The Den Games Network Forum RPG
virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce
"A Dragon?" Silvia replied. "Me? I assure you I'm just as much not a Dragon as I am an Elf."
(which is technically correct, since she's a half-dragon ;) )
Fardel looked puzzled. He obviously didn't know what to make of that response.
Then badjimmy started screaming. Fardel turned around.
Phew... he's distracted. Let's hope he doesn't go any further into my smell.
And I was worried I'd smell like wine...
"I want her" The elf in black clothes whispered.
"What? Who are you? Oh It's you, mr. Mayer!"
The man stepped forwards. He looked WAY too like a lawyer. Well dressed, with a suitcase, and a tie.
"I repeat, I want that elf slave." He pointed at Silvia.
"I am sorry... this stock is reserved..." the merchant rushed to answer.
Mayer slightly lowered one of his eyebrowns. "Don't you know that my master does not accept a "no" for answer?"
"But, the person who paid this slaves is wealthy..."
"Wealthier than a Greater Dragon?" He answered, fiddling with his tie. Fardel gasped. he knew that Greater Dragons could easily go manic and kill all of them, without getting punished.
Silvia felt worried. The Empathic sense she had told her that the lawyer was not a elf...
Oh sleg... I think I've seen enough dragons for a while.
"A Greater Dragon?" Silvia asked, with a mocking tone in her voice. "Interesting... And may I know whom I would have the honor of serving then?"
Probably N'zar again... that slegger is getting annoying.
"My master wants to keep his name in secret, and no, you can't read my mind to guess it. Just act as an slave and obey!"
The lawyer looked so furious that Silvia could access his mind for a while.
"Oh sleg!" she thought. "A lich. That fragging lawyer is a lich, a really powerful undead mage!"
Undead. N'zar. The two words were linked.
"My master wants to talk to you..." Clearly, the lich meant she would become a lab specimen. Half dragons were unknown to N'zar, so he was gathering all the ones he could. Silvia would be the number two.
Fardel North stepped in.
"I'm sorry, but I have already secured the purchase of these slaves. If you wish for any of them, you will have to buy them off my employer, and I assure you that my employer does not sell his women cheaply."
Mayer looked stunned.
"My employer can outbid yours."
"Outbid a country?"
North took advantage of the shock to punch Mayer in the face. His frail hand connected with shocking force, and the lawyer-like man stumbled backwards, blood rushing from his cheek, the ring North had worn having sprung open to reveal a tiny vibro-blade.
"Get in the van, NOW!" North yelled, kicking the legs away from his victim, who sprawled into the dusty street, one hand clamped over his cheek, which was bleeding profusely. Raven swung open the door, and Dorodo slid into the middle to allow North a place in the cramped front seats.
"Get moving! Delori has an entrance to his underway network in a village ten miles down the road! When we make it, our guards will get rid of whoever that was, if they follow us!"
Tank grabbed his friend Silvia, and pulled her into the van, slamming the doors shut. Mayer was still rolling in the dust in agony.
Raven gunned the engine. He had little choice.
Sorrow lay flat on the roof of the Tavern. How or why Polt had decided that he wanted this 'North' followed to 'his hiding place', he didn't know. But Polt was also paying his wages, so it probably would pay off to do his little errands.
The bioweapon Damocles crouched next to him, every one of his tense muscles slightly wrong, a glazed look on his eyes, breathing deep and heavy. Sorrow didn't like being around him this long.
Suddenly, North punched the newcomer in the face, and kicked his legs away from him, red blood gushing into the dirt. He, and the other man, who he appeared to know, leapt into the grey van. The van turned, kicking up dust, and began to move, slowly at first.
They were getting away
"Damocles!" Sorrow yelled, but the bio-weapon was already ahead of him, sprinting across the next roof with inhuman speed. They needed to follow the van, with the slave dealer inside. Sorrow gathered his equipment quickly, and looked slid down the sloping side of the roof, dropping into an alley 10 feet below.
He needed a vehicle.
Mayer, with one hand still against his cheek, desperately dabbed at his wristcomm. Speaking into the blooded device, he spat the words "Hive! Do you hear me?"
The other man, a lank, shrunken faced individual wearing huge electro-sensory armour daubed in Arachnid patterns, replied quickly, and mounted his motorcycle. This was a modified new Daisaka variant, complete with a mounted machine gun above the front wheel. Three other men mounted the three bikes behind him, a fourth in a special sidecar variant designed to carry Mayer.
"Ok". Hive hissed. They're getting away.
Three concealed charges blew the metal barn doors open, and the bikers streamed out into the cold sunlight. Hive shivered. He didn't like the sun.
The road cut through the village, where the sidecar would pick up Mayer. Then they would catch that van, as the master had prescribed.
Silvia was still shocked, as the van began to move away. Why the sleg did N'zar want her?
She could see that Lich standing up in the road, and yelling into some kind of wristphone.
She could now hear the roar of engines. Powerful engines.
Slegging hell! They were giving chace!
Suddenly, everyone in the van heard a dull thud, as if something had landed, although with care, on the roof of the van. It would have been the bike, if she didn't know that she herself had tied it on as tightly as possible, and it wouldn't get shaken off now.
Whatever it was didn't seem to have done any damage, and if it was living it should fall straight off as they moved.
However, it didn't.
It was Damocles.
Sorrow cursed Polt for putting him in this situation, he was a mage of the dark arts, not a free lance mercenary. He saw they were getting away fast, but there was time. There was time enough for everything. He slowly made his way to the ground below, he gathered up the blood of this man into a container. If he couldn't track them by road, he could use this to do it for him. He quickly ran out into the road, a car stopping in front of him.
"Good day sir!" He called to the driver "May I get a lift?" The driver stuck his head of the window
"Look buddie, I gotta be at work in about 5 seconds so I don't have time for this ok? Go hitch hike else where"
An angered look came over Sorrow's face, "Wrong answer!"
The driver of the car began to become very hot, as if his brain it's self had been thrown into a vat of boiling oil. This was only one of Sorrow's Illusions of corse, after boiling the man alive, he climbed into the car and grabbed the amulet around his neck.
"Back to life fool! I need to keep an eye on an ox in the shape of an Ork" The man rose back to life, Sorrow's undead slave put his foot to the floor and shot off at great speed.
"This could be more fun then it seemed after all......"
The five motorbikes raced through the village, Hive and his three contempories speeding past the lolling Mayer, the trike skidding to a halt.
Mayer wobbled to the car, looking around hazily for the stranger who had just stood over him, although a civillian car that had just been overtaken by the motorbikes was travelling at an alarming speed.
Through a plexiglass visor, the rider of the trike, a dark haired female elf, motioned for him to get into the sidecar. Her hand shot out as she leant to open the door, and pulled him in. He collapsed into the seat, blood still draining from his cheek.
"Here." The brisk elf tossed him a medpatch from a compartment near her controls. He thankfully slapped it over his cheek, feeling it's healing lattice slide easily over the gouged-out wound.
He'd probably need surgery on it, once they'd caught that bloody dragon.
"Step on it", he spat, and the bike sprung foreward like a troll into a cheap bar. Hopefully that idiot Hive would't kill the fragging girl.
He scanned his wristcomm. There were no dragons to call in in the area, nor any auxillary forces. N'zar had left him naked when he needed support most.
Slayer stepped into the street, having witnessed the scenes outside. Who were the bikers, and this 'Meyer'? What about the strange, sinister mage who had stolen the car? And the thing that looked like an Ork that was currently riding saddleless on the roof of the van?
He smiled, dropping a hand into his coat, and pulled out the small transmitter, the pair of the one he had casually dropped into Raven's pocket on their meeting. With a range of 15 miles, he'd still have to follow, but would be in with a chance of completing his own agenda now.
Sorrow was racing down the street at full speed, he could just see the bikers and van now, but there was something else troubling him. In a blink of an eye he saw a spec on a roof top, he had no time to process the thoughts running though his head, he just threw his head down.
Sakhar was on the roof of a house, he'd seen Sorrow and an ork leave the compound and tracked them to this place, he'd been lying in wait, watching, waiting... he knew Sorrow would go past soon.
Crossbow leveled at the ground below, he saw a van and some lunatics on bikes go past.
"Theres the Ork, Sorrow can't be far behind" And he was right, the car with Sorrow in came hurtling towards the van and bikers, no time to think, just enough time to act. He pulled the trigger, a Crossbow bolt flew straight towards the drivers side of the car, the impact smashing the wind screen. It looked like he had hit, but Sakhar knew he had failed... he still lived.
He removed his golden helm and sat down on the roof, he'd failed to avenge his people again..But one day the Necromancy would pay, pay for all his crimes, put on trial by the long dead people, with Sakhar as judge, jury and, if need be, executioner.
The crossbow bolt skimmed Sorrow's head and went into the dead drivers chest, glass shattered around Sorrow's head, he covered his eyes to avoid it but he could feel the glass cutting his face, in bedding it's self in his skin. No time to think about pain, he rushed to open the door and push the dead body out, he then scrambled into the drivers seat and turned to avoid the cat in the road, he would have reversed back onto it if he'd have had the time.
Once he got back into control, he continued his pursuit. Annoyed with the young warrior, but none the less he had work to do, no matter how degrading the work seemed.
The van bounced along the undulating road. Mary felt sick.
She could hear bikes. She was beginning to hate bikes now.
Sweat was running down Raven's face. This was unfamiliar territory, and he was trying to outrun motorbikes in a van. He was swearing every few seconds, and the older man on the other side of the van was looking intently into the mirror.
"I can count five." He wispered.
"Five's not bad", volunteered Raven. "It's the frikkin' road that's going to kill us". The van took another bump, throwing 'slaves' everywhere. Mary was desperately trying to keep them quiet - say something wrong, and they could ruin the ruse.
A burst of machine-gun fire ripped through the rushing air. The mirror that Fardel North had been looking into shattered.
"Don't tell me they're shooting at us!" muttered Raven.
"I don't think you need to be tol......" Hurricane began, but Mary silenced her.
"Fiesty one, isn't she?" North enquired with a false sense of calm. "How long have you owned her?"
Raven pretended he was too busy to reply.
Damocles clung to the bike on the roof, and planned his next move in the biting wind.
"What the frag is that!" Yelled Hive, his lank hair blowing back behind him. "There's an Ork on the roof!"
One of his cohorts laced a burst of fire at the Ork. It prederterminedly missed - any accuracy at this speed was impossible - but the side mirror of the van shattered into a million glassy fragments.
"Don't shoot, slaghead! We've gotta take her alive, not as a burnt lump from a firey crash!"
Shadow grasped the controls of the car, noticing the form of Sarkar leaping off the rooftop in the mirror. Frag. It looked like he might follow. However, he'd have a huge head start.
A trike sped past him, the guy who was lying in the road before in the sidecar, nursing his cheek.
Sorrow thought about using the blood now - it would be hard - but possible - at such a high speed, to one such as himself.
Damocles saw the stuttering burst of fire from the mounted machine guns.
Something was shooting at him. He wanted to attack them back.
However, he must follow the mission. Stay on the van.
Silvia knew that there was something on the roof. She could feel it's presence.
She considered opening the roof hatch, and having a look.
Shrill warning alarms filled the interior of the rear carriage, as the train's rigger sprang to mental alert - All interconnecting doors shut and locked, all armed personnel were notified, all weapon safeties were removed, and speed was increased.
Chance, Crystal and Ash were overbalanced momentarily as the huge mobile fortress powered forward - The engine right underneath their feet roared like a hurricane. There cane the distant sound of rending metal, screaming. Clattering and banging as fragments bounced from the outside of the train's hull as it ploughed through several civilian electricars, and threw the front Land Rover off the road.
"NOW! WHILE THEY'RE SURPRISED! NOW! NOW!" Chance bellowed - Crystal had been in the process of entering the code when the alarm sounded - Now Chance flung his full weight behind the door. Not good for his shoulder - It popped, sounding like a dislocation from the heavy door - but it did the job. The door was flung open, catching the startled guard on the other side full in the back, sending him careering forward, dropping the narco-stick he'd been trying to extinguish.
The carriage - A cargo carriage - Was much larger than the previous one. It's high roof was piled with boxes and plasteel containers marked 'IWS'. A narrow gangway led through between the boxes and shelves to another security door at the far end.
Two guards in medium security armour whirled at the sound of the door - The bulky kevlar III plating was no protection against the burning napthal that spewed from Ash's flamethrower.
The two screaming human torches had nowhere to run. Chance and Crystal both sprayed them with rifle or SMG fire. It was a mercy killing.
Boxes had caught fire on either side of the corridor.
"What's in these boxes?". Crystal.
IWS... Arms company... spare parts... or munitions?
"RUN! NEXT CARRIAGE!" Chance screamed. Crystal took the lead this time. She ran, jumped through the fiery section - And dove to the floor.
A guard had been hidden in an alcove of boxes. His SMG burst rippled the boxes just where Crystal's head had been. Her own fire caught him in the belly, cracking his armour and winding him.
He aimed again -
The IWS train rigger rapidly analysed the situation. He received information from all over the train at the speed of thought, sorted and processed them, acting accordingly as simply as a man would move his arm to catch a ball.
Fire detected in rear cargo carriage. Activate halon system. Priority carriage is centre cargo carriage. Isolate. Begin de-coupling of rear-cargo: contents expendable. Incoming aircraft detected. Tagged as civilian. Take no chances: Engage. Assailant on motorcycle: Notify front two carriage guards.
The purple and black IWS Aerobus swooped in, the Road train in sight. It powered down the motorway, battering cars left and right or simply rolling over them with no regard for public safety.
This DOES NOT bode well. They've been alerted. Cy thought.
A lone motorcycle raced out in front of the APC just in front of the Road train, occasionally dropping behind it or racing ahead. The rider whooped, long black hair flowing behind him, holding an assault rifle aloft triumphantly in one hand.
That crazy fragger! What's he doing?
Cy vaguely recognised the rider. Had Crystal hired him at merseysprawl? Whatever, he was on their side...
"ILLIDIA! COVER HIM!" Cy yelled.
Behind the machinegun at the rear cargo door, Illidia was more interested in the SAM launcher that swivelled menacingly in their direction...
Sorrow started to become worried, so much going though his head... so many pointless thoughts, panic, decisions. Insanity! Sakhar was on his tail, he was running at the car and had taken a flying leap. Sorrow was sure he'd grabbed that car, but none of it mattered! He had to keep up with the chase, Damocles could get thrown off at any second.
The blood, Magen Ra, Sakhar, Damocles, Polt, so many things running though his head... so much... he couldn't cope... HE WAS LOSING IT!
He snapped back to reality to see Sakhar climbing onto the car, it was now or never, shake off the young, but dangerously determined, young fool or abandon the car and make good use of the blood.
His heart was beating so fast he felt like it would make a jump for the van, panicking he took a swerve, he saw the warrior being shaken but still holding on, he started to turn maniacally from side to side along the damaged, hole filled road. His body was finding it hard to take this much damage, insanity! Just plain insanity! What was he doing? HOW had he got himself into this? Was Polt trying to kill him or something? MADNESS!
He saw a way out, he opened the sun roof. He started to lift himself though it, he turned, punched Sakhar in the face and made a leap for the nearest bike. It was a brave, even foolish move, but hit served him well. He knocked the bike down, using his powers of illusion to make him look like a panther, ripping out the bikers organs. He saw Sakhar recovering and made a dash for the bike, starting the engine he drove off at high speed, leaving Sakhar in his dust.
"Well, that was... different" he thought "Maybe i'll review my policy of not being a freelance mercanary"
"Hmpf...!" Mayer groaned. His master left him no choice. He told the driver.
"Whatever you see, do not lose them under any circumstance, understand?"
He started to chant and to summon his mage powers. The elf disguise burnt into flames, revealing a hovering skeleton. It irradiated coldness, much like the Bone Dragons. A broken and moaning voice shouted.
"Evil Ice that traps life in frozen tombs, hear my call and obey!"
A cold wind blew out. The road suddenly was covered with icecaps.
"Let's see if they can keep up that speed with the ice!" He laughed. The driver wanted to slow down and run away from such terrifying creature, but he couldn't.
"SAM Missiles, the weak point is the turret union." Illidia repeated mentally, throwing a burst of bullets in that direction. The first missed, due to the recoil of the weapon, but others hitted the SAM in its weak point, inutilizing him.
"If only I could tell you the truth, Mary, Silvia, Raven..."
He whispered, and laughed.
But his astral sense warned him. Someone was using a huge amount of magic. Evil Ice Magic. The Lich.
He grabbed a motorbike of a dumb stuntie, and chased the signal.
The road froze over.
"Keep going! Yelled North, as Raven struggled with the steering.
The van skidded, and shot off the road, onto the pebbly verge, and up an embankment into a dry field.
Raven spun the wheel, and churning mud, it shot back over the embankment, and onto the road.
It van could just keep going on the ice. However, this was going to be hard.
Damocles saw the road turn to ice, as the van swerved madly. He clung to the bike on the roof, and his bio-engineered stomach turned upside down as it took a leap over the embankment.
Must..... complete the mission
What the frag had Mayer done?
Raven watched one of his bikers skid and fall off, his huge bike crushing him, and blocking the road. Shit. He'd liked that guy.
Why the frag was Mayer doing this? They were his allies, dammit!
He was down to two bikers now.
"Let's just fragging catch that van!"
Mayer's trike was having similar difficulties. The ice had backfired majorly, and his own allies were taking casualties!
His driver didn't see the wreck of the other bike in the road.
They collided, in a blazing, infernal fireball.
Only Mayer's coldness saved him.
Sorrow struggled with the controls, and just managed to stay on the road. He saw an explosion ahead, and swung his bike up an earthy ramp onto the embankment. He wasn't going to fall for the same trap.
He whizzed past the accident. A skeleton was stepping out of the fireball, and a kind of grey mist appeared around it.
Frag... another necromancer... and a powerful one at that. No wait, that's not a normal... Holy Frag... a Lich!
Damocles clung on with enhanced fingers as the van skidded in the field. Only the bike on the roof was keeping him on.
He hoped, in some vague reptillian sense, that it would not come loose.
The van went back over the embankment.
The bike came loose.
Bioweapon and motorcycle arced through the icy air, spinning before coming down with a crash on the other embankment. The bike landed ontop of him. It was a fall that would have instantly killed a normal being.
Sorrow had just gotten over the shock of seeing the Lich when he saw Damocles go flying off the roof of the van. Sorrow maneuvered the bike over to Damocles, carefully avoiding the dangers of the ice covered road.
"Are you ok?" yelled Sorrow, Damocles said nothing, he got up unscathed by his fall, not like Sorrow expecting any less, and lifted the heavy bike from the embankment and continued to give chase.
Sorrow, still shocked and momentarily paralyzed by it all, Sakhar, high speed chase and another Necromancer all in the same day....he summoned one of the dead bikers to aid him and they rode off, Sorrow didn't know what kind of mess he'd gotten himself into, but he wanted to stay as close to the bio weapon as possible.
Illidia raked bullets all over the centre cargo carriage - Sparks struck off the SAM turret, jamming it. A guard rushing along the roof was hit in both legs, falling from the other side of the Road Train in a heap, out of sight.
With a jet of flame, a SAM waslaunched at the fast-flying Tilt-Wing, it's engines in the forward position as it screamed low over the road, but due to the angle of the turret, the SAM missed.
But then, with an impossible UFO-like 180 degree turn, it doubled back on itself.
Frag! SOTA Missile!
"HOLD ON ILLIDIA!"
The Tilt-Wing barrel-rolled, the missile in hot pursuit, flying about MACH 3.
Time to play my special card... My only card.
An image of a fat, red button appeared in Cy's virtual vision. He slammed it down.
A high-powered dual cooling system sparng into ation: Ducted fans and nitrogen coolant around the twin engine blocks of the Aerobus. Simultaneously, Cy pulled into a steep climb, jettisoning a spread of flares as he did so. six of the flares fell, burning brightly in the morning loom onto the roadway, scattering terrified drivers who slammed into the crash barriers and each other. The last flare was rocket-mounted, flying off at about 350mph. This flare also carried a minature radar transponder, designed to mimic the signature of the Aerobus in as many ways as possible...
With the Aerobus thermal masking activated, the missile chose the flare. A split-second later the deafening thunderclap of the explosion showered red-hot shrapnel over a merseysprawl suburb.
"Too fragging close..." The rigger sighed.
"They're firing again!" Illidia warned.
Redwing ducked on his bike, dodging behind the APC again. The six-wheeler tried to follow him with its turret - A torrent of bullets tore into the tarmac after him. Grinning, he throttled back even more, passing behind the road-train. The APC's bullets tore into the armoured front engine cab.
Fragging anglos. Could they be any stupider? Grinned the Native American.
Oh great... just another day in hell. silvia thought.
There was no more ice on the road now, which meant they were getting further away from the Necromancer.
"Frag... Am I glad that's over." Raven said.
"Not yet..." Fardel said "There's still some goons out there"
Silvia looked out the window and saw Damocles.
Something's not quite right about that Orc... that's the same thing I sensed on the roof. And nobody survives being thrown off a van at that speed.
I wish I could read his thoughts, but he's too far away for that...
The chase was now pulling up onto the skyway access ramp - The IWS rigger had received a command to take the quickets route to safety as possible, and the 1000ft high road was it. The road took a sharp incline, and began to lift from the ground as the protagonists raced up it at breakneck speeds.
RedWing had a split-second warning as a guard popped from the hatch at the front of the road-train's engine compartment.
The slag held an assualt rifle - One of the new IWS ones, with the large horizontal top-mounted magazine, under-barrel grenade launcher and slick all-neopolymer construction.
Looks like over-engineered shit to me Redwing sneered. He leaned left, ducking around the side of the road-train. The gard's burst missed, punching seven holes into the back of an expensive, beautiful-looking six-wheeled sports cars.
Frag, thats one of those Nuovo Inzio Y-8 QuadTurbo jobs. The driver's going to be pissed. Redwin grinned again.
If only those narrow-minded fraggers at Sioux army command could see me now!
He whooped at the top of his voice, the sound stolen by the rushing wind and roar of engines, and then the concussive roar of another missile firing...
Bullets zinged past Epona's ear, clean through the tiny rear-window and into her once spotless dashboard.
"Error! Vehicle damage!" The autonav droned, needlessly.
That huge fragging' road train's shooting at me! Epona realized.
Then she noticed it was coming right for her, speeding up behind and making no attempt to dodge or slow down...
"Missile inbound! Illidia, I've got a plan! Hold on again!"
Cy dropped down, under the level of the now-rising aerial roadwork the train was hurtling up. Yet another civilian car met its doom, hurtling off through the crash barrier after taking a knock from the APC. Luckily, it was still only about 50ft from the ground.
"That APCs had it! Illidia, rake him!"
The elven woman was hanging from the cargo door, having been dislodged by Cy's rapid evasion maneouvres. She held by one hand, slipping...
'Well well my boy! You've certainly learnt to drive since last we met!"
Fardel slapped Raven on the back. 'My protege has come full circle indeed.'
"I've learnt alot of things you haven't seen yet old one."
"Old one? I'm still breathing yet! Ahhhh. Noone has called me that in many years. It is good to see you again."
For a time only the vans engine was making noise, noone had anything to say. Mary thought that the 'slave' ruse needed reinforcing. She nudged Sarah and directed her attention towards the front of the van. Sarah caught on. She started struggling against her shackles and screaming.
"HELP US! HEELLLLLLLLPPP! You filthy bastards let us go! I'll see you rot in hell before I submit to your disgusting wills!"
Fardel smiled and without even looking at Sarah he said.
"Be quiet slave. You will be sold and will submit to whomever your new master will be-"
Fardel paused a moment to chuckle.
"Your new master will be VERY fond of you my dear. Very fond indeed......."
Sarah stopped her rebellion thinking over the implications of Fardel's words. Fardel continued.
"Raven, do you still have the parting gift I gave you before you left?"
At that Raven reached into his jacket and lifted the 'Negotiator' out by the barrel and dropped it into North's lap.
"Still got her, she's served me well. A beautiful weapon isn't she?"
Fardel stroked the gold plated pistol lovingly and replied.
"Oh yes, yes she is. Did I ever tell you where I got it?"
Fardel looked down the barrel, critically examining the weapon as if he was a jeweller inspecting a diamond the size of his fist.
'Interesting story. I acquired it less than fairly, let alone legally. won it in a bet with a Greater Dragon, of course, through his contacts with me. Never saw the scaly beast in person. After winning this pretty little thing I realised there was more to it than meets the eye. I knew the Dragon would want it back, bet or no bet. So I gave it to you for safe keeping while you were away. His goons came looking for it, couldn't find it and left me alone. Although you didn't know it at the time, you saved my life...and my pretty pistol....."
Raven looked over at Fardel at that remark.
"Your pistol huh?"
Fardel holstered the weapon and looked directly in Raven's eyes.
"Yes. My pistol."
Raven knew he couldn't argue with Fardel right now. The underground entry point was coming up and they needed to get in without trouble and Raven could persue this matter later, in private. There were things he didn't want Mary to hear, things Mary might tell Crystal. 'We can't have that now can we?' he thought. What so special about the weapon? Sure it had a LASER pointer and was gold plated but you could upgrade any weapon to have that for the right price. That price was a mere pittance to North. Odd.
Oh no! I'm late!
Zizz thought as he rode in his personal powered aerosurfer. Crash had plotted the position of the train and Cylinder's Aerobus from the Matrix, and Zizz had subsequently flown over to see what he could do to help. The light single-seat plane he rode in was designed for aero-surfing... With it's autopilot, an athelete with cyberwings could grab hold of a heavy duty metal chain streaming out of its rear and ride the "airwaves". A remote control on the end of the chain gave the aerosurfer a means of controlling the light aircraft.
But now as he saw the missile screaming in for Cylinder, with what appeared to be a female elf hanging onto it for dear life, Zizz suddenly thought of a novel way to use his machine. It's high cost didn't matter the least to Zizz... wealth was something that he had plenty of.
Activating the autopilot, Matthew Zizzler hurled himself from his cockpit, cyberwings springing into action with practised ease. Pulling a high-G twist, he streaked to the rear of the aerosurfer and grabbed the handle at the end of the chain.
Zizz's aerosurfer had been designed with stunt rockets mounted on the engines... "A way for the high-speed, balls-of-steel aerosurfer to pull ahead of the competition!" as the adverts went. Activating these rockets now, Zizz hurtled in like a roman warrior of old riding an airborne chariot.
Speed. Aggression. Violence. Shock effect.
The mantra of close-in assault thundered in Chance's inner mind as he stormed in on the heels of Crystal, ignoring the flames that licked at him from both sides. His dislocated left shoulder was giving him hell... but he ignored it.
The demowoman dived to the floor, firing as she did so. Chance felt the wind of bullets passing above her, but came charging in anyway right behind Crystals, knowing that any hesitation on his part would mean a second burst aimed for her.
The enemy soldier's eyes widened as the black-clad trooper stormed in behind the prone woman he was aiming at, emerging from the flames and smoke in the compartment, assault rifle leading the way. The IWS man jerked his aim up, changing his target...
Level III armour could stop SMG rounds... but it was no contest against rifle-velocity depleted-uranium tipped ammo. 5mm rounds smashed into his chest, throat, chin, right cheek and right eye. His finger clenched in death on his trigger... just as the halon systems cut in. Blasted sideways by the powerful inital jet, the burst went into the ceiling as the dead IWS man collapsed.
The poisonous gas was killing the flames, but not fast enough. Chance, Crystal and Ash headed out of the front of the 4th carriage... just in time to see the junction between 3rd and 4th carriages disconnect, seperating them from the critically important 3rd. The front of the train began to pull ahead of the dumped 4th and 5th carriages. Chance glanced back in the vicious wind, his eyes widening as he took in some of the labels on the burning boxes in the 4th compartment behind him.
Napalm. Fuel-Air Explosive. Missile Propellent. High Explosive.
Zizz rocketed in between Cy and the incoming missile, the powerful infrared signature of the aerosurfer immediately confusing the missile seeker head as the stronger heat source move between it and the Aerobus. The missile picked the aerosurfer.
Zizz spun and flipped clear as the missile demolished the aerosurfer, the chain suddenly becoming slack.
And the wing-man does it again! Zizz pulled off a victory roll... and spied Chance, Crystal and Ash clinging onto the front of the 4th carriage. 30mm fire was streaking past, but Zizz reacted by diving vertically... dropping below the level which the one remaining cannon turret could aim at. "Flathatting" ten meters above the road behind the halved train, Zizz streaked in like a human hawk to where Chance, Crystal and Ash were.
Salvation arrived in the form of an angel...
Well, it was Zizz actually. But both Ash and Crystal would have kissed the man for turning up just then. The conversation between Chance and Zizz was simple, but dramatic...
Zizz: "Hey guys! Need a ride?"
Chance: "Hell YES!!!"
Passing motorists, (including the bemused Redwing), were treated to a rare and amazing sight... A cyberwinged human shuttling back and forth between the separated 3rd and 4th carriages bare meters above the tarmac (to keep out of the firing arc of the 30mm) with heavily armed mercenaries clinging on to dear life...
It was a bird, a plane... no, it's a Wing-man!
Zizz brought Chance over last... and just in time. As the recon soldier was deposited onto the rear step of the 3rd carriage beside Ash and Crystal, they were treated to a awe-inspiring and momentous experience... one that could be heard even over the tremendous noise of the rushing wind.
The ammunition-filled 4th carriage blowing up with a thunderous fountain of fire, instantly clearing more than fifty cars behind them off the sky-road in a rain of debris and exploding munitions.
There was a pop as Chance relocated his left shoulder with a hearty wrench from his right arm... he had done so many relocations in the past that this one was done without conscious deliberation or second thought. The soldier grimly worked the joint, the sharp pain that it was now a dull throbbing.
Zizz wondered if Chance was referring to the explosion or his shoulder.
"These fleas are really amusing. But the play is over. I want the hybrid. Even if I need to go personally!" N'zar answered to the Lich's vidcall of what happened. He was really furious, and capable of revealing himself to the runners.
The lich understood. To accomplish the mission or to be destroyed.
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