Leaning up against trees when possible, Ronc Bellamule slowly worked his way out of the woods and into the fray. Fighting back the searing pain shooting up from his leg, Bellamule limped his way around the path that had been carved out by the monsters. A trail of broken trees and fallen limbs did not make for easy ground to cover. Emerging from the trees, Bellamule started to make his way toward the farm house he had so desperately been trying to escape from no more than 10 minutes ago. Glancing up occasionally to make sure he hadn’t been spotted, Bellamule focused nearly all his attention toward the house and his first bit of cover. The idea of heading back into that house sent Bellamule into a blind stupor, paying little to no mind of the combat that was being funneled toward him.
Halfway to the house, Bellamule stopped in his tracks, nearly falling. “OVER HERE!” boomed out across the field amongst the chaos of noise. As Bellamule looked he saw the frilled overcoat of Azard bouncing through the air with his back turned to Bellamule. A second later, one of the enormous creatures came into view as it passed by the house. As the man turned to face the beast head on, it became clear that it was indeed Azard, back-peddling toward the woods. Firing a blast from his own Drake into the creatures crooked maw, Azard was within seconds of being torn apart. Frantically, Azard looked around for a moment until his eyes caught Bellamule’s, standing there out in the open. Suddenly, he disappeared. Within a mere second, Azard reappeared practically falling onto Bellamule, the two of them crashing to the ground in a heap.
Before words could be exchanged, both quickly propped themselves back up as fast as they could, looking onward as the monster stumbled into the tree-line, vanishing into the night. “How are you—” Bellamule was quickly cut off.
“YOU? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?,” shouted Azard. He could not contain himself as he holstered his Drake and pushed Bellamule back down to the ground.
“HALF OF US ARE DEAD RONC! YOU KNEW MY FAMILY WAS FROM HERE!,” screamed Azard. Grasping the situation and clasping Bellamule by the cuff of his jacket, Azard murmured, “What have you done? Were all gonna die now.”
“How did you… you teleported?” murmured back Bellamule, avoiding the question and still in shock.
“What is wrong with you?” said Azard.
“You learned the mystery? You’ve been trying for months,” said Bellamule, as if the two were somehow still friends, somewhere else, before the events of tonight.
“Uh-huh, yeah I learned it. I was staring down the muzzle of a blunderbuss and it clicked. So, yeah, thanks for that Ronc,” said Azard impatiently, as if he was speaking to a bewildered child. A moment passed as the two simultaneously came back down to reality.
“I don’t know what happened… I couldn’t focus. I just… I wasn’t sure if it was him,” Ronc half lied.
“Yeah well, we’re all going to die now. So—” Azard paused briefly. “I don’t want you to move from this spot.”
“What?” exclaimed Ronc, confused.
“You stay right here Ronc.” Azard’s grip on his holstered drake was tightening and the sound was enough to paralyze Ronc where he sat. “You’re going to pay for this. Their gonna know who let this happen.”
As he released Bellamule, Azard got back up, turned back toward from where he had teleported from, and began jogging back into town. As he did, a half-dozen people flooded in from around the corner. Caught in the moonlight, Bellamule could make out the faces of those he knew… and others he had just seen for the first time tonight. “No… Why?” whimpered Bellamule, the words barely leaving his lips as he spoke them. The Rodger’s Gang, who he had meant to wipe out here tonight, were running side-by-side with his men, with Azard flagging them down as he caught up with them. “ROOOOOOOAAR!” rang out through the air. The group of men whipped around back toward the center of town and the sound, all of them shouting and opening fire as they did. At the same time, trees collapsed down into the field from where the other beast had entered. It quickly met up with the group as both creatures flanked them from either side. Bellamule looked on in horror as the men were beginning to be thrashed about like toys being thrown around the room by a child. Bellamule lost his friend for the second time that night, as Azard was split in half, his upper torso flung up into the air by a swift strike of a terrible, clubbed tail.
With the violence ensuing, Bellamule let off a single blast from his Drake into the targets and then began to crawl toward the house. Drake in hand, Bellamule struggled not to look into the crowd of people being slaughtered, keeping his eyes fixed on the house. Approaching the safety of cover, Bellamule started to hear footsteps running toward him from around the other side of the house. The ominous-looking hole he had escaped from earlier was almost within reach but he had to stop. Propping himself up on one knee, he quickly started to reload his Drake as fast as he could, expecting the person coming to be a threat. Looking down, he only needed to pull the hammer back as the person running finally emerged. Stopping dead in his tracks after noticing Bellamule, the man put one hand to his hip.
Somehow, it was him. Thaddeus Aamat, the man who Bellamule believed had killed his father. He finally got a good look at him. He was terrified. They stood there starring at each other briefly, palms sweating with anticipation. Though Thaddeus didn’t know who he had bumped into, he could surmise a malicious intent in the cold, dark eyes of Bellamule. The hammer clicked back into place. Slowly, the weapon was raised, aimed, and fired into the chest of Thaddeus just as he had pulled his own weapon from its holster. The shot seemed to had confirmed something deep inside of Bellamule, like a switch going off. Time slowed to a crawl as Thaddeus fell to his knees, revealing the two silhouettes of monstrous things looking on from the carnage that laid at their feet. Ronc Bellamule, in this moment, felt nothing and realized everything in a bizarre contradiction of acceptance and denial. Looting a short-sword from the corpse of Thaddeus, Bellamule stood as tall as he could, assumed a fighting stance, and prepared to meet his destiny.