Chapter 3 – Otherworld Knight
Having driven closer to the distant smoke, through an area that started to get some tree cover, I began to hear a series of varying loud noises. Some sounded like glass breaking, others like metal hitting other metal. Others still sounded like wood being cut and fire igniting. Mixed amongst those sounds was a rhythmic thumping, like an excited giant’s heartbeat. There was even the occasional animal yelping that added yet another strange element into the mix.
My first thought was some kind of battle, but not having seen any real ones all I had to go off was what I had seen in movies. As such, I dismissed that as an option do to the lack of yelling and how infrequent the metal sounds could be heard. If it was a battle, however, I was grateful that I had yet to hear anything that was distinctly ‘gunshot-ey’. Scary monsters aside, if there were guys with guns, I’d be driving away from there fast enough to make the tachometer redline. Not that that was particularly difficult; a steep hill would just about do that to the old engine.
When I eventually saw what was making the noise, I think I was more disappointed than surprised. It was just some group of three giant knights made with wood and metal armour fighting off some boney, grey wolves, that were about three meters tall, while running away. The trail of smoke was just coming from one of the knights backpack, that seemed to power a weapon that shot out large glass capsules. Metal sounds were just their swords making contact with the beasts’ many claws and teeth. The yelping was just the occasional injury dealt to the creatures and the wood cutting was just fractures in their armour. Most disappointing of all was the heartbeat being the group’s heavy footsteps.
I don’t know what it was that I was expecting, but four meter tall knights fighting wolves really didn’t seem as exciting as the few things I had thought of. As I thought about that, I realised that they were headed my way; not just the boring knights but the wolves also. In that moment I did the fastest three point turn I had ever managed in my life and immediately started to drive away from there. Driving to there was easy, since I could take my time and careful avoid trees, but getting away from there involved dodging incoming trees far faster than I was comfortable with. The loose dirt ground also made it a lot harder. Every time the wheels skidded or lost traction, I could feel my stomach tighten as I felt like I wouldn’t regain control.
Sure enough, I should have followed my instincts. Instead of getting away, driving fast just managed to skid my tires into some deep loose sand and bog them. I hadn’t really managed to gain much distance and I could see the knights were running towards me in the rearview mirror. Taking a breath to calm down, and pleading to Betsy to save us, I put the car into a low gear and feathered the accelerator, hoping to somehow get unstuck before trouble reached me.
I poked my head out the window, looking to see if I was making any progress. I couldn’t be sure, but I think I made eye contact with one of the knights. It was hard to tell, since their eyes were covered by the shadow of the full body armour’s helmet. It was at that moment that I started to wonder how much a four meter tall person would have to eat… and if they were averse to eating non-four meter tall people. The sharp edges and dark colours of their armours certainly didn’t make them look like heroes. More like, with gold trimmings and a cape it would be without a doubt evil armour.
Just then, my wheel came free. I was able to get out of there, and this time I was going to dive at more controllable speed. However, as I was getting away, a voice filled my car. I gave me a shock and I nearly crashed but I regained control before Betsy became a tree ornament. The voice came from the two way radio, and the speaker’s voice was deep and gallant, it filled my mind with the image of a respected warrior or a your leader. It was definitely not an old man’s voice, and if I had to guess I’d say a British or European one.
“Woman in the suspicious blue object; stop moving at once. Stay still until the battle is over then submit yourself to questioning.”
Somehow it really didn’t seem like good advice to stay still but on the other hand, the trained fighter’s probably knew best. It was a gamble over whether to trust them or not, but in the end I figured that armour like that was definitely not cheap so they were probably a part of some kind of military or police equivalent. For all I know dark mahogany and black iron might be their country’s national colours. In the end I decided to trust them and stay perfectly still, both me and my car.
Unfortunately, they didn’t have my best interest at heart. They passed straight by me leaving me behind in a trail of dust and smoke. As they ran past, I could see the towering wolves start to surround me. Any moment they would make their move. I saw their claws block the large two handed sword one of the knights used and their teeth pierced through the shield that the knight with a lance had; there was no way that the thin roof of my car would last even a second against those sharp and wicked weapons.