June 22, 2015
Besides an occasional leather jacket, which never tended to last long, Jack had never owned any serious armor. That changed when he and Tynilia looted his incarnation’s armory.
As he slipped on the chainmail jacket with metal reinforced shoulders and elbows, he turned to his current lover and said, “One thing about staying in the home of a man created in your image, it’s easy to fit into his things. Hell, I think I’ll be stealing a pair of his boots too.”
When Tynilia’s only response was a nervous glance his way, the Stalwart moved in closer to her. “Are you okay? I know you and ah… the other me were lovers. I hope our nights together aren’t making things too weird for you.”
“Oh, I think sleeping with two versions of the same man goes far past being weird.” She sighed. “No, I’m not some star struck girl. Having an extra version of my lover is really low on my worry list.” She allowed herself a half grin. “I mean worse things could happen that having two strong men to enjoy some time with.”
“Then what is worrying you?”
“Besides the obvious world destroying Darken? I… I sense.”
A few seconds later a black wispiness flew into the room through the open window. Looking more like a tattered bat than anything else, it only took a moment for it to assume human form.
Jack lowered his weapon as quickly as they had been raised. The Splinter Darcarre, Shadowknife, stood before him. Wrapped in shadows and darkness, the ebony man turned to regard them with a face absent of expression.
“You appear to be taking your time returning to your fold. My presence wears on your Yig brothers without your guidance. Not that you seem overly concerned, but I was able to rescue your ally Huth from a certain death.” Eying Tynilia for a moment, he added, Met-A-Lock was not as lucky. The Darken’s attack finished him long before he hit the ground.”
Jack crossed his arms. “We were just leaving in fact. So The Darken didn’t manage to further injure in the warriors of Yig?”
“Oh, he unleashed his rage on the forest, but when the forest raged back, he returned to his army. However, he has stopped his advance just short of the valley where we prepared our traps. His troops have remained immobile for over a day now.”
Tynilia spoke. “That seems strange. With the army from this castle as well as the Splinters destroying his supply lines, I would think he be trying to move faster, not holding up.”
“I have spies of my own and I believe he has solved his food problem by butchering some of his dinosaurs.”
“A few less for us to kill,” Jack said.
The Xemmoni regarded him. “Perhaps, but still a lesser loss than traveling through the traps you and yours had prepared. I think what we need to concern ourselves with is what the Darken is preparing.” He paused, but then added, “One other thing. He appears to have used this time to send troops back to attack the forces of your…” his black eyes regarded Tynilia again, “other lover. From the reports I have received the forces of this castle and the splinter Darcarre are all but destroyed. The few survivors have fled into the forests.”
“Great,” Jack started. “So that just leaves less than a hundred warriors of Yig to assist the village of Tezcatlipoca which will be outnumbered more than a hundred to one.”
“Yes our cause seems hopeless, but what other choice is there,” the Darcarre said. “If The Darken gains control of this world, he will be unstoppable and will just add this world’s resources to his multi-world battle. We owe it to more than ourselves to stop him.”
Jack felt grim. “Yeah, all we have to do is figure out how.”
To be continued next Monday
June 15, 2015
One second Vile Darken closed in for the kill and the next he found himself standing within a stone walled room. He still felt as though he was falling and struggled just to draw breath as he took in the room around him. Twin tables, covered with candles and books stood on either side of a comfortable looking bed. Across from this a worn wooden desk was topped with a single candelabrum. A lone wooden door was located opposite from the room’s only window. It was open and clean air drifted in, which helped him clear the dust from his lungs.
Turning toward Tynilia, he said, “What did you do? I’m not the kind of man that flees the scene of a battle and leaves the fighting to others.”
She made a face. “What do you think we could have done against The Darken? I just saved both our lives.”
“We’re going to have to fight him some time.”
She crossed her arms. “Not if I can help it.”
“Take us back. We can strike at him from behind.”
“I’m going to have to call a triple dino-dung on that. Your Yiggo allies are better than anyone at hiding in the woods. If he is stupid enough to chase them into the forest, they will just keep slapping him with trees until he gets tired and heads back to his camp for a clean set of clothes and a glass of wine. If you keep pushing me, I won’t take you back at all. Maybe I could retire here. I might have another three months before he gets around to laying this place to waste.”
“I just hate that I’m not there to help.”
“We did help. We killed four of his strongest chieftains. At this point, he will probably forgo such attacks at us and just turn his attentions to his original plans of laying siege to my former village.”
“Yeah, some siege,” As he turned and gazed out the window. “Five thousand warriors backed up by dinosaurs versus two hundred men.” Below him he saw a few older folks moving about the courtyard completing various tasks, but it was easy to see that most of the castle had been emptied.
She moved in behind him and her arms circled his chest. “Come on. The Lord of this keep, the other um… you, has armor and equipment we can use. Let’s rest here, regain our strength, and them meet your allies in the morning.”
“Those that are left.” He turned to face her, but her arms stayed locked around him. “Huth and Met found their final end.”
“What Met, no big loss.”
“Were you two an item?”
She grew tense for a moment. “We all fight to protect our planet in different ways.” She smiled. “Perhaps you could help wash the taste of him out of my mouth.”
She laughed and any laughter sounded good during time such as they were forced to endure.
She looked up at him and her brown eyes met his. “Oh, what the hell,” he said and then leaned down to kiss her.
To be continued next Monday
June 1, 2015
Jack froze at Tynilia’s words. The Darken was attacking the forces aliened against him and would be hitting the warriors of Yig at any moment.
He looked behind him at the eighty warriors gathered near the side of the cliff and then smiled. “I know what we need to do. We might not have much time so we need to hurry.” Moving toward, he grabbed Huth-allan-nith by the forearm. “I might need one more man to help with this.”
Despite the language barrier, the Stalwart understood what was being asked of him and nodded.
Jack held up four more fingers and pointed at the man they’d been working with and Huth-allan-nith nodded again.
“I’m assuming Met can fly like you can Tynilia.”
It was her turn to nod.
“Good, now this is what we’re going to do and we need to hurry because we don’t have much time.”
* * *
An hour later found Jack, Tynilia, Huth-allan-nith, and Met-A-Lock sitting around a campfire, which burned only a few yards away from the side of the imposing cliff. Four of Huth-allan-nith’s handpicked warriors stayed close and moved between the quickly crafted huts making a few improvements and looking busy. He could also sense Shadowknife lurking in a patch of darkness just out of sight.
“They say this man has the intelligence of a God,” Met-A-Lock sneered as he spoke. “What makes you think he won’t see through such a simple ruse?”
He gave the Darcarre a glare of his own. Whether the evil man had bedded Tynilia or not remained open to debate, but either way Jack had chosen to dislike him. “Have you met Vile Darken before? No, well I have, several times now. Yes, he’s beyond powerful, a deadly plotter, and madder than a goldfish tossed into a bag of spiders, but he’s also arrogant. He would be hard pressed to believe his plans are anything sort of genius and the idea that we could plot against his moves or outsmart him would be hard for him to comprehend.”
“Also, despite his might, he has a soft spot for luxury. I’m sure that a big part of him feels why bother taking over the Multi-verse if you can’t enjoy it. So this desire for luxury might lead him to believe that the warriors could have constructed these little huts while they waited because that would be what he’d make his slaves do for him.”
Met-A-Lock had not answer and just grunted while looking away.
Jack had just turned over his ground fowl on the coals when a sphere of purple tinged black light exploded into existence between his small group and the huts. Already laughing, like he’d finished the battle, Vile stepped out of the cloud followed by four powerful Ripperkah. Two of which Jack recognized from his attack on their pyramid filled capital.
Vile Darken’s voice boomed at them, like usual his words were the first thing to attack. “Ah, another Primus. You think your maneuvering will accomplish more than elevating you to the annoyance level of a gnat where you were once a fly? But either way, I will crush you like the primitive bug you are. My only regret will be that I ever bothered to march my army toward your pathetic forces when I should have just come out here and killed you all to the man myself.”
While he spoke, everyone else moved. Jack had gathered and prepared the sand and used his Mold Earth spell to dash buckets worth of earth into his opponent’s faces. Between their disorientation after teleporting and getting eyes full of sand, this appeared to have slowed them down giving the warriors of Yig a chance to follow through with the more mundane lunching of spears. Both Met-A-Lock and Tynilia also attacked with spells, but only Tynilia’s appeared to have worked. Jack saw another Bestow, most likely driven by Shadowknife, crash into the back of one of the Ripperkah skulls and the man stumbled forward a step.
“Fools!” Vile raged. “You seek to stop me with dirt. If it is dirt you enjoy so much than into the dirt you shall go. Say hello to the worms for me. I will—what?”
The shamans of Yig had hidden just out of sight and they moved in concert to bring down the whole cliff under all of their feet.
Tynilia took to the air and grabbed Jack by his jerkin as he flung head sized boulders into their enemy’s faces.
Then everything began to happen almost too quickly to follow. Huth-allan-nith was falling and Met-A-Lock went to grab him, but unlike his allies, Vile had the ability to hover and aimed an attack at Jack while his eyes leaked an inky smoke.
Tynilia cried out and in his precarious position a thousand feet above the Earth, Jack couldn’t be sure he’d make it through a serious assault.
Tynilia chose to dive and as Vile cast a blast of black lightning their way Met-A-Lock swooped down in an attempt to grab Huth-allan-nith and found himself the recipient of Vile’s massive bolt of energy.
The Darcarre wailed in a short lived scream, but his pummeled body went silent as it tumbled without control through the rock choked avalanche.
Jack looked down and saw Huth-allan-nith’s panicked face for a moment before his falling body became lost within the choking swarm of rocks, dirt, and dust.
A dark figure flashed by them and he guessed it was Shadowknife, but who he was trying to rescue remained unknown, as was his ability to do so.
But Jack had his own problems. Vile dove after him and Tynilia. His clothes were a ragged mass of tattered reds, purples, and blacks as he prepared another spell. “Here he comes,” she yelled over the thundering boulders.
“Primus you will not escape me this time!”
“You want to bet?” Tynilia said. Then, before Jack could stop her, the sorceress of Tezcatlipoca had teleported them away.
To be continued next Monday