Ungrateful

by William Yang|

“Others would be thanking me right now you know.”

“Can’t I have a choice in my own death?” Sparks flew as the mechanized warriors flung themselves into each other. Metal on metal. Clank after clank. Blow after blow, the ground shook from the shear force of the fight.

A fight between two who were at some point in the past very good friends, compatriots who fought side by side and were willing to die for one another. One a paragon of order and justice, the other a beautiful priestess with a devoted to help the less fortunate. As companions, none could say they got along perfectly. They argued and complained, like any other couple. And like any other couple, they always forgave. But they never fought with fists, at least not like this, with their armors still active.

“I told you to leave me there. Let me be punished.”

“All you had to say was thank you.” Eula smirked, wiping a drop of blood from the corner of her mouth. “Friends don’t let friends die.”

Rage burned in Kerr’s eyes. The noble Arbitrator vowed to keep order and justice within the Terran Realms. A vow that he had failed to keep.

***

“Do you, Kerr Smith,accept your punishment for breaking your vow? ”

“Yes, I accept. Long reign the Vow of Virtue.”

“Brother Smith, may the spirits have mercy on your so–” Before the Chief Arbitrator was able to finish pronouncing the sentence, a plasma shot tore across the air and ripped through his armor. Scrambling for cover, the executioner let  his electro-ax clamor and hit the ground at Kerr’s feet.

Two Arbitrators scrambled for their weapons and scanned high for the assailant while two others dragged Kerr to the wall and magnetized his restraints to the floor. Unnecessary, since the former Arbitrator had already accepted his fate. His spirit was crushed. Crushed by screams of those he had failed.

A small green-skinned female humanoid decloaked beside Kerr and used a primitive steel dagger to short circuited the restraints. Then, without any effort thanks to her PXS-III Power Armor, picked up Kerr. Eula carried Kerr toward a newly created exit, created with the help of explosives, in the wall.

“Can’t you see this is what I wanted?!” Screamed Kerr. “I don’t care if you don’t care what I want! Just let me die here with honor!” Kerr said while trying to wrestle free from Eula’s grasp.

***

“You caused me the highest dishonor, Eula. I wanted to die.”

“Kerr, you’re more than an Arbitrator. You’re a friend.” Eula used a laser-torch to cut through Kerr’s restraints. “Now calm down, so I can get this off you. Then we can get going.”

The rage burned hotter within Kerr. Barely were his restraints off when he pushed Eula away. “Go? Go where? There’s nowhere to go.”

Eula threw the first punch. “Calm down. I’m just trying to help.”

Kerr’s punched back and his attacks grew stronger and stronger. He didn’t hold back. The suit intensified his strength and channeled all his rage and power into his punches. Metal crunched beneath his fists as all his blows landed. Blow after blow, punching harder and harder. Only because of exhaustion did Kerr finally stop for a moment to take a breath.

For a few seconds the fighting stopped. Eula saw her chance. “Your vow can still be kept.” With pieces missing from her armor she stumbled as she tried to stand. “You were betrayed.”

Slowly, Kerr Smith looked up. “Betrayed? By whom?”

“That doesn’t matter. What matters is that we still have time to rescue those colonists if we leave now.” With the help of Kerr, Eula got up and started walking. “We’ll jack that ship,” Eula said and pointed to a cargo ship in the distance, “and head to the Aloris Centauri sector.”

With Eula’s arm around his shoulder, Kerr looked down at her and said. “I hope the High Arbitrator won’t be too mad you shot him.”

“It’s just a flesh wound. He’ll live.”


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