Scourage of the Terrablossom
Chapter 12: An Unwinnable Battle?
To Edge, time had slowed down. His eyes darted around, anxious to see that there was a possibility that the situation wasn’t as bad as it looked. The eyes followed the Terrablossom, with it’s beautiful, but deadly, coating of leaves. Then, Edge looked at the town in the distance, Tadcaster. Finally, he looked at the dragon responsible for all the trouble and problems he had had since arriving back from the Astral Plane. Tyrune, who was grinning sickeningly, was using two of his heads to fire lasers at Spirit and the other one to laugh at the situation Edge was in.
“Too late! You’re too late Divine Visitor!” Tyrune roared across the forest sky.
“You’re wrong! I’m not too late! I can still beat you!”
“Can you alter time? No, you can’t!” He turned to the Terrablossom. “Terrablossom, Blossom Blizzard! Destroy that pitiful town!”
The Terrablossom made a strange noise. It was like the wind flying through a narrow valley, scattering leaves everywhere. Tyrune’s lasers stopped firing, as he gave the Terrablossom a look of death.
“What do you mean you aren’t ready yet?! Your blossom is pink! It’s as acidic as it can get!”
More leaves were scattered.
“Oh. I see. Very well. You do that. I’ll hold off these pests.”
Wings unfolded, Tyrune flew off the top of the Terrablossom and towards Edge and Gash, sat on the back of Spirit. Edge turned around to see how Gash was, but it didn’t look too good. Gash was frozen in time, paralysed at the sight of the thing that had caused all his friend’s and loved one’s deaths.
Tyrune flew right up to Spirit. Looking at them from afar, the size difference was incredible. Spirit was about 2 metres long. Tyrune was at least 4 and half metres, although the majority of that was taken up by his long, hydra-like necks. His wingspan was about as wide as he was long: 5 metres. All in all, he was a pretty impressive sight.
“Well, Divine Visitor, it seems you have a momentary reprieve, or….” he scoffed, “…at least they do. The Terrablossom needs a few more minutes to get everything just right. Then it’s curtains for your friend, Paet.”
Edge was about to reply, then he replayed that sentence through in his head.
“Paet? Is that what this is all about?”
Tyrune nodded with all three heads.
“You are willing to kill off the remainder of a village which only earlier this morning, you destroyed, for the sake of ONE person, who has never done you any harm?”
“That’s not right…” sighed Edge.
“Whether it’s right or not, I do what I’m told. Believe me kid, if you were in my position, you would too. Go home, Divine Visitor. I don’t want to hurt you. Yet. Just let me get on with my job, and I’ll let you get on with yours.”
With that, Tyrune spun around and started to fly back towards the Terrablossom.
But Edge wasn’t having any of that. He picked up his gun and slapped an “assassin” attachment on it, then fired a full power blast and one of Tyrune’s heads. It was a direct hit. The head screamed in pain, as did all the others when their brains received the nerve signals. Tyrune turned around, all three heads seething with anger.
“Fine. You want to play it that way?”
“I’ll do whatever it takes to stop any more pain. From you, from this winged drone everyone seems to be talking about, from the Zwei-Imperials…it all stops HERE.” Edge wished he was as confident as he sounded.
Tyrune flew forward, extremely slowly and menacingly. “So you want to stop me………..You want to stop my boss……….”
”…And you want to stop a bunch of amateurs who think they’re big men because they have weapons. Humph. The last one you might do, Divine Visitor. But the Brotherhood of Sestren, including myself will NOT bow down TO THE LIKES OF YOU!!!!!!”
The last few words of Tyrune’s speech grabbed Edge’s ears and tried to rip them from his head, they were that loud and definite. They echoed throughout the forest, causing Conana’s everywhere to fly away, and Edge even thought he saw a Golia running away out of the corner of his eye.
“No-one stops the Brotherhood! Witness the powers they give out, to man and monster alike!” Tyrune flexed any and all muscles in his body.
What happened next is kind of hard to describe. Tyrune’s wings folded inwards, kind of like someone folding their arms. Then, the two side heads sank into his shoulders and turned sideways, forming what looked like shoulder plates. His tail shortened slightly, but changed colour, as did the rest of his body, to a more silver shade. Finally, the central head sank down till the neck was the size as it would be on a normal human being. Tyrune did a small somersault, and stood like he was standing, on two feet, in the air. His wings, during the somersault, had somehow turned into arms.
“Behold Divine Visitor! Witness the Draconis Transformation, the ultimate achievement of the Brotherhood!”
Edge’s mouth was open.
“With THIS transformation, a dragon can assume the stance of a biped, a human being, and STILL retain his or her normal powers, only the strength of those powers are increased dramatically! Think of the possibilities! Think of the POWER!!”
Tyrune’s body started expanding into what was basically a six-pack stomach, with a chest that most of the male species would have DIED to have. The body took on runes that Edge couldn’t read, but Edge kept on smiling.
“So you transform into a human being shape, Tyrune? Earlier on, you said that humans were being kept alive for the amusement of everyone else! You can’t have it both ways!”
“Pot calling the Kettle black, Divine Visitor!”
“I’M NOT THE DIVINE VISITOR!!!”
“I don’t care WHO or WHAT you are! You humans have it all: the greatest stance, the strongest skeleton, and the ability to see into the distance! Some monsters can’t see PERIOD, and you can see for miles! And what do you do?! You throw it all away! By polluting the planet, causing death and destruction, fighting over artefacts belonging to people you can’t even DREAM of understanding!”
“Who do you mean?”
“The Ancient Ones, hunter! The Ancient Ones! They had powers that made them Gods among men! And what did they do? They just threw it away and started fighting! You talk of peace and you dream of war! Mankind? HA!”
“Enough! The Ancient Ones did not give, they had it taken away!” Edge yelled. Then he stopped.
What did I just say!?
“There is no defending yourself! Fight, or surrender! Retreat is no longer an option for you, or your race!”
“ENOUGH!!!” Edge screamed, before drawing his gun and shooting countless shots at Tyrune. He watched in horror as the shots bounced off.
“Heh heh heh heh. Magic runes. Make you invincible to everything except another Draconis!”
“Magic isn’t that strong then, is it?”
“Strong enough. Oh. Oh where are my manners, hunter? I’ve spent all this time talking to you, when I forgot you had a friend…”
Tyrune’s arms…and what arms! They looked more like JCB diggers! They reached over and lifted Gash clean off of Spirit.
“Shut up. Gash, is it? Well, Skiad-Ops-Gash, you’ve gone into Extra Time, haven’t you? You were supposed to go down with Zoah! That’s why we attacked Zoah in the first place! To get YOU!”
Gash finally snapped out of his daze.
“You attacked Zoah…. to get to me?”
“I thought it was only one of your EYES that had stopped working, Gash! You can’t seem to hear very well! That is EXACTLY what I said.”
“Then…Liana…she died because she knew me…”
“How should I know? All I know is that YOU are a Seeker. YOU lead a rebellion against Lord Sestren. And therefore, YOU must be ex…. ter….min….at…. ed.” The last part said in such a sinister manner that Edge found himself shaking.
Nevertheless: “Sestren is gone, Tyrune! The rebellion succeeded! I beat him myself!”
“Did you HELL! He lives! And believe me, I wouldn’t want to be either of you, or that Paet guy, when he eventually gets free from his Astral Plane prison! Hunter, what colour are the Terrablossom’s buds?”
Edge looked. He had to tell him. After all, there was no point in not. He himself did not know what colour they were supposed to be.
“They’re a kind of magenta colour….”
“You’ve got 3 minutes. Three minutes. Then Tadcaster starts to sizzle…”
A long way away, on the other side of the Garil Desert, a hunter walked out of his caravan, his head bowed in shame.
Shame on yourself, Falder! He thought to himself, How could you demand the death of a mutant coolia when you, yourself, love the animals?
Replying to himself, he thought: I just wanted to fit in. I didn’t want to put myself out in the open.
But you already did. Raul is more popular than you, and you disagreed with him. Leadership suicide, surely?
No. No, that’s not it! I just wanted them to think I was on the same side!
It’s too late now, anyway. They’ve given up on you. You know what they want is Raul as their leader, not you. Especially after that carry on.
Damn. What can I do?
Do what you know you can do. Get your honour back. Correct your mistakes.
I will. Believe me.
“2 minutes remain, hunter. Count down with me. 118…117…116…115…”
Gash was not happy about being held in the air by nothing more than a dragon manifesting as a human being. He reached into his belt, and drew out one of the knives he was saving for the Terrablossom. Whose knife was it? he wondered. He sneaked a look.
The gold print read: Megan.
Ah, yes. Megan. Tough old girl, thought Gash. She WAS a Seeker, unlike Liana. That’s where this knife came from. Her ceremony, with…. what was his face? Kevar was it? Kevar. He was pretty tough too. Megan didn’t trust him a bit at their wedding. Stabbed him in the arm, she did, and he didn’t feel a thing. They don’t make men like him anymore, thought Gash, especially those that laugh at a knife wound when they’re 50, and that was about as old as you got in these times….
Holding the knife with the blade pointing below his hand, he wound up and tried to stab Tyrune in the chest. The knife hit at about 98, when Tyrune was starting to laugh so much at the predicament Edge was in that he had almost forgot to stop counting.
The knife hit, but it didn’t penetrate. It didn’t even scratch Tyrune. It just…broke.
“Damn!” yelled Gash.
Tyrune was not happy.
“You stupid little human.” he said. “I told you I was invincible to all but another of my kind, and you try a pitiful little knife? Bad move. Pity. It’s not good to go out on a bad note, is it?”
“What do you mean?” Gash muttered.
“I mean,” Tyrune whispered, “that that was the last move you’re ever going to make. Bye.” And with that, Tyrune dealt Gash an almighty blow with his left fist. Edge watched that fist move in slow motion throughout the moment, and he could have sworn the fist caught fire just before it hit Gash. The force sent Gash flying out of Tyrune’s hand, and through the air. The only way he could go now, unassisted, was down.
Edge looked on all this in horror.
“Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaassssssshhh!” he yelled, but for no reason. It’s not like the sound would make the trees catch him or anything, Edge knew. It was just…natural. That’s what you did when someone you knew so well was blasted into the sunset by a homicidal, armoured dragon THING like Tyrune.
“Listen up you piece of…”
“You’ve just thrown one of my best friends away like a rag doll. You took an entire village for the sake of one person. You’re about to attack another village for the second time in a week. You don’t even have the guts to do it yourself! You have to get some other monster to help you!”
Edge raised his gun, complete with Assassin attachment, very, very slowly.
“I promise you, Tyrune, we are not going to leave this forest today. Either I go, solo, or you do. One of us is going, and….” the gun was clicked into firing mode, “It isn’t going to be you. Believe me.”
“Big words, hunter.”
“I have a name, asshole. It’s Edge. With the second e pronounced like the first. Edge-E. And don’t you forget it.”
The trigger on Edge’s gun was a millimetre away from firing.
“BECAUSE that’s the last name you’re EVER going to hear. EVER.”