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Opening Moves of White Pawns and Black Queens

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This story is No. 2 in the series "An Ode to a City". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Being the First Part of our Heroine's Adventures in a Wicked Place

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
DC Universe > Batman > Drusilla-CenteredbatzulgerFR132214,264105426,84828 Dec 0929 Jan 10Yes

A Change of Season. Part the First.

I had stayed close to my mousehole, not wanting a black bird of prey to swoop down and carry me off. I had only ventured out to gather food from my grocers. Not going far, only just far enough.

I did not think he could feel my beast, but simply knew that if he suspected, he would be just as wrathful as any Slayer. So I avoided him and kept leash upon my beast and time passed.

Then it was May and I so desperately wanted to smell the night blooms in the public gardens. I carefully stole from my lair on my tiny mouse feet, hoping to avoid the dusky creature that ruled the heights. I made it to the park safely, and under the stars I danced while inhaling the intoxicating perfumes wafting from the flower beds. I felt a grim presence draw near ,so I found my feet and scampered off. Not willing to stand and fight for no good reason.

The next day in my nest I felt and saw a burning rolling through the world. The red-haired witch had done this, I knew from the core of my being, but of what precisely she had done, I knew nothing, save it was vast and old.

That night I went forth again to dance among the flowers and under the stars. This time as I went towards the park I could feel a sensation that I had avoided for years. The constellations were telling me that a Slayer was close, but neither the Light nor the Dark. I asked them for more, but they peevishly kept their celestial mouths closed. Sometimes cosmological entities can be quite annoying. I returned home, not wanting to put myself at anymore risk.

Managing to stay a homebody for two weeks, I finally decided to travel out in the city again. As I left my dwelling, the stars told me to visit one of the smaller parks nearby. At the entrance I could here the sounds of a battle. Peeking around a tree I saw a young girl engaged in mortal combat with the scaled beast of the Depths. She was easily the weakest Slayer I had encountered, seeming in fact newly called. I peered around for her mentor, fully expecting him or her to be lurking under some cover or other, book in hand, but saw no one.

The scaled one was easily striking her and ignoring her attacks, she wasn't even armed and if not for her mystical resilience I sincerely doubt she should still have been alive. I felt at a crossroads. Should I let her perish to this cruel creature, or should I aid her? My beast howled for her death, which of course settled my plan of action.

I stepped from the shadows cloaking me, and asked the beast what he thought the stars were singing? I knew of course, but it is always wise to gain a second opinion. He dropped the semi-conscious Slayer from his clawed grasp and whirled to face me.

I wonder what he saw as he stared at me? A pale young woman clad in a black dress? A decrepit crone long past her allotted span of years? A puppet moved by a cruel and heartless creature from a age so long ago?

Whatever it was the scaled one saw, it did not seem to halt or even impede his rapid charge towards me. As any who knew me can tell you, warfare is not my strength, I always left that to my William as he always took such glee in it, but still, I am not to be trifled with.

He swung a clumsily slow blow towards my head. No doubt trying to end this annoyance that had interrupted his sport. I carefully stepped to the side allowing the strike to merely disturb the air where my skull had been. With a bestial roar he swung again and again. Each time clutching naught but wind. I smiled, it had been so long since I had had a partner to dance with. Giggling, I gently grasped his wrists and began to try to waltz. He was strong, far stronger than I or Angelus or even the blond Slayer, but shock and surprise weakened him, and I was able to twirl for a moment before he regained what existed of his composure.

He roared then and cast me from him. I kept my feet and curtsied, as is only polite, then readied myself for his next assault. It was not long in coming.

He stormed towards me as powerful and inexorable as a breaking wave. He knew my speed now, and I held no false hopes that I would be completely able to dodge his attack, and I was correct.

His blow struck me across the front, sending me gliding through the air, until my stop was caused by an impact with a large oak. Peering down I could see that his claws had torn great rents in both my dress and in my abdomen. Hints of white rib glinted in the moon and starlight. I glanced over at the Slayer, but she still hadn't risen, so I steeled myself for the inevitable.

His third rush was even faster than the first two. He had wrapped one of his massive hands around my neck and had lifted my kicking body from the ground as he apparently attempted to choke the life from me. Inside I smiled as I let my body slowly grow limp and motionless.

Still carrying me, he returned to the Slayer and raised his massive foot preparing to crush her skull. I prepared myself to try to break free just as some-thing large came sailing through the air and impacted into the scaled one's side, toppling him over. As he let me go, I rolled clear to see the faceless woman in her trench coat, fedora, and suit, tumble to the ground.

The scaled giant was laying on the ground shaking his head slowly to clear it, so I took the opportunity to grasp him firmly on the shoulder and the seat of his grimy pants and hoist him off the ground, before hurling him, head first, into the self-same oak he had introduced me to.

Before he could recover, I had gathered up the young Slayer, and after giving a quick smile to our faceless saviour, dashed off into the night.
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