Lead vs. Fantasy 1-6

1-6: Probably Best to Just Call it Village Liberation

 

After watching the last lizard fall to his feet, Edge searched his surroundings for more.  Finding nothing except his captain, Edge released his vigilance and stretched his arms behind his back.  He really carried his tension in his shoulders.  After a fight, they always got so stiff.  Add to that sleeping on the ground all the time and he was starting to feel like an old man.  Not a good place to be in your mid-twenties… or was it late twenties now?  It wasn’t thirties, right?  How long ago was that big subjugation in the eastern mountains?  He knew he was twenty three then.

In order to distract himself from that uncomfortable word problem, Edge turned to check on Knot and Champ.  As he’d guessed from the lack of gunshots behind him, they’d already finished.  At the moment they were carrying out the laborious work of checking the bodies.  Can’t have any of them playing dead to perform an ambush.  Frowning at the pile of chores beneath him, Edge crouched down to do some work.

When they could be sure none of the lizards were getting up, The Captain put his portable radio to his face and asked, “Looks to be all clear here.  Lotus, Cauliflower; report in.”

“I’m fine.  Still in position.”  Lotus answered without a second’s delay.

“I got wrapped up in a little something,” Cauliflower came on a few seconds later, sounding a little out of breath.  “But it’s been dealt with.”

“What happened?  Why aren’t you with Lotus on over watch?”  The Captain interrogated hastily.

“I felt something creeping up on us,” Cauliflower responded.  “I went to deal with them.  I did, but they were strange.  Some kind of variant I’ve never heard of.  Might account for the weird feeling I was getting when we went to recon the site.”

“I see, good work,” The Captain replied.  “If you’re done with that now, return to Lotus and then meet us in the village.”

“Will do,” Cauliflower affirmed in a tone whimsical enough to not be affirmative at all.  “First I’ve gotta find my spare mag.  Had to drop it in the woods a few minutes back.  No point leaving money on the table.”

Edge nodded his head lightly at that sentiment.

The Captain merely closed his eyes.  Then he said, “Fine, but if you sense any other monsters getting close, abandon it.  Lotus, remain in position and watch the village until she returns.  Make sure no returning hunting party or whatever comes back just in time to get the drop on us.  The rest of us will tally up the casualties.  There’re supposed to be around forty people in this village.  We can’t leave until they’re all accounted for.  Knot and Champ, you take the residence buildings.  Edge and I will search the stronghold.”

Edge, Knot, and Champ nodded at the orders before turning towards their new tasks.  Lotus and Cauliflower voiced their acknowledgement.  Then the radio went silent.  Like that, they set out on the last part of this job.

While in the fighting bit, Edge could have easily died, but what came next was by far the worst.  Tallying up pieces of bodies isn’t fun in the best of situations… Edge didn’t know what the best situation for that would be… butcher’s shop.  With like, cows?  Whatever.  The point was, this wasn’t it.

Stepping past the lizards cluttered around the entrance to the austere building, Edge and The Captain slowly made their way inside.  As he crossed the threshold, Edge let off a faint crunching with every step.  The shards of hard wood that littered the floor were almost unavoidable.

Feeling a bit uncomfortable at his own noise, Edge shifted to his left to walk on some of the more intact panels of door.  His first step on the oddly shaped, brown slab felt wrong.  The wood itself was hard, but as he applied pressure, it gave way a bit.  Like there was something soft underneath.

Edge closed his eyes and pursed his lips as the meaning of that dawned on him.  He quickly removed his foot and grabbed one of the less splintered sides of the wooden slab.  Then… he didn’t do anything.  They really made that door sturdy.  Lifting just a piece felt like trying to move a boulder.

Edge put his back into it and tried again.  With his muscles lit on fire, Edge was finally able to flip the piece over, sending it crashing onto the concrete beside him.  When the clouds of sawdust that had kicked up subsided, Edge saw what he was expecting.

It was a woman.  At one point at least.   Probably.  He didn’t want to look close enough to be one hundred percent on the gender.  The body looked like a giant bruise and its limbs had been bent at ungodly angles.  Of course there was blood.  It had pooled all around, but it was dry now.

Edge looked away quickly.  He didn’t like human bodies.  Dead monsters he was fine with.  He saw them and made them all the time.  He even ate dead monsters.  It was part of the job.  Humans were different, however.  Every time he saw one, he just couldn’t look at living people in the same way.  Images he didn’t like would intrude.

Edge closed the unfortunate woman’s eyes.  That was what people did in such situations.  Then he turned to look at the rest of the door’s debris.  The Captain had already uncovered another body to the right.  There were two more piles that seemed big enough to be housing more.

As he was looking over, Edge met the Captain’s eyes and said, “They were probably trying to hold the doors shut during the assault.  Then, when the lizards broke through, they got trampled in the rush.”

“Sounds about right,” The Captain responded, standing up to check another wood pile.

Edge followed suit and they found two more bodies in basically the same state.  Three men and one woman.  There didn’t seem to be any other corpses in the small concrete box that made up the entryway so they moved on.

There were doorways on the left and right side of the entry room.  Of course, both doors were already smashed in.  They checked out the left passage first.  It would be faster to split up and investigate both routes.  However, humans are weak.  It’s best to travel in groups.

The left door led to a cramped concrete hallway which they could barely fit in side by side.  The interior had no windows to let in the moonlight, but the lightbulbs in the ceiling were still shining.  The only other defining feature of the hallway was a second door on its right wall near the end.  This led to another hallway with one door ahead on the left.  The building continued back and forth like that for a while.  Edge guessed the idea was to slow down enemy forces by pushing them through narrow, serpentine hallways.  It might’ve been good strategy for a small defensive force.  However, a group of terrified villagers does not make up a defense force.

In each of the hallways after the first, they found at least one or two bodies.  They all showed signs of scavenging, but there were still enough flesh to show they were killed by swords.  In the four hallways they passed through, only one lizard man corpse was found.  Its death seemed more caused by the careless swings of its allies than the few grazes of bullets.

After moving through the simple concrete corridors, the pair arrived at a hall that ended in an open door which seemed to lead to an actual room.  Like the other halls, the pair advanced through it at a normal walking pace.  When they neared the hall’s end, a familiar tickle struck Edge’s nose.

Edge immediately noticed the identity of the sensation and stopped in his tracks.  He looked over at The Captain; who seemed to be coming to the same conclusion.  “Blood?  That’s not coming from us, right?” Edge confirmed, looking down at the specks of lizard blood that were valiantly attempting to stain his black fatigues.

“New blood.  Fresh blood,” The Captain answered, looking towards the door ahead of them.  “Could mean there’re survivors.”

“Or some gooier corpses,” Edge could not say in the face of The Captain’s hopeful gleam.

Without any more words, the pair pressed forward.  They did their best to stay cautious, but The Captain was rushing.  Clearly impatient.   In seconds they reached the end of the hallway and The Captain started to pass through the door ahead of Edge.  As he did so, Edge saw a shadow move in his peripheral vision.

Filled with a sense of unspecific dread, Edge reached out and grabbed the collar of The Captain’s shirt.  As The Captain turned to complain, Edge pulled with all his might.  The two of them were sent crashing into the hard floor of the hallway behind them.  Then the building resonated with the crash of metal striking concrete.  When edge looked up, he saw what looked to be a massive cleaver smashed into the floor in front of them.

Seeing that, the two men scrambled to their feet and readied their weapons.  Edge pulled forward the assault rifle that was strapped to his back and The Captain drew his twin handguns.  Three barrels were resolutely pointed at the doorway which was now cleaver free.  Like that, they waited for the enemy to come into view.  Then they waited some more.

After a few hour-long minutes, Edge finally asked, “It’s not coming out?”

“Didn’t come out for the fight earlier, either.”  The Captain observed softly.  “A tactical lizard man?”

“I’ve never heard of such a thing.  Apart from the really old ones, of course.”  Edge said slowly.  “Why would an elder be leading a group so far north?”

“That cleaver was big.  Maybe it’s big.” The Captain suggested, flitting his eyes towards Edge before returning them to the door.  “Maybe it doesn’t like going through these hallways if it doesn’t have to.”

Edge nodded.  Then he said, “We don’t know how many are in there with it or what it is.  Should we leave?  Wait it out and then gun it down with everyone when it gets impatient?”

The Captain narrowed his eyes to consider the options.

In the meantime, Edge figured he might as well try out a taunt.  “Oi!  It sure would be helpful if you obediently came out now!  I want to leave soon!”  Ok, not so much a taunt as a request.  Either way it was all just sounds to the ears of a monster.

As he expected, the lizard didn’t listen.  If he was going to be aggravated by something like that, it would’ve come at the sounds of the gunshots.  Edge shrugged and prepared for the order to leave the building.

Then, a response came.  It wasn’t the hisses and clicks of a lizard, but a clear, if faint, female voice.  “Please… Don’t leave… Help us…”  The woman was interrupted by a sharp hiss followed by the sounds of children crying.  However, the point had come across.

Edge looked over at The Captain.  Then he chewed on the inside of his cheek in mild irritation.

“I’ll go lure it out.  You get ready to fire.”

The expected words from The Captain made edge bite harder.  Before The Captain could rush off, Edge held up his arm to stop him.  “I’ll do it.  That’s the way this makes sense,” he said bitterly.  He moved his rifle to his back and tightened the strap to keep it there.  Then he drew his handgun with his right hand and his black, single-edged knife with his left.

He took a few deep breaths and ignored the slight protestations of worry from his captain.  Then he resolutely moved towards the door.  As expected, when he passed the threshold, he was greeted by a massive plate of metal that signaled his death.

Since he was expecting it, it shouldn’t be a big issue.  Before he saw the cleaver descending towards him, he had already raised his knife to intercept it.  The two blades met and the cleaver pushed forward like a cargo truck meeting a chain fence.

HEAVY.  That was the only thing that passed through Edge’s mind as his arm bent under the force of the cleaver.  Before the descending metal chunk could cut him in two unequal pieces, Edge stepped to his right to avoid it.

The cleaver once again smashed into the concrete floor, striking Edge’s ankles with a few shards it kicked up.  Quickly, before the cleaver could be raised for another attack, Edge placed a hand on the back of the single-edged blade and vaulted over it.

Finally in the room, Edge did a quick scan for any additional enemies.  All he found was a clump of silhouettes in the corner that were too small to be lizards.  Understanding his relative safety, Edge took three steps further in.  Then a subconscious timer went off in his head and he rolled forward.

Feeling the gust of wind from above him, Edge thanked his intuition for his survival.  Then he quickly regained his footing and pushed forward to avoid the next attack.  Before he could reach the back wall of the room, Edge’s path was blocked.  A pile of wood that might have once been a table stood in his way.  It wasn’t high enough to be a real barrier, but it would surely ruin his footing.  That would be deadly.

Edge turned right to avoid the hazard and circle around his opponent.  That idea didn’t last very long, however.  Just as he was building the momentum of his sprint, he saw what seemed to be a half-dead woman and two children lying directly in his path.  He desperately dug his heels into the floor and skidded to a stop inches from them.

Without bothering to look over the people he’d almost trampled, Edge turned on his heel to retreat in the opposite direction.  As he was doing so, however, his view was eclipsed by a mass of flesh and scales.

For a moment, his mind went blank as he took in the enemy for the first time.  It was huge.  Half again as tall as he was and twice as wide.  After a few seconds, he could positively identify it as a lizard man.  It certainly shared the same azure scales of its comrades.  However, it lacked the wiry, raptorial frame of its brethren.  Instead it looked like a mountain gorilla that had grown scales and picked up butchery.

Edge couldn’t entirely understand what he was seeing.  It’d been a long time since he’d seen a monster that was wholly unfamiliar to him.  This certainly qualified as that.  Whatever type of lizard variant this was, he’d never heard of it.

Gripped by the terror of this unknown quantity, Edge was only brought to reality when his opponent started to move.  Its rippling muscles coiled under its scales as it lifted the massive cleaver in one hand; raising it over its head.

Looking up at the looming blade, Edge was already calculating his escape routes.  Then, the vague image of a mother and her children flashed through his mind.  He hadn’t taken two steps before the Lizard blocked his path.  If he dodged, the people behind him would certainly be crushed under that wickedly disheveled cleaver.

Edge hesitated.  Only for a moment.  That cleaver was too heavy.  He couldn’t stop it.  No point in everyone dying together.

Edge made up his mind and lowered his stance.  Taking a firm, reverse grip on the knife in his left hand, he waited for the right timing.

Before the timing could come, however, the world was interrupted by the sound of gunshots from behind the colossal lizard.  As the bullets struck home on its back, the ape lizard rounded on this new attacker.  As it did so, it attempted to sweep Edge’s legs with its tail.  However, he was able to jump over that without much issue.

Edge backed away as the ape lizard started its assault on the captain, who was near the room’s entry.  Putting away his knife and holstering his handgun, Edge felt his cheeks burn a little with embarrassment.  It was a rookie mistake; getting too focused on your affinity when surprised.  For a moment there he’d forgotten guns even existed.

Putting aside his embarrassment, Edge grabbed the rifle on his back and gave a tug to loosen the shoulder strap.  Adjusting his stance, he sighted down at the back of the charging lizard and opened fire.  He let off three bursts into the beast’s back before he noticed.  There was no blood.  Not even the trickle of a minor flesh wound.  His bullets were striking the thing’s scales and then falling to the floor.  They left nothing more than bruises.

For a second, Edge was dumbfounded by that sight.  Only for a second, however.  Monsters had magic flowing directly through their veins.  He ‘d grown used to the impossible.

In search of a soft spot, Edge began circling around the beast, still firing.  None of the shots to its back penetrated, but after the fifth burst the monster seemed to grow tired of the bruises.  It stopped its forward march and half turned its head to glare at Edge with one eye.

While the beast was distracted, the Captain let off another volley of bullets.  With that, the ape lizard redirected its attention towards the Captain and seemed prepared to move forward again.  Edge stopped in his tracks and continued to fire in hopes of distracting the monster.

It worked.  The ape lizard stopped moving, threw its head back, and roared its irritation at being targeted from two sides.  The monster’s voice was deeper than its brethren and Edge could feel its booming cry run through his sternum.  Underneath that bass, the monster’s cry still had that harsh shrillness peculiar to a lizard’s throat which made Edge’s ears ring.

When the monster had emptied it’s lungs and dazed its enemies, It took its cleaver in both hands and raised it to the ceiling.  Then it brought the blade crashing into the empty floor with all its might.  With an overwhelming crash, the concrete cracked beneath the blade and the ground shook as if a storm ridden sea.

While Edge and the Captain were overcoming the shock of the first attack, the monster raised its blade and brought it down again a second, third, fourth time.  Each strike got faster and more violent.  By the time he had noticed it, Edge found himself sitting on his ass.

When the final tremors stopped, the ape lizard immediately started running towards the Captain, who also laid prone.  That wasn’t good.  The Captain was woefully unsuited for close combat with a monster like that.

Edge desperately looked around himself for something.  The only thing he found were shards of a shattered table.  So that was what he used.  Grabbing the biggest chunk of wood he could reach, Edge flung it out towards the monster’s feet.

When the ape lizard’s scaly sole came down on the shard of lacquered wood, it was surprised by the change in friction and started to stumble.  Before it could fall, however, it stabbed its massive cleaver into the floor and steadied itself.

Once the monster found its balance again, it turned its head to glare at edge.  From the fire in its eyes, it was clear that shooting a thousand bullets at it wouldn’t be equal to the shame of tripping it once.  It had him in its sights.

When the ape lizard turned and charged, Edge was already shuffling his feet beneath him and swapping the magazines on his rifle.  Before the monster could reach him, Edge was already in firing position.  Then he noticed that for all the Captain’s earlier shooting, the monster’s supposedly soft underbelly was unperforated.  The monster’s scales were damn tough and its rippling muscles looked like they could have been forged from steel.

Edge quickly gave up on taking belly shots and instead shifted his focus to the monster’s face.  His bullets glanced off the beast’s angular head and it closed its eyes on reflex as it finally reached Edge.  Unwilling to open them, the monster took a blind swing at Edge, meant to bisect him at the waist.

Thankfully, the ape lizard wasn’t an accomplished swordsman.  Edge was able to duck in time to feel the wind of the blade’s wake ruffle his hair.  For a moment, the relief of survival washed over Edge.  Then his arm was jerked to the right as if pulled by a truck.

That was when he noticed his mistake.  His rifle, which he hadn’t been paying attention to, was being held vertically and the barrel stuck out above his head.  Blade met barrel and took it along for the follow through.

The unrelenting momentum of the monster’s swing quickly knocked the rifle out of Edge’s hand.  However, his shoulder strap wouldn’t let him off that easily.  When the swing finally ended, Edge was already being carried with it and was sent sailing across the ruined room.

Flying through the air, Edge had just enough time to tuck his head in before he landed on his shoulders and flopped onto his back.  For a moment Edge stared at the light in the ceiling above him and indulged in a world of pure white.

Before Edge could find enlightenment, a voice interrupted his concussion, shouting, “You’ve gotta get up, Edge!”  The persistent bang of gunshots which followed the declaration added some urgency to it.

As Edge’s mind slowly filed into place, he shuffled to his feet.  Then he turned around and saw the urgency.  The bastard child between a gorilla and a crocodile was baring down on him, holding up what might as well be a sharpened car door.  With adrenaline flooding his veins again, Edge raised his rifle and readied his stance.

Seeing the bent and cracked barrel of his gun, Edge quickly changed his strategy.  Freeing himself from the strap that held it to him, Edge threw his weapon at the approaching monster and took off in the opposite direction.

As Edge desperately ran forward, occasionally side stepping a cleaver swing, the Captain called out again.  “Normal bullets are useless.  Bring it around and I’ll take a shot.”

Edge thought about offering some complaint at that “easy” command, but instead put all his focus on his legs.  If you’re going to die, don’t die bitching.

Before Edge could reach the concrete wall, he turned to his left and looped back towards the Captain.  As he passed by, the ape lizard swiped at his shins with its cleaver, but Edge easily vaulted over the attack and kept running.

As Edge moved, the crashing from behind told of the lizard’s pursuit.  Ahead, the Captain stood with his legs spread and a handgun in each hand.  His right arm was outstretched, aiming towards the ape lizard, and his left was held horizontally to support his right.

As the Captain concentrated, faint particles of white light seemed to manifest themselves out of the air and gather on the Captain.  Then, when the Captain’s gaze grew sharper, the haze of light around him started to flow towards his gun.

That was Edge’s signal to get out of the way.  Rolling forward, Edge was barely able to see a burning globule of white death fly from the Captain’s gun, pass over Edge’s head, and bury itself in the lizard’s chest.

Skidding to a stop, Edge turned to watch as the burning orb bubbled deeper into the impenetrable lizard.  When the searing white light finally dissipated, the monster was left standing completely still with a blackened crater in its flesh.

Seeing their victory, Edge let out a sigh and brushed some dust off his fatigues.  He was about to say, “to need an arte to take down one lizard man…”  However, a new report from his eyes left him only hissing, “No…”

The lizard stirred.  It raised its hand and dug out the charred flesh from its chest.  Then the wound started to shrink.  Every second, a millimeter of void was filled with new flesh and fresh scales.

At that sight, Edge couldn’t afford to be dumbfounded.  He immediately drew the handgun from his thigh and started sending down bullets to slow the steady march of healing.  The Captain had the same thought.  Their three guns did their best to eat away at the lizard’s chest.  Its flesh diligently pushed forward its growth.

For a moment, there was a deadlock.  Then the lizard let out a shrill cry and took a resolute step forward.  It grabbed its weapon with one hand and moved as if to make a horizontal slash.  Then it let go of the blade mid swing.  The cleaver flew through the air like the world’s most misshapen discus and the two men were forced to jump to the side to avoid squishy death.

After sliding to a stop, Edge pushed himself off the ground to look back at the lizard.  With nothing to keep it at bay, the wound in the monster’s chest was closing fast.  As he watched, the bullets they had sunk into the beast’s flesh were already being pushed out and falling to the floor.

When the wound had healed completely, the lizard closed the distance to Edge with a few steps and swiped at his head with the sharp claws of its hands.  Edge was able to duck underneath the three quick blows and then pushed himself forward to slide between the monster’s feet.

As the ape lizard tried to follow Edge and continue the attack, the Captain sent four impotent bullets into the beast’s stomach to distract it.  The ploy worked and the monster turned its elongated face to glare at the Captain.  Then it gave off an irritable hiss and turned away from either the Captain or Edge and started trudging forward.

As Edge pushed himself to his feet, he stared at the thing’s azure, scaly back.  He was completely confused as to what kind of ploy the beast was making.  Then he looked to where it was headed and was filled with a grim understanding.  Healing that fast must take a lot of energy.  It was going to refuel.

The Captain shouted at the cowering children to run, but to no effect.  The children heard nothing over their consuming fear and the woman was in no state to move.  Recognizing this, the Captain rushed forward to intercept the beast.

Cursing himself under his breath, Edge followed suit.  He couldn’t let the Captain be this reckless.  As Edge ran, he passed by his discarded rifle and scooped it up mid-stride.  When he reached the monster, he grabbed the rifle by the barrel with both hands.  Then, with all his strength and momentum, he swung the rifle’s butt into the back of the monster’s knee.

The force of the blow made the monster’s leg give out immediately and it tumbled into a kneeling position.  Before it even bothered to recover its posture, it sent out an angry counter towards Edge.  He was able to block the claws with the rifle, but the force of the blow put him on his back and sent him sliding several feet away.

The dull pain in Edge’s spine was lessened by adrenaline, but still persistent.  In spite of that, he had to force himself to his feet.  When he had, so had the monster.  For one heartbeat, they both just stared into each other’s eyes.  From that moment of connection, Edge understood one thing: it really didn’t like being knocked down.

At almost the same time, the beast charged again and Edge started running… again.  He really wasn’t into this pattern.  As Edge ran forward desperately, ducking and dodging the increasingly vicious attacks by the monster, he tried to come up with some sort of game plan.  Just a handgun and one and a half knives wouldn’t be enough to do anything.  He needed something more.  As he rummaged through the pouch in the small of his back, his fingers closed on something soft and familiar.  Then he came to a conclusion.  At this point, he may as well use maximum fire power.

Coming around his second circuit of the room with no signs of the monster tiring, Edge called out to the Captain.  “You got another shot in you?”

“One should be fine,” The Captain responded, still bouncing bullets off the lizard’s face in hopes of slowing it.  “Can you do something with that?”

“I can try,” Edge shouted with a nihilistic smile.  If the monster healed back this time, then they would just have to knock the Captain out and abandon the village.  That was a sentiment he did not feel like sharing.  Instead he continued.  “I’ll lead it back towards you.  When I turn, you take the shot.”

The Captain gave his approval.  Edge made a small half circle and set himself on a collision course with the Captain.  As he ran, the Captain stood in the same stance as before and gathered the white light around him.  Once Edge had covered half the distance between them, the Captain seemed ready.

Wasting no time, Edge gripped the oblong hunk of putty in his right hand and drew the white, bladeless knife handle from his thigh with his left.  Then he turned to face down the charging monstrosity behind him.  He planted his feet, lowered his waist, and concentrated.  A second later, an explosion sounded from behind him and a globule of fire flew over his head.  He gave that no attention, however.  He just focused on the feeling of warm tension that ran through his body.

For a moment, the whole world seemed to slow down.  Then, Edge moved.  In less than a millisecond, he’d covered the distance between himself and the monster that was now reeling from the flaming impact to its chest.  As he passed by the lizard, he saw his hand move on its own to slash at its armored sides with his bladeless knife.  Then, the world was back to normal and he was behind the monster.

That near instantaneous change of scenery had been disorienting the first several times, but Edge had long grown used to it.  Once he found himself staring at the monster’s scaly back, he lunged forward.  Stepping on the beast’s protruding ankle, Edge propelled himself up to wrap his left arm around the monster’s neck.  Then, he brought his right hand down to deliver its package to the lizard’s gaping wound.

Before he could do anything else, Edge felt a strong hand gripping the back of his black shirt.  Then he was in front of the monster and flying through the air.  As the grey concrete and several disturbing stains passed Edge’s vision, he instinctively reached out to stop himself.  He was able to touch the ground for about ten seconds and slow himself down, but then he was tumbling.

With an audible thump Edge landed on his back for the third time that day.  Before the dull pain could traverse his entire body, Edge bounced.  After a brief moment of weightlessness, Edge came down again, this time on all fours in a rough crouching position.  Finally, he slid to a stop and was able to assess his surroundings.

In front of Edge, the Lizard didn’t seem concerned with what had been deposited in its wound.  Instead, it was glaring at him and prepared to charge.  Edge could only grit his teeth at the monster’s persistence.

As the lizard moved, Edge groped at the small of his back.  In this uneven game of quick draw between man and beast, man won out hands down.

“Just stop being alive, dammit!”  With that lackluster jab, Edge pressed the button on the detonator he’d recovered from his pouch.

Then, the large, windowless, concrete bunker of a room was inundated with one huge boom.  It felt like every one of Edge’s bones was individually rattled by the explosion.  For a moment, his entire nervous system shut off.

When everything booted up again, the first thing Edge saw was the colossal, muscular lizard man.  Though it was none of those things now.  Laying on its back in the middle of the room, the monster looked as if it had been bitten by a dragon.  Its entire abdomen had been hollowed out and only a strip of flesh and shards of bone remained to connect its shoulders to its hips.

As Edge examined his handiwork, he caught some movement in the corner of his eye and turned to see the Captain.  He was already walking towards the wounded woman while simultaneously speaking into his radio, “Edge and I ran into some trouble, but we’re fine.  We found some wounded.  Champ, Knot, get the rover and bring me a proper tourniquet.”  Then the Captain paused in his speech to look back at the slain monstrosity.  “We’re also gonna need some fuel to burn this bastard.  See what we can spare.”

As the Captain went to play medic, Edge turned his vision behind himself and found the lizard’s discarded cleaver.  It really was a piece of garbage.  An unmaintained hunk of metal covered in chips and rust.  Walking over to it and crouching down, Edge grabbed the handle with both hands.  From there, Edge stood up.  The thing was about as heavy as Lotus and Champ put together.  Edge’s thighs offered considerable complaints, but he was able to lift half of the weapon to waist height.

As Edge dragged the cleaver along the concrete, the metal let off a piercing shriek that forced the Captain and the distraught children to look at him.  He didn’t pay attention to them, however.  Standing in front of the lizard’s mostly intact head, Edge put all his strength in his arms.  As he slowly lifted the massive cleaver, his back twitched and his arms burned.  He knew he’d regret this in a few hours, but there was no such thing as too cautious.  Not with something like this.

After a couple minutes of labored breathing and fiery pain, Edge had finally rested the back of the cleaver on his shoulder.  Then, he just tipped the whole thing forward and brought the sharp of the blade down on the lizard’s thick, sinewy neck.  The first blow did little more than dent the scales around the monsters throat.

After some effort, Edge picked the weapon up and brought it down again.  Then again and again.  After the fifth strike, the misshapen head finally rolled off the broken body and Edge heaved a sigh of relief.  Now the beast was officially dead… probably.  He hoped Champ would get here soon with the gasoline.

 

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3 thoughts on “Lead vs. Fantasy 1-6

  1. Pingback: Lead vs Fantasy 1-5 | Dakotah Sicking Web Novels

  2. Pingback: Lead Vs. Fantasy 1-7 | Dakotah Sicking Web Novels

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