“Careful,” Septi whispered as Ryan pushed the entrance open. “Can’t make much noise. Can’t alert them to this.”
“I know, Septi,” Ryan said through tightly gritted teeth. “I’m not stupid. We’ve been through this before.”
“Fine,” Septi hissed at him, nervous. Sunlight from the early evening shone through the openings, and Ryan hoisted Raram and then Mes out before hauling himself out. Septi waited as Ferinequell gave Val a boost out, then Gin pulled himself out.
“Ladies before gentlemen,” Ferinequell said, offering her a boost. Septi nodded and stepped into his clasped hands, hauling herself out into the sunlight.
Shrubs surrounded the VI4C members, and Raram was peaking out at the backs of the CAMMies. Septi glanced around, then signalled to Raram and Mes to get into place. As they did so, the others rearranged themselves, ready to go.
Suddenly Raram nodded and Septi knew that it was time to go. The five of the attackers sped out of their hiding place, vaulting over the open ground. Septi’s knives were in her hands, and she was doing what she’d been trained to do.
Using her inertia, she bowled into her target, punching him in the back of the head, knocking him out. Reversing her grip on the daggers, she slit his throat, then his wrists, before carving ‘VI4C’ into his chest. Only when she was sure that he would die did she dare look around.
Blood soaked the grass, and the other four gunmen lay dead or dying. Septi then looked at Raram, who was looking at her expectantly. A thumbs up told Raram to extend her influence to the gunmen at the front corner of the house, and Septi was sure that Val had given Mes the same signal.
Septi moved around the house, so she was standing behind the gunman nearest the front corner of the house. She waited until Ryan was in possition with the other gunman, then she repeated the process. This time, however, she paused to wipe the blood off of her daggers on the guy’s uniform.
While Septi was doing this, Raram crept forward, watching and waiting for Mes to appear opposite her. After a few seconds, Mes appeared, and Raram motioned for Septi and Ryan to move forward.
Septi possitioned herself behind the agent to the right of the center, ready and waiting. This would be the last section of this part of the plan, and silence would no longer be needed once it was completed. Septi stared at her hands, which were hidden by bloodstained gloves and clenched tightly around her daggers. ready to do whatever it would take to keep her home free of these unwanted intruders.
Glancing at Val out of the corner of her eye, she waited, ready to strike. She watched at Val slipped a chain around her victim’s neck, then pulled it tight, crushing his windpipe and snapping his neck. Septi wasn’t aware of it as she drove her dagger into her victim’s head, only reacting when he began to scream, slitting his throat and wrists, then severing his backbone in the base of his neck.
Blood ran down Septi’s arm as she raised the dagger, almost in a reverie. Not even a year ago had she driven these same daggers into Steppe’s body, killing him and becoming Commander. She felt the warm blood drip down her arm, staining the skin red.
Someone touched her shoulder gently and her arm fell back to her side. Looking over her shoulder she saw Val, who was watching her with concern.
“You okay?” Val asked quietly as Septi realized that she was feeling nauseous. Septi shook her head as she broke away from the group, moving over to a clump of shrubs by the road. Kneeling beside them, Septi threw up.
“It’s not over yet,” Val’s voice surprised Septi, who was wiping her mouth on the only clean spot on her gloves.
“I know,” Septi said hoarsely as she forced herself to her feet. “It’s just… I don’t know.”
“We’ll finish this as soon as possible, okay?” Val said, as Septi walked over to where the VI4C members were grouped, talking quietly.
“Does everyone still have their weapons?” Septi asked, looking around. A chorus of “yes”es answered her, and her gaze fell on Raram and Mes, who were only lightly armed. “Alright. We’ll go after the vans in the alley first, after stopping to get more weapons for you two, Mes, Raram.”
“Which van will we go after first?” Gin asked.
“Cemetary side,” Septi said decisively. “Let’s go.”
While Raram and Mes were arming themselves with the selection of blades and guns, Gin siddled over to Septi. She looked up at him, then looked away.
“What do you want?” she asked him quietly.
“Do you think it would be a good idea if i had a book of matches? I can manipulate the gas in their tanks, so it wouldn’t be that hard to blow them up and not have to fight much,” he said. Septi glanced at him, surprised, as her mind raced.
‘If we blow up the vans, then it would be fast and easy, but on the other hand, I’m sure that the other vans would see it if we did that,’ Septi thought, biting her lip.
“Get a pack of matches, but use them only as a last resort,” she told him.
“Alright!” he said happily as he dropped into the sewer. Septi sighed, and turned to face Ferinequell.
“Make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid,” she said briskly, waiting for Gin to return.
“Alright,” Ferinequell said, resigned. Mes and Raram straightened, strapping on weapons and looking ready to go.
“We’ll go as soon as Gin gets back,” Septi said. “There’s no one attack plan, except that I want Val to block their communications with eachother. Killing is the goal- we don’t want them to survive to tell about it.”
“For once,” Val murmured, running a hand over her chain. Septi glanced at her, wondering what was going through her head. Just then Gin hauled himself out of the old sewer, ready to go.
“Will we want them to see us?” Mes asked uncertainly as Septi began to walk along the side of the alley. She paused, and Mes began trying to push her thought. “I mean, what if they have guns?”
“Well, then Ryan can do his thing to them,” Septi said decisively. “Come on.”
“Alright!” Raram said, rubbing her hands together and following Septi. ‘I hope this isn’t a mistake,’ Septi thought. ‘I hope I’m not leading them to their deaths.’
Quickly and quietly they approached the van, and when they came in sight of it Septi moved naturally into the shrubbery, hiding from sight. The VI4C followed her, and she began to feel nervous. ‘If any of these people die, it’s my fault,’ Septi thought, tensing. She glanced back at Ryan and Val, who nodded.
“Ready?” she whispered. “Go!” With that they broke their cover, surrounding the van. AS Septi walked she drew her gun, ready to shoot the first CAMM agent who moved.
Everything began moving fast when the woman in the driver’s seat caught sight of the VI4C members. She reached down for something- probably a gun- while her lips moved quickly. The van began to shake slightly and one of the back doors was opened partially as Septi raised her gun and shot at the woman, who was straightening up.
The van door flew away as Val sweapt her hand, revealing several move CAMM agents, all holding guns idly. Again Val swept her arm, and the guns flew towards the VI4C members.
“Catch,” she said, and they did so. The CAMM agents shurnk back in their seats as the VI4C members approached, while the agent in the passenger seat frantically tried to make a radio call.
“V3, V3 is in trouble, I repeat, V3 is in trouble!” he screamed into the reciever, then shrieked as the radio appeared to burst into flame. Dropping i, he clutched at his hand, on which blisters had appeared. Val wrenched the door open and snapped her chain threateningly.
“We don’t like tattletales,” she said, looping it around his neck and pulling. His hands flew up as he tried to loosen it, but she pulled harder, snapping his neck. He tried to say something, but it was cut off with a gurgle as she crushed his windpipe.
Meanwhile, Septi was doing damage in the back of the van, knocking out CAMMies then shoving them out of the van for the guys to finish off. When the six agents from the back of the van had been removed, Septi hopped out, looking around. Gin and Ferinequell were covered in blod and Ryan dropped and kicked away the gun he’d been using.
Mes and Raram stood leaning against the van and looking bored, while Val came around the front of the van. Looking around, Septi realized that they were the only two to have not killed anyone.
‘Good,’ Septi thought. ‘At least I don’t have to feel guilty about making them like me, of like the rest of us. They aren’t murerers, yet.’
“Where to next?” Val asked, looping her chain neatly.
“We’ll cut through our property to the one on the road next,” Septi said, sheathing her daggers and retrieving her gun from where she’d tossed it upon attacking those still in the van.
“So we only have to do this three more times?” Raram asked, and Val nodded.
“Enough talking,” Septi said, going around the front of the van and re-entering the VI4C’s grounds. “It’s time to make our move.”
‘We’ve gotten rid of twenty-seven of the invaders,’ Septi thought. ‘Twenty-seven out of fifty-one is over half, so we don’t have much to worry about, unless one of the other vans finds the one we just destroyed. No. Don’t even think about that, Septi. You need to focus on the here and now.’ Pausing in the shrubbery that lined the road, she mentally shook herself. ‘Focus.’
“Everybody ready?” she whispered, not looking over her shoulder as Val slid up beside her. “And action.”
As Septi spoke, the doors were wrenched off of the van, and the guns crumpled. Loud exclaimations of shock and fright came from the van as the VI4C appeared from behind the hedges. Septi drew her gun and shot the four passengers, shattering the window in the back of the van in the process.
Someone screamed and Septi saw that a snake had appeared from no where, and was sinking it’s fangs into the driver’s neck before vanishing. Septi glanced at Raram, who met her gaze and winked, telling her that it was Raram. Meanwhile, Mes was consentrating on one of the remaining three agents.
While Septi was watching, this agent turned in his seat and strangled the woman sitting in front of him, while the last agent tried to escape, only to be confronted by Gin, who was holding a hefty sword. A demonic smile was on Gin’s face, matching his crazed eyes perfectly. The CAMM agent fell to his knees weakly.
“You b******s killed my parents,” he hissed, advancing on the man, who was whimpering. “Now you’ll meet the same fate.” Septi looked away as Gin lunged and the man screamed.
Meanwhile, Mes had convinced the other agent to commit suicide, by strangling himself. As she surveyed the damage, Septi felt her stomach turn again. ‘Don’t throw up here,’ she thought, returning her gun to it’s holster after refilling the ammo. ‘You have to keep going.’
“Does anyone need to sharpen or replace their weapons?” she asked. “We’ll pass the hideout on the way to the next van.”
A chorus of ‘no’s was her response, and she turned to walk along the edge of the road, in the grass. The early summer sun was beginning to set, and it gave everything a reddish cast as the shadows grew. It was warm still, and Septi realized that she had been sweating when a breeze blew around her, cooling the perspiration that had gathered at the base of her neck.
“Are you alright?” Ryan’s voice caused Septi to jump. She glanced over at him and forced a smile.
“I’ll be okay,” she said, feeling isolated, even though she knew that she wasn’t alone. “I just want all of this to be over.”
“Who doesn’t?” Val asked, appearing on Septi’s other side. “I know I would like something that resembled normalacy.” Septi nodded, walking.
“WE have to get rid of thses last two vans, and then maybe we can have peace,” Septi said, knowing how unlikely that would be.
“Yeah,” Val said, unfooled by Septi’s attempted optimism. “It would be nice.”
“Shouldn’t we try to be a bit quieter?” Ferinequell asked pointedly as they passed the driveway to their home.
“Yeah,” Septi agreed, welcoming the silence. She focused on her breathing, her pace, anything that would distract her from her thoughts.
Several minutes later they were approaching the van and Septi looked around. Unlike the last two vans, this van was opened up, and the people in it were sitting comfortably and chatting.
“-so I told her that if she wanted to keep a dog, she could get a new man,” one tought looking guuy said. Septi paused, listening to them.
“What do you have against dogs?” a relatively tired looking woman asked, blowing smoke out the window and shaking the ashes off the end of her cigarette.
“They’re miserable, messy brutes,” he saiud, earning a glare from the tired woman.
“And I s’pose you like cats,” she said snidely as he shifted his weight, groaning.
“I suppose you’re a dog lover, Chase,” another woman said, yawning and scratching her arm. “D*** mosquitos,” she added. Septi looked around to where Val was squatting, and Val nodded, answering Septi’s silent question.
Septi stepped out of the brush for the third time that evening, her gun trained on the woman named Chase, who dropped her cigarette out the window and picked up her gun. Septi’s finger tightened around the trigger as she spoke.
“Attack!” her voice was calm and smooth, masking her exhaustion and nervousness. She heard the VI4C members follow her out of the plants, and mere seconds later the CAMMies guns crumpled into twisted lumps of metal.
Again the process was repeated, and mere minutes later the CAMM agents were dead. Once more the VI4C members re-assembled themselves, and they made their way in the direction of the fourth and final van.
The member crouched in the shrubbery, and Septi sat, watching the people in the van for a couple of moments. Val tapped her arm, and Septi glanced around.
“What are we waiting for?” Val whispered. “Let’s go.”
“Alright,” Septi murmured back. “Go!”