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There, standing in the gloom cast by the dingy streetlamps was a monstrous shape, its thick frame hunched over and it right arm horribly distended and dragging on the ground. The snow falling from the sky increased in intensity and worked to hide the figure’s face, but the pipes extending towards the sky from the thing’s back and belching a combination of black smoke and steam told Grim that he had found his mark. The chemicals that had been injected into the poor man’s body had swollen his muscles, making him a hulking caricature.

The unbroken tirade from Miss Wessex cut off abruptly as the Aberrent moved towards the two, the sound of metal scraping on cobblestones coming from the things altered arm as it was dragged behind. Grimm glanced away from the beast long enough to assure himself that the girl had started to run away, but to his surprise, she had done nothing of the sort. With a speed that could only come from experience, she pulled two highly decorative and modified derringers from the depths of her cloak and fired at the advancing Aberrent.

Grimm watched as the precision strikes from the super-charged pistols tore into the meaty throat and chest of the creature, causing it to stagger. With a shudder the creature began to move forward again, seeming to ignore the large holes the little weapons had created, holes that were oozing a sickly dark fluid.

Shaking his head at the incongruity of it all, Grimm pulled the heirloom short sword from its scabbard and moved to place himself in the way of the coming creature. With a howl of murderous rage, the beast threw itself at Grimm, a face filled with terror, pain, insanity and grief emerging from the cover of the falling snow as it came close. A fast twist of its body sent the bulging, modified arm towards Grimm and he found out the cause of the victims wounds. Three metal blades had been affixed to the bones of the arm, a deadly parody of the fingers that should have been there, pistons driven by the power plant incased within the monster’s torso added power and speed to its attack.

Turning his body into the attack, Grimm brought his sword up to block the claws and braced his back leg to absorb the shock. The precautions proved almost useless as the power of the blow picked him up and threw him, with bone breaking force, into the facade of a nearby building, brick shattering under Grimm’s body as he hit. With a grunt of surprise and pain, he dropped to his knees, his head bowed.

Twin cracks of thunder told the dazed Grimm that the girl had still not run, but had reloaded her pistols and continued the fight. Shaking his head in disbelief as much as to clear the daze, he pushed himself to his feet unsteadily and threw himself into melee with the demon. The thing’s attention had been pulled to the pistol wielding girl and Grimm took the opportunity to land a brutal blow with his short sword on the brute’s back. Sparks flew as his sword rode down one of the exhaust pipes and sunk into the fiend’s flesh, a flesh that felt somehow unusually spongy and resilient. A long gash opened up where the sword bit in and the same dark ooze poured out of it as had dripped from the earlier bullet wounds. Hopping back from the attack, Grimm narrowly dodged getting backhanded by the Aberrent’s arm, the thing moving with a speed that seemed unnatural in something so large and lumbering.

Grimm began to dance with the beast in the snow slicked street as the Lady Wessex moved to the mouth of the alley and continued to reload her weapons with an eerie calm that was only countered by the excited glint in her eyes. Only Grimm’s fast footwork and long years of fighting experience kept him outside the creature’s attacks, the speed and ferocity of the onslaught pushing Grimm to his limits. As the fight began to draw out, the demon began to emit a whine of rage that soon became a howling barrage of madness. The sounds of pistons churning and the gears that made up the joints of the Freak’s right arm added to the cacophony that it was creating.

Lady Wessex opened the breach of her first pistol as she watched the hunter and hunted fight, the smoking cartridge of the spent round hissing as it jumped from the gun and fell onto the wet street. Her heart racing with an insane fervor since the combat’s had started and she could feel the beginnings of a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth, protected below her respirator. The thrill that was sending tingles through her frame was a hundred times more intense than the ones she felt when she trained with the pistols she had one of her father’s scientists custom make for her. This was real and awakening, nothing like the charade of balls and high society she found herself trapped in day after day.

Out of the corner of his eye, Grim saw Lady Wessex finish loading her guns and take aim. Just as she began to pull the trigger, Grimm made a feint towards the monster’s left side. As the beast whirled to attack with its right arm, Grimm ducked under the attacking arm as the crash of the girl’s gunfire slammed into it. The mutant paused from the pain long enough for Grimm to come out behind its right side and with all his strength he drove the point of his blade into the gear mechanisms in its altered shoulder, jamming the gears.

The creature began to flail, its right arm not responding. With even louder howls of fear and rage. it began to throw itself around on the cobblestones of the street. Grimm jumped back away from the maddened Horror and watched. He was certain that the jam would cause something in the beast to break and give him the edge he needed to finish it off. It just didn’t seem to be taking any real damage from his sword slashes or the lady’s bullets.