PSU "A Daring Rescue" Part 6

The three Guardians stood motionless at the sight of their missing comrade. Chase's now dual-colored eyes stared back. His head jerked and the mutated blade arm twitched as he moved his eyes toward each Guardian. One at a time, examining them. Damien had an unnerving countenance and the feeling that Chase was no longer himself gripped on his heart. We're too late.

"I think we should go…" Fletcher whispered, slowly walking back, though his eyes never left Chase. He never held his rifle harder and closer to him.

"I think you're right…" Nanami answered, drawing her blue double saber once again.

Damien was torn however. They carried a great risk in rescuing their friend, even lost Molloch. He remembered other missions in the past when Chase did not abandon them, now he was eager to return the favor. Yet at the same time, the beast wondered if the being standing before them was even the same person. Damien looked at Chase, his blue-skinned arm with its bony sword tip was raised to waist level and his right arm still held his purple photon weapon firmly. The Seed-human hybrid was ready for an attack at any second.

"We can't deal with this right now…we will come back and get him but we need to regroup" Nanami whispered onto Damien's ear. He knew that the human watched his face and read his thoughts completely. Damien nodded back.

The three took steps back slowly and without sudden strides as if not to tempt a looming predator from its prey. Chase held his ground. His eyes still moved from Fletcher to Nanami then back again, examining and debating. Both swords remained positioned for a strike.

The Guardians found themselves already a few feet from Chase when Fletcher noticed a cloud of black mist swirling just behind the Seed-human. The dark mass soon grew and a figure slowly formed. A floating monster of metal, with a small blue armored chest and a flowing bottom like a makeshift robe, appeared. The new arrival held a long black rod with a slight circular bump at its tip. Its head was small but still covered and only its curving horns and glowing red eyes became discernible. It was a Seed mage, a Gaozoran.

Damien saw the Gaozoran point its rod tip toward the unsuspecting Chase. The beast did not know whether to continue their escape or warn the boy. The thought was halted however, as both Nanami and Damien's backward retreat was blocked by the sudden touch of a presence behind them. Both Guardians slowly turned to face the obstruction and was met with the glowing red stare of another Gaozoran.

Fletcher looked at the two then felt his own path hindered. Two Seed mages blocked him as more forming black mists filled the room.

A sudden roar behind him startled Damien once more and as his eyes slowly turned back he caught sight of Chase just inches from him, swords held forward for a stab. The beast stood motionless as the half green, half yellow-eyed Chase charged in his direction.

"Damien!" Nanami shoved him out of the way with Chase's blades barely missing the two by a whisker. Instead, the Gaozoran that hinder their retreat caught the ensuing charge. The armored monster jerked and screamed as the purple Soda Crea and the bone saber impaled its chest.

Damien took a quick glance at where Chase last stood and saw the body of the first mage sprawled on the ground. The corpse was headless. Both Guardians recognized the opportunity to escape as the rest of the mages closed in on Chase who still held his victim by the chest.

"Let's go! We have to get out of here!" Fletcher screamed as he ran toward Nanami and Damien, firing his rifle on the way at the mob of monsters. Fletcher helped Damien get off his feet, then took Nanami by the hand and led them on toward a door on the far side of the room. The three ran unhindered except for one Gaozoran that formed from its mist only to immediately stare down the barrel of the Ranger's rifle. The rest flew in the opposite direction.

They reached the small blue door at the end of the room where inside rested a long photon ladder where Fletcher entered through. The ranger motioned for Nanami to climb first as the roars and shrieks from the previous room grew louder in their ears. Damien and Fletcher took one look back just in time to see the glow of Chase's sword amidst a see of blue armor flail in quick successions. After which, two unlucky mages were blasted off in pieces by the strike. The two watched as Chase swung another sweep that cut through an arc of attackers and made a clear line of vision between them.

The Seed-human locked his vision on the retreating Guardians.

"What are you doing?! Let's go!" Nanami screamed from near the top of the ladder.

The two still stared motionless at the mutated boy now exhibiting uncanny strength. Chase took a step forward, ignoring the new batch of Gaozorans forming behind him, and inhaled. He held his breath for a moment and now Damien took a step forward, curious about the action. A second later, Chase exhaled and blew a wave of blue and red mist toward them.

"Close the door!" Fletcher yelled at Damien, shaking him from his trance. The two took opposite ends of the vertically rifted door and closed their escape before any of the mist permeated the room. The ranger and the beast leaned on the now closed doorway and tried to catch their breath. Just then, both heard a fizzling sound coming from the other side followed a sudden of burst of heat spreading through the material of the door. Fletcher grabbed Damien's arm and motioned for him to follow Nanami up the ladder. The beast climbed as Fletcher watched the once blue gate now scorching red.

"What the hell? Dammegid?!" the ranger recognized the spell as one that was rarely used by Fortetechers. The blue and red mist that fumed out of a rod became an extremely powerful acid. Only this one came out of his mouth.

Fletcher postponed his analysis and followed the others. Damien reached the top where Nanami awaited. He went back toward the ladder and lowered his hand to help the ranger who was last on the climb. The beast grabbed Fletcher's hand but before he could pull him up, he caught sight of a Gaozoran body slamming through the doorway before dying near the base of the ladder. He could see the dark shadow of an approaching figure looming over the broken gateway. Fletcher hurried and the three ran as soon as the ranger got up the ladder.

The survivors ran back through the multiple blue metal hallways, guided by the photon torches they had lit on the way in. Their radios crackled and a voice flashed through the earpieces.

"Guardians! Fire Seed are falling over the place out here! EVAC now!" the pilot of the transport ordered. A loud shriek filled the hallways and this time, all of them knew well were it came from.

Past a maze of hallways, the Guardians made it to the entrance with Nanami at the head and Fletcher, out of breath from carrying Molloch's axe, held the rear. Damien reached the outside after Nanami and saw nothing but a world in flame. The trees burned in crimson as he looked up at the sky and saw hundreds of streaming waves of fire falling from the heavens.

The transport hovered a few feet from the entrance, its side door already open for its would-be passengers. Nanami sprinted across the Raffon Meadow while more and more Fire seed crashed into the ground surrounding the ship. She reached the transport and held out her hand to help the two still running across. The soft hum of the engines did not mask the loud screeches of the hundreds of Seed zooming and buzzing across the air around them.

Nanami closed the hatch after the remaining Guardians were safely on the ship. The pilot ascended the ship as Damien and Fletcher watched the scorching of Sector 7 from the window. The ship turned its hull toward the Relics site.

"What are you doing?! We have to get out of here!" Fletcher screamed at the pilot.

"I'm sorry sir but I have to carry out HQ's orders first" the pilot replied.

None of the passengers had the time to ask when Damien noticed the missiles under the ship's wing tilting into position. The beast's eyes widened and remembered once again Oddo's last words. Eliminate all Seed infection. Before he could yell out to the pilot, the missiles launched, leaving a stream of gray smoke at their wake.

The three watched in horror as tens of heavily packed missiles set the Relics site ablaze. From a distance, they could see parts of the structure collapsing including the wall that towered over its main doorway, now covering the entrance completely.

The transport hovered for a moment and turned homeward toward Holtes City.

Damien was speechless and he could only watch as the flames engulfed the entire meadow. But no fire was stronger than the one now burning his soul. Any hope of returning and rescuing Chase was now nothing but ashes in the wind. He could see Fletcher on the seat across from him, examining the purple axe that was now only a remembrance of life stolen. Nanami leaned back to her seat and tears poured down her soft white cheeks.

It was a lonely road home and Damien knew that the goodbyes he would have to come to grips with on losing a friend would be even longer.

The sleek white hull of the ship tore through the red twilight sky like an angel flying above a malevolent hell. Only this time, the light was not so bright and the flame grew higher, like the hands of the dead reaching upwards toward the angels themselves.

-end chapter- -end story-