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I fired another salvo of two hundred boring rockets at the monster. As the previous salvo ran out of juice and its motors locked, it sent a pulse to the explosive charge inside the rocket, turning it into a grenade. More than a hundred exploded, causing serious harm to the tentacles.

The cutting cable had snagged on the spine. Those necks were actual necks and not just tentacles with heads on top. The motor was still pulling the steel cable around but it wasn't cutting the bone. I had to do something about that.

I cut another tentacle. A rover appeared outside Jabberwock's aura, which was about a thousand feet in radius, and shot a cable at the severed tentacle. The monster tried to retrieve the appendage but I slashed any tentacle that came. Note that I just slashed, not sever or something. Jabberwock's limbs were so thick even the enhanced wrist blades of Ranger Ork had trouble cutting through them.

The rover sped away with its prize, reeling in the cable for double the fun and speed. The tentacle dissolved when it left the area of influence, giving me fuck all Resources because fuck the Infernali.

Three tentacles wrapped around the floating blade. I Replicated another above and let it drop. Hey, that was a really nice idea. My Personal Domain reached four thousand feet, and... I had a lot of room above the creature to work with.

Four hundred boring rockets were Replicated above Jabberwock and fired down. Why the fuck did I bother with shoulder launchers? They fell into the darkness but in the general area where the monster was. Even with 360 vision from any spot my Domain gave me, the beast moved so much it was hard to pinpoint its center. It was tentacles all the way down.

The new floating sword started hacking its way toward the almost-severed neck. I drove Ranger Ork toward that too. We needed to finish cutting those bones and then abscond with the head. And talking about that, I fought for a few more minutes, waiting for my DM reserves to replenish. I absorbed lots and lots of iron ingots back home and then Replicated a dozen cutting-cable forearms but with only the propulsion and cable mechanisms. They shot down and I guided them to make contact with the tentacles. They lassoed the limbs and started cutting.

Tentacles slammed into Ranger Ork. One thinner tentacle wrapped itself around a leg and I ejected the limb. If I could get some respite, a new leg was 2,546 DM points and a short flight away. The second salvo of boring rockets detonated. I didn't bother restocking. Instead, I materialized a new salvo above and let it drop, guided by Dungeon Automation to strike a tentacle.

The cable forearms severed another four tentacles. Some of them were crushed by the very tentacles they were trying to cut. Rovers attempted to drag the tentacles away but Jabberwock sacrificed good tentacles to the harpoon, protecting its biomass. Good to know where its priorities lied. Too bad that I could make more rovers.

The tentacle with the harpoon pulled and the rover was tugged like a wooden toy. The angry tentacle slammed into the robotic vehicle and smashed it into pieces. Next rovers will have bombs inside them.

Some boring rockets detonated. From which salvo, I had no idea. Hopping on one leg, burning jump jet fuel to climb the monster with the 10 seconds of flight, I tried to reach that damn neck. I lost another leg and the jump jets in it. Now I only had the torso-mounted ones.

The animated blade was caught, replaced, Jabberwock released the first one and I animated that one instead. It was a matter of getting all of its tentacles busy but the beast had hundreds of them. I wouldn't waste the time to count. At least a dozen of them were busy holding onto giant swords to keep them from flying around. Dozens more were wounded and limping of flailing uselessly. all around. They were a hazard onto themselves but at least it was true for both of us.

Jabberwock screamed all the time. A lake of black blood formed on the ground, a puddle extending for hundreds of yards in every direction.

Even more boring rockets jammed and exploded, blasting holes in the tentacles. I had to sacrifice one arm to keep a tentacle busy trying to not be cut off but reached the damn neck. I grabbed the cable forearm with my last good arm and pulled. I shoved my elbow into the socket. My Perk, "Let's Gekiga In" made the haphazard connection work and I now had a hold on the neck.

I shoved the wrist blade in the cartilaginous disk between the vertebrae and pulled. Jabberwock screamed doubly. I could sense its fear (not really). I pulled the cable with one arm and sawed with the other. Finally, the spine was severed.

Jabberwock bit the blade arm with another head. Tentacles wrapped around the severed neck, trying to keep me from absconding with my prize. Boring rockets fell from the sky, spun out of whole cloth by my Dungeon powers. Still latched to the neck by the cable, I went with the severed head. The tentacles grasping the neck seized as several boring rockets started to mess around inside its flesh. I Replicated rovers in the air, then rovers on the ground, making the latter shoot the cable at the former while the former shot their cables at the neck.

Napalm rained over Jabberwock. I was now pulling all stops. That head was gone, even if I had to... do a huge sacrifice.

The steel cables became taut. the rovers in the sky fell to the ground, pulled by their fellows. Their sturdy construction allowed them to keep working. A rover tugged a rover and reeled its cable while the rover being tugged tug the dragon head and neck away. Tentacles lashed out to catch it but were caught by boring rockets. The animated blade slashed tentacles and when it caught a wounded one, severed it. Jabberwock stopped slurping its own tentacles to bite Ranger Ork. The head that bit off an arm returned and I became the spaghetti noodle in that famous Lady and the Tramp Disney scene.

Jabberwock chomped on Ranger Ork from both sides. Not even its reinforced armor, nor thousands of Attribute Points could save the Mecha. I had only one thing to do. "Gundams have no Ejection Seats!"

But Ranger Ork was not a Gundam so it had ejection seats. Like hell I would equip that "It's a Gundam" Perk and screw up a Mecha design by not giving it free System-guaranteed ejection seats. Ranger Ork flipped the Kaiju the last bird as it exploded, giving Jabberwock a faceful of shrapnel. Or two facefuls seeing that it had two heads. The jury was out on that one. I was ejected two hundred feet up, naked as I woke up in that landfill. But two hundred feet was still not enough to clear the monster's height, much less its tentacle reach.

Jabberwock sensed me and screeched. Tentacles lashed at my Core, my very butt-naked (no butts though) Core which was going up. But the Perk made me invulnerable while I was ascending. Now, the language was very important. It ejected me 200 feet up, making me invulnerable WHILE I was ascending.

I think it usually meant that after the 200 feet free boost, the pilot was on their own but I never stopped ascending. I could fly at 10 feet per second and I kept flying up, ascending, at ten feet per second after the initial 200 feet free boost.

Fuck you, Jabberwock.

Here, have some boring rockets to play with. In the distance, I saw the neck with the dragon head still attached disappearing down a ramp. Three thousand feet above ground, I flew back home.

 

*


*

 

We paraded Jabberwock's dragon head through the city. The damn thing was seventy-five feet long by fifty wide and tall so you can imagine it needed a fucking huge float, because the streets weren't that wide.

The screeching blob of darkness kept coming our way, at a breakneck (:kek:) speed of one and a half mile per hour. Our boy Jabberwock was pissed. Head and neck aside, my rovers managed to snag ten tentacles. Which made me some sort of hero, eclipsing the feat of Marshal's father. it didn't make Jabberwock slower or, to our relief, faster. I could work with a mile and a half per day.

We sold hundreds of wagons and a massive caravan departed, heading west. They wouldn't find any gold this time, though. All the wealthy merchants and nobles went away, leaving us with only the downtrodden and desperate.

Two days after the destruction of Ranger Ork, I sat with Marshall (inside Blackjack Six) to discuss strategy.

"When are you going to get us another dragon head?" Marshall jested but I could see he meant it. The idea of avenging his father put a maniacal light in his eyes, lit a fire in his heart that he thought long gone.

"I. Am. Sorry. Marshall. Jab. Err. Wok. Won't. Fall. Twice. For. The. Same. Trick." My TTS software (Yeah, the Emperor wasn't the only one who could have a TTS) was still in its prototype version but it could still work out most words. "Please, say. <Jabberwock>. Five times with different intonations into the microphone."

The last sentence was one that was entered whole into the system, because I had to request words from a lot of people these last days.

"Did you know that saying a monster's name three times may summon it?" Marshall joked. "Jabberwock. Jabberwock. Jabberwock. Jabberwock. Jabberwock."

"Too. Late. He's. At. Our. Doorstep."

"Sorry, do you mind if we change back to written text? I admire you for trying to get our own voice but..."

<That's fine. The text-to-speech synthesizer grates on my ears too. I don't have ears, though.>

"You’re not going to fight it again."

<No. Not with the same tactics. You said it yourself. Jabberwock has ten thousand points in all Attributes. You can imagine Intelligence is also one of them.> I ran out of space. <Wisdom, even. The beast is a genius. It will surely have new tricks ready to counter my old tricks.>

"What do we do? Run away? Go live underground? In your Dungeon?"

<What do we do? Yes. No. Yes.>

"Wait. We run away, live in your Dungeon, but not underground?"

<Exactly. Follow me.>

We stood up and ran to the training grounds building. Which kept seeing a lot of activity all the time as people tried their utmost to get stronger.

 

*


*

 

"By the Patriarch, what am I looking at?" Marshall interjected, then stared at my chest plate.

<That's a wheel.> I replied.

"It's the size of a house. And what is this thing going around them?"

<They are called threads. They keep the wheels separated from the road, distribute the weight, and grant great traction. This vehicle won't get stuck in the mud.>

"Fuck me. Don't answer that. And will everyone fit in there?"

<Yes. I have room for 200,000 people in there.>

"That's twenty thousand fewer than we had."

<I wasn't expecting everyone to agree to come but if they did, I just needed to add another wagon.>

"How long can this keep moving?"

<Full of people and with me piloting? Indefinitely.>

"Without you?"

<It should have enough power to move for a week. Then you are on your own.>

"Let's get started."

 

*


*

 

Jabberwock kept his approach unchallenged. The kaiju calmed down enough to return to its one-mile-per-day normal cruise speed. I bet hustling consumed some extra energy it thought best saved. No Infernali roamed around him, proof that his summoning was on cooldown after bringing Boboyote to Earth.

We sent an evacuation notice to the city. Whoever wanted to throw their luck with the Lord and Dungeon, they should come into the pit. Those who wanted to run away or stay in the city, they were on their own. I created six spiral staircases fully encased in metal cages, going down to the same room complex the first slaves used. From there, we did some triage on the people, registered their names in our database and assigned them a room number. Families were kept together and people with children were given some extra space. Otherwise, people would be hosted in cramped conditions.

Most rooms were six yards deep by four yards wide. The standard rooms had eight beds in four bunks, two along each wall. Each person had only nine cubic feet of storage space and their beds. The trunks were underneath the beds and locked with a token. This one was ingenious. With three rules of Dungeon automation, I made a trap that would keep the trunk latched unless the proper medallion key was presented by the right owner.

For each passenger, a metal plate with the mugshot of the person was created and placed inside the trunk drawer, in a hard-to reach place. When the keyed medallion was pressed to the drawer front, Dungeon Automation compared the face of the person with the medallion to the mugshot and only opened if they matched. That meant anything longer than four feet needed to be either kept elsewhere or not brough aboard. We had some bulk storage options and lockers elsewhere people could rent for long and thin items like longswords or mauls.

Most people brought only the clothes on their backs. Slowly but surely, the population of Pitsmouth boarded escape plan C. Plan B was the giant robot versus Kaiju fight.

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About the author

MDW

Bio: The author would like to reinforce for the umpteenth time that the characters' opinions are their own, may be intentionally wrong, do not reflect my (MDW's) personal viewpoints neither are included in this work to further any political agenda (I don't even live in the same hemisphere or country as you, whichever those are. I'm writing from the Earth-Sun L3 point for all I care). My works serve no purpose other than to tell stories with conflicting viewpoints. Use of the reader's critical sense is highly advised.

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