Ulla pursued the Courtesan through the woods. While the Courtesan had a head start, Ulla was faster and the Courtesan's angry muttering could be heard echoing through the trees.
"I won't let it end this way," muttered the Courtesan as she ran between the trees. "Everyone will learn. They will accept the Queen!"
"It is no good running," Ulla called after. "This is it. Your plan is over and your Queen is defeated."
"Never!" screamed the Courtesan as she ran through the gardens. "Never! Do you know how hard I've worked?!"
"I know your effort is misplaced," sighed Ulla as she continued to move, "But we both know that you don't stand a chance against me. Even on your best, day you're outclassed."
"I will make more!" cackled the Courtesan as she started to fiddle with some of the ruined rides that sat in the small courtyard. "I will have what I want."
As she dragged several chunks of metal, Ulla emerged from the trees. "Come on. It's over," she said firmly. "We can end this easily. We can free everyone and let them go home." But the Courtesan only hissed and grabbed an old metal door before throwing it at Ulla.
Ulla swung her sword, effortlessly slicing the door in half, causing the fragments to fly past her and crash into the trees. Ulla watched as the Courtesan slipped into the tunnels underneath the park.
"You're just delaying the inevitable," called Ulla as she continued her chase. "This won't end well." Ulla could hear the Courtesan's footsteps echoing off the stone walls.
"You won't stop me!" screamed the Courtesan, sounding almost like she was on the verge of crying. Ulla continued to follow behind her, trying to work out just what she was planning.
After several minutes of chasing, the Courtesan ducked into the lab and started to rummage around. "It is useless," sighed Ulla. "You don't think we've ransacked everything we could find? Nothing of use remains in there."
"Because you don't know anything! You have no idea!" cried the Courtesan as Ulla heard the sound of crunching metal. Just as Ulla got close, the Courtesan sprinted out of the lab with a harddrive under her arm.
"A computer," remarked Ulla as she upped her pace.
"Soon everyone will know the Queen! They will absorb her glory! They will take it! Without choice! I don't need her body!" screamed the Courtesan, her voice cracking as she continued to run.
"I," mumbled Ulla, "Broadcasting it? You don't have anything powerful enough to reach the city. Unless you plan on pestering a load of mountaineers at four in the morning," she continued, trying to work out just what the Courtesan was planning. Or if she even was planning anything.
But the Courtesan continued to run, no matter how much Ulla tried to talk her into giving up. She ran out of the tunnels and back up through the gardens towards the castle with Ulla hot on her heels.
The Courtesan pushed through the trees as her breathing became more harsh and ragged. It was clear she was running out of breath and was tiring after the long night.
However, the Courtesan didn't stop. She ran around the other side of the castle and shoved the harddrive into her mouth before starting to scale the wall.
Ulla let out a sigh as she watched the woman climb, calling after her. "It's no good! You can't do that from up there!" The Courtesan tried to reply, but was muffled by the harddrive that she was gripping in her teeth. She didn't listen to Ulla, and continued to climb up the wall.
Ulla watched for a few moments before letting out a sigh. "I'm too heavy," mumbled Ulla as she deactivated her armor before running towards the wall and starting to scale it.
The Courtesan continued to climb, but it was obvious that she was struggling. As Ulla started to get closer, the Courtesan tried to move up faster, but her foot slipped. Her body bashed into the wall as she dangled off the wall, kicking her legs and trying to regain her footing.
"No!" shouted Ulla as she saw the Courtesan dangle. Ulla quickly scrambled up the wall until she was even with the Courtesan. She gripped the girl's waist with her one arm while trying to use one of her legs to help her regain her footing. "Come on. You can't do this," Ulla offered firmly. "You're going to fall. Just let go, and I'll get you down."
But, the Courtesan didn't listen. She hissed at Ulla through the hard drive as she pulled one hand off the wall and started to use it to strike at Ulla, hitting her in the face several times.
"Hey! Hey!" shouted Ulla as she tried to avoid the swipes as best she could. "Stop it! I'm the only one keeping us both up here!" However, the Courtesan didn't listen and continued to scratch and Ulla's face, using her legs to kick at the girl.
As the Courtesan continued to swing and kick, Ulla did her best to hold on to both the girl and the wall. Still, she could see that the Courtesan's fingers were slowly slipping off of the brick she was gripping on to.
Ulla tried to reposition herself so that she could hold all of the Courtesan's weight. But as she did, the Courtesan headbutted her. The world spun a pain throbbed through Ulla's head. She felt the Courtesan fall backward as she let out a scream, her grip finally failing.
The weight of the falling woman was enough to pull Ulla off of the wall as well. As they both plummeted, Ulla's instincts took over. Despite her head spinning from the headbutt, her body moved of its own accord, twisting in the air in an attempt to take as much of the impact as she could.
Suddenly, a rush of pain ran up Ulla's spine as she made a wet thud on the grass. Ulla rolled sideways, her body red hot with pain. Her heart pounded as her head screamed out in agony. She gripped her ribs and let out a groan as her vision swayed and swam.
She saw the Courtesan stumble up off the ground. As she did, she looked at the mud and let out a loud wail. "No! No! No!" she screamed. "You ruined it! You ruined everything!" She screeched as she looked frantically around. However, the Courtesan's eyes suddenly went wide as she ran back towards the door.
Ulla rolled over. Breathing felt like her lungs were full of powdered glass. However, through her blurred vision, she could make out the hard drive on the floor. Or, at least, it used to be the hard drive. It was now shattered into a thousand pieces.
A loud revving pierced the air as the Courtesan stumbled over. She had grabbed a chainsaw that had been dropped by one of the vampires and was yanking on the choke, obviously trying to start it. As the engine roared into life, the Courtesan started to laugh.
"You won't get in my way again! You won't ruin my plans ever again!" she cackled maniacally. "You should have kept your nose out of my business! Any last words, mortal?!" As the Courtesan cackled, Ulla took a deep breath and pushed her fist into the soft Earth and started to push herself up off the ground, doing her best to block out the alarm bells that were ringing in her body.
"Chainsaws. Make. Terrible. Weapons," Ulla grunted through each breath as the Courtesan raised the saw into the air. Ulla dashed, grabbing one of the Courtesan's arms and twisting her around. "They're hard to start, and they throw off your center of balance." Ulla continued to spin around with the Courtesan, using her grip on the one arm to guide her chainsaw-wielding arm.
Thanks to Ulla's guiding and the Courtesan's futile attempts at countering Ulla's grab, the chainsaw ran across the wall of the castle, sending sparks flying everywhere as the blade jerked and jumped.
"They struggle to get traction on what you're trying to cut," growled as she yanked the Courtesan's free arm down before wrapping her arms around the woman's waist and pushing her towards the wall. The chainsaw roared even more loudly as it finally made its way into the wall and dug in, only to sputter and stall as it became tightly lodged. "And when they do, they get stuck!" shouted Ulla, continuing her rant as she yanked the Courtesan off of the chainsaw and threw her to the floor.
The Courtesan rolled across the floor before jumping up and running at Ulla. She swung for her, but Ulla dodged her effortlessly and punched the Courtesan square in the stomach, knocking her backward. The Courtesan tried to step forward for another blow, but Ulla quickly followed up with an elbow to the chest before grabbing the Courtesan's wrist and throwing her to the floor.
"This is over!" shouted Ulla firmly, coughing a little as she did.
"No! No! No!" shrieked the Courtesan as she clambered up off the floor and hissed, baring her fangs. "You will turn! You will serve me! I will make you eat the dirt off my shoes with a smile on your face!"
However, as the Courtesan leaned forward, a foot smacked her in the side of the head. The Courtesan went limp and crumpled to the floor. Ulla looked across, only to realize that the foot belonged to Sharon.
"I've been waiting to do that all night!" shouted Mesmera as Mara came out of the bushes and grabbed Ulla.
"Are you okay?" gasped Mara.
"I'm fine," started Ulla, only to wince when Mara rubbed her ribs.
"They don't feel broken," commented Mara softly, "But we need to get you sat down."
"I'll be fine!" protested Ulla.
"You fell off a building!" exclaimed Mara.
"Half a building," corrected Ulla. "I'll be fine."
"You're a terrible liar," sighed Mara. "We were in the security room trying to find you two. We saw you fall. You need treatment."
"Later," Ulla relented, "But first we need to do something about these people."
"I can attempt to deprogram them," offered Mesmera. "If we can gather everyone, Alicia and I can try to do them en masse. Clear their memories and try and make sense of this for them and then send them on their way."
"Right," Mara agreed, "We need to gather the stragglers and make sure their prisons are clear. Alicia, you set up the castle lobby with the girls and we'll go scour the tunnels."
"On it!" Alicia cheerily replied.
"Oh, and tie the Courtesan up or something," sighed Mara, looking down at the subdued madwoman. "We'll be back soon," she added as she, Ulla, and Sharon headed into the forest. Alicia quickly made her way around the front of the castle.
"We heard a noise!" shouted Kaite as she ran over to Alicia.
"Yeah," replied Alicia, "Courtesan tried to King Kong herself, but it's over now."
The crowd of vampires cheered as Beth ran forward and gave Alicia a hug. "I was worried! I thought something bad had happened."
"Nah, we're born lucky!" giggled Alicia, "But we're going to get the lobby set up so we can get Mesmera to deprogram people and clear their memories."
Katie blinked. "Including ours?"
"Maybe not." Sighed Alicia, "But we need to protect some of these people."
"Right!" Beth smiled as she turned to the vampires. "Everyone! Clear out the lobby! We need to prep to get you all home!"
The vampires let out a little cheer and got to work as Alicia took a deep breath. Katie had a point, she couldn't really blank the girls' memories after all they had done. And it would be a lot to remove, considering she couldn't brush the whole thing off as a dream. They had seen too much for her to be able to simply twist the memory.
Alicia pushed it out of her mind as she got to work. Over the next half hour, the girls were able to clear out the lobby and tie-down the vampires who were still hostile. The chanting and dancing ones took a few moments to calm down, but once Alicia hypnotized them they were more than happy to sit quietly and politely. The Courtesan and the Lamia Queen were also still asleep, likely because their drugs had worn off.