One More Light

A little something I wrote a while ago and never posted…  Until now that is, and after such a long hiatus.  I wonder, how long will I stick around this time?

Aaron stood towering over the young woman, shielding her with his body where she had fallen.  His gaze hard, he stared down the menacing form of the armored man in front of them.

The wind blew up suddenly through the center of the town square, whipping back his black long-coat, the base of it torn to shreds, revealing the jet black revolver strapped to his hip.  His hands flexed, reaching.

He could feel the pressure, the power emanating from the man in front of him.  Greed, anger, torment.  All wrapped up in a blood-thirsty personality.  The monster that he’d become contained only by the power-armor that he wore, large spiked plates stacked over mechanical musculature, giving him ungodly immense power, and allowing him to rampage for as long as he had, terrorizing all he came into contact with.  Aaron didn’t know how many worlds the man had been too, cities he’d ravaged, nor how he had come to Vale.  The only thing he knew, was that he had to be stopped.

“How dare you interfere!” raged the man from behind his helmet.  The shiny skull-like appearance striking a fearful accent to his raspy, deep words booming from the enhance vocals provided by the armor.

Fingers tight on the staff that he wielded, the man lifted it, cutting the air in a swift motion almost to fast to see, ending with the staff pointing at Aaron’s heart.  The motion gusted the air sharply, the shock striking toward Aaron.  His coat whipped about, a new rip forming in the base as the thin slice of wind from the man’s motion cut sliced past Aaron.

“Draw your weapon so I may batter it aside!” called the man menacingly.

Aaron reached, his fingers gripping the hilt.  “No,” breathed the woman from behind him.  With one swift pull, he drew the sword from the sheath at the small of his back, swinging it around in front of him and bringing it to a guard stance.

“Bahahahaaaa!  You should have chosen your gun!  You might have at least had a chance!  Now die!”

The man moved impossibly fast, faster then any normal human, the armor enhancing his speed beyond comprehension of the human senses.  He stepped forward, thrusting with the staff, moving to impale Aaron in one motion.

Aaron followed his move perfectly with his own senses, drawing on his own strength and speed, pouring it into the sword.  He could feel his strength build as the sword amplified it, reflecting it back to him, to enhancing his own senses and body.  Moving the sword one handed, he swung the broken blade, the fractured tip barely touching the staff as it made contact perfectly, intercepting the armored man’s thrust.  The tip of the staff swung wide, thrown off course, missing Aaron completely.

The force of the air following the thrust was intercepted as well, blown back by Aaron’s motion with the sword, reflected back at the armored man, blowing back at him with all the force he’d put behind the thrust.  As the staff swung wide, he took a staggering step back, reeling with surprise.  “Wha-!  Rrrraaa!”  Not for long though.  He recovered with a bellowing war cry and reversed the motion of the staff stepping forward and swinging as hard as possible.

Aaron’s heightened senses picked up the minor motion of the mechanical musculature as it flexed.  The man was pulling on the power of the armor, rather than speed for this swing.

He reached with his other hand, gripping the hilt of the sword with both, shifting his footing and swinging to parry the attack.

The clash of metal on metal was loud, rising to a shriek as he swung with the man’s motion, redirecting it up and over his head his arms making a sweeping motion with the sword in hand.  The tip once again barely touching the staff it slid along the length of the staff.

As the tip cleared the end of the staff, he barely had time to react as the armored man gripped the staff two handed as well, bringing it down from Aaron’s overhead deflection.

Reacting on instinct, Aaron swung with all his might slashing the broken sword diagonally as hard as he could, drawing on the reflected, amplified strength provided by the sword.  The resulting shock-wave from the swing cut across the armored man’s chest in an instant, blowing him back.  He stumbled, stepping back, the downward swing of his staff still following through, impacting on the ground.  Rock and dirt flew as the staff cratered the ground at Aaron’s feet.

The armored man laughed suddenly, gripping the staff one handed, wrenching it from where it had stuck in the ground, the mechanical musculature working to free the weapon.  He shifted his stance, bringing the staff over his head two handed.  “Not often do I draw on my full strength.  Be honored by this fact as I kill you.”

A whine filled the air as the musculature flexed underneath the armored panels, moving the man’s body with incredible strength and power as he suddenly twirled the staff around each side of his body, winding up and stepping forward in a powerful charge.

Aaron suddenly knew the sword’s reflective strength, his own amplified strength would not be enough to defend against this next attack.  He needed more power, more strength, speed, than just what his abilities gave him.  He could feel the dark call reaching out, blood-lust and power, trying to worm its way into the back of his mind, emanating from the holster at his hip.

Kill him.

The whisper came as it always had.

Defend her.

He answered back, opening his mind and body to the power flowing from the pistol.  Gripping the sword one handed he relaxed his stance, letting it fall to his side, internally directing all his growing strength and power into it.  He could feel the dark flames enveloping his psyche, extending to envelope his entire body.  His eyes lost focus, taking on a hard, emotionless stare.

Looking down at the sword in his hand, though his blurring vision he could see the black flames roaring around the bright white core, intermingling with it, amplified by it’s reflective power, corrupting it’s pure reflective nature.

He felt his muscles tense, responding to a force not his own.  He was only a bystander now, only able to suggest, but not control.  He had given himself over completely as Van had trained him.

His vision flicked from the sword to the armored man seemingly moving in slow motion through his swing.  Aaron felt his free hand raise, his muscles tense, stance shift ever so slightly as his body reached out, catching the staff in it’s whirling motion intended to strike him from shoulder to hip.

The flex of muscle and crack of bone as the staff contacted his palm and his fingers wrapped around it were merely background to the force that struck through his body like lightning going to ground at his feet.  He was aware of the fracturing under him, giving way and sinking with the sudden force.  Instantly he could feel the incessant itching well up, along with the pain, for only a fraction of a second before it was muted, absorbed by the dark flames coursing through his body.

His vision focused in on the armored man, surprise showing clearly in stance and grip of the staff, even through his armored visage.  “I – impossible!” he breathed, fear filling his amplified voice.  “That’s impossible.  That strike should have broken every bone in your body!”

Aaron felt his grip tighten as the armored man tried to pull the staff from his grasp to no avail, the mechanical musculature flexing and working beneath the metal plates.  “Let go!” cried the man in fear and anger.

The thought of what would happen next filled Aaron’s mind, and he had to wince as he felt his body move, his arm pulling back against the man’s strength as he fought to free his weapon.  The motion was ever so slight, but enough to force the man to pull harder or loose grip on the staff.  Suddenly the motion changed and Aaron felt himself pushing the staff into the man’s grip with all the force of his augmented strength.

Surprise mingled with fear again at the sudden change in motion, the man loosing his grip on the staff as Aaron drove it back into him, as he desperately tried to deflect it to the side.  Instead the end of the staff skipped off his chest-plate, guided by both his and Aaron’s hands, driving down into his thigh finding the join between his pelvic and leg armor.  The mechanical musculature afforded his some protection for a brief second before the force became to much, fracturing the armor and driving into his hip joint, sliding clean through and exploding out the other side impacting into the ground with a sickening crunch of rock and breaking bone.

The armored man’s cry, amplified by his voice modulator rang loud and piercing in the air.

Aaron felt his grip released on the staff and his other hand come up, swinging the sword.  The motion was casual, but carried with it an incredible force.  To his blurred vision, Aaron saw the black flames leap from the sword extending its reach to cut deep into the man’s chest-plate, fracturing it and sending shards of armor raining to the ground as the man bent, his hands gripped around the staff, his cries cut off as the mechanical musculature sparked violently showering Aaron’s arm and coat with white hot particulate.

Reaching with his free hand, he gripped the man’s skull-like helm, wrenching it off, and flinging it aside.  The world suddenly rushed back to Aaron and he found himself able to speak, his mouth moving with words that had been waiting the back of his mind as he’d fought.  “Death is too great an honor for you.”  Aaron felt his free hand reach for his holster.  He gripped the hilt of the pistol, drawing it in one motion and pointing it at the man’s chest.  He felt the dark flames withdraw, focusing to a point inside the chamber of the pistol.  “But for others to live… you must die.”

Aaron squeezed his finger on the trigger of the jet black revolver.  The hammer struck the casing inside the loaded chamber.  The crack was loud in the air, the shot striking the weakened and destroyed chest armor of the man.  The man’s body convulsed once and Aaron could feel what was left of the man’s power drain from him, life fading from his eyes as he stared back at Aaron’s hard gaze.

He felt the power withdraw from his mind and his body, fading as he lowered the pistol, shoving it into the holster on his hip.  Reaching around, he sheathed the broken sword.  Van’s sword.

One more light snuffed out.  But to avenge so many lights snuffed out in this monster’s rampage.  How many more will I take? thought Aaron as he looked at the armored man’s corpse.


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Filed under Aaron Black-Heart, Random Short Story, Uncategorized, Writing

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