Chapter 7 – The Fall

This entry is part 15 of 15 in the series Rise of the X-Syndicate

Zuxana awoke to find herself lying on a dusty wooden floor.  Disoriented, she tried to push herself up, only to fall flat on the ground again, groaning in pain.

The large Tauren had lived through many battles, but had never felt pain quite like this.  It was as though something was clawing at her side, trying to rip her left arm off of her body.  She ignored it as best she could and rolled to her right side, pushing herself into an upright sitting position with a quick jolt.   She then turned to look at her left side, and was surprised to find a big empty and bloody space where her arm used to be.

“We tried as best we could,” Gregory Victor said  from the other end of the room.  ”By the time you got to us, the arm was gone, and I thought you as well.  You’re lucky we were able to save you.”

Without acknowledging the Undead doctor, Zuxana attempted to stand.  The room began to spin as she made it to her feet, and she quickly grabbed hold of the wall to avoid stumbling onto the wounded that lay on the ground around her.

“Be careful,” Victor said, “you’ve lost a lot of blood.”

Zuxana looked down at her armour and nodded.  It was drenched in drying blood, most of which was becoming solid and crusty.  She instinctively tried to wipe it off, but soon realized that it wouldn’t do much.  Still, she kept on trying to wipe the blood off until Victor walked up and forcefully stopped her hand.

“Can I get you anything?” he asked, trying to convey a sense of concern that his Undead body simply did not know how to mimic.

“Numbers?” she asked dryly.

“It doesn’t look good I’m affraid,” he said, “so far I’ve counted over 180.”

The number caused Zuxana’s heart to skip a beat.  Razorwind, at its peak, had boasted about 230 members.  If the numbers were correct, and over 180 warriors had perished, then the guild’s numbers had just dropped to less than 20 members.  No, this couldn’t be right, 90 percent of her guild could not have just been killed by the Alliance.

“I need to get back,” she said in a weak but firm voice, “I need to get to Undercity.”

Victor hesitated, looking at her wound with concern.  He knew she wasn’t in any shape to fly, yet something told him it wasn’t any use arguing with her.

“You can get a bat from the bat handler outside”, he finally answered.

“Bat?” Zuxana asked surprised, “I thought Hammerfall was serviced by Wyverns?”

“It was, but orders came down a while back to start using bats, it was something about them being faster I believe,” Victor explained, then added: “and with the amount of bodies they’re currently flying to Undercity, its probably for the best!”

This peaked her interest, but didn’t change the fact that she needed to get to Undercity, where Razorwind survivors would be gathering for the battle debriefing.  If Zuxana didn’t get there soon, they would probably assume the worst and begin without her, and she couldn’t let that happen.

Zuxana pushed herself out of the cabin and headed towards the bat handler as fast – and as straight – as she could.

***

The door slammed open, catching everyone by surprise and revealing a very mean looking Hallpass.

The small Undead mage took a few seconds to let his presence sink in.  He then quietly scanned the room from end to end, making eye contact with everyone within it.  He knew them all, each a fellow guild member that he’d recruited, taught, and mentored, and each showing signs of fatigue and stress, having just survived a very horrible battle.

His yellow glowing eyes finally rested upon the large green orc that stood in the middle of the room.

“Varathron,” he said with his strong, deep Undead voice, “what’s going on here?”

“So nice of you to join us Hallpass,” the Orc said sarcasticly.  ”We were just talking amongst each other, going over the battle and what not.  Nothing wrong with that, is there?”

“Considering Zuxana isn’t here yet, I would say that yes, there is something wrong with that,” Hallpass replied dryly.

“Zuxana?!” Varathron asked laughing, “Bwahahaha!  Last time I saw her she was resting in pieces in Hammerfall.”

“Stop right there Var!”  Hallpass roared from the back of the room.  ”Zuxana is not on the list of casualties, and until someone informs me that she should be, she is still the leader of Razorwind.  We will wait for her to arrive before we start the debriefing.”

Varathron slowly stepped towards the undead mage.  ”Well then, maybe we don’t want to be in Razorwind anymore.”

“If that’s the case, then leave.  And anybody in here right now that feels the same way can leave too.”

Several of the most vocal members of the crowd got up and formed ranks behind Varathron, who stood proudly before them.  They then turned, and began marching out of the debriefing room.

“Var,” Hallpass said as the giant Orc walked by him, “think about what you are doing, this won’t bring Sefira back.”

Varathron turned, eyes as black as coal, “Don’t you dare say here name!  You’re lucky I respected you once, otherwise I’d kill you where you stand.”

Hallpass silently stood and met each one’s gaze as they walked by him.  Some looked back at himwith respect, others with anger, and others not at all.  When all had left, the room consisted of no more than five people, and Hallpass knew very well that the worst had just happened.

Razorwind was no more.

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