Geokhan and Tim made good time in tracking the Zaunites and Geokhan was pleased to not see Dr. Mundo there among the ranks. These brutes were all green and had some sort of transmitter attached to their heads. There were twenty of them and they looked eager.
“Feeds the drugs into their system and might allow control by a scientist.” whispered Geokhan.
“Then, we find the scientists and kill them. They are heading to the ranch. They need time, time we can get by killing the masters.” Tim whispered back, but Geokhan was already shaking his head.
“We kill the controllers and the beasts go on an uncontrolled rampage. The beasts need killed off…we draw them into a trap. Tim…You need to take your fastest horse to Demacia or the nearest outpost and tell them Geokhan sent you.”
“Wait…What are you…No, Geoff! You can’t fight all of them!”
“Neither can a militia. You need Demacian troops. I can distract them long enough to allow you to get a company here. This I can do.”
“It’s riskier than anything I have seen you do. You can’t do this!”
“I CAN! I survived when I had a shattered arm and broken ribs and was bleeding out! I survived a plague that ravaged one of the most powerful people ever! I survived when I was cast out of EVERYTHING! I will survive this! If I don’t, then my life will be given to buy the lives of your family and friends and it will be worth it. NOW GO! Go for Jim….did you realize your nickname rhymes with Jim?”
“Now isn’t the time for that…I never thought of that…I just named Jim after his grandpa…Goodbye Geokhan.”
“May your horse never tire and the road smooth.”
“Same to you, summoner.” Tim disappeared in the bushes.
Geokhan turned back to the beasts and planned out his next move. They were heading for Tim’s ranch. Geokhan had to draw them away. He grew a single shard and held it up to his eye, in thought. He threw it at the nearest beast and it stuck in its neck. Geokhan bolted away with all twenty of the creatures in hot pursuit, the bleeding one in the front yelling quite happily about his feelings for fresh meat.
Tim made it to his ranch and caught sight of the militia. Thirty farmers against twenty monsters. He knew they had no chance and Geokhan may die to save them. His brother had just come home and now Tim and Jim will lose their chance to know their family. Jim had so much he could learn from Geokhan, to harness his curiosity to create a life greater than Timothy could give him, to maybe become a summoner and live comfortably for the rest of his days, or maybe to find his home was simpler than politics and city life. Timothy found the ranch to be his calling, but he wanted Jim to follow his own path, but if the ranch is all that Jim learned of, why would he leave? This is why Geokhan needed to live, but if Geokhan didn’t do this they all could die.
Brad made his way from the crowd over to Timothy. “Tim! You’re back already? What’d ya find?”
“Twenty Zaunite monsters here to kill Geoff and any who know him. I need Bolt. I’m going to the military.”
Brad looked around and quietly asked Timothy, “Where is…it?”
“Geoff is buying us time and you will show him the respect due to him by never calling him ‘it’ again, or I will personally cleave your head in. He may be buying our lives with his. Now get this horse to its stall.” Timothy dismounted and went to the prime stables.
The prime breeding horses where kept here and Bolt was the proud son of their best stallion, Thunder, and Bolt showed even more promise. His mother has a marathon runner and his father had been a sprinter, giving Bolt the best of both. This was exactly what Timothy needed. Bolt knew why Tim was there and eagerly pranced as Tim gathered the saddle.
“Dad? Where is Uncle Geokhan? Where are you going?”
There was Jim. He looked scared. Timothy knew this wouldn’t be a happy ending, people would die. He wanted to take Jim away from it, but he couldn’t ride Bolt with Jim and be back in time to save Geokhan.
“Uncle Geokhan…is still out scouting. He asked me to go get some Demacians to help.”
“Okay, Dad. Can I go with you?”
“I’m sorry…I can’t. Jim, go inside and hide. Do not come out until you hear me or Grandpa… or Uncle Geo. Do you understand?”
“Yeah, Dad…may your road stay smooth.” And with that Jim ran to the house. Timothy watched him get inside and pushed Bolt to run as fast as he could. Geokhan needed him to not hold up any longer.
Geokhan was thinking something along the same lines. He had already burnt most of his mana on sprints and his summoner spells had all been exhausted. They were ten miles away from the ranch and the Demacians were about that far away from the village. They would take a long time to march there and these brutes wouldn’t tire. Geokhan needed time to breathe and recharge… THERE! A hole. It was dirty, muddy, and, most importantly, deep. He leapt into the hole and the brutes ran past. They stopped a few yards later, having lost sight for too long and the scent was also gone. Geokhan waited as the beasts wandered about trying to find a trail. He would wait until he heard talk of going on without finding a trail or they got too close.
‘Hurry, Tim.’ Geokhan thought.
Timothy was riding as fast as he could without killing Bolt. He felt more than a little torn about not pushing Bolt harder, but that would be a betrayal of trust between friends…brothers even. Bolt had grown up with Timothy at his side, learning all about how people were and when Thunder only allowed Liam to ride him, so too did Bolt only allow Timothy. Bolt would have gotten more riding time, but recently he had been placed with mares to breed the next generation of horses. Bolt was quite happy to have this run, even if he didn’t understand what pressed Timothy to such haste.
Timothy saw the fortress ahead of him and he pushed Bolt to a final sprint. He was yelling at the gates to get the commander. Garen was the one who looked down at the lone horseman.
“Citizen, what is your business that requires my attention?”
“You almost need to see it to believe it, but Zaunites are attacking my village.”
Garen turned his back to Timothy and mumbled to the commander of the fort before replying to Timothy.
“Why would they attack you? Do you have something that belongs to them?”
“Geokhan is there and the Zaunites want him dead.”
“Geokhan is the new ambassador for the Brackern.”
“Which might explain the Zaunites’ dislike of the man, but attacking a village this far away?”
“Geokhan is isolated here and doesn’t have any allies that anyone knew of.”
“Geokhan is a guest in Demacia and deserves the respect our nation can give him. If we arrive to find him sold for your village, we will punish those responsible. I assume you know how many Zaunites we are dealing with.”
“There are about twenty monsters that are hooked up to strange devices on their heads. They look like Mundo. We only have thirty strong men to form a militia.”
“Mundo?” Turning his back to Timothy again, Garen orders the gate opened and for the Dauntless Vanguard to fall in with ever other man bearing a torch. “Zaunite scum has attacked one of OUR villages! Let us show them our JUSTICE! Vanguard MARCH!”
Timothy scowled as he led the way. Bolt was walking, which was about four times slower than he wanted to go. “Geoff…keep going…”
Geokhan saw and heard the one thing he didn’t want to. They were forcing Geokhan out by attacking another ranch. He still was mana hungry and tired, but he had to keep them following him. He leaped out of the bushes.
((2,000...HOW??? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN??? I HATED ENGLISH IN HIGH SCHOOL!!!!.....Thanks a lot guys. Means a lot....And if your all just taking a brief glance and crushing my dreams by not reading....don't tell me.))
Timothy was the first to see the smoke.
They were under a mile away from the nearest ranch, but it was burning.
“No… NO!!!! GEOFF!!!!” He was about to drive Bolt to a full gallop, when a strong hand grabbed the bridle. Timothy turned to Garen who stood grim faced and firm.
“Geokhan isn’t his birthname.” Garen said with a serious voice.
“Let me go. I need to check for survivors.” Timothy fought to get control of the reigns, but Garen was simply too large for Bolt to move.
“There are none. The Madman of Zaun wouldn’t leave any and neither would his mutant spawn. If they didn’t, those alive will soon wish it wasn’t so.”
“My brother was trying to distract them. This ranch is burning because he failed! I must find him.”
“You will show discipline. You die trying to find your brother and you fail your family. Demacia will honor the fallen when we purge the land of the mutant scourge.”
“Glad to see you all care! You’re a bunch of hypocritical *******s! Preaching honor and glory and hiding behind you pearly walls while the common folk get bandits and wolves. Damn you, Garen Crownguard and damn Demacia!”
Garen lifted the man out of his saddle and threw him down to the earth. With his blade suddenly on Timothy’s throat he shouted, “ENOUGH! Insult Demacia again and I will have your head. You asked for us to come here and we came. We marched as quickly as we could. Lead us to the militia, so that we may show these Zaunite curs what Demacian Justice is.”
Before Timothy could react, sounds of battle reached their ears. The Dauntless Vanguard charged towards it without an order and in perfect formation. Segments formed into three triangles and Garen lead the front point. Timothy rode ahead, blade in hand and howling in fury. There before them was the Militia and many of the Beasts. Very few of the monsters had fallen, with their chemical regeneration and their glee within pain, but the Militia fought with a zeal that had the Vanguard’s respect. With their homes on the line, even Brad had gone into the fight fully and with fervor of a man with twice the muscle mass. Liam was in the back issuing orders and, while too weak to swing a blade, was still a dead shot with a bow putting arrows into the heart of the beasts from atop Thunder.
Bolt let out an excited whinny seeing his father and Liam turned and raised his bow over his head cheering. The Militia fought even harder when they saw Garen smash into a monster and knocking it into three of its comrades. A beast tried to flank Garen and Brad stabbed its ribs and the beast turned to retaliate, but Garen turned and cleaved the monster with Demacian Justice. Liam and Timothy started riding around the monsters raining arrows and landing swift blows. Thunder was killed by a beast’s fist, and Liam was almost struck down while under his steed when a crystal shard flew into the beast’s eye.
“HEY THERE BOYS AND GIRLS! I believe I was the one you wanted.” Geokhan said from the edge of the fight.
He had a cleaver in his shield arm, his robes were trashed, he was covered in blue blood, and his hue was a pale blue, but he was alive and insulting, and that was enough for five of the beasts. Geokhan shock his head in shock that he had five running to claim his head. He Flashed over to Timothy and Liam to make a stand to defend the old man.
“Timothy, get the old man and get to your boy. I’ll hold them.”
“GO! HE needs you more than me.”
Geokhan pushed Timothy back and charged the Mundos. They returned the charge and howled with savage glee. Geokhan grimly generated his exoskeleton and his barrier charm. Crackling with the remainder of his magical energy, Geokhan dived into the group and they surrounded him. Screams of pain and howls of feral glee erupted from the pile as Timothy struggled to get his father free. Everyone stopped fighting for a moment when an explosion rocked the field. The five monsters had flown back five feet and revealed Geokhan. He had detonated his crystal armor and his shield had a cleaver stuck in it, as well as one lodged in his back. He was a pale white color in hue. He fell to his knees and his arms hanged loosely at his sides. He was magically and physically spent. He saw Timothy get his father free of the horse and dragged him to safety. It was worth it.
Fading out of consciousness, Geokhan saw the last of the fight. With howls of rage, the beasts had him charged again, but it swiftly turned to grunts of shock as Garen charged their flank and started his deadly blade waltz cleaving fingers off and tearing chunks out of the beasts’ arms and chests. The Vanguard that formed Garen’s triangle followed closely behind finishing off the weakened monsters. The last Geokhan saw before the black was the blue and gold of Demacian splint-mail.
Flashes of light… Images of Demacians…Timothy yelling…Liam yelling back…Garen standing between the two.
Pain…his only companion…Always there…tormenting him. All he had to do was let go. Let go and the pain would be gone. He wouldn’t have to watch a family that didn’t want him. A world that didn’t care…The loss of this soul wouldn’t change anything and he was so tired. A voice came through the black.
No, Geokhan. Life is not done with you. Push on. You have it in you to push on.
“Why? Have I not bled enough? Have I not been destroyed enough for this farce?”
You will fight. If you don’t, who will?
“I am not the one they want. I am a mess. Look at me. I can’t protect the ones I love, much less a species or a world.”
Knowledge is your weapon. Not many will admit their limits. You know yourself. You know you need allies. When It comes forth, you will need them. Garen would face It head on. Skarner cannot gather allies to fight It. Singed will join It. You are able to beat It.
“Who are you? Why do you taunt me? Let me go…I’m tired and I hurt.”
Not yet. Your story is far from over.
“I’m not strong enough. I’m broken.”
You die and thus will the world.
You will not give up when it seems to be over.
Geokhan awoke in a clean looking room under white sheets. He had just had the weirdest dream. Details were fading fast and Geokhan suddenly had other concerns. He scanned the room. Hospital…Demacian sigils...Demacia had apparently wanted to show some hospitality to the Ambassador.
To his right was his brother, passed out with Jim curled up next to him in some chairs. To his left was his father, his arm in a sling and wide awake.
“That was stupid. I was going to get out just fine.” Liam scolded.
“You’re welcome.” Geokhan said with a disrespectful tone.
“You almost died…You should’ve died.”
“I’ve thought that a couple times.”
“The doctors thought you were dead. They don’t know why you’re breathing.”
“Neither do I.”
“Well…I’m glad you aren’t dead…I was wrong to push your gifts away, Geoff. I-”
“You were right.”
Liam sat there, analyzing what his son had become. Timothy started to stir and Liam left. Geokhan didn’t stop him. He examined his bandages. His back and arm were plastered and he had many scratches and bruises. When Tim finally opened his eyes, Geokhan saw he was still really trying to sleep.
“Well, look who finally woke up.” Geokhan said with a smirk.
“Well, we had to chase all of them down and it took us the whole night and the morning. You’ve been out for about 30 hours. You’re early though.”
“I expected you back…never. So, you’re early.”
“How’s the kid?”
“Frightened, but he was safely tucked away in the loft. Your old Hide and Seek spot.”
“It was a great spot. How bad was it?”
“Well from what I heard, your running about had given the Militia time to gather and they had evacuated the ranches to the forest hides. They then had pushed the attack to see if you were okay.”
“I wondered what they were doing out there. Who many we lose?”
“More than I wanted…we lost seven.”
“Not bad. Demacians should talk to you guys about enlisting.”
“Garen said the same, but I told him we would rather stay near our homes. He recommended turning our village into an outpost and give the militia some real training.”
“Pitchfork, spears…basically the same thing.”
“Stick ‘em with the pointy ends.”
A doctor walked into the room and explained Geokhan’s condition. His spine should have been cut and his arm was hanging on by threads, but his body had healed itself slowly. Timothy had passed word to the medics about Geokhan’s diet and the medics had run with it. They had applied dirt to the wounds and his body took the minerals to restore his crystal tissue. It was a slow process sped along by enough healing potions to raise the dead.
His recovery had been amazing no matter how slow it was. He should have been crippled, or worse. He was up and eager to leave in three days. They let him go on the fourth simply for the nurses’ state of mind when he created a crystal Greg to run up and down the ward screeching.
Geokhan returned home to be greeted by a village thankful to be saved. They asked him to stay for another week, but Geokhan insisted that he return to his work in the League. They talked him into one night of thankful festivities. They emptied the tavern of its ale and drank and sang Geokhan’s praises. The Vanguard were there to drink and sing as well, albeit a bit more responsibly. Garen lead the Demacian Anthem and the Vanguards drinking sings with a deep baritone. Liam was strumming on a guitar, making up the music that fit the songs he didn’t know. The children scampered about near a bonfire.
When Geokhan managed to hide away from the party, he let fall the charade of happiness he had on his face. Twenty more had died for him. How was he worth this? Why did he have to be a threat to so many? He wasn’t that big. The office was more of a title, yet people demanded his attention.
“Why me?” Geokhan whispered aloud.
“Why not? If not you, then who?” Timothy had found Geokhan sulking. “There’s a party out there for a special person. The guy saved the town, willing to sacrifice his own life. Kind of a big deal.”
“Their friends are dead because of me! I brought this upon them!”
“And you owned that. You didn’t claim you had nothing to do with it. You didn’t run from it.”
“I don’t want their praise! I don’t DESERVE this!”
“They aren’t doing it for you. They are doing this to forget. Drink and sing the sorrows away.”
“They don’t need me for that.”
“Makes them feel better. You know they are thinking of making a memorial with your image?”
“They want something to remember this by!”
Geokhan closes his eyes and thinks for a while.
“Tell them to make a statue of raised farm gear and blades, to symbolize the joint efforts of the Dauntless Vanguard and the militia. They are the real heroes.”
“You sure I should be-“
“I’m leaving now. I don’t want any more of their fake joy. They can smile at me, but I see the broken sadness staring at me, asking me why their loved ones had to fall. They listen to you anyway. You should consider becoming mayor or sheriff. Brad looks like he might get demoted soon.”
“Geoff…come back home sometime.”
“I will try. Goodbye, Timothy.” And with that, Geokhan faded into the night.
“See you later.” Timothy whispered.
“The ambassador decided the party was overly happy for the occasion?” Garen had found Timothy.
“I guess everyone is sneaking up on each other tonight, but you’re right. He is carrying around too much guilt to be happy here.”
Garen nodded grimly. “Remember him as he was and respect what he is. He is stronger than he appears. Thrust him into the flames and he hardens his soul and strikes more fiercely.”
“I only hope that in cooling he does not shatter.”
((EDIT: missed my italics at the start....stupid Riot. You and Word need to get along.
3,000?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! NOW I CONTROL THEIR MINDS!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!....Just kidding? Seriously thank you to all my loyal readers....I hope your loyal readers. Sorry it isn't ***, ***, and more ***, but I figured the market don't need more of that. I also like Lord of the Rings for it's action and not its romance.))
How Do You Like Me Now?
Little news had made way to the League of Legends regarding what happened in that little ranch by Demacia, but the official report made it quite clear that there was no way to know what caused the attack, while blaming a Zaunite terrorist group without blaming Zaun. Anyone who read the report had a good idea, but not enough to do anything. Skarner wanted him to change the world? The League hardly changed as is.
One thing did change. Many Zaunite summoners who saw him, instantly scowled. Geokhan had to work very hard no to stick a crystal tongue out at them…or worse. The Demacians, on the other hand, acted like nothing happened. The problem was found, fixed, and had no signs of returning. They DID come save his family, so he had to cut them a little slack. Still, Geokhan wasn’t going to be sharing with them anytime soon.
Geokhan sat down at his desk. His family had almost died. His nephew had lost friends. No, he couldn’t protect everything alone. Not even with Skarner at his side. He needed allies. He needed people to rely on. How could he? Trust someone…and he would be stabbed in the back.
His mind was wandering when he got a ‘nudge’. He followed this foreign instinct until it lead him to the memory of him attacking Vladik. He didn’t truly think on what he was doing during the ordeal, but apparently he didn’t know the full extent of this power. He saw something else…another memory…it wasn’t his.
Two human hands belonging to the eyes generating the memory were working on a delicate chemical. An acid made to corrode crystals and yield another acid of deadly purpose. They raised a beaker to the light and Geokhan saw a familiar face. Vladik Gustof. The memory suddenly faded.
This is what he had done. He had exchanged memories with the Zaunite. Why show him this? Could he hunt for a particular memory? Another ‘nudge,’ like Geokhan was thinking in the right direction. Could he hunt emotions within their minds? A strong nudge. He could hunt for wanting. He could hunt their hidden thoughts. Did he deserve this power? Nothing. Geokhan didn’t know what his Arachia ‘thought’ of that. He grew another crystal shard and examined it. This is what he was. He had to make use of his gifts to advance his cause. There was only one moral way to do that. Full disclosure.
“Mister Geokhan?” Jezz had poked her head in. She looked worried.
“What is it, Jezz?”
“You have the Zaunite ambassador here to see you. Are you okay? You look…sad, sir. Your family is okay, aren’t they?”
“Thank you for your concern, but they are fine. Just a moment of self-reflection. Send the ***** in.”
Jezz had hardly turned around when Vladik barged into the room, almost kicking Jezz out of the way.
“Yes, I dare you to sit down and calm down. I would also dare you to NOT abuse my staff. Do that again, and I will forget League rules on office violence and personally rip you apart.”
Vladik’s eyes almost popped out of his head. He was about to speak again, but was cut off again.
“You’re a little pompous ass, aren’t you? Let me guess, you sent the mutants. You thought to get me out of the way before I became a problem. Guess I’m a problem now. You want to get at me, come at me. I beat your mutants, I beat you, I’ll beat anything you throw at me! Even that vial of acid I think you’re packing.”
“I got sources. Now if that was all, then scram! I want nothing to do with you or yours! At least Viktor is honest with his dealings and doesn’t use hitmen.”
“YOU DARE!? I am an Ambassador of ZAUN, not some petty summoner! I will destroy you and yours for these slights!”
“Come at me! Let’s finish this! Here and NOW!”
Geokhan drew his blade and crackled with power. Vladik raised his hands and prepared his own magics. They were about to clash when there was a flash of light and both men shielded their eyes. When the light faded Bernard, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Office, and Alistar, League Champion and one of the guards of the Institute, stood there and neither looked happy.
“ENOUGH! Vladik, you are displaying poor civility and Geokhan you are being rather uncouth.” Bernard said scowling at both summoners. “We have rules regarding this. Vladik, you know better! Alistar, remove him.” Vladik was shoved out of the office by Alistar with a grunt and Vladik knew better than to push against the minotaur. Alistar had little affection for any summoner, especially Zaunites and Noxians, and Alistar was one of the few who was immune to the magics of summoners.
“Geokhan, you keep this up and the League will not assist you.”
“**** him and **** your rules. I take care of myself. Always have and always will.”
“You are a summoner of the League and ambassador in it! You are subject to our rules and-“
“And I will settle my quarrels as I see fit! Vladik comes at me again and I will kill him. You had better stay out of my way when I do.”
“Vladik won’t be an issue anymore. He is being removed from office. That’s why I was looking for him. You pick a fight with him now, you’re attacking Zaun.”
“If he gets in a fight with me, it’s because he picked it and he will be dead.”
Bernard gave Geokhan a threatening look before Flashing away. Geokhan breathed a bit easier. He knew Bernard was powerful. Thankfully, Bernard enjoyed his political neutrality. Geokhan could think on his squad of soldiers.
“Jezz, get me a list of Freljordian or Demacian Mercenaries. I need to hire a few blades.”
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