"The Wait is Over" is a Season 3 Day 19 thread. It leads directly into "Hel Comes."
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Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit stared deadly ahead of him as the two guards approached, the dragon fidgeting as they drew closer. He smiled, calling quietly. “You’re not supposed to be coming here alone.” his eyes then set into a frown.
The guards swallowed. Now that they thought about it, trying to take Stonegit by force would probably get them killed. Then again, telling someone as mad as him that his beloved King was back from the dead might get them killed as well. One of them slowly stepped up, thinking up a lie that might work. “M-Mera wants to see you.” he said.
Stonegit tilted his head back, walking over to them, a swarm of dragons following him. He stood right in front of him, his face twisting with anger. “If they want me…they can come here…all of them.” he reached up, grabbing the man’s shirt collar. “Because they’re all going to try and kill me…aren’t they?”
The guard began to sweat, gulping. “They just want to talk to you,” he said, trying to keep himself from panicking.
Stonegit’s head shot forward, slamming into the guard’s twice, and then shoved him to the ground. He swung the pike, catching the other guard in the leg and sending him down, the man yelling him pain. “Even you have turned your back! Supported those that harmed the King! Defended them!” he inhaled deeply. “Well…we’ll just see how long they’ll wait for you,” he growled as a few dragons surrounded the two men. “Before coming to look.”
Akkey Black: She had lost him. Amidst her confusion, she had stumbled after the King when he left, but he disappeared. Every now and then another memory stabbed her mind and almost caused her to black out from the pain. Only the need to find Haddock moved her legs forward.
She wandered on, unaware of exactly where she was headed. Until she came to where the dragons were.
The snow on the ground was disturbed and dyed a dark red, weapons half buried. But she didn’t notice any of that. Her eyes concentrated on the man that stood a ways away, surrounded by snorting and huffing dragons. He turned when she approached, swinging his pike nonchalantly.
"S… Stonegit," she whispered, trying to ignore the painful thudding in her head, "Stonegit! You need to come to the stables!"
She rushed forward and grabbed his wrist, unaware of the threatening grunts around her, “You need to help me! Haddock… h-he’s alive! He’s here! I… I don’t know how. “
But the other rebels are attacking him! I don’t know why, and there’s too many of them. They have him surrounded… even Her Majesty. Please… please help me…”
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit grabbed Akkey by the throat, hauling her up and slamming her down into the snow. He panted, his eyes focusing slightly. “Akkey?…Well you are hard to get rid of.” he straightened. “I would ask what you are babbling about, but you are all out of time.” he knelt in front of her. “Are you all bringing Pitch and the others to me?…or not?”
Akkey Black: She clawed at her throat, trying to loosen his grip on her. “L-listen!” she croaked out, starting to see spots before her, “You need… to listen! Haddock is alive! He’s… alive!”
She was desperate, she couldn’t think straight anymore. It was just Haddock in her mind, “I… I can’t… I don’t know… where Father… is. But the others… I’ll help you! I’ll help you with… the list… just…”
She gasped, she was close to losing consciousness. She jerkily reached up; she touched the scarred eye, the one that he received at the lake, trying to make him realize, “Just… help me… help Haddock… because he’s alive!”
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit stared down at her, squinting. He let go of her neck, taking a few steps back. He drew her sword and tossed it at her feet, shaking his head. “You speak madness…” his lip quivered. “You lie…”
Stonegit turned away, rubbing his head with his scarred hand, growling, and then turning around, yelling with fury. “I DID NOT ASK FOR YOU TO HELP WITH THE LIST! I ASKED YOU ALL TO BRING THEM TO ME!” he stormed back over to her. “I gave you two days! Two! One should have sufficed, but now you send guards after me and offer help!?” he shook his head, looking up at the fortress with contempt, as it no longer meant anything to him. “No…this ends.”
Screaming loudly, he hurled the pike around his head, getting ectosleuth's attention. He stopped, his chest heaving. “Have the fire class scorch the land around the fortress, send the scouts through this village, and the armor ravage the castle, and bring those that I want…to me.” he finished, pointing his weapon at the camp.
And, with a roar, the dragon army began to do just that.
Akkey Black: She coughed violently, grateful of the air that came rushing back. She stood shakily, ignoring the sword, “It wasn’t enough! They’re missing!”
"It’s not madness! I’m not lying!" she shrieked hysterically, panicked. She came up to him, begging, "He’s alive! He’s here! Please stop this! Haddock lives! And if you burn down camp… if you order the dragons to kill everyone… Haddock will get caught in it! Aren’t you, first and foremost, Haddock’s bodyguard?! Are you willing to be his killer a second time, Stonegit?!”
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit had been shoving her aside as he marched to the village, but then stopped at her last words. He faced her. “I am not having people killed. I am smoking them out.” he fingered his pike. “As for that last comment…” Stonegit stuck out his foot, knocking her to the ground. He dropped his pike, his fist striking Akkey harshly twice in the face. He straightened, breathing hard, and then stomping on her stomach once, shoving her away as he did so. “Continue the attack!” he yelled, continuing his march towards the fortress. “See that no one is killed…injuries are another matter.”
Toshioka Kiri: A flurry of nadder spikes hit the ground right in Stonegit’s path.
Kiri stands, both fists clenched, gazing at him with determined, narrowed eyes. She unsheathes Lillith’s dagger and drops to a ready stance as though preparing to fight…
And then she deliberately drops the dagger.
Then before him, she unbuckles the belt of nadder spikes and throws it out of her reach.
"Stonegit," she holds her empty hands out and slowly steps forward, keeping her gaze level with him. "This must stop."
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "So many, many people coming to see me," Stonegit said, looking around as if thinking. "Yet such a lack of people I want to see…you want this to stop Kiri, then give into my demands." his lip curled. "Something you should have done a day ago."
Toshioka Kiri: "I apologize, because I don’t believe I was present when you gave them," she answers overly sweetly. She bites back her tongue and tries to focus on the task at hand.
She continues to approach, arms still spread wide. “This has to stop. This change from our respected battle master, to this? In such a short time? Do you realize what this is reminiscent of?”
She stops mere yards away.
"I want to help you, Stonegit. But you have to let me do so."
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit huffed a small, hollow laugh. “Battle master,” he sighed. “That title was meaningless. I am the King’s bodyguard, always have been, and always will. But in his permanent absence the only way I can serve him is by removing those that threatened, as I have stated many a time.” he stood in front of Kiri, inhaling deeply, and then tilted his head. “Talk to me,” he said, as the monstrous nightmares burnt up the woods around them.
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri takes a deep breath and holds up her empty hands.
"How effective can you be at removing those who threatened the king… when you yourself are not at your best?" she begins softly. "Madness is inefficient. We want you back. Who you once were. This madness does nothing for the Rebellion or the King. What’s left of the king is in danger. We need you as who you were… you can’t help him as you are."
She looks at him directly, and her hands glow briefly with a strange, gentle blue light.
"I can help you return to who you were. I can heal your mind, your soul… I can help you. But you need to let me."
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit lowered his head, his face softening for a moment. “Could you really…help me?” He swallowed, slowly standing in front of her. “But how? Could it actually…would it actually work?”
His breathing slowed and he inhaled again, deeply and deliberately. He listened carefully to he noises around him. Stonegit smiled, the act he had briefly put on dropping. “But of course it will, you probably have a contract ensuring it.”
Before Kiri could react, Stonegit lunged forward, tearing off her coat and grabbing at the white cat hidden inside of her garb. He caught it around the head, his fingers gripping it tightly. The cat yowled loudly with anger and pain, thrashing and resisting his hold. Stonegit’s face contorted, increasing the pressure. There was a small popping noise, and blood drained from the small creature’s ear.
Stonegit hurled it aside grabbing his pike and swinging it at Kiri. “Traitor!” he bellowed. “You are in leagued with them! In contract with them! You are no better than a witch yourself!”
Toshioka Kiri: It takes all of Kiri’s self control to not dodge.
The pike slams hard into her shoulder. A scream of pain erupts from her as her arm is crushed in by the pike.
Distance distance distance body distance -
Everything suddenly goes numb. The pain ceases. The body is just a puppet.
Kiri holds the arm briefly. Then she stands, letting the damaged arm hang loosely from her shoulder. She feels no physical pain.
"Perhaps you’re right," she murmurs, gazing up at him again. "But the white cats have nothing to do with this. The contract isn’t yours to make. This is only between you and me. And all I want is to help you become better."
She offers a hand on her good side towards him, beckoning in a kind, welcoming gesture.
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit shoves her hard, causing her to spin around.The pike knocks Akkey in the back and she is sent sprawling. He placed a foot on the small of her back, glancing over at the unconscious guards and the wheezing Akkey. He sniffed, giving a sigh. “You’re officially on the list.”
Stonegit shrugged off his sling, working his tender arm. “I’ll get rid of you first then.” The pike was raised into the air, the point aimed at the side of the ninja’s head. Stonegit took a deep breath, something inside of him telling him he didn’t want to do this. He gritted his teeth, a dripple of water crinkling from his ear. The pike paused, and Stonegit could hear his heart pumping in his ears. This…must…be…done…
The Warden: The Warden stepped through the village, Haddock finally under her control, even if all her emotions were still not fully stabilized. She suddenly noticed a man raising a pike overhead and realized, It’s Dark-Eyes.
Temper flared. Who do these people think they are, disobeying me?
Haddock stepped up, and in a voice shouted out, “What do you think you are doing, bodyguard?”
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit closed his eyes, and then frowned blinking. Was the ghost of the Warden now talking to him to? He laughed again, not turning around. “So now you’re appearing to me too? Well then, King, or Warden, or whatever illusion you are. If you want me to stop so bad…then why don’t you come over here and grab his pike?”
The Warden: "If that’s the way you want it," Haddock pronounced, stepping up to seize the weapon.
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit blinked again, starring at his hand, and slowly followed the pike up. His face met Haddock’s and his eyes widened. And for the first time since all this had happened, and emotion came to Stonegit’s face. Utter, raw, fear filled Stonegit’s eyes and his lip trembled, his feet shuffling back. “You….” he whispered.
"I watched you burn…"
Toshioka Kiri: Kiri smiles and rolls over. She sits up, just out of reach, but lays her good hand on the ground, palm side up. It glows again with a gentle blue light, in reminder of her offer.
"I told you," she murmurs softly. "He is here. Now talk to him."
Akkey Black: She coughed and retched on the snow, staining it with blood. Hunched over and tense, she clutched her stomach, trying not to shout with pain. Her cheek throbbed from the punches he had given her. He won’t listen… he won’t listen… why won’t he listen…
She looked up in time to see Kiri fall. She staggered uncertainly to her feet, her body screaming at each movement. I need to help her… He’ll kill her… She scooped up her sword with her free hand, dragging it weakly on the ground and shuffled forward. But she stopped in her tracks. Haddock… there he was. He came right on time. He was speaking to Stonegit. He grabbed the pike.
"Thank the gods…" she whispered to herself. She wobbled and slowly approached them, "He will finally listen."
The Warden: "It takes more than a little fire to kill me," Haddock responded, stepping up to Stonegit and placing himself between the young man and Kiri and Akkey. He looked over the mayhem, made a few deductions, and remarked pointedly, "The question is, why are you going around trying to kill them too?”
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit stared at Haddock’s hand as it touched his own terribly scarred one.He swallowed dryly, looking back up at him. His eyes filled with tears and he squinted, his teeth gritting together. “Woodchuck?” he asked, his voice a mere squeak.
The Warden: "I’m here, Stonegit," Haddock murmured, tossing away the pike on the ground and clasping his hand tighter onto his bodyguard’s. "I survived the blast. You did nothing against me."
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit slowly reached forward, touching his chest with one hand. “But I did…I tricked you, I just wanted to save you I…” His jaw clenched as he fought to control his breathing. “You really are…you’re.” he stopped, the memory of shooting the blast into Haddock hitting him hard. He remembered how the King’s body was reduced to tiny particles, swirled away into a cyclone. He raised his head slowly, his eyes beyond rage and sanity. “No…I know you Warden!”
Suddenly the two were caught up as the dragons surged forward. Haddock was hoisted up and thrown through one of the gaping holes in the side of the fortress. Stonegit landed on his feet next to him, a dragon dropping the pike back into his hands. He charged Haddock, screaming. “You’re possessing his corpse aren’t you?! I’ll kill you Warden! I’LL KILL YOU!”
The Warden: Taking off the false airs of Haddock, the Warden pulled herself up from the fall, and with a fiendish, threatening grin, crouched low and hissed, "Oh will you, Dark-Eyes?" She cackled. Coming through Haddock’s voice, it was a truly ominous, grating sound.
"If you would like to know…" now the Warden was pretending to act indifferently "…I really did save your precious pathetic monarch, not just his body. He’s here inside my mind." Haddock’s left hand reached up and tapped his skull on the side. "Well… sort of. He’s not thinking too clearly at the moment. Probably all for the better," she taunted, "being as you’re threatening to actually kill him this time. For that’s what you’d do if you attacked my vessel and succeeded in murder.
"Not like you will win a fight against me.” The Warden pulled out Haddock’s sword and fished through his mind until she found the cluster of thoughts associated with his legendary swordfighting abilities. "If you dare attack me, I am pretty sure I know who will die. Forsake the bond and contract we had, Dark-Eyes? I will not be so kind to you a second time.”
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "I believed you!" Stonegit screaming, smashing his pike across Haddock’s blade. "I confided in you! I took your word when you said you had changed!"
Stonegit pressed his weapon up against Haddock’s, grinding them together. “Now you do this!? Kill his soul?! Take his body?! You’re a monster and I should have never trusted you!”
The Warden: The Warden’s wrist twisted, flicking aside the pike. Haddock took a step back, holding up his blade confidently, but not to attack Stonegit. Simply to stand there awaiting the unstable young man’s next failed attack.
"I saved him for you,” the Warden countered. Haddock twisted as Stonegit’s pike swung toward him. Still talking even while dodging, the king’s voice continued, "And I did not take his body. You forsook your side of our deal by forcing me into him! If there’s any monster, it’s the man who forced a demon in his lover’s body.”
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Letting out a roar, Stonegit rammed into Haddock, his pike clashing with the blade as he backed him. The two smashed through a large window, rolling onto a outside ledge. Now cut and bleeding, the two men pulled themselves up. The weapons knocked against each other, sending shrill ringing noises across the battlefield. Stonegit slide on his knees past one of Haddock’s attack, swinging the pike around, which was expertly blocked.
"I tried to save him!" Stonegit growled, using the hook of the pike to drag the sword down, reaching forward and grabbing Haddock’s shirt collar. "That was my sworn duty! I was sacrificing myself again, just so that he may live to see his family again! And I believed you were a good enough friend to keep him safe for me!" he backed up, the weapons breaking apart for a moment. "I had to trick you!"
The Warden: "Trick a friend?" Haddock scoffed, sword nearly catching Stonegit’s right shoulder before the bodyguard blocked the stab. "And now trying to kill both of us? What a fool, Dark-Eyes." Haddock trotted down the ledge to a narrower point, daring Stonegit to follow. "I have done nothing wrong.”
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: "I would say prove it! Prove that you have done no wrong! I would say release Haddock’s mind! But there’s no mind to release isn’t there!? I just…I just can’t believe you tricked me into thinking you actually cared about me!" Stonegit surged forward, sweeping the pike across in front of him. Has Haddock ducked, the bodyguard leaped over him, and fell over the ledge.
There was a moment of silence, and then he came back up again, riding on the back of a dragon, six other beasts flying up with him, fire glowing in their mouths. Stonegit pointing down at the ledge Haddock stood on, yelling loudly. Fire blasts shot towards the ledge.
The Warden: "Fire again, is it? Your go-to kill?" the Warden laughed, dancing around rather than simply dodging the flames. "That didn’t even work last time you hit this body straight in the chest!" The king suddenly tensed up and charged, racing faster and faster upon the length of the ledge, and then catapulting his body and off the side. He, too, landed on a dragon, stabbing down briefly on its back with his sword to stabilize his landing, then with a yank to his blade forcing the howling dragon to turn against its master.
"IF YOU WOULD HOLD STILL," the Warden shouted out to Stonegit, "YOU COULD HEAR THE KING’S VOICE HIMSELF."
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit ignored him; his ears may have well been deaf. “Don’t hurt it!” he roared, leaping from his dragon and tackling Haddock, pulling the sword away from the dragons back. The dragon spun out of control due to its injury and jostling. It spun towards the ground, and flung the two men off, stabilizing itself.
Things went into slow motion in Stonegit’s perspective. He starred at Haddock as they fell together, having been slung diagonally towards an ice slope. He grabbed him, at first intent on smashing him into the wall, but then his eyes widened. His instinctive nature kicked in and he curled himself around Haddock’s body, turning so that he took the brunt of the impact.
He smacked into the ice with a grunt, sliding down the incline, an bump in the ice bumped him into the air, and he crashed onto the snowy ground, tumbling violently and letting go of the King. Stonegit turned head over heel until he finally rolled down a small bank, coming to a stop just at the edge of the small lake he and Haddock had spoken by before leaving to go see if they might find a way to bring Vox back to life.
Stonegit cried and yelled with anger and pain, slowly lifting his head and trying to climb up the bank, his fingers digging into the cold ground. He looked up at Haddock, who was just pulling himself up, and gritted his teeth. “I hate you!” he screamed up at him. “I HATE you…!” he then whimpered again, his legs shifting pitifully against the ground as he tried to get up, his body too beaten to accomplish the task.
His face, when the Warden, and the King inside of her saw, was no longer human. It was lined deeply with insanity, grief, and hate. The dark lines under his eyes betrayed the many nights he had gone with no sleep. His scared face and body, his insane, animalistic eyes, and contorted face, was such a tragic sight that anyone else wouldn’t have thought twice about simply putting this boy down.
The Warden: It took a moment for Haddock to recover from the fall. He looked around for his sword and then swore under his breath when it was nowhere to be located.
He staggered down instead toward where the remnants of Stonegit’s mind screamed out in all fury against him. The Warden stepped forward, considering helping Stonegit up, but instead just stood there, gazing down at the pitiful man. No expression on Haddock’s face betrayed either the thoughts of the Warden or the king himself.
"It is a shame this is what you have come to," Haddock remarked, shaking his head at Stonegit’s beaten form.
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Head shaking, Stonegit lifted his chin, the motion nearly exhausting him. He stared at him in silence, for once there was no noise between him. Stonegit recalled some of his words, his eyes empty as he blinked up at him. “Will I never hear his voice again…? Please…is there any part of him that is still alive?”
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Bloody Odin, I’m alive, Stonegit," he returned.
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit blinked, mouthing the words, his eyes darting back and forth. He coughed slightly, a bit of water coming from his mouth, he spat it out, breathing heavily. “Don’t toy with me Woodchuck,” he gulped. “I’v never known you to say bloody Odin…is that really you…my King?” a trembling, bloodied hand reached out, his fingers stretching out towards him, shaking from the cold.
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: "Gods, for the love of Loki Laufeyson and every Frost Giant of Jotunheim, what will it take for me to convince you?" Haddock knelt down to look Stonegit closer in the eye. His hand reached out to touch very gently Stonegit’s bloodied fingers.
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: The image of the contract floating between him and Haddock flashed in Stonegit’s mind. The fire blast left Stonegit’s hand, spinning towards Haddock’s chest. The contract finished slowly fusing into Haddock’s hand, just as the fire struck him.
A real true, yet broken, smile broke across Stonegit’s face and he gave a laugh, liquid rattling in his throat. “You broke out, it is you. Oh Haddock I’m so sorry you got hurt, I tired, I really did. I…I…” he frowned, beginning to cough, clutching his chest. He coughed harder, more water spurting from his mouth. He choked and gagged, the liquid spilling from him. Stonegit’s arm collapsed under him and he face planted into the dirt. Still coughing.
Gareth Ragnar Haddock the Second: The Warden leaned in, touching Stonegit and attempting with magic to break the cough. As she pressed her hands on his chest and stilled his coughs, Haddock’s voice continued, “Of course it is me. The Warden can’t kill her own vessel and still use it properly. I’m quite alive.”
Stonegit Brotchurn Elmiss: Stonegit rolled over and arched his back, trying to scream but the noise coming out as a strained exhale. He convulsed violently twice, his breath shortening, and then he relaxed, a single tear running from his eye. He lay there, catatonic. The dragons ceased their roars and attacks, shaking their heads, their will returning to them.
Emily the Alpha suddenly snapped out of the boy’s control, as his mind was now gone. The dragons landed, looking around, confused by their actions, and the destruction around them. The members of the rebellion were able to look out of the windows and gaping holes in the walls, seeing Haddock standing over Stonegit. Even Akkey and Pitch were able to approach off to the side to see the events unfold.
The Warden: The Warden stared down at the unconscious young man. "Thank you, Haddock, for the memories," she murmured aloud. "He really thinks I’m you, now, doesn’t he?" She heard a quiet moan from inside her vessel.
The moans subsided into silence, leaving the Warden alone in her thoughts. A tinge of guilt swept across her, but she batted it aside as she reached down to pick up Stonegit’s limp form and trudge back toward the center of camp.