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A small preface: These marines are members of the renegade Hell Fist mercenary company, a unit of my own devising. They do not worship chaos and take measures to prevent mutation in their ranks. But that's not important. Here's a little story I've been working on in my head. Enjoy.
Sindel stood in the corridor of his ship, wearing only the jumpsuit he had been sleeping in before the screaming klaxons snapped him awake. That was only moments ago, but he was already halls away from his quarters. He hadn't taken the time to don his armor or even search his room for a weapon; he knew it would be death to be cornered there, and when the alarms went off they would have given up on stealth. Now he strained his ears to hear something beside the sirens, fighting to slow his breathing and calm his mind. It almost took a minute this time, but when he reopened his eyes he had screened out the klaxons and was alert to the footsteps. No coinciding steps:one man, walking in armored boots, becoming louder from behind him. Sindel continued down the halls, looking into every door he passed. He was suddenly struck by a gladness he was unarmored: his bare feet were soundless against the cold deck. Finally he found a suitable one: a storage room, mostly empty and with a wide space in the center.
He shut off the light in the doorway and looked out, waiting. Now that he'd resolved to fight, his mind was racing again. Where was the attacker? Had he gone down another corridor, completly off his trail? Maybe he wouldn't have to fight. Perhaps he could slip by, arm, and go hunting himself.
No. There he was, a lone marine. It had to be one of his own, the armor was in his company's red and silver. It was Kieres-his second in command-just as he had suspected. Only Kieres had a helmet like that: crowned with a ring of gilded fangs, set level with the temples, and the face beneath the eyes covered by a gold faceplate The dimmed lights seemed to slide off his armor as he walked cautiously. Sindel didn't see a gun, but couldn't believe Kieres would try this unarmed. Kieres wasn't; as he poked his head into a room a few doors away, his body turned and Sindel saw the sword, fixed in a sheathe at his back. It wasn't Kiere's usual power saber. This one was straight and didn't have the power feeds or generator unit of a power sword.
Sindel ducked back into the room and debated within himself whether to stand in the open and fight him in the room or hide, let him pass, and come at him from behind. He quickly ruled out stealth; Kieres' ears were too good for that to work. In the open it was then. Sindel walked to the end of the storage room, and then it was time. Kieres stood in the doorway, filling it with his bulk. He drew the sword wordlessly, and Sindel dropped to his fighting stance in mute imitation. There was nothing either could say that the other did not know.
Sindel charged first, Kieres walking in to meet him. He swung with the blade early, and Sindel dove over it, rolling on his shoulder onto his feet. They both turned to face each other. Kieres swung as he turned, but Sindel checked it by grabbing his right wrist. Kieres tossed the sword into his left and thrust. Sindel spun right, grabbing the sword by the crossgaurd, and side-kicked Kieres, sending him staggering backwards without the sword.
Sindel swung the sword into a reverse grip and sprung at Kieres, alternating two kicks. Kieres blocked each and launched a right hook that could have crushed Sindel's skull. Sindel ducked under it and hit Kieres with a quick left jab. Kieres didn't even grunt from the hit, but stepped back, just like Sindel wanted. Keeping the sword in a reverse grip, he swung high, aiming for the neck. Kieres ducked, and this too Sindel had anticipated, for as he ducked Sindel launched a right knee into his faceplate. But it never connected. Kieres blocked with his left hand and grabbed the back of Sindel's knee with his right. Sindel raised the sword over Kieres' neck, about to plunge it through the armor, when Kieres heaved up with all his strength, throwing Sindel onto his back. Kieres lept ontop of Sindel, pinning his arms down with his knees, and started swinging. Kieres rained punches from above, rocking Sindel's head, smashing open skin and letting blood flow. Sindel lifted his legs up, snaking his feet over Kieres' neck and hooking his ankles together. Kieres stopping hitting and started trying to break Sindel's grip. Before he could, Sindel kicked his legs back down, slamming Kieres' head into the deck with a vicious crack.
Kieres barely even slowed. He lifted his right leg into the air and brought in down, aiming the axe kick at Sindel's head. Sindel lifted the blade over his face, bracing it with his empty hand on the flat of the blade. The first kick crashed into the sword but Sindel held it fast. Kieres lashed out with his left foot, striking the hand holding the sword hilt and knocking it out of Sindel's grip. He rose his right again, and this time Sindel couldn't block the coming kick. Sindel unhooked his feet and rolled left, barely getting out before Kieres hit hard enough to dent the deck plate.
Sindel sprung up and looked about for the sword. He didn't see it; it must've slid under something. Giving up on it, he turned to face Kieres, who had risen slowly. Kieres shook his head, as though disoriented, and lifted his hands to a boxing stance. Sindel dropped back into his stance: left foot in front, right behind, knees bent, and hands held in front of his body. Kieres stepped forward to attack and Sindel snapped his left foot up into a kick at Kieres knee. Kieres lifted his leg so Sindel hit the shin and threw a jab. Sindel juked his head out of the way, blocked the next jab and the hook, pushed the cross out of the way, sidestepped the jab, blocked the elbow, took the rib shot and jabbed his own right into Kieres' throat. The armor kept the hit from crushing his throat, but Kieres still gagged and stepped back. Sindel lept high and far, bringing both his knees up into Kieres chest, knocking him back further. Sindel landed lightly, lept again and this time heel kicked Kieres under the chin. The last hit launched Kieres off his feet and he landed on his back with a great crash.
Sindel had won. Kieres was still alive, but both knew it. As Sindel turned his back to look for the sword, Kieres took a small cylindner from a pouch and started chuckling. He pressed the single button on one end.
The klaxons finally quieted and the lights switched back from their emergency setting. Sindel pulled the sword from the box it was stuck in and turned back to Kieres. He held out his hand and Kieres took it, pulling himself to his feet. He opened the seals and pulled his helmet off. As he did, a gout of blood poured out, and it had crusted onto most of his face. He was grinning.
"Came closer that time, didn't I? Won't be much longer before I could kill you."
Sindel sighed and tossed Kieres a flask. "Wash yourself off, you look like hell."
"You know, if I got some of the men on my side I could've killed you years ago. Just trip the alarms and let you walk out into a firing lane. Pop pop pop and I'm commander."
In a flash Sindel had his hand on Kieres' throat, scowling fiercely as he growled, "What is this madness you speak? These men are jackels. They respect stength, and if you are too weak to take command alone, they will not respect you. To keep their loyalty you will have to bribe them, and then they will command you. If I thought you were truly so weak as to have to rely on them, I would have killed you as soon as you ascended to my hand. See that no such thought enters your head in seriousness, for when it does your life will end."
Kieres was still smiling, but the steel in his eyes told Sindel everything words could have. He let go and sat down. Kieres realized again how old Sindel was starting to look. Sindel looked up at Kieres and saw his eyes.
"Don't look at me like that," he said. "I need nobody's pity." Sindel sighed again looked back at Kieres. "I know I won't last forever. If I did, I would've killed you and your dangerous ambition. But I will die everntually, and then the Company will need a new Fist. When you kill me, you will have mastered the skills to lead. Yes, you will be able to soon, and when you do, I will smile, for it will be a better man who becomes the Company's Fist. The futures of the Company and the men who form it are something worth dying for. Remeber that when you become Fist. It is the Fist who learns this lesson most fully, for he looses the most for the Company; not only his life but his posistion."
The smile was gone from Kieres' face; he was solemn now. "Don't worry. I will remember."
Last edited by Bellum_Gerreo; October 22nd, 2006 at 07:28.
Chief Inspector Dreyfus: Are you wounded?
Clouseau: No. Fortunately I was saved by the darkness.
Chief Inspector Dreyfus: So what we need is more light.