Clearance part 4 (Ethan Mini-Series)
Living within an underground civilization, it is the dream of each member of the community to achieve Clearance. In order to achieve this, you must be skilled in combat, have impeccable survival skills, and be able to outsmart nearly everyone you approach. Once you achieve clearance you are sent to Ground Zero, the main land where you are sent to protect and fight for the humans who have only known the real world, society as we know it. The day of testing comes; some of the trainees in the sector achieve Clearance, while others are held back for further training. When those who are cleared are sent above, they realize that they aren’t meant to be the heroes they dreamt to be, the protectors that their leaders told them they would be, and the world above was nothing like they imagined it would be.
The indomitable sector trainees realize that all of their lives they were being lied to. They weren’t going to be Gods to the human race… they were prey.
Word Count: 2,428
Warnings: Language. Violence (not gory, but somewhat descriptive).
Authors Note: Lord this was hard to write. This scene took everything out of me. Be gentle with me because I haven’t written something like this in a long time!
Part 4: Killian
Their feet thudded against the ground like a pride of lions chasing their prey, but that was the problem… they weren’t the hunters; they were the hunted. Selena led the pack behind her, swiftly running through the trees, managing to avoid getting hit.
She had seen the attack–it had been such a detailed vision that she had thought it was actually happening at first. When she came out of it, Grayson was in front of her, his hands gently patting her face as he said her name repeatedly. Immediately, she took off trying her best to recognize her surroundings, looking for something familiar from her vision. Eventually she caught sight of a split tree she had noticed in the background and she took off into a dead sprint past it until she saw Y/n hand something over to Zeke.
Now they were running as a group through the trees to an unknown destination that would hopefully provide them safety. She led them up a hill where she came to an abrupt stop, her arms instinctively flying out to her sides to stop those behind her from going any further.
“Selena, what is it?” Leena panted as she walked to stand next to her. “Holy shit.”
At the bottom of the hill stood a group equal to the size of theirs. The difference was these people were bigger, scarier, and looked much stronger. To make matters worse, only a few moments later there were cracks and creaks up in the trees before about 20 more jumped down to the ground, bow and arrows in hand.
They all wore dark, dirty, tattered clothes. Their faces were scarred and held what looked like permanent bruising; shades of deep violet and blue covering their faces. Each face held a similar scowl with hard, flatlined lips. These people had seen pain and torture, that much was obvious.
“They’re all the size of Cohen!” Zeke exclaimed breathlessly.
“Not all of them,” M disagreed, “The archers are female; look at their build.”
Grayson stepped forward, “Maybe if we could talk to them, we can explain to them that we mean no harm.” he held his hands up in surrender, “We mean you no harm! We are from the lower community, sent up to protect and fight!” he claimed, his voice strong, but not threatening.
A large, hooded male stepped to the front of the crowd below them. He walked with the confidence of a king, his back straight and his head held high. He held his arm out in the direction of one of the archers, “Tilena, up.” his deep voice commanded.
The female he was instructing lifted her bow, pulling the arrow back, and directed it toward Grayson. Based on the trajectory, Y/n knew that it was going to be a kill shot and Grayson had nothing to work as a barrier to protect him.
“Please,” Grayson pleaded, yet didn’t show weakness, “We’ve just come to Ground Zero. It is not what we expected. We do not mean to intrude nor to threaten. We are here to fulfill our purpose.”
The man gave no reaction, he simply stood there, drilling holes into Grayson’s head with his eyes. His head slowly turned toward the female, Tilena, “Release.”
Without hesitation she let the arrow go, allowing it to soar in Grayson’s direction. His arms flew up to shield himself, but right before it got to him, the arrow was broken by a knife that had been thrown with a force strong enough that it could bust the arrow, stopping it from impact.
Grayson looked over to see Wren looking in his direction, her arm still extended from the throw. Wren was a girl in their class who was known for her knife skills. Hand to hand combat practice was already hard enough with her, but if you gave her a knife, she was an even tougher opponent. Not only could she fight with them, but she could throw them at a target with 97% accuracy.
“Up!” the male voice yelled and again Tilena raised her bow to shoot.
Right as the male gave her the order to release, M picked up Wren’s knife that had plunged into the ground in front of her and launched it at Tilena, hitting her right in the chest.
Tilena dropped her bow, her hands weakly wrapping around the knife in her chest. With wide eyes she pulled it out, looking at it like it was a foreign object, her blood coating the silver blade. Stumbling back a few steps, Tilena let out a soft choke before falling to the ground lifelessly.
Y/n looked over to M who stood there with no emotion on her face. She stared at the body on the ground like she had just squashed an ant. It wasn’t unusual for M to go into an emotionless state during battle. It was her way of coping with it, but Y/n had thought she would at least feel something after killing someone.
There was no shock on the intimidators face, no shock on any of their faces as they stared at one of their own, dead on the dirt terrain. His hand was fisted, straight out to his side and he opened it like he was dropping something to the ground. All of the archers dropped their bows to the ground.
He took another step forward, dropping his hood to reveal his stone hard, square jawed face, “I am Killian. You have stepped onto my territory, you have killed one of my warriors, and you will die.”
“Bitch! You shot at us first!” Leena retorted, Talon pushing her back behind him. “Talon, don’t.” she growled, shoving his hand off of her.
“Leena,” Y/n said in a warning tone, knowing that Leena always acted impulsively.
“No,” Leena snapped, pushing past Talon, “We were sent here to rid this world of evil and hatred. These people attacked us for no reason, so this seems like it’d be a pretty good place to start our journey.” she bent and snatched a knife from her boot.
Taking this as a sign of war, the enemy group all pulled out weapons ranging from small knives to large machetes, but no one reached for the bows. Y/n, whose hand was still encased in Ethan’s, squeezed tighter, knowing that the fight was inevitable.
Ethan let go, not bothering to pull out a weapon and took a stance, showing that he was ready to charge at any second. Taking the same stance, Y/n clenched her fists at her side and waited for the first move or sound to be made.
“To the death!” Killian shouted, throwing his fist in the air. His warriors did the same, a loud roar of their voices filling the air.
Immediately after the call of war, the enemy began charging them with barbaric growls and thunderous battle cries. The Indomitable Sector started running towards the warriors without a sound. They had been taught to move stealthily and swiftly during a fight so that they were nearly untraceable.
It was a clash of body parts, grunts, and cries. The warriors fought messily which wasn’t something that was easy to work against. Y/n jumped up on the first one that approached her, wrapping her legs around his neck and flipping him onto his back. Ethan was next to her, his fist slamming against the jaw of his attacker, the cracking of bone sounding out.
She lifted her head to see another warrior running at Ethan and her heart rate picked up, “Ethan!” she screamed, reaching her hand out.
Out of the corner of his eye he could see his next assaulter and he took her hand, lifting her up and swinging her so that she could slam a harsh kick to his chest. As her foot collided with the body, Ethan let go and she landed on top of the man, his body skidding against the ground as she tried her best to keep her balance. Once he stopped moving, she planted one foot on the ground next to him and the other straight into his face.
As she went to stand up, a body went flying in front of her, tackling a female who was about to decapitate her with a machete. Grayson pulled a knife out of the back of his pants, jabbing it straight into the woman’s side, undoubtedly piercing her internal organs.
“Selena!” he yelled at Y/n, pulling the blade out of the limp body and tossing it to her. She caught it, turned, located Selena, and threw the knife, straight into the neck of Selena’s attacker.
Standing up and breaking out into a sprint, Y/n started to run in the direction of Talon who had at least 4 men on him. They were all taller than him and the only way she was going to get to him was by going over them.
“Ethan!” she called, “Knees!” he immediately bent down, allowing her to step up on him and use him as a trampoline to land on top of one of the men, her legs over his shoulders. Clamping her hands together she slammed down against his head over and over until he knocked her off of him.
The guy managed to get her in a headlock, dragging her as he choked her. Her legs kicked and the rest of her body thrashed, survival mode kicking in. He suddenly let go and she wouldn’t have known why, but M grabbed the knife she had thrown at him from his back and continued forward.
They continued to fight and fight hard. They put all of their energy into the battle, never giving up no matter how tired they were getting. After what seemed like hours, the deep, male voice that had declared the battle, called out again, “CEASE! RETREAT!”
The bodies dispersed into all different directions, abandoning all of their dropped weapons, including the bows and arrows that they had dropped in the beginning.
The members of the indomitable sector stood there, caught off guard by the random retreat, worried that it was a trick. But, they could hear the feet moving further and further into the distance.
Some of them slumped to the ground from exhaustion, some of them leaned against trees. Zeke chose to sit on top of one of the corpses that lay on the ground, too focused on catching his breath to worry about being on top of a dead person.
Ethan ran over to Y/n, his hands moving up and down her, checking for any severe wounds, “Are you okay?” he asked once his hands cradled her face.
She shook away from his touch, “I’m fine.” she said, immediately missing the absence of his warm skin against her cheeks. “Did we lose anyone?”
Ethan didn’t get to give her an answer because a cry of pure pain broke through the air, causing her head to snap in the direction of the girl’s scream. Jogging to the sound she rounded a large tree to see Etta, a girl from their class, cradling her twin sister Mia in her arms.
A few feet away laid another member, Jax, with blood staining his shirt, his lifeless eyes looking off into the distance. Talon walked over to Jax, brushing his fingers against his lids to close his eyes.
“Etta,” Y/n bent down next to her, “Etta, I’m so sorry.” she whispered.
Etta’s hands stroked her sister’s hair, tears landing on Mia’s forehead. Her fingers moved to wipe the blood from her sibling’s lips, almost like she was cleaning her up.
“Etta, staying here is not safe; we have to move,” she said, placing her hand on her shoulder. “We’ll make sure she’s taken care of.” her eyes drifted over to Ethan who moved closer to take Mia out of Etta’s arms.
“No!” Etta screamed. “Don’t touch her! Don’t touch my sister!” she cried even harder, pulling Mia as close to her as possible.
Ethan bent down, “Etta, we promise she’ll be laid to rest, but we have to move. We’ll make sure that she comes with us so that you can give her a proper burial, but you have to let us take her.”
Ethan reached out again, but Etta jerked away, “She’s my sister!” she screamed again, “She’s my Mia. You can’t just take care of her like she’s nothing! I don’t want her buried under this forsaken ground. I want her with me.”
“Y/n,” Ethan whispered, nodding to an unknowing Etta.
Y/n moved behind Etta, wrapping her arms around her to grab her hands and gently force her to release her sister. Crying out, Etta fought against her as Ethan picked up Mia into his arms. Next to them, Grayson and Talon lifted up Jax, following Ethan to find a decent burial area.
Y/n held Etta until she wore herself out, going limp in her arms in surrender. They were lucky that they had only lost two in this battle, but within the short amount of time they had been up there, they had lost three of their people.
Ethan had showed Etta to the burial site and they held a small funeral for Mia and Jax. Many of the class rested against rocks or trees, staring off as they listened to the loud sobs of Etta move with the wind and through the trees.
“We need to find shelter.” Finley said, pushing herself up from the ground, pushing her golden brown hair out of her face.
“She’s right,” Ethan joined the conversation, walking over to where Finley stood next to Y/n.
“How’s Etta?” Y/n asked, earning a mournful look from Ethan.
He dragged his hand down his face, “Upset, obviously, but she’s strong and she’ll be okay. She know’s that Mia would want her to continue on, so with time, she’ll get better.”
Turning the conversation back to the matter at hand, Finley spoke again, “We need to start moving so that we can find shelter before dark. We need a cave or something. It needs to be hidden as well.”
“We also need to grab as many weapons as we can.” Y/n said, picking up a bow.
“Well,” Selena said standing up, “It looks like we should get going. Who knows what it will be like at night out here.” They all agreed and gathered together to start their search.
But, there was one thing that they were all sure of.
This was just the beginning.