The Oracle Paths

Chapter 27 A fight to the death

w useless and Jakes pain was so paroxysmal that he couldnt have paid attention anyway.

But paradoxically, in his suffering and sense of helplessness, he reacted in the most banal but terribly effective way against this carnivorous ersatz of a koala that was mistaking his arm for a tree trunk.

”Will you get off me, you piece of shit?! ” Jake screamed with an unbridled rage gushing out from the depths of his soul.

The alley was narrow and he was trapped between two walls to his left and right. He slammed into the nearest wall and performed the most violent backhand stroke of his left arm in his entire life.

The outside of his arm crashed against the concrete wall at full power, the mouse serving as his airbag. The first impact loosened the monsters teeth. The second impact caused the monster to squeak with pain, relieving Jake of his own. On the third impact, the rodent let go and slid down the wall, half knocked out.

The next few minutes Jake released all his frustration from the past few weeks. He kicked and kicked the mouse, like a football player would kick a soccer ball for a penalty.

After the first few blows, the creature stopped screaming for good. Unfortunately, the body still jerked by reflex from time to time and Jake had no intention of leaving any room for chance. He continued to strike until the monster was nothing more than a fine bloody mush splattered against the wall.

In his moment of madness, he didnt notice the Oracles notifications scrolling one after the other. Only his survival instincts governed his body, and it told him to continue until he was certain that the enemy had been annihilated. And with a mutant monster like that, he could expect anything, conventional logic not necessarily being a good advisor when dealing with alien things.

Finally, after an incalculable time and when he was so out of breath that he couldnt stand upright, Xis soft and reassuring voice chimed in his ears.

[You can stop, Jake. The Digestor is dead.]

The physically and mentally exhausted young man didnt notice at that moment the strange energy evaporating from the corpse and being sucked through his bracelet. If he could see the phenomenon, he would have described it as a kind of silvery stream of light.

If his eyesight was even better, and he could zoom in and out a few quintillion times, he could have discovered how this energy formed a kind of code. An energetic code, like the DNA was a biological one.

But as these strange symbols were being swallowed up by his bracelet in an uninterrupted manner, they were infinitely compressed losing their structure and becoming pure energy again.

A moment later, Jake finally crossed the threshold of his door. He had left the half-eaten corpse of the criminal and the crushed carcass of the mouse as they were in the middle of the alley. If a passerby discovered the scene of carnage the next day, he was good for PTSD.

Jake disinfected, then dressed his wound, which was starting to hurt like hell again now that the adrenaline was going down. After that, he slumped down on his couch, looking lost. That night had definitely been way too eventful for him. Crunch for once seemed to sense his masters distress and trotted beside him, sniffing his bloody shoes, only to finally curl up on his lap, purring with satisfaction.

Jake couldnt be sure, but he could have sworn that the cat had recognized the smell of the mouse on his body. The damn thing had been a nightmare for both the owner and the cat, and knowing it was gone was extremely soothing to their minds. Only for the cats, though.

As for Jake, he couldnt help thinking that mutated monsters like that one, there must be thousands of others in New Paris alone. A few weeks before, the mouse was already brave enough to attack alley cats, but not yet bold enough to attack him, a human. That night had changed all that.

He now had proof that these monsters no longer feared his kind, and that meant that any walk in New Paris was now a matter of life and death. He couldnt wall himself off at home if he wanted to continue training, but his unarmed days were behind him.

Uncle Kalens weapons had been delivered some time ago. From guns to assault rifles, from military knives to nano-carbon fiber katana, he was equipped enough to take on an army.

Now it was time to find out what all the notifications that had flashed before his eyes during his fight to the death were for.

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