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 Ch. 13: Left Behind

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Dye
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PostSubject: Ch. 13: Left Behind   Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:32 pm

They charged. ShadowStorm troops poured in through the dimly lit passageway, eager for blood. Priest waited until they were close enough to see the whites of their eyes, then lifted a sturdy, oaken staff above his head, the light shard at its tip charging, then…a bright flash. The ShadowStorm stumbled back, briefly blinded. In the few seconds he had, Asterisk smashed into their ranks, carrying off heads and limbs with his sturdy swipes, the grinning skull on his Lightbringer Mace was streaming blood from its gaping mouth. Skell took advantage of the situation to put in a few well aimed arrows, catching two soldiers by the throat. Then Blizzard followed up Asterisk’s charge, leading the recruits into the fray. Seth drew his shortsword, hoped for luck, then picked an enemy soldier and swung. The soldier blocked with his shield, then counter-attacked with his own swipe. Seth jumped over the outstretched arm, onto the shield, and brought down his sword with both hands on the soldier’s helmet. The sword chipped, but the helmet broke in half and the soldier peeled in two directions like a rotten banana, splitting to the waist. Other recruits, emboldened by the freshly spilled blood, slammed into the ShadowStorm Elites. The battle turned into a retreat for the enemy, as they pulled back along the passage way to escape slaughter. Blizzard and Asterisk kept up with them, weapons raised, slashing as they went. Then they rounded the corner into a large, underground atrium, and stopped dead.



The whole room was packed with roughly fifty soldiers, all in full regalia. Among the ShadowStorm ranks, Blizzard spotted the insignias of other clans that had been recently absorbed by Elitis and his clan. When Asterisk and Blizzard dashed into the room, the room turned to face them. There was a brief pause. Then they roared, the echoes of their battle cries bouncing off of the high ceiling and mingling together to create a harsh, unearthly sound. The two captains turned around to pull back…and bumped into their own troops, the new recruits still eager for bloodshed. Eager though they were, their lack of experience was fatal in comparison to the battle-hardened Elites. A wave of Reavers, Legionnaires, and other ShadowStorm warriors charged at the Requiem army. Blizzard saw two choices in his mind, fight or run. And running was not an option that appeased his pride.



Blizzard downed two Legionnaires with his katana, then spun into the charging Elites, swiping at exposed limbs and weak points in enemy armor. His bloodlust carried him into the crowd, leaving his flanks unprotected. Before he knew it, he was surrounded on all sides. A ShadowStorm Warlord, the commander of the forces of the base, stepped forward, wielding a massive hammer. The rest of the troops backed up, eager to enjoy the fight. Blizzard charged, trying to get within the minimum range of the hammer for a close-up strike. Not fast enough. The Warlord grinned and brought his hammer down. Blizzard barely managed to get out of the way, but his katana shattered into pieces. Blizzard groaned, looking at the stump he carried in his hand. That was the last time he was ever using a straight-edged katana. Tossing away the handle, he drew two throwing knives. Though he aimed well, the first one merely bounced off of the Warlord’s iron collar, while the second one was deflected by a swift-acting gauntlet. Blizzard knew his remaining knives stood no chance against the thick armor of the Warlord. No choice now. He turned and began to slash his way back through the crowd in the same direction he had come from, wielding two throwing knives and slashing anything that came close.



Meanwhile, Asterisk was taking a more defensive stance, barring the entrance to the passageway as he struck at anything within range. The recruits, however, were falling like flies, and Priest was scrambling to heal those he could. By his side, a friend of his, Roy, protected his flank with a roundshield and a small hatchet. Then, an enemy rogue dashed through Asterisk’s guard as he was fighting a Reaver, bringing up a sharp dagger as he did so, finding the soft spot in Asterisk’s Phoenix Armor just under the shoulder. The blade bit, and was free. With a loud thud that echoed through the atrium, Asterisk’s arm, still carrying the now lifeless Lightbringer Mace, fell to the ground.



Priest watched in horror as Asterisk stumbled, blood pouring from the stump where his right arm used to be. At that moment, Blizzard came dashing through the crowd, one throwing knife remaining. He saw the rogue, aiming for a second strike at Asterisk’s exposed neck, and tossed his nice. It arced perfectly and stuck in the rogue’s back, slicing through his spine. It froze, then keeled over, dead. Blizzard looked about him, his hands empty with no weapons left. Everywhere he saw, his troops were being pushed back. His pride didn’t like what he had to do.



“Retreat! We have to pull back!” Blizzard shouted. The few recruits that remained looked up, then made a break for the passageway. Priest, who was tending to Asterisk’s wound, barely managed to stop most of the bleeding. The rest would have to be left to fate.



“Roy, cover me!” He shouted to his wingman. Roy nodded, then raised his roundshield, blocking the passageway as the rest of Requiem pulled back. A Reaver, black eyes gleaming, merely swung his spiked mace once, sweeping Roy off of his feet and smashing his head against the ceiling. Priest heard the crunch, but did not turn around. He didn’t want to.



Thanks to their lighter armor, the group made it back to the entrance faster than the clanking troops of the ShadowStorm. But they could go no further. The great iron doors were still barred shut by an invisible force. Priest hammered on the door for a few seconds, then stopped. He turned to Asterisk, who shook his head slowly.



“Even when I had my other arm, I couldn’t have smashed this door open. And I can’t do it now. You’ll need something stronger than any human force to break that door open.” Priest slammed his fist against the door. Why did it have to end this way? Thundering footsteps could be heard in the distance, swiftly drawing closer. Priest closed his eyes, muttering a prayer. The doors didn’t budge. No prayer was strong enough to move them, but…



Priest felt the door tremble. His eyes flew open. “GET BACK!!!” The doors exploded open with a bang. Purple smoke filled the air. Squinting through the fresh sunlight, Priest saw a small silhouette standing in the doorway.



“You promised me you were going to get me ice cream!”



“Megan!?!?!?”



“You said you were going to get me an ice cream, and then you lied and went off to fight your stupid clan war! You’re mean!” Priest could hear the footsteps getting closer in the background.



“Now Megan, we have to get rid of those guys behind us first. If you can do that, I’ll get you an ice cream.”



“Yay!” Megan lifted a small wand with a purple on its tip. The clan quickly filed out of the White Light Society base, glad to be still alive. An explosion, the first few enemy soldiers flew backwards, limbs flying. Powerful, but not enough for much more than a cheap distraction to buy time. Priest didn’t stop running until he was safely back in the forest. Then, still gasping for breath, he turned back to face the enemy base. Slowly, troops were pouring out of it, arraying themselves in rank formation. So many good people had been left behind, and two brave soldiers were still in there somewhere, fighting their way through a secret backdoor, alive. Dye and Jacob…
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Ch. 13: Left Behind
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