Bright yellow bolts were rushing at him. He couldn’t move; he was paralyzed, his feet like stone. He lifted his feeble arms to protect himself, only to find the yellow bolts growing out of them with a spray of crimson blood even as he watched. He lost all human thought and fell onto the ground, writhing, animal screams escaping from his blood filled mouth, attempting to flee… Flee from the burning…
Cru let out a cry, his body jerking suddenly. His arms thrashed out in front of him, shielding his face, even as his yellow eyes blinked in surprise. Where were the yellow bolts? The blood? The pain?
Oh, a dream…
He looked to his side, finding Otter still sound asleep; he was in a fetal position, and in his arms were around his bow. Even his armor was still on.
Just then, the door slammed open. Cru’s head snapped in its direction to see who was in the doorway. Andrew?
‘The 3rd Platoon contacted Rubber this morning,’ Andrew stated bluntly, his eyes briefly darting to look at Otter before fixating on Cru. ‘A small squad of GMs are comin’. And they killed one of the 2nd Platoon guys.’
‘They did?’ Cru exclaimed in surprise. As far as he knew, the 2nd platoon consisted of very experienced hackers, and they hadn’t lost a member for a couple of years already.
‘Yeah. Those GMs partially cracked the barrier hack. Andrew tilted his head to the ceiling. I think theyd be through in a couple o hours.
‘But why not send the higher ranked Platoons instead of us? Those GMs must’ve been really darned strong…’ Cru rushed, growing frantic.
‘Because we’re in Henesys, the direction for which the GMs are headed, idiot. The higher ranked Platoons won’t get here in time.’ Andrew spat, spinning on his heel and taking a few steps towards the door.
Cru groaned, strapping his claw on, pulling his red China over his undershirt. ‘Alright, thanks, Andrew.’
Andrew halted in his steps with the door partially opened, frowning. ‘Don’t get too comfy with me, noob.’ Continuing in his steps, Andrew slammed the door behind him, causing Cru to jump slightly. Crus eyes were wide, somewhat shocked from his sudden hostility. He has never called me a ‘Noob’ straight in the face before. Ever.
Fine, maybe on our first few days, but that was it…
A low rumbling was heard, and Cru placed a hand over his stomach.
Must’ve been the food causing some gas…
Teal stared at Flare’s reddened face, with her diluted eyes and sweat pouring from her forehead.
‘But Flare, a few minutes ago you said you were finished!’
‘I GOTTA GO AGAIN!!!’ Flare yelled for the fifth time that morning, teleporting into the toilet yet again. Andrews stink was still there… Poor Flare.
Teal could only slam her head against the wall, mercifully made of soft wood. There goes Flare’s initially neutral impression of Andrew, I guess.
The cycle repeated for a few more times before Flare’s stomach was finally appeased, much to Teals relief; she could not stand her teleporting in and out any longer. She wondered how much Flare ate of Cru’s cooking last evening. Definitely not more than Andrew. His poop stink was godly. She snickered at the replaying of that mornings toilet scene in her head, proceeding to strap on her Osfa top, clamping her Umber Mantis bottoms over her casual shorts.
‘Maaan, Teal, I don’t know if I should be excited about later on or not…’ Flare suddenly said, in an eagle winged position on her own bed. ‘I mean… we haven’t seen action in a while, so it might be fun, but then we got a high chance of just dying…’
‘Pfft,’ Teal scoffed, pulling her Anelin over her hand. ‘In maple, all us hackers gotta do is kill, then kill, then die when our number comes up. We live for nothin’ else other than killin’, so don’t think too much about havin’ a long and happy life, ’cause there ain’t gonna be any happy ever afters for us. So dont care if we die or not.’
‘Nobody forced you to join us in the first place, Flare, but there ain’t no point in sayin’ that now, I s’pose; you can’t turn back no more.’ Teal started duplicating her hwabi stars, one hand pushing her Osfa hat buckle over her blinded right eye.
An invisible fell in between the two. Flare has never seen this side of Teal before.
Resigned…? What should the word for it be?
She watched as Teal ambled towards the door. The old plank was swung open with a creak. A few hurried steps; then two loud bangs of leather against hard wood, and then a muted thud. Teal loved to skip the process of climbing down the stairs.
Flare rubbed her head with her right hand, reflecting on what Teal had just said.
Was Teal right?
Her face was considerable more expressionless by the time she walked through the door.
A pat on the shoulder caused Klay to turn around with his hand flying to the handle of his Dragon Claymore, finding himself face to face with Andrew, who was, surprisingly, all smiles. What? He was happy? Screwed up kid… Klay raised an eyebrow and relaxed his muscles. Gods, how long have I been clenching them? I feel all sore.
‘Spotted any GMs yet?’ Andrew asked, a silly grin plastered onto his face.
‘Stop smiling. This isn’t fun.’
‘Why not? We live to kill those bastards!’
Klay had no reply to that, continuing to silently survey his the surroundings, his thermal vision revealing no hidden characters further than petty monsters hopping around.
We live to kill? That’s a depressing thought. Klay wanted to say it aloud, but a mental barrier prevented him from doing so.
Or it may be the most fun thing to do…
Oh. So that’s what Teal meant when she said to like and hate pain at the same time. Depending on what I think about killing as my purpose in life.
Sudden movement among distant bushes. Both of them noticed it. Mistake, mistake.
Klay swept an eye over that area. Crouching figures. Unmoving. No… Wait… A slight movement. Hand signals? Definitely not petty monsters…
‘They’re finally here,’ He whispered, brisk walking towards the commanding tent. Andrew gave a short whoop, following Klay with a slight spring to his steps.
Now, to finally prove the 4th Platoon’s usability.
Stay back. Teal muttered, holding a hand out to her side.
Teal, Klay told us to advance, Drev retorted, taking a step forward—
I told you to stay back. You f***in deaf? She snapped, pushing him onto his rear end with a seemingly gentle nudge from her claw hand. Drev seemed quite alarmed.
But then… Klay is our leader…
Not in this squad he aint, Teal growled. In this squad, he aint in charge, Im in charge. And he cant do anythin about what we do, cause all he does is give suggestions. Suggestions. Not orders, mind you
They were orders, you noob! Drev shot back, eyes narrowing, unstrapping his spear.
You wanna fight? Huh? Teal threatened, and even as she spoke, eight stars materialized onto her claw. Dont forget that Im 20 levels higher than you, and that Im more experienced. I tell you to stay back, you do as I say, because Im your f***ing leader.
A moronic leader who does not obey orders! Drev hissed, thrusting the spear at Teal. All he saw was her claw pushing his spear wide out of target—
He yelped in pain as his arm was twisted a full round. He stared at his empty gauntlet. Where was his spear? Where?
Less than a second later, metal cracked against hard soil. Drev turned to look. It was his spear… How? So fast… He bared his teeth, stared into Teals unpatched eye…
And somehow lost the courage to insult her.
He took a few steps back, brushing against Otter, and stood his ground behind the Bowman.
What happened? asked Otter.
Nothing, Teal replied. Continue to survey the surroundings. Those morons in the bushes were probably decoys. When the other half of the GMs comes, well kill them.
Alright, Otter replied. He smiled. Teal smiled back.
Look… If we dont make it back, I want you to know that Im glad that we were a team, Teal said with a bright voice.
Yeah… Same here, Otter replied.
Drev was silent.
Drev, I dont need you panicking later on, Teal glanced at him, picking up the spear from the ground, walking over to him, and placing the spear in his hands.
Y…Yeah. He mumbled, rotating the spear a few times between his hands.
He strapped his spear in its original position, waiting.
And waiting still.
Her eye….Was…. Like… Ice…
Everyone in Klays squad had emotionless faces. Klay, Cru, and Flare. The warrior managed a smile. Andrew looked extremely pissed when I told him to guard the Noobs.
5 feet to contact, Crus voice sounded in everyones heads. Cool as a cucumber now, everyone!
They smiled at each other for the last time.
And then they drew their weapons.
Klays dragon Claymore swung towards a GMs neck, completely decapitating him. The other GMs spun around, just in time to block Flares Big Bang.
Impressive, she chirped, teleporting behind a GM and activated her Anti Godmode program as she loosed a holy arrow at the Assassin. He didnt react quickly enough, getting struck in between the ribs by the shining arrow, blood spurting everywhere. Cru loosed a barrage of Tobis on him, killing him.
Tango down, He muttered, his claw whipping through the air to deflect an arrow. Klay dashed towards the bowman, his Dragon Claymore snapping forwards impossibly fast, slicing through the GMs bow to chop halfway through his head. Blood sprayed from the severed vessels, and Klay wrenched his sword from the cooling body.
Two more to go, Cru announced, duplicating his Tobis as he let them loose towards a Fighter…
A cry was heard.
Cru collapsed limp onto the ground, clawing at his bleeding side. The Fighter collapsed as Klay tore his bloody Claymore off of her back. Klay did nothing, letting loose a short chuckle as he watched Cru struggling on the ground. Flared heal him up soon enough.
And then, when he didnt heal, he thought that something was wrong.
Flare should have healed him up by now! Klay thought frantic. Where was Flare??
The sound of a Big Bang was heard—Yells— And then, silence. Klay snapped his head to look at Cru.
Flare! Klay called out, dashing through the bushes with his speed hack, switching to thermal vision—
SH**!!! He yelled, spotting two bodies on the ground nearby. He slowed down as he neared it, his breathing heavy. Please, Flare… Be alright….
A soft groan. His boots crunched on the bloody soil.
Flare! He cried, crouching on the ground, shaking Flares body. She had a deep gash across her stomach, which almost gutted her. He glanced at the GM lying down opposite her.
Hes dead. The Big Bang killed him. He was a Page… Level 128! Flare… You did well… Wake up…Please… He pleaded.
At 1 hp, anything could happen.
Squad 2… The fight is over… Weve got a casualty…Flare… 1 hp…Come into our position. Klay projected his voice over to the other squad.
Suddenly, Drevs voice exploded into his head.
KLAY!!! HELP US!!! WERE GONNA DIE!!!!! HELP!!!
And then, a deader silence than ever.
Klays eyes widened in… terror.
Oh my God…
He had thought that the group they faced were a little too weak.
~To be continued