Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Altar of Death

Part 3 of my Space Templar Adventure

Tee performed a quick diagnostic and repair, then the duo headed down the stairs into the crypts. Proceeding down one hallway, they spotted two guards walking towards them. Rugen leaped at them and with a couple of quick slashes dispatched the surprised minions.

As they continued, they heard growling behind them. Turning, they saw two giant hounds, black as night with glowing red eyes. 

The hounds attacked. Rugen managed to stave off the one lunging at him, but the other locked its massive jaws around Tee's leg. The screech of rending metal pierced the air. Tee tried to shake the beast loose, but it clenched even harder. Rugen dispatched his opponent and came to Tee's aid. His glowing blade plunged between the shoulder blades of the ravening creature, and it collapsed.

Tee performed some additional repairs, although he still displayed a bit of a limp. The heroes pressed on, desperate to find the princess. Suddenly, a woman's scream pierced the air. They ran toward the sound. Another scream! Almost there. Then they burst into a large chamber. In the center of the chamber was a blood-stained altar with long, wavy dagger laying upon it. Suspended above the altar with force field manacles was a woman, stripped to her undergarments. She was in a swoon and reddish welts lined her flesh. Below her stood a robed figure with a pain stick in his hands. A cruel smile spread across his face.

"Too late, Templars," the man spoke as he turned to face the duo. "Soon, her life's blood will feed the almighty Zircon."

"We'll see about that!" Rugen replied as he unsheathed his stun sword.

As Rugen took his first step forward, the High Priest of Zircon held forth his hands. Sizzling bolts of energy shot from his hands. Tee dodged, but the arc of lightning struck Rugen square in the chest. Rugen was transfixed as the surge of energy coursed through his body. Tee fired at the priest. The shot struck its target. The priest staggered back, breaking his electrical death grip on Rugen.

Rugen shook off his wound and leaped to the attack. Weakened by the energy bolt, Rugen was too slow; the priest easily dodged the attack and jabbed the pain stick into Rugen's side. Rugen dropped to his knees as torrents of torture ran through his body and exploded in his brain. The priest laughed at Rugen's misery.

Tee squeezed off another shot. It missed, badly. The energy bolt nearly grazed the princess and struck the rear wall of the chamber. The sound of the shot drew Tee's attention to the wall. He noticed a control panel there. His robotic eyes zoomed in on it and he could make out the controls for the princess' force field. Then Rugen's screams of pain turned his focus back to the battle. He took another shot that hit the priest. Rugen used that distraction. Grunting through the agony, he slashed at the priest, catching him on the arm. The pain stick clattered to the ground.

Rugen stood. The two companions advanced upon their enemy. The priest scowled and spread out his hands. This time, a blast of concentrated air, like the concussion of an explosion, shot forth from Zircon's minion. The blast knocked the heroes to the ground. The priest used the delay to mutter an incantation. Flames licked around him and the wounds upon his exposed flesh visibly receded.

The Templars were back on their feet. Rugen lunged at the enemy, landing another blow. The priest retaliated with another incantation. Rugen' mind felt like it had been stabbed. Pain surged through his brain, knocking him to his knees. The misery continued; it roiled through his body until he could not resist any longer. He sank into unconsciousness.

Tee shot. The bolt whizzed past the priest.

"You missed," the priest scoffed. He pointed his hand. A lightning bolt discharged, striking Tee. The bolt shorted out his circuits; he was paralyzed.

"Now to finish you!" The priest drew a wicked, curved dagger from his belt and advanced upon the prone Templar.

As the priest advanced, he taunted the Templars. "You fools! Did you think you could best me? No one can defeat the servants of Zircon!"

"Wrong!" said the voice from behind the priest.

He spun around. The princess stood behind him, her arm poised to strike with a dagger in her hand. The priests raised his hands to ward off the blow, but it was too late. The dagger plunged into his heart. He dropped to the ground.

Coming up - the Escape!

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