The Fallen Chapter 8
Greven Sickle knew that he was about to die. He understood that horrible fact perfectly, and he knew that there was no point in running. But the knowledge of futility was nothing, absolutely nothing, compared to the horror he fled, the holocaustal chaos that still raged behind him. Most of the villagers hadnt even *seen* the monster before they started dying, falling to the ground with purple faces and wide eyes, clawing at their throats in a final attempt to remove whatever it was that was clogging their wind pipes.
And then the devil appeared, for it could be nothing less evil of powerful than that. It towered above even the center piece of the town, the Condor Tower, with a flawless muscular torso that rippled like liquid with movement. Its head and face were the right shape but completely devoid of any distinguishable features, and that was where any slight resemblance to human features ended. Its body rested on what seemed to be a machine, a cyclindral base loaded with an armies worth of artillery that was supported by eight metallic, spider-like legs that seemed to go on forever in any direction.
Fort Condors militia, at least the ones who hadnt suffocated on God knows what, had attempted to put together a doomed resistance. They rallied against the monster as it began to open fire on any structure that was standing, but they had been utterly annihilated by rolling waves of flame that had seemed to emanate from the rampaging creature itself.
Greven had tried to duck behind a wall, but a wave of flame had still struck him across the arm, lighting his sleeve up in flames. Hed made a frantic attempt to beat out the flames that simply refused to be extinguished and instead seemed to raise higher and spread out to consume the rest of his jacket. Hed started sprinting then, making as much as a straight line as he could, while still avoiding the dead bodies, towards the towns water reservoir. He would dive in to smother the flames, salvage what was left of his belongings as the monster continued its rampage, and then run as fast as his legs could carry him towards the distant Cosmo Canyon, and safety.
The burning man slammed hard into a broken upshot of wood he hadnt seen before and stumbled, falling into the dirt and rolling with the momentum. The water was in plain view now, he only had to crawl forward a few more yards and he would be fine, a few more yards, and everything would be just f-
A lone missile fireball rocketed through the air, sizzling the oxygen around it, and arched down to the spot where Greven lay. There was a small explosion, and Greven, in the center of it all, knew that absolutely nothing would ever be fine again. His entire body was on fire, and he passed on from this plane of existence staring at his so-near-yet-so-far watery salvation, with a single, mournful thought racing through his mind. The monster had waited, intentionally, for him to get this close, to come this far, before striking him down with the force of God himself.
Hojo didnt even bother to watch the body of the pathetic mortal burn to cinders, it would only be a passing pleasure. Useless emotion. Besides, there was still a few survivors left, cowering in the wreckage, and letting anyone escape to spread word of his assault would be simply idiotic. He could sense four of them left, three hiding in the broken shell of a building, and another having locked himself in a metal trailer. Stupid. And annoying. He couldnt reach any of them with his fire, so he would have to pursue alternative measures, and adding variables to the situation was not something he wanted to do. The scientist processed his annoyance for one moment, before marking it as just another, impractical emotion, and discarding it. Hojo quickly summoned forth the image of the man hed just slain, surprised that it had remained in his mind for even the short amount of time from then until now. Perhaps something odd was going on... besides for him.
Colonel Wise watched on in horror as the spider-beast continued to rain down hellfire and brimstone onto his hometown. His wife and daughter were cowering together in the corner behind him, shaking and clutching each other, making small mewling noises as if they were a pair of wounded kittens.
There was a crash as a stooped over figure suddenly stumbled into their hiding place, and the Colonel dove in front of his family as he drew his gun, ready to die and kill for them-
-only to heave a startled sigh of relieve as the figure managed to straighten up, revealing a face bloody and marred by burns, but it was a familiar face nonetheless. It has his best friend, and even though his clothes hung off him in singed tatters, and he could hardly stand, he was very much alive. "Greven!?" Weiss gasped, slipping an arm around his friends shoulders to help support him. "I thought you were dead! What the hell happened?"
Greven stared at him incomprehensibly for a moment, bilking, and Weiss realized his friend was slowly going into shock. Suddenly the man doubled over, and spitting what Weiss could only pray to God wasnt blood onto the floor, straightened out again. "I," he managed to moan, clutching at his stomach. The sheer effort it was taking him to talk appalled Weiss, "reached the water."
An explosion rocked outside, causing the girls in the corner to squeal and bundle in even closer together, and the two men looked at the same time to the left, out the window, and while Weiss drooped at the horror he saw Greven actually seemed to be gaining some of his strength back. "Give me one of your guns," he said resolutely, clenching his hands into fist. Weiss pretended not to notice the drips of blood that formed between the cracks of his knuckles and fell to the floor.
Trying to humor his friend in what had to be one of the last minutes of the horribly injured mans life, Weiss dropped to one knee to pull the revolver from his boot holster, but looked up when he saw Greven begin to sway, ready to dive and catch his friend if he fell. The man seemed to twist in the air, and suddenly lurched forward, into Colonel Weisss readied arms.
The Colonel, for his part, didnt cry out when he caught him. Most people wood, with a 200 pound momentum driving two serrated silver blades through either of your shoulders. Instead he stared blankly, going into a shock of his own, into the face of the man hed thought was his best friend. The face was the same, but as his eyes dropped towards the floor a moment before he passed out he saw Grevens chest, distorted and bulging, hands shrunken into some kind of silver metal that had punctured the outer edges of both of his lungs.
Hojo had developed enough hearing to recognize the dull thud of a large man collapsing to the ground. The females were suddenly screaming, as the click of two pistols being armed sounded within seconds of each other. They fired simultaneously, one driving its bullet into the temple of the fallen Colonel, and the other slamming through both the mother and the daughter she had clutched to her chest. And then... silence. With a wave of his hand, Hojo dissipated the collection of cells and debris he had formed into the shape of Greven.
All that was left with the man in the trailer, and Hojo ambled almost casually over to examine it, spider legs picking delicately through the grounds, always managing to land on something of value or another. The trailer was just one of the smaller toys in the city to play with, a little match box car at his disposable.
The former Shinra scientist had always hated toy trucks.
In an almost bored motion, Hojo extended his arm with the hand open and the palm face up. A visible tremor ran through the trailer as the makeshift muscles in the arm tensed, and Hojo suddenly squeezed his hand into a tight fist. The trailed crushed in on itself to the size of a baseball in less than a second, steely sides rupturing to spray out blood and gore with the force of a punctured fire house.
Sprayed with the mess was Hojo, who paused for a moment, body going into total stillness. There was no breath, no heart beat, to even shake his skin. And then he laughed. And laughed. Head thrown back, chest thrown out, eyes wide and glowing, Hojo let loose with a loud, maniacal laugh, that was heard even a half mile away by the figures standing in a silent vigilance of the scene ahead. The one on all fours bowed his head to the ground, uttering an ancient prayer. For the lives lost, for those that would soon be, and for the Planet itself- which very well might die with everything else.
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