It was at an old midwestern diner, the type you see in those old fifties movies. It used to clearly be a homely, wholesome place, but now it was grimy, dusty, and on the verge of collapsing. Twenty minutes ago, there had been a firefight within this structure, involving five targets we had previously been tracking. Two agents were killed in the crossfire, and one was injured, but all five targets were killed. While we desired to keep at least one alive for information, it wasn't completely necessary.
I was there to assess the damage and to confirm the kills. The damage had been assessed; minor losses, but we could recover. The only thing left for me to do was to confirm the kills.
I approached the first corpse, which was lodged into a bit of the wall near the entrance. A trail of smoke still billowed out from around it, and bursts of electricity surged outwards from it. A miserable carcass poked out from the wall. Melted human skin cloaked it in various places. Black feathers floated out from the hole. It was in the form of a raven.
I turned around and noticed a hole in the ceiling. Feathers drifted down from the hole.
"Is there one on the roof?" I asked an agent passing by.
"Yeah, it's been confirmed dead. We've got a few agents on fire watch up there."
I nodded. Two down.
I looked around, and noticed the counter was scorched. I jumped up on top of it, and found two corpses covered in mounds of torn feathers on the floor. These two were still halfway in their mansuits, so they didn't manifest entirely. Four down.
I jumped off the counter. I noticed a body collapsed against a stool at the far end of the counter. I walked over to it. At first look, it seemed like a normal dead human. It was clear this wasn't the case at all as this horrible, putrid smell pierced my nostrils. I opened the man's eyelids, and his eyes were gone; pecked out by the monster that used his body.
There were five so far, which meant I had found all the birds we'd shot down.
If that were the case, then why was there another body against the entrance to the kitchen?
As soon as I noticed it, the body wriggled, and electricity exploded out of it. It stood up, and pushed through the kitchen door.
"WE'VE GOT A RUNAWAY, I REPEAT, A RUNAWAY!"
I chased after it. When I entered the kitchen, I was greeted with a giant shockwave of electricity. I was knocked back through the doors. I felt myself shake a little.
I pushed myself back up slowly, and limped out the front door. My legs felt a little numb, but I tried to run around the building anyway. I got to the back door to the kitchen and ambushed the bird.
It cawed frantically as I met it at the door and stabbed into it with my SB knife.
I pushed the body to the ground. I head the bird flutter around inside of the body as it panicked. Blood pushed out of the mansuit's mouth and I heard desperate chirping noises within it.
The mansuit's mouth opened up slowly, and a voice that didn't quite match the mouth's movements spoke.
I tapped it on the chest.
"Do not disrespect me, child. I would have your eyes for a delicious morsel if I'd like."
"If you could, you mean."
"Do not trifle with me!"
A spark of electricity shot out from the corpse and sliced my cheek open. I jumped back defensively.
"Still got some fight left in ya, huh?"
"Admittedly, no. I am dying and I am content."
The other agents surrounded us. They had their SB's at the ready. I waved them away.
"Can you tell me anything about the "Silver Hammer?"
Its laughs shook the ground.
"Yeah... I can tell you that he's just the beginning, human. He's just the beginning, and it's time to burn. That's what I can tell you."
It died laughing. No leads, still.
I pulled my SB knife out of its chest and left the diner. I looked up at the storm clouds. Within the clouds, I saw a dark form. I was prepared to run back to the diner, but the form disappeared, and the clouds dissipated.
Back to square one.