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The Devil’s Grotto
A small but sleek camouflaged helicopter zigzagged between Shandong’s lush mountains. It began to slow down as it drew near a cave cleverly tucked away in a particularly large mountain’s side. Nico’s gravelly voice grated through the speakers.
“Team we’re approaching Cave Xeender. Check all equipment and get ready for landing!” The team carefully checked over their precious equipment for the seven hundredth time before adjusting the straps on their parachutes. A small strawberry blonde woman near the head of the group checked over everyone’s gear before speaking into her mike.
“Mike check Nico, Nancy, Steve.” Pushing her cropped hair to one side she waited as the others gave their confirmation.
“Nico remember if we haven’t called you before 1400 hours check in. If we still haven’t made contact retreat and fly back to headquarters. Understood?” The older man sighed heavily.
Captain had given these commands practically the whole two hour ride there.
“Yes Captain. Understood.” The pixie like woman nodded before turning to her two team members.
“Steve you know what you have to do. If you run into any trouble don’t try and be a hero. Let us know and we’ll figure it out.” The tall muscular man scoffed, his rugged face turning into a smirk.
“Sandy this is a simple mission. Grab the gold, snatch the uraniuminxathide and I recover the documents. “
His easy words irked the stringent captain. She adjusted her shades and replied just as coolly,
“If you are captured, take the pill. We must keep Caeli Bellatores information away from the Chinese government and especially the Infernum Bruti.” Nico’s face went solemn as they all hid the cyanide pills in their upper right pockets.
“Playtime is over.” Sandy jumped out of the helicopter and her two team members followed suit quickly. The interlocked hands and fell using standard skydiving formation, spiraling towards a large grassy spot near the mouth of the cave.
Sandy’s curt voice emanated from the mikes, “Pull the parachutes!” All three pulled simultaneously on the cords and the trio floated to the grassy patch and landed safely.
“Nico go now. I doubt Nancy and I will be done by the time you steal the documents so if we’re not in the spot waiting, come in and help.” Sandy got out the industrial carts from her black backpack while Nico slinked off into the mountain’s foliage. Nancy, a Brazilian native of average height, shouldered her pack containing the instruments they needed to get the valuables out of the cave and into the carts. Sandy beckoned towards the dark cinnamon haired woman and they creeping towards the entrance.
“There shouldn’t be any guards there but let me check before we head in.” Sandy pulled a twig like microscopic camera and placed it on the ground. Using the controller, Sandy had the minuscule camera race across the rocky ground. Satisfied that all personnel had left thanks to the gargantuan conflagration that was currently engulfing China’s main gold/ uraniuminxathide producer’s building; she quickly slipped in the cave, Nancy following close behind her.
“The gold is here and the uraniuminxathide should be over to your left.” Nancy announced consulting her element GPS. Sandy trotted towards the sign that read “Uraniuminxathide Mine” in Chinese and went to work. The cave was very well lit, multiple lights hanging above their heads, left on by careless workers. Nancy scanned the cave entrance for any creatures that the team had missed blasting on the way to Shandong. She knew that the mission was supposed to be easy, but she expected more from the Infernum Bruti. She shrugged and continued lugging the gold nuggets in the lightweight weapon laden carts. In about thirty minutes Caeli Bellatores would release a couple of Hell Goblorges to keep the Chinese workers from returning. The two women stopped to check the live video feed from one of the cameras planted near the building. The fire was still rampant but had died down greatly. They waited for fireballs and electricity bolts to burst through the building, their sign that they should continue and pick up the pace. As if the Goblorges could hear their thoughts, a particularly large blue tinted lightning bolt shot out from the side of the building.
‘Right on time.” Nancy spoke quietly to Sandy.
“Of course, Caeli Bellatores is all about efficiency.”
Everything was going according to plan when a horrendous roar shook the cave, echoing loudly startling Sandy and Nancy. A monstrous shaggy ash colored beast of a wolf stood at the cave entrance, carrying what appeared to be the remains of Steve. Nancy glanced over to Sandy in horror, her strong hands falling limply to her sides as she stopped shoving gold into the carts. Before Sandy’s mind could process the fact someone had taken out Steve without a squeak on the mike, the behemoth creature swallowed the rest of Steve and turned its scar ridden head towards the two women. Trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, Sandy drew her hand to her Beretta 93R slowly. Deadly raven black eyes bore into hers and the monster’s hackles raised even higher. Nancy who had been frozen, her mouth agape and eyes wide managed to turn her head slightly to received commands from Sandy. Noticing that Sandy had her gun trained at the wolf’s colossal head she spoke quickly into the mike, “Sandy no! He’s been specially trained by the Infernum Bruti! Look at the mark on its lower jaw!”
Her words came a little too late as Sandy shot four times towards the canine’s muzzle. A rain of bullets peppered the creature’s face while two whizzed past it’s right ear. Nancy, being the animal expert knew that to stop the monster, they would need a much larger gun and aim for the heart. The best Sandy could do was blind and deafen it.
“Aim for its eyes! Try and blind it before going for its ears!” The wolf let out a pain laced howl and charged forward. Silvery fur glistened in the fluorescent lights, its muscles rippling as it leaped over carts with great dexterity.
Sandy slowly moved backwards, hastily shooting another three rounds. She managed to hit the canine’s left eye and bloody up the dark muzzle. The roar that sprang from the ferocious maw was positively deafening. Paws the size of small dinner tables bounded towards the small woman even faster. Fear taking over her face, Sandy desperately emptied her Beretta 93R’s extra magazines and whipped out her Agram 2000 and began unloading in the wolf’s general direction hoping to catch it in its thick chest. Nancy knew this was not going to end well, she might as well start chewing up the cyanide pill now.
Being four yards away, Sandy could see bits of Steve’s skin clinging to spiked yellow teeth. Blood and drool mixed as it flowed out from the wolf’s open mouth. The smell gagged her even at this distance. But Sandy refused to go down without a fight, she aimed for the furry ears and felt a bittersweet pang as bullets cut away the beast’s ears. Shaking its head in immense pain the wolf shuddered and continued its death race. Out of bullets, Sandy threw her guns at the wolf; sadly they just bounced off its massive body. Sandy screwed her eyes shut as the beast was only a yard away, waiting for those blood stained teeth to devour her as well.
A second howl erupted from the right side of the cave. The oncoming gray creature came to an immediate halt, it’s rugged body twitching excitedly. Sandy opened one eye to look at the new offender but found nothing.
Not another foul monster but Nancy and her animal horn hiding near the entrance of the cave.
“What are you doing?! Let the wolf kill me then call Nico and get out! This mission is over!” Sandy whispered angrily into her mike.
“Sandy you and I both know that you’re more valuable to Caeli Bellatores, I can distract it and you can get away. I already called Nico so just get moving!” Nancy leapt from her hiding place and ran off towards the dense herbage, blowing her horn again. The silvery wolf seemed torn, go follow the female wolf’s cry or chow down on the tasty human? With a low growl the mammoth canine spun on its heels and sprinted towards the cave. Nico’s familiar gruff voice pulled Sandy out of her slight reverie.
“Captain you have to move now! I’m in the spot ready for liftoff.” Sandy felt her brusque exterior start to crack as she raced out of the cave herself.
“But…Nancy! We can still save Nancy We have the weaponry to destroy that wolf!” Nico hoisted her up into the helicopter and shook his head sadly. He returned to the captain’s seat and began to take off into the sky.
“Somebody had to play hero, Captain. It just wasn’t you this time.”