Why wouldn't she DIE!
It didn't make any sense to Warren's clouded mind. No matter what his garden of death took from her, she would just grow back almost immediately, rendering his efforts futile, useless.
And he was not a useless gardener! He could tend a plant like no other man he knew, he could cultivate the most beautiful colours, the most magical patterns that took the breath away and threatened the sight with their complexity and awe-inspiring magnificence, and he would not let that be taken away from him.
She still screamed though, and that tickled something down beneath him, something animal-but-not, and eager for the blood to flow. A whisper, a wrench in the right (wrong) way as he tried to tear her apart.
Then he was back, falling, his roots tearing from the asphalt and struggling to right his top heavy form. Something, someone had rammed him. His leg was snapped, broken behind its shield of bark. The strength of this man must have been immense. His manipulator thrashed back to support him, long tendril-fingers supplanting his leg, wrapping around it, bracing it and becoming the form that it had lost. The few roots he had left continued their efforts to gnaw the girl, while the bone garden twisted around him, defending him.
Then she was free, and Warren opened his mouth in anger. No animal noise came out, no blood-curdling growl or suffocating roar, no human scream of rage or pain. The veins in his neck bulged and crawled up his face, spitting yellow and amber liquid as the skin burst around them, became like the petals of the sunflower he resembled. A crest of yellow took his face as a low, groaning, creaking noise, echoing like a tree in a valley as the wind ran it through, as it fell alone and untended.
Warren had only a vague understanding of what was going on. All he could see was yellow, there was nothing else. The man who hit him, the woman before him, all shades and angles of yellow, bathed in the light of the sun. Only the green of his creepers stood out, vibrant and filled with life, pulsating with vitae, both human-blood and plant-sugars.
He couldn't fight them without releasing his leg. He couldn't release his leg lest he fall over. All he could do was gesture meaninglessly with his petal-crest, his bone garden, his mouthing, tonguing roots, hissing and whispering, ordering him to get up and kill them, to satisfy them.
Matthew was well on his way to full recovery, laying there and observing the situation. His body was still rather numb from the constant transformations he's had to endure. His gums also hurt from the sudden regrowth of teeth. But besides that, he was his new self again. He seized control over himself, not giving in to the beast within, lest he make a mistake. He was going to have to play it smart. He let the familiarty of the predator to stay with him though, a slight fear edging at his mind at the thought of feeling empty again.
When he felt the moment was right, he leaped into action, darting to his feet and sprinting aside, he choose the moment where Sarah and Dirk had made their way into melee range with the monsterous super. Mitchel had looked worried but attacking him was a stupid idea,and he quickly dismissed it. Mark would have no problem to align a shot on him, instead, he decided to flank Mark, moving up on his position from the side, ever careful.
He felt a slight obligation to the ent man. The least he could do was make sure he didn't die. He'd have to keep his distance from Mitchel for now though, but as long as he was aware of the power, he wouldn't let the man touch him again, or at least, not lock him down. Matthew wouldn't survive that twice and for the first time ever, he felt a twinge of fear from his predatorial self.
"Stop! Who the fuck are you and why shouldn't I kill you RIGHT NOW?"
Shit. John had hoped that those soldiers would have ignored him considering his obvious injury but they even stopped the student with James and the civilian man on his shoulders. But in a second they would be busy as he sensed the predatory mind racing through the shadows with two thoughts surging through it's mind - the hunt; prey.
And in a flash it was on them, leaping onto the man who had shouted. This was the opportunity! Rico had spotted it too, and made a break for the clinic. John began to do the same, but sensed something odd in the mind of the predator. It was becoming more and more human; the instincts of an apex predator that laced the hurricane of his mind were falling away; dissipated by new winds of fear that seemed to surge from the deepest recesses of the man's mind. What on earth was going on?
John stopped and turned to see the lead soldier with his hands the predator, whose scales and teeth were falling away to reveal the human beneath! This soldier obviously had the power to nullify others... a priceless asset by any measure.
Now the four soldiers stood over the choking body of the increasingly human predator; their guns trained on him while they watched with sick fascination as the man writhed on the floor. Wind's of confusion battered John as he investigated their minds; this reptile had not been mentioned in their debrief.
They had not realised they were at ground zero of a second collapse and there was no way any commander would send such valuable soldiers into battle without that kind of information, therefore the remnants of the American government can't have realised it either. A plan was forming in John's mind.
But this fight was not over, not by a long shot; the Ent had been leaping round the buildings and now exploded from out of an alley behind them. Vines, roots and flowers; in all manner of colours; poured out onto the street as the Ent charged into the soldiers. He leapt onto the female soldier; his iron roots lashing at her with a ferocity that made John recall the pain in his lacerated arm.
But even as he tore her flesh it grew back in seconds - she must be a healer of some sorts! The power on display in front of him was phenomenal.
"Scram, NOW!" the lead shouted in his direction before turning back to the fight.
And then another soldier charged at the Ent and with tremendous force knocked him back and managed to literally tear the woman from the grip of the Ent.
Before he knew what was going on, John was running towards the melee; his detached mind ignoring the pain of his arm and willing the body onwards.
His course of action was decided. A man who could nullify the powers of others, an immensely powerful healer, a man with some sort of inhuman strength, and another who was no doubt also a super. All of whom were drilled and trained soldiers. Either they realised that the people here were not the enemy, or the carnage that would ensue from their attempts to subdue the city with force would leave it in utter anarchy. Anarchy not unlike the anarchy that had claimed his wife and baby during the first collapse; he would not let it happen again.
And the first causalities would be Warren; to whom he still owed his life; and the predator who was returning to his reptilian self. But there was fear there now.
Now the predator had begun to flank the super whose power he was unsure of, when John managed to get within close enough to draw his attention. Now those same reptilian eyes focused on him as he approached and told him in a hushed voice, "You are my brother - run with it for now or they will kill you, me and the tree." Not waiting for an answer; he was already too far committed; he advanced towards the soldiers clutching his broken arm.
The soldiers had already stopped shooting Warren, and now with the predator crouching behind him he shouted towards the lead soldier who was radiating hesitation; "Please stop!"
Guns turned pointed towards him. At 6'3 John cut an imposing figure, but clutching the lacerated arm there could be no mistaking him for a danger. However they would need a bogey-man; "Can't you see that Miriam has poisoned their minds!" Recognition in his mind... they had been warned about her; perhaps she was a threat?
"This is my brother, you brought him back from her taint! He woke up like this a week ago like this and since then her insidious tendrils have been polluting him! He is not the enemy!"
"You brought him back! You've given me back my brother! And you can do the same for him!" He pointed at Warren who was now rooted in place, his crest of glorious yellow petals flaring.
While he had no evidence that Miriam had polluted the predator's mind, he'd begun to realise that in some way she had affected Warren. There was no evidence of her powers in his mind, but he seemed to have latched onto that name... 'Miriam' and warped the memory his wife... Marie?... to fit it. Perhaps he could be snapped out of it, but the chance of that fell significantly if Warren was dead.
Guns were now trained on John as well, but he advanced towards Mitchell regardless.
"That is a man! With children, and a wife Marie!" The immobilised Warren heard, and his mind registered it even if his body did not. "A week ago he turned as well! This is a second collapse, but all of them hate the McNeils! They are on your side! Are you going to fight them all too!?"
He poured all the emotion he could into that last question, that last challenge. It hung heavy in the air as he waited for a response.
"You guys be careful... Don't make us come up there to save your bacon." With a short laugh Ottis sat down on the first step.The worried panic slowly left his face. Wishing he was wearing underwear or had a t-shirt on.
Feeling older then he should, he sighed. Thinking of his life and how fulfilled it has turned out. Turning towards the guys as they went up to their unknown fates..
" If we survive today. We should have a cookout at my place." Then looking back at the remaining Diesels.
"Uh, Diesel. Either I'm in the first stages of Alzheimer. Or, did we forget the fires in the first floor?"
"...Rico. Rico Jarvis." Martin looked at the man. He seemed to be quite exhausted and a bit disgusted, must have been the bodies earlier. "I... I found them beside a freaking malevolent flower." Martin nodded seemed this really was the second time people unlocked powers. "It was attacking people and ripping them apart. Someone told me to get these guys to help, so I ran here." Martin nodded he didn't want to disturb the man from talking. "I... I see you have powers. Did they hit you recently? Mine... mine did. I cannot be injured. Do you have any idea what's causing the powers?" Rico stood up he seemed to recover from his exhaustion.
Martin also stood up he looked at Rico. "Well Rico in the short time I have studied my power, and other people powers. I haven't really discovered anything I am afraid, I do have some theories but nothing conclusive. And you say you can't be injured? So you are like invulnerable? That seems like an handy power to have. And to answer your earlier question, I have had mine power for a few days now." Martin nodded and grabbed the bag of puking throwing it away. Martin turned around and looked at Rico. "Well Rico you want to rest here for a while longer? I mean it seems like an war out there, and even if you can't be killed you could still be caught under an collapsing building trapping you. And seeing as how you just saved those 2 people, I would be happy to hear that you would stay an while longer." Martin smiled at the man. Martin liked people who went out of their way to save others. Rico had shown to be an brave person by risking his life to save them, even if he couldn't be killed.
"Well, Rico, you want to rest here for a while longer?"
Rico felt a burst of second wind course through him, slowly normalizing his burning legs. He stretched. "I think I will, doc. Just let me have a glass of water. I wanna see the people here get through this safely. I'll fight anyone who attacks this clinic."
Rico's voice dropped in volume a bit. "Doc... I think we're the last place to get medical help in this area. The hospital's got a crazy witchdoctor in it, last I checked. Something about the pleasing of Loa or some other such junk. I have a nasty feeling that he's controlling the place now. For all we know, he might straight up attack us."
Rico leaned against the front door of the clinic, looking out. The last of the minor injuries were being treated now that Doc Caldwell had rested. It still looked horrific and gross, but he had to learn to stomach it, at least until these crazy days were over.
He turned and saw the woman he'd carried to the clinic. She didn't say anything. She just looked at him with a minor sense of awe barely covered by a stiff upper lip expression. Rico moved past her to see how the man with the now-fixed broken ribs was doing.
Rico started to stretch his legs. "I think I will, doc. Just let me have a glass of water. I wanna see the people here get through this safely. I'll fight anyone who attacks this clinic." Martin smiled brightly at what the young man had said. "Well we would be really lucky to have someone like you helping out here." Martin was happy that he had made the right choice in coming to talk to him.
"Doc... I think we're the last place to get medical help in this area. The hospital's got a crazy witchdoctor in it, last I checked. Something about the pleasing of Loa or some other such junk. I have a nasty feeling that he's controlling the place now. For all we know, he might straight up attack us." Martin turned an bit white at the news... He seemed stressed "last place?.. But I can't have many patients here and I am the only doctor...The news about this 'witch doctor' is very worrying. Still thank you for informing you." Martin nodded he needed to find more medical personal.
After walking back in Martin healed the last of the minor wounds. He quickly began to heal whoever was, left as the bodies seemed to have been removed and a few people were cleaning the clinic. Removing the glass blood and other broken things. Martin was happy to see that the damaged was less severe then he would have suspected at first. Martin looked at the clinic, they would rebuild they would be fine. Martin whispered to himself "Now only to make an deal with whoever will take over now. Still we are in a very good potions to negotiate, if this really is the only place to heal in town."
Matthew's sprint was abruptly ended by a seemingly normal human. He could register this enough to stop, then again he hadn't let the beast take over. Golden eyes stared at the man, before he realized that he had a plan. He slowly pulled his sleeves down over his claws. The idea of a human telling him what to do felt like the predator was screaming in his head, as if it was insulted at the idea of it. Aiken shook his head, forcing it down and swallowing in the process. Hesitantly, he followed in John's footsteps.
His body still hadn't fully recovered, leaving behind numbness which impaired his movement a little. Truth to be told, he wasn't eager to fight like this. His stare settled on Mark, but he didn't leap, he remained at John's left side, slightly behind him. The young idealist wanted to convince the soldiers that they weren't enemies and they could work together. Aiken didn't think like him in this regard but if it helped him survive, then it was worth a try. He shifted uncomfortably though, now they both had guns trained at them and the attention of all the soldiers. It did not sit well with his survival instincts at all.
He could only hope John knew what he was doing, standing there being passive. His palms started itching and he felt himself breathe a little more heavily, turning his head lightly as to not breathe in John's direction. The last thing he needed right now was to have the man get poisoned while trying to convince the soldiers of his plight. Then again.. they could use all the help they could get to slaughter the Mcneils. The beast within reeled at the thought of this, a part of him clearly not agreeing but he forced the feeling down yet again, finding himself staring at the soldiers once more.
Mark looked to his right and saw the beast which jumped at him on the roof grow near. His hands shifted the shotgun he held and aimed it at his head. If Mitchel didn't finish him off it means the thing can regenerate. Before Mark could pull the trigger John spoke to the team and tried to convince them of his righteousness. Mitchel watched as he talked to the group, his eyes darting between Mark and the beast he should have killed and Dirk and Sarah as she screamed after being pulled from the tree ent's grasp.
Mitchel stared at John after he finished speaking, his rifle still being pointed at him.
"Manny's gone, I'm sure of it.", Mitchel gave the signal to Mark.
"So is Miriam. Dolores is the one in charge", as Mitchel spoke Miriam smiled back at the palace. Not only did her plan work, but she could eliminate another psychic who may stand in her way. Mitchel shot John twice in his chest, watching as he flew back and on the ground. Mark then discharged three buckshots of heavy pellets into Matthew's body, hoping that his regenerative abilities would be deemed moot. The four turned their sights on the green behemoth and both Mark and Mitchel opened fire as they walked away from the beast and towards the intersection.
The four held their fire and run away from the seemingly invincible tree ent. As they run through the intersection, Mitchel caught sight of a group of bodies near the pickup truck they saw earlier. A house was all shot up next to it, but what Mitchel cared about was Manny. He broke away from the team and frantically ran towards his friend, crying out to Sarah to follow. Mark was trailing behind the three and Dirk was waiting for him in the intersection. Mark's eyes widened as he watched the beast he shot up come back to life, its wounds quickly regenerating. The beast stared back at Mark and the man froze in his place.
"Mark, get up here now!", Dirk shouted at his comrade. He caught sight of the predator and decided to come to his comrade's aid, though it seemed to be too late.
Matthew had seen it coming. All throughout the encounter he had been tense and the predator had been screaming at him, eager to throw himself at Mark. When he realized Mark was going to shoot, he leaped back slightly. The first buckshot went wide, completely missing him. Mark had no trouble realigning the gun and firing a bit higher the next two shots though. Even if he was quite a bit from the convenient range of a 12 gauge shotgun, a few pellets hit across his body. He felt one bury in his gut, staying there, another flayed the side of his arm and two more flayed his other arm. Given the circumstances, he tumbled over, but the fact that he had so recently went through so much pain left the damage numb and superficial.
He stayed down only a moment as the soldiers moved on. Enough time to rip his sleeves off partially and dig a claw into his gut, flaying it slightly but pulling out the pellet. He was more numb to pain than he initially thought as he only managed a slight groan. He found his thoughts oddly drifting to John. The man had not deserved that. He hadn't deserved to get shot like that and Aiken found himself hoping he was alive. He would help him, but the beast within was no longer as easy to contain, he darted up to his feet, adrenaline fuelling him as he glared after Mark. This time the bastard was dead. Normally, Aiken's regeneration wasn't this impressive, but given how much he had to rely upon it as of late, it was ready and set to patch him up. Blood dribbled down the sides of Matthew's mouth and he must've looked murderous because Mark decided to freeze in place.
It was the second to last mistake the poor military man would ever commit. The next mistake followed shortly after Matthew made a dash for him, claws raised and promising an agonizing death. He lifted his shotgun too early and fired two more buckshots. They barely seemed to graze Aiken, as he was still well outside the optimal range. Then the man's shotgun clicked. He had no more shells to expend. After burning 5 shots on Aiken and many shots on the Entman, he was out of immediate shells. He would need to reload. If Matthew hadn't been such a ruthless predator at the time, he might've pitied the man's horrified facial expression.
Instead of pity, he felt only thrill. He rammed right into Mark, toppling him in a flurry of teeth and claws. The first few swipes hit his arms and chest, gouging large markings in his clothing and flesh, causing the man to scream in agony even as he fell over. Resting ontop of him, Aiken gouged a claw into the man's gut, ripping out a fair bit of entrails which appeared to get caught onto the claw, he took a breath in Mark's face, green smoke hitting him and choking him. He tried to struggle, he really did. And if the first rends Aiken had done hadn't hit his arms, he might've stood a chance, but his arms gave way to Matthew.
Pressing one claw against his forehead and the other into his left arm, Aiken sunk his teeth into Mark's throat. That was the killing move. By the time two seconds had passed, half of his throat was missing and Aiken roared in ferocious triumph, spitting out blood and flesh. His cold and ruthless eyes settled on the approaching Dirk, turning into pinpricks. What that man was thinking, Aiken didn't have a clue. But at this point, he was covered in blood and gore, pieces of entrail and flesh stuck onto his teeth and his entire face smudged with Mark's vitae, like some monster from a terrifying horror story. He revealed his teeth in a grin of vicious intent.
He's killing him... He's fucking killing him!
Dirk didn't think, he just ran.
Just like that time when he escaped the crashing building and left his friends behind.
Just like when he fled the robbers.
Just like when he left his wife for dead.
But not this time.
Dirk ran forward, his power granting him tremendous speed, and he smashed forward into Matthew as he leaned over Mark and cut him up into pieces. He stopped a few meters away from Mark's body, too close to the tree ent. Dirk stopped in his tracks and held his head with both hands as he tried to stop his head from spinning. He waddled towards Mark in a drunken fashion as he called out to him, "I'm coming for you, buddy!".
Back at the clinic, Mitchel was holding Manny in his arms. The hole in his head served as a painful reminder of what happened to Jake the Tornado, and how they lost him when they were still a fresh crew. He held Manny tighter and cried out to Sarah. He quickly lost control of himself, letting a stream of tears drop on Manny's blood soiled clothes. Sarah ran to the kneeling Mitchel and asked him what was wrong, but the sight of Manny underneath Mitchel stopped her dead in her tracks.
"FIX HIM", Mitchel shouted at her. He turned back halfway and grabbed her left hand's sleeve, pulling her down with tremendeous force. "FUCKING FIX HIM NOW", he screamed at her. The shaking soldier placed her hands over the corpse of what was Manny and nodded in refusal.
"He's already dead, Mitchel. I can't do anything to help him... please, lets get back to the other-", She stopped right there, her pupils expanding in fear of what stood on top of her. Mitchel was already up, holding his secondary weapon and aiming his colt pistol at him.
"You have to fix him... YOU HAVE TO FIX HIM", he screamed his lungs out. Inside the clinic, the others heard the commotion outside, and Sarah came out to check was was unfolding. Martin was quick to follow. Mitchel caught the two trying to sneak up on him and aimed his pistol at them.
"YOU-", He waved his pistol in the air at the two, "-WHO DID THIS?".
Someone was shouting just outside the building, so Sarah cautiously stepped outside to check what was happening. Immediately she saw the two soldiers, stood over the body of their fallen comrade. Her hands briefly clenched into a fist, even after his death she couldn't fully forgive what that man for what he had done. Nonetheless, she forced herself to appear calm once more, she didn't want to provoke these people. Instead she slowly stepped towards them, alongside Martin.
Suddenly, one of the soldiers swerved around, waving a pistol at her and the doctor.
Sarah quickly raised her hands and stepped back, while her skin instinctively responded to the threat of gunfire. After a couple of seconds she would completely immune to the power of that small firearm.
"-WHO DID THIS?"
The man seemed distraught, and definitely dangerous. She didn't want to risk attacking him however, as she couldn't be sure she would be the only one who would be fired at. Instead she tried appealing to him.
"Woah! There's no need for the weapon here, we don't mean you any harm."
She kept her arms held high, hoping he wouldn't consider them a threat.
"This is a clinic, please... we don't want any trouble here. Enough people have died today."
Mitchel's arm seemed to shake for a few seconds, but he managed to retain his calmness. Grief was quick to be overtaken by wrath, as he shouted back at the civilian woman.
"If this is a clinic, then why is Manny dead? Why didn't you save him?", he had to get some answers, even if he had to shoot someone. He was tired of losing friends. Too damned tired.
Sarah tried all she could, but she knew the limits of her power. She knew that in this stage Mitchel was too unstable to hear the truth... Manny was gone, forever.
John's watched in horror as the soldier put two rounds into his chest, knocking him back onto the ground. Somehow he was not dead, but he wasn't going anywhere soon. And oh shit, what a miscalculation. Who on earth was Dolores?
...Of course, Miriam. If they were that susceptible to mind games they would have just been a liability in what was now appearing to be an inevitable confrontation, so perhaps it was for the best. A positive spin on being shot was more difficult, however. While the two rounds had not hit anything vital he was in danger of bleeding out; evidently the man had not tried too hard, not thinking much of the man with the broken arm. And as his face hit the concrete he also realised that Jenna had fractured his cheekbone,
But despite the trauma his body was going through his mind continued to drift and investigate the storms around. He saw as the mind of the predator collided with one of the soldier's minds and promptly extinguished it, those predatory instincts once again tearing at the surface. He felt the other nearby soldier react with horror, and then rage - some deep hidden shame and pain coming tantalisingly close to John's probing mind as the soldier began to charge towards his fallen comrade.
While it did this John's mind tried to coax his body into action. Slowly John pulled himself off the ground and began to stagger towards the clinic, using the wall to keep himself up and out of the way of the confrontation in the street. But it wasn't enough and he fell to the ground again, a crack resonating throughout his head as he tried to use his broken arm to brace himself. There was no way he would make it alone in his condition, so he sat up against the wall and tried to stem the bleeding from his chest with his good arm as he waited for some sort of help.
Not knowing if it would come he closed his eyes and let his mind delve into the thought and emotions around.
Martin heard shouting he quickly walked out of the clinic. He saw the 2 soldiers standing near the person he killed, they must be his friends. Martin saw that Sarah had arrived a few seconds earlier. Then one of the soldier stepped forward pointing an gun at Martin, Martin raised his hands in to the air showing he wasn't an danger.
"YOU WHO DID THIS?" Martin did his best to keep calm and don't show any emotion. Then Sarah began to talk. "Woah! There's no need for the weapon here, we don't mean you any harm. This is a clinic, please... we don't want any trouble here. Enough people have died today."
The soldiers arm seemed to shake Martin hoped that negotiation would work. "If this is a clinic, then why is Manny dead? Why didn't you save him?" Martin stepped forward keeping his hands up. "I am really sorry about your friend, but there are wounds that can't be cured. As for who killed him I don't know. There were some gun being fired earlier, so we have been inside taking care of the sick and the wounded. I am sorry we couldn't save your friend. But shooting at an clinic full of wounded people and children won't make you feel any better." Martin looked an bit afraid but he was still looking at the soldier.
Mitchel's arm slowly went down, pointing his handgun at the ground. Something was still amiss, something was still... out of place.
"Then who did this? These bodies... Are these McNeil?", Mitchel began to survey the corpses nearby. No... It can't be, these were children.
"What's going on here, doctor?", Mitchel asked the man who just came into the street from what seemed to be a clinic. Sarah was still pretending to heal Manny as she hoped Mitchel could calm down soon and they would leave soon. She felt that the mission was a failure, and that they should retreat and regroup as soon as possible.
A doctor... Oh my, more of these. They are like vermin!, Miriam thought to herself as she prepared to face whatever was about to enter the room. If all things failed, she at least had her last resort in her sleeve. She could still jump away, and although she would remain powerless, she could replace hers with someone else's now that there are more of them around.
TICK, TOCK. The clock was going and Miriam knew in her heart that the McNeil are gone, but she wasn't sure how the vacuum would be filled.
James had remembered the clinic, someone tending to his wounds. His arms, his chest, his neck. Someone had taken care of them all. Of course one hand was in some sort of hard plastic gauntlet. It held his left arm steady and his fingers in place. Presumably to protect the broken ones. There was a bandage holding a cotton pad in place on the side of his neck to prevent further bleeding. Though turning his head to the right still hurt, he could look around. His chest was bandaged up too, 'You should see the other guy.... erm girl.' thought James as he examined his injuries.
Moving quickly was going to be difficult and sudden movements would hurt so James had to be slow and deliberate. He had sat up on the bed and spoken to Rico, that was the name of the shouting man who had carried him to the clinic.
If any reminder was needed that the battle was not yet over, there was a commotion outside. Looking past Rico, James could see two people of the clinic at the doorway and heard another one shouting at them. The woman was trying to be reasonable but James could see that one wrong step could cause yet another tragedy on this day.
James tried to stand up, his head spinning a little and his side protesting with a stab of pain. James' good hand went to his side and he stood up as straight as he could. Looking at Rico he said, "Out of the bloody frying pan, what's going on out there?"
"He is too strange...too suspicious...How can we trust him, HIM, a man that killed so many and talks of it like he is proud of his atrocities... Can I really trust this madman? Will I be killing another innocent... just to make him feel good?"
The dupes heads started to echo with weird thoughts that they all found unsettling. It seemed as if they were their own but looking at each other they knew something was wrong. The dupes turned to the other supers and noticed similar looks on their faces. The problem at hand dealt with a physic of all things and it wouldn't be a bad guess to say she was messing with their minds.
Perhaps a few of the Diesel brothers could keep you company and on guard for any incoming supers. The rest of the brothers, Fromanzio, and me will head up stairs and deal with Miriam."
The dupes were cut off from their train of thought as Gavin relayed the plan. The dupes nodded in unison splitting into two groups, two through six following Grav and the clown while the 1st dupe stayed behind with Ottis.
"Uh, Diesel. Either I'm in the first stages of Alzheimer. Or, did we forget the fires in the first floor?"
"Shit your right man I forgot, but how do you actually plan on dealing with it. I doubt you can just blase the flames away, it probably would just make it worse.
Doc Martin hadn't healed up the injured man entirely, it would take too much effort. At least he'd set the ribs and got the rest of him into better condition, such that he wouldn't just straight up die, Doc Martin would see to the rest of him once he had rested. Assuming he ever got to rest again.
There was shouting outside the clinic. The doctor and nurse went outside to see what was happening.
Rico stood over the injured man, looking for signs of life.
The shouting had stopped.
The injured man awoke, looking around, moving gingerly, clearly not sure what the hell was happening.
"Wha... wha happun...?"
"You're fine, man. You're in the clinic. The doctor is out right now, but he fixed your ribs a whole lot of lacerations before putting you on that bed."
The man looked a bit dazed, but clearly comprehended what Rico had meant. Rico stuck his hand out. "I'm Rico. You feeling OK?"
James reached out and gently shook Rico's hand. "James. I... I feel better than I did."
They exchanged a few further pleasantries before there were angry yells outside again. James went alert, and tried to stand. He looked to be in pain. "Out of the bloody frying pan, what's going on out there?"
Rico shot to the front entrance, taking in the scene. There was a man with a gun, another dead man, a woman clearly faking medical attention on the corpse. And the doctor and nurse were standing, not daring to move.
The gunman took a menacing step towards the doctor. "And if these aren't the McNeils, then who ARE they... Doctor?"
No. Rico knew the doctor wouldn't recover from a shot in the head. He had to stop him somehow.
The man took another step.
Channeling his inner choirboy, Rico roared with a focus and booming that scared even him, "PUT THE GODDAMNED GUN DOWN BEFORE YOU EVEN THINK OF GETTING ANY CLOSER."
Ottis's forehead begins to sweat again. He sighs and stands; betraying his age and revolting against his old joints. As much as he knows this is a terrible idea, it blurts out anyways.
" Either way we want to look at the situation. We are a team. We need to stick together. First floor is a death trap and the second floor may fall into the burning pit. Grav maybe our way out, so we have to protect each other. And, i may not know how your powers work... but i hope the back up plan is a human ladder? You being on the new one's shoulders... duplicating... propelling yourself in some crazy ass leap?"
Ottis turns to barge up the stairs.
" Clown can enter the room first... he is way more determined about this. Then me and Grav blast from the door way... then only when its safer you... all of "you". Mob her... "
He then continues up stairs.
Gavin walked up the stairs, exhaustion gradually taking hold once more. Fromanzio lead the way, the 5 Diesel clones following behind, and Gavin doing the same, left to worry about how the confrontation would go. Miriam could influence minds, meaning she could detect them, meaning she probably knew Fromanzio planned to bash her over the head a few times with a pipe. Even if there was little she could do about it, she knew it was coming and she had time to formulate a plan. But what? If what he'd said was true, Fromanzio had proven he could resist whatever control she had on people. So how'd she plan to deal with him?
Could she control Gavin?
Gavin was left with all these questions floating around in his head. And then there was Ottis. Gavin felt like crap for leaving him and the Darryl clone down there, but figured it was good to keep one of the copies out of danger and Ottis out of harms way. He reduced the gravity around him and skipped over a number stairs, floating upwards. It relaxed him a bit and gave him something to do.
"Damn, after this I think I'm gonna try and find a room that doesn't have blood in it and just lie there. Preferably with a bed." Gavin groaned under his breath. They reached the top of the stairs and Gavin noticed a large, reinforced door down the hall. He figured that's where Miriam was.
"So, who wants to knock?"
He was dying. Rotting from the inside out. It hurt. It burned him, made him want to thrash and beat and tear and rend and killkillkillKILLTHEMALL!
But he couldn't. He could barely stand, without support, and the remnants of his bone garden was the only thing capable of doing so. Without it he would have to actually get close to the military personnel to deal with them. His head was heavy with pain, shame, and grief. He was hardly capable of observing the world beyond him, clad as it was in a yellow haze.
It was now that he wondered if he could still weep. And if his tears would be the same as they used to.
Then he heard a name. A name he recognised. A name that twitched the back of his skull and tingled with warmth that was very human and very nice and spoke of times long past and ages ago when his life was peaceful and happy and without the stress of the past few hours.
Yes, the woman he must save from death, certain. But... wasn't that, Miriam..? Or was he confused again? She did always say that his mind wandered in the garden, and time flew past him like the birds.
Yes, she did say that, and he smiled at her apologetically, shrugging his shoulders. He took her hand and she helped him up from the grass and dirt. It clumped on his slacks and she tutted at him.
His wife, with whom he had two sons. Aye, that was her.. And she was...? Where? In the palace? And who was this Delores? Marie had never mentioned her...
Marie! Not Miriam. Miriam was the old woman, yes, one of the McNeils! He remembered Marie telling him, bitching about her and her regime.
Warren knew what he had to do now.
He didn't know how long it had been while his thoughts rearrange themselves, but he was alert now, and saw carnage. A lizard crouched over the body of a man, blood dripping from his lips and hands-that-were-claws. A frenzied screaming echoed from further up the street, punctuated by dry sobs. And a charging bull, all power and mass and the same man who broke him...
He collided with the lizard-man and sent him flying, but his inertia was too much and he stumbled over and within Warren's severely limited range.
Quick as a whip, Warren launched himself at the man, forgoing all distance and grappling him to the ground. His lone tendril wrapped around the bull's torso and upper arms, trying to constrain him while his roots worked their way up his skin.
But he struggled. Hard. Warren couldn't keep a sure grip, and, in a fit of rage that his kills be denied again, the thing-that-was-Warren smashed his sunflower-head into the nose of his this charging insect. Petals blew off his crest and he slammed his head forward again, and again, and again. A dull thwack punctuating each blow, and each followed by the release of petals and soft grains of pollen across his skin.
On a strange urge as he beat the bullet down, Warren opened his mouth, and the snake-tongue-tendril that was his no longer monopolised organ of taste darted out to feast. In a mockery of a lover Warren's tongue worked its way down the man's neck, lashing flesh and draining blood where it landed, only to retreat and return once more.
Warren caught the man sobbing, and took his eyes to ease his pain. The man screamed and Warren took his tongue to calm his ears. The man retched and Warren dug his thorny vine-fingers into his gut and disembowelled him, spilling guts and intestines all across the pavement. They were jumped upon by the bone garden, eager for scraps from their overlord.
Warren wasn't done for a while, drowning in the blood of the man who he took apart, piece by piece, limb by limb, organ by organ, until his death rattle choked out of his ruptured oesophagus and faded into the calamity of the surroundings, a whimper.
Stained with ichor and vitae, Warren rose, slow and majestic like the tree that he now emulated, only to stumble as his leg gave away beneath him.
"So, who wants to knock?"
Fromanzio laughed at that. "It is a bit late for knocking, Fromanzio already shot the door up and now plans to bash it in." He said with a wide smile, getting ever larger with each step. He was creeping up to his objective and now nobody would stop him. Not the angel, not the god, not Miriam herself! Death was inevitable for her now. It was only a matter of how soon at this point.
Fromanzio hit the door with his club, it buckled the first time and it fell apart the second hit. As the door tumbled down, Fromanzio stepped into the gateway and yelled at the top of his lungs. "Fromanzio hopes you lived a full life! Because he is about to end it now!"
He honestly had no idea how he was gonna beat her, but if he could take on two supers at once, one super duper super might not be to hard. Right?
Dirk's charge was faster than anything even his enhanced reflexes could handle. At one moment Matthew was feasting and the other he was in the air, tumbling helplessly. He didn't have much time to think about it as his body collided with the ground several yards away from Mark's body, sliding a little further to boot. He felt enough pain to make the beast retreat as he groaned and tried to stand up, only to sick up his makeshift lunch on the sidewalk. He felt like shit. But then again, he should be thankful his spine wasn't broken. It took him a while to reassert himself, and much to his own relief, Dirk did not follow up the attack. He didn't know what had happened to Dirk, his vision was a little blurry and his head was ringing. He was vaguely aware that he was suffering from a concussion.
The human. Oh yes. The idealist. He remembered now, looking after the man, slowly letting his vision focus though the headache was still there making it hard to think properly. Taking his sweet time, he stood up. Scanning the area with his predatory gaze, although this time it was anything but intentional. He found John supporting himself, stumbling towards him in what could only amount to a less than sober manner. He raised his hands slightly, as to not appear threatening. Of course, he didn't know that John could read minds, and while his head was swimming, it was clear that Aiken was indeed trying to help.
"Ngh.. I'll be fine. You? Not so much at this rate. I think I can patch you up, but this street is far from safe. The other soldiers.. they.. Ugh.. They headed for the clinic. I'm not sure I want to take either of us there."
Matthew stared at John, his golden eyes ruthless as ever. He was clutching one claw against his forehead now, clearly suffering from some head trauma, but remarkably, it was at least healing. He was quite honestly expecting the man to run away in fear. He hadn't met a single human who could stand the way he looked, and with his mouth half open, exhaling his vile poisons, and the healthy green scales underneath his torn clothing, he looked anything but human. Still, Aiken waited for the man to respond.
"Then who did this? These bodies... Are these McNeil?" The man looked around to see a few corpses most of them children. "What's going on here, doctor?" "Well when the fire fight started between your friend over there and whoever killed him. Some of the people who were still outside got shot. Some of them I was able to safe others were not so fortunate." Martin looked down angry that he was unable to save them even though he know had power.
"PUT THE GODDAMNED GUN DOWN BEFORE YOU EVEN THINK OF GETTING ANY CLOSER." Martin turned around he looked at Rico and said "Calm down Rico, and stop shouting." This man was enough on the edge without someone shouting at him, while Martin knew that his intentions were in the right place he would only get shot himself. While that wouldn't have any effect, the bullets might go past him hitting the people inside. Martin had turned his head away from the soldiers when he spoke to Rico, he nodded at Rico showing that he would handle it.
As the predator's mind approached Robert's senses sharpened and he forced himself to open his eyes and look into the golden eyes of the man in front of him.
Don't judge a book by it's cover? Weren't those the immortal words that every mother told their son? Sage words, if slightly redundant when you could pick the book up and flick through it. For John it was easy to get past appearances when he wasn't paying any attention to them.
"Ngh.. I'll be fine. You? Not so much at this rate. I think I can patch you up, but this street is far from safe. The other soldiers.. they.. Ugh.. They headed for the clinic. I'm not sure I want to take either of us there."
He smiled as he felt the sincerity as the man offered his help, "Thank you... If you have anything to curb the bleeding, it would be greatly appreciated. But you are right, don't risk taking me to the clinic, those remaining soldiers will be there and the sight of the two of us will no doubt set them off, if they haven't been already."
He paused to try and regulate his breathing while his mind wandered; he sensed a fight brewing at the clinic. That distinctive fearless mind that could only belong to the student had just barrelled onto the scene blazing with indignation and defiance.
"Your regeneration is remarkable... if you have the strength I suspect there are people at the clinic who will need help. And those soldiers... But it is probably best to keep to the shadows..." He coughed, "...something tells me you are good at that. And don't worry about me for the moment; I'll be ok for a little. And if the soldiers didn't scare everyone off, the Ent-man certainly did..." He began to chuckle to himself, but the agony stopped him.
"And I realise I'm asking a lot, but try to keep the woman alive... having her around would certainly help. From her obvious terror, I don't think she is like the others and perhaps she could be persuaded to help the people of this city..." Again he smiled, "Of whom me, you and the Ent-man... Warren; are particularly needy citizens."
Another cough, blood this time.
"John by the way, and thank you."
'They are the culprits, Mitchel! I saw as they murdered your dear Manny in cold blood, it was that witch of a woman! Please stop them and save me, I beg of you!', Miriam's voice as Dolores was head echoing through Mitchel mind. This time it was certain, the psychic said so - it was the woman that killed his dear friend.
They did it... they're lying, I'm sure of it!, she planted her idea in his mind even further, knowing he will certainly crack.
"PUT THE GODDAMNED GUN DOWN BEFORE YOU EVEN THINK OF GETTING ANY CLOSER.", another person came from the clinic and shouted at Mitchel.... a clinic, no - they were lying, it had to be! Mitchel was sure of it, Dolores said so!
He raised his gun and aimed it at the woman. He stopped shaking and determination replaced his crushing sense of uncertainty. "WHY, Why did you kill Manny? I heard her say it... I heard Dolores call you the murderer - WHY?", Mitchel shouted at the three, but didn't care for an answer. He shot the woman multiple times, emptying his clip of twelve bullets before realizing what he had done.
At the palace Miriam's weak arms held the heavy revolver tightly and aimed it at the door. Whatever was coming in, it would surely be hit. She knew that three of the new supers had amassed outside - including the crazy clown she tried to kill. Pulling them against each other won't work as she will be caught in the crossfire, and she won't be able to force the clown to end his own life. There were too many people in the flurry of thoughts that was his mind, a fractured personality and a fucked up perspective of the world.
"Fromanzio hopes you lived a full life! Because he is about to end it now!", the clown shouted from outside as he busted the door open. Miriam was sitting next to her desk, her large bed behind her in the center of the room. Her make-up was already on the table, and she had spent some time making herself look pretty in front of the mirror on her table. Oh, she won't see herself ever again, and that was the only time she could spend admiring her aged beauty before her body perishes. She discharged the bullets, the first hitting the door-frame on the right, and the second hitting the lower end of the door. Her hands continued to shake even further, and she had to concentrate more on her sacrifice than killing the deranged clown. Another shot, and she hit the clown in his thigh. The next shot went through the wall and almost carved Gavin a new asshole, but before she could spend the last bullet on Fromanzio she stopped.
"I will see you soon, clown., she said ominously. Just like that, she turned the gun on herself and pulled the trigger.
Back at the clinic, something snapped in Sarah's mind. Another entity had prodded its way inside and was making its nesting space in her head. Something was taking over, and the petite poor girl was loosing. She dropped Manny from her arms and leaned back, her head fully pulled back. Something was wrong, yet it seemed so right for Miriam. She had found her new corpse to play with, but by doing so she had lost any semblance of her older powers. Miriam grinned, knowing fully well that by dumping her older body she became young forever, unable to die or be killed. She moved away from Manny's corpse and began her new life on the run by first running away from the scene.
They don't know...
They will never know.
Matthew stared for a moment longer, letting the headache pass away, now he merely felt sick to his stomach. Wether that was from shredding and biting Mark he wasn't sure, he had little time to dwell upon it. His vision was fine again, so he took a moment to take in his surroundings, realizing that Dirk had been caught up in the Entm.. Warren's wake.
"The other soldier is dealt with, it seems. That eliminates any immediate danger. Don't thank me yet, you're still bleeding... Ahm. Matthew."
Aiken allowed himself to grin lightly, but the teeth on display only managed to make the smile look wicked. Still, his immediate concern was the well being of himself and John. He had little time and quite honestly, didn't really feel like saving more people than that. Aiken did not share John's sense of idealism at all, and that much was obvious even if he were to merely glance into his mind. Still, the clinic might be their only option in the end, he looked in it's direction before asking a not so unrelated question.
"Did the two bullets pass right through you? I'm aware you got shot twice. I'll have to remove any bullets which might be stuck in you before we go any further."
He didn't comment on the healer woman. He couldn't make any promises. The predator did not discriminate and the woman was a thrilling enough concept for prey. That was all that mattered. Still, right now Aiken managed to feel more humane than usual, forcing down the beast with all his mental capacity. He still kept the mild surprise of John's behaviour away from his features. It was a passing thought and hardily important. That the man wasn't all that afraid of him was a good thing, after all. Awareness of the street's sudden safety, he decided to inspect the wounds on John. Removing his hoodie shirt, he ripped the long sleeves off the thing and threw the rest of the shirt aside. Now he had two makeshift bandages.. it would have to do. Underneath, Aiken had only been wearing a T-shirt. Which hardily covered the dark green scales on his arms at all.
As soon as the room erupted with the sound of gun fire the dupes dived for the ground hoping that the elderly woman would miss her targets. However after the final bullet found its way through Miriam's chest the dupes stumbled back to their feet. One of the dupes puked at the sight of the corpse as the rest gathered their composure.
"Wow...that was extremely...anti-climatic. Where we the only ones that were actually expecting some long drawn out biblical battle?"
The dupes split up and began searching the entirety of the room. A couple of dupes found themselves going through various dressers and closets searching for any treasures that hid themselves within. The remaining dupes found themselves hovering over Miriam's body. The aged corpse was slathered with makeup in a sad attempt to cover the natural effects of time. The exit wound in her chest continued to spill blood that soaked into the carpeted flooring. The past couple of hours seemed like a nightmare. Everything was spiraling out of control as nothing was playing out like Darryl had planned it to be. Death wasn't a foreign concept to Darryl but the extreme loss of life was taking its toll on him. The first dupe wrestled the revolver from Miriam's hand.
As he looked it over he turned his attention back towards his fellow supers,"Today just feels like its never going to end."
"Fromanzio hopes you lived a full life! Because he is about to end it now!"Fromanzio kicked in the door and Gavin was right behind him...before jumping back out as Miriam fired the revolver. She fired wildly, as if unable to accurately aim.
Gavin felt a bullet pass by him, nearly giving him a new asshole. He turned to see Ottis nearly get his brains blown out, the bullet whizzing past his head as he came up the stairs. She finally managed to hit Fromanzio in the thigh, bringing him to a knee. She had a clear shot on Fromanzio and readied herself. He figured she had one shot left and all he had to do was make her miss. Gavin prepared himself but she simply stood there, glaring at Fromanzio. She grinned a bit, not pulling the trigger and not saying a word. "Wait, what the hell is she waiting for-"
"I will see you soon, clown."She lifted the gun towards herself. Gavin jumped forward, attempting to grab the gun, but he wasn't quick enough. She pulled the trigger and sent chunks of herself flying into the back wall. He was speechless. What happened to all that talk of weapons and alliances? There were probably a bunch of supers on their way here only to find a dead person. Or old lady, Gavin thought as he stood over her corpse. He honestly hadn't expected that. Guess he was right, she knew what Fromanzio was planning and decided to die on her own terms.
"Wow...that was extremely...anti-climatic. Were we the only ones that were actually expecting some long drawn out biblical battle?" Gavin didn't respond to the dupe. He really didn't know what he'd been expecting but it certainly wasn't this. He noticed makeup on the drawer and her face. Either she wanted to look good when the supers got here or she hadn't been expecting to leave this room alive. The first dupe made his way into the room and looked at Miriam,taking the revolver out of her hand before turning back to the rest of the group. "Today just feels like its never going to end." Took the words right out of my damn mouth!
"Well Fromanzio, I hope you're satisfied." Gavin said, a bit sour about the situation. "She just saved you a lot of work. Now, I suggest we get the hell out of here before...I don't know, something bad happens." Gavin said, her last words echoing in his head.
She sounded like she knew something they didn't.
Just when things seemed to be calming down, Sarah heard a voice behind her.
"PUT THE GODDAMNED GUN DOWN BEFORE YOU EVEN THINK OF GETTING ANY CLOSER."
Suddenly, the soldier had his weapon raised again. His fear and disbelief had been replaced by anger, and it was directed at her.
"WHY, Why did you kill Manny? I heard her say it... I heard Dolores call you the murderer - WHY?"
Her mouth opened, but she was too shocked to formulate a response. It didn't matter anyway, he wasn't looking for one. Instead he simply opened fire, and Sarah staggered backwards. Her flesh had harmlessly repelled the bullets, but the sheer force of the impacts nonetheless nearly toppled her over.
After a moment of dazed bewilderment, she recovered, and her mass immediately started to increase. Now she ran forwards, planning to smash the soldier clean across the street. The distance was short, and it only took her a couple of seconds to reach him, but it was plenty long enough to build up the force of her movement to dangerous levels.
The distance was closed, and Sarah heard a loud crunch as she collided with the man. A strange sound, and not the one she was expecting. It was not the sound of a massive object bowling away an obstruction in its' path, but the sound of small woman charging into a well trained soldier at full sprinting speed. She felt like she had broken every bone in her body, yet the guy had barely flinched.
Something had gone horribly wrong, but before she could figure out what, she was confronted by a sudden counter attack. Her attempts to dodge or block the blows were useless, as her reflexes were simply not up to the standard required to match him. In moments she found herself stumbling backwards under the weight of his attack, before a strike to the gut sent her falling to the ground, clutching her stomach in agony.
As Doc Martin had tried to reassure Rico, the gunman had opened fire on the nurse.
She had responded by running full tilt into him.
The soldier then proceeded to beat the snot out of the nurse.
Rico gawped, stunned. No part of his brain was properly processing whatever the hell was going on in front of him.
Finally, something clicked.
Soldier beating up nurse.
Rico started sprinting at the man. The man slugged the nurse in the stomach, knocking her over, gasping. Rico extended his fist and plowed into the soldier. The man stumbled, fell, and rolled up onto his feet, dully surprised. Rico's hand throbbed, pain thrumming up his arm. Not very much pain, but pain. Rico didn't grasp what this meant.
The soldier turned and roared "THAT'S IT! I'LL HIT YOU SO HARD YOUR GRANDMOTHER WILL FEEL IT!"
Rico snarled. "DO IT! DO IT LIKE I DID YOUR MOTHER! I DARE YOU! DO IT!"
The soldier did it.
Rico hit the ground at frankly unreal speed. His shoulder felt like it had been hit by a train. His mind reeled, trying to understand how everything was going wrong.
"I'VE BEEN HIT HARDER BY GIRLS IN UNISEX FOOTBALL!" he lied.
So the soldier did it again.
Yep. Shoulder was definitely broken.
Rico clamped his teeth and kicked wildly at the man's legs, scoring a hit. The man stumbled, and Rico scooted backwards, his arm screaming in pain.
What happened? What happened to my unbreakable self? Why is it failing me now?
The man rushed forward, and Rico kicked at his face. He missed. A fist flashed, and Rico's head nearly broke the pavement. He could see Doc Martin sliding behind cover, and the nurse trying to get up. The man spat in Rico's face. "Got anything to say now, bitch?"
Rico breathed in, Lord give him strength. "I only want to ask... does your wife whore herself out for that cheap all the time...?"
THUNK. Rico entered the loving embrace of unconsciousness.
Ottis turned his head as he hit the final few steps to say see a bullet hole shape appear in the wall next to Grav's ass. Then in a split second sharp pain and some blood dripping on to his left shoulder. Everything felt as if it had slowed down as his touched where a chunk of his left ear was. With the last gun shot Ottis snapped back into reality.
The first dupe and Ottis close in tow made their way into the room and looked at Miriam, Diesel taking the revolver out of her hand before turning back to the rest of the group. "Today just feels like its never going to end."
"Well Fromanzio, I hope you're satisfied." Gavin said, a bit sour about the situation. "She just saved you a lot of work. Now, I suggest we get the hell out of here before...I don't know, something bad happens."
"Like how the first floor is completely engulfed in flames and the rest of the place may collapse into the pit any second." as almost instinctively going over to Fromanzio and trying to take care of his wound to the best of his limited ability.
"Fromanzio...Guess the army can wait for us to kick their ass, later. I don't trust doctors and hospitals.... but once I get this bullet out I know I can stitch you up. Your choice. Other then that... You can all come over to my place. Recoup and then we can really clean up"
Stop for a seconding looking at the dupes looting
"our city. They're probably others in the city like us. We need allies and not another McNiel fucking dictatorship."
Loots some of the dead woman's jewelry for his wife and the girls if they made it to his home. Then is ready to escape with his teammates.
The nurse had charged the soldier, Rico had charged the soldier. Both had been defeated, violence didn't seem to be helping here. Besides, as useful as a super speed punch might be, James was in no condition to start fighting.
Instead he stepped into the doorway, hands out in front of him in what he hoped would be a placating manner.
"Stop, we are not your enemies, these people are not your enemies. They are scared, they are threatened. We are no threat to you, let me take these people back inside where they belong. We will let you move along. Just please, let them go and walk away."
Mitchel had stopped two civilians fro attacking him - no, they weren't civilians. They were combatants. They killed Manny. The two of the new supers laid on the ground, Mitchel stared at his pistol besides him before picking it up and slowly reloading it. He had to end this, and then he and Manny and Sarah could get out of this god forsaken city and have a drink together. Dirk and Mark will be there too... yeah, that will be grand.
Mitchel heard footsteps behind him and saw Sarah running away. His heart dropped as he realized she had given up on Manny and the Tornado team. Dirk and Mark were still around the corner... who knows if they are still alive. The second person was alrady unconsiouns, laying on the road like the dumb-ass he was,and the first woman who Dolores called the murderer laid besides Mitchel.
"You... I shot you, and you're not bleeding. What is this shit... We can into the city to free you and save the people, and what do we get? A fucking tree ent, a predator and you! We never heard of you... Never!", He turned around and saw that Sarah had already left the street.
"Ever since the collapse... this has all gone to shit! Stop lying to me - And tell me, now - before I kill you, what is this?", Mitchel aimed his pistol at Sarah, but then retreated. "No... not you. Him", Mitchel moved his gun to the right and aimed it at the doctor.