First Hunt 4-04

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“An amarok!?” Sean’s voice blurted out, his voice filled with disbelief as he stared up at the enormous creature standing over us. “They want us to fight a fucking amarok?! Who okayed this shit?!”

“No way,” Sands’ voice came through the pin. “They wouldn’t. They couldn’t. Something’s wrong.”

The wolf, or amarok apparently, responded by lunging down with its massive mouth wide open. I yelped out a warning, but Sean was already reacting. He gave that huge gun of his a heave, and Vulcan transformed back into his dog form just in time to crash into the much larger beast’s descending snout. In spite of the size difference, the mechanical canine was able to knock the monster’s lunge off target. The amarok stumbled off to one side, the ground practically shaking beneath its staggering paws as it proceeded to knock over one of the nearby trees that happened to be in its path.

Grabbing my hand to haul me back to my feet, Sean shouted, “We could use some help over here!”

“Scout, covering fire. Buy them a few seconds.” Avalon’s voice was calm and collected, with just a hint of concentration. If I hadn’t known any better, I would have said that she was sitting at home doing the crossword puzzle. Yet through the corner of my eyes, I could see the girl dealing with one of the chamrosh. The thing had knocked Columbus to the ground and had been about to take a bite out of his shoulder before Avalon got its attention, dancing back a bit while it lashed out at her. “Gerardo, Chambers, get into the woods and head back around the lake. Use the trees to slow it down, not the open ground. Mason, meet them halfway. We’ll finish this and catch up.”

By that point, the pants-wettingly huge wolf had recovered from its stumble. Spinning around, it focused on me, and in that second, I could have sworn that the thing smiled.

Then one of Scout’s bullets hit it right in the snout, and the monster’s head jerked a bit to the side. Before it could recover, I spun around the way that Avalon had directed. “Go, go, go!”

Sean whistled while we ran, and Vulcan caught up quickly. The three of us sprinted into the woods, while Scout kept up her shots against the massive wolf. Unfortunately, the thing seemed to have adjusted to the incoming fire, and it didn’t seem to be having much of an effect aside from annoying it.

While running, I held the button to charge my staff. As the sound of trees collapsing under the charging monster drew closer with each passing step, I waited until the staff was as charged as it could be before touching it to the ground near one of the trees that the beast was going to have to crash through.

A handful of seconds later, the whoomph sound of the concussive mine detonating filled the forest, and the giant wolf gave a loud yelp that was followed by a howl of anger. Not enough to really put it down, but I had its attention at least. Somehow, I managed to contain my exultation at that thought.

Sean and I continued to run. I kept charging the staff and leaving various invisible traps for our pursuer, which had actually backed off just a little. The thing managed to avoid a good number of the mines that I was creating, but at least the fact that it was being more cautious meant that we had more of a lead.

Strangely, it was kind of easy to keep running full out. Though I’d been sprinting as hard as I could, through a forest no less, which involved a lot of weaving and jumping, it still felt like an easy jog. I was in better shape than I’d ever been in my life, but this was something different. This was new.

The chamrosh that I had killed. I’d taken regeneration from the poodle-roach back at the school, and this time, whatever I’d gained from this monster was letting me keep running as hard as I could much longer than I should have been capable of without even getting winded.

“Flick, Sean, turn right and jump through the hole in ten seconds.” Sands’ voice spoke in my ear.

I had no idea what hole she was talking about, but followed her instructions anyway. After counting down in my head, I pivoted alongside Sean. We hit a clearing right at that moment, and I saw a large metal wall directly ahead of us. There was a circular hole in the middle, like a big window.

The two of us leapt through the opening, landing on the other side together just before our pursuer reached the same clearing, bare seconds behind us. With a snarl, the bus-sized wolf lunged forward, teeth bared as it came for the same hole that we had gone through.

And then, just as the thing’s head shoved through the hole with its sword-like teeth bared and snapping, Sands appeared at the corner. She pushed her mace against the wall she had created. At a touch from it, the hole closed up instantly, locking the wolf’s head in place before it knew what was happening.

The amarok was trapped, snarling and twisting as it fought to free itself. Sands made a gesture with her construction mace, and a two metal posts rose out of the ground on either side of the thing. They twisted to form an arch together, then clamped down to hold the monster more firmly. “Down, puppy!”

Unfortunately, the wolf wasn’t in the mood to listen to commands. It gave a mighty heave, and I saw the wall trapping it start to bend a little bit, the metal giving a sharp screech of protest.

“I’ll try to hold it as much as I can,” Sands called out while working to form another pillar to bend around the monster. “But you might wanna hit it with everything while you’ve got the chance!”

As if in response to her words, Two of Scout’s shots hit the thing in rapid succession, both aimed for its eyes. Even that much damage wasn’t enough to blind it fully, but did make it scream in pain.

Meanwhile, Sean hoisted Vulcan back into his gun form, opening up with a hail of fire on the monster’s exposed side. The sound of the weapon’s roar joined with that of the amarok itself, both terrifyingly deafening, a rolling explosion of noise that shook me to my core and left me briefly paralyzed.

Shaking it off at the sight of the first metal wall cracking apart while Sands struggled to form more walls around and over the monster, I gripped my staff and started charging it again before lunging forward. With a cry, I swung my weapon up and around as hard as I could. As the end smacked into the amarok’s nose, I triggered the detonation. The concussive force snapped the monster’s head sideways.

It still wasn’t enough. With a snarl, the monster gave a massive heave. The metal that had been holding its shoulders down snapped apart, and the thing whirled, jaws opening wide as it went for Sands.

Sean and I both yelped out warnings, just before a blast of blueish-silver light slammed into the side of the monster’s head, knocking it off course so that its open jaws crashed into the ground to the girl’s left.

“Move!” Columbus called from the opening of the clearing. He was standing there, panting from running. A second later, another blast of concussive force shot from his goggles before slamming into the giant beast like a runaway truck, sending it staggering a couple steps to the side.

Taking advantage of the opening, Sands sprang backwards, giving a hard swipe with her mace. A metal pillar rose up with a sharp spike on the end, aimed for the monster’s underbelly. The spike struck home, but failed to do much more than briefly annoy the thing. There was the sound of tearing, bending metal as it smacked into the beast, but the amarok’s hide was too tough. The spike couldn’t penetrate it.

“This is ridiculous!” Sean called out. “Get Deveron in here, or the staff! We need help with this thing!”

Even Sands, who had been so excited for this chance, seemed to agree. “We can’t beat an amarok, it’s impossible! This can’t be right, they wouldn’t throw us at one of these things!”

“Stop complaining about what you can’t do,” Avalon instructed while sprinting into the clearing. She leapt up, lashing out with her right gauntlet while creating an energy blade as long and wide as a massive sword. “And focus,” she continued as the blade was driven into the monster’s eye. “On what you can.” The giant wolf reeled backwards, bellowing in pain before lashing out with a paw that smacked into Avalon and sent her to the ground hard enough to make me flinch in sympathy.

Yet she was back on her feet immediately, rolling backwards before coming up in a crouch with her arms raised defensively. “Mason, walls around it. Thick ones. Chambers, mine the inside of it. As many as you can. Stick them over every wall she makes. Gerardo, Porter, covering fire. Hit it with everything you’ve got, all of it. I don’t care if you run out, just keep it occupied until they finish. Scout, keep punching that eye, the same one I hit. Focus your shots there until it breaks, then hit the other one.”

Sands focused, standing with her feet apart while pointing with the mace, which she was gripping onto with both hands. Steadily, she made a heaving gesture as if lifting something heavy, grunting with effort as a wall several feet thick was steadily hauled up and into position to the monster’s left side.

It took so much time and focus that Sands would have been torn apart by the beast long before finishing that single wall if she’d been by herself. But she wasn’t. Even as the amarok tried to orient back toward her, Sean and Columbus both opened up on the thing. Their joint fire staggered it once more, and it tried to move back that way just as another shot from Scout’s rifle slammed into its eye.

Sands had the first wall finished by that point, and I forced myself to ignore my terror and trust my team. Sprinting forward, I ran straight at the horrifying beast that could have eaten me in a single gulp.

It spotted me, and started to turn my way. But before it could lunge, Avalon leapt up and landed on its snout. Lashing out with both gauntlets, she drove the energy blades hard into its other eye.

With a terrible scream, the amarok tossed its head to the side, sending the other girl flying once more. But by that point, I had finished my run, laying as many mines as I could against the inside of the wall that Sands had created while the monster was still recovering. It gave a roar of displeasure, head snapping from side to side as though trying to clear its damaged vision just before yet another shot from Scout into the first eye made things worse for it, driving a pained yelp from the thing.

Once Avalon and I were both clear, Columbus and Sean opened up on it again. The hail of bullets and blasts of bright silver and blue energy tore into the damn thing, but it barely seemed to be acknowledging the damage by that point. The amarok roared and tried to lunge for Sands, only stopped at the last second by a particularly powerful shot from Columbus’s goggles that snapped its head back.

“Almost out of shots here!” Sean called out in warning. “Vulcan packs a lot, but he’s running low!”

“Put the second wall up,” Avalon ordered. I saw the pain on her face briefly as she rolled over, but the other girl forced herself back to her feet without complaint. “Mine it. Then bend the walls down around the thing. Enclose the explosion, trap the force in there with the amarok. Everyone else, buy them time to finish the other wall. Hit it with everything you can, everything you have. Use it all.”

Sands and I looked at each other, nodded, and then set to work. While the others put everything they had into maintaining the wolf’s attention, keeping it pinned in place, we did our part. Sands heaved a second thick wall high and into position while I ran along it. Thrusting my staff against the wall while it was still lifting into place, I created as many mines as I could, positioning them all along the thing.

Just as I reached the end to position the last mine, the sound of Vulcan’s ongoing fire faded, leaving with just a few sad sounding clicking noises. Sean shouted a warning, but the monster took instant advantage. It spun, lashing down with its jaws wide while I desperately hurled myself out of the way.

It wasn’t quite enough. One of the monster’s massive teeth clamped down into my arm, sending a blinding flash of pain through me even as an awful scream tore its way out of my throat. The agony was unbearable, and I had only a distant impression of something hard slamming into me from the opposite side with enough force to knock me away from the amarok’s jaws.

I hit the ground with a weight on top of me, realizing belatedly that it was Vulcan. Sean had transformed his gun into its other form and sent it sprinting forward to knock me away from the wolf.

Blood was everywhere. The agony was fresh with every motion of my arm, and I stared down at what looked an awful lot like exposed bone and muscle through the haze of pained disbelief. It was already starting to close before my eyes, the muscle and skin gradually knitting itself together. But it still hurt.

It should have been worse, I realized. The damage to my arm, it should have left me incapable of functioning or even thinking straight. Instead, though it definitely sucked, I could still at least somewhat pay attention to what was going on. The pain was dulled somehow, probably another result of absorbing the power of that cockroach-poodle. Or possibly the bird-wolf. I wasn’t sure which.

“Close it!” Avalon called across the clearing toward Sands. “Trap it now!”

Quickly following the other girl’s instructions, Sands made a heaving gesture with her mace once more. The two thick walls on either side of the monster caved in and down, practically collapsing on it while the ends twisted around to meet one another. They linked, forming a dome over the giant wolf.

“Mines!” Avalon’s focus was on me then. “Trigger the mines now, Chambers! Do it!”

Forcing myself to ignore the still very present pain in my mangled arm, I caught hold of my staff with my other hand and triggered the manual release of the concussive mines that I had planted.

The sound of the explosion, trapped under the thick metal walls, was deafening as it rang through the forest. Small bits of metal went flying, torn free from the force of the focused blast.

“Did it work?” Sands asked after a second of silence that followed the explosion. “Did we kill–”

She was interrupted. Not by the amarok, but by me. My body arched and I screamed again. This time, however, it wasn’t agony but mind-blowing, indescribable pleasure. It felt so good that my brain literally shut down for a few seconds, leaving me a mumbling wreck on the ground.

Okay, that really had to fucking stop. Seriously, what the hell?

“I… uhh, I think that means it’s dead.” Columbus was standing over me, staring down through his goggles.

“You okay down there, Flick?” Sean piped up. “Or do you need a cigarette after that?”

“Oh shut up,” I managed, flushing at his implication. My tone was light though. Mostly I was just glad we weren’t dead.

Columbus crouched down, wincing a bit. “Seriously, are you all right? Your arm…”

I glanced that way, finding the wound about halfway closed. “It was… ugnn, worse a minute ago, believe me. Doesn’t even hurt as much as it should. I mean it did at first, but then the pain kind of dulled after a couple seconds.”

Sands was there then, head shaking. “You absorbed the amarok. That’s gonna… whatever it gives you, it’ll be a big boost.”

“She’ll need it,” Avalon said flatly while stepping into view. “Something’s wrong. None of the staff are answering calls. They should have stepped in.”

“They never should’ve left us to fight a fucking amarok to begin with!” Sean blurted. “None of this makes sense.”

“Let’s ask our team mentor,” I suggested with bright and obvious sarcasm before letting my expression darken. “Oh, right. Never mind.”

“Scout, is Deveron with you?” Avalon addressed the last member of our team through the pin communicator. She paused at the resulting silence, then tried again. “Scout, is Deveron–”

“Oh, they were a little busy.” A new voice spoke up from the edge of the clearing, and the five of us twisted around to see a handful of figures standing in the shadows. “But don’t worry,” the voice continued. “We brought them to you.”

Scout and Deveron were shoved forward into view before collapsing to the ground. They were both unconscious and lay unmoving in the dirt.

“Scout!” Sands shouted, starting to scramble forward.

Before she could get there, Avalon caught her by the arm to stop her. “Trice,” the other girl snarled the name, hate heavy in her voice.

The figure who had spoken stepped a bit more into the light. It was a slightly older boy, tall and muscular with dark green hair that was cut short and spiked up. He wore a brown trenchcoat and held a heavy looking pike in both hands. “That’s right, you stupid cunt. Did you really think you could run away after you killed my fucking brother? You really think we’d just let you go?

“Time to put you down like the bitch you are.”

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26 comments

  1. Well. Blood fued time. I wonder if Trice is operating with or without orders from up top.

    Also, this would not have happened if someone on Crossroads faculty were not a mole. I could believe students were behind the poodle-roach incident, but it would have had to be someone higher up to isolate the team from the staff this time.

    Again, Deveron is the obvious answer… which remains the problem, he’s the obvious suspect, which makes me think he’s a red herring. Unless he’s been set up to look like a red herring to hide that he actually is a traitor!

    Flick appears to have gained enhanced endurance upon killing the chamrosh. I expect whatever she got from the amarok (which I looked up, Inuit mytholoyy, right?) to play a key role in winning the upcoming fight.

    Which reminds me of something I want to ask. Do all Heretics orgasm when they absorb their kills’ power? Or is it just some of them? Because uh… DAMN.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. “Do all Heretics orgasm when they absorb their kills’ power?”

      They get better at not reacting to it as they get more accustomed to the feeling of pleasure, but yeah the whole sudden burst of intense pleasure thing happens to everyone. And some are more affected than others. Avalon had the same thing back during the poodle-roach attack.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. And going by what happened to Flick just now, I assume that the sensation is greater the mote powerful the killed Stranger is.

        I feel like this information should be part of the Heretic recruitment pitch. (I’m (half) joking).

        “Meet new people, travel to interesting places, kill monsters and feel indescribable pleasure when their deaths give you magical superpowers.”

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      2. “And going by what happened to Flick just now, I assume that the sensation is greater the mote powerful the killed Stranger is.”

        Yeah, the biggest factor is the power level difference between the Heretic and the Stranger. Flick got the killing shot on a Stranger that was technically WAY too powerful for her to kill on her own, so the vast gulf of power difference between them resulted in ahh, well, that. 😉

        “I feel like this information should be part of the Heretic recruitment pitch. (I’m (half) joking).”

        Yeaaaaaah, lol. Trust me, there’s a reason the pleasure thing exists that ties back into the real connection between Heretics and Strangers.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. I agree. Deveron is looking more and more suspicious. Especially because he’s supposedly an experienced heretic that graduated in Flick’s mom’s year. No way he would have been taken by surprise so easily.

      And I’m losing a lot of faith in the competency of the Crossroad’s staff. First Deveron is appointed a mentor, and none of them bother to keep an eye on how he’s doing as a teacher. One of them is killed in their own place of power. Then Avalon and Flick are nearly killed by a trap; the worse part about that one was that there was at least one teachers there, just on the other side of a locked door. It took them at least a minute or two to get through. And now? Something is very fishy here.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Personally, I think it has less to do with incompetence and more to do with an infiltrator or traitor actively sabotaging them.

        It seems clear to me that someone was using some kind of power, barrier or ward to block the teachers off from both the room with the poodle-roaches and from the lake right here.

        I’m going to wait until I see how they react to this event before I start describing all of them as incompetent.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. “It wasn’t quite enough. One of the monster’s massive teeth clamped down into my arm, sending a blinding flash of pain through me even as an awful scream tore its way out of my throat. The agony was unbearable, and I had only a distant impression of something hard slamming into me from the opposite side with enough force to knock me away from the amarok’s jaws.

    I hit the ground with a weight on top of me, realizing belatedly that it was Vulcan. Sean had transformed his gun into its other form and sent it sprinting forward to knock me away from the wolf.

    Blood was everywhere. The agony was fresh with every motion of my arm, and I stared down at what looked an awful lot like exposed bone and muscle through the haze of pained disbelief. It was already starting to close before my eyes, the muscle and skin gradually knitting itself together. But it still hurt.”
    Me: *winces* OW. I’m surprised Flick’s arm wasn’t bitten/torn off in that exchange.

    “She was interrupted. Not by the amarok, but by me. My body arched and I screamed again. This time, however, it wasn’t agony but mind-blowing, indescribable pleasure. It felt so good that my brain literally shut down for a few seconds, leaving me a mumbling wreck on the ground.

    Okay, that really had to fucking stop. Seriously, what the hell?”
    Me: *Raises eyebrow* That was an…unexpected reaction. At least the Amaork is dead.

    ““She’ll need it,” Avalon said flatly while stepping into view. “Something’s wrong. None of the staff are answering calls. They should have stepped in.””
    Me: Either the calls are being intercepted/jammed somehow, or the staff are occupied with something else.

    “The figure who had spoken stepped a bit more into the light. It was a slightly older boy, tall and muscular with dark green hair that was cut short and spiked up. He wore a brown trenchcoat and held a heavy looking pike in both hands. “That’s right, you stupid cunt. Did you really think you could run away after you killed my fucking brother? You really think we’d just let you go?

    “Time to put you down like the bitch you are.””
    Me: Wonderful. Two team members down already, a third not exactly combat effective, most of the others fatigued from the fight with the Amarok. This is not ideal. I wonder what combat tricks Trice has up his sleeves? Avalon probably knows a couple of them from her prior association, but he’s undoubtedly picked up new ones.

    I’m curious to see how this will play out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ” Wonderful. Two team members down already, a third not exactly combat effective, most of the others fatigued from the fight with the Amarok. This is not ideal. I wonder what combat tricks Trice has up his sleeves? Avalon probably knows a couple of them from her prior association, but he’s undoubtedly picked up new ones.”

      Yeaaaaaaah the next bit should be interesting. Trice and his companions have the edge because they’re fresh and they’re ALL better trained than any of the others aside from Avalon.

      Like

  3. Oh, now, _this_ is getting interesting.

    This Trice guy must have a plan, or he must be very confident in his skills (though he did take out Deveron (if that’s how you spell his name), so unless there’s something else going on, he might have a right to be), because he’ll definitely have to fight at least Avalon, Flick, and Scout – and probably the other guys too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Oh, now, _this_ is getting interesting.”

      Good! Interesting is good. 🙂

      “This Trice guy must have a plan, or he must be very confident in his skills (though he did take out Deveron (if that’s how you spell his name), so unless there’s something else going on, he might have a right to be), because he’ll definitely have to fight at least Avalon, Flick, and Scout – and probably the other guys too.”

      I feel like you probably meant Sands rather than Scout, since Scout is unconscious.

      Like

  4. ““No way,” Sands’ voice came through the pin. “They wouldn’t. They couldn’t. Something’s wrong.””
    Show of hands of who else thought this was a good chance for whom ever wanted to kill Avalon to try again from 4-01? *Rises hand* Anyone else? Come on, raise them up.

    “At a touch from it, the hole closed up instantly, locking the wolf’s head in place before it knew what was happening.”
    Hum, a limitation of a construction mace? That it can’t make a wall /inside/ of something? Otherwise she should have just decapitated the amarok right then and there instead of just locking it in place for a moment.
    Magic has to have internal consistent rules or it just gets broken fast, kind of like I was talking about range on Scout’s gun previous chapter, this seems to be a limitation on what Sands can do with her weapon.

    ““Did it work?” Sands asked after a second of silence that followed the explosion. “Did we kill–”

    She was interrupted. Not by the amarok, but by me. My body arched and I screamed again. This time, however, it wasn’t agony but mind-blowing, indescribable pleasure. It felt so good that my brain literally shut down for a few seconds, leaving me a mumbling wreck on the ground.

    Okay, that really had to fucking stop. Seriously, what the hell?

    “I… uhh, I think that means it’s dead.” Columbus was standing over me, staring down through his goggles.

    “You okay down there, Flick?” Sean piped up. “Or do you need a cigarette after that?”

    “Oh shut up,” I managed, flushing at his implication. My tone was light though. Mostly I was just glad we weren’t dead.”

    *Had to stop after reading Sean’s line, getting his giggles under control.*
    I think Flick might need a chance of pants, and not from fear. That’s seriously embarrassing. At least for most people, I know a few people who wouldn’t be embarrassed about that sort of thing at all.
    And it kind of sucks that only one person can get a power boost, you;d think they would lead to some competitions to get the “kill shot” in on a Stranger, at least the ones with the more sought after abilities. I mean, the whole team (but slacker-boy) worked to kill amarok and only flick gets the boost. Well, at least they are all alive to claim they didn’t get any.
    And yes, I phrased it that way on purpose.

    Also, why do I get the feeling that Columbus’ goggle have some sort of recording function on them and he’s going to be watching that particular clip again later, when he’s in his bunk.

    ““That’s right, you stupid cunt. Did you really think you could run away after you killed my fucking brother? You really think we’d just let you go?”
    Oh, so it’s /family/ related. I stand by what I said before, that the faculty and majority of the other student’s from Eden’s Garden don’t hold anything against Hannah, but when you throw /family/ into things you get petty revenge as a motive and that never works out for anyone involved.
    The question now is how much support from the higher-ups in EG Trice has and if he is acting against orders or was just never told to not go after her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Also, why do I get the feeling that Columbus’ goggle have some sort of recording function on them and he’s going to be watching that particular clip again later, when he’s in his bunk.”

      Columbus emphatically and loudly has no clue what you could possibly mean. He’s clearly completely innocent of such character defaming charges, and will continue to be so as long as any of his girl teammates are in earshot.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, here’s some clear evidence that someone on the Crossroad’s staff has gone rogue, as this little series of misadventures counts as two attempts to assassinate Avalon that would have to involve someone on the inside to set up, and worse, whomever this renegade is doesn’t care how many of the other students get hurt in the process of getting rid of Avalon, since they first arranged for that party of students to run into a Stranger that ought to be way beyond them, and then, for some of the friends of that guy Avalon killed in self-defense at Eden’s Garden to find out where they are & slip through to attempt a surprise attack while the team’s busy with the amarok.

    During the fight with the amarok, Avalon showed some real leadership & tactical skills, given how she was able to come up with a plan that’d allow her team to defeat a Stranger that should have been too much for them to handle, and then coordinate their efforts so they could carry it out. Wonder how much of that is natural ability, and how much is experience.

    The stamina boost Flick got from killing that chamrosh came in useful, as without that boost, doesn’t seem like she would have been able to carry out her part of the plan, which along with Sands, was the most active & important part of the fight. And, hmm, looks like whatever mechanism allows Heretics to absorb abilities from the Strangers they defeat decided that Flick should get credit for the kill.

    Though I’ll be interested in seeing just what the reason why when Heretics defeat a Stranger & absorb their abilities, they get a rush of pleasure that comes close to getting off on it is, as that is something that could prove to be rather inconvenient at times.

    And then, from the prospect of Flick, Avalon, & company, those Gardeners have a really lousy sense of timing, deciding to attack right when they’re exhausted & pushed to their limits from that fight with the amarok.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Welp. Of course things would get complicated. They always do.

    Now, I’m expecting either a very very competent individual or organisation behind all these occurrences because of the sheer amount of BS these people seem to be getting away with to target Avalon. They are fooling and obstructing some of the most powerful people around, as well as getting important information that from the quality of technology shown should be very difficult to access. As well as access to Strangers in both numbers, like the dogroaches, and power, like the amaroch.

    A question on the naming of the Strangers. I’m assuming that Heretics see and document Strangers before Bystanders can tell tales about them. Do the Heretics call them something else before the Bystanders can give them a name? And if so, why use the bystander names?

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    1. “Gerado, Chambers, get into the woods and head back around the lake.”
      Typo here, should be Gerardo. Just discovered this in my clipboard.

      Like

    2. A question on the naming of the Strangers. I’m assuming that Heretics see and document Strangers before Bystanders can tell tales about them. Do the Heretics call them something else before the Bystanders can give them a name? And if so, why use the bystander names?

      A lot of the time if a Stranger is well known to bystanders, the bystander name gets mixed in as bystander-kin students interact with Heretic-born, or just by Heretics that interact with bystanders more in the ‘real world’, and the more popular names end up making their way into the Heretic lexicon.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well then

    Time to find out what fantastic new powers Flick got from killing that thing

    Decidedly getting the feeling she’s gonna need them

    Like

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