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[2009: JAN-FEB] A Viking's Call


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A Viking’s Call

By Toni Turner

Dispersing some of the Warriors behind the boulders near the West Gate, Auda lined up the rest in rows. When the Jem'Hadar began to swarm in on the Palace, she gave the order to shoot their arrows.

When the rain of their projectiles met their marks, they continued to shoot wave after wave at the advancing hoard. She thought, oO By the gods, where are they coming from. We're not making a dent in them. Oo

Pouncing down from a nearby boulder, a Jem’Hadar, lifted his phaser to fire, but was met with a flurry of arrows. Over the screams of agony and battle cries, she shouted, “TAKE UP YOUR SWORDS!"

With that, she drew her sword and went into attack mode, scaling the boulders to meet the enemy head on, wielding her sword in hand to hand combat along side the Warriors.

The clash of swords against swords and armor was deafening. More than once their efforts seemed futile. One Jem’Hadar was quickly replaced by another, but the Warriors had their hearts in protecting their stronghold. They fought on, driving the Jem’Hadar back slightly, but then their foe's numbers increased again and they found themselves retreating inside the confines of the Palace gate.

Hurrying to close it, Auda hoped that it would delay their advancement long enough for the rest of the away team to get into place, but the weight of the hoard was too much for it, and the gate fell as the Jem’Hadar poured inside.

Auda and the Warriors rushed them, intent on delaying them until the rest arrived. It was then it happened, a blade came crashing down at Auda. She tried to dodge it, but it caught her shoulder. She screamed with agony and fury, then thrust her sword into the offending Jem’Hadar.

With that, came the sound of fighters, pounding the Jem’Hadar infantry with everything it had. Auda slumped with relief and blood loss, but one of the Warriors grab hold of her, carrying her into the safety of the Palace.

Severely wounded, Auda slept, but thrashed in her slumber, dreaming of the horrors she had seen and lived through. Mostly, she seldom gave into this kind of dormancy, because of the dreams that plagued her, but this time she had not been given the choice to keep distance from deep sleep, and she fought and ran from a pestilence of demons that tormented her, and now, they threatened to kill her.

The intense fear made her scream inwardly, unable to be heard. The isolation was devastating. She questioned the sanity of whoever had put her in this state, and as soon as she could almost come out of it, they mercilessly put her under again.

Then there was nothing. A mind totally blank of those memories. A mind that could not think for itself, a blank slate with no past, no future, no voice, no thoughts. For all purposes and intents, she was now a vegetable whose expression was a blank stare.

Through sheer determination to survive the mind assault of her demons, Auda separated her intellect from her physical being. All that she knew, and all whom she had known, faded into the darkened abyss of unconsciousness.

At peace with herself, she lay motionless, blotting out all pain and pleasure. If she could only have the luxury of this state for always, she would never fear her demons again. She was on the verge of nothingness, but then suddenly, she was drifting, suspended in the beauty of the Universe. And in the distance, someone reassured her that he would stay with her.

"Fight, Auda. Fight to live, and live to fight again, my friend."

Auda felt herself adrift, and moving toward the distinctive sounds summoning her back to a time when "dragon ships" carried fearless warriors. Their blood-red sails heralding the presence of true paladins of war, and he, the most revered. She bent to his command to fight.

She reached out a weakened hand, touching the face of her advisor. "You called me friend, but it is you who are the friend, for I have heard your Battle horn, and tasted the nectar of your Hvitinger. You have summoned me to face my heritage and fight beside you. And I yield to your Viking's call."


Edited by Toni
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