I don't know what to call this, really. No title is sticking out at me. Anyhow, I hope you enjoy it. More shall be posted soon.
- Content warning:
“Do you think it will work?”
“She will wake up or her heart will collapse. Either way I am anxious for results”
The distinctive whipping noise of envenomed splinters cracked into the distant corner of the room. Percussive waves were dulled by walls to turn them into the hollow beat of drums. She could hardly distinguish between the voices and the warzone she had found herself in.
The occasional blast of darklight shone through the shattered windows to show the cosmic smattering of dust that hung motionless. In a momentary flash she caught glimpse of the two who were working upon her. Both were male. One held an dispenser filled with a dull yellow substance.
“Finally, she awakes.” The first muttered.
“Oh... that is... delightful.” The second lowered the dispenser and pulled the scarf down from around his mouth. His movements were complimented by the jingling orchestra of scalpels and syringes hooked onto his ragtag leather bodysuit.
The first one remained crouched, staring at her. “So. Where is the package?”An explosion, closer than the previous blasts, shook the foundation of the building. “Or, more to the point, what is really
in the package.”
Breath had stolen itself away from her in the moment she tried to answer. She gasped and strained for words and her lips threw themselves into contorted shaped as her lungs defied her.
“Sarral, I think she is broken. She may need the drugs after all.”
“What excellent news!” The surgeon, who she presumed to be Sarral, spun to face them and pulled the scarf over his face. Gleefully he sauntered through the room, meandering around collapsed furniture and rubble. He never looked to the ground but his steps were deliberate and deft.
Without so much as a warning he plunged the needle into arm and unloaded the contents. Within a couple of heartbeats she convulsed and strained against her restraints with a shrill wail.
“At least she has found her voice.” Sarral quipped as the other man winced away from her.
“Right.” He said when she became silent. “Now that is concluded, onto business. I am Ynvar. My colleague with the hacking tools is Sarral. If my intel is correct, and I would bet my soul that it is, you are Tri'neska.” Ynvar tried to will an answer from her with a stare, but none came. He sighed. “Being Tri'neska means you're the courier yet you don't have the delivery.” More booms rumbled in from outside. Sarral whipped around at the commotion and laughed to himself. “You probably guessed that there are a few organisations after you, courier, or your package. This, I don't understand. I could if we could open it up and see what you were really bringing us, but you don't have it!” He struck his hands together and rose to his feet. “Without the delivery we cannot bring good news to our Archon or negotiate a way out of this mess.”
Tri'neska broke the speech with a wheezing cough. Phlegm dislodged from her lungs in fistfuls, filling her lungs with bitter green gunk. She spat it to the floor away from her captors. “You sure do talk a lot.”
“Do you think this is some kind of joke?” Ynvar turned on his heels as he paced back and forth. What little light came through caught the edges of his armour in streaks of smouldering red. “Do you have any idea who you are dealing with?”
“Kabal of the Phoenix Eternal. Some lackey called Ynvar.”
Sarral snorted with laughter whilst turning a carving knife over in his hands. “I like her.”
The knife she had not seen Ynvar draw sliced her cheek open with no resistance. She winced as the Kabalite lowered his face to come closer to her. “Do not test me. Where is the cargo?”
Beads of crimson wept down her face like wine staining marble. “I hid it.”
“In case this situation arose.”
“Sarral.” He snapped his fingers together, demanding the surgeon's presence. “How much do you want to cut on our friend here?”
Tri'neska heard the surgeon before he arrived. The first thing she noticed was his forked tongue running across his artificially sharpened fanged maw. He swallowed with delight, and judging by the coppery tang in the air, he had just sliced his own tongue open. “Nothing” he stopped, breathing heavily as he started to circle her, “would please me” she felt the sting of his nail run up the length of her exposed arm. He whispered the last word into her ear “more.” He whipped blood from his tongue at her before turning away and laughing to the sky as he waved a knife about, enjoying the slashing sound.
“We are willing to hurt you, neska. Doing so would ruin the relationship of our parties, but it seems you have already jeopardised that.”
“Cut me if you wish.” Her own tongue cleared some of the blood-flecks that had landed hear her mouth. “You can carve me up and make it agonising if you see fit. However, it sounds like whoever is trying to get in will be here soon, and I think I can assume that we all want to live.”
“You take us straight to the cargo and we will consider sparing you.”
“Consideration is all I need.”
Whooping, screeching, and weapon discharge was like precipitation in the air. It was the music of the eternal night that lingered in the city. Tri'neska was used being so drenched in carnage and had learned to ply her trade despite the anarchy. She was used to lingering in the shadows and following distant skirmishes allowing the majority to fall before swooping in a taking what she could from the carrion. She had often been called scum, or a parasite, by those with bigger guns but would laugh when she lead them into traps.
This was a different situation. They had spent most of their time in the building low to the ground as they made their escape. At least pinned to the slab he awoke on there was dense cover from walls and furniture. As they came to the perimeter there was far less to hide behind.
They vaulted out of shattered windows to join a cohort of what had been twenty Kabalites. Now eight stood, their splinter-rifles lashing out at the devils in the sky.
She grabbed a rifle from a nearby corpse, brushed off the dust and blood then felt its balance in her hands. “What in Vect's name is happening here?”
“Hellions. They followed you here. Must have been tipped off.” Ynvar called out over the cacophony before muttering to himself “Why would that be, I wonder.”
The sound of a sternum cracking is very distinctive. A hellglaive piecing through armour to then smash through a sternum is even more memorable. First, the violently rebellious scrape of metal resisting metal. Then the shattering of bone and the weak whine that comes as the diaphragm is mutilated. All of that rang through the whooping of the Hellion and the howl of the screaming-jet as he kicked his board into an upward spiral, Kabalite dangling from hellglaive like a trophy.
As he reached the top of the arc he catapulted the Kabalite into the air, allowing his allies to swarm like wasps to take shot at him with blades and splinters as he started on back down to the loathsome clutches of Commorragh.
As the body descended and limbs were plucked from it like petals the heart carried on pounding, never receiving a message from the brain to stop. When it finally made its way through the clouds of ichor to reunite with the ground what remained of it ejaculated viscera and entrails violently from small wounds that became chasms with the force of ejection.
And then only seven of the twenty remained.