In the street the sword will make them childless

POSTED: Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:13 pm

OOC: General assumptions and references left vague because the final battle threads are not finished, but I wanted to get this written! ;> Emmett’s inclusion was approved by Jace.

“I am the resurrection and the life,” said the preacher. “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”

Silas looked on, expressionless, as the old tattered cloth was wrapped around his sister’s body, and lowered into the grave, settling against the bodies of the rest of her unit. He remembered their own parents’ burial being much the same, though blessedly there was no scent of burnt flesh here, only the omnipresent odor of slow death in the dry desert.

Numb, he swiveled his ears, his turquoise eyes shifting from the grave to the soldiers facing outward at the edge of the grounds, he too listening for any signs of Scintilla attack.

But something pressed into his leg. He dropped his gaze and a hand, stroking the soft head of the puppy nestled into him. Dolores whimpered, and Damaris licked her ear, and Silas watched them, grim. Their mother, his sister, had barely been out of girlhood herself when she’d had them, and it was hard to think of anything but how she’d been this small when their parents died. It was hard to see anything but her face in Dolores’.

He would be there for them now.

All three of them.

The silver boy stood some feet away from his sisters, staring at the grave as the first shovelfuls of dirt fell on the bodies, shaking. His jaw was thrust out and his hair bristled and he sniffled.

“I’ll kill them,” Zacchaeus said softly. “I’ll kill them all.”

Silas looked at the girls again. They snuggled into one another, numb too, and breathed in each other’s scents for comfort. Silas stroked their ears one last time then went to his nephew, kneeling at his side, embracing him. Zacchi struggled, then sobbed.

For all his rage he was so small in Silas’ arms.

So small. So, so small.

On his knees, head bowed, Silas held his nephew amid the bodies. Some were moved, some mutilated, but Zacchaeus was as he’d been when Silas ran, bloodied, his round yellow eyes open and staring, his mouth parted. Limp. Perhaps it was merciful that he was still recognizable, that his head had not been carried away to the coyotes’ pikes.

Mercy, amid the odor of blood, fear, smoke, wet decay.

The father shut his eyes and shook.

“Someone’s over here!” a voice snarled, and Silas slowly opened his eyes. He looked up through ragged, lank dark hair to see a coyote flanked by black scavenger birds approaching him, stiff-legged.

He stared, numb, then looked back down at his nephew. On some latent, logical level he’d known that the enemy would have returned, for loot and for stragglers, but now—now it didn’t matter, did it?

The coyote growled as he advanced, and Silas shut his eyes, tightening his hold on Zacchi’s corpse, until there was a shuffle of feet and a high tenor voice spoke a low demand.

“This one’s mine, Infernian.”

Footsteps approached. A familiar scent, marred with that of sickness and dried blood, its effeminate perfume gone. Silas looked up at the silver coywolf, read the hatred and the fury in his eyes, and managed only a sullen glare.

“This,” said the Salsolan, the woman-man, gesturing at the boy, “is what happens to those who make an enemy of us.” His lips peeled back to show pearly white fangs. “This needn’t have happened.”

Silas laughed.

It was a laugh ragged and broken from being bit back for years, and came out bitter and hateful and full of grief. As the half-breed fell silent and stared at him, he gently lowered Zacchaeus to the ground and rose to his full height, cracking his neck and unsheathing his claws.

“Didn’t your dead friend warn you?” Silas asked.

A flurry of movement as the silver mongrel lunged for him, and Silas grabbed his arm and dug his claws in where Selah’s bird had slashed him, hauling him in to snarl in his face. Then growls and a yip from the bushes, footfalls, and a great grunt as something massive slammed into him, knocking him to the ground. An agouti Secui rose over him, baring teeth.

The silver coywolf’s breath was faster, but he wiped blood from his arm and dusted himself off with quickly-gathered composure. “Thank you, Emmett. Hold him down.”

Silas writhed, but did not put in full effort. He turned his head to look at Zacchaeus as the heavy claws dug into his chest.

Then a slender hand tugged his, and Silas looked as the mongrel made a clever knot around his wrists. The Secui wolf stepped down and the coywolf grabbed a fistful of Silas’ dark hair, jerking his head back to loop more rope over his muzzle. It tightened, his teeth biting down on his tongue, and he winced until he was hauled to his feet.

The coywolf stepped closer, reached out to stroke his hair and pat it back into place. Then he delivered a sharper pat to Silas’ bloodied temple, and he winced again, baring his teeth.

“You’re coming with me.”

Their eyes met.

Then Silas looked down at Zacchi.

“Don’t worry.” The coywolf smiled. “I’ll come back for him.” He smoothed a hand up to Silas’ shoulder, then to his neck, and stroked his cheek. “He makes a pretty corpse,” he said, and stepped back, almost a hop, in anticipation of rage.

But Silas just stared.

“In due time their foot will slip,” Silas whispered to Zacchaeus, at the foot of the grave. “Their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.”

Dead Topics