The Apocalypse Option

4) Off the Mark

Jason Vasil's PoV of Story 4

As Kevin jumped down to the ground, the rest of us converged on him. He re-affirmed what I saw, that purgatory was in flames. We didn’t seem too bummed out about that, seeing as how we had Bill, but someone pointed out a key fact: Our van was in Purgatory. Son of a… Well, guess it is all good, seeing as how we kinda have to kill all the centaurs now. Kristof escorted Bill to his car and offered him protection while we eradicated the town of abominations. The rest of us headed into the burning town of Purgatory.

My hunter senses were not needed here, since there was prey everywhere in sight, illuminated by the flames they chose to wield. All they really did was make it easier for me to locate them. Our group emerged deeper into town, where the fighting seemed the most intense. The rhythmic sound of steady gunfire brought our attention towards the Town Square in the center of town. Nodding to each other, the group headed in that direction. We broke into formation without a word spoken.

Kevin took point and started to pick up speed. Tristan Took to the skies, but he seemed to do it half-heartedly. I Ran up a wall and leaped off the roof to land on top of a shop. Jumping from building to building, I made my way towards the church overlooking the Town square. Running full sprint towards the roof’s edge, I jumped to the side of a 2 story building to my right, then pushed off it to springboard myself across the street to land clutching ledge of a church window. I pulled myself up and pushed off with inhuman strength to land kneeling atop the roof of the church. I planted my foot against the roof balcony, and leapt from point to point until I reached the apex of the church, and hid behind the cross. Upon reaching my personal sniper’s roost, I took stock of the situation.

A circle of five centaurs resided in the Town square, amid a bunch of fodder carrying torches. And at the center of the circle was a dual-wielding gunslinger, firing off bullets at a graceful, sedate pace. He didn’t seem to be panicking that there were mechanical abominations running amuck, so I assumed he was like the rest of us. He was bobbing his head and moving his lips to a tune that was unheard by the rest of us it seemed. The centaurs started to close in, so I nocked two arrows and aimed at the two Centaurs closest to his blind spots. Seeing that I was set up, Kevin decided to make his entrance. Thus the fight begun.

Kevin charged forward and prepared to unleash a severe backhand. Shortly before the hit landed, his shield appeared, turning his back handed blow into a mighty shield smash, launching the poor sap into the air. The gunslinger’s moment of shock quickly faded away as he leaped into the air and double-tapped the miserable centaur, killing him before he could hit the ground. Only gravity seemed to look away from this guy, because his upwards momentum never reversed. He held himself elevated above the battlefield for a few moments before he drifted back down. Another flying gunman? Whatever…

I leaped up onto the apex of the cross, and let out a piercing whistle. The gawking centaurs took their eyes off of Kevin to follow the source of the noise. Their eyes landed upon my kneeling form, silhouetted by the blinding sun behind me. I released my arrows as their eyelids attempted to shield their pupils from the sun’s harsh rays. Both arrows striking their marked centaur’s in the head. Not quite between the eyes like I was aiming, but I’d have to settle.

I noticed Tristan atop a single story building mumbling some strange incantation. I watched him build up power to a climaxing point, then amid a flash of light… he pulled out his cellphone and started flipping through it. Well that was a letdown… Content that we would take care of the mob I guess? The sound of a shotgun firing brought my attention to The Flying Gunslinger, whom’s chest now possessed a gushing bullet wound. Before I could help out, I notice his skin sew itself up, but the red hue stayed. Actually… The red seemed to… spread to the rest of his body, wrapping him in a demonic aura, full with horns and everything. He glared at the centaur whom shot him, and slowly made his way over to him.

A centaur fired off a shot at Kevin, but his aim was flawed. Unfortunately for him, he grabbed Kevin’s attention. Kevin Marched over to him with a massive grin on his face. Then midstride, he took a massive leap, placing himself above the centaur, with his sword materializing pointy-end downwards. He landed atop the centaur with a sickening sound, driving his sword through the guy’s biker colors and impaling him through his chest. The centaur attempted to buck Kevin off, but he had a stead grip with one hand. The other possessing his bloody sword poised above the centaur’s head, waiting to strike. In a way it almost looked like they were in a ro…

I felt the impact of shotgun shells land upon my right arm. I glanced down and saw that They failed to pierce my skin, but it still annoyed me that they got a hit on me. I scanned the battlefield to find the culprit, but A sedate pace amid the chaos of the battle brought my eyes to The Flying Gunslinger, whom was slowly walking towards the centaur who previously shot him. His gaze never shifting. His eye contact never-ending. A glint of light brought my gaze to the side window of a building located perpendicular to the church, where a sniper’s focus was trained on The Flying Gunslinger. I couldn’t hit him from here, so I spent a moment to take in the trajectory needed to fire upon the sniper while mid-air. Two seconds later, I found the perfect angle needed to complete the shot.

I ran to the edge of the roof, turned sideways, then pushed myself away from the roof at an angle, causing myself to do a side-flip. As I rounded the first rotation, I drew two arrows from my quiver and nocked them. By the time I entered the second rotation, I had my bow trained forward, two arrows nocked, ready to fire. I was upside down when the window became visible to me, the sniper at my mercy. I locked gaze with him through his scope, and calmly released my arrows. My aim was true. Both arrows impaled the centaur through the eyes, one of which shattering glass as it flew through the sniper’s scope. Then my view of the dead centaur was blocked as my forward momentum propelled me through the air. I noticed Tristan staring at his watch and keeping count of something. One hand in the air marking the ticks. After a second, I spun midair, taking me out of my endless barrage of side-flips, and landed gracefully upon the roof of a burning building.

I debated on bowing, but the sound of shotgun shells meeting flesh brought my gaze over to The Flying Gunman, where it looked like half his torso just got blown off. The Centaur behind him holding the smoking gun. My mouth dropped open when a cascade of tendons, muscles, and skin sewn itself back into place, making the unblemished skin look perfect again. The Flying Gunman’s pace never slowed, his gaze never shifted as he reached his target. The terrified centaur did nothing as The Flying Gunman Calmly placed the barrels of his guns under the abomination’s chin. Maintaining eye-contact, he leaned in and whispered. “Every action has a price…” Then, staring the centaur into the eyes, he double-tapped him, causing blood and gore the spray the building behind them.

The shifting of the building underneath me brought my focus back to the task at hand. The building was collapsing, and I was on top of it. Let’s remedy that, shall we? I took a graceful dive off the building, nocking an arrow and calmly releasing it at the centaur holding the smoking gun behind The Flying Gunman. I aimed at the back of his neck, but with all the smoke and wind blowing around the building, it nailed him in the side of the head. Not even killing him. I shifted my Bow back into a wristband and continued my graceful dive.

I heard Tristan yell out “8 seconds!” and I followed his gaze to Kevin. From my midair vantage point, I saw Kevin swing his sword into a circle and then thrusted it into the spine of the rodeo centaur. I heard a terrible shriek, and the centaur stopped bucking. Kevin gracefully leaped off him and landed with a bow. Holy mother of Goddess that was beautiful…

As I neared the ground, I went to spin out of my dive to make a graceful landing, But the sound of a cocking shotgun brought my gaze back to the ground. I saw the barrel of a shotgun facing me, primed and ready to be shot. The centaur wielding it possessing an arrow going through his head. Uh-oh… I was midair, and thus, I couldn’t dodge this attack. As the trigger was pulled, I spun along the trajectory of the shells, causing them to nail the side of my shoulder, and propel my spin faster. My plan for rolling with the impact of the bullets to make them not pierce my skin was successful. Plus, I even used the momentum to land gracefully in a kneeling position as I hit the ground.

I could hear Tristan cheering at what I assumed was Kevin’s awesome dismount, then I saw a glowing bullet ping off of the wounded centaur. The spell he casted previously augmenting the accuracy of the attack. The attack didn’t seem to damage him, but it did cause the abomination to shift its focus. Big mistake.

I reached back and pulled out an arrow from my quiver. In the same motion I drew it forward, and then back as my bow materialized out of nowhere. The arrow perfectly nocked and shot aligned with the wounded centaurs head. Still in one fluid motion I released the arrow, causing it to split my previously fired arrow in half, pushing the arrow’s tip into the centaur’s brain. He crumpled without a sound.

At the corner of my eye I saw the rodeo centaur start lifting his gun, apparently not quite down for the count. I shifted my bow to target him, But Kevin was fully aware of the situation. He leaped up from his bow, doing a “Legend of Zelda style” spinning slash, slicing through the abomination’s jawline. He dropped without preamble.

All the Centaurs that were at Town square has been eliminated. Seemed that all we had to do now was delve through the waves of fodder the mortal bikers added up to. Cleanup duty. I glanced to my party. Kevin was fashioning a makeshift belt-buckle out of the rodeo centaur’s bike parts. He then grabbed the Centaur’s VP emblem and attached it to the buckle. Talk about humiliating the deceased centaur. Tristan flew down towards us, still on his cell. I notice The Flying Gunslinger spit out a tooth, then groan when he realized it wasn’t his.

As we regrouped and prepared to clean the fight up, we heard the approach of dozens of footsteps and a few motorcycle engines. I made my way back to my Sniper’s perch atop the churches apex, and analyzed the situation. An embassy of 4 centaurs with a small army of mortal bikers was approaching us. The one at point wielding a 40mm grenade launcher. Sure it was a nice weapon, but I firmly believed that no technological hand-missile weapon could beat a sturdy bow. And thus I wasn’t impressed. But wait… There were four centaurs ahead of us. If I did my math correctly, they were the last of their miserable race. How convient that they decide to present themselves to us. While I normally enjoy a good hunt, I was growing tired of the little town of purgatory. So I drew back an arrow and waited. Prepared to counteract their attack should they pose one.

The Leader of the centaurs, wielding a P badge, approached us. If his emblem said P ‘president’ Then the rodeo centaur’s must have been VP ‘Vice-President’ And as luck would have it, it was currently located over the crotch of Kevin, attached to a belt-buckle made out of the president’s 2nd in command. Awesome, awesome, awesome!

The Leader didn’t look too pleased, but he offered us a deal. They’d released their prisoners if we’d just be on our way and stop attacking them. Um… No… Kevin regretfully informed him that we couldn’t accept. For we had sworn to kill all of them, in order to retrieve the key that their Leader desired. Because the leader was adamant about us finding this key before he released his prisoners, he had condemned his race to extinction. Greed has a nasty way of catching back up with you. While Kevin talked, The Flying Gunslinger walked off to a vehicle and started playing some metal music. Guess he liked the negotiations parts of life about as much as I did…

Kevin informed the Leader of the centaurs that while we were sworn to kill all 4 centaurs, we were under no obligation to do the same to the dozens of mortals behind them. He stated that they could disperse, and leave the fight fate dictated to just us non-mortals. The Leader said that he appreciated the offer, but he’d have to consort with his men before he could make a decision. And while he made a move to turn to his pack, he shifted and fired off a grenade from his 40ml Grenade launcher…

The arrow held back by only a tiny bit a pressure from my fingertips prepared to soar…



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