Ufemilion Jakling was falling. 

Now, this wasn't meant in the figurative sense. It wasn't like he was falling in love, or into despair, or anything quite so dramatic or profound. No, not that. Mere moments before, Ufe had been hanging off the eaves of the tallest tower on the most prominent building in the City of Bronze. He'd been holding a squirming halfling criminal in one hand and gripping tightly to the ledge with the other. But then the pint-sized crook had pulled a device from his jacket that he'd purchased from Ufe's dearest friend earlier that day. With the click of the trigger, an audible whirr, and a howl of magically conjured wind, the elven man's fingers had been ripped from their precarious perch. Now, here he was, over fifteen hundred feet above the cobbled ground and descending fast. His companion's magic and his own clever ploys had saved him from so many sticky situations before, but this time, he had no tricks up his sleeve, no way to stave off death.

His life flashed before his eyes, and it was painfully short, something Ufe found darkly hilarious, given what he was. He'd woken up less than half a year ago in a port city, with no memories to speak of, but the innate knowledge that he was an elf. The funny thing about Seagap, the land he found himself in? There were no elves. There hadn't been since the Calamity, some five thousand odd years ago. His bout of timelessness and the subsequent return to the world was key to something, wasn't he? That's what the dryad he'd met that one time had said, at least. I suppose I'll never know now.

I had so many questions. Now, who will answer them? Cordy will try, he reasoned, thinking of the dearest friend he could recall ever making. Cordelia, one part of the ragtag band of washed-up rogues Ufemilion had taken up with, and the most important to him. He'd been suspicious of her at first, what with her purple skin, long tail, horns, and all. But she'd quickly grown into so much more. His companion, his confidante, to whom he'd spilled the secret of his past—the woman he'd trusted above any other in this life. Now, Cordelia was his partner in their second ever attempt at vigilante justice while their friends were having a spa day outside the city. Oh, look, there's her perch, a hundred feet up and to the left. I'm sorry you have to be treated to this sight, dear Cordy. You really should have talked me out of this stupid, reckless idea. Now, because I refused to take a rest, I'm going to find sleep eternal. Ironic, given that elves don't sleep. Interesting how that shared lack of sleep, though brought about by different events, had been the basis for their quickly kindled friendship.

 Each second rolled by in agonizing slowness like somebody had frozen the grains of sand in an hourglass, and it was gradually thawing to let each granule float down. Ufemilion wondered about his other companions, and what they were doing, what the rest of their lives would entail. Just nights before, they'd become trapped in a murder mystery style time loop, which had taken a great toll on their psyches, so they'd opted to take a few days off while various artisans around the city completed projects for them.

Ufe had so looked forward to seeing Gareth, his one-armed former pirate companion, get his new mechanical arm, built specially by his own sister. Sophia, a priestess of the Lady Death herself, well, there wasn't enough time in the world to discuss her issues, let alone in a few seconds, but the elf hoped she'd find happiness somewhere. The dour girl desperately needed it. As for Sol, Ufemilion had never taken the chance to get to know the young man, so he had only generic well-wishes for whatever his life entailed. 

If he had to take a guess, Christo was probably reading, something Ufe should have done far more often, and Contraband was probably doing something shifty. Wonder if he knew this bastard? Ufemilion wondered, looking down at the scruffy face of Elrik Ironarm. The little cretin was smiling, damn him! He was mere moments away from dying, but a wide smile cracked across his features. If there is any satisfaction that comes with my death, it's in knowing that I'll take this man with me. The City of Bronze will be much safer without this man selling illegal, untested guns to other criminals.

 Ironarm's magically attached metal appendage, similar to the one Gareth would soon be wearing, rose into the air, apparently heedless of the flesh-flattening wind pressure compressing the hurtling foes. If he wasn't surrounded by a roaring bubble of dreadful silence, Ufemilion Jakling imagined he'd hear those metallic fingers creaking. The halfling's smirking mouth began to form words, though, of course, Ufe couldn't make out what he was trying to say. All of a sudden, the elf felt himself descending the tiniest fraction of a percent slower, as the extra weight of the halfling criminal was no longer pulling him downwards. It was unclear just how, but by some strange magic, the bite-sized bootlegger had teleported, saved himself from his fate. Ufemilion sighed angrily. It wasn't bad enough that he'd woken up without knowing what had happened to his people, knowing that he'd probably never had the chance to bid his family farewell. Nor was it enough that his best friend, Cordelia, had to watch him die. No, in one final cruel jape, the gods had chosen to steal his final victory away from him. His last wish was that Cordelia wouldn't let this event get to her too severely. She'd blame herself, he knew, especially since she'd cheated the ever-present goddess twice already. Hopefully, she would use this knowledge to make herself smarter, rather than letting it break her. Cordy had such a beautiful mind, and it wouldn't do to have it wasted.

I hope you are content, Lady Death, he said inwardly. He tried, without success, to shrug. Well, at least it'll be qui_.


December 27, 2020 00:42

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