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Haunted, Part IV (Young)

Posted on Thu Jan 12th, 2012 @ 2:01pm by Rear Admiral Relau Chlan (Ret.)

Mission: Intermission
Location: Training World I9, Ryuu Confederacy
Timeline: Federation Standard Year 2230

Relau panted as he tried to keep up with his class of kits. They were doing an endurance run today. It was a test of strength, they said. He breathed like he had been taught, in and out, steadily, despite the terrain and the lack of oxygen at this height. He could take it better than some of his classmates, but that certainly didn't make it easier to swallow the hard task that he was given.

It was a chance to prove himself, yes, that was it. He thought hard as he stampeded up the slope of the extinct volcano. The teachers had called this particular mountain "Blood Gulch" as one misstep caused the blood to run on this slope.

They had even left behind another on the run. It was clear that he wouldn't make it. And there was no pity. It was only survival of the fittest. They were like a pack of tharvs. Tharves would do whatever the leader wanted and they didn't help anyone that was left behind. It was better that they could go to the gods to atone for their sins of weakness.

Relau neared the head of the pack of kits. There was only three more kits in front of him, and he jostled his way past two of them before he was sprinting to try and catch the leader. If he broke free of the pack, he would be awarded an extra ration at dinner. There was no prize for second place, so he knew that he wanted to be first. There was no reason to be second, third, or anywhere in between. He needed to prove that he was, simply put, the best. No room for error or anything else like that.

He sprinted up the hill and finally was abreast of the first place kit. Running at a breakneck pace, he finally overtook the kit ahead of him. Inexplicably, Relau had a momentary feeling of rage at this time. He snarled, looked over his shoulder, then lashed his small tail out, catching the other kit behind him on the nose. Squawking in surprise, the kit flailed his arms for a moment, then took the wrong, fatal step. There was no warning as the kit disappeared from view, limbs trying to get purchase on some sort of handhold on the sheer rock face.

Then, almost as quickly as it began, it ended. The kit was falling. Falling, falling, falling. You couldn't hear the impact of the small body at the bottom of the mountain, but it was there. It was written into the heavens, and Relau would answer for it. Not for years to come, but he surely would.

In any case, he panted as he reached the finish line, bowing to the elders assembled there, accepting their approving nods as he was led away to the barracks. They could only be called barracks. Later tonight or early the next morning a maid would come by and remove all trace of the kit that Relau had caused to plunge to his death on the sharp rocks below.

It was bliss for a small kit. There was no reason to worry, no reason to be concerned. No one could have seen any of the things that transpired.

Waking up the next morning, Relau completed his meditation and polished off his simple breakfast. There was more than enough to do in the day. More running, endurance tests. Weapons training. He was to become an elite member of the Ryuu Confederacy. But if he didn't perform well, he would be just like the kit that he had killed yesterday. Dead, dead, dead.

There was no escaping it, it was his life. And he loved it.

 

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