Blue Eyes Blind

Naramus wakes to the sound of voices. His eyes spring open. Staring him in the face is an enemy with a startled and bemused look on their face. It’s an expression which only worsens when Naramus springs off his back and onto his feet, determined.

The enemy recoils, opening his mouth to speak. He never gets the chance for Naramus grabs a hold of him, spins him about and exerts immense pressure on their neck. It snaps. Satisfied, Naramus allows the lifeless body to slump to the floor. He surveys the room around him; meagre, primitive are its construction and contents. When he spies his effects lying nearby he is pleased. A smile slides across his lips for his sword remains in his possession. If it did not he would feel compelled to fall upon its blade. Alas, no such behaviour is required and so quickly he adorns the folded robe of grey, ties the brown leather strap around his waist to secure it and then dons his sword, making sure to hang it correctly off his left hip. He tests to ensure that its positioning is optimal, it is. He draws the blade but does not discover what he expected. It should be bloodied, stained, unclean and yet it is not. Evidently his enemies cared for his blade. He wonders why. He does not care. Voices, many of them reach his ears. They have been present since his rousing from slumber, the coma his body put itself in to preserve his life. If it were not for his enhancements he would be dead. He thanks the procedures he put himself through, tests his arm to find it exemplary, performs a short series of checks to ensure his skills are not dulled, they are not; he exits the room.

Now in a corridor he snarls for this is not the sort of place he wished to find himself. More voices reach his ears. It sounds as if an army stand on the other side of the buildings wall. Without his armour, much of it butchered by his recollection, he will be lesser. Memories of his efforts predating the fabrication of that armour pop into his mind. He mulls them over; analysing how he used to fight. He has become lazy, sloppy, in his art. The only perfection he has remains the way in which he wields his blade. It is better than nothing but cannot be sure it’ll be enough. If any of this ‘army’ possesses explosives his life may be over. There is no way he will survive another blast akin to that he suffered in the ruins upon which Rendition is perched. He croaks a strange half digitised sound from his long damaged synthetic voice box. It is one of the modifications that had to be made following an injury. It pre-dates his enhancements. Not ideal but in no way life-threatening. For rarely does Naramus speak. There is little he needs to say. Enemies get the answers they need in the form of his blade as it bites. Again he must do this for there are many who stand between him and his departure of whatever place he has woken up in.

Naramus bursts through the creaking wooden door, it explodes off its hinges sending splinters out ahead of him. Some of those splinters attack the targets gathered blocking his path. He snarls, bares his teeth, roars and rushes forward. Shouts, cries, screams are delivered in kind. He ignores each and every one of them. This group will die as all his enemies die. They are armed poorly, if at all. He cuts them down all the same.

To evade their sloppy strikes he whirls, spins, leaps, cartwheels, pirouettes, dive rolls, sidesteps and so much more to ensure the vast majority of the attacks are fruitless. Throughout it all a smile remains on his face. These adversaries are lacking, severely, he finds. They offer little challenge. Still, he cuts them down all the same for they stand between him and what lies ahead. Blood runs like a river all around, limbs severed lie strewn about, bodies piled not high but meagrely so. Yet still screams, chants, pleas, demands and orders reach his ears. Evidence there are more ready to stand against him than he first thought. He leaps atop a mid-sized wall to better survey his surroundings. The buildings are uniform in design for the most part. A few are larger, more elaborate, but they are few and far between. However, there is no sense to how they are laid out. Each sits at an old angle to the one neighbouring it. The sight strikes Naramus as how he imagines a settlement might look if the structures had fallen from the sky. He prefers the cities, like Rendition, with their uniformity. That is something he never thought he would say. He chuckles at the conclusion but spies some of those who stand against him fleeing. He shakes his head disgusted by their cowardice. The least they can do is face him head on. If they will not then he will force them to and so off the wall he hops and into a fierce run he breaks.

Following the winding wood planked paths of wherever he is grates against him enormously. Alas, it would be quicker than leaping fences and trudging across foliage, he is convinced. The presence of this foliage confuses him for it appears to offer no benefit. Disgusted he continues onward. Some of the voices are growing distant. If only he knew his way to where he and they are heading, he does not. All he can do is hope and continue his pursuit. New voices reach his ears. They echo from his opposing side drawing his attention. Naramus turns to pursue them in favour of those growing distant. Bursting through a door he hears screams, then pleading, begging. He ignores all of it, demands those discovered face him like warriors. They do not and so he cuts them to ribbons.

Blood cakes the walls in splatter patterns; he flicks the excess off his blade, turns and departs. Back outside he finds himself face-to-face with those willing to stand correctly, as warriors. They even bear arms. He is proud but will show them not an ounce of mercy. He gestures they attack, which they indeed do with little hesitation but cavernous voids of fear afflicting them.

Naramus spins, slices, slashes, cuts; all while performing a myriad of dodges to restrict any injuries he might otherwise suffer. The group do not last but a few minutes and once dispatched are little more than a pile of tattered meat. Again he flicks the blade to rid it of the excess lubrication. Finally, he returns it to its scabbard but does not release the grip. Rather, his knuckles tighten until they are white, a smile slips into place, he breathes out slowly, loudly, and pulls the blade as he turns. A squeal is birthed in response to the katana wielders slash. A second later the pig lies dead, cleaved almost in two from the single swipe. Blood belching already into what is blood sodden ground. An unimpressed growl escapes his lips for it is poor performance on his part that he was not aware of the beast which had crept up on him. He should have heard it, felt it, but did not. Practice will need to be returned to for his former skills to be raised back to their former status. Right then, while continuing his chastising of his efforts, he hears voices again. His smile returns as does his sprint.

It takes minutes for him to pick up the trail and push his advantage until they slide into view. They are unsuspecting but fleeing. He will need to cut them off. He leaps to a nearby rooftop.

The buildings are even more haphazardly misaligned he realises now that he is atop them. Still, he leaps from one to the next with katana in hand, lowered, but ready to strike. His head turns so his faded blue eyes might gaze upon the cowards. He is ahead of them but not yet in line with their path and so he continues. Several more rooftops are conquered and then he leaps, high and far. At the crest of his jump he roars. The fleeing grind to a halt, scream, even cry in some instances. Naramus ignores it all, dropping into a roll which at the completion of sees him stood tall on his feet ready to dispatch those who should not have put themselves between him and his future. Right now his future is whatever pathway will take him back to Rendition so that he might repay those who ambushed him. These specimens do not look as though they would count amongst the operatives and yet to be sure would be the best course of action. He shall leave one alive, for questioning. They will not survive past that.

“Why are you doing this?” Someone queries from the mass who have dared to flee. Their tone is incredulous, disbelieving and Naramus finds it disrespectful, disgusting. He sneers in response but offers no words. Instead, he surges forward slicing. These adversaries offer no contest. They are dead within seconds. Silence hangs on the air. Naramus breathes it in. He smells burning on the wind, his eyes open and he turns. Buildings are aflame. He cares little. Someone coughs. He smirks and turns back to the mass who offered little resistance for their crimes. One man, young and stupid, is attempting to crawl away. Evidently the youth believes he can escape, can live to fight another day. Naramus will prove otherwise he knows as he closes the gap between them.

Once within reach his sword is thrust down. The blade spears through the youths thigh pinning him in place. An almighty screech leaves the youths mouth but it is does not stop there. They continue to wail. Naramus is sickened by it, the lack of bravery. He should not be surprised. Few here, wherever he is, have shown much in the ways of such things. He wonders how they have managed to survive being so weak, and for this long as this settlement looks well established. It matters little for they angered the wrong man and have faced his wrath as a result.

Naramus drops into a squat, forcing the youth to look up at him with their terrified green eyes.

“I will ask questions and you will answer them.” Comes the imbalanced croaking synthetic voice from the damaged replacement voice box in Naramus’ neck.

“I will. I will.” The youth promises behind overly long locks of matted brown hair. “I will tell you all you wish and you will let me free.”

A smile spreads across Naramus’ face. The youth has one thing correct. His questions will be answered. Being set free on the other hand is a delusion which will not come to pass, but first knowledge must be sought.

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