> Though she'd carried her Tarot cards throughout her time in Petrograd, she had never dared to consult them, so desperate was the situation; but now she found herself unable to resist. Quickly, almost furtively, while no one was looking, she pulled a card at random from the deck in her belt pouch and turned it over.
Well, if it's any consolation--
>Wincing, Eila tucked it away and hurried from the alert shack. They're not meant to be taken literally, she reminded herself sternly.
--yes that. Death was change, I thought?
> This time, they were loading up like a supply run—spare weapons, ammo for guns they weren't even carrying, rations, bandages, and every other potentially useful item they still possessed and could find space for.
The 'best' part of running out of supplies midway through is that they get lighter, at least. Though there's always the balance of trying to not take so much that they're too heavy and never live long enough to use their supplies...
> she hefted a metal rack containing a pair of 50-kilogram dead-drop bombs in the other, as if it were no heavier than a pair of milk bottles.
*whistles* You'd think that'd be almost impractical on size alone, let alone weight.
> But here she was, stepping out of her boots, then taking hold of the Striker dock's rails for balance as she took off her trousers—and with a shock, Eila saw why she wore them, and why she walked with a pronounced limp: the Orussian's right leg ended just below the knee. She'd left the prosthetic behind in her boot.
Ooooooh...that's rough. And hopefully she makes up in age and canniness for what'll likely be a much harder to control Striker for various reasons.
> It tasted weird, but she felt the head-clearing burst of energy immediately, before she'd even swallowed it.
I can only imagine that there's a country or two that has this but it's some kind of fermented monstrosity.
> As it raced toward Sanya, its blunt nose lengthening into a lethal point, Eila cried without forethought, "Rakas, three o'clock!"
*looks up meaning* Ha! Well then.
> Bjelik using her antique biplane Striker's slow speed and preposterous turning ability, and her absolute mastery of its flight envelope, to completely chump a pair of converging Large Types into colliding with each other.
*snicker* Old canniness indeed, then. Good thing they're not the kind of enemy that can just recombine into a bigger form, right?
> Running on fumes and chocolate (and starting to wonder in the back of her mind whether it was possible to form an addiction to the latter), she caromed from one flash of terror or burst of exultation (often both at the same time) to another with nothing but jumbled patterns of nonsense memory in between.
I hope there's no risk of sugar crash from that. XD
> For the first time since she had been identified and trained as a witch, Eila felt a surge of probabilities and had no idea what it meant. Something was about to happen. Something big. Something terrible. Something... final. But she hadn't the slightest clue what it would be or what she was supposed to do about it.
I am pretty sure ritual self-sacrifice is not a standard spell in the Witch arsenal. : (
> "Thank you for saving mine," she replied, and they stood there for a long few minutes before, at last, turning away from the frozen city and starting the long trudge to Rautu.
But at least they're alive! And hopefully packing alternate footwear because otherwise someone else might be needing foot prosthetics. >.>
> "Welcome to the beginning of the world," Sanya finished, then leaned down and kissed her.
Great story and Merry Christmas!