Sunday, July 3, 2011

Lance DeMoi and the Lost World

The cold mountain wind snatched at Lance's trench coat as he climbed up the sheer rock face, snow stinging his eyes and numbing his hands.  He finally hauled himself to the top of the jagged mountain, it's rough peak capped in freezing snow and ice.  His destination lay before him on a peak lower than the one he stood on; a medieval fortress, it's parapets and towers blanketed in white, the old battlements abandoned.  Lance caught his breath, gulping in the frigid mountain air.  Wiping ice flecks from his eyes, Lance gazed at the Cappadocian stronghold, which had the appearance of desolation.  He shrugged, straightening, and started the climb down.
He stood, breath steaming about him, gazing up at the decrepit turrets of the fort.  He listened intently, waiting.  The wind raced past him, blowing his coat; an old tree creaked nearby; and something else, the faintest hint of a clatter of stones.  The wind suddenly died down.  A voice spoke from above him, piercing the crisp silence like an archer's well-aimed arrow.
"Halt there, traveler.  No man has entered this stronghold for nigh a millennia.  And I am not keen on thy entering into the forbidden depths of the Library of Hesiod."  A man stood on an outcropping of rock, gazing down at Lance.  The man had on a chain shirt; about his waist he wore a sash; a scarlet cape hung limply on his shoulders; and in his hand he held an ash-hafted, leaf bladed spear.
"Well, I'm afraid I must insist."  Lance said cooly.  He wished a gun would work on this guy, but sadly members of eras past weren't affected by such weapons.
The Guardian swung his lance into a defensive position.  He whistled sharply between his teeth.  A wall of armored guards appeared on the ledge that the Library sat on.  Lance swore under his breath.  He threw off his trench coat, a jumpsuit underneath, and drew Excalibur off his back all in one smooth motion.  The guards lowered their glaives and spears, thundering off the ledge and rushing on him with the noise of a great wave; dust and snow flying up behind them, obscuring the Library.  Lance grabbed the shaft of the frontmost guard's glaive, breaking it and driving the splintered wood into the man.  He jumped over the corpse; thrusting his sword through the head of one guard and killing another with a kick to the ribcage.  Rolling to avoid three halberds, Lance righted, flipping his sword to a backhand position, the axeman behind him fell to the blood-soaked snow.  A particularly bold soldier came charging at Lance, spear pointed for the kill.  Lance ducked beneath the weapon, grabbed the man's arm; breaking it.  Using his inhuman strength, Lance flipped the guard over his head, taking down two others.  Stabbing and rolling over a guard's back, Lance, amid the sea of guards, continued to kick, stab, flip, and roll; swarms of guards falling to the crimson snow.  Jumping over a surprise spear thrust, Lance , parallel to the ground, smashed his booted feet into the soldier's chest.  More and more guards came pouring down the ledge; leaping onto Lance's back, only to get impaled or flipped around.  Lance rammed his blade into the plate mail covered chest of one guard; Excalibur getting stuck in bone.  Lance swore audibly now, leaving his sword and only weapon lodged in the unfortunate man.  Punching and kicking his way through, Lance almost escaped the horde, when a lucky sword blow hit his flank; tearing open his side, red blood pouring down his leg into his boot.  Lance gasped, falling to a knee, sweat obscuring his vision.  He wiped his eyes, looking around.  Steel spearheads were trained on his head.  Lance smirked.  Grabbing the shaft of the spear in front of him just below the head, and with a sharp push backwards, the spearman fell to the ground with a punctured stomach and broken spine; at the same time Lance threw himself to the feet of another guard, sixty glaives striking the stone where Lance had been a second before...

A stray droplet of blood ran down Lance's chin, he wiped it away with a slippery hand.  He stood, foot resting on one of seventy-six corpses.  The snow had long since melted and the rocks were covered in a slick layer of carnage.  The Guardian stood wide-eyed, eyes on Lance.
"I have never seen that before.  A Guard of the Library hasn't fallen in battle since Theodosius."
"Looks like I broke your record, didn't I?  I'll kill you too if you don't let me pass."  Lance said, pressing his hand against the wound on his side.
The Guardian's eyes were rueful.
"I would like to step aside and let you pass, but duty forbids me from doing so.  Prepare to be driven beyond your strength, mortal!"  the rueful eyes began to glow with an azure fire.  The Guardian seemed to grow several inches, his spear wreathed in fire.  Suddenly Lance was beside him, fist contacting jawbone.  The Guardian, eyes still blazing, screamed blood and teeth.  Lance seized the flaming spear from the raging Guardian; ash pole meeting stomach and back.  The Guardian fell to his knees.  To finish, Lance grabbed his captive's grizzled arms, bringing them in an X behind the man; and pulling.  Arms dislocated, the Guardian collapsed to the ground.
"Sorry about that, really am.  Seeing as you were forced to stop me, I am letting you live.  Feeling lucky... punk?" after he finished speaking, Lance strode to where Excalibur lay buried in one of the guards.  Wrenching the magical blade out, wiping it off on the tabard of the guard, and sheathing it on his back, Lance retrieved his coat and made his way to the Library.  

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