The Bad Guy Wins in This One - Chapter Twelve (Jared)

The feeling of the life draining out of him was an unsettling experience. When she’d opened up his throat, he could feel himself dying, the light fading from his eyes as his blood spilled out and oxygen stopped going to his brain. Within seconds he lost consciousness, wondering with his last thought whether he would wake up and ever get to see his sister again, or if he wouldn’t wake and might see his parents.

When consciousness returned he found himself confused and disoriented. The feeling didn’t last long. Within seconds he came to his senses and looked through his visor to see what was happening. Once he realized May’s surrogate was killed, he contacted her by radio, careful to move as little as possible. She informed him of what she’d done.

Their opponent had her back to him. He waved slightly, catching Patrick’s attention. Patrick gave a slight nod and threw the statue at the woman, causing her to dodge into range. Jared drew his knife and stabbed her deep in the leg, severing a tendon. Mirkov might prefer undamaged goods, but better a wounded special than nothing.

Jared thought they might finally be getting control of the situation but, despite her crippling injury, he saw no sign of concern in her features. That was when the transformation began. Black scales began rippling across her body, wings broke out from her back, bones and muscles grew larger, and her claws grew to the size of swords. He knew it was a bad idea to let her finish transforming, but he couldn’t think of how to stop her. The net wouldn’t cover her, she seemed able to brush off the charged batons and he wasn’t sure how much good his flash grenades would do when all of May’s combined had barely fazed her.

Her leg stayed injured, which Jared was glad to see. If we hurt her in one form, it carries over. She isn’t invincible. The question is just … how do we hurt a freaking dragon? When her tail promptly whipped Patrick through a wall he knew they were screwed. When she picked up May’s body and crunched down on it, shattering bones as easily as toothpicks and swallowing the mangled carcass whole, he seriously considered fleeing. Was any amount of pain worth that happening to him while still conscious? Her grinding laugh was horrible and May’s blood ran down over her teeth.

She has to have a weakness, but she’s so freaking fast and she’s stronger than ever. Unless…

He deactivated the charge of his baton and shoved it up his sleeve then drew out a compressed combat staff. Will this work? Not that I have much choice. To his surprise she spoke, voice a horrid screeching grind.

“Ha, she won’t be healing from that, I don’t think. Will you?” Jared was glad she couldn’t see his grim smile as he prepared himself. Her mouth opened wide and snapped at him. He doubted he could have even moved before his powers awoke, but now his muscles were strong and lean and his reaction time had improved, learning to dodge and block the pummeling that Mirkov’s soldiers kept giving him. He leaped up to meet her, extending the combat staff as her teeth came slamming closed. It locked into place, her mouth unable to fully shut. He kicked up, getting his foot onto the back of her gums and shoved himself down her throat.

Bit off more than you can chew you bitch. But now came the really tricky part. His mask wasn’t airtight and he doubted her insides had much oxygen. As he squirmed down her throat it widened further. How big is she going to get? He took his combat knife and stabbed down into her soft esophagus. If he could cut through into her wind pipe and block or shock it then maybe he could knock her unconscious. Of course if things went south then it might kill her, but at this point it was a risk he was willing to take.

She screeched with pain and he could feel her shaking her head around to try and dislodge him. He was starting to think it might work when her tongue doubled back down her throat and hit him in the back of the head.

His helmet cracked and his body was thrown forward down her throat into an open cavern. Oh shit, he thought as he plunged face first into her stomach. His combat suit protected him briefly, but he could feel the acid leaking around the edges, burning his skin horribly where it touched. His visor’s electronics began to fry and what little sight it allowed him through thermal sensing shut down. He was blind.

“Jared? Jared what’s going on?” May’s voice asked over the speaker. She would have been able to see through his cameras what was happening, but now they were dissolving in stomach acid along with the rest of him. Even the speakers were starting to go, her voice containing an edge of static that was not there before. He could feel the cloth of his suit giving in as more and more of his skin began to burn.

“I’ve been eaten a little more thoroughly than I thought I’d be. I’m going to try and shock her until she throws me up.” He pulled his charge baton out of his sleeve and held it against the nearest surface he ran into. He reeled as the current ran through him as well and heard a great grumble. He nearly passed out. Well that was a dumb idea. At least it’s affecting me less than it used to. The first several times he’d trained with a charge baton they’d knocked him out instantly. But as he’d trained with them more, the current began to have less of an effect on his body.

The charge didn’t last long as the acid shorted out the baton. He could also hear cracks forming across the faceplate. He tried the radio again and got only static. The acid was spreading across more and more of his body and he realized he didn’t have long. It hurt almost as much as the nuero-chip. It also kept sloshing around him, which made him wonder if his idea had worked in part, just not sufficiently to get him spit up as well.

At least it’ll be over soon. I won’t have to do anymore of this shit. Except… Except that he had something to live for.

Lilly. If I die now, he has no reason to help her. I wouldn’t have even completed one mission for them. But the only way to survive now is to… He hoped fervently all the sensors in his suit and helmet had been fried. Considering how little of them was left, he thought it fairly likely. He didn’t want Mirkov to see what he did next. He let the heat from Patrick’s power bubble to the surface of his skin, feeling what was left harden into rock as his blood became magma.