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The Rise of the Fallen

The Rise of the Fallen

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#1 Darkender

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:30 PM

A Darkender, Deojusto, Pseudonym Production...

A hero is a man of distinguished courage and ability. One who is admired for his bravery, brave enough to do whatever is takes to ensure that the world does not fall into the wrong hands. A true hero, however, knows that regular men cannot lead themselves. They are inept and weak, followers that need a leader, and a true hero is willing to be that leader. The feeble minds of the public, however, spurn those who attempt to rightfully take the lead, unaware of what is good for them. Like children, we must teach them, show these children who the true leaders are whether they like it or not. After all, it’s for their own good.

The Rise of the Fallen- Chapter 1

The flames blasted the door off its hinges and it violently skidded into the room. Merit quickly followed behind the blast as he stepped into the scantily lit quarters. He couldn’t make out anything but someone tied to a chair in the middle of the room. Past that, it was pitch black. As he walked into the room he tried to make out the face of the figure tied to the chair, but it was so beaten, so bloody, it was hard to make out anything from the disfigurement. Merit cautiously stepped further into the room. His right arm ignited, the bright flames pushed away some of the darkness.

“Where are you?!” He yelled into the darkness. “I know you came in here!”

He took another cautious step, nearing the man tied up to the chair. Taking a closer look, he lifted up the head and was shocked to realize who it was.

“Drax, your old friend,” The voice stated from the shadows.

Merit tried not to show the anger that suddenly built up inside him upon realizing who it was. He put on an uncaring façade. Quickly his eyes began searching the darkness, but he couldn’t find the voice. The days had been hectic ever since the funeral where he was first contacted by this ‘Redeye’. He would drop little hints, and leave places to meet, but Merit grew tired of the cat and mouse games rather quickly. He chased him down and followed him back here, but now it’s starting to seem that that was his plan all along.

“What do you want?”

“I want the same thing that you want, Jamiel, justice.” The voice answered through the umbra. It seemingly came from everywhere.

“I don’t see how all of this is getting any closer to justice.”

“You don’t? I would think you were brighter than that Jamiel. You’re telling me that this man, an accomplice in the death of your Joshlyn, should be allowed to roam free, to go unpunished? He betrayed you Merit, and for that he should be punished.” Redeye paused for a moment, stepping out of the shadows behind Drax. “I heard what you did to Gambrel, and I have to say I’m quite impressed. They had trouble identifying the body, but now that only leads me wonder why you didn’t finish the job. I know it would have been easy.” He said as he aggressively pressed a Colt 45 to the back of Drax’s head.

“It’s not my place.” Merit whispered. “It wouldn’t have accomplished anything… It wouldn’t have brought her back.”

“No, it wouldn’t have brought her back, but it would have accomplished something. It would have gotten this piece of shit off the streets. Trust me; you would be doing the world a favor Merit, doing yourself a favor. I’m well aware of your escapades with the sentinels. They failed to see the potential in you Merit. They feared it, don’t you fear it too. You are a true hero Jamiel, a true hero who does what needs to be done. Put him out of his misery, and I will help you to further pursue justice. Today for Joshlyn, tomorrow for Becki.”

His words filled Merit’s young head. They seemed to ring with so much truth. It explained so much. The ways of the Sentinels were ineffective, and inept. They couldn’t save themselves let alone the ones that needed saving. They weren’t heroes, they weren’t true heroes.

The flames that emblazed on Merit’s arm rose to new heats as he gazed into Drax’s eyes. Suddenly it all made sense. He knew what he had to do. He lifted up his arm and Drax squirmed in his chair from the heat as beads of sweat emerged on his forehead. He opened his hand, engulfing Drax in the flames. The bright flames lit up the room and Drax’s screams filled the hot air. Red eye’s mask moved subtly as a smirk formed where the mouth should be.

---------------------------------

Redeye stood on the edge of the rooftop, gazing into the rich district of Archer. Its cream colored houses and Mediterranean style architecture gave the city a look of free-spirited business. He eyed the streets below from behind his mask and the gears in his head turned as he formulated. Merit approached from behind him, and allowed the wind to blow his free dreadlocks for a moment before speaking.

“So what happens now?”

Redeye was slow to answer.

“A wise warrior once said, ‘Never leave an enemy behind, or he will rise again to fly at your throat.’ This is a sentiment I’m sure you should have already learned by now. What we need to do now is eliminate the enemies.”

Merit nodded in comprehension, and then also looked out into Archer. He silently appreciated the look of the city as the auburn sunset complimented its design. As he stepped to edge of the rooftop however, he spotted something in the distance. Three figures stood, two closing in on the one, the third figure slowly being surrounded and then suddenly falling to its knees, seemingly from nothing.

“Look.”

Redeye was already looking at the scene in the park.

“Should we stop it?”

“Of course, we are heroes aren’t we?”

Merit took off sprinting before leaping across the divide and landing onto the adjacent rooftop. Then, swiftly, he scurried down the fire escape and landed nimbly on the alley floor. Redeye casually kept up, purposely keeping somewhat of a distance behind. Merit sprinted into the street and soon arrived at the park down the block. As he closed the distance he could now tell that the assaulters were male and female, and about his age. The victim was a bit older. He came up from behind them and used the foliage of the park as his cover as he crept down. He silently watched the scene.

The victim was still on his knees as he grasped his skull in pain. A trickle of blood ran from his nose and was encircling his mouth.

“Now tell us why you were tailing Harrison!” The slim girl yelled. Simply her voice seemed to pain the man as he cringed once again. The blood continued to flow and drip onto the grass that he kneeled on. Her partner, the boy, stood on watching defensively. It was evident that he was a bit uneasy with the situation for one reason or another.

Merit could watch no more as he stepped through the foliage, his hand already holding its white flame.

“That’s enough.” He stepped through and blasted the boy with a barrage of flame. It sent the young man flying into a large oak tree. The girl quickly whipped her head around, preparing to shred through Merit’s mind with a mental blast. But just before she was about to release this mental onslaught, she recognized the face.

“Merit?”

“Sarah?”

Before another word could be had Sarah’s partner retaliated on the initial attack and flew into Merit, tackling him to the ground. The boy’s once somewhat clear skin ruffled and hardened as blue scales protruded to the surface. A tail lashed out of his backside as his body elongated and his hands turned to claws with vicious talons. Finally, the boy’s face distorted until something of a snout appeared and then suddenly the full on appearance of a dragon was there. It snapped at Merit, baring his strong fangs. Merit responded quickly by creating space between them, kicking the serpent off of him.

Sarah stood by idly trying to end the fighting while her captive slowly crept away under the cover of the chaos. The boy had finished his transformation and roared into the sky as the flames spewed from his mouth. Then, suddenly, a capsule exploded in front of him and a green vapor shot up into his face filling his lungs. The creature coughed and struggled to step out of the cloud of smoke. It took a step before falling to the ground, and slowly turning back to its human form.

A similar capsule exploded at Sarah’s feet before she had a moment to react. She staggered briefly before also falling to the ground.

Merit stood and dusted himself off. A deep gouge in his arm had stopped bleeding and was now just beginning to heal. Redeye then stepped out from his cover and stood over the unconscious Sarah.

“You sure know how to get your ass kicked.”

“I could have taken him.”

“I’m sure you would have.”

He then knelt down to the girl, and then looked up to Merit.

“You knew each other?”

“Yeah, I knew her. She was in the same Academy class as me. She didn’t make the team either. I didn’t see her much. I’m just glad she noticed me.”

“Why is that?”

“If I remember correctly, she could put someone in a puddle of their own drool with just a thought. Miss Admiral is what she went by, I think.”

“Interesting…” He said looking over Sarah’s unconscious body, and then at the scene of the crime. “I doubt she goes by that anymore. Get her up… She’s coming with us.”

The dragon-boy had begun to stir in the distance. His eyes opened and saw the blurry image of Merit throwing Sarah over his back. He called her name weakly, but his strength was gone. His eyes, too heavy, closed again. He could only listen to their footsteps as they carried her off.

----------------------------

“Oh, fuuuck.”

The pounding migraine greeted Sarah as she awoke on a metal examining table. She attempted to get up but quickly realized she was chained down. Panicking slightly, she then tried to reach out with her mind but was met with another staggering wave of headaches.

“Had a good sleep, Miss Admiral?” Redeye said as he stepped out of the shadowed corner.

Sarah jumped slightly at his voice and twisted in her restraints.

“Welcome to my humble abode.” He gestured vaguely at their cavernous surroundings. They were clearly underground. To be exact they sat beneath the Khazan Metropolitan Opera House. The walls were exposed as bedrock with wiring running up and down them. The room they were in at the moment, however, had walls made of glass, showing the rest of the hideout. Merit could be seen in front of a large computer screen, typing away as several faces popped up. They were familiar to Sarah, but she couldn’t place them at the moment. Her mind was way too foggy.

Sarah moaned as the wave of headaches calmed.

“So this is how you treat your guests? Drug them and then tie them up?”

“Only my very special guests, and you, Miss Admiral, are quite special.”

“I know you probably didn’t get the memo, but I don’t go by that name anymore.”

“My sincerest apologies… Miss Maroon.”

Her eyes narrowed in suspicion.

“What, exactly, do you want?”

Redeye stepped closer to her, closing distance and pressed a small button on a remote that he held in the palm of his hand. The shackles fell off of Sarah’s wrists and feet and she sat up from the table, rubbing her freed wrists.

“Nothing really, I simply have a… business proposal that I thought you may be interested in.”

“What sort of business is this?”

“The lucrative kind.”

Despite her effort to show no emotion her eyes betrayed her as they brightened.

----------------------

Sarah sat alone in the corner. The drugs they gave her were finally beginning to wear off. The headaches were almost gone and she was beginning to feel the return of her powers. She looked up and eyed her new partners. One she barely knew, but for some reason trusted and the other she didn’t know at all and something told her not to trust him. “A job is a job” is what she kept telling herself. The figures Redeye threw at her were something she just couldn’t pass up. It made what Harrison paid her look like a tip, and from the toys that were lying around in the hideout, she had reason to believe he had it and more.

She looked up again and saw Merit walking towards her. He said hey and then asked her what she did after the Academy incident.

“What I had to.”

He nodded in comprehension.

To be continued...

#2 deojusto

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:27 AM

Bump

#3 Pseudonym

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 06:59 PM

Chapter 2

“And now to put our plan into action. I have a mission for you two,” Redeye announced, “I have to go and pick up one component and I need you two to pick up another.”

Redeye moved to a keyboard and started typing furiously. The biggest monitor in the room hummed to life. It displayed a map of Khazan with directions to 717 Bohr Avenue.

“I need you to get into this building and bring back Sask’ia’s body. Dead or alive, it doesn’t matter. You understand?”

Sarah and Merit nodded.

“Good. Meet back here at eighteen-hundred hours. Ciao,”

Redeye exited. Sarah turned to Merit and smiled, “Looks like we’ve got a job.”

After a motorcycle ride, they dismounted together in front of their target. It was an office skyscraper in the Moebius district. A sign out front read “Khazan Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence”.

Sarah looked at the sign quizzically. “You don’t think –”

“Yeah, maybe.”

“Weird.”

Through the windows, they could see important-looking suited men, talking on their cellphones, holding their briefcases, and speedwalking from place to place. It was rather obviously not a containment facility. Sarah checked the address again and looked at Merit. He shrugged. “Redeye didn’t say how much time we have. Let’s just go in and get this done.”

Sarah sighed. They shared a look and pushed open the double doors. There were people all over the lobby. Sarah and Merit approached the bored-looking woman behind the help desk.

“Sask’ia. Where is she?” Sarah asked.

“We don’t have any workers by that name.”

Sarah nodded at Merit and asked again.

“One more time. Where is Sask’ia.”

Merit pushed fear into the woman’s head while Sarah broke down her inhibitions. The woman fought against her own brain and eventually broke down.

“She’s in the basement. Take the elevators up to Floor six. Cross the security floor. Take the elevators down to B4. She is in Cell A3.”

“Security Floor?” Sarah asked. “How many security guards does this facility have on duty at once?”

“I don’t know, fifty? Please don’t hurt me.”

Sarah thanked the woman and followed Merit to the elevators. They waited amongst the businessmen and women who looked nervously around as though each and every one of them was a little bit late to the most important meeting of their lives. When the elevator came, Sarah and Merit got on alone. Merit pressed six, the doors closed. Sarah turned and said, “I don’t know if I can do fifty. I’ll probably pass out if I try.”

“Why don’t you just put on your eyepiece and we can tear our way through?”

“How do you know about that?” Sarah asked. Merit winced and put his hands up to his head. Sarah forced herself to calm down and then apologized.

“Look. I can’t control myself when I have it on. If I put it on, people will die.”

Merit sighed and the rest of their ascent passed in silence. The elevator dinged open to what seemed to be another lobby. There was a help desk featuring an Out-To-Lunch sign. A placard on the wall read “Security Floor”. There was a hallway to the right, extending out to the back. The elevator was on the other end. Both sides of the hallway were lined with office doors. Sarah gave Merit the sign to follow her, crouched, and started down the hallway making sure to keep under the line of windows.

They were halfway down when a door on the other side opened. A man, holding a cup of coffee and laughing jovially with people inside, backed out of the door. Sarah and Merit froze, hoping not to attract attention. The man turned around and saw them. Everyone was still for a moment, except Merit who jumped off the floor, and bounced off the opposite wall to plant his foot in the security guard’s face. The man stumbled back against the door, knocking it closed and then collapsed, spilling his coffee out over the floor.

“What now?” Merit asked.

“We run and see how far we can get before the alarms ring.”

Merit nodded and they made a mad dash for the elevator. Merit hammered the down button and the door opened immediately. They jumped inside and sat against the far wall, breathing heavily.

The elevator descended as Sarah and Merit caught their breath. The door opened to hallways with bedrock walls. Instead of the polished, gleaming white of the rest of the building, the walls and floors of this story were a dull brown. Sarah and Merit walked directly to Sask’ia’s cell. On the other side of the set of bars was Sask’ia. Her arms and legs were shackled to the wall. The alien’s head hung limply forward. There was no reaction as Sarah and Merit approached the cell.

Merit grabbed hold of the bars. They glowed white-hot before dripping into a puddle of molten metal at his feet. He stepped over the slag and moved to burning through the shackles. Halfway through the fourth one, an alarm sounded through the building.

A console in the corner of the floor flashed a red light through the room while the intercom system screamed the alarm. The loud noise and intermittent lights roused Sask’ia from her sleep. She rolled her head up and began to speak; her words stung. Merit backed away, his hands glowing white hot. Sarah snapped and the alien fell back into unconsciousness.

Merit pulled the alien off the wall and shouldered it on his back. “They said fifty guards, right?”

“Yup.”

“I think you’re gonna have to use your eyepiece.”

Sarah sighed and reached into her pocket. They got into the elevator and rode it back up to the security floor. Sarah put on her eyepiece; It hummed like a buzz saw as it powered up. The only noise in the elevator was Sarah’s amplifier. Merit watched the bronze number display above the door creeping slowly up to six. He turned to Sarah, “You ready for this?”

“Oh, hell yes. Get behind me.”

The doors opened and Sarah killed half the guards with one sweeping wave of psionic energy. Sarah stood perfectly still in the elevator.The ones closest to the door collapsed. Some forgot to breathe. One vommitted blood all over the linoleum white floor.. Another just lied down and let death in. Sarah laughed and sauntered forward, stepping over bodies. The sounds of the dead and dying drowned out Sarah’s laugh and the whirr of her eyepiece.Sarah fired into the remaining officers, experimenting gleefully with different ways to ruin them. She used one brain to project a psionic disruption that killed everyone around him. A group together in the back died. One officer approached Sarah, fist cocked back to strike. Sarah shot a psychic knife into his brain and the officer ran past and slammed his head into the wall until his skull fractured.

Within a minute, every guard in the room was dead. Sarah took off her eyepiece. They proceeded wordlessly out of the building and rode Sarah’s bike back to base.

Redeye was waiting. An old dusty skeleton was spread out on the floor. Merit wrinkled his nose. “That’s what you needed to pick up?”

“You wouldn’t believe the trouble I went to,” Redeye said, “You ever try shooting pygmy spirit warriors with an assault carbine? It’s like whack-a-mole except they have knives.”

Sarah chuckled. “What now?”

“You put the alien on the floor and get back behind the glass,” Redeye pointed to an observation booth in the back of the room. Sarah nodded and made her way to the back. Merit dropped the alien and followed.

Redeye stood over the skeleton and read from a dusty book. Merit couldn’t quite make out what he was saying, but from his time in the Fallen he recognized parts of a Necromantic chant. He turned to tell Sarah; she shh’d him and kept watching.

Redeye finished chanting, tossed the book aside, and ran back to the booth. He stood behind Sarah and Merit and watched silently.

The skeleton convulsed a bit. Twin vines emerged from the eyes, snaking out downward along the length of the skeleton and braiding together. On the end emerged the tiny mouth of a Venus Flytrap. The vines meandered back and forth like a charmed snake and then struck. The Venus Flytrap sunk its teeth into the alien. Flesh and organs started to appear on the skeleton and disappear on the alien.

The skeleton became a full corpse and then tentacles started to grow out of its neck. Blue scales began to stand out on the face and arms like a rash. The tentacles grew and undulated along the length of the body before receding back into the neck.

“Oh Good! half-alien, half-human, and half-plant. This is exactly what we needed,” Said Redeye. “Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce Ms. Delilah Morgan.”


#4 Darkender

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 03:08 PM

Thoughts? Criticisms?

#5 deojusto

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 11:31 PM

I think its splendifourous, but we already knew that.

#6 treacherous

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 12:53 PM

I am taxed and haven't read it, but just face it Deo, the FPL needs 50 CC's stat!

#7 Pseudonym

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 05:59 PM

I feel like if people read this, it could be part of the rejuvenating push. It's really good.

#8 treacherous

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 06:30 PM

I'll try to make this my reading material for the week. I briefly scanned over most of this. I'm a fan of most of the characters. Not so much Redeye (didn't dislike it, but not seeing the love that some others feel for it), but maybe after this he'll grow on me. Did I see Delilah Morgan in this (I am a big of hers)? Aren't we touching on different time periods? Anyway, I'll read it and perhaps all this premature rambling will be subsided.

#9 Darkender

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 07:40 PM

Did I see Delilah Morgan in this (I am a big of hers)? Anyway, I'll read it and perhaps all this premature rambling will be subsided.


You'll have to read to find out! Yes, go do that!

#10 deojusto

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 01:11 PM

CHAPTER 3

Sarah walked through the empty passageways of the Khazan Metropolitan Opera House, turning through the network of halls behind the seating sections. She found the corner service elevator and pressed the call button. The rusty elevator chamber groaned, then lurched its way to the ground floor. The doors dragged themselves open and Sarah stepped inside. The doors closed and the elevator descended once more.

At the sub-basement it finally came to its stop and she stepped out. To any observer it was nothing more than a line of grimy beige walls, a trail of flickering overhead lights, a few supply rooms and a back-up rehearsal stage. Sarah bypassed all the doors and walked to the dead end of the hallway. She knocked three times against a back wall.

“Merit, I’m back.”

The wall creaked. Sarah heard the now familiarly loud clack like that of a vault door unlocking. The wall slid sideways, opening a gaping mouth to a cavernous space beneath the basement. Sarah carefully made her way down the unlit stairs. She navigated the room by clutching at the staircase rail and following the dim glow of dozens of computer screens attached to the walls. Merit leaned against the railing at the bottom of the stairs.

“Took your sweet time, you get lost up there?”

Sarah shot him a look.

“Sorry, didn’t know I was on a leash.”

Merit smiled awkwardly.

“Sorry Sarah. You know how it is, eventually the stress gets to you. No progress means no sleep.”

“Yeah, I know, everybody’s on edge. Is Red doing any better?”

A shotgun blast bellows out from the raised platform above them. Merit and Sarah both looked up, then stepped back as a small computer terminal is lobbed over the edge of the platform and crashes on the ground. Despite the fall it does not shatter; although the bits of lead shot through its hard drive still make it just about useless. Merit turned back to Sarah.

“The short answer is no. But as long as he takes his anger out on the hardware I think we’ll be fine… Did you get what you were after?”

“Hmm? Yeah, I got them right here.”

Sarah rummaged through her pockets. She pulled out two long objects wrapped in silvery plastic. She tossed one to Merit who immediately tore away at the Baby Ruth. Sarah unwrapped hers and eats as well. The sounds of rapid typing and furious mastication were the only noises in the chamber. Sarah’s eyes eventually drifted past the glowing monitors towards the pallid body unceremoniously draped across a table.

“Any progress with Sleeping Beauty over there?”

“I am afraid not,” Merit said between bites, “But every few hours Red goes back for another blood sample and it seems like it might work, and then something invariably goes wrong. As soon as we’re done here I’d like to bury her. Bury her far, far, away from where I live.”

“Please, I’ve heard that you barbeque men alive; you’re telling me you’re creeped out by a corpse of some evil Victorian broad.”

“It isn’t that she’s dead, its that she wasn’t just some Victorian broad. She was the Victorian broad. Or at least the most unbalanced, pitiless, and vicious Victorian broad who ever lived. Some of these Fallen guys still talk about her like they’re reminiscing their childhood heroes. Back in the bad old days, you know... Just saying, the bitch belongs under-ground.”

“Right. You worry about the corpse. I’m going to go talk to the still living and very heavily armed psycho who hired us.”

Sarah walked past Merit and placed her chocolate bar on top of the table where Ms. Morgan’s body lay sprawled. Sarah walked up the step stairs to the raised research platform. She saw Redeye glaring pure hate at the screen in front of him. The mask was off and he was staring with his own eyes. Sarah maneuvered around his chair hoping to get a better look.

“Hey,” she called out.

He pulled the mask below his chin; the scoped eyepiece moved into its place automatically.

“Hey.”

“How are things?”

“Bad, Ms. Maroon. Things are bad.”

He gestured towards a series of vials filled with blood and a handful of seeds scattered across the desk beside him.

“I can isolate the plant spore in Ms. Morgan’s blood that gave her the ability to psychically absorb life-force. I can hybridize said spore with the alien’s blood to make it more powerful. What I can’t seem to do is make it bond to human dna so we can actually use it. Without that it’s useless.”

“So what, just try, try, again?”

“No, I don’t think we have time for that. I think its time to cheat, we need to look up the answers.”

Sarah crossed her arms and leaned against the side of the wall.

“You’re telling me that all along you had answers to how to make this all work, and yet you’ve still just been sitting here, randomly mixing chemicals together, hoping something will happen.”

“Not exactly my dear. I don’t actually have the answers, it’s a bit more complicated. The Sentinels have them.”

“Where?”

“In the archives of a secret high tech safehouse in Dockside. Constant surveillance, the entrances are all secret, and considering that we caused a bit of a stir just getting the bodies, its probably already being guarded by a few Sentinel recruits.”

Sarah sneered.

“Red that’s not complicated, that’s a suicide mission.”

“Which is why I’ve spent the last few days trying to do everything else I could think of to make it work. But we’re running out of time, so we don’t have much of choice then, do we? Tell Merit.”

Redeye picked a combat shotgun off the top of the desk and pulled a belt of grenades from a box under the table. He loaded the gun and attached the belt bolero style across his chest. Sarah leaned off the wall and began making her way down to the floor.

“You’re coming with us?”

“Yes,” Redeye replied.

“You never come with us.”

Redeye tapped the mechanical laser scope once. It buzzed to life and shot a red beam into the darkness.

“Sometimes a discreet two man team has its values Ms. Maroon. But then again, sometimes more firepower has its values.”

He pumps the gun once for dramatic effect. Sarah could tell he was smirking without even looking at his face.

---------

Frost was beginning to build on the wooden planks of the dock. Becki had begun pacing the wooden floorboards, hoping the increased movement would keep any of the damp air from freezing onto her warmthless body. Luckily no body heat meant the cold didn’t bother her much, and Zach was loving it. But the others were not likely having as much fun. Not that they ever complained, Dayshift got more jobs doing crowd control and guarding empty buildings then she bothered to count. She didn’t know why, nobody ever told her, and she never asked. She picked up her walkie-talkie.

“Hey guys its me. Just checking in, nothing’s happening... again. I’ll report back on the half-hour. Over.”

She let the button go.

“This is the biggest waste of time I’ve ever had to do.”

“Could be worse,” said Redeye, “at least now you get to take a nap.”

Becki swiveled, Redeye dropped down from off the rooftop and landed on top of her. Becki fell backwards, knocked to the ground. Redeye swung his arm forwards. A collapsible baton shot out of his wrist sleeve and thumped against her chest.

The baton issued a sharp zap, and Becki spasmed. Her body went limp. Redeye stood back up, moved towards the fallen walkie-talkie, and kicked it into the water. He heard the zombified groan behind him. He jumped back just as the bat smashed against his shoulder. Becki was back on her feet, smirking, her weapon raised.

“Well you ugly-son-of a bitch, you just made my night a bit more interesting. Thanks for that, I was getting bored. I’ll pay you back by making that face of yours even more jacked up then it must already be.”

Redeye raised the stun baton.

“Sweetheart, you really want to stay down.”

“Bite me mummy-mouth”

She swung; he ducked easily. Becki turned and twists the bat in a huge arch; Redeye dodged easily again. She swiped wildly again and again. One swing goes wide and out of control, and Redeye raps her hand with the baton. The bat drops. Another quick jab of the baton and it knocked into her chest. The baton let out another zap; Redeye held it against her. It isn’t a short blast this time; the baton lit up as arcs of blue electricity continually fire into her chest. The baton maxes out then the power dies. Becki’s previously cold body now steamed and she fell flat onto the pier. Redeye looked at his broken toy, sighed, then tossed the useless baton into the water.

“I told you to stay down.”

He reeled back and landed a sharp kick into her gut. It hits with a thud, but the body doesn’t react. He then stepped over her and entered the dockside shack.

--------

Finn stood alone at the back door of the shack, staring at his fingertips. He looked up into the night sky and watched his breath turn to a cloudy vapor. Then he stopped.

He gasped for air, clutched his head and groaned. Foam built around his mouth; he fell down in a matter of seconds. Dockside was silent for a moment as he lie motionless; then two bodies emerged from the murky water and climb their way up. First came Sarah, then Merit after her, both dripping wet.

Sarah placed two fingers on Finn’s neck. She waited, then breathed a sigh of relief.

“Thank God. He’s fine. Scared me a bit there, didn’t want to kill him or anything.”

“Leave him there,” Merit replied, “If he’s fine he’ll be waking up soon and we need to get going. We don’t want to-”

A careening icicle zoomed past his head, then shattered against a wall. The pair quickly dove for cover as more icy blasts came in from the nearby dock. The icicles then changed direction and began slamming the back door. The door began to freeze shut, blocking all access within by the use of a giant ice wall.

A pathway of ice shot across Dockside’s bay. Merit and Sarah both knew who to expect.

Zach jumped of his speeding ice pathway and onto the dock next to them.

“Sarah, Merit. You both need to stop this before its too late.”

Merit shook his head.

“Zach. You wouldn’t ask me to do that if you knew what it was you were stopping.”

Merit began to slowly circle across the pier, his arms glowing red hot. Zach’s hands turned an icy blue, but neither man fires.

“I don’t know and I don’t care,” Zach said, “But I do know what happened at the Reseach Center. You can’t justify that Merit. You aren’t leaving us any choices. This is your last chance to give up peacefully, or else I will stop you non-peacefully.”

Merit stops circling.

“Then I suppose you leave me no choices either.”

Merit shoved both his hands out, one towards Zach, the other towards the frozen back door. Pillars of flame shoot from each direction. Zach countered the flames headed towards him with an equal blast of cold, but the backdoor had flash-thawed until the ice wall was nothing but a puddle, and the wooden door was a charred and gaping wound. Merit turned to Sarah.

“Go, now!”

Sarah fled through the opening. Merit and Zach both overcharge their attacks, leaving scars of flame and ice ripping across the docks.

---------

Sarah searched the darkened shack that had been stacked to the ceiling with confiscated equipment. The Sentinels needed a place to hold the various weapons and doomsday devices they pulled off their foes, and this is where it always ended up. The walls loomed over her, and she could swear there was no way it was this big on the outside.

Sarah moved through the rows. Everything was locked deep in cabinets towering to the ceiling, and each cabinet was labeled alphabetically by the original owners. Sarah stopped in front of a cabinet in the middle of the row, and peered at a drawer placed at eye level.

“Let’s see, Monty, Moors, and Morgan.”

She used the key Red had handed her before they left and opened the container. Inside she found a pair of silvery knives, a deck of exploding cards, a grapple gun, and small leather bound book. She picked up the book and left the rest in their place for whoever Monty and Moors were. She opened the book and glimpsed its first page.

Field notes of Dr. Delilah Morgan.

“Jackpot.” Sarah said.

She packed the book in her pocket then turned around. Axl and Thorn were standing right behind her.

“Oh… Hey guys,”

Axl blinked, and Sarah got telekinetically thrown against the metal cabinet. She pounded the metal then collapsed to the floor. A groan escaped her lips as she slowly regained composure.

“Ow... Look guys, lets not get too aggressive about any of this. You know I know how to end this…”

Thorn and Axl began to slowly move in on her. Thorn steps in front.

“You can’t threaten us Sarah. I know you. You may be able to kill a few dozen criminal goons, but you can’t kill a Sentinel, and you can’t kill a friend, its not in you.”

Sarah muttered out a response, Thorn opened his mouth to interrupt. Then a red beam shot out of the darkness, and a new voice called out.

“Maybe it isn’t in her, but it’s certainly in me.”

A rocket fired off from out of the darkness speeding towards the heroes. The missile began to slow in air, Axl holding out his hand and mentally pushing on it till it remained stuck against his force; but it still goes boom.

The explosion rips into the warehouse. Flames catch onto the metal cabinets, creating a chain reaction as various confiscated explosives go off one by one. Sarah dove to the ground. Her ears were buzzing, her vision shaking, and a tall figure with his glowing red eye approached her and leaned in close. He whispered close enough that she could hear him above the buzzing in her ears.

“You might want to get on your feet before they wake-up. I have a feeling that I may have just blown our cover.”

-------

Daggers of ice collided with orbs of flame, exploding in air. Zach roared as his body morphed into his massive mammoth form. He charged forward, tackling his opponent to the ground.

“This is what you stand for now, Merit? Murdering anyone who stands in your way?”

Merit flipped between the beast’s hooves and sent an elbow to its eye. Zach stumbled; his opponent launched a fiery roundhouse to his face that pushed the beast back further.

“Sometimes people need to die. I don’t claim to enjoy it, but I have no illusions about what I’ve become. What I do may be monstrous, but it is all part of a greater good.”

Zach let out an otherworldly roar, and a tsunami of frost blew from his mouth. The corona of Merit’s flames keep him safe even as the very wooden planks he stands on turn frozen and brittle.

“The ends?” Zach bellowed, “Do you even hear yourself?”

He slammed a massive hoof down towards Merit. Merit sidestepped as the planks shattered and fell into the bay. Zach charged again.

“How can you honestly stand here now and tell me what your doing is right? How could you have changed so much? You wanted to be a Sentinel. You truly understood what we stood for.”

Merit dodged the second attack. His fists burned white hot and the flames begin to crawl past his hands up to the shoulder .

“Stood for? The Sentinels couldn’t stop the murder of one of their own on their own base! We stood around like helpless children while the world laughed in our face! I am choosing to live in a world without that, a world without crime or murder. Yes, people may have to die for me to live there, and I may not even be able to see that world myself; but neither will Becki. You can claim to be a hero, but as long as you stand in my way, her death will be for nothing because the world will never truly be changed.”

Zach stopped, and turned his massive eyes towards his foe, dropping his guard.

“Merit didn’t you hear, we managed to—”

The warehouse exploded, the oncoming flames knocking the massive beast and Merit straight into the water. Merit saw the fire, then the water as he sunk below. Then darkness as he goes down deeper. Then another darkness as his eyes close.

And yet the darkness changed once more. He blinked, adjusting to the new environment. It was black, but not the same type of black. It was dry, and cavernous, and lightly lit by a series of computer screens. Sarah then bent over him. She smiled.

“Hey, you’re alive. Guess I owe Redeye twenty bucks.”

“Ugggh,” Merit replied, “what happened?”

“Short version is Red shot a rocket launcher, things explode, you’re thrown into the bay, I jump in, save you, we escape, you sleep, you wake up, we have this conversation.”

As Merit began to rise, his vision now clearing, he sees Redeye stalking into the main room holding a syringe.

“Well, well, seems you made it after all… excellent. Now that we’re all on board,”

He raised the syringe,

“then its time to begin the final step of the plan…”

-------

The Dayshift stare at each other awkwardly inside the Sentinel’s headquarter common room. Axl leaned back in his chair.

“Ok, I’ll be the first to say it, we got spanked.”

Becki made a scoffing noise somewhere between a laugh and a grunt,

“Please, you all got blown up,” she said, “Meanwhile I got beaten down with an oversized cattle-prod. You guys looked respectable at least.”

Finn laughed.

“You think that’s bad? I didn’t even know it was over until Zach woke me up.”

“Its not any of our faults,” Thorn said, “We didn’t know what we were up against. Wally said that it would be just Merit and Sarah, so that’s what we planned for. We couldn’t have prepared for that kind of an assault.”

Becki quickly stood from the table.

“Maybe if Wally would freakin’ trust enough to give us some damn answers about what’s going on, we could have prepared better. I am sick of being toyed around with. Two ex-Sentinel’s recruits go rogue, two of our old friends mind you, and the higher ups still keep hiding information from us? What is it going to take? Maybe its time they give us some straight answers.”

“Actually,” said a voice in the corner, “I believe you may be right about that.”

The team turned and looked towards their mentor. Whiskey walks in, not acknowledging anyone. He picked the remote control up from a table and pointed it towards the screen at the back of the room.

“This aired just a few minutes ago, and I think you all aught to see it.”

The screen buzzed to life, the evening news began to play. Jittering footage taken from a helicopter showed the streets below. People were running for their lives, but from what is not really clear.

Then the pavement below them shattered; thick green tendrils shot from the earth. They spun and whipped towards the fleeing citizens, entangling them, and dragging them down. The helicopter that the footage was coming from bucked, and was thrown hard to the left. As the camera raised, it became clear that the chopper is attempting to dodge a massive vegetative Pod that had shot out from the earth like a jungle skyscraper. A voice tried to yell over the rush of the propeller blades.

“Hello Khazan, this is Stacey Grey of Channel 4… What you are seeing is real. We do not know what is causing this but… numerous pods have opened across the city… we are getting reports of vicious plant life popping up from them in The Bottoms, Archer, Moebius, and Dockside… Reports are still coming in, and it seems that they are attempting to capture people alive… If you can hear this, please, get out as soon,”

The Helicopter jerked once more, and the camera fell from her hands. We see Stacey’s terrified face. The engine noises began to falter, vines smashed through the cockpit.

“No, no, no, no!”

The camera bumps once more, fell out of the helicopter, and showed its plummet to the ground. It hits and the feed goes dead, but only briefly. Then the black turned to static. Out from the grey hiss, a single red dot emerges as the signal is taken over. It begins to flash as Redeye’s words play over the television.

“Dear citizens of Khazan. Please do not panic. Do not run. Do not resist. Everything will be fine. You have my word… To the Sentinels; do not interfere. You had your chance, and you failed. Now it is our turn. Let me show you, our new world…”


#11 deojusto

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 01:16 PM

Sorry about the font color. I don't know what happened there. It may be more visible outside of the dark theme skin.
EDIT: I changed the color but now it doesn't match the automatic color of the 'normal' skin. Should be readable in either though, but comes out a little clearer under the dark skin now.

#12 treacherous

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 11:40 AM

I'm still reading it. All I know is that there is some serious mastication going on in this. They're practically masticating all over everything.

#13 deojusto

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 07:38 PM

Thought you'd like that.

#14 Darkender

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 08:32 PM

I'm still reading it. All I know is that there is some serious mastication going on in this. They're practically masticating all over everything.


Oh, the real suprise has yet to come.

#15 Darkender

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 07:00 PM

Chapter 4- The Finale

Merit watched as the syringe pierced his skin and the serum was flooded into his veins. Redeye slowly pulled out the needle before setting it aside. Merit flexed his hand as the small incision the needle made closed itself, tickling him slightly.

“Who’s next?” He finally asked.

“No one, I’ve already administered my dose, and Sarah won’t be needing it,” Redeye answered.

Merit nodded in comprehension and stood up from his seat.

“And why not?” Sarah questioned.

“Because… This serum will be protecting us from you, silly.”

Sarah’s face betrayed the amount of confusion that weighted upon her.

“What do you mean?”

“Let’s just say you have a larger role in this… Come with me.”

He motioned for both of them to follow and pushed the glass doors open.

They were sitting in the glass observation room that stood in the middle of the basement of the opera house, their current base of operations. He briskly walked to the super computer that was adjacent to it and that is where he found Sarah’s eyepiece, lying on the keyboard.

“You’re eyepiece for example, it amplifies you powers to an extent even you fear, correct?”

“Yeah, but I don’t see how this-” He raised his hand, cutting her off before she could continue.

He placed the eyepiece down and crossed his arms behind his back as he walked off, not saying another word. Sarah and Merit shot each other a quick glance before they followed suit and stepped behind into the elevator.

The trip was short. The bell dinged, announcing their arrival to the ground level.

The rustic doors creaked open and the group stepped out into the dingy hallway that at one time was filled with class and reverence but now only cobwebs and dust. The stale air tickled Sarah’s nose.

Redeye continued, “Yes, your eyepiece magnifies your powers, but you are right to be fearful of it. I’ve notice that while you use it you become sloppy. It restrains your creativity and flexibility with your powers. In truth you become nothing but a psychic brute with no control. I intend to give you your control back, Sarah.”

They by now had taken two rights and a left and were entering the auditorium of the old opera house. The large room was filled with dilapidated, rustic chairs that numbered far more than any of them cared to count and reached all the way back to the entrance of the auditorium. The air however had a faint new smell to it, a fresh smell. Whether it was simply the vast area of the room that allowed air to circulate, or something else, the two were not sure.

Redeye passed by the front row of chairs and leaped onto the stage.

“With your eyepiece, you could maybe cover this room, but that’s too small scale… I’m thinking city wide, just to start,” He said as he pulled a draw string, causing the curtains to fly open revealing a jungle of vines and foliage. The waft and crisp new air filled the large open space. The plant life was growing, growing at a rate the eye could see, and was slowly taking over the stage. At the center of it stood a pulsing pod which all of the plant-life seemed to stem from.

Merit jumped onto the stage and then helped Sarah up to get a better look at what seemed like a rain forest that stood in the room. Merit walked forward first, but he quickly backed away once the vines began to creep towards him.

“What is this?” Merit was the first to question.

“It’s… Delilah. The ends to our means,” Redeye stood still stuck in awe at his own genius.

Sarah snapped herself out of her own awe and finally asked, “What does this have to do with me?”

“It has everything to do with you. Together we have put the pieces together, we have planned and planned and now it is time to implement. The last piece to it Sarah, is you. You must bond with it, with you directing it in a beautiful accord we will take Khazan.”

“Which side of this symbiotic relationship will she be on?” Merit asked sternly.

“This is no symbiotic relationship,” Redeye answered sharply. “Sarah will be in full control.”

Sarah shot a glance at Merit before stepping forward. She stepped into the lush grass that had taken over the floorboards. The vines of the pod slowly reached out to her. She put out her arm, accepting it. It slithered up her arm, slightly tickling her smooth and soft skin. It welcomed her. Suddenly she knew what she had to do.

She walked deeper into the foliage. The pod pulsed like a fluttering heart as Sarah approached it, laying her hand on its leafy surface. It opened up to her like a blossoming flower. The inside of the pod was a fleshy pink. She leaned back into it. The soft pink flesh of the pod formed to her curves. She took a deep breath as the plant’s roots moved their way up her body, slithering across her skin. She closed her eyes. The roots clung onto to her, clinging to her like it would cling to deep earth. She gasped in pain and her eyes opened, revealing their new color,emerald green, with strikes of yellow coming from the pupil. The pod pulsated violently as they became one. Merit stepped forward, almost called by her screams of pain, but Redeye held his arm out in front of him.

“Wait.” He said without taking his eyes off of Sarah.

She vigorously convulsed against her leathery green restraints as she and Delilah became one.

Redeye then turned away from the pod, pleased that the fusion was successful. As Redeye left he caught Merit’s eye who was before unable to take his eyes off the pod and Sarah.

“What do we do now?” He shouted to Redeye.

“Get the camera, Jamiel. We have to address our citizens.”

------------

The vines took a sharp turn down the alley as they chased the Sentinel known as Takeo Itou. His armor was battered and the places where it was dismantled displayed the deep gouges that he suffered. Takeo ushered the civilians down the alleyway and shielded them with his own body as he swung frantically with his trusted blade. The concrete floor was now being overtaken by moss and grass as an onslaught of green grew down the alleyway. Beads of sweat grew under Takeo’s mask as he chopped down the ever growing tendrils that reached for him and the civilians.

“Keep behind me!”

He shouted, exasperatedly, at the civilians.

“Oh no!” One of the civilians shouted.

Takeo turned to see the vines creeping down the other side of the alley. A sudden sense of helplessness fell upon him as he watched the tendrils slither down each end of the alleyway. Then a sudden scream could be heard as one of the group was suddenly swept away.

“No…” Takeo said under breath as he felt his leg taken hold of by one of the creeping plants. With great strength, it swept him away. His sword then clattered onto the alleyway floor, and was quickly overtaken and covered in moss.

-----------

The Alpha Sentinels were immediately dispatched to the various sections of Khazan to protect its citizens, but they quickly realized that mother nature proved to be their match. With each pod they cut down another sprung from the ground and eventually began to produce ‘Moss Men’. These strong plant creatures towered over most men and most definitely kept the heroes of Khazan busy.

“I’ve just been informed that we lost The Bottoms. There simply are too many of those damn Moss Men. How did this grow so fast? We must find the source of this before we are overtaken.”

Wally addressed the Day Shift in a small room located high up in the Sentinel Headquarters. They were able to at least keep the plant life from overtaking the immediate area around the building so they could have a base of operations. The Delta Sentinels patrolled the perimeters around the clock and fought off any sign of the tendrils or Moss Men.

The Day Shift sat around the table as Wally stood at the front of the room.

Becki finally spoke up, “We all know who’s behind this, no matter how much we might not want to believe it. They betrayed us.”

“Of course, we know who caused it,” Thorn added, “it was quite obvious once we found out what they stole. The question is how do we find them and how do we stop this.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if that damn beer feller’ from the academy ain't somehow in cahoots in this too.” said Finn.

“He’s already been questioned.” Axl stated.

“Okay! I’m sick of this shit!” Becki vented, “This is getting us nowhere! We’ve been sitting in here racking our brains about this as the city is slowly being turned into a God-damn apocalyptic garden! While we’re sitting in here and brainstorming, people are losing their lives! We should be out there kicking ass!”

Wally was slow to answer as everybody silently agreed with nods and such.

“What will we be going out there solve? Not to insult you kids, but the best we have to offer is already out there and are royally getting their ass handed to them with a side of greens! We won’t win this with numbers, and we won’t win this with strength. Lord Greenwood has already stated his concern with his inability to communicate with these plants, the mystical presence surrounding them. If we plan on being here next week we have to be smart about this.”

Once Wally finished another silence ensued. It was only broken by a quick knock on the door before it swung open momentarily after, revealing a small flustered woman.

“We found the source!”

The team jumped to attention as they all funneled out of the room and followed the Sentinel analyst. The woman smelled like a horrid mix of must and coffee, but no doubt most of the Sentinels did at this point.

“We were finally able to triangulate the source of the pods through the sewage systems. That’s how they spread so quickly.” The woman spoke quickly as she led them through the halls, the clack of her low heels emanating through the halls only accompanied by the Day Shift team hustling behind her.

They finally arrived. She opened the door and a satellite view of the old Khazan Metropolitan Opera House in Archer was projected onto the wall. The Opera house was overtaken by lichen and moss, with Moss men planted all around. The only way they were able to identify it was actually the Opera house was by checking older pictures of the area.

“We had sent an operative in ahead, he was the first to volunteer to go in covert. We have recently lost contact with him however.”

“Okay then, now that we know where to go let’s roll out.” Becki said, already turning out of the room.

“Not so fast,” The analyst added. “We’re also detecting a high level of psionic energy coming from the opera house and it’s slowly spreading.”

“Sarah...” Zach muttered, “Then what do we do?”

Wally spoke up this time.

“This isn’t the first psychic the Sentinels have had a run in with, and it won’t be the last.” He nodded to the woman. She nodded back in comprehension and left the room.

“The Alpha’s are too busy and already have their hands full fighting off the thousands of Moss Men that have attacked Khazan City. It’s going to have to be us that take care of this.”

“Hell yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!” Becki said, as she slammed her fist into her other hand’s palm.

“We can’t just dive head first into this however. We’re going to have to take precautions.” The Sentinel woman returned with a capsule in hand. She held it to her bosom like a baby before handing it Wally.

He opened up the capsule to reveal five vials of purple liquid. “These are a solution created by a scientist considered to be a founding father to the idea of the Sentinels, Axel Talbot.”

“Heh, no relation, I’m assuming.” Axl quipped. No one laughed.

“He was far too familiar with a Delilah Morgan whose body was kidnapped some time ago which gives us reason to believe she has something to do with this.”

“But there are only five.” Zach said.

“Yes, I know. I won’t be going with you all. I have mentored you for long enough and this is something you must accomplish. I have to stay here and help direct the rest of the Sentinels. I trust you all will know what to do.” Wally said as he held out the capsule.

One by one each of the Day shift approached and downed a vial of the serum.

---------

The Moss man roared and lashed out his arm as it exploded into numerous tendrils and vines. The Day Shift broke formation as they each dove for cover. Zach rolled as he fired a blast of ice. The frost slowed the creature just enough for Becki to leap from the side and smash it to pieces with her trusty bat.

“We’re getting good at this.” She said as she swung her green tinged bat over her shoulder.

Thorn stepped forward and looked down the road.

“It looks like we’re only a couple blocks away. Axl, fly up and see if you can get a better look at the situation. We need to know what we’re running into.”

Thorn barked more orders and they continued down the street. They didn’t get far before Axl returned from the skies bearing good news.

“I didn’t see any Moss Men. It looks like they all moved downtown, but at the rate all this stuff is growing we’re going to have to make this quick.”

“No Moss men? Interesting…” Thorn said under his breath.

They finally were in sight of the Opera House. The last couple of blocks were solemnly silent, only their footsteps and the slow moving of the plants could be heard. Then the sudden sound of metal scraping on concrete pierced through the silence, the whole team jumped as they turned to see a dark figure stalking out of the alleyway. The figure dragged a sword in hand as it staggered closer to the team.

“Stop where you are!” Thorn yelled, but the creature walked on unyielding.

As the shadowed creature drew closer it was then they realized it was none other than their fellow Sentinel, Takeo Itou. But something was off, something was wrong. The warrior’s eyes were a blood shot red with green pupils and spores clinging to his body all over. Even his sword was covered in lichen and moss.

The team and the warrior stood in a silent standoff before Zach stepped forward cautiously.

“Takeo? Is that you?”

The warrior formerly known as Takeo then opened his mouth and a slew of green, the disgusting texture of pulped grass, oozed out. As the last of the ooze fell out of his mouth he yelled a horrid war cry before lifting his sword and charging at the team.

Axl was the first to make a move as he sent a telekinetic wave at the warrior which sent him aback a few steps. However, he simply caught himself and renewed his charge. Takeo then quickly covered the distance between them as he fell upon Zach who, in a last ditch effort, unleashed a volley of icicle shards that pelted Takeo’s armor. Takeo then quickly lifted his sword to deal a deadly blow and swung at Zach as he fell backwards. Inches from his head the sword collided with a wooden bat, carving into the strong oak. Becki then threw the bat aside, stripping Takeo of his weapon. Takeo was taken aback, receding a couple steps when he was tackled by a gang of Finns. They held him to the floor, each holding a limb as he wrestled in their grasps.

Thorn helped Zach up as the group closed in on Takeo.

“What have they done to him?” Zach muttered aloud.

The warrior cursed and thrashed before Becki finally came up and bunted him in the head with her bat, knocking him unconscious.

“I don’t know,” Axl said as he looked on in disgust, “But it’s about time we end this.”

They cut through the thick entanglement of vines and finally found the door to the opera house. They quietly entered.

The stale air of the opera house was now complimented with the new fertile smell of wildlife. It wasn’t until they bypassed what could barely be recognized as the ticket booth did they hear the faint sound of classical music playing through the sound system. They followed it. It led them to a large auditorium. Its chairs were covered in weeds, and on the stage sat Redeye and Merit who stood off leaning onto the wall. Behind them was a true to life rain forest. Fully mature trees reached to the roof of the stage along with vines that hung low to the ground. Hidden within the heart of it all was a pod that pumped slowly as an artificial heart, pumping life into the plants surrounding it.

Redeye watched as the team made their way down the auditorium.

“Day Shift.” He said in a flat tone, his voice carrying through the hall. “Look who finally made it. Are you enjoying the music? I believe it’s Stravinsky. I heard that plants grow faster when they hear music. Do you think it’s working?”

Thorn ignored his babbling and spoke up for the team.

“Stand down. You are under arrest, hand yourselves over to the Sentinels.”

“Arrest?” Redeye chuckled. “You say that as if you hold some type of power, as if you’re still in charge. I don’t know if you missed the memo, but you Sentinels are done running things. You had your chance and you all failed. Now it’s our time! We will rebuild Khazan into a beautiful Eden, one safe from your inefficient and inept ways and principles. We are building a New Eden. Well, another New Eden at least.”

“What you’re doing is wrong!” Zach yelled. “It goes against everything that Khazan stands for; Justice and Freedom.”

“Freedom? The only freedom I see is for the criminals! Crime is running rampant in Khazan and you Sentinels are allowing it to run Khazan into the gutters!” Redeye then paused, regaining his composure. “Listen, this is about to be a new age. An age with no crime, and prosperity, join us. Two of your old friends have already come to their senses. It would be wise of you to follow in their wisdom.”

“Those two are no longer any friends of ours, and we would never join you,” Zach shouted before anyone else, his eyes drifting to Merit as he said it.

“Then die.”

Redeye swiftly outstretched his arms and multiple metals orbs flew from them at the Day Shift. Axl attempted to move the orbs with a telekinetic push and veer them off their path, but he wasn’t quick enough. The orbs exploded midair above the team, knocking them from their feet. Both Redeye and Merit took advantage of the distraction and leaped off the stage. They ran towards the elevator to the base below ground. The team quickly recuperated from the blast and went into chase. Becki was the first up and she was followed by Zach and Axl. They were in hot pursuit when they heard a screeching wail along with the fall of the wall behind them. The bricks fell in front of the doorway they entered and cut them off from Thorn and Finn. Instead of risking losing Merit and Redeye and stopping to see what happened, they continued in chase.

On the other side of the rubble Thorn and Finn stood in fear as a large rugged figure stood upon the rubble, sluggishly making its way into the hall.

“Knox?” Finn questioned with a voice full of fear.

Knox’s appearance was similar to Takeo’s and they knew that wasn’t good news at all. His bloodshot eyes and green pupils surveyed the area before they finally fell upon the two Sentinels. Without a word he took in a deep breath from his nose before exclaiming, “Maggots!!!”
------
The bell dinged as the three Day Shift members reached the cavernous hideout of Redeye. Surprisingly, the area wasn’t completely overtaken by plant life just yet.

“Keep your eyes open guys.” Axl said, as he assumed the lead.

Becki picked up her bat into a defensive position as they navigated through the dark halls until they finally reached an opening. The room was filled with high tech gadgets along with a glass room inside containing a surgical table along with a tray of other trinkets. They moved on into the room past the super computer and entered another hallway. Merit stood alone at the other end of the hallway. As they stepped through the doorway his arms ignited. The flames careened up his arms and lit the faint hallway.

“You guys really should have taken his offer,” He said unleashing the flames at the three. The inferno scorched the walls and the team was forced to separate as they each dove into different directions and rooms to escape the flames. Zach was the only one that remained in the hallway. Smoke absconded from the walls and ground.

“You don’t have to do this Merit. Becki is alive!”

“So?” Merit said emotionless. “One life saved out of a thousand means nothing. You couldn’t save Joshyln!”

He unleashed another torrent of flames at Zach as he attempted to repel them with a blast of ice. The sweat began to bead upon his forehead as the temperature rose.

Becki and Axl fell into a room as the door sealed shut behind them. The room was dark except for a glowing red dot that stood in the distance. A machine eerily buzzed to life in the distance as the red dot brightened, and began draw closer to them.

“So you say you want to be a hero? Are you ready to die for the people?” The bright lights suddenly flashed on revealing Redeye as he stood strapped with weapons. He pulled two katannas from his back and scrapped them against each other causing a ring to emanate through the room.

“Rematch bitch!” Becki said as she lunged forward with her bat.

Topside, in the opera house the Finns doggie piled on top of Knox, but they only held him for a moment before he broke free of them, flinging them in every which way. The Finns crashed into the walls and chairs with a blinding flash. Knox roared, shaking the very opera house as his voice bounced within it. The real Finn crumbled to the floor in front of Knox. Knox then reached down to grab him when a flipping Thorn joined the fray. He landed a solid kick to his chin before bouncing away once again, avoiding Knox’s large fists. He bobbed and weaved as Knox swung at the agile young man. Though Thorn knew he could stay out of Knox’s reach he knew he and Finn could not keep this fight up much longer. He observed his surroundings as he bounced around the room avoiding Knox’s clutches.

By now Finn was finally shaking off Knox’s blows and was getting to his feet. He looked around until he finally spotted the balcony that outstretched over them and an idea struck him. He exploded into a group of Finns after a blinding light and they stampeded over to Thorn’s aid, just in the nick of time too. Knox had let loose a screeching yell that Thorn could not weave from and found his back cracking against the wall along with his ears ringing. He looked up to see Finn jumping onto Knox’s back again trying to hold him in place. Another Finn pointed to the balcony above them and Thorn knew exactly what to do. He grabbed Knox’s attention who immediately let loose another deafening yell. Thorn dove out of the way and the sonic blast battered the wall, leaving a small crack in the foundation. Knox then flung one of his hands free as and a Finn flew and crashed into the wall. The precipice of the overhanging chairs shook violently as the structure began to crumble. Thorn dove from in front of Knox for the last time as he let loose a final cry that brought the structure down.

Below the opera house Merit’s foot collided with Zach’s chest which sent him flying through the glass box that sat in the middle of the room. The shards of glass fell upon the young man, cutting his face and already burned hands. Merit stepped through the broken glass, smoke still rising from his hands. He grabbed Zach by the collar and picked him off his feet, bringing him close to his face.

“Sometimes things have to be done for the best of the majority!” He said as he threw Zach across the room. Zach barely caught himself midair before Merit attacked again with a flying knee to the face, crashing him into the desk of the super computer. “Why couldn’t you just leave us be? Can’t you see we’re helping you?!” Merit delivered an enflamed punch that Zach barely dodged. Merit’s hand crashed through the computer with ease. Zach slide to safety and let fly a volley of Ice shard that Merit dodged before returning his own volley of flames which Zach blocked with a sheet of ice.

Zach wiped the blood from his mouth as he finally retorted to Merit, “What you’re doing isn’t helping anyone but yourself, and isn’t saving anyone! People are dying!”

“They are simply waiting to be reborn, reborn into a perfect Eden!”

“Then you really are lost, Merit.” Zach roared ferociously as he transformed into his mammoth counterpart.

Merit slowly backed away as Zach charged forward, his huge hooves shaking the room with each step. He then sidestepped the beast as soon as it got close and swept at it’s huge hooves with a sweep of flame. The flames scorched the beasts hide and Zach was unable to control his speed as he crashed into the large super computer. As he pulled his head out, dazed, he turned to find Merit’s flaming foot flying at his face. Zach fell over as he returned to his normal form. Merit checked his weak pulse to make sure he was still alive before trudging off.

Elsewhere below the opera house Redeye struggled under the telekinetic hold of Axl as Axl held him midair.

“Keep him still so I can bust this piñata!” Becki screamed as she ran forward, but right before she could get to him though Redeye’s eye device shot out a short laser that forced Axl to barely leap out of its way. It still singed his side.

Redeye then fell to the floor just as Becki was coming upon him. She brought down her bat with all her might which he caught between his two katanas. He then kicked her away with ease before lunging back at her. She doubled over briefly before attacking again. She attacked relentlessly with her bat as Redeye defended himself with his swords. Shavings of wood flew every time the bat met with the two swords. The swords, however, then unexpectedly flew from his hands as another force tore them away from him at the same moment as Becki was bringing her bat down for a strike. Redeye in the spur of the moment raised his forearms, allowing the bat to crack against him. He staggered back as the pain shot through his whole body. This encouraged Becki as she ran after him blood lusted. She ran and leaped at him with her bat while he seemed distracted but as soon as she neared him, with a swift motion, Red raised his stun baton and the sparks flew as the bat fell to the floor. The room filled with the smell of burnt meat as Becki fell to the floor. Axl yelled in rage as he sent a telekinetic wave at Redeye.

Back in the opera house Thorn stood among the rubble with Finn. Beneath it laid a zombified Knox that in his stupor was cunningly overtaken by the two Day Shift members. Thorn put his hand to his ear and was about the call in more Sentinels when he finally realized the pulsating pod that sat in the middle of the jungle that had overtaken the stage. He slowly walked towards it, jumping onto the stage. The wildlife seemed apprehensive by his presence, but for some reason allowed him to draw closer. As he drew closer the pod opened up to him, revealing Sarah. Her body was painfully contorted in the fleshy pink bed of the pod and she looked past Thorn as if he weren’t there. Finn was finally making his way behind him.

“Sarah?” He said unsure whether he should draw any closer.

Her blood shot and green streaked eyes finally darted to him. Her face was strained and full of pain, she slowly mouthed the words, “Help me.”

“Jesus Christ!” Finn squealed as he approached the situation. “What the hell you got yaself strung up in Sarah?”

She parted her lips slowly, in a weak attempt to bring forth more words, it was then when a vine crept it’s way between her lips, silencing her protest.

The hall then shook violently as a roar could be heard from below them.

“What do we do?” Finn questioned Thorn.

“…I don’t know,” He said as he placed his finger to his ear, “This is Day Shift, can you read me?”

Below the opera house Redeye flew through the air as Axl threw him with a telekinetic push. Redeye’s mask was now torn and his hair stuck out some. He crashed into the wall and immediately reached for his belt, pulling out a device; he threw a disk at Axl which he evaded as he flew towards Redeye. Unbeknownst to Axl however the disk boomeranged back and exploded on impact with him.

The explosion flung Axl and caused the roof to cave in leaving a gaping hole to the ground level of the opera house.

Thorn and Finn’s head swung around as they saw the new hole in the middle of the isle. A gloved hand then appeared from the hole momentarily after. It turned out to be Redeye, who slowly pulled himself up, and at the same time the fallen bricks that blocked the hallway to the elevator blew away as a blast of flames pushed them and Merit stepped through the doorway.

Thorn then stepped forward, “Stop this! You’re killing her!”

Merit looked to Redeye who quickly named the exclamation a lie.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about. She’s in full control.”

“You don’t have to believe me Merit. The Alpha Sentinels are on their way now, and in prison you’ll have lots of time to rethink who you should trust.” Thorn stated boldly.

Redeye let out a sharp laugh, “The Alphas? You think we’re worried about them? It’s you two who should be worried.” He pulled out a handgun and proceeded to fire at the remaining Dayshift who scrambled to avoid the fire. Finn multiplied and then jumped in numerous different directions as they scrambled and Thorn flung himself deeper into the jungle.

Merit jumped onto the stage in pursuit of Thorn as Redeye began his fire practice on Finn.

Merit slowly walked through the heavy foliage as he could feel Thorn watching him.

“You know you can’t let her die Merit.” Thorn whispered into the wind.

Merit lashed out with a ball of flame in the direction of the whispers.

“Some must die!” He yelled back.

“You know that’s not true.”

Another ball of flame flew.

“You’re better than this Merit, you’re a Sentinel. You know this. Save your sentinel sister!”

Merit’s blood boiled. A war raged within himself as he tried to ignore Thorn’s reasoning. Something told him he was right, but it was too late. He had gone too far.

“Aah!” He screamed, unleashing a pillar of flames in all directions until he heard Thorn’s yelp from the burning flames.

Redeye, fired at the Finns. He would unleash a barrage of bullets and they would explode into light and then another would run at him.

“Ya have to run outta bullets sometime!”

“Not likely.” He said before looking up to the stage to find the jungle slowly burning down. “No.” He said under his breath.

The flames quickly caught and ate up the green shrubbery, taking over the stage. Merit stood in the flames and could suddenly hear Sarah’s screams, he couldn’t ignore them now. He ran to the pod and snatched Sarah free from the plant-like restraints, diving through the flames and off the stage. He laid her down in front of the stage and her oddly pale face caught his eye. She seemed so drained, so weak. He found himself simply staring into her face until a yell snapped him out of his daze.

“What have you done?!” Redeye bellowed over the sudden sound of sirens and helicopters closing in. Merit simply gave him a blank stare in reply. Redeye snarled under his mask as he pushed the Finns out of the way and dashed towards the elevators. Merit looked to Sarah and then to Miss March who then crashed through the ceiling. He cursed under breath as he ran off after Redeye, leaving Sarah behind.

Thorn stumbled out of the flames and fell off the stage, rolling as he hit the ground in order to suffocate some of the flames that still clung to him. He grimaced at his burns.

Miss March then landed heavily as her feet clanked against the ground. “Are you alright?”

------------------

The paramedics placed Sarah onto the stretcher and carried her away as the Dayshift stood with Miss March in the middle of the opera house, which was now full of Sentinels.

“Redeye, and Merit managed to get away. They were also able to destroy anything of use in the hideout before we could get to it, but this was good work, what you guys did here. You saved Khazan from certain doom.”

“Then why do I feel like we got our asses kicked?” Becki said as she rubbed her neck.

“You should be proud. While we were out here getting out ass kicked and getting nowhere you were here, doing the real work, running the day shift.”

The City of Khazan was slowly cleansed of the weeds and thick tendrils that had once taken over. Once the main pod was destroyed the rest of the plant monsters lost direction and The Alpha Sentinels were able to exterminate them quickly from the city. Upon further search of the base, the Sentinels eventually came upon smaller pods in the sewer under the the Khazan Metropolitan Opera house. There they were able to rescue hundreds of citizens that were seemingly placed into a state of suspended animation.

Of course, the city praised the Alpha Sentinels for thwarting the super villainous plans of Redeye of taking over Khazan, but it was the Alpha Sentinels who praised the Day Shift, the Day Shift who were the heroes of the day.

--------



After the Credits


The ambulance swerved into the traffic as it hurdled towards Archer’s Mercy Hospital. In the back, Becki was performing standard Cardiopulmonary chest compressions on Sarah in an attempt to get her heart started again. The pod had took so much from her, all that seemed to be left was a cooling corpse, but Becki would not give up. Some of the EMT’s had tried to take over, but Becki had threatened them with her bat and insisted that she knew what she was doing. After that the EMT’s could only watch on warily, hoping nothing went wrong.

Becki ardently searched for a mouth guard to perform the breaths but, after not being able to find one, was forced to perform the breaths without it. It was unsanitary, but it could save her life. Becki leaned over and exhaled into Sarah’s mouth.

She waited a moment. Nothing.

Then again.

Sarah’s chest expanded. Her eyes flickered open and she started to cough as her lungs sprung back to life. She looked up into the ghouls face that loomed over her and said, “Becki?”
---------------------

Four guards stood outside the door of Sarah’s hospital room, and in the waiting room waited the Dayshift team. A doctor was standing before them, delivering the good news. She was going to make it. The whole team breathed a sigh of relief, but Zach was the first to ask,

“Can we see her?”

“Of course, right this way.”

The four Sentinel guards stood aside, allowing the Dayshift to enter. They filed into the room and watched quietly as Sarah rested, handcuffed to the hospital bed. The steady beeping of the heart monitor filled the room, and a sudden peacefulness emanated between them all. They then sat around and reminisced about the Academy as they awaited for Sarah to awake.

Across the street however, on top of the adjacent roof, two figures stood. It was the Fallen heroes known as Redeye and Merit. Redeye leaned over the edge of the rooftop and peered through his binoculars as he scrutinized the Dayshift and Sarah.

“Is she alright?” Merit asked, looking away from the hospital. The sun was just beginning to rise in the east.

“She’s fine.” Redeye replied.

“Good.” He said as the first warm rays of light touched upon his face.

#16 deojusto

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 09:39 PM

If you're having trouble reading it, try switching out of dark skin.

#17 KevinDWolf93

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 12:34 AM

Just read the whole thing today for the first time, beginning to end. Real good job guys, I'd been wanting to see some of the other ex-Sentinel candidates in action and it delivered. Sarah and Jamiel played off each other very well and both proved very formidible as villians. The rest of the cast was good as well, no problems with anyone's characterization, though I will say I was very suprised by how much screentime Zach got, in the best possible way, mind you. When Deo mentioned it earlier I figured it was just hyperbole to get me writing(it worked by the way). No problems with his characterization btw, him being the one initially trying to talk Merit out of it was fun to read over, I'd picutre him saying something like that...being last man standing during the first confrontation was nice too :D. Don't think that's the end of that little *rivalry.

Again good work to everyone who was apart of it, keep up the good work. I can't wait to see any future stories that come off of this one; most interested to see where Sarah and the Dayshift team go from there after the unpleasentness that went down there. Real quick question, if anyone bothered to solidify that detail, how long is this after the Sentinel Academy storyline?

*Completely unrelated note; I remember one of the few interactions Merit and Zach had during the academy was Merit walking in on Zach while he was practicing some icicle throwing; the extent of that was merit turning on the flames in a threatening manner. Incidental foreshadowing anyone?

#18 Pseudonym

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 08:09 AM

When? After Sarah and Merit's Character sheets. And Becki is back in action so... I dunno. After those events but before Wally dies.

#19 treacherous

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 10:33 AM

Takes deep breath and sits down to read this massive undertaking. Before I read all of this, I'd like to say nice job collaborating to put this whopper together. Just to sit down and write all that is worth something.

Wait what? Wally dies? Did I read that right?

I see Knox in there too. I got heavy future plans for Knox. I might have to flibber some jibbits. We'll see.

#20 Pseudonym

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 12:01 PM

Ivan's had Wally set to die for a while. I don't know if that plan is still going to happen. I can't wait for Knox's character sheet.




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