(WP) Humanity’s Last Hope

(WP) Humanity’s Last Hope

The coppery iron tang of blood permeates the air as I walk around the bodies of the fallen, my brothers and sisters, and the animal shrieks of the enemy shatter the silence, with a steady beat of their footsteps coming toward me. This is everything that we trained for, and though I am acquainted with Death, I never imagined that I would be finishing the final battle alone.

The outer ring of the city, that walls that guard The Capitol, have crumbled, crushed to dust by the demon horde, all the work of our ancestors gone in an instant. We’ve done everything in our power to prepare, and still it isn’t enough.

Maybe it never was to begin with. Perhaps we never had a chance of victory at all. But I won’t just lie down and let the monsters win. If I’m going to go out, I’m going to make damn sure that I take as many demons and hellspawn with me as I possibly can.

The berserker rage that I’ve been taught to tap into threatens to take hold, and my vision begins to film scarlet, as I think of everyone who died in this battle. The instructors, the younger kids, and my own class, slain in less than the space of a finger snap. Hopelessness threatens to drown me, locking an iron grip around my throat, and at last, I open my mouth and let myself vocalize my loss; by the time that I’m finished, my throat is raw, ripped to shreds from unshed tears.

“YOU WANT A FIGHT?! COME GET ME, YOU DEMONIC BASTARDS! FREE LUNCH!”

At my summons, some of the demons fall out of line, heads swiveling to find the source of the noise.

Leading the pack is a creature that is an unholy marriage between a cobra and a human woman, poison-green scales glinting in the dying sunlight. It’s close to nighttime, and without any backup, throwing myself into a huge group of Hell’s worst lineup is nothing less than suicide, but I can’t say that I don’t welcome it. What’s the point of living on if everyone I love is gone?

She hisses, fangs bared into a bloody grin, forked tongue tasting the air. Her slit yellow eyes are upon me, and soon her comrades get the same idea and begin to follow.

Showtime.

I pull out the first weapon I can get out of the holsters on my back, a pair of short scythes sharpened to wicked points. I throw one of them, end over end, and it lands in the snake-woman’s skull with a nasty crunch, the blade sticking out of her head as her screams, high-pitched and full of pain, die; she melts into a black puddle of ooze and ichor, and I’m running, flying, retrieving the weapon from her body.

It’s a mistake to turn my back, though, because soon I’m surrounded. No matter; with the adrenaline pumping through me and my rage making me strike true, I can do it all the way until sundown. Or I die. Whichever comes first.

A wolf-man runs at me on all fours, howling to its pack, but I jump, reaching up for a light pole and pulling myself up on top of it. I stand above the teeming, looming evil before me, and I put my scythes back where they belong. Something more long range is suited from up here.

Even as my rage and loss bubble up inside of me, I take comfort in the fact of my training; I know what to do with my eyes closed. I was meant for this life, and even if I die, I can go to my grave satisfied that at least I tried my hardest.

There’s a chorus of vicious, angry snarls, and soon the demons get the bright idea to try and follow me up here.

Maniacal laughter pours from my lips, unable to be contained any longer, and that’s my only accompaniment to this insane symphony as I take out a spear that’s sharp and pointed like a harpoon, with a glittering silver tip. I let fly and laugh when blood splatters all over the pole and the ground.

But soon I am overrun, my laughter is replaced by screams of agony, and the only thing that I see is the dark cloud of evil that is descending from the sky.

**