Writing Prompt Challenge #2
“Where is it?!” She shouted, her voice a bit deep, as she slammed a young man thinner than herself against the darkest wall of a pub. The moonlight from the two moons overhead gave them just enough light to see properly.
“Where’s what?” He replied mockingly. He cracked his lips to give way to a crooked smile. His body was slim, covered in cheap laser tattoos and piercings all over his ears. His chin was sharp; it took away from his deep eyes, and the black circles around him. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, miss.”
“I won’t ask again, pirate.” Her grip tightened.
The man choked as her grip embraced his throat harder by the second. She was surprisingly strong. Average in height, although compared to the other species in the space port, she would be rather small. But that was as much as he could figure out from her. Her figure was covered in a dark grey armored suit. Her face covered by a mask that reached all the way to her nose, and a night vision visor on top. Her hair was properly tucked inside a hood that stretched down below her waist. Around her waist wrapped a black belt with several small bags to her backside. And a small object he could not make out. On her feet were some sort of boots, and though their appearance made them look heavy, it seemed they were all the contrary. He had no way to escape her.
“Where did you get that suit? It looks interesting. Trade?” He chuckled as he tried to breathe.
“Trade? You want the suit over information?”
“Gotcha!” He said to himself. She had lowered her guard. Taking his chance, he punched her elbow from above, making her release her grip and allow him a chance to run.
The space port was located on one of the planet’s most busiest areas. A commercial port, to be exact. The only reason the pub even existed on that broken down planet was so that the pirates could steal the money from wandering tourists or sailors tired and mad enough to pay their ridiculous prices. Sometimes they would get a lady or two they could steal from, or worst, force into slavery. They sold for a good price. Other times good cargo ships would come in, and good money would come to the Serul Pirates. They knew their deeds would get them on the scope of authorities someday. But until then, that’s where they operated. There had been a lot of secrecy amongst the pirates, and an urge to leave the planet as soon as possible. But he paid little mind to it.
Fortune was on his side for growing up in the streets around the port. He knew every nook and cranny there was to the area. Every secret spot he could run to, or places where he could attack her back. He even remembered to bring his old blaster with him. He had a chance to slip off. Or even better, kill a guard of the Federal Corps and get a promotion. It was something rarely done. But it would get him into high places. Or so he thought.
He ran quickly as soon as he touched the ground, pulling his blaster out as he looked at her over his shoulder. She was still holding her elbow when he reached the end of the street. Odd she was not giving chase, but it wasn’t important. What was important was getting out of there and report to his boss that the F.C. were in the area. Then, maybe, he would be able to pay up for his past mistakes and they would forgive his debt. He was clumsy, and several times they had lost part of the bounties because of him. And they wouldn’t let him forget it. If she was in pursuit, he would need to lose her first. The boss wouldn’t forgive him for that, and the price was sure to cost more than an arm. Of that he was sure.
He turned and twisted, hopping now and again across holes and tubes that laid on the floor or across giant cargo crates. They were made of a strange alloy he never understood. He didn’t need to. What he needed to know was that only a special raze could make them. And only special keys could open them. They had stolen many before. It gave them an advantage over many things.
Using the key he had with him, he began to run across the containers, opening and closing them as he went. She wouldn’t be able to trace him now.
When he reached what he thought was a reasonable amount of distance, he stopped. His heart beat hard against his tight chest. He could barely keep himself up. Out of breath, he fell to his knees
and laid his back against one of the containers. “It’s impossible to be followed.” He said to himself.
“Are you done running around, mouse?”
His eyes shot open as he saw the shadow draw closer. She had followed him all the way there. He quickly drew his blaster, but before he could extend it entirely, a small blade penetrated his forearm. It was made out of energy, and it pulsed on a purple hue. He shouted as it did, releasing the blaster from his grip. She grew closer by the second. She didn’t run. She didn’t hesitate. Her confidence was strong. And it terrified him. He couldn’t move.
“I am tired. I’m pissed off. The armor is heavy. And I am sweating underneath it. On top of that, YOUR people have the audacity to steal from us. From ME directly.” She ranted as she stood close to him, lowering the visor to her neck and pulling back the hood, revealing bronze skin, pale eyes with white lines descending from beneath her pupils to her cheeks, and crimson hair. “As you can tell, I’m in a really bad mood and would love if you… cooperated.”
“A Glidian…” He was no longer surprised. In fact, it all made sense to him now. The desperation of the pirates to leave the port as soon as possible, the secrecy, everything. “Royalty, no less.”
“Indeed.” She confirmed, pulling the blade from his arm. He shouted as she did. The heat from the blade had cauterized the cut. His arm was barely moveable. But it still had functionality. A safety measure.
“Queen, I take it?” he inquired, pointing at the white lines on her face.
“Princess. A horizontal line appears when we become a king or queen.” She stopped for a second, then brought one of her foot to his neck. “Why am I telling you this? Where is it?”
He raised his good arm, sighing softly as he looked at her. “I’ll take you. I want part of this no longer.”
“If this is a trap -”
“If this is a trap, you’ll kill me. Look, the only thing that scares me more than the boss are your… Glidian blades.” He interrupted. As he stood, he stared at her waist, looking for the handle of his terror. “Those things… Only you people and a selected few can use them. And it terrifies me. Come on.”
He began walking, leading her in the direction of their hideout. Towards the dry forest a few kilometers from where they were. He didn’t dare look back at her. And she wouldn’t direct her word towards him. Just as he had expected from any type of royalty. They were stuck-ups. Too proud of themselves to direct their words to thieves or commoners. “ Then again…” He thought.
“ What is your name?” She inquired as she avoided a low branch.
“What? Why would you want to know?” He responded, looking over his shoulder.
“You do not need to answer.”
He kept quiet for a moment, staring at his surroundings before stopping and turning to her. “Norik… My name is Norik.”
“I am pleased to meet you. My name is — “
Norik stretched his hand, stopping her. “We’re here.” Norik turned around, pointing at a cave guarded by several pirates. They stood stall, well built with blaster riffles longer than their bodies. “What you look for is in there. But…”
Norik didn’t even notice. It was just a flashy blur as she moved past him. One by one, the guards fell, bleeding from multiple parts of their bodies. Precise cuts were made in a mere second. All falling as she stood at the mouth of the cave. The princess was staring back at him, holding two small blades. The same types of blade that had pierced his arm earlier. They shinned with a barely visible purple hue.
Silently, he moved towards her as he stared at the bodies. She slowly hid the blades back on a small hole on her forearms. He had never seen her armor before, and by now, he didn’t want to see it ever again.
“Lead me to it.” She demanded.
“They’ll kill me if they see me in there!” His eyes burst open when he heard her. “Are you mad? I let you here! They’ll notice and kill me!”
The princess took her visor off and hid it somewhere in her suit automatically. She grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and pulled him into the air. “Would you just trust me? If not then I’ll simply dispose of you and be on my way.”
Having been released from her hold, he nodded and began looking around for a weapon he could use. The hand he used for the blaster had been partially damaged by the princess, and he was no good with knives or swords. The only option he had left, and the only one he felt reluctant about, was one of the riffles. Having no other choice, he picked it up, passed the strap around his shoulder to help him hold it up, and began his pace towards the cave. It swayed in serpentine, as if a giant snaked had dug the tunnel. Water dripped from the ceiling into small puddles here and there. It made the path slippery. He was used to it though, and he was sure she was too. It was probably winter in her planet. It became a massive piece of ice. Only her species could thrive in such harsh environments.
Norik shook his head to clear it as they approached a large opening. It lead to the main chamber of the cavernous labyrinth. There were bright lights everywhere, forcing them to cover their eyes with their arms. She began to look around as fast as she could. It was big enough to hide several battle cruisers inside. When they reached the entrance, they were met with a set of stairs that lowered to the bottom level, facing another set at the other side that led to four upper levels. Most of the bottom part of the cavern was flooded. It connected with an underwater passage that allowed the pirates to enter their vehicles undetected.
Two ships floated near the small dock they had created, guarded by heavily armed pirates. One was small, fit for at least a small crew to be on it with blasters. The second ship was a lot larger. A black cargo ship with the emblem of the proud Federal Corps. Two hatches were opened at its center to the side, much like bird wings in plain flight. And inside she spied the pale wings of what she had come for. “Koil…” She mumbled as she bit her lip, holding the hilt of the sword she had long hidden.
Norik took a deep breath as he watched her put on her visor with her other hand. Nothing could prepare him for this. But he didn’t have any other choice. Not anymore. He prepared the riffle in his hands, and before he could say anything, she was already dashing forward. His feet moved him on his own. He wasn’t the kind to face danger. He needed a way to make a living. A way to earn his meals. He joined the pirates to have a safe place to stay when no one else would take him in or give him a job. And now he was just chasing after a princes. He couldn’t keep up with her. But he would catch up.
She ran as fast as she could. Never taking a second to look back at Norik and see if he was still with her. He didn’t matter right now. She was close. So close. A few more seconds and she would get what was hers in the first place. They had messed with the thing Glidians loved and respected the most. And they wouldn’t get away with it. Koil would not die in the hands of pirates. And she was sure it wasn’t going to be sold off to a zoo or worst, be consumed. Koil was too special.
The small blades flew through the air, impaling deep down into the bodies of the first two pirates she found. Jumping back and forth, sliding to her sides as her body and suit allowed, she avoided shots and debris. It was taking too long. And she couldn’t waste any more time. She pulled out the hilt on her back, and out began forming a strange, serrated blade from dark purple energy, keeping the center of the blade as dark as a void. Only the Glidians, and those who learned their mysterious ways -or somehow where chosen by the circumstances of life- could use those blades. They moved fast. They carried no weight to them, and they could cut through almost every material that existed, if the wielder wished it. Some believed that the blades extracted the souls of those it cut, and they were not far from the truth behind them.
The princess stood up straight, staring at the scared faces that looked back at her in terror. They could not see it, but underneath the mask she now had a smile of sadistic satisfaction.
“My name is Linora, princess of the Glidians and heir to the throne. And you, scum, have committed the worst crime of all. Messing with our wealth is one thing. But even the smartest beings in the universe know that our dragons are off limit. It is for that reason that I sentence you all to death!”
Linora raised her arm up high, swinging it right in front of her in the form of a crescent moon. When her swing was done, she put her blade where it once was. For a moment, nothing happened. But as she began running towards her captive dragon. One by one the pirates began to fall, bleeding as they fell from various cuts done all over their body. They could not see it, but in that swing she had moved her arms in different directions while her blade extended.
Koil laid on the floor, held down by ropes that were boring into itrs armor plated skin. Its whole body was covered in deep wounds. It had been left in a really bad shape. So much so that its breath began to slow down with each one it took. Tears began to fall from her eyes as she approached its face. She was too late. Linora stroked its snout gently, awakening him from his little sleep.
“I’m so sorry, Koil…” She tried to say. Her voice was breaking. “I’m sorry…”
Koil pushed its snout forward, making her embrace it for the last time. She knew what it meant. And what had to be done. When a dragon died, they would excel a small, blue flame that the Glidians would collect, and later on take to a sacred place, where a new dragon could be born. And so she did. Taking small steps back, she stood in front of it with her hands together, forming a circle. Koil began to blow a blue flame into her hands, and when finished, it began to disappear. It began to crystallize from head to tail, and was later on blown away by a gust of wind.
“Safe travels…” She said as she watched the dust fly off.
Drying her eyes, Linora began walking towards the docks again, avoiding the blood batches she had left behind. She wasn’t proud. Her race was against violence, and it was seen only as a last resort. What she found strange, however, was the fact that she could not find Norik. “Maybe he ran off…” She thought. But it was soon dismissed as she saw him on the floor, bleeding out at the foot of stairs. She hadn’t measured her swing. In fact, she forgot he was there at all.
She ran towards him quickly then slid until she was kneeling beside him, holding the flame with one of her hands. He was dying. A deep wound was spread across his chest. She could hear whistles each time he took a breath. Her eyes welled up when she looked him in the eyes. He wasn’t ready to die. And yet there he was about to draw his last breath.
“I…” She mumbled.
She closed her eyes, and with a deep breath, she made a choice. She whispered several things against the blue flames, and as it began to kindle, she shoved it inside Norik’s wound. It was an old ritual. One rarely seen, as they would strangely trust strangers. But she saw the good in him. It wasn’t his time.
Challenge #2 on the writing prompt challenge!
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