Legends of Cobalt

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Leap of Faith

“Why did you kill him?” I demanded.

Fayaad pulled his hood down and shrugged. Sypax Masinissa’s blood pooled around his feet. “I saw an opportuneety and I took eet.”

“We were supposed to keep him alive.”

“Oh well,” Fayaad stepped out of the blood pool. “Eet’s too late now.”

“We should regroup with the others. We need to rethink our plan.”

Massinissa reached a limp hand toward the ceiling. A stream of arcane words flowed from his lips. His eyes flared green and faded. His corpse stared back at us with empty, vacant eyes. The vulture on the catwalk screeched and dove for the amalgamation of body parts on the table. The bird smashed into the table and exploded in a puff of green glittering dust.

 The clouds visible through the glass ceiling boiled and churned. Flashes of green lightning lanced through the tumultuous sky. The air buzzed. The hair on my neck and arms snapped to attention. Fayaad stared at the blue glow emanating from his dagger. The ceiling above us shattered. I shielded my head with my arms. Glass showered us, cutting up my arms. A bolt of green lightning pierced through the shattered room and struck the mound of cobbled flesh. The shockwave tossed Fayaad and I like rag dolls. The bubbling cauldrons erupted their contents and clattered to the floor. Innumerable glass vials throughout the room shattered, sprinkling their unknown chemical concoctions onto the floor.

I staggered to my feet. My head throbbed and a high-pitched bell rang in my ears. The smell of ozone and burnt wood filled my nostrils. Dim lights danced through my foggy vision. I closed my eyes and willed my eyes and mind to focus.

“Fayaad? Where are you?”

I opened my eyes again. Despite the dancing lights, I could make out a vaguely human figure braced against the lab table. I took a tentative step in that direction. My legs felt like jelly. The figure pushed off the table and stumbled a step in my direction.

“Percy.”

Wood and glass shifted to my left. I looked in the direction of the noise. The edges of my vision began to sharpen.

“Percy, I’m over here.” Fayaad whimpered.

My vision snapped into focus. Fayaad leaned against a broken drying rack. A spindle as thick as my thumb protruded above his pelvic bone.

“Can you stand?” I crouched at Fayaad’s side.

“Keell me and go, we can’t get captured.” Fayaad tried to push me away.

“That’s not how I do things.” I wrapped Fayaad’s arm around my neck and hoisted him to his feet. “I don’t abandon people.”

“Then you’re a fool.”

I half pushed, half dragged Fayaad to the stairs. “Maybe, but I’m still alive. We can argue about it later.”

A barrel sailed over our heads and exploded against the wall. An angry moan followed the barrel as a sweet-smelling liquid sprayed everywhere. We looked for the source of the barrel.

A towering approximation of human flesh lumbered toward us. The grey flesh around its eyes and teeth pulled taught into a toothy, unblinking grin. The wire sutures holding the abomination’s body together emanated a violet glow. Sparks jumped from the creature’s various metal infusions at random intervals. The abomination moaned again and lumbered toward us with purpose. Its heavy footfalls vibrated the entire floor of the tower.

Fayaad tried to push me off. “Leave me, I’ll buy you time to get away.”

“I’m not doing that. “My eyes darted around the room. “We need another way out.”

“The ladder.” Fayaad pointed at a ladder behind the abomination. “It leads up to the catwalk. You can climb out a window and jump down from there. Go, I’ll try to draw it away.”

“I told you.” I grabbed the spindle protruding from Fayaad’s abdomen. “We’re leaving together.” I yanked the wooden shard out with a quick motion.

Fayaad screamed. The monster screamed louder.

I clapped my hand over Fayaad’s stab wound. He gritted his teeth against the pain. Divine energy flowed through me and healed his wound.

“That’s a neat treeck. Where did you learn eet?”

“Family secret.”

“Look out!” 

Fayaad shoved me backwards. The monster smashed its meaty grey fists into the ground where we had stood. The floorboards splintered and cracked. The monster bellowed in frustration and turned toward me. 

I scrambled to my feet, sword in hand. Fayaad did the same behind the monster. It swung a fist at me. I turned the blow away with my sword. Blue-green liquid spattered the floor.

“Try to get to the ladder.” Fayaad backed further away from the advancing monster. “I’ll see you outside.”

The monster swung its other fist at me. I ducked the swing and punched up toward its trachea. The monster staggered back a step. Slashing at its legs as I passed, I sprinted for the ladder. I launched myself forward and landed halfway up the ladder. 

Fayaad heaved himself onto the catwalk. He pulled an egg from his bag and hurled it in my direction. The egg flew by me and hit the ground. Liquid sprayed from the egg and ignited into flames.

I scrambled the rest of the way up the ladder and chased after Fayaad.

Angry, panicked moans climbed with the fire. The orange glow licked at our heels and the heat tickled our necks. The clay shingles clacked beneath our feet.

I panted, “What was that thing?”

“I don’t know. We need to get out of here.”

“What about Katsu and Althaea?”

“They’ll catch up.”

Fayaad dropped off the roof and grabbed the gutter. He skipped from windowsill to windowsill until he reached the ground. I backed up a step and took a running leap. The ground hurried to meet me. My feet pushed into the gravel. I leaned forward and rolled out of the landing.

“Keep up, we’ve still got another jump.” Fayaad jogged past me toward the cliff.

We ran past the rotten larder beneath the light tower. Katsu and Althaea sprinted out the door. An uncoordinated mess of undead creatures chased the assassins. Althaea sprinted past me. Katsu fell in step beside me. Fayaad’s silhouette ahead of us vanished over the edge of the cliff.

“You’ll need to trust yourself,” Katsu called over the crunch of gravel.

Althaea vanished over the cliff.

“Make a leap of faith and trust that you’ll make it.” Katsu surged ahead and followed the other assassins over the cliff.

I kept my pace. A mound of dread grew in my gut. The edge got closer. I swallowed my fear. I closed my eyes. A warm breeze on my neck pushed me forward.

I jumped.

The story will continue, November 19th,  2020.

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Written by: Sweeney (@oceansoul316 on twitter)

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