Chose your own adventure: Ranger’s Battle

Warrior sits crosslegged on the edge of the camp, the fire illuminating his dreads and back muscles. He’s a little imposing, but Tech has one of his swords, so it’s not like he’s a threat. You’re the Chosen One too, you reason. You walk over and sit beside him.

“The way of a true warrior is to anticipate the enemy’s next move,” says Warrior. “It is not a matter of brute force or force of will, but intelligence that gets you through the battle alive.”

He picks up one of his swords and holds it up in the moonlit night.

It’s a beautiful sword. Black as the depths of space, almost 12 feet long, and ending in a flat, sharpened edge. He spins it around like it weighs nothing. It’s no wonder he was called a Warrior.

“I would give you a chance to hold the sword, Chosen One, but I fear it might crush you,” he says with a smirk. “That being said it’s no joy to carry two of these into battle.”

He puts the sword down on the ground and you swear you can feel the earth below you vibrate as he does.

“In the academy, we warriors are taught not to derive satisfaction from the fight,” Warrior says looking up to the moon. “We’re taught to understand that life is fragile and temporary, and that no amount of strength will keep you alive when the odds are stacked against you.”

“This is the reason we’re often told to train with the snipers,” he says. He looks up to the moon, “In our world we can die time and time again only to reappear outside of the battlefield.”

Just then, Tech drags over his second sword and places it beside him. “Thank you,” he says. He takes a sip of tea and looks back at you.

“Sniper has killed me a total of two thousand four hundred and seven times during training,” he says.

You look at the moon.

“During simulated battles, warriors are often cut down by snipers,” he says. “It hones our reflexes and our senses. Sometimes I was even able to predict when she would shoot… often times she did when I had turned the tide of battle. The repeated deaths teach you to hold dear to the life you have now and to not hold a grudge if you die,” he says.

You ask if he’s ever met Sniper during simulation or in training.

“Of course!” he responds. “She’s the nicest person you could ever meet, but her personality doesn’t exactly mix with the others.” He grabs up a plate of food placed beside him by Bruiser. Chinese take out. The smell wafts over you and Bruiser puts a plate beside you too giving you a pat.

“She trains in isolation and has seen all of us die on more than one occasion,” Warrior says. “Like me, she’s been given an appreciation for life as a dealer of death. Luckily for us, she’s on our side.”

You mention Warrior’s plunge toward Earth and he laughs.

“It was something we thought up during simulations,” he says. “The greater demons are made out of metamorphic rock and it takes much more than just a laser blast to deal damage to them.”

“And you probably wonder why she killed me so many times at the academy?” He smirks. “This was the first time the manoeuvre actually worked without her shooting my eye out.”

You talk for a little while longer before heading off to sleep.

Get some rest

— Page 34 —

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