So, yeah, this was a fucking awful place to be. Not only was I in a room full of rotting meat, not only was I probably infected with some horrible disease due to the sludge I had swallowed, but now dogs were after me. I turned back to the pile of meat. I was going to have to climb it again.
I tried to run, but the goop around my feet was slowing me down. The dogs were getting closer. It seemed like they were having as much trouble navigating the slush as I was, but they were still gaining. “They are quite large,” I heard The Monk say in a conversational tone of voice. “I did not know dogs could get this big.”
“Those are wolves!” Someone yelled. “Holy shit, they’re fucking wolves!” I tried to run faster.
When I got to the meat mountain Eric and his gang were on, I suddenly realized that the bone I had pulled out had been a key structural support. Not only was the meat mountain now much closer to being vertical, but the animal parts were now loose and shifting. I realized this the hard way when I grabbed for a hand hold, only to cause the mountain to crumble a bit. It took me a bit, but I finally found a good place. I started climbing, still holding my club. After all this bullshit I just went to get it, there was no fucking way I’d be letting it go.
Then I heard someone scream. I looked and saw that in a nearby meat mountain, a large dog had grabbed someone by the leg and was beginning to pull him down. His friends were moving in to help, and the wolf knew it. My guess was its plan was to drag the guy down to where the rest of the pack could rip him to shreds. Before I turned away, I made eye contact with the wolf. I wasn’t well-versed in dog body language, but I could swear it was thinking, “shit, that guy was probably a much easier target!” Then the wolf’s victim kicked it in the face. The wolf let go and whimpered. I got back to climbing.
“Come on, Killer!” Doc said, a shank made out of a toothbrush in his hand. “Move your butt!” I noticed that he was looking not at me, but at something moving at a rapid pace on the floor. I heard barking and splashing. I continued moving as fast as I felt safe, as the meat mountain kept moving under my hands.
“Hurry up!” Ray-Gun yelled at me. I was about to say something about the precarious state of the “ground” I was climbing up when I heard a snarl. I rolled to my left.
Instantly, I was thankful for my decision. If I hadn’t, a wolf would have landed on my chest. It turned to face me, but I lashed out with my club, hitting the wolf on the noggin. It slid down the meat mountain, a slightly concussed look in its eyes.
“Fuck off, Balto,” I said. I couldn’t help it. I was feeling like a complete bad ass. I watched as the dog slid down the meat mountain…
…To where the rest of his or her pack was looking up at me. I noticed two things. First, they were all very pissed-off looking doggies. Second, they were enormous. Standing on all fours, they’d come up above my waist. I no longer felt like a badass.
“Fuck me,” I said. Then I began climbing like my life depended on it, mostly because it did. I was terrified.
One of the wolves growled. I heard a thrashing sound, then the meat mountain began to collapse underneath me. I sped up, but took a quick look over my shoulder. One of the wolves was charging up after me, but despite how fast its legs were, it wasn’t getting very far.
What it was doing was causing the mountain to collapse. I’m not sure, but one of the other five was looking thoughtfully at its pack mate. I didn’t stop climbing, but slowed down a bit, seeing as they were changing tactics.
When I finally got to where Eric’s group was, Doc and Ray-Gun dragged me up. “Don’t scare us like that, Killer,” Ray-Gun said. “We thought you were dog food.”
Doc shrugged. “He may still be dog food. He’s pretty new at this.” Ray-Gun slapped him upside the head. “It’s true!” Doc protested. “This fight is nowhere near done! He could probably end up dying!”
I wasn’t really paying attention. What was happening on the ground and the other meat mountains was more interesting. There seemed to be two other wolf packs versus us humans, who were spread out across five meat mountains. The smallest pack (there were only four) had decided to go after a person occupying a meat mountain alone. He screamed as a huge wolf grabbed him by the throat and shook, but it quickly died off. When he stopped struggling and screaming, the other three moved in and began to eat.
On another mountain, a group of seven wolves had surrounded a similarly sized group of humans and were making runs at them. Most of the humans there had knives and toothbrush shanks, and both sides were taking heavy casualties. A few of the humans were in really bad shape, and their friends were trying their best to protect them.
Back on the ground, the wolf trying to climb the pile was starting to give up. Most of the others in his pack were circling to make sure none of us escaped.
However, another wolf was just standing there. It was a huge wolf, possibly the largest one in the entire room and definitely the largest in his pack. His coat was jet black with a white underside and he seemed to be observing the situation very carefully. Due to his size and intelligence, I guessed it was the alpha.
Eventually, the other wolf ceased its attempts to try and scramble up. At first, I was glad because the various animal parts I was balanced on were starting to shift in a most disturbing manner. Then the alpha moved in. I wondered for a moment if the alpha was going to start trying to climb up. That would be bad. He could accidentally bring down the entire meat mountain.
It turns out what he was planning was worse. He was digging. I could tell because he was making no effort to gain ground. A little while later, I noticed he was also being very selective about what places he would dig, and that over time the tremors would get more frequent.
I tapped Eric on the shoulder. “We’ve got a problem. Have you been noticing that our mountain is dissolving?”
Eric nodded. “Yes. Do you know why?” I pointed at the wolf digging away. Eric’s eyes widened. “Is that what is causing our position to crumble?”
I nodded. “Pretty sure.” To underscore my point, the mountain crumbled again. “Also, it’s probably my fault.”
“We can point fingers in hell,” Doc said. “Right now, we need a plan.”
“I have one.” Eric had become very grim. “We counter-attack, catch them by surprise, then make our way to the next mountain, and pray to whatever god we want we don’t die.”
“Good plan,” I said. The others seemed surprised that I had agreed. “Just… can they be surprised?”
They ceased to be surprised and laughed. “Killer,” The Monk said in his calm voice, “Animals think of things in term of predator and prey. They do not think of things in terms of soldier versus soldier.”
I was about to ask what that meant, then said, “Ok. Got it. We go down there and kick their canine asses?”
“You are learning, Killer!” Eric said, clapping me on my shoulder. He then drew the knife he had acquired. “On three, ok?”
“Yeah!” Ray-Gun said. “Let’s do this!”
“Ok,” Eric said, “On three!” He paused for us to get ready, then began. “Three, two, one…” He took a deep breath, then yelled, “CHAAAAAAARGEEEE!”
We ran down at our inhuman opponents, yelling at the top of our lungs. The alpha looked up just in time for Eric to kick him in the snout. He then used the opportunity to charge in and stab at the wolf.
Balto, the wolf who had been the first to charge at me, then leaped at Eric. I swung my bone like a baseball bat, hitting him in the stomach while he was in mid-leap. The dog fell backward but the bone also flew out of my hand.
I quickly grabbed for the bone, just in time to see another wolf slam into Eric. Doc and The Monk quickly moved in to stab at the wolf with their toothbrush shanks. By the time I had gotten my bone club again, Doc was helping Eric up. I didn’t see what had happened to the wolf, but both Doc and The Monk’s hands and arms were covered in blood. Then something hit me from behind.
My mouth was open so I got a big chunk of green slime in my mouth, causing me to gag. I was also drowning in it, so that was fun. Claws ripped into my shoulders and I could literally hear nothing and I could feel paws pressing me down into the awfulness.
Before I could panic, the paws moved off me, and a hand pulled me up by the shoulder. “You ok, Killer?” MC Disaster asked.
“Yeah,” I said. Then I threw up and sneezed at once. I opened my eyes, which I hadn’t realized were closed. My vision was blurry. “Shit,” I said, “where are my glasses?”
“Is that really important?” a blur that sounded like Doc said. What I could see made it look like the team had surrounded me. Beyond them, blobs on four legs were standing between us and the next meat mountain.
“I honestly can’t see your face from here without them,” I said.
“I’m not facing you,” Doc said. He sounded scared, which is exactly how I felt.
“Well, there you go,” I said. “My eyesight’s complete shit.”
A black stick (probably an arm) reached out and fished something out of the muck. “These yours?” MC Disaster asked. The arm moved the object towards my face. I could kind of tell they were glasses. I wiped off the green slime, then put them on. My eyesight was restored, except for some residual slime. I immediately wished it wasn’t.
We were still on the ground. The three remaining wolves in the pack were circling us, blocking us from climbing the nearest, non-dissolving meat mountain. They were also preventing us from moving to the sides, and could easily run us down if we tried to go back up our original meat mountain. The one who had tried to drown me had been gouged in the eye, part of it had actually fallen out of its socket, but the others were all fine.
We weren’t. I was still catching my breath from the second time I had almost drowned and Eric had a few cuts. We weren’t in terrible shape, but the reason we had won the previous battle was surprise. Also, our situation was getting worse.
“Looks like our opponents are getting reinforcements,” I said. The pack of four was getting curious in what was going on and heading over.
“This may not be so bad,” Eric said. “Watch.”
One of the wolves from the new pack came near. Balto turned around and growled at it. The newcomer backed off, but only a tiny bit. Another wolf from the second pack tried to use the distraction to move forward. Soon the two groups were hissing and snarling at each other. I noticed that the third pack was also taking an interest. There were only two of them left, as the humans on their meat mountain had done a wonderful job defending.
Sensing the threat, one of the first pack turned around to face them. That’s when everything went crazy. First, we heard a yell. The wolves on our left turned around just in time for a force of humans lead by Salim to crash into them. Then, to our right, the group still on the meat mountain charged, taking the pack that had pinned them by surprise. Eric, Doc and Ray-Gun pounced on the wolf that was walking by them. MC Disaster, The Monk, and I turned to where Salim’s group was fighting.
Balto tried to get past us and escape, but I slammed my bone club onto his head again. This time I managed to draw blood. The remaining wolf in the first pack then tackled Doc. Eric, Ray-Gun and MC Disaster turned to help. I didn’t because I was concerned I’d just get in the way. Besides, The Monk had just gotten knocked over by a wolf, and another was dragging a person away.
I helped The Monk first. I ran towards the wolf chomping at him and with a shout of “FUUUCK YOOOOOOUUUU!” hit the bastard’s head like it was a baseball. There was a cracking sound as I connected. The Monk used the distraction to stab his opponent with his toothbrush shank. It hit a vein, spraying blood.
I turned my attention back to the wolf dragging the person away. Most of the other wolves were busy holding off Salim’s group, but one was turning towards me. I charged forwards, yelling. The wolf froze, unsure what to do. I bopped him on the head and he fell down. I probably should have checked to make sure the wolf was actually out, but the person being dragged away was out of reach of everyone else, so I charged.
The wolf was too busy savaging its prey to notice me until I brought my club down on its shoulder. There was a crack as it finally broke. The wolf let go of its prey and growled.
In response, I jabbed at it with my club. “Back off!” I said. “I’ve had a really bad day, and I’m ready to take it out on you. Back off.”
It began to back away. I glanced down quickly. I had just saved Salim. Oh well.
“You ok?” I asked. I could see he wasn’t. His arm was bleeding, having been torn at by the wolf.
“I’m fine,” he said. He stood up unsteadily. “Or I will be after we’re done with this. By the way, I don’t owe you anything.”
“Hey,” I said, “you saved my life as much as I saved yours.” He nodded. I then asked, “Think we’re going to have to kill all of them?”
“Of course,” Salim said. “Doing distasteful things is the point of this exercise.”
“Ok…” I said, “…let’s just hope this works and doesn’t get more distasteful.” Before Salim could answer, the wolf jumped. I raised what was left of my bone club and it bit on it. I fell on my butt. The wolf tried to push me down further, but there was no way in hell I’d be dunked in that fucking goop again. The wolf, however, had over ideas. It seemed to get heavier and started to push me into the diseased slime.
Before it could succeed, Salim did a running kick into it. The good news was no longer putting pressure on me. The bad news is that it was still holding onto my bone. It had also managed to slash Salim’s face in the burned side. He staggered back, and I got to my feet.
The wolf was getting to its feet as well. It got to all fours, but it wasn’t facing me, so I took a chance. I ran towards it, and fell on from behind, wrapping a hand around its neck. It began to thrash, but I held on. That was a bad idea as it rolled over, dunking me once again into the awful muck.
At this point I thought something along the lines of Oh my God, I am going to drown in unidentified, disgusting muck and the video recording will make it look like I’m sodomizing a wolf. That’s around the time someone began to kick wildly. It had to be Salim. Judging by his fight with Eliza, the only person that could be that wild and insane, yet still non-lethal, with their kicks was Salim. Eliza would be using her bone claws, and Ulfric… Well, with Ulfric I’d look like a pancake covered in marinara sauce.
One kick hit my head. I opened my mouth to protest. I was reminded of where I was by a foul-tasting slurry entering my mouth. I loosened my grip. The wolf tried to break free, accidentally helping me by raising my head above the goop. In the few seconds my head was above the unnamed goop, I gasped, I coughed, I wretched. Then Salim kicked me in the back.
“SALIM, YOU FUCKING MOglrbrlbrblbl,” I yelled as the wolf rolled on its back again. This time was even more fun! Now I not only had to deal with Salim’s kicks, being crushed by God-knows-how-many tons of thrashing canine, and lack of oxygen, but also the fucking slime. It was both burning my mouth and making me gag. My only comfort was my foul mouth and sarcasm.
I didn’t notice the fact that the wolf had stopped struggling for a moment because my brain cells were starting to die due to lack of oxygen. Then, both me and the wolf were lifted out of the water.
“Let go, let go, man,” someone said. Other people began trying to drag me off.
“But we have t-to kill it…” I said, then burst into a gagging and coughing fit.
“The wolf is dead,” someone said. It took me a moment to realize it was Eric. “It is dead. Let go.” He was speaking softly, trying to reassure me.
I looked at him. “A-are you sh-sh-sure?” I wheezed. The stuttering was bad. To make matters worse, I was beginning to shake.
“Yes,” Eric said. “It’s ok, it’s ok… You can let go of the wolf now.”
I did. It fell to the floor with a splat. “I-i-it’s not over,” I said. The fucking stutter was still going on! And I was still shaking! This was on top of my various injuries, my soreness from standing up for an entire day, and my extreme hunger. I felt weak and vulnerable, like there was something coming, and the only thing I knew about it was that it would kill me and I couldn’t stop it. “I-i-it’s not over…” Here I began to break down and cry. “…And I kuh-kuh-can’t give anymore!”
Eric leaned in. “Hey,” he said jovially, “you can go on, Killer! You just wrestled an angry, oversized dog and won! Do you have any idea how amazing that was?”
Then Professor Blunt’s voice came in over a loudspeaker. “CONGRATULATIONS!” his voice boomed. “YOU’VE LIVED THROUGH YOUR FIRST COMBAT! In a few minutes, the door will open, and you will be decontaminated. In the meantime, get your shit together. It’s over.”
There was a pause. “He’s lying,” I muttered. “It’s not over. There’s always something.”
I was going to repeat it, but before I could begin Salim said, “You’re right. We need to move the bodies. We cannot let these corpses just fester. It is unholy.”
“You’re right.” I said. “You’re right. You’re right. Judaism and, well, c-common decency frowns upon leaving bodies here as well as Islam.”
“You know that part of the Qur’an?” someone asked in surprise.
“Yeah,” I said, standing up. “I read it in some book. Let’s do this. People don’t deserve to… to rot here, anyway. Everyone sh-should…” I gulped, then continued, “grab a body.”
We moved out, gathering bodies and arranging them into piles near the door. I recognized a few. They were the worst. When we had dragged about fifty corpses towards the door, it began to swing open.
I turned to Eric. “Wuh-where’s Salim?” Eric shrugged.
When the door was fully opened, two Campus Security carrying SCAR-Hs with strange underbarrel attachments came in. I recognized them immediately. “Officer Gupta! Officer Mendez! It’s great to see you guys again!”
“Good to see you again,” Mendez said. “Time for you guys to get the fuck out of here!”
“Not quite,” I said. “We’re bringing out the bodies.” The two guards glanced at each other. I kind of wished they weren’t wearing sunglasses so I could see what they were thinking about. “What is it?” I asked, instantly suspicious.
“The hazmat team usually takes care of that,” Gupta said. Something was off in her voice. She was lying. “They’ll come in later today.”
“Will they?” We turned around. There was Salim dragging a body. He lifted it up to show us all. “If that is the case, then why is this body mummified? Why is its uniform different from our own?” He wasn’t lying. The body was mummified, and its uniform was olive green instead of camo.
I turned back to Mendez and Gupta. “Thanks,” I said, “but I’m not entirely convinced a hazmat team’s coming. We’ll take these ourselves.” I was right. I had been convinced it wasn’t over, that they’d make us kill the wolves’ puppies. This was worse.
“Policy is to leave bodies in here,” Mendez said. Instantly, there was dissent. “I’m sorry,” he said above the shouts, “but I’m just following orders.”
“You are desecrating bodies!” Salim shouted. “My religion demands that I give a certain amount of respect to the dead. Leaving a body here does not satisfy that commandment!” People shouted in agreement.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this,” I said, “but the Al-Qaeda guy has the moral high ground here.”
People also shouted in agreement. “You tell them, Killer!” MC Disaster yelled.
I continued. “I mean, seriously, look at how fucked up this is! How many years has that guy Salim’s holding been here, huh? And you’re not taking people out because of orders?” For some reason, I was getting a bit light-headed. “This is… I can’t even begin to describe how utterly, horribly wrong this is!” I paused. “Why am I slurring?”
“It’s because of the gas,” Gupta said guiltily.
“Gas?” I asked dumbly. Then I blacked out.