Cynwrig knew this was the end of the line for him. He knew what death felt like, knew the exhaustion that settled into his bones like an old friend. He knew the pain in his side and the fight to keep standing, he knew the way it tugged at him, like an annoying sibling, constantly wanting him to follow them. To let them take the lead and take him off to lands unknown.
It was not the first time he had stared death in the face afterall. It was not the first time he had been in a situation like there, where death watched him like a Liepard in the bushes. Where it was waiting for him to stagger, to fall, before sauntering out and taking him away.
Too bad that Liepard still hadn't learned that he was too stubborn to go peacefully, that it would have to drag him kicking and screaming. He refused to just lay down and die, he refused to give up. Not while the surviving members of his herd were behind him. Not while his trainer, his friend was fleeing through a blinding snowstorm.
Cynwrig tossed his head back and stared Death in the face. Today it had taken the form of a giant fungal Beartic, one that was missing an eye, half its left paw, and looked like someone had unsuccessfully attempted to set it on fire.
Today death had claimed three of his herd, and he refused to let it claim anymore. The bear's claws were stained with blood from where it had thrown Dara into a tree. Its massive hind paw left bloody footprints as it walked over Lea's unmoving body, and its maw was still dripping with a mix of saliva and Muni's blood.
Cynwrig stared down the behemoth as it turned towards him. He was the last bastion between this monster and his family. His side burned from where the beartic slashed him. His neck throbbed from where the beast had bitten him, from when it had gone for a death kill before Dara sacrificed herself. The fiery pain kept him awake, kept him alert, but he knew in time it would fade.
He knew he would never make it back to Xe. Even if he took down the Beartic with one shot, he would fall to his injuries before he ever found Xe. This was the end of the line for him, but…
He didn't mind. He lived a good life. He protected his herd. The Beartic stood on its hind legs and roared at him. Cynwrig lowered his head, antlers sparking as he pawed the snow beneath his hooves. Static crackled in his ears as the sky flared with purple and darkness.
Just as the Beartic began its charge, another cry filled Cynwrig's ears. It sounded like a human's scream, though it was distorted by static and the endless falling snow. Cynwrig's vision blurred as cold began to deep into his wounds, but he was still able to see the beast that burst into the clearing and launched itself at the Beartic.
The zombie never stood a chance against the new threat. Within moments the Beartic was still at the beast's feet; the purple and gray monster stood tall, taller than Cynwrig, atop the corpse.
Cynwrig held his position, legs straight and antlers forwards. He didn't care what this new threat was, he wasn't going to let it get past him. It might have defeated the Beartic, but he knew that didn't mean shit. Everything not a part of his herd was his enemy. Was a predator, a threat. Cynwrig wheezed out a threatening sound, and got a cackling, howling laugh in response. The beast before him lowered itself into an attacking position, but Cynwrig didn't give it time to move.
He launched himself forwards, putting all of his energy into one last attack. One last move, one last Spark. It was all he could do. This was the end of the line for him, and with the image of his herd, his family burning brightly within his vision, his memory, he charged forwards.
Then the snow beneath his hooves disappeared, and his final cry echoed across the icy wastelands, accompanied by the sound of static and glass shattering sky.