What's up, Heresy, I thought I'd do something different from The New Word(taking a little break
) and what better than to show you what I've been working on since I last posted Numbered Days on here
. I am only putting up the first Chapter, but here you are, enjoy!
Milioka, Irothis: The Province of Nithall
“Whoa, girl, Sei!” The intimidating Mastiff writhed and frothed against Warden Detective Reiko Matsuo’s heavy chain of linked steel. Savage barking woke up half the forest, all stemming from Reiko’s panicked beast. Alpha team and the civilian volunteers hiding on their flanks would be exposed if things kept up. The snow capped Uridene Basin plummeted into an ill chill that set her lungs afire. Movement of the nocturnal birds in the canopy. A serene quiet brought by the lack of animals. Shadows darting through the underbrush. Someone was watching their progress, preparing themselves to shed blood.
There was only one move left to execute.
Reiko whispered under her misty breathe, her hand stroking Sei’s unkempt fur. “Go, Sei, go! Get ‘em girl!” The chain fell from her torn and red stained gloves.
The Mastiff bolted in a beeline into the wild thickets, her steel chain rattling in the underbrush. Sei vanished for long moments, Reiko pinned herself behind a Cherry Oak surrounding the desiccated ruin of a dozen outlying buildings scattered around the woods. She pulled out a silver plated pistol tucked into her spare holster, and then attached a laser sight onto the weapon. Fingers brushed over the clips clumped together in her ammunition belt, five in total.
Reiko whispered into the communication bead on the hem of her neck collar. “Alpha, don’t reveal light sources and prime and ready weapons. Keep your eyes peeled. Kanaya, keep civilian teams toward the rear. Understood?”
A heavy voice relayed through the channel. “Copy that, Warden Detective.”
Detective. What an irony, Reiko thought on a pulse.
“All eyes,” Reiko whispered in a hushed tone. “follow Sei’s trail. I repeat, follow Sei’s trail.”
Reiko leaned out from behind her Cherry Oak in time to see her War Dog burst from the thicket surrounding their position, deeper into the white and green of a small clearing, just beyond reach of the nearest houses infested by moss and vine. Nothing disturbed the natural quiet, save one rattling chain. She breathed, Sei neared the village proper. The forty-five caliber pistol in her grip came level with her left eye in the same moment something abruptly darted into her dog, barrelling her over like roadkill. The Mastiff leapt back on her feet in an instant and automatic fire, marked by a display of muzzle flashes erupted from either flank of her motley crew. A wizened Elk collapsed into the underbrush with a pitiful death scream.
“Kanaya,” Uncaring whether the enemy were listening, Reiko shouted into her link. “Get those civilians to ho-”
Heavy thumps of gunfire, punctuated by their split-second intervals answered back from several thickets surrounding the old village. The civilian teams immediately burst their radio silence, overwhelmed by raving men already injured and others trying to put on a brave show. Several repeated weapon discharges on Alpha’s flanks immediately went quiet.
Mikoto’s voice came next, absent of consciousness.. “Warden Detective, permission to engage?”
The Warden Detective gestured a hand signal. “Alpha engage!”
Reiko never held a warrior’s voice, but her friends always said she possessed a heart of one. Alpha, however, was filled with bloodlusting daredevils and killers, breaking their silence with a thunderous cry. Pressure on the civilians immediately slackened, but the damage had been done. Moonlight shone on crimson splattered treelines and the few stragglers breaking their cover.
Reiko leaned away from her Cherry Oak, firing several times into the far center thicket. A piercing cry was her reward, she squeezed the trigger six more times. A weapon discharge flew wide and a death wail effectively cut itself short. Several invisible assailants traced her line of fire, firing short burst in her direction. Bullet impacts slammed into the oak beside her, one punched into her silver scaled vest around her midriff. The force sent her spinning into the earth, face first into the snow laden grass. Incoming fire continued their attempts to find a mark on her, but found purchase only in the surrounding earth.
Kanaya’s voice entered her ear. “The Detective is down, fire team one suppressing fire! Suppressing fire!”
A lethal salvo interrupted the enemy firing lanes, punching through the center in a relentless barrage that literally scythed through the wild grass. Reiko observed the assaulted patch of earth while clambering to her feet. An ill wind swept through the area… nothing stirred.
Kanayan always had his sight on her on the battlefield, no matter the situation. “Fire team two, on the right flank! Fire team one, left flank! Advance!”
Ten Alpha members emerged from their cover, breaking into two groups as they charged down the high hills. Suppressing fire from two machine gun emplacements set in two random buildings attempted to halt them. Alpha glinted in the moonlight, but they moved like shadows wherever night fell. The guns chattered incessantly, but a lack of return fire made their progress in killing any of her Wardens an impossible task.
Alpha disappeared for several minutes on the forest floor, the MG nests tapered off after another minute of blind fire. Reiko was already up and moving before anyone could notice her. She weaved through the Cherry Oak grove, into grass that came up to the midriff. An off beaten path ran around the clearing she sent her Mastiff through, just long enough to get her into the first building without drawing any attention.
Urgent shouts followed the lull in the fighting, uncertain about what they could kill.
“Death,” A shadow detached from the darkness several feet from Sarah. The night split apart under a torrent of yellowish light and whizzing bullets, forcing her to leap into behind a clutch of rocks. “to all tyrants!” The deafening barrage persisted, Reiko checked her clip by instinct, and then half rose, half leaned into the open.
The laser sight instantly picked out a torn, ragged vest, and she pressed hard on the trigger. The hunk of metal thundered, Reiko squinted from the glare, and found its mark twice. She heard a yelp, her assailant crumbling where he stood, she must’ve hit a previous impact crater. Her eagle eyes swept the environment for other hidden ambushes, and revealed nothing.
Reiko darted toward the neutralized shadow in the bushes, pistol sight dancing along its crawling form. “Don’t move!”
A nearby firefight resumed once again in earnest, all manner of cries echoing through the forest. The mysterious ambusher she had shot was a muscled oaf, painted in tattoos and his own blood, pouring from an impacted rib. “By Seanna, herself, you’re a damn good sh-”
“Sorry.” Reiko levelled her crosshair between the criminal’s eyes, and squeezed the trigger. Hot liquid splashed onto her clothes underneath her armor, the victim unmoving in a dark pool, colored black. She breathed into her channel. “Alpha, what’s your progress?”
“Reiko,” Mikoto replied. “The two pronged assault is wavering, Yosuke and Hinata are K.I.A. I repeat, K.I.A.”
The Warden Detective quipped. “MGs kill them?”
“I’m coming up on the left flank,” Reiko resumed her sprint toward the abandoned settlement. “hopefully behind the ene-”
Kanaya suddenly bursted from the underbrush, nearly tackling her in a blur of motion. He pulled up short instead, nodding to her. “We’ll arrive behind enemy lines, keep them busy, Alpha.” He placed a hand on the impact marked on her lower rib cage. “Injured?”
“No,” The Warden replied. “Nothing I can’t handle.”
“Good,” Her second in command followed her deathly stare toward the corpse leaking vital fluids around his boots. “I’m not keen on losing anyone else tonight. Come on, quietly.”
Kanaya did not need to tell her twice, brushing past to assume the lead, the abandoned settlement rapidly coming into view. She followed the path from one flank, surrounded by large crimson ferns and more Cherry Oaks. Her old friend took the other side, both of them striding into a mossy cobblestone road like leaping shadows. The road passed by half a dozen crumbling buildings, all rusted metal and dusty brown brickwork. One of the MGs were practically firing in her ear, with just a wall between Kanaya and herself and the weapon’s crew.
Reiko threw herself against the side wall of the MG nest, her gaze picking out a sturdy door mere inches away. Kanaya hissed under his breath, grabbing her attention, and shook his head gravely. He motioned with hand gestures to look for another route, preferably on higher ground. She inclined her head in agreement, and then wheeled around the corner of the house.
Massive trees had taken root around the village complex, their canopies effectively blotted out any trace of moonlight, keeping them hidden. Unfortunately, the rest of the ruin was similarly marred in shadow. The Warden Detective kept a hand over her laser crosshair and kept to the low fences and half toppled walls. Kanaya and her left the building behind them, arriving toward a two story store of some sort. The fire escape tucked inside an alley did not escape her notice.
“Kanaya,” Reiko breathed, pointing a finger down the alleyway. “Fire escape.”
Kanaya smirked confidently. “Alright, just remember-”
Reiko finished the thought. “Move only under the cover of fire.” She darted toward the alleyway, Kanaya at her back.
Rapid flashes that weren’t lightning lit the forest like an explosion of fireworks. The continuous discharges of the machine guns painted both Wardens in blinding light, but were still concealed in the alleyway. Kanaya insisted on going first, scaling the first story stairs under the barrage of gunfire. He waited, Reiko slipped beside him a moment later. A distinct wail of pain, different from the chorus of orders and vicious shouting of fighting men, rung out. The machine gun one building away stopped immediately, silenced.
The firescape groaned beneath their combined weight, long enough for Kanaya to curse under his breath, and then for Reiko to sweep either alley entrance. The nest begun chattering again, nearly immediately, and their cover resumed once more. Kanaya urged her up the second flight, his assault rifle tracking back and forth in timed intervals. The market stood close enough to the occupied building that Reiko leaned over and shattered a square in a windowsill. Kanaya reappeared behind her, just in time for her to unlock the window and push it out of the way.
“Careful,” Her old friend mentioned, Reiko rolled into a room covered in absolute darkness. “Someone may have heard us.”
She still kept a hand over her laser sight, but her iron sights remained fixed in front of her as she crept forward. Kanaya slipped inside, rolling to his feet, and then rushed to join her. Follow the left wall, he whispered. Reiko kept to one side of the room, her knuckles around the grip feeling the rust on the metallic surface. One foot after the other, she continued, until she bumped into Kanaya around an empty hole.
Kanaya took a ponderous step through, an abrupt burst of fire forcing him back inside the room...