Chapter 19: Fall of the General

Carolina and Ken rushed Creed from both sides. Ken threw a kick, Carolina threw a punch and both of them were blocked by him. Creed pushed Carolina back and took hold of Ken. He threw the young man onto the ground before trying to stomp onto him. Ken rolled to his right over and over again until he hit a wall. Creed approached him with heavy steps, but was abruptly stopped by Carolina's efforts as she jumped onto his back. He struggled against her grip around his neck and threw her over his shoulder.

Ken punched the enemy as soon as he stood up. There was no visible effect on Creed's armor. He smirked as Ken continued to try and fail. "You fight with much spirit."

He blocked Ken's punch, took both his arms in his hands and kicked Ken hard down to the ground. "But spirit alone is not enough to change the world let alone defeat me."

Creed lifted Ken by his collar and smashed his back against the wall hearing an uncomfortable crack echo from Ken's body. He leaned in close and whispered. "Strength is needed as well."

Carolina took out her blade and tried to stab the man in the knee. But his armor withstood the force of the blade. He took her hand in his and forcibly loosened the grip on the knife. He picked her up by her neck and punched her hard enough to make her nearly throw up. "That's what I have always liked about you since our first encounter soldier girl, the willingness to keep on fighting even during times a victory may not be foreseeable."

He kicked Ken back down to the ground who tried to get up for a sneak attack. Carolina fought back quickly by punching him on his abs. None of her hits had an effect. He held her thin arms in his hands like pieces of twigs and twisted it over. She screamed in sudden discomfort, but quickly recovered by twisting around to kick him on the right side of his helmet. Just as Ken stood up, Carolina stumbled his way for support. They both looked at one another and nodded. This time they planned to do it together rather than let Creed pick them apart so easily.

More enemy soldiers entered the fray by activating various hidden doors. They ran towards the group of fighters headed for the main gate. They all opened fire, rushing past the dance of bullets. As quickly as they opened fire, bodies began to pile up on both sides. Firing their way through the terrorists, the ATSG soldiers reached the gate. The hacker within their group set up their equipment and began the hack procedure. "Come on baby, give me something good here."

Uhn! Uhn!

A red screen flashed on his device with a warning symbol. The firewall was proving to be a greater challenge than the hacker had thought it would be. "Oh, lovely."

He looked back to his teammates. "Buy me some time."

"How long is 'some' time?"

"As long as I need to get this door open."

The others prepared their guns to make a stand. Many constructed a makeshift barricade around their position and fortified their chances of survival. Everyone set up on the barricade wall with their gun resting over the edge. They watched the enemy fighters close in before spraying randomly. Every bullet hit its target. Some died instantly, while others suffered the sad fate of a slow death by blood loss.

One of the defenders got Siris on the line. "Sir, where are you? We need that help right now."

Siris pulled up the van at a safe spot and stealthily shadowed the wall. "I'm here. Give me time to clear out any enemy presence out here."

He peeked from the corner to find one man guarding the main gate. Siris took a nearby pebble and with the shadow's aid he neared the enemy. Siris threw the pebble quite a ways away, but enough to distract the man. He quickly ran jumping up on the dumpster. The soldier looked behind him and raised his weapon. Siris extended his wrist blade as he kicked off the dumpster. The soldier undid the safety on his weapon. Siris landed fast and hard onto the man making a clean cut into his throat. He stood up feeling the after effects of this move on his robotic prosthetic leg. He kicked the gun away and radioed into his comrades. "Alright, all clear out here. I'm going to see what I can do on my end here."

Adrian stalked the long circular hallway now deep underground. He felt the falling temperature of the air around him as he descended further downwards. He eyed his digital wrist watch with a close eye. Things are moving along splendidly. Adrian looked up and with a cold hard emotionless face he pondered. It is a shame that General Creed could not be here for her awakening. Adrian kept on walking recalling all the times he found himself detesting Creed. Now that Creed was at what could be his final battle, he felt a certain growing sense of respect.

"You were quite an interesting man Creed," Adrian talked to himself hearing the echoes of his own voice. "Too bad we will not see one another ever again."

Carolina ducked under Creed's punch and delivered a firm uppercut. Creed recovered and punched the back of Carolina's helmet. She went tumbling down. Ken tackled Creed from the back. He activated his wrist blade and heated up the tip. Through the very small cracks in his armor leading to the under suit, he stabbed the General in the right side of his back. Creed groaned in pain as he shook Ken away. As the blade receded from the wound, Creed kneeled to the ground. He slowly stood up with a growl, gathering every inch of his energy to walk towards Ken and smashed his nose in.

Carolina tackled him from the front with the help of her speed module, but even that did not help. He maintained a firm grip on the floor with his boots and held her with his hands. Ken punched Creed on his wound and brought the big man down. His screams echoed throughout the complex with Carolina round house kicking him to the ground. She threw away his helmet and began a fury of wild and barbaric punches.

Left, right, left, right and then left again. She punched him without withholding her strength. He could feel every ounce of anger in her fists. "You god damned terrorist!"

He took every hit with a firm jaw as if to further provoke her. "Because of you, I lost people. Because of you, others who had done no wrong died!"

He took her right fist. Just as she raised her left fist, he stopped it in its tracks. "Everyone does some wrong."

He head butted her and threw her to his right onto the ground. Even though the helmet had absorbed most of the impact, she still felt her whole head shaken by the experience. Her mind was a blur from headache, her body jolted down when trying to rise again. Creed adjusted his jaw. The after effects of her punches were strong. Ken tried to sneak behind Creed, but before he could land a meaningful blow, he was thrown against a nearby pillar. "You two fight with much vitality. It's a shame you stand against us, for now I must break you."

Angered by his bravado, she stuttered upwards with the help of the wall. She rushed up to him and tried to tackle him down. "Fuck you and fuck your organization!"

Creed took hold of her right arm and loosened it from his waist. He twisted the arm around hearing a jolt of agony. Creed swung her body around until it hit a concrete wall with a loud ear piercing crash. She could feel her body break itself apart. A few muscles had easily torn apart. Moaning in pain she tried to stand up. Creed held her by her head and began to apply pressure. But before he could use his other fist to do anymore damage, Ken slashed Creed's right ear!

Carolina's face crashed onto the concrete as Creed stumbled to his left holding his ear. He growled in pain and saw his right hand covered in blood. His hearing was already distorted from the damage done to his right ear. Ken took out his pistol, but missed the shot. Creed retrieved his pistol from the holster and shot Ken in the shoulder. The young assassin fell onto the ground holding the newly opened wound while suppressing the urge to scream. Creed inched closer and held the barrel against Ken's forehead. But before he could push the trigger, Carolina deflected his shot and disarmed him of his mid-range capability. She kicked him in his injured ear before being stopped in her track by his hulking figure. He elbowed her down to the ground and repeatedly punched the helmet. As brutal as the sounds were of his fist pounding against the helmet, the sliver of light breaking through to her vision came as a shock.

Her helmet nearly broke in half with her visor breaking apart. She tried to get up, but her head trauma would not let her. "Church, run the healing unit."

Creed took this moment to recover from his own pain and noticed her slowly standing up. "I was wondering whether you would break on your own, or I would be granted the pleasure to do so with my own hands."

He punched her in the stomach as she threw a long punch his way, and slapped the back of her helmet. She fell to the ground and began to crawl away. Just then she took notice of a trap that had not entered her vision before. That's it. She crawled towards the trap guiding the General into her territory now. He bent down and gripped her collar. But before he could lift her, she threw in hard punches at his face until he fell down. Carolina rushed for the gun and smashed its butt against his forehead.

"Stay the fuck down already!" Church shouted as he started running the healing unit. Carolina already felt the effects kicking in. "Where is your leader?!"

Creed let out a loud crackle leaving a confused Carolina. Does he not understand his position right now? She threw away her helmet and faced him eye to eye. "If you don't talk right now, I won't hesitate to blow your brain out!"

"You people always want to know information for things that have already happened," he grovelled against the barrel on his cheek. "Things will change. People must change, because if they want to see us gone, then there is no choice but to change."

Carolina applied pressure with the pistol. "Where is she?!"

She only remained to let her eyes widen in shock when hearing his fearless laughter. There was nothing that she could do to make him talk except perhaps threaten him with a slow death. She pointed the gun towards the trap's trigger switch. "I will ask one last time, where is she?!"

Creed took a nearby piece of concrete and threw it at the switch. Carolina looked up at the unhinging sounds above them and jumped out of the way. Suddenly debris fell from the second floor and onto Creed burying and crushing his body, leaving only the head exposed. His breath had become erratic and death was clearly knocking at his doorstep. "Foolish girl, I never feared death. What I fear most is that people will never change their ways. Humans will always be selfish, violent, and greedy and…corrupt."

He breathed in deeply and desperately. "Such imperfections will be our own undoing eventually…leading us to o- our extinction."

Carolina slowly sat up watching from afar. She could see the truth in his words as his eyes remained empty. No fear was existent. In fact his growingly wicked grin suggested he welcomed death. "People must be set…on the right path. For if they are not…a grim f- future will awa- await them…"

He slowly closed his eyes. Carolina caught her breath and calmly approached the enemy. She bent down to check his pulse. His heart had stopped. She rushed to Ken's aide and studied his wound. Church reassured her that it wasn't life threatening.

Siris finally managed to get the doors opened with the help of the hacker on the other side. He rushed in to check on the scene and was left dazed. He motioned for everyone in the complex to follow him. Over the radio to any not in his vicinity he gave words of encouragement and hope. Their fight for the time being was over. They were going to leave. They were going home.

Carolina picked up Ken and looked back at Creed. She gritted her teeth feeling the pain in her body return. Her armor ran low on power. Her mind was deep in thought contemplating Creed's last few words. She could see the ugliness of humanity he spoke of. She could see the truth in his words, but only the partial truth for there was another side to the coin he described. There will always be people who are willing to change. There are those who wish to incite war for various reasons, and those who will suppress such desires in favor of peaceful times and values. You were right, but you were wrong at the same time. In this universe, no matter how bad things may get, there will still be good in people.

A/N: Next chapter will be the final chapter to this entry. I hope you look forward to it!

Also a sad way to go out for Creed, being crushed to death and having every bit of your breath be squeezed out of you.

What did you think about the action sequence, especially the hand to hand aspects? If you have suggestions on how to improve choreography for action scenes, feel free to share!

Thank you for taking the time to read and support this story! :)

Constructive feedback is always welcomed.

~ Monty