Against Super Mutants (part 2)

The figure leapt down to the second floor through a hole that had opened up in what was left of the cement surface of the third floor.  The dust began to obscure the surroundings, and it made it difficult to find the way down.  He looked around for an easier exit, and exhaled heavily.  “Fuck it.”  He shook his head, and leapt down the last fifteen feet to roll into the debris on the ground floor of the tower.  Not giving himself time to rest from the fall, he was back on his feet, the duster he wore over his armor now more white than brown.  He sprinted hard to get out as the final supports collapsed and hundreds of tons of cement collapsed to the ground.  The cloud was enormous, and he dropped to the ground, covering his head to protect himself from any smaller debris that may still fall on him.

It took another minute or three for the cloud to settle enough for decent vision.  The figure sat where he’d landed, pulling his shotgun from the strap that hung it around his waist.  The Brutes and Master were sure to be waiting for him, and he certainly couldn’t let them live after they’d tried to kill him in that manner.  “Too smart for your own good, Mutant.”  He muttered, standing up with the shotgun ready for combat.  The cloud was still clearing, and he was having difficulty finding the three remaining Super Mutants.  “I thought for sure they’d be gloating about having brought that building down.”  He stepped forward cautiously, looking to his left and his right.  “Surely they didn’t run away.  Not like Super Mutants to do -”  Something large caught him across the face, and he staggered, his shotgun clattering across the debris as it fell from his hands.  He fell to his hands and knees, dazed.  “Found you!” One of the Brutes roared, grabbing him by the shoulders and picking up him off the ground.  “Quite a swing… you’ve got.”  The figure shook his head.  Seconds later his vision cleared, and he was staring right into the face of the Brute, that ugly sneer chuckling and beady eyes staring back.  The Brute turned to the direction, the figure assumed, that his friends were and shouted, “Over here! I caught the human!”  The figure took that as his opportunity. Time to see how dumb these things really are,  he thought to himself and tapped the belt attached to his armor.  As before, the armor rendered him invisible to the naked eye, though he remained in the clutches of the Brute.

The Brute turned back to face him, and a look of surprise crept over his face as he did not see what he expected.  The dust lingering in the area kept the illusion from falling so easily at such proximity.  Ignoring the fact that he still had a grip on the human, he opened his hands, and looked around frantically.  “Where did you go!?”  He bellowed, looking to his left and right.  Stifling a laugh as he dropped to the ground silently, the figure fished a frag mine from one of the pockets of his duster and pressed the red button at the center to arm it before dropping it into one of the pouches hanging off the Brute’s belt.  He then moved quickly to get out of the small, but potent, blast radius of the device.  “Right here!”  The other Brute yelled, “Where’s the human!?” Unfortunately, the second Brute didn’t get close enough to be affected by the frag mine.  “That’s what I was asking!”  As the first Brute was finishing yelling at his cohort, the tones from the frag mine grew high and fast.  A second later, it exploded, tearing a hole in the side of the Brute and throwing him like a Behemoth had kicked him in the side.  An agonizing groan was uttered from the Brute before he passed out, likely from shock.  He was as good as dead, anyway, with the amount of blood the figure could see pooling around various torn organs and shattered bones and spilling out over the broken rocks of the ruins.

The second Brute turned to run back to where the Master had been searching for the human when the figure leapt out of the shadows, a straight-bladed sword drawn from within the depths of his duster.  He pressed a button on the hilt and the blade exploded to life with electricity dancing up the blade, bolts jumping to random specks of dust as he pulled it back so his fist leveled  with his shoulder.  A split second later, the human let out a growl that quickly transformed into an enraged yell.  He drove the blade deep into the Brute’s back, wrenching a cry of pain from the monster.  The figure had driven it so deep that it passed clean through, entering just below the shoulder blade and exiting out the other side of the Brute’s rib cage.  However, he hadn’t counted on the intensity of the convulsions from the electrocution and before he could let the sword go, it snapped six inches above the hilt.  His eyes went wide with horror as the Brute dropped to the ground, minor spasms still shaking the body.

“Son of a bitch…”  The human looked at the hilt in his hand.  Then back at the blade that stuck out of the Brute.  He sighed and bent over to try and pull the blade out, gripping it with his gloved hand.  It didn’t budge.  He scowled, and stood up.  He put one of his combat boots up against the broken end of the sword and pressed, trying to dislodge it.  It still wouldn’t move.  He grew annoyed then, and stomped on the broken blade, pressing it further through.  He kicked again, and again, until the broken end of the sword had sunk just below the skin of the Super Mutant.  He stepped on the body to get over it and gripped the sword’s blade tightly, tugging it out of the wound.  The blade freed itself easily now, the wound beginning to ooze again now that the stopgap had been removed.  He twirled the blade in his hand, looking it over and paying careful attention to the broken end.  He sighed, twisting it around again and stabbing it back into the body.

There was no way to repair it.  A Chinese officer’s sword was hard enough to find in the D.C. Wastes, nevemind the parts that were required for the electrical circuitry.  He threw the hilt angrily at the body of the Brute, wedging it into the other shoulder.  “That was my favorite sword, too.”  He crossed his arms and looked around.  It was getting brighter.  Probably just the dust settling further.  “Now where’d your leader get off to?  He’s next on my list.  None of you are getting away.  Especially not after you broke my damn sword.”  He walked slowly over to where the shotgun had fallen when the first Brute had hit him, and knelt down, picking it up.  A quick glance satisfied him that it would still work, and he shouldered it and began searching for the Master.

He found the Super Mutant poking around in the ruins not far from where he’d finished off the two Brutes.  How he hadn’t heard the two of them, or the pop from the frag mine, he’d never know.  The Master had that damn Super Sledge shouldered, kicking debris out of his way.  The human engaged the stealth system in his armor, and once again he vanished from sight.  The plan this time was to finish this quickly, sneak up and end it with one shot to the back of the head.  He had more pressing issues to attend to, and the games with the Super Mutants had lost their appeal.  This would be quick, and then he could move on.  Or so he thought.

As he approached the Master, the Super Mutant suddenly turned and before he could pull the trigger to end the fight before it began, he was knocked off balance by one of the Master’s powerful feet and fell to the ground.  The Super Mutant stopped cold, looking down at the invisible body.  The dust had dispersed enough that at this range the illusion did not work nearly well enough.  The sneer turned into a sadistic grin, and the human felt all the air rush out of him as the Super Mutant’s foot caught him square in the midsection.  He rolled fifteen feet through the debris, losing his shotgun and the stealth generator for his armor in the process.  The Super Mutant stalked after him, picking up the shotgun and crushing it in his massive fist, tossing the scrap aside.  He took the massive Super Sledge in both hands and raised it above his head mid-stride, seeking to drop it on the human’s head and finish him.  The figure came to his senses enough that he was able to roll just out of the way of the hammer strike as it threw debris and a large cloud of dust into the air.  The Master stopped for a moment as he tried to pull the hammer out of the debris.  This would be the human’s opportunity.

Coughing, he got to one knee as the Master freed the hammer.  “Quit squirming and die!” The Super Mutant shouted, bringing the hammer up once more.  Timing would be everything in the next few seconds.  The human waited, visible, as the Master brought the hammer around to swing again.  The swing sought to cave his skull in, but the figure rolled at the very last possible moment, his body jarring slightly from the shockwave of the hammer.  But, the Master had again wedged the hammer into the debris that surrounded him, and the human took this as his signal.  As he rolled, he pulled the sniper rifle from off his back and took aim.  Thunder again rolled around them as the sound from the rifle echoed off the various buildings, bouncing this way and that.  Silence fell over this small region of the D.C. ruins, and the human heard the casing from the last round ring softly off the cement.  The hammer no longer had an owner attached to it.  It stood, stuck in the ground attempting to impersonate Excalibur.  The Super Mutant stood in shock, having staggered back a foot or two, looking down at his chest.  The modified .309 bullet had blown a hole in his chest.  Not where the human was aiming, but it would work all the same.  After a few seconds, the Super Mutant’s body seemed to catch up with his mind, and his eyes rolled into the back of his head, falling with a crash into the dust.  The human let the rifle drop beside him, and he lay flat on his back staring up at the roiling clouds that passed over the ruins now.  That was an adventure he’d not soon repeat if he could help it.

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