This was where the folds of reality creased and where the filth accumulated as a vile sediment of morally challenged miscreants locked in an endless struggle for power. This was Syn City.
A jagged skyline served as the horizon, dark spires of concrete and steel scratched at the grey overcast like broken teeth. In the streets, the masses trudged, coursing through the arteries of the city to eke out a bleak existence.
The decadent littered the shadows. Tumors of the metropolis festering in the alleys and spilling out into the streets like puss from a boil. Their minds breaking under the pressure like a ship rising and falling in violent seas; climaxing in delirium one moment, simply to crash into madness from withdrawal in the next.
This was where the folds of reality creased and where the filth accumulated as a vile sediment of morally challenged miscreants locked in an endless struggle for power.
This was Syn City.
The homeless who could walk pulled themselves to their feet and stammered into hiding as the sound of boots clattered from around the corner. Six men burst from the laneway and leapt over trash and catatonic junkies to reach a side door.
“Hurry, get it open for Christ sake, they’re right behind us.”
“I don’t hear ‘em.”
“Trust me, they’re there. Did they get the artifact?”
The last man was peering from around the corner to see down the lane they had just come from. “I don’t see any - ”
His sentence was cut short, punctuated by the snap of a single suppressed round tearing through his jaw and exiting violently from the base of his skull.
“Go go! Get in!”
The remaining five piled through the doorway as quickly as their feet could take them, nearly tumbling down the staircase found on the other side.
“Close it, quick.”
The last man frantically slammed the door, but it refused to shut. In a panic, he smashed against it with his shoulder. His eyes searched for an obstruction and found it near his feet; a grenade sitting between the frame and the door. The explosion rocked the building, spalling from the bricks tumbled along the walls as the smoke bellowed from the doorway.
“Nice toss Mil.”
Mil-Dot smiled. “Thanks, let’s put another one in for good measure.”
Bluemonster hesitated, but then nodded.
Mil-Dot pulled the pin on a second grenade as he made his way along the wall. He slid with his back against the brick, releasing the spoon half way to the door and posting it inside. He turned away in time to avoid the fragmentation that rushed past him in a flash of light and smoke. Before the dust settled Mil-Dot, Lee and Bluemonster were inside, gliding down the stairs with their weapons at the ready, scanning for movement.
Lee paused for a moment, looking to the ground. “Ugh… I think I stepped in one.”
Blue looked back. “I think you ‘re stepping in a few of them actually.”
Mil-Dot lowered his weapon and fired a round into a mass of flesh that was still gurgling, ending what little was left of the life within.
Blue scanned the maintenance tunnel one last time. “I think we’re done here.”
Mil-Dot checked the rounds in his magazine as he spoke. “Until they respawn and we’re dealing with them again in a few days.”
Lee shook his head. “They’re losing resources, I doubt they’ll be able to afford to bring these ones back, they’re low key.”
The stairs creaked as Mil-Dot avoided the major structural damage his grenades had caused on the way up. “Which is the reason I’m wondering why Fiend sent us, there are associates that could have taken care of this without a problem.”
“Fiend has his reasons. Lee, call Hydra to come get us, tell him we’ll get up to the rooftops.” Blue said as he searched for a viable fire escape.
Lee turned away and keyed his mic.
Mil-Dot smiled. “I’m just glad I got to throw some grenades.”
Blue looked at his feet. “I’m not, I’ll need new boots. Not to mention none of them were in the talking mood after the second one.”
Lee came back into the huddle. “Hydra says he can be here in five.”
Blue nodded. “Good let’s get moving.”
The three made their way up a nearby fire escape. From one landing to the next the city unravelled before them, revealing one festering slum at a time as the metropolis stretched out in all directions. The macabre sounds of chaos rippled across the rooftops as the cancer that were the residence cannibalized themselves throughout the night. An acid rain began to fall, staining concrete and corroding steel as if to imitate the city‘s effects on the soul.
HydraSlav was not late. His ship slid from behind a tall structure to the north and skirted the rooftops before raising her nose to throw engine wash against the three waiting men. Debris and refuse billowed from beneath the craft and strayed off into the winds that never ceased to torment the canopy of the city.
They did not wait for Hydra to land. Moments before the vessel stabilized, they rose from shielding themselves and moved toward the side door. As the last man boarded, the ship dipped it’s nose and dropped over the lip of the building.
Hydra looked back from the cockpit briefly, “So, how’d it go?” He asked, as soon as one of the three had donned a headset.
Blue yelled into the mic over the cry of the engines. “Well enough, we didn’t have a chance to interrogate due to…” He looked at Mil-Dot.
“Hey, don’t look at me like that, I asked before throwing the second one!”
Hydra manoeuvered only thirty feet above the streets. A blur of buildings was all that could be seen beyond the hull. “Why did he feel the need to send three Made men on this one?”
“See!” Mil-Dot exclaimed. “I’m not the only one that thinks Fiend is off his rocker.”
“If I knew why, Mil, I’d tell you.” Blue said. “Maybe he just wanted to ensure there wouldn’t be any mistakes.”
“Like two grenades in a confined space.” Lee added.
Mil-Dot pushed him. “Ah shaddap. We got the artifact didn‘t we?”
“Yeah.” Lee laughed, “After letting them do all the legwork.”
Blue smiled, “Why work harder when you can work smarter?”
The dropship rose above the skyline and banked sharply. Blue looked passed Hydra and out through the windscreen. In the distance, silhouetted in the haze of the rain, he could make out the Tower. This was their destination and the seat of power of the Family, the organization they all belonged to.