Chapter 5:

Foxtrot, pt. 2

Aether: Sin

This world can be incredibly vile.

But perhaps it’s through acceptance of it that we are able to live an easier life than expected.

Primals, faeries, gods….humans…

How did we ever manage to find favor to live in such a beautiful, yet cruel world?

Whatever the case…it was against our own volition...

The stars across the sky shimmer brightly, and the air is steady. The dark caves outside the valley of Sith, where the minotaurs were buried under, were pitch black. They were in no need of fire or warmth as the core of their world - Haven, supplied such things for them.

One of the minotaurs remained restless, and ventured off in order to find any humans he could and let off some steam. He knew of the Shikari soldiers, spies sent out by the humans to infiltrate and keep watch of activities amongst all the primals.

They would surely rue the day they stepped out beyond Mount Gamajora…


Before the minotaur realized what had happened, he suddenly felt his body paralyzed. Something was missing. Something important.

As the minotaur looked around for a brief second, he saw a woman with a sword peering over his body. The same body he had honed for years to achieve both onyx and matrix powers…was now missing its head.

Emilia Ashigake looks directly towards the minotaur's head as its life force slipped away. Her eyes were filled with anger, but her expression remained calm nonetheless. She calmly rests her sword on her lap, and places her index finger directly on her lips.


In the minotaur caves, where plenty of the remaining minotaurs were sleeping soundly, loud snores suddenly stopped. Faeko, Emilia’s husband, was making quick work of the minotaurs, as one by one, he would quietly slit their necks from their heads. In the other caves, similar to Faeko, Imeni and her squad were also using their sharp weapons to slit the minotaurs throats. As one of the minotaurs behind her begins to wake, Imeni turns around quietly, but completely full of fear. The minotaur's eyes barely manage to make out Imeni’s figure, before resorting to a loud and powerful roar. 

Wait a minute.

Nothing came out.

The minotaur, in his confusion, looks down to see his voice box completely separated from his throat, with a long and thin bullet now replacing it. The minotaur looks back up in shock, as Imeni breaks out of her fear and slices the minotaur's head off cleanly.

Imeni then looks out from the crack of light coming into the cave, and quietly nods to signal her thanks. Jason smiles from afar, as he loads another bullet into his silent rifle.

“Just doing my job, kid.”

Jason cocks his rifle and aims towards the caves once more.

“Now go do yours,”

Quinn gently strides out from one of the dark caves and looks out towards the night sky. Randall strides with his foxtrot beside her.

“Is that all of them, commander?...”

Quinn looks directly towards Kato, who was accompanied by a few other Foxtrot soldiers from Randall’s squad. Kato’s composed expression worries her even more.

Quinn: “...nah…”

Randall: “Well then…it seems we might be in a lot of trouble…”

Quinn twists her nose.

“...unfortunately, you may be right. Are you sure you can handle them?”

“If they are only a band of minotaurs…then I’m sure they are simply a few weaker types of minotaurs that are interested in glory…the head of a human commander might just be enough to satisfy them…”

Quinn looks directly at Randall and squints her eyes.

“Oh really? Then I hereby make you commander of the Foxtrot Division for the rest of the night. Be sure to survive, though,”

Quinn gently strides away towards Kato, who was still busy petting his foxtrot.

“You will fight for us, won’t you?”

Kato looks up from his foxtrot towards Quinn.

“Is that an order?”

Quinn smiles.

“I’m not the commander right now, so I can’t do that.”

“Then I will heed the commands of the commander, whomever you have appointed,”

Quinn glances over at Randall, who looks at Kato and nods gently. Quinn then glances back at Kato, and tilts her head.

Quinn: “There you have it,”


Sharply, all of the Foxtrot soldiers outside of the caves unveil their weapons; and with their foxtrots, they all turn directly to the direction the noise came from.

Kato looks in front of him and sees a minotaur kingpin accompanied by a much smaller minotaur.

The smaller minotaur hid behind the minotaur kingpin, but still did what it could to snarl its sharp teeth towards the Foxtrot division. The minotaur kingpin seemed calm, but furious at the same time.

Randall: “It was loud…but I expected a greater roar from the likes of a minotaur leader…”

Kato: “That wasn’t from the leader. It was from the child.”

Quinn inspects both of them from afar. Even as she was only a human, and was only capable of utilizing onyx abilities compared to primals that can utilize both matrix and onyx, she remained fearless as usual.

“Kato’s right. For such a small one, he sure has a strong voice,”

Suddenly, a bullet strikes the neck of the minotaur kingpin, leaving the rest of the soldiers in shock as they heard no noise prior. They were even more shocked once they realized that the minotaur was completely fine, as the minotaur kingpin proceeded to flick off the now compressed bullet from his neck.

Kato: “It’s onyx is already in full effect, Jason. Stay calm.”

Jason cocks his rifle back, and sighs deeply in disappointment.

“Well, It was worth a try,”

Knowing that the rest of his people must have been slaughtered in their sleep, seeing as to how the roar did not result in any of them coming out from their caves, the minotaur kingpin ushers the smaller minotaur to step back.

Kato: “Here it comes…”

Kato and Quinn simultaneously: “Get back!”

Suddenly, the minotaur’s eyes flash, and the earth around all of them begins to crumble tremendously. The soldiers all begin to fall one by one into the deep earth, as the minotaur uses the earth around them to bury them alive. The lieutenants and a few of the soldiers escape using their foxtrot to evade the sinking areas, as they quickly realize that the minotaur has no control over the entire field, only parts of it.

 Kato: “It must be weakened from its fight with the Alpha Division and the King. But considering how its powers work…its onyx should be the one depleted, not its matrix…whatever the case…”

The minotaur: “Earth Cra-!”

Kato: “Randall!”

Before Kato finishes his shout, Randall, who had been gearing towards the minotaur ever since its eyes flashed, pounces onto the minotaur and manages to punch it directly while its matrix was in use. The punch lands squarely across the minotaur’s jawline, but the minotaur manages to shake it off easily as he glares back at Randall. A sharp boomerang quickly glides through the air and strikes the minotaur head-on; and even as the blade wasn’t anywhere near strong enough to slice its forehead off completely, it still causes the minotaur to bleed. The boomerang then returns to its owner, Imeni, who charges forward with her squad out of the caves. Faeko and Emilia follow suit, gearing towards the minotaur at full speed with their foxtrots.

The small minotaur then yells out towards the minotaur kingpin, who turns towards the small minotaur, looking dazed but calm. Kato then immediately realizes what the problem was all along.

Kato: "Jason, listen to me carefully..."

The minotaur sharply turns towards the hoard of soldiers trying to ambush him. His eyes are now much more focused and menacing than before.


Kato charges in quickly, trying to reach the front of the soldiers gearing towards the minotaur kingpin. The earth around the minotaur begins to shake even more than before, as the minotaur stretches his hands out and closes its fists.


Immediately, the ground underneath the minotaur lifts him up above the terrain, as the pieces of earth that remained on the ground then suddenly appeared in the air and began to hail flashes of rock towards the remaining soldiers. The pieces begin to tear through all of the soldiers, along with the foxtrots, one by one, as only a certain few remained capable of avoiding the incoming hail. Quinn uses her sensory abilities to dodge every rock that comes her way, while Faeko, Emilia and Imeni manage to slice through them cleanly. Randall attempts to use his reflexes and strength to thwart off the incoming rocks, but one of them strikes his foxtrot cleanly through the head, forcing him into the air and towards the sinking earth below.

Suddenly, as Randall looks towards his now fallen foxtrot, he sees another soldier and foxtrot trailing right behind him. This pair seems much more determined, and even faster, than all the other pairs around them, as they leap towards him and seemingly pluck Randall from the air before he manages to reach the ground.

“Mr. Izana! truly are a wonderful man…”

Kato softly slaps the side of his foxtrot three times.

“Save the flattery. I need your ability…commander,”

Randall looks at Kato from behind, as Kato’s foxtrot glides carefully through the impending rocks and earth beneath. He then realizes that all the time that Kato had been “petting” his foxtrot…he was actually preparing it for this exact moment.

As Kato's foxtrot then begins to climb the rising pillar of earth that the minotaur had created for itself and the smaller minotaur to escape from the hail of rocks, his foxtrot now seems even faster than before. This was because it now had to worry about the impending rocks at point blank range, forcing it to kick it into high gear in order to reach its destination.

Kato strokes his foxtrot gently across its hind legs, and his foxtrot responds by racing up the pillar with even more speed and momentum than before.

Randall: “It’s as if you two are in sync…”

Kato: “Prepare yourself. This is far from over.”

Randall nods, as the three then jump out on top of the pillar and see the minotaur, who was still focused on his matrix. The smaller minotaur, who was at first looking towards the scene in awe, suddenly becomes frightened.

Kato: “Now!”

Randall then cocks back his elbow into his knees as he flies towards the smaller minotaur. His abdominal area fluctuates constantly for a brief moment, before he jumps out from his crouched position.


Randall’s elbow makes full contact with the smaller minotaur’s head, knocking the smaller minotaur out instantly. In doing so, the minotaur kingpin’s awareness sharply resumes, as he looks back towards Randall, enraged.


Jason’s gunshot now strikes the minotaur’s neck from afar, and with its distraction, the bullet manages to tear through the minotaur’s voicebox this time. Instead of using his silencer like before, Jason had now put on a forcer to give a larger impact.

Jason: “Boom! Nice call, Kato!”

Kato: “Job’s not finished,”

Kato unsheathes his two daggers, as his foxtrot follows him into battle against the minotaur kingpin. The minotaur, holding his neck in pain, was now being triple teamed with a barrage of attacks from Kato, Randall and Kato’s foxtrot. After being ripped, sliced, and punched thoroughly, the minotaur’s onyx began to break down.

Due to Randall’s punch distracting the minotaur kingpin, the rest of the soldiers were no longer being hailed with rocks, and were no longer subject to fear.

Imeni: “What happened?!”

Quinn smiles proudly: “Don’t worry. Kato’s handling it.”

Kato dodges around the minotaur’s punch and manages to slice cleanly through its calf, forcing it down on its knees for the first time. Then, the minotaur no longer seemed interested in fighting, as it crawled over to the smaller minotaur as the earth around them began to return back to the terrain below.

Kato: “Wait,”

Randall and Kato’s foxtrot then suddenly stop their advance to finish off the minotaur after Kato holds out his hands. The minotaur kingpin continues to crawl towards the smaller minotaur, before stopping right in front of it and shaking it to wake up.

Randall: “Why do we wait…”

Kato watches patiently as he sees the smaller minotaur begin to wake up groggily. As the smaller minotaur notices the state of the minotaur kingpin, it shrieks, before crying out in misery.

Kato: “Their connection must be special…”

As the pillar settles on the terrain once more, Quinn and her lieutenants hurry to see the situation.

“Well done. But why does the beast still live, Commander Okoda?

“Ask Mr. Izana,”

Quinn glances over to Kato, who remains still as a board as he inspects the situation in front of him.

Kato: “...we should capture it,”

Quinn gallantly strides over to the minotaur kingpin, who remains on top of the smaller minotaur, beaten and bloody. She glances at the smaller minotaur, who is still crying and seemingly looking for forgiveness. She then nods towards Imeni, and softly glances back towards Kato.


Imeni’s boomerang makes clean contact with the now onyx-less minotaur, as the back of its head was now open. As life passed from the minotaur kingpin, the smaller minotaur shrieked in agony, while the rest of the remaining Foxtrot soldiers laughed at its weird groans.

Quinn: “Kill it,”

Faeko strides along towards the crying minotaur, and calmly points his sword towards its head. He then looks at Kato, who glares directly at the situation, but calmly tucks back his daggers without any resistance.

“Out of respect for my friend,”

Faeko glides his sword’s point down to the minotaur’s chest, and pokes through its body smoothly. The minotaur’s cries turn to silence, as its eyes slowly begin to fade.

“I offer you a peaceful end,”

The rest of the soldiers begin to turn and follow as Quinn begins to stride off. She pauses beside Kato for a brief second.

“You already know that’s against our orders, Kato. But as long as we live to see another day…I’ll see what I can do for next time…”

Kato says nothing. His expression remains as cold as usual. Nothing to show. Nothing to give.


All of the soldiers suddenly turn their heads back to the caves, where one of the soldiers is waving furiously towards them.

“You have to come see this!...It’s exactly as you said!”

Quinn pauses. She then looks towards her lieutenants, before grinning softly.

Quinn: “Well then…it seems like another of your prophecies has come to pass…Kato,”