Episode 16: Capture the Flag - Part 1
"With two of you at risk, Gorm (mage) and Haimes (scree), the viewers have spoken," Lorimer the Sorcerer announced to the contestants while short, leaf-wearing imps stood around him. "The player sacrificed is Haimes." The imps circled Haimes, poking him with spears to steer him into the trees. Lorimer nodded and returned his attention to the two teams. "This will be the last Team Challenge. It is called Capture the Flag.
"Before we begin, Tribe Depths, you must choose two among you who will not compete in today’s event."
"It should be Dedrick (centaur) and Ranzkin (gnome)," Christina (vampire) said. "Especially Dedrick. He’s always useless."
"We need Ranzkin in case there’s something small," Nessa (elf) argued. "I think it should be Dedrick and Paige (zombie)."
"Why Paige?" Dedrick asked.
"Between the two of us, I have more flexibility," Nessa said.
"I agree," Christina said. The others nodded and she turned to Lorimer. "We choose Dedrick and Paige."
Lorimer continued, "There are two bases, rock hills in the north and south. Each has a flag that must be defended while simultaneously, you try to capture the enemy’s flag and bring it back to your base. The first tribe to posses both flags at their base wins the competition. Tribe Depths’ base is in the north and Tribe Kivi’s base is in the south. Begin now!"
"But we don’t know where our bases are yet," Amber (unicorn) complained.
"Not now," Gorm said grabbing her by the wrist and pulling her after him.
Kailen (fairy) landed on Gorm’s shoulder and ducked beneath a branch. "What’s the plan."
"We find our base," Gorm said, "make sure it’s well defended. Then one of us stays behind while the other two go for Depths’ flag."
Nessa Carried Ranzkin and ran trying to keep up with Christina, hurtling rocks and logs. Panting hard, she stopped at the bottom of a pink granite hill.
DIARY CONFESSION – NESSA THE ELF
"Depths is doing well, and that makes me nervous. How can it be that two people have died from tribe Kivi? Other than that, we’ve been running neck to neck.
"Sometimes I wonder what William would think of the competitions. He’s good at playing these games... Which I actually didn’t like when it came to the Immunity Challenge. Suddenly we were enemies. It’ll happen to everyone before the game is done. I don’t blame him. If I was more like him, I’d definitely win this game!"
BACK TO THE SHOW
Christina inspected the orange flag tied onto a pole. "I don’t like this color. It’s easy to see through the trees." She removed the cloth and rubbed it in dirt before replacing it low on the pole. "I’ll stay and defend the flag. I don’t trust either of you to do it. And yet we don’t win if you don’t get Kivi’s flag."
"We’ll get it." Nessa turned to go still holding the gnome.
"Put me down," Ranzkin said. "You’re faster and might find Kivi’s base first. I’ll distract whoever stayed behind."
The elf complied. It would take time for Ranzkin to reach the enemy’s base and after Nessa found it, she circled looking for signs of a guard. "That’s odd," she whispered. Maybe they hadn’t found their base yet? She couldn’t pass up the chance and darted up the hill for the blue flag fluttering in the breeze.
A large wasp clung to the pole just above the cloth. It buzzed into the air as Nessa approached. She began untying the flag when the wasp dove, lighting first on her forehead, plunging its painful stinger into her flesh. It flew wildly away from her swatting hand, twisted in the air and found purchase for its stinger again, this time near her wrist.
Nessa backed away from the flag, still half on the pole. The wasp charged and she ducked, retreated down the hill. "Kailen." The fairy had shape-shifted again. Instead of leaving the base undefended as she first thought, it was guarded with stings instead of punches. Nessa backed into the trees wondering what to do now that the fairy knew her position. The stings throbbed. She smelled water nearby and headed for the river to make an ointment to lessen the pain.
Bears aren’t a social bunch, when it comes to non-bears, even if you wore a cute little conical hat. But that didn’t bother Ranzkin. She knew what they liked- a bit of honeycomb mixed with certain herbs. They could be very friendly for such a treat. Three black bears followed Ranzkin who rode on the back of a fourth. The gnome smiled. This was going to be the perfect distraction to allow Nessa a chance at Kivi’s flag. Ranzkin was coming with her own personal army.
At least until she spotted Gorm sneaking through the wood. Gorm who led her crashing into a snowy tree. Gorm who left her in a pit. Gorm whom she wanted very much to use to prove a point. He was close by and this time; so were the bears.
She hopped down to the forest floor. Wait here. The mage moved slowly as Ranzkin ran beneath tall brush with something gooey in her hand.
Gorm crept through the trees carrying a large walking stick. He wanted to get close quietly, zip in and out of Depths’ base and take the flag with none the wiser. They’d probably leave Ranzkin guarding their camp, and she was no match for him. A little water would incapacitate her if she got in the way.
A blur bounced in his peripheral vision as something sticky smacked his forehead. He swung his walking stick around like a weapon, slicing empty air. The thing scrambled up a small tree. It was the gnome.
"Hi Gorm. Like bears?"
He felt angry more than embarrassed. "You are not a bear."
Ranzkin smiled infuriatingly. "You shouldn’t have left me in that hole."
Four bears crashed through the thicket. They stopped smelling the air as one raised up on hind legs. They stared at the mage as he backed up. When they charged, Gorm bolted away from the bears and from Depths’ base.
This has been brought to you by The Council in Avond Nuit.
Did you ever hear of dark elves before Kivi, crazy as a deer mouse in mating season, returned from traveling in the wilds and nearly dying as consequence?
It’s a lark to discuss it further. These supposed enemies, shadow destroyers, are merely a figment of a demented imagination. Kivi is to be pitied, not coddled. If he was still around, we’d lock him away in an institution where he can get the help he needs.
Ignore the rumors from the fringes. No group of lumens are standing up to defend us because there is nothing to defend us from. Please, go back to your regularly scheduled lives. There’s nothing to see here.
***Here's Part 2.
Writer for Soldak
Last edited by Delilah Rehm : 02-27-2009 at 09:54 AM. Reason: added link