Down The Pit (complete novel)

Klaus Van Saar fired a burst in the dark tunnel ahead, his sister Elizabeta threw a grenade. A deadly-wounded Ratskin crawled out in a rattle, he smashed his skull with the stock of his gun.
«We are rich, eventually.»
He pointed his torch to the brown glyphs marked on a clay and rust architrave, the huge access to the dark soiled with scattered wastes. Of lifeless bodies of their men and most importantly those villain Rats.
«It seemed all too easy...» Elizabeta replied.
He angrily nodded her towards Tulp and Jacopa’s bodies on the ground, Hans slain, Jona and Werder riddled with bullets. Amongst dozens of enemies burnt from plasma and meltaguns, those sewer savages with machetes and autoguns.
«We are the only ones left. By the skin of our teeth.»
«I don’t think the treasure is hidden in this dump.»
«This pit is the deepest in this section of the Underhive.»
«Those drawings, what do they say?»
«Gods, marvels»
«And they use crap to paint them?»
«You know: Ratskin..»
They put their masks on, injected a dose. The poisonous sewage and acid juices in the dark tunnel, the entrails, the wastes did not damage the black fibres of the Van Saar’s suits. The grim bellow of a fan or a pump stunned them. Elizabeta observed the walls increasingly thick with signs and letters, bracing her combi-bolter while getting tenser and warier:
«What do you think we will find?»
«Rumour has it that the Rats hit a big score, the whole of Necromunda knows it: a robbery at the Apotecarion. One may expect some containers of supplies by the Militarum.»
«Never seen them pushing drugs. Weird, primitive.»
«The Ratskin care for dosh like everybody else. There we are.»
Klaus saw two red lights glimmering in the dark: like the lights of a warehouse or a safe door. His torch did not manage to light the tunnel up to that point. He thought hearing a noise under the bellowing of the fan and, the further he went, the more it sounded like a breath or a hiss. A persisting metallic clinking, a beat, a scrape. He raised his rifle, moved firmly forward, nodded at his sister.
Elizabeta was disgusted by a mauled corpse that the sewage reversed on the sewer side: it appeared to her the body of an elderly man in sacerdotal vestments.
A huge and monstruous rat, plagued and swollen with mutations, emerged from the dark and limped on towards them, with vials of chemical serum piercing his bowels and his spine. His pupils were burning of a mad red hunger, his meter-long sharp teeth dripping venom.
Klaus crazily fired his boltgun on that thing, Elizabeta hit it with a grenade: but bullets and splinters died on his skin, his sick and flaccid rose flesh instantly scarring over.
Another furious stupid burst broke the rings of the chain holding that abomination.
They seemed hearing a drunk chant of the Ratskin, praising to a prodigy and treasure of the abyss.

(traduzione dall'italiano all'inglese: Matteo Scrima)

Alessandro Forlani

sedicente scrittore, è nato negli anni '70 del XVII secolo, si è reincarnato nel XIX, nel XX e millenni a venire. Nerd, negromante, roleplayer e autore "difficile" di racconti fantastici. Di giorno si impaluda da docente universitario e ciacola di sceneggiatura, cinema e scrittura; di notte, che dovrebbe far l’artista, piuttosto guarda film, legge fumetti, ascolta musica barocca, gioca a soldatini e poi va a dormire. Perché crede che sia più sano scrivere in questo modo.

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