Sunday, June 21, 2015

City of Curses: Iron Justice 2 (Short Story)

Here is part two of the short story set in #Crux, Iron Justice.  Now another character's POV on the situation.  Lily, Odward and Nalli run into problems leaving a play- now they've crossed paths with a violent giant janissary of the Spice Khan, protecting someone trying to get away.

Part 1 | Part 3 | Part 4

Odward

Lily's voice got the grey giant's attention.  I took her cue.  I sidestepped, ducking into shadows as the
Tiefling Diva's taunting soprano music rang out:

"Stupid slothen hungry beasts
Those Giants taking children in their sleep
Hungry idiot monsters- they never saw her knife
Always cowards afraid of any true fight

But then came the Giantslayer's wife
She danced between, twisting her knife
Setting giants to bleed, Setting giants to bleed
Such cowardly fools too dumb to see her knife."

I recognized the words.  I had been enjoying a bit of a smoke of Nightweed.  One of my hands easily snuffed out my pipe from my position in the shadows.

The grey giant janissary loudly confronted my Diva companion.  We both had learned the same class as teenagers, but she'd choose to follow the Singer of the Song.  I choose Shraxes.  She used her fiendblooded talents for charm, I'd learned to use my own talents as a Dhampr.  Ancestral urges showed my how a predator would sneak about.

So while Nalli and Lily distracted the giant, I turned my attention to the boy dragging a weight.  He moved around in the debris the giant's tantrum had created.  Covered in robes, he moved quietly.  I could smell his fear.

That's the real rub of it.  My heritage is that of a cursed race.  My blood is tainted, a mix of Walridr vampire and human.  I knew my Walridr heritage well enough.  My senses were strong, not quite as potent as my Walridr father, but strong enough.  I could smell emotions as well as some humans could smell cooked meat.

The boy didn't know where he was going.  He just crawled away, blindly.  I could sense his heart pounding.

I silently moved to the boy.  I didn't disturb any of the debris.  The giant janissary glared down at Lily.

"Qorg promise to leave neck.  Pretty voice.  No need to keep arms and legs though.  No need at all."  Lily continued to look beautiful through her provocation of the giant.  Qorg?  Whatever its name was, it stupidly laughed.

It only saw the Diva's beauty.  Like a moth the giant didn't see the burn getting ready to come at it.  Nalli and Lily dodged the first blows of Qorg's fists.  I didn't see Lily pull out her small knives.  They almost looked invisible in her hands.

As always, Lily aimed at the most contentious position she could.  I winced as she stabbed the giant's groin.  Nalli had taken out a revolver fired it into Qorg.

"Hey."  I whispered.  My hand grasped the boy.  He paused under the thick dust-covered robes.  "You aren't going to get that far, you know.  Whatever you're dragging... tell me boy, why does our big friend want you so much?"

He didn't reply.

"The big guy is distracted at the moment.  My friends are doing their best to help you.  Might giving me the reason why you are worth it?"  Again, no response.

I sighed.  Then I grabbed the chains manacled to his feet.  It took me no effort to pull them up.  For the boy, the weight must've been somewhat of a strain.  I tossed it upward like it were a pebble.  Robes and a scream followed as the boy flew onto a nearby rooftop.

"AH!  Qorg fuck pretty to death!"  The giant slammed Lily into the wall I had been skulking near.  The boy, now clear of the fight, had been lying right where Qorg and Lily landed.

I looked over to Nalli.  The Ursyklon Greenknife's face was covered in blood from some wound.  She had taken up a crouching position, her revolver firing more shots at the grey hulking janissary.

Lily screamed in pain as Qorg's hands wrapped themselves around her belly and squeezed.  Hard.  Blood dripped from her mouth.  The janissary smirked with some sort of sick joy as she writhed in his thick hands.

"C'mon moron.  I- I can't feel- a thing-"  Lily kicked at Qorg, getting him in the jaw.  I could see her trying to weave divine magic for some healing.  She'd taken the brunt of his attack, but she couldn't heal herself and take on something like that again.

So I threw my own best shot.  Lily had been doing most of the work.  Time to be a justicar, to help her in my own way.

Black and red chains erupted from my arms.  They struck true.  Constructed out of magic, each link was part of my psychic strike.  Qorg tried to bat them away.  They passed through flesh, sinking deep into whatever lard passed for his mind.

"Chain!  Eyes!  Khan!"  Qorg screeched, clawed at his eyes.  Glowing chains continued to sink into his mind.  I could feel them take hold.  The giant janissary flopped onto the ground.

I offered Lily a hand.  She looked up at me.  Her purple lilac dress had been ruined by blood, mud and the fight.  "We don't have long."

"What did you stick in there?"

"Who cares?"  Nalli appeared.  "We getting out of here, or are you two wanting to see if he could get out of that spell?"
/
"Where is-"  Lily wheezed.  Her breathing sounded haggard.  "Where is whoever was in the robes?"

"Who?"  Nalli cocked an eyebrow.  "Whoever that was, if they were smart they were already on their way out of here."

"Here."  I tossed a chain and grappling hook to the roof I'd tossed the boy onto earlier.  I handed the chain to the frowning Nalli.

"I hate it when you do that sort of drek."  Nalli clambered up the chain.

Lily gave me a small smile.  "This kinda ruins our evening, doesn't it?"

I shrugged.

Lily planted a kiss on my cheek.  Then she continued up the chain after Nalli.  I put a hand on my cheek.  Sweet kid, that Lily.  I followed after my friends, to see who this was that Qorg had been so set to find.

A bit of old wonder sparked in my heart again.  Old memories of a summer long ago.  A promise back when things were simpler.  Maybe Lily still felt the same way as we once had.

"But I still love the man you once were."  I muttered.  Could I love Lily as the woman she'd become?