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Flash Fiction – Hammerfall November 19, 2010

Posted by techtigger in flash fiction.
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This flashfic is part of an ongoing web serial, updated every week as a part of #fridayflash on twitter.  If you are new to Nox and Grimm, you can Click Here to read from the beginning.


The air smelled of rain.  As the first fat drops of water hit the ground around Grimm’s paws, he cocked his ears forward to listen to the sound. He had to have the proper cadence for warcasting with Air. He tried to focus on the work ahead, but old memories ambushed him.  The last time he had gone into battle of his own free will, he had been chasing down the Shadowkin in a thunder of wind and fury. Memories flickered, as fitful as the rain, of the woman he had gone to save. The one who had betrayed him.

No. Push those thoughts aside, old man. The past is gone.

He reached for his sword – and suffered another moment of disorientation as he lifted up a paw.  He planted the paw firmly on the ground again and shook himself, water flying off of his shaggy fur.

Get it together, you fossil, he thought. You have a tail and four paws now.  Deal with it.

He looked back over his shoulder.  The tail was as a good place to start as any.  He swished it back and forth in a steady rhythm, like a metronome.  Then he imagined the pattern he would have cut through the air with a sword, and paced it out on the ground.  The air started to swirl around him in damp little vortexes.  He was from House Cyclonis. He remembered that now.  The poor bastard on the other end of this storm would not soon forget it. He was fairly certain it was one of the Storm kindred – Queen Rhianna had come to power at the point of a sword, and there were plenty of Dukes still holding a grudge.  It would be just like the Morning Lord to use a patsy to do his dirty work, and take out Rhianna for him.

Grimm finished the casting, and the swirling wind pulled water spouts out of the dark clouds overhead.  They danced and swayed, circling anti-clockwise around him in a graceful, deadly march. Every minute they grew larger, stealing energy from the storm and forcing his enemy to work that much harder.

The first attack came at him in the form of lightning.  Bolts crashed down, but they were gathered up by the water spouts and crackled harmlessly around him.  Even better, they formed a barrier as they jumped from funnel to funnel, and vaporized the fist-sized hail that followed them down.  Some joker had once called the storm kin’s attack combo ‘shock and ow.’   Grimm called it predictable.  Or maybe he was just so old that he really had seen everything.

He cocked his ears, and listened to the sound of the wind whistling through the cracks that riddled the cliff’s edge.  Once he had found what he was looking for, he paced out a new pattern. This time, he lifted his muzzle and gave voice to a deep, eerie howl.  It slowly rose in pitch, and the wind along the cliff grew more turbulent, battering against the stone and shrieking through the cracks.  The howl rose higher, and the ground started to shake.  More lightning struck, but he paid it no heed, and the thunder was dwarfed by the sound of the cliff breaking apart.  Grimm came to a dead stop, and the casting he unleashed pulled an even larger tornado out of the clouds.  It ripped up chunks of rock the size of small houses and flung them miles away at the source of the storm.

—-

Duke Niall’s guards ran for their lives as the rain of stone crashed into their ranks. He fumbled with the small metal box in his hands as a rock the size of a carriage hurtled towards him.  Lightning met it a bare few feet above his head and blasted it out of the sky.

The Morning Lord stood next to him, frowning in distaste as he brushed rubble off of his expensive robes. “I thought you said you could master the Storm key.”

The Duke glared at him. “Do you see those twisters out there? If I don’t fend them off, it’ll be us getting flung for miles instead of rocks.”  He flinched as another boulder slammed into the ground nearby.  “Why didn’t you tell me I’d be facing off against Hel’s own hound?”

The Morning Lord’s frown grew deeper.  “You should have assumed that Lucien would have his pet with him. I am most disappointed in you, Niall.”

“It doesn’t bloody well matter what you think now, does it?  Not while I have this.”  He brandished the box, and thunder rumbled overhead.  “Maybe that creature can eat lightning, but you are flesh and blood, Balor.  Don’t push me.”

“Do you think I had not considered that when I gave you the key?”

A portal opened up behind the Duke, and a red robed cultist grabbed him by the throat and thrust a long, thin dagger into his back.  Niall dropped the box and scrabbled helplessly at the sharp point that stuck out of his chest, until blood frothed at his mouth and his eyes went blank.  The cultist lowered him to the ground, and made way for the Morning Lord’s technomancer.  The man reached down with a plump, pudgy hand and picked up the Storm key, running his fingers over the etchings carved in each side.  Lightning charred the Duke’s corpse, and he handed the key back to Balor.

“I will send out word that Niall tried to steal the key you hold in trust for the Storm kindred. Tragically, he could not control it and perished.  Will that plan do, my lord?”

“Your plans have been failing, Dieter. Make sure this one works.”

“Patience, my Lord. The girl is the key to both the hound, and your nephew. Destroy her and they will fall into our hands. The next attack is already in place. It is only a matter of time.”


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Comments»

1. Sam Adamson - November 20, 2010

Oooh, the plot thickens; again. I’m not keen on that Dieter, nor them cultists neither. Great episode!

2. Laura Eno - November 20, 2010

Another great episode! Cyclones, huh? I do hope that someone succeeds in smashing that Morning Lord!

3. ganymeder - November 26, 2010

I really want to see them kick the Morning Lord’s butt. Plus Grimm is just awesome.

4. Mari Juniper - December 1, 2010

I even forgot to comment on the last episode. This is awesome!

Oh, I want Grimm as a pet. He’d make a great pack leader in my “huge” household, heh. How cruel is that! O.o


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