Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Behind the Demon Lines

Suddenly it was Wyver who was the wimp.  He surveyed the battleground with a stunned expression of horror.  It was difficult to tell for certain, but I think the blue color of his skin went slightly paler.

I, on the other hand, knew I had a job to do.  Leaving Wyver quivering on the shuttle platform, I descended to the bleak expanse of rock and attempted to get a handle on what was happening.  There were thousands upon thousands of demons and not nearly so many of their foes, but the enemies were swift.  I couldn't see one standing in the same place long enough to get a good look.  They were tall--on average it seemed they had a few inches on the demons--bulky, and nearly all of them were the same mottled ashy color.

I needed to find General Gavsot.  This did not seem like the kind of circumstances under which a quick visual scan would give me all the details I needed to understand the situation.   As dumb as it seemed to call someone knowing that he'd be in an intense battle for his very survival, I couldn't think of a better way to locate Gavsot in the midst of all this madness.  So I pulled out my phone and called him.

He picked up after about eight rings.  "Are you here?" he said.  He sounded out of breath.

"Yeah, just got in on the cable car," I said.

An instant later, Gavsot teleported in a few feet to my left.  He looked sweaty and stressed.  "What took you so long?" he barked.

"I couldn't teleport here because--" I began, but he cut me off impatiently.

"These things can kill demons," he said.  "They can actually kill us with their bare hands.  Under normal conditions, killing a demon is a very demanding task, but these bastards just reach into our chests, rip out our hearts, and we do not get back up again.  We have not yet figured out how to kill them, therefore all we have succeeded in doing is slowing their advances.  Unless we gain some understanding of them, how to hurt them and how to kill them, they will march right through Hell and exterminate every last one of us."

That was quite a speech for my usually curt General.  "Have we made any efforts at...uh...diplomacy?" I asked.

Gavsot shook his head.  "As I understand it, the Department of Construction was trying to clear a new area to expand the Department of Torture.  These creatures were sealed up in a hidden cavern.  When the Department of Construction breached that cavern, the creatures attacked immediately.  The entirety of the construction crew that breached is dead."

"Okay," I said.  "Do they have a leader that I could talk to?"

Gavsot laughed softly.  "I believe that if we put up a flag of truce and send out a messenger, they will continue slaughtering us."

Past Gavsot's shoulder, I saw a bright orange demon hit the ground roughly with a crude, bloody hole in his chest.  I shuddered.  And I didn't stop shuddering.  I was trembling.  "Well, what if we try surrendering?" I asked.  "That way I'll at least get to talk to their leader one-on-one to discuss the terms, right?"

"I do not expect that to stop them," Gavsot said gravely.  "But since I do not think any course of action will succeed, yours is not worse than any other."

I nodded.  "Right.  Awesome."

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