The Riddle of Witch Flesh: Part 6

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- Gatherings

-- Witches

--- 82-132 Abigail 11

+++Classification Rank: B+++


+++Account given by: Vindicare Rank Leader Martina Twardowska+++

+++Gatherer: Panna Vászon+++

+++Also present: Eversor Rank Leader Jarmila Holá, Callidus Rank Leader Marie Smetana (here as Toyen)

+++Thought for the day: Freedom and life are owned by those alone, who conquer them each day anew.

+++PANNA: Let's begin. To sum up, this morning, you have been assigned a highest priority mission. What was it?

+++MARTINA: To retire the Warmaster. +pause+ I understand it was because she had reached the point of not being sustainable anymore. As always, it was requested that I let her become a Witch, and kill her only then. But the previous one had tried to fight me four months ago, and escaped, so, I think, that would be why it"s retiring, rather than purging or hunting.

+++JARMILA: Oh yes. This is going to be good.

+++P: How did you feel about this?

+++M: Hmm. +pause+ I was scared. Obviously I would be, having to fight the Warmaster, but don't forget I had no idea who the Warmaster even was yesterday, and the file that I had received was... well, intimidating. +pause+ I'd like to ask this too, why should I of all people have the necessary ability to assassinate the Warmaster?

+++P: That would be, firstly, because the Love Potion deteriorates the soul, so at the time she would need a Grief Seed every day and wouldn't be worth sustaining anymore, you will be fighting a shade of her former self anyway.

+++J: Wow. That's fucked up.


+++P: Secondly, Martina, because you're the least unreliable powerful person around, and the best at engaging humans. You may remember that Jarmila had to hunt down the Witch resulting from your blunder the last time, because she's better suited to battle Witches than you.

+++M: +loudly+ Except that girl back then shot magic at me from her Gem even after I've broken everything in her body except that, so I don't think it was possible-

+++P: Maintain your trance. Besides, we got the Witch, so it wasn't too bad. How did you approach the assignment?

+++M: Well. +pause+ I've learned something from the last one. This time, I've brought a gun. Her file had said she was a powerful teleporter, able to travel hundreds of miles. I can see why such a person would get the job of cleaning the Witches as they turn up. But it also meant that she could teleport on me any time. So, I had no idea what to do about it. I would have requested a Culexus to help me, if we still had any, but we didn't manage to recruit one in, how long? Ten years? I would have actually even requested foreign assistance on this one, if it wasn't so confidential. No way I could really prepare for this. Not even anything I can make with a marker seemed useful.

+++P: She could probably make a short jump, but then we could just get her again. Karolina must have known that she would Witch out right away, if she tried to jump between countries in her state. Someone else would then get the Seed, or we would have to ask for turf access, or even actual assistance, sure. That would be troublesome. At her peak, however, and with the potion's help, even jumping from here to Australia wouldn't be out of question.

+++M: So... I have asked Řeřicha for a seeing. She looked at me with those bloodshot eyes of hers, and said she couldn't help on a short notice like that, but that some acolyte girl had said she saw me talking to a platinum blonde warrior during a divination. That was a week ago, if I remember what Řeřicha said right.


So, I'll rub this in. It would be better if I didn't have to ask. Why isn't there some sort of a system for these yet? We should gather notices like this, I saw some random shit in the warp myself, what do you know, it could help somebody if I shared back then.

+++P: Too dangerous. Could be used as a way to circumvent classification. The person that tries to make sense of these would need to have access to everything, otherwise they wouldn't be able to judge who is allowed to be warned about what. The Incubator certainly does not have time for that, and neither do I.

+++TOYEN: I guess that means the burden of power is biting you in the ass, eh?

+++M: It also turned out to be the right thing to do. When I met the Warmaster at the given place, I've tried to approach her more casually, and she sort of started talking on her own.

+++J: Sorry for jumping in, this seems like a good time. Karolina Sokołowska? Kája? A teleporting Eversor? Long blonde hair? I've trained that nerd. +short pause+ So she was the Warmaster for the last months? That's sort of hard to believe, though, I guess, the Potion goes a long way. Give me a moment here, to get it all together. +pause+ I remember that girl alright. Her name was Karolina, but she insisted for people to not call her by her full name. That she hates it. It's a really common and boring one, I guess. She was a teleporter Eversor, which was awesome, but she was also dreadfully lacking in, well, curiosity. A slow learner. And pretty dumb, all in all. It took me days to explain to her the idea of using teleportation to attack somebody. Just, you know, popping up behind them and shanking their guts. +pause+ I think I just sort of stopped seeing her a few weeks after she got in, and assumed she got killed somewhere off my eyes, Jackdaw took what was left, and Panna had filled the paperwork. I mean, she was supposed to be an operative of her own because of the gimmick, but at the same time, she wasn't so promising a recruit that I'd lose sleep over her. Damn. +pained expression+ You said you'd talked, so did she say anything interesting?

+++M: Yes, she talked a lot - right when she teleported in. It's auditive memory, rather than the visual which I trained for, but I remember it all. To establish the scene better for you - I was told by the Incubator to meet her in an alley in the Old Town, right at the dawn. Don't know how that works. Did you, like, order her to come get shot?


Let's see, a swearword here and there:

"Haha, the place is right now, but time still fucked. Sorry I'm late. Had to kill a monster, except he was a guy. Really wanted to do it for the longest fucking time, and she can't punish me when I'm dead, you dig?" +accent, some elongated vowels+

She was also all bloody and transformed. She held a stained sword. I am afraid I can't tell swords apart like Jarmila would, but it looked very simple and heavy. She had a costume out of hard leather. Tomboyish, like a fashionable fencer. A lot of studs, a very Twelfth looking costume.

+++J: By the way, except for the costume, that sounds nothing like her. She was really phlegmatic and, hm, timid.

+++P: It is her. Consider the love potion's withdrawal effects too. Her psychological profile also has her as bipolar, in case you didn't know. She had also expressed actual concern that you would find out, when she was offered the spot. I would be forbidden to tell you anyway, and wouldn't. Just so this is said here, she seemed to have arranged some sort of a trade with the Incubator, that I didn't see into.


+++T: Wow, that almost sounds like she's the winner. That's much better than what most girls around here get. Most just make a wish, and kind of randomly witch out a month later. Wink wink, nudge nudge, you know.

+++P: He seemed to treat it as a second contract, and would be willing grant a second wish for it in a way, as long as it was reasonable. It's the difference between letting someone fiddle with your soul, and letting him break it.

+++T: What a nice cat he is.

+++M: "It's a lot harder to just cap me like this, without a fight, in cold blood, eh? I get it, I get. You kill a lot of people, but they're always shooting at you first or stopping you from doing your job or some shit. Noow, here's something for you to think about. Magical girls kill monsters, right? And people are shit, soo they are sometimes monsters. So that's why they have us kill people. Got no problem with that. Here's the thing though: You don't get monsters. Aah, fuck, I am saying it wrong. Basically a monster is shit you don't understand. If you can look at the werewolf, he fucking sucks at his job. +fast+ Isn't killing shit JUST because you don't understand it kind of being a massive cunt though? I bet there's a word for that kind of being a cunt. The library girls are going to know but it's not like I could ask them, lately."


"Yeaah, that's the word. Anyway, it's why the Librarians are really evil as shit. They use your fear to have you kill them, and that's alright, but they also ask you questions so they can understand them. It's the closest you can get to really murdering them. There's stalking somebody and killing them which is wrong but human after all, and then there's killing somebody and THEN stalking them, and I can't fucking understand that. I've just stabbed a guy's heart five minutes ago, and it was less fucked up than what they do every day. I've killed him because I hated him, but they kill them because they want to love them. Like I say, fucked up. Well, good to have gotten this out of my head.

No, really, though, what are you waiting for? It's right here on my finger. You're aiming at my chest, that won't do shit. "

I am actually only supposed to kill you as a magical girl if you go crazy before your time runs out. They want your witch flesh - I've told her the truth.

It seemed to sadden her. "That's a shame. I've wanted to meet the pink girl and ask her some shit. But fuck if I remember what it was anymore."

I hear you meet her anyway. The Librarians say she's around the deaths of both Magical Girls and Witches.

"Cool. Tell Jarmila I chose this, and tell Panna she's a bitch. There. If I could have a second go at life I'd swear a lot more, because it fucking doesn't matter. Kurwa."

And then she witched out.

+++P: What was her barrier like?

+++M: Metal. +pause+ It was like a castle top, with a lot of towers. Isn't there already an important Witch that has a castle for a barrier? Like, an alpha?

+++J: That would be Libuna, the Witch of Harvest. She's a pretty big deal. But she's not really an alpha. Just old, and generally really weird. The Librarians ramble about her a lot, alongside the other bit more legendary ones - like the Walpurgisnacht party.

+++M: Yeah, that one. Well, this one had a labyrinth of rooftops and walkways and bridges. The towers were like crossroads. It had great visibility.


Now, there were a lot of ropes and wires between the towers, those were basically the Barrier's ceiling, and this is where it gets freaky. It used organs and tendons for decoration. A lot of blood dripping on you all the time and gore lying everywhere, the sidewalks that you could stand on were all bloody. A lot of it was sticking out of the tower windows, too. It didn't look anything like in a biology handbook, just a bloody mess. +pause+ A bit under the ropes, and everywhere surrounding where you could really stand, would be the webs. They looked like they were made of some kind of mucus. Really sticky. Maybe that's how all webs look really up close, though. I saw that in the TV once. These webs were in a lot of colors, didn't look like spider webs at all. When I talk about moving through the Barrier, those were the walls, and I would walk on the sidewalks and stairways between the towers alongside them. The bridges themselves were really dangerous, I was afraid of slipping on all the blood, so I couldn't really run after her very fast. +short pause+ Did I forget to say anything? Hmm, yes. Smooth ground, no cat head pavement or anything of the sort. The towers had windows, gore sticking out of them. You couldn't get into any. The only exception was the central tower where I've initially appeared, that had a bit of an empty space. And there were only more webs down bellow, with no real ground for all I know. +pause+


I got a bit ahead of myself. The first thing that I saw was her Witch form. She looked like huge fat ass spider, but also had tentacles for hair, so who knows what she was supposed to be. She had a stinger too, but she never got anywhere close to touching me with it, so I guess it doesn't matter.

I found out right away that was that she was immune to my regular javelins. The one I threw off the bat just stuck to her for a bit, and then clattered on the ground - no good. Even the normal ones I just create to throw are still a magic weapon, so that hairy skin of her must have been really thick. Or it might be the case that they are bad javelins because they're pencils, and that I am just too weak for fighting Witches, physically. I have to cheat with magic a lot every time I do, and so I did again.

I had prepared an enchanted bundle before the fight, and those did work. She caught one sparkly pencil to the belly, screamed, jumped at me, and fell right out of the tower as I've dodged to the side. The javelin broke as she rammed through the entrance, part of it remaining in, so even though it was a shallow hit compared to what I've hoped for, it was still lodged solidly.

The bad part was that I didn't have her cornered anymore, and had to chase her around.

It was an endurance fight. She didn't have the skill to hit me on her own, with her limbs or her butt, because she was so big. Two exchanges after I've caught up with her, and she never tried again. I guess she was obviously afraid of using her jaws, because it meant getting way too close to the spearhead.

So, instead, she would jump around and away, try to dodge what I threw, and try to drown me in Familiars. I became sick and tired of that pretty fast, the webs made her much more agile. A few of those throws, I've managed to actually miss, even when I only went for it when it looked safe. Also, she liked to pull the javelins out with the tentacles, and break them in her jaws. I've learned something for the future there, that only the spearhead - or the graphite, if you will - is what I really enchant. Breaking them was really smart of her. Still, the way she approached this gave me a lot of space to work my magic, which I usually don't get. +pause+

I really took my time with her. It seemed she became scared of me. Due to that, she let me get away with writing four scrolls during the battle, part by part. I used each right away, so the bundle of ten that I had at the start slowly grew in lethality. I could always see where she and the Familiars were, after all, so I didn't have to worry about being ambushed. Writing one scroll only takes me a minute now, and each one I read is another brick wall that the javelin can pierce through. That's how easy she made it for me.

After returning back to the center and just doing my thing, the Familiars followed me in, so I just stabbed them away and kicked them off.

Her Familiars that would try to prevent me from making them, with not much success, had winged helmets. They were very bad at their job. There were already a few kinds of them, though. Isn't that a sign of a great Witch?

+++P: Yes. You still didn't say anything about them, were they spiders?


+++M: Shit. Sorry. Right. There were cocoons all over the place and they would burst out of them, but they weren't little spiders. They were white knights with butterfly wings and black knights with dragonfly wings, and they would show up in separate groups. Maybe the knight thing was just armor imagery, because they attacked with claws. Or they would try to to bull rush me off the stairs. I guess they didn't really have space to dogpile me, which is the more classic Familiar tactic. They always had a leader that had a horse-thing, and much bigger wings, but still no weapon - like I said, really varied Familiars.

I saw a few groups of them fighting when they couldn't get to me, but if they had a way, they would try to gang up on me first. Some of the ones that I'd push from a bridge or stairs got caught in the webs, too. I am afraid I really just took a quick stroll through the outside, before getting back at the start and just doing my thing.

+++P: Libuna's Familiars have moth wings. And they are skeletons. That's actually really interesting.

+++T: I heard that a few times. That you can meet them in different Barriers. That if you meet a random midget skeleton with moth wings, a torch, and some sort of a farming tool like a sickle, you should report it. And that it's a really ill omen for you or something.

+++J: Is that so. I've never seen one like that in my life.

+++P: Her Witch Kiss is also fairly famous. There used to be a cult that worshiped her, used it as it's crest.

+++M: Well, I didn't see any of those, either. +pause+ I guess killing her wasn't any amazing feat. All I did was just enchanting the last two with my final scroll, which was where the marker went dry. I didn't want to blow a Grief Seed to make another, so I just went with what I had. Then I used one of them to nail her to the wall of the central tower, because she was just starting to creep on me from the outside.

I went around the tower to stab her with the final one - she was already breathing her last. There were already six holes in her, so I was confident, and it worked. Got her all the way through the jaws and beyond, then kicked it in for good measure. She took her time dying, but that was it. She was flailing around a lot, so I've expected her to try and to hold onto me with the tentacles. that would make it all messier. In the end, though, she didn't even try that. +pause+

Also, she bled. Green blood that melted the castle wall I've pinned her to, but not the javelin itself. I took care not to get it on my hands.. Do Witches normally bleed?

+++J: Some do, yeah.

+++M: I am asking because I see through Witches too, and they're usually made of this black smokegoo thing on the inside. The blood seemed to come out of nowhere. +pause+ Well, that's all. I can't carry corpses like Jarmila, so afterwards, I called up Jackdaw's girls, and they came for the body. It was three blocks to the nearest entrance into the underground. One of them was a Callidus, but even that way, it was risky as hell. They were lucky I could actually cover the path for them though, so just a few people would see them with the bag. +pause+ Can I wake up now?

+++P: Two more things. Did you look into who she killed afterwards?

+++M: It happened five hours ago, so I didn't have time, neither did I care much. From what I could see through the city walls, there weren't any human corpses anywhere near by. I would notice something like that.

+++P: Did you have a chance to bring any of her flesh?

+++M: I've realized that you'll want that right as she was in her death throes, so I've tried to bring one of the knight things. Just jumped from the sidewalk to a bridge near by, next to a group of them. They weren't that dangerous, but the armor made them tricky to pick up. The one I've grabbed wasn't in my hand anymore when the Barrier had vanished.

+++J: Oh. Could the sucker have escaped? That would be bad. Sounds like it could grow into something dangerous.

+++M: Nah, I think it went down with her.

+++end of file+++