Lost Light [Final]

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Bacheum null
I've got about half and unedited draft at this point, but tomorrow is crunch time. Have to finish and then edit for word choice and pacing. 
Do you know how to kill a god?

The temple was quiet, except for the shifting and grumbling of the mountain above her. She crept forward, navigating through the clutter of golden relics and gilded statues. Up ahead her target knelt before the altar in prayer, spear and shield set aside in deference.

Do you know to kill a god? There was an urgency to the voice resonating within the sword.

“I’m here to save her,” she whispered. “I’m not planning on killing on anyone.”

Torchlight danced across her curved blade as she readied to strike. She paused, it seemed wrong to attack a man in prayer, even if he worshiped false gods. He’d been a valiant warrior once, full of bravado and duty.

That is no longer the man you once knew, her sword warned. Deceivers possess his flesh now. Hesitate and they will destroy you.

As if on queue, the warrior stiffened.

“Oh crap-”

She leapt to the side as the warrior spun in a blur of movement. Chips of stone flew through the air, as his spear sunk into the pillar behind her.

Well, he was no longer unaware, but at least he was unarmed.

“What do they call you? Pantheon?” Her voice dripped with contempt as she readied her guard. “I won’t let you make her one of you, i’ll stop you no matter what it takes.”

Pantheon’s only response was to grunt as he charged her, shield braced against his shoulder.

She lashed out, fully expecting to cleave Pantheon in two, but her blade glanced harmlessly against his shield. Vibrations traveled up her arm, jarring her bones and numbing her fingers. She barely managed to hold onto her sword.

Do you know how to kill a god?

“Shut up,” she shouted, backpedaling away from Pantheon. “I don’t need that power to save her.”

Pantheon, unperturbed by her outburst, struck again, knocking her sword aside and smashing his shield into her face.

She reeled back, stunned by the blow.  She was going to lose.

Pantheon calmly walked over to the pillar and withdrew his spear.

Her body refused to respond as he approached. She was going to die. She would die, and then there would be no one left to save her light.
She hissed and called upon the power within her blade. Silver orbs of pale fire materialized around her, intercepting Pantheon’s spear as it sought her throat. Power welled up inside her as she swung her sword, silvery fire arcing towards Pantheon.

He grunted as the fire struck, taking several steps backwards. She gave him no time to recover as she pursued him, forcing him back with blow after blow.

She could do this, she could defeat Pantheon. And then… and then she would explain everything to her light, and they would leave the land of false gods together.

Laughter echoed deep within Pantheon’s helmet. He planted his feet, and dropped low, causing her strike to go wide. Instantly, he was on her with a flurry of blows.

Desperately she summoned pale orbs to defend her, but this time he struck them down, obliterating her defenses.
In one smooth motion Pantheon drew his arm back and hurled his spear.

Pain blossomed throughout her body as his spear sank into her shoulder. She stifled a scream and sank to her knees, and clutched at the weapon’s shaft. Warm blood flowed between her fingers.

Pantheon strode forward and ripped the spear from her flesh.

This time she couldn’t hold back her cries.

Merciless, Pantheon readied his spear for the final blow.

Searing light flashed, and Pantheon’s strike glanced harmlessly off a sun crested shield.

A figure swathed in golden armor stood between Pantheon and her.

Her light.

“Leona,” she whispered through gritted teeth.
I chose to write about these characters after reading about Pantheon's lore, and how Atreus ceased to exist after he became an aspect. I liked the idea that becoming an Aspect of Targon might be more devious than it appears.

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  • Bacheum
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    Bacheum null
    Here's the full draft. 100 words over, so editing will be rough. I'm also still very concerned with stilted pacing. I plan to refer to Diana as Diana earlier on in the text, since the use of "her" becomes confusing with the introduction of Leona. Still deciding where to make that change, however.


    Do you know how to kill a god?

    The temple was quiet, except for the shifting and grumbling of the mountain above her. She crept forward, navigating through the clutter of golden relics and gilded statues. Up ahead her target knelt before the altar in prayer, spear and shield set aside in deference.

    Do you know to kill a god? There was an urgency to the voice resonating within the sword.

    “I’m here to save her,” she whispered. “I’m not planning on killing on anyone.”

    Torchlight danced across her curved blade as she readied to strike. She paused, it seemed wrong to attack a man in prayer, even if he worshipped false gods. He’d been a valiant warrior once, full of bravado and duty.

    That is no longer the man you once knew, her sword warned. Deceivers possess his flesh now. Hesitate and they will destroy you.

    As if on queue, the warrior stiffened.

    “Oh crap-”

    She leapt to the side as the warrior spun in a blur of movement. Chips of stone flew through the air, as his spear sunk into the pillar behind her.

    Well, he was no longer unaware, but at least he was unarmed.

    “What do they call you? Pantheon?” Her voice dripped with contempt as she readied her guard. “I won’t let you make her one of you, i’ll stop you no matter what it takes.”

    Pantheon’s only response was to grunt as he charged her, shield braced against his shoulder.

    She lashed out, fully expecting to cleave Pantheon in two, but her blade glanced harmlessly against his shield. Vibrations traveled up her arm, jarring her bones and numbing her fingers. She barely managed to hold onto her sword.

    Do you know how to kill a god?

    “Shut up,” she shouted, backpedalling away from Pantheon. “I don’t need that power to save her.”

    Pantheon, unperturbed by her outburst, struck again, knocking her sword aside and smashing his shield into her face.

    She reeled back, stunned by the blow.  She was going to lose.

    Pantheon calmly walked over to the pillar and withdrew his spear.

    Her body refused to respond as he approached. She was going to die. She would die, and then there would be no one left to save her light.

    She hissed and called upon the power within her blade. Silver orbs of pale fire materialized around her, intercepting Pantheon’s spear as it sought her throat. Power welled up inside her as she swung her sword, silvery fire arcing towards Pantheon.

    He grunted as the fire struck, taking several steps backwards. She gave him no time to recover as she pursued him, forcing him back with blow after blow.

    She could do this, she could defeat Pantheon. And then… and then she would explain everything to her light, and they would leave the land of false gods together.

    Laughter echoed deep within Pantheon’s helmet. He planted his feet, and dropped low, causing her strike to go wide. Instantly, he was on her with a flurry of blows.

    Desperately she summoned pale orbs to defend her, but this time he struck them down, obliterating her defenses.

    In one smooth motion Pantheon drew his arm back and hurled his spear.

    Pain blossomed throughout her body as his spear sank into her shoulder. She stifled a scream and sank to her knees, and clutched at the weapon’s shaft. Warm blood flowed between her fingers.

    Pantheon strode forward and ripped the spear from her flesh.

    This time she couldn’t hold back her cries.

    Merciless, Pantheon readied his spear for the final blow.

    Golden light flashed, and Pantheon’s strike glanced harmlessly off a sun crested shield.

    A figure swathed in golden armor stood between Pantheon and her.

    Her light.

    “Leona,” she whispered through gritted teeth.

    Memories flashed before her eyes, as Leona’s familiar figure sheltered her. She remembered the day Leona had come to the Ra-Horak. The girl who’d defied the laws of her people, the girl who the Solari had chosen.

    Competition.

    She had watched, envious, as Leona had excelled within the order. Everytime Leona’s light grew brighter, her’s grew dimmer. Hatred blossomed within her, hatred for the sun’s blessed child. The night was her only solace, the only time when Leona’s light could not blind her.

    As she turned to the night, the others turned on her. At first, they had attacked her with only words, but they had soon grown brave. In the height of the day they had come for. She was strong, but not strong enough. They overwhelmed her with numbers, obstructing the light.

    And then, they were scattered, dashing away as the light returned. A warm hand reached out, and instinctively she took it, rising to meet her most hated thing.

    Leona.

    But as the anger bubbled up in her chest it began to squirm and transform into something more confusing.

    Appreciation?

    Concerned outrage touched Leona’s eyes as she inspected her injuries.

    Adoration?

    Leona’s fingertips brushed against her arm, a kind and reassuring touch.

    Finally, she understood.

    Love.  

    “It’s the sun's duty to cast down the moon,” Leona said, ripping her from her memories.

    Pantheon seemed ready to object, but then shrugged, stepping back.

    Leona turned and it became immediately apparent that her worst fear had come to pass.

    Her light was gone. The Aspect of the Sun now gazed out from Leona’s once kind eyes. The will drained from her body as Leona turned her sword against her.

    What use was there fighting when her world had gone dark?

    Vengeance, the sword echoed.

    A familiar hatred burned through her body, restoring strength to her limbs.

    She would make sure that the Sun could never take another.

    Not yet. The sword warned. You are not strong enough, yet.

    Even as her anger urged her forward, she could still sense truth in the sword’s caution.

    Snarling, she summoned more orbs to intercept the Sun’s strike, and then reached out to the moon… and pulled.

    Pantheon suddenly found himself flung into the Sun, his limbs entangling with hers.

    Amidst the confusion, she fled. The Sun’s rays burning at her heels.

    ***

    Outside the Lunari temple Diana could feel the warriors gathering. Their orders were simple: bring her to the elders dead or alive. Luckily for them, Diana had no plans of resisting… not yet.

    She finished buckling the last piece of delicate silvery amor in place. A fiery brand burned across her forehead, and she closed her eyes letting the power flow through her.

    Do you know how to kill a god?

    “No,” Diana said, opening her eyes. “But i’m ready to find out.”


  • Bacheum
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    Bacheum null

    Got it down to 997 words, thankfully. Edits and excessive word removal improved the pacing, however, I do wish I had more words to spare to develop more empathy for Diana. The final draft is attached as a pdf :)

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