Word Count: 573
Story: Black Spike Sentry
A smile touches my lips as my blow leaves a dent in the rusty flap of sheet metal emblazoned with the symbol of the Fire Tribe. This red-armored warrior had better hope his tribe is stronger than his shield. Or just him.
The Glatorian was fighting a losing battle and he knew it. Perhaps his broken body will serve as a potent enough warning to his brothers, a warning that says not to trespass and not to pry. This poor unfortunate has been carried too far from his homestead. It's been a long and harrowing journey, from the look of it. He won't have to be bothered making the return trip.
He doesn't know it yet, but he will know soon enough.
My club whistles through the air, matching the keening of cold unfeeling wind as it wails through the canyons and crevices in the mountains. It meets a sloppy block, weaker than the last and an irritated curse slips out of the same lips that my smile of impending victory had lit upon only moments ago.
"Why can't you save us both time," I growl, stomping forwards as the Glatorian stumbles back. I ram him with my shield back towards the edge of the cliff face. "And just jump now?"
"And miss out on all this fun? I don't think so," He tries to laugh weakly in the face of danger, in my face, and fails utterly. He is young and full of life, for the time being, that is, and ridiculous. Who actually says those kinds of things in the middle of a life-or-death struggle atop a mountain? He's probably been raised with too many war-hero stories about the Core War.
We're dancing about on a small precipice which is my sentry post. Foolishly enough, the warrior thought he could surprise me here. One of the majestic black spike peaks stands guard over me.
My studded club, an extension of my arm really, answers for me. It lands a heavy, thumping blow in the Glatorian's side that was left unguarded. Amateurs. Cracks in the brittle desert-worn armor jag out to meet me.
He feels his armor give beneath my blow, I see it in his eyes. In a panic, he fires one of his Thornax. It deflects off my shield like he'd aimed it there, sailing over the edge of the cliff into oblivion.
"Did you hear that? Your Thornax fruit is calling for you to follow it," I tell him, again driving my shield into his own, curbing the distance between him and the edge to a mere couple feet.
Finally, the Glatorian sees that he is done for. He lowers his shield and empty launcher. He is trembling like a baby bird from helmet to armored feet, clearly exhausted. He looks at me with wide eyes, and we both know that Skrall know no mercy.
I hold his insolent gaze in my iron one, shield and club raised. I do not see fear in his eyes, which is admirable, but not uncommon.
"Make it quick," He says to me, not begging, not even asking politely.
I shrug, and step up to him, placing my shield between the two of us.
"Now why would I want to do that?" I return, and give him a shove with my shield just hard enough to send him toppling and howling to his death far below.
"Fly, my baby bird. Fly away home."