Chapter 28: Investigation
Just out on the outskirts of the carpark which was in front of the mall, Akira and Reia were behind a bush surveying the area.
"I don't see any mutants or people." Akira was looking for any signs of life but found everything was quiet.
"Well if there aren't any mutants that could mean a group of people have cleared the area." Reia was willing to believe that the lack of mutants meant that there was some activity.
"This is a mall as well you would think there would be hundreds of mutants, so I would say it's safe to assume that it is a rebel camp we are dealing with." Akira did not like the sound of it, but to take out such a massive group of mutants, you would need a lot of firepower or people.
"Can you spot any of that weird slime from the mutants?" Reia was sitting on the ground unable to see in the carpark.
"There are too many cars to see anything in the car park." Akira despite being tall was unable to see over the cars which filled the car park.
"I guess our only choice is to get closer." Reia did not want to get too close, as anyone could be watching from a distance and easily kill them.
"Let's cut through the carpark." Akira did not see any harm in cutting through as they could use the cars within the carpark as cover.
"Alright, let's go." Reia didn't mind the idea.
Reia took the lead and found a break in the bushes where it revealed a fence. Jumping over the fence, Reia and Akira started to weave through the cars getting closer to the mall while keeping an eye out for any evidence of mutants or people.
They got halfway through the carpark when they finally found something. A pool of the mutant's remains was in the middle of the road showing a shattered core amongst the slime.
"Looks like there are people." Reia wanted to turn back now as the corpse of the dead mutant was compelling evidence, but it was still unclear if the mall itself had been taken over.
"Do you want to continue?" Akira was fine either way, but he too wanted to investigate a little more.
"Let's get to the entrance and see what it's like before we back away." Reia thought that if the mall was taken over, entrances to the inside would be barricaded.
Akira nodded and pulled out his rifle ready for any conflict. Reia did the same and they continued their way through the carpark.
The cars were getting denser, making the cover plentiful giving them a sense of security.
Approaching near the entrance with multiple spinning doors and a large glass wall above it. A sign atop the mall read Coshan Mall and some lights that were pointed on the letters were flickering.
Reia peaked over the hood of a car and spotted that the entrance had indeed been barricaded by furniture and wood. There also looked like a pulley system for a gate meaning that a base had been established.
"Looks like we are correct, but it doesn't look like anyone is on guard or if so they are hidden somewhere." Reia whispered to Akira about the situation and now they knew that the mall is a no go place for resources.
"Alright let's head ba-" Just as Akira was going to suggest they head back, a spotlight shone on them from the roof.
Suddenly people appeared from the entrance and at a glance they did not look like rebel soldiers.
"Who are you?!" A woman from the entrance spoke up, sounding curious, but also authoritative.
"We are just survivors scoping the area out, we were just about to leave." Reia spoke the truth to not start any needless conflict.
"Hmmm, names?" Probing for answers Reia started to panic as her name was rather famous making it difficult to answer.
"My name is Akene and she is Reika." Akira on the spot gave them fake names saving Reia from fumbling with her words.
The woman turned around whispering to another survivor before turning back.
"Alright Akene and Reika, you are going to have to come with me." Upon her saying this the gate started to open allowing them to enter the mall through the spinning doors.
"Can't we just go on our own path?" Reia was not fond of the idea of going straight into the base as they will pretty much be prisoners.
"I appreciate your skepticism, but you don't really have a choice." The woman crossed her arms and Reia spotted a few flashes up on the roof indicating they had snipers.
"Shit Akene looks like we have to go in, let's hope it is an individual group and not the rebels." Reia was feeling very uneasy, but a bit of hope held out as they were not recognised by their looks.
"I will do the talking from now on, Reika just stay close." Akira stood up while holstering his rifle.
"If it makes you more comfortable we won't take away your weapons unless you try anything." The woman now had a softer tone as it looked like they were going to comply.
Reia and Akira both walked out to just the front of the mall and stopped for a moment.
"Don't be shy, just wanted to have a little chat where it is more private before I let you go." The woman had a smirk as she looked down on Reia and Akira.
*sigh* "Fine." Akira was already sick of this and wanted to make a break for it, but with the number of unknowns around them, it could spell disaster.
Reia and Akira walked into the mall with the gate shutting behind them. The woman jumped down from a platform that looked over the gate right in front of Akira and Reia. The woman had long red hair and was a little bit taller than Reia. She wore techwear clothes from head to toe only showing her amber eyes.
"My name is Raphel, one of the leaders of this survivor group." the woman introduced herself and she held out her hand.
"Nice to meet you." Akira glimpsed at her hand and saw nothing suspicious and returned the handshake. 𝙛𝙧𝓮𝓮𝙬𝓮𝒃𝒏𝓸𝒗𝓮𝙡.𝓬𝓸𝓶
'Tsk, I should chop her hand off.' Reia did not like Raphel one bit, but she couldn't deny there wasn't much to hate about her yet.
So far things were going smoothly and no blood was going to be shed.
"Now I won't bring you in much further as I know how much you probably don't want to be in this situation, but would you like to join the rebels?" Raphel smiled, hoping to recruit the 2 lone survivors that wandered into their base.
Reia was about to get defensive, but Akira was able to say something before she did anything rash.
"Aha it's a tempting offer, but I think I prefer the small group way of surviving, but by all means, we can collaborate or help out." Akira did not want to seem like they had any animosity towards the rebels in hopes of potentially getting an easy way into their camps in the future.
"Hmm that's a shame, I guess I won't keep you locked up and let you on your merry way." Raphel looked disappointed, but she seemed to respect their decision.
The gate behind Akira and Reia opened, allowing them to leave the mall. Akira grabbed Reia's hand and quickly left the mall before they got stuck again. However, as they left Raphel smiled before turning and leaving.
"Something doesn't seem right." Akira felt uneasy as it seemed too easy and that there was something more to it than just being recruited.
"They are rebels, I think we should start running." Reia was looking around seeing that the snipers on the roof were still looking at them.
"Alright, just before we enter the carpark area, we will sprint our way through." Akira wanted to leave as soon as possible, but he did not want to arouse suspicion before they could get cover.
As they got closer to the carpark Reia looked back at the snipers and noticed the glare from the lense was no longer there.
"Akira, the target isn't us, it's the cars." Reia whispered to Akira as they were just about to cross the road, but Reia was able to notice that they were aiming at something else.
"They must have rigged them to explode once shot." Akira had not stopped moving, but they needed to find a way before getting too close.
"How about we just run to the side and try to find an opening with fewer cars." Akira was struggling for ideas and they only had 5 seconds at least before they reached the car.
"Fuck it." Reia took the initiative and started to sprint to the left. Akira followed hoping that they would not be shot right away. Like they had expected a few of the snipers shot instinctively because of the movement and the cars started to explode.
'They must be inexperienced.' This was key information as it goes to show the rebels were arming ordinary people with weapons already. Akira noticed this detail as well and so he pulled out his rifle and blindly fired at the roof.
This caused some of the normal people to stop firing and take cover in fear of being shot.
"Reia now!" With some of the snipers now not looking, traversing the carpark without blowing up won't be an issue.
Some of the snipers that didn't take cover aimed to shoot Reia and Akira themselves, but like real bullets, they had to account for bullet drop since their essence wasn't as powerful causing them to miss a lot of their shots.
Running into the carpark Akira and Reia split off dividing the attention from the snipers. Moving quickly while staying low enough, they were able to lose sight of the snipers and get further and further away.
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU HAVEN'T KILLED THEM." Raphel was screaming from within the mall infuriated.
"They are one of the most dangerous people to live and you are just letting them get away!" Raphel threw a wooden chair she was next to out of frustration.
"Well, you could have killed them when you were talking to them." One of the people spoke up against her since she had the perfect opportunity to kill them.
"Shut up bitch." Pulling out what looked like a flintlock pistol shot the man that spoke up against her.
Everyone in the room straightened up and did not let out a single word in fear of getting shot as well.
"You don't understand the thrill of killing someone, seeing them being blown up would have been a firework show, don't you understand?" A crazed look was plastered on Raphel's face and nobody had the guts to respond.
"Good~. NOW GO BACK OUT THERE AND KILL THEM." Raphel smashed her hand on a table breaking it in half.
The rebel members all quickly rushed out of the room while Raphel took a seat and bit the tip of her finger.
'Damn it, why do we have to take in so many incompetent fools that can't even hold a gun properly.' Raphel tapped her foot regretting not taking advantage of the situation, but her desire to cause mayhem got the better of her.
"Tsk now the mutants will come because of the explosions." Raphel was now remembering the consequences of such an extravagant plan.
"M'lady, Edina would like to see you." A half fox woman with the same kind of hair as Reia, with a purple underneath and black hair slowly walked up to Raphel.
The woman wore a completely black turtleneck jacket and pants with purple accents. She also had the aura of a killer, however, Raphel completely ignored this.
"Don't tell me Wha-" Raphel got up to hit the woman, but before she could finish her sentence she was already on the ground.
"Any attempts in violence will result in exile or death so watch yourself." The woman had purple lightning around her body as she stood over Raphel threatening to break her arm.