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Thursday, April 16

Serpentine Path: Part 9b – This Might Sting a Bit!

To the left, several petite women ran from a residence, each cradling an infant. Reptilian soldiers surrounded one of them. She tried valiantly to fight them off, but her efforts were cut short as one of the ss’ressen spat a sticky glob into her face.

“No!” Bijoux shouted in dismay. She pointed with one claw, the other covering her mouth in horror.

With a wicked scowl, the ss’ressen snatched the infant from the woman’s grasp, ripped its head off, and returned the dripping head to her.

“Illiir!” Beldin didn’t stop dragging people out of the path of the tower.

With a flick of its claw, the ss’ressen disemboweled the helpless woman. It grinned in Bijxoux’s direction as it licked its claw clean.

Vlad dropped a serving wench’s unconscious form and struggled to draw his blade. “We can’t rescue everyone and fight those things at the same time!”

Calactyte whirled, axe out. “Go. I will take care of this.”

“Cal!” shouted Ilmarė. “You can’t, there’s too many!”

The venomous scale ss’ressen menaced the remaining women and children.

“GO!” The ss’ressen whirled, axe out. “They will follow me in frenzy.” He roared, ear flaps rising up, muscle bugling with rage. “MOMMA’S COMING!”

The lizards heard Calactyte’s challenge and responded in kind. The human women fled as the ss’ressen were distracted.

Calactyte charged towards them, his clawed feet pounding the pavement beneath him in little clouds of dust. Acid spewed forth, striking the big ss’ressen again and again, but Cal was undeterred. The fury with which he descended upon the ss’ressen shocked even his bloodthirsty opponents.

Cal swung low, disemboweling one of the ss’ressen with a swipe of his axe. His tail slapped another ss’ressen down before it could retaliate.

But there were too many. One leaped on his back. Then another. And another. Clawing, biting, roaring.

Ilmarė knocked an arrow and took aim. Then she stopped and lowered her bow.

“What are you doing?” Bijoux asked, incredulous. Ilmarė was the only one not helping drag people out of the path of the tower. “Help him!”

“Cal knows exactly what he’s doing,” said Ilmarė. “He’s drawing them to him.” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:51 AM


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