For Nothing is Worth the Price of Blood - Chapter 3
Chapter 3 - "The Body in Motion"
Natasha didn't care about much in life. Most of life's little pleasures weren't that pleasurable, and the hard times were just times when weak people couldn't cope. To her, life's ups and downs were merely dips in the road she ran on, too small to even notice, let alone take away her momentum. If you ignored them for long enough, you'd forget they were even there, leaving you with a clear and unaltered path to walk. She liked it that way, seeing where she was going, and knowing whatever challenge that came accross. Life was a cakewalk when you didn't care about much. Look after yourself, a few close friends, and let the rest look after themselves. Sure, it was selfish, but what good is taking care of everyone around you and letting yourself slide? Pretty soon you'd realise that you too had troubles, and you'd be too busy to tend to them. You'd slip further and further until you finally found yourself in a emotional pit that you couldn't climb out of. Then where would you be? Stuck in a hole surrounded by weak people who didn't know how pull you out. Screw that, better to leave them fend for themselves. They'd thank you in they only knew how much you'd helped them.
So all in all, life was pretty good for Natasha. She'd found her little secret trick to it. Try not to care about too much. So she didn't.
However, the latest events were cause to carefully reconsider that little trick. When the majority of your friends are slaughtered in cold blood, you tend to care. When the enemy shows itself to be a much more competent and powerful force than you ever imagined, you tend to care. Most of all, when the enemy completely annihilates you, sapping every ounch of your strength, having beaten you savagely and mercilessly, leaving you a worthless pile of flesh, no more a hero than the wall you just crashed through... Natasha cared. She cared a hell of a lot. Losses like this were rare, such a one-sided battle. Natasha had the weapon, Natasha had the power, the hero's pride and experience in battle. But she'd been tossed around and beaten like a rottweiler's chew-toy. A pathetic fight on her part, indeed. And she, a hero to these people, whose bodies now lay motionless in the streets of Rockford. What a pride-diminishing thought.
It was the only thing that stuck in her mind. Everything else in life she could count on. That little 'not-caring' trick had worked all these years, from her bullied childhood days, to the battle-ridden life she now led. Her belief that letting people fight their own emotional battles was the only successful way of helping them. Everything, she knew she'd got right. But now, the word 'Hero' had reared it's head again. And she knew why. She was supposed to be these peoples' Hero, the one who protects them from danger, the one who vanquishes the evil foe and comes home more victorious than ever, the blood of her enemies smeared across her hands, a powerful grin and a equally powerful stride. A Hero. She had failed these people. They had all been killed because she wasn't enough. Their "Hero", their inhuman, powerful protector was thrashed and beaten as though she were no more powerful than them. beaten like a carpet, then left on her back on the stone cold floor of someone she couldn't save. She had been useless.
"Jay, open your eyes, buddy!"
That was Sam. Sam was here, thank God! He was the only doctor in town, and as such, the only person who could help these people now. She had to get to him and help.
"C'mon, Jay, wakey-wakey!"
So Jay was still alive? She'd never have guessed it. The way she'd seen those two cut through people she'd have expected no life from even Jay, who'd proved himself a worthy warrior on more than one occasion. But apparently he'd survived, that she was glad of. But it sounded as though he didn't have a lot of time left. Poor Jay. Tasha hadn't managed to see how he'd been injured, she'd been too busy fighting off the Silver-haired girl, but she could only imagine he'd be in great pain. her mind flicked for a moment to dwell on Jay's family. Though he wasn't much older than her, Jay was already married, and had a son named Joseph... That's if they were still alive. The pain he must be going through right now. All Tasha could do was hope that the rest of his family were okay.
"Keep your eyes open, Jay! C'mon, open up... Hey! open your eyes, Jay!"
She remembered how Jay was a cautious man. His Mother and Father had been victims of a town razing, just like this one, and as a result, he'd always been careful to have some sort of hiding place or escape route for his family, just in case it ever happened again. People used to laugh at his over-protective manner and jested at his jumpiness... She guessed now they'd be wishing they'd done the same.
"Dammit, Jay! Breathe!"
Sounded serious. It was torture to her ears. Everything was silent, the opposition seemingly long gone. The only sounds were the scuffing of Sam's knees on the dirt road, and his panicked voice, trying to coax Jay back to reality. It was horrible. She couldn't move a muscle, decked out uncomfortably on the stone floor, bits of broken log surrounding her, blood seeping from various wounds, listening to one of best friends slip away into the darkness not thirty feet from her. She heard Sam start pushing down on his chest, trying to restart Jay's heart. This was crunch time for Jay.
"Come on, Jay" Tasha mouthed.
"Breathe, Jay! Come on!" Sam was becoming more and more desperate as Jay refused to respond to anything. "Dammit, breathe, you stupid fucker! Breathe! Aron, quick!"
Aron? He was alive, too? Wait, of course he was. Aron went hunting today, he'd have been out searching game when they attacked. Aron wasn't cautious at all, choosing to be everywhere at once with no plan whatsoever. Though it usually got him into trouble, his quick thinking usually got him out of it again. It also meant he was good in battle, resourceful and cunning. It wasn't much use in this case.
"Yes! He's breathing! Aron, apply some pressure here." Sam was relieved, Jay wasn't quite giving up yet.
"Is he going to make it?"
"I don't know, he's in pretty bad shape. Where the hell is Tasha?!"
She tried to move her arm to get up, but it refused to move, opting instead to lay limply on the ground, another five minutes of sleep. She urged it again, straining excessively to get some feeling into it. It got some feeling into it alright. As soon as it moved she screamed in pain.
"What the hell?" Sam exclaimed. He was shocked. "Aron, stay here, I'm going to check that out."
Natasha didn't hear them. It was overwhelming, clouding her brain with continues pangs of sharp, burning pain, like someone had ripped it clean off and spat alcohol on the wound. Tears came ot her eyes and she couldn't help but whimper a little. It hurt so badly she thought she'd pass out at any moment.
True to her thoughts, things started getting blurry, that familiar black fog clouding her periferal vision. Her head reeled, the pain from her arm making itself known in bolts of electricity into her frame. She kept her head up just in time to see Sam enter through the hole in the wall, a wide-eyed look on his face. He was all blurry and wobbly, and darkening quickly as her head fell backwards. She heard him speak, but it sounded like he was trapped in jello and distant. She never heard the end of it, anyway, as she slipped peacefully into a silent blackness.
"Are you okay?"
There was along pause between the two. He was not fine, she knew that. Silver let him be for a moment as she looked around. The bedroom never looked so empty to her. Although it housed the same items it always had, it had never seemed to barren, so cold and unfeeling. Even the framed pictures on the wall seemed to be of people she couldn't feel anything for. They were pictures, just pictures. Captures illusions, makingit appear that someone was with them, near them... but not now. They were snapshots of people long dead, people who were once with them, that were not so now. They used to offer her comfort with their looks, they'd always accepted her and made her feel as though they were still with them, laughing at stupid jokes and tell her how big she'd grown, or how beautiful she'd turned out. Now they offered nothing. A dead praise with no content. They stared blankly at her from their frames, as though waiting for her to make the first piece of conversation, and with no real intent to reply anyway.
The walls were all polished rimu, very expensive and amazingly strong and long-living. She remembered how someone had told her that these lands used to be covered in rimu trees, and how they'd all been logged away to the bigger cities, like Wynstead and Monté. Now there were so few they could hardly be found on 5 days of trekking. So rare they were, that it was considered good luck to fall asleep under one. This house was made many years ago, when those trees weren't so rare or expensive. Almost everything wooden was rimu, even the frames around the pictures of the dead. She felt so much pity for the trees. They were once so bountiful and natural, growing wherever they could. Now, thanks to the greediness of the big-city folk, they were a mysterious and strange occurance to behold. Brought to the brink of extinction, it was only a matter of time before they were killed out completely, leaving only the memories of a once powerful and beautiful species.
She sighed painfully. She knew she wasn't thinking about the trees anymore.
What was her brother thinking? She wondered what was drifting through that blonde head of his, he'd been silent and thoughtful for the last few hours, lying on his bed, his hands behind his head, staring blankly at the roof. She sat on the edge of the bed beside him because she hated to see him so depressed. He was dressed as he always was, casually, though smart. he was tidy, wearing sleeved white shirts and bright white trousers. She looked at him from the corner of her eye, and smiled slightly. She thought he looked like an angel with his bright blonde hair, an angel who was always looking out for his sister. He was the only thing she had left, and the only thing she would give her life to protect. Ha! If he'd ever let that happen. He'd made it clear to her that if anything was to happen to her, he'd be the one to sacrifice himself so she could live. They were such a close pair. She tugged her skirt down slightly. she was always dressed beautifully, in long, flowing silver dresses, with diamond earrings and makeup. It made her feel so special to dress up like that. The only real thing her brother had told her about their mother was that she always dressed like she was going to be the next beauty queen. She had silver hair, a strong mark in her family line. It was quite an oddity, but a stunning one. Silver had, of course, been named so because of this fact, that and when she was born she had a thick crop of silver hair, more than was usual. As a result, she'd never cut her hair, letting it grow long and healthy to show she was proud of who she was. The two of them were angelic figured, donned in bright, shining armour.
she turned to him.
"What are you thinking about?"
He looked pained but didn't reply.
"Thyme? Answer me, please."
"Her." he said simply.
She nodded to herself. she thought so. It occupied his head so often it was no longer a surprise. Again, she let him have a moment.
"That woman we killed today reminded me of her a little."
"Do you want to talk or something?" she tentatively asked.
"No, thanks. I'm just wishing she were here with me now."
"Yeah. I do miss having her around, I know you really cared about her."
They both just stayed still for a while, not really thinking, just being quiet. She guessed it was just a sort of silent moment for someone they had lost. She looked at him again, in a sisterly way. She put on a caring little smile, then slipped onto the bed beside him. Snuggling into his side and hugging him, she closed her eyes and felt happy.
"Well, I'll never go anywhere, brother." She spoke gently, "I'll be here with you."
He smiled a bit. He could always count on his little Sister to make him feel like part of a loving family, even if it was just the two of them. He brought his arm down over her shoulder and hugged her back.
sandaled feet paced hurriedly down the shining white marble hallway.
"What could he possibly want now? He's been running me ragged for the past 5 days. I tell you, if it wasn't for the fact that I'm sworn to do this job for all eternity, lest I be struck by a lightning bolt and cast into the underworld, I'd quit this dead-end job."
The voice belonged to a slightly enraged Archangel. This was the fourth mission today, and he was begining to get tired. His wings were sore and he needed a new change of clothes, because he spilt honey on the one he was wearing when he was eating breakfast and the Boss called him in, literally. He mumbled and cursed down the cloud-lined hallways about how the company was run, and how new Archangels had to be hired, and how he'd willingly be demoted if only it meant he'd have less of a workload. He was beginning to get onto the topic of why he should get a pay raise when he reached his destination. He stopped, took a deep breath, then released it slowly. Calm now, he cleared his throat and straightened his halo. He pushed on the pearly white door and it silently opened for him. He walked in dignified as an Archangel should.
"My Lord Achilles, you called for me?" he questioned. He looked around for his Master, but nothing but billowy, white cloud could be seen.
A loud, booming voice shattered the silence of the room. "Yes."
"What is it, Sire? More news on the latest events?"
The voice continued, "They have located and retrieved the second item of the Passing."
"The second one?!" the Archangel cried shocked, "But I thought they couldn't find it because you--!"
"They found it nonetheless." stated the booming voice. Though it echoed around what would seem like a room that stretched on infinitely, it sounded somewhat sad.
"But Lord, how could they possibly have found it? You must have allowed them to."
"I did not allow them."
The Archangel couldn't believe what he was hearing. It made no sense.
"But Lord, you have power over everything. What you say goes, right?"
"Yes..." the voice continued. The Archangel imagined the face to the voice palingover the next part of his sentence. "...but not over these two."
"Th.. These... These two?" stuttered the Archangel, flabberghasted. Although he was hearing it with his own two ears, he still found it hard to imagine that he was actually being told this, that this might actually be happening. But he had to press onwards. Surely the Lord was mistaken.
There was a long silence. The Archangel knew this was real. The Lord didn't make mistakes, he was God. But was this actually happening? How could this be unfolding right before his very eyes? Angels do not sleep, therefore do not dream. This was happening.
"Lord... are these two--"
"Yes, they are of old blood. My fallen kin."
"Which means, Sire..."
"I cannot control them."
A lump formed in the Archangel's throat. "Which means that..."
"It has begun."
End of Chapter 03
Click here to return to the Literature Page.