“Did you touch the sacred skull?” She snaps her whip and the largest chimera’s head pops clean off its rotten neck and clatters to the tomb floor in a heap of dusty bone and used-up enchantment. He doesn’t answer, either from embarrassment or because the concussion makes it kind of hard to talk. One of his horns is cracked down to the skull. Ow.
“Did I or did I not tell you, before we even entered the tomb, not to touch anything that looks like treasure?”
Sollux blinks away the dizziness long enough to fire a blast through the pit-orc’s head. He botches it, and a disturbingly tasty frying bacon sort of smell fills the tomb as the blinded orc goes stampeding around, smashing most of its smaller fellow monsters under its enormous goaty hooves.
“Sollux Captor,” Aradia cries, “I have been an explorer for five sweeps now, since you were navel-deep in your first baby hive, and the first thing you learn about ancient ruins is that you never—”
—Aradia pauses to concentrate, tightens her grip on Sollux’s slumped shoulders, and uses her psionics to launch a giant rolling knife-urchin back into the bellowing pit-orc—
—The pit-orc crushes the dungeon boss against the spiked wall, impaling it through most of its vital organs. The remaining minions lose magyickal cohesion and dissolve into dust—
“—NEVER TOUCH A SACRED SKULL!”
“Thorry,” Sollux mutters, “I told you I would be uthelethh at thith. I’m the tech thupport, remember? Tech thupport of the apocalithp…apoc…” he goes down on one knee in a spectacular display of no balance at all.
Aradia makes a psi-ball and shines it over his face. “Oh my god, your head! Here, let me see what I’ve got in my sylladex that’s good for concussions.”
Her fingers are warm and rough and he doesn’t even bitch about the farty smell of the phlebotomic unguent, because damn if he isn’t nook-deep in at least two quadrants with Aradia Megido.