The Den Games Network Forum RPG
virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce
Not all of what she had done was wrong. Eva thougth calmly. Several of the mates Dragon had were still wounded. Knowing the stupid sense of Loyalty of him, he would try to save as many as possible.
The hospital was the main target.
She had not walk too far from it. She could reach it in a hurry.
But she wanted something more bloody. Dragon would not reach the hospital. He would pay with his life. Even she would have no profit.
A sports car roamed, Dragon was in there.
The next seconds were critical. All in a sudden, Eva jumped in and broke the steering wheel, causing the car tocrash onto a wall. None of the two were hurted.
The van wich was not too far suddenly turned back. They had seen her.
"Step back, scum! I only want this guy, not you! Do not make me waste bullets."
Mac replied "Stay aside. I do not want more injuried people."
By the time he had said that, Eva already made a hole in his arm.
Mac's face twisted with pain.
"Why do you want my head? Why?" he yelled.
"Easy to answer, my dear. Some very wealthy dragon promised me a bunch of cash if i could bring your head to him. Besides, you're my exit ticket of this pre-nuclear wasteland."
"What!? What do you know-?"
Eva pointed her gun at his face.
"My mr Johnson really wants this city reduced to ashes. And since he would be known sooner or later, i'm going to tell you, as they will be the last words you will hear from me. N'zar , Greater Dragon, Zarites brood, wants this city reduced to ashes!"
Mac walked towards her."Stop all this madness, Eva. He will kill you as well. Whatever is the nuyen payment, i'll double it!".
He threw away the weapons. Others did not believe what they were seeing. Dragon was trying to negotiate!
"Stop this, Eva."
"You are a fool, mr Nice Guy. You know that this is not only for money, it's also a personal reason."
Dragon stepped forward once again.
Another step. He was pretty close.
"What do you think are you d-?"
"I am going to defeat you with a weapon you never had."
Nobody could expect what would happen. Dragon pulled Eva's head towards himself. The mouths of the two touched eachother.
Mac was kissing Eva!!!!!!!!!!!
In a shock, Eva let her weapon drop.
"Why? Why?" she asked. She felt really exhausted.
A tear appeared in Dragon's eyes.
"Keep this gift for the only person who truly loved you, who tried to keep you without harm. I failed in my duty. I could not save me, but that was ok. But I could not save you."
Eva finally remembered what happened. Mac did not tried to kill her, by shooting her in the back. He had risked himself to kill a poisonus snake she had on the back. But Eva had been injuried badly. Somehow she thought Mac had got evil intentions, and never showed them. But that was different. Mac had been always tried to protect her!
Eva finally raised herself. With all the courage she had she stepped forward Mac, and she fell in his arms , crying. Mac hugged her aswell, and finally whispered. "Thank you Eva. Now I have brought you back."
The others stood at the spectacle, inquiring about the two. They were not as cold hearted as they seemed to be.
While the other people just stood there and watched in amazement Silvia was growing tired of just waiting.
"Guys... we still got an Orc to save. Don't just stand here like a bunch of wet blankets. Let's go."
"We got one little problem though," Raven replied. "His car is broken, and there's no way we can squeeze these two with the rest of us in the van."
Crystal smiled. "We'll just go on foot. We're almost there anyway. You guys take the van, I'll stay with these two. Just in case."
Aww... she won't come with us. That's a pity. Now I'm stuck with all the guys. Let's hope I can find Mary in the hospital.
When the van approached the area around the hospital they immediately saw what was going on. There was no way they'd get to it without running into more problems.
Raven stopped the van and drove a few blocks away.
"Frag! Okay people... any ideas?"
"Weell... for one thing, I doon't think your pilot would be stuupid enough to land theere." Dorodo said.
"True... but we still got to find Tank and Lora."
"I could do it." Silvia said.
Raven looked at the 17-year old girl that hadn't been in their group for more than a few minutes. "You? How will you be able to slip though that much cops? Be realistic girl; they'll just stop you and send you away."
Silvia opened the doors of the van and stepped out.
"Well if any of you can fly, be my guest." She said, while unfolding her wings.
"Wow... well I guess that answers the question why the frag Tank would hang out with you. Anyway... Won't they see you?"
"I don't think so." Silvia replied. "I'm a half-dragon; my wings aren't good enough to fly. But I'm pretty sure I can reach the helipad on the hospital's roof if I glide from that builing over there."
She pointed to one of the nearby apartment buildings.
"I'll just take the elevator inside the building; I'm sure no one will notice me with all the people living there."
"OK, " Raven said. "That'll get you to the hospital... but how will you come back? And what can you do in there?"
"I don't know... but the hospital chopper is probably on that roof. Maybe if any of you could fly a chopper..."
"Weell..." Dorodo said, "I 've neever actually beeen in a real Heelicopter, but I've had looads of flying practice on some Maatrix site."
The Goblin isn't really big... I might be able to take him with me when I glide. Oh what am I thinking... that's madness. But it's also our only chance to rescue Tank...
Curim looked angry. He saw where the whole thing was leading, and he didn't like the prospect of letting this whole rescue operation depend on a Goblin.
"OK..." Silvia said. "You come with me then. We'll glide together."
"Whaaat!?" The goblin's big eyes became even bigger. "Buh- but you said you caan't even fly properly!"
"Don't worry... it'll be allright. Now come on!"
"Blegh... Okaay then..."
The two went to the apartment building.
"That sure is a strange girl," Curim said. "But such a strong aura! Don't worry Raven, she'll get there. That girl will do whatever it takes to succeed once she sets her mind on something. But that Goblin... Argh. We'd be better off without him."
Chance owed Mac a big favour... The BWG had obviously given a call to the Wolf immediately after the conversation with Chance to alert the medic.
The tiltwing touched down, and the Wolf was already passing out instructions for the team as they moved Ash to the operating room.
It was an hour of tension... waiting in the clinic that the doctor ran, Chance pacing up and down the halls. Mary (Chance had heard the explaination for her new looks but had not gotten used to them) finally convinced the soldier to sit down and get some rest. The Wolf finally appeared, taking off bloodstained rubber gloves and looking both satisfied and perplexed. Chance was on his feet and asking questions almost instantly.
The doctor held out a hand to stop him.
"Chance, Ash is out of danger and recovering in the Tissue Regeneration Machine. All of her wounds including the holes in her lungs are closed, and I've relocated and rebonded her broken bones. She's going to be drugged up for a while, and will require a temporary facial brace to hold her jawbone in place for a day or so. She should also refrain from speaking over the next couple of days.
Something else interests me, however... Mac said that she was in the middle of a ammo cook-off, but I don't see a single burn on her!"
Chance had finally eased himself back against a wall upon hearing the doctor's words... out of danger... that was all that mattered. He opened bloodshot eyes, rubbing his temples.
"Doctor, she's a half Fire Elf, which explains her resistance to flame. It doesn't hurt her... In fact, she enjoys it. Ash is also capable of setting her hands on fire at her will. And doctor, how much will it cost..."
Wolf shook his head. "No payment, Chance... A friend of Mac is my friend. And in this world that we run in, friends are a precious resource that we never have enough of. Take care of her well, she has to be discharged soon as I have received news from the BWG of a buclear attack inbound for this city in a day or so. I'll advise you people to get clear as well."
Chance nodded, already distracted by something else. The doctor understood and let his voice peter off with a satisfied look... yet another customer amazed by his skill in the healing arts.
Ash stood in the doorway, her left arm, head and chest swathed with bandages, a metal brace lining the bottom of her jawline. She couldn't smile, couldn't talk, but Chance could tell that she would be perfectly fine in a day or so... Her eyes twinkled in a smile, their old zest returning slowly to the golden hue of her irises.
A large blip on the radar screen appeared. There was something coming to geneva, and it was not a ship---
A voice shouted. "Red alert! Red alert!"
Soon, several fighters of the Megacorps who had heard about the bi-nuclear menace took off of their bases.
"Charlie 1 here. Target ID positive. Looks like a big... ARRRGHHH!!!!"
"Roger, Falcon base here. Charlie 1, please respond."
"Charlie 1! Charlie 1! What the hell happened?!"
Obviously the two fighters had been destroyed by the flying object. The briefing of the camera showed up something like a dragon, but very different. That was not much help, as it was a very blurry picture.
Yet there was a more mysterious thing. The onboard thermometer of the planes had detected in the last moments when comunnication was still posible temperatures of below
-45°F ( = -45°C).
Dragon felt sicker than usual. A dragon was really near, and this one was sure powerful. But oddly, it was not a Greater Dragon; more something like a degraded form of a Greater dragon, or an enhanced form of the lesser ones.
"We need to move. Eva" he said.
"But on what? your good for nothing pals had left you here in the middle."
"Who are the good for nothing, assasin bitch?" shouted Crystal.
"Seek and you will find, Eva." Replied Dragon, inspectioning the surroundings.
A punk had just parked a hover car two streets ahead.
"We knock off the punk, and then take the vehicle!" replied Eva.
Soon, the person who had left the car, a bald, oily Dwarf playboy, was inspecting the inside of a trash can.
Silvia and Dorodo went up the stairs; the elevator didn't work, and there were people busy repairing it.
"Sooo... how high wil we goo?"
"Well the Hospital roof is about 20 levels, and we're quite far away from it. And I got your extra weight... I'd say at least to the 25th floor."
"Oh maaan... my feet..."
They reached the 25th floor with little difficulties. Dorodo was amazed that the girl didn't seem to be exhausted at all.
A bit later they found a seemingly unused appartment. No name tag, no sounds from behind the door.
Silvia quickly 'picked' the lock with her dragon claw and opened the door.
The room wasn't uninhabited. There was junk everywhere, and they could hear a soft snoring from the separate bedroom now.
"Sleg! Come on, Dorodo. We have to leave before that person wakes up."
She opened the window.
"Oh frag... I caan't do thaat! It's too high!" the goblin screamed.
"Be quiet you fool! I don't want to meet whoever is sleeping there."
But it was too late... Silvia noticed the snoring had stopped.
Uh oh... Better make that 'whoever was sleeping there'.
It was worse than they thought. A female Ogre came out of the bedroom. And she didn't look happy.
"Huh? What are you doing here? Get out!!"
Silvia smiled at the Ogre. "Just passing though, ma'am!" she said. She quickly grabbed Dorodo, put her wings out and jumped out the window.
"AIEEEEEEEE!!!!" The goblin screamed, until he felt a dragon claw over his mouth.
"I told you to be quiet." Silvia said. She had completed her shapeshift, and was now a complete mini-dragon, without clothes. "I don't want that army of cops down there to notice us."
The "flight" of the half dragon was perfect... until a really really big flying object passed near of them. The couple nearly crashed when they landed on the roof, but they weren't hurt.
"What the hell was that?" Silvia asked herself, as she was shattering. The temperature of the surroundings seemed to drop below freezing point.
On leathery wings, the flight of lesser dragons took off, into the yellow Geneva evenin Geneva sky. Flying low over the rooftops of the Vladistok compound, each dragon set his mind on the blasphemous form of the wrong-thing. The bone-dragon. How dare N'zar defile the bones of his ancestors in this sacreligous usage of their memory? The un-dragon owned Western Etherspace Systems had even pitched in it's forces, and the huge beasts swooped over rows of assembled WESforce and Vladistok troopers.
Genevan rain began to fall once again, spitting off the rooftops. A rainbow formed in the half-light of sundown, fractioning the light into seven colours.
This was the hour of reckoning. Each lesser dragon knew that the pride of Vladistok, of their matriarch, and the future of the planet, rode on their wings.
Mary dashed through the halls of the hospital. She had to find Tank and the elf-girl. Time was of the esscence. Electric lights flickered on, replacing the dying sun's yellow, ghostly light.
The bone dragon flew over the hospital, huge and stately.
Mary felt the cold, even through the several metres of fermacrete between her and the creature.
Suddenly, she stopped, as she saw the water in a cooler at the end of the corrider turn to ice, and burst the glass in a shower of shards.
"Oh my gosh"...
Curim blinked. Suddenly, he raised his hands to his temples, throwing back his hood.
"Curim?" Raven looked at his trollish friend, for the first time seing his whole face, lined and cracked with heavy, grey, trollish features. The huge mage's eyes were watering, and an expression of blankness played across his face.
"Curim? What is it bud?"
"Curim got up, and pushed open the doors at the back of the van, viewing down the straight Genevan street. Framed by skyscrapers, the form of the bone-dragon flapped slowly towards them, in the dead air of the last twilight.
"Holy..." Raven's jaw dropped, as the first wave of chill rolled over their surroundings. Curim drew his cloak around him. A bird dropped from the sky, frozen to death, barely twenty metres before them. The few Genevan citizens left on the streets collapsed in tiny heaps as the unholy creature slowly progressed on it's apocalyptic course.
"What the hell is that?" his voice met nothing, as the cold pressed on, his breath crystallising in the air.
"That," Curim pronounced in the echoing silence, "is death itself."
Curim drew his long, metallic staff, now covered in tiny droplets of ice. Whispering under his breath, a shimmering blood-red wall appeared between Raven and the dragon. The darkness gathered at the edges of both runner's vision.
Curim turned to his friend, resigned to his fate.
"Run." The words turned to mist instantly.
Despite the shield, Raven's lips were beginning to crack. Even Curim's powers could not hold back this thing. The stubborn, old troll knew that he could, and would try.
The dragon beat on. Curim's face grew pained, and he half closed his eyes.
Raven shook his head, grey hair swinging around his head, his face lined and pale with cold.
Curim sighed. Extending one hand, he effortlessly hurled the his human friend back into the van.
"Warn the others. Save the others. They will die without you, I have forseen it."
The old troll had always had a flair for the dramatic.
Curim's voice echoed in Raven's head. Unable to fight the mage's control, his fingers locked around the steering wheel. The van began to move, and Curim turned to face his doom, staff in hand, head raised to the bone dragon.
Raven screamed, held back into his seat by invisible forces. The tyres of the van screeched and began to melt- they weren't rolling, but being forced foreward by the awesome magical power.
The troll braced himself against the cold, wirey frame resolute in shadow of the the flying corpse. His magics hold back the greatest frigidity, allowing him to see the metallic buclear weapon concealed, folded between huge clawed talons clutched to the creature's ribcage, as if in a cage of bone. The warhead itself was a large metallic object, remarkably like the first nuclear weapons.
The creature was overhead now, the cold radiating from it. The Geneva rain started once more across the city, and in this one area, it began to snow.
Curim raised his staff, shiverring in the frosted roadway, and , flickering green flames of sorcerous power raced into the heart of the beast. It played across the surface of the bomb, alternating between absolute light and dark, in the snowy darkness. Bones cracked, but the infernal magics holding the skeletal drake together did not. Shattering under the barrage, the creature dived for the huge, but comparitively tiny troll that stood in it's way, alone but defiant in the waning half-light.
Curim's lips cracked, bloodly lines tracing his body as his blood vessels expanded, as his plasma froze, despite his wards.
Curim's last breath was a prayer to whatever god may exist that it had been enough to save the city.
In his heart, he knew it was not.
Blood ran down his face, and froze instantly, as the snow continued to fall. Curim felt his strength running away hopelessly, like water down a city drain, into the infinate sewer of death.
Curim's last thought was to Raven, hurtling away from the beast, despite his intentions and will. All Curim's last ounce of magic was forced into pushing Raven far enough away, keeping his friend alive. Something terrible was going to happen to this city, and Curim had failed to prevent it.
But Raven must not. The astral road played across Curim in his moment of death, and he saw the future. The futures. Every possibility, even the infinatley small ones in which the buclear disaster was prevented.
In none of them, the troll mage survived.
Raven, held tight to the screeching van by a dying magic, heard one final command from the troll.
"If you survive, find Remini... tell her how it ended..."
Then, for Curim, there was nothing but frigid, icy white.
Raven felt the voice die, and the powers holding him slacken, and disperse into empty air.
He screamed again.
The bone dragon stood a while in the place, searching for the other objective he had. The assasin called Dragon.
None of them was the target.
Mac recognized the shape of a big dragon over the hospital. But, the dragon also recognized him.
He finally pronounced his orders, that were like hints.
"Disperse, and tell the others to do the same. We all can't survive to the attack of this thing. It's easier that one of us might survive. I have known these things earlier. They don''t stop until they reach the target. Even death is not able to destroy them."
"Why? Why can they just die?" inquired Crystal
"My friend, they are already dead. They are the Zarite's Wrath, the bone dragons! They once were powerful warriors of the now unexistant Medium dragons. Now they are even more powerful, but with not free will. They are nothing but puppets. With the resources we have, that enemy is invincible. However, we can "dismantle" it. A big explosion or hit will break the bone structure, and scatter the bones. The dragon naturally will not be defeated, but we have a bit of time before it rebuilds."
The three departed in different directions. The dragon doubted a while, then followed Dragon.
"I thought so, son of a bitch!" screamed Mac. The temperature dropped, and several freezing breath streams created chaos around him. The dragon was stepping towards him.
Only one chance. Dragon had only one chance. He needed to throw the grenade inside the monster's mouth, just before it tried to make a frozen Mac.
The abomination. Ahead.
Seven dragons swooped down in the cold night sky, rain playing around them like insubstantial halos. The lesser drakes of the Tyadoron clan had gone to war. Their green hides, typical of young lesser dragons, gleamed in the night lights of the city.
The bone dragon was crouched on the helipad above the hospital, a terrible, unholy creation of N'zar, skeltal and terrible.
A tiny figure stood against it, in the aura of cold that it created, alone. Several helicopters hovered in the air - probably carring 3DTV news teams.
The seven dived, content with their fate.
Defeat the bone dragon. Or die.
The bone dragon roared, still clutching the buclear weapon. Dragon cringed in the noise, then stood, feeling his body go numb. Throw the thing and run, or die, frozen to death. Not even dragon could stand up to this thing - he's only killed the greater dragon before by chance, a fluke of luck.
He hurled the grenade, into the gaping maw of the unholy creature he faced. The monster gulped it down, oblivious to the threat.
Dragon dived, ready for the blast.
It never happened.
Gorodiran ploughed into the flank of the bone dragon, claws outstretched. Flesh met, cold, but the tough wyrhide lessened it, to only a minor chill. Beating her wings frantically, she dodged blows from the huge beast that opposed her, and, when it caught her, shrugged them off.
Even lesser dragons were tough.
The other lesser dragons swooped and lunged, plucking at the behemoth's flanks and legs, trying to find a weak spot. The bone dragon's tail thrashed, catching one of it's opponents, and breaking his spine with a splitting crack, that sent the huge beast sprawling across the roof.
Dragon struggled to his feet, swearing at the grenade's failiure, just in time to be hit by the huge corpse as it tumbled across the roof. Bourne with it, scraping along the fermacrete, the Bioweapon plunged off the side of the building, into the abyss beyond.
"What the sleg was that?"
"Dooon't ask meee...", the goblin replied. "It's something dragon-like. If anyone should knoow, it should be you."
But Silvia didn't know anything about Bone Dragons... these were horror stories her dad had heard when he was young, but he never told her about them. Personally he never believed they existed... until now.
"What was that thing?!" Miranae screamed to the big Dragon on whom's back she sat.
The Bone Dragon passed them about twenty minutes ago, but she only just got over the shock. She still felt terribly cold.
"That, was doom, my dear..." Vorug's deep dragon voice trembled. "The end of Geneva."
I hope Silvia's out of there... she might be strong, but she's no match for such a beast... and certainly not for what it's carrying.
Then the dragon went on to Terganon, without looking back.
Silvia looked around. There was a small hangar on the roof. The hospital's helicopter was probably in there.
Let's hope that gave it enough protection against the cold. We can't lift off if that thing's engine is frozen.
Then, on the other side of the roof she saw a door. She quickly ripped the lock out and went down the stairs. Dorodo followed her. When they reached the corridor of the top level she felt how cold it was in the building.
What was that thing? It froze this place just by flying over it in a few seconds! Well... I'll better keep my dragon shape. It's got better resistance against the cold.
The Goblin, on the other hand, was nearly frozen stiff.
"Aargh! Whaaat's with this place?! It's fraggin' cooold in here!"
"Don't worry... it'll get warmer when we go down."
Silvia tried to remember the few words Chance said to her about the location of the two people.
Sixth floor... to the east of the building. That was all she remembered.
"Well let's go then..." she said to herself.
She walked to the elevator, but when she tried to open it she heard a strange cracking noise.
"Sleg! That thing is frozen! Sorry Dorodo... we'll have to take the stairs again."
Silvia looked through a window.
OK... this is the sixth floor. And since the sun is going down over there, the east must be at the other side.
After searching through a few rooms she found the room where Lora had been. There was a breathing machine in the room, and the tag on the bed had the name "Lora" on it. But Lora was evacuated together with the rest of the hospital's patients. She was probably in another hospital by now.
"Sleg! I hope Tank's still around."
She kept looking, but all of the other rooms were empty. Then she heard a noise. It came from one of the small storage rooms.
She walked towards the room, only to find it locked from the inside. She wanted to rip it open, but then she changed her mind.
No... if that's Tank in there he's hiding from the cops. And he probably heard me coming, so he'll attack the first thing that breaks down that door.
"Tank? Is that you in there!?"
"Huh?" a voice replied from behind the door. "No way... ce n'est pas possible.."
"You bet it's me. Your old pal DemonEye coming to save you again..."
"Demon!?! What the frag are you doing here?!?" Tank replied in Orcish. He opened the door as fast as he could.
"And why is it so fragging cold in here?"
"No time to explain," Silvia said. "Come on, we gotta go! In just a matter of hours the city will be buked!"
"Buked?!? Now don't talk crubiz... who would bi-nuke Geneva? It's one big pile of merde anyway; buking it would just be a waste of money!" The big Ork grinned.
Silvia smiled. Yep, that was the Tank she knew. "Save your breath. We gotta run."
"Aw man... but I got this horrible mal à la tête"
Only now Silvia took a good look at her pal.
"Oh my... I can believe you got a headache... you got a big slegging hole in your head! We gotta get you to a..."
Silvia suddenly realized where they were. "Oh. The slegging irony..."
"Yeah, yeah. Now how are we gonna get out of here?" the Ork asked. "Last time I looked this place was swarming with cops!"
Dorodo apparently knew a bit of Orkish, and seemed to have understood what Tank meant.
"Weeel, it seemed like one proooblem solved the oother." the Goblin said, while looking out the window.
Siliva and Tank went to the window. The place that had been full of cops just 15 minutes ago was deserted. They had all ran away from the frightful appearance of the Bone Dragon, and from the extreme cold it radiated.
"Looks like you won't have to fly that chopper after all," Silvia said to Dorodo. The goblin looked relieved.
She noticed a red van at the end of the street. "Umm... Tank, you can drive a car, right?"
"Oui, of course!"
The goblin looked a bit confused by Tank's odd language, but Silvia didn't seem to have the slightest difficulty understanding the big Ork.
When they reached the ground floor they immediately ran to the van.
Silvia wanted to open the door with her claw, but then she noticed it was unlocked.
"Woah... even the keycard's on it! The guy must have really panicked when he saw that beast."
Tank tried to step into the car, but found out he simply didn't fit in the driver's seat. "Hm... fragging small humie stuff." He ripped the driver's seat out of the car and threw it away. "Better." he grinned, while stepping into the car. He started the engine.
"Quickly! We have to get out of here!" Silvia said. "That way, Tank! Out of the city, and away from that horrible beast!"
The car drove off. Either people panicked and fled into their houses, or they drove off to get away from the Bone Dragon. But it seemed like the extreme cold persuaded more people to choose the first option; the roads were nearly empty.
The airbourne melee continued, too fast for the human eye to follow the lesser dragons continued to assault the larger undead one. Darting back and forth they despartely sought for some weakness in the bone dragon. Meanwhile the bone dragon methodically swatted the attackers, one by one, out of the sky. The Bone Dragon didn't hate them, it didn't have the capacity for hatred. It had been told by it's master to deliver the metal canister to the large city, anything or anyone that opposed it's master's wishes must be annihilated. It was that simple.
Raven knew that Curim was dead now. He had sacrificed himself to give Raven the chance to warn the others and in turn save as many people as possible. Curim was brave. 'Was' Raven thought. 'Only two minutes ago Curim was alive. Now he's a troll icicle.' Now that the van's tires were running on unfrozen road, his speed increased but not before fishtailing a few times. 'Where do I find this Remini?' Curim had left an astral beacon of sorts for Raven to follow. Some would call it instinct, some luck but Raven knew Curim, what ever spiritual essence remained of him, was guiding him to Remini.
"Lead on friend"
Crystal ran from Eva and Dragon, and the Bone Dragon. As she distanced herself from the Bone Dragon, she heard a chilling shriek and looked up to see a flight of Lesser Dragons engaging their superior. Another noise, a chatter from above, caught her attention.
The AET helicopter descended to the ground as Ery stepped out of the side, looking chilled.
"Miss Crystal!" he called over the whirring of the blades, "Could you use a hand?" It is high time we put aside our differences before Geneva is destroyed, AET has no desire for the city to be destroyed. My men and I stand with you in this dire moment. Where, pray tell, are the others?"
Two more AET helicopters landed near the first and AET personnel came out at the ready.
The news crews were efficient... Chance, Wolf, Cylinder Head and Ash received the news of the bone dragon almost immediately after it began its attack. Now the monstrosity had perched upon the roof of the hospital and was engaging lesser dragons in mortal combat. One of the smaller dragons was already dead, and the runners had seen a glimpse of the BWG getting knocked over the roof by the tumbling corpse.
They feared for him, but Chance had seen enough of the Bioweapon to guess that such a fall would only serve to make the terminator-clone angry... That big guy was fragging tough, no question about that.
It was fierce cold that was slowing everyone down... even the BMG had appeared frozen, more so the assorted AET and Daisaka troops engaged in battle against the dragon amongst the area.
Ash's mind was in turmoil... She feared the cold, but knew that her friends were out there in the middle of the mess. However... there was a chance... Only her right arm was working, and she used that to grab a notepad, writing with difficulty on it.
"Chance, if I set myself ablaze and fight that beast with my flamethrower, I might be able to last longer than the other normal people out there. My presence will also warm everyone at the battle, give them that extra bit of strength to prevail against that bone dragon." she wrote.
The soldier had half-predicted this scenario... He looked at her, wounded, unable to speak, and still half-stoned from the anesthetic drugs of the operations. His mind acknowledged the truth in her statements, but his heart refused to let her go... Not after he had nearly lost her earlier in the same day.
"Wait Ash... Just wait. Dragon is down there, and we know that he has killed a dragon before. He might just be able to do it again. You're wounded, and I'll be damned if I am going to let you go out there like this."
Ash understood his feelings. They settled down to watch the battle, but Chance could feel the unease in the girl as she held on to her flamethrower like a child to a comforting bolster, leaning her head against its comfortingly familiar shape... Her healing wounds ached, but her heart hurt worse... her friends were out there, and she was unable to help in her current state.
Jyl awoke slowly as the sun settled below the horizon. Stretching, he cocked his head and listened to the talking of the dwsrf he had hung up on the support beam. He laughed slightly and left, making sure to wave and grin at the drawf on his way out.
Once outside, he took a deep breathe and cocked his head again. The sounds of the battling dragons came to him.
"Yes Bob, I hear it. And it sounds very interesting."
Jyl rolled his head and flexed his knuckles, popping them in the process before darting off in the direction of the fight.
Dragon seized himself into a window, just to prevent the crash.
He then again jumped into the abyss, and after several floors he seized another window. By doing this, Dragon descended all the height without a wound.
From the ground, Mac watched the fight with the lesser dragons.
"That bone dragon is EXTRA strong. It is not a medium dragon, a hybrid of Greater and lesser dragon. It is made by the bones of a Greater Dragon." Dragon thinked for a while. No Greater dragons had died recently, besides... besides Salamander, N'zar's brother. Now things were clear.
"If only i could... use magic." said to himself. He climbed again the frozen hospital, trying to give the others extra time to run away.
The figure of Dragon appeared again in the middle of the heated battle. Several lesser dragons blinked. They had obviuosly heard about a member of the lesser races that killed a dragon.
"Salamander!!! You can't rest in peace, no!?"
The big bone dragon finally spoke. Its sharp voice was like a bunch of rattling bones.
"Once I was. But I am no longer. Brother made me come from dead to execute my revenge. Revenge of a Greater Dragon!"
The lesser dragons retreated a bit. Obviuosly, the words "Greater Dragon" inspired them fear.
Salamander turned to face the little man. Mac could do nothing but to try to last as many time as possible... but without magic...It could not be easy.
A frozen stream came towards him. Mac could sense how his body was becoming numb quickly. He only could place his hands before his face.
The stream never hit him. It banquised into thin air. Dragon almost fell unconscious by the knockback of the spell. The word "Contra" floated in the air.
Mac had executed a magic attack. And not a normal one, it was rather a wild Maelstrom attack.
Salamander dug up in the past, and remembered why he had been killed. Mac had already used a spell of this type to block his fierce attacks.
But now Mac, not having any control over his essence, had misused his energies.
"Get out of here, idiots!" He screamed to the others, knowing that his end could be really near.
Crystal watched horrfied as the huge undead Dragon swooped down on Mac - Seemingly helpless. Whatever he was counting on, Crystal realised, He must have used. Grud save him!
"Miss Crystal!" Ery repeated.
Crystal momentarily took in the spectacle - Daisaka gunships whirled around as the huge skeleton took Mac in its colossal claws. Miniguns raked the beast, striking off Ice shards and bone fragments. A helicopter dropped - it's jet fuel jellified by the cold in its fuel lines, breaking harshly on the concrete floor.
Two AET Lancer ground-attack fighters swooped in for the attack - Firing missiles. The seeker-heads had no Infra-Red or Radar signature to lock on to. One went wild, detonating in the streets, the other broke on the Dragon's bony carcass without explding.
Seconds later, the two jets soared out of control, the elven pilots frozen in their cockpits.
"This is fraggin' hopeless!" An AET officer screamed. "Fall back! Mages!!! Now!"
A wheeled AET APC reversed, firing a laser-guided anti-panzer missile as it did so. The aim was true.
Just as it looked like a sure hit, the Bone Dragon turned it's Icy stare. The missile froze and fractured into a dozen pieces in the air. Then the APC that had fired the missile became fixed to the ground, its engine block seized up forever.
"Ery, you son of a slitch! We have to get out of here!"
Crystal was no leader. She might have had success with small groups of Shadowrunners, but definitely nothing on this scale.
"Ery, this thing will kill us all! We have to evacuate!"
Ery was taken aback. He hadn't expected such cowardice from the one time adversary.
A figure was running up to his AET helicopter, dressed like a pilot - The man wore baggy overalls, a padded military jacket. He pulled his helmet off - Long silver hair flowed out, obscuring rigger jacks in his skull.
"Crystal! Get back to my tilt-wing! Go!"
Crystal did as she was told wihout pause.
"You! AET boy!"
"Cylinder Head, I am Ery."
"No fragging time for that! That beastie will ice us! We have to stall it and get some Mages up here, now!"
"Mr head, AET delivers!" Ery grinned. He motioned his pilot to take him up.
Cylinder Head got back to his IWS Aerobus Tilt-Wing. Crystal was onboard, with the Binman and Jimmy with his Autoshotgun. Badjimmy - The Elf detective - was there too, feeling quite useless.
"We have to distract that thing, let them nail it with magic! Ready?" Cy screamed at his passengers.
Jimmy nodded, grimly. The Binman grinned idiotically. Crystal rummaged for a therm grenade, while Badjimmy looked worriedly left and right.
The IWS Aerobus switched it's engines to vertical mode. For Cylinder Head, in direct neural control, powering up and lifitng off the ground felt like something he'd do as naturally as a jog in the park. With a simple thought, The Aerobus angled its props/rotors forwards and shot off.
Ery carried on yelling into his Mic. The encrypted, powerful helciopter radio relayed to an AET command APC on the ground below, then to AET HQ, Geneva.
"Look, get your mages and spirits ready! I don't care what that dragon will do to them! Its going to kill us all if we don't stop it, and if t doesn't, I'LL KILL YOU! NOW MOVE!"
The exec on the other end of the comm-link sheepishly agreed.
Ery allowed himself a smile. He was getting used to this 'shouting into radios' stuff, having had good practice in the recent AET/Daisaka/Aztech war. He turned to his second-in-command, behind him in his chopper's crew bay.
"Begin drone attack pattern Ery-1!"
On the ground, several AET well-protected and hidden AET, Daisaka, IWS and assorted other corporate (and several MUNDI) APCs activated their high-gain comm-links.
These APCs were mobile drone command centres. Each held at least one rigger and his or her Drone command consoles, each rigger taking control of one-two ten individual drones.
The actual drones took off from either mobile command posts or from the corporate HQs themselves (where transmission range was good enough). Soon, a large flotilla of mini-jets, rotodrones and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with a collection of light weapons had assembled behind the flotilla of gunships and Panzers.
"Now, beastie, face the might of the 21st century corporate war machine! ATTACK!"
First in went several more AET lancers, scrambled from the AET airbase. The Dragon made short work of these. The did, however, stop him moving abut too much. Ery made sure that the fighters' loss was kept quiet on the radio nets, lest it made his other assets lose heart.
Then in went the drones. All of a sudden, the Huge Dragon was swarmed by over a hundred of the tiny machines, flying, biting like tiny insects, strafing with submachineguns and light rockets. The Dragon howled. Then his wrath was felt again - Twenty drones fell from the sky from one blast of cold. This wasn't enough, so the Dragon let loose a huge bolt of magical lightning. Striking he drones, the deadly electricity was carried back over the airwaves to several riggers, literally frying their brains. Even more drones plummeted from the sky, their controllers dead.
Cylinder Head watched with awe. His Aerobus flew over the Dragon. He turned to his comrades:
"KILL THE BEAST!!!!"
Jimmy sprayed shotgun fire everywhere, smashing chips of bone from the dragon. Crystal lobbed out grenade after grenade. At least two therm grenades hit - The dragon lost a huge segment of it's tail. It turned and came after the Tilt-Wing.
"Frag! Cy, GET US OUT OF HERE!" Crystal screamed.
The Dragon beat its wings - Knocking down two AET gunships with downdraft - It lunged after the Aerobus.
"Gimme those grenades." Jimmy said. He snatched away Crystal's grenade bandolier.
"What are you-"
And then he was gone.
Jimmy, last surviving member of the Jovis and Mary Chain, jumped from the Tilt-Wing. His huge, floppy hair flowing in the breeze, he fell like some dark knight from the comic books. Arms outstretched, ready to meet his brother and his doom...
The Bone Dragon snatched him out of the air.
Crystal watched horrified as Jimmy disappeared beneathe the skeletal jaws.
"You don't know us Scots, Dragon-bitch." Jimmy sneered. Huge teeth the size of Katanas punctured his chest. He was able to squeeze out one last sentence: "We fraggin LOVE the cold!"
And then he pulled the pins on the grenades.
The Dragon's jaw was blown clean off. The chunk of bone crashed to the ground, demoloshing a shopping centre.
The Dragon wheeled in pain, dropping both the objects it carried.
One was Mac the BWG, unconsious.
The other was the buclear bomb.
"FRAG! Was that what I thought it was?" Ery's co-pilot said.
"Shut up. We have a job to do." Ery snapped.
On the ground, the bomb came to a sudden, halting rest in the roof of a high-rise flat in the Aztechnology compound.
An access panel fell open.
In big red LED figures, a countdown started, triggered by the impact fuze N'zar's technicians had installed a his bequest.
Foolish humans. The Dragon sneered. Play along. PLAY ALONG! Whatever you do, you play right into my trap...
He then spotted the limp, broken form of a man on the ground.
It was Mac.
On the astral plane, an armada of spirits and astrally projecting magicians converged on the scene.
Already the huge level of death and destruction on the area was having an effect on the astral make-up of the place. Huge voids were filled with the human emotions of hate and misery, loneliness and death.
The Magicians - Some from the corps, others just locals protecting their home turf - summoned the spirit allies and went in for the attack.
The Dragon - seeing both physical and astral space at the same time, defended himself. He swallowed a man's sprit whole, then wheeled as a hugely powerful manabol struck him. Two fire elementals fireballed him.
My work here is done. I should leave these fools to their fate. He sneered, turning to leave on his colossal dead wings.
"After him!" Ery ordered his air-wing.
The seven dragons, also, having bid their time to let the humans do there fighting for them, also seized their chance.
The WESforce mages disembarked from their helicopters around the bomb site. Sielently, knowing they were doomed, they went to work...
"Cy! Get us out of here! NOW!" Crystal screamed. Cylinder Head put his engines to full throttle. "May grud have mercy on us. ON ALL OF US!"
Chance had taken Ash as far away as he could. They had found a Daisaka public shelter, already crowded with Daisaka personnel. Chance had to rely on his military etiquette to get himself let in...
The buclear bomb detonated.
Instantly, a blinding white ball of power expanded out from the Aztechnology compound, vapourising all in its path. The Aztech pyramid and its 50,000 inhabitants was gone in seconds. The ball of energy continued, vapouirising buildings, people, vehicles. All physical matter was rendered down to its component atoms in milliseconds. No one, no thing stood even the remotest chance of survival.
At its current rate, it would annihilate the city in moments.
The blast wave hit the edge of a huge, immensely strong lattice of mana energy, and reflected back on itself.
The wave was reflected back through the 100metre diameter dome of its original blast and hit the opposite side of the dome.
Again it held.
And again, and again.
Soon, a dome 100 metres across which had once been the Aztechnology compound was transformed into an almighty white-glowing ball of self-perpetuating half-magical, half nuclear fusion energy.
However, that was only on the physical plane.
On the astral plane, a devastation even worse than that on the physical manifested.
In a zone one thousand metres across, all astral space simply ceased to be. Spirits, Astral Magicians, even one of the dragons pursuing the bone dragons was caught, and vanished from both the physical and astral world.
It was as if a large part of the world's very life source had been removed.
Hundreds of magicians, men and women, Human or Metahuman across the world suffered mana-backlash from the death-screams of so many, either losing their minds, dying outright or losing all magical ablity.
Soothsayers and magical pre-cogs the world over suddenly foresaw the doom of the world. Many comitted suicide, such was the level of destuction they saw.
Many mundanes, too, couldn't bear to live with such destruction abound, even thse who knew nothing of the bomb's detonation felt the astral death-screams, in particular across Europe.
However, the fight was far from over.
Ery pressed home the attack with his surviving air units.
Cylinder Head had narrowly avoided the now-permanent magico-nuclear vortex. His eyes - despite his pilot goggles and their flare-compensation - still had the hazy after-effects from the flash...
But now his engines were failing.
He had to put down, NOW.
He would have to land in the roadway.
Mary fell to the ground in the hospital. The building was shking violently - The shockwave from the blast was only beginning to make itself felt. The building could fall at any minute...
Mac was helpless, being carried by N'zar...
Raven stopped his van - Along with dozens of other panicking drivers on the road. He saw the blinding flash of the blast, and...
Oh GRUD!!! Crystal!!!!!
The silver shadows cleared for a moment.
Curim could see the world.
The huge skeletal dragon struggled to gain height, as the bomb's shockwave expanded.
So, it was over. Even after his death, he had failed.
Dead, all of them.
Curim, even from his own death, could feel the rush of magic across the city. Thousands of tiny lives began to blink out.
Then they stopped, and the shockwave slowed, and turned back on itself, a huge, glowing dome forming, fire rushing back across already blasted ground. And up.
The firestorm rose in a terrible pillar, high into the sky, like a burning spear, from the centre of the dome. AET aircraft wheeled away, as it smashed through the air, evaporating those unfortunate enough to be caught in it.
Right into the fleeing bone dragon.
Bones shattered, boiling away in the heat.
Curim laughed, deeply, and turned to go. However, there was till the matter of Remini.
Focusing what remained of his spirit, he prepared to give up his afterlife.
For Remini. So she knows.
A long, metallic staff, lying alone in a blasted street, shimmered with ethereal life.
At that moment, a female troll, in Urgovakia, Eastern Europe, opened her eyes from sleep.
Curim. Was. Dead.
Sometimes you just need a hand to hold...
Ash's message was silent, but Chance guessed it anyway. The duo stood in front of the massive public information video screens installed in the Daisaka shelter. The place was quiet as a tomb, even the various Orks that formed much of the muscle in the Daisaka forces were silent for once.
Chance felt sick... seeing the strong glare of the contained buclear blast. Much of the city had been saved from the physical effects, but he knew about the ill-effects that such a weapon was going to make on magic-users, having seen Daisaka mage personnel collapse in spasms or drop unconscious the moment the buclear device had gone off. Even both him and Ash, total non-magic users, had felt faint and disorientated for a moment after the detonation... the mental screams of thousands of fallen mages having flashed past their consciousness.
So many of his friends... Curim, Xecktos, Silvia, even Lady Zero... all of them were magic practioners. Chance dreaded to find out what had happened to them.
Ash spoke quietly and with difficulty. "Chance, what about Crystal, Dragon, Mary, and all the others? Do you think they managed to get clear in time?"
Chance continued staring into the glowing hemisphere of buclear/magical energies.
"I don't know Ash... I don't know..."
Chunks of plast-crete fell from the celing, as the building shook.
Either the buke had gone off, or there was something big happening upstairs.
Strangely, she didn't seem that worried. The doctor began to slowly walk down the corridor, as the shaking continued. The disguise flickered out - the buke had created an EMP blast. But she continued, oblivious.
It was like there was a voice in her head, telling her where to go.
The hospital was almost deserted, but the few unluckly enough not to be evacuated crouced, scared and alone. Most of them were children, the elderly, the injured, or smaller goblinoids, having been forgotten in the justle for evacuation. Seing the woman, so unpreturbed, they followed.
The building shook again. Two shockwaves had hit it, but somehow, the ferma-crete had survived the blast.
The voice in her head told her which corridors to take, in the winding maze of the hospital. The crowd of remenants followed her. She descended the floors, gathering more.
Lower down, whole floors had been wiped clean by the blast, but the building still stood. Blackened scars were all that remained.
How had the hospital survived?
Suddenly, she was in the entrance hall. This was also blasted, devoid of anything but ash. The doors were gone, morning light streaming in through the doorway.
It was dawn. She had spent all night in the hospital.
She stepped into the doorway, looking down the long road infront of the hospital. The sun rose red and hazy, amidst the devestation. Some buildings were utterly gone, some just ruins, while others, like the hospital, were intact and blasted. All around her, the silence reigned supreme. Not even birdsong greeted the sun.
Why had she survived?
Suddenly, she saw the metallic staff lying in the black buclear dirt.
She picked it up, and felt a surge of something powerful inside her, rushing through her veins like cleansing fire. The voice deep inside her seemed to sigh.
Curim was dead. But somehow, he was in this staff, speaking to her.
He told her what to do.
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