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[personal profile] wonder_city
What Your Shoulders May Refuse

A smoky indigo darkness like a tornado's phantom spun down out of the hole in the dome. It touched Sator and he laughed, spreading his hands wide so that the winds stretched out to the walls well before they reached the floor.

Nereid's arterial gout that had been, at least, distracting him a bit, was blasted around the room by the roaring wind. The air reeked of it. Everyone looked like they'd walked through a Hollywood slasher movie. Blood dripped off Nereid's nose and chin and she was badly nauseated from the smell. Everything felt cold and coagulated after the wind passed her on its way to the wall.

At least Sophie, being down on the floor now, seemed to be out of the range of the suction of the funnel, and being untouchable, wasn't covered in gore. She was moving around slowly, apparently confused by the information her spirit-senses were giving her. Nereid wondered why Renata hadn't pulled Sophie into the telepathic link.

Her mind's all slippery, Renata said. I tried.

Simon was a wolf again, leaping toward the magician and trying to lock his jaws into the man's calf muscle. Sator laughed at him and kicked him in the chest. Simon yelped and spun away, but said, in the link, I'm fine. I'm fine.

Nereid knew that Suzanne was out there, listening and watching, and kept looking away from Simon, hoping he was telling the truth.

The Equestrian was on Maelstrom's back, and they were in the air. The Equestrian said, Fuck me, fuck me, that wind is eroding the dimensional wall. He's trying to merge this world with Earth!

Maelstrom threw back his head and let out a shrill horse scream, which drew fire from nowhere to rain down on Sator and made the hair on the back of Nereid's neck stand up. The magician flinched as the flames struck him through his sorcerous shield, and then he gestured dramatically and a net of spinning, glowing barbs closed around Maelstrom and the Equestrian.

Sator flicked a hand at Nereid, and Nereid found herself sailing through the air. She tried to catch herself, knowing in the insanely dilated time as the wall came closer that she was about to hurt a lot, that she mustn't hit her head. Then she hit and felt sharp pains in her arm, her shoulder, and her chest as she crunched into the wall. But at least her head didn't hit. She slid down the wall to the floor, her costume and skin tearing on the sharp teeth of the spinning metal gears.

She looked up. Tam was crouching behind the remains of the control panel that Megan and Meteor had thrown. Sophie had stretched to life size and was crouched, staring around, not far from him, apparently bewildered. Nereid tried to get up. There were warning twinges in her right shoulder that told her: Not this arm. Try again later. She rolled to the other side and pushed herself up to her knees with her left arm. She weaved back and forth, then got her feet under her and stood up.

The world was weird and tinny and distant.

Sator had a moment of freedom while the Equestrian and Maelstrom were dealing with his snare, and he grinned down at Sophie. "Come, you'll seal my victory," he said, and reached out his hand.

Nereid -- her face weirdly numb and cold, her vision going dark around the edges, the voices in the room and in her head moving further and further away -- knew absolutely that she was going down. As Sophie's spirit stretched unwillingly toward Sator, Nereid slid to her knees and locked her gaze doggedly on Sator. There had to be something, anything she could do.

Keep away, keep away, KEEP AWAY FROM HER, she thought, or possibly shouted, her vision going black. She reached out desperately, dragging with all her might on the blood moving in his body to keep him from stalking after Sophie.


Note from the Author:

Possibly it's just as well you didn't have to wait till Tuesday for the resolution of this one. :) As before, 10 COMMENTERS gets you the next new episode on Thursday!

And remember to vote for WCS!

Date: 2011-10-04 08:45 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] strumsoundly
Hah! I had a feeling that would be Nereid's next move.

Most awesome.

Date: 2011-10-05 06:31 am (UTC)
finch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] finch
Somehow this cliffhanger is less cliffy. Maybe you've just done it so many times I'm getting used to it.

Not that I don't want the next update ASAP!

Date: 2011-10-05 07:38 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Yay, Sator is about to be blasted apart by his own blood. I totally loved that power as a Tremere in the old Vampire game from White Wolf.

Date: 2011-10-05 07:39 am (UTC)
finch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] finch
I remember that game! Thaumaturgy had the best side effects.

Date: 2011-10-05 08:29 pm (UTC)
contrarywise: Glowing green trees along a road (Default)
From: [personal profile] contrarywise
Oh Nereid, you go! I'm sure Sator will be surprised when his blood is suddenly elsewhere.

Date: 2011-10-06 09:59 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I wonder what the emotional backlash will be if Nereid actually kills Sator. Drawing one's blood out of their system by force is not always a survivable effect and Nereid is kinda soft and naive.

Date: 2012-01-28 09:23 am (UTC)
the_leaky_pen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_leaky_pen
Good point, anon. But I think Nereid's going to have a LOT to deal with in any case.


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