Paradox – Chapter 21

The Harris armor provided no protection for the mundane soldier as the Nanoblade penetrated the chest armor and slid effortlessly across the torso. The soldier screamed for a few seconds as he collapsed from massive shock and blood loss. Maze knew Metall’s soldier would be dead in a minute, but so would he if he did not roll to the right. As he did, another soldier released a stream of bullets from his M4 rifle. The bullets bounced off the asphalt sending up sparks and rocks. Maze retracted the Nanoblade and pulled it back under the cloak. To the soldiers, he simply vanished into thin air.

“Switching to thermal,” yelled the soldier who just fired. He swiveled his head back and forth as he tried to locate Vince. “I got nothing, going to IR.” The visor lit up in a faint red as he continued to scan the vehicle and surrounding forest. “No target.”

“He’s not on UV either,” yelled the soldier behind him as he nervously fingered the trigger and swung the rifle in the rear sector. “He must have fled or we would have seen him.”

“Copy that,” the lead soldier remarked as he looked down at the two bodies in front of him. Both were slashed by an edged weapon from an invisible attacker. As he spoke, he suddenly felt the trickle of sweat of flow from his forehead. He knew exactly who was attacking them. “Four, we have to get out of here. I’ve heard of this guy and he doesn’t fuck around. Do you copy?

Only silence responded.

“Red Four?” the soldier asked as he turned around. Lying on the ground was the body of Red Four, an open gash across his throat with thick red blood spurting out from the gash in the neck armor. The remaining soldier raised his rifle and spun around.

“Show yourself, Maze,” the soldier demanded, “I know it’s you. You’re the only crazy bastard left that thinks he can win.”

“As long as I’m alive, I will fight assholes like Herr Metall,” the wind responded, “and his lackeys. He may think the war is over, but it just started.”

“You’re delusional, Maze,” the shaking soldier said as he fired the weapon in random directions. “Metall controls everything, the police, politicians. Money talks and everyone listens to him.”

“Only a fool believes that.”

The soldiered flipped the switch the fire control switch to automatic and emptied his magazine where the voice came from. When the bolt locked back, the soldier tried to laugh, but only hot liquid escaped his lips. He looked down to see a sword blade sticking out from his chest covered in his blood.

“The dead listen to no one,” Maze whispered from behind him.

* * *

As the world continued to roll up and down, Michael felt the whup whup whup from the helicopter blades as it whipped up the air. The helicopter hovered above him as the basket lowered from the winch attached to the side of it. The aircraft likely belonged to the Coast Guard or maybe another agency with search and rescue teams, but due to budget cuts, was sold to pay off mounting debts.

“Hurry up,” Screaming Eagle said as she glanced over her shoulder to the forest and up to the basket. “Terrorvolt is still out there and I don’t know what that shithead is up to.”

“I do,” Michael said as he tried to stand, but only managed to get one shoulder off the ground before collapsing again.

Eagle laughed. “Are you still trying to get away, Michael? You know, I hit one of your friends at the JTF with the Eagle’s Song during our last job. He puked his guts out for a day and he was a category three. You’re a tough one, but sit back and relax and this will go a lot smoother for everyone.”

Michael tried to respond but a wave of vertigo hit him again.

Get up, the voice inside demanded.

Don’t you think I’ve tried, Michael responded angrily.

If you let me in, I will save us. Then everyone will burn.

No. I’m doing this myself, Michael said as he looked up at the helicopter.

As the basket landed on the ground next to him, Michael watched Screaming Eagle kneel and undo the straps. As his vision still rolled up and down from the Eagle’s Song, he put a portal next to her. As he looked up, he forced the world around him to slow down. The helicopter blades went from a whirling blur to fully visible as they rotated around the aircraft. As one blade passed by, Michael created a portal near the tip.

The helicopter blade entered the portal and whipped just over Michael’s prone body before striking Screaming Eagle. The blade impact sent her tumbling across of the ground as it snapped against her Enhanced body. The broken blade continued on the path cutting across the portal edge and destroying it.

“We’re losing it,” the helicopter pilot screamed over the radio as the helicopter rocked back and forth and fell into a death spiral. The aircraft exploded as it impacted the ground.

Michael felt the draining effect from the portals hit his weakened body as he tried to keep his eyes open. He had to get away from the area before the other helicopter arrived or Screaming Eagle returned. Although only her hand was visible in the shrubbery where she landed, she was still moving. She was seriously hurt, Michael knew, but she was not dead.

A mechanized hulk that vibrated the ground with each step approached Michael’s limp body. He tried to move, but his body would not respond from his injuries and the effects from the Eagle’s Song.

“Thank you, boy,” Terrorvolt said in delight through the external speaker. “You saved me a lot of trouble.”

Michael’s vision faded into the blackness, but not before he saw a shadow emerge from the forest with a sword and leap at a surprised Terrorvolt.