The Den Games Network Forum RPG
virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce, Nyerguds
"Oh aye....." Holmer once again spoke out. "Caught it did yer?"
"With my own two hands." Emmanuel replied smugly, too smug for Holmer's liking. "You want to congratulate me dwarf?"
"No, I want to set you a test...." Emmanuel was confused. "Capture it, or SUMMON it!"
The crowd gasped, it was brave of him to make such an accusation, Emmanuel even looked slightly unnerved.
"Summoned it, like the last one!" he continued. "Can we trust a man, who brings not one, but serval Daemons into a meeting? Can we trust a group, who come here with full trust then risk our lives by bringing in these monster, can we really trust someone who would have our leaders killed? I SAY NAY! Nay to these fools, we need men, like Mr. Cairns said. MEN! Not faith, not some whimsical plan, but MEN!"
Even Rayi was lost for words on this one, it was not his place to question the practices of the catholic faith, but it had to be said. She was enjoying it.
"Now, now Master Thruman." said Cairns. "Let's not turn this into a mud slinging match, and as for you, Mr. Emmanuel , take that beast out of here. I want no more of this insanity, YOU might be able to catch a Daemon, but YOU can't fight a horde of them alone. "
The Catholic inquisitor sunk back to his chair, cursing the dwarf and that pagan. He ordered the Daemon to be taken away.
"Patience... be patient... Donīt hold the fist with rage against the other..." Emmanuel muttered himself. How could those fraggers accuse him of summonning daemons? Damn politics. He had always hated it. He wished he did less action and more oratory, like his comrades. Fighting an horde of them alone... What fool. He never was alone. He had the wrath of his god in his hand.
They could barely understood the situation. If daemons entered the rift and wandered carelessly, it was sure there were more daemons inside the rift. The crusaders would suffice to hold back and defeat the current invasion, but in a prolongated fight, no one ALONE would prevail.
He finally got up.
"Holmer. You can trust me. I can be trusted, as I swear for my most precious thing that I have in the world, my Faith, my Religion. My Hope.My future. I will assist this council in whatever means are neccesary. No matter you call me nutter, daemon summoner, or everything you got in mind."
Rather than sitting down, he opened the door and left.
"Someone, communicate me the decision of this Council. I have seen enough."
And he slammed the door.
"ALEA JACTA EST"
"Draco, will you teach me how to shapeshift into human?"
Varos blinked at Draco. Draco sighed. The sky was red, and filled with insignias of Dragon Paw. The city of Natuques, where they had stopped, had been controlled by Nīzar. Still, no apparent changes were made, at least for dragons.
"Mr. Thruman, I appreciate your help wholeheartedly. Will Grexxon be commiting troops?"
"Undoubtably, sir, but we need time ta bring em here. I may be able ta get sum here in a day or so, but ta bring the whole lot from Norway? At least a week, probably more"
Cairns turned to the assembly.
"It seems decided that we must do something. However, we must call a vote first, to decide if this is a legitimate course of action. There is an electronic voting tablet on each reprisentative's table. Ye may cast your vote on that."
"Now for phase two?" whispered Rayi.
"Aye. Phase two."
Rayi once again spoke rapidly into her wristphone.
Over the next few minutes, reprisentatives spoke rapidly to their aides, some even conversing with higher officials in their corps via vidphone. The voting would decide the action MUNDI would take - each party here holding a small stake in it's operations.
Back on board to LEO transport, Priestess Hirsoko was wired into her cyberdeck. Having chosen to take a secondary skills course in decking at her convent - and having excelled at it, the Priestess was the right woman for the job.
In the realms of matrix space, the priestess was reprisented by her avatar - a short, japanese-american woman like herself, with a single plait of black hair. She was dressed in a white robe, somewhat more ceremonious than usual, and carried the equipment of a normal COL priestess.
The MUNDI mainframe was reprisented by a huge, basalt citadel, with an enormous spinning globe supported by four hands - corp, goverment, human, metahuman.
There were comparatively few cyber-guards here, seeing as many had been pressed into active service against the daemons.
The main entrance was guarded by two, however. She better try something else.
Her avatar approaced the simulated wall of the mainframe, and produced a single peice of simulated chalk. With this, it's hand traced the outline of a rectangle on the wall. It glowed pale yellow, and the priestess-avatar stepped through.
She entered what appeared to be a military cyber-museum. Virtual arms, armour and soldiers were on display, although a quick reveal program showed none to be decker or ice. The room had a single port for acess into the indices for the faciltity. Hopefully this would do.
Quickly, she searched for the system map, bypassing an ice with another deception. Eventually she found what she was looking for on it. It was on the other side of the mainframe, and would be hard to reach, considering the amount of guards it would have.
"Damn. I really wanted to save these", her real-world form whispered inside the LEO transport.
The virtual-priestess took out two cyber-representations of the Book of Light, slotting them into the system map to download the info onto them. She replaced the first one in her bag, and took the second, thumbing virtually to a new page, named "Vote Count"
The priestess's form broke up into thousands of tiny pixels, and was gone.
Back in the conferance hall, Cairns whispered to Rayi.
"I hope she's done soon, or she'll miss it."
"Relax, old man, I have every confidence in her abilites. She is one of your students, isn't she?"
"No complements, Rayi, especially when I know they're badly disguised insults. She barely has five minutes."
Hirsoko appeared inside the vote count program. It was reprisented as a system of tubes, in which the votes would soon arrive. These were sorted by a machine into pro or anti reinforcing MUNDI, and would be placed into two seperate piles.
Hirsoko's avatar removed the machine, as the votes began to fall, like small white envelopes. Catching them in one hand, she carefully deposited about three quarters in the pro-defence box, leaving the others to go where they would.
Then, taking the second book, she dissapeared once more. She had been totally undetected, and totally sucessful.
Cheif Holsten took to his feet.
"And now, I will announce the results of the motion..."
The room fell silent.
"C'mon... Hirsoko. Do your stuff", whispered Cairns.
"Null vote... 52 votes"
"Against reinforcing MUNDI.... 546 votes"
"For reinforcing MUNDI..... 1749 votes"
About half the room broke into rapturous applause, some of the others looking slightly confused. However, the Imperial Japanese spokeswoman was on her feet, face livid with anger.
"I will not have Imperial Japan made a mockery of! We are the greatest superpower in the world, yet our opinion is worthless? I hereby withdraw all Imperial Japanese troops and funding from MUNDI, and resign our glorious nation from the council!"
The young woman stood up, and followed by her aides, stormed out of the council.
"Gah. She'd have been useless anyway, not a muscle on her body", said Cairns to Holsten. "We're getting fighters now, not theorisers".
Holsten stood up. Cairns looked confused.
"I am going to take this moment to hand over my powers of director of the MUNDI defense of Geneva to Inquisitor Matthew Cairns, as it is my duty to do in a situation of this magnitude. The five largest comitters of troops and armour will serve as the six members on his makeshift inner council, along with myself."
"WHAT! Cairns leapt to his feet, face rushing red with blood. "I can't lead this! I'm not even a member of this bloody council!"
"Well well, Inquisitor, looked like you got more than you bargained for, said Rayi, smiling and sticking out her tongue at the scotsman.
As the room slowly emptied, each of the representatives slowly walking out, one after the other. Some looking slightly dazed, but most happy with what had been achieved.
Cairns still sat, he had sent Holsten off with a few....choice words and was now sitting next to Rayi, mostly in shock.
"Well now..." came a voice from be hind him. "Congratulations on yer new position." Holmer walked towards him, taking a seat next to Rayi. "Looks like we saw those damned fools off and got something going eh?"
"Aye, that we did. But the real work is still ahead."
"Well...." Rayi began. "I don't think a horde of Daemons can be worse then a bunch of greedy Megacorps and nations."
"I swear lass.....any more of your cheek...."
"You really have to get over this cheek obsession, it's not healthy."
"Ah well." the dwarf interrupted whatever Cairns was about to say. "Ah just wanted to say, that I am yers to command, and you have my honour!"
The dwarf shook Cairns hand.
"Even if we are trying to fight with thin air." Rayi put in.
The Dwarf laughed. "Yer got a sharp one there Inquisita, A sharp one indeed." with that he made his way to the door with the rest and was gone. Leaving Cairns to make his plans.
It was dark in here. Jol was used to it.
He didn't know how long he'd been in here, only that the torturers had been coming back every now and then. He was pained and burnt all over, and one of his arms was broken. They didn't seem to care about whether he had done whatever they occasionally accused him of - they just wanted to inflict as much pain as possible.
He heard a rattling at the door, and the gobbo opened it, followed by all three orks.
"Wot today, boss? Let's really make 'im scream dis time!"
"Scream? No. Let's do the water one?"
"Uh boss. Dat wun's boring. We don't even get to see him suffa."
"It hurts him, don't it? And I like that wun so there. Get the noose on him!"
One ork tied a rope around Jol's neck, and another opened a trapdoor. The sound of running water could be heard.
"Ya hear dat, my friend?" the goblin said, looking at Ork. "Dat is the sound of all the crap in orkislavia in orkessa sewers! Your goin' for a swim! And if da rope breaks, as it does sometimes, you'll drown in it! If ya don't your sure gonna not smell good for da ladies - if you eva see dem agen!"
One of the orks lifted Jol up, and dropped him down, down down, into the freezing sewer. He screamed.
He hit the water with his mouth open. Air bubbled out, and he closed it.
This is it, Jol. Aye, you're gonna die now. Drownin' in shite, wotta way ta go. Aye
You might as well save those fraggers their fun by biting the rope. They won't see your body, then
Jol opened his mouth, more bubbles being released, and bit down with Orkish teeth on the rope. It snapped, and he was swept away, under the water, and into blackness.
Zizz held Lilith close, a little too close for both of them. They had escaped the riots and fighting and were now hiding out in an alley way, they had already encountered some zombies. But not that many.
"This is crazy..." Zizz whispered, he'd have continued but he heard a hiss behind him. A cat, but no ordinary cat, it looked like it had a hole in it's stomach, it's rotting guts hanging out. A swarm of flies hung over it.
"What the fragging hell..." Zizz began as the cat leapt up at them, lilith screamed as Zizz put a bullet hole clean though it's head. "Aw crap! We've done it now" several of the humanoid zombies started to shuffle towards their location.
"Can you run?" Zizz asked.
"Are you kidding? Not in these shoes!"
Zizz grabbed her by the foot, took off the white high heeled shoes and threw them in one of the dustbins.
"Hey you fragger!" lilith protested. "Those are top of the range shoes! You don't want to know what those cost me."
"Your right, now lets get moving. I think my car is just down the road."
Before lilith could open her mouth, Zizz had pulled her to her feet and was dragging her down the road, swarms of Zombies started to come towards the two, Zizz shooting those that got to close.
"THERE!" He yelled, pointing at his black sports car, which now had zombies climbing all over it. "Open the door, and close it fast!" he instructed lilith. lilith tripped over, as a zombie that was only a torso and arms grabbed her by the leg, she screamed and fell face first on the floor. Zizz grabbed her by the arm, dragging the zombie a long with her, lilith was just screaming things like "GET THIS FRAGGING THING OFF OF ME!"
"We're almost there, Zizz assured her as he took the car keys from his pocket, he quickly shot one of the zombies on the roof, unlocked the door and threw lilith in the passenger seat, slamming the door on the zombies arm. Zizz then fought his way though the tide of Zombies, he was bleeding he'd been bitten and scratched so much. Zizz finally made it to the drivers side, he got in, and locked the doors.
lilith looked paralysed, she was shaking from head to foot, she'd also been cut up pretty bad. She screamed as she saw that half the zombies arm was still attached to her leg, Zizz pulled it off and put a hand on her shoulder to try and calm her down.
"I am NEVER coming to London again! Ya hear me! NEVER!" She screamed though bouts of crying.
"Look....." Zizz tried to say calmly. "I have an idea." lilith looked at him with interest, tears still running down her face.
"Geneva was buked, right?" lilith nodded. "So what could possibly happen there? It's a ghost town, we can hide out there until this craziness is over."
"Why can't we just go to some other town!" lilith screamed at him.
"Because, whatever is happening here may well be happening there too. Or is about to happen, Geneva is dead, Surely nothing could happen there, could it?"
"Oh and we're going to drive to Geneva? Don't be such an idiot!" lilith yelled. "Just get me out of here and get out of my life!"
Zizz sighed, "Your the boss." He started up the car, running down zombies as he went, it wasn't going to be an easy trip, but most of the zombies couldn't grasp too the car the speed Zizz was driving.
"This is it, Dear Brother!!!" N'zar yelled, swooping in, clucthing his fellow Dragon tightly to him, wings beating furiously. Arrows and bolts slammed into a rudimentary manabarrier he'd thrown up on his death-charge head-on for the Rift.
"I AM NOT YOUR FRAGGING BROTHER!" Rozondas yelled back. N'zar couldn't hear him. If he heard Roszondas' thoughts, he ignored them.
"SOON WE'LL BE THROUGH! SOON WE WILL AGAIN MEET OUR MAKER!"
The Daemons seemed livid at their ineffectiveness thus far at preventing the Dragons' movement, swarming after them in ever greater numbers, launching their hellish projectiles. Both dragons were hit multiple times, N'zar's shield eventually failing and dying, his armour being battered.
"Turn us back, N'zar! We won't make it! TURN BACK! WE'RE TOO WEAKENED TO GO THOUGH!"
N'zar turned his huge head to look at his compatriot, giving a sly dragon-grin, showing missing teeth and injuries from the Daemon's arrows and bolts, as id to say "I'm mad, me!!!"
"GAAAHH!!! A CURSE ON YOU, N'ZAR! IF WE GET THROUGH THIS, I'LL KILL YOU MYSELF!!!"
And there was the rift, almost close enough to touch, the poor ruined remains of Geneva laid out around it like so many defeated enemies. Except these ruins swarmed with beings that belonged somewhere else entirely.
More arrows and volts. Roszondas' head was rocked by a direct hit, making him jolt in N'zar's clutches. A mortal wound. Rozondas' time was short of this world...
"HEH, THAT WILL BE BUT A SCRATCH IN OUR HOME PLANE, BROTHER!"
Straining now, about to drop, N'zar muttered the lines to the ancient incarnation, his key that transformed the rift into a doorway he could use as opposed to its roiling ball of nuclear-thaumaturgic energy.
Red Knight had pursued the two, bellowing with rage evey step, harder and harder, trampling his fellow daemons into the ground as he did so, completely uncaring. The Rift -
And then they were gone.
Transported to some far-away metaplane or vaporized by the energy, a bystander couldn't tell.
Red Knight stood, screaming. Then he sliced a whole rank of his daemonic followers in two with one swipe of his giant weapon as punishment.
Lead units of the 13th Mechanized attack brigade were now arriving on the scene. Aztechnology-built Lobo Panzers surveyed the scene from afar, although the daemons with their immaterial bodies played havoc with their sensors, designed for more physical foes.
behind these scouts came a whole brigade's worth of infantry in their vehicles, as well as the might of their two Panzerfaust tanks.
"Whiskey one to control, we see them. No sign of the rest of our forces here though, the conference centre's taken a pounding, over."
In the lead Panzerfaust, the Brigade Commander looked down at his flickering BattleTac display, and at the Panzer Squadron commander inset in the top right corner. Information about him and his unit scrollde onto the screen below. More information, transmitted real-time from the scout panzers, began to fill the rest of the screen and the secondary screen. He plugged the BattleTac unti into his datajack instead, to better assimiltae all the information.
Those freaks are up to something, all milling about like that, looks like they're heading back to Geneva. Well, my orders are clear - Pursue and annihilate the enemy. I don't know what good our high-tech weapons will do, but if any time is right, this is it!
The order rang out over the Brigade command net.
"13th Mechanized Attack Brigade! ATTACK!"
Zizz had blasted out of the clutches of the zombies, slamming the car through them. Its delicate self-forming aerodynamic panels were dented so horribly it made Zizz almost weep for his car. He pushed the Hydrogen fuel cell engine for all it was worth. Screeching around a corner on go-fasta(tm) tyres, powering through a public matrix-point and barreling down yet more of Brit-Sprawl's crazy twisting roads, Zizz finally made it to a main road.
"Thank frag for that!" He gasped, speeding down the eerily empty morning roads. I always like to end my 'whole night running from Zombies' with an illegal speed in my Nuovo Inzio V-8. He thought, for no reason.
"Heh. I'm writing that one down in my autobiography - 'Caught by the Zizz!'" Lilith told him, just as relieved as he was.
Must have been thinking out loud. Zizz realised.
"Yes, you were." Lilith said. "And now, so will I..."
She climbed over, a seductive look in her eye, the car still doing 200+ mph.
"Uh... Hmm." Ziz said, thinking maybe this wasn't the safest thing to do. She straddled him with her surgically-perfected legs, nuzzling his neck like some overgrown pet cat.
They were in for a rude interruption.
The road ahead was blocked - British army soldiers had blocked the road with two six-wheel APCs, from which they were aiming rifles and light machineguns at the speeding car. There were also two tracked Transys Janus Traced combat drones - effectively mini tanks, heavily armoured and armed with rotary 3-barrel .50 calibre guns.
Zizz screeched the car to a halt some distance off. The sudden decent almost threw Lilith off and through the canopy. She clung to Zizz for dear life, screaming her head off and almost wrenching his head clean away.
As soon as she recovered, she stated slapping him instead.
"TELL ME WHEN YOU DO THAT AGAIN, BASTARD PIG!!!" She screamed, over and over.
The soldiers started running over to the car...
An amplified voice rang out:
"HALT! GET OUT AND AWAY FROM THE VEHICLE, AND PUT YOUR HANDS ON YOU HEAD! THIS AREA IS UNDER QUARANTINE!"
"our creator? Quetzacoatl?" Roszondas asked. His voice echoed in the darkness. A warm and soft darkness. He felt more relieved. He would live through this one.
Draco felt sad. For some reason, the energy of his master... had left this plane.
"Draco, are you OK?" Varos asked. They were still in Natuques.
"I am fine. Donīt worry."
"Ok, and is the shapeshift completed now."
Draco blushed a bit before answering. To judge if the shapeshift was succesful, he had to see her naked in human form.
"It is... perfect. You can even enter a beaty contest." He cheered. After removing her wings and tail she looked so beatiful. Way too beatiful than Silvia...
"Now the clothes."
She made a dress appear. At first time. This time succeed at first time
"I see that you learn quickly..." Draco cheered.
He shapeshifted, too. Spiked hair, and blue eyes. His sword, was also magically resized.
"Shall we continue to London?" He asked, and handed her his hand.
Wolf sighed. Something happened to Dragon. His services were required... again.
But how he would past the zombies? He had put a bandage in his parts to temporarily fix the problem. But he was wounded to start a heated fight. He needed to avoid the problems for now.
Zizz threw Lilith into the passenger seat. "Maybe later, if they don't send us to prison of course.
Zizz carefully got out the car, dropping the pistol and everything else on his person to the floor and holding up his hands. Lilith however, just stormed out the passenger door and ran to the nearest police officer.
"What do you think your fraging playing at!" She yelled in his face, she didn't seem to care he had a gun at her chest. "Don't you know who I fraging well am!" she started swearing mindlessly, while telling the officer all she'd been though. Her face was getting redder with every word. Eventually she ran out of steam and broke down in tears, the officer still had a gun pointed at her.
"We'll do whatever you say." Zizz told the officer, hands still raised.
"You'll have to come with us, the car and all your gear and your clothing will have to be destroyed, as for you two we'll have to keep you for a few days."
"WHAT!" They both yelled, Lilith went into another stage of senseless ranting. About how much these clothes cost her and how they weren't striping someone of her importance off, one officer commented on how she'd rather have the other gentleman(Zizz) do it just to shut her up. Zizz sighed, he looked at his car.....could this day get any worse?
At the merest hint of resistance, the nearest soldiers started screaming at the two, waving their ancient SA80 rifles at them.
"JUST GET THE FRAGGING BITCH'S CLOTHES OFF NOW, FRAG-MONKEY!"
Zizz was stunned and hesitated for a fraction of a second. This was all the nearest soldier needed as an excuse to whack him with the butt of his rifle. Zizz was stunned for a second. The red-faced, screaming army guy was spitting with rage. Zizz wondered what they fed these guys.
Lilith was screaming too. A cop was about to slap her good, when he caught himself.
"Gruddamn, its that bitch off the 3DTV!!! Lilith whatsherface!"
At this, the guy stopped beating and shouting obsenities at Zizz and went over for a look, with the rest of the soldiers leaving their vehicles, also crowding round.
"Easy lads, one at a time, we'll get a good shufty at the bitch."
One moustachioed soldier said, who Zizz guessd to be a sergeant.
"Whats a shufty?" Said the worried-sounding Lilith.
"Hey," Said the first soldier. "So who was this fragging creep with her? HE MUST HAVE BEEN KIDNAPPING HER OR SOMWETHING! KILL THE TWAT!"
"What?" Zizz mouthed bemused. Suddenly he had eight assualt rifles being pointed in his face.
He looked at Lilith - A cruel smile spread over her face.
Oh frag, she's going to sell me out... Zizz thought. He acted quickly...
Badjimmy said nothing, but let his cruel smile take hold.
The Wraith Dropship was nearing the Transys compound. Badjimmy wondered how many SAMs and Cannon were tracking the ship as it entered Transys Aerospace.
"Put me down just outside the gate sil vous plait!" He shouted against the roar of engines from the open door.
"Ok, whatever. Take care, weirdo."
Eva stepped forward Badjimmy, and patted him.
But, then she quickly pushed the elf out of the ship, tied to a rope.
"What the ...? MERDE!!!!"
He felt falling from the height... Until the rope reached its limit. A meter below the ground.
He understood. That was the way they dropped off people.
He untied himself, and watched as the VTOL strafe away.
He checked if he was alright. But then he noticed something weird.
He quickly pulled it off. The Lemon Squeezer pistol he had was no longer. It had been replaced by a .45 Beretta 34F Automatic Pistol.
He carefully putted it out. It was loaded.
And then a note dropped off. It was handwritten:
I had to change your toy for a REAL gun because I donīt want you to do the stupid again.
XXX EVA <3
PS: You can contact Mist Lotus at the number JCI-BDN455-ML0, that is, if you dare ;).
PPS: FRAGGING PHEROMONES!!!
There was something else. A stain of Evaīs lipsticked mouth. Badjimmy stood reading the note for a while.
Chance had ordered time-out for his commandos, allowing fresh reinforcements of both Corp and MUNDI to take the front-line positions. The incoming troops were an odd sight... despite their modern armour, vehicles and helmets, the majority of their hi-tech weapons were slung, while old-style physical weapons were favoured.
Soldiers bearing bayonetted rifles, swords, axes, vibroblades, cybertalons... all of them passed the row of battered and wounded survivors pulling back for a rest at the rear before the push to the astral rift was launched.
In the meantime, the thunder of battle roiled back from the front a few miles ahead... the 13th Mechanised Brigade rolling into battle. Smoke rose high above the battlefield... no one knew how the tech-heavy attack force was doing against the daemons.
Chance's headache got worse... and soon he was lying back in a single-bed hospital room inside the trashed MUNDI HQ, hoping that it would pass before the attack to the rift was launched... he really wanted to join the Crusade, as the attack was now being called.
Ash had gotten out of the room to check on the commandos, leaving Chance lying on his bed, feeling too dizzy to move.
Feeling thirsty, he concentrated on a cup of water out of his reach on a table... playfully wishing in a slight delirium that it would float over to him.
And the cup moved.
When Ash found him ten minutes later, the soldier was still frozen in horror, staring at a broken cup ten meters across the ward...
He was still shaking... and Ash herself stopped short when she took in his new appearance. She gasped.
Half an hour later, a worried-looking Ash was talking anxiously to Wangfei, the oriental medic occasionally nodding and replying in conspiratory low tones.
"What's with all the hush-hush?" Evans called over... Only to receive a scathing shuddup reply from the medic. The Aussie gave a What did I do? look to Winston, the sniper shrugging and giving that Its the time of the month look back at the perplexed machine-gunner.
Wangfei led Ash down the MUNDI HQ hospital, after the both of them had ensured that the door to Chance's room was locked. It had taken quite a bit of effort by the two of them to get him over his sudden changes... and the soldier was still half-dazed by the surprise and dismay at his new self.
Pausing out of sight around the corridor, Wangfei paused and told Ash to look at her face.
In front of the surprised redhead, the medic's skin tone changed colour from a light asian brown to the midnight black of a african-american, then to the rich bronze of a Middle East native, before going the other way to the white of a blonde and finally reverting back to her original skin tone.
"Don't look so surprised... Its skin-pigment camoflauge, standard-issue for MUNDI Special Forces. The stuff is injected and circulates to all the skin cells in a day or so, giving them the ability to change whole-body colour at will. MUNDI created it to disguise troops operating in different countries.
I'll get the stuff for Chance... We Special Forces medics aren't questioned when we require items, but I won't be able to get more than one at one time, I think. And I'll be able to get one of those winged Valkerie helmets too... Its the old-style Legio MUNDI helmet before they decided that the wings were too inconvenient.
With a mirrored faceplate to give the skin pigment time to work, corrective goggles to tide him over until I can get the lenses in his eyes replaced, and the winged helmet, Chance will still look normal."
The medic gave a little smile as Ash slumped in relief and clasped her shoulder in thanks.
"Don't look so despondent, Ash... I didn't spend years getting my doctorate for nothing."
Crystal and Cy had hauled Dragon's unconcious form down from the heights of the tower block. Illidia dragged the bemused Mr & Mrs Raven with them, and using the 'borrowed' APC instead of Wolf's car, they powered their way back to where the hospital where Wolf had been laid up was.
They spotted the patrolling Army and Police 'choppers before they met the large building.
"Looks like they've turned the place into an island in the middle of the quarantine zone." Cy told his passengers.
"I say, this is awfully rude of you. To think Our Roland would associate with such a rude girl! Such atrocious hair, and a Tail! Whatever next?"
Crystal studiously ignored Raven's parents, making a mental note to have some words with the silver-haired guy when they met next. There would be a reckoning, oh yes....
She was studying the hospital, with the APC parked half around a corner from the building. With the high-spectral and infra-red gear mounted on the mil-spec vehcicle, she could make out tracked Janus drones rolling around the hospital perimeter, and snipers in the windows. Dozens of shredded zombies lay around, left to rot, ther bodies damaged so badly not even the spirits controlling them could use them any more.
"Would they shoot us, even driving a police vehicle?" She asked her old friend. "This guy needs medical attention quickly."
"Can't risk it." Cy shook his head. "The men look pretty ruthless. I can see more men zip-lining down onto the roof froma c'hopper."
"Please do something! Wailed Illidia, setting Crystal's pointy teeth on edge. "Call Wolf! He's in there! He'll help!"
Crystal handed her wristphone to Illidia, and she did so.
"Wolf, its Mac! We have to get him into the hospital!"
"Illidia, thank the spirits your safe. But I can't get out of here. Fragging army guys are keeping everyone inside in, and everyone outside out. They say the area of Britsprawl we're in is quarantined, and the Hospital's going to be used as a staging area. They already mowed down a mob of people trying to get in, the fragging ruthless bastards!"
"But we have to get him help!"
The line went silent for a while. It buzzed with some kind of interference - Some kind of high-gain military-level communications gear? - before Wolf came back.
"I know a guy, name of Hammerhand Harry. Not sure if he'd be able to treat the fraggin' BWG, but he's worth a try."
Crystal had been listening in on the conversation.
"I know the guy. We've taken people to him before. Dwarf guy, short. Ex-forces, cyber arm. We can trust him. LETS GO!"
"Right!" Cy grinned, jacking back in.
He spun the six armoured wheels, and the armoured vehicle charged off, Mr & Mrs Raven yelling their heads off...
Fire! Fire everywhere! I'M BURNING! MAKE IT STOP!!!
Punching air, slapping at himself, the flailing character jolted suddenly as a blinding lance of pain shot through his head.
He opened his eyes and his mouth gasping, then coughing.
The heat was incredible. There was buzzing in his ears, like the bursting rockets hadn't stopped.
The lance came back. He arched his back in agony, coughed a half-ton of dust out again, opened his eyes.
A lightened sky...No more fire...
Smoke was everywhere, smoke ash and dust, filling his lungs. But the blistering pain of the heat was receding, if it had ever been there. And then the buzzing settled down, became a voice, an all-too familiar one...
WAKE UP PARKER WAKE UP PARKER WAKE-
"I'M FRAGGING AWAKE PHARIS STOP!!!"
Samuel Parker settled down into another great coughing fit, sitting half-buried in rubble. The blackened hulks of burnt-out MUNDI vehicles from 4X4s to 8-wheel heavy truck and APCs all around him. Clouds of ash arose, adding to the oily black pillars of smoke and near-invisible fires from Hydrogen engines.
Call out, Parker.
Parker did so. He heard footsteps in the broken ground, and faded mercifully to black.
Yet another casualty was being brought in, Wangfei noticed. This guy seemed to be half-dwarf, due to his size. He was horrifically burned, seeming to be muttering something as the med-techs wheeled him past - something like '..aris... ossom...', but his face was pretty mangled.
Evans walked past, casually slapping the casualty on the shoulder.
"Dontcha worry mate. They'll 'ave grown ya a clone face in no time, eh!"
The delirious casualty was wheeled on.
Mako caught up with Korum, just as the MUNDI Medics arrived to take Mantis away. She was a mess - One arm off, a leg completely mangled. Her heart had stopped, but the Medics had managed to revive it. With Korums healing magic, they'd managed to stabilize her. She would live, but she would be a shadow of her former self.
Mako and Korum watched her go.
After a long while of silence, mako felt the older Shaman's hand on his shoulder.
"She fought. We all fought. We fight for our world, and the nature thast binds it?"
"We fought, and we won. This is the price of our victory."
Korum took the troubled young man aside.
"We must look to our totems for guidance, and ask the Iotui for their assistance in this time of need."
"I... I have to tell you something Varos." Draco gasped finally.
"What is it, dear?" She softly asked. Both were in a Concorde 3000 airplane, first class. Itīs route...London.
"We are heading a city where dominant forces are lesser races. Weīll have to hide our true identity... for now." he finally said.
"I have no problems, dear. I can pass off as your fiancée..."
"...and Draco. Please do something with that spiked hair. Itīs awful."
Draco felt stabbed. He had putted spiked hair just because he thought Varos would like it!
When no one was seeing, he shapeshifted the hair into short hair.
"When need calls, chosen ones arise."
Muttered the cloaked man. He had just stepped in the battlefield.
Not paying attention to Cairns suggestion, Inquisitor Emmanuel chose to stay in first line of combat. With no escort.
So did their Crusaders. But they were still teaming up with the other MUNDI forces. And letting Inquisitor Cairns assumming command of them.
Emmanuel wanted to cheer up the brave warriors that had resisted the daemon onslaught...
What he saw was despair and desolation.
"Time to use my healing abilities..." He muttered. He was not sure about if he could save anyone, but it was worth a try.
He saw then a redhead woman. A flamethrower wielding woman. But who was so mad to leave the hair untied while managing fire weapons?
The cloaked man approached them.
"You shall not cry, nor fear that any of you will be taken again to fight the enemy. The reinforcements are on the way. Some of them already have arrived."
Wolf thought for a while. That path was narrow... He could climb into the top of the building... And then jump on a tree, thus getting off the isolation zone.
But he remembered what happened last time he did a split jump.
"What the hell!" he muttered to himself.
And he jumped, setting his legs halfway of the concrete walls.
He then putted the hands. And crawled like a spider.
Like the old days, when he went in runs as a member of the six stalkers. He felt pain.
The wound he had sustained was disturbing his movements.
But he made it to the roof. And then he noticed something else: Snipers.
"Oh frag..." He ran as fast as he could,while shots pierced the concrete around his feet, and jumped into the air when he reached the edge, stirring his arms to the max.
He reached a tree.
With a soft sound, he seized the tree, and ungrasped it.
He rolled in the ground when landing. More pain. He was battered and bruised of the somewhat harsh landing on the tree. His wounds werenīt helping, too.
He was breathing like an exhausted dog. But the effort was worth.
He was now out of the zone.
He pulled out the vidphone.
"This is Wolf. Apparently, there was a WAY to get out...but... It was too difficult, and I am not sure if it was a fluke... But, Hold on. I will gather with you as soon as possible."
Holmer's bones creaked as he sat down, to think. It was painful to even sit down now. Damned oldness, sucks you in, chews you up and spits you into a pathetic blob. Well, not this dwarf!
He'd finally found a lone corner of this damned place that he could sit in, he wanted to contact his superior, but not in front of the others. He took out a small cyber deck, didn't know how to use the damned thing, but they'd told him it worked like a type writer with an "on" button.
Almost as soon as he opened it a face popped up, one of the Grexxon aids.
"Ah Holmer!" The digital voice sounded pleased. "Deliver your report."
"Yer could 'ave just given me a vid phone yer bastard!" Holmer mumbled. "Anyway, Ah wouldn't call it a meetin' meself, more of a shambles if yer ask me."
"Well, Well, you 'ad those damned catholic's tryin' to throw their weight around. Bringin' those fragin' Daemon's into the room! Men of God, I ask yer! Anyway, the corps and nations were their greedy, power hungry selfs. Not even interested until land rights were mentioned, and there was something else behind that, something behind all of it. Oh and the Imperial Japanese are
"Something behind it? How so?"
"It seemed to be....how do I say, timed." the dwarf stopped to think for a second. "Like someone behind it was pulling the strings. Between, you an' me, I don't even think the vote was fair."
"And how did the vote go?"
"Luckily, it went in our favour. Pro-combat, but ah personally don't know what they think they are fighting with!"
"Not your worry, you did well Holmer. See you back at Grexxon"
"Yer, if I escape this place alive!"
With that Holmer slammed the cyber deck and returned it to his bag, he slowly got up so he could rejoin the rest, ignoring the pains in his back.
Zizz was trapped, if he ran and these WERE real officers, he'd look more guilty and be tracked wherever he went. But if he didn't and these were just goons, he'd be killed in an instant. He had to try and speak his way out, and if not, fly.
"Erm...come on you guys, use your common sense. If I was going to kidnap[ her, would I have really just let her run off to you guys, I mean. You saw her all over me back there, would YOU do that to a kidnapper?" It was all he could think of, and he doubted it did much good.
"Maybe you are a kidnapper, maybe your not." The closest guard said to him as he came closer, gun at Matt's head. A cruel look was in his eyes "Maybe we just want to kill you anyway!" The other guards started to chuckle, anticipating the kill.
Oh frag..... Zizz thought. Only one thing to do....
"HE'S GOING TO FLY!!!!!" Lilith's voice screamed as his wings unfolded.
What the....How did she know? were his last thoughts as his cyber-wings ripped though the suit he'd been wearing at the party. The guards had been more put off by Liliths screaming, looking away from him as he took a run up and took off, unfortunately for him he flew into a low hanging branch. He felt the pain in his gut as the branch impacted with him, he slowly slipped off, a low thudding sound and a groan as he hit the roof of one of the six-wheel APCs.
"Dwarf! Are you the Grexxon man?"
"Who? Me? Aye." Holmer turned around, and saw the huge Church of Light Inquisitor bearing down on him.
"What do you want? Ain't you supposed to be supervising th' defense or something?"
"Yes, but I haf taken some time out to find out some information. The MUNDI cheif of staff is a good man, although somewhat weak, he can handle it for an hour or two. As long as we aren't advancing, we seem to be able to hold back most of the daemons. What I need now is some experiance."
"Experiance? You 'ave thousands of soldiers, human!"
"Yes, but it seems MUNDI decided to shift all of it's trainees and initiates out here. It seems I barely have 1000 men who have seen combat before, and most of them have died out there, defending Geneva in vain."
"What do ya want of me, then?"
"Mr.. Thrumman, was it?"
"You have the air of a military man. Tell me, what armed forces did you serve in?"
"Grexxon Military, sir. All my life, until I was discharged 'cos of my age. For some reason they thought they'd send me as MUNDI delegate, the bastards, prob'ly ta show how little faith they have in the blasted organisation."
"Aye. Mr. Thrumman, I take it Grexxon will be commiting troops?"
"Undoubtably, but when they arrive, I cannay say."
"Aye. I heard yer speech about it in teh meeting. But tell me, Mr. Thrumman, would ye be interested in an officer post in this rag-tag defense force until the big-guns arrive? We need some experiance out there, and I don't think anyone I've met so far has as much as you."
Ash managed to keep an impassive face until the cloaked man had passed on further down the line. Shooting a look at the commandos around her, the redhead cleared her faceplate for a moment to show a face with eyebrows raised in surprise.
Well, what was that all about?
Shrugging, the redhead returned to her inner thoughts... Chance impassive beside her in a beautifully crafted black winged helmet that covered his newly grown horns. He had been lucky that they didn't stick straight up... instead they swept back from the sides of his head towards the rear, (hopefully) offering a measure of head protection.
The soldier wore corrective self-focusing goggles under his faceplate, covering the deadly pale shade of his face. He was in a quiet, contemplative mood... or so it seemed.
Actually, he was talking with a new facet of himself... a rather alarming side, in fact...
For in his mind's eye, a wolf sat on his haunches, with its head cocked to one side, a look of curious yet knowing intelligence in its eyes.
Who are you? Chance mumbled in mind-speech, still unused to the method and trying not to make his lips move in unison as he 'spoke'.
You can call me Lupus. It looks like you've got a lot of questions... The wolf raised a paw as if to stay Chance.
Now, things are moving pretty fast, and we've a battle to fight soon. So I'll be quick...
As you can guess, Halley's Comet has fragged you up... for good or for better, that's totally up to you. You might have noticed that talking wolves don't usually appear in your head. Well, they'll do now... Or at least one of them... Me. I'm the manifestation of your animal alter-ego, a sort of unconscious projection of yourself. Yep... you guessed it. And don't try to avoid it... You, Chance, have magic awakened in you.
Wait... You mean I'm a shaman now? Chance widened his eyes in incredulity, his face luckily still hidden under the impassive glacier of the mirrored plate.
The wolf appeared to look critically at a forepaw and inspect its mercilessly keen claws.
Well, technically... Yes. But practically... Nope. A real shaman trains from a young age, just like a professional swimmer or wing-man. Calling you a shaman now is like tossing a baby into a swimming pool and calling it a swimmer. Get me so far?
Now Chance, I can guess what you're going to say next.... Why a shaman? Why not a mage? Here's the simplest analogy... Mages have elements or other age-old stuff, say... trees... associated with them. Shamans use animals. Here I am... so you're technically a shaman, if you want to be nit-picky.
You want to talk about the mind-over-matter you did today? Kidstuff... As your ability to utilize magic grows, your mind's ability to affect changes in the physical world grows too. But I won't advise you to start tossing things around with your thoughts just yet... You're too much of a newbie in the magical arts, and it won't be nice to see you blow your brain to bits or something like that.
Now... You want to know why you see me as an informal-talking wolf instead of some holy turban-wearing mumbo-jumbo in the sky? The wolf briefly appeared wearing a ridiculously huge bejewelled turban, sitting on a cloud in a meditative position, before reverting back to its relaxed, sitting form.
Your mind, Chance, is different from those of the shamans that have trained since childhood. You see... they have accepted their totem as a wiser part of them, a conjoined part. You, on the other hand, had magic dumped on you smack-dab during adulthood, when you've already had the time to form up a fixed opinion of the world.
You have a rational, pragmatic mind, Chance... If I were to appear as just a voice in your head, your mind will simply refuse to acknowledge me... Instead, your subconscious gives me a form that you're comfortable with... in this case, a talking wolf... something that is just about the most extreme thing your mind can conceptualise. I think... know... that you can't even acknowledge me as your 'totem'... in fact, you think of me as more of some sort of 'assistant'... a 'mental wingman', even.
Well, if that's comfortable with you, it'll be with me. Just remember... you are what you are now... Don't try to change it. Just accept it.
Oh... and nope. You won't start howling at the full moon, growing fur or wolf-whistling at every woman in sight (I never got it... when was the last time you saw a male wolf whistle at a female one?)
So relax, and go with the flow.
The wolf gave a mock salute with a forepaw before fading out.
Be watching your six, Chance.
Holmer had to think about this for awhile, he'd been kicked out the armed forces for some time now, did he still have it in him?
"An' what says ah don't want yer stinkin' post?" the dwarf asked.
"It's a great loss in my eyes."
The dwarf smiled, this was one to be trusted.
"Well, it's a good job ah meant it when ah said yer 'ave my honour and service then ain't it?"
It was now the inquisitor's turn to smile.
"But....." the dwarf continued. "Ah'll 'ave to get to know that girl o' yer's. She's a credit to yer!"
"I'm glad to have you, Mr. Thruman. And I'm sure Miss Shah will be delighted to meet you."
"Right ho then! Let's get this mess sorted an' get to fightin'!"
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