46 Chapter 45: Making Their Last Stand Part 1
The group was busy marching their way towards town. Nathan was left behind at the mansion, but he was able to talk to them through the mental link to tell them everything that was going on back at base. The Carsen brothers were also on the link to report how things were going, but they were more focused on checking up on all the defenses before any possible attack could occur. This time around everyone had all of their gear and any other tools or equipment they planned to use under specific circumstances.
Madalyn had a couple of extra bags on her person. One was a small bag strapped to her waste. It had a few small acid grenades that only she could use efficiently sense the containers and contents were poisonous to the extreme. Strapped over her back was a far bigger bag that only contained one large jug like object. According to Madalyn it was her newest masterpiece and was designed to imbed the strongest poison she could currently create directly into her opponent's body. It also had a large amount of acid that could damage the surroundings greatly in the process of its explosion. It had a delay mechanic so that she could escape the range of the explosion when used and it was something that brought the biggest grin to her face.
On the other hand Natalie was carrying a contraption that Joshua had made over the past few days specifically for her to use in the upcoming fight. It was similar to a cross bow, but was far larger and used big rail road nails instead of arrows as its ammo. After seeing how her arrows were barely able to pierce the skin of the sub-boss class monsters Joshua knew that she needed another way to use her marksmanship in the upcoming fight. That's where he came up with the idea of using the rail road nails that were at the factory as a weapon against the boss. Each nail was infused with poison by Madalyn and the force of the launcher would be strong enough to dig into the behemoths skin. From there all it would take is one nice hit from Joshua's sledgehammer to make sure the nails would be lodged in for good, even if the healing of the monster took effect.
Laura meanwhile wasn't carrying anything special with her for the upcoming fight. The only thing she had that was different from usual was an extra spear strapped to her back just in case her usual one broke while fighting. Joshua also didn't carry much that was different from his usual gear. The only thing new that he had with him was a bundled tool strapped to his back that was completely covered up from top to bottom. He also held what looked like a life sized model that was covered in clothes that looked similar to him. It wasn't the same size as him, but from far enough away you wouldn't be able to tell the difference at the right angle.
Everyone was completely silent on the long walk over with Joshua leading the way. Although they didn't want to attract attention to themselves from any stray zombies that might approach them, the main reason they were so quiet was the nerves that were eating away at them. All of them were dealing with it in their own way, Natalie was humming a song to herself, Laura would constantly twirl her spear around whenever she got to tense, and Madalyn would play with her daggers or inspect whatever she had in her bags from time to time. Joshua was the only one that remained completely calm throughout the entire walk towards town. He regulated his breathing as if he was preparing for a match like he had done several times before in the past. It calmed his nerves and helped him concentrate on the task ahead of them.
After a while they were able to reach the edge of the haze, which was now far more spread out then before. Over the past few days the haze had grown to extreme levels. If they hadn't forced the boss to use the haze to heal itself in the last fight then the haze might have grown at an even more frightening rate. 'Let's be careful as we move in. I doubt there will be any of the usual creatures, but we have to be cautious just in case.' Joshua said through the mental link.
'Alright, but if we run in to any of those things we should probably pick up the pace.' Madalyn replied while the other two nodded.
'Right, stick close together, we don't know how thick the haze has become since the last time we entered.' Joshua stated before moving on ahead in to the haze. At first it wasn't so bad sense they could see for quite a ways, it was a sign that even though the haze was spreading fast it wasn't nearly as dense as it was near the source. Zombies or creatures would be able to surprise them if the haze was denser, but for now they could see them coming from a mile away.
The haze didn't become any denser until they reached the outskirts of town. They could see the sign that welcomed people into town not that far away from them so they knew they were closing in on the gas station. Along the way they hadn't met any creatures of any sort up to that point. It was a good sign that Joshua and Nathan's prediction was correct. If so there plan wouldn't be too hard to do. Clearing out all the zombies in the past was their greatest blessing at the moment. After another ten minutes of walking they finally arrived at the gas station. Joshua's truck was still sitting in the exact same spot, but the gas station looked a bit banged up with several claw marks from creatures climbing up the building in the past, or looking for any survivors.
Joshua signaled the girls to wait before he inspected the place for any signs of trouble. Luckily they were in the clear so he rushed around the back and found a ladder that folded down and allowed him and the others to reach the roof of the building. He came back around to show the ladies the way up before climbing the ladder and setting up their trap. 'You sure this is going to work?' Laura asked as she watched him position the doll near the front of the roof.
'It worked before for you guys, and that was with just a piece of clothing. This time even I would be confused if I saw this from a distance.' Joshua replied as he looked over the doll in front of him. It had the same assortment of clothes as him and even had a fake beard on its face that looked similar to Joshua's beard. It wore a hoodie to cover its head that was similar to the one Joshua was currently wearing and even had gloves put on its hands in the same manner as him. The real kicker was the fact that Joshua took the time to paint the doll a dark brown color that was similar in skin tone to him. Outside of size there wasn't much difference between the two from distance and if Joshua wasn't standing next to it to show the differences then a giant rampaging monster would go for the kill first and ask questions after it exploded in its face.
'If you think so, what do we do next?' Laura asked while the other two listened in.
'You guys will head over to the roof of a building across the street. It sucks that you won't have a clear view from that distance, but if you guys are to close the explosion could kill you as well. I'll head out to attract the boss monster so when you hear it approach the gas station be ready to set it ablaze. You should hear it rage in pain for a moment as a signal to start.' Joshua explained getting nods in return. 'Alright I'm heading out. I'll keep in touch over the mental link, so let me know if anything unplanned happens.'
Joshua climbed down the ladder before heading further into town with his goal in mind. He made sure to be careful as he slowly moved through the deserted streets. The atmosphere was completely different from before as the silent surroundings kept him on edge. There was no clattering of the creature's clawed footsteps, or guttural moans of the mindless zombies. All that existed was silence and that wasn't the easiest thing to move through. It didn't take long for Joshua to move past the police station and start to get closer to the center of town. All along the way the haze grew denser and denser. Soon Joshua had to feel his way through the area and stay close to the buildings just to get a decent idea of where he was.
It took a while for him to figure his way around the area, but soon he was able to make out the large looming shadow of the boss monster in place of where the mayor's office once was. Based on its height he was sure that it was still sitting down so he wasn't going to be taken by surprise again when it got up like last time. As he got closer he could start to hear its rhythmic breathing, but the sound clearly wasn't coming from where its head was but instead from its stomach.
Joshua decided to look for a tall enough building for him to get on top of and be able to get a clear shot at the monster. He also made sure that the building was close enough to others so that he could flee via roof tops for as long as possible. After their last encounter many of the buildings in the area had been taken down as the boss smashed through them while trying to kill Laura and Madalyn. When he finally found a nice location he quietly made his way up and got in position to start his assault. He took out a few poison grenade canisters and set them aside before taking out his bow and lighting a single arrow on fire and set it down on the edge of the roof.
Taking a deep breath Joshua calmed himself before pulling up his mask and throwing the canisters as hard as he could into the boss monsters face. He wasn't trying to hurt it badly, but was instead trying to enrage the creature. He followed up the first with another throw before the first one even collided with its face. Soon two loud shattering sounds occurred one after the other before a loud annoyed roar came in response. The boss's eyes opened as it glared down at the bug that dared to attack it. When it noticed Joshua it looked on in confusion for a moment before it recognized the thing that had dared attack it again. In that moment it let out another roar as it prepared to rise from its throne of rubble and attack the pest in front of it.
The moment it started to move Joshua took the flaming arrow and aimed it directly at the cloud of poisonous gas in the creatures face and let it fly. The moment the flaming arrow reached the gas it exploded into a bright flame that wasn't nearly powerful enough to cause any real damage, but succeeded in enraging the beast. Right after he let the arrow go Joshua immediately started rushing to the other side of the roof, ready to make his escape. Just as he was about to jump across he could hear the boss pop into existence behind him and crash its fist into the building he was standing on. This time around he didn't have to help anyone else get across so instead he easily regained his balance and leaped to the next roof.
After that the chase began as the giant creature lumbered after him. After every minute it would suddenly teleport right next to his location and Joshua would have to jump out of the way of its fist while avoiding falling into the collapsing building below him. After a while of the game of cat and mouse he was finally starting to get within range of the gas station so it was time for him to lose its line of sight. The entire time he had been counting down from sixty after every time it teleported so that he knew when to expect the monster to close in on him once again.
He only had five seconds before the next time the beast would teleport next to him so he immediately picked up speed and ran across the roof towards a building that was a bit too far away to make the jump across. When he was approaching the edge he took a deep breath before smashing a canister of the poison gas on the floor and proceeding to lunge off the building. In the next second the monster appeared behind him and was once again about to destroy the building he jumped off of, but by the time it had appeared Joshua was already crashing through the window of another building and rolling to a stop. He quickly pulled out an arrow and lit it on fire before aiming at the green cloud and causing another small explosion to cover his tracks. The loud noise and bright flash of light caused by the explosion distracted the creature long enough for Joshua to sneak his way to the bottom floor of the building and watch silently from the window.
For a while the monster roared in anger at the fact it couldn't find him before it started to lean down and look through the alleyways in hopes of catching him in the open. Joshua kept watch as the haze seemed to be detrimental to its vision just as much as it was to his own. After a while of looking around the building the monster started follow the direction in which Joshua was headed in the first place. It was in that moment that Joshua finally took a breath of air. He had been holding it in ever since he threw the poison gas. He watched as the creature slowly approached the area of the gas station. That's when he started counting the last seconds before the boss monster would be able to teleport once again.
The monsters slowly strode into view of the gas station.
Its large mouth opened wide as the pair of tongues flicked back in forth as if they were tasting the air.
It froze in place as its body tensed up and its tongues pointed in the direction of the doll.
Its eyes turned to lock on to the figure on the roof that seemed to be facing away from it, but looked so similar to who it had been chasing all this time.
Its giant mouth on its belly spread into a lopsided smile before its eyes squinted and glee.
In the next instant the creature teleported directly next to the building and bent down to one knee as it punched fiercely towards the doll. In that moment Joshua smiled brightly at the fact that the first part of the plan was a success.