01 Feb I’m a guard stationed at a secret government prison Part 8
“SANDHU! What the hell is going on?”
My shouts were in vain as he pressed ahead, traversing through the blood, guts and gore left in the wake of the Voids without a second glance.
I chased him for what must’ve 15 minutes before he halted to an abrupt stop.
“What… are you… ?” I gasped in between breaths. But then I saw who we were standing in front of.
The Kid. He was still sitting tight in his cell, his eyes remaining glued to the floor. Sandhu just stood there for a moment and stared at him.
“…Ajay.” He finally muttered.
The Kid, whose name was apparently “Ajay”, shook his head. I could see tears falling from his face as he did so.
“No…” he choked out. “I can’t.”
Sandhu smiled, tears beginning to well up in his own eyes.
“I know that I said you wouldn’t have to but…” he began. “I’m sorry. I promised that I’d get you out. Before, I had no idea how. But there’s a chance here. We can’t avoid it now.”
Ajay looked up, utter fear pervading his expression. “I… can’t face him.”
Sandhu slowly approached him.
“It’s okay.” He said.
Ajay seemed to recoil at the seemingly innocuous statement.
“It’s okay,” Sandhu repeated, kneeling in front of him. “Your gift is your own. Your right to use.”
Ajay continued shaking his head. “You remember… what happened-“
“That wasn’t your fault.”
“But… it was.” His voice was beginning to quiver.
Sandhu grabbed Ajay by the face, looking him dead in the eyes.
“You’ve been lied to by bad people. Those same people are here with us right now. The ones that killed the people you loved and trapped you in this place. Anybody at your age with your ability would’ve made that mistake. It’s not your fault.”
Ajay wiped a tear from his face.
“If I let it out… everybody’s going to die…”
Sandhu shook his head. “No. You’ve been practicing. And I’ve been watching. Better and better every day. Now… it’s time to be strong. Your father would’ve wanted that, no? He would’ve wanted you to face it head on.”
Ajay remained hesitant.
“I’m sorry, but we’re out of options here,” Sandhu’s tone had gone more serious. “The man who killed your family wants to kill you as well. I can’t stop him. Nobody can. It’s all up to you. What are you going to do?”
Despite still looking at the floor, Ajay suddenly clenched a fist. I’m not sure if it was my imagination or what, but I could’ve sworn that there was a spike in the air pressure around us. Some kind of intense, overwhelming aura emanating from the kid’s general vicinity.
Or maybe I’d simply seen too much that day.
Soon enough, Ajay was standing. Sandhu looked both proud and utterly terrified. He took a deep breath before turning to me.
“It’s a long story. I’ll tell you all about it later. But what’s about to happen…”
He lowered his voice.
“It’s going to be dangerous. You don’t have to come with us. Just hang back. Then after all of this is over… we can all leave together.”
It was a vague warning, and one that didn’t fill me with the highest degree of confidence. I could’ve told you myself that things were about to get dangerous. That much was obvious. I’d been watching that danger unfold over the course of an entire day. But now I had a decision to make.
Did I really want to be in the thick of it? Did it even matter? Truth be told, I’d been feeling the prospect of death looming over me ever since the first alarm sounded out.
I didn’t have too much time to think about it, though. Before I knew it, Ajay had taken off sprinting, a furious beat in his step. Sandhu hastily followed after, leaving me standing there with a million thoughts racing through my mind.
I didn’t want to be alone in that place. And I sure as hell didn’t want hang out with Adrian anymore.
So I followed them.
The kid was kind of running blindly, so Sandhu had to direct him towards where Senju was about to make his last stand against Kentay.
I was more or less certain that nothing but a gruesome scene would be waiting for us.
And I was right.
Once we got there, Kael was still a pile of flesh and bones against the wall, while Hugo could do nothing but lie still, his life undoubtedly hanging on by a thread.
Along with them, Senju was flattened against the floor.Well, I’m fairly certain it was him. It looked like somebody had been run over by a steamroller.
Kael and Hugo looked both beyond sullen, their faces wrought with bitter and painful defeat.
“You… guys come to finish the job?” Kael asked us, before letting out a short chuckle. “Well, nothing’s stopping you.”
“Uhh… no.” I stammered out. “Are you guys alright?”
“Top condition, pal. Never been better.” Kael responded.
“Where’d he go?” Sandhu spoke up.
“The big psycho dick? He took off,” he stretched his neck out, gesturing towards the walkway on the other side of us. “Guy didn’t even look human when he turned buddy over there into a pancake. Muttering shit about ‘finishing the job’ and ‘executing justice.’ What a fucking clown.”
“Thanks.” Sandhu muttered, before turning to head off. Ajay was also starting to look a bit antsy. Something had certainly changed in his demeanor. Something dark.
“Wait, hang the fuck on! Are you going after him? Aren’t you guys like… guards or something? How’s that gonna work out? And that kid… isn’t he…? What the hell’s going on?” Kael called after us.
“Well, it’s a bit complicated,” I responded. “But I think it’ll work out.”
I wasn’t so confident in reality.
Kael scoffed/chuckled. “Right. Of course. Well… it’s not like I want you guys to lose,” he smirked. “Go and kick his ass.”
I smirked back and nodded.
“But before you leave, do me one favor. Is the priest still alive? He hasn’t said anything in a while, but I think I saw him twitching a bit.”
I looked over at Hugo. Despite his dead expression, he was still blinking every now and then.
“Uh… yeah.” I responded.
Kael rested his head on the wall and nodded.
“Okay. Good to know.” Was all that he said.
After that short exchange, we were off running to face the insurmountable wall known as Kentay.
While we were looking for him, he was sure as hell looking for us as well.
As we moved, I tried gauge what Sandhu was thinking. It wasn’t terribly clear from his expression, but I could tell that his conviction in that moment was less than strong. Given what I knew, I could’ve viewed the situation from a lot of possible angles, many of which would’ve lead to Sandhu acting as a less-than-moral party.
But there was lost context here. I knew the guy. And unless he’d been acting all these years, there was only one conclusion I could’ve reached myself:
For the sake of the kid, this was something that we had to do.
Hell, I never believed for a second that he was malicious in nature.
My thoughts were running too fast. Before I knew it, we were standing right in front of Kentay.
His suit had been damaged pretty badly and he had dried blood caked all over him (although I doubted that most of it was his own). But besides one of his forearms, he wasn’t injured in the slightest, meaning that taking him out was going to be a tall order.
But then again… I had no idea what the kid was capable of either.
Kentay sneered as he walked towards us, his bloodlust seemingly transferring into the physical atmosphere around us, putting a dark, sinking feeling in my gut.
But all of his attention was on the kid.
”I FOUND YOU” He snarled.
Sandhu looked at Ajay and nodded.
“Ajay. It’s time.”
No response. In fact, the kid was frozen on the spot, his eyes enlarged in sheer terror.
I was afraid something like that was going to happen.
“Oh, shit.” Sandhu muttered, before shaking Ajay’s shoulders. “C’mon, he’s coming towards us. Ajay? AJAY!!”
His voice was getting exponentially more desperate. In reality, this whole move was likely a big gamble. Nevertheless, it was a gamble he was definitely aware of beforehand.
With their backs against the wall, Sandhu stood firm in his promise to protect the kid. He exhaled, before shielding Ajay and getting himself ready for a valiant (but futile) stand against Kentay.
“You think I won’t kill a guard if they stand in the way of justice?” Kentay boomed.
Sandhu scoffed. “No… I think you’ll kill just about anybody, you big fucking psycho.”
An oversized vein bulged in Kentay’s neck as he tensed his arm, ready to deliver a head-shattering blow. At that moment, I was simply frozen.
I knew that there was nothing I could do.
However, as Kentay put one foot back in preparation for the strike, a dark, ghost-like hand wrapped itself around his calve before pulling him down and dragging him around.
I looked over at the perpetrator – a nightmare-inducing entity resembling a distorted gorilla with bulky, oversized arms.
It dragged Kentay around on the floor, slamming him through a gauntlet of rails and pillars in the process.
The gorilla-creature didn’t have the upper hand for long, though. Kentay let out an unworldly shriek, before chopping one of the creature’s arms off and ramming his fist through its head.
As the entity fell limp, some kind of portal opened up underneath it, pulling it through.
From the shadows of an adjacent corridor, Ken stepped out.
“You’re not gonna make this easy for me, are you buddy?” He said, grinning.
“I always knew you were evil,” Kentay growled. “I just… have to… ELIMINATE EVERYBODY HERE!”
He was slowly but surely devolving into an overpowered, primal, rage-driven beast.
“Ken… why are you…?” Sandhu spoke up, sounding reasonably confused.
Ken just shrugged. “A promise is a promise. Remember?”
More lost context. Just what the hell had Sandhu been doing over the years?
Sandhu’s warning had arrived at an opportune time. Kentay had stepped forward, launching one of his colossal fists straight at Ken’s head. Luckily for him, he managed to summon a creature to take the blow for himjust in time.
He dove out the way of a follow-up strike seconds later.
“Fuck,” Ken muttered. “This is gonna be annoying,” he looked up at Ajay. “C’mon kid. I know what you can do.”
“I… can’t…” he muttered, cowering down and visibly trembling with fear. “I’m gonna… kill…”
“We’re gonna die if you fucking don’t!” I found myself shouting. “Listen to Sandhu, huh? There’s no other options here.” My outburst probably wasn’t all too helpful, but it was my own instinctual fear speaking for me.
During the split-seconds where my attention wasn’t trained on Kentay, he’d gotten within inches of me. Before I knew it, I was feeling his iron grip around my right forearm. I could feel my bones being crushed in an instant, before I was tossed hard into the wall.
My vision faded for just a moment, before the all of the pain hit me at once. If I was useless in the fight before, I was entirely out of commission now. I could hardly move as my body slid down the wall, flopping onto the floor.
“…Fuck…” I spat out, a wave of blood arriving with the word.
I could only watch now.
With the kid still being scared shitless, there was really only one person capable of fighting.
Ken opened up about ten portals in a circle around him.
“Ugh…” he winced, his forearm veins pulsating like hell while a stream of blood began flowing down from his hairline and his nose. “God, I hate doing this.”
All at once, a petrifying roster of esoteric, incomprehensible entities emerged from each one. From what I saw, there was a dark blue, human-sized eagle that seemed to be composed of ice, some kind of colossal, demonic samurai with a flaming sword, a six-legged creature with large jagged blades jutting out of each corner of its body, a zombified gunslinger seemingly left over from the old west, carrying giant revolvers made out of writhing, grey flesh, and a ghoulish humanoid with 4 horns, 5 eyes, 6 arms, and a giant, glowing green eyeball on its torso, amongst many others.
Ken sighed upon seeing the unsightly creatures he’d summoned.
“Why couldn’t I just have been a telekinetic or something?”
He’d assembled a horde that would’ve made even the strongest man’s knees tremble.
But Kentay was hardly human anymore. He didn’t hesitate for a second.
He darted forward in a flash, pulverizing every one of the creatures that stepped up to face him, taking only a few small cuts and insignificant strikes in the process.
That was, until he got the horned guy with the eye in his torso. That one managed to catch Kentay’s punch with one of his many hands.
“…EVIL CREATURE!!!” He snarled, before throwing a cross with his other hand. It was caught again. While Kentay had run out of hands, the creature still had 4.
It landed a quad-combo of devastating punches to Kentay’s face and upper-chest, causing his head to snap back, blood spurting from his eyes and nose.
However, his head came back as quickly as it went, drilling into the eye-creature’s temple and destroying two of its eyes.
They were both pissed now. They synchronized primal roars, before blasting each other with a series of catastrophic strikes.
Neither of them bothered with any defense, or even any kind of strategy for that matter. They were simply out to deal as much damage as possible, hitting each other with everything that they had.
During the exchange… I began noticing something strange about Kentay’s appearance. He was taking a metric fuckton of damage for sure, but the difference didn’t only stem from his wounds.
He was… changing. His veins were beginning to squirm underneath his skin. Almost like trapped snakes trying to burst out.
On top of that, he seemed to be getting bigger. In fact, he’d been getting bigger ever since he fought Wu. I just hadn’t quite grasped until that point.
He’d towered over Sandhu, whom he was only supposed to have 2 inches on. Now, he was even dwarfing the eye-creature, who’d been a comparable size to him mere minutes ago.
“What the fuck is this guy?” I wondered out loud.
Sandhu had undoubtedly noticed it as well. I could see his eyes widening in terror at the sight.
The creature lowered its head, before rushing at Kentay horn-first. It rammed all four of them into his abdomen, managing to dig each of them about an inch deep into his flesh.
Kentay’s roars had also changed. They’d lost any sense of humanity. He was truly in the process of transitioning into a legitimate, bonafide monster.
He’d begun drifting away from conventional martial arts. He stuck his fingers out, thrusting two of them into the creature’s eyes, before gouging them out in a bloody, slimy mess. Without giving an inch, he followed up by sinking his teeth into the creature’s chest, tearing out chunks of pulsating green flesh.
He finished the deadly combination by drilling his knee into the creature’s torso-eye, taking it out while dissolving his own flesh and bones in the process. As he began to collapse, he grabbed the creature by the neck and took it down with him, putting it into a brutal, one-legged guillotine choke.
He’d exerted so much pressure that its head popped off completely after a few seconds.
Ken was starting to look very worried. With blood still dripping from his nose, he summoned another portal, in which a humanoid squid-creature emerged.
No use. It was taken out by one swipe from Kentay, who blitzed it from a one-legged crawl-run hybrid.
“Oh, fuck.” Was all that Ken managed to get out, before being picked up and slammed savagely onto the floor.
That would’ve been the end for him as well, had he not summoned another portal underneath his back at the last moment, allowing himself to land on the soft body of some kind of slime creature as opposed to the hard metal. He rolled away, hardly managing to dodge a follow-up stomp that not only decimated the creature, but the floor itself.
Now wheezing and bloody all over, Ken looked up at Sandhu, his face twisted in fearful desperation.
No… not at Sandhu. He was looking at the kid.
“C’mon…” he muttered. “I know you can do it.”
The kid’s expression didn’t waver. No spark returning to his frightened eyes.
It’s hopeless, I thought to myself.
Do your memories really flash before your eyes when you think you’re about to die?
Well… some of them do. The ones worth remembering. An attempt to justify the way that you lived. The decisions that you’ve made.
You come to one daunting realization:
You were there, in the midst of the mystery known as life itself.
And now, it was all about to fade.
As another tear began rolling down the kid’s cheek, I could feel one rolling down my own.
Ken sighed. “I know you’re scared, but… we don’t have any time here. Please-“
Sandhu put his hand up, stopping Ken mid-sentence. He had a stone-like expression on his face.
Ken looked confused.
I wasn’t quite sure of the answer myself, but I got the gist of it.
Ajay’s body was beginning to visibly vibrate, or something to that effect.
It started out slow enough, but seemed to intensify drastically with every passing second.
Before long, his body had become a dark, formless, stationary blur. From within that blur, two sharp, burning red eyes surfaced.
And then… I could feel the floor begin to tremble around me.