Crawling toward the closest bush that looked thick enough, Bellamule disposed half of his focus to pushing his way further into cover and half to properly reloading the Drake. Fully covered, the men’s voices were growing louder as he clicked back the hammer on his Drake, preparing to fire it for what seemed like the last time. Propping himself up into a sitting position, Bellamule did his best to control his erratic breathing. Bellamule had been in life or death predicaments before. Nearly everyone left on Arcadia has had to run, hide, or shoot their way out of a similar situation at one point or another, but this was different.
Bellamule’s heart sank deep into his chest. Enormous thuds, followed by snapping branches, and the twisting of the earth underneath a looming pressure, was emanating from deeper inside the woods. As it grew closer, the shouting of the men in front of him stopped. Bellamule switched his attention toward the noise and away from what should have momentarily been a firefight. SNAP! what must have been a tree branch, cracked and fell to the forest floor no more than a few dozen feet from where he sat. Through the bush he could now make out two giant, boxed silhouettes, stomping toward his direction. The guttural churning and groaning of the giant creatures as they moved became audible as Bellamule begin shuffling nervously around in his hiding spot. As he looked up toward the monsters, all he could make out was a trunk-like foot, connected to a smooth, thick shell, like a set of armor so large it was almost cartoonish, quickly becoming larger as it fell down toward him. Propelling himself as best as he could, Bellamule fell out of the bush in a scramble. It was easily flattened by the thing that now continued moving onward. By some miracle, neither of the beasts had noticed him as their giant, clubbed tails, swung from side-to-side, cracking against trees as they walked.
Bellamule, in shock, could only think of the sound he heard as the things passed over him. Sitting there, out in the open, he could not shake the noise of innards sloshing and bubbling around like a jostling oil drum full of guts. Bewildered, Bellamule snapped out of his daze as both creature began to roar, its echo blasting through the forest. As this happened “RUN!” and “GET BACK!” could be heard under the sound of gunfire, cutting through the night as the monsters picked up speed and began lumbering toward the shots. As they did, entire trees were splintered apart and came crashing down in front of him. Looking onward, Bellamule raised himself to a single knee, completely frozen in the face of what was the luckiest moment in his life.
Then it hit him. The town, Susard, was about to be destroyed. If any of those men from the botched assassination attempt made it out of town alive, the blame would fall on the Band. Hell, if a Last Justice member survived they would probably rat him out specifically as the culprit responsible for alerting the monsters. Plopping back down to the ground, Bellamule’s mind struggled to make sense of the night’s chain of events. The idea that he would have failed so spectacularly and had died a shameful, idiotic death, crippled him to that forest floor. Bellamule repeated to himself “Why did I think this would work?” over and over again in his mind. Letting out a long sigh, he began to lift himself back up. With perhaps the same drive that lead him to establish a Band, Bellamule, who never truly cared about whether a stranger lived or died, decided that he would rather perish trying to save people than to be remembered as an utter failure.