Chapter 4Mature

           The descent down the sinkhole and into the Hollow was steep and treacherous. Slowly but surely, we made our way down, until we came out into a gigantic underground cavern. Streams of light faintly seeped in through cracks in the ceiling, dimly illuminating the place, along with the glowing, lava-like lake of emulsion directly below.

            “Alright, let’s go,” I said. “We’re just about directly below the building, so Sev shouldn’t be far off.”

            “How will we even know where to look?” asked Jimmy. Suddenly, a loud roar sounded from the distance, deeper in the Hollow.

            “We follow that,” I said, pointing in the direction of the noise. “If Sev’s there, we’ve found him. If not, it just means we have more shit to kill. Let’s go!”

            We began running towards the direction of the noise, carefully avoiding the edge of the cliff, lest we should plummet below and be dissolved into the emulsion.


           The roaring noise became progressively louder the further we ran, and eventually we found its source. It was Sev, standing his ground on a wide cliff, face to face with a twelve-foot-tall Berserker.

           “OH SHIT!” said Jimmy. Sev looked toward us, a blank look on his face, as if he was completely unaffected by the fact that he was only a few feet away from one of the most savage locusts within the horde. We rushed towards him, firing at the Berserker, diverting her attention away from him.

             It looked towards us, but being near-blind, it could only guess at where we were as we surrounded it. I joined up with Sev on one side, Ulysses and Jimmy stood on the other.

             “How the hell did you three get here?” asked Sev.

             “Same way you did,” I said. “Well, except we didn’t plummet.”

             “Very funny,” said Sev. “Now, how the fuck are we supposed to kill this thing? The fact that it’s half-blind doesn’t really work to our advantage right now.” I could barely hear Sev over the Berserker’s screaming.

             “Only thing that even bothers them is fire, remember?” said Ulysses.

             “Well, we don’t have any fucking fire!” said Sev.

             “Wait, we do!” said Jimmy, stumbling through his pockets, before he pulled out an incendiary grenade.

             “Well shit, that’s convenient!” I said. “It’ll do. Rookie, get that thing ready!” I turned to Sev. “Follow my lead.” I emptied rounds into the berserker’s shoulders with my rifle, Sev with his machine pistol. The bullets merely deflected off of the solid muscle which formed its body. It roared and began walking towards us, until we were just a few feet from the edge of the cliff. Slowly, becoming more menacing with each step, it approached us, eager to rip us apart. I waited until it was torturously close to us, then gave Sev the signal to roll out of the way. It took a swipe at us just as we did so, but missed.

             “NOW, ROOKIE!” I said. Jimmy pulled the pin on his incendiary grenade, then threw it, almost expertly, at the Berserker. It was a direct hit, the creature becoming engulfed in flames within seconds. It screamed, louder than before, flailing its arms as its flesh was seared.

            “Ulysses!” I shouted, revving the chainsaw bayonet on my Lancer. Ulysses followed suit, and we both went for the Bersker’s legs. We quickly sawed our way through, cutting its legs off at the ankles. The creature screamed, louder than we thought possible, before toppling over the edge. It plummeted for several seconds, screaming the entire way, until landing in the pool of emulsion below. The four of us stood at the edge of the cliff, simply staring at the beast’s body as it was dissolved and drowned in the liquid.

             “Hard to believe we use that shit for fuel-” Ulysses began, but he was cut off by none other than Jimmy.

             “YEAH! TAKE THAT YOU BITCH-ASS MOTHERFUCKER!” he screamed at the top of his lungs. “THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FUCK WITH BRAVO YOU SCREAMING BITCH!” When he was finished, he stepped back a bit, looking at us awkwardly, as if even he was surprised by what he had just done. Ulysses, Sev and I then burst out laughing. Jimmy stood up a little straighter, likely proud of what we’d done.

            “Oh, shit…” I said, gagging through laughter. “Well done, Jimmy.”

           “Well, uh… thanks Sarge!” he said.

           “Alright then,” said Ulysses, still chuckling. “Let’s get the hell out of here.”

           “Wait one moment,” said Sev as he took out his combat knife. He stooped down to the Berserker’s feet, still where they were before we separated them from their owner. Sev went for the big toe on one of the feet with his knife.

           “What the hell are you doing?” I asked.

           “Taking a battle trophy,” said Sev as he put the toe in his pocket.

           “Oh for the love of-” Ulysses began.

           “Forget about it,” I said. “Let’s just leave. Now.

           With that, the four of us turned back the way we came, to make our way back to the surface.


The End

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