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Tuesday, October 20

Red Skies: Part 4 – Desecrated Temple

Kham kicked open the double doors.

Several mosaics depicted humanoid fish-like creatures performing rituals to an octopus-headed god. Although all of the scenes illustrated joyous events—bountiful harvests, successful hunts, and the like—they seemed dreadfully wrong somehow. Arcane symbols riddled the six columns that ran the length of the temple, some of which were etched with knives and chisels, some painted with large swaths of blood. But it was what lay in front of the altar that stopped Kham in his tracks. Or rather who.

Lying in a pool of his own blood, his clothes in tatters around his battered form, was Ezekiel Carthy. He was breathing, barely.

A line of cultists stood in front of the three steps that led to the altar, and more stood on either end of the platform on which the altar rested. A man with a shock of thinning, greasy hair, slick back straight on his head, stood over Carthy. He slowly lowered a cocked pistol to his prisoner’s head, another pistol in his other hand. Though he was some distance away, his threats were clear.

“Look at you!” he bellowed. “Standing there like you’re just going to !#(%ing stride in here and just !#(%ing take what I worked so hard to steal? NO you won’t, you !#(%ers!” He addressed the other cultists. “You’re all a !#(%ing disappointment. I’m so !#(%ing disappointed.”

“Well if it isn’t Billy Bones,” said Kham. He cocked both of his pistols. “Let Carthy go.”

“I don’t think you’re in a !#(%ing position to be giving orders, do you? If you take just one more step, ONE MORE, your friend here won’t live to see you take another!”

Kham fired both pistols. Billy Bones’ own pistols went flying.

“You dumb !#(%er!” Billy rubbed his hands. “Kill them!”

The cultists unleashed a barrage of pistol fire. Kham and Beldin ducked behind the nearest pillars as Sebastian stepped out.

The temple was long and narrow, no more than twenty five feet wide.

One of the cultists got out: “Uh oh.” more


posted by Michael Tresca at 6:26 AM

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