Shock and awe baby. It’s my favorite answer, right next to bomb and bounce. Most of the humans on earth were gone, and I didn’t want to add to our under-population problem as they could serve as a nice bumper to the monsters of this new world. This lead me to the decision of not wiping the three arrogant paladins off the face of the earth. But I couldn’t leave them to that thing, I mean, it ate my face the other day, I DESERVED REVENGE! So, as I didn’t want to show my hand at what I could do myself, I struck a nice compromise. [OHHHH NOOORRRNNN], I called out to my giant bringer-of-death-from-above through our mental link while simultaneously sending an image its target along with the call. A black comet plunged from above, slammed into the cat, breaking every bone in its slinky feline body, the airstream from Norn’s dive and braking maneuver plowing into the little paladins and knocking them over. Norn screamed like an eagle, a king of the sky declaring all the pitiful creatures bound to the earth as his prey, then bit down, severing the cat’s head, and then took off with his lunch.

  I looked at the dazed paladins and shouted, “Don’t worry kids, the bird is mine!” I laughed, hoping to scare them off, “Oh, and there should be another cat like that around here, so take care!” The main reason I didn’t attack the kids or put them in their place personally, is because I don’t their goddess. If I recall correctly, she had something to do with purity, or was it virginity? Something along those lines. Anyways, I still had food to get, and my main hauler of foodstuffs was out with his chinese takeout. Peeling away from them felt good. Took out a zombie cat without lifting a finger, put the fear of magic into some kids, and I still had another grocery store to loot! Woohoo!

  The next store was abandoned, literally. The lights were out and I just decided to blow holes in the roof until the whole thing collapsed. Overkill is the safest to stay safe. Lowering my board to the rubble, I began banishing it bit by bit until I came to the canned food section, and then I started banishing the wood, metal, and stone to reveal the entire aisle. Bingo. Crafting a long barge of stone forty feet long, fifteen feet wide and about six inches thick with a hover enchantment took fifteen minutes, but gathering all the canned stuff I could handle took me about two hours. I had the barge off to the side with the enchantments off and stacked way high with canned goods that hadn’t broken open. All the canned meats and soups and vegetables would keep me going for a long ass time, but getting it home would be a problem. My main problem became the fact that the barge was taking a significant amount of power to keep off the ground, as in one of my ten batteries was going dark every five minutes kinda output, which is insane. And that was just the levitation, not even the thrust required to move the damn thing. I spent another fifteen minutes adding on a gravitational negation enchantment, which was costly in and of itself, but it drained my energy at the rate of one battery every fifteen minutes, which is a 300% efficiency increase. I finished this right as the sun started beating down on me,

  As I started on trying to get this show on the road, Norn’s signature squawking alerted me that I was not alone. Shit, I didn’t even know that the bird had returned. Standing up straight made a couple vertebrae in my back pop, hadn’t even realized that I’d been hunched over enchanting for so long.

  “Thought you could get away from us huh?” Pipsqueak Paladins One and Two with their glowing aluminum bats were about thirty feet away.

  “I wasn’t hiding, shit man, I was only a half mile away and I’ve been busy for a couple hours,” I mocked, “How out of shape are ya? Kids your age should be little balls of annoying energy.” I had stuck Gungnir into the ground a while ago, its crystals quietly gathering ambient mana and heat like a solar panel the whole time I had been working. “Man I love this staff,” I muttered, “Time for another show.” Pulling it from the ground with both hands, I looked around me, desperately hoping for a ley line. I did not want to tangle with these nuisances at this time, wait, where’s the third one? “Hey, where’s your little sister?” I yelled at the first two.

  “Right here you fat old man!”

  I made sure my shields were up and at full power, then turned around. The little bitch was standing on top of my bird! He was perched on top of an abandoned Humvee ten feet away, looking sheepish with that small pest on his back. “Dude?! Shake her off, what the fuck?”I sputtered, sending him the same images of what I wanted the bird to do. I quickly conjured large stone and supporting iron handles on the barge and turned off the levitation environment and cranked up the gravity negation enchantment and sent him another image, and sent it again even stronger. “Ok feathery fuckface, when I do the thing I sent you,” I growled, glaring at my traitorous bird, “You do the other thing I sent you, got it???” Gungnir pulsed with red light, sparks dripping from it, in perfect sync with my rising anger. Norn answered with a tiny nod.

  The little lady answered, “You will do no such thing! By the power of Astraea, I CLEANSE thee!” Smacking Norn on the head with her hockey paladin staff, the glow from her pendants washed over him. I felt my mental link starting to fail. [OH FUCK NO] I thought, then channeled a blue pulse of my water sorcery through Gungnir and pointed it at the kid. A firehose blast of water trucked her right off my bird, who just before then ducked fast as lightning to give me a clear shot and then caught the girl before she hit the ground by her armor. Powerful cannon blasts of energy hit my shields from behind, the kinetic energy being dispersed but some of the heat leaked through. “Hold her still and take that staff away!” I yelled at Norn, then turned to the older threats, “And fuck you guys, attacking from behind. Not noble, but smart.”


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