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Friv
Essence 6
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Red Sky At Night, Part 33: Blood And Bone

11 Jul 2007, 23:36

“So, the cockroaches scurry out from the shadows one by one.” Dukantha’s voice was filled with scorn as he locked blades with Twice-Forged Steel, but he cast a momentarily surprised look at the remains of his crew. The Abyssal noticed, and chuckled lightly, ignoring his foe’s taunt. As Dukantha pushes, sending his great daiklave forwards in a great rush, Steel let the momentum flip him backwards, somersaulting through the air to land easily on one of the ship’s masts – and to jump from it as the rigging absent-mindedly took a swipe at him.

“You know, Nganto, I said that he was mine.” The call was lighthearted, and the Lunar grunted something in response, her anima continuing to blaze about her, a school of silver razor-toothed fish flickering into and out of existence as she charged Dukantha once more. He stepped back, blocking each strike with a deft twist of his sword, before spinning and delivering a pair of crushing blows in return. Nganto caught each blow with the power of her anima, letting the force cascade harmlessly into the deck, where more chips took shape, each a tiny testament to the incredible force that the Infernal was bringing to bear.

“I suppose I should have listened.” Her voice was whisper-soft, but she managed a faint smile as she spun, dropped, and struck with a kick that forced the surprised Dukantha to take two steps backwards – where Steel was already diving like a ration from above. The power of Dukantha’s Charms drove the Abyssal to one side, and he rolled easily as he landed on the deck.

“Damn straight you should have. We’ll have to talk it over later.”

“There will be no later for her, you pathetic worm!” Dukantha laughed as he brought his sword around – and Steel dove forwards, instead of back, using the swinging black lead as a launching point as his sais pushed off, and he flipped through the air. Twin blows narrowly missed Dukantha’s flesh, skittering off armor and slicing through air, and Steel landed behind the Infernal in time to drop below the return thrust.

“Now, isn’t that getting a little bit ahead of yourself?” Steel cocked a grin as he turned, but it faltered at the slight shake of Nganto’s head. The Lunar took three steps and unleashed a furious storm of blows, which Dukantha sidestepped and slipped around; one landed home, leaving a small scratch, which healed within moments.

“You do not understand. It is only Luna’s Fortitude that keeps her up. Those wounds are too deep for her body to heal.” Dukantha smiled grimly, stepping forwards and bringing his sword around in a two-handed slice downwards. “She was dead before you even landed on the deck.”

“Oh.” Steel considered that for a moment as he leapt forwards, slamming his sais down towards his opponent’s boots. Caught off-guard, Dukantha lost his balance as he was forced to shift from attack to defense, and Steel rolled to one side and leapt back to his feet, his caste mark shining dark against his forehead and a tiny trickle of blood running down it towards his mouth. “Well, that is a shame. I was starting to like you, razor-teeth.”

“Thank you. I think.” Nganto smiled wryly, grabbing a pair of blood ape corpses and hurling them bodily at Dukantha’s legs. Once again, the daiklave curved around, this time slashing the corpses in two, but Nganto followed up with a sudden thrust that forced Dukantha to backpedal – and his heavy armor was not up to the nimbleness needed. The corpses at his feet tangled him for a moment, causing him to fall backwards to the deck, and Steel leapt forwards with a shout of triumph and scored a long strike along the Infernal’s forehead.

Dukantha chuckled in return, but his laugh faded as one hand reached up to the suddenly numb skin. “That… what have you done?”

“Oh, nothing much. Have you seen my sais?” Steel wagged his weapons mockingly. “Compassion isn’t much use in a fight like this, but I’d like to see you heal the sort of wounds that Restraint leaves behind. I’m getting tired of watching you put yourself back together.” He glanced over the Infernal’s shoulder, and his grin widened. “Although pretty soon, I think we’ll all see just how far those limits of yours go.”

Dukantha glanced over his shoulder to see three figures racing towards the ship; two through the sky and one across the waves. He frowned, spinning the sword around to block Nganto’s sudden leap, sending her rolling across the deck with the reverse of the swing. The railing snapped loose to hold her, and she twisted to tear it apart. “You are beginning to annoy me, little man.” He stepped forwards and thrust towards the Abyssal, who once again lightly danced over it.

“Only now? I’m losing my touch!” Steel grinned, his anima now deployed around him like a banner, and danced out of reach of the acidic spray cast by Dukantha. “I had hoped I was annoying you a while ag…”

Dukantha’s sword came around with impossible speed. Steel’s words cut-off mid-laugh as his anima suddenly blazed in response; the shadows gathered around the ship as his sais blurred to turn aside each blow, impossible speed against impossible strength. Once. Twice. Three times. The sound of steel was a staccato of violence. Four. Five. Six. The two animas curled together, vying for dominance. Seven.

On eight, Steel’s anima flickered, and his sais were not quick enough.

The blow caught him in the midriff, just below the ribcage. It lifted him into the air, flying head over heels. His sais fell from his hands, plunging into the sea, and he could feel his cloak unraveling.

From far away, he heard Nia’s sudden cry. Saw her swing Citrios, letting the Dragon-Blood leap across the last of the distance to the deck, and hold out her hand. He focused, made his right hand obey, and caught her.

“Steel…” Nia’s voice was filled with horror.

“’S nothing. Gimme a sec to catch my breath.” Steel tried to chuckle, and felt blood bubble. He glanced downwards, trying to find the problem.

After a moment’s inspection, it appeared that the problem was that his lungs had been bisected. Their bottom halves, and everything below that, was sinking into the water a hundred feet away.

“Ah.” He smiled again, shrugged with his shoulders. “Hell of a fight, eh?”

“Definitely.” Nia tried to smile through her tears, and Steel chuckled.

“Hey, don’t get all weepy. Hell of a way to go, eh?” Steel’s voice faded. “Totally worth it. Give him hell.” He chuckled faintly. “Get it?”

Nia laughed despite herself, and Steel grinned. “That’s a good girl. Catch you on the flip side.”

And then he died.

Nia loosed her grip, letting Steel’s body fall into the ocean. And then she returned her attention to Dukantha’s ship, and her eyes hardened.
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

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BrilliantRain
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Re: Red Sky At Night, Part 33: Blood And Bone

12 Jul 2007, 00:51

He really was my favorite Deathknight too.
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Epiphany
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Re: Red Sky At Night, Part 33: Blood And Bone

12 Jul 2007, 01:24

Mine too. :~(

I'm actually a bit sad. I remember the first time I saw him in a story, like...a year ago. It's a long way to go, Steel.

You turned out alright.
BrilliantRain: There are those who would note that sometimes, sometimes, you get the things you really need instead of the things you deserve.
Kailan: If people only ever got what they deserved, the world would be a more miserable place.

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Epiphany
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Re: Red Sky At Night, Part 33: Blood And Bone

12 Jul 2007, 12:31

Holy crap.

I woke up this morning having this dream in where Nia tries to save Nganto from dying once her Essence runs out but all it really accomplishes is the Lunar gets a chance to say some dying words, kind of leaving matters with a comment about the world being better now, and then dying too. Kinda an aftermath, after the battle thing.

It was sad. But really, the point is, I had a dream about this story.

Clearly, Friv, I'm invested in this tale and also you are the man.
BrilliantRain: There are those who would note that sometimes, sometimes, you get the things you really need instead of the things you deserve.
Kailan: If people only ever got what they deserved, the world would be a more miserable place.

My Novels / My Series / My Short Stories
 
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Tornado Wolf
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Re: Red Sky At Night, Part 33: Blood And Bone

12 Jul 2007, 20:50

Nuuuuuu! :cry: :googly:

First Nganto, now Steel!

Unless Steel has the same Charm his pal did, he won't be returning as a Ghost, he'll be instantally Obliviated.
Do not confuse the inexcusable for the unforgivable. If a crime can be excused, then there was nothing to forgive in the first place. It is only when a crime is inexcusable that forgiveness is even an issue. And at that point, forgive. Forgive, if only because it sets you free. Bitterness never produced anything sweet.

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