The cold rain sliced down upon him like a million accusations against his skin

Prelude

The cold rain sliced down upon him like a million accusations against his skin. He tried to ignore the sickening sensation he felt as heaven's water flowed past his wounds, taking the blood with it to pour in thick ebbs from his body. He was dying. This knowledge embedded itself in his heart like a poisonous barb and he thought he might howl for the injustice of it all. "I can't die…not now…not when she needs me…"

He had heard the soldiers heavy foot falls retreat what seemed like an age ago, disinterested in seeing the end of this lifeless sport, knowing just as well as he did that his wounds were mortal. Yes mortal, as frail and as indispensable as an unprotected leaf falling from its mother branch. Had he truly thought he could make a difference?

Furet crawled onward, on hands and knees upon the jutting cobblestones of the deserted city street. He couldn't accept that this was the end, didn't want to let his heart believe that he would not see her again, even for one last time.

But even as his mind struggled to keep control of the situation his body let go, arms buckling beneath him until his stony face met with the equally dead stony road. "Please…do not let it end like this…" he pleaded to the nameless night.

--

Shannon pulled his traveling coat tighter about his frame, shivering as his umbrella shifted to let a large collective rain drop run from its brim and slide threateningly down his neck. The foul weather seemed to suit his darkening mood as he brooded over the superfluous time he spent in wandering these endless roads. She was never waiting at the end of any of them like the pot of gold that hides at the elusive rainbows end. He had forgotten to even count the days anymore, in the end it all felt like a single struggle against time.

So absorbed in his misery, Shannon almost let his next foot step fall onto a prone body marring the usually desolate street. His eyes widened as he took in the dying body, blood swirling out from beneath him to stain even the shadows.

"Oi." He exclaimed as he knelt down beside the body to gently shake the man's shoulder. His red umbrella fell listlessly to ground as Shannon leaned over to pull the injured man from the harsh lonely road. "Oi, are you all right?" he felt the idiocy in his question, but knew naught of what else to say to an injured man. He looked speculatively at the arrows that protruded from the man's body like some masochistic ornamentation and was considering their removal when the man spoke.

"I can't die…not yet…she is all that is worth…protecting in this world." Shannon felt his body go cold at the man's ominous words, and in his mind a bright slip of a girl smiled up at him with all the trust of the world in the curve of her lips and the subtle trickle of laughter in her voice.

He looked down at the dying man again, a man who was near the same age as him. A man who had someone out there he was searching for, a man with a memory just like he had. Shannon looked behind him apprehensively, but there was nothing there. Not even Cz was ghosting his steps this desolate night. He had naught to his name to offer the dying man either, no bandages, no wisdom, nothing to help save him….unless-

"Zefiris. Oi, Zefiris!" Shannon began to pluck the degenerate arrows from the stranger's body as he called out, trying not to flinch as each weapon made a foul sucking noise as it was pulled free. After the fourth arrow he began to wonder how this man was still alive at all. "Zefiris!!"

"Master." Her quiet reply sounded foreign in the rain drenched night and as he turned to look up at his subordinate Shannon felt a trickle of doubt itch at the back of his throat. "Zefiris…can you…" words fled him. He looked down at the man in his arms with desperation as he felt the body beneath him slacken in defeat. Was he already too late?

"He is dying." The AI stated this without emotion, her cold factual voice making something in Shannon snap. "I know that! I know he is dying and I cannot even help him, what good is all this magic and prophecy in the world if I cannot even save one person!"

Shannon went pale as his own words reached his ears. Who was he truly talking about saving? What was this anger that was threatening him? He didn't know, all he did understand was that he wanted this man to live. He felt as if all his efforts were availing him nothing, but this last thing he didn't want to fail at. He was tired of feeling defeated.

"Zefiris, you can heal this man can't you? You have done something similar before." Shannon looked up at the hovering apparel before him and was surprised by the shock that flickered across her deceptively young features.

"He is not dead just yet; my analysis shows that his heart will fail in approximately 37.84 seconds."

"Then help him!" Shannon shouted.

"Is that a command?"

"Yes!!"

Zefiris seemed to move with an emphasized tardiness as she reached out a single small hand to place it upon the stranger's chest. Her elongated fingers were splayed out across his broad breast, the tiny crescents of her nails shining with the death rattle that rocked them. She spoke again with that dead voice.

"The third arrow wound is fatal; it has punctured his left lung and is allowing blood to-"

"Just hurry Zefiris! Can you fix his lung?" Shannon tried to keep his patience but within his minds eye he could see the seconds falling away, how long had she said till his heart would stop?

Shannon trained his eyes upon the strangers face and watched closely as the foreign eyes seemed to glaze over with a knowing solemnity. He wanted to tell this man it would be alright, but he didn't have the heart to say words he had no knowledge to be truth. What would come was something only Zefiris had any control over. Or perhaps, even if there was a sentient being that perused their world from above, the gods would favor this night and this chance meeting and alter a dying man's fate.

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I couldn't find any communities for Scrapped Princess Fictions….might consider trying to form one or such. But anyways, for now this fiction will just float around in the nether space of my profile until I can figure out what to do with it. If anyone knows about a community or thinks it is a good idea to form one let me know. Otherwise thanks for reading!