The Cyneweard

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Part III - All That's Left is Blood :: 76

Cyrus stared at the thickness of the Foreman’s head and neck, trying to gauge the force needed to render him unconscious. He’d have to make it quick to not arouse any nearby suspicion, though the cacophony of sound coming from the South gate should have been adequate enough to cover any loud noises.

The combat had woken him in the shack and his first course of action had been to smile. He was free of his obligations to the Union and had clearance to do as he pleased. And today, he pleased to find his peace. The attack from the Union would be the distraction he needed to pay his old mentor a visit. But first, he’d have to repay a debt he owed.

Cyrus reached through the metal bars separating him and his target, wrapped the crook of his arm around the front of the Foreman’s neck, and drove the back of the man’s head into a bar, applying as much force to the throat as he could. He held the chokehold for a while, squeezing any residual resistance out of his target.

The target now limp, the former Cyneweard scrambled up the large fence and back down the other side. He took two quick glances around and, noticing no impending attackers, started to remove the clothing and weapons from the unconscious Foreman.

Now equipped with a Foreman uniform and sash, along with a fully loaded Scattershot slugthrower, Cyrus turned his attention to the Administration building that loomed in the near distance. He had an idea his first goal would be nearby or in that building.

Running with weapon swinging on his shoulder, he grew closer and closer to the chaos of the battle being waged at the gate. He could hear screams and shots and booms off to his right as he ran. No other Foreman or guards around him seemed to notice him or stop him. They were too busy trying to figure out how to handle their particular roles in this conflict.

Nearer and nearer he came to the gate, each step kicking up dust, punctuated by louder and louder sounds of war. Every loud pop from the gate on his right echoed off the gleaming metal skin of the tall buildings to his left and traveled back over him to its origination. Shouts mixed with screams mixed with thrower fire. It was an absolute cloud of violent confusion. He was glad he wasn’t headed for it.

The ground suddenly shook with a force he wasn’t expecting and he tripped near a gaggle of guards, all of them staring up at something near the top of the large Production building. A large crack of thunder clapped and a bright flash lit up the day sky, shaming the sun for its weak light display. Smoke immediately enveloped everything. A thousand coughs added to the fog. And then the thunder rolled again.

Cyrus ran blind towards a gap in the billowing smoke and collided with a guard. The guard’s Longbarrel went flying.

“Watch out!” the guard cried.

“Sorry,” Cyrus apologized, offering a hand to the fallen guard. “Where’s the thunder coming from? And the smoke?”

“What?” yelled the guard.

Cyrus could only make out a thick brown beard and two bright brown eyes through the smoke. He repeated the questions.

“Oh, yeah. Calor’s new thing. Big bomb thrower, I think. Should make quick work of the Union.”

“Ok,” said Cyrus. “Is Calor up there? The Chairman asked me to speak with him.”

“Yeah, there’s ladders to the side over there. Leads right up to the bulb of the thing. Just make sure to cover your ears. It’s loud,” the guard replied, shoving a finger in the direction of an alley between the Production and Administration buildings.

Cyrus nodded and shot off in the direction the guard had pointed

The ladders were weak and had the feel of being hastily prepared. This had been done after the attack as started. A few times, the ladders shook from their half-mounted hooks and Cyrus would have to slow down. Every loud boom of the large thrower shook the building. He could see some of the steel cover shake loose, revealing the stone bricks beneath.

He made it to the top, winded, and covered his ears. The large thrower consisted of a metal dome with a long barrel pointed at the area beyond the gate. Cyrus turned his head, ears still covered, and watched as one of the large slugs being thrown by the immense weapon landed and burst into flames in the corner of one of the buildings across from the gate. Everything looked smaller this far up. He had to squint to see that many Unionizers had been left in pieces from the blast.

Cyrus looked back at the large weapon and saw what appeared to be a hatch with a L shaped handle opposite of the barrel on the dome. After the next blast, he jogged over to the door and pulled the handle. It opened and he found himself staring into the eyes of a Foreman.

Beyond the Foreman, his eyes going wide, stood Calor. He shouted something and the Foreman in front of Cyrus started to reach for the sidepiece on his waist.

In just a blink of an eye, a multitude of small pellets tore the Foreman’s head to shreds. Another Foreman had a gun raise and he received a shot of pellets to the abdomen. Calor got off a shot but it hit the doorway beside Cyrus and the slug ricocheted within the dome of the large thrower. As the Vice Chairman of Baling ducked from the clanging sounds of the slug trying to find a home, Cyrus sent a barrage of pellets into Calor’s chest.

He turned and left his first goal moaning inside the now silent metal dome. His eyes ran up the side of the Administration building.

Only one more thing to do.

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