The Hell dogs were gaining on him, there were at least 6 of them and all had horns and or spikes jutting from there backs and from there necks and shoulders. He tried not to but still managed to wonder how they could possibly breed. Note to self Xander thought, try not to scare yourself with mental images even the Discovery Channel would barf at while running from Demons.
Xander properly looked around at the forest around himself trying to spot anything that would help. Luck was obviously with him today as he saw two trees twisted and gnarled into one another, thick vines hanging from the higher branches, he turned at a sharp angle jumping over a boulder and not looking back when he heard a thud and two whines.
He could hear the snarling and the snapping at his ankles was getting closer. He wildly aimed the shotgun at the floor behind him and aimed up by four inches and prayed this worked as he got closer to the trees. He pulled the trigger and heard a report and the sound of mud and stones flying up in a crescendo of disharmony but no whines of pain.
He risked a look back and saw that the dog things had fallen back but only by half a step. It was enough as he lept to one of the bigger lower branches and hauled himself up as quickly as possible. He was laying along the length of the branch looking down at the dogs at least 7 feet below. He waited to see how high they could really jump.
He got his answer when one of them was able to bite into the bark of the tree- ha ha- and begin scrabbling for further purchase just up from his head. The others wisely chose to wait Xander out after seeing what a shotgun at 1 inch distance did to there unfortunate pack mates skull.
“Yeah… this doesn’t suck. Bad doggies go on home.” he added as an afterthought “Shoo.” They didn’t move, not like he thought they would, so he climbed higher into the trees to a knot of vines that had some length to them. Maybe he could Tarzan it to another tree, and maybe gold would shoot out of his butt. He peered over the edge of his current branch of residence. Now 20 feet from the pack who were circling the base of the tree biding there time. “Shit.”
Royce came to a stop at the sound of a shotgun, not far away he guessed about 200 yards away. He looked back ahead to find Isabelle had heard it as well her eyes flicked to his a questioning frown judging his next choice. Damn it, he sighed and pulled his AA-12 off his shoulder and headed for the general area of the gunfire.
As they got closer they could hear the Dog things from before and then a shotgun reporting at least 7 shots, a cry that sounded human and then what sounded like a tree falling over. They got to a clearing and saw 2 hounds alive, one was scrambling up a pair of trees twisted together the other was limping over to try its own luck at climbing again, as it had pulled itself from underneath a broken branch. Isabelle pointed to midway up the tree, where a man was hanging, caught in the vines trying to reload his shotgun as the hound reached the thick branch 3 feet beneath him.
“Can you get a clear shot at that one?” He asked nodding his head up at the one on the branch, while he aimed at the limping one.
“Not without risking hitting him” she sighed exasperated still looking down the scope of her Blaser R93 LRS2 hoping for a clear shot. The hound had made its way to the branch under the man and was beginning to jump. Isabelle squeezed the trigger and bark from the branch penetrated the side of the beast, as it was already jumping it did little to slow it down. With a spray of blood the dog fell to the ground with a sickening thud.
Royce had finished the other one off with a well aimed shot from his pistol.
“Hello! A little help here. Please?” Cried out the man above them his large knife stained with blood. Not so useless after all she thought.
“You can get him down, I’ll cover you.” Royce stated before she could say anything he began scouting around there location. She began to climb up, it was slow as she was still a little groggy from the drugs that bastard Edwin had pumped her full of. She eventually made it up to the man and looked him over. He was nearly 6 feet tall and was average looking, except for the eye patch and dirty clothes and the random weapons he carried.
“Hi. Thanks for coming. Names Xander.” His face was red from the blood rushing to his head “I cant reach the vines, could you help? Please?” She knelt beside him holding onto the trunk of the tree and held her hand out for the large knife waiting nearly patiently. Xander looked at her hand and realized what she meant “Oh right, sorry.”
With care she sliced through a vine holding his right leg up and helped to steady him as he twisted to one side, his left leg still held up but at an odd angle. “Ready?” she asked in a strong yet feminine voice. He nodded his arms spread ready to grab onto the branch below. The Gladius’ pommel jabbed him in the ribs when he landed. When he stood and turned to find his knife jabbed into the trunk and the woman already half way down the tree he heard her call out one word to him