Everyone remained seated, petrified by the Deathwillow’s ominous demand. His fellow pirates smiled with fiendish delight. They knew none of those passengers – including the handsome Mr. Shaffer – would dare to stand up and fight. What they did not know was that beneath Mr. Shaffer’s disguise lurked a ravenous cyborg, ready to do what he does best: to destroy.
Slowly, Mr. Shaffer stood from his seat. A rash human pirate hasted to stop him. “What’cha doing, pimp? Get the hell back in your seat!”
Zyron’s response was curt. “No.”
The pirate chuckled. “You’ve got no idea who you’ve messed with!” He grabbed Mr. Shaffer by the throat and started choking him; however, soon the pirate realized he was grasping something metallic – something inhuman. His bold recklessness turned into paralyzing anxiety as his eyes watched the sudden metamorphosis from a pacific, charming man to a bloodthirsty, formidable android.
“At least now,” said Zyron in his robotic, intimidating voice, “you have an idea of who you messed with.” A dual blast of pure energy erupted from Zyron’s palms, disintegrating the puny pirate to ashes – with the exception of his hand, still grasping the cybran’s throat.
The rest of the raiders looked astonished. Even the Deathwillow shivered, gazing at the infamous Ravager as he pulled the human hand from his throat and tossed it at the pirate captain’s feet. Without a second thought, the raiders fired at the bulky android with everything they had. Their berserk firing soon involved their target in a dense cloud of smoke, at which point they stopped and waited for the smoke to dissipate. A voice broke the incipient silence. Zyron’s voice.
Out of the thick smoke emerged four chains, each one wrapping around a pirate before he or she could react. As quickly as they came, the chains returned into the cloud they had come from, taking with them their prey. Screams were heard for a moment; then everything became as silent as a tomb.
The Deathwillow motioned hastily to one of his comrades, a Goneon. The avian near-Human flapped his wings once; combining his innate attunement to Wind with the motion of his wings, the Goneon brought forth a great gust that pushed the smoke away. To the pirates’ grief – to the passengers’ revulsion – to everyone’s shock – four mutilated corpses could be seen at Zyron’s feet. The cybran had not only survived the pirates’ onslaught; he had come through without a scratch and killed half of them with only one move.
And he was not done just yet. His metallic arms mutated into large flamethrower pipes in a split-second, firing at will. The Goneon was able to fly away from the indigo and cyan flames; one of the other two pirates was incinerated, but the other one was able to use his power over Darkness to create a void ellipse that swallowed the incoming flame, thus protecting him from a fatal death. As for the Deathwillow, he did not even blink nor move: his species’ natural immunity to fire allowed him to withstand the blue flames with ease.
Nevertheless, Zyron was quick to immobilize the Deathwillow’s mates as he carved a chained dagger in the Goneon’s heart and whirled the poor creature against the Darkness’s wielder, who was knocked unconscious by the impact. Only the fearsome pirate captain and his sharp spikes remained in the cybran’s way.
“Can this be,” said the Deathwillow with discrete wonderment, “that the famous – or should I say ‘infamous’ – Ravager of Zothe has just annihilated my crew?”
A great buzz erupted from behind the cybran, where all the passengers were gathered since the conflict began. That was the legendary Ravager, the terror of Zothe, who stood in their protection! “That is him indeed, corsair. Now, how do you prefer him to eliminate you? A slow, painful death is not his best treat, but you seem to be more of a… masochist victim.”
The Deathwillow’s laughter resounded beyond his mask of spikes. “You talk a lot of trash for someone who spent the last twenty-five years in a sleeping cell!”
“I said you talk-AAHHHRRRH!!!” Out of the cybran’s hands came forth a beam of glowing energy that hit the Deathwillow in the spiked chest. The living plant screamed in agony as his robust skin began to crack, allowing the glow from the energy burst to irradiate through the crevices. Slowly, these crevices spread in size and number. The blaring screams of the pirate captain became louder for a moment, only to then grow weaker and weaker, as more and more light shone from within him. Finally, the Deathwillow disintegrated in an explosion of bright energy – to Zyron’s dismay, who would still expect some fight from someone of that ferocious species.
Zyron glanced back to the other passengers: they trembled in panic and terror, as if they were living out their worst nightmare – as if the myth was real. The Ravager stood before them, as destructive and menacing as the tales portrayed him. Could it be true? Did the cybran really lie dormant for twenty-five years? Did he really spend all that time in that cold, solitary sleeping chamber?
The noise of a video transmission compelled everyone – including Zyron – to look at the big screen attached to the cockpit’s wall. Images of bombings all throughout the galaxy appeared on the screen, along with a short, aggressive speech from an imposing humanoid. It seemed that war would brew amidst the galaxy once more.
The cybran was astonished: he was now, essentially, plunging himself to a battlefield. Nevertheless, his mind was focused in something else – something he endured for twenty-five years – something the Alliance, through Radafax and a few of the previous rulers of Zothe, made him endure!
“At last,” the Ravager said to himself, “the tides turn... and twenty five years later…”
He looked to the shocked crew, attempting in vain to calm down the terrified passengers. “…revenge is at hand!”