As the dust settled, he kept Winona ready for movement from the floor, except he didn't call her Winona anymore. It was just a pulse pistol, a weapon. Used for killing other creatures that got in his way. Hearing a moan coming from one of the bodies. He walked over in that direction, pointing his weapon downwards he fired, not caring which one of the bodies the sound was coming from, he shot them all.

He heard footsteps come up hurriedly behind him. Pivoting around with his pistol at ready, he saw it was one of his men.

Lowering his arm, "I've told you never come up behind me like that."
"Yes Sir!" Saluting, "Sir, I have casualty reports for your approval."
Handing him the report, he looked it over.

"Just as I thought, minimal casualties on our side. We were successful in our attack. Was the second unit able to infiltrate the inner sanctum?"
Not bothering to even make eye contact the soldier replied, "Yes Sir, it was a complete success.

Looking up from the report, he walking over to the soldier. 'What was his name again? Dolek, that's it, Dolek.' "Dolek, in your experience has any campaign been a complete success? We lost men and ships, to me that is not a complete success. If we had done what I wanted and not went by Neltol's plan, we would not of lost a single man or ship. Now gather the men, I want this compound stripped of anything that is useful to us. Also get Asri down here. I want the data store purged and in my chambers in one arn."

The officer saluted and turned without a word to carry out his orders.

A squawk came over his comms; they were still having interference from the shielding of the building.

"Volki, come in, we need you back on the ship. We have the prisoner you wanted. We are waiting for your return to begin the interrogation."

"I'm on my way. No one is to touch him until I get there, is that understood? If I see one hair has been damaged, I will personally disembowel who ever did it. Volki out."

Turning back to view the bodies and destruction around him, Capt. Volki, formally known as Commander John Crichton, smiled. 'Yes, I guess it was a success after all.' Then walked to his transport pod. He had an interrogation to get underway.

The prisoner had been kept waiting for his return for three solar days. Volki had learned over the past two cycles that interrogations went along a lot faster if the prisoners were left alone to think about what was about to happen to them.

Left in a room slightly above optimum heat with only minimal clothing, arms tied behind his back, he sat waiting. The only sound he could hear was a slow drip in the water basin of the room, a constant reminder of the liquid he could not have to wet his drying throat.

Opening the door, Volki stepped inside without turning on the light. He didn't say a word, just stood in the darkness, letting his eyes adjust.

"Why aren't you saying anything?" A raspy voice whispered.

Volki still didn't say a word; instead he started to slowly circle the prisoner.

"Why won't you say anything?!"

No response for several microts.

"Are you comfortable?" Volki finally asked.

"Would you like a drink? I could give you a drink."

He began running the water in the basin. The prisoner's mouth instantly tried to salivate, but his body couldn't produce the moisture.

"Please...it's been so long." The voice whisper again.

"It's easy to get what you need, all you have to do is provide the information that I require."

"Frell you." The prisoner stated.

"I'm sorry you feel that way. I'll leave you alone now." Volki said, taking a step towards the door.

"No! I need water. I...I need it. I will give you what ever you want." The prisoner said in defeat.

Walking back to the basin, Volki turned on the water and filled a container. He went back to the prisoner and let the water slightly wet his lips.

"Information first, water second."

Slowly the prisoner gave him the information that Volki required. Afterwards, he kept his word and gave the prisoner the water he desperately needed.

Opening the door, he turned back to the prisoner, "Thank you Capt. Braca, your betrayal will help us a great deal." Then he closed the door behind him.

~~**~~

Two Cycles Earlier:

Their stop on Feliska was not one of convenience; they had searched for weekens for a planet to gather much needed food supplies and chakkan oil for their weapons. They had been on rations for too long and it was beginning to wear on their nerves.

After sitting in orbit for two solar days, they eventually received permission to go down to the planet, once it had been established they were only there to make purchases.

Conversation was lighthearted, each looking forward to be out under open sky. Even Aeryn, she had begun to appreciate the sun on her face and the wind blowing through her hair.

They were met at the transport pod by the local constabulary when they landed on the planet. Daneka Mosha was a squat little man, not much taller than Chiana, but he seemed a very capable creature to be so small in stature.

"Greetings, welcome to Feliska. I'm sorry for making you wait so long, but we have had to sort out a bad lot of travelers recently and we had to make sure you were not with them."

D'Argo stepped forward, "We understand. As we informed you before, we are here only to resupply our ship, then we will be on our way."

"Stay as long as you like, we can always use the business." Mosha said, raising his arm towards the merchants and led the way.

Once standing in front of the different merchants, they decided on who would purchase what supplies. D'Argo, Aeryn, and Chiana went towards the area of the market that sold munitions. Aeryn had tried to get John to come along with them, but he volunteered to go with Rygel and Noranti to purchase the food supplies to keep them out of trouble.

"D'Argo laughed, "Talk about the pit calling the kittle black."

John laughed with him, "That's the 'pot' calling the 'kettle' black. Your right, but I just want to go with them right now."

D'Argo nodded his head, "Okay, we'll meet up here in three arns."

"You got it D." John said as he walked towards Rygel and Noranti.

Turning around, D'Argo saw the frustration come over Aeryn's face.

"Give him time, he's still recovering from being alone for so long on Elak and also from what Grayza did to him on Arnessk." D'Argo said.

"Your right, and I know he has to work through it, just as I did. At least he's not abandoning me, like I did him." Aeryn said looking in John's direction.

"You didn't abandon him...well, you did, but it was something you had to do." Chiana said.

"Let's just find the chakkan oil. Maybe we'll get lucky and find a couple of new weapons we can use." Aeryn said before walking on.

~~**~~

John stood back and watched Rygel haggle over a fruit that looked like purple cow dung.

"I am 'not' eating that." John declared.

"It's rather tasty, not much different that prowsa fruit." Noranti said.

"I'm sorry, I have this hang up about eating foods that look like a turd."

Rygel turned around, "That just means more for us."

Going onto the next merchant, Rygel started looking over the foods, while Noranti was stood checking out herbal remedies. John stood there bored at the monotony of watching this routine over and over again, when a piece of the store wall shattered next to his head.

Instinctively ducking downwards, John shouted to the others, "Get down! Now!"

They didn't move fast enough, running towards them. John grabbed both Noranti and Rygel and threw them over the packing crates at the front of the store.

"Get out through the back!" He screamed.

Before he could jump over himself, an explosion sent him flying backwards. Lying there, John wondered who had attacked them. His body was starting to go numb, when he tried to stand up; he only was able to get to a sitting position before he fell over again. Something was blurring his vision, putting his hand up to his face. He felt the moisture on his hand, and then looked at it, his hand was covered in his own blood.

'Great. I wonder how bad it is? Boy, Aeryn's going to be pissed.' John thought before falling over onto his side and passing out.
He couldn't open his eyes, but he heard loud percussion noises around him and two voices over him.

First voice, "Is it really him?"

Second voice, "I don't know. It looks like him; it's been ten cycles since I've seen him. Let me check something."

He felt his body being turned over.

First voice, "What are you doing?"

Second voice, "Twelve cycles ago, we were under heavy fire trying to infiltrate a Nebari cleansing facility. Volki was injured from behind."

Moving his head, the second voice spoke again. "It's him, look at this, it's the scar from where he was hit."

First voice, "That doesn't prove anything, anyone could have scaring like that."

Second voice, "What are you, a frelling idiot? Do you realize how unlikely to not only find someone looking the same as Volki, but having the same scars?"

First voice, "Well, we need to take him to Jobin, he'll know for sure. Wrap his head to stop the bleeding, we don't need him dying on us."

As he felt himself being lifted up, he wondered who was helping him, and then he didn't think of anything else.

~~**~~

Aeryn had just begun to exam the firing mechanism of a pulse rifle that looked to have too much ware on the service, when she heard the weapons fire. Her head and hand jerked up at the noise.

"Aeryn?" D'Argo said as he and Chiana came rushing out of the shop, his Qualta Blade ready.

"It came from this way!" Aeryn shouted, running in the direction that the pulse fire came from.

"That's the direction the others went." Chiana said just as an explosion shook the air. None of them even hesitated, but tried to put more speed into their pace.

They ran right into the middle of a battle. Taking cover, they searched for their shipmates.

Chiana spotted Noranti crawling on her hands and knees from behind a building not too far from them, "Aeryn, over there!"

Aeryn looked in the direction Chiana indicated, "D'Argo, cover me!"

"Go!" He yelled back.

Aeryn ran. Staying low, she reached Noranti. Looking around, she saw Rygel on his throne-sled trying to make his way to Noranti. When he saw Aeryn, his eyes lit up in relief.

"Where's John?" Aeryn asked, looking from one to the other.

"I don't know, he threw us both into the store when the shooting began and told us to go out the back. I thought he was behind us, when I heard the explosion. I looked behind me and he wasn't there. He's probably still inside the store." Rygel said.

"You left him?"

"I said, I thought he was behind us."

"Where's the store?"

Rygel looked behind him, "Three down on the right."

D'Argo and Chiana came running up.

"Is everyone okay?" D'Argo asked.
Looking up at him, Aeryn said, "John isn't with them, stay here. I'm going to help him if he's pinned down."

Standing up, she took off running. When she arrived at the back of the store, she stopped. With her weapon ready, she ducked down coming through the doorway.

"John!"

If he responded, she didn't hear over the blasts vibrating the walls of the building. Creeping quickly towards the front, she stayed out of the line of fire. Splinters of wood and food were falling on her as she made her way. She screamed his name again as she reached the front. He wasn't there, but she did find the blood. Her heart sank; she instinctively knew the blood was John's. She started screaming his name again and throwing crates out of her way; in case he was under one of them, not caring if a stray blast hit her.

She searched for several microts when she realized the fighting had stopped. Tears streaming down her face, and her pulse pistol ready to take aim, she ran out into the street. Aeryn began checking the injured and the dead, looking for his familiar face, but never finding it.

~~**~~

Aeryn saw Daneka Mosha walking towards them with shock on his face as he saw the bodies lying on the ground.

"Who did this?" He said in a choked whisper.

"We were hoping you could tell us. One of our crew is injured and missing." D'Argo growled.

Looking at the Luxan, Mosha said, "Please give me a few microts, I have to check on my people." Then he rushed off.

Standing off to the side, they impatiently waited for answers. It appeared as if the entire town had shown up to assist the injured. Knowing they would get no answer from Mosha at that time, the crew of Moya put aside their weapons and decided to also assist their services to any who needed it.
Several arns later, when the last of the wounds had been dressed and the deceased claimed, Daneka Mosha met with Aeryn and D'Argo.

Sitting down on the center fountain, tears running down his face, Mosha only said, "All of this death over a frelling petty argument."

"What argument?" D'Argo asked.

"Over a gods be damned game of chance, people died. I knew I should have made sure they were all gone, but I don't have the men for that kind of search."

"Who was it?" Aeryn asked with ice in her voice.

Looking at her, Mosha said, "Do your remember those travelers I mentioned when you first arrived? It was two mercenary forces. We were able to convince them to leave without trouble. Apparently some from both groups remained. One is the Nilas, led by Jobin Jenkaro; they will kill anyone in the way of their objective. Which is usually whoever is paying the higher price. The other faction are the Marconiks, equally as bad except they are reputed to have so much fighting in the ranks, no one ever knows who leads them. They have had bad blood between them since Jobin's younger brother was thought to be captured and killed by the Marconiks ten cycles ago. Since then, they have tried to kill one another whenever there is a chance. That is why I wanted them off of Feliska."

"Where can we find them?" D'Argo asked.

Mosha shook his head, "No one knows, both groups move often, for obvious reasons. I can ask some questions for you, but I don't know how reliable the information will be. All I ask is this. Find the ones responsible for doing this to my people. I don't have much money, but I will get what I can..."

"We're not mercenaries." Aeryn interrupted.

Daneka Mosha's voice cracked with emotion, "I don't care! I knew who you were before you came down to this planet, yet I still allowed you to come down. I know what you have done to both the Peacekeepers and the Scarrens. I...we need someone to bring justice about for our people."
"Find whatever information you can, and we will try to find the ones responsible for this." D'Argo said.

~~**~~

At first all he could hear was muffled noises, but soon they began to shape into voices, but ones he couldn't understand. He also felt hands touching him. At one point, he felt someone holding his hand.

He didn't know how long he lie there, there was no way he could tell. All he could see was a white film over his eyes. Once he tried to sit up and felt a piercing pain shoot through his head and eyes. Someone gently grabbed him by the shoulders and coaxed him back down. Eventually, he was able to sit up without pain.

One day they helped him sit up, he felt fingers work their way into his hand, as someone gently probed the back of his head. Soon he saw the film over his eyes lessening, but it was painful to look at the light. So he shut his eyes. He felt more poking on the back of his head, and something placed back onto this area.

Slowly opening his eyes, he let them adjust. At first everything was blurry around the outer edges, but soon they came into focus. When he looked around him, he saw who was holding his hand. It was an older man; with black hair, streaked with gray, and piercing blue eyes, that looked on him with love and pride in them. He smiled at him, hoping the man would smile back. He wasn't disappointed.

The other man looked up to someone behind him and spoke. He turned around to see who was spoken to and saw a woman standing there. She looked at him and also smiled. The two continued to speak to one another, but he still couldn't understand them.

He tried to ask where he was, "W-w-w."

He couldn't get the words out, and he started to become angry. The man put his hand over his mouth and slowly shook his head. The woman came around to his front with food and began to feed him. He tried to take the receptacle from her to do it himself but his hands would not stop shaking while he tried to hold it. The shaking became so bad that the man took it away from him just as the food began spilling out, the man said something to the woman and began feeding the food to him. Afterwards, he grew sleepy and decided to lie down. He would find out tomorrow where he was.

~~**~~

"But are you sure this is Volki, Jobin?" Neltol asked.

"Do you think I wouldn't know my own brother? It may have been ten cycles, and yes he does look a little different. We all do, that is to be expected."

"You are letting your emotions get the better of you. You know this, but I will acknowledge that he does look like Volki." Neltol said looking into the room occupied by Volki.

Jobin began to pace the floor, "I'm very concerned about what is to become of him. Shonra said the physicians had to nullify his translator microbs to be able to use the anesthetic during the surgery to repair the damage to his head. She also said he keeps trying to speak but the words are just gibberish."

Placing his hand on Jobin's shoulder, Neltol said, "So what does that mean?"

Closing his eyes, Jobin said, "It means, whatever was damaged couldn't be repaired enough for his brain to retain his language ability. He has to relearn how to speak as if a child. We also don't know what other areas were affected as well, and we won't until he is able to speak clearly."

"When will you begin his retraining? If you would like, I could start tomorrow." Neltol said.

"No. I want to do it, but you are right. It has to start tomorrow. I 'have' to know where he's been all these cycles."

~~**~~

He looked in the mirror and noticed several little scars on his face, he rubbed each one. 'I'll have to ask him someday where I got these.' He thought. Hearing a noise behind him, turning around, he saw that it was Jobin.

Smiling, he walked over to him, "H-h-hello J-Jobin."

"I see you're doing well Volki. Soon you'll be speaking normally again." Jobin said smiling. He knew Volki only understood a few words at the moment, but it seemed that Volki was more comfortable when he spoke to him in this manner.

Pointing at the writing material in Jobin's hands, "W-what is that?"

"This? Nothing really, I just thought since you are doing so well. I would start your written education."

"Wr-writ-ten e-edu-du-du..." Unable to form the word he sought to, he became frustrated and rubbed his hand through his hair.

"Ed-ju-ka-shon" Jobin slowly pronounced.

Volki responded, "Ed-ju-ka-shon"

Smiling broadly, "Very good! Now, sit over here please." Indicating a chair at the table in the room.

Volki sat down and looked at Jobin, waiting for him to begin.

~~**~~

Everyone in the Nilas was amazed at how fast Volki was able to assimilate any information that was put before him. In the four monens since his return, Volki had regained his speech and had almost mastered their written language. Jobin was disappointed to learn in the beginning that Volki had no memories of who held him for the ten cycles, much less of himself or their life together. He spent arns with Volki making sure that he knew everything.

Neltol took special priority in Volki's interest to rejoin the ranks again, despite Jobin's objections. Deciding he had to see what areas Volki was weak in, Neltol had three of his best men lay in wait for him as he left the canteen after Last Meal. They were ordered to attack him as if they intended to kill him, but they were not to do any permanent damage. Neltol and Jobin watched from the shadows of the next building.

~~**~~

He was walking in the direction of his quarters, when he sensed someone just ahead. He slowed his pace, looking around. Then he saw a figure come out of the shadows, when he saw who it was, he relaxed.

"Hello Kyrn." He acknowledged.

"Hello Volki. Let me ask you something." Kyrn said.

Something didn't feel right, and Volki defenses went back up, "Okay, what do you want to ask me."

"They say that you don't remember anything up until you awoke here. Is it true?" He asked.

Looking curiously at the other man, Volki nodded his head. "Yes, that's true, unfortunately."

Kyrn smiled, "That...is...unfortunate. I was hoping it wasn't true. You see I owe you a debt. You may have forgotten, but I haven't."

Hearing more footsteps behind him, Volki turned around just as two sets of arms grabbed him from behind, pinning his arms behind him. He couldn't see who it was, but Kyrn always traveled with two others, he didn't need to see his other attackers.

Kyrn walked toward Volki. Before he could prepare himself for the blow, Kyrn's fist landed in the middle of his stomach, pushing the air out of his lungs.

Gasping for air, Volki choked out, "What ever I did to you, I don't remember, but I apologize."

A voice came from behind his right ear, "Ah, he's become week. He would have died before apologizing to anyone, now look at him."

Feeling anger starting to boil, Volki stood up straight. Looking Kyrn in the eye. "You say I've wronged you. I apologized. If you want to continue this, go right ahead, but be prepared for the consequences."

"Are you actually threatening me?" Kyrn asked.

"No. I am only stating a fact."

"Very well then..."

Before Kyrn could act, Volki jumped up, bringing both legs into the air, he wrapped them around Kyrn's neck. With a quick jerk of his legs, they all heard the bones snap. Feeling his arms being released as the other two men backed up in shock. Volki brought his arms over his head to catch himself before his head hit the ground.

Tucking himself into a roll as he hit the ground, Volki stood up. Merik and Sokv came running toward him screaming a battle cry. Sokv reached him first, his knife in hand over his head. Grabbing Sokv's hand, Volki spun around with his back to the attacker. He jerked the arm down and let the momentum take the knife into Sokv's stomach. He let the body tumble to the ground. Merik was on him before he could catch his breath. His arm around Volki's throat, he instantly began tightening his grip. Just as he started to panic, Volki let himself calm for just a microt. Then using his own body, he flipped Merik over his shoulder, automatically causing his throat to be released. Digging his knee into Merik's stomach, Volki grabbed his head and with a quick twist, he heard the snap once again.

Standing back, he looked in shock at what he had done, "I did warn them."

Neltol looked at Jobin, who was smiling with pride. "He's ready. He begins tomorrow."

~~**~~


The day after the attack against him, Neltol came to him saying that he thought Volki was ready to be training once again, but it would not be easy. He had to remember that just because he was Jobin's brother, he would not be gentle on him. Volki told him he wouldn't have it any other way. Neltol told him to move his belongings into the new recruits quarters within the arn.

Volki had trouble sleeping that night in anticipation, he didn't know what to expect, but he knew it wasn't going to be easy. When the rest of the men heard of his reentering the unit, he received a mix of sneers and claps on the back. He knew he had made enemies when he killed Kyrn, Merik, and Sokv. They were respected and well liked throughout the ranks. Lying in bed, he could hear the other six recruits tossing in their beds. All had previous military training, but before Jobin would accept anyone, they're loyalty and abilities were put to the test. No one really knew what to expect. They were kept in the dark regarding all aspects of their training.

He awoke to pain and screams. Opening his eyes, he saw a shadow standing over him gearing up for another attack. He blocked the blow and sent the figure reeling backwards.

"Get up scum! On you stomach!" A voice screamed in his ear.

"All of you! Stomachs now!" Another voice screamed on the other side of the room.

Volki immediately followed orders and lay on his stomach, as he did so, he saw the others doing the same.

"You think you are strong enough for the Nilas? Think again. Strip now, you have two microts!"

Two of the other recruits tried to get up to remove their clothing; they were instantly kicked back down.

"On the ground. We didn't say get up." A voice yelled.

By the time the voice even finished speaking, Volki had already removed his sleeping attire. He heard footsteps leave the room and he wondered how long they were going to make them lie on the ice-cold floor. They left him to wonder this for two arns.

"Outside now!" He heard a voice scream.

All of the recruits instantly jumped up and ran out the front entrance.

"Line up now!"

They did as was ordered. Lining up shoulder-to-shoulder, naked as the day they were born. No one said a word, all eyes forward. They were made to stand in this manner for another arn until Neltol arrived with the rest of the compound following in line behind him.

He looked at the men standing in front of him, as if staring into their very souls. "You were brought to us because we heard of your actions in the field of battle. In the Nilas we hold nothing back from one another. You stand before your brothers on this, your day of rebirth, to show yourself and us where your loyalties lie. You will be tested, if you fail, there is only one punishment. Death. There is no going back to your old lives. You were not alive until you came to the Nilas. Understand this and you will live, fail to and you will die, it is very simple."

With these words spoken, he turned and walked back to the rest of the men, who were nodding in agreement.

"Step back!" One of the voices said, again staying behind them. All stepped back as one.

"Right about face!" Again, all moved as one.

"We are going on a trip through the woods scum. Now move!"

They all began running with the voices behind them, screaming to move faster.

They didn't arrive back at their quarters until the sun was sinking low into the sky. Each man was at the point of exhaustion, blood running from various cuts on their bodies.

They stood back at attention, trying to catch their breath, awaiting orders. "Shower, dress, and get your meal. You are not to speak to anyone. There is a table for you in the canteen. Then you will fall back in formation in front of this building in nine hundred microts. Now move."

Volki felt revitalized after the shower, his muscles were still screaming, but he was no longer on the verge of collapse. He and the others all ate in silence, only looking at their meals in front of them, and were back in formation before the time specified. As they stood waiting, they finally had faces to go with voices that had haunted them since before dawn. He of course recognized them from around the compound, smiling and laughing, telling him about exploits they had shared in the cycles before his disappearance. Now, they only acknowledged him as the recruit he was, beneath them. With looks of contempt until he earned their respect once again. His determination set in to do just that.

The days that followed melted one into the other, learning weaponry and munitions consumed their every moment. Before he knew it, two monens had passed, and his unit was preparing for their final test. They all knew the chances of surviving this final test were slim, they each had been told that only two or three recruits ever came back. The only information they were given was to prepare themselves for death.

~~**~~

Volki arrived outside of Jobin's quarters; a messenger had brought word for him to come immediately.

When he knocked on the door, Jobin opened it quickly, "Come in, I have something for you."

Volki entered the room and stopped in the center, he stood at attention. Jobin may be his brother, but also his superior officer and he showed him that respect.

When Jobin reached his desk, he opened a drawer. Looking up, he saw the way Volki stood, "At ease, we're not in the Peacekeepers any longer. When it's just the two of us, we make our own rules. Always have.

When he saw him relax, he held out a pulse pistol, "This is yours. It was found with you. The rest of your unit will be given their own weapons back shortly as well. I wanted to give this to you myself."

"Thank you." He said turning the pistol over in his hand, slowly rubbing his hand over it, wondering where he had obtained such a fine weapon.

"Is there anyway I can convince you not to go through with this? I can't stand to lose you again." Jobin asked he watched Volki examine the pulse pistol.

Putting his arms down to his side, Volki said, "You know there is no way I can do that. I want to get back my life. If I can't get my memories back; I want...I need to fill up this emptiness I have inside, and the in the only way to do that is to rejoin the others.

Nodding his head, "I know. I still had to try. You can't begrudge a brother that can you?" Jobin said smiling.

"No, I can't do that." He smiled back.

"You need to rejoin your unit, you're scheduled to leave sometime after dark."

They looked at one another for several microts as Volki stood at the door.

"Shoot straight and come back."

"I will." Then he turned and walked out the door.

~~**~~

The camp was located on an uninhabited planet, two systems from their current location. Neltol had received the coordinates three weekens before. He had been ready to send a unit of men to eliminate this band of Marconiks but Jobin stopped him. Jobin knew that he would never stop Volki from completing his training and first mission, and he had wanted revenge against the Marconiks for so long. It seemed almost destiny that they had found their location before Volki was sent out with his unit for the first time.

Sitting in the transport pod, tension spilling from every pore, no one spoke. Each lost in their individual thoughts. Volki sat with his eyes closed until he felt the craft shift from turbulence as they entered the atmosphere of the planet. He looked at each of the men with him, sitting next to him was Ra'nosh, a man whom he had come to admire for his ability to assess a situation within microts and come up with a solution. Then was Zeva, the youngest of the unit, but raised in the Peacekeepers, no one questioned his abilities. Streemri seemed the natural leader of their unit having seen six battle campaigns, the others usually deferred to his advise. Mothum was a loud mouth and a braggart, but everyone enjoyed his stories when they were allowed moments of relaxation. Looking to Treon and Reeska, he realized no one really knew much about the brothers, they kept to themselves, and their ability to anticipate one anthers next move was quite eerie. He took one more look around him, individuals they may be, but together they worked as one.

"Fifty microts to drop. Get your gear." The pilot's voice came over the comms.

Checking his pistol and knife, Volki stood up with the others as their Commanding Officer came to the back.

"You are going to be dropped some distance from the enemy camp. Once you are planet-side, comms will be off, silence will be held for three solar days. You are supplied with only the basics, the rest is up to you. Neltol's instructions are very simple for this mission. Everyone is to be eliminated."

"Sir? Are we permitted to know who the enemy is?" Mothum asked.

"You are attacking the Marconiks, I don't need to explain our history with them. Make yourselves worthy of the Nilas." With those words, he went to check on their position.

Volki had been standing at attention from the moment his superior had approached them, but when he heard the name Marconiks spoken, his head snapped in the direction of his voice. 'Marconiks...'

Once planet-side, each member started preparing the explosive charges. They 'were' provided the basics, but they had to combine them to complete the charge. When this was completed, Streemri began going over the topographic map of the planet, locking in the coordinates to the map, he determined the path they had to take. Loading their supplies onto their backs, they set off running at a steady pace to reach their destination before dawn. They had three days to complete their mission. Arriving at the Marconiks' camp just before dawn, they each took a different point surrounding the perimeter. They had no intelligence on the camp, to determine the best time to strike; they had to observe their activities. They would meet in one solar day to decide the point of attack.

As Volki watched the soldiers below him, he felt his anger beginning to overcome him. It took everything he had to keep from charging down the hill, killing anything that moved. Pushing his anger down, he continued to watch, soaking up any information he could find for retrieval later. Night had fallen once again, checking his chronometer; Volki saw it was time to meet up with the rest of the unit. Making his way through the brush, he heard a pop. Stopping in his tracks, he began scanning the trees. Spotting a Marconiks soldier a metre away, he saw an opportunity to begin his revenge. As he holstered his pulse pistol, he knew this soldier was out without permission; he didn't know why, he didn't care.

Circling around the soldier until he was at his back, Volki pulled his knife out of his boot. Creeping slowly so as to not alert him to his presence. Volki grabbed the soldier by the hair of his head and brought the knife across his throat. Quickly and efficiently dispatching him without any noise to disturb the night. Thinking he would feel satisfaction once he began his revenge, he was surprised to find he felt remorse instead. He shook his head, remembering what the Marconiks did to their prisoners; he knew he had to finish what he had begun.

Reaching the rest of the men, Volki gave his report of the soldier. They approved of his actions. Each man reported their observations; afterwards they began to coordinate the attack. They would begin in one arn.

From all counts there were at least fifty men in the Marconiks camp. The buildings appeared to be permanent structures, eight in total. Six along the perimeter with two in the center. It was a conclusion the current leader of this group, was housed in one of the center barracks. They kept a four-point guard on the perimeter, with a change every four arns.

Mothum, Zeva, Volki, and Ra'nosh volunteered to remove the guards from their posts. Taking up their positions, they watched each one carefully; waiting for their opportunity, which did not very long. Dragging the bodies back into the tree line, they began setting the charges and placing them on the outer buildings. They knew that once the explosives went off on the barracks, their odds would greatly improve, taking out at least half of the men in the camp.

The camp was in chaos after the charges went off. The men that were not resting in the barracks had been preparing for a new mission. Naturally taken by surprise, they picked up their weapons.

Each of Volki's unit came running into the camp, firing on anything that moved. Within microts, bodies began to litter the ground. They spread out in every direction, taking cover wherever they could, except Volki who ran towards the center building knowing that was where he would find the Marconik leader. He never removed his finger from the trigger as he ran; men fell before him as if they were humbling themselves, but never to get up again.

Ra'nosh saw Volki running towards the center of the camp. Three soldiers were coming up behind him. Ra'nosh ran after them with Mothum covering him from behind. Zeva came out as well, only to fall to pulse fire as two more soldiers rounded one of the burning buildings. Reaching the center building Volki kicked in the door, firing as he did so. But he had left himself open, when he came into the door and felt the punishment for that mistake. Falling to the ground, he grabbed at the fire he felt coursing through his arm. He looked to see from what direction it came from. Volki saw his target stand up with his gun. Never taking his eyes off of this current leader of the Marconiks, he also stood.

As he did so; a look of shock came over the other's face. Kolvana, the last leader of the Marconiks only said three words, "But your dead...", Volki took advantage of his shock and fired directly into his chest, completing his revenge. This time he felt no remorse, only a sense of being complete once again. Leaving the room, he saw the rest of his unit standing, waiting for him.

Looking at the bodies of the Nilas' swore enemies; he said to the others, "Jobin will be proud."


~~**~~

Shoot the Wind continues with page 2 >>

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Shoot the Wind

By: Kazbaby

Disclaimer: The characters represented in this story belong to Jim Hensen and Co.

Warning and Spoilers: This story takes place after Unrealized Realities. The epiloge is NC-17, if this offends you, please don't read this portion.
 
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