Epilogue: The End?

~ John's POV ~

The four of us quickly made our way through a large area in the back of Seeker HQ.

We were anxious as we hadn't heard back from Agent Evans since he stated that the explosives were set.

I sincerely hoped that he was unharmed.

Agent Cian took out the few Phantom agents that wondered into our path. He mercilessly slammed their skulls repeatedly into the ground, painting the stone a crimson hue.

I winced at his brutish ways, but I knew better than to scold him.

The fury and blood lust radiated off of him like a furnace would release heat.

We arrived at the back entrance, and waited impatiently for any sign of Agent Evans.

I paced around restlessly, wiping the sweat off of my face and neck as I battled with tormenting thoughts.

Something caught the corner of my eye, and I whipped my head around.

Relief filled me as I saw Agent Evans walk towards us looking in good shape.

Pete stepped forward, and clapped him on the back. "Job well done, Agent Evans," he said tiredly, yet with pride.

Arrow nodded as he was impressed, and even the brute Irish man punched the young agent roughly on the arm. "You just made my day when the explosions went off," he said darkly.

Agent Evans looked like he would piss his pants, and gave a nervous laugh. "Uh, glad to hear," he said awkwardly.

To get things back on track, I pulled Evans away from the hovering group. "Now that he's here, we've got to get going."

Nodding in agreement, Pete took command. "You heard him, get moving!"

Immediately, we all set off for the main hall, taking care to not step on the sharp materials the littered the ground.

Eventually, we reached the main hall without any resistance, yet I felt suspicious.

Where did everyone go?

As if reading my mind, I heard the echo of various voices speaking.

From where I was, I could barely make out the signature glow of the Phantom's eyes.

My eyes narrowed in hatred, and I glanced back at my group. "We've got to take them out," I said.

My companions nodded, and Agent Cian took out a flash grenade. "This ought to piss 'em off," he cackled, before he pulled out the pin, and threw the grenade towards the Phantoms.

As soon as it went off, we bolted towards them.

I expected to hear alarmed exclaims coming from them, yet there was any silence.

We stopped running, and cautiously made our way forward. I took out my gun.

I saw something moving on the other side of the smoke, and immediately I aimed my shotgun high. "Stay where you are!" I ordered tensely.

I walked through the smoke, and the figure became clearer.

"John?" The voice called out softly.

My eyes widened in disbelief as I recognized the sound.

I stepped closer, and felt my heart clench at the sore sight. "Rachel?" I asked hoarsely.

She smiled widely, and I couldn't help but let out a sharp breath.

I couldn't believe it. Before my eyes was Rachel. After spending so much time searching for her, it seemed that she was the one to have found me.

It was ironic considering that I flew halfway around the world to rescue her.

A huge and costly weight was released from my shoulders as we made eye contact.

Seeing Rachel smile, I couldn't help but feel relieved as that was the moment I've been waiting for some time.

All too soon, that relief turned into alarm as my clone pointed a vicious looking shotgun at her.

To add on top of that, my bastard of a father made his dreadful appearance after almost eight years.

I was amazed that I managed to keep my cool in front of the monster responsible for so much pain.

I was tempted to just shoot him on the spot, but I knew that wouldn't have been good for Rachel.

I was startled, but not completely taken by surprise, when my clone killed my father in cold blood.

To be honest, I was glad that it was him who did the deed.

That way, I didn't have to get my hands dirty.

However, there were more serious problems at hand, such as my clone who took Rachel as a hostage.

Despite the threat of execution, I refused to back down from the challenge and instead stared at Rachel.

She caught my glance, and through the stare, I relayed a message that hopefully she understood.

It appeared that she had for she nodded, and delivered a pretty nasty head-butt to my clone.

That's my girl, I thought with pride.

Immediately, I aimed my gun at the abomination, and shot two rounds into both of his legs.

A hidden blood lust was satisfied as my clone screamed.

Relief washed through Rachel's soft features, but then movement from my clone forced my attention away. "To hell with this!" He yelled, and pushed the button.

Multiple explosions went off, and suddenly the once quiet and stable environment turned into a chaotic arena as the lobby shook vigorously, and caused various pieces of material to come down on us.

My fellow teammates shouted out in anxiety, but I paid them no attention as I stumbled over to Rachel.

I was so close to her that I could smell her fragrance, when some materials tumbled on my back, and caused me to collapse.

I tried to get move, but the god forsaken thing had pinned me down as it trapped my leg.

I whipped my head back to Rachel frantically. "Rachel!" I cried out.

Her eyes glistened as she took in my vulnerable state.

What she said next, though, took my breath away. "I love you." She said softly.

My eyes widened as I stared at her intensely.

A horrible sensation passed through me like nails digging through bare flesh.

A lone tear slid through Rachel's cheek before a large piece of the wall landed in front of us, and blocked access from either side.

No, no no no no NO!

Frantic thoughts invaded my mind as I desperately tried to claw my way out of the rubble that pinned me down.

Another huge piece of material nearly missed my body as it shattered on the ground nearby.

I turned my head the other way to protect my face from the tiny pieces that flew over.

I yelled out in frustration since I was basically a sitting duck.

Luckily, my noise attracted the attention of Pete who stumbled his way towards me.

With surprising strength, he managed to roll the large boulder off of me, and freed my injured leg.

I hissed in pain as the object was removed.

Pete carefully brought me up, and leaned my weight against him as I stood. "Come on, we've got to get out of here!" He exclaimed.

I refused to listen. "No! We can't go!"

Unfortunately for me, the Head Warrior was stronger than I was.

The fact that my leg was crushed didn't help my cause.

Pete wrapped my arm around his neck, and supported the bulk of my weight as he hurriedly guided us away from the debris that kept falling down.

The rest of our team were outside, and were shouting at us to hurry up.

As I took a last look at HQ, the once grand building of the Seeker organization crumpled to the ground in a pitiful defeat.

It symbolically reflected the state of the Seekers as we lost our global influence.

Internally defeated, I tore my gaze away from the destruction, and allowed Pete to place me inside the armored truck that waited for us.

He swiftly shut the door behind him, and the vehicle sped away from the scene.

I let out an agitated breath from both frustration, and the pain of my crushed leg.

The other agents remained silent for the entire ride as we all mentally relived the last moments.

So many friends died, and it seemed that their deaths were in vain.

The Phantoms had complete control, and their new leader was a sadistic son of a bitch whose long-term goal remained a mystery.

The first part of the drive was bumpy and the momentary jumps that the truck performed had me gritting my teeth in discomfort.

Agent Arrow took out a needle, and injected me with what I assumed was morphine. Within seconds I felt relief, and the rest of the journey went by surprisingly smooth.

I must have passed out because someone shook my shoulder gently, and informed me that we arrived at our destination.

Rachel's image faded into a blur, and the figure of Agent Evans came into view.

He helped me out of the vehicle, and guided me towards the abandoned farm.

It was well into the night, and the crickets were out chirping which gave the farm a fake sensation of security.

We, however, knew better.

Wearily, we entered the building, and settled in the spacious kitchen.

Agent Evans carefully sat me down on a chair that has seen better days, and placed my injured leg on another seat.

The young agent looked through various cabinets until he found what he was looking for.

He came back with a glass of water and some pain killers.

By then the small dosage of morphine had worn off.

Grateful, I nodded my thanks, and popped the pills in and downed all the water.

Thanks to modern medicine, the pill's effects took place right away, and the pain transformed into a deep numbness that resided within my soul.

I placed the empty glass on the table, and gestured Agent Evans to sit beside me. He got my cue and pulled up another chair and sat down.

The three older agents stood around another table as they did a mission debriefing of sorts.

"The cities are no longer safe for us." Agent Arrow stated. "I suggest we lay low for a while in order to resupply, and gather our strength. We then attack in guerrilla warfare style, until we've regained enough forces to kick the Phantoms out permanently."

Agent Cian slammed his fists against the wooden detail. "Fuck that!" He shouted. "We're going back and we're gonna make those Phantom bastards pay!"

His partner stared at him in defiance. "Are you blind to what has happened? We lost three quarters of our agents, and most of our resources are gone. It's suicide to go back there!"

The Irish brute shot back abruptly and stomped over to the Infiltrator until they were face to face. "No one's gonna stop me." He said venomously.

"Quiet!" Pete yelled overtop of them. "Listen to this."

He turned up the volume on the simple TV screen and the room immediately went quiet aside from our breathing.

The phrase "breaking news" was flashing on the bottom part of the screen as a male reporter had a disturbed expression on his face. "Good evening, I'm David Blake, and welcome to CBS news New York. This just in: as many New Yorkers have undoubtedly witnessed, the Seeker Headquarters building has collapsed to the ground at approximately 8:33pm local time, barely a week after the attack on the Shroud. Many are horrified at the sight as they are reminded of the 9-11 terrorist attacks from 2001. The building's destruction is apparently the direct result of a Special Ops containment operation ordered following the crisis lived in Seeker controlled areas these past few days. The crisis originated after a statement from the Seeker Directors was released to the media just a few days ago, declaring Martial Law in New York and other Seeker-controlled regions around the globe. The public responded in outrage as they demanded the Seeker Directors to lift the Martial Law. This resulted in a clash between protestors and Seeker agents, who illegally arrested numerous participants. This abusive display of Seeker authority left many civilians around the world questioning the organization's true motives." The image switched to a recorded feed that showed hundreds of protestors throwing rocks and other debris at Seeker agents.

My eyes widen at the sight. "What the..?" I start.

"What the fuck is the meaning of this?" Agent Cian growled out.

"Those are not our people," Agent Evans added in.

Pete gasped in disbelief. "Some of them are, unfortunately." He said. "But the rest…you can tell by their eyes."

The reporter came back on, and then turned his head to the left side. "General Howard of the US military has made his own stern statement about the international community's need to join forces, and overthrow the Seeker occupation."

The scene then switched to a middle-aged balding man who regarded the press with a hardened gaze. "In light of recent events from the past few hours, the military will not sit back quietly as the rogue Seeker organization continues to impose their unjustified authority on the international community. Our reliable contacts within the Offices of Intelligence has confirmed that the Seekers have used the Phantom threat as an excuse to secretly stage a coup to overthrow most, if not all, world powers to gain control over the distribution of resources. The Phantom organization has been euthanized back during the Silent War, nearly nine years ago, yet the Seekers still claimed their existence. I assure you that every necessary measure is being taken to make sure the Seekers are brought to justice and pay for their crimes. That being said, any active member of the remnants of this organization is now considered an enemy of the state, and will be charged with crimes against humanity. Use of deadly force is authorized in case of resisting detainment." He ended by scanning the crowd with his hawk-like eyes.

The image switches back to the reporter. "It is confirmed that an emergency meeting between the members of the United Nations Security Council took place in order to properly respond to the Seekers' betrayal. Their message is clear: the Seekers have been outcast as terrorists, and anyone caught or suspected of aiding them will be charged with treason." The reporter then shuffled his papers. "This is CBS news reporter David Blake. Thank you for joining us. Goodnight, and stay safe."

The room was quiet once the broadcast was shut off. We all remained quiet and reflected on the events.

"Jesus Christ, we've been framed," Agent Cian commented hoarsely.

That was the thought on everyone else's mind for they all had a grave expression on their faces.

It was another couple of tense minutes before one of us spoke. "What do we do now?" Agent Evans asked almost timidly.

Pete stared at each and every one of us intensely as he took in our current states. He then walked over to the window as he stared out at the unknown.

The Head Warrior took a deep breath before he turned to face us, and pointed at the TV. "It's obvious isn't it? We fight, or we die…"