Fanfiction: Wraith of Gaia 3

[Here it is, Backer's debut in this fic.]

Time: 3-9

Despite Marton's message, Rianna couldn't bring herself to return to Larin quite yet -- she needed time before she could face the village. As she wondered what she could do, she recalled her vision from three nights earlier. The man had mentioned an impending crisis, and that the Codex would be recording it. On an impulse, she drew the Codex from her pack, hoping it would contain some clue as to what she was supposed to do.

She opened to the middle of the book, but as she tried to read it, the text rewrote itself at a rapid pace, making it impossible to read. The future, she realized. I can't know it without changing it.

She flipped back until she found a page with stable text, and started to read.

/Linguistic protocols restored.

Stabilization: 87.2/

As the man approached the gate, he noticed a handful of people entering and exiting freely. Good, that would mean he shouldn't have any trouble getting in. A sign above the gate read, "Choras," most likely the name of the city. A couple of guards were standing watch on each side of the gate, but they paid him no attention as he passed through. They were most likely watching for monsters rather than humanoids.

The gate led to a large street which appeared to cut through the center of the city. The time appeared to be early afternoon, and a fair amount of people were wandering about. Feeling fatigue from his travels, he found a nearby alley to rest in, out of sight.

/Hypercognitive abilities restored.

Stabilization: 92.4/

It wasn't long before he was prevented with the drawback to being out of sight. A couple of shoddily clad men turned the corner and approached him, weapons drawn. One carried a dagger, the other, a short sword. "Well, well, looky here," one of them said tauntingly. "An 'alf-asleep man in an alleyway, with no weapons and some snazzy armor."

This prompted the man to assess the state of his equipment, a matter he'd given little thought. He appeared to be wearing a brown cloak over a suit of light scale mail, which appeared to be made of actual white dragon scales. The scales seemed to give off a light of their own; it was no wonder the ruffians were attracted by them. Unfortunately, his armor didn't seem to come with any weapons, so he'd have to make do.

"Looks like we hit da jackpot," the other said. "You's in trouble."

/Combat highly probable.

Stabilization suspended.

Unarmed combat protocols initiated./

"I don't want any trouble," the man replied.

"We didn't ask if ya wanted trouble," the second ruffian said. "We told ya dere's gonna be trouble."

"I would advise strongly against that."

"Wouldja, now?" the first said. "Well, dat's too bad. You don't 'ave much choice in da matter." He jumped at the man, thrusting his dagger towards his throat.

The man jumped up in a blur of motion and struck the ruffian's wrist, forcing him to drop the dagger. He shoved the ruffian back past him and followed up with a stab at a pressure point on the ruffian's neck, knocking him unconscious.

The second ruffian growled at him and said, "Ya monster! Ye'll pay for dat!" He swung his sword for the man's neck.

The man's body reacted even faster than his mind, and, before either had realized it, he had caught the sword in his bare hand. Glancing at his hand, he noticed that it appeared to have reverted to the form of a dragon's claw, its scales protecting it from the edge of the blade.

/New abilities detected.

Preparing protocols for draconic abilities.

Edited stabilization: 63.9/

His left hand, now in the form of a claw, tightened on the sword, breaking it in half. The ruffian, stunned, let go and backed up. "Who are-- What are ya?"

"As for 'who,' call me Backer," the man replied. "As for 'what,' I'm not sure myself. I'll leave that part to your imagination."

The ruffian's eyes widened in fear as he spat out, "Demon!" He turned and ran, abandoning his partner.

/Stabilization resumed./

The man calling himself "Backer" turned to the prone form of the other ruffian and searched his body. He appropriated his dagger and sheathe and strapped it to his waist, recalling that a fair number of people he'd seen in the streets had carried visible weapons. He also found a small number of silver coins, which he pocketed on the assumption that they passed for currency in this area.

He left the alley, not wanting to have to explain the unconscious thief, and returned to the central street. Night was falling, so he decided to search for lodging. His search was interrupted, however, by the sound of a scream from the direction of the gate. He rushed to the gate to see a hoard of zombies closing on the village.

"--'Looks like we hit da jackpot,' the other said. 'You's in trouble.'

/Combat highly probable.

Stabilization suspended.

Unarmed combat protocols initiated./"

Rianna slammed the Codex shut. She realized guiltily that it had allowed her to peer into the thoughts of this man, odd as they seemed. The Codex had seen fit to record these events, so she figured the man must be of some importance, possibly even the "hero" of which her vision had spoken. She resolved to go to Choras city and seek him out. I just hope he'll forgive my intrusion, she thought.

A cry from Balino reminded her of her obligations to Larin. Devising a means of justifying her actions, past and impending, she drew her quill and wrote a reply on the opposite side of Marton's note. She sent Balino back towards Larin, and prayed once more for forgiveness.

From: Fanfiction