Chapter 17:

Chapter 17

The Warm World, My Cold World

The blizzard rages violently and buries those who traverse the frozen hell under heavy snow. The group that had to abandon the amaroq struggles just lifting their feet off the snow. Each step they make, they sink into the ground, slowly being buried under the snow. They had no choice but to carve a path as they go.

It has been about an hour since they started their hike, and the fatigue had finally showed on their faces, especially on the whiteys and blackies. They took rapid breaths, swaying from side to side as well as they walk. It was fortunate their vision had not blurred yet, but they neared their limits.

As the group travelled, they had searched for shelter just for a moment’s respite. But there were none at sight. Some of the residents started to shiver despite their thick clothing. The others who still had their effects active constantly worry for them. The longer they hiked, the more they suffered. Even more so as this is their first time out of the shelter.

Travya had stopped on his tracks and told them to kneel down and use the snow to over themselves. He had spotted two bikes passing by a certain path and moving slowly. They were inspecting the area, using their thermal sensors in their helmets to spot the location of the residents. After they had gone of to a different direction, Travya let out a sigh of relief and continued their travel.

“That’s the fourth time we’ve encountered them! It’s as if they sent out all the shelter’s soldiers!” Almera shouted from the rear end, but Travya, who was at the opposite end, didn’t hear a single thing.

“What?!” Sion shouted, asking what Almera said.

“I said it’s the fourth time we’ve encountered those guys on bikes!” She replied back, shouting.

“Yeah! We’ve slandered the guys at the north many times!” He shouted back, thinking that she asked how many times the capital was slandered.

“Alright!” She replied back, not knowing what he said and just ended it there.

As time continued to pass, they neared the place Travya called the main highway from Avurgaevs to Drablavs. It was a much flatter area and stretch for as long as the eyes can see, although they only had a limited range. The sight could be seen from their location which had a nice rock formation overhead, similar to a grotto.

Travya pulled the others in by tugging the rope. He spoke to them once they gathered near enough for them to hear his voice.

“Alright! This is the main highway and we need to cross over to the other side! We can rest for a bit and hide under this place! We’ll start to move after half an hour!” He conveyed his orders a he shouted. The others agreed to his suggestion and orders and sat in that place, away from the snow.

The residents were cuddling in one area, sharing their warmth with each other. The three residents who were affected at first had began to show signs of weakening. They wanted to sleep and even felt something warm in their stomach. As if something was being eaten from the inside. It was his hunger.

Travya stayed on the lookout, scouting the highway for any incoming vehicles but so far has not spotted any movement. He judged it was a good time to move, btu after seeing the other non-residents, he waited for them to rest up.

“Hey, Erias.” Zsally asked Erias, who was beside her. “Do you think we’ll be able to reach that other shelter? It seems like it’s going to take a long time to go there.”

“We will get there.” Erias spoke confidently. “We have these adults guide us there. And we will meet up with the others as well. So, don’t worry.”

Zsally was silent for some time. She didn’t have her usual cheery expression and was mostly expressionless. Although there was still some light in her eyes, it seemed like it was slowly disappearing.

“I’m feeling tired. Even more tired than after a simulation.” She said in a soft voice.

Erias couldn’t say anything either. He, too, was feeling weak as f his strength was being seeped away.

Shouldn’t we be strong? Shouldn’t we be able to persevere? Yet why do I feel cold and weak?

He contemplated and remembered the words of Churche. As his figure floated on his mind, he wondered what happened to him and Karina. They were absent from the meeting and now the plan to escape commenced too early.

Travya walked towards the group, kneeled, and spoke.

“Alright. It’s time to get going again. Once we reach the base, we need to move as quickly as possible to the other side. It’s a wide place down there, so we could easily be spotted.” He warned the group.

“Do we really have to cross the highway?” Nruduk asked him, slumping his shoulders with a weary expression.

“We have to. It’s the quickest way. Going further north and passing by the mountain paths would take a long time, considering our walking speed and the residents.” After Travya replied, the other’s expressions turned a bit sullen. “Don’t worry. I haven’t seen any of the bikers yet. They are either searching somewhere else or returned to Avurgaevs.” He tried to reassure the people around him.

He stood up and let the others prepare before they depart.

As they descended the mountain, Travya raised his arm for everyone to see. Upon seeing that, the people kneeled down until most of their body was under the covers of the snow. Travya did so as well. Only moments later did a faint sound of something moving at high speeds reach their ears. They heard it despite the blizzard.

Travya peeked a bit and continued walking, and the rest of the group followed. But to his surprise, they returned. He wanted to let everyone kneel down again but it was too late as they were already discovered. He aimed his pistol to one of two moving targets and pulled the trigger.

A bright streak of white light, similar to what Captain Oliver shot out but smaller, escaped the barrel of his gun, piercing the bike of the oncoming pursuer. The rider was launched forward after his bike was torn apart. But with his quick reflexes, he prepared himself to dive into the snow. He plummeted and sunk into it. Not long after, he got up and pointed a rifle to their direction and aimed at Travya.

Three more bikers who rode on trackless bikes appeared from the opposite direction of Travya. Now his group had to deal with five pursuers. They all had similar suits of Travya do it was disadvantageous to fight them head on.

“Run back up!” He shouted while twirling his arm overhead, gesturing to turn back.

They got the signal and ran as fast as they could, following the path they just made as they descended. Although they followed the path, the path was now shallower. More snow had piled up. As they climbed the mountain slope once more, the five people who were holding guns aimed at the pursuers. They had guns but two were inexperienced; they practically missed every time they fired.

Panic surfaced on the resident’s faces. Because of that, they tried running ahead of the others, pulling some with them. They were still connected to each other by the carabiners and rope. Even if they realised that, they continued running in different directions. Travya, Nruduk, and Sion, who were the ones with the most experience in using firearms, were pulled as well. The pursuers on bikes chased them down, hoping to reach them without being shot. The other one who rode one with tracks dismounted and instead continue his pursuit by foot.

“Just shoot!” Sion shouted, but no heard. As he fired his gun, the others followed as well.

Stray rounds flew everywhere, streaks of light flashed here and there from the resident’s side but none at all from the pursuers. They had aimed their guns at them but not fired a single shot. That was until they got close enough.

“AAAARRRGGGHHHH!” A resident screamed at the top of his lungs and collapsed on the snow surface.

He was still conscious but could barely move. The others were shocked by the sight. They all wondered what happened. Nothing should affect them with the Übermensch codes in them. The more time they spend in the frozen hell wasteland, the more they regret their choice of ever trying to escape. But even so, they desperately struggled and tried to escape in all directions without detaching themselves from the rope. Everyone was pulled at all directions.

Travya, Nruduk, and Sion released themselves from the rope and aimed their guns towards the pursuers who were moving rapidly in front of them. They moved around and about but not towards them, as if they were waiting for something. Two of the pursuers made their shots and two more residents were downed. Travya realised the residents were not all invincible at all. He fired shots back at them, intending to kill.

Almera and Kandral detached themselves as well from the rope and tried to calm everybody while trying to escape. Almera was surprised the rope held on pretty well despite the sheer cold and pulling force by the super human residents. She was fortunate that Erias, Zsally, and Esther also tried calming them down, pulling each other into one area to huddle them up.

“You three, pull everyone together! Krandal and I will assist you! After that, we run to where were earlier!”

The three nodded and Zsally responded with an ‘Okay!’ and while they still had the strength, they pulled everyone to one spot. Krandal explained to them their plan and now they reluctantly followed. While they escaped as fast as they can, the three who were defending their rear continued to fire their rounds at the pursuers.

The five pursuers still suffered no casualties. Two of them were in the snow and three others were hovering and moving around on their bikes. Impatience could clearly be seen in Travya’s face. Although he didn’t necessarily need to kill as long as the residents and the two whiteys were able to escape, he wanted the pursuers out of the picture, or at least the bikes. But his shots always miss. And now, the energy levels in the gun are rapidly decreasing, meaning he has to conserve each shot.

As he and the other two aimed, they noticed one bike was missing. Only two bikes were hovering and moving around. A quick shadowy movement passed through at the corner of their eyes, and when they turned to that direction, they saw a bike running as fast as it could towards the residents. Travya aimed at fired at him but missed. Its figure slowly disappeared while Nruduk screamed at the top of his lungs. He was shot from behind when he turned his back on them. The other four continued their assault on the two. Sion headed over to the downed Nruduk while haphazardly shooting the pursuers. Of course, none of it hit.

Travya aimed and shot those on the bikes but as they moved too quickly, his shots always missed. So, he aimed for the two who were on foot instead. While he aimed, he heard an explosion coming from his side. Sion managed to shoot and destroy a bike, but the rider was still safe and sound.

“Travya! Catch!” Sion hurled the rifle over towards Travya’s direction and immediately aimed at the pursuers.

“What?!” Travya didn’t understand but later did when he saw the rifle landing a distance away from him.

There was now only one bike left and he had moved over to the sides. Travya ran towards the rifle, picked it up, and aimed at one of the pursuers. His finger pulled the trigger and a streak of light flashed. A large hole was punched through the body of a pursuer who was on foot. Travya wanted to take another shot at the other pursuer who ran towards the downed one, but had to let the rifle reload itself and cool. While that happened the one riding the bike appeared from the side of Sion and shot him at almost point blank. Sion screamed and fell. More pressure was now on Travya as he had to fight three people and one of them was on a bike.

The rifle had finished loading up and ready to fire. He aimed at the pursuer on foot but just as he was about to shoot, he was interrupted by the one on a bike. The bike fired some rounds near Travya, accelerated, and kicked him while speeding. Travya had fallen face first on the snow, but quickly recovered. He grabbed his pistol and pulled his trigger on the biker, but missed once more.

It wasn’t long before he was brought down. While he focused on the biker and one of the other pursuers, he had completely forgotten about the rider whose bike blew up due to Sion’s shot. Travya was shot and stunned. His scream echoed throughout the area as he fell. Before his conscience faded, two of the pursuers spoke in front of him.

“Hund 01 to Hund 03, what of your situation?... Alright, I received coordinated… We lost Jaga 02… We’ll head over to your direction. Continue watching them.” One of them spoke through his earpiece before speaking to another pursuer. “Contact Cap and request for amaroqs. I’ll regroup with Hund 03, the rest of you place collars on the escapees and wait for reinforcements.”


Before Travya’s conscience completely faded, from the corner of his eyes, he saw something glow. It had a cylindrical shape and emitted an icy blue colour.

Ahh… So, I’m going to be placed under a collar too. It seems escape… is impossible… those guys too…

As the last bit of light faded from his eyes, the last things he saw was another person in a suit holding a collar and bringing it closer to him. That was the last thing he saw before his mind and sight completely went black.

NOTE: Welp, just got back home. I'm gonna start posting again :) but in GMT+8. Hope you enjoy!

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