The monster charged after them.
It moved faster than its size should have allowed it too, sliding across the floor, which turned to a smooth icy coat as it approached. It was bearing down upon them, and they were approaching a wall.
“Nice knowing you, man.”
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
The monster stopped. So did Inbeef and Gnaruag. The very floor beneath them shook and vibrated. Explosions, it seemed, the size and magnitude of which were unheard of, were happening right beneath their feet. The floor itself developed cracks and started to crumble. The monster, faced with a problem it couldn’t look down at, fled. Pandemonium and chaos ensued. A stick-thin man rushed past them yelling, “The tunnels! The tunnels! They’ve explosified the tunnels. Somebody disarm them.”
Another explosion rocked the room, and Inbeef was thrown to the floor. He rolled over and into a large cauldron, which tipped over, its contents coating him instantly. His hands closed around something rolled up, as a sickly-sweet smell filled his senses and Inbeef became drowsy and sluggish. He wanted to get up but he couldn’t. His limbs failed him. His eyes closed involuntarily. Darkness descended around him.
When Inbeef awoke, he was being tended to in the infirmary. The others were all huddled around him, including some faces he hadn’t expected to see.
“Shogun? Vingav? Ancient Na’sa? What are you doing here? What happened?”
“Easy, Inbeef” EnPsyClops said, “We beat them. You got a do-over basically.”
“I’m not sure I understand?”
“It was all Shogun’s idea, of course. Namgan was trying to burrow through the tunnels to reach the Chamber of Mumeroo, when Shogun, Vingav and Ancient Na’sa arrived at my call. Shogun suggested that we burrow till we were under the Chamber of Mumeroo, and then let loose with minor incendiaries. The Chamber of Mumeroo would do the rest, amplifying the sounds and causing the illusions that the room was tearing apart. Enough to create a diversion as we waltzed in there and herded them out. He really is the Trickster.”
Shogun took a bow.
“Well, we were just going to use some explosives. The effect got on all too well after Vingav let loose with his act.”
Vingav smiled, as he swung his massive hammer into view, and said, “Meet Delegatus!”
EnPsyClops continued, “When Vingav uses Delegatus!, a primal scream emerges from the hammer, creating solid shockwaves and disorienting anyone unfortunate enough to hear it. It’s so powerful that it knocks them off their feet, quite literally ‘de-leg-ating’ them. Ancient Na’sa helped too. She used her ancient wisdom and profound theatrical skills to figure out the ideal points at which to strike and convey the desired effect. Needless to say, after that, Namgan and those of the Politscia still faithful to her like Romikoff, rushed in and finished the show.”
Inbeef turned to look at Namgan, but she seemed to be in tears. So he decided to speak to her later.
“And my brother?”
“Safe and sound, along with all the other magelings. And Ruby kept the defenses up in such a way, that only the attackers were herded in.”
“But…Arkol, he was…they were trying to get the magelings to work out the Auric Petra document.”
EnPsyClops shrugged and said, “Eh. Maybe two people in that entire room read the whole thing. Most of it was in fragments anyway. But I don’t think we’ll recover it either. I’m not worried.”
“So that’s it, then?”
“Yes, Inbeef. That’s it. The Princess Ankh-Rose was arrested, along with several of the Politscia. Most of them lured in by the possibility of gold. Ankh-Rose seemed to have some different motivations though. I will be interrogating her thoroughly to see what I can learn.”
“Sad to say, he managed to escape somehow. Not sure how he managed that. We’ll get him soon.”
“Good luck with that. You know what, I’ve had enough excitement.”
“Yeah, you need rest. We’ll see you around.”
“I think I’ll take a nice long vacation. I don’t think I’ll need to do anything quite as taxing as this again.”
“Sure, you won’t.” EnPsyClops replied, with a twinkle in his eye, as he turned around and filed out of the room, followed by the others.
Inbeef decided he’d go to a village in the mountains the very next day.