Psychic Leech | Lord of the Sea
Part 5 of The Lord of the Sea
(Story continues from where Dragon Schemes left off. )
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Anurevin woke to a nightmare. He blinked at it through the membrane that protected his eyes. That didn’t improved the view any. A blurry black thing silhouetted against the sky shield’s floating glow glared at the sea. Any minute now it would deploy tubular harvesters. He should get up and stop it. Do his duty and all that crap.
His head buzzed with thoughts that weren’t his — not a good sign. He lay on his back on an iceberg and a woman crouched over him. Her form-hugging suit fashioned out of dragon scales left nothing to the imagination except her face which was covered.
Was he injured? His brain felt three times larger than the skull that housed it but that organ wasn’t going to ooze out of his ears any time soon. No other part of him complained. What had happened? He felt along the confines of his skull–with purely mental hands–and located a pale thread linking him to a mind that might have some answers, his dragon, Sarcosi.
Anger burned along that mental thread scorching him and leaving him dazed. She was upset about something. Might that something have to do with his current supine position? Probably.
Hands pawed at Anurevin’s shoulder. He switched his attention to his ice-bound companion.
“I’m a medic. I have to check you for injuries,” she said and then resumed pushing with her hands under his left shoulder. She meant to turn him on his side.
He batted her hands away. “I’m not injured. I just have a headache.”
While his head throbbed in time with the sea’s chop, he couldn’t concentrate. No concentration meant no using his gifts, which left his comrades shit out of luck for the moment.
An image shunted across the link with his dragon; she examined a corpse with melted sockets that eyes had once inhabited. Not a pretty sight.
*Not the leech,* Sarcosi muttered.
The leech, shit, that’s what had knocked him out.
“What is that?” the medic pointed but Anurevin couldn’t see anything from his reclined state.
He tensed his abdominal muscles and sat up. Pain slashed his skull and darkened his vision. He blinked to clear away the haze just in time to spot the pink glow of a psyblade. He twisted around, putting the base of his skull, her target, out of reach. Raising his forearm, he blocked the medic–no the leech’s–thrust.
She sprang to her feet but he caught her ankle and twisted it, knocking her down. Her psyblade flickered where it extruded between her index and ring fingers but it didn’t go out. She gained her hands and knees and launched herself at him, hitting him full in the chest. They went down rolling off the iceberg and into the sea. Their suits protected them from its frigid chill as they struggled for purchase.
The shock of the cold water dulled some of the pain hammering his skull. He sucked in a breath just before the ice-choked seawater closed over his head. Magic flowed past, carried as silver motes along with the tide. Some of them broke free of its current and flocked to them. They were called Anurai and he was supposed to protect them.
He gripped her wrist and slammed her hand into the iceberg’s irregular bottom. His lungs burned for air already and he’d not been under long. She headbutted him and he saw stars. More Anurai gathered around turning the water luminous. Their curiosity had to be palpable to the leech but she gave notice. Her knee slammed into his ribs driving the breath from him.
Water sloshed o’er head;
magic drags air down to lungs,
breathes in strength to swim.
He needed air…and the Anurai wanted direction. He reached for them through the pain. She locked her legs around his waist; her bladed fist was a pink blur with a sharp edge ready to rend him incapable of magic use and independent thought. No thanks bitch, slavery doesn’t suit me.
If he could just impress on the Andurai his need…he wasn’t a channel. The Andurai only listened to them but his cousin was one and just maybe he could make them hear and help him. The more they clustered, the more he sensed something–a vague connection that united them. It grew stronger as the sea around them began to teem with the critters.
He tried to connect to them–the way he would with another sentient mind. The thread he threw to them connected with something. He impressed his need on that collective something at the end of his tenuous connection: I need air.
Air rushed into his screaming lungs as the Andurai formed a shining bubble around his head. Their light pushed out the water and air, sweet, glorious air flooded in expanding the bubble. He took a grateful breath. Her psyblade bounced off the shining bubble’s silver edge, generating sparks that disintegrated.
Panic made her flail; she had no air bubble. She had been so focused on her task that she’d forgotten that she needed air to breathe. He gripped her shoulders and held her under the water until she stopped moving and then for another full minute after that just to be certain.
The glow around him intensified as more and more Andurai arrived. They encompassed the deceased leech disappearing her from his view. Their light flashed once, twice, thrice and then blinked out as the impromptu gathering broke apart, scattering the tiny glowing motes. However, the leech’s body was gone.
What the Star Sea gives, it takes back in the end. Shore to shore and all that crap about shining seas and death taking all in the end–a eulogy undeserved in her case. So he removed part of his mask and spat into the sea that had reclaimed her. No dirge sung seaside to grieving relatives, just an unremarkable passing on the sea, which was more than she deserved.
A soul tearing scream deafened Anurevin–her dragon no doubt.
*The medic was the leech, watch out for her dragon,* he sent across the link to his dragon, but Sarcosi didn’t answer.
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Find out if Sarcosi lives next Sunday.
Part of The Lord of the Sea