It’s that time of the week again! Wait, it’s a day late? Crap
So the next chunk of Having Wings is now up, and is a little shorter than usual so I’ll include it in the post. We’re over half way through now and I need to take a look at how the rest of the chunks fit together to ensure everything makes sense. And try to avoid too many cliffhangers… I had one last week and there may or may not be one this time around
Hope you enjoy Revelation!
She was on her back, her breathing rapid and shallow, but still very much present. There was weight on her chest and hair in her eyes, she could only guess that her attacker had missed. Forcing him up and off, she realised he was missing half of his face.
An errant human explosive had landed behind him, sending huge chunks of shrapnel through his body and a couple of the others. Only one of the attackers got to his feet, barely, and lumbered towards her. She grabbed the dead Valkyrie’s sword and threw it at her young brother, managing to pierce his chest with it in his shocked state.
Cohen was alive, of all those that had come, but he was unconscious. Alicia managed to drag herself to her feet and limp to him, placing her hand on his head. She whispered some words and felt him coming back, so slowly withdrew to put some distance between them.
Her body was healing rapidly, smaller broken bones already mended but vast areas of tissue damage so far untouched. Alicia was thankful for shock, its muting of pain rather helpful at this point. Cohen groaned as he rose, his wings spreading to steady himself.
“Your fellow dutiful soldiers are dead, Cohen” She said plainly, focusing her mind in case he decided to fight. She was in no condition to do so, running would be her only option.
“Killing so many of your own Kin, Alicia, how can you have fallen so far?” His eyes cast about, taking in the bodies as his left hand fiddled with a pocket.
“Ha! It’s almost like I guessed it” Alicia looked for her sword, muttering to herself to call it back.
“What are you talking about? And, by any chance, looking for this?” He held her sword in his right hand, the little notebook in the other.
Her muttering changed and the book yanked out of his hand, he screamed in rage as it flew to her but stopped short of chasing it; Alicia’s free hand was on fire.
“Just how many names are in this little book of yours, Cohen?”
Spitting through gritted teeth, Cohen said, “All those that have been chosen and all of our brethren that have fallen. The number is beyond comprehension”
“Oh I wouldn’t say that. Just what do you think would happen if someone were to release all of those chosen souls?” Alicia spoke softly, sweetly, and watched Cohen’s blood boil.
He rammed her sword into the ground. “An explosion of ridiculous proportion, ripping through from our plane to this one and just about all others. Have you truly lost all that was left of your mind?”
“I don’t think so. But you’re right, that plan is out. Different question, since you’re being obliging while more help musters: what is the limit of our capacity to collect souls?”
He frowned at her. “We never bring back more than a few. There are never that many truly worthy, I know of no limit, you may as well ask how much water I can put in the oceans”
She smiled at him as horror slowly crept into his face. Before anything else could be said, she disappeared.
A commotion in the hall. The dead were guarded by several elite Valkyries, armour shining even in the dim light that reached the walls. These men and women had never left their posts, never moved save to defend the dead, which, as it turned out, meant they had never moved. It made them slow.
Alicia was among the spheres of the dead, dancing in and out of the brightest points between them as she closed the distance to her adversaries. There was only a slim chance of her winning this one, but she no longer cared; she was doing this for herself, and for them.
The spheres, it seemed, approved of her attitude. Past disbelief, Alicia grinned as they moved from their appointed places, gathering behind her in a swarm of glittering light. The guardians seemed incapable of grasping what they were seeing, but thrust their lances her way nonetheless.
She weaved through them, closing the now insignificant distance in an instant, but had miscalculated. A sword came up, her meeting the pointed tip of which was now inevitable; she couldn’t fight momentum.
A crack, then the gentle tinkle of glass shards on stone as a scream filled the hall. The sword was gone, the hand that held it mangled and burned and quickly withdrawn. Between Alicia and her would be killer was a glowing shape, formerly bound in glass but now beginning to dissipate. Reforming quickly, a young girl’s face took shape before her, smiling sadly for a moment as the edges began to tear. The guardians surged forward, hands outstretched, but Alicia was quicker.
The flightless Valkyrie stepped into the cloud as the face lost its shape, her hands at her sides, palms open to the world. Resisting the urge to take the soul in her hands, Alicia breathed in.