May I Write of Heroes – #3: ErrVyn
My stories this year are character focused instead of plot focused. I end each story only when the reader can get a grasp for a part of the character and form an opinion about them.
You never quite understand how structurally resistant a wall can be until you’re knocked through one. The base was built to last through fires, raids, and even area damage bombs. It was not, however, meant to take a four hundred pound Restioxian woman sent through the air at high speed. The same can’t be said the other way around. My people aren’t likely to be brought down by this kind of damage. Even if it did take me a moment to get back up.
“Very good. You’re getting the hang of it.”
It was the first time I could compliment the child. He was easily the most naturally gifted shield-class fighter I had ever seen, but that meant nothing in my training sessions. I make people into level-A hitters. That’s my job. Up until he landed that one good punch and really use his abilities with it, I had been failing.
“Damn, I’m so sorry. Are you ok?”
He was concerned. It was adorable. Humans are generally cute that way. If it weren’t so frowned upon, I’d like to have one as a pet. They weren’t very good for much else. Most of them, at least.
“I’m fine, Haywire. This is why we’re here. You need training. Besides, it will take much more than that to cause me harm.”
Hypostatica translators work wonders.
He continued to look concerned as I pulled a shard of metal from the outer layer of my exo-shell.
“Do you remember when Fortyseven gave you the pendant and the ring?”
The boy nodded, absently looking down to his the green jewel hanging from his neck. He didn’t want to remember that day. No one wants to remember when they first come here.
I lifted my own pendant, a red gem on a simple metal chain. A crackle of energy went through my fingers, a warning.
“I have them too. We all do. It’s one of the only laws of this world. The pendant creates a field around you. It stops major injury by protecting your vital parts. The ring holds back anyone’s abilities so they don’t do something that could bypass the field. No one can really get hurt here. My field only covers my inner body, not my shells. I’m fine. You’re fine. Now charge up, and try again. I’ll be rushing you any–”
I sent the two shorter claws of my left foot into the ground. They provided the leverage I needed. The other two legs brought up in succession and then hammered down, creating a rhythm. I crossed the distance quickly, bringing my staff around. My two side arms, ending with clawed hands, swing forward. My back arm stretched, bringing the weapon down.
That blue flash, the one that came when I was sent across the room, blasted from the boy’s hands, sending him into the sky and pushing me down. Bracing me, my back foot went through the floor at a horrible angle and caught on the wiring underneath. I regained as much balance as I could, but he wasn’t as lucky. He overshot the move at best. At the worst, he had no idea what he was doing. He broke the highest rafters in the tall room and cracked the ceiling before he came careening down.
I went forward to catch him, but the coils were thick. My knife is quick and sharp, but not enough of either that day. I struggled, keeping on of my eyes on the erratic trajectory of the confused young one.
With a slam and a scream, he landed.
He was silent for a moment. Enough time for me to finally get loose. I would be scolded for destroying part of the infrastructure of the base, but that was no different from most days. My people aren’t used to ‘nice things’.
I reached him. He woke up and clearly had forgotten where he was and what he was doing for an instant. He reacted to my appearance the same way he had when we first met days before. A quick intake of breath, white knuckles, and the unmistakable fear that I was probably going to eat him.
Humans are adorable. But they taste terrible.
“Haywire, it’s ErrVyn. Calm yourself.”
He winced, hard, and grabbed his shoulder. The pain only grew while his panic settled.
“I… think my arm is broken or something.”
I smiled, rows of thin, pointed black teeth peeking through. Not a sight he would find very comforting. I stopped at once.
“Yes, you were going rather fast. What you did was fantastic in theory. But you need to learn more control.”
He took my input, but then contracted his brow.
“Wait, no. You said the necklace would stop me from getting hurt. What the hell?”
I laid a hand on his other shoulder.
“I said it would protect you from vital damage. You are still able to get fractures, scrapes, bruises.”
I helped him to stand and deactivated the training features of the room. We didn’t need any more surprises. The technology here was incredible, but there were always unintended features needing to be fixed.
It always astounded me that humans were allowed on Hypostatica. They’re so fragile, so simply built. They’re so prone to breaking down in so many different ways. I assumed that’s why there were never many on any of the teams I’d been on. Once I reached Fortyseven’s Disruptors, that paradigm altered. A half human team. It had never been done before. What was he thinking?
I walked with Haywire to the infirmary. He didn’t speak. Humans think too much. If they’re not talking, they’re thinking. The boy rarely ever spoke. Men like Trailer rarely ever think, even to the point of ridiculousness.
The infirmary screen flickered as we passed through. There were no doors on the interior of the base. We had light screens for privacy. It didn’t help much when anyone could walk through them with no interference. No matter how many times I petitioned for doors, it never happened.
“What is it this time? You kill another one?”
The doctor was a mechanized comedian. Haywire wasn’t laughing. He glanced to me.
I pushed the boy lightly towards the body-scanner. He stepped on the platform. A bell chime told him to move on within the second.
“Ahhh, she dislocated your shoulder. Bad Restioxian, bad!”
He didn’t wag his finger at me this time. Not since he had to have it repaired.
“Just help him.”
The boy looked at me like a lost animal. I didn’t stop.
“You’re going to have to be alone a lot, child. Trust me, it’s the only way you’re going to stay sane here.”
Posted on 05/03/2012, in Hypostatica, Short Stories and tagged aaron shively, character, characters, concept, errant studios, fantasy, literature, monsters, sci fi, science fiction, story, Story a day, writer, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.