502 Xander Burrough 16

    In the two days since Nix detonated most of the Undead faction, Inferno continued to strengthen their defensive positions while working hard to craft deadlier items.

    Golem crafting has improved to 250.

    A new golem blueprint is available.

    An additional enchantment slot has been added to your crafting queue.

    "Nix?"  Fajii called from the trail; there was literally nowhere to step since the area was blanketed with tiny black golems.

    Nix glanced up from his task and waved at Fajii.  "Be careful; don't knock over the boys."

    Fajii's skull nodded as she slowly made her way toward him.  "These are Black Ice Golems?"

    "Yep.  Well... 80 percent maybe."  Nix waited until she made her way to his side before he picked one up to show her.  "See this panel over the chest?  It's full of metal scraps."

    Fajii examined the golem.  It was just over knee-high but more streamlined than his past golems.  There was a small clay panel over the chest.  "Why put scraps behind the panel?"

    "Pon gave me all of his low-level grenades.  They will explode outward thru the weakest point, which in this case is the panel." Nix watched as she examined it, "those scraps will blast into whoever is standing in front of them.  I call them Booming Bobs."

    Fajii sat the golem back down on the ground.  "I just came from the Kiln.  Raine is working on the project you gave her."

    Nix opened his hud and checked the Xander Burrough map.  A long wood barricade had been built along the northern border that separated them from Peril (14), and Fury (15).  The logs were built into six-foot-high X's with sharpened ends.  When pieced together properly, they could not be easily broken or climbed.  The second row of barricades was erected a hundred meters to the south of the first.  This was labeled as the killing field.  It was heavily mined and lined with sniper nests.

    /Alpha: Pon: We're waiting for you, Punk.

    /Alpha: Nix: We're on the way.

    Nix queued the rest of his black ice golems and followed Fajii as she retreated back toward the main camp.

    Fajii paused at the trail and grabbed his bone hand with hers. "How many golems did you make?"

    "Bit less than seven hundred, if you count the queue."  Nix summoned Fey when they arrived at a small clearing.  Fajii moved behind him, her bone arms encircling his waist a moment before the bone Drakon shot into the sky.

    Pon waited with the rest of the Inferno Officers; Nix had barely been seen in the last few days.  All two hundred of the Skeletons were once again in formation.  The old mage could hear them talking among themselves.

    "Is Commander Nix coming?"

    "Think the Commander will blow us up again today?"

    "Is he going to lead the charge?"

    The old mage would have scowled if he had the face for it.  Nix wiped out the entire formation, and they loved him for it.  He caught sight of Fey in the distance.  "There he is."

    /Alpha: Pon: You're late again!

    /Alpha: Nix: How's that possible? I said we'd start after I arrived... I just arrived.

    Fey landed near the formation and waited while her two passengers disembarked.  The moment they were clear, she morphed into a Fire mage and followed them.

    /Inferno: Nix: Let's go over what we know. You're up, Semmi.

    /Inferno: Semmi: Our long term mission is the Bone Fortress; in order to do this, we need to hold all sixteen Burroughs.  According to Edi, three thousand troops must be garrisoned in the fortress. That means the other nine thousand members of the Ice Faction will be divided into the fifteen Burroughs the enemy now holds.

    /Inferno: Jun Li: In all likelihood, the Peril (14), and Fury (15) Burroughs are heavily reinforced.  We may be facing the largest army available.

    /Inferno: Semmi: Once the borders are breached, the enemy will have to stay and fight.  It's in our best interest to surprise them.

    /Inferno: Jun Li: Assignments are as follows.

    [Main Tanks Assigned to the Front Line]

    Sharl, Morti, Mortimus

    [Overflow Tank]


    /Inferno: Semmi: Each Main Tank has three clerics assigned to them and two dps. Nezbit will heal our Over Flow Tank.

    Sasi, Rabi (Assigned to Sharl)

    Raine, Jun Li (Assigned to Morti)

    Del, Chiba, (Assigned to Mortimus)

    Edi (Assigned to Gil)

    /Inferno: Semmi: Ranged fighters already have their assigned nests. Your first priority is anything inside the killing field.  Don't worry about those who have already made it through until the field is cleared.

    [Sniper Nests] Darsi, Ronnie, Shae, Donri, Alfie.

    Nix studied their layout.  Of the two hundred Eidengal fighters, nine were clerics.  Those were numbers that were desperately needed. Eighty-five were melee fighters, thirty were mages, and seventy-six were archers. They would all respawn in the graveyard if they died.  NPCs and Titans would be removed from the Bone Fortress upon their deaths.  No one was sure what would happen when a player died.

    /Alpha: Pon: How come none of the Alpha members are listed?

    /Alpha: Semmi: Nix's orders.

    /Alpha: Wind: Special mission, Boss?

    /Alpha: Nix: We'll punch into enemy territory and look for TOOs.

    /Alpha: Pon: The hell does that mean?  Two what?

    /Alpha: Semmi: Targets of opportunity.

    /Alpha: Pon: The ** didn't you say that then?

    /Alpha: Nix: I like seeing you confused.

    Nix handed each member of Alpha team one of the [Thine Enemy] rings.  "Don't use these until we are behind enemy lines."

    /Alpha: Pon: When we going in?

    /Alpha: Nix: How long do you need to complete those teardrop bombs?

    /Alpha: Pon: I'm nearly out of supplies; Darsi has confiscated all of the ammo for herself. I need a day to finish the current queue.

    /Alpha: Nix: Sometime this week.  It would be great if Gideon could find that coven.

    /Inferno: Edi: Could you talk to the troops, Nix?

    /Inferno: Nix: Three times a day, we'll move into our battle positions and run through simulations. We are finalizing our preparations.  Be ready!

    [Whisper: Nix to Ronnie]  How do the skeleton archers look?

    [Whisper: Ronnie to Nix] Besides Alfie, there are no heavy hitters.  They have two basic ranged attacks.  As long as they concentrate their fire, we'll be fine.

    [Whisper: Nix to Ronnie] I'm counting on you, don't let me down.

    [Whisper: Ronnie to Nix] Never have, never will.

    [Bone Fortress, 2230 hours  Ice Faction: 12,539, Undead 220]

    "You're a bit of a cheat, Boss."  Wind shook his skull at the hundreds of Black Ice golems lining the riverbank.

    Pon looked up from behind a stack of teardrop-shaped bombs.  "Understatement of the **ing century. He's a massive cheat."

    Semmi and Fajii were stacking the teardrops in groups of five.  Each member of Alpha team would take as many as they could hold.

    /Alpha: Semmi: Fey will transport us behind enemy lines.  The good thing about being skellies is that we don't weigh much.

    [All Ice Faction forces within the Xander Burrough have been eliminated.  Occupied Burrough borders may now be crossed.]

    Nix stared at the message that caused his hud to pop up.  "Shit!"

    /Inferno: Nix: The borders are open!  All personnel report to your battle stations!

    [Summons: Fey]

    /Alpha: Semmi: Grab your teardrops!

    Nix started scooping up the fist-sized teardrops while using his hud to send two hundred of his golems closer to the frontline.  By the time he was finished, all of Alpha team was mounted on Fey.  The Drakon's ascent was much slower than normal; it was obvious that she felt their combined weight.  Her bone ribs barely cleared the trees as she flew toward the barricades.

    ****** Reminder***

    Darsi is a sniper in Inferno.  She rescued Nix in the real world when the Gladis Corporation was sabotaged. Darsi was also one of the crafters from the Gladis Hub.


    On the other side of the camp, Darsi was already in her sniper nest.  The nest was an elevated platform that had been constructed to hold six ranged fighters.  Her bone fingers flipped the setting on her sniper scope, immediately the night sky lit up with the glow of body head.

    /Inferno: Darsi: We have fliers coming at us from the northeast. Too many to count.

    /Inferno: Jun Li: Fliers?  Where's Fey?

    /Inferno: Fey: Leave them to me.  I'll have to put you down.

    /Inferno: Nix: Do it!  We'll manage.

    /Inferno: Semmi: Alpha team is going in.  Jun Li has Command.

    The bone Drakon banked into a steep dive, leveling off as she crossed over the killing field.  Once into enemy space, she slowed long enough for everyone to jump off.

    [Ice Spear][Ice Entanglement]

    Combination unsuccessful.  Nix is immune to Ice attacks.

    Four figures dived at Alpha team, their dark forms closing on them at impossible speeds.  Six emerald strands stabbed into the first flier; a scream of agony was all the warning Nix received before he was yanked into the air.

    A stealthed Semmi leaped onto the back of the second flier; she disappeared in the darkness as she struggled for control of the mount.

    The fliers passed through the rest of the group, ascending into the darkness while the three remaining Alpha members backed into a triangle and watched the skies.

    /Alpha: Pon: South!  Here they come!

    A hundred meters away, Nix dug himself out of the mud just as a weapon flashed toward him.

    [Black Ice: Sculpture]

    Hora Tui has been encased in Black Ice.

    Nix sidestepped the sculpture as it landed heavily in the mud where he'd been standing.  A quick glance around the area turned up what he was looking for.

    Black Lightning

    Flying Transport: Broom Type

    Description: They say that lightning is faster than dragons, but do you dare to use it?

    The yellow-eye skeleton picked up the broom.  "I'm gonna say, YES!"
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