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Most users ever online was 29 on October 1st 2013, 12:09 am

    The Passage.

    Bad John
    Bad John
    Freelancer Operative

    Posts : 1224
    Join date : 2013-01-17
    Location : A box in the United States.

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    Post  Bad John on February 12th 2013, 3:08 am

    "You're not my daughter, today."

    Seventeen years old, young, strong, augmented not four months ago. Iola stood at the other end of the Freelancer courtyard, opposite her opponent. It had been cleared for today.

    Her father cracked his fluid, scarred knuckles. His right eye was bound by a patch.

    He gave ALL of his students this handicap. It was Freelancer tradition for nearly twenty years. This Rite had remained standard ever since the Spartan Colin betrayed his peers.

    New blood needed to be filtered. Broken down. Tested by fire.

    That's where Iola's father came in. He'd known Colin to be a bad egg from the beginning. It was his responsibility.

    "You know what you have to do, child. You either take down your opponent, or you go back to class for a year." Agent Nine, tough, powerful, and in his prime.

    Her father, in many ways, had been her most powerful friend, save for her mother, since the day of her birth. He held her. Carried her. Gave her a goal to follow.

    Taught her to be patient. Kind. Balanced.

    But Nine saw no love in her eyes. Simply the hard, competitive, fearful look that he beat into all of his students.

    "Got anything to say, kid?" Nine cracked his neck, his hands balled into fists at his sides. His shadow was long over her.

    Iola smiled an easy going smirk, opening her hands like sharp blades, holding them before her as she dipped into a fighting stance.

    "What're my odds?"

    Nine grinned maliciously.

    "You're fucked."

    Nine began his approach. His evil grin didn't fade. He'd learned the hard, angry look from Blaine himself.

    It was a look that made Iola's blood boil. That took her off balance.

    Oh, you stupid little girl.

    Iola felt her father's hateful power bearing down on her. She felt her legs tremble for an instant.

    Then came the power of anger and entitlement she never expected. The joints in her hands popped as they formed angry claws. How DARE you give me that look.

    Then came her battlecry.


    She moved in, hard and fast and low. Nine was stronger than she'd ever be, but she had speed. Flexibility. Stamina.

    Her youth, and the courage she'd inherited from her father and mother, were her weapons more than her fists.

    Blows echoed. Iola fell away first, Nine's fist putting a rivet in her forehead. She came back for more, her foot kicking up grass as she swung a hard, low kick.

    Nine moved like water. His blocks stopped her attacks cold like the trunk of an obstinate, hateful tree.

    Iola watched his muscles shift. She knew moving to his blind side would only enrage him. She needed to fight smart, not dirty.

    She saw her opening, as he shifted back to avoid her clawed, striking hand. She went for his throat with her free hand.

    Nine swung the blunt end of his hand, striking her wrist. She felt her light skin turn red as fire with pain.

    But she didn't back down. She snatched at his throat again, this time striking. Leaving three stinging bruises with her iron-like fingers.

    She swung her knee into his gut.

    He held his ground, his body flexing. Thick and powerful, TOUGHER than he ever was in his twenties, he took the full force of the younger Spartan's blow with gusto.

    "That was SOLID." Nine spat. He pistoned his forehead forward, striking her in the face with a brutal headbutt.

    Iola wiped her mouth, no pain of fear showing in her eyes.

    She saw another opening.

    He's not stronger than me. He's just DIFFERENT. I can WIN.

    She dropped to her back, swinging her knees. Nine's legs were tangled by the strange, breakdancing series of sweeps, driven to the ground.

    Iola had practiced capoeira for years.

    She pounced, once again going for the vitals. Throat. Face. She didn't have the heart to gouge out her father's only good eye.

    Nine's arms were longer. They found her throat as the two struggled. His hands tightened, as he pinned her down, throttling her neck.

    She pried at his thumbs. No give.

    ...Dammit... Iola stared at Nine with pure anger and dismay.

    By pure reflex, she brought her knee up. His gut, already tender from her last blow, spasmed in pain.

    His hands loosened.

    She broke free and headbutted Nine's nose, right between his eyes.

    She swung her hands, striking his neck and collerbone. She snaked free, and leaped onto his back.

    Her arm wrapped around his throat. She stomped the back of his knee.

    Nine pulverized her stomach with his elbows. He clawed at her arms.

    It was a cub choking a bear.

    But she had stamina. Youth. Energy.

    And she'd learned more from Nine than he'd taught.

    She had a duty. She HAD to win. She NEEDED to be in the field. To have her armor.

    To be like him, she needed to ENDURE him.

    Nine's blows softened, as her grip tightened.

    Soon, Nine was exclusively targeting her arm, clawing and pulling at it.

    Blood dripped down her face. Her stomach was bruised to hell. Her neck was covered in spotted, hand shaped bruises from Nine's death grip.

    But Nine was defeated. His left eye rolled back, and he fell forward, unconscious.

    Iola stood over her defeated teacher.

    She threw back her head.


    Iola lifted her fists, tears streaming down her face. "I WIN! I FUCKING WIN!!!"

    Nine slowly raised himself to his feet, rubbing his neck.

    "...Yup." Nine turned back to her, and she leaped back in fear, expecting another attack.

    Iola realized with creeping terror that she was incredibly tired. Damaged. Nine barely had a scratch.

    She'd failed to permanently damage him in any way.

    He could simply KILL her now.

    "Well, Agent Eighty-One, you passed."

    Iola lowered her guard, sniffling. "...Yeah...still have a lot to learn though, huh?"

    Nine threw out his arms, and stepped forward, embracing her in a hug.

    "Yeah. But hell, I still did at your age."

    Last edited by Bad John on February 26th 2013, 12:22 am; edited 1 time in total
    It's Kruger
    It's Kruger
    Freelancer Operative

    Posts : 337
    Join date : 2013-01-17
    Age : 22
    Location : 'murica.

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    Post  It's Kruger on February 12th 2013, 3:57 pm

    Good story. Nice to see Teen Iola again.
    Freelancer Operative

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    Post  Manny on February 13th 2013, 7:10 pm

    Nine seems a lot tougher, somewhat more hardened.

    I like it.
    Bad John
    Bad John
    Freelancer Operative

    Posts : 1224
    Join date : 2013-01-17
    Location : A box in the United States.

    The Passage. Empty Daddy.

    Post  Bad John on February 22nd 2013, 4:12 pm

    Iola stumbled back, shielding her face from a spray of dirt and impacted grass.

    She inherited her father's sense of smell, and spacial awareness to boot. She could practically feel the Chieftain bearing down on her before she even looked up to defend herself.

    She brought her magnum to bare, and opened fire with three shots. Her bullets were harmless to the beast.

    Agent Eighty-One NEVER gave up.

    She leaped back, as the Chieftain's hammer came across the air, swinging horizontally at her. She barely avoided having her belly torn open by the blade.

    She swiveled, avoiding yet another swing.

    Time to make my move.

    Iola leaped. Her foot pinned the head of the hammer, and she swung her boot up.

    In a brutal, backflip, she smashed the brute's chin with her heel. She landed on one knee, a grin on her face.

    Prolly busted his neck. He'll go down.

    The brute responded with a snort. It spat out a broken tooth, and advanced.

    "Oh no..." Iola backed away, drawing her SMG.

    The brute's gravity hammer begged to differ. With a swing, the ground was cratered, sending the small, lightweight Spartan rolling away, her armor scraping the ground.

    On all fours, she whimpered in pain and disbelief. She'd put her whole weight behind that kick. It should have been a kill.

    The brute raised his hammer, the blade end ready.

    Iola readied herself to move. She had to dodge at just the right instant.

    She heard bones crunching.

    She turned to see a Spartan. Heavier. Stronger. Male. Wearing armor nearly identical to hers.

    He drove his elbow into the brute's ribs. The brute's armor didn't hold against his raw strength. Nine moved in front of the brute, preventing its hammer arms from swinging with a series of hard, fast blows from his fists.

    Iola could hear the impact of each hit.

    Nine ducked a blow from the hammer, and leaped onto the brute's back. With a stiff yank, he attempted to break the brute's neck. He held his head in place, refusing to allow the Spartan to twist it.

    Nine snatched the brute's helmet. "Eighty-One. NOW."

    Iola aimed her magnum and fired. The bulled was clean through. At first, the brute spasmed, its body trying to understand the damage.

    Then it fell backwards on top of Nine, who was still perched on its back.

    "...This is fucking disgusting." Nine grumbled as purple blood leaked onto his visor.

    "Dad, I could have handled it." Iola stamped towards him as he lifted the brute off of him, wiping his helmet.

    "I know. You did pretty well for a rookie. I've seen a lot of Model IIIs get killed by Chieftains." Nine groaned, realizing he was only smearing the blood. "I'ma need water to clean this."

    Iola raised her eyebrows. Her father was so...calm, when referring to lost colleagues.

    "Dad, did any of your friends die?"

    "Yes." Nine didn't hesitate to answer.

    "...How did you deal with it?"

    Nine hesitated, this time.

    "...I'd like to think that they live on in my actions. I...I didn't deal with it. So, when I live, I try to keep them in mind. Think about what they would want. What they would do."

    "Do you want me to do that for you when you're dead someday?"

    Nine stopped and pondered the thought.

    "...Nope. Figure out what you want on your own."

    "I want to marry a celebrity."

    "Shut the fuck up. You're not marrying ANYTHING without my approval." Nine grinned maliciously, in a way that made Iola tremble in her boots. He had a way of giving orders. "Let's go get some damn coffee."

    Iola, out of nervous habit, placed her pointer finger about a centimeter into her mouth. She lightly chewed her armored index digit as she spoke, acutely aware that she was going to (and in a way, intended to) annoy her father.

    "...I don't like coffee."

    Nine gave Iola a wild, angry stare, then placed his face in his palm. "You...you're a TORNADO of bullshit today. Really starting to push my buttons, kiddo."

    Last edited by Bad John on February 26th 2013, 12:23 am; edited 1 time in total
    Doctor Jensen
    Freelancer Operative

    Posts : 431
    Join date : 2013-01-18
    Age : 24
    Location : NSL, UT

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    Post  Doctor Jensen on February 23rd 2013, 3:42 pm

    I liked seeing this side of Nine; it's good stuff.

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