Chapter 5: Goodbye-goodbye

The final chapter of the series. Dune, Bold, McDoctorate, Umen, Isle, and Bright take on Kondraki/Clef.

Chapters:

Un - It's a New Generation
Deux - We Close Our Eyes
Drei - No Spill Blood
四 -
5 - Oingo and Boingo, epilogue ✅

The halls of the storied and once bustling Site-19 had been evacuated an hour prior, but two men - or was it one? - yet remained.

They had been members of the Foundation since the very beginning, and still remained a cornerstone of all operations. The Overseers looked to them for guidance, and the hundreds of junior researchers looked up only to them for leadership. Anything they said went - any order they made was obeyed - anything they wanted was brought to them - and everyone they wanted dead was killed the next day.

Even God revered them, and gave them all the things they desired with a flourish of Their mighty hands - building worlds upon worlds in which they were the stars, the infallible protagonists, the badasses who beat up the bad guys and got the girls.

But they now found themselves alone in Site-19, facing death as a real possibility for the first time. For the first time in their lives, they were powerless. And for the first time in their lives, though they may not have admitted it, they were afraid.


[snip]

Kondraki dies somehow

Clef escapes, Isle chases him, they get in a shootout and the hall collapses, etc.

Now Isle's trapped at the edge of a long staircase with Clef while the rest of the team tries to get through to them

The part where Umen dies suffers a serious head and throat injury

Getting into Clef's office was easy enough - Umen simply had to peer inside until he found a room with pinups and centerfolds plastered on the walls, then quietly pry the window open and slip in. As soon as he hit the ground, he raised his gun and pointed it in front of him, expecting an ambush -

Silence. The only ones who'd seen Umen come in were Alto Clef's favorite pornstars, who looked down on him mockingly from their spots on the wall. Umen exhaled, shuddered, and left the office from the front door.

It wasn't long until he found Kondraki - the heavyset man was walking down a hallway towards the main entrance, his back thankfully turned to Umen. Several little green butterflies fluttered around his head, following him as he strode away. Umen quickly hid behind the corner, and checked his revolver - 6 bullets, fully loaded, enough to take down Kondraki without any issue.

Wait - if Kondraki was in the hallway, where was Cle-

A flash of brown and grey was the last thing Umen saw before he found himself pinned high against the wall, a shotgun crushing his neck. The face of a giant wolf spider gloated up at him, all six eyes gleaming with bloodlust. Umen gasped for breath, and Clef pushed his shotgun even harder against his throat, his arachnid facade contorted into a macabre grin. Umen struggled against

The part where Isle kills Clef

The visage of the spider had been bruised, broken and battered beyond all recognition as an animal, and Clef towered before Isle now somewhat resembling a man. Two twisted mandibles had rearranged to form a mouth, and with it Clef grinned - he was a sharp-toothed ghoul, slobbering as he spoke in the wretched rasp of a thing that should have died long ago.

"We're alone now," he said, "alone together." His face twisted into a disgusting leer, and Isle winced as they tried to stand. "Your friends aren't gonna save you now."

Clef paused. "Though…that thing about narrative bloat? The reason you guys came after me in the first place? It might be valid, because that was the most clichéd thing I could've said in this situation." He bellowed out a laugh that echoed through the halls and down the stairs. Isle's hand slipped, and they nearly fell backwards down the staircase behind them. "Doesn't matter. Just know this. You'll die. You'll all die, and I'll win like I always have." Clef took a step towards them, the unsteady ground creaking under his feet. "I'm the Badass Good Guy, after all. I'm always the Badass Good Guy, always the Maverick. And I always get my man."

Isle glared as they brought themself to their feet. Clef towered over them, and, still grinning, slowly stepped forward. Isle could feel his breath on her face, and nearly gagged at the smell. Trembling, they raised their pistol to their side and took a shot before Clef could get any closer…

Nothing.

Not even a click, or the feeling of a jam - Isle's pistol lay at the bottom of the stairs, far out of reach.

"Shit." Isle turned away from the gun and back towards Clef, who watched them with crossed arms, a parody of patience. Was this fun to him?

"Lost your piece, sweetheart?" Clef drawled, his voice thick with mirth and mockery. "Try this on for size." He pulled a shotgun from his back, pumped it once, aimed - then howled in pain. Isle had taken a dive at the last second and now lay on their stomach, their arms wrapped around his ankles and their jaws wrapped tight around his right shin. Clef yelled again, kicked at them, and lost his balance, his head narrowly missing the top stair as he fell to the ground. Isle scrambled to get to their feet, and avoided tripping on their oversized coat as they tried to run away.

They didn't notice the pool of their own blood at the top of the stairs until they slipped on it. Their feet flew out from under them, connecting perfectly with Clef's neck. With a curse, Clef tumbled down the staircase, his body twisting and contorting as he hit the ground over and over. He had time for half of a thought before his head met the wall at the bottom and his spine was shattered by the weight of his own body -

"When I get back up, I'll show this bi-"

Then, all was silent. Isle shakily brought themself to their feet once more, and peered down the stairs at Clef's lifeless and broken form.

"Uh… You good, dude?"


[snip]

"The difference between us and them? Why they stagnated and we won't? It's because even though we're still being controlled by a bunch of horror writers, we've got our own minds. Our own aspirations, hopes, dreams, flaws, personalities - things that make us unique, that aren't shitty gimmicks like a magic necklace or an inability to be photographed. We're fleshed-out, empathetic, and real - and that's what sets us apart. Even if I did have a brief crisis where I was possessed by an eldritch abomination solely for having no personality and being a blank slate. My point’s still in there, somewhere, I think."

Bold stroked his chin, the orbs in his eyesockets rolling with a smooth, almost mesmerizing rhythm. "Not to be a - well, Debbie Downer, but…What if you're wrong? What if we do stagnate and turn into living caricatures, and they have to send a team to kill us in ten years?"

Dune looked at Bold, and the corners of his mouth turned up in a weak and tired smile.

"At least it's gonna make one Hell of a story."

Bold let out a harsh laugh, then fell silent. MTF 𒀀-1 sat within the rubble, and silently watched the sun rise on Site-19.

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