You made me feel really sorry for Draven there. I'm kinda sad he's gone.
Granted, I prefer Kat as a character (Draven can be easily pinned as a walking joke) but now I really can't wait to see Darius' reaction.
Oh, and pleeeaaase tell me we get to see LeBlanc get owned by Demacian Justice. I hate LeBlanc, in game and out.
Edit: Forgot to mention: Leona is here! Woo! And Pantheon is here to be a man!
Write all the ulti's!
I imagine Nasus and Renekton's relationship to be a lot like the Master and the 10th Doctor's. Wagh!
Interrupt: Part One
“What news do you have from Zaun?” Swain demanded from the summoner who served as his courier between Noxus and its ally city.
The summoner twitched nervously arranging his dusty, tattered robes. “Zaun, ah... Zaun was caught in the Ironspike mountain pass...”
The Tactician's brow furrowed and he queried, “By whom?”
His voice barely audible over the sound of war, the summoner murmured, “Piltover.”
“Nice shooting, Cait!” Vi grinned, smashing her gauntlet into what remained of Dr. Mundo's face. The brutal Enforcer was covered in bruises and cuts, but not all the blood spattered across her body was her's.
The serious Sheriff of Piltover merely sighed. “I can't believe I took the shot,” she muttered, walking over to give the Madman's corpse a soft kick. “If I missed, that would have been you lying there.”
“As if you were capable of missing a shot,” the taller of the two women muttered, flipping her shock of pink hair from her face. “C'mon, let's go see if the pretty-boy needs our help.”
The two Piltover officers jogged through the ranks of Piltover's soldiers as they finished arresting those Zaunites who surrendered and killing those who resisted. As they neared the blonde young man whom they sought, they overheard him complain, “****ing fur everywhere...”
“I thought you liked getting dirty, Ezreal,” Vi laughed, clapping the Explorer on the back and causing him to jump.
The young man scowled and pushed his blood-spattered goggles onto the top of his mop of hair. “Dirty is fine, but this-” he held up his arm which had a series of jagged cuts on it as though from claws- “this is totally different. Who knows what kinda diseases that flea-bag had!”
The three looked down at the dead humanoid wolf known as Warwick at the Explorer's feet. Caitlyn let out a sniff of disgust. “Hmph. You'd better see a healer. Where's Jayce?”
“He's dealing with Viktor,” Ezreal shrugged, pointing to an area behind an outcropping of rock. As he spoke, the broad-shouldered brunette man came around the corner, pushing a bound and disheveled scientist, who was more machine than man, in front of him. Jayce prodded at Viktor with the head of his hammer, sparking the blue, electrical bindings surrounding him; a broken, mechanical arm hung by a few wires down the Machine Herald's back.
“I surrendered,” he ground out, his accented voice thick with pain. “But the revolution-”
“Shut it,” Jayce demanded wearily, prodding him again. The bound scientist fell silent. “He's been going on about the 'glorious revolution' incessantly.”
Shaking her head, Caitlyn stated, “Well he surrendered. Let's bring him back with the others.” The sheriff was glad the battle was finally finished; they'd been outnumbered, but with the surprise attack in the pass and Zaun's lack of discipline, it had only been a matter of time before they'd routed them. “What about Singed?”
Jayce winced. “We last saw him running off into the Ironspike Mountains. We couldn't catch him.”
The Sheriff swept her hat from her head and wiped the sweat from her forehead before carefully arranging it back into place. “I see. Let's hope that this was enough. It's all up the rest of them now.”
All around her, smoke blurred her vision and LeBlanc blindly ran toward what she hoped was the entrance. The blade was so sharp she only felt a slight sting in her thighs, but from the corner of her grey eyes the Noxian could see the blood trickling freely across her skin. Pausing would mean death; she kept running.
With nary a stumble the Deceiver burst from the smoke screen and the first sight in her unclouded vision was a flash of lightning crackling across a shuriken. Instinctively, she jerked her had and the steel grazed her cheek.
“Aw, I can't believe it missed!” a child-like voice chimed, a purple-clad yordle barely taller than her knees. “She's fast, Shen!”
LeBlanc released her grip on her wounded side and forced herself to stand tall. “The Kinkou Order. What a pleasant surprise.”
The natural lighting filtering in from the entrance was casting strange shadows about the hall, and Shen seemed to materialize from them as he stepped from behind a pillar. “Your assistance to Vessaria Kolminye has disrupted the Balance.”
“The Balance must be preserved,” Kennan intoned.
At her back LeBlanc could feel the presence of the third emerging from the dissipating smoke, silent with a palpable yet dispassionate killing intent. A haughty laugh burst from the Noxian's lips as she calculated an escape route.
“You still don't know, do you?” she smirked, taking a few casual steps to the side; the three ninja tensed. “Vessaria Kolminye has been dead for a very long time.” Her image seemed to flicker then, taking on the late High Councilor's before reverting back to her own. “So look no further!”
Without a moment of hesitation, the ninja launched into movement; then the hall went dark.
“Darknessssss, heh heh heh...”
Their lines had been pushed to the limits, broken momentarily in one instance, and Garen was beginning to despair about the tide ever turning in their favor again when a rousing shout went up from the other side of the small group of enemy soldiers. A quick strike disemboweled the man in front of him and the Demacian pushed forward to see Talon flanked by a masked figure that could only be Marcus DuCouteau. Behind them, the Noxian's pledged to serve the DuCouteau house were making quick work of the surprised group Swain had left in the wake of his army. The Demacian couldn't suppress a victorious grin. All that would be left was to rejoin Jarvan at Swain's main force.
As the two groups of unlikely allies merged to finish off the remaining soldiers, another scream rose from the inner ranks, feminine and furious. Surrounded by the Noxian traitors stood a woman, black magic shooting desperately from her palms as she tried to keep the soldiers at bay. “KAYLE!” she howled. “I KNOW YOU'RE OUT THERE KAYLE!”
The angelic woman was already pushing her way through the lines with a uncharacteristic aggression. “Morgana,” Kayle murmured as she burst into the small clearing around her fallen sister. “Always on the wrong side. End this folly now and join us!”
Morgana clenched her fists, magic still swirling around them. Beneath her feet the ground seemed to decay with each step she took toward the Judicator. “The self-righteous tyrant says I'm on the wrong side?” she scoffed, causing the soldiers around her to tense.
Garen pulled up beside Kayle, sword drawn, but the immortal simply held out a hand. “Continue on with the mission. I shall deal with my wayward sister,” she declared; the flames around her sword appeared to flare at the prospect.
“Can I deal with her?” Jax piped up from somewhere behind them. Kayle didn't turn.
The Demacian gave a short nod to the armored woman, then motioned for his army to continue past the warring sisters, ordering, “Regroup with Jarvan's forces!” His command was repeated back across the lines and from the Noxian forces he heard Talon shout the same. As they moved past the fallen bodies of enemy soldiers, he gave one last look to the immortal sisters who still seemed to be arguing, and followed behind his troops at a brisk walk.
A moment later he saw Talon approaching and commended, “Nice push.”
“What, and no thanks for me?” Garen had to repress a jump as Marcus's familiar baritone voice chimed in from behind him. “I did organize this whole thing.”
“I-I, of course, sir...”
General DuCouteau barked out a laugh as he removed his mask to wipe the sweat from his face. “Where are my daughters?” he asked.
“Cass is at the back with the summoners,” Talon quickly informed, then looked at Garen for confirmation.
Mumbling, the Demacian stated, “Yes. And... Katarina, I think she's with the other force.”
A flash of something akin to fear alighted briefly on Marcus's lined face, but the older man smoothed it over with a shrug. “Probably. Headstrong girl. How long until we reach Swain's main group?”
“Sir, at this pace we'll be at the Institute in twenty minutes,” Garen briefed. “Jarvan's force will reach Swain about ten minutes before we do.”
The General grunted, “Twenty minutes then? Let's try to make better time than that.” With that suggestion, the man slipped the mask back over his face and said, “I'm going to go check on my daughter.”
Garen gave a steely nod at the General's departure and shouted the order to pick up the pace. With Katarina in Jarvan's group, he was inclined to agree with her father.
Cassiopeia squared her bare shoulders, giving the soldier advancing on her a defiant tilt of her chin. A small group of Noxian swordsmen had broken through the line thinking to make quick work of the mages, only to meet very abrupt demises. One soldier was being particularly troublesome in refusing to die, but the serpentine woman could see Ryze sneaking in behind him to help and continued to wait, baiting the soldier with her apparent weakness. Sure enough, the tattooed mage glanced down at his book then directed his open palm toward the soldier, snaring him in a magical cage, allowing Cassiopeia to spring forward and jab her poisoned claws through his eyes. The man screamed in anguish, clawing at the bleeding sockets of his skull until the venom finished eating through the organs housed there.
“Pleasant,” Ryze joked, unphased.
She flashed him a modest smile, shrugging her delicate shoulder. “It's what I do.”
The Rouge Mage grinned, a rare sight, and opened his mouth to say something when the blood pooling around the bodies began to move, darting toward Ryze's boots. The puddle congealed into a man's form and Vladimir waved his hand chuckling, “Someone is leaking,” and the tattooed mage fell to his knees gasping as previously clotted wounds opened and blood began to trickle from his nose, ears, mouth.
“No!” Cassiopeia shrieked, letting a spray of venom leave her mouth. Hot and acidic, it splashed against the blood mage's face, earning a howl of pain. Ryze fell to his stomach as the Crimson Reaper's concentration broke.
“Little Cassy DuCouteau,” he hissed, wiping his face on his excessively showy jacket; the skin of his face was raw and shiny like a healed burn, only saved by the regenerative properties he'd soaked from Ryze's blood. “I think you're a little tart to be my type, but you'll have to do.”
The muscles of her tail were coiled tightly beneath her and the DuCouteau woman wasted no time in launching herself at the blood mage, sinking her clawed hands into his neck. He roared as she injected her venom into his bloodstream and swung wildly at her bare stomach with the blade-like tips covering his fingers, causing her to shrink away. She coughed, feeling the blood inside her slow as he tried to manipulate it.
Vladimir leapt, drawing his own blood into sharpened blades and hurled them at her; summoning all the magic she'd been cursed with, Cassiopeia screamed, triggering the poisons trapped inside the enemy mage's body.
The effect was instantaneous; he was frozen.
In a flurry of black steel, Marcus DuCouteau flashed to her side, sending one finely sharpened dagger through Vladimir's neck and the other through his stomach so quickly and so many times she couldn't keep count. By the time the effects of the venom had begun to wane, Vladimir could only sputter a curse before his own lifeblood bubbled from his throat and gut in a tide even he couldn't control.
The Reaper fell and Marcus ripped the mask from his face, the worry etched into its many lines and clasped his daughter tightly. “Cass! Are you ok? You're hurt!”
Too relieved to remember her anger, she clung to her father squeaking, “I-I'm ok! It's nothing!”
Just as the words were leaving her mouth, the youngest DuCouteau felt an agonizing pang in her side. A wave of dizziness washed over her and she pulled away from her father and saw that the skin of her torso was turning purple as the blood under the skin began to spread, a final gift from the Crimson Reaper. Marcus caught her as she fell, laying her gently onto the ground.
She could hear him screaming for a healer and saw that he too had coughed up blood which was trickling into his beard. She raised a trembling hand and cried, “D-dad...”
His green eyes were watery and he squeezed her hand. “I'm here, baby. Daddy's here.”
“It... hurts,” she choked.
Marcus shook his head, and screamed again for a healer. Footsteps were thudding toward them now. “It'll be OK, Cass,” he whispered, voice cracking.
She felt more hands on her now, the tingle of magic and the sound of music, but she still felt so cold... Heard the words “too much pressure,” “surgery,” and “shock.” More music.
She opened her eyes (when had she closed them?) and her father's face swam into view. Was it her father? He was crying now, tears streaming down his face. Marcus never cried.
“I'm... sorry... Don't... cry...”
Marcus nodded but the saltwater tears continued to drip from his chin. A hand pressed against her other wrist, feeling for a heartbeat that was barely there; the music wasn't strong enough.
She cracked a bloody smile. “I'm... not mad... at you.”
“I know,” the old assassin croaked. “Open your eyes, Cass, I need you to open your eyes, OK?”
Her eyes open for a second before gently fluttering shut.
“Cass c'mon, open your eyes,” he pleaded. She didn't respond. “Open your eyes, Cass!”
Her face was tranquil, the picture of beauty.
“OPEN YOUR EYES!”
For some death was lonely; for others it was an embrace.
Jarvan twisted his lance, jabbing it through the Noxian in front of him, in, then out, blood hot and slick coating its surface. Beside him, Katarina danced and her enemies fell. The Prince shuddered, amazed that Garen could be her equal. With as many Champions in their rank as there were and many of them beastly creatures, Swain's troops were dying faster than the golden man could count; surprising them with another rear attack helped. He made a mental note to promote everyone who survived this when he came into his kingdom.
Overhead, a raven circled and screeched, then disappeared into the chaotic throng, sending Jarvan's heart leaping into his throat. The bird had landed nearby, and Swain was never far from it...No sooner had the thought occurred to him, the enemies before him began to part and reform like the sea as the hobbling Grand General of Noxus made his way to meet the crown prince of Demacia.
With a cry of rage and an outstretched lance, Jarvan wasted no time in lunging at the armored Tactician, colliding instead with Swain's soldiers sworn to protect him. He batted them away easily, with eyes only for his nemesis who was calmly stepping back from his strikes. Dimly he could hear Katarina shouting for him to stop, but the blood was in his ears. He'd always been rash when it came to Jericho Swain.
At Katarina's lead, his loyal troops tried to follow behind him, but as soon as he chased, the enemy formed around him, slowing his ally's approach. Jarvan charged again, this time too fast for the General to back away; what little magic that flowed through the Demacian's veins flared out with such force that as he landed, the ground splintered around them, all but forming a wall of debris separating the two rivals from the world.
“You and me, Swain,” the prince snarled, his lance reaching for the Noxian's throat in a blur.
A casual swat of Swain's staff blocked the incoming blow, arcane runes sparking at the contact. “As you wish,” he smirked and the ground around the Demacian began to glow with ancient symbols. Bird-like claws seemed to shoot from the dirt and dig into the prince's ankles, anchoring him to the ground.
Gritting his teeth through the pain, the golden man raised his weapon to strike; the Grand General inclined his staff, a spell forming at its tip.
And as the wall of rock fell away behind the prince, Darius readied his axe and leapt.
LeBlanc stumbled and leaned against the slick marble wall of the Institute. She hadn't run from the Kinkou unscathed: the wounds across her thighs had begun to slow, but fresh ones lined her abdomen and her cloak was singed from lightning. If Nocturne hadn't come along and decided to repay her... she shuddered to think that her gloriously chaotic reign might have been brought to an untimely end.
The sounds of their fighting still rang out in the Southern hall, so the Deceiver slunk away toward the Northern entrance, determined to finally slip away undisputed from the war she'd begun. Admittedly, things hadn't gone according to plan; ideally she would have led the Institute of War to complete domination. But the city-states were still destroying each other and that was the next best thing. With everything in ruin, she would only need to wait for the fighting to finish before she claimed the spoils of a defenseless Valoran.
The Noxian's heels clicked across the floor, the only sound now that she was too far from the Kinkou. Light from outside trickled into sight, growing brighter along with her confidence as she neared her sweet escape. Blinking, LeBlanc stepped out onto the terrace-
-and was greeted by a battalion of Freljordian and Ionian soldiers marching around the Institute of War.
“Everyone, double time!”
There was no pretense of stealth in their charge over the final stretch. Garen had hoped Jarvan would pull back when he saw them coming and allow them to fill the gap, but the commander couldn't even see the glint of the prince's golden armor. Cries for Demacia, Mount Targon, Bandle City, and more went up as they stormed in behind their allies.
Near him, Shyvana grabbed the nearest soldier as she bolted in and roared, “Where is Jarvan?” The Demacian only pointed a shaky finger toward the enemy front line before she pushed him aside and disappeared into the fray.
Garen cursed inwardly but followed behind the half-dragon woman, Justice in hand. The dead of both sides were piling up, reserves doing what the could to pull the bodies out of the way, but still they had to side-step the corpses of fallen Champions and Dauntless Vanguard soldiers; the commander found that he was afraid to look at their faces. They passed Sona, whose fingers were frantically plucking at the Etwahl's magical strings to heal as many as she could, but tears were streaming down her face and he saw that Fiora lay unmoving at her feet.
And suddenly like a beacon, Katarina's red hair as she twisted her dagger through the space between an enemy's soldier's helmet and chest plate. “Everyone, PUSH! JARVAN, STOP!” she screamed, her voice hoarse. Relief crashed over Garen in a wave as he joined her in the push. A resounding boom filled the air and a cloud of dirt and rock went up within the Noxian troops.
Shyvana's eyes widened as understanding hit her. “JARVAN!” Her howl tore through the air and her figure seemed to crack and expand, the bones of her arms splintering then reforming into jointed wings as she ran. Fire sparked from her clawed feet and she grew, screaming in pain as she towered, eight, ten, then twelve feet above the rest. Humans scattered from her like ants but her eyes were on one alone; she bent her knees and leapt, fire spreading with her winged arms.
The light shifted, and Jarvan could see Darius in the reflection of Swain's breastplate now, and he was humbly aware of his mistake. The axe, he knew, would be so impeccably sharp he likely wouldn't feel it until it was coming out the other side of him; the prince of Demacia steeled himself anyway.
Shyvana's jaws snapped and the air rushed from the Hand of Noxus's lungs as a half ton of wyvern barreled into his side. A strangled grunt of frustration vented from his lips, and he tightened his grip around his axe as the two went tumbling through the ranks, knocking aside all in their path.
The magical talons holding Jarvan in place retreated into the ground; with a cry of his own, the prince jabbed his lance into Swain's arm, knocking the glowing staff from his hand. Cawing furiously, Beatrice erupted from the Grand General's shoulder in a flurry of black and blue feathers, forcing the golden man back from the injured mage as she clawed furiously at his face. Jarvan tried to chase, but Swain's limp seemed to disappear altogether although he cradled his arm against his chest. With a last angry thrust at the raven which gave a taunting screech as it dodged, the prince reluctantly turned to find the woman he loved.
Darius's axe was sharp, but against Shyvana's hardened skin it caused little more than scratches. Around them, the ranks of both sides were splitting as they avoided being crushed underfoot or catching an errant swing of the Noxian commander's axe. Cautiously, the Hand of Noxus slowed his attacks against the half-dragon, focusing his energies on dodging her rapidly flying claws and fire. An angry roar burst from her maw and Shyvana whipped around too quickly for him to move; her claws sank into his armor like it was paper, pricking the flesh underneath and flinging him onto his back.
Fire dripped from her jaws as she leaned in to sever his head, but where a lesser man would have submitted, Darius twisted his arm across his body and sent his axe sliding across her face. Shyvana let out a scream that left both sides cringing as she released the man, taking a few faltering steps back and shrinking with every step. Grunting in pain, the Noxian commander staggered to his feet.
Human again, the Half-Dragon moved her hands from her face revealing an open gash that stretched from the right side of her jaw, across her lips to her cheek. “You bastard,” she hissed, raising her armored fists to defend.
“Shyvana!” The Elite Guard commander stopped in surprise as Jarvan burst through the line. Darius was faster.
The axe spun in a wide arc as its wielder pivoted on heel with the weapon extended as far as he could reach, its razor-sharp edge a blur. Neither Demacian could comprehend what had happened until a line of red blossomed from the unprotected skin of Shyvana's stomach and began to expand. Her knees shook and met the ground.
A guttural cry issued from Jarvan's throat as he closed the distance to where Shyvana lay, grasping at the wound. “Shyvana, no...” he croaked. Cutting into the clearing, the rest of the army moved to surround the pair and for a brief moment, the fighting ebbed.
“Take her to a healer,” Riven commanded. The exiled Noxian was covered in dirt, sweat, and blood but she still hefted her sword with ease. “We will continue the fight.”
Jarvan's eyes flashed and he opened his mouth to argue, but Garen cut in, “Do it now. That's an order!” The commander's voice was strong but his face was pale under the grime of the battlefield; he inched closer to the red-headed assassin at his side, who was looking on with something like pity in her green eyes.
Sheathing his lance across his back, the prince carefully maneuvered the unresponsive Half-Dragon into his arms. One hate-filled glare was all he spared Darius before he dashed as quickly as he could from the front line.
The Hand of Noxus spat at Jarvan's retreating back. “The weak deserve to die.”
A piercing shout left Riven's mouth as she jolted toward the commander, her black-stone sword faintly glowing, and again the soldiers flowed into combat.
As fighting resumed, a roar erupted from the Institute of War and a small group of Noxians and summoners closest to the steps exploded into the air, impaled on ruptured rock and marble. Cho'Gath scuttled down the stairs with an uncanny agility, chasing those disoriented by the debris; behind him a flood of fire poured from the entrance, crackling and forming into a man's shape. Finally, a flash of green scales barreled past them both, pausing momentarily at the bottom of the stairs to sniff the air. His eyes crazed and mouth frothing, Renekton turned his head toward the source of his brother's scent and shot into the fray, ignoring all attempts at engagement.
With the initial shock wearing away, a Noxian soldier rushed toward the Void monster, spear at the ready, but Cho'Gath simply reached out a pincer-like claw and snapped it through the man's chest. There was a sharp crack as rows of yellow teeth snapped through bones and noisily slurped down the man's flesh. The Terror of the Void raised his dripping maw in a bloody grin, and all hell broke loose.
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