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matapam
25 July 2016 @ 08:47 am
  

The Exalted, red robes so dark they were nearly black, sat in judgement high on the podium.

His father knelt, gray head bowed.

Temple Priest Harold Notcher and Senior Priest Justin Collier bracketed him.

Oh yes, I remember Notcher well. The Exalted's enforcer. Used mainly against any priests who dared to challenge the hierarchy. He used to watch Brekley, thinking—quite rightly—that his hook was too weak.

And Collier, next in line for a major god. He was with the group hunting me down.

And now they're after a scapegoat.

The rest of the courtroom was full, a sea of red robes, gods . . . eight of them stood against the wall opposite.

The rest must be right below us, along this wall. Arbol knows I did that often enough when the Exalted wanted all his Gods on display.

He eased back into the hall. "Trace and Trill here. When we start spraying from the first box on the far side, you soak everyone below, starting with the fat guy pretending he's a judge. And then spray below the box and along this wall."

"Trace, keep her safe. And kill anyone trying to kill Lord Menchuro."

Two solemn nods. The hall led further back, and as he hoped, turned to connect up to the hallway on the far side. Three boxes. Empty, empty . . . He lunged and ran a red robe through. Kicked another. Marius stabbed a third.

"Spray, fast. Now!" Warric grabbed his brother. "Stay with Cactus, get her out of here when that starts looking like a good idea."

"Where are you going?"

"To get Dad."

***

Warric galloped down the stairs on this side. He knew there were side doors inside the courtroom, but had never seen them from the other side. He dare not slow to search.

Am I insane? There were easily four or five hundred priests and initiates in there. The spray? We'll be lucky if we get half of them. I need a distraction . . . and the obvious one will be more dangerous than the priests.

Shields. Mental shields and the chemical protection spell are the most important. Gloves still on, collar up, hood up.

At the base of the stairs, a door on either side. Right would be outside. Left into the entry of the courtroom.

Warric pulled in power and triggered the God of the Sun Illusion. Arbol only knew what it looked like with the coat and hood. He turned left and stepped through the door.

Stunned the two nearest guards and rushed the others. Tossed a fireball, and suddenly the guards were running away.

He peeked through the double doors.

The red robes were all standing looking up at the box. A faint mist in the air. Further forward, Trill was using the full stream on her sprayer and those priests were turning and starting to search for the unexpected indoor rain.

Warric stepped in and stunned a semi circle around the entrance.

Pity it's so short range.

He pulled up the more complex spell, the antithesis of the Chain. "Control the Gods." He threw it hard to his right, hard to his left . . .

His brief moment of initiative ended.

A hundred priests saw suddenly uncontrolled gods. Their doorway to instant power. They rushed them.

Throwing hooks . . . to his left they'd been within reach of Cactus's spray. A drifting mist . . . The god's former priest was waving his hands in vain. No hook, no Chain. And now hands around his throat.

The other priests were trying as well. The leaders of the rush stalled as nothing happened, the initiates behind them crashed into them, shoved them. The God of Art grinned and pounced.

To the left, the God of Jokes screamed and started punching.

Warric swung his sword and cropped a couple of heads and the priests shrank back. His mental shield creaked under the continuous assault.

Warric spun left. Sword in hand and took the head of the closest priest. Stabbed the man to his right and headed down the center aisle.  Men fell, clutching at bolts, or stunned. Screams behind him . . .

Warric spun, killed another priest and spotted the God of Demons. Red of skin, redder from the blood he was gleefully spilling. More struggles along both walls. Warric turned back and slashed his way forward.

Threw the Anti-Chain spell twice more. And stun.

Then he spotted his dad. A knife in each hand, back against the wall of the judges bench. Two priests dead at his feet, Notcher hovering out of weapon range, face distorted in rage.

Lord Menchuro's gaze was sweeping the room, but stalling out on the God of Storms.

The priests were all retreating as that god advanced. Lightning overhead, and now leaping from hand to hand.

Warric stepped out to face him. Storm stopped and eyed Warric.

Right, got my illusions on.

Warric slid his long sword across the floor to his dad, and drew his squirt gun. Met the eyes of the other god.

Raised his gun and soaked the red robe behind him.

Threw the anti-chain spell. "Control the Gods."

Lightning flashed up, hit the ceiling. The god spun, lightning crashed and priests fled, some with flaming robes. More lay still on the floor.

The storm god staggered hands to his head, staring around, for his next victim.

Warric stepped in front of his father. "Not him." A flick of movement in the corner of his eye, dark red. The Exalted was fleeing.

Warric pointed. "He, on the other hand, is all yours."

The god leaped in pursuit.

Warric looked the other way. Notcher was backing away, hands gesturing. Warric could feel the pressure on his shields.

He raised the squirtgun, but Notcher dived behind the God of Drunks, and through a door.

"Dad? We've got to get you out of here. Because, well, I'm leading a revolt."

Lord Menchuro managed a weak smile. "You . . . always were a firebrand."

Warric stifled a giggle as he scanned the room. Bit of ceiling, half flaming, were falling from above. The priests were running away—in various directions—or milling in confusion.

On the nearest balcony, Trill was hanging over the edge and looking for someone to spray. Trace was climbing over the railing, and Warric could see the shimmer of a shield across the back of the box.

Twenty feet down.

Trill tossed the sprayer over the side, a crossbow and something else . . . the bag with all the potions! And as Trace hung there, she climbed over and down him hanging off his foot . . .

Warric threw himself at the panicked crowd trying to get out a side door . . . or maybe capture the God of Drunks who was in his way.

Warric kicked the fat god. Shoved him forward as Trill dropped . . . She hit the staggering drunk's shoulders and flattened him.

Warric grabbed her and whipped her around him and toward his dad. Turned back in time to see Trace hit the god as he tried to rise.

The anti-chain spell . . . then Warric shoved over to the sprayer, the crossbow, the bag and back to the middle aisle.

:: Marius? ::

:: We saw. We're leaving . . . carefully. ::

:: I'll get Dad out the main gate . . . ::

A sudden intrusion from Kevi. :: There's a side door to an alley over here in the women's territory. We've got it under control. ::

:: We? ::

:: All the women. All the women. What they did to the priests here wasn't pretty. We'll keep control here. Mind you it would help if they'd stop having contractions . . . ::

Warric dodged flaming debris. :: If we can't get to the front gate, we'll join you. ::

Trace reached for the crossbow, and headed for the nearest side door. A hallway, a  door to the outside was right there and Trace stepped out, jumped back, hand going to his chest . . .

Warric leaped forward, spray wand out and spraying . . . a priest wiped his face . . . more red robes pressed forward . . . and got sprayed.

Not very well.

Trill took the sprayer from him and started pumping up the pressure.

"A woman!"

"Abomination!"

"Kill her!" A priest went down, a crossbow bolt in his throat.

Trace growled. "Was that that hook you talked about? It was like he'd reached through my stomach and grabbed my backbone."

"Yep. Nasty thing that."

Trace raised his bow and shot a fleeing priest in the back.

They were in a narrow space, between the wall of the courtroom and the outer wall of the Temple grounds. Full of red and yellow robes.

Trill raised the wand and started spraying. Warric threw stun spells . . . nothing happened. Too much drifting potion. Damn.

Warric stood on his toes, which put him easily a head above the fleeing crowd. No sign of Marius or Cactus. But while the priests were fleeing, there were guards heading their direction. "Trace, let the priests get away, when the guards get closer, stun them!"

He turned to Trill. "Have we still got the extra potions?"

Trill shrugged off her shoulder bag. Shoved it toward him. "Careful, who knows what's broken in there."

Something was sloshing about. Warric reached carefully, and pulled out the control potion. Tilted a broken shard to read the label. The add-a-power-gene potion. Everything else looked intact . . . he dipped his hands in the wine at the bottom. Ran them across his scalp. Best he could do, right now.

Then he uncorked the control spell bottle and topped off his water pistol.

The stampeding priests finally cleared the narrow space, leaving several stunned and probably trampled as well. With them out of the way, the guards advanced in a disciplined, experienced formation.

Traces' aim swung to the side door as it opened, but it was Marius sticking a cautious head out.

"Marius! We're going to need a shield across the gap there." Warric hustled up. "I've caught too much spray to work magic. So if the guards get within stun range, take them out."

Cactus shrugged off her sprayer. "We need to switch to the control spell."

Warric handed it over and walked up to the shield he could suddenly dimly sense.

"Wall to the right, burning building to the left. Guess we'll go straight ahead."

A chuckle from his dad. "Indeed." The old general eyed the wide open sweep of the courtyard.

Beyond the near guards, three gods were prancing about, kicking and stomping a large red mass. The Exalted hadn't gotten very far.

Further back, priests were gathering. Notcher's organizing them. Damn. Probably half of them still have magic, dammit.

His dad was eyeing the main gates, closed, with lots of guards in front of them. "I really ought to let the king and the parliament know there's a  . . . hmm, a revolt among the priests. Several dangerous gods have gotten loose, and I believe that both the Exalted and the leader of the revolt have been killed."

"Notcher. Temple Priest Notcher is staging a coup, and used the major gods to kill the Exalted, but the gods have gotten loose. And other priests are resisting Notcher."

His dad grinned. "That will work, but . . ." He looked worriedly at Warric.

"This is just an illusion, now. I can turn it off and  . . . and . . . then exile myself."

Trill grinned. "To Disco. I'll bet Q would love to have an astronomy team that reported to her, not to those . . . not to a single embassy."

Warric nodded. "Do you guys know her?"

"She's the head of their science and exploration division. We see her regularly. She's both nice and smart and we're among the people who are glad you saved her." Marius slapped his shoulder. "So, is it time for all of us to leave?"

"We haven't done anything to, or with, the little gods." Warric eyed the officer of the guards, who seemed to be lining up a massed crossbow barrage. He reached for power. Felt it flow sluggishly in. Concentrated. Small cross-section. Tiny cross-section.

Push! The officer dropped, a tiny spot of blood on his temple.

"Fire!"

Some enterprising underling snapped the order and the bolts zipped across the pavement, bounced and shattered on the shield.

Warric stepped out . . . behind them the God of Storms turned away from the bloody mess on the pavement. The guards broke and ran for the main gates.

"Right. Let's head for the women's quarters, and the side door." Warric eased out of the space and looked both directions. "We can hold onto a way to get out of here, and decide what to do next."

He trotted . . . dropped to a more cautious walk . . . The guard's quarters were empty. He spotted men retreating across the lawns, red robes waving their arms and pointing.

Some at them and some at the little gods quarters.

His dad swept a look around. "Tell me what's what."

Warric pointed. "Kitchen to the right, priests homes, initiates quarters in the corner. Down the left side, the Little Gods quarters, the family quarters—the young little gods and their mothers—then the women's quarters from this corner and along this wall. Guards quarters, right behind us.

"The women's quarters have a side door through the wall."

General Menchuro nodded. "So they've cut us off from the kitchen, and they're trying to keep control—or bring into play—the little gods."

Marius grinned. "The kitchen is good—we came in that way and dumped magic potions on a lot of food."

"Umm . . . guys?" Trill backed up closer.

The major gods were following them.

***

Warric walked up to them. The God of Storms, the Joker, and the Drunk.

The God of Art, like a pale marble statue. Glutony, massively fat; the God of the Oceans, with flipper like hands and the dead eyes of a shark.

"Are you sane enough to be allies, not a random danger?"

An uneasy shift through the little cluster of gods.

"I have potions to remove the power of the priests. You've seen that. I have the secret of the Chain." Warric reached, and banished his illusion. "I know people who can reverse what has been done to you. I'm using an illusion of the monster they made me into."

The gods leaned toward him.

"This is the only chance you'll ever have to return to normal, or to as normal as you are capable of. The priests deserve everything we're about to do to them. But when we are done, it has to stop.

"We are not going to kill children. Not even the young priest candidates. I have a potion to remove the power genes. We will use them.

"We are not going to rape the women in the women's quarters, nor the mothers of the little gods." Warric eyed them all. "When we're done, we must try to be . . . normal."

The gods exchanged uneasy looks. Nods.

"My main concern is that the one phrase I have to unlock the Chain might not work on every Chain spell. So we need some of the senior priests alive."

Warric nodded. "But with no power. So they can't hook any of us, can't control any of us. I have potions to control the guards. So don't kill guards that aren't attacking us."

Nods.

The God of Art stepped up, held out empty—bloodstained—hands. Moved them . . .

"Ah, you got hit with the power removing spell."

Trill edged up and handed him an unbroken bottle of the power genes potion.

Warric took a swig and held it out to the other god. "This will put them back. Our power genes, not the priests' vampire type."

Art took the bottle. Sipped, took a larger swallow. Drunk, Gluttony, and Oceans all crowded up and took a drink.

"Right. So let's see about freeing the little gods, too." Warric turned back to the others, looking on wide-eyed.

"Warric, how many gods are there?" Trace backed cautiously away.

"Eighteen, including me. We took out Fear. So with these six, well, we could have up to ten major gods still under the priest's control."

His dad nodded. "So we need to keep targeting the priests. But getting the little gods away from them is important too. The more magic we can take away from them, the better our odds."

Warric nodded. "Trill? Cactus? Can you take Dad through the women's quarters and out the side door? Dad . . . if you can convince the king and the parliament to hold all their soldiers outside the walls until, umm, those dangerous gods are under control?"

"Right. Because they'd probably back the priests." The old man stiffened. "Dammit boy . . . keep everyone alive."

They both looked at Trill and Cactus. Received firm negatives.

Warric eyed them. "Will you follow orders? We need to protect our line of retreat. I want you two to block all the ways in except that one." He pointed at the door closest to the back corner. "And the side door once dad's out. We don't want imperial troops attacking from the rear."

The girls scowled. Trill first, then Cactus nodded.

"Good. Go."

His dad hugged Trill, Marius, Trace, startled Cactus by hugging her.

He looked back at Warric, glanced at all of the gods. "And if it all goes to hell, you run for it and take everyone with you that you can, and I'll work over the government and see about getting anyone captured out as well."
 
 
matapam
24 July 2016 @ 07:10 am
I realized the "pullig teeth" writing was because I was missing some very important plot points.

So I need to revamp the whole fight scene. If real life will cooperate, it shouldn't take too much time.
 
 
matapam
23 July 2016 @ 11:04 am
 Sorry for the little snippetts. The words are requiring application of cattle prods, and they still balk. 

***

Warric walked up to them. The God of Storms, the Joker, and the Drunk.

The God of Art, like a pale marble statue. Glutony, massively fat; the God of the Oceans, with flipper like hands and the dead eyes of a shark.

"Are you sane enough to be allies, not a random danger?"

An uneasy shift through the little cluster of gods.

"I have potions to remove the power of the priests. You've seen that. I have the secret of the Chain." Warric reached, and banished his illusion. "I know people who can reverse what has been done to you. I'm using an illusion of the monster they made me into."

The gods leaned toward him.

"This is the only chance you'll ever have to return to normal, or to as normal as you are capable of. The priests deserve everything we're about to do to them. But when we are done, it has to stop.

"We are not going to kill children. Not even the young priest candidates. I have a potion to remove the power genes. We will use them.

"We are not going to rape the women in the women's quarters, nor the mothers of the little gods." Warric eyed them all. "When we're done, we must try to be . . . normal."

The gods exchanged uneasy looks. Nods.

"My main concern is that the one phrase I have to unlock the Chain might not work on every Chain spell. So we need some of the senior priests alive."

Warric nodded. "But with no power. So they can't hook any of us, can't control any of us. I have potions to control the guards. So don't kill guards that aren't attacking us."

Nods.

"Right. So let's see about freeing the little gods, too." Warric turned back to the others, looking on wide-eyed.

"Warric, how many gods are there?" Trace backed cautiously away.

"Eighteen, including me. We took out Fear. So with these six, well, we could have up to ten major gods still under the priest's control."

His dad nodded. "So we need to keep targeting the priests. But getting the little gods away from them is important too. The more magic we can take away from them, the better our odds."

Warric nodded. "Trill? Cactus? Can you take Dad through the women's quarters and out the side door? Dad . . . if you can convince the king and the parliament to hold all their soldiers outside the walls until, umm, those dangerous gods are under control?"

"Right. Because they'd probably back the priests." The old man stiffened. "Dammit boy . . . keep everyone alive."

They both looked at Trill and Cactus. Received firm negatives.

 
 
matapam
22 July 2016 @ 10:47 am
Warric stood on his toes, which put him easily a head above the fleeing crowd. No sign of Marius or Cactus. But while the priests were fleeing, there were guards heading their direction. "Trace, let the priests get away, when the guards get closer, stun them!"

He turned to Trill. "Have we still got the extra potions?"

Trill shrugged off her shoulder bag. Shoved it toward him. "Careful, who knows what's broken in there."

Something was sloshing about. Warric reached carefully, and pulled out the control potion. Tilted a broken shard to read the label. The add-a-power-gene potion. Everything else looked intact . . . he dipped his hands in the wine at the bottom. Ran them across his scalp. Best he could do, right now.

Then he uncorked the control spell bottle and topped off his water pistol.

The stampeding priests finally cleared the narrow space, leaving several stunned and probably trampled as well. With them out of the way, the guards advanced in a disciplined, experienced formation.

Traces' aim swung to the side door as it opened, but it was Marius sticking a cautious head out.

"Marius! We're going to need a shield across the gap there." Warric hustled up. "I've caught too much spray to work magic. So if the guards get within stun range, take them out."

Cactus shrugged off her sprayer. "We need to switch to the control spell."

Warric handed it over and walked up to the shield he could dimly sense.

"Wall to the right, burning building to the left. Guess we'll go straight ahead."

A chuckle from his dad. "Indeed." The old general eyed the wide open sweep of the courtyard.

Three gods were prancing about, kicking and stomping a large red mass. The Exalted hadn't gotten very far.

"Are there any side doors? I really ought to let the king and the parliament know there's a  . . . hmm, a revolt among the priests. Several dangerous gods have gotten loose, and I believe that both the Exalted and the leader of the revolt have been killed." He looked worriedly at Warric.

"This is just an illusion, now. I can turn it off and  . . . and . . . then exile myself."

Trill grinned. "To Disco. I'll bet Q would love to have an astronomy team that reported to her, not to those . . . not to a single embassy."

Warric grinned. "Do you guys know her?"

"She's the head of their science and exploration division. We see her regularly. She's both nice and smart and we're among the people who are glad you saved her." Marius slapped his shoulder. "So, is it time for all of us to leave?"

"We haven't done anything to, or with, the little gods." Warric eyed the officer of the guards, who seemed to be lining up a massed crossbow barrage. He reached for power. Felt it flow sluggishly in. Concentrated. Small cross-section. Tiny cross-section.

Push! The officer dropped, a tiny spot of blood on his temple.

"Fire!"

Some enterprising underling snapped the order and the bolts zipped across the pavement, bounced and shattered on the shield.

Warric stepped out . . . behind them the God of Storms turned away from the bloody mess on the pavement. The guards broke and ran for the main gates.

"Right. Let's head for the women's quarters, and the side door." Warric eased out of the space and looked both directions. "We can hold onto a way to get out of here, and decide what to do next."

He trotted . . . dropped to a more cautious walk . . . The guard's quarters were empty. He spotted men retreating across the lawns, red robes waving their arms and pointing.

Some at them and some at the little gods quarters.

His dad swept a look around. "Tell me what's what."

Warric pointed. "Kitchen to the right, priests homes, initiates quarters in the corner. Down the left side, the Little Gods quarters, the family quarters—the young little gods and their mothers—then the women's quarters from this corner and along this wall. Guards quarters, right behind us."

General Menchuro nodded. "So they've cut us off from the kitchen, and they're trying to keep control—or bring into play—the little gods."

Marius grinned. "The kitchen is good—we came in that way and dumped magic potions on a lot of food."

"Umm . . . guys?" Trill backed up closer.

The major gods were following them.  
 
 
matapam
21 July 2016 @ 07:52 am
Is nitpicking me to bits and no writing is happening. In the mean time, I've been saving this start for NaNoWri Mo.


"Listen to me John. Listen to me!"

Tel was yelling. I could hear the sirens in the background, funny how the sound was fading, when they ought to be getting closer. Christ, shot by a penny-ante hopped up . . .

"Listen to me! John! I know you're dying but pay attention! You are going to be waking in a dangerous place. Listen, damnit!"

It almost sounded like he was crying. Mentor, partner, friend . . . Tel never cried. Tel was a complete hard-ass. Best cop ever.

"John! Paeon!"

Tunnel vision. I could see him look frantically over his shoulder.

"Our bay has been breached, Paeon. You have to wake up fast. When the lid of the cryo unseals, you have seconds, seconds to get to the emergency pod. Take the corridor to the right, twenty feet, then it is on the left. The corridor is just past the foot of the cryo. Turn right. Walk twenty feet. Feel to the left. It'll probably be dark."

Dying is weird. So very very weird. Tel was making no sense whatsoever and I couldn't even tell him something traditionally sappy, like tell Cara I love her. The tunnel shrunk closed and disappeared.

The blackness was nice and peaceful, until the noise started. The flashing lights. The one bright light I focused on. Pain slashed suddenly through my body, I could feel my back arch. I sucked in air, and screamed. Tried to scream. It was more of a choked gasp, something was in my throat, down my throat, being pulled out of my throat. I tried to move, but it was all slow motion, my limbs balky and hard, stiff, that horrible dream state were you need to run and can barely force a step forward. But I could hear my heart. My pulse thundered in my ears.  I sucked in another breath; even my lungs were stiff and resistant. I was cold. And the air quality stank. Well the air stank. Musty human odors, bedding overdue for a wash, dirty laundry in the corner. Bachelor smells from before I met Cara. And cold. With chemicals. A face mask over my face and mouth withdrew. I blinked and saw nothing but lights in the darkness. I tried to look around. ER? No, it wouldn't be dark. ICU, nighttime? Or had I been in a coma for years? Some long term facility . . .  I tried to shake my head, wake all the way up.

I reached out, pawed for something, anything, freedom. Hit a solid sheet of glass or plastic or something, inches from my face. The lights were behind it. I clawed, frantic. Coffins don't have lights, coffins don't have lights . . . A lever. Oh thank god, a lever. I pulled it with panicked strength.
A ripping sound, like unsealing a can, popping a soda . . . an apt analogy as I was sucked out of my coffin and only my scrambling, spastic grip on the lever kept me from hitting the floor like the gelatin stuff  I was covered with, or maybe whipping off down a dark corridor as all sounds faded and the last of my breath was sucked out . . .

Corridor. I shoved myself to the foot of the coffin and turned right. No lights down there. My chest heaved, I was gasping but there was no air. One step, two. Hurry! twenty feet was  . . . another step, another. Hand out to the left wall. Another step, a seam, a handle.

I jerked it, was knocked off my feet as the door whipped sideways with a blast of air. I crawled through the door. Saw a blinking red light and lunged for it. Pressed. No sound, but a quiver I felt through my hand. A roar.

I awoke on the floor. Cold. Naked. A dried layer of purple  . . . stuff. All over me.

I shoved back against the nearest wall. Bare metal wall, bare metal cube. Ten feet or so, each direction. I peeled off a dried purple smear. "What is this crap?"

"Vacuum dried cryo gel. Welcome back aboard the Atlantis, Lieutenant Paeon."
 
 
matapam
19 July 2016 @ 07:37 pm
https://www.amazon.com/Rael-Wine-Gods-Book-27…/…/B01H628FA6/

Thank you guys!

And as for writing today? Four sentences. And they aren't even close to right. Sorry. Next bit of the battle tomorrow. I hope.
 
 
matapam
18 July 2016 @ 08:52 am
"Dad? We've got to get you out of here. Because, well, I'm leading a revolt."

Lord Menchuro managed a weak smile. "You . . . always were a firebrand."

Warric stifled a giggle as he scanned the room. Bit of ceiling, half flaming, were falling from above. The priests were running away—in various directions—or milling in confusion.

On the nearest balcony, Trill was hanging over the edge and looking for someone to spray. Trace was climbing over the railing, and Warric could see the shimmer of a shield across the back of the box.

Twenty feet down.

Trill tossed the sprayer over the side, and something . . . a crossbow followed it. And as Trace hung there, she climbed over and down him hanging off his foot . . .

Warric threw himself at the panicked crowd trying to get out a side door . . . or maybe capture the God of Drunks who was in his way.

Warric kicked the fat god. Shoved him forward as Trill dropped . . . She hit the staggering drunk's shoulders and flattened him.

Warric grabbed her and whipped her around him and toward his dad. Turned back in time to see Trace hit the god as he tried to rise.

The Anti-chainspell . . . then Warric shoved over to the sprayer, the crossbow and back to the middle.
:: Marius? ::

:: We saw. We're leaving . . . carefully. ::

:: I'll get Dad out the front gate . . . ::

A sudden intrusion from Kevi. :: There's a side door to an alley over here in the women's territory. We've got it under control. ::

:: We? ::

:: All the women. All the women. What they did to the priests here wasn't pretty. We'll keep control here. Mind you it would help if they'd stop having contractions . . . ::

Warric dodged flaming debris. :: If we can't get to the front gate, we'll join you. ::

Trace reached for the crossbow, and headed for the nearest side door. A door to the outside was opposite it and Trace stepped out, jumped back, hand going to his chest . . .

Warric leaped forward, spray wand out and spraying . . . a priest wiped his face . . . more red robes pressed forward . . . and got sprayed.

Not very well.

Trill took the sprayer from him and started pumping up the pressure.
"A woman!"

"Abomination!"

"Kill her!" A priest went down, a crossbow bolt in his throat.

They were in a narrow space, between the wall of the courtroom and the outer wall of the Temple grounds. Full of red and yellow robes.

Trill raised the wand and started spraying. Warric threw stun spells . . . nothing happening. Too much drifting potion. Damn.  
 
 
matapam
17 July 2016 @ 08:47 am
    
Warric galloped down the stairs on this side. He knew there were side doors inside the courtroom, but had never seen them from the other side. He dare not slow to search.

Am I insane? There are easily four or five hundred priests and initiates in there. The spray? We'll be lucky if we get half of them. I need a distraction . . . and the obvious one will be more dangerous than the priests!
Shields. Mental and the chemical protection spell are the most important.

At the base of the stairs, a door on either side. Right would be outside. Left into the entry of the courtroom.
Warric pulled in power and triggered the God of the Sun Illusion. Turned left and stepped through the door.
Stunned the two nearest guards and rushed the others. Tossed a fireball, and suddenly the guards were running away.

He peeked through the double doors.

The red robes were all standing looking up at the box. So he stepped in and stunned a semi circle around the entrance.

Pity it's so short range.

He pulled up the more complex spell, the antithesis of the Chain. "Control the Gods." He threw it hard to his right, hard to his left . . .

His brief moment of initiative ended.

A hundred priests saw an uncontrolled god. Their doorway to instant power. They rushed him.

Throwing hooks . . . to his left they'd been within reach of Cactus's spray. A drifting mist . . . The leaders stalled as nothing happened, the initiates behind them crashed into them, shoved them.

Warric spun left. Sword in hand and took the head of the closest priest. Stabbed the man to his right and headed down the center aisle.  Men fell, clutching at bolts, or stunned. Screams behind him . . .

Warric spun, killed another priest and spotted the God of Demons. Red of skin, redder from the blood he was gleefully spilling. More struggles along both walls. Warric turned back and slashed his way forward.
Threw the Anti-Chain spell twice more. And stun.

Then he spotted his dad. A knife in each hand, back against the wall of the judges bench. Two priests dead at his feet, his gaze sweeping the room, but stalling out on the God of Storms.

The priests were all retreating as that god advanced. Lightning overhead, and now leaping fro hand to hand.
Warric stepped out to face him. Storm stopped and eyed Warric.

Right, got my illusions on.

Warric slid his long sword across the floor to his dad, and drew his squirt gun. Met the eyes of the other god.
Raised his gun and soaked the red robe behind him.

Threw the anti-chain spell. "Control the Gods."

Lightning flashed up, hit the ceiling. The god spun, lightning crashed and priests fled, some with flaming robes. More lay still on the floor.

The storm god staggered hands to his head, staring around, for his next victim.

Warric stepped in front of his father. "Not him." A flick of movement in the corner of his eye, dark red. The Exalted was fleeing
.

Warric pointed. "That one, on the other hand, is all yours."
 
 
matapam
16 July 2016 @ 08:13 am
  

"First we have to get past the guards' barracks." Warric bit his lip. "They aren't magic. We could use the unnoticeable spell, there. But the closer we get to all those priests, the more closed up we need to be. So let's sneak past the barracks and be prepared to take out the side door guards the old fashioned way."

"Side door?" Trace raised his eyebrows.

"Oh sure. Can't have the servants trooping through the grand entrance with their mops and buckets, after all. And Brekley like to watch the proceedings from the high boxes."

"So you know how to get to them." Cactus grinned. "So where do I find a mop and bucket?"

***

"What are you doing here?" The guard advanced on Trace and Marius. A second guard left his post and walked out as well.

Trace looked around with a scowl. "The priest said to move it, so we're moving it."

"Moving what?" The two guards walked into the perfect position.

"Look for yourself." Trace and Marius pulled back the flap, and as the guards leaned to look, tossed it over their heads.

Warric bolted out and tapped their heads. Just enough to drop them woozily to their knees. He pulled out the control potion and forced a dose down each of them.

"You will unlock the door. Then you will remain standing on guard until one of us orders you to do something else."

They blinked at him and staggered to the door, bumping and interfering with each other until they got the door unlocked.

Trill and Cactus had the big sprayers now, the guys had their swords in hand and the crossbows across their backs were cocked.

Warric led them up the narrow stairs and along the hall to the three boxes on this side. All empty. Brekley had used one in the early days. Before he was sure enough of his control over Warric to display him in public with the rest.

He eased into the last one and peeked over the edge.

The Exalted, red robes so dark they were nearly black, sat in judgement.

His father knelt, gray head bowed.

The courtroom was full, a sea of red robes, gods . . . eight of them stood against the wall opposite.

The rest must be right below us, along this wall. Arbol knows I did that often enough when the Exalted wanted all his Gods on display.

He eased back into the hall. "Trace and Trill here. When we start spraying from the first box on the far side, you soak everyone below, starting with the fat guy pretending he's a judge. And then spray below the box and along this wall."

"Trace, keep her safe. And kill anyone trying to kill Lord Menchuro."

Two solemn nods. The hall led further back, and as he hoped, turned to connect up to the hallway on the far side. Three boxes. Empty, empty . . . He lunged and ran a red robe through. Kicked another. Marius stabbed a third.

"Spray, fast. Now!" Warric grabbed his brother. "Stay with Cactus, get her out of here when that starts looking like a good idea."

"Where are you going?"

"To get Dad."

 
 
matapam
14 July 2016 @ 11:57 am
 

Then the landscaping returned to bushes and he hustled to where the other were peering through the greenery, around a corner at the next stretch.

At the orangy red robes of the ordinary priests.

"What are they doing here? I thought you said these were the women's quarters?" Trill frowned at the priests walking through a door into a stubby plain building.

"I . . . think that's what that is . . . " Warric eyed Cactus's stiff posture.

"They . . . there were four priests, and then the Senior priest brought the god . . . "

Warric bit his lip. "This might be the perfect place to test our spray. And if we could eliminate one of the major gods and a bevvy of red robes . . . Kevi, get out the sprayers."

The nasty "latex" gloves the smugglers had brought. Hoods and collars up, in case of mist drifting about. It would be enough to avoid a major drop in magic. They pumped up both sprayers, distributed squirt guns.

Warric shrugged on one backpack. "Let's go."

Kevi slipped up to the door, bent over the lock . . . turned the knob and peeked through a crack. Then he opened the door and walked in. Warric growled and hustled after him. Into a short corridor that ended at a cross corridor. Kevi was peeking cautiously both directions.

Warric joined him. Empty. What looked like a labyrinth both directions.

Cactus slid up beside him, her voice a bare breath. "They brought me in, somewhere left of here."

Warric caught Kevi's eye. Pointed at him and right. Pointed at himself and left.

Kevi nodded and headed right.

Warric raiser the wand of the sprayer and turned left. Hurrying, and feeling of . . . of . . .urgency. Very nearly panic. He broke into a run. Foot steps around a corner..

A red robe. Deep red. Ermine trim.

Warric was spraying before he even consciously registered the rest of the men.

Then he kicked the Temple Priest out of the way and kept spraying. Choked faintly at the sight of the odd platy face, and reaching insectile claws of the God of Fear. Sprayed lots, especially on the old red robes.

Then he sprayed the initiates following them.

Turned at a scream. The God of Fear had his Priest by the neck. The scream chocked off and blood flowed around the sharp claws.

Beyond them, Trace was applying his club to heads. Good idea. Warric dropped his shields and started stunning the initiates, the priests . . . he hesitated, looking at the god.

"Can you control yourself? Or are you completely insane?"

The insectile god uncurled and leaped at him. Crashed to the ground as the stun spell hit. Running feet from behind Marius.

The girls, breathless.

Cactus took in the limp red robes . . . "We got five priests and some guards down there . . . but there's women all over, and three of them are having babies. Right. Now."

Trill nodded. "We left Kevi there, because he's delivered foals and calves and lambs."

Cactus nodded. "Better a man who knows what he's doing that two women who don't!"

Trace barked a laugh. "Right. So let's go beat up more guards and priests before they do something bad to Lord Menchuro."

The rest of the building was nearly empty.

Time to storm the courthouse.