Back to the main page

Mailing List Logs for ShadowRN

Message no. 1
From: Ed Matuskey <MATUSKEY@***.EDU>
Subject: Freeing Highlander, part 2
Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1993 18:52:52 -0700
>>>>>[Anonymous here. This is the beginning of the ritual, along with the
actual battle. This is a very long file.

***** Download: Video/Audio File

The seven mages sit down in a circle, just inside the ritual perimeter.
Brandon Lowe is at the head with, Blitzkreig to his right. Continuing around
is Cerise, Drake, Princess, Raven, and Cooper. Highlander sits in the center
of the circle looking slightly worried. The bandange is off his hand, and
the spider-shaped ring is plainly visible. The finger it is attached to is
red and very swollen.

The runes on the ground glow slightly and then, just for a second, a dome of
blue energy surrounds them all. (Brandon) "I think we will begin now."

He raises his hands and the air above Highlander begins to shimmer. He then
nods at Blitzkreig, who does the same. The shimmer increases.
Nodding to each mage in turn, Brandon summons them all into the
ritual and the shimmer increases as they join. By the time Cooper joins
the air inside the dome glows with magical energy. Then they began
to chant.

<There is a really big lag of lots and lots of chanting which we removed from
the recording.>

(Anonymous) "Hey! Somebody's opening the front door!"
A video monitor turns on so everyone can see. Walking into the main hall is
Spectre looking like he's been to hell and back at least twice.

(Gepetto) "What the hell! Drek! I don't see anyone else coming but I didn't
see him either."

(Anonymous, grimly) "You're not the only one with egg on his face. None
of the outside sensors I got registered a damn thing."

(Regent manifests suddenly) "I saw him, but I thought I'd get a kick out of
watching you all panic. I did, too."

Spectre walks through the house down into the basement where everyone else is
waiting. He glances around the room.

(Spectre) "They're coming."

(Powerhouse) "How long?"

Spectre shrugs, and turns to the wall monitor.

(Spectre) "Where's the armory? I need to drop my bag someplace. Stuff's
useless in a brawl."

<Not quite as much edited out footage of chanting.>

(Regent manifests once again) "She has arrived and brought a lot of friends
with her."

(Nightstalker) "How many?"

(Regent) "Too many. Way, way too many."

(Gepetto) "We've got incoming drones. Fifteen of them. Must be herding
them. Engaging, NOW!"

Raven, Brandon, and Cerise flinch. (Brandon) "The ward's starting to buckle and
we're nowhere near the end of this ritual."

(Raven) "Can we do it any faster?"

(Brandon) "Maybe two minutes, but it's not safe. The backlash will kill
Highlander and Cerise, and the drain might knock us all out."

(Raven) "What if I linked my aura to Highlander's also?

(Brandon) "Hhmmm. Good idea, but we'll need you and your magesword to help
Drake. Blitzkreig, link your aura with Highlander. Drake, Raven.... argh!
Ward's down!"

The security team leaps to defensive positions around the ritual circle, each
member drawing a melee weapon of some sort as Gepetto's Spirit Thrasher's
blades whir to life. The wall monitor flashes to a view of the front hallway,
where a drone is flying through the wreckage of the front door, surrounded
by manifest Spider spirits.

(Gepetto) "Something funny about that drone. Bullets aren't hitting it."

(Anon) "Interior defenses should handle it."

Elementals manifest and attack the spiders in the hall only to be attacked by
yet more spiders. Concealed weapon turrets are revealed, spraying the drone
with machine gun fire, which have no effect. A spirit is destroyed by a
hidden laser, narrowly missing the drone, which flies on.

In the room itself, Spider spirits begin to manifest and attack the vastly
outnumbered security team.

Powerhouse's sword flashes as he swings it widely, killing two spiders before
they recover from manifesting. Nightstalker slashes at one, but it bats the
blade away with a long leg. Lucky cuts a leg off a spider, dodges its
counterstrike and then rips a long wound on its torso with her knife focus.
Spectre charges straight at the nearest spider. He grabs a pincer in his
cyberhand and plunges his spurs deep into the spider. It tries to escape his
grasp, but he just plunges his spurs into it again. It falls lifeless and
dissapates into vapor. Fenris turns to the nearest spider and blasts it with
some sort of spell, killing it instantly. But more and more are forming.

(Brandon) "Cerise! Blitzkreig! Link up now!"

Cerise and Blitzkeig leave their places at the edge of the circle, grab
Highlander by an arm, and begin to chant. Everyone in the circle shudders as
spirits, visual only as a distortion in the air, slam against the now flickering
dome of magic. Another spirit tears into these spirits, killing two and drawing
the others off into an astral battle.

(Princess) "Good job, Regent."

Back in the melee, the defenders are still in a circle around the ritual team.
Most are menaced by at least two spirits, and are frantically defending
themselves, only occassionally able to land a telling blow. Both Powerhouse
and Lucky use their foci ferociously, and Fenris sends blast after blast into
the melee, but sheer force of numbers prevents the group from gaining any
breathing space.

A spirit suddenly materializes above the Spirit Thrasher, bearing it to the
ground. For a few seconds, the blades continue to spin, chewing up the floor,
but then sparks fly from the casing, and the drone grinds to a halt.

The room shakes as the sound of a small explosion is heard.

(Anon) "The drone just destroyed the door to the basement. Expect some more
company. I can take it out. Gepetto, you're going to lose contact with drones
in the house in a few seconds.

(Gepetto) "Fine. I've got a lock on the enemy rigger's location. I should
have him iced in a few seconds. Turn off your jammers in thirty seconds."

(Raven) "We need more time! Brandon, can your group send us some help?

(Brandon, sighing) "Very well."

(Cerise and Blitzkreig) "We're linked!"

(Brandon) "Good. Drake. Raven. Collect the rest of the energy."

Drake and Raven stand up, each drawing a magesword as they do so. They both
begin to chant and their swords begin to glow, the brightness increasing

At the foot of the staircase the drone that passed the battling spirits in the
entrance hall appears. Small tubes on each side are empty, but a barrel is
visible from the front. It moves above the melee and tracks in on Brandon Lowe.

(Anon) "Not a chance, sucker. Activating jammers."

The drone wobbles for second, then resumes it's former position as the
autopilot kicks in. It hovers uselessly, awaiting new instructions.

(Lucky) "Great! What can you do about Widowmakers?"

(Widowmaker) "Nothing that will save your misible little life!"

The Widowmaker, a beautiful woman with jet black hair dressed in an extermely
provocative dress, forms from something on the floor below the masterless drone.
She smiles slightly as she surveys the battle. Powerhouse notices her and
kills the two spirits he is fighting. He charges at her, but her smile

(Widowmaker, singing) "Ah, ah, ah. Keep that sword away from me."
She lifts her hand and a powerful gust of wind of wind strikes him. He manages
to keep his feet, but his sword is knocked from his hands.

(Powerhouse) "Have to do better than that!" He charges towards her and a spider
leaps in front of him. His hands light up and he jams them both straight into
its torso. It dissapates leaving Powerhouse just meters from the Widowmaker.

(Widowmaker, singing again) "I said get back!" Another blast of wind catches
Powerhouse, lifting him off his feet and tossing him across the room. He lands
hard, but springs back to his feet in time to avoid a pouncing spider.

Lucky kills a spider and quickly switches her knife to her right hand. She
draws a Remmington Roomsweeper from her jacket and fires at the Widowmaker.
(Lucky) "This if for using me you bitch!"

The bullets bounce off a field a few feet from the Widowmaker and she laughs.
A stream of acid fires from her hands and destroys Lucky's Roomsweeper.
(Widowmaker) "Now, now, fight me like a magician. Not a samurai."

Spider spirits begin to surround each member of the security team, at least
four a piece. Fenris recieves several more hits from powerful spider legs, but
continues to blast away at them. Nightstalker is forced to stand his ground
and his guard is bypassed the pure volume of attacks. Spectre goes on with his
business, deflecting blows with his arms and slashing away with his spurs.

More spirits, almost half as many as those all ready present, begin to manifest
throughout the room. Fenris blasts away at one that is forming infront of him,
but pauses just after doing so. (Fenris) "That wasn't a spider."

Behind him a spider leaps high, preparing to catch him in its mouth, but instead
of landing on Fenris it lands on the horn of Regent, who manifests behind him in
Unicorn form. He then shifts into the elven form he used before. He is covered
in small wounds and heaves the disintergrating spider aside with some effort.
(Regent) "It's getting a little crowded around here. Who invited the Wasps to
this little battle?"

Widowmaker stands transfixed for a moment, watching even more Wasp spirits
manifest and join the battle. Then she screams as a shimmer of an astral being
rushes out of her body into the melee. The shimmer manifests as a huge spider
with razored forlegs. It lands on the ground with a large thud with each of
the razors piercing straight through a wasp. It then strikes outward, a razored
leg spliting another wasp in half.

Spectre sees the razor spirit and smiles an almost manical smile. He then
begins to wade his way toward her through the melee. (Spectre) "There you are."

Powerhouse smashes a spider aside, rolls, and comes up with his sword back in
his hands. (Powerhouse) "Time to die, Insects!" He leaps back into the fray
swinging away at both spiders and wasps.

(Nightstalker) "Guys! Is it me or are the wasps helping us?"

(Lucky) "I don't care. I want Widowmaker."

Back in the ritual circle, Drake's and Raven's swords glow brightly, so bright
that they are hard to look at.

(Raven) "We have all the energy."

(Brandon) "Excellent. Get ready to strike at the same moment."

Drake and Raven begin to walk around the kneeing Blitzkreig, Cerise, and
Highlander. Blitzkreig and Cerise both grab Highlander's right hand and thrust
it high above his head. The razor spirit glances in the way of the circle and
stops battling. Several wasp leap on it, but it ignores them. It trills in
rage, and leaps toward the circle, scattering the attacking wasp and
transferring itself back into astral space. It slams into the energy dome,
smashing it, and flies across to the other side where it begins to manifest

The seven mages and Highlander all seize up as if they were hit by a physical
blow. Highlander crumples like a rag doll and Cerise falls on top of him.
Blitzkreig falls over on his back and begins to pant. Raven and Drake fall to
their knees, the light on their swords disappearing almost instantly. Princess
falls over, seemingly unconcious. Cooper extends a hand, holding up his heaving
chest. Brandon falls back knocked senseless from the rituals abrupt ending.

Spiders leap towards the members of the ritual team, as if the razor spirits
attack was some sort of signal. Two try to attack the prone Brandon Lowe, but
are mobbed by seven wasps. One advances at Cooper, who pops some coffee beans
into his mouth and then zaps it out of existence. Regent lifts a wasp over his
head and uses it as a missile against a spider that attempts to attack Princess.
He then moves to her and begins to cast spells at any spirit that advances on
them. Several spiders try to attack the five in the center of the circle, but
Raven and Drake struggle back to their feet and slay them.

The Widowmaker is standing, back against the wall, behind three spider spirits.
They are being attacked by wasps, but the spiders hold them off until she has
a chance to blast them with a spell. Lucky moves towards her, dodging around
battling wasps and spiders, occasionally slashing one with her knife.

The razor spirit, now fully formed, turns toward the ritual team and charges
towards them. Drake steps into its path and begins to dual it, sword versus
razor legs. He stands strong for several seconds, but the hours of casting
have taken their toll, and a leg slips by his faltering defense, giving him a
small wound. As Drake fights, Blitzkreig struggles to his feet and joins
Raven in defense of Cerise and Highlander. (Blitzkreig) "We have to get out of

(Raven) "I know! But everyone is scattered."

(Blitzkreig) "Fine. I'll go get them."

Blitzkreig stumbles into the melee, clearing his way with bolts of lightning.
He works his way to Fenris, who is spelling away at anything near him. Fenris
smiles as he sees Blitzkreig join him.

(Fenris) "It's about time! These guys are tearing me up."

Blitzkreig and Fenris look around the battlefield and see Lucky reaching the
spirits guarding the Widowmaker. They look at each other and smile, then turn
and unleash spells. Fenris kills one and Blitzkreig forks a lightning bolt,
killing the other two. Lucky charges in and gets hit by a wind blast from the
Widowmaker. However she continues to advance and slashes a wound on the
Widowmaker's arm.

The razor spirit battles Drake for several more seconds before landing a
devastating blow to the man's gut, slicing cloth and skin, and slamming Drake
against the wall in a spray of blood. It then advances on Raven who
stands alone over Cerise and Highlander. She turns to face the spirit and
pulls her sword to a defensive position. Nightstalker appears out of the crowd
and moves to Raven's side.

(Nightstalker) "You didn't think I was going to let you fight it alone."

The razor spirit pulls its forlegs up to attack them both, but the room is
pierced by a frightening yell.

The Widowmaker attempts to dodge Lucky's knife, but receives a second slash.
She then tries to pull back and cast a spell. Lucky steps in and rakes her
blade across the shaman's stomach. She yells and tries to move away, but
Lucky then stabs the knife deep into her torso. She doubles over Lucky's arm
and then drops to the ground.

The razor spirit leaps across the room to land right by Lucky. Lucky backs off
as the spirit attacks her. Fenris and Blitzkreig fire spells at the razor
spirit, but they bounce off its magical defenses. It slashes Lucky in her leg
and the dog adept falls. It then slams one arm into her left shoulder and
begins to bend over to bite her when Spectre contining his maniacal pursuit
slams into the spirits flank. It spins around, swing a leg at the samurai who
ducks under it. Spectre steps up and slashes with his spurs, cutting a small
wound in the spider. It leaps away yet again.

Brandon Lowe stands up in the center of the Wasp spirits that guard him and
rushes to Raven and Nightstalker. (Brandon) "We have to get them out of here."

(Raven) "You two pick them up and I'll guard you."

Brandon and Nightstalker comply, Brandon picking up Cerise while Nightstalker
gets Highlander. Regent picks up Princess and joins the others. Raven begins
to lead them towards an exit which is revealed when a piece of wall slides open.

(Anon) "I would advise you all to use the exit. Right now! I'll get Gepetto
to ready the boats. Deactivating jammers."

(Gepetto) "It's about time. Killed the rigger days ago... oh drek! Where did
they come from?"

Cooper takes up a positon behind Brandon and Nightstalker, chewing away at a
hand full of coffee beans. Fenris picks up Lucky and carries her to join
the others while Fenris clears others out of the way. Powerhouse fights his
way to Drake, but steps back in surprise when the black-robed man stands on
his own. The two turn to rejoin the defenders.

There is a sudden rush of spiders as they attempt to block the retreat. Drake
and Powerhouse slash into the rear of the attacking force, while Blitzkrieg
launches a massive lightning bolt. The spirits are decimated, but Blitzkrieg
succumbs to the combined exhaustion of the broken ritual and his final spell,
and falls limply to the ground. Powerhouse scoops up the downed mage on the
run, carrying him toward the exit.

Raven stands at the doorway guarding it as the others pass through it carrying
the wounded. (Raven) "Spectre! Time to go!"

Spectre continues his rampage across the room, killing spider and wasp alike as
he tries to catch the razor spirit. The razor spirit roams the room hacking
away at wasps, leaving quickly disintegrating corpses in its wake. Raven
continues to stand at the door as everyone passes her, yelling to Spectre.
Raven then starts to advance into the room, but has her arm caught by Brandon.

(Brandon) "We have to go."

(Raven) "We can't leave Spectre."

(Brandon) "He won't retreat, you know that. He wants to die. He always has.
He can't kill her, but he can't let her get away either."

(Raven) "But..."

(Brandon) "No buts. He's like Wolf. He either wins or dies."

Raven stands in the doorway, indecision etched on her features.

Spectre suddenly seems to notice the waiting mage.

(Spectre) "You stupid mage, get out of here! Someone has to get this thing's
True Name, or we'll never be rid of it. I'll kill it, you make sure it
stays dead! This is the only favor I've ever asked you for, dammit! Go!"

Raven waits an instant longer, then turns and runs. Brandon follows, and the
panel slides shut.

The spiders push the wasps harder and harder, until only a few remain.
Only one or two turn their attentions to the raging samaurai, who ignores all
but the razor legged spirit, killing anything that comes near him with a
distracted air.

(Scene shift, exterior view of a dock, with team members loading (or being
loaded) onto two idling Aztech Nightrunners. Drones with machine guns and
rockets provide cover. As the last 'runner boards, the engines race, and
both drones and boats take off into the night.)

(Scene shift, back to interior of room.)
Only a few insect and spider spirits are left. Spectre is still stalking the
razor spirit, who is running out of insectoid targets.

(Anon) "We're clear Spectre. Good-bye."

Spectre grins ferociously at the voice, and springs.

He lands on the back of the razor-legged spirit, and plunges his spurs deep.
Trilling in pain, the spirit leaps, smashing Spectre against the ceiling.
When this fails to dislodge the ronin, the spider trills to it's fellow
spiders, who swarm onto the giant spider's back, tearing Spectre off the Free
Spirit and onto the floor.

As he swings wildly, batting spirits off his prone body, his coat, caught
in the fangs of an attacking spirit, is wrenched off. Beneath it, covered in
blood from a mortal wound to the chest, are several blocks of plastique, bound
to his chest and waist. As the Free Spirit rears over the pinned Spectre,
he screams in both rage and triumph. A small panel on his cyberhand opens,
revealing a concealed switch.

(Spectre) "I never lose!"

(Scene shift, retreating view of house from escaping boat. Suddenly, house is
engulfed in a huge ball of fire. Cries of disbelief come from off screen.)

(Anon) "My house!"

(Nightstalker) "So, that's why he put those bags in the armoury."

(Scene shift, interior of boat, group huddled, looking at Brandon.)

(Powerhouse, gripping sword VERY tightly) "You want to tell us about your
_help_, Mr. Lowe?"

(Brandon, unruffled, crouched over the unconscious Highlander) "No. They
saved your lives. That's enough."

(Drake, whispering) "For now."

(Nightstalker) "Fine. Later. Right now, we've got to find a bolt hole."

***** End Download]<<<<<
- Anonymous <##:##:##/**-**-**>

Further Reading

If you enjoyed reading about Freeing Highlander, part 2, you may also be interested in:


These messages were posted a long time ago on a mailing list far, far away. The copyright to their contents probably lies with the original authors of the individual messages, but since they were published in an electronic forum that anyone could subscribe to, and the logs were available to subscribers and most likely non-subscribers as well, it's felt that re-publishing them here is a kind of public service.