The Elite Blade
August 8th 2134, A hydroelectric power plant ten kilometers north of Mozhaysk, Russia
“I said, drop your weapons in to the water,” the voice said to Connor. “I won’t say it again.”
Connor paused for a few seconds. He finally let go of the grip with his right hand and tossed it into the main reservoir drain below. He unholstered his pistol and threw it in the reservoir as well, then stood with his hands away from his body.
“You’re knives too,” the voice said in a slightly annoyed tone. Connor unstrapped his knife sheathes with the knives still inside of them and tossed them all into the reservoir. “Kneel down, and keep your hands far from your body,” the voice said. Connor hesitated a couple of seconds but then slowly knelt down and held his hands away from his body. The ghostly figure standing at the end of the catwalk started walking towards Connor after he knelt down. As the figure got closer, Connor knew exactly who the interlopers were. He noticed the same oddly shaped armor pattern and sleek helmet that he and saw a little over two months ago. This is the Elite Blade. It makes sense now. The emblem on their shoulder, and their ability to attack this power plant so professionally all makes sense now, Connor thought to himself. The RL soldier continued stepping towards Connor until he was about five feet in front of him. The soldier was a little shorter than Connor, if Connor was standing up, and a looked a little less strong as well.
“We have a score to settle with you and your friends,” the soldier said to Connor in a gruff voice.
“Is that right?” Connor asked smartly.
“Yes, and as we speak your friends are being captured as well,” the soldier replied.
“Dumb son of a bitch,” Dale muttered as he pulled his knife out of the Elite Blade soldier that he just stabbed. Two Elite Blade soldiers’ bodies lay at Dale’s feet dead as he stood a few feet into the woods to the east of the power plant. Not these idiots again! Dale thought to himself as he noticed the different style of armor on the soldiers he just killed.
“Vapor Team, do you read me?” Dale asked in a hushed voice over his helmet com. “We’re under attack.” Dale waited for a couple seconds for a reply but no one did. Dale checked his surroundings. He appeared to be clear from any hostiles near him at the moment. Dale tried to contact the other three again.
“I repeat, Fog, Mist, Smoke, do you read me? We are under attack. It’s the soldiers we fought two months ago. It’s the Elite Blade. Please respond.” Still no one responded. Well I guess it’s up to me then, Dale thought to himself. He sheathed his knife and clutched his carbine tighter. Dale rushed quickly but cautiously to the east side of the main building. The catwalks were just above and behind him to his right but he was out of sight of anybody on them. He peeked around the corner of the main building and looked to the south and west. No one was in the parking lot, or at least the little bit of it that he could see through the fog. Dale rounded the corner with his assault carbine trained on the parking lot. He walked along the south edge of the building towards the double door entrance. As he got closer, more of the parking lot came in to view. Arden was nowhere to be seen. Where could he be? Dale wondered. Dale got closer to the entrance to the building until he was only ten feet from the entrance with is back still against the wall of the building. Suddenly the doors burst open and an Elite Blade soldier went flying fifteen feet from the entrance to the hallway and on to the grass outside. The soldier landed on his feet and slid along the ground, ripping up the grass and dirt in front of him. He slowed himself down with one hand on the ground, trying to get a grip. Shortly afterward Arden bolted out of the hallway and on to the grass at top speed and smashed in to the soldier, taking them both in to the air for a second. They crashed on the ground five feet away from where Arden collided with the soldier.
Dale just stood where he was staring at the display in front of him. The Elite Blade soldier punched Arden, who was on top of him, across the head. Arden was hardly fazed and pulled the knife out of Elite Blade soldier’s sheathe and attempted to come down on his throat. The soldier grasped Arden’s wrist with one hand, and with his other hand grasped his neck and tried to choke him. Arden was overpowering the soldier and slowly bringing the knife closer and closer to the soldier’s throat. These definitely aren’t any kind of normal soldier, this one is resisting quite well. Any other RL soldier would have the knife in his throat already. These ones are something else, just like the ones we fought two months ago, Arden thought to himself. The Elite Blade soldier tried to throw Arden off of him but Arden held his position strong. Slowly, the knife came down until it seeped in to the soldier’s neck about a centimeter deep. The Elite Blade soldier’s legs twitched slightly at the pain in his throat. The soldier mustered all of the strength he had and punched Arden across his head. Arden was knocked to the left side of the soldier and he lost his grip on the knife. The Elite Blade soldier quickly took the knife out of his throat and threw it at Arden’s neck. Arden was lying on his back and brought his arm up to deflect the incoming knife. Indeed the knife deflected off of his arm and landed behind him in the parking lot.
Arden brought his arm down to see the soldier aiming his pistol at him. But before the soldier could speak or shoot, his head was cut clean off of his shoulders. The soldier’s body fell to the ground and stained the grass red. Dale was standing over his dead body holding his two blades, now dripping with blood. Dale wiped his blades across his forearms to clean the blood off, then sheathed them in his shoulder sheathes.
“They’re back,” Arden stated to Dale.
“Yeah no shit,” Dale said as he offered a hand to help Arden up.
Arden took his hand and stood up to his feet. “Let’s get inside and make sure the main building is secure. Have you tried contacting Mist or Smoke?” Arden asked.
“Yup, but they didn’t reply.”
“Same case here,” Arden added. They both entered the hallway leading to the lobby. Dale noticed two dead Elite Blade soldiers lying on the ground dead. Arden picked up an assault rifle and a pistol off of the ground next to them.
“I’m guessing they snuck up on you and made the mistake of bringing you in to an enclosed space?” Dale asked Arden as he motioned to the dead soldiers on the ground.
“Got that right,” Arden said as he resynched his weapons that the Elite Blade soldiers stripped off of him.
“These guys really know how to fight though. No doubt they’re the Elite Blade group that the two captives we had talked about,” Dale remarked.
“Yeah, I agree. It wasn’t easy killing these two, and you saw it wasn’t easy killing that last one either,” Arden said.
“Smoke, Fog, Shadow, do any of you read me? I was engaged by two hostiles, and they’re the soldiers we fought a couple months ago,” John’s voice whispered inside their helmets.
“We read you Mist, and we’re aware that it’s those special soldiers from before. What happened up there?” Dale asked in a hushed voice.
“Don’t worry, they’re dead now though. I broke one’s neck and tossed the other off of the cliff. I think this must be the Elite Blade,” John replied.
“Yeah, that’s what we think too,” Dale agreed.
“What the hell is going on? Why isn’t Smoke responding?” Arden asked John.
“I don’t know, but let’s find out,” John replied in a vengeful voice.
“Oh yeah, are you okay? I probably should have asked that first,” Arden asked John.
“I’m fine, thanks your totally genuine concern,” John replied sarcastically. “Okay, here’s the plan. Arden, you get on the second floor of the main building and check the catwalks. Dale, you go to the hill on the east side of the power plant and get on the catwalks from there. If you see or run in to any hostiles on the way, let each other know. As for me, I’m going to climb down the cliff and on to the catwalks. And Smoke, if you can hear us, if you’re still on the catwalks… Hang in there, we’re on our way.”
“How does it feel, to know that your little squad of overrated mutant rats is not coming to help you?” the soldier in front of Connor asked in a fake sympathetic voice.
“You see that pile of bodies on the catwalk back there?” Connor asked the Elite Blade soldier in front of him as he jerked his head in the direction of the pile of RL bodies. “That’s you in just a little bit.” The soldier in front of Connor gave a nod to one of the soldier’s behind him. Connor felt two hands grip the sides of his helmet and it was pulled off of his head and tossed in to the main reservoir. Shortly afterward a sharp pain spread across the back of his skull and shook his spine. One of the soldier’s had hit him across the back of his head with the butt of his rifle. Connor clenched his fists tightly, then slowly let them loose again as the pain slowly became less intense.
“Watch what you say you piece of shit,” the soldier in front of Connor said. “Now I want you to tell me something. What does the FKA have planned? What is the grand scheme you little rats have up your sleeve?”
“Okay, first off,” Connor started to say as he cocked his head to the side. “Rats don’t have sleeves.”
“Oh you think you’re real witty don’t you?” the soldier remarked. Again, Connor was whacked across the head by the butt of a rifle. Connor grimaced at the pain but still kept a strong will to deny the Elite Blade any sort of satisfaction in his submission.
“Now, what does the FKA have planned?” the soldier tried asking again.
“I’d love to tell you, but your mom said not to talk to strangers,” Connor replied smiling.
“You want to…” the soldier began to say, but then realized just what Connor had said. “Wait, my mom?”
Connor grinned really wide and replied, “Yeah, that’s what she said to me as I was leaving her bedroom last night.” Connor then braced for another smack across the back of his head. Sure enough one of the soldiers behind him reared his rifle back, but before he came down on Connor, a crashing sound of metal hitting metal resonated from the west where the cliff was. All of them turned their heads to face west. A few seconds passed of stillness and silence. Then the soldier in front of Connor motioned to the soldiers behind Connor.
“You three, check out what that was. The rest of you, stay here,” the soldier said. Connor now knew there was at least five soldiers behind him, plus the one in front of him making six. He still estimated about a dozen soldiers total were around him, but now nine since three left. This guy must be their Commander, Connor thought to himself.
The three Elite Blade soldiers cautiously walked across the catwalk leading west, covering each other every which way. They reached a small building just in front of the cliff. At first glance nothing was unusual around the place. Then they finally looked up and saw an Elite Blade soldier bent over backwards, halfway leaning off of the side of the roof.
“Sir, we have a situation,” one of the soldiers stated over his helmet com to their commander. Only a second later, John dropped over the edge of the roof head first and flipped around in the air. He pulled his knife out of his sheathe with his left hand and sunk it deep in to the left shoulder of the Elite Blade soldier on his left. While John still had his feet in the air he whirled around the soldier, anchoring himself by holding on to the knife in the soldier’s shoulder. John’s feet finally touched the ground and he was behind the soldier using him as a human shield. He pulled the pistol off of his hip and shot the Elite Blade soldier in the middle right in his neck. The soldier fell flat on the ground struggling to breathe with the bullet lodged in his throat. The other soldier farthest from John tried to get a shot on John’s head, but John let go of the knife he had stuck in to the first soldier’s shoulder, pulled one of the grenades on the soldier’s belt, and kicked him towards the other soldier still on his feet. The soldier with the live grenade on his belt fell to the ground and tried to get back on his feet, but his injured shoulder slowed him down too much. The soldier who was still on his feet dove out of the way of the explosion that killed the two soldiers on the ground. The soldier still alive rolled to his feet and aimed his rifle at John who was half concealed by the fog. He opened fire and John aimed his pistol at the soldier and shot him twice in the chest, but the bullets didn’t breach his armor. John was hit by a several rifle shots, two of which breached his armor and struck him in his collar bone and dead center in his chest. The bullets didn’t break John’s bones because of his reinforced bone structure, and John took two more shots at the soldier. Both shots hit the soldier in the visor. The first bullet hit a strand of the diamond weaving and only cracked the visor, but the second bullet penetrated it and ended up in the soldier’s brain.
As soon as the explosion sounded from the grenade, a few of the Elite Blade soldiers near Connor took their aim off of him and looked to the west and saw the fog colored a dim yellow for a split second. Then the gunshots sounded. Connor took the chance of the distraction that John had made and quickly dove in to the reservoir drain, but was shot once under his armpit where there was no armor. Connor grunted at the wound he received as he sucked in a large breath of air and held it. He splashed in to the water below and quickly swam into the reservoir tunnel as bullets streaked through the water behind him from the Elite Blade troops. Two Elite Blade soldiers hopped over the railing and into the water with him and began chasing him down the reservoir tunnel.
Arden burst out of the doors on the second floor of the main building and on to the catwalks. He rushed towards the middle catwalk at full speed and tackled the Commander before he could pull his pistol on Arden. Arden began hammering on his helmet with his fists over and over again. The remaining Elite Blade soldiers still on the catwalk, which turned out to be six of them, turned to fire on Arden who was pounding their Commander senseless.
“Sup bitches!” They heard a voice shout from behind them as Dale opened fire with both of his carbines on the six Elite Blade soldiers in the middle. John had also gotten closer to the middle of the catwalks and opened fire with his rifle as well. Half of the Elite Blade soldiers fell dead before the other three could return fire. Two of the Elite Blade soldiers fired at Dale and he was peppered with bullet fire. Three bullets breached Dale’s armor, two of them entering his chest, and another in his upper left arm. Dale dropped the carbine in his left hand in pain, but continued to fire with the one in his right hand. The other Elite Blade soldier fired at John. He didn’t get many bullets off before John put a bullet through his visor.
Connor swam as fast as he could away from the two soldiers chasing him. He couldn’t see a thing and was going off of his memory of the tunnels instead of his eyes. Huh, I guess it’s a good thing I came down here often, he thought. He could hear the muffled strokes of the soldiers behind him against the water. Suddenly Connor bumped in to something flowing down the drain. It felt to be the size of a basketball. Connor grabbed it and continued swimming down the drain. The speed of the water picked up as he got closer to the outflow exit. Connor was struggling. He had been swimming down the drain for about fifty seconds now, and he wouldn’t be able to stay down there much longer. If the soldiers caught up to him, he would surely die, and his injury right near the joint of his shoulder wasn’t making it easy to swim faster than them. He reached the down slope of the reservoir tunnel and was swiftly carried by the rushing current the rest of the way. Connor’s could see a very faint light at the end of the tunnel. He was finally pushed out of the tunnel and washed up on the bank next to the forest.
Connor gasped and panted heavily, as he was finally out of the tunnels. He looked at the object he carried out of the drain which turned out to be his helmet. He quickly shook out the water sloshing around inside of it and put it back on. His HUD flickered to life and he pulled out two of the knives from the pack on his lower back. He held them by the blades and raised them both behind his head. Only one second later, both of the Elite Blade soldiers were washed up on to the bank as well. They quickly picked themselves up on their feet and aimed their assault rifles at Connor. Connor threw the two knives speedily at one of the soldiers. The knife thrown from Connor’s good arm stuck right in to the soldier’s throat, but the knife thrown from his arm with the injury near it only scraped against the soldier’s chest armor and fell lazily to the ground. The soldier dropped his rifle in shock and gripped the knife in his throat, pulled it out and charged at Connor, willing to give his own life to kill Connor in the process. The other soldier opened fire on Connor with his rifle but none of the bullets breached before the soldier with the knife was in front of him and he had to cease fire.
The soldier rushing Connor left a blood trail in the sand and his armor had blood running down it from his neck. Connor readied himself to counter the soldier, but the soldier was furious. He swung the knife Connor threw at him here and there so fast that Connor couldn’t get a grip on him. Connor dodged left and right until he finally grabbed the soldier’s arm with the knife in his hand, but before he could disarm him the soldier roundhouse punched Connor across the helmet. Connor lost his grip on the soldier’s arm and suddenly he felt a really sharp pain in his belly. The soldier had sunk the knife about an inch and a half in to his gut and Connor doubled over in pain, grabbing the soldier’s arm again to stop him from sinking it in any deeper. Connor pushed the feeling of pain aside as best he could and grabbed the soldier’s upper and lower arm with both of his arms and snapped the soldier’s arm at his elbow joint. The soldier let go of the knife and Connor brought his right arm up and grasped the soldier’s neck. Then with all of his might Connor picked him up and threw him at the soldier still holding his rifle. The soldier dived out of the way and rolled to his feet and tried to aim his rifle at Connor, but Connor had rushed over to him and it was too late. The soldier with the stabbed throat was too weak to get back up and he slowly bled out. The other soldier bashed Connor across the head with the barrel of his rifle and Connor was knocked to the side dazed. Connor tried to grab the soldier’s rifle, but was too disoriented and in too much pain to properly do so. The soldier jabbed Connor in the gut with his barrel. Connor doubled over again in pain as the knife was still stuck in his gut as well, and the shock from the jabbing barrel made it worse. Then the soldier kicked Connor in the shin and Connor fell to one knee. The soldier pulled his knife out of his sheathe, held it in the air and was about to come down on Connor’s neck. Connor readied himself to try to counter him, but suddenly the soldier’s head was shot from the side and he fell to the ground dead. Connor looked towards the catwalks of the power plant and saw John aiming his rifle at the dead soldier’s body. John’s barrel was smoking.
“Sitrep!” Connor yelled out as he painfully stood back up.
“What, no thank you for saving your butt from these guys again?” John asked with a smile.
“Oh shut up,” Connor replied. “Are we good?”
“Yeah. We’re a little beat up, but we’re good,” John replied as he took his hand off of his rifle and clutched his collar wound. “Come on up, we’ve got a certain commander that needs interrogated.”
“Perfect,” Connor said in an evil tone. Connor made his way up the hill and stepped on to the catwalks. They all met in the center of the catwalks again. The commander was on his knees and his helmet had been removed and tossed in to the reservoir. Connor swiftly walked over to the commander and struck him across the back of his head with the butt of his rifle. The commander took the blow with a straight face.
“Doesn’t feel too good does it?” Connor asked hypothetically. “Oh, and look who just got screwed over by a bunch of mutant rats.” The fog surrounding them began to thin out, rather quickly. A moderate breeze began to blow and the clouds slowly started to split overhead. Connor took the medical kit off of the side of his leg and quickly started to mend his belly wound.
Arden chuckled and said to Connor, “Hey Smoke, do you remember a couple of months ago when you said we need to learn how to not get hurt?”
“It’s not a good time man,” Connor replied annoyed as he pulled the knife out of his gut and screamed out in pain. Connor quickly poured an antiseptic on himself and groaned at the stinging sensation he felt. He pulled away the underarmor layer and wiped away any blood flowing out of the wound and applied a lot of pressure to his belly, occasionally wiping away more blood.
“Good thing it didn’t go any deeper,” Arden remarked. “You probably would’ve died.”
“Thanks for the comforting thought,” Connor moaned as he sat down and pressed his wound together and continued to apply pressure. The commander was silent with a bruised and bloody expressionless face. Dale was stiff and breathing heavily from his chest wounds. Arden was the only one uninjured. The fog continued to thin and their visibility improved.
“Okay asshole, start talkin,” Dale demanded of the commander. The commander, however, still kneeled there expressionless and didn’t say a word.
“So no doubt you’re the Elite Blade, right?” John asked. The commander remained silent.
“Alright, you’re not going to talk,” John remarked as he walked over to Dale. John whispered in Dale’s ear, “We’ll take him with us to Mozhaysk so we can bring him to FK command for, proper, interrogation.”
“You mean we’re leaving the power plant?” Dale asked John in a hushed voice.
“Yeah. The way I see it, if their little Elite Blade couldn’t take it, nothing else can,” John replied. “It’ll be okay, and we’ll make sure they get replacement workers and guards as soon as possible. Besides, we need proper medical attention anyways,” John said motioning to Dale’s three bullet wounds.
“Okay, true enough,” Dale replied looking down at his chest.
John turned to Arden and Connor, “Alright, we’re heading down to Mozhaysk,” he proclaimed.
The fog was almost completely dissipated by now and the clouds were disappearing to across the horizon. The moon shone directly overhead and illuminated the power plant.
As the last of the fog disappeared, Arden turned and looked all around and Connor stood back up really slowly still holding his gut. They both motioned to John and Dale to look around themselves. “Umm, guys. We aren’t going anywhere fast,” Arden proclaimed. They all looked around themselves and noticed twenty more Elite Blade soldiers spread across the perimeter of the power plant aiming their rifles at them.
The commander slowly started to get up off of his knees and finally spoke. “Always have a plan B,” he said as he casually walked towards the group of Elite Blade soldiers to the west. Vapor Team was furious. After suffering injuries just to defend the power plant, there were twice as many soldiers than what they initially thought was attacking the plant.
“Change of plans Vapor Team,” the commander continued. “You will be coming with me instead.”