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By @CollisionOfFates

- Chapter Two -

The cold air stings my face as we make our way out. The others form into their pairs as they spill from the door, but Kenzo and I haven’t left each other’s side.

Life is safer when someone always has your back- especially for someone such as myself.

“Here we go,” I mutter. “For Illuminance!” 

Then things get chaotic.

The gunfire is the first thing you hear. Most of our own elites carry swords due to lack of new material, so you have to assume that the shots are being fired from the opposing side. Some members of Illuminance dive behind the skyscrapers, while others position themselves between deep holes in the pavement. I choose the latter.

Kenzo and I crouch down, safely hidden- well, as safe as you can get, at least- in the rock. The towering mass of a building nearby provides extra coverage should we need it. 

I shiver and tighten my parka around my neck. The dark color of the fabric helps at night, but I’ve used it so much that it’s worn down to the equivalent of a very thin sweatshirt.

The explosions start a few seconds after we choose our hiding place. Shrapnel from my right side flies over our heads, forcing us to duck deeper into the gap. They can only uproot us if they know where we’ve hidden, so I pray they target someone else. 

I know it’s selfish of me, but when your life is on the line as well as your closest friend’s, you try not to care. 

“Smoke grenade?” Kenzo asks.

“Smoke grenade,” I confirm. I know the only way we’ll have a chance this time is if we cause a distraction. The enemy is just too close for my liking. 

He carefully takes the silver sphere from his dusty pack. “Get ready.” Kenzo positions it in his hand and peeks slightly over the edge, ready to throw. 

I grip his other arm so we won’t lose sight of each other.

He begins to count. “Three, two, one…” 

He throws the grenade, and a grey cloak envelops the world. 

We choke for a minute, gasping for breath, but we’ve done this enough to know it won’t kill us. 

“Come on!” I say, and we help each other up, then head in what I assume to be a forward direction. The smoke billows in columns around us. We half crawl, half run toward a dimly lit black shape. An Obscurity tent. 

One glance at Kenzo and we have our plan. He heads toward the right of the tent and I creep to the left. This will enable us to block off both exits. I hold my hand over the tent to signal the seconds to Kenzo. On count number three, he rips his sword through the tent fabric and barges in.

Immediate shouting follows. Pots clang, guns are loaded, but he’s taken the enemy by surprise. I hear a firm THUNK and know that someone’s been taken down with the flat of a blade. Two more symmetrical sounds and Kenzo tears his way through the opposite side of the tent. 

“They’re down,” he says. “Take what you want and let’s go.”

I enter the tent and grab a bulletproof vest, two small containers of water, and a pistol. Pistols are rare, so I hope my finds will be enough. I hand them to Kenzo, who adds them to the meager stash in his pack.

Suddenly a horrible feeling overtakes me- a feeling that one of us is about to be harmed. I glance over Kenzo’s shoulder. Sure enough, an Obscurity soldier is attempting to take him down.

My sword knocks the soldier unconscious before he has the chance.

“Thanks,” Kenzo mutters. “Didn’t see him there.”

“Let’s get out of here.” I motion towards the Illuminance base and we make a run for it.

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