“The MagKaen are full to overflowing with those who's will is the sediment of centuries wrought in blood! You Fae Noh will fight no more. Instead you shall join with those frailer and know them. You will create the cup of my compassion.”
-Imohe duAnda, The verse of Qui-eye Tan
Mick was compelled by the need for retribution, the form it took wasn't important. Her movements were economical and swift as she'd been trained to move. She vaulted from rock to rock, avoiding the sporadic pools of gore and lost lives chasing the ghost of vengeance. She would deal with them. After. She stepped through the darkness at the back of the cave and felt the tingle of a light spell slide through her fingers before even thinking to conjure one. A soft glow slid around her illuminating the blackness to a yielding twilight.
Her eyes flashed on blood stained teeth and then the back of a woolly head as it slithered just outside the edge of her spell. The dwarf moved slowly as if he thought to hide, and then suddenly he turned and ran.
Mick couldn't think, scenes from before bombarded her vision. This one's dark features as he gave silent hand signals to the others, directing them to attack. Instructing them to kill mercilessly and without remorse, the young of another race. Someone's babies. She remembered the agony of inaction as she'd watched what had gone on, and she was angry.
It surged low in her body, somewhere deep inside. That place where no Sosyè was meant to look. Fury and hunger fought for dominion, the wolf and the witch dueling for the chance to right these wrongs. Mick stumbled mid stride closing her eyes at the familiar tingle as they cloaked.
The wolf stepped to the barrier that kept her imprisoned, anger and frustration seeping through mingling with the turmoil that was a windstorm in Mick's chest. Her vision had taken on a keen edge and she dimmed the light spell to a dull glow. Vigor slid through her muscles infusing them with purpose and strength she'd never felt before. Was this what it felt like to be wolf?
There was a sharp pain, and her teeth suddenly felt too large to fit in a human sized mouth. Feeling gingerly with her tongue she barely held in a squeal. She'd just sprouted an impressive set of canines. Oh Harthen, not now please. She shook her head, and turned again, still chasing the shadow that edged just out of reach.
There! She jumped a small barrier of stone. The halo of light caught on the hairy foot of her prey. He darted again disappearing into the darkness. Mick came to a stop at the mouth of what looked like a low tunnel. She could feel eyes watching her. Red hateful eyes.
Could she take on a full band of Red Dwarves by herself? She hadn't thought when she'd seen him, only reacted on emotion and righteous judgment. It wouldn't do anyone any good if she got killed as well. She saw the movement again. Only one.
Chasing him down the dark tunnel she vaulted over rocks and ravines, agilely maneuvering through spaces small and large.
He ran and she followed until he couldn't run anymore. He stopped short at a wall of stone in front of him. Bite! The voice was a low growl that rumbled from her thoughts. Kill. Then a surge of anger that was almost uncontrollable. Mick wanted to howl, because that was what the Wild wanted. The wolf was closer to the surface then she'd ever been before. And she was out for blood.
The dwarf was alone, a scout coming back to survey the carnage of the attack. His arm reached behind him grasping something and the milky color of his eyes swirled to unrelenting black from one instant to the next. He brought his hand out and his gnarled fingers cradled something that glinted in the dark, reflecting the light from Mick's spell.
His body jerked, the dagger coming forward in an upward stab. The honed edge cut the air, whispering his anger to Harthen. He brought it back; pulling the hilt toward his body, the sedulous muscles of his arms straining in readiness.
Mick spit into the darkness beside her, the acrid taste of dark magic searing the back of her tongue. It was a runic dagger, a spell thwarter. Someone had died to make that pretty piece of metal. Right about now, a life for a life seemed like an even trade. Kill!
She stepped closer and felt its power hum against her skin like probing mosquitoes, pushing at the light spell she'd cast. Letting the magic recede slowly Mick watched as the light around her shrunk to only a slender pool around her feet. She shook her head, trying to shake the wolf's influence.
She wouldn't kill anyone. Settle down Wolfy. There was a slight rumble from her chest that sounded like the canine version of an annoyed sigh, but relief washed over Mick as the wolf receded some. It allowed her to clear her thoughts just a little.
Mick settled lower letting her weight shift forward to her right foot. She had to get close. She couldn't kill, the office tended to frown on that, so her only chance was in hand to hand. She'd take him if she could, arrest him and let him stand trial for his crimes.
He'd most likely be cast into the seive. Killing humans was never taken lightly. The seive was a magic wrought prison that existed on parallel with the reality that humans knew. It was devoid of magic, but rich in life giving essence.
A denizen caught in such a place could live forever, but feel like they were slowly starving to death. Most went crazy within a few years or killed themselves. As far as Mick was concerned either was acceptable for this guy, as long as he wasn't in this dimension preying on innocent kids.
The dwarf was tired, short and stubby. Mick figured she could take him, even without the use of magic. He faced her, the flat surface of his now obsidian eyes seeming to glitter below heavy brows. Those eyes more animal than anything struck her, the sight of them pinging a forgotten string deep inside her.
It vibrated, releasing its music to saturate the whole of her insides. Anger drained though her sinking into the unyielding stone beneath her feet. She shook it off, relieved from the emotional burden. She was always a better fighter with a cool head, and there was no place for anger here.
Only a big ol' can of witch whoopin some dwarf butt.
He waited in open air as if he had all the patience in the world.
That was irritating.
She watched the sturdy dwarf settle into his battle stance. Her heart pounded against her ribs, beating a cadence that seemed like the back-beat to the melody of a dwarven fighting song. He wanted her to dance to his tune. He'd find out she didn't dance to any hot beats but her own.
Releasing her channels slowly, she pulled the abundance of magical essence into her being. Molded it with her will and mind until it took shape and form around her as raven armor. A welded breastplate covered her sensitive chest and reached to the junction of her thighs to shield her vital areas in a magical shell. She couldn't throw any spells at the wielder of a runic dagger, but she could still cast them on herself.
The metal settled against her as a second skin causing a warm tingle as the magic finished her bidding and left the way it came. All the while the dwarf stood unmoving in front of her. A sigh escaped her, and in a blink she was in the air. She bounded the distance to the dwarf drawing her twin glock nine millimeters as she flew. The dwarf was slow to react, his vision blurred by the swiftness of her actions. Wolf enhanced swiftness.
The Wild lunged and she was on him before his dagger reached stomach height. The clang of metal reverberated up her arm as the dagger hit the reinforced shaft of her gun. She countered his thrust pushing her weight forward trying to throw him off balance.
Her hips pitched backward just avoiding the strike of his blade to her armor. It wouldn't hurt her if it hit, but his strike would interrupt the magic of the breastplate and dissolve her handiwork into the air. Against a spelled dagger the armor would only be good for protection one time, and then she would be vulnerable to its razor edge.
Mick brought her guns up wishing now that she'd taken the time to pack her swords. They were old school and super formal, but sometimes you just needed to stick someone.
Ah Twit. You picked the perfect time to show up.
Timing is everything.
I guess it is.
The monster moved to the side showing himself more nimble than she'd believed. Her guns followed his body as he feinted left, and she kicked him causing him to roll backward his body tucking into a tough ball until he again gained his feet in front of her.
Just came to check on you. There’s trouble here. Rapid flutter of wings.
Seems to be going around.
Yes. Mick… I can’t tell you what’s happening, but it’s important that you know something.
Um.. a little busy he-pixie. Can we talk later?
The dwarf faced her again extending the runic dagger in one steely fist. Jabbed it at her as if toying with her aura with its sharp tip.
There was a flash at the back of her mind followed by a buzzing sound. The flutter of wings stopped abruptly.
I have to go Mick. I’m sorry. It’s important that you know that the elves….So you have….Stop running….
Twit? Foreboding settled into the raw vat of emotions in Micks mind.
What was going on with her watcher?
The dagger flashed again drawing Micks focus to a razor edge. Its essence sifted the air between them. The dwarf was aware of its power; he used it as a shield more than a weapon. Mick settled again in her stance, extending her back foot behind her until she had a solid base to spring from.
Bringing the right gun down she aimed for his groin. The dwarf turned his body to the outside and swung the dagger high slicing just inches from her throat. Mick jumped back squeezing the trigger letting off four rounds directly into his raised wrist.
Stepping back, Mick holstered the guns. Horror dawned gaping and dark. The hand holding the dagger fell to the dust of the cave floor, exposing the mottled insides of a dwarven arm. She hadn't intended to maim him. The black seeped from his eyes rising from the bulging orbs as a midnight fog that dissipated into the air.
The bullets had cut a ragged path, leaving chunks and jagged bone hanging from the stub. A sound came from the dwarf between a bellow and a moan. He gripped the bloody stump with his other hand as he backed from her like a scared animal. His pain sizzled in the air around him reaching out to her like a burning brand.
Unnecessary pain. Pain that she had caused another.
Mick’s heart faltered against it, making her breath come harsh. Sha-Fea nơ. The sacred words beat at her scull screaming through her insides in protest. Holy words spoken in formal tones. She was Sosyè, yes. It was not to be that she would go with no punishment.
Her wrist burned as if it had been sliced clean through, her right hand severed just as the dwarf's had been. She ground her teeth against it. She watched the dwarf as surreal calm drained any thoughts from her mind. The copper smell of blood was ripe in the air filling her lungs like a bitter mist. She watched the steady slide of it as it ran down the dusty clothes, listened to the wet sound of its drip onto the rocks in the cave.
She was hungry.
The Wild was there suddenly quaking inside her riding on a rolling tornado of rage. Kill! The wolf's demand was a chorus of voices overriding her natural instincts. Forcing its foreign emotions to overtake her own. Confusion shook her, her body shifting from hyper alert to fuzzy and back again. Her eyes cloaked bringing her sight to stinging precision. The wolf fought against the witch, the two sides refusing to release what little control they had.
A silver glint caught her eye, and she focused her suddenly muddled mind there, fighting for control in the darkness of disorientation. It was a cross, hung from a delicate chain around the dwarf's neck. Mick'd seen it before. Blinking at the cowering creature her mind turned and morphed as memory revealed itself to her. The girl had a necklace just like that one.
The young girl this monster had ripped to pieces and ate like a side of beef.
She felt a shift inside her, and the fury that had banked beneath her training, ripped through her body. The wild part of her, the wolf howled somewhere deep in her throat, demanding retribution. The rage and hunger blended inside her covering her mind in a haze of furious action so thick that rational thought could not penetrate it.
Thought was overcome, only the need for blood remained. Reaching into the supernatural void inside her the wolf drew magic like sap from a tree. She formed it into a sword, and shouted the words of power to bring it into being. With a furious scream she sent it hurdling forward.
The light sword hit the dwarf forcefully in the chest. His body jerked comically like a puppet from a string, and then he was flying, his eyes unblinking as if he'd suddenly gone blind. There was a flash and in an instant a foot wide hole appeared in his chest. The animal inside her watched as thin reams of smoke began to rise from the edges of the wound. There was no seeping, lightning was a natural cauterizer.
"Heal that you bastard."
Mick was shocked by the gravely sound of her own voice. It was almost wolven. Shivering she stepped back, eyes locked on the corpse that lay sideways against the tunnel wall. She covered her face with her hand and turned away, struggling to breath.
Clarity returned in a rush clearing the death haze from her mind. The wolf disappeared just as quickly as she'd escaped.
Mick bit her lip tasting blood in her mouth, her hands fisting and relaxing several times. Her body felt like it would break apart, shatter on the cave floor. She needed to get out of there.
Her knees crumbled as if a string had been cut, the hard edge of rock biting into her skin. Trembling hands covered her ears as a thousand screams erupted from her throat.
Agony overwhelmed her heart, bending her like a wet reed in a hurricane. Mick's hands clawed fighting to stop the swirling wind of words, and she cowered in the dirt, sobbing as if her soul had been sundered.
Sha-Fea nơ...Sha-Fea nơ...Sha-Fea nơ...Sha-Fea nơ...Sha-Fea nơ...Sha-Fea nơ...Sha-Fea nơ.
…To be continued…