Burns had retreated to higher ground, dragging a protesting Kam with them. Sir Frederic trailed along behind, his sword dragging uselessly in the dirt. His world, and his own perceptions of it, had been crudely shattered. Magic was merely a word, what he had witnessed today was more than that.“What is he doing?” asked Kam as he watched Cornelius and Ngulu settle quietly amidst the falling debris.
“How would we know?” Burns replied with his own question, “Is he even human anymore?”“He wasn’t exactly human before,” joked Kam, “just a little more recognisable as an associated species.”
“True,” agreed Burns, “anger and madness follow him around. This however…”“Not human?” interrupted Sir Frederic, his grip tightening on his sword with purpose.
“Slow down there,” said Burns, “it’s a figure of speech, or rather it was. I am not exactly sure what he is right now. Whatever it is appears to be on our side. Let’s just hope it stays that way.”“What the…?
Burns had been watching the drop pods and he gasped in horror as they split apart, revealing their horrid cargo.“Not again,” snarled Burns, raising his rifle.
“Come on Cornelius,” whispered Kam, “do something!”
*Butt laughed as he saw the creatures appear. He would wait a short while, in order to give them a fair chance. Their life energies would feed him and his steed, and it would be better to let them recover before slaughtering them all.
Ngulu recognised the Ambryn. They were a plague which multiplied unchecked wherever they were found. Previously, one of his masters had seeded a world with Ambryn, just to see what they would do. Once the animals had eaten all of the resident wildlife, including humans, they had turned on each other. It was then that Ngulu’s master had sent in his own troops. Blooding new warriors was an important part of training, and Ngulu had welcomed the opportunity. During the exercise though, he had learnt a healthy respect for the Ambryn. They died, as did all things, but leave just one or two, and you soon had a reinfestation. Like any plague, it must be eradicated totally.
As if in silent agreement, flames curled once more around his new Master’s figure, the overflow causing Ngulu to yelp in surprise. He flexed his claws and bunched his thigh muscles, as Cornelius incinerated the first of his foes.