Dantega:Volume 7 Chapter 8
Diana is sitting alone in the first class cabin of the train heading northbound towards the Capital of Troy. She’s wearing quite the bitter face, looking more like a pouting child than that of a Queen while looking out at the scenery on the other side of the widow.
She’s frustrated because of how that conversation with Jeffrey went, and also the fact that he’s been gone for close to an hour already; she understands that there is a mission going on here that she doesn’t know the specifics of, but she feels he should at least come back for a moment or two to tell her what’s going on.
“Geez, he’s so difficult sometimes.” she said under breath, leaning her head on her hand in a disgruntled manner.
This is when she hears the door opening from the cabin in front of her and in comes two demons.
Her shoulders jumped in surprise and she quickly turns her gaze away from them and then back out the window. She’s very nervous around them, for obvious reasons along with others.
The two demons have more human like features than some of the others she’s seen, but the one leading the other is quite tall and thin with very pale skin; under his eyes are heavy dark bags that sag down almost to the bottom of his nose.
These ghoulish features of his, makes him very intimidating, whilst his partner looks exactly like a human except his pointed ears.
If their sudden appearances weren’t enough to make her heart-rate speed up, the fact that they begin checking boarding passes certainly sends her fragile heart into a frenzy.
(What’s the point in doing this?) she queries to herself inside her mind, (They already checked the tickets before we boarded!)
Little does she know, the reason they’re re-checking the passengers’ tickets is because the ones in first class are the citizens that decided to volunteer their services to Satan whereas the ones in the coach cabins were drafted.
Those with the green cards are volunteers and those with the red were forced into taking this train far away from their homes.
The separation between these two could quite possibly mean life or death, volunteers earn higher rankings and different positions in Hell’s army, Satan made that quite obvious after the first couple weeks of his rule that this would be the case. It’s likely the demons had already caught some drafted passengers trying to sneak their way into good favor with demons by saying they were volunteering to go.
She doesn’t know the punishment for draftees feigning true loyalty, but she can imagine how bad it’ll be for someone without either form of pass who was caught sneaking on. They could assume she’s a spy or an enemy soldier and kill her on the spot, or they can kill her on general principle; no matter what they interpret a stowaway as would most likely result in her death.
“You, show me your ticket.” The tall pale demon demands of the passenger sitting just a couple booths in front of her.
The passenger stays silent and doesn’t make eye contact with the demons, he instead keeps his glare pointing down at the table resting above his knees.
This action strikes a suspicious cord in the demon soldiers, and they begin to become uneasy.
“Your ticket, show it to me!”
The man takes a deep breath and points up before saying, “It’s in my bag.”
“Isn’t it common sense to keep your ticket on you?” The tall demon says with an annoyed look, “Go get it.”
The man in the booth slowly gets up and opens the compartment above his head where the passengers store their bags to save space. But what the demons don’t know, is that this particular man doesn’t have a bag, and the one he’s reaching for isn’t his at all.
He grabs at it and purposely drops it to the ground, causing the demons to shift their attention for a split second elsewhere other than him. The man uses this moment of distraction to grab behind the tall demons head and pull him towards his rising knee.
The demon staggers and falls onto the table.
The other demon is too surprised to act quickly enough to do anything before the passenger takes off running down the aisle and towards the cabin door leading to the next cab.
Naturally, the real passengers are shocked and don’t know what to do as they watch this man hurry his way past them; and they are sent into a panic when the tall demon who’s nose is likely broken shouts to his comrade, “Don’t just stand there and shoot that fucker!!”
Regaining his composure, the lower ranked demon with the pointed ears points his rifle and begins shooting at the man running away. However, he’s a bad shot and he couldn’t hit the fleeing man before he ran right out of the door and made his way into the next cabin.
Passengers, still not knowing full well what guns are begin screaming at the sudden commotion and loud noises. Diane is no different, she’s covering her ears and ducking under the table even now.
“Go catch that bastard!” The tall demon shouts, spitting out blood in the process.
To which the other one replies, “Yes sir!!” and begins chasing after the fleeing passenger.
The tall demon grabs at the dress of a young woman in the adjacent booth and wipes the blood off his face. The poor woman is frozen in fear until he looks her in the eye and says, “Show me your ticket.”
“Y-Yes right away!”
The woman quickly pulls the green boarding pass out of her purse and hands it to him, he takes one quick glance and gives it back before going on to the next person and asking the same thing. It would appear that the sudden attack isn’t going to stop him from completing his task, and it’s only a matter of time before he reaches Diane.
(Oh no…) Diane thinks to herself, (What am I going to do??)
Jeffrey is walking along the rooftops of the train cabs, hopping over the gaps in the cars and landing softly on his toes as to not make any noise; he can’t afford to have one of the demon guards hear him and poke their head through the roof.
He’s making his way down from first class, to coach, until he reaches the cab just before the cargo freights holding all the demons that stretch a half mile down the tracks that wind through the severe ups and downs of the mountain.
These demons absolutely cannot make their way north with the soldiers of WORLD’s eastern invasion force, that would stymie them between two forces and would result in annihilation.
Now herein lies Jeffrey’s plan to stop them, he had 10 of his 150 men immediately begin climbing this mountain pass and set up dynamite charges on the railroad tracks ahead up them. Those charges are set on a hastily made wooden and stone bridge stretching over the gap of two cliffs over 6,000 feet high.
Sounds simple enough, but at this point in time, they have yet to develop the electrical cord that connects to the blasting cap that sets the explosive devise off while the operator stands a safe distance away. And even if there was, if that person’s timing was just a bit off he could blow up the passenger cabs on accident. So this results in something a little bit trickier, and that involves Jeffrey Durbin’s magnets.
Inserted into the blasting cap is a piece of iron that Jeffrey will send a flux density towards and that will activate the nitroglycerin in the powder and cause it to explode on cue. This will be something that takes an amazing amount of concentration; if he doesn’t catch the calculations and do it correctly, there’s a very high possibility that the charges will explode too late, leaving a countless number of demons left, or even worse, not explode at all.
When Jeffrey first came up with this plan, he took a heavy annoyed sigh at the fact that he and the others couldn’t just sneak the explosives on the train with them; it was hard enough just getting on the train for all of them, they couldn’t risk getting caught red-handed with weapons of sabotage, if any of them did, an even more intense search would ensue and Jeffrey’s group would be all but finished.
So looking at it that way, this is much safer, whether it’s easier or not is obvious, but in war, sometimes the more difficult path produces the most simple results.
Jeffrey looks at his wristwatch and sees that their estimated time of arrival is only 10 minutes away, he looks towards the front of the train and sees the front cabin inclining upwards around the bend of the mountain as though it were preparing to fly into the blue autumn sky.
He needs to be on top of his game to time this right, and would really like to be able to see the bridge coming so he can prepare for the set of numbers that will soon be flashing before his eyes like a beacon of light, if he can see it coming, he knows that he’ll time it perfectly.
However, his focus and concentration is shifted elsewhere when the roof door to the inside of the train opens violently and out comes the head of man he recognizes as a soldier. This is the man that assaulted the demon and fled.
“What the hell are you doing?? You’re going to blow our cover!”
“Our cover has already been blown!”
“The demons are checking boarding passes, it’s only a matter of time before they catch us and begin to figure out what’s going on here.”
“Damn it, we can’t hold off for ten more minutes?”
“No sir, I’ve already been----“
BANG BANG BANG!!!
Three shots ring and the man’s face poking through the latch goes lifeless and he falls to the cabin floor with a heavy thud. The demon in pursuit finally caught him.
Jeffrey clicks his tongue, this is not good. And the demon that shot his comrade runs up to the dead man and quickly spots Jeffrey standing on top of the roof.
“Hey!” The soldier of Hell shouted before pointing his rifle at Jeffrey.
Jeffrey doesn’t hesitate to point the hand he wears his positive magnetic through the latch and sends a flux density so strong into the demon’s iron-filled blood stream so fast, it sucks the demon up through the opening faster than he could fire.
A base noise rings throughout the cabin as the demon is lifted off his feet and sucked out into the open air.
As if grabbing onto a rope tied around an object and attempting to throw it over his shoulder like a catapult, Jeffrey throws his arm out towards the mountain range. That motion sends the demon along with the movement of the hand holding the ring before Jeffrey severed the connection between the two magnetic forces and the end result of that is the demon flying dozens of meters off into the distance.
The demon’s screams grew softer as he fell right out of the train and off side of the mountain, plummeting close to 6,000 feet to his death.
Jeffrey doesn’t have time to marvel at his quick disposal of that immanent threat because he can hear the demons in the cargo boxes become uneasy at the sudden sound of gunshots. And to his dismay, they come rushing across the gangway connecting the cargo freights to the passenger cars and into the cabin holding all the citizens.
That gangway built over the tightlock coupling is exactly what Jeffrey predicted to be a problem in all this; in fact, that small spot is exactly where the explosion is to take place. He really hoped he could just go and unhook the coupling, which would have effectively strand the thousands of demons riding in the freights on top of the mountain, but that wouldn’t have been enough.
Those demons aren’t just a bunch of mindless soldiers awaiting their next orders once the train stops at its final destination, there are dozens of platoons and division with their own separate leaders and captains in there who’d find another way to disrupt the forces of WORLD. One of those being the fact that Jeffrey’s group are the only ones on this train, there are thousands of others making their way north as originally planned, and having over 10,000 demons or so standing in their way wasn’t part of that plan.
Jeffrey simply can’t afford to leave them alive, and must wipe out as many of them as he possibly can; and the fastest and perhaps the only way to do that, is to destroy this bridge. The physics of where the blast will occur will send every last one of those freights on a free fall from over 6,000 feet high, no matter what kind of powers these demons have, there is simply no way they will survive a fall from such a height.
If the explosion is timed correctly, the passenger cars will continue forward past the part of the bridge destroyed by the initial blast, and the forward momentum of the cargo freights carrying the demons will send them over the destroyed part of the bridge. All it will need is one freight to slide off the rails and the rest will follow in a dramatic domino effect as each freight pulls down the other.
They couldn’t execute this at any other point in on this particular railroad because the quarter-mile long circumference around this bridge is completely flat, if they were travelling up the mountain at the time of the blast, last few freights would come to a stop due to the incline. Heading down wouldn’t work either because other than this point on the railroad, the fall isn’t near as sever and there’d likely be plenty of survivors. Only here can Jeffrey ensure that everyone who falls here, falls to their death.
But now, there has been a huge obstacle thrown right in the middle of his already delicate plans, and demons begin rushing the cabin and pointing their guns and other weapons at random passengers. This is a powder keg that will surely morph into a massacre once the first shot is fired.
“Fuck!” he hisses, he doesn’t know how he’s going to get out of this one.
But first thing’s first.
If the demons guarding the passenger cars are checking for boarding passes, that means that Diana is in some serious trouble. He quickly looks to his wristwatch and sees that he has eight minutes left before they reach the explosives set on the bridge, that’s enough time for him to ensure Diana’s safety and rush back to set off the charges.
Without giving it much more thought, he bolts up the steadily inclining train and jumps over the gaps in each car, hoping dearly that Diana’s alright.
In his haste, he carelessly left the roof door open and a soldier of Hell spots it. The soldier jumps up through the latch on top of the roof with minimal effort and catches sight of Jeffrey running up towards the front of the train.
“Hey!” he shouts to his comrades below, “We got a runner!”
Three more demons make their way to the roof and begin chase.
This is it, the demon with the busted nose finally makes his way to Diana.
With his gun drawn and ready to fire, he gestures to her and says, “Show me your ticket.”
Diana just averts her gaze and stays silent, she has no clue what to do or say. She can try to make an excuse and hope he goes lenient on her, but she can clearly see he’s in a foul mood after what happened with that man which resulted in him getting kneed in the face. There’s likely no tolerance for stowaways, and she fears she’ll be shot on the spot if she doesn’t produce something.
“U-Um... I lost it.” She replied meekly, hoping that he isn’t as bitter as he looks.
The demon doesn’t even blink before pointing his gun at her. “That’s too bad.”
“W-What?? You’re just going to shoot me like that!?”
Her hopes at leniency were dashed the moment he said that; this demon in front of her doesn’t care in the least for any kind of excuse. To him it’s simple, if there’s no ticket then they shouldn’t be on this train.
And those who shouldn’t be on this train shouldn’t be alive.
He ignores the collective gasp of the passengers who are about to witness a woman’s brain splatter across the cabin and prepares to pull the trigger.
Diana flinches and slams her eyes shut in fear when she hears a very distinct base noise followed by a heavy thud.
Quickly opening her eyes, she finds that the demon in front of her just a moment ago is gone.
At least for a split second, until she spots him falling from the top of the cabin back to the floor.
Out of nowhere the demon was pulled towards the roof and hit it so hard it left a huge dent, and as though his body bounced off the roof he was flung back towards the ground and landed right on his head.
“Uuaaahh..?” he moans, a few bones were likely broken in the rough impacts.
Confused as to what just happened, Diana’s answer comes calling her name through the door in the roof in the form of someone she hasn’t seen in while.
She can’t describe how happy she is to see him, deep down he was the last thing she thought about when the demon pointed his weapon at her. To her it feels like a miracle, and his impeccable timing coupled with the sheer relief of his presence makes her heart warm up.
“Come on let’s go, it isn’t safe here.” he firmly said with his hand held out to her.
Diana smiles and gets up out of the booth, in order to get to him, she must step over the downed demon and carefully does so. But her path is blocked when the demon firmly grabs her ankle.
“H-Hold it…” he struggles to say through his bloodied mouth.
“Kick him you idiot!”
With what she thinks is safety just a few feet away, she doesn’t have to think about what to do next. As hard as she can, she viciously kicks him right in the face, knocking him unconscious on the spot and his firm grip becomes loose and she slips right out of his grasp.
She runs to Jeffrey and he pulls her up on top of the roof with him in one quick motion, she grabs onto him and is met by the cool wind blowing against her caused by the fast moving train.
“You alright?” Jeffrey asked, his question seemed as unconcerned as can be and his tone wasn’t lost on Diana.
She scowls at him and shouts, “Where have you been!? I’ve been sitting there forever!”
Jeffrey is taken aback by her sudden outburst, to him, he had just saved her life, he doesn’t’ think that a thank you should sound anything like that.
“What? I told you I have a mission to accomplish.”
“Then let me know beforehand will you?? I thought you abandoned me!”
“Don’t be so dramatic, where the hell do you think we are? Of course I wouldn’t leave you hanging over something so stupid.”
“But! I know you were angry, you fake it so much that I know when you’re serious. You were mad at me.”
Not expecting to be thrown head first into this kind of conversation under this kind of circumstance, he doesn’t really know what to say, nor does he want to figure that out for that matter. Things like this can wait for later, as for now there are a lot more pressing matters at hand, mainly the fact that their plan has blown up in their face and has the potential to demolish WORLD’s entire offensive.
“Listen, we don’t have time to talk about that right now. We’ve been caught and I have to get back into position or this whole things a bust.”
“Whatever you have to say is going to have to wait, for now I want you to stay here and---“
BANG BANG BANG!!
Three shots ring in succession and the sound of bullets whizzing by from underneath them is heard. The demon Diana had kicked is firing pop-shots through the roof from the cabin and the passengers are thrown into a panic.
Not being able to duck for cover, Jeffrey pulls Diana behind him and points his left hand towards the bullet holes in the roof. He sees an equation and latches on to it before throwing the hand to the left as though he were tossing something heavy. The result of that motion is the pale demon’s form crashing through the window of the train and off the side of the mountain completely.
Jeffrey watches as the demon who has done nothing but get beat up fall and land harshly on the rocks below and tumbles all the way down the rocky cliffs.
Now he knows that leaving Diana here isn’t safe, more guards are bound to investigate the gunshots and they’ll piece together what is going on; he can’t afford to let Diana be caught.
He turns to her to take her with him but is ruthlessly shocked to see that there are three demons right in front of him, and one is holding Diana from behind her back, one hand covering her mouth and the other with a handgun pressed against her temple.
“Well what do ya know.” The largest demon of the group said, taking heavy steps towards Jeffrey. “Now who might you be? A Trojan trying to escape the draft? A spy?”
Another soldier of Hell who’s face looks like its dripping black fluid is holding a longsword with rivets gauged into one side used for grinding through flesh; he’s smiling as though he’s excited about the upcoming fight. And the one who’s holding Diana captive looks like a teenager, his helmet is too big for him and judging by the inexperienced look on his face, he’s likely quite trigger happy.
One wrong move and the Queen’s head will be blown off.
Jeffrey holds his hands up and replies, “I can assure you we are nothing of the sort… I’ll explain it all to you if you’d be so kind as to let the girl go.”
“That sounds like a terrible idea.” The large soldier spits. “You’re going to tell us or she dies.”
Jeffrey takes a deep breath and twitches his hands so subtly that the demons didn’t notice; he knows that trying to reason with them is not going to work and decides that he must take them out. He has to go about it sneakily and start with the one holding the immediate threat to Diana’s safety first; but if he’s not careful and startles the young soldier of Hell, it will most certainly result in a disaster.
“Alright, I’ll tell you everything you need to know, just calm down.”
“Don’t fucking tell us what to do.” said the soldier oozing fluid out of his face.
“I sincerely apologize.”
Jeffrey has learned that the best way to keep the demons at bay is to be very apologetic and polite, the more you appease them, the lesser the chance they’ll snap at you and kill you for no reason. They’re like wild animals, and there’s a certain way they need to be treated or they’ll eat you alive.
“I am going to tell you the truth now, but I can assure you that you will not want to kill us after hearing what I have to say.”
“Because I know this, I can only offer you my information if you promise to take us captive instead of execution.”
“I already told you didn’t I? If you don’t tell us, the girl dies not matter what.”
“I understand that, but if she dies, I won’t tell you a thing and you’ll have to kill me anyways.”
The demon grunts, the person in front of him is making this more difficult than he’d like it to be. “And if your info isn’t as important as you make it out to be… What then?”
“Then you can kill us.”
He chuckles and says, “Fine then, go ahead.”
Jeffrey doesn’t bat an eye and replies, “We are an invasion force for WORLD.”
Obviously, they are shocked to hear such a thing.
“There are 150 of us on this train and we have set up charges to blow it up at the junction connecting the demon cabins to the passengers and make our way north towards the Capital.”
“Hey hey…” The tall demon says as a cold sweat runs down his temple. “That’s some serious shit right there.”
“We aren’t the only ones who have made their way into Troy.” Jeffrey continues, “There are 150,000 of us making our way deep into the country without you knowing, and once we destroy this railroad, you will have no way of reinforcing your Capital as we attack.”
Diana is looking at Jeffrey as though he’s mad, she can’t believe he has so readily disclosed such valuable info to the enemy like that. But what she doesn’t know, is that Jeffrey has a plan, and he’s gambling everything on how lower ranking soldiers will react upon hearing such critical intel.
“W-What should we do?” The younger looking demon holding the Queen asked nervously.
“If this bastard is telling the truth, we gotta let the higher-ups know asap.”
Jeffrey begins to laugh deeply as though the role of the villain has been reversed. “It’s too late.”
The three glare at him with wide open eyes as he explains.
“The bombs are set and will be exploding in—wait a sec…”
Jeffrey looks at his watch and grabs the attention of the three like they were dogs to a bone.
“Oh shit what??”
“I lost track of time! The charges are going to go off any moment!”
“Any moment!? What the fuck do you mean any moment!? When are they gonna blow!?”
The demons don’t know what to do or where to look.
And Jeffrey takes advantage of their confusion by showing a frantic face before saying,
“They’re gonna blow…”
He pauses for a second, and their anxiety levels drastically rise in the suspension.
And this is when Jeffrey looks them all right in the eye and shouts,
He quickly hits the deck and the three soldiers all follow his action like fools.
This results in the teenage looking demon’s death when the pieces of Jeffrey’s red magnetic blade are sent flying from inside his coat while they weren’t looking directly into the soft parts of his face.
“Gbbah!” The young demon's gurgled scream is heard and Diana feels his blood squirt against the nape of her neck.
The two soldiers in front of him turn and catch sight of their comrade’s lifeless body falling to the roof of the train.
But before they have time to react, the blades retract from the boy’s face and floats above the two; and as soon as it gets overhead, the metal floor below the soldier with the oozing face is pushed up so violently that it sends the demon a few feet into the air.
Jeffrey used the metal of the roof to magnetize towards the metal of his red shards to propel whatever was in between into the air momentarily.
While the demon is floating and virtually defenseless, Jeffrey sprints to him and with all his might throws is shoulder into the soldier’s chest with all his weight behind him.
The demon won’t ever land on his feet after that impact.
He careens off the train and hits the mountain wall violently; the impact was so great that his body splatted against the rock like a bug that flew into a car window on the freeway. If that wasn’t enough, what remained of his body fell under the train and pretty much molded with the metal wheels.
That’s two down, and Jeffrey doesn’t slow his assault, in a swift motion he kicks the large demon square in the face and hobbles the soldier desperately trying to get to his feet in a daze.
Jeffrey was really hoping that was enough to at least knock him out, but he felt like he had just kicked a thick piece of rebar, the contact sent a surge of pain reverberating through his entire leg. A physical fight is out of the question.
The shards he had used so effectively against the other two are sent at the large demon, heading directly towards his neck.
But the soldier of Hell catches sight of it at the last moment and holds his hand out, but what surprised Jeffrey is that from literally out of nowhere, a huge hammer appears in his hands.
Huge is an understatement, it looks like a massive anvil connected to a metal pole the size of a street light.
With a simple swing, Jeffrey’s shards fly off in every which direction, and Jeffrey doesn’t have the time to recalculate how to bring them back when the demon slams his hammer into the roof of the cabin and is crushed under the weight.
Diana loses her balance and is about to fall off when Jeffrey, who’s holding himself steady with his positive magnetic ring connected to the metal of the train, grabs her and pulls her close.
Looking at the destruction that hammer had caused, he doubts anyone in this particular cabin survived; the entire roof is caved in like a deflated soufflé and everyone inside has likely taken the shape of this same form.
“Diana…” Jeffrey sternly says, “You need to get back inside and hide somewhere.”
“But what about you??”
“Obviously my hands are kinda full at the moment.”
“Cut it with the damn buts will you? Just do as I say and maybe we can get out of this mess.”
He lets her go and gestures her to hop down to the gangway leading to the adjacent cabin.
Reluctantly, she listens to him and starts to climb down the ladder, but before she gets to the gangway, she grabs Jeffrey’s collar and kisses him.
She looks him square in the eye and says, “Don’t you dare go dying up here.”
“Don’t worry, it’s me you’re talking about. My survival rate has got to be at least 10 percent.”
“That’s not comforting at all!! And those odds are even lower than the last time you said that!”
Jeffrey slightly smiles and pats her head. He then turns his back to her and confidently says, “I’m going to be fine.”
“Yeah, now hurry up and go.”
Diana looks up to his back and purses her lip when she replies by hopping onto the gangway and running though the door to the cabin.
Sensing her presence leave him, he takes a sigh of relief and softly says to herself, “Good thing I didn’t tell you that the most dangerous part hasn’t even started yet.”
He looks to his watch and sees that there’s only 4 minutes left until he reaches the position atop the bridge, he has to be ready to detonate the charges by then at all costs.
And to do that, he must defeat this monster in front of him.
“Alright buddy, let’s get this over with.”
The large demon, who just had his comrades killed right under his nose is burning with fury; so much so that he doesn’t even reply and leaps over the crater he made in the cabin and prepares to swing his massive hammer down atop Jeffrey’s head.
Looking disinterested in the fact that his life is in imminent danger, Jeffrey sighs and asks, “Just what is that hammer made of anyways?”
He holds out his right hand which holds the negative magnetic ring and a base noise pounds in between him and the oncoming demon; and in that very instant the demon is halted mid-air.
Confused as to why he’s suddenly stopped mid-flight, Jeffrey begins to explain.
“That metal hammer along with all that iron in your blood really makes it easy for me to manipulate your movements.”
“What the fuck is this? Let me go you piece of shit!”
“I’ll let you go in a second or two.”
The demon noticed that Jeffrey’s gaze shifted towards something behind him when he said that, and the soldier of Hell shoddily turns his head towards whatever it was. Upon doing so, he is mortified to see the ever growing entrance of a tunnel carved into the side of the mountain.
“LET ME GO! LET ME GO!!!”
Now the large demon is desperate, he’s going to bang against the wall just above the entrance unless he can make his way back to the safety of the train’s roof.
“That sounds like a terrible idea.” Jeffrey repeats what this very demon said to him earlier as if mocking him. “I’m actually running low on time and would rather not wait until we get to that tunnel, so how about we do this instead?”
With his right hand, he lunges forward with all his might as if throwing a baseball and the demon is catapulted at almost double his original speed towards the upper wall of the tunnel’s entrance.
The demon screams in horror for only a couple seconds when,
He’s ruthlessly crushed against the wall and his body parts scatter across the roof in a red mist.
Again, Jeffrey sighs as if what he did wasn’t a big deal at all and turns back towards the freights carrying the demons.
“Now then, time for the dangerous part.”
He rushes atop the rooftops and hops over the gaps in the cabins as the train finally makes its way under the dark tunnel. The sound of the tracks intensify and the noise is almost deafening, not to mention that there are actually no lights in this tunnel, forcing Jeffrey to use the vector field created by his rings to bounce off the metal train as if guiding him across the dark rooftops.
And in this darkness is when he notices some flashes coming from the windows below him reflecting off the tunnel’s walls; he can pretty much guess what it is but fears that things will get out of hand unless he does something.
He finds his way to a roof door and opens it up, peering inside he finds that the demons are randomly searching the passengers and are killing off anyone indiscriminately if they show any signs of suspicion. The situation in the cabins have taken a turn for the worst, and that powder keg is so close to exploding that he’s going to have to resort to a back-up plan he so desperately wanted to avoid.
But seeing the situation below, and knowing it’s only a matter of time before that madness reaches Diana, he’s forced into sticking his head into the hatchway and shouting, “SOLDIER’S OF WORLD!! CODE RED!!”
Right on que, a dozen soldiers of WORLD disguised as passengers stand to their feet and rush the few demons investigating the passengers, and in a wave they engulf them and beat them to death.
They then take the demon’s weapons and rush into the next cabin and begin shouting, “CODE RED CODE RED!!!”
From there even more allied soldiers get to their feet and begin clashing with the demons head on. The well trained soldiers of Jeffrey’s group were not going to blow their cover unless ordered to do otherwise even if it killed them. And by Jeffrey shouting ‘Code Red’, that meant that the mission has taken a turn to where keeping cover is no longer a necessary, in actuality, it means that it’s downright detrimental to the mission.
What it means is that they are to attack any enemy that moves and keep them at bay until the charges go off.
It only took a few moments before the entirety of Jeffrey’s group are swarming towards the demon freights and are met with the surge of Hell’s soldiers spilling into the few cabins before the first freight. The cabin where most of the action is quickly becomes a bloodbath, and sheer mayhem resounds as the train makes its way out of the darkness of the tunnel.
With hearing no longer impeded by the noise of the tracks bouncing off the tunnel walls, Jeffrey can hear the screams and gunshots from the cabins just below his feet. But he has no choice but to wait it out while his allies fight below him, and the reason is because the bridge can now be seen out in the distance.
His watch tells him it’s only a minute and a half away.
His soldiers just need to keep them at bay for a little longer and he’ll blow every last one of the demons not in the passenger cabins right back to Hell.
“Alright, almost ther---“
He’s knocked off balance by a blast from right underneath his feet and it knocks him to the floor; with senses jumbled, he rolls across the roof towards the edge but he luckily catches himself before he slid off.
Shaken and confused, he pokes his head back through the door to investigate and as soon as he does, heavy smoke spews out as though the entire inside of the cabin were on fire.
Fighting the urge to cough while covering his mouth, he does his best to peer through the toxic air and barely catches sight of his soldiers retreating back into the adjacent passenger cabin further away from the demon freights.
As they flee, the soldiers of Hell are throwing grenades at them, and the blasts and concussions shake the entirety of the train under his feet.
“Damn it, the further they go into the passenger’s side of the train, the more damage will be done to the citizens.”
Not to mention, that means that they are one step closer to Diana.
If that weren’t enough of a problem, the more demons in the passenger’s side of the train, the more demons survive the detonation of the dynamite charges. He can’t afford to blow it further up the line of the train because his men and the citizens will be caught in the blast; but now if he sticks to his original plan, there will be leftover soldiers of Hell on board that they will have to deal with.
“Come on guys.” he urges, “Don’t lose anymore goddamn ground.”
Forced to lay in wait for another minute or so, he can’t do anything but hope that the surge of demons is quelled for as long as physically possible.
However, his hopes are dashed when he takes a few steps away from the latch and notices something approaching him through the smoke.
To his dismay, there are over a dozen enemy soldiers rushing his way; they climbed out of the freights through windows to the train’s rooftops, likely looking to ambush his soldiers by getting behind them without them noticing.
Obviously, Jeffrey can’t have that happen either, and he’s the only line of protection for them. His role has taken on another meaning when he becomes both the offensive and defensive force against such a large number of enemies.
He can’t help but take a sigh of exasperation, “Man, things just couldn’t go smoothly on this one.”
Hell’s soldier’s close in on him and point there weapons simultaneously, they don’t even ask questions before the closest demon to him points his handgun and fires.
However, the bullet doesn’t exit the barrel of the handgun; instead the entire gun explodes in his hand, taking everything to his wrist with it.
Jeffrey used his magnets to keep the bullet at a standstill inside the barrel while the enclosed gunpowder inside the firearm exploded; with no set opening to exit towards, the deprived explosion ended up blowing in every which direction instead.
Without hesitation, Jeffrey rushes the 15 demons. Before they could fire anymore shots at him, he’s in between their guard; and upon a closer look he notices that only three others are carrying handguns. He must take them out first, they won’t be slowed down like the others will be while fighting in close quarters.
Yet he goes about it in a different way than one might expect, instead of slashing whoever’s near, he uses the bulkiness of the large weapons to his advantage.
Since the rifles are the majority’s main weapon, they will still try to use it as though they had no other option; they try to keep up with Jeffrey’s movements and fire when they think they have a good shot.
In the sheer rush of combat, they failed to notice that every time they shoot and miss, they end up shooting one of their own in the process. And just like how Jeffrey wanted it, the first three taken out are the ones holding the handguns that had the best chance at inflicting damage on him.
With three less enemy combatants to worry about, he can begin to use his own weapons along with their inability to use theirs to his complete advantage. The shards of metal he left stuck to the train that normally make up his sword, come flying back towards his left hand. It just so happens that a group of four demons were in the way of the magnet’s one way motion and are pierced; despite being fired upon at such a close range, Jeffrey had the presence of mind to make sure his shards hit the soldier’s necks on their way back to him.
He did that for a couple reasons, one is the obvious fact that a four to six inch shard of metal screaming through your neck is almost a guaranteed kill, but the other is because particular part of the their body has the least amount resistance to go through on their way back to the ring. If he stabbed their torsos, the smaller magnets making up the blade wouldn’t have the magnetic value high enough to carry the strength needed to go through cleanly. And since his sword is pretty much made up of puzzle pieces of metal, all of them must return.
So just like that, 7 of the 15 demons are dead, some of their bodies are in the process of rolling off the side of the train as the action continues.
Now with his sword magnetically stuck firmly to his forearm and hand, his reach enlarges by another three feet; and with his body positioned the way it is, he swings his entire weight to the left and sends his blade-holding arm sliding across the belly of demon soldier.
The demon’s blood goes flying as he falls to the ground.
Jeffrey, still in motion and sliding in a circle on his heels, notices mid-spin that a handgun one of the enemies was carrying is only a couple feet away; in this motion, he grabs that gun with his right hand and once his 360 degree turn his complete, he pulls the trigger.
He scores a direct hit, the bullet hits square into a demon’s face and in that quick instant another two are taken out.
Now there’s only 6 combatants to disperse of before reaching the bridge and the detonation charges.
But even though he pulled off such an incredible feat, he’s not stupid enough to think that the rifle wielding soldiers of Hell won’t find a way to shoot him, whether that be luck or skill, he’s bound to get hit. And just as he thought, two of the soldiers lock onto his frame and fire; from such a close range, both sides are confident that this won’t result in a miss. This is why Jeffrey was prepared for it, in the vector field surrounding him he shifted all properties into having a positive reaction, the main source being his blade.
The two bullets fired at him are mere inches from his face when they take a drastic change of direction and stick to his blade as though they were flies swatted into honey. Not letting their confusion go to waste, he swings his left arm uses his other ring that quickly reverts the properties of his vector field to negative, sending the bullets screaming off his blade towards the nearest source of metal Jeffrey honed into; unfortunately for the two soldiers, he picked the metal buttons of their uniforms that just so happen to conveniently be right over their hearts.
The two take the slugs and their lifeless bodies drop.
And then there were four.
The difference now is, Jeffrey has a weapon a lot more simple to use than his magnets, that of which being the handgun in his right hand. Unbeknownst to him, this particular pistol he’s wielding is the Colt .45, and its clips carry seven bullets. Obviously that’s more than the needed amount of ammo, but he begins firing as though he only had one, and shoots at the demon furthest to his right along with a set of calculations.
The result of those calculations comes in the form of the train below ripping upwards as though it were a tin can from right under the moving bullet, following it in a foot wide trail of jagged metal. With the help of his negative magnetic ring in his right hand holding the gun, he made it so the bullet never slowed towards its target while his right positive ring allowed the metal of the train’s roof to follow the course of the projectile.
At the end of that trail and path of the bullet is the soldier that took the hit right into the area just above his naval, followed immediately by the trail of jagged train skewering him in the exact same spot.
The other three men are more than surprised, especially when Jeffrey loudly says, “Time to sweep you bastards off the mountain!”
He uses both hands to motion to the left; as though he were controlling the snake like form of metal skewering the soldier, both he and the metal line swings to the left as well, taking the other three along with it.
The force was so great that all of them go flying off the side of the train and fall to their deaths thousands of feet below.
And just like that, Jeffrey defeated 15 soldiers of Hell.
But the real question is, did he do it fast enough?
Looking at his wristwatch, he’s relieved to see that there are still 15 seconds left, and it is at this very moment that the part of the train he’s on reaches the beginning part of the bridge that stretches over the gap of two large cliffs in the middle of the mountain.
He takes a heavy sigh and says, “Alright, let’s get this over with.”
He can see it, the calculations in the form of numbers out in the distance, growing larger with each passing second; but those numbers vanish when he is decked from behind and face-plants onto the ground and his handgun goes sliding across the roof.
He left one of the soldiers alive, and it was the one he sliced over the stomach who despite losing all that blood, never gave up on trying to fight.
Shocked as can be, Jeffrey immediately swings his free right arm to the right and elbows whoever tackled him on the side of his head. But the demon’s grip doesn’t come loose, and the enemy somehow still has the strength to halfway mount Jeffrey and begin raining down blows.
Moving his head from side to side and using his free hand to block the rest, Jeffrey doesn’t get hit even once, but it is still enough of a distraction to keep him from doing what he’s only seconds away from having to do; and even worse than that, it’s costing him time.
“Get the fuck off me you prick!”
Naturally, the demon doesn’t listen, and once he realized that his weak punches weren’t getting him anywhere, he reaches for the knife latched to the side of his boot and begins trying to pull it out.
Just because the punches the demon is throwing aren’t landing, doesn’t mean that Jeffrey won’t get out of a knife attack unscathed, he knows for sure that he’ll be diced up if he doesn’t do something quick.
The problem is, he doesn’t have time to deal with this right now.
Especially when he sees the calculation that signifies the detonation charges roll on by.
He’s supposed to blow it up right now.
But under duress, it’s extremely difficult to do intricate math problems that involve magnetic properties, especially with so much at stake.
As much as he wants to use the blade connected to his hand, his left arm is pinned underneath him; and as much as he wants to use the iron in the blood of this demon to temporarily blind his assailant, he doesn’t have the luxury of time to do that before blowing the charges.
If they pass the dynamite any further, they’ll bring more than one or two demon cargo freights with them after the blast, and even worse off they’ll be too far away to detonate.
But that’s not all.
He was supposed to detonate it at a specific point where the train spits at its gangway, if he hits in the middle of the freight and it doesn’t completely blow, there’s a high risk that the weight of all the back cars falling down the mountain, would pull the passenger cars down with them.
Pinned by the man on top of him, he can’t accurately deduce if he’ll blow it at the right point or not, but he just simply doesn’t have a choice, he has to risk such a dreadful consequence.
It’s now or never.
He ignores the enemy on top of him preparing to stab him and with is free right hand he abandons trying to get free and points it at the point of the bridge where the charges are.
He prays that he made the correct calculations, and for a split second when nothing happens, he fears that he didn’t.
They detonate and blow the entire train sky high; literally. The blast was so powerful that the train is thrown into the air and split apart right at the gangway, splitting the vast majority of the cargo freights in the back from the passenger cars in the front. With the stone and wood bridge blown apart in the blast, leaving a huge hole in the middle, there’s only one place for the rest of the train to go.
He successfully, or depending how you’d like to look at it, luckily, detonated the charges right where he needed to in order to send the demon freights toppling down the mountain thousands of feet below.
Sure there are a couple more demon freights remaining on the allied side of the train since he didn’t exactly stick to schedule, but it’s nothing that the soldiers of WORLD can’t handle since the enemy has no more back up.
All things considered, this has been a success.
Now all Jeffrey has to do is get this pesky monster off of him and he’ll be able to return to Diana and is fellow comrades.
Unfortunately, that plan has to be postponed.
Because as soon as he shifts his focus back to the matter at hand…
A smaller, yet very vicious explosion blew just a second after the first, and this particular blast went off directly into side of the last remaining cargo freight on Jeffrey’s side of the train, throwing it into the air before making its decent off the already crumbling bridge.
Diana is hiding in under the table of a stall in a passenger car further up along the line of the train. She’s trying to stay quiet to keep herself hidden because the screams and panic of the rest of the passengers might be enough to keep any unwanted attention away from her.
She watches the feet of a few of Hell’s soldiers stationed as guards, scurry past her and down the aisle desperately trying to get where the action is; and she can hear their disgruntled voices when the cabin door leading to the next is locked and they can’t get through.
One of them shoots at the lock, causing the other passengers to scream and duck for cover, but even with the lock busted the door still won’t budge, it’s likely that WORLD’s men barricaded the double doors with something solid.
“Damn it!” One of the demons shouted.
“What should we do?”
“We don’t have a choice, we gotta get there by going on the roof. Come on let’s go!”
The four men rush to the roof door in the middle of the cabin and pull down the ladder leading to the hatch, one hops up and is followed by the other when,
The third is shot right in the back by a soldier of WORLD disguised as a passenger.
Watching his comrade fall limply to the ground, the last remaining demon opens fire on the passenger, killing him instantly.
Not looking to see if his fellow soldier is alright or not, he quickly climbs up the latter and onto the roof.
Diane could hear this all unfold, and she knows for sure that this isn’t good. Jeffrey is up there dealing with the mission, he can’t afford to be dealing with anymore obstacles, not to mention that he might not see them coming and shoot him from behind.
Her mind races as she wonders what she can do when she catches sight of the rifle lying next to the side of the dead demon. She doesn’t necessarily know how to use it, things like reloading the gun is lost on her, but she has enough knowledge through Jeffrey to know that all she needs to do is pull the trigger and it’ll fire.
“Alright Diana, you know what you have to do.”
As if pumping herself up, she takes a deep breath of determination and lightly slaps her cheeks with her open palm and grabs the rifle; she throws the strap over her shoulder and begins to climb up the latter leading to the roof. With half her body through the hatch, she sees that the three demons are hesitating to make their way down the train, and she can see the reason why.
Just a few cars away is Jeffrey, fighting 15 demons and the three she’s closest to are pointing their weapons at him, trying to get a clear shot.
She can’t let them take that shot.
Nervously, and awkwardly, she points the rifle at one of the demons, and when she feels she is locked on target she pulls the trigger.
To her surprise, the bullet skims off the soldier’s helmet and all three turn around towards her.
Now’s the time to keep shooting, cause they’ll certainly be firing on her once they get the chance.
The problem is, Diana had no clue about how strong the recoil of a gun is, and her body was jolted back the moment she fired that shot. Her back bangs into the hatchway and her footing on the ladder inside the cabin failed her; she falls back into the cabin until her rifle, which came flying out of her hands, pinned itself on the edges of the three by three foot opening.
Her forearm got wrapped around the and strap kept her from falling, her body is suspended in mid-air a few feet above the cabin floor and she is hopelessly stuck.
It’ll only be a couple seconds until the three soldiers run up to her and rain fire down from above.
Afraid and defenseless, she desperately tries to free herself; swaying in the air she attempts to at least catch her footing on the ladder while hearing the footsteps from above make their way towards her. In her frantic state of mind, she fails to do anything to better her position when the footsteps she hears stops, and she looks up to see the three demons pointing their weapons at her.
With a cry of emotion, she shuts her eyes and awaits the inevitable when,
A massive explosion shakes the cabin violently, throwing the balance off of the three demons atop the roof just a split second before they fired. Their shots completely miss the opening of the hatch and fly all over.
“What the fuck was that!??” One of them shouts as all three turn around once more.
Before the plume of fire even disappeared, another blast is felt much closer to them.
This one however, sends a huge chunk of the mountainside screaming towards them, and if the blast wasn’t enough to throw them over the edge, a maelstrom of large boulders rolling across the roof will. They are brutally hit and while being crushed by the weight of such heavy debris, they are tossed like trash right of the side of the train and off the bridge they were crossing over at the time.
Diana is lucky, but hearing the crunching and crashing noises of the rocks all around her doesn’t make her feel any safer. The people in the cabin are screaming as well, adding to the mayhem. Hundreds of rocks of every size hit the side of the car and come screaming through the windows on the side of the train pointing towards the mountainside; shards of broken glass and deadly projectiles rip the cabin to shreds and maul whoever’s in the way.
And once again, Diana is lucky; being suspended in the air kept her way from the maelstrom on the ground, and had also kept the landslide above from hitting her. She happened to be in the perfect spot.
But the devastation isn’t over.
A boulder the size of a sedan smashes into the side of the cabin and tilts the entire car on its side, ejecting passengers right out of the window and off the side of the cliff.
The impact was so great that a large portion of the train is only rolling along the tracks on one side of its wheels. Having it tilt like that towards certain doom is enough to throw someone into shock, and the gravity pulling Diana’s dangling feet towards such a fate isn’t lost on her. She can almost see the earth’s ground at the bottom of the mountain thousands of feet below through the shattered window, that’s how much the cabin has lost its balance.
This could also be considered lucky, by being stuck in the strap of her gun pinned against the roof door's opening, she avoided the fate of some of the others who were ejected from their seats and right on out the window.
But what is really lucky, is that due to the stable train cars in front of this particular cabin safely on two wheels, the tilted car rights itself and with a loud thud lands back on the tracks and continues forward. The passengers cry and moan in pain and shock, and Diana feels the same way. But she has somewhere she needs to be, someone she needs to worry about other than herself, because she is certain that that someone is in danger.
Not even giving herself a chance to take a sigh of relief, she finally catches her footing on the latter and untangles herself; with the rifle strap back over her shoulder, she climbs to the busted rooftop of the train and begins running towards Jeffrey.
Jeffrey is stunned, there absolutely shouldn’t have been two explosions, that would mean that two separate detonations charges were set on two different points of the bridge, and that most certainly wasn’t in his plans at all, he didn’t even see the other set of calculations because such a thing was so far from his mind.
He had everything planned out so well, he meticulously conjured up the physics of this whole mission so earnestly that there shouldn’t have been any chance for such a thing. He specifically wrote the schematics on where to place the charges, and where the train needed to be when they went off; he added every single piece of information pertaining to both the success and failure of this mission.
He did so, so that there would be no way they’d fail.
The problem is, he didn’t take into account the human aspect of this whole process.
Before the mission started, he was under the impression that he’d be doing all the work, and barring the demons’ role in the current situation, it really would’ve worked out that way. After the charges were set, the rest of the soldiers of WORLD were simply along for the ride.
It was supposed to be as smooth as that.
He just spaced out on the human error factor of such a delicate mission. He didn’t take into account that no matter how trained his soldiers are with modern weapons, the weapons are still extremely alien to them. He didn’t take into account that humans succumb to such errors in even basic daily activities, much less throwing them into a new kind of battle with new kinds of orders, and most of all, new kinds of weapons.
Jeffrey just didn’t think about it, he was under the impression that everyone he fights with have the same mental capacity or higher standard of ethic like his fellow Knights of La’Juune do.
He was wrong.
One of the soldiers he ordered to place the charges set them in two different spots, likely only a few yards from each other, thinking that a wider blast would destroy the bridge easier or have a better chance of destroying the enemy freights.
As it would turn out, both didn’t go off simultaneously, instead one went off when Jeffrey manually detonated it, and other went off only a short instant after due to the first explosion, but due to the position of the charge further up the bridge, and the position of the train as it moved, the second blast hit away from the gangway and right into the bulk of the freight.
And now, the entire train, passenger cabins and all, begin its domino effect towards death as the cargo freights fall to the ground and pull the next car along with it. Once the next car goes, it will pull the next one in line down too.
And that particular car is the one Jeffrey is on.
He didn’t even have time to react; the sheer jolt of the train screaming into the air and landing back on the tracks of the crumbling bridge tossed the demon on top of him right off, and when it landed back on almost sideways, both men go sliding down the roof.
In a state of confusion, Jeffrey doesn’t have time nor the concentration to activate his magnets and save himself by sticking to the metal of the train car, so he uses his instincts to grab on to the edge of a square air vent on top of the roof.
It has done at least enough to give him time to think of his next move; that is, until his foot is grabbed by the bloodied demon that was on top of him just a moment early.
In his dazed state, the demon was grasping at anything he could as he slid, and without even thinking he ended up grabbing Jeffrey’s ankle.
The weight of the two is too much to bear on Jeffrey’s hardly secure grip on the vent, so once again the two slide off the roof and towards a 6,000 foot drop.
He looks down to the demon dragging him to his death and while sliding, kicks him in the face with the heel of his shoe, and that did enough to loosen the demon’s grip. Jeffrey watches him slide off the roof of the train as though the edge were the horizon of a waterfall; the demon disappears and screams all the way down.
Jeffrey will share the same fate unless he does something about this, and once his lower body slides of the edge as well, he reaches his hand out in a last ditch effort to grab onto something. And to his relief, his fingers snag on the very tip of the cabin's roof.
His momentum causes his body to sway from side to side and each time he does, he can feel his grip weaken. He shivers at the thought of looking down, but in his peripheral he can see two of the last three demon freights fly off the side of the mountain in a plume of smoke and fire towards the trees of the forest and winding river below.
He can hear the screams, smell the smoke, feel the intense wind hit his face and blow his hair all about; he can sense the height of the looming fall below his feet, he can feel the pain in his fleeting grip. All of these factors contribute to him not being able to concentrate on the calculations needed to use his magnets to get him out of this mess.
He’s not worried about trying and failing, and perhaps having his heart stop in the process; he more or less cannot think at the level needed to even try. Outside influences have greatly distracted him from saving himself.
He can only think of hanging on for dear life.
And herein lies another problem; the life he’s trying to hold onto with his fingertips isn’t based off solid ground, the freight he’s so hopelessly clinging to is looking to take him down with it as it continues to slide off the railroad tracks.
If it weren’t for the tightlock coupling connecting it to the passenger car, it’s likely that it already would have fallen. It doesn’t even end there; soon the weight of this freight will take the passenger car along for the fall, and so on and so on, all the way until there’s nothing left of the entire train.
This could quite possibly be the worst situation he’s ever found himself in.
This just might be the final page of the final chapter in the book of Jeffrey Durbin.
Yet there is still hope.
There’s a vector field that never stops emitting around Jeffrey, and when his life is in danger, it grows even stronger due to the fact that no one has the control to regulate it. If he can hold on for long enough, it might be able to magnetize his whole body into the side of the freight, and that would at least give him time to conjure up his next move.
However, there is also a downside, and that is the 50% chance that it will do the exact opposite, and repel him away from the freight at such a speed that he’ll long be putty on the ground before the bulk of the train follows him down.
Jeffrey doesn’t know that this is going on, sure, he understands how his rings work and knows that there’s a potential of such a thing happening if the situation presented itself, but he’s not thinking about it.
Instead, his focus shifted to someone up above him.
He can see her pinkish hair swaying in the intense wind, her eyes of the same color staring down at him wide and afraid.
But most of all, he notices her hand, reaching out to him in his final moments . Begging for him to grab hold.
He doesn’t ask why, nor does he even think it.
He just knows that the hand in front of him will save him.
And so he does.
Diana firmly grabs hold of his wrist, she has the rifle she took earlier pinned on the other side of the air vent with the strap wrapped around it, she uses the strap with her forearm to keep herself from falling, and with a strength she thought she never had, pulls him up to the roof.
And while doing so, she is met with a severe flash of images racing across her mind.
As though there was nothing else around her, she can clearly see and feel the images of many different moments. Ranging from being anointed a Knight of La’Juune, a first mission, all the way to a marriage proposal; she can see it as plain as day, as though they were happening to her in person.
She can see the images and feel the happiness and pain, especially when the image of a girl with almost transparent blue hair stabbing a short-blade into her flashes in her mind. And in the aftermath, she can feel the heartache and despair.
She can see it all… Jeffrey’s memories.
Diana isn’t the only one.
Jeffrey can feel it as well; the sadness upon marriage, the happiness of the birth of her children, and the loneliness of seclusion.
He saw it all, the memories of Diana Di’Vore.
It happened so suddenly that the next thing the two know, they are both on the tilted roof of the falling freight, and are looking into each other’s eyes in a daze.
“You…” Jeffrey pretty much mumbled when he let that spill out of his mouth.
Diana doesn’t respond.
This is when Jeffrey finally snaps out of it and regains his composure; he finds a solid balance point under his feet and stands up, pulling Diana up in the process.
He can finally see the calculations again.
“Grab hold of your gun and let’s go!”
The two run up the inclining freight and reach the gangway separating them from the passenger car.
He doesn’t stop running and continues to pull her along when he shouts, “Jump!”
Diana does so, only hoping that she can somehow jump high enough from such a low to reach the other side of the gap, it’s once she’s in the air that she feels something press against her butt and push her forwards.
And in mid-flight, the rifle in her arms magnetizes towards the metal top of the passenger car and sucks her to the roof’s edge. With a pretty heavy impact, she pulls herself up to the top of the roof and looks down to find Jeffrey staring back at her.
“What are you doing!?”
“I can’t let you and others go down with this damn thing, I have to unhook the coupling connecting the two cars.”
“Well can’t you at least come up here first??”
“I can’t you idiot, I don’t know if you noticed but this damn freight is pretty much hanging off the side of the track, the latch is closer to me down here.”
He’s right, because of the position of the falling freight, the latch is halfway off the entire railroad, once it fully goes off, the rest of the train will follow.
“B-But it’s dangerous!”
Jeffrey climbs down atop the gangway passageway and doesn’t hesitate to hook his legs on the railing and hang himself upside-down in order to reach the metal latch connecting the two cars.
With his head only mere inches from decapitation, he carefully maneuvers his left hand and places it between the two solid chunks of metal bound to each other and uses a negative magnetic push to separate them.
Now here’s where things get delicate.
Or rather, here’s where things get dangerous.
The walkway leading from one car to the other is connected to each cabin by weak bolts and chain links, not near enough to hold the entire weight of a falling freight. Which means Jeffrey only has a second or two to get off that thing before it is ripped to shreds and he ends up splattering onto the fast moving tracks.
As soon as he throws his head up, he hears the ominous noise of bolts flying off the hinges and screeching as they zoom by; it’s like an alarm screeching for him to get moving.
“Diana! Hold out your gun!”
And as soon as he does, he uses the positive ring in his left hand to zoom himself up towards Diana as the last demon cargo freight falls off the crumbled bridge and down the cliff along with the rest of them.
The two collide rather forcefully and fall back onto the roof, and when the two look at each other to see if they’re okay, they can finally take a huge, much needed sigh of relief.
Diana tosses the gun to the side and throws her arms over Jeffrey’s shoulders, pulling him even further into her. She doesn’t say a word, but he can feel her heavy breaths against his neck, and the pressure of her embrace is enough to show him just how happy she is that he’s alive.
He can’t help but smile, and let his tired body relax into hers when he says, “10% chance of survival.”
“Shut up, and don’t ever say that to me again.”
“Hahaha, fair enough.”
He gently pulls himself off of her and stands to his feet, turning around he watches as the rest of the bridge crumbles down the mountainside and leaves the rest of the demon freights with nowhere left to go. One by one, with speed only growing due to the force of gravity, every freight carrying hundreds of demons fall to their dooms. If the wind wasn’t so heavy, he could hear the sounds of such heavy objects landing atop themselves from such a height.
But seeing it is more than enough; he has successfully killed over 10,000 soldiers of Hell, and kept them, along with future reinforcements hoping to use this railroad from reaching the Capital of Troy.
He has kept the hopes of humanity alive.
Yet, there’s a peculiar look on his face, one that seems disinterested in such a feat.
That’s because there’s something else on his mind, and when he turns around and looks at Diana, he lets it out.
“I gotta say, you sure had one hell of a depressing life for a Queen.”
Diana blushes and stands to her feet, she puffs when she looks away and replies, “Well yours wasn’t all sunshine and smiles either.”
Jeffrey sighs and asks, ”So you saw mine too huh? I’m guessing that since the both of us couldn’t keep up with the torrent of calculations in the magnetic field, it kept us from suffering a much worse fate. We both could’ve easily died instead.”
He’s talking to the fact that since his vector field was out of his control and more than twice as powerful, by sheer luck, the two ended up reaching a connection that far outreaches anything attainable by mere physical interaction. He had even said that such a thing would be frightening. Yet this doesn’t feel like he thought it would, he’s actually quite relieved it was with her of all people.
He takes another big sigh and says, “I guess that makes us kindred spirits?”
“I think it’s more than that…”
“I didn’t just see the negative side of your life Jeff.”
“...Is that so?”
Diana walks to him, looks him in the eye and says, “You know what I’m talking about.”
He chuckles a little and says, “Then there’s nothing more to be said. And here I thought I could hide it from you. What kind of crappy luck do I have? Geez…”
He starts walking along the roof and pulls her along by her hand. As he mentioned, nothing needed to be said to confirm the feelings of the two; that is because they’ve seen, and felt the good memories along with the negative.
Unfortunately those happy memories were few and far between; but there were enough to show each other that one of few times they have been happy, have been with each other.
Jeffrey was happy with the girl with transparent blue hair, he was happy when they met, happy when they became engaged, and equally as devastated when she tried to kill him.
Diana was happy when her children were born, happy to watch them grow, and was equally as devastated when her daughters disappeared and her son deteriorated into the person he is now.
They both know what makes them happy and what made them sad.
And other than those few moments of happiness in their lives placed firmly in the back of their minds, stuck in the past where they can only reach them through fond thoughts, there is something right in front of them that make them feel the same way. And unlike the past, they can now touch it.
Jeffrey saw that Diana is happy when she's with him.
Diana saw that Jeffrey is happy when he's with her.
For two people whose lives have been shrouded in tough times and miserable situations, the fact that the two have found happiness through such darkness proves what no longer needs to be said.
Jeffrey isn’t one to admit that, and until just a few moments earlier where they shared a scientific miracle that allowed them to see deep into the other person’s thoughts, he had no intention of ever telling her. He figures that at least now he still doesn’t have to say it, so it kind of worked out in its own odd way.
“Jeff...” Diana says softly, her face flushed red.
The two make their way to the door of the passenger car when she says, “Thank you.”
Jeffrey shrugs his shoulders and replies, “I was just doing my job. Though I guess this time I should be the one thanking you here, I definitely would’ve died had you not come to the rescue.”
“Hehe, it’s good to hear you say that. I already have a few things in mind that you could do to make it up to me.”
“Fine fine, I won’t be complaining this time.”
“Are you sure about that? It could be something really embarrassing you know?”
Jeffrey takes a sigh of resignation when he replies, “I’m not really worried about that at the moment. Right now, all I want to do is get back to our seats and take a nap, my head is seriously killing me.”
Diana smiles and latches onto his shoulder when the two make their way through the door and inside; it’s as though the brutality she had just witnessed has disappeared and all forms of stress exited her body in an instant.
“Hey hey, that doesn’t mean that all the sudden I like clingy girls.”
“Well too bad, this is part of the debt.”
After the two pass through the carnage left behind in the passenger cabins, Jeffrey orders the survivors of his original 150 man force to tend to the citizens left injured after the mayhem, and then orders them to prepare to get off on the next stop in order to wait for the other groups to catch up to them.
From there, they’ll wait for Celestia and Allia’s army to rendezvous with them and they’ll have the proper numbers to all make their way towards the Capital for the final battle.
Jeffrey’s mind is filled with such thoughts as the two take a seat back into their original booth in first class. Sure he’s happy that he and Diana made it out of this whole mess safe, but he is even more pleased that the invasion of Troy can continue on unimpeded by the 10,000 demons he threw off the mountains to their deaths. If anything, things have gotten to the point where their success rate doubled what was originally predicted.
He rests his head between his arms on the table in front of him and says, “Diana, wake me up when we get there.”
“You’re really just going to go to sleep??”
“I told you that’s what I wanted to do, did I not? I’m seriously tired.”
She pouts and folds her arms when she replies, “What an inconsiderate guy you are, you know that can really affect your love life right?”
She mentioned something similar earlier that made him very angry, and this time she specifically said to it get under his skin.
To her surprise however, Jeffrey looks up to her and says, “My love life huh?” He smiles and her and puts his head back into his arms when he finishes. “I’ll tell you what, I’ll consider it.”
Not having anything to say back to that, Diana furrows her brow and throws her head on her hand, shifting her gaze back out of the window. It’s there that she sees that the train had finally made its decent off the mountain and exited the mountain range, revealing something that instantly shines in her eye and makes her excited.
“Oaahh! Jeff! Look at that!”
As if she were an annoying alarm clock he can’t find the snooze button to, Jeff is agitated when he replies with his head still in his arms, “What is it now?”
“It’s the ocean!”
Jeffrey’s heart skipped a beat upon hearing that.
“Yeah and it’s so pretty too! I haven’t seen the ocean in years!”
Jeffrey quickly jumps and sits back up in his seat, his eyes wide as he glares out of the window to see the expanse horizon of blue.
Diana doesn’t notice the shocked expression on her face and continues on with her sight-seeing like a happy tourist would.
“You didn’t tell me that we’d be riding along the ocean. What a nice surprise!”
Jeffrey’s shoulders are stiff when he replies, “…That’s because we aren’t supposed to be anywhere near it.”
Being by the sea, it means that the train hasn’t been heading north at all. Because of where his invasion force entered Troy, and where the town they originally boarded this train at, would mean that this entire time, they have been heading southwest.
Perhaps due to the ups and downs and lefts and rights of the mountain range, or perhaps he simply didn't have time to really think about it, he failed to notice that the sun wasn't in the correct position that would tell him which direction they were heading in. He just assumed that train was going north through intel he received from an outside source.
The cabin jolts when a rather loud noise like a door being unlocked is heard; and that very sound throws Jeffrey off of his seat and into the aisle.
Jeffrey doesn’t listen to her and quickly makes his way through the door on top of the roof, once again throwing himself onto the top of the train.
The smell of the sea’s salty air hits his nose as the cool wind blows on him, but he pays it no mind when the train begins to turn away from the sea and head north. It’s only now that he notices a separate set of tracks heading directly towards the ocean, and when the sound of a loud horn hits his ears, he sees it.
An entirely new train is on that set of tracks, cruising towards the water without any signs of slowing.
“What the hell is this..?”
This train is different, other than the one engine cabin leading the way, there aren’t any cars; instead they are just wooden flatbed cars, stretching for almost a mile. If that wasn’t enough of a shock, what they’re carrying certainly is.
On each of these decks are a hundred men, all clad in black and standing astute as though they were statues; the only part of their forms affected by the wind is their black robes.
That same noise is again heard, this time from behind him; he quickly turns around to find that the first class cabins carrying those who volunteered to join Satan, have separated from the coach portion of the train carrying those who were drafted.
The drafted cabins, carrying well over 2,000 people, makes a sharp turn towards the train carrying all of the men in black heading towards the sea, while the volunteer cabins in first class turn away from them and head off north.
The front car of the drafted cabins reaches the caboose of the flatbed train as it passes and like a puzzle piece, the two connect. A couple of the men in black manually hook the two vessels together through a chain coupling and in a flash, all of the men in black on that particular deck rush into the passenger cabins at once.
Even through the wind, Jeffrey can hear it; he can hear the screams of horror reverberate through those cabins that he so desperately tried to protect.
“What the hell is going on!?” he repeats himself, this time exclaiming it loudly.
The next thing he sees is hundreds of blue, purple, red, green, orange and yellow orbs come flying out of the windows and into the sky. Following their forms, he sees them disappear into a large mason jar being held by what looks to be a cat floating above.
Jeffrey can’t even think straight, what he’s seeing is so far beyond the stretches of his imagination, he can only stare on in a daze as he and the cat make eye contact with each other and it smiles at him. And following that cat, are dozens of other little creatures floating in the air, all of whom are carrying jars as well and are collecting those orbs just like the cat.
Now Jeffrey’s gaze shifts back towards the train, he can’t comprehend the monsters above him, but he can make sense of the direction in which the train is heading. At the speed they’re going, the won’t have time to stop before they crash into the ocean. It’s then that he looks on ahead sees something that shocks him just as much as the spectacle involving the orbs of light.
It’s a railroad.
And it’s impossibly stretching along a bridge like structure that travels so far into the ocean that it disappears over the horizon.
If Jeffrey knew of what happened on the shores of Eiyalazo just a few days earlier, he’d be able to piece together what it was that the demons of that giant metallic ship were building. He’d be able to fully grasp what those soldiers saw before that metal ship blew them to pieces.
The thing is, Jeffrey didn’t need to see it to know that the railroad track in front of him is shipping bad news towards Diana’s homeland. He can safely assume that after watching the back of the passenger train connect with those men in black, means that Satan hadn’t planned for the demons in the freights to return back to the Capital for protection; it rather meant that Satan was planning out his own full on invasion.
Sure it means that Jeffrey has wiped out more than half of the invasion force, but that doesn’t change the fact that such a large number of soldiers invading Eiyalazo at once from such an obscure location won’t have the chance of crushing them.
What’s worse, is that Jeffrey doesn’t know that those men in black are far stronger than the demons he and his allies have already faced. If he knew what had happened with his fellow Knights in the north, if he knew what had happened during the second battle of Tronoble, if he knew that a huge chunk of the ships from WORLD’s naval armada was hijacked by these men in black. If he knew any of it, he’d come to realize that the 10,000 demons he managed to stop, are nothing in comparison to all of these monsters making their way towards Dice.
If he knew what had happened everywhere else, he’d fully come to understand just how dark the outlook of the homelands left behind by WORLD is.
Satan and WORLD have both sent invasion forces towards each other’s Capitals before each had the knowledge that either side was even invading. Both of them gambled their strongest soldiers on attacking each other right in the heart, and are now ensnared it a race against one another.
Whoever can successfully pull off their Capital Attack, wins.
Here is where Jeffrey begins to finally become nervous. He doesn’t know whether or not his forces will win in a race against Satan’s, but he does know that Satan is better prepared for them, than they are for him. As he can surely guess, Satan is heading to the more vulnerable Northern countries as well. No one up there can withstand any kind of attack from soldiers of Hell, especially not after sending almost every one of their soldiers south with WORLD.
There’s one loss right there.
He’s not confident in Dice’s ability to protect his people, he’s not even confident Dice could protect himself. Not with that body, not with that head.
He pretty much chalks Eiyalazo up as a loss as well.
As for La’Juune, he sees that as a last bastion of hope. If La’Juune falls, WORLD falls. He’s sure that without La’Juune, humanity has no chance of surviving this war; everything rides on them.
Since there is only one Knight left stationed there, it all rides on London and the decisions he makes; to Jeffrey, that in and of itself is too much of a deciding factor for him to feel any sense of security.
He can’t confidently say that La’Juune will make it out of this one either.
Jeffrey throws his face into the palm of his hands and lets his thoughts eat at him; his mind is racing a million miles a second and doesn’t know what to do next.
This is when Diana’s soft voice is heard from behind him.
The look of concern on her face as she pokes her head through the hatch is enough to eat at Jeffrey’s very soul.
How is he supposed to tell her that there’s an invasion force approaching her son by way of a railroad crossing over the sea? How is he supposed to tell her that she might not have a home to return to? How is he supposed to tell her that everything is going to be alright, when he himself doubts the outcome?
The truth is, he can’t.
He can’t tell her about the looming doom on a collision course towards Dice.
He can’t tell her that it’ll be okay.
He can’t tell her either one, because he refuses to tell her that. He absolutely won’t tell her.
“Diana...” he says, his voice slightly cracking due to the surge of raw emotion coursing through every fiber of his being. “...I’m sorry.”
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