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I’m currently in the middle of working on the second edition How to Be a Game Character! It’s going to be re-christened as RPG Fitness, and in addition to updating some of the content in the book, I’m also including some new content! That includes the following, which is an introduction to the Saboteur class. Each class will be getting its own short story like this one to sort of establish an in-universe example of that class and its strengths.
Helena took one last glance at the clock tower. Ten minutes to eleven o’clock.
“Show time.” She muttered quietly to herself, ducking into an alleyway off the main road. Not many carriages were out and about at this hour, but she didn’t want to take any chances. The fewer people that saw her, the better. Her eyes adjusted quickly once she was removed from the light of the gas street lamps. She strode quietly, but confidently down the alley. Her contacts had told her the supply train was going to be coming through town at five after eleven She had fifteen minutes, at best.
Reaching the end of the alley, she began to climb the rough-hewn wall of one of the slum’s many tenements. Her dark street clothes helped conceal her as she made her way up. She wore men’s clothes, and kept her hair tucked under a bedraggled old cap to help further the deception. Dirt smeared across her face and hands completed the ensemble.
In a short minute, she found herself on the rooftops. The “thieves highway,” as the locals liked to call it. No one bothered to post guards here in the slums, save for the guardhouse on the elevated railway that crossed them on the way to the capital. Incidentally, this was exactly where Helena was headed. Silently, but quickly, she made her way across the tenements, leaping across narrow alleyways and skirting tiny ledges around walls and obstacles. Shortly, she found herself at column supporting the railway trestle.
Helena glanced again at the clock tower, its face illuminated in the hazy gloom. Two minutes to eleven. She needed to move quickly.
Eschewing stealth, she leapt up to grab onto a handhold in the brick column. She hurried upwards, propelling herself with strong arms and legs, moving more like an ape than a cat, now. She shortly found herself below the open window of the guardhouse, perched upon the edge of the trestle. Helena didn’t have a problem with heights, but she knew better than to look at the eighty foot drop below her barely-clinging feet. She quieted her breathing, and listened.
Two guards. The usual complement. She was a bit insulted that they hadn’t increased it to at least three, given her recent escapades, but she wasn’t about to complain. One last look at the clock. Three minutes to go.
In one single motion, Helena heaved herself upwards through the window, springing forward like a pouncing tiger.
“Oy, what are you – OOF!” one guard managed to exclaim before finding Helena’s knee embedded in his stomach. He doubled over, and was met with an elbow to the face on his way down. The guard crumpled to the floor, silent, and bleeding from the nose.
The other guard had a moment to catch his composure, however, and took a swing at Helena with his night stick. Without time to evade, she opted to turn into the blow and take it on the shoulder.
Helena jumped backwards, taking stock of the room as she did. She ducked the man’s next swing, grabbing a large metal spanner wrench from the floor. The man threw a fist at her face. This time she ducked, spinning around on her toes and putting a full body rotation into her own swing with the wrench. She heard a satisfying crunch as metal met skull, and the second man fell.
A glance at the clock. Two minutes, at best. A train whistle sounded in the distance. Helena ran out onto the tracks, bringing her wrench with her. The Imperium had some weapons stored in a warehouse just below the line, in addition to the supply train of ammunition and soul dust that was headed to the capital. Two birds, one wrench.
Twenty feet before the ware house she stopped. Maybe a minute left. Eschewing any semblance of grace, Helena swung at a joiner below the tracks with the wrench. Brick crumbled. Another swing. More shards of brick and mortar. A train whistle disturbingly close behind her. One last swing, and the bolt broke free. She shoved the spanner between the railway and the trestle and pulled. With a groan and a pop, the rail began to bend. Helena grunted, putting every ounce of strength she had into it. With a loud creak, the rail finally gave, bending an inch and a half to the left.
That will have to be enough, Helena thought to herself, and left the spanner wedged into the rail for good measure.
Her work done, she turned and sprinted back, toward the oncoming train. The headlight grew brighter in front of her, and she heard the squeal of the brakes being thrown.
Too little, too late, the young saboteur thought to herself as she threw herself off the tracks at the last second. She grabbed onto one of the railway ties as she flew past it, and swung herself under the tracks to grab onto the brick column she had used to climb up in the first place. She had just enough time to turn and watch at the train launched off the tracks, completely derailed, flying down to crush the Imperium warehouse complex below. She enjoyed it for all of a second before the resultant explosion of ammunition, train fuel, and soul dust made her turn away, squinting from the brightness.
Quickly, but carefully, she made her way back down the brick column, and off into the concealing darkness of the night. Now all she needed to do was figure out how she was going to hide that bruise on her shoulder when she went to the highborn ball…
Hope you enjoyed this little preview! Our post on Monday will be titled Stop Procrastinating in 10 Superhuman Seconds! If you want to read it now, it’s already up over in the Members Only section of the forums. Go register now, it’s free!
As always, remember to live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome!
Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace