Monday, September 24, 2007
This was chapter co-written with The Dread Pirate Beldin. I hope you enjoy his special touches. :D
The team stood at the top of the tunnel as Kallo came fleeing towards them dragging Alison behind him by her hand. “Everyone,” Kallo shouted, “Get ready! They’re coming this way!”
Garness with his axe, Gurok sword and shield and hand, and Beldin now duel-wielding hexaguns stood grinning. Even Kammy who was apprehensive before was hungry for some action. Jumpingtaru on the other hand stood toward the back jumping up and down excitedly from a safer distance.
“LET THEM COME,” Beldin shouted, “LEAD THEM STRAIGHT INTO THE HELLFIRE!”
Gurok chuckled, “I like your style pirate. Maybe after all this is over we ca-“ He fell backwards as a bolt took him in the shoulder from somewhere down the tunnel.
“Gurok!” Alison screamed, dropping to the galka’s side as the others rushed forward. “Take him to the back so I don’t trip on him,” Garness ordered eyeing the raging mob approaching.
“I’ll fix it!” Kammy chirped in and hurried to bless Gurok with her healing magic.
Alison stood as a tear ran down her cheek. Her knives slid from her belt with a steely hiss and a vengeful fire burned within her. “I want him dead,” she growled, “I want Pete the Meat to suffer for what he did. His blood is mine.”
“You can have your theatrics later,” Beldin snapped, letting off a few rounds, “We’ve got a fight to survive at the moment”
The mob rushed forward soon over taking the party. Garness stood laughing as he fended off three humes with his gigantic axe taking each one down as if he were swatting flies. Foxx, despite his size, was going toe-to-toe with a Galka easily side-stepping his blows and chopping at his legs with his knives. Beldin stood more like a paladin than a corsair making quick thrusts with his rapier and slicing at those who came for him.
Pete the Meat charged through like an angry bull and straight towards Alison swinging a giant scythe over his head. Standing her ground with her teeth clinched angrily she met the murderer of her husband head on. With evasion only a thief could have, she moved gracefully to avoid his savage blows not allowing him any satisfaction.
Frothing at the mouth in rage Pete continued to swing wildly, forcing Alison to retreat backwards to avoid the massive weapon. Catching her heel on a stone jutting up from the rocking floor she fell back unable to catch herself until her hands hit the floor.
Pete, an evil and insane glint in his eyes, grinned as he prepared to deliver a deadly blow. “Peace of cake.” He sneered. “Weak, just like your dead lover.”
Rolling forward she evaded his strike as his scythe sent chunks of rock flying from the force of the impact. Pete the Meat roared as only a galka can as the cold steal of her dagger bit into his belly and split his blood. She pushed up hard to slice through him. “Doesn’t feel good does it?” She hissed angrily.
Picking her up by her vest he lifted her into the air. His dark magic was draining the strength from her body in a visible channel of death. “I’ll break you with my bare hands if I have to.” He spat. “You’re nothing but an annoying little rodent in need of extermination.”
Gurok charged at Pete the Meat driving his sword into his bicep causing him to drop Alison at his feet as he howled in pain. “I don’t think so. She won’t be harmed as long as I still live.”
Beldin caught the scene out of the corner of his eye and joined in. “You stupid son of a mangy hound,” he swore through his teeth. You say you’re looking for the killer of your brother, well he’s right here!”
Beldin blocked a swing of the dark knight’s scythe with his rapier and flung it aside knocking Pete the Meat off balance. Then, with Pete’s guard wide open, Alison stood and shoved her knife to the hilt into the scar on Pete’s throat and gave a forceful twist.
Clutching his throat in an all too familiar scene he tried to staunch the flow, but it was futile.
“I loved him.” Alison cried out painfully as she watched Pete the Meat gasp for his last breaths. Overwhelmed with emotions she fell to her knees as the fight continued around her. Resting a hand on her shoulder Kjarbo watched protectively in case someone were to break through the circle her friends formed around her.
“Not a good time for resting sweetheart.” Gurok muttered over his shoulder as he used his foot to thrust an evlaan’s limp body off of his long blade.
Kammy took the chance to jump wildly on the fallen evlaan. “I got this one! He’s dead!” she shouted triumphantly. “Oh, and I’ve drained all my magic to keep you strong. I have next to nothing left. You should hurry up and be done soon.”
“Taru down!” Martin called as he tossed Jumpingtaru into Kammy’s arms.
“Oh yuckie!” Dropping him promptly onto the hard floor she looked appalled as she tugged at her tunic to examine the blood that was sure to leave a stain. “I already said I can’t fix him now. Let me rest a few minutes.”
“I could use a little help with these two.” Foxx announced. Tastywaffles sent a pugil to bite down hard on a taru bandit and shook the poor red mage right off his feet.
The battle continued on in a whirl-wind around her but she didn’t really notice. Sitting in a stupor she felt nothing but her chest rising and falling with each breath. It’s hard to say how long it took before she heard Kallo’s voice.
“Anyone hurt?” Kallo asked, surveying the field.
“They are,” Martin snickered.
Tastywaffles’ pugil pet snaked through the area ensuring that no one from the heartless gang would rise to strike again that day.
“No time to talk you fools,” Foxx snapped looking down the tunnel, “Here comes the rest of them!”
The entire team turned and stood in awe at the fifty or more bandits that flooded the tunnel.
“Oh I think it’s time to go now!” Jenjen said as she shifted nervously.
“Agreed.” Kjarbo said as he grabbed his sister’s hand and pulled Alison to her feet.
The entire team turned and fled back. Garness lifted tiny Jumpingtaru onto his shoulder away from the onslaught. They raced up the tunnels but Beldin stopped by the Golden Door as the other ran past him.
“Beldin!” Garness shouted. “Bad time for sight seeing.”
“Alison, I’ll fend them off and give the rest of you time to escape.” Beldin turned to Jenjen with a smile and a wink, “Jenn, I love you.” Kissing her quickly he pushed her into Kjarbo’s arms.
“WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING BELDIN!” Foxx shouted as he paused to turn and yell.
Beldin drew his rapier and grinned widely as he crouched slightly to wait. Turning towards Garness he spoke, “I want you to get them out of here as fast as you can, and please, watch over Jenn for me.”
Garness opened his mouth to say something but changed his mind and clamped it shut with a nod. Turning he pushed at the rest of the team to keep running.
Looking back over her shoulder as Beldin shut the Golden Door, “Garness…” Alison muttered questioningly.
“Run now, talk later.” he barked as he leapt over a bounder rather nimbly for a galka.
The party of friends had not gotten much further before the entire tunnel shook as a massive explosion rocked the mountain and the team was thrown to the floor. Everyone stared back down the tunnel they had just run through…
“What in Exarcabard was that-taru?” Jumpingtaru demanded, rubbing his head where a rock had assaulted him.
“Beldin…” Garness panted, “The fool…. He….”
“He blew up the tunnel,” Martin finished for him. “He blew up the tunnel and
all those who were chasing us.”
“We’ve gotta help him,” Jenjen screeched, tears flowing down her face as
Kjarbo took her in his arms to hold her back from running to the unstable rubble.
“There’s no use.” Kjarbo said quietly. “Nothing could have survived that.”
A stunned silence hung over them all as they realized the sacrifice that had just been made.
Kallo cleared his throat, “We’re not outta the woods yet folks. There could be more of them. I think we are done here.”