We’ve been quiet for a long time. With Osprey out there somewhere, we just decided to keep working and watching out for the kid in silence. Besides, like I said before, work posts get boring after a while. That doesn’t mean that I stopped reading though. I knew that Kelevra had come back- or that someone was pretending to be him at least- but I still wasn’t expecting him to show up here. So much for staying off the radar.
We were checking in with Whelp. She had set up temporary camp in a rotten old building that was being reclaimed by nature. We had barely said hello, when Fell was knocked out. “What the fuck?!” I yelled as I spun around, pulling my crowbar from my coat. The bandaged asshole -now with two eyes and chin pubes- stepped out of the darkness with a lead pipe.
"Damn,” He said, looking at Fell as he swung the pipe around in his hands, “think I swung too hard?"
At this, the kid started forward to help Fell, but I quickly motioned for her to stay behind me.
I let out an "Ohhh shit" before I could stop myself
"Oh well,” He continued, “on the bright side, I won't have to deal with her running her mouth" He threw the pipe aside as his eyes snapped up to mine "Heya druggie, how you been?"
My eyes stayed fixed on his "What the fuck do you want?" From behind me, Whelp spoke up: "K-Kelevra?"
"Goodness me Hart,” He said in feigned shock “watch the language, there's kids here" He waved with a smile at Whelp before looking back to me. "As to what I want, just to ask a question is all."
I snorted in disbelief "Fine. Ask your question and leave"
"So cold Harty, so cold" He said, putting his hands in his pockets "But yeah, the question, so remember how I showed up at Knitty's place before? No doubt you have read her blog post about that, so you now about the favor I asked her to do for me, right?"
I couldn’t believe this shit. “I didn't have to read her blog post because I was there, dude” I reminded him “and she told me all about the favor herself."
He continued "Alrighty, well here's the problem, when I got to the spot where I asked her to hide it, guess what." he pulled his hands from his pockets and clapped them together "It wasn't there!"
I smirked at this "Well that sucks for you doesn't it? Wolf told me that she hid it right where you asked, so I don't know what you want from me."
He frowned "See, I don't really believe you. She could have fucked me over ‘cause she might have seen me as a threat to you and Fell, so now you could be jerking me around and I don't like that" The sleeve of his jacket extended over his hand and formed a sharp edge.
I gave a bitter laugh. "Of course she saw you as a threat. But she respected you for some reason, so she did what you asked" After she did that favor for him, who was he to come here, spitting on her memory and making threats like this? "She did that for you, so shut your fucking mouth and leave".
His jackass grin returned. He may have a new face but that stupid smile is the same "Oh Hart, you know the reason I knocked her ass out is because I knew she would refuse to say anything, but it seems like you're the same way now" His other sleeve extended now to form another sharp end. "A pity, really, I didn't want to, but I guess I'm simply going to have to beat the answer out of you."
He ducked as I swung my crowbar at him, but not fast enough to avoid it grazing his head. I guess he wasn’t expecting that. Well, time passed and things changed, asshole. I didn't think it would do much to him but I wasn’t going to just sit there and take it. He recoiled from the hit, but spun back around and launched a tendril out of his sleeve. “You little shit!” he snapped. I couldn’t get clear in time. I gasped as the tendril pierced my side. Thankfully, it was only able to make a shallow cut before being yanked away.
“Stop!” came Whelp’s voice. Stitch was pulling Kelevra’s arm to the side. I took the opportunity to give his free arm a smack with my crowbar. He cried out in pain, a sound that I never thought I would hear.
"Alright Harty, change of plans!" He said as his sleeve grabbed the crowbar where it had connected with his arm. Suddenly, I heard Whelp scream. I looked at her in time to see more tendrils burst from her. They swiftly lifted her up before letting her fall to the side. An Azoth spike was sticking up through the ground where she had been standing.
I aimed a kick at Kelevra's legs, hoping I could knock him down and get him to focus on me again. My kick missed as he suddenly released my crowbar and stopped resisting Stitch’s grip on his arm; letting it pull him out of the way. He shot another tendril from his sleeve, stabbing me in the leg. I gritted my teeth, trying to stifle my own cry. As I tried to pull my leg free, I looked up to see Whelp up on one knee. Stitch hurtled towards Kelevra as he ran towards her. The Azoth in my leg suddenly withdrew as her own tendrils stabbed into his chest and legs. Despite this, he had built up enough momentum to be able to reach her.
He grabbed her by the neck. "Relax brat, I just want to ask a question" he said as a small tendril extended from his sleeve and began crawling into her nose.
"Let her go!" I yelled as I picked my crowbar back up and limped towards them. Whelp was clawing at his hand in a panic; trying in vain to get him to release her. The tendrils stabbing into him had stopped moving as if shocked. Kelevra, himself, stopped moving, as if he was in some kind of trance with his hand locked on her neck. Whelp was gasping and choking as I reached them and swung my crowbar towards his head. Just before it hit, he jerked back from her and grabbed his head, taking the hit to his arm. Whelp, free of his grasp, drew in a deep breath and started coughing.
Kelevra was on one knee, after rolling with the force of the hit. He still held his head, as if the blow to his arm was nothing. "You bitch, you hurt me!" he exclaimed.
Stitch started retracting into Whelp as I began to make my way to where he knelt, thinking of nothing but caving his fucking skull in. Before I could, he rolled back. His tendrils pushed him up to his feet, further away. "Someone's pissed,” he said with a smile “Calm down. I got what I wanted. Turns out, you were telling the truth" He shrugged "Whoops"
Angrily laughing at this, I snapped "Well good for you. Now fuck off."
"Oh god that was so gross!" Whelp cried in revulsion.
Kelevra gave her a piercing glance "Glad to see my suspicion was correct. I wonder when you will decide to come out" He backed out of the room and ran off; the sound of his laughter trailing off as he went.
I turned back towards the kid and asked if she was okay. She nodded. I glanced at her injured foot. Stitch was wrapped around it like a bandage.
“The fucking fuck… hit me..?” Fell said, finally coming to. Looking at me, she jumped to her feet and almost collapsed again; dizzily grabbing her head “Son of a horsefucker!”
“I’ll explain what happened later” I said; breathing a sigh of relief that she was okay. “We need to go” I stumbled, nearly falling over, myself, as I moved towards her
“Not without dealing with that shit first” She said with a glance at my leg. Fishing in one of her pockets, she pulled out a roll of medical tape
We left as soon as we could. The three of us are sticking together for right now while we figure out our next move.