1337 Showdown

Note: In the final chapter of the 1337 Saga, the two Senseis, Master Largo and Lord Maxx have gone into a no-holds-barred street fight in order to see who will keep the sacred Way of the Ninjitsu Scrolls. These scrolls have been used by shinobi for years and it is passed on from ninja to ninja. Only one will come into possession of the scrolls as the rightful heir to continuing the 1337 way. Which clan will prevail ?

"Oh, yes. There will be blood."--Tagline for the movie Hostel

Chapter 1—A Matter of Honor and Heritage

The short vacation since the incident in the matrix had ended since the 1337 had rescued one of their own. Shalimar, or "Ali" as she was called, was doing well. She had healed from the mental trauma she had undergone and knew she would be a bolder fighter should someone ever wish to abduct her again. As for Master Largo, he had become quite taciturn in speech and introspective. He knew he had been challenged by his life-long enemy, Lord Maxx. The two had been enemies since they were both chounin and the rivalry was only accelerated when the Master Sensei put them to the test. Their reward was the Way of the Ninjitsu scrolls, which were invaluable pieces of information. Ninja had known these to be as important as the Torah to the Jews, or the Vedas to the Hindu.

Largo had been mentally preparing himself and physically testing the so-called "limits" of his body. He was certain his life-time rival, Maxx was as well. Only now did it come down to the two of them facing off against one another for the most important objects either of them would ever encounter. One of them would most certainly die during this battle, and whomever received the scrolls would be the one to carry on the tradition of the elite order of ninja. The order wasn't so well known, but it wasn't dead by far. So long as there were those who wished to learn the ninja ways, there would be an order. Besides, the elite ninjas were those of benevolent character, while the hackers were those who wallowed in misery, wanting to drag the world into their quagmire of darkness. As long as Largo had breath within him, he would not allow the hackers to prevail, and that is all there was to it.

Chapter 2—Challenge Accepted

The arena had been set and the Sensei had assembled to begin their ultimate battle. The students would be watching from a safe distance. They had been instructed not to cheer until the end of the battle because both participants desired absolute silence. Such a matter as this was solemn and neither one could be distracted. The slightest diversion could cost them everything, perhaps even their livelihood. All of the chounin knew this and they watched in solemn pause as the two warriors face off against one another.

The two rivals stared at each other for what seemed to be an eternity. Sweat was already trickling down their faces and their hair had been matted and weighed down by the sweat itself. Largo had his katana at the ready while Maxx had more kunai knives in his arsenal than any eagle-eyed trainee could care to number.

It was silent until the two began to rush at each other, charging as if they were wild bulls in a pen fighting over a mate. Largo raised his katana and took a swipe at Maxx. Maxx retaliated with kunai knives and slashed Largo's face. The bloodshed had only begun to become serious as the two men continued to hack and slash at one another, trying to sever vital arteries or have direct access to their advesary's heart.

As the face-off continued, there was still no conversation exchanged between the two enemies. Their rivalry ran deep, but they didn't hate one another. They had a profound respect for each other, and the clans that they looked over. There was the occasional sound of a boot hitting someone in the back or in the solar plexus, knocking the breath out of the body, leaving the body momentarily vulnerable. The clanging and sparking of knife on sword caused the two warrior's faces to be lit as the sun began to set in the background.

The students, dutifully standing and watching their Senseis duel, would not depart until the battle had come to an end. They had seen bloodshed before, and it was nothing new. The fight was becoming more exciting though, because the Senseis were really taking a beating from one another. The two were definitely equally matched. Suddenly, Largo was stabbed in the back when Maxx made an imperceptible move. It seemed that he had moved at a nanosecond, which shinobi were capable of. This move used quite a bit of energy, but it was very useful. Largo, reacting swiftly, flipped Maxx over, nailing him in the heart with his katana. Maxx sputtered and coughed weakly. Some blood was coughed up in his feeble attempt to gasp for air.

"So, this is how it ends for me. At least I die like a warrior, bested by the one fine shinobi. It is an honor to be slain by you...", Maxx said as his life was taken away from him. Withdrawing the katana and cleaning it of blood, Largo sheathed his weapon and closed the eyes of a once formidable warrior.

Epilogue

Although the funeral of Maxx had been incredibly somber, the rest of the Hacker clan had been overtaken by their master, Lord Hammer. Evil would continue, of course, but they would always be thwarted by the 1337 squad, whenever and wherever they happened to strike next. For the moment, they would be mourning the death of their fallen sensei. It would take much time for them to reclaim their energy and return to their plans for world domination. As for the 1337, they would continue their patrol of the untamed waves of the Internet, trying to keep the 'Net regulated. Such a thing was not easy, but with such young, ingenious minds as CFZ, Fuzz, Shalimar and Celeste, the 'Net was a pretty safe place in which to conduct business and be throughly entertained.

It seemed that all the ninja did was train, but such was the way of the shinobi. As technology became more advanced, they had to remain instep with that technology and how it could be used. The Hacker clan had emerged out of mourning, stronger than ever. For so long as there were codes to be manipulated and systems to be hacked into (and potentially crashed), they would exist. These two forces would remain as adversaries for so long as the earth existed and neither of them minded in the actual world. They would pass each other on a normal day and carry on a quaint convesation, but in the world of the wired, they were always foes. Someone had to be the duty to keep innocent minds from being corrupted and for pure, actual facts to remain as such.

They didn't consider it duty, per se, but more of an act of honor and humility toward their fellow man.

Such was the way of the shinobi.

The End

May 14, 2006