the gunship alongside several other armed men and women. As the aircrafts leave the port, he retreats back to the barracks where he continues with the necessary, and sorrowful, procedures that come after the death of fellow soldier and informing their families of the news.
The following mission will follow the special anti-confrontation formation commonly deployed by the special forces. Designed to purposefully avoid unnecessary confrontation, it follows a shape similar to that of a diamond. Located at the beginning arc of each side are located the scouting men, whom relay the position and information of the enemy to the advancing middle; at the front is the marching team, consisting of assault troops and vehicles, they are tasked with eliminating immediate opposition. The most secure position is populated by the supply runs, armored jeeps and central command, located at the center of the formation, effectually maneuvering and advancing per according to the information relayed by the scouts to avoid any unnecessary risks. At the end are mainly just snipers and long range gunships capable of eliminating stragglers and other threats at long distances, covering the rear of the demolitions convoys.
Of special interest in the anti-confrontation technique is the use of flares when live time communications are impossible. The four colors used are: green, red, yellow, and black. Green signifies the initial enemy contact, after which the first team that sees the flare will relay another green flare and so on. This is to ensue a relative pin-point on the location of enemies as well guiding the teams in the opposite direction from the color, effectively reducing the chances of running into organized enemy squadrons. In the case of confrontation, a red flare is issued by the encountering squad signifying such situation. This allows any nearby team to issue reinforcements while other teams relay yellow flares in the same purpose of the green ones. Black is reserved specially for the central command squad. It signifies the fall of organization and the impending news of failure in the case the general is incapacitated.
Samuel's men are located at the end right side of the formation, part of the supporting squads ready to assist in the event of any discrepancies as well further protecting the center. All of this emphasis on protecting the core is due to the fact the center contains central command, tasked with directing the whole operation. In any case they should fall, the whole mission risks failure and catastrophe. It is also in this place where the extraction support and demolition teams are situated, just in front of the brass.
As they fly towards their destination, through which they'll continue on armored all-terrain personal vehicles, the trio look down upon the commencing invasion of London as men from all the military arms rush down into the city while meeting extreme resistance. Because of the impending attack, it is feared the hostages may be taken to another location or executed entirely, therefore it is vital the special operations acts fast enough to intercept the fleeting rebels in a attempt to secure the lives of the politicians, and if the Angel and Smith are indeed present as informed, capture or kill them.
However, a frontal assault against the rebel stronghold is ill advised, as evident with the immense toll the allied forces are already taking on the ground as the enclosed streets encourage the guerrilla tactics being employed by the marauders supporting the separation of the UHA. The tall skyscrapers and enemy troops present at the roofs further hinder the complete advancing of aircraft, making it necessary the deployment of the anti-confrontation formation at the ground in the first place. That is not to mean the rebels aren't taking a heavy dent, as the tall buildings do not stop completely the airstrikes from appearing, making it possible for the special forces to advance a little bit further via air as well facilitating the slow advance of the foot soldiers.
Another advantage the rebels have is the fact the skyscrapers enable the easy establishment of anti-aircraft weaponry and jamming communications, effectually cutting off the little synchronization ground forces and airborne troops have amongst each other and themselves, making the relaying of news and orders nigh impossible.
As they safely arrive at the final checkpoint after a tumultuous ride, the four of them mount their vehicles and continue their advancement on the ground, when they soon notice not far ahead a red flare's smoke, easily judging that it is the demolitions squad tasked with effectually destroying those pesky jamming towers with designated RPGs. In the event there are no survivors, a looming possibility after contact, it is their job then to take over their duties and eliminate those supporting threats themselves.
"All right, the remains should be about three blocks from here to the east. Let's hurry!" Aziza captains the team as she points towards the general direction of the crashed down aircraft.
Coming into the remaining debris, Sam and the team notice in the distance several alliance soldiers disposing of some rebels as more reinforcements come. Hurrying it to their help, being identified by their armor and F.L.O.A.T jetpacks, the team supports the remains of the demolitions team. As the ensuing firefight ends, the men introduce themselves personally to their rescuers at their thanks.
"Hello! Thank goodness that you came, without you we would have been for sure dead. My name is Hiro Kazune, Major of Tokyo team. We were tasked with destroying those jam towers and managed to destroy one of them but where shot down in the process of arriving to the second. What is your name?"
Major Kazune has been on the military for over 20 years, having being raised on the outskirts of the Tokyo province in a house of middle class income and joining the military at the age of 23. Having since lived wherever he is deployed, which ranges from places all over the planet and Sol System, he hasn't been one to settle down and have a family.
"Aziza Mubarak, Cairo team, right support squad. How many survivors are with you?"
"7 in total. The two corpsmen and the first demolitions expert died in the crash. The three from Janeiro. My fellow director, Captain Daniel Hilliard, and the helmsman, Joel Fitzpatrick, are from Canada's Army. The assistant to command, Lt. Roman L. Lance is from the UNCC, and then come my three men: Hikari Nagata, Sarutobi Kojima, and Kenji Hirano, three of the finest Japanese alliance soldiers."
"Japanese. Can they be trusted?" Remarks aside Adam to Samuel given the recent displays of rebellion on the asian side of the world; Japan in particular has been divided in their own regional civil war state where the politicians, as well the people in general, argue whether aligning themselves with the rebels or the allied forces.
Another fact regarding Major Kazune is his incredible sense of hearing which enables him to detect the presumption Adam inquires about.
"I assure you. Me and my men are the most loyal Alliance soldiers you may find. We will give our lives for the United forces if necessary and with honor."
"More importantly, can he be trusted?" Remarks Rico while pointing indirectly at the UNCC lieutenant, to the man's apathy whom seldom continuing observing the surroundings while speaking with Fitzpatrick. Reporting directly to Ralec, he was posted to oversee the crucial task of the team.
Ignoring the question, both Aziza and Hiro lay the route to be taken in order to destroy the other two towers quickly, each 10 blocks apart in a ruined zone called No Man's Land. Taking the time to get to meet the newfound squad-mates, the trio go and meet the others as well establish a well needed bond in order to survive, keeping in mind Abasi's observation.
In a brief question, Samuel asks Vratski, "Do you think this whole operation will be successful rescuing Amanda Walker?"
"You mean the Minister's daughter? Her name is Miranda. Were you thinking again of Amanda?"
"Uh. I guess so. Anyway, do you think it'll be successful?"
"I hope so. That would mean we get out alive anyways."
Following his initial Marine training, Rico then observes the men and women with which he is stuck at the moment, judging them internally and addressing himself politely to the others in jargon.
Captain Daniel Hilliard is a Canadian soldier hailing from the Ottawa region. Having served under the renounced Ralec, he was chosen personally by the Green Eyes due to his straight approach at dire situations. His compatriot, the helmsman Joel Fitzpatrick, is a a affable 24 year old straight out from the academy after graduating with flying colors. Single child born to a single mother in the Manitoba region, he had to bloom his friendly demeanor since a young age in order to placate the relative loneliness in the home, his mother having to work extended hours in order to cover the costs of daily life.
Despite sharing similar suspicions about the Japanese team as his battle-brothers, Rico instead decides to assume the role of vanguard and give the asians a chance while trying to avoid petty superstition whilst in the middle of the mission.
Hikari Nagata, a black haired girl with a single pink strand in at the right side of her neck-long hair and around the age of early twenties, she stands out among the rest due to her short stature outside the Draco Armor special for the spec ops, but incredible agility. Being the team's infiltrator, she alone utilizes the F.L.O.A.T. jetpack and its speed, giving her a edge against slower machine gunners and heavy assaults besides extended durability in a firefight to her otherwise feeble build. Her job description of silent infiltrator reflects on her personality, being quite reserved when approached by others, but not soft spoken. She is quick to tell hidden truths about others, displaying a keen sense of being a quick judge of character.
Sarutobi Kojima, the strong brass of his team. Strong, calculating, and efficient, Saurtobi is the close combat expert of the squad. Heavy built but with quick feet, he makes for a formidable opponent when up close, carrying shotguns and a Passer to the field. Like a big brother to his people, he is the most charismatic of the group as well the most protective, always taking the build of the opposing fire to his direction. Albeit his friendly outlook, there is something in his eyes that suggest hardships in his past. Emotional scars that reflect on the irises when one looks close enough. Those are the kind of eyes that have seen evil in the face.
There is nothing amusing or intricate about Hirano. A simple fisher boy turned soldier out of a sense and quest for honor, he simply does his job un-outstandingly when compared to other legendary soldiers. Having enrolled when he was 19, he has spent 5 years in the military. It is purely out of merit that he is in the special operations, not because he was exceptional or difficult to order. In fact, it is presumed he was "persuaded" to join by the higher ups solely as a showcase of menial power over the renegade, liberal, and uncontrolled spec ops.
Continuing amassing information and opinions from the staff, Rico hears in the distance Tokyo team, more specifically Hikari, arguing with Adam who has let his degrading opinion of asians get the better of him while questioning their loyalty personally, as he would put it.
"I'll say it again, can you prove you are not traitors?" Adam says requiring one more time corroboration.
Coming to his team's defense, Sarutobi proceeds to intervene the fight between the two of them, "Listen pal! How many times do we have to say it? We are not traitors! Get it?!"
"If you are as loyal as you say, then why is Japan rebel territory?"
In a quick display of personality summarization, Hikari reveals her summation of Adam, "Leave him, it's clear he doesn't believe in words. Obviously it stems from having a abusive, alcoholic parent. People like that tend to backtrack on their word commonly. That also explains why he is the most retracted, quiet, and distant from his group, evident by his lack of trust and his weapon of choice, a cold and distant sniper riffle."
Leaving the rest of the men dumbfounded, and Adam infuriated beyond any levels seen before by Samuel and Rico, Hikari stands silent as she sees through Adam's long stern glare. Before he can step forward towards her, she says her fulminant observation, "Your father is a drunk who left you alone, and there is nothing you could have done about that, except reprimand him internally for the rest of your miserable life. You don't even have the guts to put him out of his desperate misery and depression because you lack any strength to stand against him, instead you left him and join this wretched military, just like he did before you."
With those final words, Adam is left motionless as Samuel and Rico finally realize the meaning of his previous statement when asked about why he joined the military. Looking at each other upon their realization, they empathize with their teammate as Aziza and Hiro begin to mobilizing the teams. With Daniel on the role of rocketeer, using a specialized RPG capable of launching three rockets at a time called Black Stars, the fellowship heads on into the first target virtually unopposed.
After the long journey, they finally arrive at their first destination, just beside the London Bridge. Uneventfully, they dispose of all enemies and launch the rockets into the jamming tower, destroying it and leaving in a quick strike.
As they continue their way, they notice in the left side's horizon a cloud of red-orange smoke. As they look upon each other's faces, wondering why so many teams used red flares in such a short amount of time, they hear inside their minds, You are but a whim against cosmic winds of fate, homunculus.
As the thought leaves their fumbling minds, they see a black flare rising, contrasting the bright blue sky irradiating light against their visors. Grabbing the yellow flare, Samuel prepares to launch it just before he gets his arm grabbed by Captain Hilliard, "Whatever is happening, there's something hunting us down, now's not the time to yell our position to anyone."
"But we need to signal the others..."
"Don't you see? Central Command is down! The whole mission is bust! They're using the flares to locate us and overwhelm our positions. There must be a full army of them coming from that direction. Priority just changed to survival. We must stay hidden, and pray."
Pointing at what was their previous objective, Kazane orders, "Hurry, let's get inside!" Once there, the three rookies as well the Japanese soldiers and Fitzpatrick are all wondering what in hell is happening.
"First off, we need to analyze the situation. So far, we need to assume everything and everyone in the left flank is down and we are being selectively hunted by a overwhelming amount of enemies. We need to lay low." Daniel clears off as everyone struggles to retain their senses. Alone and in the face of a immutable enemy, the chances of leaving alive seem nought.
"How can we be sure all is botched? Perhaps there are people still out there. And what about the others, we can't still leave them to die?" Rico vehemently adds.
"Didn't you see the black smoke. The mission is a failure and there is nothing we can do about it. Now our top priority is escaping against a unknown force that just took out Ralec and his team, which may I remind you consist of only the best fighters the UHA military has to offer. Nothing short of a battalion can take them down." Shaking his head in discontent, Rico stays quiet acknowledging the fact the current situation is beyond his capabilities. Continuing, Hilliard adds, "If we are going to survive, we need to communicate with any outside forces for a potential rescue attempt."
"So our objective stays the same? Take out the tower?" Lance reasons as the others again wonder. Receiving a nod, he and the others prepare to escalate into the roof and destroy the anti-comm satellite.
As they hurry through the steps to the roof as angels trying to ascend back to heaven after being forsaken by higher forces, they meet a single, beaten to a pulp, soldier in the brink of death laying against the wall covering up a slash from neck to leg with the surface, blood running into the floor is a puddle reaching his feet. Recognizing the man as one of Ralec's soldiers, Daniel comes to his hurry while trying to apply a first-aid emergency kit. Where's Ralec? What is going on? They unanimously ask at the same time but with different words each. Face visor broken and legs contorting in unnatural positions, he refuses the help being given and utters one thing to the group as he sees their visage, "Go! We came here to ask for help and now Ralec is dead. Torn apart from heart to bottom. It...expected us. Leave, now!" Finishing, a loud, booming, mechanical sound from beyond the hearing spectrum of humans resonates within each and everyone's head simultaneously, severely disorienting them as if a bomb went off just next to their location; feeling this, the man says while regaining the final strength in his body, "Run you fools! Run!"
Again, the sound of angelic nightmares resonates deeply inside each other as if it were reaching for something far beyond mundanity: the soul of each individual as it flees from the body abruptly, leaving it cold and senseless. Triggering a feral instinct of terror, they stand even more disturbed and state-locked, unable to move. Feeling the weigh of the armor suddenly become present on the pale body, their hearts beating faster by the second as the blood is felt running through the veins and circulating through the widening irises, the breath getting rapider while gasping for the fleeting soul to come back into the body and make it move again; they continue still, waiting... for nothing.
The wait is over when through a wall comes a man flying straight into the next, dead, following a bright gamma blue explosion burst through the rubble. As the dust disperses, a being from the machine introduces its visage in the eyes of grief stricken humans. Whatever shed of humanity it may have had as given through its humanoid appearance, it has unborn into a ghost trapped inside a metallic shell.
What can be described from the Eldritch-Human aberration begins with a skull-like metallic plate that covers the face through which its inferno-red irises peek through into the essence of the standing living beings it faces and casts them down into hell with a simple stare; the jaw is divided into two sections of plating while the ears, nose and facial muscle hide behind said platinum armored surface resembling a demonic knight's bust, only revealing a short shot of silver hair in the style of ancient romans. Having a black matte exoskeleton for skin and tubes for bones that come outside of the body as spines, everything of it has become a literal deus ex machina that embodies the nightmares of men into one composite being, for God -nor any of his creations- envisioned such evil into existence.
Calmly drawing two swords, it proceeds to position itself in a runner's start. "Goddanm it! Shoot!", says Kenji instigating the rest to empty incredible loads through their riffles at the figure, resulting in no dents to it. As it begins its charge, everyone continues pumping lead only for the bullets to end being dented themselves. Proceeding forward, Daniel fires the three rockets of the Black Stars straight at his face. Clearing the smoke, he lays decapitated in the floor, the monster now at the other side, stopping its momentum and beginning to slowly turn towards the team as they stand in the horror of their fallen Captain.
Within a split second, the cold blades reach Kazune, who is slain without impunity, his face turning to his back and ultimately destroying any cohesion between the soldiers . Coming next for Hikari, Sarutobi shoots at point-blank at it, the knock-back letting Lance grab Hikari for her to miraculously escape its deathly grasp, but not before the figure disarms Kojima of his weapon and slashes clean his throat with the other hand, another head rolling down. Successively, Fitzpatrick and Kenji get stabbed systematically in the heart as the others watch hopelessly while firing weapons in its general direction.
As rebel soldiers arrive, Lance calls for a retreat while bullets begin to fly in their direction. Grabbing Aziza by the hand, Rico and the others begin to run in the other direction, hoping their attacker gets distracted; instead, ignoring the rebels for the moment, the hellish demon lunges forward in a big boost capable of catching up with the fleeting allies.
As Rico and Adam shoot, the former with his side-arm, giving the others time to escape, he sees Aziza getting caught by its swords, slashing her sideways in the abdomen, bypassing armor, skin, and muscle and tearing through her in half reaching down to the spine and killing her instantly as her body hits the wall. Numb, Rico stops all action and gets grabbed by the figure, lifting him above ground, ready to execute him. But with a sudden surge of energy, Angel grabs his knife and stabs it in his left eye as more rebels come to their direction.
Grabbing its face, the figure falls back, screaming in agony as Rico begins to flee before noticing Adam laying on the floor injured by the enemy soldiers. Forced to flee from both threats, he leaves his friend to his fate as he activates his jetpack for a needed speed boost.
With a certain distance drawn, he peeks back into the screaming knight, expecting it to be dead or laying on the floor, instead it begins to give chase with a renewed eye as smoke evaporates from its socket.
He continues running at the maximum speed that characterizes him; be it any other adversary, he would have long lost it, but this one is implacable, capable of tearing through any obstacle. Taking potshots in its direction, it does not sway, further leaving him out of options. Finally grabbing the only grenade he has with him, he turns back, still going forward via his jetpack's omnidirectional movement, and throws it straight at the demon, whom catches it mid-flight and throws it aside like a rag doll where it explodes, not harming it.
Having run out of tricks, Rico continues to elude the threat's attack by outmaneuvering it, finally coming into a hall with only one exit, a window. Without any other option and second thought, he jumps straight through it into a 5 floors tall fall, landing on the ground battered. Seeing upwards to determine whether the messenger will jump after him as well, he sees it finally leaving him all alone as more rebels are heard in the distance. By hiding in a dark alley as the enemy tank passes with the troops, he gets a rest while alone amidst No Man's Land.
Suddenly feeling a strange sensation unlike ever before, he hears inside not in his head but his soul, a shadow that speaks to him a ancient truth that has been commanded to reveal itself inside him, that of a eternal darkness that plagues men's existence ever before it evolved from apes and reached sentience, a name.
A revelation about the cosmos, a god, shattering his conception of reality. For a god is not a he nor a she but a it: a force. Even when incapable of changing itself, it continues to change the fabric of universe by simply existing. A force doesn't have to want to, or even be aware of doing so, all its existence is for is to dream of reality, for even dead gods can dream. Gods are absolute, for truth is the daughter of absoluteness. Falseness is finally displaced with horrible truths,
Vratski. Know that you exist because we allow, and you will end because we demand it. You are our instruments of eternal salvation through your destruction; you fight against cosmic forces humans cannot begin to comprehend and your purpose will be served as we lay ruin to your might. I am immortal, infinite, chaos. I am Nyarlathotep. RELEASING DIRECT CONTROL
Alone, Rico finds himself amidst the territory of the enemy; but more isolated is he amongst his own mind, his reality shattered by the experience of facing directly at reality incarnate itself. A god, he encountered? Not the one he has known for a lifetime: omni-benevolent, omni-present, omni-powerful, all-knowing, the god he had grown to love. No, it named itself Nyarlathotep, the Crawling Chaos. Deity of a foreign religion outside of his own. He faced a god nonetheless, a unrelenting force capable of taking life away in a instant like it did for Aziza right before his very eyes.
But, perhaps he is so utterly crushed by the death of his comrades at the hands of a unknown enemy that he has begun to lose his mind, the weight of being a vanguard for everyone crushing him at the end and the horrors of war between brothers taking its toll in him, making fascinations of unexplainable horrors being responsible for his failure instead. Yet, he is sure of what he saw, many killed by the uttermost of horrors, a devil of darkness incarnate, boasting blades so vile they grow hungry for desolation. Still, he lacks the peaces necessary to complete his personal puzzle.
Knowing however of his actual dire standing, he recollects all his thoughts into one goal: survival. Setting aside everything, he stands up again and begins to walk, but the force of the inside chaos seemed all too real. It felt alien, but familiar. Eldrich, and explicable. The voice will seemed like a universal, tacit law: Nothings has yet lived that will not die.
After what seemed eons of walking, he finally gets a glimpse of signal and contacts his teammate Sharkface, reassuring his survival and positioning for evacuation. Only three others of his meshed squad made it out alive, Hikari and Roman being saved by quick thinking of Samuel: to backtrack on their steps towards cleared territory.
Setting camp for himself at a reserved hill, he finally catches breath, sightseeing the devastation that has occurred. Realizing his own life was at the cost of leaving Adam behind, and the others butchered by a mechanical reaper trying to save Aziza without fruition, the destruction of his psyche continues to take its toll, leaving him shattered.
"You are our instruments of eternal salvation through your destruction; you fight against cosmic forces humans cannot begin to comprehend..."
All the combat prowess he has, all the will he gathered to fight, all to mean nothing? His efforts in vain? Visions of terrible abominations manifests themselves unto his mind, space-tearing blotting out the sky through which monsters pour out to devour worlds. A war for survival ending in only ruin. These strike chords within him, as he stands motionless amidst the fire of winged demons, incinerating his skin. A final light appears before his eyes, as he instinctively closes the lids out of the intense brightness, he beings preparing himself for whatever lays ahead of life, only to feel the touch of another human reaching for his own hand.
"Rico! Get on!" Samuel yells over the loud sound of the shuttle's turbine.
Getting on, being received by his friend, he looks at other fellow surviving marines, all with a scarred look in their faces, distraught and broken.
"Damn, I'm glad you made it. I sincerely couldn't look forward to going on in this war solo. I cannot imagine what Adam must be going through. I hope we can get him in time, his armor's locator still responds, currently hold up at the center of London, base of the rebels, alongside the other hostages. We'll come back for... Rico? Hey, Rico? You're listening? Angel?"
Not turning a glint, ignoring all outside sources, Rico remains catatonic. Quickly fearing of any health problems, Sam calls the two medics, after which they examine his face and pulse, getting the other marines involved as well in worry. Slapping his face, Sam continues begging for a response, for which, without turning a bit his expression, Vratski whispers:
"I have spoken with the darkness."
Family-Right or Wrong: Pt.1
The casualty toll being massive on both sides, the remaining rebels are forced to pillage the bodies of the enemy soldiers that participated on the failed mission, as well on their own, for survival. Without much supplies left at the wake of lingering ruins, they are forced to take from the dead.
Taking a tag from a decapitated corpse, a rebel looks at the other two prisoners and then asks to another as they continue defiling the remains,
"What do we do with these two?"
"Just kill them. Easier to just take weapons than prisoners. Remember that.", says the more pragmatic rebel.
Frightened for his future, many thoughts race through Adam's mind as he gets put to his knees alongside his unknown comrade, not older than 19 and never seeing him before. From his Titan armor, he can conclude that he was part of the defensive convoy protecting Ralec and his command. His story is unknown to him, even his name a enigma, but fall that matter, he is another human being about to lose his life, unjustly and unnecessarily.
"You know, I like this sniper. Might take it as mine."
"A sniper, really? You can't even hit scum tank with a Rocket Launcher at 10 feet away, David."
"A RPG-21 is a AoE weapon, effective at clearing small, confined rooms, not singular targets. Basically, it's not anti-materiel."
"Ahh. You always take the fun out of the joke, David."
As Dimitri, now rebel captain, walks toward the two, they stop immediately their dark-humor banter, ignoring the weapon's owner momentarily who's attempting to escape.
"You two know you can't claim anything until Cerberus comes and inspects the prisoners, right? I really don't get why you always mock capture enemies like they're insects, is not like you were in a different position a few months ago."
Obviously terrified, the Tank guy interrupts: "You know, now that you say that, I think I want to join you guys."
"Ah yeah? Why?", asks one of the rebels.
"Listen, it's clear you are the winning side of this conflict, and I want to win. If that means joining you, I have no qualms about it."
"Really? I think you just want to save your puny ass from being killed by Cerberus. Let me tell you though, he has a knack of killing cowards, especially when he is down a bottle of beer, and last time I saw him, he was on his 12th." Says the other rebel while still toying with the confiscated sniper.
Whom is this "Cerberus"? Never mind, I have to get out of here, now. Inspecting any route to escape, Adam concludes, not caring about leaving the other guy anymore now that he turned traitor to save himself. If there is something he has learnt on his life, is to never trust those who backtrack on their word.
Seeking to test his élan, Dimitri orders one of her subordinates to hand the lad a pistol, "That so? Very well, let the kid show his loyalty to the cause by killing this one instead. We'll just stand here and witness.
Make it quick, he'll be here quick. Wouldn't want him or Acosta finding you taking place in our little game, right?" She then sits by the wall, casually juggling her knife while waiting.
With his hands trembling, finger on the trigger, the new recruit aims the gun straight at Adam's head, right in between his scared eyes but daring stare.
"Whoa, I still get to keep the sniper, right?"
"Just shut up, David. I want to see his brains against the wall."
"But it is a legitimate question. I want to know if I get to keep the gun."
"Who cares? Just give to the new guy as a trophy or something." The rebel says while looking towards Dimitri for approval of the idea.
"I care. It's my gun, I claimed it. It's what we do. I surely won't give it to some new guy just because he killed the other in fear."
"Can we please shut up. You're making me trembly.", adding justification for his shakiness, the traitorous Tank continues to aim at Adam as he races to find a escape alternative, each pump of blood feeling more rushed and burning his flesh. The ambient turning hot, hostile against life. Treacherous. The convoluted tone of the situation dulling his own defiant ante, no back up plan.
"Just give the gun already. I'll kill him myself.", finishes the other rebel, almost as tired of hearing about David's arguing as Dimitri. Forcefully taking away the pistol, he points at Adam without hesitation.
Without a second thought, he begins to pull the trigger when the commanding sound of Marco heeds down his spine, sending out chills down through it faster than neural current, disabling all of his senses at once.
Beer in hand, he then asks, "What's going on?", looking at Dimitri for answers.
"Don't look at me, it's just these three goofs arguing over the sniper from this low-life. I almost feel pity for this scum, finding himself captured by these waste of space.
Recognizing the voice, Adam, while bewildered at the possibility, asks, "Dad?", reaching for the possibility that it is indeed his father.
"Adam?! My god..." Feeling weak, he kneels before his son and grasps him between his arms.
Family-Right or Wrong: Pt.2
While laying in a room, Acosta talks with Vex, now owner of Infinity Defense, through a call as she is currently at the military colony of UBW. Shifting the focus of the conversation from that of strictly business to a more casual one, Vex remarks,
"You know, you haven't called your grandmother in a while, right?"
"I know, I should have..."
"Well, she worries about you. She called me last week to see if I knew of you. I told her you were fine and all, but she still would like for you to pay her a visit once in a while."
"As soon as the contract is over, I will. If not, just remind me, will you?"
"I'll sure will. She's a charm, I'll say."
"She sure is... I wouldn't mind some some of her scrambled eggs."
"By the way, what does she put in them that makes it so good?"
"Huh. If I remember it's a bit of pepper, a bit of salt, scratched cheese for the gooeyness, bacon, lots of it, and a half-cup of beer."
"Yup. She puts beer in everything she cooks."
"Really? Well, why don't you come to here and I'll make you some eggs with beer, huh?"
"I wish I could, Vex. But you know how much this means to me."
"What, the money or killing Walker?" After a straight look from Javier, she rolls her eyes and retracts, "Nevermind. Well, I have to go, I will have a meeting in 30 minutes. Maybe we can talk tomorrow."
"Take care of them, will you?. You know how they tend to argue amongst themselves."
"Isn't that Marco's job?"
"Yes, and he's the one to first throw punches. Well, at least take care of yourself."
Closing the call, he then leaves the room. In the background, a tv news anchor announces news already known to him:
Prime Minister Tom Walker has announced to have reached a deal with the London rioters. He has offered himself as hostage in exchange for all the captives, including his daughter, Miranda Walker, to which the leaders of the insurgents, ex-cardinal Michael Smith, and anarchist group, 'The Vendettas , have agreed upon said terms. Many see this as a selfless act while others see this as suicidal. We will post the results of the poll in the next short minutes.
While walking through the hallway into the run-away "cafeteria", Sam intercedes with him, making him begrudgingly stop.
"Hey D'Acosta. I'm sorry to interrupt you but it seems my dear sister and Marco are fighting over a pair of prisoners."
"So? I don't give a damn argument between them two. He probably drank too much again."
"Yes, but that's not the issue; it's that it appears one of them is his son. He yelling all around about how he won't let anyone touch him."
"What?" Without even giving turn for Sam to continue talking, Javier steps on towards them and break the argument.
"Take pictures!" Sam yells through the hallway.
Rushing to the scene, he finds Marco aiming with a shotgun at Dimitri and the others, whom are aiming at him in retrospect as a scared Adam stands taken aback by the cluster of frustrations.
"Don't!", advices Dimitri to Javier as she sees past his intentions. As soon as he notices however, Marco turns to aim at Acosta instead.
"Marco, put the gun down." Acosta explains trying to calm the frenzied father.
"I know what you want to do!" Marco continues with his behavior, as his heartbeat begins to accelerate, oozing with Adrenaline-coated blood. His grip on the shotgun begins to slightly break the cast as the aim becomes compromised by a few margins.
"Just put the gun down. "
"Why? Why should I trust you. These bastards wanted to kill Adam. I won't let anyone touch my son."
"Marco. I'm just here to calm things down."
"Really, prove it. Prove to me, prove that you won't kill him. Drop your sword, and your knives."
"No. You know I can't do that."
"Then you lie! You just want to kill my son as did these bastards wanted to! I can't let you do that." He tightens his finger around the trigger of the shotgun, to which Javier responds by grabbing with one his sword, ready to unsheathe at moment's notice.
"Don't say crazy things, Marco."
"Put the gun down, dad. You'll get us both killed by the Angel.
"Crazy, huh? You call this crazy? You know what I think is crazy? I think this war is crazy. All of this destruction and death is unnecessary, it's tearing this goddamned world apart and us with it. Literally, when people say the end of the world, I think of this. I mean, c'mon, I think this is the first war where I've seen a brother kill his own brother. It 's turning everyone into simple savages who care for nothing but death.
"Who cares what the fuck happens to this world, we have a contract to fulfill."
"No, you have a contract to fulfill. You really think that this is a contract, it's bloodshed. Pure, uncultured bloodshed. Your own personal vendetta, and you're dragging us to hell with you, and well, unlike you and your kind, whom have nothing to live up for anymore, the rest of us have families and people to live up for. Now I know that, now that I know my son is still alive.
You know, I used to think like you before, but then I began to have doubt. I mean, kill a child nonetheless even if the target is neutralized or not? We used to have morals, a code to follow There are laws of war for a reason. So we don't end up destroying ourselves, but now that does not matter shit. All that matters is who kills whom first. That is what god-damned war has turned all of you into, fucking senseless monsters that kill anyone without remorse, just for fun."
"Now what kind of shit have you been drinking lately, Marco?" Dimitri adds as everyone begins to see through Marco's bloodied eyes.
"Shit? No, it's just now that I see how all of this is going to end. I intend however on not going down with the rest of the dog-pile, and live on with family, not damn in hell, and he's bringing us hell, and you're all following him blindly because why, money? At least I have a bit of consciousness, even if it took my son for me to realize it."
"Is that what you want? Leave then. Go through the fucking door and don't come back. You and your son, both are open to leave, but know that if you leave, never come back."
"Fine, I don't want to see your goddamned face ever again!"
After taking a brief time to take a breath in his quarries, Javier is visited by Garret, who had just seen his newborns for the first time.
"Is it a good time?" Garret asks as Javier opens his eyes from a break to attend him.
"Saw your kids?" He asks in retrospect, trying not to sound apathetic. Reading behind the lines, he continues with the new theme.
"Ah, yes. They're beautiful, both of them. The girl has her mother's eyes, you know."
"And the boy?"
"Well... he looks more like his old man. Has too dark eyes."
"But you just said both of them are beautiful."
"Well, in their own way. I'm just saying she's going to have a easier time finding someone. You don't know how much it took me to get Carla."
With his face turning a bit red, Javier says, "Well, it took me 22 years for me and Iris to get married." After saying the little trivia fact, he then drops his smile as he reminisces about her.
"Oh, I'm sorry I didn't mean to..."
"Don't be, Garret. I've got over it by now."
"I know. It's tough losing someone so close. It happens to everyone, although I know you've had a tough life. I mean, losing so much family. I don't how you continue on to be honest. If I were to lose my children, even though I've only met them via a camera and only for like five minutes, I don't know how'd I live with myself. "
"It's not easy. I still remember their faces, everyday, every moment. Sometimes I lose myself in memories of back then, when we three were all together. Like you said, she did have her mother's eyes and face. Just pretty. I thought of them as the two most beautiful women in I could have in my life. Proof that even the most irredeemable of men can have a little light in their lives. The sweet brightness of their smiles. I miss those moments every second, but I have to move on. I have a job to do.
At least I take solace in the fact the son-of-a-bitch who killed Iris is ash, killed him with my own hands. Can't say the same about my little girl. You know, doctors say the propensity for cancer might come from my paternal family. Both my grandfather and a cousin died of lung cancer, my father of liver, and Maria of leukemia. I mean, what if they're right? If it is indeed true, the math says I'm the genetical cause for her cancer, it runs in my family."
"Well, I don't know about you, although you seem very healthy, but you can't feel guilty about such things. It's nature. We can't do anything about it."
Besides, you still have friends and family that care about you, am I right? Plus, you have Vex for those moments. She's a pretty woman, so I think you're very lucky anyway."
"I guess you're right, but, I wish it wasn't. It's odd sometimes to think there's something I cannot fight with a sword."
Standing up to take a glass of wine, he responds, "I guess you're right." After serving both of them a little bit of drink, they continue to talk about Garret's new children for when a alarm sounds through the intercom, after which it's preceded by a a loud, booming, mechanical wave booms through the building, shaking its pillars and everyone within it as mass hysteria begins to occur within the outposts.
Reaching the epicenter of the chaos, Javier and Garret find themselves amongst a field of bodies, most mutilated beyond recognition, some missing limbs, and rolling heads laying in the ground. As they continue to walk among the biomass, they find a standing armored figure holding a limping female soldier by the helmet like a ragdoll.
As both Garret and Javier stand in shock, unsheathing their weapons, the demon that slew Cairo-Tokyo squad turns around to meet them face to face, its bright red eyes crossing with theirs. He then cracks Dimitri's helmet, crushing her skull and ending her life bloodily, only to throw the body away like trash.
"In the flesh."
Tell me, d'Acosta, why do you still fight? How are you still alive?!
7 years ago
Daily, without a miss, as soon as the first ray of sun hit Javier's face the morning allergies would kick in as if part of a curse brought by his mother's bloodline. Everyone of his cousins, uncles, and aunts, except for his grandma & Great Aunt Eneida, suffered from them. He pertains them jokingly to being allergic to day in general although his grandmother is certain it is a little remnant of a backfiring hex against her mother's spiritual enemy.
"Enrique, breakfast's ready!"
Barely able to speak, Javier goes down to the kitchen to meet his grandmother cooking. "Ahh, goddamn, what hour is it? Ahhchu!"
"I told you not to curse your lord's name."
"Hmph, but you do it all the time."
"That's because I can! Anyway, I made some scrambled eggs like you asked. Now sit down in the table and watch some television if you want. That Chinese cartoon you watch about ninjas is on Channel 2."
Most of his friends would be dying to correct her 'unfathomable' mistake directly at the moment, but he knew better, after all, teaching a senile 78 year old woman the difference between Japan and China, not to include the fact it was not a cartoon, would be fruitless.
However, more fresh in his mind was the recent burial of his father the day before and the recital at the night which lasted up to 1 AM. He met countless people there as townsmen, colleagues, and even members of both of his extended families went to pay their respects. There was also Iris, as well her father, with whom he spent most of the night talking and clearing his head of the resentment he still keeps to this day. It burned within him as hot as the pit in which the fallen angel Lucifer is chained and imprisoned, blaming him for not doing enough to save his other son the day the riots began.
Even still, he promised to himself he would not cry for him after he was gone, the last words he spoke to his father as he closed his eyes, saw the man his son would become, and went into the Light of heaven's peaceful gates, being reunited with his beloved. But, even then, Javier felt cold that night, his sleep was uneven, underneath his bedsheets a cool breeze robed him of his warmth.
"So, who was the lady friend you spent all night yesterday, huh, Enrique?"
"What? You've met her before, Iris."
"That was Iris? My god she has grown up into a beautiful lady. Reminds me of myself when I was young."
Of course, seeing the plain white hair and the wrinkles on her face, Javier was appalled thinking of what Iris might turn when older. It was exaggerating though, his grandmother still keeps attending herself, going to beauties and caring of her beauty, even attaining some galant knights along the road with whom to share life's pleasures, but the thought remained ingrained within his skull.
"She came here 2 weeks ago."
"Did she? Wasn't she the one who was going with you to college? Then I must be mistaking her for someone else."
Going for the refrigerator to bring her grandson a root- beer she then retorted, "Who?"
"You know, short black hair, always with headphones on listening to dark metal, has the clothing look of 'a dying bat."
"Oh yes" She chuckled a bit as she was reminded of her punk look including boots and a jacket even though it was around 90 degrees in her house almost every day. "God do something about her music. Listening about the devil will only hasten his return."
Still taking part on eating his eggs, Javier looked at her and the cross glued to the wall, and the picture of Maria sitting in the table, and the framing of Saint Martha atop the tv, all disdainfully.
"You know, you're sometimes are a bit too fanatic."
"That's because you need all the allies you can get to help defend yourself from the enemies."
"Enemies, what kind of enemies can you have?"
"Ah boy, you'd be surprised of how many enemies this old lady has. Luckily I am more capable than them. Just ask your grandfather on why he chose me over Mrs. Lucia back in the day."
"Is this one of your Espiritista tales?"
"I would not practice it if it didn't work. My mother taught me that if you want to be powerful, you have to have the most powerful allies, be ready and capable of defending yourself, and knowing when to know and how to attack first. I won't go over the details, I know you mostly don't believe in any stuff, but let me tell you that I've seen your future and I know that you will be a powerful man."
"The lamp speaking again?"
"The lamp always knows better. The spirits spoke of you recently, a messenger borne on black wings. They spoke that one day you will finally face Ireul, and even though the wrath will be mighty your sword will protect you and you will stand victorious. However, they also warned me of your dark shroud, a shadow, and if left uncheck it might consume you.
You can take this as you will and I know Joel's passing is tough on you wether you admit it or not, but it will come one day when God will test you harder than before, and believe me when I say that day comes for all of us eventually, but when that day comes you have to stand stronger than life's wrath and continue on, but that's the beauty of the human spirit, it always finds the strength to endure one way or another.
Now finish those eggs before they get cold and you leave them. Also, get ready soon, I'm going to see Eneida and go to the supermarket to buy some milk, need a litter to make the coffee tomorrow, it barely left enough to make for today."
But within Javier's mind the whole speech sounded like the common spiritual talk she was prone to when something relevant in the family happened. She and her sister usually communicated with the spirits for all sorts of matters, trivial as 'talking with their late uncle Ernesto' to assessing wether or not to send a hex to their enemies, an all-encompassing title to all of those that somehow did a wrongdoing to either of them or their family.
Of course, for him, it was all nothing. Nothing in his life would make him believe in the power of astral communication, or that ogres are real and go flying through the windows to bless its followers, or that the embodiment of some universal axioms is ready to plunge chaos upon Earth, Mars, Thesia, Muspel, and any other corner of space where humans lived. No, for him all of that was figments of the human mind to make sense of a universe that even at the 24th century it still struggled to understand. For him, there was no use for gods, or shells, or any sort of pseudoscience, there was only the 'us', nothing more. Perhaps sentient life existed in another desolate corner of the big infinite cosmos, after all flora and fauna is commonly observed throughout inhabited space, but for all that matter only humans mattered within the realm of human life, nothing more...
I, unlike you, have a purpose. Unlike you I liberate, free their souls, offer them a chance to be reunited back into one without shackles set by your selfish god, give them eternal life. You however only bring them death, and then what? Oblivion. For what? Money? I find that cruel.
Now pinned to the ground, Javier saw as Jaeger lifted Garret of the floor through the neck and proceeded to pierced him through with his remaining sword and threw him into the wall as the latter gasped for air and coughed blood.
"Tell me, Garret, how does it feel to die?"
"Not... good." Garret thought of his newborns, and his wife, and the life he felt leeching out of his body as the blood continued to pour from his wound and reached his face.
But with the opportunity Jaeger presented in his genuine inquiry, Javier stabbed him through the abdomen, making him cry with the force of a demon having its flesh flayed by a all-consuming light casted down by the heavens, and as such he felt, loosing grasp of his last sword and calling down for the strength of his father to help him avenge his previous defeat at the hands of a fierce, but ultimately lowly, human that for the first time provided him with a emotion such as fear, for it was the first time in what could be described as its life, Jaeger was unsure of his power when in battle.
He was given a gift, a means to bring all to a end as he was created with that purpose in mind, to smite all that considered itself human and usher a era where nothing marked with the brand of sin had the right to exist, and for that purpose he was granted two swords that could erase all sense of vitality within the flesh. Those two swords where created in darkness, forged with a aberration and hunger for Light. That Light had to be destroyed. for it was weak and fragile and easily conquered. The fact it proved victorious over the primordial broth of shadows was a aberration, a mistake, and it had to be corrected as it was a aberration to the primal darkness that first dominated what is known as reality. That light was the spark that was granted to all of the selfish god's creation when it first released it. The swords were the cessation of that Light, of the soul.
The fact that the only mortal who was denied passage into the dark had not only disarmed him of those instruments of the void, but also bested him in his realm once before proved horrifying. What if there was a force stronger than the power of entropic chaos from which all things in the universe were created and systematically returned to simply by will? In the event such a force existed, and indeed he could see it within Javier's eyes and blade, then the outcome was cast and he was to cease. It was because of that hesitation the cry to the night was received, but not answered. Jaeger proved himself weak, the very embodiment of what his swords used to smite and therefore unworthy of their power and wrath. He left a vulnerability and the gap left by the strike let in light, thus he lost the privilege of being a vessel for darkness and its retribution.
As the two clashed, fist to sword, the fight became more evident as Javier regained the upper hand, blocking Jaeger's blows with his blade and pinning him further down. His might slipping and his wounds becoming more apparent as they stopped healing until in desperation he rushed a strike towards Javier with all his energy, only to be caught midway by the sharp edge and his left arm being ripped apart.
He fell down, defeated. In aguish, he dragged himself with his remaining hand to get away from the final blow. With what remained of his life he opened his eyes and saw the darkness he so much revered in the figure of a man who spoke, You have failed. Learn how to be strong again, my son, and you shall be given resurrection. Until then, we will find another way., and with those words the man returned to the darkness from which he came. As it close in front of him, Javier caught up to him and proceeded to unsheathe his dagger.
With those words, Javier trusted his knife upon the back of the skull of as the Jaeger saw all the dark gone, leaving him behind, empty. Finally, the answer he craved for eternity was finally given.
Town of Light
While still seeking shelter within the sanctum of his mind, Rico could only find chaos and vivid illusions of a apocalyptic future. What perhaps could be labeled as visions became more of a reality within the microcosmos of the brain, his reasoning fleeting with worry and guilt, but perhaps the chaos that haunted Rico was not from within but from the outside as the interplanetary conflict grew as more people became afflicted by the demonstrations of violence. With London and the rest of England in total ruins and the rest of Earth sure to follow the collapse of human civilization, at least on the local UHA cluster seemed certain; albeit by human cause and not demonic or alien, it still ingrained the fact that ruin was ashore.
All of his actions, his prowess, his vigor and will have served nothing to make progress for the better, incapable of saving those who depended on him. Maybe all of this was a figment of his imagination, a strange way of dealing with trauma and stress that rested upon his shoulders, but the same stress was upon "Sharky", Hikari, and Lance, they all seemed quite normal. If only he could enter their minds and know what they truly felt, however, even if he could it was certain that none faced literally death in the face and experienced the true primordial fear of all men: the unknown. What he saw, they all saw, but only he made contact with it, or rather, it made contact with him. That contact left fingertips within the surface of his mind. For lack of a better term, his grasp of reality was slipping.
Despite of his erratic talk and shifting eyes, everyone commended his bravery, they did not want to deal with it themselves as long it was not a problem to his success in battle, which he quite retained in a trance state of numbness, feeling like a outsider seeing everything through a screen in front of his eyes, even as they saw and judged the mad rambler. To add irony he was placed in charge of the small squadron of Spec Ops. Remaining cadets that survived the onslaught of London. That honor meant nothing to him as did anything else. What he needed was answers, only those a god could deliver but even then all he received from his prayers to Jehovah was silence. The only voices he heard where those of scorn and those of the end.
Even so, Abasi was one of the few who let him know of condolences as he too sheltered pain for losing his squad, and Lance, who lamented the loss of so many people before leaving back to the UNCC. Sam had a dissonant serenity to himself, showing a rooted mind in the state of affairs, he preferred not to indulge himself with conversation regarding the incident, or why Marco was given a honorary discharge after escaping from rebel capture, it was all taboo matter to mention those themes. He was restless to be again in the field, helping the cause.
The days went on but the passage of time felt null, it all felt like walking through a unending nightmare realm with no shining light anywhere, demons haunting every shadow, but then came the day that a call was issued for all the new recruits to come for a new deployment and for that they were to be given direct order from the brass.
"You can not send those kids to battle again after all they've been through! They're just recovering from a huge trauma, they are not ready for a recon expedition within enemy territory. In fact this whole mission should not even happen. If something goes FUBAR it could mean the end of their lives as well the start of a new interplanetary Civil War! Can't you get that through your pretentious asses!?", Abasi reiterated the brass ignored his please knowing well of the situation as the team gather for the debriefing.
The mission was simple, a town near Seul went silent without any explanation possible. Due to logical concern as the conflicts grew nearer Korea and a scientific center developing research of Mithril thermo-applications, therefore having large reserves of the previous xeno-mineral, the situation served as a perfect excuse to send the recruits far from the location of that FUBAR mission. As for the rescue of Prime Minister Walker after his selfless expression of offering himself as hostage in exchange for the rest of parliament that would go to a more specialized squadron. For the moment what mattered was securing the Mithril and investigate the mystery.
While traveling via helicopter towards the abandoned settlement, the silence is broken as a young soldier by the name of Scott asks Sam, "Does he ever speak to others?", as he continued to stare into the empty-minded Rico.
"Then why is he always staring at nothing?"
Catching the attention of Alice, a Canadian medic who was with the supply team back in London which by miracle received rather low altercation throughout the disaster, she interceded into the conversation, "Well, it's clear he's had it worse than the rest of us. After all, he fought against that thing that wiped out Ralec's squad by himself."
"Well, yes, but that doesn't explain why he is always mumbling to himself, even in sleep.", Scott continues as Sam overlooks towards Rico in the background then continues staring to the scenery. Following that statement, the remaining three soldiers were now enthralled by the talk with Hikari adding,
"Listen, a man who faces death in the eye is bound to be changed for better or worse."
Taking pity upon Rico, the other sniper in the team, Sydney, speaks, "Well, I guess the saying 'What doesn't kills you makes you stronger' but in this case it appears it is quite the opposite. He just seems broken."
What does that mean in the face of immortality.
"I don't know what was that thing that attacked us but I've heard it was perhaps a demon or even a god.", Scott adds while still peering his eyes to Rico without letting go of his sight the man.
With a touch of sarcasm in her speech, Alice remarks,"For what matters it could even be a ogre or maybe even Nyarlathotep. What I care is that we're alive at the moment."
Rising from the silence Eduardo exasperates, "Do not use the name of the daemon sultan in mockery. Right now the signs are not aligned for his summoning into our realm."
"Don't get started with that cultist crap now Ed! I swear, your people are even worse than Scientology and Swamp Ogre worship." Scott rapidly says knowing Eduardo is quick to jump in defense of his family's religion.
"All I'm saying is that..."
Cut short of his explanation by Scott, Ed falls back into his silence as Scott rambles, "All that your cult does is to be obedient idiots that throw money at their 'priests' looking for a chance for 'retribution' or something. Right?"
With that Sam proceeds to quiet Scott by saying, "Listen man, I'm not a huge religious person but I was taught there is one loving god in the heavens and to follow his example of acceptance. If people want to believe in something, let them be."
"But that's the problem, religion is one of the major sources of terrorism and conflict. Just look at the death of Rodriguez by that 'messiah' Jaeger which coincidentally appointed himself as 'Son of Nyarlathotep'. It is people like that that lead us to wars like this! If there was no religions, nothing of this would had happen!"
Breaking silence once again, Eduardo directs himself at Scott, "Those terrorists are not affiliated with the Church of its tenets. You cannot call yourself a retributionist if you wish upon others harm and all the things we repute."
"Sure, but they do it in your god's name. That brings me to my point."
Samuel decides to put both in their places by bringing up the scenario, gathering everyone's attention but Rico's. "Shut up already, will ya? Listen, we got a mission to partake in as soon as we touch ground so we need to be all in the same plane. If stupid arguing like this continues the our entire safety and of the operation is compromised. Now, I'm gonna be clear with you guys but it burns me to know the prime objective is not the localization of civilians but the securing of the Mithril reserves up in the town so we have to be quick."
"Do you suspect Rebels, Shark?" Hikari comments while looking at the same decorated helmet of his.
"We don't know, that is why it is as it is, but to be honest, this doesn't fit with any of their MOs nor have they made any demands. That is why they are sending us instead. Consider it a test by the brass. Are we clear?"
"Understood", they all gesture in unison as Rico shifts his gaze towards Samuel's Shark decorated helmet which he holds as he gives the speech in his arm. Taking notice of this, Sam looks back discreetly back at him as he thinks, Damn, this is your job, Angel. Better put your head together man, please. Dropping to the ground, the team decides to stick together in case of emergency.
As the helicopter leaves the scene, Samuel looks up to the sky wishing he could take in the fresh air from the serene ambiance that surrounds them while the wind blows gently, the sun shines bright into the visor of their helmets, and the silence preludes their entry with stillness.
Sure is a beautiful day., he reasons as he beholds the unfazing calmness of nature, it can remaining dissonant of human aggression and effect to an almost eerie effect.
Through the road, cars are parked as if in a mundane morning with vehicles stationed at the local elementary school parking lot and the bakery beside it. The houses are undisturbed, the windows opened and the doors unlocked, the content of the rooms untouched. Telephone lines and bus stops still stand the same. The outside trees's leaves flow as the air passes between them and the roses bloom at the start of the day, but where should be people there are none, where there should be motion stillness prevails and where should be anything none is found. Every sign of people is gone as if they never existed, only their trails of life but not their tracks.
Out in the distance where birds should be chirping Rico sees a wavering light that travels as it searches the homes. Resonating within his third eye is a hushed voice that incites his presence to which he begins to feel the claws of a being deep rooted in his thoughts. He then follows it while the rest focus on looking for clues of any human activity. Seeing Rico leave, Samuel calls him out but to no avail as the former focuses on catching up to the fleeting shimmer.
Finally catching up to the floating luminescent orb, Rico tries to approach it only for the light to avoid the touch and speaking, Meet me at the church and we'll talk..., with those words zooming out of view through a flash and disappearing from his sight. Deciding to set foot to the chapel, Rico loses the following Samuel as he begins to see other dim flashes throughout the town, all going in the same direction.
"The answers are in the light." He sets foot down the glaring road.
As the others search for any signs of the missing people or rebel activity, Hikari enters a house's room where a portrait of a family lays atop of a wood table, clearing off the dust from the frame she takes a look at the picture. In it, a young woman is shown holding a boy of approximately 6 years holding a plush brown bear with a microphone as the father rests his arm upon their shoulders. Putting it aside, she notices the same plush bear in the bed besides it as well blood soaked paper towels in the floor. She continues to satisfy her impulse as she rummages throughout the house, only to find scattered blood soaked tissues around the floor and couch. She is only interrupted by Scott as he reads the atmospheric readings,
"Ash? Why is there ash everywhere?"
"Huh?!", she asks as him while holding a piece of silverware in her hand which she hastily puts back in the kitchen cabinet.
"Haven't you noticed that everything in this town covered in ash. There's no active volcanoes around this area..."
"I just find it strange. It's only inside the houses from what I've seen," with that he turns on the flash from his weapon to reveal all the particles in the air shining bright when the light reflects upon them in a variety of colors, mostly yellow and white, "and as far as I know dust doesn't glow like this."
"So what makes you think it's ash?"
"Check your readings."
Looking at her own readings she sees a alarming rate of organic particulate within the air making it nigh unbreathable. Taking notice of the particularity in the dust, in that it is pretty much invisible without a external light source upon which once taken away it still retains the newfound visibility, she contacts Alice in the next room to take samples.
'Never seen something like this before.', she murmurs to herself as the light show continues to manifest itself in a way reminiscent of a Aurora Borealis darkening the outside until the leave the house and see the massive influx of lights all going towards the building up in the hill. As the spectacle continues, one of the tiniest lights in the air falls on top of her and dissolves, falling down from her helmet like bioluminescent water until she catches a drop in her gloved palm and inspects it as it lowly hums.
Following the trail set by the flashes, Rico continues to walk down the deserted road until he sees two lights, one smaller than the other, enter together a daycare with swings in the patio playground. Deciding to enter, his eyes are caught by the same colorful ash that reflects light back at his helmet revealing a small smudge of blood in the wall in a otherwise dimly lit meeting room.
There the two lights meet another slightly broader one as they converge into one shining singularity hovering above the ground as he approaches it carefully, his steps barely making a sound that could disrupt the melody of their reunion. As soon as he gets into proximity the light dissolves into three different figures of height similar to a woman, a child, and a man, the former two sitting down and the latter standing in front of them. The transcendental event captures Rico in its grasp, setting hold of him as time becomes bleak and the day as dark as night.
"Good morning, mister Appleton.", says the female figure to the male one as the child continues to play by his own.
Speaking with a British accent, "Please, you can call me Reverend or Jeremy if your prefer."
"Ah, a clergy man, I see. In what can I help you in your appointment, sir? Don't suppose you want to inscribe a child of your own."
"Thank you, I would appreciate if I was offered the opportunity to be able to meet this town's children. I figured that here would be a perfect place to start interacting with the youth of the community."
"Well, I would like to remind you that here we do not teach the children about certain subject and religion is one of them unfortunately."
"Of course, I am not intending that miss. What I am looking for is to simply be able to know the people of this town and I thought by starting in good paces with the children."
"Hmmph, well unfortunately for that to happen I would need the consent of their parents due to the fact it is prohibited by law that the kids meet with outsiders while within our care."
"Oh well, in that case I do not mean to intrude. Sorry for my inconvenience Miss Yeul. I should be leaving."
"Don't you want to say goodbye to the mister, Kim?"
"Goodbye, Kim. Take care, Miss."
"You as well." With that the figures disappear and the outside begins to be shine like day again. Turning around rapidly, his mind filtering all the sound that has entered suddenly, Rico looks for the exit and proceeds to leave through the same door that he entered. Covering his face with his hand from the sun, he sets again for the path uphill through the tree line while observing the same light accompanying him up the front.
Following it up to a building with a caduceus sign in the roof, he enters through the clear crystal door unto the waiting room, filled with seats and magazines. While looking around for the little light, he observes around the place, the floor littered with blood clots and soaked tissues, still he does not see the light. Entering the doctor's room, Rico encounters the orb floating mid-air like in the previous building, humming until approached, the vibrations reverberating through his body making the heart beat following a dissonant rhythm or alien signal, his body becoming weightless.
As soon as the orb dissolves, two masculine figures appear with the same British voice as before speaking first, "Hello there Robert, I was told you wanted to meet me as soon as possible."
"Yes, Jeremy, thanks for coming. You see, in this passing weeks I've been having a massive influx of patients up in the hospital. I was hoping you could come with me this evening."
"Yes, of course. I've heard from others this is something about a flu epidemic. Seen folks walk around with masks here by the town when I went for groceries last week. To be fair, there wasn't many outside of their houses, the few that went by the church last night were only there to pray for loved ones."
"Ah my friend, I've seen many cases of flu throughout the years and this is definitely no flu. Granted, you haven't felt any major headaches or had nosebleeds this week, have you?"
"Not really, but say, what do you suppose it is then if it is not the seasonal flu?"
"To be honest, I have no idea. What I know is that the symptoms don't match up with the regular influenza virus and variants. Like I said, it all starts with intense headaches, then migraine and nosebleeds, then it all goes downhill from there. It started only with the elderly but now it has spread to children and even healthy adults at a alarming pace. So far there have been no confirmed deaths but last night I've heard that Miss Suk was nowhere to be found as well Old Mr. Kyung and his wife. All three were reported to be afflicted with the disease."
"And have you concluded whom perhaps are in greater risk of contracting the disease?"
Taking a deep breath of air, it beginning to become course through the nose, the other figure then continues his speech with a rasp voice, "From what we have determined the prime candidate for infection is pretty much everyone with contact to water; in fact I'm surprised you haven't noticed or felt anything for the past few days."
"Well, I've been lately stuck with clerical work, you know, with all the prayers to the sick. Also, the church runs on a independent water source from the town so that might have helped a little."
"Well, I'm glad that at least you're alright. To be honest I don't know how I could handle this. There is no apparent treatment or cure. All that we can do is wait."
"Oh dear God, your nose."
While searching for Rico, Samuel comes across a small pond at the end of a water canal surrounded by fresh green grass that holds blossoming yellow and red flowers, the trees providing cooling shadows amidst the oasis of translucent still water. He decides to enter the pond as his mind soars to the memories of youth when bathing in lakes at family meetings back in Florida peninsula at warm temperatures and air untouched by mechanical filth, but then his eye catches glimpse of metal. Inspecting it he sees a gas bomb resting at the bottom floor beneath the water, undetonated and without harm. Trying to contacting the team to no avail, he decides to take photographic evidence of the device, etched on the sides the letters Government of South Korea.
Past the experience and at the doors of the chapel, Rico is expected by the light which proceeds to reveal its last memories before dissipating into nothingness.
"No one else remains, then why do I alone remain? Is it punishment for my sins? For hiding like a coward behind these doors as people suffered, refusing them shelter at your house for my own sake? If so, just tell me, give me a sign! If eternal damnation awaits me then so do it already and this torture.
My time in this world is shortening, my lord, I don't want to die without knowing if my words carried any meaning, if they were listened to. Please, answer me! Have I been forsaken in this land? Please, I beg you! Anything! I just don't want to be alone anymore."
Entering at last into the altar he is greeted by small flames decorating the borders of the seats as all lights congregate upon his presence. Suddenly his mind is lifted, liberated from his mind and begins racing across time and space to a place parallel to that of his all within his own cosmos. A moon hovers, reflecting light upon the field of Mithril roses that decorate the floor, the crystal petals hued with a tone of light-blue in contrast to the red light resonating from the sky disk. In the back strange shapes and bubbles occupy the starry sky, immense orbs of energy floating while strange beings play flutes in unison as a wrangling mass of tentacles sleeps far away in the nucleus of all.
Atop the hill, a slender, black suited, dark skinned figure stands tall with his gaze fixated upon the same blood moon dwarfing everything else. In its back are countless yellow light tentacles forming vast wings the span of the satellite itself. Reciting a strange verse in a even stranger language, all of the remaining lights conjoin into the wings as the music ends abruptly and the silence sets ahold.
"I was expecting you would come, Vratski. I am sure you have many questions. Come, do not be afraid, we have much to discuss" Turning his face towards Rico, his face changed from a featureless white facet into a more convenient one with mouth, eyes, nose, resembling a old white human male with graying hair carefully combed in check with his immaculate governmental suit and polished black shoes, the claws transforming into a pair of five-digit hands and the bright wings its back disappearing in thin air.
A silver wind blows gently into Rico's hair as the air becomes cold and grey, "Who are you? What is this place? Why do you want to meet me?"
"Mortals, always seeking answers to questions they do not even know. I have many names, many forms, what you call me is insignificant. I simply am. As for what this place is, this is simply existence at its purest form: entropy. This is the center of it all.
Truth be told, the simple reason I wanted to meet you is because curiosity."
"What curiosity could have a being such as you for a human?"
"Simple, you seem interesting. If you are wondering if you are the first person I had contact with, no, you are not the first. Nor are you my favorite, that title goes to a certain man of science from centuries ago. Taught him how to handle electricity and the power of creation from the old into new, but his genius wast untrusted back in the time. What you are is the first in centuries to have the honor of coming to understand what comes, a gift you stole from my son."
"Your god cannot reach you here. This is not a place of light. I sense your doubt, rightly so. I never understood why someone would adore that what is treacherous, asks for unfading devotion but never gives back in return, immobilized by sadness and wept. That is what your god is, what your light represents, a sleeping tyrannical god. Instead, I give tangible results through action. For example, were it not for that man of science, my protege, your species would have not come this 'far'."
"Then why do you seek to destroy humanity?"
"Your misconception of chaos is a common one. For you, chaos is synonymous with simple destruction and cessation of existance, but for us ones that perceive reality from the outside chaos means a clean slate, a opportunity for new creation while allowing the old to become more, to ascend. Your species is not the first but for once it is the one to have negated my own creation, the son I engendered. He was weak, he underestimated the Mythoclast, his opposite, the one who can defeat his blade, but despite that it was you that took the eyes of Yog-Sothoth."
"I feel you are implying something."
"You are clever minded, I am starting to like you. Yes, I propose we begin to work together for a common goal. Together we can bring the end of the sleeping god and bring a end to his tyranny and selfish hold of paracausal power. We can bring the apotheosis of your people."
"You want to kill God?"
"Can you not sense it as well? He keeps to himself that power in his sleep selfishly. He does not cede the throne to us the rightful heirs. I want to bring in change, if he is incapable of ruling the cosmos anymore in his slumber, then so shall we take his place. It is time for the frail and old to die and his children to take his place as rulers."
"You must. Do not worry, I will be keeping a eye on you Mr. Vratski. Remember that all it takes is the right man in the right place at the wrong time for history to be written. You will understand everything when the fire begins. For now, rise and shine, your story awaits."
"Rico!", Samuel yells as he sees Vratski standing still in front of the fallen cross. Turning around to greet him, Rico sees the rest of the team awaiting outside the church's doors. "Don't just stand there! We got to keep moving and find the Mithril reactor ASAP."
"What time is it?"
"It is 15:35, goddamit! We need you here, Rico, with us."
"Sorry is not going to cut it man. I don't really want to do this but I'll have to report your actions back to the brass when we return and they won't like it."
"Don't worry. After this I won't be on the military anymore. There are too many questions I need answered."
"Huh?" Gesturing with his hand, Rico leaves Samuel behind as he exists the church to greet the others.
Reading trivia while waiting for the two inside, Scott decides to ask the group, "Did you know that Nikola Testla's is technically the father of Mithril processing? Only when exposed Alternating Currents is Mithril able to release the energy from its raw state. That way people were able to utilize Mithril as a efficient energy source back in the middle of the 24th century."
Quick to note out, Eduardo replies with, "Uh-huh? That's public knowledge. Besides, we aren't here to reinvent Mithril harvesting of anything. We're just here to secure the reactor."
"Have you ever seen what happens when a organism is subjected to Mithril without proper protection?", Hikari notes as she looks at the deposited spoon in her F.L.O.A.T backpack.
"Huh? I've never heard of what happens. Care to explain?", asks Alice.
"Well from what I heard, and don't quote me on this, but because Mithril a form of ultra superconductor it causes the human body to literally become overflowed with energy as the person bleeds out through every hole in the body, mainly the nose and later dies or something like that. Then again, don't quote me on this but is what I've heard from common rumors throughout the internet."
"Alright, let's move." Samuel says as the two exit the building.
"Finally, was getting bored." Hikari retorts as she rolls her eyes inside her helmet.
Upon reaching the centre they begin to search for any signs of incidents within the records as well locating the cache. While looking at a terminal, Sydney reads the notes of the main reactor's AI by the name Nyaruko,
Paracausal activity detected in August 23, 2540. Range: 0.000667x1098 seconds; Inconclusive results of mass-height ratio calculations-Denote presence of Unknown Grey Matter in area. Object describes itself as [Redacted]. Classify: Threat level-Keter, Denomination: Samael, Status: Midnight Exigent, Execute protocol-On progress Code Ouga. Proceed to reformat morality structures and close Terminus and Yuga bunkers-power preservation at 98%. Adhere to 97% possibility of complete military blackout and defense nets. Declaring Epoch Sundown-Sapiens Date: August 24, 2540 of Standard UBW Year.
"What's wrong, Sydney?" Samuel asks as her eyes widen with each stroke of the mouse.
"This AI was programmed to destroy all sources of Mithril in the event of a breach or threat to the safety of this center, but look at this. This note is dated 20 years in the future in the calendar of UBW, not Earth; it apparently detected a doomsday level event and decided to follow protocol on its own behalf. There's no reserves left on the reactor meaning a meltdown took place, that would also explain why there is nobody left in the town. I guess everyone evacuated safely, at least I hope so. Still, that wouldn't explain the never gas bomb you found."
"Maybe it was deployed by accident in mistake of the same AI breakdown." Scott adds as he observes the two nearby.
"No, the message was apparently sent by the AI but by a man named Randall Flagg. The problem is I found no indicators while digging the records of any employe or town resident for that matter by such name. Furthermore, even though deactivated, the AI suffered no signs of rampancy or defection. It effectively cut itself before experiencing the effects of whatever caused this signal in the first place. It just doesn't add up."
"What about the lights we found earlier? Anything about those?" Scott continues to ask.
"Nothing that I noticed."
"In any case, the Government of Korea will have to respond a lot of questions. Bombing a non-threatening residential area without verifiable reason is liable for conducting trial in international court in the case of war crimes. The UHA is not going to like this. Alice, Rico, found anything?"
"Not really, wait, Rico! Where you going?" I think he found something."
In the other room Rico sees a bright reflection at the corner of his eye. Upon entering, he sees something peculiar atop the CEO's desk: a Mithril rose.
Let it Burn
12 years before the war
"I sense you are troubled. Do you want to share something?"
"No, Mr. Flagg... It's just, I want to know that what we are doing here, all of this, will be worth it in the end."
"In the end? Nothing ever ends, Thomas. There are new beginnings. Only finite beings, aware of their own mortal existence, think in such deterministic ways trying. Do you not realize? What you are doing here is harboring a new era. What you see in front of is our creation. That power that which up to this point only the selfish gods held. It is through this avatar that we will exert our will upon reality. That will be your legacy. Is that not what you seek?"
Across the one way mirror stands tall a sealed liquid tank in which a white haired human lays motionless, bound by metal cables connected directly into his back and arms, restraining its movement until only the eyes can move, following the two men as they continue to walk down the hall, ignoring the scientists observing his development. The blue hue of the monitors in the back blurring the luminescence of its clear eyes as they come into contact with Walker's and seer through his iris profusely. Scurrying, he shifts his view to the distant planet seen through the window as multiple shuttles arrive from the surface to the station.
"Is the subject safe inside there, doctor?", asks Walker the lead scientist continues the tour of the project the English government funds.
"Yes, the new restraints have proven effective at quailing its tendencies."
"Since the last incident they now come reinforced with laminated cytofibers capable of sustaining atmospheric pressures as well doubling in purpose as intramuscular type-7 sedatives. We had to cut short the supply of Red Sand however. It seemed to have unprecedented effects on its abilities."
"Increase them immediately, Dr. We need to incentivize his development at the best rate possible."
"Huh? Sir... I am not sure if you are aware but the only way we were able to quell its rampage was through direct intervention of Mr. Benedict and his fireteam. Otherwise the whole station would have ceased to function. We were lucky to have it contained at the now closed Delta level of facilities, and they are still remodeling."
"Thank you for your consideration, Dr. Jaeger., but we have presided that it is imperative its fighting capabilities are exalted if it is going to serve us of any capability. Please follow Mr. Flagg's direct orders from now on."
"Of course. I will take my leave then if you excuse me."
"Have faith. This will be our legacy, Thomas. Never doubt that."
Sitting in solitude, Walker harkens to the silence of the room as his eyes stroll along the border of the one sided mirror, reflecting not his own image but that of a grotesque man covered in grey ashes. His face and body burnt by fire and his torso scarred by a plethora of lashes leaving muscle exposed vividly, still beating as blood pours down the open putrid flesh flaking off endlessly.
Abruptly, his view shifts as the door screeches open while Javier enters, the ghastly man leaving the reflection back unto himself once again.
"You seem like you looked at a ghost." Javier expresses as he looks to the mirror Walker was just observing penitently.
"Hello Javier. I see you are still in the warmongering business. I want to get this out of my chest and offer my condolences for Ms. Rodriguez. You two were always inseparable, even when she tried to deny the fact."
"Save your bullshit and stop acting like you cared, Walker. After all, it was Jaeger who killed her."
"We had not communed ever since his conception back in the Elysium system if you are insinuating. How long was that ago?"
"4 years, when you hired me to kill him and his father to save your sorry ass from being acquainted with the accusations of bioethical crimes."
"Which you failed to."
"Still, stop acting as if were a secret and denying the fact it is common knowledge that Jaeger's activities were funded by MI6 under your administration."
"An necessity for the purpose of our collective benefit."
"Our? And whom exactly are you referring about?"
"This country, of course. Are you inferring something based upon personal bias as usual?"
"Always condescending, to the end. As if you cared about Britain, leading it to this ruin..."
"The suffering brought by this conflict rests upon the shoulders of the instigators for whom you work for."
"You always have a contriving response. You never cared for anyone other than yourself. All you think about is attaining more power and how to exert it unto others. Is that not why you and your spouse had a cesura?"
"... At least my child was not born out of wedlock."
"You cannot even be considered a father! You haven't even asked about your own daughter since the exchange, then you have the nerve to insult my own family?! You are a the worse kind of man to walk this earth.
Speaking of your daughter, I bet you weren't even aware she's dead. We gave her corpse to the military along with the other prisoners so that her family can mourn for them."
And with those words, the air became cold and hard to breathe as he felt pain in his chest, unable to move except for his hallowed stare which shifted to meet the fiery eyes of Javier.
"After we captured her, she made a great effort maintaining the morale along the rest of the prisoners. She was like a shining beacon of hope amongst the sorrowing men: bringing them food, making jokes, playing with the children, tending even to our own wounded, and every night she would sing psalms to those bring back a bit of faith. She had a lovely, lovely voice. Many considered her their only ray of hope, and frankly, she played the part well. You could see how people congregated around her as she spoke wisdom beyond her age. I don't know why it was, but she certainly was of those when in times of crisis show themselves to be reliable. Some said she was a angel sent by god to help in their suffering, she denied it of course, but everytime she held tight the cross in her collar.
But after we killed her mother she stopped eating, stopped sleeping. All she would do is sit in a corner and wither. Eventually it came the time when she became a remnant of who she was. You could see her veins through her face and skin, laying in a pool of feces and blood.
When her skin turned cold we decided to end her suffering. Even though I am against mercy killing and was against it, I was the one who pulled the trigger, and you know, as I stood there about to put a round in her head, she turned her eyes to me without moving and gave the same exact stare as you. The same hollow eyed expression. I asked, Do you believe in god? After she said yes, I pulled the trigger, and even after death, she still gave me that look just as she did in life. There was no difference."
"Nothing to say, huh?..."
"I will always know those eyes... Remember when the riots began? Those of Irythll?"
"Of course I do."
"I once had a vision, back when I was but a cadet, of a man who would usher in a era of unity for humanity. Time when there would be no necessity for conflict and all honored the same flag. No disputing countries or religions, where everyone is but a member of the human race. He was but a unsung hero borne from death's remnant who through suffering would create the circumstances that would lead us into a single future. It was my destiny to guide that man. I searched ever since that night.
In that day, you knew what was about to happen. Up there in that rooftop. I could see it in your eyes. You recognized death, awaiting, ready to take claim on those dissidents that stood there, and when our views crossed they flashed. It was at that moment I knew I found my paladin. All that was left was to write the screenplay."
"You killed all those people, restarted the war economy, and took on colonial expansionism, all because of faith?!"
"You know better than anyone else that faith is a weapon! Used to turn the hearts of men in a direction! When you accuse me of such, it is no different than all other great leaders written about in the books. The difference consists of what I've accomplished. Do you not see? It is through this that we will become stronger as a race.
He always thought Jaeger would fit that role, but Jaeger was only a beast of destruction, incapable of creation. But when this is all over and the rubble is settled, the UHA will stand strong as a banner of humanity across the stars."
"... Answer me. In your 'screenplay'... did she... have to die?"
"It was lamentable, but it had to be done in order to entice the masses into the cause. Without her death nothing would have started. She was the set-piece that ended the game in our favor and even then you still prove... difficult. I am assure my soul will be dragged down to the bowels of the abyss, but I believe my actions are for the good of my people. I've fulfilled my destiny."
"You... You... You bitch!"
The serene silence breaks with the crushing sound of bone and a last broken breath, the door shutting down, leaving it all behind.
"Am I interrupting?"
"No, I was about finishing talking to the reader. What brings you here, Acosta?"
"Nothing, just wanted to talk."
"I don't know. I just feel like speaking to someone for a change."
"Well..., I've got to say, this climate feels much more like home than London. I'm kind of liking it."
"I personally hate anywhere with snow."
"Ah, too much of a chicken skin?"
"Well, I'm from The Caribbean, so..."
"I swear, you latinos can't go below 20º."
"I guess so. Anyway, I didn't know you practiced Narecje, Sam."
"Yeah. I've been doing it a couple of months. It helps feeling listened to."
"I remember doing a couple of studies of its history back at college."
"Wait... You went to college?!"
"Yes, I actually have a degree in Religious Psychology."
"Religious Psychology? Didn't you think about actually having a degree where you could afford to eat?"
"I know, I know. I was being pressured by certain family members to pursue a degree in college despite my ties with Black Operations.
Regardless, I find it quite interesting how throughout the years it has been used as a form of grieving.
You know, I have this theory that humans use prayer as a form of self-medication, seeking counseling by attributing into a abstract force certain desired values which they consider can effect influence in a different capacity due to its outsider status.
Now, as a evolutionary standpoint, I think this stems from our nature as social, sapient beings which acknowledge the fact others have similar or equal information and can use said information to solve a problem in different ways with a wider view spectrum. We see this in other animals such as elephants and dolphins who also mourn their dead. Therefore it is simply a natural reaction to seek higher advice when someone feels helpless in the form of religion which offers said help."
"What do you mean exactly?"
"I mean we use prayer as a placebo, attributing the force we require to face everyday and extraordinary problems into the form of a external deity or entity for easier processing and harnessing willpower."
"That's a interesting view of things, but can we change subject?"
"I know Marco took some of the remaining guys with him into a freelance mission out in the Elysian Providences. Seraph was furious with them. You have no idea."
"Yes, I heard. His health is failing lately. He's been in the hospital constantly for the past two months, Vex told me. Doesn't look like he'll be lasting long."
"What exactly does he have?"
"I can write you the name because there's no way I can pronounce that thing but it's essentially a hereditary disease of the family with a 50/50 chance of being passed by the parents to their children. It is like having Alzheimer, Parkinson, and ALS at the same time as soon as you hit your 20's or 30's. Nasty stuff, which is why they adopted her so she could continue the business, or so she says. I don't go into details."
"...Damn. That's horrible, then again is not that things were less bleak down here anyway. Maybe I should have left with David and the others."
"I wouldn't have blame you. I certainly don't blame them. Although, for all the crap he did in his life, I respect Seraph for choosing not to burden any children with having such thing. Letting the disease die with him."
"Well, it's not like you hanged up with us anyways. Do you even know their names? I mean, of everyone who was there that day?"
"Of course I do."
"Ah well, I'm just glad you killed Jaeger, for all of us. Put a end this. Anyway, I'm going to grab a beer and pizza, want some?"
"I'll pass on the beer, thanks."
Getting up from his chair, Samuel walks to the fridge down the hall as from the two shadows down the stairs open fire, killing him in a instant as Javier ducks and hides behind the wall, looking at them as they pass to observe his comrade's body as instructed by a male voice with a heavy Russian accent,
"Stay vigilant for the prime target. He is of high priority, avoid close-quarters confrontations if possible. Remember to eliminate all other subjects, armed or otherwise with extreme prejudice.
"No signs of Shinigami. We'll continue searching this floor."
Giving back to Javier's position, he proceeds to break one of the armor clad soldier's leg and slam his head into the corner of the desk, cracking his helmet as the female one notices. Kicking her of the stairs into the lower wall, he stabs her in the chest and grabs her handgun, shooting the crawling soldier in the head. After moving from his place and grabbing both swords with him, he sits down to clear his head.
Draco soldiers? UHA Siegfrieds, damn! Why'd they send spec ops, there is nothing in this tundra besides a few training camps unless..., shit! Must be... They couldn't have known I was here unless someone tipped them off, not that I was hiding or anything. That fucker, Marco! Someone must have put a bounty on my head and he took the prize, that explains how he got to start his own company. "God..."