[Vfw-times] MIK Winter Assault part 35a

COkane8116 at aol.com COkane8116 at aol.com
Mon Sep 24 22:25:01 CDT 2001

Ulgath Grimtooth is feeling DAMN proud.

He's always known that he's going to be a great Lutin warrior. First he'd led 
his daring charge against the North Gate, nearly breaking it down and showing 
his battle prowess for all the Generals and members of his tribe to see. Then 
there was the ingenious raid he'd lead into the tower adjacent to the big 
Inner Gates that kept the puny wood village and the infuriating stone Keep 
separated, which lead to the gates' eventual capture - again with the 
generals watching and noting his bravery and his willingness to do battle.

And now he was just sending a platoon of Lutins up to the Town Gate when he 
heard these Keepers hiding in here, got all his people into place and 
attacked. And even now that they've gotten some of their people out and 
fighting, he's managed to take two of the kids they've got with them hostage. 
And he knows Keepers will do just about anything for their precious children.

Life could not be better than at this very moment.

"Drop your weapons, or these die!" he yells at the two Keepers who have been 
fighting off his men from the flank. Both quite capable warriors... too bad. 
"You in doorway too! Drop your weapons!" He's keeping his eyes on the both of 
them as he yells. They've managed to fell at least twelve of his soldiers; 
they could easily have a trick planned.

The larger Keeper - the one that looks like some kind of cat - looks very 
shaken, but it nods regardless. "Okay," and drops its strange-looking sword. 
The dog-like Keeper behind it drops her two daggers as well, and he can see a 
broadsword clatter to the ground near the doorway.

"Now let the kids go," the cat says resolutely.

Ulgath Grimtooth simply smiles. Then he turns to Sekkh, holding the other 
child, the one that was throwing the weapons.

"Cut," he says simply.

"NO!" And then suddenly, to his immense surprise, there's a flash of light 
just beneath the dog-Keeper's paw-hands, and suddenly it's holding the 
daggers again! And Sekkh has only just started to cut when the dagger has 
become a flash of light again, slashing through his head.

And Ulgath knows he's next, so he quickly starts to draw his knife across his 
hostage's neck, just to be sure that he can kill his last Keeper before the 
knife rea-

And then the blade pierces, and the last thing Ulgath is conscious of is the 
dog-keeper's scream of horror, as it runs towards the Keeper he knows he's 
just killed.



Jo is running. Running as fast as she possibly can towards the kids, already 
reaching for her herbal bag, hoping beyond hope that she can beat the clock. 
She's barely conscious of Jono as he gives a loud scream of horror - 
something between a human scream and a cat's yowl - before he suddenly shifts 
into a non-anthropomorphic form, throwing off his clothes, and pounces, 
spitting and snarling, at the Lutins in front of him.

And suddenly Kirk is rushing too, bellowing a cry of hatred to the winds as 
he charges the rest of the Lutins, his axe flashing around and around as he 
starts sweeping it through the hordes, cutting down dozens with each arc.

But none of this matters to Joanne as she leaps and skids over to stop right 
next to Derek.

  Oh gods oh gods oh Gods I hope I wasn't too late...

* * *

Somebody's been hurt!

Daemion doesn't know how, but all of a sudden it's as absolutely clear as 
though he'd just seen it happen right in front of his eyes. Derek and Sammy 
are hurt bad!

"Derek! Sammy!" And he turns and starts running back towards the bakery, to 
the astonishment of every single last kid around him, and especially to his 
father, who blinks, then cries out "Daemion! Come back!" and starts to chase 
after him...

* * *

Derek is lying facedown on the snow; fortunately the Lutin isn't on top of 
him. There's a sickening red stain that's still spreading on the snow as she 
stops next to him.

Jo flips him over and quickly puts down a compress on the wound she can see, 
leaking a large amount of blood. From what she can tell it looks like the 
vein just nearly got nicked, but the compress should keep the wound from 
expanding. She hopes.

Derek actually blinks his eyes open, then, looking up at her. "...missus 
jo...? ...is sammy...?"

Sammy! She quickly ties the compress under Derek's shoulder so it stays 
against his wound, then rushes over to the other boy...

* * *

Daemion has never run so hard before in his life. Every single time there's 
simply never been a need. It's always been races with other kids down the 
courtyard, or to get to a bakery when they're giving out cookies, or to get 
to someone who's just been hit with a snowball. Small things.

But this is far more serious. Far, far more serious. Even more so than when 
he was running from the Southern Gate to the Inner Gates tower. Even that was 
nothing compared to this.

Behind him he can hear his father yelling. "Daemion! Get back! I can't help 
keep the lutins away if you keep running this fast!"

He doesn't care. "Got to help Derek and Sammy!"

* * *

Sammy is in far, far worse condition.

Jo picks him up and takes a look, and almost has to look away. The blade has 
cut very, very deep; the vein is almost spurting, and... gods, the windpipe's 
been cut...

She starts quickly preparing another compress, knowing that it's not going to 
matter but unwilling to just give up right there...

* * *

Daemion turns the corner and sees Jo there, desperately trying to combine 
various herbs. He doesn't call out to her; he can't afford to waste the 
breath. He just keeps running...

* * *

Jo's ears perk up as she hears the footsteps. A Lutin? Not now... She looks 
up, and to her incredible surprise...

"Daemion! Don't get any closer! They've been hurt!"

"I know! I gotta help them!" he screams as he keeps running forward.

"But there's nothing you can do!" she yells back, even as he makes it right 
up to her, dropping down next to her.

"Yes there is!"

And then he places both his hands on Derek and Sammy, and...

Daemion is suddenly elsewhere.

He glances down at himself briefly, feeling oddly different somehow - and he 
blinks in surprise, as he's looking down at what looks to be a white-furred 

A further quick self-examination reveals a large floofy tail kinda like Jo's 
except all white, feet that are... what was the word, dijidigade, something? 
Also kinda like Jo's, except again all white, and that he's clad in some kind 
of weird robes that have a very interesting-looking double spiral pattern on 
the front.

Then he hears a whimper of fear from right in front of him - feeling his ears 
swivel towards it, which is Really weird - and he looks up to see... Derek?

Derek looks a lot like he's always been. Slightly older, maybe. But the big 
thing is that he's wearing really fancy-looking leather armor, and he's got a 
big sword on his side, and a dagger in his belt behind him.

He's also wearing, on his face, an expression of the most absolute terror. 
And he's seemingly being dragged forward, slowly.

And Daemion knows that he's got to stop Derek from scooting forward. So he 
runs towards Derek, leaps on him as though he were pouncing like Jo sometimes 
does, and drags him to the ground. His ears barely pick up a small *snap* 
from somewhere, and Derek stops moving.

"Derek, you okay?" he asks.

Derek simply nods, then points over behind Daemion.

Daemion turns around.

And there's Sammy, a little further away. He's looking Very weird - one 
moment he looks like he does now, the next he looks something like that one 
guy... whatsisname... Copersomething, dunno. He keeps flickering back and 
forth between those two appearances, and it's really weird and distracting.

The flickering is slowing down though; he's starting to look more and more 
like he does right now. It's picking up as he gets dragged forward, pulled by 
what look like dozens and dozens of ropes latched Gods know how all to his 
front. Moving much faster than Derek.

And when Daemion turns to look where those ropes are going, his eyes go very 

Because what is standing there is a grim figure around which the very light 
seems to dim. A giant, armored being, his armor all covered over with skulls, 
raising a sickle above his head and twirling it, pulling the ropes in closer 
with each twirl, and seated atop an inky black horse with fiery, dripping red 
eyes, rearing back and whinnying.

And Daemion is more terrified right now than at any other time in his life.

* * *
End part 35A
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