The Sword, Hammer, and Shield Jun 2, 2019 14:11:31 GMT -6
Post by Casca on Jun 2, 2019 14:11:31 GMT -6
"The Sword, Hammer, and Shield"
Solo, 50x Gravity
“What do you think of our new Incisor,” an Android in-flight asked her comrade.
Keeping his attention on the ground, the Earthling slightly turned his head to answer his teammate, “He’s not my Incisor, my Incisor wouldn’t have chosen such a dull world to conquer.” Rocketing through the air, the two continued to scan the ground for any problems that would arise during their occupation. Told to use lethal force if necessary, this job promised almost no need for it.
Embasa Prime was a shit-hole, it was.
Why the World Trade Fleet felt the need to acquire a planet in the middle of nowhere surprised everyone. But that was the thing; the Fleet couldn’t openly conquer planets in their never-ending story to profit from other peoples’ loss. That would bring War. An unnecessary loss on their side was not an option, which was when the Company made their play. Made up of military or combat professionals, the Company was born with the intention of putting dependable assets back into the field. With a certain set of skills no longer honored in modern society, the veterans sought work through the private military firm to continue to invest in the skills they learned from the military or other like services while making more than a decent living. What that really meant was they were still in an army, just an army willing to play with the highest bidder. The earliest days of the Company, people who were Connected were formed into squads. Each squad consisted of eight members, each named after a part of a human’s dental anatomy.
The Incisors. There were two Incisors, both equally responsible for the safety of their squad and the success of every mission. The difference between the two positions, the Incisor One was always Arcosian and always from the highest branches of the Arcosian military. Every Incisor outranks every other position, regardless of experience or involvement with the Company.
The Canine. While most squads only contain one Canine, the Canine unit often takes the lead in place of the Incisors to keep them stationed safely from battle. Normally an offensively strong unit, the Canine is expected to have full mastery of their transformations, as they are looked to be the squad’s aggressor in combat.
The Bicuspids. All teams have two Bicuspids, where are normally of the Namekian or Android species. This is because these units are responsible for the squad’s utilities and support. They are the primarily healers and mechanics, able to remedy mission ending situations if need be.
And the Molars. Often seen as defensive units, a squad’s three Molars often vary in their responsibility. This title is for the lowest members of the Company but that isn’t necessarily looked at as a bad thing. They may come from many different backgrounds, ranging from distance specialists to area affect practitioners. Typically the squad’s pilot is a Molar. And they can even be used to rush the opponent as a second Canine.
Together, a squad of eight Teeth would be matched with eight more. These upper teeth would normally be the Company’s first and second teams. A smile is not complete without a bottom row, consisting of two more squads of eight. The Company wasn’t messing around with their Hy-gene, they took this planet conquering seriously, and made loads of money in the meantime. Assembling a full mouth of teeth in a platoon of thirty-two individuals, the Company started betting on all of the available World Trade Fleet contracts. If the Fleet wasn’t going to do what needed to be done publicly, they would and they could. Consisting of the outcasts, the cast-asides, the old and the damned, they became strong and rich and their influence spread, at least for a couple years anyway.
Now knocking on Embasa’s door, this nimwhit had to ask if he liked their new Incisor. He was a dick. He was Arcosian. What was there to like. “If Hyle didn’t become part of the Collective,” the highest division of the Company, “we wouldn’t have been stuck with this Upsik guy? What’s that even mean,” the human asked his fellow Bicuspid knowing she already knew the answer.
Refraining from telling her human squad member how she really feels about him, the Company Android delved through the message they all received when their new Incisor took over. Being an Android and specializing in multitasking, the most sought after prerequisite for Bicuspids for this Company, she maneuvered perfectly in autopilot as her eyes rolled into the back of her head. Seeing the message before her with her robotic implants, the Android read the small insert about Upsik. “The Arcosian General, Upsik, part of the Inuit tribe. Upsik, meaning wind-beat snow, resembling a stone’s rough appearance as well as durability. He was the youngest —,” started the Android before the human Bicuspid cut her off.
“Did you hear that? Over the radio? I told you, you don’t have to tell me the answer to every little question, we need to be concentrating with both of our eyes ahead,” he paused as he listened to the broadcast again more agitated than the first time. “There it was again, did you hear that. Let me put it on speaker,” and he did just that, hitting varies buttons on the small dashboard built into his tac-suits sleeve.
“Crrssshhhh, I repeat, they have an Oozaru. Wait, no. Check that, they have three Oozarus. If you can hear me, we need back up, on Upsik’s mark, we need AAHHHHH,” and the radio went silent.
The massive Great Ape barreled forward through the moon lit terrain. With no mastery of her transformation, Cassandra's actions weren’t her own as the monster she became towered over her enemies. Thundering to a halt, the furred beast's arms lashed out at foes. Grabbing ahold of an Android, the ape squeezed it to pieces and threw the carcass into the air before relinquishing a massive blast from its mouth, disintegrating anything left of the enemy Android.
With a ferrous scream, the Oozaru beat its chest before it grew aware of the mounting effort to put a stop to her reign. Forming around their Incisor, the squad led with their Canine. The female Majin’s body morphed as she squared up with the behemoth, once known as Cassandra. Growing elongated limbs with various spikes from her exterior, the much smaller Majin had defeated more than her share of Apes, she had the tails to prove it. With acrobatic fluidity, the Majin evaded the Ape’s initial assaults, choosing to attack it’s enemy’s legs in the process. The ape crashed to a knee, the Majin caused the beast to take attention as the Majin circled to her backside, wanting to end the fight as quickly as she could she went for the tail. Placing her fist in her mouth, she sprinted while exuding small phantom clones of her that acted like suicide-bombers, laying a blanket of fire across the ape's body.
The squad hired by the Fleet, owned by the Company, shifted into a defensive formation. Without a spoken word, the two remaining Molars moved towards the front of the group for its protection. Consisting of a former Dragon Clansmen Namekian and a Konatsian in full control of his Monstar, the two formed an impenetrable wall. Spacing strategically behind their Molars, the squad braced for battle as the lead Incisor addressed the unit, “The intelligence was wrong. The Saiyan had offspring. The kids we will keep, the parents, leave them to her,” he pointed at the Majin flipping around the giant ape with ease as she cut deep strikes into its thick hide. “Follow these commands and we will avoid any further loss.” Motioning for his fellow Incisor to flank the beast to the left, the Arcosian announced the rest of his plans. “Loki and I will take the two siblings, you two handle this one. Use the collars.”
Disappearing from view, the Incisor appeared before the transformed Oozaru. The two stared at each other for a moment, both still as they silently opposed one another. In a split second, the great ape snapped its jaws into what it thought was the body of the Arcosian. Teeth against teeth, the great ape seized but the Arcosian’s speed was too great, his afterimage left behind a more than a believable life-like image that the great ape attacked instead.
Reappearing above the now hanging and confused head of the great ape, the Arcosian flipped rapidly, causing his spiked tail to crash into the ape. Colliding with a force equal to that of the transformed, the Incisor sent the ape defeated into the cold soil. The Majin mounted the ape as the Arcosian continued his flight to greet the Saiyan’s sister, Agnes.
The ape previously known Cassandra roared as it fought the Majin off of her back, clawing furiously. Giving up on the losing battle for the tail now, the squad’s Canine superheated her hands as she attacked the ape’s midsection before she retreated to her teammates cover. Dashing by her comrades, the Majin’s spikey exterior flattened as her skin darkened in appearance. Her body also retracted to its smaller size. It was her footsteps that gave away her new transformation, as she sunk deeper and deeper into the ground as she increased her mass.
The little bit left of Cassandra within the great Ape watched as the Majin proceeded to crashed through the front walls of her childhood house. Raging turned to stumbling as the Oozaru approached the wall of Ki provided by the two Mollars that prevented her from helping her parents. According to the plan, the two summoned even more barriers in quick succession in an attempt to slow the great Ape in his frontal assault of the squad. When that didn’t work, the Utility would be back with the blutz ray absorbing collars meant to prevent the Oozaru's transformation. Both tensed as the great ape threw its body into the first pair of barriers as they summoned another in to take its place.
The great ape crashed and disintegrated the first set of barriers with relative ease. But using its entire cache of momentum on their first wall, the ape was more vocal as it battled against the following. Damaging the barriers to the point of eventual failure, the ape narrowed the distance to its prey as it called for their challenge to be met in person. Exhausted, the great ape retracted its torso as it drew Ki towards its opened muzzle. A growing, swirling mixture of energy and lightning entered into existence before the beast. The two Molars braced themselves behind their barriers as the ape’s attack ripped through the air towards them. Bleeding through the blockade in seconds, the Konatsian collapsed his hands to his chest.
Chanting a quick incantation, the lime skinned Konatsian broke the vessel hanging from his neck. A deluge of black tar rushed from the small necklace pendant used to conceal his demon half. Today, he would it be let free, he thought as it consumed his entire body. The Konatsian roared as the tar quickly covered his body and made its way to his heart. Physically feeling the shift of consciousness taking place within him, his soul taking a back seat as his Monstar stalled for his teammates. As the Monstar, he clapped his hands together, projecting a force outward at the raging Oozaru. In a matter of seconds, the wind picked up and immediately was focused on the great ape, hampering its advance. Slowing the Oozaru to a crawl, the Monstar summoned an enchanted blade from thin air. Grabbing it by its hilt, the transformed Konatsian slashed the air once in preparation for its use.
The Monstar proceeded to walk around the stalled Oozaru, wielding the sword now above his head with both hands. Raging against the magical restraints performed by the Konatsian’s will over magic, the ape clawed at the one looking to control her. The fingers of the ape swiped frantically at the advancing warrior as he circled towards Ape's tail, the source of the Great Ape's power. Bracing his foreleg against the transformed creature, the Monstar readied mentally the path of his strike. With a single blow, he would have avenged his fallen comrade and brought honor to his squad. Exhaling one last time, his hands moved as he brought the sword down.
Stopping just before the defenseless tail of the Oozaru, the Konatsian pulled back as the team’s utility Bicuspids touched down. “Somebody ask for some collars,” the Human called into the demonic face of the Monstar. Removing a device from his suit, the Earthling slammed a stake into the neck of the great ape. Slowly, Cassandra reverted to her normal form and with it, all the power of a twelve-year-old. The transformed Ape was operating at fifty time normal planet gravity, Cassandra on the other hand immediately realized her gravity vest was knocked up a level during combat. The Saiyan in a weakened state, defeated, sprawled out on the ground; it felt like the whole world lay across her back. “The collars formula will only last for a few hours but it should be long enough to get her back to the rendezvous point,” the Human Bicuspid announced to the rest of his squad. Putting a boot on the detained Saiyan’s back, he motioned to his teammates to help the Majin with the child’s father.
The Namekian and Monstar nodded in agreement as they left the Bicuspids to clean up the mess. The female Android rotated her hands in a three hundred and sixty degree display of her nervousness as she stood next to her teammate. Scanning the conquered Saiyan, she mentioned, “This was only a child. Think of what her father would become.”
Her human counterpart spoke up as he watched her with concern while her hands spun around, the anxious antics of a cyborg. “Saiyans only hold their place in the galaxy because they have a transformation they are capable of tapping into from birth. You take away their transformation; it’s only a matter of time before they run out of tricks. Ain’t that right little girl,” he said as he adjusted his boot on Cassandra’s spine.
“We should radio the transport,” the Android identified as she closed her eyes to begin communications with the rest of the platoon. “We are going to get you guys to safety, you will be okay.”
Safety? But this was her home, where there currently was no safety as she laid, cemented into the ground. Hearing the warfare around her, Casca withdrew inward at the thought of her family members facing a situation far worse than hers. She would soon be transported to safety.
“Cassandra,” yelled Agnes as she was by her sister’s side, also reverted back to her normal state per the stake provided by the collars.
“Watch over these two,” the Arcosian Incisor commanded his Bicuspids.
“Sir,” they both bowed per Company custom, a show of obedience by voluntarily exposing areas of the body for lethal strikes. The Incisors never do anything for it is the act of servitude to Connected that was being demonstrated, they are but one tooth of an entire mouth.
“I will relieve the Majin and send her to help Loki subdue the third target. Do not let these two escape, transport should be here in ten,” the Arcosian Incisor arched his back shaking his head free of command. Not needing to transform, the sleek exoskeleton of the man was proof enough he was already in his third form. White with jet black inlays, the Arcosian pushed off the ground. With a lightning strike, the squad’s leader moved forward at such speeds, no one traced his movement until he was before the house, unleashing a devastating blast to what was left standing.
“No,” exclaimed Cassandra’s sister as the two hugged each other in the middle of the burning property they spent their entire lives upon. Shaking, Agnes’ body radiated shimmers of heat as the two embraced.
“He would have transformed right,” Cassandra wept into her sister’s shoulder. “Why hasn’t dad transformed? If his skin touched the moonlight, he should have,” she couldn’t continue. There were three reasons why her father wouldn’t have been able to transform and protect his family. Discovering a new one as she inspected the injection mark on her sister’s neck, the youngest of the Madani family knew of two more. Removal of the tail.
After-imaging from the prison of fear her sister was caught up in, Cassandra braced a full hand on the ground as she swung her legs in a helicopter motion. Kicking at the two masked individuals, the young Saiyan was successful in taking them by surprise. Rebounding to her feet in the same vein that her siblings and she had practiced countless times before with their grandfather, she extended both hands in the shapes of handguns at her downed captors. Summoning a small sphere of violet Ki before each hand, the Saiyan backpedaled to her sister’s side. “Are we going to help Christopher or not,” Cassandra said, taking her eyes off of her targets for a second as she tried to bargain with her sister to wake from her shellshock. “We need you now! Agnes, are you with me!”
Stumbling to her feet, the air around the oldest of the Madani children cracked as she righted her balance. For a moment, Cassandra thought she saw the eyes of her sister grow black. The older Saiyan moved toward her younger sister with a face hidden behind disheveled blue hair. Walking past Cassandra, Agnes opened both of her palms as she summoned a silhouette of Ki around her. An explosion ignited under the older’s feet as she took off with reckless abandon to help their brother.
Shooting her primed attacks into the dirt in an attempt to intimidate her captors, Cassandra swiveled her midsection and tried to take off in quick pursuit. “Gotcha,” exclaimed the Human, as he held tight to the Saiyan’s foot. Trying to shake him free, Cassandra tried to summon another attack but her hand was snatched up the Android. Immediately not liking the situation, the Saiyan swung. The rather slow velocity of Cassandra’s punch granted the circuitry within the mechanical Android enough time to run all the calculations to get the proper response she wanted. Dodging the Saiyan’s attack to her head cabinet by doubling backwards in a way that would not be considered natural, the Saiyan found herself overextended the front of the Android as she was caught in a defenseless position. With one swift blow to the neck, the Android struck the child in the throat rendering her unconscious.
“Still don’t prefer the hands-on stuff,” the human said to his Bicuspid counterpart. The Android limbs hitched her to an upward standing position, in her arms the unconscious child.
“They are not the problem,” the Android believed all life was scared, regardless of how the life was lived. “It is what they might someday become, that is the problem.”
“They are unpredictable! That is true,” the human dropped two green taclights on the ground. “That’s why I prefer to keep my distance,” he mimicked using a rifle with a scope. Aiming at the out-cold Saiyan in his partner’s arms, he fired an imaginary bullet. “You know having a couple more in the Company would be a godsend though.”
“Don’t become attached. The Company said clear the natives from the planet. That is what we are doing,” the Android said as she shouldered the child. “That’s why we are dropping the youth off on Arcose.”
“Where are we,” said the mangled Christopher.
“I overheard some of the other kids, they think it is Arcose,” Agnes spoke slowly, bandaging what she could of her brother’s wounds. Tearing the last piece of his shirt down the middle, but stopping at its midpoint, the eldest Madani wrapped the solid piece around Chris’s wounded face before tying it on the back of his head. “Don’t do anything stupid,” she projected louder than before, looking at Cassandra as well.
It was sad, even now, Agnes could be bitter to her siblings. But did they even understand there was a could chance their parents weren’t coming back? Not possessing the strength to talk about it at the moment, she would address the fact with her brother and sister another time. If they needed to believe in their parents’ survival, she would let them believe, for she needed them to stay together because she believed they were the last of the Madani’s left.
“They are alive, I know it. Dad protected mom and grandpa … ,” Cassandra’s voice trailing off as the floodgates opened. Burying her head in her sister’s shoulder, the three humbled together on the floor of the transport spacecraft, each believing the lie they choose to hear.
The next several hours of processing brought with it the reality their lives would be forever changed. Long gone were the afternoon walks through the fields full of produce to harvest. Or trips to the stream to catch that night’s dinner with their father. The memories that were robbed from them, the lives they would have grown into, stolen.
Cassandra raised her arms as the Arcosian attendant waived a metal detector across her body. Jumping as the lady yelled, “Next,” the young Saiyan was thrown a clean pair of clothes and ushered forward to the fleet.
Tables and more attendants with paperwork.
Pushed into a chair, the young woman’s hand was slapped on an old school inkpad before being plastered on three different documents. “Full name, Parents’ names and species,” screeched an avian Arcosian across the table from the Saiyan.
“Cassandra Madani. My parents were — are Joslyn and Kabel Madani, and, I am both a human and a Saiyan,” the young girl said as she wiped the tears from her eyes. The faster she finished, the faster she’d be with her siblings, or so was her train of thought.
“You’re now Casca,” the Arcosian said with an avian tic, as if Cassandra ruffled its feathers, the attendant motioned to the girl’s tail. “Don’t lie to me again. Your father’s name was Kabel, named after the Cascabel chili, it’s a popular Saiyan name pun or so I hear. So, I name you Casca. You are officially a Saiyan to the Arcosian government, enjoy your stay.” That was it, blank stares.
“But, my name is Cas —,” instantly cut off.
Pushed through a pair of rubber doors, the Saiyan was rushed down a short hallway. After a flight of stairs and one last hallway, the Saiyan was kicked into Froz City’s slums with a voucher for an apartment in the worst district in town. Quickly covering herself in the little protection she had from the harsh environment, the Saiyan covered her clothes with the cold-weather garb given to her by the Arcose’s government.
“Are you alright,” Agnes called as she embraced her frightened sister. “It’s okay. We are together now,” she said as she pushed her sister from her body. Looking at her and her brother Christopher in the eyes, the oldest sibling told them the truth. “We are the only ones that matter. Like Mom said, we will never be apart again.”