In The Dark Days
(October 8, 1992)
"Hey Sonya, do you have a minute?"
It's 7:29 in the morning, way too early for me to have any conversations—unless they plan on getting the usual grumpy morning attitude.
"Not right now, I'm busy." I told him. I could tell he didn't take it well. He is a rookie here after all. "I'm sorry. It's just that I don't really have as much time on my hands as I usually would. Papers are steady piling in my office. Being a lieutenant is a lot different from what I thought." I realize that my excuses aren't making it any better.
"I understand. I actually forgot about your promotion." He put on a faint smile even though I could still tell how disappointed he was.
"How about this, when I return from the meeting, we can talk." I suggested. He didn't show it, but I know he appreciated the thought of it.
"That'll work. Conversation with Sonya after the meeting." He said.
"You'll get 5 minutes only. And that's Lieutenant to you, rook. I'm on the clock." After he understood the message, he gave me a salute and continued his work.
I know it might seem like something mean to tell a person, but I run my shifts military. I know how important discipline is, especially when your life is very well on the line. This is something that I understood quite early on after I got set up by Kano. That's why this meeting is so important to me. Today, we're going to finish this operation.
I entered the SFCC meeting room. It seems that I'm actually much earlier than the other members. "I can't believe they really have me here this early and they're late." I said to myself. Someone tries to catch my attention by fanning me their way. I recognized who he was and headed in his direction.
"So…did everyone learn how to turn into ghosts, or is the place just empty." I asked sarcastically, though I wouldn't be surprised if they did.
"If that was a joke, you're gonna need to improve that skill." That sarcastic, and personally rude, remark came from a young man named Kabal. We know him as an ex-Black Dragon member. He was one of the people we were set on tracking long ago, but he turned his life around in order to carry out the very task that Kano was using to set us up. Unlike Kano, however, he has actually been clearing out some of their hideout alone and has shown better results than most.
"I hate to admit it Sonya, but your monotone speech took the humor away from it." And that sarcastic crap came from none other than Jackson Briggs himself. I can only describe him as a lucky. It's a better description than you think. While I went up in rank just a month ago, he moved up from sergeant to major just a week later. Not only did he skip lieutenant, he also became MY superior after all the years of me being HIS superior. If it wasn't for our long-term friendship, I would have made sure he got demoted to a cop.
"Laugh it up, guys." I said dryly. I hate to admit it, but after hearing myself just now, I realized he was right. "Anyway, why is the meeting starting so late? And where is everyone else?
"For whatever reason, Fang is late." Jax explained.
"Hasn't he been in the office since it opened up this morning?"
"He hasn't been heard from since yesterday evening. Neither have your previous unit." Kabal debriefed.
"Then I'm assuming a search party was sent for him?"
"Yeah, about an hour ago. It only takes 7 minutes to get to his house and 15 minutes to get to Central Station." Kabal responded.
"Wouldn't they notice that something is off about this? Not only is he four hours late, but he isn't here for the most important meeting in history." I added. I have a very bad feeling about this, but they all seem content on the situation.
"He could've been in a bad accident. Or he might've decided to ditch work today." Jax answered jokingly. I wasn't in the mood for jokes. I was ready to release a barrage of seriousness towards Jax, but the sound of someone bursting through the door caught our attention. The man had a terrified look on his face and he breathed heavily as he gave his announcement.
"We have to evacuate the building immediately! Someone had shut off the security system and we're under attack!" the man shouted. I had a feeling that the Black Dragon could arrive at any second. Especially with Kabal here.
"I knew it. So that's what Operation: Noir for was." Kabal stated as he pulled out his hidden silver 9mm Smith & Wesson. Luckily, we have a weapons vault hidden in the room. Jax grabbed an AK-47 and a similar 9mm. I'm not use to any gun except my signature Stainless Steel Colt Special. It was the only one the SF had and I made sure it was hidden away for cases like this. I also grabbed a hunting rifle just in case. It was the only big gun I've ever had practice with. 4 others were in the room with us and 3 more entered the room for safety. One of them was the same guy who warned us about the attack. We all found a place for cover and prepared for the worst case scenario. Suddenly, the guy gave some unusual advice.
"I only have one important piece of intel on these things from central command! We have to aim for the head!" he shouted.
"Did you just say things?" I asked. What could he mean?
"Something sounds real sketchy about this." Jax commented suspiciously. "It's just too many coincidences in one day."
"He means the so called Oni." Kabal stated bluntly. In most Asian countries, the word Oni is used to portray the word demon. I can't tell whether Kabal is cracking another one of his jokes or giving me the cold shoulder.
"Wait, you knew about this?" I could tell Jax wanted to call him a traitor, but we know that's not possible.
"It's classified, but I was given orders abo—"
Suddenly, a full rush of human figures stormed through the door. Everyone in the room focus their aim directly towards the heads of the figures. I checked my rifle and aimed directly at one of them. To my surprise, Kabal was definitely correct. I dropped it fast and pulled my rifle away from the fight. Kabal and Jax watched as I strapped the rifle across my back and placed my gun in my belt holster. I also packed a load of bullets into my ammo pouch for both weapons and was prepared to leave.
"What are you doing Sonya?!" Jax asked.
"Are you nuts?! This is no time to back out!" Kabal states as he continues to put down two more Oni.
"Headshots are for Zombies; don't you know your lore?" I stated. If I said this under better circumstances, it would've been a pretty nice pun. "Oni can't die, period. Not even from a headshot. It's only a matter of minutes before they come back to life and attack again.
As I said that, the first few Oni we killed had come back to life and devoured one of the officers. As Jax and Kabal saw what was happening, they began to pack up and leave with me. More and more were getting torn apart, and that's when we realized time was growing as scarce as our supplies. The amount of Oni that attacked was pretty small and they only attacked one by one. I'm not particularly fond of looting, but those corpses had some important supplies on them. I grabbed what I could and escaped. Jax and Kabal followed behind me.
"So where should we go?" Jax asked.
"Anywhere but here is fine." I responded as looked for an alternative escape route.
"There is a secret entrance through the file cabinet in the break lounge. We can use it to get outside to the courtyard." Kabal suggested. Jax and I looked at each other then returned our attention to Kabal.
"Hey, I was the best scout for the Black Dragon Clan. Besides, our initial attack didn't work." Kabal clarified.
"And apparently, that incident happened while I was gone." I stated with suspicion.
"You mean that time the kid and red haired woman attempted to break someone out of their cell here." Jax questioned. We could question each other all day, but some of the Oni found us in the hallway.
"We have to leave now!" Kabal shouted as he grabbed his pistol and fire onto the Oni that were coming after us. We all fled through the hall until we finally reached the Lounge Room. Once we entered the room, Jax used a nearby chair to barricade the door. We knew it would only delay the Oni for a few minutes.
"Now, this cabinet…" I looked around the lounge, but there were no cabinet in sight.
"They must've taken it away somewhere." Is he serious? Our life is in danger and he brought us to a room with no way out?! Sometimes, I still have to question his loyalties, especially now.
"Tell me that you know another way out!" I shouted. I'm sure my voice attracted a lot more Oni to the door. Kabal looked my way and gave me an irritated face. I must've given him an angry look.
"Look, I know there was a file cabinet in here. That was years ago." He said defensively.
"And you mention that detail now?" I asked him in frustration.
"I did mention that earlier! You were so caught up in helping yourself! Some lieutenant you turned out to be!" Kabal shouted. That's where he crossed the line. I used both of my palms to force him back a few inches.
"Know your place, Kabal." I stated as I pointed my finger directly towards him.
"You treatment like I'm still in the Black Dragon clan." Kabal loads his gun and stores it inside his holster. He then enters a offensive stance. He wants a fight, then it's time we fight.
"I never said that, you just told on yourself." I told him cleverly.
Sudden, a loud thump is heard. Both Kabal and I look towards the wall that the sound came from. We spotted a nearby wall that was struck by a physical blow from Jax.
"That's the secret passage. Kabal was telling the truth. We did have a file cabinet here, but it was rearranged and the tunnel was previously patched up." Jax explained. Kabal simply walked away. He didn't even apologize.
"Trust is a rare thing these days, Sonya. You should watch what you say to certain people., especially when your life is in their hands." He said.
"Are you threatening me?" I pulled out my gun and fast-walked my way towards Kabal. I don't know who he thinks he is. I am his superior.
"Sonya!" Jax grabbed my armed hand and kept me away from Kabal. I could've easily killed them both for insubordination, but since Jax is technically my superior now…
"Let's just leave already. After that, I'm done with the Special Forces." Kabal stated. If he really believes he's off the hook, he has another thing coming. I'm gonna arrest him once we get outside.
"Come on Sonya. We have to go and find Fang." Jax told me. I complied as I put my gun away. We all walked outside and saw the destruction these creatures caused onto New York City. It was like nothing I've seen before, at least not on American soil. Buildings were destroyed, fires were everywhere, and the bodies…the bodies…hold it! Where are the Bodies.
"Jax! Kabal!" I shouted. I pulled out my rifle and focused on the outer areas all around the courtyard. Those who died here must've become one of those things.
"So you noticed it too huh?" Kabal responded as both he and Jax pulled out their weapons. Just like any military trained team, we systematically traveled across the courtyard. When we made it near the middle, I stopped them both.
"Smart thinking, Sonya." Jax complimented. "Now we need to make sure we make it. I'll go down the middle. Sonya, you move right and circle around the fences of the courtyard to the exit. Kabal, I need you to watch my back until Sonya and I reach the exit. Once we do, we'll watch your back until you reach the exit too." I never thought I'd see the day that Jax would actually be giving orders.
We followed his command and pursued our way to the exit slowly. I continued to scale the wall while Jax was moving cover to cover heading towards the exit. He stopped and signaled Kabal to move up a bit closer, to which he complied. I scaled the wall more pointing my rifle around many different blind spots Jax might not see. I could hear the sounds of the Oni, but they were definitely too far away to notice us. I practically beat Jax to the exit as I was only a few steps away.
"You gotta move, Jax." I whispered as I made it next to the exit. I was about to point my rifle through the door, but before I could even move I heard a very disturbing screech. This was a sound that I've never heard before, certainly not from the Oni. A winged creature darted through the exit like a super powered human. As a matter of fact, it was the size of a human. And it was aiming directly for Jax. Without thinking, I pointed my rifle towards where I thought the creature would meet the bullet. As I pulled the trigger, the creature jerked to the right of Jax, narrowly missing him. The creature yelled in pain while seemingly holding its left hand. This time, its voice sounded very feminine.
"YOU IDIOT! WHY WOULD YOU DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT?" She shouted. She then hoped into a fighting stance and dashed towards Jax again. Kabal and I continue to fire on her, but unlike last time, she's dodging the bullets at light speed. I reload my weapon, but I'm suddenly overrun by Oni who have just entered into the courtyard through the exit I was just standing near. I attacked a few with the butt of my rifle and then threw it towards the pack when I saw how futile my attacks were.
"I hear more preparing to enter the room we just escaped from! I'm gonna try and force them back!" Kabal shouted. "You two find a way to escape! I'll meet you at the Central area of the city!" With that, Kabal escaped through the open area of the building. I hear gunshots, but nothing more. I rush towards Jax's direction hoping to help him fight against the woman. There is a complication with that however—A tragic one. I should've never kept him out of my sight. How could I let this happen? How did this day every come? There are too many questions and not enough answers.
"Sodium...titanium…kryton…iodine…iridium…maganese…durnium…" Jax said faintly. His eyes drew dull as the woman finished feeding off of his blood. She looked directly towards me as the Oni walked in my direction. They locked their eyes on me. I have nowhere to run. Oni were even coming out of the room Kabal was just guarding. I only have 7 bullets in this clip and reloading is futile. God help me.
"Make sure you all eat her hands first. I'll take care of the rest." The woman commanded.
Suddenly, a loud crackling sound echoed throughout the courtyard. One by one, the Oni were being taken down. I know that kind of firing from anywhere. That is the sound of help. I looked at a few nearby buildings and saw what looked like ant sized humans standing inside a neighboring building of the SF building. The woman grew angrier by the second as her hoard was being decimated. She then saw where the shots were coming from commanded large amounts of Oni to overrun the building. As the courtyard became clearer, I decided to use this chance to attack the woman. I pulled out my pistol and dashed in her direction.
"So you still wanna play huh?" the woman boasted. She got into a defensive stance preparing to face me. I dropped the two oncoming Oni with one bullet each directly to the head. As I was near point blank range, I released the last of my bullets at the woman, but forced my aim in another direction. My gun clicked as the clip case fell out of the bottom of my gun. I use the pistol as a physical weapon and swung it at the woman. She merely knocked it out of my hand and grabbed me by the neck.
"What are you…doing…in our city?" I struggled to ask. Her grip seemed to be getting tighter by the second.
"You won't need to know where you're going." She responded as she showed her deadly fangs. The sound of a shotgun catches me off guard. The woman released her grip from my neck and fell to the floor. She held left arm in pain, cursing both me and the person who shot her. Someone scooped me off the ground and ran to the entrance of the building through the courtyard. As I drew further away from the scene, I saw another man come up to the woman and shoot her in the head with a Colt pistol. My vision became blurry after that.
"They're never coming back you know." A voice was speaking to me as I was hanging on the edge of a building. "They died foolishly. Some leader the Major was. His strategy was a complete failure." I knew that voice. It sounded so familiar. I just don't know the name. "And don't get me started on that sarcastic thug. What can you say— you can't turn a criminal into a cop." The woman appeared in front of me. "You, however, you're different. I can feel you. I understand you. You were meant for this new world."
I recognize her now. She's the woman from before. She's a Vampire. "More like Vampiré. My name is Ciero from Vaeternus. You may not know it, but I'm tasked as your "special" someone from now on." What can she mean? What does she want?
"I can give you answers later, but first you have to wake up." Wake up? "Wake…up." Wake up. "WAKE UP!"
Suddenly, my eyes opened once again and I was staring in the face of an old friend, Stryker. "Wake up, Sonya. We have no time waste here. That woman brought those things in the courtyard and they're now coming our way." He stated. I was still a bit groggy, but I knew how urgent the situation was. We looked outside and couldn't find a way out.
"We'll need some more man power or heavy artillery. And how are those snipers doing?" I asked.
"They're doing death, so maybe man power is out of the question." He responded. The other two men who came with him were guarding the area. Suddenly, the intercom came on.
"To anyone still left in the building, we need you in the COM room immediately. There are survivors. I repeat there are survivors." the man said. I gazed at Stryker and gave him a smile of utter determination.