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Falling Sky:
Sharp Deadly Knife

by Josef Koelbl III

    The explosion rocked the chamber, banging the pictures on the walls, knocking objects from the long dresser and throwing the small blonde woman from her bed. “What in Hades name...!?!” she exclaimed, quickly unraveling herself from the bed sheets twisted around her hard, muscular form. She ran naked to the large window overlooking the training ground and courtyards two floors below, eyes widening at the site.

    Red portals had formed over and on Peregrine Island proper, and each were discharging their dangerous payloads. On the main island, great silvery ships nosed out, their cannons already firing, indiscriminately destroying buildings and people alike. From other disks came humanoid forms, encased in battle armor, weapons spewing sizzling beams of plasma at the heroes gathering to stop them and the civilians fleeing in terror. The woman watched grimly as the crimson ovals shimmered and took form below, on her island...on their refuge.

    Sister Hecate turned to her room, calmly padding to her closet. She heard the cries of her sisters and hurriedly clothed herself. She had no time to don her combat suit, the blistering scent of ozone already reached her nostrils and the call to arms echoed over the island home of the mercenary  Knives of Artemis.

    She pulled up a pair of boy-leg shorts and covered herself with a form-fitting, spandex-like half shirt. The assassin was cinching her belt around her waist when her chamber door slammed open.

    “Sister!...Mother!” the young woman shouted as she practically fell into the room. “We are under attack! They are already in the compound and are preparing to storm the main building!”

    Hecate nodded, checking her belt, making sure all its utility compartments were stocked. “Gently, Sabine,” she said softly. The knife warrior retrieved her sword from its place beside her bed and spun it in a small half circle until its shining blade pointed down to the floor. “Get the archers. Set them in defense on the rooftop. Gather the rest. Wait for my signal.” She walked calmly to the window.

    “And then?” the young woman asked.

    Sister Hecate looked over her shoulder, the odd expression on her face causing her brow to furrow and her pale blue eyes to narrow.

    “Why...attack, of course,” and Sister Hecate, Elite Sister, Hand of Artemis, launched herself out the window into the midst of the invading force. Within moments she was covered in their thick blood, her blade swirling among them, laughing.


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