It was probably to Jermaine's detriment that he did not bother to confirm if Mill was dead, and neither did Flames. Both tired, both having a lot more on their plates, and having places to be, they quickly moved on with their lives.
But if Jermaine had simply written the words 'Agent Mill is dead' in his book, or typed it out, he would see that it would turn black, and not gold. Somehow, the agent had managed to escape death due to quick thinking, even though it had come at a cost.
He allowed to crystal to slowly disintegrate and break off, revealing his burnt, tattered clothes and his skin which was covered in burn marks. Even though he managed to secrete enough blood from his sweat pores to turn it into a film of high-density crystal that protected him from most of the heat and destruction, he still got burnt.
But unlike his partner, he was still alive.
He looked at the pile of ash and bone where Meek had been cremated - if he could call it that, since immolated seemed like a better word, but he felt like using it anyway. Even though he did not think too highly of his late partner, they had been working together for more than ten years, so it was hard watching him die like that.
They had not been slacking during the five years since they last met Flames. They had killed a lot more justice agents, and they had risen up the ranks until they were regarded as two of the best the SCP Foundation had to offer.
But today, Flames had proven that she was leagues ahead of them. Their moves, their strategies, their surprise counters; she seemed to see through them all like they were nothing, and she stayed in control of the fight from start to finish. 6The disparity between their strengths was so great, it looked like Flames was just fighting some underlings.
He managed to drag himself up and walk off deeper into the bush. From the sh=ounds of cars around this site, he knew who it was. A glance from within the dense covering of trees confirmed the presence of SCP Foundation agents. The whole place was crawling with them.
He then remembered PointGuard's warning. There would be hell to pay if he was caught at that place, especially after the strong warnings he had been issued, and his rude clap backs. For proud people like him, humility often came after failure and embarrassment. He was going to be a laughing stock at the Foundation if he was to return, but even that fate seemed acceptable when compared to the prospects of becoming a lab rat.
He had lost his partner, and he was so beat-up, there was no way that he would still be seen as an indispensable asset to the Foundation. He would just be another anomaly, available for invasive experiments that would continue until he expired. Such a fate for a man who lived as he did was terrible.
What then was he going to do with the miserable life that he had left?
Finishing Flames, of course.
Now, he was officially excommunicado. He had no affiliations with any groups and was in fact, a wanted man. But his plans to kill Flames, leak confidential Foundation information, and then become a freelance contract killer were still on track.
He was weaker than before, and would probably need a week or two to get back in form, but once he did, it would be full throttle. Both parties would have hell to pay.
"Search the area. From the look of this scene, it is impossible that he's gotten far from here. Take great care to bring him back alive though, there are one or two experiments he'll be useful for."
PointGiard laughed as he issued these instructions, picking up the badge from the pile of ashes. That badge was literally indestructible and hence useful as a means of identification in times like this. Even though he wanted the, to succeed in the mission, for the greater goal of the Foundation, a part of him realized that Mill had wings that needed to be clipped.
As he looked around the scene, he acknowledged the telltale signs that there had been a fierce battle there, and they had lost. And the icing on the cake was that Mill was the man who survived, and the man on the run now.
The man who would suffer the shame, stigma and pain that was associated with being a failure at the Foundation,espeially wen it came to falls from grace such as this.
HGe remembered when Mill, who wa==had always been his junior, insulted hum for being a weak office agent who just had to sit behinfd his desk, file the papework and run the numbers while serving the true heroes of the Foundation who were out on the roads.
Technicallty, he did not lie, bevcause it was now his job to process Agent Mill's Excommunicado status, and put a bounty on his head if he was not found.
TO BE CONTINUED.
Thanks for Reading!