01 Feb I’m a guard stationed at a secret government prison (Part 6)
God, I can’t even keep my eyes still.” Adrian said, beaming at the prospect of utter carnage ahead.
My eyes ended up drifting towards the Dancing Guy, who was jubilantly performing the shuffle along a 2nd floor walkway.
Soon enough, he crossed paths with Nassar, who was grinning like a madman.
Without much hesitation, he stepped forward, heading right towards the Dancer.
“Well, I guess it’s over for him.” I said. I had yet to hear about anybody being able to inflict any kind of damage against the Dancing guy. The only thing that we could really do was contain him, and I severely doubted that things were going to be any different here.
“I’m not so sure,” Adrian responded. “The guy’s a wildcard. I think he’s just testing the waters here.”
Before I knew it, Nassar had gotten dangerously close. I held my breath in anticipation.
There’s no way… I thought.
And I was right. Nassar tried to strike the Dancer but was blitzed immediately. I could hardly even comprehend what had even happened. One moment, he was in the midst of throwing a right cross. The next, he was planted firmly within the concrete wall, missing an arm and with a gaping hole in his chest.
“Holy shit,” he spurted out. He looked towards the Dancer, still inexplicably grinning. “Damn, you’re strong.”
“What the hell’s wrong with him?” I wondered out loud.
“Nothing. Nothing at all,” Adrian answered. “I think I’ve found a kindred spirit.”
Nassar pulled himself out of the crater he’d made, displaying zero indication that he was in any kind of pain at all. Suddenly, a flurry of glass engulfed his chest wound and missing arm, reverting them back to normal in a matter of seconds. He stretched himself out before nodding happily at the Dancer and walking off.
What… the fuck. I thought.
I looked over at Sandhu, wanting to see his own reaction. But… he was stone-like, staring at only one monitor in particular. I followed his eyes and realized that for whatever reason, he was focused on the Kid who was still sitting in his cell.
“Check it out,” my thoughts were broken by Adrian’s outburst. “She’s found her prey.”
I looked at the monitor he was gesturing to, seeing Kael and Hugo being hacked away at by Callista.
“Now who the hell is she?” Kael shouted, taking a sequence of gnarly gashes to the chest.
“Evil incarnate,” Hugo answered. Although still severely injured, he was able to move around on his own now. “Look at her eyes. She’s being controlled by the Devil.”
Callista drilled her hand forward, impaling Kael through the solar-plexus. He chopped at her arm before pushing her off.
“Fucking hell,” he sighed. “This is back-breaking work.”
“Are you a match for her?” Hugo asked.
Kael shook his head, exhausted as hell. “Doubt it.”
“In that case…” Hugo said, standing up. “It seems like I’ll have to detach myself fully.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“My constraints were only lifted halfway the last time.”
“You almost died last time as well. You sure you’re gonna make it out this time?”
“I’m not planning to.”
Kael chuckled. “Sorry, but I’m not gonna let you do that.”
Hugo’s eyes began glowing a familiar crimson. “I’ve been ordained a holy mission. I’ll do whatever it takes,” he stared at the rapidly approaching Callista. “Anything to eliminate evil.”
His scars began glowing again, brighter than ever this time, preparing to engage the oncoming enemy.
But before they could clash, Kael stepped in between and tanked another series of slashes before kicking her back.
“Agh…” he grunted. “Fuck, that hurt.”
“What are you doing?” Hugo asked, perplexed. “I told you, this is-“
“Yeah, yeah… your God-given… whatever the fuck. I don’t know buddy. You’re a psycho, but for whatever reason… I don’t really want you to die.”
Kael gave him a bloody grin. “It feels like we’ve been through a lot, you know?”
For a moment, it seemed as if Hugo was at a loss for words. But then Callista stood back up.
“I see…” he said. “But what are we going to do about her?”
Kael looked down and sighed. “Shit. Yeah, that’s the real question, ain’t it?”
Kael clenched his teeth as Callista began charging at them once again.
“Looks like Lady Luck’s on their side today.” Adrian said.
I realized what he meant when one of Callista’s hands were bitten straight off by the Chattering Man, who’d strolled into the fray from an adjacent corridor.
“Well, shit,” Kael said, watching the two suddenly preoccupied with each other. “Looks like God is looking out for us.”
He grinned at Hugo, who simply nodded back. As those two got the fuck out of dodge, Callista and the Chattering Man began relentlessly butchering each other.
Using her remaining hand, she made two quick slashes in succession, tearing open his chest and forehead. In response, the Chatterer bit a good portion of her shoulder off. This went on for a few minutes, until about half of Callista’s body remained and about 90% of the Chatterer’s skin had been shredded off, staining the entire area a gory red.
But even demonic superhumans had their limits. They were both beginning to slow down.
Callista twisted her bloody, knife-like fingers, pushing them into the Chattering man’s mouth and through his throat. While it was still lodged inside, she threw her arm upwards, splitting his head apart. But at the exact same time, the Chattering Man swiped at her head, twisting her neck clean off.
They both fell simultaneously, as combatants who fought to the bloody end.
It was by far the most brutal bout I’d seen thus far. Although… there was certainly some fierce competition for that title.
I decided to check back on the Voids that were still contained. The Titan was still in his cell. The Calamity’s light also remained green. The Kid hadn’t stepped out either.
But then… there was the Warden.
Clint had stepped into his cell, donning the Behemoth suit in all of its destructive glory. Wearing it brought them roughly up to the same size.
Still… he was just an ordinary guy going up against an unfairly powerful monster. Unless he had some tricks up his sleeve, this was about to get really messy really quick.
“Hey,” he said, grinning at the Warden through his fortified visor. “You’ve been chasing me all this time. Thought I’d finally come to you instead.”
“Sounds like they have unfinished business.” Adrian said.
That much was probably true.
Still staring down at the blood-stained floor, the Warden simply let out a deep, lengthy sigh.
When he finally looked up, there was nothing in his pit-like eyes but sheer rage.
“Your death won’t be quick.”
His voice was deeper than the Marianas.
Before Clint could even get his guard up, he was brutally blitzed by a sudden rush. The Warden was moving so fast, he was effectively a blur. Clint was launched backwards, denting a metal wall. The Warden bolted at him again, slashing off pieces of his suit with nothing but his fingers. He launched his fist at Clint’s protective visor, smashing it to bits and cutting his face up with bits of stray glass in the process.
However, Clint managed to push him off before it could connect with his skull, which would’ve been beyond fatal.
“Fuck!” He spat, attempting to unsheathe the oversized blade at his side.
But he wasn’t nearly quick enough. The Warden grabbed it by the edge before Clint could even swing, shattering it into fine dust with nothing but a firm grasp. Then, he grabbed the suit by the arm, slamming Clint hard onto the ground, causing him to spit out blood.
“Shit…” Adrian muttered. “This is even hard for me to watch.”
The Warden proceeded to uncompromisingly wail away on top of him, with Clint barely managing to protect his face with the suit’s wrist-guards. But even those were being chipped away at rather quickly. Just as there was about an inch of suit left covering his arms, he tilted his elbow towards the Warden’s neck, firing off a small grenade that caused the overpowered Void to stagger just a little.
The Warden retreated, touching the small wound that the explosion had left under his chin.
In turn, Clint struggled to pull himself up, with his suit looking like it’d been run over by about a dozen freight trains. His face was covered in blood and cuts, while a blood vessel had popped in his right eye.
Yet, he shot the Warden a gory smirk. “Okay… maybe I deserved that. But the comeback starts now.”
He opened a compartment on the suit’s ribcage, taking out something that resembled a small, white crystal.
“Remember these?” He asked, before using it to cut himself on an exposed portion of his wrist.
The Warden’s face twisted into an unfathomable expression of fury. He rushed forward again, tackling Clint into another wall, before ripping off a large chunk of the suit’s torso. And then… he drilled his fist into Clint’s ribcage.
At that moment, I was 100% sure he was done for. But… to my downright surprise… he managed to tank the punch, grimacing only slightly.
“What’d you think?” he asked the Warden, still grinning. “We ran some experiments. These shards are new and improved.”
The Warden let out an ear-splitting shriek that I was surprised didn’t deafen Clint on the spot, before picking him and tossing him back into the cell. He followed him in, picking his head up and bashing his temple about 10 times into the metal toilet seat, before it ended up breaking from the force.
As a result, one side of Clint’s face was beginning to resemble a bloody mush. Still… I was surprised it hadn’t been reduced to pulp.
What the hell was that shard? I thought to myself.
He also seemed to have picked up a bounce in his step, evading another strike from the Warden and crawling behind him. At that point, the behemoth had effectively been reduced to scrap metal. Clint dove towards the God-Slaying Cannon, which had been knocked loose during their scuffle. He scooped it up and began spraying it at the Warden’s direction.
However, he managed to evade just about every shot, leaving large clouds of smoke and dust behind him as the devastating bullets reduced the place to rubble.
“Fuck, you’re a tough customer,” Clint groaned, as he flipped a switch on the weapon. “Take this then.”
The barrel of the weapon suddenly grew in size, causing it to resemble an actual cannon.
As he pulled the trigger, the monitor darkened for just a moment before a flash of deep red engulfed the area and a high-pitched staccato of wholly unfamiliar noises assaulted my senses.
I kept watching as the recoil from the strange blast pushed Clint’s back into the wall as it completely annihilated the entire other side of the room. The weapon itself was also destroyed in the process.
I guess the God-Slaying Cannon got an upgrade. Cause I sure as hell didn’t know it could do that.
After the smoke cleared, everything was silent for a few moments.
Clint grinned, letting out a big sigh of relief.
And then his face dropped a few seconds later.
As the rubble began stirring, the Warden burst out, with about half of his entire body now charred to hell.
He also had a wicked, psychotic grin on his face. It was the first time I’d seen him make any kind of overt expression at all. I could’ve lived without it, though.
“You took everything from me,” he said, walking ominously towards the nearly-broken Clint. “But I have to admit… this has been a hell of a fun time.”
“Son of a bitch,” Clint groaned, reaching into his pant leg pocket. He pulled out two syringes filled with black and blue liquids respectively.
“C’mon painkillers, don’t let me down.” He muttered, before injecting the blue.
But just as he was about to inject the black, the Warden clutched his hand, crushing it along with the syringe.
“More tricks?” he sneered, his eyes wild as all hell. “I guess that’s what the weak resort to.”
Clint simply laughed. “You’re not so smart when you’re angry, huh? It’s in my blood now.”
The Warden released the grip, revealing Clint’s bloody, cut-up, and mangled hand. However… the black substance was already seeping into his wounds.
“What is that?” The Warden asked.
“A gift from a good friend. Also… my last resort. Didn’t want to use it now, but I guess I’m out of options.”
In a matter of seconds, nearly all of Clint’s wounds had healed up. Along with that, his muscles had become visibly tensed.
“That’s impossible.” The Warden gritted his teeth.
“That’s one thing I’ve learned,” Clint responded, smiling wide as he stepped forward. “Nothing’s really impossible.”
He stepped forward, throwing a hard strike at the Warden’s Chest, sending him crashing back into the rubble. Clint looked down at his fist in surprise.
“Nice.” He grinned.
But he had no time to appreciate his newfound power. The Warden rose back up like a wild animal in frenetic pursuit of its prey.
“YOU’RE WEAK!” he boomed. “I’LL NEVER LOSE TO YOU! NATURE WON’T ALLOW IT!”
Clint chuckled. “You’re right. I am weak. Must suck for your ego, huh?”
The Warden shrieked, before charging back at Clint.
Once there, they engaged in a fierce exchange of blows, rocking the place to its core. While Clint’s physical attributes had been enhanced greatly by whatever serum he’d taken, there was still an evident gap in strength between them, with each of the Warden’s blows ostensibly packing more force than his own.
However, he did have one advantage. He was clearly trained extensively in hand-to-hand combat, while the Warden was an amateur at best.
He dodged a series of haymakers, before countering with a flurry of jabs and kicks of his own. At that point, the Warden’s mannerisms had devolved into that of a feral creature’s, fueled solely by combative impulse. Yet… I could see the same wicked grin creeping in throughout his wild rage.
He was undoubtedly enjoying the adrenaline.
The Warden picked Clint up by the waist, slamming him into the wall and then onto the ground. He then mounted him, unleashing a series of hammer fists that Clint was forced to excruciatingly block with his forearms. Soon enough, his skin was began to tear off from the punishment.
While on the ground, Clint managed to throw a kick that connected with the Warden’s hip. However… he hardly got any reaction out of it. He simply wasn’t strong enough.
Instead, the Warden threw both fists down onto Clint’s ribs. I could hear them crack through the monitor.
He grimaced in pain, but the Warden didn’t give him a moment to recuperate. He drilled a fist right into the side of his face. A spurt of blood and a few teeth flew out of his mouth as his head was cranked to the side.
“He’s gotta be fucking done for.” Adrian commented.
I had to share the sentiment. Clint’s efforts were more than admirable. He sure as hell put a better fight than I could’ve ever hoped to. But even with all of his tools, tricks and skills… he was still no match.
At least… that was what I genuinely believed. But the guy was just full of surprises.
After taking another brutal strike to the shoulder, Clint managed to somehow escape out from underneath. I couldn’t even fathom what kind of move he pulled in order to do so. And then, in a series of moves that would make the most prolific Jiu-Jitsu practitioners light up with glee, he engaged the Warden in a vicious grappling match on the ground.
From his face, I could tell that he was going far above and beyond his own limits.
It was down there where the Warden’s weakness really became clear as day. He had no idea what to do. After an entire minute of relentless, excruciating struggle from both combatants, Clint managed to get the Warden into a beautiful D’Arce choke.
As the Warden struggled feverishly to escape, Clint’s face was wrought with sheer determination. The Warden changed his tactics, opting to pound at Clint’s already-broken ribs in an attempt to cause him to break his hold.
That was a bad decision. It only allowed Clint to get his hold even tighter.
Despite all of the egregious punishment he’d taken, Clint never relented. Soon enough, the Warden’s movements began slowing down. And then… he stopped moving altogether.
Even then, Clint didn’t release his grasp. He held the Warden’s neck in place using all of his strength for about four minutes before he finally let go, all while gasping in accumulated pain and exhaustion.
The guy really looked as if he was going to die on the spot.
But that didn’t matter to him. The fight was finished, and an unlikely victor had emerged. With a tired grin on his face, he raised a shaky fist in victory before passing out himself.
“Well… I’m fucking touched,” Adrian said. “It’s like watching Rocky all over again.”
On another monitor, Bella had made her way back to the top floor. Back to the gaping exit.
“Wow… what a pleasant surprise.” Ken said, standing in her way.
She seemed to share the surprise as they stared at each other.
“Is this a joke?” She responded.
Ken shrugged. “Where else was I gonna see you?”
“Are you going to let me go?” She asked.
“If I did, then American-Boy would track me down and kick my ass. I gotta wait till he dies first. Then we can go off into the sun together,” he smiled. “In the meantime… you want to talk for a bit?”
She sighed. “What do you think’s going on here?”
“I don’t know,” Ken responded. “That’s up to you. You already know how I feel.”
“I tried to assassinate you.”
“You were contracted to assassinate me by a massive dickhead. I’m sure it was nothing personal.”
“Oh my God.” she sighed again.
“Besides…” Ken continued. “I’m still alive. Maybe you really didn’t want to kill me. That’s what I tell myself, anyway.”
“You’re insane if you think anything’s going to happen between us. You think I want to date anybody right now?”
“Well, I never wanted to either. Until I met you.”
A period of silence followed.
“Let’s face it,” Ken spoke up. “We’re bad people living bad lives. Don’t you get tired of it?”
“Speak for yourself,” Bella responded. “You know what kind of people I kill.”
“I’m not talking about that. You want to escape, don’t you?”
“I don’t belong in here.”
“A lot of people don’t.”
“What are you getting at?”
“I’m pretty sure you know. The Kid.”
“Yeah. What about him?”
Ken exhaled. “Look, forget about dating. But don’t you ever feel like doing something good for once? Doing something for anybody besides yourself?”
Bella simply rolled her eyes in response.
“I’m sorry, that came out badly-“
She stepped forward, brushing past him.
“I’m leaving now. If you want to try and stop me, then go ahead. I’ll just kick your ass again.”
There was another pause before Ken shook his head. “You know I’m not gonna do that.”
“Good.” She began walking off.
“I’m not tired of anything, by the way,” she said without turning around. “I’m in control of my own life. And I kind of enjoy that.”
She left Ken looking somewhat melancholic.
But eventually… he began smiling again.
“Of course of you do.”
He took off, abandoning his post. But… I’m sure he hardly cared about that.
“Well jeez, that was a downer,” Adrian said. “let’s get back to the exciting stuff,” he grinned. “The final chips are starting to fall into place.”
Jack had finally found Wu.
“You China’s secret weapon or something?” he asked, approaching the Mechanical Menace, who remained silent. “Doesn’t matter,” he continued, clenching his fists. “America’s always on top.”
“Look up there as well.”
I turned to the monitor that Adrian was gesturing towards, watching as Kentay continued roaming the corridors, still clinching his teeth in ‘justice’-driven rage.
Actually… no. He wasn’t roaming anymore. He was walking towards somebody.
But at first, I couldn’t recognize who it was.
“COME AT ME, YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE!”
But I did recognize the voice.
It was… Senju, his head now resembling a glowing, floating skull shrouded in a dark haze.
“Didn’t he… die?” I asked, confused.
Adrian chuckled. “Don’t you know anything about the Wraith style? One of its core proponents is the revival technique.
Of course, I thought. How could I not know that?
“YOU KILLED EVERYBODY AT MY FUCKING DOJO!” Senju screamed at the approaching Kentay. “YOU’RE DEAD!”
Kentay bit down even harder, cracking his own teeth. “I simply enacted justice. And I’ve waited for too long to finish the job.”
“Man, how lucky were we to find this place?” Adrian said. “Crisp fucking front row seats.”
It took me a moment to process the implications of what he’d just said.
“What the hell are you talking about?” I asked him.
In turn, he looked at me like I was insane. “What do you mean?”
“Didn’t you build this place?”
He shook his head.
“Well, if you didn’t then who…?”
My eyes wandered up to Sandhu, whose attention was still firmly planted on the Kid.
He’s the one that led me into this room to begin with. I do remember thinking it was rather strange, but with everything that’d been going on, I forgot to question it further.
But now, I couldn’t avoid it.
What the hell is going on?