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впервые опубликовано в:Destiny Fiction Producers
Изменено (Sullys201623): 6/9/2017 2:47:13 PM

The Journey Home, Part Twenty-Four: Ambush

Greetings, Guardians, here's part Twenty-Four of The Journey Home! Here's [url=]part Twenty-Three[/url] if you missed it, or, if you're looking for a different part, here's the[url=] table of contents. [/url]As usual, if you like it, give it a bump, and I'll get more out soon. Stay classy, Guardians! The villagers continued their trek through the mountains. It proved to be a relatively easy hike. The somewhat narrow path wove its way between the towering mountains, which rose up on either side of them like sentinels of a forgotten realm. Their snow-capped peaks reached into the clouds, the tips of the gray rocks lost in the mists. And ever in front of them was the Traveler. It was close enough for Alesha to make out some of its details now - several streaks like scars ran across its otherwise perfect surface. “What happened to it?” she asked. It was Erling’s ghost who responded this time. “No one really knows,” he said. “We believe, that, during its fight with the Darkness during the collapse, the Traveler was crippled. In its final moments, it created the ghosts - like me.” The little orb twirled around in the sky. “One day, maybe it’ll wake up. Or maybe it won’t. Either way, we’ll fight to keep the City safe.” “How much farther away is the City?” Yvonne asked, walking up to them. “Oh, another day or so,” Erling said. “Cutting through the mountains shaved at least a week off of our Travel Time.” Yvonne stared at him. “Do you think that your friend has brought my son back to City?” she asked. Erling chuckled. “If there’s anybody who could get your son home safe, it’s Johanna,” he said. “Once she sets her mind to something, there’s no stopping her.” Yvonne smiled. “That’s good,” she said. She closed her eyes. “I miss him so much. But, soon, we shall be together again. Soon, I shall see my -“
 Suddenly, there was a loud bang, and Alesha blinked. Something hot and sticky splattered her face. When she tried to wipe it off, her hand came away red. Alesha looked up. Yvonne was staring down at her, a confused expression on her face. Then, Alesha saw the hole in her left breast, and the red stained on her clothing. Yvonne collapsed to the ground. “Yvonne!” Sorenson shouted. He dropped his weapon, picked his wife up by the shoulders, and shook her. “Yvonne! Talk to me! Talk to me!” Erling looked around the pass, and cursed. “Bandits!” he shouted. Suddenly, the mountain pass erupted in hail of gunfire. Alesha screamed, and found herself being lifted off the ground. “I gotcha!” Uncle Tom said. He held her in his burly arms, and tucked her close. “Follow me!” Erling shouted. He ran down the pass. The villagers needed no second urging. They ran after Erling, gunfire all around them. Alesha saw Sorenson pick up Yvonne’s limp body, and run. Alesha watched as the villagers ran. A man appeared beside them - Haust, she remembered. He had mostly farmed potatoes and carrots in the village. His face seemed so vividly detailed - Alesha could pick out the individual hairs in his salt and pepper beard, and the individual beads of sweat running down his dirty face. Then suddenly, his head jerked back, and he was gone. Alesha squeezed her eyes shut tight. No, she though. No no no no no no no no no. Then, she took several deep breaths, and forced herself to open her eyes. Ahead of them, Alesha saw a man standing the side of a nearby mountain. In his hands, he held a metal tube - a rocket launcher, she realized. “Look out!” she shouted, pointing. Erling saw the man, and, without pausing in his stride, fired three shots with his scout rifle. Every bullet hit home. The man fell backwards, pulling the trigger on the launcher as he fell. The rocket collided with a nearby mountain, sending debris showering down below. “There!” Erling shouted. He turned towards a smaller canyon that jutted out of the pass. The villagers followed him into it. Soon, they were all safely tucked away in the crevice, which ended in a a deep box canyon. Erling and a few others made their way to the canyon entrance. The gunfire had had halted. “Think they’re still out there?” Oren whispered. Erling grabbed a rock, and threw it into the center of the pass. The mountains resounded with the sound of gunfire, and the rock exploded mid-air. Erling sighed, and shook his head. “Yeah,” he grumbled, “they’re still out there.” He shouldered his rifle, and walked towards the center of the box canyon. “I’m going up to the top of the canyon. Have some of your men follow me up in a few minutes. No matter what, we cannot, I repeat, we cannot, let these bastards get the high ground on us. Understand?” Oren nodded. “Yeah,” he said. “I understand.” Erling nodded with satisfaction. “Good.” He clapped Oren on the shoulder. “Someone help!” Sorenson shouted. Erling ran over to him. Alesha watched. Sorenson was kneeling over Yvonne. He looked like a wild animal that had been caught in a trap. “Somebody help! Please!” Erling knelt beside Sorenson, who looked up at him with a pleading expression that was almost child like in nature. “Please!” he said. “Help her!” Erling sighed, waved his hand over Yvonne’s face, and closed her eyes. “Wait,” Sorenson said. “What are you doing!” “The only thing I can do,” Erling said. “She’s dead.” Sorenson blinked, as though he hadn’t quite understood. “What?” Erling sighed. “I’m sorry,” he said. Sorenson shook his head. “No,” he mumbled, “No, no. Yvonne! Yvonne, honey, wake up, please wake up please. . .” His voice trailed away into nothingness as he held his wife’s broken body close to his chest. And then, something happened that Alesha had never expected to see. Sorenson was one of the biggest, strongest men in the village. His muscles came from a lifetime of manual labor, which included his work as a blacksmith, hammering ancient metal scrap into useful tools. He was also known for being stubborn as stone, and having something of a temper with those he disagreed with. However, today, Alesha watched this giant man break down and cry as something inside him broke. [url=]Part Twenty-Five: Negotiations[/url]

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