Song Bird Duelists
A Tale of Love and Betrayal in the Satellite
Chapter Four: Rocks, Rooks, and Roars
Georgiana screamed aloud at the splintering of wood and grinding of rock against metal, dust showering from everywhere as the stacks of items trembled from the impact of the boulder. Admittedly, I had jumped as well at the barrage of noise as well as a VERY manly scream from Crow. After the first salvo of frightening noise and dust showers, everything was eerily quiet. All that could be heard was three hearts pounding sharply as I slowly realized everything had gone quiet. The dust that was scattered everywhere made it hard to se, but my ears still worked.
Rough, pained breathing could be heard as I looked about. Some of the boxes, stacked far too high to be good, had toppled over. An inert form lay under the stack, an arm lay out at an odd angle, revealing what looked to be a tail of a dragon branded into the tanned flesh. I followed the arm to a male torso and a head of bright orange hair. I cried out as I realized Crow was UNDER that mess. I started tugging hard, eliciting a faint moan from Crow. I quickly realized I wouldn't be able to get him out like this without hurting him.
I knelt next to him and called, "Georgiana! Come over here!
The little girl scurried over, a wail of shock escaping her when she saw Crow buried under the heavy boxes. I pulled her into my arms on instinct, petting her gently then holding her at arm's length. I looked steadily into her eyes as I said, "Georgiana. I need you to pull Crow out from under the boxes when I tell you to. Do as I say and we WILL get out of this mess okay, no matter what happens. Weird stuff may happen, but you won't get hurt. Understood?"
She nodded, pale blue eyes riveted on me. Right then I was feeling the pressure of her gaze. I was the only adult to her in this situation, and she was practically programmed to obey adults. I took a deep breath and released her. Sliding my hand to my deck at my hip, I mentally prayed Come to me friends. Back me up as I try to save Crow. Rave Soldiers, I summon thee!
The medieval soldiers appeared next to me. The Lv 3 Rave Soldiers, two of them, were solemn faced as they braced themselves on either side of the main box pinning Crow.
"Heave soldiers," I ordered, using a little telekinesis to back them up. Grunting and straining, they managed to lift the box off of Crow.
"Now Georgiana! Tug Crow out while they can still hold the box!"
She obeyed with alacrity, eliciting a moan of pain from Crow. At least I knew he was still alive. I groaned as I let the crate smack back down, my monsters disappearing in flashes of light. Ugh. That had drained me further than defending Manabe and Mai had done. Catching my breath, I refocused on the little girl who was presently cuddling into Crow's side and sobbing as though her heart would break. I needed to help her, no matter how much I disliked the squirt.
"Georgiana… You did great. Come here."
"Nooo! What are you?! How did you m-m-make those monsters solid?!""
I felt that in my heart as I managed, "I'm a psychic duelist hon. I can call monsters and make them real."
"Freaky! I've never heard of psych whatevers!"
"That's because you're young. Come here, I won't hurt you," I pleaded, reaching my hand out. Georgiana stared at it suspiciously.
"No! You're weird! Way weirder than I thought at first! Why should I come to you?!"
Then I resorted to guilt-tripping, "You promised you would do as I said!"
"That was before I figured out what you are! You're a-a-"
"Don't say it!"
My voice roared over the tail end of the sentence. I had almost lost control, but I quickly reined myself in when I saw what had happened. Georgiana had started to cry before she finished the sentence. I wearily pulled the girl into my arms. Gently rocking her, I started to sing an old lullaby, "Swing low, sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home, a band of angels come' after me, coming' for to carry me home. I looked over Jordan, and what did I see, coming for to carry me home? A band of angels coming after me, coming for to carry me home…"
I had to sing the old hymn three times through for Georgiana to fall asleep. Wearily, I used my powers to ferret around for some blankets. After fluffing out the dust, I made a nest for the small girl in them in a safe spot, free of boxes in the middle of the room. Feeling all the weaker for having used my powers, I tucked the musty blankets around Georgiana and turned back to Crow. I jumped in shock when I saw his eyes were open.
She seemed surprised that I was awake. Well, me too after that lullaby she was singing. Who knew Raeven had an amazing voice? Sure not me. She was always so quiet and withdrawn when we were kids… Well, either quiet or chewing out Jack.
Man, had those two fought. Jack had been obnoxiously glad when we separated from Martha at our teenage years- just so that he didn't have to deal with the "irritating little nobody" as he called Raeven then. And now, probably. I blinked to clear my head of those particular memories. They always irked me more than any other, mostly because Yusei had been the one, nine times out of ten, that got Jack off Raeven's back. Something about her just rubbed Jack the wrong way. Then again, you could say the same thing about me.
Raeven's voice was a dusty croak. Her grey eyes, black in the semi-darkness of the room, were wider than normal and dilated. She was scared. And upset. I tried to reach an arm over to comfort her, but something seemed to be wrong with my arm. My dueling arm. I started to panic just a bit at that; I started coughing as the panic tightened my chest uncomfortably. Suddenly, Raeven was there, pulling me carefully onto her lap, propping me up and holding me through the coughing fit. Barely managing to catch my breath, I looked up at her in confusion. I already knew Raeven didn't like personal contact; yet, here she was, holding me and helping me through a painful experience. Pale arms smoothed my shirt, which was when I realized I was propped up against her breasts.
Any sane guy would be having a nosebleed right now, but I was concentrating on not giving in to the tickle in my throat. All those boxes falling had stirred up a heck of a lot of dust. I didn't want to cough again because then I'd risk looking REALLY foolish in front of her.
"Crow? Are you really awake?"
"Yeah. I'm okay, Rae," I managed, attempting to sit up, only to be sat right back down by firm hands. It was a mark of how tired I was that I didn't struggle.
"Don't try to get up. And don't call me Rae," Raeven said, sounding mildly tweaked at her new nickname. I grinned faintly, and then winced. Note to self, grinning hurts. Must have fallen on my face when whatever hit me…I sighed as Raeven moved to prop me up against a box. So much for more contact with her.
"Do you remember what happened?"
"Not really. We were down here with Georgiana… Wait! Where is she," I asked, mildly alarmed that I couldn't see the red headed kid. After all, the kid is why I was down here in the first place!
"Stop freaking out. She's a couple of feet to your left. Turn your head and you can see her."
I did so, and was majorly relieved when I spotted Georgiana, sound asleep on a pile of blankets. I released a breath I hadn't known I was holding.
"So are we stuck in here?"
"Apparently. Our only exit is covered by a large boulder."
I groaned. Great. Just great. I'm stuck down here with two girls, one of them a girl who isn't the friendliest in the world… Well, both of them aren't too friendly, to each other anyway, but at least Georgia likes me. I have no idea where I stand with Raeven… Nobody ever does. She's quiet about her opinions until someone comes into conflict with them. Like Jack for instance. Sometimes I think the only ones she really likes are Martha, her sister and Yusei.
"Excuse me?" I grunted irritably when I slumped, attempting to right myself. Which was tough without both arms.
"I forgot my cell… We don't have a way to call for help…" I blushed as I said it- still trying to restrain the nosebleed from earlier as Raeven helped me to sit up. She gave me a funny look. I sighed. I was never at my best around the female sex, but with all that had happened in the last couple of minutes, wouldn't I be expected not to be really at my best or on my best behavior?
"That's fine. Martha will come looking for us, after the storm stops."
"Right. I keep forgetting we're at Martha's place…"
An uncomfortable silence descended over the basement after I said that. Raeven was looking away, but I couldn't tell in the dim, grey light that filtered through from the slim windows on the walls whether or not she was blushing. I wondered idly if she was, wincing when I felt my bad arm twitch involuntarily. I heard her expel a dusty sigh as she scooted closer to where I was, propped up on a box. I looked at her dark figure oddly; I wasn't used to this part of Raeven. She actually seemed to care what happened to me.
"Let me look at that…"
I let her take hold of my arm, trying not to yelp aloud in pain. Her thin fingers were cold as she probed my flesh, apparently looking for a break in the arm. I couldn't restrain a yelp when she found the worst spot of pain right now: my shoulder. Wincing, I yanked my arm out of her hands despite the pain.
"Don't be a baby. Your arm is dislocated. You probably landed on it funny when the boxes fell on you…"
"Man… I'm not going to be able to duel without this arm…"
"I know. It sucks…. I think I can help, though. At least, take the pain away for a while."
"Really," I said skeptically, looking at her with a cocked head, "Did the Doc teach you how to fix people Rae?"
"No, but… Hey! Stop calling me Rae! My NAME is Raeven."
"Sorry, sorry. Raeven it is, Rae," I said, grinning mischievously.
"Ugh! Maybe I shouldn't help!"
I heard her moving to stand. I panicked a little bit, afraid she would be leaving me in the dark with just Georgiana. Martha had raised me better than that.
"I'm sorry! What can I do to help? And what are you doing?"
"Find light, for one thing," Raeven muttered, a slight clanging and other miscellaneous noises indicating she was rummaging for something. I heard a contented noise and winced when I felt the rays of some sort of lamp shining at me.
"Ooops. Didn't meant to shine the lamp in your face," Raeven murmured, putting some sort of shade over her lamp and moving over to sit next to me. The dampened lamp cast eerie shadows about the room, making me wonder if someone had died down here and had now come back as a ghost to haunt us…. I shuddered. Better not think about it. My imagination was always a little too overactive….
"I'm okay. It doesn't hurt anymore…"
"Liar. Your arm still hurts, right?"
Reluctantly, I nodded. Raeven scooted closer to my arm, gently taking it in both pale hands. She was tiny and skinny, but her grip was like a steel trap. Raeven's face was calm in the lantern light; I wasn't sure I'd ever seen someone quite that composed. Except maybe Martha when she was really, really mad. Raeven's bony fingers probed briefly got a better grip then then she braced herself.
"You might want to brace yourself too. This is going to hurt."
Oh, how I hated her honesty a moment later.
Crow's yell was enough to raise the roof off this place. Or would have been, had he not been drowned out by a blast of thunder. I checked his arm, deigning not to notice his anime tears of pain.
"Good. I managed to get it right."
"M-managed? You mean you were winging it this entire time?!" Crow's voice was almost a squeak of indignation. Laughter bubbled out of my lips before I could stop it.
When I got control of myself, I couldn't blame him for shooting me a funny look. As if he were wondering whether or not I was crazy. Thank god that my powers DON'T include reading the minds of others… Otherwise, I think I'd be in for a world of hurt right now…. He looks like he has one heckuva headache… Or his shoulder just hurts and he thinks I'm nuts to have done that when I wasn't really sure I could. I sighed, blinking to clear my blurry vision. I had admittedly used some of my gift to guide me, drawing on the knowledge of my healer monster, the Mystical Elf. To be truthful, Doctor Hernandez had also taught me a trick or two in the days I had spent inside with him. Sing was always playing with someone, whether it was me or someone else, so when Sing decided to abandon me for the day I either spent my time cooking with Martha or helping Doctor Hernandez out. And often talking my sister and her buddies out of stupid, hare brained ideas that only they could think up.
My body swayed and slumped over. It seems control is out of my hands for the moment I thought foggily.
"Raeven? Are you okay?"
That was all I could utter. Moaning faintly, I stretched out on the freezing stone of the floor. I couldn't be cramped up when this happened… Not again… Not in front of Crow… I started to cough harshly. Blood was starting to come up, and I couldn't stop the damn coughing.
Crow's frightened voice was calling to me from somewhere, but my foggy mind couldn't comprehend the words he was saying as he tried to shake me with one arm. His Dueling arm must still be sore. . . Damn. Can't feel much. . . I need the Mystical Elf's help. . . But I haven't got the energy to summon her. . . Oh, Sing, where are you when I need you most? I felt a sharp smack delivered to the side of my cheek, and my ears abruptly focused back in on what Crow was almost yelling at me and my coughing (surprisingly) ceased.
"-Don't you dare leave me alone in here Raeven! Raeven! Wake up! Raeven! Raven, please! If this is a joke it isn't funny at all! Come on!"
I groaned faintly, curling into a ball, my head still resting in Crow's lap where he had put it at some point, "Shut up. I'll explain when I've had a nap… Just leave me be until I've slept some and I promise I'll explain…."
That explanation seemed to satisfy Crow, because he stopped fussing at me. I sighed in relief. His timely smack had saved me from losing a lot more blood than I was prepared to lose at the moment. I was feeling drowsy already, and it helped that he began to, tentatively, card his fingers through my still wet and dusty hair. The flickering light of my old lantern only added to the growing drowsy feelings.
I dozed off in moments.
I was running, but I couldn't remember from what. It was dark wherever I was, full of dark mist and an evil aura that sent chills down even my spine. I was starting to get scared. Wasn't I just with Crow? Where's the cellar? Where is Georgiana? Wait… What's over there…? No… It can't be!
I screamed aloud when I saw them, their rotten or bone white faces advancing from all sides. Dammit! Why those cards?! Sooo creepy! Zombie cards. Why did it have to be zombie cards?! I started running through the narrow gap between the gruesome advancing crowd of monsters. My heart pounding, I realized, as I ran on and on, there seemed to be no end to the monsters.
Tears started to roll down my face for the first time in years. I never cried, not even in my dreams. Yet, Zombie cards were pretty much the only type of card that could bring me to tears in fear. I had had too many of my opponents die on me to ever stand the sight of the rotting faces of the corpses. Or skeletons, as case may be. Another scream ripped from my throat when I felt a bone hand clutch with a death grip on my shoulder. Tearing on with the strength born of desperation, I shrieked when I realized I had torn an arm from The Lady in Wight. Whimpering, I detached it and threw it into the face of one of the oncoming Skull Servants.
Crap! Tripping over a prone, rotted arm I fell down into the morass of heaving, rotting body parts with a shrill scream. To my surprise, I landed on the back of something warm and scaly instead. The zombies angry, unsatisfied cries diminished swiftly as I rose higher and higher. I had stopped kicking and struggling out of pure shock at being rescued at all.
The scenery below us changed from the dark-misted landscape to clouds and golden sunlight bouncing off of them, making the clouds shimmer with a golden glow. My heart was still pounding madly when I answered hesitantly, "Yes?"
"Good. Your mind did not fall into The Breach."
"What's The Breach? Where am I? Who are you?"
"All will be answered in time, Raeven. All in good time."
We dipped lower, revealing that we were still flying over the earth instead of in heaven. On we flew for what seemed like forever, the scenery changing from ripe golden fields, country roads and lush forests to a much more familiar scene: the new Daedalus Bridge. I smiled when I saw it, warm, protective feelings springing up inside my breast.
I felt a wash of protectiveness from the entity I rode upon; I soon realized that I rode a massive, crimson and golden dragon. The beast's coils wrapped loosely about New Domino and Satellite alike, forming a protective barrier all of the city, made even more massive by. My eyes widened in wonder as I saw it. However, there was a foreboding black mist gathering around the barrier, evil eyes of all colors peering from the foul-smelling mist. I shuddered, turning my eyes away from the mist, sensing the evil that oozed from it. The dragon made a soft chirring noise.
"Have comfort, little one. The Breach shall not prevail as long as my dedicated friends exist. You may know three of them already…"
Images shimmered to focus in my mind. A familiar black haired man hove into view, his yellow highlights glimmering slightly as he smiled at me.
"Yusei! That's Yusei!"
Another face hove into view. I-unfortunately- recognized him on sight.
"Jack Atlas!" All the nasty memories of him came into focus. Him telling me off, him laughing when I lost a duel, kicking me when I was down with insults… The rather satisfying memory of when I had clocked him in the nose. I had to get him to bend down- which was rather easy, considering we were at Martha's at the time and I had threatened to scream if he didn't. I giggled quietly, then, to my embarrassment, remembered who I was in the presence of.
"Jack Atlas. We don't have the best relationship…"
"Young one, I know. However, another woman will grieve deeply if he is left from my care… He is fighting for his life inside The Breach, even now. Many will grieve his loss."
An image of a smiling woman appeared before me. Her eyes were a soft grey, with warmth and love shining from them as she beamed. Her black hair fell to about her waist, and she wore an outfit consisting of a striped blue and white shirt, an orange bubble vest, and jeans. She also wore an orange fanny pack on her hips, and carried an elderly looking camera. I smiled, then realized something. This was a woman I did not want to see cry. I frowned tiredly. I didn't want to save Jack, but I didn't want to upset this benevolent looking woman either.
"Her name is Carly Carmine. She cares deeply for my Signer, Jack. The other you may know is with you this moment. . ."
To my surprise, I saw an image of Crow. His smile, his laughter. His genial treatment of even the most annoying little brats. I found myself getting riled that such shit as The Breach obviously was would ever dare reach for him. He flew too high for such scum to ever desecrate.
"I'm glad you feel that way. He will be the one you fly the highest for, blackbird."
Wondering what she (I had a strong feeling that this entity was female, I could be wrong) meant by that exactly, I stayed silent. More images flashed into my mind. A teenage boy and girl, with teal colored hair and nearly identical big grins. The girl seemed oddly familiar… Both twins were laughing, waving at me as they disappeared. Such sweet life. They were so young… Are they truly one of your acolytes?
"Yes. Lifestream Dragon and Fairy Dragon guard these two. You will know the other dragons in time…"
Another image fluttered into my mind. A smiling woman, slender with long crimson red hair done up prettily and warm brown eyes. She seemed to resonate with me for some reason, similarly to the girl twin. I almost reached out to touch her, and then remembered it was an illusion as she dissolved under my palm. I smiled faintly.
"Why does she feel familiar?"
"Akiza is similar to yourself. A Psychic Duelist."
My eyes widened. I couldn't believe it. There are more of us? How have I not met her before?!
"Mere chance. You will meet her soon."
We stayed where we were for a few moments, and I took the time to say, "When do I go back? I have to make sure Crow gets out of this predicament we're in okay."
When the dragon remained silent, I added, "I made a promise. I never break my promises."
"My acolytes need a guide through the coming darkness. Will you promise to be that guide?"
I paused. Such a job would require guiding one of the Universe's most bull headed men, a man with mechanics on the brain, and Crow. Not to mention three others whose personalities I had no idea about. Plus, I was probably younger than all of them, besides the two teenagers. I knew I was a year younger than the Enforcers.
"Why me? Why pick me to guide them? They could probably guide themselves pretty dang well! I mean, they are experienced Signers! I'm just a Duelist from the Satellite who hasn't got very good people skills."
"They need your aid in the battle before them. Without you, they will fall. Will you make me the vow to guard my acolytes from harm?"
I felt the heavy weight of such a burden. A being who was as old as time was putting its trust in me for whatever reason. I couldn't, wouldn't betray that trust.
However misplaced it may be.
I saw the world around me beginning to dim. I leaned down to feel the comforting warmth of the dragon's scales for the last time. My eyes fluttered faintly as energy and warmth drained from me. The dragon's warm, resonating voice carried with me even as I was fading from the realm she had taken me into.
"I will see you again, little songbird.
With that, everything went black.
What do you think? How was Georgiana? What did you think of my first time in Crow's POV? How is the story plot going?