Siran vs. Zile
Siran vs. Zile

Pat Szostak

"We'll distract them!" says Siran. Siran catches a brief glimpse of the Materia Warriors climbing the stairs, but his vision is soon blocked by a well built man wearing the armor of the dreaded Dragoons.
"Distract us?" the Dragoon asks. "I think not. Like a dragon stalking his prey, nothing will keep me from killing those Materia Warriors. It will take me only a moment to kill you.
The intensity of the Dragoon startled Siran badly. For all his talent, the martial artist had little experience in battle and even less confidence in his ability to stand up to this man who seemed to personify a dragon in all its mythical horror.
"Your struggles will be useless! Submit to the prowess of Zile, dread Dragon Knight!" As Zile said this, he thrust his spear directly at Siran, who dodged it purely out of instinct, as his mind was preoccupied with thoughts of his impending death.
"You are fast, but your speed is no match for me!" Zile pierced Siran with his gaze, which had an almost hypnotic quality. Siran stood, entranced, staring into the Dragoon's eyes. His mind was blank, but slowly he began to remember hearing stories about dragons, and their petrifying gaze. But this was no dragon, it was human, just like Siran. No matter how skilled the man might be, Siran was talented enough to be chosen by his master to take over the dojo. Even though Siran had run from that responsibility before, he was no less skilled because of it.
"I am Siran, of the Anything Goes school of martial arts. Dragoon or not, I accept your challenge!"
"You cannot put off your death by talking!" Zile shot back. No sooner had the Dragoon said this than he gripped his spear tightly and thrust it at Siran again. This time, Siran was ready and he dodged the thrust easily. While Zile was still recovering from his failed attack, Siran drove his fist into the Dragoon's stomach. Zile brought his shield up just in time to block the attack, but Siran grabbed Zile's shield arm and drove his fist into the unarmored elbow. There was a sickening crack as Zile's elbow became double jointed, and the enraged Dragoon dropped his shield and drew his now useless shield arm close to his chest.
Zile drew back a few steps, and began circling his opponent, trying to size him up and find some kind of weakness he could exploit. Siran was determined not to show any weakness, however, and he charged Zile, startling the Dragoon, who barely brought his spear up in time. Siran dropped to his knees right before Zile drove his spear into the martial artist's chest and swept the Dragoon off his feet.
Zile surprised Siran by getting up before Siran's heel could crush the Dragoon's throat. Tired and enraged, the Dragoon stood tall and proud, his face formed a fierce battle mask.
"You can evade death no longer!" Zile bellowed.
"No, Dragoon," Siran said calmly. "True power comes from beyond fear or hatred. And I rise from the depths of these feelings to vanquish you!"
Siran charged Zile and drove his fist into the Dragoon's mid section. Zile's battle mask of hatred froze, and the hardened warrior's body fell to the ground.
There were no last words from the fearsome Dragoon, who had seen uncountable battles and had killed many with his skills. No matter what powers he had though, he was still human, and when his broken ribs punctured his heart, he died like one. Siran stood over the dead Dragoon for a moment, contemplating his new found confidence.
"Well met, Dragoon."