111 Defending the Gap
The beasts that came in from the wasteland were not simple to deal with. They were big, and they were strong. The mutations they had undergone only made them more of a threat as well, but the defenders of Frenach were very much their equal. In the canyon, under the light of magical tools and torches, the battle began.
The screams and howls of the beasts and defenders echoed in the canyon as steel met flesh. Strangely, the beasts made no effort to bypass the defenders and continue through the Gap, instead they seemed to be focused only on one thing, ripping the people in their sights to shreds.
It wasn't long before Zoey faced her first beast. She was closer to the left side of the defensive line, and a beast had locked on to her through a gap between two other teams. It bounded at her slobbering from a pig's snout lined with nasty looking teeth, eyes bloodshot with madness.
As it charged at her, Zoey activated her Dark Star Control, and sent out her blade to meet the beast. The Mk1 Prototype Armament flew out, leaving only a golden streak behind in the rainy night as it flew. The beast charging Zoey had no chance to react before the golden blade thudded into its head with finality.
Like a puppet with its strings cut, the beast collapsed mid-charge and slid on the wet canyon floor coming to a stop only a meter in front of Zoey. Motioning with her left hand, Zoey used her Control to pull the Mk1 from the beast and spun it in the air to clean it while she looked around to assess the situation.
The other teams were handling themselves well, and from what Zoey could see they had a well established method of dealing with the beasts. Most had two front line fighters holding back the beasts with a third specialized fighter covering the gaps. The fourth member of each team was the collector responsible for gathering the essence stones and materiel.
Most of them were quickly extracting the essence stones of the dead beasts and moving on, while the the more well-to-do teams had a storage tool that they used to simply store the entire beast corpse away.
Of course Zoey didn't need the entire beast, so she just took the essence stone and left the rest. She knew that it would be gathered up by the scavengers she had seen following them on the way out here.
Due to the sheer number of beasts that were throwing themselves at the defenders, the various teams were slowly giving ground and moving back up the canyon towards the other defense points. This was also something that seemed premeditated, and the teams handled it with trained practice. Occasionally one of the more inexperienced teams would get caught a little too far out front and would have to scramble back to safety, but no lives were lost in the ordeal.
During the slow retreat back up the Gap, Zoey took down a few more beasts that targeted her, but didn't do much else. She was mostly just observing the event and keeping a lookout for the corrupted creature she was hunting.
If it could sense her when she was close to it like Sethrii had said, it would eventually locate her. Speaking of that, she had an idea that would help her find the thing, she just had to build it. For the moment though, it would have to wait.
Another beast came charging at her, and with a wave of her hand and a flash of the Mk1 and it dropped to the ground. Looking down the cannon, she could see thousands more of the beasts flowing thought the canyon towards them.
It would be a long night for the defenders.