Nila, Tros, Allan and Susan are part of my Fae Apoc setting; its landing page is here.
“Asset count.” Nila stepped back against the cliff, putting her children behind her.
“We have a cliff,” Allan offered. “And you have your spear and your gun and Tros has his sword and knife. And I have a stick.”
“Good, kiddo. And they have -“
“Twelve people and a truck.”
“Very good. Now, can you see anyplace for you and your sister to hide?”
“There’s this little cave back here.”
“Atta boy. Take Susan, there you go.” She made sure her kids were wiggled into the cave, then looked over at Tros. “Well.”
“I promised to help protect your kids and watch your back. These people don’t look like they’ll be nice to your kids.” He was trying to sound brave, but she could see the way his knuckles were turning white as he gripped his sword.
“This wasn’t in the deal. I’ll release you from your promise, if you want.”
“No.” His retort was sharp. “I promised. And you healed me. So… what’ve we got?”
“A cliff, a sword, and two small children. And they’re coming.”
“Right. Back against the cave and here we go.” She started chanting. When in doubt, her Mentor had taught her, hit them as hard as you could before they knew you had a fist.
Nila was a healer and a gardener; Tros was a wood- and stone-worker, an artist. Neither of them had trained primarily in combat. The team in front of them looked paramilitary, headed by someone who wasn’t bothering to Mask, and with two other obvious fae in the team.
Healers could do some pretty terrifying things with bodies, and with two people Working wood in their group, they had quite a bit of control of the fae-poisons of hawthorn and rowan.
The hedge grew up around their attackers in a split second, and kept growing, taller and tighter and most of all thornier. Blood spurting from the attackers fed the hedge, which only grew hungrier.
It didn’t stop them all, of course, and more seemed to keep coming, attack after attack. But Tros was better with the sword than Nila had expected, and she was getting very good at cutting the enemy’s feet out from under them.
“You cheat.” The soldier was missing half of his body, but it didn’t stop him from fighting. Nila danced out of his way and poked at him with Allan’s stick.
“We were outnumbered six to one. Now… we’re not.”
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