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  1. The manhole falls into place, chasing away the light. And then everything comes in a rush. The smell is... Displeasant. But I've had worst. The sort of smells one can get working on emergencies in dingy middle-eastern hospitals...You don't want to know more than 'sewers have nothing on that'. I can half-hear the rest of the group chatting, but my mind is still reeling from the encounter, and the sounds sort of meld into an undecipherable mess as I triage through the freight train of belated feelings now that the adrenaline rush is over. Panic. These creatures are impossibly strong and tough, we'd need some impossible feat of strength, explosives or heavy duty ammo to get rid of them. Barring that, which I don't see happening anytime soon, they'll just remain our personal boogeymen. Horror. These things...I thought these things were just some sort of heavily mutated dogs but...Armored spine. They can change. If you add their use of tactics, mocking intelligence and that look in their eyes...There's only one conclusion I can come up with. I won't say it though. Can't quite deal with it yet. Despair. If what I've seen so far fits, they won't give up. Too persistent. That means we can look forwards to round two. And three. And four. Everything feels so bleak and hopeless, for a second. I stagger to my feet, suffering, and can just hear myself mutter. "Merde..." Thankfully I manage to bite my lip and silence myself before I lapse into a string of expletives I find unusually tempting right now. Hopefully no one heard me, or at least the little one doesn't understand French. Out of habit, I ruffle through my pockets and find a familiar cylinder. Emergency flashlight. Click. It's not a very bright light, but then again it's not a very big thing. Still, something in the pale light is primordially reassuring. Hope. We made it through this. So we can do this again. We won't give up. "Is everyone alright?" My voice almost doesn't shake there.
  2. Reacting to Karl's movement, I thrust with all of my strength, bearing all my weight on the impossible sword in my hands. Slowly, it pierces through what is clearly the natural shell. If I can gain a bit more momentum the spine should be... The blade meets something absurdly hardy and stops. That's when I realize something. I've been idiotic. I expected these creatures to obey the same overall body structure vertebrates have. But these aren't animals. These are something else, unbelonging in any of the clades of taxonomy, be it current or extinct . To say it clearly, they're unlike anything other lifeform that existed so far in history. So I really *shouldn't* be surprised to find out they have some sort of extra layer of endoskeleton garding their neural system. I dematerialize the blade to take it out and prepare to act out plan B. As that young-ish man demonstrated, their limbs can be messed with. Well then. All I need is to...Remember the anger. These things? They killed people, good people. They broke our lives, stole away our f*cking humanity. It was time for them to piss off. I can, in almost detached way, hear the crescendo of pure, wordless anger that comes from me as my sword takes some speed and meets one of the creature's limbs, and finally sinks in like it should. Finally got something to work as intended. The edge sinks into abnormal flesh, cutting deep enough that while the leg isn't quite mangled, it's going to hurt like hell using it, a gash running on a whole side. Slowly, I start stepping back, shield raised, then finally turn and run to the manhole. "We're not going to kill them like that, just bloody leg it!"
  3. They're moving. I mustn't falter. I mustn't hesitate. A step. I start moving, right into the path,and my arm's moving while still empty. The sword surges out of an arm already in motion, as I take some speed. This blade...It's odd. It's too light. Both in comparison to what I'm used to and physically. And yet, it feels so...Natural. The beast is close now and...No place for doubt. Mercy was good when I was alone but if I don't kill this bloody thing dead, then that lady and that kid, they'll be in danger. Well, more danger. Barely considering the shield in my other hand, I put all my weight in my sword side, aiming for the creature's spine, just in case it survived the rest of what was thrown at it.. A funny thing about the kiai japanese traditionally use. Breathing, speaking...They use some specific muscles of your body. When you scream, you put power through your abdominal muscles as you expire, reinforcing your movement. Also, it feels bloody damn cathartic. "GET SOOOOOOME!"
  4. So...That's our game, I suppose. I see where it comes from, and I can't deny it makes sense but...Damn it. It just feels like an overall failure to turn tail and run like that, but at this point we might as well commit to it. At least for now. So I get running weaponry retracting again and following the group without much issue...And then I skid to a halt. That woman...She had a bow, right? I think so? She was offering the kid a piggyback. Probably not a bad idea but... "Take your decision and take it fast, I'll cover you as needed, but in the name of...Whatever it is you believe in, do it quickly! We're sort of in a hurry right now!"
  5. "Are we going to play on...This individual's tune? There's something in my voice that almost seems unnatural to me. Typically, they nickname me "the chill one" because, well, I don't panic. I don't usually get mad, either. So that cold rage in my own voice? It feels odd. And yet right. It makes sense. I guess I'm just more angry than I thought. "Don't know for the rest of you but I feel like I've done enough fleeing for a lifetime. With enough fighters, what we could do is find a narrow enough back alley so that only one of these canines can enter at a time, we keep those who cannot fight behind us. And then, we bring them down, one by one if we must. Because frankly...F-Damn doing what this lunatic wants."
  6. It's probably neither wise nor reasonable but, for a moment...Something in me lets go. Just, for a moment, nothing matters but that small, scared child in front of me. That tiny fragment of innocence in a world gone insane. That hug, I return it, full force, embracing the young one protectively. "It's alright, it's alright, everything is going to be alright. You're safe, everything is going to be okay." I can hear some sounds at the back of my mind, a part of me takes note, but they feel...Secondary. And then everything goes wrong. That stranger, coming in screamign about more of them. More of whom? I can't be sure, but judging from their panic they're actually little room to doubt. In a second, My eyes roam around the square. We have...A woman, apparently fit for battle and wielding a bow. Okay so we have one ranged attacker; That's good, I don't thing those...Undead-like creatures fight in anything else but melee range. At that thought, it's almost like the blade still within is vibrating with exctiation. I've got something to give them alright. A man who was puking his guts recently. Possible case of withdrawal from...Something, in no way ready for a fight; An unarmed man with...A cat? Okay...Probably not ready for combat either. A young man with a bastard sword; Oh hey, another source of damage if he can use this thing. Carefully unentagling myself from the little one's embrace, I whisper one last thing. "No matter what, stay behind me. If you see me falling, start running. Do that and it'll be fine. Okay?" In silence, my sword simply slides into my hand, like the best prestidigitator in the world (look, no hand!) and I simply stand in front of both the ill man and the young girl, taking a stance with my shield in front. Come on, you f*ckers; I dare you. Try and kill me, fine, but them? I'm going to do as a Stark does and pass you the point end.
  7. I can't help but sigh. Well, cat's out of the box and it looks like it sucks to be us. My mind sort of slips out of 'doctor mode' for a moment. "Yep, looks like we're all the same. Won't show you mine because, well, they ain't a pretty sight and nobody would want to see that but...here." In a last second panicked action, I manage to prevent the sharp, menacing blade from following.Just the shield. Shields are good, right? Not as scary, and they make you think of knights. Do children still dream of knights? Not really the moment. Any how, my shields out, and it's clearly made of the same dark biometallic substance cover or making those claws and that arm. "See? It's fine. We're the same. No one's going to hurt you, alright?"
  8. Well he doesn't look like he's doing too well, this man.Lack of equilibrium, breathing issues, speech- My thoughts are wrenched away from him as someone rather small bumps into me and...Oooh shet that's a bump. That could be bad. These two could both be facing serious issues right now so I have to take a decision right now...Right. Head. Obvious issue, likely most pressing if non-benign. "Sir? I'm sorry but I'll go back to you in a few moments." I turn in direction of the sound and...Yep, that's a child, as expected from the weight of the impact. About ten to twelve, I'd say, laying on the ground and looking dazed. I crouch, doing my best to look as non-menacing as possible while taking the 'doctor voice' I sometimes take with younger patients. "Miss? Are you alright? Does anything hurt?"
  9. It always ends like this, doesn't it? There's clearly something to take from this, something about about greed and perpetual insatisfaction. I mean, I had a good life back there. Fulfilling, helpful, interesting, and fairly comfortable too. People would kill for the life I had. But me? I just kept wanting more. Then again, if I had the choice, would I change anything? ...I wouldn't, would I? Because in the end, it still helped. I was really an idiot, unable to accept that heroes and chivalry were long dead and gone. Which brought me to here and now. "Rrrraaaaaah!" With a scream, I put all my strength into my shield arm, slamming the buckler right into the...Thing's path. It's a canine, large and fairly powerful. More annoyingly, it's been pretty persistent at the whole 'trying to kill me' thing. It crashes into the ground, dazed and its jump deflected away from me, and yet again... I can't do it. Staring at that creatures, its eyes are just too...Human.So I leave again, This time with a few more tricks. Back alleys. Fences; Tours and detours. I still hear the cackling but I'm...Fairly sure it's in my mind. Then again, after hours of being stalked by this thing, paranoia did start to get to me. And then, nothing. Something in my mind just lets go, and I realize that no matter what, there is no more cackling, either in my head or out of it. My steps echo in a square, all too loudly. I'm not alone, this I realize before even lifting my eyes up. People. Holy shet so there have been other survivors! I mean, I sure hoped but from what I had seen? The sound of someone puking rips me away from my thoughts and I etract my sword and shield, not wanting to scare them, as i make my way to them. "Hey, are you alright? Please speak to me,, I'm a doctor."
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