Awakening: Holding Down the Fort

This is a bit of an interlude focusing on a couple of supporting cast members from the Awakening Chronicle during a brief period of time when nearly all of the action was focused on other people.

*     *     *     *     *

Guillermo Castaneda, the Garou known to the Glass Walkers tribe as High-and-Tight, watched with distress as his two companions leapt through the wall between worlds to fight the Banes that appeared to be menacing their human associates. He saw the strange be-goggled Namebreaker clutching his head as he tried to fight off the alien intrusion, yet still trying to monitor the curious sensor device that was clenched so tightly in his left hand. He saw the other Namer, the one with the fedora and glowing sword, also blanching as his soul came under attack, but still brandishing his glimmering weapon against his otherworldly assailant.

Guillermo saw all of these, and he felt shame. A fire burned in his heart, a fierce desire to rend his way into the Velvet Shadow and engage the Banes face to face, but a heavy leaden weight descended upon him, a moment of indecision. High-and-Tight fancied himself a Soldier of the Dies Ultimae, highly trained in modern combat tactics, heavily armed and always ready and eager to fight the rapid approach of Doomsday. Yet here and now, he felt woefully under-prepared, for despite all of his earthly preparations, he knew at this moment that he had for far too long neglected unearthly preparations. The Gauntlet, the barrier between worlds which Steve and Falcon’s Resolve leapt through so easily might as well have been a wall made of tar and steel cables where Guillermo was concerned. With no proper packmate to open the way for him, he knew that he could never reach the site of battle before his companions conquered gloriously or were ignominiously slain – he could not hope to tip the odds. The powerful human weaponry that he carried could do them no good, for he could not bring them with him into the Otherworld. Cold fear for the two filled his heart, and he cursed his own folly.

He indulged this self-pity for a scarce handful of seconds, and then his eyes snapped to his beloved older sister Maria. She was still here, and still vulnerable. So too were the two magicians, the red-headed plant-maiden and the thin blond whose hollow pale eyes chilled him every time he looked upon them. These, at least, he could still protect. For all that he knew, there were more Banes en route, waiting to Materialize and assault the fragile humans now that there was only one Garou warrior to protect them… or there might be other, material, foes closing in for the kill. His eyes met Maria’s. She nodded, grimly, so calm and so brave, helping restore Guillermo’s own resolve. He knew what to do.

A return nod and a hand signal later, the siblings were back in their element, doing that they had been trained to do. Weapons swung back to their shoulders and the two of them moved to establish a perimeter around Linda, Amrita and the two Mages. Each scanned the woods and mountainside , traversing their longarms to track any potential enemy approach. Each softly and calmly issued call and countercall, maintaining constant radio contact with one another and reporting that their present position appeared to be secure and all clear before moving to take up their next position. Each took cover behind a tree and made sure that their sibling was safe, then resumed their tight patrol around their little group.

Guillermo felt once again that he had an important part to play. He was contributing to the team again, doing what needed to be done. Once more, he was a Soldier.


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3 Responses to “Awakening: Holding Down the Fort”

  1. Ana Mizuki Says:

    Man, that was cool. And a great description of garou’s pack mentality and need to be part of something bigger than themselves. Even Glass Walkers.

  2. Awakening: Of Banes, Bindings and Bloodlust « Casewerk: More Internet Ravings Says:

    […] Casewerk: More Internet Ravings What are you looking at? « Awakening: Holding Down the Fort […]

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