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PostPosted: Fri Jul 9, '10, 7:19 pm
“Wow, this reminds me of the old times,” Laya practically sang as she stepped off the ship.

The space ship had landed on the east side of castle where there was ample open space. The others got out of the ship and observed the area around them with a strange sense of awe. Wren had brought some binoculars from the ship, so they were able to see with some detail, what they were to expect. To the south they saw what must’ve been some sort of swamp. To the north was mostly forest. However, there was a waterfall on the side of the cliff. A cliff formed a natural wall to the east, although they could see that the cliff ended in a waterfall on the south end, near the swamp. Across the river that flowed from the waterfall was a continuation of the swamp, in addition to some shallow slopes and highlands.

Aerone had informed them beforehand that the castle was found in a valley at the bottom of a large basin. Wren had calculated that the valley was about fifty miles in diameter. Although faint, they could see the walls of the basin, at least to the south. These stone cliff walls rose some 500 feet in elevation, dwarfing the smaller cliffs, which probably didn’t pass forty or fifty feet.

Looking through the binoculars, they scanned the area quickly for signs of life. Wren saw some crab-like crustaceans living near the swamp, not to mention some rather large crocodilian animals. Birds and insects were clearly visible, although nothing that really called much attention. Piotr and Jack thought they saw some large snakes in the bushes and Sari jumped when she claimed to have seen a large rodent skittering through the trees to the east.

Laya found that to be rather funny. “Aren’t you the hardened, bloodthirsty warrior woman? How can you jump at the sight of a rat?”

Sari stopped to catch her breath. “You’d do the same thing if you were me, so I don’t want to hear it,” she snapped.

“So,” Piotr said. “This is the first time you’ve seen the sun…or both of them…isn’t it, Sari?”

She looked pensively at Piotr and responded, “You know, you’re right. The sun on the Alisa III was only an illusion—part of the climate control. This is the first time I’ve actually seen the sun…or walked on a real planet for that matter.”

“Kind of reminds me of The Matrix,” whispered Jack to Piotr.

Piotr mused on that thought for a moment and joked, “You just blew my mind, dawg.”

“So how is it? You like what you see?” Jack inquired of Sari.

“Oh it’s a beautiful…the cliffs and forests and the waterfalls…it’s almost like a dream to me. Laya, Wren, Mieu, was Palma anything like this?”

The three didn’t say anything for a few moments. Finally, Laya said, “I think it was. Although this place is so much more…what’s the word—“

“Natural?” Jack asked.

“Yeah! That’s it” Laya exclaimed. “Hey, how did you know—“

“What? About Palma’s high tech cit—“ Jack paused and saw that the attention of Laya, Wren, Sari, and Mieu were all on him. “Well…yeah…I just assumed that…if you have an entire ship carrying a section of planet, you’re probably pretty high tech…yeah.”

After a few moments of giving Jack confused looks, Sari took command and said, “Okay people. Let’s find the entrance to the castle. We’ve got work to do.” She hesitated and then said in a very low voice, “Remember, have your weapons ready but try not to be too conspicuous.”

Save for the chirping of the birds, the castle seemed to be almost silent. There was nothing stirring, nor any sound to be heard on the other side of the castle wall. No guard was to be seen on the castle wall, nor any curious peasant to be seen sneaking around one of the corners.

“Wouldn’t you expect like…I don’t know…people to come out and see what the commotion was?” Piotr whispered to Sari.

“You got a point,” Sari whispered back. “Maybe they got scared by the sudden appearance of the jet.”

“Well, the structure of this castle,” Mieu commented, “does indicate that they’re probably not as advanced as Orakians and Layans.”

“Probably thought it was a monster like Rodan or something,” Jack quipped.

“What is a Rodan?” Laya asked Jack.

“A giant ptero—a flying monster from movies Corg liked,” Piotr finished.

“Corg actually liked monsters?” marveled Laya.

“Heck yeah,” Jack said, looking to Piotr for a confirming nod.

“Shhh!” Sari said quietly, finger in front of her mouth. She motioned with her head that they were about to near the corner. Looking at Wren, she motioned him to step back a few spaces and check the northeast guard tower for signs of life. She and the others stuck to the side of the wall.

Wren stepped out a few yards and scanned the area above. He shook his head. Sari gestured for them to round the corner, sticking as close to the wall as they could. As they turned the corner, Sari clenched her fists as a way of telling everyone to be on their guard. They moved quietly towards what appeared to be the main gate of the castle. They heard nothing coming from inside the castle, not even a peep.

Reaching the gate, they discovered that it was open. The moment they looked inside, their hearts jumped inside theirs chests. The castle was apparently empty. None of the dilapidated houses or shops was occupied. The place was in a complete state of decay. The dirt roads had almost been completely taken over by weeds. There was absolutely no sign of life.

“Uhhh…yeah. So what do we do now?” Piotr asked.

“We investigate every nook and cranny of this place for signs of life or at least something to help us figure out what happened here,” whispered Sari in a still-commanding voice.

Just then, a loud rustling was heard in the bushes to the north.
Startled, the seven of them jumped around to see what it was. Nothing.

“Could be a trap,” Mieu whispered to Sari. Sari nodded and motioned for everyone to move in the direction of the noise.

The seven crept slowly towards the bushes, each one with their hands on their weapons. When they were about halfway between the gate and the bushes, they heard the sound of rocks falling from the above the gate.

Spinning around to see what the noise was, they saw what appeared to be some human shapes on top of the wall near the gate. Before they could react, there was a loud hissing sound that came out of the bushes.

Laya let out a cry of surprise. Jack and Piotr turned to see her body completely enveloped in a gooey white substance. Before they could run to her, they heard several more hissing sounds. They felt something strange strike them and pin them to the ground; they too were covered with the white goo. Mieu and Sari shrieked as well as their bodies were suddenly covered, too. Even Wren was caught in the substance.

“Don’t worry, Wren and I can easily free ourselves,” Mieu said hopefully to Sari, who seemed more disgusted than frightened.

Before she could start hacking at the strange white substance, which was quickly hardening and becoming more thread-like, two loud noises that sounded like branches breaking came from the castle wall. Mieu and Wren felt something ram into them and then squeeze like a big bear hug.

As the two cyborgs toppled to the ground, Sari and Laya screamed: both Mieu and Wren were covered with thick, woody vines.

In a fit of howls and growls, four humanoid creatures leapt out of the bushes and circled Sari and the others. From what they could see, the creatures looked like normal people, but were inordinately hairy and feral. Piotr and Jack immediately thought of those werewolves from movies they had seen in their world, but in mid-transformation. They were dressed in cloaks and tunics and carried daggers and bows. Wren, who was facing the gate, saw the other two descend and run towards them.

With voices made of grunts, growls, and what sounded like garbled words, the strange animal men discussed what to do with their captives, or so Sari and the others figured. One of them walked up to Laya and began caressing her hair and face. Laya struggled and contorted her body, trying to free herself, but the web-like substance held firm.

“Hey dawg,” Jack called to the curious animal man. “You hecka better not touch the woman. Otherwise, it’ll be grounds for a murder.”

The creature looked at Jack and grunted. One of the others walked up to Jack, pulled out a leather sling from a pouch it carried, and smote Jack across the face with it. The other creatures howled with laughter. After a few more moments of conversation between the beastmen, the creatures seemed to decide on a plan action. Five of them picked up Sari, Laya, and Mieu, and began to carry them off. The other creature, who was carrying a knife, began to walk towards Piotr and Jack.

“Oh, this is going to suck,” Jack said.

“Yeah, this can’t be good,” Piotr agreed.

CRASH! The gate slammed shut. Startled, the other five animal men dropped the three women and turned around to see what happened, as did the other.

Standing in front of a gate was another humanoid figure, dressed in a magician’s red cloak, its hood covering his face. The figure stood still, its outstretched hands carrying a number of metal chains.

For a few seconds, everyone was motionless. Finally, the still air was rent by a howl from the creature closest to Jack, who made a mad dash towards the figure, its knife in the air. With a quick jerk of the arm, the figure wrapped them around his arm. The creature fell upon him, trying to hack him to pieces with a number of well-placed slashes. The figure, standing in the same place, deflected all of the blows with his protected arm. He then struck the beast in the face with his chain-covered hand. It reeled back, bleeding profusely through the nose. The figure stepped forward and punched him in the stomach, causing it to double forward. Finally, he smote in the creature in the head with a downward fist strike, like a large hammer, and the beast collapsed. Then, with another jerk of the arm, the figure loosened the chains around its arm.

The figure pulled off its hood, revealing a young, scruffy man with long, dirty blond hair and an unkempt beard. With a deep voice, he mocked, “Sorry, but I can't let you run away with these fair ladies.” Looking at Piotr and Jack, he smiled and yelled, “Sup dawgs!”

Simultaneously, Jack and Piotr shouted, “Duuuuuuuuude! It’s hecka the Corg!”

“In the flesh,” he bellowed. Then, with a more serious voice, he said, “Hold up a sec, lemme take out the trash.” Having said that, he switched hands with one of the chains so that there was a chain in each hand.

Corg ran at the other five, swinging the chains madly over his head and around his body. Two of the beasts reached into their tunics and produced pieces of parchment. As they held the parchment up and began mumbling, Corg thrust both of the chains out, which ripped through the parchment and struck his enemies. The impact sent them flying to the ground. He swung the chain again, bringing it across the faces of two more of the creatures. Swinging the other one, the chain wrapped around the last beast’s leg. Corg yanked the chain, pulling the creature’s leg out from under it and sending it crashing to the earth.

One of the creatures scrambled to its feet and headed towards Corg with knife in hand. Corg sidestepped it and quickly wrapped the chain around its arm and neck. The other creature who had held the parchment also got up and started swinging at cork with its staff. Corg once again swung the other chain at it, wrapping it around the creature’s neck. With a few more swings, Corg managed to wrap the chain around it in such a way that its arms were pinned to its body.

Quickly, Corg tied the two chains together and yanked hard, bringing the other two feral creatures to the ground. Out of his cloak he pulled out a silver wand and touched one of the chains with it. There was a blue flash of light followed by a number of small blue bolts of electricity coming out of the wand. A split second later, a shower of sparks erupted from the parts of the chain that wrapped around the three beastly creatures. Their bodies convulsed violently for a few seconds before collapsing to the ground as smoldering heaps of flesh.

Corg walked over to the three women who were lying almost motionless on the ground. He knelt down and looked each of them closely.

“Wow, it is a true honor,” he said in amazement.

Sari looked at him, smiled, and then try to struggle free, to no avail. “Thank you for saving us.”

“The pleasure is all mine, your majesty,” Corg said politely, eliciting snickers from Piotr and Jack.

“How did you—“ Sari began, incredulous.

“Corg knows many things,” Corg said with a big grin.

“Oh for crying out loud!” Piotr said, trying not to laugh.

Reaching into his cloak, Corg produced what appeared to be a red-bladed dagger. With a few cuts and slices, he cut away most of the webbing that had covered Sari's and Laya’s bodies. He also was able to free Mieu from the vines of the Entangle spell which had been cast on her. Corg knew well what was going on around him. Both the Web and Entangle spells were both very familiar to him.

“Thank you!” Mieu said as she cut away the rest of the webbing from her body with her claws. To Corg she sounded like one of those perpetually-happy anime characters.

“You’re welcome, Mieu. You really are as pretty as you lo—sound,” Corg said.

“Uh, Corg?” Jack called out.

“Yeah, dawg?”

“Can you, like, free us, too?”

“Hold that thought—“

Corg saw the last two beast men get up and start running to the southwest. Corg simply lifted up the wand of lighting that he was holding and pointed it at them. With a flick of the wrist, a huge blue spark shot out of the tip of the wand. The spark expanded and enveloped the two beast men in a lattice-like field of lightning. After a few seconds, the lightning disappeared and both the beast men lay dead on the ground.

“That oughtta learn’em,” Corg commented.

Last edited by H-Man on Fri Oct 15, '10, 12:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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