Author Topic: The Claw of Justice: Aastha's Story  (Read 1431 times)

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Offline BeckyL97

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The Claw of Justice: Aastha's Story
« on: May 15, 2013, 02:57:40 pm »
Chapter One: Depression and a Plan

What had once been a lush field was now nothing more than dust and ashes upon barren, infertile ground. Occasionally the breeze would sweep up the dust in small clouds that would roll along like a wave for a short distance before once again dissipating. The sun never shone like it used to; dark grey clouds which haunted the sky all day and all night prevented much light from ever reaching the ground and its inhabitants, and thus the area was in a constant state of darkness. To those who had lived here for quite some time, though, the darkness was of no hindrance; their eyes had long since adapted to the low levels of light. In fact, they would use the darkness to their favour, hiding from their targets and victims before springing forth without so much as a single warning.

Aastha, the white tigress, was no exception to that rule. She had inhabited this dark, barren land for several years now, albeit not by choice at first. She was one of few creatures here that weren’t mindless demons, roped in by a greater dark force which ruled them all with an iron fist. Aastha too had been roped into assisting the evil cause, and had dealt out evil herself in her time, but inside there was a vengeful feline who wanted nothing more than to escape evil’s clutches and redeem herself for what she had done…if that were even possible.

On this particular day (though it was hard to tell whether or not it was day or night, what with the darkness that permanently cloaked the dusty, barren land) Aastha had not been tasked with any of the Great Daemon’s evil deeds and as such took the chance to spend some time alone with her thoughts. She walked along silently, her footsteps not even making the slightest of sounds, her notoriously piercing blue eyes straight ahead, never distracted and always calm. Aastha took in a deep breath through her nostrils and exhaled through her mouth; the air here carried no scent, only carried the faint taste of dust on the breeze. She could even remember when this land had once been fertile. It had been so pleasant back then, but now…well, it was hell. And she had finally had enough. After all those years of slavery under the hand of the Great Daemon, all that time of doing evil, she was getting out of there. No matter what the cost. The trouble was, when and how would she do it?

The thoughtful feline kept walking in silence until her ears perked up, detecting a slight sound nearby. She stopped immediately, listened out for it again. Hearing the slight sound once more, her hand instinctively went to the sword in its sheath at her hip and she drew it out, ready for any oncoming attack. Her keen eyes scanned the area.

“Who is that?” she demanded, directing her intimidating tone at the shadows all around her. After a brief moment of silence, she detected a sign of movement. She kept her stance steady, ready for a fight.

“Either you come on outta there or I jam my sword right through your freakin’ chest!” Aastha snapped. “Come on, show yourself!” For a moment, there was silence again. Then there came a dry chuckle and a figure stepped out of the shadows. Seeing it to be someone she knew, Aastha paused before putting her sword back in its sheath. Her stance relaxed a little, but she remained sufficiently alert as to act immediately should a fight be sprung upon her, as was the norm for this feline. The figure before her grinned casually…or rather, half of her face grinned while the other did not move. It could not move; that half of the face was nor covered in flesh, and was just the exposed skull. The Utahraptor-like creature in question still seemed to be able to speak and laugh perfectly well, despite her bizarre facial injury, and even stranger was the fact that she seemed to have perfect eyesight, despite only having one eye, which was in the eye socket on the side of her face still covered in flesh.

“Alright, calm down, Aastha. Tense as usual, I see?” the creature deviously asked, with a giggle. Aastha blinked, unmoved. This creature happened to be one of her very few friends around here and yet still she couldn’t bring herself to laugh openly at her jokes and ways.

“Should that surprise you, Two-Tone?” Aastha questioned by way of reply, in her typically emotionless tone.

“No, not really,” the creature before her said, her scaled tail flicking slowly from side to side. She looked meditatively at Aastha for a moment more before speaking again. “Wassup, kitty-cat? You seem all down and thoughtful…” Aastha’s expression briefly flickered over to one of annoyance.

“You know I don’t like bein’ called ‘kitty-cat’,” she responded, flatly. Then she sighed a little. “But I suppose you’re right about the ‘down and thoughtful’ part…” The side of Two-Tone’s face which could still show expression changed to one of concern.

“What’s on your mind, then? What’s wrong?” the raptor ventured to question. Aastha paused a moment, judging whether or not she could talk about it. She came to the conclusion that she could; after all, this was one of her only friends around here, and just about the only one she could trust with her sensitive thoughts. Aastha sighed again before looking back at her friend and speaking.

“I’ll be honest with you, I’ve a lot on my mind,” she began, steadily. “First and foremost, I wanna get out of ‘ere. Out of this dark realm, I mean. I’ve finally ‘ad enough of doin’ the Great Daemon’s evil deeds and I wanna return to the world of light. You get it?” Two-Tone paused a moment to think over that, then nodded.

“Yeah, I understand,” she said. “Go on.”

“Secondly, there’s…” Aastha began, but quickly trailed off, hesitant to continue. She was about to reveal a rather tender piece of information, one that she had held in her mind for quite some time now. Two-Tone sensed her reluctance, and the side of her face which was still able to do so smiled.

“Come on, pal. What’s the other thing on your mind? I don’t bite…not you, anyway,” she said, with a slight laugh. Aastha didn’t laugh with her. She took in a slow breath in order to calm herself and went on.

“The truth is, Two-Tone…”the feline began, with another slight hesitation. “It’s just that I’m feelin’ real lonely. I know, I know, I got you to talk to, but it’s just…not that kinda lonely, if you get what I mean? I don’t know what it is…my heart just...” She was interrupted by a bright half-grin and friendly laugh from her friend. The raptor rested a hand on her shoulder.

“I know exactly what your problem is, mate,” she stated, still grinning. “You’re feeling lovesick!” Aastha steadily nodded.

“I loved a guy once, but he…he broke my heart…” she murmured. “Well, I say that, but he didn’t so much break my heart as much as shatter it into a million pieces.” She did laugh a little there, but there was no humour there. Two-Tone nodded; she could recall that incident all too well, and had been the one to comfort Aastha after her first and so far only love broke her heart and walked away. The raptor thought for a moment then spoke in a gentle, comforting tone.

“I get it, Aastha.” Two-Tone began. “You wanna find someone who can be there for you, care for you…and you also wanna find redemption for the stuff you’ve been made to do right? I mean, I could understand that last part…but it’s hard to break out of when you’ve been doing these things for as long as I have. As you know, I’ve been under the Great Daemon’s rule far longer than you.” Aastha nodded in response to this.

“But what am I gonna do?” she queried. “’ow am I ever gonna get out of ‘ere, back into the world of the light again?” Two-Tone glanced away for a moment, thinking. Aastha could practically see her bright mind coming up with ideas. She knew her well enough to recall that she was quite the wonder when it came to strategic and practical thinking. After a few moments the raptor-like creature nodded to herself then looked up at Aastha.

“I got an idea,” Two-Tone said, waiting for Aastha’s nod before continuing. “See, I heard among the demon ranks that The Great Daemon is venturing to the West with his Seven Dark Generals this evening. Some sort of conquest thing…you know, the usual death-and-destruction. Well, with the ‘big guys’ gone, so to speak, that’ll leave an opening for you to make a break for it. The patrols’ll be out, but I can cover your tracks. I’ll distract ‘em and you can get the heck out of here.” Aastha paused, her eyes a little widened in surprise. She took a moment to reply, and as such Two-Tone – or, at least, the half of her face that was able to – frowned a little.

“What’s up? Isn’t it a good enough plan?” she inquired, to which Aastha shook her head slowly.

“No, I see the logic in your plan, it’s just…” she muttered. “What about you, Two-Tone? You’d be stuck ‘ere and when they find out that you ‘elped me, I dread to think what they’d do to…” Two-Tone interrupted her with a dry chuckle.

“I’ll be fine, don’t you worry about me,” she said. “They won’t catch me if they find out. And if they do…well, I’ve been around for a good few centuries now, killing and the like. Surely it wouldn’t be too great a loss if I were to die?” Aastha opened her mouth to speak but her friend laid a claw on the feline’s snout to silence her. Aastha was silent for a moment or two, and then she slowly nodded. It was a terrible risk for herself and her friend, but no matter what she said, she knew her friend would not listen and would insist on going along with the plan. Reluctantly, Aastha put on a small smile.

“Alright. We’ll go ahead with the escape plan,” she said. “We gotta be careful, but it could work. We’ll meet ‘ere in four ‘ours, got it?” Two-Tone nodded, grinning, then turned and rushed off into the darkness. Aastha watched her friend go, then turned and walked off in the opposite direction, her mind full of melancholy and tinged with doubt.
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Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: The Claw of Justice: Aastha's Story
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2013, 11:17:47 am »
Nice beginning to your story BeckyL97. It will be interesting to see how the
escape plays out. :orbunny:
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