01 Feb I’m a Swat Officer Part 3
Did this guy just say backup??
It was a bizarre thing to consider, since I thought we were supposed to be the backup. But then again… stranger things have happened. In fact, stranger things were actively happening.
“Backup?? What backup?”
The armored beefcake ignored my question, putting his attention back on the fire-man instead. Not that I minded that decision, to be fair. The fire-man jolted back up, releasing a vortex of flames that nearly singed my eyebrows off.
“AGHHH!” it screamed. “The new world will have no place for fodder like you! This is-“
He was interrupted by another bulky fist being drilled into his jaw, rendering him immediately unconscious. The “backup” nonchalantly shook the flames off of his hand, dusting stray embers from his clothes in the process.
“Weird how the cool-looking ones usually end up being weak. Seemed like a level-3 threat.”
“Level-3 what? What is this? Who are you?” I launched a series of feverish questions at him.
He scratched his face through an opening in his mask. “Hmm… if I tell you, I’m gonna have to brain-wipe you.”
The response froze me for a second. And then he burst out laughing.
“Nah, I’m kidding. I wouldn’t be the one to do it. The suits would.”
“What? So who are you?”
“I’m Kaz. US military. Holy-Soldier division. Class 2.”
“What the hell did you even just say?” I responded, utterly baffled.
He chuckled. “Wouldn’t expect you to know about it. They brain-wipe everybody who does, after all.”
“Ok…” I said, trying to compose myself. “So what’s going on here?”
“Your guess is as good as mine, buddy. They call me up for these weird missions all the time. They’ve labeled them ‘unique situations requiring divine intervention.’”
“Divine… holy… what’s all that shit about?”
“Well, they can’t really explain our abilities… so they’ve put it on God.”
He made air-quotes with his fingers as he said the G-word.
“Your abilities? Like what?”
As I finished the question, a writhing, purple tentacle broke through the roof, dripping caustic liquid that dissolved the floor beneath.
“Hmm… that looks like a level 6,” he turned back to face me. “You can stay and find out. But I wouldn’t recommend that. It might get a bit hectic.”
I didn’t take his advice at first, thinking that I’d die instantly if I tried going off by myself. I stayed and watched as the tentacle descended further, furiously wrapping itself around Kaz’s torso. But instead of being dissolved, he began attempting to rip the appendage apart with his own bare hands.
During the scuffle, a small drop of the liquid found its way onto my arm. It stung like hell as it seeped into my tissue, feeling like a boiling needle being drilled into your skin.
As soon as that happened, I was out of there. But of course, I still had no idea where I was going. I could hear even more commotion going on outside, including some kind of booming robotic voice, followed by the sounds of rocket launchers.
Eventually, I found what I believed to be another Officer, standing at the end of a hallway with his back turned to me.
“Hey!” I called out, half-whispering, hoping to draw zero attention. When he didn’t turn around, I began walking towards him. About three steps in, the rational part of my brain began pulsating, causing me to stop and consider my situation.
Yeah, there’s no way this guy’s gonna be normal, I thought.
My conjecture was proved right when he turned around, revealing a mangled face resembling the rough design of a conventional jack-o-lantern. He was also holding glowing, purple knife. The former cop let out a giggle so painfully unnatural to the point where it felt like fingers were running down my back.
But I quickly realized that it wasn’t the laugh that spurred that odd sensation. Somebody was literally touching my back. I whipped my head around, seeing a tall, pale man dressed in a charcoal black suit with violet, swirling cyclones for eyes.
“Does you understand now? Do you sense your ultimate duty?” he said to me, smiling like a lunatic. “You too could be a part of the new world as one of my messengers.”
“Uh… Messengers for what…” I asked, trying to stall for time as I inched towards an adjacent hallway to run down.
“For me, of course… the prophet. The new Messiah.”
“Uh, you know… I don’t know…” I stammered out, trying to avoid his hair-raising glare.
“Or I could just send you to hell right now.”
So turn into a demonic jack-o-Lantern or die. Both fantastic options, really. Luckily for me, a familiar figure staggered into view a few moments later. It was Kaz, looking like he’d been through a meat grinder.
“Jeez, that was a tough,” he said, breathing heavy. He bent over for a moment, before looking up at the pale man. “Oh shit. This fucker again.” He muttered.
The pale man’s face devolved into an explicitly malicious grimace upon seeing Kaz. “A heretic calling himself Holy. You dissidents should’ve killed me when you had the chance.”
Kaz sighed. “Nobody’s calling themselves holy. For the last time, that’s just the title they gave me, you fucking idiot.”
The pale man let out an ominous chuckle, before levitating. “Do not take my name in vain, heretic.”
Kaz looked over at me. “Hey buddy, you better get out of here. I’m only gonna be able to keep him occupied for a few minutes. This asshole’s a level 10.”
I still had no idea what that meant, but it sure as hell didn’t sound good. In any case, I ran away from the situation as the two clashed behind me.
As much as I hated the situation, I hated my weakness even more. Despite my growing resentment for the job, one thing that kept me going was the general perception of the SWAT as some badass protectors of the public.
But I hadn’t saved anybody since entering the school. In fact… the kid. God-damnit, the kid. I was gonna let him die here, wasn’t I? Not that I could do much, though. I wasn’t so safe myself, being chased by the blade-wielding Officer.
But what did I spend all those years training for? I’d been in life-or-death situations before. Did I run then? Fuck no. So why was I running now? Just because paranormal factors were being thrown into the mix? I laughed at myself, reflecting on my cowardice. I stopped running and drew my own knife.
Time to deal with this myself. I thought. Time to become what the public thinks I am.
I stepped forward as the demon Officer rushed me. I managed to dodge his first swing, giving me an explosion in confidence. I capitalized on the adrenaline rush, slamming my knife into the back of his head.
But then the knife shattered upon impact and my heart subsequently dropped. The Officer turned around, shoving me about twenty meters back. My whole body was stinging as I pushed myself back up.
Yeah… never mind. Fuck it.
I was still trying to find my balance as the Officer continued striding towards me. Like I’ve said before, near-death experiences were hardly alien to me. But in every previous situation, my life still felt like it was in my own hands. As if I had at least a marginal degree of control over my fate. But at that moment… the prospect of death felt imminent. And it was the scariest moment of my life.
As the distance between us continued closing, I spotted two figures turning the corner at the other end of the hall. I thought they were just more creatures at first. But then I realized they weren’t moving like creatures. And they sure didn’t look the part either. I picked up my pace, quickly stumbling to a stop right in front of them.
It was a man and a woman, both appearing to be in their mid-twenties. The man was tall and built, sporting what appeared to be a mechanical exoskeleton over a tank-top and cargo pants, while the woman was of a more slender physique, wearing a thick jacket and tight black shorts. She also had a pair of large, robotic goggles around her head.
“Woah there,” the man said in a wholly unfamiliar accent. “You alright?”
Out of breath, I replied mostly incoherently, simply pointing at the Officer over my shoulder.
The woman’s expression remained stagnant as she drew a ridiculously large pistol from her jacket, firing off a round that caused my ears to ring for around half a minute. But when I turned around… the Officer’s entire upper body had been obliterated.
“Well… that’ll do it,” she said, her accent being the same as the man’s. “Now, maybe you can help us out and we’ll call it even. You see, we’re looking for a dickhead named Trent Raizen. He also calls himself “the Messiah” or something. He’s got a big bounty on his head that we’d really like to grab before anybody else does. Now, have you seen him around?”