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Planetouched - Chapter Eight (Revenge isn't so Sweet)

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The ranger, Bishop, held up his hand for silence,

“Something's not right.”

They had approached the outskirts of a small farming village, but there was no one to be seen.

“Where are all the people?” Maria asked in a whisper.

Bishop looked at her and smiled menacingly,

“I think we are in for an ambush...”

They had taken not two steps into the village before they were set upon, doors splintered off hinges as githyanki surged forward. Maria dodged a sword only to have an arrow pin her robes to the earth. She cursed as she struggled to rip it free before finally setting the hem of her clothes alight, stamping out the excess flame. They fought hard but there were few gith and it was not long before the creatures were part of the landscape.

“Nice little ambush they planned here,” commented the ranger, “Decent effort, sloppy execution, It might even have worked if I hadn't been here.”

The wizard glared at him, he had a high opinion of himself and she itched to bring him down a few notches.

“For your information, I have survived many gith ambushes better planned then this one so I wouldn't get too excited.”

He just laughed at her and she had to close her eyes and count to ten to stop herself from slapping him.

“He won't be here for long,” She consoled herself, “After we save Shandra he will be out of here, and so will I.”

She felt a little better, but knew there was still a long way to go.

“the left a large force in this village,” he continued, “Which means it'll be easier on us when we catch up to the others- as long as we catch up to them before they go to ground.”

“If their forces are divided then good,” she replied firmly, “But that means the remainder will travel faster, and the trail will be harder to follow.”

Bishop seemed impressed by her observation,

“Well now, aren't you a bright ray of hope?”

“Don't patronize me Bishop,” she snapped, “I'm not just a dumb brute you know.”

Casavir stepped in to try to diffuse things,

“She was merely pointing out the realities of the situation Bish-”

“I suggest you rein in that attitude of yours paladin,” the ranger practically spat the word, “What? You don't think our leader can speak for herself?”

Casavir squared his shoulders and clenched his jaw,

“It was not my intention to speak for her.”

“Yeah? Then don't, and maybe next time you'll sound convincing.”

“Can we please get on with it?” she asked, she did not feel like pulling apart two testosterone filled men once they started fighting, and as Grobnar was the only other present she didn't think he'd be able to help much.

“What I was going to say,” added Bishop, “Is that she is right. What's more, our friends won't be leaving an obvious trail this time, since they don't have the men to bait any more ambushes.”

It took them two days to find the entrance to the githyanki base, Maria prayed constantly that Shandra would be ok and that once again they would get out unscathed. As they entered the cave they were surrounded by gith, but none attacked.

“Zeearie has told us of your coming. Kalach-cha. She has sent me here to end you.”

The voice was raspy and high pitched but the girl recognised its owner – it was the Gith Mage that had lead the attack on West Harbour. Rage filled her and the sweet delight that she would finally get revenge for her fallen friend overrode her common sense.

“You bastard, I'll make you pay for Amie's death! You'll wish your precious Zeearie was here to save you!”

The Mage chuckled.

“Slay the Kalach-cha! For Zeearie!”

The sentiment was echoed throughout the cavern but Maria wasn't paying attention, her eyes were focused on her foe- determined not to let him escape for a third time.

She ran straight at the gith, dodging as he sent arcane missiles at her. She pulled up two feet in front of him, her fingers crackling with the energy of lightning. They threw their magics at the same moment, the fire arrow and lighting bolt meeting mid air with a thunderous crack before dissapating with a hiss.

She growled in frustration as he matched her blow for blow. She realised that things had been easy for her up until now, she not not met anyone who came close to her in power and now, this foe might just out magic her.

The many days of not sleeping and worrying about Shandra were taking their toll on her.

Once again she called a lightning bolt, but it was weak and fizzled out at her fingertips.

She regarded her hands, shocked. She had never before depleted her power to such an extent and it scared her.

Without warning the gith kicked her in the stomach knocking the breath out of her, it cackled in glee as she doubled over from the pain. The Mage approached her, jerking back her head by her hair and exposing her throat.

“This is it,” She thought, “I'm sorry Amie...”

Suddenly something thudded into the gith's chest, it looked down in surprise as in quick succession four more projectiles followed the first. The gith let go of her hair and she looked up to see Bishop 10 feet away watching her with an unreadable expression.

“Finish it.”

She turned and stood, facing the Mage who had by now recovered his bearings and was glaring at her evilly.

“It's over,” She whispered.

The wind started to whip at her face and soon became a gale, she realised that the wind was not alone in its howling. The culmination of her rage and despair channelled itself into a single spell and when she finally collapsed exhausted, all that was left of the gith was a smoking pile of ashes and the stench of cooked flesh.

She sat numbly for a few minutes before realising that the pain was still present and it filled her with regret and horror.

When she finally looked up her three companions were watching her with mixed expressions. She did not want to see their pity and so looked away in resignation. She got shakily to her feet and proceeded further into the gith base, not caring if they chose not to follow.

All three did.

Planetouched Chapter 8 - Revene isn't so sweet © slydfox

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