There were many things that Jax had managed to carry herself through--coming back from the dead chief among them--but she had not found a reason to prepare herself for the surprise of seeing a man on the battlefield--on the contrary, her entire body froze up in astonishment, and her eyes widened in their sockets, so large it felt as if they were pushing against her skull.
Not just any man, either. A human man, on the side of the Ocassus.
The man in the middle of her vision slid his helmet off of his head and threw it to the side, watching Jax with skepticism in his eyes, hand clenching at the sword at his hip. For a moment, both warriors watched each other, eyes connected, armor open, thoughts seemingly exposed, until the booming crash of a large explosion lit up the night with flames and fire.
Jax curled her arm around Tanya's neck and threw herself forward--beside her, the man followed suit, hurling himself onto the ground. In the commotion, both warriors collided against the ground and started to grapple at one another's bodies--at that moment, with such extreme circumstances, they had become allies.
The man flipped Jax onto her back and covered her with his body, shielding her, and Tanya, who was sandwiched between them, laid across Jax's chest. Screams and cries of pain filled the air, but Jax was shaking too hard to comprehend it all, to understand what was really happening, or that another human, a man, some sort of Ocassus ally, was protecting her and her fallen friend from harm, with his own body, no less.
Tanya, against her, began to shake.
The man sucked in a breath in his position right up against Jax's neck. For a moment, black hair filled her vision, darker than anything she had ever seen on a human head, and then she was flying through the air, slamming so hard into the ground that her head spun. Tanya landed, much more gently, beside her, and she was granted a few moments of respite, watching and wishing for some sort of sign of life--and then pushed unceremoniously face-first into the ground, her wrists curled in behind her, long, strong fingers around her arms, tying some sort of rope around her wrists.
"Be quiet," a deep, velvety voice muttered. "Humans," he said, louder. "Such a waste of air."
A shriller, much more feminine voice sounded to Jax's right, though all she could see was the thick, crusting dirt beneath her nose. "She'd be pretty if she wasn't so useless."
The original voice hummed. "I don't know, I think she might be of some use. I think I'll pick her up and take her back, then. Take her other shoulder, will you?"
The other voice curled into a snort. "You have no rights to make those commands here, half-breed."
A long, angry huff of air released into Jax's hair, ruffling it against her neck.
"I will not--"
"Yes, yes. Give her to me, Gods above!" A hand shoved her roughly to her feet, stubby fingers at her neck, inspecting. "As I said, she'd be pretty in other circumstances.
Tanya, still on the ground to Jax's left, stirred feebly. Jax's heart lept, and then plummeted--this wasn't going to be a nice way to wake up.
The man sighed somewhere around her as she was pushed forward, Tanya suddenly gone from her side. "I'm not sure," he whispered. "if other circumstances are needed to change her face."
Jax's eyebrows rose as she was thrust back through the fray.