Chapter 29: The Exile
The construct program loaded all around them.
"Tarra when we load in, instead of the car I want the Captain's Thrown," said Brandan checking his shades.
"Sure thing anything else?"
"No we're good load us in." As Brandan finished his sentence the matrix loaded around them with the Captains' Thrown right next to him. Brandan looked at Isaiah. "Let's go." Brandan hopped on the motorcycle and sped down one of the quiet streets of the Slums district.
"Is this where the thing was spotted?" asked Isaiah.
"Yeah pretty gloomy huh." It was a short drive to where they needed to be and Brandan parked the bike in an alley under a set of stairs. "Alright, split up, if you find the creature do not engage it, call me and we will pursue it together." The sun was setting slowly shining an eerie light over the city streets.
"Alright captain good luck," said Isaiah checking his gun. Brandan nodded and went up the fire escape they parked under.
Isaiah walked into the building the fire escape connected to. The room he walked into was a basement that much was clear, the room was dusty, dark and cluttered. He jumped up on the boxes that were in his way and then jumped back to the floor and walked through the door way, all the while looking for clues as to what he might be looking for. Isaiah had a lot of ground to cover he realized it was gonna be awhile probably before he found anything. In the meantime he would have to beware of the local gangs of exiles that they already new about. The Pit Vipers, the Dog Pound, the Destitutes and Silver Dragons to name a few of the more mentionable groups, he walked through a few more doors and something caught his eye on the wall. He walked over to it to get a closer look and realized that it was a huge claw mark. Isaiah dragged his hand across it, the engravings were pretty deep.
"What the hell could have done this, this is quite a creature we are dealing with here." Isaiah heard something move behind him, he quickly jumped up and turned around scanning the room. He saw a cat run out from under a box letting out a cry. Isaiah relaxed and walked into the next room.
Meanwhile Brandan had been a few buildings over and was searching through an apartment building. He walked into the one of the abandoned apartments, there were some teenagers smoking a joint inside.
"Oh shit man," said one of the trying to hide it.
"Do I look like a cop to you kid?" he asked.
"Hey you never know nowadays." I walked over to them.
"Have you boys seen or heard of any strange activity in the area?" The boys looked at each other and then back at Brandan.
"There has been a sighting of this giant strange creature, it looks like a modern day version of Death or something. Its all black with a skeleton face," said the shortest of the three.
"Has it been seen for sure who saw it?"
"Just my little sister, she says that right after she saw it, it disappeared."
"Did she say where she saw it?"
"It was in the abandoned building two blocks over. Don't ask me what she was doing there my mom was soo pissed."
"Ok kid thanks." Brandan walked away from the teenagers and they went back to what they were doing. He walked out through the door to the apartment and went down the stairs of the building. The building the creature was sited in was where he would head but he would take the streets instead. Brandan walked down through the fire escape and heard a women scream. He looked down to see two members of the Pit Viper gang throw a woman on the ground. Brandan didn't really feel like wasting the time but he couldn't just let the women be killed or something. Brandan took out his gun and shot one in the head. The women screamed and the other turned to face him pulling out his gun.
Brandan dropped down on to the ground and the ground rippled as he hit. The Pit Viper quickly drew his gun and started to fire at him, Brandan quickly and easily dodged the bullets long enough to get close and knock the weapon from his hand. The man attacked him hitting Brandan in the face then in the gut, not phasing him.
"Is that all you've got?" said Brandan, "This is what happens when you pick on people you shouldn't be bothering." Brandan rose into the air and time seemed to slow down, the man watched him rise. Brandan kicked the man in the chest focusing and knocked the man into a nearby wall. He walked up to him and delivered one last blow to the head and he fell to the ground. The women got to her feet.
"Thank you, friend," she said walking over to him.
"You're welcome now get home, these neighborhoods aren't safe for someone such as yourself ma'am." The women nodded her head and Brandan ran back into the alley.
Isaiah walked into an alley, he had searched two buildings all the while seeing nothing but hearing several strange noises. Some that sounded like growling, a grunt one other time, but he never saw anything. Isaiah turned around suddenly feeling as though he was being watched.
"Alright that does it." Isaiah took out his phone and called Tarra.
"Operator," she said.
"Yeah Tarra is there anything else in this room or following me." Isaiah could hear Tarra typing something.
"Well I don't see anything directly but the code along the left wall is slightly distorted."
"Could it be something hiding or is it normal?"
"I don't know Parker would have to look at it and he is busy."
"Alright well how about I just assume." Isaiah hung up the phone and called Brandan.
"What is it? Did you find what we are looking for?"
"I think get over here have them trace my call."
"Ok." Isaiah put away his phone and just starred at the wall.
Isaiah began to focus on the wall and he began watching the code. He could see the shape of something seven feet tall with a skeletal face. Isaiah stared at it and it whipped its head around and looked at him. Isaiah jumped back startled. The creature began to phase into sight. Isaiah jumped back and ran out the door. "Holy shit." He ran out into the street and drew his gun. The creature became visible through the door and he opened fire on it. The bullets hit dead on but only sank into the skin. The creature ran at Isaiah at an incredible speed and swiped at him with its huge hand. Isaiah focused his hardest and quickly dodged the attack. Isaiah attacked the creature hitting it in the chest with everything he had attacking with every part of his body with a combo that didn't seem to end. Isaiah jumped into the air bouncing off its chest and jumping back a few feet in mid air and shooting back at the creature with his feet pointing down hitting the creature in the face and going right over his head landing behind him. Isaiah looked behind him at the creature, it turned around to face him and fixed its neck, then roared a blood curdling sound at him. "Oh no. Come on just believe, you can do this!" he said to himself. Isaiah ran back at the creature, it swiped at him this time landing its target. Isaiah focused his hardest and ignored the pain and jumped into the air kicking it.
Brandan saw Isaiah get swiped across the stomach and pulled out his gun as he jumped down. Brandan opened fire on the creature getting its attention, the creature whacked Isaiah with the back of its hand as Brandan hit the ground. Brandan ran at the creature focusing his hardest and swept it off its feet then punched it in mid air only sending it a few feet.
Meanwhile outside the matrix Tarra watched as Isaiah's body jerked from taking the damage.
"Oh no," said Saba.
"Saba go get Colin and Parker," said Tarra panicking. Saba ran out and went to get the others.
"Hang on you two," she whispered. Tarra walked over to Isaiah the front of his shirt was soaked with blood; he was bleeding right through his skin from the wounds on his chest. "Can someone get some medical supplies too please," she said in the headset. Parker and the others came running in and Parker sat in the operator's chair while Colin jumped into one of the seats.
"Jack me in, what are you waiting for?" he said. Saba rushed over and plugged him in and gave him a kiss on his cheek.
"Alright I am sending you right into the battle," said Parker.
"Give'em hell Colin!" said Tabatha. Colin smiled as Parker sent him in.
Colin was inside the construct he took his gun and knife off the weapon table and got into position. The matrix was put together around him and he could see the fight going on below him, he was on top of one of the large apartment buildings. Colin drew his gun and jumped down with his gun pointed he began firing on the creature as it walked toward Brandan who was distracted helping Isaiah to his feet. The bullets hit the creature dead on in the face not doing any damage but making it stumble back slightly. Colin hit the ground and drew his knife.
"Colin look out, this thing is even more dangerous than the agents as far as I can tell," said Brandan helping Isaiah to his feet, "Distract it as long as you can I will be back, Parker will find us an exit." Colin took into the creature swinging his knife in all directions seemingly landing all the blows but again not doing damage. Colin jumped into the air and wrapped his legs around the creature's thick neck. Colin used his hands to grab the creatures legs and put it in a hold stopping it from moving. The creature jerked around but couldn't get free or hit Colin. Colin focused his hardest using all his strength to hold the creature while Isaiah and Brandan made their way to an exit.
"Come on guys, I can't hold on much longer." The creature managed to grab Colin by the legs and throw him into the air. Colin regained his composure easily focusing himself to the ground. "Is that the best you can do?" Colin jumped to his feet and flew into the creature delivering ever kind of attack he could think of with his fists and feet flying. Colin knew his attacks might as well be effortless because he could not beat the creature. Colin hit it with an uppercut sending it into the air away from him, suddenly the creature bent in the middle and flew toward and over him. Brandan appeared behind the creature with his foot in the base of its back, he landed beside Colin as the creature flew over him.
"Lets get him!" said Brandan looking at Colin. Brandan and Colin took into a fighting stance. "I've got upper right, you go lower left." Brandan and Colin attacked the creature with an onslaught of joint attack initiating a twin element of attacks. The creature swung back at the both of them, easily being evaded at their heightened awareness. Colin and Brandan both jumped back. Colin looked at Brandan and took up a stance with his arms out. Brandan jumped up on his arms and bounded high into the air. The creature was getting frustrated at not being able to take them out easily. Colin attacked the creature before it struck at him and kept attacking it with all he could give.
Brandan was close to thirty feet in the air and still rising, he watched as Colin fought to keep the creature busy. Brandan focused till he was close to seventy feet in the air, he then focused his hardest to make himself shoot down at the creature almost like a bullet with his foot out. Down below Colin continued to fight with the creature to keep it busy like he knew he was supposed to. Sometimes he and Brandan could do better with a look then words ever could. Colin hit the creature one last time and then Brandan came crashing down on the exiles head with his foot driving its face into the pavement and cracking it. The creature didn't move as they stood anticipating what was going to happen.
"It can't be alive after that," said Colin. Brandan's phone rang and he picked up.
"Hey, its not dead get the hell out of there I don't even think you can kill it yet!" said Parker, "You've got a few minutes before it starts back again."
"OK," said Brandan.
Brandan looked at Colin with worry on his face and the two of them took off running. They took off down the street and quickly turned into an alleyway. "Come on the exit is up here," said Brandan jumping onto a ladder. They began to climb the ladder when suddenly it was ripped off the wall.
"Holy shit!" yelled Colin holding onto the ladder tightly. They hit the ground with the ladder on top of them.
"Shit!" They looked up to see the creature standing on the roof with part of the ladder in his hand.
"Damn it! He's blocking the exit what do we do now?" asked Colin.
"Looks like we will have to lure him away then make our way back here. You stay I will distract him," said Brandan.
"Captain that's crazy."
"Trust me I will be fine, now stay under here till we are outta sight!" Brandan slid out from under the ladder and bounded up the walls to the rooftops. He headed away from the creature and just like he planned it followed him.
Brandan jumped from the building with the creature right behind him, swiping at him. It missed him as he managed to stay one step ahead of it with his speed. Brandan ran across the long rooftop focusing his hardest to stay at his top speed even though he was becoming tired. Brandan jumped to another building to the left as he started to make the circle to the exit. He ran faster and faster as the creature came closer and closer to him. Brandan dove under a fence and slid, then rolled right to his feet again and kept running. The creature ran right through the fence and stayed almost right behind him. The creature reached for him and he had just managed to jump to the next building, as it reached it lost its balance and fell between the buildings. Brandan kept running almost to the exit, so close he could almost taste freedom. The creature wasn't faltered by the fall and jumped right back up on the building and started to run again, now quite a distance behind him. Brandan looked back as he jumped to the exit, it wouldn't catch him now, he ran down into a small stairway from a door on the roof, he could see the phone on the wall, it was ringing. He made it to the bottom of the steps and picked up the phone just as the creature crashed through the doorway. He put it to his ear and vanished.
Brandan opened his eyes and sat up.
"Man what the hell is that thing?" he said angered, "No matter what we did we couldn't hurt it."
"Not what more like is. It was going to be the new agent program but before it could be properly initiated it went exile and malfunctioned," explained Parker still starring at the screen.
"Is Isaiah ok?" asked Brandan, "He took quite a beating in there that time."
"He's down in the medical bay, with Saba and Tarra," said Tabatha looking at the code screen with Parker.
"I'll be back up shortly, work on finding that things weaknesses will ya." Brandan went downstairs and Colin followed.
They walked into the infirmary to see Saba and Tarra standing over Isaiah's body, which was lying on the stretcher.
"Is he gonna be ok guys?" asked Colin as they walked over to them.
"Yeah he should be fine but he has lost a lot of blood, he may be off his feet for the next few days," said Saba. The claws of the exile had damaged Isaiah's body internally, there was blood on the compress that they used to cover his stomach wound.
"Is he bleeding internally?" asked Brandan.
"Yes captain, but we broke the skin so the blood wouldn't weigh his body down internally. Have you guys decided on what that creature must have been at one time?" asked Tarra.
"I have no clue, but what ever it is, it's ten times faster and more powerful than any agent." Isaiah who had lain unconscious until now looked at Brandan and Colin.
"You guys made it out . . .," he whispered.
"Of course, you expected otherwise?" said Colin smiling.
"How do you feel Isaiah?" Brandan walked over and put a hand on his face.
"It hurts to talk captain. Am I gonna be ok?" Brandan smiled.
"Of course you'll be fine, don't worry about anything. Saba take care of him, Tarra, Colin come with me we need to see if we can destroy that thing." Brandan, Tarra and Colin went back upstairs after Colin kissed Saba goodbye.
Parker had been analyzing the creature through and through based on the data he had been able to gather from there little spat with it. The data read out was telling him that it was designed to be something like the agents but more powerful and not able to move in and out of software. It was designed to be deployed where needed and then destroyed after it had completed its task. But what they hadn't planned on was the creature developing a mind of its own and going exile, now it would appear that the creature is out of control hunting agents and rebels alike. Now to develop something that could destroy it, he would most likely need more information so that meant someone would have to fight the damn thing again. Parker glanced at his schematic one last time as the captain and the others came from one of the doors.
"Any luck?" asked Brandan.
"I can't do anything with the data that I have gathered, I just need more information on it?" Parker explained.
"Well how are you gonna get more information can't you just use the code screen to watch it?" asked Colin. "Not if I want to gather tactical data, me watching it would only tell me its behavioral patterns. One of you guys is gonna have to go fight it again, if its possible then I want you to test its limits."
"How are we supposed to do that, the damn thing's way faster than anything we have ever encountered," said Tarra.
"It's faster than one of you, but if all of you were to go in and work together I think you could do it." Brandan had a weird look on his face.
"I'm not willing to risk the entire crew to figure this thing out," said Brandan. Parker looked at Brandan.
"Then you should have never been given the control of a ship." Brandan looked at Parker, as did the rest of the crew.
"A true Captain would be looking at the bigger picture here. If we risk our crew than others may not have to die at the claws of this thing, forgive me but do you understand?" They all shifted their glance from Parker to Brandan.
"Alright Parker, let's do it your way then. Saba and Tabatha need to be trained tonight because they need to be at their best for tomorrow when we strike. Just keep your eye on that thing for the night Parker. Tabatha jumped in one of the seats, which one of you guys is gonna train me?"
"I'll send Saba up and you guys can train on the computers training program," said Brandan. Brandan and Colin went back to the medical bay and Tarra took the main operators station.