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Monday, November 07, 2005

Chapter 12 - In Pursuit

Jude did not have the answers to his questions, and so he continued his journey farther from the place of his birth. The ruins of the dead city did not cease, nor did they show any signs of ceasing. It was likely that the city had once extended very far into the mainland.

Jude walked for the rest of the day with no advancements in his train of thought. Nothing of significance happened as he walked through the dead streets and neighborhoods of the city.

The area wher he now was had been bombed heavily, and no buildings remained standing, and the roads were covered in glass and stone. Unable to find a sheltered place in which to sleep, or even a cushion on which he could sleep, he cleared an opening in the glass rubble and slept there, his pack acting as his pillow.

He slept soundly, with no new dreams filling his head.

Shortly after midnight, Jude was awoken by a crash of glass. Spinning his head around, he peered into the darkness. Nothing was there. He grabbed and loaded his gun, and looked out into the darkness again.

Powering up his gun to full, in the hopes of getting a faint light to eminate from the power storage, he looked again. A pair of eyes looked back, the light reflecting through the eyeballs.

The eyes were animalistic in nature, and were low to the ground, about the height of a large dog. A howl split the silent air, and more howls resonated with it
Jude shook in fear, for he knew what had discovered him. It was a wolf pack.

Grabbing his things, Jude ran into the darkness, pursued by howls, growls, and snarls. He did not look back, for he knew that he would slow down and likely die if he did. He discharged his gun into the air in the hopes that the noise and light would scare off the wolves.

The action instead had the inverse effect. In the flash of light that came from the shot, Jude saw no fewer than five pairs of eyes around him, and heard the growls of what sounded like an infinite number of wolves.

He turned the power level down on his gun, so that he would not run out of energy if the wolves moved in for the kill.

Steps were clearly audible in the glass, as the shattering of windows were commonplace.

Jude got an idea suddenly. He closed his eyes and focused his mind. His conciousness revolved around a single axis located in another dimension, and when he opened them, he could see as daylight.

However, he was only filled with despair. At least seven wolves were surrounding him, glaring and snarling, and sneaking slowly towards him, hoping to make him into their dinner.

Jude decided that the time to act was now. He fired a single shot at the nearest wolf. An explosion of heat and light mixed with the sound of shattering glass came from the area which he had targeted. The smell of burning fur filled the air, as the death moans of a wolf came into the square in which the action was taking place.

The other wolves snarled and growled, and one issued a howl. And so the chase began.

Jude fled for his life. Occassionally, he would point his gun back and fire blindly into the night, but the growls of the wolves did not cease nor did the smell of burning fur fill the air again.

Soon, Jude saw what he was most afraid of. The red light on the barrel of his gun came on. He had run out of energy. Grabbing the gun in both hands, he threw it backwards at the pursuing wolf pack, enough to make them scatter for a few seconds. Swinging Survivor's gun back around to the front, Jude charged it to the maximum. He knew that he would deplete its energy stores quickly this way, but only three or four shots would be necessary to get the pack to flee.

He had little time to aim, and his night vision was deteriotaing as he lost mental focus. A shot rang out into the night from his gun, and he saw at least two wolves fleeing in terror. The rest of the wolves charged.

Jude quickly switched the power to low in order to cut the recharge time. He fired three shots into the night. They all hit their mark, although one wolf got past Jude's final attempt to kill them. It buried its jaws deep into Jude's shin.

Jude yelped in pain. He swung wildly at the beasts head with the stock of the gun. It took three or four swings, but he hit. He felt the animal's skull crack underneath the force of the swing.

Jude looked into the night. No more wolves were there, he had successfully killed them or caused them to flee.

He collapsed in pain, his leg spewing blood across the ground.


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