'The Pit: Hell Frozen Over' - Arc 3, Chapter 3: 'The One Truth' (Closed, Started)

 Pages PREV 1 . . . 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 . . . 38 NEXT
 

Acolyte shrugged. 'I suppose I am. It's the others who you should be dubious about,'

Travis raised his eyebrow. "Dubious? The fuck does that mean- look are you ready to make me king or not."

Acolyte resisted the temptation to pinch the bridge of his nose and groan comically.

'I mean that sure, if you're serious about letting my friend walk out of this safely and all that, I'm perfectly happy to see you sit your ass on Azrael's old ice block and take charge. In the name of that possibility, I'm giving you advice.'

He folded his arms and looked Travis dead in the eye. 'I know you've been told that's what's going to happen. But now you've done what this Warden needed you to do, what gives you anymore pull on that throne than the next guy? The assault will still happen even if you suddenly decide to walk out of here now, and it probably wouldn't happen very differently to how it's going to happen with you involved. If and when Azrael is brought down, you need to have figured out how to actually get control, because they have absolutely zero reason to give it to you.'

Travis grunted, "I plan on doing it by fighting for it. When the wolves are out fighting the main bulk of the Crips and Aryans, and me and you are in that small team I have no doubt in my mind that me you and Harris can fuck up Azreal like he was nuthin'. My main concern is..." Travis leaned signalled Acolyte to lean in so he could whisper. "My main concern is Harris fucking me over and trying to take charge of the wolves. That happens and I'll just kill him then and there, and like it or not you will help me kill him if you and the bitch want out of here. I figure I can convince the wolves and Aryans our common enemy are some other gang, find a scapegoat and that its all their fault, maybe the Crips. No one likes the niggers in blue. Now, if Harris doesn't screw me and lets me take charge of the Wolves then we can form an alliance, take out the Crips and whoever gets in our way. And not just that, yesterday I saw just how many gangs the Wolves have under their thumb, and people respect strength. Just cos it ain't no madly thought out plan that takes years in the making, doesn't mean it wont work."

'Alright.' Acolyte turned to leave and find Harris. 'Just expect the worst. Because you seem to have a knack for attracting it.'

"Same to you," smiled Travis. He waited until Acolyte was a few steps ahead before following him, no doubt he was going to find Harris and Travis didn't want to be left out of the loop, plus he had another part of his plan he needed to make sure happened.

A winded man staggered into the Crips HQ where Zig Zag was being treated for a gunshot wound to his shoulder, "Yo, Zig Zag! We found and Aryan dying outside our turf. That sucka'd been shot up all over."

Zig Zag grimaced, "Did you get anything outta him?"

"Yey, he said the Aryans are ready to mobilize."

Zig Zag cursed under his breath, "Send one of our best niggas to their terf and tell them when can't commit to no fight until we've secured our own shit. Niggas be shootn' all-up-n'-down dis bitch!"

His subordinate nodded and ran out the door. While the door hung open briefly the muffled screams and gunfire was suddenly made more visceral. War was on their doorstep...

"We shouldn't have waited so goddamn long."

The Snakehead initiate still couldn't quite wrap his head around what was happening, all he knew was that he was fighting for his life. Just yesterday he thought he was home and dry, when the Snakeheads had knelt before the Wolves. Who would possibly fuck an alliance of so many gangs, especially when at its centre was the gang that dwarfed all others. The Snakeheads were one of the few gangs that had an international presence at black sites such as The Pit all over the continent, and this gave them a value that made up for their lack of numbers this far north, so when they'd joined in a brotherhood of thousands the initiate couldn't see any vulnerabilities left to them. That had been yesterday.

Today, it seemed, the distinction between friend and foe was as simple as who was trying to kill him, and who wasn't. He'd been separated from the rest of his crew what seemed like a long time ago to him now, although for all he knew it may have only been a few minutes, or perhaps they weren't separated at all. For all the dust and the noise, they could all still be in the same hallway and not know it. He was fighting beside a Mafia guy right now, but he seemed to remember that the Colt M1911 he was using right now had been taken off the corpse of another Mafia guy who the initiate had bludgeoned to death earlier. It was crazy.

He couldn't even tell who he was shooting at really. Hell, he couldn't even tell who's turf he was on now. All he knew was the screams, and the muzzle flashes through the smoke. Whenever he had to duck as a volley of gunfire peppered the walls around him, he would return a couple of shots in the general directing of where they had come from. He tripped over something soft, and found himself flat on the ground face to face with a dead Aryan. It was almost comical, the man had a bullet wound dead centre in the swastika tattooed on his forehead. Was it an execution, or just a lucky hit?

When the initiate tried to get to his feet he was spattered with blood as the Mafia guy went down, automatic fire ripping through his abdomen. Emerging from the dust came his assailant, slapping a fresh clip into his Mini Uzi. Noticing movement, the man locked eyes with the Snakehead initiate, who found himself gazing into the yellow eyes of a wolf mask. He opened his mouth to identify himself as friendly, but whether the Wolf knew or cared at this point was a mystery that would never be answered, as he racked the lever on the Uzi, raised it, and fired.

============================================================================================================================

The Wolf call to arms had an almost military like efficiency to it that his an undercurrent of confusion and panic, as Nikolai and his men arrived at the deepest part of Azrael's stronghold. All around him rank and file scrambled for the nearest weapons too them as officers barked orders to whoever cared to hear. They were moving out in droves, to find out what was going on and to make sure and assets vital to the Arctic Wolves remained secure. As large and disciplined as Nikolai's contingent was, they couldn't afford to reveal themselves until the last possible second. Luckily, they appeared to have picked the ideal moment. The few who weren't too preoccupied to notice their presence were relieved to see them, assuming that the area would now surely be safe after they had moved on, and Nikolai was consistently waived through without fuss.

At an intersection, Nikolai came across another organised squad of Wolves with Yuri at it's head.

"Nikolai, come with me. The Boss wants to know just what the fuck is going on; something I think we all have in common..."

A slim man made his way through the crowd of antsy Aryans. The Crips had a message to deliver that these men wouldn't like to hear. He was brought to the war room where Harris was sitting down, drinking a battle of bourbon, "Who the fuck let this nigger in here?"

The slim man kept his head bowed and spoke softly, "We'ze got niggas shootn' all ova our terf," He didn't meet Harris' gaze. "Zig Zag says we ain't sendn' no support until we've got our shit straight."

Harris bottom lip furrowed under his thick mustache, "FUCKING DAMMIT! Doesn't that dumb nigger know THIS IS IT! This is our one and only shot!" He got up and threw his jacket on over his shoulder. "This is the end times. Doesn't that fucker know there is no tomorrow?!" He started for the exit but stopped to whisper into the slender man's ear. "Tell your slave driver we're heading into Wolf territory and we're going to fuck Azrael in his royal ass. If he wants in on that he had better get his fucking shit straight and FAST!"

Harris slapped the man upside the head and kicked him out of the war room in front of him, his men falling in behind him, "BROTHERS! YOU READY TO FUCK SOME WOLVES?!"

What followed was a series of bloodcurdling howls and screams. These men were ready for war. They were starving for it.

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Kusanagi had almost dozed off when the door suddenly flung open. A bright white light blinded her as it pierced the darkness of the near pitch-black room, "I DON'T GIVE A FUCK WHAT AZRAEL SAYS! You shits tell'm I'm gonna brand my property so it don't get lost in all this madness. He's a grown man, he can wait five-fucking-minutes!"

The two men with him shook their heads and left as Sharptooth turned his attention to the siblings huddled up together in the back of the small room. Kusanagi maneuvered her body between Tristan and Sharptooth. His grip on her arm tightened, "Don't fear for me brother."

Sharptooth casually pointed a pistol at Kusanagi and began his approach, "Silly bitch," Sharptooth continued, grinning. "You really think he ain't gonna worry about his dear ol' sister gettn' raped all night long by yours truly?" She said nothing. Her blank stare said it all. "You broke pretty fast didn't you? Guess that old fuck Orphan did teach you much before my ol' boy put'm down."

Nikolai...

Sharptooth, keeping his pistol trained on her head, reached down and pulled her up by the back of her collar, "Move it bitch. I've got it all ready in my room. It's time to get signed," He giggled insidiously.

"L-Lu...shhc-ia!" Tristan barely managed to cry out as he marched her out of the room.

As he lead her to his room she began reviewing the scenario in her head, ignoring Sharptooth's insentient taunts.

He has a pistol and likely has much more combat experience and physical strength. I have a small shiv hidden in my boot...

He clearly had a distinct advantage. However, she had the element of surprise. He believed her spirit had been broken. He thought all of the fight in her had been vanquished. Whether successful or not he'd soon find out how wrong he was.

I'll have to wait until he least expects it... I need him to KNOW I am defeated. I...

Kusanagi's heart sunk when she realized what she had to do.

I... I will do it. I will not fail.

"...And then I'm going to cut another hole in you and fuck that too!" Sharptooth pushed Kusanagi through the threshold of his small room and closed the door behind him. He banged the heavy iron door with the side of his pistol, "Hear that? This room's practically soundproof. No one can hear you scream," He used his pistol to signal her to sit in a chair not too far from what looked like a makeshift forge of some kind.

She sat down without a fuss. Satisfied, Sharptooth knelt down by the forge and lifted a branding iron out of the burning coals. He smirked and turned to show it to Kusanagi, "You know what this is?" It was a brand in the shape of a pentagram. Kusanagi just stared at it blankly. "It says I'm the fuckn' Devil! One of these days I'm gonna be in charge of this shithole... on that day you'll know..." He placed the iron back in the coals and crouched down in front of her with his chin hanging inches above her crotch. "This place really is hell." He laughed as he began pulling down the ragged trousers they'd given her. She began instinctively struggling but quickly stopped herself when she felt the cold steel of Sharptooth's pistol touch her skin. "That's a good girl."

He pulled her trousers down to just above the knee before turning back around to retrieve his branding iron. The freezing air chilled her exposed skin. The sensation was heavenly next to what came next. A red-hot iron began searing her skin. The smell of burning flesh was repugnant, but the excruciating pain was all that Kusanagi could register. He pressed harder against a spot on the right side of her pelvis, right above her crotch. A devilish grin was painted on his face and he began laughing like a madman. Kusanagi gritted her teeth, squeezed her eyes shut and clenched the sides of the chair. Though, strangely, Kusanagi didn't make a sound.

After he took the iron away it still felt as if it was burning into her body, "Didn't make a sound? You trying to be tough or something?!" He started giggling to himself as he turned back around to drop his iron into a bucket of water.

Now.

Kusanagi summoned every atom of willpower in her body to reach down and pull the shiv from her boot and hide it in the palm of her hand. He spoke as he turned back to see her, "So how about we get th'rest of your cloths---" His eyes buldged when he realized what had just happened. Kusanagi had thrown herself at him as he was turning to face her, plunging the shiv into his gut. Staggered and flatfooted, Sharptooth's reaction came too slow. They fell to the ground, the back of his head landing in the burning coals. He fired a stray shot from his pistol at the ceiling as she came down on him, gripping the side of his head with one thumb piercing his eyeball. She pulled the shiv out of his gut and stabbed again, and again, and again, and again, as he screamed out in horror. He fired four more shots wildly around the room as searing hot coals burned into the back of his neck and head.

Kusanagi continued to stab him with her crude weapon until she saw the life leave his remaining eye and he went limp. She immediately discarded the shiv, took the pistol out of his lifeless hand and pulled up her trousers. She was covered in his blood, but she'd worry about that later. She began searching his room for more weapons and ammo only to find a few extra clips for his pistol and the bowie knife Orphan had given her. After loading the pistol, she started for the door and stopped briefly as a sharp pain shot through her pelvis. She would have to banish the pain for now.

Before leaving the room she stopped to look at the mangled corpse she had left behind. The smell of burning flesh was indeed repugnant.

Acolyte remained silent as the Crip was ejected from the war room. Pulling a couple of Aspirin from his pocket, he dry swallowed them. This would stave off blackouts long enough. 'Harris.'

He spoke calmly in spite of the din, but his voice carried and the crowd fell silent. 'Let's go. I have a dog to put down.'

He'd never been a vengeful person, and violence disgusted him; but in spite of all his training, for some reason, the idea of facing Lucia felt much better when he imagined telling her Nikolai was gone. He'd let her down and had broken his promise to Orphan nearly as soon as the time came to test it. The only road now was bloody redemption. Whether it was his blood or Nikolai's remained to be seen. He didn't know what chance he stood. Orphan had fought like a god of war and fallen. But he supposed Harris was right. He was the "next best thing". He could only try.

Let's go. I have a dog to put down.'

Travis came up behind Acolyte and slapped him on the back. "Ha Ha! That's what I like to fucking see. You got some blood lust in you don'cha?" Travis laughed and readied his assault rifle as he turned his attention towards Harris. "If the niggers ain't ready soon, I think that means they're trying to fuck us. Lets give him some time before skull fucking Azreal."

Harris shot Acolyte an intense stare, "I understand your anger, but you're in the main squad. MY squad, and I need my men sharp and focused. No running off on your own to take care of vendettas until Azrael's head is on a plate and his base is secured."

"If the niggers ain't ready soon, I think that means they're trying to fuck us. Lets give him some time before skull fucking Azreal."

"No. We attack now," Harris gestured towards to mass of agitated Aryans. "They've waited long enough for this fight. It's now or never. If the Crips are not going to help us, so be it. Once we've taken control of the Pit we'll fuck them good."

After arriving at a small tent setup near then perimeter of Aryan terf Harris signaled to Acolyte and Travis to follow him inside. About twenty-or-so men--all of which were at least 6-feet tall or taller-- stood around the tent checking their gear and preparing for the assault. Travis turned to the pair and explained the plan, "We have forty meth-fueled berserkers ready to kick in Azrael's door. Their our shocktroops. We'll give them a few minutes and then we'll storm in there full-force. Spare slaves if possible. Otherwise, we will show no quarter. Are you ready?"

The twenty tall, muscular, bald men stood ready. Their eyes sat on the two oddballs among them.

Acolyte chambered a round into his Enfield.

'Well, it's why you're bringing me along, right?'

===============================================================================================================

'Do you have a bead on him?' Korovitch asked, in a hushed tone from the outcropping of rock Iron Squad was occupying.

Prone at the very tip was Lisa, the French specialist and the only woman in the team. In her hands was a Barrett M82 sniper rifle, through which she observed the chapel below. The dark was at their backs, and they were dressed to blend in. Black combat gear, and matte weapons, with the exception of Korovitch's kukri, which was obscured by a black sash at his waist, tied to be whipped off in a single motion.

'No, he's being smart and keeping away from the windows. I've seen that sniper guy he keeps around, though, once or twice. He's doing sweeps for enemies. However, we're practically invisible, but have the bird's eye view. Whatever intel you got's good, sir.'

She smiled to herself. 'It's a shame, I swear I saw the Lieutenant at the window chatting to the man just as we began setting up, but by the time I moved into a shooting position, he was gone. Haven't seen him since. If I see him again, do I take the shot?'

'Yes, but I doubt we'll get so lucky. He doesn't know we're here, but he's expecting the worse from the Colonel. If no opportunity presents itself, we can wait for the riot. Sooner or later, he'll be boxed in. At that point, there are numerous courses of action we could take.'

Travis chuckled. "This is gonna be a fun fucking day. If I'm lucky maybe I can get my dick wet by the end of the day."

Acolyte turned to look at Travis. 'Well, I imagine there'll be a few she-wolves looking to kiss up to the new boss.'

The remark was casual enough, and he even spoke jovially, but there was a subtle implication underneath. Whatever, as long as it isn't Lucia.

With Matthias gone, Nikolai, Sharptooth, Yuri, and Skullbane were all that remained of Azrael's war council, and all but one was present in the chamber. Each had brought two of their own guard with them, and all watched Azrael as he paced back and fourth behind his chair, visibly agitated.

"If Sharptooth won't be kind enough as to join us, then we can't waste anymore time waiting for him;" Azrael snapped "and when I next see him, I'll see to it that he lives up to his name by making him floss with razor wire!"

Sharptooth's absence was a complication. The idea had been to get them all simultaneously vulnerable, and wherever Sharptooth was now, there could be half the Wolf army between him and Nikolai.

"Now, would anyone like to tell me just what the hell has happened up there?" Azrael continued "We had good information on when and where Stick's pathetic little alliance would be attacking, and in what strength, and now the next thing I know I'm getting reports that the mid-levels are a free-for-all that's spreading faster and faster. What do we know, and how do we respond?"

He was met with silence from the rest.

"Wake up you idiots! The one time I'm actually in need of your yammering council, and I get nothing. Come on, somebody dropped the fucking ball here, and I want to know just who it was!"

"It was you." came Nikolai's response.

Azrael whipped wound in a sudden fury to face Nikolai, but he was to slow. By the time their eyes met, Nikolai's gun was already raised, and Azrael's pupils had just enough time to dilate in shock before Nikolai squeezed the trigger. At almost point blank range, the magnum rounds sent him flying backwards as Nikolai fired twice into is chest. The brief moment of disbelief from the others was all that Nikolai's Pack needed, as they turned and fired. Yuri, Skullbane and their men all buckled as Nikolai's guards raked the room with machine gun fire, and outside in the branching passageways, more shots rang out as the rest of the Pack dealt with the other guards posted outside.

Azrael was still alive. Slumped against the wall, his blood spreading in tendrils and diluting itself in the thin sheen of melt water on the floor.

"I w-would have... giv-ven you my name." was all he could say as blood gurgled in his throat.

"I have a name." Nikolai replied, standing over him. His voice was soft, almost tender. "Azrael has no why for me. It should die with you."

and it did.

More of Nikolai's Pack entered the chamber as he bent down to close the eyes of Azrael's corpse.

"We should leave." announced Gregor "More of them might have heard the shots."

"The longer we wait, the harder it will be to fight our way to the surface." chimed in Alexei.

"Soon." Nikolai told them. "Sharptooth still remains. When he is dead, then we leave."

'and then no more' he told himself 'No more Masters. Not Azrael, not the Surface Men. We will find Kusanagi, and then we will all go free.'

Harris ignored their chatter and hefted an M-16 that was sitting on the edge of the table, "The zerkers have already gone on ahead. Are you boys ready to kill us some dogs?" The large men all cheered in unison. "LET'S GO FUCK AZRAEL!"

Harris bolted out of the tent, his men falling in close behind. It wasn't until they made it out of Aryan territory that they understood the scope of the riot. There were mangled bodies littering the streets and some were even impaled on supports after having fallen from the mid levels. Few among the dead were his berserkers. They had obviously cleaned up whatever resistance was left on this route. Not too much farther ahead lay Wolf territory.

The Wolves' terf was a warzone. Upon arrival Harris couldn't make a clear distinction between the enemy combatants other than his own men who had already been fighting before he arrived. Harris had to scream over the sound of gunfire echoing down the narrow tunnels of the Pit, "ALRIGHT BROTHERS! IT'S ABOUT TIME YOU'VE EARNED YOUR KEEP! SHOW THESE FUCKERS NO QUARTER!"

Not the most elegant speech, but it did the job. Harris' elite squad carved out a path of corpses through the warring gangs so that they could reach the Wolves' headquarters.

He was so close now.

He could taste Azrael's blood on his lips.

*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Kusanagi hesitated for a moment before opening the door. As soon as she did she could hear the muffled echoes of gunfire above her.

What the fuck's going on up there?

That's right. The "Red Day" Nikolai spoke of. Orphan's death was the catalyst and now...

Tristan!

Kusanagi bolted down the hall towards the slave pen. She scanned the area around her as she ran. Her mind was set. Her thoughts focused. She threw the door open, "Tristan!"

The light from the hall blinded him momentarily and as his vision returned all he could make out was a feminine silhouette holding a pistol, "Get up! We need to get out of here now!" Without hesitation he jumped to his feet and grabbed hold of the hand Kusanagi had offered him. "We'll make it out of here together. I promise."

Tristan bit his lip and nodded. After quickly scanning the hall she had just sprinted down Kusanagi--with Tristan in toe--started for the stairs. With her arm extended out in front of her, the pistol led the way.

Nikolai... I hope you're the one I run into up there...

***************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Conrad had popped a few heads off with his dragunov over the course of the last hour. Most of the groups stupid enough to wander around the chapel would quickly bugger off whenever one of their friends disappeared into a cloud of pink mist. Thankfully none of the traps had been triggered thus far.

After twenty minutes without contact Conrad was growing restless. And then... there was movement. Conrad's keen eye spotted a shadow appear in the Chapel's threshold. Someone had been sneaking around the perimeter. He scoped up to see a man peeping his head around the corner. Bad move.

His face was gone in an instant. Apparently he had friends with him as they started screaming and running to the far wall across from the chapel. Conrad fired another shot hitting a man between the shoulder blades, but he wasn't fast enough to hit the third before he reached one of the landmines.

The sound from the blast echoed between the chapel and the stone walls around it, momentarily disorienting Conrad. He quickly scoped up once more to make sure they were all taken care of when he noticed something odd. A Barrett M82 crossed through his line of sight and clattered to the ground near where the mine had been.

SHIT!

Through his scope, Conrad looked up to see a woman, a warden, with half her body dangling over the ledge of an out-croft on the stone wall, "WE'VE GOT WARDENS!" Conrad aimed and fired. Lisa pulled herself up and laid herself up against the cliff's edge just in time to dodge the shot.

Conrad cocked the bolt-action rifle and kept his eye on the cliff side... waiting for movement, "RPG!"

His subordinate popped his head out from behind the doorway of the chapel and fired a rocket up at Iron Squad's position.

From far below the ridge, Korovitch looked up to see the rocket streak towards Lisa's position. The explosion was deafening. When the noise fell, he hit, he thumbed his communicator. 'Still there, Lisa?'

A pause. 'Oui, sir. Lost my rifle, though.'

'Your spotter?'

Gibbs' Cajun accent buzzed in his ear. 'Aye, sir. Still where you left me.' There was a pause. 'Got a bit of stone shrapnel in my ass, but other than that, I'm fine.'

That was good. It was a shame about the rifle. It'd been a hell of a find in the Warden armories, and the only one of its kind. 'What about the backup rifle?'

Gibbs answered. 'Still got that, sir. What's the plan?'

'Play dead until I give command.'

Korovitch had thought he'd seen the rifle fall. Lisa had confirmed it. That would be what'd attracted the sniper's attention, and he would make the logical assumption that the squad was placed there, or in areas like it.

'Akua. Hayes. Ready yourselves. And keep to the shadows. Wickers, I hope you weren't feeding me bull about your demolitions training.'

'Wouldn't dream of it, sir.'

'Then get to it.'

The Sergeant had a light weight grenade launcher attachment on his M16 rifle. He and Korovitch had belly crawled close to the chapel and were hidden behind a natural formation of granite.

In a fluid motion, Wickers stood, aimed and fired. The grenade shattered the old single glazed window, and a second later, there was an explosion and yells. Flicking the switch away from the launcher, Wickers snatched a grey oblong object from the ground. A smoke grenade.

It too sailed through the broken window, and as the smoke began to billow, he and Korovitch crouched and watched, hidden behind the rock formation.

'Lisa. Got your backup rifle?'

'Oui.'

'Still playing dead?'

'Oui.'

========================================================================================================================

At first, there were none around who opposed them. A scant minute later, however, several Wolves came around the corner, their eyes glinting out of their mock wolf heads.

The first three fell to Aryan gunfire. A fourth took a shot to the throat from Acolyte. The remaining two were able to get back around the corner in time to survive the attack.

And so it began.

Travis was torn between smiling at the gruesome scene laid before him and panicking over what a clusterfuck it was. 'At least this'll be easier to get to wolves, if everyone's fuckin' dead'

Ahead laid Wolf turf, where the Aryans swiftly cleaned them up. Travis walked with the crew, a huge shit eating grin plastered across his face. He took a few popshots off at the wolves, his aim was truly atrocious. One, rather stupid Wolf, decided to run up at the group with a machete in hand, only to get instantly shot down before he could make it.

"Y'all are stealing all the fun! I haven't gotten one kill yet!"

Any trace of Wolf paraphernalia that had allowed Nikolai and his Free Men to get so far without incident had now been dispensed with. They were battling their way through a full on war-zone now, and to declare themselves for one side of the other through their clothing would only serve to draw unwanted attention from the everyone else. Not that it seemed to matter anyway, as most seemed to have little idea who they were supposed to be fighting, and anyone who got in Nikolai's way died, regardless of affiliation.

They were near Sharptooth's base of operations now, working their way through the gas mines where anyone who Shaptooth didn't want to use for personal business was sent to work. Making his way over a rickety bridge that spanned a fall into darkness, Nikolai's hammer left a trail of bodies in it's wake. Moving quickly, nobody recognised them through the noise and the darkness, and any who paid attention to them at all were cut down. Rounding some stairs, he almost ran right into Kusanagi, who in turn almost pulled the trigger of the pistol she was holding, a pistol he recognised from its previous owner, before she exhaled, and lowered it. One look at her face told Nikolai that he was too late for Sharptooth. The corners of his mouth twitched and he nodded his approval. Her brother looked ready to wet himself at the sight of Nikolai, a reaction that surprised him not one bit. It half-occurred to him to bend down and address the boy directly, in an attempt to calm him, but he dismissed it. Now was not the time. Besides, Nikolai was acutely away of how intimidating his appearance was at the best of times. To give the boy a better look at his grizzled, unsmiling face, which was right now smeared with somebody's blood, was unlikely to have any positive impact.

"It is all done, Kusanagi. We leave now, yes, before it is too late?"

"THE GAS!" Alexei yelled in warning, at the top of the stairs.

The Free-Men scrambled for cover. With no time for pleasantries, Nikolai scooped up Kusanagi and her brother effortlessly, vaulted over the side of the stairs, slid underneath into the corner, shielding them both with his massive hulk.

A split-second later, the whole world ignited. The explosion tore through most of the structure, hungry orange flames leaping from wall to wall. All the air was sucked out of the alcove where Nikolai hid, and he felt the searing heat on his back. The only sensation that could still cause him pain.

As quickly as it had come, the blaze passed. Kusanagi and her brother wriggled free from his grip, where they stumbled around, coughing and spluttering. Nikolai tried to get up, but found that he wasn't able to move. He was petrified. Huddling in the corner like a feral and frightened child. The ringing in his ears became the familiar screams inside his head, louder than ever, and he couldn't make them stop.

============================================================================================================================

"Initial reports suggest that at least 40% of targets are already eliminated Colonel." Montoya informed him. "Target Alpha is believed to be one of them, and there is now heavy fighting all over the Northern Quarter."

"What is Iron Squad's condition?"

"Korovich has engaged Target Sierra. Encountering resistance, but still advancing. Now ready to breach the Chapel."

"Good. The rest of the Warden's have retreated and regrouped. As soon as Sierra is confirmed dead. We send them in in force. By then most if not all objectives will be accomplished, and our focus shifts to damage control, and preventing a mass breakout."

'Damn them!' he cursed inwardly Damn them all! Venture, Azrael, Sticks. It shouldn't have had to have come to this!

As they approached the corner, the two survivors jumped out at them. One pushed past to get to Travis, but the other, holding two Bowie knives, started swiping at Acolyte. He let the rifle drop and hang on its strap as he ducked the first blow and caught the man's wrist at the second, snapping it. As the knife dropped, he grabbed it and thrust up, jamming it under the man's sternum.

As the wolf jerked in his death throes, Acolyte pinned the arm still holding a knife to the wall, until he fell limp. Levering out the knife he'd taken, he put it in the belt of his pants.

Travis kept travelling with the Aryans and Acolyte, until two wolves jumped out at himself and the bald man. One of them pushed past Acolyte to get to Travis. The wolf had a hammer and swung for The Dragon's head. Travis just barely ducked his head out of the way but the man was fast as he drew out an overhead swing at The Dragon. Travis ducked and had his gun right in the man's stomach, pulling the trigger. 3 bullets tore through his gut but he wasn't dead. Travis smiled a disgusting grin and grabbed the hammer, slamming it repeatedly into the man's head until he was hitting the bare ground. He picked up the hammer and chuckled. "Dibs."

It took a considerable amount of willpower to banish the shock, but Kusanagi managed to shake it off quickly. She scanned the area to see multiple people, severally burned and lying motionless on the ground. Tristan seemed to be alright, but Nikolai...

"Nikolai!" Kusanagi knelt down beside him and put a gentle hand on the side of his face. He was terrified. "Nikolai, it's okay. You saved us," Nikolai's eyes remained unfocused, but she could tell her words were getting to him. "We need to move, we need to escape. Like we agreed to do."

Kusanagi offered a hand to help Nikolai to his feet.

His eyes... I didn't know he had this side to him...

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Harris waded through the opposition as a front-line commander. While most of his kills could easily be attributed to his assault rifle, he had hacked away at a few who had gotten too close with his hatchet, "WE'RE ALMOST TO AZRAEL'S THRONE BROTHERS! FIGHT ON!"

As they moved deeper into Wolf territory he recognized more and more of the dead bore markings of the Wolves. A prison riot was one thing, but how could anything do so much damage to the Wolves in such a short time? Then it hit him. Could this have been an inside job? Was Azrael still....

"DOUBLE-TIME IT! WE'RE ALMOST THERE! NO QUARTER!"

Upon arriving at the main entrance to Azrael's "throne room" Harris noticed the excess of dead wolves in the entrance and began to panic. Without a second thought a threw his boot forward with a mighty thrust sending the doors flying open. Harris flew into the room breaking the still silence that had been its sole occupant for quite some time. And then he saw it. The corpse of Azrael.

"N-n...No... NONONONONONONONONONONONONO!"

************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

After the blast from the grenade went off Conrad knew his instincts hadn't done him wrong. The woman on the ridge was still very much alive. They wouldn't have mounted a counter attack so quickly if they had to recover from casualties. The RPG hadn't hit a damn thing. And then... he started hearing gunfire below. Conrad's eyes remained glued to the ridge while he yelled into his radio, "DON'T WASTE AMMO! YOU'RE NOT GOING TO HIT A DAMN THING THROUGH THAT SMOKE! THIS IS WHAT THE TRAPS ARE FOR! FOR THEM TO COME TO US!"

After a few moments the gunfire died down and an eerie silence permeated through the area. Conrad spoke softly into his radio, "Trident squad, do you read?"

"Zzzt--Yes sirrzz, me read you--" The reception was poor, but he could understand them.

"These guys know their stuff. Keep clear for a bit longer just in case they set any of the traps off, but be ready to move fast when I give the command. There should be two of them close to your position."

The leader of Trident's voice crackled into his earpiece, "Zzzt--Roger that."

Travis followed closely with the squad of Aryans. He managed to get a few pop shots off and some kills here and there, however his aim was truly deplorable. Most of the kills he got were when a wolf felt ballsy to take on a whole crew with a melee weapon, to which he would swiftly destroy their face with the hammer. He was lavishing in the murder. As fast as he needed to kill them he enjoyed the brutal murder, seeing the facial expression in their face turn from one of confidence to fear... and then it was impossible to tell as bone and skin all melded together or fell apart.

Harris screamed for them to move forwards as there were way too many dead wolves in the centre of their turf- he knew this was too easy. The Aryan leader charge forwards and stormed into the throne room- to which they saw it. The most powerful men in, slaughtered. Travis beamed a smile, oblivious to what inner workings their could be to this. To him his work was done. Azreal and his top dogs dead and...

'Oh shit.'

"N-n...No... NONONONONONONONONONONONONO!"

The cogs were beginning to turn in Travis's head. He had no plan whatsoever at gaining power. He was just gonna see how it goes and then hope the Harris was to fucked up to resist him. Right now this squadron was fine, as far as he could tell zero casualties. Acolyte didn't need him to get Lucia he- 'wait'

"Who the fuck got to Azreal before us! We gotta find the other wolf pricks. I don't see the Dog or Azreal's new bitch anywhere," He made sure to turn to Acoltye when he said that, "and I swear there were one or two more. Lets look around, find the cunts who did this. There's gotta be more wolves we can waste."

While the smoke billowed out, Korovitch and Wickers crept round to the chapel courtyard's back entrance. 'Switch to full auto. We need to be quick.'

They both adjusted their rifles, and when the smoke started to dissipate, Wickers took point. Korovitch thumbed his communicator. 'Akua. Hayes. Are you ready?'

'Ready either way, sir.' Came Akua's bass reply.

'Wickers.'

'Aye,' responded the marine, and kicked the door in.

=======================================================================================================================

Acolyte ignored ignored Travis' remark about Lucia, but took in the rest, and replied, 'I heard an explosion further back from here while we were fighting through. We should check that out. Could be more Wolves there. This place is huge, after all.'

With that, he started off towards the gas mines.

Conrad continued to watch the cliff-side when he heard the metal gate of the courtyard swing open down below. Gunfire erupted almost immediately. Conrad's radio cracked to life, "Two of them just breached the gates!"

Conrad barked into the radio in response, "Trident squad engage, but don't enter the courtyard! I repeat, don't enter the courtyard! If they take one wrong step in there it'll turn into a goddamn oven down there."

"Roger."

Suddenly two groups of three men appeared out of seemingly nowhere at the front and back entrances of the courtyard. The way it had been described to Conrad is that the old Catholic movement was actually just a cover for heroine distribution. Apparently some old gang, allegedly mafia, used to manufacture it in secret and stored it under the church. While a majority of the tunnels under the church had long since been covered up, some still remained. Trident's objective was Sticks' brainchild, so Conrad didn't know all that much other than he knew they'd appear out of the granite walls surrounding the courtyard. A decent flanking maneuver, but they'd be vulnerable to shooters setup on the ridge across from the chapel.

Conrad figured his job was to cover them, but then...

He couldn't tell what was happening directly below, as he had to keep his eyes on the ridge... though no traps had been set off yet. And then he heard Sticks, "It's time to say hello to our little French friend."

"Cornelius? Sir, what are you---?"

"Re-position Sergeant. I need you to see this."

Conrad wasn't about to argue a direct order in the middle of a firefight. He slung his rifle over his shoulder and climbed up the clock tower ladder. His heart was pounding and his bruised ribs were aching. If he wasn't careful the enemy sniper could pick him off while he was getting into position. Once in position he had a clear line of sight on the enemy sniper and her spotter, but... they were facing the wall behind them, "I have a shot. I'm going to take it."

"NO! Wait, watch!"

Conrad bit his lip. What the fuck was Sticks thinking? The spotter had gotten up against the rock wall as if he were about to breach a door. The sniper was crouched down, scoped up on the same spot. What was going on?

"What are you up to... sir?" Conrad kept his rifle trained on the sniper and noticed a device next to her... it looked like some kind of tracker.

Oh shit...

"SIR THEY KNOW YOU'RE---"

Suddenly the rock wall opened up to reveal what looked to Conrad like an elevator shaft and a man standing inside. The sniper and her spotter ripped the man to pieces with their bullets in an instant. Did Sticks just die? "SIR! CORNELIUS ARE---"

"Calm the fuck down Sergeant. Our old friend Pedro was a good soldier, but he served his purpose."

Conrad focused his scope on the corpse in the elevator shaft. The spotter had begun checking the body. It was Pedro's body.

Conrad muttered under a sigh, "Jesus... Pedro..."

Conrad spaced out as Sticks went on about the wardens thinking they could inoculate him with a tracking bug, "... This is what they get for their arrogance!"

"Blam-o."

Conrad was snapped out of his daze when the elevator shaft suddenly turned into a fireball. The spotter checking the body was vaporized instantaneously. Though she was a safe distance from being incinerated, the force of the blast knocked the sniper off the edge of the cliff. By some miracle she was able to catch herself halfway down on a rock jutting out of the wall.

Conrad understood now... "trident" made perfect sense. Sticks had just neglected to mention the third prong of the attack in his briefing.

In a horrifyingly insidious tone Sticks remarked, "I want her alive."

Conrad grunted as a sign of displeasure. Though, no one was there to hear it. Conrad took aim and fired at the rock she had clung to sending her tumbling to the ground below shattering her shins on impact.

Before he could turn his attention back to the firefight below the entire building shook violently and he started hearing screams coming from the courtyard. One of the traps had gone off. What the fuck happened?

Harris didn't register anything said to him. He knelt down in front of Azrael's corpse... dumbfounded.

Lets look around, find the cunts who did this. There's gotta be more wolves we can waste."

"FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!"

Harris stood up and began relentlessly stomping on Azrael's face until his skull was dust and his boot was caked in a thick layer of blood. His battle hardened men stood there staring... speechless.

After a moment of heavy, angry breathing Harris turned to his men, "I want you to find every last wolf in this shithold and fuck their eyes out of their skulls! YOU HEAR ME!?"

'Beaumont! What's your status?'

'I... injured sir. Gibbs... AGH!' There was a pause. Then, 'Gibbs is dead...'

'Wickers, you okay?' Wickers had stepped on a mine, and just barely thrown himself backwards in time. They had crept back to the entrance they'd come through, taking cover in the doorway.

From where they he was crouched, Wickers turned to him. He was covered in scratches, and there was a nasty gash under his right eye. 'I'm alright, sir. Kevlar stopped most of the shrapnel. Bit dizzy, though...'

'Well, now we know what they meant by traps. I have an idea.' He commed Lisa again. 'What's your injury.'

'Broken shins. I'm out of the nest, too.'

'Administer morphine from your first aid kit if you can. Only a little, though. I need you at least half awake, because we can't protect you.'

'Sir.'

He turned to Wickers. 'Any bright ideas?'

'I think so, sir. Now we know what we're up against. I--' he was interrupted by Lisa on the com.

'Sir. Sticks' tracker.'

'What about it?'

'It's gone.'

'What?' He paused. 'We'll figure this out soon, just dope yourself. We need to confirm it and take out the hostiles.' He took his thumb off. 'Wickers. Hit me.'

'Well, sir. First, let's get back a bit.'

Keeping to cover, they got several yards back as quickly as they could in a crouch.

'Grenades, sir. As far over that wall as possible.'

Suddenly, there was Hayes' voice in his ear. 'Sir, hostiles inbound. I can see a couple, but we reckon there are more. Got two on your six and one on your three. We're looking for more.'

'Make it quick, then.' They each threw a frag, arcing almost in perfect time over the wall. Seconds passed. Two twin explosions, followed by the roaring whoosh of flame, then explosions in a chain that sounded like a giant machine gun.

Luka could hear footsteps in the cavernous area this place inhabited now, and they sprinted back through the gate, sticking to the black burn marks to avoid any traps their explosives might have missed.

The two men came bursting through the door, preceding themselves with a stunner. Korovitch kicked it as soon as it rolled to them and it arced back over. It caught one of their assailants on the chest and went off, sending him flying backwards. He triggered another mine and was promptly splattered across the courtyard.

Wickers was trading rifle fire with the second, and though he took a hit to the Kevlar, he drove their assailant back through the doorway. Korovitch could hear the sound of a fresh mag being slotted in. He took his opportunity, drawing out the huge, curved blade at his hip and sprinted forwards. It was the last thing the soldier expected and he caught him crouching. The man tried to stand, but Luka booted him in the chest, sending him backpedaling. He stepped forward and in one fluid motion brought the Kukri around. To his credit, in this time, the man had managed to draw a sykes knife from his hip, but a moment too late. His head was severed from the body.

Korovitch wiped the blade, sheathed it and made his way back to Wickers.

'Nice job, sir.'

'Thanks, Sergeant.' He thumbed his com. 'Assist us at your leisure, by the way.'

'Will do, sir,' came Hayes' reply. 'Almost got a bead on the three o'clock man, and Akua's spotted a couple more moving into the main building. We also saw some guys moving in the chapel windows. Go in mowing, sir.'

Keeping to the burned flagstones, and watching for tripwires, they made their way to the chapel's side entrance. 'I noticed a trident stitched on the shoulder of that man,' Korovitch said. 'Does that mean anything to you?'

'Not a bob, sir. I'd guess it means they're on a better pay grade than average Wardens, though.'

Korovitch nodded. 'Alright. Standard breaching procedure.'

'May I take point, sir?'

'By all means.'

Korovitch let his rifle hang by its strap and drew his Makarov. Standing behind Wickers, he placed a hand on his shoulder. Slowly, Wickers took a grip on the door handle. He prepared his rifle to spray in full automatic, then flung the door open. They moved forward, and began firing at the men inside. They split off, as three dead wardens fell. Wickers headed to the pews, and Korovitch kicked over a table near a side door leading to the bell tower, and got behind it, holstering his pistol and taking up his rifle. A second later, he heard footsteps in the bell tower, and quickly grabbed a toppled wooden chair. Shutting the tower door, be braced the chair under the handle, wedging it shut, then started returning fire on the Wardens. Shadows flitted past the windows as the men Hayes had mentioned were making their way in. Further off, he heard shots. Whether it was Hayes or Akua's position, he didn't know.

Slowly, and with great effort, Nikolai got to his feet, stumbling a little. He shook his head rapidly from side to side, to clear his hearing and vision. When everything was sharp again, he called out.

"How many dead?"

"Six of us, including Alexei." came Gregor's wheezing reply "Most of us have some burns, but we can all still fight. I think all the fighters we ran past in the main chamber are dead. I see many bodies."

Nikolai checked himself to see if he'd been burned, and found nothing worth noting. He and his Men had accepted the risks of this escape a long time ago, and now was not the time to falter. The vast majority still remained, and they had to keep moving.

"Vladimir, Dmitri, to me!" Nikolai ordered, and to of his men stepped out of the smoke.

"Vladimir and Dmitri flew as metal birds, before they were sent to this place." Nikolai explained to Kusanagi "They can use the big ones that the Surface Men use, the birds that swallowed us all and took us here in their bellies. That is how we will leave this place. Now, we must go!"

As one, the group made their way towards the upper levels.

============================================================================================================================

So far, Fredric had held off from his assigned task. Even though he had been commanded to take out Harris, it wasn't hard to realise that Azrael was the prime target of the Colonel's operation, and it was always possible that the other agents could fail. Better then, as Harris had vowed to kill Azrael himself, that he be kept alive long enough for Fredric to ascertain that Azrael was dead, one way or another. The body had looked convincing enough, until Harris had made a mess of it in his temper.

Both the Von Strucker brothers had been bad news. The first one had been Azrael's pet, the second had been Stick's. For all his bravado, Fredric had known what Harris' game was from the start. Harris wanted revenge at any cost, and he was prepared to send the entire Aryan Brotherhood to die as a means of achieving it. Not that Fredric really cared. He'd never been truly loyal to any kind of cause in his life, least of all the Aryan's. He killed because it was what he was good at, and played whatever parts he was required to play to keep living to kill another day, and now it was Harris' turn.

Before The Pit, Fredric had been a hit-man for Capricorn International, who had always offered him frequent and lucrative work. He wasn't loyal to them either, and they showed him the same attitude. Not long after he'd completed his latest contract, Capricorn International had sold him out to Venture Horizon, who wanted him in connection to several murders of corporate officials of theirs, as part of an exchange deal to secure a partnership between the two firms. Fredric had been sent to The Pit, and ten years later he was more then ready to leave. The Colonel's price for this hit had been more than generous. Fredric would get his freedom, a new identity, and even his old career back, this time working for Venture Horizon if he desired it. In truth, Fredric would have done the work for significantly less, but he was more than willing to take the rest as a bonus.

As Harris had been throwing his little tantrum, the Monk and the other idiot who were tagging along with Harris' main assault force on his empty promises had gone on ahead, to investigate an explosion over in the direction of the gas mines. If it really had originated from there, then it must have been huge to carry this far. The Northern Quarter was a big place, and whatever they were investigating would probably be long gone by the tine they got there. Still, Fredric was glad they'd gone. He had no orders concerning those two, and he preferred to keep these things simple and to plan. Collateral always complicated things.

When Harris stormed out of Azrael's chamber, it wasn't hard to hang back as the rest of the group went passed. When the last man had rounded the corner, Fredric primed a grenade, threw it out into the confined passageway, and ducked behind the ice wall for cover. The blast was accompanied by several screams, and Fredric wasted no time in finishing the job. stepping out of the doorway, he emptied his Kalashnikov into the cramped passage, and all of Harris' Meth-Fueled Bad-Asses who hadn't already been killed by the grenade died just as quickly as any other men. Harris' himself crumpled as three rounds punched through his chest, and one through his neck.

Job done, Fredric turned and went the other direction to where Harris' two tag-along's had gone. It was time to put as much distance between him and the Northern Quarter as possible.

As they drew closer to the gas mines, Acolyte heard voices, and broke into a run, not caring whether Travis followed. He came to a corner, the voices became clear.

"Vladimir and Dmitri flew as metal birds, before they were sent to this place." Nikolai explained to Kusanagi "They can use the big ones that the Surface Men use, the birds that swallowed us all and took us here in their bellies. That is how we will leave this place. Now, we must go!"

The Dog. Peering round the corner, he saw her. Lucia, and a jittery young man he didn't recognise, but the resemblance told him all he needed. Chambering a round into his Enfield, he burst around the corner, aiming steadily at the largest man in the group, the man who'd killed Orphan.

'Stop!'

The group, on their way to the upper levels, halted, and turned. There wasn't a chance in hell he'd win an outright firefight, but he could hopefully get back around his corner quickly if they pulled guns.

'The girl. Let her go.'

Kusanagi's eyes widened, "A plane? We're stealing a plane?"

Dmitri nave a simple nod in response. This was good. Kusanagi had given little thought to how exactly they would escape, and it appeared this was likely their best bet.

"You hear that Tristan? We have a plan. We have a way out of here," She said as she grabbed his hand and squeezed.

We can do this...

"...Now, we must go!"

"I'm right behind you."

'Stop! The girl. Let her go.'

The group stopped dead in their tracks.

Acolyte?!

Kusanagi looked over to see Acolyte pointing a gun at them. Oh shit, "Acolyte! It's okay, h-he can be trusted."

This wasn't good.

****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Perfect. Conrad had been too late getting down from atop the bell tower and now he was locked inside. After a few firm kicks it was clear it wasn't going to give. He began running back up the stairs when his radio cracked to life, "Zzzt--Sir, this is Trident 2. We're pinned down out here. They have another shooter poaching us from zztt---f-from a hole in the wall. We're sitting--zzztt Gwahhh!"

The radio went silent.

Conrad sprinted back up the stairs and looked over the railing to see another one of Trident squad getting shot through the chest outside the courtyard.

Judging by the way his body moved...

Conrad's eyes darted around the cavern as he calculated the origin of the shot.

Another blood curdling scream echoed through the cavern as a third man was shot.

There.

It took a trained eye to find what he was looking for. There was a strange abnormality on the rock wall directly across from where the third man died. Conrad had no line of sight, but he'd figure something out.

Travis followed Acolyte as he rushed through the gas mines on his own. Harris was too busy defiling Azreal and looking for other dogs, he should have been smarter and looked down here-as that was exactly what he would find.

'Stop! The girl. Let her go.'

"Acolyte! It's okay, h-he can be trusted."

Travis turned the corner to find Acolyte face to face with Dog and some of his allies... and the girl. He aimed directly at Dog. "Look the gang's all here. Mother Fucker who killed this bitch's owner... Oh fuck me!" The Dragon burst into laughter. "You killed Azreal didn't you! There's no one else here," his tone then lowered as he stopped laughing and got angry, "so it MUST HAVE BEEN YOU! Listen to me Dog- I'M gonna be running the Pit from now on. I ain't ready to let you take the throne from Azreal, not after the shit that happened to me in the past few days. My whole gang dead and a bunch of cunts wanting my ass, but now the wolves are MINE!" He turned to Acolyte. "Grab your bitch and lets go!"

Conrad vaulted over the tower banister and slid down the shingled rooftop, stopping himself on the very edge of the roof. Another of his men went down before he could get into position. Conrad laid down on the edge of the roof. He could see him now... just barely anyway. The enemy had been hold up in some small cove dug into the side of the cliff. Most of his body was covered by granite, but he was reloading his rifle... it was now or never. Conrad inhaled sharply and slowly exhaled as his finger squeezed the trigger.

Pink mist.

The man's body went limp and flopped out of the cove to the ground below. Conrad shot him in the face so he wouldn't have recognized him anyway, but... he couldn't help but feel he just killed someone he used to call a comrade. In fact, that's what he had been doing this entire time. The sound of battle snapped him out of his trance once more. He had to banish his doubt... there was no room for it on the field of battle.

No doubt the bulk of the fighting had moved into the chapel itself. Conrad belly crawled across the slanted roof to the front of the building. The artificial door in the rock wall had remained opened and he saw a warden coming out of it? Reinforcements? He noticed the sniper he'd sent tumbling to the ground earlier was attempting to turn and face him. Was she still able to fight after all that?

She threw what was likely a syringe aside and went for her side arm, but her assailant was too fast. He shot her in the hand forcing her to drop her gun and then hit her in the face with the butt of his rifle before proceeding to drag her back into the shaft with him.

Conrad spat into the radio, "Hold up! I'm coming with you!"

The man had dropped her limp body inside the doorway and gave him the thumbs up. Conrad jumped down from the roof onto the outside of the fence, careful not to set off any of the traps. A sharp pain shot through his ribs when he landed, but he shrugged it off and ran for the hole in the wall.

Once inside the other man pulled a lever and the door closed, "Why take her alive?"

The man picked the French soldier up and carried her on his shoulder, "Sticks wants a bargaining chip."

Nikolai's motion to put himself in between Kuasanagi and Acolyte was subtle, but deliberate. The Free-Men still numbered at over forty, all heavily armed and bristling with rage. Acolyte's move was one of desperation, and whatever he wanted with Kusanagi, he wouldn't be able to have it if he was dead, so the rifle pointed directly at Nikolai may as well have been invisible.

"Kusanagi has a mane for you. A-co-lyte." he said, brushing the muzzle of the rifle aside, completely unfazed. "I do not know this name. Does this mean you are friend..."

That was when Travis made his appearance. While Nikolai had never met him personally, after spending as long in The Pit as he had, and after seeing as much evil as he had, Nikolai could judge his character in an instant.

"... or foe?" he continued. "You ask me to give you Kusanagi, and what then? You think Squeal Pig here..." he pointed at Travis "...won't get hungry? Kusanagi, I think your friend has been a very silly Man, and silly Men should not make demands of Nikolai."

The corners of his mouth twitching, he turned his attention towards Travis.

"Nikolai, that is my name, not Dog. I see no Wolves here, Squeal Pig. We are Free-Men, and our fight is not yours. Leave now, and you live. Stay, and you die."

Travis's face flashed red with rage. "Squeal Pig! I am a Dragon Mother Fucker! And even if all your but fucking friends here kill me- I still get to waste your puppy ass!" Travis paced back a few steps just to get some distance. "Don't even think of trying to take this gun from me you punk bitch! Cos I'm pretty sure I can squeeze a trigger quicker than you can run at me and take it out of my hands. Acol- whatever your fucking name is. Grab. The. Bitch. And. Lets. GO!"

 Pages PREV 1 . . . 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 . . . 38 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked