Chapter 17: Chapter 17 Whatever it takes. (1)
Witnessing the body of his last enemy collapse lifelessly, Desmond took a few steps back before beginning to vomit. The blood, the corpses, and all the brutality he brought to others filled him with revulsion.
Although in the first moments of the fight his mind was a bit fuzzy and he was more focused on suppressing the pain along with the memories of the past; it didnt mean that he wasnt aware of everything he did. And it was precise because he was aware of it that he felt this way.
Looking at his bloodstained hands he unconsciously muttered something:
′′I did what was necessary, are you proud father ′′
AAAAARRRRGHHHH !!! the headache returned a hundred times stronger than it was and the harshly repressed dark shadows exploded; bringing Desmond memories of a past that he always believed he was better off forgotten.
(5 years ago, during the first outbreak of mutant beasts, Desmond POV)
′′ Quick Desmond puts Claire in the car′ ′ My fathers best friend Jack Lynwood said as he threw all the food he could into the car.
“Hurry Desmond we dont have much time before the shelters close,” exclaimed my father Eiden Astryd. With an incredibly similar appearance to Desmond only more mature, he has dedicated his whole life to the army and retired only a couple of years ago; he had raised Desmond very strictly. Much of Desmonds serious personality was inherited from his father.
′′ Yes sir′′ I exclaimed as usual and proceeded to look for the mischievous Claire.
′′ Take it easy, darling, its not the end of the world. . . oh well it is, but it is no reason to be in a hurry ” The beautiful woman with blonde hair, blue eyes, and a seductive body said in a playful tone. Samantha Astryd was her name and that bad sense of humor was the most noticeable characteristic of her beside her exquisite appearance.
Ignoring my mother who was always with her jokes, I climbed the stairs to the second floor of the Lynwood house to look for my childhood friend Claire Lynwood, although she was younger than me by three years already showed that soon she would be a beauty tempting like her mother. Trying to ignore the strange thoughts I had been having recently about Mrs. Lynwood, I approached the girl who was desperately trying to cuddle him with her teddy bear in the suitcase.
“Claire hurry up, we have to go,” I said patiently to the pretty girl.
′′ But Mr. Hugs doesn′t fit in the suitcase′′. She said as she puffed out her cheeks and pouted.
Gently caressing her cheeks, something that she had done countless times in the past but lately made me feel a strange tingling in my chest; I tried to reassure her that I just had to carry her teddy bear in her arms since the suitcase would be in the trunk of the car anyway.
′′ Of course, because I didnt think about it before, thats why I love you brother Desmond ′′.
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He kissed me on the cheek, soon running downstairs with her suitcase and her teddy bear. Thumb thumb. . . Ignoring my heartbeat I run after her.
Now was not the time for any thoughts other than getting out of here. In the end, although my mothers sense of humor was strange; she said something true: It was the end of the world, or at least it seemed like it.
Mutant beasts started showing up everywhere, the government said it was due to the comet that happened a couple of months ago, they also said we didnt have to worry because the military would protect us. They lied, it wasnt entirely intentional, they just didnt think they would be incapable of protecting us. The defensive wall fell last night and the emergency evacuation to the underground shelters was taking place right now.
If it werent for the fact that both my father and his friend Jack had many connections to the military, we wouldnt have a place in the underground bases.
Taking one last look at my home, I got in the car along with Claire and our parents. The streets were in chaos, people seemed to have gone mad as they committed all kinds of atrocities; Knowing that this kind of thing would eventually happen I put Claires cute little head full of brown hair on my lap under the pretense of taking a nap. I did not want her to see the world out there, I had taken care of her since she was little, I protected her from that stray dog that tried to bite her, I protected her from the children who messed with her, I protected her from the nightmares that came every time she looked at one horror movie; now he had to protect her from the madness and human cruelty that now filled every corner of this city. But I didnt know if I would be able to do it, in the end, Im also just a 14-year-old teenager; at least our parents would protect us from the worst.
How would he know How could I know how wrong he was and how naive my thinking was
′′ Were almost there guys, are you ready to put things down and run ′′. My mother said.
′′ yes, mom′′ exclaimed.
“Yes auntie,” said the innocent Claire.
The car stopped a bit abruptly and we all got out of the car quickly, we started running to the entrance of the shelter that was guarded by a couple of soldiers. We were almost there when a roar started the tragedy.
A three-meter-high beast in the shape of a turtle was at the end of the street about 200m from us, even after the initial scare we managed to calm down when we saw that the beast was at a great distance and was as slow as its appearance indicated.
But the soldiers in charge of the entrance did not calm down like us, they panicked and began to shake like jelly; Without hesitation or looking at us for a second they opened the doors of the bunker, entered, and then tried to close the doors and try to keep us out.
My father and Jack ran in a hurry to try to stop us while my mother and Claires mother accompanied us, although we were a little far away I was still listening to the argument between my father and those soldiers; they seem to insist on closing the door and shutting us out. The argument started to get worse causing one of the soldiers to succumb to stress and draw his gun at our parents. Our mothers run and try to calm the situation, but it seems to have the opposite effect, the soldier panics when he sees more people approach him and starts shooting blindly.
The first shot goes through the head of Claires mother, the second hits Jack in the chest of her causing him to collapse and start spitting blood; my father pounced on the soldier trying to disarm him but his age made him slower than he remembered. Three-point blank shots in his abdomen make him fall like his best friend, my mother tries to get closer to my father, but the soldier seems to have gone completely insane as he continues to empty his magazine on my mother.
Everything happened so fast, it was only seconds, just that and I lost everything. I only take that and the pain of that day would accompany me for the rest of my life, my chest felt as if it had been pierced by a burning rod, my throat closed making me unable to express the agony that afflicted my soul at this moment.
He only mustered enough strength to turn down to see how Claire was, she was crouching down with her trusty teddy bear as a shield covering her fearful face, it seemed that the shots scared her causing her to instantly take cover behind her stuffed friend.
At least she didnt see them die. I thought with pain and sadness. She would know they died and how they did it, but at least the memory of how it happened wouldnt follow her forever. Of course, whether we survived was still in doubt.
” What the hell happened here ” A man in a high-ranking military uniform emerged from the bunker.
The soldiers tried to make up a story to avoid guilt, but the man only looked at the corpses, looked at the beast that was now 100m away, and then looked at Claire and me.
Without further listening to the nonsense of the two soldiers, he drew his weapon incredibly quickly and shot both men in the head.
After muttering something to himself and seeing my father once more, he gestured for us to come closer. I hesitated for a second but then looked at Claire and the world on fire around us; he was already in front of the man moments later.
′′ There are no words that can give you back what you have lost boy, but you better accept the world as it is now; for the sake of that little girl that you hide so protectively in your embrace. ” Said the soldier, he did not know if he was trying to console me or make fun of me, but that was not important; the important thing was to get Claire to safety.
I didnt want Claire to look at our parents like that and seeing how things happened I didnt think any of them were still alive; once again I was wrong.
Cof Cof Puurt!
The sound of a couple of coughs and a gurgling of blood were followed by a voice:
′′ Desmond′′. It was my fathers voice.
The three of us approached my father, he looked bad, his abdomen was bleeding non-stop forming a pool around him, his skin was pale and his gaze was lost. The military man quickly reviewed it and shook his head. He did not need explanations, it was clear that my father would not survive.
′′ Can you give us a moment Claire dont let go of me, keep your face on my chest; everything will be fine. ” I told the military man to give us space while he assured me that Claire was still blind to the tragedy around her.
” Father, ” I said as I crouched down next to him. My knees were stained with his blood but I didnt care.
′′ Desmond cof cof. . . your mother ′′.
I could only shake my head.
′′. . . I see, what about ′′
Before he finished speaking I shook my head again.
He looked at me for a moment and then looked at the way he hugged Claire forbidding her to see her surroundings.
“You cant protect her from this Desmond,” he exclaimed meaningfully.
′′ I will protect her from everything else′′ The weight of my words was almost palpable.
′′ I see, are you sure You will have to face this world alone Desmond. ” cough cough puurt!
Spitting out a couple of mouthfuls of blood, my father seemed to be closer to the gates of death but that didnt stop him from conveying his intention.
′′You will have to be strong, get your hands dirty and make a lot of sacrifices to protect her; How far are you willing to go What would you be willing to do to keep her safe ′′.
′′whatever is needed.′′ The conviction was the only thing that inhabited my eyes, not doubt or fear; just the will to protect something I love.
′′well. . . well. . . Make me proud of Desmond. ”
′′ I will do it, father′′. I waited for an answer that never came.
That day my entire family died, not at the hands of mutant beasts, they died at the hands of those they trusted with their lives; that day I made two decisions. The first was that I would never trust Claires life and mine to other people. The second was that I would do whatever it took to protect Claire from this world that she went insane. . . Whatever it takes.