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12 September 2015 @ 08:04 am
_Project Dystopia_ part 29  

By the fourth day, the rats had finished off their cannibalistic feast and turned to hunting bugs, and scouting around the camp.

They killed two overnight, as they jumped the wall and dragged the carcasses further away the next morning.

Iqgu glared when he saw Ebsa eyeing the bodies. "I'm not ready for rat meat, yet."

"And hopefully never will need to be."

The day guards reported a dozen rats fighting over the remains, and by mid afternoon, twice that many heading toward them.

Ebsa loaded up and joined the others on the roofs. "We could take the crawler out and meet them."

Iqgu shook his head. "We haven't got enough people to split up. The outer perimeter is too long and too low for us to defend against this, and there's no inner wall."

Ebsa looked around twenty-eight people with rifles and shotguns. Shotguns? Are we that low on ammo we can't even give everyone a slug thrower? He thought about the state of his own ammo. Yeah.

Two men with lasers. Do they have enough penetration to kill a rat?

He had a long barreled 10mm slung across his back, and the 20 mm in hand . . .

He caught Iqgu eye as he gestured with it. "Ogly's a better shot than I am with this. Is there anyone else you'd rather have it?"

"Nope. Ogly, you take the big gun. Sling Yeahza's shotgun and give him the 12mm."

Ebsa handed it over, "Eighteen bullets left. The first eight are slugs. The rest are explosive." He looked back at the rats as they reached the wall. A few turned, a few climbed easily over.

He flicked a glance around. And of course we all have clubs and crowbars and magic. One help us if it comes down to that!

He looked toward the other side of the camp. Fewer people there, and less fire power. Paer was minding the northwest corner and not pleased to be out of what would probably be the main fight. :: Paer? Slice worked really well on the rat at the coast, remember that if they get close. ::

:: Right. Fiendish chopping of wood style slice. ::

:: Exactly. I'll bet fireballs would work too. ::

A mental snort. and a picture of flaming rats running about setting everything on fire.

Ebsa nodded slowly. :: Then again, maybe not. ::

He turned back toward the flood of rats and studied them. They were leaner than lab rats, with heavier limbs. Their front paws were much more paw-like than hand-like. And, of course, nearly two meters high at the shoulder. He hadn't made much of a study of the carcasses, but he'd noticed the heavy bones of the head.

Ogly steadied the ba 20 using a crate for a rest, and started firing methodically. Ebsa nodded approvingly as Ogly lined up shots so that any bullets that penetrated would hit a second rat. The rats mobbed the dead and injured in a swarming mass.

" . . . must be close to a hundred of them . . . "

Ebsa had no idea who muttered that. He had to agree. And an unfortunately large number of them skirted the mobs and came on. Heads up noses raised.

"I guess we smell like food."

Ebsa raised the rifle as the rats entered his range. But held his fire. They needed closer range, to kill each rat with fewer rounds.

"Ready?" Iqgu sounded as casual as if they faced paper targets on the rage. "Fire at will."

Ebsa sighted on a rat as it started to turn its head, aimed for where he hoped its neck would be and squeezed the trigger. Sighted on another, squeezed. Kept going until the empty click registered. He stepped back and set the rifle down.

Not many guns firing.

He stepped forward, squeezing down a ball of power in each hand.

Six meters. I can hit anything on the track.

One trotted confidently into range. Ebsa conserved his energy and sent a narrow slice across its neck. It fell, twitching and spurting. Two close together. He got them both with one slash.

The only shots now were from the far side. From the northwest. He squeezed down a fireball and threw it hard, as far back into the pack as he could make, trying to reduce the pressure pushing the horde forward. Agonzied squealings. A few rats turned. Not enough.

He sliced two more as they entered the dirt road.

"Fuckin A! You've got a hell of a range." Iqgu rearranged his troops. "Don't try for his range. You know what you can do. Slash down at any that get between the buildings."

The last two shooters managed to bring down one rat . . . and then they were all out of ammo.

:: Paer? Ready to go full warrior on these critters? ::

:: Ready. ::

A scream from the next building. A rat had grabbed a man and pulled him off the roof.

Ebsa bolted across to the edge of the building. Sent a slice ahead to decapitate the rat as he jumped. Landed on the quivering body. Killed two more rats as they turned toward the blood and screaming. Jumped up on a rat body and slashed across the opening between buildings. Quick check behind. No rats alive.

He leaped out to the track and slashed both directions.

Let his Speed go for a moment. Glanced up at the roof. A bleeding man was being hauled up to one building. Iqgu paced back to the end. "Hang on Ebsa we'll get you up in a sec."

"No . . .I think I'm more useful down here. Toss me my crowbar, and point me at the nearest problem area."

"Are you crazy?"

From the northeast corner, Wxxo laughed. "Yeah, he's crazy. In fact he's barely gotten started."

Iqgu shook his head. "Looks like four rats to the south, then the rest to the north. "We'll deal with the south. You trim back the north then you'd One damn well better get back up here." He dropped the crowbar.

Ebsa caught it and trotted out to meet the next wave of rats. They came already blood flecked, no doubt from feasting on their fallen fellows.

He reached for Paer, and felt her position . . . also on the ground. "Right. You dirty rats . . . die." He slid into Speed and dashed forward. Stretched his slice to the limit and swept his arm across the mob. Spun and snapped the crowbar across the nose of the one running up behind him. At speed the metal bar was brutally effective, crushing the rat's jaw. He danced, spun out of the way of the thrashing beast and slashed. Blood spurted as the head rolled free. He leaped, got up on the body. Two quick slashes, then everything looked clear to the south. He spun back and went for the mob of rats ripping at the dead and injured from his first attack.

And he ripped them, dipping into the mob and withdrawing, leaving bodies behind, trotting around the heap of rats, alive and dead, and meeting Paer, coated with sticky blood and as determined as he to kill every rat in the camp.

Back into the mob. Hard to tell living rat from dead, and his head was hurting now.

He slashed up at a rearing rat, dived out of the way as it fell. A thrashing tail caught him from the back, he rolled, came to his feet turn and slashed. The rats were running now, terror breaking through the feeding frenzy.

He gathered power and threw fireballs until they were out of range.

. . . no threats. He let the Speed go and closed his eyes, the better to see the few live rats in the pile. Two slashes, and there were none.

The gory apparition beside him grinned. "Dibs on the shower."

matapampamuphoff on September 13th, 2015 02:27 am (UTC)
Stupid crowbar. I need to figure out a reason for Ebsa to have a broadsword to carry around. Although in this case, an ax might be the better choice.
hollybambolo on September 13th, 2015 08:44 pm (UTC)
Because Isakson said Warriors should have them? He can keep it in his bag like Elden does.
matapampamuphoff on September 13th, 2015 09:32 pm (UTC)
Nah, Isakson's type of Warrior would be more likely to have an antitank weapon tucked away somewhere handy.

Maybe Paer will give him one for his birthday.
shanashana on September 14th, 2015 10:29 pm (UTC)
Maybe Xen would have given swords to Nighthawk's friends? Ra'd and Isakson would insist that they be practiced with. Since you haven't published Directorate School yet, you can still make changes there.
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on September 14th, 2015 01:07 am (UTC)
The advantage of the two lasers is that they don't require ammo, just recharge power.

And they are the only distance weapons now operational.

Now if the fabber can make duelling swords, why not crossbows or a real sword (Ebsa doesn't need to bring one) ?

The cost is less food.

Because of conservation of mass the fabber had better remain vague (the author's friend), but you might mention it uses water if available (tank or plumbing- most of the weight of any food or drink it makes is water)

Also the Action Team leader might have been taught "everything is a weapon" so planning on making dust mines to surround the camp - electrically or magically initiated (for the dust cloud) and detonated.

Little Egret in Walton-on-Thames
(Anonymous) on January 19th, 2018 11:55 am (UTC)
I have a bit of a problem with the rats jumping the fence. Elephant size animals don't jump, the bones and joints won't take the shock of landing. Perhaps better to have them muscle through, after all it is a simple barrier, probably hastily thrown up when the spider problem manifested, not a fort dinasaur installation.
matapampamuphoff on January 19th, 2018 04:40 pm (UTC)
I changed jumped to climb, as I was picturing something closer to climbed over and jumped down than clearing a two-meter wall with a single leap. Thanks.