They had made it to what remained of the West Wing. Before the explosions, the wing was composed of multiple rooms, each with various tools specific to their function. The Field Training rooms, for example, held various props, 'clues' and training weapons to simulate having to go out into the field and investigate, hunt down, or escape any situation imaginable.
It was an area that Matthew was very familiar with as he spent multiple years of his life in each of these rooms in training. And he was just the Armory manager. He could not even imagine what the full training regimen would be like.
Now, however, it was barely recognizable.
Where classrooms once stood were just large holes exposing the hallway to the outside air. Scorch marks marred the walls of the hallway. Supports either burned quietly or managed to snuff out their fires and struggled to stand upright. Debris was scattered everywhere both inside and outside the building and they crunched, squeaked or dinged as the woman and Matthew walked over it.
What Matthew noticed the most, though, was the countless amounts of bodies. Corpses littered the floor, leaned against the walls or lay outside the building. Some of them were unrecognizable under all of the burns, blood and scraps of cloth. Others were missing limbs or whole sections. Very few remained intact completely or even mostly. The smell that permeated the hall was something out of a nightmare and Matthew had to fight not to throw up.
The woman, though, just stood motionless. She made no sounds and the only sign that she was still alive was the slight back and forth of her breathing. Nothing on her face showed what she was thinking and nothing in her stance betrayed her reaction.
That lack of anything and the scene before him triggered an emotion in Matthew and within a second he gripped the woman's shirt. He spun her to fully face him and raised a fist ready to punch. The pistol previously in his hand clattered to the floor.
He felt his teeth grind together so hard it was a surprise that no flecks of bone slid out of his mouth, "Was this your plan? To kill as many people as possible?"
The woman shook her head slightly, "I have no idea." Her face was still a mask of nothing, "I am a soldier."
"You really expect me to believe that you are ignorant of this?" He asked.
"Believe what you will." She said, "But I do not know the true motivations of this attack. I follow orders." At that last, a flash entered her eyes.
Matthew barely recognized it, "What the hell did you think would happen when you were told to use a BOMB? That no-one would die?"
Sudden anger showed on her face and she forcefully pushed Matthew away, "You joined a military organization! What did YOU think would happen when you joined? That no-one would die?"
Matthew hesitated at that. She had pretty much just thrown what he said back at him, but it was effective. The Inquisition was the strongest force when it came to fighting magi. They had defended against and won against various magi both independents and Black Cults. It gave them a reputation for pretty much being indestructible. Matthew himself had joined the Inquisition to help the effort of controlling the misguided magi and took the position not many others wanted so he did not have to fight.
Yet, like she said, he had joined a military force. Of course they would be attacked. And the fact that the Inquisition was good at its job would only motivate the magi even more. Had he really been arrogant enough to believe that nothing would happen?
He shook his head and focused back on the woman, "My thoughts on this are not important right now. The fact is that you assisted the destruction of an Inquisition base and the deaths of many lives."
Her face turned down, "Do you really think that THIS was the time to discover that? You could have given me that speech half an hour ago."
He was about to answer, but a shot rang out. Blood splashed across the woman's body as she crumbled to her knees. A hole the size of a fingertip appeared in her chest. Her shocked face was the last thing Matthew saw of her before she collapsed face first.
"Well, that takes care of that."
Matthew looked up and watched a thin and lean woman walking toward him. Her walk was more of a saunter. As if she expected to grab anyone's attention. She was wearing a black duster and held a Colt pistol in her right hand. Her left hand was curled palm up into a cup and a ball of fire was suspended between the tips of her fingers.
However, the smile that spread across her face was the thing that sent chills down Matthew's spine. She was not even trying to hide the fact that she was enjoying this. Blood stained her cheek which made the smile even worse.
Matthew looked around trying to find the pistol he had dropped moments ago. It was nowhere to be seen. He could have sworn that it fell around him. The woman in front of him laughed and his stomach dropped.
"Looking for this?" She held up the Colt in her hand.
He gritted his teeth, "How dare you."
"You really do not know what you want do you?" She asked, "I just helped you kill one of the mages who had attacked this base. You should be happy!"
Matthew ignored the spark of emotion that flared in his belly, "But she was one of your own."
"And?" The woman shrugged easily, "If she could not take out a simple Inquisitor then she was useless to me." Her voice had a hint of frost to it, "I had tolerated her for too long anyway." As if she had just realized something, she raised the pistol and thumbed back the hammer, "Speaking of. I need to take care of you too. Especially since you are the last one alive."