Sunday, August 11

The second wave

I was hard pressed by this moral dilemma. My sworn enemy was being destroyed before my eyes by my new assistant. But this assistant had only recently assumed the form of a little girl. Only now that she has entered her first combat and flown into a battle rage do I see the full extent of her powers.

An explosion of tendrils from her hair continued to toss the massive robotic shell of Cold Dead Hans about like a pewter mug in a tavern brawl. Her petite form was rapidly melting away. Extra sets of eyes and a huge mouth expanded from her torso. Despite my injuries I pulled myself up from behind the crumbled wall where I had sought cover.

"Oh Good Lord! She's going to EAT him! YAGI! STOP!"

But it was too late. She launched herself into the breaking light of day with one gracefully fluid pounce, fully intent on swallowing him whole upon landing!

I was not prepared for what happened next. Hans stretched out a slightly dented arm. His hand appeared to twitch in a sign of disrepair. But when Yagi made contact with his hand there was a flash of light, and she was blown backwards across the basin of the Crater with an inhuman scream. By the time she landed her mass had snapped back into her petite form. She rolled several times before stopping, face down in front of a collapsed column.

"I always suspected that learning the Voorish Sign might someday come in handy..." With the groan and strain of metal and the crumbling of more artifacts as he came to his feet, Hans rose again. His armor was pocked with bullets and the ludicrous decorations he adorned it worth were mostly ripped away. Somehow that unspeakable roll of...what was that, felt? Whatever that was he was using as a mustache remained glued to his face. Perhaps even worse, that audacious mass of red feathers was still dancing on top of his head, taunting like a rude sock puppet every time he spoke!

"You truly ARE, mad, Mason! Only YOU would try putting a shoggoth in a dress!"

He lumbered unsteadily towards me, and I, refusing to forfeit this challenge, rolled over the edge of the wall and miraculously landed on my feet. I stared up at his crude approximation of a face again.

"I am more than willing to continue this battle, Hans."

"So be it!" He reached for his massive jagged blade to find it had been torn away in his misadventure with Yagi. Being faster on the draw by default then, I raked my diamond-encrusted bonesaw across his breastplate. He looked back to me as his hollow chuckle echoed across the crater.

"Is that the best you can do, Mason? Why don't you surrender right now. I might even let you continue to live as my personal..."

Mercifully his gloating was drowned out by the roar of a great cat, immediately followed by the shouts of children. I haven't heard such uncouth raucousness since the end of my three-hour lecture on hygiene to the scamps at Steelhead Elementary!

"MORE children, Mason?"

"Those aren't mine!"

From the edge of the canyon I saw a red neko brandishing a blade on some sort of personal hovercraft.

As he dipped the nose of his conveyance and dove towards us, dozens of screaming, feral children rushed down from behind him, bounding over the jagged rocks and piles of rubble like it was their playground.

"You've made your opinions known, Hans. Like you, I'm in no mood to fight with children today." I drew my opera glasses and focused on the mob.

"Oh good heavens! That one's wearing blonde dreadlocks as a blouse! They might even be..." I cleared my throat. "Cannibals!"

"We'll reschedule," he mumbled as he started lumbering off. I nodded good day to him and started to limp away as fast as I could towards the ornithopter. Which was not far, as I suddenly remembered the ornithopter had been reconfigured as a chain gun by Yagi. Despite my grave reservations, I ran towards Yagi to see what state she was in. I tripped over a rock and went sprawling, turning over just as the screaming reached a deafening pitch...

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