The group rove down the road in their stolen truck. The knew they didn't have enough gas to get them all the way there, and that they would have to find someplace along the way that would have some. About an hour into their trip the truck started to make some very strange sounds. And with a loud clunk, the truck's engine died.
Hacker and Agthork got out and took a look at it, they where not sure, but they new something was broken, and they would need to find someplace to get it fixed. Glory said she could see an old road sign that said something about a gas station next exit. So the group began to push the truck down the road toward the of ramp.
Another dimension away, Fu Tung went over the inventory list, and double checked all the equipment. His team was about to step into the vortex, and take is country, his people, to a new level. He was commanding a small exploration group into the vortex. His team consisted of a total of three scientist, three special troopers, and himself. They where talking two jeeps, each armed with heavy guns, as well as a second cargo trailer filled with most of the scientist's equipment and their supplies. The Republic of China had discovered the Sollreotin invasion in their country not long ago, and had created a special force to deal with it. On one of their dealings with them they had discovered some kind of portal device. And it was given the top priority. They had managed to create a stable portal, the only draw back was that when they would send robot probes into the vortex they would either burn out, malfunction or just not work for some reason. It became apparent that the portal was not as stable as they had hoped, but with many tests, it was determined that it was only advanced electronics and such that might be effected, and they where able to come up with a way to "shield" the equipment as it when it and out. Fu Tung believed in what his leaders told him, but he made sure that everything his military team took in was mechanical, or would not be effected by the vortex. He even used an old gear pocked watch and not his normal digital timer.
Fu Tung and his team got in there jeeps and waited for the vortex. Apon the command, the vortex was opened. It stood about eight feet in diameter, and was a brilliant shimmering green and gold. The team knew from the data they had gathered that the area on the other side was a lot like Earth, the air was breathable, and that it was a forest like area. But the trees where about ten times larger then anything they could have understood. Along with that fact, and that the gravity was slightly less then Earth's, this is what told them it was not Earth. Fu Tung ordered his team to enter the vortex. As the group moved into the vortex, they could feel the strange force that pulled on their bodies. Fu Tung looked back and could see the strange warping of the sight and sounds. This is when he say the a group of men. He began to rise and leave the jeep. One of the invaders screamed, "For the only true Empire! Praise the Sollreotin!" And with that, he and the other members of the invaders exploded.
There was a great flash of green light, and Fu Tung found himself standing under an over pass. The road was cracked, and grass was growing through the cracks in places. The sky was a strange dark reddish blue color. Not unlike when the sun sets and it has totally disappeared over the horizon, but it was still light. There were no stars, or even a moon, but there were also no clouds anyplace in the sky. A head of him he could see the headlight of a car coming at him. He quickly hid, looking around trying to see if anyone else from his group was around. He was alone. As he watched the car, he could tell that it was moving very slowly, as if someone was pushing it.
Glory was pushing the truck as Viper drove. Hacker and Agthork walk along side in case of trouble. The rest of the group rode in the back. Crusher was looking after Menagerie to make sure he was ok. As they came down the road they as a lone man walking toward them with a AK-47 on his back. He was dressed in military fatigues. The group pointed their guns at him and told him to halt. He raised his hands over his head, and in broken English said that he did not mean them any harm, and that he was lost and needed some assistance.
The group talked with him, and from what he said they gathered that he was from their dimension. The fact that tipped them off the most was when he asked them where they got Sollreotin weapons from. And to answer there questions of how he knew of such things, he removed his jacked and under is right arm was a group of seven tattoos of frogs with a red "not" symbol over each one. He offered to help them if it ment he could find a way back home.
The group pushed the truck under the over pass and sent Glory to take a look for the repair shop. She went down the road in the direction the sign stated. When she found it, it didn't look very good. Someone had been here, and had taken everything that wasn't nailed down. As she looked around a bit more, she spotted a grouping of lights off in the distance. She moved so she could get a better look, and she found a town of some kind. The town had huge large metal and wooden walls on all sided. The lights she had seen where the lights that encircled the tops of the walls and stretched around it.
Glory returned telling them what she had found. The group knew that they would need help, and Menagerie was hurt badly, and need real care. The group took the time to make a kind of stretcher for Menagerie. Glory and Hacker carried him. The group moved there way toward the town. When they where just about out of view of the town, they set Menagerie down. Crusher and Hacker stayed back to watch him, as the rest of them walked toward the city. When they where only about twenty or so feet from the main gate, it flew open, and a large mob of torch wielding villagers came rushing out.
"There she is! That's the one I saw running off!" said one of the villagers, pointing at Glory. The group pulled their guns, and pointed them at the advancing crowed. Glory asked what they wanted. A woman who seemed to be leading the mob spoke, saying that someone had stolen her child and that Glory was seen running off at about the same time. She demanded her son back. The group tried to explain that it wasn't them, but the woman didn't seem to be listening to them. Before anyone had a chance to try and hurt each other, and loud booming voice yelled, "Enough". A man, most likely in his 50's or 60's came from the back of the group. The mob parted, and let him come to the front. As soon as the woman say him, she quickly rushed to him. She spoke to him in a very soft calm voice, telling him that he should be in bed, and that he is not well. He forced himself to stand, and moved toward the group. He asked them if they had taken his child. The said no. He then asked if they would help him find his child, and if they did he would help them in anyway he could. He introduced himself as David Galvingston. He motioned to the woman, and said that she was his wife, named Jennifer Galvingston.
The Menagerie was taken to the towns local healer, by his grandson. He was an indian shaman. The rest of the group was taken to the town hall, so that the towns elders could explain to them what was going on, and exactly how they could help them. The elders explained to them that, as they knew, the world was filled with demons and dark creatures. Normally only the outer farms would have problems of them creatures attacking live stock, killing chickens, maybe destroying the farm crop, the kind of thing. Well, over the last few months the attacks have become more and more frequent, and more organized, as if someone was instructing them on what targets to hit, and what the best course of action would be.
"Well," an elder said, "about four days ago the entire Miller family was attacked and killed out at their farm. Normally with the bright lights shining down around the house, they normally will not be able to get it. But this attack was different, from what we could tell they were able to turn off the generator, and get at the people inside." The elders would go on and tell them that when this happened they sent a group to search the forests near by and to try and hunt down what had done this, but the group has yet to return, and it is feared that they two have fallen to the creature.
Menagerie began to wake up and the shaman was performing his special ritual. He looked into the old wrinkled face of the man. And he saw his own face looking back. Menagerie didn't know what to do, or what to say. The old man spoke. "Hello, I am David Moon Crow, and from what I see, so are you. Do not be alarmed, from what my, or our, grandson tells me, you are from an alternate dimension, sometime in the past. I sense that you have the gift of Coyote. Let me tell you a story my friend." This ninety seven year old David told the younger one of a great battle, where many warriors died, and more would have died if it hadn't been for one man who gave up his own life in order to save hundreds more. At the end of the story, the shaman told him that his son had died during a battle with the evil the rules this world, and he had lost his chance to give the gift on again. Menagerie knew what he had to do. He knew that it was the gift that was keeping him alive, and if he gave it up, he would die. But he also knew that the people here really had no one to fight for them, and that any help, even a little one, could make all the difference in who lives and who dies. Menagerie gave the gift, and by that gave up his life, and returned to the great hunting ground where the rest of his forefathers where.
The group was told of Menagerie's death, and they where not happy about it, but they knew there was nothing that any of them could have done. The town elders assigned two people to help them. One was a boy, David, who's father had been part of the first search party, the other was a traveler, Eric McQuinn, who had come to the town about three months back, and was a good fighter. Eric told them that the town had very little guns or ammunition, and this was a place where anyone who is different can come and be safe. Both men carried strange energy packs. The boy told them that they where lightning packs, and where the only real weapon the town could make.
When the group reached the house, they noticed that the front door had been splintered inward. David said that happened when they arrived. The door was locked, and they had to break in. Fu Tung moved to the front door, and looked in. He could see several chairs had been knocked onto the floor, there was also a large trunk on the far wall next to a fire place. A table dominated the center of the room, along with a small stove in the corner. He also noted that there was a second smaller room at the far side of the house. Once he took a step into the house, a gremlin jumped onto his back, biting and clawing at him. Fu Tung quickly threw the monster from his back, and into the wall across from the door. Eric hit the floor, and fired a shotgun slug between Fu Tung's legs hitting the creature.
As in an attempt not to be out done, Agthork ran, and tried to do a flip through the window, but only managed to cut himself, and land face first on the hard unforgiving ground. Glory moved around the side of the house to see if she could get in that way while Viper and David stayed outside. The little creature moved behind one of the chairs, and tried to hide from them. Agthork got up off the ground, and was then attacked by a second gremlin that was hiding on the fire place mantel. The guys inside managed to kill of the two, and a third one showed up. Fu Tung took the creature and threw it out the open door, where David tried to shoot it, but only managed to shoot up the outside of the house, and set fire to the core field. Viper and Glory took care of the remaining monsters that showed. The few people inside the house looked around and found nothing that would lead them to the location of the missing family or the first search party.
Glory said that she found a root cellar or storm cellar. The group moved inside and found a giant rat about the size of a large dog. The rat had been dead for almost two days, it seems that the gremlins had been eating it not long ago. Fu Tung would use his skill of tracking to follow the path of the first search party, which also seemed to be the path the creatures took. The path led into the woods near the farm house.
As they tracked their way down the path they came across a junction were several other paths seem to meet. Along the path where scatted the remains of what looked like several of the people from the first search party. There was also the remains of a rabbit and fur from several other small animals. As the group looked around at the chunks of flesh, they came across one that was slightly different then the rest. Crusher wanted to take some sample of it, so she got out her sample jars, and a scalpel. When she bent down to gather the sample was when the flesh jumped off the ground and attached itself to her right hand.
Crusher screamed as she tried to get it off. She cut at it with her scalpel, but that had no effect. It wasn't moving very fast, but it was eating away at her hand, and she didn't know what to do. They tried to feed it a different hand from one of the dead, but it didn't seem to care for it. Eric tried to pull it off, but only managed to have it burn at his hands. Eric then tried to see if he could get the creature to attack itself to him, but it was happy where it was. They tried to shoot it, and even electrocute it, but they only managed to hurt Crusher. Finally they cut Crusher's arm off. With the she was out cold. They gave a creature a dead arm with a grenade attached, and left the area quickly.
A loud "boom" was heard as Agthork and the boy David, took Crusher back to the village so the shaman could help her. The rest of the group continued onward. The path led them out of the woods and to the banks of a lake. There was a thick fog on the lake, and the group could almost make out a small house of some kind. As the group walked about the lake, they could see that the sides of the lake that met the land had been lined with large cut stone to form a small wall, that lead from the top of the land, and down into the depths of the lake. They could not see the bottom because the water was so murky and dirty. From what the group could tell, the tracks from the creatures lead to the edge of the lake, and possibly into it.
Fu Tung was the only member of the group that knew how to swim, so he waded into the water. The water at the edge of the wall as almost five feet, Fu Tung only have about four extra inches over the water. He began to swim across the lake, dragging behind him a flex-steel cable that the others planed to use to climb or guide them across the lake. As Fu Tung moved over the water, he caught sight of something dark in the water, moving toward him. He began to swim faster, but a second creature was coming at him from the front. The second one reached our and grabbed a hold of his legs. From what he could make out of it, it was a large black leach.
The the group watched as Fu Tung was fighting with the creature. They sat there and watched, knowing there was little they could do. The fog was so thick, they could hardly tell what he was fighting with. Fu Tung used his knife to try and stab at the creature. It seemed that it wanted to drag him under, and finish him there. He managed to break free of the first one, when two more arrived and began to try and drag him under. They wrapped around his body, and pulled him under. Fu Tung kicked and struggled to get free. He was able to stab and cut them, but they would not give up trying to hold him down.
With a gasp for air, Fu Tung was standing on the bottom of the lake. The water level was the same here as it had been at the bank. He screamed this information to his fellow travelers. Agthork and Eric both entered the water in order to help him out. Now that Fu Tung no longer had the fear of drowning, he stood. Now he was able to use his fighting skills more effectively. And was able to kill two of them. The rest of them swam off, looking for more friendly prey.
With the rest of the group in and across the shallow man made lake, they got a closer look at the house they saw from across the lake. It wasn't even a house, but a stone building, possibly a tomb, or mausoleum. The walls above the door showed a mural or story carved into the stone. It showed a man in the very center, and on either side of him came a great flowing lines, and stretched out and touch those around him. On the left side, the pictures of the people seemed to show them all in pain, some dying, some seem to be burning. On his right side, all the people seemed to be thanking him, or taking in the light. On the door itself was a large circle or disk carved out of stone, cut into half's and placed over the opening of the door. There was a large rusted lock that seemed to hang from off of a chain that connected the two doors. The cain had long sense been broken, and was now useless. The door itself was open, maybe half a foot.
Inside the building were two stone statues that had been knocked to the floor. They looked as if they had been carvings of men dressing in full armor, and holding some kind of shields or possible crest. Now whatever they had been holding had been totally destroyed. Farther inside could be seen a total of six more statues, each suffering the same fait. There also seemed to a second chamber in the center of the building. The locations of the other statues revealed the entrances to this inner room.
The group enter the second room from the door they found on the left side of it. The group entered, and the smell that met them was almost unbelievable. Inside the room was the rotten bodies of several of the people that had gone missing, as well as the bodies of animals and other creatures. As the group began to look around they could see a large set of twin doors. As Fu Tung, and Viper entered the room, and tried to move their way around the bodies, and toward the double doors, is when one of the bodies rose from the ground, and began to move toward them.
Glory instantly remembered this one, it was Ventrail! (See Night of the Body Snatchers). Ventrail spoke to them, in his broken speech. He told them to leave, that they could not hurt his master, he would not let them. Fu Tung took his AK-47 and fired several shots at Ventrail, with no effect. Viper and Agthork fired lasers at him, with little effect. Eric fired his shot gun, and that did nothing. The group didn't know what they should do. Eric then switched to his lightning back, and that did nothing. Glory took the flex-steel cable, and tied him down with it. Now that he could no longer get away, Hacker, with Agthork's help, rigged a flash grenade on him, and set it of from outside the room.
Once the fire had burned itself out, the group reentered the room, to find a charred remains of Ventrail, and a pool of liquid metal that had been the cable. They went and looked at the doors. They were solid marble doors. A strange circular seal was placed over the two doors. The seal looked as if it had been placed on there upside down. Fu Tung went to the seal, and turned it over. As he turned it, the seal broke, and fell to the floor.
The group pushed the door open, and inside they saw several large sliver candle holders, each one held a candle that was totally black, the burned with a dark black flame. At the far end of the room, on a three level tear, was a man, he was dressed all in black, and had on a long dark cloak. just behind him was a coffin, and hiding in a corner was a small boy, he seemed very frightened.
"Welcome," the man said in a strange accent, "I see you have come for the boy. I am Angus Casanova, and I have been imprisoned here for more then five centuries. Many have come to try and destroy me, all have failed. Are you the next who will try and free me from my prison?" As he talked, Agthork handed Viper several of the wooden clubs he had made before, and the two shaped them into stakes.
"Please do not keep me waiting, I may just have to entertain myself with the child, if you do not hurry," Angus said. And with that, Fu Tung began to attack the group. He struck out at Agthork, kicking him in the ribs. Fu Tung's eyes where glazed over, and he did not even seem aware of where or what he was doing. Viper ignored him, and moved toward Angus. Glory ran strait at Angus. Eric took a wing at Fu Tung, and smashed him square in the head. The blow knocked him to the ground, dazed and confused. Glory took several swings at him, but nothing seemed effective. Angus simply grabbed her, and threw her into Agthork, knocking him down. Viper charged at the vampire, trying to drive the stake into his heart. Angus blocked the attack, with great ease. Hacker, seeing his chance, ran behind Viper, and toward the child. Hacker grabbed the child, and teleported the two of them outside, to the bank of the lake. Back inside, Viper was trying to stake him again. Eric was using the lightning pack, and that seemed to greatly hurt the vampire. Viper was finally able to stake the vampire. With the vampires last breath he whispered, "Thank you for releasing me from the prison."
The group set fire to the body and the coffin, leaving the place to
burn. When they returned to the village, Jennifer Galvingston came running
to see that they had returned. She told them that their friend, Crusher,
would be fine. Their healer had performed some strange ritual and had given
her back her arm. The group stayed in the village another week, so they
could fully recover, and so they could do some repairs on the truck. Also
Hacker took this time to do some work on Glory. He was able to weld several
metal plates to her to replace the damage that had been done to her over
the time. The group looked forward to the rest, they still had a long journey a head of them.