Welcome the Sickness

Welcome the Sickness

A Chapter by TabaD
"

One more attack at the absolute last enemy stronghold. One last test for Patrick's and Furia's saneness.

"

Welcome the Sickness

 

D****t, Patrick!! Just d****t!!!... I yelled at Patrick angrily.

 

Oh come on, Furia, you’ve been mumbling the same nonsense ever since we took off.

 

And can’t still deal with it! We are at I don’t know how many thousands feet high, I’m f*****g freezing and you would be already frozen to death if it wasn’t for that thermal suit, I can barely breathe, and you simply wouldn’t be alive here! You had to attach an oxygen system to the saddle!! The clouds allow almost no visibility! Where the f**k is the nearest dragon? All we have is the f*****g GPS to guide us and…

 

Furia, relax!! You have been in worse situations… and there are actually sixty-six dragons around us, they just aren’t as high as us.

 

Of course they aren’t, Pat… no one can ever be as HIGH as you to come up with this s**t… And nothing compares with the risks you are ignoring. How do you even consider a good idea to leave me completely ALONE in the middle of a f*****g warzone!!?

 

There’s a team that will take care of you!

 

I waved my head around as I exclaimed… Oh, that’s so much relieving!! To have someone who is far weaker than my own rider to protect me! When it has come obviously evident how much is needed to have a strong defense in the air, MY rider, the strongest of this pack, however, decides to leave me at my own f*****g luck to go catch a f*****g goose!!

 

Furia, are you scared of…

 

Scared!? Patrick, I’m f*****g terrified for f**k’s sake!! After all we’ve seen! After all we’ve gone through, this is what you consider a good idea!?

 

It’s not about good ideas, Furia! It’s about what’s needed! And it is needed that the strongest rider leads the assault inside the hotel! Now cut your nonsense and get ready; we’ll soon be over the target.

 

I then let out a loud grunt in addition of a dark puff of black smoke through my nostrils.

 

Think of it as our last reckless stunt. One last dance with death and the party will be over for us. After this, it will be just you and me, traveling the world without missions, hunts, responsibilities… nothing of nothing… one last stupid occurrence and then our well-deserved retiring.

 

It better be.

 

I know I can always count on you, Furia.

 

I had felt so glad Mr. Prisco’s mansion was the furthest of the targets from our arrival point at Missori; Patrick simply wouldn’t deal with that guy so directly and we could kill him on the spot, right before Patrick. But now that things had changed, I can’t think of something else other than how the Mind Poison had brought the worst of Patrick’s instincts, clouding his mind… I could only wish this all could end well.

 

After a little while, like a minute or so, I heard Unit Commander Rainer’s voice through Patrick’s communicator…

 

-Forty seconds till arrival. Everyone clear on your positions? Aerial Cover Squad? Over.

 

It was Alan who answered… -Set and ready, over.

 

Unit Commander Rainer then continued…

 

-Armor Piercing Squad? Over.

 

Patrick then answered… -Bloodthirsty, over.

 

-Sniper Squad? Over.

 

-Already picking targets, over…. �"Answered Elvis.

 

-Ground Assault Squad is with me and we are locked ‘n loaded. Good luck, everyone… It’s been an honor for me to be part of an operation this big by the side of all of you, over.

 

A moment later, Patrick said…

 

-Well, it’s time; we are right above Hotel Frederick. See y’all at the other side!!!

 

I then pulled up and did a backflip to end up diving out of the clouds and toward the tiny buildings. Scattered bellow me, a pack of sixty six dragons with their riders on their backs started to dart down and dived like a rain of death onto our targets at Hotel Frederic. Now THIS is what I call a massive killing machine.

 

Closing my wings until they were just slightly open to control my trajectory, my speed slowly increased. I was going so fast I passed the pack of warriors like they were still and all I could hear was the buzzing wind… and suddenly a voice in my mind.

 

Furia…

 

What is it, Pat?

 

You have grown so much.

 

I can’t have grown more than a couple of inches in a single year.

 

There was a rope secured from the top border of the saddle, at my back, to the tip of my tail. As he spoke, Patrick grabbed the rail system on the rope, secured himself to it and unstrapped from the saddle to then slide to the tip of my tail.

 

No, no… I mean the important part; what makes you who you are. You have grown a lot… It wouldn’t surprise me if you were far wiser than me. I hope I can get to know and understand what I missed throughout that year.

 

You will, Pat. And as hell wiser I grow than you, I’ll never stop needing you around.

 

I love you, Furia.

 

The warmness of Patrick’s touch gave such comfort I started to believe everything could end fine. For a moment, everything was calm… tranquility wasn’t a mood, it was an environment and Patrick and I were its only inhabitants. But for it to last, once and for all, we had to reach said end first. Then I answered Patrick…

 

I love you too, Pat. Are you ready?

 

You know when.

 

A couple of seconds later, as the buildings grew bigger and bigger, I could notice the dragons covering the terrain around the hotel and few tiny people ran and got onto them. It was time to kill again… but this time was to end for good… to avenge my friends… to rid myself of war and pain once and for all… I couldn’t hold myself from showing off my fangs and roaring as loud as I could when the moment came.

 

I pulled back hardly, making a falling backflip, and whipped my tail at Hotel Frederick’s roof, shooting Patrick straight as an arrow like he was a bomb.

 

WOOOOOHHH!!!… HOOOLLYYY SHIIIIT!!! FURIAAAA!!! THIS IS SOOO HARDCORE!!!!

 

Feel like doing it again!?

 

HEEEELLL NOOOO!!!!

 

With an Aerial Cover Squad member following me, I flew away from the pack. A couple of seconds later, I hear Patrick’s voice in my mind…

 

I’m insideIt worked well.

 

Finally I hear you, Pat. Good luck in there, and don’t be reckless… well, don’t be more than usual.

 

See ya outside, mom. Take care.

 

Patrick will always be Patrick… I thought for myself.

 

Behind me and my companions, I could hear the dragons’ roar, the machineguns thunder up, explosions echo away in what would be the craziest battle I would ever take part in. I landed in the first clearing in a parking lot and so did my companions, then the rider jumped from his dragon and rushed at me.

 

Hurry up!! They need us back there!!... �"I said with a long howl like roar. Then I thought for myself… The quicker we finish this s**t, the quicker Patrick will be out of that f*****g place. I won’t be able to stop him from whatever comes in his mind… he might lose it in there… All I can hope is…

 

The dragon suddenly interrupted my thoughts with a grave voice-… No need to unsettle, Wings of Liberty, you’ll be protected by one of the finest Missourian…

 

Already sharp-nerved, I quickly looked at the dragon straight in the eye and told him… You take care of yourself! Otherwise you won’t do any good being dead.

 

Of course… Answered the dragon.

 

The rider took off all the new and now useless attachments from my saddle… the oxygen system for Patrick, the rail system and the rope…

 

-All set, Wings of Liberty!!... �"The rider yelled as he ran back and climbed to his dragon’s back.

 

We took off and rushed towards the battlefield. In less than a minute we arrived to see the multi-fronted war that was being waged in front of us. The total of sixty six dragons and riders were divided into four Squads led by the four most notorious members of the Pack:

 

Ground Assault Squad, led by U.C. Rainer and his dragon, Preacher, provided with thirty units, counting the leader. This squad’s dragons landed around the hotel, dropped their riders, who stormed the hotel with machineguns and grenade launchers, covering themselves with Vital Energy shields, and took off right away to fight in the sky.

 

Aerial Cover Squad, led by Miami’s bounty hunter, Alan Barton and his dragon, Helios, provided with twelve units, counting the leader. This squad’s task was to provide support to the rider-less dragons from Ground Assault Squad in the sky. Some of this squad’s riders were provided with the machineguns loaded with explosive bullets scavenged from the previous battle.

 

Sniper Squad, led by U.C. Elvis Darst and his dragon, Pyro, provided with the seven Texan Spotters and four Missourian Units, plus the leader. This squad divided itself into four three-men-teams. Each team placed a sniper position at the roof or window of a nearby building at each side of the hotel. The riders would provide sniper support for Ground Assault Squad while their dragons protected their riders’ aerial space.

 

And then there was the Armor Piercing Squad, led by Patrick and me, provided with twelve units, counting the leader. Our squad’s objective was to get the riders to penetrate the hotel’s roof to attack from the inside while the dragons pretty much just killed whatever got into our sights.

 

And there was I, flying straight into that bloodbath, feeling a strange emotion about the issue. This was it… this was my last great battle… the last thing I’ll be remembered for… it was the time to simply give it all.

 

The hotel’s aerial space was boiling with action… the dragons clashed against each other, exhaled fire at each other, did crazy maneuvers to get the best attacking/defending position… The riders shot their machineguns or used Vital Energy weapons like swords or threw spears and other throwables at their targets which managed to block the hit, evade them with a complicated maneuver or get hit regardless and crash-land to death.

 

I don’t know how many dragons and riders we were fighting against, but I could tell they were enough to place a good battle. Wasting no single second furthermore, I set my eye on a dragon, who in assistance of another one, was attacking one of my Kevlar armored rider-less comrades. Flying as fast as I could, I entered the cloud of death without taking my sight from my target.

 

Evading dragons who rushed past me in random directions, a couple of fire exhalations made me change my whole flight path, but my target was still the same. My comrade defended its front and my target took the opportunity to bite my comrade’s neck, right in the back of the head, where a single shake strong enough could mean a broken neck.

 

Being close enough, I exhaled fire exactly at the dragon’s face, making him shriek and let go of my comrade. I continued rushing at the same speed and tackled the dragon. I quickly bit my target’s throat as he desperately clawed at me without success thanks to my Kevlar armor. To finish this, I arched my neck up, bit hard, kicked down and ripped off the throat as a whole from my victim. I flew up a bit and hovered for a moment, looking down at the throat-less dragon trying to fly with a huge blood leak… his wings were too twitchy though… he ended up falling head first.

 

Suddenly, a scene took my attention… there was this enemy rider who stabbed at one of my fellow dragon’s head. The rider wasn’t fast enough at generating a shield and the enemy’s long blade went straight through the dragon’s eye and came out by the other side of the underside of her jaw. The worst thing of all wasn’t that the enemy rider simply let the stabbed dragon’s rider alive… the worst thing of all was that my comrade didn’t actually die… its shrieks were the loudest and most horrible I had heard in my life. The dragon was still alive and the rider tried to heal its dragon as they fell. But at one moment… the rider just died… it became a ragdoll being shaken by the wind as both rider and still agonizing dragon fell to the ground.

 

I let fall the chunk of meat locked in my jaws and exhaled black smoke through my nostrils as I thought… You’ll f*****g pay for that.

 

Suddenly, something crashed against my right side, my blind side. I was pushed completely out of control. In a moment I felt many pointy objects place themselves against my throat and on the back of my neck. Oh s**t no!!! … I cried with a loud roar as I tried to claw at something. Suddenly the pressure grew and… faded as suddenly as it started… The presence of the pointy objects faded and I was able to gain control of my flight once again. I quickly turned around and saw both dragon and rider beheaded… corpses and cleanly sliced-off heads falling away.

 

I looked around and didn’t even see the unit in charge of my protection… They sure are the finest… I thought… I got to thank them if we both make it out of this... I then proceeded to take full part into the combat… I attacked dragons, evaded others…

 

 

Patrick

 

Suddenly, Furia pulled up and whipped me off at Hotel Frederick’s roof. The sensation was like I have never experienced. It wasn’t just freefalling… I was breaking the wind with my hands and face while holding my body straight. If it wasn’t for my helmet and heavy suit, my skin would’ve been ripped from my body.

 

WOOOOOHHH!!!! HOOOLLYYY SHIIIIT!!! FURIAAAA!!! THIS IS SOOO HARDCORE!!!!

 

Feel like doing it again!?

 

HEEEELLL NOOOO!!!!

 

My hands in front of me started to emanate dark red smoke that flew past me at first, but then began to thicken up in front of my hands as I released as much Vital Energy as fast as I could into the form of a round shield with one meter of diameter. I didn’t know how much Energy I was going to need to break through the hotel’s roof, I only knew I had it and that the impact wouldn’t affect my body when taking it with Vital Energy. That thought, I was going to use a hell lot of Vital Energy just in my entrance. If I run low on energy inside, it won’t matter, for I carried two fully automatic pistols, one at each side of my legs, and a couple of grenades.

 

Suddenly Hotel Frederick’s roof was all that covered my view. My whole body twitched when the structure shattered in front of me and I was inside of the room, still carrying too much energy down. Something splashed red and I went through the next structure as well, hearing screams and curses coming from above of me.

 

Falling into the next story, now with much less energy, I saw there were like three gunmen jumping away from the debris falling with me. My shield hit the floor and I quickly dissipated it, rolled on the ground and, ending on a bent knee, pulled my pistols out of their holsters and, with my arms stretched at either side, made the pistols roar. I spun around, putting holes in the walls of the whole room around. Afterward, the three gunmen collapsed dead to the floor, a puddle of blood slowly growing around them.

 

I’m inside… I told Furia… It worked well.

 

Finally I hear you, Pat. Good luck in there, and don’t be reckless… well, don’t be more than usual.

 

See ya outside, mom. Take care.

 

Suddenly, I heard movement and yelling above me… “That was a person! Someone is inside!!” “It crushed Phillip!!!” were some of the exclamations.  Then I saw machineguns peeking by the hole in this floor’s roof. But before they could rain bullets at me, there born meaty hits and cuts that brought groans of pain as blood started to drop into my floor through the hole.

 

Then I heard on my communicator…

 

-Are you ok, Alpha 1?

 

While I answered, I closed the room’s door and used a chair to barricade it.

 

-Affirmative… -I answered-… Get something to lift me up to that floor. There’s no point in splitting up.

 

-Roger… -Answered one of my agents.

 

A moment later, a bed sheet dropped into the room through the hole and I grabbed it firmly. Suddenly, the knob started to twitch and I jumped behind the room’s bed, letting go of the sheet. A moment later, bullets started to rain inside, making holes in the whole door and filling the whole room around with lead. My teammates shot at my room’s door as well through the hole in the ceiling.

 

I grabbed a High Explosion grenade and a Flash grenade from my belt and picked out their safeties with my mouth. I first threw the HE grenade right next to the door and waited a couple of seconds. The explosion blew outside the door and the chair all along. Then I quickly threw outside the flash grenade, to the hallway, and a moment later a beam of white light filled the whole area as some of it entered the room.

 

Having the enemy blinded, I had a small window of time to grab the sheet and my unit pulled me back to the fourth floor. I took off the heavy suit that protected me from the sky’s cold and the powered free-fall. I had to take off first the pistols’ holster and the belt that held the ammo and grenades. Noticing there were only two agents in the room with me and there was a lot of shooting roaring just outside, I asked my comrades…

 

-What’s the whole unit’s status?

 

-Jackson didn’t get to land; an enemy dragon snapped him from the group as we parachuted down… -Answered one of them-… The rest is outside, covering the entrance and waiting for orders.

 

My stomach revolted to the news of our fallen comrade. To think we already lost someone before even starting. My face hardened then, I strapped back on the pistols’ holster and the ammo/grenade belt. Then I said…

 

-Let’s leave this place deprived of all life.

 

The two agents nodded and we then walked outside to join the rest of the unit. The team was split in two groups, back to back and shooting at either side of the hallway. When the two other agents and I joined our comrades, the whole unit was split six at one side and five at the other. Everyone having generated a shield big enough to defend not only one’s self, but the back of our comrades behind us as well. My unit used their shields to support their rifles on them to be able to shoot, while I just poked one of my pistols out. Whenever someone had to reload, that agent would give notice about it to the whole unit, then someone next to him would cover his position while he got his gun reloaded.

 

Finishing reloading my pistols, I placed myself on my position between two of my mates and resumed firing as enemy projectiles hit my shield in front of me. They had as well formed a wall of Vital Energy shields and attacked us with either gunfire or Vital Energy as I thought…

 

The enemy has the upper hand here; they outnumber us and can replace their combatants whose Vital Energy gets low at any moment. Bullets can be deflected by any Vital Energy user, but not any Vital Energy attack can be as easily blocked. We have to get close, get them in distance zero where our techniques and power will have no match.

 

Then I exclaimed on the communicator…

 

-Unit, stay in formation and ready up an advance on me. We are going to take them in Close Quarter Combat. Four behind me to cover the offensive’s backs and two to clean the rooms as we pass them by, and the rest, you are with me in the offensive!

 

The four next to me reloaded their rifles one last time and hung them at their backs. I as well loaded my pistols and met my unit’s gazes. The four covers at my back kept the enemy at bay with gunfire, the room cleaners were stationed at each side of the corridor and closely behind me and the offensive, ready to cover us from any enemies inside the rooms, and then I looked at the offensive next to me, three at my left and one at my right, and yelled…

 

-Attack!!

 

As if we were a unique living being, the eleven of us started walking towards the wall of enemies in front of us. Bullets and random Vital Energy attacks hitting our shields without slowing us a bit. And when there were no more rooms between the two masses of warriors, I and the offensive rushed fast toward the enemy. Each step getting me closer and closer, setting my sights on the warrior straight in front of me as my heartbeat rose to match even the fastest machinegun. The enemy too got ready for the deadly encounter by throwing their guns at their backs and generating only shields to receive our lunge.

 

They are not stupid… Only dexter Vital Energy wielders generate their weapons in the last moment. It’s safer than letting your enemies know what your first weapon of choice is.

 

And suddenly, we reached point zero distance. Right before our shields hit the enemies’, my comrades generated short swords and swung them back, over their heads. Cursing the lack of space for me to use the best weapon I had mastered, The Chain Blade, I too generated a short sword as my shield clashed against the combatant in front of me.

 

The gun firing continued behind us as background noise, the main sound environment suddenly became saturated with grunts, shouting and clashing of Vital Energy against Vital Energy, which sounded somewhat metallic if the wielders were strong enough, and in here we were all battle-proven warriors.

 

I swung down my sword with all my strengths and let out a loud war cry as my weapon crushed a hostile’s shield like it was made of nothing but hay and chopped the hostile’s shoulder all the way into the chest. As the body collapsed and I pulled my sword from the corpse, the gap was quickly filled by another enemy. One cool thing was that Vital Energy doesn’t get stained, so the blood from my kill had already slid away and my sword was clean as new for the next hostile.

 

The enemies behind us shot their firearms without success at the four agents covering our backs with Vital Energy shields while the offensive and I painted the floor and walls red with the blood of whoever reached our blades’ very tips. The hostiles left their defensive positions in the hotel rooms to either run away or attack us in the hallway, knowing that if we reached their room’s door… there would be no escape nor hope for survival.

 

They tried many times to get us with grenades, but it was too easy for the two room cleaners to just kick them behind us and had the covers take the explosion with their shields or even return them forward and help the offensive with the enemy’s own backfire.

 

My comrades took out their opponents with sharp and precise movements, tactically finding a gap in their enemies’ defenses to then strike lethally without hesitation. It was completely all the contrary from my fighting style… my enemies had to move from the path of my blade, which would pierce through and slice off whatever was in its path. Surprisingly, I had plenty of energy left to do and undo as I pleased. My movements and attacks were steady and strong, but lacked the precision and system of a true fighter… I was more like a butcher.

 

Out of all the hostiles I faced, the ones who stayed the most in my mind were the ones who ran away to the end of the hallway and rushed downstairs in panic. It made me actually hope for their survival… so I could hunt them one by one… and when I find them… slowly creep into their safety and… slide a knife between their ribs while holding their mouth shut with the other hand, not to prevent them from making any noise… but to feel their very last breath in the second it leaves their bodies… Nice.

 

 

Furia

 

The dragon’s jaws snapped shut right in front of my face as I quickly craned back my neck. The dragon lunged forward and I was fast enough to flank his attack by his side and embraced him around the back of his neck. As the dragon frantically tried to push himself away from me, I clawed at his chest and belly with all claws and talons while he accomplished nothing at doing the same against my armor.

 

At a moment, I let go of the embrace and kicked the hostile rider-less dragon away from me. I hovered as he gained control and eventually managed to hover to my level, his legs flexed in pain, almost as if to curl up in the air. But his gaze wasn’t any less defiantly as he looked straight at my eye, showing off his fangs and breathing hard. I kept the eye contact, showing my fangs too and hissing loudly while thinking… Just one more successful attack and it’s going to be the end for this one…

 

But before I could even plan out what I would do, I started to inhale and exhale hard… as if oxygen wouldn’t enter my system. I started to feel thirsty as hell… I drank enough water before coming here! What the f**k is happening!?... I suddenly found myself licking my fangs, but not to clean them, that would’ve been pointless in the middle of a battle. It was the blood in my fangs… it started to taste sweet… I craved biting someone… NO!!

 

I shook my head and roared at the dragon in front of me…

 

Go away!!

 

He hissed louder and roared…

 

You look at me in the eye when killing me!! You coward!!!

 

I’m not… Ohh f**k it!!!

 

Without saying else, I turned around and flew away from the surely confused and injured dragon. I tried to reach Patrick, but just as I went for the attempt, I felt like a black cloud engulfed my consciousness… All I could see was pain… I felt it… and I hungered provoking it to others.

 

Just as if I had touched a hot object, I retreated from Patrick’s mind and thought…

 

It has started… All this death has awakened the Mind Poison in Patrick’s mind. I have to stay sane… I have to get as far as…

 

Suddenly, a dragon and rider placed themselves at my left side on parallel flight. I instantly reacted and yanked hard to the right but, in a moment, I recognized they were my escort. I cut my movement and went back to my place.

 

What’s wrong, Wings of Liberty?... �"The dragon asked me with a roar.

 

I can’t fight anymore… I’m going out of here!

 

We’ll stick to you anyway, ok? Orders were to be always having our eyes on you.

 

Fine by me… I just have to get away from here…

 

Suddenly, my escort yanked hard to the left and blocked a bunch of Vital Energy projectiles that came from that direction; ranging from daggers, long edged spears and regular spears. The three attackers, dragons and their riders, quickly lunged and tackled my escort towards me. I quickly dived and avoided the brawl that past by above me. Turning towards my outnumbered comrades, I roared, yelling…

 

Hang on!!

 

And at the instant I set myself to rush to my escort’s aid, I heard a loud known roar…

 

Furia, look out!!

 

Without enough time to even react, something crashed against my right side. The force was so strong my whole body fell prisoner to the energy of the hit. It felt as if a huge punch had stricken my side and continued pushing me without losing the slightest bit of energy. I stroke my wings, but they were prisoners to the current of wind that rushed against me.

 

Everything was twisting purposelessly when suddenly, the energy stopped pushing me.  I felt the change of direction and looked down, my wings stretched towards the sky along with my tail. And right above me there was this huge, almost one and a half times my size, soft blue dragon staring at my eye with a terrifying totally determined to kill look on his eyes. The dragon opened his jaws and blaze started to born in the back of his throat when suddenly, a Vital Energy spear hit the right side of his neck. The bright yellow projectile just exploded into a cloud of smoke that quickly fell behind. And just a second later, Helios appeared and lunged at the huge dragon’s right side of his neck, biting it unsuccessfully.

 

The soft blue dragon answered Helios with a counter bite and continued brawling as they drifted away from my sights. Only a shadow… a humanoid shadow stayed above me, darkened by the midmorning sunlight. It waved its arms and made some kind of sound muffled by the wind. It was a moment later that I managed to notice who that was…

 

Alan? What are… Helios!

 

I looked back and, to the sight of the speedily approaching ground, started maneuvering with my wings to get myself leveled. Every movement stung in my right side and made me press hard my jaws and grunt. As I slowed my fall down, Alan was able to catch up to me and he strapped himself to my saddle. Then, at the moment I fully opened my wings, an acute wave of pain coming from my right side shuddered my whole body and forced me to let out a groan.

 

That dragon must have tackled me with his head… I thought for myself as I glided away from Hotel Frederick… breaking my ribs with the tip of his mouth like a ram.

 

I landed on a spacious main street, grunting painfully as I paced until losing all the energy I carried away. There were a couple of dragons resting by that got startled to my sudden arrival. Alan unstrapped himself from my saddle and jumped to the ground as he said…

 

-Furia, I have no more Vital Energy to use! You and Helios must hold this dragon off as I call for reinforcements!

 

I nodded and he started to talk on his communicator. I looked around and saw the dragons staring at me for a couple of moments, until they suddenly turned around and took off frantically. I looked at the sky and, crossing the whole area from left to right as I followed them the whole way with my sight, Helios and the enemy dragon fought, exchanging bites and scratches until they crashed into the side of a small apartment building. The whole structure fell apart, leaving behind a thick cloud of dust as the rubble sprayed to the sides.

 

I roared and coughed blood as I yelled… S**t… Helios!!

 

I fast paced toward the crash site while Alan stayed behind. A couple of shadowy ghosts formed inside the mist and became slowly more solid as they eventually exited the area and fought on the street. The soft blue dragon suddenly reached Helios’s belly with his claw and scratched it open, even through the Kevlar armor, knocking him to the ground. The soft blue dragon didn’t give Helios a single second to recover and paced onto him. Helios then turned his back to the ground to defend himself from the killing machine above him.

 

Pinning Helios down, the soft blue dragon was just about to bite Helios’s neck when I reached the dragon’s right side of his neck with my jaws. I forced my jaws shut as hard as I could, but the soft blue dragon’s neck was so thick I couldn’t get a proper grip and his scales so hard I couldn’t even scratch him.

 

Suddenly, the dragon bashed his head to the side I was at and hit my right side. The sharp wave of pain made me yank back instantly. I coughed hard and felt the taste of fresh blood in my tongue. Every cough shook my chest and each movement stung my very composition as uncontrollable waves of pain made all my nerves twitch until I was half crouched.

 

Breathing hardly and sensing the fresh taste of blood on my tongue, I lifted my sight and saw the blue dragon striking his massive head at Helios’s side of his skull, thundering a loud thud. Helios’s movements became slow and seemed pointless; his eyes staring into the nowhere. The blue dragon arched his neck up and opening his jaws…

 

Suddenly, a tiny bang thundered and a bullet hit Shawver’s dragon on the side of his head, near the eye, breaking into a dozen tiny pieces that exploded in the impact like a spark. The disturbance made the dragon shake his head and the bangs continued at my right side as Alan yelled desperately…

 

-Come on, Helios!!! Get up!! GET UP!!

 

Shawver’s dragon then looked at Alan and readied to exhale fire. Luckily I was able to jump in front of Alan and take the fire on my left side. My mind became numb for the next moments… as if I was subconsciously preparing for something. I felt no more fire coming at me a moment later, I opened my eyes and turned to the left… only to feel my heart stop working completely.

 

The huge dragon’s jaws embraced Helio’s neck and… crushed him… it’s fangs dug completely into Helios’s meat as blood poured out and rained on the street. The blue dragon waved his neck to the sides back and forth, shaking Helios as this one’s body started to twitch and push away and claw weakly at Shawver’s dragon until he started to just hang from the monster’s fangs.

 

All in the time lapse of a second.

 

No... Muffled by my own astonishment, I could hear Alan’s voice thundering next to me… no words in specific… just pain… in a long and nerve-cutting shout. No…

 

No… No… no, no, no, not you, Helios, NOT YOU!!

 

I quickly jumped at the dragon and this one jumped away. I landed next to Helios, showing my fangs and hissing loudly, as if to protect a still living dear friend of mine… but there was none of that. Licking his fangs and humming with pleasure, Helios’s murderer exclaimed…

 

Now we can settle our unfinished business without interruptions, eh? One-eyed dragon?

 

I roared, exhaling a dark cloud of smoke… I’ll f*****g kill you!!... And jumped toward him. The dragon took off and I landed where he was and did so right away, following him. I flew with all my strengths after him but couldn’t catch up to that awfully bigger, and obviously slower, dragon. Whenever I was about to catch up to him, Shawver’s dragon did a sharp turn that I wasn’t capable of copying with the injury in my right side, thus allowing him to gain distance once again.

 

He led the way in a strange acrobatic course instead of fighting me… You f*****g coward!! Come and fight!!... I roared. At what he answered playfully… Catch me, racer!... He was obviously doing this with the purpose of wearing me out, softening me for the kill. He wanted to execute me… just like that day in Kansas.

 

I’m not going to fall for it. I thought before diving and landing. When I stepped my right claw, I quickly flexed it up with a shriek. The pain was sharp and it stung deep in the right side of my chest. I looked around for Alan and Helios, but they were not in sight, and also the buildings surrounding me were different. My guard dropped to a hum as I cried…

 

I won’t be able to avenge you, Helios… d****t, I can’t with this s**t!! I can’t!! Why can’t I just f*****g die!! I don’t care anymore!!

 

-Such pity, Blood Dragon… such pity indeed…

 

I looked up and there she was right in front of me, the f*****g shadow girl… with her arms crossed in front of her chest and her shiny white eyes staring at me. I lowered again my sight and grunted.

 

Just start already… I told her… I give up… Just do whatever you came here to do and leave me alone!!

 

Motionless and with a kind, high pitched voice, the shadow girl said…

 

-I’m here to help you, Blood Dragon, as I always have. I can help you avenge your fallen loved one.

 

What the f**k are you talking about?

 

-You don’t know how to cause pain, Blood Dragon. You know about fighting, but not about real nerve-cracking pain. And I can teach you all of it if you just kill me.

 

This was exactly how Patrick was driven into activating the Mind Poison… cornered in a moment of weakness and desperation, bloodlust and fear… with no way out in sight. My options were scarce and time wasn’t enough to consider what was at stake. Without mentioning that I had already lost a big part of what I had to hold dear.

 

Suddenly, I hear the wind whistle and I react. I jumped away and fell to my right side at the moment I touched ground letting out a grunt. The sound of wings unfolding born rapidly and was followed by hard thumps on the street behind me. Just like in Kansas, eh? You are not going to scape this time!... Shawver’s dragon roared.

 

As I opened my eyes, there was the shadow girl again in front of me in her usual posture, saying…

 

-Tic Toc, Blood Dragon, Tic Toc…

 

It’s up to you, Elvis… I thought before exhaling fire at the shadow girl.

 

As she burned like an oil statue, the girl started to laugh maniacally and said with her disturbingly unforgettable double toned voice…

 

-Say goodbye to everything, Blood Dragon, it is time you welcome your true name!!

 

I then started to stand up, but I wasn’t trying to. I had no control of my body as I felt rage and bloodlust like I’ve ever had. I was salivating, eager to bite something alive and kill it within my jaws. The thirst that suddenly born was unbearable as a dark cloud engulfed my thoughts completely… giving me hundreds of simultaneous fantasies about how to deliver pain and the pleasure I would get from doing so… I couldn’t wait to try out the first one.

 

I then faced the dragon, who was getting to a fighting stance, showing his fangs, hissing confidently, doing a vague job at trying not to look like a prey to me. I was going to kill him and I was going to have a blast at it. The fact that he was so much bigger and stronger than me was a very convenient pro in this situation… for it would be more fun to kill him.

 

I took position for a vertical take-off, having my experience as a racer and my lighter weight, my injured ribs wouldn’t stop me from getting to a higher altitude earlier than Shawver’s dragon. He opened up his wings, but was a little late as I took off without waiting for him.

 

I’m not injured, you idiot! You are not going to wear me out!

 

Feel the air, dragon!!... I roared back while I laughed… Feel the air as it enters your lungs!!

 

I did a sharp turn back, completing a back flip and grunting as my chest hurt with the strain of the maneuver. I was diving at the dragon and this one exhaled fire at me. With a single wing stroke I was able to get out of the blaze’s way and now was diving a little diagonal at him aiming exactly at his face.

 

Right as I execute the maneuver, I exhale fire at Shawver’s dragon, just a short burst to blind him and in the next second my jaws are holding his snout by the sides. As we collide I pull his neck back as my whole body whiplashes and slams against his back with many of his spikes digging themselves all along my left side.

 

Shawver’s dragon panics and tries to shake me away as he is unable to flap his wings and we both lose ascension, reaching zero gravity point. In the middle of laughter, muffled by my mid-closed maw I roared…

 

Feel the fire, dragon!! Feel the fire as it BURNS INTO YOUR SKULL!!!

 

I then exhaled fire without loosening up my unknown named prey, which I never cared to ask, the excess of blaze exiting by the sides of my mouth. The dragon shrieked like I have never heard a dragon shriek before. The sound was loud and cutting and I could feel it rebounding in my brain, echoing far away to the extent of its reach as my prey shook himself hardly in an attempt to free himself as his eyes drifted to random directions for a moment to then pop like water balloons.

 

Within a couple of seconds, the once strong dragon slowly ceased his movements until he did nothing more than twitching around from moment to moment. As we fell, I let go of the dragon while smoke came out of his eye sockets that smelled of burnt meat.

 

I opened my wings and slowed my fall, staring at the blue gigantic dragon plummet like it was made of lead. Now both my sides were hurt and just gliding in a wide spiral caused me terrible pain. The dragon then hit the roof of some building and disappeared inside in a thick mist of debris. Probably killing some innocent individual inside.

 

My respiration was cut by the constant waves of pain coming from the whole of my body. I had various broken ribs on my right side and had received damage on my wing shoulder on the same side, my left side had a straight line of still bleeding holes from my shoulder all the way to my thigh. Just gliding back to Alan already was a torture.

 

I’m definitely in no condition to fight anymore… I thought… Anyway, Alan is alone, I guess I could… no, not Alan, he doesn’t have to die… But he is the only individual around I am capable of killing right now! NO! I’m not going to hurt Alan!!

 

But it was of no use… I knew I had already made up my mind when I felt eager and excited about the fact that my friend was also defenseless.

 

I could only ask myself… What have I done?... And what was I going to do afterwards!?

 


Outside


Alan was still kneeling next to Helios’s head, sobbing and muttering…

 

-This is so f*****g empty! D****t Helios, I miss you! I NEED YOU! I can’t bear with my own mind now; I need to hear your voice! So many memories and all I can see is this! I can’t… I simply can’t! I have to wait for Furia and help Patrick, but I just…

 

There was a sudden shriek in the distance that made Alan raise his head and look at the sky. He saw Furia approaching to land far on the street and felt glad to see his friend was ok, meaning that his dragon was properly avenged. The crimson dragon hit the asphalt and collapsed to her side as she let out loud shrieks of agony.

 

Alan went around Helios and approached Furia, who started to get up from the ground. He started to notice how badly injured Furia was and pressed a finger on his communicator, but before he could even start talking, Furia arched up her neck and, hissing, looked at him with sharp eyes and lunged against Alan. He was quick enough to avoid the dragon’s monstrous jaws that snapped shut just behind him, thundering the whole area with a potent eco.

 

-Furia, what the f**k are you…!?

 

The dark red dragon was already preparing to exhale fire at him and threw her head forward as the inferno exited her maw and headed toward Alan. The rider threw his arms forward and generated a golden shield as the flames dispersed on the impact. A couple of seconds later Furia stopped exhaling fire and Alan dissipated the shield, dropping a moment later to one knee. He was speechless, he could only think…

 

The Mind Poison!? It… it can’t! It just…

 

But Furia wasn’t giving any quarter for Alan, tottering, she started to slowly make her way toward her now completely defenseless soon-to-be victim. Alan tried to push himself up and turn around to get away but did nothing else but collapsing on his back, awkwardly kicking and pushing back as fast as his panic allowed…

 

-Furia, wait!! It’s me!! Alan!! You know me! I’m Helios’s rider!

 

His eyes widened as Furia found herself in reach of her prey and arched up her neck to deliver the finishing blow. Alan was sweating cold when he saw Furia’s bright yellow eye in pose of killing him. He beheld the crazed monster that just a minute earlier was one of his dearest friends as it lunged toward him with open jaws, white curved fangs in sight. She’s completely gone insane. Is this ever going to have an end? If it is… then you don’t need this guilt in your conscience. I’m sorry, Furia. I’m really sorry.

 

And with swift movements Alan aimed the gun up, under his jaw, and fired. Alan then collapsed to the ground with a thud, still holding the gun in his hand. Furia stopped cold… she was baffled, her eyes were wide open and stood there for a second until the lower lid of her right eye twitched and she started to gradually express more and more rage that was released in the form of a powerful roar at the sky.

 

 

Patrick

 

The carnage went on as blood flew back and forth, splashing on my suit and face all along… my whole front was red from different people’s blood. Behind me and my line of agents, another line of agents covered our backs with their Vital Energy shields and kept the enemy at bay with gunfire. There were then two agents between the defenders and the offenders that repelled any explosive devise thrown at us, like grenades and such.

 

From both sides my unit was attacked by enemy warriors as the slaughter stained the whole area with blood, it rained at the floor, splashed at the walls; the yelling, cursing and shrieking were the main sound environment, sweetened with the metallic clashes of Vital Energy weapons and the detonations of firearms.

 

Suddenly… a grave and hard voice shouted over every single sound, almost as if the building itself had spoken… all I could tell was that it came from behind me.

 

-Out of the way!!!

 

And suddenly, a yell rang in my communicator…

 

-Spear!! Look out!!!

 

The next thing I hear is a meaty crushing sound that came not from in front of me, but right from my side, instead. The agent next to me had this soft blue smoky spear dug all the way inside his chest and the tip came out by the front. One of the grenade interceptors covered the fallen comrade’s spot next to me as I looked behind. There was another agent down, lying on the floor as his pierced Vital Energy shield dissipated from his hand and the other grenade interceptor covered his spot. My sight drifted toward the enemy behind us and noticed this tall and muscular man taking cover behind a soft blue shield as he walked toward us and behind him the wall of other regular enemies.

 

It all clicked in place as a fast rain of thought filled the whole of my mind… soft blue Vital Energy from a soft blue dragon… completely apart from the rest… tall and strong to monstrous levels… That’s Shawver without a doubt… You are going to pay for what you did… You are going to die by my hand for what you did to my dragon… you and every pestilent peasant in my way to Mr. Prisco!

 

-Cover my position!!... �"I yelled before abandoning my position and then the four agents in the offensive line positioned themselves to fill my place. I then walked to the defensive line of agents just a couple of meters away and pat two agents that were right next to each other on their shoulders between them before saying-… Open a gap!!... �"The two agents slowly moved aside and I, with a shield on my left hand, walked past them and got in front of the whole line. Then I commanded- … Defense line! Switch to Vital Energy! The giant is Shawver and I’m the one who will take him out! You slip past him and take on the rest of the enemies!! And one thing… any of you tat interferes in our fight can consider himself dead if I survive. Don’t you test me… Ready!?... On me!!

 

As if the shout was a chain unleashing a band of ravenous dogs, I and the four agents behind me rushed in a new offensive towards Shawver and his men… I’m going to kill you… I’m going to f*****g kill you, Shawver!... You are not leaving this building in one piece even if it gets me killed as well!!

 

As I and my men ran with Vital Energy shields in front of us, the enemy stopped using firearms and readied up their Vital Energy shields as well.

 

-Shawver!!!... �"I yelled-… I’m going to kill you!! All of you!!!

 

-You are the one who’s going to die!... -Shawver answered with a hard voice-… Your dragon just killed mine a moment ago!! I’m going to kill your dragon, you f*****g brat!!

 

-Good luck on that, scum!!

 

My arms emanated dark red smoke as I growled out loud, and then, using all the energy I carried with the charge, I spun and used both hands to load up a spear and threw it at Shawver, letting out a loud roar. Shawver threw both his arms forward and charged the energy in his hands, emanating soft blue smoke, to then proceed to generate a shield. My spear hit the shield and exploded in a cloud of smoke that quickly dissipated away. Shawver calmly got to a fighting stance and smiled, looking straight at my eyes.

 

This Shawver appears to be no joke; no one has ever managed to block an attack from me… specially when powered with both hands. This cursed hallway won’t allow me to use my best weapon, the Chain Blade. It doesn’t matter either… one way or the other, I’m killing this b*****d. Though I have to take into consideration some facts… Shawver is fresh while I have used a lot of energy since the moment I broke the ceiling and the fact that Vital Energy is linked to the physical state of the user’s body… Shawver can actually be stronger than me… I might have finally met my match.

 

Me and my men were just at four meters from Shawver when I generated a long sword, aimed it forward and craned back my arms, having the handle right next to my head as I could see the whole extension of the blade like if it was a rifle and aimed at Shawver’s face. Smiling and sharpening my sights I thought…

 

However… that doesn’t make it any less fun.

 

And then I jumped as high as I could and managed to slightly surpass Shawver’s height. I lunged down the hardest I could and my sword was met by a hard soft blue smoky shield. The impact was so solid it made the very deepest structure of my spine shake. I fell to the floor, right in front of Shawver as this one with his left arm swung down from behind his back a big as f**k Vital Energy sword that was like a long and thick machete.

 

I slid to my right and the weapon then dug a quarter of itself on the floor. Then, getting between Shawver and the wall, I went to attack the opening at Shawver’s left, but with an amazing speed, Shawver pulled the sword from the floor and bashed it vertically to his side, blocking my attack and, to my surprise, a small knife on Shawver’s right hand stabbed towards me as he turned his body towards me. I dissipated the sword and quickly generated a shield with both hands and received the lunge. The attack pushed me all the way until my back hit the wall behind me and squeezed me with my own shield. I let out a groan and the next thing I see is Shawver pulling up his leg and kicking hard at me. I jumped to my left and rolled on the floor as I heard the hit on the wall.

 

I have not a single tactical advantage… D****t… Just think of Furia… End this and go back to her to never be apart again.

 

I looked up to Shawver and saw him swinging the huge machete, sword, whatever it was over his head before looking back at my eyes. The blade cut the ceiling like it was butter. My face hardened, my sight got sharpened, my jaws pressed hard against each other as I thought…

 

I guess fighting without defense might be my advantage… It’ll be risky as f**k, though… Just one hit and I’m done… I’ll concentrate on the attack and try to pierce his heart clean… or any other way of killing quickly.

 

Then Shawver up-down swung his sword with a loud war cry. I avoided the attack and the battle of my life officially started. Shawver and I exchanged attacks in an apparently perfect matched fight. My fast and varied attacks always met Shawver’s shield or sword without getting the slightest edge. Shawver’s attacks always resulted in damage to the building, cutting the ceiling, the floor and the walls. I only blocked his attacks when simply having no other options at hand; blocking them always required a lot of energy usage.

 

At a moment I was swinging my sword laterally and Shawver blocked the attack with his shield. Suddenly, Shawver groaned and dropped to one knee… Finally! An opening!!... I quickly pulled my sword and lunged at Shawver’s face, and then he laboriously bashed his sword and blocked the way just in time… Not so fast now, huh!?... I twisted by Shawver and laterally cut his left side of the abdomen. I ended behind the somehow and suddenly vulnerable combatant, aimed the tip of my sword at Shawver’s back of his neck, pulled up my hands next to my head and lunged down with all I’ve got.

 

It was finally over… the last attack needed to be delivered was on its way down at my target’s spine without the slightest window of time lapse for a block… simply nothing could go wro… Suddenly, the whole building trembled… a crushing sound like a huge explosion born and my blade lost its way. My sword flew right next to Shawver’s neck, doing no more damage than a scratch on the side of the lucky b*****d’s neck.

 

I lost balance and landed full body on Shawver’s back and before I could even react to get myself away, something pulled my hair, flipped me over and slammed my back against the floor. The impact got all the air in my lungs out in a hard groan. The next thing I see is a hand holding a soft blue smoky knife diving fast at me. Quickly reacting, I drove my arms above me, but only my left made it, quickly generating a shield while something held my right wrist against the floor.

 

The knife landed against my shield; pressing down with such strength I felt my shoulder hitting the ground. The impact made my arm flex and it was down to my own strength to keep Shawver’s knife from reaching my chest. The knife pressed down, each second earning an inch toward my heart. I looked up at Shawver’s face and he was looking back at me, kneeling behind me and staring into my eyes with a hard face.

 

And then… my shield tilted and Shawver’s blade slid down and dug itself into my abdomen. My legs flexed as I yelled in pain, all of my body twitched and each twitch sending more waves of pain from the stab in my belly. The blade made its way into my flesh until Shawver’s hand was in direct contact and stained itself with my blood. My eyes were forced shut, I pressed my teeth hard almost as if to chew my own mouth, I couldn’t do a thing with my right hand but turn it to a fist and press hard while I tried hopelessly to push away the knife with my left.

 

I grabbed Shawver’s wrist and opened my eyes staring defiantly at Shawver’s eyes with a sharp look. Then I muttered…

 

-You haven’t won… you haven’t won, you b*****d!! I’m going to kill you!! You hurt my dragon and you will die!!! One way or another!!!

 

Shawver smiled and suddenly, another wave of sharp, burning and nerve-breaking pain reached the very core of my composition when I felt Shawver twisted his wrist. I screamed loudly and kicked away the pain but it wasn’t enough. My sight drifted past Shawver and blurred up every second while I felt a tear sliding by the side of my head.

 

I want to touch your mind Furia… but… to say what? Goodbye? You don’t need to know of my death… you can make it out without me… All I’ve done since I woke up was to hurt you… time after time I’ve just done what I wanted and ignored your position… I’m sorry… and I love you…

 

Suddenly, Shawver pulled out the Vital Energy knife from my body, making my nerves twitch slightly. I was as good as dead… my head rolled to the right and I managed to see where my right hand was. My arm was extended outwards, held down by Shawver’s right hand, leaving an opening straight to Shawver’s ribs… if I could land a hit through that opening… if there was just something I hadn’t used…

 

Wait a second… It’s not over… This is not over!! I’m not going down without killing you, b*****d!!... I made you a promise, Furia!! And I’m not going to fail it before overflowing a river with the blood of our enemies!! We’ll travel together, Furia… even if it takes me to extinguish the most insignificant light of life in the whole world!!

 

Smiling within myself, I drove all my energy to my right hand, feeling a ravenous thirst for blood, a deep love for rage and a passionate lust for death. Nothing would stop me from being the one to cut Mr. Prisco’s throat. Nothing would stop me from avenging the harm that was done to Furia and nothing would stop me from killing everyone in this f*****g building!!

 

I looked up to see Shawver hardening his face and stab down with all his might and in midway… I snapped my fingers. The explosion thundered in the hallway and sent Shawver’s right arm flying away and smashed his body against the wall to my left. I then pulled the pistol at my right from its holster and looked at my left, where Shawver lay. He was trying to hold the blood loss from his ripped apart shoulder, coughing and groaning in pain. I aimed the gun over my chest and pulled the trigger. The pistol roared deafeningly as bullets rained towards Shawver, piercing his belly, chest and lastly, his face. His whole body twitching as blood started pouring out from the wounds. When the pistol ceased fire and clicked empty, Shawver’s left arm softened and fell to the floor as a puddle of blood grew around him.

 

I then let my arm extend itself comfortably and dropped the gun while I panted hard and held the wound in my belly with my left hand, looking at the ceiling.

 

I avenged you Furia… I thought; my abdomen getting wetter and wetter by the second… Just one last target and it will be over.

 

Suddenly, I hear something in my communicator… “Commander! Hang on! Friendly approaching from your north!!”. I looked up to see this comrade of mine rushing up to where I was. He kneeled beside me and placed a hand on my abdomen as some white smoke started flowing out of him. The wound started to itch for around a minute and then it was cured clean; only the scar was left to remind me of this day. I picked my gun and stood up… I was panting hard when I started reloading my pistol and the agent said…

 

-Sir, will you continue fighting? You look like you lost a lot of blood.

 

I looked down at my suit and grasped it with my left hand while putting the pistol in its holster at my right thigh. The whole area of the abdomen and all the way by the sides felt disgustingly wet and the underside of my left forearm was soaked in my own blood.

 

I can’t stop fighting now… not so close to the end!

 

-I’m ok.

 

I said as I started walking to the line of three agents where this one, who healed me, came from. But just after the third step I tottered to my left and tried to regain balance unsuccessfully until hitting my shoulder against the wall of the hallway. I weakly held myself against the wall, barely holding my own weight from collapsing to the floor. I looked up and glanced toward the still going battle in front of me. I grunted and started pushing myself away from the wall when suddenly, I felt some strength pulling me from against the wall and back to my own stance.

 

-You can’t fight like this sir. You have lost too much blood!

 

Said the agent as he turned me to face him… his face turned blurry from time to time. Then I hardened up and answered him…

 

-I’ll never stop fighting… I’ll never stop… I’ll kill every enemy in my way and that includes you too if you decide to become one! So step aside!

 

The agent hesitated and looked at my eyes for a moment; he hardened his face and offered me a military reverence driving his right hand straight over his forehead as he said…

 

-As you order, sir…

 

-Good, and thank you… now go to the offensive line at the other side. I’ll cover your position here.

 

Without much rodeos he just answered “Yes, Sir.” and walked past me. I then set my sights toward the battle not fifteen meters away from me and started walking again towards it, this time using the wall to support myself. I was physically incapable of enduring another fight, not even against a regular rider. I was hardly capable of preventing myself from falling to the floor again.

 

There were some bodies on the floor and I walked by them and toward the battle. My agents must have advanced a lot while I fought Shawver. I can’t just join my unit like this… I would fall at the second I take a gap and then my men would get overwhelmed… well, they have handled it very well without me so far, but I wouldn’t get to see the end of this either, now would I? I can’t just sit around and wait for my men to finish this… I have to do something, I have to help somehow, I have to fight, I have to kill these fuckers for what they’ve done! But with what strength!?

 

I stopped walking and pressed my teeth against each other, feeling so lamely impotent at the situation at hand. I don’t have the strength, but I have the Energy… there must be a way for me to do something with just energy rather than needing physical strength. Wait a moment… Vital Energy is linked to physical strength, right?… That’s why when you train your Energy, also your body gets stronger… and that’s also why it’s easier to train your Energy when you have an already strong body! There must be a way for me to control it the other way around… to fuel my muscles and body with Energy instead of physical strength!

 

I then pushed myself away from the wall and walked over my own balance, weakly tottering to the sides as if to fall once again. Come on! Just the same as healing, redirect the flow of Energy!! First my hands started to emanate dark red smoke. With the energy I have left, I should be capable of taking myself to the end of this day… even if I collapse of exhaustion after I cut the flow of Energy! Come on!! I started pushing myself forward faster and faster and after a couple of awkwardly placed steps I lost balance and was about to fall… S**t! I won’t be able to get up if I make it to the floor!! I’m not going down without fulfilling my mission here!! I’m not going down without making things well for Furia!!! I quickly generated a staff and fixed my balance. I stopped my pace for a moment and resumed in the next instant as I disappeared the staff. I don’t need that s**t!! I retook the same pace as my legs started to feel lighter with every step. My walking was smoother than just a moment ago and I was all of a sudden fast pacing toward my comrades and their defensive line. I looked down and saw my legs emanating dark red smoke. That’s more like it!! Now go for it all!! My heart pumped harder, I was no longer panting and lacking air, my respiration was strong and powerful as if it was a jet engine what powered my whole body.

 

-Make a gap!!

 

I shouted at the three agents in front of me as I generated a sword in my right hand. The agents made a space near the center allowing an enemy to come into view. For a moment the enemy warrior smiled at the gap given to him to pierce through my agents’ defense… but in just that moment… his eyes met mine and they suddenly burst open as if he had seen a ghost or worse as he was about to let out a shriek in an intent to turn around… Too bad my sword was already on its way and split the guy’s skull in half and continued all the way to his chest. I pulled out the sword as inners started to fall out right after, then I grabbed the body with my left hand and pulled it behind me to then thrust right through an enemy’s shield, digging the sword in his chest. The enemy shrieked and collapsed dead to the floor as all the looks from the enemies around turned to me. They were shitless… all of their eyes showing nothing more than the most basic, deepest and nerve-breaking of fears. But they couldn’t back away, not with their comrades pushing forward right behind them… It was just too beautiful.

 

-Commander, what’s wrong with you!?

 

Said one of the agents next to me; I then exclaimed, joyfully…

 

-I’m the way I should be! Keep killing them!! Don’t stop until they are all dead!!! Live it up, men!! This is a corpse party!!

 

 

Meanwhile

 

As the battle raged on, riders on their dragons’ backs used Vital Energy attacks on other riders and their dragons, all of them in a mixture of D.D.I. agents and outlaws in the middle of Missouri’s most historic event ever since the start of the Dragon Era. Riderless dragons fought other riderless dragons in a lethal dance of aerial maneuvers, fire exhalation and clashing of fangs and claws. Around Hotel Frederick, the ground forces shot their automatic rifles, and occasionally a grenade launcher, as the hostiles inside the fortified hotel defended efficiently their positions, answering too with constant automatic fire and explosives. All of it happening around Hotel Frederick and taking many blocks of aerial space as well.

 

The environment simply couldn’t be any more loaded, noisy and stressing… but not for the sniper crouched behind his rifle on the roof of a two story building a couple of blocks away from Hotel Frederick. It was Elvis, leader of the Sniper Squad. He and his eleven agents were scattered around Hotel Frederick, giving sniper support to the ground forces. He was breathing slowly as he looked through his rifle’s scope and placed the crosshair on a target.

 

A hostile popped out to shoot his machinegun through a window every couple of moments. They are aware of us… Elvis thought… to this height in the battle, they have become more and more aware of our existence. Damn, it was so easy to pick them at the beginning… Every death of theirs is the potential salvation of many lives from ours.

 

The crosshair met the target’s chest and Elvis quickly slid the trigger back, generating a powerful detonation. The bullet hit perfectly in the chest and pushed the corpse into the room it was shooting from as if it was nothing more than a ragdoll. Elvis took his face away from the rifle and grabbed the rifle’s bolt to reload the chamber. He turned, pulled, pushed and turned back in place the bolt as the shell flew up and arched its way away from Elvis, hitting the floor with the same dull, almost vibrating sound of a tiny rusty bell, joining many more shells and a bunch of empty cartridges.

 

Elvis placed his aiming eye once again behind the scope and started looking for a new target once again. Suddenly, he heard a voice in the communicator…

 

-Ground Assault Squad, this is Aerial Cover Squad… -It was Alan’s voice. He talked in a rush and almost under the scent of panic-… I have been pushed away from the battlefield. Furia, my dragon and I are facing a huge soft blue dragon, it matches the description and strength of Shawver’s dragon and it doesn’t look good for any of the three of us. Send reinforcements to the east ASAP!

 

-Roger, Aerial Cover Squad. I’m sending two riderless on your way… -Answered Unit Commander Rainer as he sent his own dragon and a subordinate’s to help Alan, Helios and Furia.

 

Elvis could only hope for the help to reach his friends in time. He would have sent Pyro, his dragon, along, but there was a reason Alan asked U.C. Rainer for help instead of him, even when they knew each other more than this Unit Commander they met for this occasion. The reason was that the only direct defense the Sniper Squad had was its own members’ dragons. If not for them, the snipers would have been killed already by enemy riders and dragons… and the campaign just couldn’t afford to lose the snipers, for they were the ace under the sleeve of the D.D.I. Well, they and Patrick’s unit already inside of the hotel.

 

A few minutes later and a couple of taken down targets later, a voice rang in Elvis’s communicator once again…

 

-Double Scarred Rider, what the f**k is your dragon doing!? Furia just tried to hurt the dragons I sent on her aid! They found Alan Barton’s body dead by a gunshot from under his jaw, as if he committed suicide!! What’s going on!!?

 

What!? Furia was infected by the poison!? How the f**k did it happen? She’s the only one capable of dealing with Patrick at this height! If they have both gone poisoned… no, no, no… S**t!... Elvis’s hand started to tremble at the thought… It can still be solved… somehow… Patrick didn’t answer the contact, which was infuriating. U.C. Rainer as this one shouted…

 

-Answer, Texas! What’s wrong with you!!?”

 

Furia wasn’t poisoned, right? It must be Patrick’s… It’s got to be… It could only reach Furia, then, if it had her in Mental Link reach… This’s got to work.

 

Elvis then abandoned his rifle standing against the wall he was supporting himself on and sat against it. Took his right hand to his communicator and pushed a button. Then he started speaking…

 

-Unit Commander Rainer, this is Sniper Squad. Listen, you must get Furia away from here!

 

-What’s going on!?... �"Answered U.C. Rainer-… Preacher and another riderless are pinning Furia down, she’s terribly hurt and they say she’s even trying to hurt them!! Is the Double Scarred Rider betraying us!!?

 

-They are not deserters, Unit Commander Rainer! Call in paramedics and carry Furia away from Patrick as far as they can and she’ll be ok once she’s far enough!

 

-What is going on with them!? Why wasn’t I informed of this!?

 

-By word at Francesco Silvestro, I have to keep the details related. Just do this, Unit Commander, and they’ll return to normal!

 

-You must be losing your head, Texas. Unit Commander Rainer out.

 

Elvis sighed and was about to return to his firing position when he thought...

 

I can’t count on Furia being here by the time Patrick goes insane… if he does, of course… got to keep the hopes high at least… but… if he does… The only one capable of at least placing a fight here is… me. Will I have to face Patrick in close combat or will I have to snipe… Elvis shook his head letting out a grunt, shutting up his racing thoughts. He grabbed his rifle, twisted and pulled the bolt halfway to check the chamber was loaded and returned to his firing position: crouching and placing his aiming eye behind the scope as he thought… I’m not going to kill my brother! Furia will be here if anything goes wrong!!

 

Elvis proceeded to look for a target, slowly drifting the crosshair over the windows of the second and third floor, where he and his squad were supposed to concentrate their fire; since Patrick was handling the fourth floor and the ground forces had to deal with the main forces in the first floor, thus they needed help with the second and third floor.

 

Elvis found himself taking his face away from the scope and looking for a new target while reloading his rifle’s chamber. Suddenly, something caught his attention in the fourth floor. It was a soft blue projectile that flashed past a few rooms and reached where Patrick and his unit were. He took his hand to his right ear and held pressed a button on the communicator. Then he said…

 

-Armor Piercing Squad, this is Sniper Squad, are you guys alright?

 

Elvis stopped pressing the button and received nothing more than static. He rejected the idea that first popped in his mind out of all possibilities and pressed the button again before saying…

 

-Patrick, are you alive!?... �"Once again there was just static-… D****t Patrick, answer at least!!

 

It can’t be… it can’t be!... it can’t f*****g be!!

 

Elvis’s heart started to race and his respiration became strong and tiring as he quickly got behind his rifle and looked through the scope for any signs of his brother. The next he saw was Patrick running toward some huge and muscular guy… That must be Shawver for sure…

 

-Patrick!... �"He yelled at his communicator-… Don’t fight him alone, he’s too strong!!

 

Elvis received no answer from his brother and thought… I’ve got to help Patrick or he’s going to get himself killed!! Elvis then found Patrick and Shawver, exchanging Vital Energy blows; the first one with a dark red sword and the second one using a soft blue large machete.

 

Elvis tried to put the crosshair over Shawver, but both he and Patrick moved too fast. At any moment Elvis finally got a straight opportunity, Patrick seemed to always get in the way quickly enough to prevent Elvis from taking the shot. Damn you Patrick; it will be me who kills you at this rate! And there it happened… the perfect opportunity… Shawver was holding off an attack from Patrick and stayed still long enough for Elvis to aim at Shawver’s ribs to hit him straight in the heart… and then he started to slide back the trigger when suddenly a powerful current of wind past by him as the rifle’s detonation echoed in the distance.

 

Hastily taking his face from behind the scope, Elvis could see before him as his gray dragon, Pyro, attacked an enemy dragon in a straight lunge toward the hotel that passed just right above where he was. Pyro kicked the dragon down, opened his wings and pulled up quickly; the enemy dragon continued the lunge toward Hotel Frederick as he tried to stabilize himself; though he only had enough time to turn his head, panic and crash against the hotel’s side, breaking through the walls and destroying several rooms in the fourth and third floor. As the debris still fell to the ground, the enemy dragon stuck his head out of the hole in the structure and took off to rejoin the fight.

 

Elvis then heard a voice in his mind…

 

That was a close one, eh? Are you ok?

 

Elvis looked at the damaged building with a blank face… it took him a couple of seconds to answer his dragon… Yeah… Yeah, I’m ok.

 

What’s wrong?

 

Elvis showed his memories to Pyro, answering the question in a moment. Then he asked his dragon…

 

Do you think I killed Patrick?

 

At what the dragon answered…

 

His unit would be going mad if that was the case, Elvis. Anyhow, we can’t ponder on it now; we have to keep fighting.

 

As Elvis located himself once again behind the scope of his rifle, he could only ask himself… Did I hit Shawver?... But there was nothing more to see of Patrick or Shawver as the doors from the rooms toward the hallway where he could see them through, were now blocked with debris. He took a hand toward the communicator and pressed a button, and then he said…

 

-Patrick?... Patrick, are you ok?

 

Just like every other attempt to contact his brother… Elvis received no answer from his brother. Then he exclaimed…

 

-S**t, Patrick! At least give out life signs!!

 

A voice then rang in Elvis’s communicator…

 

-Sniper Squad, what’s going on? Is the Double Scarred Rider ok?

 

At what he answered…

 

-Commander Rainer, you’ve got to push harder on the onslaught; Patrick might be hurt or dead. I saw him fighting Shawver right before the dragon crashed against the hotel and I haven’t gotten notice from him ever since. You have to pierce Hotel Frederick ASAP!

 

-Got it, Sniper Squad… -Answered Commander Rainer-… I’ll do what I can. Over.

 

Elvis then reached to one of his pockets and picked up the main radio. He switched to the frequency Patrick’s unit was operating on and could hear the struggle of Patrick’s men fighting off the enemy: there were grunts and groans, a scream of pain all of a sudden and the constant clashing of Vital Energy against Vital Energy. Then he asked…

 

-Armor Piercing Squad, this is Sniper Squad, is your squad leader ok?

 

After a couple of seconds, a voice answered…

 

-He’s ok, Sniper Squad, I just cured Rider Patrick from a wound he got during the fight, but he prevailed against Shawver, he killed the b*****d. Patrick’s off also… He’s emanating Energy from all of his body and is fighting like a maniac.

 

Elvis sighed, relieved for his brother’s victory against such big foe. Those are what I call good news… But was quickly upset by the latter revelation and then said…

 

-Thank you, agent. Keep up the good work and we might get out of here alive. Over.

 

What the f**k did Patrick just discover now?… He thought as he switched back to the frequency the Unit commanders were operating on to also hear his unit’s frequency as main connection; meaning that he had to press the button on the communicator to speak to the other Commanders, but was able to instantly speak up to his unit. As for the squad members, they mainly heard their Leaders’ speaking at them, if they needed to communicate with someone from another squad, they had to change the frequency manually; just like Elvis did to speak to his brother’s Squad.

 

Elvis reloaded the chamber of his rifle and got his aiming eye behind the scope as he comforted his position. He then resumed his scanning on the third and second floors’ windows for targets as the battle went on. He shot down a couple of hostiles before seeing Patrick’s squad reach the third floor and start killing people room by room. He didn’t get to see Patrick, he probably was at the other side of the building, where the extension of damaged rooms was bigger. Commander Rainer had gained a huge advance toward Hotel Frederick ever since he last spoke with him. Elvis focused his attention on the second floor and kept shooting his rifle. It seemed like no time had passed before the ground forces started to pour inside Hotel Frederick by all possible entrances: doors, windows and holes in the walls that resulted from the usage of grenade launchers. Enemy riderless dragons fell from the sky like a rain of corpses all around the area and those who had their riders became the targets of the many D.D.I. agents in the sky. The panicked enemy riders and their dragons avoided and blocked the overwhelming quantity of attacks that flew their way until being weakened and slowed down by an unexpected quick attack by an opportune agent. To then be lucky if they managed to survive a full minute before the inevitable final blow toward the dragon or the rider… adding two more corpses to the rain of death.

 

This is almost over… or almost starting, if you ask me.    He thought.

 

Elvis reached his dragon’s mind and told him…

 

Come back to me as soon as possible, I’ll need you close right after I take the shot…

 

Got it.

 

Withdrawing to his own mind, he thought for himself… Got to keep the hopes high… this is all going to end at any moment and we’ll all go home. Patrick and Furia will finally retire to forget the day they met Gedeon... They’ll finally get the peace they deserve. Elvis took his face from behind his rifle and stood up, looking at the whole scenery from his first row sit. At a moment he heard Commander Rainer’s rough voice in his communicator…

 

-Rider Elvis, this is Unit Commander Rainer, we have cleared the enemy fortress and found your brother. He is ok but, something’s off with him. He’s heading outside with Mr. Prisco as his prisoner. Also, the paramedics are taking Furia away from here; she’s hurt seriously, but not in death danger. Aerial Cover Squad’s leaders, though, they didn’t make it.

 

D****t, Alan, Helios… This f*****g campaign!...    Elvis thought, hitting the wall with his fist and yelling “F**k!!”.

 

-I’m sorry. They were fine fighters.

 

Redirecting the conversation, letting out a lot of rage as he asked…

 

-What do you mean Patrick’s off?

 

-You are about to see.

 

Elvis went back behind his rifle and to his firing position to then look through the scope at Hotel Frederick’s entrance. Rainer’s men guarded the area thirty meters away from the entrance as he walked out. A couple of seconds later, Mr. Prisco appeared into view. His character was broken, crying and moaning, surely begging for his life. Mr. Prisco’s hands were cut off, but were not bleeding; someone healed him right after the removal of the hands… I wonder who that was… Mr. Prisco’s neck was laced up and being pulled back by a smoky dark red leash, and at the same time he was being forced to walk forward, for there was a smoky dark red sword cutting the handless man’s back. This resulting on Mr. Prisco walking with his spine pushed back with a very pronounced arc. Then Elvis muttered…

 

-What in the f*****g hell?

 

Patrick then was visible, walking behind Mr. Prisco with a dark red aura over his entire body. It created a cold that ran all the extension throughout Elvis’s spine.

 

What the f**k was done to you, Patrick!?

 

Patrick walked Mr. Prisco to the center of the area and then started to say something out loud while Elvis located the crosshair right on Mr. Prisco’s side of his head. The sniper started to slow down his respiration without getting any less nervous.

 

It ends today… it ends today… whatever the result… it ends today… Keep the hopes high…

 

Elvis started to slide the trigger and... the detonation roared mighty as the only noise at the moment, echoing like a repetitive shout and the second boom that born at the moment the bullet breaks the sound barrier making its entrance just a moment earlier from when Mr. Prisco’s head was pushed to the side, left with a tiny hole and a splash of blood and grey matter coming from the other side.



© 2016 TabaD


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Added on May 9, 2016
Last Updated on May 9, 2016
Tags: shootout, massacre, hunting, mission, operation, military, dragon, killing spree, Madness, dogfight


Author

TabaD
TabaD

Santiago, Dominican Republic



About
My main characteristic as an individual is that I enjoy strong emotions. I like horse riding, off-road driving and gun shooting. I enjoy Metal music mainly, my favorite band is Corroded. I like writin.. more..

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