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A Story for Japan – Day 4 & 5 March 24, 2011

Posted by techtigger in A Story For Japan.
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A Story For Japan BannerPlaying catchup today, had a bunch roll in at once, and more to come tonight!   🙂  There is still a day to donate, and pitch in to help the Red Cross!

This story is a stand-alone Nox and Grimm tale, being written to raise funds to help the Red Cross Japan relief fund.  For every dollar donated, I will add a sentence to the story.   To see the original post, Click Here

To donate, click on the button below.

Thank you!

To read Day 1 –  click here

To read Day 2 – click here

To read Day 3 – click here

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Grimm and Loki exchanged a look. Nox was a technomancer, and they considered almost everything she did to be patently insane. If she was appalled by what was happening below, things were about to get ugly.

The ribbons of energy began to strike the ground at a faster pace, and the earth shook in sympathy. Nox had to catch her glasses as they bounced off her nose. “Whatever it is he’s bringing through, it’s going to be big.”

Grimm shook his head. “No, he’s not bringing something through. He’s sending them somewhere. They are thinking so loudly about a recruiting mission, I can hear their thoughts from up here.”

Loki gripped Nox’s shoulder.  “How common are sorcerers in the human realms?”

“I don’t know, I’ve never been there, and mother never said. Supposedly it runs along matrilineal lines, although men do get the talent on occasion. I get my scrap of sorcery from my mother and my grandmother,” she said, but stopped as Loki gave her a little shake.

“Cut the lecture short, professor. Can they recruit an army of sorcerers?”

“Oh. Crud.” She tucked her glasses into a pocket slid back down behind the ridge.  “All right, I’m going to try and collapse that portal. Those things are inherently unstable until the last lines of energy are set into place, so it shouldn’t take much to un-make it.  Can you keep the New Dawn goons distracted until I’m done?”

Loki gave her a fierce grin. “I think I can manage that.  Let’s call back the ghosts.”

Nox pulled out a pair of force gauntlets and shoved her hands into them. “You’re my wingman, Grimm.”

“Always.”

They skirted around the edge of the hill, keeping low to the ground to avoid showing up against the brilliant flashes of energy that rained down on the plain with increasing force.  As they crept closer, Loki split off with a ghost to either side of him. Nox and Grimm circled around to the far side of the portal, trusting that their target would be too blinded by the tapestry of light in front of him to notice anything beyond it.

Nox heard Grimm send a thought Loki’s way, and the entire plain lit up as the silhouette of a dragon roared overhead.  She had to stifle a laugh – it was nothing more than smoke, and buffets of air from the two Wind Knights, but the cultists didn’t know that.  Some of Loki’s not-so-distant ancestors could transform into real dragons, and everyone grew up hearing stories about the devastation they had caused.

She darted forward, dodging between energy strikes with Grimm at her heels.  The portal rose up in front of them, ten feet high and more than twenty feet wide.  The enemy technomancer was going to rush his troops all through at once, rather than one at a time. That meant he could not keep it open for long. She was close enough now to see metal rings on each of his fingers, and that the energy being woven into the portal was attached to them.  She had to hurry, he was almost done.

Sounds of fighting and waves of heat rolled past. The cultists must have seen through Loki’s bluff.  The technomancer paused to look over his shoulder, and that was when Nox attacked.  She made a slashing motion with one hand, and an electro-magnetic pulse shot out from her gauntlet. One of the lines of energy snapped, causing the fabric of the portal to buckle.  She punched out with both fists, and the shock waves from the gauntlets sent more tears ripping through the fabric.

The technomancer stared right at her through the holes and screamed, “Forget him! Kill the girl!”

Grimm let out a blood-curdling howl that stopped the charging cultists in their tracks. He barred his teeth and stalked forward, his rumbling growls audible even over the sound of the energy ribbons crashing around them. No one wanted to be the first to take on Hel’s own hound, and they edged forward in a slow, disorganized group.

Behind them, the technomancer screeched out orders while trying to simultaneously repair the damage Nox was doing to his portal.  There was no time for him to take off his rings; he was attached to the construct and would go down with it if it failed.  The fabric buckled again, and a wave rolled along its entire length, knocking him to the ground.

Loki and the ghosts chose that moment to attack from the rear.  The cultists panicked as Grimm waded into them, and they scattered into the night.  The construct began to fly apart, sending bolts of energy back up into the sky.  The technomancer screamed as he was dragged along the ground, scrabbling to find any hand hold to keep from being sucked up in to the maelstrom brewing overhead.

Nox let out a victory whoop and yelled over the tumult to Grimm.  “That is why I always use a permanent base for a portal!”

Grimm turned to fire back a joke about degrees of insanity, when the heavens opened.  For a single instant, Nox was illuminated by a river of light pouring down from sky.

Time stretched out for Nox, moving as slow as sap from a winter-bound tree. She could see Grimm leap up to reach her, and a group of cultists ambush Loki. She tried to cry out a warning as their swords moved, inch by nightmarish inch toward his back, but she could not make a sound. The last thing she saw was the look of shock on his face before the world went black.

—–

<- Back to Day 3Continue to Day 6 ->

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