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virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce
"Back to base, pilot" replied Behemoth, as he pulled out a bag with a black powder on it.
"Okay, sir. Well, looks like the dragon wants to have a trip on his own."
The boiling water of the tea pot poured down a filter with the black powder.
An exotic fragance flooded the cockpit.
"Nothing like a good coffee, and not that crap of Soycaf!"
Eventually, Eva asked something, due to the relaxed ambience.
"Why did you stay in that fight like a crazy berseker? It's not your style."
"Hey, do I need to explain that I needed to tag along with a chilhood friend?"He looked through the window."Hell, i have changed so much that Tankie did not recognize me."
Draco smiled. He could sense fear within the van. First of all, he would scare off those idiots, and then have a nice chat with Silvia.
He landed in front of the moving van, causing it to stop suddenly.
Then he breathed deep, and tried to seem as fearsome as he could. He boasted.
"You have got something I want!"
And then, he spitted out a stream of fire into the air.
Silvia DID recognized that voice.
She mumbled to herself.
"Not him... not that idiot of Draco, here, and now!"
"hmm..." said Crash. "now where can I find an open port to hack into?" Only he forgot he didn't have his cyberdeck...
Chance wasn't fast enough to stop the thrust of the nurse's electrical prod, but Firearm managed to turn it aside at the last moment, the sharp tip missing his chest by inches as he fell off-balanced onto his back.
The nurse, flipped the prod in the air as she advanced, ready to jam the thing down on the prone Firearm.
Chance fired a snap-shot, not pausing to aim but relying on instinct and long experience with his rifle... the bullet struck true.
The nurse's upper arm burst asunder as the DU-tipped 5mm round ripped into her bicep. She faltered, all the time that Firearm needed as he crossed his Uzi's in front of his chest, bracing them against each other, letting rip on full automatic.
Twin lines of gunfire tore across the nurse's torso and neck, flinging her back into a wall in a welter of blood. She sagged to the ground, already convulsing as she bled from multiple wounds. Chance could tell at one glance that she was beyond hope, despite having been wounded right in a hospital... her wounds were far too grave.
There was a momentary pause as the team members collected their wits. Firearm looked at Chance sharply, his expression saying it all.
You're living in the past, soldier-boy... Everyone here is a threat. There are no angels here.
Chance returned the stare... this was what all soldiers feared, an urban fight in an arena packed with non-combatants and armed enemies, with only split-seconds to decide which was which. There were certain rules to follow in combat... but the lines had blurred so much in the recent years that rules just didn't matter anymore.
Chance felt a momentary flicker of doubt.
Chance old boy, your "advice" to Firearm nearly resulted in you losing one of your fireteam members...
He looked away from the stare first.
The team moved further up, but not before Chance performed an essential duty...
He holstered his pistol, still remembering the feel of the dying nurse's hair in his hand as he positioned the barrel for a clean mercy-shot, her acceptance as she forced herself to relax and succumb, knowing that he was trying to bring her deliverance from the pain. She had accepted her end willingly... but it only made it harder.
Damn this world. Damn this stinking, terrible world...
"Shit!" Raven swore, "No another fragging Dragon!" and spun the stering wheel, the van skidding to avoid the dragon, clouds of dust billowing on the rapidly degenerating road. The passengers in the back were thrown about in the violent motion. Mary in particular was squashed between Hurricane and the still-injured Silvia, against the side of the van.
"What in Stormcrow's name.....", Sarah began, but stopped, as Silvia cut in.
"It's that slegger Draco! What does that idiot want now?" She turned to her friends as best possible in the tangle of arms and legs.
"I suppose I better go talk to him."
Methdos Sakhar was sitting in a tree outside the compound. He knew Sorrow was in there, he also knew he had no way of getting past the guards.
"Magen Ra" he thought to himself "The powerful demon lord from ancient times."
He thought back to what his master had said to him about Magen Ra...
"Magen Ra, an evil Demon Lord born from the success of the anicent Egyptians. With every new achievement he grew stornger, until finally he was strong enough to take the empire. He forced the Egyptian's into a speedy progress, with every new idea feeding his power lust. He lived by development, ever new thing made him stronger......he was terrible to behold. If he was summoned by a Necromancer today......theres no knowing how strong he would be...."
It was a disturbing thought, but did Sorrow have the power to summon such a beast? Could he really pull it off? Sakhar knew that at any rate, he must stop Sorrow before the world finds out.
He picked an apple from a nearby branch and stared at the compound.
"I'll avenge our people soon Sorrow.......I will bring you to Justice."
He took a bite of the apple and continued to wait for an entrance, hoping that this time the Necromancer would not escape him and that his long dead people could finally be avenged.
Crispin Polt was waiting for Damocles in the reception area of this compund block. He had with him another being. Pulses fired off along the optic nerve from Damocles's eyes to his brain, bringing the information to be processed.
The man had a face like a grey, shrivelled fruit. Deep within wrinkled eye sockets burned two red pits, and dirty black hair fell past his shoulders. A mouth, cracked along charcoal lips, slowly quiverred. Loops of gold, silver, and many other presicious metals covered the parts of his arms visible, uncovered by the long, dust covered robes.
The processing done, Damocles's brain came to the logical conclusion.
The scientist spoke, his voice a rasp of deathly, stale air.
The bio-assasin looked back at him, the empty gaze of an animal visible in his eyes. Dark Sorrow regarded the hunched, naked creature, and almost felt pity for him.
Polt's icy tone cut in again. "Damocles..... I would like you to meet a new... colleage of ours, a trusted one. None do I trust as much as you tow. You are my hands now, my contact with the world, my hands that strangle those who attempt to harm me..... they're everywhere..... waiting"
The scientist's eyes flicked from side to side as he said this.
Two pairs of eyes stared back.
"Anyway, you are to work togther... do not fight... I cannot have my hands fighting with each other, letting their guard of me down... I need you both to protect... protect... me..."
"hmm..." said crash, looking around for some kind of area to jack into... then it dawned on him... he didn't have a cyberdeck! "eh, i never actually understood why i used a cyberdeck everytime... i'm hooked directly into anything i want, and i don't need some silly firewall to protect me... AHA! here we go..." said crash, finding an open security port... "time to jack in"...
If Chance thought whatever God, spirits, ancestors there were out there would take pity on him, he would have been mistaken. The sudden firing in the corridor had alerted the people on this floor anew.
Down the long, thin silver and green corridor, nurses, guards and non-combatants began taking cover behind overturned gurneys, tables, desks and potted plants. To give them credit, the very first thing the DocWagon personnel did was get the patients wandering the corridor into cover. Then the armed personnel started to return fire with their Zaibatsu Typ-12 pistols and OCU Jabber SMGs, aiming carefully and firing short bursts.
Firearm was hit by several light rounds. Chance felt a few whizz past his ear. Crystal ran up from the stairwell, diving to the floor as she did so and sliding over to the stairs up on the other side.
She lobbed a frag grenade back down the stairs she'd come from. There was a muffled yell - And a CRASH!. Soke and dust erupted from the stairwell, and after it a man could be heard screaming.
"The guards are coming! Keep moving Chance! I'll hold them off!" Crystal shouted, taking cover behind the wall, pulling some items from her kit.
"I'll cover you!" Firearm volunteered. He let rip with one of his Uzis. The whole clip of thirty was exhausted in moments, the bulets going well astray into the walls, floor and ceiling. Someone screamed as they were hit.
Chanced dashed across the no-man's land between the two stairwells. He jumped over Crystal who was fiddling with another frag grenade, a can and a piece of wire, which she'd fixed near the floor on the stairs.
Firearm was next. He took another hit from a ricochet on the way, ripping a furrow in his cheek, grunting with pain.
Chance automatically moved up the stairs, his military instincts took over, his rifle dead level in front of him at all times.
Firearm moved past Crystal, doggedly pressing on up after Chance.
A man silhouetted against the grey light from a window appeared from around the mid-stairwell corner - He held a light pistol...
Crystal finished her tin-can grenade trap. The frag grenade's detonator lever would fly off if it wasn't for the can holding it in place, as she'd removed the pin. The lever was attached to the wire, which now stretched across the foot of the stairs. Anyone tripping that would detonated the grenade - And it would be hard to miss the wire on the stairs, especially running...
I hope Ash played sensible and stayed out of sight outside. Crystal thought: She could hear automatic fire from the front of the building, it sounded lke someone else was attacking the hospital...
Ash found herself in the lobby.
It was desolate - Completely empty. There was a large pool of blood seepingout from behind the reception desk, and over a dozen bulletholes in the DocWagon logo behind it.
Ash ran forward to investigate.
"NO!" A man said, springing up from behind the desk suddenly. His hands were completely blood-covered - A mutilated elven woman lay on the floor, her face decimated by bullets. She might have been pretty once.
Ash literally saw red.
"NOOOAAAAAAAEEEEIIIEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!" The doctor screamed as Ash's snap fire engulfed him. He turned into a human torch, burning, trailing greasy black smoke wherever he went, running blindly, slapping the walls with hands that shed burnt skin at every opportunity.
The halon gas system kicked in, dousing the flames on the dead man - although his body didn't realise that yet - and the burning reception desk.
Ash had no choice but to run past and up the stairs.
A large section of stairwell was blackened and pock-marked with shrapnel hits. An armoured man writhed and screamed in pain on the floor, his visor smashed into his face, shrapnel wounds in his limbs and shoulder.
Running further up the stairs - no time to think, she had to catch up with Chance - she came up behind the group of guards pressing on across the corridor to the other stairs. Ash barrelled into one who started to turn.
Then the lead guard - Just feet ahead - Tripped Crystal's tin can grenade...The explosion in the confined space was devastating.
Cylinder Head was well on the way to the DocWagon hospital when they radioed him. He didn't have a DocWagon transponder code for the tilt-wing aerobus, but he did still have the RAF transponder code.
"Royal Air Force aircraft, please adjust your course." The DocWagon radio jockey stated, voice pregnant with tension, "This is DocWagon extraterritorial airspace, and it is reserved for the use of emergency vehicles. Over."
"DocWagon control, we are bringing SAS counter-insurgency troops to your aid, under the 2034 amendment to the extraterritoriality act. Make way for us, over."
Let them choke on that. Cy thought. He was proud of his ablity to bulldrek. He didn't even know what was written in the extraterritoriality act, but he was willing to bet DocWagon wouldn't eisk a shooting war with the apparent RAF.
Now, Cy/The Aerobus thought as it/he banked on approach. If only I can get Crash to focus. He seems to think he is on the ground somewhere. He could fall out...
Silvia opened the back door, to prevent Tank from ripping them off again, and stepped out. There was still dust in the air, and it got into her wounds, making them sting slightly.
What the frag is that sleghead doing here?
Suddenly, she felt two light bumps behind her. She turned around ,and saw both Dorodo and Sarah leaving the van after her, the latter moving much more fluidly than the slighlty clumsy goblin.
Silvia frowned at the elf, but was silenced by the sudden knowledge that she might actually need some backup - and for all his good intentions, Dorodo would probably only be a hinderance.
"I'll cover your back, sister. You do the talking. He seems to want you, after all"
"Ok," agreed Silvia, and stepped out of the dust. Draco was almost right infront of her, and she could see him clearly now, instead of just hear his voice. The large - not quit the size of a greater dragon - golden form, formed a halo with the sun as it blotted out the light for those standing in it's shadow.
"Ok, Drek-head," Silvia spat. "What do you want this time?"
Obviously, Hurricane deduced, they knew each other, and Silvia didn't particularly like him.
"Silvia..." the Dragon's voice was thickly accented. "How are you my friend?"
"First, I am NOT your friend, slegger. And if this is another impromptu mating proposal, it's no again."
The golden giant looked hurt. It was probably deliberate.
"Silvia! How could you think such a thing?"
"Look, Draco, just get outta our way! We're in a hurry at the moment, and I don't have time for you to flirt at me. If you want to talk, we can do it via a vid-phone, or wait 'til I'm home in Terganon with my parents."
Xecktos bounced around in the passenger side seat of Jol's New rig that the Rent-a-cops had given him. Jol was yelling about how he had run out of Cigars. Xecktos remember what had happened the night before he left.
That strange cloaked man, he had used magic to bind me in that steel bar. Who was he? And why did he help me... All i know is if Jol hadnt been there i would have died. It was so boring that, hour I waited for Jol to return with that wielding kit.
After I was free Jol stupidly open the chest with out warning, it could have been a bomb! luckly,to my suprise it wasnt a bomb, it was Lora! She was passed out, and had a new set of lungs. I took her to the only hospital left in the city. There i waited for her to awake, while I read a small piece of paper I found inside the chest as well. It was a map to Orkslavia, were we could find the Cloaked man.
Lora finally awoke, and Her and I took part in some acts that will go unsaid until the break of dawn. Then she told me how she sadly had to go take care of some business of her own. We parted our ways with a kiss that lasted what seemed like forever. Then it started I felt a sharp pain along my spine, and then threw up blood. My whole body aches, Elves are not meant to have this much Cyber gear.
Jol got a new rig and ppicked my up, we've been driving 3 days now on and off, a little while before we get to the City. I'm going to see a doctor first thing... and try to get ahold of Crystal.
Xecktos then coughed up some more blood.
" Yous going to be okay der aye? Jol asked
" I hope so...."
Xecktos wished quietly to himself that he'd been able to participate in more 'unspeakable acts' than kissing. Unfortunately the extent of his injuries had made that quite impossible...At least not with the cheap second-hand cyberware he'd been rebuilt with.
The rig jolted and bounced along the increasingly more pock-marked roads. Xecktos felt each and every one of them in his battered spine. He could tell the travelling in Orkslavia would be tough-going...
There was a call on his wristphone.
The voice that replied was harsh. Human or Elven sounding, but very angry. It sounded like a CAS accent.
"Shut the hell up fragnuts, I'm gonna ask you one question, and you better answer it good, you hear me?"
"Um, yeah?" Xecktos had to reply.
"You better fragging be, you pixie dandelion-eating elf SCUM. You better be, or you AND THE TROGG will be going into orbit. I mean BOOM! You, the truck, the Trogg...Lora..."
"LORA? What have you DONE WITH HER YOU BASTARD!" Xecltos suddenly screamed at the faceless caller.
"Hur hur hur. I thought that would get your attention. Now - Down to the question. Are you going to do a lil' job for me? You don't have much choice...Answer YES or No..."
Xecktos considered carefully. He somehow knew Lora's life - and most probably his and Jol's - rested on this question.
A drop of sweat rolled down his decaying face...
"24 June, 2061. This year"
Tyadoron was shocked. The speaker, a smaller, green dragon, with a scolarly look around it's haunches, repeated it's statement.
"You mean.... it is true?"
"Yes, mistress. That which heralded the first slips into what we have become will wreak havoc once again on the magical aura of the world."
Tyadoron was worried. After 1986, Dragons had awoken from their thousand-year sleep, into a new, technological world. Only their secrecy and slyness had saved them from detection until 2015, when Dunkelzahn, curse him, had announced himself. A dragon is not meant to fraternise with the lower races.
"Do you have any idea what will happen?"
"Nay, mistress, I do not. But the portents point to it affecting only us, the dragons".
This could be worse than she thought
"Jemling, do you have any idea what the exact affects will be?"
"Once, again, I am sorry to report, that I do not, mistress".
Tyadoron sighed, and dismissed the green dragon scholar. She needed time to think. This news - it was not good - could change the whole face of the world, once again.
Tyadoron hoped this change would fuel her business prospects.
In the dark reaches of space, Halley's Comet continued on it's stately return to the inner solar system. It's bright tail stretched back, trails of gases left behind, as the gigantic snowball followed it's course, followed thousands of times before.
Far ahead of it, lay a tiny blue planet, surrounded and fueled by orbiting machines, and insidious magics.
Just as crash was about to connect into the matrix, he heard something else, and woke up.
"glad to see you're not losin it crash" said cy. "I thought you were going to jump out. I wouldn't try it, since i have no parachutes and it's a 20 story drop."
"Uh? What the heck is going on Cy?"
Cylinder Head's voice echoed back from the cockpit speakers, where the Rigger in his zombie-like state was jacked in.
"Just wait until we land, and keep an eye out for anyone who tries anything stupid with that machinegun!"
Crash got back to his seat behind the machinegun - An IWS 7.62mm GPMG fed by caseless desintegrating link belt.
The drool started towards the tilt-wing's floor immediately.
The Aerobus was now approaching the hospital, with a clear air-lane ahead.
Shadow looked around in silence and darkness.
He wondered if Xecktos made it out of jail alive and well, and he was thinking about Lady Zero and Crash as well. Ever since that day, he had let her go, and Jimmy Lefixit was killed in the gunfire and shootout.
Shadow remembered he had an old boss that lived in London.
The following morning, he went to the nearest airport and bought himself a ticket to London.
He looked down at the ticket.:
Destination: London, England
Flight time leaving: 2:00 PM, on Thursday
Flight Arrival in London: 4:00 PM the following day
Gate Number 02
Shadow then looked up and around, put the flight ticket in his pocket and left the airport, thinking about the thinks he was going to pack.
He headed off to his hotel in silence.
"Then what do you want?" Silvia asked in Draconian. "Unless you have a very powerful healing spell to heal me and my friends I suggest you sod off. And if you even want to consider talking to me you'd better change to your human form. You know I don't like talking to you like that.
If you want to keep this conversation private I'll keep speaking Draconian."
"You've been studying I see... you've become much better at that."
Draco changed to his human form. He didn't like to do it, knowing that there were armed people in the van. He didn't seem to worry too much about the sorceress though - his magic wasn't any less powerful when he was in human form.
"That's not all I've become better at." Silvia said. "I can fly now... well if my wings are healed that is. Now tell me... why are you here?"
"I heard something about you going to visit the half-dragon Kaim."
"You heard something about it?! Listen, if you deck my v-mail one more time I'm going to report it to the Dragon Council. They won't be pleased to hear that."
"I just wanted to tell you you're wasting your time. Kaim left Orkistonia. He went back to Sweden when the violence increased."
"Why should I believe a word of what you're saying?"
"Then don't believe me. You'll find out soon enough."
"Agh. sleg it!" Silvia yelled, switching to Elvish, her mother tongue. "You mean all this has been for nothing?!"
"I'm just asking you if you want to come with me. You can always just stay with your 'friends' in there... but I can get you to Sweden if you want to."
"Forget it Draco. Not interested. Not now, not ever. You might be able to intimidate the people in that van, but not me. Even if you're in your dragon form I can still see this teenager brat. Leave me alone."
Silvia walked back to the van.
"Let's get going Raven... this was a waste of time."
She got in, and the van drove off.
Draco looked at the van driving away. He was alone on the road now, still in his human form.
He looked sad.
"Pick him up" Behemoth said coldly.
"you mean you would know that this would happen?" the pilot replied.
"It was obvious." Eva replied. "After all he is a brat."
Draco jumped inside the copter.
He only said. "bring me with my sister."
And the helicopter dissapeared, heading towards to Japan.
the boring trip was interrupted by the voice of Overmind-
"we are picking up a transmission in our encrypted wavelength."
"Source of the transmission?" asked eva.
A sound of buttons pressed was heard from the phone.
"It looks like it comes from...umm... MOUNT EVEREST!"
Another voice appeared. Wolf.
"What? We have no one on mount everest!"
"put me through." replied Behemoth.
After a few seconds Behemoth was listening. But the reception was poor.
"...Mac...alive...Spiritual Research... not come...next monts...Glad... see you...friend"
Eva laughed with joy. That surely was Mac's voice.
Illidia smiled. After all, mac had been generous with her. He had given enough money to start a new life, and her inn was giving her a decent amount of cash. London had been a good place to start from nothing.
"The cards are drawn. The profecy is on my side. Once again, our Master will emerge from the ashes and continue the work he had started long time ago."
The whole pyramid, despite being sunken under tons of sand, shattered under the words of N'zar.
This can't be true...
She had done it. Silvia had actually read his mind, and he left himself wide open to her ability, while he could easily have blocked it. And now she knew why. As always she found out much more than she wanted to. Not only was Draco honest when he told her about Kaim, but...
He loves me... he's a brat, and he's got problems finding a way to tell me, but he actually loves me.
She felt terrible.
He just stood there, on the road, looking at me, and I left...
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