Alpha, p.25Daniel Schmidt
The liquid burned as it entered my body and no matter how hard I fought, I could not extract myself from Otto’s grasp. As the last of the liquid entered my body, he pulled me close.
“This is the blood of the Prophet. You will become stronger and faster, your senses will heighten and you will become one of us… Welcome to the brotherhood Paul.”
The pain was so great I couldn’t speak and Otto let me fall to the ground. I clawed at my chest, trying in vain to stop the pain from spreading. It worked its way into my shoulders and down into my stomach. Then suddenly the pain went away and was replaced by a tingling sensation. I let my body relax and Otto stepped over me, and a huge smile spread across his face.
“I will come back up this hill in a few minutes. Have your men stand down and be prepared to hand over the Alvar.”
Otto turned and started walking back down the hill. I tore open my shirt, searching around the puncture mark. I felt my face but couldn’t feel anything. Panic started in my stomach and quickly spread to the rest of my body. Otto’s words echoed in my head. Welcome to the brotherhood Paul.
Images of Otto’s marbled skin, eyes, and the gray streaks on his face flashed in my mind. Would I turn into a monster? Would I turn on the Alvar, on the men?
I ran back up the hill as fast as I could. Walter rose, and when his eyes met mine I saw no concern. Maybe it took time to change. Walter handed me a detonator, which was connected to all the C4 charges. My hand shook as I held it and I dared not look at Denise. Sweat poured into my eyes and my stomach churned in pain. I waited for something to change, for me to feel something, to mutate. But I only felt fear.
I knelt behind a tree and my eyes searched nervously for the crested helmets. My free hand ran over my skin and face searching for change. I prayed I would not change, that I wouldn’t turn on my men, on Denise. I forced myself to look down the hill.
Walter had placed an orange strip of fabric on the back side of a tree to mark the line of C4. I looked down at my shaking hands and hoped no one else saw them. The potent mix of fear and rage was overpowering. I held my hands against my stomach but before long I felt my whole body shake.
I mustered all the courage I had to speak; even with everything I had, my voice quivered as I yelled.
“The Alphas can be killed, they will be killed. Ram your blade into them and they will die. Hold firm and you will see tomorrow.”
I remembered something my first squad leader in the army had always told me. “Our grandfathers will have to wait for us in Valhalla because we are not yet ready to die. Our work is not yet done. Eine, make your grandfathers proud for they are watching.”
I stopped yelling as I saw a crested helmet appear. I closed my eyes for a second and all I could see was Otto’s face. I opened my eyes and saw the entire line of Alphas coming towards us. Captain Otto was in the center, leading them.
I yelled, “Al!” and the men answered weakly at first with “Var.”
I yelled it again and their voices grew stronger. I yelled at the top of my lungs and the men matched me.
We continued to yell and Otto stopped.
“Paul, stand down!” he shouted several times.
I cursed at him. “You’re going to have to kill us.” I stood and raised his broken mask above my head and screamed. It was our proof that we could stand and fight an Alpha, that they were not invincible. It was our symbol of defiance and I let out a final “Al!” The men screamed their final “Var” and kept it going for quite some time.
I heard Otto roar. He took the sword from his back and charged.
I lay down behind the tree and it was only a few seconds before the line of Alphas was parallel with the line of C4. I took the detonator in both my shaking hands and slammed it together three times.
The explosion was deafening, the concussion and pressure from the blast extremely painful. I felt it reverberate through my entire body, even down the bottoms of my teeth. Shrapnel tore through the air above our heads and impacted around us. Dust, debris, and tree limbs followed soon afterward. I kept low for a few seconds and then looked up.
In front of us, trees fell and pieces of wood and rock flew everywhere. Dust was heavy where the charges had been. As I had instructed them to do, the men threw smoke grenades to further screen our movements.
I rose and rushed forward into the dust and smoke and everyone followed close behind. I couldn’t see more than a foot in front of me but as long as I continued downhill I knew we were going in the right direction. I broke out of the dust and smoke halfway down the hill and I glanced behind me and saw the men close behind.
The Alphas had left no one at their armored trucks and as they fumbled around in the dust and smoke on the hill searching for us, we piled into their already running vehicles. We tore off down the highway, towards the original roadblock that had stopped us. The Legion there fired on us but their bullets had no effect.
The huge armored vehicles plowed through their barricades and vehicles. The men opened up the rear doors and fired back at the Legion, making sure they didn’t pursue us. I had found my way into the front passenger’s seat of the lead truck and I leaned over to look at myself in the mirror. To my relief I saw nothing different about myself, no different eye color, no marbled skin, no gray streaks. Not yet at least.
I realized I had kept a hold of Otto’s mask the entire time. I looked down at it and I could hear Otto’s words yet again. Welcome to the brotherhood Paul.
Alpha by Daniel Schmidt / Actions & Adventure / Thrillers & Crime have rating 4.8 out of 5 / Based on19 votes