Part 24: Will Gourdon Die For My Sins?2Yr. 10Mo. 3Wk.
I... I don't know what to say. Except that I was a huge, cocky jerk, and it's those I care about that have paid for it... but I'd better start at the beginning.
I headed off to the Kalaragi Jungle with Chucky, with Titan and Gourdon along to learn some more techniques. I figured it wouldn't be a problem; I'd blown through it easily enough in the spring, and Chucky has only gotten stronger since then.
Indeed, Chucky got stronger just on this trip, hitting level 14 and learning a new skill, GoldenArm. It's a massively powerful long-range attack.
As you can see, it really packs a punch.
Titan and Gourdon got stronger too, hitting level 11. Titan learned Eagle Eyes, Machismo, Water Lore, and BeaAttack (an insanely good long-range move--accurate, damaging, and crits well--whose only down side is a high cost); Gourdon learned Foresee, Wind Lore, Machismo, and Surprise (a short-range guts drainer that can addle).
We ran into a lot of monsters; some were tough, some were cute, some were annoying. All fell before Chucky. Even as I went deeper into the jungle than I'd been before and the fights started getting closer, I wasn't worried; I figured if things got too tough, we'd just leave and come back later.
That was before I stumbled into a clearing and spotted this.
It looked like a Gaboo, but one that had been horribly mutilated. Who could have done such a thing?
As it turns out, he thought we could.
Rio tried the diplomatic approach, but her stumbling delivery and the Gaboo's raving psychosis caused negotiations to fail.
That left things up to me, a position I was comfortable with.
Right until Chucky's best attack bounced uselessly off of one beefy arm.
His claws didn't fare any better either.
The Gaboo's claw suddenly transformed itself into a giant drill, wider than Chucky is tall...
...and in a single blow, he fell. Only the sheer size of the drill kept him from being killed outright.
Titan flew in, almost too fast to see, and actually managed to scratch the beast...
...but another blow from that massive drill silenced his buzzing. And then... it hurts even to think about it...
...brave little Gourdon hurled himself into the fray.
Even though he didn't have a hope of victory, he stood toe to toe with that monster, attacking it with a tiny toy boxing glove. Again and again he struck feeble blows, hoping to save me...
...I don't remember how we escaped. They're all in the hospital now, everyone but Rio and me. Not a scratch on either of us. We don't know when they'll get out.
We don't know if they'll get out.