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danzilla3

Highway to Hell

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"Well that was quick," Sera grumbled as she spotted the returning scouts. This fucking labor was already starting to get on her nerves. In fact this whole dipshit of a road construction was rather infuriating. If only it wasn't so boring. Repetitive mindless labor was never her specialization as all she had was her brawn but the exercise was enough to keep her pacified. For a while at least. Everyone should be grateful that these pair of scouts has returned, as Sera was moments away from starting a brawl with these laborers.

Heading for the scouts, Sera wiped the beads of perspiration form her heavily-scarred face. Why is she always so sweaty? It seems almost every laborious task is shoved upon her by the Mistress, running poor Sera ragged. Sweat was like her best friend, the stuff been lingering around her for so long that she preferred to have some form of it all the time on her body. Quite the queer interest but at least the texture and scent was a hundred times better than bathing in the blood and gore of her fallen enemies. Quite the disturbing scene, but it won't be Sera if there's no battle to the death moments. It was only in those times that this woman truly felt alive.

She followed the other man then whose name was something between 'Jack' or 'Sack'. Sera wasn't that particular in names as she could barely remember her own but she knows a good man when she sees one and this Jack/Sack man was quite impressive even for her standards. Perhaps if the man could show off a little bit more, Sera could challenge him to a battle to the death. The idea almost made her blush. Strong men were always her weakness.

Filing behind Jack/Sack, Sera could see something was wrong based on the scouts faces. She would prefer to scream in their faces about their problems but she figured Jack/Sack could do it better. For now she will wait.

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The scout looked up at Zack, "We found Salamander tracks a few miles out! Guvners taking the rest of the scouts to raid the nest, but he told us to come let everyone know back here. 'Scuse me, but I gotta go let Thurgood know."


The tracks had led about five miles to the east, to the remains of one of the giant trees that made up the jungle. Upon closer inspection it was clear that the base of the trunk had been hollowed out, and now covered up the entrance to a tunnel. Bones and other detritus left over from an untold amount of animals that had been dragged back to the lair littered the entrance. More than one human skull was present among the piles of bones, most likely the remains of unfortunate travelers or explorers. This was the entire reason that they were building this road; to keep things like this from happening.

Sebastian gestured for the scouts to hold and turned to address them, "Alright, here's what we're gonna do. I'm going to go into the nest, kill as many as I can. I want all of you to stand ready out here, and kill any that manage to get past me. Understood?"

Once the scouts nodded their affirmations, the Governor drew his sword and descended into the tunnel. The enclosed space was surprisingly dry, but broiling hot nonetheless, though the ground was soaked with some combination of blood and waste. When he had approached the tunnel, the smell had been almost overpowering, but now that he was in the nest, it was almost a physical presence. It was taking quite a bit of self-control to avoid throwing up, but such thoughts were put to the back of his mind when he heard rustling up ahead. He stood his ground for a few moments, listening for more movement when the first Salamander lunged at him.

Steel flashed in the closed space, and the creatures head was struck from its shoulders; jaws still snapping as it hit the ground. Once the first one was down, a veritable wave descended upon him, a wall of flesh, claws, and teeth that threatened to consume him. Planting his feet, Sebastian's blade blurred as he whipped it through scything arcs faster than the eye could see. Any Salamander that got within striking distance was quickly sliced to pieces, and soon the horde moving seemed to be trying to move past him while the more feral ones continued their futile assault.

The swordsman stood fast, having faith that the scouts behind him would be able to hold back the creatures that escaped him.

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Dreamer had nodded to Sebastian in understanding. Perhaps she wasn't on guard this day, but instead able to make quick work out of scouting. Whatever they came across out in the jungle would surely please her. There was a calm about doing work, whether it was as mundane as building something to killing something. There was a way about doing so, and a way about enjoying what you did. The woman followed Sebastian and the others, starting their descent into the thick jungle. Good thing she had worn a tank top, the sweat was beginning to pearl against her forehead. When a break was called she hoisted the canteen of water she had to her full lips. Something distracted her, sharp noises not far off had made her stand in attention.

For now she would have to rely on her katanas, something she hadn't really used in a while. Magic and illusions were more her style, creating weapons out of nothing and sending shadowed figures to decimate her enemies. However, the challenge was welcoming, she assumed she got a little rusty having relied on such things. An explanation was given of what kind of creatures these were. Burn looking, with such humidity in the air it was hard to fathom how they were. A horror movie seemed to entertain her thoughts.

Just as she had imagined, displayed before her in broad daylight. Sebastian had lead them to the nest, which looked something like a dumpster fire, and smelled as such. Dreamer made quick movement of her hands, to those around her it would seem she was pulling over some kind of scarf. It wouldn't help much deeper in the cave, but it comforted her that at least she wasn't smelling all waste. The first couple came for Sebastian, and with quick movement he was able to keep them at bay. For those that slipped past, she eyed her 'co-workers' and began their defense.

A small click was heard from her hilt, just as fast as the click had been heard had her sword not been plunged deeply into the creatures head. There didn't seem to be much of a skull. She was getting a feel for what they were like. One after another came, like zombies with rabies infused adrenaline. Head caved clean off of one, ribs shattered on another one, torso almost cut clean off. If she didn't feel the sweat before it was surely drenching her, the smell of rotting seemed almost normal at this point. However, she could feel the tiring of swinging so many times. The temptation to unleash a hoard herself crept in her mind. Her gray eyes darted to some of the scouts next to her, having heard one of them yelp she had become distracted for only a moment.

One of the 'Salamanders' lunged at her, knocking one of her katanas to the side. The fleshly creature began trying to snap at her, pressing her down into the filth under her body. Dreamer growled and wrestled with the large creature until she could feel her muscles screaming. She drew in a calming breath, placing her hand upon the ribs of the monster. With one exhale a large black spike protruded from her palm, piecing through the creatures ribs like a kabob.

Edited by Dreamer

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The world had turned crimson, viewed through a veil of Salamander blood that had hit Sebastian's eyes at some point; and he dared not wipe it off. If he let up for one second, the creatures might overwhelm him, as he was already struggling to keep up with the tide of flesh crashing upon him. Any salamander that passed within the reach of his blade was swiftly dispatched, but the tunnel was wide enough to allow plenty of them to get around him and go topside. The Mayor had a lot of faith in the men he had left to cover his back; many of them survivors of the campaign to take UM, as well as the first Hydra attack. Still, there were relatively few of them compared to the horde that was pouring from the cave. 

He knew he couldn't afford to keep doing this much longer, and decided to put his sword, and himself, through their first real test since he had bonded with it and the young Hydra. Sebastian closed his eyes, picturing the image of the creature he had seen that day, and behind him a spectral form began to take shape. In a few seconds it had taken the form of a Hydra head that hissed before being pulled into his blade. The swordsman jumped back, and swung his sword in a downward arc, and the head and neck of a Hydra seemed to rush from the blade. Filling the entire cavern, it met the wave of salamanders with crushing force; pushing them back down the tunnel. 

Through the eyes of the spectral head Sebastian could see the tunnel open up into a wider area that looked like a main nest. Once inside, he directed the head to swirl around the cave, scouring the chamber of all traces of the beast. When that was done, he directed the head upwards, and it plowed through the cave ceiling, destroying the last remaining eggs, and punching a hole to the surface. As the dust settled, he scanned the area, and saw none of the red and black monstrosities left alive. Satisfied, he dispelled the head, and walked back the way he had come.

Emerging into the cooler air, he was greeted by the sight of dozens of dead Salamanders, including one that was still on top of the woman with the scar. He walked over, pulled the thing off with one hand, and offered her a hand up.

"You alright?"

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"Salamanders?" repeated Zack in confusion. He wanted to question the scout further, but he took off in search of Thurgood before he got the chance. Zack stood there, dumbfounded as to why finding salamander tracks was such a cause for alarm. He always thought Salamanders were cute little creatures with goofy faces that were easy to love and adore. He always wanted one as a kid, but the ones near his home were actually poisonous to the touch. But even if they'd found poisonous salamanders, was there really a reason to raise such a fuss about? All they'd have to do was be careful not to touch them as they passed through.

Then it dawned on Zack that these were likely not the same salamanders he was used to on Earth. These salamanders were probably giant, reptilian,monsters with claws and razor sharp teeth. It was the only logical explanation for why the scout seemed so urgent, unless Sebastian had a phobia of reptiles. Zack didn't blame him if he did. Back on Earth, a dragon-fly was a little bug half the size of a bird. Here, a dragon-fly was a huge, dozen-legged, parasitic beast the size of a car that could easily bite you in half and spit globs of acid at you. Things in Terrenus just seemed to be much deadlier and scarier renditions of the things on Earth. If Sebastian wanted to play it safe, he sure as hell wasn't going to make fun of him for it.

Zack impulsively thought about following the scout and getting more information so that he could lend a hand, buthe consciously thought against it. There was a reason he just wanted to work on building the road. The thought of being attacked by giant reptiles just made that reason more prominent in his mind. It was the scouts job to go out and fight scary creatures. At this time, it was his job to hit rocks with a hammer. He refused to let it bother his conscience that they were putting their lives at risk while he remained within the confines of the camp. They were mercenaries like him after all. He was sure they could handle it, and if they couldn't oh well. That was the job and they knew what they were getting into.

"Enh, I'm sure they'll be fine." he said with a shrug as he turned to walk back to the rock he'd been breaking down. He walked passed the cyborg woman, trying not to pay her any attention in fearing it would start something. He didn't know why, but he had a gut feeling that she was watching him. Sizing him up like a snack. He tried to remind himself that he was generally paranoid and that it was probably nothing, but that wasn't how PTSD worked. Little thoughts would pop up here and there that would practically force him to give consideration to the unlikely. He wondered if the Blackspears had any clout in the Underworld. Did they know he was wanted there? Did the cyborg woman recognize him? Was she planning to kill him and bring his head back for the money? Were they there to sabotage the work and kill everyone? Had they set bombs?

These thoughts continued to bombard his mind and before he knew it, he was rationalizing out ways for these suspicions to be reality. He turned his head slightly to glance at her out of his peripheral vision as he got back to where he was working. His eyes were beady now, shaking slightly as he gave consideration to a myriad of plans to either avoid or settle any oncoming conflict.

Now that he was on alert and tensed up, his blows against the rock were harder and a little faster. He wanted to relax and believe that his suspicions were just him being crazy, but what he hated was that such suspicions always had some truth to them. Sometimes a little truth, sometimes a lot. Either way, he always wound up running or fighting for his life. 

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Thurgood knows exactly what salamanders are: he's even killed a few. But does he do anything about them? Nothing more than having the messenger watch for them close to the site.

Unless Sebastian Heilinger and the scouts ahead don't manage to take care of them, Thurgood is not concerned about salamanders: they prefer subterranean environments. Nor is he concerned with rixnaur or garanthas, since neither animal even tries to be subtle. The animals Thurgood really wiorries about are zkriz'ka and jungle pigs. Both of them are sneaky, viciously violent bastards that are very good at hiding in the undergrowth and trees, respectively. Chances are great that one will never sense either until it's far too late.

As if to punctuate his thought, in the distance a green figure leaps out of a tree, followed by the screams and calls of zkriz'ka as the rest of the pack converges just as the rest of the green pigs drop from the branches. These jungle pigs will fight damn near any living creature for food and/or capture the territory, including Mork'outh, xer-orians, rixnaur, and even garanthas, but their most violent and persistent battles have been with the zkriz'ka. Both have been ruthlessly fighting to expand their territories, and eat enough to support larger populations for longer, sustained battles.

But fortunately, their battle today isn't interfering with construction, so Thurgood continues to dig the jungle dirt into awaiting carts for the road bed.

Edited by notmuch_23
Spielleng errrorr

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Annoyed. Sure.

Dreamer watched as the creature fell limp, she moved her body to the side as it started to haul its weight on top of her. She saw Sebastian come toward her and extend his hand for her to get to her feet quickly. With a nod she grabbed his hand and pulled her weight against him, finally getting to her feet.

"I think so." Dreamer quickly dusted herself off, though it wouldn't help since she had been sweaty and surrounded by the filth left by these creatures.

"Well, now that those are taken care of?" Wondering what his plan was next for the remaining scouts. Obviously their own heard had been thinned a little with the amount of creatures coming at them. She wandered over to her swords and began adjusting them back into their sheaths. At least he seemed distracted enough not to watch how she had killed the thing. Maybe it would look like a sword.

This whole starting a new life wasn't working out as she had planned. There were so many conveniences to using magic, endless possibilities when looking to kill a mass amount of creatures. Being a scout was fun though, it was something she knew she was at least good at for the time being.

@danzilla3

Edited by Dreamer

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Looking over the scouts, Sebastian saw some nasty claw marks, and some bite wounds that were definitely going to need some stitches, but somehow they had come through it with everyone alive. Still, at least a few were going to have to be carried back to the staging ground, and that was going to slow them down as they traveled back. This was concerning because even if they had killed all the salamanders, there were plenty of other creatures in the jungle that would smell the blood on them and come to investigate. If anything, they would need to be even more on guard from here on out than they had been on the way here. First thing was first though; they would need transport for those to injured to walk.

He turned to Dreamer, "I need someone to go back to camp and get some stretchers and a medic, then escort them here. Can you do that?"

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With the fight between the jungle pigs and zkriz'ka still safely away from the work, and their first hill coming up, Thurgood brings the arm back up and in, then activates the crawler tracks to bring the steam shovel over to the dump pile for the roadbed dirt, on the way instructing the transport cart and steamroller drivers to put dirt at the base of the hill to make a gentler slope and keep compacting the soil the whole way up.

There's not enough room for a gentler slope all the way to the top, but Thurgood planned on digging cuts anyways, and he'll finally need to bust out and start up the chainsaws. The Mork'outh won't like it, but there's no way around cutting down trees here in the jungle. At least they aren't the biggest...

Edited by notmuch_23
fat fongers on tiny phone jeyboard

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"Trouble's over," Sera spoke after a while. She and the other cartel ladies are already lounging about on the side, tired from all that digging. Well more like bored because they'd been doing the same thing over and over again for hours now. Nothing can be more boring than repetitive monotonous manual labor. In fact, this was even worse than working out.

"Here, Sera. Your turn to drink."

A flask of alcohol was thrust into Sera's face. It was Khaki, the resident loli of the cartel who had more alcohol in her blood than actual water. Sera mumbled her thanks and took the flask from the little girl. Can this be classified as drinking on the job? If so, Sera still didn't care. Not that she cared much anyway.

"I'm sure that Singlance dude will finish the road for us," Sera spoke after a while. Taking on long gulp from the flask, she handed it back to Khaki once she had her fill.

"Now this reminds me of the fun time we had back at Athentha with Esben and that chick. What's her name again?"

"I think she called Cass. It had been a long time. I could barely remember it."

"But I do. I even remember you blushing as Esben was crawling into your lap."

"I did not!"

"I know what I saw Sera. And that moment will forever be burned into my memory."

"FUCKING BITCH!" 

And so once more, the friendly conversation between these two ladies devolved into another catfight, much to the Mistress' dismay.

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Although a little tense because of the cyborg woman and the threat of something suddenly coming out of the woods, Zack figured the job wasn't all that bad. Hours had passed and nothing had tried to kill him yet. He wasn't as suspicious of the Blackspears because they seemed to be more of a danger to themselves than anyone else. He chuckled to himself as he propped himself up on his shovel and watched them fight amongst each other. Had Charlie been there, he would've brought out a camcorder and recorded the whole thing, probably making up some convoluted fantasy about how they were secretly fighting over him. Then he'd take the recording home and Zack would cease to think about his plans with it. 

Zack had completely cleared his area of grey stone, if you could call it his area. The only rocks that remained were still being broken down by the other workers, and he didn't want to run the risk of injuring one of them or wounding their pride. Some of them were already giving him suspicious looks because of how fast he'd broken down so many of the rocks and were trying to match his work ethic. You would too if you had any sense of pride and were being outworked by some kid nearly half your size. 

"Wow." said Zack in a dull tone as he wiped his forehead with a cloth and watched the women fight. "Reckon they'll be fillin' them holes with each other if someone doesn't break em' up."

He looked around the camp to see if Thurgood was paying any attention to the fight, but he seemed to be busy working on their first big hill, placing dirt to make the slope easier to traverse for the work that would follow. He could see a decent number of trees up ahead they'd need to cut down if they wanted to progress. The thought of cutting down trees unnerved him though. He wondered if there were any tree-hugging natives in the area and if they were the 'love and not war' type. He could remember the day he'd been attacked by a clan of ninjas because he'd decided to pee on their sacred tree. It had been the spot where they'd buried their master, but there were no markings on it to signify this. He barely had a chance to zip up his pants before they assaulted him with all manner of knives and swords, almost emasculating him in the process. Then there was the time he peed in a sacred lake and was attacked by angry mermaids. And another time he'd almost gotten his giblets blown off by a band of hillbillies for peeing in their sacred outhouse. 

Zack gritted his teeth and his eye twitched. He really hated Terrenus. 

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It didn't take to long for the stretchers to arrive, though undoubtedly it was longer than the injured men would have preferred. The medics go to work, stitching up wounds and splinting broken bones as best they could with what they could take into the field. Once they get back to the staging ground, the more seriously wounded men can be taken to the Lunaris hospital for more comprehensive treatment. As soon as everyone is ready to go, Sebastian takes point as they begin to walk back toward the staging ground, eyes and ears listening for any sign of danger from the dense jungle around them. The journey is tense, but they manage to make it back without further incident. Sebastian goes to find Thurgood, and goes to consult with him.

"We're making good time," he said, "I think we've got a few hours before sundown, and we need to set up camp. In the morning I'll head for Totenborough, make sure they're ready to meet us at the halfway point."

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Dreamer had successfully made it back to camp. There was too many people working for her to really be noticed. Not much had been going through her head on the way back. Although this time she kept her wits about her and clutched one of her katanas. After reaching the camp she explained what had gone on and proceeded to procure medics and stretchers. While she had hoped to keep the scene at a minimum, it seemed there were onlookers from the road. 

Perhaps Sebastian didn't think much of her, or that she was trustworthy and capable of making it back. From the small interaction they had she chose to stay neutral until she knew. 

After arriving back, she directed the medics to him, and they seemed to figure out who needed what. From there she heard him speak about setting up camp. She felt relief, at least she could set up and try and rest. Though in the back of her mind she wondered what would sneak up on them in the night. There was no room to be nonchalant about it, this place was truly limited with supplies or assistance if needed. 

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On 1/21/2019 at 2:57 AM, danzilla3 said:

"We're making good time," he said, "I think we've got a few hours before sundown, and we need to set up camp. In the morning I'll head for Totenborough, make sure they're ready to meet us at the halfway point."

"Oh really?" Thurgood asks before looking at the horizon, "didn't notice... fair enough. Move the fire, the loads of dirt in the wagons will be the last ones down."

Then Thurgood brings the arm in, sets it down, and hops out of the cab to tell the rest of the workers what's up, then help set up camp.

The tree cutting will start tomorrow.

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The night had passed uneventfully, and the camp was in high spirits as they had rested after a long day of hard labor. Part of this was undoubtedly due to the food situation; as their dinner had been provided by restaurant owners from Lunaris who had volunteered to cook for the work crew. Delicacies ranging from Terran favorites, to the Mork'Outh cuisine which had skyrocketed in popularity lately were made available to the men, and on one had walked away hungry. Afterwards, everyone had enjoyed a relaxing evening until it had come time to turn in for the night.

At first light the crew had gotten moving again, and had just about made their way to where they had stopped yesterday. When they arrived, they would find that the forest that had seemed to stretch on before them had been cleared along the same path they had been taking. Standing in the newly formed path were a group of fifty people led by tanned, muscular man with long, sandy blonde hair. He strode up to meet Sebastian, and shook his hand firmly.

"Good to see you Governor," spoke the man in a smooth baritone.

"Likewise Markovic," replied Sebastian, "Any problems on your end?"

Markovic shrugged, "Nothing unusual. We're ready to proceed whenever you are."

Sebastin nodded, "Good. With the trees gone, all we need to do is level the ground and pave it."

The two men parted for the time being, with the men from Totenborough moved to join the Lunarian men in their work. Sebastian moved to speak to Thurgood.

"You ready to finish this?"

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