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Destiny: Darkness Descending

Destiny: Darkness Descending, Part 8

“Well… fuck.” Steve said, his expression grim as a zombie spotted them and released a bone chilling scream that was quickly joined by a dozen or so others before they started running towards the Bronco. “Hold on, this is going to be rough.”

Steve quickly shifted into reverse and floored it. The Bronco spun and Destiny was pushed over with the momentum as he sped backwards and turned them around to face away from the zombies. The road before them was clear.

“Fuck off, shit heads!” Adamson hollered towards the back window as Steve put the Bronco into gear and sped off, quickly putting distance between them and the zombies.

“Was that necessary?” Butler asked quietly.

“Sure was! Felt good, too.” Adamson replied as he turned back to face forwards in his seat.

“Do you have somewhere you want us to take you, Destiny?” Steve asked as he maneuvered through the neighborhood streets.

“Yeah, if it’s not out of the way… Peyton Industries on Highway 74 in the Ortegas.”

“Ohh, I’ve always wanted to check that place out.” Butler said, his tone almost giddy.

“Sure, it’s on our way.” Steve replied, rolling his eyes out Butler’s comment. “Not too far from Highway 74 either.”

Destiny relaxed in her seat with a grateful smile, expecting to be back with her loved ones soon. It took them only an hour to get out of town and onto the highway. After the blocked roads and detours of the town, the group had expected similar poor road conditions, but surprisingly the road was mostly clear. Only a few vehicles blocking one side of the road or the other. They reached the road up to the front gate of Peyton Industries in what felt like record time, and with probably an hour or two of daylight to spare. Excitement zinged through Destiny’s veins, but when the gate came into view it was quickly replaced by horror.

The gate stood silent and open, the guard shack windows shattered and the barrier arm broken into pieces about the ground. The area around the entrance and along the walls was singed black, evidence of a recent fire. Bodies littered the road before them, and through the gate at least a hundred zombies ambling aimlessly near the building. Even from this distance they could see the damage to the building was extreme – the zombies had made it inside.

Destiny felt her heart start to race. Her son, Jacob, had been in there with her sister, brother-in-law, and niece and nephew. Were they safe still below grounds? Did they escape? Were they… dead? That last thought sent a spike of grief through her and tears pooled in her eyes as a soft sob escaped her lips.

“No, oh my god, NO!” Destiny’s wail filled the Bronco before she covered her eyes and leaned forward, rocking herself as the tears flowed and dripped onto her lap.

After a few moments of silence Steve reached over and put a comforting hand on her shoulder. “I’m sorry, so very sorry. We don’t know if everyone is… gone. They could have made it. Do you know where they would go from here?”

Maybe… maybe they made it. A small kernel of hope nestled into Destiny’s chest. Where would they go? With cell networks down or spotty, Andrea would have realized she’d need to leave a message for Destiny somewhere. Maybe at Andrea’s house? Yes! She’d have tried to get there; it was away from town enough that it might not have been over run. Their nearest neighbor was a few minutes’ drive away. They could be there still

“I think I know where they might go.” Destiny said, her voice growing stronger as the tears began to dry.

“Tell me where to go.”

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Destiny: Darkness Descending

Destiny: Darkness Descending, Part 7

“Thanks for the loan.” Destiny said to Steve as she stepped closer to return his bat.
“Sure, anytime.” Steve replied as he took the bat from her. “So -,” A scream interrupted him and Steve tensed, looking around quickly. “We need to go. That was nearby, maybe a block away. Do you have a ride?”
“Umm… no, just my feet.” Destiny replied awkwardly as she met Steve’s gaze.
“Right… look, you don’t know us, but I can’t leave you like this here. You should come with us. You’ll be safe, I promise.” Steve said, his eyes warm and filled with honesty.
“Yeah, please. It’s not safe here. We have a truck on the street, all filled up. We can take you somewhere if you need it, or you can come with us.” Butler said quickly, his gaze pleading.
“Okay, yeah. I don’t think psychos would be so willing to rush to someone’s aid.” Destiny replied with a grin. “Thanks, I really -” Another scream echoed around them, sounding closer than the first. “Right, I think that’s our queue. Let me grab my bag real quick…” Destiny started towards the deck and stumbled, Steve quickly reached out and grabbed her to keep her from falling into the stairs.
“I’ll get it.” Adamson offered before dashing over and snatching up her bag. He eyed the raked before glancing at her, “Did you want to keep that too?”
“No,” Destiny replied with a shaky laugh. “It was all I could find, and probably wouldn’t help anyways. Leave it.” Adamson nodded and hefted her backpack onto his free shoulder.
“You okay?” Steve asked, still holding her steady.
“I think so…” Destiny replied as Steve eyed her with concern.
“Can you walk okay, or do you need help? We’ll have to move quickly, but one of us can probably carry you.”
Destiny stared at Steve for a moment before crushing her pride down. She knew with the way her legs were shaking that she wouldn’t be able to run and would slow them down. That would put them all at risk.
“Okay, yes… it would probably be best if one of you carried me.” Destiny said awkwardly.
Steve nodded, lifted her into his arms, and quickly set off towards the bronco, Adamson and Butler trailing behind. It only took them a few moments to reach the Bronco, but in that time three more screams could be heard, each one closer than the last. As Steve set her into the front passenger seat Destiny could hear more sounds, gurgling and growling, in addition to the screams. They were close, and definitely sounded like more than one.

The men quickly tossed their bags into the back and jumped inside, before quietly closing their doors.
As Steve turned the key in the ignition and the Bronco jumped to life, Destiny spotted the first zombie at the end of the street. Then the second. And swiftly the street was filled with a dozen or more and fear spiked through her as she looked at Steve.

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Destiny: Darkness Descending

Destiny: Darkness Descending, Part 6

“Where is it?” One of them asked, pushing past the others and holding a wooden baseball bat at the ready. A much better weapon than her cheap rake.

“Down there.” Destiny said with a gesture towards the deck stairs the zombie had just tumbled down. The man’s gaze flew to the zombie and his eye’s hardened as he took a step forward, deadly intent flowing off him.

“No, I need to do this.” Destiny said and he stopped, eyeing her. “Please, this won’t do shit but if I could borrow yours? I’ll give it back, I swear. I just… I just need to do this.”

Destiny let the rake drop to the ground and stepped towards him, her eyes pleading and her hand out palm up.
“Sure, why the hell not.” He said with a grin before placing the bat handle in her open hand. “But if it looks like you’re going to lose we are stepping in, so we’ll be right behind you.”
Destiny nodded and gripped the bat tightly as she turned towards the zombie, which was back on its feet and turning towards them. The rage inside Destiny was louder now, overpowering the fear as she jogged down the stairs. Damage the brain, that’s what all the movies and stories said to do. So that was her target.
Destiny reached the zombie as it fully turned towards the stairs and swung the bat, a growl of rage slipping from her lips. The bat connected hard against the side of the zombie’s head and it fell down again. But Destiny didn’t pause, her swings coming faster as the growl turned into a feral scream of rage. Everything Tom had done to her, to the world, everything she imagined everyone had suffered because of him, all flowed through her mind as she continued to swing the bat.
It wasn’t until a warm hand gently grabbed her shoulder that she finally stopped and realized there was nothing left of the zombie’s head. The rage left as quickly as it had come, taking with it the adrenaline and energy that had filled her and she slouched in exhaustion as she lowered the bat to the ground.
“You okay, miss?” One of the men said from behind her.
“Is anyone okay anymore?” Destiny asked sarcastically as she turned back to them, her arms starting to shake.
“Sorry, dumb question I guess…” The man trailed off and smiled sheepishly at her as he rubbed his bushy, black beard with his free hand. In his other hand he held a crowbar. He was tall and wore a black trench coat over a t-shirt and jeans and a backpack across his broad shoulders.
“No, I’m sorry. Just ignore me. Bad day, you know?” Destiny replied quickly, regretting her sarcastic reply. “So, umm… Thanks for rushing to my aid. And, well, I should probably introduce myself. My name is Destiny Williams, what’s yours?”
“Chris Butler, call me Butler. Nice to meet you.” The man with the black bushy beard said with a warm grin.
“Chris Adamson. Everyone calls me Adamson. ” A man with dark brown hair answered with a tip of his head and a small salute. He was tall as well, but was more narrowly built, and wore a dark colored t-shirt, jeans, and a backpack as well.
“Steve Riley, and unlike these guys I go by my first name, Steve.” The final man replied and Destiny realized he was the one she had borrowed the bat from. His eyes kept dancing around the yard, and he appeared to be alert to not only her but their surroundings. He wore a t-shirt, jeans and a backpack as well, but had a strength and presence to him that made Destiny instantly feel safe. He was a survivor, a protector.

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Destiny: Darkness Descending

Destiny: Darkness Descending, Part 4

They worked methodically, filling up the tank of the Bronco and all of their gas cans quickly before moving on to the houses. They were on their fifth house, which Steve decided would be their final one because of how late it was getting, and had yet to encounter a single zombie. All four of the previous houses had been unlocked, but this one wasn’t. Steve was just about to tell the guys to move on to the next one when Adamson took the handle of his bat and slammed it through the window on the door, shattering the glass and causing Steve to flinch at the loud noise.

“What the fuck, Adamson!” Butler whispered harshly.

“We could have just moved on to the next house.” Steve whispered with a glare at Adamson.

“But we’re already here.” Adamson whispered back as he reached in and unlocked the door. “Plus, I think I saw a gun case in there.”

“You don’t even know what a gun case looks like, dumbass.” Butler muttered as they edged inside.

“Fuck you, Butler.”

“Shut up, both of you. Just clear the house so we can search and get back on the road quickly.” Steve said with a glare at each of them.

The three of them quickly scanned the first floor for zombies, once cleared they moved upstairs and cleared that as well before starting their search. They had completed the entire second floor and were in the living room of the first floor when glass shattered again. Steve’s eyes instantly went to Adamson, but Adamson shook his head and shrugged.

“God, do you both need a fucking nanny?” Steve asked in exasperation as his eyes settled on Butler. “First Adamson, now you. Can we be quiet? Please?”

“Sorry,” Butler said sheepishly. “Accidentally knocked it down grabbing this.” Butler held up a black crystal dragon figurine before quickly stuffing it into his pocket.

“Not a necessity, dude.” Adamson said as he went back to digging through the cabinet he’d seen through the window – which had turned out to be filled with a coin collection rather than guns.

“Looks badass though, Adamson.”

“Talking isn’t quiet, guys.”

“Okay, okay.”

They finished the living room and were heading towards the kitchen when they heard it – the hollow scream chilling them – both because it was coming from just outside, and also because they knew it would echo through the neighborhood and it was now only a matter of time before more arrived.

“Look what you fucking did, Butler!” Adamson growled as they all dashed towards the back of the house where the scream had come from.

“Me? You made noise fir-,” Butler halted in the hallway and lifted a shaking hand to point out the large bay window to the right of the back door. “Holy fuck, is that a real woman or a dead woman?”

“She’s real, but probably going to be dead soon if you don’t get your ass moving and out of our way so we can get to her!” Steve said with an annoyed push against Butler’s back. “So MOVE IT!”

 

~*~

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Destiny: Darkness Descending

Destiny: Darkness Descending, Part 5

Destiny was startled awake by a scream, and now stood frozen, staring in horror at the zombie that was running towards her. Running – holy shit, they run! Destiny jerked back at the realization, and instinctively lifted the rake in front of her. She knew it wouldn’t do much, but maybe she could at least keep it between them, or maybe knock the zombie down with it, or something – she knew, though, that if the zombie reached her she was fucked.

Destiny considered turning and running, but her legs still felt weak and the idea of not having eyes on the zombie terrified her almost as much as it getting to her. Instead, she decided to back away quickly to the other side of the deck, she remembered a set of stairs on both sides so she knew she wouldn’t be trapped. As she started to back away the zombie reached the stairs, but stumbled and fell forward onto the deck when it reached the top. Destiny smirked, and would have laughed if not for the icy terror coursing through her veins. At least she had more time to put some distance between them.

Destiny edged closer to the top of the stairs on the opposite side of the deck and was almost there when the zombie stood up and stared at her, it’s face a grayish decomposing mask of rage, before releasing another chilling scream and running towards her once more. Destiny knew she was screwed, she could never outrun it, not in her current condition. But maybe she could dodge it and let it’s momentum take it off the deck, giving her more time… Destiny braced herself at the top of the stairs, prepared to dodge to the side when it got closer.

Time seemed to pass slowly as she prepared herself to leap to the side, and the terror in her chest remained but she felt rage begin to blossom within her. Everything was forever changed, forever ruined, because of these things… because of Tom. If others survived they would be living in a world of fear and horror, the comfort from before gone.

Fuck zombies, fuck Tom. Destiny’s resolve hardened and adrenaline pumped through her veins, filling her with a strength she didn’t know she had. The thing needed to die – both to put it out of its own misery, and to save others from it. She could do this, once it was down she would find a way to destroy it. It might have been a person before but it wasn’t human anymore, she could see that in its lifeless dead eyes. All that remained in it was rage and hunger.

Destiny braced as the zombie approached, she’d use the rake to knock it off balance, send it tumbling over the stairs, then go after it and take it down. She smiled coldly as she swiftly stepped out of the way and slammed the rake into the back of the zombies head as it passed her. It tumbled over, thumping down the stairs and sprawling in the grass of the yard. She took a step towards it when the back door of the house burst open and three men flew out.

Destiny stared at them in surprise. They were definitely alive – each of them carrying a melee weapon at the ready as they first looked at her, then scanned the yard quickly.

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Destiny: Darkness Descending

Destiny: Darkness Descending, Part 3

As Steve Riley parked the Bronco in front of a row of residential homes in San Juan Capistrano, he realized it had been three days since him, Chris Butler, and Chris Adamson had left San Diego to head towards Arizona to meet up with family. Three days since they had docked from their diving trip, still blissfully unaware that the world had gone to shit and zombies were now a thing – a disgustingly, terrifyingly real THING.

And, he also realized, traffic on the 91 before would have been a cake walk compared to the shit on the roads now – every freeway, every road, seemed to be filled with abandoned cars,  blocked by a multi-car pile up, covered in bodies, or brimming with the undead. A trip from San Diego to San Juan Capistrano took less than two hours before, and that was in bad traffic, but now the road conditions were so terrible that it took them longer to drive than it probably would have to walk that same distance.

But luckily the last couple miles had been almost normal driving – aside from the occasional zombie shambling along the side of the road, you’d almost be able to pretend nothing was wrong. Almost. But the streets were too quiet, too empty, and while the intersections were clear you could still see signs of recent crashes – too much broken glass, too many pieces of metal to have occurred when emergency services were still operational. One intersection they had recently passed through had been surrounded by blackened husks that had once been stores. They had burned long enough to start warping the metal beams inside, and so now all that remained was a sad, drooping remnant of what once may have been a florist, bakery, or coffee shop.

“Hey, we gonna sit here all day or what?” Butler’s deep voice from the passenger seat broke through Steve’s thoughts.

“Sure, seems like a nice neighborhood to die in.” Steve replied with a shake of his head before rubbing his eyes. “We might be able to get some gas siphoned out of some of the cars here, and probably check what we can find in the houses for supplies. We’ve still got room in the back.”

“I’ll get the gas cans,” Adamson said before reaching into the back of the Bronco to grab some of the empty gas cans.

“Ugh, I think I see a body over there. Think it’s actually dead or… you know?” Butler said cautiously as he pointed near a porch.

“Go check it out, just don’t scream like a banshee again and you should be fine.” Adamson said with a snicker as he and Butler got out of the Bronco.

“That was one fucking time, Adamson. And I recall you screamed too, asshole.”

“We all screamed, so drop it.” Steve replied in an annoyed tone as he stepped out of the bronco and quietly closed the door behind him. “Keep your eyes peeled, weapons ready, and always stay in view of each other.”

Their weapons were almost entirely melee, the only exceptions were a M&P 9 pistol and a Remington 870 shotgun they’d found lying next to a police cruiser. They had very little ammo, and since sound drew zombies like moths to a flame, they had yet to use them and mostly relied on a the melee weapons – Adamson had his metal bat and hatchet, Butler had his knife and crowbar, and Steve carried a machete and wooden bat.

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Better than a bandaid…(Part 5)

“We can’t deal with that right now, we need to get on repair and cleanup immediately.” Daf said over the Com as she stood up from her prone position and scanned the woods in front of her. There was no movement she could discern, not even a slight breeze blew to disturb the vegetation. 

Daf turned towards the south wall and eyed everyone still standing in place. Even her husband, Dom, stood silently staring down at Mattie. He was too far way to see his features clearly, but Daf suspected his expression held a mix of everyone else’s. Some were shocked, some were scared, and others showed concern.  

“Hey, guys, I get it. Whatever just happened was freaky as hell, but it didn’t hurt any of us. We’re all fine, only the Orcs were hit by it. We need to take care of cleanup and repair A-S-A-P. If they come back and those bodies are still on the south wall, they’ll march right in on top of us. We don’t know if any damage has been done to any of the other walls. I promise we’ll look into this and give everyone an update, but I need you all to get a move on now. Okay?” 

There were several slow nods before everyone began moving about to begin their duties. Daf saw Ty and Dom carrying Mattie off the wall and suspected they were heading towards triage, so she took off and met up with them at the door. 

“She’s still out. Are you going to do some science today?” Dom asked with a wink at Daf as they entered triage. 

“It came from her, right?” Daf asked with a gesture towards Mattie. “I didn’t see from my position, but timing after her shout, the fact that she’s out cold with no apparent wound, and the way you are looking at her tells me it did.” Daf nodded soberly as he laid Mattie down on a bed. 

“Oh my god, did you guys see that pink glow?” Kat began, but before anyone else could speak Cayla was quick to insert her questions as well.  

“Is that some new Orc thing? Like, are we gonna die now? Did it give us cancer?”  

Daf laughed, and shook her head. “We don’t need to panic or overreact right now. All I know is it came from Mattie.” 

“What do you think it is?” Ty asked awkwardly from next to Mattie’s bed. 

“I won’t know until I do some tests. First thing I need is some of her blood, though. It’s the least invasive test I can do, so I’ll get some while she’s still out.” Daf said, pulling a syringe from a drawer she walked over to Mattie. 

“Do you have any suspicions? A wild guess?” 

“I don’t do wild guesses, Ty.” Daf replied as she quickly took two small vials of Mattie’s blood. “I promise, once I have something concrete, everyone will know. I’m going to take these over to my lab. I’ll let you know if I need anything else. Can you let me know when she wakes up?” 

“Sure.” Ty sat down in a chair next to Mattie’s bed. “I’ll just hang here and keep an eye on her.” 

Daf nodded and headed towards the door with Dom. “If anything…different happens, let me know that too.” 

“Oh, wait!” Kat called out and Daf and Dom turned towards her. “What kind of different?” 

“Did something happen?” Daf asked, perking up and staring hard at Kat. 

“Well, not me, but Jonathan…for a few days now he’s been crazy staticky.” 

“I’m not sure how that’s different?” Dom said in confusion. 

“Okay, I know it sounds mundane, but it’s weird because it’s like the later in the day it gets the more static popping he creates. And it doesn’t matter what he’s walking on, touching, or anything. I don’t know, maybe it’s nothing, but maybe it isn’t?” 

“Maybe, but I can check into it later after I-” a loud boom from outside stopped Daf mid-sentence. They all looked at each other with wide eyes before dashing out the door. 

Even Ty rushed out, heading towards the sound. For a moment he paused and felt awkward about leaving Mattie alone, but she seemed fine so he continued after the others. Once outside Ty saw the others rushing towards the northern wall so he took off jogging in that direction.  

As he got closer Ty could hear someone shouting, almost hysterical, from outside the wall. After a few moments Ty realized it was Jonathan, and he quickened his pace. What the hell happened? Did the Orcs come back? Fear tightened his gut but he sprinted on. Luckily the doorway that would take them outside was on this wall, so it wasn’t long before Ty was cautiously peeking around the door checking for Orcs. When he saw none, he stepped out and paused after only a few steps. 

Before Ty, Jonathan stood with a silvery white glow surrounding him. The glow shuddered and sparked out, reminding Ty of electricity or a lightning bolt. Behind Jonathan lay Warrick, unmoving and with dark burn marks on his body that appeared to have smoke rising from them. Jonathan continued to shout in a panic and he held his hands up in front of him whenever someone tried to step closer. 

“No, no, don’t come near! Fuck, I don’t know what happened! He just…Warrick…” Jonathan’s voice trailed off as he stared fearfully at his brother. “Is he…can anyone check if he’s alright?”  

“I’ll check him.” Daf called out and quickly darted around Jonathan and was at Warrick’s side in moments. Her hands hovered over him for a moment before checking for a pulse. “He’s alive, but we need to get him into triage quickly. I need Dom and someone else to come get Warrick. Jonathan, can you tell me what happened?” 

“I don’t know!” Jonathan wailed as tears glistened in his eyes, eyes that were locked onto the prone figure of his brother. Dom gestured at Ty and they hurried over and began gently positioning Warrick before lifting him. 

“It’s okay, Jonathan. I need you to calm down, just breathe, and when you’re ready tell me what happened.” Daf spoke soothingly as Dom and Ty hefted Warrick up and began walking carefully towards triage. 

“Calm!? How can I calm down? LOOK AT ME!” Jonathan’s voice grew and volume as his panic increased. The more agitated he became, the more erratic the glow around him became. Daf realized Jonathan’s emotions affecting it. She didn’t know how, but she knew if they didn’t get him to calm down soon more people may be injured.  

Daf caugh Kat’s eye and gestured towards Jonathan and mouthed ‘calm him, please’ to her. Kat nodded before looking back at her husband. She noted the increasingly erratic, and expanding, light around him. 

“Baby, hey, look at me.” Kat said softly and Jonathan’s agonized gaze met hers. “I need you to look at yourself. Look at the light on you. It’s getting worse. You need to calm down. If you don’t calm down, we don’t know what will happen. Just breathe, okay?” 

Jonathan looked down at his hands and Kat saw him start to shake more for a few moments before he closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths. His hands slowly stilled and after a few more breaths the light began to calm and then fade as well. Finally, the light was completely gone and Jonathan slowly opened his eyes and looked at Kat.  

“Great job, baby.” Kat grinned at Jonathan. “Now, Daf needs to know what happened so she can treat Warrick.” 

“I really don’t know. We were dragging the Orc bodies to a pile over there,” Jonathan gestured behind him. “And Warrick was joking about our being out in the open, vulnerable, and that there were probably more Orcs coming.  It started to freak me out more and more as he talked, and when I heard a snapping noise from the trees I just lost it. I told Warrick he was on his own, I was going back inside, and when he grabbed my arm I heard this loud boom and then he was on the ground.” Jonathan’s voice hitched on the last word as anguish built within him again. “Is he going to be okay?”  

“I’ll need to examine him, but I’ll do my best. Thank you, I’m going to head to triage. Dom and Ty should almost be there by now. Jonathan, you and Kat go rest, everyone else get back to your duties.” Daf said before heading to triage. 

She arrived right as Ty and Dom were setting Warrick down on one of their operating tables.  

“I think I’ve reached my limit of carrying unconscious people today, man.” Ty said to Dom, neither of them noticing Daf entering the room. 

“I don’t know what’s happening here, but yeah, I’d like everyone else to stay erect for the rest of the day.” Dom replied with a sigh. 

Before Daf could reach the table, Warrick began to spasm and shudder on the table. 

“Jesus Christ, what’s happening!?” Ty said as he reached out and held Warrick’s shoulders down on the table. 

“I think he was electrocuted. Just keep holding him down, I need to check his heart rate. Dom, I need his chest free.” Dom nodded and ripped Warrick’s shirt down the center, and Daf quickly began placing sensors on his chest and forehead.  

The monitor next to the table came alive, beeping and displaying Warrick’s vitals. 

“Fuck, his heart beat is erratic.” Daf studdied a few more numbers on the screen when a loud, prolounged beep sounded from the machine. “He’s going into arrest!” Daf ran over to a cabinet and threw it open. “Someone start CPR!”  

Without second thought, Ty began chest compressions on Warrick, even though panic coursed through him. Warrick and Jonathan were his closest friends. Losing either one of them would tear a wound through him that he wasn’t sure would ever heal, and so as he worked Ty focused on two things. CPR, and the chant of “Don’t die, don’t die, don’t die” that repeated in his head. 

Daf turned around and froze, her eyes wide as she stared at Ty. A beautiful, mesmerizing,  golden glow surrounded him and was slowly spreading out along Warrick’s body. As she watched, Warrick was covered in the glow and his burns began to fade.  

Ty noticed the glow around the same time as the burn on Warrick’s chest, next to where Ty was doing chest compressions, disappeared. Ty followed the glow up his arms and back down to Warrick’s chest. The shock stilled his hands, performing CPR completely forgotten. The elongated beep from the machine broke, and started a steady, even rhythm as the glow began to fade.  

Ty looked around at Daf and Dom as they stared at him in surprise. No one spoke for several moments, until Ty decided to break the silence. 

“Well shit, that’s better than a bandaid, right?” 

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What the fuck was that?! (Part 4)

“What?” Jonathan replied as he tossed another Molotov over the wall. “I ran out of bullets.” 

Daf glanced over and rolled her eyes in exasperation before speaking over the com. “That’s a fucked-up way to kill a sentient being, Jonathan.”  

“I say it’s better them than us,” Warrick called out as he handed Jonathan another Molotov.  

Surprisingly the fire never reached the trees. It seemed that once the original fuel of the Molotov was spent the fire petered out, and only a left a smoky haze for a few moments before all evidence of the Molotov disappeared. Unfortunately, the same thing happened with the Orcs, though the fire did appear to scorch their armor somewhat. After a few more tosses, Jonathan and Warrick gave up on the Molotovs. 

Daf shook her head and went back to shooting the Orcs that were rushing towards them. For several minutes everyone on the wall silently held their positions and continued to fire at the attackers, except for Dom. Dom paced back and forth, calling out for a status from the other three walls and providing the occasional encouraging word. It didn’t take long though for Dom’s voice to be interrupted by a frantic call from Mattie from the south wall. 

“BREACH!” Mattie’s yell caused many to wince in pain. “The sick fuckers used their dead to create a ramp up and they’ve reached the top. We have two down and three injured, get someone up here, Kat!” 

“On it!” Ty called over the com quickly before dashing out of triage to head towards the south wall. 

Dom glanced down at Daf, concern evident in his eyes. He was torn between staying with her and helping the others. Daf smiled in understanding and nodded up at him, giving him the permission he was seeking.  

“Stay safe.” Dom said quickly to her, before taking off and pulling his sword loose as he dashed towards the south wall. 

He reached the fray quickly, and began attacking with a vengeance. Close quarters combat with the Orcs was always dangerous, as the Orcs had both a longer reach and definitely more muscle behind their swings. But Dom and the group on the south wall didn’t hesitate, for if they failed everyone in the compound would be at risk, including the children.  

The defenders jumped into the fight with vigor, and the sound of metal on metal echoed through the compound. The screams of the injured and dying soon mingled with the clanging metal, and three more fell on the wall, leaving only 57 to defend. 

Dom tried not to count, tried to think only of the target before him, but with each new scream he winced and fought harder. Every one of their people that fell left behind another child orphan, another lone sibling, or another widow.  

It seemed like forever before he finally reached Mattie, and as the Orc before him fell he knew she was in trouble. He saw that her only weapon was her rifle, which she held above her in her shaking arms, barely keeping the Orcs blade at bay. It slowly inched closer to her, and Dom feared he wouldn’t make it in time as he leapt forward, his sword held tightly in his palms.  

Mattie glared at the Orc looming over her as her arms threatened to give out on her. She would not, could not, die this way! A fire burned in her chest, and Mattie felt the warmth flow from her center out to each of her limbs, filling every cell in her body. The fire begged to escape; the pressure almost overwhelming. It was fueled by her rage, by her helplessness, and by something else she could not identify.  

It built and built until she couldn’t take it anymore, and screamed at the Orc before her. “GO AWAY!” 

As soon as the words left her mouth the fire within her responded, and a pinkish light burst from her in an ever-expanding bubble. As the bubble touched the Orc before her it flew back as if a great force had pounded into it. Its body launched, spinning, over the wall and the bubble continued to grow faster and faster, with Mattie at its center.  

Every Orc that came in contact with the pink glow was blasted out and away from the compound, many of them hurtling into the forest and slamming into the trees and rocks, their movement ceasing as their vacant, dead eyes stared up into the leaves and sky above them. 

As the light came at him, Dom froze and tensed, but it passed harmlessly through him, leaving only a faint warmth and tingle in its wake. Everyone watched in shock as the Orc attackers were quickly obliterated, while they each were left unharmed. When the bubble finally faded only five Orcs remained, but were quick to dart off into the trees in fear. 

It was at that moment Ty finally reached Mattie on the wall, having not even noticed the bubble as he made his mad dash to her location. He looked around in confusion at everyone’s wide-eyed stares, but ignored them quickly when he noticed Mattie swaying weakly before him. He reached out as she fell and caught her before she hit the ground. Looking up at Dom, he started to speak but was interrupted by CJ’s voice over the com. 

“What the FUCK was that?!”