Wednesday, 29 May 2013

The Diary - Part 3

Unit 1 decided to radio back to the UK. Then again, neither of the squad argued against it. The loss of Unit 3 had shaken them all.
"This is Unit 1 of squad J-14," Unit 1 said into the microphone built into his helmet, "We're requesting immediate evacuation from Tehran. We need to have more squads to defeat the zombies and a hit squad for a being known as The Dark Shadow. Get in touch with the English Sanctuary and see what they know. Maybe bring in some of them. Spectre has said all of his squad has been destroyed and Unit 2 of our squad is down. We need assistance. Over."
"Roger that Unit 1," was the reply from England, "We will send helicopters and a hit squad immediately. Just remain in your current location."
"Negative," Unit 1 said, "We need to keep moving."
"We will send assistance to your location - make sure you're there in about five hours."
"Roger that."
He cut the connection.
"Ok," Unit 2 said, "So we have five hours with that creature around. Should be easy, right?"
"Not if it's hunting us," Tara pointed out, "It knows we exist. The best thing we can do is just keep moving, like Unit 1 said."
"We should get going," Unit 1 responded, "We need to make the most of the daylight. It has a weakness to light so won't be able to come out. We need to scout around, kill every zombie we see and make it back here in five hours."
"How much ammo do you have?" Unit 2 asked, "I'm running low on my M4."
"Same," said Unit 1. Unit 4 nodded too, "We'll have to switch to our sidearms soon. Take Tara's shotgun, it has lots of ammunition and it'll take a while before we run out."
Unit 2 grabbed the shotgun, broke it and then fitted ammunition into the barrels. He clicked it back into place, fully loaded.
"Let's go," said Unit 1.

The zombies had moved since the night before. There were many more of them on the streets but they only took a short amount of time to dispatch, especially with the shotgun which was rather powerful and one round to the head took out about three zombies, if aimed right.
There was definitely something weird happening. The zombies were much faster than normal and their diseased bodies were running at about normal human pace. Their eyes were glowing a black colour.
"It's like what they were doing when The Dark Shadow was about," Unit 2 said.
"Keep your eyes open, and shoot it on sight," Unit 1 pointed out, "It is dangerous - trust me."
"It sounds it," Tara responded, "It sounds like the thing that was chasing me."
"Why would it be after you?" Unit 2 asked, "You're just normal. There's no reason..."
Tara shrugged, "I don't know."
A zombie screached and ran towards them. It had its arms outstretched and muscles clenched, as if it was ready to kill them. Unit 4 took out his pistol and shot it in the head, twice. It dropped at their feet.
"We need a mode of transport," Unit 1 said, "Who is the best driver?"
"Hey, I know it sounds weird," said Unit 2, "But Unit 4 is one hell of a driver. I saw him during the course. He holds the SOS record for the track - and he did it in his own car instead of one of the Vauxhalls. What is it you have... a 1980 VW Scirocco?"
Unit 4 nodded.
"And what is the top speed, 89mph?"
Another nod.
"See? He managed to beat the record in that - no offense - crap car, when the rest of us had decent ones. He should drive."
"Anyone object to Unit 4 driving?"
No one said anything.
"Congratulations 4, you can drive us around. Any choice in car? There are plenty around here."
Unit 4 studied the parked cars carefully. There were several sports cars - they were in a rather rich part of Tehran - but they wouldn't be good. They only had two seats.
Then he found a perfect one. A black BMW M5. He pointed to it.
"And now we have a car," Tara said, "Great."
Unit 1 took the square device out of his pocket. He aimed the circle on the side at the BMW then clicked a button on the top.
The doors unlocked themselves and the engine started rumbling.
"Ok, everyone in."

Unit 4 managed to navigate around every single zombie stood in the road at a speed of about sixty miles per hour. Like Unit 2 had pointed out, he was an amazing driver. He handled the steering wheel with expert precision and the BMW flowed around the street corners as if its natural state was to turn.
Unit 1 was sat in the passenger's seat and the rest filled up the back. They all had their weapons ready.
They passed underneath a large dusty-white skyscraper. Unit 2 looked out of the back window.
"Uh, guys..." Unit 2 said.
"What?" Unit 1 responded curiously.
"The building is kind of... collapsing. 4, go faster!"
Unit 4 stamped on the accelerator and the car started speeding down the road. There was a groaning noise as the reinforced concrete structure began to fall. Bricks and other debris were falling from it. Luckily the supports were only gone from one side, so it was falling rather slowly due to the fact the other two supporters were putting up a good fight from the other side.
They, however, could not cope.
The building finally gave away. It collapsed on to the road just behind them in the BMW with a very loud bang. Most of the building shattered upon impact. Glass smashed, bricks were crushed and a large cloud of dust was kicked up into the atmosphere.
"Nice driving, 4," Unit 1 said, "I wonder what the fuck that was."
"Uh, guys..." said Unit 2 again, "We need to leave. Now."
Tara looked out of the back window. A large, twisting cloud of black shadow was creeping towards them, hovering about ten metres above the ground.
"Go!" she yelled as The Dark Shadow set off in hot pursuit. Unit 4 pressed his foot down on the accelerator and the wheels spun, making a small cloud of smoke before the car jetted forward.
4 twisted the steering wheel left and right to avoid several zombies in the middle of the road.
The shadow was catching up to them.
Unit 2 wound down his window and started shooting at the shadow with his M4. It still didn't slow down. In fact, it was catching up to them.
His gun clicked empty.
"Right. That's it. I'm out of bullets in my rifle," 2 pointed out, drawing his pistol from its holster.
The shadow swooped down so the lower half of it was touching the road.
"It must have adapted!" Tara shouted above the roaring engine, "It couldn't survive in light! It's midday! Something must have changed!"
Unit 2 started firing bullets from his pistol.
4 spun the steering wheel to the right and took a ninety degree corner at about a hundred and sixty miles per hour. The wheels screached in protest but he kept the BMW under control. Not even the rear end of it skidded out of line.
The shadow still followed. The first tendrils of smoke attached themselves to the back of the BMW. This prompted Unit 2 to ditch his pistol once it clicked empty and began firing the MP5A3 in short bursts. All the bullets hit their target, though none did any damage.
"It's got on to the car!" Tara shouted.
Unit 4 stepped on the brake. The car did an emergency stop, slowing down from around a hundred and fifty to zero in a matter of metres. They were all thrown forward - including The Dark Shadow. It was flung over the top of the car and landed on the road.
"Ha! Nice one!" Unit 1 pointed out, as 4 turned a corner and pushed his foot all the way down on the accelerator again, after changing gear back to first.
The shadow seemed to recover as soon as they had turned the corner and flew after them.
"It's still after us," Unit 2 pointed out, reloading his pistol.
It was moving a lot faster than they were.
Unit 4 turned another corner at such a speed that not even he could fully control the BMW. The back end swung outwards and bounced off the corner of a building. It took a large chunk out of the concrete, and also the body work. 4 lost control. He tried to steady the car with a twist of a steering wheel but he had to brake to avoid colliding with a street light. He turned the wheel in the opposite direction so the BMW skidded to a halt.
He changed gear back to first again and pushed his foot down on the accelerator. But he was too slow. The shadow latched on to the back of the car and the black smoke started dissipating, becoming more solid and tendril-like.
A large blob of shadow smashed through the back window. Unit 4 tried to shake it off but didn't manage to. He changed gear and the car's engine lowered in pitch in appreciation.
The shadow attached itself to Unit 2's helmet. 2 tried to pull himself away but it was too strong. He was yanked out of the back window and was enveloped by The Dark Shadow.
"Bloody son of a..." Unit 1 yelled. He smashed the window with the muzzle of his M4 and started shooting. Unit 4 swung the car around a corner, slightly too wide. But he had meant to do that.
The shadow, still attached to the car, was sling-shotted into a shop. Unit 2 became visible and landed just next to the car in a heap.
Unit 1 opened his door and ran over to Unit 2. His helmet was cracked slightly and his feet were gone. All that was left was his legs and two bloody stumps, where white bone protruded.
Luckily he was unconscious.
The shadow leaped out of the shop, fully formed. Its triangular white eyes were creased into a snarl. Unit 1 opened the back door and put Unit 2 next to Tara. He shut the back door then opened the front and climbed back into the BMW.
Unit 4 made the car speed off down the road. But he was too slow, yet again. The Dark Shadow had attached itself to Tara's door.
"Helloooooo," it hissed at her, "I've been searching for you for a long timeeee."
"Catch!" Unit 1 shouted, throwing her the shotgun she had been found with. She caught it, swung it around and pulled the trigger. The recoil made the gun hit the roof and she ended up hitting herself in the face. But it had the desired effect. The Dark Shadow's face was torn up by the shotgun round and it screached, but didn't let go of the BMW. The tendrils of shadow wrapped themselves together again on its face.
Tara screamed as it flung the door off and reached for her with a razor sharp shadow.
Unit 4 opened his door as he swung the car around a corner. The metal hit The Dark Shadow and knocked it off-balance, meaning the shadow only sliced a shallow cut on her cheek instead of ripping her head in half.
"Ahhhhhh," it said with a sharp grin, "Unit 4, the silent oneeeee."
"On my count, jump!" said Unit 1 to Tara and 4. They both nodded in response.
The shadow hit Unit 4 in the head with a wall of darkness. It didn't seem to have any effect, though. The helmet absorbed almost all of the impact.
He swung the BMW around a corner and braked slightly to slow the car down to thirty miles per hour.
1 opened Unit 2's door and swung him out.
Then, Unit 1 and Tara opened their doors and leaped out. They landed on the road, rolling slightly before coming to a stop.
Unit 4 hoped Tara wasn't injured. He didn't jump, however. He had an idea.
Instead of slowing down, he increased the speed of the BMW. The Dark Shadow leaped on to the front of a car and screamed at him. 4 drew his pistol, and fired twice.
The first hit the shadow in the face, making it jerk back slightly. The second he hit the hinge on his open door and he jumped out.
The car door fell off as he did. Unit 4 landed on it on his stomach. Sparks flew as it slid down the road.
The BMW crashed into a telegraph pole. The Dark Shadow was still stuck on the front as the metal was crushed and shadows were scattered everywhere. As Unit 4 came to a stop, he heard a scream from the shadow as its body became more damaged than even the car.
Unit 1 and Tara jogged up to him. He climbed off the door and noticed that Unit 1 was carrying the severely injured Unit 2.
"Woah," said Unit 1, "That was A-Team shit right there."
Unit 4 cocked his head, not understanding the reference.
"Get into a flanking formation. We need to surround the shadow," Unit 1 said, laying Unit 2 down against a building then raising his rifle. Unit 4 nodded and raised his, too.
They advanced towards the ruined car. Smoke was billowing out of the engine and the shadow seemed to be stuck between the car and the post, despite the fact they were touching. It wasn't moving. Its head was resting against the front of the car.
"I think," Unit 1 said, "I think you've just killed it."
They moved either side of the fallen shadow. Still, it did not move.
Unit 1 put a bullet in its head. It flinched from the impact of the bullet and still it did not move a muscle. 1 stepped closer towards it, drew his knife and slammed it into the back of its head.
"See? Well done, it's-"
A thin disk of shadows sliced across Unit 1's chest. The kevlar body armour did nothing to stop it. He was practically sliced in half.
Tara screamed and Unit 4 sprinted away from it. Shadows swirled around the wreck of the BMW and it was thrown at them. He grabbed Tara and threw both of them to the side as the car hit the road and rolled past them, scattering pieces of metal everywhere.
Unit 4 began firing his rifle as they backed towards Unit 2, who looked to be waking up. There was a groaning noise from behind them.
Not made by Unit 2.
Made by a zombie.
Unit 4 spun and shot the zombie in the head. It didn't fall. It continued its course towards Unit 2.
It grasped 2's head with a diseased hand and sank its teeth into his neck.
"If you think you're going to kill me and get away with it," Unit 2 managed to say, gritting his teeth from the pain, "You've got another thing coming."
He moved his hand from behind his back. The string of grenades that were normally around his belt were in his hands, all with the pins taken out.
"Tell my wife I love her," he added, twisting his head to Unit 4.
4 nodded. Tara started crying.
The grenades exploded. The street was consumed by a ball of flames.
Unit 4 was temporarily distracted. But he would save mourning for later. If there was a later. The Dark Shadow was moving towards them, along with some zombies down the street. He began firing again, keeping Tara behind him.
Neither the zombies or The Dark Shadow slowed down.
Tara tugged on his sleeve, "There's an alley. Come on!"
When his gun clicked empty, he threw it at a zombie then ran with Tara down the alley she had seen. Unit 4 drew his MP5 and sprayed down the alleyway with bullets.
Zombies were coming from the other end of the alley, too.
"Oh shit," Tara said, "A shop. Come on!"
She dragged Unit 4 into a shop that was down the alley. He didn't have time to check what it was for. He smashed the window with his gun and swung himself over, clearing the remaining shards of broken glass with his armour. He helped Tara through as the zombies spilled into the shop.
Unit 4 dropped to one knee and began firing at the zombies who climbed through the glass. None of them fell, despite being littered with bullet holes.
He had to retreat back a couple of steps.
"There's no easy way to say this but..." Tara said, "I'm a mage."
Unit 4 cocked his head, but didn't stop firing his MP5A3.
"I can give or take away people's magic!" she continued, "I'm going to give you telepathic and telekinetic powers. Can't give you more than that or you'll die."
Unit 4 nodded.
Tara raised her hand and he felt a buzzing within his skin as he gained magic.
I wonder how this is supposed to work... he thought.
"Just think of something moving and it'll move. Oh, and you can talk to people. Not through your lips, but through your mind. I thought it would be helpful for you," came the reply from Tara.
If I die, Unit 4 said to her in his mind, I want you to know that I love you.
"I love you too," Tara responded with a slight smile, kissing the back of his helmet.
Unit 1 made a zombie's head explode. Which worked. The zombie fell on to the floor, dead. He moved a fridge into the path of the window using his mind, just as The Dark Shadow appeared inside the shop.
He held up his hand and a barrier of telekinetic energy held the shadow back.
Any ideas? he said to Tara.
"There must be a back entrance somewhere," she pointed out, "If you hold them off, I'll go look for one. And I'll call you if I find anything."
Ok, be careful.
"I will."
She ran to the back of the shop as he concentrated on the energy. The Dark Shadow stuck a tendril of shadow through it and it dissipated into the air.
He made the broken shards of glass from the window spread across the room like thousands of tiny spears. Unit 4 backed away from The Dark Shadow that was grinning at him as it moved slowly closer towards him.
"There's a back door!" shouted Tara, "Come on!"
He sprinted out of the door. His MP5 was nearly out of bullets so he let go of it and swapped it with his pistol. Tara held the door open for him, but he let her go first before slamming the door shut behind him and placing a grenade just outside the door, without taking out the pin.
A zombie barged through it just after them, and he fired his pistol. The bullet hit the grenade and it exploded, taking part of the shop with it.
They ran.
There was a soft thumping sound. It sounded like quick footsteps on the ground. He spun and fired two more shots from his pistol, but continued running.
They turned a corner, then stopped.
In fact, they smiled.

The Dark Shadow flitted after them around a corner. They were stood, unmoving. They looked to be breathing heavily - they had run out of breath.
"You should have been more fitttt," it hissed at them. They turned towards it and the horde of zombies that were following and filled the road.
"And you, Shadow, should have not killed my friends," Unit 4 said... but that was impossible. He couldn't speak.
"Get down on the ground!" yelled a voice as a thumping noise became audiable. Four helicopters appeared above the shadow, all shining down harsh white lights.
It winced, despite itself. Its adapatation was not fully complete.
Lots of soldiers slid down ropes from the helicopter and all raised their rifles.
More SOS soldiers. It was surrounded.
But he could take them all on at once. There weren't that many.
Or maybe there was.
The buildings surrounding the road all contained soldiers and mages. The zombies were suddenly dispatched quickly by an Apache that swung itself around overhead and blasted them all to hell with its rotating machine guns.
Mages closed in on it, fireballs in their hands and energy flowing at their fingertips. Armoured jeeps pulled up and so did a Challenger 2 battle tank. There must have been at least three hundred soldiers and maybe a hundred mages.
Too many, even for it to handle.
Its shadowy hands were forced behind its back and magical handcuffs were clicked in place. It could no longer control the shadows or anything of the sort. It was powerless.
The soldiers, apart from the snipers on top of the buildings, all flowed down on to the street. They were in perfect attack formation and were ready to fire at a single opressive movement. And bullets, after all, could now harm it.
Red dots from snipers covered its body and hundreds of Apaches flew overhead. More tanks rumbled and joined the large group of soldiers and vehicles that surrounded it. It was well and truly beaten.
"And," Unit 4 said, "This is only half of it."
F-22 Raptors flew overhead, chinooks hovered high in the sky and armoured vehicles roamed the streets. Gunshots could be heard as the SOS soldiers dealt effortlessly with the remaining zombies. More soldiers HALO jumped in from large cargo planes and normal helicopters covered the sky.
The Dark Shadow was loaded into the back of a large, armoured transit van. From experience, Unit 4 knew that it had reactive armour from tanks, a very powerful engine, bullet proof glass and run-flat tyres.
And the shadow would be surrounded all the time by the mages.
There was no way it could escape.
Tara hugged Unit 4 tightly as it disappeared from view.
"You have no idea how glad I am that's over..." she said softly.
I'm glad too. But... I have no friends anymore.
"I think I have a friend who can solve that," she said with a slight smile.


Extract from Unit 4's diary:

All in all, the mission in Tehran was a success. It had been the largest military operation in peace-time and Tehran has been pretty much levelled.
Tara is amazing. She's funny and kind and wonderful and I'm so glad I can actually talk to her now. We are, officially, a couple. I took her to a restaurant and we had a meal and all sorts.
And I do have friends.
The same friends I've had for five years. Unit 1, 2 and 3.
They died. They had definitely died. But a mage who could control souls was present during the operation. And Tara gave me the best present I could wish for.
It was too late for full reconstruction. It had to be just after they died for the mage to be able to recreate their bodies and bring them back to life. So it was a soul reconstruction.
And they're in my mind.
Unit 1, 2, and 3 are in my mind. I can hear them, I can talk to them, and they can talk to each other.
You have no idea how happy I am.
Not only that, but Tara has given my car magic. She's given it a personality. She knew my dream after reading my diary and thought it would help. The car, which said it was called Scirri, gave me advice on how to make it faster.
Its top speed was 89mph. Now it's closer to three hundred. Thanks to an upgraded engine, nitrous oxide that activates with every time I change gear for a few seconds and other things I've done.
I'm going to enter Scirri for a street race, and try and build myself a reputation. Fufill my dream.

Unit 4 pulled up in Scirri at the location of the magical street race that was about to begin. Nine cars were lined up down a road - there was a mix of everything. He could see several ferraris, a couple of BMWs and an Aston Martin.
Then there was him in his red 1980 VW Scirocco. The engine made a high pitched whine, that made Scirri seem like a pile of crap in comparison to the roaring Ferraris.
Let's show them what we've got, ok? he said to Scirri via their telepathic link.
I'm ready, Scirri replied.
He steered the Scirocco on to the starting line. The people who were watching sniggered when seeing his rather old car.
"Hey, take that back to the junkyard mate," a mage said.
Don't let them put you off, he told Scirri.
So Scirri sent a jet of nitrous oxide into the engine and the exhaust suddenly flamed blue, clearing mages from behind them and probably earning himself some respect from the process. It also made the engine sound quite a lot louder.
"Alright," said the person who was organising the race, "Have it a 'clean' race, no magic apart from what is in the cars and no violence. Three, two, one..."
A checkered flag suddenly materialised in his hand. He swung it and Unit 4 pressed down on the accelerator.
Scirri roared and blue flames jetted out from the exhaust as nitrous oxide increased the amount of energy the engine gave out. The cars flew off the starting line, all level and all equal.
But Scirri started to pull away.
Come on Scirri, he urged, changing gear, sending another burst of nitrous oxide into the engine and making the old car get further in front of the Ferraris.
A corner was coming up. He shifted down a gear, braked slightly and then placed his foot on the accelerator. The back end of Scirri swung wide around the corner in a slight drift.
Only half a mile more to go.
He heard the crowd cheering as he accelerated up to 200mph. The other cars were left behind, and still Scirri accelerated. Two hundred and fifty, two hundred and sixty...
Unit 4 pushed the nitrous oxide button on his dashboard and a continuous blue flame spurted out of the exhaust pipe as he raced over the finish line.
He braked and slid the car to a halt.
"Hey," he heard a mage say, "Let's call that guy Nitro. He's awesome!"
"Crappy car, good driver!" agreed his friend.
Scirri's bonnet swung open.
Uh... I don't think that's a good idea.
Scirri squirted a gush of oil out of the engine that hit the mage who disliked her and soaked his clothes and face. The oil lasted for a few seconds then Scirri cut it out.
The mage didn't look happy, but his friend laughed.
The other cars appeared at the finish line a couple of seconds later.
So, this is our first win Scirri. Didn't they say the reward was £10,000?
They did. We're rich Scirri pointed out.
Do you want to be involved in more races?
Of course, it's fun.
"Congratulations to Max and Scirri!" someone announced. He had made the name up. His real name wasn't Max. He just didn't want anyone to know his real one.
He smiled inside his racing helmet as a bundle of cash was pushed in through the window, despite the fact there was bullet proof glass in between. It must have been someone who could walk through walls.
The money landed on the passenger's seat.

Just so you know, this is the car Unit 4 has:

Saturday, 25 May 2013

The Dark Shadow - Part 3

It was night time, and the moon was full.
The detective picked the lock of the house with a flick knife and a thin piece of metal he retrieved from the ground. He turned the handle and the door swung open. He steadied it from hitting the wall by supporting it with his hand, then he stepped inside on to a fur rug with Arthur and Robert close behind.
The hallway was dark. Very dark. In fact, Blake couldn't see anything at all. Luckily he came prepared.
There was a candle set against the wall on a metal candlestick. He disconnected it from the wall, then lit it using a match.
The candle created an orange ambience that lit up some of the darkness, but around the edge of the hallway he still could not see.
He nearly tripped over the corpse.
Blake looked down at the man that was laid peacefully on the floor. He had no injuries and no marks to suggest the reason for his death - alike to the murder of Tara Rhodes.
He drew his revolver, but held the candle out first.
"Hello detectiveeee," hissed a voice from behind him.
Blake spun around, cocking the hammer of his revolver and pointing it in the direction of the voice.
There were no movements but those of Arthur and Robert who followed him through the house.
"Did you hear that?" he asked Arthur.
Arthur shook his head, "Hear what?"
"Doesn't matter," Blake sighed. He must have imagined it. He thought for a moment, then said, "Right. We need to split up. I'll go check upstairs and you two can check down here."
Robert nodded in response, "I'll check the kitchen. Arthur, you go into the living room."
Blake sneaked up the wooden stair case that creaked slightly beneath his shoes. The stairs were made of oak and seemed to be rather old and rotten.
He reached the top of the steps. The candle flickered slightly due to a small draft originating from a hole in the wall, but it didn't go out. He was glad it didn't go out.
Blake tightened his grip on the revolver.
"I'm behind youuuuuuu," the same voice whispered again.
He spun.
"Who is there?" he asked, "Show yourself or I'll shoot."
"Bullets can't harm meeeeee."
"We'll see about that. May I say, Mr Shadow, the way you have been killing these people is a method I am not familiar with. How, may I ask, is it possible?"
"You're not smaarrrttt for the smartessstt person of the human raceeeee," the voice said, "Magicccc. My dear detective; magiccccc."
"So you're some sort of magical being?" he asked.
"I am more than thattttt. I am the bringer of deathhhh. I am darknesssss. I am the devillll."
"Which one?" Blake asked, "Satan, Apocrypha, Iblis, Mara, Set?"
"Allll of themmmmm," The Dark Shadow hissed.
"May I see what you look like?" Blake asked, "It would be interesting to see what 'the devil' actually is."
A shadow flitted in front of him. He moved his candle towards it...
It was a shadow. A living shadow. A roughly humanoid figure made up of tendrils of shadow. It had two triangular eyes and a mouth full of razor sharp fangs.
The shadow screamed at him. Its lower jaw extended more than would be possible for a human whilst doing so.
"Well you're very pretty," the detective said with a smile, then shot it directly between the eyes. Tendrils of shadow scattered all over the room as Blake ran back down the stairs.
"Robert, Arthur. We're leaving! Now. Run."
Arthur and Robert appeared from some of the rooms downstairs and saw him sprinting out of the door. They followed and managed to escape as an explosion of shadows tore up the house, followed shortly after by a howl of rage.
Robert and Arthur managed to catch up to him.
"Your moustache is a lot more annoying when you're running!" the detective said to Mr Doyle.
"Thank you detective!" was the reply, "What was it back there?"
"A shadow! Just don't look back. Run!"
"I'm getting closer detectivveeee," The Dark Shadow hissed from behind him.
Blake piled on the speed and the sound of his shoes on the road grew louder as he started to leave Robert and Arthur behind. They caught up, however, a few seconds later.
They started crossing a bridge. There was fog covering it like a thick grey blanket that obscured them, and everything around them, from view.
The detective looked around him in shock as he realised Arthur and Robert had been seperated from him.
There was a sound of footsteps behind him. He spun.
He turned back around, just to look into the face of a man who had approached silently behind him. He wore a top hat and a dusty black suit and carried a black cane.
"Lovely night for a walk, isn't it?" the man asked, then smiled.
"Hello Jack," Blake said, "I'm afraid I don't have time for you tonight."
Jack The Ripper drew a sword from within his cane and swiped it at the detective's head. Blake ducked, wincing slightly as the sword whistled too close for comfort past his head, then punched Jack in the stomach.
Jack doubled over, whilst Blake elbowed him in the chest, punched him in the face, blocked an attempt at responding to his attacks and then finally threw him over the edge of the bridge, shooting him in the air before he hit the water.
Blake blew his smoking revolver, and smiled proudly.
"Just behind you Blakeeeeee. I can touch your shoulderrr..."
He felt tendrils clutching his shoulder blade. He spun and fired another bullet into the fog.
The detective ran into Arthur and Robert. He managed to avoid hitting his head on Mr Doyle's annoying moustache, and instead his forehead crunched against his chin. They both said "Ow" at the same time.
"Come on. Run! Oh, and by the way, Jack The Ripper is dead."
They started running again. They crossed the bridge and ran down an alleyway with The Dark Shadow just behind, keeping to the shadows, waiting for them to make a mistake.
And in the heat of the moment, a mistake is what the detective made.
He had accidentally led them into a dead end. Literally.
Tendrils of shadow swirled in front of him as The Dark Shadow revealed itself, eyes and fangs and all. The detective straightened his bow tie.
"The only reason why you're still alive is... mutual respeccctttt," the Shadow hissed, "We are the two smartest creatures on Earth right nowwwww..."
"I have some questions," Blake said, "First: What are you? Answer me properly."
"I am a creature of darknesssss. I live in a place outside every dimensionnnn... I am a force of deathhhhh."
Blake fired his revolver. The bullet caught the shadow in the shoulder and it jerked backwards. He fired again, and again. But The Dark Shadow did not move any further back. In fact, it got closer. Robert and Arthur took out two revolvers each and began firing. Gunshots filled the alleyway.
But still they had no effect.
The creature reached out towards Robert's head. Held back only by the wall of flying lead.
The detective flicked out his telescopic cane and hit the creature in the forehead. Shadows flicked across the alley as Blake landed several more blows.
"You cannot hurt me, Blakeeeee."
The guns of Arthur and Robert stopped firing. They were empty.
The Dark Shadow waved his hand and shadows lifted them off their feet and held them against the wall. Meanwhile, he grabbed Blake and punched him hard in the head with a shadowy fist.
Blake saw stars and collapsed to the floor.
Darkness surrounded him.
He felt himself losing consciousness. There was a tingling feeling as the shadow placed a hand on his head. Shadows sank through his skin and bonded with his brain.
But the tingling feeling fought back.
Blake felt the shadows leave his body and The Dark Shadow screamed in rage and launched waves of darkness at him. But none connected. There was something holding them back.
He realised he was holding up his hands. They were glowing blue. It seemed to be some sort of energy.
"Surprised?" the detective grinned, "So am I, actually."
His mind was full of everything. Everything. Everything about things he hadn't even dreamed of. Magic, monsters, death. His brain sorted through them, as if they were files in  Scotland Yard's cabinets. All the time, he was absorbing information. His hands were still glowing blue and holding the shadow away.
Combat magic.
He didn't give any thought to how it had happened. He didn't care. Not right now, anyway. All that mattered was surviving.
Blake stopped the energy and swept his hands to the side. The shadow creature was taken off its feet and landed in a pile on the floor. The detective clicked his fingers and fired bolts of light at The Dark Shadow, all of which caused a scream when they connected.
The creature was fading.
And Blake got stronger.
He turned around and waved a hand at the wall at the end of the alleyway. It lifted off the ground, past the shocked faces of Arthur and Robert, then started knocking the crap out of the creature. Bricks were flying everywhere and the more he used his power, the more he could do. It was all there. In his mind. It appeared as if it was magic. Every time he hit the shadow, the more he learned. It was like his brain was a sponge for information.
A symbol came to his mind. He didn't know what he did, but his hands seemed to automatically paint it in the blue energy he had used before. It was a circular symbol with lines and an odd diamond in the centre.
He pushed it using... something. His hands didn't connect to the energy but it flew towards the air and hit the shadow in the chest. It screamed again and started falling to pieces. Tendrils of shadow were scattered everywhere. But there was still a definite humanoid shape somewhere in the middle.
Blake raised his hands and the remains of The Dark Shadow were lifted into the air.
"So, Mr Shadow, you are hereby arrested for the murder of one Miss Tara Rhodes, and also for the murder of Steve Hershall. You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence."
The shadow made a hissing sound that could have been a sigh, "Fair play detectiveeeee. Fair play indeedddd."
"Now release Robert and Arthur or I'll fight you again. And you don't want that, do you?"
The shadows slithered back to the creature who he held in place. Robert and Arthur, meanwhile, retrieved their revolvers and approached Blake and the hovering remainders of The Dark Shadow.
"What the hell is that, Blake? What did you do?" Robert asked.
"You want the true answer?" Blake said with a smile, "I have no clue. It seems to be some sort of energy manipulation. I will have to do some research."
"Indeed you will," was the reply.
"Thank you Detective Blake," someone said from the end of the alley, "We will take it from here."
It was a man in a black suit and tinted glasses.
"Who might you be?" the detective asked.
"We're from the English Sanctuary. We deal with things like this. You will be debriefed and you'll have to sign a warrant. This will state, if you tell anything about this to anyone, you'll be killed. That goes for you too Arthur and Robert."
"So you just expect us to keep this a secret?" Robert asked, "Evil shadow-creatures, energy manipulation... a Sanctuary? How can we not tell anyone?"
"Actually," the man said, "We're looking for a new lead detective. D.I. Blake, your place within Scotland Yard is very appreciated, but since you are a mage we cannot let you continue your current job. So how about joining the English Sanctuary?"
Blake shrugged, "Why not? Will you tell me everything you know about it, and me, and everything?"
The man nodded, "You will be briefed. Welcome to the Sanctuary."
A horse and cart pulled up at the end of the alley. It was full of men, wearing the same type of suit and the same type of glasses. They clicked handcuffs on to The Dark Shadow. It no longer was surrounded by darkness. It must have been dulling its magic.
They pushed it into the back of the cart and in a flash, they were gone.
All that remained was a small piece of paper that fluttered in the breeze. It floated into the detective's hand.
"Come to Telford Avenue - the Sanctuary will await you."

Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Diary - Part 2

Page 1

I have decided to write this diary for reasons that are hard to explain. I am Unit 4, of Squad J-14 of the Special Operations of the Supernatural. I am silent. I cannot speak.
The reasons for this I will explain.
My parents were killed when I was five. Right in front of me. In the same room.
They were killed by an axe. Decapitation. Their blood soaked my clothing and I ran away until I couldn't run any more.
Then I was found by the Director of the SOS.
My parents were not held down. They were not touched by anything but the axe. The man - the mage - could control how the body works. He made my parents put their heads on our kitchen table then he swung the axe down.
As for why I'm telling you this, the mage also disabled my ability to talk. So I couldn't tell anyone what happened or who he was.
It's a curse. There is nothing good about it. There's a barrier between me and everyone else, preventing me from being considered their equal.
Because I can't even ask for a drink when I go to a cafe.
All I can do is nod or shake my head or point at things. I can't even mumble. I can't even sigh. I can do nothing.
I am hopeless.
At least you, diary, are the only person who I can talk to.

Page 2045 - Written After The Events Described Upon Their Arrival Of The SOS Into Tehran

We arrived at the flat a few hours later. We were coated in blood, and dead zombies were all over the bus.
At least Tara was alive, as were we.
We chose a flat on the top floor. If you want a better word, it was a bugger to get up and down. I was panting by the time I got to the top. We cleared out all the zombies in the flats and those around, using our knives and Tara's shotgun which she didn't even know how to use. She had plenty of ammunition, though, so it was good.
We reinforced the entrance to the flat with some car doors we hijacked from nearby vehicles. We also covered the windows in planks of wood and fastened them down with nails and other sharp things we could find.
Then it was down to business. We cleaned the blood off our armour and helmets and sat down on some chairs that were in our flat.
The flat was nice. It was very expensive. It had a television that couldn't get a signal, an en suite bathroom, four bedrooms and a large kitchen. It had electricity, too, which was useful. The fridge was full of food, and there was a microwave pizza in the freezer.
I pointed it out and they wrote my name on it. I like eating pizza. Pizza is nice. It was a pepperoni one, too, which was an added bonus.
"So," Unit 1 said to Tara, "Who are you?"
Tara shrugged, "I'm Tara Rhodes. I came to stay with some friends in Tehran, then this happened. I managed to escape and ran on to the road - which is when you turned up."
"Where did you get the shotgun from?" asked Unit 2.
"I found it. I don't know anything about guns... I didn't even know how to fire it. I hit a zombie with it, though... you have no idea how glad I am you turned up. Who are you?"
"We're with the SOS. A special branch of the British government. We deal with things like this," replied Unit 3.
"How about him?" Tara asked, pointing her finger at me, "Who doesn't he talk?"
"He can't," Unit 1 pointed out, "No one knows why."
"Oh, ok..."
I immediately felt sad. She sounded scared of me. I felt guilty and sad and annoyed at myself for being unable to talk. My head seemed to hang down by itself.
I turned to my doodle page in my diary and started drawing a Porsche. Something about a Porsche 911 GT3 RS really clicked with me. I always see a white one around. A white Porsche 911, with the same number plate and everything.
I wonder what it means. It's a private registration plate, but it isn't a word I recognise. I like that Porsche. I see it every day. I want one.
Tara leaned over and took a look at my doodle page. I let her. I wasn't protective over this page in you, diary.
"That's a nice tree," she said as I finished drawing the front of the car.
I wanted to thank her. But I couldn't. So I nodded slowly then went back to my drawing.
Drawing calms me. Whenever I feel bad I just draw whatever comes to my mind and it helps me so much. As does writing in you, diary. You help more than you can ever know.
"We need a plan," Unit 1 pointed out.
I nodded.
Times like that I wished that someone could reverse my curse. I might try and go and see a magical scientist after we've finished in Tehran. It's my dream to be able to talk. I don't ask for much, only a Porsche and to be able to speak.
I don't ask for much.
"I think the best place to start would be the weapon's facility where the accident occured," Unit 2 said, "There may be some clues. Maybe we can develop a cure. Maybe they have a cure."
I waved my hand at them and pointed at my stomach. It was rumbling like crazy. I was hungry. It was about nine o'clock at night, and I hadn't eaten all day.
"Ok," said Unit 3, "I'll put you the pizza into the microwave."
I nodded excitedly.
He walked over to the freezer and took out the small pepperoni pizza. He took off the packaging then put it into the microwave, then turned the dial until the specified time on the box and set it going.
I stood up and took a few steps towards Unit 1. I grasped a remote Claymore from his belt and pointed to it. While we slept, if we put one of the Claymores outside the door and set it up, then no zombies would be able to get in and we'd be able to deactivate them before we went out in the morning.
"Good idea, 4," Unit 1 said as Unit 3 got my pizza out of the microwave and put it on a clear glass plate. He handed it to me as Unit 1 went and put the claymore outside the door and activated it.
I raised the glass of my visor. They couldn't see my face because of the angle I had it at, but I was able to reach my mouth with the pizza.
I took my first bite.
Wow it tasted good...
I sat there eating my pizza as they continued.
"I think we should get some sleep now," Unit 1 said, "We're going to the weapon's facility tomorrow in a city full of zombies. We need to be at full strength."
I nodded to that. I was tired. I finished the last of my pizza.
"Uh..." Tara said, "There are only four bedrooms..."
Unit 3 laughed, "We're in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and she's worrying about privacy."
I tapped her on the shoulder. She turned towards me and I pointed at myself, then the sofa.
"I think he's offering to let you have the bedroom and he'll sleep on the sofa," Unit 2 pointed out. I nodded in agreement.
"Are you sure?" Tara asked, "I'll sleep on the sofa if you want."
I shook my head, then pointed to her and the bedroom.
"Thanks," she said with a smile.
"Ok," Unit 2 said, tilting his head, "Goodnight everyone."
The rest of the squad and Tara distributed themselves in the bedrooms, having one each, whilst I curled up on the sofa. I was used to English weather - which, if you don't know, diary, is absolutely terrible. So I didn't even need a blanket. I was perfectly warm. And, anyway, my armour provided thermal protection so I was fine anyway.
I rested my helmet against the arm of the sofa and tried to get to sleep.
Everything was quiet. Too quiet. There was not a single sound coming from inside the flats and none outside. However, I could hear a faint scratching noise from downstairs. The zombies were trying to get in, though they weren't strong enough to get through the barricades we had set up. And they definitely couldn't get past the claymores.
I drifted in and out of dreaming several times before my mind went into an uneasy sleep. Zombies plagued my nightmares just as they were a trouble when I was awake.

Day 2 - 9:08am, I think

Hello diary. We're just about to set out to the weapon's facility of which we have the co-ordinates. It isn't far away, but I just thought I'd make another diary entry before we set out. The negative part of my mind says 'in case you never return', but as long as I trust my training and just kill all the zombies and make sure the rest of my squad - and Tara - are alright, everything should be fine.
The night went well. The zombies didn't get through the blockages and the claymore didn't explode. My back hurts a little after sleeping on the sofa but other than that I'm fine. I

"Come on, 4. Grab your gun and let's go," said Unit 1.
Unit 4 nodded.

have to go. I'll write again when we get back to the flat.
By the way, I had frosties for breakfast.

Unit 4 made sure the diary was turned back to the front page then put it into the kitchen drawer so no one could see it. He grabbed his M4 and checked it was fully loaded, then put his knife in a sheath on his belt. His MP5 came next. He checked it was loaded then put it into a holster, and did the same to his M9.
Unit 1 smiled inside his helmet, "Hurry up Silence. You'll be late."
Unit 4 nodded and rushed through the door to the flat. He presumed Unit 1 had deactivated the claymore as it didn't explode as he came near it.
Squad J-14 jogged down the flights of stairs until they reached the bottom.
As they exited, Unit 2 cocked his head then said to Tara, "I've been meaning to ask you something. You said something was after you... what was it?"
Tara suddenly went pale. "I... I don't know," she said, "It was dark and they moved so quickly... I just ran..."
"Was it a zombie?"
"Zombies don't move that fast. It was black, whatever it was," Tara replied.
There were a group of zombies gathered outside a building to their left. It was a butchers. They had already torn through the glass and blood was gathered outside as they devoured the flesh of the uncooked animals that they had inside the shop.
Unit 4 took out his pistol and shot each of the zombies in the head, not wasting any bullets. The empty bullet casings hit the floor at the same time as the zombies. He holstered the pistol again.
The weapon's facility was only around a five-minute walk. Just by chance, the trip to the flat had given unexpected fruit - they could have explored the weapon's facility while only walking for a short period of time, so it reduced the amount of zombies they'd have to face on their journey.
"When we get to the facility," Unit 1 said, creating a plan inside his mind, "We'll split up. If there are any buildings nearby, Unit 2, 3 and Tara, you'll go and secure one of the buildings next to it and make sure that no zombies are entering behind us. Use the radios if you run into trouble and Unit 4 and myself will come and help."
"Roger that," said Unit 3.

They arrived less than ten minutes later. Luckily, as Unit 1 suspected, there was a house next to the secret weapon's facility.
Unit 2, 3 and Tara broke off from them and moved to secure the house as Unit 1 and 4 moved towards the large stone tunnel that led towards the facility.
There were zombies nearby, plenty, but the undead just seemed to ignore them. They didn't even respond to a normal gunshot from one of their pistols.
Something weird was going on.
As soon as Unit 1 and 4 entered the tunnel, the daylight turned to darkness. They clicked on the tactical lights on their rifles so they could see.
It was empty. Apart from graffiti on the wall. It read, "Beware of The Dark Shadow". It looked to be written in blood.
They ignored it. It was probably some teenagers deciding to vandalise the building, not even knowing it was a weapon's facility.
"We need to move in deeper," Unit 1 said, "The facility is a few minutes away. I don't know why the power is off. Maybe it went on automatic shut-down."
Unit 4 nodded.
So they did move down deeper. It got colder and colder. It was definitely below freezing. Luckily their armour provided some protection from the cold.
The only way they could find their way in the darkness was by pointing their guns where they wanted to walk. Everything else was hidden.
There was a crashing sound beneath Unit 1's foot. He swore, spun and quickly aimed down the sight on his weapon.
With a sigh of relief, he realised he had accidentally kicked a can of Iranian coke.
Unit 4, meanwhile, was tilting his head curiously.
"Sorry," Unit 1 said, "I can't see, remember?"
They continued going deeper. The temperature still dropped.
Unit 4 walked into a metal door. He didn't make a noise, just took a step back and pointed the light at it.
"This is the way in," Unit 1 said, "Let's go."

Unit 2 had his gun rested on the window sill, aiming down at the zombies that had suddenly decided to mass outside the tunnel entrance. They weren't moving, only slowly moving from one foot to the other in drifting movements and looking towards the tunnel.
"Unit 1, this is Unit 2. Something weird is happening with the zombies. You'll have to find a way out. Over."
There was an immediate response, "Roger that 2."
Tara was sat next to him in a rocking chair. She rocked slowly, her face pale like she had seen too much.
Unit 2 agreed. If he was less-trained, he'd be scared too.
Unit 3, meanwhile, was laid at the top of the stairs, aiming his gun so he could shoot any zombies that decided it was a good idea to try and get to the top and eat them.
A song started playing. Loudly.
'Don't stop me now' by Queen. It was coming from an unknown source and was so loud, Unit 2's ears were hurting. Even inside the helmet.
'Tonight, I'm gonna have myselfff, a real good time, I feel aliii-iii-iii-iiiveee. And the world, is turning inside out, yeah. I'm floating around, in exstasy so don't stop me now...'
All the zombies turned towards them.
"Fuck," Unit 2 cursed then began firing. Bullets tore open the mass of zombies, through their heads and everything, and yet they still didn't drop. There were slight pinging noises as the bullet casings hit the floor.
The zombies started moving in their direction.
'I'm a shooting star, leaping through the skies, like a tiger, defying the laws of gravittyyy. I'm a racing car, passing by, like Lady Godiva. I'm gonna go, go, go, there's no stopping me...'
They reached the the ground floor of the house and burst in through the windows and doors. He heard silenced gunshots as Unit 3 began firing his M4 towards the zombies lumbering up the stairs.
Still, none dropped.
'Don't, stop me now...'

The weapon's facility was certainly dark. They couldn't see anything apart from what their lights showed them.
There were chemical machines and partical colliders and all the latest technology. And yet there were no bodies.
"Ahhhh," hissed a voice, a dark voice, "The SOSsss. I knew you would turn uppppp."
"Who is there?" Unit 1 asked urgently, sweeping the light back and forth. Nothing. Only darkness.
"I am the darknessssss. I am your nightmaresssss. I am deathhhhhhh. I am the devillllll..."
"Show yourself or I'll shoot," he demanded urgently, feeling a twinge of fear inside.
"You're the bosssss..." the voice whispered.
Something black flickered in front of him. He turned the light towards it.
It was a dark humanoid with white triangular eyes and thin, sharp fangs. It screamed at him, the lower half of its face stretching more than humanly possible.
Unit 1 swore loudly, then it tripped him over and he fell to the floor. Before he landed, however, he had already unleashed several bullets from his M4.
None connected.
The creature had vanished.
"Not quick enough, hmmmm?" the voice hissed again, "Let me see how your frrieennnddd reacctssssssss."
Something black flickered in front of Unit 4.
4, however, seemed to be ready.
It screamed at him. A high-pitched, hissing scream that pierced all the darkness and the very inch of both of their souls.
It didn't seem to have an affect on Unit 4, though. He slammed his helmet into the creature and dark tendrils flew all over the room.
"What the fuck are you?" Unit 1 asked, "Answer me this time!"
He climbed to his feet.
The creature laughed demonically.
"Figure out that for yoursssellffff..."
"You're a bloody ugly mother fucker, that's what you are."
"Perhapssss I am. Perhapsss I am not. Perhapsssss my mummy never tolddd me to not play with my fooooddd..."
"Come on, 4. We're leaving."
"Not so ssssoooooon, are youuu?"
The darkness flickered and Unit 1 suddenly went flying across the room and collided with the wall with a heavy thunk. He got to his feet again and sweeped his weapon left and right to try and see the creature of darkness.
Unit 4 had it in his sight for a moment. He fired and the gunshot lit up the shadows for less time than it took for 4 to blink.
They both began firing, spraying the room with lead.
Once the final bullet casing hit the floor from their quick burst, everything was silent.
"My turn nowwwww..."
Darkness infused with Unit 1's very personality. He became angry and sadistic and suddenly exploded with uncontrollable rage. He lashed out at Unit 4, who was completely taken unawares.
Unit 4 spun and dropped to the floor, silently. But he was up again in a moment.
The darkness was gone.
"Oh shit!" Unit 1 screamed as pain blasted through his body. His very spirit. He dropped to the floor and managed to hear Unit 4 doing the same through the screaching pain. It tore through his brain. Tore through his muscles. Tore through every fibre of his very being.
He was frozen in place by the pain. His hands were chained and he was unable to move.
And all of a sudden, it stopped.
Unit 1 groaned and remained on the floor. Unit 4 wasn't moving, either.
He curled up into a ball and he felt the shadows surround him.
The creature swirled into life from the darkness, looking down on him. It licked its lips with a long, pink tongue.
"Ssseee what I can doooo?" it hissed, "You have no magiccccc..."
Shadows gripped at his throat and threw him against the wall. He collapsed to the floor again, still trying to recover from all the pain that the creature had forced upon him. His vision faded but came back to life a second later. Stars were flashing behind his eyes.
"You think you know Necromancyyyyy?" it screached, "I am Necromancyyyyy. I am darknesssss... I am The Dark Shadow..."
Unit 1 slowly rose to his feet, using his M4 as a walking stick. He drew his pistol.
"And you know what shadows fear?" he asked, gritting his teeth.
"What is thattttt?" hissed The Dark Shadow.
Unit 4 switched his tactical light on full power. Harsh white light blasted across the room, scattering the creature in all directions as it dived for cover.
Unit 1 hobbled out of the room with Unit 4 behind him. 4 fired several bullets into the weapon's facility as they exited and went back to the tunnel, moving as fast as possible, and yet neither willing to leave Unit 1 behind.

Tara screamed as the zombies entered the room. Unit 3 had fallen back to the bedroom where Unit 2 and Tara were.
The first zombie dropped after a bullet from Unit 3's pistol to the back of the spine. Unit 2 opened fire on the ones inside the room and they fell like dominoes.
However, there were too many.
"The window!" shouted Unit 3, trying to be heard over the music, "Go! Now! I'll buy you some time!"
Unit 3 threw his pistol at the zombies, followed a few seconds later by a grenade that rolled down the stairs. He switched to his MP5 and moved so he was in front of the window as Unit 2 and Tara leaped out, smashing the glass on their way.
Unit 2 landed in a roll and came up, spraying bullets back at the zombies who were still getting into the house. Tara scraped down a small balcony on the second floor and then landed with a large cut down her arm and the side of her clothing worn away in several places. She moved so she was behind Unit 2.
Unit 2 aimed back up at the window and fired rounds at several zombies who were in his sight. An explosion rocked the house and he saw through the bottom window that the stairs had given way.

Back in the bedroom, Unit 3 reloaded his MP5 and began firing again, the zombies getting closer and closer by the minute. They were dropping like flies, but there were just too many. He knew that.
A zombie grabbed him and pushed him against the wall. He drew his knife and stabbed it in the neck and pushed it all the way through. The blade destroyed the connections to the brain in the spine so it slumped to the floor.
He launched another grenade, this one landing inside the bedroom after bouncing off a zombie's head. He still didn't stop firing.
Unit 3 took a step back towards the window, and then realised his back was pressed against it. He had no more space to give.
Still, the zombies got closer.
He dropped to one knee and began firing at their legs. Many dropped and started crawling towards him instead.
He swore, took out a claymore from his belt and pushed it down on to the floor. Just as the grenade exploded.
And a zombie stood on the claymore in front of him.
There was a flash, then only blackness.

Unit 1 and 4 just emerged from the tunnel as the house exploded. No one, and nothing, emerged.
"No!" Tara cried.
"I'm getting closerrrrr," the creature hissed from inside the tunnel.
"We need to go," Unit 1 said, "Now. Run."
"But..." Tara began.
"No. No buts. GO."
They ran.

They locked themselves in the flat and made sure that as many lights were on as possible. Unit 4 was shivering with fear but he immediately went to his diary.

Unit 3 was my friend.
They are all my friends.
And whatever the hell it was that was down there, I think it's going to kill all of us.
The way it just threw us around and manipulated us... it's too powerful.
Tara seems the most affected by Unit 3's death. Maybe it's because we're trained or something. I don't know. She is snuggled against me as I'm writing this, shivering the same as I am.
"We're not going back there," Unit 1 has just said, "We are never going back there."
"What if it's chasing us?" Unit 2 asked, "We can't do anything."
"I'm going to radio Spectre. See if he can come and help," Unit 1 told him.
I've put my arm around Tara. See if it can comfort her. I can't say anything and that hurts just as much as Unit 3 dying.
Some people feel guilty when the last thing they say to people are bad things. I can't feel that. I feel guilty because I never got the chance to say anything to him. Nothing. I am worthless. I can't even talk to my friends.
Tara is now looking over my shoulder at what I'm writing... I don't mind. I'm not sure whether it's because I just don't care any more or because it's her who is looking. I like Tara.
She may have shown up out of nowhere, but I like her.
And she's seen that.
But it's not like I mind.
She has a cut on her arm that looks painful. It definitely needs medical attention. We all have a medic kit that contains a needle and metal thread for stitching things up. I might use it.
"I think it does need stitching up," she has just said to me.
Sorry, diary, stitching someone up. Will talk later.

"So what do you think that creature was?" Unit 2 has just asked. Alike to the rest of us, he is also affected by Unit 3's death. No one is making jokes.
I've decided I'm going to quit the SOS. I don't know how I'll manage real life, but it's better than losing my friends. When, wait, if, I get back, then I'm quitting.
I've always wanted to be a racer. So I'll join a street-racing club. Earn a reputation, then maybe go into professional racing. Maybe. I've fought one side of the law, so why not be on the other side for a change?
"That's a nice dream," Tara has just told me. I smile inside my helmet. I don't know whether she likes me too or... if she feels sorry for me. Lots of people feel sorry for me. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself.
The cut on her arm wasn't too bad. It wasn't very deep, but it definitely needed stitches. I had written down on a blank page whether she wanted me to do it or one of the remaining squad members.
She had replied she wanted me to do it. I'm not sure why.
I did the best job I could and the wound will heal without a scar.
She is still sat next to me, and reading what I'm writing. I think we're comforting each other. I can't say anything to her but she's talking to me. She's talking about her life back in England.
Apparently she had been a receptionist for a large company known as FMJ. It was a weapon's manufacturer who specialised in the most futuristic type of weaponry possible. They were pioneers in laser technology and plasma guns and made prototypes for the government.
I think talking is helping her. She seems to be... not happy, but better. You can tell she has been crying.
Spectre had told Unit 1 that the rest of his squad were dead and he was moving towards our position. They had been tortured, then killed, by The Dark Shadow.
So our squad weren't the only ones who had met it.
I'm scared to go to sleep. Darkness means... shadows. It said it was the shadows. Shadows mean the creature.
And I am scared of the creature.
I don't want to face it again. But I know I have to. I'm going to kill it. No matter how long it takes. I will destroy the creature.
Tara has just read the thing about not wanting to go to sleep. So she suggested to Unit 1 and 2 that we should keep the lights on all night.
They agree.
We've decided tomorrow that we'll be going to scout across the city. We're determined to destroy The Dark Shadow - at any cost.
Unit 2 has just cleared his throat, "You say you saw The Dark Shadow in the weapon's facility?"
"Yep. He was in there," Unit 1 has replied.
"Well at about the same time, the zombies around the facility turned immortal. And as you were leaving they were able to be killed again."
"We need to make a list of all its powers. And if we run into it again, we need to add more."
"It can control zombies," Unit 2 has pointed out, "And make them indestructible."
"And it can control people's feelings - even pain."
"Changing structure."
Tara has just pointed out that it has a weakness to light. I noticed nothing had any affect on it except for the light, too. So the best weapon we have against it is our tactical lights.
I'm ready to go to sleep. Today has been... tiring. Emotionally and physically.
Everyone else is ready for bed, too.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The Dark Shadow - Part 2

"So who, or what, do you think The Dark Shadow is?" Robert asked as they walked through the Houses of Parliament, in complete disguise. They wore the robes of an MP and each had a false beard over the lower half of their chin.
It was a rather good disguise.
"I don't know," replied Blake, clearly in deep thought, "The professor has Tara Rhodes and is currently looking what could have killed her but, as of yet, I have no idea. It won't take me long to figure it out, at least."
The walls were slightly Gothic in style - a dark, stained wood set into rectangular panels in a repeating pattern. The roof loomed over them at a great height. The corridor was cold and lifeless. There were no sounds but the soft pounding of their feet on the carpeted and rugged floor.
"Do you know what you're looking for?" Robert questioned, arching his eyebrow slightly.
"Something... odd," Blake decided, "Something which shouldn't be here... Aha, I have it."
"In 1834, it was destroyed, right?"
Robert nodded in response.
"But Barry tried to incorporate as much of the remaining structure as possible. What survived were... Westminster Hall, the Cloisters of St Stephen's, the Jewel Tower and the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, I believe."
"I wish I knew how your mind works," Robert pointed out.
Blake ignored him, "We need to search every single one. They are the things that aren't supposed to be here. But... wait. Barry didn't include the Jewel Tower in his designs. Not really. So that narrows our search down to the Hall, the Cloisters and the Chapel. We need to split up."
Robert nodded, "That way we can get as much covered in less time. I want the Chapel."
"Then I'll take Westminster Hall. Good luck Robert, and make sure you don't miss giant writing on the wall saying "press here for a secret room"."
"Please don't remind me of that..." Robert said, gritting his teeth slightly in grimace at the painful memory of which he showed his true stupidity. He had made Blake laugh for hours afterwards.
"That's why I said good luck," the detective said with a nod, "You'll need it."

Two hours later - The Cloisters of St Stephen's (or what remains of them).

Blake frowned at the little of the once-great part of the Houses of Parliament that remained. The Cloister was a rectangular open space with pillars set between the open roof and the paved ground. So far there had been nothing suspicious in the other rooms. Not a single piece of wood out of place or a book facing the wrong way. Nothing.
The Cloisters were slightly ruined, and weren't strictly a part of the Houses of Parliament. They showed up in hardly any building plans, and that was the reason why Blake was intrigued by them.
He was disappointed, however.
The detective ran his hands over the brickwork, analysing every little ridge in his mind. The brick that was slightly out of shape, a minor crack in the roof...
There was a clunking noise beneath his feet as a piece of stone shifted a lot more than he expected. It made him jump slightly, but he regained his composure then knelt down to look at the loose stone.
It wasn't odd. It had no markings, nothing out of shape...
He slowly lifted it out of its original position and set it down on the side. Beneath, carved into some hardened mud, were the words, "The Dark Shadow - He will rise. He Eats nothing. he Is the Shadow. Darkness Eats Anything. Danger in the shadows. Beware".
Robert finally joined him at the Cloisters. The soft footsteps gave him away, that and the shadow that obscured his view on the mud.
"Hello again Robert. I have found what we're looking for. But as for what it means..."
"What does it say?" Robert asked curiously.
"Take a look for yourself..." Blake said thoughtfully, "Some letters are capitalised... I wonder what their significance are."
"T, D, S, H, H, E, I, S, D, E, A, D, B," Robert pointed out, "They're random letters. Someone might not have been able to spell or use grammar..."
"He is dead," the detective said, grimacing slightly, "He is dead."
"If The Dark Shadow, whoever it is, is dead... how can he have killed Tara?"
"Now that is the question, Robert," Blake said, "That is the question indeed."

They went back to Scotland Yard. They had no clues to go on. No witnesses. No nothing.
Scotland Yard was full of activity. Police officers and detectives everywhere, putting criminals in prison and filing different amounts of paperwork.
"What are we doing here?" Robert asked, "This won't help to bring in The Dark Shadow."
"We're doing research, Robert. Research."
"What for?"
"Tara Rhodes, and The Dark Shadow. I'll search through files to see if any of them have cropped up before. Meanwhile, I would like you to go and get Arthur. He might be able to help."
"You and Arthur don't get on very well. He wrote a book series based on you."
"I know that," Blake said, "We do get along well. I just find his moustache... irritating."
"You say he looks like a walrus."
"He does."
"Do you like the books?"
"They're ok. It won't go far, though. The detective has a stupid name and a stupid assistant and most of all, a stupid hat."
"I'll go and see Mr Doyle, then. You can do all the research, alright?"
"That's a deal," Blake said with a grin.

Arthur Conan Doyle turned up in the middle of Blake's research. As always, he had his walrus-moustache which instantly annoyed the detective.
Blake, meanwhile, was stood over a filing cabinet. He had several files out on the desk behind him, all displaying the same name, "Tara Rhodes".
Next to them, were sixteen others. Unmarked.
The detective, however, kept muttering, "How the hell is this possible..."
"Find anything interesting down there?" Arthur asked, tilting his head slightly, making his annoying moustache lean to one side.
"I did indeed, Mr Walrus. How are you? How are the stupid books going?"
"They are going fine thank you, Mr Blake. I can tell Sherlock Holmes is definitely based on you. You have the best record for solving murders, have you not?"
"Sherlock Holmes is a ridiculous name. I hope you understand that. The books won't go far at all with that title. And yes, I do."
"So what are you working on at the minute?" Arthur asked curiously.
"There's a murderer known as The Dark Shadow. We don't know who, or what, he is. But we're still going to arrest him. And his victim, Tara Rhodes... she seems to be very interesting."
"How is that?" Arthur questioned, his walrus-moustache moving slightly as he spoke.
"Check out this," the detective said, handing Mr Doyle a brown file, "1750-1770. This is the first Tara Rhodes. The next one..." he handed Arthur another file, "1780-1800. Both killed in exactly the same manner, with no suspects and no witnesses."
"They could have been in the same family?"
"That was my first thought, but she doesn't have any family. There were ones born in 1810, 1840 and 1870. Each with ten years in between since the last one died. They all last for about twenty years, give or take two years. All killed in the same manner. Their descriptions are all the same, in terms of appearance, their cat has been killed every single time too."
"Why the cat?" Arthur questioned.
"I thought the murderer would just have been sadistic. But then I realised..."
"You realised what?" Robert asked from beside Arthur.
"It may be in no way connected, but the Egyptians believed cats were the guardians of the underworld. So if The Dark Shadow... if it isn't just a nickname..."
"You're saying he is a dark shadow?" Arthur questioned, "You know how stupid that sounds, right?"
"Look. The professor has got back to me and there is no reason at all why Tara Rhodes should have died. There were no marks, no scars, no bruises, nothing. Her heart is perfectly intact and there are no signs of a stroke... which only leaves one possible explanation. Something supernatural."
"Do you have any evidence of this?" Robert responded quietly, "It is an unbelievable claim."
"As a matter of fact," Blake said, "I do."
He opened one of the unmarked brown files. Inside there were drawings. Sketches, if you like. Pencil drawings, all containing the same thing. A dark humanoid shape with white triangular eyes and sharp fangs that protruded from its mouth. It seemed... semi-liquid. Sticky. There were tendrils of shadow that seemed to glue themselves to the walls that were behind it.
"Excuse me," someone said from the other side of the room, clearly directed at Blake, "There's something you need to go and have a look at."
"And what might that be?" the detective asked, looking up slightly from the drawing that seemed to capture his concentration.
"There's been another murder. No witnesses, no injuries... they say you're the man for things like that. We have the building surrounded. No one has left or entered. Whoever did it is still inside."
Blake smiled, "Bingo."

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

The Diary

Unit 1 of squad J-14 of the Special Operations of the Supernatural, or the SOS for short, walked down the corridor of their headquarters in London. Despite being indoors, he still wore his helmet and full body armour as he was instructed by the Director. No one was allowed to see your face, that was the first rule of their military-style government agency. Even people in a squad weren’t allowed to know your identity.
It was better that way.
In his squad, like all, there were two pilots. These people were allowed to show their faces as they weren’t doing anything technically illegal. The pilots for J-14 were called Sam and Rebecca, and despite the fact relationships within the agency weren’t allowed, they made no secret of the fact that they were in love.
The other Units in the squad, unlike most, were a tiny bit odd, to say the least.
Unit 2 was a complete technical genius and an expert marksman. He was able to hack into any computer in the world using only a mobile phone.
He had proved it several times by hacking the FBI during a mission. He tended to show off a little bit, but Unit 1 didn’t mind.
Unit 3 liked to blow things up. A lot. He was kind of an explosion kind of person though he had spells of pyromania too.
Unit 4 was the interesting one. Ever since he was a child, when his parents had been killed, he had been completely silent. He had been shot in the arm during a mission and he still had not even grunted. Unit 1 found it kind of disturbing, though despite the silence he could always show how he was feeling with a slight tilt of the head or a nod.
Unit 1 walked into the main hall, where the announcements were made every single morning by the Director. It was a large, white, circular room with numerous rows of chairs with different squads sat next to each other.
As he had opened the door, everyone turned their heads towards him. He felt slightly unnerved as he took his seat next to Unit 4.
"You alright?" he asked Unit 4.
4 nodded in response.
"Had a nice weekend?"
Another nod.
"How about you, 3?" Unit 1 asked to his fellow squad mate.
"Yeah. I had a good weekend. Took my wife to Scotland, y’know?"
"Where’d you go?"
"Loch Ness."
"See the monster?"
"Unit 2, did you have a good weekend?"
"I did, in fact," Unit 2 replied, "I hacked into the Russian government."
Unit 2 shrugged, "I just felt like it."
Unit 1 saw the Director move to the raised platform at the front of the hall. He stood behind a wooden pillar bearing the SOS logo, which was a blue eagle set upon a black shield, with two swords crossed beneath it.
Everyone went quiet.
"At 2:30pm local time yesterday, there was an incident" the Director began, "In Iran, there is a biological weapons facility provided by the Americans. During a testing session of the new weapon, which would spread throughout a terrorist compound and then be deactivated, the weapon became uncontrollable and managed to leak out of the secure container in which it was being held."
Unit 1 heard mutterings of surprise throughout the room.
"It spread throughout the city," the Director continued, "And in a matter of hours, everyone there became…" he paused, "Well, reports suggest that there is a zombie infestation. But not magical like you know. Not caused by necromancy. These are biological zombies. They feel no pain. Their bodies can survive anything but their brains being destroyed."
There was a gasp, and more mutterings followed.
"In response to this situation, and since Iran has no special operations branch of this calibre, we’re sending in two squads by plane. They will parachute into the city and deal with the zombies – yes, kill them – then radio in for an evac. These zombies will be slow, but you will want to take care as they can be overwhelming in large numbers."
Someone raised their hand.
"Yes?" the Director said, nodding his head towards the person.
"Which two squads will you be sending?"
"Due to their extremely good success record, we will be sending in squad J-14 and S-4."
"This is going to be fun," whispered Unit 3.
A man whom Unit 1 didn’t agree with led S-4. Because there were two squads doing this operation, they would have to have military-style code-names instead of the unit number so they would know who they were talking to. Everyone had been given a code-name upon their arrival to the SOS.
Unit 1, for example, was Uniform. Unit 2 in his squad was Section. Unit 3 was Cobra and Unit 4 was Silence (part of a joke the Director had made).
"Squad J-14, report to Hanger 2 ASAP. S-4, go to Hanger 1."
Unit 1 stood up, followed by Unit 4, 3 and 2. He saw the squad S-4 stand up across the room.
He put one foot in front of the other and exited the hall, feeling a mixture of sadness and eagerness. He followed the signs to Hanger 2.
When he arrived, which was a few minutes later, he was greeted by the pilots Sam and Rebecca. The hanger had grey stone walls reinforced with bars of steel.
Inside the hanger, there was a large cargo plane, the name of which Unit 1 could not remember to save his life. The ramp leading to the inside of the plane was open, meaning that he could see the four Colt M4 Carbines on a weapon’s rack. He could also see the Heckler & Koch MP5A3 and the Beretta M9, along with several grenades and plenty of ammunition.
"So we’re going to Iran, yes?" asked Rebecca.
Unit 2 nodded, "Indeed we are. Tehran, to be precise."
"Let’s get going, then. By the sound of it you lot need to be killing zombies as soon as possible," Sam said.

Squad J-14 loaded all of their weapons as they prepared to drop.
Unit 1 put the MP5 and the M9 into holsters on his belt, and carried the M4 in his hands, with the stock pressed against his shoulder. He had a foregrip, extended magazine and holographic sight attached to his M4, and had pretty much the same with his MP5.
He attached a combat knife to his belt, and saw the other members of his squad do the same.
"We’re approaching the drop point," said Rebecca.
"Roger that," Unit 1 replied, "We’re heading towards the ramp now. Get your parachutes ready."
He shrugged a parachute on to his back just as the ramp whirred open, delivering a strong gust of wind in its wake as he got to see the clouds. The sky was blue, and it looked like he could see forever.
"Right guys," Rebecca said, "You can drop. You should land on a rooftop, and that should be free of zombies. Good luck!"
They dropped.

He landed on the top of a low roof, possibly a corner shop of some kind. It was made out of dusty white stone, which was very smooth, but it also had yellow particles of sand stuck to it.
Unit 1 cut off his parachute and tied it quickly to a ventilation shaft to prevent it from blowing away. The rest of his squad landed next to him, and he noticed some little black dots in the sky as squad S-4 began their descent towards them.
He looked down at the street.
Unit 1 tapped Unit 2 on the shoulder. 2 looked at him.
"I think you should take a look," he said quickly.
Unit 2 looked over the edge, at the hundreds of zombies that roamed the street. Some were fighting amongst themselves, but most walked together in slow lumbering movements. A disorganised horde.
"This may be rather difficult," Unit 1 pointed out.
"Indeed it will. We don’t want to get their attention. We have silencers, right?"
"For all guns but the pistols."
"Better get them out."
"Roger that."
"OK," said Unit 1, "Silence, get your silencer on to your M4 and go on to the right side of the building. Take out the zombies there. Section, you take the left side. Cobra, you take the back. I’ll take the front."
They all screwed the silencers on to their rifles, which took a few moments of silence apart from the groans of either pain or despair from the zombies on the street.
Unit 1 moved his gun so it was aiming at the street, and clicked the safety catch so it was firing in semi-automatic. He leaned so he was looking down the sight on his gun then began firing.
A zombie dropped and another twisted sideways as a bullet embedded itself in its thigh. One by one the zombies fell, each with a bullet in their head from the M4s that were making sounds no louder than a cough. Several zombies noticed them, though they were taken out before they had time to rush towards the small corner shop where squad J-14 rested their rifles.
After barely a few moments, the zombies that had covered the street laid re-killed over the street. A few twitched, but they posed no threat as they died from a number of gunshot wounds to the head. Blood covered most of the dusty road and it was splayed all over the pavements.
Squad S-4 had landed nearby.
"Ok, J-14," Unit 1 said, "These zombies are dead but there is going to be a lot more. We need somewhere secure to stay whilst we’re on this mission. Somewhere we can reinforce with materials we find and where we can store food."
"A flat," Unit 2 said, "One entrance, one exit. We would be able to bottle-neck the doorways and reinforce the windows on the bottom two floors so no zombies would be able to get in."
"That would be one of the best ideas," said Unit 3, "If there are any shops nearby, food shops, we could have lots of food in the flat whilst we scout about and try and complete the mission. I think it should be our first priority to secure a flat, then we should go and check out the weapon’s facility."
"Agreed," said Unit 1, "There are some flats on the horizon, so we should go there. We need to get down to street level, though we should use fire escapes and rooftops whenever possible. The zombies will be overwhelming."
"How about a mode of transport?" Unit 2 asked, "There are a few cars dotting around. And we have those devices on our belt which we can use to start cars up without a key. It might be a better idea to use the cars."
Unit 4 shook his head silently.
Unit 1 nodded, however, "But it’s a long distance. These cars, no offence to the Iranians, are completely outdated. They have small fuel tanks, so they might not last all the way to the flats."
Unit 3 shook his head, "Cars wouldn’t be a good idea. They’re small and too hard to defend. If you hit some zombies they could grab on to the car and punch through the windscreen. The driver and the passenger would be dead before they even managed to raise their guns, and the people in the back would probably be killed by the resulting car crash, or torn apart and eaten by the zombies which would be nearby."
Unit 4 nodded, then he pointed towards the ground.
"What are you saying, 4?" 2 asked, looking over the edge, "Oh, a bus."
"A bus would be good," Unit 3 said, "Easy to defend, strong, large fuel tank though it has a lot of fuel consumption but they’re good for travelling long distances, right?"
Unit 1 agreed, "There’d have to be three of us on the bottom floor and one on the top. Zombies have more chance of getting in through the bottom rather the top. Nice thought, 4."
Unit 4 nodded, clearly pleased despite his silence. It wasn’t very often Unit 4 was heard or taken notice of because he either couldn’t, or wouldn’t, talk. People just tended to ignore him, whereas in squad J-14 Unit 4 always came up with the best ideas and was always included in their conversations as much as possible. Unit 4 didn’t really act cute, but there was something about him that made Unit 1 think of him as a child. He knew, though, that Unit 4 kept a diary. He had only shown him one page, where he had doodled and was rather proud of the tree he had drawn.
It was a rather good tree.
Unit 4 was the first to vault over the side of the roof and land on the top of the bus. It was a double decker, and coloured white though it had some rusty patches. The advert on the side was for a brand of sports drink, it seemed.
Unit 1 was close behind, followed by the rest of the squad J-14. Unit 4 climbed through a broken window into the top deck, and sat down on one of the seats with his rifle raised. Meanwhile, Unit 1, 2 and 3 climbed down and opened the bus doors.
"So, who is driving?" Unit 2 asked.
"I’ll drive. I know how to drive buses," said Unit 3.
"Not a good idea, 3. You know how you get when driving cars."
"Hey, I’m a great driver. Even better when I’m drunk."
"That is right," Unit 2 pointed out, "Every time we get drunk, he is the one who drives."
Unit 1 shook his head, "I’ll drive. 3, no offence and all, but you’re slightly two crazy about destruction to keep this vehicle in tact." He climbed immediately into the cabin where the driver sat and sat down, much to the displeasure of Unit 3, though he could tell he was just messing about.
"You ok up there 4?" Unit 2 called out.
Two knocks on the floor followed. Yes.
Unit 1 unclipped a cube shaped device from his belt and held it against the steering wheel of the bus. A bolt of purple lightning struck the rubber and he felt the bus rumbling as the electricity, despite the fact rubber couldn’t conduct, whirred around inside of the engine.
The bus started. It rumbled a lot more as it remained stationary.
Unit 1 gently eased his foot down on to the accelerator as Unit 2 crouched near the front and Unit 3 went to the back.
He managed to turn around a sharp 90 degree corner, which he handled with relative ease due to the fact that the bus was slow. Very slow.
Unit 1 angled it towards the white flats that protruded over the horizon. He was trying to accurately find his way through the narrow and rather straight streets, which were decorated with an array of old fashioned street lights, dead zombies and road signs in a language Unit 1 didn’t recognise.
There was a gentle splashing noise from the top deck, and a slight ping as a bullet casing hit the floor.
"You ok 4?"
Two more knocks.
"Look, it might take a while," said Unit 1, "Maybe four hours at the most."
"We’ll be ready for them when they come," said Unit 3.
"And come they shall," Unit 2 replied.
"Thanks, 2, for that brilliant attempt at increasing morale," Unit 3 teased.
2 shrugged, "Just pointing it out. We’re in a bus, it’s noisy."
Unit 1 yanked the steering wheel violently to the left to avoid a zombie stood in the middle of the road. However, it managed to get a hand in through one of the windows and it started climbing into the bus whilst the heavy vehicle narrowly avoided a street light, due to the quick reaction time of Unit 1.
The zombie started knocking out the glass in the window in an attempt to get through, but Unit 3 put a bullet in its head before it managed to do any serious damage to the bus, or squad J-14.
"Yeah, that’s right mother f**ker," Unit 3 said, shooting it in the head again, "No one messes with the SOS, especially an ugly bastard like you."
There were several silenced shots from upstairs, indicating that Unit 4 had zombies of his own to deal with. Unit 1 could hear the faint sound of footsteps on the roof – probably zombies. Unless 4 had decided it would be fun to climb on the roof, which would also be a possibility due to the immature side of Unit 4.
Suddenly, a zombie with blood shot eyes and a large boil on its face smeared itself down the windscreen. Unit 1 quickly drew his M9 pistol, which was the closest weapon to hand. He shot the zombie in the face twice, and it dropped off the bus and was promptly ran over, creating nothing more than a minor speed bump.
There were more gunshots from upstairs as Unit 4 switched to his sidearm to take care of the zombies that suddenly seemed to latch on to the bus. There were only a few downstairs, but upstairs there seemed to be a lot more due to the amount of gunshots that were being fired.
A zombie managed to climb through one of the windows on the lower deck and it immediately collapsed on top of Unit 2. He quickly grabbed his knife attached to his belt and stabbed it in the chest, then he pushed it over on to the floor, took quick aim with his rifle and fired a bullet into its head. Unit 2 retrieved his knife, wiping it clean on a seat before he put it back in its sheath.
The bus shook slightly as a zombie pounded down the stairs and collapsed it front of Unit 2. Unit 3 noticed a knife sticking out of the back of its head.
Unit 4 leaped down the steps, completely ignoring the handrails that ran down the side. He twisted in the air, dropped to one knee, then brought his rifle up towards the stairs and fired twice. Two zombies fell down the steps, each with a fist-sized hole in their head.
"4 watch-" Unit 2 began, but Unit 4 needed no warning. He quickly retrieved his knife from the skull of the dead zombie and sliced across the face of a zombie that had tried to sneak behind him. The blade cut deep into the zombie’s skull, through the skin and bones weakened by the biological weapon, and made a large cut into its brain. It dropped to the floor and didn’t move.
"You’ll have something to write about in your diary today," Unit 3 said with a smile in his voice, nodding towards Unit 4.
4 nodded, then spun around and shot a zombie clinging on to the windscreen.
"I think that’s the last of them," said Unit 1, "At least for now. I can’t see any in the wing mirrors and there’s no sounds coming from around the bus."
"Hell yeah," Unit 3 said, "We owned those bloody zombies."
"Just say alert," said Unit 2, "We’ve got hours to go yet and some of the windows have smashed. 4, you should go back on to the top and defend again."
Unit 4 walked back up the stairs, reloading his rifle on the way up. He slid the empty magazine into his belt, filling it with bullets as he strapped it in place.
"Where do you think S-4 is?" asked Unit 3, "Those idiots won’t have a clue about how to deal with zombies."
"They’re smarter than you think, 3," said Unit 2, "They’ve had more experience than us. And Spectre, their Unit 1, is a much higher rank than any of us. I think they’ll be somewhere safe, secure and easy to defend."
"We’re not even supposed to work together. Squads work separately, remember?"
"We can ask them where they are," said Unit 1, "We have radio contact."
"Do that. It’ll be interesting to find out," replied Unit 3, "I bet they’re stuck."
"How much?" asked Unit 2.
"Five pounds. I bet you a fiver," 3 said, confidence in his voice.
Unit 1 pressed the side of his helmet, "This is Unit 1 of squad J-14. Spectre, tell us your whereabouts in Tehran. Over."
"This is Spectre," was the reply, "We’re in a bank, in the vault. Zombies surround us but we’re doing well to fight them off. Where are you? Over."
"We’re on a bus, heading towards some flats. It will take a few hours. Good luck. Over."
"That was a very quick conversation," said Unit 3.
"We didn’t have to waste any words," replied Unit 1, "Since we don’t like each other…"
"Why do you dislike each other so much?" asked Unit 2.
"It’s a long story. A while ago, when squads worked together, we were in Egypt trying to neutralise a mage who had caused several million pounds of destruction. We were pinned down by enemy gunfire, bullets were flying everywhere and the eight of us were stuck in the middle of a crossfire. Spectre was the one who led us there. Right into the middle of the enemy base – without even realising," Unit 1 said, "I found a way out – a small tunnel leading away from the battlefield. I ordered my squad at the time to go down there, but Spectre wouldn’t allow his. They were all killed, but him, in the next twenty seconds."
"Seriously?" exclaimed Unit 2, "I’m surprised they even kept him in."
"What happened next?" asked Unit 3.
"We went to the mage, we shot him, then were evacuated back to Britain."
There was a loud bump on the floor from upstairs, provided by Unit 4 as a warning.
"That’s it," said Unit 1, "There’s more zombies. Get into position."
Unit 2 and Unit 3 raised the rifles as the bus turned another corner. There were several soft bumps from upstairs, which probably indicated that zombies were on the roof.
Though they were all trained, they felt fear. They hadn’t expected for the entire city to be zombies and they hadn’t got enough ammunition to deal with them all. They were already several magazines down on their rifles.
A zombie swung in through the windscreen, but before it landed on the floor of the bus it was immediately shot in the head by Unit 2, giving it a large hole where its nose would be. It seemed to flop on to the floor slightly as it landed.
"Who is that?" Unit 3 asked, pointing through the windscreen of the bus.
There was a girl stood in the middle of the road.
Unit 1 slammed on the brakes. The bus squealed in response and it started sliding, kicking up a large blanket of smoke.
It managed to stop about a metre away from her.
Despite the fact that 99% of all the zombies around looked Iranian, the girl looked English. She had fair skin and black hair. She was wearing a red dress that was torn and cut in several places.
In her hand, she had a double-barrelled shotgun, which she didn’t seem to be using.
And, unlike the rest of the population of Tehran, she was not a zombie.
Unit 1 opened the doors of the bus as several zombies came in through the windows. Unit 2 and 3 fired their silenced rifles at the invaders as the woman sprinted over to the door.
"Oh god please help me. There’s something after me…" she said.
Unit 1 yelled, "Get in! There are hundreds of bloody zombies about!"
The woman ran into the bus. She gave her shotgun to Unit 2.
Unit 1 placed his foot on the accelerator, whilst the rest of the team shot the last of the zombies. There were no more gunshots from upstairs, either.
"Who are you?" Unit 2 asked, his helmet slightly smeared with blood.
"My name is Tara Rhodes," the woman said softly, "And I’m really glad you guys turned up… whoever you are."