Meeting The New Guys

Meeting The New Guys

A Chapter by North Dakota
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Mordecai needs to show the greenhorns what The Holy Sword is all about...

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After making his decision, Mordecai carelessly toweled himself off as he browsed the innards of his closet. He kept what little bit of a wardrobe he had surprisingly neat. To his left hung several exact copies of the hunting attire that currently sat in a heap on the floor of his bathroom. Two hangers dangled to the right; both of them holding a winter coat. In the direct center he found his more casual clothing. A colorful array of T-shirts and tank tops briefly flicked by as he attempted to find one that suited his interest.


He eventually settled on a dark black tank top that proudly displayed a crude American flag coupled with a pair of bright white pants. Without his usual inner pockets to safely nestle his revolver, Mordecai strapped on a decrepit leather holster belt that had seen more action than even the gun it held had. After slipping on a clean pair of socks, the young hunter jabbed his large feet into a pair of leather hiking boots that he had been given as a birthday gift from Newman. With one final hair adjustment in the mirror, Mordecai departed for his mission.


The young man strolled out of his room, leaving the door casually open behind him. The hunter stood there for a moment, pondering his options. He looked to his direct left and saw the golden nameplate of Newman’s office, but then took a glance toward the staircase on the way to that same office. He hadn’t eaten since the day before, and would be of no use on an empty stomach. Mordecai shrugged; he would eventually make his way towards Newman, but first, he had to make a pit stop. Mordecai took an immediate left, followed by another left that lead him down the grand oak staircase. As he descended, his eye caught the series of pictures framed upon the wall. Starting with the first in line would be Newman’s grizzled mug, followed by Mordecai’s dazzling grin, proceeded by the LTC and several other men he’d either never had the pleasure of meeting or had the fortune to not meet. After finally passing the haunting eyes of Captain Avalos, Mordecai was greeted by the lieutenants, the first of which, brought a scowl to his face. As he sauntered past, he tipped the bespectacled man’s portrait, setting it out of line just to irritate him.


The next frame brought him considerably more joy. A grin made its way across the hunter’s lips as he tossed a glance toward the brunet man’s portrait. Mordecai remembered when and where the picture was taken, as his own portrait was framed that same day. The familiar face of his friend had been neatly shaved the night before, revealing his high cheekbones and narrow chin. His head was proudly held high with his azure eyes laser-focused forward as he posed for the picture, showing a side of himself that those close to him rarely saw, Mordecai included.


The young man allowed himself to pass by the remainder of the wall of faces, coming to the first floor with a stomp. Another quick right was taken after hugging the staircase to the back wall. He was taken down a long, barren hall with only a handful of identical doors. He reached the end of this corridor, then took a left, working his way toward the heart of the first floor. The next hallway was considerably less bleak, as on its right side, several floor-to-ceiling windows revealed a glimpse of the front gate outside. He tossed a wave to the soldiers on gate detail as he passed by.


Mordecai’s meal would keep Newman waiting a bit longer, but breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The hunter entered the high-ceilinged mess hall with a boyish grin on his face. He walked between rows of long tables full of starving soldiers chowing down. As he sauntered toward the far wall--where the counter was--a vast array of delicious aromas wafted into his nose, making his mouth water. The average meal on the base was about what you would expect from a private military with a limited fund. Although, even with Mordecai’s hunger that could allow him to eat anything short of a brick, he never really had to worry about a mediocre meal due to one person.


Mordecai smoothly slid up to the counter and rested his chin on his hand, waiting for his favorite woman in the world.

“Good morning, Mordy!” A young girl with bright, red hair cheerfully greeted him.

“Mornin’, Rose!” he responded, causing her to scoff.

“When will you call me by my real name?” she asked as she served another soldier who had been patiently waiting.

“As soon as you get that dye out of your hair.” He tossed an admonishing look her way. Rose affectionately petted her ponytail that hung down over her right shoulder.

“But, I like my hair,” she pouted, causing both to chuckle.

“Did you know red’s my favorite color?” Mordecai inquired, raising a playful eyebrow.

“Oh, is it now?”

“Of course. Why else would you have dyed it that color?”

“Yeah, sure. I dyed it for you, totally to annoy my brother or anything.” Mordecai coughed once, uttered “loser” into his fist, then coughed once more.

“Oh, come on, Mordy. You can’t hate him forever.” Rose finished serving the last man in line, allowing her to direct all her attention to the hunter.

“Hey, I don’t hate anybody. He hates me.” Mordecai gestured toward himself defensively.

“Oh, yes, and I’m sure that’s all of his own accord, isn’t it?” Rose rolled her eyes.

“Okay, I mean… It might be a little bit my fault, but mainly his.”

“Mordecai,” she squinted at him, racking her brain for one of the many times he had gone out of his way to antagonize her brother. “do you remember that one time when you set his bed sheets on fire?”

“He stole mine!”

“Because you set his on fire!” She sighed. “It’s stuff like that that makes my brother not particularly enjoy your company.”

“And by that you mean…” Mordecai let his sentence trail off, hoping for her to finish it.

“That he would literally rather stab himself in the thigh with a sharpened pool cue than spend a day with you.“

“Ah. Well, that was a very… specific explanation.”

“He talks in his sleep. Anyway, so, what’ll it be?” She asked, pulling a notepad from the apron she wore.

“How about a classic?”

“Pancakes, bacon, and eggs?”

“You know me so well.” He blissfully grinned as he watched her jot the order down.

“Can I, uh… can I get some peanut butter on those pancakes?” Mordecai sheepishly requested, stimulating an odd look from the young girl. “Don’t look at me like that. It’s amazing.”

“You’re weird, ya know that, right?” She mocked him before taking his order to the kitchen.

“... You’re weird,” he juvenilely muttered under his breath.


Just as Mordecai began considering jumping the counter to retrieve his meal, Rose came back with his plate.

“Here ya go!” She laid his food onto the counter. Mordecai instantly noticed that his pancakes had been lightly coated with melted peanut butter.. As he reached for the plate, she lightly tapped his knuckle with her pen.

“Ah, ah, ah, payment?” She cocked an eyebrow at him, expecting his meal ticket. Meal tickets were the Holy Sword’s way of conserving food. Each man and women who resided within the compound received three meal tickets for every day of the week. While he knew he had one somewhere in his room, Mordecai didn’t have the time or energy to walk all the way back; he would have to improvise.

“How about a stick of gum and a high-five?” He offered, hastily slapping the palm of her hand then stealing the plate.

“H-Hey!” She interjected as she watched the hunter waltz off with the plate. “What about my gum?”

“I’ll get it to ya later! Thanks, Rose!” Mordecai spoke as he walked away, leaving the red-haired girl to grumble.


Mordecai sauntered up the stairs leading to the second floor, happily sighing as he walked off his breakfast. He finally took that dreaded left that he had been avoiding.

The young hunter lazily opened the door, finding the older man patiently waiting inside.

“Nice to see you finally joined me.”

“I got, uh, sidetracked,” Mordecai idly muttered his excuse.

“It’s fine. Are you ready to go, Mordecai?” He asked, gathering his coat and belongings.

“Yes, sir!” He vigorously replied.

”Glad to see the enthusiasm, perhaps you’ll infect some of the men with that energy.”


In the Holy Sword Office, Mordecai is the one and only hunter. Even though his skills are undeniably proficient, he is only one man. While Mordecai handles the local and more dangerous jobs, the Holy Sword and the other six citadels--which are located on their own respective continents--each have their own single hunter and private militaries. These soldiers are sent all across the world to handle the more widespread and mundane clean up jobs. Though their mission may seem simple, the militaries of each organization are quite complex in structure and ranking. In more basic terms, there are three regiments: the infantry, which serve as homebound defense for the compound and widespread combat; the assassination faction, which serve as designated, pinpoint firing squads designed to wipe out specific targets; the logistics division, which serve Mordecai and the other soldiers with information on the enemy, terrain warnings, and general advice.


Newman led the younger man out of the building. In all honesty, the Holy Sword Office was more of a military compound than an actual office. The perimeter was secured by an intimidatingly tall chain-link fence that must have been three times the height of any man within the base. Straight through the middle of the base sat a road which was protected at both ends of the compound by a guarded gateway. Directly across the road from the main building--which took up nearly the entire left half of the compound--there were four buildings: a large, cinder block structure which served as an armory and firing range, two large Quonset huts which functioned as the barracks, and a third smaller Quonset hut which served as a storage warehouse. In the lower left corner sat the final distinguishable landmark: the helipad, where a blacked-out military chopper was currently parked.


Newman and Mordecai strolled to the right side of the compound, crossing the stretch of blistering asphalt as they did so. On this field of dirt that stood between the road and the quonset huts, several dozen soldiers were being led, in cadence, by two sergeants in physical training. Mordecai and Newman watched idly as each soldier vigorously pushed themselves, most following their leader in perfect sync. All were keeping up, except for one. One scraggly recruit, which Mordecai assumed to be one of the greenhorns which Newman had been telling him about earlier, was beginning to struggle with his exercises.

“Hey, Newman, who’s that guy?” He pointed to the shaking recruit.

“Him? Oh, he’s…” Newman raised his eyes skyward to think for a moment. “Private Jonathon Woods. One of the three new recruits.” Mordecai threw a pitying glance to the private whose arms seemed as if they were about to snap in two underneath him.


The hunter briskly approached one of the two sergeants leading the group. Upon seeing the hunter approach, the man came to attention, bringing his his heels together and snapping his arms to his sides.

“What are your needs, sir?” The sergeant questioned without moving his eyes or head.

“At ease, sergeant.” Upon being given this command, the man loosened up, placing his feet shoulder width apart and his hands behind his back. “Call them to attention.” Mordecai gestured with a tilt of his head. The two sergeants did as told, bringing the many men and women to their feet, each of whom had sweat glistening on their foreheads. “Alright, good,” Mordecai commented, then turned to face the soldiers. “Okay! So, y’all are in pretty good shape, right?” Mordecai spoke loud enough for even those in the back to hear him perfectly. The men and women nodded, a bit confused at his game.


“Well, I think I’ll lead you in the next exercise. We’ll see if you’re good for it.” He grinned, then bent down into the standard push-up position. He lifted one hand off of the ground, then followed the same pattern with his left leg. The many soldiers immediately groaned quietly, realizing that their exercises weren’t going to get any easier as long as the hunter was around.


Just as the group began to mimic Mordecai’s stance, he upped the ante. He then lifted three of his fingers off of the ground, holding himself upright with only his index and middle finger. Even the sergeants realized that this was just another of Mordecai’s ridiculous antics, but they were orders nonetheless. Newman just stood on the sidelines, smirking as he waited to see the results of the hunter’s new regiment.

“Ready!?” Mordecai shouted. Each soldier attempted to stand themselves upright, but each failed to do so. “Go!” Mordecai began to do one-armed, one-legged, two finger pushups, lowering his entire body weight onto the two digits, then re-straightening himself with ease. The soldiers quickly gave up on copying the hunter, and decided to instead watch in awe at how long he could keep up the exercise.


Mordecai, being one of the seven hunters, possessed incredible power. As a hunter, he was bestowed with one of the seven holy relics; Mordecai possessed the Cross of Martin Luther. To the average person, the relics are merely useless trinkets with no function, but to a hunter, these relics resonate with their very souls, bringing out a divine power within them. A hunter can only be born once the hunter before them has passed away, and even after that has happened, the only way to know if one is a hunter is to come in contact with one of those relics. Once the hunter has been verified, that person will gain great power, easily breaking the boundaries of the average human. As Mordecai often does so with joy.


“48… 49… and 50!” Mordecai shouted, then quickly dropped his palm to the ground. With a stern push, he launched himself off of the ground and back onto his feet, stumbling backward slightly as he did so. Each soldier stood with an awed expression, thoroughly amazed at the physical display before them. The hunter took a cocky bow, loving the attention he had gained from his little stunt. “Well… “ Mordecai looked around him, not entirely sure what to do at that point. “Get back to it,” he ordered the sergeants, who quickly shook themselves out of the shock and continued barking their orders.


Mordecai sauntered across the dirt field to stand beside his older companion.

“Well, that was a new one,” Newman slyly commented as the hunter rejoined him.

“You gotta keep ‘em on their toes, ya know?” Newman rolled his eyes, but inside he knew that without Mordecai’s antics, the base just wouldn’t be the same. The two decided to stick around until the soldiers had finished their physical training to meet the greenhorns.


After what Mordecai approximated as an hour, the three soldiers approached the duo, sweaty and exhausted. Even with their fatigue, the trio still sharply stood at attention, waiting to be addressed.

“Greetings, Sir Mordecai,” the greenhorn in the middle spoke.

“At ease, gentlemen,” Newman ordered the trio. “Though I’m sure you’ve heard of him around the base, I would like to formally introduce you to the Holy Sword’s hunter, Mordecai Adams.” He gestured a hand towards the younger man, who simply gave a mock bow as a reply.

“So...are you ready to die?” His query visibly shocked the soldiers.

“W-What?” Private Woods questioned. The tone of the hunter’s voice suddenly became quite grave. The other two instantly looked to the older man’s face for a reply, but found nothing but indifference.


“I said,” Mordecai approached until he was face-to-face with the men. “are you ready to die? Ready to put your life on the life for not only this organization, but for this world and God himself?” Mordecai’s expression was cold as stone; his usual happy-go-lucky attitude was nowhere to be found. The hunter could see the man to his left physically shaking. “Will you give your very soul to protect the men you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with? When the moment comes and all is bleak, will you be able to fight against all odds? Gentlemen, you will encounter the most horrible of situations in the battle field.” Mordecai seemed to drift off momentarily, a dark memory flashing through his head for a moment, then disappearing.


“But you will fight through these horrors, and you will win.” Mordecai’s eyes now reflected a fiery, passionate gleam. “Failure is not an option; we will battle the monsters that we’ve been sent. Not for our own good, but for the good of this world! We, the children of God, will purify this world that has been tainted for so long! And when we stand side-by-side in that world that we seek...we will drop to our knees, for we will finally have repaid our debt.” Mordecai’s voice lowered to a whisper as he finished his statement.

“Amen,” Newman spoke from behind the hunter, who was currently bowing his head in silent prayer.


“Do you, soldiers of the Holy Sword--no, soldiers of the Lord, swear to take the responsibility of defending this world and more importantly, the men you stand in arms with?” The greenhorns gulped and shook nervously. Timid glances were taken between the three, silently debating the fate that they faced. After searching for hesitation or doubt in each other, the three nodded, bringing their heels together once again. With their chests out, the three each took a deep breath.
“Yes, Sir!” the three exclaimed in unison. In response to the confirmation, Mordecai’s solemn expression of gravity quickly reformed into his merry manner.

“Hell yeah! That’s the spirit of The Sword, boys!” Mordecai cheered as he locked his arms around the shoulders of the three, grinning widely as he watched the anxiety melt from the men’s faces.


After calmer introductions and a quick bit of small talk, Mordecai decided to depart.

“I know you’re gonna make me proud out there, boys.” Mordecai smiled, then began to walk away, but quickly halted and spun on his heels. “Wait, before I forget, have you seen Taylor? Taylor White?”

“No, Sir,” Jonathon said.

“Well, where the hell is he? Doesn’t he lead your platoon?” Mordecai wondered with a perturbed look set on his face.

“He was gone before we arrived this morning, Sir,” Michael, the greenhorn who had been standing on the left, spoke.
“Oh, yes, Lieutenant White left squads Alpha and Bravo this morning on a mop-up operation in Spring Hill, Tennessee,” Newman informed the party.

“Let’s hope he’s alright. After last week, I really don’t wanna think about what could happen,” Mordecai commented, then continued his exit.

“Gentlemen, you are dismissed.” Newman discharged the soldiers, then caught up to the exiting hunter. “Don’t fret about him, I’m sure everything will be fine.”

“I know, but, still… he’s my friend.” Mordecai spoke with a far-off look in his eye. “I don’t know what I’d do without him… ”




© 2017 North Dakota



Author's Note

North Dakota
So I'm going to try to do less editing after posting, because that's probably kind of annoying to some people. Anyway, as always, thank you for reading, and any comments are greatly appreciated!

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Added on March 5, 2016
Last Updated on March 18, 2017


Author

North Dakota
North Dakota

VA



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I'm an amateur author who enjoys writing more than anything. I hope to improve my writing style and etiquette through the criticism of others. So, any review or criticism would be greatly appreciated,.. more..

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