Marcus hobbled over with a bandaged arm as he was bloodied and scratched up. There were streaks of dried blood on the right side of the face.
“Tim, good job,” Marcus spoke.
Timothy smiled a big smile. “Thanks.”
Marcus then turned over towards Alexus, and with a loud voice, he spoke, “Alexus, you did great with that last attack. If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t have been able to have the opportunity of the last kill.”
Alexus nodded, exhausted. He couldn’t get up, but he nodded with acknowledgement.
“Everyone, we’re going to go out and take a moment to rest. Let’s get out of this hellhole.” Marcus waved his hand over his head in a circle. “Pick up the wounded and bring back the dog tags.”
The remaining Ouroborous, which was less than a hundred now, grunted. They were all tired, exhausted, and hungry. Some stumbled, trying to get on their feet, but stumbled back down. A few had to assist one another to start their descent to the first floor.
Crystal squatted down. “Do you think you can make it?”
“I think so,” Alexus said. He wiggled his toes and fingers, shaking his legs a few more times.
With a push, his legs shook, telling him that they would collapse soon if he didn’t get up. Then, with a grunt, it took a bit of strength to sand. Then, wavering, he caught himself.
“You sure you’ll be alright?” Crystal asked worriedly.
“Yea. I think I can take it from here.” Alexus shook himself. He stood up straighter, letting the aching muscles calm down. Each step brought a jolting pain, but it continued to lessen every step he took right after.
Alexus and the group of Ouroboros headed down the stairs and out of the factory.
Looking over his shoulder to look at the abandoned factory one last time, he noticed the hanging shadows floating above it. It was strange to see them still there, watching over them. He turned back around, leaving the area as he left in silence as they made it back to the vans.
A spitfire was started as a few Ouroborous were cooking their meals. The spicy smell of woody flavors and even rice was thick.
Injured patients were laid out on the matted floor and covered head to toe in bandages. A handful of Ouroboros concentrated on their patients, healing them slowly over time.
Alexus took a seat on the ground next to a stumpy tree. He leaned back, closing his eyes to allow sleep to take over him.
“Alexus,” a gentle voice spoke over him. Alexus was lightly shaken awake.
With a yawn, he stretched. Blinking a few times, trying to figure out where he was. The night was set, and bright fluorescent lights were present, protecting the area from demons like a light bulb.
Multiple fires were present, bringing with them a heat that he enjoyed. It was pleasant to see and feel the vibrancy of laughter, talking, and even the music of a guitar playing. He turned his directions towards the guitar playing, noticing Jones strumming his fingers against a guitar. His rich voice sang deeply, vibrating outwards.
“Alexus, here,” Crystal spoke, bringing Alexus’ attention back to her.
A warm plate of rice and curry with the spoon on top was present in her hand. A grumble of sound echoed in his stomach.
“Thanks.” Alexus took the plate from her. “Yours?”
“I have it right here.” Crystal spoke, showing off her plate of food.
“Ah, okay.” His hunger intensified. He didn’t realize how hungry he was as his stomach churned. Then, picking up the spoon, he dug in.
A warm, rich heat tickled his cheeks as he brought up the spoon in front of him. With a quick blow to settle the heat, he took a bite. Multiple layers of taste erupted in his mouth, allowing him to savory the spices. He rolled his tongue, tasting every little thing as it brought a sense of momentary happiness.
“Pretty good, right?” Crystal spoke with a chuckle.
“Very,” Alexus replied with his mouth partially full. He gobbled up the rest, burning his tongue in the process.
With a satisfied smile, he placed the plate to the side.
“How is everything?” Alexus asked.
“We got half the Ouroborous injured, over one hundred Ourobourous dead. It took a lot out of us.”
“Yes, it did. I wondered how we will deal with the other six with the amount that we have.”
“That is the same thought that I had,” Crystal’s shoulder slumped, “but I hope that more Ouroborous will find their way to us. Plus, we have other local branches that we could tag teams with to take them down.”
“That would be a huge burden off our shoulders.”
“Yea, I agree.”
Crystal continues to pick through her food, taking bites here and there. She eventually finished her meal.
“Plus, as you were sleeping, Timothy got full-headed this past few hours.”
“What do you mean?”
“He’s been bragging about his new powers.”
“Typical of him.” Alexus shook his head; he placed his hand on his lap. “Were there any improvements?”
“Yes, compared to all the other Ouroboros, he’s the strongest one we have, which is highly not reassuring. I’m afraid that he’ll let power get to his head and do something stupid.”
“True,” Alexus thought it over, “but we’re here for him to knock a few sense in him.”
“We’ll see how things go.”
“Yea,” Crystal got up, motioning him to give him his plate. “I’ll be right back; I need to check up on a few things. I’m glad that you are awake, Alexus. You made me worried for a while.”
“I’m not going to go out that easily.” Alexus chuckled. He didn’t plan to. There were too many things that he had to do and even achieve.
“Good.” Crystal took the plate from Alexus’ hand. She walked away into the crowd of Ouroboros.
Alexus leaned back, looking up into the night sky. Even though he couldn’t see the stars, the nostalgia of camping trips as a kid danced in his mind. He missed those normal days, away from demons that tried to kill him.
A few steps away, Alexus heard the ground around him crinkling.
“Yo,” Timothy called out in front of him.
Alexus opened his eyes, looking up.
Timothy’s cheeks were red as he smirked. He plopped right next to him.
“What’s up?” Alexus asked, pushing himself up to sit more comfortably.
“I came here to thank you.”
“Opening up a chance for me. If you didn’t send in that powerful blow, I wouldn’t have been able to strike the last strike.”
“It’s no big deal. We both got something out of it.”
“You did?” Timothy asked, his eyes becoming big.
“Yea. I got a leftover crystal from that.”
“I need to do some check-up on you,” Timothy stated with excitement. “This could be revolutionary. If there are two different sources.”
Alexus shrugged his shoulders. “How are you, though?”
“I’m doing great. The amount of energy from this suit could power the whole city of Chicago at night.”
“Yea, I had to readjust and recalibrate a few things to handle the power level. If we can harvest the other deadly sins, the amount of firepower that we would have is astronomical. So that dream of killing off the other deadly sins is no longer a dream.”
“We made it happen.” Timothy’s crooked smile, his eyes glowing with excitement. “Let me do a quick check on your suit now.”
Timothy started to pull out multiple devices from his bag that he liked to carry. He reached over, connecting a few things here and there. Blue lights sparkled off from connecting as Timothy was engrossed in his works.
He had a handheld tablet, looking over a few things. He furrowed.
“What’s wrong?” Alexus asked, wondering what he was seeing.
“I don’t quite get it. You’re still the same, but there is another energy source inside your suit. It’s completely different from the one that I have.”
“Is that a good thing or a bad thing?” Alexus asked.
“I don’t know. Usually, from the testing from the capture capsules, it would automatically synchronize with your suit and your own biosignature, but that’s not happening at all. So we’re going to need more testing to figure this out.”
Timothy started to pull the strings off Alexus’ body.
“Well, I have all day. Not going anywhere as of yet.”
“Okay, when we get back to the labs, let’s go over some things.”