Trinsic Tales:Afterlife in the Fast Lane/Chapter 22
Chapter Twenty-Two: FINISH HIM!
<Capn_Ascii> "As we join our heroes, we find them elbow-deep...in CARNAGE!"
<Capn_Ascii> Rika: As you fall away from the warlord's back and quickly backpedal away to avoid being detected, you can feel powerful dark energies flowing into your body from your blades. You suddenly realize - that warlord gave you the finger!
<Capn_Ascii> The Finger...
Rika points her finger at Steve and mutters a random incantation.
<Capn_Ascii> Rika points her finger dramatically and yells the mystic word of power: "OBJECTION!"
<Capn_Ascii> (Sadly, she's still invisible, so the hilarity of this reference is lost on the assembled crowd.)
<Capn_Ascii> Steve, hearing a noise behind him, immediately reaches for his sword as he turns around. He has just enough time to raise it overhead in an "You're gonna get cleav'd!" posture, before he suddenly stops dead still. His eye twitches; then, he topples over like a displaced action figure, landing with a heavy THUD.
<Capn_Ascii> The orcs, who are currently raising their battleaxes and cocking their crossbows, suddenly look up to see their leader fall over dead. You hear the sound of hundreds of orcs performing a surprised blink in unison...it sounds something like *blop*. "...whoa. The Boss is dead?"
Eralia notes the apparent inaction and smiles, puts her other fireball away, floating down to above Steve's position. "Your leader appears to be DEAD, orcs. You can either join MY cause, and continue to have a purpose, or wander around purposeless. I'm just as good as he is. Better, since I and my associates just killed him. Your choice."
<Capn_Ascii> The orcs murmur amongst themselves, still somewhat shocked about what just happened. Eventually, one orc steps forward. "Uh...excuse me, ma'am, but...what *is* your cause?"
<Eralia> "Pretty much the same as his was, if I understood correctly. Not into wanton destruction, per se, that doesn't help the economy, which means less taxes for me, but I still want to rule, and I'll need a security force. Would rather not have to start from scratch. We can rebuild this city, make it better then before, maintain it well, and make quite a nice living for ourselves."
<Capn_Ascii> The orcs murmur some more. "Rebuild? We're orcs!" "What do we know about runnin' a city?" "We're invaders! We like invading!" "Smash stuff! Kill, KILL!" "I demand wenches!"
<Eralia> "You're assuming I intend to *stop* at one city."
<Eralia> "Horrid assumption."
<Eralia> "Time is not an enemy, unless you make it so. Time is our friend. We can take the next city, loot it, rebuild, then take number three, etcetera."
<Capn_Ascii> The first orc - apparantly, the union head - speaks up. "Oh, please, we don't even *know* you. I mean, how do we even know you're qualified to warlord over anyone? What's your prior experience? Do you have any references?"
<Eralia> "Can I use the person we just killed as a reference? Most of my work as of late has been mercernary, but this is a good opportunity for all of us. And when you think about it, what's your alternative?"
Rika mutters, mostly to herself "Oh sure, I killed him, but you get credit. Fine." and looks around for the golem's invisibility to wear off.
<Capn_Ascii> More murmuring. Quite a few of the orcs seem to be leaning your way, though just as many are hesitant. "Well, just because you're a skilled assassin doesn't mean you're qualified to run an army. We're not going to dedicate our lives and purpose to someone who might accidentally lead us into defeat or financial ruin due to a lack of skill. It takes years of experience to learn how to warlord properly."
<Capn_Ascii> Rika: You feel a large metal hand poking you on the shoulder. And by "poke", I mean "borderline punch". Fortunately, it apparantly has enough presence of mind to not speak and reveal both of you to the crowd.
<Eralia> "Yes, because using someone with those qualifications turned out *so* succesfully for you," Eralia points out sarcastically, gesturing at the corpse below her.
Rika mutters looks up into nothingness "Oh. hi there. You should probably shrink back down before the invibility spell wears off."
<Dkort> "If nothing else, I could guarantee a good health plan."
<Eralia> "Oh, hey, Dkort, was wondering when you were going to start talking."
<Dkort> "Well, I had come prepared for a fight, so this caught me off-guard."
<Eralia> "Understandable. But we have an opportunity here. You, me, and Rika... if she ever comes out and starts talking. Where is she, anyways?"
<Capn_Ascii> "Well, she's got a point." "I dunno, I still don't trust her. What if she's an undercover cop or something?" "Look, I for one came to loot and plunder, and..." *murmur, murmur*
<Capn_Ascii> Rika: The golem nods (which you can't see), shrinks down (which you also can't see), and quietly drops into your pocket (which you feel, but can't see).
<Eralia> "Tell me, if you don't join up with me, what are you going to do? Find another warlord? I'm not exactly going to be interested in allowing competition to crop up in these parts, so you'll have a long trip. And you might not find another. I'm here, now."
Rika turns off the Steve disguise before she pops back into being a couple yards behind Steve.
<Eralia> "Oh, hey there, Rika."
<Capn_Ascii> "Gah! There's three of them now!"
Rika floats up next to Eralia.
<Capn_Ascii> The orcs continue to murmur. "Well...look. Hypothetically, if we were to agree, what sort of benefits can you offer? And what about starting pay?"
<Rika> "what are you getting paid now?"
<Dkort> "I have a decanter of endless booze."
<Capn_Ascii> "Twenty gold a day, plus medical and dental."
<Capn_Ascii> One of the orcs grins, showing off his perfect teeth.
<Eralia> "Really? I'm impressed. Well, we certainly can provide a quality medical plan, thanks to Dkort here. As for pay, that depends on how well we do in bringing in proper revenue. Could be as little as ten, could be as much as fifty. However, as a starting bonus... find Steve's treasury. He has to have one. Whatever's in there, divide amongst yourselves. Consider it an advance payment."
<Capn_Ascii> The orcs consider this. More murmuring, and gradually a worried look begins to spread through the crowd. "I dunno, that doesn't seem like such a good idea..."
<Eralia> "I know, the rewards aren't the most certain, but right now, they're zero."
<Eralia> "He's dead, whether you like it or not, and whether you join me or not."
<Capn_Ascii> "Yeah, well, that's what worries us."
<Eralia> "What do you mean?"
<Capn_Ascii> The orcs are slowly backing away from the stage. "If he's dead, then why's he look so pissed?"
Eralia frowns and looks down.
<Capn_Ascii> Eralia, Dkort: As the orc leader's eyes widen, you follow his gaze. Steve is still lying on the stage, in the exact position he fell - but his eyes are open, and he's glaring up at Eralia with a look of raw fury.
<Capn_Ascii> He slowly begins to climb to his feet, snarling. "You KILLED me! I can't believe you ****ing KILLED ME!"
<Eralia> "Oh, so you can come back? Not a problem. We can kill you again."
<Eralia> "Or you can just surrender, right now."
<Dkort> "You seem unusually spry for someone who just got killed."
<Eralia> "I mean, you killed us once, we just returned the favor. Fair's fair but I haven't been paid yet. So surrender or die."
<Capn_Ascii> The warlord growls. "Yeah, well, you would know, wouldn't you?" He grins evilly. "You're not the only ones who can strike a deal with the great beyond."
<Eralia> "How many times can you pull it off, though?"
<Capn_Ascii> "As long as this body holds out, I suppose. Fortunately, I only have to kill each of *you* once." He draws his BFS, and assumes a battle position.
<Eralia> "I see. Dkort, this time, instead of killing him, let's obliterate him."
<Eralia> "I want him broken in a hundred pieces."
<Eralia> "You game, Rika?"
Rika nods, pulling out her invisibility wand and casting it on herself.
<Eralia> "...coward. Teleporting out," Eralia grumbled. "Fine, looks like it's 2-on-1, then," Eralia says calmlly, pulling out her swords. "Prepare to die again. And this time, not have a body to come back to."
Rika floats over a couple yards behind Steve and sets the golem down there whispering to him "Give 'im hell."
Dkort clutches his holy symbol and begins praying for strength
<Capn_Ascii> An angelic chorus begins to sing, as Dkort's prayers are answered!
<Capn_Ascii> Dkort spontaniously doubles in size. Rawr!
<Capn_Ascii> "There are worse things in life than death, sweet cheeks." The warlord holds out his hand, facing his palm at Eralia. "Roy G. Biv!" A wide beam of rainbow light leaps from his palm!
<Capn_Ascii> Give me a Reflex save, Main.
<Capn_Ascii> (Argh, wrong channel.)
<Capn_Ascii> The beams disperse, but an orange ray zaps Eralia. She immediately feels a burning sensation altogether different from the usual one, as the ray coagulates into acid that clings to her outfit. OH GOD IT BURNS!
<Capn_Ascii> Sadly, you don't start hallucinating. Wrong kind of acid.
Eralia growls. "I hate you now. Well, I hate you worse. Or something."
<Capn_Ascii> The golem raises its arms - "EEE NAY CHOK!" - and grows to full size. It then lowers its shoulder and charges at the warlord like a fat mustachioed guy in purple overalls.
<Capn_Ascii> *SLAM!* He plows shoulder-first into Steve. Ow.
<Eralia> Eralia glares at Steve hard, swinging her blades at him.
<Eralia> ...as she swoops downward.
<Capn_Ascii> Eralia screams like a falcon as she dives down, blades at the ready!
<Capn_Ascii> One slash, two, three! She rakes Steve with her blades like a bird of prey clawing at an innocent cute adorable widdle bunny rabbit with its talons. That is, until she accidentally lets go of her off-hand weapon, slinging it through the air. It flies across the stage before embedding itself in the golem's foot.
<Capn_Ascii> The golem glances down. "...........OW."
Eralia growls and goes to retrieve her blade
Rika jumps at steve.
<Capn_Ascii> Rika: You bare your teeth, flash your blades, and leap forward in a blaze of combat fury! (Sadly, nobody can see any of this.) *stab STAB!*
<Capn_Ascii> "GAH!" Steve claws at his back again, grimacing with pain. He shakes Rika off, then falls to his knees, apparantly seriously wounded. (Of course, he's a zombie now, so it's a little hard to tell).
Dkort snorts and scrapes at the ground with one foot, then charges full speed at Steve
<Capn_Ascii> Dkort executes a perfect foe-tossing charge, which is a shame, because by this point there are no foes between him and his target.
<Capn_Ascii> *POW!* Steve is sent sprawling by the hit.
<Capn_Ascii> Slowly, the warlord climbs to his feet. He's in bad shape, but looks even angrier than before. "That's...IT! You guys are SO dead!" He raises his arms, and points them dramatically at Eralia.
<Capn_Ascii> Electricity crackles from his fingertips, as bolts of lightning leap out!
<Capn_Ascii> Eralia is blasted full-force, jerking and spasming like Luke Skywalker as she gets fried. Dkort and Rika also get zapped; Dkort shrugs off much of the damage, while still-invisible Rika simply absorbs it, gaining its power as her own. She didn't even have to eat a heart or anything!
<Capn_Ascii> The golem, who is immune to magical lightning, grabs Steve from behind and throws him down a nearby gaping shaft. Wait, I mean, tries to bash him.
<Capn_Ascii> And bash him he does...two meaty iron fists clobber the warlord over the head. As the second fist makes impact, there's a sickening crunch, like the breaking of vertebrae; moments afterward, Steve collapses to the ground, twitching.
<Eralia> "Nice job, Golem. Now."
Eralia tries to reclaim her sword from the Golem.
<Capn_Ascii> Eralia: The golem obidiently stands there as you pry your sword loose. ".....OW."
Eralia grimaces and turns her attention to the re-dead Steve.
Eralia starts slicing him open
<Eralia> "I'm going to make as many pieces as possible."
<Capn_Ascii> The warlord tries to get back up, but by now it's clear that his body is in no shape to move under its own power, undead or not. He can do little more than lie there and twitch helplessly, groaning in frustration as you carve him up like a Christmas roast.
<Capn_Ascii> Somewhere during the process, his spirit abandons the body, fleeing back to the afterlife rather than stay and be subjected to such indignities. From somewhere off in the great beyond, you can hear him yell: "I'll be back, if it's the last thing I do! Next time, Eralia - NEXT TIME!" </DrClaw>
<Dkort> "Hold on," Dkort says as he pulls out the decanter of endless booze. He pours a generous amount of nice, flammable booze over the body
Eralia gets out of the way
Dkort also backs up
Rika uses the stolen energy from Steve and casts Chain Lightning on the Alcohol-soaked pieces.
<Capn_Ascii> *FWOOOSH!* The body bursts into flames like a Pinto. The blaze...so pretty...pretty, pretty fire...
Eralia turns to the assembled crowd. "So, what do you think now?"
<Capn_Ascii> ...crowd? The orcs ran away at some point between "dead body gets back on its feet" and "giant robot appears from nowhere and starts smashing stuff". There's nobody left here except for a single lone orc - asleep in the far corner of the courtyard, having apparantly missed the fight. For SHAAAAME.
<Eralia> "Oh, in that case..." Eralia walks over to the remaining orc and prods him/her gently awake.
<Capn_Ascii> ---END SESSION---