The Spires

The Arena

That is my skull’, the Indigo Imperative panicked before pain took over, swallowing the spreading cracks that thundered in his mind.

The third weapon had come out of nowhere. Swinging his weapon wildly to force his opponent away, he moved awkwardly backwards with faltering steps. The first thing he felt when the pain allowed it, was his wet temple being chilled by the wind, so the first thought he had was that the helmet had held, but cracked open. The second was that he had almost died like a mindless drone.

A snicker came from his opponent, taunting, mocking. He had known about the two retracting claws. He had known but the Mimetic had forced it out of his mind. It had fought defensively, leaping away, barely deflecting his blade, whenever he had managed to come in range. The fight had gone on like this for a long time, his confidence growing with every swing. The Mimetic had shrieked and hissed with every dodge and parry, his moves almost panicked near the end. And all the while, he now realized, he had been growing angrier, more aggressive, more confident, ignoring his training and simply aiming for the kill. The cheers of his Master’s followers urged him on, roaring waves of voices rising at his every swing.

Now silence reigned beyond his pants, broken by the odd mocking cry from his opponent’s supporters and the gurgling snickers of the Mimetic before him. Surges of pheromantic emotions fell upon him from the crowd like landslides, threatening to crash his own feelings. The pain had stolen his focus and opened his perception to them and only then did he realize the reason he had felt so certain of his victory, the reason he had been so reckless. Much like the retracting claws, he had known about this trick too. He had known but he had fallen prey to it anyway. Even now the Mimetic’s emissions were urging him, reassuring him of his victory, before they changed, feeding him fear and despair.

He almost fell prey to it once more. His salvation came from where it always did. Among the waves the crowd was throwing at him – anger, mockery, disgust, hatred – he singled one out: disappointment. His Master’s disappointment. He dared a quick glance at the balcony and saw him sitting there, silent, expressionless next to the Directorate’s Biomancer that had pitted this Mimetic against him.

The Indigo Imperative looked at the Mimetic. Enough tricks. Enough games. This was war, much like the war his Master had started with the humans. A war to silence doubt, a war to stay in control, a war to establish his young Master as a force to be reckoned with, a power to be feared.

A war he would win on his own.

He took a defensive stance, as the Mimetic jumped at him hissing like an animal, four blades flashing with murderous intent.

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