Friday, June 13, 2014

Archives from the End of the World: Little Intro Thing

So I wanna start writing more, and after losing ALLLLLLLLL my work about a year ago, this is what I've got from a fresh start. It's not much, but I cranked most of this out within the last couple hours. So... yeah.

Just a word of warning, it doesn't have great format, as this is written in this style just cause it's easy for me to read and such. Also, there's probably mistakes as I'm EXHAUSTED and I need sleep. Also there's a couple things in there you can't understand without other data, but I'll get it there eventually.

Here ya go!

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The Scythe

It was almost silent in the troop carrier.

Silent, save for the squads' Paladins, reciting prayers and anointing their soldiers with holy oils and the clattering of train on the tracks.

"Holy Father, you hold our lives in your hands, bestow blessings upon your soldiers. Assist us, grant us the boons of accuracy and speed on our holy weaponry to smite the demon scum that inhabit your holy church grounds. Amen."

The amen was puncuated by a loud click-clack as the squad pulled the bolts back on their rifles and let them snap forward again.

"You don't really believe in all that Holy Father mumbo-jumbo, do you?" One soldier remarked to the one next to him.

As he kissed his holy charm and slid it under his uniform, the man replied, "Of course I do. His Holiness has been here since before the Great Sickness, and he himself led the charge for humantiy to take shelter in what is now the Holy City. He may not be here right now, but his prayers are with us, even in the hour of our need. This battle will be simple."

"Alright men, listen up!" A bellowing voice came from the front of the car as the brakes started squealing to a stop. "The area we are being ordered to purge today is none other than the church that our Holy Father was elected to High Priest. As such, we are required to be as careful as possible while engaging in combat amongst the holy scriptures and tokens in the building. Some damage will be unavoidable, but work as hard as possible to avoid unecessary damage. All the demons we are likely to encounter today will be under Rank 3, so you should be in minimal danger. But that is NO excuse to get sloppy today. We get in there, we eliminate the threat, and we block it off for repopulation. Perform your last prayers, paint on your sigils. Apothecaries, prepare your elixirs and incantations. Beserkers, stay in the back until we need you. Let's move out."

The chatter ceased, the silence only broken by the nervous shuffling of the soldiers. The carrier doors slammed open abruptly, causing the outside light to stream in.
Rain pattered down from grey skies, with distant thunder splitting the sky. The area was desolate. What once was a thriving, beautiful church set on a busy street corner now looked as if the building had been dropped from a great height. The once-proud towering buttresses now crumbled. The stained glass windows that had caused many to flock to the mid-day services were shattered, mere shadows of themselves. Cracks overgrown with thorns the thickness of a man grew in the massive gashes in the street.

The purging force split into 3 squads, each with an Apothecary of the Faith, a Beserker, and 4 footsoldiers. The men and women stepped forward into the church, not fully sure of what to expect, but ready for danger. Rail-mounted flashlights swiveled around corners as the squads slowly made their way through the church doors. The massive, gilded double doors creaked open as years of built-up dust fell off the intricate designs carved into the thick steel. As the squads stepped into the church, it became clear that they had stepped into something more dangerous than was in the briefing. The flashlights swept across the room, checking each nook and cranny, and finding only one thing: the enemy. They had come across a nest of Rattlers; demons that had once been human, but had been stretched out thin from the Great Sickness, and forced to slide on their chests, which caused the skin to scrape and decay, leaving only the spine and ribcage behind, which created the infamous "rattling" noise as they pulled themselves across the ground for months on end.
Throughout the whole church, a massive scraping and rattling noise arose, as hundreds of pairs of glowing eyes blinked into sight, intent on the prey that had entered their domain. The seargent who had been giving orders previously quickly backed up and began yelling more. "FOOT SOLDIERS. TO THE FRONT. Protect the Apothecaries, who will begin assisting the Beserkers! Let's move people, we're supposed to clear this area, and in the name of the Holy Father, we WILL!"

The men and women moved like a well-oiled machine. The foot soldiers quickly formed a half-circle around the Beserkers, who knelt in front of the Apothecaries and prepared to receive their holy blessings. As the Apothecaries pulled out the hallowed elixirs from their cases and slid them into the injection guns, they began chanting the Beserker's Creed.

"Holy Father, we are your strong right arm, we are your sword. 
Use us as you see fit, we lend our strength to you to smite those who have become a plague upon this Earth. 
From these holy blessings we infuse with ourselves, allow our eyes to be blinded by your chaos. 
Through this divine madness, may our bodies be filled with sacred wrath, feeling no pain, and having only one purpose; to perform thine will, and obliterate thine enemies.
Amen."

The Rattlers slowly began sliding forward, taking more of a curious interest in the prey that had dared enter their lair, as opposed to immediately attacking.

The Beserkers stood up from their prayers and, as one, accepted the vial of demon blood that the Apothecaries provided them with, dipped their thumb into it, and smudged war paint designs and sigils into their skin, ignoring the sharp pain of acidity it inflicted.

The demons began sliding forward faster, clearly fed up with the lack of aggression that their prey was displaying. The foot soldiers opened fire immediately, focusing their fire on whichever creature was closest. As the guns blazed, Apothecaries placed their palms on the Beserkers' foreheads and, with a final prayer, plunged the needles into the exposed skin of their neck, pushing down on the syringe, injecting them with the sacred elixirs.

Of course, in warfare, there are always unforeseen consequences. After injection, one of the beserkers died instantly. The man began bleeding from his eyes, his ears, and his mouth. His eyes bulged out, foam poured out of his mouth, and throughout his body, it was clear to see his veins were bursting. His body and heart were unable to handle the pure power of the injection combined with the pain from using the demon blood. The other two, however, quickly entered a state of pure bloodlust. Their eyes glazed over, their veins bulged out. The second the apothecaries called out "Injection complete," the foot soldiers all shifted ranks to the side to allow the Beserkers a full line of sight to the Rattlers, as even an ally will become a target whilst under the influence of His Holiness' battle potions.

As the two remaining Beserkers slammed into the groups of Rattlers, the foot soldiers and apothecaries closed ranks once again and began firing into the groups off to the sides, protecting their Beserkers at all costs, as they were the ones who were truly the most fearsome. The Beserkers and their weapons of choice, most often large steel mallets that were difficult to lift without being under the effects of bloodlust, or even massive steel halberds. Guns and more complex weaponry were forgone by Beserkers, as at that point in mental stability and intelligence after being injected, anything that requires manual dexterity is too difficult to use against the enemy.

As the battle raged, the seargent quickly stepped to the back and whipped out his radio, calling the nearest outpost, "Outpost Q-634, do you copy?? We have a massive Rattler infestation in the holy church in zone Q-631, and we are requesting backup immediately! I have heard that His Holiness' Scythe is currently en route to your position, are you able to redirect him towards us? Over."
There was a bit of static as the seargent awaited reply with baited breath, and was rewarded with, "We copy, seargent. The Scythe has been redirected to you , E.T.A. 2 minutes, try to hold out until then. Over."
The seargent let out a sigh of relief, but it was short-lived as a Rattler dropped from the ceiling and landed directly on top of him. He rolled onto his back and stared up at the monstrosity attacking him. It was once human, that much was easy to see. There was the clear shape and form of a human, but all the skin on the anterior side of the body was either torn to shreds or just completely gone, exposing the skeleton and nerves below. The face was the closest thing to a human, though the skin on the lower half of the head was in tatters, with the skull and remains of teeth showing through the shreds. The eyes were glowing red, giving off a menacing glow. A low, gutteral roar slid out of the thing's throat, and was immediately silenced as the seargent whipped his pistol out from his thigh holster, held it against the Rattler's head, and pulled the trigger. As it jerked to the side, he jumped on top and stepped into its spine, shattering it. He wiped the blood off his face and surveyed the battlefield. They weren't in a good place. One of the Beserkers had fought his way to the center of a massive group and was in danger of going down. The other had lost a hand and was gushing blood, yet was bellowing in the face of the enemy and using his intricate halberd to sever the spines and decapitate any demon that was within 5 feet of him. They had lost numerous foot soldiers, mostly to Rattlers who had snuck in close and dragged them off. If His Holiness' Scythe didn't show up soon...

Just as the seargent was about to debate a tactical retreat, he heard footsteps behind him. He whipped around, and there he was. The Scythe. Few men had been able to meet him personally, and even fewer had seen him in combat. The seargent was a privelaged man, having had his life saved by the Scythe when he was naught but a young recruit. His squad had been wiped out by a den of Harpies, and he managed to kill but one. As he was accepting his death, the Scythe had saved him.

He wasn't intimidating at first glance. He wasn't above-average size, he was even a little small for a man. He carried no massive weapons. All he carried was an ancient sword known as a "katana" and two pistols he had dubbed "Angelus Mortis" and "Angelus Retributionis". His armor was less gaudy than others of his rank, forgoing any intricate pieces, and instead opting for a simple longcoat with multiple steel plates fixed upon the chest and right shoulder. What was, however, the most unique aspect of this man was his eyes; he was a heterochromiac. His left eye was brown but his right eye was a brilliant green, which tended to startle anyone who wasn't ready for it. Within those eyes lurked a fierce determination, an angry spirit who would burn those who got too close.

As the seargent bowed respectfully, the Scythe pulled out a small elixir from a pouch in his belt, and jabbed it into his neck, pressing down on the plunger. His body shook briefly, and when he opened his eyes, not just his right, but his left eye was a bright green. He took a deep breath and pulled out a pistol, kissing the barrel and reciting a quick prayer. Immediately after pulling the slide back and letting it go with a sharp "chak," he dashed forward with almost inhuman speed. He vaulted over pews with one hand while using the other to eliminate Rattlers. Two shots were all he needed; one to the head and one to the spine. One after another, he picked them off with vicious accuracy, a one-man army. He spread his attacks across the room, clearing rooms, assisting the Beserkers and foot soldiers. When his clip ran low, he slid his sword out of his sheath and began decapitating the demons, then cleaving their spines in two.

Within twenty minutes, the church was cleared. The dust settled, and the scent of iron hung over the room as the men and women of the holy military cleaned the blood off themselves and their weaponry. The Beserkers' elixirs wore off, and they slowly returned to a normal state, exhausted and bleeding from their battle.

The seargent looked around to thank the Scythe for his service, but he was nowhere to be found.

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