"Find paradise..." His friend said, handing over his hammer as death came for him. "Once you find it...."
The wolf's eyes snapped open. He was drifting again - lost in memories of ages past. Gripping his maul that lay slung on his back, he grounded himself in the present. A wandering mind was not normally one of his traits. Recently however, he began to lose himself in thought every so often. Perhaps he could indulge in such pastimes later. Now of all times was not the moment to to ruminate.
The rhythmic pulsing of the magi-tech locomotive’s engines was deafening. The distinct smell of ozone from whatever magic the machine ran on permeated the air of the cabin. His gray fur was standing on end. With a gloved hand he brushed his hair back and behind his alert, forward-standing ears. His armor felt slightly uncomfortable and with a shift of his shoulders he righted his matching pauldrons. The greave on his right shin felt slightly loose. With a tug on a strap it tightened just enough to match the other leg. Someone in his line of work could not afford even the slightest thing out of order. He needed every edge he could muster.
Any moment now they would be arriving at the target: an aether extraction facility that supplied the mega-city of Urbium – the heart of the Caelum Empire. Supposedly the job was rather straight forward: destroy the facility during the shift change. Get in, get out, as fast as possible.
This was the first job he had taken with this group. They were ragtag to say the least – or perhaps the most. They called themselves freedom fighters but he just saw clients willing to pay for the extra muscle. Gripping the handle of his great maul slung on his back he thought that they were getting quite the deal on his services.
“Get ready,” called out a brawny panther turning to face everyone. His black fur sheened the slightest hint of blue in the low light of the cabin. His clothing was the same shade black as his fur which made it a strange task of determining where his clothing ended and he began. His bayoneted rifle was slung on his side with a shoulder strap. He faced the gray wolf, standing a foot taller. “You better be worth the money we’re payin’ you,” he growled in a deep, guttural bass.
“Not now Tivon,” said a lithe fox softly with flowing black locks. Her form fitting clothing left little to the imagination, exposing much of her silken red and white fur. “Marc, be-“
“Marcellus,” the wolf corrected her. “I’ll do my job, Ava. It’s what you are paying me for isn’t it? Concern yourself, with yourself,” Marcellus said in a cold, monotone baritone.
Her expression of concern turned to what might have been hurt. She faced the door in a kneeling position in preparation to dismount the locomotive as quickly as possible. This reaction fazed Marcellus not in the slightest. He learned long ago to not let sensibilities get in the way of the job.
Looking her over, Marcellus saw that she wore utterly no armor, limiting herself to greaves and bracers. Not that he cared, but he hoped for her sake that she could out run bullets because there was not much protection going for her. He was aware that she wielded magic but had never seen her in action. He was not compelled to verbally remark on the matter. This was not their first mission and therefore he assumed she knew what she was doing.
Tivon turned away from Marcellus, grumbling to himself, heading towards the door of the cabin. “Keep it up, pretty boy.”
Marcellus huffed what could have been a laugh if he had felt any actual humor. He did not feel much of anything, neither the anticipation of the coming fight nor concern for his or his temporary comrades’ well beings. This was a job like any other and he would execute it with the precision that had been trained into him all those years ago. If any good came from his early years it was his honed ability to survive. And since fighting and surviving was all he knew how to do, mercenary work came naturally to him.
The locomotive began its deceleration. Tivon swung his rifle into his hands. He did a once over and disabled its safety. Ava seemed to gather her focus. Her form went murky and faded as she drew two knives from the collection strapped to her. Marcellus unslung his great maul from his back and gathered his will, channeling it into his form and his weapon. His muscles began pulse and the head of the maul began to radiate heat.
As soon as the locomotive had halted the cabin door slid open. Tivon and Ava leaped unto the platform as the others in the adjacent cabins did the same. Shouts of surprise rang out in the night.
Marcellus paused for a moment. With a running start, he leapt out of the locomotive with flaming maul raised raised high.
Comments (0)See all