The lizard people had struck just before first light, as the sun was coming up. As the alarms sounded, Calvin awoke with a start. It took a moment for him to remember he had two arms, two legs and a head, and a moment more to realize what all the commotion was about. Authfrithr, who had been next to him, had a terrified look on her face as Cal got dressed and got his hatchet ready. She knew something bad was going to happen.
Marcus was already leading a small group of people out the back door, and a few others were moving to the front to mount a defense. As Calvin slid up beside the doorway he thought back to the last time he was in 'battle' and remembered the fear. He also remembered Donovan's words of encouragement: "The fact that you were willing to stand at that line, that's what counts, regardless of what happened." No matter the outcome, it was time to give his all.
When the Lizard people kicked in the door, the small group of defenders took the fight to them, for a time. It wasn't long before they realized they were no match for the better armed lizards. A flash of brilliant blue carved through the air as it cleaved Gormr, one of Cal's drinking buddies, from shoulder to waist. Whatever kind of weapon these guys had, it was definitely sharp. Kolli, another of Cal's friends, was sent crashing into the wall with a return swing of that blue glowy thing that lizard was wielding. Cal could see him clutching at his leg. He was hurt, but at least he was still alive.
This wasn't going well. Another flash of blue and another villager was cut down. Screams could be heard from deeper within the longhouse. Sounded like Vilgerthr. The two remaining defenders started to back away from the door out of fear. This was getting brutal. Calvin knew what had to be done. They couldn't be allowed to run amok in this longhouse. Not on his watch. In a move that was half desperation, half what-the-hell-am-I-doing?, Calvin turned himself to stand in the doorway and swung his hatchet. It collided with what had to be 300-plus pounds of man-shaped gator. Calvin stood in wonder at the thing and the brilliant blue axe it held. It seemed more annoyed than hurt by the tiny hatchet that caught it in the shoulder. Calvin swung again and at least drew some blood. It was getting pissed.
It's anger was very apparent as it swung the energized blade and... missed? The creature looked confused. This outsider was just lucky. It swung with the flat of the blade to knock him out, or give his weapon more surface area. Missed again. Damn thing couldn't hit a beach-ball with a tennis racket apparently, Calvin mused. Not that he was doing much better. The oversized handbag turned aside most of his attacks. This battle was going nowhere, but at least he was holding them off.
Out of nowhere, half the village stormed by and carried off the invader as they sent him to the next world. Calvin had been in honorable combat and they had fought like men, but he wasn't gonna complain about the kill-stealing horde. It was a good save on their part, and Cal was grateful that that was over.
Once the all-clear was given, Cal lent a hand moving the injured and dragging out the dead. Authfrithr was trying to console Vilgerthr as the mangled body that had once been her friend was carried out. Calvin helped Kolli limp to where Mother Gytha was tending to the injured. They both were saddened by the loss of Gormr, although Calvin wouldn't show it. He was a good friend, and would be missed, but Cal knew there was no time for that kind of stuff now. He could be sad later. Just as when the fight broke out, people needed him to hold fast.
When Calvin had rounded the corner of the building, he could see another longhouse on fire. Apparently these guys had some kind of energy rifles too. That was pretty cool, but Cal was in no mood to go nuts over it. Marcus had one of them in hand and was trying to knock down some of the burning debris. Boy genius was trying to fight fire with fire, literally.
After Cal made sure that Kolli was being treated, he wandered over to where a discussion was being held. We had a live one on our hands. They had somehow managed to take one of those scale-sacks prisoner, and were deciding what to do with him. Cyan wanted to interrogate him, and probably ask questions pretty hard. That'd be good for a show. It'd probably end up like something out of the movies. Y'know the old 'good-cop/bad-cop' routine? Just like that, only no good-cop. Edward started blathering on about the Geneva Convention and blah bla-blah blah bla-bla blah. Calvin was almost positive that the Geneva Convention didn't mention anything about Gator-men with frikkin' lazer beams. If it did, Calvin might actually pay more attention to world politics.
It was a good bet at this point that Donovan would have to mediate this before things got real. He was good at that. Marcus had already decided that discretion is the better part of valor and stayed out of it. Smart idea. "Screw this, I'm going back to bed." he said to no one in particular, and turned and headed back. This was just too much, and he was starting to come down off of the adrenaline high. Donovan already made the only argument here that counted. They would have to move on, for the good of the village. They might just bring the fight to those scaly sons of bitches.
Authfrithr met him at the door. She told him that Herger had been by to check on things. Calvin simply nodded. She could see he was distressed. He sat down on the edge of his bed with his head in his hands. She sat next to him and put her arm around him, politely waving away anyone who came by to talk. He was shaking, and just needed some time. It was around mid-day before either of them moved. The battle had taken it's toll on the village. Many were injured, many were killed, but many more were spared. It would be their duty to rebuild and carry on.
Return to The Well Of The Worlds