Every street USA
They congregated in mass groups and wore handkerchiefs and other forms of identity concealment. They violently waved signs on cardboard and the like and chanted quotes reminiscent of brown shirts circa the late 1930’s into the 1940’s. Among the throng were one or two brave souls that held signs along the lines of “speech is free” and “lets have a civilized discussion”.
It wasn’t long before they noticed the ‘dissenters’ and swarmed them.
“Tangos are amassing.” A young man spoke into his wrist piece.
“Standby, we need confirmed attack before a response can be mounted.” The voice said back.
“Damnit Kate, these fuckers are primed to explode.” The man hissed.
“I know Shawn, but we have guidelines.” Kate said back.
Shawn sighed but stood still.
“They’re ganging up on the free speech guy.” Shawn said.
“Hold.” Kate said.
Shawn huffed loud enough that one or two of the concealed protesters noticed him.
“Hey! What are you doing here?” One of them shouted.
“Fuck! I’ve been noticed Kate.” Shawn said.
“What! Just hold off until life and limb is in danger.” Kate said.
“Fuck.” Shawn mumbled.
“What was that?” The protester said as they stepped closer.
Shawn tensed, but kept a modicum of calm.
“Talking to my girlfriend.” Shawn offered weakly.
The Protester turned around and continued their assault on the sign holder.
That was close, Shawn thought. Several seconds later, a crack rang out. Everyone including Shawn, dropped to the ground. Shawn looked in the direction of the sound and saw a protester wielding a firearm and fallen to the ground.
“Kate, what the fuck is going on?” Shawn hissed into his wrist.
“Standby.” Kate said.
Static crossed Shawn’s ear piece.
“Target down Sage, how see the next?” The voice said.
Shawn dashed into an alleyway before speaking again.
“Who is on our comms?” He asked.
“Identify yourself.” The reply came back.
“This is Shawn Drake, who are you?” Shawn responded.
There was a short pause.
“Goddamn it.” The other voice said.
“What? Identify yourself!” Shawn said back.
“I’m 82, and it would seem our creator is on a kill binge again.” 82 said.
“What?” Shawn said.
There was another pause.
“You don’t know?” 82 replied.
“Know what goddammit?” Shawn asked.
Another shot rang out and another masked protester fell to the ground.
“What the fuck?” Shawn shouted. “Shit.”
Protesters looked towards Shawn and the dead body.
“Oh. My. God.” Shawn muttered.
“Run now.” 82 said.
Shawn turned in place and dashed away. The Protesters followed suit.
“What the actual fuck!” Shawn muttered as he ran.
“You don’t know?” 82 said.
“Know what?” Shawn asked in frustration.
“He knows what you can do, so do it.” 82 said.
Shawn stopped to a walk and then turned. The collected protesters also stopped and waited. Green neon energy coalesced around Shawn’s hands. A claymore and a kukri formed in his hands. The protesters collectively took a step back. Shawn cracked a grin. The kukri disappeared with a mute poof. Shawn gripped the Claymore and swept them all with a gaze and smiled.
“Tag, I’m it.” Shawn quipped as he dashed forward.
The gathered protesters had a split second moment before they attempted to run away. Shawn took calculated leaps and swings. The neon blade judged nothing but what it was swung through. In short order, Shawn made his way back to the street's edge.
“Now what?” Shawn asked with bated breath.
“I’d say hold my beer, but, watch this.” 82 said.
There was a loud brrt and the rest of the protesters fell in place.
“Holy shit!” Shawn exclaimed.
“When the Creator wills it, it will be done.” 82 said.
“Who is this creator?” Shawn asked.
“Oh, you know. He is the one that drives us forward.” 82 said.
“Why did he do this now?”
“Who knows, just be glad you are still alive.”
“Could we never talk about this again?”
Shawn ran down a street corner and disappeared.
“That boy has much to learn.” 82 muttered.
“What?” Sage asked.
“Nothing, but the Library is being added to.” 82 said.