Fighting is unexpected.

Warriors are born in instants, and die the same way. Hilt showed two of the Archiwrecks just that. She was upon them in instants. In two strokes, their throats were slit. That was all she could get before the remaining sorcerers threw her back with their magic.

Book entered the fray then. Three more Archiwrecks fell, disintegrated to nothingness. The Master did not like death to be sloppy. Like his books, his spells were methodical, well-researched, and concise. When he obliterated his enemies, he did so with an intelligence that the Sarrofop sisters could only envy.

The Archiwrecks tried to hold on against the combined attack. But there was a great difference between hardened criminals and learned battle experts.

The leader grimaced, set himself, and howled. A wall of red force sprang up between them and the Circle mages.

Book frowned and looked at Hilt. The Archiwrecks were gathered, and prepared. His spell work was being blocked. Intricacy might eventually overwhelm force, but not before they were themselves consumed.

“Just kill them!”

And that’s when Zibnizik found himself inexplicably involved.

The gnome was never really a fighter. If it were up to Zib, he’d rather be cooking his potions. But when the rest of the Archiwrecks attacked, he had no choice. And when gnomes got in fights, they never played fair.

Three bandits attacked him. They brandished spell books, knives, and more anger than he had seen before.

He held two potions. Zib had palmed them since the Archiwrecks first appeared, suspecting this might happen.

“Are we sure this cannot be resolved peacefully through debate and rhetoric?” He asked.

They glared back at him.

“Fair enough.” The gnome slammed the first potion, filled with a swirling gray liquid, to the ground. A mist burst forth, billowing out in great clouds around them.

Zibnizik readied his hotfoot potion. The best he could come up with on short notice, nothing lethal. But the Archiwrecks looked at him in fear, their eyes trailing from his hand to the mist flowing in all directions.

“No!” One of them screamed. “Don’t let that touch the door!”

Too late. The mist billowed against the blue velvet door. With a screech, the golems crackled and sparked. The iron-clad copper bodies wreathed themselves in lightning, and looked around.  The two golems took in the room, and glowed in recognition.

“Don’t worry,” Pidelle said. “If we have a temporary ceasefire it is possible that victory can be achieved. We can fight them together!”

Pidelle did make sense. Until four more golems burst into the room in bolts of lightning.

“You were saying, sister?” Pidella asked.

One of the constructs rumbled towards the bandits. It slapped aside the red forcewall, dismantling it in a gesture.

“Circle, to me!” Hilt shouted. A golem threw its hand forward, lightning coursing toward Hilt. She caught it on her blade, and sent it towards the Archiwrecks.

“She might find a way to save us by just killing everyone, won’t she, Yuva?” Zibnizik asked.

Unfortunately, Yuva was nowhere to be found.

copyright 2018 Jack Holder

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