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The Legendary Living Hellfire


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Circa 2009

 

The phone buzzed on the end-table, snatched up immediately. "Echm... Hello?"

"Constable Chris Williamson?" 
"Yes"

"Constable, this is Audrey Kline with a priority directive for forced overtime as issued by the Commissioner's office. You are directed to report to your depot at Talos Island immediately for crowd control and public safety due to a Rikti incursion."

A pause...

"I understand."

 

****

 

The police depot in Talos Island was mayhem. The desk sergeant was beyond help, frantically attempting to triage phone calls from incoming senior officers demanding information, while at the same time attempting to direct inbound police members to their assigned duties. Constable Williamson didn't even bother trying to engage them, instead navigating the tide of fellow police as they rushed to and from various assignations he lifted his head in an attempt to find someone who might be able to give him some indication of what was happening.

 

"Hey, kid"

 

"Charlie!" Chris exclaimed. Charlie Taylor stood at Chris' shoulder, the very picture of poise and operational control. Chris assumed he was about 50 or so, but never asked, figured it wasn't his business. "What's going on, Charlie? Something about a Rikti incursion? I thought that was all handled. Why is this happening now, almost ten years after the fact?" The older man shrugged, offering a grin "Does it really matter? We've been called to duty, we have civilians to protect and defend. Just follow orders and you'll be fine."

 

***

 

Just to the North of the train station in Talos Island is a hill. It offers a wide panorama from all sides. The Warriors and Tsoo had predictably vacated the area leaving an unobstructed view of the obvious kill-box. Constable Chris Williamson had been assigned to hold the Talos Hill against the incursion and, given that he was not a stupid man understood immediately that he was the bait for the trap. Sgt. Taylor seemed to sense this as they mounted the hill, giving him a wink. The hill itself was relatively peaceful. The sandbags were shorn up, it was organized and the police contingent were well-placed and aimed downhill. The PCPD ring about the top of the hill was armed with C8 fully automatic assault rifles capable of firing eight hundred 5.56 ACP rounds a minute at thirty-two hundred feet per second. Steely-eyed and prepared for battle, the men and women on that hill were informed and prepared.

 

It began the way these things always begin, unexpectedly. Energy drinks were tossed to the ground, granola bars were dropped and weapons were gripped. "Drop your weapons and surrender!" shouted Captain Patel. "You will be treated humanely and with respect but if you behave aggressively we will open fire!"

 

The Rikti opened fire.

 

The PCPD fired back. The rounds bounced, almost as though the Rikti had prepared their personal force-fields against ballistic rounds. Chris watched as his fellow officers were mowed down by energy weapons. Huddled behind the sand bags he happened to glance skywards, catching a glimpse of something he almost recognized as flame.

 

"Where's the Freedom Phalanx!?" He screams to his senior officer. Charlie shruggs, having no answer. "Why are Citadel and Luminary just standing there, Charlie?"

 

"I don't fucking know, Chris! Alright!" The fear in Sgt. Taylor's eyes are more than apparent now to the junior officer. "We were given orders and we will follow them, do you understand, Constable?!"

 

The keening sound in the air increased.

 

"Yes, sir!" Cried the officer as he leveled his rifle and took aim.

 

There's nothing quite like the sound barrier being broken. It's a horrendous sound that can shatter eardrums and windows alike, and indeed it did. The windows of nearby buildings erupted, splashing inwards to destroy lobbies and very expensive couches. Cars immediately erupt into intrusion alarms, screaming their distress and the police officers on that hill in Talos Island wearing ear-plugs and ear defenders slam their hands to their ears as Hellfire erupts from the heavens to rain down from the sky along the Eastern side of the hill.

 

A torrent of flame and destruction floods down onto the Rikti, obliterating their Eastern advance to the Hill. Armour melts and the sound of digital cries of anguish and pain flood the radio traffic, forcing the police whose channels had been co-opted by the invading force, to slam their hands to their ears once more. A carpet of Hellfire, hotter than any flame drapes its way across the invaders, forcing them to their knees as The Man on Fire climbs into the sky, gaining altitude and banking right, leaving the melted mass in his wake. The officers atop the hill are forced to shield their faces from the heat as the smell of charred flesh and superheated alien metals permeate the air.
 

Sgt. Taylor recognizes the tactical advantage immediately, shouting "All officers to the North end!" Without hesitation all officers shift, slamming their shoulders into the sandbags against the North end of the Hill. Portals open in the parking lot next to the Infront Steakhouse and Rikti climb through. The ensuing gunfire is deafening once more. Support officers rush to supply front-line members with additional ammunition while medics drag casualties from the front line with the desperate hope that they might be able to save them from energy burns.

 

"Hold!" Screams Sgt. Taylor, as the keening in the sky begins again. Chris has no time to deliberate or argue, the Rikti are climbing the hill. As the first soldier reaches the apex of the climb, Constable Chris Williamson steps out, rifle in hand to engage in hand-to-hand combat. It's a big bastard, sword in one hand and side-arm in the other, it swings. Chris sips a breath and rolls under the swing, coming up and landing three rounds into the back of his attacker. His attacker is unimpressed.

The line is collapsing and the Rikti monster staggers under the impact of a barrage of kinetic flame as The Man on Fire soars past, strafing the officer's adversary and laying a barrage of flaming projectiles into the oncoming Rikti host, pushing them back against the short cliff-face at the North end of the square. Cst. Williamson immediately presses his advantage. He fires a round into the centre mass of his enemy, staggering his foe. Another round into the knee of the invader, causing it to pause. Another round to the head, putting it down. He rejoins his squad, nodding to Sgt. Taylor as he slams his shoulder into the sandbag once more.

 

Once more the air sings, as though tearing the very fabric of reality to shreds as the Man on Fire hammers himself down onto the North End of Talos Hill. The explosion is beyond comprehension. The members of the PCPD hunker down behind their bunker as reality erupts in flames. Cst. Williamson would report later that his only memory of that moment is crouching down behind the barricade and hearing a lone voice in an obvious Scottish brogue shout "BURN!!". The Rikti invaders are nothing more than molten metal and shattered glass, not that the PCPD officers notice as they frantically attempt to beat out little spot fires caused by the explosive heat generated by the inferno.

 

"SHIFT!" Cries Sgt. Taylor as the PCPD officers slam their shoulders against the South end of the Talos Hill. Cst. Williamson eyes Citadel and Luminary as they stand at their post, doing nothing, affecting no interest in defending the city they were sworn to protect. He casts his eyes skyward once more, hoping beyond hope that he would see that burnt orange flame, his only hope. The only hope he could rely on for the defense of his kin and he was not disappointed. The Angel on Fire scorches his way towards the interlopers.

But he stops. He floats above the invaders, saying nothing. They seem to talk amongst themselves, not advancing, despite the fact that there are no small number of people observing them. The Man on Fire crosses his arms, saying nothing as the invaders pause their advance. The dialect amongst the aliens is digital and incomprehensible, but the message is clear; there will be no victory for them this day.

 

"Who is that?" Chris asks his mentor. Sgt. Taylor pauses for a moment "Y'remember that time about five years ago? At the high school in Steel Canyon, with the Malta?" Chris nods "Remember how there was a teacher that went missing, we never found him among all the bodies?" Chris nods again. "I think that's the guy."

 

Cst. Williamson stares up at the figure floating in mid-air, wreathed in Hellfire. "Are you telling me that you think that that's The Living Hellfire?"

 

His senior officer nods. "Yep... I do. And I think he's here to help."

 

"That's the guy? That's amazing!"

 

There's a short silence as the Rikti lower their weapons. The portals open once more and the invaders slink back into their dimension.

 

"No... " Charlie Taylor looks at his friend "That's Legendary."

Edited by Living_Hellfire
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-The Legendary Living Hellfire

"The newest person in the room is always the most important person in the room"

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