I don't recall much about my former life. I don't remember my earth given name or the face of my mother. I was just a little girl when I was taken from my birth world of Earth. I don't remember how old I was nor do I know for certain how old I am now. I was a small pale skinned child with bright auburn hair, green eyes, and skinny limbs. The rest of my childhood memories, a construity of blurry images jumbled together in an unimportant string of flashbacks. I only know my life as it is now and as it was when I came to my new home. My name is Little Fighter and this is my story.
It was dark and the strange sounds of insects and exotic creatures filled my ears as I lay on my cot. For some reason I slept in a bug net tent within a dense, wet jungle. My father, whom I vaguely remember, had brought me there for some purpose beyond my understanding. In any case I wasn't in my usual home and I remember feeling constantly nervous and fearful. Many other men accompanied us, none of which I knew. I recall always remaining at my father's side, clinging to his leg and trying to keep out of the way as he'd told me to do. He…he had dark hair with a mustache and green eyes like mine if my memory serves. But that's all I remember of him.
By the time the camp was up and running I felt so exhausted that my father carried me into my own bug screen tent and tucked me in some light blankets on a cot for the night. He kissed my forehead and left to oversee the final camp preparations and socialize with the men.
Ready to drift into a state of sleep I let the jungle sounds and the low murmuring voices lull me. My eyes were nearly shut when the calmness of the night air was pierced by loud gunfire and indistinguishable shouts of the men! Jolted out of sleep, I sat up in my cot clutching my blanket fearfully as the shouts suddenly morphed into horrific screams! Fear swept over me like darkness as I covered my ears to muffle the deafening gunfire all around me and to shut out the screams. Muzzle flashes and the full moon above illuminated shadows on the side of my tent, giving me a silhouetted display of what occurred outside. Many men stood near my tent waving their weapons back and forth in a frantic way, seemingly unsure of where to shoot.
Then a huge, monstrous silhouette dropped down amongst them with a terrifying roar, twirling a bulky rod in its hand! I buried my fingers in my ears to silence the petrifying roar that made my whole body shake to the bones.
The gigantic figure moved so fast and so powerfully none could stand in its path. Against the wall of my tent the men's silhouettes were cut down before the great shadow like flowers in a gale. A wet spatter of blood slapped against the side of my tent and I put my crying eyes into my knees. I didn't want to see it. I didn't want to believe it was happening. I wanted to open my eyes again and discover it was all a horrible nightmare. For several moments I sat on my cot, ears plugged and eyes closed, just listening to my racing heartbeat in the dark. Then, timidly I lifted my head, unplugged my ears, and cracked my eyes open. The blood spatter was still there. It wasn't a nightmare…it was real. Suddenly, the ominous shadow appeared, turning its huge head as if surveying the ground around it. Still holding the bulky rod in its hand, it lifted the device and with a metallic Snick! the staff became shorter. I jumped at the sharp sound, trying to remain quiet. At length I heard a unique clicking rattle coming from outside my tent. I'd never heard a sound such as that and had no idea what could make that noise.
Very frightened by the looming silhouette and the strange noise, I tried to protect myself with the blanket that covered me, hoping to God that the shadowed figure would leave and not find me. Who was it or what was it? What did it want?
As I watched, the figure's shadow knelt down on the ground and lifted up the limp body of some man. Barely able to breathe I watched in horror as the massive outline thrust its hand into the lower back of the man's body and with a sickening, crunching rip and a spray of blood the spinal column and skull tore free of the shadow in one whole piece! Bile burned the back of my throat as I tried not to vomit. After tearing the spine and skull out of the first body the shadowed outline snatched up another body and began the gruesome task all over again. Unable to control myself I whimpered a soft cry out of fear.
Whatever it was it must have heard me because it stopped what it was doing abruptly, turned its funny-shaped head in my direction, and dropped the body. My heart hit my ribs like a tire iron as the immense silhouette faced my tent and stepped closer. I felt just like a pheasant watching a rifleman draw nearer and nearer, my instinct for flight tearing at my mind. Closer it came, the rattling sound grew louder. It was huge and the closer it came the bigger it got! Every heavy footfall became so loud and oppressive in my ears that they echoed in my head. My breath quickened. I tried to muffle it with my blanket hoping it might go away if I stayed still and quiet. But it kept coming. Closer…closer.
At last when I thought my senses could take no more suspense I heard the sharp sound of metal, like a sword being unsheathed. Then, two jagged, silver blades cut the side of my tent and very slowly slit out a pair of openings. It knew I was there, so, in panic I threw off my blanket and bolted out of the open door of my tent away from the shadow and into the dark wet jungle beyond. It was inky black and I couldn't see a thing, but I didn't care. I had to escape whomever, whatever, back there!
The second I made my mad dash, I could hear a sharp shrieking trill behind me that sounded like nothing I'd ever heard before. But I didn't pause to wonder. I ran through the vegetation, blind and terrified! The jungle leaves slit cuts into my arms as I ran and harsh rocks and twigs bruised the bottoms of my bare feet, but I was too scared to care. Direction didn't exist for me; I simply ran in panic without a clear idea of where I'd end up or how I'd get back to the camp.
After running full tilt for a few minutes, I slowed down and at last stopped beside a moss-covered tree to catch my breath. Resting up against the cool greenness I gradually slid down onto my bottom panting with rubbery legs and expended lungs. I couldn't hear the rattling anymore so I assumed the shadowy killer wasn't after me. Confusion poured into the cracks of my terror-stricken mind. My father was dead? The men were all dead. Why wasn't I crying? Perhaps the shock of it was too much for my young mind to comprehend. Or maybe I did cry and I just don't remember.
As I rested awhile another sound entered my ears…growling. Lifting my head I thought for an instant that it might be the shadowy killer. But it wasn't. Through the dense undergrowth I spotted a pair of luminous green eyes approaching me in the darkness. The moonlight above soon revealed it was a jaguar; a big jaguar staring in my direction. It hissed, growling low in its throat as it sized me up. Apparently, I looked helpless enough so it lowered itself to the ground and began tediously stalking toward me. I couldn't move. My body stiffened into unmovable concrete. A hollow, high-pitched cry escaped my throat as the big cat drew closer, its spotted shoulders quivering. There was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. I would die. Not knowing what else to do I screamed at it, hoping to scare it away. But my noise had no affect on the big spotted cat. It stalked closer. At last my muscles found their function and I stood, backing away from the jaguar. So desperately did I want to run, but my fear prevented me from quick movement.
Suddenly, the back of my heel struck an upraised tree root and I fell hard onto my back! Sheer panic choked my lungs as I thrashed my arms in a desperate attempt to find my feet. But it was too late. The jaguar took the opportunity and pounced. I screamed and closed my eyes as I braced for the razor sharp claws and teeth to kill me.
Time stood still for a second and then I heard something WHOOM! right above me and the big cat yowled in pain! The second I opened my eyes I saw the jaguar fly through the air and slam hard into a tree! Much to my surprise the animal remained pinned to the tree, impaled by a long metal spear! The cat thrashed for only a moment before sagging in death on the cold rod penetrating its throat.
I sat up quickly, rolling over onto my hands and knees in confusion.
What…what just happened?
I turned around and my eyes darted about the darkness, but I couldn't see what had slain the big cat. Then I noticed a faint glimmer right before me. To me it looked like peering through a glass of water; everything appeared rippled and distorted wherever the apparition moved. Squinting, my eyes found the edges of the distortion and I gasped as I realized it was an outline of something! My widening green eyes slowly roved upward, following the extent of the distortion, until my head was tilted all the way back. The humongous, blurry image moved slightly and I squeaked in fright, backing away awkwardly with my hands and feet.
What was it!
Then, like a shimmering wraith the figure materialized. The shadowy killer!
He was unbelievably tall, well over seven feet, probably closer to eight feet. I'd never seen a being as massive in stature as he in all my young life! His shoulders spread broadly and his entire body swelled with bulging muscle. Whatever he was, he was much larger than any man but he was most certainly not a human. Immediately I noted his flesh appeared very inhuman; pale base color speckled with blackish blotches, much like a lizard. His mammoth hands and feet were scaly, clawed, and very reptilian looking too. Definitely not human. Though his five fingers were longer and irregular, they resembled the overall structure of a human hand.
From there I observed his exotic attire. Covering his body-builder frame was a complicated and layered set of armor. The metallic shell spanned across his wide chest, rested on his shoulders, encased his forearms, calves and knees, and stretched along his back. It was layered looking and seemed bendable with the being's movements. At his waist he bore a kind of utility belt from which I could see various metal devices as well as long bladed knives and small skulls of creatures. As for clothing, he wore a simple leather looking loincloth about his waist, which indicated he was indeed of the male gender. Beneath all that armor, a fishnet like material laced his whole body, barely containing the bulging muscles beneath.
But the most notable element of his attire had to be the pewter-colored mask that glinted in the moonlight. With organic swooping curves, a domed, rounded forehead, and menacing glass eye pieces that seemed to chill the blood in my veins, it held my stare immovably. Behind the chilling metal visor, there hung a thick cluster of banded tubes. No…not tubes. They looked more like some kind of hard, fleshy dreadlocks that fell to the upper portions of his back. I stared at him inert.
He made a short rasping bark and strode right past me toward the dead jaguar as if he didn't see me. When he got to the tree he jerked his spear out very smoothly, allowing the dead cat to fall limply at his feet. He knelt down beside it and lifted the jaguar's head. Meticulously he tugged at the animal's features, opened its mouth, and examined the huge paws. I watched him confused until he snorted and stood up. After a moment he turned from the jaguar and began walking back in my direction. I held still, hoping he wouldn't see me. As he came closer he stopped and slowly tilted his head down, turning the frightening mask upon me. Instinctually, I drew back away from him, unwilling to get up. I couldn't understand! He'd saved me! But he'd killed everyone in the camp and it just didn't make sense that he would rescue me from death.
What was he going to do to me? Would he kill me too or…eat me?
I trembled in his dark shadow. The mask cocked at me in a curious posture, making the banded dreadlocks tap against his shoulder armor. After a moment he snorted as he'd done to the dead jaguar and walked away from me back through the jungle.
"That's it? He saves me and then…he just leaves me here?" I thought to myself.
Part of me felt relieved that he was leaving, but then a horrible realization hit me: I'm alone. Though I was just a small girl I knew I couldn't stay out there all by myself. Another jaguar might get me or maybe something worse would. What would I eat? Where would I sleep? Who would take care of me? My father and the men were dead and the only 'grown up' figure happened to be the very being that slaughtered them. It was then that the only possibility of safety my child mind could conceive was to go with him.
Feeling a new boldness, probably derived from the hopelessness of my situation, I got up and cautiously followed the gigantic being. It didn't take him long to figure out he had a follower. He halted in his path and slowly turned to look down at me again. I stopped abruptly, wringing my little hands nervously since I had no idea what his reaction would be. Not to mention, he was positively enormous! Swallowing hard I noted that I barely came up to his knees and his thigh was nearly twice the size of my entire body!
All at once a ruby red light shone down from the side of his mask near the glassy eye pieces and settled on my chest. I stared down at the light and noted it was a triangle of red dots. A device on his shoulder made a mechanical sound and targeted where the triangle touched my chest. He stood for the longest moment, the red laser sight on my chest. I didn't understand what it was for but it scared me so I put my hands to my little chest as if to protect myself from the invasive laser.
He rattled softly and the laser deactivated with a mechanical chirp. He snorted again behind the metal face plate before turning his back on me again and walking away. Not so easily put off, I continued to follow him. Again he stopped and turned. This time when he turned to stare down at me, he uttered a very deep, menacing growl that made the jaguar's growl sound like a kitten's purr by comparison. I backed off a bit, but I refused to leave. Seeing that my intent hadn't changed the masked giant loomed over me raising his shoulders imposingly, still rumbling deeply in an attempt to scare me away. I held my ground though petrified. He made that unusual rattling noise, cocking his head at me. Then, he closed his huge right fist and I jumped when a razor sharp set of duel blades shot out of his wristband.
"Oh GOD! He's going to kill me!" I thought in dread.
I couldn't move an inch as he crouched low enough to reach me and reared the deadly blades back to end my life! My eyes squeezed shut as he struck. A ragged breath issued from my mouth and I opened my eyes. No pain. Morbid curiosity forced me to look down at my chest. Two clean slits across my knee-length nightgown, but my flesh remained unscathed! Had he missed? I very much doubted that.
My moistening eyes lifted up to him as the lethal wrist blades slid back into his armband. He knelt down on one knee before me, turning his head in a sort of admiration or regard. Even on his knee he surpassed my height by a huge margin! Unexpectedly he reached over and took my tiny chin between his sharp-clawed fingers, seeming to examine my face. Though I wanted to flee or scream I stayed stock-still to let him look.
Why hadn't he killed me? Was he just messing with me? Had he changed his mind? Or was this a test of my nerve?
After a moment he reached around his back and extracted what looked like a length of lighted cable and with quick moves he bound my tiny wrists together. Even in the darkness I could see that his hands were slathered in blood and it was still damp. My wrists and the cable became stained too but there was nothing I could do about it but shiver. With a slow movement he gripped the cable in between my wrists and effortlessly lifted me up with one hand, slinging me across his armored shoulders. A gasp of shocked amazement escaped me. Sure, I didn't weigh hardly anything anyway but he plucked me up like I was nothing more than a flower! I couldn't even begin to guess how powerful he really was. The metal of the cable and his shoulder armor dug into my body and felt exceedingly uncomfortable. However, I was in no position to argue. I stared down his armored side and nearly became dizzy from the height as he continued his walk through the jungle. Cooperatively, I rode limp across his broad shoulders. I decided then and there that I'd behave for him; after all he'd saved and spared my life. Not to mention he could easily crush me if I irritated him.
Even with metal digging into my side and chest, my curiosity toward my immense captor remained insatiable. Cautiously, I lifted my bound wrists and felt one of his banded dreadlocks very gently. It felt like… a snake! I don't know if he could feel me touching his "hair" or not, but he didn't seem to care or notice. From this angle I could also see parts of his head jutting out from under the edges of his mask. The rim of his huge head had spikes on it and his flesh was beaded like reptile skin. I though about touching those, but decided against it.
He had an unusual smell about him; nothing fetid or nasty; kind of a metallic, musky smell. I couldn't place it. He felt very warm too; at least, his armor felt warm. As I examined him, I couldn't help but wonder why I wasn't more afraid. I mean, there I was alone in the jungle slung over the shoulder of a humongous humanoid creature and I had positively no clue what he was going to do with me! Perhaps the shock of the situation numbed my sense of fear to a certain degree.
Before I knew it he stopped in a clearing…the camp. Reaching around, he grabbed the back of my nightgown and lowered me to the ground with one hand, dropping me on my knees right next to him. I surveyed my former camp, illuminated by the moon above. Shadowy bodies lay strewn across the ground in erratic postures, displaying the horror of their last moments alive. Too dark to see their faces, I could only make out their outlines.
Suddenly my immense captor took up my cable and staked it to a stump and without a backward glance he strode out amongst the bodies to continue the hideous task he'd started only a few minutes before. Glancing around him a moment he selected a body and efficiently stripped the clothes off with his wrist blades. Then, he grabbed the man by his feet, flipped the body over onto its stomach, and unsheathed a fancy edged blade. With quick precision he began the gruesome task of skinning his prey! First he slit the flesh along the backs of the legs and arms, and then sliced along the spine and across the shoulder blades and over the crown of the skull. I sat nearby mouth agape until at last I couldn't hold it back…I vomited and then passed out just as he started ripping the skin from the body!