|Errantem's Recurring Nightmare
Author: P3wnage PM
Loosely based on a mission from Vindictus. A Crimson Blade Mercenary remembers a failed rescue mission at Ainle. Spoilers for Episode 3. Oneshot.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Tragedy - Words: 4,617 - Favs: 1 - Published: 07-12-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7173631
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
If this entry gets good reviews, I'll probably start writing some new stories. There are some, "problems" that you won't be able to understand. Like for instance, Fatanm and Errantem's psychic conversations. If I get some reviews, I'll probably release that, at a later time. But not soon. I'll just have to go wait and see.
Errrantem was dreaming again. He was dreaming of his Mission in Ainle again. He dreamed it as it were, the night before, and the night before that. and the week before that too. How did it go again?
The only remarkable smell of the fallen city of Ainle, was the burning scent of rotting bodies. the streets, paved with debris, and bodies of families, laying dead, slinging on to their loved ones. The city fell about a month ago to the Fomorian army, but yet, it continued to burn because of its expansive region. The sky, was filled with complete darkness, the clouds only lit by the embers, shooting into the night. Errantem dreamt being there again. Not to take back the city, but for a secret cause. A twenty man team of mercenaries, were sent to Ainle, to rescue a squad of Royal Army soldiers, who wanted to know the truth behind the attack. It was not like the Fomorians to take a city, that wasn't tactically important. Of the lost squad was a youngster, overeager for action. Action he wasn't ready for yet. After "aggressive negotiations" with some Goblins, the Royal Army soldiers were being held for interrogation in two places. Corporal Errantem Nemo, and his team split up from Lieutenant Fiona's squad, to head further into the city. Long were the days of his Blue Veteran Raiment Armor. He had adopted to the use of his Wind Crust armor, a gift from the local Treasure Hunter, Shayla, when he entered the cold Hoarfrost Hollows. It provided him more protection than that of his previous armor, but limited his speed. But not by a lot.
"Do you think the Goblins are at least treating them well?" Said Errantem, unsheathing his twin Skyfrost Longswords from their sheathes. His team of five, carefully treded into the city, not to draw awareness of any other Goblins nearby.
"I highly doubt it, Goblins are vicious creatures." said Premula, dressed in nothing but a golden Bikini, holding her iconic crimson sword and red Kobold shield. Anyone with rationality, would know wearing something like that was pure suicide. She would be lucky enough to seduce a foolish Goblin soldier. "But if anything, we'll be able to recognize their bodies." Premula smirked. However, Errantem wasn't amused by her dry humor.
"I just hope Ellis got himself out of there."
Errantem solemnly turned away from her, continuing to lead his group toward the end of the alley. Running quickly, they made it past Goblin Sentinels, with spiked clubs armed. Trying to be as covert as they could, the team darted past the occupants, whom turned behind them to see nothing there. The group arrived at a street corner, seemingly devoid of Goblin Soldiers.
"Fatanm, can you feel the energy signatures of those soldiers?"
A young mage, dressed in a witch's outfit, came fourth to his side. She raised her staff, fitted with a golden eagle on top of it. She waved it at a given direction, and it glowed.
"Yes, I could have sensed about 6 human life signatures about Northeast from here."
"How many blocks?"
"About Thirteen blocks down there."
She pointed down the street, which led into Goblin territory. Errantem nodded, and the two other members of the group, an Elven ranger and another soldier of Errantem's caliber, who drew their weapons. Knowing that a battle was inevitable, they raced to their destination. Only slivers of hope were left for those Rocheste soldiers.
Just only seven blocks away, traversing in an alley, Errantem heard the distinct sounds of goblin language, and fled towards the voices. He shushed his team, and hid behind a fence, eavesdropping on a conversation on the other end. To one, undereducated folk, Goblin lnaguage just sounds like a bunch of savage rambling and grunts. To people like Errantem, he heard a language of complex verbs, adjectives, and nouns. He could only peer through a small hole in the barrier, watching a conversation unfold.
Brother, have they found the Boy Scout yet? said a green colored Goblin.
No, for the last time I heard, he was heading toward the cemetary. stated a pallid looking Goblin, responding to his comrade's question.
The green one chuckled to himself.
Pfft, how ironic. A young human to escape death, only to be cut down within the burial grounds of where the rest of his people lie.
I heard that Kalis is going to execute the rest of the soldiers tonight.
I thought he already killed them.
And with that statement, Fatanm recklessly shot a magic missile at the wooden fence, shattering it to bits. Cumulus clouds of Dust billowed, and along with it, a cacophony of wheezing and hacking. Chips of wood and sawdust flew about. When the dust started to clear, Errantem looked at Fatanm with a mean glare. Also, the two Goblins, were sent flinging toward a building,
Must you always be so reckless? Errantem thought.
Yes. Replied Fatanm. She cheekily smiled at Errantem. He had already forgotten about a certain incident that had happened to both of them not so long ago. The reason why they can read each others minds. However, the smile evaded from her face as she muttered to herself:
A large shadow loomed over Errantem. Turning around, he was met with the eyes of at least 8 other Goblins. Armed with spiked clubs, their dark eyes fixated on the team. They were ready to rip them all apart. In response, Errantem and his teammates drew themselves into defensive position. Shaking heavily, Errantem face squirmed with anxiety. Outmatched, and outnumbered, he was ready to take some lives down with him. A steady hand, touched his shoulder. Looking toward his right, was the Elven ranger. With a voice, as cool as the snow, he said to Errantem:
"Calm the Hell down."
The Elf pulled out his bow.
"I got this."
Then, within the blink of an eye, the ranger shot an arrow. His aim was good, for the arrow shot into the face of a Goblin warrior, who reeled back and died. The rest of the Goblins, charged into attack. Errantem took both of his longswords and slashed into a Goblins chest. He retaliated by swinging his club. Dodging his swings, Errantem ducked, and sidestepped out of his reach. With a swift strike, Errantem used the hilt of his blade, and punched the Goblin into brief submission. He looked at the others briefly for a moment. Premula was having a hard time with two other Goblins. She bashed her shield into the face of a Goblin, and blocked an attack of another. Fatanm and the Elf were too busy running from three goblins, chasing them. Those Goblins knew the ranged attackers would have an advantage over them. However, he couldn't find the other soldier he was with. Errantem's brief distraction would be interrupted by pain. He felt the club of the Goblin he punched, go across from his back. He fell flat-front on his face. Errantem tried to get up, but the force of the blow was too strong. And he was in too much pain The Goblin warrior, unfazed by Errantem's strikes raised his arm for the kill. However, like always in the dream. Someone came to the rescue. The soldier, missing from the scene, plunged his blades into the back of the Goblin, exiting from his chest. He then twisted his swords and slashed them about from the middle, cutting the Goblin in two. Errantem rolled out of the way, in order for the body not to fall on him. Slowly, he got up. In pain, he wearily said:
"Thanks. I owe you one, comrade." Errantem would say
"No problem, sir." he responeded
Suddenly, a Goblin Officer leaped in between them. Dressed in nothing more than upper armor and a Battle Skirt, unlike of his team, he screamed his battle cries, swinging his club as he went. Both Errantem and the soldier, would dodge the strikes and the parries. The soldier would miss one time, and receive the full blunt of the Officer's blow, falling on the cobblestone street motionless. But when the Goblin Officer was open, Errantem would stab him at his side. Then, he'd do it a second time, third, fourth. In pain, the Goblin Officer would fall back, and Errantem would leap forwards. He used the blade in his right hand to slash through the Officer's chest, destroying him.
Looking around, he saw his comrades, already done with their business. The ground, was covered with bodies, and the scent of burning was fused with the newly spilt blood of Goblins. Premula, covered in blood that stained her bikini, approached Errantem and the motionless Soldier.
"Is he alright?" Asked Premula. She bent down, and examined the Soldier. As she bent down, Errantem noticed a Goblin arm fall off of her Spiked Shield. Premula bent down, putting her ears against his chest.
"He's still breathing. Get Fatanm over here."
Fatanm and the Elf would come by where the Soldier laid. After a few moments, Errantem would see that Fatanm pulled out a potion. She Tossed the cork aside, and allowed the soldier to have drink.
"He's out cold. But this Health Potion I brewed should be able to sustain him."
The unconscious soldier awoke.
The Ainle streets were barren of life. Walking down now, 2 blocks away from their destination, was nothing unlike what they had experienced through out the city. The destruction, that had laid waste to a once prospering city. More surprisingly, the bodies of Goblins recently slain were literally everywhere the group went. In fact, the wounds seemed as though they were only recently opened. Nothing, was filled with life, only devoid of it. To Errantem's right, he could see what was a burned body, that struggled to get itself out of a burning building, now collapsed in the ashes. Vultures, picked at the remains of dog-sized spiders. On some of the trees, passing by, were the shriveled and naked bodies of children, presumably beheaded by Goblin Officers.
"If what those Goblins said were true, Fatanm, it would be highly unlikely. Cadet Ellis is an extremely resourceful boy." Thought Errantem.
Fatanm, looked at Errantem worried,
"Still, I just hope the boy is okay. He's just so sweet." She replied.
"I know, I remember how he followed Lann about all the time. heck, i think he followed me about too, like some sick puppy. If only Evie didn't encourage him to go on the journey."
"Evie didn't do anything. Errantem. He did it on his own, it was his fault." Fatanm looked away.
"That kid is going to be in a world of pain when I get my hands on-"
Suddenly, Fatanm's staff glowed. She pointed to her left, at a large workhouse shed. That was where the Rocheste Soldiers were. As the doors were open, Errantem, the Elf and Fatanm and drew their weapons and rushed in...only to find the rest of the team inside. The Elven ranger stammered.
"Lieutenant Fiona...how good is it to see you."
"Spare us the greetings, Kai, we don't have time for this." She coldly responded.
Errantem, looked at the barn floor. Like everything around him, it was just a bloody mess. The smell of rotting animals, was present, but everyone got used to it. He loooked around, and saw the bodies of people, covered in cloth. Karok, a giant, was finishing wrapping the final body. Sergeant Lann, stood by Fiona, armsfolded. Another mage present, Evie, looked extremely tired, eyes red from crying. Two other mercenaries, dual swordsmen, sat about with disappointment. These were the six present lifeforms here.
"Are these..." Errantem drifted off.
Lann answered him.
"You aren't imagining anything Errantem, these are our comrades."
Eight bodies, were carefully placed along the floor of the barn. The dark skinned Giant Karok, then laid the final body down on the floor, completing the set. A feeling of failure and sadness started to blossom in his heart. Never had so many mercenaries died before. In fact, the mortality rate for every mission was very high. But not today.
Premula, asked her superior officer: "Did you find out what happened to the Rocheste officers?"
She replied with grief in her voice.
"They're all dead."
A silence fell on the team of the now eleven mercenaries. Not only had they failed to
rescue the scouts, but also lose some others in the progress. Errantem retreated to the back door of the shed, away from everyone else. And there he leaned on the backdoor, just sulking. He was disappointed, and tired. He just wanted to go back. But what of Ellis? He was probably still out there. Just that one strand of hope for the boy was left. Hopefully, the Goblins were right that Ellis had escaped.
Errantem's weight caused the back door to open. Making a large noise, as the doors seemed to fly open, attracting the rest of the team to his location. Errantem stared out to ht place he had just opened. It was a large field, with vegetables and abandoned instruments of agriculture. Walking into the field, Errantem examined the area. To his right, was a burning building, to his left, a locked gateway. in front of him there was a large metal fence, barring the farmland from what was next door, a cemetery. Just then, a shadowy figure appeared in the cemetery. Exceedingly exasperated, the small figure went from limping, to crawling by a tree, in the middle of that cemetery. His crimson colored outfit, torn and disheveled, he fixed his red beret. It was Ellis.
Fiona, pushed Errantem out of the way, and called out Ellis' name. He could not respond, they were too far out of earshot. The group started to run to his location. A large crumbling of rubble startled the young cadet. Everyone stopped in their tracks. A roar from the south, seeded fear into the hearts of everyone. Stomping on the ground, the predator made his appearance. A 15 foot tall, red skinned Goblin, closed in on his prey. It was the Chief Information Officer Kalis.
So, you though you could escape me boy? hissed Kalis.
Ellis, frantically crawled away from him, but pulled him by the leg, lifting him to his vision. He turned to the field, and noticed the 11 mercenaries staring at him, with various expressions of fear and disdain. Errantem's face squeezed into rising anger.
Oh look, more of your comrades have appeared. Kalis turned, and commanded:
Brothers, seize them!
A group of Goblins leaped over headstones and fences, about another 10 of them, traversed the cemetery and leaped over the gothic fences forth to oppose the mercenaries. They could take them. Kalis was too busy "interrogating" the boy. Another skirmish ensued. Errantem pulled out his swords, and fought the nearest Goblin he could find. the Goblin swung his blade down, but missed and only pierced the skin of the earth. Errantem rolled around him, and flanked the Goblin fiend, striking him down. Another Goblin, lunged forth to attack Errantem, but was stopped by Lieutenant Fiona's spear, nailing him to the ground. Evie and Fatanm stood, back-to-back, casting spells with their staffs, hitting them with what they could conjure up. At the corner of his eye, he saw Kai struck down into submission by a Goblin, but Lann cut him down just after. The other three soldiers were doing just fine on their own, taking down the last few Goblins. The battle was easy, but wasted time. Everyone turned to the giant red Goblin. He was clearly tired of asking him anything.
Ellis, could not speak. He only muttered babbling, sputtering in fear. He escaped his grasp, only to be lifted, and flipped up into the air. The goblin taunted him.
I grow tired of your persistence. You have failed to receive my mercy, and your allegiance to your country shall be your downfall.
He roared as he grabbed Ellis by the head.
It is here that you will die!
Ellis struggled to break free, yelping in terror. The eleven mercenaries could only watch in horror. Evie and Fatanm tried to use their magic, but were too far away. Kai, the ranger was incapacitated. Errantem, stood in shock, appalled about what was about to go down. raising Ellis with his right hand, he twirled him around for a bit, then found a very sharp tree branch. Then, with his strongest thrust, impaled the twelve year old on the branch. Cackling, the Goblin found amusement toying with the youngster's body. Hearing his bones crunch, gave him great splendor. He impaled him again. And again. And again. Kalis smiled with glee, as he felt the warm blood of a young boy, the squishing of his entrails. Errantem saw their silhouettes, cascading like some sort of twisted puppet show. He saw Ellis' legs twitch, then dangle motionless, blood trickling down his thighs. Bored now, he swung the lifeless body crashing into the metal fence, sending Ellis' body into the field, and at Sergeant Lann's feet. Now, wanting to take more blood, Kalis roared with excitement, challenging his new opponents to fight him. Errantem, was not filled with simple fury, nor hate. He looked at the Kalis, dressed with his dreadlocks pony tailed, sporting a kilt, smiling at his group with his rotten teeth. In fact, Errantem was experiencing what many would call "Unstoppable Rage". His heart, pounded with the blood of revenge. He took his swords, and charged at the complete monster that Kalis was. Fatanm, and the three other mercenaries joined in to help him. Lann, could only stand there, with Fiona, Evie, and Karok, in just complete shock. Walking backwards a bit, Kalis drew his Sword club, then he uttered:
Now, Servant of Hell!
A large, green skinned Goblin appeared on top of the shed behind the mercenaries. it was the "Servant of Hell", Kalis' second in command. Armed with a giant rusted pic-axe, the Servant came in between them. With one, majestic swoop of the arm, he slashed at Errantem. Errantem, could feel the searing pain, that just slashed him across the torso. He felt the droplets of red blood, splatter over his face. His upper armor, failed him, and broke off. He heard the sound of his twin Skyfrost Swords, breaking into metal chunks, clanging about as they fell. And, Errantem dreamt, flying, he was flying across the field. He flied, then hit the ground with a large thud. The impact, scraped his skin, causing him to bleed further. Errantem could feel the poison the rust had seeped into his veins. He could only see brief images of the fight. Many of the mercenaries, fought Kalis. He closed his eyes, and opened them. Karok, wrestled with the Servant of Hell, with Lann holding him down with grappling hooks. He closed his eyes, then again, opened them, and witnessed the women, slashing and beating Kalis down, who was vomiting blood. Closing his eyes, he blacked out again.
In the darkness, his taste-buds were greeted by a familiar bitter taste. Opening his eyes, he found he was looking into Fatanm's gaze, who gave him a health potion to drink. Errantem, started to stand, but the pain in him, was very great. He looked about, and saw the aftermath of the battle. He noticed Fatanm's modest knitted tunic was torn, revealing her wounds. The only ones left standing, were Lieutenant Fiona, Fatanm, and himself. The others, were gravely injured, and struggled to get up. Karok, the giant, used his pillar weapon, to prop himself to stand, with a bloody face and a black eye. Not caring about his pains, Errantem lifted himself up, and walked over to Elllis' motionless body. Kneeling over him, Errantem examined his deformed body. He looked at his face, caved in, unrecognizable but a puddle of blood, what looked like brains, a smashed in eyeball, and a couple of bones. Errantem tried his best to imagine, a young boy, youthful, smiling. Errantem could only a few words from his dry mouth.
"He was so young, he didn't have to go out this way."
Errantem then sat where he was, his fists, covered with dry blood. He looked at them, and trembled. He had failed to save a life, they all had failed to save everyone. With his fists, pounded them into the ground. An anguished scream of intolerable failure, echoed out in Ainle that day. Fatanm, and Lt. Fiona, could only watch. And he blacked out again.
He woke up. Errantem was no longer in Ainle. He was in bed, at the Inn, his home in Colhen. The tweeting of birds, signalled he was in a safe place. Sweating, Errantem felt cold. His muscles ached, and he felt as tired as the last night. It was the early morning now, as the sun was starting to rise from the west. His room, was in shambles, with books overturned and clothes everywhere. A sharp pain raised through his body, Errantem clutched the bandages on his chest, wrapped about under his pajamas. Looking outside the window, he saw the always bustling crowd of mercenaries going to and fro. Errantem sighed, feeling some light pain in his mouth, and sat back down. He cupped his face into his palms, wiping away the eye crust that had formed during the night. His door opened. And a young, smiling, woman, along with the scent of breakfast. Her recognizable outfit was It was Tieve.
"Errantem, you're awake I see."
He looked at Tieve, and saw her smile, like she always did. Well, for most of the time she smiled. She spoke softly, and placed breakfast on the table.
"The Doctor said you'd be in bed for another three days."
Errantem, with a hoarse voice said:
"But, I've been in bed for two weeks already. Agh."
He felt his jaw, which was in intense pain. Tying to at least do any sudden movement, or at least talking, put him in serious pain.
"I know, but you mustn't rush healing time. Your wounds won't heal the right way."
She laid out a cloth across his bed,
"It's a good thing Brynn knows how to treat Tetanus."
Then, she placed Errantem's food on his lap. Errantem didn't want to talk, for his jaw was in pain.
"Here, have some of these pancakes I saved for you this morning."
Errantem reached for a fork, and tried to eat his food properly, like a normal human being, but was forced to stop himself, whining in pain. Tieve, looking worried excalimed:
"Aww, Errantem, you're still in pain are you?"
He glared at the notion of Tieve's obliviousness to his condition, but instead, nodded, and pushed his food away.
"Here," she said. "Let me help you."
She started to feed Errantem, slowly. It was arduous, but, she tried to get the job done. Errantem, couldn't help but smile a bit, despite being in intense hurting. Still, she helped him get his daily nourishment, a spoonful at a time. He enjoyed her company, and relished every minute of it.
"Oh my, the time. Errantem, I'm sorry I have to go, my business lies elsewhere. I've got to do the laundry, dry it, go to the temple and pray..."
She started to pace about as she said those words, tripping on one of Errantem's books.
"I'll pray to Morrighan for your wounds to heal sooner. Is that alright by you Errantem?"
"Alright Errantem, I'll see you later tonight."
Tieve, then left Errantem's room. Curious, about the book she tripped over, Errantem decided to get up and survey the room. The pain, limited his movement. He the moment he got up, his aches and pains got in the way. Errantem fell to the floor, writhing furiously. He started to crawl towards the book, Tieve tripped on. The book was open, but Errantem grabbed it, and looked at the cover. It was his first journal that he made as a child. Wide-eyed, he thought it was a novel idea to read it. A piece of paper fell out. Curious what it was, he picked it up. It was a scribbling Errantem drew. It was his cat. He started to remember that day...
"Mama, why did he have to die?"
A young, eight year old, black haired boy, teary eyed, approached his mother in the kitchen. His hands, dirty from digging his dead pet's grave, reached for a towel, so he could wipe them off. The mother, washing dishes, decided to stop for a minute. She took the young boy, and sat in a chair, propping him on her lap, in the living room.
"Erran, your cat, our cat, lived a long life."
"You mean, Internet had a long life?" His mother had named the cat "Internet", after it started to get caught in the fishing nets she brought home, trying to eat the fishes as a kitten.
"You see, Internet was getting very old, Erran."
Errantem, then hugged his mother closer to him. His eyes, becoming teary and red again.
"He was getting ready to go from this world anyway."
"But, I loved him so much, mama."
"He loved you too Erran, but he was dying, and his little paws couldn't stand to live on this Earth anymore. So, his soul left his body."
"Where is it going now?"
"A place, that all men, prepare to leave to. It just takes the stroing and pure of heart to go to."
"Yes, child. To Morrighan's domain."
"Did he deserve to die?"
"Oh...yes." She said, a bit worriedly, unsure perhaps.
"Anyone who deserves to die, should be ones who are prepared to."
Errantem Nemo, started to remember that day. He compared it to the loss of his cat, and that to Ellis. Ellis, was young, and naive. The cat, however, was old and learned. Internet, was ready to leave this world. Ellis, was not. He had a full life ahead of him. Ellis could have lived. Instead, everyone just stood there, like an idiot. It was so obvious he was going to die, but, he knew in his heart, he could have stopped him and Kalis. Kalis. He was the one who destroyed everything in his path. He executed those Rocheste soldiers, and the boy. He and his Goblin kind killed his friend. they took lives, unripe in the grand vineyard, and vainly sowed them. Errantem, with tears, starting to stream down his face, sobbed into his juvenile drawing of his cat. He looked around his room, and felt a great sadness, not felt ever in his lifetime. He crawled back into bed, weakly, trembling from pain. His hatred of Goblins, prospered that day, but another feeling arose. Too much pain, too much grief here, in Colhen. Errantem didn't know what to do. All he could do now, was cry softly, so the other people wouldn't hear him.