• Published 22nd Apr 2013
  • 1,690 Views, 210 Comments

Snickersnatch - SpiralWriter

Oddjob awakens to a much different Equestria . . .

  • ...

XI - . . . Or Worse


By: Quisky

Chapter Eleven:

. . . Or Worse

We all gazed upwards, a glass skylight overhead darkened with the shadow of a mighty large form. With but a press fom the shadowed figure, the glass cracked, sending a sprinkling shower to the ground below. We cleared the way as a drake forced his way through the opening in the roof, landing with a heavy thud in the warehouse, followed by two more griffins who hovered overhead.

The drake was something to behold. Even though they were a lesser cousin of dragons, it did not mean they were any less intimidating. The drake's stature dwarfed even my own by an entire torso of height, and that didn't even include wingspan. He was of a stocky, muscular build, a mixture of light blue and greenish scales upon his form. Spines rippled down his back, making my own twitch in anticipation. This would be interesting.

With a loud rumble, the drake scanned the area, slitted eyes narrowing at the sight of the dozen unconscious griffins. We stood in his shadow until he turned to us, a gruff, death-roary voice befitting of his species. "You took out my men." He bellowed, the two griffins that followed him in landing on opposite sides of him. Looks like we were about to enter round two.

"We did." I replied, tensing myself for what may come. My own dichromatic eyes scanned the situation, tongue flicking out to taste the air. Sweat, fear, anger, and a hint of leather followed by a familiar tang of sulfur. Adrenaline kicked in once more, slowing time and heightening my senses. Griffin to the drake's left was male, bulky, bigger than both Legion and Goldguard put together, feathers rustled and almost missing. Looks like the bird had seen some fights given the scars along his body and patches of bare flesh, might take Legion to take him down. Griffin to the right was female, slightly larger than a regular pony. She was slender, odd to see in a griffin. Wore a set of leather greaves around her legs, some light armor as well. Almost had a combination of cream and brown feathers, her 'hair' feathers tipped with pink colored, styled somewhat in a fauxhawk like haircut. A longsword matching her body length was strapped across her back, readied for battle.

It started differently than the last time. In our previous bout with the Talons, one could feel the tension in the air until it reached its breaking point. Now, we all just rushed into it, no build-up or excitement, just a good old fashioned brawl for survival.

Legion took the male, Goldguard the female, and I the drake. Seemed pretty fair. With the two of us roaring a deep, ear-splitting battle cry, we rammed into each other, my strength just enough to match his own. Almost like two lineman in a football game pressed up against each other, we shoved and pushed, trying to get the upper claw, our fangs bared and our eyes alit with fury. Of course, I wasn't as bound by animalistic instinct as he was. While we were in our little lock, I went like a inboxer, holding him back with my shoulders and performing severe body blows, each hooked fist smashing into his abdomen.

It looked like the tactic was doing at least some form of damage, each blow making him grunt and push a little harder back against me. Only when his wings came into play did I start losing. A loud gush of wind was created when the drake extended them, and then a more powerful force slammed into me, sending me flying across the warehouse, only to land with a painful crunch in a concrete wall on the opposite side of the building.

I groaned as I picked myself up from that, already feeling the soreness in my back. I looked up just in time as the drake took a swipe at me with his claws. I narrowly dodged by ducking, the tips of the razor-sharp appendages just grazing the top spike on my head. With momentum on my side, I rebounded upwards, slamming a ferocious uppercut directly into his jaw, feeling the wonderful crunch of metal-coated fist into scale and bone.

He made a little gagging sound, stumbling backwards from the counter. I followed up with several more jabs to the abdomen, but I doubted that got me anywhere in this fight, too well-protected to actually feel some amount of pain. Would have to keep to the headshots, but those would be rare to get in, seeing as how my first one only made him stumble. Drakey would be getting wise as this fight dragged along.

The drake came back at me in full force, seemingly unhurt from previous attacks. I took my stance and stood my ground, weaving around his attempted swipes, trickling in light blows between his. Experience from beforehand had really upped my fighting game, both in Equestria and back on earth. Except back then I didn't have superior strength or a healing factor.

Through the haze of our bout, I caught glimpses of what was going on in the other fights. As I avoided claws that could tear me asunder, out of the corner of my eye I could see Legion acrobatically moving around the griffin, but something seemed off about the mutt. Looked like he was limping a little. As for Goldguard, it appeared he was just barely holding his ground, the female griffin shoving him backwards with strength that did not match her size, her large broadsword she held in her front limbs knocking Goldguard's blade of magic easily aside.

I had lost track of time for how long we fought, something that normally happened when duking it out with somebody. You lose sense of what was going on, only that the other guy needed to go down before you did. The drake had managed to land a nasty tear across my cheek, thick green blood oozing down the side of my face and neck. It stung like a motherfucker and couldn't heal fast enough.

It did appear as though I was making progress. He was beginning to show signs of slowing down, his breathing becoming a bit ragged now after all of those body shots I had placed. But unfortunately, I was beginning to as well. I couldn't react quite fast enough, getting bitch-slapped right across the face with a heavily scaled hand, sending me tumbling back, only for another blow to strike me directly in the ribs, the armor doing squat to protect me.

Across the warehouse did I go once more, my body flying into something wooden and making a cracking sound. I think I hit a crate, breaking it along a couple ribs. My vision was doubled and blurred, a bad combination as I struggled to steady myself back up to my feet. I could feel the ground shaking from the weight of the drake making his way towards me, evident by the growing shadow darkening my vision. At least I wasn't slipping into unconsciousness, but that might be happening soon as a heavy hand smacks into the side of my head, making my senses go numb for a moment. I could taste the heat of blood in my mouth from the blow.

Backing away and regathering myself seemed the only viable option right now other than get beaten into a pulp. I quickly retreated around the drake, my shuffling feet clumsily moving me around him. Luckily his large stature made him slower than me, so the clumsiness factor of my fatigue leveled it out. Eventually my vision cleared just as a fist of blue scales came flying towards me. I jerked to the side, it just grazing my snout and leaving a weird tingling feeling in it. Quickly did I find myself backing up again, hop-skipping away from the punches and tearing claws that threatened me every second until my back hit another wall, the drake closing in fast.

With an angry roar, he shoved both hands forward, claws aiming for vitals. I rolled to the side at the last second, feeling the rush of wind from his movement. Now, the tide turned to my side, his hands deeply embedded into the concrete. He struggled, trying to pull them out, nervously switching from looking at his predicament and the wily smile forming on my face.

I reached behind me, pulling the stave from its holster, and brandishing it directly in front of the big scaly brute, teasing him. Cracking my knuckles and gripping the weapon tightly, I took a batter's stance, swinging heavily directly into his stomach, sending a loud whack! through the area. I then swung it upwards into the under-area of his chin, making him slam his own mouth shut.

"It's the bottom of the ninth, eight seconds on the clock, and Oddjob's Oddballs need a homerun to take home the championship . . ." I monologued allowed, taking on a fake announcer's voice, tensing my entire body as I swung the stave back over my shoulders, feeling the momentum and strength build up in my back and arm muscles, only to rocket forward through the stave's ornamental head, smashing directly into the drake's face. He was cut free from his trap, the sheer force sending him toppling over, fangs and splatters of blood flying from his mouth. ". . . And it's outta here!"

He landed with a heavy slam, and once I was sure that he wasn't moving anytime soon, I holstered the stave, patting it and wiping some of the blood stains off. Now to get a sense of where Legion and Goldguard were in their own personal battles. I turned, eyes falling on them in the rest of the warehouse. We had done a real number on the building, broken crates and pieces of shattered and splintered wood everywhere. Cracks that weren't there before now ran freely along the walls and ceilings. Fortunately, the crate we were to retrieve was unharmed.

Legion's opponent was left beaten and bloodied in a corner. At first glance I thought him dead, but a shuddering breath from the griffin proved otherwise. Goldguard himself stood to the side, armor beaten in with large dents and scratches, as well as a large gash across his cheek. He was panting heavily, but proved otherwise victorious, as the female griffin's own weapon was a few feet away from her and she was feebly crawling towards it.

I stepped forward in front of her, making her stop and glare up angrily. Whoah, talk about daggers, those eyes were intense. Legion and Goldguard joined me on either side, both pretty banged up. We would need a little R&R after this. I looked down towards the griffin, coughing to prep my throat.

"Alright," I began. "First, you're going to tell us a couple things."

"Fall and never flap." She hissed out. I confusedly turned to Legion. He shrugged. "Common insult amongst winged species."

"Thank you, but I'd prefer not to. Anyways, a few questions, and we'll let you go, easy as that."

". . ."

"To begin, your name?"

". . ."

"This is a formal matter, ma'm, and all formal matters require names. I'll start. Hello! My name's Oddjob."

"Oddjob. We'll put that on our hit list. I'm Agatha."

"Alright . . . Agatha. Why did you steal the crate?"

"Money. Worth a pretty penny too."

"What's inside?"

"Dunno. It's heavy though."

"Who hired you? I hear you're a mercenary group, so you took on this job from somebody else."

". . ." She narrowed her eyes, locking into mine. Good, I could make her uncomfortable. I flared the colors of my eyes, the thin pupils locking onto hers. I even added a little blink from my lizard-like sideways eyelids.

" . . . A changeling. But that's all I know, only met him once."

.We all shared a quick glance. This could definitely have something to do with the investigation. "Um . . .scratch that part about us letting you go. We're taking that crate, as well as you as a suspect."

"Wait, what?!" She shrieked, looking about to leap on me before both Legion and Goldguard both subdued her between them. I nodded before heading over to the crate, hefting it up with both arms and carrying it over my back. It did have some weight to it, but nothing I couldn't handle.

"C'mon," I nodded towards the door we entered through, the two carrying the struggling Agatha between them and her confiscated items, Goldguard wearing her longsword across his back. he might've taken it as a trophy.

Whatever this meant with the changeling, at least we were one step closer to finding out what exactly was going on.