Who Is This Dog Meat That Challenges Me?
Disclaimer: I own nothing. All Stargate characters and any other characters from whatever media presented here are the property of their original owners.
Author's Note: These are two stories I wrote as chapters for Methos' "The Truth Is Out There" story. When that author left this site, he removed the story as he did with most of his other contributions, so I've decided to put them back up as my own work.
A few moments ago, wrinkled fingers possessing extremely long fingernails at their ends had chosen one of the polished pebbles the size of a marble from the small bowl on top of the otherwise bare, low table. After rubbing this stone several times against his fingertips, the elderly Oriental seated cross-legged on the wood floor had then made an infinitesimal flick of his fingers that promptly sent the pebble shooting through the air across the room as speedily as it had in fact been fired from a gun.
This pebble hit its target dead on, which was the off switch of the massive, 100-inch-plus plasma television that took up the entire far wall of the small wooden house. The picture of President Hayes halfway around the world looking out at his still-shocked audience over what they'd just heard abruptly flickered out of existence, leaving only a blank screen.
After bouncing off the television, the pebble kept on going in its ricocheting path with minimal loss of speed as it zoomed back across the room at head level, to then strike its next target with perfect accuracy, right between the eyes of the other man seated in his own tailor-fashion posture on the floor at the other side of the room's table. Remaining absolutely still except for watching how the rebounding pebble was now traveling in a graceful sideways arc through the air after hitting him, the bemused man observed how the little stone then descended with total precision right back into the small bowl from where it had been removed, landing with a rather musical 'clink!' as it finally came to rest.
Chiun, Master of Sinanju, seemed to pay absolutely no attention to this, with the aged assassin continuing to stare at the blank television screen brought to his remote North Korean village during the yearly secret visit of the American submarine delivering the annual gold that kept the starving babies of his birthplace from being sent to the sea. From all accounts, the sailors that had the thankless job of lugging the enormous television from their ship to the elderly man's home had reached extraordinary levels of profanity during their journey as they'd struggled to carry along that particular electronics item without putting the slightest scratch or dent onto it.
They'd succeeded, of course. You did not annoy the world's deadliest killer if you knew what was good for you. Unless you just happened to be that assassin's apprentice, which meant you could get away with a little bit of provocation. Warily watching his mentor, Remo Williams raised his right hand with its extremely thick wrist, extended his index finger, and rubbed the exact spot on his lower forehead where he'd been hit by the pebble, risking a mildly complaining, "Ow."
Without seemingly moving, Chiun was instantaneously upright from his seat on the floor, standing there in his white robe while still gazing at the inoperative television. The old man then turned and walked past Remo in his graceful glide. Outwardly ignoring the other man on the floor, Chiun opened the back door and left the house, leaving the door ajar and allowing the cold winter air to invade the room. This blast of icy wind was accompanied by an equally chilly order from the outside: "Come!"
Rolling his eyes, Remo smoothly rose to his feet and he followed after, ducking under the door lintel which wasn't made for oversized donkeys having pasty skin the color of grubs found deep under heavy rocks, as Chiun preferred to describe his apprentice's appearance. Since he'd been saying things like that for years, Remo had become used to it. Just like the American had become used to the several small satellite dishes in the back yard of the house, also brought along during the submarine's visits.
Yeah, they were helpful in keeping their boss, one Harold Smith (alias Smitty, or as Chiun kept calling him, Emperor Smith) in touch with his employees while informing them of their newest missions to terminate with extreme prejudice numerous enemies of the United States. Still, the main reason for most of those devices for receiving television signals broadcast via satellite were to ensure that Chiun was never without his beloved Soap Channel.
Looking around, Remo spotted Chiun already halfway up the path of the extremely steep hill directly behind the house, and the only Caucasian in the entire North Korean province hustled after his teacher, taking the same route with perfect ease, despite that the tiniest cracks and merest protrusions representing themselves as an actual trail on the face of the nearly-vertical hill would have caused a mountain goat to take an easier way.
Finally reaching the top of the hill, Remo walked over to a pile of boulders, and he sat down on one of these, next to where Chiun was at the edge of the cliff, staring out over the village below, the small bay where one or two fishing boats were at work, and the entire Pacific Ocean. The old man was as still as a statue, despite the near-gale winds that blew straight back his pure white hair and left his equally white robe fluttering in the frigid air.
Remo lazily leaned back against the cold side of the boulder he'd chosen, and the man easily regulated his inner core temperature to protect himself from hypothermia. It was something that anyone could do - at least, if they were willing to spend literally years in learning to do that while also being educated in the most deadly form of martial arts on the planet that resulted in perfect control of their bodies and the acquisition of superhuman abilities. Not to mention that it really, really hurt the first couple of months during every single minute of the training.
Casually glancing over at his teacher, while expecting to see Chiun also totally unaffected by the blustery weather until that elderly Oriental finally condescended to explain why they were up here in the first place, Remo was shocked to see the old man shivering. No, he was shaking.
Abruptly straightening up in his seat on the boulder, Remo opened his mouth to ask what the hell was going on, until he suddenly became quiet, due to hearing a gritted statement through Chiun's tight lips, stiffly delivered in a tone of primal rage capable of making the very rocks of the cliff quiver in fear. "We…have made a mistake."
Now Remo was really flabbergasted. Chiun never admitted to any kind of error! He'd blame, in that specific order, Remo, the Chinese, the Japanese, the rest of the Asian races, and finally the remainder of humanity over such things as his tea being cold, but the merest possibility that man might himself be at fault? NEVER. Staying absolutely still while listening as hard as he could, a disbelieving Remo heard Chiun continue in his bitter voice.
"Ever since the first of us, the Masters of Sinanju have known about these….Goa'uld." Chiun literally spat out the final word that was the name of that parasitical race. "But it was so long ago even before we began practicing our craft, with no likelihood of ever meeting those unearthly devils, so that we never bothered to train ourselves on how to deal with them. Frankly, it seemed pointless to do otherwise, as we instead continued passing onto our successors the fragments of the ancient tales that have come down to us during the years."
As Chiun momentarily paused in his account, Remo could only marvel at his mentor's dismissing the sheer length of time that he'd just mentioned. The art of Sinanju went back at least five thousand years. For those stories about Earth's alien foes to have been considered old then, they must have been equally prehistoric. Ten thousand years or so, maybe?
"Am I not the most unfortunate Master of Sinanju?" sadly mused Chiun to himself, as Remo switched his attention back to his teacher. "I am now the one who must think of a way to teach my idiot apprentice on how to deal with those who travel between the stars and name themselves after the very deities." Shaking his head dolefully, Chiun slumped his shoulders and then he looked every single year of his advanced age.
Alarmed, Remo tried to come up with something to reassure his despondent teacher, who himself hid a deep love and satisfaction the equal of any father's over his son's successes regarding the American that Chiun had reluctantly taken on as a student years ago. Not actually believing that Remo could possibly learn Sinanju, the Oriental had taught him that martial art simply because there was no better candidate on hand. Over the next few months, an astonished Chiun watched how a big, greasy-meat-smelling, white devil had sure-footedly started on his path of becoming the next Master of Sinanju, complaining about every step of the way and making himself the most pig-headed apprentice that had ever existed. Sometime around then, Remo Williams had also performed the impertinence of slipping himself into Chiun's heart.
Of course, he would never tell the round-eye behind him any of this, despite the fact that every time Remo called Chiun his 'little father', the Korean wanted to shout to the entire world his happiness and pride about his new son. Not only was his apprentice already equal to most of the previous Masters of Sinanju, Remo had already demonstrated many times before his capability to be far, far more. Mulling over that last thought, Chiun felt something stir within his chest.
An astonished Remo now saw Chiun abruptly shake himself and straighten up with a joyous look on his features, to then turn around and regard with a glittering eye the younger man still sitting on his boulder and gaping back at his teacher, who then strode forward and clapped both hands upon Remo's shoulders. Holding him there, a jubilant Chiun roared right into his bewildered son's face: "THESE GOA'ULD DARE CALL THEMSELVES GODS? I SHALL SEND AGAINST THEM NONE OTHER THAN SHIVA THE DESTROYER!"
Several moments later, after Chiun had taken the path back down to the village, a stunned Remo Williams stood at the same place where his teacher had looked out over the ocean. As the wild wind continued to blow against his body, someone who'd never in their entire life had a home, a family, or even a name now felt the entire world shift beneath him.
Years ago, an anonymous child only a few hours old had been left on the front steps of a New Jersey orphanage, growing up there with nothing of his own but what he'd managed to create for himself, including a need to protect and defend the helpless. This had resulted in him becoming a policeman, until one day he'd awoken in a hospital bed, to then be cheerfully informed that a certain cop had just died and there was no way to get back his old life. So, he'd started a new existence which included a nagging, elderly Oriental man (who in a previous life must have been a supreme Jewish yenta) that had turned the former cop into a superhuman assassin aimed at America's enemies, and often enough, those who placed all of humanity in danger.
Now….he had a home. The world, Planet Earth, the whole spinning-in-space globe that was so beautiful in all those pictures.
He had a family. Chiun, and after him, the rest of the human race, minus those who needed to die as soon as possible.
He had a name. Remo Williams had been mockingly given to him and that was now accepted well enough, but he also had his true name.
He was the Destroyer.
The solemnity of the moment was promptly broken by Chiun screeching upwards at the bottom of the hill, "Lazy lout, get down here! You must inform Emperor Smith of your new task, and while you're at it, try not to disgrace me too much! Oh, yes, the old stories about the Goa'uld say that they like to live in palaces of pure gold, so be sure to bring back some of it when you defeat them! The children of Sinanju must be taken care of, you know!"
Remo Williams just sighed, and then he yelled back, "Coming, little father!"
Still, the Destroyer hesitated a moment on the clifftop, to now look straight up, past the blue sky into the dark night of glittering stars, as he then gleefully whispered to his distant enemies light-years away, who had no inkling that their doom was approaching.
"That's the biz, sweetheart."