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Knives Out, Part 2

Posted on Mon Mar 10th, 2014 @ 12:16pm by Commander Mercia Kavi & Lieutenant Commander Vanora Stele

Mission: Photons Everywhere Part 2
Location: Holodeck 1
Timeline: Backpost

~Continued~

There were some woods between them and their destination. "A perfect place for an ambush," Vanora said. She looked back at Mercia. "Are you in any shape to travel up through the branches?"

Mercia looked up at them, "I'll be slower than I'd like, but I think I can manage." she told the woman and started for a good looking tree, and began to climb.

Vanora climbed an adjacent tree. From this vantage point, they'd have a better chance of spotting enemies, either at their level or on the floor below. She balanced carefully on a thick branch and hopped to the next tree, and then the one after that. Checking behind her, she was impressed to see that Mercia was keeping pace. They made it nearly two thirds of the way to the next hut when Vanora spotted a patrol of four enemies below them. She signaled to Mercia that she would take the two closest to her, and for Mercia to take the others. Pulling a second hunting blade of similar design from her belt, she dropped down on the pair, driving the blades firmly into their skulls as she flew down upon them.

Mercia threw one of the knifes lodging it in to the neck of one of the enemies before she dropped on the other. She yanked the knife out of the first and sliced the throat of the other. She grinned and panted, the hologram was restricting her chest, effecting her breathing. "Damn you're good." she said with a smile.

"So are you," Vanora smiled back, wiping her blades clean on the dead enemies' tunics. "I've never seen anyone throw so cleanly. Looks like you've kept those pre-Academy skills of yours well-sharpened."

Mercia beamed, "That is the grandest compliment I think you could have given me." she laughed. "Yes, I just don't feel safe If I don't feel like I can kill an enemy, plus it keeps my body tired, which keeps me out of trouble." she said. "Not that its been working recently." Mercia giggled. She picked up a couple extra knives off the dead and glanced around, "back in the trees or do you want to go by land to the next check point?" she asked.

"We're almost there, and the enemies we just killed may have been due to check in with others, for all we know. Best to make it there as quickly as we can and maintain any element of surprise we've gained." Vanora sheathed the second knife so her left hand was free again, and led the way as quickly as she could, weaving between the trees, until the woods thinned out and the second hut was visible, again in the middle of a field. She scrambled up a tree to survey the area, but as with the last check point, she didn't see anything. "Same approach as before, or would you rather run behind me in a single path? You're injured, there's no shame in it, and I'd have better luck taking an arrow at this point than you."

Mercia regarded her a moment, "We're playing as a team, I can work as a team." she said. "Single file is a good idea since i'm not as fast as I could be." she said. She ran her hands over her hair, and nodded, "Alright... I'll follow your lead. This hut should have better supplies. I can hope, its randomized." she said, "As are the challenges to get in to the hut." she said.

Vanora nodded and began moving low and fast through the field. They made good progress, and she was both pleased and suspicious that there was no attack or ambush yet.

Mercia followed her out in to the field, and half way there she wondered why no enemies had come at them. All the sudden Vanora was shorter than Mercia, a second later Mercia was lower too and her feet refused to move. She looked down, "Sticky sand." she growled. It was difficult, and was like swimming in marshmallow, she'd never encountered it in the field before, always in the forest! They were sinking fast, and every part of them that touched the goo became covered in it.

"Ugh!" Vanora tried to turn around to see how Mercia was faring, but moving around seemed to just make her sink even faster. She tried to jab her knife into something solid, but the ground she hit was just more sticky sand, and her right arm became covered the the stuff. "We have something similar on Elas, but this is much worse. If only we had a long stick or something similar to create more surface tension."

Mercia leaned backwards, reaching or the land she'd just left. "I've only seen it in the forest, where there are roots and sticks a plenty," She shifted and tried to grab ahold of the long grass. She gripped some and pulled, "Can you reach me?" she asked her, "I've got a grip." she said quickly.

Vanora stretched out her free left arm as far as she could, but was still short of Mercia. "No," she said. "Get yourself out first, I have an idea."

Mercia gripped hard and spread herself out and pulled as hard as she could. She was covered in sticky, but at least she was free of it. She knelt on solid land, ignoring the holographic injury which was very unpleased with her activity. It pinched her side pretty hard. "OK ready." she said.

Vanora's waist was luckily still just above the sticky sand, and she deftly undid her knife belt with her dry hand. "See if you can catch the end and pull me out," she said to Mercia as she prepared to whip the belt sideways. "On the count of three. One, two, three!"

Mercia leaned out as best she could and reached. The belt wasn't that long, but it was long enough to close the distance. She gripped the end of it and pulled. It seemed to take forever before Vanora was on land next to her. Mercia panted as she grinned at the woman, "We should get inside," They clambered to their feet and got moving, grass and dirt sticking to them like no other.

Mercia opened the door to the hut and moved to step inside, but stopped sort. "What the hell." she said, stopping Vanoras forward advancement. Inside the hut was a massive pit. It went straight down, and looked endless. "Damn this whole check point must be a decoy." she said glad she hadn't run inside here, if she had she'd have died and Vanora would have to finish on her own.

Vanora was glad for Mercia stopping her, as she too was about to rush in. "This is indeed a hell. Let's get out of here before the other shoe drops," she said as she backed out of the doorway.

She heard a shout and then a roar, Mercia spun around, coming at them across the field was a group of at least ten klingons, with several nasty looking hounds with them. She let out a curse, "This was a trap!" she growled.

Vanora cursed as well. "Everything here seems to be a trap. We can't take out the Klingons and their hounds at the same time, and we might be able to outrun the former but not the latter. Let's get some space between us; hopefully, that will make them unleash their beasts and we can take care of those first." She made to move in the only direction left open to them, but stopped after making her first stride. "The sticky sand. We need to use it against them. We know where it is now, and hopefully some of our pursuers will be caught in it. This way," she said as she sprinted back toward the horrid muck.

Mercia ran with her as quickly as she should, starting to follow what she had in mind. The game had given them a chance, and only if they were clever enough would they make use of it.

Now that she knew where it was, it was easy for Vanora to skirt around the sticky sand trap, giving it a wide berth and testing the ground carefully in case there were other nearby deposits. As she waited for Mercia, she positioned herself so that there was a straight line running from her, the sticky sand, and the Klingons.

Mercia waved her arms, "WOOP WOOP!" she called ensuring that she was obvious as to where she was. The klingons took the bate, in a rage they followed their direction. Moments later they started falling in to the sticky, "You got enough knives to take them out I don't want them to get out of that." Mercia said checking her number of blades. it wasn't likely they'd get them back if they threw them. "Of course we could just run and hope they can't track us." she said as she watched the big warriors clamoring over each other and yelling obscenities.

"Agreed. The dogs are doomed, but probably not the warriors. If we were able to get out, we have to count on them being able to do the same." Vanora sheathed her hunting knife and drew out a pair of throwing knives. "You there, Klingons!" she barked at them, getting their attention. "You are all about to die. You can die sinking into the mud, screaming like a bunch of glob flies stuck in honey, or you can die honorably and quickly, by our blades, if you will bare your necks as warriors ready to cross the River of Blood into Sto-vo-kor. It is your choice."

With only a few more growls, the Klingons looked to one another, and nodded in agreement to their honorable deaths, lifting their faces up to the sky and exposing their necks. Vanora acted quickly in putting them out of their misery. Even though she was not as accurate as Mercia from longer distances, at point blank and with mostly unmoving targets, she soon had a blade deep into each of the ten warriors' necks. With no more throwing knives left, she pulled out both of her hunting knives and motioned to Mercia. "Let's get out of here before reinforcements show up."

Mercia was impressed, "I think I'm going to like working with you." she winked at the woman as they started to jog across the field, and in to the woods towards their target. "Likely only one check point left before we reach the goal." she said panting a little. "Now that you've seen what this program can do, you know that we may face any thing or nothing at the next check point." she said.

"I'm hoping that between the sticky sand, bottomless pit trap, and the Klingons, maybe we'll just get lucky this time," Vanora deadpanned. "But somehow, I'm guessing not." She tapped her belt. "I'm out of throwing knives, by the way."

"I've only got two." Mercia said looking at what she had attached to herself.

The pair reached the edge of clearing, where another hut was visible. As before, Vanora scrambled up a tree to get a better look, but also as before, she saw nothing. Hopping down, she signaled for Mercia to trail her again. "Maybe lag a little bit more this time, in case we hit any more ground traps."

Mercia nodded, "Sounds like a good idea..." she pointed, "See that purple flower out there?" she asked. "I've seen those before, they blow poison darts if they catch your scent." she said.

"Lucky I showered today," Vanora said. "I'll do my best to avoid them." The process of scanning the ground for the flowers definitely slowed down their progress, but at last this was a danger that was visible.

Mercia grinned, "Lets go... You lead, I'll watch your six." She waited until the woman ran in to the field, before she started to follow.

It was easy enough for Vanora to spot the flowers, given how bright they were and the contrast between their colorful blossoms and the mostly-brown grass of the field. She moved quickly and carefully, tracing a weaving pattern forward until she was nearly at the hut. Reaching the doorway to the checkpoint, she stopped and turned back to wait for Mercia to catch up. "I have to say, that was by far the most painless trap so far. Maybe too painless?" she said as Mercia approached.

"Yeah thats what worries me!" Mercia said holding her side. It was pinching really bad, certainly painful. The holodeck program was trying to simulate that she'd made her injuries worse.

Vanora was about to reply, but noticed that the shadow of a large cloud had borne down upon them, and gusts of wind were steadily increasing. "A thunderstorm?" she wondered aloud as she looked upward. "That's no cloud," she grimaced, "That's a Maravel dragon!" The monster was over two hundred meters long and a blood-tinged purple in color, and its roar shook the ground that the pair stood on.

Mercia's eyes went wide, "Holy shit." she gasped. She had never seen a dragon before, but it was certainly not beyond the limits of the program. "Uh... So... never bring a sword to a dragon fight for thou art crunchy and taste good with catsup?" she said. The dragon flew around and roared again before landing in the field. Its landing about knocked her off her feet, a flap of its wings didn't help. "Do we fight it or run? Maybe the huts got more weapons?" she wondered breathlessly.

Vanora looked down at her knives. They were pointy and sharp, but suddenly looked pretty tiny. "Yes. Hut, now," she shouted over another bellowing cry from the dragon. It had definitely seen them, and was circling them with the purposeful stare of a predator toying with its prey.

Mercia dashed in to the hut, inside she found some leather armor and swords. "Seriously?" she growled. She started to tear the boxes open, searching for a gun of some sort. There was a horrible smell that filled the air, just before a ball of fire scorched the ground just outside.

"Well, this has taken an unexpected turn," Vanora laughed. "Apparently your program has a sense of humor. This armor is a joke. It's almost certainly completely useless against that thing. I'm also pretty sure that the hut we're in is now on fire," she said, sheathing her knives and grabbing a longsword. It was double-sided, with a straight, flat blade that came to a fine point. "We should get out of here and make a run for the boat."

"Agreed." Mercia said. She rubbed her side and shifted, wishing the pinch would stop. It was getting really painful. She glanced around, and selected another sword. She strapped it on and nodded, "Lets go."

Vanora was sprinting as fast as she could, not looking back or up at the dragon that was bearing down on them. She felt the heat of a blast of fire right behind her, and the flames jumped and licked at her legs, searing her pants legs and causing painful burns, but she kept running. As she reached a ridge and was able to see the boat and the finish line, she felt a sudden strong gust followed by a huge blow, as if she had run backwards into a tree. From the corner of her eye, she saw the massive wing that had whacked her as she spun through the air before reuniting with the ground, head first.

Mercia dodged to the side as the wing took Vanora out. She scrambled up and started running, only one of them had to make it to the finish line for them to win, She knew Vanora couldn't be hurt with the safeties on, but the program would likely pin her down as if she were knocked out for the moment. She gasped for air as she heard a roar. She glanced up just in time to see the dragons head reaching for her.

Mercia drew her sword and took a swing, smacking it in the nose, but the hardness of the dragon armor was not what she expected, and it jarred the blade hard enough to make her stumble back and nearly drop it. Before she could bring it to bear again the jaws of the dragon grabbed her. She gasped as the dragon flung her in the air, Mercia screamed as she flailed. Looking down she could see the throat of the dragon as the fire ball came out of it, straight at her.

A second later the world flashed, and she was laying on the ground, the pain in her side suddenly gone. She sat up quickly, Vanora only a couple feet away. On the back wall of the holodeck the program showed them the outcome. Mercia was cooked in midair and promptly chomped, before the dragon turned its attention to Vanora, who was also charred before being devoured. "Damn." Mercia said as flashing letters blinked saying Mission Failed.

"That was so close!" Mercia growled, she looked at Vanora and grinned, "This is my favorite program... It really keeps me on my toes, and that dragon... thats a new one, it must have determined we were a powerful enough team. I'll bet you we missed something somewhere... some weapon that would have given us a chance."

Vanora stood up, feeling slightly strange that she wasn't in any pain. "Maybe a runabout?" she laughed. "Thanks for letting me tag along today, that was the most fun I've had in a while. Perhaps a rematch, soon?"

Mercia grinned, "Oh yes," she grinned. "That was the most fun I'd had in forever too. I have to thank you." she said. "I have to get going..." she said checking the time. "Cya!"


~fin

 

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