"By the Hedgehog... They're everywhere," Pip whispered in a tone of hushed awe as she eased back from the edge of the building we were spying from. "You're sure this is where the temporal anamoly is coming from?"
I nodded my head solemnly. "Indeed, mistress Pip, this is the building." I swept my ocular intake units over the city administrator's tower. It really was an impressive army of the undead. They manned the balconies and stood in neat ranks before the main doors, lifeless eyes fixed on the street, well-kept weapons and armor gleaming in the odd twilight that had descended on the city. The same subtle aura that clung to Pip and I hung around them like a shroud, shielding them from whatever spell was slowing time.
I ran the calculations again and shook my head. There was simply no way anyone could get through something like-
"For the Hedgehog!" Gorma exploded from a door on the zombie legion's flank, tulwar a blur of steel and death. Or possibly re-death.
At the same moment a tiger leapt from a window below us, an orange streak that left broken corpses in its wake.
"Oh no," Pip groaned, fumbling with a gadget and cursing under her breath. "I swear, those three are going to be the death of me."
Isaru coalesced from a cloud of green mist in the midst of the legion, flames roaring around his sword as he swept it through broad arcs of fire and fury. He laughed scornfully at his foes as his blade took the heads from three undead at once.
"I believe they are doomed," I stated as the zombie horde turned to attack our friends. Gorma screamed her defiance as she turned aside a savage blow only to catch a spear in the leg. The wind shifted and spun as Poppi darted back and forth, barely staying ahead of the volley of arrows raining down from the balconies. Isaru split into three images of himself, all parrying and dodging in a dizzying whirl of motion.
"Mistress Pip, I believe it may be time for us-"
"Yes, yes, just give me one second!" the little Teifling snapped impatiently. The device in her hand began to him ominously. "I assume you can handle the ones on the ground?"
"Affirmative," I confirmed, checking the probabilities as the zombies massed between my three friends, preparing to rush them all at once. I tapped into the mountain thunder in my core, just enough to prime the required systems. "The optimal window for attack is approaching."
"Just go now!" she yelled, pointing the strange device toward the nearest balcony.
I nodded, and the Thunder Step system engaged. With a deafening crash I was suddenly on the street, surrounded by the undead. Well, the ones that hadn't been torn to pieces by my sudden mass displacement, at least. I raised my hammer high above my head and brought it down with a the force I could muster. A shockwave of lightning erupted around the blow, flinging broken zombies out in a growing circle around me. I spun and raised my shield, anticipating a storm of arrows, but was met instead by a blinding beam of violet energy. My sensors blared warnings as the writhing bolt of power cut a swath of destruction across the tower, vaporizing every undead archer in sight.
"You... what..." Gorma staggered forward, eyes wide as saucers
"Greetings, lady Gorma," I said calmly. "Thank you for grouping them up for me."
"Ha!" Pip laughed triumphantly, posing atop the building, odd gadget smoking and sparking in her hand. "Who needs who now?!"
I reached down to brush a twitching hand from off my foot when a deep, dark chuckle rolled out from within the tower. "So," a voice boomed, "at last the servants of the Heavenly one have shown themselves! Come then, fools! Come and taste the unholy might of the nameless god!"
All artwork is (c) Michelle Corbelli. Do not copy or reproduce.