Chapter 11: Matthias


The cafe had already been deserted by the time I sent the rest of Oktober running. Six gunshots and a Ferrari through the window will empty out a small restaurant in seconds. Scylla laughed maniacally as he crawled along the ground. I delivered a swift kick to his stomach, causing him to roll onto his back.

"You're sickening," I growled.

"Say what you want," Scylla smirked, "You were like me once, Matthias. Don't pretend you're any better. Just another pawn in Midas' game."

"But now," I replied, "I am enlightened." Another kick to his stomach, as he was trying to get himself up. He laughed again, hysterically.

"Enlightened? Don't kid yourself. Do you think your little joyride with Katie has done changed anything? Do you think you're damaging us, or our plan? Matthias, you and your friend are nothing but a delay."

"We're just getting warmed up," I snarled, "Between Natasha and I, we know a lot about Projekt Oktober. We're the wrench in the cogs, Scylla."

"Or you'd like to be!" he shouted, "But look at you! What do you have?! What's your trump card?! Katie?! In a few minutes you and your friends will be dead, and Katie will be ours again!" I went to kick Scylla again, this time he grabbed my leg and used the momentum of the kick to throw me to the floor. He himself, jumped up, apparently totally unfazed by my battery of him. With a sharp downward push, he stomped on my hand, the one holding my gun, and kicked it away as soon as I released it. I crawled away pathetically and pulled myself up with a table. Scylla grinned evilly and casually walked up to me before throwing a crippling punch at my stomach. I bent over, the wind knocked out of me, and suddenly feeling very sick. The beast went for a follow-up, but I caught his fist and twisted his arm; he shrieked in pain but used his left hand to deliver a harsh blow to my right cheek. I nearly fell backwards, but I caught myself at the last moment.

"Well, well, this promises to be interesting," Scylla whiserped.

Now it was my turn. I throw a punch, one he easily dodged, but I followed it with a blow to the gut and a knee to the crouch. Scylla howled and staggered, then glared at me. And then he smiled. With lightning speed, he threw two punches, both of which connected. I tried to retaliate, but he caught my wrist and twisted it so far I swore I heard a pop. And yet, he was not finished; he stomped on my foot, and the crushing force caused pain to rip through me. Scylla cackled, and tossed me to the floor. I fell on my face. The monster straddled me, and grabbed my hair. He pounded my face into the ground. Blood seeped into my mouth, and my nose, and my eyes. My face burnt with the feel of the warm liquid, my nose with the smell of it, my mouth with the taste. And Scylla did not relent. It felt as though my consciousness was being beat out of me. I flailed, my entire body did, like a child. In my struggling, my hand came to rest on something metallic and cool. There was a metallic click, and, as so often follows a sound like that, silence. I had found my gun. Scylla got off of me and stood up, putting his hands behind his head as I turned the barrel towards him.

"Very well played," Scylla smiled, "Though honestly I think you got lucky." I stood up myself, and began backing towards what had been the large, floor-to-ceiling windows of the shop. "Leaving so soon? We were just getting started!" I flicked my gun at him was I fumbled through my pockets for Katie's keys. He just laughed.

"Are you going to shoot me Matthias?" Scylla mocked, "Come on! I dare you! Do it! Shoot me!" Scylla cackled and fell to his knees. Katie was parked on the curb outside, and slowly I inched towards her, never lowering my pistol. "Look at you! LOOK AT YOU! You're a failure, Matthias! You're disgusting, running away! You're pitiful! I want to vomit at the sight of you!"

I opened Katie's door, and thrust the key into the ignition. Scylla didn't even bother coming after me when I lowered my gun. Instead he just laughed at me. I drove, infuriated with myself. I couldn't kill him, I couldn't pull the trigger. And I hate myself for it. Scylla was a monster, he was evil in its most pure form. But he was just like me, we were one and the same. It wasn't his fault he was that way, he had been manipulated and molded by Midas, just like the rest of us.

I drove. I sped. I raced along the backstreets, through aisles of dilapidated buildings. Above me, I heard a shrieking, the sound of an incoming jet. I looked up, and immediately wished I hadn't. Silhouetted against the brilliant blue sky, like a horde of birds of prey, were dozens of predator drones. Black, thin, monstrous things, soaring with a sense of deadly purpose. Their shadows ran over the land, one passing incredibly close to me.

There was a whistling. I knew what it was before I saw it. I floored the accelerator, only to realize the bomb was falling in front of me. At the last second, I swerved, narrowly dodging the ensuing explosion. For a minute, I couldn't hear. The air from the impact swept past me, with hurricane force. Dirt, dust, and shrapnel was thrown into the air followed by a sport of water. Apparently the explosion had hit a main. I lost control of the car, and was skidding down the street. The panic nipped at the back of my mind, but I didn't let it consume me. I turned into the skid, and regained control of Katie. The whistling sound was all around me, as well as the sound of explosions. The newly constructed Manhattan Harbor, my destination, was only a few block away now. Gradually, the sound of the bombs died off.

But it was only a moments respite, they were soon replaced by the beating of helicopter blades, and the scream of more jet engines. V-formations of Harrier Jump Jets and F-22 Raptors clouded the skies. They bee-lined for the tallest towers in the city, fired off their load of missiles, and broke formation. They were murderously precise. The Empire State Building shutted for a moment, then fell sideways. The Chrysler Building collapsed in on itself, and the General Electric Building soon after. I watched in horror, panic now clawing at every fiber of my being.

Ospreys followed the jets, each of them flying in low over the city, coming to a halt, and letting their passengers rappel out of the chopper. Midas' personal army. Equip with the latest weapons and equipment. Some of them were terrorists, some of them were Rousseau International agents, some were even members of the United States' own armed forces, simply bought out or converted by Midas.

I drove straight through the gates of Manhattan Harbor. Bullets ricocheted off the front and side of Katie as I entered the premises. Rousseau International was already there. I swerved into the loading area, filled with massive cargo containers. Faceless, helmeted men in black armor pursued me through the iron maze, but they were worthless on foot. I rapidly lost them, and drove through the opposite end of the loading area. The massive cargo vessel Arcturus came into view, a gargantuan, navy blue ship, and our escape from America.

However, more astounding was the woman who stood in front of it. She wore a skirt and a woman's business suit, a light blue tie, and a trilby. Daphne. I turned rapidly, and skidded to a stop sideways in front of her, she took cover behind Katie.

"Daphne?!" I yelled, getting out of the car, and firing off a few shots at the agents who were appearing out of the maze of the loading area.

"My father stationed me here to take you and the rest of Oktober out when you tried to escape. He assumed you'd use this port to flee. Needless to say, I have my own plans about what to do with you," she called back, the gunfire was now deafening, and coming not only from the port, but from the entire city. "I've officially gone AWOL."

"Welcome to the club!" I said.

"And speaking of the club, where is everyone else?"

"Scylla intercepted us at a coffee shop, I held him back while the rest of Oktober split up. They should be on their way. We wait thirty minutes and then we leave."

"We don't have thirty minutes!" Daphne cried, "By then the Arcturus will have either left port, or the crew will have bailed and run!"

"I'm not leaving them!"

"In thirty minutes you'll be fine with it!"

"In thirty minutes they'll be dead!" I protested viciously. A bullet whizzed past my head, and I ducked behind Katie.

"Well then, what the hell are we supposed to do now!" Daphne yelled.

"Do you have weapons?" I asked, she brandished a TDI Vector that she was holding.

"This is all I have! Plus five clips! What about you?"

"Just this pistol and two spare clips!" I replied.

"We're going to run out long before the thirty minutes is up!"

"Well then, we just have to wait!" I answered. Smoke had begun billowing up from the city. Off in the distance, I could hear screams. And on the very edge of my perception, I swore I heard laughter.

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