A man strode down the hallway, taking up nearly the entire space with the greatsword strapped to his back. The pillar of iron seemed to make no burden upon his frame; his arms were bound in mountains of muscle, nearly bursting from his shirt.
As he walked, he glanced out the window in contempt. Night had fallen upon the Deathbound outpost, and the guards stood rigid at their stations, illuminated on all sides by far too many white lights.
Another Deathbound, presumably a Pawn, rounded the corner carrying a stack of paper, humming. Once she saw the man, she turned on her heel and ran in the other direction, most of the papers flying from her arms. The man peeked around the corner just in time to see the women’s bathroom door swing shut.
Harrumphing quietly, the man bent down to look at one of the papers, the sword shifting heavily on his back as he did so. On it was depicted a benevolent, mustachioed ruler, arms spread wide in acceptance. Underneath it, on a scroll in fancy, calligraphed text, was “Obey.”
A heavy snort from the man blew the sheet over, and he stood up. Following Siegfried sure was a pain in the neck. The man had no tact whatsoever, seeming to find and purposely use the best ways to make humans hate him. Also, he was completely lying about the mustache.
He continued on his way, making sure to step on and crumple every piece of propaganda as he did so. Not that he hated Siegfried, but he often wished he didn’t have to work for him. Then again, as a Deathbound, this was the only path he knew.
Raising a hand to his forehead, he sighed. Aside from that, the staffing here was completely pathetic. He understood that the base was relatively new, but even by these standards, it flopped like fallen prey. Sure, he was supposed to head this outpost, but he found himself wishing that he could change its structure altogether. But it wasn’t his place to do that. The man was just lucky he was created a Rook.
Coming to a single doorway, he fished an ID card from the pocket of his jeans. He raised it to the scanner, and moments later, the door slid open. Grinning maliciously, he made to walk through.
Clunk. He stopped, looking up. His broadsword had caught against the doorway, its girth far too wide. Annoyed, the man repositioned the sword on his back, attempting to walk through again.
Clunk. The enormous blade struck against the ceiling now, taller than the man. Irritation rising in his cheeks, the man maneuvered the blade into an awkward diagonal. Clutching it behind his back, he began inching forwards until-
Clunk- WHAM! The former sound was the sword hitting the door frame again; the latter was the man whirling around and demolishing it with his bare fists. Teeth bared, he uttered a low growl as he surveyed his handiwork. His knuckles had carved huge chunks out of the wall, and rubble was now scattered across the hallway. Exhaling in satisfaction, he turned around.
He found himself gaped at by two lads, Pawns by the looks of it. Their quaking fear took up the center of the chamber where they stood. The rest of the room was occupied by an array of monitors that displayed every inch of the grey complex; a few were even broadcasting the room itself, showcasing the boys’ stricken faces from multiple angles.
The man snorted, folding his muscled arms. The Pawns yelped, hugging each other in terror.
“D-d-director Wolfram, sir!” one of them stuttered, “Sir, y-you’re early, sir! We’re not quite prepared yet for-”
The beastly man cocked his head, reducing him to terrified silence.
“Director Wolfram,” the man repeated, annoyed. “Is that really what that witch told you to call me?”
Taken further aback by his superior’s brashness, the Pawn stammered to reply. “S-sir, if you mean Queen Stygian, then-”
“Of course I mean her!” the wolfman snapped. Sighing, he ran a hand through his iron hair. “Never mind, then. From now on, you’ll call me Fenrir. No title, or any other of that military nonsense. Although, a little ‘sir’ here and there couldn’t hurt.” He smiled, though it looked more like a snarl to them.
“You.” He pointed a finger at one of them, jerking his thumb back towards the smashed wall. “Go clean that up.”
The Pawn gulped and nodded, walking past Fenrir to attempt his pathetic best at repairing the damage. Fenrir watched him over his shoulder before turning back to the other one.
“State your name, model, and directive,” he commanded. He scoffed inwardly at the mantra’s drabness, but it was protocol, and it always helped to grill his lackeys by name.
“Sh-Shinji Strong!” the Pawn announced. “Model Pawn, and my directive is to serve Siegfried!”
Fenrir raised an eyebrow, leaning in menacingly close. “Mr. Strong,” he seethed, rancid breath exhaling from his teeth. “Are you now?”
“No- I mean yes!” Shinji squeaked, squirming under Fenrir’s glare. In all reality, he seemed to be one of the more resilient henchmen.
After a long stare, the wolf grinned. “Now, listen here, Shinji,” he said, throwing a muscled arm over the boy’s shoulder. “You’re important, you know that? I mean, sure, these other pawns do what they can for their position, but you-” he jabbed a finger into his chest, “-are my eyes and ears. From this spot, you see all, and control all. You get me?”
The pawn nodded, smiling nervously.
“Good.” Fenrir reached around his own enormous shoulders, unlatching the sword from his back. Hefting the steel blade in front of him, he regarded Shinji again.
“Now, I traveled a long way to get here. Human though I may not be, I’m drop-dead tired. So, why don’t you make yourself useful and keep watch for me while I snooze?”
“B-but sir!” the pawn protested. “A protocol transmission to the queen-”
“Can wait for tomorrow, I’m sure.” The wolfman raised the sword above his head, grunting as he brought it crashing down onto the floor. As it touched the ground, the blade broke and liquefied, splashing out like a wave of mercury. Letting a grin distort his features, Fenrir clenched his fist, howling, “Iron Drive!"
The iron froze in midair, solidifying into cresting spires. A bed of dark silver now sprawled out on the floor, the ends curling up like a skeletal chest. Fenrir tucked the bladeless hilt into his belt, sitting down heavily. Locking his hands behind his head, he laid back with a sigh, closing his eyes.
A second later, one steel-grey eye shot open again, glaring at the stunned Shinji. Looking at him now, he clearly had no idea how to monitor the facility. Not that it mattered much; the humans knew better than to actually rebel against the Deathbound. And it was all thanks to Siegfried.
Fenrir scoffed quietly, lying back and drifting off to darkness.