Legends of Cobalt

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“Grab them!” The cult leader bellowed.

A dozen cultists fanned out around the sanctuary space. They marched toward us with simple weapons in hand.

“That’s him.” Jacqueline tugged at Olivia’s dress and pointed to the cult leader. “That’s the father who gave me the cleaver.”

Sweat dripped from Bucephalus’s snout. “Hold together. Watch each other’s backs.” He gulped. “They’ve got the numbers, but we’ve got better training.”

Wyanet crouched behind her shield. “Bucephalus, you and Phebes take the left. Olivia, you and Fredrick hold the right. Percy, with me in the centre.”

I slid my sword free from its scabbard.

“I’ll be damned if I’m going to die at the hands of lunatics.” Olivia twisted and contorted her hands. A line of purple energy shot from her fingertips. The line separated into three bolts of magic and shot toward a cultist. The bolts punched through a cultist woman’s chest and stomach. She took another step forward and fell over.

A bowstring twanged and a cultist to my left screamed as an arrow shaft bit into his thigh.

“Sorry!” Phebes loosed another arrow into the man’s lung. The man fell back into a pew.

Jacqueline sprinted between us. She charged the cult leader with both stilettos in hand. She stopped ten feet short of her mark. Blood sprayed from the severed necks of the cultists flanking their leader. Jacqueline took a stunned step backwards.

The cult leader looked behind him. His allies’ bodies hit the floor. The cultists’ bodies erupted into showers of crimson. Their laughs and cries of elation echoed off the stone walls.

 The cult leader turned to us and grinned. “The angel of the whispered one is here.” He dropped his knife and spread his arms wide. “Take me, Blessed One! I am yours!”

A small viscera-covered hand punched through the cult leader’s torso. 

Jacqueline took another step back. She dropped the dagger in her left hand. 

A second hand punched through the cult leader.

Jacqueline dropped her second dagger.

The hands grabbed both sides of the hole they created and ripped outward.

Jacqueline Sprinted back to our line and hid behind Bucephalus. “What is she doing here?”

The body of the cult leader separated and crumbled. It spurted more blood onto the floor.

“We need to run. None of us can beat her.” Jacqueline tugged at Bucephalus’s skirt. 

“Can’t beat who?” Olivia flicked her wand into her hand. 

“Thanks for leading me to them.” Nellie stepped through the gore. Blood spattered her face, stained her dress and matted her hair. Nellie licked the blood from her fingers. “They were a nuisance. They kept interrupting my plans.”

Bucephalus stepped behind me. “And what plans are those?”

Nellie smiled. “To make a paradise for my brothers and sisters. A paradise where we don’t  grow up, starve or die.”

“She’ll kill us all,” Jacqueline muttered. “Don’t listen to her.”

“I won’t kill you, silly. Like I told you when I killed your master, I want you to join my family. It won’t hurt long.”

“Nellie, dear.” Olivia extended her empty hand to the bloody orphan. “Why don’t you come with us. We’ll give you a hot bath and see if we can help you.”

“NO!” Nellie stomped her foot. “Adults always ruin everything, even when I tell them what to do.”

“Adults only want what’s best for us. That’s why they do the things they do,” Phebes pleaded.

“I thought someone who grew up homeless would understand,” Nellie snapped. “I’ve seen savage men buy the innocence of girls for coppers and a meal. I’ve seen boys starve in the gutter while fat priests gorge themselves on stolen wealth.”

“I’ve got issues with the clergy too.” I waved at the bodies strewn about. “They’re corrupt and need change, but that doesn’t mean they all need to die.”

“You’re stupid if you think they’ll change,” Nellie laughed.

“My people always help those in need.” Wyanet took a step forward. “Take us to your family and I will see that they get the help they need.”

“Since when have your people been friends to ‘colonisers’,” Nellie hissed.

“They are to children.” Wyanet shrank back.

“We’re trying to make things better,” Olivia replied. “My family and I.”

 Nellie laughed a laugh that filled the entire sanctuary. “Your family?” She sneered. “Your family has been trying to kill me for more than a century. I’m why that monster hides in your blood. You try to hide it with the way you dress and that ridiculous proper way you always speak. I see it though. I see the murderous hunger in your eyes.”

“What are you talking about?” Olivia straightened her skirts.

Nellie covered her mouth with her fingers. “You didn’t know? Benjamin did. That’s why I killed him, just like I’ll kill you.”

Olivia flicked her dagger into her other hand. She levelled her wand and dagger at Nellie. “What do you know about Benjamin?”    

“I killed him,” Nellie shrugged. “I wanted the inquisitors I tipped off to do it, but they got wiped out by a cult, like this one.”

Bucephalus roared and barrelled through Wyanet and me, knocking us to the ground. He charged at Nellie, ready to gore her. Nellie caught Bucephalus by the horns. Bucephalus pushed Nellie back five feet. Nellie planted her feet and lifted Bucephalus over her head. She turned and smashed the hulking Minotaur into a handful of benches. Bucephalus lay motionless in the pile of splintered wood.

Nellie walked toward us.

Wyanet jumped back to her feet and got in a defensive stance.

I raised my hand and pointed at Nellie. “Fostu!”

Thorny vines sprouted from between the stones and wrapped around Nellie’s legs. She scoffed and took another step faster than I could see. Nellie stopped in front of Wyanet.

Wyanet thrust her spear forward. Nellie Smashed Wyanet’s spear to splinters. Wyanet held up her shield for the next attack. Nellie’s claws ripped through the rawhide shield and the arm supporting. Nellie shoved Wyanet out of her way.

I drove my sword at Nellie’s throat. She caught the blade and tossed it away throwing me off balance. I used the momentum to shift into a spinning heel kick. Nellie caught my ankle and chucked me toward the altar like a broken toy.

Phebes loosed and arrow. It missed its target.

Nellie flew at Phebes. She cut her bowstring with a finger and punched her claw into Phebes’s stomach. Phebes fell behind the pews as I collided with the altar. Anger and desperation formed a pit in my throat.

A bead of orange light hit Nellie in the back and flames engulfed her. Nellie hissed back at Olivia and flew towards her. Fredrick stepped into Nellie’s path, swords at the ready. Nellie Pushed Fredrick out of the way and landed in front of Olivia. She slashed her twice across the chest and threw Olivia through the wall.

“LADY!” Fredrick screamed and took a deep breath.

Nellie lunged at Fredrick and tackled him to the ground. A bolt of lighting from Fredrick’s mouth struck the cathedral ceiling.

I staggered to my feet and collected my sword. A calming, warm, chill flowed through my veins.

“You have been to my temple,” A strong thunderous voice spoke in my mind. Blinding light filled my vision. “You have learned part of my history.” 

I took a step down from the altar.

“It is time you learned how to use the power hidden within you.”

The story will continue, May 28th,  2020.

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Written by: Sweeney (@oceansoul316 on twitter)



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