Mary Skelter ~Days Before Imprisonment Tale~ Chapter 4

lsssk11331 Sep 15th, 2019 110 Never
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  1.      Five years had gone by since this town was swallowed by Jail, turning into an underground prison. The people who used to live in the town were captured and confined by the Märchen in isolation cells, where they continued to be tortured, or lost their live in the process. Since the establishment of Dawn, the organization that existed to oppose the Märchen, the victims had been decreasing, yet they were still unable to take back the people and the building that was already taken away.
  2.      However, on a certain day.
  3.      The people were about to took their first step to break out of this underground prison and see the light of the sun again.
  4.      The conquest of the prison tower.
  5.      Standing at the center of Jail, it was a tower that continued to grow and warp as if trying to reach the sky. Even within Jail where various abnormalities existed, the tower's eeriness still stood out.
  6.      According to observations, there had been no Märchen coming out of the tower for a long time. To validate a certain hypothesis that there were no Märchen inside the tower, a small investigation team managed to infiltrate the tower, and confirmed that there were no Märchen at least up until the third level.
  7.      Based on that result, a certain proposal to send a large-scale investigation team to climb the tower to its top. And so, a year had passed since. They continued their observation on the tower since then, and they were finally sure that there were no Märchen in the tower after all.
  8.      And then, the decisive day.
  9.      The platoon which consisted of three squads formed by Dawn's elite vigilantes finally began their assault on the prison tower under the Major's lead.
  11. ***
  13. "What's with these thorns... Major, we can't cut through them!"
  14.      The member with a bayonet in his hands gave up and looked back to the Major.
  15.      Thus far, just as predicted, they had not encountered a single Märchen. Still, the investigation didn't proceed all that smoothly. Various traps and contrivance scattered inside the tower, obstructing the investigation team's progress.
  16.      Now, thorns were blocking their way. They tried to cut the thorns with their bayonets, but for some reason the bayonets couldn't cut them.
  17. "...Guess I'll call the Professor."
  18.      The Major took out his transceiver and contacted the squad that he ordered to stand by on the previous floor. This squad was meant to protect the Professor and the other core members of Dawn. The Major's squad would move forward first, and if they ended up in need of the Professor's knowledge, they would secure the area, then call upon this squad.
  19.      A short while after, the Professor arrived, and the Major explained the situation briefly.
  20. "...that's our current state. Please have a look."
  21. "Hmm... Assistant."
  22. "Yes."
  23.      The two of them approached the thorns and did several examinations. During this time, the other team members had nothing to do, so they just passed the time while keeping a lookout on the surroundings.
  24.      The Major took out his tranceiver again, and this time he contacted the squad that he ordered to stand by on the first floor.
  25. "Give me a sitrep."
  26. "Everything is in order, sir."
  27.      Even if there was no Märchen inside the tower, the ones outside might notice the team's infiltration and come inside. To prevent that, squad one was put on standby at the tower's entrance, but fortunately it seemed there was no sign of such things happening.
  28. "Seems safer than we thought."
  29. "Yeah. Should we have some snacks?"
  30.      The Doctor and the Mother talked casually with each other. With no signs of Märchen at all, it was quite difficult to stay tense.
  31. "Hey, you two..."
  32.      The Major warned the two ladies not to let their guard down.
  33. "This seems like a fusion of thorns and chains."
  34.      The Professor raised his face after investigating the chains.
  35.      There were many things that resulted from the fusion of various objects due to Jail's infections. These thorns that could not be cut with a bayonet was the result of a fusion between thorns and chains.
  36. "Chains, huh. It's my turn, then."
  37.      The Master who seemed bored of waiting opened his toolbox. He took out a reinforced hydraulic cutter and started cutting the chains. Unexpectedly, the Master ended up being the most useful member for this investigation.
  38.      Finally, the chains were cut with a loud clang.
  39.      Non-combatants stepped back as the Major's squad opened the door, but as expected, there were no Märchen behind the door either.
  40.  "Okay, let's go."
  41.      On his signal, everyone began advancing even deeper.
  42.      The Professor, who followed behind them, threw away a handwritten note casually.
  43.      The Professor took notes while thinking of how to solve the obstacles, but after he solved the obstacles, the notes are no longer needed and he threw them away on the spot.
  44.      These notes the Professor threw away at that time, in the near future, will be gathered by a certain someone.
  46. ***
  48.      On a certain floor, the investigation team came upon an intriguing room.
  49.      In front of the room, there was a sakura petal-shaped plate with "Sakura Class" written on it, similar to what one would find in front of a kindergarten classroom.
  50.      The team entered the room in order to investigate. What they saw inside took their breath away.
  51. "What... is this...?"
  52.      Inside the room, there was a large object. It resembled a plant's seed, except it was larger than human, and the surface of it was red and slimy, similar to flesh. And what appeared to be the roots, stuck to the walls and floors from the seed, resembled blood vessels.
  53. "Is this... a heart? No, a plant's bulb?"
  54.      Clearly, even the Professor had no idea what that was, as he was just staring at it in a daze with his brows wrinkled.
  55.      Yet, even though they did not know what that is, everyone can feel it.
  56.      This seed must be something important for the Jail.
  57. "Assistant, we're examining this."
  58. "Yes!"
  59.      The assistant rushed over and took out various tools from his bag. Unlike the light investigations they did along the way, this time they were about to do a full-blown investigation.
  60. "Professor, will it take long?"
  61. "I don't know. But it probably will."
  62. "Figures... All right, let's take a break here!"
  63.      Hearing that, all the team members breathed a sigh of relief. While they did not encounter any Märchen, climbing the tower while dealing with obstacles still took a toll on them.
  64. "My, I suppose it's time for me to do my work then!"
  65.      The Mother delightfully put down the large knapsack she was carrying, and pulled out a portable stove, a large pot, and some bottled water.
  66. "And I was wondering what you've been carrying..."
  67. "Even on-the-go meals taste better when they're hot, right?"
  68.     The Major gave up and just smiled at her. The foods that the team brought with them were all canned and packaged foods that can just be eaten straight away. He thought that this was an unnecessary concern for an instant, but then again, warm foods will not just fill an empty stomach, they will also fill the heart.
  69. "Oh, geez... All of you! Mother will warm up your foods!"
  70.      The team members cheered at the Major's announcement. No one would say no to warm food, after all.
  71. "Yes, yes. I'll boil some hot water now, so just wait for a while!"
  72.      She placed the pot on the stove, and poured water into it.
  73.      The moment she lit the stove on, suddenly something pierced her.
  74. "Ah...?"
  75.      Without warning, roots shot out all over the room from the bulb that the Professor was examining. The roots stabbed through the Mother and several other team members.
  76.      The Major petrified briefly.
  77. "Re... Retreeeaat!"
  78.      The remaining members picked their arms in a panic and rushed out of the room. They still didn't get a full grasp of what just happened, all they knew was that they must not stay in that room any longer.
  79.      Somehow, they still managed to protect the non-combatants close to them.
  80. "Wa-Wait! I'm not done investigating!"
  81. "What the hell are you saying!? You wanna die!?"
  82. "Mother! We need to treat her wounds!"
  83. "It's too late for that now!"
  84.      The squad members managed to drag the Professor and the Doctor who were trying to remain in the room.
  85.      However,
  86.      the real nightmare awaited them.
  87. "Major! A Märchen! It's huge!"
  88.      At the end of passageway covered in darkness, a large Märchen stood in the darkness, blocking the path.
  89.      It was more than twice as large as a man. Two atrocious horns grew from its neckless head, its body covered in exoskeleton resembling arthropods, and its abnormally long arms dragged along a chainsaw that looked as if it was made by cobbling together flesh and bones.
  90. "Permission to fire! Shoot!"
  91.      The Major calmly gave orders. The squad members pulled the trigger on their rifles simultaneously. This was not their first battle against a large Märchen. As strong as one may be, they still had advantage in number. They should be capable of handling just one of them.
  92.      Yes, they should be able to.
  93. "...You gotta be kidding me..."
  94.      The squad members face had all gone pale.
  95.      They shot its head, chest, stomach, and limbs.
  96.      Tens, hundreds of bullets, all of them hit their intended target.
  97. "Why the fuck... won't you diiiieee!"
  98.      No matter how many bullets rained on it, the large Märchen kept advancing closer through the darkness.
  99.      It wasn't as if they had never encountered any tenacious Märchen before, but all of them still died if shot in the head. Yet this one wouldn't die however much they shot at it. It kept moving straight for them without stopping at all.
  100. "Cease fire! Turn around and run!"
  101.      The Major's judgment was swift. He ordered them to immediately stop their attack and turn around to escape through another route. His instincts screamed at him that they must not fight that creature.
  102.      The team ran away while barely managing to protect the Professor and the other non-combatants.
  103.      Yet, their luck would soon run out.
  104.      A large amount of Märchen appeared beyond the path they took to escape.
  105. "No way! What is squad one doing!? Why wasn't there any contact from them!?"
  106.      The Major shouted, but he didn't know that squad one was ambushed by a large number of Märchen that appeared out of nowhere inside the tower, and was already annihilated.
  107. "Shit... Fire!"
  108.      It was a desperate order. The squad members fired blindly. They had the worst thought that just like before, their shots would be ineffective again, but it seemed to be working fine.
  109.      This time, however, they were facing a much larger number. No matter how many they killed, the Märchen kept on appearing, while the number of squad members decreased slowly.
  110. "Wo-wounded ones, get to the back! I'll..."
  111. "Idiot! Don't go to the front!"
  112.      The Major pulled on the Doctor's arm, who were running towards the downed members.
  113.      Her eyes met with the Major's as she turned around.
  114.      A Märchen bit off her body, right in front of his eyes.
  115. "Ma... jor..."
  116.      That was the last thing she said.
  117.      For a moment, the Major was overcome with rage.
  118.      He wanted to scream as loud as he can, pick up his rifle, and shoot at anything he could see.
  119.      Yet the weight of the duty he shouldered did not allow him to do so.
  120.      Dawn's duty, to lead people out of this prison, and see the light of the sun once again.
  121.      To accomplish that, he could not allow the whole team to be annihilated here.
  122.      What he needed to prioritize, for the sake of the people. He made his decision calmly.
  123. "Protect the Professor with all you've got!"
  124.      The Professor had been researching Jail and Märchen for a long time. His knowledge and wisdom was irreplaceable. He was indispensable to saving the people.
  125.      With that order, the squad members acted to prioritize the Professor's escape. In order to secure an escape route, the Major fired all the ammunition he had left at the Märchen. He endured his pain as he cried tears of blood.
  127. ***
  129.      That day,
  130.      Dawn's investigation team was annihilated, save for one person.
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