27 February 2010

Leth

Title: Leth
Author: Silver Ink
Writing: Romance
Word Count: 2867

She collapsed in his arms, exhausted from everything and he let her stay that way, resting with her head on his chest and her arms around his neck.

Not thinking, he brushed a bit of her hair aside and pressed his nose against the back of her neck, inhaling the sweet smell.

Shoot, What are you doing? He cursed mentally, breaking away suddenly.  But he realized the truth he’d been trying to avoid. He loved her. So he relaxed and slept himself, hoping she wouldn’t kill him for doing so.
---

Erin awoke slowly, still drowsy, to find herself laying against someone. Dennis? she thought, recognizing his clothes. Moving herself off him, she examined his sleeping form, butterflies fluttering in her stomach and heart. The events of last night rushed back to her and she recalled collapsing into him, too worn out to do anything else.  He let me? And he didn’t push me away… she smiled softly and stroked his hair, waking him.

Still alive… he thought looking up at her. Oh yea…yesterday I decided to fall asleep with a dark lord’s apprentice. Genius.

“Feeling better?” he asked succinctly, sitting up and ignoring the obvious question of why he wasn’t dead yet.

She stared into his eyes and didn’t answer.  He took it as an affirmation and swung off the bed, heading for the cockpit of the Graced Lies. Before he left the door though, he turned back to Erin, who was watching him silently. In a few strides he crossed over to her and held her for a moment longer. “We’re going back to Carcanda, where you’re meeting with the Emperor,” he muttered close to her ear, then released her and headed out.
---

“You won’t be caught here?”

He nodded, landing in a discreet location in a cave near a lake. “Your meeting isn’t until tomorrow afternoon, though.”

“Oh?”

Another nod.

“…ok. I’m going swimming,” she declared and pulled off her shirt, walking off. 

He let her go, leaning back in the seat and closing his eyes. Suddenly he leapt up and chased after her—“ERIN! Wait, you can’t go swimming—there’s giant…man-eating fish…”he finished, as she dived in, most of her clothes abandoned in a heap by the ship.

Without another thought, he ran down the rocky path and leapt in after her. The water stung his eyes, but after a few blinks, small magical shields stretched between them and the environment. Immediately identifying Erin’s shape, he sped after her,

Erin was oblivious to all else, letting down her guard for once. I hate this, why can’t I just tell him? She swam slowly, relishing the feel of the cold water on her skin and pondering how to express her sentiments. Finally, in need of air, she kicked upwards, only not to move anywhere. She looked down, noticed a strange seaweed had wrapped itself around her leg, and leaned down to release it, but it was fastened tight. She barraged the plant with a stream of energy bolts before it tore and released her. As she jerked her leg back though, blood flowed from a new wound and a stinging sensation gripped her.

Poison! She identified, wasting another moment of breath removing the poison from her blood by sending a crackle of electric energy at the wound. Poison eliminated but blood still flowing, she pulled the water around her in a desperate attempt to reach air. 


Breaking the surface and gasping for breath, she identified a dark figure in the water below her, a giant fish pinpointing her leg. She gathered her magic and struck him mercilessly, letting the energy pulse through the water to strike him. That, my dear fish- friend, is what you get for messing with a Leth, a warrior of the energy blade . After a short exchange, the fish sunk back into the depths, looking for another angle to attack. Her head bobbing on the water and her hand touching the lake wall, Erin looked about for more attackers.

Out of the blue—or rather green-blue of the lake—, the wall of the lake pulled her under the water and trapped her in a layer of rock and mud. Unable to move, she summoned the energy around her and repulsed it out, trying to free herself, but the wall would not crumble. Abruptly the wall to her left exploded and a hand grasped her right shoulder, pulling her from the wall. Choking mud, the wall released her and she fell for the second time into Dennis. Wrapping his free arm around her bare waist, he dragged her to the surface and leapt out, deftly pulling her out as well.

Two well-aimed shots frightened the giant fish back into the water and left the cave peacefully silent. Not stopping, he tore a part of his shirt and wrapped it around her bleeding ankle, careful not to look upon the her scantly covered body.

She sat up, watching him. “Do you like me?” she asked directly, the curiosity in her heart greater than the pain in her ankle.

“No,” he replied, emotionless as ever, and continued to bind the wound.

You hear? He doesn’t like you, he never did. He’s just been doing his duty, being a good person. He. Doesn’t. Care.

Finished, he picked up his gun and turned back to the ship quickly, so she wouldn’t see remorse consume him.
--- 

The night passed uneventfully at the Graced Lies.

You lied to her. You lied. A straight, utter lie. It was the perfect opportunity, a perfect moment, and you couldn’t tell her the truth. You blasted moron. You lied to her. You lied. It’d serve you right if she’d  killed you then and there. You let her sleep with you—although it was chaste—and then you tell her you don’t like her. You’re a liar, Dennis Runth, a good-for-nothing liar.

He dropped his head into his hands, battling the voices within.

I couldn’t tell her the truth. She’s about to become—or at least she has requested to be— the Dark Emperor’s apprentice and he would kill her if he found out…He’d allow physical intimacy, but any kind of emotional attachment would be seen as dangerous in her position. She needs to focus, to forget me. Arh!

The guilt ate away at him, and the voices continued, echoing in his head. You could have pretended you didn’t hear—that would be preposterous, she said it perfectly clearly. But a flat-out lie? Oh, what’s better, what’s more ridiculous, how can you love her? How can you do that to her in the first place? She’s a beautiful, powerful warrior, and you’re just her pilot, a servant.

…or maybe, she didn’t care about your opinion of her either way. 

A knock on the door and its subsequent opening caused him to snap his head up at the intruder—Erin, dressed loosely in a nightgown. Involuntarily, his  eyes absorbed the curves of her body as she crossed over to take his hands into hers.

“Why aren’t you asleep?” he asked, forcing a scornful tone to his voice.

Ignoring this, as she had warm clothes after she took a shower, and her broken heart when she had decided to come over to investigate the negative aura from his room, she murmured “What’s wrong?”

Everything, and you’re making it worse, walking in here looking insanely beautiful, he thought, biting back the shiver of excitement she sent through him and shook his head simply.

He wants you out, you see? Go away, to sleep, leave him alone. Just one more night and he’s done with you forever. That’s what he means. Get. Out. She stood up and left desolately, leaving him more distraught than ever. Half of her wanted to spin around in anger and tell him to stop feeling miserably if nothing was amiss and the other half was too sullen, too despondent, to say such.
---

The day has come. Today you will either become the dark emperor’s apprentice, or remain a Leth. Erin fastened her belt around her robes and opened the ship’s landing platform. She turned around shyly.

“Well, I suppose this is goodbye…if all goes as plans, you’ll never have to see me again.”


“Unless the patrols catch me.”

“Which they won’t.”

He shrugged. She turned away and hopped to the center of the platform, her heartstrings tearing with every second. I have to forget about him. The Emperor awaits me.

“Good luck.” I love you.
---

Lord Miori quietly explained Erin’s identity to the Dark Emperor, who was standing on his raised platform, scrutinizing  from above. Dennis stood by the doorway of the chamber, a guard on either side of him, watching the scene emotionlessly. Getting caught had been fun, albeit difficult. But still, he’d been caught and was now here, in the Emperor’s dark throne room, supposedly bringing a proposition from the rebels.

The Emperor dismissed Miori and faced Erin, ignoring Dennis’s presence. “Bring me your saber,” he commanded. She rose, as if in a trance, took the hilt from her belt and presented it to him, bowing her head. He summoned it and activated the dual blade, smiling at the power it reflected of its user. “Kill the rebel,” he commanded, tossing it back to her. Catching and simultaneously activating it, she turned for the first time and noted the “rebel”, who did nothing in protest but blink uninterestedly . Her eyes widened in shock and disbelief but she bowed her head, turning back impassionedly.

“Honored master, the guards were mistaken. This is no rebel; he is pilot, a loyal subject to your majesty’s rule and volunteer in your greatness’s fleet.”

“Is that so? Misunderstanding will not be tolerated among my guard. Dispatch of them.
She pursed her lips and whirled around, splitting and throwing the blades. They hit their intended targets and shot back to her. Mentally, she muttered a silent prayer as she reconnected her sabers.

“Quick deaths,” he proclaimed, walking towards their bodies. “Clean, efficient. You would make a good assassin…” he spun around and grabbed her by the scruff of her neck with his black energy. “But! You are too soft hearted.”

“You would kill me, master?” she managed, almost choking in his grasp.

Dennis kept his face in the shadows, still impassionate, seemingly ambivalent. If she did not fight, then he would not either. Not yet.

The Emperor laughed cruelly and summoned the saber hilt where she had dropped it. He brought her in front of him, hanging her in the air and laughed again, “Dear girl, I am not so wasteful. A fair girl such as yourself, still a blossoming virgin, would do well to satiate  my lust.” With this he delivered a controlled uppercut, which ripped through her clothes and cut the edge of her shirt to threads. She fell to the ground, gasping for breath and stemming the blood from a burn point. A trickle of electric fused over her finger and the area underneath patched itself quickly.

“A healer too?”  the Emperor cackled. “You are a most interesting specimen… Erin, was it?” 
He cupped his fingers under her chin and jerked her face to look at him. “A gifted one…there is anger here I could use, I could manipulate, I could cultivate…but one flaw is here…”

Unexpectedly, he whirled on Dennis and grabbed him using his control of energy. Snatching his gun from its holster, the controlled fired at the Emperor in vain. The vile creature laughed and brushed the bullet aside before deposing of the irritating weapon. From the corner of his eyes, said oppressed saw Erin’s expression remain indifferent. But it was her words, dripping ice, that stilled his heart.

“He is a pilot. There are others.”

“Is that so?” the Emperor asked, though a trace of uncertainty now lingered in his voice. Even he, the one who could sense all, who could read emotions—however well hidden—clearly as ever, could detect only bitterness and apathy towards him in her, then…that could only be the true feeling, right? What she really felt?

You see? She cares nothing for you. You are nothing but a simple pilot. Useless and pathetic.

“If that is so…then why not kill him yourself?”

“I could not, Master, you see through me. I have a soft heart and will not kill an innocent, loyal subject of your highness’s.”

He smiled at her menacingly, never letting his intended victim out of sight, but Erin returned the glare, keeping her calm, collected mood.

“Nevertheless,” he lifted a pale hand and let a spark of corrupted energy jump eagerly through his fingers. “only emotion will react as such to pain…”

Saying so, he let loose a tremendous amount of energy at said quarry; not missing a beat, Erin reacted, flinging herself and a shield between the two, “No! We cannot hurt innocents.” She repeated, almost desperately. Her façade of detachment was starting to break, but she fought with the more-powerful lord.

The electric storm passed as suddenly as it had come, the Emperor snickering in sadistic amusement. A vicious snarl broke the silence, and the battle began. Sabers clashed and energy collided between the two. Master and apprentice. Savant and neophyte. Strength and skill matched speed and dexterity. A while later, the Emperor could no longer oppress Dennis and fight Erin simultaneously and flung the former into a remote part of the room.
For a split second he crashed against metal and stone, then leapt back, sweeping another gun out of its holster and firing, hoping the saber duel would be enough to distract the Emperor from a tiny speeding bullet.

And indeed, in a conflict of equals, a second weapon, however insignificant makes a difference. As arrows will pierce where laser guns do not, this particular bullet had luck enough to pierce where the saber could not. But it was not so fortunate, as the bullet that would have murdered the menace struck the girl  fighting said menace.

Catching sight of the bullet at a last moment, the dark Emperor blasted Erin in its path. She deflected it adroitly and countered the Emperor with an expert maneuver of her saber, but could not prevent the wave of electric that coursed through her body.

The world seemingly ended at that moment, for everything lost its color. The dark Emperor’s red electric faded to monotone, as did her own, blue-black energy. But she could handle electric relatively well. Her non-shadow-bred pilot on the other hand, could not.

While Erin quickly regained a trickle of energy, enough to move and fight, behind her, Dennis fell prey to the Emperor’s red electricity burning through his blood. But he cared not that his own flesh was being incinerated by the vile leader; and thus he saw before Erin did, the flash of light that cut across her side, piercing cloth and skin alike. She sauntered weakly backwards, clutching her half-broken saber hilt for protection, and touched her dying friend’s hand for a moment.

She said no words, but readied herself to teleport out of an area that one usually could not teleport out of. As the Emperor’s electric attack reached for her shield, intended as a final, finishing blast to end the two’s lives, she cast the shield off, temporarily absorbing the power within the blast to boost her own abilities.

Their lives fell through time and space for a moment—a failed spell was as bad as an uncompleted one in their case, as was a counter spell. But in his destroyed throne room, the Emperor sulked, discontent that she had escaped from his clutches. He summoned Lord Miori and together they schemed again.
--- 

Erin and Dennis appeared on the Graced Lies, which had stayed obediently in the cave by the dangerous lake throughout the battle. They slipped quickly through the porthole on top, and disregarding his injuries and weak grasp on life, Dennis stumbled to the cockpit and flew them off the abominable planet of the Emperor.

Planets away and anchored safely in yet another cave, behind a waterfall, Erin mended the last of the injuries she could and settled back to let fate work its will.
---

Again, Destiny has smiled upon your existence. You’re alive. Ali—“Erin?”

She jolted awake, pushing herself concernedly from the wall she’d been leaning against in her watch. “Are you—“

“Fine,” he replied. She backed away instantly.

“I know you don’t like me very much but …”

He held up hand to silence her, “I love you.”

“…that’s not funny,” she retorted looking away. “and just because we escaped the Emperor doesn’t mean you have to feel entitled to care about my existence any more than you did before.”

He stood up, laced his fingers between hers, and gazed into her eyes resolutely. “Erin, I love you…even if you don’t.”

She stared up at him, confused yet delighted. Abruptly, she leapt at him in a passionate embrace, toppling the both of them on his low bed. “Why wouldn’t I?”

“…I’m just a pilot?”


She grinned at him wickedly and slunk her arms around his neck. “You’re my pilot.”


Then she leaned down, and kissed him.

Artist's Note: So for a first post, i decided to use something long from about a week ago. :P The general concept was ripped off of Star Wars and the game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, because my brother was constantly playing that game and I would watch the cutscenes :). No offense or copyright violation intended; think of it as a fanwriting if you'd like.
Comments? Critiques? It's my first completed attempt at romance, so...:/ 
~Silver Ink

1 comment:

alcaponed said...

Very interesting overall. I like how the beginning is a little vage. Makes it more suspenseful. Also, the thought bubbles are a curious addition. Write more romance! :D