Kiyro glanced out across the bridge. He could already see hundreds of jammed pack cars tightly next to each other. Not a single one moved. It was an eerie sight to see the whole place empty with no living soul in sight. He wondered what had happened that caused every single person to disappear and leave their car behind. Whatever it was they were in a hurry.
“I’m not liking this one bit.” Will replied. He was standing on top of a car looking out into the distant.
“The sacred grounds is not to far. A couple of blocks away at my guess,” said Kiyro. He helped himself up on an black car. Scanning from left to right, he searched for any possible danger that could be seen. So far everything was quite. Unnaturally quiet.
“It’s too quiet.”
“How about we go around?”
“It could take days and it goes toward the wall where the Deviants are attacking from.”
“Then how about another route?”
“Except this bridge and the way south, I don’t know any other way.”
“We could look for a boat.” Jack replied from behind them.
Kiyro jumped down and Will followed after. The younger kids were huddled together like penguins. Their gazes nervously darted from side-to-side.
“We could split up and look for a boat, though splitting apart from each other sounds like a bad idea.” Will glanced at Kiyro with worry.
Kiyro knew that their small forces were shouldering on luck itself. He didn’t know when their luck would run out, but without taking chances they would not make it across anytime soon. “We’ll split up into three groups. Will run down the line of the flowing water. Just do a quick five minute check and come right back. Don’t go too far. I’ll go upstream, while Jack and the rest stay behind hidden.”
“Are you sure about this?” Will asked. Even though he was the one to voice the idea, he was not liking it one bit.
“What else would you like to do then? Run across the bridge when we both felt something was off about it or look for a boat?”
“Well I’m just saying…”
“Choose. We don’t have much time to dally.”
“I’m just not getting a good feeling about this right now.”
Kiyro knew what he meant. The nagging feeling that something was terribly wrong about the bridge would not escape his mind. Last night, he did not feel such a strong presence of discomfort, but today was a different story. Maybe it was just the sudden light change that made the whole place feel a bit different. It was possibly be a psychological thing where the rolling gray clouds that seem to specifically cover the sun that made it feel dreary.
“Are you okay?” Eve quietly whispered. She gazed up towards him with concern. “We could always try another way.”
“I know, but we should quickly get to sanctuary. It is a natural grounds that propels Deviants away.”
“Really?” Jack asked with a wide eye. He was having difficulties believing such rumors.
“The sacred ground is a place where we get Fallen Weapons and Armors that can combat the Deviants. Its called Sacred Grounds of the Fallen for a reason.”
“Then that place sounds safer than staying at the evacuation sites that they have holed up for us.”
Kiyro was silent for a moment and continued,“The thing is the Sacred Grounds is not just a normal place where we can waltz right in.”
“What do you mean?”
“One gets baptized the moment they step foot on the sacred ground. If we don’t survive that first test we will be killed.”
Everyone was shocked to hear what Kiyro had stated. Jack burst out first in a disgruntle attitude. “Are you kidding me? I never heard of the baptism. I thought this was going to be a safe trip.”
“I never said it was. I learned it from Tino.”
“Why didn’t you tell us sooner? Didn’t you think this was an important information?” Will asked with a sad voice. His voice raised up in anger, “You’re taking us to our deathbeds. What about Alan and Isabel? They have already decided to not get the Fallen powers. Are you just going to leave them out to fend for themselves?”
“No. I have thought about it and it was not important. Would you have gone ahead if I scared you guys even more?”
“We would appreciate it if you trust us more. We are not some kids anymore. This is something we must seriously consider for ourselves.”
“I already told you that you could die from just getting a Fallen Weapon. I did not tell you the baptism that we needed to go through. What is the difference from dying from one to another when it is just a different way to meet our end? Would you want to burden everyone’s mind even more with worry?” Kiyro thought he did the right thing by not telling everything. It was his slip up to tell them about the baptism now and instead should have not told them at all. There were things that he wished that the harsh world did not challenge them to so cruelly but he couldn’t do anything but move forward in the hopes of them all surviving.
“Still, I would’ve liked to know.” Will stated angrily. He glared towards Kiyro with distrust as he crossed his arms. “Then are you suggesting they go through the baptism as well?”
“That is their choice. I did tell you that people still go to the Sacred Grounds for the hopes of being safe didn’t I. There should be a group of people we could ask to watch over them while we go through the trials.”
“What if there isn’t? What are you going to do?” Will was in disbelief at Kiyro’s words. “I thought you had this planned out.”
“Well honestly, I was hoping that Isabel and Alan would’ve followed us through the Sacred grounds.”
“So you’re saying no one had a choice in the beginning?”
“No. Everyone did, but plans changed. I’m making this up as we go now.” Kiyro frowned and he crossed his arms.
“Wait, what was the first plan anyways?” Will was not to thrilled in what Kiyro had just spoken and instead was probing for answers.
“We were going to split into two groups. One was to go after the Fallen Weapons and the other was to get to safety. But when only two of us choose to go to safety, this put a kink in our plans. Especially since the building was collapsing. Our priority is to survive and to protect ourselves.You should know better than I about this.”
“But they choose to go to the shelter. Are you going to ignore that? This is my sister you are talking about as well.”
Kiyro went silent for a moment. It wasn’t that he was ignoring their decision, it was more along the line that he didn’t have a choice. If they went towards the shelter, they had to deal with the invading Deviants. From the looks of it, from the time they were inside the collapsing building, he saw smoke rising in the direction of the shelter.
“Look. I saw the Deviants in the sheltered area. I just didn’t want to tell you guys that going through that way was a lot more dangerous than going to the Sacred Grounds. Like I said, there could be a chance that allows Isabel and Alan to make it safely with another group.”
“But still!” Will grabbed Kiyro’s scruff and held him up face-to-face. “If you thought of us you would not impose such thoughts on them. They could have chosen to wait.”
“Brother. Stop. Kiyro means us well.” Isabel raised up her hand and placed it against Will’s arms. She gently pushed Will’s arms down forcing him to let go. “We don’t mind at all. After seeing the things that has happened before us, I noticed that hiding away in a shelter won’t save us nor protect us.”
“I agree with Isabel.” Alan cut in. “Even though I do not like the idea of going to the Sacred Grounds and getting baptized, we need the ability to fight. We can’t live under your protection forever.”
“Fine.” Will pushed Kiyro back and turned away. “Do whatever you want. You made your choice. Just don’t ever regret it.”
“I won’t. I”m glad you are worried about me.” Isabel smiled as she walked next to Will. “I thought you didn’t care.”
“What are you talking about? You’re the only blood family that I have left.” Will whispered and he clenched his fist.
Alan looked upon them with envy at the tight bond the two siblings had. Kiyro understood him perfectly. He walked up towards Alan and rested his hands over Alan’s shoulder. “You’re not alone.” A small smile erupted from Alan’s lips as he glanced up toward Kiyro.
It wasn’t that Kiyro ignored their opinions. He just didn’t have too many options. Being the leader of his small band, their lives were in his hands. The choices that he made were heavy responsibilities that he was burdened to take of. There were a couple of times when he wished that an answer would just drop in his laps instead of going through all this trouble to find the correct path without getting anyone killed. He could have taken them all to the shelter, but he knew it was a matter of time before the Deviants will overrun this city.
One million Deviants were not too far away from the city and their Rebirth machine was smack in the face pool of the Deviant’s nest. Death was not an option as of this moment. If anyone of them died, they would end up in the hellhole. Living their life slowly being consumed by the thought of the Deviants encroaching upon their lives day-by-day was a horrible nagging feeling that even he could not get rid of. Everyone understood this and knew the horror that could happen. They were all just living on the edge, waiting for the invasion to happen.
From the invasion yesterday, he could tell that it was just a small scale invasion. How did he know this? The answer was obvious, the Deviants were evolving at a rapid rate. Their intelligence and adaptability were considered extraordinary.. He had a gut feeling that the Deviants were attacking the guilds first and a second invasion was coming. One could say it could be paranoia, but to him it was gut instinct. The Deviants were coming, they needed to survive.
If they did all get a Fallen Weapon before they died, he hoped that their next Rebirth process will give them a chance to survive in the hellhole. This was a gamble he would take to see them live another day.
Their small dispute doused with water, Kiyro froze from a sudden sound he knew perfectly well. Numerous clicking like sound could be heard from behind them. He whipped his head towards the back and noticed a large group of Deviants heading towards them slowly towards their direction.
“Damn!” Kiyro cursed. “Change of plans. We cross the bridge now. The Deviants are here.”
Everyone froze when they heard Kiyro’s warning words. They too glanced behind them and saw the Deviants approaching. Their mangled and broken bodies stumbled forward hitting against the deserted cars. Some of the Deviants were missing body parts while the others had large gaping holes. They were like zombies that walked towards them with an mindless aim.
With hurried steps, everyone slipped through the cars and ran towards the bridge. They had no time to look for a boat to cross the bridge at the rate the Deviants were coming.
Jumping over broken doors, diving through open windows, squeezing past the tightly packed cars, Kiyro’s group pushed forward. He was not keen on getting mauled or eaten alive by the Deviants anytime soon. Their goal were only a couple miles away and he was going to get everyone there.
“Kyah!” Isabel screamed at the top of her lungs. A Deviant that was hiding in the car lashed out and grabbed onto Isabel’s wrist. Will who was not to far away dashed towards Isabel and slashed down with his makeshift spear. The hand that grabbed onto Isabel was chopped perfectly in half allowing her to escape. With a vicious stab, Will
continually stabbed into the head of the Deviant without any remorse.
“Are you okay?” Kiyro got to them to see a bloodied Will and a dead Deviant.
“We’re fine, but we need to move. Her screams just attracted the rest of the Deviants that are on the bridge.” Will furrowed her brows and glanced around them like a protective lioness. “They’re going to be swarming to this spot. We need to get out of here.”
“But the Crystals?” Isabel asked as she looked down upon the open chest of the Deviant. Will reached in and pulled it out in one go. The size of the crystal was a size of his thumb.
“Die!” Alex echoed from a distance. Kiyro whipped his head towards the sound of where Alex, Eve, and Alan were. With hurried steps, Kiyro ran towards them. Will and Isabel followed closely behind him as possible.
Kiyro jumped up onto the back of the car and climbed over it. He jumped from car to car as he noticed Alex struggling with a Deviant that was twice his size. His heart pounded with fear at the thought of losing them. Eve and Alan were also fending off another two that were ready to pounce on them.
Alex wrestled with the Deviant before stabbing down onto the Deviant with his double edged kitchen knife. With a vicious blow he cut through the neck, head, and chest. The ugly distorted face of the Deviant clicked and grumbled more viciously as Alex’s aim perfectly hit its mark. With a final strength of his small body, Alex impaled the Deviant’s head immobilizing its movements. With a sigh of relief, he got up and turned towards Eve and Alan.
Eve was doing perfectly fine fending off the Deviants from herself. She was darting around and stabbing when she had the chance. Meanwhile Alan was on the ground with a Deviant towering over him. It’s rotting jaws and gaping mouth reached dangerously close to his throat.
“Gah!” Alan shouted with fear. He pushed hard against the Deviant with his spear. The only thing stopping the Deviant from tearing him was the spear that was between them and the missing arms that the Deviant did not have.
Alex jumped toward the Deviant and with a downward stroke, he impaled the Deviant in the head. Alan let out a gasp as both Alex’s and the Deviants weight came down upon him. The chomping mouth from the Deviants stopped and rested upon his neck and the tip of the knife protruded out the end of the skull. It’s dangerous silver metal sparkled close to Alan’s eye. With a gulp, Alan hands became pale with sweat.
Alan wiggled trying to get out of the Deviant’s grasp. He pulled himself free from the Deviant and Alex. Alex tumbled backwards from the sudden push that Alan was able to muster. With heavy breath, Alan breathed in deeply. “Are you trying to kill me as well?” Alan glared at Alex.
Alex smirked. “You should be saying thank you your majesty.” He was very proud of his first two kill that he had done all by himself. Then he remembered that Eve was fighting off a Deviant herself. When he turned around to see if she was okay, he noticed that Eve already had dismantled the Deviant with a fluid stroke.
Kiyro, Will, and Isabel came upon them with a startled expression. They were shocked to see the youngest out of the
group doing well in a one on one combat. Especially Eve and Alex.
“Are you guys alright?” Kiyro asked worriedly. He came over to check on them. Not a single scratch was present on Eve or Alan, but on Alex they were a couple of bruises and small scratches here and there.
“I’m fine.” Alex pulled away. “I can take care of myself.”
“I can see that. Good job.”
Alex was stunned to hear praising words from Kiyro and instead turned red from embarrassment.
“I’m glad you guys are all okay, but where is Jack? I thought he was with you guys?”
“We lost sight of him when we were slipping through the cars.” Alan spoke up first. “I think he went to the far left, but then we lost him.”
“This is not good.” Kiyro replied with concern.
“Kiyro! Will!” Jack shouted towards them.
Does these people not understand being quite so we don’t attract? Kiyro shook his head in defeat. Either way they could not stay here any longer from the racket that they all caused.
“Kiyro.” Jack breathed heavily. He stopped in front of them panting. “They are coming from the sides!”
“What?” Kiyro said in disbelief. He scanned towards where Jack had stated they were coming from. What he saw frighten him. Crawling from the sides of the bridge were hundreds of Deviants. They were all fish looking creatures mixed with a humanoid looking body. Their scaly, dull skin shimmered underneath the sun rays as it gave off a wicked gleam. Their eyes shimmered green as they stared into his soul. If he looked into it any longer, he feared that he would get sucked into it as well.
“Run!“ Kiyro exclaimed in a hurry. For a moment, they froze in fear at the wave of Deviants that seem to block three-fourth of the sides. They were only one way to go and that was forward.
“You’re kidding me right.” Will spat. He hurriedly pushed Isabel and Alan forward.
Eve was pulled back from the three Deviants on the floor. She was cutting away at the chest of each Deviant as she pulled out the Crystals embedded in their hearts. Kiyro pulled Eve away from the Deviant as she grabbed the last Crystal in the Deviant’s chest.
“Eve, We don’t have time for this.” Kiyro dragged her forward in front of him. He understood Eve’s wanting to collect Deviant Crystals but being swarmed by Deviants at such a time was not a good time. They were time and place to collect such crystals but not in a swarm. Alex followed closely behind them as they made their way through the densely packed cars. “Run!” He yelled.
Every single one of them ran for their lives.
“They’re everywhere!” Will yelled. He hoped over a car and slide down the front. “We need to do something to stop them!”
Kiyro was on top of the car as he helped Eve and Alex up.They hopped from one car to another as they made their way across.
“How much further?” Jack called out.
“We’re not even half way.” Will replied.
The Deviants were hot on everyone’s tail. Kiyro turned around and examined his watch. He scrolled through his menu options and pulled out a grenade. He glanced back. The hordes of Deviants pooled together heading towards Kiyro. With a flick of his wrist, he threw the grenade over his shoulder and into the Deviants.
“Duck!” Kiyro screamed. He dived towards a car and fell to the floor covering his head and shoulder. Kiyro’s group heard his voice and took action and dropped down.
“Kaboom!” The sound of the explosion blasted outwards. The Deviants that were caught up in the explosion were decimated in seconds as their body exploded into pieces. Car parts flew around them like a hurricane and impaled the Deviants that were nearby. Body parts were shredded by car parts cut through the Deviants like swiss cheese. Even the shock wave pushed back the Deviants.
Dust and debris fell from the sky and onto the ground. Kiyro pushed himself off the ground and scanned around. “Is everyone alright?”
“Yea.” Eve coughed as she got up.
“I’m fine.” Jack groaned. His head was ringing from the blast.
Will was covering Isabel and they both got up as well. They shook off the debris as best as they could.
“Alex?” Kiyro called out with concern. He didn’t see Alex anywhere. “Alex!” He hurriedly went around the cars searching for Alex’s were about. The last time he saw him was when he was near Eve, but now he was nowhere to be seen.
“Alex?” Eve shouted as well. She was desperately looking for Alex. Worry creased her face. “Alex!” She stopped in front of a car door that was on top of Alex.
“What?” Alex wheezed. He was trying to push the car door off of him, but failed. “Help me out of this will you?”
Eve sighed with a huge relief and ran forward. “He’s here under a car door! I need your help.” She was already next to Alex trying to figure out a way to push the door off of him. Everyone heard her voice and came running over.
“What happened?” Kiyro asked.
“The explosion caused the old car door to fall on top of me.” Alex replied. “I would like to get out of this spot,”
Will and Kiyro took one side of the car door and pulled up the car door for Alex to weasel out. It took a couple of trials for Alex to get himself out without hurting himself.
“We got company!” Jack yelled. He swung his knife blade that was chained at the end and threw it perfectly at a Deviant’s head. A perfect hit was ensued in its eyes and it fell down unmoving. He pulled the knife back and it twirled around him like a snake.
Isabel pulled out her bow and fired at any nearby Deviants that came too close to their group. Eve darted forward towards an oncoming Deviant and threw her spear at its chest. With a loud thunk the Deviant was impaled into a car. She ran towards the Deviant and pulled out a knife. With a side slash towards the head, she embedded the knife into the Deviants head. The sound of the Deviant’s voice stopped.
“Anytime now,” said Will. His hands were already sweating from the heavy weight of the car door. Even Kiyro’s hand was starting to sweat.
“I’m almost out. Just give me a second.” With a last pull of his caught leg, Alex was free.
A loud sound of metal against concert hit the floor as the door fell with a clatter. Both Will and Kiyro was glad that they were free from the heavy burden of the car door, but the sudden appearance of the Deviant made them go into
Kiyro pulled out the broken sword from his bracelet. It appeared before him and he grabbed it. He swung towards a Deviant from the right with his all his might. His swing hacked off the reaching hands that was grabbing towards him. Will smacked a Deviant on the left with a baseball bat smashing the Deviant’s head. Alex got up and like a monkey jumped from one Deviant to another with his weapon. Already his small group was turning into a fierce warriors that fought for survival.
“They just keep coming like roaches,” Will said in disgust. He was protecting Kiyro’s back from any other possible Deviants that would encroach upon them. “If we stay here any longer we won’t survive.”
“I know.” Kiyro scanned around looking for a solution as best as he could. Off in the distance not to far away from them he saw an abandoned fire truck. “Watch my back!” He ran towards the fire truck.
Will picked off the Deviants as best as he could, while Kiyro swung the broken sword from left to right. The Deviants
stumbled from the swing of his sword or Will’s metal bat. Kiyro wondered when Will got a metal bat, but that was quickly forgotten since he used it well against the Deviants. Eve and Alex ran next to Will and backed him up as well. Jack and Isabel were also pushing back the Deviants as best as they could.
Kiyro reached the fire truck. He climbed up the side as quickly as possible. He turned on the water. The water pressure from the hose let loose a strong jet of water that pushed back the Deviants that encroached upon them like hyenas.
“Hurry cross the bridge!” Kiyro yelled. He kept the Deviant’s busy while the rest ran ahead. He directed the hose from left to right, trying to stop the Deviants from passing through.
It didn’t take long before Kiyro’s group was a good ways ahead of him. Even the water from the fire truck became less and less powerful till finally a weak jet of water was all it was left.
Kiyro jumped off the fire truck and ran. He was glad that the rest of the group was ahead of him safely away from the hordes of Deviants. Even though the explosive took out good chunk of the Deviants, they were still a large number left.
Gritting his teeth, Kiyro ran for his life. He did not engage the enemy unless they blocked his path. Most of the time, he would dodge or run away from the oncoming swarms. From left to right, and even from behind the Deviants
relentlessly reached out towards him in the hopes of grabbing him.
Kiyro dodge out of a hair’s breadth away from an Deviant’s hand, but from his ill timed movement he stumbled backwards onto another Deviant that grabbed a hold of him. The rotten smell of death and decay hit him like a sledgehammer as its foul breath breathed down upon Kiyro’s throat. With a well aim punch to the face, Kiyro could feel the bones breaking underneath his punch.
“Get away from me!” Kiyro spat. He swung his blade in an upward arch that cut the Deviant’s arm off of him. The lingering hand twitched sporadically like a cut off lizard’s tail.
He kicked the Deviant against the chest making the Deviant fall backwards onto the ground. This gave Kiyro enough time to get away without being caught a second time. The Deviants were relentless as they continually aimed for Kiyro’s life. He wondered why they attacked living beings. Was it envy for the living, destruction for humans, or evolution that transcends humans?
An answer he did not know nor had the time to think too deeply. Such thought was quickly pushed away as he continually ran. Kiyro could already see that the others were almost across the bridge. He to was a good ways before making it to the other side.
A strange groaning like sound could be heard. Kiyro searched his surrounding looking for the sound trying to figure out what was causing it. It was the sound of metal wires snapping. The bridge swayed from side-to-side like jelly. His hands outreached for support, and his leg stumbled from the sway.
Kiyro’s fumbled around, the support underneath him was giving way. With his right arm, he reached out towards the nearest car. His hands grabbed on to the broken open window cutting his fingers in the process. Right now he feared that the whole bridge would collapse any minute now before he could make it across.
Glancing up, Kiyro noticed something attached to the cable wires of the bridge. A large Deviant the size of a school bus was tearing apart the bridges wires. Its bulky body that looked like a bear swung from one line to another and pulled apart the cable wires. More and more of the cable wires snapped apart from the top of the bridge, the strain on the bridge’s weight was having a difficult time holding everything up. Even Kiyro was in disbelief in what he was seeing.
Did the Deviant already spot them and that was the reason the bridge was collapsing or was there something more? Kiyro thoughts ran wildly. He was holding onto his dear life, trying to stay alive. With his right foot, he reached into the open car. His shoes slipped the first time reaching in, but the second trial allowed him to get a good grip. He pulled himself in and closed the door behind him.
Kiyro wiped his hands on his shirt, suppressing his throbbing pain he looked for a way across the bridge.
“Kiyro!” Will yelled in concern.
“Brother! Brother!” Eve shouted over and over again.
He turned towards the direction of their yell and noticed them all scrambling on top of the car. Their balance broken but were saved by the sliding cars. The huge Deviant that were swinging from the top were over them.
In alarm, Kiyro yelled, “Get down! A Deviant!” His shout was heard to late and the Deviant landed behind them with a crash.
“Kyah!” Isabel and Eve screamed at the top of their lungs. They were flung in the air. The others were scattered away from the Deviants like they were paper dolls. Their arms flailed around them as they hit the ground.
The giant deviant cackled as if laughing and swung his hands towards Eve. His hands grabbed Eve out of the air roughly in seconds. Only one of her hands were free from the grasp of the Deviants giant hands and she reached towards her wrist. Her hands frantically scrolled through the watch, but she was not able to read through. Her fingers pressed whatever she could bring up and a knife appeared.
Quickly she grabbed the knife that appeared before her and swung towards the monsters bulging eyes.
“Take this!” Eve screamed as she plunged the knife into the Deviant’s eye. A gush of blood splurted out from its eyes as it rain down onto Eve’s face.
With a hiss, the Deviant spat out green blood like goo that splashed and covered her eyes. A burning sensation wrought upon her as she screamed a high pitch wail of pain.
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