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Chapter 25

The crashing and breaking continues in the background as he reminisces. “Sergey?! Sergey!!” the cosmonaut screams to him. “Huh?? What??” he snaps out of it. Speaking in Russian, “What the hell happened?? You spaced out for a moment.” “Da, sorry about that. Was…remembering something,” he wipes his tears away, “but I’m back now. No matter what…we finish the mission.” She nods in agreement. Crash!! They’re now wondering what the hell’s going on back there. Suddenly, Olivia crashes through the wall along with the queen, struggling. Her majesty is really going for it, not holding back anymore. It roars incessantly at her face, her tentacles flail around wildly. She struggles to hold it back, especially with her reduced energy. Alexandra and Sergey both just stare at them, wondering what to do without their weapons. But they have to do something. Without hesitation, he grabs a nearby pole stand and runs towards them. He hits it with all his might, but it does nothing except angering it. It turns to him, “Oh, shit,” he says. But it gives Olivia the time to get free and punch it several times, knocking it backwards. She then telekinetically grabs the pipes and steel bars from the walls and beneath the floor to restrain her, stabbing her a multitude of times using them, including her eyes and head. She then levitates back down to rest, kneeling. At least it stops struggling for a moment, but something tells them it won’t hold it for long.

Alexandra runs over to help her up, as does Sergey. “Are you okay?” she asks. “Yeah, I’ll be fine. That won’t hold her for long though,” she replies. “Where is Takashi?” Sergey asks her. “I…I don’t know,” still catching her breath, “still somewhere near where we entered.” “Let us go then,” he says running off. The cosmonaut shrugs her shoulders and they both follow him. The passageway is mostly destroyed now from all their fighting, the windows broken and shattered, shards of glass lie on the floor. They carefully walk through before seeing Takashi unconscious outside on the grass. “Takashi?” she quickly runs to him across the garden. He’s beaten up pretty badly, cuts and bruises on his face and body. Well, it’s not like she’s a picture of health either with cuts and blood all over her too. Though hers aren’t as bad as his, I guess. “Baby?? Are you okay? Say something, please.” He moans and shakes his head slowly. “There you go. It’s okay. It’s alright, it’s over, at least for a moment,” she picks him up. “Uhhhh, what? What happened?” he asks. “It’s alright, take your time.” While they’re recovering, Sergey goes to do something else. “Where are you going??” she asks him. “To get our weapons! We will need them!” “In that case, I also have something we can use from the shuttle,” she goes with him.

“So did you get it?” Takashi asks her. “For the moment…but not for long,” she answers, “we should go.” She turns around to see that both Sergey and Alexandra have gone. “Where the hell did those two go?” “Forget about them. I just wanna lie here for now,” he says to her. The sun above is shining to his eyes, but he didn’t care. He touches and feels the grass beneath him. The grassy texture feels weird on his hands coupled with the dirt and the ground. It’s still a little wet, maybe from the rain before. He doesn’t know why he’s doing that. When you’re tired, you just…do anything. What do you do when you don’t know what to do? “Baby, you okay?” she asks. “Yeahaha. I’m, I’m fine. Just help me up, will you?” “Of course.” She holsters him on her shoulder, cause he still can’t really stand on his own. They start walking back towards the passageway. “Haha. I don’t think our healing powers are gonna help this time,” he says, jokingly. “I hope they do. They have to,” she remains serious. “Watch out for the glass. Careful.” She takes him to a part where the glass doesn’t reach, near the escalators, and sets him down gently against the wall. “I’m gonna try to heal you, okay? Hold still,” she says. “No! No, don’t. Save your energy. Besides, haha, I’m fine,” he tells her, sending her hand away. “You’re not fine,” she asserts. “Neither are you!” he yells, “sorry. It’s just…” “It’s alright. But please let me try.” He sighs and reluctantly agrees. She puts her hands on him and tries. Obviously it’s straining her, but she persists. It is working, but she gets weaker as it goes on. “Liv, stop. Stop!” She falls back, sweating and breathing rapidly. “Liv?! Shit! Liv, you okay??” he gets up and runs to her. She stares blankly to the walls and ceiling. He tries to snap her out of it, holding her cheeks. If he tries to heal her, then he would just be giving back the energy she gave him and it would just repeat again. She grabs his hand, “Hahahaha. You know there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you. And I know you’d do the same thing for me. Do you remember that promise we made?” “Yeah…I do, actually.”

Their minds go back to that moment. They were back at the apartment, it was sundown, and Takashi’s left eye was dark blue. “You know you didn’t have to do that,” she said to him preparing an ice pack. “No, I kinda did. He’s an asshole,” he replied. “Yes he is. Haha, what were you thinking?” “I have no idea what I was thinking, haha.” She brought him the pack and sat down in front of him. He had just been punched by Olivia’s ex-boyfriend, Luke, when they were at the mall. Luke and his friends saw them and confronted them. He told her how he was sorry of how he acted and how he wanted her back. She rebuffed him, of course, telling him to go away. “I’m with someone else now, as you can see,” she told him. He took a good look at him: this weird, pathetic guy. “You left me for him??! This fucker?!” “Hey, be nice!” she said. “Forget this! You’re coming with me,” he tried to take her away by force. “Hey! Owww! You’re hurting me!!” It was at that point that they started to attract the attention of others, specifically a security guard. Takashi initially was hesitant, holding back. But then he braved himself and pushed him away from her. “Hey! Back off, pal!” he said. Angered, he quickly punched Takashi in the eye, knocking him down. “Omg, Luke! Really??!” “Is there a problem here?” the security guard spoke. Others were watching too. “Yeah, what are you guys looking at??!” he yelled at them. “Sir, I’m afraid I’m gonna have to ask you to leave,” the guard asserted himself. “Oh yeah?? Or what, pal??” he challenged him. “Or I will taze your ass and watch as you squirm on the floor, drooling,” he replied. “Come on, man. It’s not worth it,” his friend told him. But he was still busy having a staring contest with the guard. “If I were you, I’d listen to your friend,” the guard spoke. Finally he backed off, with spite. “Alright, alright! Fine! This place sucks anyway!!” he yelled as he left. The guard shook his head before turning around to help Takashi up. “You alright, sir?” “Yeah, I’m fine. Thanks for that.” “No, really. Thank you,” she added. “It’s no problem, guys. Though I recommend you put some ice on that soon.” “We will, thank you again.” He nodded before breaking up the scene. “Alright, people, nothing to see here! Please get back to your shopping and other mall-related activities! Mam... Sir. You two have a good day.”

Back at the room, he was still covering his eye, still feeling the pain. The bruise was quite blue and dark. He punched him pretty good. “I still can’t believe you did that for me,” she said. “Well, I guess I did know what I was thinking then,” he smiled, “I was thinking of you. You know I would do anything for you.” She smiled back, “Is that a promise?” “Haha, promise.” “Well then, I promise too.” She then gave him a hug, though he couldn’t really hug back on account of holding the ice pack. But he did anyway.

“Hahahaha,” she laughs, “thank you for doing that.” “Hahaha, you don’t have to thank me. I would do it again in a heartbeat,” he tells her. “I know you would.” “So you feeling better? A little bit?” he put his finger and thumb close together to signify that. She nods, “Yeah, a little bit. Haha.” “Don’t worry. Our energy will come back…I think,” he says, unsure, “come on.” He helps her up and then she shares a hug with him again. “Can you believe we’re still here? We made it,” she says. He only smiles at her, not knowing what to say. He’s feeling it again, though at a smaller load. Nothing he can’t handle. She taught him that, how to handle it. “Yeah, we did,” he finally forced himself to speak, “but we’re not out of the woods yet.” Just focus, let go. Then Sergey and Alexandra return from their shuttle raid, walking down the escalator, holding the weapons that can help them finish this.

“Ah, good. You two are finally up,” he says holding a grenade launcher in hand and holstering a rifle in back. While the cosmonaut is holding something else… “Uhhh, Alexandra. What are you carrying?” she asks her. “Guys, this is what we call a flamethrower,” she tells them. It’s definitely not compact. She carries the big fuel tank on her back while holding the nozzle on her hands. The small blue flame is already lit at the tip, ready to fry a queen-sized alien and finish her off. “We are all set. Let us finish this. For Andrei,” he says. “Are you sure you guys are okay to do this?” the cosmonaut asks. They look at each other, completely unsure of whether they’re up for it or not, absolutely tired, but they nod anyway. “Let’s just go finish this,” he says tiredly to them. They just want it to be over and done with. They head back through the broken passageway to reach the main area. “Oh, Jesus,” Olivia says looking at the now vacant steel bars. Somehow she knew that her majesty would get out. It can’t be that easy, as if it’s easy at all. “Where the fuck did it go??” Sergey asks staring. She shakes her head in response, looking worried. “Wait, so you had it pinned here?” Takashi asks. “Not anymore,” she answers. “Guys, come here,” the cosmonaut calls to them. One of the TVs hanged on a column is showing news about the invasion around the world. It seems that their mission was successful after all as the alien ships worldwide have fallen. They put a smile on their faces over this news, though the aliens themselves are still roaming around causing chaos.

“Well, at least we stopped the ships,” Olivia says. “Unlike the ships, the creatures themselves must be connected directly to the queen,” Takashi surmises. “Sooo, if we take out queen…” Sergey adds. “We take them out, all of them.” “That’s easier said than done,” she reminds them, “where do you think it went?” “After what you did to it, I am surprised it can still walk around,” Alexandra adds. “Oh, I think this one’s tougher than it looks. Keep your eyes open,” Takashi warns them. They walk over to the window overlooking the city in the distance. “You don’t think it left, do you? You think it went to gather all the others?” Olivia asks him, worried. “I think…the only thing on its mind right now is revenge against us. It’s not gonna leave until it’s sure that we’re dead,” he seems pretty sure about it. “So where is it then?” Unbeknownst to them, its tentacle slithers behind them from above, ready to strike. Fortunately, Sergey notices and quickly shoots a grenade to it on the ceiling. Boom! It roars in pain as it falls down. Takashi reacts and grabs Olivia and jumps out of the way. It cracks the floor. The cosmonaut unleashes her flames on it without hesitation, successfully burning it a little. It roars again in pain, but quickly gets up and converts to electrical form, zipping through the electrical lines inside the walls and floor. “Don’t let it get away!! Come on, Liv!” They chase it all the way through building, going through other areas as it sparks and overloads every electrical device it crosses. Alexandra runs a little bit behind, that flamethrower is pretty heavy. “Guys, wait up!” she says, tired. It finally rematerializes at another terminal, taunting them. But Takashi doesn’t give it any breathing time, rushing at it with full speed, screaming. “AaaaaaarrrggggghhhhhH!!!!!!” And he punches her/it smack in the face with all he’s got. He doesn’t let up and connects with another one and another one. Fortunately for them, all their previous battles have weakened her to some extent. “Shoot!!” he yells. Sergey is about to unload his entire clip at it with no mercy, but only successfully launches one before the queen retaliates by striking him with an electrical stream. It knocks him back quite a few and puts him out of the game for a while. “Sergey!” Olivia shouts. It then uses its tentacles to grab Takashi by the neck and throw him outside to the tarmac through the glass with force.

As her majesty prepares to leave again, Olivia quickly holds her in place, preventing her escape. In its also weakened state, it makes it hard for her to break through her hold. Alexandra then suddenly comes charging in, screaming, and again unleashes her flamethrower on it, this time dousing the queen completely. It once again roars in pain as the fire, to some degree, melts away her armor skin. It’s effective having already been first weakened by the grenades and the stabbing. It struggles around trying to get rid of the flames and runs outside smashing through the glass, transforming to electrical form and back sporadically. Alexandra quickly follows and jumps and runs outside too to finish the job. Catching her breath, Olivia turns around and tries to wake Sergey up. “Hey. Hey! Come on, wake up!” she shakes him. Outside, Takashi lies on the ground, that throw really fucked him up quite a bit, while the cosmonaut continues to burn the queen. Unfortunately, it soon runs out of fuel. “Oh shit. Not now. Woah!” She dodges the queen’s flailing tentacles and drops the flamethrower down. With her burning, she takes out her handgun and starts shooting. It’s definitely working, wounding her, yet she’s still standing.

Eventually, she transforms into a frenzy of electricity, putting out the flames, before transforming back, giving one last big roar. And then it collapses to the ground. Slowing down her breathing, she closes her eyes for a moment in relief. It’s over. She puts her gun away and runs over to Takashi to check on him. “Hey. Hey! Are you okay?” He moans and coughs, “Oh, you know me, haha. Stuff like this is just another day at the office.” “Well, you do not have to worry anymore. It is over,” she tells him, helping him up. “Are you sure this time? Cause it was over last time too and we all know how that went.” “Weeelll…” she turns around to look at the queen’s charred body. “Holy shit. Wow,” he says looking at it too. “Yep. I do not think she is coming back this time.” “Let’s hope not.” He waves to Olivia walking out, holstering Sergey on her shoulders. “Come on, let’s go,” he says to her. They meet around the queen’s charred remains, really hoping that this is over. “Is it…really over this time?” Olivia asks, sooo tired of all this. Yet somehow, she and Takashi have this feeling inside…this really bad feeling. Thump! They hear a sound coming from behind them. Takashi looks up, giving that look when you know that something’s gonna happen. “Of course.”

He and Alexandra slowly turn around to see what Olivia and Sergey already know, the others have come for their queen. The cosmonaut doesn’t believe what she’s seeing. “But…but we killed the queen. They should be dead too,” she says, really freaking out. “They should be…” Takashi replies, worrying. “So that means…” Olivia says. The queen suddenly wakes up and knocks them all away, roaring. The others roar in unison, following their queen. “Oh shit!” he exclaims. The aliens attack and a battle ensues once again. Takashi and Olivia quickly jump to protect their friends, repelling most of them away. “Guys, just focus on the queen!!! If you kill her, they’ll die too!!!!” he shouts to them. Alexandra quickly unloads her remaining clip, wounding her further. Her majesty’s already dying, but she’s not going down without them. Takashi and Olivia protects them as best as they can, she brings one up with her and slams it down towards a nearby refueling truck, causing it to explode and damage nearby creatures, before floating back down. But eventually, they too become overwhelmed by the sheer number. With her out of bullets, the queen heads for Alexandra, but… Boom! She’s struck with a grenade and falls down. The others suddenly weaken too and are stopped in their tracks, dying. She/It gets back up, fumbling and struggling, and turns around to see Sergey aiming the grenade launcher at her. At this point, she’s already bleeding her yellow blood out all over the tarmac. “This…is for Andrei,” he speaks. His muscles are tense, his face serious, and his mind focused. This is the moment he’s been waiting for. He then unloads the entire clip at her, shattering and ripping her skin and her tentacles in a flurry of explosions. Finally, at long last, it’s over as her now lifeless and destroyed body falls to the ground, dead. With her death, all the others die with her, dropping dead all over the world. Sergey closes his eyes and takes a deep breath as he lowers the launcher and drops it to the ground. It’s finally over. The war is finally over.

The others join him in the relief as they continue lying on the tarmac, actually thinking of sleeping. “Andrei, my friend, it is done. We did it,” he speaks quietly. After saying what he needs to say and saying goodbye to his friend, he walks over to Alexandra, smiling. Yep, he’s smiling, a genuine smile this time. He’s feeling happy, and why shouldn’t he? He finally avenged his fallen comrade and defeated the alien invaders. Heck, they all should be happy, and relieved. “Need a hand, friend?” he says. She smiles back at him before accepting his offer. Meanwhile, Takashi and Olivia are just enjoying the peace and quiet as they hug each other while lying on the tarmac. It’s a little uncomfortable, but they couldn’t care less. After all the shit they’ve just been through, they’ve learned to just enjoy the moment while you can, staring into the blue sky with a smile. After that, he then sits up and looks at her, “Hey,” he says. “What?” she asks him, sitting up. A few tears appear in his eyes, “We made it,” he tells her. Tears start to roll down her cheek too, “Yes, we did.” They then share a long and passionate kiss. “Have I ever told you that I love you very much?” he asks her. She shakes her head and says, “You don’t have to. I already know.” He smiles at her, trying to wipe away the tears. They notice all these smells in the air all of a sudden. The smell of the tarmac, oil, and jet fuel… Maybe it’s true what they say, when you stop with the big things for a while and take a break, you notice the small things…the little things. He breathes it all in, “God, I never thought I’d be so happy to smell asphalt. Or is that tarmac? Hahaha. It smells good though, doesn’t it?” “Haha, it does actually.”

“Sooo, what are you two lovebirds gonna do now?” Sergey walks up to them, still smiling. They shake their heads, not knowing how to answer that. It’s actually more like what shouldn’t they do. There are so many possibilities and so many other places to go to. “You know what I wanna do now?” Takashi says, “I wanna go back to that lake in the city. Do you remember that?” “Oh yeah, that was beautiful.” “Well, let us go then,” Sergey invites them all. They pick themselves up, slowly, and wipe the dirt of their clothes and pants. “Do you even know where it is?” he realizes he probably just asked a stupid question. “My friend, I have lived in Moscow my entire life. I know everything about this place.” He nods awkwardly, having his assumption proven right. With that all said and done then, they head off…to the parking lot to find a car to drive, because they sure as hell aren’t walking, or flying for that matter, after the ordeal they just went through.

They grab some snacks and drinks for the road as they go through the building. Finding a silver sedan at the parking lot, they quickly decide on that one cause they really don’t wanna spend time picking through all the cars—and they just really don’t care, to be honest. It’s enough for their needs now. Sergey smashes the window to unlock the doors and then proceeds to hotwire the car. “Oh, listen to that baby purr,” he says. “You know it’s a sedan, right?” Takashi tells him. “Just shut up and get in.” “Do we have enough gas for the road?” Olivia asks. “We have enough,” he answers. “Is it full?” “Yes, yes, we still have plenty. Relax. Alright, everybody ready? Let’s go.” And with that, they’re on their way, heading back to Moscow.
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