We travelled in silence, the howls of the hybrid dog long masked by the roar of fire, created by the meteorites. Samantha and Judy were moving next to each other as I following behind them, my armour having just disappeared again as it seemed to materialise and disappear on its own. It didn't take long until we ran into trouble again, we had ran into a bunch of street thugs who were using the pandemic as an opportunity to loot as much as possible. The leader of the gang of five carried one of those meat knives that could be bought at IKEA.
“What’s with the worried faces...eh?”
The leader had asked, a grey hoodie hiding the majority of his face. Judy had accidentally run into one of the thugs and was now being held roughly by the wrist, struggling to not let go, the man noticed the quiver and arrows.
“What’s a bird doing with such dangerous toys?”
His eyes quickly taking in the slender form of the 16 year old who glared back at him with menacing eyes.
“Can you even spell dangerous?”
She kicked the man’s shin and ran back to where Samantha and I were standing.
The others laughed at their friend’s sudden injury and closed in on the three, a hungry wolf like expression on their faces.
I was puzzled at the men’s ability to overlook the shining armour that I was wearing, it was almost as if I was insignificant compared to his companions simply because they were female and I wasn't.
I shouted the first thing that came to mind, raising my sword and shield in a menacing way, hoping to attract the attention of the five men. Of course I felt ridiculous for saying those words but it achieved what I wanted as the others finally seemed to realise I was with the two girls.
“Oh, what do we have here, a boy playing dress-up?”
"Eh, boss I think it's called cosplay now?"
The leader spoke egotistically, drawing his knife from his coat pocket.
“Ain’t you too young to be playing on the streets kid?”
“Yea...get lost boy or better yet let’s just get rid of you now, we don’t need your kind taking up space any more!”
Two of the men closed in on me, as I stumbled backwards and tripped over some rubble. The guy nearest to me chuckled as he kicked away my shield and pinned my arm with his foot. At the same time the second man picked up the sword and looked at it.
“Hey boss, spoils of war or what?”
He chuckled as he tossed it carelessly towards the leader.
“Oi, watch it you idiot!”
The leader shouted as he stepped out of the way from blade. The sword landed with its blade lodged into the road by three inches.
“Need a plan...”
I whispered to myself, hoping that some useful information would pop up.
Hyperion Scanner: ON
Allies nearby: 3
Situation Assessment: Medium Risk
Human Ally Assessment: In need of Rescue
Action: Awaiting further orders from Asarel and Bedviel
“What? Not helpful at all....”
“What the hell are you talking about? I think this one has lost the plot!”
The man holding me down said aloud. Two of them men not dealing with Judy and Samantha came over, the first person pinned my other arm down whilst the second drew closer, pulling a small knife from his pocket.
Samantha screamed. I knew what she was trying to do but the fear in her voice made her command go unheard. Judy quickly took an arrow and aimed it at one of the thugs’ faces, resulting in him stepping backwards in slight fear.
He said, putting his hands up in defence as if he finally released that someone could get hurt.
I mumbled despite my disgust for the thugs, trying to free my arms from the two men holding me down.
Judy hesitated but still aimed at the man’s throat with a look that could freeze any mans soul.
I lashed out at one of the approaching men with my feet. In response one of the two who had been holding me punched my face.
“Shut up and die!”
I heard someone say, vaguely able to see him motioning for the other man with the knife to hurry up.
“Move closer to him and your friend dies!”
Judy said to the leader. The hooded man, eyeing the situation with bored eyes, smirked and took a step towards Samantha.
“Do it then. I can get a replacement in an hour.”
“What the fuck is wrong with you? Don’t bluff like that man!”
In response to the cries of one of him men the man with the Knife drew his arm backwards and prepared to stab me when a force knocked one of the two men pinning me down. Judy used the moment of confusion to aim at the man trying to stab me and fire at his right arm, making him to cry out in pain.
“Ah! You bitch!”
He turned around in time to see another arrow embed itself into his foot. He quickly fell on the floor screaming in pain.
The leader of the gang, with his knife, started moving quickly towards Judy only to get hit by a china plate. The impact knocked the man off his feet and clouded his vision.
With two men on the floor, the fight was much more even. Samantha ran and punched one of the men in the gut. I was astonished to see the girl fight so violently. Judy had also let loose another arrow into the other man still trying to hold me down, making me cringe as the arrow sunk into flesh yet again.
Not being restricted any more, I got up and looked around to quickly assess the situation. Three men were on the ground, knocked out. One was staggering around in pain, trying to pull the arrow that was now lodged into his thigh. The final man was fighting Samantha, who had now lost the element of surprise and was slowly starting to get overpowered. Judy saw this and reached for an arrow to fire into the final man.
“Wait! Save that arrow, you only have four left!”
I shouted, running to go and assist Samantha, however before I could reach her, two figures had already beaten me there.
The first had double kicked the man that was holding Samantha’s arms whilst the second had caught Samantha as she fell back. Taking the time to look at the two who intercepted the thug I noticed that the second, a girl, was wearing a black uniform which featured Victorian styled white swirls. I recognised it as the design of the Liston Academy Sixth Form uniform, part of the upper ring of elite schools in the country. The other person, a male, was not wearing a uniform, he was covered by dark blue clothing from his hoodie to his trainers.
The male used a succession of jabs and kicks to push back the man, giving his partner space to move Samantha away.
“You should get out of here, head that way!”
The female spoke, letting go of Samantha and pointing in the direction of Central London.
“Yea....thanks, but who are you and why should we listen to you?”
Judy asked, slightly sceptical of the girl standing in front of them.
To me, the girl in front of them was quite pretty. Unlike Judy or Samantha who had brunette colour hair, this girl had golden blonde hair that fell straight, until her chin where her hair curled into purple tips. Her eyes, a rare violet colour, looked over the trio in thought before speaking.
I was surprised that this was the first thing she said, turning to look over at her partner who was checking the downed men.
“My name is Angelica, my father works in the Ministry of Defence and I know for sure that there is a bunker in central London we can stay in. My....um, friend and I are heading there now-“
“Hey Angel! If they are all still alive, we can continue moving now!”
The male turned to look at us before noticing Samantha for the first time. His eyes seemed to be looking for something in her that didn't go unnoticed by Angelica but before she could say anything he turned around and continued moving down the road, climbing over a toppled house and quickly going out of sight.
Angelica laughed awkwardly before turning back to the three.
“You should meet us there, we could use your help.”
As she spoke she eyed me, obviously noting the armour that I was still wearing. Unable to match her gaze I turned away and looking for my equipment which were still lying around. Before Samantha could reply Angelica had already started moving towards her partner with the same agility and ease of movement that the other boy had just displayed, in seconds she had quickly moved over the downed house and was out of sight too.
“Well that was kind of rude,” Judy scoffed, “Didn’t even wait for us to reply...”
We didn’t waste any more time and moved into a nearby park where Judy suspected the road would be clearer. We occasionally passed some people who were still getting themselves together. A few were missing limbs or were heavily wounded, wanting to help them Samantha tried to offer her help to the people only to be scolded by Judy who reminded us that no one should be trusted.
After an hour of travelling we stopped to catch our breaths.
“Where are we?”
Samantha handed out some food and water she’d taken from an abandoned store, still paying for the supplies even if no one was there to accept the payment.
“I think this is Hammersmith...”
I responded, looking at the postcode of a nearby street sign.
We ate quickly, eyeing the occasional passer-by that quickly scampered off after seeing my armour and Judy’s bow and quiver.
“So why did you leave the others behind?”
Judy asked, her feral looking eyes hinting that she must have been thinking of the friends she had left at the school.
“I think it’s for the best....”
Samantha replied, finishing a packet of crisps.
“There will be less casualties if we break off into smaller groups, the teachers will also try to direct the students into the tunnels below the school until it’s declared safe to come out by the government…..or so I hope.”
I came up with the answer that made most sense to me.
“We have tunnels under our schools?”
“Yeah! How’d you know that?”
Samantha and Judy asked with curiosity.
“Oh.....I did some snooping in the school system last year and saw some old blueprints of the school, there is an entire network of tunnels that connect the buildings to each other and even with another site that isn't owned by the school any more.”
The two girls looked at me with bemused faces.
“Wow...that’s kind of weird...”
Of course Judy would say that.
I shrugged, used those looks and looked at a pair of young children that appeared in my line of sight, they quickly shrank back into the shadows before I could call out to them.
“At any rate, we should continue moving, we don’t want to be stuck outside when it gets dark.”
We agreed with Samantha’s advice and got up. We also came to the conclusion that it would be best to follow the main road which was emptier than usual, the sound of fires not as loud as the residential living areas.
Deciding to follow the two girls at a small distance, I came up with something to ask the thing in his mind.
“What are you?”
Item Identification: Galactic Hyperion System – G.H.S Ver. 1904.42.5
The name brought a slight smile to my face as I was a fan of anything with the name Galactic in its name. But I found it odd that the functionality percentage was so low but dismissed it has I started asking another question.
“Who made you?”
Query: G.H.S creator
Answer: Daniel Thomas and Prince Asarel
I froze after seeing this, my mind racing with a million more questions to ask the system.
“Who is Prince Asarel?”
My voice was barely a whisper, noticing that Samantha was looking back to check up on me. I smiled weakly and nodded before reading the information that came up.
Query: Prince Asarel
Answer: Restricted query, accessed denied.
I asked a few more questions that all resulted in the same message. Finally giving up on the G.H.S, I caught up with my companions and encouraged them to pick up the pace for a while.
Thirty minutes after the initial meteorite impact, the office of the SS1 headquarters was in a state of rush. Whilst no one in particular was panicking, the sights that the agents were seeing were enough to frighten even the bravest of men. Luckily for the people under River Thames, no one had been hit by a light beam as they had witnessed people above transforming.
Johnson, one of the senior directors of operations was in his bosses’ office, mindful of what just happened.
“Sir, Team Alpha and Delta have safely been relocated and there are no reported casualties. We also lost all eyes above ground and our systems got taken out after impact. However our internal backup systems are still functioning and everything else below sector 1 was untouched. Unfortunately we were unable to capture the targets this morning as they escaped when I recalled the teams.”
“That’s unfortunate news, Johnson. I expected results and this won’t do.”
He didn't look away from his laptop display as he spoke.
“What do we do now then?”
Glancing at his subordinate for a second he smirked before returning to his work.
“The state of London...no the entire world is in dismay right now. We need to use this opportunity to strengthen our resolve and take back what is rightfully ours. Commence stage 2 of Project Outsider. Use Team X.”
“But sir, the suits only just passed the beta tests, we still need more time to optimise their energy consumption!”
“They are ready. I've spoken with the lead scientist downstairs who has analysed fragments of the material we found 3 months ago. He agreed that we are looking at the same metal from the meteorite. If this is true, then the bio-metal will provide a sufficient energy source to optimise Team X by over 300%”
Johnson held back his expression of amazement and nodded to his superior.
“Very well then, it will be done right away sir.”
He replied before turning to leave the office of the commander.
Adjusting his black striped tie, Johnson Travis made his way to a section of SS1 that he never liked to visit. Single with no children, the 31 year old man hated working with anyone younger than himself, apart from Mr Riling. He took out a small tablet from his suit pocket and browsed the SS1 network until he found the encrypted section he was looking for called Project Outsider. Opening it, Johnson saw all details of stage 2 for the Operation.
The layout of SS1 was cylindrical. With a diameter of 200 meters, the structure travelled for almost two kilometres downwards, where tunnels connecting to the cylinder at various levels allowed vehicles and other personnel to enter the SS1 headquarters.
Johnson took a lift that travelled to a sector so far down most personnel at SS1 weren't authorised to know about it. Known only as Sub-Sector 2G, the man arrived at the floor to be greeted by a man in a white coat. The man greeted Johnson with a nod and stepped onto the lift whilst Johnson got off. He was most likely going to the cafeteria area for special members of SS1. Less than a minute away from his destination Johnson quickly scanned through the more important parts of the Operation log and put away the device.
Coming up to a door that required DNA verification, Johnson took a deep breath before positioning his face to the sensor. He could already hear the screams and shouting over gunfire and car engines noises in the background.
The door opened and Johnson witnessed the ten members of Team X lounging about as usual. 6 of them were in front of two large TV’s playing video games, 2 were playing a board game of some sort, one was reading a book and the last was on a treadmill.
The only person who had noticed Johnson enter the room was the boy reading a Japanese Manga.
“Do you even understand it?”
Johnson asked the fair headed boy, no older than 20, who turned to face Johnson.
“No, not really. I like the art though....”
Johnson mentally scoffed and took out his tablet, he pressed a button that turned off both of the TV’s and tinted the lights from their standard white LED colour to yellow. The six at the TV’s groaned before turning to face Johnson.
“Boys, today you are going on a little field trip.”
It was after 15 minutes of jogging that I finally took the time to study a smaller meteorite that had cooled off. The crater from the impact was the size of a car, but I managed to persuade Samantha and Judy that looking at the metal rock now was better for them in the long run.
“Just hurry up.”
Judy walked away to scout the area with an expression that easily conveyed her irritation with me.
Samantha had stayed behind, she was curious as to why I was suddenly so interested in the rock. The two of us carefully stepped into the small crater and crouched by the spherical ball that was slightly larger than a golf ball. I picked up the metallic object which was much heavier than it looked. It was also unbelievably smooth and felt otherworldly.
“Can I hold it?”
Samantha asked as I passed the ball to her and asked a question aloud, so that she wouldn’t think he was crazy.
“What’s it made of?”
Query: Analysis of Spherical meteorite
I said aloud, forgetting that Samantha was right next to him.
I chuckled awkwardly, taking back the ball and putting it in my pocket.
“We should take this with us maybe someone can use it for something?”
“Is that really such a good idea, what if it’s radioactive?”
I took a moment to consider that but shrugged as I patted the pocket that held the metal sphere.
“It’s no use thinking that, there must be hundreds of large chunks everywhere so if they are indeed radioactive then we’re screwed anyway.”
I chuckled grimly which didn’t seem to please Samantha.
“Maybe, but let’s just hurry okay?”
“No problem Samantha,”
I said, slightly giddy. I only just realised that I’d been travelling with this girl who I never managed to spoke with.
I looked towards her and noticed that she was blushing slightly, forcing herself to maintain her composure.
“Call me Sam....or Sammy, all my friends call me that. You should too.”
“Okay then, Sammy-Chan”
I unwittingly muttered that embarrassing addition to her name as I got out of the small crater.
“What did you call me?”
Sam asked as she grabbed onto the hand I offered her.
“Um....nothing, just something that slipped out of my mouth.”
I laughed awkwardly, quickly turning away so that she couldn't see the blush on my face. To my surprise Judy was standing there. Her eyes seemed almost malicious as a smirk quickly grew on her face.
“Are you trying to do something weird to Sammy-chan?”
I quickly raised both of my hands, quickly denying any allegation regarding my slip of the tongue. I then realised I had still been helping Sam out of the crater when I let go. Her shriek quickly got both Judy and my attention.
“I am so sorry....”
I said quickly stepping down to help Sam up who was now covered in a thin layer of tarmac dust.
Judy chuckled darkly as Sam coughed out the dust she had in avertedly breathed in.
“Kill me now....”
Do you require assistance in self termination?