Are you ready for a throw down? Well it’s a bit of a mini throw down and an introduction to a new creature I need to properly name. Hey, if you guys have any ideas for that sound off in the comments! You’ll get a big fat juicy shout out in the books acknowledgments if I like it! At any rate, I like this scene though like most things I’m sharing with you there’s a bit of clean up that needs to be done to it.
It’ll be heavily expanded in the final novel. There’s some serious shit that went down before this, that I haven’t shared with you all because I’m attempting not to be too spoliery with what happens. But it’s major and will affect Saraya and her relationship with Will and Elania going forward in interesting ways. A bit of background in this scene, Will and Elania are preparing to give a talk on Crop Circles and the very interesting things they’ve found in what they believe crop circles are for. It’s a phenomenon that has fascinated me for ages, so like I said this scene will get a lot bigger as I finish up my research and add in some fun snippets to Will and Elania’s talk.
Let’s rough draft it up!
location / date
The lecture hall was packed. Will and Elania stood behind a curtain backstage. Elania was going over the note cards in her hand for the hundredth time. Will stood there nervously, fidgeting with his tie, his shaggy hair that always fell over onto his forehead, his sleeves.
“It’s never been this packed before.”
“Lots of things have changed,” Elania looked at him and smiled. Her brows lifted in amused surprise a moment later when she took a good look at his expression and saw him fidgeting. “You’re really nervous.”
“What? No, I’m not.” He swallowed hard and tugged on his tie again. “Okay. Yes. I am. A little.”
“That’s okay.” Elania took him by the face, playfully smooshing his cheeks together. “All that nervous energy is going to translate into amazing stage presence. You’re going to be great.”
Will chuckled, gently pulling her hands away. “Thanks. And you mean we’re going to be great.”
“I did,” The speaker on the stage announced them, drawing Elania’s attention. “And that’s our queue. Let’s do this.”
Saraya stood at the back of the lecture hall, her arms folded over her chest, her gaze focused intensely on the two human’s on the stage. With effort, she was keeping her attention narrowed. It took training to separate her emotions from what she had to do. On Dacwen the funeral procession would be over by now. Her mother would be talking about-
Saraya’s fingers tightened on her arms, her eyes closing at the sharp rush of pain that wrapped itself around her heart. She should have been there. She would have been there had she just followed the rules, Saraya thought bitterly. If she had the two humans on that stage, Bill and Eleanor or something, she didn’t care about their names, would be dead, she wouldn’t be wasting time try to find out if these two humans were important to the Demiurge or not, and she would have been able to focus on finding and stopping her brother before he caused more harm instead.
Fury hot and acidic swirled around her gut when she thought about Savil. It didn’t make her pain less, it was just another emotion for her to deal with. The weight of everything made her shoulders drop and her chin sink towards her chest as she struggled to get control of herself again.
It wasn’t she who brought herself out of her internal struggle but the very faint sound, like a scratching on the walls. It would be difficult for humans to hear it, but she did. Her head snapped up immediately, a different tension taking over her frame as she slowly uncoiled her arms and held them loosely at her sides. She drew her gaze over those gathered and confirmed it. A sense of unease had fallen subconsciously over the humans, the color of their auras reacting to the threat they felt instinctively.
Saraya frowned and silently cursed. Her informant had been right, she wasn’t wasting her time here, they were after the two human’s on stage.
They came out of the walls without warning. Saraya knew they were there even though she couldn’t see them – the light hid them. Saraya shrugged out of her cloak, her tanarull materializing out of her skin. She outstretched her hands towards the lights in the ceiling, releasing a pulse of energy that short circuited them. Sparks flew and plunged the room in darkness. The sudden black out caused the startled gasps from many in the crowd, but those sounds quickly turned into panicked screams now that the threat could be seen.
They looked like they were made of pure energy, long and snake like, but clawed arms extended from their slender bodies, their jaws unhinged to keep their mouths wide, exposing a mouth full of long pointed fangs.
Will and Elania had been as startled as everyone else when the lights cut out, moving closer to each other.
“What in the world-”
Elania was the first to see them, barely suppressing her scream as the creatures came crawling towards the stage. “Look out!” She shouted and just reacted, kicking over the podium to put something between them and whatever the hell that thing was, yanking on Will’s arm at the same time to get him out of the way.
Saraya leapt upwards, latching onto the ceiling like a spider and quickly crawling, avoiding the chaos of the crowd below until she was above the creature closest to Will and Elania. She dropped onto the beast, her tanarull forming a sword on her mental command that she thrust down into the creatures head.
It didn’t make a sound as it died, but it burst into ash. Will and Elania could barely see in the darkness, only knew that something, maybe a person with something glowing bright purple around their arms had just attacked whatever the heck that was.
“Move to the right!” Saraya barked as she watched another come wiggling out of the wall above their heads. Will and Elania thankfully didn’t ask questions, just reacted, jumping off the stage and hunkering down, grabbing hold of each other, watching with utter fear in their eyes.
Saraya turned her sword into a whip, the quick forward motion of her arm sending the coil around the creatures neck. She yanked it to her, keeping it away from the humans but fell backwards underneath it’s unexpected weight. A third arm, more like a tail in the wrong place shot up from the middle of its back, a deadly pointed tip on the end that it thrust towards the top of Saraya’s head. Her whip gone so quickly it might never have been there in the first place, Saraya thrust her arm over top her head, forming a thin shield that blocked the strike of the creature’s tail. In her other hand was a long curved knife that she slit across the creature’s throat.
There was no blood, and again not a sound it simply dissolved into specks of golden ash. Saraya rolled up quickly to her feet, her eyes narrowed watching the walls. Two more poked their heads through looking at Will and Elania but the sight of Saraya gave them pause. Slowly they retreated.
Saraya held completely still, not convinced they wouldn’t return immediately.
Will and Elania poked their heads over the stage, looking towards Saraya whom they could only partially see, and then towards the wall.
“Are they gone?” Elania whispered.
Before Saraya could answer the lights in the room flicked on and campus police appeared, guns drawn.
“I will await you outside,” Saraya said and made herself blend from sight.
Will and Elania blinked in shock, then stared at each other, speechless.
William and Elania were tied up with Campus police for a good hour. The world was a strange place these days, but the description of ‘strange creature that could only be seen in the dark’ was still a tough pill to swallow for some. They had both told the truth about Saraya, they hadn’t been able to see her not really, only knew that she had fought the creatures and then disappeared.
But, no one had been harmed, and nothing had been damaged besides the Podium so campus police were free to go.
When they stepped outside the campus security office, Elania wasn’t sure what she was expecting, but she was certain it was not the woman standing there waiting. The woman standing there took her breath away. Literally, took her breath away and that had never happened to her before in her entire life and the sensation was so startling she instinctively grabbed Will’s arm. She spared the briefest glance at his face, and realized he felt exactly the same way.
Saraya’s brown skin made her appear she had been born under sunlight and would die there. Which Elania realized was probably a strange thought, but it’s what popped into her head. The woman was tall and muscular but in a distinctly feminine way. Her hair was jet black, slightly curly and pulled back from her face. Her eyes were striking. Elania felt like she couldn’t breathe all over again when Saraya looked at her, or rather right through her. Her eyes were just so… so…
“Wow,” Will said quietly, barely above a whisper, completing her thought perfectly.
“Yeah,” Elania said. Keeping her grip on Will they walked forward slowly. She wasn’t afraid, well she was, but her fear was born from the silly notion that if she moved too fast the woman would disappear and then she’d never get to know her.
“You saved us,” Elania said in a tone tinged with awe. “That day, with the helicopter. That was you.”
Saraya looked at the pair sternly. “Yes, a mis-” She cut herself off. “We need to talk, but not out in the open. You have a home?”
William and Elania looked at each other, and then back at Saraya. “Yes, we do. We live together. Roommates and all,” William said.
“Fine. Take me there.”