Deborah pressed her hands against her ears, trying to block out the noise, but it still pounded its way through, and it was getting louder by the moment. She fell to her knees, her eyes clenched in pain. The stone tiles under her feet were shaking, the sound of L’lorne's scream was so loud, the adhesive breaking down with the vibrations. She couldn't take it anymore, and she began screaming back, trying to counteract it somehow.
She suddenly felt a hand on her shoulder, and the sound stopped. Looking up, she saw Ritch 'arrd staring across the pool, his hand touching her shoulder. She followed his gaze and saw L’lorne was still screaming, only silently, as if it had been muted. “I told you to run,” she heard Ritch 'arrd say, and when she turned back to him, a gust of air nearly knocked her to the ground.
L’lorne was suddenly there, right there in front of both of them, her axe already unfolded and in her hands, dropping with deadly speed straight at Ritch 'arrd's head. There was no time to see his reaction, only the result: A blade of light there, blocking and holding back L’lorne's kill blow. “RUN NOW!” Ritch 'arrd yelled. Deborah didn't question the response this time, and ran.
The far end of the pool had, when she had first entered, been empty of anything of interest. It was an empty area that would, if this had been a normal pool, been the haunt of tables, chairs, lounge seats and sun bathers. It was an empty area. Now boxes of various shapes and sizes were there, some obviously still growing out of the solid ground, covered in the same stone tiles as the rest of the floor.
No time to think or plan or guess or anything, Deborah simply flung herself behind one of the seemingly more sturdy cubes and backed against it. A concussion of air suddenly blew around the cube, and another scream, though far shorter and more angry, came from L’lorne. A war cry.
“YOU BASTARD!” The words were crystal clear, but the volume, the anger and even the intensity were far and away beyond anything Deborah had heard before from L’lorne. Curiosity overcame common sense, and Deborah popped her head up and over the cube to see.
Ritch 'arrd was on the defensive, at least it looked that way. L’lorne would swing her axe at him and he would back up, holding the glowing light sword between himself and her. Occasionally he would physically block the blade, but most of the time it was a simple, light deflection, or he would step aside from the seemingly wild blows. “It had to be done,” Ritch 'arrd countered L’lorne's harsh words with vigor, but not with nearly the volume or anger.
“HE WAS OUR SON!” L’lorne swung the axe level with the floor so fast Deborah only barely saw the movement. What she did see, however, was the sudden appearance of a sharp cut in the far wall. Nearly ten feet separated L’lorne from the wall, yet the force of the swing still made its existence known. Instinctively, Deborah began to duck every time L’lorne flung the axe even remotely in her direction.
“He was weak,” Ritch 'arrd countered. He shifted the weight on his feet and thrust forward, but L’lorne blocked it and used the momentum of their blades to try to remove the light blade from his hands, unsuccessfully.
“YOU KNOW THAT DOESN'T MATTER!” L’lorne swung the axe down, way down, digging right through the tiles without even the hint of a loss of momentum, and up at Ritch 'arrd who leapt out of the way and landed out on the water of the pool.
“It mattered to me.” L’lorne joined Ritch 'arrd out on the pool and both began a more dangerous dance with each other. The blades swung high and low, both trying to get an edge on the other. Even so, it was becoming apparent to Deborah that it was going nowhere fast.
“IT WASN'T YOUR DECISION TO MAKE!” L’lorne punctuated her remark argument with a flurry of slashes and jabs at Ritch 'arrd, the concussions sending waves of water out of the pool and onto the surrounding tiled surface. Deborah only just missed being soaked as she ducked behind another box. Slowly she was making her way towards the door they had entered through, though exactly to what end she wasn't entirely sure. Ritch 'arrd had told her to run, and from the current chaos of battle that was now rapidly splashing the pool empty, it seemed obvious why. Still, he hadn't said to leave, just run and hide.
“He could never have lived up to his full potential,” Ritch ‘arrd pressed a weak attack against L’lorne, but held a steady defense. The water in the pool wasn’t merely splashing out any more, it was vaporizing as the heat of swinging weapons clashed. Above them, amongst the cooler air of the ceiling, a thin cloud had begun to form. “It was better this way.”
“YOU KILLED HIM!” As L’lorne yelled, the axe swung about and flung an invisible blade of energy at the cloud. By the time it reached it, it wasn’t strong enough to disrupt the cloud, but it did cause a static discharge in the small thing. A shock of lighting lit out and struck one of the steel roof beams, and sending a rattling crack throughout the natatorium. All this happened in a fraction of a second, long enough that L’lorne’s yell was quickly followed by a flash of lighting and thunder, and shook Deborah to the core.
Deborah banged her head against the back of one of the blocks that now filled the natatorium, except for a rather large gap near the door. For a moment there, she nearly thought of Ritch ‘arrd as possibly repentant in some weird way, and even as she thought about it now, he had never been directly aggressive. Now she knew the truth: He was every bit a monster as L’lorne. They were both killers, murders, with their own justifications for everything.
And she was a game piece, a pawn, in the battle between them. To what end though? What did either of them want her to do, and what did they each want accomplished? It seemed L’lorne wanted Ritch ‘arrd dead, that was pretty clear, but even she didn’t know exactly why up until a few moments ago. Ritch ‘arrd, on the other hand, had no reason to want L’lorne dead, or anything like that, nor did he appear to want any form of forgiveness, not that L’lorne was ready to offer it. Deborah was at a loss as to what to do next, deciding that closing her eyes and wishing it all away was the only option she had left.
“You’ll never even hit me if you don’t exert some control Lakinde,” she could just hear Ritch ‘arrd say. He was so damn calm about the whole thing it made Deborah want to cry. If only she could be that calm right now.
“I’LL RIP THIS PLANET APART IF I HAVE TO!”
Deborah shot up at that statement and glared across the block at the battling couple and could only scream. “YOU PROMISED!”
L’lorne swung around and glared back at her, her eyes glowing with an unearthly, hellish light. Deborah decided in the next moment that she had done something very, very stupid.
1. What kind of person is Lcorn L'lorne? What does she look like (in your mind)?
2. What kind of person is the Deborah Ignigus? What does she look like (in your mind)?
3. What kind of person is The Ritch 'arrd? What does his human form look like (in your mind)?
4. Does the setting seem fitting? Would you like to know more?