Section 8: The Clashing of Blades

Section 8: The Crossing of Blades

Part 1

Rain had begun to pelt down outside. The drop jets had ascended higher up above the clouds to avoid being caught within the storm.

Six agents, including Damien, sat in the rear bay, waiting for the green light to deploy. They were those chosen, the best there was, to go into the fray first and allow for all others to get inside.

Lia knew a few of them well. Jason, of course, sat across from Lia, sharpening a knife. He didn’t carry much apart from that. At best, it seemed his plan would be to go in quiet and take down targets without anyone knowing, then use what ever else he got his hands on to his advantage. He was good at that kind of style, and it out Lia at ease to know he was pulling off his very best manoeuvres. But would it be enough?

Another Agent who Lia had formerly been a aprt of a team with back when she was a rank 5, Dominique, or Dommy, as others called him, was a short haired man, not very muscular, but kept himself well kept. His beard was always cut to a perfect length of 3-5 millimeters. He took a pistol, knife and hacking gear.

The next familiar face was Marissa, an Agent who’d ascended to Rank 3 shortly after Lia had made her way into Rank 4 along with Jason. She had a icy cold look in her dark blue eyes, but through that Lia knew she had a good heart. She always wore the same green bandana on every mission, and like Jason, she preferred to go in with minimal equipment and scavenge from there. But instead of a knife, she carried a silenced pistol and a lighter.

The others were people Lia did not notice right away, but she knew one of them had been Rank 2’s.

It made Lia wonder, if there was a Rank 2 agent, or more, still alive and able, how come she was the only one promoted to a Rank 1 agent, to take the place of the best agents that had perished?

She decided to push the thought away and diverted herself to a mission set mind. She carried with her a grappling, her sword, and standard issue 9mm, with silencer. She’d managed to scavenge a skin-tight stealth suit from another Agent who’d been temporarily put out of action due to injury. The only condition was that she brought it back at most in three pieces.

Damien sat not far From Lia, eyes closed and arms folded with his sword resting between his legs. He seeded distant, as if in a meditative state. Some agents gave him a wry look, but otherwise ignored his presence. They were more or less grateful for any backup they could get.

The red light flicked on, symbolising that the drop zone was under them. The first man, closes to eh bay door, stood up, checked his harness, and got ready to jump. They’d each make a drop using a stealth glider, then they’d land and do what was necessary from there.

Another man, not an agent, counted to three before telling the first agent to go. The same process followed for every Agent, until Jason, Lia and Damien were the last ones left.

“You watch yourself done there, got it Lia?” Order Jason, tapping Lia on the shoulder as he did.

Lia nodded to him with a smile as Jason moved to the rear and prepared to jump.

Damien finally seemed to wake from his daze, stood up and placed his ninja mask over his face.

“Lets go.”

He moved to the end, waited, and then jumped. Lia followed not far behind.

Eight people in total descended in the dark night like deathly ravens going down for their next meal. Eerily, a glimmer of moonlight shined briefly through the dark clouds, and Lia could have sworn it glowed a slight tinge of crimson.

* * *

            Lia descended a rapid speed, bursting through the dark clouds and icy cold rain. Faint lights guided her towards her target destination as her velocity increased. She noticed moonlight shimmer off the wings of some stealth gliders as they too, descended towards their target.

She counted her odometer… 500 feet… 450… 400… She waited until the last moment, pulled off her glider and allowed her parachute to kick in. She was suddenly jolted back rapidly, but with her keen skill she gained full control and went in, targeting a rooftop she deemed suitable for landing upon.

The sound of gunfire split the sound of wind and rain. Guards had spotted some agents, or else it was the other way around. It didn’t matter anymore, all that was needed was that she does her mission as quickly and as best she could. No failures could be allowed, not even the slightest muck up.

Quickly, and without hesitation, Lia broke open a vent, jumped in and slid most of the way through. As with before, the ventilation shafts began to close, but Lia was too fast this time and mad it through without delay. But now, she was sealed within and had no means of getting out.

She paused briefly by a grating, waiting for alerted guards to hurry past before she burst through, sword already withdrawn and gun at ready. A guard stumbled around a corner, caught sight of Lia and gasped. But before her could muster a yell to others for help his throat was filled with blood and all that issued was a gurgling sound. Lia had thrusted her sword into his throat, then began to attack another unweary guard who had just exited a room. She was filling her heart with bloodlust so that she’d take no chances with anyone who came across her… but was that a mistake? There was little time to find out, she had to act fast.

A small explosion issued in the corridor from whence Lia had came. She kicked open and sprung into a storage closet before poking her had out, gun at the aim, to see what had just come through. To her luck, an agent had caused the explosion. The man, carrying two more satchels of C4, smiled in her direction, then shot open the adjacent door with a shotgun. Turned out that Lia wasn’t the only one with blood lust this night.

Continuing her original path, Lia followed what directions she assumed were leading her to the control room. More guards stood before her, however, and with every corner she wounded, another small firefight broke loose. Delaying her progression.

After a few minutes of blind firing, assistance came to her. Dominique had shown up next to Lia carrying with him a grenade launcher. He gave a quick jurk of the head to Lia and indicated to grab their attention. Lia nodded, loaded her gun, then rolled from one side to corridor to the other, passing the intersection with bullets only just missing her. The guards targeted her movement, unaware that another agent readied to take them down. Before they could realise, Dommy had swept around the corner, taken aim, and fired.

The explosion bias took out all those in its way and turned most of the corridor into a smouldering pile of debris.

“Quickly, before it collapses!” He yelled.

Lia darted around the corner and ran, getting through just as the overhead supports gave way and the section caved in.

“Keep going. The COM room is just ahead. I’ll keep their attention.”

“Try not to get yourself killed, Dommy!” Lia yelled back as she continued to run.

There was only one more group of guards barricading a large door that lai encountered. They were easy pickings. The guards seemed half scared, an tired; they stood no chance against a battle0hardened agent. Taking up one of their Assault Rifles, and swiping a ID card from one of their pockets, she opened the doo and carefully went through.

She hadn’t entered the COM roo just yet. Instead, she seemed to be back in a hanger much like the one she’d encountered the large machine in. Overhead, rain pelted down from broken skylights. It seemed an Agent had already plunged through, maybe two of them, and made a mess of the place. It was no wonder the last three seemed so afraid.

She edged along the overlook of the hanger, spying a cat walk she could use to go to the other side of the facility. Before she could get it, however, a small knife flew through the air and landed in her path.

“Lia!” Yelled a woman’s voice. “I’ve got business with you.”

Lia turned around, gun at the ready, to see a woman, hair dyed silver, eyes shimmering in the light, and an evil smile upon her face.

* * *

            Nightwolf had descended quickly, not knowing the full potential yet of the gliders. He’d discharged and gone down quickly, finding a large rooftop to land upon. However, upon going down he quickly found that it wasn’t a solid surface.

Down below, another agent had landed and gotten caught up I a firefight. Some panes of glass had been shattered in the process, and as soon as Damien thundered upon the glass himself, a guard opened fire on his location.

Quickly he rolled out of the way, withdrew his weapon, and broke the glass effectively enough for him to drop in without being cut. He them propelled down using a grapple, throwing a few smoke bombs as he went, disorientating the guards. The agent moved quickly to his position, firing into the smoke until he heard various grunts of pain.

“I’m going to head this way now. I think there’s a COM room over there. We can use it to give our own men a way inside!” Explained the man. Half his face was covered in blood from a wound across his forehead.

“Right! I’ll make sure these guys don’t get in your way.”

Nightwolf charged into the smoke and cut with perfect precision. Five went down in seconds. He noted three others who, afraid of his might, fell back through a door and locked it on the way. Damien had no time for them, so instead snatched a sub machine gun and made his way down to the bottom floor to bring down any other below.

With a few more smoke bombs and an outstanding display of agility, the area was cleared of all that remained. He allowed the rain pouring from outside to fall upon himself as he let in a deep breath to calm his nerves. Then he sprinted off straight-ahead, same direction as the other man had, and stealthily made his way throughout the facility.

There was little resistance he couldn’t deal with. Once, he’d had to run and take cover for a short while, but never too long. He’d come prepared for anything that would be thrown his way, even his own clan. So far, he’d been lucky enough to not encounter any of them, but he dreaded that soon his luck would run out.

After more duck and cover manoeuvres, he cleared his path throughout the facility. Once he stopped to listen to com-chatter, and discovered that multiple large targets were approaching the main hangers. Damien took this as a good sign of more agents coming into the fray.  This meant more of a distraction for him to get to his target.

He approached a cafeteria, poorly lit and smelling of fresh meat. There were no guards inside, but he made his way through cautiously anyway.

Without warning, he was knocked flying head over heels, landing heavily on a bench.

He rolled up, using his muscles to make his body move fast, and avoid a sword hitting where his head once was.

He then found himself, face-to-face, with Hawk. His weapon ready with glazed over eyes piercing through his soul.

Part 2

“Lia. I have business to settle with you.”

“What?” Lia edged back slowly, weapon still held at ready. “I don’t have time for this, I can’t let myself be distracted!”

She opened fire on the woman, but missed completely, then another knife flew through the air and hit her gun, knocking it cleanly out.

“Damien loves you, Lia… But I don’t think you’re deserving of him. So I’m going to see if you’re worth him going after. You shall fight me!”

The woman charged at Lia, a katana readied to strike. Lia barely got her own sword out in time to counter her charge. She attempted to strike back, but found her own move countered instantly. A foot collided with her waist and set her off balance, then a thrust from the woman’s sword almost slit her throat.

Lia swung her legs under, trying to trip the woman over, but found no contact. “Common! That is pathetic! You’re not worthy of Damien’s love!” Taunted the woman.

“Who the hell are you!” Shouted Lia as she readied herself for more strikes.

“I am Sylvana. The woman who should have had Damien’s love…” Sylvana spoke coldly, then readied her katana for another swift strike, “but he doesn’t feel the same way to me as he does with you!” She then charged quickly.

Lia was ready this time, parrying Sylvana away then following with a slice. He sword came barely in contact, but unfortunately seemed only to scrape off part of Sylvana’s padding.

“Now, that’s much better!” She screamed, charging for more attacks.

This time, it took much more effort for Lia to parry as Sylvana charged in, but faked her strike to follow through with a fast kick, then a jab. Lia almost took the full blunt of the kick, keeping her stance enough to get out of the way of the katana. She swept around with her legs, and then rolled out of the way, springing to her feet as soon as she got some distance. But Sylvana was already upon her, weapon held ready to take her out, but Lia had hoped for her to get close.

With her own trickery, Lia span around, almost as if trying to break dance, knocked Sylvana’s weapon out of the way, then booted her firmly in the gut.

Sylvana leached back, almost falling over. She smiled evilly, and then tried a different style of attack.

For half a minute, Lia and Sylvana exchanged blow after blow. Neither gaining a full advantage over the other, each just as good with their sword as the other. They both moved perfectly, thrusting and slicing, parrying each others moves and countering with their own, only to be countered back.

“You’re… pretty… good.” Breathed Lia.

“You’re actually… not that bad… yourself.” Replied Sylvana.

“Since you’re testing me to see if I’m worthy of Damien’s love… why don’t I ask you to fight a little harder?”

Sylvana seemed taken aback. “Why, you… I’ll cut you to ribbons with you don’t stop chatting and… don’ focus… on your attacks!”

“Oh, I’m only just getting warmed out.”

“Well, so am I!”

Sylvana lunged perfectly, swiped Lia’s sword out of the way, and then elbowed her in the ribs. Lia felt a pain and heard something crack. She stumbled backwards, but kept her footing, gritted through pain. Sylvana followed through with another rib shatter kick, but Lia avoid it, barely, and countered by grabbing Sylvana’s foot and holding her in place.

Her opponent smiled and span herself around, using her own bodies physics to pull Lia down onto the ground.

Lia coughed and tasted copper in her mouth. She forced herself to roll out fot he way just in time to avoid Sylvana trying to impale her. Avoiding another strike, she finally managed to get under her footing and trip Sylvana over, allowing Lia to roll up and out of the way, wincing as she did from the pain searing throughout her upper body.

“Lia, you need to do better than that! I don’t think you’ve earned the right just yet.”

Sylvana pushed herself up, eyeing Lia off with cold eyes as she did, still holding her evil smile.

Lia had put some distance between them. She ran her back hand across her mouth, removing some of the blood, then spat.

“Let’s take this up a notch.” Exclaimed Sylvana as she removed several kunai from her waist pocket and took aim.

Lia jumped back, almost falling over from lack of balance, and readied her sword. Sylvana threw the knives with deadly accuracy. Lia used her own agility to knock the away, but managed to be hit still across her arms and leg. She realised suddenly as the pain hit her once more, that the knives seemed deliberately thrown off target.

Before she could fully react, Sylvana was upon her, weapon thrusting forward to impale Lia.

It was little too late to take avoid the attack. Lia prepped her own sword, aimed forward, and swerved.

An old dream seemed to come back to her…

 

* * *

At first it was a stand off. Nightwolf did not know what to do first. Hawk stood before him, ready to kill him without hesitation, yet, hawk was also not there at all.

His eyes were glazed over, his bare skin was pale, glowing objects pulsed upon the back of his neck and chest, he seemed void of breath, even consciousness. No, he thought, this could not be Hawk, it could not be. This was an abomination. A walking corporeal form that resembles his master.

Finally, without hesitation, the corpse hawk attacked.

Nightwolf barely had time to react; the movement was so fast, so deadly, so precise, it could hardly be dodged or deflected. But, withdrawing his weapon, he blocked the attack, but Hawk pressed heavily upon him, forcing an unnatural weight on him.

The attack was too familiar; he’d faced it before when training with Hawk. This thing must’ve learnt the move.

As he had predicted, Hawk slipped down, loosening the weight to allow Nightwolf to fall forward, leaving him open. But he was ready. He moved back just as he did and struck out wit a swipe.

But the corpse-hawk avoided the attack and slammed Nightwolf’s weapon out of the way before using a kick.

Pain surged as a rib cracked. Nightwolf had managed to react in time and block with his sheath; the sheer impact of the kick was enough to cause harm. It was another move that he recognised all to familiarly, but only from his master.

He knew what was going to come once again. But he was starting to think that his predictions would not serve him correctly.

Corpse-hawk swiped, ducked down, and tried to take out Nightwolf’s legs with a trip. Damien hoped up and onto a table top, deflecting the swipe and avoiding the kick, but found himself outmanoeuvred once more as hawk shot up from be hid him and sliced Nightwolf’s waist.

He felt the blade hit him and try to cut deep. Shifting forward quickly, the blade only left a small gash, but enough to slow him down. It was getting dangerous for him. This thing not only seemed to resemble Hawk, but fought perfectly just as he did. Nothing, not anyone, could replicate his technique.

Fighting back the information, he pushed forward to attack, determined to win, but with not even with his own measure of the strength, corpse-Hawk repelled him and counter attacked.

Another cut slit Nightwolf’s costume, leaving a slow seeping wound along his belly. Thinking quickly, he slid backwards, then jabbed forward. The attack proved reliable as the blade skimmed past Hawk’s defences and stuck him in the side. But regardless of the inflicted wound, Hawk attacked again as if nothing had happened.

Blades clashed together with ferocious force once more. Remaining upon the tables was proving to be an unwise choice, so Damien slipped back again and moved away, throwing a few Kunai knives as he did, which Hawk swatted away like flies.

The thrown weapons managed to slow hawk down for a short while, but barely. So Nightwolf through one more just as he charged in.

His plan was to use his ranged weapons to force hawk to knock them out of the way, then attack as soon as he tried to avoid them. A perfect plan.

Hawk knocked the first knife and prepared to attack also, so Nightwolf snatched up another two knives and threw both at once on a outward trajectory, then followed fast with one more, aiming low. Hawk would have to parry at least one to properly avoid them; otherwise he’d be hit.

Nightwolf was ready and followed closely behind, ready to strike as soon as Hawk let tried to defend. But his plan fell short as Hawk stood still, took a knife in the arm, and charged forward. He was mad to purposely inflict more wounds to etin his defence, and at the same time a genius. If he’d tried to dodge, he would have been vulnerable, and that could lead to more serious injury.

Nightwolf fell back fast; knowing to try and continue his strike would prove foolish. He needed another plan if he was going to win.

Minutes drifted on as they circled each other. Occasionally breaking into combat. Damien had managed to inflict one wound in three minutes on Hawk’s leg, and like the previous wounds, it had done nothing. He, however, had taken more small cuts to his chest, and being slammed into a bench.

Pain throbbed along his body, his muscles pleaded to have rest, and sweat beaded from his forehead. But still he pressed on pure adrenaline and the knowledge that if he let up for even a second he would die.

But not only was he being worn down physically, mentally he was going through a serious struggle to comprehend what was going on in front of him.

He still could not believe that this creature was Hawk. Sure, it looked and moved exactly as him, but on the hand, it’s physique resembled that of a corpse, and even Hawk would have shown some signs of weariness after a long fight and wounds. The mental toll played on his emotions and he felt himself beggin to slowly succumb more to the fatigue due to it. He knew there would be little hope for him to fight on if he didn’t try to finish the fight soon.

He moved fast, scurrying low and a fast pace, throwing two Shurkian to try and slow hawk down. This time, hawk repelled the knives, leaving him open. Nightwolf roared out as he struck forward through hawk’s defences, his blade piercing through the air towards its target. But mere inches from hitting, hawk doubled back, hung low, and took out Damiens legs from under him before ramming him through a table.

Nightwolf had not time react from the event. The move was so precise that it temporarily stunned him. Suddenly, with his full weight, hawk kept Nightwolf on the ground, unable to move. Taking no time with raising his sword to finish him off.

Nightwolf had taken too much of a hit already, and the heavy fall from the table had only served to make it worse. He was near enough to paralysed.

 

* * *

The rain fell upon Lia and Sylvan as they stood, weapons inside one another. But Lia had scathed off the full attack, Sylvana’s katana only slicing her side, not enough for it to be too serious, but enough that it sent waves of pain throughout her body.

But it was worth it as her own weapon found its target through Sylvana’s chest.

She coughed, blood issuing from her mouth. Lia withdrew and stumbled back to see Sylvana fall to her knees.

“You… you beat me.” She could barely talk properly now as blood seeped it’s way out of her wound. Her smile had changed. It was no longer evil, but happy. “He loves you, Lia… and you are worthy of… of that love… I’m done…”

Lia dropped he sword and walked over to Sylvana.

“But why fight me… just for him? There had to be another reason!”

“I guess… I had to prove myself too… because I love him as well… and while one of… us lives… the other… cannot be happy.”

“So you wasted your life fighting! You idiot!”

Sylvana kept smiling before she coughed up blood and fell over. “Yeah… I guess I am… but at least we can all be happy now… right?”

Lia didn’t know what to say. She knelt down next to Sylvana and decided to ease her passing instead. “No… but… I guess… if that’s what had to be done, then yes.”

“Good… then go save him…” With a shaking hand she pointed to a doorway. “He went that way… Hawk’s there… at the cafeteria… but… Hawk… is possessed… he… kill the control nodes… please… save… him…”

Sylvana’s eyes closed as her body went limp and her skin turned pale. Lia stood up, sheathed away her sword and clenched her hands. She looked around the room and noticed that some of the men there had slashes across their body. Damien was here.

More dead soldiers, their body’s cut open, lay down below, leaving a telltale trail towards a door. He had to be that way.

“Right. I’m going to save him… don’t you worry Sylvana, I wont let him die!”

 

* * *

 

Nightwolf had been knocked down during the fight after his own foolish attack. He was injured and pinned down. He still wouldn’t grasp that this was Hawk. With all he could muster he just wanted to believe it was an imitation. But the technique was too perfect. There was none other like it. Hawk readied his weapon to finish him off.

Suddenly hawk changed his attention. Someone had entered the room and started to make an assault. With hawk’s attention temporarily diverted, Nightwolf was able to shove him off and roll out of attack range.

He got up as fast as he could will himself to find how had just risked their lives to save him and found Lia, sword drawn, already looking like she’d been through hell and back; and Hawk, standing as he had when he encountered Nightwolf, but with a small slit in his spleen.

But he did not bleed out. Blood slowly oozed out, coagulated.

“Die!” Screamed Lia, spitting out blood as she did.

Hawk moved as fast as before despite the serious wound. He would easily parry Lia’s weapon out of the way and finish her, and she looked severely injured enough as it was. There was no way she’d survive a direct hit.

Damien ran, screaming out to Lia as he did, throwing a kunai knife at Hawk that hit him in the throat.

The attack did not stop him though, not even slow.

Lia’s eyes had opened in horror as the deathly fiend pursued her. Her grip barely tight from the blood upon the hilt.

She tried to counter attack, was knocked off balance and shoved back. Her weapon way out of line, and her body open for a kill. Time seemed to slow as Hawk’s weapon lunged forward, gasping forward to take a life, but moment before collision it found something else.

Nightwolf stood, Hawk’s sword plunged through his gut. Nightwolf had managed to deflect the full impact, but not enough for the weapon to miss him. Smiling through bloodied teeth, he gripped Hawk’s hand and slashed with his other. His weapon sliced through hawk’s chest, his throat and his spleen.

“Damien! Attack the probes! They’re reanimating him!”

He reacted fast, gripping tighter and shoved his katan through the probe. It issued with sparks then died off.

Hawk seemed to slump down, but kept on trying to get free. But his movement was restricted now, he could barely move.

Lia went towards his back, found another probe through his neck and stabbed through. It sparked, flared, and then died. Hawk’s body finally went fully limp and the control once forced upon him faded away. Nightwolf relinquished his grip and carefully removed him self from the sword.

Damien fell to the ground, no longer having the strength to move.

Lia moved to his aid and helped him back up. “Damn it. Why the hell did you do that for!”

“Idiot.” Was all he could manage. “I thought I told you not to fight him.”

“Well, you weren’t doing so good yourself. If I hadn’t come in at that time, you’d be dead.”

He had no comeback for that.

“Come on. Lets try and find a way out. I don’t think either of us is able enough to go on. Backups at least here. We’ll be able to get out safely soon.

“Right. Lead on.”

Part3

After tightening some torn off clothing around Damien’s wound, Lia helped Damien walk off out of the room. They progressed through the other side, hoping to find a back way out where there were less guard to encounter. But Lia knew that she’d never get Damien out in time before he bled out.

They hadn’t gotten far before they made their way into another control room. Lia helped Damien sit up on a bench as she snatched up a nearby medical kit.

However, before she could get started on trying to patch the wound up better, the large metal shutters in the control room they were in opened to reveal a room with another large machine, similar in design to the first one Lia had seen, but five times the size, easily.

Lia’s attention was diverted to the machine and she wandered off closer to the window to stare out at the machine in horror.

The screens in the room suddenly turned on and a man, half his face covered over by metal plating, and his right eye glowing red. Lia suddenly recognised the man though from his visible facial features.

“Mr Le’ Chafe? What the hell…”

“Lia O’Donnell.” He answered, his voice shrill and cold. “And the young ninja, Nightwolf. I never doubted that either of you would get this far, though, I must admit that I did expect you to take a little longer, or maybe not get here at all.” Le’ Chafe looked over at something for a moment, then faced forward, smiling evilly. “Or, maybe it is good you’re hear. There’s someone whose been missing you so much.”

The camera screen changed to show a young boy, no older than ten, his skin pale and clothing torn. He was rigged up to a small device which linked tubes to his body.

Lia’s eyes were wide. Her face horror stricken.

“Oh Luis, someone wants to say hello.”

The boy opened his eye and stared up towards the camera. He recognised Lia and tried to talk, but could only mouth words.

The camera flicked back to Le’ Chafe. “What the hell have you done to him, you bastard!” Screamed Lia, tears starting to flow from her eyes.

“I’ve merely made him a part of what he was born to be.”

“What? You sick bastard, explain yourself!”

Le’ Chafe laughed, and then stared seriously at Lia. “I suggest you use a more proper manner when speaking with a superior, woman. Luis has artificial organs. He is no more fully human than I am. I, am the test, he, is the competition, and he is now the key to controlling the ultimate weapon. The true results from the Bright cast project!”

“Bastard! How could you do this to your own son!”

“As easily as I have manipulated the tides of all events leading up to its completion.”

Lia couldn’t quite understand fully what was going on yet. “So… everything… brining back the Black Clad’s, getting the FSA to protect your son, the destruction of the FSA head quarters… is all because of your grand plan?”

“Everything that has occurred over the last few months is because of me! Even the death of the Three!”

“But… but how?”

“I released the information. I’ve got enough power in politics to get whatever source of information I require and to give it wherever I want. Besides, don’t you think if I didn’t have the necessary pawns in place that I would have been found out much sooner?”

“I can’t believe this… So we’ve been pawns in your own little game?” Asked Lia and Le’ Chafe just grinned at her. “You sick bastard.”

“Ah, now you really should control your language. After all… there are children in the room.”

Lia clenched her fists and felt rage brew deep within her causing her blood to boil.

“Now, I really must be on my way. I require to get this completed marvel in the proper alignment if I am to truly put it to use.”

Flames issued from outside as the massive machine began to lift itself slowly up higher and higher. Huge thrusters propelled the machine up and off. Screams issued from the monitor. The camera had changed back to show Luis who was screaming in agony as surges of energy laced its way across his body. Le’ Chafe was next to him, rigged up to help give the machine more power.

The monitor died and went to static.

Lia was left standing still, filled with hatred and with horror. The emotions inside her had suddenly become so immense that her whole body was shaking.

She heard her name called. She turned to Damien, thinking it was from him, and then heard it called again. But his lips did not move.

“Lia, are you there?” Came a voice from her intercom.

“Leon, is that you?”

“Oh thank god, you’re still alive! Sensors have got through and we picked you up right where that thing took off. What was it, Lia?”

“Bad. I’ll explain when we get back.” Lia looked over at Damien and saw he’d turned extremely pale. He was barely keeping his own eyes open. “Shit, Leon I need evac now! Damien has taken serious injury, and I’m not in too good shape either.”

“Damien? Oh, the ninja. Okay, stay where you are, we’ve taken most of the instillation. There was less resistance than we expected. We think they may have been on that craft. Team will be there soon.”

“Thank you, Leon.”

The intercom went dead just as Damien slumped over and fell off the bench.

“Damien!” Lia ran over fast and cradled his head, feeling for a pulse as she did. “Oh no, no. Damien, stay with me damn it! Don’t you die!”

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