"Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god…" The young soldier chanted
his mantra over and over as he scrambled through the dark, smoke
blocking out what little emergency light the military bunker had in
place. He clenched the butt of his gun, his hands trembling so much
he feared he might drop it. And he didn't dare drop it. Not with
that… *machine* on the loose.
The ground beneath him heaved with a silent explosion. The part of
his mind that was still working told him the Leo hanger must been
hit. He was too far underground to hear the actual explosion, but the
dust and debris that rained down on his head told him all he needed
There'd been a Gundam attack. His comrades were most likely dead.
He'd joined OZ full of dreams and ideals of how the world should
be governed, and he had wanted to be part of the glorious
organization that would bring order to the chaotic world in which
they lived. He had hoped to someday achieve some minor rank in order
to make his family, and Jenny, proud. If he worked hard, perhaps
someday soon he might have enough standing and money saved up to ask
Jenny to marry him. He'd been one of the top cadets in his class,
and his future had been looking bright…
Until the Gundam showed up and took everything away in a ball of
blazing yellow and white light.
He'd been in the soldier's mess when the attack began.
Fortunately he'd been near the exit when the disabled Leo had
crashed through the roof, killing his friends and a good portion of his
commanding officers. The collapse had caved in a portion of the roof,
blocking his exit from the complex altogether. The elevators had not
been working of course. The only way to go had been… down.
The halls were filled with smoke and dust. The power had gone out
when the complex above collapsed. The emergency lights could not
quite penetrate the smoky air. He heaved in a huge breath, choking on
the dust. There was an emergency exit near the south entrance he
could use, if only he could make his way through the dark to get
He ducked around the corner, breathing a sigh of relief as he
realized the stairway to the exit was just two corridors over. He
took a step forward, but his foot caught on something large and
heavy, sending him crashing face forward to the ground. Instinctively
his hands shot out to brace himself for the impact. They landed in
something sticky and warm. He lifted his hands as the smoke cleared
enough to let a dim ray of light shine down from above. His eyes
widened as he stared at his hands.
Blood. There was so much blood. He looked down. A pool of blood was
flowing from the mutilated face of what had been Private Jansen. At
least he thought it was Jansen. The eyes were gone, the nose was
carved in two, and… there was something in his mouth…
He bent over and wretched as he realized what it was. He glanced at
the private's groin area just to be sure. A bloody hole in the
jumpsuit told him he'd been correct in his assumption. He looked
away again quickly, and scrambled backwards to put as much distance
between himself and the… corpse as possible.
His hand hit something else that was again soft and sticky. Glancing
over his shoulder, he saw another body. This time he couldn't
even tell who the poor bastard had been. The face was gone as though
something large and sharp had sheared it away, then left the body to
drop where it had stood.
He wrenched his hand away from the body and flew to his feet. The
smoke cleared again, and he nearly screamed as he saw the hallway
littered with bodies, all in similar states of mutilation. Then it
dawned on him. The corridor was mostly intact. These men had not died
from a cave-in of the ceiling, or even of asphyxiation. He glanced at
Jansen's bloody corpse. Someone – or *something* - had done
this to them. Something… that could still be lurking in the
With a cry he forced himself forward, stumbling over bodies and
*parts* of bodies in a desperate attempt to get to the exit. Whatever
had killed all those men, he had no desire to meet a similar fate in
the dark. He had to get out, had to escape, had to see Jenny…
The lights went out. He stopped dead in his tracks, the wild thumping
of his heart and the raggedness of his breath were the only sounds he
could hear. He felt something move behind him. He whirled around, but
in the dark could see nothing. He held his breath, straining to hear
if anything was in the corridor with him.
He took a hesitant step forward. Then another. Then another.
He screamed as the voice dripped the words from the darkness into his
ear. He turned, fingers clenching for the gun, only to discover he
must have dropped it when he'd tripped over Jansen. He
backpedaled into the wall, holding up his hands in a futile gesture
to ward off whoever – whatever – had spoken.
The thing laughed, and he knew in an instant that whatever stood
before him could not be human. The laugh turned his blood to ice. He
stood frozen in place as the figure stepped forward.
"Wh… what are you?!" he cried as the thing reached out a
cold hand and wrapped it around his throat.
"I am Shinigami." The lights flickered, and all he could see
was a pair of glittering, cold eyes. "I am Death. And I've
come to take you to hell."
The lights flickered again, and he screamed. He screamed and he
screamed and he screamed. And when the lights went out again, only
the echo of the scream and a new pool of blood remained.