NORM: (Narrator) I called in Combat Strike Force and a Healing Unit, then moved out with Blaze away from the squad. The Dark Force began to exude their presence and the alleyway began to get black -- our comrades became only dim individual glows barely discernable in the overpowering gloom. Then the darkness fell upon them.
(SFX: Blood curdling war screams, battle sounds of sword on shield, armor, shouts and sudden cries of warning)
NORM:: (Narrating) It was a horrific scene, heard more than viewed. I can’t imagine that even Brimstone was holding his own. Our squad was getting slaughtered and still Blaze watched impassively from a distance.
(SFX: Battle in earnest)
NORM:: Are you just going to stand there? Don’t you feel any responsibility for them at all? What did you come here for, if not to help them? You must have known there was a Legion detachment quartered here. How can you be so heartless? So uncaring? You call yourself a soldier! You’re useless!
NORM: (narrator) I tried to goad her, guilt her, anything to get her into the fight, I was desperate. There was no telling if reinforcements would come in time, or if the Dark Ones would call in their own reinforcements and the battle escalate from there. It was a logistical nightmare, and what’s more, my comrades were losing in quick order.
Then she did something quite unexpected. She left.
I was at a loss. My orders were to stay with Blaze, but in doing so I would have to abandon an already desperate situation getting worse. But orders were orders and I had to trust that Cap knew best for the situation, even if Blaze had her own agenda.
(SFX: Norm’s boots running, approach)
NORM: Wait up! Wait up!
(SFX: Norm’s boots stop suddenly)
Blaze: Quiet! I’ll say this once, Support. You give away our position again, and I will abandon you without a thought. Centurion may have assigned you to me, but I’m not assigned to you. If that means losing you, or sacrificing you, I will. As long as you are with me, you will follow MY orders. Understood?
NORM: Do I have another option?
Blaze: Actually, no. Now keep quiet and keep close.
NORM (narrator): We wound through the darkness of Mortal Town, sometimes on our bellies, to avoid the notice of taunters. As I kept close to her I also noticed the surroundings were appearing more vibrant than we were. Or, more accurately there appeared a certain translucence of my essence, as if I were losing coherence. My tactile senses were still acute, but my extremities, indeed, all of me seemed to have only the dimmest outline.
Soon I could hear the din of battle again, which at once relieved me, but at the same time brought a sickening feeling to my gut. If this was a flanking maneuver, it was certainly needlessly elaborate.
Then we came upon a half dozen Dark Ones in a pack who were hunched over something indiscernible.
Blaze: Stay here, I’m going in.
Blaze: And whatever you do, even though I’ve camouflaged you, don’t give yourself away, I WILL not come back for you. Understood?
NORM: You’re giving the orders.
(SFX: Blaze walking)
Blaze: Back off her, now!
Dark One 1: We’re not through here.
Blaze: Oh, you’re through all right. You just don’t know it.
Dark One 2: Six against one. This isn’t even going to be an effort.
Blaze: No. No it’s not. Better run now.
Dark One 3: You’re not even armed.
Dark One 2: Or armored
Dark One 3: They must be scraping the bottom of the barrel in the “Glory Host”. (laughs)
Blaze: Last warning. Back off the Mundane.
Dark One 2: Or what?
(SFX many swords being drawn)
Dark One 1: You four take care of the one with the mouth, we’ll finish with the Mundane here. And be quick about it.
NORM: (Narrator) What happened next, while it is still seared into my memory, still defies description, and yet, I am compelled in making this report complete to attempt to put into words the events that took place.
(SFX: accompany narration)
Blaze began to glow, incandescently; at first with a pulsing radiance, but then soon it burst into a blinding flash that burned into a continuous white-hot aura. The Dark Ones cried out in pain at its mere sight, and after a hesitation attacked in anger and rage. Their bodies appeared as mere silhouettes in the brilliance cast by her light. Dark swords came crashing down at her, but she dodged with amazing speed and agility. Those blows she could not directly avoid she blocked with her forearms which had now become as rigidly hard as they were bright. At this point details became confused and unintelligible to the eye as in her blinding speed it had the appearance that her extremities morphed into blades of their own, or perhaps it was just the blur of detail in the chaos of the moment; of either I am unsure but its ultimate effect was unmistakable.
Blaze had transformed herself into a living weapon wielding pure energy; her acrobatic attacks wrecked havoc and devastation to the Dark Ones. Often they were thrown backwards from the momentum of the blows, and more than one wailed in pain and anguish from the shock of a limb severed or deep cross-bodied gash. Her whirling attacks, extreme in dealing punishment to the Dark Ones, also created an impenetrable defense, ducking, dodging and parrying blows. I think not one of their thrusts struck home upon her.
To behold, it was more like a ballet or dance than martial in nature, excepting for her curdling war cries that accompanied each slash or kick or blow. It was, at once, fantastic and terrifying to observe. The Dark Ones were completely routed.
In light of their impending retreat, the ones whose attentions were upon the female Mundane, visited such a spiritual violation upon her that her Soulcry pierced even through the din of battle.
(SFX: Loud piecing woman’s cry)
The Dark Ones left at once, though some had to limp or hobble as best they could. The Mundane looked as though she had been mortally wounded. I had to act quickly.
NORM: Dispatch! I need a Reception team here, stat!
Blaze: BELAY THAT ORDER!
NORM: (Narrator) I was stopped in my tracks and could only stare. The piercing combat light had faded from her, and she had dropped on all fours, her body wracked in uncontrollable shuddering. Her eyes... her eyes locked upon mine, the same intensity burning within, and boring through me.
Blaze: (breathless, intense & trembling) NO ONE…dies…on…my watch! Now CANCEL that Reception team, mister.
NORM: (Narrator)I felt a compulsion to obey, and subsequently cancelled the order for the team to receive a soul. Then I looked as she willed herself in a lurching motion over to the fallen Mundane that was the Objective.
The mortal body was relatively mature, but Blaze reached into the body and pulled out a small Eternal infant, not even a day old. Perhaps only hours, or minutes. She cradled it to herself and began to emit light again, this time a soft golden glow.
NORM (narrating): I could not tell from my vantage, but the voice seemed to come from the glow, and Blaze merely held the infant. And though the violent battle had only just concluded, the whole area, even the air itself, now seemed to be calm and serene.
Blaze: (SFX: voice modulated) Sleep now. You’ve got a long life to live. You’re mine now, my child. (Blaze’s regular voice) “God, if you can hear me, help” is as good a prayer as “Our Father who Art in Heaven…”
NORM: The Mundane. The woman. She… tried to take her own life?
NORM: You knew…
Blaze: …I had some intelligence.
NORM: You knew the attack on our squad, it was just a stalling tactic. If you had joined in the fight—
Blaze: --Even I couldn’t have gotten through in time. Not in that Place of Power.
NORM: You needed a diversion. And Cap and the others were expendable?
Blaze: Cap knew what was at stake. He engaged on the outside chance they could fight through in time. But his was also a stalling tactic for my sake. My orders were to improvise by whatever means necessary to get to the Objective.
NORM: She’s just a baby.
Blaze: (intense) There’s no such thing as “just” a baby.
NORM: I didn’t mean –
Blaze: (softly) I know. I know what you meant.
NORM: What about Cap and the others? Can’t anything be done?
Blaze: I have my orders, the Objective is paramount.
NORM: But you can’t leave them out there in a hopeless fight.
Blaze: You called in the support—
NORM: And who’s to say the Dark Ones don’t have THEIR support? We’re in demon central of Mortal Town, you know.
Blaze: Here, take the infant. I’ll camouflage you both. DO NOT MOVE from here until support arrives. Understand?
Blaze: I mean it. I’ll skin you alive if anything happens to that precious one. She’s gone through enough as it is.
NORM: I can take orders, you know. They don’t have to be repeated.
Blaze: Fair enough. I will be back.
(SFX: Blaze a few quick footsteps)
(SFX: Footsteps stop)
Blaze: You did a good job. For a newbie in the field. And -- you’re right about Cap and the others. We should take care of our own as well.
(SFX: Blaze Footsteps running, receding)
NORM (narrator) Blaze entering our squad’s battle tilted it to even sides again until relieve arrived. The Fighting 7th Elite Angel Corps was perilously close to being totally defeated. The biggest concern was that reinforcements from both sides would escalate the battle into a prolonged war zone, and me camouflaged in the middle with the Objective desperately needing Evac; but we were spared that disaster.
The Eternal infant was assigned a special contingent of Healers, Comforters and Protectors. The fear now is that the Dark Ones will attempt track her down in short order and try to reclaim her. Only time will tell what they will do in the face of this loss and defeat right in their own Place of Power. Usually some kind of retaliation in kind is plotted.
But for now, our Objective is safe, and we were able to lick our wounds and prepare for another assignment. And I finally have a report of substance to file on subject Blaze, who by all accounts, has indeed earned and wears her call name well.
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