Colonal John was now in the silent city, having emerged from a guarded sewer grate. To his surprise. They had taken his name, position, species, why he was there. Scanned him and his cargo and let him in. they provided him with an escort and shoved Taelia back into the swarmlands.
Her so-called safe route was now guarded. Security was now tight. Lord Rook was no fool. Some human had ventured into his city, attempting an violation of his beloved city-state through backwater route. Instead of taking the approved refugee route. One side of the city was not surrounded by the swarmlands, instead It was surrounded by a long dead span of crumbling suburbia, a failed experiment in urban planning long ago. The plains of dead suburbia home to feral packs of were dogs, felines, raccoons, rats, and long shards of mutated lawn grass, that rustled in the wind, tearing apart all who went through it. The hides of animals who lived in the are were thick and bristly, able to withstand the thorns.
Lord Rook had cut through the suburbian savanaah, creating vast clear swaths that was eventually pounded down and paved over, creating wide trails for refugees and armies. A far safer route then the Swarmlands, the Ramshackle Hauses, provided guidance yet, but treachery and backstabbing ran rampant. Their clients becoming swarm food for the nasty bits and pieces, or worse ritual fare, or cannon fodder.
So to find a human who took the swarmland route, (should,ve took the main route, instead of violating his city with trespassing, akin to molestation on a flesh creature) alive and fully intact, whole in mind, body, and soul.
It was a rare occurance.
Whoever his guide was must have cared for him, or he paid a high price for such quality service. He sent a message to his guards.
Colonal Jack marched through the city, flanking him were two blank faced guards. Guards with deep black ebony wings, and what seemed to be wing blades surgically attached their wings.
Sheets of transparent material covered their feathers, the sun glowering down on him, led to colonal jack,s realization that the edges of the feather sheaths were razorsharp. One of them eyed the Colonal Jack as he inspected their feathers and unleashed a warning growl.
Slamming him with his staff, which was actually a halberd, glowing with heat on its bladed edge. It was disturbing. Colonal Jack was not a short man, he towered at a respectable six feet, with well-shaped arms, chiseled and hewed from years of training and fighting. But the guards loomed over him by a good two feet, they,re beaked faces hidden by a metallic mask, alloy unknown. Narrow crimson eyes stared ahead.
Colonal jack hit the ground, his nose now crushed. His valuable box was now gone, taken by the people at the desk to deliver to their master.
He simply got up, taking note of the dark shadow that had just passed over him and the guards that flanked him. He rose to one knee, picked his other leg, and stood up tall. The guard that had shoved him to the ground, merely glowered at him as though he was some insect. And pushed him forward as a signal to keep walking.
Unseen eyes were on Colonal Jack, even though he was a baseline human, some modifications gave him an edge over his unaltered ancestors. Playing god was no longer a sin when the very gods that mankind once revered and worshipped now preyed upon them like cattle. Once believing to be the top of the heap, mankind was just in the middle of an even bigger heap.
The thought unsettled him, leading to much sleepless nights.
Alarm ran down his spine but he was a military man. And didn,t show his fear. He merely looked straight ahead. There was no roads in this city, merely passage ways, hallways and tunnels. They walked him in the underbelly of the city far from the residential and commercial aspects of the urban environment.
And walkthroughs. They were on a pedestrian,s bridge right now, between skyscrapers. Dark black buildings towered high above him and reached down to the earth. Strange feathery creatures flew in the spaces between.
Welcome to the silent city of bleeding towers, citadel of those who never return. A great shadow rised above, skimming the wall of one of the towers. Flying straight up. But it was quick as a swift, and it was a blur to in the corner of Colonal Jack,s eyes.
The guards kept going, aware of being watched, they just hoped they wouldn,t be punished for the earlier incident but the inferior being had been gawking at them as though they were some strange creature. It was simply not polite, after all this was their city, and he was lucky that he had not been thrown out like that hideous doll fae.
But he must have been important if their master wanted him. Both the guards stared at each ither in discomfort and stopped walking to the central spire, a cold feeling of doom washing down their spine No, I mean pouring down their spine.
The shadow landed behind them. The guards both turned around, laid their weapons, their laser halberds down. And then bowed, kneeling, prostrating themselves before their symbolic father and king.
“My lord.” They both said in union.
Colonal Jack not knowing what else to do, figured when in the black city, do what their citizens do. He too bowed and prostated himself before the ruler of the city.
As the shadow landed, it revealed itself as quite a tall figure.
More cold water.
I mean a regal tall figure.
It landed on thick talons, hunched over. A dark blur. It straightened over. I mean it straightened itself up. Colonel Jack noticed that it had a powerful build, it was at least twice as tall as the guards, lording its height over its inferiors.
The wings were dark and black as night. Their lord,s wings were arcing up in a obvious display of power, against a backdrop of evening sun, no I mean noon sun. their was a bit of subtle shimmering in his wings, hidden hints of color. Ranging from purples, blues, greens, yellows, oranges, red. Colonel Jack only saw these because he snuck raising his eyes at the great lord. From a worm,s point of view.
“Human…I suggest you lower your eyes. You are a guest in my domain, showing disrespect is very unwise.”
His eyes quickly shifted down. Little beads of sweat started to appear on his brow, oozing out of his brow. He had never been this close to an eldritch Lord…
:Human, I suggest you refer to me in a more respectful tone, when you are thinking about me. I see fear propels your thoughts, yes, fear leads to respect, but do not let it blind you, mortal. For it leads to rash and hasty decisions that lead to unpleaseant…consequences…”
Colonal Jack eye,s widened. Not having expected it. The Lord merely looked at him and turned attention to his guards.
Let the human panick. It a simple response to him, one that he had expected, a human that did not show him, the proper fear and respect was either very stupid. Or very brave.
“and as for you two. He is a guest, it is to be expected that he is to gawk and stare at us, after all it is not everyday a common human will end up in our city. As for his, your rough harsh treatment of him . you two are to report to punishment detail in three strikes of the clock, when the shadow hits the sixth point.
Go. Leave my sight.”
He was not happy, the guards did not show their displeasure, obedialntly saluting their superior, jumping off the walkway, and flying off into the distance. Swooping down and flying through a passageway for fliers In on e of the towers. Not exactly the. Not daring to crash and harass any of the others. After all, their lords eyes were on them.