Serial Saturday: Nightmare Engine of Doom Part 22 – We Take the Battle to the Enemy

I was wearing my new suit when we finally approached Rollo Bernard’s manor house, but it was rather extraneous, what with the fact that I was exhorting the newly-influenced steam-golem with a a large arcane wrench while Enzo rode it’s shoulders cackling like a madman as we jogged toward the gate. So it had been rather unnecessary for me to spend quite so much money on a sharp set of tailored clothes, but I was wearing them anyway as my other shirt had been quite ruined by the steam and the subsequent grease smeared on it as I tinkered with the inert golem and bent it to my will.

“Come on out, Countess!” Enzo bellowed, waving his radium pistol “Your reign of terror ends today!” He fired off a random shot toward the manor house. It was not quite the subtle infiltration I had envisioned, but the opportunity to use the steam-golem against its creator had been too good to pass up. We were fortunate that the manor house was set apart from any other dwellings, on a large estate. Rollo Bernard clearly valued his privacy, which made sense given the sort of thing he was rumored to get up to. Today, however, it would only ensure that Enzo and I would have some time to mount our attack uninterrupted before any curious Saskatoonian authorities became aware of us and investigated.

The steam-golem made short work of the ornate wrought-iron gate, and as we neared the house the massive front doors burst open, and a crowd of inhabitants burst out. They did indeed, appeared to be dressed for some sort of party, in fancy gowns and creased creased evening-wear. Many of them seemed to be there only for the party, and were intent only on fleeing the attack, but others held weapons–clockwork rifles and steam harpoons and arcane blowguns and the like.

Enzo began firing his radium pistol, with what was frankly a bit less discrimination than was called for, scorching those firing back and those simply fleeing alike. Through it all he was cackling wildly, ducked as far behind the steam golem as he could get for cover. I likewise stayed behind the creature, alternating between making quick repairs to it and firing with my clockwork pistol when targets presented themselves.

Most of the projectiles striking the steam golem–darts enchanted to fill one with ennui and simple lead bullets–did little damage to the unnatural construct, and as we closed with the house it began to reach out and snatch up enemies who strayed to close, killing them in various messy fashions. We had about routed all of our foes, in fact, when a steam harpoon finally connected with it, punching clear through its flesh and metal body and coming out the back end in such a way that it nearly spitted my head, and tore through Enzo’s pantleg, pinning him to it even as it finally teetered and fell.

I picked off the harpoonist as he frantically reloaded and Enzo cursed from below me, and cast about for more targets. There seemed to be no one left to shoot, but as I was congratulating myself over a job well done a rumbling, hissing noise heralded the approach of a steam-car from behind the house. It was driven by a grinning, begoggled man, and had an open back. In the back stood a tall woman with sharp features and iron-gray hair who could only be the Countess.

She was tinkering with a massive engine mounted in the back of the steam-car, a large bulbous thing full of obscene protrusions that gave off an eerie green glow even as it emitted a high-pitched whine.

“Good God,” Enzo said, finally freeing himself from the wreckage of the golem, “the nightmare engine of doom!”


Copyright © 2012 SM Williams

~ by smwilliams on March 17, 2012.