Hello everyone. I'm here with another chapter of "Wanderer" for you guys. I do plan to be a lot more fluent with my updates so these guys should be come up relatively fast. At least I hope so. You never know how long these chapters take to get finished. Only so much my little brain can come up with in a descent amount of time.
On another note, I decided to make this a longer chapter seeing how I'm actually writing up a storm at the moment. That and we're anticipating some action here. So there's a plus there.
At least it's not a three year hiatus like before. So, without further delay, here is Chapter 6. Camera's ready, set, action.
I quickly switched out my coat for a fresh one; one without any blood stains, rips, or missing sleeves. Also found a new sheath to strap to my forearm to replace the one I tore through. I know it's a little silly but I felt comfortable wearing fresh gear. It helps me feel ready for whatever was going to happen. Also doesn't help with Genai drilling into our heads to look professional.
JP seemed to have calmed down quite a bit and looked ready to disembark from the jet; his bag of goodies strapped across his chest. It was reassuring to see him finally get into the game.
As for Zoe; she seemed to be ready herself. It felt like, though, that she had mixed feelings about coming back to her home town; happiness to returning to a familiar place and dread to returning to the horrors it held. I just realized… I started addressing her by her first name instead of by Miss Orimoto. No idea where that came from. I guess after hearing her story I've sort of gotten to know her enough to relax and drop the formalities… I think. I dunno. I'm no good with this kind of stuff.
The plane was beginning to descend and we took our seats. I glanced out the window to get a better look of the island we were going to land on. It wasn't anything fancy. Half the island was covered in thick woods while the other half consisted of grasslands and the beach were we were intending to land. A range of mountains jutted out from the center of the island, almost like the nail of a tack. There were several settlements scattered across the grasslands where the mountains permitted, one in particular sticking out near the woods. It was much larger than the others probably due to the quantity of materials to their access such as the lumber and the minerals from the mountains.
The large town near the woods; that had to be the one Zoe came from. I'm more than positive about it. Looking at it, the woods seemed to offer quite a bit of cover for whatever lurked within them and with the town at such a close proximity, it provided an easy target for the dark.
Zoe had proven me right when she pointed at the settlement through the window. "That's it over there; the one by the woods. That's where I live. The others farther out don't suffer much from attacks but they're still in danger during the night."
"Takuya, dude, the mountains; look how tall they are." JP stated, pointing at how the mountains were obscuring the view of the setting sun.
The mountains were blocking the sunlight. That's why the town was so vulnerable. The mountains cut off any sunlight they could have gotten from the setting sun. Less light… more opportunities for the dark to attack.
Zoe gasped, quickly getting my attention. The look on her face told me that she just realized something…
We wouldn't make it in time for the next attack…!
The jet was still making it's descent but by the time we reach the beach, it would already be dark at the town and it would take a good while to travel to the village. The townsfolk would be at the mercy of these monsters…
I got up from my seat and made my way over to the cockpit.
"Takuya! What the hell are you doing? You're supposed to be in your seat!" Yoma screamed at me when she noticed I was in the cockpit with her.
I ignored her stating the obvious and pointed towards the town. "I need you to fly us over to the village. We won't make it in time for the next attack!"
"There's no where we can land once we get there! How exactly to you plan to get down there to help?" She asked as if what I said was the stupidest thing she heard.
I bit my lip. Okay, so I didn't know how we could land but there had to be something; something that could get us down there to help… I snorted, not like we could jump.
Wait a minute…
"We still have those parachutes?" I asked.
Yoma looked at me. She was probably trying to figure out if I was joking or not. The look on my face gave her her answer and she just looked back at me in shock. "Oh my god you're serious… Takuya, are you out of your goddamn mind?! You don't even know how to use one!"
"What's to know? You jump, pull a cord, activate the parachute, and land. Easy peasy." I told her. Honestly, it didn't seem that hard a concept to grasp. "Look, we don't have a lot of time. Just fly us over there. Lives are at stake Yoma."
She bit her lip and looked back ahead at the controls. I waited for her to finally give in with a sigh. "Fine… but I swear to go if you screw up I am going to kill you."
Deciding not to push my luck any further I left the cockpit and made my way to the cargo bay to find the parachutes. The cargo bay didn't really have much room and was relatively empty so it was easy enough to find what I was looking for.
JP and Zoe looked at me, probably wondering what I was doing. JP's face went pale the instant I found the parachutes. "Oh no… no, no, no, no, NO. Takuya you can't be…"
I rolled my eyes at him. He was completely hysterical. "It's the only way we'll get there in time. There's not enough room nearby for us to land." I said in hopes that he would understand. This was necessary if we were going to prevent anymore casualties.
"But we don't even know how to use a parachute!"
"What is so hard about using a parachute? Seriously?! It's just pulling a cord!" I exclaimed in disbelief on how resistant everyone was to the idea.
JP stared at me with a dazed look on his face as I figured out how to strap myself into one of the parachutes. I double checked to make sure everything was secure; the chute, my gear, and anything else that might come loose.
"But… you'll be leaving yourself open." Zoe state, finally speaking up though I had wished she would be supporting my idea. "They'll rip you apart before you could even touch the ground."
I groaned but shook my head. "They won't be expecting me. And besides, the sun will still be out long enough to get us most of the way there. They probably won't be able to get at us before we land." I answered and looked out the window.
The mountains were just barely starting to block out the sun. There was enough time. I know for sure. Sure we might cut it close but it's better than being on the edge of the island wondering how the town must be doing under the attack. If we were going to do this we have to do it now.
I sighed and looked to them. "Look, you two don't have to do this. I'll go on my own while you guys find a good place to land." I could do this on my own. I was willing and ready. I won't force them to jump if they don't want to. "Just try to get here as fast as you can and be careful not to get caught by those things."
I looked out the window again and saw that we were close to our destination. Yoma took the time to get us a little closer to the ground. Thank god for her.
It took me a moment to realize that a pair of square aviator goggles was held out for me. I looked up to see Zoe was the one handing them to me.
"You'll need these so you can actually see out there." She said as I took them. She had on a pair herself and was suiting up in a parachute herself. I couldn't help but smile and slipped the goggles on securely over my eyes.
"So, you ever jump out from a moving plane a few thousand feet in the air?" I asked, a grin forming on my face as I took a crack at melting the tension. I dunno why but I guess I just wanted this dreadful tension in the air to just vanish. It's been driving me crazy ever since I got this job.
Zoe shook her head, a smile on her face as well. She was probably sick of the tension and dread as well and welcomed my attempt at humor. "Nope, but there's a first for everything. Looks like fun."
"God I hope so. Don't want to be pissing my pants on the way down. It's really unprofessional and just downright nasty." I replied with a short chuckle. I don't know if I was nervous or excited at this point. Hell, maybe I was feeling both right now. Wouldn't be the first time. "I wouldn't hear the end of it from Genai."
"Don't worry. I won't tell anyone." She said when we finally got the green light to jump.
"When you make your jump wait ten seconds before deploying your parachutes." Yoma told us over the intercom.
Ten seconds of free falling. That's not so bad. I can do that. Yeah, I can do that no sweat.
With JP and Maria safely secure in the passenger area, the cargo bay ramp slowly opened. Zoe and I held tightly onto the harness on the walls to keep the pull of the air from taking us away immediately.
Was I ever grateful for these goggles; the wind pressure had been so strong I doubt I could have ever been able to open my eyes if it weren't for these things.
Okay. This is it. No chickening out now. I'm going to jump. On the count of… three? Yeah. Three is good.
I leaned forward and prepared myself for a running start.
I let go of the harness ever so slightly. Moment of truth…
"SHIT!" I ran off the bay and jumped and instantly I feel the wind just blowing right through me! HOLY CRAP this is terrifying! Big mistake! Really big mistake!
Why the hell did it have to be so freaking high?! Okay… okay, just relax… relax. Remember to pull the chute… remember to pull the chute! Just a little longer!
I heard Zoe's screams. She actually jumped! I half expected her to chicken out when I screamed. Oh crap! I almost forgot!
I quickly pulled the cord and immediately felt the chute open itself up. Aw come on! Hurry up! Hurry up! The chute finally opened itself all the way and I felt the thing jerk hard around my body.
I swear, I never felt so relieved in all my life. Free falling like that… it got my blood pumping so fast I thought I was going to burst a vein or something. It was absolutely terrifying… I seriously have to do that again sometime.
Looking down at the ground I could see I was still really freaking high right now. Okay… I quickly looked up to find Zoe, deciding it was better than looking at the ground. She had deployed her parachute as well and was slowly descending with me. She looked like she was going to be sick… "You okay over there?!"
"Do I look like I'm okay?!" She snapped back. That was probably the fear talking there.
Okay, maybe talking to her while we were falling isn't such a good idea at the moment. I decided instead to watch the sun as it slowly began to descend behind the mountains. Not bad so far. There was still plenty of light. We should be safe. At least I hope so. Even if those things are able to fly, they'd have to try and keep those coats secure or they'd be exposed to the light. My hood was easily blown back off of my head and fluttered with the wind.
Everything seemed calm for the moment as we drew closer to the ground. I could see the people gathering around in the town square looking up at us. They probably weren't expecting us to drop out of the sky like this.
"Hey everyone! We're back!" Zoe called out and waved her hand at the townsfolk who proceeded to cheer and call out to their friend.
Okay, now for the hard part. Landing. Let's see… um… how to do that. I tried angling myself so that when I was close enough I could run and slow down without losing too much momentum to be unstable.
Easy now… just a little more and… TOUCH DOWN. I did it! I freaking did it!
My parachute dropped to the floor behind me as I stopped running. I was panting like mad trying to get myself to calm down. The adrenalin rush was really not helping me here at the moment.
"Zoe! You made it! Thank god!"
The voice was masculine. Probably one of her guy friends. I turned to get a good look at the people gathered around Zoe. They seemed like normal folk though two of them stood out from the others.
These two were closest to Zoe. They both had black hair; one long and held back in a ponytail and under a bandanna and the other short and shaggy. They both had the exact same face with deep blue eyes as well though the one with the ponytail seemed to be a lot more serious.
Only just now did I realize they were probably twins.
Zoe looked over to me and led the twins over to me. She probably wanted to introduce me.
"Guys. This is Takuya Kanbara. He's one of the HAND agents Mr. Genai sent to help us." Zoe explained pleasantly as the two examined me.
The serious looking one seemed to be sizing me up. He didn't seem impressed. That made my blood boil. This guy obviously doesn't know a capable warrior when he sees one. What's more, the look on his face practically screamed that he didn't expect much from me.
Immediately, I don't like him.
The other one seemed to be friendlier. He looked like he was happy to see me. Now, this is the kind of reception one expects to see from the people they're trying to help.
"How good is he?" Ponytail asked point blank. The guy really didn't waste time getting to business.
"He's their best agent." Zoe answered. The tone in her voice told me she was irritable. "Don't be rude got it? They were kind enough to send their best to come and help us. The least you can do is show a little gratitude."
Ponytail shrugged and folded his arms. "We'll see when we see him in a fight. I'm not getting my hopes up on some stranger I've never seen before."
Ooooh, this guy is SO asking for it. I can't wait to prove him wrong.
"Thank you for coming to our aid Mr. Kanbara." The friendlier one spoke up with a smile on his face. "I'm Kouichi Kimura and this is my brother Kouji Minamoto."
Kouji Minamoto huh? I like Ponytail better. At least until he quit with the attitude. I shook Kouichi's hand and smiled. "I promise to do what I can. You can count on me to deal with these things." The look on Kouichi's face was a mixture of relief and gratitude. Ponytail however just scoffed at my promise. Dick.
"Well then, Mr. Kanbara." He said practically mocking me with every word. "It's going to be dark in a few minutes. Let's see what you can do." He then turned to the crowd who came to see us. "Alright everyone! Go back to your houses and down into your cellars! Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!"
I watched as everyone scrambled back into their brick and stone houses. In a mere matter of minutes the streets were completely baron save for myself and a few others. Zoe and her friends were among those who stayed out here in the streets.
Zoe had removed the pistol from her inner jacket and loaded it before waiting. I had noticed that the twins had weapons of their own; Ponytail using a traditional Japanese katana and his brother using a type of pole arms and with a small shield strapped to his arm. These people seemed pretty prepared for combat. Makes me wonder what the difference one or two agents wound make.
I suppose someone has to be brave enough to venture into the woods to find the root of this evil… or incredibly stupid. And HAND will do just about anything to destroy the dark.
I looked up at the mountains and watched as the last remnants of light fade away, covering the whole town in shadows.
I drew the sword on my back and waited. Listening. There was… an inhuman shriek that echoed throughout the town. God… it just made my blood cold but I shook it off and jogged deeper into town where the sound came from. I ran towards the part of town closest to the woods.
They're already here. I ran as fast as I could, running several blocks until I came to a halt. I had found my target.
There were two of them; each wearing a black cloak with their hoods covering most of their faces. They had just walked in; didn't even mother to sneak or fly into town. It was like a casual stroll to them.
I pulled my hood over my head, shrouding my face; a habit I formed to intimidate my enemies. I tightened my grip on my sword and slowly made my way towards the two, watching them closely. I wouldn't make the same mistakes I made before. I'm the hunter here, not them.
"Oh look, another one in a black coat." One spoke to the other, and started to laugh. They weren't taking me seriously.
We drew closer to each other and their laughter grew silent and was replaced with faint growling. If it were any other person, they would be pissing themselves in fear at the sight of these two abominations but I knew better than to be afraid. I'm not going to freeze up again.
They walked to either side of me, looking for an opportunity to strike. I waited patiently, keeping my guard up and my sword poised to strike at any moment. We were waiting for the opportune moment; one of us would slip.
The one on my left moved. I quickly rolled away as she lunged at me. The second one jumped at me when I landed but I swung my sword around right at her.
The blade bit into her arm and she wailed, landing a few feet away from me. Blood was seeping from her sleeve to the floor. The wound was shallow. Not a clean cut. I need to do better.
Suddenly, I felt something slice against my arm; slashing through my sleeve and drawing blood. I quickly spun away from the attacker and turned to see the first one had attacked me… but not with claws… no… it was a blade… a blade formed from her hand.
…that's just… impossible. She lunged right at me, slicing a think cut across my chest. I pulled away at the last minute, the blade cutting into the belts across my chest. She just continued to slash before I finally blocked with my sword.
The silver alloy must have had some effect because my blade chipped away at the blood red sword that was her hand.
Suddenly, I crashed hard against the side of a building. I feel so much pain from my back… something struck me from behind… no doubt it was the other on. I looked at her and saw that her arm had mutated as well… only this time with a hammer with red spikes… this… this is ridiculous. Zoe never mentioned this before.
The one with the sword arm charged right at me. I quickly moved myself out of the way before the blade could pierce through my head.
Since I had lost my sword when I was knocked into the wall, I decided to punch the beast right in her face, sending its head reeling back with a loud, sickening crack. For added measure, I elbowed into her sword arm that was still stuck in the wall before rolling away from her. I know I had to have broken her arm.
She writhed in pain before managing to pull her arm out of the wall, her arm bent in an impossible way. She wailed and snapped her arm back into place…
I heard a shriek of rage and turned to see the spiked hammer come down on me. I dodged as swiftly as I could, the spikes grazing against my coat as she swung her hammer manically at me.
Quickly, I grabbed my gun from its holster. I needed a good shot here.
She saw my intentions and swung her hammer horizontally, making it hard to aim for her heart.
I dodged to my left and aimed at her exposed shoulder. Two pops were heard and the beast shrieked as the bullets lodged themselves in her shoulder.
My momentary victory was short lived when the one with the blade took her chance to slice deep into my hand. I pulled away and cradled my hand… pain searing through my arm as it bled freely.
Her assault didn't stop there as she started to slice wildly at me. Another pop and the beast went flying backwards from recoil, blood shooting from her temple.
"Are you okay?!"
That was Zoe! They must have come to help! I turned to see the twins rushing into the fray, taking on the one with the hammer hand. That left me with the one with the blade hand.
Speaking of which, my enemy got back to her feet, a deep snarl forming on her face. The shot to the face had pulled her hood back revealing her face. She looked just like the one from before though her hair had more blond. Not that it mattered. She was a monster now. A monster I had to slay.
She lunged at me but I was prepared for her now. As her blade was poised to stab I turned and managed to get behind her. Quickly I embedded one of the black blades at my hip into her shoulder all the way down to the hilt.
The former human screamed out in agony which only grew louder when I tore my blade free. She turned and swung at me but I managed to catch her blade through the slit of my short blade. She tried to wretch it free but I kept my grip firm and twisted it so it would be awkward and difficult to remove.
With only my left arm to fight, my right being injured to a point it was useless, it was difficult to keep a firm hold on her. I just… needed that extra boost.
My opportunity came when a bullet pierced through her elbow. Thank god for Zoe. I swear, she's saving my butt left and right. I took the opportunity to snap her blade in half and used the momentum to pierce into her heart.
The girl gasped...
I panted… adrenalin rushing through my veins as I pressed the blade deeper into her chest. She stared at me with her blood red eyes. Staring at them…
I felt a fire burning in my blood… I gritted my teeth… the pain excruciating. I closed my eyes and twisted the blade before pulling it free from her chest.
I heard a sickening thud and opened my eyes. The beast was laying face down, blood pooling around her. I did it… I killed her.
The other shrieked, having disengaged its battle with Ponytail and retreating. It fled deep into the woods. The first attack was over. We clamed victory… for the moment. Who knows when the next attack would occur… and with my arm wounded the way it is… I hope my wounds would heal before then.
A flash of yellow and I know Zoe made her way to my side. I flashed her a grateful smile before looking down at my hand. I removed the glove and saw the deep gash in my wrist… it's going to be a bitch to heal.
"Oh my god… that looks really bad…" she muttered after getting a good look at my hand.
I pulled my hand away. "Don't worry about it. I'll be okay." I said with a sigh. "I'm a fast healer." Really fast… and painful.
Ponytail walked over to us and looked me over again. He was probably determining if I was really worth it. "You're going to have to do better than that if you're going to be of any help."
I growled and stood up. I did not need him giving me crap about the fight. I was about to retort with something vulgar but he interrupted me.
"But… you weren't that bad. Especially after that thing with their hands. They haven't done that before." He added with a serious look on his face as he finished his thought. "…Come on Kouichi. We need to figure this out."
I just watched them as they left. Ponytail was giving me props, right? I couldn't really tell. That guy was just way too weird for me to figure out.
The twins walked away, probably heading to the house where they lived. Zoe was the one who stayed behind. She looked at me with a small smile. "You're welcome to stay with us while you're here. You're friend too when he gets here."
I couldn't help but smile a little myself. I appreciated her kind gesture. She was something else entirely. She saved my butt twice now. Not to mention she was pleasant to be around. I could handle Ponytail as long as she was around. "Thanks. I appreciate it. Some rest will really do me some good."
Zoe's smile widened a little and she lead the way to where the twins were staying. As we walked I couldn't help but look back into the woods one last time. I had killed one but… it didn't feel like much of a victory anymore. If these weapon hands of theirs is new… then what other surprises do they have in store for us?
I don't like this. I don't like this one bit. What other surprises are in stored for us?
And there you have it folks. My longest chapter ever. I hope this pleases everyone. I did my best here. I hope you guys like it. And don't worry. The twin's appearance may have been really brief here but you will get to know them as the story progresses. Till then. Later.