"Give me a read on the playing field, Exorcyst!" I said.
"More hostiles are incoming! They're coming from everywhere!"
"Attrition, can you plug up a few of those holes?"
The Attrition battle suit was already using its sonic waves to find every entrance and exit that our attackers were coming from, sending tremors to collapse the entire foundation around them. But unfortunately, she said, "Every time I plug one hole, they find another way out. There are too many of them."
Tossing one razor sharp disc after another at the Nosferatus surrounding him like a collection of hellish frisbees, the metallic blades slicing through them with a whistling sound that they couldn't hear until after the damage had already been done, Hell-Razor spun himself to a kneeling position to check his stats. "Still not reading anything! I think this one is a wash, sir! Wait...hold on a second..." Hell-Razor found two more creatures moving in for the kill. He jumped up to spin kick one of them to the ground, firmly planting his boot on the back of the creatures neck to hold it down to the ground. He took aim at his next target, using one circular blade to cut off its right arm, and another to cut off its left arm. The third blade, he threw slightly off target, having the blade tilt and curve to slash at the vampire's throat from the side. Blood spilled everywhere, and the creature fell to its knees. Then, Hell-Razor stomped his foot down on the other Nosferatu's neck, snapping the vertebrae and rendering it paralyzed...for now. "I think we need to call for immediate evac, dude!"
At the moment, I was using my dual swords to cut my way through a small cluster of them, the smell of burning flesh polluting the air as I cut through their muscle and bone like heated marshmallows. "BLASTphemy??? How are we doing on that perimeter? What gives?"
He could barely hear me over the sound of his overly excessive use of hardcore firepower, the legs of his cyber suit expanding metallic tripods from both knees to connect to the rooftop he was standing on to anchor him and keep his own kickback from knocking him off balance. "I'm holding the distant hostiles at bay, but they seem to be creeping up from beneath our feet! These fucking things found a million ways in! You want me to bring the pain?"
As I saw more and more shadows popping up all around me and the rest of my team, the pressure to make a quick decision had me conflicted about whether to abort this wild goose chase or not. Where were they all coming from? Why didn't mission control monitor the activity in this area before sending us out here?
"Just...keep as many of them at bay as you can, BLASTphemy! Just for now!" I told him. "Ration your ammunition until we get ready to head home! We don't want to crack open this hornet's nest just yet!"
As more Nosferatu began to charge out of every corner, some now even crawling out from the sewer manholes in the street, I hurried toward the location of the distress signals we had received earlier and began frantically looking around for any civilians that we needed to bring back with us.
Hell-Razor had his hands full, protecting himself while still scanning the area for friendlies. Exorcyst was using his cyber suit's chains to fend off enemy attacks and buy us some more time. HeriTech had her hands full trying to keep as many of those things below ground as she could...but there were simply too many.
Attrition came to my side, her electric shocks and sonic waves offering me a chance to breathe as she stood back to back with me in the middle of the street. "We need to go, Roland! This initiative is going South really fast!"
"This is the spot, Mara! This is where the strongest of the signals came from!"
"Hell-Razor says there aren't any humans in the vicinity. Let it go! If needed, we can regroup and come back later!" She said. Just then, two creatures jumped over the hood of a wrecked car to the left of us, and we both had to split up in order to keep their bulky weight from landing on us and pinning us to the ground. She spun around, her chains lashing out to wrap around two of their throats and yank them backwards to fall on the ground. The unnatural way that these monsters roll around and use their wild deformities and off balanced shifting of weight, their movements were always wildly unpredictable. Has Mara not been so incredibly agile and well experienced with the Attrition battle suit, they would have overtaken her in seconds.
I was able to dash and duck two of Hell-Razor's blades as they whizzed past my head and shoulders to hit two more targets directly behind me. All three of us did what we could to get ourselves some space, but they were getting more and more aggressive...toppling over one another to get a shot at us, salivating over the promise of fresh meat. My electro swords cut off so many limbs that I had to be careful not to trip over them as I was fighting. As much as I wanted to save whatever civilians there were that thought it necessary to ask for G.O.D.s assistance, it was quickly becoming clear that we were fighting a losing battle. Merely delaying our inevitable demise by denying the hopelessness of our situation. Maybe it's time that I...
Before I could finish that thought, I noticed one of the massive Nosferatu vampires rushing in to ram me at top speed, digging its shoulder into the center of my chest and knocking me CLEAR off the street and into a nearby alley! Shit! Got lost in my thoughts there for a moment.
As more of them approached me, I fired up the electro swords and began to jump, spin, and slash at everything moving...until it stopped moving! The blood coated my armor, splattering and spraying the walls around me. We needed and exit. It's time we get back to the Ark and just consider this operation a clusterfuck before we end up in a level of trouble that we can't get out of.
"God's Gift? Where are you? Tell me you're online!" Exorcyst asked.
I checked my surroundings for a moment to make sure the area was secure, then answered, "God's Gift, online! Alright, ladies and gentlemen, let's call it! Gather up at the rendezvous point! We're making this place a memory!"
"It's about goddamn time!" BLASTphemy replied, and the rest of our squad began to finish off whatever vampires they had standing in their way as they headed back to the pick up area.
But...just as I was leaving that dingy and dirty alleyway...I heard a noise behind me. Something like a tin can or a random piece of trash being kicked or dropped to the concrete. My instincts kicked in immediately, my swords light up brightly enough to create a glow on the walls surrounding me.
Silently, I scanned the alley. Listening. Watching. Waiting. And then...I saw it.
A small hand...gripping the side of a dumpster. And when the glaring white mop of a teenaged boy peeked out from behind it, I found myself completely lost for words. Aqua blue eyes that radiated beauty, even in the wreckage and the blood and trash filled ruin of the city itself. One out eyes met, he knew he was caught, standing up and forcing his shoulders back as if to tell me that he wasn't scared. An illusion that he wasn't pulling off very well.
Neither one of us said anything at first. The boy was maybe 16 years old. 17 At best. but what troubled me most was the fact that none of my systems were picking up on his signature at all. He couldn't be a vampire. It was still daylight. But...if he was human, then what is he doing out here like this?
"Roland?" Attrition asked.
"Copy." I said, still bewildered.
"Um...escape route? That was the plan, right? We're kinda waiting on you to join us."
The boy was frozen before me. I think I was a bit frozen myself. I double checked my monitors, and then asked, "Hell-Razor...pinpoint my location and do a scan of the area. I think we have a survivor here."
"Not seeing it." He said.
"Check again..." I kept my eyes focused on the boy, as the tension within him seemed to be increasing.
"Nanobot baptismal scan isn't showing anything. Why? What's up?"
The kid was surrounded by monsters. Monsters that WE brought to the center of State Street. As he stepped further out from behind the dumpster, I saw that he was holding a single metal pipe in his hand. That was all he had to defend himself from the horrors waiting just outside of this alley.
"We've got a rescue situation here. I'm bringing him in."
"Bringing who in? There's nobody there." He told me.
"I'm looking right at him, Razor. I'm bringing him in."
There was a slight pause in communication, and he replied, "Is he a warm blood?" I didn't answer at first, but he repeated, "Is he a warm blood? You've GOT to be sure!"
"He's...I don't know, he looks one."
"Audra and the guardians of the Ark aren't going to accept a 'maybe' past Heaven's Gate! You've got to be sure!"
Determined, I said, "He won't make it out of this zone alive if we don't take him with us."
"Our mission ONLY pertains to legal civilians! The boy hasn't been 'baptized'! If he hasn't been legally baptized, then he's not on record and the G.O.D. isn't responsible for him! Get back to us! We need to abort!"
I knew the law. I knew what our mission was and what we were supposed to do...but the fear in that boy's eyes penetrated my duty to an idea and touched upon my humanity instead. Even if he hadn't taken the nanotechnology injection that allowed G.O.D.s eye to watch and track them wherever they went, whenever they wanted...I couldn't just leave him here to fend for himself. 'Baptized' or not.
"I'm bringing him in! I'm on my way!" I said to the others, but as soon as I took a step or two forward to retrieve the boy, he panicked.
Then, putting his fist in the air, he shouted, "Justin is TRUTH! Justin is LIGHT! Long live the DAWN!!!" And with that rebel cry, he quickly climbed on top of the dumpster and jumped up to grab onto a rather rickety fire escape ladder...pulling himself up and climbing his way towards the roof!
"Wait! Where are you going? Come back! Crazy kid, I'm trying to HELP you!!!" with a grunt, I started to chase him. Great...now I've got THIS to worry about!
What has this world come to?
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