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The Spider Bus Returns


Actaeon

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As Nikki Jewels and Tyran talked and laughed about their apparent success, Upon mars, who had been playing chess, writing a book while listening to classical music, duelling eggs, toast, eaten a lot of berry jam was rather please to slip rather unnoticed outside (save for two rather annoying pests which both looked like some sort of big goose and certainly tasted like geese had Upon-mars not reduced them to a burnt crisp with his heat ray), only to behold what seemed to be a proper Australian privy.

 

Of course when the door slammed shut behind him, the stumbling Martian, left to himself in the dark, sat and tried to reach out for the lights but found himself lost.

 

From Upon-mars' perspective, no data whatsoever seemed to shed some light on the whole matter.

 

His googles however did. They could peer through the dark.

 

When he realised where he was and what he saw Upon-Mars seized his chance phase out from the T.A.R.D.I.S. back into the bus.

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The Doctor climbs on board the bus, and approaches ADoS, who is hiding under a seat. "Excuse me," says The Doctor, "but I have something that belongs to you. Don't worry about why I have it or why I need to give it to you. Also, I'm sorry about your friends, Tyran and Nikki. I don't know what the TARDIS did to them, but hopefully you'll be seeing them again soon. Well, I must be off. Good day." He hands ADoS his favorite wooden staff which he accidentally left behind at the ruined Spidweb forums, and leaves to the TARDIS.

 

"Oh, thanks!" says ADoS, who now has a weapon to fight with for the next battle, this one being over now that the velociraptors are fleeing for reasons unknown.

 

The Doctor enters the TARDIS, and violent sounds are heard from within. The Doctor sticks his head out, and says, "Uh, I'm sorry, but I think I just killed one of your friends. I thought he was a Dalek. Goodbye!" The TARDIS, with the doctor and the corpse of the Martian and its humanoid golem, disappear into time. ADoS hears none of this, however, as he is inside the bus and hasn't eaten any berries.

 

"Hey, ADoS," says Lampost the goldfish. "That velociraptor is Jewels, I think. She seems amazed that she is controlling the dinosaur, although I don't know why she is."

 

"I can't hear anything," says ADoS.

 

"Eat the berries," says Lampost. "You'll be able to hear everything. You might still not understand Jewels though. Inspector Peanut and I can understand many tongues, as part of our mission. I'm going to go talk to Jewels." Lampost exits the bus as ADoS pops a handful of berries into his mouth, chews, and swallows. Suddenly he hears much more ambient sound, yelling, and speech. He then observes Inspector Peanut sniffing around near the front of the bus.

 

"What's up, Inspector Peanut?" asks ADoS.

 

"I hear noise coming from the motor," he responds.

 

"Oh, I see. Pop the hood, I'll take a look," says ADoS. He leaves the bus and walks to the front, and the toy turtle opens the hood of the bus. ADoS looks inside, and is met with screams.

 

"Hey, we're busy here!" shouts a tiny gremlin.

 

Another laughs and says, "You can't have our booze! Go away!"

 

ADos furrows his brow and says, "It's my bus! Get out! You're screwing with the bus's operation!" There is much commotion.

 

A leader then steps forward, a small, winged imp, wearing fancy clothes. "Hey, everyone, let's listen to what he has to say! My name is Upon Mars. We're from the Martian branch of Hell, I'm their supervisor, and we're here on vacation. We're just trying to have a good time, and we're collecting our stuff that we left behind when the bus started moving, now that it's stopped. Give us a chance to get it out, and we'd like to come with you, if you're going somewhere fun!" There's some muttering among the imps and gremlins, which slowly builds into cries of approval.

 

"It's better than being crushed in the motor!" cries a lesser imp.

 

"Alright, I guess, but just don't break the bus," says ADoS, too much in shock from the sight of the demons in the engine to be any more demanding. There are cheers, and they gather the last of their booze and snacks and climb out of the engine.

 

"You're getting food, right?" says an imp, punching ADoS in the leg.

 

"Hopefully."

 

"Good!" The imps and gremlins do their own thing.

 

Actaeon approaches ADoS, with Jewels and Lampost following behind.

 

Actaeon says, "Is that why the bus has been behaving so oddly?"

 

"It might be part of it, but I think there's more to it than that," replies ADoS.

 

"Rawwrrwrarar! Hisss! Graah!" says Jewels.

 

"What's she saying, Lampost?" says ADoS.

 

 

------------

 

((OOC: Especially MMXPERT, Upon Mars, and BMA, but everyone else participating as well, please keep an eye on the Spiderbus Discussion Thread. I'll be posting there soon.))

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Meanwhile back at the ruins of Spiderweb, Randomizer is still shifting through the rubble and muttering to himself. "Too many of those young whippersnappers running around the place and ruining things. Every time Jeff puts out a new game or cuts the prices they start appearing. I keep telling the other mods we need a bigger moat to keep them out, but do they ever listen."

 

"Now I've got to dig through this mess to find my reference books." *grumble*

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With the raptors in full route, Harehunter returns to bus. That encounter got more than a little bit uncomfortable, especially when that one velociraptor chomped one of his antlers off.

 

Harehunter: Thanks Big Man. Losing that antler was throwing my balance off, and made shooting my bow harder to control.

 

Big Man: Think nothing of it.

 

As Harehunter gets near the bus hears the strains of a familiar tune; "The Devil Went Down to Georgia". Looking up, he sees himself standing on top of the bus, fiddling as though March was in the air.

 

Harehunter: I've had days where I've met myself coming and going, but this is too much. How in the world did there get to be two of me?

 

Actaeon: It was that blue spot. When it bent space-time to bring us here, you got split in two, leaving one of you at the forum, while the other one got on the bus.

 

Harehunter: Well that explains why I was in two places at once. It also explains why I have this splitting headache. But what brought that blue spot into the bus.

 

Randomizer looks up from trying to find his book.

 

Randomizer: You summoned it, you nimrod! All that stupid rhyming brought it here from Merovence.

 

Harehunter: Now I know why Actaeon was so annoyed with me. Magic is nothing to be toyed with. But how do I fix this situation. I'm sure most of you will agree that one of me is more than enough and two is intolerable.

 

With a big shove, Big Man pushes Harehunter into the blue box. His other self is pulled in as well. With a hare unsplitting scream, the two rabbits become one.

 

Harehunter: Thanks again Big Man.

 

Big Man: It was what was best for everyone.

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Now that most of the velociraptors have left (except for one who seems to be trying to talk to everyone), The Reverend stops playing. He feels a wave of exhaustion come over him - whatever that tune was, it was quite draining. He heads back to the bus, sits down, and promptly falls asleep. As his eyes are closing, he thinks he glimpses a blue box appear outside, but he doesn't have the energy to investigate it.

 

(OOC: The Reverend will be sleeping for a while, since I am out of town for work meetings the next couple RL days, and will not have much time for forum browsing or posting.)

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Trinit Eye is having the time of his short, happy life, gleefully chasing a large pack of velociraptors. He's not sure why exactly they are all fleeing. Perhaps even from him. He doesn't care. Every tiny detail of their feathery surfaces is sharp and clear. The quarry is in sight, resolution is at hand. Trinit Eye is totally focused in the moment.

 

The pack flees uphill, along a rocky dry streambed that gradually narrows and deepens into a canyon.

 

A box canyon. The velociraptors curl around and stand at bay in the dead end. Some attempt to leap the canyon walls, but fall back. Others bare their teeth and prepare to fight. RRAAARRRR!, thinks Trinit Eye. His big eye bulges mightily, and squints hard.

 

BOOM-BOOM-biff. Boop. bip.

 

Dang. Never trust an n.0 version of eye OS! Trinit Eye starts drifting back away from the raptor pack, frantically waiting for his system to restart. Then he turns and starts drifting away as fast as he can, as the raptors sense his weakness and begin their pursuit.

 

The iBeast is too slow! Claws shriek across his aluminum shell, leaving ugly scratches. A leaping raptor tries to bite off one of his eyestalks, and is pummeled by the others until it leaps off, but the distraction shatters the iBeast's concentration, and also imparts dreaded angular momentum. CLANG! Trinit Eye bounces violently off a rock outcropping, and begins rapidly rolling and tumbling down the slope, eyestalks flailing, just ahead of the hungry pack of raptors, back towards the Spiderbus.

 

CLANG, CLANG, CLANG. Hopefully the loud metallic crashing noises will alert the crew of confused Spiderwebbers that the raptors are coming back.

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Now that the Velociraptor packs have fled the bus, I examine the strugging raptor in my arms. It is still struggling wildly. Suddenly, I know how to tame it. I don't know where the ability comes from. It's just there, in my mind, as though I knew it the whole time and had just forgotten about it. I close my eyes and let my mind expand, touch the raptor's mind, control it, bend it to my will. The raptor stops struggling. I draw my mind back and let the raptor go. It hops onto the nearest bus seat and sits down, as docile as a chicken. It looks at me expectantly. I should feel elated, or horrified, but instead I feel... nothing. Numb, hollow, empty. Something is very wrong here.

 

I look down and realize I'm covered in deep slashes and bite wounds from the raptor's struggles. All of the slashes are bleeding heavily. Well, no wonder I feel odd. It must be from the blood loss. No time for a healing potion. I dump out my backpack and search around until I find some plants with healing properties. I eat half of them and crush the other half, rubbing their juices over the cuts. I heal almost instantaneously.

 

Dikiyoba points to the blood on the floor and spilled plants on the seat. "Dinky Yoda is going to take a shower. You, raptor, clean up this mess while the others are preoccupied outside." The raptor nods.

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Charles finishes bandaging the minors scrapes and bruises he obtained during the raptor fight. He emerges from the bus bathroom to find a dinosaur instructing a smaller dinosaur on the proper method of cleaning spills with a rag. Only they aren't spills, but rather blood stains.

 

The larger dinosaur notices Charles exit from the restroom.

 

Dikiyoba: "Ah, now Dinky Yoda can get cleaned up. Excuse me."

 

Leaving Dikiyoba to that, Charles gets off the bus to see how the others are doing. A few have disappeared, heading off to hunt the raptors, according to those left. He apparently missed some action while he was gone, something involving a box and a doctor. Very confusing.

 

Charles heads off in the direction he last remembered the raptors ran. Traveling for awhile, he soons loses all sense of direction, stumbling once again through the bushes in search of the lost raptor tracks. He hears the echoing gurgle of a stream in the distance, probably amplified by rock walls. He heads towards the sound. At the very least he can find something to drink.

 

Suddenly he hears a loud banging! Crashes and clangs resound around the forest, amplified greatly. He runs towards the commotion, and a short while later the cause is in view.

 

A bouncing, aluminium-covered object is being chased by the same pack of velociraptors as those that attacked the bus. Getting closer, Charles recognizes the object as that strange beast with several eyes.

 

In a moment of sheer courage (or stupidity) he rushes in between the two, at the same time trying to stop the bouncing iBeast and fend off the raging predators.

 

He fails at both.

 

Charles failed to estimate the sheer weight of the metal-covered iBeast, and he is dragged a short distance with it, stumbling onto his back. The raptors, although slowed temporarily because of surprise, eagerly jump onto the prone figure.

 

In sheer panic and adrenaline rush, Charles bursts through the mass of beasts, throwing his sword about in the most unskilled manner, hitting both himself and the velociraptors. Fortunately, the forest ground is sloped, and Charles manages a rolling run down the hill, ignoring his many injuries in blind fear, followed closely by the raptors.

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Excalibur's eyes open haphazardly like the trunk of an abandoned Oldsmobile. A blurry figure enters his field of vision. He can't quite make out where he is, but he can sense a hard, uncomfortable surface digging into his back. Adding to the confusion, various sorts of oscillations gently trek into his ears. His brain stokes a few dying embers of awareness and assembles, with difficulty, the word "tardis" from those oscillations. The light penetrating his field of vision begins to acquire greater definition. His brain has now picked up inertia, turning a few wisps of flame into a carefully controlled blaze. The brain recognizes the feathers...of a velociraptor!

 

"muh muh guh oh..." he mutters. His muscles move in such a way that he (barely!) manages to fumble into the nearby seat. He glances at his legs, which are marred by the unmistakable stain of dried blood. The velociraptor emits an unintelligible noise, cocks its head, and stares at him. He returns the glare, but only with a great feeling of fear. A trembling hand meekly grabs for the sword at his side and he cowers in the seat with his back against the wall. Excalibur's jaw lowers feebly and he asks solemnly, "Are...are we there yet?"

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When the last of the seemingly lifeless crushed corpses of gremlins and imps where taken out of the motor inflated back to like, the band of demons gathered round and discussed greatly under a big oak-tree.

 

They were being surveyed all the while by the spiderwebbers, who seemed generally somewhat upset by the presence of deamons in their transport.

 

BMA though, was quite happy trading pins with a bunch of biker gremlins who had brought their hell similes. Some imps where even trying to strike deals like the usual "a year's service for a regular wage of three souls and a drink per day.".

 

After a few roars and cheers under the oak, all the great commotion was finished and an imp flew towards A.D.O.S.

 

"Good sir, we are the light brigade of demons and gremlins from Martian hell. What we do is simple. We take up position, establish communication between groups and secure an area before moving on. We usually prey on small groups of specialists such as snipers or draw attention elsewhere serving as a diversion for tougher units like for instance Hakkai and Mung deamons."

 

"So?" A.D.O.S replied.

 

"Well even though we don't have most of our high tech equipment, logistics and intel with us, we still brought some. And we can scout and find some of your lost friends." said the imp.

 

"What's the catch?" Someone remarked.

 

"Let's find out" said Upon-Mars having suddenly appeared behind them. He looked at them with an evil grin.

 

freeze_draft_by_polandpact-d5mn6vm.jpg

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The Reverend awakens from his deep slumber. He looks around, and finds the other spiderwebbers on the bus staring at him in horror. Suddenly he feels a bit funny in his stomach. He tries to say "I think I ate too many of those berries", but nothing comes out. He looks down at himself, and finds that he has been transformed into a giant, six-foot long banana slug. Apparently slugs lack the ability to make vocalizations. Even worse, they lack the necessary appendages to play the guitar. After trying to make himself understood by slithering his body in various ways, he gets frustrated and leaves the bus. As he pushes his way out the door, he notices that he is leaving a bit of a slime trail behind him. This gives him an inspiration.

 

The Reverend (writing in slime outside the bus): "DONT ET TOO MNY BERIS!"

 

He looks back on his work, and discovers a few typos. It's hard to erase slime, though, so hopefully the others will be able to figure out his message.

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Harehunter looks around surveying the scene. It looks like a peaceful, quiet scene straight out of a Norman Rockwell's painting. Maybe it's too quiet. There's Dikiyoba playing some hand game with Dikiyoba's new pet velociraptor, another Velociraptrix is on the bus conversing with Excalibur, and Upon Mars is having a deep discussion with some gremlins.

 

The berries that Sylae brought are gone, and having yet to have his salad, Harehunter steps off the bus to go foraging for something suitable. Suddenly Harehunter finds himself arse over teakettle, as his feet fly out from under him.

 

"What the fluffy turtles have I stepped in?" He puts his paw into a particularly slick spot and pulls it back quickly. "Holy boogers, Dr. Venkman, we've been slimed!" Then he notices the giant slug looking intently at him. Harehunter is about to pull his bow, when he spies the guitar slung over the back of the slug. "Rev? Is that you?" The slug nods its head, then looks pointedly at the slime trail it has left. It's hard to see and there are gaps where the slime is a little thin. "Are you saying not to eat the berries?" The slug nods again.

 

"I guess it is just as well that I didn't get the chance to eat them. Besides, I can't handle berries very well, anyway."

 

Harehunter, having recently had a need for Big Mans services, calls out for the healer. "Medic! Medic!"

 

But in three half moments, before Big Man can arrive, Harehunter hears the sound of over half a dozen beings crashing through the forest. No one else seems to be aware of the impending ruckus. Harehunter jumps aboard the bus, carefully avoiding the slime trail.

 

"To arms! To arms! The raptors are coming! The raptors are coming!" (OOC: You don't know how hard is was not to pun here!)

 

Then as Harehunter jumps off the bus to face the coming onslaught, he suddenly finds himself on his back again, counting the little birdies that are circling his head.

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Jewels stood for a moment in a dazed stupor. She blinks a few times before taking in her surroundings. A stag stood before her, head askew, and looking confused. The last thing she remembered was wishing for a translator and then... and then...

 

Jewels: Woah, that was really weird... Did I just fall asleep? While standing up? ("Rawwwr... Arrwr? Rrawrra?")

 

A sudden crack above her head drew Jewels' attention upwards. There was a tiny gray cloud floating there, no bigger than her head, flashing with internal lightning and spilling out big fat rain drops she had not before until one landed in her eye. While blinking it out, the cloud began to spin slowly thinning until there was naught but a wisp and the little blue glowing dot that she had just seen transform Actaeon into a stag. It hovered there above her for a few more seconds before moving off behind the bus where she could not see it. A storm above my head while I dream of weird and wild things that don't make sense? Her puzzled mind instinctively pieced together the play on words and named it: Brainstorm. She immediately found the thought very odd... well the entirety of their circumstances was very odd so why not think oddly about it?

 

The dream had given her a vague notion, though. Something she hadn't thought to look for before... Something that would give them what they needed to work together. Leaving Actaeon, she pushed her way past and onto the bus. Standing next to the drivers seat - since her tail wouldn't allow her to sit - she scoured the bus controls with her eyes. There were a number of compartments she tried to explore but three-inch long claws weren't exactly as versatile as opposable thumbs.

 

She turned her head to spy a white-sheet faced Excalibur sitting near the front of the bus. His hand was on the hilt of his sword and his eyes were wide and wary. Great... all she needed was someone chasing her with a sword again. Ever so slowly she turned to face him. She pointed a claw at him and then tapped one of the compartments. She didn't think that a growl would help her case any so instead she borrowed a page from her cat and tried to purr as gently as she could. An upward inflection at the end turned it into a seeming question. She looked at Excalibur expectantly but all he did was shake his head at her.

 

Maybe she was just too close for comfort. She took a few steps backwards so she was on the stairs. She repeated her actions pointing at Excalibur, pointing at the compartment she could no longer reach, and then purring especially sweetly... at least she hoped it sounded sweet. Tentatively Excalibur spoke.

 

Excalibur: "You want me to open that compartment?"

 

Jewels nodded her head and purred all the more.

 

Excalibur: "Why?"

 

At this Jewels frowned. She held up her clawed hands had shook them at him in frustration.

 

Jewels: I'm looking for something and I don't have thumbs! ("Rraarwwr!")

 

Of course that had the opposite effect that she had wanted as there was soon a blade pointed at her nose once again. All-be-it a shakily held one, but still it looked sharp from her vantage point. He lifted the sword to swing but the baby raptor ran forward and almost made him trip. Jewels ducked as Excalibur swung wildly while trying to regain his balance. The tip of it scraped against the compartment instead causing it to pop open.

 

There it was! Just as she had imagined it would be! Jewels leapt forward pushing Excalibur into the drivers seat, sword arm knocked over the wheel, and nipped at the exposed knob with her teeth. When they caught, she pulled back gently until there was a subtle click.

 

Jewels: "There. Did that do anything? Testing, testing... is this thing on?" (Rawrs)

 

She cocked her head at Excalibur who sat blinking and shaking his head.

 

Jewels: "Oy, Excalibur, can you understand me?"

 

Excalibur: "Uh... yeah. But I don't know if that's a good thing. Means I've probably gone into shock and am hallucinating."

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CLANG! BAM! BANG!

 

Trinit Eye ricochets down the slope just ahead of the snarling pack of raptors. With one last slamming bounce off a nasty rock, he shoots straight for the side of the Spiderbus. The raptors' predator instincts lock onto the crowd of stumbling Spiderwebbers like missile guidance systems; the pack fans out, springing into a dozen separate attacks.

 

Suddenly the tiny blue dot flares bright as the sun, and everything is bathed in blue-white glare.

 

Time stops.

 

Everything is frozen. Raptors hang in mid air, jaws agape. Spiderwebbers stare into raptor jaws, eyes wide. Trinit Eye waits in mid-air, half a meter from impact with the bus.

 

Strangely, though, Trinit Eye finds he can still think. Perhaps thought is not bound to time after all. With nothing around him moving, not even his own eyes, he is not even distracted.

 

Will this frozen moment last forever? Or will motion suddenly resume? If so, when? What will happen?

 

And what will we do if it does?

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As Harehunter awoke from his slime induced state of unconciousness, the little birdies circling his head scattered. One of the hare brained birdies flew into brain cloud over Jewels head. Instantly there was a loud crack of lightning that struck the little bird and incinerated it, leaving behind the fowl scent of fried foul. Excalibur stepped aside to avoid the bird dropping.

 

Another little birdie made for the rear exit of the bus. But as it passed the little velociraptor, it found itself unwillingly flying straight into the open jaws of the raptor. When Dikiyoba returns, all that is left of the little bird are a couple of feathers showing in the little raptors grin.

 

A third little birdie flew towards the ruins and took up an orbit around Randomizer's head, just as he stood up holding the book he had searched so diligently for. "Here it is, Maxwell's Demon."

http://christopher.stasheff.com/wiki/Maxwells%2BDemon

 

A fourth little birdie flew close to where the gremlins were happily pouring gremlin wine into the carberator of the bus' engine. Gomer Gremlin drawled out, "Surprise, surprise, surprise! I just caught me a little bird." Goober Gremlin looked up from his work adjusting the air / wine mixture on the engine. "Gomer, quit foolin' around. And would someone give this bus a crank?" Upon Mars climbed aboard and gave the turn a key. Coughing and spluttering, the inebriated engine staggered to life, running a little erratically, but still able to walk a straight line.

 

The last little birdie flew off in the direction of the Eye Beast. The birds passage broke the stasis field that had frozen everything in time. Trinit Eye and Cpt. Charles resumed their headlong flight back toward the bus, with two half dozens of V.raptors in lukewarm pursuit.

 

Harehunter picked himself off the ground by his ears. "Big Man, I need your help here. The Rev has been slugged and we are about to be had for lunch!!!"

 

As Harehunter drew his bow to loose a volley of arrows, the shadow of a flying pony blocked out the sun for a split moment. "Hey Sylae, we could certainly do with a little air support." Then Harehunter bowed and bent to his task.

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Never the one to take the initiative, a little poke in the back was all that the Big Man had been waiting for. He whips his wand out, closes his eyes and begins preparing a very complex incantation, but one of the intelligent raptors suddenly lunges forward and clings onto the tip of his wand with it's jaws. And, as everyone knows, it's impossible to cast a wand-spell if there's something blocking the path at the other end.

 

The Big Man curses in a foreign language as he twirls his wand around trying to get the blasted thing off his wand. He stumbles on a fallen branch, sending both the wand and the squealing raptor flying in different directions. The raptor falls with a squishy splat on top of Excalibur and the wand falls near Upon Mars. But the Big Man is now helpless, as he has no other weapons and he doesn't fancy using any means of attack which will bring him in physical contact with those raptors.

 

Big Man : Hey, Harehunter, can you lend me a firearm of any kind ? A rifle, maybe, or at least a pistol ?

 

Harehunter : Why, certainly, you can have my shod-off shoe-gun. Here, catch. (ooc : i'll never try to pun again i swear)

 

The Big Man grabs a couple of birdies which were still flying around, stuffs them into his shoe-gun and shoots bam-bam-bam at the raptors. But we are vastly outnumbered. There's far too many of them and they just keep coming. The Big Man looks helplessly towards Jewels, SoT and Dikiyoba for they can always set things right.

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The giant slug looks helplessly at the chaos around him. He is moving too slowly to be of much assistance, and without hands (or even arms), he can't play any enchanting melodies. As he's brooding over this unfortunate turn of events, he notices that one of the raptors has slipped on the slime he used to create his earlier message. It appears that raptors are not very good at getting up when they've fallen on their backs. He tries to point out the fallen raptor to the others, but gesturing is difficult when you have the body of a slug.

 

Luckily Harehunter notices the fallen raptor before it is able to regain its footing, and ends its struggles with a well-placed arrow.

 

The Reverend begins to slowly make a slime circle centered on the bus, being careful to leave a small gap directly in front of the bus so that the bus won't hydroslimoplane when it tries to leave.

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Jewels takes stock of the situation.

 

...Chaos.

 

Yeah, that about sums it up. Spiderwebbers fighting raptors everywhere, some continuing to turn into other creatures, gremlins doing impersonations... It was like a dream only much too weird. Jewels put her over-large head in her hands... er claws.

 

Jewels: "This is ridiculous! Just stop it! Stop it right now!" (Rawring)

 

Amazingly, three of the nearby raptors stop their advances to make a reply. Even more amazingly, they all seem to speak in a hillbilly British accent.

 

Raptor1: "Rawring." (But I'm 'ungry.)

 

Raptor2: "More rawring." (We ain't 'ad a bite ta eat all day.)

 

Raptor3: "Rawring again." (Wot's wrong wit'chu, Angus? Ya ain't been yerself fer at least an 'our.)

 

Raptor2: "Purr." (Yeah, ya should be 'elping us bag this dinner. Gotta feed the kids at 'ome.)

 

Jewels blinked a few times at the raptors. It was an odd sensation, hearing dinosaurs speak, but, after the initial shock, she rallied herself to solve the problem.

 

Jewels: "You don't want to eat these, uh... creatures. I got a nibble off of an arm and they taste terrible. Maybe we could hunt for some of those birds that just went flying off." (rawr)

 

Raptor1: "RAwrrw." (Dey smell fine to me. Meat is meat; and, with dem just standing about, might as well get 'em.)

 

Raptor2: "Grrawr." (Yeah, I'm 'ungry, now. I don't care wot dey taste like.)

 

They all turn their backs on her only to be met with the pointy end of three different weapons. Well... she might not be able to convince them to stop, but at least she could make for a good distraction.

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As Harehunter dispatches the raptor about to have Reverend for lunch, he sees Big Man plinking away at the raptors with the shoe-gun. Unfortunately the birdie shot he is using doesn't seem to be having much of an effect. The raptors just open their mouths and let the birdies fly in.

 

Harehunter listens intently to the exchange of rawring between Jewels and the other velociraptors. Unfortunately, he can pick out only a few "word"s.

Jewels: "...Stop...Stop..."

Raptor1: "...'ungry."

Raptor2: "...bite..."

Raptor3: "..."

Raptor2: "...dinner..."

Jewels: "...eat...taste...birds..."

Raptor1: "...meat...meat..."

Raptor2: "...'ungry...taste..."

Harehunter: "Well that certainly bites. We're not getting rid of these things until they've been killed or fed."

 

Just then a flight of geese casts their V-shaped shadow upon the scene. Jewels brain cloud moves in over his head and shoots a bolt of lightning between his antlers.

 

Harehunter: "Hey Big Man, that birdie shot just isn't big enough. We need to load you up with some big shot."

At that Harehunter looses a volley of arrows at the geese, bringing down a half a bakers dozen. As the fowls fall from the sky, he tosses them to Big Man.

 

Big Man looks at the shoe-gun, looks at the goose, looks at the gun.

Big Man: "Harehunter, you've got to be kidding me. I need a Big Gun to shoot these. "

Harehunter: "I don't have one, but I know someone who does." He looks at the The Reverend who has just completed his slime barrier around the bus. "You need to transform the Reverend back so he play that guitar."

 

Then Big Man remembers how he had unsplit a hare. He grabs The Reverend and shoves him at the Blue Spot. With a loud "Fooom" the Rev is back, but the schoolboy outfit looks a bit strange on him.

 

Harehunter: "Hey Rev, does that guitar use Alternating Current or does it use Direct Current?"

Reverend: "In a pinch it can use both. But I think I catch your drift." The Reverend cuts loose with a riff that summons a Big Gun. He tosses it to Big Man who loads up to give the raptors a big goose.

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The Reverend is a bit woozy from his sudden transformation, and is not sure why he is wearing a school-boy outfit rather than his (recently new, now covered in stains) robes. And, the world seems to move a lot faster now that he is no longer a slug. After summoning Big Man's goose gun, he starts to feel light headed and sits down. Forgetting that all of his troubles seemed to start when he accepted (and of course started drinking) the skribbane bourbon from those gremlins, he grabs the flask (which somehow made its way from the hidden flask pocket of his robes to the schoolboy fanny pack he now finds himself wearing).

 

After a couple sips, he suddenly finds himself feeling very energized.

 

The Reverend: Hmm, bourbon doesn't usually do that - it must be the "skribbane", whatever that is.

 

He finds some large rocks nearby and starts throwing them at the Raptors. He's never been able to throw this quickly or accurately before. Between the high-velocity goose corpses, the volleys of arrows, and the Randy Johnson-like rock fastballs, the raptors seem to be starting to rethink their decision that the Spiderwebbers were going to be an easy meal. But they are stlll hungry...

 

The Reverend: We need to find a way to convince them that there's an easier meal elsewhere. There's too many of them for us to hold off forever. Any ideas, anyone?

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Trinit Eye slammed into the side of the bus, leaving a huge round dent, but in the long time-stopped moments of hanging in mid-flight, he had made out a plan. As the bus rocked from impact and he bounced back, spinning, he concentrated hard on spinning harder still. The Magnus effect kicked in with a vengeance, and as he lofted up, he curved up and over. Raptors, trees, and sky spun around in his vision. And the roof of the bus. Getting larger every time it flashed by. CRUNCH. Then all was still.

 

Trinit Eye was half embedded in the top of the spiderbus, eyestalks up, rather like a hemispherical gun turret. He was pretty sure his warranty was voided, but his system seemed intact. Restart was nearly finished.

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