CAST OF PLAYERS:
Jeremy Whitener…………Korin Alabaster………………………Were Mongoose
Debora Silkotch…………..Casey Gavin…………………………Human Psionic
Aron Head……………….Story/Setting/Everything Else…….Game Master
“I don’t want to retreat,” Casey panted, her blood up now. “I want to find the rest of the prisoners down here and get them out. And I want to make sure whoever’s got them never has the chance to grab anyone else.” It was half anger and half bravado: she was struggling to keep the fear at bay, not let it get a foothold in her mind again. “Let’s go ahead and bring this whole damn place down around their ears while we’re at it.”
Elijah’s eyes blazed with rage, “Any ideas on how we manage that?”
“I haven’t really worked out all the details yet,” Casey admitted, falling back to rejoin the others as the shadowy evil pressed in around them. She had a fierce, wild look about her now, utterly unlike the nervous girl who had crept down that black staircase not so long ago.
“Let me know,” the vampire grunted as he raked his way through another phantom, “When you’ve dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s.”
“You do that,” she gritted, aiming another burst of pyrokinetics at the nearest swarm. Two more of the red-eyed shadows burst into flames.
The enemy flowed among them like water over rocks. The corridor was choked with them. Korin flipped and bounced from floor to wall and rolled and dived from side to side, evading damage with impossible speed.
Elijah roared his frustration….
Casey was seized up, hauled from her feet and rushed further down the hall. Their grip was iced steel! “HEY!”
Pana leaped after them, her jaws snapping.
Casey heard a painful cry cut short.
Korin went down, pressed under the weight of the dark agents.
Casey struggled to free herself, but there were too many icy hands gripping her. She switched gears, tried to lift herself up off the ground and out of their grasps. No luck there; she was too tightly gripped by the enemy. In desperation she tried the only other trick she could think of: the “invisibility” ruse. She had no idea if it would work on the minds of these ghostly creatures, but if it did their own numbers would work against them, confusing them as to her whereabouts even while they clutched her. Maybe she could slip free while they were scrambling to “find” her again.
She concentrated, but the creatures didn’t seem to notice her efforts; they never broke stride. Elijah’s shouts of anger grew more and more distant. Darkness enshrouded her, the only light she could see now were the hellish red of the dark agents’ eyes.
Fear crept back through a hairline crack in Casey’s determined bravado. The absolute helplessness of her position, the chilling, encompassing restraint imposed upon her by the gleeful phantoms, the unknown peril that lurked ahead, all chipped menacingly away at her newfound valor. She flailed wildly against her icy captors, trembling now with cold and dread.
YES, HE WILL BE PLEASED.
She could sense the black joy of these creatures at their master’s anticipated satisfaction at the deliverance of their gift. The gift that was Casey.
Her ability to think clearly was losing ground to a flood of panic. Shaking helplessly, her useless struggles weakened as she was dragged along like a ragdoll to whatever dark fate awaited her.
Elijah was among the evil wraiths, clawing and tearing at them. He was a blur of violence and rage — and actually surprised her dark enemies. She was released, stumbling free.
They surged on the vampire.
Casey found her balance, still trembling and terrified beyond rational thought. Instinctively she skittered away from the mêlée, seeking only escape.
Elijah’s roar brought her up short, opened a window of clarity in her mind. He’d freed her. Vampire or no, she couldn’t very well leave him to die for that.
Turning back on wobbly legs, she evaluated her resources. She didn’t dare attack with fire this time; Elijah would be incinerated along with his assailants. And mind tricks didn’t seem to work on the black shadows.
Falling back on her simplest option, she pulled out her weapon-hilt and extended the blade. Taking a deep, shaky breath, she leaped back into the fray, aiming for the solid creatures that had Elijah in their icy grasp.
Following the actions of his defacto leader, Korin threw himself over the heads of the creatures separating him from Elijah and fell atop the cluster assaulting the vampire. His claws ripped and tore, night given form. The howls of the nightmare creatures filled the corridor.
Casey shifted her position as Mongoose Guy launched into the battle in a blur of claws and fury. He was fast — almost too fast — she feared inadvertently catching him with an ill-timed swing of her blade.
“Try–” The shout she was going for came out as a breathless pant, nearly inaudible over the noise of the fight. She sent the thought directly into Elijah’s and Korin’s minds: ** Try to form a triangle! ** Sending an image of the three of them with their backs to one another, fending off the creatures’ approach from all directions, Casey moved to take one side of the defensive position.
Elijah did the same while smacking down one of the dark agents, grousing, “You’re givin’ me a headache, girl.”
Korin almost backed into Elijah as he took up an identical position as Casey. Now shoulder to shoulder with peers and face to face with death he fought on…the demise of some or all fairly assured. ^^My statistics teacher would love to analyze these odds….yeeeesh!!^^
Casey’s sword regained its sure swing as Korin moved to cover her back and Elijah’s. The crystalline blade flashed around and above her in a 120-degree arc, a gleaming defense against the black tide of evil. Her body knew how to do this, though she’d never done it before tonight — yet again Falco’s gift had made survival at least conceivable.
And still they came…
Dozens and dozens of the red-eyed horrors flowed into them. Certainly, the three warriors got in their licks… but how long could they last?
Another few minutes?
If they were lucky?
Each could hear the others’ cries of pain as the darkness that killed took yet another inch of flesh.
With what little attention she could spare from the fight Casey searched deeper into her untried abilities, looking for a magic bullet…or maybe a magic bullet-proof vest.
She was pretty sure she could throw up a telekinetic shield across her third of the circle, but that wouldn’t be enough; it would only deflect more of the creatures onto Elijah and Korin. She’d need a really big shield, enough to surround all three of them.
She could visualize the building blocks of such a telekinetic structure, but not having ever attempted such a task before…there was no telling what the success would be. She ran the possibilities through her mind, even while her blade whirled steadily among the attackers.
It would have to be precisely the right size….
In non-solid form the phantoms could pass through bodies, so she had to assume they’d be able to pass through her shield as well. It would only keep the solid ones out…but so far the creatures had only inflicted actual physical damage while solid. That meant the shield had to be just big enough to cover her and her comrades, but not big enough for an attacker to take solid form within.
And the timing would have to be flawless…
She couldn’t even begin to form such a barrier while part of her energies were directed into her weapon. She’d have to release the blade an instant before she raised the shield.
If it failed, she’d be defenseless — the first to fall.
Might be smarter to forget the whole idea.
But the dark sea of creatures seemed endless. At this rate the three of them had precious little time left to live anyway. Her attempt might shorten their lives by a minute or two…or give them a new chance at survival.
Baby steps. One thing at a time.
She gestured sharply, throwing up a personal shield in front of just herself as the blade flowed back into its hilt.
The barrier rippled into existence, visible only to Casey’s psionic perception.
She focused…concentrated…imagined the shield growing, spreading itself over and around Korin and Elijah until all three of them were sheltered from the black onslaught.
At first nothing happened. But then the edges began to expand, slowly stretching toward her companions….