Authors: David Tucker
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is purely coincidental.
Copyright © 2016 David Tucker
All rights reserved. Except for use in a review, no part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.
Terithian sector: estimated universal date 04/09/3683
Orbiting planet of unknown origins, Priority One clearance> Temple facility …
Classification of Temple – Sacred!
Human occupancy located within vicinity, deploy all forces
Viva Operation Revolution
Error – WARNING!!!
External security entity tracking message –security force identified as SINAI
His second personality wouldn’t let up. Although he agreed entirely –
at least I think I do
– with the religiously issued voice that tried to quell inner fears and doubt, choosing their words in a rather absolute manner as they argued yet again.
If it hadn’t been for the Immortal program that we earned entry into all those years ago, just like the dead religious zealot in front of us, we would be long dead and soon long forgotten
, it decreed.
His original personality pondered this, the thought rather callous.
Yes, along with the many who’d fallen before and beside us in missions just like this – the ones I saved our precious little neck in over and again.
His second voice interjected, elaborating soothingly on the point it was making.
Their death … our violence, is necessary, for our faith and salvation.
But for what purpose though?
His real self, the unsanctioned side, snapped back –
Half of those who’d died made no mark on history, no grandeur cascade of events came from their bravado, just more waste as hardened and resolved men and women lost courage, faith – often continence – and ultimately lives, right before the lights went out in all those dormant eyes,
he thought macabrely
Names meant nothing, acts of valour forgotten, even I’ve forgotten many, as dog-tags were left on the field of battle, long deteriorated with the decayed flesh and corpses of the fallen. So, so many dead
the silent testimony that haunts humanity throughout our entire bloody history
a history we know more so than most and far more intimately than I care for.
Genesis shook his head clear, it was getting crowded. He knew now was not the time for lapsing into past echoes and fading memories. He needed clarity and focus and the discipline expected of disciples like him, even in bastard plans such as this one, where he had to detach himself from the knowledge that there would be many casualties to come before his goal was reached.
The Immortal let his thoughts wash away, inhaled a steady deep breath, and sucked in all the calm he could manage.
Not needing long and just a split second later, he sprang from the dark mist-filled corner he’d been concealing in. His prior thoughts evaporated completely as he replaced them with every detail of this new vector of attack; gaining entrance into his enemy’s hallowed territory, and just a routine path of an Immortal’s destruction and life spent in such harrowing missions, he thought again fleetingly.
Clearing the first five metres almost instantly, his Katana blade sang as air drew friction around both her slender form and his unrelenting acceleration. He lifted a full body’s length in the air as he swung his weapon expertly on a downward arch. He swooped like a wraith from the darkness as he cleaved his first target’s head and torso clean in twain.
Genesis didn’t blink, nor did the sight linger in his mind’s eye; the gruesome act just another necessity for his religion and absorbed and buffered accordingly by his second personality. His blade barely even slowed as her laser shielding hummed with anticipation and gave the Wielder barely a tremor of resistance as she continued sundering her target.
Genesis landed before the Skink’s blood spattered over the floor, making barely a sound as he intentionally sank below the next victim’s feeble blow. The girl’s rifle was only slightly raised before Katana projected through the sentry’s chest and out between her shoulder blades. Genesis stepped over her, the enemy crumpling with a gurgled cry as yet another traitor dropped to meet her dying companions.
Finding himself alone and squarely in the middle of the showering quarters, Genesis was completely aware of everything that had just happened, but his real consciousness awoke as the killing was done. As it took over, instead of relaxing Genesis allowed his second personality to continue to speak. It warned and sensed his relatively unprotected and vulnerable position in the middle of the room, working overtime to protect them. His body tingled as he used the heightened sensation to intensely attune himself.
Out in the open like this
– his second personality spoke –
it makes you exposed Immortal, no matter how hidden or focussed, or successful you’ve been in the insertion. Remember, in Skink territory one is never free from threat and our paranoia is only validated and encouraged by our old Master’s tutelage.
The mention of his Master got his attention, just as it was supposed to. Shifting slightly, Genesis compliantly faded back as though he’d never struck at all – despite the bodies that were begging to differ. The steam from the showers helped mute the incessant warnings as he retreated, also obscuring his physical form while his mind had time to calm and his personalities worked in harmony, giving him some form of peace as he gave both equal purchase on his thoughts. But as he scanned, he knew he needed far more darkness if he was to feel – not at ease – but, confident –
was confidence the right word?
Yes, it would suffice – confident
in his assault, he decided.
It was true
shadows are my friend
, or as his Master once told him, ‘Was where he truly belonged’. It was where he knew he was strong, like all the others. This was where he was in his element and a true Immortal Wielder of the faith; or at least a close second, as his Elders had so frequently pointed out to him in his youth.
With a slight waiver in concentration at this latter thought, Genesis blinked away his doubts and continued to work his personalities in harmony, not allowing uncertainty to detract him from his focus. Immortal or not he would make himself overly cautious as he’d been trained to develop his second personality to be.
Vigilantly he re-checked his surroundings, assessing his assault and next advance. He could already tell time was against him. Barely twenty seconds had passed since he’d left his hiding place, yet this was an eon for an Immortal of his ability, and even longer for one in combat against his faith’s enemy, the slang for the opposing religion playing like a curse in his mind –
His eyes darted searchingly for movement, but nothing stirred, it seemed, somehow luckily, he had indeed managed to immerge unnoticed and unchallenged.
The young Immortal paused a while longer, his split mind not allowing for any margins of brashness or impatience to dictate his moves. He wouldn’t rush in as a foolish ensign would; he was far too professional for that sort of mistake. He took a deep breath again, as he forced himself into his learned state of calm; dropping all the fears that would trouble a normal human and embracing one that was befitting his pedigree.
Damn, why was this so hard for him today? He cursed at his split minds for arguing,
shut up, shut up, shut up!
On the exterior none of this internal conflict showed. Always watching, calculating, he searched methodically for any other hidden traps or enemies that might be drawn by his initial brutality, while trying to synchronise himself.
But still nothing stirred; nothing other than the twitching forms that lay quietly at his feet …
You’re being too careful aren’t you?
Remember Immortal, this isn’t one of your Master’s or Elder’s elaborate tasks, tediously constructed, precisely for such weaknesses. This is an actual mission, and it’s unlikely the Skinks would have anything of the likes our Master could conjure or construct, at least not so meticulously catered for our faults
, his logical and original personality spoke up.
Yes, already against the odds he was aboard and no death-dealing device or assailant was tearing towards him like his Master’s tasks would have surely done by now, so surely he was overthinking this as normal,
wasn’t he …?
Genesis snapped his mind’s rift into place until he finally felt they were partnered well enough to have a good enough balance to go on
not too cautious to weigh him down yet clinical and brutal enough to get his religion’s missions done, without killing himself.
He shook the moment off, remembering a particularly painful punishment his Master employed when his mind went into these conflicted states. His Master back then had known, as he did now, that he still had plenty to be worried about, even if he was stronger than in those earlier years. But beyond his religion’s procedures – to infuse his new personality – he still knew he couldn’t afford to be absent minded anymore. Although his Master was no longer around to challenge him, Genesis knew this was for his own protection. As an active agent for his faith, there could be no mistakes, not for him, not if he wanted to live for another mission. That was what his second personality was for, why they’d given it to him in the first place; that was why he needed harmony from within. Genesis smiled as he felt his new state wash over him. It took a while this time, but finally he was fully in tune with his joint personality and senses once more, his internal synchronisation was complete.
After being sure no one was taking advantage of his time absent, Genesis gathered his breath and without any more pause moved over the bodies and continued his momentum through the Seekers of Truth –
As before, he faded like a ghost as he disappeared in and out of the visible spectrums, clinging to the last folds of shadow as if designed purposefully for his stealthy passing. He only stopped as he arrived at the very edge of the furthest shadow’s penumbra. He halted abruptly, knowing the meagre frayed edges of the waning dark well enough not to be caught in their openness. This familiarity made him aware of the fine line between what would lightly conceal him and what would totally engulf and shroud him when he truly came under scrutiny.
Stiffening slightly, his muscles contorted with an almost invisible strike as he landed his throwing blade perfectly, taking out the only remaining light on the far side of the room, over fifteen metres away. The entire area plunged into total
darkness as Genesis felt the comfort pass over him and as he bled away into nothing.
After destroying the only motion detector set to spy for anyone other than Skinks, he emerged from the umbra’s murkiness, flitting through pockets of steam far more effortlessly than before. He reached his goal of the exit door where the device should have alerted his enemy to such an infiltration – but now was left hanging inert from the bulkhead.
He cracked the door open as light bore through the darkness and security of his dwelling. He paused, adjusting to its intrusion, and just as he went to depart through it, he felt tension permeating across the room.
He heard his remaining squad switching over to night-vision as they scanned his every move and tried as best to keep up, tracking him through their scopes and visors, watching his precision strikes diligently. Genesis could almost see their awe while he signalled them to wait. He reached up casually, trying hard to forget the five souls, and reclaimed his throwing knife from the destroyed light. He tucked it safely back within his armour as he continued unperturbed by the change in mood.
Although he’d thought an infiltration through the showering quarters would be unexpected, he was still overly cautious with every move. He knew this was more for his men’s safety than his own – the mortal squad behind him was in far more physical danger than he was.
Genesis turned back, signalling them with the all clear, barely disturbing the swirling mists as he motioned them on. A red glow from his eyes briefly flashed as he glanced towards his loyalists. The reflective light of his optics made him look almost primeval as he crouched down low and the spinal housing units on his armour jutted irregularly from his hunched back.