|David and Goliath|
Sight came at last, the chaos about him matching the cacophony assaulting his other senses. He stands in an arena, denizens of every description and nightmarish persuasion calling for the blood of the battered and bruised gladiators arrayed about the blood clotted sands of the arena floor. Kaldrath glanced about him, his deep black eyes rapidly appraising his situation as hellish gladiators stare at him dumbstruck by the sudden appearance. Then he feels the presence of something ancient and deadly.
He turns, broad brow knitting as he lays eyes on what he knows would be his death if he were anyone else, a deep red behemoth, horns curved up over an eyeless head. Its form was roughly humanoid, though its hind legs were like those of a goat, bent backwards at the knee and walking upon its knuckles in a 4 footed gait that shook the very foundations of the soul. A tail flicks about, forked and wicked like a slaver's many headed whip. From its cavernous maw, flicking from between the scythe-like teeth, a second roar escapes, bellowing deep from its chest and blocking all sound as the souls of the weak willed froze in the terrible agony of ice-cold fear. Four tongues whip suddenly from its throat, impaling two of the local gladiators and snatching them, screaming, into its gullet.
Whatever sense the beast used, it oriented its massive brow towards the Warrior and made the poorest choice of its ancient existence. Kaldrath cared not how old the beast before him was. He cared even less about how many beings the behemoth had devoured, it now stood before a Saiyan Warrior, an Elite. No matter how old, it would never know death as intimately as he.
The Saiyan stood defiant, tearing the remaining tatters of his shirt from the dark tan of his skin as the creature pounded down towards him.
"COME BEAST! FIND YOUR DEATH BY MY HANDS!"
The combatants crashed together, the great jaws of the beast moving to enclose the warrior as the shouts of the spectators rose to a fevered pitch as more blood was sure to be spilled. As quickly as the pitch rose, silence exploded through the crowd. Instead of a swallowed, forgotten snack, Kaldrath stood defiant, hands clutching at the slavering teeth and gums of the Hellish spawn, foot pushed down on its bottom lip.
It's great fangs had found small purchase in his shoulder, but not deep enough. Kaldrath ignored the blood beginning to flow as he struggled against the maw of oblivion that clutched at him now. With a great heave he pushed the beast up and back, getting free in time to deliver a spinning backhand hard enough to send a gore-soaked fang hurtling across the fields of death in which they fought, burying itself deep in the stone of the walls that now held them.
The Behemoth bellowed at the pain, the crowd breaking free from their stunned silence as the spectacle below tore away the entropic boredom of eternity. Kaldrath simply shook the hand that had delivered the blow, without access to his ki he was hobbled, weaker than a child of his race. He was no mere child, however, and his brain began to formulate his plan as the creature reoriented itself. The warrior began to stalk around the beast, half crouched, hands wide as he tested the Spawn before him. The gladiators moved from the circling duo's path, confused and awed by the new comer's sudden appearance and obvious great skill. They cared not of the tail wrapped around the Saiyan's waist or the spiked shock of black hair that seemed to defy gravity, many beings tread the Planes of the Damned, and his appearance was no more alarming than any of the audience.
The Behemoth broke the stalemate, a tongue lashing suddenly from the gullet of the beast, wrapping itself about the Warrior's wrist. Spines rose from the sides of the great fleshy tentacle, digging painfully into Kaldrath's flesh, anchoring him to the beast. His actions stunned the audience as he wrapped the tongue further around his own arm, suddenly hauling back against the ripping appendage, tearing the offending lash from its root and spraying the crowd with the thick black ichor of the beast. He ignored his own blood as it mixed with the creature's on the sandy floor of their deadly duel, pushing off with the strength born from a homeworld that's air could crush a normal man with its great weight, he leapt at the beast crossing the distance between the two in a breath's span. He drove his right fist hard into the center of the howling behemoth's eyeless brow, the crack from the blow audible even outside the Arena in which they now fought.
Backwards the Behemoth fell, howling in fury and pain at the dark rock ceiling of the Hellscape's sky, but the skull did not give. Kaldrath's hand, though, had given as he landed the blow. He had felt his knuckle pop from its place and knew he'd be unable to crush the bones of such a creature with just his own fists. As the beast righted itself, the Warrior dove for a discarded weapon, rolling upright, axe in hand as a second tongue sought for his heart. The warrior turned, cleaving through the attacking tentacle easily as he rushed towards the Behemoth once more, hoping to press the advantage the pain would give him. He dodged a third strike as he neared and sought to bring the metal edge of his weapon down against the neck of the beast but was sent flying instead by the great arms of his opponent.
Kaldrath's axe fell a distance away, embedding itself in the ground on the far side of the Behemoth as the Saiyan leapt to his feet, yet another attack from the beast's lash already striking for his vitals. The warrior had little time to avoid his own death and moved as quickly as he could, plunging his heart away from the blow but was unable to stop the tongue from striking deep into his already wounded shoulder. He gave a shout of pain, but had no time for his own pity as the creature's only other remaining tongue speared out from the dark throat of the beast hurtling towards the pinned Warrior.
Kaldrath had no option other than to protect his vital organs, moving his other shoulder in time to take the brunt of the blow. A second shout of pain escaped his lips as the twin appendages released their spined anchors, the tongues pulling tauter, trying to yank the Saiyan to his doom down the death lined jaws. The Saiyan was strong, and dug his feet down, planting his great legs as solidly as the columns keeping the Arena standing. He glared beneath his great brow at the beast now pinning him, felt his breath running like fire through his lungs.
The Behemoth struggled and pulled against its intended prey, felt its own ichor poor down its throat, its strength sapping, felt something almost resembling respect for the warrior impaled before it but was sure it would taste the flesh and soul of the Warrior before the day was done. Kaldrath isn't like others the beast had fought.
The Warrior's hateful gaze never wandered as he spit blood from his mouth, "Trying to make me a liar? I told you...THERE IS ONLY DEATH IN THIS BATTLE FOR YOU."
Kaldrath's hands grasped the tongues anchoring him to the beast and pulled. His sinews and muscles nearly sang from their great exertion as the Behemoth felt itself lose grip of the ground beneath it. With a shift and a rising shout the Warrior hauled back as hard as he could. The Beast hurtled towards the Saiyan, no way of changing course as Kaldrath leaned back and drove his forehead into the creature's own. The blow was audible, the pain immense on either side, but Kaldrath was no stranger to pain and struck again, a second hard headbutt sending the creature reeling.
The Behemoth's tongues retracted quickly, and the two combatants returned to their stand-off. Kaldrath was losing blood quickly, but he didn't let his current weakness distract him. He knew he had to get a weapon, and hoped the beast before him was too dumb to use one itself. Kaldrath's rapidly glanced around the stadium once more, searching for anything to use to finish the fight. Everything was either behind the Behemoth or currently being held by the still awed gladiators. This was Kaldrath's fight, and he wouldn't take a weapon from them even if they offered. Then Kaldrath saw his salvation and smiled.
The Behemoth let out a shrieking roar, snapping the Saiyan's attention back to the beast as the Horror pulled one great arm back, readying a giant fist for a strike. Kaldrath threw himself to the side as the creatures's fist slammed into the spot he had just been standing in, shaking the very foundation of the Arena. The warrior leapt to his feet and launched himself forwards, positioning himself beneath the Behemoth before leaping straight up, driving his own fist up into the massive gut above him and forcing the air from the monstrosity's lungs. As soon as his feet found purchase, he spun and sent his foot against the elbow supporting the Behemoth's hulking weight. The sound of the joint giving way could be heard over the roar of the crowd as the warrior danced out of the way of the falling beast. Wasting no time he pushed past the burning in his own lungs and sprinted at the nearest wall, yanking the Behemoth's fang, still embedded in the ancient stone.
Kaldrath jumped immediately, the muscles of his legs screaming in protest as he landed on the Behemoth's chest and raised the fang above his head in both hands before driving the ivory weapon down into the exposed throat of the beast. Despite the pain and the lethal flow of blood the Behemoth's tongues whipped back out. The battle-wearied muscles of the Saiyan moved the warrior out of the way of one tongue, but the second caught him in the side. He felt the spines expand inside and a cry of pain escaped his lips before turning into a gutteral growl as the ageless nightmare began to pull the fighter towards the dying creature's mouth. The Saiyan struggled as best he could, but the ichor pouring over the Behemoth's chest was slick and Kaldrath inched ever closer, a look of pained defiance spreading his face into a grimace. The fang drove again and again into the throat and face of the beast until Kaldrath was only inches from the great teeth as The Behemoth tried to bring its killer into oblivion with it.
Suddenly Kaldrath gave a shout of defiant rage and raised the cracked ivory dagger a final time and jammed it deep into the Behemoth's skull. The Creature gave a last dying wail before it collapsed and laid still.
Silence descended on the stadium, palpable after the oppressive shouts and cheers from before. The only sound was the labored breathing of the Saiyan as he slowly tore the now limp tongue from his side. Blood ran freely, his breaths coming in ragged gasps. He slid off the Behemoth's corpse and turned back towards it, barely keep his feet. He knew he was in danger, but he had won. That was what he trained for.
"I am a Saiyan Warrior...and I keep my word." He spat the words at the body, contemplating the dead beast before him. He gave a small snort, and then fell backwards and darkness closed in.
The Arena exploded in cheers.