"Hah!" The half man's yell cut's through the muted sounds of fighting on the deck. "Take that you Bloodsucker!"
Seeing that ibn Fadil and Val have tools more to the task of prying the bloodsacs off of Seton and Joe, Hiro moves in large almost balletic strides toward the only remaining "free" monster. Best to attend to it know before more crewmen can be drained. When in striking distance, he grips his katana with both hands about the pommel and swings the blade in the wide swaths typical of the "Sweeping the Sapphire Sky" form in an attempt to bring the monster low.
Cornered and wounded as it has been by Emmett, he opens another slash across its body. It oozes hither and thither, seeking either to confuse his eyes or perhaps merely to escape.
Knowing that he and Hiro have effectively denied the star vampire any other targets by pushing it against the wall, Emmett adopts a more defensive stance, weaving his blade between the haagathga and himself, deflecting its pseudopods and searching for openings. When one presents itself he slashes in again with all of his surprising strength, hoping that he can kill the thing quickly and move on to aid the others.
The bloodsac reaches toward him, but its grasping suckers are unable at first to find purchase on his armor, and its attempt gives him the perfect opening to drive his cutlass into it, piercing the thing through and pinning it to the wooden wall behind it, where it writhes in eerie silence, unable to free itself, movements gradually slowing as the life drains from it.
Pham notices Val ready to work on the sac attached to Joe. "Val - let me get behind it - then we can attack it from both sides simultaneously!"
Pham moves to the opposite side of the bloodsac from Val, positions his "spear" so that the sac is pinned -- actually piercing it this time, as he gets a feel for his makeshift weapon -- and lets Val strike.
Seeing that the deck is clear of noncombatants, Val rushes forward to where Joe lies on the deck. Instead of a wild stab or slash at the bloated parasite, he uses his daggers to sever the tube-like growth that's inserted into the man's neck, careful not to cut the fallen crewman.
_If it moves at me, I'm gonna kill it,_ Val repeats to himself, too close to the bloodsac for his own comfort. Though it takes all his strength -- and most of his nerve -- Val succeeds in cutting the strange attachment. The bloodsac quivers, as if preparatory to some movement, and he hastily leaps backward as it begins to lift free of its victim.
Well that he does so, for Ulf lands another swordblow on the creature, although Nolan's glances off the suckered hide. [GM: But at least he doesn't trip this time.]
At the other bloodsac, Theo and Delmar hack ineffectually at the creature.
"Get back!" Nyala yells to them, looking for a clear shot with her favored weapon, and sinks another arrow into the bloodsac.
Ibn Fadil darts in; scowling, the half-elf touches the point of his knife to the bloodsac's surface, presses gently to get some surface tension from it, and then thrusts sharply downward, piercing the tough membrane and dragging the blade slowly through the sucker-covered surface.
The sac on Seton appears to have had enough; it releases its hold on him with every appearance of reluctance and begins to drift away into the endless night.
"Pham, quickly!" Theo orders. "It may be too late."
Neither victim looks at all good. Brother Pham knows that even by the grace of Hextor, it will be fortunate if he can save one.
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© 2001 Rebecca J. Stevenson