A True Hero

Bold/italics=book, script book 1 pg. 231

The screams were nonstop, piercing, reaching higher and higher into a scale of agony that that the mind could barely comprehend as the rush of flames grew fiercer and fiercer with each second.

Will crumpled to the ground, hands clamped over his ears. The screams were exruciating.

And then the screaming stopped, and the Kalkara was dead.

Unmoving, Will crouched still for a moment, the screams still reverberating in his head. Removing one hand from the side of his head, he felt somthing warm and sticky on it. Blood. He wiped at his ear, blood smearing accross his cheek. He couldn't hear anything.

Then he remembered.


Scarcely able to hear his own yell as a whisper, Will sprinted to his prone master. Halt was curled lifelessly on the ground. Blood pooled beneath him; white and drawn, his stern face looked vulnerable in the moonlight. Ghostly.

Dropping to his knees, Will stared agahst at his master. Still in dazed shock, he was unsure of what to do. Gingerly, he rolled Halt onto his uninjured leg, steading him with his hands. Yet, he only blinked owlishly at the reopened gash, and blood covered his hand that was on Halt's shoulder, cut open from the vicious swipe of the Kalkara that had sent Halt reeling.

At last, his training kicked it. He produced a linen bandage from his kit, and bound it tightly, almost cruely around Halt's leg, above the gash, to staunch the blood flow. Removing Halt's cloak, Will bundled it and placed it in the Ranger's arms, so that he could tend to Halt's back without having to support him.

Will stifled a gasp when he saw the wounds on Halt's shoulders; the Kalkara had wickedly powerfull claws. He hoped the muscles hadn't been damaged, or else Halt would never be able to draw a longbow again.

Faintly, Will heard a soft groan that sounded more like a sigh escape Halt.

"Halt! Halt, you're alive!"

He half expected a sarcastic reply, but Halt merely said:

"Yes. So I am."

Running around to face Halt, Will beamed down at him in relief.

"Halt, it's dead. It almost got Rodney, but it's dead now."

He didn't wan't to think about his own terrifying role. Not now. It was all too surreal. He cradled Halt's head in his arms, covering them both in his blood; but he didn't care.

"Will, Rodney and Arald, are they alive?"

Halt clasped Will's hand, a strange desperation in his voice.

"I don't know! I don't care!" Will said rashly.

Even in his belittling condition, Halt was stern.

"Stop it Will. You 're not yourself. Others are in greater need. Go, they're more important."

"No! No they're not! You're important Halt! What if you- you-"

He couldn't finish the thought, his voice tightening in emotion.

"Will, you're in shock. calm down."

This was absurd, here was Halt, possibly dying, and he was telling Will to calm down? Quickly realizing this, Will breathed deeply, ignoring the panic that arose when he smelled burnt flesh in the air. He did not, however, make any move to leave Halt.

"Will, obey me. If we loose the Baron and Battlemaster of our thirdmost important fief, we've failed our mission."

"And if we loose you, the Ranger of that fief, then they've completed theirs!"

Retorted Will hotly.

Darkness engulefed them in the eery night. Nothing Halt could say dissauded Will. Nothing mattered. There was only the blackness so thick, it was tangible. The Blood that seeped onto Will, and trickled out of his ruptured ears. He'd never known a father, and now Halt, who he was beginning to think of as such, was in danger, and Will refused to leave. Memory's flashed before his eyes. memories of the past few monthes with Halt. Memories of his ward years, of Horace, of Alyss. Halt hadn't had a place in those, and he occupied the most important place in Will's heart now. the coldness overcame him, the hard stones dug into him, and Will felt nothing. He thought of his father, his true father, whom he never knew.

He was a hero. I'll bet he died bravely, fighting of inumerable Wargals; maybe he was defending someone?

He drew in a sharp breath.

What if he died defending someone? Giving his life, leaving his son, and my mother...That doesn't mean he didn't care about them, but that he was selfless enough to give them up...That's what being a true hero means.

He didn't, of course, bother to think that the idea was only a fancy. A imagenary scenario that probably never happened; what mattered was the sentiment.

"I-I'm sorry Halt. Of course you're right."

Halt's eyes snapped open in the darkness. Thank God! That was exactly what he'd been trying, and failing, to get Will to say, and here he was, doing just that without any further pursuasion from Halt!

"Good. Now get going."

Will nodded, tears escaping despite himself.

Arald had been concious for some time, listening silently.

That's a strong boy. Glad I could help him be where he is today.

Will started a small fire, stumling on the rough stone ruins, and dragged Rodney, who was yet too dazed to be of any help to himself, over to it. Luckily, Arald was able to walk with some help. Will didn't think he'd be able to drag the big man by himself. Thanks to his armor, Arald's wounds were less severe than Halt's.

Quickly, Will returned to Halt. Spreading out the Ranger's cloak, he helped Halt lie on it, face down, and gently pulled him over to the fire. After a considerable time, Will located all of their horses, with some trouble from the four big battle horses, and none at all with the Ranger's equine counterparts. He retrieved supplies, blankets, and food; he tended to the three men all night, untill a ragged Gilan arrived in the morning. He took in Will's bloodsoaked appreasnce, and the wounds of his friends.

"I hope you have some coffee Will. I take it the vile things are dead?"

Leaving Will to puzzle out this confusing statement, Gilan sat down with a weary sigh. When he'd heard the story of the fearsome night, he whistled slowly.

"The boy's a true hero."

A/N Sorry for the cheesy ending, couldn't think of anything else. :P Thought I'd try my hand at angst. :/ Not too happy with it. Oh well. Plz review and tell me what you think! God bless, Mychele.

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