“Show yourself right now!”, she loudly exclaimed and looked around frantically. These dreaded shrubs everywhere! She twirled her staff in the air and let out several fiery beams. It had not rained in days and the twigs made some nice crackling sounds, but nothing else could be heard. “Not here”, she mumbled. She was not yet ready to accept that she had lost his trace. That blasted empty-headed Skritt thief had probably found a hole to hide in and there was no chance for her to get her revenge – and her stolen goods back.
“One more and I can go home”, she had quietly said to herself prior to that incident. She could have just sent some of the idiots from her lab to do the task, but she preferred to collect those precious plants herself. One single flaw and her carefully brewed tonic would taste like rotten chickpea salad. True, the effect would not be extenuated, but Gechii was a perfectionist.
Since it had already turned dark, she decided to call it a day and head back now. She would probably have to send somebody to collect the plants after all, as her trip to Verdant Brink could not be delayed much longer. Her expertise was desperately needed there.
“Graarrrr!”, she suddenly heard a growl from her left. Quickly, she raised her staff and turned around to see where the noise had come from. She could not hold back her chuckle: There stood a little Charr cub. His beige striped fur was bristling in the wind. He – or she… it was hard to tell, especially at such a young age, but she guessed it was a male – had raised his paws ready to attack. His tiny claws were reflecting the light of the flames from the shrub.
Now there were two. Then three. He tried to stand steady, even though something inside of him wanted to run and hide in a hole. ‘Never show fear’, he heard his Primus’s voice and he straightened his posture slightly more. The figure chuckled again… or rather, all three of them did. Then he realized, “You’re a Mesmer!”, he exclaimed clearly impressed, but he did not let his paws sink even an inch. If only he knew where he had put down his sword before he had fallen asleep. The yelling and the fire had startled him and he had gotten up and prepared to fight for his life, but now this seemed like a foolish move. The attack had obviously not been directed at him.
He did not know which one of the three figures to address. She – or he, it was hard to tell, but he went with “she”, mostly because of the way she had styled her hair – was roughly his height. Her dark brown hair had carefully been braided. Her yellow eyes and her pale skin seemed even brighter with the reflection of the fire. Some spots around her eyes were darker skinned as were her ears which were also surprisingly short. This paleness stood in stark contrast to her clothes which were a weird mixture of gold and orange. All three figures had their staves still raised, ready to shoot more fire, but their facial expressions suggested they may not kill him right away.
“What are you doing here? Did you see a Skritt?”, asked the voice on the right.
“No, ma’am”, he replied as politely as he could to her second question. “It’s just me.”
She snipped and her two clones disappeared. “Then what are you doing here all alone?”, she asked again with a slightly more pressuring tone in her voice. She had learned that Charr were with a group of other Charr from the beginning on.
“We got attacked. Giant earth worms! They left me. Ran away like cowards”, he said with disgust in his voice thinking of his former warband. He still could not believe they had done that! “Once I realized I was alone, I decided to run away, too. I am brave, not stupid!”, he added, puffing his chest just a little bit.
Gechii nodded. Intellectually, he, just as all Charr, was far inferior to any Asura, but some possessed qualities – like the bravery this little one showed – that she had come to value lately. She made an almost inaudible noise thinking of the Inquest. So much intellect wasted – and worse, combined with sheer foolishness. It was simply nauseating. With their superior intelligence, she did not only believe that all Asura had to try and strive for the best, she also thought that they were responsible for the wellbeing of the races below them, just like the little furball in front of her.
“And now you’re lost and scared, right?”
“I’m not scared!”, he yelled loudly with pride in his voice. “I can defend myself!”, he quickly added to make his point clear.
Gechii took a step to her left and shuffled with her foot. “Is this yours?”, she asked after she had moved a tiny blade closer to him.
“Yes”, he said, slightly embarrassed. He did not recall putting the blade there, but it was definitely his.
“What’s your name?”, she asked now, her voice being a lot gentler.
“Good, Oci. My name is Gechii. Now please tell me what exactly you are planning to do, except for becoming devourer breakfast if you sleep here with no further defenses set up?”
He was thoroughly ashamed now. After wandering for a few hours, he had lain down here. But only to rest and close his eyes for a moment! He made one last attempt to show her he could handle the situation: “I was on my way back to the Black Citadel!” He puffed his chest again and pointed into the distance behind her.
“The Black Citadel is that way”, she pointed to her right.
“But there’s a portal to a safe town nearby. From there, you can go back home.”
He scoffed. As far as he was concerned, he had no home anymore, no family. They abandoned him, after all. Such Charr could not be a family. Then his gaze brightened. “Can’t I come with you?” He looked at her excitedly. Surely, such a bright Asura was leading a very exciting life and he had always found mesmers fascinating!
“No.” She shrugged.
“But…” – That came out of her before she had even thought about it. What was she doing? Her mind had certainly had enough time to process the question and think of at least a dozen possible scenarios for every possible answer she could have now. Adding a Charr cub to her krewe… But there was something special about him – and even though she could have killed him with just a snip of her fingers earlier, he had not even blinked, let alone moved away from his spot. He could prove useful. Yes, she reassured herself. That was the only reason she had hesitated. He could prove useful!
Oci stood in front of her with big eager eyes. He had almost jumped up and down excitedly when she had hesitated, but had resisted that urge as it might have made him look childish.
“But you can’t come with me right now”, she finally added. “I have important business to do.” She could not imagine Oci in Verdant Brink, not with the recent happenings over there. “I will bring you to my krewe and you can stay with them.” Oci nodded and smiled.
This would be interesting. A young Charr being instructed in Asuran fighting techniques. Stepping a bit closer to him, she finally patted his head. The sound that followed could have either been a purr or another little growl. It was settled then.
This story is part of the Story Contest hosted by Kit the Traveler. The prompt is easy: Write about an adventure (set in the Guild Wars 2 universe) with at least 300 words and publish it in the GW2 Community subreddit. The contest is open until February 26, 2016, so there is still plenty of time to participate! You can win gems and weapon skins. :D
I decided to post my entry here as well, so I can save it for eternity (we all know how Reddit works, right? Things will get lost there over time) and to point you all to that contest, because I like such contests!