By John Page

 

“Your mission is to kill everyone on that island.” My commander says with no emotion. This war has been brutal and the Atigonia army has been struggling to push the Tallern army back until fairly recently. The war has swung back and forth across the islands of the Nimbus Ocean.

We are now advancing through the Emerald Islands. Looking at the map I can see my target is along a major chokepoint. The islands is right between three trade routes and two heavily populated islands.

“Since you are impossible to kill you’ll save your country countless lives as per usual.” The commander tells me even thought I already know that. I have been fighting for over fourteen thousand years but every time I fight a war, people feel the need to explain stuff. It’s kind of annoying.

The man talks for a while I am allowed to leave and get started for the mission.

——————-

I am sitting on a plane flying low and fast. We need to avoid the Tallern radar and the pilot knows what to do. Once we get to the drop point, I get up and walk to the door. At the signal of the crew chief the door opens and I drop into the water.

I drop like a stone and dive till I’m about hundred and six feet underwater. I can’t fully tell but based on the pain hitting me I’m where I need to be. I twist and I start swimming. I swim for several minutes and I see my target.
It is a small cave that scouts had found earlier this month. I approach cautiously and see a fish like being waiting by the cave.

It seems the Sau have posted a Gillan to watch for infiltrators. I move lower in the water and crawl along the ocean floor. While the Gillan should have the advantage in an underwater fight with a human, I have an advantage. I ambush the fish man and slit its throat. Before it can move I crave it up and I use a small spell capsule to destroy the body.

After that I move up the tunnel. I encounter no other guards and I reach my target.

I break the surface of the water and look around. It is a small grotto that is being used as a guard shack. I see several sleeping figures of both Sau and Gillan. I leap out of the water and kill all of them. Only one of them made a sound before life left it. My knife is drenched in blood and I wash it off.

I look for anything I can use. I take a gun, ammos, maps and code books. As I hunt for anything I see a mirror. The face I see always surprises me.

I am about average height and weight. My hair is light brown and my eyes and dull blue. My face is clean shaven. The only odd thing about me is that I am completely covered is scars. I scarcely look human. My appearance would make someone say I am somewhere between twenty eight and sixty. I debate changing my appearance and I waste time using my powers to alter my body. I let some scars heal, let my body grow taller and make my hair darker. I let my body grown more muscular as well.
I look at this version of me but then I decide the form of a scarred fiend would work better. I make every scar appear and my hair grow wild. With that indulgence out of the way, I set fire to the camp and move out.

Outside it’s a humid tropical night. I really hate the heat, this makes me miss the last ice age. All I see is jungle and ocean. I scan for the next set of lights and move off once I found one.

The jungle is hard to move through. I miss the hunting back with my original family, can it have really been so long? Thousands of years seem to have been only minutes ago.

I use all my experience to find the path of least resistance. I hear animals scream and smell the humidity. Others might have been uncomfortable but I really don’t care.

I move for several miles until I hear voices talk in a hash version of Tallern. I find a place to hide and ready my gun. I wait for about twenty minutes.

My wait is ended when I see about a dozen grey figures march in a loose formation. They are almost comically overly muscular and move in a looping stride. It’s the Urki, the core of the Tallern army. They look brutish but they are cunning and brave, they make good solders but they must die.

I wait until half of them pass by me before opening fire. I send three bullets into the first one’s head and then spray the others with rounds. Nine Urki drop. The remainder turn and look for me. I drop from the tree and cut open in half. The other two turn and fire at me. I am hit but I ignore it and gun the other two down.
I stab all twelve once more and take anything usual from then. Time to move on.

I move through the jungle without a sound. I keep an eye out for any sign of movement. Besides the sounds of the jungle, there is nothing unexpected. It seems the Tallerns have not realized what has happen so far.

 

After walking for a while I reach what seems like a guard post. I find a spot to hide and wait to see if I spot anything out of the ordinary.  I am sitting over what seems like a major road leading from the outpost.

 

As I wait I recall the thousands upon thousands of times I have hunted throughout my life. Each hunt is basically the same, you wait for a long time until something suddenly happens.

 

My efforts pay off as I see a trio of Urki move out of with a sense of urgency. I guess my previous actions are causing a reaction. I ready my gun and wait till they pass near me. The Urki move swiftly and seem to be in a state of panic. I am assuming that someone is trying to catch me. Luckily they seem to be inexperienced. Once they get into range I open fire. The barrage is swift and soon all three are down.

Before the others can react I start moving toward the guard shack. There are likely thirty more soldiers in there and I need to keep up the assault. As I near it I see dozens of guns being pointed at different points. The Urki are confused and angry. To further confuse them I start firing off rounds at random to make them unsure over where exactly I am.

 

I leap in and start firing. It is a similar tactic that we used long ago to panic herd animals. I take down about a dozen before they starting shooting back at me. I am hit a few times but I do not react. The fighting goes on and soon another ten are dead. The remaining eight rush at me. They slash at me with bayonets.  I fight hard but soon I am filled in blades. Seeing a way to win, I act like I am dying and slump to the ground. The Urki pause for a second and try to pull their blades out. The blades are stuck and the Urki struggling.

 

I jump up and knock them off guard. I slash at them like a mad man. Soon I am alone. I stand and breathe heavily. That fight was one went quickly out of control. I count the bodies and see if I can take anything of value.

 

Something is off. I count the bodies. All look ugly and grey. Wait!!! There are only twenty nine. Where is number thirty? I search swiftly and notice that there are signs of a wounded being running toward another camp. $%$# I need to chase him down.

 

I move swiftly through the jungle tracking my prey. The Urki is wounded but is reacting with common sense. He is trying to avoid leaving any trail and is moving swiftly as possible. I move fast but also am keeping an eye out to make sure I am not lead into an ambush. That would be a rookie mistake.

 

After moving swiftly for several minutes I see lights from a truck. Soon I see many lights. I hear shouting and soon the lights are racing off. It seems my prey escaped. I weigh my options over what to do. While I could win a fight most likely I want to catch the weaker elements first. I am a skilled warrior but I do not want to go chasing after a truck.

 

I disappear into the jungle and keep hunting.

 

As the hours pass I ambush more patrols and small bases. I acquire explosives and transform parts of the night sky into an inferno. I am more careful in my attacks but still I am aware that not every foe is killed. However this also works in my favor. Sentient beings are brave but even the bravest will panic when faced with what seems like an un-killable figure.

 

I capture a radio and hear the garrison panic. Urki and Sau yell at each other demanding help and to get the mages out. I was wondering when they would be called out.

 

I hate magic. The feeling of a spell striking you is gross and hurts like hell. Mages love to obscure their art with archaic words and symbols. Those symbols are mostly for show, I am older than most of those symbols and I know damn well that the pre-human civilizations had though own equally stupid trappings. Seeming mystic is a disease for spell casters. Magic has its uses but I still hate it with a passion.

 

With this thought I am ambushed by a blast of magic. Stupid mistake. I let myself get lost in thought. I fly through the air and land with a thud.

 

I am mad. All my equipment is destroyed. I turn and snarl at a trio of Sau rushing at me. They are floating and chanting in Archaic Tallern.  I stand there and wait for them to get nearer. The mages are blinded by their own power. They are angry and want to hurt me. They get far too close to me and I leap out at them. I slam into the closest mage and I grab the tall blond elf’s staff. I swing it hard and crush his skull. He drops with a crash and before the others can recover I attack them.

 

The fight is vicious but I am the last one standing. I was hit with several more spells which hurt like the devil. As I strip the bodies of anything useful and get back into the hunt.

 

I launch more attacks and soon the only center of Tallern strength is their main base. It seems the commander has gotten tired of having his/her men being slaughtered and is keeping his force in strength.

 

After spending the rest of the day planning I launch my final assault. I start by bombarding the base with a captured mortar. Chaos reigns and as soon as I run out of ammo I start moving toward the base. The fight is brutal and I am hit dozens of times. Still the momentum is on my side and soon every member of the base is dead. I spend the next two days hunting for survivors.

 

Once I am satisfied that the island is clear I find a flare and fire off the signal. The next day the Atigonia care taker force arrives. The care taker force flinches when they see me.

 

I understand, I have not bothered to try to heal my wounds and I am covered in enough wounds to kill a man a hundred times over. I smell like hell and am covered in blood. I do not care what others think.

 

I match up to the commander and tell him the island is his and I want dinner. He looks at me in disbelief but then hurries off to get me food. They know who I am and they know that my hunt is over.

 

The next hunt will come soon.

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