Chapter 32 – Welcome To The End
"...hoping that small voice would
Disappear that said "Welcome to the end."
- Celldweller – Welcome To The End
"Where...where am I?"
"Don't worry. You're safe, no one can hurt you. You're among us now."
Tears slowly dripped down his face, mixing with blood. There was so much he couldn't tell who it belonged to. The body in front of him was already dead, had been before it had even hit the ground. A mixture of nearly every emotion passed through him at once. Shock, horror, fear, anger, sadness...and it was finally too much for him to hold, so he exploded. Mathers turned the gun.
"Now for you." He snapped.
"Come on, you son of a bitch!" Oliver screamed. Blood was dripping from his entire side, and a lot of it was splashed in many directions as his entire body seemed to move forward faster than anything. Mathers aimed the pulled the trigger but got nothing but a dry click. Horror slowly made its way into his mind and then placed itself on his face. He tried to grab a knife from his waist, not sure where it was but it didn't matter. Oliver grabbed the gun that was still facing him, ripped it out of his hand, breaking two fingers, and slammed the butt of it against his head. The pistol, blood on the end, fell to the ground, bouncing once then lay motionless. He punched the man in the face over and over again before planting a solid kick to his chest; he heard a number of ribs snap as he flew through the air and hit the ground. He breathed hard, sweat and blood running down his face, a feeling stronger than the deepest loathing flowing through his entire body.
"Holy shit..." A voice whispered off in the distance. Miles had come back and saw Sam's body face down in a pool of blood, a lot of it on Oliver and Mathers lying on the ground, broken and bloody.
"Okay...alright...help me. Help me and I'll give you anything you want." He didn't say anything as Mathers tried to bargain with him, spitting out blood and teeth; he just continued to slowly move forward, taking a step at a time almost like he had all the time in the world.
"You could run the entire country. Haven't you always wanted that, huh? Don't you want to run everything? I can give you whatever you want. Guns, women, land...anything! I can give you everything...why won't you listen to me, you fucking piece of shit?" He screamed. He tried to reach for the pistol next to him, but it was just out of reach. His heart was beating faster than it ever had.
"You took me to an asylum. You locked me up and tortured me. Your son killed nearly every single friend of mine. You killed the one thing I loved." Oliver growled. He bent down, grabbed Mathers by the shirt and lifted him, taking a few steps forward until he had the man up against the wall of the opposite the door to the cockpit, his feet no longer touching the ground.
"If you kill me, you'll be doing nothing but becoming exactly like me." Mathers grunted, grinning.
"Oliver..." Miles whispered.
"I told you I'd kill you!" He roared. With sudden force and speed, he whipped his head forward, mouth open, and buried his teeth into Mather's throat. He clamped his jaw down as hard as possible. Within seconds, he felt the flesh tear, blood flowing into his mouth, trying to get down his own throat; it tasted almost like copper. He snapped his head back; teeth still buried and relished the moment as a massive chunk was torn out, blood continuously spurting from the wound. Mathers began to choke as blood flowed through the open wound, entering his windpipe and spilling into his lungs.
"Oliver...you son of a bitch...I hope you rot in hell..." He gargled. After a minute or so, he stopped moving and fell limp in his hands. Blood continue to spray from the gaping hole, covering Oliver almost entirely in it. He slowly let go of the body and allowed it to collapse into a thick pool of blood, the carpet having already soaked up as much as possible. He didn't move for an unknown amount of time. He just stood there, leaving a majority of the blood to gently drip from him, making quiet splashing noises with each fall. With every breath, droplets of blood would spray from his lips, landing against the wall.
"Are...are you..." Miles stuttered.
"How long until we land?" Oliver asked; his voice was barely just above a whisper. He spat the remaining blood out of his mouth, watching a mix of saliva and blood land on Mathers dead face.
"A few minutes. We're about to descend. What the fuck happened?" Miles question was ignored as Oliver walked away from him, and the body. He stepped over bodies and through blood like they weren't there until he got to Sam's body where he knelt down. Blair came out of the cockpit and stood next to Miles.
"Jesus Christ. What the hell happened out here? It looks like we had a vampire on board."
"I think we did..."
The plane shuddered as it hit the tarmac, smoke reeling from the wheels as the brakes were slammed on. All air traffic in the city had been suspended for nearly an hour after radar picked up the plane heading towards Australia. Military helicopters were in the air, hummers and trucks loaded with armed soldiers had the entire place cordoned off. They had no idea what to expect, since they had been told nothing except where the plane was from, and two people who were on it. Miles was strapped into the co-pilots seat, and from the look of everything outside, he wasn't expecting much of a friendly welcome.
"Are you certain they won't shoot on sight, thinking we're enemies?" He asked.
"I doubt it. Worst case scenario...they blow up the plane." Blair replied. Miles didn't say anything, just stared at him. "It's possible."
"Fuck..." He stretched the word out to a full five second.
"How's Oliver doing?"
"He still wants nothing to do with anyone. He just keeps sitting in that chair, his eyes going from Sam's body to Mather's body."
"Shit...can't believe we lost Sam." Blair shook his head, pressing buttons and pulling levers, the engines whining down in the background.
"Heh...aside from Oliver, he was the only one left alive in Tauranga that got caught in the middle of everything the very first day."
"Aren't you from Tauranga too?"
"Yeah, but I got the hell out of there with a few friends during the second day and hid in the mountains for two weeks until we found Oliver and the others. We missed all the action during then. And they were the ones that went to Hamilton, the idea for Auckland, Rotorua...they went and did everything first. So in a way, Oliver is the only true survivor of Tauranga." Miles explained, feeling the plane shudder to a halt. All the helicopters and trucks and soldiers that were at the airport suddenly began a beeline right for the plane, everyone with guns aimed.
"I think we should leave our own guns when we leave." Blair suggested. A nodding was the only response as one of the helicopters flew overhead. A few seconds later, they could hear what sounded like footsteps coming from above; soldiers were on top of the plane. The two quickly unhooked themselves from the chairs and exited the cockpit. Oliver was sitting in a seat facing away from the right wall, the main door right next to him.
"They're on the roof." He muttered, not taking his eyes off Sam's body.
"Yeah, we noticed." Blair replied, looking out one of the windows. A few seconds later, they could hear the sound of drilling. The sound echoed throughout the hull of the plane, vibrating the windows. "What the hell are they doing?"
"No...idea..." Miles stretched the words, straining his head as he followed the sound along the ceiling with his eyes. The drilling stopped and then more footsteps sounded. A few more second passed and the sound of people yelling, but it was impossible to hear what they were saying though the hull of the plane. Shadows passed over the windows and not long after that, there was a loud thud on the door next to Oliver, almost like something had been slammed onto it.
"Get do—" Blair's yelling was cut off as the door exploded inwards, shrapnel in all directions. The two quickly backed away from the gaping hole where the door was. Once the smoke and debris was cleared, a black figure swung in from outside, silhouetted in sunlight. The figure was wearing a thick black suit of what looked like Kevlar, a MP5 complete with scope and double-sided magazines was attached to the figure via a thin clip on its chest. The rope slid out of its hand and fell from view before snapping out, and up, the MP5.
"This is Bravo Two, codename 'Gas Mask'. I have two individuals and one body. Orders?" The soldier spoke through a black face cover into a mike on the underside of his helmet.
"Gas Mask, this is Admiral Grissom. Can you confirm the primary and secondary targets?" The Admirals voice crackled over through the Gas Masks' speaker.
"Yes, sir. Primary target is bloodied and down. Both secondary targets are up." Miles looked suspiciously at Blair.
"The hell is he talking about?"
"Both? Can you confirm three secondary targets?"
"No, sir. Two."
"Okay, Gas Mask. You have permission to terminate targets."
"Oh, what the fu—" Blair yelled, reaching for the closest weapon he could grab. He managed to wrap his fingers around a pistol on the floor before the soldier fired a three round burst, blood spurting from the holes in his chest. His arm flicked upwards as his body was forced backwards from the gunfire, the pistol sliding along the ground until it stopped next to the door. Blair flopped backwards onto the floor, a red puddle forming around him. The soldier turned, his eye still trained down the sight and pulled the trigger once, the nine millimetre bullet soaring through the air, landing right in the centre of Miles' chest. Red dripped from between his lips. His eyes slowly wandered away from the soldier, looking just over his shoulder, then back at him.
"You..." He managed to gasp. "...idiots..."
"Admiral, all targets eliminated." Gas Mask reported as Miles crumpled to the ground, his eyes rapidly growing dull. The soldier aimed his gun around the immediate area, pausing slightly to look at Mathers' body. A quiet scuffling sounded behind him; almost like someone was picking something off the floor then getting to their feet. Gas Mask turned around and saw one of the most horrifying sights he had ever seen: a teenager, probably eighteen, covered almost entirely in blood, a lot of it still wet and ripping from him; or maybe it had been mixed with sweat. His eyes were filled with quite possibly the least emotion possible, and a gun in his hand to boot.
"You are all going to die." Oliver whispered. He pulled the trigger before the soldier could bring his own around, brain, blood, bone and plastic splattered down onto the floor, covering Blair and Miles' remains. He watched as the body slowly fell backwards before reaching forward and grabbing the radio from inside his helmet.
"Admiral Grissom. This is Oliver. You listening?"
"This is Admiral Grissom. Where is Bravo T—"
"You should use earpieces, that way no one can hear what you're saying."
"Oliver, you must understand our position."
"No, I don't. You need to understand my position. You just killed the last two people on this fucking planet that I cared about. And now I'm coming for you."
"You will not get off that plane alive." The Admiral sounded very disturbed, and slightly distracted, like he was trying to give an order to someone else through hand signals.
"Just you watch me..." Oliver growled lowly. He snapped the radio apart, and chucked it out the door, still standing far enough away for anyone to get a bead on him. A few moments later and he could hear more footsteps coming from above. Then metal against metal; another soldier was getting ready to drop on in. He moved away from the door and further into the compartment. Flipping over Oki's body, he grabbed the old man's' sword, putting it over his back. He dropped the pistol and looked around for his own, finding the 1911 under a seat. There was a pistol hip holster on one of the ninjas', and strapped it to himself before putting the 1911 in it. Another sword, without a sheath, was held in his hand, the soldiers MP5 in the other. He turned around just as a soldier came swinging in, about to unclip a weapon before the MP5 went off, the soldier letting go of the rope, blood splashing the inner walls and fell out through the door, screaming until his head was cracked open on the tarmac below.
Oliver took a glance out of one of the windows and saw a truck with a set of stairs on the back heading towards the plane, another two soldiers riding on it, one at the top and the other halfway down, both holding onto the railings. There was a loud clanging blast as the truck connected with the underside of the plane, the top stair right in the doorway. The first soldier stepped off, only to be blasted to the side by gunfire until the clip ran dry. He dropped the gun, unwilling to continue to use it and held out the sword. The racket of the second soldier running up the stairs came rushing through the opening. Just as he reached the top stair, the blade of the unsheathed sword slashed downwards, cutting through the MP5 and all body armour.
"What the fu—" The man was cut off as the tip of the blade entered through under his jaw, and poked out the top of his head. Oliver reached forward and grabbed a strap holding eight grenades and ripped them off. He primed one with his teeth, hurled it as far as he could out the door and then ripped downwards with the sword, cutting the soldier in half, each side falling over a different side of the stair railing, entrails piling in the middle of the top step. The grenade hit the tarmac, just a few inches from the end of the stairs and bounced once towards a hummer before detonating in the air, a large portion of the hummers' side sheared away from the explosion. A chunk of metal ripped from one of the doors and dug its way into another soldier's side, blood pouring out and over his body armour.
Oliver passed through the remains of the bisected soldier and leaped down the stairs. He grabbed a hold of the railing and flung himself over halfway down, rolling on the tarmac and coming up with unsheathed sword, digging it right into the left side of the head of whoever had been driving the stair truck. The man wasn't wearing any body armour, just a blue jumpsuit with a bright orange jacket. He was partially still inside the truck, and a single stroke pulled the entire left side of his head off. Blood spat out faster than he had ever seen, creating a large puddle very quickly as the body fell into it. Oliver got into the truck just as he saw a flash out the corner of his eye, and a bullet hole tore itself in the door, nearly shearing it off from the force.
"High calibre sniper rifles? You really want me dead." He muttered to himself. He had never driven a proper truck before in his life, but judging from what he saw, it just seemed like a bigger manual car. Managing to put it into reverse, he tried to think how he was going to be able to drive towards the main airport building without being hit by at least thirty or so bullets. After spending a few seconds looking in the mirrors, he realised he wasn't going to. He was going to have to take an alternate, more interesting route. Throwing the truck into frist gear was a bit difficult, the engine stalling. It took him two turns to get it rolling forward, and even then, once he got up to high speeds, turning sharply would surely flip him over.
Taking another look out the mirrors, he could see a squadron of hummers heading in his direction, and they were getting closer much more quickly than he had hoped for. Bullets began tearing at the stairs, which provided an almost perfect cover for him, but once they got to the side, he started to get nervous. A hummer jarred left and slammed into the side of the truck, forcing it to go on two wheels for a moment, temporarily losing them from sight. In that time, Oliver got out his 1911 and held it outwards as the truck came back down. He fired three times, taking out the front right wheel before another few rounds managed to kill the driver, hit his arms or at least blind him with shattered glass. It didn't matter. The entire truck shuddered as something rammed into the back.
"Son of a bitch!" He screamed, looking at one of the side mirrors, a flash of troop transport truck right behind him. Looking out the other mirror, he could see a soldier clambering on the sides of the stairs, making its way towards the front. He slammed the brakes and on spun the truck to the side, aiming towards the airport, only just out of sight from the snipers. He gunned the engine, heading towards the elevated corridors which usually allowed passengers onto a plane. The top of the stairs was just high enough to reach one of them. As he changed gear, an arm came in through the window and wrapped around his throat. He grabbed at the fingers, trying to pry them off. Failing, he decided to simply break one of them. The soldier could be heard screaming in pain just before Oliver hit the door handle, opening it. One of the snipers had managed to move quickly enough and had gotten a bead on him, until the door was opened just as the trigger was pulled. The door was snapped off as the round tore through it and the soldier, blowing off an arm and removing all but a small stretch of flesh on the one that was holding what remained of the side frame
"Help me, please!" The solider screamed out in pain. Oliver snapped up his sword, held it out and sliced off the remainder of flesh, ignoring the cries and snapping as the body rag dolled along the ground. He lay the sword down on the passenger seat and grabbed his 1911, firing out the empty space that was the door. The sniper ducked down as a small volley of bullets peppered the concrete of the building in a large radius, only one hitting the ledge inches from where he had been. Oliver looked away from where he had tried to shoot at and slammed his foot on the brake, the towering corridor just meters ahead. Smoke and burning rubber filled the air as the handbrake was yanked on. He braced himself against the steering wheel as the top of the stairs crashed into the corridor, metal screeching against metal.
"Fuck!" He screamed, grabbing his sword and pistol and stepping out, ribs hurting from being pushed into the wheel. He made his way around the back of the truck and saw more soldiers and vehicles heading in his direction. Bullets slashed through the air as he vaulted over the railing on the side and began to make his way up the stairs, sparks flying in all directions from metal hits. He made it passed the blood soaked top stairs, and leaped over the crumpled ones and into the long corridor. He threw himself to the ground and began to crawl as fast as possible, the entrance becoming a near solid sheet of bullets, none hitting him at the angle he had forced himself into. Once he was out of their direct sight, he got to his feet and moved down the tunnel, pistol and sword in hand. He could hear voices from a distance, some crackling over radio's one on a PA system and more from throats that were about to be cut open.
"...through Duct 4 and..."
"...to the top! Delta squadron will then..."
"...terminal immediately. This is not a drill. All civilians please leave the immediate..."
"...target has entered the structure through..."
"...please leave the immediate terminal as soon as possible. This is..."
"...on the radar, about five minutes out from..."
"...will be here soon to deal with the..."
"I am not leaving without his head." Oliver whispered to himself, fingers tightening on each weapon. His walk broke out into a jog, which rapidly snapped into a sprint, the terminal just around a couple more corners. At the last one, he was going so fast he managed to plant his feet on the walls and actually run along it them for a few seconds before leaping outwards, or more sideward's, and slashed with the sword, a line of blood drawing itself on the floor as a soldier was neatly cut from the shoulders up. The terminal was completely void of anyone not in some form of body armour. Six more soldiers were spread out, and all of them had seen an insane late teenager running along a wall, jump off the wall and cut right through one of their squad mates.
"Open fire!" One of them yelled as Oliver hit the ground and rolled behind a large advertisement. Glass and paper exploded outwards as bullets tore at the small island. He glanced to the side and saw a small café next to him, a ten meter gap between him and behind the counter and a slightly more defensible area. Gunfire pounded at the island and the ground all around him. He reached his hand out with the pistol and fired off a few random shots, the gunfire ceasing on the café side. With the lull, he threw himself to the side and slammed right into a chair, the legs kicking him in his side. He let go of the sword and crawled behind the café counter as the guns were turned back on him. Bullets shattered the tiled ground around him as he pulled himself around the counter, side searing.
He put his back against the solid oak wood, listening to the dull thud as bullets embedded themselves into it. Something warm was spreading down the side of him, and the pain from the chair wasn't a good sign. He looked down and saw not only a tear in his shirt, but a tear in his own flesh. Either a stray bullet hit him, or he must have hit the leg of the chair at a horrible angle. It didn't matter either way, he was bleeding, he was in a gunfight, and he was in almost entirely unfamiliar territory with nothing to live or fight for aside from his own personal battles with his insane mind. A full chocolate mud cake exploded from the shelf, spraying some over the ground. Oliver picked up a broken, and warm, piece and chucked it straight into his mouth.
"Oh god..." He moaned. He had not tasted anything so good for an extremely long time, and it removed the taste of human flesh from his mouth.
"Tastes good, doesn't it?" He rolled his head to the side and saw Mia sitting on the floor next to him, a large chunk of metal sticking out of her chest, blood flowing out and a steady rate, more dribbling from her mouth.
"Why the fuck are you here?" He asked.
"We haven't spoken in ages, and this is what you want to talk about?"
"Am I? If I am, how am I talking to you right now?"
"Because I'm going fucking insane! That's how! You're not real, none of you are real!"
"And if it wasn't for us, would you still be alive? If it wasn't for us to talk to, do you think you wouldn't have put a bullet in your head?"
"I...I don't know. I don't know anything anymore."
"Maybe you should?" Another voice sounded on his other side. He looked over and saw Tracey, bullet hole galore and gushing.
"Should what, understand what I can't? How does a crazy person know if they're getting saner? How does a sane person know if they're getting more fucked up than what they already are?"
"Hahaha! You are such an idiot." Daniel said, standing right in front of him. "You were logical, but you could never understand what was standing right in front of you."
"But...how? You're here. I can here you talking, but you're all dead. I saw you. Am...am I dead too?" The three shook their heads.
"No, just insane."
"Then...then none of this is real. I can still hear the gunfire, but all of this has happened in just a few microseconds, my mind trying to find a way to understand what is happening."
"And what is happening?" This voice was more familiar. Standing next to Daniel, unscathed, was Leigh. And there was something in her arms wrapped up.
"My mind is creating you all as you all die. Something to keep me away from reality. Something to make me think that there is something worth fighting for. Something worth dying for...when all that's left is me. Not a country, a region, a country. Not even a city block or a house. I'm all that's left of a raped world...that means that Tracey and Mathers was just a way for me to get through that single situation, make me think someone was coming to help me."
"Yes." Leigh said, smiling. She crouched down and held her arms out. In them, wrapped up in a white blanket was a baby. Pure and innocent, unlike any of them. "And this is our child."
"Wha...what..." Oliver stammered, lost for words.
"It doesn't exist." Tracey said, getting up and pulling Leigh and the baby back.
"Wait a seco—"
"No. This is what you want. This is what you were supposed to fight for. This is what you were supposed to die for."
"But how can I when it doesn't exist?" Sam stepped forward, making the small behind the counter area become slightly crowded, gunfire still thudding away on the wood.
"Because you want to die, nothing more, nothing less. You truly want to die, so your sub-conscience is giving you a reason to continue to fight and eventually die, even with a bullet wound." He explained. Oliver sat there and didn't say anything, blood continuing to seep from the wound and eventually pool around him on one side.
"Then this...is the end of the line." He muttered. He blinked and the sound of the world returned. The gunfire sped up immensely, glass shattered quicker and he was suddenly alone, tears streaking down his face. He looked at his wound, and then at his pistol. He pulled out the magazine and saw he only had one bullet left. Maybe he should do what he should have done a long time ago. Just put the barrel to his temple and—
"Cease fire!" A voice yelled out. The gunfire ceased. "Oliver...you are surrounded. Give yourself up."
"Heh...Admiral." Oliver grunted, pushing himself off the wood and carefully stumbling to his feet. He rammed the clip back in, cocking the pistol. He and it had shared a lot together. Gone many places, killed many people.
"Drop your weapon!" The admiral called out, standing not far away, assault rifle in arms. "Come out from behind there slowly."
"Sure...why not?" Oliver chuckled, clutching his side with one hand. As the blood began to run over it, he noticed how pale his skin was. He must have been sitting in there longer than he had thought. Maybe the time with hallucinations was different each time.
"Just put the gun down, son. There's been enough violence lately."
"Yeah, no shit. There had been enough three fucking years ago. You know...the time where Mathers and his people didn't have a proper hold on New Zealand? The time when it would have been perfect for a little outside help?"
"We couldn't do that. We had little information on what was going on. At first, we didn't even know if it was outside forces or simply a large scale civil war."
"Oh really? You think all the Americans, Asians, Germans and fucking Huskies would have been obvious enough!"
"And what would we have done, gone in their shooting?"
"You could...have." Oliver grunt in pain, his side giving a massive flare off before going almost entirely numb. The hand holding the blood in began to loosen, red seeping through his fingers.
"You're already injured. Just drop the gun, we'll get you patched up and then we can sort this entire mess out. And eventually, once everything has quietened down a bit, we will go back to New Zealand. And we will give it back to its people." He considered it for a moment. He put some serious thought into it. But when he saw Daniel standing behind him, along with Tracey, Alice, Cojack, Winston, Leigh, Miles, Blair, Sam, Josh, Cassin, Lisa, Zane, Michael and everyone else that had died...just so their country could divulge into a mass of chaos until no one was left to give it back to?
"You make a...a convincing argument." Oliver stuttered, his leg starting to twinge with numbness. The admiral lowered his weapon, as did the other soldiers, and his face seemed to turn into a fake smile. "Unfortunately..."
"Unfor...what?" His face almost seemed to drop like a boulder down the side of a mountain.
"Unfortunately...there is nothing left to go back to." In a single movement, he used every ounce of strength and willpower that was left in his entire body and raised his useable arm, the one with his customized 1911. Extended clip giving him eighteen rounds, laser sights and scope. The .45 ACP round exploded from the lengthened barrel and glided through the air, the miniature sonic boom echoing in the terminal and down all the corridors. The bullet smashed through the thin flesh and skull before ripping the admiral's brain to shreds, turning it to pink mush which was then expelled out the massive, gaping hole in the back of his head. His body was flung backwards.
"And I'm spent." Oliver managed to grin before the remaining soldiers all raised their rifles and squeezed extra hard on their triggers.
For their murdered leader, for their fallen friends. For their invaded and attacked country.
This book is dedicated to all those that died for the cause:
And all those that didn't make it to read this.