Friday, January 31, 2014

Catching Up

Gus and Sylnie were both waiting there for me.  Sylnie gave me a seductive wave with her fingertips.  I blushed in response.

“Boss-Man!” Gus enthused.  “Welcome back to the land of the living!”

I frowned at him.  “Gus….”

“Okay, okay, welcome back to the land of the deceased and damned,” he amended.  He glanced at my new wardrobe.  “Nice shirt,” he said.  “Master of Puppets.  I remember when that came out.”

“I’m pretty sure it came out before I was born,” I said abashedly.

Gus replied, “I was dead less than a year after it came out.”

I didn’t know what to say to that.  So I changed the subject.  “Uh, how long was I asleep for?”

“Quite a while,” Sylnie answered vaguely.

I blushed again.  “Yeah, um, sorry I…fell asleep on you,” I mumbled.

She smiled.  “Whenever you want to pick up where we left off,” she said with astonishing sincerity, “just say the word.”

Gus looked like he was struggling to hold in either a snarky comment or a fit of raucous laughter.  It was time to change the subject again.  “So is there any news to report since we beat the invasion?” I asked.

Gus shook his head. “All’s quiet on the western front, Boss-Man,” he said solemnly.  “Although I have no idea what direction west is down here.  But everything’s copacetic.”

“Awesome,” I said.  “Maybe I can actually start figuring out how to run Hell instead of just keeping it from being overrun.”  I sat down behind my desk.  “So now what?”

“Now,” Gus began, but he was interrupted by the sound of the door behind him being thrust open from the outside.  Before any of us could react with more than a cry of surprise, Niven rushed into the room, launched himself over the desk, forced me to the ground, and shoved his lethal blade into my chest.

Before my vision went dark again, I’m pretty sure I could actually feel the blood pouring out of my heart through a huge puncture wound.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Threads

When I woke up, I was immediately disoriented.  I was confused about where I was, until I recognized the room.  I had no memory of slipping under the soft, smooth sheets and resting my head on the row of plump pillows but at least I remembered being on the bed in the first place.  I also had no idea how long I’d been asleep. Not only does time behave differently in Hell, but the lack of any distinction between day and night made it hard to determine its passage.  Add that to my groggy state of mind following a period of deep unconsciousness and I might have believed it if Gus had burst in to tell me I’d been asleep for a century.  Or twenty minutes.  They both felt accurate.

I threw the sheets aside and discovered that I was wearing pajamas.  They were patterned with cartoony rocket ships shooting past smiling anthropomorphic planets.  My apparel did not seem to fit my job title.  I was grateful to be alone in the room so that no one could see my embarrassing toddler-jammies. 

I swung my legs over the side of the bed and discovered a pair of plush slippers waiting for me.  They weren’t bunny-rabbit slippers, thankfully, but they were almost as bad—Spongebob.  I hesitated instinctively before deciding that Hell was no place to be barefoot.  I’d wear the Spongebobs until I found something more suitable.

I went over to the closet in search of clothes—and praying that I didn’t find whips and ball gags and strap-ons.  I opened the double doors and discovered an impressively deep walk-in closet that contained copious quantities of both what I desired and what I feared. I moved past the chains and vibrators and quickly selected a pair of jeans.  I rifled through an assortment of t-shirts and grabbed the first one that seemed acceptable.  After grabbing a pair of socks, finding some shoes and hurrying again past the kinky stuff, I returned to the luxurious bedroom, dressed, and teleported back to my office.  

Monday, January 27, 2014

An Appropriate Setting

I hadn’t slept since the night I died.

Almost immediately after arriving in Hell, I’d been tricked into becoming its ruler.  From then on, I’d dealt with one usurper after another.  I’d fought off Vilnius, Azraal and Kivra.  I’d travelled to the Living Realm to my own funeral to save my parents from demons.  I’d conducted job interviews and made appointments to powerful positions.  I’d worked with an enemy to find a psychic who could give me a spell I could use to kill a group of creatures who were threatening to overrun Hell.  And once I’d finally gotten the spell to work, I killed the leader of those creatures and crushed his army.

I had no idea how many days had passed in Hell while all that was happening, but it felt like a lot.  I imagined that, since becoming the Devil made me part demon, I didn’t require sleep the same way I would as a human.  But my human half was crying for respite.  It was also crying for sex, but that wasn’t a necessity for survival.  It did seem like a lot more fun than sleep, though.

Sylnie and I went through a door marked The Devil’s Bedroom and discovered a room clearly designed for a being far kinkier than I.  The room was dominated by a bed the size of my entire bedroom back home.  It was covered in decadent crimson sheets that were probably silk.  Something about the closet seemed to imply that it housed all kinds of crazy sex toys even though its doors were closed.  Mirrors were hung liberally on the walls, and, yes, even on the ceiling. 

Sylnie seemed almost as excited as I was.  “Are you ready?” she asked me.

“Not really,” I admitted.  It seemed that no amount of postmortal badassery could prepare me to lose my virginity with confidence.  “Uh, lead the way, I guess?”

Sylnie obediently led me to the bed.  I sat on the edge and she pushed me back onto the luxuriously soft sheets.  She climbed on top of me, straddling my waist.  She was heavy, but not uncomfortably so.  As I watched and waited, she began to make a sexy show of slowly removing the top of her absurdly revealing French maid outfit. 

Despite my excitement, the stress and exhaustion were too much for me—I was asleep before I even glimpsed her underwear.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Next Order of Business

I guess news of our victory had travelled fast.  When I arrived in my office, Gus and Sylnie turned to look at me expectantly.

“Well?” Gus said impatiently.  “Is it true?”

I smiled.  “We kicked so much ass, Gus, you have no idea.  Looks like we’re not all going to die after all.”

Sylnie squeaked excitedly and ran toward me.  “My hero!” she said sappily, throwing her arms around me.  Her massive chest pressed against me--warmly.  Her lips met mine--warmly.  I puckered instinctively.  She interpreted that to mean I was kissing back and she kissed me even harder.

This was…nice.  I felt myself beginning to swell against her leg and, coming off a decisive victory over a formidable foe, I wasn’t even that bothered by it.  So I wrapped my arms around her, pressing my favorite parts of her body even closer, and kissed back on purpose.

“I was going to congratulate you,” Gus murmured.  “But I don’t think anything I have to say will top that….”

“Where’s Jaelin?” came a worried voice from the corner.  “Is she okay?”

I tore my face away from Sylnie’s face and spied Torvin sitting timidly on the floor.  “She’s fine,” I assured him.  “She fought bravely.  She should be along soon.” 

“So what’s the next order of business, Boss-Man?” Gus asked.

Sylnie, her arms still around my neck, wriggled her body against me a little, giggling at the way I responded.  I let out a long breath.  “Uh…I’m pretty tired.  What I want more than anything is sleep.  Do I have like a bedroom or anything?”

Gus jabbed his thumb in the direction of the back door.  “Somewhere down that hallway, just like everything else,” he said.

“Cool,” I replied, prying myself out of Sylnie’s adoring grasp.  “In that case, I’m going to go to bed.”

As I headed for the door, I heard Sylnie ask in a huskie voice, “Want some company?”

I stopped and turned back at her.  She shot me a meaningful smile and raised an eyebrow mischievously.  The kiss and boob-smush combo was one thing, but was she offering what I thought she was offering?  Maybe there was something I wanted more than sleep.  I cleared my throat and stammered, “Uh…I mean, sure.  You know, if you…I mean, why not?”

Forgiving my inarticulateness, she followed me out of the office and into the hallway.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Prisoners' Arrangments

I pulled out my Hell Phone and dialed Kivra’s old number.  Malkino answered, as I expected.  “Sir?” he crooned richly in my ear.

“So here’s the deal, Malkino,” I told him.  “We just defeated the army of Lucifer’s Firstborn.  You’re all clear to use every sector in your department.”

“That’s…good news,” he said, perhaps grudgingly.

“Eight of them are left,” I continued.  “And they’ve surrendered to us on the condition that we cut off their arm blades.  They shouldn’t be any threat to you.  Do you think you can find some work for them to do in your department?”

He didn’t answer for a moment.  “Sure,” he said finally.  He sounded baffled.  “There’s always more torturing to do.”

“Excellent,” I said.  “There should be eight of them arriving near your office any minute now.”  I glanced over my shoulder and watched the first amputee, bleeding profusely from his wrists, get teleported away by two demons.  “Don’t feel bad giving them the bitch work,” I added.

“No problem,” he said.  “Anything else?”

“Not really.  How are you settling in over there?”

“Just fine, although I don’t have a lot of time for social calls,” he said tersely.  “Goodbye.”

I hung up.  “So I guess Malkino is still a little pissed at me,” I murmured.

“So what?” Jaelin exulted, grinning broadly.  “You just won.  You killed Halkkor and destroyed his army.  You just saved Hell!”

“That doesn’t sound as great as you think it sounds,” I told her.

“What are you going to do now?” she asked me.

I stared out at the cavern.  Blood, bones and bodies littered the barren landscape.  Pit Guards were helping each other limp off the battlefield, occasionally assisted by demons teleporting intermittently between areas.  The last of the amputee Firstborn were being prepared for transport to Malkino’s office.  It was a grisly, devastating scene.

I turned back to Jaelin, and, forgoing the obvious joke about going to Disney World, I said, “I think I’m gonna take a nap.”

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Second Offer

Under General Gavsot’s capable oversight, our forces coordinated a simultaneous assault from every direction.  As the armies collapsed in on themselves, it looked like a singularity had erupted in the center of the battlefield.  I contributed long-range telekinetic strikes while maintaining my vantage point as the fighting became more brutal.  Within minutes, however, I could no longer easily spot any Firstborn amid the flashing swords and flailing limbs.

I teleported over to Gavsot.  “Pull them back,” I said.  “There can’t be many of those things left.”
When the tide of my armies receded back into its former donut shape, only nine harried-looking Firstborn remained standing amid the carpet of corpses.

I materialized a short distance in front of them and addressed them publicly.  “One last time,” I boomed, “you have a chance to surrender.  As much of a pain in my ass as you guys are, I’m not usually in favor of wiping out an entire species.  If you keep fighting, you will all die.”

One of them spoke up hoarsely.  “What will be our fate should we accept your offer?”

“You won’t die,” I reiterated.

“But what will be our fate?” he pressed.

“I don’t know,” I admitted.  “I guess you could go to work in Hell alongside the demons and Pit Guards.  Although don’t expect any positions of power or influence.  And we can’t have you running around killing stuff, so we’ll probably need to get rid of those blades of yours.  We could probably amputate them with these special weapons I made.  That should work.”

“Then our choice is to die or live and be mutilated?” another Firstborn said indignantly.

I shrugged.  “Pretty much, yeah.  Seems like a no-brainer to me, but you guys don’t seem like the brightest bunch, so it’s up to you.”

“I’d rather die,” the second one declared defiantly.

I sent a sword streaking through his chest.  He collapsed in a juicy heap of crumbling bones.  “You’re welcome,” I said.  “The rest of you?” 

The eight remaining Firstborn opted for the more reasonable choice.  I watched solemnly, flanked by Gavsot and Jaelin, as teams of demons hacked off the deadly blades from the Firstborns’ arms.

“I was not expecting you to extend mercy,” the general commented quietly.

“Me neither,” Jaelin agreed.

“I wasn’t planning to,” I admitted with a shrug.  “But I guess I can always change my mind later if I need to,” I added darkly.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Final Strike

Without verbally communicating with each other, it seemed that Lucifer’s Firstborn were considering my offer of mercy as a group.  Then the one nearest to me curled his grotesque mouth into an even more grotesque snarl of contempt.  And then he spit on me, which was impressive, considering that the sword hovering in front of me kept him from getting too close to begin with.

I teleported back to behind my lines, next to Gavsot and Jaelin.

“Did he just spit on you?” Jaelin asked.

I wiped the filthy saliva from my arm and shook my fingers dry.  “Fucking Firstborn,” I whined in response.  “Gavsot, how do you feel about a full charge from every direction?  It’s time we steamroll these motherfuckers and get this over with.”

“A charge like that could lead to chaos,” Gavsot said.  He was doing that thing again, trying to gently contradict me and hoping I’d change my mind.  I wasn’t going to change my mind.

“Probably, but it will also lead to their annihilation,” I said firmly.  “Let’s do this.”

Gavsot and Jaelin briefly exchanged a glance.  She shrugged as if to say, “Well, he is the Devil….”  Gavsot teleported away to spread the word among his captains. 

Jaelin sidled up to me.  “Getting a little tired of the fighting, sir?” she asked tentatively. 

“No way,” I replied with dry sarcasm.  “I’m just living the dream.  Intense nonstop combat with nearly invulnerable brutes from Hell who want to kill me dead is what I’m all about.”

She nodded meekly.  “Okay.  Good to know.”  She sidled away again, standing a safe distance from the crazy bloodthirsty Devil.

My right eyelid started to twitch.  I really needed this to be over.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Surrounded

The ever-shrinking group of Lucifer’s Firstborn trapped in my army’s donut hole was tenacious.  Once they were surrounded, they formed themselves into a tight bunch and tried to escape like this was some massive underworld version of Red Rover or maybe a circular game of Breakout.  They crashed violently into our lines dozens of times but our superior numbers held fast.  More importantly, each attempt at breaking free left a few more dead Firstborn in its wake. 

We were winning.  Cutting the head off the snake hadn’t killed it, but it had certainly left it thrashing about aimlessly.  Halkkor’s absence as their leader seemed to have severely crippled not only their morale, but their strategies too.  Again and again, after countless defeats and little progress in any direction, the Firstborn charged.  My concept of time was vague and unreliable down here in Hell, but it seemed that, by any reckoning, the battle had been raging for at least an hour—probably more.

They were tireless.  My demons had stamina but were starting to grow weary.  The Pit Guards were generally exhausted.  I was giddy from my victory over Halkkor but that adrenaline was starting to wear off.  I was ready for this to be over.  Obviously I would have preferred that none of this had ever happened, but after all the close calls and all the stress and all the fighting…being so close to the conclusion of this mess and still struggling to seal the deal only compounded my frustration.

“Stop this!  Enough!” I finally roared over the battlefield.  The Firstborn, of course, did not respond to my orders and continued trying to hack their way through the hopelessly deep ranks of demons and Pit Guards.

So I teleported to the middle of the circle, bringing twenty or so swords with me.  I levitated them around me horizontally, pointing outward, to defend against attacks from all directions.  Then I waited calmly for the Firstborn’s current rush to be repulsed.  It was only a minute or two before their ragged, dwindling army was pushed back in my direction.

“If you surrender now,” I told them in my best Don’t-Fuck-With-The-Devil voice, “I won’t kill you.”

Monday, January 13, 2014

Aftermath

If my epic telekinetic display had been felt across the battlefield, Halkkor’s death reverberated.  The gasps of shock and cries of anger from the Firstborn echoed off the cavern walls and mingled with the celebratory shouts of my soldiers.  It was an eerie mixture of sounds.

I made eye contact with Jaelin, who was still a good distance away.  The bleeding from her neck didn’t appear to have stopped, but she wore a glowing grin and gave me a slight congratulatory nod.  I nodded back triumphantly.

Gavsot appeared at my elbow.  “He knew he had no chance of survival but he chose to die fighting,” he commented solemnly, staring down at the residue of Halkkor Soup.  “That demands respect.”

As the two armies resumed fighting around us following their brief intermission, I turned to give Gavsot a cockeyed expression.  “You don’t miss the guy or anything, right?” I asked.  “Don’t forget he was going to kill us all.”

General Gavsot nodded.  “I can admire my enemy, even if I loathe him.  He was a worthy adversary.”

“You want me to give you a few minutes alone with the body?” I asked.  Then, thinking better of it, I said, “I mean, with the puddle?  Or we can put his remains into a nice classy urn for you so you can ceremonially scatter his juices out into the lake of fire if you want.”  He didn’t say so, but based on the questioning look he gave me, it was clear that he didn’t understand my sarcasm.

“Never mind,” I said dismissively.  “We have some more Firstborn to kill.”  With my mind, I plucked a few dozen swords from the ground and began hurling them at enemy warriors.  Gavsot, now wielding two weapons, joined in with a more physical approach.

It was surprising how much Halkkor’s death had altered the morale of both armies.  It seemed that the Firstborn had immediately assumed upon the demise of their chieftain that they were suddenly on the losing side.  They continued fighting just as fiercely, however, but there seemed to be a sense of inevitable melancholy in the way they held themselves.  Perhaps the desire to go down fighting was deeply ingrained in their species.

My demons and Pit Guards, however, brimmed with excitement the moment Halkkor collapsed.  They had apparently drawn the same conclusion that their enemies had and were excited to see their assumed victory become a reality.  In a burst of violent energy, my army made several more key kills that shifted the momentum irrevocably in our favor.  Gavsot and I began barking instructions to our followers, manipulating our forces in such a way that all the remaining Firstborn were enclosed in a circle, hemmed in on all sides by a militia composed of Hell’s good guys.

Despite their obvious disadvantages, it was astonishing how long they continued to fight.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Supremacy

It was felt across the battlefield.  I’m not sure whether it was some nearly tangible extension of my mind or whether there was some invisible pall of foreboding permeating the air, but everyone seemed to sense that something powerful was about to take place.  A few of the Firstborn stopped, looking around in confusion like they were trying to locate the source of their inner disturbance.  My demons turned toward me in awe.  Many of the Pit Guards trembled fearfully.

I felt strong.  I knew, confidently and completely, that I was more powerful than Halkkor.  I was more formidable than his entire army.  I was stronger than death.  I was an unrivalled juggernaut, a being of pure supremacy, an enemy that no god in the universe could defeat. 

I stretched my mind forth and grasped as many of my minions’ weapons as I could, wrenching them from their fingers and pulling them toward me.  In an instant, hundreds of swords were floating hauntingly above a suddenly silent battleground, all pointed directly at Halkkor.  The Firstborn who had been hurrying to assist him stopped dead in their tracks and eyed the airborne arsenal warily.

Halkkor looked up.  Then he looked at me.  His face, always grotesque, twisted into an even more repulsive snarl of defiance.  He knew he was fucked.  But that didn’t stop him from lowering his head and charging me with a bellow of terrifying desperation. 

With a single thought, I brought every single weapon at my command down toward him.  As swiftly as they flew, he was doing his best to outrun them, swatting blindly at the air around him.  He actually managed to knock the first blade away, but it was followed by hundreds more.  They rained down on him as he sprinted, some clattering harmlessly against the ground and others perforating his massive body.  He kept coming, though, looking like the most freakish pincushion imaginable, until one blade that had been properly prepared pierced his heart.

With more than fifty weapons sticking out of his body from every direction, he let out a final, gasping shriek and stumbled forward.  His deteriorating body collapsed as his skin thinned, his organs pureed themselves and his bones crumbled.  His forward momentum brought his corpse to an agonizing, terrifying halt only inches away from me.  I stared down coolly as his final remains splashed softly across my toes like the last vestiges of a gentle surf.

Halkkor, King of Lucifer’s Firstborn, was dead.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bull's-Eye

I propelled the weapon much faster with telekinesis than I could have with good old-fashioned muscle, but Halkkor was still quick enough to swat at it.  To my overwhelming relief, however, he still wasn’t quick enough to hit it with more than a fingertip. Despite his attempt to bat it away, my sword continued on its path, split his flesh open and sunk deep into his chest.  It was a direct hit.  It had to be.  Right through the heart.  It was perfect.

Almost.

Instead of screaming and deflating like the other Firstborn we’d killed, all Halkkor did was the screaming part.  And it was one hell of a scream.  It seemed to involve two simultaneous vocal eruptions—one a low bellow of rage and the other a shrill screech of agony.  The two mixed together into a seamless, cacophonous cry that carried far enough across the battlefield to make half the combatants stop for a moment and turn toward the source.

In the brief moment of silence that followed the conclusion of Halkkor’s shriek, he ripped the sword out of his body, broke it contemptuously into several pieces and scattered them on the ground in front of him.

“Firstborn!” he shouted publicly, his eyes acquiring a fire that this time I had not ignited, “Kill the Devil!  Disregard all others until this meddling mortal moron has been repeatedly cloven into piles of putrescent pieces.  Kill the Devil!”

I guess I’d finally scared him enough or pissed him off enough that he’d decided he needed some help.  That could have been interpreted as a good sign but for the fact that he’d called every one of his warriors within earshot to his side.  In an instant, I had hundreds of Lucifer’s Firstborn bearing down on me from all directions. All I had was a broken sword and two wounded comrades.

There were three probable reasons why Halkkor was still alive.  Either I’d missed his heart, the sword I’d used wasn’t one that we’d imbued with Firstborn lethality, or Halkkor was somehow immune to the spell we’d cast on a few hundred weapons.  I had an idea that could either kill Halkkor or at least rule out the first two possibilities.

I quickly scanned the area around me, ignoring the stampede of monstrous soldiers and instead focusing on the weapons of my remaining allies.  Then I focused as hard as I could and reached out with a hundred invisible arms.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Making a Comeback

I don’t know how Halkkor did it, but he must have known Gavsot was there.  Maybe he heard the general make some kind of noise.  Maybe Lucifer’s Firstborn had some kind of extra sense that I didn’t know about.  Regardless, the way Halkkor quashed Gavsot’s sneak attack was both impressive and terrifying.

The general had prepared to stab him through the heart with his weapon, but just as the blade was about to break the skin, Halkkor whirled, gripped Gavsot’s arm, audibly snapped his wrist, flipped him over like some kind of ridiculous professional wrestling move, and slammed him to the ground on his back.  The Firstborn-killing blade skidded away, hopelessly out of Gavsot’s reach.

General Gavsot was quick enough to see Halkkor’s next move coming, and as he lay stunned on the ground with a mangled wrist, he brought his good arm up to block Halkkor’s blade from piercing his heart.  He narrowly succeeded, emitting a low yelp of pain and frustration as the point of Halkkor’s anatomical weapon sunk at least half an inch into his chest.

I watched for too long, immobilized by the shocking speed of it all.  I glanced over at Jaelin and was surprised to see her fighting her attacker off with one hand while the other one was clamped around the side of her neck and stained with blood.  To complete my sense of impending failure, Sowillo’s head rolled past her foot.  So much for that little guy.

Halkkor needed to get dead.  I needed all of this to stop.  And that was when, embarrassingly, I finally realized that I should and could do something to help my friends.  Reacting with a swiftness I was proud of and a tardiness I was not, I came to their rescue.  I pushed out into the air with all of my strength, forcing my enemies away from their targets.  Halkkor managed to hang enough to clumsily stumble away but the Firstborn who’d wounded Jaelin went flying off into the midst of the clashing armies and out of sight. 

“Gavsot,” I shouted.  “Are you alright?”

“Yes,” he wheezed, wincing immediately.  It looked like it was painful for him to breathe.  Had Halkkor punctured a lung?  Did demons even have lungs to puncture?  They were pretty difficult to kill so maybe they didn’t need to breathe. Contemplations for another time, I reminded myself.

“Jaelin?” I called out.

She still had her hand around her neck, dark blood seeping through the fingers and clashing starkly with her bright pink skin.  She nodded, chest heaving.  “I’ll live,” she assured me.

“Good,” I said, letting my sword slip from my fingers and holding it steady in the air next to my hand.  “Now let’s make some Halkkor-kebabs.”

Abandoning the unreliable aim of my arm in favor of the more precise control of my mind, I sent the blade hurtling toward Halkkor’s chest.

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Friendly Face

As Halkkor approached me with prudent caution and palpable malice, Gavsot appeared next to me, sword in hand.

“Hey,” I said breathlessly.  I kept my eyes on the hulking King of Lucifer’s Firstborn as I spoke to my general.  “I hope you’re here to help.”

He nodded.  “It appeared that you needed some,” he said simply.

“Definitely,” I said.  “Would have been better if you’d appeared behind him, though,” I added.  “You know, since he’s so focused on me.  Might not notice you.”  I kept hinting until I was positive that Gavsot understood me.  I was pretty sure that Halkkor couldn’t hear our exchange over all the shouts and grunts and screams.  I hoped it looked like Gavsot was giving me a battle update or something.

“That would be better,” he agreed.  I nodded at him and he disappeared again, only to materialize a few feet behind our enemy.

Still weaponless, I looked around frantically for a physical object I could use to defend myself.  I spotted a sword that had been dropped by a slain demon a short distance away and quickly brought it to my hand with telekinetic urgency.  I gripped it with both hands, gritted my teeth and gave Halkkor my best glare.  I scowled at him like a cleanup hitter trying to stare down the opposing pitcher.  Apparently my non-verbal “come at me, bro” worked, because Halkkor’s eyes, still emitting thin ribbons of smoke from their earlier blaze, narrowed angrily.

“Okay, you ugly bastard,” I growled, although probably not loudly enough for him to hear.  “Let’s do this.”

Gavsot, a few feet behind him, raised his blade to strike.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Defensive Maneuvers

Halkkor charged forward, bright orange flames sprouting from his eyes.  His teeth were clenched and he was growling in pain, but he wasn’t stopping.  Jaelin, having just tossed my sword to me, was off balance and it didn’t look like she’d be able to dodge in time.  I needed to react quickly.

I remembered to use my powers to my advantage—finally.  From twenty feet away, I mentally yanked on the arm of one of Halkkor’s soldiers and pulled him into his path.   I pushed Jaelin out of the way and reached up in time to pluck my sword out of the air.  I caught it by the handle like a fucking boss.  It might have been luck but it probably looked like I was that awesome on purpose.

The Firstborn that I’d placed in Halkkor’s path stumbled backward, landing clumsily in front of him.  Halkkor had good reflexes and leapt over him, but he caught his foot on his subordinate’s knee and came down off balance.  Jaelin had fallen safely out of his path, and Halkkor skidded past her as she rolled gracefully back to her feet.  When Halkkor managed to stop the momentum of his bulky physique and turned to attack her again, I wound up and threw my sword.

I’d never thrown a sword before.  I chucked it like a javelin and the results were disappointing.  Instead of piercing him right through the heart and killing him on the spot, it caught him behind the shoulder and careened off, leaving a nasty but non-lethal gash. 

Halkkor turned back toward me and snarled, “You’ve grown bolder.  I’ll have to keep a closer watch.”  He turned to the warrior he’d just tripped over.  “I need to eliminate a very uppity thorn in my side.  Kill the pink female in my absence.”

As the other Firstborn stared down Jaelin, Halkkor turned his focus on me.  And now I was weaponless. I suppose throwing the sword wasn’t exactly the smartest move I could have made under the circumstances.


But I guess you live and you learn.  Even after you’re dead.