Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dawn of the Dragonsworn-Part 13

The desperate bid for time went on. The Dragon order hordes of lizardmen sent in wave after wave, all ad hoc and with increasing incoherence as the escape portal still had not finished stabilizing. Prototype behemoths, drug-crazed suicide troops, heavy weaponry--what was left--and more got thrown at Homsar, Zuzu and the Dark Spear marines. None of it worked.

Meanwhile, the Dragonsworn--boxed in now with their master--found that the Patrol ship in orbit had achieved supremacy when the last of their assets got blasted to pieces by its potent primary projectors. With a silent nod, the Dragonsworm donned their battle attire and arrayed themselves before their master. Moments later, Homsar arrived with Zuzu and the Dark Spears right behind him.

No words, no gestures, nothing signaled engagement. Both sides just started shooting, and both sides saw their initial barrage fail to pierce the other's defense screens; in a mad minute of massive fire, both sides dumped all of their firepower upon their foes in an attempt to focus and overload the screens of those foes. This too failed, and thus it again collapsed into a murderous melee. No thought of surrender entered either sides' minds; both committed completely to the butchering of their enemies, but now--at last--parity of power prevailed.

Axes rose and fell. Shields shuddered and splintered. Screens scintillated and shorted. The Dragonsworn women unleashed, by means barely understood by those same women, elemental assaults of fire, ice and raw solar power as if they were sorceresses from some old dime novel. Time attenuated, with seconds seeming like minutes and minutes like hours, but this last ditch defense held its cohesion even as it lost ground.

As the bombardment from orbit began to reverberate around the chamber wherein the two sides sought to slay one another, The Dragon suddenly reared himself up on his hand legs and turned about to face Homsar and the Marines. Behind his foes, and beyond the legs of the beast, Homsar spotted the open portal- one expanding in size to allow The Dragon to escape.

"Not this time, Agent of Civilization!"

Homsar smiled. He'd seen this scenario play out so many times since his youth, so he played a hunch and telepathically activated his boat as well as his ship in orbit to come to his location. Just then, both blasted through the stone walls and rained fire upon The Dragon. Personal screens, though very impressive, cannot repel firepower of that magnitude and in a single volley one of the few remaining Algolian war criminals vaporized where he stood. The violent power behind those blasts washed over the others and if not for their own screens they too would've been flash-fried into ashes- but most of it got spent slaying their master. Homsar and his allies hunkered down, avoiding the worst and letting their own screens take the rest, leaving them unharmed and with their wits about them.

All of the Dragonsworn soon found themselves on the floor, disarmed--literally so in the case of Brilliant Shield and the Blessed Lord--and with an axe blade at the throat.

"I am Homsar Delgana, Agent-At-Large for the Galactic Republic. I arrest you all on charges of desertion, treason and piracy. You shall stand trial on Terra for your crimes, after which I expect that you shall all be swiftly sent to the lethal chambers."

As he said that, Homsar invaded their minds without pretense of any sort and ransacked their memories for any useful intelligence. In so doing, he discovered others--like them, and their minions--already out in the galaxy elsewhere establishing more bases and launching more operations against the Republic.

"Admiral." Homsar said, telepathically, "This group's done, and The Dragon is dead, but this Dragonsworn cult is far from wiped out. We've got a bigger problem on our hands. I'll brief you as soon as the marines and I get these prisoners to the brig."

"Understood, Homsar. Happy now?"

"As a clam, Admiral. As a clam. Finishing unfinished business always makes me happy."

The End

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