I was a bad little monkey last night, and added nothing to my word count. Thankfully I was a bit ahead of the game so I can recover from that. Essentially a bunch of circumstances happened and last night was the collision of needs of my wife, needs of my friends and me being open to suggestion since I think I am coming down with a bug going around. I knew it was bound to happen during the run and in part that’s why I pushed myself over the weekend.
However this is not to say I did NOTHING last night of value towards the NaNoWriMo path. Basically I am at a point seven chapters in where I need a clearer path for me to take from this point onwards. So I retrenched a bit and worked on some outline plans. That way I can have a better goal in mind as I write additional chapters. Hopefully it will pay off and today the chapters will flow more freely. Yesterday I was two chapters ahead of these posts… now I am just one chapter ahead. Once again… no editing has been done I am just posting as is to fullfill my daily blogging mission.
6 – The Watch
Farragut awoke to the god awful ringing of the warning klaxon echoing through the underground chambers. He opened his eyes trying to bring the fuzzy picture of the bottom of the bunk above him into focus, and slowly he slid back the blankets before tentatively swinging over the edge of the bunk. He muttered to himself “this better not be a false alarm again” as he moved across the room to pull on some clothing. As he cleared the door to his cabin, he heard the chime of the secondary klaxon, at a slightly different pitch. “Shit… not a warning” he mumbled as he picked up pace jogging down the corridor to watch one.
When he entered the watch room it was already a flurry of activity as the various analysts poured over the monitors tracking various indicators and colorful spikes of light. About this time a rather rotund scientist spun around in his chair, and upon seeing the Farragut standing there reported excitedly “Lieutenant! err… Sir… we have a big one!” He closed the distance from his station to the Lieutenant while stopping to grab something off a printer that was furiously spewing out information to printed pages. “We have over 30 class C signatures, and around a half dozen class A. We’ve never seen anything like this!”
Farragut thumbed through the papers confirming what the little man had just told him. “Have you confirmed with with the other stations Aimes?” The little man nodded emphatically clearly about to the point of bursting with excitement. The Lieutenant continued “What options do we have in the area currently?” Aimes practically vibrated with excitement as he had apparently already forseen this question “We have an Mathemagus Strike Team 10 minutes out already on maneuvers, would you like to redirect them to the site?” Farragut nodded in agreement “Get them on the Com, I will address them myself.”
Within moments the little man had done just that and the radio near the Lieutenant crackled to life. “Mathemagus Strike Team Gamma, Chief Aimes reporting in.” spoke the man on the other end of the speaker. “Chief this is Lieutenant Farragut of the Lonestar Watch base. We have reports of a breach in your vicinity. Request that you move to intercept. Over 30 class C signatures and at least six class A signatures. This is not a training exercise.” Farragut paused for a moment taking in the gravity of his words. “I repeat this is not part of your exercise. Close on the target and seal the breach. Do you copy Chief?”
The coms were silent for a moment and then in a somber and deliberate tone the chief responded that he copied. It had been fifteen years since the last reported incursion of this magnitude. Then it was three strike teams against only 2 class A signatures, and even at that the casualties were massive. They held the field and sealed the breach but at such massive costs. Farragut hoped that they had prepared better for this one. The infinity drive weapons were new, and had yet to be tested against in real battle. He hoped that the calculation matrix would be enough to make the difference this time. The lieutenant swallowed hard at the thoughts of what might have come through that tear.
Aimes clicked off the coms and let the headset fall to his lap for a moment, pressing the heel of his hands against his eyes. By now the members of his strike team were watching every movement he made with tense anticipation. Without moving his hands he spoke “I am sure you heard some of that. Our training mission is being cut short.” He opened his eyes to look out at the worried faces of the different members of his watch unit. “We are minutes away from the drop zone. We have reports of 30 class C entities and 6 confirmed class A entities. We will intercept and make sure the tear is closed, and do our best to disable any hostiles in the process.” Looking from face to face trying to present as confident a front as he could muster. “Go over your gear and make sure you change out the core of your weapons to the calculation matrix generator.”
In the moments since the battle had begun Bemel, Josah and Benj had managed to make meager progress and more of them lay scattered around the farm grounds. Morrow was badly wounded but seemingly stable, as the trio of men built a wall between the rampaging Orts and her slowly breathing body. When Baigan emerged from the farm house, it was plain to see what exactly he was playing at as he held up the essence crystal. Benj knew without a doubt that Bethilda had sacrificed herself in a bid to save them. A deep boiling anger built up inside of him and started to overflow.
Breaking from the current conflict with the Orts, he steadied his shield and began to charge Baigan. Seeing the big warrior closing in on his position the shade made a break for the upstream tear. Bemel seeing the flight took up pursuit as well, fighting round after round of arrows in his direction. “Benj, you have to go back… you have to protect Morrow. Josah can’t hold off against this wall of flesh alone.” Benj grunted a disagreement and spat back “I failed to protect the queen, I must save her.” Running desperately to catch up Bemel panted “She made her choice, now we have to protect what is left. Besides… my bow can reach the traitor faster than you can. Go back I will run him down.” Resigned Benj grunted a somber agreement and broke from the pursuit.
Bemel slowed steadying his aim and fired an arrow that dug into the shades leg, causing him to trip and tumble before regaining his footing and scrambling upstream with renewed fervor. Mere yards away from the glowing purple tear Baigan picked up speed again heading straight for the event horizon. The archer nocked another arrow guiding it with his unnatural vision, hitting the other through his core knocking him forward eventually collapsing into the breach and disappearing from sight. Bemel ran with all of his might but arrived at the tear just as it was sputtering shut with a few pink sparks.
While he had struck the traitor with what appeared to be a killing blow, he had tumbled into the rift shifting to the other world. He had no idea where the shade had tapped into the Way Willow from, nor how to get there, but he had to return to the battle and salvage what he could. As her ran back towards his brethren, he heard a new sound… an odd hushed beating sound. Looking up to track the noise he saw a great black shape gliding quietly above the treeline heading towards the pack of Orts. There was a brilliant flash of light and the craft had dropped something upon the battlefield, sending a row of Orts flying off in different directions streaming.
Bemel watched as thin ropes streamed down from the craft sending armored men to the ground below. With weapons they opened fire on the dozen remaining Orts, each one erupting in a violent display of light before simply fading out in a purple mist. The remaining backbreaker charged a large man but was simply too slow because the brilliant fire caught him causing him to dissipate into the same purple mist. Within moments the newcomers had one the battle and were turning their weapons to bear down at Bemel’s friends. He screamed at the top of his lungs “Wait!”.
What appeared to be the leader of the group gave a signal and two of the troopers turned to face Bemel, who had slowed his run down to a walk. He threw aside his bow, spreading his hands out to his side in what he felt was a universal sign of peace. Seeing this Benj and Josah did the same in hopes of at least learning more about this newcomer who had so quickly claimed the field from the Orts. The leader spoke “Halt! You have violated the sanctity of this world. State your names and your purpose for crossing the breach.” Aimes turned to point his own analytic bolter at the entity that had spoken. “We will not give a second warning.”
Bemel as calmly as he could muster responded “We mean you no harm. We are members of the Unified Courts of Avalon.” Motioning to himself “I am Bemel. That there is Benj and Josah, and the wounded one is Morrow.” Aimes kept up his gaze nodding in understanding as each of the others were introduced. “We were attacked by a backbreaker squad from the Trogjan Empire. Does any of what I just said make sense?” Aimes had heard all the terms before but never actually met a pan-dimensional entity before. “I know of some of what you speak. Why are you here?” Bemel thought for a moment wondering just how much of what had transpired he should explain.
“Our prince of summer, is a being of your world. We came here to visit him.” Growing more desperate at the thought of it “The Summer queen was attacked and captured, and taken back through the tear just before you arrived. We have to get to her, save her. You must understand we mean you no harm.” Aimes thought about the others words for a bit, wondering just what he should do, there were no protocols for this. Hostiles were supposed to be big monsters, not reasonably talking human looking entities.
“I believe what you are saying, and that you mean us no harm. But that is just not a chance I can take.” Turning to his troops “Open fire, take them down”. Bemel screamed but it was too late, as he watched white streams of light pouring from their weapons bearing down on them. First was Benj that took a shot in the chest and faded into mist, followed by Josah who caught a round while leaping mid air towards the attackers. Finally Bemel and Morrow were struck by the fire and disappeared as well. Within moments the scene had fallen deathly quiet, with nothing but the rustle of the leaves.
“Survey the scene and secure the area.” Motioning up stream “Chaco take a few troops and make sure the breach is sealed tight”. Aimes looked around at the battlefield littered with the corpses of the giant creatures that were slayed before they had arrived. He could not shake the feeling that he had done the wrong thing, that the entities really did mean us no harm. The watch just could not take chances like that. The repeated the mantra he had been taught so many years ago. The watch protects those who don’t know they need protected. If nothing else, the calculation matrix generators proved to be deadly effective in their first usage.