by John Pirillo
Conan, as imaginative as he had been, and still was, what with his monsters on the plateaus and the might Challenger facing them off with mere guns and fists, this was beyond his ken. He lay there, his body twisted from the fall, watching as the horde of zombie-like men and women rushed him, brandishing crude weapons, but surely enough to make mincemeat pie out of his body.
Had he been whisked off to another earth only to die here the final death?
He looked about him for some kind of weapon, but his pistol had flown from his hands, and landed several yards away. He would never reach it in time. He didn't even think about his companions. How could they possibly stop this monstrous horde of determined demons?
Then the most horrible yell he ever heard burst forth, ripping the air open with the violence of its vibrations. A hoe just barely missed him as the holder of it looked up to see what had caused that accursed scream. Even the zombies had some fear he thought hopefully, then their eyes fell once more upon him and he was surrounded by men and women with raised weapons.
Conan noted that the zombies all had one thing in common. Their eyes were unfocused, as if looking inwards, instead of outwards, even though they could obviously see him. On some he noted a bit more percepience of what was going on by them, as if they were only peripherally enthralled or seduced by the Mummy creature that had captured them.
The women all had swollen necks, as if something had been cinched within them and then inflated. The men, likewise. Their ears had a bright orange color, as if the color were all drained from them, and perhaps something else implanted there. On the right finger of each human was a small gelatinous lump that quivered, as if it having a life of its own.
He also noticed that their mouths were sealed shut, as if a kind of gelatinous glue stuck the lips together. Grotesquely, he wondered for a moment how they could eat or drink that way, then his fear arose once more to disturb his highly analytical mind.
They didn't strike, instead they held them poised over him, as if waiting for instructions.
Then a mass of bronze and muscle hurtled into their midst and began tossing them aside, like a mad bull elephant, clearing a path for Challenger who ran through the clearing made and gathered up Conan into his massive arms, then ran back the other way as the Jungle Lord continued to wreak havoc with the zombies.
The Jungle Lord was attacked by one zombie who must have been a giant, as he easily towered over him, his muscled arms looking more like mighty oak tree trunks and his fists like pile drivers than normal flesh and blood. The giant zombie lunged at the Jungle Lord who caught the massive fists in his own, then grinning, the threw the giant backwards into the folk behind him, taking down rows of them.
They slowly, but quickly recovered, not noticing the cuts and bruises they had gotten. Lord Graystone shivered for a moment, realizing how close he was to killing civilized beings, even if they were at the moment taken over by some kind of fierce mind control
But as they strove to claw, and brutalize him, tear him apart and hammer him with their weapons he was forced to lash out more physically than he desired. But even so, he never broke a limb, or maimed a soul, though most struck would probably be complaining so sore bodies for many weeks to come should they survive the ordeal being thrust upon them by the alien force.
Once out of the circle, the Jungle Lord leaped as easily and lightly as a gazelle over the heads of the zombies and landed beside him and Challenger. He took Conan into his arms. "This way!"
He leaped straight up and to the top of the building next to them.
Challenger looked at the puzzled horde, who wouldn't be puzzled for long, then at his two friends high above. Before he could decide what to do, the Jungle Lord dropped as light as a feather beside him, balancing on the balls of his feet, then swept the heavy Challenger over his shoulders as easily as if her were just a child, then repeated his leap.
Challenger let out a bit of a scream, he was so startled, then trembling like a child as he was let go safely on the roof beside Conan, he took some deep breaths to stabilize his system, then eyed the Jungle Lord who was giving him an amused look.
"You think this is funny?"
"I think life is funny." The Jungle Lord said, then with no further comment put a foot on the raised edge of the building and leaned over to see what was happening below. As he did, he noted the Mummy Creature emerging from the suspected building, an odd device in his tentacles. The creature reached the center of the zombies, and appeared to be listening to them, even though no one's mouths spoke, then it looked up where he stood.
"I think it's best if we leave while we can." Challenger said, seeing what was about to happen as he peered from beside the Jungle Lord.
The odd device emitted a beam of furious energies that swept up the side of the building towards the two men, leaving a swath of fire and destruction as portions of the building were instantly atomized and vanished, leaving other portions of the building to collapse.
"I agree." The Jungle Lord said, then swept Conan up into his arms like a small baby, and ran for the other rooftop, then leaped across as effortlessly as if it were just a small puddle he had crossed.
Challenger sighed. "Never a dull day."
Then he ran with all his might and followed. He leaped into the air, praying that he had put enough strength into his leap.