The Den Games Network Forum RPG
Page 6

Game Masters:
virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce, Nyerguds


Damn Shadow.
Damn Jason Fiennes.
If it were no intervetion, maybe he could live his new life.
But it was time to dig up the past, once again.
Slayer thought for a while. And took off his mask.
He looked at the pond, to see his face.
"Nothing on the outside has changed."


"I am going to tell you a secret, Draco." said Roszondas.
"The training of the Hell Knights is less than a week"
What? But dragons spent years trying to become Hell Knights...
Draco was thrilled.
"How is it possible?" He asked.
"Dragons have to seek a goal, strong enough, to continue their battles, without ever falling, without ever crying. That is why they spend so many time. To search a true reason to fight. But I see that you have already one, Golden Dragon."
"Yes... b...bu...t"
Draco felt ashamed. Roszondas smiled kindly.
"Ah! The love. Such a thing is nothing to be ashamed. For love, empires can be destroyed, and rebuilt."
Draco stared at the Royal Dragon.
"have you loved someone?"
"I did it. Once. But her departure from this world hurt me so much."


Mawroth opened the vidphone.
Being awake only for the last two years still confused him a bit, but he had got used to it.
"Greetings, Matriarch of the Golden Dragons, Tyadoron. We have to talk. About Daemons."
Such humble words barely came from the persistent Silver dragons, whose leader was Mawroth, and only third in power after Royal and Golden dragons.
No one knew how old Mawroth was. But it was suspected to be as old as Tyadoron.


"How is it coming?"
"We already have a battallion of the Uber Panzerfaust ready, sir"
"Excellent" The general smiled. With that, MUNDI wouldn't have to fear Daemons... or dragons.


Sakhar was almost laughing himself to death, did Sorrow take him for a complete idiot? Did the necromancer not think he would notice that ork pet of his taking out a steel panel from the building?
But still, Sorrow was a danger. If he was even considering summoning Mugen back to the mortal plains, the already unstable gates holding back a tide of Deamonic beings could be broken with a wave of the hand.

He weighed up the risks, his life was worth nothing in this situation, as it was in most situations. He lept from the tree and crawled into the narrow gap.


Sorrow was walking along the corridor again, Sakhar should have took the bait by now and Silvia should have sent him off, somehow. He noticed there were no cadre around so decided to risk going illusion less. Something he'll probably regret.

He heard Polt's insane screaming down the hall, and it wasn't long before the mad man had ran the necromancer down and there were three gun barrels pointing at him.

"What do you think you are doing, mage?" asked one.
He didn't need to think, for once the truth would do.
"I heard word that there was an intruder in this part of the building." he said to the cadre's gun barrel "I came to investigate."
"OK" the cadre said lifting his gun. "We'll cover you."
Sorrow tried to hide the grin forming on his face, this had turned out better then expected.

The cadre followed him down to Silvia's cell, the door creaked open. The golden warrior looked out though the ventilation, he knocked out the grill covering the opening and threw himself at the door, slamming it in the necromancer's face.
"Are you ok?" he said glancing at Silvia. He didn't really wait for an answer, he swung the door open, knocking to Cadre down as he did so. He then raised his crossbow at the necromancer.

"It ends here Sorrow!" he said. "If there is any good left in you you'll die like a man and not the worm you've become."
Sakhar forgot to take into account that Cadre don't like to be knocked down. And as he pulled the trigger on his golden crossbow, one leaped from the floor and rammed himself into the golden armoured warrior. The Bolt going below target and piercing the Necromancer's leg.

As Sorrow collapsed in a pool of blood, cadre reinforcements beat down Sakhar. And both Necromancer and Warrior were dragged away, one to a hospital and one to a prison.


Tyadoron hissed, emitting clouds of steam from her nostrils. Mawroth, damn him. An old rival. She didn't trust him at all.

"Mawroth..." she began, watching the silver dragon's thick eye-ridges rise on the vidscreen. "It is good to see you again, after the long sleep. Daemons, you say?"
"Yes, dear Tyadoron. Daemons."
"It is as I feared. I have sent my Juthas, maybe to his death"
"Tyadoron. Listen. We must act now. The royal brood is warring again, and they will not be concerned with the daemon host when they themselves are at each other's throat. You must assist me, Matriarch of the golden dragons, before they princely fools have cast themselves, and us, away into the wind. Your assets with Vladistok, which I hear you have amassed well over the years, will be the heartstone of our defense. There is no other way, oh sister."

Tyadoron paused for a moment. There was no love lost between the golden matriarch and her silver brother. However, Vladistok could gain significantly, from some kind of involvement in Geneva - although whether it would be with or against the Daemons she did not know.

"I agree, brother. Come now, to my lair in the Ural, and let us, the last two survivors of the first brood, pool our resources to determine the fate of our species."


Acolyte Sighvatsson stood in the shiny spaceport. She was in a long que to sign in for the IWS sub-orbital flight, to Paris. From there on, they'd have to rely on her divination to find the missing pristess.
Behind her, the cyber-eunch snorted, and Malenfant smoked a cigarette. That wasn't even allowed in here, but the old ex-astronaught did it anyway. She supposed he'd gotten fed up with authority over the years, and decided to forget all about it.

Hopefully, that wouldn't jeapordise her leadership of this. The guy may have been an astronaught, but he was still only a Zealot follower, not a Priest of the church.

She'd had to get a special pass for Jon too. With the combindation of the huge claw, and the bad press the Church had got after the spaceship disaster only hours before, they weren't letting anything that could be dangerous, or church-related, anywhere where it could cause trouble. Jon would be sedated for the whole trip, even though he didn't know it.

Suddenly, her vidphone beeped. It was a text.



Redwing felt much more at home stalking the streets of the UCAS than he did in the Anglo-infested United Kingdom. The shattered nation was the last legacy of the old US that had beaten his people down for over a century, and it was no less anglo-infested than the Euro-Sprawl he'd been to briefly, but it was a hell of a lot close to home - The Sioux nation bordered the UCAS to the West, beginning at the Western border of Kansas and going North on a jagged line, bisecting the old US states, ending slightly North of the old Canadian border.
The Sioux were the most militarised of the Native American nations, ever watchful of the UCAS or the CAS attempting to regain their former power. Though he was doubtful about returning home, Redwing reasoned he could still do his country's work, here, alone, like a true warrior.

He raised his head to the darkened sky.
Tension in the air.
A muggy breeze blew in from the East, carrying a faint odour of violence.
They said troops were being mobilized to keep the violence down, but Redwing saw no evidence of that here.
It was going to get dangerous.
Redwing grinned

NewsEye - The UCAS' #1!
"Military forces are still at a high state of alert tonight as the Nation eagerly awaits the countdown to the appearance of Halley's comet. In wake of the violent scenes in Europe and in particular Britsprawl, the UCAS government has deployed military forces in the major northern cities of Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg and Minneapolis/St Paul, as well as Washington FDC. President Gibbons has received condemnation from several UCAS Senators because if this."

Senator Bush IV
"Our President? This... Terrorist sympathiser has misunderestimized the American... and Canada people. We warn the, um, President, that military action, both of his behalf... and his unbehalf... is, uh, on the cards. G'night folks!"

Senator Featherston
"Well, heh heh, I may not have won the election, but at least I ain't no stinkin' Canuck-lover. And now boys, I gotta speak to my folks. Got us some marches to attend to. FREEDOM!"

Voice from crowd.
"Go to hell Featherston, fragging son of a bitch Southerner!"

Flaxine in Newsroom
"An update on the Church of Light situation."

Cut to Image of the Temple of Luminescence, Washington FDC, brightly lit with dazzling lights and comet imagery in the night sky.

"Church Leader, Cynthia Stormcrow, one-time Presidential hopeful, is reportedly being quizzed by the UCAS FBI over Church involvement in the Orbital blast that scrambled worldwide communication."

Cut to reconstruction of the orbital blast.
"As yet, communication has not been re-established between North America and the rest of the world, except by the back-up landlines."

Cut back to worried-looking Flaxine
"Breaking news - just ahead of the Comet's appearance over North America, Rioting said to be on a biblical scale has broken out in New York city, so recently devastated by the freak mega tidal wave that flooded and destroyed much of the city ten years back. We understand that many of the transient refugee population are rioting for food and shelter, no doubt spurred on by the anti-magic riots that began earlier. More on this sad situation as it unfolds."

Aztechnology Vat-Foods - 97% Genetically modified. Guaranteed no monsterism.


David noticed a sound. People shouting. When he got closer he saw they were chasing someone... or something.
What the frag?!

It was a girl. A small girl. Maybe 11 or 12 years old, with an Orkish looking face... and green scales al over her body. Her hands looked odd too, in some way; they were really big.

Another victim of the comet... just like me. Only my nature probably predetermined my mutation. I gotta help her.

The crowd came rushing on, shouting "DEATH TO DA FREAKS!!".

Wirecat quickly climbed up into the window of one of an abandoned appartment building and watched.
The crowd nearly reached the girl. Wirecat tensed his muscles to jump out of the window and save her.

Just when he was about to jump, the girl climbed.
Woah... she's climbing up a vertical wall! So that's what these big hands are for...

David looked back at the crowd. Luckily for the girl there were no Goblin wallcrawlers amongst her pursuers.

Then, David saw the gun.

"NOOOOO!!!!" he screamed.

He threw off the cape and jumped out the window, directly at the Ork that was holding the gun.
The crowd dispersed rapidly when they saw the giant cat. This was something else than a small, defenseless girl.

The ork turned around and shot, just before two cat claws reached him.
David felt the pain in his left arm. At first he had only wanted to rip the gun out of the Ork's hand. But now he was blinded by pain, and simply let the claws do their work. Everything turned red before his eyes.

About ten minutes later, he was woken by the voice of an Orkish girl.
"Ar' yoo okay?"
He looked up. It was the lizard girl he helped escape.
"Unh... I don't think so. He shot me in the arm..."

Then he noticed the mess. The Ork corpse he was practically lying on was torn to shreds.
"Oh no... did I do that?!? No... tha... that can't be..."
He shook his head in disbelief. He never, ever killed someone before. The shaman training had learned him to control the killer instinct inside him. But the mutation enhanced him... it had awakened the cat inside him, and turned the small can-openers of claws he had into razor sharp weapons.

"Yu shur did." the girl replied smilingly. Apparently she was used to a lot more street violence.
"C'mun. We gutta get outta here before the othas return."

The girl picked up the gun that was lying next to the mutilated Ork's body, and quickly helped Wirecat climb the appartment building. "We'll go from roof ta roof here." she said. "Tha'll be da safest. We gotta go to Charlie, tha's safe! He can patch ya up too."

Wirecat followed her, too confused to think.


"Hey! Where do you think you're going?"
The young mage ran after the group of shamans that just entered the hotel.
"Shamans?!" The man looked very surprised. "Why are you here?"

The Mantis shaman answered. "We want to see the leader of the WESforce team here in Lyon. We bring information that will help you defeat the Daemons... we wish to ally with you."

"Ce n'est pas possible..." the amazed mage whispered to himself. "The Shamans?!"
He looked at the door behind him.
"Umm... w-wait here. I'll be right back."
He quickly went through the door, and closed it behind him.
The shamans could feel the commotion in the room behind the door.

An older mage came out. "Is this no joke? Has the Shamanic community finally agreed to look beyond their pejudices about us?"

Korum stepped froward. "I'm afraid not... the Community probably see us as heretics, traitors. But we know what these Daemons are, and you deserve to know. We do not want to be responsible for the deaths of thousands of mages, knowing we could have prevented it."

"Well then come in, gentlemen! Let's not discuss this matter in the corridor. Make yourselves comfortable, for the short time that's still possible."

The six shamans went inside. They had a lot to discuss.


"So, allying with the Silver brood to confront daemons?"
Draco inquired at her bigger sister. The size itself told the truth.
22 meters in front of over 35.
"Who are you? Identify yourself!" Mawroth Demanded.
A silver dragon. A rare kind.
"I am Draco, Greater Golden Dragon. First Knight of the New Guard!"
Mawroth laughed.
"A Knight? A wimp like you? HAW HAW HAW!!! Who had the idea?"
Roszondas vidphone call came. Still not as big as Tyadoron, he was a fearful sight.
"Prince Roszondas..."
Mawroth spitted some clouds from his nostrils. He hissed. Obviously, he had to lower his head.
"Captain Mawroth. I am glad you are still alive.Your services won“t be required... now."
And he left. With Draco.
"Does he suspect a thing?"
"NAH! Roszondas may be a royal dragon, but he is a fool!"
Tyadoron laughed.
"Do not take him so easily. He may be young... but he is one of the smartest dragons I have ever seen in my life. He is probably playing with us... Be aware."


Frag! I forgot Kirenu's cloak! It's still in that building...

"Com'on!" the mutated Ork girl hissed at Wirecat. "We're almost there!"

A while later they stopped, and went down the stairs of a building.
he girl looked around. "Charlie? Yu there?"

A man came out of one of the rooms. "Linith! Finally! I was starting to worry..."

Charlie took a good look at the girl. "What happened to you? Who did that?!"
Wirecat stepped forward. "The comet did that. Just like it mutated me."

The ork girl quickly ran towards Charlie. "Ah'm sorry... I didn't mean to stay 'way... but there was an angry crowd chasin' me... they wannah ta kill me!" The girl was nearly crying. "He saved me, but he's wunded now. Can yu help 'im?"

"Don't worry girl, I will... but I got some other guests here too."
Wirecat looked inside. Inside the room were two women, a man, a very big Ork and a goblin. The people he had seen in the crowd, from the park tree. The man was lying on the table, and one of the two women was trying to set his broken leg. She politely refused when the big Ork offered his assistance.

Charlie looked at the cat-man his little adopted daughter dragged in. "Heh... well I'd say join the crowd. The lady there's a doctor... I'm sure she can help you."

Linith proudly gave Charlie the gun she took from the dead Ork.
"Nice, Linith! Really nice..." Charlie smiled.


"Allow me."

Mary looked up at the newcomer. "Who..." Her eyes widened when she saw Wirecat's face. "What the frag are you?"
"I'm Wirecat. now let's get this leg fixed."
"Your arm is wounded." she replied.
"Yep. But I'm sure you can look at that later. Now we have to help your friend here. I'll pull at this side, you pull at that side, and then you put the bone back in place, OK?"
Mary agreed. The cat-man obviously knew what he was doing.

Raven screamed as they put the bone back in place.

"Okay..." Mary said. "now we need something to immobilize it. Charlie, you got some small pieces of wood we could use as a splint?"

"I think so... Linith, can you find them something?"
"Sure!" the girl replied, and ran off. Se came back with various small pieces of wooden boards.

"That'll do." Mary said. She smiled at the little lizard-ork girl. "Thanks."
Then, she looked at Wirecat again.
"So... where did you learn that?"
"MUNDI Basic training" Wirecat whispered. "Something I'd rather not say out loud in a room filled with 'runners."
Mary frowned. "You're MUNDI?"
She could hardly believe the wild-looking cat-man was somehow connected to the disciplinary international inter-corps police force.
"Negotiator. I always looked like a cat... but the Comet somehow mutated me some more. The little Ork girl went through the same thing."

"So... Wirecat. How did you end up here?"
"Don't want to talk about that. I just need to get out of Orkistonia, and fast."
Mary frowned. They had to rescue Silvia first, somehow.
"Well let me look at that arm first."


The six shamans and the WESforce mage were sitting in a circle.
As always, the Mantis shaman spoke for the Shamans.

"In the Fist Times, the Manitou's freely roamed this Earth. They rarely appeared in physical form, and were called Nightmare Creatures by many. But when the Comet passed for the first time, they got more strength. They appeared as physical forms, and started battling eachother for control of land. They needed the mana produced by the land to maintain their physical form.
The battles between the Manitou's raged on... and they created lesser spirits to collect mana for them. The Tribes were trapped in between the wars of the Manitou's, and would be destroyed if the Manitou's weren't stopped.

But then, the Manitou's noticed our people. Some of them tried to use them in their battles, while others fed on their life force like symbionts, sharing their knowledge for the mana they needed to stay in this world. Eventually, they didn't need a physical form anymore, since they could manifest themselves through the Shamans. They became the Spirit Manitou's.

But the Manitou's in the physical plane grew too strong. They had taken the forms of Daemons, the Emantui, to take over the Earth, and had used all Mana they could spare to create the Lower Daemons, the Iotui, and the Lesser Daemons, the Amatui.

But while the Amatui were created from the Emantui's own Darkness, the Iotui were not. They were made with the spirits of our own; human spirits, enslaved to obey them.

With the help of the ally spirits, the Shamans were able to free the Iotui from the Emantui, and persuaded them to turn against their former masters. While the Iotui made sure the Emantui couldn't reach them, the Shamans and ally spirits performed a ritual to banish the Emantui in the twilight zone between the Astral and the physical world, so that they would only be able to manifest in our dreams, and with little or no power.
But the spell was too powerful, and locked up all of them; the Emantui, the Iotui, the Amatui and even the Spirit Manitou's that allied with us.

Only years later, the Shamans were able to use the powers of Spirits of animal life around them. And it wasn't until the Great Awakening, now fifty years ago, that the Shamans could receive enough Mana from these spirits to actively perform magic again."

The room was silent for about half a minute. Even the Shamans, that all knew the story, were still touched by it.

The WESforce mage finally broke the silence. "That's an amazing story... but what do you suggest now? Should we try to ally with the Iotui, like you did before?"
"Most of us have already allied with the Spirit Manitou's roaming this place." the Mantis shaman replied. "They are still willing to help us. Unfortunately there are fake spirits too... mind leechers that can suck out your soul and take your body. We must be careful."


The WESForce mage was contemplative.

What the Shamans were saying corroborated with most of the precious few reports that had emanated from Geneva and the surrounding areas. MUNDI and WESForce were working flat-out to discredit the reports of zombies and unexplained, unknown spirit manifestations.

Maybe I should have these damn animal worshippers sent for interrogation instead... No... Command have expressed a need for help on this one. Must be big. Must be REALLY big. And besides, their getting the world magical council back together...

"Stay here please. He told them, getting up from the circle and leaving the room, nodding to the Mage guard on the door."

Mako was restless. He stared at each of his fellow shamans in turn. He didn't like it here, too far from water, too far from the warmth of Florida, CAS.

Only the Mantis shaman returned his Gaze. She laughed at him.
He felt his pride wounded, but just for a minute. He would have killed any man - or woman - who laughed at him in such a way.
But he knew this Mantis shaman.
Like her totem, she knew how to deal with men. Mako knew that first hand. They'd been lovers.
He smiled back at her, his killer's smile.

The swish of the door motors announced the return of the fool mage.

"How would you all like a trip to Geneva? Standard low-level jet aircraft, of course. We mages don't like being near the magical void of space any more than you."


Colonel Xiao Renwu got off the telecom.

Ever since Daisaka had joined with MUNDI unified with command and it's forces absorbed into the MUNDI battleline, he had been given the task of re-assembling the old magical council. After a whole night of telecom calls, offers, bribes and threats, the Colonel had succeeded in rallying most of the old Magical council. Again.

He sighed, closing his eyes. He was tired . So... Tired....

He cast his mind back to the start of this whole mess, just after the psych dragon had dropped his buke on the Aztech pyramid.

We could have stopped this whole fragging mess, then and there. But no, we had to let our bickering, our disagreement and distrust... Our 'human' (RenWu smiled inwardly) frailties get the best of us.
This time, we may not get another chance.


In the thuttering Helicopter, Crystal eventually stopped struggling. Shadow, though he should be screaming in pain, remained silent, even refusing medical attention for his mutilated foot.


The word rocketed through Crystal's head like a semi-ballistic.
Her back arched and she fell from Shadow's startled arms before the wave of agony hit her.

"Um?" Said the Grexon goon, at the heli's door.

Anoterh wave of pain shot up from Crystal's spine.
She screamed. She screamed so long and lioud she thought she'd never scream again.

She caught her breath.

"What's wrong?" A voice. crystal couldn't see.


The agony shot up from the base of her spine, like the cord was plugged into the mains electricity and not her nervous system.

Blessedly, she lapsed into unconsiousness, leaving a stunned Shadow and guard in the back of the heli. She still screamed and writed for a while, though she didn't know it.

Later, the heli touched down at the mid-level helipad at Grexon's Angel Towers arcology, the tallest structure in Brit-Sprawl, though not all of it belonged to Grexon.

Below a 100 foot 3D dancing neon panda, Grexon men rushed to secure the heli as it landed.

Shadow jumped down, Crystal's light weight across his arms, as the helipad door slid open.

Silhouetted by white light as he strode out, like some extra-terrestrial in an ancient Spielberg flatscreen film, and flanked by two men in fashionable black suits (Shadow noted their jerky movements - obvious wired reflexes), was the man he now knew as Fiennes.

The neon panda's ridiculous dancing reflected in Fiennes' lenses. Somehow, it made him look menacing, not ridiculous.

He regarded first Crystal's inert form, then Shadow.

"Ah. Capital. What did you tranq her with?"

The Helicopter went along in the sky hovering and making its way to the rendevous point.

Shadow held Crystal in his arms as he felt her struggle.

He thought it was useless but then stuck a needle in her back once.

Shadow heard Crystal scream for about 5 minutes straight and then loosen up.

He held her for the remainder of the ride until they got to Grexon's Angel Towers.

He then saw one of the guards slide open the door and he then hopped out and walked towrads a figure with two men flanking him.

Shadow finally saw what Fiennes looked like and nodded to him staying in silence.

Shadow looked at Fiennes and handed him Crystal.

He walked up to Fiennes and said in a whisper to him, "Next mission please...I need the payment as well.."


Captain Samuel Parker was glad to get away from the stuffed suits in the Grexon boardroom.

How little they know. They don't understand the world doesn't fall entirely into their maxim of profit profit profit.

And thats just the physical world. Pharis voice piped up, at the edge of Parker's consience.

He gritted his teeth. Every time the voice spoke he felt pain. He'd grown used to it over the last couple of years. It wasn't like he had a choice anyway.

On the plus side, the voice often had beneficial things to say.

Walking down the corridor, Parker avoided the gaze of several dozen low-level execs coming from a late meeting. It was 02:17 in the morning. Corporate life was a 24 hour affair - These young corp-fodder had been known to try any kind of illegal perfromance-enhancers to keep up with their busy lifetyle, be they drugs or magical. Such things weren't illegal here, anyway, on Grexon corporate territory. He could literally get away with murder, and the Britsprawl cops couldn't lift a finger.

Mr Grexon might have other ideas though.

Hey, Parker, I think you should talk to an old friend.

"Sure, whatever you say."

A young female exec turned to look at him. He gave a boggle-eyed stare. She hurried away.

He whipped out his pocket-comp, held a finger over the speed-dials.

"Who'll it be?"


Deadeye's battered, ancient mobile phone chirped.

A real relic, it was huge by today's standards. A Whole three inches in length.

Grunting, the tired, recently-woken derelict rose from his coffin motel cubicle, using his hands for orientation.

The din of rioting was like a sub-orbital in warm-up, byt as yet no-one had bothered breaking into the Soho Surprise coffin motel, frequented by tramps, perverts and the more obscure metatypes.

He couldn't look at the image that appeared on screen, but recognised the voice, though he wished he couldn't.



Crash went over the options in his head.

"I could do with a million and a half nuyen."

At the Transys Arcology, you'll have no need for money, my child.

"Zizz. I've heard that name before."

A bubbling pool of data welled up in the reprogrammed portion of his brain. 4,326 images displayed themselves in quick succession. The whole history of Zizz as seen by the media. His life, his career. Tonight known to be at the WantMore Celebrity pub.

Do not lose sight of your objective, my child.

He turned to the female Dwarf.

"You're on. To the WantMore club it is."

The Dwarf raised an eyebrow, wondering how he could possibly know where Zizz would be on such a night, but not questioning her new hired hand.

"Uh, just, you'll be able to handle a few rioters, tight?" He asked, nonchalantly.


First, shambling humanoid figures appeared.

Ery saw, with horror, that they were indeed humans, except many of them bore wounds that no human could possibly survive.

Many wore tattered Daisaka and MUNDI uniform, others wore the tattered rags of once-fashionable clothes. Quite a few were mud-covered, and in states of decay.

The Elf witht he laser fired first, without hearing an order.

The 'snap' of a discharge, as the air the beam cut through was ionised. This hiss of briefly burning flesh. A zombie flopped to the ground in two parts.

Then all of the guards began firing - Assault rifles rattled. The Mage fierd her handgun. Its low 'pop's drowned out by chattering LMG fire.

The zombies beganm fallingm, blown apart, but not before they reached the foremost of Ery's men. Two elves were dragged down, their eyes gouged out.

What is this? This is but an advance wave. Ery realised.

The airs on the back of his neck pricked up. Serious magic was at hand.

He allowed his view to shift to astral...


The air was literally alive with floating, amorphous spirits. They looked like nothing native to Earth's astral plane. They resembled amoebas, or jellyfish.

As he watched, one flowed into the corpse of one iof the two dead AET men.

The corpse got to its feet, slowly, walking towards Ery.



Fiennes flicked Shadow a Grexon credstick from his top pocket, which the 'runner caught, noting, as he did so, the „8,000 on the digital readout on the side.

"There'll be more," Fiennes whispered back, "Later on. In the meantime, why don't you take a stroll down to the ground floors? We have quite a shoppping centre in this building, you know. I'll call you... in an hour or so... my good man."

He strode back through the door with his goons, as a man in a white coat walked behind a wheelchair that drove up behind of its own accord. They put the unconsious Crystal into the chair - which immediatley adjusted itself to accommodate her, and rolled after them as they walked to an elevatore.

Shadow was encouraged to walk inside, to a different elevator.

Fiennes was right, there was a huge selection of goods on sale down here.

Every majore shop had an outlet in the Grexon mall, and all of it untouched by the riots that ravaged London - Pizza Slut, IWS, General Metro, Aztechnology, Vladistock Transys Neuronet, Her Majesty's Voice music, Paddy O'Murphy's consolidated Irish pubs and WES Magical supplies.

In fact, the three floors of shops were crowded with those taking cover from the violence.


Raven swore at Mary. Raven swore at Sarah. Raven swore at Dorodo, the cat man and the lizard girl. Raven swore at anything he could see, broken windows, heaps of trash and at even himself.

"Is he usually this eloquent with his vocabulary?" Wirecat asked Mary, with a hint of sarcasm in his voice. Linith giggled, the writhing man lying on the table didn't seem to perturb the reptillian girl's sense of humour, Mary noted.

"Frag you feline features!"

Raven interjected between his howls of agony. Badjimmy came limping through the door at that moment.

"Mon dieu! Z'ere you all are! Monsieur Raven, your crying, it can be heard from a long way!"

Between clenched teeth Raven growled.

"I'm not crying! This fraggin' well hurts! You'd do the same if you were as hurt as I am."

"I 'ave ze greatest cure for ze sniffles, eh. A little of ze vintage claret makes ze pain just disappear! You 'ave some mon petit Mary, non?"

"If you're talking about pouring cheap wine down Raven's throat to sedate him Jimmy then no, I do not have any alcohol." Mary retorted. Badjimmy sighed and reached into his satchel.

"I find this as I follow Raven's voice to you, it is ze fine vintage and I vill sorely miss not partaking in it. Yet, as a friend I must sacrifice for ze greater good!"

With that Badjimmy produced a dark bottle with a brown peeling label and handed it to Mary. Mary looked over the label and exclaimed.

"Goodness, you do have a nose for booze Jimmy, you've found a bottle of the only Orkistonic vintage the rest of the world would ever consider palatable. A 2021 bottle to be sure!"

Badjimmy looked at Raven and asked.

"Is he needing all of ze wine? Surely he is not in zat much pain?"

Raven, having remained somewhat sedated at the idea of alcohol induced relief finally spoke up.

"Hey! Where's my pistol?"

Sarah shook her head slowly.

"Brother, all you should worry about is recovering from your wounds. We didn't have time to grab both you and the gun, praise the light we chose you and be thankful."

"Nooooooooooooooooooooooo- uck! -gah! - choke!"

Raven's objection was cut short by Mary uncorking the vintage brew and pouring it down his throat!


"Hello Peter. Long time no see! Hahahahaha!"

"What do you want Parker? Haven't you made me suffer enough?"

"Oh, frag no! You have a lot of suffering left in you I should think!
I'm only ever going to stop torturing you when you're limp corpse falls back into the gutter from which you crawled!"

"Parker. One day you're going to regret all of this, I'll be sure it's you who dies first."

"I'm afraid that's not going to happen Stevenson. I've been keeping my good eye on you and I don't perceive any threat in you my boy."

DeadEye chuckled. He paused a moment before replying.

"Oh, you mean the three goons who have been following me the last week? I tell you, one of them has a strong lisp, another has a most unpleasant body odour and the last one has worse eyesight than I do."

Parker froze. How did Stevenson know? It was true! One of the detectives he had hired had a unnaturally swollen tongue and thus had a lisp, another was obviously not versed in regular and satisfactory hygiene and the last was wearing a pair of antique correctional lenses. Surely Peter couldn't be that sensitive with his hearing and smell as to pick up those minor details! How did he know one of them was wearing glasses? Impossible!

"You're bluffing Stevenson. You're nothing but a blind, deaf and stupid pile of sleggin' trash."

DeadEye smugly replied.

"Sure my eyes don't work but 'Sally' substitutes for my eyesight.
In fact, I've got one of your stooges lined up in my sights right now. You might wanna tell Curly his cranium is about to get some ad hoc ventilation!"

What was the beggar on about? Sally? Who was Sally? Better be safe and call in on his hired guns. He put Peter on hold and made a conference call to each of his stalkers.

"Wedge! Are you there? Fyordnivich? Liebnitz? Do you read me?"

"Yesth bosth. I can read you."

Wedge confirmed.

"Ugh. Umm. I here too."

The smelly orc replied. The German dwarf also called in. Parker breathed a sigh of relief. The null nuts was lying. Then Wedge yelped.

"Hesth got a gun!"

BLAM! The four phones in the conference call all picked up the sound of a SA-126 sniper rifle going off. The sound was picked and transmitted to all phones, which then picked up the transmitted sound sent from the others. For an entire five seconds a disturbing series of echoes reverberated around the connection. Parker took Peter off hold. All he could hear was Peter Stevenson laughing away like a madman. Suddenly, the laughter stopped. In a cold, morbid voice DeadEye said.

"You'd better believe me next time I say that I'm about to pop open one of the three stooges' heads. I never liked them anyway. I hated Curly the most, however."

Captain Parker pressed the hang up key on his wristphone. Within the confines of his mind all he could hear was the cacophony of Pharis' mocking laughter.

'You shouldn't have underestimated him!'


The room was full of people now, and this Wirecat seemed to have managed to do the trick with Raven.

Mary felt relieved. Although she had some medical training, she'd had nothing to the scale of the MUNDI operative's field skills. Her doctorate wasn't even in medicine, anyway! It was in Metahuman Genetics - The sort of thing that wasn't any use at all in what she'd found, to her horrific suprise, was the real world. A world of violence, shadow, and pain.

Raven had been screaming about the fragging gun. It would be no use looking for it now, it would have been swept away in the riot.

She glanced at her vidphone. It was still on the 'new call' screen it had been left on by accident after calling Silvia.

In the momentary pause before anything else went wrong, she flicked the button. The wrong button.

The tiny matrix-mail screen popped up, and words began to scroll across the watch. This was the mail that she had ignored weeks before.

-->From: Dr Max Hackle
Subject: Favour
Hello Mary, My dear. Long time no hear. Is everything okay? I haven't heard from you since you went to Geneva on assignment. I trust you haven't been ..

Oh frag...... she'd totally forgotten about that, and what she was meant to be doing. She'd got so sidetracked, into a deep pile of shit she wanted nothing to do with.

"Ok," came Charlie's voice. "It will be dawn soon, and I think we should get out of here, before the owner comes to acess the damage, and finds us."


Raven kept muttering on about the loss of his gun, but the wine seemed to distract him a bit.

"Good." Mary said, with a satisfied look on her face. "Now let's look at that arm of yours."
She examined the arm. The upper arm was covered with dried blood, sticking into the fur.
"What a mess! Somebody please get me some warm water to clean it, so I can get to the wound."
Linith ran off immediately. "Ah'll get it!"

Charlie grinned. "Heh. And I thought it'd be a problem having a hyperactive Ork girl in my house... she's a lovely girl, isn't she?"

Mary and Wirecat smiled. Yes, Linith sure was an adorable little thing.

She came back with the water. It wasn't very warm, but Mary was sure it'd be good enough.
She started cleaning the arm, and saw that there was another wound, at the back.
"You're lucky; It went right through. At least we won't have to remove a bullet."
She looked up to Wirecat's face again.
"It looks like there's little we can do about it. I'll put tissue-gen spray on the wounds, but the real damage inside will have to heal on it's own."
She took the tissue-regenerating 'gen-spray' out of her medkit and sprayed some on the wounds.

"Nngh! This stuff really stings!"
"I know. It's fast-gen. We should use normal gen-spray here, but that wasn't included in the medkit."
"Oh well." Wirecat said. "As long as it works..."


"I really think we should leave". Charlie was getting insistant.
"Ok. Where do we go?" Mary asked, looking up and shaking Tissue-gen spray off her fingers.
"I have an apartment, not far. However, we'll need to find a good way to carry our injured friend here, maam."
"Hmmm....." Mary looked around. "A makeshift stretcher would be rather impractical, but what else was there.

Again Wirecat came to their rescue. The feline-man tore open a crate, and found a large white sheet.
"We can make a kind of sling out of these, and let the big guy".. (he guestured at Tank) "carry them.... If he doesn't mind, of course."
Tank grunted, and muttered in French ashamedly. He didn't mind.
"That's great then. Doctor.... I'm sorry, we'll probably have time for more formal introductions later... could you help me with this?"


Xecktos groaned. He was lying on a white table, bathed in white light.
"Wher... what?"
Was he dead? He didn't know.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a knife. A huge blue-green hand came down, and picked it up.
Xecktos would have screamed, but his throat was too dry.
The huge form came towards him. He tried to move away, but couldn't.
He almost blacked out from terror.

"Oh..... you're awake... I didn't think you'd last the night."
Xecktos couldn't see the voice, but it sounded deep but feminine. Maybe a troll. Or a transexual angel.
"Now...... we must see what can be done. Can you speak?"
Xecktos couldn't move, let alone speak.
"Oh. guess you can't then. Oh well. You'll get something to eat in a moment, let me just finish this. Hang in there. I dunno what happened to give you a nice robot-body like that, or who you are, but you'll pull through. My hubby says so too. He found a nice, gold gun on the street during the big fights last night during the comet. That comet was beautiul, I say, and so does my hubby... he works in the.... security.... some scientist guy called Polt...."

The voice trailed off, as Xecktos blacked out again.


The riots now had subsided nearly everywhere, even in Orkistonia. People were getting back to normal, and things were returing to a shattered semblance of normality.


Darsha had been out of the gunship barely two hours. She's gone in to Decontamination, and changed her clothes into a fresh MUNDI jumpsuit. Who knows when she'd be needed in the field again.

The elf at the door gave her the number of room C-451 for debriefing. She hurried down the MUNDI facilitie's corridor, and realised how few non-wounded personel there were. She even saw a trouper with huge bandages on his face and arm on guard - they must be seriously low on troops.

Room C-451 was not normally used for debriefing. Infact, this area was normally off-limits completey. The pilot knocked on the door, shaking her still-wet blue hair our of her eyes.

It opened automatically, and she entered into the small, metallic-walled room. At the single desk sat a man she had not seen before. He was wearing an anonymous grey suit, and had the upper-portion of his head covered in a metal plate.

Cyber-enhanced brain? Hmmm....

The man tapped a pile of papers on the desk. He looked at her.
"Darsha Glittersong?"
"Take a seat"
"Congratulation on your promotion, Major"
"Major? Why am I being promoted?"
"You have seen major action, yes? And your gunship is too badly damaged to be used."
"Yes....... I don't understand"
"We have enough pilots for our remaining gunships, and more computer-controlled models are being shipped in. All non-essential personell are being relocated, and promoted."
"Promoted? To where?"
"Low Earth Orbit MUNDI Facility CKW. That's all I can tell you. A name."
"But.... I'm a pilot...... I'm no use in space"
"No buts, Ms. Glittersong. You know what you signed when you joined up. You're going"
"Can I at least get my stuff from my quarters?"
"What!" Darsha leapt to her feet, convinced this was a joke, just before the knock-out gas the gen-engineered New Earth Military and Essential Security and Intelligence Service representitive was immune to flooded the room.


Lightning tore apart the red sky of the night, soon followed by the cracking howl of thunder. A giant wing obscured the pale light of the moon, as it flapped around madly propelling the dragon away from the dark blue flames of his opponent.

The dragon spun around in mid air, magical energies cracking around him. Both dragons were using powerful magic, both desperately hoping to slay the other out right. But this magic came at a cost. The land, plants animals and even the very sky they flew in seemed to be tearing it's self apart around the warring dragons. And in one last ditch charge to kill each other, it happened.

The combined magic energies of both dragons tore a gap in the physical world. Two out worldly beings climbed out of the tear, one a tall grey figure, who mirrored the ancient Egyptian pharaohs. His features were cold and unforgiving, as he stretched his thin arms and let loose an eerie cry, the other came into view. He was in the shape of a red storm, the very heart of madness and insanity. Terrifying to look upon, but it was hard to draw yourself away.....The two dragons didn't have time to regret their mistake.


Sorrow woke up in a cold sweat, terror running though his body. He sat bolt upright in the hospital bed. He had been scared to sleep, and with good reason. Every time he did there would be another weird dream. Dragons , Deamons, magic all tormenting his mind, ripping his fragile mind in two. He couldn't take it, couldn't run away. Trapped! Trapped in his own head!

"Mr. Dark Sorrow!" Said the busy body nurse as she ran up too him. "Well really now, you'll never get any better if you don't rest up."
Sorrow groaned. It was just his luck to get the most cheerful and nosy member of staff in the whole compound as a nurse. His "relaxing" stay in hospital was already a living hell, without this fool hurrying about him all the time.

"Don't you go groaning at me Mr. Sorrow" she said sternly. "Honestly, we try our best to help take care of you, and how are we repaid? If you wasn't so careless, you magical lot, you wouldn't have had that bolt though your leg!"

She had a point. He'd gravely underestimated Sakhar, and almost paid the price for it. And he never even got a drop of information out of him.

"Pass me that piece of wood..." Sorrow said.
"Well I'd expect more manners from a grown man like you!" she was getting annoyed with the Necromancer's attitude, just as Sorrow was getting annoyed with her. He put his head in his hand and shook it.

"Pass me that piece of wood....Please."
"That's more like it." she said, scurrying over to get Sorrow's still unfinished staff. "Now is there anything else I can do for you?"
He would have said "Getting out of my way would be nice." but it would have only ended in more conflict with this woman.

"No" he said bluntly.
"Well I'll be on my way then" she made her way to the door "See you at meal time."
As she disappeared out of the door, Sorrow threw his head on the pillow. It was a nightmare, with no escape. Hopefully Damocles would visit soon. He already had a crude get well soon card, which was basically some writing on a piece of scrap paper with a little drawing of Damocles and himself on it. He also had another card lying on his table. It was from Silvia, how she got it and wrote it he'll never know, probably begged to the cadre until she was given it. It was nothing special, neither of them were, but to a man like Sorrow they were worth more than money could buy.
He lay down and drifted back into an uneasy sleep, hoping that he could get back on his feet soon.


Shadow looked at Fiennes for a couple of moments in silence.

He then noticed that Fiennes flicked a green card at him he caught it and made note of how much it was.

Shadow then exchanged a few words with him and he nodded.

After a few moments he saw Crystal,Fiennes and the two men go inside.

He then walked in and looked around at the huge centre of things and malls and such.

Shadow then walked around for about half an hour just looking at things.

He decided to walk back up to were the helicopter had landed and stood there inspecting his gear and things as well.

Shadow stood there for the remainder of the time, waiting for his wristphone to ring.


Orkistonia was not the lovely country he left.
Behemoth looked at himself, then at the apocaliptic background over him.
What was he doing?
"HMMPF! I need to retrieve my sword quickly, otherwise the others will worry."
He thought for a while, and searched in his memory. For an ork, he had an excellent mind. And he needed it. He had hidden the Dragon Wing Gigantic sword somewhere...

He saw some figures in the street.
One of them... was the big, bulky ork who had met, ahem, by the rushed decision of Eva. He could recognize others, but not all.
He walked upon all of them. His particular style of walking was fruit of a corrective training over his spine, so it didn“t bend with the weight of the shoulders, like many orks.


Mawroth had requested someone of Tyadoron“s trust. The big dragon thought a while. Who would be strong enough to handle a trip to the Antartica, base of the Silver Dragons? All of her lesser dragons were busy.
She thinked twice. But it was no solution.
"Draco, i have a request for you." She finally said.


The trek across town took only about fourty minutes, even with Raven in a makeshift sling over Tank. The city was almost deserted - the whole population probably hung-over by last night's riots, and litter covering the streets. Raven looked out over the sling unsucessfully for The Negotiator.

Charlie's house was on what appeared to pass for suburbs in this small city. The crumbling ruin of Orkessa was simply shifting into countryside.

The house was itself partly ruined, the habitable part only the lower floor. The grizzled ex-soldier opened the door with a shove, and lead them inside.

The house, while a ruin inside, was much more habitable inside. The interior furnishing from a better time were still there, and the wooden floor was clean and swept. In the three rooms downstairs, a cooker and radiator with a large solar charger on the windowsill occupied one, while contained two sleeping bags. The third had two large sofas from somewhere (non-matching), a 3dTV rigged up to another solar charger, lights to the same, and a huge Union Jack draped over one wall.

"Wow..." whispered Mary. "This is quite a place"
"Thanks", replied Charlie. "Let's put your friend on the couch, so our Ork here doesn't hurt his neck much more".

With Raven lying, fully concious on the sofa, they finally got around to introducing each other formally, although by then everyone at least knew each other's name. No-one blew Mary's 'research team' cover, and it was suprising to learn that Charlie was only passing through Orksessa, looking for freelance work.

"There's some scientist guy here called Polt... I heard he's been hiring. Perhaps I can get some job at Jadal, for him."

Jadal. Polt. Maybe this other runner could help them get to Silvia.


A public broadcast by Uetzu Hiroki, CEO of Zaibatsu Hikoyama aerospace.


"Gentlemen, it is with shame, and utmost regret that I come here before you, on my knees, to announce a great sorrow."

Takes a white handkerchief from the top pocket of his uber-fashion corp suit. drys eyes, replaves handkerchief.

"Kamikaze, carrier of the hopes of many good Japanese workers and scientists, symbolf of hope for Japanese and Gaijin alike... Money maker for the Zaibatsu keiretsu... Has been lost contact with."

Wipes eyes again.

"We believe that the low-Earth-orbit buclear blast affected our orbital station's telemetry broadcasts. A huge surge of EMP was erroneously relayed to Kamikaze..."

silence for a good 30 seconds

"Just as Kamikaze was in contact range... We lost all control and transmissions from our probe."

Looks at audience, which consists of Japanese businessmen. Tears glint in his eyes.

"I take full responsibility for this error."

Produces long, ornate Japanese sword. Face contorts with determination.


Rams sword into gut. Falls to knees, dribbles blood. Screams, twists sord and yanks it laterally, spilling blood and intestines over the clean stage floor.

Silence, then applause from crowd.


Parker cursed again for good measure.

He went to an elevator, with Phari's cackling laughter echoing in his mind, setting his teeth on edge.
He stalked his way to an elevator, intending to head down for a few narcobeers at the mall (not the Grexon private bars - Too full of stiffs and suits. He could go, but he would come out covered in blood again).

On the way, he brushed past a brown-haired man in black military-style gear.

Shadow's cold eyes bore into the receding man's back, as Parker took the slam-lift down.

"Got to deal with that frag-nuts..."

You like proverbs, Parker?


Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

"What the frag is that supposed to mean?"


"Well, if its you, I can't bloody well push you further away. Besides, I'm not sure if you're an enemy or a friend. You might say you're just a voice... In my head."

Ha. Ha.

"Glad you like."

Get Stevenson on your side.


Shouldn't be hard. Don't even have to do it yourself, get a Grexon stooge to hie him.

"No, I MEAN WHY? I hate the fragger!"

So hire him. Enough of your employees die soon enough, anyway.

Parker thought that one over. It was true, he gravely allowed.

"I'll need justification from Grexon personnel divison (clandestine)."

Time to put an operation together then. You put our plan for Britsprawl to the board. We could use a bone to throw to MUNDI - Your expertise, should they need it. And they will...

"Well, I could use a break from this fragging acid-rain drenched drek-hole of a city. And from you."

You'll only get one of those, I'm afraid... for Now.

Parker was intrigued by that last statement. Raising an eyebrow, he slammed his palm into the control panel (level with his face, thanks to his damned half-dwarf genes), and then slapped the slam-lift back up the tower, grinning.


Badjimmy mourned the loss of his wine.

He wouldn't have been so hasty handing it away to Raven -
Why do I awlays get ze bad feeling when I look at him? - Had he remembered he was saving it to dull the pain of his own injuries. Not only was his hand still untreated, he had taken a beating in the Centaur Palace, and also when he'd fallen from the arachnid machine moments ago.

The crowd had been brutal - He wondered how he'd gotten away alive. By the morning, he'd be one giant, walking bruise. One of his eyes wasn't moving. He suspected the lens was cracked.

He snatched the wine-bottle back.

"You 'ave 'ad enough, mon frere!"

A single drop fell from the bottle.


He threw the bottle out the nearest window.
He screamed obscenities in French, pointing at everyone in turn - Mostly the women, and the bizarre-cat/man creature.

Tank stopped him, grabbing his pointing hand in a grip that could easily have broken, dislocated and ripped out his whole arm.

"Stop dat. U creep'n oat da wimm'n."

"Well, Monsieur Trogg, I shall not avail you of le Aeroport I 'ave ziscovered..."

That got their attention.


The riots still crucified old London.

The Royal Police Force (augmented now by the Royal Cyber Police) had failed to break and seperate the rioter's lines, despite their repeated use of tactical dispersion gas, hardening riot-foam, and even the SAS sniper teams picking off the ringleaders (and a good few others).

Casualties were well into their hundreds, at least one hundred of those known dead. Security force casualties were in double figures - Several police lines broken, a few riot vehicles overrun by the mobs (at least two shown quite publicly on the news being turned against their masters by enterprising but now sadly late Riggers in the crowd).

The old city had suffered untold damage: London Bridge, Trafalgar Square, The Jude Law museum and the Millenium Dome all suffering terribly from fire (Though it was believed the latter was destroyed despite no rioting within 500 metres of it).

Old Buckingham Palace had been vandalised, as had the Cenotaph and the statue of Prime Minister Vikramjit Singh - A war hero with over 300 confirmed kills, the celebrated 'fighting Prime Minister, who died defending Queen Antoinette during the Irish-Elven assassination attempt years ago.

And now, the mobs turned on the Royal Palace at Neon Wraith Gardens - Where the Queen had been, all night...

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