Monday, August 11, 2008

dry rain

It is so much easier to chase an airborne object form the ground in Winterfell than in, say, Caledon or Babbage. There's still a lot of open green area to run through, and you can see the large gothic towers coming up and can veer around them with plenty of warning.

While Lily and Lulu wound my key for me I tuned to the aether channels. Some sort of flaming debris had crashed onto the "Pirate's Tavern" on Novem property and destroyed it as quickly as it mysteriously rose from the ashes of the Muses Playhouse. Is that why we were hijacked by the Seraph? To spare us from death from above? I contacted the Consulate on their channel and quickly appraised them of the situation, warning them of possible hostages, and falling bodies. The signal to the MiddleSea Fleet was being jammed. I could only assume they were in hot pursuit.

At least this time I was well-armed. The "flintlock" at my belt was a self-propelled miniature rocket launcher. I had an assortment of specialized rounds pocketed throughout my person. The hilt of the aether sword was bulky for my small frame, but the blade itself was weightless. And then there was that hook attachment. Excellent for clearing brush in a hurry. And just in was spring-loaded.

As the sky darkened I switched to heat sensors. The engines of the Midas gave its position away even from inside the nimbus clouds of the majestic Winterfell evening sky. I registered falling debris from the hull of the ship. As I closed in on the first humanoid form my clockwork heart skipped a tick. But, praise the Maker, it was not Darien. It was one of the demonic crew.

I saw another heat source fall from the craft in the distance, and another. Soon I was falling the ship more by the body count than by its aerial location. All of them were demons. Scores of them. Judging from the impact, they had been drained of ichor before they fell. On a few I could make out the telltale bite marks. I recognized some of the uniforms. The Captain. The First Mate. The Lounge Singer's outfit almost blinded my sensors.

The bodies I did not find were those of my family (including this mysterious young uncle). I did not track the remains of that blue crustacean who guarded the Bloodwine and the living source as well.

I followed the ship through the northernmost reaches of Winterfell, up snow-dusted mountains. I hoisted myself up one treacherous rock after another by my hook. I felt myself slowing down. I was unwinding, and I was thirsting. I found one more sky-pirate's body impaled on the rocks. It was as dry as it was frozen. I heard the crunching of snow ahead of me. I tried to speak, to warn, to scream, but could only growl in hunger as a shadow loomed over the top of the next hill...

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