Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2031922-136--Meet-the-Queen
Printer Friendly Page Tell A Friend
No ratings.
Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Fantasy · #2031922
Rox and Diana meet the Queen of Krogg. They start a fight.
         Rox and Diana watched the troops break up and Steven and Alex taken in a different direction. Rox had quietly placed a spell on her things and Diana’s things during the week, which allowed her to sense their location, regardless of the intervening space. Something told her not to worry about doing likewise with Steven or Alex’s things. Now as they entered the fortress, she started gathering mana to herself. The two of them were in just underwear and blankets and still chained in their cages, and taken through a series of arches and passages between the buildings of the fortress. At a certain point, the troopers were met by a cadre of palace guards, who replaced them, and the troopers left.
         These guards/porters bore them through the fortress to its heart, and a large grove of fruit trees dominated by one huge tree in the middle. This tree was tall enough to probably be taller than the buildings around it, and quite large around with several large branches reaching out from the central trunk. As they passed the smaller trees, Rox wished she could shield Diana from the sight. Men and women were hanging from the trees, crucified naked even in the cold. It looked like there were people crucified all over the higher branches of the big tree, and the group was heading right for it.
         The group stopped in a clearing at the base of the tree. Its foliage dominated the clearing, and stretched up as high as the fortress around it starting about two heights of a person above the ground. Bodies of assorted people were not just impaled to it as with the other trees. On this one, it looked like branches were growing through the bodies attached to it. Branches engulfing the bodies, and growing out through them. And the people were somehow kept alive as this tree transmuted their substance into its own.
         The guards set the cages on the ground, and then prostrated themselves.
         Rox watched as the bottom of the tree began to shift around. Diana shrieked in surprise and disgust. A new shape was exposed and broke away from the base of the tree. Humanoid female, but only just; she stepped away from the tree as it withdrew from around her.
         Roxanne has learned some little of the following from the Elves, and now heard Karen’s voice in her mind telling her that the Queen is pure evil, and given her soul over to corrupting power. A creature from the infernal regions looking vaguely like a tree has been magically produced, and she merges her body into it. In return, it draws her seed out of her and mixes it with the seed of the men it feeds on; it will eventually bear fruit after its own kind, but only in the abyss. She and the King were once lovers. Now they are incompatible, to his disgruntlement.
         The Queen is the only person who can detach from the tree. The other men and women are being slowly consumed by the creature. As it draws energy and matter from the trapped bodies of its victims through its roots and branches, it transfers some of the energy to sustain the woman. She is also a magic user. She draws and channels mana right through this creature. To defeat her will require killing it.
         At seeing the Queen, Rox wondered why some of the women in this world couldn’t be bothered to wear enough to keep warm at the beach; particularly in the winter.
         She was taller than most men were. Because of the transformation worked on her, her body was covered by brownish thorny bark. Segmented plates of bark covered her head. She had six limbs at her shoulders. Two normal arms, two longer arms with small wings that ended with two-foot long claws, and two larger visually impressive but otherwise impractical wings. She also had a tail that swished back and forth as she walked, balancing against the upper body mass. Her feet were digitigrades such that she walked on the balls, and had spurs on her heals resembling a bird. She reminded Rox of Kali, but more malevolent.
         Taking no notice of the group, she stepped away from the tree's embrace and crossed the clearing, to a man attached to another tree. She took hold of the man as a mother would a baby, and pulled him off the tree that held him, using the clawed arms to cut the cords that bound him. He collapsed into her arms. She carried him to the large tree and held him against it. He weekly tried to fight as she held him there. Then he seamed to levitate as the tree took hold of him with multitudes of tiny tentacles, and carried him up into its heights. Then he stopped, and was held fast to the tree as tentacles like roots wrapped around his arms and legs. More tentacles clumped together to form a kind of seat and covered him to part way up his belly. The larger roots split to smaller roots that then dug into his body and limbs, connecting him to the tree.
         Rox knew right then that neither she nor Diana would be allowed to live to become part of that tree.
         The woman watched as the man was placed and wrapped up. She then turned to the guards.
         “Rise. Have them stand forth.” An unexpectedly rich voice issued forth.
         The guards stood, and opened the cages and dragged Rox and Diana out of them. The blankets were taken and put back into the cages. Both were a bit wobbly after having sat or crouched for most of a week. Hunger had them sufficiently week as not to resist. Diana wanted to move to her mother, but two guards held her still by her ankle chains. Two guards flanked Rox, and the rest carried the wooden cages away.
         For a moment Rox just concentrated on staying upright on cramping legs. She quietly continued gathering mana to her, to be ready for whatever happened.
         The Queen approached, wings folding to her back. As she moved about, Rox could see that she had several tubes that seamed to project from her back, and wrap around to enter her chest, and moved as breathing tubes. Two over the woman’s shoulders and across the top of her breasts then in past her sternum. The next set came around under her arms and then under her breasts. The last two followed the lower curve of her ribcage before going in. Strangling her was out of the question.
         She looked Rox over, but gave most of her scrutiny to Diana, going to one knee to look her over. As the Queen’s attention shifted, Rox felt some magical pressure diminish.
         “So. This is the one chosen by fate to kill me, whom I can not kill. And how is that, little half breed?”
         Diana said nothing. She just tried to look away, at anything that was not profanely offensive to look at. She ended up looking at the ground.
         The Queen stood and then looked Rox over. The magic pressure increased.
         “Prudence says I should kill you now. Surely you know something of the various prophecies by now. Your daughter and son will be great leaders in whatever cause they espouse. It would be a shame to deny that. The prophecy about me gives me a choice. If I kill you, I can send her back to the witch. Let you live, and you will always seek her back under your wing until she is able to defend herself. It’s entirely personal. For the cause and all.”
         At that she turned away.
         “Bind the child to that tree. Bind the adult to the rings on the floor.”
         She stepped back and turned away, as the guards moved Rox to the center of the clearing and carried Diana to a tree. She continued thinking aloud.
         “After all I must give the child cause to hate me enough to counter me.”
         Rox was halted in the middle. The chains attached to rings on the ground, shortened to only let her to kneel. Her guards then backed away, waiting for their next commands. Rox turned as best she could to look at Diana, but the way she was bound would not let her turn far enough to see her.
         Rox turned away, and fought to clear her mind. This was the moment her feelings had been leading her to, when she must either take control of her life, or have it taken from her. Slowly her thoughts stilled as she drew on the mana she was accumulating, and her perception of the world changed.
         The chains still hung from her body, but did not restrain it. Her arms were still in bonds, but no longer restrained. She was still unclothed, but only bereaved of covering against the weather. She was still in the fortress, but no longer a prisoner. She was a still a woman, but so much more, Wife and mother, fighter and mage. She carried no weapon, but those were only tools, she was what made them dangerous. Rox felt a subtle shift in things around her, as her senses cleared and expanded.
         Suddenly she knew what the tree really was. And how to destroy it was obvious. She focused on maintaining her perceptions, and focused on existence. On what is, what was about to happen, and what she would need to accomplish the next task.
         The Queen felt the resonance of what Rox was doing and realized she had to move fast. She turned and charged, spreading her wings free of her stabbing arms, and centered these on Rox’s chest, to pierce the heart, beside the left breast. She was a moment too late.
         Rox twisted as the Queen came, and let the woman stab through the chain that secured her left arm. As this snapped free, the woman’s wing caught Rox across her shoulders, and they both went down, Rox wrenching her legs a bit. Rox smashed her closed fist against the back of the woman’s head, stunning her. The guards moved to act, as Rox spoke a word of power.
         This time she spoke it in English, her native tongue. “Bulldozer Torus.”
         Suddenly an irresistible force was pushing anything not tied down except for Diana away from her in a circle. The guards that had the misfortune to be between a tree and the wall of force were crushed to goo, while those attached to the trees were unharmed. The Queen was pushed against another tree, and pined there, for several seconds. The remaining guards once they could, decided that center stage of a magic fight was not where they wanted to be, and fled.
         Rox then tested the rings, and found them solid. She spoke another word, and the ground around the rings liquefied, and she pulled them free as she stood. But her right arm was still restrained behind her back.
         Then there was a focus of attention on her and a flood of pain as a foot of organic blade was protruding from her chest. Rox could not speak to form anything, as she gasped for air. Then she was lifting into the air, and thrown at the huge tree.
Rox crashed into it, bleeding to death. She had scant seconds. But it may as well have been an eternity. For Rox knew who she was. Death was not an obstacle. Just an inconvenience, to be avoided until her work was done. And it was not yet done.
         Then her body stopped working.
© Copyright 2015 aWhiteRabbit (awhiterabbit at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2031922-136--Meet-the-Queen