503 Fury Burrough 15

    The skeleton glowed with fire, an easy target to spot in the darkness.  All three witches dived toward him.  "Over here!  Helpless fire mage looking for a drinking buddy!"

    [Balefire: Hex]

    Pon has slain Gi Woriz.

    Pon has slain Miko Salz.

    Pon has landed a critical strike on Teran Bul.

    [Grave Shatter]

    Fajii has stunned Teran Bul.

    [Backstab][First Strike]

    Double Combination successful.

    Wind has slain Teran Bul.

    /Alpha: Pon: They have some fire mages in the Ice Faction... That's a bit **ed up.

    /Alpha: Fajii: You two okay?

    /Alpha: Semmi: Yes.  Did you scavenge some mounts?

    /Alpha: Pon: This old man doesn't ride brooms.

    *Strike Team Adder?  Return to Base!  They have a **ing dragon!  It's tearing through our fliers.*

    The skeleton mage turned toward the witch he had scorched. "You two hear that?"

    Wind held a finger to his lips.

    /Alpha: Wind: Some sort of communication device, careful, it might be an open mic.

    Pon nodded and started searching the corpse.  Teran Bul was definitely a fire mage; his only mistake was using a flame attack on someone vastly superior.

    /Alpha: Nix: The comm device is located on the broom; you can't use it in skelly form.

    Semmi and Nix approached from the North, both of them held brooms slung over their shoulder.

    *Strike Team Adder!  Report back to base*

    All of Alpha team looked toward their own camp when they felt the ground shake beneath them.  The entire southern horizon lit up for several seconds, and the rumbling explosions of landmines filled the air.

    /Alpha: Pon: Here that?  It's the sound of my kill number skyrocketing.

    /Alpha: Nix: Lame... Does the broom you scored from the coven have one of these?

    Nix pointed to a black metal ring near the end of the broom he was holding.

    /Alpha: Wind: No.

    /Alpha: Semmi: That's where the voice is coming from. Should we try to say something?

    Nix slipped the [Thine Enemy] ring on, and gripped the base of the broom.  A small circular hud map popped up near the black ring.

    *This is Dagger team, no sign of Adder.*

    Semmi leaned closer and studied the small hud.

    /Alpha: Semmi: Those blue dots are objectives!  It marks every one of our sniper nests.

    /Alpha: Nix: I'm curious as to how they would know that.  The fog of war just lifted.

    /Alpha: Semmi: That red dot to the northeast could be their HQ.

    Nix cleared his throat and pressed his thumb against the black ring.  "This is Adder team, returning to base."

    *Adder Team?  Where the hell have you been?*

    Nix shrugged slightly and motioned for his team to gear up.  "Fuck off...  We were fighting a damn dragon."

    *Come see me when you get back, Team Leader.*

    Pon cackled and straddled his broom.

    /Alpha: Pon: I'll make an exception one time, but only because I want to see what this guy says to Nix.

    Semmi motioned for everyone to gather around.  "See this sleeve grip on the handle?  Hold onto that to activate the mount.  Sliding it forward to accelerate and backward to slow down."

    /Alpha: Pon: What about steering?

    /Alpha: Nix: Don't be such a baby.

    /Alpha: Wind: Agreed.

    Nix gripped the sleeve and slid it forward slightly.  The steering ending up being very simple.  Pull up or down to elevate and left or right to steer.  It was a bit touchy, so Alpha team spent a few minutes moving around slowly in their area.

    /Alpha: Semmi: What should we tell Inferno?

    /Alpha: Nix: Direct contact with Jun Li only.  I want to know how the borders were opened.

    /Alpha: Semmi: Understood.

    [Whisper: Semmi to Jun Li]  Alpha team has commandeered some brooms.  We're going to try and scam our way into the enemy camp.

    [Whisper: Jun Li to Semmi]  Really?  I want to come!

    [Whisper: Semmi to Jun Li] Next time, Junie.  Find out what happened with the border opening.

    /Alpha: Wind: You can shut off that broom hud by rotating the comm ring.

    /Alpha: Nix: Good to know.  Let's head out.

    Nix moved forward slowly, elevating until they were clear of the trees.  He left the broom hud on to navigate.

    /Alpha: Pon: This will be the shortest undercover ever.  We wack the boss and then trash the camp.

    /Alpha: Nix: That's a dumb idea.  This calls for diplomacy.

    Alpha team flew in a straight line, a few meters above the trees.  The eerie full moon cast a dim light on the group as the flashes and rumbling continued from the border behind them.

    /Alpha: Nix: Since we don't have details, I'm going to use aggressive diplomacy.

    /Alpha: Pon: That's not a thing.

    /Alpha: Nix: No?  Watch and learn.

    *What team is approaching camp from the south?*

    Nix put a hand up to slow their group down; the lights from several fires were visible in the distance.

    *Adder team, returning from the front line.*

    *You trying to get shot?  All teams are required to call in before crossing the outer perimeter.*

    *Fuck your call-in.  Shoot and watch what happens.*

    /Alpha: Fajii: Um... Should you be more polite?

    /Alpha: Pon: Go hard or go home.  I love it.

    /Alpha: Semmi: Looks like everyone lands in that small area, but... we're going to ignore that?

    /Alpha: Nix: See?  You do know how diplomacy works.

    Semmi smiled slightly and followed as he swooped toward the ground near a small ring of campfires.

    Nix stowed his broom and scanned the camp.  Three gray stone structures could be seen north of the small group of tents.  "Why have tents if there are permanent structures?"

    Semmi studied the area while making mental notes.  "They've already been here for years, so the buildings make sense.  Perhaps the tents are recent reinforcements?"

    "Where the ** is the Adder Team Leader?"  A thin blonde man caring a wood staff stomped toward them from one of the larger tents.  "Who the ** authorized you to fly directly in?"

    Nix offered the man a polite smile.  "Me... On both accounts."  Up close the mage's eyes were purplish in color.

    /Alpha: Pon: Not a mage, witch blood most likely.

    The purple eyes glowed slightly as his grip tightened on the staff he carried.  "I don't give a ** if you were sent here from the Fortress.  You'll follow orders or I'll have your head."

    /Alpha: Semmi: That's our in, Boss.  Don't push him too hard.

    Nix smiled apologetically.  "We got off on the wrong foot, perhaps I should take a step back."

    "Damn straight you should.  The rest of your **ing Fortress reinforcements are dead... Didn't even last an hour."

    /Alpha: Semmi: Let him vent, he isn't really talking about us. Seem like there might be a rift in the faction.

    /Alpha: Pon: Fucknut needs an adjustment! I'm good either way.

    /Alpha: Wind: Same.

    /Alpha: Fajii: His tone is mildly irritating.

    Nix nodded in agreement.  "An hour isn't long.  What was your name again?"

    "Sub Lieutenant Pelos! I've been fighting here for five years."  He sneered at the group, letting his eyes linger on Semmi and Fajii for a moment before moving back to Nix.  "Get your asses back to your tent and wait for orders."

    "Five years?"  Nix took a step toward the Lieutenant.  "Weren't there only two of them until recently?  Yet somehow, you managed to survive.  Very commendable.

    Pon cackled loudly.

    The staff Pelos held glowed suddenly, the thin-faced man scowled and attacked.

    Pelos has cast [Ratface].


    An emerald flame blade flashed out and flicked the spell back toward the caster.  Pelos tried to step aside but it struck him squarely in the chest and knocked him to the ground.

    "STOP!"  A booming voice, filled with strength commanded. A heavily armored figure strode toward them.  He carried a long spear in one hand with a shield strapped to his back.

    Nix let his weapon flame out.  He could feel the newcomer was a threat.

    "Commander!  This man attacked me!"  Pelos's face seemed to morph slightly, his nose and mouth elongated into a furry snout with sharp rat teeth.

    The armored man ignored the accusation as he studied Nix for a moment.  "One of the fire users from the Fortress?"

    /Alpha: Nix: Be ready.

    Nix nodded in affirmation.  "Yes Sir."

    A slim individual cloaked in shadow stepped from behind the large figure, the air around her solidified until she came into view.  An older woman with gray hair a longbow in one hand gestured toward Pelos with a weathered hand.  The rat-faced witch immediately retreated toward his tent.  "I'll get these people settled properly, Commander."

    The Commander nodded and left without speaking further.

    "I'm Cyra, the Commander's second.  What a mess.  Going to need to debrief you, walk with me."  The woman gave them a friendly smile and turned toward one of the nearby tents, she peeked inside the flap-door for a moment before nodding in satisfaction. "This one will do.  I assume you don't have a tent yet?"

    Nix shook his head slightly.  "We don't."

    Several lamps lit up when Alpha team walked in, allowing the group to see each other in a spacious tent with a half dozen empty bunks.  The floors were lined with animal skin and a large metallic box stood in on four legs in the center of a structure.

    /Alpha: Pon: That a **ing heater?  What a bunch of pansies.

    /Alpha: Wind: Speak for yourself, I don't mind a heater.

    /Alpha: Semmi: Agreed.
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