ByDamien Campos, writer at Creators.co
Fantasy and horror writer and occasional Master cosplayer living in Tampa, Florida. I'm currently working on an alternate history vampire no
Damien Campos

The world has yet to end, but it was in its death throes. The hunter knew not the source of the destruction. Was this the arriving Darkness? Dean could recall very little after hightailing it with his brother away from what could only be described as the awakening of a primordial evil. This is not what he expected. He already lived through the apocalypse. He saw the rise of demons and the fall of angels. He saw the freeing of Lucifer and the return of the leviathans. Each time on the surface nothing changed in the world, and the masses failed to notice.

This was different. The world did change, and at first he wasn’t sure there was anyone left to notice. He awoke alone behind the wheel of Baby. Not recognizing his surroundings he stepped out of the Impala. A silvery sheen covered the sky. He could make out no celestial bodies. He couldn’t see the sun and no sign of emerging stars or moon. There were no clouds. There was just a consistent haze of soft light. Baby was in the middle of an empty lot surrounded by decaying buildings. He recognized no landmarks. He had no clue as to what city he was in or even what state. All he knew with certainty was that this city was dead. He saw no lights anywhere, and no sign of habitation. At first he could hear nothing but an uneasy silence. That broke with the blaring of a horn somewhere in the distance. It lasted only a minute, but it showed something or someone was in the surrounding area.

He armed himself from the trunk grabbing more ammo. He left Baby to explore his immediate surroundings. Taking a quick pace he left the lot, and once beyond the shadows of the surrounding buildings he could see light and plumes of smoke. Multiple fires burned in the distance.

He didn’t know what direction the horn sounded, but now he detected other sounds. He heard shouts and screams. They brought forth a litany of shrieks and a cacophony of howling. The unmistakable sound of gunfire followed.

Dean ran towards the sounds not sure of what he would find or if he even wanted to know.

Oliver Queen awoke hours before in the dirt surrounded by a desolate landscape. The silver sky shined much brighter then. He stood up picking up his bow. He had a stocked quiver but it was the only gear he had, and he knew not where he was or how he got there. He tried to raise Diggle or Felicity but got nothing. Not even static registered. He scanned the area, and could make out an unknown city a couple of miles away directly before him. He saw only barren wasteland in any other direction.

With bow in hand, he headed for the city. It didn’t take him long to cover the distance, and he knew long before he reached the cities outskirts he was heading into ruin. The city was immense with tall skyscrapers towering above the city. He knew he could not be heading to Starling City, and he could only guess that some catastrophe had befallen and somehow dropped him outside of the ruins of Metropolis or Gotham.

He found no answers on where he was or what happened once he reached the city. He made way through the ruins noting that none of the damage looked at all recent. Whatever happened here it happened a long time ago.

He moved with stealth, and remained in the shadows and elevated whenever possible. He at first found signs of animation, but not exactly life. It was a small herd of rotting figures moving slowly down the street with no sense of direction. He gave them a wide berth and continued. He heard other sounds of activity, and he did see signs of fire. Screams and sporadic gunfire registered but from multiple directions. Without no clear direction, he kept moving inward heading deeper and deeper into the city.

His first sign of actual life was a lone figure trotting through the rubble with a pistol in one hand and a blade in the other. Oliver couldn’t be sure, but his immediate sense was that this person was just as lost and confused as he was. With little other options Oliver followed him from the shadows.

Judgement day had arrived; it just wasn’t the apocalypse that the T-900 known as Cameron had prepared for and expected. There was nothing in her programming and data files. She searched that data for a record of what happened. She only knows she went offline and then came back online standing in the middle of ruined buildings. She scanned the area and detected no residual radiation. The surrounding damage was not recent.

It was highly improbable that she traveled through time. She had full combat gear. She wore a leather vest and held a fully loaded MAC 11. She also had two glock pistols holstered on her hips. All of that would have shredded during time travel. She tried to determine how long she been offline, but she couldn’t access her internal clock. She ran a self-diagnostic, and all her systems were at top capacity with the exception that she couldn’t access anything relating to time or date.

Her objective now was to find John. She moved quickly continually scanning her surroundings. Nothing registered with familiarity. This was not a city she had been to nor did anything match stored locations in her data banks. She could only keep moving quickly and efficiently until she found John.

When she heard signs of battle in the distance, she adjusted course. She detected possibly multiple combat zones, and she pinpointed the closest sounds. She followed that path and did so until given reason to deviate.

Dean didn’t travel far from the lot. Not understanding exactly where he was he didn’t want to risk being too far away from Baby. He felt it in his gut. In this place, he would need access to wheels and additional weapons. Closer didn’t mean safer for he found signs of carnage relatively soon.

He stood outside a crumbling warehouse. Like all the surrounding buildings, its windows were blown out. Unlike the other buildings crude war banners hung from the roofs and red symbols marked the outer walls. He didn’t recognize them, but they looked vaguely runic. Over the large front doors hung a collection of human bones dangling from a rope. Dean didn’t enter these doors instead moving to the side of the building entering through a breach in the wall.

He could smell the stench of spoiled death. He followed the stench wading through the shadows with his father’s Colt M1911A1 in his left hand and the demon killing Kurdish knife in his right. He clears the side room he enters and exits through an open doorway into the main warehouse.

The contents of the warehouse were looted or destroyed long ago. Refuse littered the ground and along with the garbage and feces were bones and decomposing body parts.

Over a dozen humanoid creatures lay amongst the litter and remains. He knew not what they were, but they appeared brutish and primitive. There long and thick hair hung from their heads in clumps matted with a mud coating. White and red war paint crusted and peeled off of their porcine faces. They snored and slobbered on the ground oblivious to Dean’s presence. Many had crude weapons like hatchets, clubs, and spears in reach.

Dean cast a quick look at the gaped roof to the sky above. The sky was dimming into a dull gray. What passed for sunlight in these parts was dimming meaning the nocturnal creatures around him would likely soon rise. The wise choice was for him to get back to Baby, and get away from this area. They were too many creatures for him to deal with on his own. At the very least he needed to prepare properly and find a way to burn out or blow this den of monsters.

He looked down at a partially eaten severed arm laying in front of him, and he dismissed such thought. He marked the locations of the sleeping brutes and centered his attention on a creature sleeping on an elevated metal platform with a bedding of rags and debris. It wasn’t the biggest of the bunch, but Dean registered its dominance from where it lay.

Dean crept over several sleeping bodies to reach the platform. The brute lay on his side with his back to the hunter. Dean briefly studied the prone body. He quickly secured his pistol in the back of his pants and concentrated on his blade. He grabbed the brute by the side of its head with his right hand pinning it down while simultaneously slamming the knife into the small indentation at the base of its skull. He drove the blade into its brain cutting off all motor skills in the process and preventing any movement or noise.

He slowly drew the knife out of the dead creature but froze when he heard scuffling. Harsh coughing erupted behind him. He quietly turned as a brute just a few feet behind him stood up. The half-naked creature grabbed at its groin as it walked forward. Before it cleared the area, it started pissing inadvertently spraying urine in the face of another brute as it stepped over it. That brute instantly woke as well cursing and grunting as it sat up with piss dripping from its face.

Dean once more marked the creatures. Between the brute still pissing on the floor with its back to him and the one sitting up who continued to wipe off his face three more slept within a few feet of him. Another half a dozen slept scattered around the room. He knew the brutes that remained asleep wouldn’t be for much longer for the one sitting up now froze. It sensed his presence most likely seeing him through the corner of its peripheral vision. At the same time, the standing brute finished urinating.

“Son of a bitch!” Dean yelled as he drew out his gun. The first blast hit the sitting brute on the side of its head and the second blew out the back of the skull of the standing brute. As these two brutes dropped down the others in the room sprang up. Some came up with startled confusion, but several of them instinctively grabbed the weapons laying around them as they came up. Dean kept shooting trying to take out as many of them as he could before they could reach him.

He made every shot count staying with head shots. He killed the three closest to him in mere seconds and took aim for a fourth charging his way. Before he could fire, an arrow pierces through the back of the brutes head. A hooded figure drops down from a rafter above landing in a defensive stance with a bow raised and ready to shoot.

“They more behind you!” Oliver yells. “A lot more.”

Dean turns and empties his mag dropping the charging brutes as arrows continue to fly passed him. As more came, he realized how he misjudged the size of the brute pack. Well over a dozen more emerged from shadowed corners of the warehouse and other alcoves and rooms.

Oliver brought down more with his arrows, but now Dean resorted to his knife. A large brute rushed him swinging a large spiked club. Dean ducked down and sidestepped jamming the knife into the brutes side as it moved passed.

Oliver likewise became too overwhelmed to keep shooting and resorted to melee. A creature came at him thrusting a short spear. Oliver brought his reinforced bow up and smacked down pushing the spear tip downward. In a continuous movement, he brought the bow back up this time smacking it across the brute’s jaw dislocating it. Oliver uses his bow like a crossbar pushing the dazed brute back into the creature behind it. He slid around shielded by the maimed brute and delivered a powerful side kick to the side of the head of the next creature.

Neither Dean nor Oliver could relent. Too many came at them, and they had choice but to maim or immobilize the brutes quickly before moving to the next. Dean stabbed, slashed, and gouged at every opening he found leaving a trail of bleeding and dying creatures in his wake. Oliver used his bow defensively and offensively. He concentrated on quick moves and quick deflections striking with bow and rapid kicks. Still more and more of the brutes came at them.

Cameron scanned the back of the building, and her thermal vision detected the combating inhabitants inside. She could detect no sign of John or Sarah, but a mass of figures engaged inside. Her program demanded certainty and she rammed into the wall with her side shoulder smashing clean through entering the structure.

She released a spray with her entry taking out the row of brutes in the rear of the throng. Shadows and cover didn’t protect her targets. She made out every form and hit every target with lethal accuracy.

She detected a crouched brute to her left creeping up on her. Keeping the subcompact machine pistol in her left hand and targeted on those before her she swung back hitting it solidly in the middle of the throat crushing its larynx.

She moved forward as she drew her glock and now fired with both hands. She didn’t hit the two clearly human targets but had little difficulty shooting around them. Initially both also dived and ducked for cover but that only put them huddled with more brutes. The renewed fighting brought them back into the open giving Cameron more clear targets.

The last brute went down at Dean’s feet with its hand severed from his knife and two bullet holes in its back. Now the three combatants concentrated only on each other. Both Dean and Oliver suffered from various cuts and bruises but all superficial. They eyed each other while remaining defensive with weapons in hand.

Cameron did a quick scan of them and the room. There was nothing in her data banks on their identity nor any sign of John in the room. She would have to keep moving.

“Where are we?” Oliver asked. “What city is this?”

Dean looked down at the carnage around them. “I have no freaking clue.”

“Nor do I,” Cameron answered. “Do you know the date? The year?”

Dean looked at her perplexed but shook his head with the reality of it. He didn’t know when or where they were. “Can’t help you there either sister.”

Cameron turned away from them and headed toward the hole she created. She looked back at Oliver and Dean. “Come with me if you want to live.”

The hunter and the archer looked at each other both perplexed but with no other options. Dean calls out to Cameron, “perhaps we should go this way? I still have my wheels. Baby is fully loaded with weapons, ammo, and beer.”

Cameron stops and promptly follows behind him. “Then take us to your car.”

Oliver remains hesitant but likewise follows behind.

The trio exit the warehouse not sure where they are or where they are going. They knew not if they could trust each other. At this point, they knew not if they had any choice.

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