Saturday, April 4, 2015

Once Three, Now One.

Pulling his lifeless blade from the dead Karsit's chest, the blood-drenched Ursano wiped the dirt and crust from his eyes. It was a small comfort to finally see the stars of the night sky past his swollen eyelids, but even this moment of peace failed to last. He bent over to embrace the corpse of his fallen comrade... his own brother.

"This was not to be our story. I now exist in ruin."

Ursano, though given no choice, had just executed the only family he had left. The sting of this unforgivable loss made his heart heavy. Ursano wept, having doubled over in pain. Drawing his brother's empty frame close, he choked back a pain that few men ever feel. In this moment, there was no coming back. No sooner had the warmth of Karsit's flesh started to fade did the grinding squelch of The Trephine crawl over the horizon. Clanking and fumbling across the ruins of Harpija's Ascent, it wormed over sand and stone like a skillful centipede. It's metallic shell cut a teal patina underneath the firmament. This was of no consequence to Urasano; he had already lost. There was no point in even trying to combat the creature hidden safely within the near impenetrable husk headed his way.

Slowing to a halt, The Trephine released a symmetrical series of gas jets in rapid succession all along its lanky structure. A hazy dome perched upon the right side of its beak suddenly brightened. An eerie translucent yellow glow peaked under the dome's opening. Steadily, this light grew bolder and more piercing as the dome raised. A figure of uneven stature shook forth, stomping to the ground.

"No peace for the living, no rest for the dead."

Without so much as the slightest pause for emphasis, the mongrel core-weaver Kropa shot forth from the confines of his ship. Placing each of his six sinewy legs down in furious repetition, the unexpectedly fast Kropa was no slouch. Drawing forth his own infamous blade, Turxis the Lesser, he launched into the air as a mighty phantom of old. His legs spread wide like the hours on a clock.

"And... it... is... done!"

Turxis the Lesser, which bore a name that proved to be a poor representation of its inherent endowment, plowed through Ursano's backside. A rushing surge of blood flew forth from the wound. The blade easily slipped past the rib cage, tore through one of Ursano's lungs, then jetted out his chest and into Karsit's remains. For a solitary flash beneath the heavens, the three former friends were connected as one. Ursano, still grieving for his brother, put up no resistance. His body fell limp against Karsit and enjoyed the full breadth of Kropa's assault. He could taste the blood swelling in his throat. There wasn't much time now. Soon, he would join his brother in oblivion.

"You are not long for this world, dear Ursano. Look at us. We have wrought a dire insolvency to this land, but you must swallow the greatest share of the guilt. Harpija's Ascent is no more. Karsit is no more. Soon, you shall be no more. And for what?"

That last question stuck as a barb in Ursano's quickly fading consciousness. It took everything he had to mumble what would prove to be his final words.

"For I loved thee like... no... other."

Exhaling one last time, Ursano slid forth and fell off Turxis the Lesser. There, under the gaze of a thousand million glimmers of hope, he came to rest on his brother Karsit. The blood in Ursano's body mixed with the pool that had formed beside his brother; their lifeforce was whole once more.

Placing his weapon upon his back, Kropa feverishly scanned the vicinity for an appropriate place to inter his two colleagues. Finding one along the banks of their once lustrous home, he placed Karsit and Ursano together for all time. A single stone, bearing a striking resemblance to a watchtower, came to rest on top of their eternal tomb. Not one to waste precious time, Kropa signaled to his ship.

"Trephine, we must depart. Engage Starjack."

Racing back to his preternatural caravan, Kropa took a bitter look at Harpija's Ascent. Odds were that he would never see it again. At least... not in his current form.

Kropa engaged his cockpit controls and entered in a new set of coordinates. As a dying prawn coiling against itself, the shifting stratiform wrapped into a near perfect orb. No sooner had it changed shape did it blast forth from the rubble, sliced through the collapsing atmosphere and vanished into darkness.

"Agonize not, Turxis. You shall savor the entrails of the mutinous Phaalora soon enough."

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