The Beast raises his shaggy haired arms with muscles twitching and sweat sliding Between his fingers twines a snake with eyes like sapphires and teeth like diamonds And pearls of venom dribble from tips of fangs and the hiss escapes like sibilant whispers Of black words […]
Like a knife being slid slowly down her throat, right down her chest. Straight into her heart.
That was the grief she felt.
Like slivers of razors running through her veins. Throbbing with her pulse.
His blue eyes. So pale they looked like clouded sky. No glow now. No sparkle.
His hands, covered in blood and bits of flesh, growing cold in hers.
“Why did you leave my side? Why did you not hold the line?” she rasped. The icy rain began to pummel her helmetless head relentlessly.
“I couldn’t get there in time…”
The bucketing rain began to wash the mess of gore from his hands and body. His sword hand was twisted and broken. The fingers bent at angles and the bones sticking through the skin. These were the minor injuries. The killing blow was evident in his crushed side.
The troll that had caused the damage lay dead behind her, her great axe stuck fast in its skull.
Astur stood panting an arms length from her. His beautiful white face scraped and bloodied, his armour torn from him. His black mane matted with gore. He bled from many wounds, but would not leave her side. A true warhorse. A true friend.
But even that brave horse could not get her to his side fast enough. And here he lay, his head on her knees, his hands in hers.
“Oh my darling, my darling…” she sobbed. Some of her warriors stood and watched in sympathy. These two were the stuff of legend. There would be songs. But songs could not bring him back to her. Songs would not heal the hurt.
There were no words to speak to her, so none were spoken. They waited silently for her command. Their horses regaining their breath. Their wounded being cared for by Halas, as he made his way amongst them. His red robes glistened with rivulets of blood. His blind eyes glowed.
There they all stood. On this battlefield, victorious, but at such a cost it could not be fathomed until the dead had been counted. And there were so many.
“This war was not ours, my beloved, like many other wars. Our luck ran out.” she said softly. She took a shuddering breath and gently laid his arms across his body. She softly closed his eyes with her fingertips. His sword she took, and then she stood, looking down at him one last time.
Astur stepped closer to her and put his nose against her chest. His sister, Melur, had been the mount that carried her beloved into battle. She too was lost.
It occurred to her suddenly, out of the blue, that she really was in deep trouble.
She hadn’t really worried before. Now, she was feeling something she had been avoiding since she was a youngster.
Oh, and rage of course. But she knew rage very well, as it was a pretty constant emotion when dealing with smugglers.
Kicking at the red sand with her foot, she swore quietly in ‘garsh.
She looked around. Smiling wryly at the desolate desert stretching off in all directions, she swore again loudly. Repeatedly.
She felt better.
A sigh escaped her and she turned to look at the little PlasBeam shack that stood, slightly tilted, in a small flattened area.
One day, she would find Greel and kill him. Then she would get a Voodun to bring him back, so she could kill him again.
She could still taste the drug in her mouth and her eyes were itchy and red. Her body felt like she’d been flung from a hanger – and she probably had been, knowing Greel and his cronies! She shook her head and growled softly.
But first, before thoughts of torture and revenge, she must sort out this shelter and see what she could use to communicate with any Habitats in the area. She at least knew what planet she was on. Knowing Greel, however, she was most certainly in the centre of the largest desert homeland. With any luck, she could find a way of attracting some of the nomadic tribes, and hitch a ride to a village or town or Habitat that was passing by.
With one more look at the suns setting over the far dunes and the red and gold sandstorm heading her way, she shook her head again and went inside.
Kerry leant against the wall next to the mirrored glass. His eyes on the man in the room on the other side.
Wick was picking his teeth with a long dirty fingernail.
“We can call in Lear, Mike.” said Muller. In this little dark room, Mullers pale red hair seemed to glow in light from the interrigation room.
“She’s all rested up now. It’s been a month or more since the last time.” said Muller. He watched Kerry carefully. He saw the twitch of his jaw muscle.
‘Last Time’ had not been pretty. Muller still had nightmares.
But Lear was incredible. Before the trouble started, it was amazing to watch her work. Other people called her a freak, but Muller knew that Lear was exceptional and rare. Possibly even unique – although from rumours he’d heard, Muller knew that the People Upstairs had found themselves some interesting people. Nobody was “in use” like Agent Lear, however.
“Alright.” Kerry said.
Muller went to call Lear.
Kerry sighed and stood in front of the glass. Wick was beginning to get restless and was tapping his fingers on the glass of water on the table. But he wouldn’t speak. He just made crass comments and laughed at anything Kerry asked. They couldn’t lay a hand on him. They’d learned from experience that he was quick to call his lawyer and complain about brutality. It was a small miracle that he had not asked for his council yet. He felt safe.
So they were being very careful.
Muller opened the door and nodded at Kerry. Lear was outside. She didn’t like the dark. With what she’d been through, Kerry was not surprised. He’d been given access to her file when she’d joined his team. Some of what he’d read had made him sick to his stomach.
He watched through the glass as Lear and Muller entered the interrigation room. Wick looked up and smirked when he saw Lear. She was tiny, like a young child. Her eyes were huge and violet and her lips were small, pouty, and red. She wore no makeup. She had little blonde curls which exploded everywhere, even though her hair was cut short. She was about 5’2″ and was as delicate looking as a porcelain doll. She never smiled.
Wick had no idea what she could do.
“Mister Wick, meet Agent Lear.” said Muller, trying not smile.
“Lear, like that king, right?” said Wick, leaning back in his chair and the look on his face made Kerry want to walk in there and punch him right in the mouth.
Lear glided in and sat quietly in the chair facing Wick. She put both hands palm down on the metal table and closed her beautiful violet eyes. Wick was amused and sat forward, sliding his elbows onto the table and his hands under his chin in mock interest.
“Don’t cry, Mister Wick, it only hurts at first.” said Lear, in her soft little girl voice.
“I’m not crying! Why the hell would I cry? Nothing hurts!” said Wick. He began to lean back, losing interest.
Lear opened her eyes and looked straight into Wicks.
He jerked up straight and his mouth opened wide in a silent scream. His eyes started to bulge and he began to shake violently.
“Because I know what you’ve done, Mister Wick.” whispered Lear. “Tell them, and I’ll take it all away. I’ll take all your pain away, Mister Wick.”
From behind, Kerry saw Lear hunch her shoulders slightly and he swore. That’s what had started the trouble last time. They couldn’t lose this one.
He bashed the intercom button and was greeted with a static squeal. He swore some more.
As he turned to leave the room, he heard the mirrored glass begin to vibrate. He swore again, with far more vigour.
He crashed open the dark room door and ran the few steps down the corridor to the interrigation room and grabbed the handle of the door to open it. A shock from the metal handle made his muscles clench and he flew backwards and slammed into the wall. He was out cold.
Muller, meanwhile, was watching with strange glee as Wick moaned quietly and sobbed like a little boy. He told them everything he’d done. Absolutely everything, in great detail. He offered up sins that the Agency was not even aware of. Muller was writing furiously. Then he started to smell something burning. He looked up from his notes and gaped as he saw Wick’s hair standing on end, smoking slightly as if a great heat was under the surface of his scalp.
He looked at Lear and saw blood running from her nose.
Time to get her out of there. She’d done enough.
He heard a thump from the corridor, like something heavy hitting the door, but he forgot that as he dropped his notebook and reached desperately across to break the link between Lear and Wick, as he’d been trained to do.
The glass of water on the table exploded and tiny flecks of glass blasted into Wicks right side. The glass did not touch Lear. Muller got a face full, but managed to knock into Lear enough to make her turn her head towards him.
Everything went silent.
Wick collapsed in his chair with a little sigh and slid down under the table, unconcious. Muller wiped blood from his face and thanked his lucky stars that the glass missiles had missed his eyes. Lear was still looking at him, but with none of the intensity of her gaze on Wick.
“Are you alright, Bianca?” asked Muller.
Lear blinked her enormous violet eyes at him. A strange look on her face.
She smiled. The tiniest twitch of her lips, but Muller saw it.