A Pet Banshee
23/02/2009 in Warhammer 40K
This planet reminded her of where she came from, if not for her helmet she would have spat on the ground. In the background the thunder of bolter fire drowned out battle cries; their exarch slowly turned her head, surveying the battlefield, waiting for the right moment.
The wail of anti-grav engines grew louder and closer. The farseer must have ordered their Striking Scorpion kin into the fray against those who served the Great Enemy. The exarch clearly thought so, given her decision to ignore it.
She looked over the battlefield, and noticed something wasn’t right. The Scorpions had already joined the fray, but as she noticed this… it was too late.
The first shot had the fortune of hitting Exarch Anul; she fell to the ground screaming in pain, the splinter rifle had done its work. The Banshee and her sisters turned on the spot to confront their new foe.
The second volley felled two more sisters. She took a hit to the stomach, the dull yellow armour plating doing its job. Her sisters were not as fortunate.
Having faced the dark kin before, she knew what was coming next; it seemed her sisters didn’t, charging the warriors and unleashing the paralyzing effects of their banshee masks and carving through the warriors with their power swords. They fell easily.
A second Raider flew overhead, dropping off its Incubi cargo. She knew that without the benefit of their banshee masks and the exarch lying on the ground screaming in pain, they stood no chance.
The Incubi charge came, and the remaining warriors of the Howling Banshee aspect fell to the ground bleeding. Two of her sisters were merely knocked unconscious but doomed to suffer a fate much worse than death.
She looked in terror as the Incubi turned their attention on her; the last remaining Banshee on that planet, her kin distracted fighting the forces of Chaos.
She pushed down her fear, knowing it would do her no good; she could not outrun a Raider. Instead she steadied herself, holding her blade in front of her and preparing to sell herself dearly. She contemplated taking her own life rather than let her once kin take it but her sense of pride wouldn’t let her; she knew it.
The Incubi watched her, then stepped aside, clearing a path to the Raider; and through that gap, their lord came. He stood upright, looking her over, and smiled. “Yes. She will do nicely.” The words dripped from his tongue and burnt away any remaining courage Amidala had left. He turned and went back to his vehicle, leaving her alone with the Incubi.
Three of them stepped forwards, raising their weapons; instinctively, she took a step backwards. Their attack was fast and merciless. Her swinging blade was easily parried and knocked from her hand; a second attack came from her left, the blunt end of the polearm hitting her in the gut, doubling her over. And the final attack came, striking her in the back of the neck; there was no fading into darkness. Just instant blackness.
When she woke, there was no more gunfire; they had wiped out the remaining forces of Chaos and of her brethren. All that remained was her exarch, Anul, two of her sisters and herself. The four of them were on their knees, a pole slid between their arms preventing them from using them. Their armour and helmets had not been removed.
Their lord stood before them, a silver ring held loosely in his fingers. They had all woken up by now and were looking round. A cold, cruel smile crossed the lord’s face as he turned and began walking away.
No, Amidala thought, don’t you dare turn your back on me! The poles holding them were sharpened at the end; she could use them to wound or even kill the lord; that would show them; and they even left her with her helmet; he didn’t stand a chance.
Gathering her strength, she rushed at the back of their leader. The Incubi didn’t even react. She unleashed her psychic howl.
It should have paralysed him.
Instead, he turned around. Beneath her mask, her eyes widened. Swift as lightning, he brought up a spike-covered knee, ending her attack by bringing it swiftly to her groin and bypassing her armour. She had been exposed to pain before and was no stranger to it, but this impact took the last of her strength. She fell to her knees silently, trying not to whimper.
Dimly, she saw her exarch flinch. No doubt she knew her identity, by now – she had had a reputation for being relentless, never letting anyone best her without a good fight.
The lord grasped her by the throat, lifting her clear from the ground easily and with one arm. Bringing his mouth close to her ear, he whispered, “Let’s see what’s behind the mask.”
His other hand grasped the top of her mask tightly and heaved. It easily slipped up over her head, releasing her long black hair which fell to her shoulders. Her green eyes shone in the light; her fine lips opened to gasp the fresh air that came with the removal of her helmet. She felt less constrained, yet at the same time, vulnerable without it.
The lord’s snarl-like grin grew even more when he saw her face. “It has been a long time since I saw a face this beautiful.” Dropping the helmet to his feet and taking her chin in his hand, he turned to the Incubi. “Is this the one I chose?” The Incubi nodded and the Lord grinned
“I’ve still have it,” he remarked.
Looking down again into her glaring eyes, the edges of his mouth curled upwards in another private smile. He released her neck, dropping her to the ground; she landed hard on her knees with a thud and slumped forward as far as her restraints would let her, gasping for breath.
“Take her to my Raider,” he ordered, waving an arm and turning towards the other captives. Two Incubi moved forward, gripping her by the arms and began lifting her. “Wait,” he added coolly, turning back to her. “Let us first give her a taste of things to come.”
Playing with the silver ring, he stepped up to her. Sensing the danger, she began to struggle in the grip of the Incubi holding her, finding strength in fear. “Hold her still,” he growled through clenched teeth.
She inhaled sharply as she felt the blades press against the back of her neck and ceased struggling. “It would seem you can teach a Banshee new tricks,” he joked. At this, the two Incubi holding her exchanged quick glances before laughing awkwardly. The lord smiled, lifting the silver ring in front of her eyes. “Do you know what this is?” he mocked. When she gave no reply, he blinked slowly. “It does not matter. You will soon find out, my pet.”
The impact of realising she was a ‘pet’ should have stunned her; as it was, the lord forced the silver ring over her head before she could react. The effects were instantaneous: she could feel the Warp creeping into her mind and encroaching at the sides of her vision, and she did something she had not done since she was a child: she screamed.
Her sister Banshees stared on in horror, hearing the strongest of them scream; until now they had not seen so much as a tear. At this sight, her sisters lost all hope.
The Warp completely consumed her mind, filling her vision, and as far as she was concerned, the Chaos gods had her soul. Atop the hill, her body stopped screaming and fell limp.
She was cold. She opened her eyes to find that she was standing upright, although not by her own choice. She was in a dark, tall chamber with a stone floor, and she felt eyes on her and looked up to see something… not of this world in front of her. It stood at many times her own height, although she couldn’t make much out other than its eyes. When they looked upon her, however, she felt her blood turn cold – literally. She noticed she was naked, but in front of those eyes she didn’t think it would make any difference. They seemed to see right through her.
She looked up and her eyes met the creature’s own, and fear took hold of her heart, and her lungs failed her. Its eyes were of infinite deepness, so deep it felt as though she was being pulled forwards. Her field of vision went blank, and all she could hear was her own ragged breathing and the pounding of her heart, feeling as if it was trying to escape from her ribcage and get away from this place.
The first thing to reach her senses was the screaming, wailing and pleading of billions in a million different tongues. Then her sense of smell returned and she gagged on the stench of burning flesh. Then finally, at last, came her sight. She was in a rusted metal cage a foot taller than her, will little space on either side; rectangular of shape, it looked normal enough. As far as her eyes could see there were similar cages, with other creatures of all species in them. The cages weren’t all upright though; some were on their side or, judging by their inhabitants, upside-down. To her left there was another upright cage, with a human male standing in it; his flesh was entirely coated with burns. As his flesh wept, so did he, and amongst sobs she heard the name of the Emperor of Man, their ‘god’. In normal circumstances, she would have been disgusted of it, but right now she would have considered doing the same; looking for any means of escape from this abyss. With a jolt, the cage swung onto its side, slamming her into the bars. The metal was burning hot and seared through the skin on her back, and she felt the sickening feeling of metal grating against bone; and for the second time in a great many years, she screamed; not in pain, but in unrelenting terror. The cage turned again, pitching her forwards and into more bars. The mere thought of the pain brought tears to her eyes and she screamed again.
The silver ring was removed from around her head and she reared up and screamed, not afraid of who could hear her, not concerned of anything but the pure terror that pumped through her veins. As her breath left her so did her terror and she slumped forwards, finding herself back in her armor, restrained again. She found that her nose was bleeding and the blood had already run into her mouth. The taste of the blood was like that of iron; she would have spit it out had she the strength to do so.
A figure stood in front of her, and she heard a smooth voice. “Obey me, or suffer the consequences,” her captor whispered in her ear. At those words a long buried memory surfaced in her mind. She breathed in deeply and, with the last of her strength, forced out the word,
It came out in a rasp. His composure broke, faced with such defiance; with a roar, his hand came round and impacted the side of her face with iron strength, flinging her sideways into something hard. As she fought to remain conscious, she saw around her two of her Banshee sisters. Exarch Anul was missing. She lifted her eyes to see that they were on board a Raider, and they were in flight. Near the edge lay Exarch Anul, bleeding and unmoving. Their captor followed her eyes and smiled.
“She was unsuitable… But believe me, for your defiance, you will suffer long after you beg for death,” he whispered in her ear before nodding towards the Incubus standing near the corpse of Anul. At the command, he kicked the corpse from the raider. In the growing darkness, she watched the corpse fall away and, for a brief moment, wished that was her. “She served her purpose,” she heard the lord utter solemnly as the darkness took her.
Darkness swirled around her and the screams of those trapped in the Warp were her only companions, and she knew that the memories of this would haunt her dreams and memories for as long as she lived.
It was a long time before she started drifting out of consciousness to the sound of heavy footsteps and back again to the sound of pain.
When she next came around she found herself tied down to a steel operating table. While raiding a human encampment she found herself fighting in a torture room with a table similar to the one she was lying on and like the table in the human outpost, was surrounded by a pool of blood.
She had been in a state of perpetual fear since she was captured and finding herself on this table didn’t help to allay those fears. Her vision was clouded and her head hurt but she could make out there was another person in the room with her the sounds of hydraulic hissing coming to her ears at regular intervals.
The figure turned towards her. A female voice dripping with false sweetness drifted through the murk of her mind. “I see you’re awake I was worried you weren’t going to make it. The first time is always disorientating to say the least, I assume you’re wondering why I’m helping you?”
An innocent giggle came from the surroundings and the voice returned.
“I always feel that we prisoners should stick together.”
An old saying ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend’ came to her mind and she opened her mouth to ask who her newfound ally was. A latex clad finger touched her lips, “Shhh, just lie still.” The Banshee began to relax finding comfort in the presence of this other. “I suppose you’re wondering who I am,” the fickle laugh returning again.
“Let me come closer so you can see my face” followed by light, sweeping footsteps. “Can you see me…” there was a pause,
A mask came quickly into her vision a large grinning smile was painted from one side to the other, menacing eyes glared out from eyeholes and an assortment of pipes and tubes ran from the back of the neck into various canisters attached to the back of her would be friend.
The voice of the Dark Eldar Lord made its way into the fog of her mind. “If a trip to hell wasn’t enough to take the fight out of you, will an encounter with a haemonculi do the trick?”
The sounds of his heavy footsteps moved away before the sound of a door slamming brought silence to the room.
A disfigured voice with a hint of her would-be-friend broke the silence. “Now that the fools gone, you’re all mine.” The Banshee felt a prick at her neck.
“A personal favorite of mine, this drug greatly increases any pain or discomfort you feel.” Even as she said it the restraints holding her began to itch and become very uncomfortable and even her normally well fitting and comfortable armour became nearly unbearable. Following the sound of a knife swiftly cutting through air the Banshee felt cold air across her stomach. “I imagine that your amour isn’t comfortable at the moment, I hope that helped.” The Banshee felt herself begin to sweat at being laid bare in front of a maniac with a knife. The same finger that touched her lips just before began tracing the length of her ribs and a sickeningly sweet voice asked, “How many should I take… oh, I don’t even know your name.”
Forcing down the sense of terror building in her throat the Banshee replied, “Take as many ribs as it takes to end my life and see what your employer has to say.”
“It seems you’re more talkative with me than with Zarkeithia, or as you called him my ‘employer’,” she countered.
The Banshee smiled sweetly in return and replied, “The difference is he can have me killed, you can’t.”
“That’s where your wrong” said the haemonculi bringing her face close to the banshee’s bringing the strong aroma of her breath close enough for the Banshee to smell and whispered, “When I’m done with you, you’ll beg for death!”
She withdrew to her normal distance, “And that luxury will escape you.”
“Now, lets see if I can loosen your tongue.” The haemonculi brought her armoured fist down into the Banshee’s stomach. The impact knocked the wind from her and sent a deep aching pain throughout her body and leaving her gasping for breath. She managed to keep from crying out and giving the haemonculi even greater pleasure.
“It seems you are stronger than your fellow banshee, they nearly surrendered after the first punch. I think I’m going to enjoy this,” she said.
A tear ran from the Banshee’s eye as the knife slashed across her stomach, it felt as though the blade had cut through her very soul. The second cut was slow and she could feel warm blood running from the wound and the Banshee had to bite her lip to keep from crying out loud, the Haemonculi’s soft laughter seemingly all around her. As the blade reversed its direction and headed back towards her ribs she gasped at the sudden increase in pain, but what came next made her forget all previous definitions of pain.
The blade sunk deep into her flesh and all her senses were flooded with pain, the world turned white, a ringing noise took place in her ears and as far as the Banshee was concerned the only things in the world were her and the blade and forgetting about the Haemonculi, she screamed aloud and struggled against the restraints. She would rather have death than this. Suddenly the blade pulled itself free.
As her senses returned she saw the face of the Dark Eldar Lord.
“Now that I have you’re attention I’m willing to make you a deal, tell me what I want to know and I will stop the torture, its as simple as that.” The Banshee nodded weakly just wanting the pain to end. “Good, now tell me, who are you? Your sisters have already told me that you aren’t from their craftworld, you were in fact adopted. Who were you before they took you, Banshee, tell me and the pain will end.”
The pain was going to end on its own accord when she passed out, the Banshee knew this but she did have one thing to say:
“Before they took me… I was your sister.” Before she could see the look on the Lords face the world turned black.
The dreams ended and the world phased back into her vision, she was held aloft by her shoulders and was being carried down a corridor with her bare feet dragging. The Banshee could make out that she was no longer wearing her amour but instead a pair of loose fitting black pants and a sleeveless black shirt. The dragging stopped and she was turned to the side, looking up she found herself facing a large prison cell occupied by many others. A harsh voice whispered in her ear. “You could have avoided this fate, had you not taken me for a fool.” As the voice ended she was thrown into the cell, landing on her front where she lay, with no real desire to get up again.
It wasn’t her choice. A hand reached down and grabbed her hair, pulling her head up to the face of a rough-looking human who smiled and glanced behind him. “We’re in luck today lads!” at the words there was a cheer from several human voices. The Banshee could make out behind the man a ring of other humans forming around her and he said partly to himself. “I’m going to enjoy this.”
Even as he said it a huge hand closed around his head, twisting his head with a sickening crack. The human fell limp to the floor. “This woman is under my protection! If you want her you’re going to have to go through me!” a large voice boomed. Muttering from the crowd broke out and before long they had dispersed, going back to their own business. She was gently rolled over and a pair of huge arms slid under her legs and shoulders. The world faded out again as the arms carefully lifted her.
The world slid back into focus, but this time when the Banshee awoke she was in some form of comfort. Glancing around she found she was in the corner of the cell, this corner was walled of with various objects giving it a sense of privacy. The Banshee was lying on a collection of rags that made up a bed. Besides her knelt a giant of a man rinsing a rag in water. The Banshee tried to open her mouth to thank him but all she could manage was a small squeak. At the sound, the man looked over his shoulder and, seeing her awake, smiled. He squeezed the excess water from the rag and stood up carrying the rag over to her, and began dabbing it across her forehead. “I wonder, what did you do to the boss’ ego to make him put you in here, elf?”
The name brought an old memory to the surface from back in her childhood when she lived among human children. They called her ‘Elf’ a name from folk-tales and legends, nicknames weren’t unusual and most of her friends were names after various creatures from legends, if anything the Banshee was proud of the name because it gave her a sense of individuality.
The Banshee noticed a strange feeling across her stomach and round her back and lifting one hand carefully touched it, she was surprised to find that she had been bandaged although somewhat poorly. The human noticed and gently put her hand back to her side. “Leave it be, I’m no medic but its better than nothing. I wasn’t sure you were going to make it, you lost a great deal of blood.”
She began to sit up but knew straight away she wasn’t going to be able to manage it, the pain shot up her stomach and lungs. A hand placed itself on her shoulder and pushed her back down onto the bed. “Rest, you’re no good to anyone dead.”
When she awoke the human was resting in the corner, watching her with weary eyes. A small smile crossed his face and he said “You’ve been asleep for several days.”
The Banshee attempted to lift herself again, finding she was able to do so. When she looked back at the bed she found there was a great deal of blood on it and as if reading her mind the human explained “The wounds were deep, I had to change the bandages several times before they healed.” The Banshee sat down and met the humans gaze and asked, “Why are you helping me?”
“I guess its time for the questions, I take it.” The human sighed and continued, “I’m helping you because you helped me when I was near death.”
A childhood memory of pulling a boy the same age from a frozen lake and holding him close to stop him freezing to death returned to her. Could this be the same child? It didn’t seem possible that was over forty years ago. She decided to try her luck anyway, what did she have to lose?
“Velisse?” her voice sounded weak, she hated that.
“So you do remember. Tell me, are you still called Amidala?” Velisse’s turn to ask questions it seemed.
“When the Eldar took me in they gave me an Eldar name, Amellune. But in my mind I’m still Amidala.” She smiled softly to her long-lost friend.
“How is it you still look so young?” she asked.
Velisse broke her gaze and took a deep breath. “After you disappeared, the Space Marines came to our world and I was taken as one of the chosen and given the implants but shortly after we were attacked. I was the only survivor. Afterward I roamed the Imperium with no real purpose before the Dark Eldar found me and I’ve been here ever since.”
Before she could ask more questions his eyes came back up, “So what did you do to make him throw you in here?”
Her answer was honest, “The truth.”
As her eyelids drooped against her will she realised just how exhausted she was. She fell slowly back into the rags serving as a bed and falling into a deep but troubled sleep almost instantly.
She was standing beside her beloved, a lord among the dark kin. They stood looking over one of the modified humans as he cried out in pain and she enjoyed it. The reflections on the metal equipment showed her clothed in dark clothing as was her husband.
The world slid back into focus and she heard someone talking. She was slow to translate the words achieving it only in time to catch “…awake?” Her head turned slowly to the side to find Velisse with a hand on her shoulder. “Good, listen I need to leave you just long enough to fetch us food, I’ll be as fast as I possibly can but in the mean time,” he pushed something into her left hand. “Just in case.” A grim smile crossed his face before he slowly rose glancing round before leaving at a hurried pace.
Amidala looked at her hand noting the crude knife held there before leaning back onto the pillow and closed her eyes, still needing rest.
Awakened this time by breathing on her neck, she opened her eyes to find a scrawny and bruised human on top of her, and pinning her hands down with his, using his legs to keep hers pinned in place, leaving her totally helpless. Her heart rate quickened as scenarios played through her head of what may happen to he and she tried to struggle making almost no effect on the man. His eyes met hers and a crooked grin came to the mans face and he leaned close to kiss her, and by sheer luck at that very moment some of her hair fell down onto her face. The man lifted up with one of his arms and hooked the hair behind her ear and unbeknown to him, freeing Amidala’s knife arm. Wasting no time she brought the knife round quickly, fueled by fear and panic, not caring for her training, she slammed the knife up to the hilt in the man’s ribs. His face turned to shock as he stared into her eyes, unbelieving. A moment later Amidala felt warm blood running over the fingers holding the knife and the mans mouth opened slightly before he let out a short cough and covering her face with blood before collapsing dead on top of her.
Amidala let her arms fall to her sides, what little energy she had expended in the brief period of panic and fear.
“Defend yourself!” cried Velisse as he threw her a poorly made wooden sword. She snatched it by the hilt from mid-air, now recovered it took little effort. She quickly brought up the sword and parried her friends strike with a similar weapon.
“Seems you’re no stranger to weapons, good.” she successively parried three more blows.
“It’ll help in the arena, but not much for you’re first match” he said this with a distinct seriousness. Yet another attack came her way, “This is how its done,” she taunted. This time she parried his blade downwards before lunging but before she got the chance the small wooden blade of her opponent slashed across her shin, bringing her to her knees with a gasp. The wooden point pressed to her throat.
“Don’t get cocky, you’re not back up to you’re full strength yet.” Amidala brought her eyes up to the grinning face of her childhood friend.
“He’s like a kid in a giants body,” she thought as he offered her his hand. “Just like old times,” she remembered as she took it. She came up quickly, faster than he expected it seemed and bringing the blade of her weapon to Velisse’s throat. At this he opened his mouth and laughed out loud, almost surprising Amidala. “Seems I underestimated you, hopefully I wont be the only one.”
For several days Velisse and Amidala sparred, it didn’t take long for her to get back to her previous standard, earning more grins and laughter from Velisse as he found himself hard-pressed to keep up. It was after most of the other inhabitants of the cell were asleep that she decided to ask Velisse about the arena. “What do you know about the arena?” The usual childish grin was gone as he looked her in the eyes.
“Inside the arena we will all have to fight, or die. You had best put on a good show either way because its the spectators that decide you’re fate.”
“What of the first fight? I overheard it was tomorrow,” she questioned. Velisse let out a sigh before answering.
“Tomorrow is what’s known as a ‘Cell match’.” Amidala looked up questioningly.
“A cell match?” she wanted to know as much as she could, regardless of how much he was willing to share.
“Us, the inhabitants of this cell,” he swept his arm, indicating the others in the cell, “Will be pitted against the inhabitants of another, the winning side gets to live.” An ironic smile came to his face. “Until now I’ve been the only capable fighter in here and had to win a good number of fights by myself,” he met her gaze, “But not any more.” He lay down on his makeshift bed and, as if reading her mind saying, “And yes, it is tomorrow, so you’d best get some sleep.”
Amidala got little sleep that night, instead staring at the ceiling, trying to seek justification for her past actions and each time arriving at the same conclusion, she deserved this. By no means did she want to die, especially for mere amusement but had she not reveled in such slaughter in the past herself? But she had saved the life of Velisse when they were children; one life saved, compared to a thousand lives condemned by her actions. There was no longer any question in her mind, she deserved to be here.
Velisse awoke to the sight of Amidala practicing her weapon technique, and he lay and watched her for a short time remembering all they had been through together, before even this place. He had been the one with her when she learned that her adopted mother had died, and had been the one to comfort her in her time of need. As she was there in his time of need, to save him when he fell through the ice. And he was there to protect her when men of faith came, claiming her to be a demon and intending to sacrifice her.
It wasn’t long before the guards came, dragging Amidala, Velisse and a handful of other occupants from their cell and leading them down a long corridor. “I’ve heard this corridor referred to as ‘The first mile’,” Velisse said.
By the time they reached their destination Amidala understood why. The guards opened the door and straight away the roaring of the crowd could be heard, they were led into the room where they were given only poorly made short spears. Velisse had already explained that in earlier matches they would use basic weaponry, working up to more powerful weapons. In the room there were seventeen people, and with the exception of herself, all human and only two of them were females. The gates in front of them opened, blinding them with light and deafening them with cheering. All of them started forwards, driven on by the desire to stay alive.
Once they had crossed the threshold into the arena Amidala could make out what the crowd was chanting, “Velisse!, Velisse!, Velisse!”
They cried in unison and filled Amidala with confidence in her ally. Their feet met the sand of the arena, patched with blood in places. The artificial blue sky above them provided light to the arena itself and to the spectators in the stone stands modeled after ancient-terra coliseums. Across the stands their opponents advanced and like themselves, some disorientated by the situation they found themselves in. On both sides they walked until they could both see each other clearly. Amidala counted twenty of them, but three of which were small and frail looking Tau, Amidala barely considered them a threat apart from, as Velisse has said, the spears, identical to hers, that they carried.
One of the humans against her raised his spear, loosed a battle cry and charged forward seemingly as if he wanted to die. The thought had crossed Amidala’s mind, but she wouldn’t surrender. Even this was better than an eternity of chaos.
Velisse raised his spear to counter this threat but before he had the chance to strike, Amidala attacked. Launching herself forward she met her foes charge head on and attacked slightly to his left. As she neared, she leapt into the air, avoiding her foes attack. From her position above his left shoulder, she struck and drove her spear deep into his shoulder and ruptured his heart before quickly drawing her spear back out, trailing blood. Amidala came back down onto the sand crouching to avoid following through into her opponents. He didn’t even scream. Satisfied by the sound of him falling to the ground, Amidala planted her spear in the ground, stood at her full height and met the eyes of her next foe.
The human male she stood before took several steps back the fear clearly visible in his eyes, while the human to his left believing himself in with a chance because Amidala’s spear was planted in the ground and charged, thrusting his spear directly at her. Amidala easily sidestepped the attack and, leaving her spear planted, used her hand to push her opponents spear down, his momentum running the spear into the ground, there Amidala placed her foot over it to stop him pulling it loose and delivered a swift flat palmed strike to the mans chest, sending him flying backwards where he collapsed in a heap. Amidala pulled her own spear loose.
To her left an attacker came and she moved to counter, parrying this foe’s spear into the ground and then bringing her own spear around into this foes face, breaking his nose. As he stumbled back, she ran him through with her own spear, soaking herself and the sand they stood on in red blood. A battle cry came from behind her, she turned to find one of the Tau about to impale her and found herself unable to turn fast enough.
The world seemed to slow to a crawl and it became painfully obvious in Amidala’s eyes that she was going to die here. She had been overconfident and now she was going to pay for it and at the hands of some Tau. At least she had died in battle.
A spear came from the side, seemingly wielded by a god as no one was wielding it. It slammed into the head of her assailant and sent blue blood across the already blood stained sand. Amidala’s world violently came back into focus; Velisse appeared next to her, pulling the spear free from the dead foe. She breathed a sigh of relief; she wasn’t dead yet.
In the following moments, the morale of their opponents broke, they dropped their spears and fled. Velisse’s spear took flight yet again and felled another foe. Amidala followed suite and yet another fell. At this their allies sprung into action and pursued the fleeing opponents.
Counting the battle won, Velisse turned and headed to the arena exit, Amidala followed. Neither of them spoke a word as they marched down the corridors back to their cell. Amidala wasn’t sure if Velisse just didn’t feel like talking or was in fact angry at her foolish charge after all, it had nearly got her killed. She’d done it again, let her pride get the better of her and pitted herself against impossible odds.