Apparently pigs learned how to fly within the next two months, because I found myself standing in the middle of some Mexican slum, waiting while Nikto attempted to speak to someone in very broken Spanish. I shuddered slightly as I felt the eyes of the natives on me, and I rubbed my forearm, feeling the blade that I had encased in a leather arm guard.
Nikto approached me and smiled cheerfully. I sighed, a bad feeling growing in the pit of my stomach.
“Turns out they’re at the end of this stretch,” he said quietly, shoving his hands into his pockets. “It would also seem that they’re the protectors of this slum, from the police.”
“Oh, great,” I said, glancing around. “People are watching us. It’s obvious that we’re not from here. If we take down their leader-”
“Don’t worry about it,” Nikto said. They don’t seem to like him too much.” I sighed, and he turned to walk towards the biggest building, what seemed to be a large shed-sized wooden structure.
A girl about my height slipped out of the building, and she called something out in Spanish, a warning or some type, I’d guess. Nikto shrugged.
“No habla Espanol,” he said, stopping about a yard away from her. “American.”
“Oh!” she exclaimed. “We hove no shipment ready.”
“Shipment?” I muttered to Nikto. He motioned for me to be quiet.
“We aren’t here for a shipment,” he said to her. “We need to speak to your leader.” She froze, suspicious.
“Who are you?” she asked, watching us suspiciously.
“We’re mutants,” he said. “The Legion.”
“Legion?” she repeated, confused. “Uno momento.” With that she vanished into the building. A couple of moments later we heard a couple of people discussing something in loud voices, obviously in Spanish. A moment later she reappeared.
“Come,” she said, looking unhappy about something. “Duarte wants to speak to you.” Nikto followed her inside with me on his heels.
There was no electricity inside the building, but I could see that is was a lot bigger than what it seemed from the outside. Nine people were inside, excluding Nikto and myself, sitting or standing around the edges of the room. I noticed that there were only three female members, in sharp contrast to the US VI4c, which was pretty heavily female.
A short, but well built, scarred man stepped forward, eying us. Just from looking at him, I could tell that he’d had a hard life of fighting, though he couldn’t have been much older than I was, and even with the scars he looked really nice.
“American mutants,” he said, his dark eyes moving from Nikto to me. He turned to the who had shown us in and asked her something.
“Duarte wants to know your name,” she said hesitantly. “And why you only brought a woman with you.” My eyes narrowed as I stroked my arm guards, disliking this man.
“My name is Nikto,” he said calmly. “And Danae is my best fighter. She can take care of herself.” The girl translated for Duarte, the leader, and he studied me intensely, before dismissing me. Through the girl’s translations, they began to speak.
“What do you want? Adelita said that you don’t want the drug shipment, but we can get you the best drugs, if that’s what you want.”
“I’m not here for drugs. I’m here to offer you the chance to join the Legion, a new group of mutants who will change the world.”
“We don’t want a new group.” Duarte crossed his arms, standing ready for action.
“Then we will be forced to take action against you,” Nikto said calmly. “Danae?”
“Yes?” I asked, stepping forward.
“Hold my coat, and cover my back while I fight,” he said. I hesitated for a moment. He hasn’t been tested in battle. He’s not guilty of murder, I thought. I have. I have blood on my conscious. What’s one more murder?
“Let me fight,” I said. Nikto studied me, considering it briefly.
“Danae will fight your best fighter,” he said, turning back to face Duarte, who snorted and made some comment in Spanish.
“He said that he’ll fight your woman,” Adelita said quietly. “And that it won’t take that long to defeat her.”
“Tell him that I’ve been trained to kill, and that I won’t hesitate to do so,” I said, giving the man a filthy look.
As Adelita translated, Duarte studied me with eyes like a hawk’s. I felt my breath catch in my throat, and I reached for the little metal pellets that I liked to use in combat. He chuckled as I pulled out a handful and put my hands together to form several razor sharp needles.
“Those won’t work on him,” Adelita said as I threw them into the air, willing them to fly to him. Duarte merely looked at them and they froze in midair. He returned his gaze to me.
I had cringed as the needles bent back, seemingly of their own will, and scattered to all corners of the room. He must be something like a magnetic control mutant, I thought. Then that’s a stalemate. I’ll take another approach.
He drew a switchblade from his pants pocket and I ran my hands over the arm guards, drawing out the metal so that I could make a decent blade. I glanced over my shoulder at Nikto, who was watching us with his arms crossed.
“Don’t hesitate,” he told me. “He’s made his choice, and now he’ll face the consequences.” I nodded grimly.
Duarte smiled, though leered might be a better term for it, at me and said something to or about me in Spanish. I heard a woman laugh from behind me, and I returned the favor in Greek. His eyes widened in shock and then narrowed again.
I don’t know who struck first, but I do know that we fought for a couple of minutes. He was a good fighter, and it was a miracle that I managed to cut him the first time. He cussed me out as he raised a hand to his cheek, where a single line of silver blood had appeared.
He dove for me again, suddenly, and I couldn’t move away fast enough. his knife grazed my breastbone, tearing my tunic and drawing blood. It was that single attack that brought him close enough for me to slit his throat.
I heard the cry of his followers as he lost his balance and fell. He struggled up and again, his hand covering the deep wound in his neck. I struck again smoothly and heartlessly, driving my dagger into his chest, and then again into his stomach.
Blood poured in copious amounts from all of his wounds. He coughed and gasped as I drove my dagger in between his ribs, piercing a lung. Duarte was dead within minutes, drowned in his own blood.
I stood in the middle of the floor, watching him as he died. My hands and forearms were covered in his blood. An eerie silence fell for a couple of moments.
Without any warning, one of the girls jumped me. I drove my dagger into on of her arms as she tried to strangle me. She began screaming what I can only assume were accusations and curses as she let go.
She backed off, cradling her wound, to retrieve Duarte’s switchblade from his corpse before turning to face me again. Her intentions were clear- she intended to fight with me to the death. I glanced questioningly at Nikto as one of the other girls approached and tried to soothe my attacker.
She brushed the other girl off as Nikto shrugged. Thanks a lot, I though acidly as I raised my blade.
“No, Casilde!” one of her team-mates cried. Casilde ignored that as she dove at me, her rage taking over.
She fought liek a wildcat, determined to kill me. I was wounded several times, though none of them were deep nor serious.
I don’t know how long we fought, but it seemed like we’d fought for quite a while. I finally struck a fatal blow, and she collapsed, dead before she hit the floor.
No one challenged me after that, for which I was glad. My body was sore and worn out, still not up to par, and I couldn’t fight any longer.
Nikto approached me and placed a hand on my shoulder, a grateful smile on his face. I gave him a dirty look, which he ignored as he turned to face the other other members of the Mexican VI4C.
“Your leaders are done,” he said. “And now you have a choice to make. Will you come with us, or will you die with them?” They stood quietly for a moment before one of the girls turned to the rest and translated what Nikto had said to them. They converse in low tones for a couple of moments before the girl we had spoke to earlier stepped forward.
“We will join you,” she said. “It will be good for us.” I glanced around to see the other members nodding. Nikto smiled briefly.
“Gather your belongings,” he said. “We’ll eave when you’re ready.” Adelita translated this for the others, and they dispersed. Nikto turned to be as I wiped my blade off on a clean spot on Casilde’s shirt before returning it the the arm guards, aware of his gaze.
“I’m sorry, Danae,” he said quietly. “I didn’t know that you’d have to fight the two of them.”
“That was pretty obvious,” I said, straightening as I fastened the blade’s covering. I glanced around the room, and my gaze fell on a few crates that I knew were filled with drugs. “What’ll we do with those?” I guessed that they were meant to be sold in the US for high prices, and I couldn’t let that happen.
I cringed as I looked at the crates. I had been on drugs, admittedly prescription sedatives, long enough to know the horrors that they could do to one’s precious life. Mikto rubbed his bare chin, a sign that he was thinking.
“We’ll burn them,” he said. “We can leave the building here for the taking, but the drugs will be destroyed.”
“Good,” I said tersely as the two girls reentered the room with small bundles. I longed to wash myself as I felt the blood drying on my skin, and I self-consciously rubbed my forearm. One of the girls, Adelita, approached us.
“We’d like to know where we are going,” she said hesitantly.
“To my hideout, at the bottom of the sea,” Nikto said calmly, picking up a crate of drugs “Could you give me a hand, ladies?”
“Absolutely,” I said, picking up a box and following him out. He had parked the jet in the middle of the desert, just out of sight of the slum. Nikto led the way, heading a little ways away from it, setting down his crate and pulling out a cigarette lighter.
“Danae, pile up the crates over there,” he said. Adelita and the other girl had followed with the remaining two crates, and I took them from the girls.
Within minutes the pile of crates was nothing but a huge blaze, dark smoke rising thickly. Nikto left me to watch over the fire while he went to wait for the rest of his new recruits to join us.
Adelita stayed with me, seeming to want to talk to me. I sat down tiredly on the ground beside the jet, and she did the same, watching the drugs burn.
“It was good, how you fought,” she said quietly. I shrugged, scratching some of the dried blood off of my arm. “Like a snake, the way you strike.”
“A snake?” I asked, surprised. She nodded, and silence fell for a couple minutes. I glanced off to the slum, where I could vaguely see Nikto heading our way with the new recruits.
“Graceful,” Adelita said suddenly. “But deadly.” I knew she was referring to my fighting style, and I made no comment.
“Time to go,” Nikto said, opening up the jet. People loaded it up with their stuff and crawled in. I cast a tired gaze over the lay of the land, and turned to speak with Nikto.
“Some of the locals will make sure that it’s contained,” he said, cutting me off. “Come on. It’s time to go.”
“Right,” I said, turning my back on the land where the VI4C had ruled.