Wall Of The Gods
Posted 13 August 2010 - 03:37 PM
Egann had briefly imagined soaring with the birds with these things. Perhaps Ransom had as well -a rumor that had floated around the 109th was that Ransom once had wings himself- but the reality of exactly how much of a one-way ride these things were sank in the instant Ransom left the deck. Soarers -or even gliders- these things were not. They were more like...floaters. With his level hands and ginger controls, Ransom clearly knew how to control the air, and it looked like he would be doing well to just hit the water pretty close to the frigate's bow.
How in Diel and Lazu's name are we going to get up onto the deck?
Feet thumped on the deck towards the stern, and Angus -somewhat clumsily- emulated Ransom as he leaped from the railing. Never mind picking up height by turning into the wind, Angus looked like he had his hands full keeping enough wind under his wings to stay airborn, clumsily spilling wind from his wings as he floated after Ransom.
"You were talking about trust, I believe," Egann said to Alabast as he opened his wings. "We are about to do something reckless, foolhardy, perhaps. Perhaps I earned your trust with my resourcefulness, but you earned mine when you didn't balk at this task. You are confident in your abilities, and confidence without competence is a surest way to die." Egann took a few steps away from the larboard railing.
"You'll do fine." He ran forward, placed one foot on the rail, and pushed with all his might, then settled in with the controls as he floated toward the transport to Lily Anne's larboard, gingerly fingering the controls.
Posted 13 August 2010 - 05:43 PM
At this a smile cracked Alabast's face. The thrill of the upcoming fight burning inside of him.
It's always like this before a fight for me..like a fire is lit within myself and my sword..
As if in response to his excitement the sheath for his katana seemed to glow, like there actually was a fire burning within, getting bigger, trying to escape. Alabast was never sure why it seemed the katana responded to his emotions, but he never thought about it much either.
Not even two steps behind Egann, run, jump, and...glide.
Not quite what I was expecting.
Alabast started to let Egann get a bit ahead of him to start the diversion.
I need to do this quickly. In and then out.
Posted 14 August 2010 - 04:56 PM
Wardrobe malfunction solved, he was ready. At least he hoped so, because the only flight experience he had was... falling from great and generally undesirable heights. He knew how to survive these falls, but this situation called for actually going horizontal through the air, not vertical.
Oh well, he'd never know whether or not it'll work if he doesn't try. Besides the others look like they're doing reasonably okay.
"Alright Elendir, let's not keep these Alliance rejects waiting!" With this, Shadow opened up the wings on the flying machine and sprinted for the deck. Getting enough speed to take off wasn't an issue for him, nor was jumping at the right time. He leapt from the deck and kicked off of the guardrail for a little bit of extra lift... and was slightly surprised when he didn't just plummet into the sea. Before he knew it, he was flying.
Posted 15 August 2010 - 07:10 AM
That last bit to Alabast was to yourself as much as it was to you, wasn't it? You know, Ransom put Alabast in command and you kinda sorta stole equal prerogative. And now you feel uncomfortable about it. Touch late to feel guilty, don't you think?
Egann could think of a half-dozen good reasons for his actions, but the real reason was Alabast's presence. He easily knew that katana of his better than Egann knew his own longsword, perhaps even better than Egann ever would. And yet, the instant the Alliance fleet showed, his confidence...well, it hadn't exactly plummeted. It was more like it had drooped. Egann's gut told him that Alabast was superbly trained, but he didn't have a stroke of actual combat experience in him.
Rookie's reluctance. Decades of training can prepare the body and mind, but you can't see how much hesitation is really in the crannies of your soul until the death is real.
For as long as Egann could remember, he had always been the kind of person who would play cards by counting the odds. Acting and appraising on an intuition -no, less than an intuition, a jive- like this...no, something was different. Something had changed.
Egann suddenly remembered something he had wanted to tell Alabast; an easy-way. A glance over his shoulder confirmed Alabast had drifted back, beyond earshot. Egann took his hand off the controls to point toward the stern of the ship, and the glass windows of the captain's quarters. No sooner was his hand extended to point than he regretted it. The wing he let go of popped up, the other dropped. Egann fell into a frightful sideslip, costing him five of his precious feet off the water and sending him on an irreversible course to the transport's bow before he recovered.
There wasn't going to be a second message. All Egann could do was hope and pray Alabast figured out what he meant or -if he didn't- that he would ignore it.
Egann pumped his wings furiously, but the best he could manage was to not loose any more height, and he was closing in on the ship. Fast. He pulled a turn towards the bow of the ship to avoid colliding with the side, planning to ditch after he passed, then come up with something to get to the deck.
As fate would have it, he wouldn't need to. The ship made wake in the air as well as the sea; wind forced from the ship's bow blew down and reflected off the water, creating a potent updraft just in front of the ship. Just as Egann's toes touched the water to ditch, he was lifted high in the air, flipped over as a wing snagged the ship's railing, and unceremoniously dumped on the deck with the sort of scrunching sound that can never mean anything good.
There Egann was, sprawled on the deck atop a tangled mass of broken wood and torn canvas, the ship's figurehead of a naked undine not two feet one way, dozens of Alliance soldiers, armed to the teeth -and laughing themselves hoarse- the other.
Posted 17 August 2010 - 01:07 AM
Feel free to touch them up or give them a complete revamp as you please!
Operating the flying machine was much simpler than Ransom had expected. He was nervous at first. It had been a relatively long time since he had flown properly. What if the two and a half years of earthbound living had crippled him? What if he no longer possessed the feeling for the breeze and the air currents that he had once had naturally? He gripped the handles tighter. This was going to be interesting.
However, as soon as his feet left the edge of the stern Ransom’s brain seemed to click back into place, returning him to a time when things we’re different. A time when soaring through the skies was as natural as breathing, when the wind was an ally and the clouds we’re brothers. A time when he had wings.
The first thing he did was dive as low as he could in order to gain more altitude in his initial jump. He could feel the coolness of the ocean on his face as he glided low above the waves before quickly ascending to a greater height. The controls on the glider we’re sensitive and unstable, making a completely efficient flight almost impossible. However, it was a clear day with wind he could hardly call gale force, and now that he had reached an altitude above the mainmast of the Lily Anne itself, reaching the frigate would be easy. Banking right towards the frigate, Ransom flattened out for a swift descending glide straight towards the enemy craft, hoping to catch them completely off-guard.
He suddenly remembered Angus, and scanned the airspace behind him, finally spotting an awkward figure struggling to maintain any semblance of altitude. Flapping desperately, Angus nevertheless soldiered on towards the frigate, all the while dropping closer and closer to the surface of the water. Ransom guessed he would reach the water right in front of the bow at best, that was, as long as the frigate kept on its current course. This changed things. Ransom was going to have to land near the front of the ship if he wanted to regroup with Angus, giving him little options for the dynamyte.
An arrow whizzed past his left wing like a giant, killer insect. They had spotted him already! He began evasive manoeuvres, banking around to put the frigate’s sails in front of the archers’ view and hopefully draw them away from Angus. Small figures scrambled across the deck to once again find a clear shot. It was working.
Suddenly his smooth glide was interrupted with a thud to his right, putting him into a spin. He looked over to his right wing. An arrow protruded from the thin film like it was flesh, and what was that… fire? The bastards we’re using flaming arrows!
It didn’t take ten seconds for the wooden frame of his entire right wing to be engulfed in fire, sending him and his remaining appendage into a missile-like spin, directly into the topsail of the frigate. Instinctively curling his body up before the impact, Ransom let the bulk of glider take most of the hit, the wooden device shattering into a plethora of burning fragments over the frigate’s deck. As he plummeted, Ransom gripped at the fabric of the sail, trying to halt his descent. The second highest yard crossing the mainmast was directly below him and as his fingers slipped away from the topsail, he fell onto it, his ribcage slamming into the solid wooden length like a juggernaut. The pain was incredible, and felt like he was being spear tackled by an ogre in reverse. He groaned loudly.
Although completely winded with a high probability of a few broken ribs, Ransom had stopped falling, his lithe figure suspended on the mainmast like a seasoned sailor.
Ransom straightened up and dragged himself along the yard to the mainmast, where he was able to get a firm hold. He could hear the soldiers and crew below him milling about the deck, trying to find a spot to shoot at him. A group of the naval crew had already started climbing the rigging to reach him, fierce looking weapons gripped in their teeth.
He was relieved to find he still had his knives and the dynamyte strapped to his side, complete with flint. If he could reach the bottom of the mast as Angus created a diversion it would be the perfect opportunity to set the charge. He just hoped Angus was going to make it.
One of the faster climbers in the crew had almost reached him, he was missing an eye. Ransom smiled and flicked out one of his knives.
Time to lose the other one.
Edited by RNSM, 17 August 2010 - 01:15 AM.
Posted 03 September 2010 - 07:20 AM
His takeoff speed -- thank God he could move so fast -- helped him to some extent, but at this rate he would smack into the side of the target ship instead of landing on its deck. Then the gears began to turn in his head, working through how he could fix this issue. He remembered that superheated air rises, much like how hot air balloons fly. Taking his hands off of the control levers for the briefest of moments, he throws out to red sigils and, grabbing the handles again just a split second later, they explode. The upward force generated is enough to give him some more height, enough to put him back on the right track.
At least he thinks so until out of the corner of his eye, he sees that a fire is quickly spreading on his left wing. The General at first thinks he got a little trigger happy, but then he sees the shaft of an arrow. A flaming arrow, and as he turns his attention back to the ship, he sees several more flying at him. Not having much control in the sky, he can only turn his body around every which way so he himself doesn't get an arrow to the gut. Not only does this not save his flying machine the volley of arrows, but he's gone into a dizzy-dive from losing control. He can hear the laughter of the soldiers at his plight, but they quickly turns to screams of terror as they realize he is about to crash right into them.
At the last second, Shadow unhooks himself from the machine, and it tumbles out from over him and into the fleeing Alliance troops. Showing some acrobatic prowess, he spins of his own volition, righting himself in the air before his feet come into contact with the deck, and he slides to a stop in front of some spooked, but nonetheless angry soldiers. He brushes some wooden shrapnel off of his black tunic and leisurely draws his sword, not getting into a real battle stance. These idiots probably wouldn't be worth any real effort.
"So who wants to go first?" he challenged.
Edited by SL the Pyro, 03 September 2010 - 07:22 AM.
Posted 04 September 2010 - 09:33 PM
Egann blushed. Here he was on a life or death mission, and there were his opponents. Laughing at his most magnificent and graceful landing.
Count your blessings. At least you've got their attention. Now you've just got to keep it.
A soldier, still teary-eyed from the laugh, grabbed at Egann. Egann rolled back and lept onto the railing above the figurehead to evade being grabbed. The soldiers in the back buckled over laughing even harder; the small fragments of wing still attached to the backpack drooped down with splinters of wood sticking out. He looked like a moth that had gotten too close to a torch, and was just slightly the worse the wear for it.
A glance over the deck spared while Egann ditched the useless contraption over the side confirmed Egann's worst fears. Aside the naval crew of about twenty, about fifty soldiers had paired up for sparring, and were now in full gear on the deck. And it seemed that everybody who wasn't on the already crowded deck was trying to come up.
And then a wonderful idea struck Egann in the balls. A sword pommel to be exact. "Alright, crazy, you've had your fun. Drop the sword and hop off the railing and we'll only haul your ass to the hog pen."
Crazy. You know. That sounds...interesting.
Meanwhile, while no one noticed....
Alabast crashed through the glass into the Captain's quarters, dragging himself all across a table beset with all sorts of naval charts and metal doodahs Alabast didn't have a clue about before he came to a heart-stopping halt on something hard sticking out of the wall. He hadn't made anything out of Egann's frantic gesture besides "Look that way!" before he dove off in the other direction. Well, Egann approaching one way, himself the other made sense, so he had played along. When it became obvious he couldn't climb too easily, he had sort of been forced to go for the glass.
He rubbed his smarting solar plexus, shook some glass shards out of his hair, and shrugged off the wings. Heck, they didn't look like they had taken much damage from the hit; his head had taken the brunt of the force to break the glass. He might even be able to fly out again.
Alabast locked all the door, then made a move to draw his sword. He could feel the katana itching with fire. Cut the floor with fire was what he was thinking. Then Cut the floor below that, drop the bomb, and get out. Then he saw something from the corner of his eye; a naval officer's uniform hanging on the wall.
Posted 07 September 2010 - 11:11 AM
Elendir peeled the rest of the flying contraption off of his back and, rubbing his hands together, wondered where to place this bomb he was given. Going down seemed like a good idea, after all the bottom holds everything else up. Drawing his longsword, he started down the stairs, wary of what lay around each corner.
Posted 21 September 2010 - 01:08 PM
Shadow pondered this to himself as the first brave bunch of New Alliance soldiers charged forwards with their spears. His mind refocused on the situation at hand; there would be time to worry about transportation methods later. Already he saw a glaring problem with their attack. His response was a perfectly-timed jump, as their weapons clashed together under him. He took advantage of their disorientation and stomped their spears into the wooden deck, not a second before delivering a quick kick to each of their armored faces. He could've kicked harder, but his job was to preoccupy, not to outright kill. Regardless, it had been enough to make the three soldiers stagger backwards and fall over. The grounded spears now serving as an obstacle, two soldiers rushed around them and attempted a pincer attack. Shadow calmly stepped back and intercepted both with his sword, before unleashing a forceful swing to launch their weapons out of their hands. One clattered onto the deck, which the left soldiers frantically went to retrieve, while the other flew clear off the ship. The owner of that spear ran for his life. Seeing that groups of two or three failed, an assault force of ten tried to rush him.
Shadow yawned. "Really...?" He then jumped higher than he had demonstrated before, much higher than the soldiers were tall, and they were unable to stop their momentum. A bad thing since Shadow was nearly at the edge of the ship. Try as they might, they couldn't stop themselves from stumbling over each other and falling overboard. He looked back with a grin. "Same old Alliance. Full of nothing but moronic grunts." Shadow taunted, before looking out at the now-hesitant crowd. "Well, anyone else willing to try their luck?"
Then the murmurs of disbelief started. "What the hell!? How can someone jump so high!?"
"Or kick so fast!? I swear, I didn't even see his feet when he hit the first three!"
"Bloody hell, did he seriously just take out fifteen of us in under a minute!?"
"...You mean you were counting?"
That was the only thing that Shadow missed about the Alliance; it's ineptitude kept him amused.
It looked like some of them were about to charge again, when suddenly someone shouted, "Hold!" And in that instant, the talking stopped, and they all froze with their spears pointed at them. One of the soldiers walked through the crowd... no, not a soldier. This one had a cape attached to either side of his shoulder armor plates, and the emblem of a... lieutenant, if he remembered correctly. "Before I lose any more men due to hastiness, tell me who you are."
Hm... this one seemed more calm than the others, that was for sure. Well, since he was here to waste time, there was no reason not to answer him. Relaxing a bit, he hefted his sword over his shoulder and replied, "General Shadow of Koridai."
Now the stammers of disbelief rang even louder. Shadow had once been a part of the Alliance, and had earned quite a reputation as a special ops for Uradiel. "I thought so... the hair colour and that ridiculous outfit were a dead giveaway." The lieutenant said. Shadow resisted the urge to blow his head off for insulting his fashion style. "You were a soldier of the Alliance. Why are you attacking us now?"
Shadow scoffed. "The keyword is 'were,' dear lieutenant. I'm not Alliance anymore." he reminded him. "I wasn't meant to intercept you, if that's what you're thinking... our voyage master simply saw fit to get rid of you before you made landfall, that's all."
"And you think you can take down an entire troop transport by yourself?" the lieutenant asked incredulously.
"I've taken down whole pirate ships before. I think I can manage it." It wasn't a lie. He probably could beat up the entire crew and regiment if he wanted to, especially if this was the only resistance they offered. It's just that he had a partner for this mission, and his role was to distract.
They didn't need to know that, though.
"You're mistaken, foul traitor. The Alliance has changed." He drew his sword. "We should have no problem dealing with the washed up."
Shadow grinned maliciously. "Put your money where your mouth is." he challenged.
The lieutenant charged.
Edited by SL the Pyro, 23 September 2010 - 10:03 PM.
Posted 22 September 2010 - 01:37 PM
His age was especially apparent to him when he finally hit the water after a long and excruciating plummet from the sky.
Weighed down by the mangled flying machine attached to his back, he writhed in the water, trying to free himself of the tight straps. His muscles were weak from the previous exertion and his bones hurt from the impact of the fall. The fear of drowning started to creep in and he grew more and more desperate. To his great relief however, the leather bonds finally snapped and Angus shot to the surface.
When his head broke water, he looked up to see the giant form of the frigate bearing down on him like a juggernaut. He dived again, the front of the bow missing his body by a hairsbreadth. Under the water, the undertow left by the vessel rolled his helpless figure along the edge of the bow, mercilessly carrying him along like driftwood. His hands grasped out in front of him trying to find the surface of the craft so he could push away from the current that was drowning him.
Instead his hands found a rope, and he grabbed on for dear life.
Ten minutes later, a soaked Angus tumbled over the railing onto the starboard bow, looking exhausted. To his great fortune no one seemed to take any notice of him as all attention was diverted to the top of the mainmast where some unknown commotion was occurring.
The Commander. He seemed to have the flying thing down pat, so it came as no surprise to Angus that he had reached such a lofty position. The main sail had also caught fire, and was steadily spreading. Another work of Ransom’s?
He checked his equipment and was disappointed to find the dynamyte gone. His sword he knew, though still in his possession, would be rusted to pieces in a few days, and it made him peeved. It was a nice blade, gifted to him by Volkrim Desir himself in honour of some kind of experience award. A great loss indeed.
Oh well, might as well use it to death while he had the chance. He unsheathed it with a ringing sound and mentally prepared himself for the impossible odds that lay before him.
Finally, he stepped forward confidently only to be struck hard in the head with a moist projectile. He rubbed the spot and looked down wondering what in the world…
It was an eyeball.
By the time Ransom had killed about ten of them, the whole mainsail was alight and spreading onto the other sails and the mainmast. The heat was intense and he knew he would have to move downwards, and soon. Despite the inferno, Alliance sailors we’re still assaulting him from all sides, and a pile of bodies was forming underneath the mast. As he worked his way downwards, Ransom continued to slaughter his assailants, his knives working their lightning fast magic as he came closer to the deck. When he finally reached the bottom of the mast he was greeted by a large cluster of angry Alliance infantry, their swords gleaming in the hot light. He was out of the fire and straight into the frying pan.
He heard some commotion and a Man’s dying scream from behind the soldiers. Angus! That trusty old sea dog had made it, and not a moment too soon. This would be the diversion he needed.
In one motion Ransom whirled out the flint and Dynamyte struck a spark on the fuse, immediately lighting it. He jammed the stick in between two boards at his feet and quickly kicked a dead body over top of it. They we’re in business.
He looked up just in time to meet an alliance charge, flicking the spear away with a deft hand and driving a full bodied kick into the assailants torso. He drew his knives to parry more oncoming attacks, his body beginning to get into the rhythm of the battle. He weaved and thrusted and stabbed and ducked, disposing of alliance soldier after alliance soldier like insects. And yet like insects, they never stopped coming, crowding him from all sides and using the small space and their numbers to their immense advantage. Because of the intense pressure, Ransom was forced to use the mast and the pile of bodies as a buffer for his unguarded back, hoping to be able to push them back from a reference point, and give himself more space.
Angus on the other hand was freely slaughtering the soldiers from their rear with an unburdened passion he had never known. Surprise was the only thing painted on the faces of his victims, and as more and more of the unit became aware of his presence, so did more of them become aware of the deadliness of his blade.
Swifter than he had ever imagined, Ransom and his compatriot we’re carving a substantial path through the mass of alliance soldiers like they were butter, and doing it without so much as a scratch.
Luckily the Alliance force seemed to have forgotten about the live stick of explosives under their feet that could go off any minute, and we’re just crowding in on the two warriors counter-productively, pushing their comrades at the front straight into the Koridaien blades.
The frigate had almost reached the transports, and the Dynamyte was about to go off. It wouldn’t be long now.
Time to jump ship.
Edited by Ransom, 22 September 2010 - 01:38 PM.
Posted 23 September 2010 - 03:28 PM
Climbing all over the rigging and cutting down whatever you can? Why can't you just say "I pulled something resembling a plan B out of my ass?"
An arrow whisked past Egann's ear on it's way to the deep water far in front of the ship. Archers were on the stern. Those practicing soldiers climbed the rat-lines after him. A superb swordsman might have been able to stand his ground and fight, but, as much as Egann hated to admit it, he was mediocre at best with a sword. At least Egann -in his very light hemp rope armor- could climb faster than the soldiers, and the archers weren't terribly great shots from the far end of the ship.
Egann hastily clambered to the top of the ship's forward mast. It was the end of the rat-lines, and here he was stuck, pinned to the front of the mast for cover from the archers. He had to come up with something.
You idiot. You've got what you need all over you!
Egann sliced down the rat-lines, making a few of the soldiers fall to the mast. That would buy him a few seconds, at least. He set to pulling the hemp rope off his forearm.
The naval uniform was tight across his shoulders and had a great bulge in the gut. Alabast would have laughed at the shape of any man who could come close to fitting such an oddly shaped uniform. But it would have to work. He pulled the hat down to cover his face and practiced a rough non-descript grumble that grated at his voice.
He pulled the door open and ducked below the deck. Good thing he had the uniform on; it was dark, and nobody could see quite right, but Lazu's lightning the stairs were crowded with soldiers wanting to get on deck. Everybody knew something was happening.
Posted 23 September 2010 - 03:52 PM
"Go home. You are not suited for the terror of war." Elendir throw him to the ground, and the young man swiftly got up and scurried up another staircase. "And don't tell a soul I'm here! I'm will find you!" Elendir shouted after the boy.
"Now", he thought to himself,"this must surely be the bottom, or at least close enough to sink this tub. I guess anywhere will do." Captain Elendir lit the explosives, ran back up on the deck, and looked for General Shadow. Sure enough, in the middle of a knot of Alliance soldier stood the General. He seemed to be handling himself well enough, but he could not just leave a superior officer alone like that. Instead, he charged the flank of the Alliance troops, shouting "It is done, sir!" as he cut down two unsuspecting soldiers. "Anytime you want to leave!"
Posted 23 September 2010 - 10:01 PM
A smirk played on his face as the soldiers rushed away from the "new" arrival. "You work fast... that's good. Let's not waste any time, then." he replied to the Captain. "If you'll excuse us, gentlemen..."
With no reason to toy with these grunts any longer, Shadow cut loose. Pointing his finger at each soldier -- but being sure not to point at Elendir -- at lightning speed, a shiny, red magic sigil appeared in the air at the tip of his finger in each spot. A snap of that finger later, each sigil erupted into a fireball, which promptly blasted into the crowd of soldiers and blew them back with frightened screams. Just as intended, Elendir was unharmed, and the deck was relatively clear for an escape.
...Which left the question of how. Fly, or dash into the sea? Shadow hoped Elendir was still capable of the former, because he didn't feel like getting wet...
Edited by SL the Pyro, 23 September 2010 - 10:02 PM.
Posted 24 September 2010 - 12:45 PM
The old salt nodded from across the deck, finishing off the soldier in front of him with a ruthless thrust. Their gliders gone, they would just have to dive, hoping that the four on the transports had been as successful as they were. Ransom motioned to the starboard side for Angus, changed course, and began clearing a path towards the rail. Just as he broke free from the milling crowd and was about to dive, laughter erupted from behind him.
Knives out, Ransom flipped around, his back jammed against the railing painfully. The soldiers we’re all looking at something at the mast with amusement. What in Chik’s name were they smiling about? A particularly large tank of a man emerged from the crowd, grinning at Ransom with the intelligence of a cow.
“Looking for this?”
To Ransom’s horror, the brute held up the stick of dynamyte by its now lifeless fuse, smiling form ear to ear. Wiggling it tauntingly, the thug juggled it between his hands right before tossing it mercilessly into the sea.
He looked immensely pleased with himself.
Cursing to himself, Ransom jumped then stabbed before the man could blink, the giant’s stupid smile fading as he became aware of the knife growing out of his throat. Ransom withdrew with a swift motion, letting the huge corpse thud loudly on the deck. This drew a pause from the soldiers, all of them looking around at each other awkwardly.
The Dynamyte was gone.
In the silence, the noise of the flaming sails suddenly roared to dominance, presenting a spark of hope to Ransom. The ship was going down anyway; all they had to do was keep the chaos alive!
In an instant the soldiers snapped out of their stupor and rushed Ransom savagely, plunging the battle once again into full force. This time, however, Ransom had a different strategy, and dashed through the ranks of soldiers and sailors alike, spreading as much death and chaos as he could manage, giving him the desired effect. But where was Angus?
The frigate, now fully ablaze, was still on course from its pursuit of the Lilly Anne and was rapidly approaching the transports. The heat on deck was beginning to grow unbearable now, and black smoke filled the deck like a death cloud. Regardless, alliance soldiers still poured out of the hold like ants, with no end to their numbers in sight. They needed to get out of there soon.
As he fought, Ransom scanned the haze for Angus, finally spotting his brave figure on the upper deck.
Courageously, the old sea dog had managed to fight his way up to the helm and hold position there, obviously with his own plan in mind. Ransom began to move toward him slowly, this time struggling to carve a path through the mass of personnel. A spear tip grazed his torso as he executed a delayed dodge, blood spraying out like a sideways geyser. Ransom winced. It wouldn’t be long before the numbers and the lack of space overwhelmed him.
Unfortunately, Angus was in a terrible spot to escape. What was he doing up there anyway?
Suddenly, Angus’s plan dawned on Ransom.
Angus was steering the speeding vessel on a collision course with the rightmost transport; a stroke of genius that would not only insure the demise of the frigate, but one of the transports as well! Pure brilliance.
Ransom smiled and fought on with renewed vigour and madness, this time towards the edge of the ship.
From a great distance it would have been a peculiar scene. A small strange looking steamboat; racing between two larger, stationary transports; followed by a giant, three masted frigate from hell that was completely ablaze and flying at ramming speed straight towards the wrong boat.
If you had been a soldier on that wrong boat, you probably would have been dealing with your own problems in the form of two unlikely boarders. Amidst the strenuous combat, you would perhaps snatch a glance behind you. Not believing your eyes, you would have a second look. Yes, a blazing, gargantuan oven was seconds away from colliding with your vessel. Yes it was your impending doom. Yes you were all going to die.
Then you would probably think to yourself, “Oh shi-”
Angus yahooed wildly from the upper deck as they cut through the water towards the target vessel. Ransom reached the edge of the ship and cried out to the old sailor.
“Angus! Go now!”
Again the sailor just screamed like a madman, his face alight with intent, and a huge smile dominating his wide-eyed expression.
“I’m comin’ for ya me hearties! I’m coming for yaaaaaaaaa!”
He gave up. It would only be a few seconds now.
Edited by Ransom, 24 September 2010 - 12:48 PM.
Posted 25 September 2010 - 04:18 PM
Angus. He'll take out the ships, for sure, but Alabast and I are going to go down, too!
Egann's distraction was costly, however. Rather than hitting the air-filled center of the main sail, he clipped the corner and was flung into a spin like a rag doll grabbed by one arm. He crashed through a lattice on the deck, flattening a card table on the first floor.
"What the hell are you doing here?" An alliance officer in a poorly fitting uniform asked. "I thought you were supposed to make a distraction." He took off his hat. Alabast.
"No time." Egann ignored the flurry of little lights he was seeing as he struggled to get up. "We've got ten seconds before Angus rams us with the frigate! We have to get out of here NOW!"
"What?!?!" Alabast gaped. "We have to get back onto the deck!"
The alliance soldiers on the deck had gotten the wiser as to where Egann had dissapeared, and were now collecting above the now broken grate.
"No! Not the deck!" Egann grabbed Alabast by the collar of his uniform and dragged him towards the stairs which went even deeper into the ship. "Everybody's already up there and alert to us. You've still got the dynamyte? Good. Light it and give it to me."
Alabast flicked a fireball from his katana to the fuse and handed it to Egann, who promptly chucked it down the hold. The frigate's bow rammed into the ship, driving through the side of the ship like a hammer driving a nail. The instant later, the dynamyte blew just next to where the frigate had rammed them, blasting a great hole in both ships in the same instant.
"Off with the uniform, we're gotta swim out!" Egann bellowed to Alabast over the cacophony of water rushing into the ship as he hurredly ripped off his improvised hemp armor.
Edited by Egann, 25 September 2010 - 04:18 PM.
Posted 26 September 2010 - 03:08 AM
Posted 26 September 2010 - 06:12 PM
Posted 28 September 2010 - 12:40 PM
Shadow's escape plan seemed simple enough; Elendir would take to the skies with his flying machine again, and he would hitch a ride. In this case, it was by grabbing onto Elven's leg as he flew off. It seemed to be going well, as they were now a fair distance away from the Alliance ship...
...Just in time to see the aftereffects of the dynamyte going off in the ship's hull. Splinters of wood flew out from the new holes formed in either side of the lower decks, and he swore the ship had caved inward from the middle. It went without saying the only direction that ship would be going is straight down. "Damn. Ransom wasn't kidding when he said those packed a punch..." A cursory glance to the other ships showed that they had... rammed into each other, and were now sinking themselves. Apparently the others had improvised a bit, but they still got the job done neatly it seemed. Not bad at all. The general was looking forward to working with these people...
The sound of breaking water caught his attention then... he noticed that he and Elendir were not as high in the air as they were before. The captain was trying frantically to work the machine to go upwards, but his best efforts were for naught. And then the glaring flaw was evident in the escape plan: the two of them were simply too heavy for a single machine.
"Crap, this is not working, this is not working, this is not working!" Shadow stammered, his legs flailing comically to avoid touching the water, but gravity worked against him. The strange thing is that when the general finally fell into the water, it was accompanied by a sizable cloud of steam. The cold of the ocean didn't hit him right away, either... but while he was wondering what was happening, he was submerged. He quickly corrected this and surfaced, taking in some fresh sea air. "Augh, that's not pleasant... not painful, but not pleasant..." he groaned. He looked around for his partner, in time to see him unhooking himself from the flying machine... which seemed to float. Well, that's convenient. He quickly followed Elendir's example and used it as a flotation device. "Heh... sorry about that. I thought it could support both our weight." he apologized sheepishly.
Edited by SL the Pyro, 28 September 2010 - 12:41 PM.
Posted 28 September 2010 - 01:25 PM
Posted 03 November 2010 - 08:13 AM
Seriously, is this thread even still alive? Or should I attempt to make a new one with the events of this one slapped together?
Posted 03 November 2010 - 12:39 PM
With an aqueous crack, Ransom’s head broke the surface of the water, the wind immediately hitting his face like a cold slap. He spluttered out salt water and with a gasp sucked in as much oxygen as his lungs could hold. Gathering his senses, he looked back just in time to look back at the frigate as it collided with the transport, the full force of its superior bulk dominating the smaller craft like an oak falling on a twig. Ransom gazed in awe as the seconds seemed to play out in slow motion.
A hundred men screamed in terror as the transport was - almost - split down the middle, the masts snapping back on themselves and the speed of the collision causing the whole ship to collapse inwards around the frigate. The noise of the great wooden destruction was tremendous, and mixed with the sounds of the sea and the screams of dying men, it was enough to deafen a troll.
With a resounding boom, the dynamyte suddenly went off, and once again icy water consumed the world.
When he emerged the second time Ransom found himself a good three ship-lengths from the site of the collision. The two explosions had happened simultaneously, both transports incinerating into a barrage of splinters and chunks of ship which jetted into the sky in all directions. Wood and ash rained down like a flaming monsoon, the areas surrounding the sinking masses cluttered with the smoky remains of the vessels and their inhabitants.
Ransom looked beyond the wreckage to the Lily Anne. Remarkably, she had come out of the conflict unscathed, and seeing the battle over, was beginning to turn back for her crew.
Ransom grabbed a piece of drift wood to help him float, keeping an eye out for his teammates. Was it possible they escaped the blast?
As the smoke began to clear up, two small figures appeared in the water near the other transport, floating on top of a broken glider. Shadow and Elendir! He noticed the sinking remains of the other transport. They had succeeded!
Soon enough, Alabast and Egann also appeared, swimming towards the Lily Anne. Ransom was stunned. It had basically been a suicide mission, and all of them had survived! Well, almost all. But Angus had chosen his fate. The others… well the others he had grossly underestimated.
He smiled. Looks like Steel really knew what he was doing when he gave him this team.
They reached the coast of Komitaa in under two weeks, the Lily Anne once again showing its stars with its consistent speed. It was an uneventful journey, no stops or interruptions, and zero contact, friendly or hostile, despite the crew’s fears. They sailed through Vildmarkian waters first, an allied nation to the Empire. However when they entered Virratian waters, there was always the fear of border patrols or an unexpected contact. Fortunately, the eastern nation had an unimpressive and irrelevant navy, allowing the Koridaien convoy to pass through completely unscathed, even of pirate contact.
When the Lily Anne finally docked, they found themselves in a small coastal township on the southern coast-line of the territory right above Virrat. It was to avoid attention, the briefing had said, at all costs, especially from the allies of the enemy. If Calatia found out the apparent significance of this…mission, all could be lost. Well that’s how Steel made it sound. It was of grand importance that the mission succeeded, the briefing had said. The information gathered here could mean life or death to the Empire. Or perhaps something even more.
Sending a large military force into a small, rural village for an intel mission was ludicrous. So naturally, most of the crew stayed with the ship, and would be spending their time re-stocking the supplies and getting any repairs done for the journey home. The Lily Anne’s engine would need more coal too, and lots of it. Even if their entourage had been a little over the top, at least they would be busy.
The tribal group’s territory they were looking was not far north of the coastline from the town. A townsman said their land stretched right across the base of the mountains and into them, for they were mountain people. Ransom had gazed up at the looming mountains then, finding his mouth agape in awe. Ikiiark ly Mahahrem they were called in the native tongue, The Wall of the Gods. Even from here the jagged peaks of the fiercest mountains Ransom had ever seen were clearly visible. There was no snow on those heights, only black, heartless rock stretching across the horizon like the teeth of a planet-sized wolf, baring its fangs in rage. And that was their destination.
After almost a whole day of asking around town, Ransom was finally able to find them a guide willing to take them to the village. The Kankri, or so the tribal group was called, was a fierce people according to the townsfolk, and most of them were reluctant to get anywhere near the base of the mountains or even more than a league from the coast.
“Bad sort those that live inland.” Most would say, or “Stick to the coast, and you’ll find no trouble, and no trouble will find you.” Ask much more than that and usually they would suddenly have somewhere else to be. It was getting towards evening when Ransom finally found their guide.
She was a peculiar sort: skinny and reserved, but hardened. She had the dark skin of a native, indicating the indigenous background that usually made up the lower class of the people of Komitaa. She claimed she had grown up traversing the mountains with her father, who had been an explorer and guide in The Wall of The Gods in friendlier times, when the Kankri we’re not so hostile.
“I am the only guide left now. The rest we’re either forced to retire or killed.” She had a sad look in her eyes.
“What changed?” Ransom was intrigued.
“Around 2 or 3 years ago, the Kankri began to get very agitated. They were an exclusive tribe as it was, barely letting anyone but the guides into their territory without threats or violence. But it became ludicrous, as if some madness had taken them. They began taking human sacrifices, capturing the guides and offering their blood up to their strange gods. Anyone that came near the mountains after that were slain on sight, or captured for sacrificing. There is a rumour that they use the meat to feed some terror dwelling in the mountains but no one knows for sure.”
Ransom was suspicious of her willingness. After all, no one else wanted anything to do with the mountains, much less the Kankri. This girl however, (Sherka she called herself) seemed almost eager. He didn’t pursue it further however. She would guide them, and that was what counted.
The next morning the chosen group departed from the coastal town heading what Ransom determined to be true north. The shore party consisted of himself, General Shadow, Captain Elendir, Alabast, Egann, four praetorian guards and of course Sherka. The convoy looked small enough to be peaceful, but big enough to be a threat. Exactly what they needed.
The village would only take 3 days to reach on foot, Sherka had said, but they took extra supplies just in case, and hired three donkeys to carry them with.
Again their progress was uneventful, almost dull until the third day. They saw nothing of the Kankri in those first two days. Even as the plains began to turn into hills, and the hills into rocks, and the rocks into towering foothills, they saw no trace of civilisation. Ransom found it puzzling. He approached Sherka with the conundrum.
“Are we going to be seeing any signs of these people anytime soon? I thought their kind flooded this entire area.”
She looked around at the surrounding slopes. “I very much doubt we will see them at all sir.” He shot her a confused but slightly angered look.
“That is, until they are right on top of us.” She gave a humourless grin, “No, we won’t see them at all. But they see us. They see us.”
Those words still rang in his ears the afternoon of the following day. He couldn’t help but glance suspiciously around at the rocky surroundings. A ridge could hide an army here, he was sure of it.
Around the next corner they caught sight of their first sign of the Kankri. It was a huge totem pole, reaching up to three times a man’s height, with 2 monstrous faces at different levels of the pole glaring down at them menacingly. It was a terrifying image, one of the faces contorted in a white rage and the other in a black, blissful madness. The two faces seemed to be saying, “You do not belong here. Get out.”
“We near our destination.” Was all Sherka said. She had grown even more solemn than usual, and her face said that she knew something that they didn’t.
They rounded another bluff to approach a huge natural archway of stone, carved away from some form of erosion. Everyone was silent as they passed under it, it felt like a sort of omen. A symbol they we’re entering somewhere different from before. Somewhere… special, important.
One of the soldiers screamed, a huge colourful arrow growing out of his chest like a spring bloom. Ransom barely had time to react before a small dart thudded into his neck. He drew his knives to face the threat, but the world grew hazy. He stumbled around, watching as the others fell around him. The last thing he saw was Sherka staring at him, standing over his reeling form. His back hit the ground and the world went black.
His eyes opened. The first thing he noticed was the pain in his head. Then in his ankles. Ropes? They were too tight. Too tight.
That was when he realised he was hanging upside down, his ankles tethered to some structure above him. He cursed, and writhed around uselessly, the blood only rushing to his head all the more.
Someone yelled something in a strange dialect, and then emitted what sounded like the twisted form of a laugh. He stopped struggling and went limp.
He looked up at what he was tied to. It was another totem pole. This time with a giant “T” at the top where his body hung from like and old carcass.
He suddenly understood where he was with shocked realisation.
They were prisoners.
Edited by Rangasm, 03 November 2010 - 11:42 PM.
Posted 09 November 2010 - 03:57 PM
Egann's mind was a spyke in a bait-ball. His mind wheeled in the depths of a vast ocean, leagues from the nearest gasp of air, not aware of the dangers around him, close or distant, only of the twisting and writhing and knotting and buckling of the drug-warped dream. Deeper into the swirling blue and red he drifted. Was he pushed? Pulled? Dragged? Swimming of his own will? It made no diffference. Deeper, deeper into the swirling red and blue, tighter and tighter his mind was wrung.
He was in a kitchen -his kitchen?- with the oven on. Next to the oven, a pan with a towel over it. Little humps rose through the towel, beautiful little humps, perfect in their symmetry, exactly eighteen -never seventeen or nineteen- set into a close honey-comb. Next to the pump-iron the shells of a half-dozen eggs were neatly stacked. A drop of milk lay on the counter, a scrap of grated light-yellow cheese with a crumb of the black rind still on it, a whisked concoction of yellow and white and black flecks in a wood bowl next to an iron pan, places for two set on the table. Was this his kitchen? He picked up a knife from the place-setting. Neat silver with a mirror polish that made the world wheel around it.
The universe within the knife wheeled from bottom to top, stopping when it came to Egann's shoulder. A hand, smooth, polished, with faintly tanned skin that seemed dry and yet looked as if a firm pinch would wet fingers, was casually placed there. The wheeling stopped with a jerk.
Egann's eyes cracked open. He was upside down and tied up. This posture seemed familiar. Wasn't there a criminal family who killed their enemies by tying them up upside down like this until they bled to death out of their noses?
He suddenly missed the drowning and the wheeling. And he particularly missed the hand.
Posted 09 January 2011 - 08:55 PM
That was essentially the only thought process he'd gotten out before taking an arrow in the shoulder. The next thing he knew, he could only feel his hair blowing in the wind...
Wait. That wasn't right.
Upon realizing that something was very wrong, he was very wide awake.
"WHERE THE FUCK IS MY HAT!?" he roared the instant he was fully aware. Aware that his hat was missing and that his huge, unkempt mass of dark-purple hair was blowing freely. Aware that he was tied up and hanging upside down from a giant wooden pole. Aware that he had the overwhelming urge to murder the one responsible for this.
Calmness, Shadow. This situation will require more rational thought.
Phoenix's words brought him back to some manageable level of sanity, and he took note of his surroundings. On all sides, people. Way too many people for him to risk fighting his way out of even if he broke out of his bindings -- which he could -- even with the others helping him. He could see other huge wooden poles -- he realized they were totem poles, now that he focused -- containing... all of his crewmates. Well, this was a spot for sure. What was on the ground already? He cast his head downward -- or was it upward? He decided not to think about it -- to see... there was his hat! Laying on the ground at the base of his totem pole. Apparently the people who strung him up here didn't have the decency to pick it up. And there was a person down there. He was going for the hat... Shadow growled like a lion ready to feast...
And then he recognized the man. Barely, but still. That man... tattoos on the side of his face, bald, tanned skin, and admirable muscle tone marred by a sizeable burn mark on his chest... no doubt inflicted by him.
Shadow cursed inwardly. He knew this man. This man had tried to capture him once before, when he was with the Alliance on that scouting mission. They had clashed on that transport boat. Shadow had quite literally sent him packing, cramming him and his crewmates onto a lifeboat while he commandeered the cargo vessel so he could return home. He hadn't expected to see him again... he looked up at the young pyromaniac, smiling a sinister grin. A grin of victory.
A victory that Shadow would be sure to make short-lived the first chance he got.
"Oh, it's on..."
Edited by SL the Pyro, 09 January 2011 - 08:56 PM.