The Den Games Network Forum RPG
virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce, Nyerguds
Pizza Slut... ID0...
"Iīve lived this before". Slayer exclaimed.
And then he entered the club.
He even kindly smiled to the bouncer and gave his weapons to him.
The troll seemed thrilled.
"ZAAAT CYB ARM TOO, smiley!"
He pointed at the right arm of Slayer.
"This is not a cyber arm. This is a metal gauntlet."
He removed the gauntlet, and the troll looked at it.
"OK, JOO can enter."
A bunch of mad fans chored loud the ID0 band.
All the atmosphere seemed confusing. But Slayer had already spotted someone. Someone familiar.
He pushed a few bald dwarves, orcs, and elves. He even pinched the butt of a waitress that was in the way. He needed to pass through.
"Are you the elf called Illidia?"
He kindly asked the woman. Her companion was a young punk, who started to stare at him like a mortal enemy. Cylinder Head.
Well, at least he remembered the name.
"Get back!" Raven grabbed Mary's arm, and, with the still weak priestess on his other arm, pulled them out of the main concourse.
Tank had Dorodo on his shoulder, and was trying to force his way back to them, but a large number of orks, trolls, and even a Dwarf or two were blocking them off. The crowd was lapping like water, desperately trying to move away from the site of the explosion. And the tide was dragging the runners with them. A huge troll tried to move between Mary and Raven, and, for a moment, their arms broke apart, but their hands found each other again luckily seconds after.
"Get to da buildings!" Tank's booming voice carried across the screaming. "If we're inside, we might not get split..." - Tank took a Dwarf's beard in the face, as the stuntie swung around, and the huge Ork kicked it out of the way.
The buildings. The nearest one was 20 metres away, and at least a thousand people were in the way.
"Ok." began Raven. "I have a plan"
The crowd was still sweeping them away.
On the far side of the square, the towering arachnid was swarmed by thousands of tiny civilians. The three-species crew was ready.
Flisted took one last look out of the viewscreen. This called for drastic measures - order MUST be enforced.
"Fire smoke launchers!" The female ork smashed her fist onto the control panel, and all 8 tiny dispensors on the machine's legs opened. Jets of gray sprayed over the rioting crowd, and the gas immediately began to spread out, a cloud quickly spreading out beneath the walker. This was almost harmless gas, just enought to cause mild discomfort to the 'civs below, and give them enough room to move the walker. As each leg came down, more gas would have to be sprayed, to get people out of the way. Those that didn't, would be crushed. The rate of death when an arachnid leg came down was only estimated at 3/1000, so there would be few casualties - for Orkislavia.
Down in the crowd, another explosion caused the flow to move again, rushing back in the opposite direction. Something organised was going on out there, someone devious cauisng trouble.
A huge pillar of blue light smashed into the sky from the far north of the square. Some idiot out there was throwing magic around, as well.
Hopefully, the sight of the armoured vehicle alone would deter any rioteers. If not, this would be messy.
Froddin saw the huge walker begin to move, and smiled, despite the crushing crowd. He still had one molotov left. And a good use for it.
In the cold night sky, the comet continued, unwatched and malevolant and alone.
Cylinder Head stared at the new guy, who seemed to know Illidia. The guy also seemed to recognise Cy, too.
"Umm, do I know you?" Cy asked, nervously. He glanced back to where Crystal was, then at one of the bouncers, a Troll.
He moved protectively closer to Illidia, whispering in her ear.
"This weirdo's scaring me..."
Identity Zero went into another song, this one faster, heavier, more intense. It added to the tension in the room. The crowd were getting worked up, something was going to happen...
The huge mechanical walker strode right out of some arachnophobic sci-fi story and across BadJimmy's field of view. He couldn't turn back, he couldn't look back, the wave of Orks were almost on him. Badjimmy ran, dodging nimbly between Trolls the size of small vans and Orks with flaming bottles in their hands.
He ran, dove, pulled his legs in and rolled beneath the monstrosity, getting up, running the other side, not believeing his luck at not being crushed.
Behind him, half the charging mob - Puncturing the stationary crowd like a wedge driven into rotten fibreplas - were mown down by sweeps of the many legs.
BadJimmy didn't stop moving. He spotted an Ork with a bottle.
Without thinking, he snatched it. It was satisfyingly full. He yanked the rag out of the top.
"OI! BRING YER JOYBOY FANCY ELF ARSE BACK 'ERE!" The Ork shouted. BadJimmy reckoned he could outpace the Trogg easily. He took a swig from the bottle, gagged on the unfamiliar fluid.
I heard about what Orks drink down here... Ah well.
Glass crunched underfoot as a cloaked figure moved stealthily through the streets of Geneva. There was no celebrating here. no tumultuous crowds. Only silence, and death. Every now and then, survivors could be found on the darkened streets, filthy and battered. They scavenged for food and rodents amidst the wreckage. The cloaked figure made no comment as one of the pathetic humans grovelled at his feet, hoping for a scrap of food.
At last he reached the edge of the Vortex, and felt the immense power barely controlled here. And yet it wasn't controlled. Every day it inched forward, draining power from the mages who sought to restrain it. The cloaked figure pulled back his hood and extended his palm to the seething torrent of energy.
Ery drew in a sharp breath as raw power coursed through his rigid body and filled him with revolt for the sheer evil within. He withdrew his hand quickly and caught his breath. It was too much. The mages could never hope to control it.
A short shriek in the distance caught his attention, suddenly silenced. It has begun, he thought to himself, the beginning of the end. Another shriek, inhuman, sounded from within the Vortex itself. Ery turned and paused. After a moment's consideration, he hurried from the doomed city.
Following the breach made by the Red Knight and his companions, the Iotui crept forward into the darkness of Geneva.
First came the four hunters, sheathed in crustacean's armour and poisoned claws. Their right arms ended in a rough ball, resembling a crude club. They hissed at each other as they surveyed the ruined city.
Second came the flier, leathery wings beating at it's side, with talons and fangs gleaming in the moonlight.
Following it strode the warlock, a blood-red jewel hanging from on a chain on it's chest. It's spindly fingers hung limply at it's side, ready to perform the Dark Arts.
Close on the heels of the warlock, came the spy, shimmering darkly, it's hide rippling as it changed forms. Dark like the night, glassy like a pool of water.
Lastly came the leader, taller than the others, reaching the height of an adolescent dwarf, shrouded with a black cloak. It's lean form beguiling, it's eyes, hypnotic.
Eight were the Iotui, when they were first bred in the darkness of their enslavement. Singly, they were weak, and easy prey. Together, they formed a cohesive pack, capable of slaughtering all but the fiercest of Daemons. While captive, they were controlled only by the might of the Red Knight. Now, they roam the streets of the modern world.
"Sir, our thermal scanners... err... are messed up!"
The MUNDI officer started to speak slowly.Coronel Jones tossed his cigar.
"How many are they?"
"We donīt know."
"Any matching thermal trace?"
"Nope. They are, err , either wild animals, or a new kind of sentient beings."
As if it wasnīt enough with the open revolts, a megalomaniac Greater Dragon, the government crisis all over the planet, and the...comet.
"Order a fighter to fly over the zone and photograph whatīs happening."
"But sir, we canīt--- we arenīt allowed to..."
"Use the Stealth Wraiths! I donīt care of what kind of trick you need to fool the avid politicians, but I want that creatures identified!"
He smirked, and tossed himself on the coach again.
"Hell, MUNDI is by now on hard times. But it is a fire trial. We may overcome such hardships. Union makes force."
"Do I know you?" Illidia gently replied and smiled. It was the most polite thing she could say to a scary looking masked man.
Slayer did not reply, but he rolled a holo photo to Illidia.
Of her. With Dragon.
Cylinder Head seemed mad.
Illidiaīs expression suddenly changed.
"Who are you exactly?"
"They call me Slayer. I am a mage, and a warrior. Not too long ago, I had to accomplish a request from a friend."
"Who?" Cylinder head asked. The guy was way too creepy. He had something hidden.
"You both know."
He looked at the photo. Dragon.
"When Dragon left this world, he called me. We were good friends. We both bleed and suffered from the confront with a Greater Dragon. But we won. As a memento, our nicknames are "Dragon" and "Slayer". I was told by him to come to London, and protect his friends."
Cy and Illidia were staring at the man, not knowing quite what to make of what he'd just said. Crystal glanced over.
The music stopped, all the lights cut out at once. There was a silence so loud it was deafening, and it held the stunned crowd.
"Ah, now what?" Someone screamed from the stage - Dexter Flange, by the voice, but it was hard to tell. With no light from outside, the place was in pitch dark.
A woman screamed. The sound of breaking glass.
Crystal ran to where she'd left her bag, stumbling over a chair on the way. Mystery hands groped to help her up.
"Stay close to me!" Cy gasped, grabbing Illidia to his chest, holding her so tight she couldn't breathe.
By now the room was a cacophony of puzzled voices.
Crystal by now had retrieved thermographic goggles from her bag. She watched the blind, fumbling orange blobs of the crowd tripping on their way to the exit. One group of figures fit the heght and posture of Cy and Illidia, but there was another figure next to them, so tall and built he had to be one of the bouncers.
Crystal walked over, glass breaking underfoot.
"Cy, Illidia, we need to get out of here!"
"I know you, too." Came a third voice - The tall man.
Crystal bristled. "Whoever you are, we should get out of here."
As if on cue, a woman screamed. A man grunted as he was punched repeatedly in the scramble to get out the door.
Outside, the centre of London was under a complete blackout, as if the power grids had somehow been sabotaged.
The Comet Cultists rejoiced - This had been planned for a long time, and now the plan was coming to fruition. A thousand voices as one screamed delight into the night sky. And look! The fingers pointed.
A forest of hands raised in welcome.
The bright light of the comet for all to see.
The blackout, the appearance of the comet, and the realisation of the chaos the mana-waves were spreading across the planet combined to ferment the most destructive riots Britsprawl had ever witnessed, an occasion that would be remembered 100 years later.
While the Comet Cultists rejoiced in the return of their saviour, dancing, chanting and making merry, the most hardline of the cult fulfilled their goal and set about offering sacrifices to bright Halley.
Seventy men and women drew wicked curved blades and jagged implements from beneath their robes and set upon the nearest non-comet worshipper they could find. Blades stabbed and sliced - Soon the gutters were flowing with the dead and dying.
Horrified Britsprawl cops on crowd-control whipped out handguns and began blasting indiscriminately into the robed crowd - They were torn to pieces in seconds, after killing twelve cultists.
Elsewhere, the anti-magic crowds came upon the Ork Rights Committee (ORC) procession. Brutal full-scale fighting ensued. All the buildings lining the street were set ablaze. Ambulances were prohibted from reaching the dead and dying by the ferocity of the fighting.
Humans mobbed the Orks and Trolls, who fought back, punching and kicking, crushing skulls and breaking bones, but to no avail. The humans overwhelmed them with sheer numbers, viciously ending any resistance.
All across the blackout Zone, looters saw their chance - Vans and lorries were driven through shopfronts, men jumped out, taking anything not bolted down and driving off, leaving blazes in their wake.
A group of twenty chancing upon the Docwagon St Mary's hospital weren't so lucky or orgainsed. Their vans were impaled upon automated anti-vehicle spikes, and riddled with machinegun fiire from the guards at the gates - This situation was repeated at almost every Corporate HQ in the blackout zone, which had their own power supplies.
Shadow watched as the Troll he'd been about to fight with was mobbed by five human teenagers with knives and poles, scarves tied around their faces. The big Troll crushed one underfoot and grabbed another in a bearhug - Ribs spilntered. The kid got lucky and jabbed a knife into the Troll's left eye. The giant screamed and dropped him.
Something weighing about twenty tons crashed through the front doors of the Camden Ballroom Pizza Slut - And the mob fighting to escape. Men and women, Elves and Dwarves, and bits of them were thrown across the room.
Firelight from across the street streamed in, silhouetting three men with weapons tucked under their arms. One fired a burst in the air.
"ONE OF YOU FRAGGERS FIND ME THE CREDSTICK BOX - NOW!!!"
Cy and Illidia, unarmed and unarmoured, dove to the floor, behind a table. A man fired a burst after them in reflex, leaving a trail of holes in the table surface.
Crystal took a deep breath. She pulled her Browning Ultra-Power from her purse, and fired. The man who's spoken went down from a shot in the gut.
Daisaka patrol helicopter z-565 stood on patrol, radioing frantically.
Flight Sergeant Sriva Murthy wasn't magically active - He was a rigger, in fact - But he had no trouble seeing the hug amount of energy pouring from the astral rift.
It was bare minutes from the first sing of something happening, but now dozens and dozens of small creatures - spirits? - were flowing from the top of the dome.
"Control? Come in! Control?"
The radio crackle briefly, but there was no other response.
A beep - Srivas turned to his 'third eye' - The radar.
A Daisaka transponder return - from inside the rift?
"What the frag?"
Captain Jinjiro Shibata flew from the rift. His Kamov Ka-72 Hollowpoint Attack helicopter shuddering with the strain, and he felt its pain, too.
Not only was he rigged, he was now more a part of the machin than ever, ever since he'd been swallowed up by the void weeks earlier, since he'd felt THE CALLING.
Alarms blared, and guards rushed to weapons racks. A pair of orks manhandled a huge autocannon over the shoulder of one, the other able to work the weapon.
Whatever had come out of the vortex, was rapidly spreading across the ruined city. The red patch on the monitors now covered half of the Ork district, and was rapidly moving towards the main MUNDI control building.
Crasius Haldro, MUNDI chief of staff in the Geneva operation, swore loudly, and banged one fist onto his desk.
"I don't care what they damned are! I don't care that our mages get fried by the fragging things if they try go near. Just get some firepower out there, and damned well hold them back!"
The grey-haired man dropped his heads into his arms on the desk. He didn't even know what he was meant to do in a situation like this. How can you guard a classified location when the damn thing starts spitting out, what his Green Drake aide, wide reader in Dragon lore, claimed to be Daemons. Daemons! The stuff of myth and legend? Here?
The old man felt the cold sting of one tear begin to drip down his cheek. This was the first time the ex-military Gulf-War III veteran hadn't known what to do in the situation.
In the cold night sky, a trio of MUNDI-owned Pacifier Gunships rose out of a concealed, breeze-block hangar. There were armed with a mish-mash of rocket launchers, heavy machine guns, and even one ion cannon.
They were hunters. Daemon hunters.
This was a gamble. A big gamble.
Raven reluctantly drew the negotiator. He hoped all the beings in front of them were just sightseers, nothing more siniser.
Should he do this? This could be absolute suicide. This could make everything ALOT worse.
With the gold-plated weapon in one hand, he slowly raised it above his head. This wouldn't work, he knew it...
"All right everyone! Outta my way! I gotta gun!"
He could feel Mary cringe. Please.... please let no-one stand up to me...... I need, I must see Crystal again....
With the smiling image of the blue-haired runner in his head, Raven was prepared for anything.
Roszondas had used his third eye ability. A safer version of the astral vision, with a radical difference. The eye could be destroyed and reconstructed at desire.
Draco lowered the weapon.
"Is it bad?" He innocently asked.
"Much worse that I have ever imagined. We need to unite the dragons again."
Why did the things happen twice??? Slayer thought. The building was in risk of collapsing. A mess in a Pizza Slut, again.
"Miss Wendy Fiennes, AKA Crystal" He blurted to the figure that was next to him. "Listen up. Cover your eyes. And order Illidia and Cylinder Head to do the same. I am going to cool down these rioters.
A flash of light catch all of them unaware. The rioters became blind for a few seconds.
Both Crystal and Illidia felt the hand of Slayer pulling them out of the trap. Cylinder head held Illidia tightly, and he also followed the man.
"Ok. Remember. Go for the big ones."
Darsha Glittersong, Elf pilot and squadron leader for the three gunships, uttered ice-cool orders over the microphone.
"We're here to stop this fragging things, whatever they are. I guess the flootsloggers can deal with the little bastards, but things like - that -, are what our weapons are for.
She sent a visual of the thing the size of a small tower block to the other two helicopters. Whatever it was, it looked nasty. Currently, it was slowly advancing, and kicking over whatever abandoned vehicles got in it's way.
However, the MUNDI flyers had closer problems. Something - whatever it was, was swooping low over the ruins, and heading straight for the gunships.
Darsha squinted through her goggles.
"Two! Three! On my order, fire on approaching target!"
The three gunships opened fire with the rocket launchers slung between each wing. Six projectiles raced forewards, trailing blue-white trails in the darkness.
"That should get the fraggers!"
The first missile, one of threes, rocketed in to the creature. THe first one should cripple it for sure, these were anti-tank weapons...
The thing parted, and the missile passed through. Straight through. Darsha could see it's impact on a ruined hospital.
Darsha watched the vid-link to her first missile. As it sped in towards the thing approaching them, she suddenly got a clear shot.
Holy frag. It was a swarm. A fragging swarm. Thousands of little.... things. There was no way the rockets would harm them, if they could move that fast. And flight school hadn't covered a situation like this.
"Switch the AP! It's a swarm!"
She recieved comfirmation, and gave the order to fire.
The gunships rattled with the spinning weapons. Darsha watched with satisfaction as several tiny creatures dropped down, blasted into oblivion.
Hang on. That wasn't enough. This is THREE MUNDI GUNSHIPS, against a swarm of things the size of sparrows!
Darsha frowned, and ordered a second burst.
Again, too few.
Darsha switched on the flight-recorder, and ordered the others to. This could be useful. There was only time for one more burst, and then they'd have to get out of the way, if the things kept coming.
"OK! Fire away! Then pull out!"
Damn Two. Always so cocky.
A third burst of fire felled some more of the creatures. They kept on coming, now faster than before. Lead and three began to sweve away from the swarm's path. Two did not, and let off another rattle of it's weapons.
If there was a weakness with the Pacifier model gunship, it was that it sacrificed mobility for firepower.
And mobility was what they needed, right now.
Two fired another burst.
"Pull out!" Darsha screamed into the comm. "Pull out!"
"Negative, leader. They're only tiny, anyhow. Nothing to worry about"
The Daemons raced on towards them.
"Pull out! Two! Pull out!"
At the last second, the middle gunship began to rise. It was going to try and 'jump' over the adversary.
Idiot........idiot, the voice in Darsha's head screamed. That... fragging idiot!
The swarm smashed into the gunship, hoardes of tiny bodies surrounding it. Some were torn apart, sucked into the auxillary engines, and some smashed against the reinforced armour. Others were ripped to shreds in the whirling motors.
However, the number was too much, for even a Pacifier to withstand. Something got caught, and the engines stalled for a second. A second too long.
Two simply plummeted downwards. At the same time, the sythglass windsceen caved in under the sheer weight of numbers smashing against it. The overconfident human pilot had just enough time to scream into his comm, before he was ripped to shreds in turn by the ravaging, tiny creatures. His gunners, locked in tiny targeting pods, stood even less of a chance, as seconds later, the gunship exploded, as it hit the ground, in a huge fireball that lit up the Genevan sky.
Darsha shook in shock, despire her piloting calm. He'd been taken out.... just like that.... in seconds. By them.... something the size of golf balls!
It turned out the little ones were just as deadly as whatever the big one was, slowly moving towards the two remaining gunships.
Darsha shivered again, and saved the last transmissions from Two to the gunships memory, and then began to transmit them on.
Maybe someone could analyse them and find out what the hell those things were.
The heavy pistol roared in Crystal's two hands. She was a terrible shot, like with all guns. Two heavy rounds punched into the looters' van, leaking battery acid from the engine power cell. The third round clipped a stunned man's shoulder. The fourth impacted against the masked man's forhead. Blood and brain matter spewed from the exploded back of his cranium.
Spasming, his finger clenched on the trigger and he fell back, spraying his Colt SMG at the roof.
The third looter turned tail.
Crystal turned to the Slayer. He had used her real name. She had his full attention now; As a threat, or as a friend. He seemed to be the latter. For the moment.
"We need to get out of here!"
Crystal looked out the open door, past the dazed and horrificly injured at the door.
London was in flames. A helicopter buzzed around, casting illumination a few streets away.
"Sir! Inbound from the East! MUNDI forces!" Screamed the Comm-sergeant.
Daisaka Colonel Xiao Renwu had waited for this moment. They might still salvage the situation.
Daisaka forces had been all but obliterated from the Western section of the Exclusion zone around the astral rift - three bases were not responding, 'copter's going off-radar left and right, mages not returning from astral patrol...
"Get me Haldro. Time to co-ordinate our forces. Get the IWS men, and the others. They'll come under MUNDI command with us, or I'll kill them myself!"
While his aid got onto that, he used his personal caller.
"Xiao Renwu. Get me the WESForce!"
Spirits take more damage from pure willpower than technological weapons. Men with assault rifles and blades might do more against these monstrosities than gunships - pure focused human will is the key.
To fight magic -
You need magic.
He looked into the troll's eyes and saw a purple mean glare and stumbled backwards a few steps.
A few moments later he recovered.
Shadow heard the troll laughing at him and heard him say "Look, da little Umi'z got a fightin on, come on little man"
He then looked at the troll with his ice cold Prussian Blue eyes.
In the distance, Shadow heard some sort of chant going on about No magic an killing the freaks.
For this a couple of moments, he turned away from the troll.
Again, he could hear more shouting about magic users and more freaks.
Shadow then noticed the troll turn to him and he heard him say a few words.
The Troll made a gesture towards the other humans, with the jerk of his thumb.
Just as Shadow was about to make a move, he saw about five human teens go up and jump on the troll, with knives and poles.
The troll then reacted by crushing one with his foot, and then heard one kid's ribs crack and splinter all apart.
One of the kid's managed to get a knife into his left eye.
Shadow pulled out his heavy magnum and fired two rounds, one hitting the troll dead center in the head and out the otherside.
The other bullet went straight through the trolls heart.
Shadow looked at the troll, as he saw him fall backwards dead.
He then looked around and put the magnum away and continued to walk.
Sorrow climbed to his feet, he too a few deep breaths and stood facing the dot in the sky that was the comet. He decided he didn't want to watch it anymore.
He was going to go outside, but decided it would be suicide with Sakhar on the prowl, besides where would he go? He was a prisoner to his own job, no where to go and nothing to see. But the skirmish at Delori's place had been interesting and he'd found a companion in Damocles, or so he felt.
The necromancer sighed, he turned from the comet and walked towards the stairway back down into the compound, leaving his would be staff behind. Despite the strange experience's he'd had up here, he quite liked this part of the compound. It was peaceful, made him forget all his troubles.
As he reached the bottom of the stairs, making his way back to his room, he stopped. There were things he wanted to do, things that no one could know about.
He started to creep down the next set of stairs, down to the stairs that led to the prison below the observation tower. He cast several illusions on himself to get past the Cadre, the comet still didn't seem to have any affect on him. Even when repeatedly using magic. It was strange, he'd heard of other mages suffering though it, or becoming more powerful though it. But why not him?
He continued this until he finally got into the prison. It was a depressing place, moans and groans coming from every cell, prisoners yelling out to him, asking for freedom. Sorrow soon shut these fools up, at his own amusement of course! He was looking for one prisoner and one prisoner alone. The girl. The girl he remembered bouncing up and down on Damocles' back, he needed to speak to her.
He searched each cell, he was determined to find her! He figured it would be a maximum security one, and one seemed to fit the bill perfectly.
Silvia sat alone in the dark. She'd tried to sleep, but the bed was so hard it felt like stone, and as for the blanket it may as well have been paper!
She was staring at the blank room, not even a slegging window! Just one big door and a bed. The only human contact was when the Cadre delivered her food, and they didn't speak much.
Suddenly, she heard a rattling sound, it was coming from the door. Somebody was opening the small hatch on the door.
It's not meal time yet? she thought to herself. Is it?
Sorrow was struggling with the meal hatch on the door. He was trying to open it without the Cadre hearing, but it was no easy task.
"The girl had better be in here" he thought as he tugged violently. Eventually the Necromancer got it open and stooped down to look though the small opening.
There she was, sat alone on a bed with sickly green sheets, her burned dress was thrown in the corner, she was now wearing something much more casual.
Silvia looked into the eyes of the necromancer, how could she not recognize those red pits?
"What the sleg do you want?" she whispered to him.
"My, my..." the Necromancer begun with a smile. "Such a foul mouth for one so young."
Silvia was puzzled by his appearance, what did he want with her? How did he get here? Surely Polt didn't trust him that much? Just the thought of Polt made her shudder. She'd got over her head ache, mostly. But his insane thoughts still played on her mind.
"Look..." he began again "I can't talk long now, I have.....other things to do. But I will be here tomorrow, I cannot say when or what form I will take." Sorrow took a breath, it seemed to echo though the now silent hall. "I need you, You have things that I want. Don't ponder my words now, just be ready for my arrival!"
Sorrow closed the hatch, once again leaving the half dragon in the dark and sneaked away. He had another thing to do before the night was over...
Hobgoz peered out from the makeshift barricade. The gobbo sargant, and four assorted species troopers, were all that were lft from his unit. It had previously numbered twenty.
They'd been sent out to deal with these monsters. And the monsters had dealt with them. Easily.
Winged things had swooped out of the sky, harassing them and twice seizing stragglers and shredding them. They'd ran into a pack of things that best resembled hounds, and lost five or six. And that big thing, like a 6 meter tall troll, and dealt with the rest.
They'd been damn lucky that shot had blown up the car it was beside.
And now, they were barricaded in a dead-end alley. Only him, Jorbes, and three other recruits the grizzled gobbo hadn't remembered the names of.
And they were gonna die.
Hobgoz sneaked another look. Empty. A damaged dumpster blocked half his view, but the alley looked clear.
"OK.. boys.... it's clear." He whispered hoarsely to the others.
"Hey..... Jorbes?" where was that damned Ork?. "Jorbes?"
Nothing. Nothing at all.
Hobgoz's hand dropped to his gun, and he cradled it in both hands. Slowly, he began to edge along the barricade, towards the far end. Maybe they were there.
Here, another dumpster blocked his view. He stepped around it.
Jorbes's grinning face met him.
"Jorbes.... what happen....."
Hobgoz stopped. This wasn't Jorbes. What was standing infront of him, the scythlike arms, and wirey body, were nothing like Jorbes. Two pale hands rose to Jorbes's face. They weren't his hands, either, they ended in claws.
Hobgoz fumbled for the trigger of his gun.He found it, but at that moment, the hands ripped Jorbes's face clean off.
Hobgoz stared into the blank eyes of the skulllike face of The Pariah, and began to scream.
He was dead before he could utter a sound.
Riots. Daemons. Ery watched from the darkened window of his Britsprawl apartment at the events unfolding on the streets. He had hoped it wouldn't end this way.
It was a long trip back from the sanctuaries in Orkislavia, he had heard many rumours. It seemed they were all true. The Daemon Hunters were woefully ill-equipped; the Daemons had bred for centuries in their imprisonment. They created new horrors and hideous crossbreeds unheard of.
A pair of Erinyes materialized out of the rift and immediately set upon the nearest victims, a young Elf couple. Their human faces screeched with delight as long claws sliced open flesh and their muzzles drank from the blood. A Daemon Hunter Gunship fired a salvo from multiple machine guns and caught the Daemons in a crossfire. Their nimble cat bodies spasmed one last time and lay still. Behind them however, rose many more Daemons.
Ery glanced up in the sky again in time to see one of the massive gunships plummet to the earth. Almost instantly, the military ship detonated in a fiery ball. Flames leapt high, catching and burning flying Daemons as they attempted to fly clear. The other gunships managed to escape the death throes of their partner.
While the Leader clearly pulled away, clearly wanting to regroup, Three moved into the fray once more to engage the Daemon horde. A pack of wolf-like creatures bounded towards the gunship, despite the fact that it hovered above a good 100 metres above the ground.
"Do they think really think they can hit us?" one gunner asked his friend.
"Who bloody cares? Frag 'em anyways."
They spoke up with machine guns, peppering the first wolf repeatedly before retargetting. The second round sped towards another wolf. Who promptly vanished in a puff of green smoke.
"What the frag?" the gunner yelled as the other wolves followed suit.
The smoke had scarcely vanished when the Daemon wolves rematerialized on the bridge of Three snarling and bearing their fangs.
"Holy....." the pilot got no further as he was devoured by the ravenous beasts. Out of control, the gunship slowly careened towards an apartment, heeding none of Leader's frantic calls. A gunner screamed. The gunship impacted.
Ery saw the gunship suddenly jerk out of control in the air by his apartment. What was going on on that ship? It sank towards his window and it dawned on him that it wasn't slowing down. Panicking, he ran to the hall and leapt down the stairs. He was almost fast enough.
When the gunship collided, every pane of glass on to the building shattered and the very supports of the building trembled and began to collapse. An AT missile exploded took with it the entire East wall. Ery was barely out the door when the building fell and the gunship blew up in a series of explosions.
Out of the frying pan, into the fire, he thought as he surveyed the battle taking place on the streets.
Jester was bouncing around the ruined Geneva, looking for prey. His maniacal laughter was one of the few things that could be heard above the noise of combat.
He saw a lone human, holding his gun tensely and breathing heavily. He stank of sweat and fear.
Jester leaped down in front of him, smiling an eerie smile at him, showing rows of sharp teeth.
The human went berserk, he pointing his rifle at the Deamon, shooting and shooting. Knowing his life was over.
The bullets created holes in Jester's body, at the sight of himself the Deamon laughed and danced around.
He lifted the skull up to show the human. Putting down his bow and arrow, he threw it in the air. Slowly, it split into two, three, four. The Deamon expertly juggling them.
He threw all four skulls up in the air, catching them al in one hand. They then seemed to "melt" into a small staff with an evilly insane head on the top.
The Deamon once again smiled at the human, before smacking him in the face with his new "club". The human fell to the floor, his neck twisted at an odd angle. Nobody heard the body hit the ground, as Jester's insane laughter drowned it out.
All shamans had arrived. The emergency meeting could begin.
"People! As we had forseen, the comet Halley disrupted the Manasphere of the earth, compromising the magic ability of most of the 'classic' mages. However, us Shamans get our powers from nearby totem spirits, and our purely shamanic powers should not be affected by that."
Noise. Protesting voices in the room.
The noise in the room decreased.
"As you are all aware, we are losing our powers, nonetheless. Our ally spirits are fleeing."
Someone in the group replied.
"Fleeing? Where to?"
The spokesman looked at him.
"'where to' is not the question we should ask ourself. What's more important is 'from what'. Shinai Tokati; tell them what you've seen."
The young Horse Shaman slowly stood up; he was obviously nervous.
"Well... I just came back from an Astral journey to Geneva. I was asked to inspect the possible danger of the Geneva Dome...
I barely survived."
Silence. Everybody listened intensely.
"The Geneva Dome, reinforced by the powers of the comet, seems to have caused a rift... releasing the very thing for which our ancestors fought so hard to contain.
The Manitou's have returned."
Suddenly, the meeting turned into a big chaos. People started shouting, crying, asking the speaker dozens of questions at the same time.
"Silence, everybody!" the spokesman shouted.
"Shinai is correct. The powerful spirits of the earth have once again taken physical forms. The battles will start again, but this time much worse than they were in the Fist Times. The Manitou's are much stronger, because the Dome and the Comet that gave them the strength to break free are still present, and feeding them. We must find out what or who caused the buclear explosion to focus on one point, and make sure the energy is released in the way it should have been. Our only lead is the Dragon Roszondas, who was seen in Geneva after the weapon exploded; but he disappeared. The last time he was seen was when he helped the Dragons start the repairs in Terganon.
Find Roszondas. The Dome must be destroyed, even if it means the destruction of a large piece of Europe. After all, if the explosion doesn't destroy it, the Manitou's will."
A cat shaman raised his hand.
The spokesman saw the hand. "Yes?"
"Shaman chief... isn't that a bit harsh? The Manitou's have been defeated before, and sent to the twilight zone between the Astral and the physical plane. We need Demon Hunters to deal with them."
"There are none left."
"I know one with great potential. David Shinz, the Wirecat."
"We've had this discusion before. He has the potential to become a powerful shaman, but you seem to believe he can do anything. Besides... nobody knows where he is. He disappeared in Orkisonia, without a trace. And with the comet so close to Orkistonia we can't even risk looking for him on the Astral plane; the mana waves from the Comet can be fatal."
Another shaman, bearing the symbol of the Bear, entered the discussion.
"There are other Demon Hunters. We have to teach them what we know about the Manitou's. Otherwise, they will all perish. We must form an alliance with the Western Etherspace Society."
The words caused an uncomforable silence in the room.
The bear shaman knew what the others were probably thinking.
Passing our knowledge on to non-shamans? People not raised in our way, with totally different, and sometimes even dangerous visions on life? And the WES, of all people on this earth?! They are a Megacoporation!
They must consider me a heretic or something now...
"Oh come on, people. We have no time for this. The world is at stake here. We must contact the Manitou's that are willing to ally with us, but we need the WESforce for that."
The Shaman chief was baffled. "But..."
"I will leave for Lyon immediately. This is a war, people. We have to choose between uncertain death, by fighting, or certain death, by doing nothing."
Three........ gone.... she'd liked Three's pilot, nice young Elf, liked him alot.
Calmly, she wiped a tear from her eye, and flicked on the comm to control.
"Control! Huntress Leader here! I've lost two and three, and request backup! It's hell out here!"
Silence. Then a scared sounding voice. She recognised it as Maria, a dark-haired human she sometimes talked with off duty.
"Darsha? That you?" This was a serious break from regualation airway chatter. "I'm.... so sorry... we can't help you... everyone's already out there..... and getting slaughtered, We're pulling out of this station now, falling back to headquarters for a last stand. I doubt you'll get any orders.... it's chaos here. Just try to stay alive......... Darsha? Good luck."
Frag. This was bad.
Darsha acknowledged, and switched off the comm.
All right. Stay alive. That's the priority. Try and record everything, try and make sure someone gets out. Try and pick up those who are cut off - the gunship can hold at least twenty, even if packed. Anyone who survives this will be a great asset to when we fight back. If we fight back.
The streets of London had exploded into violence in such a short amount of time Shadow couldn't believe it was all happening. Flames lit up the Eastern sky - The direction of the Thames River.
Behind him was his car - The policeman he'd spoken to earlier had his gun out, firing into the air, but it wasn't impressing anyone. The man lookde terrified, and alone, though he was speaking into his radio.
Two streets ahead a van smashed through the double doors of a nightclub. Shadow couldn't make out the name on the sign over the door. Gunshots rang out from inside.
All around the anti-magic rioters swarmed, avoiding him as he was human-looking, seeking out any orks or Trolls and ganging up on them with bats and clubs, their faces covered with scarves, and goggles.
A glass bottle whizzed past his head, smashing against the wall.
An tough-looking ork bashed the heads of two humans togeterh. They dropped to the ground. An elven woman in shorts was being dragged screaming around a corner into an alley by two humans.
A helicopter buzzed overhead, illuminating the area with blinding white light.
Shadow headed for his car and got into it, making sure he had the two suit cases.
He began to go through back alleys and side roads, to avoid the riots and shoot outs.
He continued to drive until he got to the club.
Raven looked around for any opposition. There was none, in fact, nobody had really noticed he was brandishing a weapon yet. In anger he fired the weapon into the night sky. Still noone noticed.
Mary tapped him on the shoulder and said.
"Raven, your weapon is silenced. They cannot hear you."
Raven's shoulders slumped as he realised his plan had failed. Then he had another idea. His free hand grabbed the silencer extension to the pistol and began twisting it off.
"Gimme a sec people, lemme jus' rip this thingy off..."
People continued to stream past the runners in an attempt to get away from the riot walker that was spraying gas indiscrimenantly into the crowd. Raven still couldn't seem to unscrew the silencer, with one last wrench he felt the weapons extension give way and move. It moved a mere quarter of a revolution. Raven, puzzled, then tried to pull the silencer off the barrel. No such luck. Mary suggested that maybe the silencer was disabled when it was unscrewed to that degree and never needed to be taken off completely. Raven shrugged and lifted his weapon into the sky again. He grimaced as he depressed the trigger, partially expecting the weapon to deafen him should Mary be right. His finger pulled the trigger all the way. Nothing. Nothing had happened at all! Raven opened his eyes and looked at the weapon. It hadn't even fired! Raven yelled profanities as he examined the weapon.
"Stupid fraggin' piece of junk! Why don't you even shoot now?!"
His finger released the trigger.
Raven's arm buckled as the 'Negotiator' kicked and fired, an ear shattering shockwave accompanied the unexpected recoil! While he didn't see it at the time Raven felt a great venting of energy flow from the weapons muzzle into the night sky.
The entire crowd stopped midstep. Even the riot walker was frozen with one foot in the air about to stamp a civillian with a molotov cocktail. Even the man about to be flattened by the walker didn't move. In fact, the only movement Raven could percieve was the flame of the molotov cocktail swaying back and forth in the wind.
For a few seconds nothing at all happened....
Eventually someone screamed.
"He's got a sleggin' gun!"
Everybody started screaming and ran away. Raven looked at Mary, Dorodo and Sarah triumphantly, hands on hips and said.
"I guess I can see why this baby needs a silencer!"
Dorodo squeaked and pointed behind Raven.
"Big, metal stampy thingy is angry now!"
Raven turned, confused as to what the little goblin was talking about. Raven saw the riot walker advancing upon them. A voice from within the walker blared onto the external comms unit.
"Surrender your weapons terrorists! Put them on the ground and step away with your hands on your heads. Resistance is futile."
Raven smiled and whispered to his companions.
"Heh, looks like this tin can wants to mess with me."
Mary, Sarah and Dorodo were not as confident with Raven's skill as a marksman as Raven was of himself. The three runners quietly slunk away from the fitter as he confronted the walker.
"So, you walking heap of nuts and bolts. You wanna talk about this? How 'bout we NEGOTIATE!"
Raven pointed his pistol at the machine and pulled then released the trigger quickly. A flare of light temporarily blinded him and his friends. Raven danced up and down on one foot as he cheered. The shot had blown up some dirt and dust, Raven's immediate view of his victory was obscured.
"Rust in pieces tin man! Woohoo! I'm the man!"
As the dust cleared Raven noticed that the riot walker was still standing.
There was a blackened scorch mark on the hull of the machine but apart from that there didn't appear to be any other damage.
From a compartment within the main body a machine gun began to appear and train itself upon Raven.
On that note all the runners began to run away from the riot walker. Tracer shells chased them down the street as the gunner continued to refine his aim upon the fleeing targets. Sarah, Mary and Dorodo, having had a headstart, were able to make it around a corner into a tiny alley way before the sidewalk was riddled with bullets. Raven, however, was less lucky. As he tried to dive into the alleyway a few bullets perforated him. His right leg was shot out from under him and he took a hit in the shoulder.
As he fell onto the ground he could see his own blood had preceded him. 'There's no getting out of this one.....I need Crystal... ' As he hit the ground Raven grunted. Mary heard this and turned. She gasped. Sarah turned at Mary's exclamation and also gasped. The two quickly grabbed Raven by the arms and pulled him into the alleyway just before a well aimed burst annihilated the blood stained pavement where Raven had been lying a mere moment ago. Mary checked his pulse and looked at his wounds before telling the others that they had to get Raven out of there. By that time Raven had lost consciousness.
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