It came at lunchtime.
As Matthew was not supposed to leave the Armory for all but one reason he had his meals delivered to him every day. They were all brought by the same soldier too. Travis Young was a good friend of Matthew and when he delivered the food they usually talked for a few minutes before Young had to be back at his post.
So, when someone other than Travis stood in front of the Armory's door alarm bells started ringing in Matthew's head.
"Can I help you?" Matthew asked.
The young man on the other end twitched the tray of food, "I came to bring you your lunch, sir."
Matthew narrowed his eyes, "Where is Corporal Young?"
"He was given an urgent task. He asked me to bring your meal for you."
Matthew's brain seemed to click but he could not bring the idea to the forefront. He shook his head, "Fine. Just leave it and I will grab it."
"I'm sorry, sir." The man shook his head, "I was told to make sure you got it personally. I cannot leave until I see it in your hands."
That was weird. Matthew looked down at the soldier's insignia on his left shoulder. He was only a private. Privates usually were overly cautious about not breaking the rules. But that nagging feeling in his mind just kept growing. Something was not right about this.
He cracked open the door of the Armory enough to hold his hand out, "Hand it to me then."
Matthew immediately saw his mistake. The soldier let loose a huge grin and clinched his other fist. Sensation rushed through Matthew's mind and he knew what his brain was trying to tell him. Magic. The man was holding on to magic and was waiting to use it. The energy from the cells in his skin was leaking out energy and that was what his mind sensed at the beginning of the conversation.
He rushed to close the door. If the door was fully shut then it should be able to hold against any blast the kid could throw. It was too late. Force lashed against the door hard enough to send the door flying wide open. Matthew felt air under him then his back crashed against the opposite wall of weapons.
Various guns were knocked off of their racks and hooks. They all clattered to the floor and then Matthew landed on top of them. He clinched his teeth against the pain and looked up to see the kid bending down to grab a few of the weapons right next to the door.
Matthew made sure to grab a gun with a bayonet attachment before rushing toward the kid. His opponent twisted around to see him charging forward and lifted his hand. From what Matthew read of magi, they had to take a second or two in order to fire off a spell. So, he hesitated for a second before bending forward and leaping to the side.
Another blast of force sailed through the air, slamming into a table and sending the table to slam in turn against the wall right next to Matthew. The kid growled and readied another shot but now Matthew was too close. He thrust the gun forward and watched the bayonet sink into the kid's belly. Grunting, the kid planted his palm against Matthew and tensed slightly.
Fire. Fire erupted and Matthew could feel it burning his uniform and skin underneath. He could even see wisps of smoke rising from various spots on his clothes. Yet, he pushed through the pain and twisted the blade. As he did, he grabbed the kid's hand and shoved it away from his body. The energy still leaking from the kid's hand burned Matthew, but without the constant stream of energy the fires on his body soon faded.
The kid was weakening but he still tried to fight. Matthew gritted his teeth and whispered, "Please. Don't make me."
The kid still struggled to conjure another spell. Matthew sighed sadly and angled the blade up. It was a killing move. The body jerked once before going limp. Matthew let out heavy chokes before letting go of his weapon. Some of the kid's blood had flowed down the barrel of the gun and stained Matthew's hands. He stared at the red for a couple of seconds.
That was the first time he had to kill someone. As the caretaker of the Armory he was never in the field. Yet, today he had to use his training to kill another person. A kid in fact. He probably was not over twenty five.
Matthew shook his head. He had to send up the alarm. His bloodstained fist slammed against the glass encased button on the Armory wall. Whirring alarms started blaring in the Armory and out in the hall. Boots thumped all over as the soldiers and guards started moving. A minute later, a Corporal ran into the Armory with the Major Sergeant.
"Graver?" The Sergeant asked. His head turned to the kid and gritted his teeth, "We've been infiltrated." He then turned to the Corporal, "Get moving!"
The Corporal saluted and rushed out of the room. The Sergeant walked up to Matthew and the kid, "What happened?"
Matthew did his best to calm his racing nerves and explained the events of the past couple of minutes. The Sergeant listened closely and nodded at the end, "One of the cults are attacking us then. Can you move?"
"Yes sir." Matthew said weakly.
"Good. I know you are not a soldier, but I will need your help."
Something in Matthew's mind shifted gears and he suddenly managed to calm down, "What do you need me to do?"
The man smiled and nodded, "Get yourself a weapon and bag up as many others as you can. The base is now on full alert and I am sure some of the soldiers are currently fighting. They will need all the firepower they can get."
Matthew hesitated, "A weapon for myself?"
"Yes. You have to have a way to defend yourself, don't you?"
Before Matthew could answer, someone ran up to the Armory and yelled, "Sergeant! They are in the West Wing!"
"Alright. I will go there immediately." And with that, the Sergeant left the room.