THE GUARDIANS / Chapter 21: Bomber + Chapter 22: Superhumans Part 1
Posted August 11th, 2017 by Codename-X12
in a secret bunker finishing the Guardians
The next morning, I awoke to the cheery glow of sunlight streaming in through the cockpit window. Yawning so widely it hurt my mouth, I sat up wearily. It was 7:21. After only getting four hours of sleep after the hair-raising mission last night, I wasn't well rested at all. I glanced at the notebook lying on my computer desk, half-expecting that what we had almost died to retrieve had gotten lost during the night. Yeah, I was kind of paranoid.
I climbed down, joints aching, from the top bunk of the bed and plunked myself down in the leather chair in front of my computer. I didn't open the notebook, though. Brandon was still snoring peacefully and after he had risked his life just as much as I did, I wanted him to be present when we first studied it. I hadn't really been paying attention to what I was writing when I had been first scribbling it down; being too preoccupied with getting as much down as I could in our crucial window of time.
Instead, I flicked on the computer and checked the sensors and cameras to see if they had picked up anything interesting during the night. Nothing on the long video feed recorded by the hovercraft's external cameras was of any interest to me, so I decided to pull up one of the confidential military feeds to see if they had any more details on the attack that had occurred last night.
There was a lengthy description of the attack, the casualties and the procedures that would be enacted because of it. I scanned through this quickly, learning that the attack would be kept a secret from the public and that nearby military personnel would be on high alert in case they ran into the Black Scythe. Below the report was a list what had been stolen. Fifteen S-97 Raider helicopters. Eleven Type II Dictator tanks. Thirty prototype Titan MK-1 assault walkers. That was enough firepower for a lengthy campaign, maybe for even besieging a city.
After refreshing the feed, I noticed a new update had been added. Interested, I clicked it.
Terrorist Attack: Washington D.C., June 19th, 2:35 AM
Hours before the massive assault on a Level 13 military research facility and laboratory north of the capital, a terrorist attack was reported in downtown Washington D.C, near the coast of the Potomac River. This attack is believed to be connected to the confidential attack on the said military base, and may have served as a distraction to divert government forces (police forces would have not possessed a security clearance high enough to know about the base).
The attack began as a suicide bombing in a nearby meeting at the National Academy of Sciences. In the following minutes, bombs were detonated at the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Harry S. Truman Building, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
Only a few minutes after these bombs detonated, over thirty-five human terrorists and ten destroyer-class assault robots (designed by military weapons collaborator Devon Palamara), were deployed near the National Academy of Sciences. The said human terrorists possessed weapons such as assault rifles up to miniguns, RPGs, and several sniper rifles. The destroyer-class assault robots possessed assault rifles, flamethrowers, flare guns, and several miniguns. The group of terrorists engaged in fierce and high-casualty combat with local police, with government forces arriving later in the confrontation. None of the destroyer-class robots were destroyed until the end of the battle, when they self-destructed, resulting in the death of all surviving terrorists, police, and other forces present in the battle.
Total casualties (Deaths): 794
Destroyer-class assault robots: 10
Government Forces: 67
Total casualties (Injuries): 416
Destroyer-class assault robots: 0
Government Forces: 0
Note: All humans and assault robots present in the armed attack were killed by the self-destruction of all remaining destroyer-class assault robots. The only injuries were sustained during the detonation of the explosives at the several bombing locations.
This needed to stop. 794 deaths in downtown of the United States capital? Was the Black Scythe omnipotent? We needed to track down these superhumans and fast. Soon there wouldn’t be that many people left alive in the area to protect.
After logging the information on my personal database, I stood up to make breakfast. Just some granola bars, apples, and oranges, plus a chocolate bar each because it was a special occasion. Perfect timing, because I heard telltale grunts drifting out from under the covers of the lower bunk.
Moaning as he sat up stiffly like a dead body brought back to life by some twisted science experiment, Brandon cracked his head on the underside of the bunk. With a guttural groan he collapsed back onto his pillow. When he had finally stood up, I tossed him one of his granola bars. Wiping at his bleary eyes, he opened the bar and took a bite.
"Enjoy your four hours of sleep?" I asked him.
"Well, after almost dying three times, wait, no...four," he replied, "I could use a little more."
"You want to do the honors?" I asked, gesturing to the notebook.
"First, tell me exactly what we're gonna do," he replied warily. "Then you're going to have to convince me that we aren't going to die doing it."
"You know as well as I do that we can't take down the Black Scythe and those enhanced assassins just the two of us," I answered. "We need more inhumans to build a team that has a chance of taking them down and rescuing Luna."
"Okay, good." At least he agreed that rescuing the Fox was important. "So you're just going to hunt them down and threaten a bunch of freaky superhumans into fighting for your side and probably dying while they do?"
"With the Black Scythe this powerful, no one is going to be safe for long," I retorted. "They'll have to fight eventually. And if they don't agree even over that, I can be very persuasive when I want to be."
"You and what army? Surely you don't mean me. You should get working on your will."
"Who says its not already done?" I smirked. Brandon looked suddenly nervous. "Kidding. So anyway, you want to check out the files I got? First things first?"
"Sure, go ahead," he replied unenthusiastically, as if he was still wary.
"Let's see here," I mouthed, pulling up the photo on the computer.
Name: Ariana Stream
Superhuman Alias: Mirage
Age: 17 years, 6 months
Mirage possesses a variety of chemicals and poisons. Her abilities are believed to be solely technology-based. The exact chemical compositions and classifications of these chemical weapons are unknown due to the fact that Mirage proves very effective at shutting down and eliminating targets she engages. However, the effects of some of these chemicals have been recorded.
Mirage's chemical weapons can produce a variety of effects, such as hallucination, unconsciousness, temporary paralysis, and even death in some cases. These poisons are suspected to be transmitted through the air only and must be inhaled. Some of Mirage's other chemicals are effective simply through skin contact. The effects of these chemicals include painful blistering, unconsciousness, chemical burns, or temporary blindness.
Mirage possesses dual daggers and razor-sharp whips attached and can be retracted into a pair of gauntlets she was last seen wearing. She transmits poisons using a device worn on her back. On the gauntlets are small spherical pods that also emit poisons. They can also be launched and detonated as a grenade. She also uses a small pistol that fires poisonous darts of various effects
Mirage in all recorded engagements ambushes groups of victims with hallucination and unconsciousness-produced chemical weapons. She is more effective against groups of targets. If victims are not disabled or rendered unconscious by these effects, she may resort to using highly toxic gas. If striking single targets or shutting down high priority targets, she typically uses physical contact blindness-producing chemicals.
Over five feet tall, long black hair, tan skin, green eyes, slender figure. last seen wearing a skintight, black and dark purple bodysuit (believed to resist effects of her own skin-absorbed chemical weapons), lightweight gauntlets (equipped with whips and poison pods), knee-high boots, a metal device attached to her back used to release and propel chemical weapons. Also last seen wearing a bandolier with extra poison pods attached. She also wears an advanced respirator helmet that covers her entire face.
Exact location unknown, near Baltimore, Maryland area (last seen in inner-city Baltimore)
Medium (Mirage can be subdued with careful planning, using surroundings to her disadvantage, and coming with a team)
Gas masks are essential when engaging Mirage. Also, she has been known to use caution when civilian targets are nearby, refraining from using toxic gas or burn-producing gases. Take civilians as prisoners for the defeat of this inhuman. Also note that ambushes when she is distracted with other targets can prove successful.
"Interesting," I noted as I scanned the photograph. "Those poisons could come in handy, especially against those Vespers or squads of terrorists."
"The Vespers probably have gas masks in those helmets," Brandon said.
"Yeah but their suits aren't airtight so those physical contact chemicals would probably shut them down pretty easily," I retorted.
"Do you think they have files like that on all of us?" Brandon wondered.
"Yeah, but some don't have this much info," I replied. "My file had barely anything except for what my ability is. You know you've done a good job when your 'Defeat Strategy' says: unknown."
"Wait, you checked out your own file?" Brandon stared at me. "When we risked our life to spend just a few minutes checking that file?"
"Well, it's important to know what the enemy thinks," was my excuse. "You should be more careful. Your file had a ton of info on you, even a 'Defeat Strategy'."
"Really? What'd it say? You know how to take me down now?"
"I could already take you in a minute, bro," I laughed.
"Maybe, but that's only because you're immune to my powers."
"Nah, I could take you out even of that wasn't the case."
"Well, don't get any ideas," Brandon said, not smiling. "Well, you want to check out the next one?"
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