(Warning, not for young audiences.)
Static fills the net for a second as I key the mic. “Watchdog, this is Whiskey One Six, over.” After a brief silence, Kincaid’s voice crackles into my ears. “Whiskey One Six, Watchdog. Send it.”
“Roger, Watchdog. Be advised, forward element is in position. You are clear to begin the fireworks.”
“Roger that, Six. Confirm weapons release. Standby for thumpers.”
“That’s a good copy, Watchdog. We’ll move on your go. Six out.”
Just like that, the tension already in me as we wait by the back door of this broken down concrete warehouse, ratchets even higher. Visually, I double check my weapons and gear, running through a mental list as I touch each item. Twin Desert Eagle .50 caliber pistols, oversized silences screwed into the ends. A M4 variant, suppressed and scoped. Flash-bang grenades. A pair of silver daggers. Extra ammunition. Shield bracelets. A slim backpack containing both 20 pound C-4 charges.
I glance backwards, looking at the rest of my team on this op. Felicity, bringing up the rear, looking as delicious as ever in that skintight outfit of hers. Eliana stands between us, looking infinitely more attractive to me. Each of them are armed, and more importantly, each of them has another 40 pounds of explosive. I turn my gaze back to the front, studying the rough wooden door, very shoddily constructed, that bars our way. Slowly, I check it for what must be the fourteenth time, making sure it’s not boobytrapped. Anything to keep from thinking about how long it’s been.
This is what I hate the most. The waiting. Not knowing what’s going on and having to rely on someone else to make the call. My heartbeat climbs slowly. It’s taken too long. He should have called by now. I’m a heartbeat from breaking comm silence, from decided to scrub the whole mission and head back to base when Kincaid comes over the net again, apparently having forgotten about the voice activated feature of the throat mics.
Explosions rip through the air, shaking the building to it’s foundations as 40 mm grenades, rockets, and machine gun fire rakes the front. For an interminable moment, we wait. Then, demonic throats screech in outrage, and the sound of a damned horde echoes toward us, fading swiftly.
“Whiskey One Six, this is Watchdog. MOVE!”
That’s the go. We ghost in, moving with grace and speed. The concrete corridor ahead of us is deserted, the walls damaged by damp and mildew, small chunks crumbling to the rough stone floor as the detonations continue to blast. Ahead of us is an intersection, and as we come up on it, a pair of swift hand gestures sends Eliana one way, and Felicity the other. I continue on alone, moving like a wraith, sticking to the shadows in hopes that my footprints on the dust choked floor wouldn’t be seen.
In front of me, another intersection. My rifle come up, steadily held on the crossroad ahead, and I slowly slide around a corner. Everything I see is covered by my weapon as the intersection comes fully into view. I spin, snapping the weapon around, and aim down the others side.
Well. I continue on, rifle firmly in the pocket of my shoulder, scanning for targets as I move. The corridor abruptly opens up into a large hangar like space, columns vanishing into the darkened ceiling overhead, wooden crates scattered and stacked haphazardly. Of course, the smell of shit and blood comes from everywhere. Joy. Blood, in fact, drips from several of the boxes, further damaging the already rotting wood. I, out of curiosity, unsheathe a dagger and pry one open. Body parts, arms, legs, and torsos stare back at me. Something’s wrong, though. I can’t really pin it. The proportions, maybe. I reach down, fighting the gorge threatening to rise from my suddenly rebelling stomach, and then it hits me. Kids. I’m looking at the dismembered bodies of kids.
The nausea rising in me gives way to unholy fury. The pig fuckers killed children, butchered them like holiday pigs, and crated them up. I feel my emotions jumble into a whirling storm, threatening to overwhelm me as the Hunger rises in response. I’m not Hungry, though, not in the least. Not a single demon will survive this day, I vow, as I reverently replace the lid. I don’t have time to bury them like I should. Cremation should suffice. I move with much more calm than I feel as I set the charges down, one next to the main support pillar, and the other next to the bleeding, gore spattered pile of children. Solemnly, I ensure the primers are checked and with small motions arm the bombs. I click my throat mic, switching to the team frequency, murmuring in a voice gone cold with fury.
“This is Six. Charges set. Status?”
Both Eliana and Felicity come back over the comm, one at a time, reporting their readiness, and that they were already waiting at the exit. I didn’t realize how long I’d been standing there, staring at the bodies of those children while I drove myself slowly insane, but it’d been longer than I thought. With a double click of the mic to show I’d heard and understood, I make my way back to them, passing through the hallways without seeing them. I glance at the detonator at my waist, seeing six steady green lights. Everything set. We stand in another, similar storage space, though this one faces a raging battle. Huge double doors are open, showing us demonic bodies flying as they’re blasted by missile and grenade, flipping through the air like some kind of video game character.
“Watchdog, this is Six. Friendlies to your 12.”
With a nod, and a swiftly rising, feral scream of outrage, I charge out, firing into the press of bodies as fast as I can pull the trigger, bursts of three rounds plowing into the neck and face of any demon unfortunate enough to get in my way. We’re getting the hell out of here (Get it?), and nothing’s getting in our way. The bolt locks back as I rip through the 30 round magazine, and I quick swap, dropping the metal container to land on the ground as I slap another one in place. Kincaid and his team have done an amazing job, however, and there really aren’t many left for us to kill as we head out.
Of course, that’s when Kincaid turns, drawing his pistol, and I get a really wonderful view of the barrel as he pulls the trigger, twice. Fuck me. This is it. The first round buzzes past my head like an angry insect as I dive to the side. Pain explodes along a shoulder, however, as the second round plows a furrow on my arm. I look behind me in time to see a demon collapse, two bullets neatly in the thing’s forehead.
“Don’t you EVER save my life again!” I shout, slinging the rifle and looking at the.. well, not all that big wound on my shoulder. Fuck, still hurts like hell, though. Just as I look back to yell at him some more, a shadow, much larger than any of my people, detaches itself from a tree. I forget about my pain, my rage, and my exhaustion as my hand snaps down, taking a firm hold of my pistol, and I send three rounds downrange. The demon sneaking up on Kincaid grunts and falls over backward, laying still.
“And now we’re even.”
I take the detonator, staring at the six steady lights for a long moment, then turn to look at the building. The demons consider us cattle. Fit for nothing but to sate their bellies. I smile, the expression hard and fierce.
I press the trigger, and the whole structure vanishes in a rising fireball, shrapnel and debris flying everywhere, though we’re outside the carefully designed blast radius. I take Eliana in one arm, smiling in triumph.
“Let’s get the fuck out of here.”