Well to say that things were going according to plan would have been a major overstatement. The Ankylla was lost in the Minotaur’s maze effect for the moment and the Tyranophon was unconscious as well. How long either of those situations would last was unknown. Plus there was the fact that the Triceromera was still up, Night Templar was unconscious, Amoebro was barely clinging to consciousness, and the Minotaur was still recovering from the beating the Tyranophon gave it.
This pretty much left Armageddon, Vasilko, Illarion, Captain Mayhem and I to deal with the Triceromera, keep the Tyranophon, and be ready for the Ankylla whenever it managed to return. About the only saving grace on all of this was the fact that I was conjuring drones faster than the Triceromera could destroy them. At the rate this was going, I was giving serious thought to asking the Chauffeur to fly to Silverhold and retrieve Icos as a potential trump card to play. But first I really needed to take the Triceromera out of play for even a few moments to give us a chance to regroup.
(Love Divine) Loading Cartridge….
As the power from the cartridge flowed into me I prepared a spell to convert the water around the Triceromera into a massive block of ice in an attempt to entrap it. As the spell fired, massive spikes of ice rose out of the water around the Triceromera as a layer of frost began to form on its skin. Within moment the whole thing was encased in a solid block of ice over thirty meters in diameter. That should hopefully hold the blasted thing for a little bit. I was about to cast a second spell to place another layer of ice on top of the current layer to buy us additional time when suddenly the whole iceberg started floating up into the air. It took a moment or two for it to register in my mind that this was the work of Captain Mayhem and his “anti-gravity” gun. Well, provided he can get the thing up high enough, that should keep it occupied for more than long enough. That remained to be seen though as the thing was busily melting its way out of the ice with those various energy blasts.
(Samhain) Annoying monster isn’t it?
That wasn’t named at anyone in particular, but still most everyone one on the yacht gave me annoyed looks. It looked like Bobby was moving to rescue Night Templar and Amoebro. Meanwhile Captain Mayhem was moving the Triceromera into orbit, possibly on to Mars afterwards. And finally Armageddon was now in the process of moving the unconscious Tyranophon to Mars as well. With any luck we’d be able to get those two taking care of and a chance to regroup in time to begin preparations for the Ankylla’s return.
(Love Divine) WARNING: Incoming Dimensional Transit! Arrival Imminent!
Suddenly all light from the sun was seemingly eclipsed by this massive spinning behemoth of spikes and leather that was rapidly approaching from above. This was going easily destroy the boat when it impacts and that was going to put it at a massive disadvantage. Fighting that thing scattered in the air and water when it has abilities to manipulate the wind and seas was a losing proposition especially if Armageddon, Captain Mayhem, Amoebro, and Night Templar are all indisposed. We had to dodge this and fast. The boat wasn’t going to be able to get out of the way fast enough. That only left one option.
Almost by reflex I started casting a dimensional transit spell to take everyone on the boat out of here. Not really sure where to go, I went with the location I was most familiar with: the Imaginal Realm of Hell. It was only as the scenery shifted to a molten landscape that I considered that this probably shouldn’t have been my first choice. Now one would probably think that the first thing I really noticed about this specific location was the multitude of nude “female” forms around me, but in truth all of that was easily ignored in favor of the glowing mass of magical nuclear plasma that was floating next to me.
This had to be the “real” form of Illarion Drake. Of course, trying to look anywhere near him with either my eyes or magically only resulted in blinding me outright from the sheer intensity of light and magic. This was going to be hard to ignore or make discerning details about anything else a real pain though. Still, it didn’t seem like we were any immediate danger. Given what I knew of Terran ideas of modesty it was probably a good idea to put a censoring spell on the others until we came up with a plan.
(Foxfire) So is this place not actually dangerous?
(Samhain) As best as I can tell, this is a realm formed from the temptations of at least a few Terran sects. Given that such things tend to conform to instinctive desires that are completely natural even if they are labelled as “evil” by some authorities, such realms tend to be mere destinations to indulge some impulses.
(Foxfire) So it’s a glorified tourist trap?
(Samhain) I suppose in some ways, yes.
(Illarion) So what’s the plan?
(Samhain) Give me a moment to recover and then we’ll scry as to what is happening on Earth. Once we know that, we’ll make a plan and transit back.
Ultimately I was hoping to buy time for the Ankylla to move on to another target instead of waiting for us to return. Unfortunately, with Armageddon and Captain Mayhem both busy, that probably meant it was going to go after Night Templar, Amoebro, or one of the members of the Mandate. On the other hand, Illarion was here with me at the moment, so it was possible that the Ankylla would cease the attack as the target was no longer present. In that case, where would it head to next?
Best to check that out first.
Setting up a scrying spell, it looked like the Ankylla was now heading into the city, although Amoebro was battling it somewhat effectively that I saw. Drat, that probably meant there was another Orthallen in the city somewhere. Projecting its course forward, it looked like it was heading towards the Mandate’s base of operations. Why am I not surprised? We probably needed to get our act together and head back before that thing reaches the city proper and causes however much damage and casualties.
At which point Night Templar showed up next to us looking more than a bit ragged.
(Night Templar) Aghhh! I came here to rescue you, so why is it that I am the only one that has to master my lust to escape this realm?! These winds should be driving you mad and thus allowing me to teach to master those urges and save you.
(Illarion) Wrong species.
(Foxfire) I’m a kid.
(Samhain) I’m married.
(Night Templar) Aghhhhh!
I wasn’t entirely sure that he came here to rescue us so much as he came here to save himself and was simply looking for an excuse to say otherwise. Still, this meant Amoebro was back on Earth more or less by himself fighting the Ankylla. Best to head back to Earth and do what we could to assist.
By the time we returned to Earth, things looked to be winding down as Amoebro had managed to knock out the Ankylla and then was promptly sneezed across town. Hauling the Ankylla off to Mars was simple at this point, although it took time to gather the party together again as they were scattered not only across town, but the entire solar system. At least this jaunt into America had proven less destructive than our first time when we managed to trigger wide spread destruction and a riot in the midst of a major metropolitan area.