Chapter Three: Assignment

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Cole looked around himself. Ranto stood a few feet to the left of him, a black machete hanging at his side. Kira stood a few feet behind him. Two of the three humanoids that had just rushed at him no longer had a solid form. Ranto had decapitated the third one before Cole could react. Cole knelt down next to headless humanoid. He grabbed it's arm, and, in one solid motion, tore it off, pieces of shattered "bone" falling onto the floor with a small clatter. He examined the bone which was poking out of the humanoid's arm. It was in the shape of bone, but seemed to be somewhat metallic. He summoned fire in his hand to attempt to melt the skin away, but the bone melted first. A few seconds later, what was once the humanoid's arm was now a puddle on the floor.

"Metallic bones, metallic skin, yet you can cut through it so easily." he said partly to himself, partly to Kira, and partly to her puppet. Suddenly, a door that they didn't see burst open, six humanoids rushing into the room. Ranto lunged at the nearest one, his machete sliding through it's head like butter. Oil leaked onto the floor and the humanoid fell to the floor. Cole aimed his hand at the humanoids passing Ranto and send an arc of fire spiraling towards then. The flame hit one dead center in the chest, melting it almost immediately. It collapsed into a puddle of liquid metal, which the humanoids on either side of it to slip and fall to the floor. An audible crack could be heard from one of them. The other attempted to get up, and was on it's hands and knees, when another humanoid, who was attempting to attack Cole, tripped over it, falling on it's face.

The remaining humanoid on it's feet was quickly decapitated by Ranto. Cole gave a small laugh as he walked towards the two remaining humanoids. He knelt next to the one who fell on it's face.

"I can't be sure, but I think i'm actually be doing you a favor by killing you," he said. He grabbed the humanoid by it's face, summoning a ball of flame inside it's head. The humanoid quickly melted. In his other hand, Cole created another ball of fire, which he slammed into the back of the other surviving humanoid's head, shattering it into a melting pile of "skin" and "bone". Cole got to his feet.

"When I murder this guy, I'm not sure if it will be because he tried to kill us or because of this pathetic excuse for opposition," he spat on the melted metal. Kira gave a small smile in response. I like this guy, she thought to herself.

"He couldn't have gotten far, lets go," he said, as he walked towards the door. Kira followed.

Lucia, Lara, and Riku dispatched their attackers with ease, then continued through the doorway. They found a long flight of stairs. Riku growled.

"Lets stop wasting time here," he said, as he began to climb down the stairs. Lara and Lucia looked at each other, quizzically. Lucia tried not to notice her beautiful features. She climbed down the stairs after Riku. Lara followed. After a minute of walking, Riku was face to face with Cole. He jumped nearly a foot back when he saw the German.

"Hello," He said, sarcastically monotone.

"Oh, hey, you two again." Lara said. Kira nodded at them. Cole looked to their left. The the two stairwells connected into a single hallway, which led to a pair of double doors.

"Lets kill this guy," Cole said, walking with purpose towards the door. Kira followed quickly after him, with Ranto on her back. Lara rushed after them.

"Wait," she yelled after them. Cole ignored her and threw the doors open.

"Hello, Axis Squad." a male voice echoed through the room. The room was completely empty, other than a loudspeaker at the end of the room.

"Who is this!?" Cole growled angrily, entering the room.

"Who I am does not matter," it responded. "It is whom I represent that matters."

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