Apocalypse

Apocalypse

A Story by Darkray

*** Log 1 Meeting for Two ***

 

October 26th 2132

Night time, ruins of New York

 

My breath becomes heavier as my stamina goes lower. The wind blows gently sweeping my jagged black hair as I lower my black hoodie. I turn away to my Railgun, an electric powered gun capable of firing a condensed electrical bullet. I notice that it has finished charging so I stop running. I turn around and point my Railgun to a couple of figures in the distance. I position my finger on the trigger waiting for them to come to closer. I inhale then exhale ready to shoot as one of the jumped on me. I blast it away then quickly shoot the other one on my left.

Had I waited few more seconds or missed I might have died. Why the hell did I have to shoot at a point blank range? I guess it is more exciting when danger is near. Even now my heart is still racing from excitement. Some residues from the bullets still linger in the air. They left some electrical sparks along their trajectories. To make sure the Scythers are dead I head over to their bodies.

Syther is a humanoid typed Astral. It came from a mutated human. One’s hands turn into scythes, body lose proportion making it more agile, mouth turns to that of an insect’s mouth with a pair of mandibles and tongue to a syringe-like suction device. Legs’ muscles become stronger enabling it to jump around quickly.

I put my Railgun back on its colt then draw a sword resting on the back of my belt. It's a 60 cm long silver colored Katana type sword made out of strong alloy that will not break easily. As it turns out they are not entirely dead because their legs are still twitching and their eyes are still moving around also they are making groaning noises. If I leave them here they will just get eaten by another Astral which hopefully will distract some Astrals that might be hiding in surround areas. To that goal I dismember their limbs. Black blood is flowing out of the exposed fleshes. I stab their heads and cut open their body making some intestines to spring out. Some of their blood splashed on to my dark blue pants and sneakers. I should have been more careful. Now, I will have to clean them. I let out a sigh and start walking further downtown.

It feels like it has been hours since my last encounter. The carcasses of the Scythers work well as distraction. I begin to hear music echoing faintly in the air. I look around to some still standing structure remains of New York's buildings trying to convince myself that I am not hallucinating. I try to locate where it is coming from. I desperately look around with ears focused on the sound. It might be a human or just some Astral. It has been a while since I last saw a human being so I really hope that there are some humans around here or at least one. After some running a couple of blocks to the left then to the right I feel that the sound is getting louder and clearer. I stop for a while to rest my legs and catch up my breath. I look around and notice a theatre building on my right. I have a strong feeling that there are Astrals around because faintly I can hear some other noises slipped in between the melodies. I am pretty sure that both are coming from the theatre.

I check my surrounding to see if there's any Astrals nearby before going inside. There are none but I cannot assume that there will not be any coming here. I imagine 2 possibilities are in store for me; first, is it a human? But nobody would be stupid enough to listen to music except if he or she or they got a death wish or second, is it just an Astral accidently turning a music device on? I think of series of scenes that awaits me while running through the building. I come across a double red door and I am sure the answer I am looking is behind this door. It appears to be at the opposite end of the entrance. It is an easy escape route.

My hand stops before I could reach the doorknob because I heard something. I quickly pull out my Railgun then look around on alert. There is nothing. It is just an empty building. Just in case I draw my Katana to double my offense. Although I am a lefty fortunately for me I am ambidextrous, Katana on my left for close range and Railgun on my right for long range. I push the door with my Railgun ready to shoot and my blade ready to fend off any surprise attacks.

The sight before my eyes stunned me. I stand on the door shocked as I see a girl fighting a bunch of Zoonches. Zoonch is a humanoid Astral but more like zombified human beings, nothing special about this Astral other than its high durability and flexibility. It also smells rotten.

She wears a cream-white one piece with frills. She also wears a pair of blackish silver colored gauntlets and sneakers with matching color. They appear to have steel plates on them. Cleary they are for combat and if they are, those plates must have been made using strong alloy. She has waist-long pale blonde hair and judging from my distance I would say she is around 155 cm tall, 17 cm shorter than me.

I notice that the ceiling is not whole anymore. The stage in which the girl is on is shined by the moon. Although it looks like she is kicking asses and punching heads. She is doing it as if she is dancing along to the music. Her cloth is stained with blood. The stage is drenched in Astrals' blood. It looks like she has been here for a long time and has been killing many Astral.

I am standing just a few feet from the door. What foolish idea that runs in this girl’s mind. She clearly has combat skills but even then one does simply attract then fight God-knows-how-many Astrals are in this city. One final jab marks the end of the fight. She walks towards a box with a tube on it to the far right end. The music stops. She takes off a black disc from the top of the box. I notice on the left corner of my eyes a Scyther is sticking its head in through a hole in the ceiling, about 20 feet behind her. She is still in the middle of placing a new black disc. The Scyther jumps on to her. Without a moment to pause I shoot it down. The bullet pierces the Scyther, however the trajectory of its fall does not change. I want to warn her off but she is already on alert. She kicks the Scyther to the back of the stage. We stand silence while looking around for more Astral, fortunately there are none.

I start to make my way down to the stage. She turns around to me. Our blue eyes meet each other. I stop walking. I am 20 feet away from her. Our eyes are still locked to each other. I notice something. I turn my head towards the door because I thought I heard something. It sounds like they are coming here. I look back at her but I found that she is dashing towards me. It is as if she wants to tackle me. I had my weapons sheathed back when I was walking so I can not retaliate besides I doubt I have the necessary skills to retaliate her. She manages to push me down to the wooden floor. I notice that a ruble is falling then my head hits the wooden floor. I feel dizzy. It all happened so fast. My consciousness is slipping away.

***

Sound of water running woke me up. I open my eyes. My head hurts. My retinas are adjusting to the light. I pull myself up. It looks like I am in an apartment room. Bricks are showing and crack everywhere. I stand up then look around the room. There is a table on the other side of the room with my equipments on it and a wooden chair to the right with my sneakers on it. A window on middle left wall of the room which give lighting to the room and a wardrobe under it. Two rusty steel doors located on the end of left and right wall on the opposite portion of the room. I sit on the chair then put my sneakers on. The water stops running. I turn my attention to a steamy glass door to the far right. Someone or something is inside. I draw my blade then slowly approach the door. Suddenly the door opens and a girl comes out. It is the girl from last night. I sheath away my blade realizing there is no threat.

I greet her good morning. She greeted me back. She walks toward the door on my right. ‘Shall we talk outside?’ She said. We are in the balcony with a park bench. How the hell did it get up here? It is breezy here. 7 feet away from the door is a fence. I look and stick my body out to feel the breeze. I look out and only find a ghost city. New York fell during a night raid few months back or so I heard. ‘This was once a great city’ I said. ‘I agree’ with soft and soothing voice she answered.

I turn around and found that she had brought out water for both of us. She offers me a glass. I hold the glass still staring at the water. ‘It’s not poisonous’ she said. I see her already sitting on the bench staring at me. She drinks her water. Well the water came from the same container so following her I also drink mine. Tasted weird but at least it is water, clean water that is, I hope. Well, I cannot be picky at times like this can I?

I close the door on my left then lean back on the corner of the fence. ‘Are you alone here?’ I asked. ‘Yes’ she replied with a hint of sadness. ‘So, what happened here? Are you a survivor or just a passerby?’ I asked again. She explains herself to me. Her name is Karen and she is 17 years old. She is an orphan from a nearby orphanage and she has been living off scraps for the past months. ‘Hold it! No more’ I stopped her while she was going on and on about her orphanage. Now it's my turn to explain myself. ‘My name is Seth Rozgard, I am 19. That is all you need to know about me’ I said. She looks puzzled.

Next I will explain why I come here. ‘I’m from a survivor camp in Los Angeles. I was sent here 6 months ago upon the news that the city was being attacked. I came here to investigate and look for survivor’ I explained further. Then her turn to explain what happened here. From her explanation I can understand that New York was raided from the sea then while the guards were busy with naval incomings other Astrals emerged from the other side of the sentry walls. New York was attacked from both sides. Karen was able to survive because she hid herself because she was scared.

She also explained that she has superhuman strength as her ability. She asked what mine is. ‘I can generate electricity then channel them to something through a conductor’ I explained. She has an incredible strength beyond normal human capabilities but did she hide herself? She roamed this city for months but she was not able to find any survivor. Moreover what was she doing last night? If she is afraid of Astrals then last night was a crazy idea. I do not want to know about that nor want to care.

I noticed that she wears a Calves-long black jacket. Beneath it is a black shirt. She wears short pants covering her whole thigh down to her knees.

‘Why are you still here?’ I asked out of curiosity. ‘I don’t know where to go’ She replied. ‘I thought I was left alone in this world’ She continued after a short pause. It looks like I just stepped on a land mine.   Her face turned sad while staring at the empty glass she holds tightly. The glass cracks a bit. To break the ice I ask where her one piece is. She said that she washed it then put it in the wardrobe along with her gauntlets. Oh my god I just asked a girl the whereabouts of her cloth. This is getting awkward. I was never good with girls and will never be good.

I notice that it is now hot. I look up to see that the clouds that was blocking the sun are now gone. ‘It’s getting pretty hot here, let’s go back inside’ I said. She nods then goes inside. I follow her then close the door behind me. I look on my left. She is opening the wardrobe. I slowly walk toward the table to get my weapons. I hear the wardrobe closing. I look back and see her with her gauntlets on. ‘What are you doing?’ I asked while turning around. ‘Well, there’s nothing for me here anymore. I’m coming with you’ she said with firm voice. I am puzzled. ‘Didn’t you say you were looking for survivor? Well I am a survivor’ she continued. ‘Oh, yeah right’ I answered after a short pause. I had forgotten about that.

She has been living here for years so she can act as my guide. I told her to wait until it is cloudy again. So at the moment we are still in the building. She is checking the perimeter. By perimeter she meant the entrance on the first floor which she had barricaded and a hole in the back of the third floor. This building is 2 blocks away east of the theatre. It is a 20-storey building and we were on the 7th floor. She checks everything everyday and she locked the door on the roof. The city is still swarmed by Astrals but their number increases as you getting closer to the sea. She told me all of that.

***

I have to take a look on it. I told her that I want to take a look around from above so she gave me the key to the roof. I re-think about all things that she told me while walking up the stairs. It was a long walk up. I arrive on the roof. The sun is being blocked by vast clouds. I guess we should move out fast before it gets hot again. On my right is the streets and more buildings along side it. I walk towards the edge while checking out my surroundings. I'm 6 feet away from the edge. Down below I see some Zoonches wandering around on the streets. I notice a screeching sound in the air. It is faint but getting closer. It is coming from an Airborne Astral. How do I know? I know because up above in the sky I see a moving shadow. I turn around head back inside. Suddenly a Venus flies straight above me. I am thrown off balance because of the winds it created.

Venus is a Hybrid Animal type Astral. It has a body of a lizard with 6 dark purple membranes like wings. Its body is brown. Its head looks like a closed flower.

I pick myself up and run inside. I hope it did not see me. The building shakes. I stop running. It is inside. ‘Seth!’ Karen shouted from below. I stick my head over the fence. I see her 6 floors below me. ‘What's going on?’ she asked. I explain everything as I go down. On the opposite end of the stairs I see an elevator shaft. We turn left in front of it. On the end is a window. My weapons are in the furthest room on the left. We turn left in front of the elevator but we stop. On the corridor before us stands a Venus shaking off small debris from its body.

The ceiling above it is gone. It has not notice us yet. It stands on its stinger like arms. It screeches at us opening its 3 layered flower head, Inner flower is purple, middle is yellow, outer is green, revealing its Venus-fly-trap like head. Now it notices us.

It stands there as if it would strike anytime without a moment notice. I slowly walk side way toward the stairs hoping that no fight will occur. Karen dashes towards it without any hesitation in her movement. In response to Karen it starts to crawl towards her as well. Karen slides down trying to bypass the Venus between its legs. I can see her sliding smoothly because of the metal plating on the back of her sneakers. It tries to stab her with its stinger-like legs. Karen manages to evade all attacks. She passes the body and grasps its long tail. She quickly gets back on her feet then swings the Venus forward. The swing caused the Venus to destroy more ceilings and crack the floor. Karen jumps on top of the Venus. She bents down then lift her right fist. She punches the Venus. The impact causes the floor to collapse. I can hear the Venus screeching. I slowly walk towards the hole on the floor while hearing more collapsing noises. I take a peek down the hole. Karen already reached the first floor making holes on her way down. The Venus appears to be dead.

Without further ado I jump to the other side. I had to jump to a floor remains on the right before jumping again to this side because the length exceed my jumping range. I hurry myself. I hear more noises. The building shakes again. It must me the second Venus or maybe something else. The floor remains I used a stepping stone had crumbled down. There is another one but it looks fragile. I jump without hesitation. What are the odds? It crumbles. I manage to get a grip on the steel rod poking out from the concrete floor. I swing my lower body forward and backward. I muster all strength on this swing forward and swing back ward again. I swing forward again and let go. I land on the 6th floor. I stand up run to the stairs. I notice that there is a hole in wall about 54 feet in front of the elevator. Suddenly a Venus head comes out from the hole. I slowly walk backward. I notice the elevator door not 9 feet behind me is wide open. I can use it to go down.

I take my Katana along with its scabbard. I carefully tangle the scabbard and my left foot to one of the cables. I stop and remain silent because the Venus is entering the corridor. I am afraid that it might notice my movement. It is entering another hole in front of it. I keep a close watch on it from when it appeared on the right to now entering another hole on the left. It is halfway through and I can start moving again. Not 3 seconds after I stop again because it also stops moving. It backs down and turn right heading towards the stairs. Now it is walking to the opposite direction. I can slide down with ease. I can hear noises coming from downstairs and the sound of the Venus’ footsteps above. The cable I am on got cut off on between the 3rd and the 2nd floor. The other cables are too tense to be tangled.

I have to jump. So, I let go and land safely. Now I can hear the sounds of Astrals groaning behind the closed elevator door clearly. Apparently Karen is fighting them. I can hear them being beaten. I try to open the door with my hand but I am not strong enough. I have no other choice but to use my Railgun. I hear growling sound. I look up and see the Venus. It roars at me dropping some saliva. It enters the elevator shaft. I quickly cut all cables lashing them towards the Venus. It groans in pain. I notice the elevator up top starts to descend. I repeatedly swing my blade at the steel door. The blade is strong enough to cut through steel but the door is thick. I think I have dealt enough damage to it.

I charge at the door. Suddenly it opens wide. Karen ripped the steel door apart. I cannot help but to tackle her. It all happened so fast. I am lying down next to Karen. The concrete floor is hard. The elevator had crushed the Venus flat. I pick myself up following Karen before me. I can see a pool of green blood forming in front of the elevator shaft. Without me noticing Karen had already removed the barricade on the door. She waits for me by the door. Without further ado I run outside. I begin to hear cries and footsteps from afar. Those are our cue to run as far as we can from here. We both nod at each other and start running left. She is in front of me leading the way. We run on the sidewalks to minimize attention.

We arrive at an intersection about 500 meters away from where we started suddenly an ear splitting roar echoes throughout the blocks. Karen stops running then turn around. ‘Quick! Hide!’ She said as she ran on my right. I stop as well then follow Karen to the shadow of the building we just passed. Karen explains the roar belongs to Ouroboros, a large Astral that came here during the raid. She hopes that she is wrong though. Another roar echoes. This time it feels like it is coming from behind. The ground shakes. I have a bad feeling. ‘Let’s keep moving’ I said while looking around. Karen nods. We quickly cross the street. The roar echoes again. This time it is so loud we had to stop halfway to cover our ears. The roar stops exchange by giant footsteps getting closer and closer. The ground is shaking. I notice Karen is standing in front of me. She is looking towards me with hints of tension and alertness, eyes sharp and fists clenched. No, she is looking at something behind me.

I turn around to see what she is looking at. I see a giant Astral as tall as a 3-storey building. It is walking toward the apartment we were in. It has a second pair of arms on its back. They reach up to 3 floors above him. It looks like giant gorilla skinned making its muscles visible or its skin is transparent. Its back arms are thinner but have long sharp looking claws. It has a skeletal human head with neck-long black hair.

It slams its fists at the ground the roars. I can feel that it is roaring at us. I can see its mouth full of huge canine teeth, like a hippo’s. I can shoot it dead but given we are still close to the apartment, I do not want to attract more Astrals. I look at Karen and she understands me without saying anything. She nods then we run as fast as we can. The Ouroboros roars again then the ground shakes. I'm guessing it started coming after us. I look behind to confirm. Yes, I was right. The theatre is within our sight we just need to get passed 3 more buildings after the next intersection. We sprinted through 2 blocks. I am tired. The Ourobros roars again. I look back and see Ouroboros is gaining on us.

I cannot let it sees us going inside a building because it will certainly wreck it. It will make more noise thus attracting more Astrals. Let me see we are crossing an intersection, I came from the right. There are little buildings that we can use to hide in that direction. I look to the left. I see a building which door is open three buildings away on our left. ‘Karen’ I shouted. I tilt my head to the left signaling her to go there. She follows me.

Inside, we quickly go straight behind a reception counter. The door was an automatic glass door. There are lots of glass pieces on the ground. They make noises when stepped on. The Ouroboros is close and we do not want it to hear any noise so the nearest hiding place is this. The footsteps stop. It roars right in front of the building. I can see its short muscular hind legs right in front of the door through a peep hole. It walks away. I think it is going left. I cannot hear any footsteps. I cannot hear anything at all besides me still trying to adjust my heartbeat.

We stand up then look around. I jump across the desk then casually walk towards the door. I hear noises coming from outside. I peek out to see. I see a bunch of Scythers on the intersection to the right, 10 to be exact. They are sniffing the air. Some are looking this way. I have a bad feeling. I signal Karen with my finger to go up.

There is a stair way to the right, 5 feet from the reception desk. Karen jumps across the desk as well then follows me. We run as quiet as possible. I hear noises coming from up stairs or is it downstairs? Either way I now know that there is something inside this building. The building was a hospital. It is a 3-lane building. I stop in front of a door. Behind it is the roof. I hear noises coming from downstairs. Karen peeks down then looks at me. From her expression I know and she knows that I know. The Scythers are on our tail. I think whatever is in this building also coming after us.

I open the door then go outside. I close the door the second Karen walked pass it. From Karen’s body language I know that she is prepared to beat the hell out of everything that comes out form that door. I pull my Railgun. We slowly walk away from the door. I hear noises coming from afar. I turn around and quickly then walk towards the edge. I see nothing. I guess I was just hearing things, I hope. I quickly turn around then point my Railgun at the door. Karen is in 18 feet north west of me. Both of us are prepared for what is coming.

Suddenly a Scyther breaks the door open. I shoot it the moment it sets its foot on the roof. Another Scyther behind it tosses it aside then jumps to evade my bullet. It kills another Scyther behind it. I kill the other one the moment it lands. There were 10 on the streets. If these are 3 of them means that there are 7 more waiting. I hear similar noises I heard earlier. I turn around towards the building in front. I see 3 Rampers on the roof. 5 Rampers jump out from the windows. They cause loud noise landing on the street. I bet more Astral will soon swarm the area.

Ramper is a humanoid type Astral. It is dark brown. It has a horn on its head, much like a rhino’s. Its upper body is muscular especially its big arms which it uses to ram something. Its body is hard as rock.

The other 3 on the roof growl at us then jump down. All of them enter the building. Soon they will be up here. I hear glass shattering. I look down and see a Scyther trying to climb its way up. It is an easy target. I hear the Rampers are close. Karen is prepared to fight them by the door. I see more Scythers are coming this way from the left. First Ramper goes through the door. Karen grasps its horn then uppercut its chest. The Ramper stops moving. She throws the corpse towards another Ramper behind. It tosses aside the corpse. Another Ramper shows up from behind trying to get to the door. All three of them are stuck. More are coming from behind. The door and surrounding walls break down to pieces. The copse is thrown to the left side of the building.

Karen avoided the debris by jumping back. 5 Rampers are charging towards Karen. One comes at me. I shoot it but it only manages to paralyze it. It continues charging towards me. I dodge at the right moment. The Ramper goes straight down. Another 2 appear from the stair. Karen already killed 2 Rampers. Now she is brawling with the other 3. The new Rampers do not bother to look at Karen. They come straight at me. I put away my railgun. I throw my Katana to my right hand. The Rampers stop half way. The Rampers Karen are fighting also stop moving. Karen takes the time to knock them all down. She punches one of them. It goes straight towards the Stairs. It wrecks the remains of the walls. The corpse slides down the stairs.

Why did they stop? The rest of the Rampers are jumping off the building. I look down. About 16 Scythers run outside. They scatter to all direction. I have a bad feeling. Something is coming this way. The building shakes a bit. A screeching sound echoes. It is coming from inside the building. Suddenly the area surrounding the stairs is blown up high. A pale purple arm, about 10 meters long, towering from inside.

The only exit is blocked. We have to find a way out of here before a larger Astral come here, like the Ouroboros. Another hand appears. They hold on to the floor then pull its body up. It has a head like a spider’s with one big eye with hexagonal lenses. Another 4 arms step on to the roof. It lift the rear end of its body up. On the end of its abdomen is a syringe-like stinger. It opens its mouth revealing that it is actually a 2 sets of mandibles. Its saliva is dripping from inside its mouth which is full of bumps-like teeth. It takes a Ramper’s corpse on its left then eats it. I can hear the sound of Ramper's tough skin being crushed.

We have to deal with this thing quickly then get out of here fast. ‘Seth! Shoot its abdomen! It is its vulnerable spot!’ Karen shouted while trying to distract its attention from me. I do exactly as she said. It hits by the joint of its abdomen and the start of its syringe-like stinger. It falls down. The Astral is now unable to move its tail. Just one more hit or a little pull will severe it. It turns around to eat me. Karen grasps its tail the Astral to her left. It gets thrown inside the building on my right. The area is now covered with dust. The tail got severed in the process. Karen tosses it aside. We use this as a chance to escape.

‘What was that?’ I asked Karen while we are running down the stairs. ‘Scalnid, that’s what it’s called’ She answered. Scalnid, back in LA there are Astrals like that as well but smaller and have slightly different features. We just call them Spidey because they look like spiders. This one looks like a hybrid of spider, scorpion and human. I guess different place means different mutation although mutated from a single type of Astral. This proves that Astrals are like animals. Their intelligence is not on the same level as humans although some of them mutated from humans. The highest they can achieve is that of a primate or monkey or an ape, I think.

We cannot run far without encountering another Astral. We need to lay low somewhere close then after the dust settles we can continue. I run towards the building in front. I enter from a hole right next to the door. It looks like the Rampers earlier made this hole when they came inside the building. Inside there are many holes made by the Rampers. I see a door leading further into the darkness on the opposite end. Suddenly a screeching sound echoes from outside. Is it the Scalnid earlier? Without further ado we run towards the door to hide. I hear some noises from behind. It sounds like footsteps. I turn around to see the door gets smashed to smithereens as the Scalnid enters.

The Scalnid screeches at us. It found us. We might as well get rid of it here and now. It looks like this whole area had been made in to a maze by the Rampers so escaping is easy here. Suddenly I hear loud rumbling noise closing in. Everything around us shakes. I am guessing that it is the Ouroboros. This is going to get ugly. We might as well take down the Ouroboros here. Both corpses would provide great distraction. The Scalnid jumps at us but suddenly the Ouroboros' muscular arm smash the building front wall making some of the crumbling wall hit the Scalnid. The Scalnid fall down on impact. It stands up and sees the Ouroboros through a hole in the wall. Both of them glare at each other.

It looks like that they are going to fight. I signal Karen to lay low while they are fighting. After that I will kill the wounded winner then get away. The Scalnid spits on the Ouroboros' face. It groans in pain. It is acidic in nature. It smashes the wall again hitting the Scalnid with its big great arm then stabs it using its right back arm which has sharp long claws. The Scalnid screeches in pain as the Ouroboros pulls it closer to its mouth. The claws stretch away from each other ripping the Scalnid in half.

It takes then eats the upper half. I think it is safe to move now. Soon it will be night time. It pulls its head out of this structure as it begins to munch down the Scalnid. We use the chance to get to the door undetected. It notices us. Well I was planning to kill the winner so let us finish this now. The Ouroboros makes its way in. The structure cannot stand all the ruckuses anymore. It collapses on the Ouroboros. We make the best out of this. We run towards the door then make our way through the maze. Lucky for us I was right. The Rampers did make a maze out of this area. I keep heading right because I want to avoid the Ouroboros also the theatre is on the right. We will need a safe place to rest.

I see an exit. I take a peek before jumping out. No Astrals in sight. I hear the Ouroboros growling. Why is it not chasing us? ‘You go inside the theatre, I will follow behind’ I whispered to Karen. She nods then creeps away. I carefully take a peek on it. It is digging up the rubbles. It is probably searching for the other half of the Scalnid. It is smart enough to know that we are not worth chasing. I leave it be then make my way towards the theatre.

She is waiting for me by the door. Now we can walk without anything chasing us. She leads me towards a room. It looks like a preparation room for the actors. There are mirrors for make ups, some props, chairs and tables. All of them are dusty, rusty and worn out because they are old. She pulls out a bed. It is in better condition compared to the rest of the stuff here. ‘I’m going to rest for a while’ She said. ‘Cool, I think I’m going to shut my eyes too’ I replied while looking around for any mattress or couch. ‘Well, do you have anything I can use? Like a mattress or something?’ I asked. ‘Wait a sec’ she replied then gets out of the room. She comes in holding a couch. It looks regal. I am guessing it is from the VIP spot or something like that. She takes out 2 blankets for both of us.

I dust off the couch first then lie down. It is not comfortable but I cannot be picky. I see Karen is comfortable. ‘We move as soon as we wake up’ I said while covering myself with the blanket. ‘Okay’ she replied while yawning. ‘Seth’ she called me. ‘Yes?’ I replied. ‘Rest well and thank you’ She answered. Although we went through so much trouble today but from her tone and her facial expression I can tell that she is happy. It must have been hard on her, living here alone for half a year. I sleep facing the door. It is locked but I need to sty cautious. My eyes are getting heavier. I close them finally.

***

I open my eyes then wake myself up. I see Karen is still sleeping. I remove the blanket then put my feet on the floor. I am still sleepy but I have to keep moving. I yawned while stretching my body. I start walking towards Karen who is sleeping in the middle of the room. Karen is still sleeping. Her face looks peaceful.

I use my right hand. I want to shake her so that she wakes up. Suddenly she grabs my hand. She pulls me forward then spins her body to the left taking advantage of my momentum. I land on the floor. She lands on my stomach using her left knee. She holds me right arm down. Her right leg is pinning my left hand. Her Fist is high ready to give me a blow. I lift the lower part of my body causing her to lose balance. I Swing my left leg upward then warp her right arm. Using all my strength I swing my left leg downward and push her right foot off my left hand to make her fall. She lets go of my right arm. She is falling. I swipe my right leg to the side then quickly use it to propel me up. I swing both of my arms forward to gain momentum for my body. Now I am on top of her. She swings her legs towards me. To avoid impact I catch them with my legs propelling me forward. The wall is near. I roll then turn around. I use my legs as springs to propel myself back at her. I hit her in the back. She falls down. I pull her arms back and pin her to the floor.

She is not making any movement. ‘Karen?’ I called her name. ‘Yeah?’ She answered. ‘You can let go now’ She continued. I slowly let go of her. Both of us stand up. ‘Sorry, those were just reflexes’ She apologized. ‘Don’t worry, I understand’ I said while heading towards the exit. ‘Are heading out now?’ She asked. ‘Yes, Why ask?’ I replied. ‘I thought we could eat something first’ I answered while walking towards a cupboard on the further right corner of the room. ‘Well, we could, after all that has happened today we need food and water’ I said then sit on the couch. She opens the cupboard. I can see all sorts of cans and steel cylinder bottles inside. She takes 2 of each.

She also takes a can opener with her. Even with that much stuff she manages to carry them. She gives me 1 of each. ‘Here, let me open it for you’ She said while taking my can. ‘Turn the top of the bottle clockwise, it’s marked with a red dot on the middle’ She said while opening my can. I do exactly as she said. Inside there is water. It is about 400-450 ml worth of water. ‘How long have these things been here?’ I asked while sniffing the water. ‘It’s a specially designed bottle. It was made to preserve water for 6-12 months’ She explained. ‘It was made using BAIM correct?’ I asked. ‘Yes! It’s for military purpose’ She answered.

BAIM or Blue Aura Infused Material is like the term says, literally. The Blue Aura role in technologies is not just providing energy, It can also be use to strengthen something in any kinds of way possible. ‘How did you know? Were you in the military?’ She asked. ‘No, I simply know it, how about you?’ I asked her back. ‘They explained it to us’ She answered.

We refill our energy then walked out of the theatre. It is night time already. We keep our eyes open for any danger. ‘Are there many nocturnal Astrals?’ I asked. ‘I don’t know much but I know that Venus and Scalnid are nocturnal because I have heard their cries during night time’ She answered. ‘How much longer do we have to walk?’ I asked again. ‘I don’t know actually, I haven’t been there because there’re so many Astrals there’ She explained.

Even though she is super strong she is smart enough not to go there. She has the looks, brain, and strength. I fight when it is necessary. Battles can cause commotion then that will attract more Astrals. Eventually you will run out of stamina then die. We arrive at an intersection about 3 km from the liberty. We see an Ouroboros sleeping on our right. We walk slowly and silently. We certainly do not want to wake that thing up.

If what she was saying is true there will be a large number of Astrals at the Liberty. I take my Railgun out of its colt. I take a piece of the grip’s lower rear end. It is a box with cable. I put it in my wrist then channel a little bit of electricity in it. It flipped open to a bracelet wrapping my wrist. The cable connecting the bracelet to the Railgun provide better flow of energy. ‘What did you just do?’ She asked. ‘Oh you’ll see’ I answered with a smirk on my face. Now I am prepared.

We retreat to the shadows of buildings to hide as we hear some groaning noises and screeching sounds. I imagine there is a large number of Scalnid and Scyther. The Scalnid's cries become louder and louder. 2 more blocks until we reach the shore. I stick myself to the wall in attempt to hide. Karen is doing the same. It seems like she notices it too. There is a Scalnid on top of the building blocks in front. It is heading towards the shore. It stops right in front of us. We stay still. It leaves immediately.

We have arrived on the pier. This used to be a park as I re-call. I see no Scalnid but an Ouroboros slowly shows itself 2 blocks apart on the left side. Suddenly a couple of Scalnids jump on the Ouroboros's back. The cloud blocks the moon light. The Astrals from surrounding area should be occupied on those three’s wrestling match. We cross the street then make our way through the pier. I see a boat. We immediately hop onto it then row our way to the island. It has engines and weapons attached. Engines make noises so using them is a big NO. I paddle while watching them fighting. Those Scalnids are bigger than the one from this afternoon. It looks like 1 Ouroboros equals 2 big Scalnids. The Ouroboros might be stronger but it is outnumbered. The Scalnids might win in numbers but still not enough. They are at a stalemate.

We have arrived on the island. Fortunately there were no signs of any aquatic Astrals and still there are not. There are lots of Venuses in the camp area. I can see some siege weapons, ammo boxes, weapon stashes, tents and all sorts of other army related stuff. They are all scattered on the camping area. I guess it would be great if lots of them grenades explode. That will certainly decrease the number of Astrals in this area. ‘Karen, wait here, I’m gonna circle the island’ I said to her. ‘Um, okay’ she replied while nodding. I make haste. Anti Air artillery surrounds this island. No Astrals in surrounding area. It looks like this is a Venus nest. I see the Ouroboros is starting to get the upper-hand.

I see nothing useful for my research here. Now I shall head to the next place. I come back to where I left Karen. I stop running. I approach a stash near a bush. I see a Venus 60 feet from where I am. I open the stash carefully. I was right. I found remote controlled explosives inside. I can detonate these within a safe distance. I look around to determine where I am going to set them. I run around silently while spreading and turning on all explosives. I can detonate them once I am away. Something catches my attention. I see Karen on the other side walking towards the Liberty statue. What is she doing? I go after her.

I notice that the Liberty is being entangled by something. Maybe Karen found something. I pick up my pace. I finally catch her. ‘Why are you here?’ I asked. She just stares at me. It has become dark all of the sudden. The cloud is blocking the moon’s light but the area around is a bit visible. There is a dim light coming from behind. I turn around and see a glowing diamond shaped crystal emitting dim red light. I have a bad feeling.

Suddenly the Ouroboros’ roar fills the air. I cannot see what is happening. I hear a sound. It is like metal scratching each other. The red crystal is moving. ‘Let’s get out of here’ I said. She only nods. We run back to the boat but it is still pitch black. I do not dare to move. I would not want to accidentally bump into something in the dark. ‘Follow my lead’ I whispered to Karen while holding her hand. I stop walking. I hear sound of water. It means we are going away from the center. That is good but what is making the sound of water sprinkling.

The moon is back. Its light reveals what lies in front of me. It is a Venus drinking. It is 10 feet from me. I stand still. I release Karen’s hand then reach my Katana. We slowly walk backwards. It turns its head and notices us. It screeches alerting other Venuses. The Ouroboros roars again. All the Venuses are awake. I take the remote detonator from my pocket then press it. All of the explosives explode at once. We lay on the ground. I see few managed to get away by flying. All of them are screeching and flying around.

Suddenly an ear splitting roar fills the freezing night air. It is so loud we have to close our ears. All the Venuses scramble away and leave the scene. The Ouroboros returns the roar. I turn my attention to the Liberty. The thing that entangled it begins to untangle itself. It is a huge Astral. It appears that the red crystal we saw earlier is its tail.

Although there are fires in front I still cannot get a good look on it. I think its outer skin is kind of metallic in nature because I can hear sounds similar to metal grinding against each other. ‘Karen, we gotta go back’ I said. We run towards to boat. The fires from the explosion reveal the Astral’s form as it passes by. Its head are like that of a snake. Metal plating on its body making it looks like a king cobra. It is heading towards the Ourobboros who apparently had defeated the Scalnids.

We have to get off this island quickly. I do not think it will welcome us when it comes back. But it would also be dangerous if we go back now. The closest island is Ellis Island. But which direction is it? I do not want to wander around in open water in the dark. ‘Ellis Island is around south west direction to where the statue is facing’ Karen suddenly opened her mouth. ‘Lead us then’ I requested her. She starts to paddle. She is fast. At this rate I think we will be there in no time.

The cloud clears away. I see land is close. ‘Karen! Stop!’ I yelled. She stops immediately. We are close to edge. There is a wall. We will have to circle around. I can see a black pole like object stocking out and another one on in front. We arrive in the middle. There is no wall but there are linings of huge Heavy Machine Guns on both sides. Ellis Island is a U shaped island. We enter the canal. Now I get it, those two large poles were barrels of these two humongous artilleries. And if any Astral manages to get into this canal they will shoot them with these guns. We dock our boat on the end of the canal. The area near the water is surrounded by steel fence. Karen uses brute force to remove them. We look around but nothing. It looks like there is nothing here.

Silence is in the air. I did not notice that the fight between the Ouroboros and the other Astral had ended. I circle around to have a look. I found a stair leading to on top of the wall. I climb up. I see no sign of any Astral activities at all. Suddenly the serpent-like Astral jumps out of the water. It is going back to the statue. I notice it is carrying the Ouroboross corpse on its tail. It leaves the corpse on the camping area then en-circles it. It stops moving. I think there will be no more to watch. I should better get back down.

I head towards a door on the wall on the corner. I stop underneath a tent. Karen is doing something. ‘What are you doing?’ I asked. ‘I found some knives’ She answered. ‘Cool, so?’ I asked again. ‘I need sharp weapons’ She replied. She straps a belt on her hip then put 4 knives in its knife sockets then another two on each thigh. I see two handguns that might fit inside her jacket. ‘Do need these?’ I asked while offering them. ‘Nope’ she answered while changing the position of the thigh knives. She puts them inside her jacket. ‘Don’t you need ranged weapons?’ I asked. ‘I could just throw the knives couldn’t I? She answered with a question. I feel challenged. We argue about weapons. She decides to put the handguns on her thigh. I win.

We get out of the island using a bridge. We are in Jersey. Now that my business here is finished, I will now head to my next destination. ‘Where are we going now?’ She asked. ‘Canada’ I answered while looking around in this army camp. ‘Will this be any help?’ She asked. I turn around and see her pointing her finger towards something. It is an army car and it is well equipped. This would be perfect. ‘Oh yeah, we should go with that!’ I said. She smiles like she won a medal or something. We stock the car with as much supplies as possible. There is a mounted Machine Gun on the back. This is nice, very nice indeed. I know a thing or two about machinery so I start to improve the car a bit.

We stay here for the night. I spend my night customizing the car while Karen is asleep in a near-by tent. I add spikes on the wheels. Karen gathered water and food earlier. I found some ammo for her. I found some spare parts that the car might need. I reinforce the car’s windows with steel fences and also around the mounted Machine Gun. The car is big and long. A driver seat in front and a passenger seat also. In the middle there is a way leading to the Machine Gun compartment. Only our upper body will be visible if we are using this. And on the back is the supply stash. It is a pretty neat car. They do not have this in Japan. They used drones, robots and stuff like that.

It is morning before I knew it. I wake Karen up carefully. She wakes up perfectly calm unlike last time. ‘Can you drive?’ I asked. She nods while rubbing her eyes. ‘Okay then do you know the road?’ I asked again. She nods again while yawning. ‘Buffalo, we are heading to Buffalo’ I said. ‘Yeah, I can take us there’ She said. We get inside the car. She starts the engine. ‘You get some sleep while I drive’ I she said. ‘Okay, good night’ I said then close my eyes.

 

*** Log 1 END **


*** Log 2 Journey North ***


            3 days have passed since Karen and I met in New York. We are on our way to Hudson Bay. Right now we are going to Buffalo because that is the nearest border between Canada and USA that we do not have to get ourselves wet to cross. Actually when the apocalypse started this whole continent banded together in USA. So, people of South America, Canada, and Alaska were all taken under the wings of the mighty USA. Or so they thought, in the end USA were just getting free protection. But even such great country fell state by state. It makes me wonder if the Astral has mind, knowledge, thoughts or feeling of their own instead of brutal aliens we think they are.

            I heard about a group of people who fled north. They went back to the wilderness hoping that the location is isolated from dangers. But nothing is perfect, a transmission was picked up. So, that kind of leaked out their location. Something piqued my interest in that transmission. Since New York was a failure I hope that this one is not.

            Karen is driving while I am looking and the scenery. I have a feeling that Karen forgot the way and now we are lost because it should not take this long by car to get there. We stopped occasionally for supplies and rest but it really should not take more than 1 day or maybe 2. We found some SOS banners and a couple of signs showing that there are survivors in the area. We checked them all. At first I thought Karen was up tight and serious type of girl but I changed my mind recently. She insisted to check all of them even though some were obviously full of corpses. She can be cheerful and easy going. I think this is why we are lost.

            ‘Karen’ I called her name. ‘Yeah?’ She answered. ‘We’re lost aren’t we?’ I asked. She stops the car. I look at her. She is getting out of the car. I follow her out. She is stretching and yawning. ‘We are heading towards the right direction but you can also say that we are lost’ she casually said while walking towards me. I look at my surroundings. I see no activities. ‘Well I can feel that we are on the right track because it’s getting colder’ I said while sitting on the cap. ‘Well, sorry, the roads are different from when before this’ She said while sitting beside me. ‘I understand, no harm done’ I said.

            ‘Now let’s get back inside’ I said while heading to the driver’s side. She goes to the passenger seat. There should be a governmental building or an army camp or civil hall or something like that. I shall drive around to look for those kinds of structure. Maybe I could find a map. We encountered many Astrals on our way here. Hopefully we will not encounter any around this area. Or maybe I hope that we will. That way I will have a chance see what kind of Astrals are there around here. We also will need some winter clothing.

            We drive around blocks and blocks of building trying to find anything useful. ‘Seth!’ Karen suddenly shouted. I slow down the car that was going 120kmph. ‘What? Did you see something?’ I asked while maintaining speed around 60kmph and eyes on the road. ‘Yes! Turn around! I saw something strange’ She answered. Well there is no harm in checking. I turn the car around. ‘Stop here!’ She yelled to my ear. I stop the car immediately. She slides her seat back so she can get into the middle portion. She stands up. I am beginning to get curious. I get out of the car. ‘So, what is it’ I asked while looking around. She is gazing into the left side of the car. I walk to the back. I open the rear compartment and take a binocular. ‘Karen’ I called her while throwing it to her. She quickly catches it. ‘Thanks’ She said.

            She jumps out. She goes to the cap. ‘AH! I see it!’ she yelled. ‘Would you please keep it down?’ I requested while climbing on to the cap. ‘Sorry’ she apologized while handing it to me. I try to look the object she is referring to. ‘So, what did you see?’ I asked. ‘Green’ she said. ‘Green? You mean the forest?’ I asked her again. She nods while taking the binocular from me. She continues looking through it. I sit down and sigh. Well although now USA is like interconnected cities now but not all parts are buildings. Some remains dessert like in Nevada and some trees around rivers, lakes, and ponds were left untouched. They kept some surviving animals in those small ecosystems.

            Well those animals must be all dead by now. ‘Karen, let’s go’ I said while getting inside the car. She jumps inside. ‘So, where are we going?’ she asks while fixing her seat to its original position. ‘To the forest’ I said while starting the engine. The small ecosystem was the government’s idea. There should be a facility there. It is worth checking. ‘Well done spotting that forest Karen’ I said. She nods and smiles. I take a left turn. It is a slope. The forest is located on a lower ground it seems. From here we can get a clear look. It is huge. If I keep going straight we would get to the edge of it then follow the fences until we find a building.

            It looks close but actually far away. Dusk is approaching. The closer I am to the forest the more Astral cries I hear. Karen has been keeping sharp eyes since the first cry. This quest has to be done fast. Or we should wait until morning. If we rest for the night I think it would be more or less equally dangerous. From what I have been hearing I can speculate that there are many Astrals around this area. It would be a waste of the already low fuel to turn back to a higher ground now. Well either stay inside a building or grap-and-run strategy. Grap-and-run sounds good to me.

            I stop right in front of a tall steel wire fence. It has barbs all over. I go right circling the area. I can see shadows moving through the side mirrors. We have only the fence and head lights to show the path. I guarantee if we stop all of god knows what Astrals outside will swarm us. I see something is blocking the stars. It is a building. It appears to be separated from the other buildings. I can see a wall in the distance. It is connected to the fence. I am sure that is the forest management building. That is the only way in and out, well supposedly. But the fence has got to have some holes here and there by now.

            I turn right then left immediately. I stop in front of a giant red door. I turn off the lights and the engine. It is silent outside. The moon is not out yet. I can barely see the door. I let my eyes adjust to the dark. ‘They’re coming’ Karen whispered to the night. I doubt that the door is open. We will have to find another way. I knew this is a stupid decision but I do not want to waste time. I slide my seat back then go to the back. I open a hidden compartment on the back of my seat. There are many things in there. One of them is a goggle, a night vision goggle. ‘Yours has one too’ I said while putting my goggle on. She does exactly like what I just did.

            I press a green button on the dashboard. The top middle roof opens up. I stick my head out to see the surroundings. In front of the car is a road circling the area I think, there are 3 Scyther-like Astrals around 3 meters from here. To my right is another road with a dead end not 10 buildings away. Slowly some Astral figures crawling out from those buildings, 5 on the left and 7 or 9 on the right. On the back many Scyther-like figures are slowly approaching. I look up and see nothing. I spot a window. I go back inside and explain the situation to Karen.

We pull ourselves outside. I shoot the window. I hear glass shattering. I jump back then Karen’s hands catch my foot and she pushes me up. I grap the edge of the window then climb inside. It is an empty room. It is literally an empty square shaped room. It is around 7 x 6 in size. I stand up then look back down. Without any signal Karen jumps up. I am surprised she appears so suddenly. The distance is too narrow to make a dodge. We fall on the floor. She is sitting on top of me again. She gets up immediately then gives me a helping hand.

‘So, what now?’ She asked. ‘Now we…’ I said then paused. I look down on the streets. It looks like some Scythers got scared by the Railgun then ran away. And some are still here. Also with some other Astral figures. They are approaching the car. ‘…head inside’ I ended my pause then continued. To my surprise the only door in the room right on the opposite end of the window is unlocked and no dust at all. The building is huge. Right outside the door is a cat walk surrounding the entire building. There are few more doors on it to my left and right. I look for a stair and found one to the left. The center of this room is full of boxes.

This is the storage room it seems. I can hear movements inside. I retract my decision of going down. I signal Karen with my hands to go right while looking around to look for anything that might be down or up here. I go to the left and we meet up halfway. I begin to walk away. I see something moving downstairs. There is definitely something down there. I shift my gaze from the boxes to the stairs then to the doors lining on my left. I see a shadow heading toward the stair behind me. It goes inside the room we were in. I see Karen is phasing back to the room. I do the same.

The door is open. Both of us stand beside the door prepared for what is coming. Silence fills the air. Suddenly a dagger swings for my neck. I grap its wrist using my right hand then following that attack, a leg coming from my stomach. I use my left to block it. Another leg kicks my left arm up releasing my grasp. It is a person. The right leg lands then used as pivot for the other leg to back kick my face. I quickly retract my left hand to block it. He tries to release my grasp on his left hand. I let go of his wrist. He graps the fence then left feet down and right feet swings up to my chin. I duck, avoiding the hit. He uses the force to jump down.

Karen jumps down following him. I pick myself up then follow them down. Karen is chasing after him through the maze of stacked boxes. Meanwhile I go right, running beneath the cat walk. Earlier I saw a door on the right corner of the opposite side. He must be running towards there. This is good. It either means that he has companions to back him up or he thinks we are marauding his place and he wants to flee rather than fight.

I turn left. I see him on the door. It looks like it needs password to open. Karen suddenly appears from the boxes then dash towards him. She graps his collar and pull him back. She spins then uses her left to send a jab to his body. He would be dead if she uses full strength. But he does not trying to regain balance. Instead he let himself fall back. His left foot delivers a blow to Karen’s chin. Karen quickly regains balance then throws a punch using her right. He dodges to the right. Karen retracts her right then swings her left foot towards him. He ducks down then side kick Karen’s right leg throwing her off balance.

I quickly go behind him then pin him down. He groans like a girl as his body hits the floor. He is struggling to get free. ‘Stop moving, it’s useless’ I said to him. The door in front of us suddenly opens. I see a couple of human shadows. ‘Who’s goes there?!’ one of them shouted with a deep voice. It sounds like an adult speaking. ‘Caleb! Turn on the lights’ he shouts again. Karen tries to stand up. ‘Don’t move a muscle! Stay on the ground!’ he shouted again accompanied with a cocking sound of a gun.

I can see now that the goggle had adjusted itself to the light. There are two guys. Both wearing military outfit. The guy in front is holding a gun and pointing it at us. On my left is the maze of boxes. I can jump in but I am afraid the guy I am pinning down will do something if I take my hands off him. So, I cannot really do anything but wait. ‘Karen, stay down, he has a gun’ I said. Karen obediently sits on the floor. It gets brighter suddenly. I close my eyes. ‘Hey you! Black shirt! Get off her!’ he yelled while walking towards me. I slowly take my hands off then stand up.

‘Woman, get up’ he said. He is referring to Karen I presume. And it seems like the three of them are friends. Another guy appears from the right side of the door. I am guessing he is Caleb. The other guy is standing on guard behind the door. There are 2 guys by the door and 1 not 3 meters in front of me. Plus one guy who apparently is a girl. ‘Claire, get over here’ he says. So, her name is Claire. ‘Dalton! Report this to the others!’ he shouted. ‘Yes captain’ the guy behind the door answered then left.

So, this guy is the leader. Caleb does not appear to be carrying any gun. Claire form earlier experience does not have any as well. As of now, she is dusting her cloth. I can grap her then use her as a helping hand to take the gun off the captain. ‘Um, excuse me sir’ Karen suddenly spoke. I was going to grap Claire but Karen’s action stopped me. The girl with neck long black hair slipped through me. The moment has passed. I missed my chance.

The Captain appears to be taller than me. He has beard and short hair. His body looks rigid and strong. Claire seems to be at the same height as Karen, maybe taller by a thin margin. ‘We did not come here to fight’ Karen continued. ‘Then what was that all about?!’ Claire yelled. ‘You started it’ I answered. ‘What is your purpose here’ the captain asked us. ‘We are lost and looking for a map’ I answered. ‘And supplies I presume’ the captain added.

‘We were too but now that we know there are people living here, we won’t take any’ I said. Silence grows among us. ‘Captain! Rocco said to bring them inside’ Dalton suddenly shouted as he is now standing beside Caleb. ‘Move’ the Captain said. Caleb and Dalton walk in front of us while the Captain and Claire are behind us. We walk through the door and enter a huge vast room. I see 2 big objects to the right covered with white sheets. To the left is a huge door. Around us there are lots of caches. There is a pile of machinery scarps and such on the far right end corner. I see two people standing there and looking towards us. They are wearing a yellow coverall with helmets. I look up and see a catwalk connecting the doors on the top right side of the room and above us forming a square.

This looks like a hangar. The second door on top right in front of us opens. A guy comes out then lean on the catwalk’s fence. I can hear the door first door on top of us opens too but I cannot see because it is blocked by the catwalk. Footsteps echo from the catwalk above us. Caleb runs ahead to open the door. He enters the password. I cannot see because his body is blocking. He goes in first followed by Dalton then us.

We arrive in a smaller room. There is a small rectangular table in the middle with 5 chairs, a fridge on my left, a cupboard to the far left end corner and a steel door on the opposite end of where we are. ‘Sit’ the captain said. We do as he said. He sits in front of me. Caleb and Dalton proceeded through the other door. Behind me and Karen is a desk and beneath it there are 2 steel boxes. We take off our goggle. I take hers and put it on her Jacket’s pocket.

There is another door to the left. It is located in the middle of the left wall. It suddenly opens. A brown skinned man comes in. He closes the door and immediately sits on the chair in front of it. 

He is bald and also wearing a military outfit. He looks sharp with his eyes looking at us and hands crossed. He looks more muscular than the Captain. ‘Where is Rocco?’ the captain broke the silence. ‘I don’t know, just wait’ the guy replied. Suddenly the door behind the Captain opens. Another brown skinned guy entered the room. He is about the same height and body posture as me. He has a short curly black hair. He is wearing a green coverall with a round straw hat.

He sits in front of Karen. Silence grows yet again. ‘So, what do you want from us?’ I asked. ‘That’s rude. You should introduce yourself before you ask somebody a question’ the green coverall guy answered. ‘You guys brought us in so I think you should be doing the introduction first’ I countered. He laughs. ‘My name is Rocco, this is Paul but he prefers Captain and this is Dave’ He casually introduced himself and the other guys. ‘I’m Seth and this is Karen’ I did the same.

‘I’m getting an intense vibe from you Seth, relax a bit, this is marvelous! I almost believe that we are the last of us’ Rocco said. ‘Well, we are being treated like criminals’ I replied. ‘Can’t be helped right? You trespassed and few weeks back some bandits tried to raid us’ he responded. ‘I assume you won?’ I asked. He nods. ‘What did you do with the loser?’ I asked again. He performs a simple hand gesture to his neck to provide the answer. We continue to chat and exchange information. This Rocco guy seems to be care-free and easy-going. Meanwhile I am getting a bad vibe from the two other guys.

They are letting us spend the night here. We take the offer gladly. Tomorrow I am leaving though. From what I got from them this place is not far from the buffalo. I can get there less than a day. They are willing to give me some fuel but I can power the car so I refused.

***

The next morning I walk out of the bedroom area. According to them this facility used to be an animal storage or something like that. Preserving the species huh? They went through all the trouble only to provide a banquet for the Astrals. I let out a long sigh. Behind me is the bedding area corridor, on the end there’s only emergency stair. And there is another corridor on the left. There are 4 bathroom doors lining on the opposite wall. I am walking through the common room heading towards the stair case in the middle. It is an L shape one. I go down. On my right just beneath the stairs is the storage room. Up front is a hall way to the engine room. I can see some people working on drainage pipes on the right side of the hall way. No wonder it was rather noise beneath my room. I turn left. This facility is big. I go through corridors after corridors and finally I arrive back at the hangar. But this time I am on the cat walk. Beneath me is the door to the room they took me previously. I go down using the stairs on far left.

I go towards a small door on the right side of the big door. I open it and find myself outside. A guy standing guard by the door suddenly approaches me. ‘Hey you, Rocco said to go see him’ He said. ‘Where?’ I asked. ‘Just hug the right side and you will find an American flag up on the building, turn left in front of it’ he directed me while pointing right. ‘So, he’s in the middle of the forest?’ I asked again. ‘No from the flag it’ll be a short walk, you’ll get lost if you go through the woods’ he answered while shaking his head.

So, my stroll on the edge of the forest begins. It a long walk. I wonder what he wants from me. He asked me to come here yesterday. I will just go with the flow. After some time I finally see the flag. It is all torned up. It looks like it is a part of the facility.

I finally align my position with the flag. So, I turn left. It is calm and quiet here. With the wall surrounding the forest, it is peaceful. I arrive in an opening. There is a man-made lake here. Rocco is sitting on a white wooden chair under a tree near the lake. I walk up to him silently. ‘Seth! You finally come!’ He suddenly shouted. ‘Come here! Walk with me’ He continued after standing up. I follow him towards the left side of the lake.

‘So, there are many survivors in LA huh? That’s relieving’ he said. I can only nod in agreement. ‘And you found Karen in NY? That’s a miracle she survived that, I got 3 people managed to escape that horror’ he said. ‘She must have possessed something great eh?’ he asked. It sounds rhetorical. ‘You must have too right? You traveled through the country and survived’ he said. ‘If so then what’re you gonna do about it? I replied. ‘Nothing, it’s just nice to know that you’re not the only one’ he replied. ‘Oh, you have ESP too?’ I asked. ‘ESP huh’ he mumbled. He then nods.

‘Does anybody else have?’ I asked. He shakes his head. ‘Does LA have any other than you?’ he asked. I nod. We are leaving the open area. ‘What do you need from me?’ I asked. ‘Nothing really, I just wanted to get updated on the outside world’ he answered. ‘The world has always been cruel and harsh, but now the sugar coating has been removed’ I answered. 'Hoo~ so negative coming from someone positive' He replied. I laughed. 'Who're you calling positive?' I asked. He giggles.

'Seth Rozgard, don't think i don't know that name' He stated. I stop walking and so does him. He turns around and grin at me. 'Even though in a midst of chaos and destruction words in military spreaded fast you know' he said. 'I'm honored to have met you' he continued. 'Do you hate me or my family?' I asked. 'Nah, not really' he answered.

'Answer me, do we still have hope? Seeing you here, something must be going on' He asked. 'We are finished, humanity as we knew it will end' I answered. 'New era will begin' i continued. 'Cycle of life?' he asked. 'Perhaps' I answered. 'Well, can't be helped i suppose, for now let's get along' he said while offering a handshake. 'Sorry, i promised the big guy that i'll be leaving today but I can at least shake your hand and ask for forgiveness on behalf of my family' I said while shaking his hand.

''I bear no grudge against Prof. Rozgard' he said. We let go of each other's hand. 'And can I at least get your name?' He asked. 'I told you, it's Seth, Seth Rozgard' I answered. 'Sure' he replied. 'Anyway, I'll be leaving now I guess' I said. 'What about your girl friend?' he asked. 'I intend on leaving her to your care, she's gonna be a great addition to your army' I said. 'Tell her I'm sorry I can't take her to LA even though I promised, well she kinda forced herself to come along' I continued.

I turn around and start to back-track my way 'Hey Seth!' Rocco shouted. I turn around and I captured an object flying towards me in the corner of my eyes. On reflex I catch it. It is a cylindrical pipe like object. 'Use it to map yourself and good luck' He shouted. I nod. I continue walking. I leave him standing there amongst the trees.

***

I finally made it back to the entrance. The guard sees me coming. He opens the door. I should head out now. I think I should jump off the window from last night. I should since my car is there. I got into the room full of boxes again. ‘The recon team is heading out today’ I overheard somebody. I glance to the maze of boxes. There some bulky guys standing in the middle. It looks like they are sorting out the boxes.  ‘It’s the guy’s fault to begin with’ one of them said. ‘Yes sooner or later they gonna find us anyway’ the other one argue. ‘Yeah but...’ I stop listening half way. What could they possibly talk about? Well I might never know and I do not care. ‘Is Seth here?!’ suddenly a guy barged in and asked for me.

The two other guys shouted “no” in response. Well the guy who is looking for me left. Curious to why was he asking for me I run after him. He is heading towards the room where I and Karen were interrogated. I follow his track. I stand by the door to eavesdrop. ‘So, he’s no where huh?’ ‘Yes, Rocco said he left already’ I can hear 2 people conversing about me. ‘Then we should head out soon’ Paul suggested. ‘He should be travelling using the armoured vehicle; the noise should give us a sufficient distraction’ he continued. ‘Moreover he is leaving the town, I hope that the Astrals will follow him out’ another guy explained further. ‘Well should be able to do that much, it’s his fault that more Astrals linger the area since this morning’ Paul stated.

I think I would be best if we discussed this together. So, with that in mind I decided to walk in. ‘I heard everything so let me in the plan as well’ I said while opening the door. ‘Insolent brat, eavesdropping is rude’ Paul shouted while slamming his hand on the table. ‘Easy there big guy, I don’t want you guys to get slaughtered so I’ll help you out’ I said. After discussing the plan we prepare ourselves then head out. I start the engine. I notice on the passenger seat beside me the knives and handguns we picked up in NY. She really does not like using firearms. Well it is going to get lonely.

Well, since it turned out that they are heading the same way as I am I was asked to take a detour in exchange they will give me fuel so I do not have to exhaust myself when I do not want to and some food and water. These canned foods should last for a month or maybe more since I do not eat much. They thought Karen is coming so they gave more.

I start driving eastward. I can go north once I reach the outskirt of the town. Meanwhile the so called Recon group is heading uphill. First I should head to the X spot on the map. Then I will create a distraction. While surrounding Astrals are attracted to my location the Recon group will move out. Some Astrals that lingered the area are following me. I step on the gas to lose them. "There aren't many in the east" I thought about what they said to me. It looks like it is true. But surely the echo will attract Astrals from all directions. 

I finally arrived at the X location. It is a wide open area. I think it was a marketplace or at least what is left of it. I get off and prepare to fend off any Astrals that are following me. 3 Scythers sighted. I draw my Katana out. One pounces toward me. I dodge back. Then It lunges toward me as a follow up with arms open wide. I pass my katana to the other hand and draw my Railgun. I parry the Scyther's arms then kick its chin. it fall down to the left. I quickly step on one of its left arm then decapitate its head. Its left arm was cut as well. One other Scyther had flanked me. it jumps down from up the pile of wooden beams.

© 2014 Darkray


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Added on December 3, 2013
Last Updated on August 31, 2014
Tags: action, romance, dark-fantasy, tragedy, sci-fi

Author

Darkray
Darkray

Melbourne, burwood, Australia



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