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Before the Siege
Amidar? looked to the heavens and took note of the approximate area of the sun behind the dreary clouds over head. His mask hiding any expression that he might have had. He knew that soon it would truly become dark, unlike the twilight that was the day around them. Battosai had a similar thought running through his mind as he took in the surrounding area. Coming over a ridge, the two sighted the town that would be their destination.
“They’re very close behind us,” Amidar? muttered, “they’ll catch up to us tonight if we stay there,” he said while making a gesture towards the small town in front of them. Brown hair and slightly tan skin made the red and white mask on his face stand out. His nearly khaki shirt pressed against his chest, fluttering behind him from the oncoming wind.
“Yes that’s true, but we would never survive the night trying to out run them and trying to fight them off in the open is near suicide,” Battosai replied, receiving comfort by placing his hand on the hilt of his katana. Even to a man who has slain the fiercest men and crippled countries, these demons of man were not something to even talk lightly about. They were the true soldiers of hell.
A dry wind blew across the large clearing around the desolated town. One of the few structurally sound buildings was the wall that encompassed it. Comprised of various building materials, and not the most beautiful wall, but it did what it was created for. The wall kept them safe from the outside world and the monsters that inhabited it. Some areas of the wall jutted out into sharp spikes, others were worn smooth from the constant barrage of wind that migrated across the small plain.
Battosai, who was in his normal attire of all white, glanced behind them, where their pursuers would be coming from. An inhuman screech was carried on the wind towards them. Like a whisper, it was quiet, yet unmistakable, a bone chilling experience. Red Death was hunting again. Battosai looked back at Amidar? and they nodded to each other. They ran down the ridge in front of them and onto the windy plains. They ran with the wind against them. Their clothes whipping around behind them. They were close to the town, they spotted the door, or really gate. It was closed, but this did no bother them at all. They reached the wall and jumped onto the closest spike, using it as a step up to the top of the wall. They reached the top and looked out onto the landscape. A shadow crept closer towards them. As night was setting in, the shadow began to move faster towards them.
“Get inside! Hurry!” someone told them in a hushed yell. Amidar? looked down the wall and saw a man at the bottom standing and waving his arms in a gesture of following. The two of them jumped down from the wall and landed on either side of the man. Older and in ragged clothing, he held the appearance of a beggar. Not stopping to talk, he ran off towards a building in the middle of the town. Three stories tall and about the size of a small office building. They followed him into the building, darkness setting around them. The entrance, a broken window, was one of the few windows that had not been reinforced with a wire mesh. Slowly and carefully, they walked into an empty room with broken tile on the ground and broken glass on the floor. Wooden doors were broken down and leaning against the window. As the two walked in and looked at the man who was taking the doors and placing them against the window they entered from.
“We have to try to hide from them, or we really will have no chance,” the man told them while securing the doors.
“I agree with that," Battosai agreed. He lifted a door and covered the last window, the one that they came in from, blocking out the light and leaving them in darkness.
“Follow me up onto the top floor, the rest of us are there,” they heard the man whisper.
“How do we do-“Amidar? started, when a small torch burst into life from the darkness, “oh that’s how.”
set of doors hid in the shadows room. Solid wood, maybe mahogany by the looks of it, and heavy. The man pulled on one and they heard the hinges screech in protest. They followed into the stairwell. The only source of light was the torch, casting strange shadows on the wall and basked them all in and orange light. Battosai closed the door behind them. The hinges screaming out. The man locked it with several bolts and they walked up the stairs. They passed the second floor and entered the third floor; identical doors stood on each level. The man knocked and they waited.
“Josh said you would stop here. But not that you would be by yourselves,” the man said.
“So this is his new refuge,” Amidar? muttered, looking up at the cracked ceiling.
“Well I assume he already knows about the Red Death that are tracking us also?” Battosai asked him. The door in front of them swung open a little and the man walked in. Battosai and Amidar? followed.
“That I did,” said a voice from the darkness. Amidar? spun around and looked at the source of the voice: josh. Large was a word that came to mind when you saw him. Rather muscular but not like a body builder and not very toned, but recognizable. Joshes hair was a tangled mass and matched well with his facial hair.
“Good, because we will have to fight, and a lot of them too,” Battosai told josh, not turning to look at him.
“well that’s fine, because this colony of ours was trained for two things: fighting Echos and killing off Red Death,” josh told him with a strong voice,” just remember, these doors are made of mahogany.” Josh chuckled at this.
“Um…o.k. then,” Amidar? muttered.
“Inside joke from a time before all of this,” Battosai said with a shadow of a smile on his face. A shrill cry was heard from the darkness out side. They all looked into the darkness that surrounded them.
“Quick! Into the safety rooms!” josh told them in a hushed voice. They followed him and the man down the hallway that they were in. they came to a set of large doors and ran through. Josh and the man slammed them shut and locked them with many bolts and chains. They followed up with a thick heavy sheet of metal that slid out of the wall. They locked it with five padlocks to the wall.
“Not too bad for such a worn down place,” Amidar? commented
“Yeah, but it’s the only way in and out besides the windows and the escape hatch out to the roof in two of the safety rooms.” Amidar? looked around, there were about ten doors on each side of the hallway that they were in. they all appeared to be made of mahogany. Two windows sat at either end of the hallway; they were all boarded up with metal and wood. Another man walked towards the group silently with a shot gun in hand, stopping short and addressing the group.
“Your room is ready. And all security measures are in effect,” he said with a slightly shaky voice. They followed him to a room at the end of the hallway and entered the door on the left, closest to the boarded window. The large room had no windows. a table and several crates and cases filled most of the room.
“If you need anything, as far as supplies is concerned, you can take anything that we have,” josh told Amidar? and Battosai. The man who had shown them the room and the one that showed them the way to the building left the room. a click sounded as josh locked the door. A fire burst into life from a lantern he held in his hand.
“I hope none of you are afraid of the dark, because we may have to put this light out later,” josh told them.
“I don’t think either of us are,” Battosai replied with a little chuckle.
“Oh well. So about those Red Death. What did you do to them? Step on their grass or something?” he asked with a chuckle.
“Is it really time for jokes?” Amidar? asked.
“Of course it is! Why not try to lighten the mood in precedence of our ultimate death destruction?” josh replied, “so did I ever tell you the one about the tree and the crocodile? It was great! Well here it goes, there was-”
“I’m afraid we don’t have time for that right now josh,” Battosai interrupted sharply; “we need a way out before they get here. Or we’ll all be in trouble.”
“Well if you need to get put, then the best way would be to fly out the window, like a bird, because if you didn’t hear, Red Death are out there and ready to rip you to pieces. your options are very limited when the sun goes down,” josh said silently.
“Well then we have to fight our was out. If we don’t, then they’ll just start picking you off one by one every night when they make this one of their nests,” Battosai told them.
“Then we better get every one ready for a fight instead of hiding,” josh commented. There was a moment of silence.
“I thing we just ran out of time,” Amidar? whispered. Outside the door there was a smashing sound of wood and glass breaking and falling on the ground. There was a spine chilling screech. The sound of feet running, both of animal and human. Several distinctive shot gun rounds were shot off as the man shooting screamed in terror and pain as the red death reached him and began feasting on him. The gurgling of blood muffled his screams before he died outside the door.
“Looks like it’s time to fight,” Battosai whispered as he drew out his katana, a dim white light radiating from the blade.
Port Pirie, ZZ