Conan vs Conan

Starring:

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Old Conan

Al Leong as Subotai

Jason Mamoa as Young Conan

Two travelers are walking side by side down a mountain path. One is a large, muscular man. His mane of long dark hair cascades about his shoulders. He wears a simple fur loincloth of wolf skin, and a pair of wolf skin boots. On his head sits a studded leather headband, with a nose guard running down the bridge of his nose, between his gray eyes. On his hip rests a sheathed sword, with a magnificent ornate bronze hilt, hanging from the broad leather belt around his waist. On his other hip is a simple steel dagger. His skin, bronzed by countless hours under the Hyborian sun, is criss-crossed with many scars, trophies of the numerous battles he has fought over the years. His name is Conan, a Cimmerian, a barbarian, and a thief.

The man walking next to Conan is much smaller. He wears fur lined leathers, however unlike Conan's, his are less primitive in design. He has a scimitar sheathed on one hip, and a dagger sheathed on the other. There is also a dagger tucked into his left boot. Slung across his back is a composite bow and a quiver of arrows. He has long black hair, although his hairline has receded to the point where the entire top of his head is completely bald. His mustache and goatee are thin and pointed, in a style popular in the far east. His eyes are almond shaped, and a deep brown in colour. He is Subotai, of Hyrkania. A master thief, archer, and swordsman, and one of Conan's oldest friends.

Conan had received a summons from the king of Aquilonia, requesting his aid. Along the way he was reunited with his old friend, who agreed to join him on his journey. The mountain path that the two companions are traveling down merges with another path, continuing on down the mountainside. There they meet another traveler, heading in the same direction. He is a large man, though a little smaller than Conan. He is very well muscled, bigger than Subotai but leaner than Conan. His raven black hair is long and thick, falling halfway down his back. He wears a red kilt and a pair of leather sandals. His exposed flesh is criss-crossed with the scars of many battles. Belted to his hip is an impressive looking sword of fine quality. He is obviously a warrior of some experience, though at least twenty years Conan's junior. He eyes the two strangers warily, neither being aggressive nor defensive in his posture. Conan and Subotai eye him warily as well. Both have had meetings with strangers which have ended badly.

"Well met," says the younger warrior, "Where are you two headed?"

"To Aquilonia," says Conan, "We have been summoned by the king."

"What a coincidence," says the newcomer, "I too am answering a summons by the king of Aquilonia. Perhaps we could travel there together?"

"Perhaps," agrees Conan, "Tell me, stranger, what is your name?"

"I am Conan, of Cimmeria," says the young warrior.

"Impossible," says Conan, "What is your true name?"

"That is my name," says the younger warrior, genuinely confused, "Why? What is your name?"

"I am Conan of Cimmeria," replies the older barbarian.

The younger Conan draws his sword. "You should choose your aliases more carefully, Old Man!" he declares, "There's only one Conan of Cimmeria, and he's me!"

Subotai reaches for the hilt of his scimitar, but the older Conan reaches out and places a hand on his friend's chest, stopping him from drawing the blade. Conan draws his own sword, an ancient Atlantean weapon much larger than what most men can wield.

"You shouldn't be so rash, Boy," says the older Conan, "There are better reasons to fight than a name."

"It's as good a reason as any other!" says the younger warrior, and he begins circling the older Conan.

The older barbarian circles his younger counterpart, his Atlantean sword held at the ready. Subotai steps back and watches as the two barbarians size each other up. The younger Conan charges forward and swings his sword down in a downward slash, aimed at the older barbarian's head. The older veteran parries the attack with ease, the steel blades clashing together with a loud 'clank', then counters with a horizontal slash aimed at the younger warrior's shoulder. The younger Conan parries the attack with his sword. This time, when the blades clash, the sound is more like that of shattering glass.

The younger Conan looks at his sword in disbelief. Not once in over a thousand battles had his father's sword ever failed him. Today, against an old man calling himself 'Conan Of Cimmeria', it breaks like a child's toy. The blade is broken just above the hilt, hardly more than a dagger now.

As the young man stares at his shattered weapon in disbelief, he feels the blade of the other Conan's Atlantean steel cut deep into his neck. The young upstart's head flies from his shoulders and bounces down the dirt path until it comes to a rest at Subotai's feet, looking up at the Hyrkanian with its face frozen in a look of shock and awe. The body stands there for an incomprehensible length of time, its muscles not yet registering that there's no head to give them commands. Seconds seem as minutes as blood sprays into the air like a macabre fountain. Finally, the arm falls limp to the bodies side and the broken hilt slips from its fingers. The knees buckle and the body collapses into the dirt, the blood being hungrily swallowed up by the dry earth. Subotai shakes his balding head and chuckles.

"The whelp was right about one thing," says the thief, "There is only one Conan of Cimmeria."

"If the whelp were going to assume my identity," says Conan as he begins searching the body for valuables, "he should have at least tried to dress like me. I would never walk around in a woman's dress."

Conan tears a strip of cloth off of the young warrior's kilt and uses it to clean the blood off of his sword. He then takes the warrior's belt pouch and weighs it in his hand, estimating the value of its contents.

"Come, Subotai," he says, "We still have much traveling to do. And once we find ourselves an inn, we shall have warm beds, good food and drink, and pleasurable company. Thanks to our young friend here."

"Speaking of pleasurable company," says Subotai, "I hear that the king of Aquilonia's daughter is most attractive."

"All the more reason to make haste," laughs the barbarian.

And the two of them continue down the road, leaving the pretender's corpse in the sun to rot.

THE END

Author's Note:

Yes, I realize that Al Leong did not play Subotai in the 1982 Conan movie. However, I always felt that the role would have been better with an actual Asian actor in the role. And if they had ever done a third Conan movie with Arnold in the lead role, and brought back the character, but couldn't get the same actor for whatever reason, I think Al Leong would be perfect for the role.

Contrary to the popular opinion of some folks on this site, there's only one actor who truly embodies the character of Conan. And that actor is Arnold Schwarzenegger! Period!