There was that warning prickle in the air.
Tsa'run didn't give any indication of noticing, glancing around with his eyes. This particular walkway was usually quiet at this time of day, and nothing seemed out of place.
Except for Es'tad stepping out suddenly in front of him, his impressive mohawk rippling slightly. Tsa'run faltered then, the ingrained habit to stop and greet his superior checked by a gut feeling. Sensing his uncertainty, Es'tad grinned with definite malice, then launched at him.
Reflex took over. Tsa'run took one step back into something stable and held his ground, parrying Es'tad's attack and circling swiftly around him. As expected, Es'tad paced him easily, then pressed in again. Aware of his surroundings, Tsa'run tried and failed to get around again to keep escape options open as Es'tad was pressing him back towards the wall. Another warning prickle, and he ducked under Es'tad's wing swipe and threw his arms up to guard his head. He successfully blocked the two strikes aimed high from Es'tad's triad mate Ve'laaun, and staggered back three steps from Ve'laaun's tail across his midsection, at least avoiding being winded.
He was going the wrong way, towards the wall. He glanced at them with his eyes, they had him more or less trapped now. Two coherent thoughts crossed his mind: why were they attacking him, and where was Sk'ein? Tsa'run's hand strayed towards his crossbow, then grabbed for his gun when Es'tad's tail slapped his right hand across the wrist and away from his belt, the blow stinging terribly. He got his hand on the grip of the gun before Ve'laaun's hand closed over his, trapping his arm. He lifted his leg out of the sweep he could feel and hopped backwards, beating his wings hard to try to shake them and gain some ground.
Getting too close to the wall. He managed to make Ve'laaun let go by stabbing his wing claw towards the other's head, spun out from under Es'tad and suddenly came face to face with Sk'ein.
He had to get out from the middle of them.
Ve'laaun and Es'tad skilfully kept Tsa'run mostly in the same area, dishing out pain and knocking him back if he moved too far out of where they wanted him. Sk'ein cracked his tail across Tsa'run's closer knee when the latter seemed distracted fending off Ve'laaun. He tried to drop his tail on top to defend it but got tangled up with Es'tad's, and instead shifted his weight to shin check Sk'ein's tail. Nor's boy was good, but that was to be expected given his family and his own determination. Ve'laaun attempted pull Tsa'run's remaining leg from under him, Tsa'run immediately planted his other foot firmly back on the ground and resisted it. He ducked his head, putting a wing in the way when Sk'ein attempted to swipe him across the gem. So far so good, he hadn't been intimidated when Es'tad and Ve'laaun had attacked him, he had recognised that he was out of his league as he had tried to grab his weapons at various points when he thought he had a chance, and he was not giving up even when he probably knew they were just playing with him.
Time to see if he was right then.
They were in roughly the right positions already. Es'tad lashed his tail around Tsa'run's nearer leg and grabbed hold of his arm, stepping in and wing barring while twisting the arm he had. Ve'laaun had just blocked a strike and on hearing Sk'ein's order he grabbed Tsa'run's wrist and twisted, stepping in, making sure he had one leg jammed up behind Tsa'run's leg on that side, wing barring and tangling his tail with Tsa'run's.
Tsa'run thrashed angrily. Sk'ein smirked when his triad mates pushed the holds they hand on his arms, causing Tsa'run to wince and finally still when any further was in serious danger of dislocating his shoulders. Es'tad and Ve'laaun glanced at each other and by silent agreement let up slightly, keeping Tsa'run uncomfortable but not in any danger of having both arms dislocated now.
Sk'ein stepped in and grabbed Tsa'run by the neck, his eyes darkening as the Inquisitor talent came to the fore. At this point, most people freaked.
Sk'ein had a grip that ensured that Tsa'run would be unable to look away even if he wanted to. Tsa'run's lip curled, baring his fangs, and he glared defiantly up at Sk'ein, his weight shifting aggressively forward.
There was something else in Tsa'run's eyes. Confusion? Fear? Sk'ein tightened his grip slightly, his claws pricking into the skin. In t he background he was aware of both his triad mates looking away, focusing on holding Tsa'run still.
Tsa'run's eyes darkened as the latent Inquisitor Sk'ein had sensed in him surfaced, radiating hostility, irritation and a hint of the confusion he must have felt when they initially jumped him. Well then. The Inquisitor didn't often come up during tests. He'd picked well.
Smirking, Sk'ein released Tsa'run. "Let him go, boys."
Obediently, his best friends did so, gently releasing Tsa'run and taking a step back, the smug countenances they'd worn while sparring him earlier returning. Tsa'run's eyes lightened back to their normal colour as they released him, he carefully stood up, rolling out his shoulders as he eyed them warily, but making no further aggressive moves when they didn't.
"Congratulations, son. You passed."
Tsa'run regarded Sk'ein in his usual calm manner underscored by the persistent confusion.
"Report for Inquisitor training tomorrow at 0900 hours. I'll inform your trainer of your schedule change."
"Yes sir." Calm, dutiful, took it all in stride. This kid was going to be good.
This work by bek (ryivhnn) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.