I’m going to fast-forward once again, this time to the third era of the Anonassi War.
Here’s a story from the start of that era… but things won’t always be so easy…
The small group of Chosen lay quietly on the crest of a nearby hill, they looked down at the group of Anonassi creatures that moved slowly below them on the right. At the lead was a winged figure, one of the Fallen, seductive and dangerous. They led many humans into the Crossing and broke them, preferring psychological destruction over physical most of the time. Two Hellhounds flanked her as if they were the female Anonassi’s honour guard. Next to the female, walking on the right of her was a lumbering creature that had spikes which protruded from the back of its hands, atop its head and all around its mouth where there was a mass of whirling tentacles. At first glance they mistook it for a Brute, but there was something about the monster’s garbled speech that seemed to indicate it was anything but an engine of mass destruction.
Four glowing eyes scanned the ridge as the creature spoke to the female in the lead, then looked back to the cart that held three large cages, within them were a mass of tangled bodies and mewling figures. Humans of the Lost Land, one of the tribes, or perhaps a mix of captives they’d taken from the more recent raids.
A Fallen, two Hellhounds, and whatever this monster was. Plus the cart drawn by what looked like a monstrous horse.
“What do you think of our odds John?” A hefty broad-shouldered woman lay next to her rifle, a curled mass of reddish hair cut short framed a scarred face. “Think we can take them?”
“Honestly, I’m not so sure. I’m not certain what that creature really is, it doesn’t seem to be acting like a Brute and it looks formidable. Those spikes especially.” John D’Aoust leaned on his elbows and propped himself up to scan the group again.
Ravenka Rostova sighted down the scope of her rifle and settled the crosshair onto the Fallen in the lead. “If you want I can blow her head off, I’m pretty sure that she won’t be able to recover from that.”
“More importantly,” John said and tapped the woman on the shoulder. “You’re our team leader Constanza. What do you think?”
Constanza Garcia grumbled at the back of her throat. “I’m not really one for complex plans, you know that John. I like to dive in and get things done, but I don’t think we’ll win if we do that.”
“You were voted our leader unanimously, so it’s ultimately your call. Sorry, but rules are rules. There’s a chain of command for a reason.” John observed and shrugged his shoulders.
“Yes,” Ravenka gave a tiny grin. “The chain of command is there so you can throttle those who don’t follow it.”
Constanza drew her Mag 60 and sighed deeply as she hooked her rifle onto her back. “We have to do something, or they’ll make off with those prisoners and that’s a fate I’d not wish on my dearest friend or enemy.”
“You can have dear enemies?” Ravenka moved her rifle sight onto the big creature.
“You know what I mean.” Constanza grumbled again and rolled up a little so she was on her knees.
“We go on your order.” Ravenka said and switched her target again. “I shoot the Fallen one, then the two Hellhounds. You pair can handle the big one, yes?”
“Agreed.” Constanza settled her rifle in her hands and began to count softly. “We go on a count of 3. 3-2-1… NOW!”
Ravenka Rostova was a good shot, perhaps one of the best marksmen in their tiny group. She fired and watched the Fallen’s head explode as the round went clean through the side of the female’s skull and blasted a large portion of it over the shoulder of the big Anonassi. She fired again in quick succession and slammed the Hellhounds to the floor with two easy hits. Her final shot landed through the left eye of the horse-like monster and it buckled to the floor.
John D’Aoust ran down the hill and fired a couple of times, his shots missed their mark as the big creature rolled out of the way and came up a snarl. It moved brutally fast and placed itself between the cart and forced the man to go around. Constanza saw this and flanked the big monster as she fired with her rifle, the shot hit it square in the back and rather than causing much damage only seemed to rile the beast.
“What manner of thing are you?” John said as he approached from the right hand side of the cart. The Anonassi had no where to go and John saw not fear in the monster’s eyes, but revulsion as he got closer. “Are you scared of me?”
The Untouched looked at him as though he were mad, it bellowed in its own language and if John could understand what the monster said he would have been disturbed.
You are tainted, a broken thing, an unclean thing and you must be purged!
“Careful John,” Ravenka warned from her vantage point on the hill, her sight blocked by the caged humans. “I can’t cover you from here!” She got to her feet and began to find a better vantage point.
“I’ve got him covered,” Constanza said and fired again into the back of the Untouched. “Shoot it John, for fuck’s sake!”
The monster moved with speed and sudden brutality toward the D’Aoust, it seized him in those powerful clawed arms and tore him in two like tissue paper. Then it threw the legs at Constanza as though they were an infected thing to be disposed of quickly, hissing in its own language. The Garcia woman suppressed a shudder and rolled toward the thing, she fired three times with the Mag 60 at the same time that Ravenka emptied her sniper rifle’s clip into the Untouched. With so much firepower, including that of the pistol’s explosive rounds they brought down the beast and as it lay dying on the floor Constanza Garcia, daughter of Carlos Garcia pointed the Mag 60 at its face as it feebly lashed from side to side in the dirt.
“For John, and the Chosen.”
She fitted a fresh clip of normal ammo and fired the whole magazine into the monster, the beast lay still. What was left of its face turned to the side and fluid leaked out onto the desolate ground.