League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 1766

Chapter 6

Stunned amazement over the talking ghost head in the firebowl immediately gave way to overwhelming concern about the many guns aimed at them from above and below; Hawkeye saw no escape from this predicament. A jump of the stage or to duck under a balcony would still leave the League members in several muskets' line of fire; their enemy had clearly gone all out to finish them when the League was just getting started. The trapped trapper saw that the other league members and Cagliostro were also desperately looking for an escape, only M stood proud while unsheathing a shortsword.

"Kill them." Commanded the wolfskinned German in the auditorium.

Hawkeye did not see M's action but the sudden descent of the drop curtains over the balconies ruining all musket shots from above simultaneously, was seen with a welcome exaltation. Cagliostro quickly untied a rope which began the lowering of the main curtain in front of the stage. The wolfmen in the audience still had their shots and aimed the muzzles at the League; Hawkeye yelled out a command to duck, everyone on the stage did so, the instant before the barrage, placing themselves under the deadly range. Two wolfmen saved their shots, seeing the unfavourable trajectory when shooting from below, they raced the lowering curtain to reach the stage for a level shot. Hawkeye aimed his musket and shot the first woflman dead as he approached the stage edge; Chingachook did likewise to the second. The two trappers then rushed to the edge to seize the unused firearms.

Jean got to his feet as soon as the main curtain completed its fall, the others were also up. The Baron drew his sabre, Cagliostro twisted the head of his cane and pulled out a sword, Juliette hid herself behind a curtain. The wolfskinned ambushers were rushing down the stairs to attack with knives, swords and clubs; some were climbing down the curtains; Jean,who had hidden himself in a wall niche, dealt with one of the latter by slamming a cudgel into the back of his head as soon as he landed, killing him outright. The perfumer then rushed backstage.

Baron Munchausen ran his sabre into a curtain, taking out a climber. Another curtain had a wolfman descend not by climbing but by falling, breaking his neck in the process; a second faller soon followed from the same balcony, this one was only slightly hurt, the Baron finished him with a sword slash to the throat. Either these two wolf cultists were incredibly clumsy or someone up above was on the League's side.

A wolf cultist, nearly completing his climb down the curtain, with a knife clenched in his teeth suddenly felt one enter his groin; dropping on his feet to the stage floor, the pain opened his mouth releasing his own knife; Juliette grabbed it then thrust the blade into his throat. Taking care not to get blood on her dress, the sensual vixen retrieved her own blade from the corpses groin, wiped it on his wolfskin and picked another curtain to hide behind.

The two frontiersmen slid off the edge of the stage just as the main curtain completed its fall; each seizing a loaded musket from their last targets. Their were only four enemies left in the audience seat area, one was reloading his musket, the German accented leader was rallying those who were coming down the stairs, two were charging the trappers. Chingachook's attacker had a sword, the Mohican aimed the musket and shot him dead. Hawkeye's opponent had a hunting knife and a bad attitude, putting aside the gun, the frontier scout drew his own knife; the charge was loud and overly forward, the dodge was agile and graceful sending the blade into the wolfman's hamstring in the process. The attacker turned to face his target but the leg wound sent him into a face down stumble; Hawkeye finished him off with prompt throat cut. More wolfmen entered the auditorium from the stairs, the leader told them to rush the stage. The two Americans got back on stage behind the curtain. Hawkeye considered shooting the enemy who had nearly finished reloading his musket but realised he will not waste his shot by shooting blindly into the burgundy curtain.

Multiple aromas brought Jean to a backstage room; opening the door he saw several shelves with many jars each containing their own substances; plant, mineral and liquid. A work table was set up for preparation of theatrical concoctions. Nell Bowen was there aiming a pistol at the perfumer.

"I'm on your side remember." Said Jean "Watch the door. If someone comes in wearing a wolfskin, then you shoot. I've got to work fast."

Nell turned her attention to the door; she couldn't tell if she was safer out there where the fighting is or in here with this Frenchman who, for reasons she could not tell, sent a chill through her mind.

The perfumer grabbed several choice ingredients from the shelves without reading the labels, mostly liquids, and began mixing them into a bowl.

"Here they come." Yelled Hawkeye as he rolled onto the stage under the curtain.

M was trying to tell the Americans to take positions indicated by pointing when someone appeared to be swinging from a balcony using the curtains; two more wolfmen emerged from the drapery below; the swinger landed on top of them, he had no wolfskin but had a musket strapped to his back. The two wolfmen stunned by being landed on had their heads bashed together by the swinger, they were both knocked out. Hawkeye aimed his musket at this abrupt presence then found he was facing Redmond Barry who was once again his surprise ally.

Wolfmen began to come through the curtain. Chingachook readied his axe like weapon, Redmond attached a bayonet to his musket. Most of the attackers had melee weapons but M noticed a gunman about to shoot from under the curtain; a report from the Baron's pistol fell the gunman's own personal curtain. Munchausen dropped his spent pistol and engaged, with his sabre, two attacking wolfmen.

Chingachook seemed to make an unwise move, he turned his back on his two attackers, when they rushed the apparently vulnerable Indian he pivoted around swinging his heavy blade which shore through a leg and sent the other opponent whirling off balance to avoid the deadly swing. The Mohican had his knife and found the off balance enemy an easy target for a stab in the heart; the foe who lost his lower leg an even easier kill as he was in shock.

Baron Munchausen proved to be a debonair swordsman he was parrying two swords with superb skill, a move worthy of any dueling praise gave an uppercut scar to one of his antagonists. Taken aback, the wounded wolfman disengaged, leaving his partner fighting solo; the aristocratic soldier outclassed him in sword fighting and soon opened his throat. The newly scarred wolfman re-engaged; it would have been an easy victory for Munchausen had he not trod on a severed leg which rolled and sent him falling on his back; a sword thrust towards his torso was cut short by a gunshot from the curtain, killing the scarred enemy. M saw Juliette at a gap in the curtain with a smoking pistol and a cheeky smile.

Months in the Prussian army were not wasted on Redmond Barry when two wolfmen jumped onto the stage and rushed him he fired the musket into one taking him out of the equation. A club was swung by the remaining foe, the Irishman managed to dodge the clumsy weapon until an opening allowed Redmond to slam the musket butt into the attacker's face, giving a crucial moment to run the bayonet into his ribcage.

Several wolfmen bypassed the defence line and rushed Cagliostro: a well timed pull of a lever sent one falling down a trap door that opened up in the stage floor; a quick severing of a stage rope sent a counterweight of sandbags dropping on another, knocking him out; a knife throw from the showman ended the third attacker's approach; the next knife throw however, was deflected by the last foe's sword. There was no time for another Knife throw, Cagliostro raised his sword and crossed it with that of the wolfman; the fight soon became a wrestling match for possession of the interlocked weapons.

Hawkeye felt he should hold his shot, so when an enemy swordsman charged him he parried with the musket, then found he had to keep parrying, this swordsman was not going to allow an opening for the scout to use his weapon for anything other than defensive moves. A series of swings followed by a lunge, that was only barely parried, sent Hawkeye falling backwards; the wolfman moved to use the moment of vulnerability when a thrown tomahawk cleft his skull. Chingachook was still looking out for him, but that went both ways; Hawkeye noticed a gunman looking through the main curtain for a target and the Mohican was it; the trapper aimed his musket and fired, dropping the gunman where he stood.

Nell noticed Jean wrap garlic and rose petals into a napkin and tie it around his mouth and nose as if he was a bandit, he then emptied his mixing bowl into an empty jar, put the lid on and shook it; removing the lid he attached a small pump and squirt hose.

"Open the door." He said. "I'm going out there."

The actress did not want to argue with him, she actually wanted him gone. When the door was opened she saw Cagliostro about to lose his struggle for possession of the swords and get gutted. Not waiting for Jean to do his stuff, she darted out, brought the pistol close to the wolfman's head and fired. Cagliostro saw his opponent's head burst open, then let Nell help him up to catch his breath.

A sudden move swept the curtains aside and Juliette was revealed to Fernand Wagner, the leader of the wolfmen; her pistol was spent and she did not have the means to reload it, but she had her knife hidden. The wily courtesan began her seductive movements, the wolfman leader seemed to be taken in by this and embraced her, but when the knife came out it was intercepted, a painful squeeze of her hand took the dagger from her hold. With one hand on her throat and the other probing her body with her own knife, she wondered if she was going to get choked, stabbed or both. The other members of the League were all currently engaged with the enemy. With her free hands and fading consciousness she swiftly untied her dress and, in accordance with years of practice, completely disrobed in quick time.

Fernand Wagner was awestruck at the wondrous and unexpected sight of Juliette's naked body; he found himself reluctant to drive the knife into her or finish choking her. While he pondered this splendid vision, arms grabbed him from behind. Releasing his hold on Juliette, the wolfman used the knife to stab his attacker in the leg only to find he was stabbing metal; managing to turn around he then backed strongly into the curtain hoping to crush his captor between him and the wall; this was achieved but did not affect his release, he only heard the crash of metal. The naked woman recovered her senses and saw that her rescuer was Olympia, the automaton, but this time her arms were not going to retract; Werner von Kempelen must have set them to lock shut when they embraced then sent her to task.

The wolfman leader who was also a fugitive from Prussian justice became frantic and ran towards the edge of the stage throwing himself off with the metal woman still clinging to him.

Jean walked onto the stage and worked the hand pump, the squirt hose sent a splash of his liquid concoction into the face of a nearby wolfman, who after one second dropped to the floor unconscious. The perfumer was attacked by by two wolfmen but a quick squirt into each of their faces dropped them before they could get to him. Members of the League who were engaged in melee with the enemy found their opponents suddenly fainting after being splashed in the face, the smell of the strange fluid was potent and proximity alone nearly brought unconsciousness.

"Retreat Retreat." Commanded Fernand Wagner who had just freed himself from Olympia's embrace and noticed the new liquid weapon.

All active wolfmen bolted for the exit, there were only a few left standing. The retreat was swift and worked far better than the ambush. Melees were disengaged with members of the League unwilling to pursue the retreating enemy. Redmond Barry saw Fernand Wagner give the order to retreat and make for the door but close proximity to the strange fluid had made him nauseous, so he could not pursue the fugitive.

M and the League looked around the theatre to see all the dead and unconscious bodies of their enemies. A one man applause came from Cagliostro as he approached M.

"Baron Munchausen." Said the showman. "That is one of the best performances this theatre has seen. You have assembled a brilliant cast."

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.