Episode 22

Broken Bonds

Moly and the others make it outside the Council Building, but a large group of dragons has already arrived, led by Tempest. Tempest accuses Moly of attacking some of her comrades earlier, and demands she and Slua surrender themselves. Moly’s team gets ready to fight, but then Blaze arrives.

Blaze still has Moly’s wound, but is otherwise back to her normal self. She tells Tempest that Moly’s not the one she wants. Blaze plans to drive the dragons from the city, and destroy any who get in her way, even if that includes Moly. Tempest notices Moly’s wound, and Blaze’s blood still on her claws.

Blaze assumes her Glory form, and attacks the dragons, driving them back. Moly has to be dragged away, but Slua convinces her that they need to rest and work out what to do. They slip away during the fight.

Meanwhile, Fang and Steelwraith are still with the enormous dragon projection. She simply calls herself the Dragon Goddess, and explains that she has regained contact with the world so that Steelwraith can help her to stop a terrible evil from being unleashed. A dead god whose partial presence was enough to cause the Shadow to spread, and who could come fully into the world if not stopped. She apologizes for how aggressive her dragons have been, but she has reason to believe Blaze, and likely some of the other gryphons, have fallen under the dead god’s sway.

After more discussion, Fang doesn’t seem fully convinced, but the arguments made at least fit well with what he knows. When pressed, he agrees he’ll at least do what he can to help, but he’s certain Moly’s not corrupted. Steelwraith and the Goddess are satisfied with that, though caution him to still be wary.

Moly’s team is on the way to the city gate. Slua seems to be back to himself. As they pass through a dark alley, Slua gestures for them to stop, and checks to make sure they aren’t being watched. He then redirects them, sticking to the shadows, until they arrive at Councilmember Ashe’s villa. They enter through the back, where Ashe and Grunt greet them, seeming to expect them.

It turns out Ashe had already been formulating plans for a rebellion, once she realized the dragons were taking over, and she couldn’t trust Blaze to take care of it. She’d been working with Slua, who’d told her that things were getting even more dicey, and she’d offered safe haven.

The team gets comfortable, and that evening Fang arrives, led there by Glisten. Fang tells the basics of what he heard, though not everything, and they discuss what’s going on for a while. Moly questions Glisten about what’s going on with Blaze, but Glisten only gives obvious answers. Ashe wants to plan their next move, but Glisten says there’s something more important to take care of. She invites Moly to go with her to the Guardian Tower. Fang goes as well.

While they’re away, Astra and Gauss spend some time bonding, while Slua slips onto the roof to keep watch in the dark.

At the Tower, Crash and Rez are already there. They say Glisten summoned them too, and Rez demands to know why. Holly answers instead, walking out of Blaze’s old chamber along with Rush, both in full Guardian forms. Holy walks over to Moly, taking her hand and looking into her eyes.

“You can’t follow us this time, Moly, you have things to do here. People to protect. I hope you understand, and know you can trust us. I have to be with Blaze, now more than ever.”

She hands a folded document to Moly, then tells Rush to come with her, and Rush does so, looking much less certain. Moly tries to talk with her more, ask more questions, but Holly just shakes her head and walks out to where the Pegasus is waiting. Rush pilots it away, leaving the others looking at Glisten for answers. Glisten calmly tells them that someone will be there to explain shortly.

Steelwraith walks in moments later, growling softly as he sees the Pegasus vanishing into the night sky. He composes himself, then tells the Guardians that Blaze and anyone who goes with her are now fugitives, by order of the Council. He asks if any of them intend to follow. Glisten shakes her head, but Rez and Crash appear tempted.

Moly opens the document she was given, reading it and ignoring Steelwraith. She looks up and straight at Steelwraith. The document is dated several days earlier, and signed by Blaze as well as the Council. It says that if anything should render Blaze unfit to lead the Guardians again, Moly assumes the role of leader. She’s in charge of the city’s defenses.

Episode 22

Shadowrun: Equality Elanna Elanna