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VEILED HARBINGERS

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Summary

Welcome to Veiled Harbingers and PROJECT HELHEIM. This is Episode #1.

Genre:
Thriller / Fantasy
Author:
F4ngb0n3
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
2
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
18+

Episode #1

Operation: London, 1854

“It is fucking cold out here... I do not understand how 7 lived here.”

Two shady figures sat atop a vaulted roof in the cold rain, shrouded by the fog and thick air night. They were huddled together looking at small devices that illuminated their masks, but with this amount of pissing rain, there was no worry for them.

“Ease up, alright. You are way to close to me.”

One of the crouched figures nudged the other gently as if to push them away in a semi-disgusted fashion.

“Ay! Let me get close! I feel like my dick is going to fall off!”

AVATAR3 slightly shivered as his voice trailed off into a whimper, and his teeth started chattering. “You would think they would be able to afford decent thermal protection, all their fancy fucking equipment. I mean, we are tracking monsters...“.

AVATAR8 bounced lightly on her heels as she scooted slightly further away from 3, piping up when she felt comfortable again.

“You need to keep quiet. If someone hears you whining and starts to get curious, then comes and finds us, and I gotta stop you from killing them, then this whole op is done, and we are ALLLLL fucked.”

8′s emphasis on “ALLLL” made 3 scoff behind his mask a little bit, glad he couldn’t be seen mocking her.

“We should be getting a word from 1 at any second, at which point, we need to be absolutely ready.”

The rain continued to pour, keeping their data pads concealed as they awaited on word from 1, impatiently and uncomfortable.

“Did you ever think this was going to happen?”

“What? You complaining like a 2-year old in the rain,” scolded 8, slowly turning her mask to face 3 in a condescending fashion.

“No, you jackass. I mean, did you ever think that being able to travel through time would become a thing? That it would be used for this? That THIS was even a real thing?”

The tone in 3′s voice resonated with 8 and she put aside the snide comments she had in the chamber. To be completely honest, this thought has just left her mind when 3 first had opened his mouth.

“No. In short, fuck no. It was so sudden -- all of it. And then, to find out it had been happening longer than we had thought? No one could have been ready...”

“Well,” 3 added as 8 trailed off, “PH saw it coming apparently. And here we are. Sitting in the fucking rain, in 1854 England, on some 'puto joder' roof freezing our individual parts off. Oh, and we are chasing monsters! What the FUCK!”

At that moment, their headsets crackled and a distorted voice came through the comms.

“Alright. 8, 3... you two ready?”

The two masked figures glanced at each other, and although they couldn't see one another, each took a deep breath.

“Roger, 1. We are ready,” 8 said in as firm and unwavering voice as she could.

“Ease up, 8. There are a team of us. This is a cake walk,” 1 said through the comms. 8 heard his voice, but there was something unconvincing in it. “Below you, 2 floors, is our target. There ARE civilians in the loft and caution is to be exercised. Casualties are unacceptable in this mission.”

“But sir,” another voice piped through the comms, “I don’t want to be a bother...”

“Then don’t, 7. Keep it shut.”

“IF we are time traveling,” 7 continued, as if not interrupted by 1, “and this HAS happened before, then wouldn’t what is about to transpire, have already happened before? According to PH...”

“I fucking said shut it, 7. We need to move now. This is our one opportunity for this. On my go, 3 and 8 will infiltrate from the roof by repel. The target room is on the far East side of the building. This will put you dead center of the top floor of the loft,” 1 continued, almost as if programmed to say this. It was unnerving listening to him not skip a beat, knowing where and WHEN they were.

“At the moment you have successfully entered the loft, 2, 4, and 5 will make an entrance through the front door. Myself, 6, and 7 will then enter from the back door on the bottom floor. 3 and 8 you will WAIT to breach the door. Do you understand?”

“Yes sir,” 3 and 8 resonated through the comms.

“There is no time to fuck around on this. We are dealing will a DARK level monster here and this is not the time to falter,” 1 added, trying to reassure the team... reassure himSELF it sounded like.

“Sir, what exactly does this mission include. We are dealing with DARK... isn’t that top-class?” 7 asked the question this time, almost a joking tone in her thick Scottish accent. “Is it the wee Boogeyman?”

“Yes. It is.”

A weird unearthly silence came over the comms that couldn’t even be muffled by the pounding England rain.

“Everyone,” 1 finally said quietly, “on my mark.”

3 and 8 immediately hooked up to a line they had setup upon arriving on the rooftop, securing and double checking their connections. Voices started piping up through the comms, confirming their individual ready statuses.

“3 ready sir.”

“8 ready sir.”

“1 ready. Ready Up. Begin entry.”

3 and 8 slid silently through the falling rain, slowing their decent as they reached the balcony outside their doors. As they unhooked and secured their lines out of sight, they turned and tested the handles.

“Wait!” 3 almost shouted it through their comms in a quick, worried fashion.

“What the FUCK is it,” 1 said through the comms. “Who in the hell is screaming?”

3 silently switched his comm-lines to his individual squad-line, and took a second to shake off the feeling of guilt and ignorance that started to settle. 8 silently giggled to herself, shaking her head as she looked back at 3, shrugging her shoulders.

“Don’t we need to make sure...”

“I’m gonna stop you there, before you make even MORE of an ass out of yourself. Don’t even say it, 3.”

As 8 turned back to the door and pulled on the handle, 3 almost winced before his vision caught sight of a candle just inside the door in the hallway; suddenly he remembered that there probably weren’t additional security features in place to worry about.

8 continued to test the door handles, as each one came back as locked. She sighed, then reached into a pocket on the side of her thigh, pulling out a small lockpick set and turning to 3.

“Seriously? What is wrong with people... why are they locking their doors. It’s 1854.”

“And I am going to stop you right there, 8, before you make even more of an ass out of yourself. What, robbers and criminals didn't exist in 1854?”

8 acted as if the rain was too loud, and successfully picked the lock, silently opening the door. 3 quickly followed her in, un-holstering his weapon and focusing down the hallway towards their target door. The minute his eyes connected with the it, his chest seemed to freeze and his vision started to water. He couldn’t keep focus on it for too long without the feeling becoming stronger.

“Jesus Fuck, what is going on,” he silently cussed into his comms, tilting his head and putting his hand to his mask as if to get at his eyes.

“What? What is it,” 8 asked hurriedly, wondering what was causing the disruption in their silent infiltration. All she received in return was a hand being thrown in one direction, towards the door at the end of the hall.

The minute she looked at it, she knew what he was talking about as it hit her full force as well.

“God damnit,” 8 cussed as she flipped her comms. “Sir, there is some seriously fucked up shit going on in this hallway. 3 and me can’t get a visual on the door.”

At that second, the door at the other end of the hall opened, and seven other AVATARs entered the hallway. In unison, each of them could be seen turning their heads, orienting away from the disturbance in the air.

“Alright everyone,” 1 spoke up, “get your applicators out and inject. Mid-thigh. Watch for nerves.”

Each of them reached into their perspective pockets for their applicators, simple Epi-Pen looking devices that they had been given prior to entering the TRACER. They each popped it into their thighs, pushing on the top and injecting the fluid contained within. Almost immediately, their vision cleared and the dizziness stopped, finally allowing them to set eyes on the door in front of them.

“What the hell is in this,” 6 questioned through the mic, sounding almost woozy.

“It’s a compound derived from previous excursions, to ward off any defenses that we may encounter during our operations. Stay focused.” 1 began moving toward the door, leading the team slowly and precisely towards their entrance. They split into 2 groups, each stacked on each other with the last member pulling rear watch to ensure concealment remained.

“Concussive out.”

1 cracked the door and tossed a small device into the room, quickly closing the it and waiting a few seconds. He re-opened the door and it was as if there was a dark, ethereal fog in the room. It blanketed the view in front of them, but still somehow allowed them to see and navigate without resistance. The team moved slowly into the room, watching every dark corner with precision and caution, and once in, the door was wedged into a half-open fashion.

3 glanced at the bed in the room and saw a child sleeping, completely unaware there was a team of tactical soldiers currently crouched and armed in the room. The toys were aged around 6 - 7, and definitely were of the 1854 time period. It was extremely eerie to be standing in this room with the child sleeping, knowing exactly what they had came for. 1 slowly began moving toward the bed, bringing his weapon to the ready, oriented toward the underside of the frame.

“7, 6, on me,” 1 instructed quietly through the comms.

They got closer to the bed, watching for the small toys on the floor, and staying locked on their target.

As soon as 1 was about to lift the covers to the side of the bed, an ominous glow began to pour out from underneath the bed, slowly illuminating the floor near the 3 approaching AVATARs.

“What the fu-”

Before 6 could even get the words out of his mouth, a shadow shout out from under the bed, grabbing 6 around the ankle, and shot back under taking him with it. A nasty crunching sound could be heard as 6 collapsed to the floor, the force of the pull shattering his leg. His scream ended abruptly after he was dragged under, and the team stood in disbelief at what had just happened.

“What in the FUCK was that?!”

“That's it. Everyone! Grab your Resonators and toss them under the bed,” 1 instructed angrily, pulling a grenade looking object off his belt. The team followed suit, grabbing their Resonators, trying not to vomit at the thought of what had just happened to 6.

“Throw them, now!”

The team all tossed the Resonators under the bed in unison, waiting for the confirming bang, letting them know that they had activated; only, that bang never came. They stood staring at the demonic, glowing bed, waiting impatiently as the fear started to creep up their spines. Right at the moment of panic, something began emanating from under the bed. A deep, low growl, almost inaudible to the human ear had started, and a shaking to the floor only added to the ambience of absolute doom. 3 began to panic, whisper-praying and slowly backing up from the bed.

"Dios mio, that should have stopped it,” he spoke, the terror in his voice growing. “That should have destroyed it!”

Without hesitation, as if waiting for an entrance, the bed lifted off the ground with such force it knocked the team closest to the floor. The bed paused for a moment, then hurled itself at 3, seeming to break the sound barrier with its speed, and it hit with such force, a dark mist was sent all over the room. The bed took out the entire wall behind the team, and blew a massive hole on exit from the loft. The team had no time to worry about what that had just cost them, as the growl grew louder and more dangerous. As they turned around, what they saw made all of them pale.

“Fuck.”

Before them, growing in height and size every second as if a plant was sprouting on time-lapse, was a monstrous creature. The air around it darkened to a void like color, swirling ominously around it, looking as if it were drawing everything around it into the void it had opened. At final height, it stood more than 9 feet, and was as wide as two men, looking down on the team in front of it.

Its eyes were fire red, and yet hollow and empty. Its mouth was lined with jagged teeth that sat inside an almost snout like face. The wings on its back were folded, but their leathery appearance could not go unnoticed, looming behind the creature with a deadly respect. Its arms were almost as long as its body, and were adorned with long razor-like claws. It loomed over the team like a tall tree looms over a small child, its eyes darting from each person standing before it. The silence was blotted out by a deep, pounding causing the teams ear-drums to ache and feel as if they were about to burst. A slow, evil laugh was heard coming from the creature, and that was all 1 needed to hear; it was the Boogeyman.

“FUCKING FIRE!!!”

The team began unloading their weapons into the monster that stood before them at the instruction of their team leader, slamming the trigger down angrily in hopes that this would actually end the beast. A high shriek came from the creature as its arms lifted into the air and it tossed its head angrily; 7 saw the movement and decided to dodge, and not a moment too soon.

The Boogeyman brought its arms down, slamming them into the floor and caving it in from the force of the strike. 1 was knocked back to the floor a few feet away, while the rest of the team were knocked into the wall and out into the exposed street below. 7 re-oriented her weapon back at the Boogeyman’s “head”, and began pulling the trigger meticulously and quickly, dropping every round she had left into huge creature. It shrieked more and lashed out, sending its clawed hand at the AVATAR in pure fury.

As if time had slowed, 7 dropped her arms and watched the blurred appendage rush at her. There was no escaping this... this was it. Suddenly, a figure came hurtling into view, causing time to speed up in 7′s eyes. The realization of what was occuring slowly started to form in her mind, and she braced herself for the impact.

The claw slammed into 8′s gut, sending her into 7 and knocking them both through the wall behind them and into the hallway where they had come from. They rolled down the hall, finally resting against the opposite door completely knocked out.

1 had returned to his feet and pulled a magazine from the backside of his belt. He dropped the currently loaded clip out of his weapon, and popped the new one into place, kicking the slide forward and locking the rounds into place. As the creature in front of him roared and flailed, taking out the loft they were in and reducing it into rubble, 1 took a strong stance and levelled his weapon towards the creatures glowing eyes. He slowly exhaled and could feel his heart beat slow, almost reaching a state of calm as he honed in on the Boogeyman's soulless face. His finger followed through on the trigger, and the hammer dropped.

A massive boom erupted from 1′s weapon, shaking the rubble around him and deafening the roars of the monster. Upon impact, the round exploded, sending shrapnel and flames all over the nightmare and igniting the material that encased it. The booms continued as 1 kept pulling the trigger, sending explosive after explosive into the beast, catching the surrounding house on fire as the flames blossomed.

The monster was screaming -- an unearthly, guttural scream as the rounds hit it, lighting it up like a torch. In one swift motion after the agony had stopped, the Boogeyman lifted its arms and made an ethereal and deadly cry that made the windows in the neighborhood shatter all around. It swung its arms, completely leveling the entire room and knocking the remaining team members nearby onto the ground, and in that moment... it was gone.

The sound of the falling rain began to grow as the ringing stopped. The remaining smoldering flames were slowly being put out, as water began to fill the now roofless loft. 1 grunted and coughed as he began to move, trying to shake off the beating he had just received. He did a quick check, and found his left arm had been shattered, and he was bleeding profusely from his head. He got into a sitting position and slouched forward, focusing on breathing through the sharp pain in his ribs. He cussed at the pain as he reached up to adjust his ear-piece.

“Team,” he continued coughing and wincing. “Team! Report!”

There was silence before he repeated his command.

“Team! Status now!”

He waited and began to worry, when crackling came into his ear.

“2 up,” came one voice.

“4 up.”

“5 up.”

After a few seconds, 1 was suddenly overcome with what had just occurred, and the toll it had taken. As the emotions began to well up, he dropped his left arm, letting it thud against the wall he was leaning on. The pain made his teeth grit and eyes water, but he was no longer focused on his feelings.

“Everyone regroup outside. We need to leave now.”

He slowly stood up, inching up the wall for support as the pain of the encounter began to set it in with its full weight. He glanced at the destruction, and his eyes moved around looking for any sign of his squad. He finally rested on the two bodies at the end of the hallway and began to make his way over to them.

“7? 8? Report!”

As he neared, he could see 7′s face; her mask had been ripped off and she was out cold. Her face had began to blacken, signifying many broken bones, but from what 1 could tell she was alive. He turned to 8 and his stomach dropped at the sight.

She had a gaping hole in her midsection, big enough to make out the designed carpet behind it. Her eyes were stuck wide in shock, and she was covered in blood. 1 reached forward and closed her eyes, gritting his teeth as he grew more unstable. He began to reach for 7 as the rest of the team showed up on the floor. 1 motioned for them to get 8 and passed 7 off to another squad mate. As they made their way out of the loft, they could hear voices growing louder as the demolition had woken the entire town. 1 glanced back at the room, in a last hope to see the remains of 3 or 6, but knew the truth.

They moved into an alleyway across the street, making sure they were concealed from the main street. 1 pulled out a small device and dropped it onto the ground where it whirred and beeped before spiraling out into a large circular pad. The team all moved onto their individual pads, some holding the bodies of others, and as they listened to the residents of the town getting closer, each of their heads was hung.

In a series of quick flashes, the AVATARs were gone, and the only thing left in the alley was the rubble from the surrounding houses, and the falling England rain.

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