Deserter - Chapter Eight: Oblivion

  • He was falling. In reality, it was only a short distance to the floor; in his mind, however, the plummet was endless and exquisite. Perhaps it was symbolic. The inevitable fall after pride. 

    For the briefest of moments, he’d been wrapped up in the glory of it all. Whiterun’s rebellion. The fall of the Thalmor. It had all seemed so damned perfect. But he saw now that that was all hopeless. The childishly sanguine construct of a desperate mind- of a desperate kingdom.  

    The Hold Guard hit the ground. 

    Balgruuf stood beside him, motionless. He was still holding the dagger, still expecting the soldier in front of him to rise and take it. Assassin, the Guard thought, and laughed at himself. Saviour. It took all of his will just to stay conscious. Still, his Jarl looked upon him, waiting. 

    “Your faith is wasted on me, Jarl Balgruuf. My body is just as broken as it was a few moments ago.” 

    The Jarl remained silent. The Hold Guard turned his head, examining the deceased Agent Araltil. That had been reckless, he realised now. There were countless ways Balgruuf could have handled the situation that would have been less destructive. But now was not the time to assign blame; his Jarl had acted admirably enough. Soon, after all, Justiciars would charge into Dragonsreach’s main hall. They would see Jarl Balgruuf, covered in blood, holding a dagger and standing over a fallen Thalmor agent. They would make him pay dearly for his folly, and Whiterun would be torn apart.

    And in the end it would all be for nothing. Some part of the Hold Guard wanted to curse the cruelty of fate. To resent the fact that he had given all but his life – and nearly that, too – for a cause that was doomed to fail. Some other part of him wanted to act, to fight- but he couldn’t, it was no longer up to him.

    Dragonsreach’s doors swung open with a crash that rattled the Hold Guard, and above him Jarl Balgruuf seemed to jolt as if waking from a trance. The Jarl, in the face of extreme peril, as the dogs of war bared their teeth, did what all great leaders must: he made a decision. Balgruuf brought his dagger down, and the Hold Guard choked faintly as it pierced his abdomen.

    The world began to lose all colour. Fading, gasping, the Guard watched the situation unfold, and as life left him he once again fulfilled his role as Whiterun’s unwilling whipping boy. 

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  • Tenebrous
    Tenebrous   ·  June 7, 2016
    I agree with Sotek- this can't end like this! Still, I love it. Can't wait for the next part! 
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  May 17, 2016
    It's been a while but it's great to see you back Fishdout.
    ((Note to self, recall search pack) Like search party but consists of wolves).
    This was worth the wait. Can't end there though surely. And I thought I had some great cliff-hangers.
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  May 16, 2016
    Haha, Balgruuf the old asshole. That was great. 
  • The Wing
    The Wing   ·  May 16, 2016
    It's been six months since the last Deserter chapter, but four months since your last post.  No worries, we all have lame things like school and work butting in.
    He had better not, because that would be a very unceremonious end to this tale! 
  • FishDout
    FishDout   ·  May 16, 2016
    Jesus, has it been six months? :/

    Things are not what they seem, Rancid!! Don't worry!! HE WON'T WALK INTO THE LIGHT!!
  • The Wing
    The Wing   ·  May 16, 2016
    FD, how could you! Six months for FATAL BETRAYAL?? Hold Guard, no!  We never even learned your name!
  • FishDout
    FishDout   ·  May 15, 2016
    Sorry for the ridiculously long wait, all. Do forgive me!