I immediately raised my crossbow and fired off a bolt nailed the guy in the eye. Two more men followed and both took a bullet to the face by Noah. Noah and I turned back to rush to Mira "I'm okay..."she said as she eased herself up. "It caught the edge of my mask...I guess it knocked me back. I am thankful that Father had made these tough." She looked up and rubbed her head, the bullet/mask had nicked here, barely missing her temple.
Forgive me for sounding cliché but for a second it felt like time froze as I analyzed her face. Her left side was very fair skinned something that I kind of expected given her nationality but the other side...
The right side of her face was horribly burned, almost blackened.
I snapped back to reality as Mira looked away, not saying anything. I went to pick up her mask. I guess it was the only way I could think to change the subject. "Hey..it looks like your mask is pretty much intact if you want to put it back-"
One of the men hobbled up, the bullet just missing his brain I guess. He made a staggering charge at us with some kind of crudely made explosive in his hand. We all hauled it out of the room and the man followed and tossed the bomb before his body finally gave out. We made it to the door and Noah shoved us down, diving with us as it went off.
I looked up at Mira and grinned "That was a close one...I can't believe this shit is common for you guys." She looks up and actually cracked a smile before realizing we had left her mask behind. She looked away in shame. "What are you looking away for?" I chuckled. "If it's your face, don't worry about it. I've seen worse."
Okay, those weren't exactly the best words that I could have chosen.
Noah panted heavily "Good, you two are okay..." he said as he stumbled forward. We looked and saw that his back was shredded up. I could only speculate that chunks of shrapnel had flown over him as he dove. I saw that there were a couple tiny bits stuck in him. "Don't worry, I'm fine...this is nothing..." he said. We slipped out of the side door. Noah used Mira as crutch while tried to take out who we could. Eventually I had to abandon my crossbow because I ran out of bolts and went with my trench spike (trying to go for non-fatal stabs and punches with the handle) while Mira and Noah took turns using the firearms.
We wound up trapped in the warehouse next door, holed up in a corner. I was exhausted and the realization that I killed at least one person (again) was starting to hit me hard. My hands were shaking so much that I could barely hold my weapon in my hand. I felt like my body was about to give out on me. I got to admit I didn't expect to be dodging bullets at any point so it wasn't exactly something I had put in my training regime to prepare myself for. Granted, I wasn't exactly one to complain at the moment. Noah had taken his mask off by this point and was ghastly pale. He looked like he was going to pass at any second. All that was really left was Mira at this point and she had was her sword. I laughed and whispered "Does this happen often?"
Noah looked up "Not too often...We're normally better prepared" he said with a weak laugh and pointed at me "We also don't take newbies on a mission like this..."
We heard footsteps coming down the hall. "I'm not going out like this..." I said, mustering up what strength I had left. "Mira...you still got some fighting spirit left? I figure if we go down, we go down fighting."
"Of course." she said "I am trained for these kind of situations."
Noah groaned and waved a hand "Don't worry about me, I'll catch up."
As soon as the source of the footsteps came by, I slugged him with the handle of my trench spike, making him stagger enough for Mira to land a killing blow. A shot rang out on the darkness of the hallway and whizzed right past us. More of them rang out and forced Mira and I to split up. I slipped through a series of rooms, hoping to come up behind them when I felt something press against me.
"Drop it." one of the militiamen commanded, pressing the barrel of his firearm against me. "Look, I'm just a runner who got dragged into this. I'm on your side." I said trying to reason with him and make him lower his guard."
"Bullshit you are. You are just as bad as them!"
"Those proxies, or what ever they are called! You runners are a curse to anyone who crosses your path They either see that faceless guy or they become collateral damage!" he said
"And I take it the same happened to you..." I said before he shoved me to the ground
"My whole family is dead because of you!" He said as the barrel pressed on my skull. I peeked out of the corner of my eye to see that it was just a completely average guy. Your family man. The guy you would pass by on street and pay no real attention to. "If all of you are dead...there will be nobody else who has to suffer!"
"That's fucking stupid!!!" I shouted. Okay, telling a guy with gun that he is wrong is a death wish, but it slipped. "You seriously think that It is just going to stop if nobody knows about It? Killing runners...or even Proxies for that matter won't solve a thing! It's just going to continue causing pain and suffering.."
"You shut your fucking mouth!"
"If you believed that then you would have already shot me!"
For the tiniest moment, I felt the gun lift up from me. "I-"
That was all the man uttered before a good chunk of head blew up, splattering me with blood and (what I think was) bone and brain matter. The man's body fell with a thud as another one came up.
He was quite tall, well-built, and looked like he was made to be a soldier. The combat pants and boots (surprisingly non-camo) with a tight short-sleeved shirt and open vest. The notable thing that I remember is that his hair looked like it was naturally pushed back and spiked, accompany by a goatee. He bent down to help me up, with little assistance on my part. "How ya doin' kid?" he said in voice that had slight gravelly sound to it. "You're Chris, the ah...what was it...the Raggedyman, right?" Still trying to take in everything that had happened in that brief instant, all I could do was give a nod. With a heavy slap on the back, he grinned "Don't worry, we're the good guys." he said. We suddenly heard gunfire erupt and I made a run for where I had split off with Mira but the man held me back. "Take it easy, that's the rest of us." A masked man walked into the room "Hey, is everything o-?" he trailed off when we made eye contact.. His height and the short sword he was carrying were dead giveaways for me. He saw me and shouted "You?!?"
It was Charlie.
The tall kid ran towards me grabbed my collar "How are you not dead yet?!"
"I'm lucky. How are you still talking without a tongue?" I remembered how the Grigori had sent me Charlie's tongue as an 'apology' for his murder attempt on me.
"I got a new one!" I also remembered how The Grigori mentioned that Charlie was the only one who had been a full fledged Proxy before becoming one of his Eyes. So, Slendermagic I guess.
The man cut in between us "Take it easy Charlie. We're on mission, remember?" he said as the sounds of chaos continued to grow. I wasn't in the right position to judge whether I could trust them or not so I decided to keep going along with everything. What else could I do? I pointed them out to where Mira and I had left Noah and the man sent Charlie to get him.
The man and I made our way out of the warehouse, where most of the fighting was now taking place. It was an all out firefight but most of the militiamen were being picked off easily by only a handful of masked individuals.
The man was phenomenal, taking out anyone who came towards him with a single shot each. I felt my body finally give out as I slipped back into the corner into the warehouse, watching out of the side as the rest of the fight went down. The militia was getting hacked up, shot up, I think in one case even blown up.
I know that I blacked out for a brief moment but when I came to, the last of men were being picked off.
Mira ran out with her sword ready to strike when she saw us . She gasped and a smile curled on her face when she saw the man. "Mr. Devereaux!" she said with so much joy that if the circumstances were a little more appropriate, I'm pretty sure she would've ran up and hugged him. "What are you doing here?"
"Your Father asked that I come here personally." he said. I looked up at Mira and asked who he was.
"He is the man who taught me everything I know about combat." she said as she sheathed her sword.
"Warren Devereaux, pleasure to meet ya'." he said as he offered his hand for a shake. Another one of the Eyes, a young redhead, eased herself down from the roof of one of the warehouses. As soon as set her sniper rifle down ever so gently, she showed that she did not have the amount of restraint that Mira had and ran up to hug the other girl from behind.
"I'm so happy to see that you're okay." the girl said in an Irish brogue as she gave Mira a tight squeeze. She looked at me and cocked her head to the side "This is the person you and Noah are suppose to be keepin' an eye on? Hmm...he looks...well, he doesn't look like much."
"Thank you...I'm flattered." running my memory past one of Noah's post I said "So, forgive me for stereotyping but I'm going to assume that you are Catherine."
"Correct!" she said cheerily and looked down at Mira. "Hey, where's Noah?"
Noah was being helped out by Charlie, who had taken his mask off as well revealing a young black guy. He still had his hoodie up so I couldn't make out much else about him. A couple of Eyes helped him onto a stretcher. "So you guys made it out? Great." he said and laughed "Oh wow, Catherine and Warren are here too. It's a party."
"Oh indeed it is Noah." a very familiar voice chimed in.
It was the leader of the Eyes himself.