Monday, November 28, 2005

Walking Death, Chapter 5

Sam’s second spell was to cast darkness about himself. It filled a sphere five yards out with impenetrable blackness. The darkness itself was simple, making it so that he could see through it was one complication, but allowing select others to see through it took the greatest finesse. That Jericho and Petra had already gunned down three soldiers testified to their sight through the dark.

The first spell had been a fireball into nearest truck before most of the men inside could get clear. The rest, lacking any cover from both the warehouse and the outside guns, fell quickly.

For the moment, Sam found himself without a target. He kept a wary eye off to his right, the direction from which forces from the front of the warehouse would do the most damage. Unless Liberty got his people out of the warehouse in a hurry Sam’s position would become untenable in an all-fired hurry.

The gout of white smoke that erupted from the rear doors answered that concern very quickly. The smoke was thick, and it further reduced Sam’s view more than the burning panel truck had.

Sam ran to Jericho’s position at the edge of the circle of darkness. From there he was able to see a half dozen men hunkered down behind the second truck. That truck had been parked so that it was directly opposite the doors in a semicircle with the other two.

“Cover me,” yelled Jericho. Sam obliged with three shots toward the rear of the truck as the Resistance fighter took cover behind the corner. One Imperial had been spraying rounds randomly into the darkness, peppering holes into the car but making little real damage. Sam’s shots forced the man to pull back behind the decreasingly effective cover of the truck. From his new position, Jericho had traded the relative safety of the mage darkness for a better attack angle. He made the most of it.

Meanwhile, Liberty and the inside Resistance came rolling out of the warehouse, taking cover behind the truck that had picked up Dr. Kellner. He kept Frieda close to his side as he fired over the bed of the truck at the position to the right of the doors.

“When we get as far as we can, get across to the alley and make for your escape…” started Liberty.

“VIENTO” pronounced a loud voice from within the warehouse. With that, the Resistance was again covered by rapidly thinning smoke as a sorcerous wind purged the air.

“Move, move, move!” ordered Liberty. Once the smoke was gone, there would be nothing left to cover them from more magic. Nothing except an out of position Quisitor.

Sam’s blood ran cold when he heard the voice. Incantations were as unique as the casting mage, and Sam knew that Captain Bren was aiding in this raid. Sam looked to his two compatriots. Neither responded very much to the sound of the spell being cast. That left Sam to protect them and the rest of the Resistance.

He ran for the burning truck, praying that there weren’t any rounds yet to cook off. By the time he got there, the truck had nosed itself into the far enemy vehicle. Sam prepared to block an attack from the inside, but the tactic used caught him flatfooted. The truck lifted an inch off the ground and then rolled over on its side. Sam reacted, but too slowly to prevent it from landing on Spanner and two others. The best Sam could do was preventing the vehicle from crushing the men to death.

Liberty and the other men moved to roll the truck back off of their fellows, but a fresh barrage of gunfire from inside the warehouse stopped them, killing one man in the process.

“Retreat, retreat,” yelled Liberty. To the rest he said, “Be strong, we’ll get you out.”

Sam ran for his car, giving Petra and Jericho the wave off signal. Driving away, he did not know if they had managed to free the scientist.

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