Chapter 13: Choking on Fresh Air

Chapter 13: Choking on Fresh Air

A Chapter by Letiel Naynarou
"

Victory seems within reach but an unexpected turn leaves the Nihood in a bit of a bind and Tempest has to take charge.

"

As soon as she finished speaking, the shield started to flicker. Tem stepped up next to her.

"What--"

Before he could even begin, the blue glow vanished completely, leaving any under its protection exposed. As soon as they were vulnerable, gun fire erupted from advancing Peacekeepers. Maelstrom was among them, flanked by his bodyguards, loading his shotgun as he walked calmly towards the tribe's broken line. He stopped briefly next to Veil.

"Your moment is at hand, Veil. They're caught off guard. Stand up and strike."

Veil looked at the flickering shield but genuinely couldn't move. He needed medical attention and there was no way he was going to accept it from anyone other than his own men. 

"Just kill them all," he ordered.

With the shield down, the mountain range started to shake and collapse. Not inward, but rather slightly out and down. The city of Denver watched the mountains seem to erupt as the tribe was cracked open, the shield's final going to prevent the wreckage from falling in on itself. 

Suddenly the ground below started to shake as well as the lower levels started to explode. Vital information was being destroyed and the level they were all standing on started to collapse.

In the falling debris, Letiel lost track of Veil, Tempest, and everyone else. She didn't have the strength to shift again but managed to avoid the falling mud, stone, and other hazardous falling objects. Due to the dark of night, most of Letiel's units were being killed in the collapse while flying units were picked out of the air by peacekeepers and hurtling stones.

Tempest hit the ground, hard, his swords flying from his hands and skittering across the floor. Unfortunately for anyone who managed to survive the drop, the Peacekeepers were right behind them. Tem rolled to avoid a heavy shield smashing down on him, then another and another. He looked up and saw another coming down at him, only to jerk to the side suddenly and lodge itself into the ground next to him. Tem looked up to see the machine being back to pieces, Hurricane doing the cutting.

"You came back?!"

"Yeah, it didn't look like it was going well, so I decided to step in with my expertise," Hurri shouted back while taking two more PKs down. With the mechs distracted, Tem jumped up, found his swords and started fighting again.

The brothers fought side by side until their last opponent was nothing but a pile of metal. Hurricane glared around, ready for more, but Tem was already on the move. Letiel was down here by herself and so was Mael. He had to find them.

 

Maelstrom stood up after hitting the ground. He was alone, his bodyguard units lost or destroyed under debris. He picked his weapon up and tried to get his bearings. Ahead he could see an armored, brown-haired woman. The leader. He took aim and started to advance.

Letiel scrambled to make heads or tails of what was going on. It looked like she had plummeted into the remains of the library. Pieces of burning paper were fluttering about and littering the floor before being consumed. She coughed and staggered to her feet. The blast had left her mostly blind from the light and it took her a second to get her balance. 

Move you fool! Omaotin yelled at her.

She felt the panicked paranoia start to rise in the back of her mind and she spun around. Maelstrom was five feet away and advancing quickly. Stones cut at her bare feet as she backed up, fumbling for a weapon but her swords had been thrown in the blast.

Maelstrom aimed and fired, but his gun only clicked in response. He in shouldered it and frowned.

"Damaged in the fall no doubt," he grumbled, opening up a panel in the stock and fiddling with a the insides.

Letiel growled at him, fumbling for some kind of weapon. Finding none, she settled for a football tactic and tackled him instead, her shoulder slamming into his chest.

She found him surprisingly heavy, and he only staggered back a few steps from the blow.

When he recovered, he aimed at her again.

"Enough."

With a squeeze of the trigger, a high-velocity round flew at Letiel.

It slammed through her skull before she could react, her lifeless body falling in a heap. 

The shadow created by the muzzle flash started to move and formed a panther, eyes red and glowing with frustration and annoyance. It roared at Maelstrom before seeping into the ground and vanishing.

Mael tilted his head at the shadow.

"Unusual."

He knelt next to the lifeless and headless body of the Nihood leader, making sure she was in fact dead. Her kind had a remarkable tenacity for survival. When he was certain she was deceased, he stood and turned, only to face a new opponent.

Tempest charged at him, eyes bright blue and swords crackling with energy as her swung.

"Ah," Mael remarked, ducking under incoming sword swings and slamming his shoulder into the Mage, "Hello again Grandmaster. What has you so furious as to not even bother with a threat? Don't tell me her death has you so angry? What was she to you?"

Despite his outward calm, Mael was growing more and more panicked. He'd never seen his adversary like this, and it was a struggle to stay ahead of his attacks. Eventually, he was overwhelmed, Tempest's charged swords cutting through his body and leaving him staggering back and falling to his knees.

"No," he growled, "You won't kill me."

Before Tem could react, Maelstrom vanished.

"No! No!!"

Conar landed next to Tempest and shifted down, an instantaneous movement. 

"Well, that was-- Letiel!" 

The man rushed to her and scooped her up, holding the fallen leader tightly. His cries of anguish were drowned by the similar cries in the distance and the continued settling of dust and debris. 

After calming down, Tempest fell to his knees. The defense had failed. He didn't have high hopes it would succeed, but he didn't think it would get this bad either. He'd told them about Maelstrom. Told them he was impossible to plan for. Why didn't they listen?

"Why didn't you listen?" he whispered to Letiel's body, "I told you, and you wouldn't...-"

He shook his head. There would be time for this later. They had to get out of here. Peacekeepers could still be heard advancing.

"It's Conar, right?" he said to the fallen Leander's brother, "We need to get out of here, and we have to get as many people as we can out too. Do you hear me? We need to evacuate."

Conar sighed. "I know... Most people will have started evacuating to the Bermuda Tribe." He held his sister tighter for one more moment before stepping away.

"She's dead," Blade said simply. The guard walked up and gently poked the body with his toe.

"If that's the case we need to leave. Are we taking her with us?"

"No," Conar and Blade said at the same time.

Blade politely rolled the body into a dip in the mud and scooped a little bit of dirt onto her. 

"Blade, I'm in charge now, make sure everyone is evacuated, including the injured. There's not much we can do for those under the rubble."

Tem stood up and brushed himself off, then got to work.

Within an hour, the tribe was a dead place. Anybody at could had fled, and now the halls were filled with the mechanical stomping of Peacekeepers securing the area.

Tempest looked over the decimated tribe from another mountain peak a mile away. It was all too familiar, abandoning a ruined, desolated place and having to flee before an old enemy. He turned and vanished.

Kasumi, Yasunari, and Saburo were helping get soldiers through the gate. There wasn't a living soul from the defending side left in the Tribe.

"The humans are going to have quite the wake up call," Kasumi grumbled. "There're enough dead dragons to already question their grip on reality, never mind the rest of the tribe."

 

Maelstrom had returned to the empty tribe after recovering to retrieve anything of use. So far he'd found nothing in his search but a few bodies to study later. One in particular was most intriguing. Veil laid dead at the Mage's feet, no obviously fatal wounds on his body. He instructed his units to pack him up, then moved on.



© 2013 Letiel Naynarou


Author's Note

Letiel Naynarou
Up to this point we cut 18 pages out of the original. Has it felt rushed?

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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, central, colorado, heaven, earth, hell


Author

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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