The Confrontation At The Glade, Part Two
Hermann curses. He curses his lack of preparedness. This body, which he has allowed to dimnish.If… no, he won’t go there. He stretches his sonar to the limit of stimuli that his brain can handle, and picks up two humanoid-shapes in a north-westerly direction.
He increases his pace and draws the shards.
With an inhalation of breath, Greyscale picks up four currents on the air. The first is Rune, who to him smells like a young member of the Flight; unshed scales, naivity, aggressiveness. The second is Hermann, who has a baseline scent with an artificial note. But the third?
The third scent fluctuates in the way of schizophrenics always have, with an undertone of fae to it. Tam Linn, Greyscale realizes, together with Rune. The fourth… is that a cat? He shakes his head and goes one gear higher.
I raise my hands slowly, hoping that I am not about to seal my fate. “I know it looks bad”, I start,” but I have made great efforts to control my magic”, I add. I look at Verde. “He has progressed far in such a short time”, Verde offers. “Surely there must be leniency towards young supernaturals. At the incident you mentioned, mere months had passes before he gained his magic. And the nature of our bond puts a great strain on Rune….” I nod to what Verde is saying, until that last sentence. Dammit, play up my strength would you? Not my weaknesses.
The sword that Tam Linn holds in his right hand is pointed against the ground, but that could change at a whim.
I catch his eyes. They’re hard to look at, but I do it. “Please”, I beg. Tam Linn’s eyes become unfocused and with a pop he disappears. I blink. What was that?”
Hermann takes in the scene in the glade instantly; Rune is held in thrall by Tam Linn who seems to be using some form of glamor. He launches the first of the two shards at Tam Linn and sprints unseen around him.
Linn painstakingly drags his eyes from Rune to the shard flying at his face and takes a step back. It’s not enough; the shard connects with his right shoulder and his entire right side disintegrates in a shower of hexagonal flakes of light. The cat on his other shoulder leaps away and Hermann makes his move. He stabs forward and up, a move designed to disembowel a person, but Linn avoids that fate by skipping away at the last possible moment.
Linn makes an attempt to reform his arm, but the shards nullify magic and the only thing he gets for the effort is a burst of light that fractures. Hermann’s sonar picks up another person moving in the direction of the glade. He keeps his eyes on Linn, and his sonar on the unfamiliar person and Rune.
“Rune”, he calls without turning his head. “He’s fine”, Tam Linn says in a beautiful tenor-voice. “I’d like to hear that from the boy himself”, Hermann answers in a clipped voice. “I am here” Rune says. He doesn’t say that he is fine, but that he is mentally present enough to answer is good enough for now.
“What did you do to him?!” Tam Linn shrugs at Hermann’s irate demand. “As part of the mandate of Censure I examine troubling elements. Considering what happened at the Bonfire Ball, I thought he was just a lesser shapeshifter of some kind, but to think that a senior member of the Flight has split his soul and shared it with a mere human…. I wonder, does the rest of the Flight know? Hmm, the Council?”
“That is for me to answer”, Greyscale says, landing in the glade with a mighty jump. “And to answer it; no. The members of the Flight will be told at the next Festival. And for the Council? Well, what do I do in my spare-time is my business and my business alone”, Greyscale retorts.
Linn’s eyes narrow at Greyscale. They haven’t started to burn yet,though. “The creation of berserkers, even a greater one, can be construed as an attempt to subvert the authority of the Council”, he cautions. Greyscale laughs. “Rune is a berserker in the lightest sense of the word. Nobody who was actually alive during their time could confuse him with one”, he quips back, making a point of emphasising ‘alive’, a reminder that Tam Linn wasn’t alive when the original berserkers lived.
“Don’t… don’t… don’t fight”, Rune says before falling on his ass. Chock, whatever Tam Linn’s examination consisted of, it chocked him to the core, Hermann thinks.
The white cat jumps back on Tam Linn’s unwounded shoulder and with a burst of light his right side heals. Two minutes has passed since he was wounded with the shard of Zulfiqar, time Hermann has kept carefully track of. It’s the kind of information, he reckons, that could be useful in the future.
Tam Linn turns to move away, before stopping. “The first blow you struck me, Hermann Schwarts, son of Geber, I allowed because of your feelings.” His eyes start burn. “But strike me again and I will murder you in cold blood.” One moment he is there, the other he is gone.
Hermann sends out feelers through his sonar, but it is as if there is nothing to detect. “Greyscale?” Greyscale’s eyes shift, turning serpentine. He extends his now forked tongue and checks the air. “Slippery one, is he? I have got nothing”, he sums up.
Hermann kneels next to Rune, who, unbed hugs him. That by itself is telling. Rune isn’t a hugger. “I am fine”, Rune say. “I am fine, I am fine, I am fine”, he repeats like a broken record.