Violent Introductions

A flutter of wings. A slash of swords. A blur. That’s all Sedusa saw before Zanaria’s twin blades were at her throat. She tried to reach for her nuclear-powered guitar, but Zanaria’s blade dug deeper into her throat. Then, Zanaria screamed at her, through the ringing in her ears, “Where are we now? Why have you brought me here? Answer me, before I make you bleed to death.”

Sedusa screamed back, “Take your worst shot, bird-boy. ‘Cos I’m just as clueless as you are.” Her eyes darted around her, looking for any respite. Out of the corner of her eyes, she could still see the fascinating sight above her, a female form floating, bathed in light, translucent energy pouring from her. The Angel was there too, and with him the person he had tried to take from the tree. The rest of them stood a few feet away from her, looking up as well, completely stunned. Except another girl who was lying unconscious on the ground, and a strange man in a large jacket huddled over her body, trying to wake her. A small trickle of blood escaped from under her chin, where the sword had just scraped her skin, and her eyes snapped right back to Zanaria.

Zanaria felt the anger rise, his hands tensing to deliver the final blow. He had had enough pertinence for one day. But just as his swords moved forward, they faltered. Zanaria blinked, and all of a sudden, there was no mermaid beneath him. Instead, he saw a female version of himself under his blade. Pleading for mercy. “Zanaria, dear, It’s me. Your mate.” Zanaria’s eyes misted over. His hands went limp, the swords scattering to the ground.

That was everything Sedusa needed. She flipped out her N-Uke and pointed its fret straight at Zanaria’s chest. As she prepared to strum it, the thrum of the fatal radioactive energy in the N-Uke began to emanate from it. Sedusa, in a firm voice said, “Your turn. What in Mergol’s name are you?” Zanaria bristled, but a small part of him realized that it might be better to answer the mermaid’s question.

“My name is Zanaria. I am an eagle-human. I don’t know why we are here either. So there’s no point in asking me that. Now, why don’t you put that …guitar down??” as Zanaria realised what Sedusa was holding at him. However, Zanaria knew better than to assume this was anything but a weapon. He could feel the deadly waves of sonic energy throbbing mere inches from his chest.

“No, not that much in the mood, halfbreed. I feel like a little rock-and-moss could do you wonders.” Sedusa’s hands moved across the strings gently preparing to pluck a violent riff.

Zanaria’s face contorted into a sneer. He spoke, “You think you can shoot me?” Sedusa snapped right back, “Watch and learn. And wipe that horrible smile off of your face.” As if on cue, the lead pipe connected with the back of Sedusa’s head, and she keeled over unconscious, her N-Uke skittering away harmlessly. Zanaria grinned as the young man in the jacket bent down to pick up the pipe he had produced from one of his many pockets.

“Zanaria, is it? London’s what I’m called.”

A twitch in the eye.

“What I’m called, you dolt.”

A twitch in the eye.

“Shut up…I mean, thanks for the help back there in the ravine, Zanaria.”

A twitch in the eye.

“Yeah, great save right before you set your evil twin upon us.”

Confusion was not an emotion Zanaria felt very often. He decided it was best to ignore London and merely grunted as he gathered his swords. As he rose, he looked up at the girl floating above them. London followed his gaze.

“So…this is all Autumn’s work.”

A twitch in the eye.

“I told you that girl was trouble.”

Zanaria looked at London. It occurred to him that the crazy kid might know something about his current situation. He spoke to him, “Hey, Landau or whatever, you actually know what’s going on??”

London replied, exasperated, “It’s London. And yeah …er… I think so. Autumn’s somehow managed to get us away from those creatures that were going to kill us.”

A twitch in the eye.

“Wrong. What about all those creatures over there looking like they’re going to kill us?”

Zanaria looked across the whiteness. There, headed towards them, making wild war cries, was a centaur, followed by two halves of a raptor, tumbling behind him, and a leathery bird making unearthly screeches. London hurried over to drag Anna closer to them. Zanaria merely steeled himself, his two swords at the ready. In a drawling voice, he said, “Hey Langdon, you got anything better than that pipe in your pockets?”

The End

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