IC- Chapter Three: Lone Wanderers

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  1. welsh

    welsh Junkmaster

    Apr 5, 2003
    Few of the defenders who have ventured outside the wall had been able to get back to the tunnel.

    Gabriel had been forced to tackle the De Silva boy who had ran for the tunnel when the Oprezki had begun their charge.

    "We must get back!" yelled the boy, who had fallen face forward as Gabriel had taken him from behind. .

    "You'll never make it." Gabriel said, dragging him back to where the mortars had been set up.

    The mortar team had chosen a defendable position to set up their weapons. Although the ruined house had since been swept over by the wasteland sands, it still provided enough of a depression that those inside, if prone, could find some cover. Grim was already rifling through the bodies of the men they had killed, looking for weapons.

    Nearby a company of Anatoly's riders were going by, hardly paying attention to the goings on of the three men.

    Dragged back, the boy looked at the weapons. "The mortars, we can use them. The shells too."

    Reaper, trying to stay low, looked at the weapons. Trained to infliltrate and eliminate, heavy weapons had not been part of his training. "How?"

    "The Don, he show us." Said the boy, now moving towards one of the weapons. "I can shoot, yes. But these shells. If you slam them down on something hard, you break the safety. Throw and they explode. Si?"

    "Like grenades?" Asked Grim.

    "Si. but no so far but more powerful."

    Gabriel looked back to the tunnel. Under the illumination of the star shells fired by the fort, the few defenders had become vulnerable. Here and there he could see the riders cutting them down with their swords as they tried to run for the tunnel. Others were trying to make their way to where Gabriel, Grim and the boy would make a stand.

    Grim was already opening up one of the lockers full of shells. "Like this?" He said, slamming the shell's bottom against the board and then throwing it."

    The shell exploded among a squad of dismounted riflemen. Caught by surprise, none had sought cover as the shell exploded in their midst.

    "Might as well take some of them with us." Said Gabriel.

    The boy was already dropping shells down a mortar tube, now turned to fire on the Oprezki.

    Other defenders, seeing that escape to the tunnel was impossible were making their way to where the three would make their stand.


    Inside the fortress-

    "Concentrate your fire on the gate!" Yelled Isabella.

    The explosions directly outside the gate could only mean that Raoul had not been able to escape. She had seen a dozen people drop along the wall as the others retreated.

    They needed to buy those outside the main building time to withdraw.

    The first horsemen were dropped quickly as they came through, but then, like a flood of men and beasts, the cavalry rushed through the broken gate.

    Claymore mines, planted inside the fortress fired off dropping the first ranks, but those beyond came on behind them. Other horses began to fall in the holes dug throughout the courtyard, breaking legs and dropping men and animals that fell before their comrades.

    Such was Anatoly's fate. The first of his riders killed as they broke through. He saw the men and animals on his own hooves, felt the ground beneath him change as his mount trampled upon flesh.

    He had barely time to call out as his animal's front hooves fell into a hole in the ground, suddenly throwing him forward as the horse collapsed into the hole, and then was crushed by the horses behind it.

    Anatoly felt the pain shoot through his back when he impacted against the masonry of the inner fountain and his body bounce off. He was aware that he could feel nothing in his legs, understanding intuitively that he was paralyzed. Still he could turn his body around with his arms to see the spectacle of his column coming through the gate in a rush.

    By now those having gotten through the gate realized their danger. Those that didn't fall into the traps dug into the courtyard found little exist or escape from the murderous rifle fire coming from the main buidlings. They could not escape, for to do so was to ride against the rush of cavalry that now was still breaching the gate. They raced against the walls of the buildings, like waves crashing against cliffs, flooding the courtyard. Anatoly did not even try to run away as horsemen rode upon him and crushed him to the ground.

    In the church building, Isabella, watching as the last of her people found sanctuary, gave the order. "Fire!"

    Immediately the vickers guns and the M-60s joined the rifles and grenade guns in thunderous roar, cutting apart those that had entered the courtyard trap.
  2. Gruug

    Gruug Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Nov 7, 2003
    Gruug had an M60 in his right hand, wedged against a big rock to give him more control. He had his Kalashinikov in his left hand, also wedged against the rock. Then Isabella gave the signal. Gruug looked at his makeshift machinegun belt feeding into his Kalashinikov with all the ammo he had on it, then looked at the box attached to the M60, and smiled.
    "IT IS NOW YOUR TIME TO DIE HUMAN RIDERS!" Gruug shouted, as he started up his Kalashinikov and his M60.
  3. Rogue Hex

    Rogue Hex Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Apr 10, 2003

    Struggling to carry the awkward box of supplies, Luciel staggered towards the quickly growing pile of items and equipment which would need to be evacuated when the time came. Of course most of the material mountain consisted of medical supplies they had found in the storage rooms on that very level.
    The ghouls being in a rush to leave the targeted university had fortunately left plenty for the taking that was for sure. But why would they leave such a valuable commodity? Maybe this wasn’t the only stock pile of medical equipment in their possession.

    Fighting to see beyond the box he carried, Luciel stumbled towards the roughly stacked pile.
    With a clattering noise of instruments and the sound of smashing bottles, Luciel dropped the box atop of some bandages and other assortments. The young lad gritted his teeth, praying the damage would be a bare minimum.

    As Luciel stood straight, he felt a strong hand grip him on the shoulder.

    “It was an accident…” started Luciel turning to face whoever stood peering over him. As he turned, he found sergeant Cleary staring at him with a serious look on his face.
    “The lieutenant wants all committed fighters assembled in the corridor kid, I believe we need you there.” said the sergeant firmly. The hour of preparation had almost elapsed in what seemed to be no more than a few minutes. The time for action would soon be upon all of them.

    Lyall accompanied by Cleary had been at the head of organising their escape from the university. The two senior members of the recon team seeming to have some prior experience in such situations had looked to be the best men to get them through the hours to come.
    The two soldiers had been issuing roles to each person present who wouldn’t be defending the party, explaining to each individual as quickly as possible the plan of action and how they were to help.

    The lieutenant had devised the party into three different groups. The injured formed the first section that was to be placed to the central of the men for the most protection.
    The carers as he had dubbed them would be attending to the injured and carrying supplies and finally the fighters who would be defending the group had been formed into a circular formation, surrounding the carers and injured. The party’s survival would largely be determined by the resistance of the fighters defending them.

    Any man who was able to wield a weapon had been given one. Even if it was simply a pistol, they would still be of some help.
    If this very day were to be their last then at least they were going to go out like soldiers, fighting till the last man like true brothers in arms.

    As the two approached, Luciel looked to a small line of men which had formed in the outer corridor leading to the elevator. The Lieutenant stood tall at the front, facing those who would fight along sides him. He seemed proud to be in such a position. This looked to be something he’d done before, many times before.
    It was for that reason Luciel hadn’t questioned them being lined up. It was like every man there knew why they were stood there before Lyall and what was about to happen.
    The lieutenant’s men stood shoulder to shoulder with the other fighters amongst the line. They too looked to be familiar with what was about to take place. Even the injured Mitzi stood amongst the men. The young woman seemed energetic and full of spirit compared to how she had looked when they’d first met in the elevator.

    As Cleary and Luciel took their place at the end of the line of men with which all their hopes laid, lieutenant Lyall stepped a pace forward and addressed those present.

    “I’m not a man of words, as some of you may know or have come to know and great speeches aren’t my speciality but I do have one which I was heard along time ago, one which to this day I have stuck too.” He said with great authority.

    Pausing for a moment, Lyall glanced along the single rank of men. The wastes were a harsh and hostile place to live and work and those who lived by that harshness got used to the constant threat of death imposed upon them. But despite their experience in such a world, there was still a faint trace of despair amongst their weary faces.

    “Here, you stand; we all stand aligned with your fellow man. You stand tall, shoulder to shoulder next to him. Well take a good look at the man stood opposite to you, because out there you will be fighting side by side, shoulder to shoulder as true comrade’s do.” said the lieutenant aloud in a cool crisp voice.

    “If we stand together, shoulder to shoulder as you do now, you will stand a better chance at making it through this alive. But only if we hold the ranks and stand tall together against our fears will we live to see another day.” Lyall proclaimed.
    The lieutenant wasn’t great with such speeches but he didn’t need a yell or a cheer from the men lined up before him. The look on their faces, the bold look that gleamed in the tiresome faces of every man there was enough for him to know they were ready to face what was to come, even if it was their final hour…

    “Sergeant…” Lyall announced.

    Hearing his cue, Cleary stood forward and produced a small, tattered list from a pocket hidden well within his jacket.

    “Right, this how it’s gonna happen. Studly, the lieutenant, my self, Stryfe, and the big guy upstairs will be the spearhead out of the building.” explained the sergeant.
    “Right hand side will be Crome, Paterson and Luciel. Emerson, Drake and Mitzi, you got the left hand side. Those left will form up and watch our ass out there.”

    “If we get hit hard down one side, other side will move to support if free to do so. You got hostiles on your side deal with them first before switching.” exclaimed Cleary. “Keep it tight. The last thing we need is a weak point for them to zero in on. Stick to these formations and we will stand a better chance at countering their attacks.”

    There was a nod of heads along the line in response to the sergeant’s commands.

    “Now get ready, we make our move in but a short time.”
    Having listened to how their escape had been planned, each man broke off to finish what preparations he had left to do.

    “Hey Kid!” Cleary shouted to Luciel as the youngster turned back to the med labs. Luciel looked round to face the sergeant once again.

    “You’re a hell of a shot with that rifle of yours but I'm afraid it aint gonna be of much use once we get out there.”

    Luciel looked over Rogue’s rifle. “It’s all I got.” He said.

    “Here, take this.” Cleary said passing him what seemed to be a shot gun of some kind. Along the side, imprinted in the steel was the name Remington 870. The gun was heavier than Rogue’s rifle and felt difficult to wield. Yet it was much shorter than the hunting rifle was.

    “Wait till their close before firing.” The sergeant said adding, “You got six shots and an extra 6 along the top. Make them count.”
    Luciel nodded. Strapping Rogue’s rifle around his shoulder and taking the shotgun in hand.

    “Keep tight in kid and watch your back.” said Cleary, “Don't worry, you’ll be ok kid.” the sergeant trying to sound as reassuring as possible.

    Luciel nodded once again and headed off back to the med labs, returning to collecting the last of the medical supply’s they would need.

    The final preparations were in order and now people waited for the time when they would make their escape. The wounded had been assembled near the elevator and the supplies had been evenly distributed between a handful of carers who were able enough to carry the goods.
    All that remained now was for Reggie to give the go ahead with Syphon and Kelly and then it would be time.

    Reggie who was still working besides Syphon looked up to see the lieutenant approaching.

    “How are things?” Lyall asked looking over at Syphon’s new mechanical arm.

    “Good. Yes, things are good.” replied the ghoul.

    OOC- Well, the time has come for a final battle. And yes, I suck when it comes to speachs and the likes. Nearly as bad as the lieutenant does!
  4. welsh

    welsh Junkmaster

    Apr 5, 2003
    Otto heard the crescendo of doom that befell those horsemen that had charged into the fortress and knew that Anatoly's force had been destroyed.

    The forward elements of his column had already swept through the gate but most of the force was now wavering, delayed by the glut of men that were trying to get through to the courtyard.

    Horsemen were now breaking into different directions, trying to avoid going into the slaughter of the courtyard.

    Mortar shells were beginning to fall among the Oprezki riders, fired from outside. The damn De Silvas were reclaiming the courtyard already. Nicolai's dismounted riders were approaching the gate on foot, while one company seemed engaged in a position outside the walls.

    The attack had failed.

    A few of the Oprezki were making their way back to safety. Their organization broken and most of their comrades dead. But most continued to fight, those outside trying to blow new holes into the wall. Some where setting charges, others throwing grenades over the wall.

    De Silva men were now throwing grenades back to groups of men under the wall.

    Otto looked to one of his subordinates riding near by. "You, move out of range and observe. You are to take whoever survives back and tell command what happened here today."

    The rider nodded and raced his horse away.

    Yes, surpise was lost, the initial attack had failed, but the battle was still undecided.

    "Dismount! Dismount!" Yelled Otto. "Attack with fire."


    The mortar damage was telling against the Oprezki as the De Silva boy opened fire on those near the gate. Three more defenders had joined the small group of Grim, Gabriel and the De Silva.

    But the group had also attracted a company of the dismounted riflemen, who were closing.

    Grim was busy picking up grenades that were being tossed into the small position and throwing them back. Garbriel had already dispatched two men with katana and pistol.
  5. welsh

    welsh Junkmaster

    Apr 5, 2003
    Grim and the others were throwing back grenades as fast as they could, so fast that all else was a blur. He was dimly aware of Dreg being nearby. But there was no sign of Tyler.

    Grim had to turn to reach for a grenade that had landed nearby when he saw the De Silva boy fling out his hands, just as he had dropped a round down the mortar tube. Hit in the back by a round, he fell face forward into the dirt.

    Another grenade landed nearby. Not enough time to reach for it, a man from the caravan that Grim didn't know dove upon it, taking the explosion.

    "Here they come!" Yelled Gabriel, warning the others. Grim grabbed for his pistols and a long hunting knife as a company of Nicolai's lancers charged into the shallow position.


    From her perch on the tower, Rogue could feel her hands numb from powder burns. How many had she killed today? There had been four others in the tower, she was the only one unscathed. One had been hit and had toppled out of the tower. Of the others, one had been seriously wounded while the other was throwing down grenades on the Oprezki.

    Below the courtyard had becomes a slaughter yard. The bodies of man and beast littered the courtyard. Those who had been killed in the fountain had turned that once clear water red. Few moved below and even above the gunfire, Rogue could hear the moans of the survivors.

    The De SIlvas and the caravan men were moving out of the buidling to reclaim the courtyard. The men and women defenders moved about the slaughter yard, killing what ever wounded they found. A few of the Oprezki who had survived, fired back, but these resisters were soon silenced. The rules of the fight had been clear upon initiation of battle. One lived or died on the course of the battle. THat battle had turned against the Oprezki and now the De Silvas were all to ready to avenge themselves as the crippled force.

    They were almost jubiliant, the battle virtually won.

    Rogue didn't watch. Instead she offered what little fire she could in support of those few defenders caught outside the walls.

    But the Oprezki were not yet defeated. Otto had called off the attack through the courtyard, and marshalling what men remained, little more than a company of his own and Nicolai's troops, were using the wall as cover to manuever around towards the building.

    Nicolai's rifle men kept the defenders heads from peering over the wall, sniping at what ever targets they saw. Few looked over the wall, and those that did were discouraged from trying again.

    Meanwhile Otto moved his remain troops against the wall towards the main buildings. There they planted what explosives they still possed against the buildings, Set the timer and scrambled for cover.

    Most of the De Silva fighters had left the buildings when one huge explosion rocked the ground as part of the face of the school house was blown into the sky. Moments later, another explosion, as part of the church wall crumbled, the ancient stain glass being blown out.

    Inside the building, Isabella was knocked down. Peering through the dust filled air, she could see a light from the wall. She lifted her Thompson and sprayed the first man to come through, yelling "They are coming through!"
  6. Gunslinger

    Gunslinger Mildly Dipped

    Apr 3, 2003
    Three things happened as Caleb plunged into the dark pit of Char.

    First, the spit of wood that the taunt ropes bound him to clipped against the jagged spokes of metal sticking out. Through the hiss of steam, Caleb heard the wood splinter.

    Secondly, Jeeva finally woke up from his slumber. And the first thing he did while coming back to the conscious world was scream at the top of his lungs. The dropping feeling of vertigo gripped his mind in its harsh grasp.

    And thirdly, as Caleb plunged head first into the abyss, the bowie knife jutting out of his boot slipped free. The Blade elder watched its gleaming cold surface catch the light from above before it whisked away in a careening arc. Caleb pushed his body towards it, fighting against the drift. The spinning knife found him, biting through ropes and into his jeans and the skin.

    The fall was remarkable short. One second, Caleb was free falling with Jeeva screaming next to him, hollering in his ears. Then, his stomach breezed against metal, sliding him down the rest of the way.

    Caleb picked up momentum, slipping down the slide. Jeeva's screaming was cut short as he also found the makeshift slide. Then, both men were flipped off the sloping lenght of metal and they slammed into a wall.

    Fortunately, Jeeva's fall was broken by Caleb's body.

    "Caleb?!" the ex-slaver called out into the darkness.

    He heard a grunt come disturbingly close by. "Caleb!" he called again.

    Then the loose sack he was sitting on bucked. Still bound by ropes, Jeeva rolled helplessly off.

    "Bastard..." Caleb hissed. "Ger off me."

    The ex-slaver instinctively drew closer to the sound of the Blade's voice. Where ever they were, it was pitch black. Blind and tied down, it was still a comfort to know the Blade was near by.

    Jeeva wormed his way closer to Caleb until he bumped against his leg. Working his way up, he eased himself into a sitting position next to the old man. This close, he could hear Caleb panting softly.

    The ex-slaver waited patiently for the old man to catch his breath. For a man his age, he was still holding up pretty well.

    Jeeva stared uncertainly at the darkness around him. He tried to gauge the length of where he was in, hoping to find his bearings. But his efforts only brought grim thoughts of what might be around him: leering creatures, bottomless pits.

    "Caleb..." Jeeva whispered, feeling that the nature of this place warranted only a whisper.

    Caleb only grunted. Jeeva heard him struggling against his ropes, heard the sounds of twined cord rustling against clothes.

    "Caleb," Jeeva began. It was hopeless, wasting all that energy to get free.

    But Caleb grunted only louder. "Quiet!" he hissed. And, to Jeeva's amazement, he heard the sound of taunt cord snap with a breathless whisper.

    "Holy shit!" the ex-slaver exclaimed. "How'd you do that?" Unconsciously, he edged even closer.

    Caleb was breathing hard as he continued his work. He paused, the tip of his bowie knife's handle clutched precariously between his right hand's thumb and his left hand's two fingers. Licking his lips, he muttered only, "Knife," and continued working.

    Jeeva waited anxiously, listening to the resourceful old man slowly cut his way through the ropes. Finally, after an eon of waiting, he could hear Caleb drop the knife and stand up, the lenghts of cut up rope dropping at his feet.

    Then, he was grabbed abruptly. Caleb's hard callused hands felt around the ropes around Jeeva's torse. Then the knife began slipping into them.

    "Uh, be careful Caleb..." Jeeva panted as he felt the knife dig around the ropes.

    Caleb only grunted.

    The old man sawed through most of the ropes binding Jeeva's legs, working with haste and little calculation. As he grasped the bustle of rope binding the ex-slaver's hands together, a sharp hiss of steam spewed against his face.

    Char-choosh! Char-choosh! Char-choosh!

    Jeeva shrieked, not realizing that he was leaning against a steam vent. He jerked in shock and was lucky not to impale himself on Caleb's knife.

    "The fuck was that?" Jeeva shrieked.

    "Char," Caleb replied serenely.

    He was about to cut the last bundle of ropes off when Jeeva shrieked once more. "What the FUCK is that?!"

    Caleb felt like braining the younger man at that instant. But then he saw a glimmer of light. Turning his head, he soon found out what Jeeva was looking at.

    A sickly greenish glow of light was working its way ahead of them. The source of this light was still far away but the halo of light preceding it illuminted the entire area. Caleb looked around and found himself in a brick tunnel. A thin lenght of rusty rail ran through the floor of this tunnel and, above it, hung a series of nonfunctioning fluorescent bulbs. The rail and the bulbs extended down the tunnel.

    They were in a subway station. What the tribals had revered as their shrine was merely a prewar reminder, merely an oddity.

    But that didn't explain the eerie glow of light edging towards them. The Blade soon found out, though.

    The glow of light crept towards them until they were enveloped with it. Caleb turned to Jeeva and saw the younger man's face was distorted in horror. He turned back to leading tunnel.

    And saw ghouls only a few yards away. He saw their corroded bodies, the flesh rotting off yellow skeletons. He saw the sickly pallor of their skin and the eerie light glowing out of their radiated bodies. And he saw their mindless eyes staring into his own. And he saw their bruised, purplish lips lift into a smile.

    Jeeva recognized the ghouls. They were not like the ghouls of Tabis, who were sickly but not far down. In these ghouls' faces, he saw the face of the cashier from the pharmacy containing the pills. The face of the cashier who was dead but wasn't.

    And, as the ghouls hobbled their way closer, Jeeva let voice a shriek of genuine terror.
  7. welsh

    welsh Junkmaster

    Apr 5, 2003
    Isabella found ehrself the only one the room still capable of standing. Quickly she squeezed off another burst from her Thompson, moving quickly towards the hole blasted open by Otto's Opreski survivors.

    Elsewhere there was firing, louder, from within the buildings as the Oprezki broke through the walls. The further they got in, the more would certainly die. Beneath the buildings the non-combatants and the few remaining possessions of the De Silvas and the caravaneers had been stored. Nearby were the stairs that went down to the makeshift hospital. Now they were vulnerable.

    She had to stop the vermin from getting in. She had to buy time for her people to regroup and counter this threat.

    She fired again and again, before ducking down behind a church pew to reload. She got up firing a burst, dropping two more of the Oprezki.

    She did not see the grenade that had been tossed in while she reloaded.

    But she did feel the rush of heat and the punch of metal hitting her body, she felt herself lifted and pushed aside as if by a mighty hand. She didn't hear any of it, the blast had momentarily deafened her. Nor after she hit the ground, did she feel her wounds, although she was aware that she was bleeding by the damness of her clothes.

    She also didn't know that, but for the church pews that had been blown apart by the explosion, she would have been torn apart by the sharpnel.

    Through the main room, handful of De Silvas and the caraveneers quickly resumed the battle.

    "Get her out of here!" Yelled Jim who had been one of the first to come in, an M-60 in his hands.

    Under the suppressive fire of the M-60, De Silvas quickly went to their fallen leader and dragged her away, and down towards the hospital area. As they pulled her away, Isabella was mouthing the words, "Kill them, kill them all." repeatedly.

    Jim kept firing the M-60 as they carried her down to the hospital, and but for his stand, the Oprezki would have broken through the hospital. Even so, the defense came at a price. A grenade fired from an Oprezki grenade rifle was shot through the hole and hit Jim square in the chest, knocking him down before it detonated.

    The Oprezki made one more move to storm through the church, but had barely entered through hole when they were cut down by De Silva reinforcements.

    Elsewhere, in the school building, Otto's Oprezki made more progress.
  8. welsh

    welsh Junkmaster

    Apr 5, 2003
    It was the last bit of desperation by the Oprezki to turn the battle. But it was too little too late.

    As the De Silva and carvaneers secured the church, in the school building the fight turned desperate and hand-to-hand, a fight of knives and grenades. But the DeSilvas were fighting for their survival, for their families, whereas the Oprezki were reaching out to grab a victory that had already been denied them.

    Down in the basement area, Zoe was working on the wounded along side Ibis. The blasts in the building shook the basement and momently cut the feeble lights that had been strung along the ceiling.

    Both knew that the fight was going on just above their heads, and their position had become vulnerable.

    When Zoe turned to face her next patient, she recognized her at once. "Isabella."

    "My child?" the fallen De Silva asked.

    "We will do what we can." Said Zoe.

    But Ibis put a comforting hand on her. "Don't worry, Donna, your son will grow up to be a great man who will bring peace."

    A growl from Cerberus, who had taken to guarding near the door.

    Then they heard the footsteps coming down the old stone stairwell.

    Neither Ibis nor Zoe saw the first, for Cerberus was quicker. The large mutant dog leaped at the first man, tearing through his lungs, and leaving him limp and lifeless. Then the dog jumped upon the second, dragging him down as well with a tortured scream.

    But the third man got clear and fired once before a wounded man dropped him with a loud shot from a rifle.

    But the Oprezki had scored a hit. Ibis, seeing the danger had moved between the Oprezki and Isabella. After the second shot had been fired, he fell to the floor, clutching his chest.

    Zoe quickly ordered the orderlies to help Ibis onto a cot, despite Ibis' feeble resistance. "It's ok, it's ok. My time has come."


    Outside the fortress, the surviving defenders fought a desperate battle hand to hand. But there were to many. Gabriel tried to remain quick, moving in and out, his blades slashing and cutting. Dreg was also working over as many as he could with his long fighting stick.

    But there were too many.

    The fight had become a blur of motion.

    Suddenly cracks of fire coming from the wall. The De Silvas had retaken their position and were firing down on the men outside.

    This sudden threat from the walls was enough, and the last of Nicolai's men broke from the engagment.
  9. Carib FMJ

    Carib FMJ Nuka-Cola Chaser

    Nov 8, 2003
    Stryfe looked to his Desert Eagles and realized he had maybe four or five clips left, not to mention his Katana the Slayer's Edge. These beasts were fast, but Stryfe would do his part and hold them off the best he could. True, he didn't know these people, but they didn't know him either and sometimes when faced with a common foe, you had to just set aside mistrust and work side by side. Stryfe had gotten mixed glances from the medical team, especially when one them had nearly dropped a bottle of water when she sa his eyes slnt into slits. he was used to that by now.

    "Where exactly do you all plan to go? say if we do survive this?" It was a silly question now, but Stryfe had to ask, at least know where he was being led off to die or to live.
  10. welsh

    welsh Junkmaster

    Apr 5, 2003
    Out in the field Gabriel watched as the rest of the Nikolai's group broke, at first not realizing why. He could feel the wounds, two bullets, one to the leg and one the chest. That and perhaps another have dozen cuts.

    They were retreating, nearly a dozen or so men, and it was unlikely they would regroup. In a distance was a small group of riders and many mounts.

    Dreg tried to keep standing, using his fighting stick for balance. But it was no use. Gabriel couldn't see Tyler, and wasn't sure if he had been among the few that had made the stand. Grim was down, alive or dead Gabriel didn't know, among the many Oprezki that had died on this little stretch of dirt.

    Gabriel, his blood panga in one hand, the katana in the other, was alone standing above the blood soaked earth.


    Inside the school house, Otto had ducked into a devestated school room with a handful of men. His men had spread throughout the school, taking positions in rooms, behind desks and chairs, to fight to the last.

    Most of the men were wounded now. They had broken in only to find the De Silvas turning the machine guns upon them, cutting down their ranks down the school hallways. Outside the classroom, the hallway floor was slippery with Oprezki blood.

    He couldn't know that Nicolai had already fallen in the fight at the church, or that the attack there had failed. He was only aware that the intensity of the battle was ebbing, which meant that the De Silvas were again gaining the edge.

    A grenade exploded in a room down the hall, followed by a staccato of gunfire. The De Silvas were cleaning out the classrooms.

    It would be a glorious death, an honorable one. Better to die now than face defeat.

    His second would take what remained of his force and go South, as ordered, and the command would know of this battle.

    Eventually they would be avenged.

    To stand against the Oprezki had been to threaten their dominance. But for the De Silvas to win meant that the Oprezki faced political defeat.

    Word of this defeat would lead to further resistance. Fear of Oprezki sanction would give way as other Don's found the courage they had previously lacked. This would mean that the Others would have to increase their power on North America, and when they returned, would come in force.

    There could be no second defeat.

    Now he was honor bound to make this an expensive victory, and to leave the De Silvas that survived something to remember.
  11. Gunslinger

    Gunslinger Mildly Dipped

    Apr 3, 2003

    Jeeva was still screaming as the ghouls hobbled painfully over. Caleb bent over and snapped the bundle of ropes around the ex-slaver’s hands with his bowie knife and jerked him up abruptly. But Jeeva only scurried behind the Blade.

    Naturally, Caleb’s first instinct would have been to drawn a gun. The tribals had never bothered unarming him and they had tied down the guns nicely. But a gun without ammunition was as useful as a car without gas.

    The four ghouls lumbered faster to them, almost at a jogging pace now. Despite their deteriorated calves and their broken legs, the radiated creatures were making ground. Ghouls, despite being half-dead, were dangerous when up close. Their claws were almost always razor sharp and the threat of radiation was great. And you couldn’t kill a ghoul easily, since most of their vital parts were known functioning anyway.

    With the ghouls closer in range, Caleb could see better in the abandoned subway track. He glanced around, only seeing rubble, dead lamps, and rusted track. Then, his eyes caught on the length of wood that he had been bound to. The tribals had wrapped his ropes over it and he had dangled there like a fresh kill. Now, the stave of wood had cracked cleanly in half. But still, both cracked pieces of wood had a fair length of reach.

    He back stepped cautiously to the pile of rubble the two pieces of wood lay upon. Jeeva followed wordlessly behind him, hyperventaliting. Caleb seized both staves of wood and handed one to Jeeva.

    “Wha-?” Jeeva began asking.

    Caleb interjected, “Hit high over their heads. Braining them will probably keep them down.”

    The old man started advancing upon the slowly gaining ghouls, not bothering to see if Jeeva was behind him. A second later, he saw Jeeva joined at his side, the makeshift club cocked up like a bat.

    The four ghouls before them only grinned in anxiety. Jeeva wished he was anywhere else, even storming the fort in Tabis. Caleb wished for a belt of bullets, would have settled for a full chamber’s worth, but got none. It was not the first time that either had made their wishes.

    Two ghouls broke away and hoppled towards Caleb while the other two went for Jeeva. Caleb spaced himself away from the ex-slaver, wrapping both dry and wrinkled hands around the stout piece of wood.

    “Don’t let them get close, Jeeva,” Caleb instructed.

    Jeeva nodded unhappily as the ghouls fell upon them.

    One of Caleb’s ghouls lunged at him, impossibly quick like a coiled up viper. Its claws gleamed in the hellish green glow. Caleb brought his makeshift stave upwards, driving the butt of the stick against the ghoul’s jaw. He heard it crack resoundingly and the ghoul fell back for a moment, only to get up after a moment and try again.

    Jeeva was swinging his club madly. The blurred arc of wood kept the ghouls at bay. The mindless grin had left their faces and they known regarded their prey with veiled hunger and confusion. Panting, Jeeva backed away slowly.

    The older man, on the other hand, was fighting more methodically. As children, Blades would fight their mock duels with staves. It wasn’t custom, and it didn’t teach you to fight since none of the Blades used spears. It was merely for recreation.

    Now, Caleb was having an equally enjoyable amount of fun as he had as child. He swung the stave up high and a ghoul’s head snapped back sharply. The other ghoul grabbed at him but Caleb swept the stave down and its wrist broke. Not done yet, the Blade elder jabbed at both ghouls’ kneecaps and their legs collapsed underneath them. They never got up again because Caleb’s stave slammed down upon their skulls solidly.

    The two ghouls were making ground with Jeeva now. Still swinging his mad arc, he had been brought up against a wall. One of the ghouls caught the end of Jeeva’s stave on its arm and the length of wood had snapped in half, reducing it to a mere sliver.

    Before any of the ghouls could get closer, Caleb had snuck up behind them. He brought down his stave full force on one of the ghoul’s head, snapping his own club. The ghoul’s skull caved in and it landed at Jeeva’s feet.

    Caleb dropped the useless club as the last ghoul whipped around. He had his knife in his hands and his shoulder cocked back just in time for the ghoul to fully turn around and register that it would be taking a dirtnap. The ancient Blade drove the bowie knife forward, driving it into one of the ghoul’s insane eyes.

    The muscles in the ghoul’s body went taut and its other eye rolled back into its skull. Then the ghoul slipped off Caleb’s knife with a sickly slither and it landed on its fellow corpse.

    Caleb didn’t bother cleaning the poisoned blood of his knife. He looked towards the ex-slaver, who looked numbly at him with the piece of wood still in his hands. Then he nodded slowly at started down the rusty track.

    Jeeva dropped his makeshift club, kicked one of the ghouls solidly, and then followed.
  12. Zoe

    Zoe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Dec 5, 2003
    (OOC: Dear fellow players, a lot of things going on, a lot of long messages too - so if I overlooked something let me know. )

    The old ghoul's blood was flowing from his wound despite attempt to dress it... Cerberus the dog had made a good job defending the room, but while it was still busy with the second man, the third man who had been brought down by the others in the room was smiling.

    Cerberus, finished with the second man turned to face the third, but Zoe called the big dog back.

    Instead of reloading his gun He smirked at Zoe, who was beside Ibis.

    Zoe paid him no heed, but turned her attention to Isabella. The leader of the De Sivlas had been hit by grenade fragments and had lost blood, but none of the wounds seemed to affect the fetus.

    As for Ibis, Zoe could tell the old man was breathing. "Not much time...."

    "No, not much. " Said the man who had been shot. "Tell the leader to come down here, and not one of you make a move. YOu see this?" He said, holding up a large metalic ball. "This will blow this entire place, and very one here, to hell. I want to speak to the Don in charge or I will set it off."

    "Then you will die too." Said Zoe.

    But Otto was nonpulsed. "I'll die any way."

    Zoe looked at the other for help, for she, like the others in the small hospital, knew the Don had died two days ago, and the only remaining leader, Senora Isabella, was unconscious.

    occ- ok edited to bring us back to the story.
  13. welsh

    welsh Junkmaster

    Apr 5, 2003
    Out in the field, Gabriel was looking for Grim under the bodies that had been left behind. The Oprezki were gone now. There was no gunfire coming from the buildings. Instead, Gabriel could see figures moving about the walls and a few coming out th where he stood.

    Of the half dozen or so that had stood this ground, he had found the bodies of two. The others, Oprezki men who had attacked with lance and sword, watered the ground with their blood.

    Dreg had shrugged off his help and was bandaging his own leg, using a herbal concoction of his own design to fight the infection. Dreg had been hit twice and taken a nasty cut to his thigh, but he would walk.

    Gabriel heard a moan and followed the sound until he found it coming from under the body of a large Oprezki man. Gabriel turned over the body to see Grim, his face a mask of death, but still holding his hunting knife which had been plunged into the body of the Oprezki goliath. Gabriel quickly checked the wound and was surprised to see that some had already begun to heal over.

    "Grim?" He asked repeatedly. "Grim can your hear me?"

    Grim's eyes fluttered open and then closed again.

    Gabriel looked for a pulse but found none. 'Grim, open your eyes."

    Again the eyes fluttered open, but this time they stayed opened, "Is this hell?"

    "Not yet." Said Gabriel.

    "The things a guy had to do to get killed." Grim managed a feeble smile. "I'm in a bad way. Ibis..." But the Grim fell unconscious again.


    Inside the enclosure Talon was taking stock of the losses. The courtyard was blanketed with the bodies of men and horses that had been dropped in the fearsome fusilade but the caravaneers and the De Silvas had paid a price. Raoul, their tactical leader had died, along with Buffy. But the battle had been almost a decisive victory, but the Oprezki had suprised them, an in their moment of triumph, and stung once again.

    Talon found Virgil near where Jim had died, gathering what remained. Like most ghouls, Virgil knew that it was dangerous to grow close to humies. Unlike the ghouls, the humans would eventually age and die. Even so, he felt the loss of his friend.

    "I'll bury him." Said Virgil.

    "There will be a few yet to bury. No word from either Gabriel or Grim, and those new men are missing as well." Said Talon.

    "Was it worth it? Wasn't even our fight." Asked Virgil.

    Talon shrugged. In his heart he knew that the Oprezki would have eventually have to be faced, and that there had been a great chance that the Oprezki would have fallen on the caravan in the open, for it was too great a prize to pass up. But the dice had been cast.

    One of the De Silvas came up and pulled at Talon. "Senor... In the clinic. A bomb."

    "What?" Asked Talon suprised.

    Another De Silva, the man Montoya, said. "There is an Oprezki in the medical clinic. He is holding the people there hostage. He has a bomb."

    "What kind?" Asked Virgil.

    The man shrugged. "I think it is a metal ball, about this big." He said, opening his hands up. "There is a light around the middle, and a nother on top with a dial."

    "Evacuate everyone." Said Virgil to Talon.

    "We cannot," Replied Montoya. "Everyone is down in the basement and must move through the clinic to get out. Not just eh wounded but the children, the older people, the women."

    Most of the De Silva noncombatants, and all their possessions had been store below. In the need to save time and to protect them basement area, the other exits had been closed off.

    "Virgil, the bomb?" Asked Talon.

    "Something from the war. A russian device, few made but dangerous. It's a mine really, but one that could blow up this entire building and everything around in for three miles."
  14. Zoe

    Zoe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Dec 5, 2003
    (OOC: That is a challenge! And I love chalenges *grim*)


    Zoe breathed deep and looked at the faces of the other people in the room. The few wounded that were awake, the people who have helped her treat them... They trusted her!
    I gotta save them! I gotta do something! But... What can I do? This man is behaving irrationally! Zoe thought, and pondered her situation. She knew the building was the place where the wounded and the women and children have come for safety. She knew the food and guns were stored there. What a disaster that the men was able to get inside there with a bomb!!! If only...

    Then she had an idea.

    Zoe wetted her lips and said: "Look, as you can see, I am not holding a gun. And as you see, these people here are hurt and wounded, they are no menace to you."
    "Yea I see... Cut the bull and do as I say! Bring me the Don, now!!", he said, harshly.
    Zoe looked at the others, praying in her heart they would play along with her, and said:
    "Truth is, the DOn is not in this room. Not even in this building, he is in another place here in the fort, and..."
    "I am loosing my patience!"Said the men, waving the bomb in his hand. Zoe completed:
    "I did not want to say this cause this would make our people worry. The fact is, the Don has been severely wounded. He will not be able to come here!"
    The man's face got red and he walked right to her. "I dont care, I will speak to him!"
    "But..." Zoe utered, and he cut right throug:
    "NO "But..."! YOU are going to bring me to him, NOW or I will blow this whole place to ashes!"
    Zoe looked at him as if his bravado was intimidating her. Inside, she smiled. He had swallowed the bait! She said:
    "Y...Yes. Please stay calm..."
    He took her by the arm and pulling her, made her walk upstairs.

    Zoe was hoping to get some more help once they got to the patio.

    Soon they were both in the open, walking.
    "Where to, now?"
    "That door, over there. " Zoe replied. As they kept walking, she pretended to triple on a rock.
    In a glimpse, she had turned around and hit him with a kick that caught him painfully and perfectly due to the surprise. in pain, he let go of the bomb.
    But the bomb was in the air.
    Zoe dived to get it before it reached the ground.
    She did it. But the Opresky swared and was going to hit her badly...

    Zoe managed to dodge his strike and was repeling his punches with a bit of dificulty cause she was not sure what that bomb was - although from what she knew of science, looked like something nuclear.

    The Opresky managed to hit her in the face but the next moment he was down. Zoe saw Virgil and a few others that have come to her help.

    "Glad to see you!" she said.
    "Dont worry, lets take care of that bomb!" Virgil said.
    Zoe noded and handed him the device, explaining:"It looks like pre-war tech. Something nuclear. I'd say its soviet."
    "I think I can disarm it", he said, before she mentioned her science skills. Zoe breathed deep and looking in his eyes, asked:
    "Right, do you have tools?"
    "Some. We may have to improvise!"
    The others were taking care of the Oprezky.
    "Ok, lets do it. Let's get those tools!"
  15. welsh

    welsh Junkmaster

    Apr 5, 2003
    Virgil looked at the bomb.

    "This thing is armed." He said, holding it a bit more carefully than previously.

    "How bad?" Asked Talon.

    "Bad. Very bad. This thing can take out a big chunk of real estate."

    "I can help." Said Zoe.

    "We got more wounded coming in, and if they don't get treatment they will die." Replied Talon. "And we better evacuate."

    "Isabella is down, she'll be ok but for now..." Said Zoe.

    "The DeSilva's are leaderless." Finished Talon.

    Gabriel had come in holding up a badly wounded Grim. Behind them limped in Dreg, using a rifle as a crutch.

    Virgil was still holding the bomb carefully, looking it over. "You people better hurry up. Evacuate this area and go. I can't tell you how long until this blows but it's already set to go. I'll try to disarm but I screw up, well adios muchachos."
  16. Gunslinger

    Gunslinger Mildly Dipped

    Apr 3, 2003

    Caleb led the way with Jeeva at his side. The bowie knife held straight before him gave out that same sickish green glow, imbued with the ghoul blood dripping over its blade. They did not turn back; it was not their habit. The collapsed in hole of “The Pit of Char” was impossible to crawl out of.

    As he walked, Jeeva began to feel the strain of long travel. His calves ached and pulled, causing him to hitch his step irregularly, and his stomach churned in hunger. Naturally, Caleb Rutgers showed no sign of tension.

    “Caleb, can we expect some hospitality at Grey Cliffs?”

    “We should,” Caleb answered. “I’m an Elder.”

    “And how,” said Jeeva.

    Caleb let it slide.

    The unlikely duo was traveling deeper into the subway station’s pit. It would have been a daunting task without the illuminated ghoul blade because the track was littered with sharp and jagged debris. Fortunately, there weren’t any ravaging ghouls left in the tunnels. They found evidence of there being more, such as pools of glowing blood in the distance. Their bodies were disconcertingly absent.

    It wasn’t long before they found the only auspicious thing that could be found in a subway station: the metro itself. It stood lonely, paused midway upon its tracks. Its windows were shattered and the benches screwed to its hull had been torn off, along with upholstered cushions.

    Jeeva walked over to it first, tentatively touching its rusty side. He recognized it for what it was though he had never seen on in person. “What the hell is a subway doing in the middle of nowhere?”

    “There was a city above us at one time,” Caleb said, joining the slaver. He stared intently at the front cabin of the metro.

    “How can you know?” Jeeva asked, and then regretted the question.

    Caleb humored him. “Where else would a subway be? Besides, you didn’t see the city ruins on a trek over.”

    “Getting clubbed will do that for you,” answered Jeeva wryly. “What now?”

    “What else?” Caleb asked, handing the glowing knife to the slaver. He pulled free the sliding metro doors and walked in.

    Jeeva hurried after him. “Wait!” he called, watching the Blade ignore his cry and continue walking down the metro.

    The ex-slaver chased after him as Caleb relentlessly continued on, as he had always done since the beginning of their sojourn. He followed Caleb into the metro’s cabin control, the glowing knife in his hands.

    Caleb was staring intently at the many dials on the dashboard controls. He eased himself into sole remaining pilot seat. Then he stared out of the cracked front windows, back at the dashboard, and then out the windows again. There was one major lever dominating the dashboard. It was set in the middle of its well with an arrow marked FORWARD on top and an arrow marked BACKWARD on bottom.

    “This doesn’t take a genius,” said Caleb to himself, not seeing Jeeva at his side, as he clutched the still shiny red nub on the lever.

    “Hold on Caleb!” exclaimed Jeeva. “We don’t know if there’s any more debris on the tracks or if this metro will even start up. For all we know, we’re risking---”

    The rest of the ex-slaver’s protest was drowned out as Caleb pushed the lever forward and the metro came to live with a shaky jerk. Soon, the ancient machination was gliding on its single rail smoothly.

    Caleb looked at Jeeva with an “I-told-you-so” grin on his face.

    Jeeva rolled his eyes as his heart pounded against his chest.

    The unlikely duo continued, unbeknown to them, on their path leading to Grey Cliffs.
  17. Zoe

    Zoe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Dec 5, 2003
    Zoe took a deep breath and noded.
    After a few minutes, the last of the De Silvas in the mission had left the old fort, along with the people who used to live there. except for Virgil. Zoe was the last:
    "Good luck, Virgil!"
    "Luck for you too. Now go, I will see you soon."
    She turned and rode her horse along the long line of horses, caravans and people on foot that was leaving the ancient spanish mission behind.

    She took one last look behind.
    "I hope you will, Virgil." She thought, then rode to the front of the long line of people and horses.

    OOC: A good recap of who survived and where can we go would be nice.
  18. welsh

    welsh Junkmaster

    Apr 5, 2003
    Virgil took the bomb out of the Mission, and carried it carefully over the mounds of dead and out into the field away from the camp. When he felt he was at a safe distance he began to work.

    Quickly word had spread among the mission people. They prepared their brahma and the carts and cleared a path through the dead. Within an hour the first carts were leaving. By that time Virgil had cracked through the shell of the bomb and was working through the inner wiring.

    Talon and Gabriel went out to speak to him as the caravan and the De Silvas began to stream North, further along the way to Grey Cliffs. In their beds were many of the wounded that could be moved, including Grim and Ibis. Left behind were the dead, there was little time to bury them.

    Talon spoke "We are going North about 10 klicks to where the locals say there is an old abandoned town and an old hospital. We can't go further on account of the wounded."

    "I'll follow up as soon as I can." said the ghoul, still concentrating on the bomb.

    "What are the chances?" Asked Gabriel.

    "I've lived a long time, Gabriel. If it goes badly, well. It's been fun." Said the ghoul in response.

    "We've lost a lot of good people, hate to lose you too." Said Talon.

    "Hate to get lost." Said Virgil. "If you folks can leave me some light, I'd appreciate it."

    They left some lights and then Virgil told them to get back. The caravan was moving, but had been hurt. It would need those that still could stand.

    Virgil was still working on the bomb two hours later as the last of the carts left the old mission.
  19. welsh

    welsh Junkmaster

    Apr 5, 2003
    The defenders had won a decisive victory, but there were wounded to care for and dead to bury. Most of the dead, which were few considering the defeated handed the Oprezil, remained at the mission-fort where Virgil was disarming a bomb. The wounded fell to care for.

    She had done her best, making the meager medical supplies go as far as they could. When the supplies ran out, she improvised, using alcohol as a painkiller, rags for bandages. Isabella was doing fine, stabilized but unconscious. Many of the others had already been released, bandaged or stitched back together. Dreg had cared for his own wounds and had limped out.

    Among those that remained were both Ibis and Grim, the strangest cases of all. Judging by temperature, both men should be dead. But it seemed as if the wounds were healing before her eyes. Ibis had told her to attend to the others first, and she had reluctantly complied. However, and despite to the remarkable healing of their bodies, neither men were recovering. She wanted to operate, but Ibis refused.

    "It won't matter. The bullet is to close. You'll do more damage if you try to operate." Said Ibis.

    "You'll die Ibis if I don't" she replied.

    "I have lived a long time Zoey, more than you know. I have done what I have to. I'm ready." Ibis said, trying to reassure her.

    Zoey wanted to protest, but he shook his head to each of her arguments.

    "You can save only one of us Zoey, and only you can save him. I am near bled out, but Grim is much worse and he doesn't have the bullet I have. You need to do something."

    And so Ibis told her about the rather odd medical case of Lucas Grim, whose tissue was not his own, whose blood was a hybrid of something different. Ibis explained that this had happened through no choice of Grim's own. Then she instructed on how to transfer that which kept Ibis alive to Grim.

    It was horrific, but even so Zoe couldn't pull away. When it was over she walked away, repulsed by what Ibis was suggesting. Before she left the room, Ibis said, low and barely audible. "Zoey, only you can do this. It is your choice."


    The caravan had found the remains of an old shopping mall and had set up camp. Talon had temporarily taken command but one of the De Silva's, a man named Montoya, was arguing with him. Talon found himself somewhat outnumbered and worried. Many of the others who would have offered counsel or support were gone, dead or wounded. If Montoya had his way the little alliance would crumble and so Talon found himself making compromises.

    One compromise had been to send a pursuit group after the remaining Oprezki. They certainly had horses and had been weak. If they could capture those horses, that would add to the herd. It would also be wise if the Oprezki didn't escape. So a small group of riders had been sent to pursue their retreating foe.

    Men had also set out to contact the herd while other people were scavenging throughout the mall, looking for supplies. Talon had specified that they hunt for medical supplies, but he would take anything they could find. A treasure trove had been the discovery of a basement stock room filled with canned food.

    Leaving Montoya to instruct the De Silvas, Talon went about taking a head count. Of the people he had known before, only Rogue and Gabriel remained. Many of the other caravaneers, a handful that had started the trip, were setting camp.

    Talon felt suddently very tired.

    He was looking South, towards were Virgil was working on the bomb when Gabriel spoke to him.

    "McReady?" Asked Gabriel.

    "Haven't seen him. Maybe they got him too."

    "Somehow I doubt it." Said Gabriel. Talon was tempted to agree.

    "What do you think happened to the people who went back to the University?" He asked.

    "Not sure. I hope they're alright."

    "We could use the supplies." Said Gabriel.

    "They might be lost." Said Talon.

    "I'd like to go find them and bring them back."

    "We'll be here for a few days at least." Said Talon, not even looking at Gabriel. Talon didn't hear Gabriel leave, but later saw him riding to the Southwest, towards were the University probably lie. And Talon hoped they wouldn't lose another.
  20. Zoe

    Zoe Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Dec 5, 2003
    It was a tough decision.
    Ibis himself declared he could not be saved, and that she should try to save Grim instead.

    But what he was suggesting was so sad!

    What can I do? There's no time for hesitation..."

    She took a deep breath. WHat Ibis was asking was some kind of eutanasia. He was sacrificing himself for Grim - and though it was a noble gesture, Zoe was not comfortable at all. She wanted to avoid it, she did not want to take Ibis's life (cause that's what was going to happen if she made the transplant)

    She took a look around, at the people who were talking about the battle and, looking at the horizon, were waiting to see if Virgil was successfull. She wished to get off her chest the dillema that was consumming her, but at the same time was not feeling like talking.

    Zoe turned on her heels. There was no time to waste, and her delay could cause the death not only of Ibis but of Grim too.

    She walked to her patients and examined them, the last step before the operation: she wanted to make sure there was not the slightest chance to save both, before going ahead to try the operation that would make Grim survive at Ibis death...
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