Tag Archives: Mei Ling

Dark Embrace

Lightning scarred the sky for a moment followed by a peal of thunder that shook the ground.  Dozens of Amazon warriors slipped from the covering forest, bounding up the temple’s walls in moments and lining the ledge above like living gargoyles.  White eyes stared back at the trees looking for any threat.

Storm watched the amazons move, a grim smile curling the edges of her lips.  The coming tempest seemed a good omen: the gods smiled upon them this night.

When the last of the warriors had perched atop the ledge and the surrounding forest was once again silent Storm finally moved.  Her lithe figure leapt from one impossible purchase to the next, like some creature from myth, until she stood with her warriors.  Fat raindrops began to fall from a turbulent sky.

Storm’s fingers sought and found the hidden switch in the bas-relief lining the temple’s walls.  She glanced at Mei Ling, one sharp nod and they both pressed in at the same time.  A section of the wall slid soundlessly in and to the side.  Within moments the Amazons were once more within their sacred temple-home.

Warm bodies pressed together within the narrow passage, centuries-old dust kicked up by their feet tickled the warrior’s noses and stung their eyes.  Storm led the band through the narrow passages until she reached a dead-end.  She paused listening intently for several moments before her hands spread out and almost caressed the walls on either side of her.  A faint click presaged the wall sliding back with a dull grinding noise as of metal on stone.

A dim glow filled the space the wall had once occupied.  Storm’s hand arose and she signaled a quick message that was, again, repeated along the line until it reached even Mei Ling at the rear; “stay here, await my return.”  Without looking back the Amazon’s intrepid leader slipped past the heavy rug that lay over the passage.

A brief flash of torch-light and then the relative darkness of the hidden passage.  The warriors waited, each immersed in their own thoughts but each fully aware of everything happening around them.  Faint breathing stirred the still air, sweat dripped down tense bodies eager for battle.  Silence seemed to stretch on into an eternity.

A sound broke the oppressive air, a scrape of something hard against stone muffled by the fabric ‘door’.  The warriors tensed, readied themselves for battle, fear and expectancy tinged the sweat dripping from their bodies.  Every sense focused on the few sounds filtering past the wall-hanging, every heart beat a little faster.

A choked-off yell was followed by a hollow sounding thud, then something sharp, metallic, grinding against stone.  Then there was silence; even the faint sound of breathing had stopped.  There was only the sense of expectancy hanging in the heavy air of the passage.

The rug was pulled away, torch-light flooded the dark passage.  The warriors in front ducked down, coiling themselves to spring.  Outlined by the orange glow of the torches, splattered with crimson, stood Storm, knife clenched in her hand, her head held high, her eyes flashing with the dark joy of battle.

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Home Coming

Wet leaves brushed against lightly oiled skin.  Night insects cried from the thick branches growing throughout the jungle.  Moonlight filtered through the thick canopy overhead dappling the world with spots of softly glowing phosphorescence.

Storm led the warriors on a silent run through the forest.  Their bodies diving and twirling through the heavy growth around them, their feet gently tapping the moist loam of the forest floor to propel themselves forward.  They were shadows passing through the forest, dark demons from the nether-realms summoned to slay the intruders.  They were unstoppable.

Through the trees Storm spotted the temple.  She rolled to a stop and, behind her, the legion of Amazon warriors slipped into cover one by one.  A hundred eyes peered from the dense foliage observing their erstwhile home.

Only two guards at the gate.  Two sleep-deprived men with barely enough courage to follow along on the raid, barely paid enough to keep them interested.  They would be an easy kill.

Storm signed to her warriors; a quick series of gestures with her right hand.  Mei Ling observed her friend carefully then repeated the gestures and was repeated and on down the line.  Without looking back Storm slipped around a patch of growth and disappeared.

She crept closer to the main entrance.  Rough stone slid beneath her practiced fingers.  Storm spread herself flat against the walls of the temple, flowing with the surface of the stone.

Sweat trickled down her neck, between the cleft of her chest, curving along the underside of one full breast and then dropping down to follow the taut curve of her belly.  Her fingers caressed the leather hilt of her throwing dagger, her body’s heat warming the cold steel until it felt almost alive beneath her eager grip.

One body-length away from the nearest guard and still undetected.  They leaned heavily against their pikes, eyes half-lidded with lack of sleep.  Storm crouched slightly, readied herself and leapt.

Storm’s dagger flashed through the air, the nearest guard was startled for the briefest moment seeing it fly past his nose.  Within that same moment Storm’s foot materialized where his neck wanted to be and a horrifying sound, of cracking bone beneath soft flesh, heralded the man’s death.  Storm slipped past the first guard and threw her fist at the throat of the next but he was already sinking to his knees, his eyes staring, disbelievingly at his chest where the simple hilt of a blade had materialized.

The man’s head popped forward in response to Storm’s fist on his throat.  Her palm slapped against the leather hilt and she pulled her blade from his chest in one smooth motion.  She stopped then, kneeling on one knee with her weapon next to her chest and her other arm held out from her body.

All time stopped for just that moment, nothing moved, there were no sounds to disturb the absolute purity of that brief second of time.  Then the forest erupted.

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Dischord’s Prayer

The tribe readied for battle

They prepared themselves for the coming dance.

Storm stared blindly at the spectacle in front of her.  Dozens of young girls, future Amazon warriors, danced wildly around a circle made by the tables on which the meal was served.  All the different members of the tribe sat eating and watching the mad frenzy.

Droplets of sweat flung off the bodies; lit from behind by the dancing flames of the giant bonfire they seemed to become momentary bursts of liquid fire flinging out over the watchers before disappearing into the cavern beyond.  Over and over the dancers swept, twirled and jumped around the flames until even their shadows seemed to materialize and dance with them.  The sweaty pounding of the drums beat almost randomly but their rampant flailing coalesced together seemingly in some bizarre pattern set into the thrumming of a thousand different drums.

Storm sat next to her faithful friend Mei Ling, the pair continued moving a strangely familiar set of twigs and stones around in the space between them and gesturing wildly.  Their words were drowned by the ever-present drums.  Numerous eyes flickered between them and the dancing some just stared outright.  They all knew the stakes of the women’s “game”.

Drums pounded louder and louder, until their cacophony filled the cavern with sound.  The conjoined beats were coming more frequently, filling the cavern with their paralyzing thunder.  Even the shadows seemed more real as the dancers appeared to be fighting them off.  Now all eyes were turned to the dancers, focused on the strange ballet being performed just feet from them.

A moment occurred then, just a single, amazing thing that happened to the world in the blink of an eye.  For one single moment carved out of the purest crystal imagine-able the dancers and their shadows seemed to switch places.  One moment the young girls were fending off shadow attacks and then only the shadows remained.

The goddess had arrived.

In that one moment the entire tribe was unified in mind and soul and that was the point at which they joined with their divinity.  A strange calm made of the deadliest steel a human had in them took over.  There was a vibration to the world, as though a string ran through everything and it had been plucked.

The world made a strange and terrible kind of sense.  They all knew that some of them would surely die but it didn’t matter, they would all die in the cause of their life.  Ultimately they would prevail, their children would live on, carry on the Amazon way.  They would surely triumph in the end.

Storm got up and joined the dancers.  Mei Ling joined her followed by Sarah and then several others.  The cavern was suddenly filled with trilling music as though an orchestra of flutes was awakening.

That was the last thing anyone remembered.

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