Chapter 29: When Bovines Attack

Chapter 29: When Bovines Attack Dikiyoba
Ephesos cast another curing spell. Alorael managed to stop coughing. "I think it must be from the mung rat bites," he said weakly.

"Look out!" Niemand yelled.

The fluffy turtles had hesitated to attack the filth-coated mung rats. A group of mung rats trampled several fluffy turtles and broke through. Niemand hacked at the first one with his halberd. Kingy shot another.

Alorael began coughing again.

"I don't think Alorael will be needing this." Jumpin' Salmon grabbed the sniper rifle, climbed onto the fountain, and sniped a rat.

Ephesos pulled out the curing potion but Alorael was coughing too hard to drink it. "Nothing's working."

"Dikiyoba thinks graymold salve might work. Of course, Dikiyoba doesn't have any graymold."

"Could you get some?" Ephesos asked.

Dikiyoba hesitated. "Well... maybe. Dikiyoba would have to get past the rats into the Avernum 4 Forum somehow. And get past the rats again to get back."

Ephesos cleared his throat. "You could get out with those going to destroy the summoning machine, but getting back would be more difficult."

"Dikiyoba still has the invulnerability potion, so that would work." Dikiyoba left to join Arancaytar and Schrodinger.

Ephesos helped Alorael up. "Come on. I'll take you to the Tech Support Forum so you can lie down for a while."

"Who do we have going?" Schrodinger asked.

"Archmagus Micael, Thuryl, Rakshasi, Student of Trinity, and JadeWolf."

"And me too!" Nikki said.

Arancaytar sighed. "And Nikki as well."

"Can I come along too? It's partially my fault that this happened and I'd like to repair the damage as best as I can," the Lurker said.

"Sure," Schrodinger said.

"Wait!" Dikiyoba said.

"Are you coming too, Diki?" Arancaytar asked.

"Only to the Avernum 4 Forum."

"I think we're ready to go. Now all we're waiting for is Stareye," Schrodinger said.

Zeviz made his way towards the rats while the Spiderwebbers were distracted. One of the mung rats lunged for him, but the wererat transformed back into rat shape.

"Hey!" MagmaDragoon said, seeing the transformation.

The mung rat leapt at him instead. He slashed it with the Guardian Claymore. The wererat slipped through the fluffy turtles and made it safely to the rest of the rat horde.

"How come the fluffy turtles didn't go after it?" MagmaDragoon asked.

Andraste brained two mung rats with her clubs. "I don't know."

Inspector Walnut and several other fluffy turtles got past the mung rats and attacked the other rats. The wererat ran past the turtles. "Get rid of your sanity!"

"What?" a giant rat asked.

The wererat grabbed the rat, pulled out its sanity, and threw it to Inspector Walnut. Inspector Walnut gobbled it up. Then the wererat threw the giant rat at Inspector Walnut. The fluffy turtle ignored it.

"See? The fluffy turtles only attack those with sanity. The prisoner mentioned some ritual about 'leaving your sanity at the door,' so I left my sanity behind when I went to spy. I entered the General Forum through the fluffy turtle pit, and they completely ignored me. So get rid of your sanity and we'll have a clear path to attack the humans," the wererat said.

Jumpin' Salmon watched the wererat scurry about through the scope of the sniper rifle. He was too far away to hear what the wererat was saying, but he knew it couldn't be good. He fired. The wererat went down.

Unfortunately, he was too late. The rats discarded their sanity en masse. The fluffy turtles went after the sanity instead of the rats. The rats charged.

"No, what are you doing!? Get the rats! The rats!" the Almighty Do-er of Stuff yelled.

Several giant rats leapt on him. Lenar put away the last of his reaperdisks and drew his scythe. Lenar and the Silent Assassin killed the rats, but it was too late. The Almighty Do-er of Stuff was already dead.

"Hooray! More rats!" Andraste clubbed rats left and right.

Arancaytar stabbed a rat. "We might have just lost our opportunity to go, Schrodinger."

"No, wait," Slartucker said, "BOVINE THUD!!!"

An enormous cave cow fell from out of nowhere and landed with a crash in the middle of the rat army, crushing several rats. The rats, Spiderwebbers, and fluffy turtles were all knocked to the ground. The cave cow mysteriously vanished.

Schrodinger got to his feet. "Hurry!"

Schrodinger, Arancaytar, Nikki, Archmagus Micael, Thuryl, Rakshasi, Student of Trinity, JadeWolf, the Lurker, and Dikiyoba ran along the edge of the forum, the area where most of the rats had thrown their sanity and so were avoiding, towards the Avernum 4 Forum. A few rats tried to stop them, but Jumpin' Salmon sniped them.

Tyranicus got to his feet just in time to see them make it safely to the Avernum 4 Forum. "All right, Slarty!"

Randomizer, Synergy, and Riibu entered.

"Where's Schrodinger?" Synergy asked.

"He just left. Why?" Marlenny asked.

"Oh no. He has the wrong directions!" Randomizer said. He cast spray acid on a rat that got too close.

"We'll have to catch up to them somehow," Synergy said.

"Slartucker, do your bovine thud again," Lazarus said.

"I can't. I can only cast it once per day," Slartucker said.

"We'll just have to be stealthy again, then," Synergy said.

Randomizer cast haste on himself and Synergy. They snuck around the rats towards the Avernum 4 Forum.


As Ephesos and Alorael entered the Tech Support Forum, Alorael suddenly fainted.

"That's definitely not a good sign." Ephesos set Alorael on a bed and placed the curing potion on the table beside it.

Filth Finder poked his head out of the shadows. "What's the matter with him?"

Ephesos turned towards Filth Finder angrily. "This is your fault. The mung rats got their filth and disease from your nest. If you hadn't..." Ephesos was interrupted by a coughing attack. It finally subsided. "If you hadn't..." Ephesos suddenly passed out.

Filth Finder and Garbage Gatherer rushed over.

"What do we do?" Garbage Gatherer asked.

A cricket crawled out of Ephesos's pocket. "Chirrup!"

"Okay." Garbage Gatherer and Filth Finder carefully lifted Ephesos onto a bed and poured the curing potion down his throat.


"Where is Stareye?" Filth Finder asked.


"But how can I get in there? I'm not a moderator."


"Yes, I know this is important. I'm going, I'm going." Filth Finder scurried off.


Drakefyre, Zeviz, Smoo, Garrison, and Nemesis sat around a dying flamefest in the Miscellaneous Forum. Nemesis and Garrison sat on opposite sides of the flamefest and glared at each other while Smoo and Zeviz finished recounting their tales to Drakefyre.

"I can't believe you were working with Emperor Tullegolar this whole time," Garrison said finally.

"Me? What about you?"

"I joined ET because it was the only way to find out what he was up to so I could stop him."

"It didn't work so well, did it?"

"I managed to hide the book he needs to translate the panel, but it will only slow him down. I just wish there was some way to stop him."

"I... I might have a way. Maybe."

"You mean you weren't working with ET?" Garrison said.

"Of course not!" said Nemesis.

"How could you stop Tullegolar anyway?"

"Remember how my sword continued to fight after I was dead?"


"I might be able to do the same thing with Tullegolar."


Emperor Tullegolar stared at Stareye. "Do I kill him now or keep him alive so I can laugh at him as I destroy the oldbies and usher in a new order? Decisions, decisions."

Behind him, the crossbow slowly rolled across the floor until it reached the bolts. One bolt detached itself from the group and loaded itself onto the crossbow.

Filth Finder arrived in the Announcements Forum and began hammering on the door. "Stareye! Stareye!"

Emperor Tullegolar moved to his hiding spot beside the door and carefully eased it open.

Filth Finder rushed in. "Stareye, it's..."

Wham! Emperor Tullegolar was aiming for a human head instead of a GIFTR. The handle swung over Filth Finder and struck the ground instead.

Filth Finder wrapped two of his legs around the handle. "Hey!"

Emperor Tullegolar tried to shake Filth Finder off. "Let go, you insolent creature!"

Filth Finder held on as tightly as he could. "No!"

Nemesis's crossbow rose into the air and pointed at Emperor Tullegolar. It fired and the bolt buried itself in Emperor Tullegolar's back.

"Wha...?" Emperor Tullegolar let go of the slith spear and died. The crossbow fell back to the floor. Filth Finder let go of the spear as well and nudged Stareye.

Stareye opened his eyes and rubbed the back of his head. "What happened?"