Thursday, July 9, 2015

Day Eight-Eighty-Four: Locomotion

It was not slow. It was, in fact, very quick. Though Logan was not spared pain in the process.

Blood dribbling freely down his legs, Logan gasped. He’d never felt such exquisite agony in his lower extremities before. More, though, he’d never been so thoroughly robbed of locomotion, and in its own way that was more torturous than the nails biting his flesh. He yearned, instantly, for the ability to run, to leap, to fly as he’d ever flown. He realized that what he did was flying, perhaps for the first time, and in that moment of restrained clarity he suddenly felt sorry for the rest of the world. They didn’t know what it was like to be him.

Panting laughter, Kierkegaard twitched each of his fingers. It was a small, almost gentle motion, but even the slightest gesture from the penguin tore into Logan’s leg muscles. The prince screamed freely, clutching at his thighs, trying in vain to free them from Kierkegaard’s grasp. He was swift, not strong, and no human - save perhaps Eve and Traveller - stood a chance of overpowering Kierkegaard anyway. 

“You… scream well, y’little brat,” Kierkegaard hissed, the poison flowing through his skin causing him just as much pain - though he was better tempered, more capable of ignoring the waves of itchy heat. “I… wanna… hear… more…”

Kierkegaard twitched again. Logan tried to hold back his yells, but he only succeeded in biting his tongue so hard that he drew blood. Copper flooded his mouth, and his head filled with haze. He stood on the brink of unconsciousness, begging to be plunged into the black depths. There was no more hurt in the depths. There was only bliss.

But Logan was not drawn into the depths he wanted. He was, instead, pulled into the ground.

Logan did not realize his legs were sinking until he was up to his knees in dirt. Yet the dirt did not touch him, did not so much as soil his pants, as it was pouring in around him, slipping into the widening portal Kierkegaard had created beneath Logan. Some stupid part of Logan’s brain felt thankful for this, because his mother always scolded him when he messed up his pants. He was supposed to keep them nice and tidy.

Always gotta be tidy in case some dumb noble shows up lookin’ for a spectacle, Logan thought, quivering, eyesight going in and out in spasmodic waves. Always gotta be tidy. Can’t have messy pants. Or shirt. Or cravat. Or cape. Or crown.

“I can’t… wait… to hear you squeal, little boy,” Kierkegaard rasped, voice almost drowned out by the sound of cannon fire in the not-too-distance. “It’s gonna… be… so… sweeeee - “

Kierkegaard couldn’t finish the sentence. A fresh cannon blast, much closer this time, swallowed his words - and the cannonball itself blasted through his left shoulder. Kierkegaard yowled and straightened, glaring at the spatter of green-and-black ooze creeping out of the sizeable wound. His left arm slumped, and three of the fingers fell away from Logan’s legs, dragged back into the abyss of his personal codespace.

WHO THE… FUCK…?” Kierkegaard roared, raising his head to the skies. “WHO - “

Another cannon blast. This Kierkegaard caught in time, triggering a portal in front of his face to send the ball flying harmlessly into codespace. The penguin craned his head - 

- and immediately caught sight of the airship hovering nearby. It looked rickety, but its cannons seemed to be working just fine - and three of them on the port side were aimed right at him. Three more reports, three more cannonballs, one more portal to stop them all.

LET GO… LET GO OF… MY SON, YOU FREAK!” A voice echoed down from the airship, tinny over the craft’s crude loudspeaker. “I’LL BLOW YOUR… YOUR… YOUR FUCKING… HEAD… RIGHT OFF…”

Kierkegaard grimaced. He recognized the voice, and yelled back the loudest response he could manage. “‘ZAT… YOU, JEFFO? SHOULDA KNOWN… YOU’D BE… HIDING! ALWAYS THE… BRAVE… BRAVE ONE, Y’WERE!”

The cannons bellowed again. His vision still hazy from the poison, Kierkegaard tracked all three shots - but only managed to catch two. The third slammed into his chest, leaving a huge indent in the skin. Kierkegaard woofed as the sphere rebounded off of his rubbery hide, the air knocked out of his lungs. It didn’t penetrate - his skin was incredibly thick there - but the pain… Kierkegaard was struggling to stay awake…

LET HIM GO!” Jeffrey repeated, the quaver in his voice less pronounced now that he’d landed a direct hit. “OR WE’VE GOT MORE FOR YOU!

Green eyes glinting dangerously, Kierkegaard coughed up a thick stream of blood and dropped his beak to the ground. The indent in his chest was slow to reform properly, and the effort of repairing both it and the hole in his shoulder was taxing Kierkegaard to his limit. He was in a bad situation, a really bad situation, and it would take a more-or-less full retreat to escape. No more fighting today for his imperial penguin majesty. And if Kierkegaard went, his army would have to follow. Kierkegaard could admit defeat, of course, but…

But maybe I can do one last nasty thing ‘fore I go.

Kierkegaard couldn’t speak, so he weakly raised his free hand in a gesture of defeat. Moving slowly, he loosened his grip on Logan’s legs, preparing to expel the prince and shunt the portal surrounding his calves over. It was the best way to flee the airship, and he could do it instantly… though it would be his final teleportation for the day. Wouldn’t get him too far away, either.

But it would be far enough. Far enough that Kierkegaard could escape repercussion.


Kierkegaard waved again. His grip on Logan’s legs gave way, and he gingerly extracted his fingernails from Logan’s skin. Grunting, the youth buckled, slumping forward. He was obviously unconscious, the pain too much for his fragile human senses. Kierkegaard decided he might as well end the fight for the kid. He’d fought well… and warriors always deserved battle scars.

Kierkegaard closed the portal enveloping Logan’s calves. In doing so, he severed Logan’s legs at the knees. And as the prince hit the dirt face-first, before the airship could open fire again, Kierkegaard sank into the ground.

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