This is written to Clare K. R. Miller ‘s request for “…more Doug being awesome? More of this.” It follows after the linked story, which itself follows, in part, after Addergoole: Year 9.
Doug was back in a war zone. They were in the bowels of Addergoole, battling creatures that would not see reason. They’d brought Agmund down with them — three of Doug’s cy’ree, two of Luke’s, and two of Agmund’s were guarding the rear, in case anything got through — but these creatures seemed impervious to Panida Workings. Just in case, they’d tried Intinn and Tlacatl. Nothing.
“They are either animals or they are Makers,” Agmund had declared firmly. “If they cannot be read by Intinn, they are animals.”
Whatever let him sleep at night. Doug ripped his blade through another one and began to burn the body before it had stopped bleeding. These things, if you didn’t get them all the way dead on the first go, they got back up again. Whatever they were.
“That’s the last of them, I think.” Luke cleaned his blade on the scorched, ashy hide of the creature. It looked like the unclean offspring of a warthog and a wyvern by way of a platypus, and now by way of a woodchipper and a fireplace. “I hope Laurel’s figured out what the blazes they were doing down—”
“Hsst.” Doug moved forward, tracking the faintest sound. “There’s still something down here.”
They each muttered their own not-here Workings, silencing them, hiding them, and strode forward. Doug’s wing-stubs twitched with each broken wall and glass-windowed door. He wanted to cleanse this place with fire, the whole thing. He wanted to bury it.
He saw a faint shimmer as Luke — hopefully it was Luke — pushed open the next door. Doug readied a fireball and his blade.
That wasn’t a monster. He pulled the fire back so quickly it nearly scorched his throat, before he had processed more than that. Those weren’t monsters. They were people. Those were kids.Want more?