C.O.T.W Chapter 76: Unseasonal Weather

  • Ocheeva waved her scaly hand more vigorously in an attempt to revive Inigo. The aged Argonian gasped as she saw Inigo smirking as

    if he had found something funny; thoroughly betrayed, Ocheeva gave the blue khajiit a hard slap to his head,

    "Hircine damn you Inigo, how could you fake being unconscious?" She said, huffing in disgust, "I should skin you alive for leading me

    on like that." 

     

    Inigo, seeing no way out, jumped to his feet and started sniggering,

    "Fooled you, Ocheeva I was never actually uncconscious nor am I the least bit squimish." He said loftily

     

    Ocheeva snarled at him and reminded him this was all about Hasir and his injury, not his inflated ego. Ocheeva went over to Affraji,

    still working busily, and peered over to Hasir,

    "Affraji, did he show signs of consciousness yet?" She asked

     

    The spotted khajiit shook her head somberly, saying the Argonian's symptoms had remained stagnant from the moment the

    Argonian first fell unconsious. Inigo leaned over the table and touched Hasir's forehead with a purple hand. He became drowsy and

    fell alseep next to his friend, letting his hand touching Hasir's forehead flop to the hard wooden surface.

    Inigo woke up in a cave quite unfamiliar to him with a narrow stony path cut through the rock with pools of water on either side

    and a wooden door frame-like opening straight ahead of his current location. He sniffed the air for any sign of his Argonian friend, if

    Hasir was indeed here and not somewhere else. He smelled instead a musty scent mixed with an artificial scent which he thought

    meant he would soon stumble upon a dwemer ruin of some kind. He walked further into the cavern. He saw a dwemer door set into

    the stonee further ahead and thought it might be a shortcut so he wouldn't have to traverse the whole serpentine cavern but he

    cursed when the door resisted him. 

     

    He scanned the ccavern for another way and cheered with delight as he, or rather his nose found that the scent took a detour down

    stone steps overgrown with vines that looked like time had just forgotten them, almost as if no one had been down them for years. 

     

    Inigo traversed these steps cautiously as if he was afraid someone would jump out at any minute - a thing that he truly hated,

    surprises. He shuttered just to think of his flea jumping off of his skin at the mere thought of it. Inigo pressed on despite this fear. to

    Inigo's great relief, there was no one waiting to ambush him. A dwemer ruin dominated the entire left side of this room of the

    cavern. The blue khajiit took his bow off his back and readied an arrow, still fearing someone would ambush him. A huge shadow

    appeared on the wall opposite him. 

     

    Inigo nocked an arrow, aimed the bow and was about to fire when, out of the corner of his eye, he saw stone pillars with a ramp

    heading downard to a subterranean pool. The noise of running water mixed with the grinding of gears rang out in the cavern; its

    echoes bouncing of the walls. He was so terrified that he failed to see where the arrow went that he had fired absentmindedly. Inigo

    looking at the giant frostbite spider, expecting to see an arrow sticking out of its body, instead it looked pristine. He glanced

    downward as a look of utter horror streched his feline features.

     

    He shrieked aloud as he hopped on one foot along the wide pathway; sticking close to the wall, trying not to glance downward - he 

    was deathly afraid of hieghts. After minutes of constant swearing trying to extract the arrow, he finally managed to extract it. He

    screwed his face up in disgust; sheathing the arrow again.

     

    Inigo clung so tightly to the wall with his claws that his fingers started to burn as if the walls were made of fire. He glanced down at

    the yellow bug flitting about in his jar. Beads of sweat stood out in stark contrast to his blue fur,  

    "Mr. dragonfly, I like heights less than I loathe the undead and I really do hate those walking corpses."

    A voice in Inigo's head told him that everything will be fine and to just fix his eyes on his desired destination. Ingo was a lot calmer

    now and moved more confidently as he took into acount the dragonfly's words. He saw five supporting columsn along the right side

    of the path. He saw a break in the columns with a bridge smanning a deep ravinee; the khajiit crossed it bravely. He continued

    through the cavern until the bleak dull cavern opened up onto a gleaming metal dwemer ruin.

     

    He gasped as glance upwards; a great storm swired about like some angry serpentine Akaviri dragon. Inigo realized that somehow

    the ceiling was the storm. His eyes surveyed the room further and saw pipes running along the metal walls and pipes spanning

    upwards, ascending to the stormy ceiling the pipes off in different directions.

     

    A dark figure stepped out from behind the wierd looking machine and smirked darkly,

    "Nice to see you again, Inigo." The indigo khajiit's ears fell, he knew that voice. "Where is Hasir you bastard! I know he is here, I

    smell his cent." He yelled, his whole body shaking

     

    The doomstrider sneered at him while spreading his hands as if revealing some great unseen truth,

    "Sorry to disappoint, but, no I do not have him. I think he is better off."

     

    Inigo's browed furrowed and his mouth worked feverishly,

    "What in Oblivion do you mean 'better off?' He asked, confused

     

    The doomstrider shrugged. Outraged, Inigo asked again where he was. The doomstrider just stood there, his tail flicking to and fro.

    Inigo became more outraged by his counterpart's silence,

    "I will ask you again, what did you do with Hasir?" He asked, more forcefully

     

    The doomstrider merely shrugged and pointed upward to the storm and told Inigo that this machine, known as the weather witch

    was instrumental in his master's plan to eliminate Hircine's filthy mutts. He also told the khajiit about how the machine will overtime

    slowly drain the energy from the plants of Skyrim, thereby killing the animals that the filthy mutts prey upon; without their food

    source the werewolves will die out leaving vampires the dominant race once again. 

     

    The khajiit opened his mouth and was about to scream at the doomstrider when he noticed the room become hazy around the edges

    and becoming more and more tansparent. He soon found himself back in the ship again. 

    Inigo blinked a few times to banish the sleep from his eyes. He groaned, got up and looked longingly over at Hasir who was

    unfortunately still unconscious despite Affraji's best attempts to revive him. He then glanced at his friend's wounded shoulder and

    saw that the wound started to look like a steam that has become rotten. He looked over at Affraji, trying to get her attention. She

    was too enthralled in her work to notice so he cleared his throat loudly.

     

    She finished redressing the wound that remained open despite her best efforts and looked up,

    "Yes, does khajiit need something?" She asked

     

    Inigo gestured to Hasir and shouted at Affraji for not doing he job correctly. She walked over to him, put a caring hand on his

    shoulder and said to be patient and that what she had administered to the affected area will take time to work its magic. Inigo put

    his head on his arms, huffing indignantly.

     

    Appaled by his apparent lack of compassion, let alone patience. Affraji smacked his on the back of the head. The blue khajiit turned

    to her with a confused look on his face,

    "Ow! What was that for?" He asked

     

    Affraji angrily pointed to the door and told him that if he can't be civil about this then will have to leave. Inigo advanced towards

    Affraji, forcing her to scuttle toward the wall in fright. The blue khajiit gave her a cursory glance noting her frightened face as she

    witnessed his fur tuurn black as night and his eyes red as rubies. The black khajiit went over to the shelves above the alchemy

    station in the corner of the room. 

     

    To Affraji's dismay, sounds of exploding potion bottle blossomed all about her like a flurry of fire bombs. It got to such an increased

    rate and noise volume that she covered her earrs; praying franctically to the mother cat to show her some kind of mercy amidst this

    new darkness. She got to her feet and rushed at the black khajiit who was still rifling through various potions and alchemical

    ingredients, and grabbed his armm, pullinng him away from the mayhem.

     

    She whipped him around to face he; seeing the khajiit, Affraji shrieked and backed away,

    "Why are you destroying what this one has spent many moons acquiring?" She asked, pointing shakily toward him. "Just... who or

    what is this khajiit?" She shrieked, tears swimming in her eyes. The black khajiit roared with laughter seeing this pitiful creature,

    "Who am I? well that is not important right now, at this present moment, I am looking for any ingredients that'll speed up the

    Argonian's recovery." He stared at her with malicious intent, "my lord demands it! Tell me, what ingredients reverse silver poisoning?

    Talk! Now! If you give me answers I find satisfactory, I might let you live." He said, a crooked grin spread across his feline face, "If

    not, then I will kill you and forcibly take the secret from you cold, dead corpse." As he said this, he withdrew an ebony dagger from

    his sheath and pressed it to her throat.

     

    The leopard-like Khajiit stuck out a long black claw desipte her fearful expression and quickly moved the bllade so that it faced the

    wall. The charcoal khajiit noticed this and smirked more widely while a purple-black flame sprang to life in his right hand, 

     

    Affraji glanced at the soul fire out of the corner of her eye; despite the Doomstrider's expectations, she did not show any emotion, 

    "That's a pretty fire khajiit has there, is he going to build this one a campfire and sing campfire songs?" She asked, a wide grin

    streching across her face

     

    The black khajiit threw ddown his dagger is a fit of rage,

    "This 'pretty fire' will show you your insides." He whispering mercilessly, "Would you like to know what your bones look like?" He

    asked, expecting Affraji to show any sign of fear; instead, she just stared back at him. Her emotionless stare caused the Doomstrider

    great rage and discomfort, but he didn't show it, otherwise, he would lose the unique position he held. The khajiit advanced on her

    and brandished the flame in front of her eyes, "Do you have fur in your ears, I said do you want to see what you bones look like?"

    He screamed back at her, his red eyes glowing malevolently.

     

    Affraji still stood resolute, further infuriating the black khajiit,

    "This one will not betray her own thoughts to you, evil one!" She hissed

     

    The Doomstrider shrugged and the fire encirled his hand as he charged the spell,

    "Very well, then Shall forcefullly rip it from your burning corpse." He released the spell; it shot toward the leopard-like khajiit,

    enveloping her while she stood against the wall, she could have easily grabbed a crate or barrel to defend her, she didn't. She

    embraced the flames just like a witch would her inevitable death, "You are willing to die just to protect your friend?" He asked,

    roaring with laughter. He walked up behind  Affraji, bent close to her ear and whispered, "How utterly...foolish."

     

    Affraji told the doomstrider that she would stand by her scaly friend for any reason. As the purple flames rose higher, she said,

    "Well, khajiit has lost, there is an antidote for silver poisoning but This is not telling you, Khenarthi damn you to Oblivion." The 

    flame's loud crackling as well as the rushing sound of the soul absorption process made any more words impossible.

     

    When the fire died out. The Doomstrider took a deep breath,

    "No antidote, huh? We'll see about that." He said, grinning at the black soul gem he had removed from his bag

     

    Outside the windows, blue and red sunset gave way to a cooler blue-black sky dotted with a multitude of stars, the two moons rose

    soon after. The black fur receded into blue and the eyes turned pumpkin-like once more. Inigo let out a yelp and leapt back,

    knocking out a chair and toppling over it that stood by Hasir's sick table. He covered his ears as the chair full with a loud crash to the

    ground. He looked at the chair with a sheepish grin,

    "Oops, I meant to do that." He said, getting up. He added in an undertone, "My fleas were the real culprit."

     

    His smug smirk faded when he noticed the char marks on the wooden floor near the wall. He bent down, ran a long finger along the

    char mark,

    "What in Oblivion?" He sniffed his finger and almost gagged, "disgusting, this smells like burnt fur." He sniffed again, "this also

    smells a bit like dark magic. What do you think Mr. Dragonfly?"

     

    He got the answer soon enough when he deposited the purplish-black dust into the jar,

    "You don't have to be so rude, I just wanted an opinion."

     

    Realization donned on him as his eyes surveyed the room that he had not seen Affraji since he had come back into himself. Inigo

    gasped as he looked down and saw what he had missed earlier; a burnt khajiit skeleton positioned in the middle of the char mark.

    His mind suddenly clicked as to who had been missing,

    "No, Affraji" He yelled, tear in his eyes, "who has done this? If I find them I will boil them in Elsweyr fondue."

     

    He strode over to the alchemy table with fists clenched and teeth gritted. He had a million thoughts running through his mind as he

    glanced into the green pool situated in the middle of the alchemy table. A familiar voice stared back,

    "Hey if it isn't the inept cat, how'd you like what I did for you?" Inigo huffed in annoyance, "you mean the charred skeleton over by

    the window? yeah, I've noticed. For your information, I did see it and it wrinkled my whiskers." 

     

    The doomstrider frowned at this,

    "What a pity, I thought you would have enjoyed it."

     

    Inigo said he definitely did not and shot the doomstrider an angry glance,

    "You killed my friend, I know you did."

    The feline face in the green pool set deep into the table smiled knowingly,

    "What if I did?" He asked. "You can''t prove it. Maybe she just... died upon impact with the wall." 

     

    "Maybe I should seperate myself for you." He snarled back. He thought on how best to do it. He smirked conspiritorially as he

    watched the black khajiit's face go from one of horror to one of smugness, "Oh yeah? How do you expect to do that, hmmm? Have a

    plan inside that empty head of yours?" His red eyes scanned Inigo's orange ones, expecting to find a sliver of fear in them; he found

    nothing of the sort.

     

    Inigo was about to answer when he heard a knock on the hold door. The khajiit whipped around as soon as he heard it. Inigo strode

    across the room and opened the door. Three figures stood in the doorway, grinning at him.