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Planetouched - Chapter Nine (Broken Hopes)

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As they entered the last doorway at the end of the hall it slammed behind them with a heavy thud. They were trapped in a room full of gith, but at least they had found Shandra. In the middle of the room a magical barrier surrounded another gith, but this one was different. It had an air of authority and when it spoke Maria realised it was the first female gith she had ever encountered.

“How long did you think you could escape us? You have stolen our shards, defiled them with your touch, and now you will die Kalach-cha!”

So, this must be the Zeearie the gith were always whispering about...

She didn't look so tough.

“You have kidnapped Shandra against her will, and you will answer for that crime.”

The gith laughed at her.

“know that you are in no position to demand anything from me, you will answer for your crimes...along with this frail thing that carries the last of the Jerro blood.”

Maria growled in frustration,

“What crimes? I haven't done anything!”

Zeearie seemed surprised,

“You don't know your crimes? Very well let me recount them...”

Her tone changed and she became both threatening and authorative at once,

“You have slaughtered many of our people, and you hold in your possession relics sacred to the githyanki. A silver sword of our people, fragments of it.”

The barrier around her changed to a vibrant red and began to pulse, the gith seemed to gather closer around them and the wizrds pulse quickened.

“Now you will face your punishment Kalach-cha. It is why your path brought you here...and why the shards you carry will soon be added to mine.”

Maria felt an excruciating pain in her chest, as though her heart were being ripped out. Her body rose into the air and the shards she held flew towards the magical barrier, creating a small ripple as they passed through.

“Odd,” commented Zeearie, “I have all the ones you carry, yet it seems you still possess one.”

The burn in her chest intensified as she gasped for air as black dots clouded her vision. As suddenly as the pain had started it stopped and she landed unceremoniously on the hard floor, as she gulped for air Casavir helped her to stand.

“You have a piece of the sword inside of you.”

Maria froze and she felt as though her heart had been stopped completely.

“I shall remove it from force!”

Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. Someone was yelling at her and then she was pushed roughly out of the way as the gith converged on them. She was able to regain her bearings enough to send out short bursts of power, but she wasn't really aiming and her power was still drained from the fight with the Mage.

It wasn't until Casavir called to her that she realised that the only gith left standing was Zeearie. The gith eyed her with contempt and disgust as she approached and spat at her feet.

“You think this is over? You are wrong Kalach-cha. And I hope the pain you have brought here is revisted upon you a thousandfold.”

In that moment the gith did not realise that her words rang true, for in having a shard inside of her, there was no chance now for Maria to return to West Harbour and continue on with her life.

“Evil wakes Kalach-cha, and in killing me you now stand alone against what comes. An ancient enemy, one that has existed for millenia comes for you. You have already felt the effects of his presence and he will only grow stronger with time.”

Zeearie leered at her maliciously, revelling in her damning words.

“This enemy, this King of Shadows...If he succeeds in his plans your civilisation will become dust, and all life will be consumed by darkness.”

The gith laughed long and hard before Bishop planted an arrow in her throat. As the laughter turned to dying gurgles Maria had to take a deep breath and steel herself. Remembering why they were there she freed Shandra from the cage that held her.

Everyone was watching her cautiously, as though she were a cornered animal about to attack.

It saddened and hurt her that they might be scared of her but then she shook her head.

Why should she care? They had volunteered to come along, she had never asked for anyone's help.

She sighed and rubbed her eyes, depleted physically and mentally.

“So,” she said, “What now?”

Planetouched Chapter 9 - Broken Hopes © slydfox

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