The closer they got to the area, the more those faces of determination around David slowly turned to doubtful and fear filled expressions. It was hard to maintain such a positive mind set when facing the Spawners for the first time, especially for those who witnessed the attack at the academy.
However, not all members of Charlie Team were green-as-grass as David and his friends. Less than twenty of the current team were fresh from the academy, though the remaining eighty soldiers were still ill-experienced. Everyone on their way to this mission bad fought the Spawners on less than ten encounters.
Despite being sent on a mission within the first week of graduating, Elite missions weren't near as common as they may be presented. Most of the time, Spawner encounters in-land would be responded to by foot soldiers, while Alpha team would be on back-up call. Besides Alpha, the other teams would never engage in combat unless there was a huge Spawner attack or there were some away missions deemed suitable for the lower ranked teams.
Regardless of how they all felt, as soon as their transport arrived not far from the factory, they all exhaled heavily before jumping out the vehicle. With boots on ground, they followed around to the front of the trucks and head towards the target building in the teams they were put into beforehand, five teams of twenty.
Every soldier had a radio equipped with their uniform, sharing the same radio frequency. However, only the team leaders of each squad were permitted to use the channel, other than when in a dire situation. In the circumstance that the channel got overwhelmed with chatter, the leaders also had their own specific channel only they could access.
The factory was an old shoe factory, shut down long before the Spawners started appearing. The building had three entrances; the main entrance consisting of two large doors, a side entrance closer to the back of the building, and a way in from the balcony on the third floor.
Team one and two were heading for the main entrance, expected to have the most resistance, while team three and four head for the balcony entrance, seeing as they would be the furthest away from the other teams. Finally, team five were going through the side entrance, instructed to meet up with the first two teams as soon as possible.
David was in team two along with Matt, whereas Penny was in team five with Brooke and Lee. Wade and his other friend Jordan were in team four, scaling up the building with team three. David's team got into position outside the main entrance, waiting in anticipation while they waited for the other teams to get into position.
Within four minutes everyone was in position. The call was made by Warren King, the Charlie Team leader, and simultaneously all entrances were breached. Entering the pitch black building, everyone's flashlights switched on as they searched the area.
All team one encountered during their initial breach were several civilians, quickly accessed to be either homeless people or rebellious teens. While most of the people found scrambled around into the darkness, or were being escorted out of the building, firing could be heard from the teams up above.
Warren, squad one's leader, asked over the radio what kind of resistance they were meeting on the floors above, but was told that it was very minimal. Suddenly, a Steed came galloping out of the shadows, pouncing onto a member before ripping out his ribcage from under his skin.
Three or so members immediately started firing at the creature, hitting very little shots which allowed it to break free momentarily, before heading for its next victim. Luckily, a spear-throwing Elite was able to hit the Steed, piercing straight through before withdrawing the weapon. It was instantly dead.
With the death of one for each side, screams and howls echoed through the large empty factory, before quickly being followed by a Spawner counterattack. From every side, Spawners of multiple small different kinds attack the group of forty, before team five swiftly came to their aid.
As a huge cramped brawl broke in the main factory area, everyone was forced to fight, whilst not only watching their own backs, but their friends' as well. The factory floor quickly became a bloodbath, a mixture of both Spawner and human crimson liquid, thickening beneath everyone's feet whilst they ran and splashed around in it.
Once the balcony team had successfully re-joined with the rest, the factory floor battle came to a swift end. With piles of bodies amongst everyone's feet, they did a quick head count whilst continuously making sure the area had been cleared. Once the count was complete, they'd confirmed that a surprising eleven Elites had been killed in combat.
Whether it was surprising because that was a lot or because it was too little, David didn't know. All he could be surprised about was that not one of his friends had been killed, nor we're any of them among the fifthteen or so wounded.
With all five teams grouped together, forming the entire remaining force of Charlie Team, they began gathering the injured and starting to make their way to the nearest exit. Suddenly, Warren King instructed everyone to stay till and quiet, as he believed he had heard something suspicious.
All soldiers stood still, making as little sound as they could, when the ground suddenly shifted. Before anyone knew it, the ground beneath their feet opened up like double doors, dropping everyone and everything down into a pit several feet below.
As all alive and dead bodies hit the ground below, having gallons of blood washed all on top of them, everyone stood up as quickly as possible and equipped their weapons at the ready. While all soldiers, including David and his friends, Matt appeared to have twisted his ankle and was sat with hands and feet in blood.
He reached out his hand towards Lee, but as their hands touched, a normal-class Spawner sprinted past the two. As David looked their way, and the two remained in a stone-like pose, the three suddenly fell into multiple pieces. Due to the angle, Matt had gotten the top of his head and from his elbow to his hand separated from his body, whilst Lee was bisected from his legs. Blood erupt from the two as their bodies hit the ground simultaneously.
"No!" David unconsciously screamed, drawing everyone's attention to the situation.
"My name's Matt Quinn. And you are...?"
"Cool name, Dave. 'Dave!'"
"I can't wait for you to teach me how to use the rifles and machine guns and everything!"
"Let's start as we aim to end. With a boom!"
David opened fire on the Spawner that had passed the two, missing several times due to his tear-filled sight, before pursuing the creature with his blade. Everyone told him to hang back, don't take the thing on his own, but he couldn't hear a single thing.
"Fourteen now, don't you forget!"
"He was fucking fourteen!" He screamed, as he caught up to the Spawner and took a swing as it leap towards him.
Suddenly, with the initiator down and having it's corpse hacked at by David, dozens of Spawners crawled from within holes inside the walls and attacked the entire group. Many weren't expecting the attack, especially for so many of them to come from above, and so within the first few seconds many were killed. A Steed head towards the already distracted Dave and leapt from behind, only to be pierced into the wall by Wade's spear.
"David!" He shouted, withdrawing his spear. "Come on!"
He snapped out of his revenge-filled stabbing frenzy on the long gone Spawner and head over to his friend. As the two stood back-to-back, they began fighting off incoming enemies, while Warren King shouted amongst the mayhem supportive chatter, to keep them all hopeful.
"Don't let these monsters be the end of you!" He shouted, one of the many heroic phrases and sentences he called out, all whilst blasting his next appointment. "We're better than these monsters, Humanity is stronger than these monsters!"
"Penny!" David called out amongst the fighting, continuing to strike down and shoot anything non-human within ten feet of him. Attacking him or not. "Where are you?"
"David!" She responded, slicing through an opponent, opening up a line of sight between the two.
As David instructed Wade to accompany him, making their way towards Penny, she quickly defended herself against a Spawner, as their blades became intertwined. She deflected the beasts incoming attacks, right up until Wade stabbed the creature in the back of its head, hands gripped tightly around the staff.
"Don't thank me yet," he replied. "You'll get tired of thanking me before we're out of here," he said, striking a confident smirk as he turned his back to the two, readying himself for the next attacker.
Same as always Wade, a hero no matter what... I cant believe Matt and Lee are gone... Matt was fu-... he was fucking fourteen-years-old! His whole life was ahead of him, he...
David stopped focusing on what was on his mind, in attempt to not cry any further and disadvantage himself against the possibly outnumbering foes. Another came his way, but he took it down easily, firing at its leg first before delivering the final swing from shoulder to waist.
Death was occurring in every space of the mysterious underground area, closely representing the bottom of a large bloody well. Elites and Spawners were dropping left, right and centre, their team quickly being eliminated as more of Charlie died but more Spawners seemed to appear. While clearly being outnumbered and overwhelmed, Wade instructed David to try and think of a way out of where they had fallen, filling him up with confidence to proceed...
"C'mon David!" He shouted. "If anyone's smart enough to get us outta here, it's you buddy!"
"Ye-Yeah, you're right," he replied, forcing himself to calm down. "You keep doing your thing, and I'll do mine!"
David looked around the pit they had been forced into, trying to look for a clear exit, as there just had to be one...
They're all coming from within those pipes or... holes in the walls. God, why is it so fucking dark? I can barely see a thing! Calm down David... Th-the way we came in is far too high up, probably would've all died from the fall alone if it weren't for those enhancements... THINK!
"Got anything yet?" Wade asked.
"It's hard to buy you time here, y'kn-"
"Wade?" David asked, turning around to see his friend.
Before Wade stood a Spawner, its arm/blade completely coated in fresh blood, as his friend lay on the ground. Across his torso was a huge slice, cutting clean through his uniform and bringing his insides to the surface. He was still alive...
Penny attacked the Spawner, having her blade clash with his before being kicked away, when David attacked. Firing off several rounds at the creature, half of which being deflected or missing, before running out of ammunition, he grabbed his sword with both hands and taking a big swing. They clashed, pushing the enemy's arms lower down as it crumbled under his enraged strength, before he then swung upwards and took its head clean off.
With it dead, he quickly turned to Wade's side, lifting his head up out the puddle of blood ever so slightly before stopping at an elevation where Wade didn't appear in so much pain.
"Oh my God," he said, holding his bleeding friend. "Wh-what the fuck do I do, Wade? I can't remember any of the fi-first aid shit.."
"David..." He said, with an ever so faint tone. "I'll... tell Amy everything for ya..."
He asked again, looking away from his wound and back to his face, only to see that his eyes were open but there was no movement. His mouth was slightly open, with blood trickling from the corner, while a tear escapes his eye lid and rolled down onto David's wrist.
"Wh-what did you mean!" He shouted frantically, gently shaking friend. "What did you say, c'mon Wade, answer me!" He began to shake him vigorously.
"Dave!" Penny screamed, gaining his attention as he turned and saw her struggling with an enemy. Holding them back with just her bare hands, pinned to the ground.
He grabbed Wade's spear and threw it in her direction, piercing the Spawner through the back and into where the heart would be on a human. He quickly ran over and pulled out the spear, stabbing it another time before it rolled over on its side.
"Not you too," he said, extending his hand as helped her up.
"This is Warren King, leader of Charlie Team on a stronghold attack mission," their leader began talking over a separate channel. "We're vastly outnumbered and are being overwhelmed. We need back up-!"
Midway through his call for help, Warren received a stab into his stomach, bringing him to his knees before blasting away the foe with his shotgun. He continued to make the broadcast, with the Spawner's severed arm in his sternum, before a Steed leapt onto his back and placed him face first into the blood. After having his head thrashed against the floor a couple of times, he was no longer responsive...
Everyone was dropping like flies around them, forcing the very few remaining members to start crowding up in the centre of the room, continuing to be slaughtered. Before they knew it, all of Charlie Team had been completely wiped out, besides two remaining members. Penny Fisher and David Griffin.
One hundred members exactly turned up on what was supposed to be a simple mission. Wiping out a factory would have been and was before an unexpected hideout was unveiled. With ninety-eight dead, the two final survivors looked around themselves as they saw dozens of Spawners closing in on them, making their approach slow and unbearable.
Though he was shaking in fear, David held on strong to his weapons. He wasn't going down without making sure he took as many down as he could. Penny on the other hand dropped her weapons and wrapped both arms around Dave, crying into his chest as she looked up and her helmet fell off.
"This is it," she cried, appearing completely out of character. "I'm glad I got to meet you David, I really am!" She shouted, burying her face back into his chest.
Fuckin-... Dammit Penny!
He couldn't help but drop his weapons. As his eyes teared up and it all came flooding to him suddenly, he was about to die. He hugged her tightly and closed his eyes, picturing Amy being placed within his arms, as he slowly embraced his incoming death...
Suddenly, loud screeching and sounds of bodies being spliced and flesh tearing echoed throughout the pit. The two opened their eyes, spotting a red-haired woman sprinting up and across the wall, with Spawner-like blades for arms. As David identified it to be her, she transformed into a completely different being mid-jump as she dived into the crowd of Spawners, stealing all of their attention from the two humans.
As she transformed into a kind of Spawner even David had never seen before, fighting off crowds of incoming Spawners on her own, David let go of Penny and picked up his weapons.
"Come on!" He encouraged the only other survivor. "There's still hope!"
He and Penny both gathered their weapons and began to fight back. Most of the Spawners were not only being fought off by the 'friendly' Spawner, but were also distracted by her, allowing the humans to get the upper hand in their attack.
With Spawners being sliced up all around them, blood and limps soaring through the sky and splashing into the pool beneath them, the Spawner count quickly decreased. The three all stood in the centre of the room, slicing and using other fallen Elites' weapons, mowing down waves of Spawners until the room had nearly been cleared.
With very few remaining, David and Penny were completely exhausted. Having had fought more Spawners on the one mission than most B-rank members do in a year's time, they were completely out of breath, and were running on very few fumes.
The female Spawner continued to kill off the remainder of the Spawner force, while the two humans fell and leaned on each other to even keep up right. They looked at each other and smiled simultaneously. Two people, covered in an unspeakable amount of different people's blood, had just survived an attack of epic proportions.
As the final enemy was eliminated, the girl transformed back into her human form, and started walking towards the two. Penny managed to muster up as much energy as she could, holding an apparent wound near her rib cage, and proceeded to thank the mysterious girl as she came near.
"Th-thank you," she repeated. "I don't know who or what you are but… that wa-"
Penny was immediately, unexpectedly, silenced. Mid thanking their 'saviour', the girl's arm re-transformed into the blade-arms she had been fighting with, and she took Penny's head clean off. It happened instantly.
Her body dropped, and her head fell backwards towards Dave's feet, splashing in blood and continuing to bob around in the liquid at his feet. He was speechless. Action-less. With her blood splattered across his face, he looked back at the girl and couldn't comprehend anything.
He quickly lost consciousness. With nothing on his mind and nothing to be said, he simply passed out, with the last thing he saw being this killer coming his way. He closed his eyes, for what he thought would be the last time, but it was far from it…