Rivalry older than Humanity

Hours after Ivana's raid...

Tyrus stood in the sparring ring with Xae opposite her. Her mind was already working on the possible avenues of approach and likely fighting scenarios as the two prepared to spar. Tyrus had called her down here, she was planning to do this with the rest of the team as well but right now Xae was her first person. Xae was out of her armor and theoretically disarmed. After a moment there was a ding and the two engaged in the middle of the ring. Punches and kicks were thrown in a flurry of moves by both as they moved with inhuman agility and speed, though Xae clearly had something of a speed advantage, Tyrus seemed to know exactly what was coming. She never quite seemed able to penetrate Xae's defenses but always managed to deflect or avoid her attacks.

After ten minutes neither woman had made any actual strikes and both broke up to their separate corners. Tyrus slipped out of her jacket and wiped sweat from her forehead. She looked across the ring to see Xae just standing there, not sweating at all. Weird...

"Give up yet?" Xae asked simply

"Give up? You haven't even hit me." Tyrus said as they met in the middle of the ring again. She grinned and deftly swatted an attack aside. Her inhuman mind was giving her the edge, though she found it frustrating that even though she knew Xae's every likely move it seemed that Xae somehow knew all of hers. "Why am I here?" Xae asked, planting a foot and pivoting on it to avoid a strike in the middle of talking.

"Because we need to talk." Tyrus said, catching a fist and pushing it aside. "You don't trust me."

"Of course I don't." Xae said and looked frustrated when Tyrus avoided a leg sweep.

"Why?" Tyrus wanted to know as their sparring continued. The skill involved was well above human standards and again it seemed the second round would go by without a single blow being landed.

"Why do flies distrust spiders? Why do male spiders have escape plans when they meet female spiders? It's in my DNA." Xae said simply.

"I don't understand..." Tyrus said, ducking a blow in the process. She felt herself growing tired and wondered if Xae felt the same. If she did it certainly wasn't showing.

"You have some of the DNA of my worst enemies, I can smell it on you, I can see the look in your eyes. Inside of you is the same genetic code I have spent my life trying to eradicate and now I'm expected to take orders from you." Xae spat, increasing anger in her voice.

"You have so far..." Tyrus pointed out.

"I'm a soldier." Xae answered simply. "It's what we do." She caught Tyrus's attack with her right forearm and shoved it to the side and bounced backwards like a cat, landing just out of Tyrus's reach. "You should have trusted me! I could have encrypted our data so no one would ever be able to get to it! I told you what I could do, you wouldn't listen!"

Tyrus realized suddenly that Xae's mistrust was deeper than that, there was almost hatred in her voice. "Xae..." Tyrus started. "I have certain procedures I have to follow and...how am I supposed to trust someone that won't trust me?" She launched what should have been a jarring blow for the side of Xae's head, not only did Xae duck beneath the blow she launched an attack Tyrus's advanced battle processing hadn't anticipated. Instead of the obvious counter Xae slammed her foot down on Tyrus's own and sent jarring pain exploding through her nerves. This was followed by a brutal punch to the face that sent Tyrus stumbling backward. Her mind was trying to plan the fight out again, like a GPS rerouting someone who had become lost, but Xae kept changing up her attacks, she switched styles almost at random, getting jab after painful jab into various parts of Tyrus's body, never striking anywhere near the same are twice in a row. When Tyrus was finally driven down to one knee Xae relented.

"Trust me because I haven't killed you. Every time I see you, every time I smell your scent, I want to rip out your throat and smash your head into the wall until you stop moving. My hatred for whatever shred of Tyrant dna is inside of you runs back generations, it's instinct, it's natural desire to kill you on site. You're still trying to figure out how I broke through your battle planning, I've been doing it for longer than you've been alive, I've been fighting Tyrants my entire life, I know how you think, I know your weakness and I could have knocked you on your ass twenty minutes ago." Xae offered Tyrus an inexplicable hand up.

Tyrus looked up at her for a moment and wiped blood from her mouth. She took her hand and pulled herself to her feet. "Then why didn't you?" Tyrus asked.

"Because I respect you more than you will ever know." Xae said with a shake of her head.

"You just got done telling me why you hate everything about me and now I'm supposed to believe you respect me?" Tyrus asked.

"I know what must be pushing inside your mind every time you look at someone else. You have all this power at your disposal..." She swept her hands out to indicate the carrier and STRIKE. "Yet you haven't taken one unjust action, you haven't once invaded another country...the animal grafted into your DNA Tyrus...it wants to subjugate everything it sees...and you...fight it. You must be fighting it every day, every moment you look out on the cities below us. It takes a great deal of will power to do that. I may never get over my instinctive hatred of what's inside of you...but the rest of you, the Human will holding the animal back...that I can respect."

Tyrus looked at Xae in silence, she said nothing for almost three minutes. Finally she met eyes with Xae. "What the hell are you?"

Xae shook her head and moved to leave the ring. "Alone." She said and left the room.

Tyrus grabbed her towel, wiping her hands off for a moment and dabbing at the busted part of her upper lip. You know more about me than I do...

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