Al Tefaris 3 - Christmas Under Siege

1: Troll Hunt

If You passed us by, You would not notice us.

Just a couple standing at the bus stop, waiting for the last bus of the day.
Maybe on their first date, and for a walk in the woods.

The snow had been falling all day, and we had been out in the woods.
The forest was covered in snow and the tracks were hard to follow…
Unless You have a Quasi Elven track, like the lady laying in my arms.

Of course in my world, nothing is really what it seems like.

I wear a short sword at my side, and a long dark blue robe, and a wide brimmed, black hat.

The girl has armour underneath her loose white shirt, and a black helmet that looks like a bike helmet.
Her main weapon is a longsword at her left side.
At her back is a short bow, and arrows, in her quiver.
I am a powerful mage, and the young lady at my side is my sword wielding Elvis counterpart.

She has blood dripping from a wound on her side.

I have never seen her really wounded before, and this wound does look mortal.

We had been walking in the woods.
That part is true.

We had been hunting for a small girl that had gone missing in the woods.
We have been part of a larger search party.

They had never tracked before, my sidekick has.
They gave up, when they had searched the other side of the border...
We just keep working, until we find her.

The attack came out of nowhere.

A troll throwing a rusted spear, silently, and maybe a hundred metres.
Only the armour and Shyla's Elven reflexes keep the spear from killing her.

I picked a spell at random, and threw it at the troll.
Chain lightning.

It should not have worked.
But fuelled by fear, surprise, and anger...

The three trolls were hit many times, with the lightning, and that scared them off.
It didn’t kill them, only fire would do that.

We started running.
I gave her a healing potion, and she might survive.

The trolls start giving pursuit.
I had to half carry Her, and help her, and fight off the trolls.

The last spell I used might have bought us some time.

'Wall of Fire'.
Between us and them.

It might last for another minute, and if the bus comes, before that minute is up...

I see the bus, slowly making its way through the woodlands.
In the woods it is just a simple road, with a single bus stop.
The snow is falling, and the bus has some problems with stopping.
It slides a metre or so.

I carry her to the door, and up the three steps.
The young driver is getting up from his seat:
“We will wait here, while I put on the snow chains.”

He takes a look at my sidekick:
“What the fuck happened to her.?”

I choose to tell the truth:
“She was pierced by a spear, and is dying.”

I haul her into the bus, and he sits down:
“Don't bleed on the seats, or they will have my hide.”

I found an open room in the middle of the bus, for baby carriages and bikes.
I help the girl down, and sit next to her.

The bus driver look in the rear view mirror:
“What do You want me to do.?”

I command: “Drive to the nearest hospital.”

He stands up:
“Should I put on the snow chains.?”

I am about to shout at him, when the back window of the bus shatters.

Another Spear hits the seat just next to us.

The driver looks down the bus middle:
“What was that.?”

I shout: “Set the bus in high gear, and push the metal down.”

He sits down, and The bus starts to roll.
Slow at first, slipping a little on the slippery surface, but at least away.

An alarm starts to sound.
The driver closes the front door, and the alarm stops.

The bus skids a little on the snowy road, and he asks: “What is hunting us.?”

I try to hold the bleeding down:
“Does it matter, what is trying to kill us.?”

He motions forward:
“There is a hospital, about ten kilometres away.
I will get You there.”

We drive for a minute, when he hits the brakes.
The bus skids about ten metre, and starts to turn a little sideways.

I shout: “What is happening.?”
The bus driver opens the door, and somebody enters.

The strong bearded man enters the bus:
“Boy. You need to put on snow chains.!
You are...
I smell blood, and something else.?”

The man looks like a lumberjack.
Strong arms, and wide shoulders.
A brown beard and a working jacket.

He stand and looks at the missing rear window:
“What has happened here.?”

The driver shakes his head:
“We were attacked.
We need to get to the hospital.”

The lumberjack looks at the young bus driver:
“Start driving, and don't stop for anything.”

He walks three steps, back in the bus, and looks at us.
He kneels down: “How can I help.?”

I show him the wound:
“We need a medic, and fast.”

He looked me up and down:
“You don't have something that can help her.?”

I motion to the girl:
“I have been a little busy with the hunt.”

He smiles: “Breath in and breathe out.”

He talks me down a step, and then says:
“Look in your bags, if there is something.”

I open my backpack, and look through it.
Nothing, as I know there was.

I take her backpack, and open it.
It is a dual backpack to sit on each side of her arrow-quiver.
I found a small healing potion.

I open it and pour it on the bane wound.

The wound turns from dark blue, to a little lighter blue.
There is still a lot of blood pumping out, but it slows down its speed.

I look at the lumberjack:
“You don't seem surprised.?”

The lumberjack smiles: “By a mage and an Elven fighting team or by what.?”

The driver shouts: “We are here.”
He blocks the breaks and the bus skids ten metres.

I smile and motion towards the driver:
“The kid needs to learn to drive in snow.”

The lumberjack smiles: “He is my nephew, and I will show him the technique... Later.”

He helps me with the girl.
The bus driver has opened the middle doors.
We help each other down the steps.

The kid has placed the bus on the outside of a small divider.
We have to walk maybe ten metres to the hospital entrance.

We get to the doors, and they slide open.
I can smell bleach, and other cleaning agents.

The nurse at the reception takes a look at us.

She picks up her phone and shouts something.
The plastic wall between us makes it impossible to hear.

Two nurses with a cart come running, and get the girl into the operation room fast.

I sit down, next to the lumberjack, and says:
“Should I be happy that it is not a full moon.?”

He smiles:
“So I am not that secretive.?”

The nurse from the reception comes out to us:
“What is the girl's name.?”

I shake my head:
“Shyla. I don't know her last name.”

The nurse looks at her paper:
“I need a last name.!”

I say: “Write 'Tefaris'.”
She write it down and look up:
“Are You her next of kind.?”

I smile at the werewolf that just helped me carry Shyla into the hospital.

We only had one date, so let us not get into that.

I shrug it off: “I am her employer, but You might write my name.”

She asked: “And What is Your name.?”