this is a continuation of part 9! it’s what happens when will’s like “SHIT, LET’S GO GET FRUIT”
“It’s way too fucking cold for this.” Will huffed, drawing his arms even closer around himself.
As opposed to the vague chill at the lodge, the abandoned mall was absolutely freezing. Snow leisurely drifted in through broken skylights and windows, collecting in large drifts around the closed stores. The entire place reminded Will of what cities back home were like during winter.
Marcy made a vague, noncommittal noise. “It’s not that bad. At least we got coats.”
Will grumbled, shimmying off of the counter to look at the other wares in the store-- basic hardware, mostly. Marcy hadn’t really shown him anything about engineering to make much of an impact in his skill.
He finally gave up, putting his hands in his coat and spinning around again to look into the back room. “Don’t you have enough junk already?”
There was a clatter, like she had dropped something small. “I mean, no, not really. You can never have enough.”
Will checked his phone out of boredom. No new messages.
“I’ve been here before, it’s always had a good supply.” Marcy said.
“Until you take everything out of it, that is.” Will noted.
He was quiet for another minute or so, staring around, and adjusted his backpack strap once before he spoke up again. “I’m gonna go have a look around, ok?”
“Ok! Don’t get lost.”
Will ducked under the metal gate, into the larger area. Outside, there was a breeze, which was considerably annoying. Most everything looked either boarded up or shut down. He kept walking purely because his boots made a satisfying crunching noise every time he took a step.
It was when he checked his phone again (no new messages, just like before) that something whizzed up and hit him in the back of his head, sending him crumpled onto the icy tiles.
Marcy paused from her work, straining her ears.
Nothing out of the ordinary. She glanced back into the main room again, just to be sure it wasn’t Will, but nothing was disturbed. It looked just like it was when they first got there.
She went back to the box of gears, trying to sort them into specific containers, when-- there! There it was again! What was that, a door opening somewhere?
It’s… probably Will?
Marcy sat still for a few minutes, just to see if anything else changed.
...It was probably Will.
She turned back to her work again when-- “You vem there were two of them?”
That’s not Will!
“Yeah, he said there were ripek-- a girl.”
Slowly, meticulously, Marcy put the box she was holding down onto the ground. Still crouched, she quickly got behind a pile of boxes.
“I did not like the loam on Samos’s face when we told him about the kid. He has been in a jin enough mood as it is. Kalochas like vham.”
Marcy covered her mouth with her hand to muffle her breathing.
“Hey, loam yu this. Someone has been here.”
Marcy reached for her gun.
Holy fuck did he never ask for this.
Two men were holding him by the arms, one gripping his hair in a fistful and twisting it hard. It allowed for a better angle when the third man wanted to yell in Will’s face, it turned out.
Was Marcy not aware this place was under someone else’s jurisdiction!?
The man who seemed to be in charge was rifling through Will’s bag, growing more and more confused as all he could find was fruit and money that wasn’t familiar to him.
The leader held up a mango, brow furrowed. He said something in his language, most likely asking a question.
Will didn’t understand any of it. He kept slipping up and speaking in the English he knew, which may or may not have been helping his cause.
“Bug off!” Will spat, still struggling against the men who were holding him.
His tone was apparently a little too aggressive, apparently, and the guy holding his head jerked it back suddenly. White hot lights spiked in the boy’s vision.
Marcy wasn’t anywhere to be seen. She’d managed to evade attention by not wandering mindlessly into the middle of the foot court (‘Great fuckin’ job, Will’ the kid had berated himself), and if she was smart she probably would have went for backup.
...So she probably didn’t, whatever.
That was fine.
He’d just get his throat slit and die and appear in some other crappy universe, it didn’t matter, he probably wouldn’t even get the fruit, he’d have to buy some more, whatever, it isn’t like he cares or--
Two more gang members came into sight, dragging a limp girl between the two of them.
“Don’t touch her!” The boy snarled, trying yet again to pull free from the men holding him. Marcy was dropped roughly on the ground, her head hitting the old tiles. Her lip was bleeding.
The leader didn’t say anything until the two newcomers dropped Marcy’s bag on the floor, as well, allowing all the spare parts to spill forward. The leader’s face twisted into one of anger. He stood, gesturing and yelling.
Will scoffed, and got punched again. He fell onto his knees with a black eye and ringing ears, but he still noticed when the leader took out a gun and aimed it at Marcy’s head.
Oh fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck no no no--
The leader spoke again, short and curt. Will said nothing, breathing harder and trying with every essence of his being to jump even though there was no rip in space where he was and he wasn’t talented enough to just go whenever and wherever he wanted to.
The safety clicked off. The leader spoke again, eyes murderous.
Will could only look at Marcy, aggressively trying to remember the details in her face out of fear that this would be the last time they would see each other in awhile.
A gun went off, and Will flinched not because Marcy was hit but because the leader was now lying in the snow with a pool of blood growing around his head.
The other gang members around them panicked, throwing Will away in order to arm themselves. One by one, this time they too fell.
Once again there was silence in the mall.
Will scrambled to Marcy’s side. His heart was fucking racing, and it was all he could do not to have a heart attack right then and there. His hands were shaking so badly he had to shove them under his armpits rather than disrupt Marcy by touching her.
The sound of feet crunching in snow came from around the corner, and Will’s head shot up, breath catching in his throat.
A girl in a jacket and a large sweater came into view. Over her shoulder was slung Marcy’s sniper rifle.
“Oh,” Will breathed. “Amraphel. Thank fuck.”
fun fact! there is no rhyme or reason to the main foreign language used here. mainly because this world didn’t have many main governments for its first years, so there ended up being a ton of different languages and cultures. When a few main governments did form (and then fall apart, because most of the world is run by anarchy or small militia now), the languages got all screwed up and mixed together. It’s very ‘need to know’ basis, depending on the area. Because of this, most people don’t travel. Marcy pops in on only the same area, so she knows the basics of that area’s dialect.
(it’s also partially because i dont have time to make up languages for every damn world i write about. do you have any idea how long that would take? holy shit. look at all the languages tolkien did, and that was just ONE world. i would die and they’d be able to bury me completely in fake languages)
amraphel is definitely one of my more bloodthirsty characters, but she also doubles as a medic for my fantasy rpg squad i’m building here.