"I see you left your post, can you explain that?" Zerkaz asked Kryn, now once again injured. Zerkaz had been attacked also, but he had received immediate care after the battle. His right eye was in a slightly higher arc, his body still relaxed, as usual.
"We saw more Equipoise crests then Kibosh. I could also tell that the moral of Equipoise seemed high. I took action according to what I thought suited the situation best."
"Well, we own that area and you did leave your unit behind. Traditionally, abandoning your unit is a show of cowardice, but I like to be more progressive. The retreats were low, sometimes they are very numerous. And you seem to work better alone. I am changing your status, alright? I think you can work better if you would do special assignments for me, as in I would give you something to do, and you would tell me your opinion and then improvising would begin from there, though if you don’t want to do a certain thing you don’t have, but I trust you will be reasonable. Elites are seen higher, but I don’t think you care much for glory. That is good. I use to be a man who only wanted honour, glory, respect and anything that linked to it. That lead me to own Kibosh, and be the largest union in Doom. But I changed, and I find I have become more practical. I do what works, not what people think will work. If I hadn’t changed that way of action, I wouldn’t have kept Kibosh for long. All of the people here want glory, or at least they would if they were my heir. Kryn, I know I do not know you well, but I think out of all the people here, you are the one that shows the most promise. Will you be my heir?"
“As heir, you deserve to know what the vault’s code is,” Zerkaz moved his head beside Kryn’s, “Union was the first, Omega was the last.”
“Okay, what is Omega?”
“Kibosh is only a decoy Kryn, Omega is our union that is within one cubicle. This union is in constant research and lays at the other end of Doom, in one of the corners. There, they are the brain of Ultima. Ultima is a union that has made allies with all unions that are near them. To defeat Ultima, one must destroy the neighbouring unions and even then, you must get to the corner of Ultima to reach Omega. Equipoise is one of the few who has a chance, and if they keep expanding they will discover Ultima. We have not contacted them though for some years, I pilgrimed to Omega once, I had to go through many checks and already I could see they had technology like the ones that are likely in the higher levels of this complex. They would not teach me of it though, and I only gave them a report on our status, and they advised me on how I should further develop against Equipoise. Vrelk has only been the despot for six years.”
“I see, so this whole union is to unite Doom?”
"Kryn, are your emotions the same as your voice?"
"Can you explain how you feel a bit, because not once have I heard you ever use a tone besides that neutral one. You seem to be a passivist, yet you are an aggressive fighter."
"I am normally neutral, slight joy comes sometimes after a little bit of adrenalin and then I get aggressive when I am in a dangerous situation, I have a will to live, after those times is when I will likely feel some joy. I never got in many fights though in Nirvana. But here the chance of death is so high that everyone is fighting in fear of being fought. If everyone held a cease fire, or even better, became allies, we would have a society more like the one we were banished from. That may be the fear of those who disliked the system, but there is more then one way to lead a peaceful government. The problem is that if anyone stopped fighting in fear of being fought, the other unions would attack them. That is why they fight, in fear of that result. If we wanted to stop this fighting, we would have to gain a large zone, and make allies with all the unions, crushing any who denied. I think that Kibosh could do that, though it would take generations. And I believe that after some inferior leaders, Kibosh will fall."
"True enough. I think that your brain does not produce enough of the emotional chemicals, and so after you have a little bit of adrenalin, some is produced. You seem to produce very crude emotions; joy, fear, sadness and anger. Anger is the most rare, and complex of your emotions. It is a mix of fear of being hurt more and sadness at the hurt you already feel. But you are capable of it. You have fear in battle, but it quickly turns to joy, after when you are still alive. Sadness would come before you realized that you are doomed to death, though you may be calm at the revelation depending on the circumstances. Have you ever felt jealous?"
"No, I have all I need and if I wanted something I would get it. I have what I work for."
"I see. Tell me, when have you ever felt the most intense emotion in your life?"
"Soon after I got here, during the first fight I had. I felt joy at...beating the man after he had attacked me, sadness at being damned here, fear of what was to come in this land of violence and...anger...for where Nirvana had banished me for not wishing to officially join there society that was too strict to live the life I wished to follow. I had to follow what they set for me. They told me what I wanted, I was not asked. My first real choice that had importance was what status I wanted, and I chose to let them know that I would not follow what they set for me, that I would take advantage of my freedom. That I had control of what I did. And in showing them that, they threw me into this pit of death."
"Interesting. Kryn, I trust you. You seem to know what to do, and you are going to do it whether everyone is for you doing it or not. You come from a place of great power, but their precautions to keep it sacred lead you to send yourself here. The people were against you, and you still did what you felt was right. I will not omit the fact that you abandoned your post, your unit. Let it be known that acting by intuition is better then acting by conduct."
Kryn laid around head quarters more often now, being a variable was easier then to be expected. He got in less battles and when he did he was most likely being a escort. He rarely acted as an elite, being a leader was not for him. On battle fields, he was set free to kill any enemies. He would run into the heat of battle, surrounded by crazed enemies and they would pounce upon him. But he fought better now, he trained excessively and with his official demotion, yet actual promotion, received a rare titanium and diamond alloy, two thirds titanium and one third diamond. Such an alloy as few unions had and most only let the leader use the blade, which was forged by the best in the entire union. Zerkaz had been saving it, he made sure to steal it from other unions when they were taken, and soon after Kryn had agreed to be heir, he let him have the precious block. Kryn was given access to the forgery, it had a diamond furnace, and he asked no assistant. Zerkaz had agreed that when he died, Kryn could have Zerkaz’s blade, and the one he had forged. Zerkaz’s blade was one made very long ago and had stayed within the family, they had stolen the block from another union. But now that Zerkaz had no family, as few did, he used the alternative, he would give the blade to his heir. And along that, he gave Kryn a block to make his own blade with. Kryn worked inside the forgery for days, food was brought to him and he would eat it only when the steel needed cooling. It glowed slightly, as he had the heat at a very high level. A week later, he came out. Sweat was evident, a few burns were on him, but he had healed them as best he could, severe now and not lethal. But in his hands he held a new blade, it was white because some oxygen had mixed with it well being forged yet still slightly translucent, the diamond had been strengthened by the titanium and it was lighter then the iron alloys. The length of the blade was one meter, width was a centimetre and a half and the height was at highest point, half a centimetre. The blade was in a slight curve and on the hilt, the same material but made to have a better grip, a ruby hexagon was embedded into its core also, sealed under a centimetre of the alloy, in that place mainly diamond for the higher transparency. The blade could cut into any material, depending on the speed, angle and strength it hit the object. The sides were razor thin, yet would not become dull or break unless given a force so powerful that Doom held not the ability to break it. The only way to change it was to melt it at a high temperature, so high that your skin will burn up by being in the room, and Kryn showed signs of the such. When he exited the coolness of the corridor was so intense upon his body which had lived days inside such a room that he fainted. He was brought to Zerkaz.
A little while later, Kryn woke up with a bucket of water beside him and Zerkaz peering down at him, holding up a glass of water. He sat back, still calm, "Well, you sure forged a nice sword, I think we’ll put your knife back into the elite gallery. I’m glad you thought of putting in a ruby crest of Kibosh in there. If it is ever lost, Kibosh will know if it is theirs, and no enemy will be able to carry it in true pride, as they will be carrying the Kibosh crest, let our hexagon be remembered throughout history. Let it hex whoever wishes to take it. I must say though, we are shocked you didn’t die. Diamonds are normally cut, due to the fact that they are created with high pressured magma heat. That blade will live longer then this building. I need you to be an assassin for me though, I think that Equipoise may weaken if their leader, Vrelk, dies. He is intelligent, and we can’t allow his heir, who will be born in three months, to receive such a strategic education. Alright?"
"Okay, I think I should leave shortly before the weakest security has been set."
"Good, and make sure you come back alive."
"I wonder if you will care when you are faced with death."
"I don’t really care right now, though it is possible."
"True, you might have your adrenalin going, and I hope you do care. When you care you will be less practical, and when all you have is hope to look for, practical thinking will be your end, but hope is something more linked with emotion, so you might have a hard time hoping. So take it from me, if you find yourself not caring about death, do it because it is actually the practical choice."
"I will do what I see fit, do you wish that the leader die more then me or vice-versa?"
"You will do more then just kill Vrelk in the end and you are my heir, your survival is top priority. Vrelk can be killed another time, you can only die once."
"Okay, tell me when I am leaving. Might you happen to have more of the titanium and diamond alloy?"
"Diamondium? Yes, I am saving it, I have about another thirty cubic centimetres left, if you want more of it then Vrelk will have some. Feel free to loot Equipoise, Diamondium is very valuable."
It was seven point five hours when Kryn left, with him he had his blade, shoes made to run silently, light aluminum plate armour along with a helmet of the same material. He prowled in the lights, which were only off if they had been smashed. He liked to travel in the area that had been vandalized, it was easier to hide. He had traveled deeper within the Equipoise zone, and it was beginning to have higher security. He couldn’t sneak in now, he would have to run for it. Run until he could get to the doors, and by then he would be killed. Some were holding air guns, the pressurized bullets pierced through fabrics and were narrow enough to get through chain mail, only plates would protect one. Zerkaz had already known of this, and given Kryn the lightest of metals. Kryn’s thorough exercise had made the plate mail bearable, it almost weighed as much as his blade and was supported by his back.
A shot was blasted and Kryn jumped at the force it had pressed upon him, he hadn’t thought that they would create the guns to contain such pressure. Adrenalin spread throughout him and fear ebbed into his mind. He began to regret declining the leg protectors and ran faster. Zerkaz had warned him of the more dangerous pressure gun, the hydrogen gun. It was charged with a pump and set beside a tank of hydrogen, the seal was very tight and when the hydrogen let loose it fired the bullets at more then five times the force, his armour may take one shot of that, and get dented, but another shot in the same place and his armour would snap. One more shot through the hole in his plate and he would be shot lethally. Zerkaz had explained that he didn’t use guns because they needed to be pumped. If one were to shoot, they would have to pump their gun. By time it was charged they would be dead. If they had a gun and a knife, they would have to drop their gun. It would be stolen and brought to the attacking union, not worth the cost. If you use the gun as a club, the mechanics would break.
But now it was a danger, for he was being attacked by many and eventually even the air guns would break his armour. He ran as fast he could, his sword rose and decapitated the head of his offenders, other bullets were hitting his plate now and he knew they were calling for help, he had to reach his destination soon. The gun shots were loud, the air exploding as it released from compression, his armour echoing as it was struck and the walls making lower tones for when the guns missed. That was another disadvantage for guns, they weren’t as accurate.
He looked over his mental map of the zone, the next left turn would get him to the main doors. He feared that hydrogen gunmen were there, as they would likely be. In front of him though, stood five swordsmen. They would slash at his legs, if he let them. Fear led him to be impulsive, something vital in battle. He ran for the right side of the guards, and his sword sliced through two of their throats, only three remained. He set his now red blade to slice the back of the rest’s necks, slashing through their swords when they struck at him. They slashed at him, he killed them before they could do too much damage. They moved to surround him, and piled upon him. He had faced such attacks with his knife, his sword that was three times the length as his original knife finished them off the sooner. What stopped him was the ten hydrogen guns, placed along the five meter hall were lined hydrogen gunmen. They had held off when he was attacked, they did not want to hit their own, as hydrogen guns have an accuracy lower then an air guns because the pressure is so high that they have a slight angle to them that could differ between about ten degrees. As soon as he rose ten bullets came for him, the explosion of the released hydrogen so loud that he ducked back down to the floor in fright. They had been aiming for his body, the easiest target. He jumped up again, his sword at the height of the tanks. He randomly zigged and zagged, slashing at the tanks of hydrogen. The blast shot the tanks in directions, he jumped when they came for him. But the slashes he sent on the iron tanks, heavy so that the tank would not fall, sent them at the enemy normally. All they could do was try to shoot him, and few bullets even brushed his armour. One waited for him to come to him, so Kryn would be easier to hit. He dived into the gunman and his blade sent through the victim’s stomach. He took the gun, and aimed at the others, only three remained. One was shot, and he ran for the second. The second began to run, along with the third. He smashed his sword against the skull of the second retreating gunman, his skull cracked and he fell to the ground. Kryn slashed his sword into the stomach of the fallen guard as he turned to attack the third, who would bring more to kill Kryn, and soon the unarmed guard was also killed. Danger levels lowered and a little bit of joy masked the fear in Kryn.
He looked at the door, it was well locked and there was a monitor with a button and speaker to speak with the people inside. He was sure they had been warned, perhaps they would let him in thinking they could easily kill him. He pushed the button, a man’s face appeared at the intercom, he saw Kryn with the red hexagon on his armour. He spoke in a tone of anger, but the mixture showed a larger quantity of fear, "What are you doing? You think I am going to let you in while my wife is in distress? Do you not care for a mother? You truly show the traits of Kibosh, barbaric! Why have you slaughtered so many? How have you? You are simply one against my entire union yet you can get to the core of this place..."
In the reflection of the monitor, Kryn saw a man sneaking towards him, Vrelk was trying not to look at the man. Kryn turned, slashing at the man. He stabbed his skull and pierced his blade into the jaw. He decapitated the head with a graceful slash and picked it up, turning towards Vrelk face’s image, he said in his voice, "You see the empty tanks, you see the dead men and now you see another." At that he threw the head into the monitor screen, smashing it in the doing so, "Now, may I come in?" he spoke to a broken monitor now.
"What is wrong with you, why would I let you in?"
Kryn moved to the door, if they wanted him to do more vandalism he would. He raised his blade and hit where the lock should be. He scratched it, and his hilt pushed into his stomach, the door was titanium. He aimed for the spot again, and ran into it. The scratch became slightly more evident, it was now a dent. Kryn went to the hydrogen gun nearest to the door. It was aimed at the door and then at the dent, which lead to the lock which was now most likely broken so that it could not be unlocked. The pellet crumpled, but the door received its share of damage. Kryn rolled the tank over to the door, then stuck the end of the gun at the dent, he charged it and then released the compressed hydrogen. The pellet shot into the door and the lock seemed to be hurt enough there to lose hold, and the gun seemed to have received a backlash effect, its snout was slightly bent now and the mechanics of it were likely broken, so that even if the snout was straightened, the hydrogen would leak. He went over and broke the rest of the tanks
He held the handle, and turned the knob, a guard leaped out before Kryn had opened the door, the guard had opened it for him. But Kryn was acting on impulse and by time the guard landed, he was dead. Kryn hurried inside, and shut the door behind him, it opened inwards so he could lock it by pushing one of the shelves by it. Kryn hurried, he did not know the architecture of the building, but he followed the most likely path. Few guards were placed within the building, intruders are normally killed before reaching the core. Any guard he met was soon dealt with. Then he came to the hall that held Vrelk’s room, it was guarded heavily. Ten hydrogen gunmen were placed there, and they were experienced. They held their guns and aimed through the aiming scope, Kryn would be fired upon in an organized manner. Kryn dived to the ground, pushing the first tank into its owner, the owner was set off balance and shot into the ceiling. The tank began to automatically charge the gun, and Kryn grabbed it to shoot at the next guard. He stayed hidden behind the large tank, it was large so that refuelling was rare. Tanks are hard to move, you have to roll them, and while doing so you are vulnerable. The tank Kryn hid behind would hold a shot, and then the pressure would release and it would be useless. But hydrogen guns are not accurate no matter how good one can use them. Whether or not they are accurate, the others shot Kryn’s tank so that he could not shoot them. He ran for the next tank, one shot that tank, and another shot for Kryn, his leg was pierced and he fumbled in the air, turning in hope, as he was now desperate with his adrenalin high. He kept running, hurrying for the next one, he ran quickly and his armour was wrecked. Three bullets entered his body. But by time the next attack was made, they were being killed, a few tried to use their guns as clubs, but guns are meant to be shot and they proved to be useless. He slashed the guns and then the owners. The last one had had time to aim at him, and the bullet fell into his knee, Kryn fell. The gunman ran over and clubbed Kryn in the head a few times, while parrying Kryn's attempt to fend the guard.
Inside, Kryn awoke laying on his chest, with his shirt missing, he stared now not at an image, but at the actual face of Vrelk. Vrelk was in his thirties. He was a very stern man, his build was of average weight and high strength, and held a very high air of authority. His hair was bleached and kept short, dyed also in the pale bleu of his union. Upon his arms was drawn the double loop of his union also. He had bit of a glad frown on him, glaring at Kryn in triumph. His arms were placed on his hips in a way that intimidated any who stared at his bleu eyes, which held a serious look that made anything he said get through the first time with immediate action, no questions were ever asked either.
"Well, I’m surprised you got that far, but my gunmen are top class. I don’t know why Zerkaz doesn’t use guns, hydrogen guns are the strongest thing we have in Doom, though I understand how few can produce hydrogen. But air guns, air is all around us. And Kibosh can get hydrogen, I am sure. They can extract it from the water. Now I can see your sword is of diamondium, quite rare and valuable. And I am sure Zerkaz isn’t going to hand it out. What status do you hold?" Vrelk held a voice of high ego, and he obviously carried the honour and glory of it.
"I am at his service and ready to do all he wishes, along with being his heir."
"His heir! We have Kibosh’s heir...now that is interesting. Zerkaz truly is barbaric, sending his heir here to kill me, such a high risk is held in that. I am about to have a heir, and I would not send him alone to Kibosh, that is for sure. Now, I want you to tell me all about Kibosh, got it? Do realize that you are in a chair made to torture, in many ways."
"I will not tell, you will kill me after this either way and I don’t care much for the torture part at the moment."
"Isn’t that funny?" Vrelk let out a sinful laugh at that, "you do not care about being tortured...Want to know what I can do to you?"
"Go ahead, you will either way."
"I can turn this chair into a horizontal board and stretch at you until you are ripped apart. I can make it be vertical, and hang you by your arms. I can whip you with an iron tip whip. I can take red iron rods out of the fire and burn you with them, poking at your stomach and later sticking them into your mouth, ears or eyes. I can take an air gun and shoot at your non-vital organs for hours. I can drip water on your forehead for days, or better yet, acid. I can beat you with a bar of iron, or even use one of my heated iron rods. I could punch you for hours, which I would love to do just out of sheer stress relieving. I could cut you up with a dull rusty knife, take out some non-vital organs perhaps. Or better yet, I could take your intestines and wrap them around a spiked turning post, let them get stretched around it and then feed you, if you are still alive. I could slash at your entire body and let you sit there and bleed. I could pick out your eyeballs and then stick two long pins down your ears. Or I could give you an easy death, say a bullet from a hydrogen gun straight into your head, you’ll be dead before your nerves have time to let you know the pain."
"I’m not going to tell you anything, no security details or anything of the like, do what you wish with me. I don’t really care."
"Fine then, you had a choice. Shall we start with the whip?"
"Why not, though I would prefer to be freed."
"Shutup you fool, you had your chance to not endure the pain I promised I would give you otherwise."
"I know, I’m not of low intellect."
"You think you’re smart, eh? You obviously are too stupid to know that you are stupid then..."
Vrelk pulled a lever by the chair, and it straightened vertically. Vrelk took a whip out from a pocket by the chair, and let it unravel. He glared at Kryn. And in the doing, he raised the whip, and smashed it into the bare back. Kryn's nerves sent the message of pain to him, and he felt it engulf him, he started to feel afraid of what the other treatments would do. He yelled in the darkness of that fear, "Are you ready to talk again, smart enough to see that was only a sample of what I can do?" Vrelk asked in his egotistic voice, now holding back laughter, "Tell me all you know!"
Kryn didn’t say anything, he was just trying to cut off his brain’s communication with his nerves. Again the whip lashed at him, but the pain could not be blocked. He had been able to block pains in the past, small ones of course, like when someone once was bending his fingers back. But this pain was too much, the pain so powerful that he couldn’t stop his brain from reacting. Again the whip struck him, red lines were becoming evident and the tip of it also brought the whip down faster, harder, "Tell me, we can get this all over with. I have tortured people for days before they have died."