Meanwhile Elsewhere on Rifts Earth
Out of the Whipping Snow
From out of the whipping wind and snow came a far away howl. "Damned animals, should be hiding away from this drek not out playing in it."
"What if some CS bastards spooked them?"
"You could be right. I wish we could settle this blizzard down some, but I don't want to make us an easy target."
"What's that other noise?"
"I think its a Samas, a scout one. There, to the north."
"We'll get the fragging scum. Send a lightning bolt right up his intake."
"That's the spiri..."
"Oh drek! Kiiri!"
There is growling and howling and amongst the animal voices there is a human one laughing. "Good boys. Just leave the carcass there."
Sergeant Jordan led the way through the thick flying snow. The blizzard could not have come at a better time. He looked back over his shoulder to see that his troops were staying in formation. He could not afford to have any of them lag behind and be left unprotected from his mind block. He waved a signal at Corporal Banali. The wind abated for a brief moment and the Sergeant could hear one of the boys from Group B howling. In that direction there came the roar of engines.
This work was too easy. Stupid mages fell for it again and again. They'd turn and move out towards the commotion. They'd be muttering their spells of protection and his and Corporal Banali's dogpack would rip into them from the back before they got the spells off.
They went down screaming as the kill-hounds ripped them to bloody pieces. Corporal Banali loved it. He danced around and around them waiting for the life to come out of the mage so he could gorge himself on the burst of magic released upon death. Then he would laugh until he was screaming. Sergeant Jordan no longer wondered why Banali was still just a Corporal. He was just another one of the pack.
"They're picking us off one group at a time. You hear a Samas and you're dead."
"What are we supposed to do. Obviously no one was able to sense those packs of dog-boys sneaking up behind them through the snow, or we'd have caught them by now."
"Yeah but how many groups are there?"
"Could be only one for all we know. They come in under a group mind block, and we can't sense their presence, or their evil. This shocking snowing and blowing makes them invisible until the last moment. It's a perfect set up for them."
"Do I hear a Samas?"
"Tell me you're kidding. Oh drek, that howl wasn't the wind."
"We're fragged. We're fragged." He starts casting a spell.
Shadows move within the snow. Now Kensington is chanting too.
He pulls his rifle even though it stops him from gesturing. Hopefully he can keep them at bay until his armour of Ithan is in place. No such luck. There are hands on his shoulders and teeth in his back. Kensington is being bitten and clawed and pulled apart. A skeleton with a thorny head cavorts around him and the demon dogs of the Coalition. The skeleton is laughing.
The dog boys hold him. One has its rough hand over his mouth and another one has its fingers in his eyes keeping them open. A voice barely understandable growls, "Watch mage. You're next."
A more clear one says, "Banali's gonna swallow your soul. He's going to get fat the way you pitiful mages keep dying so easy. He's got to exercise by dancing around you as you die."
Hunkered down behind the drift of snow it was almost warm. Snow flew in solid sheets above everyone's head. Max was peering out into the blizzard with a box binoc. "I can't see much. Almost pointless. Woah, wait there's something."
Rad asks, "What? For once I don't see anything."
"To your right 14 degrees Rad."
"Okay. I see now. Drek you got good eyes for an old squishy."
"Gee thanks. And you wonder why you were passed over for promotion." Max says stroking his mechanical right eye.
"Archer, and G'lishi. You two go after that flight of Super Samas. Rad scout out their supply crew. Chris and R.C. you're with me. Man I wish this snow would let up some."
...There's a noise from far away lost in the howling of the wind. Max says, "I hear some wolves. They must have caught something. Lucky bastards. I could deal with some chow right about now."
...There's noise of a Samas nearby. "Holy drek. R.C. get in the air and spot that fragging thing out. If it even looks like it's going to even think of turning our way take care of it."
A very short while later while still looking for the Samas R.C. gets a frantic radio call from Max. "We're under shocking attack. Haul ass back <STATIC HISS>"
Five large nasty looking dog-boys are holding Max down and forcing him to watch as another four bang Chris back and forth between them, plowing into him with their armoured shoulders from all sides. A man in heavy armour with a spiked helmet stands by clapping politely as they hit Chris. Another man with the same armour is jumping around and twirling an imaginary dance partner, all the while laughing like he's at a party. Neither of the men have weapons at the ready.
Everybody is clustered together tightly around Max, but they're somewhat looser pummelling Chris. While R.C. waits to assess the situation the man clapping stops and says, "Boy you guys sure know how to party. This is certainly more fun than just ripping the guy into little pieces. Of course you'll still do that any way. But I warned you about eating them. That goes for you too Banali, you've had enough for today."
The other man replies, "Aw can't I have just a little taste of his soul?"
"No! Maybe some blood though, need to cater to the body as well as the mind."
The one named Banali does a little jig and says, "Goody goody."
R.C. makes his move. He falls from the sky almost directly above Chris. The dog-boys scatter as he crashes to earth. He grabs Chris by the shoulders praying he doesn't rip the mage's arms off. He thrusts back into the air before anyone on the ground can react and disappears into the blowing snow.
In the confusion Max makes his escape. Flip goes the switch and he closes his flesh eye as the energy flares off of his armour. The dog-boys fall over backwards, flash fried, killed instantly. Turning on his heel Max makes a run for his PA. The Sergeant chases after him.
R.C. comes flying back in and sets to downing the dog-boys and their dancing master. He grabs the Coporal by the arms and beats the dog-boys with him. Max is pushed against his PA exchanging blows with the Sergeant. R.C., Corporal in hand, circles around and buzzes the Sergeant bashing him flying with the Corporal. R.C. makes to go at him again but Max says, "Let him go."
The Sergeant makes a bee-line for the trees and disappears into them. Lightning forks down from the sky into the trees. Max tells R.C., "He's taken care of."
The spotters for Group B, Lenny the pitbull, and Carl the terrier, watch horrified as their comrades are electrocuted by the Armoured Technical Man. Lenny has to hold back Carl as the Flying Titan Man smashes the others with their master. "Carl, there's nothing we can do. Don't get killed too."
"They have to die Len! They must."
"They will, believe me. We'll report back, right now, takes the vids and the radio intercepts, get these bastards marked for immediate termination."
"Look! Look, the Sergeant is going to get away ...oh drek! Oh shocking drek! D'you see that? I'll rip that mage's throat out with my teeth.
"Okay they're leaving. We'll go down and get everybody who's still alive and then we're off to camp."
"They're going to leave them there to die in the cold, without their armour, without even a knife. Monsters! Wait, the robot is staying."
"Ohmigawd. He's stomping them into the ground with his robot. Shock!"
"I can't watch... oh drek oh drek oh drek... he's twisting Banali like a pretzel."