Xander Cole: Revenge of the Rogue Zombies (Vol. 1 No. 1)

The air inside of the empty warehouse was warm and moist. Sun rays beamed through broken windows and slits in the ceiling. Floor boards were missing, and the building seemed to creak softly with fear and hoary.

In the center of the building lay a human corpse. Though it had been there for just a few hours, the body seemed to already be decomposing. The smell of rotting flesh consumed the air, and tempted a particular Rogue. It had managed to lift a metal panel on the building and scamper inside.

It looked to the source of the stench, breathing in great heaps. The Rogue’s hungry eyes quickly scanned the room before festinating forward. While humped over the corpse, it began to eat each piece of flesh aggressively. Blood gushed from its chin and went down its neck, staining the ripped shirt on its body.

Darkness engrossed the areas that were not lit by the Sun rays, and something seemed to be looming in the shadows surrounding the Rogue and its newfound corpse meal. The sound of clanking boots caused the Rogue to straighten its head, and stand upright.

The Rogue snapped its head around and screamed in anger and annoyance at the figure responsible for the clanking.

A man in all black clothing stood firmly ahead.

His combat boots looked to be worn out, and in need of replacement, yet the soles were still solid enough to clank. He had on a solid black t-shirt with black cargo pants, and in his left hand he wielded an all black staff. His eyes were veiled with a pair of black shades, but he could see and feel his surroundings clearly.

The Rogue disappeared into the shadows. The man in black slowly widened his stance, gripped his staff tightly and keenly looked straight ahead towards the bloody corpse. Footsteps could be heard in the dark shadows until there was hardly any sound at all. Only the man’s calm breathing seemed to live in the warehouse now, and for a brief moment, there seemed to be no Rogue in the vicinity.

The man puckered his lips, took one last exhale and grinned slyly.

First came the screaming, and then came the Rogue from above. The man swiftly stepped forward, turned around, and smacked his staff into the Rogue’s chest as if it were a fly on the wall. The Rogue felt no pain, but it struggled to get to its feet. The man in black took a few steps back until the dead corpse was just on his heels. He bended his knees, extended his staff, and waited. In an animalistic fashion, the Rogue screamed and pounced at the man.

A hard blow to the chest caused the Rogue to stumble backgrounds. The man quickly struck his staff to both ribcages, and the Rogue was suddenly stunned and at a standstill. Its eyes were closed, and the warehouse went silent once more.

Now, the man held the end of his black staff to the Rogue’s forehead, and waited to execute the gruesome fatality. He looked to the Rogue’s scarred face closely, and watched as its bloody lips twitched with hunger and its eyelids fluttered. For a moment, the Rogue seemed to be as at peace and in control as Voodoo are said to be, but the man knew better. And just as the wild Rogue opened its foggy and bloodshot eyes, it screamed to the top of its lungs as if it were its last.

Sure enough, it was, and the man in black made it so. He quickly clicked a button on his staff, and a sharp blade emerged from the back of the Rogue’s skull. He clicked the button again and the blade disappeared into the staff. The dead Rogue slowly dropped first, to its knees, and then a full-body collapse to the ground. Just as a stream flows down a riverbank and over a cliff, blood poured out of the Rogue’s skull and onto the ground. The man looked down in prideful disgust.

There was nothing in the world that he hated more than a Rogue, and even with terminating one by his very own hands, he couldn’t help but feel unsatisfied because he knew that there was more work to be done. So he turned away from the bodies and prepared to leave. As he began to walk, a sound came from the metal panel that the Rogue had scampered through. The man instinctively tightened his grip on his staff and braced himself for another Rogue encounter. From underneath the panel was a mere young human boy struggling to crawl from his hands and knees to his feet.

“Oh man…Are you the Xander Cole?” The boy’s voice squealed.

There was no response.

“Well, you must be because you’re wearing all black…” He looked over to the man’s left hand. “…and that’s your staff right? Oh I heard that thing is so cool! Does it really shoot out double-edged blades like one of those old gun thingies? By the way, my name is Ryan…”

Ryan extended his hand to the man.

The man loosened his grip on his staff, groaned to himself, and turned to continue a cavalier strut to the front of the warehouse. The boy slowed to view the corpse, and the terminated Rogue. He casually walked by all of the blood from the scene, and rushed to the man’s side.

“Also, you don’t seem very talkative so you must be him. Hey, did you do all of this? Dude, that is so badass. You know, they talk about you terminating Rogues with your staff in Rogue Hunting class. This kid named Timmy said that he knew someone, who knew someone, who was partners with a woman, who was like your second cousin or something. He’s the one that actually told me that you might be in an empty warehouse where the swarm of Rogues passed through a few days ago. Hey! Are you even listening to me? Xander…”

Ryan fell to the ground. He didn’t know what it was, but something had bumped him. He held his breath, and looked up to the man in great fear.

The man calmly took off his glasses, and kneeled down. His eyes were a dark emerald and grim, and there seemed to be a combination of anger and pain within them. He hung his hands over his knees. His staff was squeezed in his left hand, but he had no specific intentions planned besides pure intimidation.

“I’m going to make this quick because if I look at you for too much longer, I will probably have to kill you and throw you over there next to those dead bodies…If I see or hear you near me outside of town again, I promise you that I will make your worse nightmare come to life. Got it?”

Ryan nodded his head feverishly, and didn’t so much as utter a sound.

The man in black stood to his feet and put his glasses back on. He turned his back to Ryan, and just before walking away, he spoke. “Oh, and tell little Timmy that I have no family.”

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