Basilisk lit a cigarette, holding his hand over one end of it to block the wind from blowing it out. He tapped on the end of it to shake off some ash. Pushing his helmet back so that his view of the battlefield would not be obstructed, he looked for the perfect target from the bluff his crew was set up on.
"Fire!" he hissed to his men when he had found it.
With a loud blast one of the huge artillery cannons let loose a shell. The force threw it back a few yards. One of the Claw men who had been manning the cannon was caught by surprise, and the cannon rolled over his leg, snapping it neatly into two parts. He yelled out in pain.
"Shit!" Basilisk said, "Get him to a medic. And watch the recoil on that thing!"
A leaper suddenly began to come towards them, letting fly with shells and missiles and the like. All the guns which went down the line began firing more or less randomly in the direction of the leaper.
"Hussar-class, I'd say," Basilisk said to himself, sketching a few figures in the dirt with a short stick, "Slight change of trajectory for that sort of leaper. All right! Cease fire! Adjust angles for 20º below the leaper. Fire simultaneously on my command."
Basilisk lifted his arm high into the air. The gunners all waited anxiously. He judged the position of the leaper, then he brought his arm down to his side. The batteries all fired simultaneously, and many ballistics struck the leaper. It wasn't enough to bring it down though.
"Again!" he yelled, raising his arm.
He brought it down almost instantly. Another salvo flew at the beastly machine. He let loose two more fusillades before the leaper finally bought it. The Claw men all began cheering. Basilisk smiled as the regular thumping began again. He was pleased with their performance, but he was happy for another reason.
"You two, come with me!" he yelled, pointing at two of the Claw men.
They followed him as he took off running down the ridge toward the downed leaper. He was stumbling, but had excellent footing because of his excitement. He felt as nimble as a mountain goat.
"I wonder if it's really him," he said to himself, "I wonder if it's really de Ris."
"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov
Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."
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