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  1. #21
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    7th April 05
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    Scene 90

    We continued along the tunnel, with Jockel stopping at each cross passage to examine the walls. Occasionally he would direct us to a new tunnel.

    As the dwarf was examining a new passage, Starbuck interrupted, “Everyone quiet!”

    The elf quickly moved to the different passages and listened at each one. After listening to the passage from where we had come, he spoke in a low voice, “We need to leave, now!”

    “What? What is it?” James sputtered out.

    Jockel answered, after sniffing the air, “Goblins, many of them.”

    “How many?” I asked.

    Starbuck was still listening intently. “Too many!”

    “They have seen our light,” Jockel said, nodding. “Hurry, we need to make it to the surface! They do not like sunlight.”

    As we made our way through the tunnels, I began to hear the sounds from behind us. “They’re getting closer!”

    Gerald sniffed the air and growled. “They stink!”

    Jockel nodded in agreement. “That won’t stop them from killing us.”

    Sir David spoke up, “Jockel, we must increase our pace. We must get David to his goal.”

    “I’ll go as quickly as I can, but if I choose the wrong passage, we could be trapped.”

    “We have little choice, my friend.”

    Jockel hurried his pace and only briefly examined each passage before moving down the new tunnel.

    Sir David again called from the back, “Jockel, they are getting closer! We must get to the surface quickly!”

    Jockel quickly chose a new passage and began to move faster. We could all hear the sounds of the goblins growing closer.

    We burst through an opening and barely stopped just short of a cliff. I could barely see the far side and couldn’t see the bottom of the chasm as it disappeared into darkness.

    James was near panic, “We’re trapped!”

    Starbuck and Jockel looked frantically in both directions. “This way!” Starbuck declared and led us to the left.

    We came to a rock arch that led across the chasm. Its width was just big enough for two people to stand abreast.
    Starbuck quickly ushered us across. “Hurry, get to the other side!”

    James wasted no time stepping out onto the arch and we all followed him, with Sir David still guarding our rear.

    Just as we got to the other side, we could see the ugly features of the goblins begin to emerge from the tunnel behind us. They quickly spotted the arch we had crossed and streamed towards it.

    “Over there!” Jockel yelled out, pointing to the dark opening of another passage on our side of the chasm.

    As we hurried towards the opening, I looked across the chasm. Hundreds of goblins were pouring out of the tunnel.
    I also noticed that Sir David was not with us and still stood at the rock arch.

    “Sir David! Come on!” I called back to him.

    But the knight did not follow. Instead he had drawn his sword, readied his shield, and stepped onto the arch. “Go, David!” he called back. “You must get through!”

    As I watched the knight prepare to meet the goblins, Jockel grabbed my arm. “David, take this,” he said pressing a small globe into my hand. “Shake it and it will give you light. Move up and you will find the surface.”

    And then, Jockel and Starbuck rushed back to join Sir David.

    I started to follow them, but James grabbed me. Sir David saw what I was doing. “No!” he ordered. “Get him out of here! His quest is all that matters!”

    James and the others dragged me into the passage. As the darkness engulfed us, I remembered the globe. I shook it and it began to glow with a magical red light.

    “Up,” I choked out. “We have to go up.”

    Sir David was right. I had to finish this quest, but how many more would have to sacrifice for me.
    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance. - Japanese Proverb

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  3. #22
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    Scene 91

    We moved quickly up the corridors, the sounds of battle fading behind us. Each time we reached a branch, we always chose the passage that seemed to go up.

    Again and again, we passed one branch after another, always going up.

    Suddenly, Gerald stopped us. “Wait, quiet!”

    I watched him as he listened intently. “What is it?”

    A look of worried understanding crossed his face. “We have to hurry!”

    We all took off through the passageways. Before long, we could all hear what had worried Gerald.

    Sounds of pursuit came from the passage behind us, sounds of hundreds of creatures.

    Sir David and the others had failed!

    “Run!” I ordered.

    We broke into a run and passed through the caverns as fast as we could, but suddenly James, who led our flight, stopped dead.

    “Which way?” he exclaimed.

    “Up!” I answered.

    “They both go up!”

    I looked ahead and saw he was right. “I don’t know! Go right!”

    Again we sped down the chosen path. The sounds of pursuit getting closer all the time.

    And then our flight ended as we burst into a chamber, a chamber with no opening other than the one we had come in. Stone walls surrounded us. I had chosen the wrong path!

    “How do we get out of here?” James said in a panic.

    I looked around at all the walls. “Mike, can you break through?”

    “How?” he responded. “These walls are solid rock. I have no idea how thick they are. Even if I could, there’s not enough room to build up any momentum!”

    “We have to get away!” James screamed.

    “They’re getting closer!” Gerald called from the entrance.

    He was right. I could hear them coming up the corridor.

    What else could I do? I reached down and picked up some loose rocks. I wouldn’t go down without a fight.
    Mike readied himself and Gerald began to transform. James was trying to fade into the stone.

    As the first goblin burst into the chamber, I threw a rock as hard as I could. The rock struck the small creature square in the chest and knocked him back.

    But more were pouring into the chamber!
    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance. - Japanese Proverb

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  5. #23
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    Scene 92

    As the goblins poured into the chamber, the four of us backed up to keep the wall to our backs. The number of goblins was so great that the very ground below us seemed to shake.

    Wait! The ground was shaking and so was the wall behind us. I risked a look back and saw a crack forming in the rock wall. Something was coming through!

    “Look out!” I called as something burst through the rock face, sending rock fragments across the room into the goblin ranks. The creatures backed away to avoid the fragments.

    Bursting through the rock wall came a large spinning cone, mounted onto the front of the large tracked digging machine of Professor Livingston.

    The hatch on top of the machine flew open and a grey-garbed, masked woman jumped out and onto the top of the machine. With one hand she threw several small objects across the chamber, which detonated in a flash of light and smoke in front of the goblins.

    “Well, don’t sit there looking all googly-eyed!” she called out. “This is a rescue! Get on board!”

    She called behind her. “Doc, we need some cover!”

    And then Doc Rocket flew out of the hatch and began circling the chamber. The Shadow Avenger pulled himself to the top of the vehicle and started to fire at into the goblin ranks.

    The Scarlet Fist came leaping from the hatch to stand near the ladder. “Hurry!” she demanded. “We need to get moving.

    James was the first to scramble up the ladder, with me right behind him.

    As I got to the top the grey-clad woman turned to me. “Sorry we were a tad late. I take it you’re the otherworldly brother Oracle told me to help.” She extended her hand. “I’m Lady Dove.”

    I quickly returned the handshake, “Mr. Dove, call me David.”

    “Well, David, let’s get your other friends on board so we can get you on your way.” She turned and called out. “Wrecker, get your behind into the digger, now!”

    “On my way!” the big man responded as he plowed through a mass of goblins.

    He made it to the ladder just as the Scarlet Fist and I pulled Gerald onto the digger. Doc Rocket continued to circle the chamber, firing his hand rockets into the massed creatures. The Shadow Avenger quickly dispatched any goblin that dared get too close.

    Everyone had scrambled into the hatch, except for Doc Rocket and Lady Dove. “Doc!” she yelled. “Inside now!”

    Just a moment later, Doc Rocket dropped through the hatch to land on the deck and Lady Dove pulled the hatch closed behind her. “Professor, we’re in!” She yelled as her secured the hatch.

    “Hold on!” came the professor’s voice as the digging vehicle began to back out of the chamber.
    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance. - Japanese Proverb

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  7. #24
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    Scene 93

    Lady Dove rushed over to the Professor. “Professor, we need to get them to the lake we saw.”

    “Right, as soon as we breach the surface, I’ll point us there.”

    I moved up to join them. “Wouldn’t it be safer to stay underground?”

    “We can move twice as fast on the surface,” the Professor answered.

    Lady Dove looked at me. “David, there are forces being gathered against you, more with every minute. We need to get you to the citadel as quickly as we can.”

    “Understood, what are we up against?”

    “The Oracle told me that the Emperor is calling beings from multiple planes of existence to oppose you. Their one task is to stop you. Our job is to do everything we can to get you through. Oracle says that his allies from the other planes are sending you all the aid they can.”

    “Hence, you’re here.”

    “Indeed we are, fighting the good fight.”

    “I have to warn you, Lady Dove. Many have fallen trying to help me.”

    She lowered her head momentarily and then looked back up with defiance in her eyes. “Then we better make their sacrifice mean something, hadn’t we?”

    “Yes, let’s finish this!”

    She looked into my eyes for a moment and then broke into a smile. “Good, that’s the spirit! I knew someone from the same mold as me would have my fire. Let’s do this!”

    She turned back to the Professor. “What’s our progress, Professor?”

    “Breaching … now!”

    I felt the digging machine lurch forward and pick up speed as we reached the open air.

    “We have company!” he reported, watching the view screen.

    “What is it?” I asked, looking at the screen with Lady Dove.

    Lady Dove frowned as she examined the view. “The Pharaoh’s Storm Troopers, and tanks.”

    “A lot of tanks,” the Professor said in acknowledgement.
    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance. - Japanese Proverb

  8. #25
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    Things are looking a tad tricky. Time for Mr Livinston to spill a pint or two of his blood, perhaps?
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

  9. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    Things are looking a tad tricky. Time for Mr Livinston to spill a pint or two of his blood, perhaps?
    On this job it looks like I'll need your assistance, Jock.
    Greg Livingston
    Commissioner
    Clan MacLea (Livingstone)

  10. #27
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    I will just finish this pot of tea and then, I will pop along to give you a hand if needs be.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

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  12. #28
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    Scene 94

    “Are we safe in the digger, Professor?” Lady Dove asked.

    The Professor shook his head. “No, the infantry troops aren’t a problem. As long as the just have firearms, the bullets won’t penetrate our hull.”

    “But the tanks?”

    “The guns on those tanks can penetrate the hull or they could easily blow the tracks loose and stop our movement. The tanks are a problem!”

    Lady Dove quickly gave orders. “Doc, Wrecker, we need to get through those tanks!”

    The two moved towards the hatch and she turned back to the Professor. “Professor, slow down so the Wrecker can get in front of us. He needs some running room.”

    As the Professor adjusted the controls, we watched the screen. Soon, Doc Rocket could be seen flying overhead, firing rockets at the approaching tanks.

    Then we could see The Wrecker running in front of us, gaining speed. A tank had stopped directly in front of us and was aiming its turret right at the digger. The Wrecker simply ducked his head and plowed straight into the tank, almost casually flipping it aside. He recovered his balance and began running to the next tank, trying to make a path for us.

    Meanwhile, we could hear the sound of bullets hitting the hull of the digger, the noise nearly deafening us. On the screen, Doc Rocket fired a rocket at an approaching tank, knocking off its tread.

    But then a stray round must have hit his rocket pack, as we saw him careen towards the ground with black smoke billowing behind him.

    “Doc’s been hit!” Lady Dove called out.

    “We’re on it!” the Shadow Avenger responded. He and the Scarlet Fist ran to the hatch.

    Ahead, we could see The Wrecker had shouldered another tank away, leaving a clear path.

    “There!” Lady Dove pointed to the screen. “Get us through that, Professor!”

    The Professor pushed the throttle fully down and the digger practically leaped in response.

    On the screen, however, I saw a horrible sight. After hitting the tank, while The Wrecker recovered, another tank had turned its turret towards him and fired. The shell exploded right next to him and the big man flew back with the blast.

    “Mike!” I gasped.

    As we watched, we could see the big man stir, but he seemed unable to rise from the ground. Storm troopers were quickly moving in his direction.

    Lady Dove started to move towards the hatch. “Professor, keep this thing moving.”

    I started to follow her to the hatch, but she stopped me. “No, your mission is to get to that island! The rest of you stay in the digger and complete the mission! I will get to The Wrecker and you will get to that fortress. Finish this!”

    I stood in stunned silence before finally stammering out, “Good Luck.”

    She smiled, winked, and then quickly climbed out of the hatch.
    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance. - Japanese Proverb

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  14. #29
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    Scene 95

    The Professor deftly maneuvered the digger through the gap in the line of tanks and it continued to speed towards our destination.

    Just when we thought we were in the clear, the digger was hit with several high-speed bullets. Some ricocheted harmlessly off the metal plates, but a few managed to punch through.

    “We’re under fire!” the Professor yelled out.

    “Where’s it coming from?” I asked.

    “There,” he said, pointing to the viewscreen. As we watched a small fighter aircraft passed over us. It began to bank as we watched.

    “It’s coming back!” I warned.

    “I see that! We can’t get away from that thing and, as you’ve noticed, it’s rounds can penetrate our hull.”

    “What do we do?”

    “Try to avoid it as best we can, unless you have a better idea.”

    An idea did come to me. “Professor, are there any weapons on board?”

    He gestured toward the hatch. “Over there, in that cabinet.”

    “Keep us moving!” I said as I rushed over to the indicated cabinet. I threw open the door and looked over the inventory. I quickly passed over the pistols and grabbed one of the submachine guns, along with a couple of spare drum magazines. A quick check told me the drums were all fully loaded.

    “Professor do your best! Everyone else, keep your head down!”

    I climbed the ladder and opened the hatch. Looking to the sky I spotted the plane, which was now again headed straight for us. As it neared, its guns started firing and I saw the rounds strike the ground in a double set of lines leading right to the digger.

    I made readied my gun and began firing, trying my best to control it enough that the rounds intercepted the path of the fighter.

    I quickly emptied the magazine and ducked as the fighter’s rounds again peppered the digger. Again, some bounced off the digger’s metal plating, but I heard several hitting inside.

    I ducked down and struggle to quickly change a loaded drum into the gun. As I raised my head to see, I noticed that the digger was headed straight towards a bridge that crossed a deep chasm. Looking back, I could see that the tanks had regrouped and were chasing us.

    And in the air, the plane had again circled back for another pass.

    I readied myself and began firing as the plane approached. As the plane’s guns again began to fire, I did my best to hit the aircraft. The plane’s rounds again struck the digger, hitting all around me, but I kept firing as the plane passed over head.

    Whether it was skill, desperation, or just dumb luck, this time I managed to hit the plane and smoke began to stream from its fuselage. It banked and its pilot did his best to fly away.

    I quickly slid back down into the digger. “Professor, I did it! You need to get us over that bridge.”

    The Professor maneuvered a few levers and we kept moving to the bridge. The vehicle pulled onto the bridge, but suddenly swerved to one side. The digger struck the support railings and
    one of its tracks slipped over the edge. The digger came to an abrupt halt and I had to catch myself to keep from falling.

    “Professor, what are you doing?” I called out but stopped when I heard him groan and saw his knees buckle, causing him to fall to the floor.

    I quickly rushed to his side and lifted him. I jerked my hand back when I felt the warm liquid and looked to see it was covered in blood.

    “Professor!”

    “One of the rounds penetrated the hull,” he choked out. “I wasn’t so lucky this time.”

    “Can we get the digger moving?”

    He shook his head. “The track’s off the edge and there’s no way we can lift it back. The digger’s not going anywhere.”

    “We have to get out of here then. The tanks are right behind us!”

    Again, he shook his head. “No, I’m not going anywhere either.”

    “We can’t leave you here!”

    “You have to. I don’t have much time left.” He closed his eyes briefly and then opened them to look right at me. “I have one more trick to slow down the tanks. You need to get out of here. Complete your mission!”

    “But Professor.”

    “Go!” he ordered. “If you don’t get through, everything we’ve done is wasted. Don’t waste it!”

    Although I hated the situation, he was right. I eased him back to the floor.

    “Come on. We have to get out of here.”

    My last two companions joined me as I headed for the hatch. As we hurried to climb down to the bridge, we saw the enemy tanks getting closer.

    “Hurry, we have to get off this bridge!”



    The Professor watched as the three men climbed out of the hatch and then painfully pulled himself up. He adjusted the viewscreen to watch as they ran towards the far end of the bridge.

    He then flipped a switch and the view changed to look behind the digger.


    The tanks had just begun to pull onto the bridge. His friends would never be able to escape them on foot, so he had to perform one last action.


    He kept his eyes on the viewscreen as he pulled himself to the far end of the console. He began flipping different switched and turned several valves.


    As he watched several tanks had pulled onto the bridge and he knew they would soon overtake his position to chase down his friends.


    He grimaced as he reached up to place his hand on the red lever. Closing his eyes, he said a small prayer and then pulled down the lever.




    I stumbled as the force of the explosion shook the bridge. We all looked back and saw the far half of the bridge collapse, taking the digger and several of the tanks with it, and fall into the chasm below.
    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance. - Japanese Proverb

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