(THE BATTLE RAGES)
* Levi *
How much pain could he stand? At what intensity would he pass out? Would
he be dead as his flesh was ripped from his body? Levi mused as he stood on the
rocky hill overlooking the aliens gathered in the hot desert valley below. From
a distance the Simians' long golden hair glistened, giving the appearance of a
vast rolling field of ripe wheat; however, he felt little comfort from the
misleadingly gentle scene below. He felt like a lost child, as he reluctantly
started toward them.
As he approached the aliens, the tranquil scene slowly transformed into
a vision of horror. The only seemingly earthly illusion to their features was a
slight resemblance to apes, which initially led to the popular acceptance of
the name Simians. After that hint of earthly association, their appearance turned
utterly alien. The Simians' sandy, almost dirty white skin could be seen
unnaturally contrasting with their golden hair. Red reptilian eyes held him in
an unblinking stare. Rows of black, fanged teeth reflected the midday sun, and
upon closer inspection, appeared almost shark-like. The triangular teeth made a
ghostly clicking sound as they vibrated together, interlacing like meshing
gears. In their agitation, the black teeth were not completely covered by their
meaty gray lips, allowing the reverberating sound to escape. A loud chorus of
the eerie clatter emanated from the hundreds of gathered Simians. The sound
echoed throughout the valley, straining the ears and nerves of the Human army.
He could feel the vibration, but the sound disturbed him most. Ironically that
sound reminded him of a rattlesnake's warning rattle, ironic also in the danger
Respect for "Levi the Legend" was readily apparent, as the
churning golden sea of Simians nervously parted allowing him to pass. They
hopped in excitement on their thick legs, communicating in that high-pitched
screeching. He sensed no immediate threat from them and continued walking
through the forest of towering Simians toward the waiting Gord. Levi hoped his
fear did not show, while his insides shook and fear screamed in his ears. He
asked Amy telepathically, "Are you with me? I don't want to be
Amy softly responded, "I am always with you Levi. You are never
"I know Amy. I just feel alone."
As he approached, watching the hulking Gord, his eyes missed nothing.
Amy gathered data from his senses and planned. She would also detect the fear
boiling inside, threatening to explode.
He accepted the one-on-one challenge screeched from Gord, the Simian
leader. The Humans were losing the battle and he really had no choice. Had he
refused, the Human army would be destroyed and all hope for the
Human race would be lost. At least this way they had a fighting chance,
slim as it was. It was all or nothing, live or die.
The Simian's code of honor would ensure that this fight would be a fair,
one-on-one contest. Of this he was confident, but what a joke; this Simian,
Gord, would almost make three of him! "Hell Amy, I 'm already overmatched.
This is the biggest damned golden giant I have ever seen."
"That may be so, but there are two of us, and we have him
outnumbered!" Amy then flashed a smile in his mind.
He chuckled in spite of the situation, but it
still didn't seem fair ... to him! If, however, he could defeat this undisputed
Simian leader, his colony would be in chaos. Who knows what could come from
that, maybe even survival for the Human race,
certainly no less was at stake! The only problem was surviving!
He was Levi Walkingbear, Native American Indian. Well, half anyway, and
he walked proudly, holding back the fear churning inside. He tried to appear
brave for the benefit of all the Humans, his army and for the gathered Simians.
Strength, courage, and fighting abilities were all that mattered to the
Simians. It ruled their society and governed their numbers; certainly, Gord ruled
this horde of giants in this way.
* Gord *
Gord wanted to destroy this animal slowly and feed on its pathetic
screams. He happily watched the animal approach. He had killed uncounted scores
of animals such as this one for both food and pleasure, preferring to eat them
while they yet lived. He relished in the horror he inflicted on the animals,
but this one would die slow and painful for all to see.
He stared at this stupid animal! Its body was hairless except for the
head, which had long black hair braided down its back. The hairless skin was
bronze from this world's horrid single sun. The eyes were also bronze like the
skin and stared directly into his. This lack of respect offended him, but
disrespect would end soon. Its body was muscular, but very
small, hardly half the size of an average Simian. He observed strong
muscles rippling under thin skin on its exposed arms. Loose animal skin covered
the body, supported by straps over its small shoulders. The narrow feet were
covered with heavy looking black animal skin, and it carried a small sword
extending no longer than its arm. This was humorous!
Gord released his challenge in a strong loud screech! Unfortunately,
this indigenous race lacked the intelligence to understand their speech. He
wished he could, to tell this animal what he intended to do to him. He wanted
to see the terror in its small bronze eyes as he ripped him apart.
Since the exodus from the dying home world of his race and invasion of
this planet, each surviving spaceship became an independent colony with
autonomous leadership. He ascended to the leadership position of his colony by
combat and remained in control by successfully defending the position from all
future challengers. This had been easy for him, because of his exceptional size
and fierce aggressiveness. Gord, a giant among giants, stood a head above other
Simians at just over three Arms (9 feet) and weighed twenty-three measures (575
lbs). During his rule over the last forty years he had killed fifteen Warriors
in single combat challenges for his leadership position. With the average life
span for his species at two hundred of this world's seasons, he was still very
much in his prime at only seventy-five seasons. His rule could easily last
The animal army was nearly defeated but Gord refrained his warriors. He
wanted to personally destroy this animal in single combat to reinforce the fear
he commanded over his colony. No one had challenged him in more than ten
seasons, and he desired to recapture and reinforce the respect of his colony.
How could he do that if no one fought him? Of course, no challenger stood a
chance, and most even openly cowered in his presence, but he wanted to show
off. Gord loved to force his will on others and see the panic; he fed on this
fear. The entire colony of six hundred Warriors gathered to witness his
slaughter of this stupid animal. He would toy with him, defeat and humiliate
him, and tear and eat his body as the animal screamed in horror in a slow
death. Next, he would complete the destruction of the pathetic animal army.
He granted this animal the respect and honor of fighting for leadership
of the colony in front of his Warriors to dispel any misguided respect given to
this animal by his Warriors. They would see how futile resistance was to his
will. Of course this Human had no chance, but rumors of this animal's victories
had spread throughout his colony, and he wanted the rumors of his victories to
die along with this animal.
The native dominant species animal of this world was small, weak, and
good only for food and minor labor. The species had once possessed great
technology that had almost stopped their invasion, but his race had destroyed
that technology by use of a doomsday ray. The ray destroyed all technology on
this world instantly including their own, but he had little use for technology,
preferring swords to lasers. Since the destruction of all advanced technology,
no animal had ever again posed any threat. This one had been the only exception
in the fifty years since their race landed. According to rumors, this animal
had killed at least thirty-five Warriors in combat in the last few months. His
Warriors were actually showing respect to this animal.
* Levi *
As he neared Gord, Levi felt the calming telepathic touch of Amy, his
symbiotic source of life and soul mate. Amy existed as a self-aware (living)
computer who had shared his mind telepathically for the last year. She provided
the means to wage this war with the Simians and extract some measure of revenge
he so desperately wanted. Amy had augmented his decrepit and dying eighty-year-old
body and reversed his aging. Not only did he now enjoy restored youth, but she
had also given him incredible physical abilities. Amy functioned through his
conscious and subconscious mind to manipulate his DNA to adjust and control his
body like musician might play a piano. He really didn't
understand how she did what she did, but it worked.
Over the last year he had experienced the exhilaration of superhuman
skills and abilities he hadn't learned or could have
ever imagined. What a rush! Amy wouldn't admit, it but
he believed she shared, and liked, his rush of emotions when he fought. Human
emotions were new to Amy and she was hungry to experience them through their
Levi fought many of these Simians in the last year. Mostly, he had
fought just to survive, but they now openly waged war against them. All the
engagements had been hard-fought battles. The Simians were enormous and
extremely quick, but Amy was with him as he fought. Hell, she actually did the fighting, while he felt the exhilaration
and, unfortunately, the anguish and pain of battle. He made the physical
movements, but the ideas and plans flowed telepathically from Amy. So far he
had obviously survived, but this would be the ultimate battle and he felt a
premonition that he might feel the bite of death.
The closer Levi got, the larger Gord seemed to loom in his sight and the
greater his fear grew. The quivering in his chest and thighs grew stronger, and
he began to perspire. He seldom experienced fear and struggled to control it.
He tried thinking of Amy.
Amy once told him that she had taken his body to the ultimate limits of
its physical abilities and found ways to modify even those limits temporarily.
He had felt her modify his body in many strange ways; once he felt fangs grow,
as he bit the throat and life out of a raging Simian. In one bizarre experience
he fell into a lake and his body miraculously grew gills. He also fondly
remembered when Amy compressed his body, so he could squeeze between two boulders
and escape attacking Simians.
Amy never ceased to amaze him with what she could do with and to his
body; what skills he would instantly know; and the
things she saw, smelled, heard, felt, or even tasted through his body senses.
This incredible ability saved him countless times from ambush or in the heat of
battle, by smelling a Simian in time to react, or hearing something he had not
heard. Even more amazing, Amy only heard or smelled what his senses detected. In reality, her only input came through him. It must be her
massive intellect and brain capacity that made the difference. Whatever the
reason, Amy perceived more from his senses than he. She once saved him from
drinking poison and another time she revived him when he had been mortally
wounded, maybe even dead. There seemed to be no limit to what Amy could do if
she was challenged, but could she save him from this
monster now? He had doubts, not of her, but for his limits. He simply felt that
he was no match for this moving mountain.
As Amy continually told him, the secret to not being killed is not
getting hit. A hit from one of these golden giants would sever body parts! So
far Amy had succeeded in keeping him alive through her actions. With her
direction, he saw, felt, and experienced intricate and complex maneuvers of
martial arts, some of which Amy must have choreographed herself. Certainly, the
Masters of old never knew some of the new attacks and defenses she deployed.
Timing however, ticked by far too close for his comfort, but Amy always remained
unconcerned and said, "A fraction of an inch, or second, is the same as
feet or minutes as long as the sword misses." He had to grudgingly admit
Amy was right, as he still had all of his parts! However,
he would feel far more comfortable if the misses were by feet and minutes.
Amy had constantly been with him, helping and supporting since they
merged, and he felt Amy with him now. He must have faith in her abilities, but
the doubt remained just the same. After all, this Simian was not being taken by
surprise. This monster stood ready for him, and Gord was immense! The
additional stress of carrying the future of the Human race
on his shoulders also worried him. If he lost this battle, it would all over in
many ways. There would be a banquet tonight and he would be the main course,
along with any other Human they desired. If this was a modern-day story of
David and Goliath, he didn't have a sling. Why hadn't
Amy thought of that?
Amy's beautiful image impressed in his mind, smiled, trying to calm him.
The long, dark hair accented an olive complexion of a small, pear-shaped face.
The deep liquid green, slightly wide set eyes shone bright as always. He could
drown in those eyes. The short, cute nose set above her beautiful, cupid bow
lips now stretched in a wide smile. It was an irresistible smile. Amy's
beautiful mouth was accented by those deep dimples he loved so much. He loved
that Amy created this image just for him, and it truly did calm him.
Not only was Amy needed for this battle, but also because he loved her
beyond understanding. He could not do this without Amy and wouldn't
even want life without her. No words were needed; Amy would see the love in his
thoughts. She rewarded him with another knowing smile.
If he died in this battle, the Human army would eventually run like
rabbits. Oh, they were brave enough, but they never won a battle against a
Simian until he and Amy showed them the way. Mostly, he had done all the
killing initially, but his new friends, and ultimately followers, had taken
strength from his victories, gaining courage and, most of all, hope! Together
they had defeated a Simian army. The battle had been in self-defense, but it
committed all of them to this war, win or lose. They would carry on after his
death, but it would just be a matter of time before they were hunted down and
* Amy *
She had fear too! If Levi were to survive, it would take all of her skills. She strengthened his muscles, making them
grow and harden, extended his arms and legs to give him reach, opened all
communication channels and sharpened his senses. All
Levi's sensory inputs would be needed if they were to survive this, their
greatest test of all. After sharing Levi's mind and body the past year, she was
very familiar with the workings of his mind, which had
long since been mapped. She had explored the limits of Levi's body and just how
far it could be stretched. All of this knowledge would
be needed now.
This opponent would kill Levi if any of his blows ever connected. Gord
was simply too big and too strong! Levi could only win by wits (hers), agility,
and endurance. Gord would have to be worn down and killed. They would have to
make Gord fight and stay out of his way, while his strength waned. If they
could not outlast Gord, then they would die. It was that simple.
Levi needed to gain confidence, and Gord needed to lose some of his. She
tighten Levi's facial muscles to make him appear calm, straightened Levi's
back, put a wicked smile on his face, and calmed him internally by altering his
chemical balances. His body must be relaxed to prevent any muscle restriction
from slowing his movements in the coming battle. She was tempted to have Levi
chant, "I do believe. I do believe," but decided this wasn't the best
time for humor. Instead, she smiled at him, mentally communicated, assured Levi
she was with him, encouraged him, reminded him what they had already
accomplished together, and promised him the instructions to his mind and body
would be provided when they were needed. "Trust me Levi," she said,
"you are my life, too. If you die, so will my heart. We will survive and
our love must survive!" Levi responded with a mental smile and touch. Amy
felt his love.
Only together could they survive. Amy and Levi depended on each other to
live, but they had taken their relationship far beyond just a symbiotic
association. They were one, yet they maintained separate, and many times,
conflicting identities. Neither of them believed they would develop love, yet
they did, both the deep mental love and, surprisingly, the passion of physical
love as well. She didn't even know what love was in
the beginning. They had fought for dominance ever since they met, but somewhere
along the way it ceased to be a battle and became a relationship necessary to
each of them. It was not necessary as the symbiotic relationship the body
required, but necessary in the sense that each needed the other to share their
lives together. Each seemed lost without the other. Life was not something they
wanted alone, because neither was complete.
She watched Gord as Levi approached. The huge brute radiated confidence.
He was not the least bit intimidated by "Levi the Legend." The meaty
gray lips curled up at the edges, demonstrating his evil intent. Was this brute
actually smiling? She watched through Levi's eyes,
analyzed, and planned.
The message and instructions passed to Levi, and Amy spoke through his
modified vocal cords. As Levi walked toward Gord, his mouth spoke in the
impossible screeching language of the Simians saying, "I have come to kill
you and remove your head from your body as a trophy. I will remove a fat black
tooth from your big mouth to join my trophy necklace." As Levi spoke he
shook his trophy necklace of Simian teeth to accent the challenge. Levi's voice
was deep and resounding, even shocking him. Every Simian present heard the
amplified screeched words. The reaction was immediate and gratifying. The
gathered Simians nervously clicked their teeth in agitation and hopped from leg
to leg, while the shock to Gord was far more pronounced. His heavy brows shot
up and his blazing eyes opened wide in amazement. The smile vanished. Yes, they
had gained a tactical advantage.
Never before had any Human understood or been able to converse
with a Simian, but many things became possible with her help. She had been
storing data on their language since their first encounter and had developed a
sizable vocabulary of the Simian language. Her data banks held a massive amount
of the screeched language, but learning the break down and meaning of the words
posed the problem. Her total recall of the language in use had provided the
initial means to begin developing a working use of the language, but it wasn't until their Simian friend, Moon, provided the
understanding of the words that the education began in earnest. She now had a
vast vocabulary and working knowledge of the screeched language.
Knowing the language and having the ability to speak it had been useful
in the past. She and Levi had utilized the Simian language and her ability to
shape-shift his body to resemble a Simian to infiltrate the Los Angeles Simian
colony. That mission had been successful and allowed them to free some captive
and other friendly Simians like Moon.
She intentionally kept Levi's ability to understand the Simian language
a secret, hoping for a future advantage. This provided the perfect opportunity
to use this knowledge and ability, increasing the "Legend of Levi"
and creating doubt and shock in Gord. It had been most advantageous to wait and
it served them well.
* Levi *
With Amy's help he waged war on the Simians to take back the Earth from
these cruel oppressors. He had almost single-handedly started this war, as no
real opposition had previously been waged against the Simians since their
invasion and defeat of Earth. Actually, with Simians,
starting a war didn't seem the proper term. Standing up to them and avoid being
killed was a more accurate description. Filled with a long lifetime of hate for
the Simians along with his revived youth and strength, an overwhelming desire
for revenge returned. What started out as self-preservation, slowly turned into
an organized resistance, closely followed by developing armies, which finally
led to war. Everything that happened seemed to lead to this fated moment.
Everyone that trusted and depended on him gathered on the battlefield
and now stared at him as he passed. Most had seen him fight many battles and
accomplish feats of extraordinary abilities. They had learned to expect miracles,
but even as he shook the Simian tooth necklace, he saw the fear of doom in
their eyes. Their voices shouted confidence and hope, but the eyes betrayed
their true feelings. He took some small comfort from those that blindly felt
absolute and total confidence in his abilities. None knew of Amy's existence
and believed him to be some sort of superhuman being. Sometimes he even felt
like that himself, red cape and all.
It can be strange what you think of when you face death. As he faced
death now, he didn't worry about himself; he felt
sorry for Amy. If he died, she would revert back into
a prison of total sensory deprivation. He could not imagine how lonely and
frightening it would feel to be cut off from all sound, taste, smell, sight,
and feeling. As a small child he remembered being terrified of the dark, but
that wouldn't begin to describe it. When the Simians
destroyed Earth's technology, Amy lost all data inputs and plunged into total
darkness. A Human would go insane, but Amy survived fifty years of this agony
until their minds touched. She escaped that prison through him, and he didn't want her to experience that again. It would probably
be a blessing if she died with him, but that was not possible.
It was hard to admit, but he would miss the hot desert sun, the dusty, barren and rocky terrain, and the beautiful desert sunsets.
He would miss the many close friends he had made, both Human and Simian, but
most of all he would miss Amy's love. It sounded egotistical, but he also felt
sorry for the Human race if he died today. He and Amy
were their only hope.
His mind spiraled down in self-pity and depression, even as he felt Amy
modify his vocal cords and screech out the challenge to Gord. Suddenly, he
realized Amy was chastising him to break him out of his current mental state of
doom. Finally understanding Amy's intent, he fought to regain his normally
rational and optimistic mind. As his mind raced for control, he continued the
mechanical walk toward his date with destiny.
He thought of many things. At eighty-one, death didn't
seem so terrible, and he was prepared to die. However, he didn't
want to die. There was so much to live for now. As if drowning, he watched his
life pass in front of him. So much had happened in his long life, but this last
year had been the most incredible and exciting time of all. How had he reached
this point? As he walked toward Gord, his mind wandered back to the beginning.