All around Amadeus the winds tore at the mountainside. Great crags already ripped by centuries upon centuries of wind and snow were finally beginning to collapse, yet the collapse was unnatural, for atop the peaks stood a group of figures that were gray blobs thanks to the snow in the air. All Amadeus could tell was that they were humanoid in shape, and that they had to be standing at least seven feet tall, with arms thick as tree trunks.
"Oh great, as if I haven't gone through enough today," complained Amadeus to himself as he continued to grip the side of the cliff, pulling himself nearly flat as yet another large chunk of the rock above was hurtled down at him by one of the figures. Swearing at the figure Amadeus considered his options, which were limited due to his lower position compared to their's. Tactically they had a sound advantage over him until he could get up to their level.
"Okay then, going up," he said to himself, pulling the bulky fur he wore tight around him. The fur, designed to resemble Fenrir, the great wolf, son of Loki, made his usual 2 meters of human male stand at nearly 2 and a half thanks to the added height of both the fur clad cloak and the metal mesh helmet which was shaped like a wolf's head. Pulling everything around him as tightly as he could Amadeus dug the toes of his boots into the mountain's side and then literally jumped upward, using his feet for power and his arms to guide his flight.
Luckily his strength had been improving for some time now and he was able to just make it over the rim of the outcropping on which the figures stood. Grabbing at the bottom edge of the small jut in the mountain he swung over the edge and was now face to face with the four figures that had been hurling rocks bigger than his torso down at him since he and his team had reached the mountain's foot almost an hour ago.
Looking at the figures now Amadeus could make out the details of his construction, and wasn't very impressed. They were standard Kzinti warriors, though their fur was white with gray stripes rather than the orange with black that was used more common among their kind. The one directly before him was still trying to heft a boulder up over its shoulders when Amadeus rocketed over the edge of the cliff and up to the outcropping.
Unfortunately its neighbor already had a huge rock handy and tossed it directly at Amadeus with the power to crush him like a bug. Calling upon the skills honed through dozens of such encounters Amadeus dove out of the way of the stone, which struck the place where he'd been kneeling with enough force to crack that side of the cliff off and send it hurtling down the mountain to the ground far below.
Amadeus, recovering from his dive rolled until he was in a position with his legs behind him and his right arm holding the ground before him while his left reached behind his back and pulled a large weapon from out of the folds of his fur. The huge thing, crafted shaft and head from a single piece of silverish metal, gleamed even in the dull light of the mountain's storm. Swinging the weapon over his head Amadeus showed the humanoid tigermen his skill with the weapon as well as blowing the stray hairs from his attire off the double headed axe's blade, and then slamming it into his back to force his cloak closed again and cut off the numbing chill that had been seeping in through the gap between the neck and helmet of his suit.
"Okay kitties, let's see what kind of claws you've got," he shouted over the howl of the winds, and though he knew the Kzinti couldn't understand him, the way he said it must have been enough for one as it charged headlong at him. Laughing at the foolishness of his opponent Amadeus waited for a moment as the creature rushed forward claws first. Just before it reached him Amadeus leaped, using his strength to jump over twice his height in the lighter gravity of the mountain, and then coming down with his axe under him so that it drove itself into the kzin's head, sending a spray of blood into his face, and ending the creature's life with a finality the resounded in the noise of the metal meeting rock as his axe literally cut the catman's in two.
"Next," he said to the other kzinti as he swept his blade up in an arc that threw off the majority of the blood covering it right at them. The others, seeing the challenger now as a true warrior dropped the rocks they had been holding and instead took up weapons. One held a fighting nail, a glove with a meter long clawlike blade coming from it, while another held in his hands a bat'leth, its crescent shape and many prongs unmistakable to a veteran fighter like Amadeus. The third pulled out something that very closely resembled Amadeus' own axe, but was almost twice the size.
"Okay boys, let's see which of our toys break first," he said, more to himself than to the tigermen as the wind's howl made anything but a shout impossible to hear. Despite not being able to hear what he said the Kiznti still roared in animalistic fury, and ripped their way through the snow drifts. With the white powder flying before them their vision of Amadeus was obscured, and the human warrior used that to his advantage, ducking down just as they got near him.
The kzin holding the bat'leth was the first to reach Amadeus, and the first to fall as Amadeus literally drove his axe's head into the ground, and just as the kzin reached the spot where he had been standing the catlike humanoid found the ground rise up under his claws. Putting all his strength into it Amadeus literally tossed the kzin over the edge of the precipice, where he would fall for many minutes before slamming into the ground far below.
Their brother's cries alerting them to the human's tricks the two remaining kzinti stopped rushing forward. Where they had planned on overwhelming the pitiful creature with their numbers they now realized they would most likely fall to some kind of trick. Taking more cautious steps they approached the now standing figure of Amadeus, who knew that such tricks were useless against the now wary foes he faced.
The two kzinti came on as one, each brandishing his weapon before him. Amadeus, not one to be outdone by his foes swung his axe at them, forcing the tigermen to keep their distance from his as he worked out a plan. Unable to come up with anything, he decided that his one hope was surprise, and instead of waiting for the kzinti to make their move, he charged forward with a roar of rage that could be heard even over the wail of the storm.
His tactic, as spontaneous as it was, allowed him that one moment of surprise he need, and with a triumphant feeling insde he slammed his foot down on the dull side of the fighting nail worn by the larger of his two foes. The kzin, unable to compensate fast enough for his opponent's new aggressive stance was forced to watch as Amadeus slammed the flat of his blade into the side of the creature's head, causing the nail to break with an echoing snap of metal, and the kzin himself to spin twice in the air before falling to the snow and laying still.
The one remaining warrior, despite the fact that his brothers had fallen, remained unfearful of the human, and showed it by charging at him, taking care to note where the man held his weapon and swinging his axe in an overhead arc to prevent him from leaping up as he had done with the first kzin. The axe, coming down with more force than he could hope to block, forced Amadeus to roll out of the way, and then leap to his feet again only half a meter from where he'd been. By that time though the kzin had recovered from his blow and was already coming around for a horizontal slash, though this time with much less power behind the blow.
Holding his axe in a vertical position Amadeus blocked the blow, parrying it aside with all the grace of a master, and then launching a counter attack which the kzin blocked by spinning his weapon and knocking Amadeus' axe out of its path. So it went fr many minutes as the two axe wielders grappled atop the snowy peak, their blades ringing together and causing sparks that lit the storm darkened mountainside.
To Amadeus, who had seen many battles of this type, it was easy to follow the routine of his opponent, who like most who wielded an axe, relied on the weapon's sheer power to break his foe. Few who used the weapon like that would ever know victory when they came up against a master of it, for like the sword, the axe could be subtle, moving in midswing to fall wherever the user wished it to, and cutting through an enemy's defenses with ease.
Calling upon that skill Amadeus pushed the kzin warrior back, forcing his opponent to adjust to an ever more intricate series of strikes which came ever closer to contact with his flesh, until in a final sweeping blow it pushed the blade of the kzin aside and drove the axe head home into his chest. For a few seconds the kzin just stood still as a statue, staring down in disbelief at the wound in his front that pierced his heart, and then without cry or sound the creature fell to the snow with a dull thud.
With the thrill of battle done with Amadeus wiped his blade on the snow, removing the green streaked blood of the catman from its silver surface so that it shined once more. With his weapon cleaned the warrior returned it to its resting place on his back and walked to the edge of the precipice, to look and see if the rest of his party had caught up yet. Gazing over into the infinite darkness he did not hear the crunch of snow as a figure rose from beneath a layer of powder, and walked with feline grace until it was right behind him, prepared to push him to his doom.
"Look out, Deus!" shouted a female voice from below, and then, out of the darkness a gout of blue fire shot. Rolling aside Deus spun on his heel to find the kzin with the broken fighting nail standing right behind where he had been. Surprised by the voice as well as his targets sudden movement the kzin was caught off guard as the flame hit him and began to burn his white fur in its heat. Before it could recover from the shock of the hit Amadeus ran beside it and smacked the catman with the side of his axe, sending it over the edge to join both the rocks it had been throwing as well as it brother whom Amadeus had knocked over the edge earlier.
"Well now, that was a fine mess you got yourself into," said the female voice again, this time coming from above this time. Looking around Amadeus found the source of the voice easily, as the woman it belonged to hovered over him riding her staff which sent a jet of blue flame below her.
"I was gonna dodge him," lied Amadeus, and obviously the girl knew it was a lie as she clicked her tongue at him while slowly descending to his level.
"Oh, come on Deus. You didn't even know he was there. Without me you'd be the one falling to your doom," said the blue flame witch, her attire seeming to be much lighter than Amadeus' own considering the temperature of where they were.
"Maybe, but I would of caught myself. Jazz, you know me," responded Amadeus, already walking over to the cliff and beginning to search for handholds.
"Deus, wait. Thee others will be here in a few minutes, and then we can go up together and get the Yggdrasil planet from the dragon," protested Jasmine as she placed her hand on Amadeus' shoulder. Sighing thee man in furs turned to the scantily clad which and looked down at her, his form towering over her one and a half meters.
"Jasmine, I can't wait. I have to go in a few minutes and I really want to win this time," he told her.
"Yeah well you aren't going to be able to beat a dragon of Asgard alone. If I remember correctly it ate you last time," she responded to him, bringing up memories of the last time they'd played this particular game.
"You say it ate me, I say I was trying to attack it from within," he said, turning away and back towards the cliff. Just as he reached it though the whole world seemed to freeze in place as a new layer of gray passed over it, this time due to static rather than the snow fall. When the world reset he was now laying face down in the snow with Jasmine hefting him up.
"Deus, what happened?" she demanded as he slowly picked himself back up.
"I don't know, some kind of sync error, let me check," he told her, pushing at something on his arm and causing a screen to appear in front of him. Looking at the red blinking warning he screamed in frustration and turned back towards Jasmine, forcing himself to calm down despite his agitation.
"Looks like I gotta go. There's something wrong with my Terminal. Same time tomorrow Jazz?" he asked.
"Sorry, I've got duty tomorrow. Maybe next week," she responded, waving goodbye. Amadeus returned her wave before touching a part of the screen before him that caused the whole world to shift again, this time going from a ful environment to something like a flat picture painted on the inside of a globe which he now floated in the center of. Feeling disoriented Amadeus watched as squares of the picture began to go dark, and his view of the globe shifted as the Terminal set him right side up.
Sighing again he felt bad that he'd left Jasmine alone on the side of the mountain with their party far below, but he was confident that she would get them all to the top safely, though beating the dragon might be beyond their skills. Another battle which he should be at, but wouldn't be.
"Damn," swore Amadeus, both at the circumstances of his life, and at the return to Dedros gravity. The Terminal which he had been playing on had kept hm at about .97 grav during the game, but as the Terminal shut down the local gravity of 3.28 reasserted itself, causing him to fall to his knees in surprise. He had defiantly been playing too long, and was already imaging a nice peaceful slumber when he began to curse again.
Around him the normally bright street was dark. Above the skyscrapers, which should have been abuzz with the nightly comings and goings of their occupants were black. Looking at his Terminal Amadeus realized that some kind of power surge must have hit his city, which caused the sync error in the game he had been playing.
"Oh well, the mechanics will fix it tomorrow," he said to himself, pulling at his furry garments so that they would allow air into them. It was a hot night, and though Amadeus was used to walking home in odd raiments due to his late night gaming habit he still hadn't that he was sweating so profusely, and that he would now have to get sweat and blood out of the suit before he could play in it again. Looking down at it he observed that the kzinti's blood, which had splattered on the front of the suit, was already growing hard.
"You know, I might just leave that in," he told himself, feeling that the green blood added to the look of a Norse warrior. It was at that moment that he felt a slight tug at his person, and he instantly dropped down into a fighter's stance, placing his hand at the belt he wore under his furs and on the butt of the pistol holstered to it. A quick scan of his surroundings showed nothing pulling at him though and he relaxed a bit, before he felt another tug, this time hard enough to tell where it was coming from.
"What in the stars?" he swore as he looked up to behold lightning streaking across a clear sky, and not more than a few yards from where he stood. The bolts were so close that he could feel the hairs on his arms raising in response to them, and then with a thunderous concussion several of the bolts struck together, forming a hole in the sky.
"Oh, crap!" he yelled as the tug he'd been feeling became many times greater. His hands acted out of instinct, grasping for anything to hold him down, but they found nothing on the smooth ground of side walk. Scream obscenities Amadeus rose slowly into the vortex, and the moment he made contact a flash of light could be seen. When it cleared Amadeus and the vortex had both vanished.
On another world a hole in the sky was ripped open for a moment, belching forth a single figure before quickly sealing shut again. This figure, clad in furs fell to the ground three meters below screaming out curses at the various gods he knew the names of, and several ones he was making up on the spot. His stream of foul language was cut off suddenly when he slammed into the ground in a beautiful face plant that left him sitting still for several minutes before rising to his feet somewhat woozily. Placing his hand on his fore head to steady himself he looked around, gauging his surroundings.
"I have got to get a new travel agent," he said to himself as he found himself....