Monday, September 28, 2015

Day Nine-Hundred-Sixteen: Coming Out

When Kierkegaard appeared inside the Imperium tank, sitting on the lap of the tank’s commander, he suspected the man might wet himself on the spot. He was therefore pleasantly surprised when the guy immediately tried to put a dagger through Kierkegaard’s face.

Creating a dimensional hole in the space an inch in front of his eyes, Kierkegaard dug his trident into the man’s ribs. The officer howled pain, pitching Kierkegaard off of his lap and onto the floor of the cramped control compartment. Kierkegaard was only on the ground for a moment, though, before he started to grow, pulling segments of himself out of codespace and growing so large that the bleeding man was rammed into his seat.

“Always wanted to try this,” Kierkegaard chortled to the commander. “Bet it’s gonna hurt. See ya on the other side, fuckwit.”

The Imperium tank exploded, raining bits of wood and metal down on the battlefield, and Kierkegaard’s enormous body lay in its place. He was curled up in a ball and bleeding in a dozen places, but the fierce grin on his beak hinted at a complete lack of concern. The soldiers near the tank dived for cover, and Kierkegaard swept his arms and legs out to catch them and knock them down. Three, four, possibly five more men died, and as the other tanks reoriented themselves to track this new, unexpected threat, Kierkegaard abruptly shrank himself and disappeared into a portal.

He reappeared among a cluster of Non troops, dropping dramatically to one knee. He tried to do it with a flourish, but in truth his body was damaged enough from the stunt that he felt like a good kneel. Better not do that shit again. I was right about that hurting bullshit.

The battle, so far as Kierkegaard could tell, was fairly routine. The Imperium were good at establishing defensive lines, even after losing so many of their troops in previous skirmishes, but they’d never managed to adopt different tactics for dealing with Kierkegaard’s troops. Given several more years of practice and re-organization that might change, but Kierkegaard had no intention of allowing the Imperium that much time. He would crush them soon, then move on to slaughtering the remaining cities, towns, and villages of the war-torn country.

What’s black and white and red all over? Kierkegaard peered at his troops. None of them seemed to want to look at him, giving their leader a respectable distance even in the midst of battle. He hardly needed their help anyway. Me, me, me, boys and girls, me, me -


The echoed, familiar voice caught Kierkegaard off guard, and his head shot up. His smile returned in full force, and he looked around greedily, scanning the Imperium’s battle lines in the near distance. It took him a few seconds of searching to spot the face of his old ‘friend’ among the grimy soldiers and battered artillery. He was standing atop the ruins of one of the tanks and carrying a conical object, dressed in his old uniform and wearing a spiky cap Kierkegaard recognized as the real deal at once, even from this distance. 

“THERE’S THE BIG MAN,” Kierkegaard screeched, pointing towards Dragomir. “BRING ME HIS GUTS, ME PALOS!”

The larger Non, already pinned down by artillery fire, fought on without much thought for Kierkegaard’s command - but he hadn’t been speaking to them anyway. A trio of werewolves erupted out of the Non front lines and dashed across the small no-man’s land separating the two forces, snarling and chittering as they bunched themselves up and prepared to hurtle at their target. Dragomir visibly braced himself, probably knowing that the soldiers around him wouldn’t be fast enough to save his life - 

- “WATCH THIS,” Dragomir insisted through his cylinder, voice floating around the battlefield -

- and, as the first werewolf came at him, Dragomir almost casually whipped it away. His arms became far longer than was possible for a human, and with Non-born speed he knocked the werewolf back at its two mates. Two hit the dirt; the third kept going. It got a little closer to Dragomir, but he again knocked it aside, and through sheer bad luck it flew into the path of an active cannon and exploded as a cannonball zipped into its forehead.

I wonder if he timed that, Kierkegaard mused. He was no longer smiling. This’s gotta be calculated. He’s never shown what he is before. What’s his game?

Kierkegaard wasn’t the only one to catch this spectacle. The Non lines had fallen conspicuously silent, and many of the Non who’d previously been rushing the Imperium pulled back, regardless of their orders, to stare at Dragomir. Even Emmett’s hybrids seemed suddenly uncertain, their mangled bodies put on pause for a few moments as they took in Dragomir’s odd, distended shape, with arms that were five, maybe six feet longer than they should have been, dangling down the front of the tank. He pointed one of them at the pair of werewolves scrambling to get to their feet, yelling something to the nearby Imperium troops, and a cluster of armoured men rushed the beasts, stabbed one to death, and wrapped the other in ropes.

The whole battle stopped to watch this. It was one of the odder moments in Kierkegaard’s life. His mouth was suddenly dry, but he let it all happen anyway, because he wasn’t often treated to interesting surprises.

Dragomir’s arms retracted to their normal length, but they looked faded, as though Dragomir had stepped into someone’s shadow. His pale pink skin dimmed to a charcoal shade, then pitch black. His clothes followed suit, though his helmet remained as shiny steel grey as ever atop Dragomir’s blackened head. A pair of green eyes glittered at Kierkegaard from across the battlefield, and Kierkegaard was surprised that Dragomir could focus on him. Everyone else, after all, was staring pointedly at Dragomir, and all of them looked confused, frightened, and possibly angry.

Well, well, well, Kierkegaard thought. I do believe I’ve just run into the showdown to end all showdowns. This oughta be fun.

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