Sunday, April 7, 2013

Kagerou's Journal 6

Read part 5 here.

I whipped around in time to see the large shape of the bear crash through the floor of the first floor room. I flicked my eyes up and saw the last woman still hanging out of the window.

“I knew the bear was too heavy,” I muttered. Turning, I yelled. “Madam! Come and help move these girls away from the fire. Please!”

I trusted the Madam to grab the girls and ran to stand underneath the window. The woman was precariously balanced. The Varisian managed to catch her before she fell and handed her down to me. Before I could lower her to the ground, a flash of movement caught my eye inside the building. A man had snuck in the other door and was busy stuffing bottles and boxes into a bag.

Reflexively, I dropped the girl, drew my crossbow, and shot at the thief. Unfortunately the heat haze threw my aim off and I missed. He jumped, startled, and darted aside. He picked up a bucket of lamp oil and held it threateningly while continuing to back away. He kept his eyes fixed on me. Hence he didn’t see the Varisian as she jumped off the roof. She only narrowly missed flattening him because he jumped aside at the last minute.

Before he could regain his balance, I fired again, this time hitting the bucket of lamp oil. The oil began to leak out on the floor at his feet. However, his eyes remained on us and he didn’t notice the trickle drenching his shoe and puddling on the floor. With a nasty grin he threw the oil at myself and the Varisian who had come in behind me. The oil combusted as it passed through some flames, drenching us in liquid fire. Unfortunately for him, the fire ignited the oil at his feet and he caught on fire as well.

Yelling, the Varisian sprinted towards the water barrel. I didn’t stop to see whether she was alright. I solely focused on getting to the ocean to put out my own flaming clothes. With a running jump, I dunked myself into the sea. The salt water stung so much I scrunched my eyes shut. However, the water, once it stopped stinging, felt cool and soothing on my burned skin.

I opened my eyes to guide myself back to the surface, but a curious sight met my eyes. A short distance away there was hole like a drainpipe, except it was barred by a padlocked grate. Something drew me to it and when I approached I saw that the plants didn’t look well around it. Nor did the burned bits floating out.

A back door to the house!

The house hadn’t looked like it had much time left before it collapsed so I thought to open the grate just in case. Upon closer inspection of the lock, I realized it was rusted shut. I fished the right size pick out of my kit and poked it in there. I must have gotten it stuck or used to much force because after a minute it snapped clean in two leaving part of it in the lock.

My air was starting to run out now. I twisted around, looking for help and saw the Varisian swimming towards me. I guess she’d wondered why I hadn’t resurfaced. I gestured towards the lock and she seemed to understand. She stretched out her hand and mouthed something. Air bubbles streamed out and I felt a stream of cold pass me. When I turned back to the lock it was frozen solid.

I picked up a rock and banged on it. Nothing happened. On the other side the Shoanti appeared with an enormous air bubble around her head. She rammed into the grate but it barely budged.

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