[pt3: TW for Gore, Violence, be kind to your eyes]
Those seconds stretch to what feels like minutes as Gal sits in the mud, dust and splinters flying, and the Charr flicking back the hammer of his rifle and bringing it up, claw on the trigger. His eyes burn in that dark, wild and deadly.
She was frozen in that gaze.
The sound of the hammer coming into its place echoes.
Her heart stops.
Then that hammer comes down hard on his head.
The sickly sound of bone giving way as Gal sits there, watching as Reverus comes down with all his might into the Dominion agent. As the body stumbles he’s turning the hammer around to the hooked side and slams it upward, right into the charr’s jaw and neck. Another sound of the bone breaking, and gurgling as blood pools and falls from a gaping mouth. The rifle falls from his hands and it clatters against the new wood, but there’s no free movement after its gone. Only the movement of Reverus withdrawing his weapon.
He’s dead before he hits dirt, and quiet. Course, they weren’t.
“Dammit,” Gal wheezes out as she glares over the body now at her feet, clutching her side with those white knuckles again. Her whole body was hurting, but her side was hurting the most. The muscles screamed under her skin and she could feel the fire in them.
“We can’t stay,” Niklas speaks up from his last steps from the tower side to come down, daggers soon drawn. His eyes lock with Gal’s and he frowns deeply. “We’re in the open.”
“I know, I know, look just head out and up_”
There was no moment of gathering. Even as both Nik and Reverus help Gal to her feet, Charr have already started to pour from their tents and groupings with weapons coming forth and noticing their fallen comrade. Soon murmurs and growls are growing and they are gaining speed in closing in.
Nik looks from Gal to the coming force and wheezes under his breath, “this is not how I wanted to get a more accurate count.”
Reverus chuffs while he stretches his arms before taking a hold of his hammer once more. “Think they got an idea we’re here?”
The glare from Gal is bright and like daggers, but she doesn’t speak up. Instead she withdraws the hand on her side and pulls her sword to defense stand. Internally she curses herself for not bringing her shield, but then again this wasn’t planned.
Her eyes move from the crowd and scans the walls around them. A flash of blue catches her eye and she looks up to their ledge to where their mounts sit.
A mushroom. A large and luminescent one that was angled just right.
There’s the shaky exhale then a quick stance correction. Her eyes burn as she lets out her command.
“To the back! Take who you can, but don’t stop!”
And that was all it took for all three to charge forward.
Each three charge forward into the camp and against the awakened Dominion who now met them head on.
As Gal took the left, Reverus hit the center and started to swing hard. She could hear the sound of bodies breaking under such force, flesh against metal and metal against its own. The roar of fire and magic followed and quickly disperse the legion to every corner of the camp. All the while Nik was cutting through them with great precision and agility. His blades sang to him as they cut through armor and metal, slipping between cracks and taking those last breathes.
At a point she could even see the orbs manifest, chase him down to fuel him further in. His gaze was haunting too, but he did not seem to mind the trails he left behind.
Necromancers…Terrifying at best.
She was trying. She was cutting and diving as best as her feet could manage, but the pain was pulsing through her. Each swing sent another wave of pain through and caused another yell, but she kept pushing. She had to.
More charr were filing out from the tents. Too many to count now.
“Your count getting lower yet!”
“I don’t know!”
“Hold on, we’re almos-”
She hears the yell of Niklas as he gets slammed by another Charr and he’s sent back into a pile. As she turns to watch him try and stand only to get swiped by a flaming greatsword that drives him back.
Reverus calls out his name and falls back, ignoring Gal’s yelling.
All three, not separated. Not a face in sight.
Why did you pick this fight
On top of this pain and frustration of a failed spying attempt, her spells are failing left and right. It frayed at those already undone edges, and it began to make her swing without a target and stumble from the others
Why did you go so far
Another stumbles, falls as she takes off the arm and somehow grabs it to backhand them across the face. It would have been more useful on fire, but this is what she gets for not spending enough time in her studies. Her mind is too scattered here, and the words don’t work. It’s a loud curse and she throws it against a charging Shaman who soon is pulled back so a larger Charr can take their place.
Why did you let fear in
They tackle her with the head and horns right into her gut, taking all the air from her and sending her forward into the mud. Her head bounces hard and stuns her hard enough to make her fall still before she can get to her knees.
The world sounds muffled for a moment as she gains her focus again, still chanting words to have something at least spark.
Why here, why now dammit
She can feel blood in her mouth, taste it. Her gut flips and she growls as she spins in place to reach for her sword and bring it up just quick enough to block the headbutting Charr before they land another hit to her. Their armor hums from the hit, and it makes the other stumble backwards and fall into a few of their comrades.
I thought I was doing something right
This isn’t right, this doesn’t help
This is only pain
Just as she turns to swing again, lips moving to cast any form of healing, there’s a blur to the side. She knows it’s that new Charr, but between her vision spotting and his fast movement, she doesn’t see what he carries in his hand until_
Her scream was unholy.
The axe was sharp. It sank past her armor and into the side of her previous injury, reopening those wounds so loosely fixed and cracking every rib on her side. The blood poured out and down her body, and soon she can only feel the warmth of it along with its pain
She sucks in as much air as she can as the axe is withdrawn and the Charr spins, sending the blunt side into her legs to knock her down to the ground, face down. The impact stuns her again and muffles the world.
The pain was immeasurable.
This was worse than the Svanir, this was worse than any dragon before. And to top it all off, that voice. That fucking voice-
Gal only sputters into the dirt as it rings again. She struggles to scramble from the Charr’s oncoming attack which barely misses her shoulder but catches the armor, instantly cracking and exposing her skin to him.
There’s a glare and a good spit of blood into their eye.
And upon doing so, is instantly met with a head slam of the axe across her skull.
The sound was sickening.
What happened to me
The world spins and she falls back to the ground, wheezing and coughing. Another hit with the blunt end into her side, sending ripples of pain through and spilling more blood, then its spun around to come down for another blow.
Another miss- Sort of. He catches her shoulder, digging the edge in a good inch or two, but missing the veins and bones. It still hurts and she has to cry out again, twisting and kicking him to get him off. They couldn’t land, and so the Charr laughed at her as the weapon was withdrawn then spun to be used again.
They all deserve better than this from me
Another swing, slamming into her chest. The metal rang, and the dent was instant. It knocked out the air in her lungs and brought up more blood, but kept her intact. It wasn’t enough to deter, as he tried again. And again.
As it comes up again and just as it drops Gal instantly brings up her hands to catch it, though she grabbed at the worst part, catching the blade and clinging to it.
She brings it closer, causing the other to slip in the blood mud and hover over her, putting all their weight into forcing the axe down into her hands.
Soon, it’s a tug of war with the weapon. Both unyielding, both angry and in pain.
They’re right, they’re all right
The Charr glares at her through their helmet, breathing hard and pushing their axe down further onto her, cutting into the palms and fingers. Gal cries out sharply but pushes harder, forcing it up again if only by a few centimeters. All the while, she’s glaring with burning eyes and snarling at her enemy with blood pouring from her lips and hands
I caused this
Another shift and the axe presses against her chest. It presses past her hands and into the plating that begins to whine from the force. She keeps trying to push back, spitting more and kicking harder. Their lips are curling while she fights on, and it pushes down enough to try and make it break the armor, break through enough to cause the damage so needed.
they deserve better
As the metal gives way just enough to show the chainmail below, the other lets out a confident bellow and pulls the axe up. It hovers in the air for a moment, and Gal snarls at this sight.
I have to be better than this
The axe comes down in one motion. The fire catches in the shine of blood and metal and makes it appear so hauntingly beautiful, as if on fire. But that’s not what is surprising.
Gal’s hands come up again and she grabs the handle with all remaining might and adrenaline and causes the swing to be stopped immediately. The charr stumbles over her but holds on, stepping back with daggers for eyes.
They will get to see me be better, through the Mists and back again
Her foot hooks around the ankle and she pulls her leg up to send them back onto the earth. Still gripping the axe, Gal pulls herself up just enough to pull the weapon out of their grip so both her hands can hold on.
As soon as its there, her mantra pours from those lips. One of anger, of pain, of wrath that could not be pulled back from this edge.
Fire shot from her lips and ran down her arms in beautiful tendrils, weaving and braiding until the fall to her hands where they shot up the axe and engulfed it in beautiful blue flames. Those on her arms remain steadfast, and those on her lips shoot as she lets out a scream.
The axe comes down hard right into the helmet. The flames explode out across the body and engulf it as she pulls back to bring it down against the chest and crack open the armor. From there its repeated hits, repeated slashes and explosions of flames that dance across her with no pain or injury, but rightly fuck up the other.
More and more swings came from her until she gathered all her strength into that last hit. The axe sang as it flew into the air with some gusto only to be caught by Gal who turns it with blade down and fire burning.
It comes down hard into the chest cavity and cracks through all the way to the heart. Instantly it caves and all those flames upon her surge into the body, destroying every inch of skin and fur and flesh until the mantra is expelled from her with a final push.
And she stood there for what felt like minutes. Covered in ash and blood and fire, with eyes burning hot and deadly. Her new weapon hung to her side but looked so well that it was meant to be there.
Pain began to come back soon after. Her vision started to clear with some help of a hand rubbing ash away, but as it pulls back and Gal can see the corpse so….Charred.
If she was honest, there wasn’t anything left that could confirm it was a body
Well, it wasn’t the greatest start
A paw reaches out and instantly lifts her off the ground with so much forward speed, bile comes to her mouth and threatens to fall out before she’s over the shoulder of who the voice belonged to.
It was Reverus, just as bloodied and just as angry. His hammer was flaming and smoking and covered in cracks, but managing its shape. Right behind him was Niklas, badly cut up but managing their pace.
With no extra word, she’s thrown up and down to her feet. There’s a hard slap on her back, but instead of pain it’s a cracking sound as a bottle is broken over her. Instantly she takes in a breath with ease now.
She tries to turn to the charr to thank, but he won’t let her. Instead she’s given a hard push and they scale over the wall to where the mushrooms sat. Cries and shots ring after them as they scramble up and shoot themselves up into the air and all to their previous encampment.
Three heavy thuds as the bodies hit solid earth. Three complaints of pain.
But three alive.
“I’m sorry, I thought it was sturdy enough, then it just- Fuck. I think I exploded. There was so much fire- What’s your status.”
Reverus grunts as he leans back against the rocky cropping behind him, but at least giving a good nod. “Never better.”
Course, they could all see that he was leaking just as bad especially in between the plates of armor, but she won’t try and touch that.
“We do have choppers on call, so I suggest you stop leaking.”
“Oh to hell with you- Niklas.”
The necromancer was just in rough shape, struggling to stay on his feet but he was still able to manage a smile and shrug. “Well, half of my injuries I inflicted upon myself, but-”
“How in the world do you manage t-” Gal stops, then a hand shoots up to pause herself and remember his skills.
“Can I just say…You necromancers are some of the most terrifying people I’ve met.”
Reverus laughs low and deep even as he adjusts to lean back even more on his rocks. Yes, his rocks, he bled on them and now they are his. Still, she can see his ears working again and turning in every direction, trying to locate those so called choppers.
“Everything just works a bit better for me if everyone involved is bleeding.”
Niklas laughs now, careful not to strain or bleed out. “I didn’t want to become one, actually. It just so happened to be the only apprenticeship my parents could afford.”
“Apparently you could just breathe fire if you read some books. Totally free…I didn’t expect that, I didn’t think I would. It just…happened so fast, and- I think the mantra kicked in, I don’t_”
“Will you two mi– Rrrr, humans, stop horning your magic. We got choppers coming in, and will drop some good boom booms here shortly.”
The charr’s words break Gal’s train of thought and she finally sighs with a nod. “Right, right we can deal with that later- Can you get in your saddles at least? We need to make it out of here, meet with those choppers so we can get back to camp.”
“Uh-,” Niklas furrows his brow for a moment before he lifts a hand in the direction of a bush. Gal watches as the hand hovers with his eyes glassing over soon after before the hand sharply twitches and the scream of a rabbit comes into the air.
Instantly he’s straightening up as small orbs of life fly through the air and absorb into him.
“There. Can manage that much.”
“How about that,”comes from Reverus while he starts a small chant to bring forth small amounts of mist to wrap around his frame and heel just enough so he could sit. The blood on the rock dries and falls away, and soon he’s looking for his mount, calling out its name then following “I’ll get ya a nice dolyak later, no bitin’.”
And Gal…Well she looks troubled.
“First off, you are both terrible. Second I- OBON!”
The griffon comes to full alert at his name, but that tail is swishing about and she knows he’s a lost cause here. He’s got that rabbit body, and he wants it.
The guardian rubs her temple not caked in dried blood and sighs before she waves her hand. “Go ahead, he won’t fly until he’s done. Stay low and stay quiet, now that we got the whole camp started…And please get to the infirmary immediately. I can deal with the information later.”
“Yes, now go.”
Niklas nods slowly and withdraws from the ledge to find his own mount.
The two are off within minutes, leaving only Gal and Obon who was midway through his treat.
It was quiet again, minus the camp below and the sound of Obon’s digestive track.
It was quiet enough that she could think.
They deserve better
What purpose did this trip have besides getting them hurt and maybe showing she could pull this off. Nothing, that’s what. She could have gotten them killed, she could have died. And what good would have that done.
It was enough of this running and pretending to feel nothing. They deserved the same woman who actually cared being there and ready to defend, not this…shell.
The hand drags through her hair and Gal exhales once more. There’s bubbling in her gut as she thinks, knowing well that this attitude of enough would lead to her talking. To discussions so desperately needed but feared….But what choice was there now.
If she had enough, didn’t that mean things had to be mended.
Didn’t that mean she had to grow humble
She didn’t know. All she could understand was that this…This fear and guilt…She was done with it.
They’ll fly soon after Obon took out the last leg. They’ll go straight to the camp and hold themselves up inside the caves where she’ll see a medic and get mended again.
She’ll visit the infirmary when she can. It may be best to have earplugs.