I felt a buzzing, tearing sensation moments before landing face first in the dirt. I sensed more than saw Thranduin and Cassandra/Ajax follow after me. I felt like throwing up; I came here wanting to make a difference, but it was all becoming too real too fast for me.
I heard Thranduin say something about smoke in the distance, and I followed the others in that direction. The trail of smoke ended in the savaged remains of a couple ATVs and motorcycles. Markings on the vehicles and bodies indicated these were the remains of fellow Invisible Army personnel. There was little sign of what tore into their allies with such savagery, apart from the strange remains of some giant creature whose bones were made of steel. Neither Thranduin nor I were able to deduce much from it, so we took inventory of what was salvageable. I took some energy cells and two laser pistols while Cassandra had Ajax pick up most of the rest. I’m still in awe that I’m working alongside a real-life Glitterboy!
We heard a loud crashing sound suddenly start toward us and breaking into the clearing was a massive cross between a rhinoceros and a buffalo. Pure terror flooded my veins with adrenaline, and I stayed close to Thranduin and activated my shield. For the rest of the relatively short battle, I alternated between awe watching Ajax go toe to toe with this creature, and panic every time I fired a shot at it. And when it turned its attention from Ajax to us, it completely destroyed my shield with just one hit! But Cassandra proved to us why Glitterboys are so awesome, and she took down the monster!
I’m ashamed to admit that when my shield was destroyed, terror overtook my bladder and I tried to hide that my pants were wet. Thankfully Thranduin and Cassandra didn’t say anything, but I’m still really embarrassed by that. I pressed my gloves against the dead beast and triggered my visor to see what I could find about where it had come from, and I saw someone spooky wearing some sort of helmet with wires and mech dogs. I pressed into the connection harder and knew that he was just a couple days’ travel from here. But then he looked up and I knew he could somehow see me! I almost wet myself again and hastily severed the connection.
We talked about it for a few minutes then took some trophies from the monster and carefully followed the tracks of the rhinaffalo. As night settled in, we heard laughter and loud voices. Thranduin and I crept closer and could make out 3 or 4 bonfires and a number of tents. Commonly dressed people were just wandering around talking with some others in a sort of uniform. It took a few minutes of watching them to realize that we had stumbled into a carnival! What the heck?
We pulled back to talk to Cassandra and figure out our next step, but I think we’re going to the big top!