She had finally found him. Days of tracking and listening for terrible stories of a crazed man in a grey cloak led her to the western coasts of Offtopic. Errol was standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea. His back was facing her, and it was an all too familiar picture. It reminded Skye of when he had come to her one evening after breaking a promise. Only, the tables seemed to have turned, and something told her that they wouldn’t simply “make up” and have a peaceful discussion.
Her hand hovered over the radio on her belt. She could call for support with just the press of a button, just in case there would be a conflict. After a moment’s thought, she lowered her hand again. She couldn’t bring anyone else into this any more. She couldn’t let anyone else get hurt because of her mistakes. Besides, Errol would listen to her. He always did, and he was the same person then as he was before. She approached him almost soundlessly.
He turned around, and a surprised expression came over his face. He was indeed the same person, and yet he still looked so different compared to when he was younger.
“Skye,” he acknowledged at length, “you always liked to sneak up on people. How are you?”
Skye couldn’t hold herself back. She let her helmet, longbow, and backpack fall to the ground to wrap her arms around him. He didn’t hesitate to return her embrace, and for a brief second it felt like everything between them was as they should have been.
“I’m tired,” she replied truthfully, still holding tight onto him. “I’m so tired. What are you doing here?”
“Well, everything I need to complete my goal is in the laboratory. I’ve found someone with a ship who is willing to take me home. Have you changed your mind? It’s not too late, you know. And you can rest there for a while.”
Skye took a shaky breath at the mention of home. Ever since most of her memories returned, she had a longing for home. His offer was so tempting. Still, she reluctantly pulled away from him.
“No, I… I can’t do that. I have to talk to you. It doesn’t have to be this way.”
“Oh, I agree, it doesn’t have to. Open your eyes, Skye! You can make up for what you did, just help me get rid of the filth that killed my father! All of it, all the corruption our homeland has fallen into. This is the only way!”
“I wish I could fix everything, I really do, but I can’t do it your way! You’ve hurt so many innocent people, and the guilty you killed out of cold blood. That’s not what father would have wanted! He raised us better than that!”
Errol glared at her. “Father meant well. Unfortunately even he was blind to the corruption. I honestly was hoping you had still forgotten about me when that redheaded lass at the inn told me you had amnesia. That way you wouldn’t have to be in my way again.”
The discs on the back of his gloves glowed crimson, and a low buzzing reached Skye’s ears. Her heart skipped a beat at what was coming, and she slowly bent to reach for her helmet and bow. She wanted to deny it, but it was all too real. Tears began to trickle down her face.
“Don’t make me do this!”
“I never wanted it to come to this,” he said in a calm tone that made a chill run up Skye’s spine, “even when I realized you let him die. I hope you know that.”
“I didn’t mean to! It happened so fast, and there were too many of them!”
“After everything we’ve been through together. All I want is to burn the corruption, and in spite of what you did I offered for you to help me. Twice I offered . But I see how it is, and I can’t let you try to stop me.”
“Don’t make me do this, Errol,” she begged desperately. “Don’t make me do this! Not again! Please!”
Errol raised his hands, and hundreds of tiny beads—his “Atoms”—poured out from the pouches on his belt. They gathered together and launched at Skye like a wave against rock. They crashed into her and sent her tumbling onto the ground with a grunt. She barely had enough time to put on her helmet and scramble to the side before they could overcome her. If she let herself be surrounded, she could easily end up in the same position as the robbers Crowley told her about in the past. When she got to her feet, Errol did not relent his pursuing her with the Atoms. She struggled to avoid them, and even with her quick reflexes she felt them clawing at her legs furiously. Then the words of Blaze came to her mind: “[i]He isn’t great if you shock him, though.[/i]” That gave her an idea, though it would be a risk. She split her bow as she ran, and in the blink of an eye it transformed into her twin daggers. She adjusted her grip on them, and their blades pulsed with electricity. With a swift movement she turned to face the swarm and slashed at it. Upon contact with the beads, blue sparks bounced around them, and most of them dropped lifelessly. She looked to her brother. “I don’t want to fight you anymore,” she cried. “Please, listen to me!”
Lacking a response from his Atoms, Errol ignored Skye’s plea and gave a shout of frustration, pulling his pistol from its holster. However, she had already switched back to her bow with practiced speed, and an arrow knocked the weapon from his hand. She drew another arrow and released, aiming for the discs on one of his gloves. Suddenly, a small mechanical arm appeared from over Errol’s shoulder to project a blue shield of energy in front of him. The arrow bounced off, and the shield flickered away. He then took the offensive and charged at her. She raised her bow to help block against his attacks. Skye’s heart raced. He had beaten her plenty of times in duals unarmed, and in his fury his movements were faster and more difficult to deflect. It didn’t help she hadn’t given herself time to rest from her journey, and thus wasn’t at peak performance. She began to wonder if she would be able to win this battle, and as she panicked she left her face undefended. Errol grabbed the back of her helmet to force her head down onto his raised knee. She stumbled back in shock only to find him pursuing her again. A little disoriented by the blow, she concluded she had to temporarily retreat. She raised her vambraces up and knocked them together, and the cloaking technology in her armor caused her to blink out of sight. Errol paused and held out his hands, and his Atoms buzzed back to life. He threw his arms to the side, and as a result they shot out in the form of a wall over the area he assumed Skye had fled to. When they came in contact, she was flung away like a leaf in the wind. The impact was so hard that when she landed and everything came back into focus, she found that her armor was severely damaged on her right side. Then she became aware that she was in a vulnerable position, and it hurt to move. She grunted at the pain and tried reaching for her bow, yet Errol was quick to respond, and he pulled it away from her with his Atoms. They held it up in front of him.
To Skye’s horror Errol’s hands coiled into fists, and the Atoms enveloped over her bow with a sickening [i]crack[/i]. She gasped as the Atoms released the little pieces of what remained from her most prized possession. She tried to get up, but the soreness in her body made her fall to the ground once more. A realization came to her, and it filled her with dread. In her efforts to prevent herself from making a mistake, she only made another. She couldn’t deny it any longer; she needed help. It was offered to her so many times before, and she would possibly die at the hand of her best friend, her own brother, because she refused to swallow her pride and accept it sooner. Her trembling hand grabbed for the radio, then a firm glove snatched it out of her fingers. Errol took the little device, examined it, and tossed it far out of her reach. He then stooped in front of her, and she felt his Atoms crawl around her. She struggled against them, but was unable to break out of their hold. It suddenly became more difficult to breathe. Errol took her dented helmet and lifted it off her head, revealing her fearful and bruised face.
“Stop fighting,” he said. “It’s over. I promise I will be quick. Now rest.”
He straightened himself and raised his pistol, which he had picked up before he approached her. However, little did he know that in his carelessness of discarding Skye’s radio, it had already sent an distress signal as it bounced on a stone.
[spoiler]And here it is... here you can jump in and save the day. I posted this late but I really wanted to get it out there ASAP since I probably won’t be checking Offtopic next week. My only request is not to kill Errol (or Skye, for that matter).
Since this also a story, I am still, as always, welcome any criticisms![/spoiler]
Currently CLOSED. For those of you who joined, but we weren’t able to finish, let me know if you would like to continue once I get back (this Saturday).
The Young Wolf steped out of his jumpship. The recent distress call had led him to this forsaken place. His Arsenic Bite in his hands, he readied his arrow. As he watched the presumed execution unfold, he debated whether to go for the executor's head or weapon....
[i]A vaguely female figure in a long, black cloak that covered her walks into Errol's view. Her voice is flat and monotone, and green lights glow under her hood as she speaks.[/i]
"Troublesome business, looking into distress signals.
You wouldn't happen to be the source, would you?"
Blub crashes into the ground nearby, creating a cloud of dust. Once he gets to his feet he brightens himself to where his body can barely be made out.
“[b]YOU MUST BE ERROL! I DON’T THINK I LIKE YOU![/b]”
What happenstance was it that brought a ranger to this neck of the woods on this particular day? Perhaps it was fate. Perhaps it was Providence.
...Or perhaps it was a friend bard who had heard from a friend that her friend was I'm trouble. A friend of a friend of a friend, as it were.
Or perhaps it was all of them at once.
The ranger arrived as soon as he could, dashing through the wilds. As he ran he knocked a broadheaded arrow unto his bow. He came upon the sight of the felled Skye and her presumptive executioner and raised the bow level with his eyeline. His right thumb touched the side of his mouth as he drew back smooth and even.
In an instant he launched the arrow at the pistol, aiming to disarm Errol. In truth, he had little knowledge of what this situation was, but he could not let someone, whoever they be, be executed thusly. He said nothing but looked at Errol with mixed curiosity and wariness.
Steadily, he began to ready another arrow.
Hecate was walking along the cliffs when she spotted Skye. Hecate being Hecate, she climbed down and slowly made her way along the side of the cliff until she got behind Errol. When she climbed back up, she fires a tranquilizer dart from her pistol into his leg hopefully*
*the shadows burn a bright gold and red, and Loot steps out, in his suit and horns* ... So, looks like you didn't listen to my advice and tried to talk with him, what a shame, hello sir, I'd appreciate it if you'd stop murdering your faux sister...