Chapter 10Mature

Everybody searched for something. It was what drove every person to be who they are. Even royalty would search. 

"I want that rail cannon online. And I want it online now!"

Those words were followed by a numerous amount of clicking noises created by the wrenches utilized by mechanics. This was a war. Realtors and the sponsored fought each other since the day both were created. Since the first flight of the sponsored with wings from angels or the first realtor with fire power from a love of matches the two sides never saw eye to eye and would never cease attempting to destroy one another. Fortunately for the kingdom the sponsored proved to be the strongest of all. But that was only because of the systematic genocide of all realtors who posed too much of a threat. 

Fighting took place in every corner of the Earth. Hell was all this planet could be described as being right now. It wasn't even safe to be animal here. Dead bodies, famine, an economical collapse and random acts of violence were only some of the issues facing living beings at that time. Every established form of government had either been completely overthrown or annihilated. New forms of political power had taken over. The royal army was no different. Even now measures were taken to find a new leader.

"What the hell is taking so long to get those damn cannons online?" shouted a female voice.

"Ma'am, we're doing all we can. I'm good at this but the people you gave me are newbies to this; fresh recruits. You can't expect a great effort," Ramirez responded with.

"You know I don't care for your excuses. Do what you have to do. Get the damn thing running and lets blow these bastards away. Get it done Knight!"

That voice was the kind of voice most couldn't hear once and forget. It was Shiva. By this time she was Arch Colonel Shiva but Colonel Shiva worked just fine for her. The doppleganger had a brand spanking new unit with new equipment but, as one could tell from the rail cannon malfunction, new didn't always mean better. This scene was the kind of horror that this officer loved to see. Her unit, 33451st infantry or The Amazons, was located in the downtown area of Royal Blue city. Buildings were seemingly torn to bits like rock paper. Dead bodies littered the streets. Birds no longer flew around because of the massive smoke clouds rising up from every part of the place. Half of the citizens had been evacuted. The other half were either dead, injured or had gone into hiding.

Every Amazon was dressed for battle with the new edge gear just shipped in by the Royal Kingdom. Shiva didn't too much care for it. This rather lightweight armor was made of a nearly indestructible metal known as Vesprite 29. The colonel didn't like it because of the fact that the armor glowed once light hit it. Therefore, it was difficult to perform a stealth mission with such a visibility hazard. Not to mention that Shiva preferred heavier armor to appease her old fashioned tastes.

Sounds of footsteps came from behind the brick and spike strip road block set up by the infantry unit. The familiar look of Captain Gognish and Sergeant Henderson brought a smile to the commander's face. It had to be good news. Those two wouldn't be running so fast if the news wasn't absolutely delightful. At least, that was what Shiva thought. A mental string was made between Gognish and Shiva. It was a warning. Something was coming.

~Get out of here! They're coming! Clear the streets! The city is lost!~

That came directly from Gognish to Shiva. The commander bore a puzzled look on her face. Just what was coming? But then that puzzlement turned into horrified expression as reinforcements for the realtors had arrived. Just as the royal army had a military force so did the realtors. Nothing about them was elite given the fact that the Knights could crush them with ease. But that was only because of numbers. When faced with a equal playing field the royal army didn't stand a chance.

Gognish had reached the arrogant commander who didn't call the retreat. Shiva wasn't about to run away. She wanted to face the danger head on. The lieutenant stared at her superior and frowned. He knew this woman had too much pride. At the same time that pride placed her knights in danger. Eric caught his breath, brushed his armor off and folded all eight of his arms.

"While I appreciate your offer lieutenant I prefer to stand my ground and so will the amazons. We don't run. We never run. No surrender. Damn sure no retreat. What news do you have from the field?"

"Ma'am, with all due respect you're not being realistic. The city is lost. We can't win and a small band of realtors are coming our way. These guys mean business. Four knights are down right now and that was just in twenty seconds."

Shiva narrowed her eyes. "Even with the armor?" she asked.

"Even with the armor..." responded Gognish.

Shiva leaped up into the air. She latched a hand onto one of the large cement blocks shielding the oncoming realtor attack force. With ease did she climb the crudely assembled wall. There she stood on top of the wall. She narrowed her eyes to see a man approaching the obstruction. Instantly, she knew who this had to be. This was their attack force? A single man? No, the colonel knew better. Still, this guy had to know the amazon squad was awaiting his arrival on the other side of the wall. If this was who she thought it was then he would have known he was for one hell of a fight. At the same time this monster of a man was probably the worst nightmare any knight could face.

The man stopped his approach. It was then that his appearance was clear to the knights standing before him with guns drawn. Shiva looked down knowing these pawns who were not even in her unit would die. That's why she placed them in front of the wall and not behind the safety of the wall. She didn't care about the lives that were soon to be lost nor about the families that would miss them. Instead, she was focused only on the beast ready to rip this manmade structure down to the ground.

One by one the knights fell with claws, teeth and with the fury and speed that some sponsored couldn't match. He was the real deal. This man couldn't help but be strong. Shiva knew that such strength ran in the family.

Nothing but red from head to toe appeared next to Shiva as the man leaped up and landed next to her on top of the wall. He places his hand onto the long range rail cannon behind him. His red trench coat and red hood that covered his head could only be complimented by the blood dripped from his claws. His stature was that of an ogre and weight was that of a tiger. His snout had gotten longer over the years and so did his gray fur. Those eyes were the eyes that put fear into the heart of this commander every time she had to look upon them.

"Brother..."

"Sister..."

"I suppose you aren't here to observe the scenery. You know the city just opened a coffee shop. Might do you some good to have a brew and chill for a while."

The creature had no interest in Shiva's humor nor did he have much desire to have her live and be a thorn in his side any longer. For years he had to hide form her. For years he had to deny that he was a brother to one of the most feared realtor hunters that ever existed. Alexander Shiva, better known as Big Red Riding Hood, or just Red, lived as a man with no family, no ties, attachments or love. He longed to have his sister next to him so that he could have somebody to love him. Instead, she deserted him. And she didn't try to find him to kill drama or bad blood. No, she wanted to find him to end his life just because of what he was.

He lifted a single claw and a muscular arm as if he wanted her to view his body. "Do you know why I ended up like this? Hmm? Ever wondered Velincia? Did it ever just cross your mind once? Ever bother you at night? Hmm? Ever made you want to just toss and turn thinking about it? Stress yourself to the point of nail biting and worrying?" he asked.

She smiled, crossed her arms and replied with, "Not at all."

"Let's just pretend like you care. Remember when we were kids and you used to read to me because people said I was slow, couldn't learn to read, write or comprehend anything everybody else could? Remember that?"

"Yes."

He smiled. Not from mockery but from a genuine memory of happiness. "I remember when you read me the story of little red riding hood. You know, how grandma got eaten, little red took the cookies and then the wolf was killed? Remember that?"

"Yes. Your point?"

That smile turned to furious stare. Even now she didn't care for him. "That was why Velincia. I loved you! I cared for you! I gave you everything a brother could give and that wasn't enough. You blamed mom and dad's death on me! They were in the car. The car crashed. End of story! How the hell is that supposed to be my fault?!"

"Dad wasn't paying attention to the road because you kept bugging him about taking you to the park. So when he turned to tell you to leave him alone for that brief moment his eyes weren't on the road and it was at that moment that he crashed into a tree. Do you know where the accident happened Alex? Hmm? At the park. You got your wish. You ended up at the park after all but at the expense of taking my mother and my father away from me. And for that I cannot forgive you."

"But where do reatlors come into all of that bullshit and nonsense you speak of? I wasn't even a realtor when it occurred. I was just a child Velincia! A child! How was I to know what I was doing?"

Shiva's patience just died. She no longer wanted to talk. She wanted this man dead. "Enough! Are we gonna end this or not? I'm sick of looking for you! Enough games Alex! This ends now!"

That's what she thought. She had no idea that realtors, just like sponsored, could grow in strength. Especially a realtor like Alex. She thought he'd just stay in his werewolf form because then he fought only out of anger and not with strategy. She always beat him but never had a chance to strike the final blow to end his life.

“Then come sister! Let us end this!” Alex yelled.

Both of them ran towards each other. Once the bodies made contact a sound that could only be compared to a sonic boom was made. Alex had more momentum and knocked Shiva off of the wall. The two landed on their feet. The beast had those claws lifted up to the chest and a growl was made. Shiva held up her fists and began jumping around in place in a kick boxer type of fighting stance.

“I’m going to kick your ass!” she threatened.

“Maybe when I was a kid. Now? You’re just a joke to me,” he responded with.

The fight would have to wait. A whole platoon of guardsmen showed up with a variety of guns from pistols to rifles held up and pointed directly at Alex. Out from the back of the firing squad came another commissioned officer except this person happened to be just a lieutenant.

There wasn’t a face to this man. Only a face shield made of a steel, copper and oxygen hybrid armor unique to Apalia. The armor was known as Apalionite 27. This armament was made so that the facial guard only revealed the eyes and blue spiky hair. Those eyes had pupils that seemed to be electrically charged with a spark in place where eye color should have been. No breathing holes were in place. Instead, there were four two inch exhaust pipes protruding out of the black knight jumpsuit that were utilized for air. The traditional right shoulder brass shoulder plate with a long red cape covering the right arm was in place. This person was part human and part machine. Wherever the black knight suit didn’t cover the body mechanical counterparts of the human body was present. The neck had spark plugs, the hands were made of Apalionite and the feet were fully metal but in the shape of boots. His signature appearance feature was a long blade made of pure electricity with a steel handle attached to it.

“Who’s the freak? Friends of yours?” Alex asked. Shiva ignored his comment. She turned to face the gunners.

“Xelic Montaine and if it isn’t the famous Big 8 infantry squad. We called for back up four hours ago. Now you show up just when we were about to clean up? You guys wouldn’t even be on time for your own funerals,” Shiva joked.

At this point Alex would either have to fight all of these military personnel or surrender. He contemplated both options. There was no way he was going to give up. He assumed a fighting stance. Death was a far better option than giving Velincia the satisfaction of finally disgracing him. Alex ran towards his own sister with his claws fully extended. Shiva didn’t expect this out of him. For all of his life Alex was the type to always take the safest option and never rushing into something he couldn’t handle.

Xelic leaped up into the sky. His body leaned back into a back flip that would extend clear over his squad. He slashed his sword once he had completed the backwards rotation. While still in the air he yelled out, “Fire at will!”

Ammunition came hurling towards the werewolf. Out of nowhere an intervention was made. Large metal objects shot up from the asphalt and blocked every bullet. Once Gognish looked closer at the objects from the top of the wall she gasped. They were metal crosses. That could only mean that the empire’s greatest knight and also the empire’s greatest traitor was present. Shiva got tackled by her brother. He mounted himself on top of his sister and raised both of his claws in striking pose.

One of the amazons responded. It was time to match beast with beast. Riveria, one of the colonel’s most trusted knights, began her metamorphosis. Her ears grew longer and came to a point the tips. Every nail became a claw. All of the skin changed into fur that was spotted in the pattern of a cheetah. A tail ripped a hole in the seat of her pants. Both of her eyes went from circles to vertical ovals. Her mouth and nose became a snout. A blur of fur moved towards the downed Shiva. Before Alex could rain down razor death upon the commander Riveria knocked the werewolf off of the woman. Both of the animal hybrids locked into a death roll of clawing, biting and growling.

“I got the left! You take right!” shouted a female voice echoing from down the street.

The directional attack pattern was announced but the instructions were relative to the front of the crowd of gunmen. The pattern was meant for an attack from behind. Every one of the knights began looking around everywhere except from their rear. For them to be military there certainly wasn’t a whole lot of firing tactics being used. This was a panicking batch of men. Most were still in shock that General Brunson clearly had to be around somewhere.

“Where did that voice come from?! Fire on anyone that shows themselves! I don’t care who it is! Kill everything that moves if it doesn’t wear our uniform!” commanded the insulted Xelic. He knew this had to be the work of Brunson.

Brilliance Gideon came from behind a tall building structure behind Big 8. She could manipulate sound waves so well that she could make it appear she was somewhere she wasn’t. This human hybrid quickly formulated a battle strategy and plan of attack. The firing squad contained four rows and four columns. Every row had a position to assume. The first row was bent down on one knee. Second row rested their rifles onto the shoulders of members of the first row while kneeling as well. As for the last two horizontal lines all but the last put rifles on the shoulders of their comrades as well. The line up was their downfall. Brilliance lifted her arm. Her forearm bone blade was fully extended. Two men were sliced at the spine and two on the first and second rows lost a head. She ran through and eliminated a column of guardsmen before these military men even knew what happened. Brilliance was instantly fired upon but she managed to find cover behind a nearly destroyed military tank.

Just as quickly as Brilliance claimed her lives a second assailant was preparing her strike as well. Samantha appeared from behind the cover of a building. The only difference between her appearance and that of Brilliance was that Samantha was a quarter of a mile away. That distance meant nothing to her. Her arm began shape shifting and making mechanical clicks and other assorted machine-like noises. Her robotic limb transformed into a large artillery styled cannon with a barrel that was longer than Samantha’s body. Two thin metal legs shot out from underneath the rifle but remained attached to the weapon itself. The ordinance launcher was elevated at a ninety degree angle pointing towards the sky.

“I really hope you guys get out of there,” she said to herself. Brunson instructed her to fire even if her comrades were in the direct line of fire.

Sam opened fire. Large shells of ammunition came flying out of the barrel. Every knight and guard looked to the skies. This was a mortar strike. No matter how powerful any one of them claimed to be none of them was willing to try to stop a speeding bomb. Riveria and Alex moved out of the killzone at inhuman speeds. Gognish grabbed Shiva and pulled her up to her feet. The mind reader presented a telekinetic barrier that would protect both herself and her commander. Xelic’s body became pure electricity and he zipped through metal objects in the form of static teleportation. As for Brilliance the escape wasn’t so easy for her since she could not use a special way of transportation.

“Incoming! Get down!” shouted one of the guardsmen. Every soldier on the field of battle dropped to the asphalt. The amazons on top of the wall tried climbing down ladders.

“Shit!” Brilliance exclaimed. She was trying to run as fast as she could. In a normal situation her speed was still greater than the average human. But she wouldn’t be fast enough to dodge the explosion. She ran right past Brunson who was standing on top of the building she originally used to launch her sneak attack.

Brunson knew that if he shouted out to Brilliance that the sound of the incoming mortar rounds would drown out his voice. He took matters into his own hands. Two ankle sized crosses came out of the ground and tripped Brilliance up. The former general then encased her in a wall of hundreds of metal crosses to serve as a makeshift bunker. As for Brunson himself he didn’t care to try to get out of the way of the blast. Instead, his skin changed from the normal to fully metallic with a silver glow. He got a front row seat to see the devastation that Samantha would cause.

Once her rounds hit the ground destruction came. Vehicles were blown up into the sky. Body parts were flew around. Weapons were broken. Screaming and muffled cries for help could be heard. Even Brunson was impressed. It wasn’t easy to impress him. He ended up being thrown ten stories into the ground. He was undamaged thanks his metal coating. Sam’s power must have been growing. The older she got the stronger her weapons would be. Not a single guardsmen was left. Only Shiva, Gognish, Alex, Riveria, Brilliance, Brunson, Xelic and Samantha were left on the battlefield.

“Zach!” shouted the general.

The imp robot boy appeared like a lizard as he made himself visible. He was clinging onto the side of a building only a block away from the action. He was able to augment his body into any hard surface and even camouflage himself into that very surface. His body made contact with the ground after he detached himself from the side of the building. Zach ran towards Brunson on all fours. Once he reached his friend he helped Brunson up to a vertical base.

“Zach, I need for you to hack that rail cannon. It’s a computerized weapons system so it shouldn’t be a big problem,” Brunson said.

The boy was confused. “So then explain to me again why we attacked the royal guard? You could’ve asked me to go silent and hack the cannon myself. Sure, I would see some resistance once the royals learned that their cannon had a mind of its own but it certainly wouldn’t have been the mess we just witnessed,” the imp said.

“You won’t understand because you don’t see the bigger picture. In the end you wouldn’t have been able to hack the weapon and keep it in your control if we didn’t clear the area first. We’ll hold off the royals. Just remember that we need that cannon Zach. We need to end this war,” the general explained.

There was still some confusion. “If we just mortared the shit out of the royals then why do we have any need for the cannon? I don’t get it,” Zach countered with.

The general didn’t want to explain to Zach just who it was he was really after. Royals guards and everything the empire could throw at him wasn’t his concern. His worries were tied to the real reason why the emperor felt that every realtor had to die. Brunson knew something that his battle party didn’t know. The real enemy wasn’t the royals. It was never the royals.

The End

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