Chapter One Hundred Thirty
Pilot, by rhetoric
Word Count: 1,234
His boots cracked the floor beneath them when he landed; he took in a long, greedy gulp of air as he rose to his full height, his skin already crackling with the bubbling power beneath it. His vision was clouded over with a gray mist, no darker than the shades of sunglasses, but it sharpened his sight distinctly. Angles were clearer, outlines cleaner; every motion drew his aphotic gaze instantly. It took him a millisecond to memorize the layout of the lower floor – the garage doors at the far north wall, tucked behind the bloated security office about twenty-five meters ahead of him. The entire lower floor was a kilometer wide.
He could feel his darkness spilling out from his bones, rushing like ocean tides through his muscles and up his spine. When he exhaled, his breath was black as ash and floated like smoke away from him. At his sides, his hands were balled into fists.
In the distant corners of his attention, he followed the sounds of Eden and Melody taking cover in the security room. Everything felt slow around him – as if he were moving through time at his own will, hesitating and lingering where he chose, moving quickly through sections that did not interest him. Gunfire came from all directions, but it didn’t matter; his inheritance snaked its way around his body, coiling over his flesh and seeping back into his body. With so much raw power encasing him, he was practically untouchable, in a manner of speaking.
The bullets pierced his skin but his body rejected them, squeezing them out on its own as it healed the wound. They fell from him and clattered to the ground at his feet. All that remained of the wounds were the gashes in his attire, and he was covered in them; not even the flesh beneath was scarred or swollen, there wasn’t a fresh drop of blood to prove they’d ever hit him.
Pilot smiled at the men surrounding him and released the tension he held in his fists. It took less than a heartbeat for the armed security team to hit the floor. As Pilot turned his head to trace the flash of an axe to its source, the world moved back into place and everything swam in front of him for an instant.
Dizzy, but still upright, Pilot caught himself on one of the many steel posts in the room. Closing his eyes to reacquaint himself with the rigid control he held over his body, he recounted the events in his head; all the while, he felt he was overlooking something, as if he was unable to see something right in front of his face. His brain whirred through everything like a machine, smoothly, meticulously, analytically; until he did a head count of bodies in the room when he’d released his inheritance.
His math had to be off, he couldn’t possibly have… He recounted, and counted a third time still, but the number never changed. It was then that he began to question something else. His eyes flew open and he counted the shells and crumpled remains of bullets rolling around on the cement floor at his feet.
His mental processes had increased in efficiency since he had been changed, and after so many years as a vampire the slowness of human thought was nothing but a bad dream – but the way his mind spun, faster than light, faster than a blink, was something entirely new. A speed he’d never attained before; a speed he’d never thought of before. He’d counted the bullets eight times before he admitted to himself that something was different.
Some limit had been broken, some barrier previously unknown to him had been blown away. He’d surpassed everything he knew and the fresh life in his veins was altogether startling and terrifying and entrancing. A steady pulse of electricity surged through him, trailing after each relentless thud of his heartbeat – the fiery tail of a comet, crackling and burning its way through the atmosphere of his existence.
He blinked back his confusion and looked around, still leaning against the post with most of his weight. Eden and Melody were in the security room, where he’d last noted them to be, and Elseron and Dante stood in the open elevator shaft, Elseron’s river-blue eyes studying Pilot with an ancient intelligence that chilled Pilot to the core.
It did not help Pilot’s state of mind as he observed the entire lower floor to be littered with bodies; bodies on top of bodies, twisted and contorted as they fell to the ground; the only blood spilled seeped toward Elseron and Dante’s boots, staining the Atlantean steel both warriors brandished.
He pushed himself up from the pole and stood on his two feet, locking his arms behind his back and straightening his shoulders. “Lower floor and security station secured, Sir Elseron.”
The greyscale coursing through Elseron’s body wafted across the room and Pilot felt sick with it. It was even more pungent than when he’d left Elseron at the top of the elevator shaft – no more than five minutes before. Dante’s attention flicked upward, his nose twitching as he sniffed the air.
His voice was a growl when he spoke, “The dogs are coming.”
No sooner did he speak that they all heard the first thud of a body hitting the far wall of the shaft, a cold, metallic thunk; followed up by the shrieking wail of nails ripping and scratching at steel.
Elseron broke the hushed anticipation without missing a beat, barking at Dante, “Go take care of them.”
Dante’s eyes flashed but once to the auburn-haired vampire in the security room before his bear form exploded out from beneath the restrictive flesh of his human body, a roar breaking free from between his teeth that shook the foundation surrounding them all.
The burdened creak of steel sounded from behind Pilot and he turned to catch sight of something he’d been trying to remind himself of since his boots had hit the cement. There were two exits in the room that remained, since the elevator shaft had been exposed to enemy attack – and it was rather clear that the second exit was falling under the same onslaught. He could make out claws puncturing the metal of the door, and he spun to seek out Elseron, only to find the Guardian standing beside him, observing the same dilemma with stoic, untroubled eyes.
The Atlantean axe hung from his wide fist, loosely almost, and Pilot noticed that there was no tilt to Elseron’s posture, nothing that indicated he felt the weight of the axe in his arm at all.
Soft fingers slid between his and he didn’t need to look to know the feel of her skin; he tightened his grip on Eden’s hand and flashed a glance at Melody as she came to stand beside Elseron.
Eden said, “There’s at least a three or four hundred of them.”
“That’s a hundred a piece,” Melody responded, her voice level and cold.
Pilot shrugged, “I just took out two hundred in ten seconds.”
He could feel their eyes on him, but he didn’t move his gaze from the garage door. It was buckling beneath the ceaseless assailment from beyond. Eden opened her mouth to speak but her words were drowned out as the steel buckled and wolves began to pour in.
*editing as i re-read so ignore any little mistakes please :)