*C.O.T.W Chapter 14: Inigo's Nightmare

  • The Khajiit's eyes closed, being gently rocked to sleep by the ship being gently swatted at by waves like a cat would its favorite yarn

    ball. Inigo's breathing came in slow and rythmic breaths and his muscles relaxed as sleep overtook him. It only took Inigo a few

    minutes to reach what is called 'the dream state.' 

    Inigo was falling through black nothingness for what seemed like an eternity until he stopped suddenly. Inigo opened his eyes and

    discovered he had fallen onto a seemingly endless field of lush, vibrant green grass beneath a bright blue sky that was devoid of

    clouds. Inigo stood up and rubbed his eyes as he was unsure if this was real or a dream, he pinched himself to make doubly sure.

    He saw a naked nord man standing fifty feet from where he was standing. The blue cat squinted his eyes to see if he recognized the

    man, alas, he did not. Inigo waded through the thick grass as if it were a body of water. As Inigo drew nearer the man, The green

    field faded away and was replaced with barren, brown dirt and dead trees, their branches devoid of leaves, as Inigo moved closer to

    the decomposing body. the more his flesh rotted away and revealed itself for the undead monstroosity that it really was. Inigo

    screamed as he stared in horror at this undead menace. Bits of rotting flesh hung off of the body like an ill fitting suit. its bony ribs

    were clearly visible were the flesh had rotted away completely. The draugr was joined by other draugr, some female, that, like him,

    were people mere minutes before.

    The hair on the back of his neck stood on end as he knew more undead were converging on where he was standing. There is no way

    out, I am trapped he thought, He closed his eyes and feared the worst, but, through his eyelids, he could see a blur of orange light.

    He opened his eyes and saw an argonian standing at his back with the undead surrounding them. He could see every draugr clearly,

    he could see the decomposing forms of his birth mother, his adoptive parents Da Vinci and Leah, his friend Felix whom he had met

    during a bandit raid and his brother Fergus. 

    He turned around and saw Hasir standing there with the torch held aloft in his reptilian hand.

    "You are a sight for sore eyes, my friend." 

    He raised his voice about two octaves higher and proclaimed,

    "Flthy undead scum, you had better watch out because the mighty draugr slaying team of Hasir and the blue furred feline are here

    your unlife a living hell." He chuckled to himself. Within seconds, though, his smiled faded and he uttered a blood curdling scream,

    his reptilian friend was falling apart right before his eyes. Inigo was starring at an argonian zombie that had bits of bony ribs and

    tail poking out of flesh that was in varying states of decay. The khajiit backed away as the zombies caught his scent and were closing

    in to make the blue khajiit one of them.

     

    Inigo knelt as low as he could in the middle of undead as they encircled him. 

    "I don't want to die, get away zombies." While saying this, he flail he arms around madly like they were a pair of akavirian whips.

    His arms hit the draugr and they got caught off balance, what he did not know was he was not hittting zombies, but,

    rather something else entirely.

    Inigo opened his eyes to find Moonman standing over him.

    "Inigo, Inigo, can you hear me?" The nord asked, trying hard to avoid the khajiit's frantically flailing arms.

    Inigo stop flailing,

    "Yes, I can hear you, there is no need for shouting."

    Inigo sat up straight, relaxed his arms and swung his legs around so that his body was facing the nord.

    "Did you sleep well?" He asked, smiling at the nord. 

    Moonman shook his head,

    "Inigo, the truth is, you were making some much noise that I didn't sleep well at all."

    Inigo said he was sorry to hear that, he then asked Moonman what he heard and saw. The nord said he heard Inigo cry out in his

    sleep for his brother, his parent and his friend, Hasir. Inigo apologized to the nord, saying he was having a nightmare and his

    adoptive parents, brother and friend were turned into hideous zombie-like creatures by an unknown force. He also told him of how

    there was grass as far as the eye could see in the beginning of the nightmare, but, during the course of the nightmare was being

    slowy replaced by a barren wastland complete with a multitude of dead trees.

    A drip of blood fell on the wooden bench nnext to Inigo He looked up and his hand flew to his mouth,

    "Are you bleeding, we better get that fixed up or else you stand a great chance for an infection."

    M00nman looked at his bleeding arm and cursed out loud,

    "Hounds of Hircine, Inigo look what you did!" He exclaimed. Inigo went beet red and stared at the floor, feeling sorry for himself. The

    nord knelt down on one knee and triied reassuring the distraught blue cat.

    "Inigo, this is not you're fault, your muscles spasmed during your nightmare, it happens to the best of us." Moonman said, trying to

    diffuse the severity of the situation. Inigo thanked the nord, saying it means the world to him that his friend understands.

    The door to the upper deck swung open and there stood Quinchal with a silver platter decked out with fried slaughterfish

    eggs, juniper berry juice and bread with a side of netch jelly along with vension, poultry and beef. Quinchal walked in and set the

    tray on the bench next to where Inigo and Moonman sat, deep in conversation. Quinchal turned to leave as the blue cat looked up

    into the lizard's eyes. Quinchal stared back.

    "Yes, Ingo, may I help you with something?" He asked, nonchalantly.

    Quinchal held the faintest inkling that the blue can was going to fire back with another question, which was indeed true. Inigo

    opened his mouth.

    "Quinchal, would you like to join Moonman and I and share in this delicous breakfast?"

    Quinchal looked nervously over his shoulder, desperately wanting to reach Akavir to rid himelf of the curse. Inigo seemingly read his

    mind.

    "Forget that." He waved a hand as though he were shooing away invisible bugs, "Come, sit with us please, I insist, the ship is not

    going anywhere."

    Quinchal finally caved in and his body lowered itself on the bench next to the khajiit and nord, together they divided the breakfast

    Quinchal had prepared, Inigo stuck to the toast with jelly, juice and eggs while the nord and tsaesci split the vension chop, poultry

    and beef. Being polite Iniigo waited until the meat was arranged into two seperate servings on the platter, when all was done, Inigo's

    meal was on the left side of the platter with Quinchal's meat feast in the center and Moonman's equally meaty meal was on the

    right. When everyone had their food, Inigo ate his breakfast with great care, he picked up the silver fork and began cutting his eggs.

    He turned his head to see in absolute horror that the nord and tsaesci were tearing their meal apart and were not being very careful

    about it.

    Bits of chicken, venison and beef were being ripped from the bone with their sharp incisors and chewed rather loudly, Inigo had to

    duck a few times because some of the meat missed the carnivores' mouths and splattered against the far wall, he had to duck a

    second time to avoid a flying piece of meat slapping him alongside the face, a piece of chicken skin the size of a small after-dinner

    moist toilette missed his head by the narrowest of margins as it skidded to a halt near the end of the bench the cat was sitting on.

    Inigo's face went from its usual blue coloring to bright red in a matter of seconds, he stood up so abruptly that the bench skidded

    into the one behind it and the silver platter that mere minutes ago was an elegant meal now lay splattered on the floor, whilst the

    platter slid across the floor to rest under the adjacent bench. Quinchal and Moonman winced at the clangingg of the metal platter on

    the hard wood and looked sorrowfully down at the now squished bits of meat on the floor, now only fit to feed millions of microbes

    and bacteria moving about on the wooden floor beneath their feet.  They turned quickly, eyeing the khajiit with disdain.

     

    "Inigo, why the hell did you do that?" They both yelled at once.

    The khajiit recoiled a bit but nonetheless stood his ground. Inigo tried to come up with a counter argument, which he failed

    miserably at. how can I answer without sounding like a total dick? He thought to himself. At last, he found the words he was

    looking for.

    "I was just enjoying my breakfast in peace when I heard you two," He pointed to both Quinchal and Moonman, "acting like a pack of

    wild dogs who haven't eaten for days, you two should be ashamed of yourselves!" He yelled in frustration. He turned away from

    them, his face etched with disgust, and folded his arms across his chest.

    In response, both the nord's and tsaesci's shoulders slumped a little and they went back to their pre-breakfast positions, Quinchal at

    the ship's helm, Moonman on the bench that was now smushed against the bench behind it.

    Moonman sat in silence for a long time, not looking at Inigo, he just stared straight ahead of him, he did not want to talk to Inigo at

    this present moment. Inigo let his guard down a little, turned his head in their direction and walked out to where Moonman sat.

    Inigo sighed as he sat down next to the nord, the cat twiddled his thumbs, "I am sorry that I got a little hot-headed and let my

    emotions get the better of me." Inigo looked over at the nord with sorrowful eyes, "do you forgive me?"

    The nord turned to the Khajiit, smiling sweetly,

    "I already have," The nord returned to staring at the invisible point on the wall of the ship.

    "May I ask why you got so hot-headed?" Moonman asked, concernedly.

    "I guess it was because..." Inigo racked his brain for an answer to his rash action, "I had this friend, he did not want to say who it

    was to save himself a lot of grief, she died a year ago," the ends of his ears lowered as he said this. Moonman looked over at Inigo

    again, he saw that not only did the khajiit's ears show his sadness, but it was etched all over his face and his eyes began to well up

    with tears.

     

    Inigo used his shirt sleeve to wipe his watery eyes. 

    "My friend," He went on "died while saving Hasir from the clutches of the evil Molag Bal, the tsaesci saw her death too. the tsaesci

    had gone into Coldharbor to recue her and attempted to both of them exit through a portal that had opened nearby. A shadowy

    figure prevented them from escaping through the portal." Inigo truned to see the nord's face was a mask of confusion. He opened

    his mouth to ask one of the many questions that he had only his mind, but, Inigo put up a hand to silence him.

    "Please, my friend, save your questions. I am sure you will find my tale riveting. Your questions may o andr may not be answered, if

    not you can ask them at the end, ok?" He smiled at the nord, who lowered his hand.

    "Anyway, a huge formless black mass blocked their retreat so they grabbed weapons from the weapon racks that adorned the

    eastern wall of the small cave, they hacked and slacked as hard as they could at the shadow, but, their attacks would only go

    straight through it. The shadow, seeing an oppurtunity, formed into a great black wolf with yellow eyes and tauned them. After this,

    he resumed his formless shape flew towards the heroes, up their noses and nestled into their brain, from there, it could control their

    movements."

    Inigo paused to make sure that the nord was keeping up, he said that he still had questions but he will let Inigo finish his tale. The

    nord absorbed every word as if they were much needed nutrients for the cells of his body.

    Inigo went on with his tale, "when the shadowy beast had control of the khajiit's mind, it made her do horrible things like lash out at

    the tsaesci, he used his martial arts skill to perform a move known only to his people. The move sent the khajiit spiraling through

    the air. She hit a support beam holding the cavern, it shattered into pieces.

    He paused again and looked at the nord, who was looking quite content with himself as he hung on Inigo's every word, anticipating

    each new word with bated breath. He waved his hand in a 'go on' gesture.

    The smart blue cat continued,

    "The khajiit did not show marks of pain on her body, the shadow had already healed any superficial cuts and bruises that would've

    appeared on her body. The Khajiit then rushed at the tsaesci even though the tsaesci pleaded for her to stop. Over and over again,

    she screamed "Get out of my head," however, the black wolf did not listen as it continually used her to attack her friend. the tsaesci

    dodged her attempts to kill him." Inigo smiled as if something amused him, "he used his strength to summon up an akaviri

    windstorm and pushed it towards the possessed khajiit which exorcised the demon. They made for the exit as fast as their legs could

    carry them. Inigo's smile faded and a depressed look followed. He lowered his head and cradled it in his hands which in turn rested

    between his knees.

     

    He sighed heavily,

    "That damned shadow pierced her heart with a dark energy spear that was created from its own arm." Inigo immediately started to

    cry afterwards. Moonman leaned over and ppatted the khajiit on the shoulder, "It'll be ok Inigo, together you, me and Quinchal with

    make sure your friend did not die in vain."

     

    Inigo sniffed, "Thanks, my friend, I needed that."

     

    Quinchal put a clawed hand on Inigo's shoulder, smiled and told the khajiit he was welcome. He strode over to the window on the

    portside of the sship which was nothing more than a few broken wooden boards and looked out over the ocean towards Akavir.

     

    He looked over to Inigo and Moonman,

    "Do you see that deep valley beyond the harbor?"

     

    They both had to squint to see it properly, but they did see it.

     

    The tsaesci went on to tell them that is their destination, it is a place called Zhoushin Pass. Home of the great Kirin and, Inigo and

    Moonmans' eye went wide when he said this, the last two artifacts of Hircine.