Bad Wind Rising

Clockwork shrapnel smarts

Something wicked this way comes

Two days. Two days since that tin-can monstrosity dragged Maldor into this plastic-walled tomb and left him for dead. The bones of his predecessors littered the floor at his feet. “I’ll join them soon enough”. And yet.. was that a voice in the aether? Maldor focused on the radio-band of sentient thought that he’d had a gift for hearing since he could remember. Yes, someone is nearby.. In his practiced introduction, Maldor spoke to this foreign mind: “Hello.. I’m a prisoner and I’m in need of help.”

As we descended back down the elevator shaft, Sigmund’s tentacles twitched with excitement, " A Telepath! We’re in luck chums! Next to a warlord’s courtesan, there’s no better diplomat, and he’ll be handy in a fight to boot!" Meaty looked down at his squid-faced comrade and rubbed his scarred chin thoughtfully. The bug-hunt above ground hadn’t quenched his thirst for a dishing out a good ass-kicking, and Meaty hoped more worthy foes lay ahead…

We took a breather after the brief firefight with the auto-turret in the underground passage. Freed from their cramped prison cells, Antares and Maldor were relieved to breathe the dank air of the underground complex. The lights now glowed a dim, angry orange after an apparently still-active alarm had been tripped in the prison control room. As we picked ourselves up and cautiously passed in front of a wall of mostly broken video screens, the corners of our eyes caught the flicker of a malevolent presence staring at them from the screens, vanishing before we could get a clear look.

This was starting to have the makings of a mad-house. A latrine full of dog-sized plant mutations, which was a non-starter to leave well enough alone…the remains of a science lab brought down from an explosion, with specimens of arn eggs the size of pineapples..then a rabid cyborg chained up in another toilet, which we mercifully put down. Now some sort of med lab with three pristine humans in stasis, for what dark purposes we could only guess…

After we dispatched a second auto-turret that yielded a salvaged time bomb in its machinery guts, Meaty put a swollen ear to the double doors, and let everyone know he sensed movement beyond them. Grinning, he heaved himself into the bent portal, and knocked the door tumbling into a room full of biomechanical pain. Two flesh-and-metal soldiers lurched at Meaty, who immediately withdrew. Beyond the two guards, a third, larger cyber-abomination pulled himself from his umbilical power-lines tethered to a wall of crackling machinery.

“This seems as good a time as any to make a nice ka-boom!” quipped Antares as he rolled the now-flashing grenade into the chamber. Meaty squared up and remained at point, hoping he was outside the blast radius, while Grey took cover behind the science lab door. The rest of us cautiously retreated in fire lines down the wide corridor, using the broken columns for cover. Grey and Maldor used their talents to tag-team the clockwork brains of the clanging trio. One angry tin-man stumbled on, mortally wounded, but still pursuing Antares, with the red-flashing, still-unexploded ordnance imbedded in its chestplate. That quickening red flash put the spurs to the rest of us, hastening our retreat further.

A deafening roar and blinding flash filled the hall, sending clockwork shrapnel into the walls and shredding Antares at ground zero. The great, dark obelisk toppled to the ground, shaking the floor. “Medic!” Grey yelled as he looked from the science lab archway. Sigmund slid on his knees towards his fallen comrade, while unsnapping his medi-pouches: “Quit moaning.. I’ve seen worse. You’ll be in fighting shape again by next dawn!”

After we made quick work of the rust-bucket leader and patched ourselves up, we couldn’t help but feel an air of dread hanging over the passageways. Again, that grainy shadow darted across the scattered vid-screens, and we couldn’t help but wonder what lay beyond the doors at the hallway end, beneath the grim-ridden ancient sign…

Comments

Nice!! Man, you guys make we really need to up my game.. :-)

Clockwork shrapnel smarts
darthbuhner

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