A/N: Just decided to continue reading the original light novels of SAO, and see how well it impacts...
6 August 2024
2:43 A.M EDT
Edison, New Jersey, United States
He commands again, flinging his left arm while he lowers posture, slanting his knees. Dvinaslav following Drahoslav's lead as he expected from her. Starting their approach for the hotel.
Zelislav moved Stanislav's wheelchair in the direction of the target eighteen-wheeler with Jaraslav following behind at a sloth's pace. Concentrating on his predetermined task given to him for this operation. One which might be vital going forward once completed.
Whenever he was getting within a distance of the inn his work began. Crouching on a knee, acting as a perch for the laptop as he leaned its main sapphire screen as a single tap of a button activated a show of flashy vibrant graphics. Revealing his twisted smile as he indulged in his work. Obsolete technology couldn't prevent Jaraslav's tech talents from extracting hotel schematics and manual control over to him.
Meanwhile, Drahoslav and Dvinaslav continued their path for the person the rest of the comrades require to get their required individual. Waiting for Jaraslav's magic to take effect. Awaiting the two was a construct composed of thick concrete, casted steel fencing, and a brick room, shaped like a U or a C varying on one's form of perspective. Any kind of quick and undetected mission would have the requirement of working within the structure's form and function.
Venting air out of her mouth, Dvinaslav halts and gives a turn to Drahoslav with a whisper, "Who are we after?"
"The info about the Buffalo-Norfolk Arms Transfer stated the driver's ID was nicknamed Talon. We have to wait for Jara to break the code preventing any keycard besides a designated room's from working." Drahoslav whispered.
Nodding, Dvinaslav spaces from a line of hotel room doors, people sleeping on the other side.
Drahoslav shifts the view from his eye towards the right. Only the flapping of his hair westward stood out. He changes direction towards the opposite direction, still nothing.
Meanwhile, Dvinaslav extends how much of the EconoLodge hotel she could see. Lights within the premise remain present, warm colors, including the tall sign nearby to attract goers on the highway. Scarlet background and an amber E, albeit partially blocked due to her orientation relative to its pole and face direction.
With no signals on where to go, an assumption came to her head and an idea. Rubbing her darkened pale hands. Continuing for as long as she couldn't produce some usable form from her power. Climaxing upon a tan yellow fluidic glow showing up in between her palms. But upon separation, changes outside of being attached like paste became negligible. She smiles, and both blobs clash in a clap she did.
An effect similar to a liquid when it's disrupted hard produced from her action. Dispersing from the epicenter of the explosion of light. Ten trails, connected to her light pool through threads traced every room doorknob. Usually not coming back to their mistress. Until she lost one...
"What~" she looked.
Drahoslav was still there, only twelve meters away from where she stood, staring at the sky, and the placebo shaped light showing up. Causing him to suspect Dvinaslav for causing it with his heel turning towards her while she made her return as silently as possible.
"Dvina, what's the meaning of that thing up there?" he points his finger at the light pixie.
"It's found something and then those other droplets returned."
He nods, "...I see, let's find out why."
The taller comrade begins pacing his way across the overpass with a stair set, towards the other side of the hotel, where its shadow, truthfully a bright spot, lied. In front of one of the rooms with an open door.
"That must be the room. Dvina, can you link with the truck from here?"
"I can, Draho."
Dvinaslav splits from Drahoslav, permitting the latter to get on to the important part, getting the driver to come along. Making a silent walk inside the room, a typical two-bed hotel room with queen mattresses and lampshades possessing outlets and a small flatscreen TV with limited channels. Also, internet access paid for by the lodger.
Since it was past midnight and all defenses breached, a breeze elevated the curtains and disengaged the large air conditioning unit. Leaning on the other bed with his bare hands together.
He then spoke sternly, pointed, and like his boss, "Talon, wake up."
He'd ask with his eyes springing awake. Half of his head gone and a lack of sideburns and stubby unkempt facial hair greeting people he sees. The opened door and the wind free to circulate quickly noticed from his eyes immediately. Statically looking Drahoslav.
"The boss has made a late-night decision. An international cell of Al-Shabab terrorists are aware of your stay here and are going to try and attempt an attack to destroy your truck. Fortunately, it'll happen later in the morning. Get your things as quickly as possible. We cannot risk them finding out until it's too late."
"I understand, why didn't the boss call me?"
Drahoslav stood up while he walks towards the exit, "Mister Miller made the request that we deliver his order in person, to avoid interception by the terrorists."
Talon nods, scrambling his baggage and other items crucial when traveling long distances. Compared to getting on the road, the time wouldn't take long. But once ready, Drahoslav opens his hand.
"The keys to the truck."
"I should be driving."
"You're a risk, we're taking over. Boss' orders."
He sighs, slamming the truck's set of four keys in Drahoslav's hand. One to start the motor and access the vehicle, another to access the cargo, a third for securing a connection with a trailer, and the fourth for emergencies.
"Follow me," Drahoslav said, his brown eyes shown as he'd got out of the room.
"The company is going to be mad tomorrow…"
"Mister Miller understands," he fought back, taking the stroll to the truck's parking location.
At the moment, the other four comrades had prepared in anticipation of loading the people in. Only three can sit at the front, and their cargo was six. Already brought down the metallic industrial-grade ramp and waited for Drahoslav to return. Jaraslav waited near one of the cab doors, laptop curled up. Dvinaslav waited alongside Zelislav at the back end of the entire rig with Stanislav.
Drahoslav's standard voice rang to the first three, "We're set." while he went up the ramp and detected the lock.
"What key deals with the trailer's lock?"
"L-shaped," Talon replies.
Finding the shape of the key's brass and subverting what a second guess would unveil, jamming the key inside the lock and making a ninety-degree tilt to break the seal on the inside. Dragging its doors open and finding a gold mine...
Dvinaslav's sunny eyes gained light regardless of the high presence of darkness at the current time. Drahoslav's smile becomes sadistic as he notices it. Enough weaponry and explosives worth gold in TNT rested on two ginormous weapon shelves. High powered pistol, assault rifles, SMGs, shotguns, sniper rifles, grenade launchers. Enough weapons to fit an entire weapons platoon with the firepower to take on at least two rifle squads. Packages galore holding ammunition to sustain bullet smoke past an hour.
Except, the aroma of gun lubricant, causing a wince from Talon, who wasn't used to its properties and smell. Individuals near the truck would've been able to smell it.
Drahoslav jumped off from the elevated surface of the truck towards its cab.
Dvinaslav and Zelislav knew what his departure upfront meant, and both went to help Stanislav inside to one of the interior seats. Alongside ensuring Talon was inside.
Stanislav commented when he saw the first normal seating, "This isn't just a transport truck, it's probably a mobile armoury."
"Probably is the case." Zelislav replied before aiming his finger at something, "I'm gonna head upfront. That switch over there probably gives you lights and autonomously closes the ramp."
Sure that Talon wouldn't leave, as he sat and strapped on, Dvinaslav flicked one of the switches, giving light to the interior whilst the second shut outside connections off. Despite the three being trapped inside, it's easily assumable they'll be able to survive for a few hours with minimal breaks.
After a few minutes, the ramp was up, and the vehicle headed its way for Norfolk.
3:02 A.M EDT
I-95 passing Trenton, New Jersey, United States
Buildings sprinted through eyes as quickly as they came, towns passed by at a jogger's pace, and mile markers walked in excruciating travel times, all during the middle of the night with limited lighting in the background. Not helped by the fact the truck's tinted windows partially darkened the environment. Everything about it besides its cargo didn't release particular vibes, as it moved and acted like a standard truck.
Behind the wheel, Drahoslav had to keep his eyes away from cab passengers Jaraslav and Zelislav, paying attention at the lane to his left in the circumstance he needed to avoid making time-consuming detours or ending up in a worse case situation.
The two buddies, Jaraslav and Zelislav, assisted Drahoslav for the moment in their necessary tasks. Reading documents and directions whenever Drahoslav asks and/or requests for them. Playing music on the radio to his dismay.
"Why do you get to drive first?" Zelislav asked as he looks towards Drahoslav.
He sighs, "Right now, we need to get at least fifty kilometres away from New York. Once the Delaware River is crossed, I'll consider letting you drive."
He'd rotate the circle by several radians, moving the truck into the fast lane as the exit sign for Levvitown appears overhead.
"What can we do right now!?" Jaraslav asked, "To help us prepare!"
"First, let me concentrate. Second, pay attention to what I am doing," Drahoslav vented, a sign to anyone he's getting annoyed.
3:40 A.M EDT
New Jersey Turnpike, Close to Wilmington
"One thing you need to remember, the gas pedal is the longer pedal in the driver's seat. The brake pedal is chubbier in comparison." Drahoslav said to Zelislav and Jaraslav, "You need to achieve a balancing act to avoid overusing fuel, not getting a ticket, and keeping up with the flow of the crowd. Got that?"
"Understood," Zelislav replied while Jaraslav didn't say a word.
At the current point, the truck arrives the end of the turnpike, and a toll collecting section appears. Ready to gobble yet more cash they were using to get to their destinations faster. As a result, they abide by their rules and halts when they reach there. Drahoslav unrolls the window. Passing along the money after following certain directions, before the safety bar hindering lawful movement forces rises. Allowing the truck to continue on its journey.
Within a moment of passing the final toll road, the Delaware Memorial Bridge and the two-kilometer wide Delaware River enters view. Imposing iron spires supported with thinner steel columns and suspension cables overlooking a body of midnight blue water sparkling with city lights. And with it, the comrades crossing the river and entering into Delaware.
3:55 A.M EDT
A Shell off DE-1 S, Delaware, United States
Pulling up to a diesel pump at the small petrol station, Drahoslav twists the key and halts the reactions going on in the truck's engine. Opening the door on his side of the cab and jumping out. Wrinkled bills in his hand while he made his way inside.
In the meanwhile, Zelislav and Jaraslav hopped out and paced to open the end of the mobile armory trailer. Raising the metal from the outside and checked for the other three, who would most likely be unaware of where they are. Now they've stopped to refuel, it'd be a good time to see how they're holding up.
"Dvina! Stanislav! How are you two holding out?!" Jaraslav asked as he waves.
Dvinaslav and Talon situated themselves near Stanislav's wheelchair. The former turns her head and spoke ferociously, "Stani's uncomfortable, he's had some trouble breathing for a bit until I forced part of the trailer open!"
"I'll tell Draho when he comes out," Zelislav replied when he looked to her. "You guys need snacks and drinks too."
The pair back away from the trailer's end, approaching Drahoslav, calmer than he was before they got out and with a slip of paper in his hand.
"Draho!" Zelislav said, "We need to get snacks and drinks before we head back towards onto the road."
"I agree, use the rest of my money."
Drahoslav pulls up towards the pump, revealing the hole for the truck, and inserted the nozzle. Injecting diesel inside like a water hose under low pressure while the monetary costs and gallon numbers soar.
5:10 A.M EDT
U.S-13 S passing New Church, Virginia, United States
Although the cab portion of the hauler remained stable, undisturbed, and the only words heard were a part of their dialogue. It was a different story within the trailer housing the weapon shelves and it's ammunition. Bumps on the asphalt the wheels overran rattled free bullets in weak cardboard packages.
When it came to the humans in the vehicle, everything was a different story, doing their own thing with an occasional exchange, joke, or fast fact while the intaking air providing the only sense of natural light at the expense of an interrupting whistle when it enters.
Stanislav and Dvinaslav, as well as Drahoslav, Zelislav, and Jaraslav, had to adapt to loud and interrupting noises. Preventing the majority of effects and irritation while in the process forced to hear what their ears disliked.
Dvinaslav looks towards Stanislav with worriedness, having to yell to surpass the intake's noise, "Is everything alright!?"
"I'm alright, I need to close my eyes..."
She scoots herself closer towards Stanislav. Catching his head with her left shoulder as it fell. Saving his wheelchair and another visit to the hospital. Without looking at him, she silently moves her right over his messy gray hair.
Talon notices the interpersonal interaction happening in close range, he turns his head.
"You don't have to question, but is he your boyfriend?"
While Talon's a stranger, she gives a look and an indifferent reply, "A comrade. He's just injured badly and he's acting pretty dark recently."
Talon nods, as he looks away. Staring at his feet while he began to contemplate. In a few hours, they'll be at Norfolk, and his contract might be over if this incident turns to be a mislead against Glowgen's enemies.
6:28 A.M EDT
The Mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, United States
Still on southbound U.S-13 and passing Fisherman Island, a wildlife refuge in the watershed of the Chesapeake Bay. Sunlight breaking through the naval blue of the water of the bay becomes true. Oranges and yellows filtrated and brightened Drahoslav, Jaraslav, and Zelislav's field of vision while the two BFF's look in awe.
"Draho, this is beautiful. This is another river?" Jaraslav asked eye-widened.
"It's a bay, the mouth of several large rivers of the region. And past this giant of a double tunnel-bridge, we'll be at Norfolk." Drahoslav replied, smiling as he looked around, the area in front of him lacking any vehicles except for going through a curve.
The truck followed the road, diving with the first of the two tunnels, before rising again after a few minutes near sea level.
"Maybe this would help Stanislav for at least for a bit?" Zelislav suggested.
"In what way?" Drahoslav asked.
"In helping his darkened personality lighten up. Maybe having something he remembers best would assist him…"
"I agree to an extent. He's confined to a wheelchair for the moment, but if he can see something that reminds him, it most likely will help him greatly."
As Drahoslav replies, to the truck's right, a giant heap of an oceangoing vessel arrives in view. Taking Zelislav's attention away from the conversation. Gray in total paint, a flat length made to accommodate several smaller vehicles. And from its shape and the bridge's militaristic profile, a great assumption was…
"Aircraft carrier!" said Zelislav
Jaraslav turns from Drahoslav when he heard the two-letter word, "Zeli, What?!"
He stares at the ship Zelislav talked about, squinting his eye to get a better view of what he was talking about. Then backing away as he realized he was not.
"Oh wow, it was an aircraft carrier." Jaraslav stares at the impressive engineering feat as it made its way for one of the visible gaps in the bridge across.
Meanwhile, the truck passes the second tunnel. Closing in on finishing the passing of the Chesapeake and on forward to Norfolk. The four to five-hour journey from the metropolitan area of New York to now almost completed. Save for at least ten more minutes of driving.
6:41 A.M EDT
Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States
One to two kilometers before they'd arrive at the Glowgen Armory in Norfolk. The vehicle comes to a stop and didn't make any further moves. It's hazard lights activated while Drahoslav, Jaraslav, and Zelislav got out and walked to the end of the trailer to make it open. In view, Dvinaslav, Stanislav, and the supposed driver, Talon.
Due to suspicions, Talon demanded with the sharpest voice he could muster, "What's with this? You're almost done."
Drahoslav breathes out as he plants his foot on one of the truck's steaming bars as he explains, "You're the driver supposed to execute the delivery. Our jurisdiction was from Buffalo to Virginia Beach, you have to finish the job."
The slope fell on the road. Stanislav gets carried out of the vehicle with Dvinaslav and Jaraslav's assistance. The wheelchair handled through Zelislav's palms as he holds control from the ramp.
"The keys are in the cab. Don't worry about us any further," Drahoslav said to Talon, observing the assuming middle-aged man go down the ramp.
He'd group with the rest of his comrades, just as Stanislav returns to being a cripple again. Although he still going to be that way for a few months.
Using his uncasted right to roll his chair towards the edge of the bay. Observing the currents work on the water while he sees grayish waves flipping amplitude in varying frequencies. Exasperated from the aircraft carrier Zelislav found leaving while passing one of three tunnel bridges across the Chesapeake towards Norfolk. Smiling for a moment when he was able to see it.
Zelislav looks at Stanislav as he asked, "You feeling better after that strenuous boat ride?"
Stanislav nods while the rumbling motor of the truck drives towards the armory. His glare still against the waves, despite being unable to cup it in his hands for unknown reasons. Causing him to lower his face to view.
He then spoke, "What if Gabriel knew we would come here?"
"Don't overthink it," Drahoslav replied.
"Why did he have to say things that correlate to the soul. What is he thinking?"
"Stanislav, pay attention to what I'm gonna say. Look at my eyes," he said again, keeping his normal tone of voice.
Stanislav turns around, his blue eyes focusing on Drahoslav's brown eyes.
Drahoslav lowers his hand and puts it on his head, "By no means, you aren't useless. But you're thinking things too much. It's reckless."
He listened to Drahoslav's words, asking, "What will I do in the event we get into a battle involving Glowgen…"
"It'll depend on the circumstance. But mostly, you have to avoid stressing your body while it's recovering from the fight with Uugu."
Jaraslav slid in front of Stanislav, "Also, you know that we don't act as solo units most of the time. We're required to be a unit in of itself for most of the things we do. We wouldn't get this far if we aren't a unit. Or at least, without having to work our arses off and spend a ton of effort doing so."
"We understand you want to still be an integral part of the unit. But right now, you should stay away from participating at the front and support us whenever we need it." Drahsolav joined in, nodding to Jaraslav's statement. It's difficult. But our priority is to make sure, regardless of what you think of or the irritation it'd cause to ourselves, is to make sure our comrades survive to the best of our abilities."
"I knew that," Stanislav replies.
From the moment, his free right loses it's energy and limps. Following was his consciousness for the present moment. His inability to sustain himself across several hours came out as strange, especially because he didn't have the issues before.
"Umm… Guys, why is Stanislav falling limp constantly?" Zelislav asked, pulling on the sleeve of Drahoslav's shirt in a vain attempt to get his point across.
Although not revealing, he looks at Zelislav and made his reply, "I don't know, sadly. But he's probably exhausted from the stuff he's had to do recently while in a state of rest."
Jaraslav retracts from Stanislav's current location while he leans on a rail and crosses his arms, "I've managed to get some people convinced so I can work on getting an internship at RECT."
"Wonderful, Jara! Then we can get Stanislav away from the risk Glowgen poses now we're possibly on the run from them..."
"I'm not sure if I can sustain Stanislav at the same time as the RECT subsidiary in Oregon. And it'll cost a lot of money."
"Fair points, we'll figure it out," Zelislav came up to Jaraslav, putting his arm over the shoulder while making his silly smile.
Disrupted, however, when the motor of a single nimble vehicle slams its emergency brake, and a dark sphere with a red flashing button moved above the five. Immediately, Drahoslav and Dvinaslav sprung into action. Pushing the other three comrades away before anything could occur to them.
A/N: Tune in for juicy stuff next chapter. And now I start to doubt if I can pull it off.