Thursday, April 13, 2017
Flash Fiction # 246 -- Saving Everywhere. Part 30: Battle
When the weres tried to kill me, I learned that a Sanctioned Protector could use his power to protect himself, too. Magic surged through me and pushed outward, shoving creatures aside before they did too much damage, though wounds bled on my arms and chest. I wasn't certain how long I could hold them back --
Others arrived. I saw Tom first, but with him came people that made me give a shout of pleasure, even in the midst of a battle for my life. Maggie, Davis and Lord Snow raced in to help me. Edmond flew overhead, and I thought he might be shouting instructions, though I wasn't sure anyone listened. He did sweep in and rake his claws against the face of a creature that had just clawed my arm again. The thing howled and stumbled away.
"Take that, ugly!" Edmond shouted from above.
We fought the creatures back. The army shot a few as well, and I hoped they realized who was the enemy and who was not.
Lord Cayman had arrived with my friends. I had not noticed him in the press of trouble. He looked worn and tired, but that didn't mean he had lost any of his power. He wielded a glowing sword that killed weres at a touch. He did the work grimly, and I sensed that killing was not something he wanted to do, even now. I liked him better for that realization.
We had no time for greetings except for the hug I gave to Maggie. Davis did a quick job of healing some of my wounds and moved on to others, including the humans who had been attacked. I saw Lt. Marsh look my way and then give a decisive nod. He'd chosen his side at last, and he and two others moved with Davis who was putting himself in danger going among people who did not trust him or the magic he used to help them.
"Maybe this is it," Maggie said. I had never heard her sound so worn and weary. "Maybe we're almost done."
We just had to win. We had to beat Darman and his followers. I think I sensed my uncle's arrival before the others. I spun and lifted my hands, which startled Maggie. However, my fast movement saved Lord Cayman. Darman had arrived at his back with a mass of weres that had almost blocked the feel of him. The others were reacting too slowly. I had to --
I had to react instinctively. I knocked weres aside and focused the rest my magic on Darman. Enemy. The power surged in my hands. All of this in a couple heartbeats as I threw everything I had at Darman. Oh yes, that drew the high elf's attention. It threw off his attack against Cayman as well so that the magic in his hands went wild and destroyed some of the weres instead. Now, though, he turned to me in rage.
I knew I didn't have the power to hold out against him, but I was not alone. I raised my hands again when the magic swept out, and I held it away, confined it, did not let him hurt others. I held, even as the magic began to burn through my weaker powers. I held even when I saw the smile of glee on Darman's face. He had not won yet, I whispered to myself. He had not -- but the world had started to go dark around me, and I could not breathe. My legs gave way first, but I held a moment longer. I held -- and then I lost everything. I hoped the others....
Aware of things happening around me. Yells, cries, magic -- all of it in a chaos of reality as my eyes blinked open. I had fallen forward. A rock pressed against my forehead and everything hurt. Danger, though. Me, others -- I had to --
"Stay still," Edmond whispered at my ear. "Just stay still, don't draw attention. Lord Snow and I are protecting you."
"What --" I whispered, but kept still.
"You surprised Darman," Edmond said. Lord Snow gave a soft huff of an agreement. "He didn't realize you had so much power. None of us did. You don't want him to realize you are awake again, not yet. He's busy with the others, and as long as he thinks your unconscious, he's not going to try and kill you. Don't give him a reason. Regain your strength. We still need you."
I feared that I had no strength left, either physical or magical. Breathing hurt. Muscles had contracted, and even the slightest movement sent pain everywhere. I closed my eyes and focused on being able to do something -- anything -- when the time came. With my eyes mostly closed, I could see the chaos of the battle around me, and I sensed that it might not be going well for our side. The force of the other magic grew, and the magic on my side retreated, leaving me here with only my two companions. Lord Snow fought frantically, and Edmond climbed up on my back as though to protect my body from anyone who came near. Brave little friend. All my friends were brave, and I would not fail them.
Lord Snow gave a loud howl and dropped beside me. I feared for a moment -- but no. He still breathed, and I thought he might be pretending to weakness as well. I hoped so. I wanted more time, but I wouldn't have much now. Darman and Portilla had moved closer. I didn't think they looked my way. I could not sense Alsia, so I suspected she might be dead. That was one of the three major powers gone. We had a chance still.
If we lost this battle, the war would still go on, but the world in which I had grown up would be lost to Darman, at least for now. I did not want that to happen
We must win. I was ready.
To Be Continued....