B1 - The Hand

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Their blades were locked, but the Hand was weak. This... thing, it knew no fatigue. For hours they had dueled, and the Hand didn't think he had another hour in him. He had no choice but to give up.

No. He had to keep fighting. For the guardians before him. For the innocents below. For his son.

"I fight for my family, Stranger. What do you fight for? Nothing."

"I fight for my people."

He almost dropped his blade in shock. The Stranger wasn't supposed to talk. It couldn't talk. It wouldn't talk. It wasn't allowed to talk. Why was it talking?

Their blades broke away from each-other. The Stranger went for a cheap side-cut, which was blocked by the Hand's shield.

"You have no people. You're an abomination, a force of death."

The Hand retaliated with an overhead slash, which was effortlessly dodged.

"The last of us are in the mothership. Our home was destroyed, and we were forced to the stars."

The Stranger dashed away, choosing to go for a pistol approach. When would it learn the Hand's shield buckled to no weapon?

"You lie! Your very existence rots the land!"

The Hand readied an energy wave.

"To my people, I am a bringer of life. The plants of our world grow where I stand."

For the first time, the Hand noticed something. It'd been in his peripheral vision for a while now, but it was the first time he'd been able to comprehend it.

The Architect was watching him.

The Stranger dashed towards him, taking advantage of the shock. The Hand had no time to react, and the katana gouged deep into his breastplate.

"Why would you do this? So many innocents killed, just to preserve your kind?"

The Hand got back up, and stood with purpose. Whatever happened next would decide everything.

"Wouldn't you do the same for your son?"

None of this was supposed to be happening. The Stranger wasn't a son, it was a thing! It had no family! It had nothing to fight for! It was *nothing* like him! He was a force of justice! He was a protector! He was-

The Stranger readied his blade, and stabbed.