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The Insurgency: S3 #14 The Dark (FB)
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Here's part 14 in Season 3 of my Insurgency series! A freebuild for the Marauders! Please comment, rate and enjoy!
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2nd September 2096: Present Day


The lights continued to flicker into life, lights that stretched further and further away from us. In fact, the lights continued into the distance, right onto the horizon, further than we could see. But what we could see, was what they had now illuminated.


Jay: “Oh… my…”
Tank: “…God…” I finished as my mouth fell open.



At the edge of the clearing we were stood in was a railing, and beyond that…


Was a city.


A full city. Not just a few buildings, not just a couple of houses and shops – a full city.


I slowly stumbled over to the rusty railings and looked over the edge into the subterranean cavern. It was massive! Bigger than I was able to comprehend!



The platform that the three of us were currently stood on appeared to be about thirty stories above the ground and from here, we could see that the city extended in every direction, as far as the eye could see, even beneath us. Most buildings didn’t come up to the height of our plateau, but a handful of towers stretched up to our level and a few went beyond, right to the very roof of the cave.


The buildings looked ancient – older than anything I’d seen on Qoter before. The architecture was unlike anything up above. Up there, in the light, everything gleamed and was glass and metal. Down here – everything was brick and mortar. Building facades bore decorative designs and arches and spires seemed a popular feature – everything was very… pointy. Very gothic in style. The buildings that reached higher into the air appeared to have survived slightly better, but looking down, down into the depths of the hidden city, I could see that grime, moss and other fungi had begun consuming the shorter buildings.


It was also very dark. Barring the lighting that had now appeared in the roof of the inescapably huge cavern, there was not a single light coming from anywhere in the city. It seemed… dead.



Tank: “This is crazy…” I muttered to Jay and in my peripheral vision, I saw him nodding in agreement.


There was no movement, no light, no sound, no anything coming from the city. It appeared deserted. But no sooner had I thought that than a wail that could only have been the death cry of some poor creature came from somewhere distant; Somewhere down in the dark depths of the forgotten metropolis.


Tank: “What is this place?” I wondered aloud.
Jay: “I have no idea…” he responded, just as awed and confused as I was.


Tank: “Do you think anybody knows it’s here?”
Jay: “I don’t know. I doubt it.”
Tank: “What about the Government? The GI?” I asked, and I thought of Judas.
Jay: “I don’t know.” He repeated quietly. Throughout our exchange, neither of us had looked at one another. We couldn’t help but stare in wonderment at the dark, mysterious, hidden city laid out before us.



As we looked around, I noted for the first time, that there were innumerable large, metal support pillars, spread out among the buildings, and they all reached right up to the cave roof. These huge columns appeared to be holding it up, in place, and the closer I looked, the more metal framework I could see, embedded in the rocks high above.


‘Is it, in fact, a ceiling?’ I wondered. Man-made? Built over the city below, as opposed to being the naturally-forming cave that I had initially taken it to be?


Jay: “Look at it…” he muttered. “It’s ancient. It definitely pre-dates the GI’s arrival here and it wouldn’t surprise me if it pre-dates Qoter’s Government. Unless there were records of it, I doubt anybody knows of its existence.”



Tank: “I don’t think there are any records of this place.” I predicted with fair certainty. “I mean, look at it. It’s down here for a reason. Either nobody knows about it – or nobody wants to know about it – somebody wanted it forgotten, pretty badly.”


Jay: “That’s if anybody from above knew about it at all. It’s entirely possible that no one knows of its existence.”
Tank: “I wonder what came first…” I wondered aloud. “Was this built underneath the cities up top? Or were they built over this… Old Qoter?”


Jay shook his head, as answerless as I was.


We continued simply staring out over the dark, rotting city, entranced by its mysteries.



From behind us came a quiet ‘Beep’ and suddenly, in unison, little red lights appeared up and down every single support column and girder that looked to be holding up the cave roof.


I heard Tracks grunt in uncertainty and turned to find him stood beside a support column which I hadn’t noticed before. One which stretched up from the centre of our flat, viewing area.



Tank: “What did you do?” I asked, growing concerned as I noticed a small control panel mounted to the metal pillar alongside him. He whirred indignantly and took a few steps away.


Scowling, I headed over to take a closer look and heard Jay following me.


However, I only needed a second’s look to know what the control panel was for, and what the little red lights were a part of.
Tank: “Oh my God… They’re bombs!”
Jay: “What?!”


Tank: “They’re all bombs. Every single light is a bomb!” I explained in horror and we looked back to the city – there were thousands of little red lights – and those were only the ones that we could see!



Tank: “You armed them?!” I shouted, rounding on my droid, who whirred and bleeped defensively, like a schoolchild being scolded.
Tank: “What do you mean, you ‘didn’t know what it was’? I asked incredulously, but didn’t wait for an answer. Instead, I turned back to the controls.


Thankfully, it was a simple device and I instantly spotted and turned a built in key and immediately all of the lights vanished again.


I breathed a sigh of relief and then turned back to Tracks.
Tank: “Don’t fiddle!” I warned and he nodded, knowing he’d done wrong.
Jay: “That was close! It could have destroyed the city! It would have brought the entire ceiling down…”



Both our eyes widened in shock as we came to the same realisation.
Tank: “The entire city AND the cities of Qoter above!”
Jay: “Oh my Deja…”
Tank: “We have to get out of here! We need to warm everyone what’s down here! I have to tell Judas! Imagine what could happen if a criminal, or just ANYBODY crazy enough to push that switch, discovered this! They could bring down Regentis!”


Jay: “We don’t even know how big this city is! How far it goes! Is it just what we see here or are there others? Is it planet-wide like the cities above? Are there bombs throughout?”
Tank: “They could destroy the entire planet!” I breathed. “Come on! We have to get up top!”



We raced back to the surface, closing the door again behind us and when we came out into the open of the demolition site, we found it occupied by Pax Aurelian soldiers.


Shielding our faces from the sun after being underground for so long, we looked around at the troops. It took a couple of seconds before anybody noticed us.
Soldier: “Hey! You three! What are you doing here, this is a restricted area!”



I was about to respond when another voice interjected.
Cap. Brass: “That’s okay, they’re the informants.” Captain Brass, whom I had rescued earlier in the year, explained as he marched over to us.
Tank: “Captain.” I greeted with a smile.
Cap. Brass: “Tank.” He grinned and shook my hand energetically. “It’s so good to see you again!”
Tank: “Likewise. Captain, this is Jay Arathon, husband to the Archmage. Jay, this is Pax Aurelian Captain Brass.” I introduced.
Cap. Brass: “It’s an honour.” He smiled and shook hands with Jay.
Jay: “Likewise.”



Cap. Brass: “When I got the call that this place needed securing immediately, I must admit that I was a little confused, but now I know that you’re involved, I know something must be going on! Nothing is ever simple with you, is it!” he joked and clapped me on the shoulder.
I smiled meekly in return before replying.
Tank: “It’s this building. Or rather, what is under it.”
Jay: “Captain, there is a door down there. A door that must be kept secure at all costs! Do not enter, do not allow your men to enter, do not allow ANYBODY within 100 meters of that building – not even Sorrin Worthington himself!”


Brass became more serious at Jay’s orders.
Cap. Brass: “Understood. But why is this so important? What’s down there?”
Tank: “A city. An entire city.” The Captain’s eyes widened. “And it’s filled with enough bombs to bring down the whole of Qoter.” I explained.





Soldier: “Yessir. That’s what he said. ‘A city. An entire city filled with enough bombs to bring down Qoter.’- His words exactly.”
Hologram of a True Aurelian Officer: “Good. This is very good! I shall inform General Corvin immediately. Well done, Karven. Now, do not blow your cover. Continue to provide updates when you can, but your cover must remain for as long as possible.”
Karven: “Yessir. Thank you, sir.”




The Next Day…



After leaving Captain Brass and his men to guard the demolition site yesterday, Jay and I had gone straight to the Senate Building and informed Judas about our discovery. He had been just as shocked as we were to hear of a city beneath the surface and assured us that the men he’d sent would keep its entrance secure until a decision was made about what to do with it. Judas had seemed a little… distant, the entire time we were there. It was like he was still thinking, or rather worrying, about a previous conversation. However, I couldn’t get anything out of him, he’d just said that it was ‘nothing’, and so we had moved on.


It was now early the following morning but I’d been woken up by the insistent bleeping of my comlink coming from the living room.


With a grunt and a sigh, I trudged through and picked it up.
Mr. Grey: “Good morning, Chain.” He greeted and I groaned, rubbing my eyes.


Tank: “Really? At this time of day?”
Mr. Grey: “I apologise for disturbing you, but The Brain has a task that requires urgent attention.”
Tank: “What now? What could possibly need doing right now?” I grumbled and looked over to where Tracks was powered down on the sofa, recharging his batteries overnight.



Mr. Grey: “Another of The Boss’s informants, a Mr. Lyle McTene, who has also been leaking information to The Brain, has contacted us saying that he believes he is in danger. He thinks that The Boss is on to him and he wants protection.”
Tank: “And The Brain wants me to do it.” I concluded. “Okay, I get it. What exactly do I need to do?”


Mr. Grey: “The Brain has arranged for him to travel to Deltar Five, in System 55 – he should be safe there. All of the details are sorted – the flights etc. – all you need to do is get him to Knightborn spaceport.”





Just a couple of hours later, as the sun appeared on the horizon, I was wandering along an apartment block hallway, looking for this ‘informant’s front door. Mr. Grey had sent over the address, as usual, and I’d flown straight there. I’d left Tracks at home to recharge – I wasn’t expecting any trouble with this one.


‘Grab and go’. I thought to myself as I found the right apartment number and rung the bell.


There was a crash from inside – something being knocked over and breaking, following by a duller ‘thud’ as something heavy was overturned.


Something wasn’t right. In a flash, my pistol was in my hand and I had blasted the locking mechanism. The door swung inwards and I charged inside, guns ready.



It briefly crossed my mind that it may simply have been the informant, Mr. McTene, preparing for an attack, as he was probably on edge and hadn’t been expecting the doorbell to ring. But as I flew into the living room, I quickly discarded that thought.


McTene was laying, sprawled in an armchair, clutching at his chest, which was gushing blood and coughing violently.


And at the open window was an assailant. Dressed entirely in black and wearing a motorcycle helmet, I only saw them from behind before they leapt from the sill and vanished into the night.



I didn’t have time to wonder how the assassin could survive the fall, what with us being about 20 stories up, instead, I rushed over to where the informant was bleeding out.


Tank: “Hey! Hey! Don’t worry, you’re going to be fine!” I said quickly, the words just rushing out. But no sooner had I said that, he coughed one last time and fell still.


I grit my teeth in frustration and lashed out, kicking the chair violently.
Tank: “Damn!” I shouted, angry at myself.


If I’d only been a couple of minutes faster, I could have got to him in time! I would have been here in time to stop the assassin and save the informant, just like The Brain asked. Once again, I’d failed him.



I kicked the chair again, letting out some of my pent up anger and then pulled out my com. I dialled in Mr. Grey’s code and he quickly picked up.
Mr. Grey: “Hello. That was quick.” He frowned.
Tank: “Yes.” I sighed vehemently. “He’s dead.”
Mr. Grey sighed, annoyed.
Tank: “Only just though. He died in front of me. I got here just in time to see the assassin leave.”
Mr. Grey muttered to himself before responding.
Mr. Grey: “Fine. How was he killed? Are there any links to the past informants?”


Tank: “Well, it looks like he was stabbed with a large blade again – the same as… whatever his name was who I found last time.”



Mr. Grey: “Yes, The Brain suspected that The Boss would use the same assassin. Are there any clues as to who this assassin may be? Anything that could help you to stop them next time?”


Tank: “Um, well, whoever they are, they clearly have some way of getting down from heights.” I said as I made my way over to the still-open window and looked out. “We’re about 20 stories up here and they just jumped from the open window like we were a few feet off the ground.”


Mr. Grey: “That means nothing. They could be using anything to achieve that – jetpack, wing pack, grapple hook, climbing gear…”
Tank: “Wait…”I muttered, as I sniffed the air. “Did McTene have a wife? Daughter?”
Mr. Grey: “No, he lived alone. Why?”
Tank: “Then the assassin was a female. I can smell her perfume…”



Mr. Grey: “Hmm… interesting. That narrows the field quite considerably.”
Tank: “Might it have been the Iron Maiden?” I queried. I’d heard all about the Iron Maiden from Jay and Eris.
Mr. Grey: “I do not know. I will have to look into it.”
Tank: “Okay. Is there anything else for now, or can I go back to bed?” I asked as my tiredness began catching up with me.
Mr. Grey smirked slightly.
Mr. Grey: “Your bed awaits.”


5th September 2096: Present Day


A couple of uneventful days passed in which absolutely nothing happened except Riley and I had a dinner date.



I was currently sat at my usual table in the Coffee shop I frequented, sipping on my mocha, wondering about my current financial situation. The money that Judas had given me along with my flat – the money, I’d been living on ever since, was beginning to run thin now and I had no other sources of income. The Brain didn’t pay, of course, and I didn’t want to ask Judas for financial help – he’d given me enough already. I sighed as I came to the conclusion that I would have to get a job, even if just a part-time one, in order to pay my way.


Just as I reached this depressing conclusion, my comlink started to bleep. I pulled it from my belt pouch and thumbed the activation switch.



Judas: “Hey Tank.” He greeted hurriedly.
Tank: “Hey Judas. What’s up?” I asked, concerned.
Judas: “Um, something isn’t right at the demo’ site.”
Tank: “What do you mean?” I asked, fear rising in my chest.
Judas: “We’ve lost contact with the Pax soldiers I sent there to guard the entrance to Old Qoter. I’ve ordered an entire squadron of Imperium and Pax soldiers to go and check it out, just in case, but I thought I ought to inform you as well.”


Tank: “Scrim…” I muttered, dread beginning to fill me. Jay and I had feared what could happen if anybody found out about the ancient city, but now it seemed those fears were becoming reality.
Tank: “Does Eris know?”



Judas: “Yes, I’ve already informed her Grace, the Archmage, and she assured me that she would personally investigate, along with her consorts.”
Tank: “Okay.” I nodded. It would be good to see Eris again. I hadn’t seen her since before she was kidnapped and although I no longer harboured any attractions towards her, I still counted her as a dear friend and I wanted to make sure that she was alright.


Tank: “I’ll go along as well.” I informed Judas.
Judas: “Life saver.” He smiled broadly, but I could tell that it was a mask to hide his concerns.


Elsewhere…


Alarm bells rang and warning lights flashed red throughout the entire Imperium facility to alert everybody to the intruder’s presence.



However, this particular intruder simply did not care.


Darkblade marched as if he owned the place along the bland corridor, lit only by the emergency lighting and the flashing red lights situated at regular intervals along the walls. The flashes of crimson glinted off of his black armour, making his a truly terrifying sight for any who laid eyes upon him.


One guard sprung from a side door and opened fire on him. The first bullet struck his chest plate and he grunted in pain. Quickly dodging to one side, he avoided the following bullets and swatted the guard’s weapon aside. He grabbed the soldier by the neck and, raising him up, slammed him against the wall, snapping his neck instantly.



Darkblade let the lifeless corpse drop to the floor and continued his search.


It didn’t take long before he discovered what he was looking for – ‘Prisoner Property’.


He broke through the locked door and quickly dispatched the two clerks inside.


Finally at his destination, he paused, breathing deeply. He examined the small dent in his armour where the bullet had struck, but there was no real damage done. Darkblade looked around and discovered that the items were stored alphabetically by name.


He wandered along the huge aisles of confiscated goods – weapons, clothing, personal effects, all items that were taken from prisoners upon their incarceration here.


It didn’t take long for the masked man to discover his own name among the thousands of others in the room and he eagerly slid out his open-topped tray.


Inside rested some old odds and ends that he no longer required, but the items that he’d come looking for, the items he’d come all this way to find, weren’t in there!


He cursed aloud and furiously rummaged around trying to find them, but they were missing! How could they be missing! Where could they be?



Darkblade stood there for a few moments, trying to think what to do next, but then he heard the sound of multiple pairs of feet running in his direction out in the corridor.


He snarled, angry and prepared to leave, but as he began to move away, he spotted something in another inmate’s drawer.


He pulled the drawer out and with a grin removed a long, black sword. It was beautiful! Perfectly balanced, had a good grip and the blade was…. Dark. So very dark.


Darkblade spun it and slashed the air a few times, testing it’s feel.


It felt perfect.




As my series is going to be jumping around though time, I will include a date on each episode and add it to the timeline at the end of each episode so that you can follow it.



TIMELINE



N.B. Karven created by Marley Mac.


Also, apologies for the big section at the end where there is lots of text and no pictures of Darkblade. I did have an extra picture to go in there, but re-wrote the scene literally at the last moment so as not to give something away!




Comments

 I made it 
  September 25, 2016
Quoting Tirrell Brown First off let me apologize for not keeping up with this wonderful universe you've created. Moc pages has been a bit unreliable and as a result I've sorted drifted away from this medium. Second-your back grounds and photography are exceptional.
Not to worry! Thank you very much! --Blast--
--R.K. Blast--
 I like it 
Tirrell Brown
  September 24, 2016
First off let me apologize for not keeping up with this wonderful universe you've created. Moc pages has been a bit unreliable and as a result I've sorted drifted away from this medium. Second-your back grounds and photography are exceptional.
 I like it 
  September 17, 2016
Oh wow! if those bombs go off... wow! Can't wait for the cross-over!
 I like it 
  September 16, 2016
Oooh! Exciting! :D [IAD]
--R.K. Blast--
 I like it 
Blizzard -
  September 15, 2016
It makes me shudder to even consider how many lives would be lost if those bombs went off. Brilliant work! I'll have to hurry along and get my next chapter up!
 I like it 
  September 15, 2016
Noice! Really nice story, and some great references to other people's stories. :) Now I have nice details that I can include in my story. Really looking forward to next one! :D
  September 15, 2016
Fantastic work R.K.! Lots of great little details within the story, and a lot of potential! So Old Qoter is the worst bomb threat the world has to offer. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next! Also, as per you email, me episode will be up either later today or early tomorrow.
 
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