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Page 19

Game Masters:
virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce


Oh man... here we go again.
Silvia was pretty bored. Her kidnappers had escaped the building though the vents, and were back in the tunnels. But apparently they didn't bring any kind of transport; she was still being carried by Damocles. She had figured out the cage was an illusion and successfully disabled it by blocking her mind, but it didn't help... she knew she couldn't do anything against the bio-enhanced ork.

Man I'm slegging bored... might as well start a conversation with these guys. It's not like I have anything else to do... and I could find out something important.

"You know... my friend Draco really isn't good at this whole rescue thing..."
Sorrow was visibly amused. "Yeah... I noticed." He smiled.
"So... where are we going anyway? How can you even find your way in this maze of tunnels?"
"Silence." Damocles growled.
"Woah... he really isn't the social type, is he?"
"Damocles?" Sorrow replied. "He simply is what he is... and that's it."


Sorrow liked talking to the girl, he hadn't had contact with anyone younger then him or of the opposite sex, without it ending in some kind of horrible death since he had left the Golden Village of Mages.
It was quite peaceful down in the tunnel's, it gave no hint of the absolute chaos that had been going on downstairs.
He tuned to the captive.
"Why are so many interested in you?" he asked her "If you don't mind me asking"
Silvia was shocked to see the necromancer being so polite about it. And she would have answered, if the Bio Ork wasn't glaring at Sorrow in a strange way.
After some walking Sorrow stopped in his tracks and swore.
"What." said Damocles bluntly.
"I lost my Staff!" he said, still not moving. "I lost my slegging staff! I must have dropped it back when that gun welding madman attacked us."
"No Time, Hurry" Damocles, being his usual self.
Sorrow was not happy. He'd had that staff since his turning to the dark arts, It was who he was. Without that staff he'd still be healing old Mrs. McManor's bunions or some other pathetic healer task. He'd get Slayer for this!
He swore again "Bah! I'll have to carve a new one back at the compound." Damocles grunted in reply and they moved on.


"Now, Sorrow... this one is for the girl!"
The sword he was holding cutted the staff in two pieces, without ever blinking.
Slayer ran away, and dissapeared the way he appeared. The mystery covered his life indeed.


"Wolf..." Illidia, still looking at her fully restored body, inquired the medic, not worrying if she was naked.
"Wolf, who is Mac exactly. I know you know it. Share it with me..."
"It's a long story... and I need to find a place to sleep... and rest. I had worked too much on you!"
"Come to my inn, and do not worry about the bill, it's free for you."


"DRACO! WAKE UP! WHO DID THIS TO YOU!!!!" Tyadoron seemed mad. As soon as she had seen Roszondas warping in...with the battered form of her brother.


Tank trundled down the corridor. He was looking for Raven - in this chaos, it was best to cut and run, he reckoned, rather than continue the ruse.

There were splattered bloodstains here and there, and the walls were pockmarked with holes, where blasts had ricocheted off them. There had been a fight here.

Hmmm..... Tank continued down the corridor, and came to the smashed door. The blood here had been washed away by the water Sarah had conjured up.

"Newun dere?" hollered Tank, the corridor shaking at his voice.


Sakhar couldn't be bothered following, he needed no tracer to find Sorrow. He picked up the two pieces of the staff of Dark Sorrow.
He laughed "Who needs anger management classes now?" he decided to keep the two pieces of staff, they may be useful.
He checking to see if no one was around, then disappeared into the doorway that Sorrow had ran though, Slayer wasn't the only one who lived a life of secrets.


"so... your prize escaped... after"
An eastern type dragon approached the recently warped in N'zar. Both dragons were deep under the sands, in their hideout.
"Beware, Seth... That you are a rare medium dragon doesn't allow you to tease me... Anyway, how is project Dark Moon coming along?"
"The weapons have been armed... they're operational." Seth replied.
"Excellent. Now Seth, you have to convince our allies... Take my personal helicopter. Out of this sacred temple, magic will be abolished due to the approach of the Halley comet."


"What the...?"
Draco awoke in a bed. He thought he was badly injuried but now he had been fully restored.
Roszondas was there.
"I am glad you are finally awake. As you may see, in this place, the conjunction of Halley comet does not affect magic flow at all."
"What?" Draco seemed thrilled.
"There are few places that Royal dragons built long time ago to protect theirselves and their court from the lack of magic produced by astral conjunctions. This is one of them. The other is located...well I don't know exactly. It is supossed to be in the deepest chamber of the Pyramid of Flames, but I have not seen that temple... Although the powers here may be really low, they are enought to allow magical heal."
"Where am I exactly?"
Draco inquired.
"At my hideout. In the Japanese countryside. Now rest. I still don't know how you managed to survive a encounter with a Zarites!" Roszondas replied.


"Can't we stop for a while?"
"No." Damocles growled.
"Stop?" Sorrow asked. "Why? You're the one being carried!"
"Yes... I'm the one who's being carried around half-naked in a pretty much burned up dress. I mean... just look at me!"

Hey, that's odd...
Silvia noticed she wasn't in dragon form anymore. She was in complete elven form, except for one thing... she still had her dragon skin. No claws, no dragon head... just Silvia, but green.
Woah... that must've happened when I tried to shift back when my magic decreased. Never knew I could do that. I kinda like it though.

Damocles and Sorrow didn't seem to be planning to stop any time soon.

Aw sleg.

They kept running through the tunnels. Apparently Damocles knew exactly where he was going.
The group had been silent for about half a minute. Too long for Silvia.

"What's your name?" she asked Sorrow.

Sorrow didn't reply. He was struck by the naive innocense of the question.
Suddenly he was back in that village he visited many years ago, as a healer.
He saw the little girl walking towards him. She couldn't have been older than ten years...
"What's your name?" she had asked.
And he had smiles at the girl and answered: "My name? Heh. I'm..."

Sorrow looked shocked when he realized he almost told Silvia his name. His real name.
No... not my real name. Not anymore... and never again.

"Dark Sorrow." he said.
"Dark Sorrow?" Silvia replied. "That sounds sad."


"Indeed." The Necromancer snapped back "And you'll come to a sad end if you do not stop this foolish conversation!"
It had struck a blow to Sorrow, for the simple memory of a little girl asking his name had brought back the look on her face when Sorrow had brought her to great pain. Killing her. Slowly. Twisting her body.
The expression on her face was still fresh in Sorrow's mind, even after so much time. He fought the sad expression coming over his face. Damocles stopped. His emotionless eyes fixed on Sorrow.
"Sorrow Ok?" Even though it sounded like a short, sharp statement, Sorrow was glad to hear it.
"Yes..." Sorrow began in a slightly shaky voice "Sorrow is Ok."
They continued down the long tunnels, Silvia still bouncing on Damocles' shoulder, seems she was used to it. He would have apologized to her, but Damocles would have realized something was wrong. He was also more human then people thought.


Silvia was confused by the Necromancer's sudden anger.
"Woah dude... chill."
That was freaky... all I did was ask his name!


The battered form of Slayer crawled back to surface. Seeing the battered rubbles he inhaled some air.
"The greater dragon has revealed himself... Now he has gone back to his hideout. My past... the one I owed to leave behind, claims a proper goodbye..."
He walked out of the place, riding the motorbike he had brought.
"One to London airport. First class." were the last things pronounced by him before leaving.


"Brother... How harsh is the world?"
"Too much, my battered Salamander..."
N'zar answered to the newly rebuilt Bone dragon. After his attack on Geneva, his remnants were brought back to the temple.
The temple, where all magical based forces of N'zar had been sheltered. He still retained his powers, but his army had decreased by 40%. He needed to rely again... in his human forces.
"But soon, this situation will end."
He solemny shouted.


"Roszondas, my lord, teach me in the full arts of dragon war!"
Draco finally said.
"I sense you are mature enough, my pal, so your wish will be granted. But, as you know, it will have a price. Your childhood."
"I have to pay the price. I had betrayed a beloved friend of mine. It won't happen again. In the name of Silvia, I Draco, the whelp, will become the Greater Dragon!"
"Let your words echo in this castle. Let your sister hear you and understand. For the name of this unalterated place where magic still exists, your wish will be granted!"


Raven's boots kept squelching as he strode down the passageway periodically shaking them in a vain attempt at drying them out. Following Sarah he kept thinking about what had happened over the past few weeks.

'Sorry baby but I owe it to Curim to take his staff back.'

That moment when he had to choose between going with Crystal or paying his last respects to Curim. 'Why did I go with Mary? Curim's dead, there's nothing that can bring him back. Why bother returning his staff to Remini? At least I'd be with Crystal instead of wading through blood and muddy water....'

Raven, in his meditations, didn't notice Sarah had stopped and walked into her. He recieved a smack to his forehead for his short attention span. As he apologised Sarah whipped her elegant fingers over his mouth and harshly whispered.

"Silence! People nearby."

Raven nodded and the fingers were removed. He listened to the angry voices from around the corner, obviously slaves looking for more treasures to loot and centaurs to kill. Sarah turned and motioned the group to turn around, as they began to retrace their steps Raven tripped over a neglected lamp and stumbled forward. All at once all that could be heard was Raven's wet boots thumping along the floor still squelching. The voices around the corner had suddenly halted. One voice broke the silence.

"Someone's there! Let's get the fraggers!"

Raven looked at his companions and screamed one word.


Even having had a running start on his companions Raven was soon behind the fleeing gobbo Dorodo, Sarah and the good doctor Mary. Recognising where he was in the complex Raven yelled at the others to turn right. The garage was nearby, the van was their only chance. The voices of the persuing rebel slaves neither increased or decreased in volume, Raven assuming that they were yet to lose their prey. Raven also noticed that no guns had been fired. 'Mebbe these slaggers aint got no guns or ammo on 'em.' Raven decided to act.

"Dorodo! Catch my keys! The van is up ahead, start her up and get ready to leave!"

The goblin span around as Raven threw his keys. The shiny metal keys glittered as they sailed through the air right into the goblin's hands. Dorodo turned again and kept running. Raven pulled the recently returned 'Negotiator' from it's holster. He turned and fired a random shot into the crowd behind him. For a few moments they didn't stop running at him, the pistol being silenced they didn't hear it go off. However, the slave he had shot was not silent. An ear shattering scream arose from behind the charging slaves. They stopped and turned towards their fallen comrade. Shot in the shoulder the slave had lost his balance and fallen, now getting back up the slave screamed.

"He's got a gun!"

Some of the unhurt slaves startled and hopped back a few paces, obviously not having any way in which to retailate should the crazed man with grey hair turn his attentions onto them. After a moments hesitation a bright slave walked forward and replied to the wounded slave.

"Yeah, but so do we!"

With that he pulled out an antique AK-47 and pointed it at Raven.
Raven smiled, bluffing was his middle name, these scabs couldn't fool him! Addressing all of the slaves he said.

"Well, why haven't you shot me yet? This fitter thinks you gutter trash might have the guns but don't got the ammo to use 'em. I'm waiting....go on..shoot you feel...lucky? Punk?"

It sounded like something a grizzled detective would say in one of those old vid flicks Raven loved as a child. Raven's skin went goosebumped, adrenaline pumped through his system and his heart kept ramming itself against his ribcage. Here was the ultimate gamble, did they have ammo but weren't willing to kill in cold blood...yet? Or did they really have nothing to do but throw the rifles at Raven? He stared at the beligerent slave defiently.


Mary's vidphone rang again, cutting into the tension like a knife. The doctor grabbed it, and recieved the call. It was Tank.

"Tank!" Mary whispered horsely. "Where are you?"
"Dunno. But I 'ave a suprise for yoo wen we get back"
"Tell yoo laterr..."
"What about Badjimmy and The Binman?"
"I dunno 'bout dem. Last I sawed, dey was in the middle of a mob of slaves. Don't hold much hope for 'em."
"Oh." Mary paused, and tried to find appropriate words. "Ok. Try and find the vehicle pool. Get here fast, as we're here, and may have a spot of trouble with some slaves. "
The big ork rang off.

Raven's standoff with the slaves continued. Alone, the trenchcoated rigger's silent battle of wills with the slaves contined, neither side willing to make that crucial first move.

"Mary!" The gray-haired man whispered back, just low enough for only the doctor to hear. "Get Tank's assault cannon!"

Mary slowly moved back to the van, in which Dorodo was waiting. Sarah, still dripping, was muttering quietly, and making strange motions with her hands. Mary didn't have time to find out what she was doing.

The side door of the van was open, and Mary climbed in. The slaves were too preoccupied with Raven to notice.

"Dorodo! Where's Tank's cannon?"
The goblin pointed back to the hidden compartment in the roof. He was seated in Raven's chair, watching the proceedings through his goggles.
"Thanks. Give me a hand"

The two managed to slide the compartment open, and most of Tank's armour, Sarah's staff and the gear of the other runners clattered out. Amoung it, was the huge weapon.

"Ok. I guess we might have to use this"


Sarah finished her enchantment, and breathed out. A huge blue magical shield materialised infront of the slaves, shimmering blue with water.

"Beat ya, Doctor", the beautiful elf gasped, hearing the clatter of equipment inside the van. "We won't have to fight our way out of this..."

"Raven! That will hold them for a minute or two! Let's go!"

Both man and elf made for the van quickly. The sound of AK-47 fire from the slaves rattled off the temporary shield.


Sarah and Raven piled into the front seats. The engine was already on.

Sarah turned around to the two in the back, smiling broadly. "Time to go."
"What! Tank's still in there, and alive!"
"It's him or us, sister. We die if we wait for him, and he stands a chance if we leave now!"
"He's our friend! We can't just leave him to die!"
"Life is full of tough choices. This is one of them."
The matter-of-factness of Hurricane's statement hit Mary like a sledgehammer. So she slapped her.
"If we leave, I open the back door and get out. I'm waiting for Tank."


The tunnel continued, and Damocles was moving fast enough for Sorrow to have to run to keep up. There were no loose slaves here, luckily, Sorrow was having enough trouble fighting back his emotions about the girl's comment.
She was only a job. Just get her to Polt, and get the money
Damocles grunted.
"Cross big tunnel. Go in vent. Get out."
More vents.. Sorrow would have to convince Silvia she was bound to get her up the pipe. And that would take some concentration.


Tank kicked open another door, careful not to drop the troll girl on his shoulder. He thought this might be the vehicle pool - he'd just been through a storage room for some kind of foul-smelling fuel, and for once, his Orkish mind made the connection that he might be near now.

Tank emerged through the door, onto a walkway, 20 feet above the vehicle pool. He could see various transports, two armoured cars, and alot of slaves. There was some kind of transparent blue wall holding them back.

And something that he instantly recognised as Raven's van, despite the motorbike having been ripped from the roof, was beginning to move. It would pass under this balcony, and out, into the tunnel they had entered by.

He had to reach the van.

Tank looked around, and took in the balcony. A lift had been at the far end, descending to the ground, but Tank could see the controls were smashed, probably due to the riots, and the platform far below. Bits and peices of vehicles, and drums of fuel and coolant lined the sides of this place, some overturned. There were signs of fighting here, and the dead bodies of two slaves and a trollish mechanic.

Tank then saw the chains, hanging from the celing and stretching down to a few metres above the floor.
His only chance.

Shifting Remini to under his left arm, the huge ork moved to the thickest chain quickly. He could just reach it with his other arm.

" 'ang on tight" Remini muttered something, still shocked and hurt. Some of her blood stained Tank's slave garments.

Tank swung out, expertly grasping the chain in his feet. It was lucky that he had spent much time climbing in his youth, amoung the wreckage of Lyon after the cataclysmic fighting in the French Civil War of the 2030s. The ruins of the town had honed his skills to as far as the not-natural-climbing Orks could go.

The van was moving faster now, and he'd had to time this to perfection. Slowly and carefully descending, he prayed to make it in time.

The van was almost below the chains. Tank slipped, and tumbled the last 7 metres towards the floor.


Sarah turned on Mary.
"You want to go to your DEATH? Do it! I don't want to see your pathetic face around here anyway! Die in vain, for all I care!"
Mary struggled to find a reply.
Something huge hit the roof of the van.

"What the hell!" Raven turned from the steering wheel, having been slowly moving the van, unable to decide whether to go as Sarah suggested, or pledge his allegiance to the doctor's almost suicidal plan.

He glanced up into the mirror.


Both women stopped, mid curse.

The Ork had hit the van roof, and rolled off onto the ground. In his arms, he held a female troll. His bulk had cushioned her from both falls.

Mary didn't have to yell "Stop the van!" before Raven had jammed the breaks on. Both side doors and the back of the van were flung open, the runners leaping out to aide their comrade.

"Get him in the van!" Hurricane was screaming - her ward shield wouldn't hold for much longer. Mary reached the bodies first, and rolled the troll off quickly, ignoring her injuries to try and heave Tank up. She couldn't. Raven reached her, and they began to drag him backwards. Sarah dashed in, and managed to heave up the troll, staggering with her back to the van.

Dorodo looked around. There was nothing for him to do....
Suddenly, he saw the ward begin to flicker, and had an idea. Leaping, he dashed back into the van, taking Raven's seat. He then carefully reversed the vehicle, standing on the pedals and reaching up for the wheel, allowing both bodies to be shifted into the wide open back doors easily. He'd have to get some kind of leg-extensions if he wanted to do this in future.

Mary and Sarah leapt in the back, and Raven raced along the side, leaping in at the front. Dorodo scrambled into the other seat, and Raven took the wheel, beginning to move the van away immediately.

Sarah's shield collapsed, and the tidal wave of angry slaves crashed through, beings crushed in the trample. AK-fire ripped through the vehicle pool, ammunition coursing through the air near the wide open back doors of the van.

Raven's "SHUT THE FRIGGING DOORS!" was drowned out by the clang of Mary and Sarah doing just that.


The van tore through the tunnel, no heed paid to the '20mph speed limit' signs. Pipes, power turbines, vents and side-corridors whizzed by. Raven saw no-one, and hear the women treating the injuries of Ork and Troll in the back.

Suddenly, he saw three figures, who narrowly avoided being run down by the speeding van. An human, dressed in dark rags, and a strange half-naked Ork, holding someone else trussed up over his shoulder.

Raven could have sworn the tied-up girl looked just like Silvia, but they dissapeared as the van swept past. All he knew is Mary had said Silvia was alive, but they couldn't help her just now.

He wondered what had become of the half-dragon, and for that mention Badjimmy and The Binman, not mention the centaur crimelord known only as Mawrose Delori.

Maybe that was for another time. He concentrated on navigating the cramped tunnel and getting the remaining runners out into the light once again.


End Chapter Two...

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