Accursed City Part Two

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

The Mercenary

Submitted: March 20, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: March 20, 2018



Fresh from the reservoirs of sorrow, rainwater rife with glee depleting properties slid down his polymer laced combat gloves. Dark gray clouds hanging low enough to touch split open like the shell of a boiled crustacean, showering everyone below with a slimy substance that would later prove poisonous to their sanity.

Who would have thought, it does rain in hell.

Zipping the body bag halfway up, Rodriguez winced at the sound of beads linking together. It wasn’t his time, but the beast that ripped his cardiovascular system to shredded beef thought otherwise. The thing was dead. Dark purple blood oozed from multiple gunshot wounds. Its brains shaded a deeply tinged blue were seeping into the many gaps between olden stone, courtesy of Jackson and a one oz shotgun slug. The thing wouldn’t be taking any more lives, but that hardly counted as closure, at least to him.

Everyone had a doleful demeanor to them but pushed on. Tammerson leaned against a rotting buggy, hoping a cancer stick could burn his worries into nonexistence. The air tasted oddly sweet, killing the only thing he was counting on enjoying.

O’Donnell sat on a crate, sharpening his hunting knife against a Japanese wet stone. Becoming lost in thoughts that bore treacherous ideas, he would sometimes press the blade too hard against the stone, causing sparks to fly. It would always catch him off guard, but it never stopped him from repeating the mistake. The serrated teeth on his scavenger knife reminded Rodriguez of the foul creature’s menacing maw.

How many fucking teeth could have been packed into its gums? Like a fucking Great White.

Banishing the sight of its face to the outer reaches of his mind, he could feel his cheeks tense and eyes water. He remembered the ways his friend told him how he wanted to die. It was a close call between losing consciousness in Karen’s arms and dying a hero. While one offered the sweet and priceless embrace of a lover, the other guaranteed he would be welcomed into Valhalla.

Burly Scandinavians would be waiting for him with frothing mead and bodacious redheads.Hopefully, they would let him keep his rifle, no doubt still smoking at the muzzle and glowing red on the barrel. Enough to make a grown man cry, he felt a wave of devastation crash into his ribcage when he replayed the traumatizing ordeal back in his mind.

We were ambushed, he was surprised. The thing attacked from the shadows, reaching out with its insidiously long claws. He didn’t even get a shot off, how could he? He didn’t stand a chance.

Playing with a locket given to him by his past love, the tears burned as his nose started to tingle.

Fuck, none of us do.

Did she miss him? Was she thinking about him? All he could think about in his surrealistic time of dying was her. Her amazingly vibrant blonde hair, bombastic facial features, eyes that could place the oldest of philosophers in an inescapable trance, a body he would ascend the mountains of hell with just his bare hands to touch one last time, and a voice that helped him realize everything was going to be ok.

Rubbing his thumb over her face, and a metal cutout of her lovely puppy, he hiccupped a laugh that gave way to a barrage of sobbing. Bucking his forearms against his automatic assault rifle, he tightened his core and sniffled up any bodily residue that gave away the falter in his masculinity.

It would be easier to carry on if he could look forward to seeing her on the other side, but she had made it clear through frozen silence she didn’t want anything to do with him.

“Angel, you ok man?” Rachel bent down to meet her brother in arms at eye level. His windows to the soul were glossy and highly reflective, giving her all she needed to know.

“I know, trust me. He was a friend of mine too. I always invited him over for drinks, the occasional video game session, pool table Tuesdays…” Losing herself in gilded memories, a lone tear shed from her right eye.

“Fuck man, this place, this fucking city. I knew we were getting into some serious shit with this one, but I didn’t think it’d be this bad. I had no fucking idea, I swear to you. Jumping is always a risk, and HQ rarely elaborates on what we need to know, but I have a feeling we’re in too deep on this one. Travis was one hell of a man, but nothing could have prepared him for this.” It was official. He would never see his friend’s lively exuberance ever again. Angel felt the instinctive need to curl up and prepare to die. Another wave of tears filled the rims of his eyelids. Another wave of shakes assaulted his body.

“Angel, this is some heavy shit. I know baby, I know. But right now, all we have is each other. There are no reinforcements, no emergency exfil we can rump it to, nothing man. We’re it. You know these guys, they won’t let a single thing hurt you, but we have to be there for them as well. In order for that to happen...” She unbuckled a gas mask from his thigh and held it a few feet below his face. Droplets of perverted water slid down its synthetic exterior, unmoved by the hostile environment. Catching his reflection in the mask’s eyeholes, Angel saw a man being torn apart by an emotional cyclone.

His face was scorned with wrinkles, his eyes bloodshot, nose leaking like a tapped oil line, and his lips periodically quivered. Wiping away what he perceived as human weakness, he fastened the rubber straps to his scalp and make sure it was sealed to his face by covering the air filter. Unable to draw in a fresh breath of air, he was satisfied.

“We can do this, just stay on your toes, and keep your shit tight. We’re going to see another sunrise on the west coast, I promise.” Patting him on the shoulder, she stood up and walked to the front of the alleyway to do some recon. Filtered lenses only draped the world around him in a darker light, one that started burning a hole in his valor. Taking a few more seconds to breathe, he stood and walked to the other side of the alleyway.

People screamed bloody murder, animals he could only construct in his nightmares howled in hunger and yipped in demented pleasure. Thunder was approaching, but it was too heavy to pinpoint. It sounded like it was closing in from all sides. The rain was cold, but not like any kind of cold he had felt before. Where a rainstorm on a foggy August morning made you wish for a fuzzy blanket and a hot cup of chocolate, this sort of chill made you wish for a dampened corner to cry in and a speeding bullet to rest your decomposing brain.

“Rodriguez, come on man, we got some shit to go over.” Born twenty miles west of the Ural Mountains, even a bath in hydrochloric acid couldn’t separate Vasily Kovick from his thickly woven Russian accent. Complying with his orders, he knew the man personally and thought it right he was put in command of the OP.  Jogging back to the group while the others closed the gaps in between the circle, everyone stood with open ears.

“What happened was tragic. We all knew Travis, and he was no doubt a highly valued soldier and an immensely loved friend. He will not be forgotten, but I do not want this to happen again. We got ambushed by a fucking monster, but that ends now. We’re professionals god damn it! This shit should not have happened!” Composing himself, he creased his brow before continuing his speech. His face was scarred by years of conflict, and decades of hardships. The man had looked like a war-torn commander but wasn’t even twenty five.

“The cathedral is about four klicks to the east. Once we make it there, we’re golden. The coins are still the name of the game, nothing’s changed. We take all that we can and go back home on the Forbes list. That being said, we do this right. Remember your training. Clear your corners, scan sectors properly, and shoot with precision. I do not want any kind of rapid fire retardation going on out there. If one gun doesn’t do its job, we’re all fucked. Keep your eyes open, and triggers ready. Do we have any questions?” Most stood silent and let the rain do the talking. Some kept their heads hung low while others stood like the weight of the world teetered between their shoulders.

“Good. Load up, and make sure your ammo is topped off. We move in five minutes.” Focusing on the sound his mask made when it filtered air into its artificial atmosphere, Angel peeled the action of his rifle back to spy on the chamber. Glimmering brass sat ready to rock some foreign monster’s world to the seams, but would firepower be enough to get out of here alive? Trying not to get caught up in the unknown, he let the bolt slap back into place and tightened his rucksack.

He was getting colder. The city was growing darker. Death was all around them, and its presence was painfully palpable. Regardless of how he felt, he remembered the words of his sister. Fake it till you make it.

“Marcellus, take point! Rachel and Angel will watch the rear. Everyone, keep it together and we’ll get out of this not only with our lives, but with so much money our grandkids won’t even know what to do with it. Da?” echoing back the Russian equivalent to a yes, the mercenaries started their march.

Warmth radiated off their bodies and bounced from one to another, yet Angel felt like he was on a different planet while watching the rear. His weapon was light, but in that moment, it felt like a boulder. His fighting spirit had been castrated, causing him to want to collapse. He had run out of fumes miles ago, yet still found it in him to push on.

It was lonely in the back, but it was one of the most important sectors to watch. Rubber from worn out boot soles dug into the cobblestone. Muscles tensed as every man and woman scanned the shadows with flashlights beaming with the light of God. Green laser sights bounced off a thousand different surfaces, all stagnant and non-threatening.

Death would strike again, it was inevitable. While most worried when it would hit them, Angel only cared about how fast it would devour him.

© Copyright 2020 jrc1991. All rights reserved.

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