Normal days, just go out of control sometimes.
Dallas, Texas; Local Time; 3:41pm, Friday, 13th of May, 2033
"Shane, did you order this?"
I look up to see mom holding a box about two feet wide and half as long held under one arm. I was helping fix up the tv they had gotten... oh which was a 56" wall mounted tv, my mom had never been good with electronics and even in twenty years she hasn't improved, though the claws made it a little harder, considering she was a dragon and all.
"Is it from Alex?" she looks and and replies with "Yes" I slide backwards away from the tv and get up.
"Wonder why it came to you... but yes I ordered it from him." I say as I stretch my wings and arms... yes wings, I'm a dragon, what do you expect? The wide open space allows me to reach my full span before folding them back up, the solid black was in contrast to the white walls and ceiling, which by the way was about 30 feet high, big enough for dad to raise his head almost all the way up, a quadruped's neck wasn't designed to reach up high like that so he didn't even really need to, but they were like that anyway. Mom hands me the package and I run a razor-sharp claw along the tape and open the box... yep just what I ordered, a miniaturised computer that most quadrupeds had strapped to their forearm.
"Alex pulled out all the stops on this one." it was a black cover with ambient lightning bordering it, I flick open the cover to see the keys, still metal reinforced and the screen, there was no power for it now but if it did it would be a touch screen interface. I lay it over my left arm and see that the grip would fit, the straps even matched the black of my scales, almost blending in. I put it back in the box and set it on the small table next to the couch, needed to get that charging so I could use it.
"I'm surprised you got one Shane, don't you already have the laptop I saw earlier?"
"Yeah, I do, but really, I can't carry that thing to and from missions... Imagine if I had to carry that thing during the Arkansas raid eight years ago." Details aside, it was an attack by psychos that came very close to succeeding... and was messy to say the least.
"Point made, is the tv hooked up?"
"No, I still have to wire the stupid-"
My cell-phone ringing cut me off, I get an annoyed look on my face as I flip it out of my jeans and look at it... Brett, why is he calling? I unlock the claw-friendly screen and hold the phone up to my ear.
"Why are you calling me Brett?"
"Shane, um sir-"
"I'm off duty FNG what is it?" I basically told him to just shut up call me by name and explain, he was one of the new wall guards I was having to train.
"There is a large group of psychos over by the west side." I suddenly get more serious...
"Two dozen at least..."
"Two minutes, PFC, I'll be there." I quit the call and put the phone away.
"Work calls again, sorry. Say hi to dad for me." I grab the box and run off the balcony, which was big enough for a 40 foot dragon to land on, I snap open my wings and do a sharp U-turn mid-air and back wing down six stories to my balcony. I grab the rail and brace a foot against the bottom as I fold my wings, then hop over the railing, I toss the box on the table and head into my room, Bullet looks up lazily from the bed as I rush in before putting it back down and going back to sleep. A steel cabinet sat in the back of the closet, which I open to reveal armour and several guns. I grab the solid black plate carrier and put it on, I hated trying to get my wings through the tiny slits for them, but better to have steel protecting me rather than relying on just my plates and scales. I grab a shoulder plate/pad and strap it on the right side, it was the only thing that identified my rank as lieutenant, I change out of my jeans and put on baggy black cargos with dual thigh holsters for a pistol.
-This is the most eventful thing in years!- Zael... he's been quiet today.
-Yeah, well remember that RPG a few weeks ago?-
-So what if it came within a foot of hitting us? Didn't help them in the end... anyway it's time for guns.-
I take out two Mk.42 silenced pistols and holster them, dragons tended to not deal with the loud sound of a gun well, so silencers were standardised in all draconic weaponry. I pull out some extra clips and a Kross 12-inch blade that I sheath on the back of my belt. I turn and run out the balcony and take flight towards the west wall, if I needed a bigger gun the armory was on this side as well. I get high enough to see past the wall... I didn't see any infected rushing the wall... so why did he call me? I see a few drakes running along the wall with no real urgency, but one in particular, who's green scales and four white horns that made him stand out on the wall. Brett was standing towards the trees out there with his old M39-EBR scoping something out there. I land hard and he almost jumps off the edge...
"Why did you call me if we aren't under attack? Because I recall telling all you recruits not to bother me unless it was important." I say with the calm voice that stated that I was pissed.
He hands me the rifle and point out toward the clearing. I take it and say...
"I thought Ray was bringing in the new rifles today?"
"Cancelled, his kid's getting married today." What the...
"Since when was Adam engaged?" I hadn't heard from that kid in a while, I saved his life once... but that's a story for another time.
"Hey they sprung it on his dad yesterday. Will you just look at the treeline sir?"
I raise the scope to my eye and move it slowly, scanning for psychos... didn't have to look for long, I saw them, most where hiding... or at least trying to, it was good effort but they stuck out to my eyes, I unfocus my eyes and everything takes on a blue hue through the scope except for the infected, which their body heat showed them exactly where they are... I counted two and a half dozen, with a few stragglers approaching the group of hiders.
"What do we have here..." I mumble under my breath, as I see one carrying a gun, looked like an old and poorly conditioned M4, he seemed to be making them hide... trying to hide a bunch of twitchy, bloodthirsty psychopaths doesn't work well. I switch back to the normal spectrum.
"How long have they been here?"
"An hour... there was a lot less then, sir." God I hated being called sir, made me feel old and like an ass. The average dragon life expectancy (mostly guesswork) was 254 years so yeah, sir is an annoying title to me.
"This isn't right..." I put the scope up to my eye again and sight the one with the M4, I Slow my breathing and aim just above his head, and pull the trigger.
The scope barley moves as I see the psycho's head get a hole straight through the middle. The others act confessedly for a second, I take the opening and take three more down in rapid succession, two head shots and blow out one guy's heart. The rest scramble away, sadly they were smart enough not to rush us... otherwise we could use the auto cannons mounted along the wall at regular intervals, except for the south side, which had several, and more along the round to guard our food fields. I lower the rifle and hand it back to him.
"They come back, pop a few skulls, see if that don't get them running... tell the other guards to keep an eye out for this, psychos don't wait unless they have a target coming to them... something is up." He goes off with that "Sir" again and starts relaying it through the radio he had clipped on his belt. If I went this far might as spend the rest of the day on the job. I leap off towards the armoury, I land in front of a single storied building, I walk in and greet the hydra in charge of the admin to the building, she was wearing black slacks and a simple red T-shirt over her red scales. Two of the heads where working on paperwork while the middle one just stared out into space, only the middle head had a horn, which ran up the middle.
"Hello Shane, I thought you were off today."
I sigh and say "I was, PFC Brett called something strange and I went and checked it out, turns out a small group of infected were gathering at the forest to the west. Took care of the problem, and now since I bothered with all of it I'm just going to treat this like another workday." The side heads glanced at me when I said infected. I grab the pad and signed my name onto the entry list. and head around to the elevator on the right that had "Authorised personnel only" written on the left door. I hold down the button, and wait for the hydra to hit the corresponding button under the desk. She does and the elevator dings open. I step inside and push the 3 button on the panel, I start going down as soon as the door closes. Most of the place was underground.
"I hate this music... why did they keep it?" That annoying elevator music, no matter how hard I try just keeps grinding on my nerves. The elevator slows and stops and the door opens to reveal a set of offices to the right and on the left was mostly a digital map of Texas, showing the human and dragon cities and "hotspots" of infected activity. I walk across the room to the door and open it, I see the gun cage and the quartermaster sitting there with a bored look on his face, he sees me and raises all four arms...
"Shane! You aren't supposed to be workin' today, what happened?" He was maybe 7 foot eight and his dull gold scales seem to glow in the lighting, a mane of spikes made its way down between his shoulders, so he didn't wear shirts, but he had the standard fatigues on. I relay the events to him and he snorts as I finish.
"You had to shoot them first... kid's too timid, get him to live target practice more."
"I'm no miracle worker Casey." He chuckles at this and says...
"Really? Don't you remember the Arkansas-"
"Yeah, I remember man. but that was killing psychos and blowing stuff up, try training recruits sometime, you'll see what I mean."
"Ha! I'd rather stay here in my cage with all these beauties."
"Hey, before I forget, since when did Adam get freaking engaged?"
"It surprised me as much as you, so I don't know, your better off asking him yourself."
I shrug and say "I'll ask him after the wedding, see ya man."
I head back out and head out into the offices, there was only maybe five people actually here, the other fifteen cubicles were empty, I walk down the row towards the black door in the wall, which led to the private offices, namely general Alexander and a few others, including mine... if I ever decide to use it. I go past them and knock on the general's door.
"Come in, Lieutenant." He always new it was me, maybe it was the cameras, maybe it's cause I actually talk to the dragon when I have time to kill.
"So what is it this time?" He asks as he swivels towards me on his leather chair.
"Infected by the west wall, guy didn't shoot but instead called me."
"And they were attacking the wall the entire time?"
"No, they where doing something odd..." I sit down in the chair across from him and continue...
"They were waiting, out in the treeline... for what I don't know, but they only hide if the target is coming towards them... so it's pretty uncharacteristic for psychos to just sit and wait."
"You never know, bastards could wise up, but if they haven't in eighteen years they are never going to... was there an agitator?" He was referring to the first guy I headshot, I nod my head.
"Then it's just one little group then, we haven't seen any major activity since The Arkansas raid, either they have gotten too weak or dis-" He was cut off as the intercom buzzed.
"Sir, we have reports of an infected in the sewers!" says a gruff voice I recognised... it was one of my RIA (Reaction Infiltration and Assault) squad, who's name was Tomas.
He hits the intercom button "How long!?"
"Two minutes ago, Drake saw a manhole get moved and he ran over to see what he reported to be a "Blue-skinned psycho" sir." Blue-skinned? Ooookay, my day just got weird.
"Looks like I have something for you to do lieutenant, go and check it out with the rest of your squad, I'll have them meet you at the location. Also get some gear from the cage." And what he meant by gear was a blue-tooth ear-piece, mag-light, and several flash-bangs. Casey already has it ready when I walk in, I set the piece into my left ear and press a button and it turns on, the mic letting off a blue glow. I clip the light to my belt along with three flash-bangs. I was about to leave when Casey says...
"We have new swords in stock so-"
"The last time I got a sword it broke after five strikes, what is to make these any different?" He pulls one out of it's five foot sheath, it was like a cross between a machete and a katana, the top edge was serrated at the back, and space ran along the middle. He moves it around for a few seconds before sheathing it and sliding it under the bars.
"Take it anyway, I don't care if you use it or not, but it's better to have it and not need it than-"
"Yeah, yeah... but why do I need a sword when I've got this?" I pull out the Kross and flip it expertly and sheath it before grabbing the sword, I strap the sheath on, it had a double strap so it could balance between my wings without it slamming into them... I didn't really need the sword but he was right about having it. I finally get out and fly there and see the street mostly empty, Tomas was lounging against the wall, his blue scales shining in the light, the drake was tall (9 foot 7) and even more powerfully built than other drakes, what he couldn't crush with his hands he blasted apart with a modified spaz-12.
"No, quiet since the panicking drake was dragged away."
"Did he really see someone with blue skin?"
"I don't know for all he knew he was staring at a turner." Turner is what is called a human who found out he had the genetic markers to become a dragon, and found a way to turn into one, it was sad, because usually they ended up shunned by their former species, humans hated and feared us dragons, and they usually didn't have anyone on this side... but for them to live in the sewers?
"Didn't we seal all the outside sewer tunnels with concrete?" I ask
"That we did, but that was 12 years ago, the psychos are clever freaks, they might have come up with something or found a entrance we missed." Entrance we miss... SHIT!
"That maybe the reason, the infected got in through an way we didn't know about, I saw others gathering outside the walls in the treeline a while back..." He gets the message and he steps away from the wall as his eyes widen...
"We need to go down there now! If they have a way in..." He didn't need to say it twice, but something needed to be done first... I place my finger on the comms piece...
"This is Solus, RIA 2 team leader, all units sound-off."
First was Kristen "Kristen reporting in."
Followed by Michael "Michael here."
Then came the taur, Keith "Keith reporting."
"All of you, new orders, search the sewers for possible entry point for infected, and terminate any hostiles." A chorus of rodgers signal that they got the message, only Keith wouldn't be able to search the sewers because of his size, but I order him to go around the walls and make sure the infected didn't try anything.
"Tomas let's go." I pull out one of the Mk.42s and descend down the ladder halfway, before falling the rest of the way.
-Alright, let's go hunting blue crazies!-
-I'm surprised you aren't begging for control.-
-i'm just going to sit back and watch this time, So keep sharp!- I use the mag light and spot the box that controls the string of lights along the tunnel walls. I flick it on and the entire chain explodes bulb after bulb, I see it heading toward the box and I back away and cover my face with an arm as the box exploded in a shower of sparks, Tomas jumps down and says...
"What was that?"
"Light box, something overloaded the line. You take that way and I'll hunt this direction."
He nods and moves along into the darkness, he had perfect night vision so he didn't need a light to help him see... but neither did I. I unfocus my eyes and the world takes on that same blue glow, I could tell the walls from the floors and such enough to make my way down, something odd happened as I could see hot spots flash in my vision, just little flashes like burning paper was floating in the air.
-This is new.-
-Did I ever tell you that you say that to often?-
-Twice, still might want to watch your step.- I almost tumble into the canal of sewage.
-Warned you.- I keep going and the particles in my vision get stronger... then I see it.
It looked remotely human based on the heat signature, but I didn't see his feet, they were just cold spots there... then I see the others, humans... particularly infected, rushing my position! Seven came from behind and another three came at me from the front! I rip a flash-bang of my belt, pull the pin and toss it down, covering my ears and looking away. The deafening BANG still hurt my ears but the as I open my eyes I see everyone else blinded and holding their head, I pull out my second Mk.42 and start firing, they all dropped in seconds, I pop out both mags and go to reload when I get tackled and go rolling with what hit me, but I manage to get a foot under him and kick, it goes flying up and hits the ceiling with a loud CRACK before coming down on top of me, I roll and get back up I switch back to inferred vision to see it was that one odd one, I swap out and use my mag light to illuminate it... what the F***?
-Don't even say it!-
-What the hell do you wan't me to say then, oh look! It's a mutant!-
-We don't know what the hell this is so shut up.-
I look, yep blue skin... but that's not the weird part, he had hooves for his feet, I stand up and look at the others I had taken down, only one other had the same features, plus all their clothes where too new to be standard infected... what the hell is going on here? I grab my guns and switch back to inferred, even though my head was starting to hurt from the strain, I keep moving and the particles get even stronger, It was obvious whatever was causing this was down the tunnel to my left, I switch back to normal vision and use the mag-light as I head down and hang a left to see a swirling portal of light...
-You know, the odds of this...-
-Aren't very high I know.- I step closer... it was just there, right in the middle of the tunnel!
I get within a few feet and stare into the light, I hear someone try to say something in my ear-piece but the sound of the portal blocked most of it out... what I did hear was screaming come from behind me, I duck and dive to the left, just as something passes by my head. I leap back to see a psycho there with a sledgehammer in his hands, he was a big guy with a tattered military outfit...
The psycho threw the hammer back into the portal and pulled out a m67 fragmentation grenade, I don't give him time to pull the pin as I tackle him through the portal, the grenade flying from his hand before we go through.
I expected the portal to have some kind of feeling, but it was just like going through normal air, but it was over in seconds, and I we go sliding across the steel floor, away from each other. I get up to a crouch and reach for my guns, only to find that they went sliding across the floor as well, and they were out of reach...
"DIE DRAGON!" He screams as he picks up a steel office chair from a nearby table and chucked it at me, Adrenaline was coursing through my body now and a sudden surge of rage made the world seem to slow. I sidestep the flying chair and grab the edge of a steel table, spin, and letting out a full roar I launch the table at him, twice as fast. He doesn't have time to move as the table edge crashes full-force into his head... I could almost see the bones in his face break from the impact, he goes flying back with the table banging across the floor and sliding across the ground... and stays still, almost certainly dead. I let out a breath and was about to take a look at my surroundings when something slams into the back of my neck, I see stars and a flash of darkness as I fall to one knee... I whirl around to have something crack me right between the eyes and the world goes black...