Thursday, November 2, 2017

Page 1389

When Hector’s feet caught the ground again, he found it cracked and shifting up and down, making him struggle for his balance. Worse still, he discovered sludge all over his right arm and leg, hissing nastily against his armor.

He didn’t have time to worry about any of that, however, as he noticed the worm was still in pursuit, snaking toward him this time and tearing up the earth in all directions.

There wasn’t much choice but to keep launching himself away, he felt. His trajectory wasn’t the best, what with everything shaking nonstop, but he at least managed to stay narrowly ahead of the beast--so narrowly, in fact, that he got an all too clear view of an electrical storm brewing in its huge maw.

That wasn’t going to be good.

He tried making larger and larger platforms each time he launched himself, but as expected, the worm just barreled through them without the slightest show of concern.

Thankfully, however, help arrived in the form of a giant, bladed pendulum. It swung down from the cavernous darkness and caught the monster just behind the head, cutting close to halfway through its body before getting stuck.

The worm seized up, and its bulk shuddered visibly. It roared again, and the pendulum snapped in half, letting the embedded chunk be absorbed deeper into it.

Hector took the opportunity to gain some distance again. He watched Melchor leaping in overhead as he was falling back. The man was dragging another pendulum along with his bare hands. The thing must have been four times the size of his own body, and yet he swung it upward with the ease of a simple fire axe.

The blow landed cleanly, catching the worm right in the mouth and cleaving diagonally up through its head and eye-spots. The severed chunk of meat and sludge flew off, and the worm abruptly stopped its rampage in order to convulse and shiver.

Then the electricity from earlier surged out of its torn mouth in blindingly bright arcs, making the previously dim cavern suddenly light up in its entirety. Hector had to shield his eyes as his feet finally found stable ground again and returned to running.

Through the brilliant flashes, Hector saw the discarded hunk of the worm’s head still moving, and indeed, squirming its way back toward the main body. He also saw Melchor get sent flying by a rogue spark that was the size of a bus, leaving only a trail of smoke behind.

The other combatants seemed to take that as their cue to provide relief, and a storm of gunfire and servant-made projectiles exploded toward the beast all at once. They must’ve been holding back until now for fear of hitting Melchor. Or himself, Hector figured.

However, instead of contributing what would probably be a minuscule amount to the collective assault, Hector decided to turn around and check on the train while he could.

The first thing he noticed was that it was not there anymore. Then he saw that it was high above his head, floating slowly upward, the front tip of it having already reached the edge of the gaping hole in the tracks where it had fallen.

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