I gasped, was gasping. I fell backward, into Marcus’s arms. I screamed when I saw the enemy’s arm, bloody to the elbow. His fist had gone entirely through me. Marcus had used my body to trap him, and my dagger to strike him down.
I stared open-mouthed as Marcus dragged me over toward the wall of the Well, out of the way. More Never-born appeared through the ceiling, four or five at once. The armored man’s accomplice had been killed, then. The Well was open. They all would be. Marcus walked away. I closed my eyes for a moment.
When I opened them again, Marcus appeared before me clad in silver armor, and I saw how this was done. For behind him, three Never-born stepped into the three creches across the Well from me, and the suits poured over them, coming from apertures the walls concealed. It was done in a moment. The three Never-born turned to climb the walls.
My vision swam. Marcus stooped to pick up my dagger from the floor. This surprised me, and I tried to flex my hand to prove I still held the blade. Nothing moved. I looked down to see that I had folded my arms around my stomach, cradling a mass of something shiny and slick and red. Blood covered all my body below my chest.
“You never would have been any good with this,” Marcus said. I looked up again. Never had one of the Never-born seemed so giant. He slid the dagger into some hidden sheath within his armor.
“I argued to his face,” he said. I blinked.
When I opened my eyes again he was gone. Other Never-born stood inside the creches as armor poured over them. Smoothly and silently, others dropped through the ceiling. They rolled when they hit the floor, just as I had. I moaned, but they ignored me. They ignored all the dead. I wanted to yell. But I was too tired now. Blood pooled all around me on the floor.