Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

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Tattoo Book 5, Part 2

Posted by harmony0stars on December 28, 2009

When next Glory opened her eyes, she could still see the light of the flashlight illuminating a small patch of the stalagmites which ringed the draug’s treasure pile. She’d been a little worried that she’d wake up to darkness and have to resort to using her sword again. The thing disturbed her more and more as time went on, and she wavered between gratitude and resentment for its presence. Aaron could have at least given her some instructions for the thing! Surely he must have made some discoveries concerning its… personality, if that was the right word, during his time as its host.

Her worst fear was that her tattoos were either making it uncomfortable enough to act out or simply making her more aware of its nature. Could the sword have killed the draug and simply decided not to in order to mess with her head? Was it really that smart? Perhaps Aaron had never realized it was anything more than a weapon that just happened to make him the next best thing to immortal. He’d been content to accept his superficial invulnerability and then concerned enough for her safety to pass it on to her.

Whatever the reason, Glory felt certain that there was going to come a point where the disadvantages of the sword far outweighed the benefits. At the moment, she just had an uneasy feeling that it was more sentient than it pretended and that, for obvious reasons, it resented the fact that she was reluctant to kill. She couldn’t picture Aaron as an inveterate killer, but he certainly hadn’t shirked dismembering the demon possessed corpse of her mother. This led her to wonder what he’d seen and done in his lifetime and how much of his hedonistic lifestyle stemmed from the sword’s influence. Was the sword also ticked off because it couldn’t make her act like a self-absorbed ass?

She was definitely in a nasty mood, but she hated not knowing everything about something so integral to her life and well being.

Considering Aaron’s reaction when she’d first touched him after getting her tattoos, she couldn’t imagine the sword was anything but malignant. Perhaps it was as uncomfortable inside her as she was at playing host to it. Still, she couldn’t imagine passing it on to someone unawares as Aaron had. She couldn’t imagine passing on a burden like that to anyone. To do that to a friend would be cruel; to do so to an enemy would be irresponsible.

However the sword had been used by her predecessors, and that really was the question- she had absolutely no idea of the history of the thing, human history was liberally peppered with flaming swords from numerous cultures. But that only muddied the waters rather than giving her any insights into its nature. For instance considering Aaron‘s reaction, maybe she should be looking into the darker legends, and here she was carrying around artifacts from Norse mythology. If she’d gotten even the smallest reaction from her sword while handling Freyr‘s weapon, she might have assumed the sword belonged to Surtr or some other fire giant. Certainly Freyr’s sword could have been counted on to react to the presence of his mortal enemy’s weapon, right? Even so, that didn’t automatically disqualify the theory.

With a sigh, she crawled to her feet and snatched up the flashlight. Though she was sorely tempted to go fishing through the draug’s hoard, she walked over to the mess Freyr’s sword had left first. Leaving a sword which could wield itself for the men professor Scott was sure to send into the caverns made her sick, but there was no way for her to fit it into her pack without being obvious. She nudged the weapon with her foot, but it remained where it had fallen, seemingly lifeless. It had certainly made short work of the draug. Bits of him lay everywhere in a sticky pool of black ichor. She hoped the Miskatonic scholars would have the sense to cremate him, but she doubted it. At least dismemberment was the next best thing.

She cocked her head to the side, listening. Was that? Yes… voices. Damn! So either they’d decided to brave the cavern at night while the draug was presumed to be out or it was dawn and they’d come to see if she was still alive. Glory hurried back to the draug’s collection and sorted through it as quietly as she could. There were so many shields, helmets, and swords, it was just luck that she‘d managed to pick Freyr‘s sword out of the mound. Into her pack went Thor’s hammer and both járngreipr once she’d found the first one’s twin. Thor’s sons, Magni and Modi were supposed to have inherited his hammer, so what had happened?

As much as she loved mythology and history, the not knowing was immensely frustrating. She rooted through the pile, pulling out anything that looked old. Catching her breath at a broken length of silvery gray chain as fine as a blade of grass, she was certain she held a piece of Gleipner. It was nearly as long as her leg, but barely took up space as she dropped it into her pack.

Glory almost felt a kinship with the unknown king who had collected the relics. He’d gone to so much effort to hide the artifacts away, somehow even capturing and imprisoning a draug to ensure humanity was not tempted to use them on one another. She didn’t think the Miskatonic scholars could be trusted to be that altruistic.

Groaning quietly, she held up a feathered cloak which would never fit into her backpack. No doubt it would allow anyone who put it on to turn into a falcon, as per the legends. A gold necklace, which she could only assume was Freya’s Brísingamen fell to the ground as she pulled the cloak out, and she dropped it into her bag without a second thought. Professor Scott and his friends definitely should not get their hands on a necklace that gave anyone who wore it the power to control others. There was another cloak of some thin material which all but disappeared in the dimness of the cave. Tucking it down and around the other artifacts, she choked back a cry of disbelief as the bag seemed to become empty. A tarnkappe, of all the things she’d found in the hoard, a cloak of invisibility was sure to prove useful in the near future. Retrieving her spray bottle, she set it atop the tarnkappe and zipped up her pack.

to Book 5, part 2, page 2

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2 Responses to “Tattoo Book 5, Part 2”

  1. here2read said

    ah… you make coming to work fun during the holidays.

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