“Who says I plan to flee?”
March 16, 2015
“You know this idea it yours is not only stupid, but also suicidal, right?” Tynilia said with arms crossed under her breasts. She glared at him, but Jack was too busy to concern himself with the daggers her eyes shot his way.
Instead, he looked down at the armies massing below. He’d been a bit surprised to see they hadn’t made it out of the desert yet, but with an army that size it shouldn’t have been too shocking. He removed the jaguar outfit he’d stolen from Lithoca as he took the army in.
They camped where the desert met the foothills of the mountain range, which held the tribes. The army itself stretched horizon to horizon. Large dinosaurs and other giant beasts rose from the masses like mountains ranges of their own. The tattooed and colorful Ripperkah comprised most of the foot soldiers. They moved like rivers of blood through the larger creatures.
Other units also became obvious from Jack’s height. A large cluster of darkness stood out on the army’s eastern flank. Part of this were the ebony figures, but they had also cast some sort of blackness over themselves, which obscured what he guessed had to be Darcarre. Mirroring them of the western side were clouds of grey fog that clung to the desert floor. This meant the Glooms were also present. In the rear of the army he thought he spied what could have been the blue flags of a contingent of Caradon, but the army stretched so vast that these were nearly lost in sight.
As he hurried to dress himself in Lothica’s outfit, he wondered if he was a fool for trying to save this world that wasn’t his. Even his plan seemed foolish, for it involved a battle, which appeared impossible to win. Still, Jack was never one to give up trying no matter how bad things appeared. Besides, the army looked strong now, but marching through the mountains would weaken it and spread it thin.
With his body disguised as a Tezcatlipoca worshipper, Jack stood next to his Wyren mount and took a deep breath. “Might as well get this over with,” he said more to himself than his sole companion.
“Yes, with you dead, I won’t be asked to linger here and I sure as hell won’t be risking my life for a village that banished me and just tried to see you killed.”
Jack managed a smile. “Well, if you don’t like that village, my plan shouldn’t bother you since what I’m about to do will make them The Darken’s first target.”
“What difference will that make if you get yourself killed?”
He’d had his back to her, but turned around. “I didn’t know you cared so much.”
She frowned, but then broke eye contact. “Don’t flatter yourself. I already have a lover.”
Jack climbed aboard his flying mount. “I’m well aware of that. Stay here. Either way… this won’t take too long.”
She handed him the oversized quiver stuffed full with javelins and spears. As he strapped it onto the wyren, she touched his leg. “Good luck man if Yig and please try not to get yourself killed. Not everyone needs to be a selfless hero.”
“I think that’s the only thing I know how to be these days.”
* * *
It didn’t take long for him to be spotted by the army below. As he hoped, they held back any attacks thinking that only no single foe would strike against them. He quickly proved them wrong.
His first javelin struck a man repairing a harness that strapped a huge war platform onto the back of a giant four legged reptile. He went flying back into the masses below with a long drawn out wail. The dinosaur roared up at Jack and was rewarded with a spear tossed into its mouth. The beast panicked and with a roar of pain this time, it rampaged through the forces stampeding over dozens of men.
Jack tossed more spears down into the army trying to aim for leaders where he could. His wyren cawed a challenge as they arced around the center of the army heading back toward the front lines.
His cache of spears almost spent, Jack changed tactics and used his Mold Nature to create huge canyons in the earth below the Ripperkah’s feet. Rifts ten feet wide swallowed men by the hundreds and then Jack would close these gulfs burying the Xemmoni alive.
He was circling around to make another mystic attack when the forces below used some magic of their own. His wyren began to screech as Bestow after Bestow crashed into it. Jack looked down in dismay to see the entire lower half of the wyren being torn open. Blood and organs fell onto the forces below and his mount plummeted toward the earth.
After releasing a series of curses, Jack leapt off the back of his mount and resigned himself to go down fighting, finding some small solace in knowing that his plan had at least worked.
A second later he felt hands struggling to hold him up. “Become a snake, you idiot. I can’t hold you forever,” Tynilia ordered.
Jack hurried to comply as the earth raced up at them. He watched with horror as his mount impacted the ground below them with a wet smack.
Tynilia cried out as some of the spell casters below hit her with their Bestows, but as Jack shrank into a small snake, they flew away and gained altitude. Soon she had moved past the range of their assaults and flew back to their makeshift camp without anything else going wrong. She stumbled and fell to her side groaning as Jack assumed his human form.
As he knelt to heal her, she moaned, “I hope that was worth it. We’ll be hard pressed to flee from this army with one mount.”
Jack looked down at her with a wicked smile spreading across his face. “Who says I plan to flee?”
To be continued next Monday