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впервые опубликовано в:Destiny Fiction Producers
Изменено (Sullys201623): 6/3/2017 6:26:06 PM

The Journey Home, Part Twenty-Two: Baron's Vow

Greetings, Guardians, here's part twenty-two of the Journey Home! Here's[url=] part twenty-one [/url]if you missed it, or, if you're looking for a different part, here's the [url=]table of contents. [/url]Stay classy, Guardians! Alesha watched as the Fallen advanced into the cave. She held her breath, as did the other villagers. The Fallen went a few feet into the cave. One of them sniffed the air. Alesha closed her eyes. Please don’t see us, she thought, Please don’t see us. Fortunately, the Fallen didn’t appear to notice anything. They began to turn around, and walk out of the cave. Suddenly, Oren let out a war cry, and began firing at the Fallen. “No!” Erling shouted, but he was too late. The other villagers joined in, and the two Fallen fell in a storm of bullets. “Go, go, go!” Oren shouted. “Get out of the cave!” The villagers shouted, and charged forwards. Cursing, Erling followed them. The villagers reached the entrance, and fired at the Fallen. The Captain snarled and jumped at them, Shock blades in hand. Erling tackled him mid-air, and both of them went sprawling on the ground. The remaining Fallen retaliated, firing their weapons at the villagers, but the villagers quickly overwhelmed them. Two of the Fallen - a vandal and a dreg, hopped on their pikes, and drove into the forest. Alesha watched as Erling struggled with the Captain. The Captain swiped at Erling with one of his free knives, tearing through his armor and grazing his side. Erling grabbed the hand, and, before the Captain could react, plunged the shock blade into his face. The Captain stopped moving. Erling didn’t waste a second. He hopped to his feet, and pulled the rocket launcher off his back. He fired off a rocket at one of the fleeing pikes, and then immediately popped another shell into launcher, and fired at the other pike. The first pike exploded, sending its driver flying. The rocket chased the remaining pike into the woods, and both veered out of sight. Alesha heard an explosion a moment later. The villagers cheered, and began slapping each other on the back. Erling took off his helmet, and threw it to the ground. Scowling, he walked over to Oren. “What the hell was that!” he thundered. Oren bristled. “I was just defending my people!” he said. “Those Fallen could’ve killed us!”
 “But they still might get us killed!” Erling shouted. Oren frowned. “What do you mean?” he asked. “They’re all dead.” Erling’s scowl deepened. “That was a scout force,” he said. “They went ahead to check if it was okay for their army to pass through this area. Now, what are they going to think when their scouts don’t come back?” Oren looked confused. “What?” “They’re going to redouble their speed,” Erling said. “They will come for us, they will find us, and if we don’t get to the City soon, they will kill us.” Erling grimaced, and grasped his wounded side. Then, he bent down, and picked up his helmet. “Move out!” he shouted. “Now!” Baron Tyksis walked alongside the Walker. Most Barons would’ve chosen to remain in their skiffs, safely away from the danger, but Tyksis was no ordinary Baron. He preferred being out in the open, where he had a clear view of the terrain in front of him, and the ability to keep an eye on his subordinates. Better to be shot in the front than stabbed in the back. The Baron’s many battle scars were a testament to both his experience on the battlefield and his skill as a warrior. His reputation as a fighter was only matched by his brutality. The Baron did not believe in mercy. A vandal approached him, and kneeled down. “Baron Tyksis,” he said. “One of the scouts from the patrol you sent out has returned.” The Baron frowned. “Just one?” The vandal shrugged his shoulders - the Fallen signal for yes. The Baron growled. “Bring him to me.” The vandal disappeared. He returned, with a single dreg in tow. The dreg bore the colors of the House of Devils. The dreg clasped its hands together and bowed. Tyksis did not return the gesture. “Who are you?” he asked. “Perkis,” the dreg replied. Tyksis nodded. “You went out on patrol with my nest-mate this morning. Yes?” Perkis nodded. “Yes,” he said. “I am the sole survivor.” Tyksis tensed up. “How is this possible?” He was not sad to hear that his brother was dead. However, he was angered by the news. Kevik had been a strong leader, and a valuable tactician. It was a great loss. “We were ambushed,” Perkis replied. “Humans, hiding in a cave. We’d stopped to. . . investigate it. Then, they opened fire.” Hiding in the earth like the thieving rodents they are, Tyksis thought. “There was a Guardian with them,” Perkis replied. “He is the one who killed your nest-mate - tackled him to the ground.” That information caught Tyksis off-guard. “A Guardian,” he said. “Are you sure?” Perkis shrugged his shoulders. Tyksis nodded. “Tell me then,” he said. “How did you survive this assault?” “Me and one of my companions jumped onto our pikes,” Perkis replied. “I was able to escape. My companion was . . . less fortunate.” Tyksis nodded. “You fled.” Perkis blinked. He suddenly looked very afraid. As he should. “I - I thought best to report back to you immediately.” “You fled.” Tyksis stood up. “Like the coward you are.” The dreg attempted to run, but Tyksis grabbed him, holding him with one of his arms. He dragged the struggling dreg away, and leapt on top of one of the nearby Walkers. “Halt!” he bellowed. The column of Fallen stopped. Tyksis looked around. “This dreg abandoned his comrades,” he said. “Instead of fighting the enemy like a true Eliksni, he abandoned them to their dooms!” He yanked a shock blade from its sheath, and slit the dreg’s throat. Ether bursted out of his armor, causing the air to flash white. “Let this be a lesson to you all!” Tyksis bellowed. “Weakness shall have no place in my army!” He threw the body down to the ground, and leapt off the walker. After a moment, the two columns resumed their march. Piksis, the Devil Baron, walked up to Tyksis, scowling. “If I may have a word, Baron,” she said. Tyksis grunted, but otherwise, did not acknowledge her. Piksis ignored the obvious disrespect, and turned towards him. “May I speak freely, Baron?” “All may speak freely around me, Piksis,” Tyksis said, not bothering to use the honorary term “Baron.” “They need only be aware of the consequences.” Piksis’s scowl deepened, but she continued. “That was poorly handled.” Tyksis stopped walking. He paused. “Since you are technically my equal in rank, and because I wish to continue our alliance, I will refrain from killing you, and will allow you to finish your point.” Piksis nodded. “You know there are already tensions between the houses. And you just murdered one of my men in cold blood!” “Executed,” Tyksis corrected. “And he was my man, even though he bore your colors. “However,” Tyksis continued, “I see your point. The death of a Devil by my hands will cause undue tension.” Piksis looked relieved. “Thank you,” she said. Tyksis looked over at a nearby dreg, sporting King colors. “You!” he barked. “Come over here!” The dreg obediently ran over to Tyksis, and kneeled down, placing its shock pistols in the dirt. Without so much as a moment’s hesitation, Tyksis grabbed one of the pistols, and shot the dreg in the head. He looked over at Piksis. “That should balance the scales.” He began to walk away. “Damn you, Tyksis!” Piksis shouted. Tyksis turned towards her. The Baron was obviously highly agitated. “Do you get such pleasure from murdering your own kind?” Tyksis’s features hardened. “I take no pleasure in killing my fellow Eliksni,” he said. “Then why!” Piksis shouted. Tyksis growled. “Because if the Eliksni are to survive, we must become strong,” he said. “If the Eliksni are to reclaim the Great Machine, then we must snuff out even the faintest hint of weakness - the vaguest threat of discord.” He walked up to Piksis. “I do what I must do to ensure the survival of our people.” He pointed at the fresh corpse. “And if that means that dregs like him must die. . .” He shook his head. “So be it.” And with that, he resumed his march. “Double the pace!” he shouted. “We march through the night!” His blue eyes stared straight ahead. “This Guardian will pay. Him, and all his companions.” Kelis opened her eyes, and groaned. She pushed herself off the ground, and stood to her feet. The remains of her pike were scattered across the forest floor, and one of her arms hung limp at her side. Grimacing, the Vandal pushed the arm back into it’s socket. She screeched with pain, and she heard a distinctive pop. However, she quickly regained full use of her arm. Kelis quickly checked out her armor. Most of it was still intact, but her ether supply was dangerously low. The Vandal limped away from the wreck. She soon found herself in the area where they’d been ambushed by the humans. Most of her companions lay dead on the ground, including Kevik. She snorted, and kicked the dead captain. Good riddance. She quickly salvaged all the ether she could from the bodies, but she knew it would only last so long. A servitor, she thought. I need a servitor. She hauled herself onto a pike, and sped off into the forest. [url=]Part Twenty-Three: End in Sight[/url]

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