Spring's charge is stalling, and Natasha knows it. The battle lines are being redefined as the Host pulls its forces back, buying time to remake its formations and form a solid line against the surprisingly resilient Lost that combat the faerie host. The Darkling woman works her turntables furiously, making the Host pay the butcher's bill for every inch of ground they concede, but she can see their reinforcements pouring in and knows it isn't going to be enough.
Then the raven lands on her shoulder.
The sheer shock of it almost cause Natasha to punch the bird right in its beaked face, but the Darkling steels herself and switches off the music temporarily instead so she can hear the raven's message.
"Seraphina says to buy time," the raven croaks out in a throaty voice. Natasha co
cks an eyebrow at it, and the corvid shrugs in response. "Get creative," it advises before flying away.
There is a moment or two of calm as the combined charge of the Lost's forces stalls and the Host of a Thousand Princes pauses to catch its breath.
"You!" Natasha calls out, pointing at one of her fellow Spring Courtiers. "Get up here, and put in CD 24, Track 7. Play it when I tell you, got it?"
The shocked courtier nods, and Natasha leaps off of her perch on the tank before jogging towards the front lines.
The boy with the small claws shakes his head again at the insanity of Natasha's plan, but he steps in front of the battle lines between his own forces and the Host of a Thousand Princes. Taking up the microphone that the Darkling had given him, he swallows hard and calls out across the no-mans-land.
"My mistress demands entertainment! Your paltry offerings bore her - send forth a champion to face her in battle or else quit the field like the dogs you are!"
A murmur passes through the ranks of the Host, and then they part like a sea to admit a loathly hag, her skin covered in putrescence and her nails like jagged flint, being carried on a litter made of living wood. The witch opens her mouth (her teeth all ragged with rot and blood) and calls out in return.
"I am the Witch Who Crawls From the Muck. Who dares to challenge me?"
You got this?
Natasha thinks at the wooden litter. Stirring to her Contract with plants and vines, a face appears on it and smiles at her. The Darkling grins, then bursts out of the lines of her own troops and takes up her microphone again.
As she brings it before her lips, the wooden litter carrying the Witch Who Crawls From the Muck throws her to the ground as Natasha draws her saber and bursts into song.
"Someone who loathes you, witch, so stand up and die! I only called you you so I could beat faerie ass a second time!"
Ragged claws come up and block a savage saber blow; sparks fly into the hag's eyes.
"Roar like an Ogre, cut like a Soldier, I'll beat your ass like an Oracle told ya!"
Dark magic twists away from Natasha's form and she dances away with a manic grin, her siren's voice enrapturing the entire battlefield. Faerie and Lost alike witness her toying
with her prey.
"I strike down hard against a faerie, cut your spells out of the air - scary! I slam Contracts so focus I'll break that concentration ma'am!"
Vines burst out of the ground and grab the Witch's hands and legs - a saber slash lays her stomach open from neck to waist, spilling insects onto the muddy ground.
"I'm certified Spring Court you slut, so kiss my pristine silken butt! I'm gonna enjoy watching you die, and when I do, the crows will feast on your eyes."
"If I didn't know she was a lesbian, I would marry that woman."
"I know, and I'm going to propose anyway."