Disclaimer: I don't own Storm Hawks.

This is my first Storm Hawks story so please go easy on me. I hope you all enjoy it :)

Failure

The Dark Ace paced into the throne room and knelt before his beloved master. Cyclonis stood with her back to him, controlling the complex machines that towered above her with long, delicate fingers.

"Have the Storm Hawks been destroyed?" Her sinister voice echoed throughout the chamber.

Dark Ace closed in frustration. "No master," he answered quietly. "They escaped, but I assure you next time they won't be so lucky." He rose confidently to his feet and Cyclonis turned to look at him, studying him quietly through deep violet eyes.

"Tell me Dark Ace, why is it that a man of your skill, the leader of Talons cannot bring down the Storm Hawks? You did it once before, so why is it so impossible to do again? They are just children after all." She looked at him askance. "Perhaps you are loosing your edge."

"They are tenacious," Dark Ace insisted feeling annoyed at having his pride hurt. "But I will destroy them you have my word."

He watched as the young dark-haired woman slowly approached him. Although she was shorter and younger than him, she possessed a presence that was both predatory and commanding. A smile tugged at the corner of her lips and in a swift motion that took the stoic talon leader completely off guard, she grabbed him by his breastplate and pulled him into a deep kiss. His red eyes widened, unsure of how to deal with the situation. He knew this was wrong and inappropriate but he had always harboured feelings for his master, feelings that went beyond respect. Relaxing into the kiss he wrapped his arms around her tiny waist, crushing her lithe body tighter against his and groaned into her mouth as she tangled one hand in his raven locks. He had dreamed of this moment, no, he had fantasized about it, but never in a million years thought it would happen.

"Dark Ace..." she breathed huskily as he began kissing down her pale neck, nipping at the tender skin. He pushed her back against the wall lustfully grinding against her, when he felt her cool breath linger at his ear.

"This, is goodbye."

Shit.

He froze in realization. He should have realized her intentions, but it was too late now. All of a sudden a sharp, searing pain exploded through his torso making him gasp in agony. He stared at his master in a mixture of rage and disbelief and she gazed back at him cold and emotionless. Lowering his eyes he saw that clutched in her hand was his own double-bladed sword, which she must have removed from his side when they were kissing; it was now embedded deep in his stomach up to the hilt.

"Ugggh…" He staggered on his feet. "Why?" His left eye twitched slightly.

"Because Dark Ace, I despise failure you know that," she answered simply and in one swift motion yanked the blade roughly out of him causing him to let out a desperate, throaty cry which echoed loudly throughout the chamber. For a moment he wavered on the spot dazed and blinded by pain, until he was unable to support his own weight and slumped heavily to his knees, grinding his teeth together to stay conscious.

This can't be happening to me…Not after all I've done for her.

"Trust me," she said stroking the side of his angular face gently. She sounded genuinely saddened and yet her face remained cold and expressionless. "This is hurting me far more than it is hurting you. I so enjoyed working with you but as they say, all good things must come to an end. As of now Ravess will be taking your place as Talon Leader."

"Ravess?" he spluttered, flecks of blood spraying from his lips. Another twinge of pain sent his mind reeling. "Just... give me another chance! I won't fail again, you have my word. Next time the Storm Hawks won't escape!"

"It's too late for that now." Master Cyclonis walked back to her post and did not turn to look at him again. "Get him out of my sight," she ordered with a dismissive wave of her hand. Two talons arrived and lifted Dark Ace up by the arms and dragged him out of the room, leaving a trail of blood behind him.

Dark Ace was barely conscious, but he was aware of the pain that throbbed spasmodically through his gut and the sense of self-loathing that swelled in his breast. His master was right; he was losing his edge. Like a doll, he was thrown over the side by the two talons and felt himself falling for what seemed like an eternity, the wind stung his skin, making his wound ache.

Suddenly something hard struck his back, tearing him from his catatonic state. With a pained grunt he rolled to the side and instinctively grabbed a ledge saving himself from falling into the boiling lava below. Using the last of his strength he managed to pull himself up onto a rocky outcrop, gritting his teeth against the agony that strenuous movements caused. Finally he collapsed in a spread-eagled heap of blood and battered limbs. Slowly his eyes began to close. This was the end and he welcomed it.

You know what to do. Review! :)