7 - Jecht, Chapter Three

It was a surprise to me when I first woke up that I found out that I was still alive and breathing. It seemed my body hadn't given up on me entirely. I was in an infirmary for about two weeks, or at least that's what the nurses told me, before I was thrown back into my cell. Luckily for me, my body had a pretty good recovery rate and I depended on that to help with the healing process.

Afterwards, I took George's trash talk daily. I never said a word to him – just sat in my cell waiting until he was finished with whatever trash talk he had to get off his chest. There was nothing that I could do, nothing that I could do until my body healed that is.

The cycle of meditation, food, daily verbal abuse, and sleep continued for a few days. Everything remained the same until the twenty-fifth day after I returned to my cell.

I was in my meditation when I heard rumbling noises vibrating from the ceiling. Explosions could be heard from above, followed by gunfire. My adrenaline spiked. I opened my eyes, only to find guards rushing past my cell following the sounds of the ruckus. I stood up, curious to see what exactly was going on.

Another explosion could be heard from above, followed by constant vibrations. I jumped off my bed to go see if I could find anything outside of my cell, only to see the cell door opening. George Karvin walked in and the gate slid back in its place. Somehow throughout the chaos, he had slipped his way inside my cell. There was a grin on his face, and I could see that he was armed with an electric baton in each hand.

"As I promised before," he said with a devilish grin on his face. "One day, I will kill you, and that day is today!"

"You think a few batons will save your ass from getting beat to oblivion?" I said, raising both fists in a defensive stance. I knew that my body had recovered from that initial beating that Holly's guards had inflicted on me, but now would be time to see if whether or not if gut instincts were correct.

"Well," he shouted, charging at me. "We'll see, won't we!?"

He struck down with his left, and I parried, dodging his right and knocking him off balance with a swift leg sweep. George stumbled back, but only in time to see my left leg connect with the side of his head. He flew backwards, his body hitting against the cell gate and his batons flying into separate corners.

"So anxious to die?" I sputtered, closing in on him. He kicked himself back up and following through with a right hook. I sidestepped, throwing a feint and followed with a knee to his chest. George blocked with both arms crossed his chest, pushing me from where I came.

I rolled backwards, coming to a crouching halt. Rushed footsteps echoed within the chamber and I dove to the side just in time to avoid George's wind up kick. He followed with sweep that caught me in the chest. I rolled over twice to the wall, the pain present in every breath that I took. It seemed that I wasn't completely healed yet.

I pushed myself up slowly, and could hear him charging again. Using all the strength I had, I swirled around to face him. A flurry of punches and parries was exchanged in the brawl. Finally, he followed through with a right hook. I sidestepped, and saw my chance: an opening! I grabbed his right arm, and with momentum building up into a spin, I released and threw his body into a wall. He struck against the wall head first and then his body crashed against the ground.

I stood in my domain staring at his unconscious body. Gunfire rattled outside my cell. I turned my attention to the gates. The door were still closed. Thoughts raced across my head.

What the hell is going on?

It was then a woman in a full body armor walked in front of my cell. Flanking her sides were two men: a young blonde kid looking like he was in his early twenties clutching onto a sniper rifle and on the opposite side of the female soldier, a man twice the young man's age armed with two semi-automatics.

I could tell they were the source of all the chaos, but their purpose remained a mystery.

Are they here to kill me?

The cell door shot open and the female soldier walked in. I remained in a defensive stance. She was just a little shorter than I was, had shoulder length brown hair and blue-green eyes. I could sense beyond the seemingly soft surface was something more dangerous. Looking at her eyes more carefully, I knew then that she had seen her share of battles.

But who are you? And why are you here?

"Jecht Orion," she said, walking in a semicircle. "Thirty-six years old in six days. Born before the space expansion, came to space by yourself. Joined the Alliance Marine Corps at the age of eighteen. Climbed up to the rank of Sergeant before going AWOL and becoming a freelance mercenary."

"So you've read my file," I said, meeting eye-level with her. "What have you come here for?"

"When you became a freelance mercenary, you became a soldier without a home. A warrior without a purpose. A wanderer lost on the battlefield."

I leered at her. "You still haven't answered my question."

"I've come to offer you another chance to take up your job as a mercenary—join us. Or , if you refuse, you can choose to die in this jail cell," she said. Her face was expressionless. Even for me, it was impossible to tell what she was thinking. "The decision is yours."

"Soldiers like you can't be found anymore," the man behind her said. He stood a little taller than me. Spiky black hair crowned the top of his head, with hazel eyes. Like the woman, he also was attired in the same suit of infantry armor. "The battlefield is where you belong, not a jail cell."

I looked at him, then the blonde kid and the woman. So their purpose was to employ my skills. However, this wasn't an offer I could simply refuse. With nothing to defend myself with and the amount of trouble that they probably had to go through to get here, I could only join their cause now and see what exactly they needed me for. I would have my agenda would mimic theirs for the time being.

I turned to face the woman again. "Very well, but on one condition," I said, gazing at the others. "All of your names."

The woman smiled. "A name is meaningless, especially on a battlefield. It is only a title which one adheres to. If you insist, however, my name is Fayth Mirrodin."

"Vincent Wolfwood," the kid replied.

"Sean Anderson," the older male said with a nod. He threw me both of the guns in his hands. I caught them in mid-air, twirling them for a second around both forefingers, then clutching to the both handles tightly. "Just in case you run into any resistance."

"You seem pretty confident that I won't just backstab you and take off."

"You may be good at killing, Jecht, but I'll kill you myself if that happens," Fayth said, her tone grim. She definitely had the mentality of a soldier, but unlike any I had seen before.

"Where to now?" I asked

Fayth turned around. "Now we escape." Vincent and Sean followed behind, as did I. Making sure the corridor was clear, they made their way out of the cell. I stepped outside of my cell and halted, taking a moment to realize that I was finally outside of the hellhole that I inhabited for over four years. I turned around, forgetting of the past four years of my life almost instantly and sprinted after them.

My pride had preserved, and now my freedom was returned to me. I had finally won.