Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Mistake

The wind whistled through the immense gate, blowing drifts of snow against the huge stone walls to each side of it Within was the so-called Mercy’s Keep, a haven for pilots serving the Amarrian Empire, located on their home planet itself, Amarr Prime. I sat on the bench, breathing deeply, trying to control the white hot heat of my rage. It felt like my head was bursting, I had to do something. I was going to do something. I adjusted the sleeves of my rough brown pilot’s jacket, the one that Wei had given me when I graduated. Then I slid my hand along my fore-arm, feeling the tacky rubber grip of the compact switchblade concealed in a quick-draw sheath on my arm. Its viciously designed cerarmic blade was razor sharp, I knew that much. I had sharpened it before I left.

I knew what I had to do.

A rumble passed overhead, the sound of atmospheric engines howling a thunderous roar at the earth. I couldn’t see it, through the stinging curtain of ice crystals, but I knew what it was, an imperial issue fighter craft. I knew who it carried, and suddenly all the rage left me, leaving me with a cold empty gap in my chest. My contact had told me that he was returning to base, that he’d contacted the woman, the one he was engaged to, the woman I loved, who lived in the immense building behind me. He had told her he was on his way, my contact had said. I had been waiting for a while, but my patience was about to be rewarded. For a moment, I hunched my body, wishing I was somewhere else, that it was a dream. It never worked, though, and slowly, I felt resolve harden my muscles against the world.

I stood, leaning against the blowing wind, and peered into the gloom of the swirling storm. From here, I couldn’t see anything, but I knew he was there. I felt the fingers of my right hand flex, and it was almost like an invisible force pushed me towards the path. The cold starting numbing my limbs, but I didn’t care, I had to find the end.

I pulled the mirrored glasses from my face, tucking them into my coat. The fury of the ice made me squint my eyes, but I could see a little further. As I reached the path, I could just make out the landed craft, a bubble of the world illuminated by its landing lights. A figure climbed from the cockpit, slid onto the wing, then to the ground. I couldn’t make out details, so started walking towards him.

I reached about halfway down the path, and by this time, the identity of the man before me was clear. My heart leaped into my throat; it was him, it was. I kept walking, but my heart was pounding in my ears, the rage somehow coming back at the sight of the man, filling my head with red, but not touching that cold center in the middle of me. As I got closer, I nodded my head, and, trying to mask the hatred in my voice, shouted a greeting.

“Math’ra, right?”

“Yeah, that’s me,” he responded, “Do I know you?” He seemed hesitant, wary, like a wild animal. I tried to make my body language less threatening, so I wouldn’t spook him. Not yet.

“Raxip Elamp. We met the other night, at the Gate?” I keep slowly closing the distance, counting my steps, but at the mention of my name, he grew ever so slightly more still.

“Raxip?” He speaks hesitantly, like something is bothering him. “Didn’t you run off early, or something?” Doubt and tension fill his voice; I can feel his body preparing for a burst of movement. I hold up my hands, to show I mean no harm. I tell him as much, as well, my voice firm and unwavering.

“That’s what they all say,” he quips, a half smirk on his face, but I can tell he’s less nervous, that he thinks I truly mean him no harm.

“I just want to talk, it’s all right.” He folds his arms across his chest, but the tension in his posture is gone. I readjust my sleeves, again slipping my fingers along my arm to caress the knife strapped to myself.

His face remains in its condescending grin, taunting me. “Yeah, Morwen told me you figured it all out,” I explained. I took another step closer, shaving the distance between us down bit by bit. I see his weight shift slightly, but he’s off his guard. I try to force myself into a grin. “Hey, don’t worry about it. I just wanted to apologize.”

He nods slowly, seeming less concerned. “Thanks,” he says, “And it was a probably a bad way to find out. Sorry about that.”

I nod, and a chuckle escapes my lips. “Yeah, not the best way to find out the girl you love has a fiancĂ©e.” I offer a hand to the bulky figure towering nearly a foot above my head. “Still, no hard feelings, right?”

He chuckles a bit too, as if we’re sharing a moment of camaraderie. “Yeah, life’s a bitch.” He extends his arm, grasps my hand with his. His grip is firm, but not forceful. “I am really sorry about it.”

I slide my grip up, clasping his wrist, and pull him towards me, into a hug. He follows the motion, and I feel his hand pat me on the back, between my shoulder blades. I tilt my head up towards his ear and whisper. “Still, one thing, buddy?” I ask him.

“Hmmm?” He responds, and I release his arm, flicking my own in a serpentine motion to release the catch on the sheath and launching the knife into the palm of my hand. “Fuck you,” I hiss into his ear, as my hand jerks up and plunges the blade of my weapon deep into his chest, between the plates of armour he wears. He grunts into my neck, his body stiffening, then he convulses.

Hot blood wells up around my grip, and pours over my hand, soaking my fingers with his life. I twist, then yank the knife from the wound. I spit “Fuck you, Slaver” at him, as I jam the knife back into his body, lower this time, driving it into his stomach.

A wild keening cry interrupts my thoughts, and my head spins sharply towards it. She’s right there! She’s standing right there! “God no! Stop! Raxip, no!” She screams, as she recognizes me. “MATH’RA!”

The man towering above me regains my attention with a cough, and I feel blood spatter my cheek. I try to pull the knife out, to turn it on her, but can’t, and look down, to realize that he is gripping my wrist with one iron-strong hand. I wrench my arm, trying to escape, but can’t, right away. I can feel him weakening, though, as his strength pours out onto the snow covered ground. “Fuck you... Too....” He spits back at me, his voice barely a rasping whisper.

I twist my hand again, and pull myself from his grip, leaving my weapon sunk into his torso. Turning to the woman who had interrupted us, I snarl “This is your fault, you slaver bitch.” The rage is filling me up, making me want to explode through my skin. I can’t stand the sight of her; it tells me all of all the happiness and stability I’ve never known. She cries out again, looking between us, confusion written across her face.

The big man is struggling to stay upright, his body swaying, but he wraps his hand around the hilt of the knife in his gut, and with a grunt and another cough of blood, he pulls it out, causing a fresh splatter of crimson to land on the white earth. He tries to pull me towards him with the hand still on my shoulder, while thrusting the blade towards me. I twist back, and throw my hand out, to stave away his attack. I feel a burning line draw itself up my arm, as my razor sharp weapon carves a line from the palm of my hand to my elbow. He loses his balance, and stumbles forward, and I take the opportunity to guide him into the ground between me and the girl.

She’s shouting something to another figure fast approaching, but I can’t understand it, her voice echoing and distorting. “Void take you,” I snarl at the fallen figure, the blood dripping from my arm mingling with his blood soaking my hand, and clutching arm to my chest, I run from the scene, shouldering my way past the man running to the rescue. I think I hear my name from behind me through the howling wind, but I don’t stop. I won’t ever stop.

6 comments:

  1. A podding would be easier, imo.

    Leave it to raxipoo to resorting to shanking the bitch instead.

    SALUT o7

    ReplyDelete
  2. blood spatters on snow makes for brilliant mental imagery

    ReplyDelete