The Arboretum Hedge Trimmer Massacre

“Help.” One of the trapped crewmembers said, pleading with the quartet of PC’s, as the saplings advanced inexorably in reply to his standing up. The group looked at each other and all agreed that none could leave these people to die. Cass, upon recognising the man who had propositioned her earlier, started forwards. One of the saplings turned, rotating its roots in the ground and shambled slowly towards her, a spindly branch seeming to extend and reach out for her.

The last thing Jason expected to be doing today was running from killer trees. He looked to the left and saw a dumpy fellow named Kyle being dragged away into the dense foliage by pink tinted branches. Meanwhile, someone else was shouting for help, and all Jason could think about was how today was definitely going down in history as a day he should've stayed in bed.

Gripping his machete firmly, Jason tried to look menacing in the vain hope that the saplings would get discouraged and leave him alone. He let out the closest thing to a roar he could and flourished his machete at the saplings. They didn't seem too impressed with his display, so instead he retreated to where another man, fellow pilot Mark Rackham, was currently rummaging through the back of one of the old golf carts the groundskeepers used to use before the arboretum had become less "Enchanted Forest" and more "Jurassic Park."

"Find anything?" Jason asked.

Mark shrugged as he rifled through the cart's rear compartment. "A few trowels, weed killer, and a book titled 'Zen Garden: A Guide To Inner Peace Through Gardening'."

"Great, read a chapter, I bet these things could use some inner peace!" Jason took a swing at one of the branches of a sapling that was getting too close. "Or maybe that was 'pieces!'"

"This might change their tune," Mark produced what looked like a small chainsaw from the cart's compartment.

"That's a hedge trimmer," Jason pointed out.

"Sure, but to these bastards, it's a reckoning!" Mark activated the hedge trimmer, an almost pathetic sounding buzzing noise filled the air, and he began to swing the thing recklessly at the saplings closing in on them.

Much to Jason's surprise, the trimmer wasn't doing too bad. He swung at a sapling that was trying to grab his wrist and managed to sever the branch with a few good swings.

At this instant, Cass and the others had reached the group.

Jay immediately charged into a large group of saplings shouting: "It's HERO TIME!" And proceeded to lay waste to the saplings.

The sapling that had been reaching for Cass managed to wrap its branch around her wrist. The sapling's weight wasn't enough to stop her in her tracks, but the tree's roots dug in deep to keep her from running any further. She tugged at the branch furiously but its grip grew tighter as more branches slithered around her arm.

That's when Mark came in with the trimmer and cut it to ribbons. He kicked at the lifeless branches to be sure they were gone before turning to Cass, smiling, then winking at her.

"Alright?" he asked.

Cass found herself unable to speak, her mouth dry once again. She managed to work up the words: "I had that handled."

"You're welcome," Mark smirked. A moment of silence fell over them, but it didn't last as the other dwarfers plunged into the foray and proceeded to help hack the saplings up with a mix of weapons fire and improvised gardening tools.

Pink splinters flew into the air. The ground ran sticky with sap. And the saplings that weren't reduced into a pile of mulch made a hasty retreat back into the forest. When there were no more saplings to be found, the groups got together and reassessed the situation.

Jason took a seat on the old cart and looked at the mess. Most of his group was dead, aside from Mark and a few others. He was glad that Cass, Jay, Jade, and Jaime had come when they did. It could've been much worse.

"That was awesome!" Jay exclaimed.

"Everyone alright?" Jade asked "Anyone need medical attention?" She looked to Jason, "You?"

"No need, already dead." Jason quipped as he tapped the "H" on his forehead.

"Can you go check to see if anyone else needs help, please?" Jade asked, motioning towards the general group where more than some were nursing more than just a few nasty splinters.

Jason nodded and wandered from person to person to make sure no one else needed serious medical attention. After that was taken care of the more seriously injured were to be sent back to the lifts with a few of the more able bodied members to back them up.

When they left, it was just Cass, Jay, Jade, Jamie, Mark, and Jason along with a handful of others left to continue on.

Jamie looked to the everyone, "So what's the plan now?"

Hope that was a decent enough job for a first entry.

So what's next on the group's to-do list?

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