||[Mar. 5th, 2009|09:41 pm]
The Warcraft Columnist
Nothing but silence, now. At least, in the shadowed night terrain about him. But within his mind, there was no silence. There never would be, really.
Brako stood by a pack of monstrous wolves, all of them motionless, quiet. The half-breed's lanky figure resembled mostly that of a tauren, but the straight-backed posture, the head lifted high, a body toned in lean muscle, hinted that another race's blood ran in his veins. A short tail flicked out behind him, thick braids rested against the chainmail armor locked around his chest, a mane of dark hair falling across his back. Two relatively short horns, anchored to the skull, raked forward over his maw. All that could be seen of the bull-like face, however, was the lower jaw, chin and lips, curved down into a frown. The rest was covered up by a slightly yellowed, cracked skull, that of a chimaera, locked immovably down upon his face by chains. These chains further kept this skull-mask in place by linking both his horns to the one prominent horn of the chimaera; from a distance, he might resemble some grotesque unicorn. The lower jaw of this chimaera skull-mask, still hanging on by some resilient tendons, hung on either side of his neck, daggerlike teeth adding to his silhouette, making it appear demonic, as though this deformed unicorn's head had split in two and its jaws were gaping open.
Brako was standing over a prostrate body, one hoof pressed down into a collapsed, brittle chest. This skinny, rotted body was ripped, broken, its head gone completely, chest torn open with insides askew, shattered bones jutting out at random angles. A Forsaken; it had to be. It was proven to be, as this creature had been seen, two days prior, riding on an undead steed across the grasslands of Hillsbrad. And now, here, his race had run short. This Forsaken lay motionless, the last of his unlife snuffed out along with the distant mound that was his undead horse. And Brako, standing over him...felt no sense of accomplishment, despite everything.
This had been his last target. This had been the one creature, above all, who had created a complete hell on Azeroth, a special hell reserved and created just for Brako before the half-breed even knew how to speak. A slight snarl passed over the half-breed's maw, jerking his halberd again, ripping further into the destroyed body. Surely, he had to feel the elation! He had to feel truly free, now! He had destroyed his last major enemy, fufilled his life goals in destroying this creature! But...the elation did not come. All he heard...was silence. The wolves remained solemn, the dark night sky had nothing to say...only the breeze spoke, rustling the grasses around him. Silence, around him. But in him....
Within his mind...Brako could not feel freedom. He would never know it. Even now, with this last goal taken out, he couldn't truly focus. Images jerked past his sight like electricity; hundreds of words, voices spoke at the same time, confusing him, control continually being wrenched from his grasp as a deeper calamity continued to shake his mind apart, wrack it, a hurricane of noise, activity, a tidal wave that continually kept Brako from truly seeing the world, waking up. He was trapped within his own mind, within his own insanity. And he realized this, now...his last, vain hope, a desperate hope of a desperate creature...his last attempt to try and find peace in his own mind by destroying his lifelong tormenter had failed. As his body jerked and shuddered, grasping onto a nearby wolf for balance, Brako himself fell deep into the confused whirlpool of his own mind, and despaired.
His left hand; a hand visibly missing a finger even beneath the heavy full-body armor; grasped tightly at the brown wolf's thick ruff. "Kedai..." Brako gasped, his voice broken, agonized. The sound seemed to alarm the wolf, and he whimpered, turning anxious golden eyes on his master. "Ke...Kedai....I cannot...ask you to stand...by my side, any longer..." The half-breed sank to his knees, unable to see, his mind a violent lightning storm. He was barely holding onto his sanity. "You've...helped me through all of it...ever since the forest...you helped me find my mother...helped me hunt down every relative of Lyenae, and that scum she was with...helped me destroy every last one of those monsters that made my life hell..." He had unintentionally pulled Kedai's armored head further down to the grass, but the wolf was leaning close anyway, ears pricked, trying to listen, a faint whimper constantly in the back of the wolf's throat. "He was the last one...Zarroth. We got him." Brako's mismatched eyes, one a crimson, dulled for the time being, the other a vibrant acid-green, each of which only the glow was visible - both focused on the Forsaken's crumpled figure. "I have...nothing left, now. Peace...is not for me....this torment, Kedai, is not for you. You have been loyal...so very loyal...my friend..." The half-tauren creature leaned forward, set his forehead against the wolf's for a moment, trying to clear his mind. Kedai stayed close, long tail hanging, ears half-drooped, as the wolf silently listened to Brako's good-bye.
"Now, go...with the pack, Kedai, go to your own hunt. G-..." Brako twitched, shuddered; the one crimson eye blazed vibrantly for a moment, and a bloodcurdling growl rose slowly from the tauren's chest. An internal battle seemed to take place, fanged teeth flashing in the dimly moonlit night. But then, the crimson glare flickered and then faded, like a failing lightbulb. "Go. I may never be...free...but you, and the wolves, can," he finished in a whisper, and then let go of the scruff of Kedai's neck, and pushed the wolf away with surprising gentleness. The brown, armored wolf hesitated, a whimper again in the creature's throat, but upon a glance from Brako's mismatched eyes, the wolf instead looked to the lupine images grouped around the area. Kedai lowered his muzzle again, licked Brako once on the side of his face, bumped his nose beneath the half-breed's chin as a wolf would do to its leader. And then, the pack left, in silence, and Brako was left to the night, both eyes closed, his hope lost.
The silence around him grew deeper. Brako only wished he could say the same for his own mind.