Thursday, June 11, 2009

For Blood and Honor: Flame Leviathan

A streak of white traces the wake of a missile across the black Ulduar sky. Leaning back in my chair I remember the scene from last July 4th in Booty Bay… a place I’m no longer welcome. A pyrite barrel floats silently across my line of sight and I watch as more streaks of white rise up to meet it. The pyrite drops uneventfully to earth and my eyes watch it come to rest in front of the last remaining Colossus in the courtyard.

“Let’s get a ready check.” a voice declares. I lean forward in my seat as our guild master continues. “The gate opens after this pull.” I angle my demolisher to the left, aiming my cannon in the middle of the last group of defenders guarding the steel gate. Akulu’s voice again cuts the silent air, “Passengers, get ready to load into the catapult when Flame Leviathan comes out.” I postulate that our rogue leader gained this information from Brann earlier at the base camp… but I'm far from certain. “How else could he know?” I ask myself reaching down to my trigger. There’s no more time to wonder as the first missile lights up the last Colossus like a lantern.

The defenders die much like those before them and we form up in front of the gate waiting for it to swing open. I turn my head and listen for the familiar click of turning gears. Nothing. “Maybe we…” A jolt stops my thought dead in its tracks as a mammoth machine explodes through the gate splintering steel as if it were timber. Flame Leviathan jerks to a halt, grill to grill with our now seemingly undersized tanks. We scatter. Left or right, it doesn’t matter. Anything too…

“Stay away from it!” Akulu exclaims. “Let’s launch some people up there to take out those turrets.” Leviathan turns to pursue one of our siege engines. “Shields!” Kwaggmire barks at his gunner. “Shields up!” he repeats. I turn my demolisher to square up with Leviathan. “Quiver this.” I mutter to myself as Pothek is catapulted into the night. “And please don’t miss.”

The tactical war rages as Flame Leviathan takes turns chasing each of us around this fenced in corner of the courtyard. We’re moving as a unit now. Choppers drop oil slicks around our kite path, siege engines ignite those slicks as our foe approaches them, demolishers keep their distance sending a barrage of fireballs crashing down on top of it. “Interrupt those flame jets.” Our leader declares in a shockingly calm voice. “He’s close to a shutdown.” Right on queue Leviathan is stopped dead in his tracks. Pothek and the others assaulting the turrets are expelled into the air floating harmlessly down to earth in parachutes. I shout up to Pothek as I roll under him into position to fire my pyrite “Where the hell did you get a parachute?”

Broken machines litter different corners of this battle field. Sadly, my trusty demolisher is one of them. Smoke, fire, and my comrades rise from the ground as Akulu surveys the scrap heap that was once Flame Leviathan. “Nicely done, everyone.” he announces sifting through the wreckage. “Let’s move up.” Face down I lay exhaustedly waiting to be revived. “Is this place going to break me?” I wonder quietly to myself. Lifting my head I glance at a chopper riding by just in time to notice its license plate. Rising to my feet, I laugh to myself as I read it allowed. “Pwned.”

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