viernes, 30 de marzo de 2012

SDIV Chapter 14 Part 1

Chapter Fourteen

Ruined City
Zone II

Cornelius was definitely in the shit, both figuratively and actually. The sewerage system had reached a dead end, further rubble had blocked the spillway and light filtered in from a large hole above. Blocks of stone provided what looked like an easy exit, but the three Ambryn which scraped their way into and out of the miasma of detritus made things just a little more difficult. There was no way round them and Cornelius steeled himself for what he must do.

As he moved closer, the creatures shifted, attracted by the sound; one slid into the murky liquid, its tail lashing it forward. It sailed right past Cornelius. It was then he realised that it could not see him. Whether it was poor eyesight or the heady scent masking his position, it worked. He gently released Clari, sending her arrowing for the exit. Passing the uppermost of the beasts, she let fly, charring its scaled head. A scream of pain, and his faithful friend’s bugling challenge, deviated all interest. Cornelius waited no longer.

Both knives free, he lunged. Steel slid easily into the nearest monster’s flesh, cutting deeply. Its reaction was instant, teeth flashing to where it thought the attack had come from. Using his blades as climbing tools, Cornelius stabbed his way upwards, blood quickly disappearing into the turgid depths. The Ambryn now reared, providing him with a stepping stone. Now he was actually on the rubble, scrabbling his way towards the next creature.

Clari wasted no time coming to his aid, her sleek shape arrowing down. Her own teeth, no match for the Ambryn’s still did their work. A snap and she was latched onto one eye. A wrench and she was again in flight, a tasty morsel in her maw. Before a lunging jaw could hook onto her, Cornelius had arrived, his rusty garrotte looping round a thick neck. He threw himself back, the razor-sharp wire slicing deeply.

With a twist, he was free, avoiding the falling body and was on his way. He burst from the hole, Clari in hot pursuit. No monsters awaited him and he quickly took advantage of the nearby cover, his breath sawing and gasping in his throat. The smell of rot and decay was strong here, and it took him a moment to realise that he was the source. Once sure there was nothing else coming out of the hole, he picked his way carefully forward, now and again trying to scrape himself clean against the buildings.


“We’re nearly there,” gasped Harms, as they closed on the portal, “the last of the Taurans appear to have disappeared through.”

“How do we know that they won’t be waiting for us?” asked Kam, panting as he tried to keep up with them.

“We don’t!” snapped Harms, “so we’ll go through slowly. I will lead the troopers through, Burns staying with you to cover this side. Once we give the all clear you can follow us.”

“But you don’t know the terrain,” said Kam, “not like I do. Wouldn’t it make more sense …”

“I’m in charge here,” snarled Harms, “and the decision is taken!”

Kam nodded once in acquiescence, Burns watching him closely. For a moment he was sure he saw anger flash across the Taartun’s eyes, quickly masked by his usual inane look, but there nonetheless.


Harms halted their party, his hand signals sending the four troopers forward. “Wait here,” he muttered and followed them through, moving quickly into the dense vegetation.

“Now what?” queried Kam petulantly.

“We wait,” said Burns flatly, already having taken up his guard position, scanning the surrounding area through his rifle’s sights.

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