Also hosted on Fanfiction.net
Team Dark are some of the best of the Headhunters, mercenary assassins who pursue bounties left by the United League of Nations and Noxia in their endless war against each other. After a decisive ULN victory, their team is contracted to finish off the Lord of Admirals Marcus De Couteau of the Noxia fleet after his flagship, The Ravenous Hydra limped away from the last battle. But on The Ravenous Hydra is something terrible that will spark a slaughter. And on the cold steel floor of the ships, a Dark Angel of Death will be born. And it's hungry.
Table of Contents
His Lord's Ship The Ravenous Hydra, Unknown Hours, Unknown Time
She was a Headhunter. Of all warriors of this time, one of the best. As one of the mercenary assassins that pursued the numerous bounties paid by the United League of Nations and Noxia in their endless war against each other, it was her job to collect the heads of whomever each other side wanted dead. Her team had picked up a big contract, this time the pay was so good, it should have been the last job she would ever have to do, if she didn't waste it all the night after on booze, gambling, and men. It was supposed to be THE mission that set her for life. But this time, everything went horribly, horribly wrong.
Drips of water on her face woke her. The female Headhunter gasped, then scrambled to her feet. Her flailing limbs kicked up the shallow muddy water that pooled over the hard cold floor. Her instinct drove her to try and find cover, darkness, any form of concealment and then formulate a plan. She dashed to the darkness of the edges of the room, but was stopped short from the shadows when the chain collared on her neck drew taut, and the headhunter fell flat on her back, splashing noisily against the muddy water.
The woman coughed and gasped, laying flat on her back, drawing greedy breaths. Brown muddy water soaked into her grey Noxia Navy uniform. Not that it mattered if she ruined it. She killed it's former owner a few hours ago when she had inflitrated the ship with her comrades.
But she was missing something more important. Her weapons.
The headhunter rolled back on her knees, and despite nursing a bruised windpipe, found the strength to crouch behind the stone pillar to which she was chained. It was a short, circular concrete lump, about chest high, with what seemed to be a paneled door that led into the pillar itself. On the door was painted a dark number six, faded and browned with something that looked suspiciously like blood.
The woman cursed. She needed to get her weapons and get out of here. Maybe if the chains were long enough, she could use it to strangle her captors when they eventually would come to check up on her, take their weapons, blast off her chains, then capture an enemy fighter to escape-
"Good evening," A deep voice cut in. The sound of the man echoed off of the wet floor and the cold dark walls. The headhunter searched about frantically for the source of the voice.
"I'm sorry for treating you like this," the man said again, almost sincerely, "Miss Headhunter, it must be terribly uncomfortable." His clear, cultured voice fed into a microphone from the next room, that transmitted his voice to speakers set up all around the poor woman in chains. Before him was a panel of instruments five feet wide, and a one-way mirror that looked into the room that the headhunter was trapped in. He leaned on his hands while he talked to the headhunter. A nervous man in a white lab coat fidgeted to the side.
"But to be fair Miss Headhunter, this is no more uncomfortable than what you had planned for me, is it? You tried to kill me."
The woman realized who it was.
"DuCouteau!" She screamed, realizing that of all things, her mark was taunting her from afar. Of all the humiliations- that the man who she was paid to kill would be so close-!
"Yes, I am Lord of Admirals, Marcus Du Couteau," The man behind the microphone bowed , even though the woman had no way of seeing it, "At your service."
"Come out here so I can choke you to death!"
"No, thank you, but you can do something for me." The Lord of Admirals tapped some controls, sparking the nervous man in the lab coat to reach and and mutter incoherently.
"...be careful with those..." the egg-head murmured, but the imposing man in the admiral's uniform either did not hear him, or ignored him, for the admiral finished inputting the controls, and sent the command through.
"Here, your weapons."
The panel inside of the stone pillar opened, and from it, a platform rose from beneath. On it neatly rested a pair of scythes, and a magnum with a few clips. The woman grunted, then lunged for her weapons, and quickly had them in her hands. She loaded her gun, and immediatly started shooting at the chain on her neck. The sound of gunshots splattering against steel echoed through the dark room.
"You'll want to save your ammo, Miss Headhunter, for the task you're going to do for me."
The Lord of Admirals tapped in some more controls. The taps of his command and the continued simpering of the lab man to his side belayed the gravity of his actions. He placed his hand over the lever that would release those things into the room.
"Do your best to survive." he said, throwing the lever.
And from that same stone pillar, the panels slid out, revealing that platform again. On it, a hard, carapaced egg-shaped thing. It was purple in hue with an oily rainbow sheen could barely be seen in the low lighting of the room. Without hesitation, the headhunter leveled her magnum at it, and fired three rounds dead center of the object. Despite the heavy caliber of the rounds of the gun, the egg-shaped thing emerged unscathed; the hollow point bullets splattered harmlessly off of the smooth chitinous plating.
"M...marvelous d... density," the scientist stammered out, pulling out a hankerchief and wiping the sweat off smooth bald head, "don't you agree?"
The Lord of Admirals, engrossed, nodded without looking away.
A scratching came from inside the egg, and it split from the top. Razor sharp petals peeled away from the tip of the egg, exposing an opening to the inside. Some screeching could be heard from the inside of the egg. The headhunter gulped, dropped to a knee, and raised her magnum a few degrees higher. The Lord of Admirals and the scientist were equally transfixed.
An unusual silence spread through the room. Only the drips of water leaking from the top could be heard echoing off the walls.
A purple carapaced worm, with a curious domed skull and small insect wings, poked its head out from the egg's top. It turned to screech at the-
A magnum round blasted the worm back so quickly that it seemed to disappear. Like the worm simply vanished. But then another worm rose from the egg, and to look the headhunter, and then another, and another. The woman fired desperately she could, but for every worm she killed, another rose from the egg, locking onto her. Finally, the gun clicked instead of fired, the slide on the top slid all the way back. She cursed, throwing away the empy magnum. The headhunter drew her scythes, while the worms took advantage of the cease of fire to all leap enmasse from the maw of the egg at her. They were barely a foot-and a half long, but their shark-like mouths were full of razor sharp teeth, and they lunged at her with animalistic speed and precision.
"Damn you!" The headhunter yelled, flourishing her scythes. They glinted through the air, and carved at the worms before they could reach her throat. She swung her scythes with expert force, but to the headhunter's astonishment, the blades of her weapons failed to cut clean through the worm bodies, instead leaving shallow cuts that sent the worms tumbling to the ground, screeching in pain.
"What!" The headhunter muttered to herself in disbelief, "These scythes can cut through clean two millimeter thick neo-steel! Tough bastar-!"
The worms writhed in the muck before her, injured, but still alive.
"Raaah!" The headhunter stomped on the worm's heads with her metal tipped-boots, cracking the shells with every strike. She kept on screaming in rage and frustration and fear, relishing the feeling of the worm's lives fading away beneath her feet. Her screams echoed about the chamber. The cracking of chitin and the yells of a headhunter travelled even through the glass of the mirror into the observation room. The scientist took a step back from the ferocity, but the Lord of Admirals seemed to liven up in it.
Then it was done. The last worm twitched and died. Its screeched echoed off of the walls, deep into the bowels of the facility.
"O...oh... how disappointing." The scientist wiped his face sweat off. The excitement was too much for him. "I'm surprised that it was a female who finally overcame our experiments. She must have been particularly skilled. A pity we'll have to kill her. I should perhaps get a team to study her biologicals once we've processed the corpses."
The Lord of Admirals turned to the scientist. Du Couteau would never admit it, but even he got excited. Experiencing human emotion from such intensity was a degrading moment for him that left a bitterweet taste in his mouth.
"The last thing I will do, Dr. Grossman," DuCouteau growled, recovered,"is hand over that warrior's body to the filthy, perverse hands of you and the research department."
The Lord of Admirals watched intently through the mirror. The headhunter slouched to the stone pillar, and lay back in exhuastion. Despite his intentions, the doctor was right. It was a pity. The woman fought well, better than her comrades at least. The Lord of Admirals glanced back down at the display. His brow furrowed in confusion.
"This panel says that this egg contained thirteen experimental beings, right?"
"Er, well, yes, it does seem to say that-"
"I count only twelve."
"There are only twelve worms bodies in there." The Lord of Admirals stared back into the room. "Where's the first worm that the headhunter shot?"
Drifitng, motionless, Specimen 6 floated towards the last heat source in the room. It knew it's directive. It sensed that it's brothers had failed. It felt the warm of the human female burning bright to it's thermally sensitive eyes. It felt that warmth grow brighter and brighter, like a luminous sun to the worm. It was getting closer. Oh so close to that sweet warmth. It struggled, fighting against it's natural instinct to lunge at the human's throat. It felt a wave of water pass over it. It seemed that the had human sat down, resting.
Good. It's guard was down.
It patiently waited in that muddy, barely ankle-deep water. Drifting, innoculous. Making only the softest waves of it's body to slither closer and closer to the human female. What most animals would have to learn through years of experience, Specimen Six's hunting instincts were keenly developed from the start.
It was the hunter, it just KNEW on a genetic level, just as it knew THAT was it's prey.
One final wave, a slither, and it tapped the woman's hand with the back of his body. Specimen Six sprung like a trap. Letting loose a screech that cut through the water and into the air, it curled it's body like a spring, pushed off the concrete floor, and leapt for the human.
"Wha-ARRGH!" A worm burst out of the water and wrapped itself around the headhunter's gun hand. With insane strength and blinding speed, the worm slithered further up the woman's arm, and with a flexing of its body, cracked it in three different places. The pressure caused her to drop her gun, the magnum dropping uselessly into the shallow muddy water below.
The headhunter slammed her arm against the concrete pillar, hoping to shake the worm off, but Speciman Six held on with a vice-like grip on the human's arm, still screeching. Every slam onto the pillar the human made only served to cause more damage to the fractured bones of her arm. The human grunted in desperation and pain.
She grabbed one of her scythes.
"Aaah!" The headhunter raised her scythe, and brought it down on the worm on her arm. Whether she intended to cut off the worm or cut her own arm on is unsure, but regardless the worm swiftly twisted to avoid the blade, instead the headhunter cut deeply into her elbow joint. The woman lurched forwards in pain, clutching her arm, which was all the opening the worm needed to race to her throat and bite at it.
Specimen Six's razor-sharp teeth carved through the headhunter's soft neck tissue like a cookie cutter. The headhunter fell to her knees, clutching at her wound. Blood gurgled from the headhunter's throat. She struggled to breathe. Meanwhile, 6 twisted back and away, gnawing at his morsel hungrily. The woman stared up to the cold ceiling, choking, her eyes glazing over. Then after final gasp, she pitched forwards, falling face-first into the brown muddy water and died.
The two men who were watching what had happened stood stock still, shocked into stunned silence. Sweat dripped onto the cold steel floor, and it wasn't only the scientist's this time. The Lord of Admirals was the first to recover. He turned to the scientist, eyes narrowed.
"I thought you said they weren't intelligent." The Admiral glanced at the worm, and then back at the scientist. He angrily swept his finger to the creature in the room. "THAT is not unintelligent!"
"Er... well... that's impossible, you see. We've carefully engineered them to have these perfect mental limiters, you see, so they're no way that it could do anything as advanced as planning." The scientist neverously adjusted his glasses. "I presume this one was just lucky-"
"Hubris. If it can be lucky enough to accidentally fake being shot and hide in the water, then it can be lucky enough to evade your so called 'perfect' mental limiters." The Lord of Admirals sighed, and turned back to look at experiment in the room. His eyes took on a new light of interest.
"Er, well," The scientist picked at his eye. "in any case, that can be studied after we sterilize the room and dissect it. But first, watch!" The scientist leaned forward for a better look. "It is changing."
The Lord of Admirals turned to look at the lone survivor of the room. The worm was groaning and screeching. Its' shell seemed to be pressured in some areas. It flexed and kicked, like it was in pain. It curled itself into the most contrived shape it's frame could handle- and then-
"KREEEEEE!" Claws burst from it's body. Scythe-like claws, purple, and razor-sharp, exactly like...
"The headhunter..." DuCouteau finished. "How-?"
"Amazing, isn't it?" Dr. Grossman adjusted his glasses, no longer nervous. "It absorbs the bio-electrical impluses of whatever it devours with tremendous efficiency. Everything that it's latest meal knows, loved, or learned, is absorbed into the worm's body and it adapts. This female must been very skilled with her scythes."
The Lord of Admirals stared intently at the experimental creature.
"Well, now you know what the experimental weapon is capable of, Lord of Admirals, sir. I, personally, can't wait to dissect the worm and that woman- I mean, uh, well, just the worm."
The scientist reached out to tap in the controls to gas everything in the room. He input in a few commands, then-
"No." DeCouteau grabbed the doctor's arm before he could press the button. The Lord of Admirals turned to look at the strange creature; it was enjoying use of its new claws, stabbing them experimentally in the body of the Headhunter it killed. It seemed to be screeching in delight. "Take it alive." The Lord of Admirals face took on a ghost of a smile. A smile not unlike that of a predator's. "I like this one."
The Lord of Admirals drew closer to the creature in the room, until he could see he reflection of his own face mirrored in the creature's.
"You will be the one to deliver my greatest prize." He reached out, like he was trying to grasp the creature from beyond the glass. His nails slid over the surface, his hand twisted itself like a claw, and his calm face twisted itself into a grimace. The Lord of Admirals recalled the dozen of humiliations he suffered at the hands of the United League of Nation's finest admiral.
"You will do what weak, fragile, idiotic humans cannot."
His claw tightened. He imagined parting that hated woman's neckbones with his bare hands. He imagined watching her stupid admiral's hat falling off, her breathing sputter and slow, and her blood, sweat, and piss stain her perfectly maintained admiral's uniform.
This thing would give it to him.
He growled, "Give me Admiral Lito's life!"
The Bridge, ULSS Infinty Edge, 2340 hours, Valoran Meridian Time
She tipped her admiral's hat up so she could see the view better. Clear stars faced a slender, elegant woman who stood alone in the darkness of the bridge of the most elegant war machine in the universe.
A glass-like hull port that spanned the width of the room; nearly three thousand square feet of specialized transparent polyesters threaded with cold plasma, all for the vanity of all commanders who sat in the captain's chair before it. Fleet Admiral Lito didn't need the window to visualize the battle. The holographic displays that her ship AI Kayle drew up for her in real time were more useful and informative anyways. But someone, sometime long, long ago, decided that a commander of fleets of thousands was obliged by their profession to view their destructive achievements with their naked eye. Someone wise beyond their years decided to bring death and destruction up close and personal to the ones who orchestrated it. Irelia would not be the first to break tradition.
Would she be able to sleep better at night, Lito wondered sometimes, if she didn't have to see the occassional body, bloated by the vacuum of space, float past her naked eyes whenever one happened to drift near the bridge. Eventually, Irelia would always decide that the day she slept well at night knowing full well the gravity of her sins was the day she stopped being human.
So there she stood, staring out into empty space, alone on the control station of the United League of Nations Navy pride of the fleet, the supercruiser Infinty Edge. A significant chunk of the budget for producing the flagship was directed to developing this impact, plasma, and even laser resistent chunk of basically plate glass and bolting it onto the front of the bridge just so Admiral Lito would never be able to slip up and forget that she was anything but a master artisan of death.
The window made sure she never forgot that if stripped all her honors and love and the respect of her subordinates, that if the uniform on her was peeled away, only a mass murderer on the scale of hundreds of thousands would be left.
She was a monster... just like her long-time nemesis, the top of the Noxian military hierarchy. The Lord of Admirals, Marcus Du Couteau. At the thought of the man, her eyes narrowed and a pit of hate churned in her stomach. Though she knew she was a monster, she never forgot whose bottomless ambition for power started this terrible war. She knew who slaughtered thousands, and forced her hand into staining her own soul black.
She would take that abomination of a man down with her, if it was the last thing she did. If only they could suffer together in Hell, just so Irelia could see her hated enemy twist in pain.
And she would have the chance to send him there soon. In the next 2700 hours they would engage the Noxia fleet at the cusp of the Eul system; one which was to be the decisive battle that would swing the tide of this war between the ULN and Noxia to their favor. She stood wondering how many more bodies would she see floating past the bridge after this next battle. She wondered if her talent of command would fail her, and this time it would be her drifting lifeless through deep space.
But she wasn't exactly alone.
A small, doll-sized figure flickered to life on the bridge's main holographic display. A handsome woman shone from inside the hologram. Her chosen appearance was that of a beautiful armored angel, with wings sprouting from her back in the manner of true transcendence. Gripped in her right hand was an ornate virtual sword, in the other hand, a sculpted greek helm. And on her face was a look of exasperation, tinged with slight concern.
Without a word, the hologram stepped off of the display table, to walk up next to Admiral Lito. Because the holograhic woman was barely two feet tall, Admiral Lito had to glance down to nod respectfully at the figure.
"Kayle. You were awake?"
"Hah." the hologram named Kayle, threw her sword and her helm down, and crossed her arms in mock disgust. "Come on, you can do better than that. We both know ship A.I.s never sleep." And that was exactly was Kayle was. A thinking supercomputer installed on the Infinity Edge to do the work of a thousand technicians in picoseconds and with flawless efficiency. If the crew was the blood of the ship and the ship itself the bones, then Admiral Lito and AI Kayle made up the brain.
"Hmph." Kayle tilted her head to grimace at the admiral. "Your wit has gotten as soft as your limp breasts, Irelia."
"My breasts?" Admiral Lito raised an eyebrow, resisting the urge to glance back down at her uniformed chest. "Explain, Adjudant."
"Ma'am, yes ma'am! I consider the rapid descent of your nipple line at the alarming rate of one-point-four-two millimeters per year to be a level sixteen crisis at the very least! I am required, therefore, to submit to you this!"
Kayle drew up a holographic sheet from thin air, which she threw to the Admiral, who snatched the virtual memo out of the air with an amused, cautious face. A smile was almost forming on the admiral's face. Lito glanced at the sheet through the stray strangs of black hair that fell on her face.
"On it is an emergency excercise-slash-diet regimen, Ma'am! A half tub of Rocky Road ice cream every night at twenty-three hundred hours, while re-reading decades old love letters from your eleventh grade sweetheart, followed by another one-hundred and fifty hours of rewatching the same hit romantic comedy A Rose meets a Void Gentlemen, again!"
Kayle snapped off an uncharacteristically sharp salute, and this time the Admiral really did laugh.
"Hah. Piss off, Kayle." With two swift taps, the Admiral trashed the virtual memo. That c*nt of an AI has been watching her private quarters again.
"For your information, I eat vanilla bean very night, those letters from that boy at school are only one-and a half decades old, and I actually saw Corruption of the Depths last night, which was a horror film that time."
"An optimal approach, admiral. A high fat diet combined with a sedentary lifestyle is sure to add some extra volume to those water balloons on your chest."
"Didn't I tell you to piss off already?" Admiral Lito chuckled. She started walking away from the deck, tipping her admiral's hat downwards. Her eyes were covered so well by the visor that it was a wonder how she could manage to reach out and tap in the security code to unlock the door; the deck door slid open with scarcely a sound. She passed through the doorway just as quietly.
Kayle frowned. It wasn't like Lito to back down from a late night battle of wits. Was the upcoming battle really troubling her that much?
Kayle berated herself for the thought. Of course it was. This next battle will decide the war.
"Admiral!" Kayle called out, reappearing on a nearby hallway monitor that happened to be closer to the ship captain."Whatever happens tommorow, don't be too hard on yourself."
Admiral Lito looked up to the monitor over her shoulder to face Kayle, her smile gone once more.
"You know I can't do that, Kayle." Admiral Lito tipped her hat even lower downwards. Irelia glanced further over her shoulder, past the monitor that Kayle was on. She took one last look out the glass hull port. "There's a window."
Fleet Admiral Irelia Lito turned and walked silently down the hallways, back to her quarters, covering her face in her admiral's hat. There would be no ice cream or letters or laughing at the same old jokes in the same old movie this tonight. Tonight she returned to her quarters, not even bothering to change out of uniform before collasping on her bed, and slept.
The Next Day, Firing Range Theta, ULSS Infinity Edge, 1020 hours
"Focus, focus, focus..." She muttered to herself.
A young woman stood in one of the firing booths in an expansive, yet empty indoors firing range. She was a sloppy sight to look at, even by military standards. Her messy white hair was clipped back with a cheap purple plastic pin, her grey eyes were shielded behind scratched yellow marksman sunglasses, and she held a pistol in between her small hands. Her thick, bulky hearing protection was a size too large and slipped awkwardly onto the girl's head as she struggled to aim.
Private First Class Rook Riven inhaled deeply, trying to time her aiming with the rhythm of her heartbeat. She leveled her pistol at the target ninety yards downrange. Despite her effort, the target seemed to blur and sway at such a distance. It was impossible. Sighing in frustration, Riven lowered her gun. She closed her eyes in meditation, and blew out three quick breaths.
Hooo! Hooo! Hooo!
She stood stock still for a moment, gathering her focus again. Then she opened her eyes and pulled up her gun. The private tried lining up the pistol's iron sight with the target, but her unsteady grip swayed fiream's sight to and fro; so much that the target downrange seemed to be trying to actively avoid her aim.
Riven took off her glasses, annoyed, and flung them angrily onto the bench in front of her; the plastic sunglasses bounced a half-foot off of the wood paneling, followed by her ear protection, which clattered off of the deck to fall at onto the steel floor at her feet.
Riven frustratedly raised her pistol again, this time ignoring any sort of firing technique like line of sight, breath control, or even a second hand to hold the pistol with. Griting her teeth, she fired the pistol haphazardly with a single hand, rapidly emptying the clip. Stars shot across her field of vision, afterimages of the muzzle flash polluted her eyes, and the target soon melted into the background from the smoke filling her firing booth. The last of the bullet casings fell tinkling to the ground. Riven, squinting and coughing in a thin cloud of smoke that she created, looked up to admire her work.
Bullet holes littered the self-healing impact foam around where she was aiming, but the target sheet itself was untouched. The smooth unblemished surface of the piece of paper seemed to be mocking her. Growling, Riven loaded a fresh clip into her gun to teach that damn piece of tree sh*t a lesson-
Then she closed her eyes and moaned in frustration, tilting her head back. She let her arm drop. It's not like she could hit it, anyways. How could she still be this bad at target practice?
You could always go back to using a sword, a tiny voice said in her.
"No!" Riven shook her head furiously at the thought. "I won't go back!" A warm hand clasped her shoulder, and a calm, soothing voice drifted in from behind her.
"Won't go back to what, Rookie?" Riven looked over her shoulder to see who it was. A tall, thin man with long black hair was behind her, with a thin face and a kind smile. He wore his faded ULN auxillary's uniform in a perfectly loose, slovenly manner that suggested he'd follow the rules, to what little extent he cared for them. But by far the most striking feature of the man behind her was his occular mask that completely covered his eyes and the crown of his skull, shrouding much of his face from the world.
Still, despite the mask Riven knew the man was no enemy. In fact, despite her being very new to her Headhunter Team, she knew the man quite well. Because Lieutenant Commander Yi was her second-in command boss.
She spun around, but her movements knocked over some clips of ammo she had stacked up, and the collaspe of one item led to another, a water bottle, a towel, her communicator, all falling to the floor in some demented chain reaction of clumsiness. "Ah..." Riven stared horror struck at the mess she made in front of her superior officer.
"I-I'm sorry for the mess!" Private First Class Riven flailed about, frantically picking up her items left strewn accross the firing booth. She snapped off a sharp, if distracted salute while grasping for her water bottle.
Damn it, she cursed silently. She was new to their team of Headhunters and she could not afford to screw it up by antagonizing her bosses.
"Heehee." Another voice, this one a woman's, drifted into her firing booth. An elegant, mature voice that suggested sophistication, yet kindness at the same time. "Is she really one of yours, Yi? She seems far too cute for that."
Riven looked up from mopping up her water bottle to spare a moment for the other person watching her. The woman was of slightly taller than average height for women, with beautiful shoulder length hair tinted a deep blue-black. She was getting the slightest bit plump, but the grace with which every move she made granted a natural sort of health to her appearance. And her eyes. The clearest, sharpest, deepest eyes Riven had ever seen.
Riven didn't know her, but she recognized the hat that the woman wore. It was the Fleet Admiral's hat of the ULN's Second Expeditionary Battle Group. And only one person ever wore it.
The elegant woman smiled at her.
"Hi there. I'm Lito. Admiral Irelia Lito; I'm captain of this ship." The woman's smile grew wider, and the comfort she radiated grew warmer. "Please excuse my teasing."
Riven scrambled up to salute again, knocking over half the items she cleaned up in the process. One of the items, the stainless steel water bottle, clattered noisily onto steel floor.
"M-my apologies, ADMIRAL! MA'AM!" Riven nearly shouted. Admiral Lito covered her mouth to hide her smile. Her water bottle lightly tapped her foot.
"No need to be so formal, private." Irelia gazed at Riven and the private could feel her laughter through her eyes.
"You're not even under my command... was it...?" The admiral bent down to pick up Riven's ID card from the floor. "Riven. Private First Class, Rook Riven. How nice. You Noxians always have these such short, pretty names."
"The admiral and I were just talking," Yi cut in, picking up the firearm that Riven had knocked over, inspecting it with his lense-augmented eyes. "And we happened to come across you. Sorry to say, but your marksmanship hasn't improved." Yi raised the pistol, and balancing one hand on his other elbow, he empty-fired it at the target. The pistol gave a clear, sharp click. Though no bullet came out, even a poor shot like Riven could tell that he would have hit the target dead center.
Irelia clapped sincerely and enhusiatically, which just made her next words all the more caustic.
"An excellent test shot, Lieutenant." Irelia pointed her finger at him and made an imitation pow! with her hands. "You even managed to not shoot your own toe off. An empty gun helps, doesn't it?"
"Heh." Yi laid the gun back down on the firing table. "And if you get any fatter, admiral, you won't be able to shoot at all. I doubt those technicians of yours will let you cut off the triggerguards just so you can squeeze those flabs you call hands into the guns."
"Hmph!" Admiral Lito pulled off her hat and smacked Yi with it. "My technicians will do whatever I WANT them to do! And you NEVER talk about a lady's weight like that!" The admiral faked a few sniffles. "We're delicate flowers like that. Aren't we, Riven?"
Irelia grinned at Riven. The private took an involuntary step back from the admiral. For a lowly private like Riven, being stared at so intently by such a high ranking superior was like being inspected by a firing squad made up of hungry lions.
"But you're different, aren't you? I can see it already. You're much better with a close range weapon than a gun. I'm not shabby myself. I'd love to spar with you. Maybe we can cross swords sometime in the war games-"
The private balled her hands into fists. Before she knew it, she was shouting-
"NO!" She yelled out loud; her high voice echoed a few times as it bounced off of the far walls of the firing range. The private's heavy breathing was the only sound that could be heard in the ensuing stunned silence.
"...oh." Admiral Lito tipped her hat down respectfully. "Alright then."
Riven stared at the ground, fixated at her feet. Her breath was quick and her skin cold and sweaty. Her head was totally blank from fear of having displayed such insubordination to an admiral of all things, from the intensity of the leftover emotions still bottled in her chest, and of her past.
Her bloody, sword-filled past. The past she ran away from when she left Noxia.
Her bloody memories jumped on her once more, and before she knew it, she was running; sprinitng as to where was as far away from her past as possible. Lieutenant Yi and Admiral Lito were calling after her, but Riven didn't want to hear it. She would never go back to that past. Never.
As the private's rapid footsteps faded into the distance, the two officers stood in something like stunned silence. Admiral Lito tipped her hat down further. Her eyes disappeared from the florescent lights above to beneath her visor.
"Strange girl, isn't she?" Yi threw out, sighing, and scratching his head. He had to try to break the ice. "I wonder why she-"
"...Yiiii" Admiral Lito's voice came out low, harsh and cold now. Her eyes were narrowed into razor-sharp slits, darkened by the shade of the visor of her cap.
"Don't even try..." Her eyes narrowed even more, as her words came out more like a hiss, "...to lie to me!" Admiral Lito slowly turned her head to stare Yi in his augmented lenses. her dagger-like eyes drilled through the occular augments and into Yi. Any other man would have taken a step in retreat from Admiral Lito's relentless stare.
"You're not going to tell me who that girl really is?" Admiral Lito circled the much taller man, staring into his skull, her hands clasped behind her back. "I saw it when she was scrambling to pick up her stuff. No mere rookie has those kind of calluses on her hands!"
Irelia lifted her own hand thrust into the face of Yi.
"Those are sword calluses, Yi. You don't think I wouldn't have recognized them?"
The Lieutenant said nothing. He merely stared into the unnarturally rough, patched, cracked hand of the admiral in contrast the graceful, soft look of the rest of the woman. Irelia's eye twitched as she gleaned only continual silence from Yi.
The admiral seemed to give up.
"Hmph!" The admiral turned away, tipping her hat up. Her walk was brisk, punctual and annoyed. "Fine. I'll trust you on this one, Lieutenant. You're lucky we're friends." Irelia stopped for a moment to glance at the still-perfect paper target that Riven had missed completely.
"But if for love or country or any damn fool reason, that Noxian girl gets in my way of killing Du Couteau..."
Irelia's flexed her hands, and a flood of half-foot long blades floated out of sheaths hidden in her sleaves. They trickled around her arms and wrapped themslves in floating chains around her chest and face. Soon the admiral was standing admist a cloud of floating, razor-sharp daggers.
One sweep of her hands, and the daggers shot off like demented birds, streaking towrads their unfortunate victim. The paper target was engulfed in a storm of swords.
"If she gets in my way, I won't hesitate." Irelia turned to leave, along her dozens of dagger swords that slipped themselves back in her sleeves, and trailing in her wake was a thousand pieces of paper that was once Riven's target practice.
Irelia gave on last parting shot as the doors closed behind her.
"Good day, Lieutenant!"
Rookie... Yi thought, as he slowly bent down to pick up the stuff that the foolish private had left behind.
For your own sake... Yi pondered, picking up the water bottle. A few more shreds of paper target floated in front of his face. I hope I'm right about you.
Officer's Ravenswood Lounge, HLS The Ravenous Hydra, 0145 Hours, Darkwill's Time
Lord of Admirals Marcus Du Couteau stood at the end of a long round table with his general and captains who were passionately discussing the approach of their next tactics. It was all a farce, though of course. Even if the generals he fielded still thought they could win this next battle, the Lord of Admirals had different plans. On the bright side, he might finally get rid of these damn generals. He smiled softly as one of his inferiors told a joke drawing rascous laughter from the men at the war council. The Lord of Admirals wondered if any of these men were going to survive the next fight given how he planned to use them.
Then his personal communicator started beeping rang. The Lord of Admirals answered immediately.
"There had better be a good reason why you are disturbing your Lord this late at night, cadet,"
"Y-Yes, M-Milord!" A shaky young man's voice cam tumbling out of the communicator. The man-boy's high pitch was grating enough to want Du Couteau to order the man shot already. "It's about Specimen Six! We fed it more humans like you ordered us to and- it- it..."
"What is it?" Du Couteau was already getting annoyed, and his generals could sense it. Those closest to him started to edge nervously away. "Spit it out!"
"I- milord i-It started TALKING!" Du Couteau shifted his communicator a few more inches away from his ear, like the boy's pathetic existence was contagious. The boy's gasps for breath bled their way through the comms network, and wormed thier way into the Admiral's head. Apparently the idiot had decided to pointless run to the nearest comms station. He would definitely then, make sure that the boy was sho-
"First started copying what the people we fed it to said, and then it started putting those words together! It's saying stuff like 'more' and- and 'hungry'!"
The Lord of Admirals rose suddenly, causing those nearest to him to fly back in panic. One general even managed to topple over his chair in his attempt to put distance between him and the Lord of Admirals.
"I'm going over there now." Du Couteau grabbed his coat while striding quickly out of the conference hall doors. He was in admiral mode now. "Standby and don't touch anything." The Lord of Admirals footfalls were soon the only trace of him left in the room, and the rest of the generals all sort of fidgeted around, not knowing what to do.
It would take a very long time for one of the men at the council to later realize that the Lord of Admirals had never really participated in this time's strategy session. A strange occurance. The Lord of Admirals was normally quite the micromanager. If he wasn't discussing with us over the battle plans for the upcoming clash between the ULN and the Royal Noxian Navy's largest fleet... that must mean whatever we did, it didn't matter.
The captain realized this with a pit in his stomach. He could tell the other generals now. Maybe take it up with the Lord of Admirals and have him share what he's got planned. But the captain's courage waned, and he decided instead to retire to his room in his ship that had a soft bed, a warm shower, and a 50-year old brandy waiting for him.
Being a smart, practical subordinate he decided to keep his revelation to himself. A fatal mistake for the captain of The Bloodthirster.
That Same Dark Wet Room, HLS The Ravenous Hydra, 0210 hours
It was the size of a large dog now.
The Lord of Admirals strode confidently, flanked by two of his praetorian guard, the Crimson Elite, through the piles of bloody bones that now littered the floor of where Specimen Six had made his first kill. The creature now was happily munching on the skull of a man with a particularly juicy brain. Despite the fact that Specimen Six had no qualms killing the last three humans who dared approached it so closely, the Lord of Admirals walked up to within two feet of it's now massive scythe-like claws.
Specimen Six looked up, gurgled happily at the thought of more meat, and decided he would have the three fresher humans after he had finished devouring the juicy-brain-man's brain.
The Lord of Admirals spoke first with a calm, yet assertive voice.
"Hello. You are called Specimen Six, do you understand?" The Lord of Admirals crouched down to face Specimen 6. He stared into the creature's animal eyes with all of his aura and authority. "You are called, 'Six'. Do you understand?"
The thing turned to the Lord of Admirals. Specimen Six tilted his head curiously. The man was not offering food. The thing's jagged, blood-stained mouth opened for speech.
"You are called Six."
"hELLo..I...aRe..." The creature struggled with these definitions of new words. Maybe he needed more brains?
"No-!" The Lord of Admirals started, "You're-"
"kHaLL..." The thing rolled the word over his barbed tongue. Specimen Six began experimenting, mentally wrestling with this new concept... the concept of a name. "kHaLL ZIx... "
The creature started hopping from one leg to another, singing in it's horrid voice happily. It hapazardly swung its scythes every which way, even though a wrong swipe of those claws was sharp enough to take off DuCouteau's head off about thirty seconds before his decapitated head would expire.
Strangely, the happiness of the creature was far more terrifying than anything else it had shown to the observants yet.
"kHa'Zix! KhA'zix! I aRe Kha'ziX!"
The room rang with the echoes of the creature's demented laughter. The Lord of Admirals left, equal parts intrigued and frustrated. This weapon was going to be a handful. From then on, Specimen Six would only call itself by it's mistake of a label, "Kha'Zix".
Even the God of Endless Space and the Heavens of the Infinite Galaxy must have shuddered for a moment then.
For the Angel of Death that Crawls Among Man had just given itself a name.
Wow! What a thrill it was to write something like this again! First of all, thanks. Thanks to Viper of Grand (GrandViper, author of A Blade Reforged) for lending me his ear on how to make this story awesome. Thanks to CaptainEllipis of DeviantArt who drew this awesome image! You all should go check out his profile on DA. Like now. Think of it as paying him back for helping out on the story.
Now, I haven't given up on Phoenix Sun. Far from it. I hope the energy I get from here can transfer over to Pheonix Sun and make them both mutually better. And I will still keep updating both storys. As... as best I can. Damn college.
Anyhow, hope you enjoyed this first chapter. I certainly put more effort into this one than a usually do and I hope that translated into improved quality.
Thanks again for supporting my work; comments, praise, and ESPECIALLY critiscm I value greatly. I hope this will be an exciting ride for both of us as I try and flounder between balancing this, school, and having a life. Maybe in that order. Anyhow, enjoy, and watch out for Chapter 2!
Wow, this has certainly evolved (see what I did there?) since you posted the prototype, and I thought that was amazing. Oddly enough your demented, almost Shaco-like Khazix scares me more than the official one. And I can't help but feel like Kha's personality at least somewhat mirrors Du Couteau's: evolve, kill, eat or be eaten.
I'm a huge fan of Dragon Rising/Phoenix Sun btw; I just lurk like a ninja because my reviews mainly tend to consist of "omg dat awesomeness @_@ ...canIhazmoar?" But anyway, I'm glad to hear you're not giving up on Phoenix Sun for this new fic. Take as long as you need updating. If it means we can look forward to writing like this, it'll be well worth it!
Why don't you change the picture background to fullmetal Jayce? I think it would've been fitting :/ Also, the creation of Kah'zix was a bit too much like a Xenomorph.... then again, he kinda looks like one... Either way, I really like the way you wrote this. 9/10 (cuz the infection is too much like Prometheus, or Alien, etc.)
Well... Jayce... doesn't... really.. show up. Anywhere. In here at all. It'd be misleading. Also, there's already a fanfic on FF.net that has Full Metal Jayce as his cover, and I didn't want for people to get confused. Finally, I feel like I can go a little further than just cropping official art and calling it a day. The Phoenix Sun picture, for example, was a few hours of playing around with GIMP from someone else's pic of Ahri. Having an awesome cover is essential in the LoL fanfiction section on FF.net. (a practice which I take credit for :P suddenly people started putting a lot more effort into their covers after I released Dragon Rising on there)
Making it eye-catching, high quality, and mood-setting is no easy feat let me tell you. There is a criminal shortage of sci-fi LoL artwork out there, and most of it is the wrong mood for my story. I had a few pictures in mind that either didn't fit the mood, was not of utmost quality, or just wasn't eye-catching, and I very nearly decided on some of them, but in the end I chose a something that was all three, if not neccessarily drawn for LoL.
And lol, Kha'Zix is supposed to be a Xenomorph. :P He's the Alien to Rengar's Predator. That's the entire point of this series; to bring an Alien versus Predator horror story with LoL characters.
fu uck. I thought I fixed those errors. I know I did in the FF.net version. Thanks for the catch.
Oh, and Irelia's not fat, just getting a little curvy. That's just Yi and Kayle screwing around with her. Too much ice cream, too much sitting around, not enough excercise.
© 2013 Riot Games, Inc. All rights reserved. Riot Games, League of Legends and PvP.net are trademarks, services marks, or registered trademarks of Riot Games, Inc.