~~A Way Home~~
It was an irksome climb through thicket and turbulent crags until we came to a reclusive cabin wedged amongst the trees and overgrowth of the mountain overlooking the riparian valleys. The sun was now beginning to fall, lighting our path but with a faint orange glow and casting heavy shadows all around us.
The cabin was well-to-do, I noted, masterfully crafted some time ago, but now rested dormant and unkempt covered in leave and fallen stick and the surrounding foliage pushed up against its walls; even so, a well-trodden path stood out amongst the wild undergrowth twisting and leading further uphill until we finally came to a creaking porch. There was no light coming from within; regardless, the overgrown ivy and windows caked with age old grime made it nearly impossible to peer inside.
A sudden thud and splintering crack of wood snapped my attention toward my companion. The boar of a proto-man stood amongst a cloud of dust following a secondary barrage of falling debris and creaking hinges as the door to the cabin had been violently battered open by brutish boot. The sound reverberated in the trees causing a cacophony of caws and fluttering from birds throughout.
“-Any- sorta warning next time ya wanna wake the whole damned countryside!” I turned a brow, scolding, and placed a hand over my thundering chest and sighed. “Subtly to the voids…d’know what I expected.” I mumbled.
I followed after my companion’s weighty steps into the cabin’s interior. For a moment, we stood in a silhouette ridden shroud and my senses were accosted by the heavy fragrance of pine, chamomile, and other floral notes, a combination familiar to me and produced during ritual by the lighting of incense. Accompanying the smell came the sense of sedation as if stepping through The Veil and viewing the world outside of my own body.
A soft whir and click proceeded the flood of a brilliant glow from the chest of my automatos ally and we were greeted with the sight of a spacious living room. All furniture had been pushed to the walls and the room was adorned with smoldering incense, discarded vials, and peculiarly placed trinkets and baubles. At the center of it all knelt a man, unmoving. Perhaps in a trance?
My companion’s voice containing an uncanny artificial twang, “You there, you are hereby under arrest under the authority of the Imperial Commonality.” My companion stood further steps into the room, taking no care to avoid crushing any of the ritual components under foot. “Surrender yourself peacefully or we -will- take lethal action.”
I reached out an took his shoulder before he could trample any more of the scene. The kneeling man had yet to respond.
“That ain’t who we want.”
“You do not know.”
I rolled my eyes, “besides the fact that anyone would have bolted the moment you battered down the door, that dude’s barely got one foot in this plane.” I gestured toward the knelt man.
My companion peered at the man for a few moments, presumably scanning and processing, before speaking again, “he is alive and unharmed. Admittedly, target appears to be in a vegetable state.”
“Precisely. Though, I wouldn’t say ‘unharmed.’ Gimme half a hike. And do try’n not step on anything.” I took a step ahead of my companion and reached into the inner lining of my long coat. I produced a single vial of blue fog and promptly popped the cork and took the concoction in one fluid gulp.
My nerves screamed one moment then ceased to exist in the next. I tensed underneath the momentary pain then opened my eyes to a world engulfed in a fog and littered with shapeless fragments. I peered amongst the incorporeal and into the ethereal face of the Knelt Man.
“Ah, so there is some of you left.” I smirked. He looked taken aback, initially, and I knew he was naught but a babe to the Planar Arts. He was beyond our concern. “Where is your sire?”
He wrinkled his ethereal nose and brow, “T’was warned of ya. Tyrants. Afraid yet drawin’ strength from fear. Embracin’ The Veil only ta see it’s end. Traitors.”
Brain washed. Useless. His sire was long gone and he was left here as a conduit.
“We’re done with him.” I spoke aloud between realms. My companion made his way over to the Knelt Man and I produce, from my belt, a sigil and vessel for containment.
“Traitorous cur!” He spat and his ether lunged at mine. With a flourish and gesture and quick incantation his simalucra fizzled and spiraled into the metal vessel; simultaneously, my companion snapped the neck of his physical.
Daily Prompt: Cur
Word of the Day: frugivorous