The Guardians of Rhea

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Chapter Twenty-One

Leon took off at top speed. He covered the distance in mere seconds and began closing the gate as fast as he could. A little over a hundred yards away, he could see what looked like several dozen Pelasgians charging. Many of them were Corinthian, some riding griffins.

Some Pelasgians were Satyrs. Armed with a spear, they had an upper body like a human and large horns on the head. They also had the legs of a goat and a long tail.

There were also a few tall, hulking Cyclopes charging with large clubs.

Circling high in the sky was an Eriny, a gangly ten-foot tall humanoid monstrosity with a massive bat-like wingspan.

As Leon secured the gate, the rest of the group arrived.

“How many?” Arloff asked.

“Not sure, several dozen or so,” answered Leon.

“There’s no way we can hold up here for long,” Sara said, “We should go out there and meet those things head-on.”

“I wouldn’t worry about waiting.” Leon said.

Running at full speed, four Corinthians on griffins jumped over the wall.

Nedim looked up and saw one of the griffins descending on him. He quickly placed his arms across his chest, forming an energy shield around his body.

Crashing almost on top of the shield, the griffin stumbled back before charging at Nedim again. The other three griffins landed among the group, dispersing them in various directions.

The griffin took a powerful swipe at Nedim causing his shield to fade out. Arloff tackled it, knocking the rider off. In brutal fashion, he grabbed the creature’s neck with both hands and snapped it like a twig. The Corinthian drew his sword and stabbed Arloff through the ribs. Without so much as flinching, Arloff took hold of the Corinthian and flung him over the wall.

The Fenrir fearlessly went after a griffin and its rider, circling and attacking like a pack of wolves bringing down their prey.

Several yards away, Kamala was on the run from a griffin hot on her tail. Sara and Caycee took aim with their bows and fired, one striking the griffin’s hind leg – the other hitting the Corinthian’s shoulder.

The Corinthian hardly reacted, reaching over to pull out the arrow, but the griffin squawked in pain and ran at the ladies. Kamala quickly threw an axe into the back of the Corinthian, who fell, causing the griffin to pause just long enough for Sara and Caycee to fire another volley of arrows, this time felling the beast.

The Cyclopes outside smashed their clubs against the gate, breaking it down piece by piece.

Leon easily dodged a griffin’s attempt to bite him. With the swing of his sword the animal’s neck was slashed halfway, and as fast as the Corinthian could jump off, Leon impaled him from behind.

Darek, in his final form, had both hands tied up with a griffin’s beak. It took everything he had just to hold the creature while Janah distracted the Corinthian for Gillan, who jumped from the opposite side and buried a sai into the Pelasgian’s chest. Janah then drove both swords into the griffin’s side for a quick kill.

“Gather up!” Leon said, “Try to stay together.”

The Pelasgians suddenly came crashing through the gate in a full-on blitz for the group.

Leon dashed into the oncoming horde with a flurry of stabbing and slashing. With his Vesuvian speed, he easily dodged or countered every attack. In a matter of seconds, a half-dozen Corinthians fell by his sword alone.

Arloff charged forward, tackling two Cyclopes. He drove his hand into one of their eyes, grabbing whatever he could and ripping it out. The Fenrir followed, each lunging at a Corinthian. It was just enough to break up any momentum the Pelasgians had going.

With the equinox in one hand, Sara grabbed her daggers and threw them as fast as she could, at best, slowing the oncoming Pelasgians down just a bit more. Caycee fired her remaining arrows to hinder the Pelasgian advance before drawing her rapier. The women then worked in tandem, bringing down one Pelasgian after another.

Kamala deflected a Corinthian’s sword with an axe and countered with the other, driving it into his neck. Gillan was close by, being out-muscled by a Corinthian who easily tossed him to the ground. Kamala ran by, bringing the Corinthian down with a blow to his knee and finishing him off with an axe to the heart.

Nedim barely managed to block a Corinthian’s sword with his long knife as it came dangerously close to his face. With the enemy nearly on top, he quickly placed his hand on the Corinthian’s chest and fired an energy ball that tore through a few Pelasgians.

Several Corinthians were having their own trouble with Janah. She cut through many like a warrior possessed. Her feline nature, when unleashed, was very fierce and fast.

The remaining Pelasgians outside the gate pushed through in a mindless frenzy.

Darek easily broke a Corinthian’s neck with a swipe of his hand. Two more Corinthians advanced, using their shields to block and batter him. Darek rammed one, knocking the Corinthian back and unwittingly allowed a third to slice him across the back. Darek screeched in pain.

“Darek!” Leon cried, slaying any Pelasgian in his way as he desperately tried to reach his comrade.

A Corinthian stabbed Darek in the back as another impaled him through the heart.

“No!” Caycee screamed, as she helplessly watched her friend disintegrate into embers blown away by the wind.

The teeth and claws of a Fenrir were just as good as any blade. Doradus slashed wildly, cutting a Satyr to ribbons. As he ran at his next victim, a Satyr threw his spear, piercing Doradus’ side.

Several more Satyrs closed in, jabbing their spears into Doradus, who yelped and howled in pain. Hurok growled in anger, knowing that one of his own had fallen.

The Cyclopes were almost as strong as Arloff, and their clubs dealt major damage to the Promethean when they struck.

Arloff fell back when a club whacked him hard on the head. A few Corinthians immediately joined the fray, hacking at what they could. Surrounded, Arloff fought as hard as he could before the Pelasgians’ numbers overwhelmed him.

The Eriny descended from the sky. With a single backhand, he sent Gillan sprawling to the ground. Sara and Kamala ran as fast as they could to help; everyone else was locked in fighting.

Gillan rolled out of the way just in time when the Eriny tried to stomp him. Getting up as quick as he could with the ten-foot tall creature trying to grab him, he swung a sai into the Pelasgian’s hand.

The Eriny jerked back, screaming. He pulled the sai out and tossed it aside. Stepping toward Gillan, he suddenly screamed again as Sara’s dagger struck his back leg. To his side, he spotted Kamala closing in and used his wings to knock her away.

Sara was about to confront the Eriny when a Satyr tried flanking her.

Kamala struggled to get up, but the Eriny closed in fast, grabbing her by the neck and lifting her off the ground.

Gillan had climbed to the roof of a building nearby, and jumped the Eriny from behind, using his sais to impale the creature and hold on.

Kamala used her axe to lop off the hand holding her. Landing on her feet, she was unable to get out of the way in time to avoid the Eriny’s sharp claws tearing into her side, causing her to cry out in terrible pain.

“No!” Gillan yelled, pulling a sai out and ramming it into the back of the Eriny’s head. He held on as the creature stumbled a bit and fell forward, “Kamala!” he called, running to her as she lay on the ground.

A Corinthian tried to sneak up on Sara as she battled a Satyr, but was caught by surprise himself when Leon darted by, slashing his neck. Sara knocked the Satyr down with a kick before slaying him with her equinox.

The last Pelasgian, a Cyclops, had Rona by the neck, smashing her against a building. Caycee and Janah stabbed and slashed the Cyclops until he let go. In one jump, Rona clawed the Cyclops down the midsection, making him reel back in pain – which was short-lived thanks to an energy blast from Nedim that vaporized his head.

“Oh, no,” Gillan said, helping Kamala to her feet.

Sara ran to help, “How bad?”

Blood ran from Kamala’s side and mouth. With Gillan supporting her, she managed a brisk walk, “Good kill.” she gasped.

“Don’t talk,” Gillan said, “Sara, find Leon. We have to get out of here.”

Leon was just outside the gateway looking to see if all was clear.

Hurok picked Doradus’ lifeless body up and carried him with Rona close by.

Sara ran up to Leon, “If we’re going to leave, now would be a good time.”

“Agreed,” Leon said, looking at the group as they passed by hurriedly.

Suddenly with no warning, a glowing, green seed-like projectile shot through Leon from the back and exited out of Sara’s. The looks on their faces’ were polar opposites, calm on Leon, one of shock on Sara. Leon caught her just as she fell.

Not knowing what happened, Nedim was stunned, “By the...”

“Take her, fast.” Leon said, passing Sara over to Nedim, and then looking to Caycee.

“I know the way.” Caycee said.

As the group fled, Leon turned to the city. Standing in the middle of the street ahead was a Myrmidon.

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