The Den Games Network Forum RPG
virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce, Nyerguds
And you too,whoever you are. You should manifestate when there are no strong magic-reactive people in here.Heh.
Emmanuel chuckled. Ash looked again at the cloaked man, in disbelief.
"First that guy shouts a blabbering speech, then chuckles with no reason." She thought.
"Hey you, what are up to?" She asked.
"Excuse me, madam. I am Inquisitor Emmanuel. And I came here to help."
A COL member?But... it was odd
"Are you from the Church of Light?"
Emmanuels face went red.
"DO NOT COMPARE ME WITH SUCH PAGANS, MILADY! I AM A CATHOLIC!"
Cairns turned back. An elf soldier, with a chestplate, sword and a machine gun, was requesting his attention.
"My name is Waldo Rener. As you can guess, I am a member of the Crusader. I came to give a message to you."
"Go on." Cairns answered. He wasnīt used to be called "commander".
"This is word from our leader, Inquisitor Emmanuel. He has went to first-line. He says that our army is at your disposal.
1000 men right now, wich should be raised by three times, in 72 hours. What is your command?"
But it was too late. Raven got up, only leaning on his good leg, jumped to the front of the van and pulled the wiseguy goblin through the window.
"YEEEEK!!" Overmind screamed.
"You... You... FRAGGING BASTARD!!! What the frag did you do to my van?!"
"Ah... eh... just wanted to help..."
"Raven!" Wirecat interfered.
"WHAT!?!" Raven yelled at him.
"Don't lean on your broken leg." Wirecat replied, with a cold glare to the goblin. "And sit down, so we can leave."
Raven sat down, still giving Overmind angry looks. The goblin quickly jumped over the injured Sakhar and cowered in the other corner of the van.
"OK Charlie." Wirecat said. "Let's get this show on the road."
"Right. Here we go. Hang on... it's been a while. I'm a bit rusty."
He used Overmind's switch to start the engine, and they drove off.
"Say, Chana..." Korum said when he saw the Wildcat passing by again. "What the frag is going on around here?"
"There was some kind of meeting... I think they're going to launch a counter-offensive or something."
Korum sighed. "Then let's hope they're better prepared than we were."
Mako heard the conversation. "Doesn't look like it. All I see here are a group of half-dead fraggers that aren't even good enough for daemon bait."
Sakhar groaned. He slowly opened his eyes, he could feel hands on him, he see blurs flying past him....where was he? Before his vision even returned to him, he tried to stand. Pain ran though his body as he did so, he tried to remember what happened before falling flat on his face, coughing up another mix of blood and saliva. He heard something, sounded like a persons voice, he couldn't make it out.
Slowly, with the aid of many hands, he arose again. This time stumbling to what he thought was a door. He grabbed the handle of the back door of Raven's van, locked. He went to grab his sword, but it was no where to be found. What was going on? Where was he?
He felt a hand grab onto his unspiked shoulder, it felt larger then a human hand. The only conclusion he cam to was Ork. Whatever it was made a sound, Sakhar's damaged ears didn't pick it up, it then guided him back to where he was lying.
Slowly, his vision came back to him. He saw a woman and what looked like a cat hanging over him. Both seemed to be tending to his wounds and trying to cut off his blood stained armour....with his own sword!
"Methdos?" the female voice echoed in his ear. "Methdos? Are you ok?"
Another face came into his line of sight, this one he recognised.
"What happened to you?" she asked as she looked down at him.
"S-sarah?" it was more of a cough then a spoken word. He slowly reached one arm out to touch her, just to make sure it was her.
"Will you please keep him still!" Mary protested. "He's not making our job any easier."
"By the Gods...." Methdos now spoke, his voice becoming clearer. "It is you! Joy bless me when Darkness lays curse."
"Where have you been?" Sarah asked him. "She's been worried sick about you!"
"She?" Wirecat inquired.
"It's a long story and is not for explanation now." Sakhar answered Sarah, not realising that Wirecat had even spoken, thinking he was still a cat. "We must follow that van.....Theres someone on there I need to settle a score with!"
"We know, they have one of our friends. The young girl, Silvia. Did you see her?"
"Yes, and I fear for her soul. If that foul Daemon in the guise of a man has corrupted her, well....." Sakhar didn't know if he wanted to collapse in pain or continue this, Un fortunately his body chose the first option for him and he blacked out.
"Orders? Well, 1000 extra men is a godsend to us currently, all I'm working with is the current MUNDI defenders, about a thousand of them themselves, and the 14th Aztech Mechanised Company, who are harrying the Daemons in the city, with orders to withdraw if our supernatural friends look like they're mounting another attack. The best place for your crusaders so far will be with our defensive line."
Rener looked at him, purplexed.
"Aye. We've taken positions on the side of the 22nd expressway, which cuts across about half a mile infront of Mundi HQ. Most of the structures there are intact, and we're actually constructing earthworks infront of them."
"Yes. Earthworks. The daemons don't seem to have any ordanance weapons, so if we can get'em into our trenches, we can fight 'em on our own terms, limiting their numbers."
"What do you want the Crusaders to do, then?"
"You can dig, can't yah? We need trenches, hidden gun emplacements, and the like. Next time they attack, they're gonna find a solid wall of firepower waiting for them, and a thousand angry crusaders in the melee. Oh, and the golems?"
"Aye. I have 5 battle golems from UCAS, picked 'em myself. Should be able to take as much damage as the daemons, and fight back just as well, as they don't have no internal organs to burst and are rock 'ard. We're gonna try and use 'em ta take out the big'uns, while the surviving Shamans and MUNDI troops from the other conferance centre hit 'em from behind, and trap as many as possible in our killing zone."
"I dunno how happy we'll be, but we can dig, rig explosives, and stuff like that"
"Aye. Good for ya. And tell yer leader I need to speak with him - I have a plan he may be useful in."
Rener opened his vid agenda. He looked rather surprised.
"Umm... Commander... There are more than 1000 crusaders.
500 more have arrived by now. Within 72 hours, we will have 1500 more.What should be do now with that troops?"
"Err..." Overmind gasped. "Overmind has good stuff for you... yes... I have. Um, thatīs it."
Everyone looked sceptically at them.
"I managed to plant a locator bug in one of the collars... yes I have. Overmind is not as idiot as he looks..."
"The same. We need defenses, defenses, and more defenses. We're not moving out, we know they'll attack here, on our turf, especially when our dragon arrives. The more defenses, the better our chances."
"Commander, surely we could perform a better..."
"No. Everyone is doing this, and everyone will do this. The only exceptions are demolitions teams, of which I have special needs. Go now. I must speak to your leader."
Rener made a signal, and handed him a vidphone. The screen flashed.
"This is Inquisitor Emmanuel. I am on the field with the survivors. What do you want?"
Wolf speeded up, as he had snatched the hover bike... Heading towards... He didnīt know. Crystal hadnīt answered the message. What happened to her?
"Now, for London!" Eva yelled.
Mist Lotus stared at her.
"I canīt believe you gave my number to him. You are a sick-minded bitch, stabbing me backwards when I was not aware of my actions."
Behemoth and Hammerwing had chosen to stay away. Catfights were really messy.
"Well, Pheromones do not force you to do that. You like HIM although you may not admit it. You are too proud."
Mist Lotus tried to reply, but she bursted in tears. Eva patted her.
"I know what happened 6 months ago. Wolf told me. I know you are hurted, but donīt be so harsh. Besides, I think you both are a good couple..."
She winked and giggled.
Behemoth and Hammerwing looked eachother, slightly blushing.
"Easy there... Don't mean anything by that, ok?" Ash backed off... not wishing to further rile the inquisitor, who seemed to be having a really bad day. Turning away to adjust her katana as it sat on her belt, the redhead made a mental note to never call a Catholic crusader a COL member again.
In the meantime, the inquisitor had turned his attentions towards his wristphone.
"Dig, dig, dig... Here we are, Special Forces Team 15, the elite of MUNDI, the prime of Legio MUNDI... and we're digging just like what we did in basic years ago!"
Leon was complaining to the rest of the commandos. The combat negotiator had been turned out from bed in the wrecked MUNDI hospital to assist in preparing the front line.
Beside him, George Jnr gave a "Frag him" look and picked up his gear, heading back towards the rear to meet up with the COL guy who was leading the defence, and requiring all demomen to report to him.
"French..." Winston heard him mutter as the grumpy American (he insisted on being called "American" despite the now-defunct state of the country) went past.
The Brit shared a grin with Evans, Johan and Wangfei, as well as Nikkei the lighting mage and Won the team decker.
So, the French were complaining about something... nothing new about that.
The commandos were busy turning a two story house into a fortress, filling sandbags with dirt from the yard and stringing out barbed wire in front. Generally, they agreed with the strategy devised by the COL guy, already being nicknamed the "Old Man".
Take the initial blow of the daemon attack, sucker them into throwing their best against fixed defences, then hit them in the rear with air and armoured-vehicle delivered fast attack forces.
The plan was good... and all that remained was to dig in.
Evans tucked his machine-gun into his firing slot, reaching back to ensure that the industrial-sized hammer he picked up was securely slung across his back. He was already getting impatient for the thrill of battle... but Special Forces patience was enough to make him wait for the daemons to strike first. Some of the Catholic crusaders with their shiny armour were occasionally venturing forth, trying to entice the daemons into attacking, but the majority were staying put, some actually getting dirty with the MUNDI footsloggers and digging in.
The Aussie grinned.
They want trouble? Hell... they'll see plenty soon enough.
As if he had bitten, the catholic Inquisitor, stood up, and headed outside.
"Work, slackers! Or donīt you remember the bible? We are dust, and dust we will become. I donīt care if our hands get dirty with mud, if victory is achieved!" Emmanuel had just got out, yelling at the crusaders who were trying to do raids in daemon territory, and the ones who werenīt doing anything at all.
Although his physical shape was not good, Emmanuel himself grabbed a shovel and dug up, teaming with the MUNDI forces, his vidphone still hanging from his waist. Every crusader, by fear, or shame, followed him in the dig. He wondered what the pagan Inquisitor was up to.
At that very moment, the pagan inquisitor called Emmanuel, on the vidphone number he had been given by the Catholic.
"Hello?", spat Emmanuel into the vidphone, not looking at the picture. "I'm very busy... oh, it's you, Inquisitor Cairns"
"Aye. How are the earthworks goin'?"
"Very good, but I ask you, shouldn't we be doing a little more?"
"Don't have to, lad. The daemons will attack here."
"How? They are fickle and unreal monsters. We cannot predict them, as much as we cannot..."
"They will. Ye yerself said that they are attracted to the leaders. We think they're attracted to the Dragons as well, given the strange attack with the two greater dragons in the city."
"We have bait. You may 'ave heard of him. He's called Dunkelzahn."
The other Inquisitor gasped.
"What is more, we'll meet 'em here, while the lighter, faster units already in the city hit them from behind hard. If we catch 'em in our defenses, tie them up with our troops, we can wipe them out, and them move in to the dome. They won't want to pass up the oppurtunity to kill Dunkelzahn, and that is what we can exploit."
"Defenses? We don't have defenses!"
"Yes we do. Look around you. Houses. Warehouses. Tower blocks. Each one we can garrison, stuff with men and weapons, and fight 'em with suprises and traps. Those we can't staff, are being rigged to blow up by the IWS demolition guys we 'ave on hand, and even some to fall onto the approach lines of the daemon horde. We may not have the men to defend as well as I'd like, but we can bloody well use every trick we can think of!"
"I agree Inquisitor. The Catholic Crusade will volunteer to staff the trenches, given we are trained in more hand-to-hand orientated attack than most MUNDI troops."
"Aye. Very well."
Cairns signed off, leaving Emmanuel to continue digging.
The soldiers burst out laughing, shouting coarse words at Zizz. Swearing like troopers, even.
Adjusting his beret, the Sergeant-Major, called his lads over to manhandle the would-be wing-glider down from the armoured vehicle.
"Wait, I'm famous! I'm Matthew 'Zizz' Zizler!"
"We know, fraghead. Get down, you bloody mug!"
"You knew who I was?"
"Of course we did. A few of the lads from our Regiment are into wing-gliding. We're just following orders from the Ruperts."
"Ruperts? Zizz asked.
"Fragging Officers. Lord Rupert Penry-Jones or whatever, Aristos."
"Oh right" Zizz, said, being lifted down and bundled into the back of the APC he'd landed on. "What are you going to do with me?"
"Nothing much mate. Our Mage scanned you. He says you're alright, but our orders are to take you in for 24hrs anyway. You seem like an allright bloke. That Wing-stunt thing was pretty funny."
Another soldier came in behind them. "Heh, after being called off our fragging leave to deal with the bloody Trogg rioters and fragging zombies, we needed that."
"Shut up, you tossers. Get this fragging knob out of his clothes you two," Roared the Moustachioed sergeant, also entering the APC. "The wizworms think these fragging zombies are caused by fragging magic, but we don't want to take any chances, do we now?"
Still screeching, Lilith was bundled into the APC as outside the rest of the soldiers took care of the Nuovo Inzio V-8. She too was stripped, but surprisngly, the rough, coarse soldiers clammed up, giving her respect she didn't deserve. Both she and Zizz were given pre-wrappde self-forming clothes to wear. One-piece light blue form-fitting overalls. Lilith was mortified. Zizz felt happier for her discomfort.
A few moments later, the APC rolled off, and then even the Sergeant-Major lightened up.
The News of Dunkelzahn's imminent arrival was greeted with widespread optimism by the magical council.
"Now, the plan falls together." Said Professor McGowan, Oxford Royal College of Magicians.
"The big D was just who we were waiting for." Agreed Bennifer Lonsdale of MIT&t.
"When will he arrive?" Asked Head Houngan Belvedene DesChamps
"Unsure." Renwu told them all, having just received notification from MUNDI HQ. "He's not saying. Security reasons."
"You mean he doesn't fully trust us humans, you mean." Said Heidi Weissmuller, from the Germanic Druids.
"Thats unfair!" Protested Lonsdale. "The Big D loves us humans. He even got his own 3DTV show!"
"Me thinks your Dragon wants to make this 'His Show' too." Said Watanabe from Imperial Japan, coldly.
"Stop arguing." Renwu silenced the magicians. "We are not in a position to refuse the Dragon's help. Bickering will get us nowhere."
"The man with no face is right." Said Danny Five-Feathers. "With the Dragon on board, we have a chance."
The Representative of the Siberian Ice-Shamans said something, the dour old man surprising everyone. His aide translated the thick Russian for the others:
"We must all pull together for the glory of the peace-loving peasants and workers of the Neo Soviet Union. The Dragon is obviously seeing the error of his Capitalist ways, and will help us."
The Magicians politely ignored the fat old man's rhetoric, but took his point.
"I just wonder how he feels about his two brother Dragons' that got caught up in all this." Sadi the downbeat Watanabe.
"'He' feels nothing for them. They were not 'his' brothers, after all. And where can a dragon get a decent coffee around here, eh?"
Everyone turned to look at the handsome man who had just entered the room. He was blonde, tanned, tall an slim, with brilliant white-teeth. He could have been a sim-flick actor, or a fashion model. He looked at Lonsdale and winked.
"Big D at your service, Ma'am!" Lonsdale blushed.
"Now, you'll be wanting some kind of barrier then?" The Dragon-in-man's form asked the throng. "There's no time like the present, eh? Lets whip up a magic circle."
Only Renwu was not taken aback by the Dragon's sudden appearance and forthrightness.
"Already got one ready, Mr..."
"Just call me 'D'" Dunkelzahn winked.
"Wolf, meet us at the Warehouse, pronto!" Crystal yelled, over both the roar of the heavy engine and the screeching of Mr and Mrs Raven.
How fraggin' irritating. I wonder how much Raven would mind if they were to accidentally get run over by an APC?
Then she thought of Wolf, who had thought of her as a childhood sweetheart, and Raven, also obviously - hopefully? - Infatuated with her, meeting up.
I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. She told herself.
BadJimmy stalked up to the gates of Transys-Neuronet Orkislavia, fingering his new gun nervously.
Fragging thing. How dare the biche force it upon me? I shall leave it as soon as it is opportune...
As he arrived at the gate, the guard, standing next to a Janus ground-combet drone lets his IWS Rifle hang limp, his eyes widening in disbelief.
"What the frag are you looking at?" He demanded of the idiot.
"You... You're wearing stockings and heels."
Oh yeah, that.
"I am no ordinary transvestite, idiote! Here is my credstick. I am Transys Neuroneyt special security consultant. Now let me in."
The wary guard accepted the ID, and stood aside for the Elf. As Badjimmy walked through, the gun he carroed was picked on both MAD and Chem-detectors. The guard said:
"Umm, want me to take that piece for ya?"
Badjimmy turned his head slowly.
Moments later, he was inside the facility - Just a chip-factory eally, completely automated but staffed by a few bored techs, riggers and slaes staff. In moments he had a private line to Transys home office in Scotsprawl. He jacked the cord into his datajack, downloading everything his cyberyes had recorded onto his headware memory - Raven - Mission complete. Mary - Observation Mission complete. Stalkers Observation mission complete. Zombies observation mission cmplete. And on and on it went - All the data being sent off for analysis.
A knock at the door - A pretty, young elven secretary.
"I got the clothes you wanted." She said in a shaking voice. "Would you like me to dispose of those, umm, clothes you are wearing?"
She meant the whore's gear, of course.
"Non." He smiled back at her, unsettling her. He liked that word.
"Aw man... this armor just doesn't come off! It's stuck in the spikes!" Mary complained. "Is that real gold?"
"Sure looks like it..." Wirecat replied. "But it's a thin layer of gold on a kind of plasteel armor."
"That's not plasteel... this is real metal... some alloy... Narsh I think."
"Narsh? You mean lightsteel? I didn't know they still made that stuff..."
"They don't." Hurricane interfered. "This armor is a few decades old. And it's not normal Narsh... it's a magic-resistant alloy, with some kind of protection spell on it."
"Oh." Wirecar replied absent-mindedly. "Wait... if we put the sword through here... like that, so we don't touch him... OK. Now push!"
They pushed the sword to the other side, opening the armor like a can of tuna, as far as the spikes allowed them to cut. They seemed to be harder than the armor...
They cut off the piece of armor they cut loose at one side, revealing the patient's chest. Wirecat quickly ripped through the clotes with his claw, careful not to wound Sakhar even more.
"Oh my goodness..." Mary said when she saw how badly the man was hurt. The fact that he was ran over by the van was nothing compared to the pain he must have had from the spikes sticking through his flesh everywhere.
"These things look nothing like horns of animals or trolls..." Wirecat said. "These spikes are actually wildgrowths of bone! Let's hope there aren't any nerves in them... that would only make it worse."
"Can we cut them off? We need to get the rest of him out of that armor."
"With what? The sword? You need to swing it to get through something this hard... can't do that in a van. Besides, if there are nerves in there, it will hurt him even more."
"Frag!" Mary cursed. "Then we'll have to get the rest of the armor loose."
"We can't do that... if we use the sword there we might stab him."
"Can't you do it with your claws?"
"My claws? But..."
I could open tin cans with my claws before the mutation... and these claws are razor sharp compared to that. Let's just give it a try...
"All right then..."
He put his claws on the armor and pushed. He went through the thin layer of gold, but he couldn't penetrate the Narsh alloy.
"You have to hit it harder, Wirecat." Mary said.
David swinged his arm, and hit the armor again.
"All right! You got through the armor!"
"Yeah... but my claw is kinda stuck." Wirecat replied, somewhat embarrased.
Mary sighed. "Oh great..."
"Just pull it through the armor, David." Hurricane said. "To the side."
Wirecat tried to pull his claw to the side. "I can't... oh frag..."
"Wait, I'll help."
Hurricane grabbed David's hand by hooking her fingers between his.
"Now pull. Three... two... one."
Slowly, four scars appeared in the armor. David quickly retracted three of the four claws as they came loose. Helped by Hurricane, he made a long rip through the armor with the claw of his index finger.
"Great!" Mary said. "Now we can get him out of this thing."
"Ouch... that hurt... my finger's nearly dislocated."
"But hey... we did it, didn't we?" Hurricane whispered in his ear. Wirecat noticed she was still holding his hand.
"A tracking device? Good work.. what's your name again?"
Charlie was still in pain, and his hastily re-attatched cyberarm was slightly mis-aligned, but he knew he was the only person able to drive the van. Of course, it also meant that he had to keep conversation going with the two gobbos sharing the other front seat, but it was hardly a hassle. Dorodo was playing with Silvia's MP5 player she had given to him, anyhow.
Looking into the rear mirror, he could see Wirecat, Sarah and Mary crouched over whoever that gold-guy they had picked up was. He was pretty bashed-up, and having him in the van made it very crowded, what with the huge ork, Linith and Raven taking up one bench.
Charlie noticed the reflection in the mirror of Sarah and David's hands. They were holding them, while they worked. It was pretty sweet, especially as the very attractive priestess was with the bizzare mutant. Kind of like the stuff you get in cheezy simflicks.
Mary was still working on the wounds of the daemon hunter. She probably hadn't noticed Wirecat and Sarah, and Charlie wondered how it would affect her. He really didn't expect a girl like that being a runner, she was far to naive and uncorrupted, but she managed to - probably more by luck than skill - lead this band of misfits pretty well. He would have expected to find her living a civil life in one of the more attractive towns away from the urban heart of britsprawl - not out here, or with these people.
The huge ork was dosing quietly. In all respects, Tank was the steriotypical ork, big, brutish, and a lover of combat. But Charlie sensed someting else there, a genuine loyalty to his friends, perhaps, especially the half dragon he had only met briefly. The man next to him, Raven, with his wounded leg was awake, but was in foul temper due to the loss of his weapon, and the hotwiring of his vehicle.
Dorodo was still listening to the MP5 player, and the other goblin to a radio. Charlie wondered what was on there.
Sakhar's eyes opened again, Sarah, the other woman and the cat were still hanging over him. He had the strangest vision that the cat was actually helping to heal him, but that wasn't possible.....was it? He looked down at his chest, they'd cut his armour clean off. He didn't know how, it looked too clean to be done with a sword....strange.
Sarah looked up at him from her work, she was holding onto the cats paw, how odd.
"Methdos?" she asked, her voice sounded exactly the same as he remembered it. "Methdos, are you ok?"
"You know him?" the cat inquired, wait. Talking cats? What? That was wrong.
"In a way, you could say we know each other though the church, although he doesn't belong to the church."
Sakhar didn't have the energy to say anything just yet, he lay back and let the other woman deal with his wounds, but a talking cat? That bothered him.
"I'd ask how you know a weirdo like this, but it would be somewhat hypocritical." the cat AGAIN! No mistaking it, it was the cat.
"He wasn't always like this, although I don't know how on Earth this happened!"
"Don't ask....." Sakhar finally groaned. "Good to see you again, Sarah. I wish it could be under happier circumstances though."
Sakhar looked up at the roof of the van for awhile before continuing.
"I don't mean to be rude, especially after all you and you friends have done, but is that cat speaking?"
Wirecat smiled to himself and meowed. Starting to move around like a cat. Sarah just shook her head.
"It's a long story."
Overmind was sat listening to the headphones on his radio. He looked at the Ork, what he was doing was very dangerous. He shouldn't have been doing it, not here. Not now!
The radio shook in his hands as he got even more nervous. What was he doing? Why was he being such an idiot. If anyone here knew....
His trail of thinking was cut short. The plug to the headphones came out of the shaking radio, and the commanding voice of a goblin could be heard.
"BROTHERS!" The voice yelled from the radio. "We must act, for too long our kind has been oppressed by the foul Orks, their Human slaves, The Dirty Dwarven ale mutts and even the so called fair elves. Well enough! We WILL stand, we WILL fight, Freedom WILL be ours and we WILL obtain it by bloodshed! The Goblins of the Night call out to you, you will either take our hand and embrace us, step aside or be caught in the cross fire! VIVE LA REVO......." Over mind smashed the radio on the floor, Too late. Tank, Dorodo and even Sakhar had heard that before.
Tank leaped at Overmind, only being held back by the combined force of all the Runners, Charlie had to stop the van to a grinding halt to prevent it from tipping up.
"TANK!" yelled Mary above the chaos of the current scene. "What on Earth do you think you are doing?"
"Takin' oot dis traita!" He yelled before he was finally pulled back.
Dorodo stared at Overmind wide eyed, while Sakhar was cursing the fool under his breath. Leaving everyone else confused to what had just happened.
"I....I.....I....can...ex-explain!" Overmind ranted as he shook violently, both Tank and Sakhar giving him evil eyes.
"Dere's no expianin' fer yoo!" Tank yelled in broken English.
"Let him make his excuses Ork" Sakhar nearly spat in anger. "We may as well listen too him before we rip him to shreds."
"I.....it's.....a re...research.....pr....project!" Overmind continued to rant.
"Want my advice?" Methdos said, much more calmly. Overmind mealy stared at him. "Don't research fanatics, you'll be drawn in as one!"
Overmind uneasily nodded and picked up the remains of his radio, leaving the Ork to sit down, still looking disgusted with the goblin.
"What just happened?" Wirecat asked confused.
"Leave it be Fluffy, leave it be." Ugh, I've just spoken to a CAT! Sakhar thought as he said it.
Chance was talking with his 'mental wingman' again... finding it a bit more acceptable as he slowly got to know the wolf better.
So what are you useful for? he asked as the wolf scratched itself industriously behind a ear, eyes rolling back in pleasure.
Well... Different totems grant different abilities, but may give certain flaws as well. For example, one who conjoins with a shark totem becomes ferocious in combat, and can enter a bloodlust where neither fear nor wounds can easily stop. But they cannot be trusted, with the bloodthirsty urges of the shark driving them to cull the weak and sick. Cat shamans gain the grace and stealth of their totems, but tend to become prissy and vain... Never liked them much myself, anyway.
You, Chance, have gotten the best totem. Lupus grinned, showing all his shiny canine teeth.
You will gain the sixth sense of the wolf, an ability to tell when something is not right from the slightest signs in the wind, smell, and general karma of a place.
Besides that, you can empower yourself with the surgical precision of wolf attacks, the ability to go straight for the jugular, to strike clean and true in close combat, and yet work well with teammates, sensing their moves, strengths and weaknesses and putting yourself in the best position to cooperate with them. You will know empathy, be forthright in your feelings, and be loyal and steadfast to your sworn-brethren.
You will stalk even better than your pre-awakened state... with the grace of a silent wolf coupled with the trained experience of a recon soldier.
And best of all, wolves, like other members of the canine family, are truly man's best friend. Thus, you'll adapt fast to the way of the wolf, and not leave your humanity far behind as with the other shamans.
Now... isn't that a good deal? The wolf cocked his head to one side.
Of course... you'll slowly realise your potential as we go along... Take things one at a time, and you'll soon realise that magic isn't as dodgy as you initally deemed it to be.
"And I'm speaking to a bony hedgehog." Wirecat replied. "Tell me... what's the difference?"
Sakhar hadn't realized he was thinking out loud... he didn't even know if he could separate thinking and talking, with this amount of pain.
"I think your mutation is caused by the comet." Wirecat continued. "So in that aspect we're pretty much the same."
"The comet... spreads Evil. I felt it."
"Heh. Really? We've seen it. Hordes of undead."
Sakhar's face became pale. "Oh no... we're doomed!"
"David..." Sarah whispered in Wirecat's ear. She looked really uncomfortable. "Please choose your words more carefully when talking to him. I think 'a bunch of zombies' would have had a lot less dramatic effect."
In the other van, Silvia was pretty bored. After Sorrow's outburst they hadn't spoken a word, and now that she'd given Dorodo her MP5 player she didn't even have ID0 to distract her.
I wanna know what the frag's going on. I can still read Sorrow's mind, if he isn't paying attention...
She tried to search his thoughts, but something somehow prevented her form reading them.
That's weird... he isn't blocking them... it's my ability that's being jammed somehow.
She scanned the van, looking for the cause of this odd distortion.
Xecktos? This doesn't make any sense... How, and why, would he be blocking my abilities?
The APC found the roads easygoing from there, just a few wrecked and burning cars with the odd wandering zombie to mow down before it gained access to the Sky-Road.
"They seem to be dying down a bit." Crystal mused, to no-one in particular. Cy was rigged in and concentrating on driving, and Illidia was trying to calm down Raven's hysterical parents, so no-one really gave her much attention. Nevertheless, she continued thinking out loud: "Either someone in charge of this mess had a really good plan for hunting the fraggers out, they don't like the daylight, or they're going back wherever they came from."
The first point seemed unlikely, the second and third less so. Either way, Crystal found she could relax a bit for the first time in days. The APC pulled to a halt at the entry point to the sky-road. Crystal took the opportunity to pop the roof turret hatch to get a breather. Looking around, the sun occasionally poked through the permanently grey sky, highlighting the occasional acid-drizzle and sparkling off the murky flood waters that sloshed through much of lower sprawl. A wind picked up. Crystal let her hair blow in the breeze.
Then she checked the turret MG, and rotated around 360 degrees - No sign of life. Unreal.
There seemed to be nothing in the air around here too. If there was, Cy would be tracking them with his sensors.
"Excuse me young lady!"
I must be getting jaded... But Britsprawl almost looks nice today.
"I said Excuse ME, young lady!"
Almost, of course. The air still stank of sulphur, the rain still stang and ruined your hair and skin, it was hard to breathe, roads flooded...
"WHAT!?! What do you want!!?!" Crystal snapped, suddenly breaking under the pressure from Raven's middle-aged mother. The woman was getting on her nerves, with her constant pestering, complaining and holier-than-thou attitude.
Should have left her for the zombies. I'd be doing Raven a favour.
"I, uh..." She was taken aback momentarily, but recovered remarkably quickly. "I want to know how long you plan to stay parked here waiting for those... Those diabolical creatures!!!
I'LL SHOW YOU DIABOLICAL! No, wait... Calm down, calm down... What did Wolf use to say? No wait, don't think of Wolf. He'll get you madder...
"For who? Well? Answer!"
"Eh, don't be a worry dear, she knows what she's doing. Besides, she's cute."
"WHAT!?! SHUT UP! To think I married a lech like you!"
By now Crystal had managed to tune the two out again. It was easier when they were just arguing amongst each other.
Marriage. Cuh. Who needs it? She turned to Illidia, fretting over Dragon, still unconsious on the floor. Most of his bleeding was stopped now. She gave the elven woman a 'How is he doing?' look. She replied with a 'We have to keep moving, and quick.' expression of worry.
At the droning, low sound of an electric engine outside, she jumped back up to the turret hatch and readied the GPMG. But it was nothing to worry about.
"Crystal!!!" Shouted Wolf, obviously in terrible discomfort on the little Electribike.
"Took your fragging time. Get in. If you get spotted on that thing, you'll be shot."
He struggled to get off. His injury received a knock, making him utter a high, agonising scream. Crystal winced. In pity, she hopped down to help him off.
"I don't think it's ever going to work again." He whimpered, tearfully. Crystal remained silent...
As soon as he was in, Cy got them moving again, up onto the skyroad.
"Chopper incoming. Don't do anything stupid." Cy warned them. Looking around the vehicle's interior, Crystal spotted a rack of riot gear. She pulled on a Police vest and Helmet to hide her flowing hair.
"Police vehicle, this is Army Patrol Delta 7. Please identify yourself, over."
Cy was quick on the update and read from the vehicle ID in his peripheal vision from his Rigger vehicle-vision.
"Riot vehicle Tango Tango 69. We're just buggin' out, over. Got caught behind."
"Roger that." A pause. "Please give visual confirmation, over."
Crystal took her cue. She got up through the hatch cupola again, in her cop-gear. Wind blasted against the mirrored faceplate, both from the vehicle's mostion and the Army Firedrake Attack helicopter's rotor wash. She waved. The gunner waved back. She put her face-cover up and blew the gunner a kiss.
"You look okay, Tango Tango 69. Tell that bird she's to meet us both at the RCP once she out. Over."
And they were away.
Still sobbing and in obvious pain, Wolf pulled down his trousers to examine blood-soaked synth-skin aoround his injury. Raven's mother looked on, first nosily, but once she saw what was wrong, her eyes went wide, she made an odd sound, and said nothing for the rest of the trip.
Score one for Wolf. Crystal winked.
Wolf didn't see what was funny...
Silvia was a bit shocked, what had happened? How was Xecktos doing that? Maybe if she tried a little harder, MAYBE she could at least get a sense of his thoughts.
She started to concentrate even harder on the necromancer, and suddenely felt she was almost being sucked into his mind. At first she read nothing, then she started to hear a strange sound, like a man, whispering. Slowly this whispering turned to a low growl, which got louder and louder as she read, she wanted to pull away. But she couldn't, what the sleg had she got herself into?
As the growling became nearly deafening to her, almost a full blown roar, then it all stopped. Silence.
"Don't mess in the business of higher beings, Dragon scum!" a voice that wasn't Sorrow's whispered into her head, as it repelled her thoughts with a flash of orange light. Sorrow screamed, holding his head and falling to the floor as he did so.
What the....What was THAT? Silvia thought to herself, a little shaken for the experience. First Xecktos, now Sorrow? BOTH repelling her? What the slegging hell was going on?
Silvia sat back as Sorrow rose from the floor, she could almost swear his red eyes turned black as he rose, giving her an evil look. But they were blood red again in an instant. She didn't know which she liked more.
She sat back, still slightly shaking. She didn't know what was going on, but she was NEVER reading minds for fun again, that was for sure!
She had been awakened from her sleep by Sorrow's yell. That being.....he called her something......H.....H...Highness? Yes. Was that who she was? Did he know her? She didn't know where all these questions had came from, her mind ran though them over and over until she came to a conclusion. She must find that being.
Almost out of impulse, she grabbed the door handle of the van. Damocles didn't see what she was doing until it was too late. She tumbled out of the van as the door swung open, hitting her arm on a rock as she hit the grass bank at the side of the road, if it could be called that. The van continued on without her as a strange feeling ran though the arm she had injured. She saw a red liquid come out of a a puncture in her skin, she rubbed the punctured part of skin, it gave her the same odd feeling she got when the wound was inflicted, and she didn't like it. She stood and walked into the middle of the road, hoping that the man would come to her.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING!" Silvia yelled. "Are you completely heartless? Stop and get her!"
"And let your friends have use? I think not! She'll be a loss to the team, but she'll turn up with your friends." The necromancer now looked perfectly normal, sounded it too. But she couldn't argue with him, Damocles wouldn't listen to her anyway.
Charlie was now back on the road, driving along carelessly. Tank had settled down, The spiked man had calmed down a bit, conversing with Wirecat, Mary and Sarah and Overmind had finally stopped shaking, Dorodo still looking at him curiously. Charlie was so laid back he almost didn't see the female figure in the white lab coat standing dopily in the middle of the road. He came to a grinding halt, throwing everyone forward.
"DO YOU FRAGGING WELL MIND!" Raven yelled at him as Tank was almost thrown onto his injured leg.
"What is it THIS time?" Wirecat sighed.
"Y-you wouldn't belive me if I told you." Charlie said, his eyes wide in disbelief.
"Well spit it out! Your friend is getting away!" Sakhar, Slightly annoyed.
"The queen....her Highness....in the middle of the road!"
Many of the people questioned the ex-Britguard in disbelief as he got out the drivers side of the vehicle. Many of the others followed, Raven's "Not another fragging person! We've barley got enough room as it is." being heard, the others too preoccupied to take note of it.
With the others standing outside, Tank took his chance. He grabbed over mind and brought the Goblins scrunched up face to his own.
"Reserge dat ain't!" he said into the goblins face, his breath was disturbing enough without his tone of voice. "Oonli few 'ave dat oon dere radioos, an' al of dem arr traitaz!" he lowered the goblin before anyone saw what he had done, he then sat back down as if nothing had happened. Eyeing the shivering goblin
"Arriving in London in 2 hours" Eva ranted to the slightly exhausted HammerWing.
"Aye... I want to see Wolf soon. My eyes hurt like hell!!" The stuntie replied.
He had been with an itch on the eyes as they took off Geneva.
"Dunkelzahn?... Lord Dunkelzahn? What are you doing in Geneva?"
Draco shouted mentally to the Greater Dragon he felt in the area. He had been using his astral sense to search the whereabouts of his master Roszondas, while he was in the Concorde, and Varos felt asleep.
"Heh, she looks...so beatiful...when she is asleep..." Draco sighed.
This was indeed a hard trial for him. So hard. He didnīt even realised that he was using telepathy. Frag, he had projected that phrase inside the mind of someone. Located in Orkessa. A dragon.
He shouted mentally, now with the identity of the person... "Silvia!? What...er..." Draco was now in a pretty good mess. His only hope was that the distance could hinder the transmission...
Overmind smiled. Fragging ork bastard. He did not believe him at all. The radio message he let out didnīt help, too. He looked like a fanatic, and he was only trying to figure out what brainwashing techniques were applied. If only Behemoth were there...
"Well. I gotta get inside Warehouse 34. And Dragon has the key."
Wolf thought for a while.
"I have the key..." Illidia said. "But will it help Dragon?".
Frag. He had forgot about him. He kneeled. Dragon...What did he do? He was made a mess. After a rushed exploration, Nick lowered his head.
"I can heal his body... but he has little chance to recover..." he nodded. Illidia yelled. She was about to broke in tears...
"WHY!? TELL ME!?"
Wolf waved his head. "I am a medic. I can heal bodies. But not minds. Dragonīs mind has suffered a terrible shock, driving him into comma. Whoever his mind is, our only hope is that Dragon wakes up to the real world."
Illidia cried. With Cylinder head busy... she had to lean over Crystal, or Wolf. She chose the second.
Wolfīs coat was soaked in tears. And he could do nothing but repeat.
Yes indeed... Silvia. And I can make that pretty shapeshift there a lot less beautiful... 'when she is asleep'.
Silvia's right hand suddenly shifted to a claw and pushed through the side of the van, over her left shoulder. Everybody looked up when they heard the screeching sound of claws slowly ripping through plasteel, but Silvia looked so angry not even Sorrow dared to interfere.
Not only had Draco used telepathy without realizing it, he left his mind right open to read through the telepatic link. And Silvia's sudden anger was even enough to get through Xecktos' 'blocking aura', as she had called it for herself.
She knew who the lady was now... she knew she was a Dragon... but she didn't care at all. She was furious.
She's gonna meet my claws one day... and she'll remember that day for a long time, Draco... A long time.
She broke the mind link without giving Draco the chance to apologise. It was too much for her.
She noticed her claw sticking through the side of the van.
The claw quickly shifted back to normal. Silvia looked around at the confused people in the van.
"What? This slegging thing needed a better airco anyway." she grumbled.
Shapeshift... Draco thought, remembering his own failed attempt to look more attractive to Varos.
Silvia is right... it's just a shapeshift... but still...
Draco sighed. He had no idea what to think or to feel.
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