As I looked down the sights of my sniper rifle my mentor put his hand on my shoulder.
"Keep your rifle steady, take aim with steady breaths, and fire," he whispered into my ear, giving me advice. I did as he said and steadied my aim, took a deep breath and fired. My sniper round hit the bullseye that Vultraks had put on a rock a few hundred feet away.
"Wohoo!" I yelled as I saw it hit the target, Vultraks just chuckled.
"Good, you're getting better everyday," he said a grin on his face. I smiled back at him and we walked through the rocky landscape of the cosmodrome to our ship. My mentor, Vultraks, took me here for training that we couldn't do in the tower. It was an opening in a bunch of ravines and mountains, with rocks and a crashed airplane dotting the landscape. It was pretty big and not commonly known to guardians, the perfect place for us to train.
I had been revived only a few weeks ago and, when I was, Vultraks found me and decided to mentor me. When we first met he had insisted on a code name for me after a while, said it was beneficial for a combat scenario. I had chosen Adrex, and he didn't seem to mind the name I picked out. He had also told me that Vultraks was only his code name as well, yet I didn't care. To me he was my mentor, my friend.
"So, where to next V?" I asked him once we were inside the city hawk ship we flew.
"I told you never to call me V," he said back, getting irritated.
"Ah, come on. It's like a nickname," I said in protest as we took off.
"Vultraks is already my code name, I don't need a nickname for it," he said talking the ships controls. He was a hunter like me, but he had on a set of the standard vanguard armor for some reason. When I asked he just said that it did its job so he didn't care that he wasn't wearing anything unique. I wore a few pieces of New Monarchy gear but hadn't collected a full set in the few weeks I've been a hunter.
We landed in the city where we went to Vultraks' favorite bar. We drank and laughed into the night telling jokes and stories, that last part was being told by Vultraks as I wasn't sent on many missions without him by my side. After the bar closed we had to go back to the tower. We shared an apartment where is also where we trained in combat.
"Light training in the morning Adrex, so wake up bright and early," he said before we went to our separate rooms.
"Don't worry, I'll make sure to wake up," I said brushing it off. He seemed to consider my answer for a moment.
"Ched," he said referring to my ghost. Ched appeared from my armor matrix upon hearing his name, "Make sure he wakes up in the morning," he said to the ghost.
"Hey!" I yelled in protest as he chuckled and went into his room. I sighed and went into my room letting my helmet and cloak disappear as I laid on the bed.
The next morning my ghost had to wake me, much to the amusement of Vultraks, and we entered the combat center of the apartment. It looked similar to a gym, with punching bags hanging from the ceiling, mats on the ground, and an assortment of training frames with vicious combat AI's. Vultraks got straight to business as we entered.
"You've been able to use your light to summon grenades, and arc energy is inside of you, yet you haven't been able to use arc blade. Today, we're gonna fix that," he said standing across from me. I nodded instead of saying something and closed my eyes, listening to his instructions, "You need to feel the arc lightning inside of you, you need to use it," he may have been a gunslinger, but he still knew his stuff. I focused my light and dug deep inside, calling on the arc energy inside of me. My body began to glow blue with electricity, and a knife started to form in my hand. Just as I thought that I had done it, the knife discharged sending electricity up into my arm.
"Damn it, I can't do it," I yelled in frustration. Vultraks just looked at me.
"You're letting the arc lightning take control of you when you need to take control of it. Again," he said as advice. I nodded, determined to do this and tried again. I felt the arc lightning build up and when it started to lose control, I reigned it back in and made it do what I want. A knife made of arc light formed in my hand. Vultraks smiled then got into a combat stance, "Now try fighting me with it," I nodded and did the same.
Over the weeks I learned that when he asked me to fight him I shouldn't argue. Quickly I tried slashing at his neck with the knife. He dodged then grabbed my wrist, ignoring the electricity, he kicked the back of my knee causing me to fall to my knees, and he kicked me into the mat with his other foot. As I lay there he told me what I did wrong.
"You were too anxious to use your arc blade, too arrogant. Having that super does not make you invincible," he said offering his hand. I took it and he helped me up just as his ghost appeared.
"Vultraks," he said with concern in his voice, "We have a message from the vanguard, they want us to check out reports of fallen house of winter in the cosmodrome," We looked to each other and I smiled knowing that I was gonna use my new super in action.
After getting the coordinates from our ghosts, we flew just outside the cosmodrome wall, past an old highway, and into a large open field in the mountains. Once we had transmatted in, we drew our weapons. Vultraks had given me a pair of Trespasser sidearms to dual wield. Both of them were modified to fire only one higher caliber shot that could stagger an ogre. And he drew his silver hand canon known as the hawkmoon.
"You sure this is the place?" I asked looking around at the empty space. All that was here were some rocks and a forest to their left.
"Yeah, this is it," he said back looking around in confusion as I was. Before I could respond fallen skiffs dropped from orbit, and quickly dropped their crew unto the ground in front of us. They were wearing the house of winter crest.
We started firing, our shots disappearing into the dozens of fallen. We moved to a rock formation just ahead of us and hid behind it for cover. We continued to trade shots with the winter crew, ours hitting a lot more that theirs. I fired a few more shots at the fallen, the higher caliber of bullets from my Trespassers recoil didn't even bother me.
[i]The increased recoil in these guns from my modifications is something you need to get used to.[/i]
I heard my mentors voice from all of my lessons as I shot at them, blowing the fallen away with the shots. I summoned my sniper as Vultraks did the same and remembered yesterday.
[i]Keep your rifle steady, breath steady, and take aim[/i]
My mentors words came to me again as I began to pick off the fallen, shooting their pressurized heads. Once I ran out of ammo I switched back to my Trespassers and started shooting again. I heard Vultraks gasp and turned around to find him impaled by a stealth vandal that had snuck up on us. I quickly shot it with the trespasser in my left hand and bent down next to him.
His ghost appeared and began to heal him, when an arc bolt from a fallen sniper hidden in the woods shot it. I shot blindly into the woods hoping to scare the sniper off, and knelt down next to Vultraks.
"It's alright, you're gonna be okay," I said quickly in a panic. He spit out some blood and looked to me.
"Bullshit," he said as I looked into his eyes, "I know how bad it is, I can feel it," he looked up at me but I couldn't accept the fact that he was dying. He was too strong to die like this, "Listen to me Adrex. I've made a lot of mistakes in my life, stuff I'm not proud of. My last protege was killed and after that I became a loner, but when I saw you get revived and decided to be your mentor," he coughed up some blood struggling to say this, "I was doing it to make up for my previous mistakes, and I don't regret a second. You're my protege, my friend,"
"You're my friend too, Vultraks," I said desperately, as tears started swelling up in my eyes. He looked at me and smiled.
"James, my name is James kid," he said not wanting it be a secret before he died.
"Okay, listen to me James. You're gonna make it through this. You're too stubborn to die," I looked at him as his head fell back and I saw the life drain from his eyes, "James...? JAMES!" I yelled looking at his face, "no...no........NOOOO!" I yelled pulling him into an embrace crying at the loss of my friend.
More arc bolts peppered the rock I was hiding behind and I looked up from his body. I was filled with rage and the only thing I wanted was for these fallen to die. I summoned my arc blade and stepped out behind my cover to face the fallen. I dodged and moved through their ranks, killing and slicing every fallen I could see.The fallen tried to fight back, but I remembered the countless hours of our hand to hand training.
[i]Just because you can use a knife doesn't mean that you can beat an arc sword like the fallen use.[/i]
It does now. I wouldn't let a single one of these bastards live.
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