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Flash Fiction – Rescue Me September 2, 2011

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction.
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Loki lay hidden in the tall grass, the morning dew soaking the front of his shirt and pants. He and Anders had ridden through the night to try and catch the New Dawn press gang, but to no avail. Their quarry was swallowed up by the gates of an imposing fortress in the valley below them, just as the first fingers of dawn brushed the treetops.

Anders cursed quietly beneath his breath. “Look at that place. Twenty foot high walls, all polished limestone. Even if we could scale them we’d stand out like a sore thumb against all that white. One main entrance, heavily guarded, and men on the ramparts. A lookout tower in the middle, with views of the entire grounds.” He shook his head. “We’d need an army to break in there, and another to fight our way back out again. I’m all for a fight Red, but that’s suicide.”

Loki’s face was stony. “I’m not leaving those kids in their hands.”

The Storm kindred sighed. “I was afraid you’d say that.” He rubbed gingerly at the lumpy bruise on his forehead. “Though I guess I should be grateful you’re so stubborn about leaving anyone behind.”

“That’s right, you owe me one,” Loki said, with a wolfish grin.

“Fine, fine” Anders grumbled. “Let’s circle around and see what our options are.”

They moved back off the ridge, staying low until they got in amongst the trees. Pines had given way to oaks and maples, which gave them less cover than they would have liked, but the only alternative was the open hillside.  They slipped from tree trunk to tree trunk, keeping a constant watch on the fort for any sign that they had been spotted.  The hill sloped downwards into the valley as they got to the back side of the fort, and the trees began to thin out.

Anders crouched behind a knobby old oak. “We may have to go back around the other way,” he said.

Loki made a quelling motion with his hand, and Ander’s mouth snapped shut. A light flashed up in the tower, and an answering flash came from the hillside they had just vacated. The sound of hoofbeats shook the ground, and an entire patrol of New Dawn soldiers galloped out of the trees.

“Where the Hel did they come come from?”

Loki shrugged. “Portal, maybe?”

“There they are!” came the shout, and the two friends scrambled to their feet. There was no point in trying to out-run cavalry on foot – they called fire and lightning to their hands, and got ready to fight.

“What’s the plan, Red?” Anders said.

“Pop rocks,” Loki said, drawing on Fire and Earth to send a wave of heat through the ground.

The Storm kin let out a whoop of laughter. “That’ll be a good start.”  He reached out and pulled the moisture from the dew into the air, forming a small, but intense storm cloud. A flick of his hand sent it scudding towards the oncoming cavalry.

New Dawn cultists were at their strongest in the morning sun, and they hit the cloud with a beam of light, thinking to burn it off.

Anders sniffed. “Predictable.”

The storm broke under the heat, dumping a quick drenching rain over the cultists. As the cool water hit the ground, it caused every super-heated pebble to shatter with a crackling BANG.   The front ranks of horses panicked, tossing their riders and galloping wildly off into the trees.

Loki added more heat into the air, giving Anders everything he needed to summon heat lighting.  Thunder boomed, and lightning slammed down amidst the remaining attackers.  The cultists wheeled around them, sawing at the reins to get their mounts under control.

In the distance, alarm bells were ringing at the fortress.  Loki grinned as he saw more troops pouring out of the gates.  “Yes! Come out, come out said the spider…”  He set the grass to smoldering, sending up billows of smoke to fill the whole valley.

“They know we’re here, Red.”

“But they can’t see us, and they’re out of the fortress now. C’mon!”

“They’re not all out,” Anders muttered, but followed close on the Fire kin’s heels.  He wet a sleeve and held it over his mouth to keep from coughing on the smoke.

They waited in the shadow of the gates until the last of the troops marched past, and slipped inside. Two guards stood by the winch for the portcullis, complaining about the smoke and rubbing blearily at their eyes. Anders rushed at them with a menacing, shark-like grin that actually made them stumble back a step, straight into LokI’s clutches. He took them down and motioned Anders to scout ahead while he hid the bodies inside the guard house.

He caught up to the Storm kin a minute later. The insterior of the fort was arranged around a courtyard. There were no windows anywhere, only doorways blocked off by heavy iron gates. The watchtower rose up high above it all, with a single entry at ground level with a stair beyond, also barred.  The floor of the courtyard was covered in a stone mosaic of a sun-in-glory, the rays bounded by a ring of stones a few feet in from the walls, and the center made of a single copper disc. Other than that, there was no ornamentation at all, only smooth limestone walls.

“Where the Hel do they keep all those horses?” Anders whispered.

Loki shrugged. “We need to find a way inside.”  He waited for more of the smoke to roll in, and crept out into the courtyard. Something about that sun symbol was nagging at him though, and he hesitated at its edge. Then it hit him – it was just like the copper portal coins the cultists had used to try and kidnap Nox months ago. From the size of this one, it could open a portal big enough to send out an entire troop like the one that had just marched outside.

“Anders, wait!” Loki yelled, and launched himself at his friend to try and knock him out of the ring. Anders stopped and turned, but his foot had already hit the disc. The floor disappeared, revealing a ramp into another, larger courtyard.  Anders tumbled down it, and Loki, already airborne, landed badly in a heap next to him.  They were surrounded in a heartbeat by red-robed New Dawn soldiers, their arms and legs pinned down and rags that smelled of chloroform pressed over their mouths. Loki caught a glimpse of tall castle walls as he struggled, and mountains in the distance.  He had time for one last thought as the darkness closed in – how were they going to rescue those kids the cultists nabbed, if they needed a rescue themselves?


<–Previous   –Beginning–  Next->

This flashfic is part of an ongoing web serial, updated every week as a part of #fridayflash on twitter.  If you are new to Nox and Grimm, you can Click Here to read from the beginning.

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Comments»

1. TEC4 - September 2, 2011

Can’t wait to hear what happens next. “Pop Rocks” — ROFL!

techtigger - September 3, 2011

*grins* I was hoping folks would get a laugh out of that 🙂 And there’s more fun and mayhem, coming up!

2. ganymederg - September 2, 2011

“Pop rocks?” Niiiiice… Using their own impulsive stupidity against them. Like it!

techtigger - September 3, 2011

*heehee* i do have fun coming up with new ways for them to use the elements 🙂


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