Episode I: Solid Brigade, Pt.3

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Massacre, and a fleet of the undead.

The struggle carried from beyond the street corridor, where she watched her young daughter continue to drag her through trash and rubbish. Blood traced down her leg, beckoning her to run with haste as they bulldozed through bags and boxes to curve their path. The smell was putrid, yet still couldn't penetrate the overpowering taste of metallic decay. Sweat, she felt her grip slipping away from the little girl's hand as frightened eyes looked back to her. "Come on mama, run faster!" Defeat cried out from her grim, exhausted face, but she needed to push through for her beloved child. The murmur of death ricocheted against the narrowing aisle—its rancid, skeletal demonic form hunting them down mercilessly. She dared not glance behind her; the horror of witnessing the closing gap between them too baleful to bare.

Its gargling grew louder and louder, the air, suffocating.

And with anxiety on her hide, she tripped.

Her body slammed against the pavement, her head bouncing beneath black disheveled tresses. It loomed over her with great size, the clammy grip of its long slender fingers around her ankle peeling her eyes wide open. She froze, paralyzed by the Dessarian towering over her trembling body. In one swift motion, it clenched her neck, the other hand savagely twisting at her leg. She clutched its tightening fingers around her throat and screamed to her daughter, "RUN MYA!" Her raspy distraught holler angered the grey flesh eater as it squeezed out her very essence, snapping her head right off her shoulders. Chords of crimson dangled over its open fanged mouth, the nectar dripping from her decapitated head.

Dread dropped Mya's knees against the floor. She watched it feast upon her own mother's flesh, sniveling as its split blackened tongue coiled around her eye sockets.

The juices teemed down grinning fangs, the beast gulped and moaned in satisfaction. Its gold serpent-like eyes rolled back in delight, a hollow grunt echoing in the alleyway as if to call the pack to join in.

A hungry lingering stare stunned the girl-- a standstill before the creature charged towards her on all fours. The child's pooled eyes locked onto the remains of her mother, until a piercing pitch and the rocking pavement forced her to resume the chase.

At that very moment, a wash of serenity quelled her mind, her vision steady on the calling light beyond the path. Her mother? She welcomed death wholeheartedly, noticing a figure foreground. But in one quivering breath, her feet lifted, her body swinging in a half circle, almost like a ballet—and in brave elegant grace, an aura of heat magnified around her dangling person. She gasped, hearing the voice to shatter her fright into fragments.

"Incinerate."

A burst of red engulfed the alleyway before her, the hot flames dancing like a light show in her swollen eyes. The demon's ashes masked the air as she looked up to her savior, the notable high ranked pyromancer. Tears rolled down her reddened cheeks. "Cabil... " She sobbed as he gently released her, but the girl quickly found herself against him once more with a thankful embrace around his thigh. "He, he killed mommy... "

Surrounded by the erosion of humanity, he sought refuge for her down the square. She held on tight, arms around his neck as she hitched a ride on his back to Bevoin Public Library. Then all too suddenly, Cabil stopped, a comrade defending the angle of his retreat as the weapon-wielding hunter blocked a direct blow against him.

The sharp noise of grazing metal blade against claw echoed in Cabil's ears with his knee dropping onto the concrete step.

"Aye, are ya' just gonna' stand there or bring her in?" the burly, bear-hided warrior questioned his comrade with a sneer. It was a quick death sentence— a bilateral cleave with his elbow blades showered the steps in blood. "Can't have one of Aegelleon's finest slaughtered," he jested.

"Flattering, Brenius." Cabil escorted Mya to the front door, and upon sliding a key card to the reader, a confirming beep allowed them both passage to the foyer. But before he could step into the vicinity, a candid elder citizen guarded the ajar of the door. "Your name, young sir?" He interrogated with a raspy undertone.

Cabil sharpened his gaze at him furrow browed, surveying his fragile contour and burlesque attire. "Cabil Hargann, of the Aegelleon forces." He gently aided Mya's dismount before asserting himself over the short, balding man.

"Hargann?" he questioned, adjusting his bold-framed specs over his pale concave eyes, seeing a man dressed to fight. "My, I almost didn't recognize you. You can never be too careful with those Dessarians. They take all forms." His eyes fell upon the little girl. "Oh, you are quite lucky." He tilted his head up to Cabil with a smile. "She's in good hands."

As the two vanished inside the safe house, a passing shadow nudged Cabil to the adjacent rooftop. A shadow, a casting shadow... so quick to escape that he may have just been seeing things? "Cabe, we need your fire in the battlefield." Brenius approached, offering him weapons.

"You know I'm a hands-on type of guy," he rejected.

"These bad boys were custom made by Wiver Shop, given to me as a token of my great customer service. But I rather stick with my halberd, arrow combo." Brenius fixed Cabil's palms around the hilts as Cabil stared impishly at him. "They say those things somehow unlock your inner power as you wield them. Come on," he hustled down the steps, anxious for a demonstration, "let's hurry up and clean this mess before sun fall."

As Cabil confidently stood in survey upon the rise, he drew his newly gifted blades and inhaled the pungent taste of the wild austere affair.

The pyro bolted, utilizing the blades as an extension of his combustions. While he sliced through the demonic masses, a foreign entity surged through his veins. Quicker his movements became, rippling through while the ocular oxygen ducts mounted on his back whistled hot steam. A sudden light flickered in his eyes, a rising hate showering him in blood. Slash after slash his blows deepened, snuffing out every last drop of revulsion out of their callus revolting carcasses. An amorphic abhorrence doused his path and crippled his spirit, but fueling his strength entirely.

'How much longer should I fight to protect her?'

The height of his hysteria cloaked his vision. His swinging arms maliciously fell between her eyes as the whizzing sound of his blades brought her to an abrupt halt. She gasped, her popping gaze finding passion in his hazel eyes. Hanging mere inches above her upturned nose, he felt her breath bathe his blade as his own cascaded heavily upon her. Sweat, blood, the stench of madness—

bewildered, he felt the back of her hand grazing his cheek as the other took his grip. "Cabil... " The look of concern churned her face, and Cabil answered to it unconcernedly, withdrawing from what could have been a friendly fire. "Hey! Cabil, are you ok?" the bob-haired blond called out to him as he exited, leaving behind him a trail of corpses.

Brenius answered, "ah, let him be, Cam. He gave us quite a show."

"Let him be? Shit, he nearly sliced me open!" she scoffed, disengaging her dual rapid fire pistols before tailing him. "An apology would have been nice, or was that your way of flirting with me?" She folded her arms behind her head, hopeful. "Come on, Cabil. Stop being such a closed book. You have to let someone in eventually. Why not talk to me?"

He sighed indefinitely, "I'm going home."


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