Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Day Nine-Hundred-Eleven: Divide...

As the battle raged, Doc hunted.

He was not one to enter the fray. He’d never really enjoyed large-scale conflicts, and when they broke out Doc preferred not to be on the front lines. He didn’t like to be anywhere near the lines, for that matter, but his lower rank and grudging devotion to the Non cause forced him to do what was necessary. There was also nowhere particularly safe he could put his tent during the fight in Rodentia, besides right in the middle of the Non, where it would be safe. So as he cast about, looking for Libby, he had to push past his own soldiers as they milled restlessly in the throes of action.

It was not difficult to find Libby. She kept appearing. But at the same time, she kept disappearing as well.

The first time Doc spotted her, she was standing behind one of the larger titan Non, staring up at the great beast with indulgent curiosity. The moment Doc yelled at her, however, she seemed to vanish, slipping behind the Non. Doc’s spindly legs carried him over to the Non - and then spotted Libby again some fifty feet away, standing amid a group of slimmer Non who weren’t paying her the least bit of attention. She smiled and crooked a finger, inviting Doc to follow.

Doc knew he shouldn’t. He knew it was a trap. This was stupid, and he was not. But rage - long unsatisfied, long denied, long festering - burst from his wicked heart, and he ignored logic. He followed, four arms raised and clasping, seeking to pick up his tormenter and tear her apart. She’d stolen his body and she would not get away with it.

Libby was almost caught once. Though she thought she was crafty, Doc was craftier. He knew she was driving him towards the edges of the battle - but he, too, was driving her, and when she reappeared between two clusters of Non, still smirking, she was three paces away from the enfolding, unnatural arms of Doc’s enforcer. Her smile vanished as two pulpy hands reached for her -

- but she slipped away, far too quickly, and said enforcer allowed himself a little smile.

Doc raged. He stabbed into the man’s mind, punishing him for his insolence, for daring to congratulate a foe, and the balding widow’s peak on the man’s forehead abruptly dipped as he doubled over in pain. Undead were immune to many types of damage, but Doc could still strike at the brain, oh yes, the precious, palpitating, ever-circulating organ that Doc had repurposed to serve as heart and mind both, simply because he could, because it was weird and strange and fun. He stabbed, and the man faltered, and when his head came back up it was with a submissive glare towards Doc.

Doc pointed. Libby was another forty feet away, in a clearing, near the edge of the Non vanguard. “GET HER YOU MORON!

The man tried. The man failed. His clumsy arms were not up to the task. Libby was too quick, and as Driscol lumbered after her - yes, Driscol, that was his name, although Doc preferred Freak, always Freak, even if he was only one third of that once-glorious whole - she slipped away, displaying a grace and speed most humans did not possess, should not possess. She seemed to slide into the shadow of a larger Non and vanish -

- and, a hundred feet away, clear of the battle, she stepped out from behind a tree and raised a middle finger in Doc’s direction. Then, turning, she sprinted off towards a hill.

Doc looked around. He was surrounded by his comrades here. He had no problems with safety. Even if the Imperium to the west suddenly started to break through, or if Dragomir and his band suddenly appeared from nowhere and assaulted the Non’s left flank, Doc would have plenty of time to return to the safety of his tent. He was secure here, and there was no reason to change that. None whatsoever.

Somewhere in the distance, between the Imperium and the Non, someone called out for a halt in hostilities. But Doc did not hear, and if he’d heard he would not have cared.

Determined to remain safe, ever safe, Doc called. He pulled on his puppets with his mind, calling a third of his beasts to his side, praising and beckoning Kara. They scrambled out of the battle lines to enthusiastically greet him, their wicked little smiles soothing to his mind as they curled up around his feet and licked at his innumerable legs, ever praising their father. Yes, he was their father, and he would make sure everything was all right for them.

The last of their number was also the greatest: a massive, shambling werewolf, with a huge hump for a back. Doc stroked her chin briefly, then pointed into the hills where Libby had disappeared. “Hunt. Bring her to me. Get her.” 

The gophers, the squirrels, the bears, the werewolves, the oozing masses, they surged forward at Doc’s decree, rushing out of the fray and into the hills on the edge of the battlefield. Doc watched them, grinning triumphantly, secure in the knowledge that he’d not only saved himself from danger, but he’d captured his prey. Everything was going to be just fine.

Just. Fine.

He was so secure in his win that Doc did not notice the large Non stepping up behind him.

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