The Shimmer Project

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Caleb

I knew that small army who had ambushed us in the room wasn’t their only backup. There was a lot more to come. I followed Concordia and Vigidis at a run around the lab. I felt torn to leave Eris but I knew I needed to stay out of her way. My heart was racing in my chest. I heard shouts as men approached.

“ Come on!” Concordia hissed at me already following Vigidis into the hallway. It was empty, we sprinted down it. The girls stopped often looking around wondering where to go. I remembered that they had never been out of their rooms before, and when they had, they were under sedation. They had no idea how to get around. I managed to help a little since I had a better idea of where we were. We found stairs and slowly hurried towards the front entrance. It was fully guarded by a fifty or so young men with guns and fierce looking expressions. The door behind them was bolted. We hid around the corner.

“ Do we kill them?” Vigidis asked her eyes wide.

“ Do we have a choice?” Concordia asked. Vigidis pursed her lips, I couldn’t help notice a small smile. I remembered James telling me about their pleasure in gaining more power and killing.

I felt squeamish, more death. I usually had no problem with blood, but death in front of my eyes was something else. At least I wasn’t the one killing.

Vigidis slipped forward silently her curly hair bouncing as she trotted forward.

“ Hey!” I heard her call then suddenly the sounds of bodies falling to the ground and groans of the men still alive. There were a few gun shots, I hear Vigidis curse. Concordia came to her aide. Together they silenced the hallway.

“ This is too easy,” I heard Vigidis giggle.

“ That’s not a good thing,” I told her. She frowned at me.

All fifty men were lying on the ground with her heads ripped off and blood draining out onto the tiles. They moved slowly to the side as Vigidis walked through them. Their bodies pilled up against the walls. The metallic smell filled the air.

“ Should we knock?” Vigidis asked with a hint of a smile. I had no idea what she was smiling about.

“ I’m not sure how to open it,” Concordia admitted staring at the two high metal doors completely bolted up. There was no keyhole.

“ They’re automatic. You need the pin,” I informed the girls.

“ But that’s ridiculous! Why don’t they just have a key?” Vigidis cried.

“ Because then anyone could steal it and come in at anytime,” I answered. Vigidis looked perplexed.

“ The big question here is getting out,” Concordia announced pressing her palms against the thick layer of metal.

“ Can we blast it?” Vigidis asked.

“ No. Eris maybe, but not us. Even working together,” she faced me with a small smile. “ You know everything now Caleb. She’s so powerful. I’m so sorry for all of this.”

“ This isn’t the right time for apologies!” Vigidis shouted hammering her fists against the door. “ We need to get out!” her small fist pounding didn’t make much noise I was sure it’s couldn’t be heard from the other side. But her shouts could be.

“ Hey calm down!” I hissed grabbing her arm and shaking her. “ You’re only getting yourself noticed and a whole new army will arrive any second now.”

“ Sor-ry,” she huffed. I frowned at her.

“ We dug our way in, lets dig our way out!” Concordia cried her eyes going utterly black. I watched, as the floor next to her started shattering. The blood started to drain towards the hole. Vigidis stood next to me here eyes straining on the hole. They were scratching against a large slab of concrete. I scanned the room trying to look for something to help them, but I stopped staring at the security camera. Almost immediately shouts from the other side of the hall way shouted, the thundering of boots. The girls were too concentrated on their concrete to even notice.

“ Shit,” I hissed glancing towards the stack of dead soldiers against the wall. I rushed over and ripped a gun out of a dead soldiers grasp. The tiled floor was soaked in blood, my skidded on it. I had only held a gun once before in my life, at a museum, when I was in primary school. They had handed around a very old gun, I only held it for about three seconds before it was snatched away.

I gazed down at the gun in my hands, it looked gigantic, too big, it weighed twice as much as I expected it to. And it contained balls twice the normal size. Designed to slow Eris and her sisters’ down.

I heard the blast down the hallway and jumped away just in time for the large metal sabot round to crash above my head. The impact sent me skidding across the hallway. Concordia and Vigidis hadn’t budged. But they had noticed the army. I got up slowly cursing under my breath. I advanced towards the girls slowly. A second sabot round came whistling towards us. I froze. My muscles seemed locked in place. The gun in my hands was fruitless. Concordia pushed me over, I slipped on a bloody corps and landed in a large pool of blood as the sabot round crashed just a few feet from me. My eyes were wide as Concordia and Vigidis’ eyes both turned black. They rapidly moved out of the way of the canons. Another sabot round came hurtling forward and crashed into the tiled wall. It crumbled at my feet. I got up rapidly crawling away from the door. I was covered in blood, it wasn’t even my blood. I grimaced at the metallic smell. Concordia and Vigidis were standing back to the wall hissing at each other. I got up, my head spinning as another ball arrived and crashed. It was so loud. I made my way rapidly to the sisters just as they broke apart.

“ You okay?” Concordia asked me her eyes completely black. I nodding standing up and wiping my hands down my blood shirt. The red in her eyes glowed as she smiled.

“ We’re going together to destroy the tank,” Vigidis informed me.

“ What should I do?” I asked in all honesty. Concordia hesitated her mouth opening to answer but Vigidis jumped in first.

“ Try to keep digging with the guns. Stay out of the way. Sometimes we can’t control our powers. So keep your head down,” she barked. I blinked once then grimaced.

“ Fine,” I snapped stepping back squishing myself against the wall. Concordia gave her sister a stern look then smiled at me.

“ Just try to get out,” she told me.

“ He’s a human, it’s part of his instincts to save his skin,” Vigidis regarded me slowly. She grabbed her sister’s elbow and dragged her forward. I slipped towards the door with a gigantic impression I was mostly bothering them. I had never been in the one getting in that way before, always the one on top.

My thoughts slipped back to Eris. My heart hammered in my chest and I pulled out the little photograph still in my pocket. I gazed at it for a second then stuffed it back into my pocket. The sisters were counting down slowly. I watched them with wide eyes. Suddenly they bolted forward together holding hand and facing forward. I heard a gigantic rumble as the tank exploded. The shock waved knocked them back wards as the skidded in the blood floor. A sabot round crashed above their head sending them shooting forward again. I watched with wide eyes as two hundred or so young soldiers all aimed and shot at them. They fell to the ground immediately crunched up in little balls as the bullets showered them. Somehow they seemed to shield themselves as the bullets bounced off. I realized that they were using all their powers and couldn’t get rid of the second tank that was arriving. I ran towards the door my bloody shoes skidding dangerously. I stopped next to the hole the girls had started. I was in view. The hole was probably about four feet deep. The dead soldiers’ blood was dripping in slowly. I wrinkled my nose and stepped inside. I crouched down hammering at the sides with the heavy gun. I could hear all guns still shooting. I knew that as long as they were shooting Concordia and Vigidis were still alive. But unable to move. They had given me instructions to get away. But they were going to get captured. Because of me. I gave the hole’s side one more thump then peeked my head up again. The army was concentrating on Vigidis and Concordia. They were closing in on them. I had no idea how long the girls could last deflecting the bullets. But I had to do something. I crept out of the hole again and moved forwards on my stomach. The blood drenched through my clothes.

“ Here it goes,” I murmured jumping up and without aiming I pulled the trigger. Then I slipped down again. As I peered around the corner I noticed a few men sliding down to the ground bleeding. Vigidis and Concordia were still balled up the bullets directed on them bouncing back. Some soldiers got too close and found some of the bouncing bullets in their chests.

I had never had to fight for my life before, especially in a war. It was not like the movies or the computer games. I wasn’t sitting down watching anything. I was in danger. I was in the middle of it and I had a very good chance of dying.

As the bullets still showered the sisters some soldiers looked up searching for me. I stayed around the corner listening. They never stopped firing. They didn’t bother coming after me. They had to keep as many bullets on the sisters. I slid around and pointed my gun at the tank. It was pointed at the sisters, intending to kill. They were going to die. I aimed at the wheels at first, the bullets sunk in not making much damage. I swore then aimed for the men getting in it. I watched in horror as they fell back bleeding. My hands shook violently as I aimed again. I could see Eris’s face in my mind, my head was spinning. I took a deep breath before aiming and shooting again. More soldiers fell. They spotted me and pointed their guns at me. They aimed, shot and missed. The sisters looked up, their powers stronger. The soldiers cursed. I noticed while I worked on them Vigidis had moved forward creeping on her knees, the bullets here basically aimed at her back. It was easy for her to move her defense powers only to her back. She glanced at me then grinned from across the rooms. Suddenly the tank exploded filling the room with showers of fire. The shock wave sent me flaying through the air, I was crashed against the tiled wall. I could feel my bones shaking inside me, the ripping of my skin against the broken tiles and the burning as the fire shot through the hallway then faded.

I fell to the ground hard. Gasping for breath. I felt torn to pieces. I clutched the gun to my chest and leaned around the corner planning to shoot. Planning to kill. The soldiers bodies were scattered around the hallway. The tank was a fuming pile of steal drenched in blood. But there was still at least a hundred with their bullets showering the sisters.

“ Hey!” I heard a loud voice cry as two large hands gripped my shoulders and threw me of balance. I slammed against the already broken wall. I was covered in little cuts as I looked up at my attacker. I recognized him immediately as the guy who I had attacked the day before. He recognized me and was reaching for his gun.

“ You son of a bitch!” I gave out a shout and lunched myself on him, knocking the gun out of his hand. He was a big man, older and stronger than me but I had done a few martial arts when I was little. I leapt back off him and gave him a kick in the nose. He cried out and grabbed my foot, before I could react I was on the floor next to him. His fist arrived suddenly on my face. I rolled out of the way just in time. I heard him swearing as he leapt to his feet blood pouring out of his nose. His foot headed for my face as I rolled again then jumped up. I knew it was no use sending punches into his braun but kicks would do. He sent a flailing punch and I dodged it before lashing out a vicious kick to his knees. He buckled over. I punch him hard in the chin, his head cracked backwards as he fell on the floor cold. I stood up panting. He was still breathing but I had the impression he wouldn’t be standing up any time soon.

Suddenly bullets started in my direction, I ducked around the corner and pulled the man out of the way as well. It would be sick for them to kill him. I could hear the tiles breaking as the bullets hit. I crouched behind clutching my gun. I couldn’t see the girls but I could hear the roar of the bullets. They thundered around me, destroying everything. Shattering the walls, the floor and the ceiling.

A bullet hit me in the leg. I cried out and fell to the ground. Twenty or so soldiers stood in front of me. They turned back to the sisters again. It meant I was no longer a threat. I swallowed as a large man pointed his gun in my face.

“ Brave boy!” he shouted over the rumble of the war. I was in too much pain to reply. I knew he was going to kill me. Instinctively I rolled out of the way. The soldier let out a frustrated cry as I pointed my gun at him and pulled the trigger. He dropped to the shattered floor, lifeless. I pointed the gun at the other men. None of their guns were pointed at me. Suddenly there was a gigantic explosion. It wasn’t in the hallway, it came from two flights above us. I knew it could only be Eris. The explosions distracted too many soldiers who fell dead as Concordia and Vigidis stood up again. I barley aimed as I shot at the men. I heard screams and explosions then just the sound of the fire. Trying to burn against the tiles. I realized that the two hundred men were all dead. I sat on the floor my leg throbbing as my blood poured out. I gripped my leg pressing my wound trying to stop the blood flowing.

“ Caleb stop. Allow me,” Concordia was suddenly by my side. She grabbed my shoulder and placed her hand on my calf. Her eyes were completely black as she gazed up at me. I was in shock. My breath ragged and my head spinning. Her warm hands on my skin just made me feel worse. Vigidis knelt beside us.

“ They almost had us,” I murmured. Concordia nodded slowly.

“ We wouldn’t have been able to do it without you Caleb. They would have killed us,” she glanced at her sister. “ If it weren’t for you, we’d be dead. We owe you our lives.”

“ Hardly, I owe you more. You came to—”

“ Thank you,” Vigidis interrupted. “ For daring to kill. I think that might be it for the moment,” I realized with a jolt that she had finished, my pain had disappeared, all my cuts were healed. I felt fine except for my head. I got up slowly beside her. She smiled at me sweetly.

“ We should help Eris,” I uttered.

“ No. We’ll just get in her way. She’ll be weaker if she had us to protect. She’s better off alone. We’ll meet her later. Come on,” I swayed until Concordia pulled me. I dropped the gun, it shattered against the floor. I followed the two triplets out of the bloody hallway. The stench seemed to fill my nose, the sight of the blood stained against the walls, I would never forget I was part of it. I didn’t talk, but Concordia and Vigidis hissed at each other furiously in front of us. My head was spinning so much all I could do was follow. We were moving towards the hole. I barely noticed the shape that jumped forward from an adjoining corridor, grabbing Concordia. She cried out, her eyes turning black, then stopped immediately.

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