Dark Mercenaries
Author: Neil Evans

Chapter 5
Uskusto And Jack

    Uskusto and Jack took the ship off when commanded. At all times, they were yelling across the vessel. Both had egos so large they couldn't bare being in a certain radius of each other. Jack kept the vessel moving and on track. Having the Clearance, which Jack only truly knew the power of, he could control the vessel. Jack gave names for the Clearance. He had five levels.
    Level one: powers that required little strength on Jack's part. This meant that Jack wouldn't experience any fatigue, as he did when using more power. He could do such things as mind-reading, jumping higher or running faster at level one.
    Level two: powers that required more strength, but still not much. Jack wouldn't experience fatigue from these powers, either. He could do such things as telepathy, low levitation, and strengthened reflexes at level two.
    Level three: powers that required moderate strength. Jack had only once experienced exhaustion while using powers at level three. Jack had destroyed another person's mind with the power. At level three, Jack could work in perfection, cause pain to another without touching them, and even cause another person to lose their mind. He could flawlessly do something, such as weld. Jack could tip an elephant over with his mind. And, Jack could travel through another person's mind and control it; brainwash it, make it insane, virtually anything he wanted.
    Level four: powers that required much of Jack's strength and ability. Anything Jack did at such a level caused fatigue. However, these powers are extremely good, especially for war purposes. With this power, Jack could control the weather--make it violent, make it beautiful, whatever suited him--see through nearly anything and even have visions of the future.
    Level five: powers that Jack needed to use all his strength for. Jack would faint after the use of any power on level five. However, Jack could do much with these powers. Level five could bestow upon him a short time of immortality. Jack could also see the future as it would happen. He could not see further than a few hours, however. Jack could also levitate miles into the air.
    Jack believed he could use even more powers with his ability, but he was too scared to try and use it. He feared he may sacrifice his life, if he did anything further. After a while of steering, Jack let the boat go its own course, using a little of his ability to keep it on track. He walked down to the captain's quarters, muttering, "I need some brandy."

    Uskusto was sitting in the lower deck. He called it the Vault because of all the weapons it stored. There were also horses in there, apparently stables had been built in the ship for the horses. They were in stables by color. There were white, brown, black, gray, and a reddish color. Uskusto sat down in the lotus position, meditating and thinking about his life.
    The first memory Uskusto could recall, was his fifth birthday. Uskusto remembered a man and a woman. They both looked at him with teary eyes. He didn't understand what was going on. Suddenly, two hands grabbed him and pulled him away from the two. The next thing he remembered, was being thirteen and fighting to the death with another teenager.
    Uskusto won the fight, which he later learned was an arena fight. The arena was a dangerous place. People fought until one couldn't go on, then they were told to kill or let the loser live. From then on, Uskusto had become the star of the arena fights. He trained hard to gain the approval of a large, dark-skinned man who clothed and fed him, but also beat him.
    When Uskusto became seventeen, he killed the dark-skinned man. From there, he took the wallet, which must have been filled with a large sum of money. Uskusto bought a vest and some make-up with the money. Since then, Uskusto had been making his money by fighting in the arena.
    The only other memories he had was of a woman. The only woman he could call his own. She was beautiful, in Uskusto's eyes. Her name he could remember easily: Lee Ashen. She had raven hair that flowed to her shoulders and dangled there. She always wore a dress with a black flower on it. Lee had only three or four of these dresses, but they were the only dress she would wear.
    Uskusto could remember only a few brief time frames in their relationship. He never recalled marrying her. He had wanted to for a long time. He remembered when they met: Uskusto had been walking around the garden that belonged to the Empress, she was stealing flowers from there. Uskusto had talked to her for only a few minutes, but Uskusto managed to receive a kiss from Lee.
    Uskusto could also remember a night of lust and passion between the two. But that memory Uskusto kept hidden in his mind. He didn't want to remember the time. Instead, Uskusto wished to remember the talks he shared with Lee, and the fun they'd had together.
    The final memory Uskusto remembered, was when he couldn't find Lee. Though this truly shouldn't be considered a moment in their relationship, Uskusto called it that. He checked the garden, her home, and everywhere else he could think of. But Lee was gone. Uskusto had attempted suicide, and failed, after the realization of this.
    For the most part, the rest of Uskusto's life had been typical: arena fights, and long nights at bars. However, Uskusto could remember one moment he regretted in his life. It was what got him in this mess.
    Uskusto had been drinking heavily at the local tavern. A whore had approached him and offered him a night of lust. Uskusto declined angrily, which made her momentarily leave. Who was she to approach a man like him? A man who grieved over the disappearance of his true love, who was she to give such an offer?
    Later, the woman came back, alcohol obviously had poisoned her voice, making it slur and making her motor skills low. She proposed her offer again, this time much more vulgarly and offensively. Uskusto declined again, becoming more angry. She kept trying, however, and that was her mistake. Uskusto's mistake was unleashing his anger.
    He had smashed the glass he had been using, picked a shard up and slammed the whore onto the wooden ground. He stabbed her a total of fifty-seven times before anyone could pry him away from the woman's body. He was sent to the dungeon, where he seethed his drunken anger for more than a year. But he was released if he were to partake in this mission.
    The sound of a drunken man screaming swears made Uskusto's eyes shoot open. He heard the unsheathing of a weapon and many men screaming.


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