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.Tinker set up a resonance with the spell stones and then triggered her shield spell.Once the winds werewrapped around her, she waded up the steps, making sure that she didn't disturb the spell by gesturing.The padlock had been cut off with a bolt cutter.Her spell hadn't failed; someone had broken in andsabotaged it.Violet sparkled and shifted in the black of the warehouse, casting patterns of shadows and near light.Tinker couldn't see anything that looked like the black willow.Stormsong tried the lights, but the switchhad no effect."The flood would have popped the light bulbs." There was no way Tinker was going in there blind."Dowe have a light?""Yes." Pony took out a spell light, closed his left hand tight around the glass orb, and activated it.Heplayed a thin beam of searchlight intensity over the room.They had left the black willow tied down on pallets.The restraints lay in tatters.Splitters of woodmarked the pallet's destruction.The fork lift sat upended like a child's toy.Dead leaves rode convectioncurrents, dancing across the cement floor with a thin, dry skittering noise."Where is it?" Tinker whispered."I don't see it." Pony swept the room again."Neither do I." Tinker glanced back to the street.Where was Forest Moss? That ground radar thingwould come in handy just about now."Let's turn off the compressor and at least stop this flood."They moved through the warehouse to the back room.The small windowless room was empty of trees,with only the purring compressor to wreak havoc.A crowbar lay across the metal tracings of her spell,encircled with charring.Odd distortions wavered around the compressor.Cursing, she started for the breaker box."Domi, no!" Stormsong caught her shoulder and stilled her."Stay here at the door.Let Cloudwalker doit.""The willow isn't in here." Tinker nevertheless stayed at the door as Stormsong asked while Cloudwalkercrossed to the breaker box and cut the power to the compressor."See, no dan "Her only warning was the ominous rustle of leaves, and then the forklift struck her shield from behind.She yelped, spinning around to see the forklift rebound back across the warehouse. Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abclit.html"Shields!" Stormsong shouted.Tinker had let her shields drop in her surprise.She fumbled through the resonance set up as Pony'snarrow light played off the suddenly close wizen "face" of the black willow.They had to have walkedstraight past, somehow blind to it.It filled the warehouse now, blocking them from the door.It lifted afoot root and replanted it in booming sound that shook the floor.Its branches rattled as it blindly felt theconfines of the room.A dozen of the arms encountered the upended forklift, scooped it up again andflung it at her.Tinker snapped through the shield spell, already wincing, as the forklift sailed toward her.At the lastsecond the winds wrapped tight around her and the forklift struck the distortion's edge."Shit!" Tinker swore as the forklift bounced back across the warehouse to wedge itself sidewise into thefar door."There's no other door, right?""No,domi ," Pony said.Tinker wasn't sure to be amazed or annoyed that Pony sounded so calm, as if she could pull doorwaysout her butt."Oh damn, oh damn, oh damn.Okay, I know I'm smarter than this tree."The black willow lifted another root foot and shook the world as it planted it back down, a few yardscloser to them, instantly pulverizing the cement floor, digging roots down into the building's footing."But I have some doubts," Tinker admitted, "that brains are going to win over brawn this time."What did she have to work with? She scanned the room of bare concrete block as the willow stompedponderously closer.Crow bar.Boom! Compressor.Fivesekasha.Fiveejae.Boom! Circuit breaker box."Stormsong, what do you know about electricity?" Tinker asked the most tech savvy of her Hand."Nothing useful," Stormsong said.Boom!"Nothing?" Tinker squeaked."It lives in a box in the wall." Stormsong detailed out what she knew."It goes away if you don't pay forit."Boom!Right  nothing useful.Scratch having Stormsong rig an electrical weapon.Just as well, good chancethey'd just electrocute themselves.The black willow stretched out its hundreds of whipping branches to scrabble at her shield.Tinkerforced herself to scan the room again, and ignore the massive creature trying to reach her."The roof! It's only plywood and rubber.See if you can cut through."The tree found the gap between the top of the tall doorway and her shield.The thin branches pushedthrough the space, caught hold of the doorjamb and started to pull. Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abclit.html"Oh, shit!" Tinker cried."If it makes the door larger, I'm not going to be able to hold it! It's coming in!"There was a pulse of magic from Forest Moss, instantly defining the Stone Clan elf with Wyverns out bythe Rolls, and themselves, pinned inside by the black willow."Forest Moss!" Tinker shouted."Get it off us!"The concrete walls buckled under the strain, tearing free to leave sawtooth openings, exposing twistedand snapped rebar.The branches flung the debris against the back wall of the warehouse like madshovels."Forest Moss, get it "And suddenly the branches wrapped around her, cocooning her shield in living wicker, and lifted her offthe ground."Domi!" Pony shouted.The black willow heaved her up.Its branches creaked as it tried to crush her shields down.Oh please hold! Oh please hold!A dark orifice opened in the crook where its main limbs branched from massive trunk.As the tree triedto stuff her into the fleshy maw, she realized what the opening was.They have mouths! I wonder if Lain knows that.Oh shit, it's trying to eat me!Luckily the diameter of her shielding was larger than its mouth.It was trying to fit a golf ball into a beerbottle.She held still and silent, afraid to disrupt her shields.Smell of burnt cinnamon and honey filled hersenses and her vision blurred the tree fading slightly even as it repeatedly jammed her up against itsmouth.It has some kind of hallucinogen  that's how we missed it, she thought.And then the tree flung her through the wall.The street beyond was a flicker of brightness, and then she plowed through a confusion of small, dim,dusty rooms of an abandon office building beyond.She felt Forest Moss track her through the building.His power flashed ahead of her, surged through the next building in her flight path, and locked down onall the load bearing supports.The white haired shit was going to pull the building down on her! She'd be buried alive  shields or not!Dropping her shields, she made a desperate grab for a battered steel desk as she flew over it [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]