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Sector 7, Tamiku
Saturday August 11th, 2192
When the tank blipped onto my radar, I knew I made the right choice. Protecting innocent lives without uprooting them was a delicate balance, but for once my decision had a happy ending. Maybe not for me. Trying to be a hero had a cost, one that I was willing to pay. Even though I grew up without my parents, that didn’t mean that kids like Henry had to be subjected to the same fate.
Checking myself over, I examined the newish navy-blue leather jacket that Zheng had gave me, along with his house keys. It was weird to be trusted so instantly, but he had said something about how not just anyone would put their life on the line for strangers. I guess he was grateful. Although, I was grateful too. That breath should’ve been my last, but it ended up being my first. Not literally, but the past few hours had given me a chance to think. Being alone after a near-death experience tends to do that.
As the tank on my radar rumbled closer, I sighed and broke free from my thoughts. There’s plenty of time to debate the meaning of life when you don’t have to fight for your next breath. Hoverbikes appeared on my radar and I rolled my eyes before grabbing my hoverbike’s keys and jogging downstairs. Leaving the radar open on my Visor, I watched the dots move closer while trying to navigate to my hoverbike between disrupted shelving. For some reason, I thought it was smart to leave my bike in the shop, parked past the shattered windows.
I took a moment to re-familiarise myself with my surroundings; the various pieces of scavenged tech that Zheng and Lucia had left for me, the stockpile of hand-made grenades behind the counter and the shelving that had been used to create a barricade behind the counter, if I needed it. There wasn’t much time, but I grabbed a pair of grenades and slung them on my belt, knowing they’d be better than my batons. I’d take a blaster later.
Some of the blips had overtaken the tank and parked in the various alleys surrounding the shop. Perfect. Stashing my keys in a pocket, I made for the side exit, knowing that a fight would be waiting for me. Quickly readying a grenade, I hurled it into the middle of the group before using the door as a shield. My aim was obviously better than I’d expected because the explosion was big enough that I must’ve hit a hoverbike directly. Oh yeah, this alley had hoverbikes in it.
After the blast cleared, I pushed the door open, batons in hand. Spotting two soldiers on their feet, I hurled my batons simultaneously, catching a third with a kick as he appeared from further down the alley. Momentary pain pulsed through my side and my hand slipped to my side, clutching it tenderly. Hastily recollecting my batons and stealing a blaster, I ignored the pain, pushing past it ‘for the greater good’. I leapt onto an undamaged hoverbike, noticing that it was still running. It was only then that I noticed the scorch marks littering the bikes and the alley walls. Smirking at my handiwork, I pressed down and sent the hoverbike into the street.
I wasn’t prepared for the army before me. Most destruction crews would have half the muscle that this assault was pulling. It was as if Tristan knew that I was going to be here and said ‘he needs to die, bring a tank and forty guns’…he probably did. I thought tiredly. Fortunately for me, I hadn’t been noticed yet. That gave me a few precious moments to figure out how to take out forty soldiers and a tank; singlehandedly. My batons and the blaster on my back wouldn’t do much, but what other choice did I have?
Perhaps I should’ve ignored it, let Oblivion destroy the building, but I was tired of constantly letting them win. I needed to send a message. Oh and my decision-making abilities were definitely impaired. Gunning the hoverbike, I pulled the blaster from my bike and sped past the group, sending shots into the army. It was a drive-by shooting, but I turned around for more, an idea slowly forming in my mind. The tank was still going to be a problem, but it would take them a while to move the turret around. I had enough time.
Going for the second drive-by was more problematic. Weaving between the spread-out army wasn’t the problem. Avoiding being shot was. A few stray blasts slapped the sides of the hoverbike, narrowly missing my limbs and other explosive components. Eventually making it out, I drove past them and stopped the bike, using it as a barricade as the army’s attention shifted to me. My plan was stupid, but it involved the tank’s turret turning. Not much, but it needed to start before I could throw myself into the lion’s mouth.
I peeked over the edge of the hoverbike, blasting a couple of the close soldiers as the gun barrel started to swing. That was my cue. Hypothetically, if I’d timed it right and avoided being shot, I could seriously damage their army. Slipping back onto the hoverbike, I activated helmet mode on my Visor and leaned down, feeling a couple of shots bounce off the laser surface now protecting my head. With a slight curl, I aimed straight at the tank, watching as the barrel straightened with each passing second.
Smiling wickedly, I pushed the bike harder, almost to the point where I was going to hit the tank. Swiftly standing up, I jumped off the bike and up, reaching towards the gun barrel. For a split second, my hands only felt the rushing air and I swore that I was going to end up as a splatter on the pavement. Once my hands connected with the cold steel, a grin returned to my face and I swung off the turret. An explosion hit my back, sending me back through the shop and into an overturned shelf.
I blinked rapidly, my eyes blurred as my hearing died. Faint blaster shots echoed in my ears and I allowed myself a moment to consider myself officially dead. Unfortunately, I was definitely alive. It took several moments for my eyes to clear and my hearing to return, but they did before I gave up hope completely. After orienting myself, my eyes took in every detail of what was happening.
When I’d flown for the first time, I hadn’t expected three costumed superheroes to arrive. That wasn’t on my radar. Apparently, the world had other plans and my eyes weren’t lying. In my brief vacation, I took the time to observe the new arrivals, I didn’t want to storm back into the fight if I didn’t need to, but I also wanted to avoid dying from impulsive decisions.
The first one to catch my eye was the teleporter. Wielding two electro-swords, he launched himself around the battlefield, cleaning up Oblivion soldiers with slices and slashes. Other than his blades, he was dressed almost entirely in black, the only exceptions were the deep purple highlights on his armour. Most of his costume looked mechanical, probably to help him teleport all over the place.
Next up was the lightning girl. With shoulder-length strawberry blonde hair and a petite frame, she was easily the most out of place among the fighters. She was average height, but her distinct lack of armour and the lighting spiralling from her hands were enough to make her stand out. Clearly, she was able to pack a punch, scattering electrocuted soldiers as the third and final arrival made his presence known.
Out of the three, he was the most mysterious. Bright red electro-blades formed at his fists, about the length of long knives. Occasionally, a laser shuriken would pop out of his sleeve before flying across the street, landing in a perfect headshot every time. Dressed in black leather that featured a red dragon, he stood out just as much as the girl did, just in a different way. Definitely professionally trained. Probably as an assassin. Based on his interactions with the other two, it seemed as if he was calling the shots.
A voice drew me out of my trance and back into the moment. “Hey Ventro,” the girl with lightning powers called out while stepping over a dead body, “can we leave now?”
Looking around, I noticed that all of the soldiers were now dead or too injured to move, effectively meaning that they were dead. They were definitely dead.
“Boss, I have completed my mission.” The lanky teleporter added.
“Yep, we’re done here” The leader, Ventro, responded to the pair.
Heading towards a nearby alleyway, the three fighters left the flaming, gory scene. Completely confused and curious, I forced myself off the ground and onto my feet. I trailed behind, wanting to find out who they were.
I caught a voice asking, “Alex, where are you?”
As I rounded the corner, I expected to see three people with weapons in hand. Instead, I discovered a trashy alley with litter remains and graffiti tags everywhere. I blinked and turned circles, peering into corners to try and figure out what I had missed. Slowly taking a step backward, I pulled out my detective mindset and assessed the situation. There were no stairs. There were no short buildings. There was no way that they should have been able to disappear.
The teleporter. He must have gotten them out of there. Annoyance escaped my mouth in the form of curses as I headed back to the street. It wasn’t burning anymore. All that remained was the tank’s metal corpse and the bloody remains of Oblivion’s C squad. It was the only sign that any brawl had occurred, Zheng’s shop and the neighbouring buildings were completely intact.
“Nice fighting back there. I need to knock you out now, so if you can kindly stay still, that would be fantastic.” I turned the see the teleporter standing behind me.
Rolling my eyes I pulled my batons out and readied myself. I wasn’t going down easy. As he melted from view, I spun quickly, catching him off guard as he tried to surprise me. My baton caught his ankle and he tumbled to the side, teleporting out of view. When he reappeared, it was in front of me, jumping and slamming a fist towards me. Blocking with my baton, I shifted to the side as he shook his hand in pain.
“Ouch. That really hurt.” He said before slipping into the void.
It was a few moments before appeared again, sending a kick towards my face. Rolling to the side, I avoided his kick and whacked my baton against his ankle again. Once again, he vanished, leaving me alone. After a moment, something small and irritating stabbed me in the neck. All feeling drained from my muscles as my body coiled up and collapsed in on itself. Trying to force my eyes open, I watched as a hand touched me and the bloody street disappeared before my eyes. I was going unconscious for the second time in a week, great.
Chapter 5 of 2192: Nerves will be released on the 19th of April! Keep your eyes out!