The seductive quip slithered through the air like a Doom Viper, ensnaring the ears of those who still had the brain activity necessary to hear it: the number of people who fit into this category could be counted rather easily on one hand. More specifically, two fingers: in a matter of thirty seconds, Lariska had utterly obliterated the life forces of the dozen or so "highly trained" Brotherhood "operatives" that stood guard over the armory.
"Uh, boss," one of the grunts (which, really, was the most adept word that could be given to these lower-level pigs; recruiting standards for the Dark Hunters had fallen substantially since the murders of Nidhiki and Krekka) said. "Your boss said that we should avoid any un...unnece..unnisisiri..."
Lariska snorted derisively in laughter: to her chagrin, Thing 1 and Thing 2 laughed with her, though the confused looks on their faces betrayed the fact that they didn't know why they were laughing.
"Unnecessary deaths," finished the erudite Dark Hunter. "The boss wanted us to avoid any unnecessary deaths. Add that term to your lexicon, big guy. It might come in handy some day."
The Dark Hunter would have scratched his head if he weren't carrying a double-barrel shotgun. That was something Lariska couldn't deny, as much as she wanted to; these two muscle-bound Toa of Iron were no doubt going to come in handy. Their target was ruthless, yet sneaky, educated to be nothing more than a shadow amongst shadows, unable to be seen unless you weren't looking for her. In short, she was the worst kind of opponent, and for that, they'd need the big guns. Unfortunately, the only people qualified enough to carry the biggest guns were the biggest morons.
"Is a lexicon like a new type of gun or something?" asked Thing 2, his dull drone boring into Lariska's brain like a hammer. Not for the first time, she contemplated killing these two invalids, but no. Better to let the mark do that for her; it meant less paperwork, and red tape was the last thing she wanted to cut through after a job like this. Ever since the Brotherhood had so stupidly seduced the Dark Hunters into a war they both knew would inevitably end in a stalemate, there had been enough red tape to deal with.
"Just...just forget it," she growled through gritted teeth; the primal look, when combined with the taut and seductive posture her body gave off when tensed and full of adrenaline and bloodlust, gave her a Kavinika-like demeanor. The silent threat that the dark and dangerous bounty hunter gave off was lost on Thing 1 and Thing 2. "Let's just reload in here and then move. Her room is on the third floor, and sunset's in twenty minutes. I want her dead by the time the moon ascends."
"Hey, boss! When this is over with, can we go buy a couple lexicons and start shooting people with them?" said poor, excitable Thing 2 with a stupid grin on his doughy face. The childlike glee did nothing to improve his looks: if anything, the tidal waves of fat and muscle that pushed east and west over the lines of his face as he smiled only helped to make him look more pig-like. "I'm sure the boss won't mind!"
Lariska couldn't help but give a dry sob and pluck a pistol from the wall.
*****"Have you come to make an example of me?"
Lariska laughed as the target sat up a bit straighter, began to feel the air around her and stretch, began to search for a weapon to use. The Dark Hunter was not fooled: this woman was prepared, much moreso than she was willing to let on, and she was dangerous. Dangerous enough to make Lariska think that three Dark Hunters might not have been enough...
"Hello, Roodaka," she said, betraying none of her own private insecurities about this mission. "It's been a rather long while, hasn't it? I seem to recall you turning one of your best instructors into a glorified Fikou."
"Obviously, this can only mean you need better instructors," said the Vortixx, spinning around in her chair and trying not to smirk at the two bags of flesh flanking Lariska. "And better enforcers. I mean...really, Lariska? Tweedledee and Tweedledum couldn't capture a fly with a force field."
Thing 1's face contorted in confused fury: the look was not a flattering one, even to his partner, who looked at him with slanted eyes and a slack jaw.
"I think she just called us dumb!" Thing 1 yelled indignantly, charging forward. Roodaka smirked and stood up to meet him. She was surprisingly tall, almost meeting the Dark Hunter's eyes; her smirk and his roar, however, were a fleeting, momentary study in contrasts. The emphasis rested on the word fleeting, as Roodaka brought her fist up immediately into Thing 1's jaw and smiled innocently as a hidden blade underneath her sleeve jutted through Thing 1's head. His brain was cut in half, the skull completely decimated by the velocity of the blade shooting forward: death came for the brute in two seconds flat. Lariska raised an eyebrow, impressed against her will; Thing 2 tried to mimic the action, but only succeeded in sending a roll of fat shooting across his forehead like an Airship through a chute. He drew his gun, ready to fire a bullet into her, but Roodaka whipped the dagger out of her sleeve and threw it with Sanok-like precision, sending it zooming right into the Dark Hunter's aorta. Thing 2 stumbled back in shock, touching at the dagger with widened eyes.
"I...I should have brought a lexicon," he managed to grunt, before his life's blood bubbled up in his throat and began to cut off the air flow. Lariska watched as Thing 2 dropped to the ground in the same manner as his partner, and then looked up to Roodaka, giving the Vortixx the courtesy of a slow clap.
"Very good," she drawled, as the two began to circle each other like alpha males fighting over domination of their pack. "I was half-ready to just slit their throats myself and be done with it; you just saved me six hours of free time."
"Where you're going, assassin," Roodaka spat, "you'll have all the free time you'll ever need."
The two circled each other for several minutes, their eyes never even showing an iota of anything less than pure, undiluted hatred for the woman daring to try and stand in her way. Roodaka finally broke the silence with a laugh. If Lariska was surprised, she didn't show it; the inky black void of her eyes only seemed to darken and stretch, ready to suck Roodaka into it and send her into an abyss populated by only the very worst of nightmares, where any positive emotion, any flicker of the treachery that Roodaka was so renowned for, would be pounced on and ripped to shreds, along with its owner.
To Lariska, that sounded like an objective enough deal.
"I must admit, I did not expect the Dark Hunters to be bold enough to waltz right in unannounced. This was supposed to be one of the Brotherhood's most secure fortresses: had I known that three Dark Hunters would have been able to breach it, I might haven ever defected to begin with."
Lariska gave a harsh laugh: the sound was like the death screech of a Rahi, the screams of a witness to a murder, the frantic sobs of a Matoran pleading for his life, unable to enunciate clearly with a gun barrel between his teeth. It was horrifying. It was chilling. It was everything. It was nothing.
"That was always your problem, Xian," she drawled, clearly at ease with the situation; she spun the handle of one dagger around her fingers in a relaxed manner, though Roodaka was not fooled by this act at all. "You always flipped sides too soon. At the slightest provocation, the slightest twitch of action against your side, and you would flip like a gymnast towards anyone who paid well, anyone who promised your miserable hide another millisecond of safety. You don't even deserve the title of traitor. At least traitors have a cause. And you, Roodaka? What do you believe in?"
Roodaka seemed to be at a loss for words at this: her eyebrows furrowed and met, and her lips pursed fervently. She didn't make a sound.
"Exactly. You don't believe in anything. You're nothing. And I'm about to prove it to you."
Without any semblance of warning, Lariska pounced, swinging the butt of her dagger at Roodaka's temple. The Xian twitched upward, and Lariska had a split second's worth of realization as a blade not unlike the one that had killed Thing 1 jutted from her other sleeve and swung towards her. The Dark Hunter tilted backwards in midair and watched as the blade hovered precariously over her face for what seemed like an eon in the guise of seconds: when Lariska's feet touched ground, time seemed to recover from the temporary shock of the two femme fatales going at it and decided to watch the proceedings unfold as they may.
Roodaka swung a vicious elbow at Lariska, and as the Dark Hunter moved to catch it - as Roodaka predicted she would - the Vortixx swung her fist up into Lariska's face, slamming her knuckles into the center of Lariska's face. She fell back a step in shock, clutching at her face, and Roodaka took the opportunity to kick a blade out from her shoe and dig it into Lariska's ankle. The two went down swinging, both throwing punches and kicks and chops at each other: Lariska soon managed to slam a wicked cross into Roodaka's jaw, sending her flying back, and the injured Dark Hunter stood up and threw a dagger, cutting into Roodaka's shoulder and spilling her blood across the floor with a cry. Lariska smirked and moved for the dagger, but once again, Roodaka was ready. The traitorous Xian kicked out the blade from her shoe again and kicked Lariska in the cheek, cutting through flesh and scraping the bloody iron against Lariska's tongue. She cried out in pain, and Roodaka took the opportunity to move in on Lariska from behind and tear away her mechanical arm with a vicious pull.
The Vortixx and her prize both tumbled to the ground in unison as Lariska cried out in agony and fell to her knees, clutching the newly-created stump that was connected to her shoulder. Roodaka walked up to Lariska and tilted her head up with one curved finger.
"Well, then," she cooed. "Looks like you'll be needing another one of those fancy little arms, Lariska."
"And you another one of those fancy little heads," spat the Dark Hunter, sliding her own miniaturized pistol from her sleeve into her hand and swinging it into Roodaka's face. The Vortixx stumbled back for a second or two, which was all the time that Lariska needed to put two bullets in her opponent's chest. To her credit, Roodaka didn't drop - not right away, at least - preferring to stand tall with as much pride as she could feasibly muster.
"You...you've ended me..." she rasped, blood bubbling in her own throat as it had Thing 2's. "You wench..."
Lariska merely smiled and pushed the gun to Roodaka's forehead.
"How about it, Roodaka? How about one last flip?"
Roodaka opened her mouth, and Lariska jerked the gun downwards, firing a bullet through her throat: the momentum propelled Roodaka backwards in the air, causing her to land face first in a pool of her own blood, a large hole in the back of her head. Lariska looked down at the mechanical arm laying at her feet, then the pistol, then Roodaka.
"As gymnastics goes," she drawled, plucking the arm from the ground and walking towards the still-open door of the fortress, "not bad."
Disclaimer: Though the characters of Lariska and Roodaka belong to Lego and Bionicle, the idea for this little showdown came from my fellow genius/bestedest friend Aderia. Everyone give her credit where it's due, and as always, leave your opinions in the replies! You, the reader, are who I have in mind as I write these stories.
As always, much love.
Edited by #firstworldtyler, Jun 17 2012 - 08:59 PM.