COMPONENT 02: IDENTITIES
Lavina wasn’t entirely sure if she should flee screaming or try to talk to the living chunk of metal. She watched; ready to make a break for it as the creature examined itself. Yet, she knew there was little chance of outrunning something that moved so fast and ferocious.
Curious enough, it only looked at its hands, and seemed to test each finger, then each toe. It touched the horns sticking from its head, then glanced over its shoulder and shook its head.
The half-elf’s fear faded when the living statue fell to its knees and made sounds as if it were sobbing. Lavina couldn’t believe her ears. Was something so powerful really crying? It came out like wind blowing through a cave and metal scraping together.
It then looked up and saw the girl staring, and she could only stare back, expressionless.
Inside its iron skull, everything was fuzzy. Once it had been flesh and bone, but male or female? And how old? No other memories were returning.
“What am I?” He looked at the girl, hoping for an answer.
She hadn’t one and was as still as a statue herself, eyes wide and unblinking. A few moments passed in silence and somehow she mustered the courage to speak.
“W-Well met, um, sir?” She guessed he was male, given his physique. “To tell you the truth I don’t know what you are. A golem I guess?”
She looked confused to him, and he accepted defeat. The girl didn’t know him. So he sat on the ground with a loud thunk and crossed his legs under him. With each movement gears ticked inside. Was it normal, he wondered? Was he broken?
After an attempt at a deep breath, he realized he couldn’t. No air went in or out. Breathing wasn’t something a golem did apparently.
With a resound sigh he tried to wrack his brain, and at the very least, he seemed to be able to do that–to think.
Lavina looked past the depressed machine in search of Gavin. He was nowhere in sight, but her sensitive elf-like ears picked up on more orc cries, but she wasn’t able to tell if they were shouts of triumph or pain and death. She hoped the latter. Either way, the girl was ready to leave and find him. He could need her help.
“Well…” She lowered her head. “Thank you for saving me, but I need to um…get going.”
Lavina tried to edge away, but the mechanical man looked up and seemed to be trembling, his yellow eye-orbs quivered. He was frightened, almost like a child. How could she just leave the poor thing?
Gavin ran through the snow-laden streets careful to step lightly. He wanted the Orcs to continue following him, but only so far. He would need room to hide after all. And shoot arrows. It was his only chance against six well-armed opponents.
“Ruggza Chrezkch!” One nearby orc said, sounding excited, and a little more than stupid.
The elf could only assume that meant they had fallen into the trap and picked up his tracks. It was time to hide. Taking a turn into the next alley, he regretted his decision. There wasn’t much room to maneuver in the narrow space, but there was a turn at the end. Gavin knew he must lure them down and pick each off as they came, one at a time.
The crafty elf darted and ducked behind a collapsed pile of bricks and drew his longbow once more, nocking an arrow into place.
He peered down the shaft, waiting. “Show yourselves, you dirty troll-kissers.”
The first of said ‘troll-kissers’ appeared in the entrance and as it gave a battle cry. An arrow drove into the unfortunate creature’s mouth and severed its spine. Before the body could fall, the next orc pushed it out of the way. Gavin snapped his hand back searching the quiver for an arrow, and his heart sank. The arrows were all gone. How had he allowed that to happen?
“Fetter!” he cursed through his teeth.
Gavin spun and retreated down the alley. How was he going to kill five more orcs? The only other weapon he carried was a dagger! The Elf didn’t feel so crafty as he turned the corner and his worries increased tenfold. A handful of steps in front of him was a tall brick wall. There was no way out.
Only five of them were left. Four male Orcs and one female. Gonzeeleda was quite beautiful for an orc, with perfect skin; not a single blemish.
She led the pack because of that pristine beauty. All of the others worshipped the ground her upon which her light green feet walked.
That loyalty was never tested, even though she had just sent two of her best warriors into the alley; only to see one slaughtered. He couldn’t even finish a cry to their orcish God, Torchwood.
She held up her thin hand, which was smooth with long delicate fingers.
The last two warriors halted. They were her absolute best, and she wouldn’t waste their lives on the off chance they could succeed. Her clients wouldn’t be happy, but what did she care? She’d rather keep her lovers than send them to their deaths.
“Madam Gonzeelda?” the taller of the two warriors asked. “Why you stop? We kill and eat that elf!”
“You’ll only die.” She watched the grunt in the alley taking slow, cautious footsteps.
“Not true!” the broader and more muscular orc protested.
“Hush,” Gonzeelda hushed, “and see.”
The pair of warriors were confused, but they obeyed their commanding mistress. If they questioned further, she would probably kill them herself.
The orc stalking the alley turned the corner and disappeared. Waiting a few heartbeats, Gonzeelda conceded.
“We leave,” she said, turning around and leaving her bare footprints in the snow, not feeling the slightest tinge of coldness. She was never cold.
“Huh?” the tall orc asked, he referred to their alley friend. “Wenk not come back!”
“Wenk is dead,” a deep anger in her carried in he voice. She kept walking.
“Send me!” the tall one begged.
“No Budge!” she snarled and didn’t turn around. “You come with me! And you too Weiggs!”
The wide Orc, Weiggs, chuckled as he looked at his tall brethren, “Mistress tell you!”
“Shuddup!” Budge grumbled back.
Gonzeelda continued walking and didn’t stop to look back at the idiots. If they went to find the elf, they would die too, and she would just have to find new mates. Which wouldn’t be difficult at all. But to her satisfaction, they both followed like lost Ferry Dogs.
Gavin held a hand over his foolish enemy’s mouth. It struggled for its life, but the elf held him too tight. Then that elf slipped the gold handled dagger into the orc’s lung and lowered his dying captive as it convulsed and ran out of breath.
Being an elf, Gavin could hear the other orcs with ease. Three pairs of feet crunched away through the snow. Two were booted, but one was bare. That was the pretty female he was sure. And he felt sick to think that an orc could ever be considered attractive.
As the steps faded, he breathed a sigh of relief and smiled. That one had been far too close.
The elf examined the dead, wart-covered orc. Its gaze still stared straight into nothing. Gavin took his hand and closed the eyes of the dead creature. He had no respect for orcs; they oft attempted to raid Windale. But he did have respect for the dead, no matter what race or species. As he went to stand he spotted a shiny disc under the dead one’s tunic.
“What have we here?” Gavin lifted the disc, pulling it off of a golden chain.
Gavin rubbed the blood off with his thumb and flipped it around. Numbers were carved into the back of the pendant. It appeared to be a backward three and an upside down four. Both were characters in an ancient orcish dialect. The revelation caused Gavin to cock his head.
“The Blood Tomb?” Gavin remembered the clan’s name.
The memories of the war they incited also came to him–the ones where they took over the southern lands across the ocean. But the clan of religious fanatics had vanished without a trace three hundred centuries ago.
“Are you all right?” Lavina asked the iron-creature.
He pounded his fist into the ground. “Do I look okay?”
“N-No.” She sighed. “But can I help?”
He stopped brooding and looked up at her again. “…Give me a name.”
Lavina felt taken aback. She had no idea what a living machine would want to be named.
“Well…” She looked over him over and took careful steps around the poor artificial thing.
She stopped behind him and spotted something engraved on the back of his neck. With caution, she tried to rub away the dirt crusting around the word.
“What are you doing?” He went to swat the girl away.
“Hold on!” she snapped back and he was too shocked to respond.
Legible letters were written in Divinity, the tongue of the gods.
“A-N-G-O-N,” she read the letters aloud.
“What?” The machine asked. “What did you spell?”
“Your name.” Lavina walked before him and smiled. “Let’s call you Angon.”
The name resonated with him and it gave a warm feeling in his core. It felt…right. Angon stood and towered over the tiny half-elf girl.
“Well met,” the giant said. “I am Angon.”
Lavina bowed her head. “I’m Lavina Mistystar. Where are you going now?”
Angon looked around feeling no love for the cold winter city, and if he had any, he couldn’t remember. His gaze landed back on Lavina Mistystar.
“For now,” he said, “with you.”