Well I finally got around to playing Black Mesa, essentially a remake of Half Life 1 with better graphics and a few new features. It's really cool. Although I must admit… equipping the hivehand is beyond disturbing…

That scream is going to haunt me…

My slightly scarred psyche aside here's another chapter with the ever predictable Guichie fight. I'm actually a little nervous. It's the first fight scene I've ever had to write and I hope it turns out all right.

Disclaimer: I do not own Half Life or Zero no Tsukaima. They are owned by Valve and Yamaguchi Noboru respectively. This fic is for purely entertainment purposes.

It was a short walk back to the laundry room. If he was going to fight he would need some clothes that were a little less restrictive of his movements. While he had gone the whole day without complaining about it these clothes he was wearing were simply too tight. As he entered he looked around for his fatigues and found them neatly folded in a pile ready to be picked up right next to Louise's clothes.

Setting Gill down nearby, he picked up his clothes. He looked them over silently marveling at how better they looked. Gone were the many green and red blood stains that crisscrossed his exposed arm and leg parts. While some stains still lingered it was still in better shape than when he had first arrived. It made him wonder if perhaps alien blood was easier to get out.

He shook his head. No point in wasting too much time, after all today new stains just might be added.

After asking Sparky to get off his arm to make the changing easier he immediately began stripping off the borrowed clothes feeling the pressure lift as each article of clothing was shed. He quickly slipped backed into his old clothes the smell of firewood still lingering on them. He had just managed to get his boots tied when the door flew open revealing his pink haired summoner.

"Familiar! What do you think you're doing?" she screeched.

"Tying my boots."

"I meant fighting Guichie you dimwit! What are you thinking!?" She repeated even more high in octave's than before.

He stood up slightly startling the young mage as she was reminded that her familiar towered over her.

"I was thinking that I was preventing someone getting fired for that idiot's mistake." He replied honestly. He couldn't have been the only one to see through Guichie's obvious ploy, so why did no one else speak up?

"Well that's very noble of you, but you have no idea what you've gotten yourself into have you? You're going to be fighting a mage. A mage! Don't you remember what I told you idiot? You'll be cut down before you can even get close to Guichie!"

"You don't have any magic. You're just a commoner! There is absolutely nothing special about you! Why do you think you can win!?"

While he was tempted to tell Louise about his newly reacquired shockroach he felt it might just work to his advantage if he kept it secret. He decided to ignore her in favor of putting his gloves back on.

She was practically growling at this point."I don't believe this! You're going to throw your life away and for what? For some servant girl?" a very dark thought crossed her mind. "Just why are you helping her huh!?"

Shephard cast a confused glance towards the girl who might as well have steam coming out of her ears at this point. "I told you" he said slowly. He didn't know why Louise suddenly looking at him with the most venomous expression she could muster "Guichie was going to get her fired. I decided to help her." He hoped, but doubted, that would clarify things.

"Oh sure! Help someone you barely know by getting killed for them! What a brilliant plan!" she yelled with the utmost rage. And even more sarcasm.

Annoyance beginning to rise he turned to face her. "What else was I supposed do? Let her get fired? Is that what you wanted to happen?"

She bristled. "Of course not! But the fact is Guichie has magic! You don't and I..." she trailed off raking her mind for an excuse. She had no intention of letting her familiar know about her magic. Or lack of she thought bitterly."Am not allowed to duel other nobles." She said with finality.

"But I am." He countered.

Louise had enough of this. She was going to drag her familiar by the ear and make him back out if she had to! As she took a threatening step towards him however the green creature had once again let out a low threatening growl warning her to back off. How in Brimir's name it knew what she wanted to do was beyond her.

She stopped with a small yelp, eying the protective creature. She blushed when she saw her familiar, once again, grinning at the display.

"Not an animal person are you?"

"I found that out yesterday…" she grumbled, infuriated further by her familiars grin breaking in to a full blown smile.

"Look. If you just apologize now Guichie might just let this go." She said.

"Sorry Louise but I made a deal. I fight him and Siesta gets off the hook. If I don't he's likely to get Siesta fired for the hell of it. I'm going to fight."

"And get killed! For a commoner!" Oh founder why was she cursed with a suicidal familiar?

"Are you really willing to die for one of them huh!?"

Louise had, unintentionally, spoke words that cut straight into Shephard.

They brought up one particular memory of Black Mesa. A figure lying on the ground crying. Pleading. Begging him to do something. He did nothing.

"Familiar?" Louise asked, unnerved by the vacant stare he was looking at her with. She noticed his breathing increased.

He blinked out the painfully recent memory. A life was in his hands that day. And pragmatism won out.

And now another person's fate was in his hands again.

And he had no intention of walking away from this.

He looked to the pink haired girl. "Louise" he said in a much more authoritative tone "I am going to fight Guichie and there's nothing you can say or do to change that." He paused. "But if you really want to help me, tell me what I can expect from Guichie."

Louise stared into her familiar's eyes and found nothing but cold hard determination. The same look she herself had adopted many times in her life. She sighed, angrily relenting under her familiar's stubbornness.

"Fine, but I don't know what good it will do."

She wondered where she should start. "Well first of all he's an earth mage so he'll probably use golems to fight." She explained. "But he's only a dot level mage so they should be pretty weak by magic standards. Also since he's a dot mage he won't have much willpower."

Shephard was trying to process all the unfamiliar jargon being thrown his way. From the sound of it Guichie was weak, even by their standards. Add in the fact that he's likely never been in an actual fight and Shephard suddenly felt much better about his chances. He was going up against an inexperienced weakling. Although he had guessed that much already.

"Don't get cocky. They may be weak but he can summon many of them."

Well he had confirmed that Guichie himself was a negligible threat. These golems however sounded like they would be his main force of his opposition.

"What about the golems, what can you tell me about them?"

"Well his runic name is Guichie The Bronze so it pretty obvious what they'll be made of. They'll… likely use swords, spears, shields, battleaxes…" she trailed off, images of her familiar's broken and bleeding body becoming too much.

"Just please stop this! You're going to die!" she raised her voice again.

He looked at those pink eyes, so full of fear it looked like Louise might become ill. She actually seemed genuinely concerned for him. Though with a cynical thought he remembered that he was the only proof that, be their standards, she was a real mage. If he died her reputation would not be far behind. It seemed he was quite valuable these days.

He decided to refrain from sharing his thoughts. "Louise I promise you, I am not going to die.

"And what makes you so sure?" she asked, the beginnings of tears in her eyes.

"Because, if I have to go the afterlife and explain that Guichie killed me I'd be a laughing-stock." He said, hoping his bad joke would at least calm Louise down. The last thing he needed to deal with right now was a crying girl.

And it did. He heard faint snickering despite her attempts to hide it.

"But you still haven't told me how you plan to beat him. He has…" "Magic I know." He interrupted.

He looked at Sparky, the shockroach silently reassuring him that he would fight by his side. As he looked cogs began to turn in his head. A plan was forming. A crazy plan but if it worked he felt it would help him.

"Louise can I see your wand?" He asked. While head had seen many students carrying them he had to make sure.

She raised an eyebrow but got it out nonetheless. Well that confirmed his theory on the sticks.

"Why did you want to see it anyway?" she asked.

He shrugged. "It's just that Guichie was the only one I haven't seen with a wand. How does he cast magic?"

"That rose he has IS his wand you idiot."

And that was what he needed to hear. He asked to be alone and exited the room.

After convincing Sparky to jump to the rune arm, done so by telling him that Guichie thinks he's ugly, he felt the power once again flowing onto the insect who was admirably silent this time.

While this plan was somewhat of a gamble, as he didn't know if they had lighting magic or sword wands he felt that no matter what it would benefit him. If pretending to be a magic user would help deter future fights and help him get more answers to this world so be it. And even if they didn't have lighting magic they would still see him as a man who could throw around lighting. Either way people would think twice before trying something with him.

He rolled down his left sleeve to cover the insect until only the tips of the mouth part and pincers were showing. As long as he kept people's attention on the knife he should be good. After rolling down the other sleeve he reentered the room to find Louise having a staring contest with Gill. Quite a feat considering his lack of eyes.

"What are you two doing?"

Louise didn't take her eyes of the green creature. "This thing growled at me again when you left. It hates me."

"Well I don't think you made a good first impression on him." Shephard pointed out while walking towards Gill. The alien seemed to sense he was getting ready for battle. While he was confident in Sparky having an improvised alien grenade launcher as backup wouldn't hurt.

Fortunately his vest had built in holsters. After a bit of maneuvering he was able to secure gill on his back, the alien long used to the process.

"You're taking that thing into battle with you?" Louise asked incredulously

"Would you rather hold him?" She made no further comment on the matter.

"Is there anything else I should know about duels? Are they usually fought to the death?"

She shook he her head. "No. The first one who is incapable of fighting anymore loses."

So killing wasn't required. Interesting.

He was almost ready. After donning his helmet and gas mask he turned back to Louise, who shivered slightly under the inhuman gaze produced by the mask.

"Come on let's go."

Louise silently led her familiar to vestry court. Her familiar simply would not back down. She knew what she would have to do and it made a knot form in her stomach. But if it kept her familiar from getting hurt or killed so be it. She had to take responsibility.

As they neared the courtyard she noticed a dark haired maid, the one who her familiar was helping waiting for them.

"Lady Vallière, Mr. Shephard." She curtsied

"Siesta" he nodded "Are you all right?" he asked noticing her cheek still had some redness to it.

"Yes. But that is not why I am here." She continued panic becoming evident in her voice "Please. I know you want to help me, but you're going against a noble. You can't win. Just walk away. I will find another job, but please don't throw your life away."

Shephard stared at her; the one person who by all rights should be egging him on wanted him to back down. She didn't think he could win. But he wasn't going to back down. Not again.

"Well I appreciate your concern but I think you should be more worried about Guichie."

Then a loud, attention grabbing voice echoed off the walls "Ten minutes and the cowardly commoner refuses to show himself!" Shephard grimaced as he realized what was happening. He knew the starting of a speech by an egotistical prick when he heard one. It seemed some things never change no matter where you are. With a quickened pace he made his way into the courtyard proper before the speech get underway. He wasn't sure if any amount of morphine could sooth THAT resulting headache.

The students upon noticing his arrival parted to let him in to circle of the gathered student body.

"Well well, you finally came. I had thought for sure you had run away like the dog you are. But it seemed you took the time to change your appearance."

"Refusing to talk?" he smirked. "Well I must admit that it does seem to suit you better." Although he meant it as an insult a few students couldn't help but nod.

Shephard just wanted this damn fight to start already.

"Was it you who held him up Zero? He must really mean a lot you." Guichie's insufferable smile grew wider.

Louise blushed "He's my familiar! It's my right to be worried! And this fight is one sided Guichie! Just call this whole stupid thing off!"

He lifted his rose up to his face in a rather flamboyant gesture. "Now Louise you know I can't do that. You're familiar agreed to this duel. Two lovely ladies have been pushed to tears and someone has to pay. If you're familiar wants to take the place of the careless servant it matters not to me. Perhaps you should learn to control him better!"

Come on get on with it already!

"But as his master you can apologize on his behalf and I shall reconsider this fight." Guichie offered, but with a sinister grin that only meant trouble.

Either Louise was too desperate or naïve to notice it because she looked to Shephard and with a set jaw she stepped forward.

"Louise don't. He's lying."

"You'd better be damn thankful for this." She said ignoring him.

He wondered if he should make a move to stop her but it was just a passing thought. He didn't feel any real loyalty to her. Besides she wasn't at risk of losing a job.

"I am sorry!" she said close to tears.

Guichie was clearly enjoying the humiliation he was putting Louise through."Good. Now on your knees."

She got to her knees. "I am sorry!"

"Very good." Guichie said with a broad smile. "Now. We fight."

"W-what! but i..."

"I said i shall 'reconsider this fight.' And after some reconsideration i still wish to fight." he said simply

Louise just kneeled on the ground before some students dragged her out of the ring.

He brandished his rose, "I am Guichie Da Gramont, and my runic name is 'the bronze'. As such the bronze golem will be your opponent."

A petal detached from the rose and from where it landed a green female figure no bigger than Guichie emerged, wielding a spear and clad in medieval armor.

"Now you shall know fear!"

Quick as a flash Shephard drew his knife with his left hand and felt the energy from the runes that was flowing into Sparky now flood his system as well. He felt lighter, stronger, the world itself seemed to slow down. It was the same sensation he got when he tried on his power vest for the first time. It was a powerful experience to be sure but not an alien one.

He shook his head. Think about that later.

He saw the golem charge him with the spear. With the sharp end being griped by the golem and the handle being pointed towards him. Odd. While he could just zap it into oblivion he was wary of springing his plan too soon. Louise told him that Guichie could summon many Golems. If he started vaporizing golems too soon he could get swamped under sheer numbers. He should drain some of Guichie's 'willpower' before hand.

Making his decision he charged forward intending to meet the golem head on. It thrust the blunt end of the spear towards him but he saw it coming and deflected with his knife. Spinning on his heels he bashed the wrench against the golems head leaving a decent sized dent.

The sound and feedback from the impact surprised him. The damn thing was hollow. He was going up against a glorified soup can!

Taking advantage of his surprise the golem swung its spear hitting him in the side and sending him back a few steps. The HUD in his mask informed him the power from the impact had brought the energy down to 97.


Christ the damn houndeyes packed more of a punch than these did. From what he had seen so far these golems were hardly trying to be lethal. And they were being controlled by Guichie…

Steadying himself Shephard got ready for the Golems next move. This time it aimed for his head. He ducked and hooked the spear with his arm. Pulling himself up, he swung his wrench making sure the tip of it impacted. Even though his right arm seemed a bit weaker for some reason the increased strength provided by the vest was more than enough to tear through the spear, only left holding together by a thin piece of metal. With the handle broke it would have to use the lethal end now.

Which it promptly discarded in favor of its fists. So that was it then. For all his bluster and arrogance Guichie clearly wasn't trying to kill him. Hurt him pretty good maybe but not outright murder him. That was more than some people he used to know could say.

A fist aimed for his stomach interrupted his thoughts as he stepped back to avoid the blow. Time to finish this. Considering the lack of vital organs body strikes would be meaningless. It would be more efficient to go after the joints. After all, without arms or legs it really couldn't do anything. Strategic dismemberment was the way to go.

A left punch for his stomach was caught in his armpit as he pulled himeslf forward and tore through the exposed elbow with the steel tipped wrench. He threw the severed arm away, it crumbling to dust as well. Apparently shocked into inaction he took this opportunity to bring the wrench through the back of the golem's knee, sending it crashing down. Keeping on it, with one almighty swing, he tore through the thin skin of its neck decapitating it.

All in all the entire encounter took thirty seconds.

So focused was he on the golem he didn't notice the utterly shocked expression Louise, and more than a few students had, as she just watched somebody bring down a Golem without magic.

Guichie was shocked as well. And Shephard could see the fear building behind his eyes.

Flustered but not defeated Guichie let three more rose petals drop and three more golems rose up. One held a spear while the other two held swords, their blades made dull. Still going the nonlethal route.

Cricking his neck Shephard charged forward once more. They expected him to go for the arms again but instead he broke into a slide, being careful to do so on his side to avoid hurting Gill. With the momentum and chemical enhanced strength it was a trivial matter to tear through the knee of the golem, it struggling to maintain balance on one foot. Not wasting any time he immediately got to his feet and pushed the golem over. It was quite chivalrous of them to march side by side.

The one legged golem fell over, crushing another under its weight. He could have sworn the last golem itself seemed surprised. If it was it passed quickly, because it thrust a dull edge his way. He deflected with his knife and with an overhead swing of his wrench cut off its hand.

Undeterred it swung its sword again, this time catching him in the right arm. He heard a faint crack, and in the corner of his mask he saw the various medical information scroll by, like a news ticker. The only information that mattered to him was, blood coagulant, bone sealant and morphine administered. Though it wasn't actual morphine. Too addictive. All he knew was it was a synthetic substitute that was more effective with none of the health risks. But for convenience sake morphine was what it was called.

The pain dulled he prepared his counter attack. The sword comming back at him, he caught it in the mouth part of his wrench and with one quick motion thrust his knife into the golem's thin neck and slashed through it. But still it held. Not for long. Spinning, he whacked the wrench into the side of its head and the thin strips of metal holding it gave way. It rolled a little ways on the ground before stopping.

The tickers in his mask had helpfully reminded him not to use his cracked arm too much until it was fully healed. At least they didn't put those 'helpful reminders' into voices. There certainly would have been one less mask had that been the case.

Checking on the last golem he found it still trying to get up on its remaining leg. A few wrench swings put a stop to that.

Four golems defeated and he hadn't even had to resort to his plan yet.

"You have some skill for a commoner, I can admit that much!" Guichie shouted. There were some hints of desperation in there. "But you have seen nothing yet! You have not witnessed the true capabilities of the Valkyrie's of Gramont!"

He detached another rose petal and this time a single female golem rose up. This one however looked a bit more threatening. It was taller, had steel armor, and carried a wicked looking halberd. Still dull, but it was longer than the previous weapons. Add in the fact that he's finally had the sense to cover the weak parts on the golems and it became obvious. Guichie was done screwing around.

And so was Shephard.

When I flick my wrist that's you're cue Sparky.

The golem charged at him, intent on sending him flying. It never got the chance.

Quickly he swung his knife in a horizontal arc and, at the very right moment flicked his wrist. A blue streak flew and impacted the golem right in the foot, blasting it apart. He aimed to low to ensure that if it came out the other side it would impact the ground and not the students behind the golem. Its foot now a shouldering stump the golem crashed to the ground, managing to catch itself with its axe. It was trying to get up again. Another blast to the other foot put a stop to that. Not finished he sent one final blast to its head leaving nothing but a red glowing stump, the golem jerking slightly due to the electricity. It fell over on its back, unable to function anymore. He noticed that he was getting some odd feedback from Sparky.

He waited for the next golem to arise, but nothing happened. He looked at Guichie and saw that his eyes were as wide as saucers, his rose wand hanging limply by his side. While he could have used this opportunity to send a bolt of electricity at him and end it, he didn't. The magic from the runes made it too risky to send even a weak shot against him.

He looked around and found that the entire crowd had adopted a look of wide eyes and gaping mouths. None of them could really match up to the look on Louise's face however. The sole person who wasn't shocked was Tabitha. She just cast an intense calculating stare.

Finally someone shouted what everyone was thinking. "He's a mage! Louise the Zero summoned a mage!"

Shephard couldn't help but smirk. All according to plan.

He took a step towards his opponent which brought him out of his stupor. He let eight more rose petals fall and eight more golems rose up. They all had shields and spears. Not wasting any time they all charged him. He was ready.

Charge up Sparky.

Kneeling and covering Sparky's mouth from view he could feel the heat from the ball of magically enhanced electricity increase as it grew. When they were almost upon him he swung his arm out and a large blue streak flew and punched through the raised shield and through the golem's head, it toppling to the ground.

One down.

The electricity from the center golem flew to the two other standing to the side making them spasm uncontrollably. Seeing his chance Shephard darted forward into the opening he created in the line of golems. Leaping over the heap of the first one he sent two more bolt into the backs of the heads of the stunned golems.

Two more down.

He tried downing another one but it reacted, the shield serving its purpose and protecting the golem. Although it did have the effect of severing the shield hand, making it fall to the ground. Another bolt ended the golem. Four left. Once again he felt odd feedback from Sparky. It gave the impression of pain.

"Come on! Just fall already!" Guichie shouted, panicked at seeing half of his golems cut down.

The four remaining golems charged him. He sent another bolt towards the one on his left. It expected a high shot but instead got one right to its exposed foot. With hat one at least disabled he turned his attention to the rapidly approaching ones on his right. One of them struck out with its spear, which Guichie hadn't taken the time to make nonlethal, either out of rage or his increasing desperation clouding his judgment. He stepped back and broke off the tip with his wrench.

The other two closed in on him and one bashed him with its shield sending him back quite a ways and draining more of his vests power. Charging Sparky while he was thrown back he swung and let another bolt fly, and was rewarded with the same golem that had hit him now cut in half, the bolt tearing through its shield and midsection. He hoped he didn't accidentally hit someone.

Odd though that the golem next to it wasn't stunned by the electricity jumping to it. If he didn't know better he'd say Sparky was getting tired.

"Why? Won't you? FALL!?" Guichie roared. He sounded slightly mad. In the crazy sort of way.

The two remaining Golems charged him once again. Deciding to save Sparky for when he really needed him he decided to meet them head on. Sidestepping another shield bash he quickly decapitated the broken speared golem with his knife. However the second golem was ready for him. Another bash knocked his wrench out of his hand while a kick from the golem sent him flying backwards.

"Fall you stupid commoner!" Guichie shouted.

A grunt of pain, from him and Gill, was all he spared before he was back on his feet. He noticed his knife was missing as well. Shit. Before he could search for it however a call from Louise stopped him.

"Behind you!"

He quickly turned. Into a spear aimed for his chest. He looked down and saw the tip of the spear embedded in his vest. It had been stopped through a combination of the rapidly stiffening fibers and the reactive metal armor underneath. And now he was stuck. This left him with little options as he really couldn't do anything. The second golem was right behind him so he couldn't reach for his knife. He couldn't use Sparky; he didn't want the magically charged electricity getting that close to his heart after all. And his knife was just out of reach.

It was when he glanced around and saw the entire crowd had gone silent that an idea struck him. A bit unethical maybe but he doubted Geneva would catch him here. He went limp.

Throughout the entire fight Louise Vallière just stood in awe of her familiar as he tore through the golems. And that was before he started using his magic. Magic! She'd summoned a mage! She watched as balls of lighting tear through the golems with ease, each impact taking off a limb or head. She shuddered at what would happen if he used that magic against a human. Even more so when she remembered just who he was pointing his wand at when she summoned him.

And then she saw the spear plunge into his chest.

Her familiar was dead

"Shephard?" she spoke, her voice barely above a whisper. He didn't move.

She felt tears running down her cheek. Her familiar was dead.

"No. No, no nononon..."

Siesta just covered her hands over her mouth. Guilt was beginning to set in. He died because of her. A person died because of her.

But the most shocked expression of anyone gathered belonged to Guichie Da Gramont. He just stood there, trying to process what had happened. He stared at the unmoving form impaled on his golems spear.

"YOU KILLED HIM!" Louise wailed

It broke Guichie out of whatever trance he was in. The words echoed in his mind. He looked around and saw the students looking at him. Some looked accusatory.

He didn't mean for this to happen. He just wanted to hurt him not kill him! He had just been so scared. Desperate. He wasn't thinking. Oh founder why hadn't he made the spear dull?

The golem slowly pulled the spear out letting him fall to ground. He killed someone. Was he supposed to feel good? Happy that his foe was vanquished? Because he didn't feel either of those. If anything he felt a little nauseous.

He turned to face the crowd. Some looked at him with contempt. He heard whispers.

"I…" he started weakly but was interrupted when the supposedly dead man sent out another bolt of energy, sending the standing golem crashing down. He finished off it and the one legged golem that had impaled him moments before.

Guichie suddenly had a very terrible feeling he had just made him angry.

Well his plan worked. Maybe caused a bit more drama than he thought but it worked so it wasn't completely stupid.

He turned his attention back to Guichie. He was surprised to find out that there were equal parts fear and relief on his face. Relief because he hadn't killed him. Fear because he hadn't killed him. He panicked and summoned no less than twelve golems. But they looked horrible. They were see through for one, and practically unarmored.

Of course he had problems of his own. Mainly Sparky was exhausted. The runes might make him stronger but they seemed to take more of a toll on him. Normally he could simply 'recharge'. But he was getting something from him. Not thoughts but feelings. He was in pain.

You're sitting this one out.

Sparky reluctantly agreed.

He looked at the assorted Golems. He was getting ready to take them on when suddenly the alien on his back jerked violently. And it sounded like he was heaving.

That would be breakfast.

Dropping his wrench and knife he pulled out Gill, the alien's tentacle instinctively wrapping around his arm for stabilization. Gripping one of the the creature's small legs he took aim at the gathered group of golems. His heaving was picking up speed.

Guichie was oblivious to the threat posed by the green creature. "Relying on that creature to save you? So be it. Golems! End this fight!"

With those words spoken the crudely made golems charged forward, Shephard amazed that the things still held after even after a little movement.

The golems closing in Shehaprd pulled the leg which for reasons still unknown to him caused the alien to spit out a green glob.

It streaked towards the group, impacting the ground in the middle of the group. A bright luminescent green flash was quickly followed by shrieking metal as the constructs were torn apart by the surprisingly powerful blast, parts flying outward from the epicenter. Scattered and shattered limbs were all that remained of the group as well as a newly formed crater.

He never did find out exactly what bizarre alien biology made food into explosives. Or if it was a hazard for these things to go to the bathroom.

He patted Gill on the head before putting him back and picking up his weapons. There was nothing between him and Guichie now. And they both knew it.

Panicking Guichie used what scant willpower he had left and made a sword. He stared down the quiet masked madman.

Shephard had about enough of this. He calmly strode up to Guichie and with a swing of his knife cut the tip of the sword off. Two more strikes and just the handle remained.

"The next one cuts off your hand." Shephard said menacingly.

He dropped the handle and fell to Shephard's feet in a groveling manner. "I yield!"

"You yield?" Guichie nodded frantically, not daring to look in those horrible green eyes. While Shephard wasn't one for theatrics he felt Guichie had caused too much trouble to simply get off scot-free.

"You slapped Siesta because she tried only tried to help. You make me go through a stupid fight, and almost kill me…" "That was an accident!" Guichie interrupted finally looking up.

Shephard believed him. The golems making their weapons nonlethal the majority of the fight was a testament to that. But he still felt like screwing with Guichie for the moment.

"An accident?" he said in a disbelieving tone while twirling his knife.

"Yes I swear! I'm sorry!" he pleaded the beginnings of tears forming as he eyed the knife that had teared through metal.

"You call a spear aimed right for my chest an accident?"

"I-i didn't mean for that to happen! I wasn't thinking, i just acted! I'm sorry!" shrieked Guichie not caring how pathetic he looked at the moment. He just wanted to come out of this in one piece.

Shephard knelt and roughly grabbed him by the throat with his right hand. Guichie could barely make out eyes behind the mask.

"I'm not the only one you should apologize to." Content that he had been suffecnity scared he let him go. He had won his first battle in this new world.

As he stood back up however he felt something. A cold, analytical presence was watching him. He turned and saw something that made him freeze. Not far behind the oblivious students there He was, standing unnaturally still, still holding his briefcase, and still wearing his ever so satisfied smirk. Almost in a congratulating manner. He adjusted his tie and began to walk away.

Shephard was already running.

The students in his way didn't know about G-man. What they did know was that a masked man, who just destroyed a small army of golems, was now making a mad dash for them. So they did the sensible thing. They screamed and dove out-of-the-way. Shephard barely noticed them.

He had rounded the corner and although unsurprising it was no less infuriating. The G-man had vanished.

"Goddamnit!" he yelled while slamming his knife into the stone wall beside him. He was surprised to find out it had embedded itself up to the handle. He pulled it out. He took this time to allow Sparky to jump to his other hand, who did so worryingly slow. He hoped he would be alright.

"Shephard!" Louise?

He turned to find his master running towards him. Red was prominent around her eyes.

She looked at him for a moment. For a brief second he thought he saw relief.

And then she started beating against his vest.

And saying







The marine let out a sigh. He was hoping this little display he had put on would make him seem more dangerous than he really was.


And for the most part it seemed to have worked. People were already diving out of his way. Except for one ill-tempered pink haired girl.


Well at least this couldn't go on for much longer right?



Why yes, Shephard IS ignorant to the ways of the Tsundere. He's only dealt with sane people before.

I want to thank everyone again for the support. For my first story this is a fantastic response!

All right, good or bad let me know what you think, especially concerning the fight. Like I said it's my first fight scene ever so i know i made some mistakes. Really im open to feedback here.