The Swordsman

Before he became Wolf’s lieutenant, the man was an accomplished soldier.  He had been one of the soldiers fighting in the Yukon.  Grueling winters would have destroyed a lesser soldier.  The Imperial soldiers were lesser.  Far lesser.  He had the same kinship with wolves that he did with his comrades.  He had fond memories of staring at the Aurora as it passed over his camp in winter.  The men he served with were loyal and strong, and they made the Imperial soldiers pay for every foot of ground they took.  The Yukon runs deep with their blood, and he never had to fire a single shot.  In the arctic, the sound of gunfire reverberates everywhere.  The Empire wasted ammunition left and right.  This man never had to use anything but his blades to give him victory.

Age was catching up with him faster than he wanted to admit.  He was kicking 50 in the ass very soon, a fact that didn’t seem to slow him down.  He was still respected, by every soldier who called themselves Canadian.  His hair was very grey, as was his well-trimmed beard which was kept around his chin, like an admiral in an old navy.  He was no longer the wild-man from the days in the Yukon.  Now he was fighting a different kind of war.  The unkempt look just wouldn’t do for this one.

When Wolf had given him the name “Deathstroke,” he couldn’t help but admire the title.  He had always been a fan of the character.  His daughter had grown up liking the comics that it was affiliated with.  And if he was going to be given the name, he was going to make sure that he earned it.  Not hard to do given that he was given armor that fit the character well.  It was from a raid on a production plant the Empire was using to make munitions.  This armor was incredible!  It felt like it weighed nothing, but could stop bullets from the average assault rifle in their tracks.  He painted the helmet and the armor to go with the namesake he was given, but to retain the feel of an arctic warrior.  It was intimidating, to say the least.

He walked in with Wolf as they got to the Cabin.  Her face was masked too.  Nobody in the group knew who she was.  Part of him didn’t like that.  Having the members of a combat team without names was fine, but a commanding officer?  He was…unsettling, to say the least.  But, she had given them victory.  That was what mattered.  It was strange, for a man as old as him to be following the lead of one so young.  Or at least, she sounded young.  The voice-modulators in her helmet tweaked her voice just enough to prevent voice-recognition software from being used against her, but not so much that it made her sound like a machine.  She was tall, for a woman, but not so tall as to be unseemly.  She was…unique.  She was confident, sure and always went into battle with a strategy all worked out.  Part of him admired that to no end.  Another part was frightened of her.  He shook his head, getting his thoughts together.  He had a battle to fight, and it was time to get to action.

They walked into the cabin, seeing Ghost get up.  Another young soldier, but he had proven himself in every way that counts.  He was excellent at his work.
“Wolf, I’ve got all my people here.”
“Excellent.  I’ve got Deathstroke, Deadshot, some of our people from Riddler’s crew and the Runners here.”
Ghost seemed confused.  “That’s it?  We’re attacking that warship with just them?  No offense to you all, but that thing is massive!  How are we supposed to take it with just that?”  The man had a point.
Deathstroke looked down at Wolf.  “He’s right.  What have you got up your sleeve?”
Wolf looked back at him.  He could almost feel her eyes through that mask, looking right through him.  “You all should know by now that I never go into battle without a plan.  Riddler’s people are bringing some equipment.  We’re not headed to the bay.  We’re headed into the mountains.”
Everyone looked confused.  “The mountains, why there?”
“Because we’re not going to attack that new warship.  We’re going to bring one of them down on top of it!”
There was an audible gasp around the room.
Deathstroke looked over.  “How do you mean to accomplish this?  And why is it Riddler’s people who are here?  Isn’t he coming?”
Wolf shook her head.  “No.  He’s working on another project for me.  Both that project and the particulars of this one are something I will play close to the chest, for now.  If somebody gets captured, I don’t want to risk information getting out.”
The rest nodded.  It made sense.  This was too important, and from what she had said, sounded like this was going to be big.  Deathstroke couldn’t help but be impressed.  Then he saw the Runners gathering outside.
“Ma’am, if you don’t mind my asking – why did you bring the Runners?  They are excellent at their job, but they’re no soldiers.”
He could hear her snicker.  “Because I don’t want them to be soldiers.  I want them to run.  If, during the course of the operation we get found by a patrol or busted flat-out, I mean to have them act as bait, to lure the enemy into several well-prepared kill-zones.  Hence why I had you and Deadshot bring some of your people with you.”  She took out a device and set it down on the table.  It spread a map to the edge of it.  It was a map of the surrounding area.  She pointed out several positions near the mountains.  “I have had Ghost do recon of this area, and found that these points would make for the best.  I have three areas that will act as nests for us.  I will have your people at one, Deadshot’s at another, and Ghost’s at the third.  I mean to combine guerrilla warfare with mechanical prowess as I utterly destroy the enemy.”
Deathstroke made note of the various positions.  He knew where he needed to be.  It felt good, to be working as a soldier in the forest again.
Wolf looked to everyone in the room.  “To everyone here, this is it.  This will be the defining moment of our campaign!  While this will not end it, it will let the Empire know that we are strong enough face them on their own playing field and destroy them!  We are not fighting to win a war.  We are fighting to utterly destroy an Empire that has taken your homes, your lives and everything you care about.  So now, are you with me?”
They answered in loud military custom.  Some saluted.  Deathstroke felt good.  Really good.  This girl truly was the commander she claimed to be.  If all went well, they would be going home in a few days.  He gripped the swords at his back.  It was his namesake, after all.

Until next time, a quote,

“Looks like you got my invitation.  Just you and me.  Come on!”  -Deathstroke, Batman: Arkham Origins Trailer

Peace out,

Maverick

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One thought on “The Swordsman

  1. Pingback: Quinn | Lucien Maverick's Blog

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