Episode 17:  Revenge

He figured it out. The senior researcher sent him on a field assignment to get rid of him. Forced him was more like it after he declined. But why?

“Who are you working for?” Noshee said.

Chusee clamped her wings in. “I never mentioned anything about that.”

Noshee’s smile stayed. “You show no fear to Warlord Rorkai. You have no respect for our Warlord’s trust in my wife. Therefore, someone is backing you. Someone who has little fear of two powerful Warlords.”

“How do you know I—I don’t fear them?” Chusee tapped her thigh with her claw.

Noshee strolled around the room. Rarely, did he feel superior around her. But his life was at stake.

“Is that fear I smell in your breath?” Noshee said.

“I believe that’s you. You’re the buzzard, the coward for declining field assignments.”

“Tell me who it is. Tell me who is doing this. Our Warlord will protect you.”

Chusee shuffled away. “No one can protect me.” She knocked on the door. The warrior standing guard opened the door. Streams of Hartons flew across Genai’s Core.

Before Chusee left, she said, “If you love your wife, accept your fate. Your death will serve her and your daughter.”

Sunlight from the window moved across the floor. Noshee watched Genaians soar around the sun. He wanted nothing more but to return home. His daughter’s laugh echoed in his mind. His wife’s soft touch reminded him of warm spring breeze caressing his wings.

The door opened. “We’re leaving now,” the warrior said.

Noshee stepped off his perch. He gathered a pamphlet he wrote in and documents he would use at his trial. He stepped out and noticed a dozen warriors standing on the landing that encompassed the small dwelling. “Am I that dangerous?”

“No,” the warrior said. “Warlord Rorkai commanded guardians to protect you on our way to the Honeycomb.”

Peculiar Hartons stalked along the sparse trees of Nashoba Forest. They were probably family members who couldn’t wait to get their claws on Noshee. They were convinced he committed neglect and let their loved ones be eaten by Graywolf and his pack.

The warrior leaped off the landing, and Noshee followed. Guardians formed a sphere. And those peculiar Hartons followed, flapping their wings from tree to tree.

“There seems to be a lot of them,” Noshee said.

The leading warrior smiled. “Worried?”

“There’s about forty of them. Only twelve of you.”

The warrior dropped his smile. “Feeling guilty—?” The warrior dropped toward the forest floor. Three Hartons had attacked him.

Screams and yells surrounded Noshee. He found himself hovering as his sphere of guardians roared at about forty of those peculiar Hartons. It actually looked like sixty, or more.

“Get to the Honeycomb!” one of the guardians yelled.

Eleven warriors formed a thin barrier between Noshee and the mob of Hartons. Broadswords and talons were wielded on both sides. The mob charged in. Roars shook the leaves. Tussles and heaving breaths mixed with metal clanging.

Wings were ripped through. Bloody talons shredded arms and legs. Dozens of Hartons fell to their deaths. The melee was raging.

Choose your poison: Should Noshee jump in and help or fly away?

100% of the readers chose to fight.