The MechanistMature

Cold steel met with an explosive crash, and with the impact came a staggering force to blow both combatants a dozen meters clear across the blood-slicked deck. Acoda rose with a dark explosion of a hooded black cloak that betrayed a glimpse of the light combat harness underneath, and with eyes like tempered steel she regarded the murderer who was, for the moment, alone.

A privateer, certainly--one well versed in swordplay when Acoda considered the bloodshed cast upon the Firetail by just one such opponent. Certainly more skilled, but what did that matter? In the end, her opponent was but flesh and faith. Acoda barely reined in the smirk that wrenched at the corner of her lip, for she had tempered her flesh and faith with machine and nerve.

Slowly, but surely, she paced toward her foe. At each step, the steel bracers at each forearm, torso piece, leg armor and boots that comprised her form-fitting masterpiece marched with her--gears, springs, and  miniature gyroscopes and hydraulics synchronized to a symphony of mechanical precision.

Save for the unlikely piercing strike to the gaps in her crafted art, Acoda would answer her opponent's fancy swordplay with one mighty sweeping blow from her superior strength, and would answer that unencumbered agility with her superior durability that came at the cost of more linear pursuits.

"Prepare," Acoda said as she cast off the hooded cloak.

Acoda held out her free hand, palm flat, and with a practiced fall of each finger activated the secondary and tertiary engines beneath the plates at her hips into reserve mode, and in the process cast the primary at her back into full power.

With a startling hiss, coolant steam billowed out from vents along the back of her calves, made her appear like the ancient warrior-monks of old. The sun shone upon the enigmatic dance of lines and arcs worked in fine gold upon the silver harness in sharp relief, the language of her people that spoke through emotion.

"Such a shame," Acoda started, "to sully even a sliver of Cineran steel in the blood of a common thief."

The End

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