Helicopters are noisy, very very noisy. Did I mention this before? Perhaps I did. Well that’s because they are!
Peru lay below us dark and foreboding. Tanya the trashy elf girl did a lot of reading, who knew? She figured out tonight the moon would align with the sun and the planets just right to make the barrier between our world and some scary evil dimension really thin. This would allow the bad guys to tear open the fabric of time and bring their nasty ancient god into our world. Unfortunately they need a human sacrifice to do it.
I’m not sure what kind of fabric time is made out of but I wonder if it’s dry clean only. Did I mention I worked in the MHI laundry for a while? It’s in the basement.
One day I figured out if I jammed a paperclip into the door switch I could ride around in the dryer. It was my favorite part of the job. Earl found out about my makeshift amusement park ride and fired me from laundry duty. For a man who face punches monsters for a living he isn’t very fun. Maybe when we get back from this mission I’ll sneak into the laundry and take a few spins around the GE.
I looked at the door gun; it had a lot of barrels. Someone put a sticker on the side of it that read, “GE we bring good things to life.” Milo told me it was a mini-gun. I didn’t see anything mini about it. It was easily three times my size.
Beads of sweat ran down my neck underneath my armor. Milo the crazy engineer didn’t want to make armor for me at first. He had argued that putting Kevlar and Cordura on a Goblin was nuts. He relented eventually and put together my suit using mostly scraps. Putting it on and looking in the mirror for the first time I beamed. It was black, perfect for the clandestine jobs that I’d be doing. We Goblins can be very sneaky. Even though I had to admit I had put on a lot of weight since joining the Hunters.
When I asked Kat about it she laughed and said, “Chewie you’ll still disappear if you turn sideways.” I didn’t understand what she meant. Maybe she thought Goblins all had magic rings like the one in that Hobbit book. Despite what the stories say Hobbits are mean.
I came back to the present when Kat tapped me on the shoulder, “Chewie you ready?” she yelled over the noise of the propellers.
I looked up, a rope was dangling out the side of the helicopter. Here we go again. “No.” I yelled, but she didn’t hear me or didn’t care.
We leapt out into space; I was strapped to Kat to take up one less seat in the chopper. We plummeted to the ground landing on an ancient terrace. Marty, Kat, Earl, Sarge, and a couple of hunters I didn’t really know plopped down out of the helicopter. Kat moved away to allow others to land and I unclipped myself from her harness.
I scrambled up a low stone wall and flipped down my magic goggles, everything turned green. I didn’t know why the magicians who made these NVG things couldn’t have made them work in color. Everything looked like pea soup. I sniffed taking in the smells of the wind swept mountain. The helicopter moved away but kept circling; during the mission briefing Earl said something about air support. I don’t really remember the briefing though because I doodled pictures of Goblins shooting vampires.
The hunters spread out swinging boom sticks around looking for bad guys. I just tried to stay out of the way.
“Chewie, what do you smell?” Kat whispered.
“Heli copper gas, grass, Manly Mans ‘odorant, ‘n fur.”
“Fur? What kind of fur?”
I sniffed again the scent was stronger now. “Dirty… blood o’ tourists, ‘hat ways.” I said pointing toward a cluster of ancient ruined buildings.
“That can’t be good. Earl!”
“I heard. Heads up people, we’ve got multiple monsters coming our way.”
Marty turned around, “Any idea what kind?”
Earl shook his head, “The hairy kind that eat tourists. What else do you need to know?”
Something moved in the shadows below us. It was fast. Then there were more of them, lots more of them. I lost count at thirty.
I pulled out my twin .380 pistols. I wasn’t sure what good they would do against shadowy monsters that had Earl worried.
“Contact!” Marty yelled firing rapid shots from his M14 Boom Rifle. A stray piece of brass hit me on the head. I crouched down lower.
“Skippy we need some air support!” He yelled into his radio as his Tommy gun lit up the night. Then all the hunters started shooting. The world became was big mass of booms.
The helicopter rained down red death from the sky like lightning bolts from an angry god. It was really cool for a few seconds. A gale force wind whipped up forcing the helicopter away.
What kind of evil could control the weather?
I heard the radio crackle. “Can’t control! Wind over hundred!”
I would like to say I charged forward, leapt off a hunters shoulder did a couple of flips and emptied my boom pistols into the eye sockets of the hideous beasts saving the day; bringing honor to all Goblin kind.
I did what every smart Goblin does when confronted with slobbering monsters twenty times their size.
I ran, shrieking like a little girl.
I ran, shrieking like a little girl and fell down a lot.
Now I’m not proud but I am alive. In fact, one of the most sacred books of Goblin lore contains this all important passage.
“He who fights and runs away, lives to run away another day.”
Now that just happened to be one of the few scriptures I actually read but it seemed like a good philosophy to live by.
Soon I found myself far away from the battle in a strange cluster of buildings built thousands of years ago by people long since dead. Finding dead people didn’t scare me the living tourist eaters did.
I felt a pang of guilt at leaving my Hunter companions to be eaten. Maybe if I had shared with them that passage of holy writ they might have… nah hunters are stupid. They go chasing after things with claws and teeth that want to eat them. They aren’t right in the head.
The Hunters weren’t dead, at least not all of them, because I could hear their boom sticks over the wind. Something whined like a kicked dog, then it was silenced by another boom.
I tripped and fell down a stone staircase. It hurt, a lot. When I ended up at the bottom my magic green goggles were broken so I tossed them. I reached for my radio to see if I could get Skippy to come pick me up but found the microphone snapped off.
I couldn’t see the hunters but I could hear more shooting. If I was smart I would have moved toward the shooting, but something whispered in my ear. No not my ear, my mind. I felt compelled to find it.
I climbed up and over terraces, moved through crumbling buildings and up more terraces. Climbing the rock walls wasn’t easy. Why did the stupid Incas build a city on top of a mountain anyway?
I moved through the buildings for what seemed like an hour. It was probably less than ten minutes but I was still breathing hard from running for my life. Somehow I managed to keep a hold of my pistols and held them out in front of me like a religious symbol.
Something whispered again. I still didn’t understand it. It wasn’t loud enough for me to understand it over the pounding in my ears.
Come to me.
Come to me.
Come to me. My servant, my child.
“Who be ya?”
Come to me.
“Cometome me no likey scary ‘ead voices.”
COME TO ME!
“Stop shoutin’ ya dead god, demon thing.”
COME TO ME!
Now I was getting annoyed, some evil god from another dimension was trying to order me around. Why does every evil demon, god or titan seem to think that goblins are automatically their slaves?
I felt like I should go find Cometome, I’m not sure why. I continued deeper into the ruins. I crawled through a defensive tunnel that the ancients had used to hold off their enemies. I could feel the spirits of those who died in this tunnel, their bodies choking the stonework.
Out of the other side Cometome was strong nearly overpowering. I blinked and shook my head but he was still there calling me forward. I tried to stop but my feet kept moving anyway.
COME TO ME!
I entered a stone building, inside were a bunch of guys in funny old clothes. They didn’t seem to notice me enter. I climbed up on a big green army box and watched. The room was dimly lit with candles.
They chanted something in an ancient language waving their hands around. Mr. Cometome had shut up, probably because I showed up.
In the middle of the room there was an altar made from old stones. Lying on it was a knife just like the one Owen had bought. Gold with a funny man on top and a moon shaped blade on the other end.
The chanting grew louder and louder, I found myself waving my arms even though I didn’t want to.
Through another door one of the cultists led a young girl. She wasn’t much taller than me, with braided dark brown hair, and brown skin. She wore a fancy woven dress with every color of the rainbow on it.
Her cheeks were streaked with tears. She was to be the sacrifice to the dead god, Mr. Cometome.
The men laid her on the altar, tied her hands and wrists, their chanting rose to a fevered pitch. The lead cultist wore curious gold jewelry on his head and chest. It looked to be ancient, probably looted from a grave.
The man picked up the knife and held it out for all to see, it began glowing a sickly shade of green.
If I was smart and listened to my Goblin fore fathers I would have turned and ran right then all the Goblin scriptures I could remember were screaming at me to run.
Never volunteer for anything.
Heroes get themselves and their teammates killed.
Fair fights get Goblins killed by the bushel.
Let the Orks charge in and get killed.
Today is NOT a good day to die.
None of them seemed to tell me what to do in a room full of cultists ready to harvest the soul from a frightened little girl.
I searched my pockets, I still had a sheath knife, some pocket lint, a couple reloads for my boom pistols, a pack of gum, parachute cord, lock picks, and a CS gas grenade. Perfect!
Milo told me most monsters like humans breathe fresh air. CS gas made fresh air the most desired thing in the universe for anything that breathed it in.
The lead cultist raised the knife, the chanting stopped. I pulled the pin and let go of the spoon. He looked up as I tossed the grenade at him. He dropped the knife, and caught the grenade a split second before the burning gas shot up into his face.
I leapt to the table, grabbed the now screaming girl and tossed her over my shoulder. She was heavy but I’d make it. The cultists began coughing and gagging as the gas filled the room.
The girl and I escaped most of the gas; I held my breath and ran with her bouncing over my shoulder. The Cometome followers coughed and gagged as they fled the room. The girl screamed and cried kicking and thrashing, she wasn’t easy to keep a hold of.
I ran scrambling over a terrace when I head the most frightening sound in the world, the bolt of an AK-47 Kalishnaboom stick being jerked back and let fly forward.
“Were dead.” I said as the gunman dumped a whole magazine at us.
Somehow we didn’t die. Somehow we made it over the top of a terrace before being shredded by the preferred boom stick of communists, guerillas, and revolutionaries, and apparently cultists. The girl screamed again as powdered rock fragments pelted us.
We fell behind a rock wall, the breath knocked out of me as she landed on top of me.
Come to me, return the girl.
To ‘ell with that! I replied once I caught half a breath.
I pulled out my knife; she screamed perhaps thinking the little green monster was going to finish what the cultists started.
“Me no hurts ya.”
“No me toques Duende!”
Damn she spoke Spanish, which would make sense since she lived in Peru.
“Me no hurt’o you’o.” I said as I cut the ropes binding her wrists and ankles.
As soon as she was free she grabbed my ear and twisted it. My knife fell over the edge of the terrace. Fire shot through my ear causing me to fall to my knees.
I grabbed her wrist and started running, she let go of my ear and followed. Somehow she must have understood I wasn’t going to hurt her. Or maybe she saw the AK wielding cultists chasing after us.
They fired wildly again, I shoved the girl down and covered her with my little green body. I had little hope of my armor stopping rifle rounds. If I died tonight I wouldn’t let Cometome have his sacrifice.
Pain filled my ear; something warm began filling my ear canal. I’d been shot!
“Run!” I yelled she seemed to understand that.
The cultists were changing magazines we only had a couple seconds to make it to the next terrace.
The girl stumbled and went down. I pulled on her arm, I looked back, the leader of the cult was actually aiming. We weren’t going to make it.
I could have done what Goblins do best. I could have let go of the girl and escaped. I should have, that’s what we Goblins do. We run.
At that moment I knew I was no longer a Goblin, but a Monster Hunter. I drew my tiny boom pistol and jerked the trigger as fast as I could. The man ducked back. The girl got to her feet.
We ran jumping off the edge of the terrace, safe for now. We ran to the next, I was about to leap down when I saw the furry back of what had to be one of the tourist eaters. I stopped, the girl didn’t. She ran into me, we fell slamming into the beast.
I still don’t know what those tourist eaters were, but this one was huge, had red eyes, massive teeth and bad breath. Whatever it was Mr. Cometome must have pushed it into our dimension from his.
It roared and turned around rearing up on its hind legs. We screamed like little girls, I found my second pistol and emptied it into the beast’s chest. I think all I accomplished was pissing it off even more. I dropped my gun, grabbed the girl and leapt.
In mid air one of its paws found me and knocked me three terraces down. Everything went dark as I hit my head on a rock.
Seconds later I found myself standing, bleeding trying to find the girl.
“Duende!” She screamed as she ran from the tourist eater. I had no weapons, could hardly see everything hurt.
Maybe today is a good day to die. I thought as I broke every last Goblin rule. I climbed the rock wall and put myself in front of the monster.
It charged, she clung to my back trying to hide, it stopped short. It roared rearing up on its back legs. It wanted to play with us, before feasting.
It was time to stop cowering, hiding and Hunter up. “Eat me!” I yelled as loud as I could. The tourist eater paused perhaps surprised I was confronting it.
Our eyes locked for a brief moment, defiance in mine, rage and hunger in its. Then its head exploded.
The hunters were here! I collapsed to my knees and dry heaved. The cultists turned tail and ran when the entire squad of hunters emptied their boom sticks at them.
A few moments later the helicopter was overhead, spewing its angry lightning of tracers.
“Chewie you alight? You’re bleeding!” Kat said as she knelt down.
“Me be fine, take care o’ girl.”
“Good job Chewie, we thought you ran away.” Earl said as he shook my hand.
I just shrugged.
A while later we were aboard the very noisy helicopter leaving the cursed mountain. The little girl couldn’t stop staring at me.
“What be yer name?” I asked her. She gave me a blank stare.
“Que es yer name’o.”
“Anna.” She replied meekly, I could hardly hear her over the rotor wash.
“Anna yer safe. Nobody ‘urt ya now.”
Kat smiled, “Thanks to you, little Monster Hunter.”
Some people believe Goblins are worthless little creatures that are nothing but fodder for heroes in gleaming plate mail to crush beneath their hooves. They might be right, but I am Kergorb the Goblin, Monster Hunter. When things go bump in the night I bump back.