Chapter 27 – Class is in Session
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Four teardrop shapes hit the floor, flattened out and then reshaped themselves into domes. They looked like black gelatin. Each had a pale face floating in the middle, a stark contrast to the otherwise dark liquid swirling within it.

Five scorpions the size of large dogs with black carapaces, and human heads were stitched into their backs, hit the ground soon after. Their legs were hairy like a spider's, the eyes looked more like they belonged on insects and the sacs running down their sides increased and decrease in size as if they were lungs. They began to advance on us with their pincers opening to attack.

Looking closely, I saw the heads were not complete but were instead pieces stitched together so they faced in all directions and looked more like egg sacks with eyes and hair than human heads. The eyes blinked and a liquid, perhaps tears, trailed down from them. Their tails rose up and the spike at the end had a brown fluid dribbling out.

Multicolored auras began forming from sacks prior to its advance, slowly inching across their bodies. It was making its way across the arms and lower back. A myriad of dim colors made up the auras but wherever the colors met an inky black would be there holding them together. The auras seemed weak but there were so many of them that I got the feeling that the weak auras were compensated by the shear amount of them.

As they advanced, I noticed people in the cages as they stuck out their arms and started shouting out for help as if they did not see us being attacked. Perhaps they were desperate for help or possibly they were trying to aid us and confuse them; either way their noises did not sidetrack the monsters.

The doctor turned to the cages, his waist twisting oddly, and yelled at them "Students, I told you questions could wait until after class" and the noise died down. I was not sure what he did to them before to cause such fear nor did I want to see it. I would like to sleep at night thank you very much.

I quickly cast "Minor Healing" on the boy strapped to the table before the fight was really in full swing. The kid's screams got even louder as if my healing was causing him even more pain than the knives that had been cutting into him a minute before. Shit! There was nothing I could do to stop his pain. The doctor frowned and then grabbed a syringe filled with a muddy liquid and plunged it into his neck. The screams died down as the liquid was pushed out of the needle. Without pausing, he grabbed up a scalpel and something that looked like a big fork with the prongs bent at a ninety-degree angle. He then continued operating as if nothing happened.

I did not have the luxury to worry about it too much since the scorpion hybrids were moving in on us. Most went towards Bill as if they naturally saw him as a bigger threat but a few came at Phil and me. The slimes had sprouted tendrils and were waving them about but did not move from where they had dropped.

I saw Phil throw some seeds at the two scorpions coming at us. Some of his green aura seemed to break away from him and surround the seeds as they passed through it. They started sprouting even before they landed. I loud crack sounded and I turned to see the first scorpion in range having its head crushed between the floor and Bill's hammer. The aura that was creeping up the scorpion had not quite reached its head.

The other two attacked Bill with claws and tails. The two tails hit him and went through his armor but failed to pierce his skin. Brown goo trailed down his skin and pit marks appeared wherever the brown sludge had been.

Bill managed to dodge or deflect three of the four claws but the last claw latched onto his left leg and pulled it into an awkward angle. He managed to pry open the claw with the shaft of the hammer but the damage was done. The metal armor protecting his calf bent until it met his skin and the armor around his knee was refusing to straighten fully.

I cast 'Minor Healing Light' on him and saw the butterflies fluttering around him. I saw his eyes widen as he looked at one of the closer scorpions but I failed to see what caught his eye. I tried to get a better angle to see but was distracted as the slimes released spells at us.

As murky rays of yellow and brown hit my aura it seemed to indent as if it was a balloon being poked by a finger, and then it snapped back into shape as they broke through. The once grapefruit sized spells dwindled down to the size of a tangerine. They seemed to become less energized but brighter in color. Two vibrant yellow beams hit the ground near me and I saw them flatten into small portals. Multiple yellow colors swirled around and then I saw little bugs started to crawl out of them. The Browns hit Phil and I saw his leather armor take on a slight worn look.

The auras finished covering the scorpions and Bill's hammer smacked down with a boom onto one of them. It sounded impressive but with a simple shake of its head it moved in to attack unharmed. He then took a few clumsy steps back as his left leg refused to work properly. He seemed to be looking intently at the one he just hit as it followed him. I saw him smile and then get smacked around by tails and claws. Masochist.

The two coming at us had a bright red moss forming over them. Whatever Phil planned did not seem to happen as two tails spiked into both his arms and I saw his skin starting to mummify. I quickly cast 'Detoxification' on him and the spreading decay slowed down and then stopped a short time later. An indication of XP earned sounded but I failed to catch the amount as I tried to keep my eyes on what was going on around me. He let out a curse and threw himself, clumsily, out of the way of the claws. He ended up sprawled onto the floor and they followed up ready to end his life.

I moved to help as tiny bugs began to fly around my face trying to sting me. They were annoying but not dangerous as far as I could tell so I ignored them and moved into place to intercept them.

Four more spells, this time a murky blue, hit against my aura before repeating what happened before becoming smaller and brighter. When they hit Phil, thin chains appeared on his limbs and pinned him down to the floor. But they were so thin that they snapped as he tugged on them.

"ALICE HEAL THEM!" Bill's shout broke my train of thought and I looked at Bill. He yelled it again. Then I saw his grayish aura that normally hung around his body condensing and becoming a more solid gray as he shouted, "Ultimate Fortress".

Then the boy screamed again and I saw the doctor placing a blackish square into his opened chest. His screams got louder and louder, but the doctor never stopped his fluid movements as both his hands moved about inside the boy's body.

I did as he said and cast on the closest enemy to me. A 'Minor Healing' spell went off and I saw the red moss covering the scorpion fluff up and +20 XP flashed across my screen. Its eyes sunk in and the tail flopped to the floor as if its strings had been cut. Oddly, it just stood there twitching instead of falling over. I was unsure if it was dead or stunned so I moved away from it just in case it awoke.

Bill just waited to be attacked and his hammer seemed to have a mind of its own. It was always in the way of every claw or tail that came his way. There were a couple of times I thought he was going to attack but he never did. He just stood there like an immovable object taking all they could give. Leaving me to think, 'Why the heck did he not do that from the beginning?'

The other scorpion went in for the kill and I leaped swinging my mace at its tail knocking it off course by an inch or two. But it was an inch that was needed for it to miss Phil's head. I saw a +1 Luck after I hit the tail but ignored it since I was about to be eaten. The claws came at us at the same time and I felt one grab hold. My armor cracked as it squeezed; making it hard to breathe. I was unsure if the other claw had grabbed him because I was jerked closer to its mouth, moving Phil out of my line of sight.

As I got closer to its mouth, I saw two smaller claws that were reaching out to try and get a hold of me. I swung my mace about like a mad woman trying to knock them away without any ounce of skill to be seen. Trying to catch my breath, I cast 'Minor Heal' as I saw the tail raising up above my head. The tail came shooting down as the red moss began to fluff up again. This time I saw the roots of the moss, as fine as hair, dig through its carapace and become a bloody red. That did not stop the tails momentum though as it came right at me.

In desperation, I put my mace in the way and 'Luck Activated' flashed. Then I felt my mace smack me in the head. It hit so hard that the already cracked 'Golden Armor' shattered and I was pretty sure that I was going to have a bump. Luck my ass!

The tail's momentum ended and then dropped to the ground along with half my mace. It had split in half when the spike of the tail had pierced through it. A +5 XP showed my spell at least worked and taking advantage of the short reprieve I pried myself out of the claw holding me.

I saw Bill's aura start to fluctuate. It went from a solid gray it was a moment ago, to a light gray and then back again. It kept repeating and beads of perspiration could be seen forming on his forehead. He kept deflecting all the attacks coming at him, but he seemed to be slowing down.

Phil had managed to get back to his feet and threw a few more seeds at the remaining scorpion. Yellow vines quickly sprouted around it and latched onto it with thousands of little suction cups immobilizing it. Snapping noises as it struggled to be free was a good indication that it would not be slowed down for long.

Sighing in relief, I cast on one of the scorpions attacking Bill and saw the multi-colored aura surrounding it shatter apart like glass. I saw a +5 XP followed by a +20 XP as Bill's aura returned to normal and he smashed the scorpion into the ground only to take another hit from a claw and tail from the other one. More of his armor bent into an unrecognizable shape along his right arm. I saw him try to move it, but it seemed to be stuck in an 'L' shape. His hits began to lower and 'Poisoned' showed up into his health window.

I needed time. Bill was poisoned, the mist was growing and I needed to disable their protective auras and in my haste to get it all done, I almost missed the "air sacs" on the scorpion Bill just killed start to leak black mist. My aura bent and shifted around it creating gaps as the mist grew thicker. It was not much at the moment, but the mist did not seem to be slowing down.

The kid's screams seemed to be dying down and I saw the doctor starting to stitch him up just as four more spells hit and fizzled against my aura. The dark muddy red beams did not even make it through this time. I refocused on the boy and saw that his health window was completely blank except for a few question marks.

"Phil can you keep this one tied up for a few minutes?" I hastily asked. So much needed to get done and I was happy to hear his "No problem" reply. I moved closer to Bill, manifested my wings and then healed the last scorpion he was facing. Just like the last one, the aura popped leaving it ready for a beating.

Bill did not let me down and quickly downed it. I then flapped my wings creating a breeze causing the mist to shift away from us and thin out. My wings banged against some tables and the shattering of glass as test tubes fell, followed right after. I ignored the sounds and the pain that came as my wings hit random things in the room.

My aura snapped back into its normal shape and I looked back to see a wheezing Phil and an almost cocooned scorpion. Its claws waving about trying to snip at the vines but not having much luck. The slimes seemed to give up on casting spells and began to move closer together.

I cast 'Detoxification' on Bill. I saw the "Poisoned" display go away from his health window and a +3 XP in mine. I wanted him in front of me and healthy. He then drank a sapphire colored potion and I saw Bill's health restoring itself. With a slight reprieve, Phil opened up a new pouch on his belt and pulled out a seed the size of a finger.

The slimes bumped together and bubbled along the edges. They kept pushing together; melding, growing, and becoming one. The heads flowed into the bigger blob.

"Oh, a new student! Come here child, I will make you better. Perhaps some clawed feet to go with those wings. Yes, yes that would be perfect." I hear the doctor speaking and when I looked up, he was looking right at me. I guess it was too much to ask for another person in the room to have wings.

"No thanks! I see you are busy. I am happy just with the wings." I answered but he was already pulling the boy off the table. He hit the ground like a doll with his strings cut; motionless. The doctor just left him and started moving toward me. When he moved around the table, I saw that the lower half of his body was that of a snake. His lab coat covering most of what was not slithering across the floor. "This day just keeps getting more awful!" I muttered as he came my way.

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