264 Assassin Squad part three
The yellow-eyed rat cursed to himself. Apparently the rats of Val the Dark's keep were the idiot rats of the Nether. Nearly every rat hole ended up being a dead end. Finally have two hours he located Val's room. It had only taken him an hour to locate the first three targets.
Leva watched Nix from her desk. He reclined comfortably occasionally cursing quietly about the stupid rats at Dark Keep. "Ready for the last one Nix?"
Nix remained focused on the task at hand and didn't answer for several minutes. "I'm back at the entry point, get me as close as you can Khan's territory, we won't have a second shot at it."
"When should I contact Ducky?"
"As soon as you open this last Breach."
[Create Breach: Nether Dark Compound: Nether King's River]
The Rat-King crossed the river quickly, his knowledge of the Nether Leader's territory was non-existent. In the distance, he could see the gates and sturdy looking walls. On a hunch, he stayed on the river bank and followed it north toward the compound.
[Direct Contact: Ducky]
Leva waited until Ducky's holo popped up before speaking. She had masked herself in case the Water Witch wasn't alone. "I have messages for you to send to your allies Ducky."
Ducky glanced around before nodding. She was at the base of the Dragon Fir Tree in Haven. "Send it through."
Inferno: Meet at the Loki Dock at 12:00, the Breach that appears there will take you to your target.
Salamander: Meet at the Loki City Gate at 12:00, the Breach that appears there will take you to your target.
Resolute: Meet at the Loki Market Place, the Breach that appears there will take you to your target.
12 Pillar Alliance under the command of Banja from Hoss: Meet at the Loki Gate Platform, the Breach that appears there will take you to your target.
/Alliance Command: Ducky: This is a directive from Breach Commander Nix. Arm yourselves and be ready to fight. At midnight, be at your assigned area to enter the Breach that will bring you to your target. Once your target is down, immediately retreat.
Salamander: Loki City Gate: [Target] Orphil.
Resolute: Loki Market Place: [Target] Val the Dark.
Inferno: Loki Dock: [Target] Zedmundi
12 Pillar Alliance: Loki Portal: [Target] Noctur Dhahat
Thankfully the river flowed into the city through a grate located near the bottom of the river. Nix's big advantage over real Nether rats was that Rat-King didn't have to hold his breath. He easily squeezed through the opening and swam along the bottom. Several crazily large fish swam near him, making Nix thankful that the Rat-King had a strong stealth ability.
The river darkened substantially and Nix exited the water under a footbridge. His keen rat nose sniffed the air. The overwhelming stench of liquid Nether was close by, he scurried along the bank following the scent. There were scores of rats both dead and alive in and along the river.
A dozen drainage pipes exited from the side of a large brick building, Nix tested each of them for nether. "I guess it can't be that easy."
Leva looked up from her desk when he spoke quietly. "Forty minutes Nix."
Nix picked the only pipe that had nothing draining from it and quickly scurried in. The pipe was smaller than the Rat-Kings body, but thanks to the unbelievable flexibility of the rodent skeletal system, they were extremely adept at squeezing. The pipe he was in, suffered a large break that entered into a dim chamber of sorts. It smelled exactly like a sewer would. Instead of exiting there, he continued pushing forward.
A few minutes later the Rat-King ran into a plug. A dead rat of enormous girth was wedged into the pipe, completely blocking his path. "Now that's a big f*cking rat."
He grabbed its hind legs with his teeth and started pulling backward, slowly the rat plug followed him back to the break. Nix pushed the rat out with his front paws and noticed the probable cause of death. Its head was bitten clean off.
This time Nix hurried, he was still going ahead with the Overlord plan, but he really wanted the big haul. The overwhelming smell of Nether caused him to increase his speed. "What would be Khan's likely source of Nether?"
Leva had been considering the question for a few hours. "My best guess would be a Nether Well."
"I'm closing on something, the taint of Nether is very strong." Nix increased his speed, twice he had to stop and dig his way through collapsed pipes. Finally, the pipe ended in a large drainage tank. The smell of Nether was everywhere, too dense for Rat-King to pinpoint it.
"Sorry to interrupt Nix, I remembered something. Look for pipes made from a reddish clay! Normal metal pipes deteriorate quickly when transporting pure Nether. The properties of the clay neutralize the Nether."
"You just made my day." Rat-King's yellow eyes stared at the three red pipes among the dozens present. His thought moved toward the Krayven and the mud-like substance that they smeared on their bodies. Were they related somehow?
He chose the middle one and placed his tiny paws on the pipe, he could sense the Nether behind it. With Rat-King claws and teeth, he started to gnaw into the pipe. Getting through the outer coating was the hardest part, once he was past that, the clay broke apart easily.
It started with a small leak when Nix continued a crack formed in the pipe and finally a break that caused the sudden outpouring of Nether that washed the Rat-King backward a few meters.
"F*ck." Nix cursed at the nether pouring from the pipe, if the basin was large enough it might not ever slow down. Deciding to risk it, Nix entered the broken pipe and slowly started to claw his way upward, he had only gone about ten feet when he realized that Rat-King wasn't strong enough to make the trek. The nether flushed him down so fast that he missed the break and started to pick up speed. He went through several twists and turns before he felt his rat body freed from the confines of the pipe, he had found the well.
He swam in the dark liquid, finding a stone side he immediately scampered out onto the ledge. "The F*ck is that."
Rat-King stood perched on the edge of a typical looking water-well. A large carcass was shackled across the top, it had deep slices that steadily dripped blood into the Nether. The creature itself was like nothing he'd ever seen.
Its bulbous head had one large eye like a cyclops, all four of its limbs had been sheared off and the remains of what might have been a tail was also sliced open.
"Who are you?"
A powerful voice spoke in Rat-King's head. For an instant, he thought that he was caught, but this voice came from the corpse. "I'm Pon the Magnificent, a human merchant from Oasis. Who are you?"
"Someone who doesn't like lies."
Nix stared for a moment and then started to explore the room. He was getting dangerously close to his deadline. "F*ck off then."
"Wait... My name is Tharaka."
Nix stopped dead in his tracks, even though he knew the clock was ticking. "Tharaka? The Dragon Master of Icaraphet?"
"You're well informed, I am he."
"I have a date with your boss, so I need to get out of here now."
"That's an animated creature? Are you close?"
"Shit... Plan B, looks like I won't make it in time." Nix spoke from the couch, his eyes still closed. "Let's go ahead and pus..."
"Pon! You are after Khan? His chamber is right above mine. I can get you to him."
"In one minute that's no longer an option. Talk fast." Rat-King scampered toward the lump of flesh that use to be a dragon and stood on his hind quarters.
"There is a long cut over my heart, if you burrow into the cut and leave the creature there, I will be able to animate it."
Rat-King shook his tiny head. "Give you this Revenant Rat? Right...Kindly f*ck off."
"Why are you so difficult Pon?"
"That's Pon the Magnificent for starters. One is that I don't like dragons and two is that how do I benefit by giving you something?"
"He's filled my body with thousands of artifacts that sap magic. If I can animate that creature, I can open a Breach to the Nether Emperor's Chamber."
"I'm not your friend or someone who is here to save you. Swear a Dragon Oath that you will only act in my best interest."
"I swear that my only wish is to end my life and if possible help you destroy Khan."
Nix felt the power of the oath wash over him. "Did I say I was going to destroy him? Maybe I'm just visiting?" The Rat-King ran while he spoke. The cut was easy to find and he immediately burrowed into it until he touched the heart with his nose It was still beating and the only healthy piece of flesh in the entire carcass.
"You'll have to trust me. Tell your location and I will send you chamber."
"I'm in Chyanama, the office of the former Dragon Master."
"Zylanexor is dead?"
"Yes. Disconnecting, I'm out of time."
Nix sat up on the couch, a few seconds later a breach opened up. Without thinking he stepped through. He looked out over a familiar-looking domed room, there was no one present. Immediately he opened a breach and stepped into Loki.
Alpha Team was waiting in place.
/Alpha Team: Nix: Charge them up!
Nix activated his Lightning barrier.
Quickly he opened up breaches to all the places he'd visited during the evening.
[Create Breach: Loki City Gate: Nether, Orphil Compound]
[Create Breach: Loki Market Place: Nether, Dark Compound]
[Create Breach: Loki Dock: Nether, Zedmundi Compound]
[Create Breach: Loki Portal: Nether, Dhahat Compound]
Nix opened a last breach to the place he just left.
/Alpha Team: Nix: Do it! And then follow me through!
[Lightning Barrier: Discharge]
Fajii has discharged the lightning barrier that was protecting her.
A singular bolt of lightning moved outward from Fajii's hand and struck Pon's barrier.
[Lightning Barrier: Discharge]
Pon has discharged the lightning barrier that was protecting him.
A bolt of lightning struck from Pon's hand struck Semmi's barrier.
[Lightning Barrier: Discharge]
Semmi has discharged the lightning barrier that was protecting her.
A bolt of lightning struck from Semmi's hand struck Wind's barrier.
[Lightning Barrier: Discharge]
Wind has discharged the lightning barrier that was protecting him.
Wind sent the last powerful bolt into the breach that Nix has just entered.
Nix had just stepped through, his eyes glowing white with the power of lightning, raised one hand and aimed at the lone figure rising out of the murky basin.
Nix has delivered a mortal strike on Khan Azul.
"WHO DARES ENTER HERE?"