Nevermore: of Ryn and Reese

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  • Published: 30 Oct 2016
  • Updated: 19 Nov 2016
  • Status: Complete
Reese has grown up in the world of the aftermath of a devastating war, raised by what used to be the enemy of humans: the Scintulla. Now, though, someone wants to finish off the scarce Scintulla, as revenge for the decimated human race. (endfic comp)

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15. Sacrifice

At dusk, Reese and the Dire return with the Mandra.

"Sir, sir!" cry man of the Scintulla to the Dire, their acting general. "The humans came through! One of the Avem followed. They attack at dawn!"

Reese slides off his back and releases the Mandra.

"Ready yourselves. Elect a leader to speak with us at a war meeting," says the Dire. "Reese," he says quietly.

"Yes?" asks Reese.

"How much Claramet and Vox do you know?"

"Claramet is just the magic. Vox is the real stuff, you know Vox, you can control Claramet. I know most of Vox, but my pronunciations..." she bites her lip. "That's where I go wrong, and casts mess up. I'm good, but not great."

"Despite your claims, I think you're excellent. But can you go up against a battalion?"

"Alone?" asks Reese, a bit slow.

"No, with us. But could you, with us?" clarifies the Dire.

"I'm nearly at full power. I'll be able to. But the more I use, the weaker I'll become," warns Reese.

"Is there a way you could push them away - far away?" asks the Dire.

"There are no specific casts. You, being magical, have only one power, maybe two. I can wield all. I speak and it happens, and I know that would take a lot of magic. Maybe more than I have. I'd have to be specific, too. The more people, the more specific, the more dangerous, the more magic used," says Reese.

"Think about the hundreds of Scintulla. We are not inherently violent creatures. We do not wish to kill hundreds of humans. It would be a massacre. And our powers are limited. But you, you wield all of Claramet."

"That doesn't matter if I can't do it. What you're asking me to do...is basically sacrifice myself." Reese pauses. "Earlier you thought me going to the camp was suicide and thought I was stupid. Now you're asking me to."

"It is a noble sacrifice, not one of stupidity, like your little trip would have been," snarls the Dire.

"I know it is, but I don't want to die," says Reese, disgusted by the Dire's suggestion.

"I know you don't, but we all die in the end. And if you don't, many Scintulla may die."

"Do you think I don't know  that? I don't anyone or thing to die, and no one is leaving this forest. They're a threat that will never leave. And how will transporting them somewhere else solve anything? The Scintulla there will have our problem..." Her words, from weeks ago, come back to her, 

"No war. It's all good."

And his response, "You don't know that. For us, it's good. Maybe on the other side of the continent it's not."

"So we don't worry about that. We don't know anyone over there to worry about."

"But it may affect us."

Reese frowns deeply. She'd changed in that short amount of time.

"Our problem will become their problem. They will die because of us."

"That...that is not our problem. Our problem is here and now," stutters the Dire, uncomfortable.

"No," says Reese. "It is our problem. We'll be hurting them, and you know, I know it, all the Scintulla here will know it! You say you're not creatures of violence, but slaughtering unseen Scintulla is okay?"

"If it...if," stutters the Dire, unsure. "I want these creatures here, safe."

"I want all creatures safe," says Reese.

"Well you can't have that. You will wield Claramet, and you will transport the dangerous humans away. That is an order, and I am your commanding officer," growls the Dire.

"You a pseudo-general and nothing more. You are a fake and you know it," says Reese. It looks like the Dire will pounce. But he just growls menacingly and walks away.

"I've never shut up," mutters Reese. "I've never taken direct orders. I'm not going to now."

Reese slips her knife out of her sleeve and walks for miles to a cave in the forest. 

"Let's get busy," she murmurs, cutting her hand.

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