Before any of us had settled down we made sure that all the doors were locked or at least closed so we’d know if someone was trying to approach us, which of course meant that the slightest little sound unnerved Zack.
Unfortunately the first time he’d heard something was precisely as an attack was happening, the sound of doors breaking barely reaching our ears as we stumbled from sleep, most of us barely getting 3 or 4 hours of rest.
“There’s a small group of them, will be here in a few minutes.”
I didn’t know how Zack got his information, from what I remembered he’d been in the room all this time.
But it didn’t stop us from getting our things ready, having already pre-packed what we needed for the next day ahead of time.
The room we were in, a police staff lounge, had only one exit which lead to a long hallway with several doors and two sets of staircases.
Zack who led us out quickly made his way to one of the staircases and ran down, two steps at a time until we’d reached a basement level we hadn’t seen yet where the lighting was just enough that we could see our surroundings.
We’d reached an underground car park.
“Can’t we just get some sleep…?”
Several people agreed with that statement, myself included who stifled a yawn as I noticed traces of dust falling from the ceiling.
I pointed at the ceiling where a faint crack had just appeared, thankful that everyone had acted quickly and moved out of the way.
With great force the ceiling collapsed and a hole was left.
As the dust settled we barely made out the forms of four pig-like monsters, their backs armoured and tusks stained with blood.
“It’s the Popo!”
It took a moment for me to realise that they were referring to the police, meaning that these people were transformed during the event and we hadn’t seen them till now.
These monsters with charcoal skin and a plastic look in their eyes grunted as they looked between us, though this tense moment didn’t last long as Judy let loose an arrow that struck one of the pigs in the chin.
It’s screech was painful to hear but the others ignored it as I saw someone approach with what looked like a Katana, her blade slicing one of the tusks clean off yet bouncing off the armoured back.
“Damn this thing is hard.”
Zack came out of nowhere and kicked one pigs with the back of his foot, using his momentum and careful precision to flip the monster over and expose its softer underbelly.
Without any prompt several people threw dagger like projectiles at the pig as the female from before gave it the finishing blow, whilst I used my sword and stunned another pig that Judy had struck with an arrow that had a blunt end.
Judy spared me a glance as I looked at the arrows in her quiver.
Unable to see the ends I could only tell that they were from a sports store by the logo on their shafts, likely from one of the stores that we had passed on our way here.
“Blunt arrows designed for practice, they are useful for stunning these things too.”
I watched as she drew another arrow and fired it at the pig’s feet, the impact enough to cause a bruise on a human was enough to make the monster retreat several steps before Zack again flipped the creature over and someone else finished it off.
I almost felt sorry for these monster that were the size of large turtles yet died quickly, but they did force us to wake up early and for that they couldn’t be allowed to live, a creed I tried to follow from a young age.
It took the third one to die to realise that there was more going on around me than I initially thought.
At first it seemed like we were a mob, attacking everything that moved but a quick glance at Angelica showed that she was directing those with swords to attack and defend when necessary, Sam had also been warning people when they neared to close to someone else’s attacks or were being targeted.
Even Lillian was helping in her own way, her silent pleas for success were giving us an unseen strength that even I didn’t think I could see.
So what was allowing us to work together like this?
Moments spent in consideration meant that one of those pigs almost rushed my legs but due to the quick actions of Zack, Angelica and Judy it didn’t even reach me.
“Keep your head in the game!”
I didn’t know who said it but they were right.
The last pig died as the girl who I quickly found out was called Jun, sliced it whilst it had jumped into the air, the blood from the creature leaving an unsettling splash against the light grey floor.
“Is it over?”
I almost screamed in annoyance at the guy who asked the question, knowing that in this very situation saying something as clichéd as that would land us in more trouble.
Of course, I was right.
From the broken ceiling jumped down another pig, this one completely different from the last as it didn’t wait a moment for us to react to its presence.
I barely noticed that it stood on its hind legs as it breezed past me and hit Zack with a sweep of its arm, forcing the boy further into the car park.
Angelica quickly rushed towards him, careful to stay outside of the monsters range but even she had difficulty dodging its intense speed.
Zack, who’d only just managed to get up, dusted himself off as he looked at the monstrous pig with distaste.
“This one’s mine.”
No one objected, or rather they didn’t know how they’d hit it anyway, myself included.
Judy, unbeknownst to me, had been smart and quick enough to pull back Angelica with Sam’s assistance, the two preventing the girl from potentially getting injured.
As I approached the three the Italian-American girl shrugged off the two and faced them with a half concerned glare.
“I can handle myself thank you very much. We can’t just leave Zack to face that thing by himself!”
I decided to intervene.
“So how do you suggest we deal with it?”
For once Angelica looked with disdain towards me but I could feel that she knew I was right, a position I rarely held in such confrontations.
Without responding she looked back at Zack who had eyes for his opponent only, which fortunately enough gave us all a better chance to see what it really was.
Just like the others it had charcoal skin, though this beast had armour all-over its body that gave little to no room for a bladed weapon to cut it, rendering Jun and several others useless.
It’s eyes were also jet-black, shiny and quite beady as it watched Zack, it’s head shaking ever so lightly as it’s snout twitched.
Zack ran up to it and vaulted off one of its arms with an attempt at its head, but as his foot reached the temple he realised that the tusks that he thought were missing from this creature were actually part of its skull, reinforcing it to a greater extent.
It went without saying that he hurt his foot in that exchange.
The monster leapt forwards as Zack took a half step back and swerved to the left, using his weak foot for pivots only.
Each swipe of the pig's arms were close to hitting Zack, his ability to dodge an advantage in this fight when he had no ability to hurt it.
“Why’s it after him only?”
I questioned that myself as I heard someone ask Angelica, but it was Zack who responded, his breath ragged and his movements becoming sloppy.
“I’d recognise those fat beady eyes anywhere, its Chief Inspector Biggins.”
Angelica gasped slightly as she asked a question in response.
“The one from Crawley Lane?”
“Aye, the very same.”
Sam, who recognised the location asked a question in confusion.
“What were you doing out there?”
“We were on a-”
Zack interrupted Angelica, to the others it may have seemed that he was in his normal mood despite fighting a large creature but I saw the hint of nervousness emanating from him.
Angelica agreed, although she seemed disappointed at the same time.
I scoffed, impressed at how the two could remain relatively calm in this situation as the pig monster swept it’s arms again, this time tagging Zack’s right arm and knocking him over.
The grim faced boy was forced to push himself quickly as the monster tried to leap onto him, leaving a dent on the ground.
It was then that things started to get yellow.
I unconsciously turned towards Lillian who was radiating with yellow energy, tendrils of an untouchable force disappearing before finding itself around Zack’s limbs, small points of electricity crackling around them erratically.
Most people were surprised, a few even wondering if the girl was ok as Sam herself approached Lillian but those of us that had seen her in action before knew what was happening.
Judy called out to Zack.
“Hit that thing in the head again!”
The boy nodded and quickly rolled onto his feet and ran towards the monster as it swiped it’s arms again, it’s speed dulled after trying to hit the boy for so long.
True to form, Zack hit square on in the forehead, a surge of electricity striking the beast and frying its internal organs before it could react.
It quickly died.
“Well I’m glad that’s over.”
Those were the last words Zack spoke before collapsing.
“So….do we go back?”
“No way, too tired!”
Various people considered going back to that staff room but others dropped where they were standing and curled up on the floor.
We were all knackered.
Thankfully it wasn’t as cold here as one would think, the adrenaline still running in our bodies partly to blame for our lack of respect for the cold floor.
I spotted Angelica taking care of Zack as I too found myself drifting off, next to the small form of Lillian who had exhausted more power than I realised.