Chapter 6: Fighting Through the Pain

Chapter 6: Fighting Through the Pain

A Chapter by Letiel Naynarou
"

Letiel is already geared up and ready to battle her nemesis and not even Tempest can stop her from trying.

"

Tem blinked as he watched her dive off the edge. "Uh."

His reason for astonishment changed as he watched her transform. She was incredible, a sight to be hold. He snapped out of his wonderment as she poked him mentally.

"Right behind you." He vanished, following her.

Letiel closed her eyes against the intense cold, clinging firmly to the image in her mind of the desert outside the little tribe. She counted to four and the cold turned to the mellow air of the autumn desert. The sun was almost set and Letiel could already see the Army below. Figures moved like little ants and she picked out the two at the head. 

One of them she knew would be Veil but the other could prove troublesome. She dove, targeting the hooded figure. 

 

Veil was itchy. He was wearing military fatigues, the stripes on his shoulders blending in as the light dimmed. He had his sword at his side next to his rifle. Light body armor rested on his shoulders. 

The tribe was small potatoes compared to the leader behind it.

The figure next to Veil looked out over the valley where their target was hidden. He'd led his employer here days ago after tracking what little incoming and outgoing traffic the tribe had. Now he was here, essentially, as a hired gun.

The wind shifted and his head tilted up. "Whoop!"

He shoved Veil to his left as he dove to the right, rolling and turning to face the newcomer. Some kind of big dragon bird thing.

"Alrighty then."
                Letiel was disappointed that she missed but shifted down, grabbed her swords and aimed at the extra. With this hooded guy out of the way, Veil would be a push over, he always did like hiding behind others. Her black blade angled towards the figure's abdomen, the white one slashed downwards towards his shoulder.

Her target had his swords in hand as she attacked, angling them so that her own blades would skid off his and miss.

"Well, isn't that typical. I dunno what it is with you people, but you aren't keen on announcing yourselves." He launched a front kick into her gut. "No hello, no battle cry, nothing."

She bounced away from the kick, dropping her swords point first into the ground to catch his foot. She held it tightly with both hands and twisted it outwards. 

Veil watched her with humor in his eyes. Letiel was slow, very slow today, which was an excellent sign. Her eyes looked tired and her light brown hair hung loose. Usually she tied it back but clearly she was missing details.

Her opponent spin in the air as she twisted, swinging his other foot out to catch her face with it. He freed his other foot and landed, bringing both his swords out simultaneously and smacking here's away.

"Ta-dah!" he sang sarcastically.

Letiel managed to lean back and avoid the second kick but the backwards motion pulled her even farther away from her weapons of choice. She glared at the newcomer until the sound of slow clapping broke her concentration. 

"Welcome to the party, princess," Veil drawled. "I wondered when you'd show up." 

Ignoring her previous target she charged the general.

As she turned and bolted at Veil, she found her previous target before her again.

"Wrong answer!"

He slashed at her.

Completely surprised, she dug in her feet, coming to a stop just outside the slash range but the movement upset her balance and she staggered to keep her balance. Her heart fluttered for a beat and she winced. With swords still out of reach, she started stepping backwards to gain some distance.

Her attacker disappeared again, and she suddenly felt the very sharp point of a sword at her back.

"A little slow on the draw, aren't you? Why don't we--"

The point vanished suddenly as Tempest appeared a sent a flying kick into her assailant's head, knocking him over.

Letiel spun on her heel, careful to not allow Veil or this other person to be directly behind her. Tempest seemed to have this guy covered. She turned her attention back to Veil. The general was loading a pistol.

"I'd give you the surrender speech but I know you're just going to ignore it," he said. 

She reached for her own gun, out of place in the loosened harness.

"Letiel!" Tem shouted, getting her attention and tossing her the already loaded pistol he'd stashed away back in New York.

She caught the gun and aimed it at Veil. They were about 10 feet apart, both holding loaded guns aimed at each other. 

The hooded figure scrambled up as Tempest turned his attention back to him, "You son of a b***h, I'm gonna--Tempest?!"

Tem tilted his head, "Hurricane? You work for the American government?"

"Do I?" Hurricane looked around, red eyes gazing at the uniformed soldiers around him, "Huh. I guess so."

"This is the end for us," Letiel growled. 

Without responding Veil's gun dropped and he fired, the round ripping into her hip. She gasped and lurched with the blow, firing a few rounds in his direction but the man had vanished, reappearing behind her, the gun jabbed into her mid back. Her legs threatened to give way but she refused to move, outside of holding the bleeding wound in her left hip. 

"Little speeches," Veil said, "are always gonna be your undoing aren't they?"

"You not paying attention will be yours."

Tempest wrapped his arm around Veil's throat and kicked his leg out from under him, throwing him to the ground before he fired.

Hurricane stood by and did nothing, a tad conflicted.

Well, he's attacking my employer, so there's that...

...but I've also already been paid so, ehh...?

Letiel spun with alarm and shoved Tempest. "Don't touch him," she growled. 

Her adversary was already back on his feet, rubbing his throat with annoyance. "You're getting smarter, lizard, bringing back up." Veil drew his sword, tucking the gun away.

Tempest shoved back, holding his ground and putting himself between L and Veil.

You aren't in any kind of condition to fight him. I won't kill him, but I won't let him kill you, either.

"No, I'm fine. This is my fight and I won't let you protect me!" she snarled. To prove her point, she limped to her sword, and scooped it up. The white blade this time. Her black one was too far off. 

Do you want help? Omaotin hissed in the back of her mind. 

No, you know this is my fight.

Veil's stance grew more relaxed as he watched her try to maintain some kind of composure. Blood was oozing down her leg in a steady stream and she carried her sword funny, her shoulder was injured. 

She vanished suddenly and Veil had to spin to react, his blade parrying away hers. She kept slashing, one right after the other, with surprising speed. He blocked them all and dipped around her back, reaching out and grabbing the bloody injury. His hand complained as the acid started to burn his skin but her scream was rewarding as she collapsed to the ground.

Tempest watched them fight, hands tightening on his swords as he held himself back from charging in to the fray. She wasn't doing well, anyone present could see that, except for herself.

"Who is that chick anyway?"

Tem looked at Hurri, "Her name is Letiel. She's the leader of a system of tribes that we apparently didn't know about."

"Tribes? What?"

"Yeah."

"You're part of their tribe?"

"What? No. I...I'm not sure why I'm here, actually."

Hurri paused before speaking again. "I do."

"Please, tell me then."

"She's cute. You think she's cute."

"Shut up Hurricane."

"You belong at my feet," Veil whispered, crouching to whisper in her ear. 

She snarled and punched at his face but he caught her fist and twisted her arm against her back. 

"Don't worry," he mumbled to her. "We'll fix you up back in New York." He held her down, a knee on her back, arm twisted painfully while he rustled in his coat. After a bit of searching he found the needle he was looking for. "I just need some assurance that you won't try anything stupid on the plane like last time." Letiel struggled and growled while the man found a vein in her twisted up arm. "And while you lie here, I'm going to tear apart another one of your precious places. Maybe this time I'll get some more decent information. What's the youngest you start teaching your spawn geography?"

It's gone too far for Tempest's liking. Whether she wanted help or not, she needed it.

Tem appeared next to Veil suddenly and snatched the needle from his hand, crushing the glass in his fist and swiping at him with his sword.

"Back off."

Veil blocked the sword with his now free hand by catching it. Blood starting to run down Tem's blade and Veil's arm, still, the man hung on to it. 

He called out over his shoulder, "Do your job and stop this guy!" His voice was angry, directed at Hurricane. The twisting put more weight on Veil's left knee and Letiel cried out as it pushed on the shattered bones in her hip.

Hurri put his hands up in an exaggerated shrug.

"Sorry, he's family! Not good policy to kill a fellow member of your almost dead race!"

Tempest threw the crushed needle and it's contents into Veil's eyes to distract him while pulling his sword free, slicing deeper into the man's hand. In another movement, Tem's other sword was in his free hand and swinging at his target's chest.

Veil scowled and opened his mouth to say something more but Tem's movements cut him off and he barely raised an arm to avoid the crushed glass and plastic. In another gesture, he let go of Letiel to pull his own sword up, blocking the attack directed at his chest. He was still on his knees but despite not having the high ground he managed. 

Now free of his hold, Letiel started to try and get up. She was trapped between the two which suited her just fine when she lifted an arm semi-blindly to push Tempest away.

He caught her arm and pulled her to her feet, slashing at Veil again to keep him at bay. With a spin, he switched their position, putting himself between her and Veil again and keeping upright with an arm around her waist.

"Please, keep talking," he mocked, "It's doing wonders for your self confidence, no doubt."

Veil staggered to a stand, holding his sword with two hands in a defensive position. "You're sticking your nose into private business."

Letiel kicked at Tem's legs but didn't have the strength to pull herself free.

"He's right, we kinda are," Hurri called to the combatants. Tempest ignored him and grunted as L kicked his legs.

"You really aren't helping, y'know," he growled, "Hurricane, a little help?"

"Oh I guess." Now Veil was faced with Tempest's red eyed compatriot, "Sorry 'boss', but I guess I'm gonna have to now out of our deal!"

A flurry swipes and slashes assaulted the man.

Veil managed to block most of them and the ones he couldn't block he at least diverted to only take bites out of his clothes. The man backed up towards Letiel's discarded weapons, avoiding the black one but scooping up the white. The two blades were significantly more effective and he started to get a few hits of his own in. 

Alarmed at the fight, Letiel struggled more fervently. "Stop! You have to leave him alone! You have to!"

"Relax lady," Hurri ducked and deflected blows while returning attacks, "I MIGHT not kill him, I dunno, depends on how sturdy he is."

Tempest looked down at her, "What's the problem, L?"

Letiel's face was twisted with pain and worry. "If you kill him, I'll die too." 

Veil grunted and landed a kick on Hurri's chest, not hard enough to hurt but hard enough to push the Mage away. "And vice versa," he continued for her.

He spun both swords in his hands, twisting his so the blade pointed downwards now. Letiel's own weapon hummed angrily, like a distant swarm of bees but otherwise lay still. He looked from Tempest to Hurricane, then back over his shoulder to the desert. Distant gunfire could be heard now with the swords no longer ringing.

Tem's eyes widened and he looked up just in time to see the fighters disengage.

"Hurricane, you--"

"Yeah, I heard her. You aren't gonna let me keep going, are you?"

Tem didn't have to answer, instead looking back down at L, "We need to get you out of here."

Letiel sagged against Tem's arm. She felt heavy and was hurting far more than she liked to admit. She closed her eyes and focused on the distant battle, picking out sounds and translating them into a report in her head. They were losing. The reinforcements were too little too late and the tribe was too small to have it's own standing militia. The sand hissed beneath her feet where her blackening blood soaked and burned. There wasn't much she could do. She turned her head to look at Veil again, the man was lowering his swords, planting hers in the ground and sheathing his own. 

"You'll come to me eventually, Let," he called to her, starting to walk away. "But leave now and rest. You're so much more fun when you're healthy."

"You sure I can't fight him just a LITTLE more?"

"We're going, Hurri. Follow us if you want, or don't, it's up to you."

 

Tempest brought Letiel back to the Central tribe, where she was immediately put back into a hospital bed. Now he sat outside her room, knowing she would be furious with him. He couldn't have let her get herself killed.

Blade walked up to where Tempest was sitting and eased himself into the chair next to the Mage. Blood was spatter on his uniform and cuts in his clothes revealed the security guard contributed some of his own blood to the pattern on his vest. 

"You smell like the desert," he observed.

"I was in New Mexico some hours ago." The Mage looked at the bloodied guard. "You smell like a fight."

"I was in New Mexico some hours ago," he said dully. "I went to help the tribe evacuate. Why were you there?"

"I went to make sure your leader didn't get herself killed. She's in there now," he jerked his head toward the hospital room door, "Probably getting her hip repaired."

"Veil?"

He nodded. "She charged in. Just like I told her not to do. She doesn't heed advice much, does she?"

"She gives advice, she doesn't take it." Blade undid his harness and set the massive sword aside, waving off a nurse as he did. "You should have let her be captured."

"Why on Earth would I do that?"

"Veil would not kill her and she would be in one place. No one would have to look for her and she does not perform her duties anyway. Fewer lives would be lost if she were not available."

Tempest frowned. "She's your leader. You're suggesting she’d be better off in enemy hands?"

"She would be best dead," Blade said matter-of-factly.

His temper was about to flare, when what he thought was the guard's reasoning hit him. "Because of her...possession?"

Blade blinked, clearly struggling to make sense of what Tempest was saying. "Because she is the spark that lights the fire," he finally answered. 

Tempest understood what he meant. The quarrel between Letiel and Veil was obviously personal, considering their relationship.

“So if she were out of the picture, everybody else would be safe?"

The door opened to the procedure room and Professor Egan walked out mumbling about missing his class.

"This is an unfortunate case of deja vu," he grumbled upon seeing the two visitors.

He looked up at the doctor as he spoke, "What is?"

The doc looked from Blade to Tempest. "Just that she's back in here so soon... Is this a discussion I want to know about?" he asked slowly. 

Blade shook his head and stood up. "I will see to her now," he announced, vanishing into the room. 

The Mage now sat alone as both the professor and Blade left. He was watching the commotion of the hospital, which was busy tending to those evacuated from New Mexico. Wounds varied from minor to mortal, and it seemed like the worst of what happened was being paraded before Tem's eyes.

There it was. The guilt. He could feel it creeping over him like a heavy blanket. He was less than a mile from where these people were, he could've helped them, gotten them out before they were hurt. His need to help people was something he'd analyzed long ago; the failure to protect his own people caused him to want to help everyone else as some kind of atonement. The problem was, he couldn't. Not every time.

Tem stood and quietly entered the hospital room Letiel was in.

"Blade," he began, knowing the question he was about to ask would only make him feel worse, "How many died in New Mexico?"

Blade didn't answer at first, his hand was on Letiel's head. She was sleeping, clearly sedated.

"Approximately 436 Nihood citizens and 35 US Army Personnel," came the response. "No prisoners were taken as far as I know."

Tempest nodded. He was right. It only made him feel worse.

"By your estimate, what kind of force would it have taken to reduce casualties to zero on the tribe's side?"

"The force would vary based on number of individuals, strength and abilities of the individuals, and external factors. Had the Council allowed orders for attack it would not have taken many soldiers to reduce casualties." He paused before continuing, "I will take her to her room. She will be easy to protect there."

So a small military force could've prevented many deaths. Tempest frowned.

"Do you mind if I go with you?"

"I have no authority over you," Blade mumbled, still as monotone as ever. He fetched the clipboard from the base of the bed and read it over, nodding to himself before signing the last page and replacing the formal papers. 

"I am going to use the inter-dimensional plane to make travel easier. I do not know how you travel but you may follow the image in the forefront of my mind." He gently scooped her up, closed his eyes and vanished.

Tempest was right behind him.



© 2013 Letiel Naynarou


Author's Note

Letiel Naynarou
This is getting to the point where we feel we were really rushing. Is the pace still ok?

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Added on January 22, 2013
Last Updated on January 22, 2013
Tags: Eloium, black, mage, letiel, tempest, blade, conar, elite, four, nihood, battles, maelstrom, omaotin, new mexico, tribes


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Letiel Naynarou
Letiel Naynarou

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I'm as my friends would say: spontaneous, unpredictable, odd, a little weird, and have high moral standards... I can't help it! ...Should I add more? I feel lonely not having my favorite pictures u.. more..

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