They’d finally been able to do it. The Tower had been destroyed, Heroes Vale was in ruins and every person that The Last Heroes had pledged to defend was dead; killed by the pettiness and spite of lesser men. Although those under their protection were gone, and the order was in tatters, the scum from The Town had made one mistake; they’d left one of the heroes alive, and Savage would make them pay for their sloppiness.
Savage knew he’d only survived because of the Heroic Vengeance protocol. It had long been known that the people of the Town were capable of anything, so the protocol had been created to ensure that there would always be one hero, no matter what happened.
A hardened shelter had been constructed far beneath The Tower and whenever the Conclave was in session and the Heroes at their most vulnerable, one of them would go to the shelter, and this time it had been Savage.
He settled his shoulder holster and rested his hand for a moment on the grip of his massive black pistol, Justice. They were going to pay, not just for this but for every foul misdeed that had ever been committed in the name of The Boss. The Town, and their callous, indifferent leader had been a blight on this world for far too long, and he intended to something about it, or die trying. Savage was almost overcome with rage at the destruction laid out before him.
Whatever had destroyed Heroes Vale, it had been big, and it had been a spectacle, so Savage knew that at least some of the forces responsible were nearby, they wouldn’t be able to help themselves; if he knew anything about them, they’d probably filmed the whole thing. The Town had a reputation among those settlements that remained not only for being spiteful and petty, but also being vicious, vengeful, self-deluded, and very thin skinned when it came to being humbled. The Last Heroes had, it seemed, foiled the plans of The Boss one too many times and he had decided to deal with the problem in the most overblown way possible and had almost certainly had an advance team record the events for him to gloat over.
Savage needed to move fast. He wanted to catch up to the team before they got back to The Town and he intended to kill them all. It was the only way to stop them. They wouldn’t learn, they were incapable of it and deadly violence was the only thing they understood. It wasn’t exactly the most heroic line of thinking, but there was no longer any conclave to mitigate his more aggressive tendencies.
It didn’t take him long to find their tracks, they’d made no effort to conceal them. It was over confidence, or ineptitude, perhaps even a little of both. This suspicion was cemented a moment later when he heard some sporadic shouts of excitement, random gunfire and a single explosion off in the distance. If they kept that up, he wouldn’t need tracks to follow.
The pair laughed raucously as the round from the bazooka hit the cliff face, triggering a landslide of rocks and assorted detritus to come sliding down into the wooded valley, startling the local wildlife into flight.
“I don’t know about you Harvey, but I feel pretty bloody awesome.”
“Damn right! We were there when those hero knobs were finally snuffed out. Those guys were dangerous, and we were there, right in harms way; we’re a right pair of tough guys.”
Dennis simply nodded, with a big ear to ear grin plastered across his face and threw the bazooka to one of the men that the pair thought of as nothing more than expendable cronies.
“Let’s go fellow tough guy,” Harvey added, doing finger guns at his friend.
The pair turned and began walking to where they’d parked the transport, simply expecting the rest to follow. They’d had to park a good distance away, so their arrival wasn’t clocked, and none of them had enjoyed the walk in; there was no direct road from The Town to here, so it had been a tough slog. Dennis breathed a sigh of relief when they crested a small ridge and spotted the rugged ATV hidden in the gulley.
“We are tough guys,” he said, after a near five-minute break in the conversation, “but I’m the toughest.”
“Frig off Dennis. Everyone knows I’m tougher.”
“In your dreams mate. They probably can’t even remember your name, because they’re too distracted by my awesomeness,” Dennis retorted.
“Distracted by your face more like,” Harvey said,with a grin. “You look like a …” That was as far as he got before the panicked shouts from those behind the pair began.
Harvey and Dennis both turned to see what was going on. Three of their ten soldiers were on the ground and it was clear that they wouldn’t be getting up again any time soon. A fourth dropped as a man leapt from the cover of the trees and did a power slide into the midst of the remaining soldiers. Taking advantage of the panic Savage deftly unscrewed the silencer, cast it aside and fired two more shots. The first ricocheted off the helmet of a soldier and caught the man next to him in the leg, and the second killed the wounded soldier with a perfectly placed shot to the head.
“We outnumber him you idiots,” Dennis shouted at the five soldiers running around like headless chickens, “shoot the bugger.”
The remaining soldiers pulled themselves together, at least up to a point when they realised they still had the numbers to gang up. Poorly aimed gunfire sheeted towards Savage as the soldiers emptied their rifles in an effort to bring the hero down. Support fire from Harvey and Dennis killed another soldier, causing a snort of laughter from both men, despite the seriousness of the situation.
Savage leapt to his feet, sprung forward and Judo chopped the nearest man in the neck, causing him to drop like a sack of spuds. Before the man had hit the ground Savage was moving again, combat rolling towards the nearest men and unleashing another salvo of deadly gunfire.
Harvey and Dennis were far enough from the action to see that the writing was on the wall. There were only two of the soldiers still standing, one of them was running away and the other was so blinded with terror that he was attempting to reload his empty rifle with a half empty water canteen while begging for his life.
The pair didn’t wait to see what happened to their remaining men, they just turned and legged while there was still something to distract the combat monster that would end them as completely as their team had been ended.
Savage surveyed the carnage he’d wrought and nodded grimly. He felt nothing but hate for the soldiers he’d just killed. He just wished there’d been more of them. The army from The Town had shoddy discipline and were poorly trained, with the only thing going for them being their numbers and lack of moral compass; he could’ve taken three times as many and barely broken a sweat.
He released the magazine from his pistol, letting it drop to the floor and slammed in a fresh one. Justice was a powerful weapon, but that power compromised its capacity and all the shooting must’ve nearly emptied it.
“Clumsy, Savage,” he growled. What if he’d run dry at the wrong time? The red mist had descended, and he’d lost his focus and that was when mistakes happened.
He quickly searched the bodies for anything of use and set off in the direction of the fleeing transport.
“It’s a start.”