Post by Whitediamond on Aug 12, 2008 13:42:12 GMT -5
Hey, Stormy, check it out. This is the longest post I have ever done. Here is the link back to it.
Calia kept crawling, though more cautiously now, knowing that Soleus had been ruffled by River's sudden appearance and almost giving them away. As she whispered to him, he suddenly stopped as if listening. Calia was impressed as he started moving again, this time changing course only slightly. Even though she had lived in the forest for a good portion of her life, Soleus had much more keen senses than her. He had obviously heard the nearby stream for soon enough, it came faintly into view. Part of her heart leapt when she saw it for it was so close to her sheltering home! It also held so many memories; not only of the previous day. It also gave her a surge of hope. From here, they could easily make their escape into the forest, given that their pursuers didn't catch up first.
[/i] The sudden voice made her jerk upright, and River trotted to her side. Calia felt a flush of annoyance. River! Do you realize what you did back there? Soleus nearly killed you! And why would it be his fault, the way you burst in here so sudden- River stared at her, her eyes two glittering, violet stones. Calia,[/i] she said, and immediately Calia knew that River was totally ignoring her. But something in the werecat's tone turned her blood to ice. Calia, listen to me. You must not leave the trees. It isn't safe. Tell Soleus-[/i] The two of them were cut off as Soleus suddenly turned to Calia. "I'm going ahead to check it out. Stay here until I signal you that it's safe." But- Calia wanted to protest, but he was already crawling away. River hissed in annoyance, and disappeared into the brush. Calia wanted to yell after her, but the werecat was gone in an instant.
She crept to the edge of the treeline, and peered through the foliage. She knew that if Soleus found out that she had come a little into view of the stream, she would be in trouble, but she couldn't help but see for herself what he was up to. He was crouched a little ways up ahead, watching the stream intently. This part of the river was slightly downstream from the place where they had attempted to kill each other before. She drew back a little, frightened of getting caught, although not as frightened as she was for Soleus. Who knew what was lurking out there? River had sounded very urgent. But they had lost the men, hadn't they?
Instantly after this thought, she heard a snap of a twig breaking nearby. She nearly cried out a warning, but Soleus was already alerted. Slowly, and to Calia's light horror, he drew a knife, and crept toward the source of the noise. A little ahead stood a young man, his hand on the hilt of a sword. Calia was suddenly glad that they hadn't rushed out onto the stream right into a trap. Already Soleus was approaching the man from behind, raising his knife all the while. Soleus was going to kill the man? Never in Calia's life had she witnessed such murder. Once, her childhood friend's parents had been murdered, but not in front of Calia's eyes! But what was the alternative? The man would discover them, alert his gang and come after them. This was the only way, she realized reluctantly. Though Soleus's brief bloodlust scared her.
When Soleus was close enough to the man, he did not pause. Holding the knife in an inverted position, he quickly plunged it into the back of the man's neck, right into a certain area of his spine, rendering him completely helpless. Slowly, he began to sag downwards toward the stream, his face turning blue as he gasped vainly for air. Soleus quickly took his knife from the fatal wound, and straightened up. At first, Calia thought that everything was alright and he would beckon her there to safety. That is, until another man appeared from nowhere, and assaulted Soleus, by leaping at him, knocking the knife clean out of his hands fixing a wire around his neck, attempting to choke him.
Right after this sudden attack, Calia knew her companion was as helpless as the man he had murdered before. He could barely move as the air was slowly sucked from his lungs. The man behind him had pulled the cord tight, pushing the air right out of him. For a horrible moment, he just struggled with the wire, attempting to remove it from it's strangling position. Calia had no choice but to watch, frozen in place by shock. What help would she be? There could be more men anywhere in the area, and she would be no help if she got caught as well. Before she could move or scream, however, Soleus began fighting back, jabbing the man roughly in the arms and gut, attempting to make him lose his grip. But the man seemed to be quite bulky, and the way he reacted to the hits made it seem as if they were simply pokes. Every time Soleus lashed out at him, the man pulled the suffocating wire tighter, cutting off more and more air. Calia was surprised that Soleus could even last so long without falling unconscious. Then, he tried to hit the man lower down, pummeling the man with his elbows and kicking. The man grunted at some point, but this only increased his irritation, resulting in the wire being pulled into an even more taut position. Finally, Soleus began to weaken, sagging slightly like his victim. The man's face lit up with this, triumph showing along his every feature. No! thought Calia, her heart in her throat. Never in her whole entire life had she felt such terror. Once the man killed Soleus, they would have the upper-hand. She would never get to Surda alive - she would never make it back to her shelter alive. Her whole body was rigid, her veins turning ice cold. She was frozen in place with the terrible realization that Soleus was dying, taking with him her only chance of really learning more about life. Don't just stand here, you idiot. Something in her mind clicked just as Soleus completely went limp.
The bow was in her hands before she could think another thought, and her eyes were blazing as a sudden surge of fury welled up inside, epinephrine filling her veins until she was like a lion ready to pounce on it's prey and deal the death blow. She drew an arrow, hardly daring to breathe for what she was about to do. But she hardly cared. This man was assassinating her only hope of getting to the Varden before her very eyes. She was hardly going to sit and do nothing. Nocking the arrow to the string, she focused and took aim. Please, please, please, she begged, praying that she would have enough courage and luck to carry out this horrendous deed. The arrow left the string as her fingers lost their grip, and sped toward it's target. Time seemed to slow as Calia's eyes followed the arrow's route as it tore through the leaves, searching for it's victim.
There was no sound as it struck the man - which made it all the more terrible - but Calia knew that she had hit him right near the place Soleus had to his previous victim to rend him powerless. The man went rigid, and if Calia had been standing in front of him, she would have seen his eyes pop out in shock. His grip on the wire slackened, and slowly, he slumped forward and sideways, nearly toppling into the stream. The ground around him turned a little red, and Calia tried not to look at the arrow sticking up from his back.
Calia put away her bow, though warily, and drew her dagger just in case. Slipping from the trees, she ignored the body of the fallen man, and instead ran for Soleus, her heart beating wildly. He's not dead, she told herself. I saved him in time. She hurried right to his side. Luckily, the man had not landed on top of him or it would have taken time to disengage them. She went onto her knees near him, inspecting his neck, though there didn't seem to be any visible damage. His face was slightly blue from lack of air, but to her relief the colour was slowly flooding back into his cheeks.
A sudden rustle in the undergrowth alerted her attention, and she felt a moment of despair as she decided whether to save herself or try to save Soleus. Calia!!!!!!![/i] A moment after the shrill cry, River hurtled out of the trees and straight into Calia's arms, shivering violently. When she saw Soleus however, she let out a terrible wail. Shut up, Calia told her insensitively, her own sorrow blocking out anyone else's. Or do you want all those men after us? River stopped caterwauling, and spoke. Her voice was thick with distress and guilt. Calia, I am so sorry. I should have told you before. I should have-[/i] It doesn't matter now, said the girl miserably. Are there more men around? Not for now. But they will be back soon,[/i] came the unwelcome reply. Help me then.
Calia put River back on the ground, moved back to her travel companion, ripping the wire away from his throat. She noted grimly that it appeared to be quite thick, almost like a collar. She had never heard of garrote wires before, and this puzzled her. She threw it away, treating it like some kind of poison before turning back to the task at hand. Taking Soleus to safety. Taken the colour in his face, he was obviously still breathing, but he would still be weak and out cold for who-knows-how-long. River padded cautiously up to her, staring in surprise at Soleus as if she couldn't believe this had happened to him. What do I do?[/i] River asked, reminding Calia that she wanted to add her assistance. Calia shook her head. For one of those terrible moments in her life, she was lost. She did not know the answer out of her scary predicament, and all she could think about were those men getting closer every second, and the unresponsive form of Soleus, unconscious. She felt like crying in frustration or trying to run back in time so none of this had happened. She could have prevented this. They could have gone another way; fooled their pursuers. But no, Calia had wanted habit and familiarity. No sense of safety. And she had payed for it.
Calia?[/i] her werecat companion pressed. Calia sighed shakily, then stood up. River, we need to move Soleus to safety somehow. I feel so vulnerable out here in the open. River's eyes were so soft with love, that Calia wanted to get lost in the depths of them. But she couldn't We need to...somehow carry him back into the safety of the bushes. River's eyes widened at the absurdity of the action, but she moved toward Soleus anyway. Though, dear one, I think I would be much more useful keeping lookout.[/i] She seemed hesitant, like she didn't want to make another mistake that would cost them. It doesn't matter, either way, Calia said with a great, heaving exhale. If you see them coming, what can we do? River heaved a sigh, and stayed by Calia's side, finding truth in her words.
Calia leaned down, attempting the impossible task of dragging Soleus to safety when, she felt him stir ever so lightly, and hope made her heart slow a little. "Soleus?" she whispered, still reluctant to speak aloud in case she attracted company. River leaned over too, so her face hovered right over his. So what happened exactly?[/i] Calia didn't reply; she was too focused on him. Even though she knew inside that it was probably vain hope that was wasting precious time.[/size][/colour][/blockquote]