From: Worry (Nuh@uh.dummy) Subject: Re: [PW!] ATTN: Worry "The Next Step" Newsgroups: Date: 2001-08-04 02:10:10 PST In article <9kfrh0$4fnm1$>, "Insanellama" <> wrote: >"It's not the hat, it's the memories in it. I was wearin it when my brother >was killed, through all my years in spec ops, and threw all the narrow >escapes of my past. I even retrieved it from the bottom of the ocean with >the S. S. Anne II sank. But just the same, if you're buyin, I'll need a new >hat." > >Jason laughed. > >TBC? Jason was still laughing when a Haunter came floating up. Ignoring the two men, it calmly pressed the button reactivating the corridor trap. Looking back the way they came, Jason saw several Ghastly picking up the spent crossbow bolts and fading through the wall with them. "Damn, I was hoping that they would leave me one so I could analyze the chemical on them. it would make a great assassination tool if the formula could be duplicated." Before Insanellama could make a reply, screams of terror sounded from several different throats. Jason was the first to see several black shirts rounding the corner and entering the corridor. They had come from the falling block gauntlet. Two were hit immediately with crossbow bolts, dissolving even as they ran The other red shirt ran over their bodies, stumbling, but running on. One did a credible job of dodging the crossbow bolts, and made it nearly three quarters of the way before a bolt he had just dodged ricocheted off the opposite wall and stuck into his left buttock. Even as he fell dying, more red shirts came flowing around the corner. "They HAVE to know about the bolts." Insanellama stated "What the hell could they be running from that scares them worse than the gauntlets?" As if the question had called it up, the answer soon appeared. As one last member of the doomed team rounded the corner, two stone hands appeared and grabbed the girl up. Lifting her easily, the hands squeezed and twisted in opposite directions. the girl gave out one last agonized scream as her spine broke with an incredibly audible crack. the hands threw the corpse aside and the owner of the hands appeared rounding the corner. it was nine feet tall. and about four wide. Spying the last few red shirts that were being decimated by the bolts, it gave a cry and began walking down the tunnel. It's legs were bowed. Made of stone, yet painted, it moved much faster than anything inanimate should. it's face, immobile, and carved wore a perpetual expression of rage. And bore a red circle painted on each cheek. Jason and Insanellama looked at each other. Jason said, "You HAD to ask." while Insanellama stated at the same moment, "I would run from it." 'It' was a statue of a Mr. Mime. A statue that was at the moment running down a member of team rocket. As it caught the unlucky man, it treated him just as it had done the girl before. one of the two remaining red shirts made the mistake of looking back. he tripped over a crossbow bolt laying in the floor, and took a shot in the neck as he fell. Insanellama reached into his pack and pulled out the launcher he had used before and a stinger missile. The last red shirt redoubled his speed. the giant stone statue spotted the man and giving its battle cry, which happened to be its own name, in a deep base gave chase to the final victim. Amazingly, the Team Rocket member made it to the end of the hall. He was running so fast, however, that he could not stop, and hit the final door of the ruins hard, knocking himself out cold. Jason doubted that the man had even seen Insanellama and himself standing there. The statue, however, did. With another cry, and with crossbow bolts bouncing harmlessly off of it, it continued down the hall. Insanellama flipped the rocket launcher up to his shoulder and fired. The stinger missile met the statue at the halfway mark of the corridor. Jason and Insanellama threw themselves to the side as a fireball appeared and boiled back to them. For a moment, the two men found themselves in hell. Fire raged burning them both, and taking away the air. Jason fell to his knees, arms covering his face until the fire suddenly burned itself out. Air came rushing in from further into the ruins, and Jason sucked it in. Opening his eyes, he looked over and saw Insanellama in a similar position. the man's mouth was moving, but the blast had temporarily deafened Jason. he couldn't hear a sound. Jason turned and looked back down the corridor. What he saw made him start swearing. The Mr. Mime statue had been blown back to the intersection, most of its chest blown apart, but the thing was still moving. As Jason watched, it sat up. it's face blackened by the blast, still wore the expression that had been carved into it centuries before, but for some reason, Jason now saw the expression as surprise. Still, it climbed to its feet and started down the hallway once more. A sound came to Jason over the ringing in his ears. it was Insanellama's voice. "...damn thing! this one will get it for sure!" Jason turned to find Insanellama fitting another missile into the launcher. Jason threw his hand up to get Insanellama's attention, then spoke to him in a sign language learned by special ops soldiers to let them speak to one another in situations where silence was mandatory. -My turn- Jason said with his hands. -We may not survive another stinger blast- Insanellama nodded grudgingly as Jason pulled out several of his exploding shuriken. Turning back, Jason found that the monster had made it almost back to where the missile had struck it. With it that close, Jason could see how bad a shape it was in. he let it advance a few more steps, then let one of the shuriken fly. it caught the statue in the left shoulder, blowing off its arm. Even before the smoke settled from that blast, which was mercifully quieter than the stinger explosion had been, jason let the second throwing star go. The creature had no arms now. A third and forth cost it it's legs. the statue lay face down, but was still trying to advance. Jason let fly one last one, claiming the head. That, however was a tactical error. The explosion did its job, and destroyed the head of the statue, but the explosion picked up one of the spent crossbow bolts and sent it flying towards Insanellama's head! Insanellama, slowed by the beating down the rock slide and almost being cooked alive, could not react in time. He could only watch stunned at the arrow flying towards his right eye! But it never reached it's mark. It was stopped mid flight by Jason's hand. Jason had grabbed the arrow just behind it's head, and stopped it dead. Insanellama belatedly threw himself to the side, but even as he did, he knew that Jason had just saved his life. Insanellama looked at the other man and saw him go white. Following his gaze, Insanellama saw a small slick of blood on the shaft of the bolt. Insanellama immediately jumped into action. Drawing his hunting knife, he swung full force at Jason's wrist, hoping to cut the hand off before the poison could spread and kill the man. But Jason snapped his arm away before the blow struck home crying, "Easy! The blood is from the friction of the shaft, the head didn't get me!" 'You sure?' Insanellama cried out. Then he noticed that Jason didn't appear to be dissolving. Insanellama put the hunting knife away. Jason nodded his head. Unable to tear his eyes away from the deadly thing in his hand, he commented dryly, "I guess i get my wish after all. Then, acting very carefully and moving slowly, he found two pieces of concave rock, put them around the head of the crossbow bolt, wrapped it securely in a piece of cloth, then stored it away in his bottomless back pack. Just as Jason was finishing this task, the Team Rocket member that had survived both the encounter with the statue and the deadly gauntlet began to stir. His eyes opened and he groaned. then memory must have struck him, because he jumped to his feet casting his eyes back down the corridor. Seeing the destruction, he said unbelievingly. "I'm alive?" then louder, "I'M ALIVE!" He turned and grabbed Insanellama by the arms screaming into his face as he danced him around in a circle, "I DID IT, I SURVIVED, I'M ALIVE!!!" then the man saw Insanellama's face. Hastily he let go and stammered. 'W-w-who are you?" Insanellama got in the man's face saying "I'm the angel of death, man!" The red shirt backed quickly away, but Insanellama followed adding, "And I am really REALLY pissed at you right now. No one escapes me!" The red shirt ran out of room. He slammed into the wall to the left of the hidden doorway. but instead of bouncing off as he should have, the wall priveted at a point below the man's knees, dropping him back to slide of the sudden slope into a shaft. As he fell down the shaft head first, the red shirt screamed. then the wall flipped back up and appeared as solid as ever. Jason and Insanellama looked at each other and said simultaneously "Now THAT'S just fucked up!" "Let's get the hell out of this death trap!" Insanellama stated. "And get back to the real world of shoot outs and other nice safe criminal activity!" Jason nodded and turned to the outside wall. Pushing and pulling, he slid the wall to the side, revealing morning sunlight streaming down. Jason pulled out his souped up pokegear and did a quick scan. "Good, our agents are in place." He said to Insanellama. "And this place must have taken it's toll. There are only fifty two other bodies within range." "So lets hit it." Insanellama said impatiently eager to be done with the job at hand. Jason nodded and pulled out his cell phone. Dialing a number, he said into the receiver. "We are in position. start the distraction." Then to Insanellama as they both readied weapons, Jason said. "It's showtime!" TBC?