Raid (episode 3)


After an arduous and treacherous climb, Bryant and Amelia stopped within striking distance of the cave entrance.  The rain had not changed in character as they approached; it still pelted the earth with fat drops and created a low rumble that blocked out most other sounds.  The rain made visibility difficult, but even so, Bryant made out two figures standing guard, one on each side of the entrance.  Blast it all, there must be more than two snipers!  Those damn charlatans are going to get a piece of my mind when I return.  Bryant wished his whole team were available; raiding the snipers would be easier with four.

Leaning in on Amelia’s ear, he spoke loud enough for her to hear, “set your gun to stun, and focus on the farthest one.  On my signal.”  Bryant unhooked himself from Amelia, and trimmed up his rope.  He set himself into a low crouch, ready to spring forward to start the raid.  He reached forward on his gun and flipped it into stun mode.  He looked to his right, and saw that Amelia was ready and counted to three.  He tapped Amelia on her left shoulder, soft enough so she would feel it but not enough to affect her aim.

Bryant advanced in a crouch for the first few feet, and then suddenly he leaped forward, quickly covering half the remaining distance to the closest guard.  He could feel the heat radiating off his gun as he squeezed the trigger.  Projectile beams of purple-hued, energized light shot forth hitting his target square in the chest; the guard lit up like a festival tree, convulsed for a second and fell limp to the ground.  Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Amelia’s shot whiz by him but didn’t track them to their target.  He knew her to be an expert shot who rarely missed what she aimed at.

Bryant rounded the cave entrance and advanced up the tunnel staying on the left wall.  He laid down suppressing fire, as he knew Amelia would advance up the right and join him at the next intersection.  Bryant peered around the corner, seeing light from around another bend in the tunnels.  He noted the walls were smoother than a natural tunnel he expected to find.  The Hos’lathi made these caves on purpose.  Amelia tapped him on his back.

Bryant had no time to think about the walls now; he lunged into the next tunnel eager to press forward.  He had barely set a foot into the tunnel when a flurry of knives and arrows flew straight at him.  He dove towards the left wall, somersaulting to present a smaller target.  He felt two knives bounce off his armor.  He bounced up from the somersault and fired several rounds in an attempt to suppress his attackers.  His gun was smoldering in his hands, thin wisps of smoke rose up as it was overheating from continuous use.  In that moment, Amelia rounded the corner and laid down cover fire for Bryant’s advance, forcing the remaining two snipers to retreat around the corner.

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Bryant pressed his advantage and sprinted the short distance so he could catch them, as he rounded the bend he knew he made a mistake.  The closest sniper, a tall, broad-shouldered man, tackled him to the ground and pinned his left arm to the floor.  Bryant’s head cracked against the hard ground, scraping his cheek and rattling his senses.  He noted a strong, bitter metallic taste flood his mouth as he struggled to keep conscious and fend off his attacker.

Amelia darted round the corner gun raised, but before she could fire a shot, she dodged two daggers thrown at her.  She squeezed the trigger and nothing happened.  Her gun had overheated.  She dashed forward and pounced upon the short, squat man in front of her.  Nimbly she swept the legs out from him, and as he fell, she pistol-whipped him.  The sniper flailed his arms as he fell on top of Bryant and the other sniper, knocking all three out.

Bryant awoke to a splitting headache.  He sat up and looked around.  He noticed the four snipers, already bound, gagged, and leaning against the far wall.

“And see, I thought you would sleep the night away.  I Healed you as best I could but you’ll have a scar,” quipped Amelia.

“A good run always makes me sleepy.  Scars make good stories.  I see you’ve been busy.”

“That I have been.  We have a serious problem.”  Amelia pointed to two of the snipers.

Bryant took a closer look and realized they were Kelrand.  What in the Nine Hells are Kelrand doing here, and why were they firing on us!  “Well, this isn’t going to end well.  Best we leave to tell High Sorceress Minuet the good news.”

 


Bryant completed his mission with a huge assist from Amelia, but now there’s a problem.  Stay tuned to find out what High Sorceress Minuet will do when she finds out that Kelrands were fighting alongside the Hos’lathi.

Next Episode:  Reflection

Previous Episode:  Rescue

First Episode:  Rainfall

 


This episode was originally posted on the Space Monkeys Down Patreon as Beating the Drums of War:  Raid.

Beating the Drums of War: Raid
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