The next part to “The Last Witch” is here. Hilda has now killed and she has no plans on stopping her quest for revenge. Overhead flies a massive ship, an embodiment of the new world, something she hates with a passion.
I want to give special thanks to the patrons who’ve supported me thus far:
Hypermice, Sean Young, and Mister Artorias
The Last Witch: Part Two
Rubble stirred and shifted off her back. Wind blew through the cracks between the rocks. Hilda groaned, rubbing her head in pain as she pushed more rocks out of her way. From her hidden area, she saw the airship still overhead. Several transports held aloft by engines and sacs filled with air floated down. In the open canopy of the ships, soldiers of various races covered in metal armor and with many body parts replaced by automation looked down with grim focus from behind bulky helmets.
She followed their descent toward the book that miraculously still sat atop the pedestal, unmoved. Craters littered the ground all around the pedestal. The rock walls which had shielded the clearing were now blasted apart to reveal the clouds beyond. The shadow of the airship cast a dark tone over the area. The ship’s constant engine droned out any sound, and the dust kicked up filled Hilda’s nose and caused her to cough.
Hilda began to stand and was stopped by a heavy weight on her right leg. She looked back and growled in frustration at the rocks still covering her leg. She turned at a loud hiss of releasing air to see the transports touch the ground and the soldiers disembark. Turning back around she got to work pushing the rocks off her leg, thankful for the cover the rubble provided her.
“Why do you keep resisting?” a peaceful voice asked. The roar of the airship’s engines seized, taking with it any other sounds except for the voice.
She paused at the question and looked up to see the emerald eyes of the woman. “That’s an idiotic question, don’t ya’think, Goddess?”
The Goddess shook her head and knelt by Hilda’s leg. “If you would just accept what has come to pass and my love, then I could help you.” She reached a hand out towards the thin stream of blood coming from Hilda’s leg.
With a final pull, Hilda loosened her leg and jumped back from the woman. “I’ll never accept your future. It’s a cold and horrible one!” she spat, never looking away from the woman.
“My future?” The Goddess stood up, hands clasping her staff, and the lantern glowed brightly with its lit candle. “My child, it isn’t a future. It’s reality. And it isn’t just mine. It’s everyone’s, including yours.”
“Well, it’s a disgusting reality then! You killed everyone except those stupid enough to believe you!”
The Goddess spread her thin, elegant wings. “I beg you, child, look into your heart for a sense of compassion and understanding.”
“Compassion?” Hilda giggled, hands extending out for her hammer that lay close by. “I can’t have any of that for monsters who killed my friends and family.” Her fingers wrapped around the handle of the hammer and lifted the heavy weapon. “I showed no mercy for your two pets who tried to kill me, and I won’t show you any when I reach you.”
Eyes shook as a single tear went down the woman’s cheek. “Why won’t you stop and listen to reason? Everyone else has accepted this new, safe, and tranquil world. It’s only you who are fighting.” She stretched her hands out to Hilda, light shined off her robes. “Please, child. Take my hand and let me show you the love, which your fiery heart deserves.”
“Stop calling me a child!” Hilda snapped. The hammer rose in a flash as she lashed out at the Goddess. The weapon went through air as the woman vanished. Momentum kept Hilda going until she struck a large boulder. The devastating blow crumbled the boulder into hundreds of pieces; a crack of thunder echoed off the impact. Her cuddling is disgusting. I can’t wait to have her at my mercy. Then I’ll learn the truth.
With deep breaths, she stood slowly. She looked down at the warm sensation coming from her left boot. The cut along her ankle where the boot’s leather was ripped continued to flow a thin stream of blood. With a quick wave of her hand, the wound sealed itself.
The loud drone of the engine above came back, the smell of the shifting dust thick on the air. A shout of command sounded over the cacophony.
Hilda twisted on her heel, and her eyes opened at the line of soldiers with rifles aimed at her. A quick bound sent her high in the air, as the space where she had stood was riddled with a volley of bullets. With her vantage point, she saw the soldiers swiftly reloading, already pointing the next volley toward her descent. Arm pulled back, she launched her hammer towards the soldiers, her body spiriting along its swift path.
The soldiers, seeing the incoming attack, fired desperate shots before leaping out of the way. The soldier in charge shouted commands as he stood his ground.
The hammer slammed into the ground, sending a shockwave out. The rocks kicked up by the blast pierced through the metal armor of the soldiers. Several collapsed to the ground, including the leader. Robotic monstrosities, I can’t show them any mercy. She leapt towards the closest group of soldiers and swung the hammer. Limbs ripped up, wires wriggling, splashes of red and black.
She gripped her hammer tightly as she looked around slowly at the more than two dozen soldiers remaining. Bodies lay strewed around her; blood dripped from the hem of her skirt. Her eyes turned to the pedestal to see it empty. A grimace crossed her lips.
“My dear, would you kindly stop making a mess of my soldiers?” a calm voice asked.
Hilda looked up at the approach of a fresh set of engines of a transport.
Atop the transport, stood a cyborg with pure white skin. The jacket and pants it wore were also white. Along its forearms and legs ran a thin red wire embedded into black plating. Its head was the largest offense to what makes a human. It had a mouth, but beyond that, the head was replaced by a single black sphere with a narrow white slit that stared with an intense gaze. Two antennae stretched from the bottom half of the head to act as ears as well as support the eye with the occasional flicker of black lightning.
“Another monster?” Hilda asked. Her hands squeezed the hammer in anticipation.
“Monster? Quite the contrary. I’m the one who’ll bring this world to the next step where the Goddess left off.” The cyborg stretched its arms out, fingers balling up into fists. “Now back off.”
“I’m not leaving without that book.”
“That is a shame.” The cyborg’s eye closed as if to process information before opening once more. “Those that interfere are destined to die, but if you insist, then come.” The cyborg opened its hands, thin black wires curling around the fingers. From behind its back, the book appeared and flew into its grasp. The cyborg gripped its binding with care. “Captain, we shall be departing now!” The cyborg shouted, “the rest of you, kill her.”
Hilda howled and swung the hammer towards the cyborg. She prepared to teleport with the hammer but stopped short at the hammer’s abrupt descent from a blast of red energy released from the distant ship above.
The ring of bullets sounded all around, and she lifted her hands to form a barrier around herself. Ripples moved across the barrier, holding back the assault of fire. Redirecting the energy, she released it towards the closest transport providing cover for a group of soldiers. An inferno engulfed the transport, and the soldiers all around were swallowed up by the flames.
More tracer fire filled the air around her as she launched herself at another set of soldiers. The hammer flew into her hands as she went and swung outwards to catch two soldiers across the head. Three more soldiers were lined up for a blast of energy that drilled through their armor.
She looked up to see more of the transports lifting off with soldiers atop them firing at her. She spotted the cyborg’s transport furthest up, its ascent bringing it closer to the massive ship above with every passing moment. Digging her soles into the ground, she launched herself up to the closest transport.
The hammer tore through sheets of metal and tangled wire. She ripped through the mass of the transport to land atop it. With a quick kick, she was back in the air, the transport behind her erupting in flames and smoke. Shouts and cries filled the air as soldiers on the other transports fired upon her quick ascent.
She slammed into a second transport, using it to kick off for the next. The transport twisted at the heavy impact, its body trying to regain altitude.
Rising for a third transport, Hilda landed on its bay and swung her hammer around. Soldiers were flung off the top with screams of fear. A spark of light caught her attention. Looking up she saw a beam of red energy descending towards her. Where is that energy coming from? She raised the hammer and created her barrier. The red energy met the barrier with a loud blast that sent the rest of the remaining soldiers off the side of the transport. The transport itself began to tilt, the sheets of metal beginning to melt, the balloons wheezing out air.
Hilda heard an engine from the previous transport rising to the side. The last of the red beam was absorbed into the shield, and she redirected it from her hammer to the transport behind her. The soldiers standing with rifles readied were incinerated in an instant. She abandoned the transport she was on for one higher up. The ships below descended in fiery balls of wreckage together.
She landed against the side of another transport, hands clinging to ropes along the side of one leathery balloon. High above, Hilda saw the remaining transports reaching the main ship. Along the sides of the massive flying fortress, she could make out several cannons pointing their barrels toward the transport she clung too. Will they shoot upon their own ship?
“Shoot her off!” a man yelled above.
Hilda saw several armor-clad faces poke over the edge of the transport with rifles pointing towards her. She dug her feet into the side of the transport and launched off, her kick sent a shockwave through the balloon, causing it to burst. The transport lurched then twisted around as air escaped its mass, before going into a spiraling dive.
Against the side of another transport, Hilda climbed it with swift hands to reach the top. Once up, she knocked several soldiers to the side and leaped higher into the air.
A boom echoed through the sky, and her eyes opened wide at the flash of light and smoke. She swung the hammer, the yellow barrier forming around her. The cannonball hit the hammer with a crack of thunder.
Two more shells whizzed past her to decimate the transport she had been on a moment before, the screams echoing in her ears. She reached a hand out for a transport further up, a thin rope of light formed. The rope quickly tightened before snapping to send Hilda soaring up.
Shooting their own kind! Get out of my, way monsters! She gritted her teeth; a thin purple spark ran along her hammer. The momentum of her movement grew the spark until it shot forward. The transport she headed toward was split in half, creating a pathway for her continued ascent.
Hands reached up for the ledge along the hanger bay of the large ship. A rope formed, and she was launched towards it. Bullets and cannon fire raced past her, all aimed at her position a moment before. She grinned at the useless weapons and entered the hanger with fury in her heart.
Nearing the ledge, she reached her hand out for another transport preparing to land and created another rope. The ledge behind her erupted in flame.
The transport she raced towards was torn apart by her hammer as she went through the other side to land along the hangar bay’s surface. The hammer swung several times to clear a path among soldiers until she found herself standing in a clearing of metal.
She looked around with keen eyes searching for the book. A hand absentmindedly pulled strands of her curly blonde hair back behind ears.
The space was cramped with walkways, hanging wires, raised platforms, stairways, and docked ships. A haze of smoke blurred the distant sections of the hanger. Moving gears and pistons were a constant buzz of motion and sound among the hundreds of soldiers and crew members who all now stood frozen at the sudden intruder.
Atop a walkway three stories above, Hilda spotted the cyborg with book in hand. Next to the cyborg stood a slender robot. Her body was covered in plates and wires, with a glass core over her stomach that shined red. Her long serpentine tail clicked as it waved slowly back and forth. She looked down with keen thin eyes, curled hair and thin red lips that held a lit cigarette, a simple pleasure for what little humanity remained within her. In her right hand, she grasped a long-barreled rifle, the barrel sharpened along its edge. Her other hand reached up to take her cigarette from her lips. Blowing smoke, she gave a flat smile, “It’s amusing that the little girl we were hunting would show up here of all places. Don’t you think Red?” she asked, turning slightly to the cyborg.
Red simply nodded and turned away from the railing.
“Come back here with my book!” Hilda spat and jumped up.
The serpent woman tossed the cigarette to the side and spun her rifle around to fire a quick round of red energy.
Hilda caught the blast head on and was launched backward into the ground below. She shook her head in a daze. Yellow sparks of her maintained barrier fluttered around her before rematerializing into one again. Damn that hurt. She spat to the side and started to rise to her feet.
“It’s very impolite to ignore me, girl,” the woman said while hefting the rifle in her hands. “Attention deck! I, Serveil, order all of you to fire upon the intruder. She must not by any means get closer to our leader!”
On her feet, Hilda looked around at the various weapons become alight as bullets raced towards her. She extended her hands and pushed the barrier out to catch the hundreds of bullets fired upon her. The rounds indented themselves along the yellow barrier, cracks forming along the surface. She saw the flash of red and released the barrier.
Jumping back, the red beam struck where she had been a moment before. Hilda kept her momentum going, jumping several more times among the maze of ships and crates strewn across the hanger. Running along the side, she swung her hammer against any soldier standing in her way. A loud clang and clicking sound followed along the walkway above her. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw Serveil racing after her; the rifle poked over the railing to fire another beam of energy.
Hilda twisted around and caught the beam with her hammer in an attempt to absorb it like before among the transports.
“Won’t work a second time,” Serveil stated and fired a second, then a third rapid shot.
The first beam absorbed, Hilda swung the hammer to absorb the second. The iron of the hammer glowed a bright red that quickly dissipated with a shockwave from the third beam hitting it.
Hilda lost her grip on the hammer and was sent back against a stack of crates. She tumbled over the side and landed with a heavy thud against the metal surface.
She heard more machine gun fire and pulled energy to wrap around her body. A sting of pain shook through her from the energy she was exerting. Through clenched teeth, she stood and ran deeper into the hanger as the barrier thinned into a blade made with the frozen bullets. She swung the blade and released it to send the hundreds of bullets into a group of soldiers.
Their armor dented and broke under the onslaught as a dozen soldiers were taken out. The remaining bullets were reformed into a single metal ball sent into the air for the walkway that Serveil stood on.
Seeing the incoming attack, Serveil jumped off to land against a wall, where metal feet along her tail dug into the surface. She walked quickly along the wall, rifle firing off several short bursts of red.
Hilda jumped back from the beams before taking cover behind a docked frigate. The frigate slumped into the hanger as joints and columns melted under the onslaught.
She raised her hand for the hammer in the distance. It slid along the hanger floor towards Hilda before getting shot by a red beam.
With a growl, Hilda rolled out from her cover as the frigate collapsed into the floor where she stood. Light shone through the hangar floor where the frigate had landed. The heat continued to melt the floor until several sheets of the metal floor fell off to reveal more of the sky and mountains below. The frigate fell into the air below along with a variety of crates and soldiers.
Hilda ran with panic at the collapse of the floor. She jolted as the ground beneath her fell through. Her hands reached out as this time the hammer met her fingers, and she swung the weapon out. Her body followed the hammer’s ascent, and she found herself atop a walkway.
Smoky sunlight filled the hanger creating disoriented shadows. Hilda turned about several times at the clicks and clacks that echoed all around her among the howl of wind below. Bullets ricocheted across the railing, and she expanded the barrier which drew more fire at its yellow glow.
She ran low along the railway, expanding the barrier before dissipating it altogether. More bullets were released but unable to keep up with her swift movement. She froze at the abrupt appearance of a long metal tail in the rays of sun. She raised her hand and shot out a blast of energy. The concussion hit only air.
The shadow of the tail appeared several more times as clicking kept her on edge. She fired several more blasts of energy before a burst of red energy caught her on the back. The barrier shattered, and she crashed through the walkway toward a section of the hanger away from the gaping hole.
She fell against the floor and bounced to her feet, adrenaline keeping her mind off the pain. What is this sensation? It’s strangely soothing. Blue wisps gathered around her. The burn along her back quickly vanished; the only mark it had ever happened was the hole in her dress.
“Resilient. It’s impressive for such a girl as yourself.” The voice echoed among the moving pistons and gears.
Hilda turned at the voice and threw her hammer. The weapon crashed through a large moving piston, green gas and smoke wheezing out of the bent piston as it tried to still move.
A cranking of metal beneath caused Hilda to turn away from Serveil. Would they really?
Soldiers retreated from the hanger as fire erupted across the entire section of the hanger that Hilda stood in.
“You’re all crazy!” Hilda exclaimed as she pushed off from the hangar floor. Amongst the fire, she saw frigates that had launched from a different part of the massive ship now shooting upon the hanger she was in.
“Crazy to defend that you want to steal?”
Hilda was caught in the air by Serveil’s long tail. Metal spikes dug into her skin, yellow sparks along each point stopping them from piercing her skin.
“In my opinion, we aren’t defending it well enough.” She squeezed her tail tighter, hands brandishing the rifle’s barrel in anticipation. Her eyes opened wide to reveal pure black irises as she studied Hilda. “As you are still alive!”
Hilda expanded the barrier, forcing the tail back. She released the spell and prepared to jump up.
Serveil was faster as she twisted her tail around to build momentum. The metal caught Hilda across the side to send the girl soaring into a hanger wall that was ablaze with flame.
She gasped in pain and extended her hands out for the wall. Tears welled up in her eyes as searing pain from the flames met her skin. A blast of cannon fire behind blew the wall apart. Tossed into the air, she blindly flung a rope and caught a standing column that she rapidly pulled herself toward.
She turned in midair to see a red beam aimed for her. Out of instinct, her hands reached for the capsule. The produced wand caught the beam midair. Her hands ached, but the wand held the beam, pulling it into a tight ball. She weaved her free hand along the ball, expanding it to catch the following two shots of beam energy. The energy dispersed, sending it back into the column with a heavy crack.
Shaking her head, she sheathed the wand and raised her hand to call to the distant hammer.
Serveil lowered her rifle at the distant glow of red. Seeing the glow dissipate again, her eyes sought Hilda. Not seeing the girl, she twisted around in time to see the hammer descending towards her. Her tailed whipped around and caught the girl.
Hilda was flung into a doorway leading into the deeper part of the ship. This thing just won’t stop. She stumbled to her feet, blue wisps dancing around her body to heal a wound opened along the side of her chest from ricocheting metal. She wheezed out a breath as the wound began to close. I should be dead from exhaustion, but this warm sensation keeps healing and supporting me.
The heat from the burning hanger behind washed into the corridor, embers and smoke filling in. Hilda arced her back in a quick stretch, satisfied at the healing. With the hammer gripped tightly in her hands, she set down the corridor in a sprint. Distant clicking making her aware that Serveil was still chasing.
She twisted down several dimly-lit corridors. The path opened to rooms filled with a variety of machines from more moving gears to mechanized vehicles of war. Guards raised weapons at her assault, and all fell to her quick strikes of iron.
A clicking from above caught her attention, and she froze up in time to see Serveil crash through the ceiling and block the corridor. Not wasting a chance, Hilda pounced forward with her hammer swinging.
Serveil twisted her rifle and brought the sharp edge of the barrel around like a sword. The blade caught the hammer and pushed Hilda to the side, off balancing the girl. Serveil’s tail came around and struck Hilda against the wall.
Metal dented against Hilda’s impact as she bounced off to land against Serveil’s waiting tail.
Serveil quickly wrapped the girl up, blades attempting to squeeze into the girl again. Yellow energy sparked. “How does such a young girl like you still have so much energy to defend herself?”
Hilda cried in pain at the squeezing tail. “Because!” she cried and looked up at Serveil with tears in the corner of her rage-filled eyes. “I refuse to die to a monstrosity like you!” She let forth a howl and pulled all the metal sheets in the corridor towards her.
Serveil tried to unwrap Hilda to get away but was too late. Her tail became engulfed in the metal wall that wrapped tightly around it.
Safe from Serveil’s rifle, Hilda took hold of the blades of the tail and bent them with purple infused hands. Lightning sparked across the tail as wires quickly became exposed from ripped armor.
“How can she still continue?” Serveil asked. With no response, she raised her rifle and began to shoot the metal plates stopping her from escaping.
Hilda continued to increase the charge of purple energy through her as she ripped at wires. Electricity sparked against her skin with no affect as she growled with anger.
Feeling the surge coming, Serveil turned her rifle and shot off the bottom half of her tail. She pulled away as a flash of purple lightning erupted along the tail she left behind. The gears within all stopped abruptly. “Red told me to not underestimate her, and I followed that order. And yet it still doesn’t matter…”
The metal plates exploded outward and from them came Hilda swinging the hammer, with purple sparks following her path.
Serveil swung the rifle around to block the hammer. The barrel exploded from the impact, a red spark from within the barrel erupted into an explosion of fire.
Hilda kept moving past Serveil to land smoothly along the corridor past the serpent woman. Twisting around, she saw Serveil caught in the flames of her own weapon.
The serpent twisted back and forth in pain. An off-tuned scream echoed from Serveil as the inferno began to die. All that was left was charred metal remains.
“Another monster dead,” Hilda whispered with a grin. She took a deep breath and hefted her hammer onto her shoulder, freeing her hands. Blue wisps danced around her again as she went deeper into the ship, towards its heart.