December 30, 2013
The three Stalwarts moved into a back to back formation as the nine Xemmoni that surrounded them drew in closer. Cleo addressed Phillip, “It always was a ball of fun every time we got together.”
“I like to show a girl a good time,” he tried to joke but his words sounded tense and strained.
Jack stayed focused. “How do you want to work this? I’d just assume try my hand at that Hyades bastard again.”
“Be my guest,” Cleo said, “I’ll take the Darcarre.”
“Oh great,” Phillip groaned. “That means I have to take on all six Caradon!”
“We’ll back you up as soon as we can,” Jack shouted and then rushed toward the armored Hyades. The attack began with two tossed throwing knives. The Xemmoni batted one aside with his oversized machete and the second tinged harmlessly off its armored shoulder.
“Not the greatest start I’ve ever had,” he said, under his breath, as he raced toward the villain. The Hyades prepared for the charge, but Jack wouldn’t give him that satisfaction. At the last moment, he veered to the man’s left. A swing just missed his ear and he dodged through.
Jack’s weaponless hands locked onto the thing’s left arm and he tried to swing it off balance, but he might as well be trying to push-start a semi. The Hyades didn’t budge. Instead he grabbed Jack’s wrist and heaved him forward. Jack tumbled ass over elbow as he hit the icy pavement. The Xemmoni moved in to take advantage of the situation.
As Jack struggled to his hands and knees, his hands found themselves slipping through a small patch of snow, but this gave him an idea. He waited until the Xemmoni was almost upon him. During his wait, he heard the shouts and cries as his allies took on a far superior number behind him and he knew he needed to aid him as quickly as he could. But this Hyades had already beaten him once and that was when Jack was at full power, not drained of his both physical and mystical strength as he currently was.
At the last moment, Jack dove to his left. The machete made a dull clang as it hit the pavement behind him. Moving quickly, Jack regained his footing and rushed behind the Xemmoni. Snow filled his hands and he slammed the snow into the eye holes in the man’s helmet.
It swung at him wide and missed, but its free hand already clawed at the snow that obscured its vision. Jack used this time to snatch away one of the machetes the Xemmoni had built into its leg armor. The fiend hesitated as it cleared more of the snow away.
Jack picked his target, saw a weakness around the Hyades neck, and then swung. He gave out a woop as the villain was decapitated. Before the head had landed, Jack had already rushed toward his allies.
Cleo fought the two Darcarre using twin short swords. She held her own and would have probably triumphed, but they didn’t have the time to find out. Jack decapitated his second Xemmoni as he ran past, but didn’t slow his pace as he rushed toward Phillip. Phillip had dropped two of the Caradon, but the remaining four looked like they were about to drop him.
The hurled machete took one of the Caradon in the back and it fell with a groan. He kicked another in the face and it stumbled back as Jack drew the sledge hammer off his back. Then it was go time. He didn’t remember how many swings it took, but before long Cleo had joined the two panting and bleeding men as they wavered over the mangled bodies of their foes.
“Search them for keys,” Phillip said as he leaned against the van with one hand. “We need to get our asses out of here.”
“I think they’re still in the ignition, dumb ass,” Cleo said with a smirk. Turning toward Jack she added, “Nice fighting by the way.”
“What him,” Phillip complained. “I took on six by myself. That guy with the blue jacket isn’t dead. I saved one for questioning.”
“Good, because we need to bail. We’re all spent and just this side of death’s door,” Jack said. “I guess in the end the Xemmoni won, because we will have to leave Boston before sundown.”
“It’s okay,” Phillip said. “We need to recoup. I have some allies in Concord that can put us up and at least let us recharge before we fight the leaders of these droogs.”
“Sounds good,” Jack began, but then his words caught in his throat. “Where… did that Hyades go?”
As one they all looked back the way they had come and besides a pool of blood deep enough to drown a rat, no sign of the armored Hyades remained.
To be continued next Monday
December 23, 2013
One of the most attractive women Jack had ever seen walked toward them like she owned the city. Hers was not a cover model beauty, but a more subtle perfection of face, body, and movement. She wore a dagger strapped to her hip, brown leather pants, and boots. Despite the cold, her top exposed her curvaceous assets as it clung to her upper body. Her light chestnut jacket remained opened so no one would miss an inch of her fine tuned form.
“Be cool,” Phillip whispered.
“I’m always cool,” Jack replied. “Is this Cleo?”
“Yeah, She’s my ex.”
“Not to shabby, Brownhurst.”
He managed to get in, “I do what I can,” before she drew in to close for further conversations.
“Phillip,” she said with a nod of her head that sent her amber locks bouncing. She paused while looking at Jack. “And you must be Jack Primus, Boston’s newest Stalwart.”
“That I am. If you know me, I’d have to assume that you have already heard about your city’s current dilemma.”
She threw out her hip. “I have, but perhaps we should finish this conversation elsewhere. I know a good pub nearby and watch out!”
Jack spun before she could get the rest of her words out. Loud clangs echoed as the armored Xemmoni that started the whole mess marched out of an alley and headed straight for them. Each of his metal encased hands owned a machete and he hacked through two pedestrians that stood between him and his Stalwart prizes. Their death cries proved more than enough to send the other people on the street running.
“Let’s take this loser out,” Jack said through clenched teeth, “but we need to get him off the street and away from innocents. Come on!”
The two Dionysus worshippers had no problem following him and he took of running until he hit the next alley and then quickly headed into it. The Xemmoni, like most Hyades, took his time. They were already a hundred feet down the alley that ran between businesses and residential housing, when, with the certainty of death, the Xemmoni turned the corner to pursue them.
“Let’s…” was the only word Jack got out, before both sides of the alley became blanketed in darkness. “What the Hell?”
“Looks like the Darcarre aren’t waiting until nightfall to get involved this time,” Phillip said while drawing his cutlass.
Before them, the armored freak raised both machetes as he drew in closer.
“Maybe we should just keep going,” Cleo suggested. “Pick our own fighting ground.”
Jack considered her idea and was about to agree with her, when a large dark blue van screeched to a stop behind them blocking off the other side of the alley. At once huge meaty men began to rush out of its side door.
“I know that van,” Cleo whispered. “It’s Caradon and they almost always travel in groups of six.”
“Great,” Jack snarled as he drew two throwing knives from his jacket. “One armored Hyades that has already almost killed me, two Darcarre, and six Caradon. Nine Xemmoni versus the three of us.”
“Well,” Phillip said trying to muster up a wane smile. “Nine is Dionysus’ lucky number.”
As Jack looked at the Xemmoni closing in on each side, he said, “I don’t think that is going to help.”
To be continued next Monday