The Post-Modern Masks of Nyarlathotep

Episode XVII: A Bunch Of Lonesome Heroes (Part 9)

With muffled oars, the German sailors row landing boats towards shore. One boat holds only rowers and three men—along with their horses. They approach the shoreline and halt in the mists. The sun rises slowly above them.

Near noontime the first bite is seen in the limb of the sun. The eclipse has begun.

The boats shoot forward and are soon being drawn up on shore. Gunfire erupts from the pagoda, several hundred yards from their landing site. Sniper fire from the two towers on opposite corners of the pagoda is especially frightening.

Group A makes a beeline for the front gate, keeping a tight formation despite the large number of people in it. A few shots hit home, staggering Guy and Inspector Melville.

Above them race the seaplanes of Joyce and Antoine. As they dive towards the pagoda, they are overtaken by two hideous winged serpents, easily outdistancing the biplanes.

“Not again,” groans Joyce. As she begins to circle, two different hunting horrors rise up from the pagoda, and soon there is a snarling dogfight between the four of them.

Group B rushes the east wall, but sniper fire slams into the ground before half of them can reach the wall. The sky continues to darken.

“Come on, lads!” shouts Freddie. “One more rush, get back together.”

[Reassurance spend by FP, after my “Separate them” move.]

In the back of the pagoda, Francis and Group C crash through the underbrush. “There!” points Francis. “That place is low enough to climb.”

“It’s under cover from the towers,” says Brady. “They’ll get a couple of us, for sure.”

“Isabelle,” says Francis in French, “I need you to go up into one of those towers.”

“I am scared.”

“Please…we need you.”

[Reassurance spend by OP.]

Gulping, Isabelle sprints forward, faster than any human could run. She leaps halfway up the nearest tower and then scrambles up the wall like a lizard. She slips over the parapet. Soon there is the sound of a quickly cut off scream, followed by crunching and slurping.

Seamus and Stephen plant satchel charges and blow open the gate. When the smoke clears, a crowd of froglike humans with claws from hands is marching towards them.

“Go!” shouts Jimmy.

“Charge!” shouts Pearkes. “Tally-ho!”

He, Sayid, and Umr gallop forward, saber and scimitars drawn. They ram into the crowd, slashing with their swords. Claws rend their legs and abdomen as they circle back and make a second charge. The Deep One hybrids are rapidly slain.

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