|No one but Lelayna saw Echo's form drop past the east windows. Lellie gasped and then screamed a terrible high-pitched cry in that instant ... before Echo's body struck the sloping ground just at the edge and then rolled down into the rocky ravine. Lellie ran outside to search in the dark.|
Echo lay at the bottom of the ravine below the Inn, her skull fractured, neck, back and pelvis broken, both legs and ankles shattered ... but alive. Lellie, who had not been able to see Echo fall over the lip, searched in vain for her friend.
Lellie found a splash of blood and followed it to the edge of the ravine, while Necrocide, his Neo faculties sensing Echo's location, also stepped out of doors. Lellie leaned over and saw Echo's broken body lying at the bottom of the ravine.
Static, who had materialized unseen in the rafters to observe the goings-on, now phased away from there, reappearing beside Lelayna. Lellie looked at him, then back down at Echo ... then turned and fell to her knees. As Static looked down toward Echo, Lellie began to vomit uncontrollably, and the callous doctor backed away from her, making a face. "Gawd," he said. Josh, who had followed them, with similar detachment commented, "Gross."
Necrocide made his way steadily down the ravine to Echo. Reaching her, his eyes glowed red and then focused into a single straight beam. The beam fell over Echo, scanning her, moving up and down, back and forth, finding everything out; then Necrocide blinked. His eyes went out, then returned to a red glow.
While this was happening, Tristan and TziganyGypsy entered the Inn. Tzigany stood behind his love with his head on Tristan's shoulder and arms around his waist. Both of them watched and listened, taking in the situation. Tristan looked backward at Tzigany, then kissed his cheek and walked to the fireplace.
Outside, Lellie was dry heaving. At length she pulled herself to her knees, crying out, "SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP HER!" She began to stumble down the side of the ravine.
At the fireplace, Tristan picked up his favorite poker and walked outside.
"Hmm ... I just realized something," said Static. "What will I get if I help her?"
Necrocide said, "Compute ... Info coming in ..." A slight grin appeared on his face as he looked at Echo, perhaps because he realized that, although deep in coma, she was still alive. He picked her up, holding her in his metallic arms, and carried her sturdily out of the ravine toward the Inn's front door.
Tzigany moved to the fireplace and watched Tris through the window. As Necro drew near to the door, Tristan stood looking at Echo's body. Static levitated from the ground and eased to Lellie, offering her a ride. Lellie looked at him, thinking of Echo and all he had done to her; then, for Echo's sake, she accepted his aid to get out of the ravine.
James, his elven senses having alerted him to the commotion, came running back in just after Necrocide, with Tristan on his heels, carried Echo's broken, bleeding form into the Inn. Necrocide gently dropped Echo on a couch.
James walked over to the couch where Echo lay breathing shallowly, and sighed deeply. Tristan remarked, "Ever see a suffering deer?" Tzigany nodded.
Josh said, "Put it out of its misery, Tristan."
Jaim Tashima agreed. "Finish it," he said. James, suddenly comprehending, exclaimed, "No!"
Tristan went on, "You give it a swift blow to the--" he raised the poker "--head..."
Lelayna screamed, "Tristan, no!"
James made a valiant effort to protect Echo, but Josh was too quick for him. As James and Lellie watched in horror, Tristan brought the poker down with killing force on the helpless Echo's head.
The murder was done.
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