The Wraith's Trap - WL6
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Soul, Vanical, and habanero have watched the mighty Geiger fall. In an attempt to help, they've been cornered by the beast herself. The Stryx and two Kukuri must get creative in order to stop the Wraith.
Despite his instincts to avoid the Wraith, Soul - with Vanical and Habanero both on his back - swooped down to check on Geiger and his rider. His talons gently landed with a thud on the grass below and he stretched out his neck and lowered himself to allow the Kukuri to dismount. It was Vanical who quickly moved to assist the general and assess Geiger’s condition.
The fall they’d heard surely had broken bones… and Soul cautiously stepped forwards to see if the gryph was even breathing. Habanero placed one small hand against the gryph’s neck, nodding to Soul and Vanical that he was at least alive. The general also appeared to be more or less alright, but no matter what Vanical did, she could not release her from beneath the gryph’s massive body.
Soul, watching the two Kukuri do their work, suddenly tipped his disc shaped head to the side. He was picking up on a rasping breathing - and it wasn’t coming from either Kali or Geiger. It was growing louder, and suddenly he could feel the looming shadow of a massive Stryx. His chest tightened and he felt his wings clamp firmly against his body. He didn’t want to turn around, his body frozen in place. The white tyto barely even had the ability to warn the two Kukuri… though he didn’t have to.
“Wraith!” Vanical squeaked, alerting Habanero of the danger. The crimson trans dove appeared to shrink, pressing herself against Geiger’s feathers as she desperately tried to spot a way out. None of them had any time to think, however, as Vanical’s shout caused the massive rhakos to jolt forwards. She dwarfed all of them - even the fallen gryph - and made herself look even bigger by spreading her tattered wings and extending her neck. As soon as she had, she arched her neck and her horns came blazing forwards, targeting Soul.
The tyto was helpless against the attack. Come on, wings! Work! Legs? No! Please! Help! His thoughts raced as the Wraith’s gnarled horns came down upon him. He didn’t have a chance to dodge. A piercing scream escaped his beak as he felt his body crumple against the force of her antlers. It was crushing, but his eyes widened when he realized he was now hooked around the sharp bones upon the rhakos’ head. He was lifted up and tossed like a ragdoll into the air. “Soul!” He heard the little Kukuri named Habanero scream and something clicked in his mind.
His wings extended instinctively, catching the air and scooping it. Even with his damaged feathers, he found lift and began to recover from the fall. His wings ached more than they ever had, but by some miracle he was drifting down towards the ground. As he did so, Habanero had glared directly into the Wraith’s eyes and unabashedly launched herself towards her. Determined to give Soul a moment to recover, she managed to hook her claws into the Wraith’s face. Shock and surprise flashed through her vivid red eyes. It was Habanero’s turn to be flung upwards as the rhakos violently shook her head to free herself from the miniature dove’s wrath.
Unfortunately for the Stryx, the tiny beast of a Kukuri managed to hang on with hands, feet, and even teeth. She was slowly making her way up the Wraith’s face and towards her shoulders. The glowing runes circling the monster’s neck were fascinating… and despite having no knowledge of magic, she wondered if they were the key to defeating her.
Vanical, meanwhile, was dodging the Wraith’s massive claws as she flapped her wings in fury. Through her vicious anger, she managed to avoid targeting the fallen gryph and his rider, instead attempting to focus her attention on the three living and conscious beings attacking her. Soul was still in the air, trying his best to both dodge the Wraith’s attacks and get in a few of his own. His wings, however, were screaming as pain rippled through every bone and muscle keeping him flying. He could feel himself beginning to falter, but watching the efforts of his Kukuri friends made him push through.
The Wraith jolted her head backwards now, spreading what appeared to be smoke and ash across the sky. A tiny bundle of tan and red fur was tumbling through the air now. As Habanero fell, she tried desperately to stabilize herself or at least stop spinning. There wasn’t much time, but Soul swooped in and caught her in his talons. She yelped in pain as he did so, but the tyto knew that his claws were still far better than the alternative.
Vanical was desperately trying to keep the Wraith’s attention occupied as the small rescue mission took place, weaving in and out between her legs while she tried to snap her jaws down upon her or stomp the life out of her body. Neither option was pleasant to think about, but the game of survival didn’t allow Vanical to think even one second about her own fate. As soon as she saw Soul light down with Habanero, she sped back to Gieger’s side to rest and take a moment to breathe.
Unfortunately for the bird and the miniature Kukuri, this meant the massive rhakos was now solely focused on them. She swung her massive head around, pinning them down in her gaze, and charged forwards. The speed at which she ran seem faster than a bullet. Soul and Habanero barely had time to dodge her enormous, bone crushing beak. Still, Soul suddenly saw an opportunity. He flew up and kicked his talons out towards the rhakos’ eye, scoring the hit. The Wraith screamed and flung her neck upwards, dislodging the tyto’s claws from her flesh. He hadn’t hit her eye itself, but the blood from the wound blinded her. It enraged her, but it appeared she was beginning to consider leaving.
Habanero ran over to Vanical, panting heavily once she reached her. “We need to find a way to slow this bitch down,” she said, nearly collapsing into Gieger’s downed form. “We need this bird back up!”
“They’re recovering, but they took a hard blow,” Vanical explained. She watched with worried eyes as Soul continued to try to battle the beast on tattered wings. “Gieger needs some more time… and even if they wake up, I can’t ensure that they’ll be able to fight.”
“Fuck, we’re in trouble.” The little Kukuri squeezed her eyes shut before deciding to run back into the fray. “Keep trying to wake Gieger! Soul and I will keep her occupied!”
Vanical could only watch helplessly as the two creatures continued their assault. She just hoped it would be enough… and that nobody would lose their lives in the process.
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