[Vfw-times] MK Winter Assault part 72 - Blood bath

COkane8116 at aol.com COkane8116 at aol.com
Wed Jan 2 03:09:48 CST 2002


   Misha ducked under the sword swing and lashed out with his long sword. One 
of his attackers stumbled backwards his intestines spilling onto the floor. 
That did him little good as the other three he was facing pressed forward, 
eager to avenge their comrade. They didn't see Jotham racing up behind them 
until it was too late.

   Three swift blows killed them before they even knew what was happening. 
Misha turned to help Laura and found the woman fighting a single fighter. All 
the other men they had been fighting were dead. He noticed that at least five 
of the bodies had arrows in them, courtesy of Caroline and Padraic. 

   In short order Laura killed the man with a slash across his chest. 
"Where's Selig?" she asked.

   Misha pointed to a dozen Lutins who were clustered around the general's 
standard fighting Georgette, Danielle and Finbar. One of the Lutins collapsed 
when two arrows sank into his chest.

  Suddenly there came a loud grunt and the sound of bones breaking. Turning 
to the noise he saw Meredith standing over the corpse of the ogre he had just 
killed. The great bear wavered a moment then dropped to the ground.

   "Jotham," Misha said. "See to Meredith and the other wounded. This fight 
is over."

   "What about them?" the man asked pointing to the Lutins, who despite out 
numbering their attackers, were loosing badly. 

   He saw Finbar parry a blow from the general with the knife in one hand and 
then lash out with the other. The ferrets blade went through the visor on 
Seligs helmet. There was a splash of blood and the lutin collapsed to the 
ground. Georgette and Danielle made short work of the remaining Lutins. 
Danielle grabbed the staff of the banner and shook it hard. There was a loud 
crack and the cloth, and trophies fell to the floor. The banner itself came 
to rest on the general's body. It's cloth the color of blood made a fitting 
shroud for such a brutal murderer.

   "Like I said. This fight is over," the fox explained. "See to the wounded 
Jotham. Laura, make sure the dead are actually dead and not faking it. I'll 
muster the rest. There's still a bigger battle to win."

   There came a pounding at the gates to the little fort. "OPEN UP," someone 
shouted from the other side. "GENERAL ARE YOU ALL RIGHT?" Then there was 
deeper thump and the door rattled visibly. Tired of knocking, the Lutins on 
the outside were battering the door open.

  Georgette, Finbar and Danielle, joined Misha who was staring at the wooden 
gate. "What do we do?" the ferret asked.

   "We let them in," Misha said "and then we kill them." The fox sheathed his 
sword and started to unbuckle the pants of his armor.

   "What are you doing?" Finbar asked, confused.

   "Preparing," Misha asked, dropping the chain mail pants. "This is what 
we'll do."


   Misha stood behind the tent and waited nervously. Beside him Georgette was 
kneeling, a spear in hand. If she was nervous, it didn't show. The woman 
looked calm and collected. Peering around the corner of the tent he looked 
towards the gate. The wooden gate wouldn't last much longer. Already  it was 
splintered and hanging by a single hinge. 

   His eyes fell upon the small metal ball that lay in the open some ten feet 
from the door. That little magic sphere had done some great work for him, 
it's explosive abilities had evened the odds on numerous occasions. The ball 
had always worked flawlessly but how would it work now? Would it work at all? 
The fact that it was damaged was clear, but what would it happen when he 
activated it? There was no telling what it would do, malfunctioning magic was 
a dangerous thing to mess with. Still they had no choice.

   There was the loud cracking of timber and the gate went flying off it's 
hinges. In rushed a mob of Lutins at least forty strong. They stopped just 
inside and looked around. All they could see was debris and dead bodies. 
"General?" one of them asked.

   Georgette stepped into view and threw a spear that buried itself up to the 
shaft in the lead Lutins chest. With a shout the whole group of Lutins 
charged straight at the women who had dropped out of sight.

   Without giving it a second glance they rushed passed the metal ball laying 
on the ground. Misha waited till the middle of the group was over the ball 
before setting it off.

   "Huyria Kormun," the vulpine said out loud. The ball gave a low hiss, and 
it started to glow, dimly at first, then brighter. Then there was a blinding 
flash and thunderclap, as the ball exploded. The flames came rushing towards 
Misha like a tidal wave. He had a moment of pure surprise before the shock 
wave sent him tumbling backwards into the tent.

   A little dizzy Misha slowly stood up and shook his head to clear his 
thoughts. He looked to where the ball had exploded and saw total devastation. 
The gate was blasted into splinters as was the walls on either side for a 
distance of ten feet. Of the Lutins there was no trace what so ever, just a 
blackened and scorched circle on ground. Random bits of debris burned 
fitfully on the ground.

   "Wow," Georgette said standing up.

   Hefting his battle axe, Misha stepped out of the ruins of the tent. He had 
changed his shape and now walked on all four legs of a foxtaur. His humanoid 
torso was still covered with his camouflaged chain mail armor. Below the 
waist his body was the pony sized form of a red fox. His lower body had no 
armor except for the metal soled shoes on his paws. Misha now stood over six 
feet tall and weighted almost half a ton, all of it muscle and bone. As he 
walked his muscles rippled, revealing the power locked up in them.

   He moved towards the gate and Georgette, Finbar, and Danielle walked with 
him. Reaching the point where the wooden doors had been Misha looked out at 
the bedlam and chaos of battle that raged around the little fortress. 
Everywhere his eyes wandered he saw humans, Lutins, morphs, giants and trolls 
were locked in a bloody fight for survival. Without a sound or a word he 
swung Whisper in a broad arc and charged straight in the chaos of the battle.


    Starling pumped her wings hard, just barely dodging out of the way before 
an energy bolt burned through the space where she had been an instant before. 
Hissing, she turned and let out a fiery blast of her own. The enemy mage 
summoned a shield spell to block it, but he winced just a little under the 
impact. It looked like he was finally starting to tire.

    David lashed out at the mage with his staff, aiming for his head and 
forearms. The wizard blocked the blows with his own staff, but he had nowhere 
near the same physical strength as the black ant-morph. Slowly, David drove 
him backward toward one of the pillars that supported the huge barracks room.

    Starling darted around behind the enemy mage and breathed out another 
fire jet. This time she caught him squarely in the middle of his upper back, 
and the mage screamed in pain and rage as the flames burned through his robes 
and into his flesh. Dragonfire was intensely hot, difficult to extinguish and 
clung to surfaces in a thin film -- but it was also highly magical, which 
allowed the wizard to absorb much of its power before it could do serious 
damage. Still, the attack managed to get her opponent's attention, and for an 
instant David was forgotten -- an instant he used to knock the mage's staff 
out of his hands.

    The sorcerer's face contorted with rage. Bracing himself against the 
pillar, he lashed out with claw-like hands towards the ant-warrior. Lightning 
bolts shot from his fingertips, coursing over David's body, but they fizzled 
in the space of an instant as David drained the mana out of the spell. 
Swatting aside the wizard's hands with a sweep of his staff, David drew back 
and rammed it hard into the man's gut.

    Lord Dokorath's blessing was apparently still in effect, because the 
mage's abdominal cavity ruptured in a spray of blood, run through by the 
blunt, heavy staff. As the man writhed on the end of the pole, Starling let 
out one final jet of flame, aimed at the wizard's head. She held it there for 
a long time, longer than she'd ever held a blast before, until a deep, 
throbbing ache welled up in her throat. At last she couldn't take it any 
longer and closed her mouth, swallowing a few times to try to get the 
discomfort out of her throat. The mage's body sunk to the floor, its head 
nothing more than a blackened skull. Starling turned away, feeling more than 
a little disturbed about what she'd just done.

    "Come on," David said encouragingly. "Don't think about it right now -- 
our friends still need our help."

    After a pause, Starling nodded. Their friends _did_ need them, and that 
was all that mattered for the moment. She turned and flew beside the ant-man 
as he ran back into the fray, being careful not to look at the smoldering 
corpse behind her.



   Misha charged a group of thirty Lutins who were formed up into two lines 
shooting arrows at the attacking keepers. Their backs were to him and they 
didn't notice him until it was far too late. His first swing cut down two 
Lutins with a single stroke, sending their body parts flying in all 
directions. The backstroke beheaded another in a spray of blood.

   Rearing up he lashed out with his front legs. Steel shod paws cracked hard 
against bone and armor. Misha became like a whirlwind, slashing and swinging 
his axe and lashing out with his paws in all directions. Every blow seemed to 
connect with a lutin, every blow killed something. He was an unstoppable 
killing machine. In the battle at Stepping Castle he had gone berserk and 
become a monster, loosing all control, but Misha remained in complete control 
this time. The blind rage threatened to swallow him up but he fought it as he 
fought the Lutins. He kept the rage in check, controlling it and not being 
controlled by it, using it to charge his body and drive himself harder and 
   Behind him he heard running feet. He lashed out with both hind legs and 
heard bones crunching. Then he spun his large, bulky body around with a speed 
and grace that surprised him. It certainly took the twenty Lutins that were 
rushing him by surprise. His front legs took down two Lutins as his axe 
killed a third. The huge weapon moved with a deftness and speed born of years 
of practice. The blade sped passed his left hind leg missing it by inches. It 
didn't miss the lutin who was trying to roll under him. It's skull was 
cleaved in half, brains splattering everywhere.

   Misha closed his mind to everything but the fighting, to simply killing 
the enemy. The Lutins disappeared, replaced by men in armor, but they fared 
no better. Misha killed their leader with a single sweep of his axe and the 
rest scattered, trying to escape. Only a handful succeeded.

   A large canine appeared in front of Misha, and suddenly waves of pure 
terror enveloped him. He stopped fighting and stood numbly in front of the 
moondog, too terrified to even move. Then he felt the handle of Whisper grow 
warm him his hands and the fear left him as suddenly as it had come. The 
vulpine let of a blood curdling yowl and reared up on his hind legs to his 
full height of ten feet. Then he dropped down on the moon dog, his front paws 
descending like meteors from the heavens. There was the sounds of bones 
crunching as his paws landed on the monsters head and the creatures body fell 
to the ground. Misha lashed out again and again, channeling all his rage and 
pain into each blow until the corpse was an unrecognizable, bloody mess. Only 
then did he move on to other targets.

   Without a second glance at the creatures corpse he charged a group of 
Lutins who had surrounded a Keeper. A swipe of the axe and a flash of steel 
shod paws killed most of them, the rest tried to flee, but didn't get far. 
The other keeper helped cut them down with a flash of sword play.

   Suddenly all the Lutins were gone and only the dead remained near the 
keepers. The battle raged around them but for a moment the two were alone. He 
pushed the rage that filled him back down. He needed to rest for a moment, to 
regain his bearings and measure where next he was needed.

 It took Misha a moment to recognize the blood and gore covered creature in 
front of him, but the long tail was a dead giveaway. Even matted with blood, 
it could belong to only one person. "Rickkter," Misha said.

   The creature looked at the Long Scout with cold, hard eyes that suddenly 
lightened in recognition. "I see you're still alive," was the raccoons 
comment. "Although you've put on some weight since the last time we met."

   Misha laughed for the first time in many days. "You look like the black 
dog of Maladar," the vulpine replied. "How goes the battle?"

   "Badly," the mage answered coldly. "We're badly outnumbered."

   The foxtaur swung his axe in a broad arc. "Well then, let's go even odds."

   Rickkter nodded and the two went back to the business of dealing death.


End part 73
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