Harvest: Part 15

Amy shoved the spear into its eye. It sunk into the corner, deeper than any of her other strikes.

Though I couldn’t see it, I felt the air thicken with its being. Flashes of memories of faces that other people had loved or hated passed through my mind, followed by moments of terror and a vision of The Thing’s teeth.

The Thing tried to pull away, but Amy stepped forward, pushing the spear in further. It reached out its hand, grabbing the spear, but it did that about the same time that I shoved my sword into its other eye, pushing it as deep as I could and willing the flames to burn hotter.

More warmth flowed through me and flame burned the skull, starting from the inside out. Eyes, ears, and mouth blackened first, fire pouring out of the openings.

Amy kept her spear in at first, but pulled it out as seams of red appeared on its skull and the skin began to burn all at once.

Then the head became a burning skull, mouth open in a silent scream for a few seconds before the skull disintegrated, turning into sparks and ash.

Andronicus lay on the ground where the The Thing had stood. I couldn’t say with any confidence whether he was dead or alive. He had his own head at least.

The sparks floated away, but burned themselves out before they reached the grass.

As the last one burned out, I noticed that whatever I’d been feeling in the air was gone.

Knowing what I’d seen, I couldn’t be sure if that was its soul or the remains of the essences of all the beings that it had eaten. Some mixture of both seemed likely.

They’d deserved better.

“Well done,” Amothel changed from an eagle with golden flecked wings to whatever she was—elf or half-elf in a quick shapeshift that left my stomach queasy.

“We followed you, but had to protect a ward from vampires. They’d used their influence to compel mortals to attack the ward with a bulldozer.” She gave a brief, flat smile.

“We?” I asked.

“Myself and the Graffiti Knight as you call him here.” She glanced over at Amy. “You should tend to your friend. She doubtless has something to say before she dies.”

“Dies?” I stared at Amy. She’d sat down on the grass, holding herself upright with the spear. Her face, the part the helmet didn’t hide, had a gray tone.

“Dies,” Amy said. She said it without any fear that I could hear. “It happens to all of us, and I’m more than aware of what happens after—you’re reborn in the body of a younger, more naive relative.”

She shook her head. “I should have guessed how hard that thing could hit. You remember when absorbed their powers? It was amazing. They’re unstoppable.” She grinned, “But we stopped it and I think we might have stopped it forever this time. The Bloodmaiden has never had access to Lee—not that way.”

She coughed. Drops of blood flew from her mouth. One of them ran down her chin.

Vaughn walked across the grass, beginning to run when Amy had said “Dies.” It wasn’t much of a run. As tired as he was, it struck me as more of a quick stumbling.

He turned to Amothel. “You’re a wizard. Do something!”

Amothel shook her head. “Those wounds are beyond my ability.”

He said something else, but I missed it. I’d started to think about when we’d fought mind controlled heroes of Cabal descent at the Stapledon program. Amy had absorbed their powers, but she’d stopped before she killed them.

I stepped closer, grabbed the spear below the blade and moved it into my left bicep, not putting any serious force behind it. I wanted it to make me bleed, not make a hole that would need stitches.

It ignored my armor as if didn’t exist, moving through it without damaging it or even scratching it.

“Rocket!” Amy shouted as it bit into my skin.

“It’s okay,” I said. “Pull it out when you’re not in danger.”

But it was not okay. Though I could say how I knew it, the spear felt hungry, draining what? My soul? I couldn’t say. All I knew was that I felt colder. Any thoughts I might have had about pulling the spear away from my arm went away as everything around me began to dim. Not that there was much light to begin with, but my HUD had been doing a good job of amplifying what light there was.

I needed to brighten the screen because I could barely see it.

In the distance, Amy said, “I can’t stop it. I’m too hurt. That’s why I didn’t use it!”

Vaughn replied, but I couldn’t make out the words.

As everything turned black, another voice, this one calm and confident, said, “No.”

I knew it, but I couldn’t place it, but then warmth filled my body and I could see again. I’d fallen at some point, but hadn’t noticed. So, when I opened my eyes, the HUD showed me stars, all of them bright and burning light years away from me.

They were probably safer that way.

Much closer than even the nearest star, Lee stood above me, black hair in a ponytail and not holding a sword or even a knife for a change.

Amy and Vaughn stood next to him. Amy glowered at me.

I pushed myself off the grass to stand next to them. I felt great, better than I had before I fell.

Amy banged on my armored shoulder with her gauntlet. “What were you thinking? I could have killed you.”

I shrugged. “I didn’t want you to die.”

She let out a breath and shook her head.

13 thoughts on “Harvest: Part 15”

  1. As you might guess, we’re very nearly at the end of the current novel. I’ll be writing a short interlude before going into the next novel. I’m honestly not completely sure who the interlude is about right now, but I’m sure it will come to me.

    The next novel though? I know exactly where that’s going and you’ll have a pretty good idea too by the end of the current story.

    Also, please do vote Legion up at Top Web Fiction. It could use the help:
    http://topwebfiction.com/vote.php?for=the-legion-of-nothing

    1. My votes on interlude:
      – The LoN that remain at grand lake: Evolution of secondary/support characters from Control pov. (Maybe with a roster review excuse?)
      – Evil Nick from alternate dimension (your worst enemy will be alt-yourself?)
      – The bromancing bird themed villain story
      – Anyone genderswapped for a week. What you feel if you are of the opposite sex? Shanenigans happens!

  2. Well another great update(really have to stop typing that all the time)So Amy was in a very bad shape just as I thought, hell even worse and what Nick did for her was…well good, damn if she had gotten over whatever feelings she might have had for Legionverse!Nick this kind of thing must have rekindled them. Now I wonder exactly what the Spear took from Nick to help Amy, if it gave her some of the Leelike essence Nick has been rocking things might get even more interesting given she is the Bloodmaiden and I am pretty sure some of the former ones chilling in her head might have ideas how to use that. By the way, Lee really came at the end right or ddi I fail reading comprehension ?

    Also nice to see what the Magic Suicide Squad(or at least some of them) was up to during the fight, heh given what Nick just pulled I am sure Amothel now has a much better opinion of him than before, now I wonder how the her and the rest of the team will react to Lee being there(If I got the fact that he is there right of course).

    As for the interlude well I am curious about what happened to Alternate Daniel, I would love to see what he’s been through during everything that happened since the Omnisphere.

    Now on the more reasonable side I would love to see a Kid Biohack segment from the beginning of his career to the point he decides to go to Grand Lake, it might help to give a better insight on the character and his motivations.

  3. [“Rocket!” Amy shouted as it bit into my skin.]

    It amuses me that even at this moment, Amy remembers to use Nick’s code name rather than calling him Nick. Is that Stapledon training? It’s especially funny because she is “Amy” rather than “Bloodmaiden” in his head the whole time.

    1. Cat fight on Nick!
      Enter from south a presenter with a ’60 mic.
      p: “On this corner of the mud pit Bloodmaiden!”
      A light move from the background and center on Amy. The peoples roar.
      p: “Aaaaand in this other corner Night Cat!”
      Another light stop on Haley. The peoples roar again.
      p: “Remember, the fight if for Rocket’s girlfriend status!!!”. The arena seem to explode. Peoples shout to the contendent, some one have a big cardboard with -Rocket marry me! <3 <3- on neon characters.
      p wait for an excitement's lul and resume "The match's end when one is unable to stand. There are no other rules."

  4. What, no comments here about Vaughn? As he stumbled over, I was thinking ‘Oh no, Amy’s gonna die in his arms!’. I’m actually a little bit torn about her survival. As much I’d have hated to lose Amy as a character, that whole “reborn” thing along the Bloodmaiden line might have been interesting to see, particularly with her relationships here – and her being in a different plane too.

    Very reckless of Nick there – but probably the only way to get Lee to intervene, saving them both. (Haley should chide Nick for messing with forces he doesn’t understand. Amy smacking his arm is him getting off lightly. Even so, I wonder if Vaughn will wish he’d thought of it?) Not that I think Nick did that deliberately, because looks like some cosmic maneuvers were necessary, and that’s going to bite them. The way Nick’s father had suggested Lee appear that time they were battling by the freeway years ago, and Lee said that was a bad idea…

    Typo? “Though I could say how I knew it, the spear felt hungry” probably *couldn’t* say. Though the sentence almost right after is “I couldn’t say” too, so a slight rework may be needed.

    Interesting with Amothel et al, I thought maybe they’d heard from Reliquary or something and dashed off. The bulldozer is a more interesting issue than that! I guess they can teleport out of their own ward? Or the vampires were somehow influencing humans on the inside? Hmm.

    I also wonder, with the essence of the first Thing dissipated, does that automatically heal the rest of them? Or is there still rituals to perform? Lots of questions that will probably be answered in the upcoming parts… it’ll be interesting to see where the next novel goes too. (To Amy’s world? To hide the effects of what Lee did?)

    1. Um… I have no idea, so I’ve deleted the line. To judge from the fact that I published it after 2am, I’m going to guess that it’s because I was up late and not thinking straight when I wrote it.

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