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Old 05/09/2010   #59
Alex
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==========THE ACROPOLIS, OSEA CITY CENTRE==========


The mid afternoon sun was irritating Serviceman Reynolds, standing guard on the Acropolis of the city wasn’t the kind of action he had expected when he enlisted in the armed forces three months ago. The closest he had come to a brush with the enemy was escorting Jason Spencer back into his cell a few days back. The fact that one of his greatest heroes was about to be executed for crimes against humanity was not helping this irritable, lazy afternoon. He had heard there had been some fighting for the 22nd Brigade down in the Orange Zone today, what he wouldn’t have given to have joined in down there. Anything would have been more interesting than the excruciatingly boring job of watching the helicopter landing pad here on the Acropolis from the interior of the security checkpoint. It was ridiculous, the Acropolis hadn’t suffered a direct attack for over five hundred years. Why the hell was it so necessary to have such a tight security force around here?

“Acropolis control, Acropolis control this is prisoner transport VTOL, callsign: AT-RAP requesting permission to land to commence prisoner extraction. Over.”
The speaker on the console piped up. Reynolds looked at it, dumbfounded momentarily, amazed that something had actually had happened on his shift.

“Anybody there?”


Reynolds blinked rapidly, snapping himself out of his daze. Of course a prisoner transport would be inbound, his superior had informed him that one would be coming in order to take Spencer from the jailhouse to the execution grounds.

“This is Acropolis control, you’re cleared to land AT-RAP”
he spoke apprehensively into the microphone. Doing his best to ignore the irony that he was now responsible for sending the man who had inspired him to join the armed forces in the first place, to his death.

“Much obliged” the gravelly voice of the pilot said.

Reynolds signalled to his partner to take over monitoring the consoles of the small control room, as he pulled on his dark blue security jacket and cap. He’d always loved seeing the VTOL craft take off and land, it was rare that somebody on security detail would ever get to see one up close. Stepping out of the office and through the door at the end of the hall he emerged onto an open-air walkway that led to the landing pad.

The VTOL that was coming in to land did not look any of the standard military-issue ones that Reynolds had been briefed about. It was sleek and jet-black, composed entirely of curves and contours, looking far more like a hyper-advanced prototype or private-sector vehicle than anything supplied by the armed forces.

But still, he thought to himself. The sector of the military that handled executions was so far removed from standard operations that the fact their own vehicles looked so different hardly came as a surprise. He gave a wave to the pilot, though he couldn’t see him through the pitch black windows of the cockpit.

The VTOL touched down, the engines’ volume lowering themselves to a low hum as Reynolds approached the cockpit door, which swung open and upwards like the scissor door of a sports car. It took less than ten seconds for Private Reynolds to realize that the man exiting the chopper was most definitely not a member of the military. Unfortunately for him, it took the bullet much less than ten seconds to punch through the very centre of his forehead.

“What a noob”
Salem muttered to himself as he holstered the high calibre revolver and closed the door to the VTOL.

He took a moment to consider that this plan would have probably gone alot smoother if he had used a silenced pistol, or even taken the time to dress in the uniform of one of the security officers of the Acropolis. Instead, Salem Locke had donned his own uniform, one so ragged and beaten up that he looked as though he had worn it through a hundred different battles. Military boots over a pair of torn, patched and ratty jeans, topped with a dirty white t-shirt emblazoned with the graphic image of a smiley face disfigured with a bloody bullet hole in the centre. Over the top of the shirt he wore a loose fitting kevlar bullet proof vest that had taken more than its fair share of damage in its time.

“Hey you! Freeze!”
the panicked voice of Serviceman Reynolds’ partner was yelling frantically. The deafening crack of the revolver gunshot had sent the frightened man sprinting outside to investigate.

“Put your hands up!”
he shouted back, Salem kept walking forward as though he hadn’t heard him or didn’t see the gun being pointed in his direction.

“Yeah, no. Sorry”


“I’ll shoot! I mean i-“
the explosion killed him before the scared guard could finish his sentence. Shearing his body apart so violently that it cracked the concrete walkway beneath their feet and collapsing the wall into the Acropolis air control station behind them. Leaving nothing but a smoking, bloody crater where the guard had been standing moments before.

Salem Locke, #022, the Destrillian of gas and explosions didn’t even change his expression from one of boredom. Returning to the VTOL, he fetched a long, slender package wrapped up in a brown paper from the passenger seat, which he promptly tucked underneath his arm. Finally smiling a wide grin as he heard the muted sounds of the alarms going off inside the Acropolis jail walls.

It was time to go to work.

===
“What do you mean it’s just one man?!”

“Like I said sir! It’s just one ma-AARRRGHH”


The communications line went dead with a jarring, agonizing scream that left Commander McCoy firmly rooted to the spot. Eyes transfixed on the walkie-talkie he was holding.

How could one man cause so much destruction? In the space of 5 minutes the courthouse and jail complex had been thrown into chaos. Timed explosives maybe? It had to be. Terrorists must have been setting up this plan for months. And today of all days? They had to have been after Spencer. It was the only explanation that made sense.

“All units, this is Commander McCoy. Defend Priority Prisoner One. He is the terrorists target!” he shouted into the communications device. “Do you read m-What the hell?” he shouted as the whole building shook. McCoy was a ten year veteran, listening to his senses is what had kept him alive throughout the war, and he was thankful they had saved his life again now. Running to the end of the corridor as the floor beneath him began to shatter and cave in, the structural integrity of the building was beginning to become too irreparably damaged by the scale of the explosions that were gutting its interior.

===

Salem hadn’t even been forced to break into a run yet, nor had there been any resistance strong enough to wipe the self satisfied smirk from his unshaven face as he calmly walked over the pile of rubble that had once been the central wall that separated the courthouse building from the jail area of the building. Holding out his left hand and feeling the gas constrict and tighten down the corridor to his side, the trio of guards who had turned on their heels to flee buckled over as all of the air at that end of the hall was sucked from their lungs, compressed from the air all around him into a space no bigger than a marble. Then he released the pressure psychically and felt the familiar wave of gratification as the tension released itself from his psychic ability.

The large explosion had blown out the walls, floor and ceiling from that end of the corridor, and Salem gave a wry look at the ceiling above his head. If he was crushed by some falling masonry then it would really put a downer on his big day out.

===

“Mr Spencer! We have orders to move you!”
said the most boisterous of the trio of guards that were now standing in the cramped, ill-maintained corridor outside of his tiny cell. The convict remained in utter silence, not even looking up from the shadowy recesses of the room, apparently transfixed with continuing scratch against the wall of this cell.

“Mr Spencer! We need to move out now, this facility is under attack from terrorists!”
he barked in what Spencer could have only assumed this guard believed was an intimidating, authoritative voice.

“I’m well aware.”
He said quietly. The scratching on the wall continued. Temporarily becoming the only sound as the distant rumblings of explosions died away. Spencer caught the nervous city guards, so unused to actual combat were noticeably trembling from the corner of his eye. “You would be well advised to leave now if you value your lives.”

“Shut up!” another one of the guards shouted, pointing the gun at Spencer through the bars. Spencer refused to look up from whatever he was engraving on the wall of his cell.

“If you want to live then I strongly advise you to leave now.”
Spencer spoke calmly and softly, ignoring the gun barrel mere feet from his temple.

“One more word out of you and I’ll put a bullet in your head, I swear to God!”
the guard shouted hysterically as an explosion much closer in proximity literally shook the room and caused a copious amount of dust to fall from the cracks in the aged ceiling.

Spencer let out a slow sigh and turned to face his aggressors; three sweaty, panicky youths. Not a one of them could have been older than twenty-one. His eyes were hidden in shadow, but the gaze was uncompromising, completely ignoring the potential threat of a loaded gun barrel thrust directly at his face.

“You were warned.”


As Spencer whispered those words they instantly became lost amongst the thunderous explosion and the resulting screams of the guards as the corridor outside the cell has blasted with boiling hot wind and the scorching blaze of gas expanding so rapidly that it caught all three in an explosion shattered bones and tore their insides asunder.

Even though the reinforced concrete walls of his cell provided Spencer with some protection, the sound had been like a cannon ball firing close by and had left his ears ringing uncomfortably.

“Hey gorgeous”
Salem spoke cheerfully as he strolled through the blackened crater that had once been one of the most secure doorways in the entire country. This penitentiary for only the most maximum security prisoners had been reduced to a charnel house in less than ten minutes by the gas Destrillian. This young man who had made a mockery of their uniforms and automatic weapons with his wild and unkempt green hair, torn clothing and arms covered from wrist to shoulder in a colourful mosaic of tattoos.

Spencer rolled his eyes, working with Salem was always treading a fine line between the special blend of lethal battlefield perfection and the intense desire to slap him for the continuous and inane running commentary of sarcasm and quips.

“You were cutting it pretty close there boss”
Salem said unhelpfully as he noisily tread through the bloody meat and brittle bones that were littering the floor.

“Just open the door, thank you” Spencer said patiently, casting a final look at the wall he had been carving on since he had first called his accomplice rather than watch as Salem created a mini explosion inside the cell door’s control panel.

“What were you doing in there?”
his partner asked inquisitively, looking at the white scarring marks that Spencer had been scratching into the wall of his cell. Five names had been crudely cut into the concrete surface.

“Just something to keep myself occupied.” Spencer said coldly.

“These five going to be the targets then?”


“Yes.”
He answered simply, shrugging when he saw the incredulous look that Salem was giving him. “I’ve had a good long time to think about this Mr. Locke, I’ve made my decisions as to which of my errant creations matter. Shall we go?” Spencer made little attempt to hide his frustration at the fact they were lingering around his cell. Freedom was only minutes away, and every minute they spent talking here was another minute that the Artolian military would realize that their government’s highest priority prisoner was making an escape and to mobilize their military accordingly. Time was short.

“Did you take the VTOL here?”

“No. I rode in on a magnificent white stallion. I recognise one of those names, why do you need him?”
Salem asked impatiently as Spencer wearily got to his feet, with an equally impatient look in his eyes. The glare was as unreadable as it was severe, causing the gas Destrillian to check his insubordinate tone.

“I’ll tell you when you need to know.”
He said as calmly, but with enough force that the usually roguish Destrillian looked uneasily to avoid the uncomfortable gaze. “Now, let’s get out of here. Did you bring what I asked for?”

By way of a response Salem handed over the long, thin brown parcel he had been supporting in the crook of his arm. “I sure did” he responded “Figured mine wasn’t the only pretty face you needed to see”

Spencer smiled as he unwrapped the package revealing a long antique rifle and an equally long two-handed sword, the leather bound grips on both were well worn and the rifle’s barrel and sword’s scabbard looked weathered enough to know that they had both seen use outside of regular practice sessions. These were the traditional weapons of Artolian military officers, formerly they had stood out amongst the rank and file of the military by wearing a sword. This practice had long since been abandoned after he had left the military, but in close quarters combat and with a skilled sword arm, there was no more deadly weapon. His hands were quick to tie the scabbard and belt around his waist, well experienced from having done the same hundreds of times before. It was a larger sword than most officers dared to wield, many favouring their swords as being nothing more than ornamental trinkets as a mark of their status. Spencer had rejected that outright and chosen to wield a heavier blade, one that wouldn’t break or bend if he was forced to defend himself at close range.

“We have one more job to do before we can leave”


“We do?”

“Yes.”
Spencer answered firmly, taking up his old rifle and slinging it over his shoulder. “We’re going to go kill the supreme court.”

===

“Can you confirm that Spencer is free?” Chief Justice Walther shouted over the chaotic hubbub of noise that was swelling to an almost unbearable pitch in the courtyard outside of the Central Courthouse building. The entire supreme court and many of the legal representatives involved in today’s trial had been hurriedly evacuated from the key government buildings encircling the courtyard. However, given that nobody really knew how many attackers there were or on what scale the devastation really was, the assembled mass of thirty to forty security guards had no real idea where to evacuate the civilians too. There had been reports of explosions all over the Acropolis, concentrated on the jail building adjacent to the courthouse.

“Not at this moment Chief Justice!”
one of the five security guards that he had been assigned solely to protect him responded.

“Well can’t you start getting these people out of here!”
Walther shouted back, grabbing hold of the guard. “We’re just begging to be ambushed by terrorists out here!”

“Not terrorists!”

One voice rang out clear above the crowd, powerful and captivating all at the same time. It was as hard as iron and loud enough to shout across the length of a battlefield. The noise seemed to die down before it, simultaneously curious and terrified. Every eye turned in its direction, towards the courthouse doorway where two men now stood.

“This was not done to you by terrorists!” Spencer shouted again. Mindful not to make a move down the steps of the courthouse, from speaking up at this height he could hold them captivated much like an actor or orator would do to their audience.

“This was done to you pathetic people by my Destrillians!” he gestured to the roguish figure of Salem to his left who gave a cheery wave to the crowd of petrified onlookers. “And by me!” it was now that the crowd noticed the drawn and bloody sword in Spencer’s hand. The panic and screaming began to set in now and a few of the guards began to fire their guns wildly at them. None of the bullets came close, but their firing encouraged more and more gunfire, causing Salem and Spencer to calmly move behind the pillars at the front of the courthouse building for cover.

“Did you really need to be so melodramatic?" the Destrillian asked with a wide smile on his face as the panicked shouting reached fever pitch as it struggled to contend with the cacophony of gunfire.

Spencer shrugged his shoulders indifferently and put the rifle down off his shoulders. “The survivors of what happens here today will now definitely know who to blame”

“And that’s a good thing I take it?”


“Even these clowns are competent enough to drive them out into the open” Spencer explained, then saw the sideways look that Salem was giving him from behind the other pillar “At the very least they might be able to help us find our friends.”

“And you aren’t worried at all that the humans won’t end up killing one of ‘our friends’, or one of the ones on your list?”
the Destrillian of Gas asked.

“No I’m not, Mr. Locke” Spencer said with such finality as if to suggest that the very notion was something repulsive and impossible. He carefully took the rifle from his shoulder and placed it against the pillar to his back. “Now listen closely, in ten seconds time I’m going to need you to destroy the very centre of that courtyard. Don’t concentrate the blast and make it 90% strength. I should have enough time to get clear.”

“Get clear? You’re going out there?”


“I’m going to be sending a message.” Spencer corrected him. “Leave one survivor”

Spencer leapt out from behind the pillar and instantly tucked into a dive to duck the swathe of bullets that cut through the air above him. Hitting the hard stone floor at the foot of the steps and instantly tucking into a roll to minimise the pain on impact.

Ten.


He leapt forward, the sword swinging out to the right to sever somebody’s head and then back around, using his own momentum to cleave a female lawyer he recognised from the trial in half, all in one fluid motion.

Nine.

The sword swung out again and again, and two more maimed security guards fell to the floor. Spencer caught a muzzle flash out of the corner of his eye, some idiot was trying to shoot at him whilst he was in the middle of a packed crowd. He rolled his shoulder instinctively and felt the bullet streak by him, plucking at the fabric of his bright orange prison uniform. Faster than the guard could squeeze the trigger a second time, the former President of Viola had taken one step forward and extended the heavy sword with one arm outstretched to pierce the security guard’s throat...

Eight.

...and tearing it out again in one large stroke, catching another advancing security guard in the face, dropping him to the floor. He caught a glance of the familiar long black robes worn by the supreme court amongst the teeming mass of people and charged forwards.

Seven.

A series of brutal chops with the sword left the security guards separating him from his targets had left them maimed and screaming on the floor.

Six.

The first one fell before he could even cry out, thick red blood spilling out onto his black robes. One brave security guard tried getting in between Spencer and the next Justice but he was knocked to the floor by one of Spencer’s fists crashing into his face, rewarding him with the sickening wet crunch of his nose shattering.

Five.

Two more Justices fell in less than a second as they tried to escape, but were hindered by the massive throng of fleeing civilians. That just left chief justice Walther. Not much time left.

Four.


Another bullet flew by him, but Spencer paid no attention. His eyes transfixed on the man that had spent the better part of two years trying to damn him into a death sentence.

Three.

Most kills were emotionless, an act of necessity, a means to an end. Spencer rarely felt guilt, or sorrow, or pleasure in taking the life of another. Out of the dozen or so men and women he had slain this afternoon, taking Chief Justice Walther’s life was the only one that managed to penetrate the cold, mechanical act of killing another human. The act of pushing the blade roughly in between his ribs and feeling the resistance on it as it tore through the stomach and punctured the heart left him with the lingering satisfaction that only came with the total destruction of an enemy.

Two.

The air around him was starting to get tighter, his heightened senses, fuelled on pure adrenalin alerted his brain that his lungs were having to work harder to draw oxygen from the air around him. Pumping his fists and breaking into a sprint he ran back towards the steps, following the bloody path he had carved.

One.

It had all happened so quickly, but to an old soldier, fighting like that seemed to take so much longer. Time seemed to slow down, opponents would move much more sluggishly than they would normally and every move you made would be much faster and more precise than you would have been in any normal situation.

The explosion would have killed most of the surviving masses instantly. An enormous fireball that had burst forward from the area of the courtyard where the crowd had been thickest, wiping all traces of their existence out in a single instant. The explosion was so powerful that the marble floor and iconic statue shattered and threw debris and bodies into the sky. Those who had survived the initial blast were killed by the hundreds shards of marble that had been thrown up from the explosion.

Nearly fifty people had been killed in less than ten seconds. Neither Spencer nor Salem even batted an eyelid.

The courtyard had been reduced to a singular black smoking crater, littered him the badly burned and dismembered bodies and the dead and the dying. There weren’t even any of the characteristic moans or screams that Spencer remembered from his days in the army after watching his men shelled by artillery fire. There was just silence.

“Precious few would have survived”
Spencer remarked quietly as he shouldered his carefully discarded rifle.

“Yeah, wasn’t that the point?
” Salem remarked. His voice was strained and out of breath, finally feeling the effects of such a sustained and continuous use of his power.

“Indeed” Spencer said to himself as he wiped the fresh blood from his sword on the orange leg of his pants. “Now we’re leaving. Did you land the VTOL close by?”

“I used the east landing pad yeah, not far.”


“Good. I’d say we have about ten minutes to get off the Acropolis before the entire Artolian military shows up.”
__________________

Last edited by Alex; 05/15/2010 at 07:53 PM.
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