Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Day Eight-Twenty-Two: Decisions, decisions

“She’s trying to burn the city down,” Nagi said to herself, awed enough that she hadn’t bothered to hide while she watched. “The crazy wench is trying to burn down the whole damned city.

Watching the distant blonde-haired woman dash through the streets with torch in hand - though she couldn’t tell exactly who it was, Nagi had a pretty good idea it was Logan’s mother - the half-snake craned her tail to follow the chase. Daena was leading the massive pack of werewolves from one house to another, touching her torch to any exposed wood that she could find. The houses weren’t going up in any great hurry, but she’d managed to light several fires nevertheless…

… and the werewolves weren’t trying to put any of them out. On the contrary, the massive mob of beasts on Daena’s tail, struggling to move through the streets, were fixated entirely on bringing Daena down.

Nagi bit her lip. She’d been watching Daena’s flight through Foregone for almost twenty minutes, now, springing from building to building to follow the chase as best she could. She’d watched Daena expertly bring a portcullis down with a twisting leap and a flick of her legs, and given how Daena was picking her way through the city, Nagi figured that she must be headed for the eastern gate next. For all Nagi knew, it was the only gate still open.

Nagi had, on many occasions, contemplated trying to go over the walls. The gates were typically watched by werewolves - not so much as guards than as tenants, as if the distinction was enormous under these circumstances - and so made poor escape routes for anyone slower than a werewolf. The walls, by contrast, were seldom frequented by werewolves…

… but at their lowest point, from what Nagi could tell, they were at least thirty feet tall. More, depending on where you went. Nagi would be lucky if she could survive such a fall, let alone remain spry enough upon landing to be fit for travel. She was barely spry enough after months of poor eating to jump from one building to another, let alone drop thirty feet straight down.

But this is your only chance, Nagi reasoned. You won’t get a better one than now. ’n hell, there’s snow. Might be a little melty these days, but it’s snow. You stand a good chance of… not… breaking anything.

Far below and beyond Nagi’s perch, Daena just barely managed to avoid the jaws of a particularly large and portly werewolf as it sailed by her head. It grabbed one of her whipping pigtails as it passed, wrenched her neck back, but she performed a neat spinning kick that forced the beast to release her. 

I could try for the gate instead, Nagi thought, still watching. Hell, maybe she hasn’t gotten to the second one yet. Maybe I’ve got lotsa time. I could just slither right through, neat as you please, ’n leave her to distract ‘em.

Daena’s legs flew up in the neatest midair split Nagi had ever seen, kicking two werewolves out of her way as they flew out of adjoining buildings. A third jumped at her from the front, and it very nearly tore the torch from her grip as it went for her neck. Daena shoved the torch full in the werewolf’s face, kicked it aside, and landed none-too-gracefully in a heap of snow. Her legs kicked the snow away and sent her careening through the streets again…

… but her torch had been extinguished.

I could find a rope and go over the walls. Nagi rubbed the side of her face, shivering a little. She could handle the cold in the desert, but the winter weather was something else. It’d be easy. Hell, I bet I’ve got one back at the inn. Wouldn’t take but a minute.

Daena turned away from her circuitous route towards the eastern gate, heading for the west side of Foregone. There the fires that hadn’t spread elsewhere in the city still burned. No doubt that was where Daena had collected her first impromptu torch.

Yep. I’ve got a rope that would do really nicely.

Daena almost tripped over a fallen beam that was half-buried in the snow. Her relentless legs sheared through it instead, sending splinters into the air - and right into her face. Nagi was too far away to see what had happened, but the way Daena’s hands went up to her cheeks…

I thought you were done with that lot, Nagi’s brain commented wryly. What happened to the solo gig, eh, ol’ girl?

“Shit,” Nagi muttered. She began to spring from building to building, following Daena as best she could.

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