by L. Shannon
“Say what?” Tarvyn stared at Master Pahele in complete shock.
“I said you have a tasc. You are needed to go immediately to transitions these souls. There isn’t time for any of your jokes today.” Pahele who was usually so tolerant of his joking was obviously in a foul mood.
“I heard that part. It was the battlefield part, I’m having trouble with.” He was never sent to battlefields. The mere thought of him in a fight was ridiculous.
“Tarvyn–“ Pahele growled as he reached out and grabbed him by the shoulders. To any other the grip might be painful, but to Tarvyn, it was the firm grip of a father. “I can’t even imagine how you‘ve managed to survive all these centuries.” Those huge black hands shook him hard.
“Must be my wit,” he said dryly.
“I don’t have time to deal with this. You heard the assignment. Now, go.” Pahele turned, dismissing him.
Was he serious? The Master’s actions surely seemed to be honest. “I really have to go to a battlefield?”
Pahele’s enormous black wings rose briefly then drooped as he sighed. “Yes. For once, your duty is outside of a bedroom.” He turned to face him once more. This time his expression was more gentle. “Now go, before I decide, you’re more trouble than you’re worth.”
Tarvyn dropped to one knee before him and waited to be sent. His master’s warm palm rested against his forehead. The powers flowed over and through Tarvyn, beginning the odd sensation of being folded through the realms. He pinched his eyes shut to avoid the dizzy sensation.
Damn, he was going to a battlefield...
And then he was there. This place of battle wasn’t what he expected. There were no flying canon balls, no volleys of arrows and no charging war horses. In fact there was no sign of active fighting at all.
Because the fighting was done. All that remained were the dead and dying.
Tarvyn stared out from the battered forest at the bloody field that covered all that his eyes could see. Just what in the name of Pahele’s royal ass was he supposed to do here? He was a Synn demon and proud of his skills of seduction. He could seduce anyone into accepting whatever horror the Norns planned. But what could he do here?
The stillness of the land shifted as the wind increased and dragged the nightmare scent of the battle over Tarvyn. The sharp taste and smell of blood filled his mind, bending him over with nausea. The flood of emotions hit him next, the waves of fear, pain and despair dropped Tarvyn to his knees to gag and gasp for air.
He expelled the foul air and choked on the next breath.
Pahele, my master, I cannot do this! Tarvyn cried out mentally.
Tarvyn, you must. I have no one else.
“I know not how to ease this suffering. Please, master...”
Then Pahele stood before him. His massive strength lifting Tarvyn to his feet. “I will show you.” Pahele became the buffer that let Tarvyn walk among the dead. “These souls need you. You must see past their pain. You must help them pass on from this suffering.”
“How can I help them with either seduction or with my pheromones?”
Pahele led Tarvyn forward to the edge of the field. “Most Synn could not. You are different, though. Your essence is stronger than most. You can seduce with both pheromones and touch with such strength that all you need do is touch the men here who are suffering. You can ease them into the peace of death.” He lay his large palm against the forehead of a man who lay gasping in pain. The soldier settled back to the ground as if asleep. It was a sleep he would never awaken from.
Within seconds, the man’s soul sighed out onto the air. Tarvyn saw the soul as a fist sized cloud of diamond dust.
“Should I collect the souls as well?” He didn’t know what the other demons did during tascs. As a Synn demon, he usually wasn’t around for the actual death of the individual.
“No, others will see to that duty. Just ease their pain then return home. Now, I must go.”
“Yes, master. I will do my best.”
“I know you will, Tarvyn.”
He continued as Pahele had shown him, moving from one man to the next. Not all the men would die on this field, but he could help those meant to move on to the next life. How many here? The hours crawled by as he walked among the dying. After a time he stopped feeling their pain...
After a long time.