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Andrew Dobell

Obliteration

Obliteration

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BOOK 5 of WASTELAND ROAD KNIGHTS

Nero charges into the wastes, hunting for the missing Nyx.
But what the Road Knights find, will change the world forever.

Taken by a Night Lord, Nyx is held in a derelict building, filled with arcane books.
The Night Lord has her hunting for something, but to find it, she must learn the Mystic Arts.
Fascinated, she begins to study.

Nero and his friends are desperate to find Nyx. They cannot allow a Night Lord to hold her.
The mysterious new arrival, Phoenix, agrees to help.
With his rag-tag band and a plan, Nero strikes out into the wastes, hunting for his one true love.

He must face powerful Daemon's, hungry undead and cruel mutants as he scowers the wasteland for Nyx.

As Nero nears his goal, Nyx learns of a secret that could change the world forever.
Could they banish the Night Lords and their Daemon servitors?
Or will Nyx's captor beat her to it?

Put the peddle to the metal, and ride into the wastes once more with the Road Knights.

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Chapter 2
Nero

“I want her back,” Nero said, thinking of Nyx and where she might be. Where would a Daemon, like this Volgir, take Nyx? Why would he take her? What value could she be to him?
“I understand,” the curious, otherworldly woman replied, her eyes flickering with flames. She glowed, her pure dove-white skin seemed to burn with heat, while fire cascaded from her head, like flaming hair.
She wasn’t tall. In fact, she was nearly a foot shorter than Nero, and yet, there was a feeling of power radiating from her. She held herself in a confident, self-assured stance, and looked upon him and his friends without fear.
“I am here to help, and I will do what I can for you, but this is your mission, on your world.”
“I understand,” Nero replied. He didn’t feel any threat from this being, quite the opposite in fact. He felt comforted and safer around her. “What do I call you?”
“You may call me Phoenix.”
“Very well, Phoenix, thank you. Do you know where she is?”
“I do not, no. But I will try to help you find this Nyx.”
“Thank you.”
Nero sighed and nodded as he turned away to look across the devastation in the room. They were at the base of the tower that was once the Whisperer’s lair, surrounded by the bloody corpses of the undead, mutants, and Daemon’s. They littered the floor, and to move anywhere meant stepping over a body.
Nearby, Dani stared across the carnage, an expression of shock and disbelief written all across her face. She was suffering just as much as he was. Her daughter, who she’d only just been reunited with, was gone. Taken, leaving her alone with this ragtag group.
Nero felt desperately sorry for her and knew he had to find Nyx, not only for himself but for Dani too. For all of them, in fact. She was the heart and soul of this group. She was the emotional core and the person who had turned Nero’s life around.
Meeting her had changed everything. He’d been a hollow shell of a man before, a man reduced to survival at any cost, but for reasons he’d never really truly understood.
Why had he clung onto life?
Had he been afraid of death? Had he survived because that was just what you did in this world? Fight or die.
He wasn’t really sure why he’d acted the way he had, but what he did know was that Nyx changed all that. She came into his life and gave him purpose. She gave him a reason to live, and it was a beautiful thing.
He had to get Nyx back. There was nothing else for it. Without her, his life was not worth living.
He suspected that Dani felt the same.
Kat, Ash and Dust, the three women who had become known as The Blades, hugged Dani close and comforted her as she wallowed in her grief.
Nearby, Cryptus stepped over a corpse. With his hood down and his usually ever-present mask removed, his burnt face was clear to see, even under the blood and ichor from the fight.
“Phoenix. I’m Cryptus. It is an honour to meet you.”
“And you, Cryptus,” Phoenix replied.
Cryptus nodded to her and then looked at Nero. “We’ll get her back,” he said, his tone reassuring as he placed a hand on Nero’s shoulder. “I promise. We’ll find her, no matter what.”
“Thank you. But, she could be anywhere,” Nero complained, feeling at a loss. Where did you start with anything like this? It felt impossible.
“Perhaps. But I doubt she’ll have gone far.”
“Masters,” Runt called out.
Nero turned and found the bent, deformed man stood by the main entrance, a look of concern and worry on his lopsided face.
“What is it?” Cryptus answered.
“Runt spy flying things, coming here, master. Yes, they come here soon. Look.”
Nero hopped over several flayed corpses as he moved with Cryptus to the double doors and peered out into the cyan sky. Sure enough, dark shapes with great wings were soaring through the haze and coming this way.
A frown creased his forehead as he looked at the shapes. They were too distant to make out any detail, but he didn’t need to. Very few things took to the air, and what did, was usually not good.
“Lock the doors, Runt,” Nero ordered, his voice low. “Secure it as best you can. It looks like we have company coming.”
“Do as he says,” Cryptus added.
“Yes, masters. I shall. I shall,” he replied, and slammed the doors shut with a boom that echoed through the cavernous circular room.
Dani looked up from the huddle she stood in, and Kat turned to face him.
“More trouble?” Kat asked.
“I’m afraid so. Be ready.” Nero looked over at Phoenix, as his eyes were drawn to the glowing pale woman. “Can you help?”
“I will do what I can,” Phoenix answered.
Nero nodded. That was good enough for him.
“It’ll be a Night Lord,” Cryptus stated. “Volgir and Bonecall were right. Word has got out. They’ll all be coming for you now.”
“They’ll come for all of us,” Kat replied, hefting her pair of swords. “With these enchanted blades, we’re a threat to them all.”
“She’s right,” Cryptus replied. “We’re a bigger threat than ever now. They’ll never stop.”
Nero agreed. Volgir’s enchantments on their weapons had been invaluable against the Daemons that had attacked them. Without them, the Daemon’s were all but invulnerable, but no more. Now they were just as vulnerable as any other mutant or raider. The Lords would never permit them to live, knowing they had these weapons. Worse still, Nero could see the Daemon’s coming to steal the weapons for themselves. As he contemplated the ramifications of their current situation, he noticed Phoenix frowning at Kat’s blades.
“May I see them?” the ethereal woman asked.
Kat nodded and held up her weapons.
“Hmm, a curious enchantment,” Phoenix muttered as she regarded the twin swords.
“How so?” Nero asked.
“It’s a limited effect. I suspect it will fade over time, or perhaps more likely, will only affect certain Daemon’s.”
“I knew we couldn’t trust him,” Cryptus hissed.
“I bet I know who won’t be affected by the Magic,” Dani added.
“Bastard,” Nero cursed, wanting Nyx back even more than before, if that were possible.
“Fear not,” Phoenix replied. “If you will allow me, I should be able to help.”
“Please do,” Dani replied, the anger evident in her eyes.
Phoenix nodded and brushed her hand along the blades. Flicking white and gold energy trailed behind her hand, rippling along the metal before settling and fading.
Nero watched Dani eye the blades curiously. “Did it work?”
Beside her, Phoenix bent at the waist and gasped for breath, distressed.
“Are you okay?” Nero asked, concerned, stepping closer.
She nodded and straightened. “Yes, that was just… a little harder than I had anticipated.”
“Harder?” Cryptus asked.
“My powers have… diminished. I am not what I was, this far from home.
“Can you still help?”
“Of course, but then I must retreat. I’m sorry.”
An almighty bang echoed through the chamber as something slammed into the doors.
“Whatever you do, do it quick, yes?” Runt suggested.
Nero nodded to him and looked up at Phoenix. She reached out and touched his shotgun with her glowing fingers. “Your weapon, I recognise its enchantment.”
“You do?”
“I’ve seen that Magic before somewhere. I know it.” Nero frowned, wondering if that was a good or bad thing, but that wasn’t important right now.
“Is it limited, like the swords were?” Nero asked, more interested in who he could kill with it.
“No, it is not.”
“Good,”
“And mine?” Dani asked, holding her sword aloft.
“Yours is like Nero’s, but different again, actually. That is Luxana’s Magic.”
“Of course, you knew her.”
“I did,” she replied with a smile. And that blade will serve you well.”

“Do what you can for the others,” Nero said, as another bang sounded from the entrance. Runt yelped as Nero turned. A sizable dent had been made in the doors already. They would not hold long.
“Dani, Kat, with me,” Nero ordered. “Everyone else, to Phoenix, and then join us.”
“Yes, master Nero, Runt do as you ask,” the smaller man said, as he scuttled by. Nero racked the foregrip on the gun as he neared the door.
BANG!
The doors rattled in their frames, a gap appearing where the two doors met. Beyond, a face leered in at him and then rushed the doors again.
With an almighty boom, they swung wide, and a tall grey-skinned humanoid with horns, bone spurs and massive bat-like wings stood in the doorway. The creature straightened and glowered at Nero.
“Mortal,” the thing intoned.
“Well spotted,” Nero replied as he adjusted his aim and fired. The shotgun did its thing, and buckshot ripped chunks from the Daemon’s hide, causing him to stagger back and stare at the wound in horror. He put his hand to it, touching the treacle-like blood that oozed from it, as if it was the first time the thing had seen its own blood.
A second later, the thing looked up, its shock turned to fury as it seemed to realise something. “You!”

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