For Whom the Bell Tolls

(posted Wednesday, January 19, 2005)


The night was calm and cool until it was viscerated by the hail of gunfire from the Harbor district of Talos Island. Dockworkers scattered and took much needed cover from stray bullets piercing the side of the building. Within moments, Police cars filled the scene and quarantined one lone warehouse to keep rubbernecking citizens their distance as the crowd had already begun to gather to witness a hero in action.

The contact had already called the Commissioner.

The police knew all along that this would be happening tonight...

A moment of silence fell over the scene as Blight Child lept out of the melee and deftly rolled atop a high container to catch his breath. Slowing his breathing to not give away his position, his vampire teeth sucked for breath beneath the cowl that covered his face. He'd never expected so many of them...with night vision no less.

"Where'd he go! Someone give me a signal!" A Council machine gunner called out from behind his mask as he noisily dropped the clip of his massive cannon and slapped in another clip. With a computerized whirr the weapon accepted its payload and was brought to bear.

"Quiet Dixon!" A voice called from behind, holding skywards a marksman's rifle. "Holbrook, Quinn, Ricks. Move into position and maintain a firing pattern we'll flush him out and pin him to west."

Sergei rolled his eyes and shook his head. Nomatter how much more difficult his enemies became, their minions never seemed to get much brighter. They only had a pesty habit of becoming deadlier with each passing day.

Lifting his head he glanced across the massive main chamber to another stack of freight containers. Rolling onto his stomach, he grabbed the edge of his container and counted to three. Closing his eyes for a second to focus, he opened them and dug his toes into the top of his perch, and vaulted across the room.

"There!" Sergei heard through the darkness, and assumed it was Dixon, but began to care less a half-second later as a trail of deadly gunfire and sonic energy charged after him, painting a mockery of his flight path on the wall behind him.

Connecting with the side of a stack, he bounced off and landed in his favorite place possible...right in the center of the deadliest place in combat. Immediately the council cut their fire to avoid shooting themselves as their weapons were dropped in their slings. Drawing razor sharp combat knives, Sergei had landed on his feet just in time to back-bend over an incoming roundhouse kick. Launching his arm behind him, his knucles sprouted his bone spurs and dug upwards through the shin of an incoming axe-kick from behind that was designed to hack down on his shoulder.

A shrieking yell echoed through the room for the split second that Sergei's blades were stuck in the combatant's leg. Rolling beneath his assailant, twisting to avoid a flurry of three other blows, he placed Dixon between himself and the others. He sliced twice and disappeared upwards, into the rafters leaving one down, four to go.

"Man Down Man Down!" One of the remaining below called out. "Open Fire!"

Thus begun a familiar chase. Sergei vaulted off of crates in a circular pattern, as the room was lit with muzzle flares. With lightning speed he was a fly to their rolled up newspaper, and every piece of architecture he vaulted off of was promptly destroyed a half second later in their attempt to keep track of his position.

Click.

Ricks' carbine stuttered as its chamber was empty. He looked down to grab a spare clip from his utility belt. Slamming it into the bottom of his weapon, he looked up to see a dark shape rushing towards him from above. Like the last moment of a character in a horror movie, he balked and lost his cry for help in his throat as a size 11 boot came crashing into his chest. Another to his face, and a knuckle to his temple, he fell to the floor unconcious. Spinning, Sergei came to bear with the sonic carbine and laid two point-blank shots to the remaining minions before him. They too would enjoy a nice, short sleep with a monster of a headache when they awoke in a jail cell.

The crowd outside muttered amongst eachother as the police stood behind yellow sawhorse-barricades. The deafening combat inside had calmed down to a whimper as the gunfire stopped. They could hear the muffled sound of a young voice cat-calling followed by an occasional energy blast from the inside. Before long, however, it was done.

The window overlooking the warehouse lobby exploded with a crash and the form of Sergei emerged carrying a small woman in his arms. Landing with a cloud of dust billowing from his feet on the concrete, police officers began to rush towards him. Sergei looked up to scan over them as the petrified girl began to sob relief. Knelt with the girl hanging over his knee, he gave her a wry grin beneath his scarf with saddened eyes. He brushed her hair out of her face and urged her towards the rushing officers.

Like any one would, she ran.

"Blight Child we have some questi-" the supervising officer began, stepping over with a cup of coffee and a poor beige twill suit. He looked like he binged on 60's crime drama films complete with a small hat on his head.

"Ten inside, all unconcious, weapons destroyed." Blight interrupted as his tail twitched behind him. He scanned the crowd that began to wave at him and call out his name. Cheers and jeers from either the mutant sympathizers or the anti-mutant coalition began to run through his mind as he sighed. "They're tied. My contact will answer your questions or forward them to me. I'll be by later." He finalized, and then rocketed upwards with a leap that took him towards the skyline of Talos.

Vaulting from building to building he landed on a lonesome ledge and sat, pulling his scarf down to expose his mouth. Rubbing his hands over his face he leaned against the architecture and sighed.

"Charlie?" He heard in his mind as a memory began to form. "What are your plans after school today, son?"

(To be continued...)