In The Shadow Of His Nemesis
Chapter Ninety Six
By AL BRUNO III
Saturday, December 4th 1996
The crash was followed by more gunfire, it sounded as though the entire forest had become a battle zone. Which Isobel supposed was all too true.
The figure moving out of the doorway of the Great House looked like her brother, it wore his face but the muscles were slack and empty like those of an embalmed corpse. Hao had called the creature she was summoning the Dread Lord Chayot. A being born of sacrifice and vengeance.
Isobel’s brother’s clothes hung in tatters that had almost become shroud-like in their ruination. The wounds his body had suffered, both before and after death, were still visible but had become filled in with a kind of watery solidity that refracted and churned.
No matter how much she stared Isobel couldn’t place the color of the substance occupying the body It reminded her of something chemical- like liquid mercury.
“Warren?” Isobel said. She knew it wasn’t him but she couldn’t help herself.
Dread Lord Chayot stopped in front of Isobel and regarded her indifferently; regarded her with eyes thick with veins the color of tarnished silver.
“This is Isobel,” Hao explained as she joined them, “you must protect her.”
“I am not a protector,” Chayot said.
Hao shook a finger, “Her survival is part of my revenge. You will rescue the Monarchs’ prisoners and then you will kill the one called Piers Sauno. The one born of persuasion.”
Chayot nodded with understanding.
More gunfire, growing closer. A thin buzzing had filled the air, a sound that reminded Isobel of a summer afternoon thick with the songs of cicadas. Hao turned her gaze to the old Vlodek, her one eye was familiar, the other the color of moonlight.
Everyone’s eyes have changed. Isobel thought, Everyone but mine. Unless being bloodshot counts.
“And you Sig,” Hao said, “you know what you have to do.”
At that the wounded Vlodek turned and bounded away.
“Just us now,” Hao said.
The buzzing sound was growing closer. Isobel felt her gut twist, the automatic pistol felt heavy and cold in her hand.
The Dread Lord Chayot stepped in front of the women, tendrils of the strange tarnished silver substance began to drip from its hands.
Isobel asked, “What is that?”
“It’s me,” the Dread Lord answered plainly.
“Let’s get moving,” Hao started walking. Chayot followed.
For a crazy moment Isobel was sure she wouldn’t be able to move, that all she would be able to do was fall to her knees.
But then she thought, Galen needs me, and that was enough..