Part 235: Pozzo: Update 8a
UPDATE 8a: THE ASSAULT OF CREMATION CONTINUED: JOSEPHWONGKS FIKODEGGUT, AIDE-DE-CAMP
As I rounded the stop of the stairs and ran out on to the bridge I saw that none of the groups of humans had yet charged. They all just hung around on the edge of our lands and did nothing. Countess Cyster finished her screaming match with Plagueurges the Frost Giant, and decided it was too cold out here and decided to come in. I stood out waiting on the monument for a while. Nothing happened.
I heard a commotion coming from down stairs. Bobzzo was yelling. "What the devil do you mean 'I'm hungry' you damn fool?! There's a bunch of bastards out there wanting to skewer us! By jingo! We need that blasted machine working! I'll do it myself! You're demoted to...blast, I don't know. Shitbird!"
As I listened to this I saw movement out to the east. The group of Bowmen & Wrestlers led by Sinur Fishedlengths had decided to charge, and were kicking up clouds of dust and snow as they rode out across the glacier.
There was some more movement down to my lower right, and I heard a scream. I ran to the edge of the platform to get a closer look. Cyster was out on the mountain again, and had spotted the screaming Plagueurges.
She ran back up the mountain towards me. But her screaming had alerted the charging bowmen, and they switched their course to ride straight towards her.
I wondered if she even knew about the siege. I heard the sound of galloping coming from behind me and realised that the western group of Axemen, led by the spearmaster Ago Shockedpages had begun to charge towards the entrance, looking like they were aiming to round on to the entrance channel from the northern side. But as I watched the countess run I had a sickening realisation. Both charging groups were going to bypass the ballista channel altogether, and use the ramps Bobzzo had just erected next the gatehouse to enter the bonehoard from behind our defensive lines.
I shouted down a warning to Bobzzo. "Great Litasts ass-hair!" he cried. "You, boy!"
"I'm Mr. Peepers!"
"Whatever! Come with me!" and the pair of them rushed off to take down the ramps. Right then the southern group of spearmen, led by the Elite Crossbowman Sestah Lakestrailed began to charge off towards the main entrance, appearing, thankfully, to be using the standard entrance path. Bobzzo and Mr. Peepers got to the ramps and worked fast to take them down. This appeared to confuse the two groups charging towards them sufficiently that both stopped in their tracks to reconsider. Meanwhile, Sestah and his group continued to charge, thundering under the now disconnected bridges towards the ballista run. As they did, one of them blundered into one of our old weapon traps, which took out both horse and rider, eviscerating them
Bob continued rushing to connect up the bridge from MACHINE Y to the lever. He was crying out "Where the bloody hell is rabbitmonger? I need a wall built around this lever, we may need to lock somebody in!"
I looked around for the humans - I couldn't hear them anymore. It took a moment of searching, but I found them; they had stopped under the bridge and were milling about doing very little. It was an odd battle tactic.
The other two groups were milling around exactly where they had stopped and the final two groups were still milling about where they had entered our lands at the south east and south west. Bobzzo suddenly cried out: "Hah ha! eat that you lanky bastards! It's connected!" As he yelled I watched as the humans under the bridge - the spear men from the southern group - started on the move again. I yelled to Bobzzo. "They're coming up the rise!"
"Ready the Ballistae!" he cried.
" I need a drink!" cried Teim and rabbitmonger in unison and scarpered out of the battery, abandoning their ballistae.
"Goddamn it! Lock those bloody doors, you bounders!" cried Bobzzo, and he ran to lock the remaining operators (Mysticalhaberdasher, Cannonfodder, Icedrake, notwhoyouknowiam) in the battery til the end of the siege.
I watched as two spearmen broke from the pack, rounded the rise and charged the battery. nowhoyouknowiam fired the first bolt
The arrow flew out wide and missed both spearmen.
All the other operators then decide that the humans were getting too close for comfort and ran to the back of the battery to hide. I could hear Bobzzo roaring. "You bloody cowards! I'll box your ears when this is over! All of you!"
"...Pull the bloody lever! They're coming!" he cried next. TheWhiteCrane responded to his call, getting to the lever almost immediately, right as the humans passed into MACHINE Y .
But he was too late. Both humans made it across the bridge, and began charging through the bone hoard towards a wounded warmole that used to belong to Kallisti, before she died, and trampled it under the hooves of their horses.
Then both spearmen rode back out and joined their group again, which had paused again at the bottom of the rise, and was once again milling around doing nothing. I muttered to myself. "What in Litasts name are they doing?"