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Saturday, March 20

Righteous Triad Fists: Part 3 – Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

Bits of flaming wood landed all around them. Jim-Bean had his eyes closed, palms outward as if to ward off a blow. He dropped his hands when the wreckage stopped falling.

"So much for the peaceful native population," muttered Hammer. "Everyone on the island saw that explosion."

"I know where they were transmitting to," said Guppy. He pointed. "This way."

They marched off into the foliage. The inland part of the reef, although only a few dozen feet wide at best, resembled a tropical forest. The soil was thin and poor for farming, but substantial enough to support many growths of coconut palms. Tangled vines and low brush covered the inland area where the palm groves did not.

The agents burst out into the open beach. The reef encircling the lagoon was composed mostly of limestone and covered with bright and colorful coral. The beach was sandy but narrow; beyond the shore, the landscape sloped sharply upward.

Guppy looked down at his cistron. "According to my calculations, something with a huge radar array was receiving the signal from the mission. But I don't see how something that big could be…" he looked up. "…so close…to shore…"

Only a few hundred yards off sure was a huge, battleship-gray, horseshoe-shaped structure. The top ten feet of the complex was above the surface of the lagoon. Five crane mechanisms were visible around the perimeter of the top deck, framed by the night sky. Anchor chains stretched down at an angle into the ocean. Various seams and fittings were discernible. The horseshoe complex gave off a low, steady hum.

Six rotating searchlights were placed around the perimeter of the top deck, occasionally scanning over a statue at the center of the horseshoe. Connected by chains, the fifteen-foot tall statue was carved from a black glossy stone marbled with rust red and blue-green veins. It depicted a squaminous beast, hunched over, wings flared, with tentacles dangling from its face. It looked down into the emptiness between its two outstretched and clawed hands, as if to eat the world that’s not yet in its grasp.

"Whoa," said Caprice. "Guess we know what Tiger Transit's been spending their money on, huh?" more


posted by Michael Tresca at 7:52 AM

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