tagSci-Fi & FantasyCommander Pinter Ch. 07

Commander Pinter Ch. 07


There were hisses in the darkness. A mass of shadows writhed on the bed that creaked and groaned with rhythmic motions, the shadows seeming to implode on themselves over and over. There were breaths, heavy and panting, and the shadows moved, fell, twisted around each other. They paused for a moment, then the shadows reached for each other, closing in, starting up again. They breathed loudly, lustfully. Then moonlight shined through the window, revealing the scene.

Pinter and Mandala were locked in a scissor on the bed in Pinter's room in the Talbuk. Pinter lay flat on her back, her left knee up in the air, her right leg stretched out around Mandala who fit her crotch against Pinter's like a puzzle piece as she sat upright. The purple-skinned Draenei gripped Pinter's knee with her right hand. Her other hand reached out, up Pinter's thigh on the bed, up her belly, and she grabbed Pinter's breasts. Her hooves were on either side of Pinter's head. The two women pushed against each other with an irregular rhythm, moving when needed and knowing when to do so. The bed sheets were a disaster under Pinter. They had been at it most of the night. This wasn't their first position.

Pinter's skin was hot and damp with the sweat of their sex. She riled at the sight of Mandala's purple skin glistening in the moonlight. Mandala was close now. Her breaths went from thin hisses to high pitched moans, so high pitched that the Draenei woman sounded like a school girl. She pressed her vagina over and over against Pinter's, their juices a wonderful, sloshy mess in their crotches made even more tantalizing by the feel of their labia rubbing against each other, the itchy burn of Pinter's clit as she ground herself into a crazy blaze. Mandala was about to come. Pinter grit her teeth, fighting through the intensity of her own welling orgasm, and she pushed Mandala over the edge.

She dug in with her ass. She rigidly thrust against Mandala, focusing on that hard little clit of hers, her vision blurring with tears as climaxing was an inevitability now for Pinter. She had her lover on the run and went in for the kill, welcoming her own finish. Pinter blinked away her impairment and watched her glorious victory.

Mandala was helpless. She clutched Pinter's knee tightly. She moaned over and over in time as she rocked her hips, as Pinter ground against her, and her moans grew louder. Then Mandala swung her head back. Pinter loved this part. The Draenei closed her eyes tight and cried out to the ceiling, her body undulating and bucking as she rode out the overwhelming orgasm. Her perfect breasts jiggled with each wave. Fresh sweat soaked her skin, and Pinter finally surrendered. Fire shot through her core. Her belly fluttered, and she moaned long and loud as a flood escaped her insides, mixing with the deluge that flowed from Mandala as the Draenei moaned lightly and caught her breath.

Finally Mandala came back from the peak that Pinter had sent her to, her wits returning in a gradual thaw. She loosened the arch of her back and leaned over Pinter with a sigh. The Human woman looked up and saw the beautiful blue light of Mandala's eyes right overhead. They caught their breath for another moment, and they smiled. Mandala leaned in, and they kissed.

Pinter loved Mandala's hair. She loved running her hand through those playful bangs as she kissed her, gripping her sweeping horns, holding her head closely against hers. She loved drinking Mandala's lips, and she loved that musky scent of hers after a stretch of fantastic lovemaking. The Draenei were truly a race of the light. Lovemaking was almost a sacred thing, not to be taken for granted, and Pinter was grateful that the Gods had brought Mandala to her as a friend, ally, and lover. She broke the kiss and held Mandala to her breast as the Draenei shifted her legs in the creamy glaze on their thighs. They lay on the demolished bed, looping into a gentle embrace, and Pinter kissed the top of Mandala's head. "I love you."

Mandala laughed. "No you don't."

"Of course I do," Pinter said, but she knew it was false.

"It's sweet of you to say it," Mandala said. "Maybe you do love me, but you love me as a friend. I love you as a friend. I make no mistake of it. But you love someone else. Love love. And that's a beautiful thing."

Pinter closed her eyes and put her nose in Mandala's hair. She was right, but she wouldn't admit it aloud.

"I guess we do love each other," Mandala said. "But I understand what we have. I like what we have, and I think we should enjoy it until you're ready to stop."

"I don't want to stop," Pinter said.

"Not yet," Mandala said. "And you could never hurt me. I will always be your friend, and when the time is right, when you know it is time, I will help you find who it is you love."

Pinter breathed in deep, taking in the flowery scent of Mandala's hair. She swallowed, and she exhaled. "Thank you," Pinter said.

"I'll still be here," Mandala said. "Just tell me when." And they settled in, their whispers becoming more sporadic until finally they went silent and gave in to the sweetness of their embrace.

* * *

Gorgrond was hot. That's how Pinter remembered it, and that's what greeted them when they landed in the Everbloom. It was like the entire territory was built on top of a giant furnace, from the rocky desert and sulfur lakes in the west to the sweltering jungle that wrapped around the eastern side of the region. Pinter took one breath when she stepped off her griffon mount, and she coughed up a lungful of humid air.

"I don't know what anyone could possibly want in this torture chamber," Anna said, leaving her silver-haired Worgen form for the youthful demeanor of humanity.

"It's best to go along when the Kirin Torr see something," Pinter said.

"And share in the rewards when they find it," Mandala said.

"Still," Anna said with a sour expression as she contemplated the gnarled vines that surrounded them in the hazy morning, "couldn't they have picked a more pleasant zone to detect magic?"

"Give it a morning, eh, Anna," Jarvus said, still in his red-haired Worgen form. He hopped up behind his sister and playfully nudged her. "We'll be done with this in no time, back in the garrison for tea and rylak crepes by noon."

Anna's sour expression waned, but she rubbed her arms as she looked around the jungle that seemed to grow moment by moment.

Anna and Jarvus had fit right in with Pinter's garrison. So had all of the newcomers who had joined her after Highmaul. Balthus had learned his place and obeyed Pinter when she gave a command. He would have been here in the Everbloom, but Voren and Fitzzlenoob needed support on a mission to infiltrate Blingtron's secret vault. Anna was a quick volunteer, and Jarvus refused to be too far from his sister. Pinter couldn't blame him. She didn't know if she could handle the death of a loved one as calmly as Jarvus had.

And this mission was more than a simple ride along with the Kirin Torr. Everbloom forces had taken part in the Nagrand ambush. Shortly afterward, Khadgar lost contact with Archmage Sol, the head of activity in the Everbloom, and so they were here now to find out what happened and hopefully kick-start the operation.

The four adventurers walked along the ridge that extended away from the flight station. Up ahead the vines and bloated tree trunks grew thicker, denser, and twisted into a tunnel full of enigmatic darkness. It was the entrance to the Wilds. Pinter's heart beat steady and calm in her chest, but her stomach tightened in a knot. She realized she walked with her bow in hand, the same bow she had constructed from the Ogre parts she had looted in Highmaul. It was a powerful bow, and she had shattered a few Iron Horde shields with it in the time since. Pinter kept her bow ready, and she saw Mandala walking with her sword drawn. Something waited for them. They would find out soon enough.

Mandala and Jarvus charged headlong into a field full of lashers, little flower creatures that sprung from the earth and walked around as if on hind legs. Mandala threw her shield. Jarvus just ripped apart everything he could find with his panther claws. Pinter stood next to Anna, who remained in Human form and cast a few basic healing spells to take care of any cuts and bruises. It was over fast, though, and they left the field of shredded foliage behind, walking deeper into the Wilds.

"Were these things here before?" Anna asked as they walked.

"I killed a few when I first came through Gorgrond," Pinter said. "But I don't remember this many."

"Something is wrong," Mandala said. "I can smell it."

"Is that...Commander Pinter?"

The adventurers stopped and looked up to the jungle canopy. A woman with short red hair in a long, purple robe clung to the upper branches of a tree. The woman beamed with relief at the sight of Pinter and her companions, and Pinter recognized Archmage Sol immediately. "Oh, thank heavens," Sol said. "I was hoping Khadgar would send someone."

"Archmage, Ma'am," Pinter said with a slight bow of her head. "If you don't mind me asking, what are you doing up there?"

"They've been taken," Sol said, and she jumped from the tree, falling slowly to the grass at Pinter's feet.

"Taken?" Mandala asked. "What do you mean?"

Pinter's stomach worked into an even more unpleasant knot at the panic and worry that burrowed all over Sol's face. The Archmage was haggard. Pinter recalled the beautiful woman, a favorite of Jaina Proudmoore herself, who had led the Kirin Torr expedition three months ago. Sol had been up in that tree a long time. Her hair was stringy. Her eyes sagged with dehydration. Her robes, once pristine and crisp, were ripped in a few places as if she had endured a struggle. Something had indeed happened here. Something powerful enough to shake the Archmage and chase her to higher ground.

"This land is alive," Sol said. "I came into this place with three dozen. Only nine are left!" Sol grabbed Pinter's shoulders, her eyes wild, boring straight through her.

Pinter staggered back, but she held up the Archmage with gentle hands. "Calm down," she said, noting Anna's visible unease and the fact that Jarvus had reverted to Human form, as well. "Just tell us what happened."

"They came at night," Sol said. "I tell you, they came straight from the trees, the vines, the bloody grass. They consumed us in our sleep. Put their roots in us, and I found them. All those roots. And we fled, but we couldn't run fast enough. I couldn't protect them. They took the survivors!"

"Took them where?" Mandala asked without a shred of disdain. Pinter basked in the blue light of her eyes, and Sol calmed down when she finally looked at the Draenei paladin.

"There's a cave," Sol said. "About a thousand yards that way." She pointed over Mandala's shoulder, up the path that snaked through the jungle. "I don't know what's happening to them, but you have to save them."

"Then there's no time to lose," Pinter said, turning up the path.

"Wait!" Sol said. "It's not that easy. Oh, dear." She put her hand on her forehead exasperated.

"What is it?" Pinter asked, not sure if she wanted to know.

"The power of the ancients will consume us all," Sol said. "And Azeroth is not safe. Stormwind will fall, and so will everything we hold dear back home."

"What happened here?" Jarvus asked. "What were you doing?"

"This land is magical," Sol said. "Make no mistake. It's a primal land, primordial, the most I've ever seen. If we could harness this land, we could see the essence of what makes us...us. We had to see it. We were so close. And we made a portal back to Stormwind to go straight to the Mage District."

"You mean," Pinter began.

Mandala stepped in to finish for her. "You let something through?"

"Yalnu," Sol said. "An ancient of this wild land. And he's about to flatten Stormwind itself. I pray the mages who guarded the portal in Stormwind are still holding their own."

Blood rushed to Pinter's head at the thought of her childhood home being razed to the ground by the primordial elements of an alien world. They had to act fast. "Mandala and Jarvus," she said. "Go find this cave. Save who you can. Anna and I will accompany the Archmage and clear a path to the portal."

Jarvus fearfully took Anna's hand. Anna drew away, gingerly touching her brother's palm with a reassuring caress. "I'll be fine," Anna said, and she transformed into a silver Worgen woman. "I'll be with Pinter."

"Come, Jarvus," Mandala said, plopping her plated hand on the druid's shoulder. "Let's save some lives."

"When you find them, join up with us," Pinter said. "Our combined strength should be enough to destroy this Yalnu."

"Yes," Sol said. She looked back and forth between the two groups, and Pinter saw how far the Archmage had fallen. Sol was a confident matron when they came to Draenor. Now she was desperate and rattled. She needed these four adventurers to maintain her sanity. It pained Pinter to witness what could happen to the strongest among them. "Yes," Sol said again with real optimism. "This should work. When we get there we'll all be able to smell the flowers."

Pinter laughed, welcoming the upturn that Sol seemed to be taking. "Let's go, then," Pinter said. And they parted ways.

* * *

The humidity was so oppressive. Even in the darkest depths of the Wilds it felt like wading through a misty sheen, and it coated the insides of Pinter's lungs with every breath. They walked quietly, the three women, listening to the distant bird calls and chirps of insects going about their business someplace beneath the thick weeds that lined the walkways. Pinter did her best to hide her discomfort in the humidity, but then Anna coughed.

"You could stay Human if you want," Pinter said. "All that hair must get frustrating."

"It's not my coat," Anna said. "The air is so wretched to breathe here."

"You'll be wise to remain in that form," Sol said. "There are more dangerous things than lashers waiting for us on the way."

And with that the jungle sprang to life. A wave of little yellow lashers sprouted from the ground. Anna cursed the rotten luck, and Sol cried out in dismay, but Pinter stepped in front of them, raising her enormous bow. She rapidly loaded and fired, laying down a blanket of suppressive fire that stopped the lashers in their tracks.

Behind them even more lashers sprouted from the ground. Behind those, three large humanoid bodies that looked more like walking vines than men dropped from the overhanging canopy. "Sol?" Pinter said.

The Archmage broke from her dismay and joined Pinter, her hands cloudy now with swirling frost that flew ahead in a frozen wave. A thick wall of snow blocked the path.

"Very well," Anna said, and with fluid ease the young woman transformed into a walking form of silver vines with a voluptuous feminine shape. She stepped close behind Pinter and Sol and spread her limbs. Little green mushrooms sprouted from the ground emitting a cloud of spores. As Pinter inhaled, the thick humidity in her lungs dried up, filling her with renewed energy.

Vines poked through the frozen wall, crumbling it and ripping it apart. Pinter readied her bow as Sol called up a fireball that she held at the ready. "Here they come," Pinter said. "Be patient."

The vines tore open a single path, and out poured the lashers. They were easily dispatched as Sol sent the fireball in a prolonged blast, burning everything that came through the breach. When the fire died there was nothing but charred plant remains in and around the hole. "That did it," Anna said.

"Those druids," Sol said, and then the wall breach ripped open with what looked like groping green squid tentacles. The three green humanoids charged through the broken wall with their vine limbs reaching and grasping for Pinter and her friends.

It was a struggle, but they managed. Pinter fired a series of distracting shots that disrupted the druids before they could cast any major spells. Sol blanketed the ground in frost, impeding their movement and keeping them at bay. Pinter had time to equip her explosive ammo, and she launched three arrows that burst in flames on the druids' legs. The druids howled in agony, but their vine limbs flailed wildly at the three women, trying to grab them in their last moments of life. Pinter ducked one of the vines only to feel another lash against her the back of her thigh.

Pinter called out startled, but Anna cast a removal spell that sent the vine reeling back into the body of its owner like a retreating fishing line. Pinter stood, took stock of the burning druids, and fired one last explosive arrow that sent their adversaries flying in pieces.

The frozen wall finally melted into the earth, and the women continued. More druids assailed them up the path, speaking with deep voices that resonated from someplace ancient, someplace that knew life long before Pinter or any of her mortal friends were even a possibility. The druids warned the three women not to proceed any further, that even the power of the Everbloom was not enough to control "him."

When the last druid fell, Pinter turned to Sol. "Are they talking about Yalnu?" Pinter asked.

"Unfortunately no," Sol said.

They discovered who it was soon enough.

A towering tree ancient much like the ones Pinter had hunted in Shadowmoon Valley stood next to a pond in a wide clearing. His limbs waved slowly, drawing out globules of water that moved to him and replenished him. The three women paused at what seemed like a safe distance, and Pinter whispered what sounded like a decent plan of attack.

But the ancient turned around, his vacant eyes furrowing in a scowl at the sight of these little intruders. "Or we can just jump in and hope for the best," Pinter said, and she fired a series of shots.

Sol set the ancient's limbs ablaze as Pinter walked backwards around the clearing, drawing him to her, firing at his eyes to slow him down and hopefully blind him. Anna sent a green cloud of spores over Pinter, and she knew no harm could come to her as long as the druid could maintain her spell. Pinter stopped backpedalling. She crouched, and she shot an incendiary arrow straight into the ancient's vacant left eye.

The treetop exploded in burning chunks that rained down all around Pinter. She didn't flinch, keeping one more arrow aimed and ready. When the fire dissipated around the ancient, a heavy wave of frost overtook him. The ancient stopped in his tracks, his upper limb gone now, just a bald tree trunk on two massive legs. The insides of the ancient's body cracked and creaked as he froze, as Sol's spell worked completely through the wood and fiber. Pinter waited until Sol stopped casting. Then she fired.

The ancient shattered. Only a mountain of frozen wood remained.

"By the robes of Jaina," Sol said. "We killed it."

"We've fought worse," Anna said as she reverted back to her Worgen form.

"Where is the portal?" Pinter asked.

"Up ahead," Sol said, walking to lead them. "But my campsite is on the way."

"Good," Anna said. "We can rest a while and wait for the others."

The women continued uncontested, the Wilds air itself somehow calmer and cleaner now that they had killed the ancient. They found the Kirin Torr campsite, pristine and intact. Pinter had expected it to be destroyed and razed the way Sol had described. "It's livable," Pinter said.

"Don't go in the tents," Sol said. "You won't like what you see. Just stay out here with me and smell the flowers."

Sol led Pinter and Anna to a line of red flowers on the edge of the campsite. The Archmage knelt close to the blossoms, big and brilliant like rhododendrons, and she breathed deep. She sighed. "This is indeed a magical place," Sol said.

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