Chapter 28 Counterattack
Featherstone cursed angrily. The thoth had disappeared into its lair, leaving nine very frightened females in the center of the arena. The show he had expected had disappeared. King Desari and the rest of the crowd were as angry as he was, but it was too late to close the gates to the thoths lair. And none of the guards was likely to want to go after the monster. Cursing again, he rose from his seat. There were still a number of captive Suruani prisoners back at the palace. He would go back and entertain himself.
At that moment a runner arrived and rushed over to the king. He bowed and spoke to Desari in a low voice. The kings face registered surprise and he turned toward Featherstone. My lord, he said, I have a report that the Suruani have appeared and are attempting an attack on my city. I request your help in its defence.
Featherstone raised an eyebrow. The Suruani. He had thought them completely defeated. It was amazing that they had any army left at all. Over a thousand of the women warriors had been taken prisoner and the rest of the Suruani army had been put to flight. In addition, their queen had been captured and disgraced in front of the people of her city. It was hard to believe that they could recover so quickly, if at all.
How many are there? he asked.
About seven hundred lord. They are assembled outside the main gate.
Seven hundred? Why dont you just deal with them yourself? You have over 2,000 warriors.
Desari seemed embarrassed. My lord, the news is very bad. Apparently, the Suruani have recaptured their city and have slaughtered the warriors I stationed there. I have only a thousand men to face the enemy.
Featherstone tried to be patient. He had not counted on being called on whenever the Lelawabi monarch needed help. A thousand warriors should have been more than enough to deal with the seven hundred Suruani who threatened the city, especially fighting from a defensive position. But he still needed the kings help if he was to succeed in his mission and he rather liked playing the role of the all-powerful white god. He nodded his assent and called to Stoddard. Round up the rest of the men. We have a few minutes work to do.
It was as Desari had described. Arrayed several hundred yards from the main gates of the city were row upon row of female warriors. His eyes swept over Stoddard and the rest of his men. There were only four of them, but their weapons had been more than enough to route the Suruani before. The gates opened and the Lelawabi army poured out. Featherstone nodded to Stoddard. The battle plan was simple. The Lelawabi would charge toward the Suruani, but just before the armies clashed, his men would decimate the front ranks of the Suruani with rifle and automatic weapons fire. That would break the resistance of the female warriors and the Lelawabi would have little to do other than chase after the fleeing women, killing and capturing as many as possible.
Featherstone nodded and Stoddard took aim with his Lee-Enfield. The rest of his men raised their weapons. Suddenly, Stoddard stiffened, a look of surprise on his face, and then without a sound dropped off the wall. At that moment the sound of the shot that had killed him sounded from beyond the ranks of the Suruani army. Then the man next to Stoddard jerked as a second bullet struck. Featherstone gaped and then ducked instinctively, as the sound of several other shots sounded. The firing continued, but no bullets came his way, instead they were directed into the Lelawabi warriors who were moving toward the Suruani army.
It took a moment for the Lelawabi to realize that it was they who were being fired upon, and then they wavered under the unfamiliar assault. At that point every Suruani warrior surged forward. A few Lelawabi rallied to meet the attack, but the rest broke. Inside the city other warriors rushed to close the gates before the fierce attackers could gain the entrance. The warriors outside were trapped, and a hideous slaughter began.
Desari turned to Featherstone, his eyes wide with doubt and fear. What has
happened? Why were your warriors struck down?
Featherstone did not answer. Instead he peeked over the wall to watch what was happening outside. The Suruani were right up to the wall now. Not one of the warriors that had been trapped outside the wall was alive. Several hundred feet away, beyond the surging tide of females he could see where the shots had come from. There were at least three marksmen and even as he looked, one of them drew a bead on his head and squeezed off a shot. He ducked again just in time. Cursing, he scrambled off the wall, ignoring Desari who shouted something after him. It was time to get as far away from the danger that threatened him as possible.
He dashed into the streets, heading away from
the main gate, but had to fight his way through hundreds of panic-stricken
Lelawabi women and children who were rushing in the opposite
direction. He ducked into a doorway
and stopped to assess the situation.
This did not make sense. Why
would the inhabitants of the city run toward the
enemy? Then he understood the
reason. Pushing down the street
were scores of Suruani warriors.
And what was even more remarkable, they were led by Queen Takla herself,
and right behind her was
His eyes wide with disbelief, Featherstone ducked back, but he was already too late. A cry went up from the surging warriors indicating that he had been seen. Quickly he dashed back out into the street and reversed his direction for a few yards before ducking down a side street. As he ran he managed to puzzle out what had happened. There must have been two groups of Suruani, one that attacked by way of the main gate and a smaller group that had circled the city and attacked from the other direction. With almost every Lelawabi gathered to repel the main force, this second group had met little opposition and had overrun the citys defences and broken into the city, trapping the Lelawabi between two groups of attackers. The battle was all but over. There was nothing left but to save himself.
The street he was running down ran to the stadium. He had not thought much about where he was going, but the stadium was as good a refuge as any. It was large enough that if he could get inside, he might be able to shake his pursuers and find his way out of the city. He darted into the dark entrance of the stadium, breathing heavily. He was not used to this much exertion, but he did not stop running. The sounds of pursuit were very close. Ahead of him was a short flight of stairs, leading up to the seats. He took it, and then jumped over the railing to the floor of the arena.
It was a drop of some fifteen feet, but somehow he managed it without breaking an ankle. He ran close to the wall, hoping to stay out of sight. Behind him, he could hear voices as the woman warriors followed him into the stadium. He needed to find some other place to hide. Just ahead of him was the entrance to the tunnel into which the thoth had taken its victim. In desperation, he headed into it. He found himself in blackness. Ahead of him he could hear a noise, the sound of a woman sobbing in pain and terror. More slowly now, he proceeded up the tunnel. About thirty feet in he passed a small side passage sealed by a small door. Hardly daring to hope, he tried the latch and found that it opened. It was a tight squeeze, too small for the thoth to get into, which probably explained why it was not locked. Inside, he found himself in a narrow tunnel. Astounded by his good fortune, he pulled the door closed, and then cautiously moved off into the darkness.
Cymari screamed in absolute terror as the tip of the thoths enormous phallus began to part her tiny anus. Such an invasion would fatally mutilate her. She knew that she was about to die. Then suddenly, there was a scream even louder than hers and the pressure on her backside disappeared. She found herself lying on the cold floor of the thoths lair. Still in great pain from the thoths first session with her, she managed to raise her head. She beheld a sight that amazed her.
The thoth was screaming in pain and rage, while before it danced the white-skinned female demon that had almost beaten the monster a few days ago before being caught and ravaged. This time the demon seemed to have the upper hand. The thoth had been pierced through the back by a spear that had been thrust a good foot and a half into the monsters body. The demon lunged in. Ducking beneath the thoths flailing arms with what seemed superhuman speed, she drove a second spear deep into the slavering beasts chest. The thoth jerked back so suddenly, that the spear was torn from the demons grasp, but the thoth was finished. Bloody foam bubbled from its jaws. Its screams died as it sank to its knees and pitched forward onto its face and lay still.
Cymari lay wide eyed with fear as the demon approached her. She was too battered to attempt to escape or fight back. Bravely, she prepared herself for death.
Are you alright? Cymari almost fainted from shock. The demons voice was soft and gentle. Hardly able to believe that she was alive, she was too astounded to even moan as the demon tenderly lifted her into a sitting position. Then the second demon was there, holding a waterskin to her lips. Cymari drank weakly. A few seconds later several of her sisters entered the thoths lair. Several of them came to her side and took over from the demon. Cymari closed her eyes. She was safe. She would rest now, but she would remember the demon.
Larra stood up as Melissa moved next to her. Did you see which way Featherstone went?
Melissa shook her head. I thought he came this way. There were a few side doors in the passage, maybe he slipped into one of them.
Im going to see how the battle is going, said Larra. I suspect Takla has it well in hand, but I better be there to make sure she doesnt decide to slaughter every single Lelawabi she gets her hands on. You stay here and see if you can find some trace of Featherstone, but be very careful. Hes a pretty slippery customer.
Alright, said Melissa. And you be careful too.
Larra smiled. Wrenching her spear from the body of the thoth she made her way back down the passage to the arena.
Melissa hefted her spear. There had not been enough firearms to go around, and so she and Larra had armed themselves like the Suruani. The spear was not a weapon Melissa was familiar with, but it gave her some sense of confidence as she turned down the passage to look for the elusive Englishman.
Halfway back toward the arena entrance she came across a small door. It seemed as good a place to start looking as any. Trying the latch, she found it unlocked and pulled it open. Inside was a dark passage. She stepped back. There was no way that she was going in there without a light and a few companions. She had spotted some torches in sconces on the walls on the way in, so she turned back to get one. On the way to the torch she stopped two of the Suruani warriors. Her command of the language was not as good as Larras, but she made them understand that they were to come with her. Then retrieving the torch, she lit it using a box of matches Lemaire had given her and returned to the passage.
The three women entered, Melissa leading. The passage was so narrow that they were forced to go single file. It went on for about fifty paces before it ended in a T intersection. If Featherstone had come this way, which way had he gone? She studied the floor. The passage was disused and a layer of dust covered the stone floor. Clearly marked in the dust were Featherstones boot prints. They headed toward the left and the outside of the stadium. Sensing that her quarry was near, Melissa hurried down the passage. The narrow corridor made several twists and turns, and then it began to dip. Without hesitation, Melissa followed it. After ten minutes of walking she realized that the passage must extend beyond the stadium. Where it was going, she did not know, but she stuck with it. Then she noticed that her torch was beginning to die. It had almost burned out. Stopping she indicated to one of the women that she should go back and get a few more torches. They dared not go on without one. Crouching, she waited in the darkness, hoping that her torch would not burn out before the Suruani warrior returned.
Featherstone felt his way down the dark passage. He was forced to move slowly, because he was in complete darkness. He cursed. He should have looked for a torch before entering the passage. However, there had been little time for that. He could only hope that he was not overtaken before he reached some sort of safe place. And then from behind him he heard a faint sound. He turned. A faint light glimmered in the tunnel. He broke out into a cold sweat. His pursuers were closing in. Desperately, he quickened his pace, hoping that he would not stumble into anything dangerous, but the light behind him grew brighter as the people following him closed in. Then suddenly, the passage seemed to end. The wall on either side of him disappeared. Fumbling around in the dark, he was able to determine that he had come to another intersection. Quickly he ducked around the corner. He drew his pistol. Perhaps a few shots in the directions of his pursuers would slow them up.
Peeking back around the corner he saw that the light had stopped moving. In the flickering torchlight he could see three figures. His eyes widened. One of them was the chestnut-haired bitch that had given him so much pleasure when he raped her. As he watched one of the women moved back down the passage. That left only two. He held his breath and watched. Both women were crouched down waiting.. He wondered what was going on and then the torch winked out. Of course, the torch had burned down and they had sent the third woman back for more light. This was too good to be true. With a smile on his face, he inched back through the darkness, toward the unsuspecting females.