The Chosen One(3/17/2011)
"This might not be the best time to tell you, but...I'm not the chosen one." Dan said the words slowly. He kept his back pressed against the column between him and the Thepolian army while watching his mentor for a reaction.
"That's nonsense, all the signs..." Aaron didn't sound like he believed.
"Not about me. That's why we've had so much trouble. The oracle told me, and not in one of those 'show you the path' sort of ways...I've just been waiting for a good time to tell you"
"You son of a bitch! People are dead because of you! We are going to die because of you! You didn't think that was important enough to tell someone before we assaulted the palace?" Aaron's face was flushed with rage. His words bit off in large chunks. Dan couldn't think of a time he'd ever seen his former mentor this enraged in his life.
"And just how the hell was I supposed to do that? I didn't ask for any of this, remember? You came and grabbed me! You led them right to my house and got my parents killed! You remember that?"
"What, you want a sorry now? I-" Whatever else Aaron had planned to say was cut off by an explosion. Dan cursed and peeked around his column, the army was getting closer. He checked the charge pack on his assault rifle: nearly a full charge, good.
"Look, we can kill each other over whose fault this ultimately is later. We've got a grand total of three minutes before they're across that bridge and we're both dead. This cause means so much to you? Sounds like we should live to see it." A fresh spray of pulse fire split the distance between the two men; dirt and stone kicked up with each impact.
"What do you suggest then?" It was getting harder to hear Aaron's voice over the approaching soldiers and tanks.
"I may not be the chosen one, but I still have power. I'll buy you time. You make a break for it, save the others, and find the real chosen one." Dan blind fired his K37 while he spoke. A lucky pulse round caught an approaching soldier in the face; the man's death scream slowed his fellows by a step or two.
"The whole idea is suicide! Seems to me the world is ending either way. I want to see just how far I've come before I bite it. I'm going either way, Aaron. You can waste that and die with me, or go and try and do some good. Your choice." Dan pivoted around the column and fired an aimed burst. The gathered troops near the base of the bridge returned a volley of fire. The pulses of energy coalesced into a giant ball as Dan, alone, charged the army.
Dan used the energy ball as a shield. Sweat poured off him as he contained and controlled the energy with one hand. The other hand sent partially aimed bursts into the nearest soldiers; this close, aim wasn't even a requirement beyond general direction. He roared with the pain and effort as he neared the bridge and threw the giant sphere. The ball shot off like a cannon, vaporizing anyone who didn't get out of its way. As many as it killed, it was insignificant next to the size of the force aligned against him. Still, it did buy him time. Time that Dan put to good use.
Before the soldiers at the front of the bridge could get up, Dan emptied the last of his K37 into them and discarded the rifle. A twitch of two fingers brought two new guns to his hands. He put them to immediate use. Aaron had once called the technique sprinting, a desperate charge through a superior force. It counted on the enemy being too awed by the chutzpah required to even try it, and afraid of hitting their allies. Aaron had explained the technique as something to never try; it never worked and had only gotten people killed. However, when you didn't mind dying in exchange, it could be brutally effective.
Dan gave himself over to the moment and relied solely on his instincts to move him. He pulled on every ounce of Aaron's training that he could find buried in his skull. He ducked under rockets, flipped over spear men, pirouetted around sniper fire, and even destroyed a tank with its own main gun. The enemy's shots and strikes glanced off of him like grains of sand carried on a strong wind, annoying but ultimately irrelevant. Five minutes after Dan's suicide charge had begun, there was no one left for him to fight.
"You are the chosen one..." Aaron's voice was awe struck as he spoke. Dan turned to face his mentor; he really wished Aaron had taken the chance to flee.
"God, I hope not..." Dan responded as glibly as he could manage. He pulled his hand from his stomach and showed his mentor his bloody palm. Three seconds later, Dan fell over dead. The sky darkened as an air fortress flew by overhead to destroy what remained of the resistance.
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