From the monsters of history, it was well known that many didn’t react to death if they were much too mighty to comprehend. One death within a minuscule place could mobilize an entire village. However, many deaths – hundreds or thousands – could make a long-lasting impression to be used in a manner of black mail and utter rebellion. Those deaths were the ticket. Making it bloody enough to the point of chaos and fear could chain many to the aspect of war. This wasn’t like any other war many took notice upon.
No, this was one between the poor and the wealthy; the peasants and the royalty. One laced with abilities that left blood boiling beneath flesh and hearts breaking into two. Made eyes widen in fear as their loved ones were slaughtered before their very eyes, and anger rushing through their bodies with a mixture of adrenaline and unattainable revenge. It was war that have overcome them. A sudden act of violence and bloodshed that consumed their hands and chained their minds down.
It had been chaos. The swirling darkness was frightening, nonetheless. Its curled tendrils beckoned the unknowing into the world of Lak’Shiri, entwining around the realm with menace, madness and setting a consistency of confusion upon those that lived there. In days it grew worse. Crimson blood flooded the streams as they continued on their way. Bodies littered the acres of land that swept across the entirety of not only the village itself, but others surrounding it. Growing in the distance was thick, gray smoke that billowed into the skies, shielding it by a veil of darkness as the smoke swallowed the light. Fierce fire snaked its way through it all, leaving trees naked and skeletal in the process.
Those who lived there lost their homes. Some volunteered themselves to death within the smouldering fire that devoured everything in its path, leaving choking clouds of noxious smoke within its wake. Others fled, attempting to save their lives as the war continued on. Unfortunately for Aggi, this had been a reflection of her inner bravery. A way to hide her fear and not allow the tenseness that grew within her head, and her heart. It was her and her husband that were aimed to be the warrior and the protector. Not only for themselves, but their flesh and blood, too. A little boy of three who had blossomed within her heart and entwined his love within her veins.
Terrified, they curled within the night. Away from a home they had become to know so well and lost in the blink of an eye. At night, it was deathly silent. Only interrupted by the punctuated, stifled sobs that flitted through the humid air and the occasional burst of gunfire within the distance. Days they went without suitable water. Stomachs growled in protest, screaming in obvious need for food to quench their hungered desires. As if that gut feeling erupted within, everything had taken a turn for the worst. Within minutes that tightening sensation within her chest begun. Parting lips approached no sound. Widened eyes filled with dread, and a desperation within a scream and panic formulating throughout her anatomy added to the unadulterated terror.
They were there.
Monsters they were. Indescribable menaces that snarled and quaked with a need for bloodshed. Minions of the royal family that had been created and experimented upon to become the perfect weapon. As stated as before, this wasn’t any typical war. No, this was a populated slaughtering for selfish egotism. The monsters were a creation for those who were much too weak to fight to their own accord. Where flames continued to sweep the land in a blazing hysteria, these grotesque creatures rid of those who attempted to survive.
They advanced, their physique hardly discernible in the smokey twilight of the wooden cavern. With each slow movement they belied the speed they were most capable of. Covered within a slime that oozed great globs of phlegm and sticky mucus that was rancid and toxic to come within contact with. It was the Storm woman that found herself creeping incredibly slowly behind the mountainous man that made up her husband. Flesh sticky to the touch due to the coverage of perspiration that flooded over his exposed flesh due to the heat within the air. There was a need to run, but her legs were immobile at the moment as fingers crept and curled around a tiny hand of a little boy that clung to her leg in desperation for safety.
It was the beasts that reeked of raw sewage and rotten fish. Underneath their gelatinous gloop, their skin was gnarled, but crumpled and folded like they had recently lost a tremendous amount of weight. Over their belly laid crusty flaps of concave skin. Even Aggi could note the frustration across their hardened, gnarly features. As a final resort, they begun their clicking noises that vibrated against her ear drums every second. This was their way of detecting their pray. Sight not becoming them so much so like their hearing and reflected vibrations to pick out their next victim.
“Go.” Came the rumbling, strict voice of the man towering before her. “Take our son, and go.” It wasn’t a suggestion. It was a demand. One that Aggi would never deflect or disobey. It was then that her racing heart and clouded mind didn’t steer her from this escape. One that would leave her love behind, but her son close beside her. Swiftly the boy was lifted up into her arms in a swooping motion that held him closely to her side like glue. One arm swept beneath his backside while the other wrapped protectively around the boy’s torso. It was an audible cry as tears streamed down reddened, heated cheeks that encouraged her to move.
Long legs could only do so much. Exposed to the humid air and the branches that stuck out from fallen, barren trees, they dripped of blood from tiny cuts. That didn’t stop her. Not as the distant, bloodcurdling howls sounded yards behind her in a mixture of swords swiping through air and manly yells of courageous defeat swarmed through. A vile pain spread throughout her chest like a deadly infection as her lungs inflated and deflated with every excruciating breath. Knees felt like rubber as if she had been running for hours, and if adding all the times they had run like this, it could be considered just that. Gulped, selfish breaths of air didn’t do much thanks to the thickness of smoke that crept through her esophagus, choking and suffocating her in the process.
The rustling of leaves were what had stopped her, along with movement that could be noted from her peripheral vision. A sideways glance and her body became frozen with forsaken breaths being dragged into her lungs. “Please”. A plead for surrender, as if the little boy in her arms and his muffled cries into her shoulder weren’t enough to leave her untouched. This time it was no creature that aimed to eat her flesh and her insides for dinner. No, this time it was one of the men who looked disheveled in appearance. With leaves and dirt adorning his unruly mess of hair, along with blood that splattered his royal clothing that seemed to have been ruined in previous fights.
“You all plead for mercy. How despicable,” he spat, disgust scrunching up his nose and sketching across his dirtied features. It was his sword that gleamed in the light that peaked through trees that had been untouched by the blazing fire. That metallic sound left a bad taste in her mouth. It was the word ‘momma’ leaving her son’s lips that left her heart tearing in two. As the sword lifted in determination to slaughter, her body bowed with arms aiming to hide her son’s tiny form from the blow.
It did not come, though. Instead metal clanking with metal in the most audible sound interrupted her possible death. Her husband had showed in all his glory, covered in an indescribable amount of blood from not only those that had lost their lives minutes before, but the wound that gushed with a red waterfall from his side. “Leave!” That was one last word. One last demand that left his lips as he shuffled to the side and awaited in attack, and, possibly, his inevitable death.
Esmour’s opponent charged with a mighty cry, and with a dodge to the side in one fluid movement, the enemy swiveled in his direction. With menacing eyes and a indication to kill. One last thrust forward with the sword, it was met with another resounding clang. Twelve words would forever repeat themselves within her mind as she fled from the scene, with her husband’s last breathless words falling into the air just before his body begun to grow weak from the loss of blood seeping from his opened wound.
“If I am to die, I shall fight to the last breath for my family.”
Death had become him, just as it had become his opponent with one last thrust towards the gut. Digging in deep through flesh and muscle just as his legs gave out from beneath him. Slow, rattling gasps flowed from parted, bloodied lips. In just a few moments he would pass, his earthly tether separated and his soul leaving his family behind.
Hours later and she found herself hidden from view in an abandoned building far from the outcries of war. Tears flowed over stricken-white cheeks due to her pale, sickly complexion. Her hunger and thirst tore through her, but it was her son who she must provide for. Losing Esmour had been damaging. It tore her apart. Every thought of the man left her eyes brimming with tears once more, leaving her lost in a torrid vortex of tragedy. On top of it all, it was the slowing, shallow breaths of her son that left her chest feeling heavy. In the dark corner of the musky-scented room, Aggi held onto him as if she were holding onto him for dear life.
Even in the silence there was the soft hum that emitted from her throat with every subtle movement of a rocking motion. It sounded raspy due to the soreness from the thickened smoke that had been inhaled hours before, but that did not keep her from humming that lullaby in an attempt to comfort the sleeping boy in her arms. There was no denying the unfortunate circumstances bound to happen in due time. Not with the wheezing that wrapped itself around every shallow breath from her son’s lips, and the weakened hold on her attire with tiny fingers clutching around the fabric. There was no letting go, even if danger proceeded to appear.
It was then that Aggi came to terms with death herself. How dying would become undeniably easier than handling the loss of her husband and the oncoming passing of her son. It angered her within. How the brutality of the royal Katersin toyed with the lives of those who were innocent. How their objective was to assemble an army of invincible mutants by modifying their genetic makeup in order to conquer a world that had already been their’s. Peasants had instead become prisoners. Tortured and killed due to the ruthless and merciless slaughtering and selfishness of those who were led by greed.
With the very last breath of her son that lied within her arms, it was then she realized she had become so indifferent. Perhaps to the point she had strayed a little too far from the shores of reason. Pain that once burned like fire faded in an instant to an icy numbness that struck through her entirety. Black filled the edges of her vision, and the only sound that crept through her canals were the beating of her raging heart. With hesitancy she stood, still holding her lifeless son within her arms. Sweat drenched her skin with a throbbing sensation that continuously screamed through her head. There was no more fear. Instead, there was revenge.
It tortures her gut, churning her stomach in tense cramps. It engulfs her conscious, knocking all other thoughts aside. Revenge. It overwhelmed her body, making her drastically exhausted as if all energy seeped from her pores and left her internally drained. In the process, however, it calmed her.
A calmness that scared her.
The need for revenge was like a rat gnawing at her very soul. Even as the limp body within her arms had been carefully placed down for her to proceed through the threshold of the abandoned cavern, her desire for revenge was like an abscess on the skin of the soul that could only be cured by the cruel sharp steel point of revenge itself. It was savage. Spiteful. Brutal. Callous. However, it appealed to the twisted darkness that whirled within her.
Miles away a hurricane had grown to a spinning behemoth over the sea, lashing at the shoreline in excitement with peripheral winds increasing in speed. Gray clouds loom in the sky, darkly foreboding and bearing down upon the land of Lak’Shiri; ominous, and threatening. It speared through her with intent for destruction. There was the relentless grumble that invaded it all, just as the clouds struggled to withstand the burden of the weight which the rain held, soon giving in and unleashing its powerful downpour with a roar. Silence was disrupted by the loud, gregarious boom of thunder. It masked the smoke that lingered in the air, and crept over the blazing fire that gradually calmed to nothing but smouldering ashes upon the ground. The cold, icy rain that pierced her pale, wet skin felt like Heaven to her. However, this was only the beginning of what would become the Curse. It was then that the harsh rain obliterated the sky and turned the situation in a disoriented chaos.
As if the storm wasn’t enough, there was a terrible rumble deep within the belly of the earth that struck fear into every surviving person that lingered. It was then that the ground beneath them would begin to move as if it were a wave on the sea. Structured castles, built homes within villages, and other establishments and building that stood for centuries crumbled into their own foundations, either trapping those within to a grisly death, or allowing others to escape from possible doom. Dust formulated before being smothered by the heavy rain that continued to pour down. Cracks upon the surface opened up the earth, causing those to fall to their impending death. That oncoming hurricane blew through at speeds of 185mph.
In the west, the volcano awakens from its dormancy. It rumbled with anger, almost kissing the sky with sparks of molten lava spurting from its opening before it seeped out over the exterior of rock, as if the fire that tore through the villages for days was only the beginning of a heated tragedy.
It was then, though, in the madness and chaos of it all, that lightning came with a brilliant shock of white in the graphite sky. In that violent illumination was the shriek and painful cry that spilled forth from Aggi’s lips the moment that bolt of light struck through her from behind, leaving her to fall to her knees. Gasps of air were all she could handle as the storms continued to destroy the land, stealing lives from those that stole her entire world from her.
Searing, fiery bursts pulsated around the wound that stretched across the expanse of her back. It pierced through her clothing, leaving her burnt flesh exposed to the downpour of rain that flooded around her. That sickening stench crept into her nostrils, but the intensifying pain amplified tremendously. Every bloody muscle quivered as her consciousness ebbed. It was within moments that black mists swirled at the edges of her mind, drawing her into the sweet oblivion of Slumber.