Chapter 2: Nick

12/11/10

Inky blood flows like rapids.

"Oh hell, oh hell, oh hell, we're going to die," my companion says.

"Alone and desperate. Pathetically struggling like moths."

"Yes! Hell yes! We're going to die spectacularly!"

"Slowly. Our flesh will be torn, and our bones shatter, and our organs split it millions of insignificant flecks and we'll feel every second of it."

A hive of insects boiled under my skin. I heard them clicking across my muscles, screaming as the heat roasted them.

"I've always hated you Nick," Smith said, "There's a special hell waiting for you."

The clicking became a beating, hard and metallic, one I had become quite familiar with. The blades of a helicopter. The ship leveled out, and Jones ran to save our precious Matthias. Above us the chopper rose, white and red, blood running down the pale dead face of a thousand innocent children. A ladder descended from it, beckoning us up. I leisurely strolled towards it as Matthias, grasping his arm, stumbled along, Smith behind him. Daphne calls to us from above.

"I hate you, I hate all of you. Let your lungs fill with sulfur and your flesh turn to dust," she screams, gesturing for us to climb to safety. I may be paraphrasing. Jones and I climbed to the top of the ladder with ease, but Matthias couldn't, his arm had been wrenched out of its socket during his latest fall. He was forced to cling to the bottom run as we took off, wrapping his useless arm around it and howling in pain as he was lifted off the ground.

"We need get to Katie," Natasha said from the pilot's seat, urgency underlying her seemingly casual sentence.

"What happened to the thing, the Kraken or whatever?" Smith asked.

"That happened to it," Daphne explained, pointing out to sea.

Oh.

An abomination that defied logic, defied reality, was rising from the depths, the Kraken speared upon one tooth. It's body went on into infinity, wide as the Arcturus itself, most likely wider. Some great, unholy serpent, lurking under the crust of the Earth since the beginning of time. Its every twitch sent tsunamis rippling across the ocean.

"Matthias can't climb the ladder, what are we gonna do with him?" Jones said.

"He's going to have to ride in Katie for the entire flight," Natasha answered.

"Where are we going to fly? Don't tell me we're flying all the way to Britain."

"We're pretty close," Daphne cut in, "And frankly, I'd rather try that and fail than stay here."

"Smith, Nick, we have maybe two minutes before the half of the Arcturus Katie is on sinks. I'm going to lower you right on top of her, and you need to help Matthias get her to the helipad and secure her to the lifting rig," Natasha barked, "Daphne, give them the AT-4."

Daphne handed Smith a large, mean looking device. A rocket launcher of some sort. Smith fumbled with it for a few seconds, then slung it around his back. Daphne turned to me.

"This is an AK-47," she said, hefting a rugged machine gun, "This lever, on the side, is the fire selector, this," click, "is semiautomatic firing, this," click, "is full auto. This is the mag release, this is the bolt. You need to pull it back to chamber a new round after reloading." She tossed the gun to me, along with two spare mags, which I hastily shoved into pockets. "It's loaded with armor-piercing rounds. Aim for that things eyes and mouth."

I nodded. Smith had already started down the ladder, and I followed him out. I glimpsed Renard receiving another machine gun as I descended below the edge of the helicopter. The monstrosity was circling the Arcturus, as though it was curious. If it was as ancient as it looked, and had been asleep that whole time, the appearance of a vessel such as the Arcturus would be quite alien to it.

"I can drive," Matthias was saying to Smith as I reached the bottom of the ladder, "I just need you to keep that thing off me, because it's going to lose interest in the boat real fast, and it's going to decide it's hungry around the same time." We had been lowered into the narrow alley between two rows of cargo containers. It was just wide enough for Katie to drive through, though I wasn't sure her lovely orange paint job would make it through intact.

The door to the container Katie was housed in had already been thrown wide open from when our marry band was there before. Matthias ran towards Katie, his arm dangling limply to his side as he did. Smith and I grabbed each door of the shipping container and held them open as Matthias revved the engine and backed out.

"Hell, this is a tight fit," Matthias muttered, easily himself out of the container. He swung himself rapidly, making what I am pretty sure was a totally impossible turn into the alley. "Alright, we're good, you two get in." We didn't need to be told though, Smith and I were both hopping into the back seat. I fumbled with the fire selector on the AK-47, switching it to full auto as Daphne had shown me.

"How come she gave you a primer, and just tossed me this thing without any explanation?" Smith asked.

We sped down the alley, Matthias whipped around the corner making another truly impossible turn. The helicopter, which had been hovering above us, sped off towards the helipad once it knew we were underway.

"Where are we going?!" Matthias shouted, the howling wind stealing his voice.

"The helipad!" Smith responded. Matthias gunned it as we hit the central path of the cargo area. The chopper was visible in front of us, lowering down the rig Natasha had mentioned earlier, a series of straps which I assumed we were supposed to wrap under Katie to secure her. Matthias slammed on the brakes, and we skidded up the ramp to the helipad. Smith and I hopped out and began affixing the rig to Katie. It was pretty simple in reality, though I'm not exactly sure how to explain how it worked.

But then.

Blood.

Dripping from the sky.

Inky black the the infinite, welcoming abyss of death.

The beast, the abomination, rose above us, Kraken still dangling from its jaws, eye level with the chopper, glaring. I could feel it, it's thoughts, it's hatred creeping like black tendrils in the rear of my mind. Then the beast's eye exploded, violently. I whipped around to see Smith standing stock-still, stunned.

"... I just fired a rocket launcher," he muttered, wide-eyed.

"GET THE HELL INTO THE CAR YOU IDIOTS!" screamed Matthias. Smith and I scrambled in, too panicked to even open the door. The chopper lifted off, pulling us into the air with relative ease. I wondered if Katie had any other special properties, such as weighing less than one would assume she did.

"What is the thing?" Smith asked, gazing with horror at the writhing beast.

"It's the Leviathan," Matthias answered, "One of the great beasts. They were created with the world, and they will die with it. At the end of time, they will fight each other to the death. There will be no victor, they will all fall at the hands of each other. And the men of the Earth will feast on their flesh."

"... What does it mean if it's awake, then," Smith asked.

"It means that the world is coming to an end."

In silence, we flew away, invincible. The enraged Leviathan swallowed the remains of the Arcturus in it's gaping maw, then sunk, slowly, beneath the water, not even glancing our way. We were insignificant to it, pathetic. Dust. Not even a morsel.




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