Et Sic Incipit III. Ranger I

I have no clue who’ll eventually read this, so I’ll say a little caveat before I begin. Some of you may be reading my story to learn confidential information about the SVRA. Rather than trying to make you waste your time, I’ll warn you that you probably won’t find any secrets to sell. Others could be genuinely interested in the SRVA and the agents’ backstories. If you belong in the latter you need to BACK OFF. I didn’t write these entries for your gossip column. I wrote them for plenty of reasons, but mostly because that annoying dude in black told me to. Pain lanced through my brain with each step I took. The cool night air was a temporary cure to the headache, but the reason I had one still stung and my anger was fresh. Doing school work was fine and all, but it was hard to focus while my parents yell at each other… and at me. I’m almost jealous of Jason and Cyner. After shit with their parents, they just got up and left. They have their own apartments. Sometimes I’d just run off into the woods at night to be alone and away from the tension. My house was in a great spot, I suppose, and it might still be, if I ever return. The house itself isn’t large, but it is surrounded by hundreds of acres of forest, which makes for a quiet midnight walk… when I’m lucky. The sky was cloudy, but the moon shed enough light to cast long, shifty shadows from the trees blowing in the wind. The forest was a town-owned park, and signs had been posted saying that it closed at sunset, but there were no walls or gates to keep me out.

That being said, it was a park in Connecticut. The worst animals you would hear about are coyotes, who piss in their pants at the first sight of a human, and every now and then a rumor of a mountain lion. Honestly, the most dangerous creatures in the forest were other people, and the gangs. Supers complicated the situation. Some, I might not hate, but quite a few of the others could’ve killed me before I had time to make up my mind about them.

Super Villains were known to go out in the streets more freely at night, so most smart people stay inside. As for the villains themselves, a normal human like me wouldn’t have stood a chance against one of them. But, I mean, come on, they all have much more important places to skulk around than a park after hours.

The night hides things, but it allows me to focus on the sounds of the forest. People are scared of them, and jump at every twig, but if there truly was danger, it would be easy to tell. A squirrel can make a racket in piles of leaves, but a man stumbling through trees snapping branches as he goes is an entirely different type of sound. In this case the man was moving slowly, making no attempt at stealth. From the pauses between sounds I could guess that he was stumbling along, almost falling. This was pretty weird, but considering that many of the people who come to this park were druggies and drunks, I wasn’t too worried. They were usually too busy getting stoned to bother anyone else, but he kept moving towards me and he was acting strange, even for someone who had just gotten high. I reverted to an old classic for meeting possible drunks in a park.

“Hi there! Want to be frie-”

I stopped instantly when his pace changed. He hunched over more, angling his weight forward, and began to charge.

It was awkward, as if he couldn’t decide between using two legs or four, but don’t get me wrong. He was fast. I had no time to escape him. His eyes were dark in their sockets and he was twitching as he moved.

/Dang, always hated fast zombies…/

His left arm seemed to be growing slightly. I considered trying to flee but that ship had sailed. Now, all I had time to do was pick up a nearby fallen branch. I was an athletic guy, I could do push ups or run a mile as well as any dude, but my assailant wasn’t just strong, he moved with a stride and power that came from insanity. I could hardly plan what to do next when he emerged from the shadows and was upon me. It crossed over a patch of moonlight and showed a face that was unnatural and horrifying. Humanoid in nature, it had hair sprouting from everywhere and its mouth sagged on one side. On that side, where normal teeth should be, there were long yellow fangs. The left arm had claws and was growing muscle and hair, but it was also shifting into a leg that was designed to support a creature on all fours. The freak of nature caused adrenaline to pump through my veins so suddenly that my vision became foggy for a moment. The next second he, no, it pounced forward, shifting its weight to support itself like a beast.

I will say this to the medical credit of adrenaline, it sure makes you forget about a headache. Either my brain was working again or my instincts were kicking in, but whichever it was, it did its job. I rolled to the side, braced my arm on a tree and swung down around it in a crouch. This forced the beast to turn around and kill its momentum. I knew I couldn’t run, so I leapt while it was still recovering from its charge, ramming the jagged end of the branch into the left side of the beast’s rib cage. The stick stuck there, but the force snapped it in half leaving me with an even shorter weapon. It was already recovering from the stab wound while howling (literally howling) in pain. It came at me with renewed ferocity and desperation. I blinked, and the mismatched fangs sunk into my right arm. The weight of the beast bowled me over into the dirt. With my other arm I grabbed the remains of my makeshift spear and stabbed at the beast’s throat. The stick was sharp where it had snapped and it slid through the sinew and muscle. My mind was blurred from the irrational pain of the bite, so I ran the stick through its neck time and again until blood soaked my arms and my t-shirt.

With an effort, I hefted the corpse off of me. As it died it looked less and less like a beast. After a minute or so, it looked like a man, leaving me to wonder if I had just killed an ordinary drunk. My bite marks twinged, and I was reassured. I finally managed to heave myself up with the support of a nearby sapling.

/Oh damn there’s my headache again./.

My arm was still throbbing, but at least blood had stopped pouring out. The beast had savaged my arm just above the elbow and a dark red line was creeping under my skin towards my chest from the bite. The pain was growing in my arm and starting out in new areas. My mind blanked and I blacked out from the pain not much longer.

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5 thoughts on “Et Sic Incipit III. Ranger I

  1. The forest was a town owned park and signs had been posted saying that it closed at sunset, but there were no walls or gates to keep me out.

    town-owned park, and

    It was already recovering while howling (literally howling) from where I had stabbed it.

    It reads like the howling is coming from the wound in its ribs.

  2. Pingback: Et Sic Incipit III. Exile II | There Are No Heroes

  3. Pingback: Et Sic Incipit III. Ranger II | There Are No Heroes

  4. “My mind blanked and I blacked out from the pain not much longer.”
    Incomplete sentence or perhaps “not much longer” wasn’t supposed to be there? Or how about “My awareness faded as I blacked out from the pain.”?

    Thanks for the chapter! ^_^

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