Shooting the first round, Marcus was merciless towards the enemy. The bullets hit square in the forehead of the mechanical black dogs, causing them to fall forward and stop moving as they dissipated into smoke. Three more jumped over the downed dog and bolted down the stairs.
Simon followed after. He leaned forward and repeatedly shot at the oncoming dogs. Each one of his hit through the head or the body shot. Two more fell, leaving one behind, and Marcus finished it off before it could even get to the bottom floor.
“Well, that wasn’t hard,” Timothy replied with a whistle. “I thought they would’ve put up a bit more fight.”
“Let’s not expect any more than this,” Jones replied worriedly. Then, Alexus heard the loud sound of the shotgun being pulled back to get the shell loaded.
They all waited, looking up at the only entrance from which the demons were coming. Every second felt like hours. The familiar clopping sound of the demon’s footsteps could get louder and louder. It was long and dreadful that all of them tensed up.
Alexus’s hand rested on the sword’s hilt, ready to draw if need be. He gulped, trying to hold down his churning stomach. What was worse was he could taste the food that he ate this morning slowly rising back in his throat. He had to hack it back down so he wouldn’t throw up. His body was tensed, and his fingers tapped the sheath in a rhythmic pattern uncontrollably.
He was a nervous wreck, but he knew that this was a fight for their lives. Looking over his shoulder, he saw three more still left to go before the six of them were next. Protecting the two Ouroboros waiting for their turn to fight wasn’t something he knew he could do, but he had to try. All he had was the suit and a sword that he could barely use, but even still, he resolved in his heart to fight. There was no escape from this mess.
Wrrrrrrrrnnnnnnnnnnnnggg. Pssssssssshhhh. The sound of a high pitch kettle echoed loudly, putting them all on edge. Our eyes were fixed on the demon boy walking in with one hand in the back of his pocket. In his other hand, he swung his yoyo in circles in an upbeat tune.
“I’m hungry. Are you my next meal?” The boy tilted his head to the side. He looked down from the top, gazing at them with hunger. Alexus could feel the oppressive bloodlust and energy seeping out of his body. They all felt it, and they instantly realized that he wasn’t someone to just take lightly.
The yoyo jumped out of his hand, slid across the rails, and shapeshifted into another black dog. Then, without climbing down the stairs, it jumped off the rails and fell with a loud thump.
Alexus wondered how such a tiny toy could create something so significant. It completely defied logic, but when he took a closer look, he could see the thick coating of the black energy wrapped around the yoyo, swirling and forming into metal.
Crystal fired but missed because of the zigzagging motions of the dog. Then, as the dog got closer, she destroyed the head, which caused the dog to break down and become smoke.
An angry look on the boy’s face, this time seven more yoyo’s shifted into dogs, each one attempting to kill them by mauling them alive. Gunshots rang in rapid succession; they tried to destroy as many of them as possible without any of them getting too close. Again, crystal and Jones barrage them with gunshots, leaving behind two.
One of them jumped forward towards Jones, its teeth baring angrily with a growl. At the last second, he swiveled out of harm’s way, just as an ear-shattering boom blew a large hole into the dog itself.
“Eat that bitch.” Jones racked the shotgun again and fired at the second one, still running around in circles.
“I’m hungry.” The boy’s voice rang out clear, he started to walk down the stairs.
Marcus shot towards him, but a giant mechanical eagle appeared out of thin air, covering the boy’s body. “You’re kidding me.” He muttered. With a grunt, he continued to shoot in the hopes of putting the demon down.
“I see seven fresh souls to eat.” The boy giggled in a high-pitched creepy glee that made Alexus’s skin crawl. “Why don’t I bring out my friends to collect them?”
This time the boy demon threw out two yoyos simultaneously, both of them sparking violently as they connected. Alexus could tell at a glance that whatever the kid did with the yoyo’s was terrible. The moment they touched, an oppressive feeling made his hair rise in fear.
“What in the world- ” Jones’ mouth opened and closed, he lifted his shotgun and let off around. The bullet completely missed; the yoyo converged and started to take shape in mid-flight. Large scaly feet, two short arms, a long tail that reminded Alexus of a hammer, complete with a big snout with sharp teeth, appeared all in one go in the shimmering black light. It was a freakin robotic-looking T-Rex.
Large spikes decorated down its back, two green beady eyes glowed eerily down at them with hunger. Then, with a roar, it blew their mind completely blank.
“A T.Rex?!” Timothy yelled in a stupor.
“Oh, for the love of God. This is just plain stupid!” Jones burst out in complete disbelief. “We got a dinosaur of all things. Why can’t it be a little old cat or maybe a freaking bird? I’ll even take something like a bull, but this? Huh? HUH?!” He fired his shotgun, the bullets shot through the leg, leaving behind a large hole.
“Nice~” Simon whistled. “That should slow it….. Shit, I take that back.”
The wound that Jones created started to close rapidly, leaving behind a fresh set of metallic skin.
A high, piercing shout echoed loudly above them. Alexus gazed up and stared in complete disbelief. Flying overhead was a black, robotic-looking Pterodactyl that resembled a bit of a wyvern. Sharp claws, long feathery tails, and rows upon rows of sharp teeth could take a chomp out of their head with a single bite.
“You had to jinx us!” Timothy shouted, pissed off at Jones. “You just had to say birds.”
“Hey, I was just joking!” Jones snapped back, utterly shocked at what he had just seen. “It was just a slip of the lip, okay?!”
“No time for chit-chatting, ladies!” Simon yelled. He dodged an attack jumping into a diving roll. A T.Rex’s tail slammed down with a crashing thud, sweeping away at any nearby tables and chairs. “We need to take it down now!”
“We’re working on it!” Timothy grumbled. He ran around it and continually fired.
Crystal followed behind, sending off her barrage of bullets. Alexus ran out of harm’s way from the bulldozing T.Rex. Its giant foot slammed downwards, causing the ground to shake. None of the shots were doing anything to the T.Rex; the entry and exit wounds did too minor damage to cause anything serious. Only Jones’s shotgun could do anything to it, but any damage he did was just as quickly healed.
With loud fumbling steps, the T.Rex snapped downwards towards Crystal. She jumped out of harm’s way, her arm just inches away from getting her arm ripped off. The T. Rex beelined past her, crashing into many crates.
It got back onto its feet with an angry roar and went into another full-out charge. This time towards Marcus and Simon, who was barraging it with bullets.
“Aim for its eyes!” Marcus shouted. He let out another blast, pulling the trigger as fast as possible.
The T. Rex swooped downwards to take a bite out of Marcus’ head with its ugly head. Quickly diving under its belly, Marcus rolled out and twisted his body upwards, shooting at its belly. The T. Rex roared, stomping its feet angrily. Finally, Marcus could get away from the T. Rex before being trampled.
Just as the T. Rex swung its tail around, Alexus was unlucky and was near the T. Rex. Alexus jumped upwards, dodging the tailwhip completely. When he landed, he was right behind the thick leg. His legs braced, he leaned forward and in one fluid motion, and he pulled out the sword in his hand into one quick strike. The speed of the blade gave it the extra push that it needed.
A golden glow covered his sword. The blade dug into its leg and sliced out the other end perfectly. Then, with an angry roar, it fell downwards onto its side with a loud crash.
“Hell yea!” Timothy cried out in glee. “That’s what I’m talking about.” He fist-pumped in the air. Then, just as suddenly, he stopped dancing and froze. His eyes slowly glazed over as his handgun dropped to his side.
“Tim?” Crystal saw the strange reaction of Timothy. She whipped her head towards the screen and saw Timothy’s number posted boldly in white with his name and picture. “Timothy has been called! We need to protect him!”
All of them knew instantly what she meant. The others gazed up towards the dome and saw what she had seen. Even Alexus knew that this was a terrible time for him to zone out, but all he could do was protect his back.
“Keep him safe, Crystal! Leave the other two monsters to us!” shouted Marcus. He was battling the Pterodactyl that was swooping in low to catch him.
“Okay!” Crystal replied. She ran over towards him, covering his back as he walked towards the dome in the center of the room.
Alexus, on the other hand, took an extra step forward towards the thrashing T.Rex on the ground. His blade was the closest thing to a cold weapon, as it destroyed the T-rex much more efficiently than the guns everyone else had. He wasn’t completely sure why, but he didn’t complain. Right now, his priority was to cut this monster into as many pieces as possible.
The T.Rex floundered around as it tried to get back on one leg. Its giant head swiveled around. It snapped at Jones, then tried to snap at him when he got too close. Raising his blade to his side, he blocked the jaws just before it could take a bite out of his hand. With a powerful uppercut, the blade cut through its mouth.
It thrashed around with an angry roar, causing the ground to shake. Alexus wavered and almost lost balance. Luckily, he caught himself before he fell forward. Using its other leg, the T.Rex pushed itself around, causing it to go into a circle. Its large tail flailed left to right, destroying everything around it.
“We need to obliterate it!” Jones shouted. His shotgun went off in a rhythmical beat as he poured all his bullets into its backside.
“I’m working on it!” Alexus shouted. He dashed to the side, a thundering slam of the T. Rex’s
tail came crashing downwards in front of him like a whip, breaking a computer in half.
Even with its face partially cut in half, the T.Rex still didn’t give up in attempting to crush them.
It got back on its partially destroyed feet in a lopsided stance with half of its face falling apart.
Then, it lowered its body and took a couple of steps forward. Viciously swinging its tail, the T.Rex moved too fast for him to jump out of harm’s way. Its tail impacted his chest with a sickening crushing noise, and he flew backward into the crates.
“Alexus!” Jones cried out in shock. He pumped and fired; the bullet hit it on the T.Rex face causing it to lurch backward.
Alexus groaned. His head couldn’t stop spinning, and his neck was cramped. Funny enough, the impact of the tail whip wasn’t as bad as when he got slammed unexpectedly with the yoyo. Groaning, he pushed the crates out of the way and shook himself awake.
“Damn. How the hell did you survive that? You okay?” Jones replied, stunned that he was still alive.
“Never better,” Alexus grunted. “This suit absorbed half the impact.”
Jones whistled. “I need to get one of those.”
“Ask Crystal.” Alexus wearily watched for the T.Rex tail. Its face was starting to heal itself all over again.
“I so am.” Jones fired off another shot, creating a large hole in its chest. Just then, before Jones was about to fire off another shot. He froze.
“Jones?” Alexus called out, wondering why he suddenly stopped. His eyes glazed over, his shotgun fell with a clatter. “Jones!”
The T.Rex wobbled sloppily with its stumpy leg towards him. Alexus bolted across the room from where he was and slammed into him with everything he had. They both fell with and tumbled to the side, the T. Rex’s mouth snapping downwards and missing where Jones was by a hair. As it did, it lost its balance and fell forward onto the ground to its side. With a heavy thump, the ground shook as the T. Rex fell.
Alexus got on his feet and ran over towards T. Rex jumped with the sword over his head. Throwing his weight towards it, he put everything he heard towards its neck and soon heard the sound of his blade making contact with metal. The blade glowed like golden plasma and cut through its thick neck with one fluid cut. When the blade hit the ground, the T. Rex’s body started to distort and shimmer back into nothingness.
Two yoyos plopped onto the ground and crumbled into fine dust. Alexus quickly got up, looked around, and ran back towards Jones, who were heading towards the dome.
Crystal ran over her rifle in hand. “Is everything alright?”
“Yea, so far,” Alexus replied, observing the battle between Marcus, Simon, and the Pterodactyl.
Simon was riding on the back of the Pterodactyl like he was some kind of cowboy. His silver hair danced behind him, shimmering brightly like the wind. The Pterodactyl did a flying loop, but still, Simon didn’t even budge. Instead, he was glued to the back of the Pterodactyl as if the whole ride was nothing.
Then Alexus saw something glow around Simon’s handgun that he had never seen happen around anyone else. His hand had a thick condense of light red-like energy that swirled around, eventually going into the gun itself. The whole handgun started to crystallize into ice when he fired into the back of its spine. Then, rapidly freezing over, the bullet formed into a long spear, piercing through and out the other end.
Another shot was fired. The Pterodactyl screamed, causing it to fumble out from the air. With a slam, it skidded across the ground. Marcus rushed in with a glowing red fist. He pummeled his fist into the Pterodactyl. Metal crunched in on itself as its face caved in.
Alexus was amazed at the two. Not only that, they perfectly synchronized with one another, making this battle seem like the whole fight was nothing compared to what he went through.
“Alexus!” Crystal shouted, jarring him back to her and Jones. “Jones went in safely. Now it’s-”
Before she could finish what she was saying, her expression changed. Alexus knew precisely who was next. This whole, glazing over and looking like a zombie wasn’t what he was looking forward to. But he knew that it could get him killed if they didn’t get rid of the Myth-type demon.
Alexus watched her drop her rifle onto the floor. She turned towards the dome. A metallic-like sound could be heard, and something appeared behind the bright light. It was a pod with soft interior lining, foggy glass opened, spilling out the cool mist. She crawled into the pod and laid down. Her hand crossed in front of her, and she closed her eyes like she was sleeping.
Air escaped from the pod as the glass closed, keeping her safe inside. Latin and foreign inscriptions resembling alien writing with symbols glowed on the glass. Then the pod sucked into the dome, closing behind it.
Alexus was left alone, lost in what just happened.
The dome glowed brightly; the next number was 66, Simon. Then, with a heavy clunk of machinery moving inside, the next pod was brought forward and opened, waiting for Simon to come in.
When Alexus turned his head, Simon wasn’t glazed-eyed like the rest. Instead, he could still see the spark of life in him, battling against the pull to stay sane a bit longer.
“Go, dammit!” Marcus shouted towards Simon, who slid off the back of the Pterodactyl. “I got this!”
With understanding, Simon looked back one last time before Marcus and nodded. Instead, he headed straight towards Alexus’ direction.
Marcus pounded into the Pterodactyl’s skull with a burst of flaming fire-like energy, crushing it in half. With a final struggle of its breath, the Pterodactyl shivered and turned into a fine dust. He was sweating head to toe, looking as if he had the best workout in his life. Even his head was shiny from sweat.
Alexus felt a swirl of power coming from his right. He saw the demon boy flaring with dark energy. His hand was raised, and he flicked the black-infused yoyo towards Marcus.
“Marcus! Watch out!” He shouted.
Marcus turned around too late; the yoyo blasted towards him. He jumped backward, but it still hit him against his shoulder, dislocating it completely out of place. He crumpled onto the ground with his hand on his shoulder, reeling back in pain.
Alexus cursed furiously. He knew that this was an awful time to get injured. Only two of them could fight against the demon, and they were running out of time. The clock was against them, and he or Marcus could be next to be summoned into the Garden.
Alexus ran forward towards the boy, the sword in his hand. With everything he had, he swung towards the side. The boy demon slowly turned around, his hand raised, and the yoyo turned into an eagle. His blade made contact with the metallic eagle that blocked his path. Black and gold sparks went off against each other. The gold pushed back the black with force, cutting through the thick black metal until the sword sliced through and cut a line down the rucksack.
He saw eerily green glowing eyes that stared back at him through the rucksack. The boy’s hand reached up, touching the rucksack a couple of times. Then, his hand started to shake, and his body tensed as he just stood there frozen.
Alexus took that chance to swivel the blade back around and sliced off the eagle’s wing. It half
floundered as it fell and disappeared into smoke, leaving nothing behind but the boy itself. A blast of invisible energy shot outwards when he attempted to cut him down a third time, throwing him back into the air.
Alexus fell onto the ground with a loud thump and skidded across the floor to the wall. His mind was dazed, and he could think about what had just happened. One minute he was trying to cut the demon down. The next minute he was looking up at the ceiling. How often would he be thrown around like a rag doll until these demons were satisfied? It was getting old fast, and he was kissing the ground way too many times.
“Argh!” Marcus yelled out in pain, startling Alexus back out of the daze.
Alexus rolled over towards his stomach, and he saw Marcus put back his dislocated shoulders into place. Marcus stumbled forward but caught himself before he fell face first. Just the thought of hearing the click of his shoulders going back in place made Alexus shudder.
“You alright?” Alexus called out towards him.
“Never better,” Marcus grunted. He shakily got up and looked over his shoulder towards Simon. Simon was getting into the pod and ready to be brought into the Garden. “We need to stay near the Garden!”
Alexus agreed. One of them would be called in any second now, and being far away from it wasn’t a good idea. The problem was that the boy was in between them and the Garden making this a very annoying predicament.
“I’m hungry! I’m hungry! I’m hungry! Why can’t you just stay still!” The boy yelled at the top of his lungs, pissed off at how they were making this difficult.
A swirl of black energy escaped out of the rucksack, flowing downward like a waterfall. The boy started to grow, its arm becoming long and lanky. His skin was covered in partial boils, zits, and bad acne, but what made it worse was the tips of his fingers were black as they spiraled upwards as if he had some kind of disease. He wasn’t a boy anymore, but a young man. His clothes were the same, and he changed how he walked and talked.
His voice cracked like any young male that was going into puberty. “I’m hungry, so you’ll fork over your souls today.” He rubbed his flat belly. Black energy continually falls out from the rucksack, covering half of his body. Devilish claws the length of his forearm appeared at the tips of his fingers. Even his clothes ripping from his back could be heard as black spikes aligned his spines.
“Get ready to run for i-” Marcus went silent.
Alexus snapped his head towards him and groaned. Of all the time to go zombie-like, why now?! Why now?! He wanted to throw his sword down in frustration, but he didn’t. Right now, there was a Myth type demon, and the boy was between them and the Garden. Their percentage of Marcus making past the demon unscathed was low, but what could he do but use what he got to help Marcus make it there. With his fingers wrapped tightly around his sword, he slightly leaned forward, ready to run towards the demon.
“So, would you feed me?” The demon boy chuckled.