025 Those Who Watch the Sky - 25


25 – Children Wandering Under the Sky 9

“See, isn’t it amazing.”

The voice of a woman with long golden brown hair and sea gem green eyes echoed in Elliot’s mind.

“Just don’t tell anyone that I’ve let you in here and you can come here whenever you like if Link is busy and train to be her knight. You’re already her prince, but I don’t think you want to be so instead be her knight, Or perhaps her knight prince. Hn. That sounds like a good role. Be her Knight Prince who keeps her grounded and the silver lance to slay anything that threatens her… Or at least let me entertain the thought of Knight Prince Elliot, the Silver Lance who’ll always be there for my daughter…”

Opening his eyes Elliot took in the interior of the cockpit which had been replaced with a panoramic view of the Dolmen’s surroundings and donned an expression of determination.

“Don’t worry Mrs. Sycamore… I still don’t want to be Link’s prince, but today at least I’ll be Knight Prince Elliot the Silver Lance just for her…”

Turning around in his seat Elliot looked at the scene behind him and saw the twenty meter tall cat descending down the elevator shaft. Its movements had grown cautious in response to the humming of the Artificial Gate Generator that rested in the abdomen of the Dolmen. Tightening his grip on the control sticks Elliot worked the complex array of pedals at his feet and was faced with the sensation of gravity pushing against him as the Dolmen rose to its feet. The sight of the Dolmen rising was enough to get the White One to throw caution to the wind and with a roar a storm of lightning tore down the elevator shaft.

“ELLIOT!”

Link cried out in fear for Elliot as the White One appeared from one of the arcs of electricity and brought the full weight of its body into the claw swipe it brought against the Dolmen. Off balance as the Dolmen was as it rose it was sent toppling to the ground. The White One let out a triumphant and territorial roar declaring itself the victor. Victory was not for the White One to claim however as the Dolmen again rose to its feet revealing that Elliot had not closed the cockpit and no longer could due to the damage from the fall.

“No, no, no, no, no! He’s not safe fighting with the cockpit open!”

“Li~nk ~ Please stop flailing, it makes it hard to fly ~

“But Elliot–!”

“We can’t do anything against that Link ~

“But–!”

Much as she did not want to admit it, her own experience against the White One in Ambrosia told Link the truth of Melody’s words. The truth only made things worse however as the open cockpit left Elliot with compromised armor to the front and against the massive beast it seemed that death would follow. Link did not give Elliot the credit he deserved though as she was unaware of just how many times he had taken her mother’s invitation to train in a Dolmen’s simulations deep in the plant under the town of Cross. He found all of his value in life by being her support with his sword existing solely for her dreams and in that instant the Dolmen was his sword.

The White One cared little for the dreams of the humans who challenged it and growled maliciously at the Dolmen’s back as it shrank back to pounce. When it did leap it was caught unawares as the Dolmen spun on its heel and drove an armored fist reinforced by Nectar into the side of its head sending it flying across the breadth of the supply corridor and into the side wall. The blow more surprised the White One than stunned it however and it recovered quickly and howled calling forth a new storm of electricity from the branches growing from its shoulders.

“Kya~!”

Link and Melody cried out as they were defenseless against the attack where they circled in the air. Their situation was still better than Elliot’s though as the White One struck from above riding down upon a bolt of called lightning and again knocking the Dolmen to the ground. With another triumphant roar it then proceeded to bite the neck of the Dolmen and the sound of straining metal echoed throughout the supply corridor at the base of the massive elevator shaft.

“Melody, we have to do something! It’s going to kill him!”

“And what can we do Link ~ The wind is trembling in fear of that thing and barely helping us stay aloft so I can’t get it to do anything against that thing ~

Though she sang as she spoke Melody could not hide the irritation and frustration in her voice. As desperate as Link was so too was the harpy but Link was refusing to hear it.

“Just let me go for a moment and I can summon my bow to at least distract it!”

“You’re not listening again Link ~ I can’t risk letting you go because the wind is barely responding to my song to keep us aloft in here ~ The wind is absolutely terrified of that thing and I don’t blame it ~ So we’re just going to have to have faith in Elliot ~

Link did not process Melody’s last sentence as instead she locked onto the statement of the wind being afraid. Looking up at where her right hand shared a grip with Melody’s talon Link wore her desperateness on her face but also had a hint of understanding forming within her eyes. Trusting in that understanding Link dropped her sword from her left hand to the ground below and snapped her fingers.

“Link! ~ What are you doing ~

“Hoping to plead with the wind!”

Straining against the effort to force the Ambrosial Gate from the Foreigner that was transforming her Link barely answered Melody’s question as she watched the White One start attempting to shake the Dolmen. Clenching her teeth to force herself to focus Link reached into Ambrosia with her will to connect again with the mermaid version of her within. She did not desire to project herself into Ambrosia again and instead concentrated on seeing the wind that responded to Melody’s call and began to barely make out minute glowing green forms resembling butterfly and dragonfly winged icarans as well as harpy’s similar to Melody in build. Her actions however did not go unnoticed and the White One raised its gaze to the one who first challenged it drawing looks of terror and defiant terror both from Melody and Link. Lifting its head was a mistake on the part of the White One however.

- You’re fighting me beast

His voice crackling across the Dolmen’s external speakers Elliot revealed that he was still alive and fighting. Drawing everyone’s attention back to him though encouraged the White One to again shake its head to try and kill the Dolmen. For Elliot that was perfect as he piloted the mech to grab the base of the branches growing from the White One’s shoulders. The branches cracked and splintered under the force of the Dolmen’s tightening grip and the beast reeled back in agony summoning lightning through the branches by means of another roar. Sparks exploded from the Dolmen in response as the electricity tore through the mech. Within the exposed cockpit Elliot did not even flinch despite the arcs of electricity tearing about within. He maintained a cold, steel-eyed expression of determination and working the foot pedal array of the Dolmen to get the mech’s feet under it again. Doing so pushed the White One back despite the beast being greater in size than the Dolmen. Howling in rage and surprise the White One increased the intensity of the electricity it summoned but to all of no end. Elliot had the Dolmen back on its feet and the White One in his grip. Commanding the Dolmen to stand Elliot pushed his foe back and up onto its hind legs allowing the beast to rake at the front of the Dolmen and the exposed cockpit with its massive claws in retaliation. Watching the scene made Link pale but the desperate raking of the White One kept its claws from reaching within, not that Elliot had any intention of allowing it to continue trying. His counterattack had begun and Elliot’s years of combat training with Link, Melody, Cliff, and Link’s mother came to a head against the White One.

Pushing the White One back with the power of the Artificial Gate Generator surging through the Dolmen, Elliot took two carefully placed steps. Rolling a shoulder with each step while pulling the Dolmen’s upper body closer against the White One, Elliot caught the beast’s paws upon the shoulders of the mech and negated its raking claws. Growling in rage the White One still had a card to play as it was unable to escape Elliot’s grip and it reared its head back.

“I was hoping you’d play along.”

The words falling coldly from Elliot, a smile that wasn’t his fought to twist his face into one of sadistic glee. Finding himself suddenly fighting two opponents Elliot gritted his teeth and tightened his hands on the control sticks. The White One was unaware and uncaring about Elliot’s second opponent and simply focused on driving the ram’s horns that grew from its head into the head of the Dolmen.

The blow was spectacular and chunks of metal exploded off of the Dolmen’s head as it was sent stumbling several dozens of meters backwards across the supply corridor. It took Elliot everything he knew about piloting the Dolmen to work the pedals and keep it from falling over no less staying in control of himself and completing the maneuver he aimed to accomplish. The terrible howling that rose from the White One as he did pull off the near impossible though made it very difficult to stay in control as no lightning accompanied the latest roar. Looking out through the open cockpit he could see that the White One was gushing copper blue blood from its shoulders while the panoramic display within the cockpit revealed that the Dolmen was now holding the branches that had grown from the beast’s shoulders.

“That’s amazing…”

Staring in wide-eyed amazement Link could barely breathe out her astonishment of the scene playing out before her having total forgotten her desire to plead with the wind. Melody however was laughing joyously at Elliot’s nearing victory.

“Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha! ~ I told you to have faith in him Link! ~

Assured as victory was looking beating the White One was not what the group aimed to do. The water spirits had requested that Link kill it and she shared that task with Elliot and Melody. That meant that the beast could not be allowed to flee and with the organs that granted it its control of electricity torn from its body that was exactly what it aimed to do.

Moving to bolt up the slanted elevator shaft of the supply corridor the White One turned its back on Elliot and the Dolmen that he piloted. It was an unwise mistake on the White One’s part as Elliot had maintained the mech’s balance and was able to dash forward from where he stood. He made sure to pull off a lunging start to his dash however which allowed him to scoop up the Dolmen’s revolver in its left hand and pulled back the hammer. The motion initiated the loading process of the weapon and drawing on the Artificial Gate Generator it formed a massive bullet of Nectar that was ready to fire as the chamber aligned with the barrel of the revolver. Elliot did not simply wait for the firearm to ready itself as he had to make sure he had a target to shoot and snatched the White One’s tail as it attempted its retreat. The creature’s animal instincts betrayed it as the jerking along its spine caused it to turn back and bare it’s fangs with a threatening growl. The growl was anything but threatening as Elliot pulled the trigger and it cut short as the magic bullet exploded through the White One’s neck near decapitation the once lord of the dam and lost shrine of Ocia.

~ You plan and you plan but adventure is never what you expect.
We never planned to take a job on our first adventure.
We never planned to be infected by the Foreigners either.
All we were supposed to do was feel alive.
All we were supposed to do was find ourselves.
But I was found by myself.
I did not find myself.
What type of adventure waits for me when I am the found instead of the finder? ~



Copyright © 2019 Joshua D Tarwater

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