Saturday, January 22, 2011

I watch silently as the vampire takes out the other gunman. The human with Traeger's enchanted sword keeps coming. I step into his way. He stops abruptly.

"That is not yours. perhaps you will return it?"

The man laughs. I guess that is a no. I unsheathe one blade slowly as the Adhene settles to the ground behind him. The breeze from his wings cause the man to turn sideways. he glances once, then looks again, gripping the hilt of the stolen blade tighter.

"An angel? You want me to believe you are an angel? Get real."

He falls into a fighter's stance. So, he is not unskilled. The Adhene shakes his head.

"A Fallen Angel, that is what I am."

The man laughs again. "Yeah right." He looks between us, then back. It takes seconds for him to realize his men are down and the Romanavich is bleeding his life away.

"You've lossst, leetle man." My accent begins to tell, I can smell the fear, the worry in him, and it is making me hunger. "Hand ovair the blade. It eesss not the true Allah'sss Light, after all."

The man screams at me, telling me I lie, and attacks. I am Nadji, Sword Dancer of the Romanavich, Huntress among Herne's Riders. I dance, playing with him for a few moments, letting him think he can win. But it is all for naught. In the end, he is disarmed and at my feet. The Adhene ties his hands with a bit of leather and picks up the blade. He smiles, commenting on the exquisite workmanship. Traeger has made a truly beautiful copy.

I ask the Adhene who has jurisdiction over this human's sins. He tells me Herne set the Hunt, not God. God has set him a different task, one seconded by Allah's blessing. He is to bring back my father's killer for justice. He turns as I take hold of the human.

The shadows seem to part, opening into a path of dark forest. I can feel the man trembling under my hand as red-eyed horses approach. A wagon comes forward and a Rider dismounts to open the door of the cage on its bed. The man is forced inside, pleading with the silent Riders.

I look back at the Adhene as he leans over Dominic. I hear his words, and feel a peace, knowing the prophecy is fulfilled.

"Dominic Alberto Romanavich, I claim your soul in the name of God, The Father, The Son, The Holy Ghost, and with the Blessings of Allah, Bright Light and Lord of the Desert. You have been named Traitor, Kinslayer, and Thief, for the taking of the life of the Father of the Huntress, Nadia Romanavich and the Stepfather of Josephito Dago-Romanavich, Minstrel and bearer of Allah's Light. I take you now as you step between life and death. Time to meet your Justice."

With those words I watch his wings fill with light and the Adhene lifts into the air, towing Dominic in a net of light. I truly hope the Adhene regains his standing in the eyes of God. I smile, teeth sharp and gleaming. I hope this squares things for myself in Herne's eyes.

A Rider's cloak is offered to me. Mine is on the rooftop where I met with the Adhene. I swirl the cloak over my shoulders and step to the cage.

"I would clossse my eyesss if possssible, Mortal. Where you go now, I cannot promissse a pleasssurable journeey."

A horse is held ready for me, and as I mount, Keon hands me its reins. He salutes us and steps from the Path. I return the gesture and snap the reins, in moments the shadows close behind me. There is laughter in the trees, but there is also a certain comfort, at least to me and my Company of Riders. What the human feels... well, let's just say it was a very fulfilling Ride to Herne's abode.

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