“And you call yourself a Dark Hunter,” The Vortixx scoffed down at the unmoving opponent at her feet. The fallen figure was just one of many operatives that her old friend, The Shadowed One, had sent after her in the past few months.
Even though she was no longer the Viceroy of the Visorak, Roodaka had never stopped being queen. Upon her return to Xia, they’d crowned her and celebrated in her honor. She was Xia. The skyline, stabbing into the sky as if to dethrone the twin suns was her crown. The overwhelming aroma of success and production thrumming through the streets was her celebration. The drumming in the factories and chorus of screeching assembly machines sang for her.
The two celestial torches were just beginning to rim on the far horizon. With a dismissive flick of her armored boot, Roodaka rolled the face of being into the dirt. “Pathetic. I hope you enjoy your trip back to Karzahni.”
She turned and walked away, hefting her Catcher Claw deftly. Maintenance crews would find the body and dispose of it along with the day’s scrap metals in the incinerators. Her hollow metal footfalls on the roof of the skyscraper clacked rhythmically, slipping in harmoniously with all that was Xia. It was her trained ear that caught the discrepancy in the tune of Xian life, the hushing scrape of armor on rooftop and the telltale singing of a blade being drawn.
Not a moment too soon, Roodaka tucked into a roll and came up facing her adversary, who was now miraculously all better.
“I have to admit,” She spoke evenly, but her blood pounded in her ears. It had been a very close call. “The Shadowed One has been sending more and more intelligent agents. Whom do I have the pleasure of meeting?” But she already knew. Roodaka always knew.
“It doesn’t matter,” the being said. Her voice was like slippery leather.
“Of course it doesn’t. I already know,” The Vortixx smiled, rising slowly to her feet, coiled tight as a viper. She slowly began edging out of the glare of the suns, careful to keep her opponent’s eyes locked on her own; eyes as cold and hard as black diamonds. “Flimsy armor, green like muddy leaves and blue like rotten bula berries. Stringy, like a piece of tendon stretched out too far. Frail like an old mother Ash Bear and a rusty robotic arm not fit for a dumpster. You must be Lariska.”
Surrounded by even taller skyscrapers, nobody but Roodaka was around to see the shocking agility displayed by Lariska as she leapt into the air without a word or telltale sign.
“Agile. You forgot ‘agile,” She called. By the time the Hunter had closed the distance between herself and Roodaka, the Vortixx had her clawed baton at the ready.
With a testy swing, Roodaka aimed the club-like Catcher Claw end of her weighted baton at Lariska’s temple. Instead of ducking under and sweeping out in a kick like Roodaka had guessed, the Hunter raised a forearm to meet the blow, taking a step inwards and throwing an elbow at Roodaka’s windpipe. Gutsy, but not gutsy enough.
Taking advantage of the close quarters, the Vortixx aimed a punch straight to Lariska’s face as the Hunter’s forearm got tangled in the claw. Roodaka’s fist slowed just short of Lariska’s face plates and burst open with a startling whoosh, releasing a burst of Shadow into the Hunter’s face.
Lariska staggered backwards with a cry, her free hand clawing at her face.
“Burns like acid, blinds you like a bat, and calls forwards your worst fears and most dreaded memories,” Roodaka chuckled. She knew the effects of non-elemental Shadow first hand. The Vortixx stepped with the Huntress, not willing to release her Claw. With practiced, dancing steps, she’d twisted Lariska’s arm taut behind her back, earning herself a cry of pain. “Welcome to the dark side of sanity, Lariska.”
Without warning, the Dark Hunter dropped to the floor, and with iron grips on both ends of her Claw, Roodaka had no choice but to be pulled down with her. Lariska heaved her shoulders, rolling Roodaka over her to land with a cursing clatter on the rooftop. The Vortixx had no choice but to release Lariska’s arm from the snaring end of her weapon, but not without a painful twist of her own arm, bringing the Hunter down with her.
The two femme fatales sprang to their feet at once, eyeing one another warily. Slowly, Roodaka moved her hand to her Rhotuka Launcher.
“I wouldn’t,” Was all Lariska said, and Roodaka only glimpsed a flash of movement before she felt a burning fire explode in her shoulder. With a cry, she chanced a look to see a throwing knife wedged between her shoulder and chest armor, deadening her launcher arm. But looking down was her mistake, because when she looked back up, she was met with Lariska’s roundhouse.
The skinny Huntress packed a decent kick, and Roodaka found herself lying on the roof again, this time with a long, lethal looking knife pointed between her eyes.
“Don’t try any-“ Lariska’s words were cut off with a yell of surprise and anger as Roodaka scissor-ed her legs at a painful angle and spun to a crouching position, one knee on Lariska’s throat, the other pinning her non-mechanical arm. Lariska’s mechanical arm was pinned against the knee-height wall that ran along the entire edge of the sky-scraper roof.
The Vortixx wrenched the throwing knife from her shoulder joint, pushing away the searing agony and letting the blood drip into Lariska’s eyes as she held the weapon above the Huntress.
"Not going to try anything, are you now?” She asked, her words jagged and her breath tattered, unable to keep the flood of pain from her shoulder out. She plucked the long knife from Lariska’s mechanical hand. Roodaka felt blood seep through her armor, spreading from her shoulder wound. With a wicked smile, she pushed the long knife slowly into the small gap between Lariska’s own shoulder and torso armor.
The Huntress’s piercing screech drowned out all else. Once the Xian smog had absorbed and spirited away the cry of pure agony, Roodaka twisted the knife, shrieking with the new scream of torture, “I repay in kind.”
“You… can’t defeat me. Not with my own blades,” Lariska snarled. Impressively, her voice was devoid of any suffering.
She was looking to say more, but the words escaped as another scream as Roodaka pulled the knife out. The scream choked to an undignified gurgling as Roodaka cut off the Dark Hunter’s air supply with the knee on the windpipe.
“Who said anything about defeating you? I mean to send you back to the Shadowed One in a body bag.”
A spasm jolted through Roodaka’s entire frame suddenly, rocking her back on her feet, releasing Lariska. Every nerve ending was tingling with electricity and fire. It hurt.
“Poison,” The Hunter coughed, rolling to her feet and trying to staunch her own blood that was streaming down her side. “Fun, isn’t it?”
Roodaka crouched breathless in the shadow of the sky-scraper barrier, her vision turning white with the next flash of poison. But this time, she pushed it down. She detached herself.
Through the fire and blood and agony, Roodaka stood. I am a queen. I am a queen! I will not be brought low by this weakling.
“You are a fool,” Her voice was shaky, but she continued regardless. “I’ve commanded legions of Visorak, the stealers of life. Poison is their best friend. Toxin runs in my veins and venom to me is like water to you. Just like I can’t defeat you with your own blade, you can’t bring me low with what I know best.”
And almost on cue, Roodaka watched as the same poison in her body now wracked Lariska’s frame. Using the Hunter’s own words, the Vortixx purred, “Poison, my dear. Fun, isn’t it?” Even as her vision whited out once more, and the burning in her veins flooded through, she stayed standing.
It was time to end this. Roodaka was losing too much blood. With the next flash of white and pain, the white was hesitant to fade from her sight, making her dizzy.
Tossing her Rhotuka launcher to her functioning hand, the Vortixx began charging it, watching Lariska fall down onto the barrier that ran along the edge of the roof. The Huntress was twitching and trying her best not to cry out. Obviously, she hadn’t bothered trying to build up immunity to her own poisons. Now she was paying for it, rendered helpless.
Roodaka trained her launcher on Lariska’s erratic heartlight. Nobody would recognize her, but that was a personal problem. “It’s been a pleasure,” She whispered to herself, squeezing the trigger.
In a blinding flash of dark lights, like more Shadow energy, the Dark Hunter tumbled over the edge of the sky scraper, already beginning to mutate past recognition. It wasn’t until Roodaka heard the sickening thud on the pavement far, far below that she collapsed.
The Vortixx pulled a knife, long and thin like the last, from her abdomen. The blade had rotten yellow residue on it. Another poison. The Dark Huntress had gone down fighting.
Mustering only just enough energy to send a flare of Shadow energy into the Xian sky, an advocate for her dire need of help, Roodaka drifted off into a fitful and agonizing oblivion, murmuring to the Shadowed One “Well played, my friend.”
A/N: Aha, well there you have it, my version of Lariska Vs. Roodaka. This can be considered a variant on fellow genius, author, and a great friend, Tyler’s story, Femme Fatality which I highly recommend.
I hope you enjoyed, and as always, written for you.
Edited by Aderia, Jun 17 2012 - 11:58 PM.