: Wolf Den Military Base
Age: 1643453-BDC Gooseman, Shane – 16 y.a.d.
The heavy weight that pressed her to the ground was suddenly pushed aside. Two voices, distorted with rage, growled deeply. Finally, a surprisingly soft sentence arose above the dispute: "Wanna lose the second, too?" The hiss that followed accompanied the sound of a punching fist, and heavy steps left at a run.
She gathered herself up, propped her arms in the mud and pulled herself up into a squatting position, expecting to see two or three of her combat group who must have attacked the leader of the enemy group that had caught her apart from the actual front line. But they weren't there. She blinked the dirt out of her eyes and tried unsuccessfully to make out Killbane's actual position.
She whirled round in her crouching position. The Runt sat not far away, watching her. He's in Killbane's group... She concentrated, unconsciously raising her hand to her temple. If I can blind him a moment–
"No need," he said harshly.
The voice was farther away than she'd thought. Too far away to attack him. She noticed the assault rifle over his arm. Too calm. He must know it–
"I don't want to finish his battle."
It took her a moment to understand his words. "Why not?"
He's in Killbane's group. Carefully she began to get to her feet, expecting him every moment to finally attack her. "You're my enemy. I'm supposed to fight you–" she started.
"I can do what he did."
So I'm still gonna die here.
"I just don't want to after I attacked him."
He attacked Killbane!? She dropped back on her backside, staring at him. "Why?"
To beat him! "I remember how it is to be his prey."
She turned some of the stones around in the mud, trying to figure out what she should do next. He stayed carefully out of her reach so she couldn't attack him. She observed him with narrowed eyes and noticed a shadow behind him: Stingray, preparing to throw his knife. "No!" The stone flew before she even realized her decision. It hit Stingray's forehead above his eyes. He stumbled backwards, lost his target. The Runt was immediately on his feet, whirling around, aiming his rifle. She jumped to her feet, reducing the distance between him and her. "If you shoot, I'll attack you!"
The Runt watched Stingray holding his head in both hands, shaking it to clear his vision again. "I won't," he said.
"I owe you nothing!" she warned him. "The next time we meet I'll attack you."
He grinned. "I know. The next time I'll fight."
She lowered her head after he was gone. The Runt's strange. The Runt... what's his real name again? Shane. She shrugged. Strange.
"Soft spot for the Runt?" Stingray snapped, picking up his knife, pointing with the blade toward her, "Since when d'ya prefer weaklings?!"
"Don't talk shit, headbanger!" She snorted. "Forget Ryker's propaganda and use your brain: This runt's defeated him more than once alone! Show me one of us who can do the same."
Negata closed the surveillance file and looked over at Walsh. "That's it. We've ordered him more than once to stay away from Killbane. He disobeyed again."
"We would have lost Darkstar if he hadn't done it, Owen, and she's a really good EEC. Do you really want to punish him for helping her? That would lead them to even uglier conduct."
Negata sighed. "I know we can't do that. But he only attacks Killbane to defend somebody else. If he weren't a BDC I'd believe he knows that we can't punish him for it."
"You can't expect a BDC to analyze our behavior patterns, Owen. They're limited to a max of 105 IQ to guarantee their controllability. You did that yourself."
"I know, I know. It's just strange."
y.a.d.: years after decant (equivalent to physical age)