He waited until Kyle got dressed before he ordered his men to move. He didn’t want to rely on him right now, but there was no choice – there was no way they could take them out on their own. They could, but he knew he had better chances with Kyle on their side. He was as good as he’d claimed, although it was clear he hadn’t got a steady teacher, for he kept changing between fighting styles without consciously following any of them.
They ran through several corridors until they got to the level, where the men were locked. Tige turned around the corner, gasped deep and put on breaks, his body slamming back and forcing them to retreat.
“Damn!” Kyle cursed quietly, glaring at his back.
Tyton leaned slowly around the corner and took a peek.
“Myrroth! I thought you said we’re dealing with humans?” he hissed quietly at Tige, who quickly diverted his gaze, fear clearly widening his pupils. Yeah, this wasn’t the time to be on his bad side.
“Operations told me we were!”
Bad excuse, he read from Kyle’s frown, yet this wasn’t the time to dwell on it. He doubted Tige would do it intentionally either, which meant the Operations was what needed a fix. Not quite what he wanted Kyle to see, but when his eyes lingered on Kyle observing Tige’s reaction, he understood the man couldn’t care less of it.
Kyle’s eyes turned and focused on him. He showed how to prepare for what they would face, how he held his gun and the knife in his hand. He weaved his left hand fingers tighter around handle of the knife he’d given him and used his knuckles to support the gun in his right. For a second he frowned and turned the gun’s side. Then he nodded with a long sigh and nodded again, debating over something that seemed to confuse him. Perhaps it was that he’d given him a dazer gun instead of one with bullets. It shot out small darts which were designed to create a chemical dazing effect on the victims, which was often enough to black them out. There was no way they would have allowed human guns on their station when one reckless shot meant a big problem to all of them if the air would evaporate into space. And humans, he knew, were reckless.
“How many shots?” Kyle asked from his younger team member, who was standing right next to him.
He nodded again, doing some breathing exercise, driving him crazy, it was seriously distracting. Had he been right to take him along?
“Four feet.” Tige counted, eying around the corner. He signed the rest of the information.
Tyton kept checking back and forth to see if Kyle understood what their situation was. Two scouts coming their way, four following little behind. Tige offered they surprise them face on with wall stand. If he didn’t get the signs, he wasn’t showing it.
Tyton released his gun from his belt and stood up straight, and others followed his example. Then he round the corner with them walking next to him, their guns ready in their hands. Kyle went rigidly still, staring at the large fragile looking monster in front of him. They looked so slim, so pure in their outlook and most species they’d seen meet the creatures were enchanted by them, but Tyton found it refreshing to see human’s repulsed reaction.
“The hell are these?” he asked, hoarse.
“Kyle,” he pointed at the smooth looking creature who received more friends from the corridor, “meet Neiqem, leader of the myrroth. Neiqem – Kyle.”
“They can understand you?” he asked while the creature raised his dagger higher with sounds that seemed like orders, but were impossible to decipher.
“No, we’ve never been able to understand them. But they like to beset our ships or anybody who they happen on.”
“Vikings of space, huh? I’m gathering humans wouldn’t have much better luck?”
“I doubt that.”
“How you know his name then?”
“We named them.”
Tyton chuckled, hearing the sarcasm in his voice. He took a battle stand and watched form the corner of his eye Kyle do the same.
“How do I kill them?”
“Slice through the chest, make sure you cut the membrane tubes going from the chest to the neck – that will take out the lungs. Easy!”
He felt Kyle turn at him with exasperation written all over his face. Of course he wasn’t buying that! He sounded too nervous for that!
“Nice to hear you know fear,” the man murmured, huffing and regained his posture. He didn’t have to check to know others taking the same poses. They’d been trained since they were children to face them and by now most of what they did were based on instincts. Except what Kyle did, he followed their example.
The myrroth didn’t wait with their attack, launching at them immediately, losing their first two scouts to Kyle and him. They fell to the ground and were trampled under the feet of the next three, who wasted no time cutting into them with their large knives.
Tige let out a curse as his shot seemed to do nothing but slow it down a bit before it stabbed in his direction. Tyton helped take him out by hitting his knife deep into the jelly-like body, crunching the soft bone around their lungs. It gave Tige enough time to cut through the pipes. Meanwhile the second one tried to take him out, but Kyle’s long hand set his knife deep into myrroth’s shoulder and yanked forward, dislocating a small bone from its place and pulling it completely out before the pipes cut through and the knife stopped only inches away from Tyton’s own face, covered in foreign blood. Moment later it disappeared and he heard shots being fired at the third attacker and the row of them following the second wave.
The fight that followed lasted not longer than fifteen minutes and they’d managed to take down or disarm most of them. The problem with the myrroth was they never gave up the fight when their leaders fell. What they’d gathered over the years, it was the opposite – if the chief fell in battle, their hierarchy immediately changed and the next one would take that place until there were not a single one of them left. There seemed to be no sentiment towards the fallen leader and the mourning periods they used to establish rightful leadership had no effect on them. They simply replaced each other, eager to continue as the ultimate leader. Which, in his mind, made them very primitive. They just… knew, who the next leader was.
There was painful cry and he saw one of his men go down with a large knife stuck in the back of his scull. He winched, but slammed his knife hand through the nearest myrroth and felt with it cut through the pipes as he checked knudhy if he truly was gone. At least the myrroth thought he was, because he immediately chose the next target and went for it.
The body in front of him let out a gasp and sagged to the floor, revealing Kyle stunning the guy he’d locked against the wall before sliding his knife over the myrroth’s throat.
Tyton’s eyes widened, when in split of a second he saw one of the myrroth’s they’d dazered earlier rise from the floor, produce a knife and launch it forward, straight into human’s left side of the abdomen. Tige’s hand grabbed the head of the myrroth and cut through the pipes, but the damage was already done and Kyle turned, his hand going for the wound and the knife still stuck in his side before his eyes rose to check their surrounding and dazing the last of the alien, who tried to take out Tige while his best man was busy cutting through the second one, giving it no second change to get up.
“Count them!” He ordered the last two, who were already busy checking the bodies for survivors.
He heard one of them check with the operations for life signs, but there appeared to be none. He couldn’t care less how many there were. His attention was fully on the human, who was slumped backwards and had hard time keeping himself upright. He watched the man land on his knees and then slowly sitting down. Tige blocked his view as he fixed his hand on Kyle’s chest and they counted to three together before he pulled out the knife in his side. Kyle crumbled something under his breath that made Tige snort and pat the man on his shoulder before tossing the knife aside to join its dead owner.
“We need medics, how long will it take you to override the access codes?” He heard Tige ask the communicator. He helped Kyle settle down on his back. He removed his jacket and pressed it against his side to stop the blood flow.
This wasn’t good. He didn’t hear what they answered, but seeing Tige handle his wound, he breathed easier, checking quickly over the other three. He walked over to the knudhy, who’d fallen and closed his eyes, wishing his soul a good journey. The other two were alive, though one of them had gotten shot back by gun the myrroth had taken from the fallen and was supporting his elbow. Their clothes were made in advance to submerge the shock so they couldn’t be shocked with the dazers, but that did little to stop the bullet from entering the body.
“You alright?” He asked the knudhy, but the younger man nodded.
“Bastard ruined my coat!” He brushed his injury off. “He forgot to watch his left!” He turned his irritation on the human.
“I know.” He said, turning his attention back on the human, who had closed his eyes and was desperately wishing the pain away. How odd, he thought, he went through an hour of fistfight and now he was down with a single knife in his lower abdomen.
They heard the elevators down the hall open and the medical team rushed over, four of them checking the bodies for life signs, which Tyton knew to be futile, and three of them stepping over the corpses to get to Kyle and the young knudhy. Tige let go of the jacket and they hoisted Kyle up on the stretcher. They went past him as they carried him out and he lined up next to them. He felt Kyle’s hand brush his for a moment and when he turned, he saw the man’s eyes locked on him.
“Someone said to me you hate losing. And you hate losers even more.” he whispered. “Yay, a win-win situation for me!” he chuckled without humor before the pain pulled his attention back on the ceiling. “I guess I lost now.”
Tyton frowned at that logic. He glanced at the human-knudhy pair carrying Kyle and saw the human cheeks color slightly and he decided against arguing this out with him here. There would be other times when the man was himself enough to make some sense. Instead, he pressed the lift button to the infirmary floor and waited, leaning against the panel, for the lift to take them in. The human nurse kept staring at him and he sighed, returning his stare with question in his eyes.
“Are you injured?” He asked and now the other nurse’s attention turned on him, too.
“Few scratches, that’s all.” He brushed their concern off. If they asked, why he’d followed them in the infirmary then, he wasn’t answering, but instead they explained quickly that humans had been coming in more often than usual with some mild disease and they were short of beds. He nearly growled at that.
“Why wouldn’t they just stay in their rooms then?”
“I don’t mind the floor!” Kyle said irritatedly. He’d noticed the rising tension and Tyton railed in whatever he was about to say next for he didn’t want to irk the patient further. Anger accelerated the heart, which meant greater blood loss.
Tyton sat on the floor by his stretcher in the infirmary, near his head. He was set by the wall while the doc was looking through the gun wound victim. For some reason he didn’t want to leave the man alone, even when he was close to sleep, eyes flickering open and close all the time. It wasn’t deep cut, thankfully passed the vital organs, but they gave him a sedative and waited for it to kick in. Shouldn’t be long now, he thought.
He couldn’t remember the last time he was so reluctant to leave someone. He couldn’t remember anyone sitting and waiting for him either. Not even after the sentence was declared and he was taken away for his punishment. He had to get up on his own, fatigue still holding him under its spell, find a transport and get home and in his own bed to sleep off the sedatives.
He frowned as another thought ran through his head.
“How did you call us?” He asked Kyle, waiting for a while for Kyle to pick up on the question. He reached out and run his hand through his bangs, pulling his sleepy eyes on him again. Kyle smiled drowsily. “Hey, how did you call us?”
“Call you?” He was having trouble keeping steady thought line. That was good, that meant the drug was working and he breathed easier, for that meant he’d be going in surgery soon.
“Before we made contact. You must have seen pictures of us on TV before your government revealed they’d made contact.”
He frowned, trying to think.
He looked aside and he saw his hand growl closer before it hooked gently in his jacket edge. His was still locked in human’s hair and he pulled it away. Why did he want to be in contact with him so bad he’d fall this low?
“There were, uh,” he flinched with sudden pain going through his abdomen, “monsters, little gray aliens, just aliens…” He listed about six more before his voice turned into a whisper.
“How did you call us?”
“I liked your red stripes, so I thought you looked like bloodsuckers, very clumsy ones. Blood pets. Hmm, yeah, I think that was it. Do you kiss?” he heard a quiet question and looked towards his head laying only inches away from his hip. He was staring at him with tired eyes that wouldn’t remember anything by tomorrow.
“That’s a pity.” He cupped his cheek and smiled longingly. “I love kissing.”
He was shocked. Not only by the hand touching him so willingly, but by the question. What would make him think to even ask that? Before he could react, the hand had fallen back on his side and he was sound asleep. He got up quickly and went to find the nurse, who had injected him. This was the time he had to leave. There was no way they willingly let him stay in sterile place while they stitched him up.