• The giant blue, hairless alien before him dwarfed the tall, sable haired man. The gargantuan beast was at least as thick as the man was tall across the chest and over two-thirds his height wide at the largest part of his arms and legs. Its blue body was covered in a tattered looking shirt that was stitched together with thick cords of leathery material. His pants looked like they were sown together with scrap material. Multicoloured patches glaring out from the gray blue field.
    The sable haired man was thin for his height and leanly muscled, looking far weaker than his counterpart. His pale, sickly thin body was garbed in a black corset like shirt combined with a halter-top. He had on black pants with dark purple cover starting at mid thigh and running to his black boots. His ankle length black hair brushed the ground as stretched his sides and hamstrings.
    His counter part was a Borvian, a pathetically stupid Borvian at that. He was unwise in that he challenged the sable haired man to a battle. Wise in that it wasn’t to the death.
    The bladed staff he carried was about half a foot taller than him and slimmer than his wrist. The blade gave the staff its last foot of height and gleam brilliantly in the Rec hall lights. The Borvian had opted for brute strength as his weapon of choice.
    A considerably shorter man was talking to the sable haired man as the Borvian paced about, waiting for the signal. The short man was waved off just as the count down began.
    The Borvian growled and hopped about, shaking the station with each jump. The station probably dropped a few meters in the –y direction. The Borvian beat his chest and howled as he stomped forward, his steps in sync with the final countdown.
    His opponent was staring boredly ahead, his indigo eyes following the Borvian’s movements. He leaned on his staff, clearly open for attack.
    The signal rang out the Borvian thudded on, trying to build momentum. The sable haired man simply walked towards him, angled so he’d be out of his way. And just like that he was behind the Borvian, who was running too fast to not hit the wall behind him.
    Now the station was shifter many meters in the x direction.
    “C’mon, surely you can do better than that you brutish yink.” The man called out, his voice having a strange accent.
    I was familiar with a great number of languages and their particular accent but this one was uniquely his. I would later learn that was because he was from a secretive enclave of magi.
    The Borvian roared and charged back, this time at a much more conservative pace. Truly a pity, since if he missed again he wouldn’t be able to right the station.
    The sable haired man walked out of his way again, letting his ankle length hair swirl around him as he struck an offensive pose. His staff was angled in a traditional form meant to allow his enemy to impale its self.
    The Borvian charged on, easily sliding onto the blade. I heard the short man call out as the Borvian fell on his companion. I cringed as the Borvian thudded down, the staff buried to the handle with a good foot and half sticking out his back.
    Suddenly the man appeared above him, mid flip. He landed on the Borvian’s back, quickly drawing his staff and disappearing again.
    The Borvian struggled to hull his mass up, confused about his failure. He groped at the impact crater, trying to locate the man’s body. It howled in confusion then pain as it nearly snapped back fully against his legs. For a flicker of a second I saw the man’s kick connect with Borvian’s chin.
    “Really, is that all you got?” His strange voice called, echoing around the room.
    All of the audience was looking around for him, though the Borvian was merely scratching its bulbous skull with a thick, stubby finger.
    “Huh?” It grunted as it struggled to its feet.
    He received a severe blow to the back for even trying. For a hot second the man had reappeared, this time flipping away from the Borvian.
    “Fine, I’ll end this.” The voice stated, my eyes this time briefly flicked around the room.
    My eyes came back to the Borvian, who was on his hands and knees. In a flash it shot its meaty hand up like it was trying to catch something.
    To everyone’s surprise it closed around the shadow stepper’s waist, pinning down his staff and free arm.
    “You tink Boro stupid. Well now who stupid?” The Borvian growled at the man, who had turned his head to avoid getting spittle all over his face.
    The man looked clearly displeased at being spit on.
    “You are.” He stated simply and his form melted into a thick dark gas that wafted into the Borvian’s face, smoothing the poor idiot.
    The Borvian slapped and tore away at his face and neck. It quickly struggled to his feet and rushed around as quickly its bulk would allow but that didn’t dissipate the smog any.
    Slowly the smoky substance began to coil around him, reforming into a humanoid shape. The sable haired man reformed on the Borvian’s bowed shoulders, his staff raised over his head.
    With a trio of neutrino quick strikes the Borvian was downed. He rode the Borvian to the ground, hopping off and walking over to his shorter companion.
    His companion shook his head at him and tossed him a black cape. He easily pulled it on and his staff disappeared within it. He dug around in the cape’s pockets before pulling out a red scarf and tying it around his neck, folding down the shirt’s collar to hide the unnecessary portions of the scarf.
    “You are going to running into somebody some day that’s gonna knock you flat on your arse, Zuln.” The shorter man scolded him, pulling at the long bangs that batted his shoulders as he quickened his pace to match the sable haired man’s.
    “And on that day you’ll be there to laugh at me.” Zuln replied mechanically.
    “You bet your arse on it.” The man snapped at him, his fierce blue eyes flashing dangerously.
    “Good fight.” I stated as they walked past.
    The blond gave me a brief glare and Zuln gave a curt nod. They didn’t even miss a step as they left, the shorter man still ranting on.
    I watched them go then went to hover around the medics until they chased me away with a Mol.Sc.
    It was impossible to learn from the Borvian what happened since I had let over 2 minutes pass but the medics were able to report that he inhaled some hallucinogenic agents. I asked if the scan could be preformed on me but they declined and moved on. I was highly intrigued by this seeing as we all had seen that man vanish.
    It was then that I had decided he was who I wanted to join my crew.