Some think that striking is to strike.  Tyler held his weapons lightly as he faced his enemies, falling into the silent mantra that had carried him through many a battle in the past.  For the moment the six humanoid creatures regarded him warily, no doubt wondering how any human could possibly be so fast and so destructive.  He had been vastly outnumbered, placed into a position where he should have by all rights been cut down by one or more blades before he’d done more than down a few of them  Instead he had devastated their numbers, moving through the creatures as though they were made of little more than smoke.

But striking is not to strike, nor is killing to kill.  They were fugly creatures, that was for sure.  They were shaped like men, though their skin was a pale green, almost yellowish color.  Where their flesh wasn’t covered by armor he could see small protrusions that almost looked like bone as they stuck through the flesh. Tyler wondered if the protruding pieces hurt at all, though he found that he didn’t really care. Any pains that the six creatures felt at that moment would soon be a thing of the past.

They who strike and those who are struck.  Tyler watched each of the six warriors carefully as they began to surround him, breathing normally as he had learned so very long ago.  Hundreds of years had passed and not once had he forgotten the lessons that had been given to him so long ago.  He knew the balance between life and death, he knew that killing was at times the same as living and vice versa.  The thought of ‘do no harm’ was a fantasy that no single race had ever truly mastered, no matter their illusions of pacifism.  Tyler had come to realize that in order for balance to occur each side of the spectrum was necessary.  There could not be peace without war, nor could there be war without the desire for peace.  One could not kill without being killed in a way, no one could take a life without losing a bit of themselves in the process.

They are both no more than a dream that has no reality.  Tyler had killed many in his time, staining his soul in the blood of enemies even as he had burned with the fires of both the wicked and the righteous.  Long ago he had fought for what he believed in, blazing a trail of redemption and retribution alongside his family.  That trail had ended when he had gone into exile for what he had thought would be the final solution.  He had cut himself off from the world with no intention of ever going back.  He’d taken himself from the grand equation of the All, or so he had thought.

There was no escaping destiny it seemed, it was as tenacious as any force within the world that had ever been devised.  In the scope of the All there was no hiding away from that which must come to pass, no matter how much one wished it.  A part of Tyler had known that somehow even when he had set foot upon his home once more.  He’d known that one day he would no doubt find it necessary to emerge into the world once more, no matter how detestable he had come to find the realm he’d once fought so hard to preserve.

The six warriors circled him slowly as Tyler could feel their heartbeats within his mind, the familiar beat telling him much of their intentions as he listened very carefully.

Who will it be? he thought to himself, keeping his eyes straight ahead as he paid attention to each one of the warriors without moving his eyes or even a single muscle of his body.  For all the six knew he could have been made of stone as he stood absolutely still, never twitching once as their blades whirled or shook slightly in their hands. Tyler almost smiled as he could feel their nervousness through the air, transferring to him as though it were a palpable scent.  He continued to listen, watch and feel as they circled like buzzards awaiting to alight upon a meal.  Unfortunately for them Tyler was far from dead.

Oh yeah, there’s my bitch, Tyler thought as he sensed the frantically beating heart of one of the warriors behind him.  The telltale thumping of the warrior’s heart gave away his heightened state of alert as well as the fear that was pouring from every pore.  Tyler felt as his fangs seemed to sharpen just a bit in his mouth as he growled low in the back of his throat, tensing just barely as he tightened his grip on his blades. His mind cleared of anything but the moment and all that lay in it, the sensations of those around him and the storm above filling his every thought with the need to focus, to center upon what was needed now.

Tyler reacted quicker than any of the hunters could possibly track, spinning to his left as he brought his right knee up, continuing his spin as he then lifted his right leg on its next swing around.  His right foot connected hard with the face of the first hunter he attacked, breaking the male’s jaw and sending teeth flying as Tyler continued to move. The stricken hunter reeled to the ground as his weapons went flying, hitting hard as Tyler crouched low to attack the next male.  His left blade raised high to block the downward stroke that the alien attempted to catch him with while his right slashed hard against the thick armor that the creature wore.

Composed of pure energy, the weapon parted the armor and the flesh beneath easily as he did not stop to watch the being fall.  Tyler was not focusing at that moment, moving so swiftly that he could feel the energy pulsing within his veins, fueling his every movement as though he were a part of winds that tore across the roof.  Lightning stabbed through the clouds above as he moved aside just in time to avoid the thrust of a long, serrated blade, catching it midway down its length with his own weapon before trapping it with the other.  The creature could not retrieve the weapon, nor could the serrated edge be raked along Tyler’s body as had been intended.  Instead Tyler yanked forward, shoulder blocking the hunter as the male was sent stumbling backward, bereft of his weapon and almost doubled over as though he’d met a brick wall.

The hardening of his skin was a natural effect that had been given to Tyler unknowingly long ago, a quality he had never wanted but had learned to live with.  As the other three hunters came forward he quickly utilized the massive amounts of energy within his body to cause the weapons to disappear.  The weapons shimmered briefly before fading away entirely, becoming little more than wisps of ionized air as Tyler grasped the handle of the weapon that remained.

It was a heavy, cumbersome thing, but Tyler knew little of weight or discomfort at this point, relying upon the awesome power that flowed throughout his body in order to drive the remaining three hunters back with massive swipes of the blade.  The three backed away just a few steps as they once more regarded Tyler with undisguised awe.  Tyler did not attack, nor did he pay attention to the two hunters he’d already taken down, keeping his eyes upon the three as his focus continued to swirl about like the clouds above.

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