Men of L33t, Part XXV - Thar Be Monsters About!
The lock screeched and clanked as her cell door slowly slid open. Kimiko looked up from her knitting. Small footsteps echoed down the corridor and walked into her cell. Shielding her eyes, she made out the figure of a smallish drow.
"Apparently, the Lady Erika has finally gathered enough resources to make a deal the Emperor." Shadow said slowly. "You will be released on bail tomorrow. No charges have been dropped, but the trial is to be held off until we have a more substantial proof of your guilt. The Lady Erika has taken all responsibility for your future actions."
"...why do you hate me?" asked Kimiko.
A pained look flickered across Shadow's face. "I do not. I am merely upholding the law." She turned and walked towards the door.
"What about what's right?" A pause.
"What is right... must sometimes be sacrificed for the greater good."
"...your possessions will be returned to you when you leave. You will also be allowed to freshen up in the morning, so I suggest you get some sleep." Shadow paused, and turned. "I wish you well. Please, for your own good, forget him. He will only cause you more trouble. Much more pain than this."
"I would take that and more, if I could stop his."
Shadowdancer looked at her for a moment, and then walked quietly out of the room.
"She's been in that cell for a month!"
Asimov turned pensively. "We've been waiting for the Lady Erika to make a move."
"And she's done nothing!" Darktan slammed his hand against the table. "Az! We should be making a move! Our Scottish reinforcements are almost here, if the Church retaliates we'll have the forces to hold or escape!"
"She doesn't seem to trust us..." Az mused, looking out the window.
"Then maybe giving her Kimiko will prove she can trust us."
Asimov blinked and turned. "Phydeaux! You've returned."
"Yes, and your plan sucked. It didn't work."
Asmimov slumped. "I see."
"But- what if we rescued Kimiko and gave her to Erika? Maybe she'd consider an alliance with us? I've been to their workshops once or twice. Her technology could help us a lot."
"Attacking an Empire prison, though?"
Phydeaux laughed. "I'm sure that there's a lot more guards like Darktan. They'd never tell who broke in, would they, Dark?"
"There, you see?"
"...alright, then. We attack tonight."
Dark figures slid through the night. Stealthily, they crept up to the prison's wall, and set a heavy crate against it. They dropped a small vial in and ran back as fast as they could. The crate glowed and gurgled, and then suddenly just crumbled away. Silently, a monogenous blob attached itself to the wall and began eating its way through the thick stone.
"Oy! What're you all doing out there?!"
Six crossbows instantly swung at the voice.
"Ohhhh, wait, are you the lads come down to rescue the Idol? What, you're trying to break in that way? It says OGSB all over it! I could, you know, let you in the front door if you like. It's a lot quicker."
The men blinked, and one stepped forwards. "I, uh... I guess that's all right. But could you keep it down? We're trying to be all quiet and everything."
"Oh, sure! Hey, Code!"
"The OGSB lads are here! They want to sneak in and all, so tell the boys to be quiet. No cheers or anything, got it?""
"Gotcha! Hey, Aleks!"
Asimov stared. The guard turned back and grinned cheerfully. "There you go! Oh, hey, I haven't introduced myself. Name's Jusme. Yours?"
"Milady! Milady Shadowdancer."
Shadow awoke groggily and shook herself from her sleep. She snatched up a nightrobe and walked to the door.
"What is it at this hour?" she said, swinging the door open in irritation.
"The prisoner- Miss Kimiko- she's gone!"
"The guards- they were attacked and knocked out. The prison was broken into, and when everyone came to, she was gone! We have a guard right here to tell you himself."
Shadow turned on the guard. "What happened?"
"Well, ma'am it's just like he said! We were guardin' the prison right nicely when all of a sudden these monsters come up and start swingin' left and right!"
"What kind of monsters?"
"Oh, I dunno. Big, and hulking, and green, and big, and... hrm... I guess they were sorta... bi- I mean hulking! Yes, hulking, like they couldn't move right. Sorta stiff. But man, were they strong! One of 'em even blew acid and burned a hole half-way through the wall! We tried a little hacking at 'em, but our weapons just dulled! See?" he held up a spear with a bent head. "Almost like it was used to open a lock! That's really dull. Not many things that tough out here. Yup. Tough and big. Really big. Like-"
"Thank you, guardsman, that's enough. Ori, if you could show him out...?"
"Of course, milady. Call me if you need anything." Shadow closed the door thoughtfully behind her. The description seemed to fit artificially created automatons. Something like Erika Manufacturing would make. But Erika had no reason to! She'd worked for nearly a month to free Kimiko legally... so who else would have such creatures...?
"Milady Erika!" She sighed. What else could happen tonight? She opened the door.
"Zeth! What are you doing here? And why are your clothes-?"
"Milady- ow!" Zeth cringed and held herself. "At-t-t-t... Milady... there... there's an army approaching!"
"They caught you?"
"N-no... I was so surprised I fell off the cliff I was on... didn't catch myself in time."
"I see..." Shadow went about placing her hands in the right places. "This will sting a bit." She drew on the Necrowombicon's power. "Did you recognize who they were?"
Zeth gasped. "No, milady. But- they carried advanced weaponry. Things I've never seen before on the battlefield."
"Fully-automatic steak-knives. Extendable axes. Automatically-reloading fork catapults."
Shadow turned. It fit! But why was she doing this now? The crown? She couldn't... could she know? Or did she simply wish to turn him into a puppet Emperor? Damn the woman! She was too intelligent, there were too many variables... but one thing was clear.
"Hayasaka..." she growled.
So, what do you think?
I got rid of the pirates post 'cause it just didn't work.