Forward Unto Destiny

Traxis packs the last of her gear into her satchel and snaps the buckle closed. She hoists it over her head and settles the strap over her right shoulder, reaching behind her to adjust the satchel until it rests comfortably in the small of her back. Her Hunter’s cloak is draped across the back of a chair, and she deftly snags it in one hand as she strides across the room, snapping it to her shoulders with practiced grace. The mirrorweave shimmers briefly as it adapts to the colors of her room, ultimately settling on a pattern that best blends into her current environment.

She paces to a blank wall, which dissolves at her approach to reveal a hidden weapons cache. Inside are a dozen firearms — mostly rifles but also a couple of smaller pistols — and a handful of short knives. The guns represent her favored discoveries from her forays throughout the solar system. They have all saved her life on one occasion or another, several more than once. They are all dear to her, and she guards them fiercely.

Traxis selects a long-barreled rifle now, lifting it reverently from its cradle in the wall. It is a sniper rifle named No Quarter, and of all her weapons, it is the one most precious to her. At a meter-and-a-half, it is nearly as long as she is tall, but it is so light and perfectly balanced that its ungainly length is never a disadvantage. In Traxis’ hands, No Quarter is exceedingly lethal, and more than a few enemies have felt its merciless bite.

She snaps a mid-range scope — she has wall duty today — onto the rifle’s barrel and slams home two modular attachments into the stock. One is a super-efficient heat sink, allowing her the option of rapid fire without overheating — and subsequently jamming — the rifle. The other magnetically accelerates every round she fires. Against organics, it is merely adding insult to injury. Against Vex, it can mean the difference between winging one of the damnable robots and hitting it with a kill shot.

She reaches up and fits her mask to her face. She doesn’t need it here, of course. The air in the city is perfectly breathable, but Traxis is a Hunter. She prefers solitude and isolation, and the teeming masses of the city are neither of those things. Her mask gives her a barrier, an excuse to avoid eye contact and empty platitudes.

Traxis steps from her room, sealing the door behind her. No Quarter is slung across her back, ready to draw blood in defense of the city and, by extension, The Traveler. She inhales deeply, taking in the smells of the city around her. These are the people she has sworn to protect. She exhales, repeating her personal mantra before setting out for her post on the wall.

“No Quarter,” she breathes. “Forward unto Destiny.”

About Jim Stitzel

I maintain interests in a wide variety of areas. I am an avid storyteller, specializing in (dark) speculative fiction and webcomics. I am also a professional code wrangler and dabble in amateur photography. My wife and I are first-generation farmers who run a 40-acre farm in central Indiana, where we raise horses, goats, chickens, bees, farm-fresh vegetables, and fruit trees.

, ,

3 Responses to Forward Unto Destiny

  1. Ragashingo August 7, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    I liked the isolation factor of the mask. The ending reminds me of those old concept art pieces of the guy in the mask walking among the statues of The City.

  2. Jim Stitzel August 8, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    This one?

    Though this one is probably closer to what I actually had in my head while I was writing this one:

    • Ragashingo August 12, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

      Yep, the top one for sure, but the bottom one is great to. :)

Leave a Reply