Once the panic-stricken party came to a halt in the main street behind the villa, Iryien noticed some movement on the ice floe outside the walls of the town. The snow was beginning to swirl as a chill wind picked up, and the half-frozen tears in her eyes didn't help, but she was pretty sure she could see a number of diminutive, whitish figures marching row by row into the city.
"Tootlers," she whispered.
Xoe, less panicked than the rest of the crew, picked up on the word and followed Iryien's gaze down the street and over the walls.
Row by row, they marched.
"Porthos, Aramis... would you boys be kind enough to hurry back to the ship and bring Xoe that new-fangled, potentially destructive thingy we found in the warehouse? I have a feeling we'll need some firepower for this one."
The guidos took to heel, and everyone else took up positions, arms and strongly-worded prayer.
On the Tootlers came, a couple dozen at least, and by the time the guidos had returned with the device, they were marching down the icy slope and into the confines of the city.
Xoe opened the crate that had just arrived and assessed the device. Buttons, levers, flat window-looking things... A completely foreign device. Could they figure out how to use it in time?
"This is going to suck for somebody," she sighed, and hauled it out of the crate.