It calls us back to who we truly are.
The pain was blinding. There were a solid ten seconds where she couldn’t see anything but blackness, couldn’t hear anything but the ringing in her ears. She hadn’t even processed the fact that Xiuhcoatl had starting attacking the strange girl. Serilda fought past the pain that was coursing through her body, and turned to watch what was going on. Mythal knocked the real Lexa out of the room -- it was the real Lexa, right? The second Lexa was staring her down, but Mythal’s body cut the glare off.
Refusing to let the man fight this battle alone, she tried to push herself to her feet, but the run through calf immediately seized and it was back down to the ground she went. She was growling through the pain and her head was throbbing, but she wasn’t going to give up. Serilda gripped her scimitar tightly, furious that she could only sit there and watch as Mythal faced off against the creepy clone, who still had her sights set on the injured woman. The girl let out a shriek that shredded her ears.
The man and the girl fought viciously, but the little freak had one advantage that was difficult for either of them to keep track of. The girl disappeared again, teleporting back over in front of Serilda. Fear was clawing at the walls of her mind but she gripped her sword and prepared to defend herself -- until another portal opened up. Serilda knew what was coming, but before the attack could strike, she felt a pair of hands grab her under her arms and toss her to the side. Serilda rolled across the rough ground, shrieking in pain as the weapons embedded in her got jostled and pushed deeper through her limbs.
It was once again Xiuhcoatl that came to the rescue, appearing out of nowhere while the woman was distracted with her spell. The wolf jumped up and slammed her body into the girl’s with the full strength of momentum from her superior speed. Lexa stumbled to the side and shot a glare toward the pup, but by then it was already too late. Mythal had recovered, despite having several daggers poking out of his back. His fist was completely ashen in color, a move that Serilda had only seen him use once before, very recently.
With a single punch, he sent the clone flying. Serilda dared to hope that was the end of it, but then the girl spoke a sentence that put another shiver down her spine and disappeared. The wolf was standing protectively in front of her, muzzle dripping with whatever passed for blood in the abomination they’d just fought. Only once she was sure the clone was gone, given that her scent and everything had disappeared, did the pup turn to Serilda. Whimpering, she started trying to lick the wound on the woman’s calf.
“Xiuh, stop,” she groaned, the command not a very forceful one. Serilda pulled the hound to her body and hugged it tight, trying to reassure the animal. Xiuhcoatl turned to lick her mistress’s face, big eyes worried. “I’ll be okay, it’s okay,” she whispered, soothing the hound.
Though she was holding to the animal, her eyes were on her partner where he swayed. The man stumbled over to her and she immediately caught his shoulders to keep him from falling forward. “Careful!” she told him. In the desert she’d been concerned about an infection growing on his back. Right now, she was fully worried for his life. Serilda tried to look over his shoulder at the weapons embedded there, even as he eyed her own. “We need to get you out of here…”
Stubbornly, he stayed focused on her. Warning her ahead of him, she gasped when he slipped his arms under her and pulled her up. “Wait! Stop, you’re going to make your own injuries worse!” Serilda insisted, though she couldn’t really do much to stop him. She winced at the pain when the injuries got jostled again, biting off another pained cry. Her free hand gripped the front of his shirt tightly in an attempt to mediate the pain, and he’d feel her body trembling in his arms from the effort of fighting it back.
Xiuhcoatl whimpered again when Mythal asked her to take the lead, wanting to but uncertain about following a command that came from someone other than Serilda. The woman looked down. “Go, Xiuh. It’s okay.” The hound moved through the door ahead of them, eager to get out of this strange place.
The man walked after the animal, and Serilda turned to look at him, her face etched with frustration as much as open worry. “Mythal, please,” she told him quietly, making an effort not to yell into his sensitive ears. “You don’t need to carry me, I can manage with a little support. You’re going to kill yourself if you do this..!”