Not set in Erfworld. A short story I wrote recently. Arcadia is all city, btw. (I think that's all you need as introduction) I've also changed a few things because you wouldn't understand the reference without some research at the http://nfwp.wikia.com/wiki/New_Fantasy_ ... ra%29_Wiki
Myfanwy Blodwin: She's a young factory worker, part of the semi-migratory work system that Arcadia is known for, who feels that she has found her one hundred percent perfect guy in Inir. As a result, she is quite clingy but willing to step off if he asks, fortunately, he likes the attention. Her parents live and work elsewhere, but keep tabs on her every now and then.
Inir Tarrant - A quiet sort of fellow, despite his name. He is a little older (but still quite young) than Myf (as he lovingly calls her) and is quite willing to bend over backwards for her. He works as a school assistant to a martial arts professor, and has a future in the field, though he prefers weapons to bare hands. He lives alone, but recently moved to be nearer to Myf.
Today was a special day. Myfanwy Blodwin had a day off. This never happened, ever. So she was going to spend it with only one guy, Inir. Of course, being Saturday, he had a day off as well. The schools were closed even so, the snow that had recently fallen was deep, and the roads to treacherous to use. But, when you only get seven vacation days off a year, you spend them with your loved ones.
She's pushing him out the door. They now live in the same apartment building. A hundred story thing built long ago but still as sound as the day it was made. The streets themselves were somewhat clear, but shiny, speaking of great amounts of ice on top. Inir doesn't really care to go out, but he does so anyway. It means a lot to her. Walking down the street with her at his arm, somewhat pulling him along made him feel like a man.
Slopes are in everything, relationships, stock portfolios, ski resorts... some road slopes aren't seen until it is too late. The ice was heavy enough to cause Inir to slip with Myf, and they slid down in a chaotic, painful tumble. Myf was screaming, more scared than hurt, when they slowed down a little and evened out. Inir opened his eyes and saw the wall of a divider rush up. He twirled Myf and himself around so that he could take the blow... it would hurt, and it did.
He asks if she was hurt. No, she's more worried about him. She knows enough first aid to know that his bones are not broken, but he still needs a place to recover. There's none in sight, and the road goes on for a mile or two, at least. No buildings on the level of the road in sight, nor are there any vehicles due to the ice. She helps him up, fortunately, she's strong enough to support him. He grunts in pain a little; she can tell he's keeping a lot more pain in than he's showing. He makes a comment about this being nothing compared to the work outs his martial arts master gives him, but she's too worried to laugh.
They walk a long way. The road doesn't even have a shack on the side of it. He makes a comment about trying the slope and she reminds him that he nearly died. He forgot for a second there. He stops, and notices paw prints in the snow. Dogs? Wolves more like it, too big you see. Not good at all, the wind, forced into a tunnel by the buildings around it, is at their backs, their scent will be strong. She worries more, he feels he shouldn't have told her.
They hurry along. She gives him some water and a granola bar to help him keep his strength. He thanks her and guesstimates around a map she brought. They'd missed a turn before the slope. No one comes down here because some City Builders made that slope too steep. But we'll be fine, there's a bunch of military way stations in a mile or three. More like five she says, and packs their things. She helps him up again. He walking better now, and soon walks with an arm in hers. She thinks this is a good sign.
He coughs up a bit of blood and comments that he must have a little internal bleeding. She checks his ribcage for breaks by feel. Suddenly something moves and he cries out in pain. She hugs his head to his chest until he calms down a bit. A broken rib, poked, feels a lot worse than a broken arm. He calms down a bit and gently checks the skin. The rib, though it is out of place, is not poking through the skin. As long as no one hits him in the side...
They keep walking. Four miles to the station. Inir is able to walk by himself again, but he feels quite uncomfortable. He checks the paw prints. Deeper, and there are some feces in the area, not good signs, they may be close. He keeps this information to himself. Myf is talking about some intrigue he can't concentrate on. She's covering her nervousness with chatter. He eventually asks her to be quiet a bit, and she does, thinking she's giving him a headache.
Three Miles and no end to the road in sight. It was weird, usually builders would create rest stops, or even branches into other roads that had more traffic. Not this builder. He rests for a second and she fusses over him. She forces a little water down his throat. Every now and then they hear an airship, going who knows where, giving them hope that their destination is close. They keep walking.
Two Miles to go. Inir sees tracks of other things in the snow. He doesn't mind, as they seem to be quite old. He suspects that they are the tracks of City Builders, after all, they could be found anywhere in Arcadia, why not here?
One Mile, and they see wolves. These smelt a little blood from Inir's mouth and they were walking slowly. No need to waste energy when the prey was coming to them. The alpha wolf, a giant thing that had been in too many fights, walked more quickly. Winter meant lean times, and these were hungry. He was the alpha though, and that meant he got first bite. And he tried to take it. But Inir had enough strength in him to repulse the wolf with a kick to the jaw. Inir nearly collapses as Myf holds him up. She's cheering him on though she knows they won't make it.
The wolves laugh at the Alpha, beat by a pup, a pup! They call out in their barking language. But the Alpha is not done yet. He takes a wiser approach and makes an attack. Inir is unable to defend himself well enough and the wolf bites at his side, the non wounded one. Myf tries to bash at it, but she lacks the strength. The wolf releases the now incapacitated Inir and turns to her, knocking her down and standing on her. Let the hecklers eat the tough one, I'll have tenderer meat here. He barks back at them. They whine back, then run. Then the Alpha wolf sees what they saw.
The City builder lumbered down and half crash landed on the road. It was twice as large as a human. The Alpha wolf ran away, he would find other food not protected by the mechanical ones. The City Builder could speak. It had a mechanical voice to match its appearance. It asks after the female, Myf, was she wounded? What about the male? I can help him, remove the clothes from the torso. She is too scared to disagree and does it.
It pulls out a syringe and a nozzle from a vast array of tool arms from it's body. She doesn't want it near him. It tells her that they will help him live long enough for the military to arrive. It is a bio-mechanical solution that helps heal organics and make them better than before. It says this in bigger words Myf doesn't really understand. Inir tells her to let it do it's thing. The process is less painful than he thought.
It says to wait there and keep the male warm. It will go get help from the soldiers at the way station, as the bone will need proper resetting. She puts his clothes back on and holds him tight. She was scared for him back there, and fears losing him. He says not to worry. City Builders usually are benevolent. She says she isn't worried about it, but him. He says he won't die on her. She smiles, some day on the town this has been.
In a moment, a few military vehicles show up and pack them both in. The City Builder rides spider like on the top of a military winterized APC. A medic uses a fast acting Healing Gem Cartridge to heal a little of the internal bleeding. Then he starts to perform surgery in the APC. It is a matter of speed now, that wolf caused a lot more damage than you realize, and that there is little even the most powerful emerald cartridge can do if a broken rib is not seen to immediately. He sows up the last of the cuts and places a slow acting Healing Dust Pack on the side.
He tells her this should hold and heal, but they are going to stay at the base for the night. He says that Inir should be healed enough to be transported home tomorrow. Inir smiles and holds Myf's hand. She's crying and he's crying, quite happy to have survived their date. The medic, feeling a little awkward, leaves the room as Myf grabs the hand and holds it to her face.
I value names a lot and what they mean:
Myfanwy is welsh, meaning 'My Woman' , Blodwyn is a welsh name meaning 'White Flower'
Inir is Welsh for Honorable and Tarrant is Thunder.
Hope you enjoy.