The Devil, The Witch, and The Wicked World of Delirith
Somewhere in lost Delirith, somewhere in merciless Kaandur, and somewhere in the middle of an ungodly sandstorm rode a convoy of thousands consisting of both the Sand Gang pilgrims and Skull Clan raiders currently in war against each other.
Both sides exchanged fire from their vehicles and their mounted turrets. Those who got shot were immediately blown away by the wind sent flying to who knows where. In the eye of the storm, heavy vehicles still attempted to blindly ram and crash each other to death. Blindly because the sands were so thick that visibility was nearly non-existent. The sky was as dark as a starless midnight, and though they moved in thousands, each individual ride felt like they were travelling alone.
Just to make things worse, a lightning struck abruptly revealed a fairly big tornado in a glimpse. Though heavier rides such as Berthas and the Warstompa could tank through it, lighter rides such as the hoverbike riders were immediately sucked into the tornado once they got too close.
Dozens of men and their vehicles from either sides were seen flying in the air, annihilated in a glorious explosion. Some of the Skull Clans Ropters too were sucked into the tornado, though quite the number managed to escape thanks to their powerful rocket thrusters, but the rest were left to be ripped apart to a billion scrap pieces.
Mako witnessed all of this in awe through glimpses of light from explosions and lightning. The Ashura began to slow down as its rocket boost subsided.
“Is Scorch-face gonna be okay up there?”
Scorch-face was very okay up here, playing his guitar like there’s no tomorrow. Sharp sand cutting through his skin, sounds of explosion and screams of terror fueled the guitarist with adrenaline to every single cell in his body.
“Welp, okay then.”
The two warring convoys marched onwards through the sea of sand, death and explosion, but truth be told the worst had yet to come, and the Sand Gang knew all too well about this.
The sand-bois suddenly ceased their fire. Turret operators retreated back into their vehicles while bikers seek protection by moving near heavier vehicles (assuming they didn’t get blown off or gunned down at this point). The Skull Clan seized the opportunity and continued their attacks, but it soon made apparent to them the reasoning behind the Sand Gang’s action.
High-pitched shrieks thundered the sky out of nowhere, like a crowd of terrified women. Thousands and thousands of haunting shrieks boomed the air non-stop, a sound all too familiar for Sand Gang, but struck great surprise and terror amongst the Skull Clan as well as Mako and Fyra.
“What the hell is with that screaming!?” Fyra asked loudly, whilst covering her ears from the deafening shrieks.
“That, girl, is the real threat inside a sandstorm,” Beatrix replied. “Not the sharp sands, not the lightning and thunder, not the gigantic tornados-”
Suddenly, a winged creature crashed onto the Warstompa’s windshield creating a small crack. Fyra jumped in surprise much to Beatrix's amusement.
“That, Fyra, is what we call a Storm Hantu.”
[ STORM HANTU ]
Don’t let them in your car!
The Storm Hantu got up, revealing its bald, black-coloured human sized body and bat-like wings. But most noticeable of its trait was it’s completely eyeless face and a lack of legs for its snake-like lower body. The Hantu shrieked at them before flying away.
“These Hantus’ burrow themselves underground where they spend their whole life hibernating. Whenever a sandstorm passes by however, the Hantus would get out and fly inside it, following the storm wherever it goes until it subsides. Doesn’t matter how serious a storm is, but thicker and bigger storms do attract more Storm Hantus. Once inside they do whatever their desire pleases; breeding, fighting, eating, and they love to prey on any poor creature that got caught inside the storm,” Beatrix explained longly.
“I see,” Fyra replied. “Wait, doesn’t that mean we’re the ‘poor creatures’ right now?”
“Hah! Them skullies alright, but we’re too used to this shit!”
Just like Anubrax said, the Skull Clan were completely unprepared when their rides were suddenly ambushed by hundreds of flying screaming creatures. The Storm Hantus’ razor sharp claws and teeth dug deep into the skullies’ iron plated cars, ripping it apart like pathetic pieces of paper. Any exposed riders were snatched to the sky and torn limb to limb by dozens of hungry Hantus. Even the mighty Ropters stood no chance as several Hantus smashed right into their engines while the rest ripped off its body as well as the pilot to a million pieces.
Horrified, terrified, and several other “-fied” struck the skullies’ heart as they tried to fight back the Hantus as hard as they could. Turreteers fired their turrets, infantries emptied their clips to the sky, but all their actions proved futile as the dark-coloured Hantus blended all too well in the dark sandstorm. They might blindly shoot down dozens, but a hundred more would come after them.
The Skull Clan were left helpless and their general, Oculus, could do nothing but watch his men fall one-by-one.
On the other hand, the Sand Gang were prepared thanks to generations of experience. Though there were still quite a few unlucky folks snatched away by the Storm Hantus, the rest of the ride huddled together closely and turned on their specialized electromagnetic shield, created solely to repel crashing Hantus.
Every Sand Gang vehicle was equipped with said electromagnetic shield including the Warstompa, save for one truck who had a rather eccentric approach.
“They fly good. They fry good as well,” Futbal spoke, confusing Mako sitting beside him.
“FRY! FRY! FRY!!” Futbal punched the roof violently much to the witch’s surprise.
Hearing the floor beneath him banging, Scorch-face revved his chainsaw guitar. With one powerful strum, pipes all over the stage’s corners, sides, as well as the tower of loudspeakers behind blasted high powered flames, forming a towering flaming tornado that reached hundreds of meters high.
Bright and powerful was the flaming tornado that everyone, from the Warstompa crew, to Oculus’s ride, and all the way to the furthest car behind witnessed it in all it’s scorching glory. The blind Storm Hantus flew right into the flaming tornado and was reduced to crisps because of it, thus protecting the Ashura from the winged monsters just as effective but downright crazier than its electromagnetic brothers.
“We’re experiencing heavy casualty sir! What do we do now?” one of Oculus’s underlings asked inside the truck.
“We hold our ground! Tell them to direct their fire to these flying creatures instead while maintaining close contact with the Sand Gang. We will attack at full force once this sandstorm’s over!!”
The underling nodded and relayed Oculus’s orders to the remaining skullies through their comms devices. As for Oculus himself, the general ordered his driver to drive elsewhere followed by a number of other armoured trucks, separating them from the rest of the convoy. Though they were driving blindly in the dark sandstorm, they were able to keep track of each other as well as the enemy through their superior radar.
Half an hour passed and the Storm Hantus’ shrieking quieted down as the sandstorm itself started to subside. Rays of afternoon sunlight began showing its presence once more, and soon enough, the convoy had fully left the titanic sandstorm.
The Sand Gang pilgrims rode mightily as their numbers barely dwindled after driving through the horrible sandstorm. And on the upside, the pursuing Skull Clan took heavy casualties and all that’s left from them were a few dozen armoured trucks and a hundred or so bikers and other light vehicles. The Ropters were completely wiped out thus eliminating the Sand Gang’s biggest threat.
War continued almost immediately but due to the large difference in number, the skullies were overpowered easily. Cars were rammed, bikes sent flying, trucks exploded from sneakily placed sticky bombs and many more deaths and destruction were brought unto the Skull Clan raiders.
Victory seemed imminent for the Sand Gang, but just when things seemed to side with the pilgrims-
“F###! F###! F###!” Anubrax cursed non-stop. The Sandking controlled the wheel as best as he could but little could be done as the Warstompa was suddenly rammed by a number of armoured trucks.
The Warstompa were ambushed out of nowhere from the left side by Oculus’s group. Four trucks rammed head on to it’s trailer body, while Oculus’s ride itself crashed straight to its tractor. Fyra jumped to the back rightside just in time as the head-on collision destroyed nearly the entirety of the left seats. She would’ve been greatly injured or killed if she didn’t move from her original seat.
Anubrax tried all he could to control the Warstompa’s steering but the combined forces of five rocket-powered heavy trucks completely overpowered it. The Warstompa was pushed to the right, ramming through dozens of Sand Gang vehicles before being separated completely from the rest of the convoy.
“Crap! Anubrax’s in trouble!” Von witnessed the event from his ride. “After them, Tokai! We need to save our king!”
The horned-reptile-man nodded and drove their Bertha towards the Warstompa. Von contacted a few other Berthas commanders to chase after their king in trouble while the rest stayed to fight off the remaining skullies.
The Ashura crew also noticed the Warstompa being pushed away from the convoy right as it passed in front of them. Futbal immediately went after it without being told.
“FREAKING HELL! I CAN’T DO SHIT WITH THESE SKULLIES PUSHING!!” Anubrax tried stepping on the gas harder to accelerate forward, but the five pushing armoured trucks were simply too powerful that it forced the Warstompa’s wheels to maintain its sideways position.
“How about braking it? Let those skullies overshoot themselves,” Beatrix suggested while firing her rifle at Oculus’s truck’s windshield. Her action was futile though as the windshield was bulletproof.
“ALREADY DONE IT, DIDN’T DO JACKSHIT! THEIR PUSHING US FROM FRONT TO BOTTOM SO THEY HAVE COMPLETE CONTROL OF US!-” Anubrax raised his hands from the steering wheel- “LOOK! I’M NOT EVEN DRIVING THIS THING!”
“The only way we gain control back is if we get rid of these trucks,” Fyra commented. She cocked both her powered bracers and shin guards and loaded an assault rifle taken from the pile of guns on the floor. She climbed up the seats and opened the roof hatch.
“WOAH THERE! WHERE YA THINK YA GOING!?”
“Like I said! We’ll gain control if we get rid of those trucks! I’m gonna screw them up for ya!”
“NUH-UH! YOU STAY HERE AND TAKE THE WHEEL! I’LL HANDLE THE TRUCKS!”
“If you go outside then Oculus there is gonna go straight after you!”
“SAME THING FOR YA! YA THINK BLIND SKULLY HERE GONNA LET YA ROAM AROUND FOILING HIS PLAN!?”
“You guys do realize I could hear you two from here right?” Oculus interrupted from his truck. The two looked at him dumbly.
“How about you two just go together, eh?” Beatrix suggested. “It’s not like we can control the wheels anytime now!”
Seeing the logic behind her suggestion, Fyra and Anubrax ended up exiting the truck together and jumped on board the trailer. Oculus awaited them both there with his chainsaw arm blades all revved up. Several other iron-cladded skullies stood behind him with their hatchets and blades up.
“I’LL TAKE CARE OF THESE IDIOTS WHILE YOU GO HANDLE THE TRUCKS!”
Without a time to waste, Anubrax charged towards his enemies swinging his giant chain-a-rang blade. The fodders behind Oculus pounced onwards excitedly only to be chopped down by the mighty Sandking. The two clan leaders clashed blades, exchanging each other’s blows while swiftly dodging and parrying their blades against each other.
Fyra slipped through the crowd, approaching the first truck that pushed the trailer. Fyra blasted a powerful laser-like firestream from her bracer straight at the truck’s windshield. It managed to create quite a crack despite the windshield built to withstand bullets and explosion, thus forcing out some skullies inside to defend their truck only to be shot down or burnt by the one-horned devil.
Fyra continued blasting the focused laser fire when it finally pierced through and destroyed the dashboard as well as killing the driver. The truck backed out before exploding moments later. With three left to go, Fyra continued her mission only to be interrupted by a squad of skullies as well as a surprise attack from Oculus.
The devil slipped and dodged just in time as Anubrax jumped in to save her. Despite cutting down the squadron, more and more skullies hopped on board the trailer as more Skull Clan cars were seen tailing the Warstompa.
“Those two need our help! Floor it, Tokai!!” Von ordered.
Von as well as other commanders riding their Berthas closed in to Warstompa and the rest of the tailing Skull Clan. They opened fire and rammed the skullies lighter rides. Despite the weight and gun advantage, they were greatly outnumbered thus forcing every Bertha to fend off themselves except Von who managed to slip through them all. Because of this, the other Berthas fought valiantly to distract as many skullies as they could from pursuing Von and the Warstompa.
The Ashura on the other hand was having the time of its life. Scorch-face chopped and slashed any skullies that jumped on board while blindly dodging bullets fired at him. The loud guitar riffs and towering fire streams attracted great attention to the Ashura, but all the better for them as Futbal laughed maniacally while ramming their lesser vehicles. They drove past the group of Berthas and quickly caught up with Von.
“Mako? Whatcha doing in there!?” Von spotted Mako inside the Ashura, now cruising on his right.
“Long story! But what’s important is we save those two!” Mako shouted his reply.
“Yes, tell Futbal to go right! We’re gonna surround the Warstompa from both sides!” Von ordered.
Mako passed the message to Futbal only to receive a disappointing reply.
“Futbal said Ashura can’t go any faster! We’ve used up a lot of power back in the sandstorm! But he said he could try to get it to tail the Warstompa as close as he could!”
“Alright, then do just that! I’m gonna free the Warstompa from those pushing trucks!”
“I’m joining ya for that too, chief!” Mako got up from his seat and climbed up to the Ashura’s stage through the trapdoor on the roof. Seeing this, Von ordered his driver, Tokai, to accelerate onwards catching up to the Warstompa.
On the Ashura’s stage, Mako digistructed his Silverbolt and got onto it. He waited until Futbal started tailing closer to the Warstompa’s back by a few meters behind. He could see the scenario on top of the trailer clearer and clearer as the Ashura tailed closer. Fyra and Anubrax were surrounded by armed skullies, and though they seemed to be dominating the battle, it's only a matter of time before they’re completely overwhelmed by hordes of enemies.
“Come on Futbal! Closer… Closer…” Mako revved up his Silverbolt, ready to jump off anytime once they reached the appropriate distance.
Unfortunately, Futbal couldn’t get the Ashura any closer when they were suddenly rammed and attacked by a few skullies’ cars. Mako nearly fell off from his bike but quickly pulled himself up.
“Missed the moon! Too many asteroids!” Futbal shouted from below.
“Fly to the stars! FLY! FLY! FLY!”
Mako understood his orders and immediately rode off. The witch went for a leap of faith as the Silverbolt jumped upwards and onwards to the Warstompa over a 200 meter gap. Mako pressed the gas pedal hard, pushing out much power out of the hoverbike’s rocket thrusters. Finally, he successfully landed on board the trailer.
“HELL YEAH! I DID IT!!” Mako cheered, attracting everyone’s attention to him.
~To be continued~