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Author Topic: Quicksilver -- [Chapter One, 5/13]  (Read 2024 times)

Offline Quietriot

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Quicksilver -- [Chapter One, 5/13]
« on: May 04, 2012, 12:47:33 AM »
Quicksilver

Prologue

Destruction.

When you think of mankind's legacy on this planet, that's the first word that comes to mind. For millennia all we've ever done is purge the world of what is good and beautiful in the pursuit of our own selfish desires. Perhaps in the pursuit of knowledge, some would argue, but then as our knowledge grew... so did our capacity for such destruction.

Eventually, something had to give. Someone was bound to pull the trigger sooner or later, what with the world shrinking in technology's grasp. We were running out of room, out of resources, out of air to breathe...

Problem is, a bomb isn't something you can just take back or smooth over with apologies until everyone's forgotten it happened. And once the first one was launched, dozens... hundreds followed after. I think the only reason anyone survived at all was because eventually there wasn't anyone left to send them off anymore.

The lucky ones, like my insert-a-ridiculous-number-of-greats-here grandparents had gone deep underground in the years before it happened, prepared for what was to come. But everything else, completely decimated; entire continents were leveled into dust, as in mere minutes the world that was suddenly ceased to exist.

Eventually, the human race had to emerge again, when the stores of food became too small to sustain thriving populations. But when they did, they learned that the world had become a wild wasteland in their absence, and that the very air itself was contaminated, warping what flora and fauna that was left into horrific mutated shadows of their past selves. So the humans with their technology were forced to build cities within barriers, small pockets of civilization that dotted the otherwise barren earth.

We were slowly beginning to reclaim the planet for ourselves again.

But our problems had only just begun.

----------

"Red Five, be careful as you ascend, the rocks up here have little purchase... Our hooks keep sliding right off. Over."

"Roger that, Red Leader. ... Can barely see a damn thing, though. Over."

"Slow and steady, Red Five. We're almost to the target. Just keep your wits about you and don't take any unnecessary risks. Red Four, how are you holding up? Over."

"Red Leader, my visor is stained with this shit but I have visual of the top now, should just be a few meters more. Over."

"Excellent. Proceed. Over."

Three tiny crimson flecks marked the side of a cliff some several hundred feet off the ground, visible only due to the contrast between them and the harsh blizzard that was raging through the mountain range. This was no ordinary snow, however, as it was tainted with dirt and ash and definitely not the kind that one could roll around and make angels in. And the crimson specks were not specks at all, but rather people clinging desperately to the icy wall of stone, attempting to scale their way to the top.

As the blizzard howled its way around the peaks, it buffeted mercilessly against the trio, making their movements slow and all the more intentional. One false step here would be the end of all three of them, as they were tethered together by a single rope.

They were wearing armored suits of metal that had been painted a vibrant red, each fitted with a helmet that obscured their faces and protected them from the biting wind and toxic air. Said suits rattled violently every time the blizzard made a pass nearby, adding to the awful cacophony of sound. But inside their helmets, the three enjoyed a bit of relative silence, aside from their transmissions to one another.

"Red Leader! I've reached the top!"

The northernmost figure had just grasped the edge of the cliff with a large grappling hook, and was beginning to pull themselves up and over the side. This was the smallest member of the trio, and once they had made it onto solid ground, they had flopped face first into the snow, body heaving with labored breaths.

"Oi! Four, we're still down here! Don't forget!"

"Patience, Red Five. And you two keep forgetting to end your transmissions properly... Over."

"With all due respect, Leader... We're the only ones out here for miles, I think we can drop the protocol for once?"

"...I'll be the judge of that. Over."

Four had moved to tie the rope's extra slack around a nearby boulder as the leader of the group also soon emerged over the edge, easily lifting themselves to the top. Almost immediately the leader turned and knelt down to begin pulling their companion up, showing no signs of fatigue. Combined with the efforts of Four, the two soon managed to hoist Five up onto the cliff as well, and the team moved a safer distance away from the edge as the wind continued to race by, before taking a brief respite.

That is, Four and Five sat on the ground panting, while the leader remained standing, fiddling with a control panel on the cuff of the suit in order to send a message back to their home base.

"This is Red Leader reporting; we've reached the location that the locals informed us of... So far, no sign of the target, though there appears to be a cave of sorts some fifty meters ahead... We will continue our investigation and report back with our findings shortly."

The leader then began to twist the helmet from their suit, wrestling with it for a moment before it began to give. When it was removed, a shock of obsidian hair spilled forth, whipped about by the blizzard, and the face of a young woman was revealed. Her skin was pale from lack of exposure to the elements, and her eyes were a strange color of blue, sharp like steel and glinting in the sunlight. She took in a deep breath, eyelids fluttering shut, as if completely ignorant of how dangerous the air was.

Her subordinates both watched her carefully, Four's voice crackling through the receiver on the helmet.

"How is it... Leader?"

A shudder traveled through the woman's body, and she exhaled slowly, eyes finally opening again.

"Like breathing fire," she rasped quietly, lips pulling back in a pained expression, revealing two rows of abnormally sharp teeth. "But I'd rather a day of this than a lifetime of what we're used to."

A silence passed between the three, neither subordinate sure how to respond. The leader seemed to be about to put her helmet back on, when she heard a loud beating noise overhead, and her eyes immediately shot to the sky.

"Leader... What is it?"

The woman's eyes narrowed, straining to see through the snow.

"Can't you hear it...?"

The sound was getting louder, and a screech pierced the air, causing all three of them to jump. The leader immediately registered the cry, a cold spike of terror running through her body. She tossed her helmet to the side, twisting around to flee in the direction of the cave she had spotted earlier. Her subordinates were already on their feet, close behind, Five screaming obscenities the entire way.

We won't make it... If it's seen us already...

"Four! Report home! Hurry!"

The smallest of the three began furiously attempting to send a transmission, voice trembling with fear and interrupted by heavy sobbing. Another screech shocked the atmosphere, so close the leader could have sworn it was  right next to her ear.

"...Target is here- On the mountain... We won't- can't- oh my god..."

The beating increased, followed by a low rumble, heat flooding all of the leader's senses before her world turned to darkness.

----------

A/N: So... Yeah, this is the start of my other fic. I have been working on this for about a week alongside the next update of RGGU (which will likely be updated in the next few hours, don't worry ;) ), and am finally ready to reveal it. Just so no one is surprised, this will be Berikyuu-centric, and people might die so if that's not your cup of tea... Well there are other cups about. XD also, I will be working on both of my fics simultaneously, now that this term is over and I have much more free time. I dedicate this to Rokun, who has been bothering me for another Berryz story for ages. Enjoy~
« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 03:21:04 AM by Quietriot »

Offline risa_ai

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Re: Quicksilver -- [Prologue, 5/3]
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2012, 12:58:20 PM »
 :on comhere: :on comhere: :on comhere: :on comhere: :on comhere: **huggles** XD I NEED AN UPDATE YOU KNOW.

Offline Quietriot

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Re: Quicksilver -- [Prologue, 5/3]
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2012, 03:20:07 AM »
@risa_ai: I am finally here with an update! XD 

I'm not really sure why this took so long for me to finish, other than I guess my focus is more on Rockstar at the moment. I'm likely to only update this sporadically until I finish the other, but no worries, I definitely haven't forgotten it. ^^ Enjoy.

Chapter One

<<Two days later, near the outskirts of Barrier City #2002...>>

Five hours. That's how long they'd been crouching there beside the rocks, all but camouflaged in their dull grey armored suits. The sun was merciless this day, and the eldest of the trio kept fidgeting as her suit got uncomfortable, baking her in unpleasant heat. The larger female next to her gave her a quick jab with an elbow, metal clanking against metal.

"Will you knock it off?!" Came the admonition hissed angrily through the helmet's receiver, "You'll scare everything away and then we'll have been out here all day for nothing..."

"But Maa-chan, it burns, and besides, I've got sweat in my eyes--which also burns, by the way--"

"Both of you shut up. We'll move on if nothing shows up within the next ten minutes." The final member of the trio silenced her companions with a calm and firm tone, her focus never leaving the line of gnarled trees in the distance. Though the youngest of the group, they easily deferred to her as leader, her strength and reliability keeping them a step above the other hunting parties in the guild. Because of Miyabi, they had a place to stay and food on the table every night, and that was more than most people in the city could say for themselves.

The eldest moved again, skin itching beneath the relentless heat and joints screaming for a break from the position they were in. She needed to stretch, badly, legs on the verge of cramping up, but the girl beside her gave her another sharp nudge.

"Chinami, I swear, I'll put your head right through this boulder..."

"I really think me moving is gonna get less attention than if I get a leg cramp and start screaming!"

"Guys... Look..."

Miyabi's quiet voice cut through their bickering, and the two slowly turned their heads to follow the leader's line of sight. She was focused on a pale figure emerging from behind the trees, its gait tentative as it checked all around for signs of danger. It was a deer, and a buck at that, an impressive and massive set of horns jutting out from either side of his head. Miyabi knew that the nearest available source of water for him lay some 20 yards beyond where they were hiding; it was the opportunity she'd been counting on--he would definitely have to pass them to get to it. And if all went according to plan, he wouldn't notice them until he was well within range--much too late.

"Maasa..."

"No worries, boss," The leader heard the muffled click that she registered as a bolt being loaded into a crossbow, "I've got this." Out of the corner of her eye, Miyabi watched as the team's marksman took aim and then stayed statue-still, waiting for the signal. 

The buck continued to inch forward, obviously wary. Though she knew he couldn't see them, the leader thought it was strange that the beast was that nervous. Experience told her that watching prey was just as important as catching it, and she narrowed her eyes, instantly alert.

Suddenly, the buck fled, sprinting as fast as it could to the left and out of sight, causing all three girls to let out gasps of surprise and frustration. Maasa scrambled to her feet and let the bolt fly after the animal, but it was a futile effort; he was gone.

"Damnit!"

Miyabi sighed, and beside her, Chinami slowly rose to a standing position, groaning. At another time, it might have been amusing that the joints of her suit squeaked so badly, but just now they'd lost both the day's meal... and paycheck. The leader stood to join her teammates, moving towards Maasa. The tall girl hadn't moved since her missed shot and was still staring off in the direction the buck had fled. Miyabi placed a hand on her shoulder. 

"Why do you think it took off like that? There's no way it heard us all the way over here..."

"Perhaps today was just his lucky day," the leader reassured her, her way of telling Maasa that it wasn't her fault. But she wondered the real reason herself. She had noticed the animal's trepidation, but could gather no cause for it. At least, not until a low rumble sounded nearby, all three slowly hunters turning to see what had made the noise.

An enormous bear was lumbering towards them, flecks of blood and saliva flinging from its open jaws as it let out a guttural roar. It was already in a half charge, rapidly gaining speed while it thundered in their direction, and Miyabi realized then what the buck had noticed moments earlier. The stench was powerful, almost enough to send her reeling, and she watched her subordinates stagger as it hit them as well. 

"This way!" Miyabi called, taking off towards the stream, Chinami and Maasa scrambling to keep up.  Moments later, she heard another loud roar, and the sound of the ground being torn from the earth as the bear ripped into it with massive paws in an attempt to stop its momentum and change direction.

"You don't actually think we can outrun him, do you?!" Chinami shrieked as she ducked suddenly, just barely avoiding a passing branch. She was moving slower than the other two, legs still sore, and when Miyabi noticed this, she quickly formulated a plan.

"No, I don't, but I think you can for a while, right Chii-chan?"

"What?!"

A tree splintered behind them, and Maasa jerked Miyabi towards her as the trunk slammed into the ground, flattening the area she'd been in just seconds before and effectively separating the two from Chinami. The bear chose to follow their separated comrade, and Miyabi winced slightly as she heard the girl screech into her headset. She had little choice but to be the bait now...

We're coming, don't worry...

As Maasa instinctively began to run after their friend, Miyabi grabbed her arm and pulled her in a different direction.

"No. This way. Trust me."

And the taller girl did, wordlessly stumbling after her leader.

"The rocks sort of circle around the stream up ahead. That's why I had us waiting where we were, just in case," Miyabi explained quickly, vaulting her body over the fallen trunk and willing her tired legs to move faster, "Chinami will hit a dead end and have to circle back this way, and when she does we'll be ready."

Maasa simply grunted an affirmative, but the way her breathing shook told the leader the girl was absolutely terrified for her friend. They came upon the water soon, Miyabi sliding to her knees at the edge of it, hands going to work scraping out a shallow pit in the dirt there.

"Harpoon gun." She commanded, and Maasa lifted one of the two massive weapons she'd been hauling around on her back, passing it down to her leader. Miyabi's plan was becoming clearer, and she moved several yards off to mimic the girl's actions, balancing her gun in the pit for better aim. And then she paused, quickly dragging her weapon over to the leader and swapping it for its twin.

Miyabi looked up at her, and Maasa knew the girl was raising an eyebrow somewhere beneath that helmet.

"This one misfires a lot... It's tricky, I want that responsibility." She explained gravely, and Miyabi simply nodded her head as the girl returned to her station.

But it won't come to that... The leader crouched in anticipation, eyes set where she predicted Chinami to emerge. Her intuition had been right once today... She desperately hoped for a second chance. And then, through the brush ahead, a grey figure hurtled towards them, her screaming now back in range, the massive bear tearing its way around the forest behind her. It roared angrily, crimson eyes flashing, and Chinami dove to the ground as she caught sight of the guns, giving her companions a clear shot when the beast reared up on its hind legs.

Miyabi fired first, harpoon whistling as it sailed through the air and sunk deep into the bear's shoulder, a wild howl bubbling from its throat in response. It turned immediately towards her, and the leader reached for the knife on her belt, knowing that it would hardly be effective if the creature bore down on her.

Maasa was frantically dealing with the faulty gun; of course it would lock up at a time like this. Chinami had scrambled towards her in the confusion and was trying to help, trembling, exhausted fingers scraping against the safety bolt that she knew instinctively her companion had left on.

"Any second now, guys!!" Miyabi shouted, her composure cracking as the bear reared up a second time, and Maasa kicked at the gun, causing it to fire. The second harpoon slammed into the side of the bear's head, burrowing its way into the beast's skull with a sickening crack.

The creature made no sound, other than a strange half-snarl that forced its way out involuntarily as it came crashing back down onto the ground. The giant mass of fur lay still, life ebbing away in a crimson pool beneath its head.

Miyabi slumped, the tension in her body fading while the nerves remained, and she looked over to see her teammates doing the same. She breathed out a weary sigh, the sound of Chinami's nervous laughter fluttering through the speakers in her helmet. Conspicuously absent was the sound of Maasa doing, well, anything, until the girl uttered a quiet sentence that made her blood run cold.

"Tanaka-san... is gonna kill us for breaking her gun."

Offline rndmnwierd

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Re: Quicksilver -- [Chapter One, 5/13]
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2012, 07:16:49 AM »
Oh my lols, the last line! XD XD :lol: :lol:

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