Round 6 Mafia Hit

One would think, in the cold, sterile environment that was Battle School, that a child would be hard pressed to get dirty. This was not the case. While certainly they did not get as filthy as they would if they were allowed outside, as normal children were, every stray mote of dust and grime seemed to end up on their hands rather than inside the many air filters. Graff had once posited that they were playing –with- the air filters, as he could not imagine where else the dirty hands and faces would be coming from. The truth of it was, of course, simply that children had a tendency to get dirty.

Beatings, violence, and explosions of a very wet, fleshy variety didn’t help matters. Yes, war was a messy affair, and these children were most certainly at war.

And so two children scrubbing busily at their hands was not particularly unusual, though the hour was late and the danger was high. But when one of them rinsed, dried, then started the whole process anew, the other’s curiosity was piqued.

“What’re –you- lookin’ at, Transfer?”

Zenan shrugged and looked away, but didn’t answer the question, which seemed to infuriate the other soldier.

“What – you too good to answer me? Why don’t you go back to your bunk!”

Zenan snorted, almost a laugh. “Because I don’t take orders from –you-.” His voice dripped contempt as he shook his hands dry, but made no other move to finish up and leave the bathroom.

The other soldier stared at Zenan for a long moment, then calmly dried their hands, letting the water continue to rush into the sink from the faucet. The soldier spoke quietly, so that Zenan had to lean in a little to hear the words.

“You know…” Stepping closer, into Zenan’s personal space. “…I think I’ve had enough of your crap.”

The charge was sudden, but not unexpected – Zenan had been prepared for violence the moment the other soldier looked his way. He ended up backed against the sinks, but not without a little leverage of his own – he ducked a punch, then aimed a kick high on the other soldier’s breastbone, sending his opponent flying.

The other soldier slammed against the wall that divided the restroom – boys and girls were segregated in the back, with the sinks up front for everyone. At first they didn’t get up, and Zenan wondered if he had finished his new enemy so easily, but after a moment the other soldier stirred, groaning.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I just get mad sometimes. Help me up, will you?”

Zenan hesitated, but decided he could be sporting, or at least appear that way. He had won, and really that was what was important now. He approached his fellow Dragon, bending down to lend a hand.

That’s when the other soldier took the opportunity to reach out with alarming quickness, grabbing Zenan’s ankle and pulling up, hard. Zenan, taken by surprise this time, flipped almost comically up in the air, landing on his head with a sickening crunch. His mouth filled with blood, profuse amounts of blood, leaking out of the corners. He choked, tried to turn over, but his opponent was there, on top of him, holding him down. A smug voice rang in his ear.

“All I have to do. Is wait. You. Out.”

Zenan tried to respond, but only choked and coughed harder. The blood seemed to be endless, flowing in rivers now along either side of his head. He realized with faint horror that he had, in the fall, bitten his own tongue in half. The world was going grey and fuzzy around the edges – he could barely make out the other soldier’s face, and soon he saw nothing at all.

Maybe it was fitting that he die like this, without saying a word.

He always was such a quiet boy.