|Moo. Moo moo moo, moo moo.|
TWISTED CITY OUTSKIRTS
Twisted is a small city, sure. That's not to say it can't get cramped once in a while. When its a place where literally anything in the multiverse can get sucked into with no way to escape, in some cases not even death, it can accumulate a surprising number of people into a tiny spot. Not the best place to have some personal space, to be sure. Like any other city, stores and social spots are pretty packed, and the only spot to really be by yourself and your thoughts appears to be only the solitude of one own's room.
Is there such a thing as a wilderness around here? There's no forest or anything to wander about, not even going for a swim seems to work since some of the fish down there talk back to you.
But actually, there is a place to wander around.
Outside of the city lays a desert everyone calls the Wastelands. Most folk avoid this place for reasons, some say it can rip you apart and sprinkle bits and pieces of you across dimensions. Others say that you can freeze in time and spend thousands of years in place without realizing it. Others simply say this way be dragons.
Whatever the reasons, its pretty lonely around here, and about the only place you can hang out without being worried about being interrupted if you're brave and/or stupid enough to wander over here.
Stupid and or brave enough like Earthworm Jiiiim! He is currently shooting empty soda cans with his plasma gun while emptying said cans through drinking them. He's also got a big ol' cooler full of them, so it looks like he's planning to be here for a while.
And just as Jim is about to take another shot, the empty can is shot away by someone else! How rude! But noone's anywhere near here, is there? On closer inspection, it doesn't look like this was shot by plasma at all, but by a bullet, fairly high caliber by the looks of it. The report of the gun certainly sounded more like a good old fashioned gunpowder based firearm, to boot.
"What in tarnation!!?" See? This is exactly the reason why Jim decided to go out into the Wasteland. Folk around here always wanna do cheeky business like stealing his shots. The mutated worm whirls around towards the direction where he heard the shot coming from and looks around. "Alright, wise guy! What's the big idea!?" Jim isn't too fond of people shooting guns at his back and he's soon training his plasma gun out into the emptiness, fully prepared to spray plasma until he hits something if he feels the need to do so.
The gunner is quite hard to see... Half a kilometer out, lying prone, and wearing camouflaged clothes, including the helmet, that match the coloration of the ground around them. They also are not moving or doing anything to draw attention to themselves as Jim is turned their way. Still, if anyone were close enough to hear it, she's laughing very quietly at Jim's reaction.
"Why you--" Oh, Jim can hear the giggling easily enough. Not because he has a super natural sense of hearing though, although he does, but just in terms that he hears better than not super mutated worms. No, the reason why he knows the gunner is laughing at him is because he can sense the vibrations on the ground. Worms being worms listen through those means, and the light trembling that a giggle causes on the body is unmistakable for Jim. He gets to listen to them quite often!
That's it. No more Mister Nice Worm! He can't really see where the gunner is, but he knows they are out there, so he's just gonna give them something to think about. Just a friendly warning shot, is all, Jim ain't the type that shoots people for no reason.
Okay, he does, but his plasma gun is ALMOST always set to stun rather than evaporate.
"Why don't you.." Jim points his gun where he -thinks- the gunner is and squeezes the trigger.
"EAT!" There's no shot coming from the gun, it just starts to expand like a balloon.
There's the shot! A resounding BANG! But its not plasma that gets sent flying towards Himet, that is a literal flying cow sent butt first into her general direction. Mooing all the way too.
What does one do when a cow is launched in your general direction rear-end first? Really, what CAN you do? The sniper doesn't make any overt reaction to the... unusual projectile, though there is a definite "What the-" reaction. She rolls to the side to get a bit further away from the bovine round, then turns her head to look behind her at its landing.
Cows in general tend to be poor projectiles. Sure, there was that instance in the history of Earth humanity where cows were pretty good improvised ammunition for siege purposes, but that was mostly because they were being launched through catapults and they were carrying the plague. Shot by a gun is another story and the cow misses by a few feet, hitting the ground butt first and sliding through the dirt a distance away from Himet. Honestly, Himet didn't even need to move if she didn't want to, that cow was nowhere near close to hitting her.
So that's it then? That's the extent of Jim's warning shot?
Normally it would be, but here in the Wasteland things tend to get a little weird.. and the chaotic nature that is Jim is only acting as a multiplier.
The cow behind Himet stirs up and stands on its hooves. Then it stands upright on its back hooves like a human..
Then.. its growing bigger, more muscled, red energy coating it, eyes burning with rage, horns growing larger. Its front hooves turn into stone like hands and a massive electrified halberd appears from thin air.
As the hell bovine reaches nearly 8 feet tall, a large golden crown appears on its head and it adjusts it with obvious intelligence. It then stares at Himet with glowing red eyes and says the only thing it needs to say.
The sniper blinks unseen behind the visor at the kingly cow. "M...Moo?" she says in response with a voice clearly filtered by her helmet. Slowly, carefully, she stands up, keeping her rifle pointed towards the ground. Careful eyes may notice a lever being switched as she stands however. "Um, Hello?"
No need to greet the Cow King, because it clearly has some beef with Himet.
"Moo." It answers to Himet and advances towards her, red eyes bowling with strange power. The bovine gives a few more hurried steps to clear the gap between it and Himet before raising its mighty halberd high and swing it vertically down towards the girl's head, intending it to smash the blade right on the top of Himet's helmeted skull.
"Moo." It restates once more with equal tone.
The sniper raises her rifle and takes a hip shot at the Cow King, but its not a bullet that exits one of the barrels, but instead a dart that shoots towards the Cow King. It's a fast shot, however, and could easily go wild as she's also jumping to the side to avoid the swing. This is far from a usual scenario, and the inability to properly stow her sniper rifle elicits a frustrated noise from her as she instead lets it go to the ground before she reaches for her melee weapons.
The Cow King is a pretty big target so the hip shot lands easily enough despite the awkward angle. The dart embeds itself into the side of the hell bovine even as it slams its weapon into the dirt of the Wastelands, sending dirt flying to the sides with the blade of the cursed weapon. "Moo!" It says trying to express some manner of frustration as it misses.
"Moo moo moo!" Seems like the bovine has a trick up its sleeve, as it turns its head and power gathers around its horns. After accumulating enough energy the royal cow shoots a scorching beam of energy at Himet's torso, trying to blast her away.
The sniper has her weapons drawn and ready for a fight! Unfortunately, it doesn't seem she was ready for that beam of scorching energy. Luckily, it hits her full on in the chest where her armor is at its thickest. Still, this is easily enough to throw her off balance and back onto the ground again. She takes a second to recover before rolling to the side again, expecting another downward swing with the halberd. Scrambling back up to her feet, she prepares for the cow's next attack, whatever it may be. "This has to be the strangest combat I've ever been involved in."
And to think that more shots Jim's way would have landed her with a fight against a superarmored mutant worm. Himet will soon learn that encounters like this are not all that uncommon in Twisted, so she best be preparing herself for what its likely to be a roller coaster of insanity.
"Moo!" The Cow King elicits a moo of victory(?) as its horn lasers connect. It also pauses to remove the dart stuck on its side whilst Himet is rolling back to her feet and shakes its head, the tranquilizer barely registering on the demon cow's body.
Once it has recovered, the cow monarch charges again, this time in a more traditional cow fighting style as it lowers its head and attempts to impale Himet's on those large glowing horns.
With a jump to the side, the sniper gets out of the path of the charge and prepares for the creature's passing. As it roars... wait, no. As it moos past, she swings down the the square-toothed weapon in her right hand, connecting with the thing's back with a popping sound as a discharge of electricity is released along with the hit of what is basically a mace. Pressing her luck, she tries to run along side the charging beast, trying to hold the shock macuahuitl on its hide as she does so to prolong the discharged electricity.
Shouldn't have done that.
Though Himet's blow connects squarely into the creature's neck and the initial strike seems to have caused it some manner of discomfort, as soon as the electricity discharges into the cow's body, Himet will realize something has gone horribly wrong.
The Cow King absorbs the electricity and the longer Himet presses her weapon against it, the more it seems tom empower it.
Finally, the hell bovine straightens up and releases the power of being lightning enchanted, shooting bolts of lightning everywhere for the dodging pleasure of Himet.
The sniper jumps away as soon as she realizes that something's not going as usual. It's not stopping, it's not even slowing down. She looks up at the thing as it stands, and starts trying to dodge as the thing starts shooting the electricity out around it. At first it seems she's going to dodge it just fine, but then she starts to take a few hits here and there. With a cry of pain, she drops the shock macuahuitl to the ground, seeing it as a weapon that's useless - no - a liability here. As the lightning storm subsides, her armor reverts to a dull grey color and she lifts the visor of her helmet. "Fine. If we have to do it this way, I'll have to use Sturmfalter." Her wakizashi is transferred from her left hand to her right, and a high pitched whine can be heard as the blade starts vibrating at a high frequency. "What a waste." She's trained for the past few years with the intent of taking her opponents alive, but this time it seems she doesn't have much of a choice in the matter. All of her non-lethal weapons have failed against this thing. Now it's time for the less desirable lethal alternative.
Time to take home the beef!!
Nope, I'm not even sorry.
Whether the Cow King realizes the challenge of having an actual blade drawn on it is irrelevant. The demonic creature simply shakes off the electricity still crackling through its hide and prepares its giant blade again.
This time, the cow monarch cranks it sideways and swings the halberd in a big horizontal arch, aiming to slam the cursed blade on Himet's ribs.
Himet dives forward, closer in towards the monstrous cow as it swings the polearm, out of the range of its blade, while bringing up her own blade to dance lightly against the polearm's haft. It's a testing strike, checking to see just how strong the material it's made of is. Still, even a testing strike with a vibro-weapon like this can easily slice through wood or even some metals. This is a weapon designed to peirce armor. Her goal is to see how vulnerable the weapon's shaft is but if she can turn that into a strike that effectively disarms the creature, even better! For now, though, she's in closer than such a weapon is designed to strike against, and she ends her testing swing with a stab foreward at its leg.
Where it made of simple wood or metal, the handle of the polearm would surely be sliced apart by the vibrant wakizashi blade. However, this is no mere cow Himet is dealing with -as if that weren't obvious enough - but a hell bovine and the king of the misbegotten species no less. With a weapon forged in the depths of Hell itself, the cursed steel is resistant enough to withstand the wakizashi and it forces the vibrating short sword away, unharmed.
The Cow King though, isn't as resistant as its weapon. The sword stabs right through the thigh of the creature and it gives a pained "Mooo!" of agony as its struck. Blood spraying in every direction in sickening, gory display.
Being from Hell though, has the perk of being highly resistant to pain. Rather than curl up and wait to die as most creatures would do when stabbed through the peroneal artery, the Cow King swings the pommel of its halberd at Himet's face, intending to ram the steel ball attached to the butt of the halberd into the side of Himet's jaw with monstrous bovine strength.
Himet isn't quite fast enough to dodge the pommel of the halberd, but that's not entirely a good thing for the Cow King, either. She now knows that whatever that weapon is made of, Sturmfalter can't cut through it. The same is not the case for the Cow King himself, and as she is knocked away, she takes her sword with her. Of course, she's not able to just pull the weapon straight out like she put it in to begin with. As she is moved laterally against her control, the blade moves laterally as well. Still, it's not rainbows and lolipops for her, either, as she's smacked well off her feet. The lower part of her helmet is the only thing keeping her jaw from being utterly destroyed by the bovine's strike, and she doesn't land in a particularly controlled manner, either, her last weapon now lost from her grip.
Still, she stands up as she comes to a stop. Turning to face the cow king again, it's quite evident that her face is a bit smashed up, and her eyes are, as rarely seen, visibly open. Were it anyone else, it would look like she had narrowed her eyes, but for her they're uncharacteristically open.
And they don't look human. They're slitted like a cat or a viper.
She reaches down to her belt and grabs a spare clip for her sniper rifle and starts pulling the rounds - more tranquilizer darts - from the clip as she awaits the regal cow's next move.
As the short sword is violently pulled away from the Cow King's leg, more blood sprays out like a fountain, and its evidently clear that the bovine doesn't enjoy it one bit. Like a bull, it begins to look far more enraged, with hot air blowing out its nose and drool pouring down its snout. The only noticeable thing that shows its not going totally and fully berserk, is that it pauses again and adjusts its crown, ensuring that it doesn't fall down its head while its busy thrashing.
Once it made sure that its royal tapestries have been secured, it launches again into the attack, caring little if Himet's eyes are closed, open or cross-eyed. What does the KING OF ALL COWS care if a girl has weird viper eyes or not?
The royal bovine brings its demonic halberd to bear and thrusts forward. Using the spear point of the weapon, it intends to run Himet right through by shoving the blade into her stomach. Though its bleeding profusely from where it was struck, the wound seems to have nearly no effect on the demonic bovine's speed. If anything, the pain its making it go faster. "Moo moo moo, moo moo." It tells her.
Ducking down, Himet doesn't retreat or dodge to the side. She has few options left, and the main one she can think of requires her to get in very, very close. So once again, she charges right back at the oddly vain (at least as far as its crown is concerned) creature. She's not able to avoid the blade of the polearm, not completely. It cuts a long gash along her left arm, tearing through the dark grey material as she puts herself in close to the creature, and tries her damnedest to shove every last one of those tranquilizer darts into its side.
"Mooo!!" Comes the.. mooing.. from the Cow King as is demonic blade cuts a nasty gash on Himet's side. Drool and blood pours out from its snout, acting like the very image of the enraged bull that it is, even if its movement is somewhat limited by the fact that its still trying to balance that shiny crown on its head.
Its overagression proves to be its own undoing however, as getting up close and personal with the elite eagle knight means being the recipient of a ton of tranquilizer darts. It can ignore one or two, and a dozen would just make it drowsy, but several dozens of those things take their toll and the Cow King stumbles back as its belly is covered by the darts.
"M-Moo.." It says, sounding sleepy. It even yawns and looks tiredly at Himet, saliva pouring down its mouth messily.
Finally, it ends up falling to its knees, struggling to lean itself on the handle of its halberd before giving one last look at Himet.
"Eat.. more.. chikken.." The Cow King says with a gurgling sound and falls face forward, snoring.
Himet says, "And.... I'm out of ammo..." Suddenly her equipment flickers and shifts in color to match the surroundings again. "Oh, now you finish rebooting," she says with an annoyed tone. She closes the helmet again with her right hand, as her left arm is not in good condition. She walks to each weapon stowing them in turn as she reaches them. The macuahuitl, the sniper rifle, her wakizashi... oh, wait, she can't stow that with just her right hand. Inside her helmet, she frowns as she looks at it. With a wince, she transfers it to her left hand and stows it. It seems she's completely forgotten about Jim by now."