The roar, if that's what you could call it, was utterly inhuman. Defeaning at best, heart stopping at worst, it grew in fervent intensity as the beast came out of nowhere. It barreled through an entire grove of trees as easily as a scythe through a single stalk of wheat and didn't so much as slow down.
And she couldn't even see the damned thing.
It was like fighting the void of space itself.
The gunshots roared in her ears and she bellowed her own roar of utter defiance. She heard something pop and blood openly ran from her pounding ears. Her entire body ached and her knuckles rattled with each shot, but that didn't stop her from unleashing a torrent of hell against the monster that dared challenge her.
Unfortunately, the bullets didn't seem to do much.
Only the tracers, flashing flares jutting out every few rounds, even seemed to make an impact. The burning red pyrotechnic charges seemed to burn the thing's flesh for a moment before vanishing inside the pitch-black beast.
At least it was something.
Not enough though.
Not enough to stop it.
Her hearing fading with each boom of the heavy rifle, she was forced to use drastic measures. Using the disappearing rounds as a judgement for distance, Jaelyn dove out of the way a half moment before the monstrous creature reached her. She felt her hip and leg bounce off its body as it roared by, sending her scrambling as her lower half was flung hard against a nearby tree with a disturbing crunch that seemed to echo in her failing eardrums.
"Merde." she cursed weakly under her breath
She clawed desperately at the forest floor for her gun, her mind doing all it could to focus on anything but the blooming pain.
She had to fight.
The beast was already coming about face, having cleaved out another chunk from the forest in a single sweep. Everything about it made her want to scream and hide in a hole somewhere. Aside from the monstrous roars, it was dead silent but for the forest it destroyed. It was just so big. So fast. And she couldn't see the putain de chienne! Once again, she brought her gun up and she didn't hear as much as feel her least favorite sound in the world.
"No. No! NO!" she heard herself scream, her words distant and echoing.
She shook the useless firearm, quickly checking the clip and finding that it seemed to be jutting out at a strange angle. She tore at the jammed piece, but her panicked attempt to right the broken weapon was interrupted by a strange sound that made it through the haze. Weirdly, to her addled mind, it sounded like a dragon throwing up.
Jaelyn, more on instinct than sight, flung herself away as something wet and acrid splashed across the forest floor where she had been only seconds before. She could feel some of it hit her boots and pants and felt a distinct sizzling sensation as whatever had been thrown her way started to melt through the hardened polycarbon.
Well that's fun. She thought as something slick, hot, and wet started to pool in the bottom of her boot.
Probably her melting foot if the smell was to be any indicator.
Taking off at a run, fire running up her leg as her nerves burned with pain, Jaelyn slung the rifle and was about to go for her sidearm when she felt the thing coming at her again. Felt the ground shake as earth was displaced and trees were ripped asunder. She waited as long as she dared, til it was just on top of her, not inches away with its hot, stinking breath warming her neck, before snapping into a hard left and diving through a particularly thick grove of trees.
And off a cliff.
Open ocean and fresh salt air lay before and under her with nothing else to catch her. In front of her, a massive pillar stuck out of the ocean and behind her the cliff she had come from. Underneath? Nothing.
She clawed at the open air, reaching out for anything to grab hold of. To find purchase in anyway. If only she'd still had her pack.
She had just enough time to look up, to see the beast's face poking out of the treeline, and scream up at it in fury.
Jaelyn hit the ocean at the bottom of the cliff with a sickening crack from her back. Her body spasmed in shock and she didn't feel as much as see the air expel from her lungs into the cold, salt water. A moment later, darkness enveloped her and she blacked out.
Some ways down the mountain, the village stirred; awoken by the sounds of battle from the forests unseen. They knew they roars of the aka-akua but not that strange popping, booming sound that hid risen to challenge them. When nothing further came of it, Diego, like many of the other children, rolled over and went back to sleep.
(A short entry today, but potentially critical. If you'll forgive the length, I felt that this entry was important to introduce a few things into the world of Little Island Tales. I hope you enjoyed and will join us for more soon.)